Tuesday, September 18, 2018

girls weekend!!

Last weekend was the annual bookclub girls getaway. And it was wonderful. This year we went to Ludington, and it was great. Although a bit of a far drive for just a Saturday/Sunday.
We arrived Saturday lunch time and ate at a restaurant (actually still an hour South) called the Twisted Pickle or something like that. Got these huge sandwiches that were full of almost too-much meat. I also had a side of fried pickles, mmmmm. Then we continued to our destination where we met our friend who used to be in our book club, but now lives in Chicago. It was so nice she makes the drive to come see us!
We checked into our bed and breakfast, we had the top room that could sleep 7 people!
My little sleeping nook.
We went downtown and did a little shopping, mostly we spent the time at this consignment shop and helped our friend try on wedding dresses. We found this gorgeous lace one that looked amazing on her, but she couldn't pull the trigger. Too bad. After that we walked down to the beach, sat on the sand chatting, and then watched the sunset.
We then headed back into town for a late dinner, ate at the Barley & Rye and I had this amazing hummus wrap.
Then back to our B & B for wine, snacks, girl time, and sleep!
The next morning woke up at the usual time, and my friend Kelly was getting ready to go for a walk so I went too. We power walked all the way to the water and back, and my hips were sore for 2 days afterwards! But it was a beautiful morning, good exercise, and nice 1 on 1 time.
We then had the most amazing bed and breakfast breakfast that I'd ever had. Usually they just make the plates for you and give you your meal, but this was buffet style and they kept bringing out dish after dish "I've got a egg scramble coming out in a minute", "hot bread over in the corner", etc. SO GOOD!
We ate a ton. Then packed up and headed back to the beach. The water was chilly, but some girls went in. I laid in the sun for a bit, and then spent some time in the sun tent eating snacks and chatting. It was a gorgeous, hot day.
Then time to go. We'd told our husbands home at 6, so we headed back. But yet somehow, even with minimal stops, it took almost 6 hours to get home, so that felt frustrating. Instead I was home just in time to put August to bed and that was it. But my boys had a good weekend together too, and it had been fun with the girls, so it was worth it!

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Labor Day weekend

We were supposed to be up North at my cousin's wedding for the weekend. They were getting married in Lake Leelanau and we were looking forward to getting away. My parents were going too and offered to watch August an afternoon so Doug & I could go out baby-free to just have a date day in the beachtown city, and I was reaaaaallly looking forward to it.
Instead August had spiked a fever again, and after calls to the family we were going to stay with, it sounded like no one wanted us to come and potentially spread the germs. So we stayed home. In the afternoon August seemed a little worse, and he was even sitting in his high chair shaking with chills and his lips turned blue. Of course it was the weekend so his doctor was closed, so we went to the hospital where they have an after hours pediatric clinic.
As soon as the nurse found out I said he was shaking and had blue lips she told us she thought he had a seizure and we had to go next door to the ER. That was when I started crying. So we walked down there. And I cried more tears as they strapped a little nametag bracelet to his ankle. That little bracelet turned him from a boy just going in for a quick check-up, to a little sick boy who might have just had a seizure and I couldn't handle it.
Right away we saw a Nurse Practitioner who after we explained again what happened, reassured us that she didn't think he had a seizure. Just that in an effort to cool his body down he was shaking and blood shunted away from the lips which explained them briefly turning blue. So that was a huge relief. But we still needed to figure out why the high fever. And he'd had one the weekend before, and the month before that had us in the Urgent Care while we were visiting my brother.
So the testing began. Poor August was poked and prodded. They did a rectal temp (most accurate) 104.7, they did a straight cath (a tube into the bladder to get a clean urine specimen), and they drew blood and started an IV to give him fluids. It just seemed so serious. Urine cultures, lab work, blood cultures. He did wiggle and scream, but overall did pretty well I thought. And the nurse and tech were great and everything (except the rectal probe not working until the third time) only took one try.
So then we waited for results and August napped on dad.
My boy looks so big!
The blood work came back normal, but the urine was +1 bacteria with some white blood cells, which usually wouldn't be treated, but since his fever was so high he did get a dose of IV antibiotics. And after that they let us go.
During the night Doug slept on the couch and got up every 4 hours to check August's temperature, and he had 2 more fevers during the night. But after that he's been fever-free. The cultures both came back negative which means he did not have a true urinary tract infection, so that's good, but it also doesn't really solve the mystery of these high fevers. He'd been so drooly lately I thought he was getting his 2 year molars, but the NP said while you can get a fever with teething it's rarely over 100. So that kinda busts that theory.
Anyway, I'm so thankful that August is ok and it wasn't anything serious. My heart breaks thinking about children who are really truly sick in hospitals. It was really scary. Thank you Lord for protecting my boy!

