House and vacay updates

GUUUUUUYYYYYYYSSSSS!!!   This month has completely flown by… wait.  Did I say this month?  Last month.  That’s what I meant.   Sheesh.   😉

I know January is usually a busy month for most and for us it was no different.   We’ve had a smattering of smaller house projects/additions that I didn’t think were truly worthy of full blog posts, so I’ve been posting on Instagram to keep y’all updated.   Right now, I’m working on a, well… unexpected project.  You may have seen (if you follow me on Insta), that we recently transformed our front bedroom into a workout space.  I’ve only shown tidbits of the room because I wanted to put together a full post about it.  And I would’ve had that post for you right here and now, except, well….
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Most people rest when they have gnarly upper respiratory infections.  Me?  I get bored and start picking at things.

It’s a problem.

I need to sort it out.

But, I won’t.  😛

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This pic is one that I recently posted on Instagram of the new workout space.   But, ya see.. The desktop shown in this built-in above has always irked me.   Well, lets be honest… the BEIGENESS of the entire built-in irked me.   I’d always guessed that the paint job was of poor quality judging by the many chips in the paint, so I wondered how much effort it would really take to strip the desktop to bring it back to it’s original beauty.  On a whim, I chipped away at the paint in a corner with my fingernail.   And the paint came up easily.   So, I grabbed some tools and continued this quest.  And the paint practically FELL OFF with the exception of one teeny spot.  It was embarrassingly simple and literally took no strength.   Just a little exact-o knife with a flat blade (it was all I had)…

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Yes, that’s me Vanna-Whiting an Exact-o knife. I’m not sure why. I guess, in my medication-induced haze, I suspected that this is usual practice in the stripping of desktops?  We will never know.

On a funny note, as I was working on this, I thought I might need stripper for that stubborn tiny spot up front (I didn’t) and the following conversation ensued:

Me (to myself): “I think I need a stripper.”

Lucas: “He’s outside.”

Me: “Who?”

Lucas: “Daddy.”

I nearly keeled over laughing.  I swear, he does NOT know what a stripper is at five years old.  I’m not sure what he thought he heard, but it sure played out beautifully.

So anyways, back to the project, I’d love to tell you that I have a neat before and after for you this post, but thanks to this little chipping-of-the-paint discovery, I’m mid-project restoring the wood top.  AND IT’S FLIPPIN’ SPECTACULAR.   I mean, don’t get me wrong, I get covering up ugly 1970’s wood tones, (like I did here and here) but this desktop is pah-retty.

I’m going back and forth as to whether to paint the beige built-in’s white first, or just to show y’all the space after I finish the desktop and do that later.   I guess it depends on how excited/patient I am. Thus, I’ll probably just show you when it’s done.   Because… ME.


Second update: Joey’s SOMEHOW convinced me to embark on a full-gut renovation of our kitchen.

Like, everything GONE.

All new cabinets, counters, appliances, lighting, backsplash, paint, you name it.   I was all for painting the cabinets and updating everything else, but he made a good case for stripping (harhar) everything and starting fresh.  Plus, the clincher was when I experimented with the Ikea Kitchen Planner and discovered just how affordable their cabinetry is.  I mean, I’d always heard it was but when I actually planned out an initial version of what we may want, the total cost was WAY below what I’d thought it’d be.  Sold.  Well, soon to be sold anyways.  We want to hold out for their annual kitchen sale to pull the trigger.   We’re still in the planning stages, but once we actually get closer to getting started, I’ll fill y’all in on the plan.  I’m scared.  Seriously.  The thought of not having a working kitchen for (potentially) months is totally unnerving for a cook-at-home gal like me.  It’ll all be worth it in the end, I’m sure, but gah…

Lastly, one of the more exciting adventures we’ve had lately was a family trip to Puerto Vallarta.   Joey’s grandparents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary and took all of their children and adult grandchildren to a gorgeous all-inclusive resort.   It. Was Stunning.

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And I’m not gonna lie, I miss waking up to this view…

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And gazing at this from outside the elevator…

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This vacation was so relaxing and MUCH needed.   Joey and I got some great quality time together and we got to hang out with his family which was a blast.   We decided not to go on any excursions in favor of relaxing at the beach and pool, and I didn’t take a ton of pictures while we were there, but on the last day, we had Joey’s cousin Christine take some pics of us on the beach.  This is one of my faves…

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And I doubt you’ll find a pic that more accurately defines us than this one…

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Seeing these pics makes me wish I was here (warning: crummy iphone quality (but still fun) pic alert) …

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…On our first day of vacay.  Enjoying our first meal with the entire stay in store.  But, that’s okay.  Being back home means we’re with Lucas, who was definitely missed on our trip, though adults-only is really nice upon occasion for sure.  On a side note, I’m not normally a hat person, but for whatever reason I didn’t take that hat off much during our trip.  Weird.

Anyways, so now we’re now back to reality and ready to properly tackle 2016.  Let’s do this.  🙂

What are your goals for 2016?   Any recent trips or adventures?  Any DIY plans happening anytime soon?


Hey guys!   So, you’re probably wondering why I fell off the face of the planet… At least here on the blog anyways.   I thought I’d pop in to give y’all a quick update as to what’s been going on.

