Wine:30

SURPRISE!!!!

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. 😀

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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!!!

Wine:30

I decided to take a few weeks off from the Warrior Room. Partly due to running out of classes in my pack that I bought and not wanting to purchase another pack right now. Partly due to my body needing a break. I was going really strong and things were great but I was starting to get some nagging aches and pains in various places and just needed to take a step back. I intend to go back in January sometime when my gym becomes so crowded that I can’t stand it!

So right now I’m focusing on yoga, swimming and a little weight lifting mixed in on my own. I created my own workouts based on some of the Warrior Room classes. I want to keep my base going while I take this break from the classes. Here is the first workout I did this weekend:

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When I created the workout I thought “Hmmm that might be too easy.” Yeah…..it looked so easy on paper but it sure wasn’t! It was intense. I was sweating buckets and I ended up modifying some of it because I was just fatigued. Also, the ab workout was crazy hard. I was SO SORE the next day that when I went to yoga and got into the “cat/cow” pose I flinched. My abs hurt too much for cow pose! Anyways, it was a good learning experience and there were a few things in the workout that I want to modify. I’ve created 5 different workouts with various moves in them and will take that into account next time and maybe cross a few moves off the list. We’ll see. Here are the calories for the workout:

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I wanted to share an art project I did over the weekend. I’ve saved all these great Christmas cards we’ve gotten over the years and wanted to do something with them other than just putting them in the Christmas decorations box. I stopped at Joann Fabrics and got some small pieces of plain wood and some make-your-own ornaments. I cut out the Christmas cards and glued them to the wood, painted the ornament. Here is one side:

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And this is the other side:

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Some of the cards I used had been homemade by some artistic friends. I wanted to find a way to display them. Here is one of my favorites, now on the tree:

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After that I had an afternoon date with Bella’s boyfriend! Our dog walker’s dog got sick recently and stopped eating, was having a hard time breathing and they took him to the hospital. He had to have a pretty invasive surgery and it turned out that he had gotten a piece of grass in his lung and it got infected. They had to remove a piece of his lung and lymph node and he’s on all kinds of antibiotics and pain pills.

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He was finally able to come home over the weekend but can’t be left alone at all. Amy had some clients she had to go see so I volunteered to babysit my favorite dog (other than Bella of course)! He is SUCH a sweetheart. Just one big cuddle bug. I took a book over and we cuddled on the couch cushions on the floor (he’s not supposed to climb up on things while his incision heals). We cuddled, he napped, he tolerated me putting Bella’s santa hat on him, I scratched his head for three hours. 🙂 It was a good afternoon.

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Amy got home and Raja was happy to see his mama! Then it was time for me to meet up with my book club friends. We met at Wine:30 for wine, dinner and a chat about the book we chose. I wasn’t a fan of the book (and actually couldn’t finish it) so I was glad when the conversation strayed from the book…

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I got the panini sandwich with tomato, mozzarella and pesto. It was really tasty. I would have preferred a salad instead of the chips but it was all okay. I had a glass of the Sauvignon Blanc wine that was really delicious and crisp with green apple flavors.

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I’ve wanted to check this place out for awhile now. I’ve read good things about it and I loved the idea of a wine bar. The place was very modern and chic but a little cold. There was tile on the walls and cement floors, so it just felt cold and stark. Despite that, there was a fireplace and cute decorations.

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The back room had big couches and the table was a ouija board! I was so cool. I want that table. We had a great time chatting about everything, eventually talking about other books and planning our next book. We read “Good Omens” by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. Sadly, this is the third book of Neil Gaiman’s I’ve read. I loved one of them but the other two? Couldn’t finish. I know that he’s at a god-like status with a lot of readers but…he’s just not for me. I’ve tried. I can’t get into his books. But at least I had a great time with friends!