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Full Circle at Greenlake Park

Running at our favorite lake!

Since moving to Seattle a year ago, I have come to believe that all the hype about the dreary weather is really a sneaky way of keeping our great city a secret.  It certainly does rain here, but when it’s sunny, there is no place more beautiful.  The summers and fall here are incredible, and Seattle-ites have an appreciation for the outdoors that is incomparable to anywhere else I’ve lived.

One of my favorite things about living here in Seattle is the abundance of parks and green space scattered all throughout the city.  When we arrived, I was 18 weeks pregnant and didn’t know anyone in our new city.  Since I work at home, I knew I would feel very isolated if I stayed inside all day long.  So I did my research and started checking out local parks, one by one.  I wasn’t running anymore at that point in my pregnancy, so I turned my daily outings at the parks into exercise – a few miles of walking each day.

Months passed and my belly grew, and I was still out there walking.  My favorite spot in all of Seattle is Greenlake Park – a large lake dropped right in the middle of a beautiful, urban setting, with a 2.8 mile walking path all along the lakeside.  I wrote about my daily walks there both here and on my personal blog, and I ended up hearing from other pregnant women in Seattle who were walking my same loop.  With locations and lifestyles in common, we made plans to go for walks together.

Fast forward a few months and my belly was gigantic.  I was still looping Greenlake almost daily, but now I had company – a wonderful group of other mothers-to-be.  We’d walk and talk – sharing stories, fears, and hopes for our future families.  And then on one particular overcast Tuesday, I walked what would be my last pregnant three mile loop, as I went into labor about eight hours later.

Once Cullen was born and I had recovered for a few weeks, I was itching to get out into the fresh air and back to my favorite spot.  I remember vividly the first time I took him to Greenlake and walked that familiar path.  I had circled so many times with him in my belly, and it felt quite literally like a full circle moment to have him there snuggled in my arms.

He’s seven months old now, and we still walk at Greenlake several times each week.  Those same pregnant friends who used to waddle slowly around the path with me, now join me for stroller runs and play dates at the baby swings.  Greenlake has been so much more than a park to me.  After arriving as a newcomer to Seattle, with no friendly faces or familiar things to lean on, Greenlake became one of the pillars that would eventually make Seattle feel like home.

Now that we have been here for more than a year, our Seattle world has become so much bigger.  And while of course it rains here from time to time, whenever the sun is out you can find me at one of my favorite parks.  I’m excited to be voting for Greenlake Park in the America Is Your Park campaign sponsored by Coca-Cola.  At the end of the campaign, one park will be voted “America’s Favorite Park” – I hope it will be mine!  If you care to join me by either nominating your own favorite park, or voting for mine, please visit the America Is Your Park Campaign page.

This is sponsored content from Babble and The Coca-Cola Company. All opinions expressed in the post are my own and not those of Coca-Cola. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Only legal residents of the 50 U.S. (and D.C.) who are at least 13 years old and reside within the U.S. at the time of participation are eligible to vote for a Park. Participate on behalf of a Park by: July 15, 2012. The 3 most popular Parks will be offered a grant and there will be 1 Wild Card drawing at the end of the Contest to award an additional grant.  To participate, for Official Rules, and complete details including grant descriptions, visit www.LivePositively.com/parks. Void where prohibited. Click here to see more of the discussion.

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