Thursday, August 30, 2018

kitchen updates!

I'm happy to say I now have a built-in dishwasher instead of our rolling portable!
Ol' porty did the job, but it was a pain wheeling it over to the sink, you had to be around when it was running because otherwise the water would keep dripping, and it was taking up a lot of floor space too.
Porty in action
Here's how our kitchen looked before the dishwasher install. And yes, it was a very hard decision to lose 3 drawers in a small, storage lacking kitchen!
Handyman Doug creating the space for the dishwasher
The new dishwasher! We had a narrow space so had to get an 18 inch wide dishwasher instead of the standard 24. This will mean it has to be ran more, but we figured it wouldn't be a huge deal. This specialty size was a little more expensive, but we had some Menards rebates back since we did that new deck this summer also. So that was nice.
The dishwasher in it's spot where it remained for several weeks until Doug actually had time to hook it up! We had an electrician out to get electric wired under there, and eventually Doug was able to route the plumbing and get it in there with minimal leaks :)
So of course that meant I had to find another storage solution.
Enter my CraigsList find china cabinet.
This baby is actually a metal cabinet, which could be a pro or con, I don't know. It has a wood grain and looks like wood, but is a little lighter and seems pretty durable.
Of course I couldn't keep that ugly brown. And in a move unlike white-furniture-loving-Anne, I went for a nice pop of color in an aqua.
Naive Anne threw 2 cans of spray paint into her cart thinking that ought to do it, but 7 more cans later I was finally done! Followed by 2 coats of polyurethane.
Sprayed the handles with oil-rubbed bronze
I don't think you can see it there, but I lined the cabinets with a patterned paper too. Then we secured it to the wall so it won't tip on August, and there's a hole in the back going to a thin USB charger thing to charge all our devices. It's working out pretty nicely.
Our final project has been building a kitchen helping tower so August can be at the counter while we make food.
We followed this tutorial, but added hinges so it could fold away for storage. I cut all the pieces and sanded them, and Doug helped assemble.
Stained and sealed
ready for a helper!
And nicely folds away for storage.
Little steps at a time to make our home more efficient for us :)

