Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Swimming and Labor Day!

One big thing has been missing from my life this summer. Swimming! Sadly, I wasn't able to do so- then the weather wasn't really cooperative in that it was chilly. In South Dakota, it wasn't summer at all yet. The same for Yellowstone and North Dakota. In Texas I got to swim once.
Last Summer we had a pool membership, and we were there daily! I love the pool most of the time, and it's a nice way to cool off.

I'm being reminded of this fact today. It's warm outside. We've already been on our errands and to the park, so that we wouldn't have to melt our faces later today. The other thing is that since we're going to be in Tennessee and Arkansas for the next few days, I'm thrilled I'll be able to swim! Hallelujah!

We're going to Tennessee for a quick hello to my sister (who I can't wait to see), my mom, and my dad. It's only been since June, but I'm so happy that I get to see them again. We may not be able to do this again until Christmas or Thanksgiving, so I'm going to soak it up.

Then, the big weekend in Searcy, Arkansas with my husband's side of the family will include more fun,water (swimming), and boats. I'm really excited. I don't waterski- (What?) sadly, so I'll be soaking up the sun and hanging out.

I hope that Ryan has a blast with everyone. I'm even probably going to attend my high school's football game this friday. Holy cow. 10 years since I've been there. I can't wait to see my sister play her drums. I've never seen her! She's in the tenth grade, and she's darling. I'm so stoked to hang out for a hot minute with her!

Happy Labor Day all!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Hot Weather, Hard Work

Well, Summer's here, huh? We had such a mild summer, and it was needed. I can handle this... or so I thought.

We're planning the next couple of moves, and we've been home and plan on staying home until the end of September. With the exception of visiting some family in the South for Labor Day.

It's been a good couple of weeks at home, which I spoke about in my last post. The last week, though, I have been working under the direction of my husband at a real professional job. I'm the painter. Let me tell you- I'm putting a lot of effort in to it, but I'm not a professional. I do my best work, yet I'm so slow.  I worked outside, Wednesday,  Thursday, Friday, and yesterday. I've been painting french doors. They are my favorite type of door, but not to paint! So, again, My husband and I were working on a project together, and I was there for work support (well, some), and moral support, too. I'm obviously not a paid employee, but I keep painting and helping while taking breaks. The heat just saps my energy. That, and I'm climbing up and down a ladder all day... drinking water during breaks. I've been reminded that I'm not exactly a laborer by trade. I'm active, but every morning last week, I woke up sore. The kind of soreness that fades once you get moving, but definitely sore. It's crazy how the body will adapt and get ready for it. Also, I have to psych myself into it too. I get up and get ready, so I don't lolligag around and talk myself out of it.

Ultimately, it's just another reminder of how thankful I am for a husband who has just an outstanding work ethic. He's not afraid of hard work or a hot day- or a crap ton of work. He just does it. Wow. I'm impressed. It reminded me that I should really be more appreciative of him and his gifts. Adam is a provider- and of course, his gifts come from God. There's just no other way to explain it. And, I'm thankful for it!

A few other fun things have been happening too. Ryan successfully made it through Church on Sunday, and she had fun. We'd been battling that after we returned home, she was a bit uncomfortable and she cried so much they had to call us on the monitor during the sermon.  Another thing that we've been challenged by is bedtime... Ryan's bedtime, that is. Ryan has been having a breakdown before bed, and she screams and cries. It hasn't been pleasant since we got home. We tried leaving a light on. We tried doing the same thing as we did before we left.  She's feeling separation anxiety. It can get pretty ugly though. And, it has upset me.  Adam and I got on the same page, and we made a plan. Ryan is more likely to go to bed with Adam. With me, she just wants to cuddle. And, I have a lot of trouble with that at her bedtime. I get impatient. We turned the light off, now, and Adam puts her to sleep. And, it's working!! After all, we just keep persevering.

Since I haven't written much in a while, here's a list of a few other happenings in the last few weeks:

1. I hammer-drilled out the old morter in the exposed brick of our bathroom- single-handedly.
2. We had a cookout on Sunday- and I made quite the spread. Southern Hospitality at it's finest.
3. I made another peach pie and banana bread.
4. We've watched Monster's Inc. ALOT since it's Ryan's favorite movie now.
5. I started Beth Moore's A Woman's Heart Bible Study, and I'm being seriously enlightened by God.
6. I'm trying to plan out some final hikes for when we're in Wyoming in Sept or October.
7. I've made more of an effort to walk/bike instead of drive to the closest places of interest, like the library, Kmart, closest restaurants.
8. Ryan and I have been talking about "stories" (she'll make up her own), and her language continues to amaze me.
9. Life is so precious. I'm so thankful for my life.

