friday fluff day- ArtPrize!!

We watched a gem miner last night in live action during ArtPrize competition, the worlds largest art competition taking place in Grand Rapids, MI.  Our uber-creative friend and artist Adam Wolpa sculped a gem mine and then did performance art to “mine” the gems, shining a light on the sparkly rocks and gems. It was so creative and beautiful! Thumbs WAY up Wolpa!

mr. miner, Adam Wolpa

mr. miner, Adam Wolpa

vote up for wolpa!

vote up for wolpa!

We were treated to the performance art piece as Adam mined the gems. Showing nightly at 7:30 on Division!

We were treated to the performance art piece as Adam mined the gems. Showing nightly at 7:30 on Division!

There were so many beautiful sculptures and paintings scattered across outdoor downtown Grand Rapids and tucked into boutiques, coffeeshops and churches.  What’s really cool is that the public votes on the piece that they like best and the winner gets $250,000! It is definitely worth checking out if you are around in the next few weeks- plus, it’s free!  That was a nice perk for Dave and I to enjoy, plus we got to walk around instead of sitting on our butts eating a giant tub of popcorn at the movies 🙂 Here are some shots of pieces that we enjoyed- check out the ArtPrize website to see more (and better shots):

there was everything from the bizarre to the beautiful at ArtPrize

there was everything from the bizarre to the beautiful at ArtPrize

this picture doesn't really capture the coolness of this water wheel that acted as a moving picture machine as well. It's located in front of the Gerald R. Ford museum

this picture doesn't really capture the coolness of this water wheel that acted as a moving picture machine as well. It's located in front of the Gerald R. Ford museum

this piece by Mario Moore is entitled "The Mother"

this piece by Mario Moore is entitled "The Mother"

I was especially moved by the piece pictured above.  Check out Mario’s profile to see more of his paintings. I always feel so invigorated after spending time looking at art- whether disturbing, abstract or impeccably detailed. When I spend time in a gallery or even just looking at books about artwork, something inside me feels like it’s unlocked, like the things I can’t even put words to are expressed in the images or sculptures I see.  I’m amazed at the creativity God has given to so many people that give us a mirror to experience the world in a different way. Even if you can’t make it to GR to see the pieces in person, clicking through some of the pieces on the ArtPrize website will provide a window to the talented people who have graced GR with their creativity.

Dave and I capped off the night with a visit to the Ritz Coney Island (so- no tubs of popcorn, just chili-cheese fries & hotdogs 🙂

yummmmm.

yummmmm.

I swear, I could eat hotdogs everyday if I let myself.

I swear, I could eat hotdogs everyday if I let myself.

What are your plans for the weekend? Any movies you’re looking forward to seeing? Projects you’re hoping to complete? People you’re going to see? Hotdogs you’re going to eat?

friday fluff day- ArtPrize!!

We watched a gem miner last night in live action during ArtPrize competition, the worlds largest art competition taking place in Grand Rapids, MI.  Our uber-creative friend and artist Adam Wolpa sculped a gem mine and then did performance art to “mine” the gems, shining a light on the sparkly rocks and gems. It was so creative and beautiful! Thumbs WAY up Wolpa!

mr. miner, Adam Wolpa

mr. miner, Adam Wolpa

vote up for wolpa!

vote up for wolpa!

We were treated to the performance art piece as Adam mined the gems. Showing nightly at 7:30 on Division!

We were treated to the performance art piece as Adam mined the gems. Showing nightly at 7:30 on Division!

There were so many beautiful sculptures and paintings scattered across outdoor downtown Grand Rapids and tucked into boutiques, coffeeshops and churches.  What’s really cool is that the public votes on the piece that they like best and the winner gets $250,000! It is definitely worth checking out if you are around in the next few weeks- plus, it’s free!  That was a nice perk for Dave and I to enjoy, plus we got to walk around instead of sitting on our butts eating a giant tub of popcorn at the movies 🙂 Here are some shots of pieces that we enjoyed- check out the ArtPrize website to see more (and better shots):

there was everything from the bizarre to the beautiful at ArtPrize

there was everything from the bizarre to the beautiful at ArtPrize

this picture doesn't really capture the coolness of this water wheel that acted as a moving picture machine as well. It's located in front of the Gerald R. Ford museum

this picture doesn't really capture the coolness of this water wheel that acted as a moving picture machine as well. It's located in front of the Gerald R. Ford museum

this piece by Mario Moore is entitled "The Mother"

this piece by Mario Moore is entitled "The Mother"

I was especially moved by the piece pictured above.  Check out Mario’s profile to see more of his paintings. I always feel so invigorated after spending time looking at art- whether disturbing, abstract or impeccably detailed. When I spend time in a gallery or even just looking at books about artwork, something inside me feels like it’s unlocked, like the things I can’t even put words to are expressed in the images or sculptures I see.  I’m amazed at the creativity God has given to so many people that give us a mirror to experience the world in a different way. Even if you can’t make it to GR to see the pieces in person, clicking through some of the pieces on the ArtPrize website will provide a window to the talented people who have graced GR with their creativity.

