Monday, January 25, 2016

weekend update

Loving these 3 day weekends.
Friday Doug and I went down to the auto show with Matt and Rachel and their baby. It was kinda cool, I hadn't been in years!
Then we went over to their house and talked while Rachel made us dinner. Super good vegetarian food and a fantastic vegan chocolate hazelnut torte for dessert. Then we played games. Fun evening.
Saturday was pretty busy. We went and got my ring appraised and Doug joined me on a quest for bedroom curtains. Seems getting window curtains is just as hard as finding a shower curtain! I have an idea of what I'd like, the problem is I just can't find it anywhere. Doug does not enjoy shopping, but he came along with me to Meijer, TJMaxx, Homegoods, Pier 1, and Kohls, what a trooper! And we ended up just buying him some more socks. Haha. I ordered some online last night from Kohls, so we'll see. I don't have the energy to go back and forth to store after store.
We also are trying to sell my old ring, and made a craigslist ad. If anyone knows anyone getting engaged and wants a good deal let me know!
Then Saturday evening a couple of Doug's friends came over, we made popcorn and had dessert and played Scene It and Scattergories. It was fun.
Sunday was church and then home to relax for a bit. Then my parents came over, we went to the park behind our house and walked the trails for an hour and a half, then they came back over and we grilled hamburgers, and had salad and potatoes.
After they left, Doug was looking at some youtubes about preparing for 'the crash of 2016' and I found Bridesmaids playing on tv, so funny, it was a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

babysitting Ben

Last week Doug and I had Ben for a couple hours while his parents went out for dinner
He was not amused when he woke from his nap to find himself in new surroundings
Even Doug's mock-fox-attack could not elicit a smile.
We had rented Hotel Transylvania 2 from Redbox (what a disappointment after the super cute and funny part 1!!) And we just took turns holding him and playing with him while it was on in the background.
There's a smile!

Monday, January 18, 2016

weekend update

And by "weekend" I pretty much just mean Friday as I worked all weekend. But Friday was a good day. Jill and Becks came over in the morning for breakfast. Which ended up being brunch as my quiche took forever to bake. It said bake 35 mins, yeah right, it ended up being over an hour and was just ok. Anyway, the time with Jill was nice.
Becks and September remain wary of each other.
Thursday Doug went with me to sign up at LA Fitness. I really liked my personal training group exercise class last week, but when I did the math it would cost me $248 a month. Um, no. So I started thinking about it and found out that LA Fitness was only $30 a month. I think I'll still do the bulk of my exercising at home, but they have cycle and bootcamp classes and I will aim for 1-2 classes a week. I love that it is only 5 minutes away and will get me doing exercises I am not used to while also pushing me more than I push myself. Also those classes are usually 45-60 minutes so that's also longer than I would do at home. I'm excited.
After brunch with Jill on Friday we went to Doug's parents to borrow their van. We were on a quest to Ikea to look for a new couch. Doug's dad wanted to come with us so the 3 of us headed off to Ikea. I was worried with a third person he'd be rushing me or opinionated and I was pleasantly surprised that wasn't the case at all. Unfortunately Ikea did not really have anything really great. Their catalogs look so nice, but in person everything seemed much smaller and sometimes cheap looking. We got lunch there (my vegetarian sweet potato and quinoa meatballs were good, but Doug's meatballs he said were pretty meh) and ended up only buying this cute little $1 mouse for September.
Speaking of mice, chewed bags and droppings have been spotted in our pantry. :( I'm trying to think of a scenario where we can just co-exist. Like storing all our food in glass/plastic containers, Doug thinks they might be in the attic and they could just live up there while we live down here. But then I keep thinking of them multiplying and multiplying until our house is dripping and crawling with them. And I heard they can chew thru electrical wires and stuff like that. So Doug bought some mousetraps. But I saw them on the counter and there is this little drawing of a curious sweet little mouse looking into the trap as the bar is about to decapitate him and I started crying. I would love for Doug to get live traps, and build a little mouse condo and we could stock it with old rags and food and take it out into the woods. He was not as excited about that plan. I think he's just going to kill them and not tell me. Which is not great either, but how many more options are there? :(
So yeah.
We also went to a couple more furniture stores with Doug and his Dad. Maybe those salespeople don't work on commission anymore because no one was willing to barter. So home we went. We ended up looking online and found on the art van website a couch very similar to the one we'd seen, and cheaper than the store prices, we figured it would be close enough to the one we tested and we bought it. Coming in February. So that was good. We have a futon in that spot, but now the futon will go over into the mantle room and the new couch will go in the living room.
Then worked all weekend. Both days I had 6 patients which pretty much guarantees a rushed day and feeling always behind. But there were moments of good times. I had this cute little old man patient who everytime I came in the room he'd ask me if I was married and how many kids did I have, and why didn't I have kids, and I should have kids. Haha. I told him I had a husband and a cat and showed him the above picture and he says "which one is your husband?" and I said "the one that's not a cat!" and kept laughing about that all day. In his defense he is an old man and it was a small phone picture with Doug up in the corner, but I thought it was so funny.
So today I'm back to catching up with bills, groceries, and homework. Always something to do!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

