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!



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!


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.Β 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 fewΒ 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 jobΒ 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!


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:


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:

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:


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. πŸ˜€


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:

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!!!

Perfect Friday Night

I had a fantastic swim on Friday night! After the rough week I had, I was expecting to be tired and lethargic. I wasn’t! I swam fast and had perfect form. My energy level felt like I had just taken espresso shots. It was the best swim I’ve had in weeks.

I also wore my new swimsuit. My old one ripped last week and it was just time to suck it up and buy a new one. The swimsuits I buy are made for lap swimmers. Polyester doesn’t fade or discolor as fast as other types of swimsuits. With the amount I swim, my suits last about a year. Polyester suits are also more expensive. My suit runs between $80-100. Since I switched from a chlorine to a salt water pool, my suits have lasted even longer. Yep here’s me in my new suit (I got black this time).


I did:
40 lengths freestyle without stopping
10 lengths breaststroke
6 lengths kickboard only
10 lengths freestyle with leg buoy
4 lengths backstroke
10 lengths freestyle with leg buoy and hand paddles
10 lengths freestyle with hand paddles

Before I went swimming, I posted on Twitter that I hoped Michael would have a cold, adult beverage ready for me when I got home from the pool. I posted it as a joke but boy, he came through!

I walked in the door after swimming and was handed a cold, tasty brew!

Cold Brew
Best Boyfriend Ever

Michael was making turkey burgers and seasoned fries for dinner. Michael’s burger had blue cheese on top. Mine had Colby Jack cheddar.

Turkey Burgers and Fries

But wait, there’s more! πŸ˜‰

He also bought a piece of chocolate cake to split for dessert.


And for breakfast on Saturday – bacon and bagel thins. For dinner Saturday night, he got steak. Wonderful! He thought of everything.

Mmmm Bacon

It was fantastic! πŸ™‚