Dave and I capped off the night with a visit to the Ritz Coney Island (so- no tubs of popcorn, just chili-cheese fries & hotdogs 🙂

yummmmm.

yummmmm.

I swear, I could eat hotdogs everyday if I let myself.

I swear, I could eat hotdogs everyday if I let myself.

What are your plans for the weekend? Any movies you’re looking forward to seeing? Projects you’re hoping to complete? People you’re going to see? Hotdogs you’re going to eat?

We should mate, uh, I mean date!

Doesn’t dating make you crazy sometimes?  I was out with some girlfriends awhile ago on a Saturday night at Republic and as we were watching the brigade of mini-skirt clad ladies make their way upstairs, primly holding stems of martini glasses to make sure not to spill, we mused on life as married women who have taken ourselves off the meat market.

I’m so glad that I don’t have to get hooched up anymore hoping to hook up with a guy when I go out!” quipped one of my friends as she popped a salted edamame out of it’s fuzzy pod and into her mouth. “Yeah, it gets so tiresome hoping you’ll find someone- I don’t miss that at all” chimed in my other friend.  “true- but remember the anticipation of getting ready to go out? Not knowing what will happen, who you’ll meet, where the night will end up? I replied. Now when we get ready to go out, we’re usually with our husbands and there’s no anticipation. You know you’ll go home, have sex and then go to sleep.” We all were silent for a minute, listening to the clink of glasses and the soft thump of  techno music in the background- probably thinking about the difference of how it felt anticipating a night out with your spouse instead of a night out with, well anyone you might meet. “yeah” said one of my girlfriends nodding wistfully. “true” said another one smiling.

Despite the feelings or ideas that single people are having more fun, better sex and are free to generally enjoy life more, there has been numerous books written on the topic of married sex from all sorts of perspectives- sociologial, psychologial and spiritual.  A quick amazon search of “married sex” yielded these books results:

The Case for Marriage: why married people are happier, healthier, and better off financially

Intended for Pleasure: Sex Technique and Sexual Fulfillment in Christian Marriage

Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus: The Classic Guide to Understanding the Opposite Sex

One of my friends Lorilee has written books on “how to keep the spark alive” once you’re married, and especially if you have kids in books like Date Night in a Minivan and the one below:

check out http://www.lorileecraker.com/ for more of her books!

check out http://www.lorileecraker.com/ for more of her books!

The truth is that sometimes when you’re married it can feel a lot like the quote from Ben Stiller’s character in Dodgeball that I used for the title of this blog “we should mate, I mean date” than the exciting gut-wrenching anticipation of dating as a single person. Though research claims that Married People have better sex than single people- a bunch of data doesn’t really do much to spice up your love life!

Lorilee and I joked awhile ago that shows like The Bachelor or Bachelorette should throw couples in real life situations rather than these crazy idealistic and romantic situations! How’s this for a plot line: “a bachelor sees which 12 women he best connects with as they figure out how to divide household chores, cook dinner together and babysit a toddler.” I think it’d be like a cross between SuperNanny/WifeSwap/and The Bachelor 🙂

Last week Dave and I went on a date to the sixth street bridge park in Grand Rapids.  We packed a picnic of sandwiches, veggies and dip, homemade dilly potato salad that Dave had made earlier that day. Rather than just doing paper plates and plastic forks, we wrapped our real plates, glasses and cutlery in blue cloth napkins and tucked a blanket into the bag to sit on while we enjoyed dinner.

there is a sweet little park overlooking this bridge and the river of downtown GR

there is a sweet little park overlooking this bridge and the river of downtown GR

As we sipped wine from the vineyard in Ithaca, NY we visited on my birthday we enjoyed the sunlight glinting off the Grand River, the clouds drifting through the blue sky and the sound of cars creaking over the historic bridge. I simply felt content and happy.

six mile creek vineyard is such a quaint place- check it out at http://www.sixmilecreek.com/

six mile creek vineyard is such a quaint place- check it out at http://www.sixmilecreek.com/

It was so enjoyable to sit and relax uninterrupted conversation, take a break from the routine of life, catch up with things we’d been thinking about and just savor each others company. Thank God for grandparents who love to babysit! We walked around downtown GR & listened to some music that was playing outdoors & then headed to dairy queen where we got some dessert.  This date cost a total of $4.51! Sometimes I think that the things that are the simplest can be the most enjoyable because there isn’t so much hype around them to have them “feel special.”

So, if you’re married what are ways you’ve enjoyed “dating” your spouse? Whether you’re married or single, what has been one of your favorite dates lately? If you’re not dating- what did you do with a friend lately that made you feel loved and appreciated?