Sunday, June 14, 2015

It's Been Six Months You Say?

So, it's been a long time since my last post.  As many of you know, I started a new job in January so the last six months have been filled with us adjusting to the "new" norm of both of us working full time again.  I am thrilled to be back at work and have an amazing schedule.  Even with my commute I'm home by 5:00 (at the latest) and I rarely hit traffic.  While this transition has led to a slowing of projects, we've still found plenty to fill our time!  Here's an update on what we've been up to.

January brought our only real snow of the season, but it wasn't much in the way of snow.  It was filled with beautiful sunrise drives to work, crock-pot cuisine, tearing down walls at my folks, and setting up two work offices at my schools.

Crock Pot Lasagna, always a favorite
Aria loved playing in the snow
Our only real snow this year
Crock Pot Stew
Snowy Sunrise
Tearing down the fireplace at mom & dad's

We also hung a ceiling fan in our master bedroom and love it!  It has made a big difference in improving sleep quality.

New Ceiling Fan
Looks great!

February started off warm.  The first project was another potato bag I sewed for a dear friend who had just moved into a new house.

Yellow Outside of Potato Bag
Black inside to match her kitchen

Then Valentine's weekend it was off on a girls trip to Olympia with some of my closest friends and their little ones to see one of our friends who lived there.  We had a wonderful weekend filled with laughter, adventure, and memories.  The weather was amazing so we walked around the pier, farmer's markets, took the little ones to the playground, and journeyed to the beach.  We also had a sunset walk around the capitol building.  There was no shortage of fun with five women, two toddlers, and an infant all in a studio apartment!  It was so wonderful to get time just to enjoy these amazing ladies, who we are so blessed to have in our lives.

Beautiful day on the pier
Chacos in February? Yes indeed.
That's enough sleeping space for five adults and three babes, right?
Lovely day at the beach
Playing in the sand
Sunset from the Capitol Building
Sunset at the Capitol
Beautiful Sunset
Wine/sherbet float?  Don't mind if we do!
Sunrise on our way home

March brought our first campfire & trip to the lake.  As I said, it was a really warm spring.  My hubby & folks also trekked to South Dakota for their Snow Goose Hunting extravaganza while the dogs and I held down the fort.

First Campfire of the year
Aria loves the lake
My dogs
Coming in at sunset
Beautiful night on the lake

In April we kept busy with baby projects for my cousin, who was expecting her second baby.  I decided to try something new this time (with my mom's patient help & supervision) and made some soft baby blocks in gender neutral themes.  I love they way they turned out and am sure we will make more of these in the future!

All the squares for the first cube

Second cube

Second cube lined up to be sewn

Third cube

The finished blocks with pull tabs

Backside finished

I love how these turned out!

Blanket my mom sewed for one of my cousins

Blanket my mom sewed for another of my cousins

We also finished a project we started ages ago, our paddle address sign, and put it up out front.

Stripping the paddle

Paddle Address sign

Just right

Tulips looked great this year

And my hubby took me on an amazing date night at the Brickhouse.  A pedicure followed by a couple's massage.  I'm one lucky lady!

Check out those great looking toes!

At the end of April my dad and I had a great evening on the lake and I caught fish on my new yellow fishing pole.  Aria, as usual, was quite the helper and tried to retrieve the fish.  She dove in the lake after two of them and almost got hooked.  We'll be working to break her of this little habit over the summer...
Aria and Brandy swimming

Yellow fishing pole, chacos, & Aria on the lake.
Doesn't get much better.

Beautiful night for an evening picnic.

Then we began the office to library conversion and got the room painted in April.  Both of our dogs were great helpers with painting.

The view out the office/library window
Cassie and Brandy helping

New color

It's grey and very calming.

May got off to a rough start here.  Our old dog, Cassie, had a stroke and we had to make the difficult choice to put her down the first weekend.  As she aged, I'd had many conversations with a friend of mine who had recently been through a similar situation.  The best advice she gave me was "you'll know when it's time."  And we did.  There was no question that morning for either of us which helped give some peace when we took her into the vet and sat with her to say goodbye. She was a loving old girl who had a good life for 13 1/2 years.  It's amazing to think about all that she was around for in our lives during her years: graduating from HS, moving away, getting engaged, graduating from college, getting married, buying our first house, graduating from grad school, selling our first house & buying our second house, numerous job changes, Boundary Water treks, trips to Lake Powell, canoe ventures, backpacking trips, and many more.  Here's to you Cassie dog.

