Summer Wrap Up

Howdy! I know it’s been two months since I’ve stopped by to chat so get ready for a serious brain dump.

(warning: this may be the longest post ever. After my ramblings — there are FIFTY pictures of our summer!! WOW)

First — there’s a few reasons why I’ve been so absent. One being that Alex was getting ready to deploy and we spent the summer trying to soak in every moment we could together. I don’t want to say that I was just too busy to write, because that’s not entirely true. Mainly, I think that since it had been so long I felt like whatever I came back to say needed to meaningful. I kept sitting down to write, jotted a paragraph or two and felt that it just didn’t do such a long break justice. Delete, delete, delete. The words just weren’t there. I have some half finished posts that I’m hoping to salvage and get them up.. we’ll see!

Alex left this past week and now that I don’t have as many distractions, I spend a lot of time alone with my thoughts. It’s time to get them out! Writing is therapeutic for me and more importantly, if Alex is able to catch some internet access here and there, I know he really appreciates getting caught up with what’s going on at home and seeing pictures of our boys (aka dogs, whatever — they’re children to us).

We had a great summer full of weekend trips, parties, weddings, grilling, kayaking, visitors, gardening, golf (him), canning (me) and truck projects (him). One thing that really stood apart from previous summers is that we didn’t overload it with house projects. Of course we still have things we want to do with the ol’ house, but we’re definitely slowing down. We’re getting to the point that we mostly have bigger projects left (new wood floors, remodeled kitchen, basement+hall bathroom remodels) and we 1. ran out of steam for such big (months long) projects and 2. didn’t really have the time since we knew some deployments were on the horizon. We actually spent money on ourselves this summer (yay! kayaks!) rather than dumping it into the house. It felt good.

A lot of people ask me about this when I see them and I know it’s uncomfortable for people to bring up, so I’ll just keep you all in the loop. Another thing that changed this summer is that we pretty much hit our breaking point and finally decided to stop trying for a baby right now. Well… considering that Alex isn’t even in the country that’s not hard to believe, right? 😉 Anyway… I didn’t like who I had become. It consumed me. I spent hours and hours every single day researching things; furiously googling supplements, symptoms per day past ovulation, the average amount of months it took for someone to get pregnant after an ectopic. It was bad. I compared myself to everyone around me and constantly felt like a failure. I tried some fertility medicine for a couple months and I was super unpleasant to be around – happy, crying, angry, moody… you never knew what you were going to get. I gained weight, my skin my broke up, I had headaches and was hot all the time. Yeah.. it wasn’t pretty. My breaking point came when a very good friend of mine told me she was pregnant (for various reasons they weren’t sure they could ever have a baby on their own). Of course I was happy for them both, but I was just sad for me. I locked myself into the bathroom at work and did the always attraction silent sob (you all know what I’m talking about). That night as I cried myself to sleep, I had a conversation with the man upstairs and basically told God that I had nothing left to give and that if I was supposed to keep trying right now, I needed some kind of sign. The next morning, Alex had a very open, honest (and brave!) conversation with me and told me that he thought it was a good time to take a break from trying.

So, I took that as my sign and just STOPPED. I stopped going to all my websites, I stopped obsessing and worrying and envying and crying and JUST STOPPED. Can you even imagine the pressure that has been lifted? Probably not. All of the sudden, I’m just not worried anymore. Sure, the want is still there – I’m not sure that will ever go away. But you know what… one day we’ll be parents. It might not be right now, it might not be in the next year… but we will. And now we can focus on us and it feels fantastic. Props to the husband for being willing to have a conversation that he knew would hurt, but would be for the better.

Whew! That felt good to get that out! Let’s see… what else has been going on? Well, the garden was phenomenal this summer. Even in September, it’s still trudging along. To this day, I’m still getting buckets of tomatoes, peppers (jalapeños and bell), carrots, a few cucumbers and even some yellow squash. We built the beds up a bit and added probably 25 bags of new soil. We also tilled the soil and mixed in lots of plant food.

I could go on all day chit chatting, but I think for now — I’ll finish up with some pictures from the last few months.

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Wow! Did you make it through those?? I hope to be posting way more regularly! If not, I’ll have a very disappointed husband when he gets back!


Have a great Sunday!!

Carpet Woes

I seriously hope this is the last post that I ever mention carpet. Somehow I doubt that’s going to be the reality though. I’m tired of it — Tired of dreaming fuzzy dreams. Tired of talking about it. Tired of the whooooole thing. Here’s what happened.