I guess the lull started shortly after I published my last post.   I was tweaking the guestroom and went to shift a piece of furniture (with my back not my legs…. DUMB) when felt something pop in my lower back.   I experienced instantaneous nausea and thought “well, that’s not good”.  Then, I promptly decided to forget about it and pretend that nothing had happened. (That works, right? 😉 )  I swallowed a few ibuprofen and went about my business.  Two days later, I carried a heavy case of Boost to my car to bring to another clinic (I’m an oncology dietitian for my day job) and I felt that same area in my back scream in resistance.   I knew I’d injured it for sure, yet instead of being smart and, ya know, resting or getting it checked out, I made another poor decision …

I went for a 5-mile run.

(I can totally hear that guys voice from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade in my head right now “You chose poooahly!” (Sigh…) Tell me about it…)

See, my mom was keeping Lucas that night, so I figured that I may as well make the most of my free time and get some exercise in.  And I reasoned that my back would “loosen up” as I ran.   **coughcoughDUMB!!**.  About 1/2 mile from the finish I felt these crazy shooting pains down my leg and it was all over from there.  No sleep for days.  Crazy pain, both in my back and leg.  Really, really dumb.  I knew better every step of the way.   After two weeks of being nearly incapacitated by pain, I finally got checked out… Turns out I have herniated a disc.


So, I’ve been unable to do much since then, which has been extremely difficult for me.    I’m one of those people who doesn’t stop moving and I’m very self-sufficient, so it’s been challenging/annoying having to constantly ask people to do things for me.  And I still haven’t gotten used to “overdoing it” with just simple chores around the house.    I’m 34 years old but feel 90 right now.   Such a bummer.  I’m currently doing physical therapy and just finished a round of oral steroids.   The next step is likely an injection if there isn’t decent improvement soon.  Ugh.  I refuse to consider surgery as a possibility at this point.  NO.  Just, no.

One thing that I can say for sure is that I couldn’t have hurt my back at a worse time.   It happened just a few weeks before an amazing benefit that my family organized in memory of my brother, Alex.   It was the 1st Annual SSG Alex Viola Memorial Car Show.

My brother loved cars and actually rebuilt a 1968 Chevelle with my dad when he was younger.  This seemed like the perfect fundraising event to honor him.  And it was so, so great.   Many of my brothers Green Beret teammates came into town to act as judges of the car show and they awarded these awesome trophies to the winners.

We had over 180 cars register and a over twenty others that showed up after registration closed.  We’re still waiting on a few things (contributions and expenses) to be finalized before we have an exact number for how much we raised (and can make an official announcement, so consider this unofficial) …. but at this point, we think it’s somewhere in the neighborhood of $20K.  These funds will be distributed to the Green Beret Foundation and Special Operations Warrior Foundation once everything is finalized.  Not too shabby for our first go at it.    We’re already stoked for next year.

And we were so incredibly honored by the support that we received from local businesses, car enthusiasts, and the general public.    We’ll be posting pictures of the car show on the SSG Alex Viola Foundation website once they’re available, so check back there if you’re interested.

After the car show, things haven’t slowed down much.   The weekend immediately after was Thanksgiving (fun, family, and a LOT of food) and this coming week we’re hosting a Christmas party for my book club, followed by Lucas’s birthday the next week.  All of these things are great fun and stuff we’re totally looking forward to, but it’s definitely busy (and somehow doing it all with a herniated disc makes it seem way busier).

Oh, and did I mention that a week after I injured my back our computer finally died??  Like, stick a fork in him.  Done. We knew it was a matter of time, but still…  We’ve been so busy since then that we haven’t had time to even shop for a new one.  So until that happens, I have no way of uploading pics from my camera.  Obviously, this has been a huge blogging barrier.   Hopefully, soon we’ll have a replacement.   Hopefully.

Then, there’s the house.    I feel like I’m such a downer lately in this area.  Don’t get me wrong, we love our home but we’ve had so much go wrong over the past year that it’s become a bit exhausting.    I posted this explanation of stuff back a few months ago when I took a “discouragement-induced” break due to the expensive, boring things that have wreaked havoc on our humble abode.   Well, here’s another… Two weeks ago we discovered a roof leak in our dining area which caused this damage (in addition to more, not shown) as well as an influx of water to enter our home through the wall.

Ugh.   We’re waiting now for our roofer to come and patch it, but to be honest, we’re to the point where we just want to replace the whole roof and get it done right.   This is about the 4th issue we’ve had with roof leaks since we moved in.   So, our kitchen renovation may be postponed… again.    (Ugly cry)

With everything that’s going on, I’ve decided to continue my break until the holidays are over.     Not that I have a choice until we replace our computer, anyways. 😉    I am, however, continuing to add home decor updates on Instagram.     I do wish that I had better pictures from my camera, but my phone will have to suffice until I have a way to upload camera pics.   It’s been okay so far, so I’m just gonna stick with what works and continue the Insta-fun.   (see the Instagram icon link in my sidebar to follow) 

So, that’s where I’ve been.   And I’ll be back.    No worries about that.      I love blogging too much to quit entirely.  So, stay tuned.  And thanks for understanding.  🙂