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.

DSC_0772 DSC_0732 DSC_0748 DSC_0798 DSC_0827 DSC_0841 DSC_0849 DSC_0885 DSC_0910 IMG_1531 IMG_1538 IMG_1562 IMG_1563 IMG_1579 IMG_1581 IMG_1649 IMG_1648 IMG_1684 IMG_1703 DSC_0396 DSC_0406 DSC_0409 IMG_1772 IMG_1789 IMG_1806 IMG_1811 IMG_1820 IMG_1829 IMG_1873 IMG_1882 IMG_1911 IMG_1933 IMG_2004 IMG_2010 IMG_2018 IMG_2083 IMG_2120 IMG_2171 IMG_2190 IMG_2212 IMG_2218 IMG_2261 IMG_2264 IMG_2267 IMG_2277 IMG_2280 IMG_2295 IMG_2339 IMG_2334 IMG_2337

 

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!

PS — WHO IS EXCITED FOR FOOTBALL TODAY??

Have a great Sunday!!

Baked Peaches

Good Morning!

Anyone sad that summer is starting to come to an end? I’m sure if you’re a teacher, you’re probably devastated – but anyone else? Or are you like me and looking forward to all things fall? Chilly weather, sweatshirts, chili, football, boots, pumpkins…

I will tell ya that since I leave the house by 6 am each morning, I have really started to notice the days getting shorter already. Now if you’re not up at the crack of dawn with me, you’d probably never notice this little change each day. Just a couple weeks ago it was already light outside when I woke up; now I need to leave the house with my headlights on. That’s probably the only thing I’m not ecstatic about – all those days in the dead of winter when it’s dark when you leave in the morning and dark when you come home.

Maybe I should appreciate summer more.

Did you see how many tomatoes I got yesterday evening?

Seriously, over a hundred. I probably had 50 cherry tomatoes alone! I sent a boatload home with my mom and brought a big bag to work. Tonight I think I’m going to dabble with making homemade tomato sauce and bruschetta (thanks for all the great suggestions!). We love salsa at our house and currently have a giant vat in the fridge. Plus, I wanna try something new! Although.. maybe I will make more salsa and just freeze it.. Hmm so many decisions!

I have a yummy easy peasy recipe for you, but first can I just tell you that:

  1. I took a new cardio class yesterday and I have never been this sore before. Ever. Ever.ever.ever. I knew it was going to be bad today when I woke up in the middle of the night, moved my legs and immediately made the stink face. OWWWCH.Just squeezing my butt hurts. (you were dying to know, I know.)
  2. I think you’re pretty.
  3. Sometimes I still wake up in our newly painted bedroom and wonder where I am.
  4. I think we should be real life friends. Not just we stalk each other online friends. Grown up friends.

Recipe time! (Don’t you just love how I switched gears like that? I was going right and then BOOM jerked it left. I need more coffee)

BAKED PEACHES

This little dessert takes no time at all to prepare and comes out super fancy. We made them one night last week and subsequently made them three nights in a row after that. Absolutely delicious and surprisingly good for you! Each peach coming in at about 100 calories. If you’re still at home, I wouldn’t judge you if you made them for breakfast (and.then.lunch.and.then.dinner). If you, like me, are at work – go ahead and make them when you get home. You won’t regret it.

Ingredients:

  • Peaches
  • Butter
  • Brown Sugar
  • Cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Wash the peaches and cut them in half. Gently remove the pit. Line peaches on an oven safe dish, cut side facing up.
  2. Take a small amount of butter (I’m telling you – a little slice about the size of a teaspoon is all you need) and place in the middle of each peach (where the pit used to reside).
  3. Sprinkle the top of each pit with a little pile of brown sugar (about as much as a tablespoon). Lightly dust with cinnamon.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes.

Don’t forget to serve those bad boys with either whipped cream or a single scoop of vanilla ice cream. You’ll finally understand what heaven tastes like. No joke.

For the two of us, the first night we made one peach per person so we each got two peach halves. Would you judge me if I told you the second night we made three peaches, so we both could have three peach halves? I hope not.

Happy baking!

What are you making with your fresh summer produce?

June Goals

It’s time to get back on track Rangers. Here are some things I’ve been slacking on and plan to work on through the month of June.

1. Drink more water and eat fresher foods

  • Lately, I have been awful at drinking water throughout the day. I normally drink a travel mug of coffee every morning and switch to water around lunchtime. During my lunch gym session, I usually drink a full water bottle. Once I’m back at my desk, I’m lucky if I drink another full bottle before leaving though. Especially now that it’s hot outside – I gotta kick up intake! I also feel like I eat more processed foods rather than fresh and local produce.
  • My June goal: Up my water intake and eat more fruits and veggies.
  • How I plan to do this:Drink 1 full water bottle before lunch, 1 during my work out, and 1 before I leave. When I get home – I hope two drink 2 tall glasses before bed. I would like to buy more produce and go to a Farmer’s market at least two times this month.

    WATTTTA

 

2. Get back into shape

  • I was doing so well going to the gym 5 days a week and staying active every weekend!! Once the wedding got closer, using my lunch hour to get things done seemed more beneficial than trying to work out. Then the wedding came. Then the honeymoon came. Now, I’m struggling to get out of my rut. I’ve gained a few pounds, feel sluggish, and have a hard time getting motivated.
  • My June goal: Get back to my comfortable weight — where my clothes don’t feel tight.
  • How I plan to do this: Go to the gym every day during lunch. No more, “I’d rather catch up on TV shows or read blogs.” If I have to work through lunch (and I mean work), exercise when I get home. I am making a work out plan, so each day I will spend my time more efficiently. I also hope to take at least one class a week and walk the grounds on my morning and afternoon breaks.

    During one of my lunch runs

 

3. Save some money

  • Now that the wedding is over and we have fewer expenses, it’s time to get our budget in check. We eat out often and find ourselves with ridiculous grocery bills. I have hardly been able to save any money over the last few months and really need to get my act together.
  • My June goal: Save 20% of my bi-monthly salary.
  • How I plan to do this: Make a list of food that we need and stick to it. No more aimlessly wandering around looking for stuff to pick up at the store. Limit eating out to once a week. Stop wasting leftovers – when we clean up from dinner, immediately pack some up lunch for both of us for the following day.

    Less of this. (Fried Pickles = Yum)

 

These bad boys are my main June goals. I feel like they are all pretty hefty goals and because of that, I have some smaller tasks that I will spend a little less time on than I originally planned. These include things such as:

  • Take my vitamins each day
  • Perfect my resume
  • Eat less bagels
  • Run 4x a week
  • Promote my little blog more 🙂
  • Garden, Garden, GARDEN!

What are your June goals?