When we first moved into our house and the entire basement STUNK like dog pee. It was absolutely awful. The previous owners had three little yippy dogs, which were clearly free to wander around the basement all day – resulting in God knows how many sprinkle spots. Anyway, it smelled. Did I cover that? Our first plan of attack was to get it professionally cleaned. No luck. We needed new carpet and FAST. So, we had Empire Floors come out and give us an estimate. We were a little dumb back then… We didn’t shop around; we didn’t try to bargain for a better deal. We just knew our basement reeked and honestly, would have paid an arm and a leg to get it done.

So, we got new carpet.

Well, fast forward about 18 months and the seams of the carpet were starting to pull away from each other. We had a handful of long lines that stretched across the room. We had a warranty and we had just paid (in my opinion) waaaay too much money to get brand spankin’ new carpet. So, duh we called them to get it replaced.

Remember our carpet? Here’s a refresher.



And here’s what the seams looked like.


Would you want your new carpet to look like this? No. Of course not.

Alex called back in November to get this taken care of. For months, he went back and forth with Empire. Empire sent someone out to expect the carpet. Empire said they would replace it for free… They actually scheduled a replacement date. We cleared out our entire basement and then they cancelled after they were already supposed to be there.

Then they said they weren’t going to replace it.

Then they had someone else come and inspect it.

Weeks later they finally said they would. But, lo and behold, they no longer made our carpet so we had to pick something new (not even the same style or color). They sent out two sales reps on four different days (two days we were sitting waiting for them and they didn’t show) and we finally picked out new carpet.

Remember this has been months now and someone has had to be home for every appointment (many of which were cancelled or just not shown up to).

Yeah, we were mad and I think rightfully so. Last week I told you that I was afraid the carpet would be too dark and basically the same color as our walls. Well… officially consider me laughing in my own face. The carpet is ANYTHING but dark. In fact, it almost looks white in some lights.

I know a little six inch swatch of carpet looks very different than when it’s covering an entire floor. I was definitely expecting it to be different than the swatch. However, I’m a little irritated that it was SO different.  Another thing we were surprised by was that the sales reps told us this carpet would feel plushier than our old carpet and was a higher quality. In fact, the carpet is less than half as thick as our old carpet so the ground feels much harder and colder now.

It doesn’t look terrible. Sorry that I’m just complaining and complaining. In fact, I don’t even think it looks bad. It’s just completely different than we were expecting – and we probably wouldn’t have picked it if we had known.

Our backyard has looked like this since we got the new carpet, so you can imagine how hard it’s been already to keep the doggies feet clean before we let them into the house. I’m afraid that we’ll be one of those families that makes everyone takes their shoes off the second they step inside or wrap them in a plastic bag or something ridiculous like that.

Gross backyard:


I really try to stay positive and think… “well, it lightens up the basement a ton!” Which is true, it does. I think we’re both disappointed though – it’s going to be a pain in the neck to keep clean, which is my biggest worry.

Sorry that I’ve been kind of a Negative Nancy. There are so many worse things going on than getting a carpet that you weren’t completely satisfied with. Obviously, I have real problems going on as well. This is my little outlet and journal for our life though, and I always appreciate looking back and seeing what was going on in our lives at different times.

So, that’s my little saga. And here’s how the carpet looks. Like I told you… I’m not saying “we hate it” or “it looks terrible.” I’m simply saying, it’s not what we expected, it’s pretty dang light, and it will prove to be difficult to keep clean.





See how different it looks on different sides of the room? Somtimes it looks straight-up white. While other times it has pink undertones and even kind of tan sometimes. I just can’t make up my mind about it!

Empire finally got it taken care of, but it was definitely a headache to get to where we are right now. Apparently if you go through this much pain, they’ll compensate you in either a serious discount or in money. Considering we don’t need any more new carpet, we chose money. Have we seen it? No.

This whole saga has made us hop on getting another project tackled though. We’re about halfway through right now and I’m already looking forward to showing you. Here’s a little hint:


Have you had any pains dealing with getting something replaced? Any awesome companies that you’ve been dying to praise? Would you be irritated if this happened to you? Does anyone else have panic attacks when it comes to white carpet?

 This will make you your day better if you’re going through something similar…




10 Random Things I’ve Been Pondering

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a through f – serious dog snuggles.

  • Women who wear only a sports bra and tight shorts or capris to a 5:30 am BodyPump class while it’s 11 degrees outside seriously bother me. There, I said it. You’ve got a great body, good on you. But working out basically naked is annoying and not fun to wake up to. It’s not like you can blame it on being overheated; you‘re just showing off. Put some clothes on. Whew! I feel better now!