part-time life

I really appreciate being able to work part-time and have time for the rest of life. I'm sorry if it seems I'm rubbing this luxury in all the full-timers faces, not trying to, just saying I really appreciate it. Especially in this season I'm going thru where I feel easily overwhelmed, its nice to have a slower pace and time to recover in between work shifts and time to do things that are important to me like sleep, exercise, read my Bible, and cook for and spend time with Doug.
I've been an steady exerciser for about 20 years (wow!) and I feel strong and for the most part fit/healthy, but I'm carrying around a little extra and it bugs me. This year I would like to lose it. So I went and saw a personal trainer. And today was a group exercise class in the morning. It was tough! I really like my home-workouts and can get a pretty good variety of exercises, but the class was intense and I pushed myself harder than I would at home, so it might be a good thing for me.
I found out about this personal trainer through a girl I went to nursing school with and she was in the class. After class I invited her over for an impromptu lunch and she said yes. So it was really nice to catch up and visit with her.
Then my mom has been asking me for help with making a photo book, so she came over. We designed a flyer for her church, and made business cards, and got her started with making her photo book.
Tonight was supposed to be book club, but a couple of the friends are sick/tired/needing babysitters I guess so we rescheduled. It stinks because I had already bought meat and was preparing food for tonight, but instead I'll cook it for me & Doug, and (our old roommate/houseguest) Thor is coming over and we'll have leftovers.
It was just a nice slow paced day and I enjoyed it!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

the bathroom is done!

A sigh of relief, almost exactly 6 months later, our bathroom renovation is complete.
The lovely before:
In this first post we ripped down walls, fixed a rotten spot in the floor, and put up the new drywall.
Goodbye ugly weird walls!
In the next post, Doug and Dad put up the new shower liner and faucet with handheld shower
The next post Doug installed the new light. And I must have started painting the cabinets because I see them in the background pics.
The next phase we paid our friend to do the mudding for us. I wish we would have got the nails in a little deeper under the drywall because already you can see nail head outlines! Sheesh, I guess nothings perfect.
Next we painted.
And note my nice white repainted cabinets. The painting involved many detailed touch ups here and there, and I even painted 3 more layers later on the upper cabinets to make them look bright white. Lots of work.
Then we prepped the floor for tile.
At the end of that post we had also re-installed the vanity with a new top.
Then we put in the tile! and a new toilet.
After that I debated on shower curtains and bought/returned 6+ curtain and rug combos before I finally found something I liked.
The next step were all the finishing touches.
Doug went to Menard's Black Friday and got 4 6-panel doors. I spent the next week painting them with 4 coats each to give our bathroom and 3 bedrooms nicer more polished looking doors.
We put up ceiling trim, and floor trim a week later
I spent hours caulking around every bit of trim and around the cabinets and shower liner
This last weekend Doug re-grouted a crack by the tub (which cracked again, so it's gonna stay that way!), and grouted the wall tiles behind the toilet
And besides still needing to scrape a few little things off the tub and re-do a couple chips in the tub's glaze, which there is no rush to do, we are done!
welcome to our bathroom
I am especially proud of my caulking in the what-was huge cracks around the vanity since our walls weren't perfectly square
And found a toothbrush holder to fit Doug's massive electric one and a soap dispenser at Bed, Bath & Beyond that nicely corresponds to our brushed nickle fixtures
The final winning curtain was this one from Target. I know Doug said 'no flowers' but I think he appreciated I tried valiantly in the previous 6 attempts, and he didn't want to go on his own hunt. I liked this one because it was slightly off white so it wouldn't clash with the white cabinets and it had grey, blue and green accents. And I loved this soft silver-mist floor rug from Target too. We went with a silver-gray grout thinking that it would hide mildew or other such stains, but didn't realize it would be so hard to find a rug that looked good with it too.
One more time the before:
And after:
When we started I never thought it would have taken 6 months, even with all the help from Dad and Mom and Thor too. I don't think it ended up being that cheap after all the supplies and endless trips to Lowes for this-and-that. I think we spent under $2k, but probably very close to it. But I am very glad to have a pretty new bathroom that feels much more open and nice. It was worth it. We learned a lot along the way, but we can both say we're glad it's done!

