Artful Mornings

“Everyone discusses my art and pretends to understand, as if it were necessary to understand, when it is simply necessary to love.” Claude Monet

Some of my most favorite trips involved visiting art museums with my mom. My parents instilled in my siblings and I at a young age the importance of all art forms. All four of us partook in the art of music, but some of us had more talent than others. A few of us, myself not included, were gifted in the art of theatre. But for me, traditional art was my love. There were the numerous art classes, the coffee table art books, and the ever growing collection of art supplies. On almost every family vacation, there would be the customary visit to the local art museum or a special exhibit. I remember in middle school taking the day off of school to fly to Washington DC with my mom for a special exhibit of Alexander Calder. Then, that moment every little artist dreams of, a trip to France and getting to walk through Giverny. Sigh. It’s hard to top that.

While the Grand Rapids Art Museum isn’t grande or world famous, it represents the value of art to Grand Rapids and the importance art plays in our local community.

Grand Rapids Lifestyle Blogger: Black Leather

Grand Rapids Lifestyle Blogger: Black Leather & Red Chambray

Grand Rapids Lifestyle Blogger: Black Leather & Red Chambray

Grand Rapids Lifestyle Blogger: Black Leather & Red Chambray

Grand Rapids Lifestyle Blogger: Black Leather & Red Chambray

Grand Rapids Lifestyle Blogger: Black Leather & Red Chambray

Grand Rapids Lifestyle Blogger: Black Leather & Red Chambray

Jessica COAT: Old Navy (similar here and here) | CARDIGAN: Target | SKIRT: Boutique in Holland (similar here or here) | PURSE: Aldo for JC Penney | SCARF: Target (similar here) | SHOES: Kohl’s (similar here) | TIGHTS: Bloomingdales

Nicholas COAT: Kohls (similar here) | SHIRT: Old Navy | JEANS: Levis | SHOES: Payless

PS: I apologize if this post lacks warmth and personality. After I finished writing it, it mysteriously disappeared and I have been mourning the loss ever since. While I tried to find the energy to rewrite it word for word, I found that my heart just wasn’t in it.

Burton Park

“Keep close to Nature’s heart and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.” John Muir

I grew up in nature. Let me rephrase that. I spent most of my childhood playing outside with my siblings and friends. Behind my parents house stretches acres of forests, woodlands, and grassy meadows. With each season, new adventures greeted us with open arms. Spring came with torrential downpours and muddy swamps. Summer days were filled with all day picnics and splashing in the pool; summer nights were for playing ghost in the graveyard and catching fireflies. Cool autumns were spent raking leaves, climbing trees, and having sleepovers in the tree house. Winter’s cold kiss brought endless snowball fights, sledding and fort building.

However, during my early twenties, nature and I got along less harmoniously than when I was younger. Dirt, bugs and poor circulation kept me from enjoying nature. Sure, the idea of it, the romance of sunny walks in the woods and camping with friends at the beach sounded fun, but I never felt at ease.

It wasn’t until my mid-late twenties that I rediscovered my love for the outdoors (thanks in part to hand warmers and hiking boots). The majestic beauty as I hike through the mountains, the wind rushing through my hair as I ski down the Colorado rockies, the sweat and love of growing my own flower garden, and the joy I had this past week as I strapped on my snowshoes and went snowshoeing for the very first time.

Grand Rapids Lifestyle Blogger: Heart Sweater, Quilted Jacket

Grand Rapids Lifestyle Blogger: Heart Sweater, Quilted Jacket

Grand Rapids Lifestyle Blogger: Heart Sweater, Quilted Jacket

Grand Rapids Lifestyle Blogger: Heart Sweater, Quilted Jacket

Grand Rapids Lifestyle Blogger: Heart Sweater, Quilted Jacket

Jessica COAT: Old Navy (similar here and here) | SWEATER: Target (similar here) | PANTS: Patagonia (similar here) | SCARF: Gift, handmade | BOOTS: Kohl’s (similar here)