And Lastly, My husband cut his hair!!!! After 5 years of dreadlocks... and, man, I love it! I got to cut it and wash it, and brush it out. It is so different! It's the shortest I've ever seen it, but I managed to keep it pretty long! I like looking at him lately!!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Saint Louis is Home

There's nothing like being at your own home, sleeping on your own bed, and enjoying all that is yours. Our house isn't extravagant, but it's ours, and we've put our mark on it.

We didn't have much of a plan on what to do when we returned home, but I definitely wanted to make some headway on a project that started the day after we closed on the house. Our downstairs first floor bathroom. It's been unusable since then. We had demolition to do, and we needed to work on our idea of what it would look like.

For 2 full days, we demo-ed the plaster and lathe walls. We were sweating profusely, debris falling from all around covering us with a layer of grime. We finally reached the framing and the brick wall. We exposed the guts of our house. We saw the reminats of a fire. We saw a man's work. These walls are old. Our house was built in 1927, and I'll never know all the stories.

There are little hand and feet prints in the concrete of our garage floor. There are wheat pennies falling from the walls. We are changing an old girl of a home. She's getting a make-over!

Once the demo was completed, we framed up what once was a pantry to our kitchen to add space for the bathroom. We swept and mopped the floors everyday after our work was completed because of the dust and stuff flying everywhere.

We finally reached a point where we had small projects that were tedious but necessary. We installed a fan with a light fixture. We ran the duct work. I cleaned and sanded our claw foot tub. We cleaned the exposed brick wall with muratic acid. We put up drywall on the ceiling and walls. We started the walls with the first full coat of mud. We prepared the floor and leveled it for tile. We painted the claw foot tub. Black. We discussed the wall sconces. We moved the toilet, and changed the layout of the bathroom. We did new plumbing work. For a good week, we worked diligently on the bathroom. 

We are seeing change. And this is the kind that is rewarding. The kind that has a remarkable feeling because we did it. The kind that when people walk in to one's home, they ask "did you pay someone to do this?" And the answer is no. It's the way we want it, and even though it can feel tedious, it will be completed correctly. 

And, we are blessed to be able to invest in this whole-heartedly. It's a home, and it's for my family. It makes me feel thankful that I'm healthy and able to do work with my hands. I may not always remember that manual labor is the way of life for many people, including my husband, but it makes me appreciative and grateful for those artists who are able to do so. Jesus was a carpenter. And, although it's hard work, it's humbling to do it one's self. 

So, amongst all the other "must-do's" in a day- like make food, take care over our daughter, sleep, run errands that are required for the other must-dos, we were busy. I watched a little girl for 4 days one week, and work went slowly. But, we were able to help those who helped us during a time of need. And, I was able to bake homemade wheat baguette, prepare lovely meals for those we love, and catch up with some friends. 

The weather for us in St. Louis has again been incredible. We have had our windows open, wind blowing through our linen curtains, and we've played outside. Picking peaches at dusk in Illinois with our daughter was just one way we made the summer memorable while at home.

Adam and I also had a date which is so necessary if you have children!! I decided that I wanted it to be fun, and not so dressy. So, we played tennis at the court near our house- we rode our bicycles there and played. Then we rode to Maplewood on the bikes, and had a light dinner at Boogaloo on the strip. We rode back to Schlafly in the night air, and continued on our way to Failoni's Bar. A St. Louis classic Italian bar. It was such an amazing evening- we were just concerned about having fun and being together. It wasn't about getting dressed up- it was about being ourselves and talking. I hope I never forget that night. 

Ultimately, I'm glad to be home. I always worry about the fact that I'm not working, but I pray that my hands to good work. And, they do. I made meals for friends that I delivered. I made 2 homemade peach pies as thank you's for people who bless us. I gave a working mom of 2 a meal to go, and I felt great about it. And, I don't expect anything in return. I even feel guilty mentioning it here because I'm not bragging. It's a good thing to do those small things for those-- and it is rewarding for me. I'm glad to do it. 

I'm glad to be home. We're working hard. And, there's always something to be completed. A task at hand. I hope that you enjoyed reading this today. And, thanks to all of you who follow and read!