Returning From Sister Winter

Olympys OMD

Hej allihopa. It’s been a busy winter. Popular opinion: no one should have to have a busy during the month of February. But, alas.

Complementing the stress and exhaustion from the last four months were moments spent with my favorite people, fabulous cups of coffee and big ole belly laughs. I pulled  my favorite, untouched photos from the memory card my new camera to share some of the highlights from this winter.

Photography wise – I’ve learned that my favorite images to shoot are candids of people. And coffee. I am obsessed with my new camera. But I also have so much more to learn about it. YIP.

December 23, 2017. Hours spent at BLK MRKT with Kaila, Glynnis and Fletcher. Laughing and crying. Talking about things only the best of friends can talk about.

December 25, 2017. Jam session with my dad, my uncle and the Glynnie girl. Three guitars and one uke. Scream-singing Simon & Garfunkel hits. And also This Land Is Your Land. Warm with wine. Comforted with the promise of a long sleep ahead.

December 27, 2017. Happily engaged and happily surprised at her unexpected engagement party. Seven friends gathering in our hometown, popping prosecco, dipping pizza in ranch and celebrating love.

December 30, 2017. My longest and best friend. I had the honor to host her and Colton’s wedding shower. It DUMPED snow. We had no idea how many guests would even be able to make it. Despite the weather, so many loved ones came out to celebrate them. It was perfect.

December 31, 2017. Making the most of the three feet of snow that dumped on Traverse City the day before – within three hours, mind you. Driving might have been a cluster, but it sure made my childhood neighborhood look like the set of a Hallmark film.

January 1, 2018. Fletcher joined us to ring in the new year after a pajama party. This is what he wore out. We love Fletcher. We made our way downtown. And then sang about it over and over again at J&S Hamburger. That’s all.

January 13, 2018. From Norway to Chicago to Kalamazoo to Grand Rapids to Minneapolis. Austin takes the cake for the busiest January. We escaped the unforgiving Minnesota cold for some much-needed exotic plant appreciation at Como Conservatory while he was visiting. Just look at that smile.

January 27, 2018. Another new coffee shop. Wesley Andrews quickly became my go-to spot for the remaining winter days. Quality and consistency. That’s all I ever ask. Extremely friendly staff. Very cozy atmosphere. (One note – I’ve never seen a woman working there. Maybe just bad timing on my end, but let’s show a representation for the badass women in coffee.)

January 27, 2018. The last night having all my sweet swedes together. I feel so lucky to meet this bunch. Emmy, Sanna, Ajla och Natalie, ni är fantastiska. Saknar er, men vi ses snart i Sverige eller i Minne. Spelar ingen roll för mig…men kanske Sverige jo. 🙂

February 4, 2018. The snug and ever-bright Hovey house. It was my first time back in Grand Rapids more than 10 hours since I graduate in 2016. Felt like I never left.


February 4, 2018. One great thing about going “home” again is seeing what has changed. I visited the new Fulton street MadCap location and was immediately greeted by the warm and pleasantly surprised smiles of my old friends and coworkers, Luke and Cody. It was a slow start to my last day in Grand Rapids with Austin.

February 17, 2018. Photo taken by my sister at Urban Bean – where I am incidentally writing this post. We had sweetened iced lattes, split a croissant and talked about life and all of its struggles as the hours passed slowly. We had nowhere to be and nothing to do. So we stayed and did the only thing that mattered – made up for lost time.

February 18, 2018. Making beef tacos with my sister. And it was a hard NO for me to that onion.

February 18, 2018. Look at this cutie. She surprised me with booking this trip to visit me. Kelsey and I didn’t see each other for two years during which we took turns living on different continents. From August 2014 until July 2016, and then separated again by state lines and limited funds from December 2016 until December 2017. It’s not easy being far away from the one who knows you best and always has the right words to make the world seem less frightening. This was the first time that we had time completely alone since I was in high school. I simply couldn’t have been happier.

March 9, 2018. One of my favorite weekend activities. Having wine in the kitchen with Katie and Devin and dancing to the CLASSICS. I’m talking You and Dat, Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing, Party in Third Class, etc. Ellie also loves it. Clearly.

March 10, 2018. A Saturday evening spent shooting photos and getting to know my camera. But first, a cappuccino from Northern Coffeeworks. It was hands down the best capp I’ve had in Minne. Made with a rich Ecuadorian espresso from Intelligentsia, I expected nothing less. Photo by Michael.

March 10, 2018. Many a photo was taken this evening. It was cloudy and chilly, but the city was beautiful as ever.

March 11, 2018. Brunch at The Lynhall with Sanna and Natalie – the last two Sandgrens babes to leave Minne. I knew my time with them was limited, but I did not know they were flying home to Sweden the NEXT DAY when we made these plans. So grateful to have one last brunch with these two. I will miss them so.

March 23, 2018. Competing in the Northern Coffeeworks Latte Art Throwdown. It was my first time pouring a latte since July – and that was only because Spencer let me pour my own at BLK MRKT – and my first time competing since August 2016. It felt so good. I was the first to go. As expected, I was knocked out in the first round, but I poured a damn good latte given the circumstance. It was a blast. My lovely friends Cristin, Maggie and Katie were there cheering me on. What a blast.

March 24, 2018. Another Saturday spent snuggled up in a coffee shop – Spyhouse. Planning for an uncertain future. Phone calls with my parents. Being present.


Sister Winter by Sufjan Stevens, performed by Joseph

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