Thursday, August 23, 2018

blast from the past

This morning I enjoyed a seriously delicious brunch to celebrate Jill's birthday, no pictures, but smashed avocado on toast with egg, tomato, red onion and feta - and also splitting the Michigan pancakes, super fluffy with dried cherries and walnuts. August was mostly pretty good and we ladies got to sit and eat and chat. Wonderful!
Afterwards I took August for a quick stop into Trader Joes. While I was there perusing the freshly made sandwiches I saw my ex-sister-in-law, Andrew's sister. And she saw me. She came over saying "it doesn't have to be weird" as she gave me a hug. And I felt like saying, I didn't think it was weird. But maybe it's just a thing you say. She was there with a couple of her kids, and they we're like "who's that?" and she said "someone I knew a long time ago", which was odd, but it would've also been odd to say "your ex-aunt". I don't know. Maybe she told them in the car or something later, but it just felt odd. Like my past just didn't exist at all. So just a short and sweet chitchat. She knew August's name so that was kind of a surprise, must have been from Facebook (which I can never understand anymore why I see the same 10 people only?!?). But anyway. I just left feeling kind of odd. And here I am writing trying to figure out my feelings.
I called Doug as I was driving home to talk about it too. I remember as Andrew was filing for divorce I felt like she "unfriended" me at the time, which really hurt me- I didn't feel like I did anything wrong! But when I checked, we are facebook friends still, so did that not even happen?? I don't know. I just remember feeling not only abandoned by Andrew, but also his family as well. Although now I just feel like they probably didn't know what to do about anything either. One other thing bugging me is it seems weird to me that I didn't ask about Andrew. But I also thought it would've seemed weird to ask about him too! I don't know. Can't win. It's been 6 years. All I know is that he moved to a new state. Is he re-married? Is he happy? I don't know, and like I was saying with Doug, I don't really need to know- it's just a strange feeling. I still feel like I never did get a ton of closure, but in the end I guess all it takes is someone saying they don't want to be married to you. Period. You can't fight that.
So who knows. I used to think about him a lot and pray for him, now I almost never do. And when I think about it I just think about how good God has been to me. I remember feeling like I might never be married again, or I lost the chance to be a mother. But God has been so generous and good to me. So, despite all the tears and the hardship that it was, I'm thankful to be here on the other side.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Birthday recap & Hocking Hills, Ohio weekend getaway

This year for my birthday I worked 2/3 a day, which was just about perfect. So another girl worked my last 4 hours and I was able to come home and we could go out for dinner. We went downtown to the Mills and I had salmon and sweet potato fries. Well, I probably only had half my salmon because August wanted it all! Man, restaurants make salmon so good. Mine is always dry :(
Walked to the Cupcake Station for dessert, they had 2 minis of my favorite flavor left, the German Chocolate. So good!
We drove by my grandma's old house on the way home, which had been for sale again the last time I drove by. This time there was a man in front, so I made Doug pullover and we talked to him. So many of the old houses on the block have been torn down and turned into these huge lot-filling monstrosities. (But understandable because in a very good city). Anyway, I asked him if he planned to knock it down and he said no. So I was glad. I told him it had been my grandma's house, but I didn't mention I had lived there for 10 years so was special to me too. And how my grandpa built the back section of the house, and they raised 8 kids in a 3 bedroom 1 bathroom house, and mostly before Grandpa build that back room! Also interesting was the house used to be the back part of the house that is now next door. I wonder if he knows that since I didn't tell him? So I thought maybe if I drive by again I'd tell him some of the history, I think it's pretty cool. Or, I know the address, maybe I'll just send a letter so I don't seem like a stalker!
Put this little guy to bed and ended the evening watching Only the Brave, a movie about those hotshot firefights, so of course it was a tear fest, but a very nice birthday.
The next evening we had birthday dinner at my parents.
With Liz and Mark and boys over for icecream and cake too.
The next day we headed off on our weekend getaway.
We went to Hocking Hills, Ohio. Which once I got there, I'm pretty sure I'd been there with Andrew, but it seemed like a new place.
We stayed at this great little cabin
And spent a little extra for 2 separate sleeping areas so we could put August down early and do our own thing. Which was WONDERFUL! Otherwise it's like everyone has to go to bed at 8pm or he'll see us watching movies or want to be with us. So that was great.
The weekend was a great mix of hiking, coming home to relax midday while August napped, more hiking, dinner out or at the cabin, and relaxing at night in the jacuzzi and watching movies.
Doug was a trooper carrying the baby backpack for mile after mile, and up and down all the stairs. But I think he doesn't quite agree with my thought of, I carried him for 9 months, you can carry him now! Haha. He gets heavy!
I can't hate on his independent spirit, but it's much easier to carry him that walk at a slow baby-pace when he's contantly stopping to pick up rocks and sticks. But he kept saying 'walk! walk!"
* heart melting *
I lost track, but I think we did 5-6 of the major hikes. It was really beautiful, I highly recommend.
And back home again. A great weekend!