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!

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Colorado family reunion/ vacation

Yikes I'm behind on blogging! Been busy, and having trouble with our modem/internet.
We went to Colorado to have a family reunion for my mother's side. The last one was when my grandma was alive, and I was in early college, so it's been awhile! We met at the YMCA camp in Estes Park, Colorado and it was gorgeous. It wasn't really structured at all, we tried to eat together, but the YMCA camp had a lot of activities and a bunch of us went out for a hike one day.
(p.s. Frontier is as bad as Spirit Airlines for nickle and diming you on everything, no movie screens, no free bags, no reclining chairs, no refreshments. But we did all sit together and arrive together, so it IS better than Spirit by a hair).
met my new baby niece Isabelle June!
I got to have good conversations with the cousins that went on the hike, but it was just a weekend reunion and I guess I kinda wish it had been a little 'more' structured. I guess one problem was in the Rocky Mts not many people had cell service, and the YMCA camp was huge so if you didn't know where someone was/what they were doing, you pretty much couldn't find out. There was another 'family night' of story telling and stuff, but Doug got to go out first with people while I stayed back to rock a fussy baby to sleep, and when it was my turn to go out, everyone had turned in :( so that was a bummer, some cousins I really didn't get to see at all. But overall, it was a good reunion.
The second half of our trip we went to stay a few nights at my brother's new house. It was fun to see the house they built and of course meet the baby!
Those evenings were filled with glorious family time and it was wonderful.
We got Ellie this hot potato game for Christmas last year, and Joel says it is a favorite among all the adults, lol. So we played. One fun memory was since he was playing one-handed and carrying the baby, we all held an item for our 'handicap' :)
cousin time
chillaxin on the new patio
Playing codenames
The bad part was August came down with a fever, and on the third day of on/off fevers, including up to 103+ we went to the urgent care. The PA didn't seem to concerned and thought just a virus, and to take Motrin. It just lasted one more day and was gone. Luckily he didn't have many symptoms besides not eating much.
They had this amazing park near their house. And another morning we went to the museum.
Do we even have a good museum since the Detroit Science Center shut down??
And fun in the pool.
Next thing you know, we were headed back home.
Good times!