Apr 132015
 

Remember how I surprised Michael last week with his birthday party? Well last Thursday night HE surprised ME.

I walked into the kitchen after work to discover that unbeknownst to me, the kitchen countertops had been INSTALLED!

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WHAT?!?

We’d been working on picking the counter tops and the guy came out to make the template for it a few weeks ago. Apparently, Michael’s plan was to surprise me with it being installed last Friday (the day before his party) but the material had been damaged and they had rescheduled. He hadn’t told me any of this!

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There have been many, many stages for our kitchen remodel. The first stage was the beginning–the ugly, 1970’s decor and dark cabinets with powder blue counter tops. Michael and I were starting to date when the kitchen remodel began. I remember many, many weekends spent at his house demolishing the old kitchen together. It was back-breaking labor but very fulfilling! Demolition was a blast. And there were many Saturday nights where we realized it was almost midnight and we still hadn’t eaten dinner yet because we were so busy with the remodel.

After demolition–complete with removing the floors down to the sub-flooring, then painting, there was redoing the kitchen pantry, and there was also the assembly if the IKEA cabinets. Here is a photo of mid-gutting:

If you look carefully you can see the old cabinets (next to the fridge). And after painting:

A few years ago we installed the upper cabinets as well as the stove vent and the microwave. Then one summer we laid the tile in the humongous kitchen and dining room. Then we hit a wall. We lost steam for a lot of reasons. We got busy with other stuff, training for the Portland Century, traveling, and Michael’s back issues have kept us from finishing. There was also another barrier: there were some DIY mistakes that had to be fixed before we finished the floors.

With Michael losing his job a few years ago, he had time to finish some of the house projects. We hired a professional to fix the tile mistakes and finish the rest of the project: the grout, sealing the tiles…everything! Then…all the construction stopped for like 2 years. Part of that was planning a wedding, going on a honeymoon, etc. We just didn’t have it in us to do house projects amidst wedding planning.

But the last few months we’ve gotten back at it and now we have a kitchen that is 95% DONE!

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What’s next? The backsplash, which we’ll be doing ourselves and then we need to paint and install the baseboards and the trim around the pantry. At some point we’re going to replace all the windows in the house but that’s in the future.

I couldn’t believe that I walked into this surprise. It was amazing. I was so happy to see it done and it feels great to have one thing crossed off the list! It looks amazing and I’m just in shock. And it’s funny that he did this secretly.

Mid-day our dog walker had texted me a picture of Bella:

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I should have known right then and there that something wasn’t right because usually when the dog walker is over playing with Bella she sends me goofy pictures that look like this:

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Apparently Michael had cancelled Amy, took that first picture of Bella and sent it to Amy who texted it to me so that I wouldn’t be suspicious! I seriously had no idea that Michael was home all day preparing this surprise for me!

When I got home the kitchen sink hadn’t been hooked up yet so we had to go out to dinner. We went to Cha Cha Cha for Mexican food:

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I ate half of it and saved the rest for lunch the next day. When we got back to the house Michael worked on installing the kitchen sink and I had to meet up my friends (previously planned) for Book Club. Even though I kinda wanted to just stay home and admire the kitchen counters. :D

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The book club met at Wine:30 and I had a glass of Pinot Gris, we chatted (sometimes about the book LOL) and then shared some chocolate covered blueberries:

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I’ll post more about the book we read soon. Anyways, I got home and the kitchen counters were still there! I hadn’t dreamed it. I can’t wait to finish up the rest of the kitchen projects and be COMPLETELY DONE!! Woohoo!!!

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Apr 062015
 

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Happy Easter from my bunny!

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She looks super stoked to have bunny ears, huh? ;)

Easter Weekend started with Michael’s friend Jeremy and his girlfriend coming down to Portland from Seattle for the weekend (more on that tomorrow). I got off work early, went swimming and got home right when they arrived. The four of us decided to go out to dinner and because it was Friday night it was impossible to get in anywhere we wanted to go. The first place was an hour wait.

We were near Pok Pok and it was somewhere they’d wanted to try (I wasn’t hopeful but said let’s see if we can get in). We got to Pok Pok and it was a 2 hour wait for a table! This is something I hate about Portland restaurants. A bunch of them don’t take reservations and the wait time for a table is ridiculous. With so many great options, I will never wait that long to get into a restaurant. Like ever. I don’t care if Elvis and Madonna are the waiter/waitress there. I won’t wait 2 hours. :P

Sooo plan C….we decided to get sushi at a new place on SE Clinton. A coworker had been there and recommended it and I recognized the name when we were driving by looking for something else. We got a table immediately in the super cute, stylish and modern decorated restaurant. Service was fantastic and the food was probably the best sushi I’ve had in Portland.

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It was so fresh it melted in your mouth. You know when you get sushi and bite into a roll and sometimes the seaweed is a little tough and you have gnaw at it a little bit? That was not the case at Yama Sushi. Seriously, so fresh everything just fell apart and melted (in a good way). The one downside–the specialty rolls were kind of ginormous and that made them a little difficult to eat. I prefer smaller bite-sized rolls.

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So that was Friday night. A good start to the weekend I think! Stay tuned for what happened on Saturday… :)

Fast forward to Sunday. Jeremy and his girlfriend were heading back to Seattle and Michael and I went over to his mom’s house for Easter brunch with the family. I’d slept in really late, skipped the gym, skipped breakfast and then we drove to his mom’s house for lunch.

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Michael’s sister made her absolutely amazing deviled eggs–some spicy and some not spicy. They were so tasty and I ate way too many of them…in my defense it was the first food I ate Sunday besides coffee. ;)

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Michael’s mom had gotten a giant ham and was cooking it (I think she said it was 19 pounds). It took a little bit longer than expected to so we munched on the deviled eggs, and drank Bloody Mary’s while it finished cooking. Lunch was served:

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Michael’s mom made her amazing crab and egg dish. There was the ham and the roasted asparagus, fruit and mini orange scones (that were delicious) and these little cinnamon sticks that were 30 calories each. We all ate way too much. But it was tasty (and basically the only meal I ended up eating on Sunday).

Check out this little guy:

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One of Michael’s second or third cousins…? I can’t keep it straight. :) But he’s about a year and a half and just found his legs! He’s such a cutie and great little baby. Great smile and sweet personality. It was fun playing with this little man that had nothing but toothy grins for everyone as he showed off his moves on his bike!

After lunch we went home and I went to the gym. I think it was like 4pm at this time and the gym was almost entirely empty. There were about 4 people in the cardio room with me. I did 45 minutes on the elliptical and called it good. I was a little sore from Saturday’s gym session (weights and running on the treadmill). But I wanted to get something in to take the edge off the pastries and goodies I ate all day!

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