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Fathers

I’ve got some pretty great fathers in my life. My grandpa tells the story of washing clothes and hanging them out to dry after my aunt was born - in a time when that was probably not the husband’s typical role. But he did it willingly because he loves his family well. My dad has always been hands on and involved. He’s the reason I love to write. He’s also one reason I have the courage to pursue things I...

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Memory

The other day, I reminded my brother, Nick, of the time we met one of his first friends in Marion as they stood in our house nineteen years ago. NINETEEN. I told him what his friend was wearing and why I thought they'd never actually become friends after that. One day, while walking across our college campus, my friend received a phone call from her mom. There was some back and forth and Grace relayed her social security number...

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Second Street

On two different shopping trips in my college days I was told exactly where to go - specific corners or shelves - as I entered a store. I was ushered away from merchandise I was getting ready to carry into the fitting room and sent to the clothes “meant for me” based on my size. I was really puzzled and confused why someone would drag me away from something I was clearly interested in. Both times my confidence plummeted and...

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A Generational Gap

Be the change you wish to see in the world. The world needs someone just like you. You are enough. You've got this. These are all the things I've been hearing and seeing in the compilation videos of graduation speeches. While I think these tacky hallmark card quotes are generally safe words to share with young people, I fear we've become a culture that is so focused on making sure our students and 20 somethings feel appreciated, accepted, and valued....

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Harris & Willow Meets Brick & Mortar

The INFP in me is a dreamer. Sometimes I have to remind myself to think big enough to dream but small enough to act. I live in a great community in West Michigan. I see so much opportunity here and I can't help but desire to be a part of it. It's something I can't shake and it's a vision I've had for months now: a retail shop in West Michigan. There are wonderful parks, restaurants, shops, and beaches in Muskegon....

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Book the Stinkin’ Weekend

Four weeks ago, on Friday of Labor Day weekend, I rolled up to my family's cottage expecting to meet a locksmith. Instead, I met four dear friends of mine; four (of six) girls from college who have seen me at my very worst and love me anyway. Girls who celebrated with me on my wedding day. When we moved, I stumbled across a pile of inside jokes from college: I unwrapped a wine glass with a note that said "because...

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DeVos & De Baby

There is something eerie about nighttime. Everyone is quiet. Everything is still. And when there is commotion, it feels chaotic yet incredibly lonely. Deep dark hours of the night have a tendency to swallow up any security I have. It's safe to say that things felt very insecure and uncertain when we rushed Maddie to the ER at 1:30am last Thursday morning. We had spent all day driving home from Indianapolis, turning a 5 hour drive into 10 hours. Maddox had...

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Small Homes Build Tight Families

When Patrick and I were newlyweds we lived in a shoebox of an apartment and I loved it. Our entire lives were in that place. We lived simply and had just enough furniture to function, including a broken love seat as our main living room seating. I didn't buy much home decor, mostly because there wasn't adequate space to decorate. And, actually, those have become such fond memories for me. I'm introverted and Patrick is beyond extroverted. I need quiet time....

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Something New

If there's one thing I've learned in my few years of marriage it's that time is flying by and there's no time like the present. I'm dedicating this new year to being creative and working hard to be the best wife and mother I can be (which is probably a different definition than yours). I left First & Vine in Spooner and it took me a couple months to realize that doesn't have to end my career in sign-making or even...

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Home: A Letter to Maddox

My Dear Sweet Son, You've had a whirlwind of a week. You've been hauled across three states, put to bed in an unfamiliar room in an unfamiliar apartment. Honestly, I feel I've ripped you away from anyone who knows you well. You'll never know the Northwoods the way you could have, so there's a couple things I want to tell you about the place where you were born. I'm very proud to have been born where I was (in East Michigan), and...

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