While I’ve never met Brooke face-to-face, I feel like we’re old friends because we’ve been connected online for awhile now (the aesthetics of her professional and personal presences speak my language), we share multiple friends, and more importantly, we share an intense love of the lake and a deep need for chasing more of the feelings that lake time brings. She jumped at the chance to share her story of where her lake-love stems from, and I’m thrilled to bring it to you today...
Could it be the loons cooing in the distance, the cool breeze and faint voices coming off the water or how the sky is painted red at the end of the evening? There is something about the lake that feels right. My favorite memories as a child began at the lake - spending the day at Lake Michigan with our friends to come home sunburnt to an air conditioned house and fall asleep to a movie, going to the lakeside store to buy all the candy my Grandparent’s would allow me followed by a day of swimming and tubing, and the rental house on Lake Macatawa where we would spend long days swimming and fishing while polishing off jars of pickles. The lake has always felt like home to me and where I belong.
My favorite lake memories as child were long weekends at Grandma’s house on Pine Lake. These would typically start with my parents dropping my sister, Chelsea, and I off at grandma’s house with our bags packed full of swimsuits, flipflops and beach towels. We’d barely make it inside before racing down the wooden steps to the dock to see where the fish were swimming and if the frogs were out. My sister was the great frog hunter (catch & release only) whereas I found my peace in grabbing some of Grandma’s stale bread and feeding it to the fish. After an hour of getting acquainted with the aquatic friends, we would head back inside to put our bags away and see what grandma had on the agenda for us.
Every visit was different, but we had our staple activities we loved to do. Taking the paddleboat for a spin, pontoon rides to “the island” for swimming, tea parties on the deck with cranberry juice instead of tea, swinging in the hammock while eating fresh watermelon and enjoying the breeze. If it were rainy, we would start an epic game of pick-up sticks or checkers - or we would find ourselves at Pine Lake Grocery walking the short aisles to pick out a movie in their small rental collection. There was always something to see and do at the lake, and we never found ourselves bored.
At night, as the sky was fading to the perfect shade of pink and red, we would look out the window and Grandma would say “Red skies at night, sailor’s delight. Red skies in the morning, sailors take warning.” Freshly bathed, she would tuck us into her massive king sized bed - though she had plenty of guest rooms and other beds, we insisted on sleeping in that bed with her. She would pull out my favorite bedtime story ‘Stellaluna’ and read through the pages with excitement and drama in her voice. She would finish the book and pull a flashlight from her nightstand, shining it on the wall, claiming it was the moon, Luna. Luna would dance all along the wall, say hello to us, hide behind the dresser until we screamed “I see you Luna!” We would laugh and laugh until we became tired and our eyelids couldn’t stay open another moment.
To this day that memory holds a special place in my heart. When deciding on what to name my new wedding planning business I was given the advice that my name should hold meaning to me. I spent weeks thinking of the perfect name and one day around a table with a group of friends I shared the story of Stellaluna and what that meant to me. As I finished the story, I looked up and found everyone looking at me with eyes of approval that said “that’s it, that's the name!”
Stellaluna Events was inspired by moments by the lake, selfless love and a lasting memory. A memory I have cherished my whole life and the same kind of memories I want to create for my couples that are embarking on this new chapter of their life. I strive for my couples to feel that same love and peace I felt with weekends on the lake with grandma as a little girl, and still feel today when I’m by the lakeshore
To Grandma Linda, thank you for creating those memories for Chelsea and I, for putting a smile on when things weren’t always perfect, and shining that flashlight on the wall even after the fifth time we said “one more time!”
Today, my love of the lake is ever strong, my Grandma still calls me Luna and ‘Stellaluna’ sits on my coffee table as a constant reminder to create those memories that last a lifetime.