Friday, January 1, 2016


Happy new year!
One gets the feeling they may not have done very well on their 2015 goals if they can't even remember them and have to go to an old blog post... oh well.
My goals from 2015:
- get a full-time nursing job Sort of, I ended up getting a part-time job but I'm glad it worked out that way
- start a RN -> BSN program by the end of the year Yes! I have 2 classes down and I think 7 to go
- read that dang investing book! (and learn more about savings/retirement) Yes! I read Millionaire Teacher, switched my Roth IRA over to something that will not take as many fees as managed mutual funds, and automated my bank to make deposits. I still have to go in there and actually purchase the ETFs, until I can figure out if I can automate that, but a big step from last year! (thanks Joel!)
- we'd like to do a bathroom remodel, maybe attempt part of it ourselves? Almost completely done!
- pick a church, Doug and I are doing a half-and-half scenario, and neither of us want to do that forever Sadly no, we did go to my church straight for 3 months but it just wasn't the right fit for Doug and I together so the search continues
- I keep thinking about group exercise certifications, and I saw a program for group exercise for senior citizens, and I've been thinking about this. I really do like that population and believe in fitness. I'm not sure the class times will work with whatever work schedule I get.. but I'm thinking about this Nope. This has moved to the backburner. I'm in nursing school and with work and other life that pretty much takes up all my brain
- another big trip for 2015! Ideally I'd like to do one US trip (and/or family visit) and one passport stamp a year, but we'll see. We went to Alaska! We did a fun road trip to Missouri for a wedding and then to Oklahoma to see another friend. And I went on two trips to Colorado. And several mini Michigan trips. So that was great! No passport stamp this year tho.
2015 was a great year.
I also learned and did fun things that I didn't know how to do such as crochet, made tomato jam, and then learned to can. Bonus!
So 2016 goals:
- finish out my BSF Bible study strong. I wanted to join this study but I never want to do the homework and most of the time don't want to actually go to the study! Altho I am always happy when I'm there.
- read the entire OT straight through
- re-do the front landscape in our yard
- passport stamp!! Doug and I are in the early trip planning stages
- do a devotional guide several evenings a week with Doug either over dinner or before bed
- finish a couple books that I am only halfway through: Emotional Spirituality, Made to Crave, and some marriage ones I have on the nightstand
- find a church to attend and get involved in together, preferably in the first half of the year
- And probably like many others, I would like to lose about 5lbs. I feel healthier and have more energy at that lower weight.
Looking at these I feel like my bar isn't super high, a lot of stuff to help me in my spiritual journey and who I am inside, which always needs work. No goals to invent anything or cure anything, but would love to further relationships and friendships along the way and learn new skills. Always good. These goals are definitely attainable. Hopefully the year will be full of these and so much more!