Monday, August 11, 2014

Summer catch-up

I've been neglecting the blog again, so let's catch up.

I've been trying to take a new approach to things lately. It's occurred to me that we only have so much time, and I want to soak up as much life as possible while I'm here. I know that this way of thinking usually occurs when one's experienced some sort of loss or terrible news, but don't worry! Nothing like that has happened to me recently. I just realized that I spend too much time not really doing anything, and while I LOVE to not do anything (let's be honest, here), I want to experience more. So I've been making a conscious effort to get out more, do things I enjoy, and try not to worry as much about everything. 

As far as the house goes, we've been making little bits of progress every here and there. I've spent a lot of time feeling guilty about not moving more quickly, probably mostly because I read a lot of home improvement blogs where they're almost constantly doing projects, but I've come to terms with the fact that I'm NOT a home improvement blogger, and I don't NEED to do projects constantly. I'm pretty happy with the way my house looks right now, and it's okay to slowly improve/tweak things over time. Once I told myself that, I've felt better about moving at our own pace, however slow that may be. We finally ordered our windows yesterday, which is pretty major...we had to custom order them because our house, being old, doesn't have standard dimensions. They'll be ready by the end of the month, and I'm pretty excited. We ended up ordering a different style than what we currently have, and I'm pumped to see what they look like once they're installed. More on that when it happens. We'll also be hosting Thanksgiving again this year and my mom may come stay with us, so we finally pulled the plug and bought primer and supplies to get started on the guest room. I'll do my best to keep up to date with the guest room progress, because I'm pretty excited about that project (the windows, on the other hand...will be a learning experience). Some other little things we've done include starting to mulch along our driveway and cutting down the hydrangea which I apparently killed (RIP, sweet hydrangea). We've been here for about a year and a month now, and I had planned on doing a before and after tour at the one year mark, but clearly that didn't happen. I'll try to work on a house tour once the windows are in.

One of the main things I want to do more of is traveling. I'm finally at a point where I'm able to do some traveling, and I want to take advantage as much as possible. There are so many places that I'd love to visit, both within the country and internationally - the biggest being the Greek Isles, Spain, France and England. I didn't travel much growing up, so I haven't been to many places, especially outside of the country. I'm starting on the small side with a few road trips, but just to get out and about feels fantastic. Last weekend, Jeff and I took a quick trip to Washington, DC, which is pretty local for us - just about two hours away. We had both been before, and it was a last minute snap decision to go, but we had a pretty nice little day. We started with a lunch of fresh fish sandwiches for lunch from the Wharf with one of Jeff's good friends, Steve. Jeff doesn't get to see him often, so it was great to catch up. We didn't have anything planned, so we just spent the rest of the day wandering around and popping into some of the Smithsonians. The last time we went, our day was pretty rigidly scheduled, so it was nice to just do whatever we felt like. We ended up at this neat little restaurant called the Carving Room for dinner - it's half cocktail bar/tap room, half deli. They cure all of their meats in house, and the menu is mostly deli - style sandwiches with a Moroccan flair. I got this awesome poblano/crispy pastrami/fried egg monstrosity and Jeff had a grilled cheese piled high with their badass pastrami. I decided to be fancy and get a crazy cocktail (I'm a huge beer drinker and when a restaurant has a great beer list I usually have a hard time passing it up) with mezcal and ginger and chipotle syrup. It was really bizarre - very smoky from the mezcal and chipotle, and really spicy. It was very savory. Interesting, but I would definitely order something else next time. 

We have a few more trips planned before the summer ends - for Labor Day weekend, we'll be going to visit Jeff's friend Daisy in Newport News, VA, and at the end of September we'll be taking our yearly trip to my hometown of Jamestown, NY. I turn 30 (lord almighty) on December 12th, so I've decided I want to go somewhere for my birthday weekend; specific location TBD. And of course, we'll be visiting my mother in central Pennsylvania for Christmas, as always. We have a busy, fun remainder of the year coming up, and I'm really excited to be able to relax with sufficient time off this holiday season for the first time in as long as I can remember.

Jeff and I celebrated six years of being together this Fourth of July. Six YEARS! I know couples who met, got married, and then got divorced in less time. I guess you can say we really take the whole "slow and steady wins the race " thing to heart! All joking aside, though, I can't imagine having spent the past six years with anyone else, or the next six, for that matter. The Fourth is always a bit of a challenge (I guess), because we have to choose between doing holiday stuff or anniversary stuff. I'd actually had to work the past several years, so we usually don't really end up doing much of anything...we're pretty low-key as far as "anniversaries" go (we did say we went to Mexico for our fourth anniversary, but that was more coincidence than anything). This year, we ended up pretty low-key again; we just went out for a nice dinner and decided to skip the crowds and wander around our neighborhood looking for fireworks (we were unsuccessful). It may sound boring, but it was actually a really nice night. 

I'll do my best to be a little better about updating, especially since we have a few pretty big projects and lots of little adventures in the works. For now, here are a few iPhone pictures I've taken over the past couple months. (My camera situation will be improving soon as well: I'm investing in a 'grown up' camera in a couple of months and I'm finally upgrading my iPhone from my 4s in September.) Hope everyone's been having a great summer!

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