  • After a few month hiatus, I finally stopped by the library to pick up some audio books for my long commutes. Why did I ever think listening to the radio was better? I actually look forward to being in the car! Not for the driving aspect or anything… but for the stories. I just finished my first book, Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan and while it wasn’t my favorite book in the world – it was enjoyable and got me all kinds of pumped up to listen to more. High five for simple pleasures.


  • Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by our society’s addiction to technology. I can definitely be grouped into this category as well, so don’t think I’m leaving myself out of this one. When did we start finding normal activities boring and begin to multi-task at every moment throughout the day? Seriously, I can’t even go a whole TV show without picking up my phone to check out Pinterest, look at my emails or reply to a blog comment. What did we do without smart phones and google? Now every time we see a new movie or show and wonder what else a certain actor has been in, we just whip out our phone to IMDB it (yes, that’s a verb). Being so connected has given us so, so very much – but sometimes I wonder if it’s really connecting us or taking us away from those we care about.


  • (Speaking of technology).. I’ve already mentioned this a couple times on Facebook, sorry if you’ve already heard this. But… I am in love with the movie Pitch Perfect. Here are some reasons why: 1. It’s hilarious. (seriously…? “I’m vertical running.. vertical running!”) 2. THE SINGING. Holy acapella. Come on! This remix? Love it. Plus, it makes me slide around the house in my socks screaming  singing “I’ve got the magic in me!” The singing literally gave Alex and me chills multiple times through the movie 3. That should be enough reasons. We’ve watched it four times in the last month or so. Embarrassing? No. I could watch it every weekend and be happy!


  • This is our third week of getting up at 5 to take morning classes. It’s been going swimmingly so far! Yeah, it’s kind of dreadful when the alarm first goes off – I’ll give you that. But, we crash so much earlier at night now, so we’re still getting plenty of sleep. I’ve found that I’m way more energized and awake in the morning and I think we sleep better since we’re pretty exhausted by the end of the day. It also seems like starting the day off with making a good, healthy decision leads me to make more good decisions throughout the day. I don’t feel like I’m working out to make up for what I ate through the day; instead, I feel like I’m exercising to start my day. Does that make sense?


  • I recently bought a map. A big, big vintage-y map that I can’t wait to hang. I’m counting down the minutes until it gets delivered. Can’t wait to show it to you guys!


  • Tomorrow is the big day that we’re getting our carpet replaced AGAIN. Read about why this is needed here and the first time around here. I can’t wait for this journey to be finished! We’ve had headache after headache trying to get this taken care of. The new carpet is a little plusher than our current berber, which I’m excited about. However, I’m still uneasy about how the color will turn out. Fingers crossed that tomorrow we’ll be pleasantly surprised.


  • I’m starting to plan our garden for this year in my head. I’m looking forward to trying some new produce, as well as starting more crops from seeds this year. Last year the only seed that I tried was for romaine lettuce and BOY, did it take off. Also, I’m thinking of moving our herbs to pots, which would free up an entire bed. AND we’ve been contemplating adding two additional beds. However, we typically have more fruits and veggies than we can consume already – so I’m interested in reading up about canning techniques to get the most bang for our buck. We’ll see!


  • Some friends of our family recently lost their mother from cancer. I’ve found myself pondering and reflecting what it was like when I lost my dad when I was twenty, right around the same age as these girls. My heart hurts for them, knowing what it was like to go through losing a parent at a young age. I know how lost, sad, and even angry you can feel at times. It won’t be an easy journey for them, but I hope that with each day their pain lessens. Stories like this bring you back to what’s important in life, doesn’t it?


  • Have I told you that Alex is currently working towards finishing his degree? He’s taking his second consecutive semester right now. He finished his first semester with getting STRAIGHT A’s! I’m so proud of him! I’m sure that getting back into the college mindset is incredibly difficult after taking a long break, but he’s been doing so well! It’s so important to celebrate those little victories in life 🙂

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a. a beautiful day spent wandering around downtown Frederick b. my morning view c. an awesome barn sale we went to over the weekend. how gorgeous is that barn?! d. a stunning red door that I loooong for!

What’s going on with you guys? What are some things that you’ve been pondering? Have you started making spring plans already? Are you weirdly obsessed with any movies? Any great books that you suggest I check out? Any map enthusiasts out there? Please tell me that I’m not the only one that hates on naked people at the gym.