Puppy Cassie

Baby Cassie

Cassie in the Boundary Waters

Portaging Cassie


Backpacking Crystal Lake

Cassie with her pack on

Paddling on our lake

Lake Powell

Paddling Winchester Wasteway

In the river

Cassie & baby Aria at Halloween

Cassie & Aria Christmas

Cassie, Brandy & Aria

Watching the neighborhood

In her coat

Swimming with Aria

Cassie and Aria snuggling in the boat

Cassie camping

Camping dogs

Cassie & Aria

Cassie in the tub

Sweet Cassie

Cassie in the truck

Helping outside

Goodbye sweet Cassie dog

A toast to you.

We tried to keep ourselves busy the rest of the month so we delved into the library project and are almost completely finished! I'l post the whole project start to finish when we get the last couple of things done (hopefully in the next few weeks here).

Are the shelves big enough when they take
nearly the entire floor of the room?
Aria was especially helpful with this project and
has been very mom attached of late.

Bookshelf frames go up

Putting some books on

We also planted lots of plants around the house in all of our planters and put some solar lights on our steps out back.

Solar lights, these work great

Busy day at Home Depot
Hostas and flowers, we have two of these
More peppers
Some herbs
Beautiful blue hydrangeas 
New fountain out front
Top flower bed out front

We got to spend two great weekends (in a row even) with my folks & my brother & sister-in-law.  The first they came here to help us celebrate my husband's baptism.  We enjoyed their company and spent a great day at Greenbluff doing some hard cider, beer, and mead tasting.

Delicious hard cider

Beautiful stormy day on the bluff
We had a great time

The next weekend we met them at Henneberry House in Montana and had a great time touring Bannack State Park (it's a really neat Ghost Town, I highly recommend exploring it if you haven't had the pleasure, you can go in almost all the buildings), riding the ATV, floating the river, fishing, and playing games.

Wonderful view
Henneberry House & outbuildings
Neat old wood cookstove

The river, The Beaverhead, right out the back door
Brandy & Aria play in the river
Backside of the house
View from the campfire pit
The town of Bannack
The schoolhouse & masonic temple
General Store
In the mill
Inside the mill

Storm brewing
Mining carts
The town
Evidently I married Indiana Jones
Lovely home
The Church
Aria "hitched" up
Aria & Goose swimming in the creek
Aria had fun in Bannack
Indoor cellar
Staircase in one of the houses
The hotel from across the street
Playing on the old merry-go-round
View across the creek
ATVing back at the cabin
Henneberry House from across the river
Sunset ride
Old homestead
Good riding road
The windy river
The Beaverhead River

Good day for a paddle
Pretty views
Almost back to the cabin
Brandy, Goose, & Aria play

View from the back of the cabin

ATV riding shadows, with Aria.  She rather enjoyed it.
Sunrise panoramic
Sunrise the last day

The last weekend in May we got to spend time with my grandma and aunt.  We were lucky enough for my cousins to bring their new pontoon boat out to the lake and had a great day on the water fishing and swimming.  First summer swim in the lake before June!

Afternoon on the lake
Wonderful day
Love lake days!

June has started off well.  We've been working more on our dog run project and have now finished the flower bed along the fence and planted some dwarf lilacs.

Bricks in the dog run for flower bed
Moving rocks in.  The first lilac is looking great this year!
Planting new lilacs
Plants in
And drip irrigation
The almost finished flower bed in the dog run, just have some capstones to add

We also stained and planted some more pots and transplanted our squash to bigger containers.

Newly stained planters
And more hostas

Transplanted squash

Looking forward to finishing some more projects and playing on the lake as we're now officially to summer here at the lake!

Afternoon view from the Hammock 
Aria likes the summer.

We'll get more up of the finished library and finished dog run soon (and also some more baby projects for more friend's baby's on the way!)!!  Hope the summer is starting off well wherever this finds you.