Thursday, March 5, 2015

Pupdate: Meet the newest member of our family!

Her name is Ruby H. Ortman and she was born on January 1, 2015.  We brought her home now almost 2 weeks ago and we're all still adjusting.

It is no secret that I have been putting off getting a dog for a while and that Pete has been dying to get one.  He got to choose what kind we got and the process, so he gave me majority naming rights which I took full advantage of.  I was set on paying homage to Harry Potter by using a character or a spell or something, but that turned out to be very difficult when we decided we wanted a girl dog.  I really  liked Molly Weasley, but Pete's golden retriever he grew up with was named Molly.  We both loved Luna Lovegood, but an old co-worker of mine got a golden last year and named her Luna.  And we went through that process with a billion other names.  So we settled on Ruby H, which came out of Rubeus (Ruby) Hagrid (H), and Ruby also fits because she's a very dark golden.   She's pretty formal and likes to use her middle initial.

The cats are adjusting as well as expected.  Ruby is quarantined to half the kitchen and the adjacent living room by a baby gate.  The cats have free reign of the rest of the house with uninterrupted access to food/water/litter.  Ruby thinks the cats should be playing with her, and by playing, I mean she tries to tackle them and bite their tails.  For that reason both cats mostly stay away until she's asleep, and then they come in to the room and sneak around and smell her.  Ferdinand is really jealous and needy, and he's very territorial of this dog taking up our time and his space.  Choxie mostly stays away and she is sleeping more.  She's been on kitty Prozac for a few months already for her hair pulling issues which I think has really helped her with this transition.

She went bonkers over this leaf pile!

It's only been a couple weeks and she is already growing so fast! We're all exhausted and Ruby H has proven to be a very naughty dog already.  She does very well with her kennel and only cried for the first couple nights, but she bites and chews on anything and everything.  We're trying to teach her 'no bites' to people/faces/clothes/blankets/furniture and so far it's not working.  We did teach her 'Sit' which she does about 60% of the time and you better believe she is enrolled in puppy kindergarten!  I'll be much less stressed about her when she's better trained and we can leave the house for more than 3 hours at a time...anybody know when that might happen?

Saturday, February 21, 2015

So far this year....

Since welcoming 2015 I feel like I've hit the ground running.  I expected things to settle down after the holidays but it seems we always find a million other projects to start, places to go, and friends to have fun with.
We did get the flooring down in the new dining room- we tried to match it to our oak kitchen flooring but since we used engineered hardwood, the color isn't perfect.  It drives me nuts, but in the right light they look very similar.  My pitch to Pete when I wanted to do this was "hey, let's just rip up the carpet and put down flooring..should only take a few hours.  We probably have time to put a fresh coat of paint on."  Famous last words- I should know better with all of our other projects we do that are never as short, easy, or inexpensive as we expect.
We found the old paint the previous owners used in the room, but what we didn't realize was that the room was 2 different shades of beige.  It was close enough that we couldn't tell until we started painting the wall.  And then because I wanted the entire room to be the lighter color, we ran out of paint and had to go back to the store to try to color match for a second coat.

Once we pulled up the carpet, I also didn't realize we'd have to remove the trim.  And by removing the trim, it was pretty much destroyed.  So we had to re-measure, find the right style of trim that matched the rest of main level, cut and paint it.
And I actually spent a Friday night pulling staples from the floor while Ferdinand tried to eat them.
Once we started putting the floor down it went pretty smoothly.  I clicked them all together while Pete ran up and down from the basement cutting pieces and swearing.
I'm probably 90% happy with how it turned out.  When you do any project you find all the flaws and will notice them every time you look.  But it makes the room feel and look a lot bigger.  We're looking for a nice table still- we thought we could use our tax return to get one but The Man brought us down and we had to pay in again this year.  I've started my search for plates for the wall but I need to find some local antique shops--if you know of any let me know!

I was invited to speak at the end of January for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Midwest blood cancer conference to talk about cancer survivorship and rehabilitation.  This has so far been my life's work as a nurse practitioner- I started our clinic's survivorship program and a rehabilitation program to help cancer patients navigate their appointments, recover from treatments/manage side effects, and prevent or minimize chronic disability from their cancer treatments.  And because I always bite off a little more than I can chew, I'm researching starting a pulmonary rehab program for our lung cancer patients- after having parts of their lung removed they don't know how to breath and can't exercise. Anyways, I'm going off on a for this conference I gave two 1-hour talks on the subject as it relates to blood cancers.  I really did not want to do it.  I HATE public speaking more than anything else in the world, but that's part of the reason I did it.  I need to not be such a damn baby.  At the end they gave me a tin filled with chocolate toffee (my faaave- I love to make it every Christmas!) and a target gift card!!
I would pretty much do anything for chocolate and target.  Anything.
At the beginning of the month, a couple of my besties celebrated a joint 30th birthday party.  Katy (blondie) and Stene (the Loser) both turn 30 this month and had a 90's throwback party bus.  First of all, I'm too old (and can't handle) a party bus anymore.  Second of all- it was a trip. I grew up with these girls- we've known eachother since we were like 13 so to see them almost exactly how they looked like 17 years ago was the weirdest, trippiest, time travel experience. Stene married her high school boyfriend, and we were all friends with him and all his friends at the time so it was a bunch of us that grew up together. Plus all our fave 90's music playing all night made us all very nostalgic.  It was a blast.  And I tried to dress way cooler than I actually did in the 90's (bibs and velvet V-necks?).
One night earlier in the month me, Jess, Kell, & Lo treated ourselves to a girls night since all our husbands were together up north ice fishing.  We ate the most delicious dinner in downtown Minneapolis, and after a short debate about going out or going to sleep, we promptly returned to our hotel for snacks and sleep well before midnight.  We ate, drank, giggled, and went to bed at a reasonable time- a perfect girls night for the late 20/early 30 somethings! 
The best part of this month was our amazing trip over Valentine's weekend to Puerto Vallarta Mexico!
I'll do a full post of pics because the trip was that amazing with a second round of dolphins for me, a little sea sickness (I'm getting old..waah.), lots of sun, and meeting new friends on vacation that we all just fell in love with.
Sick on the boat..I awoke to "senorita! senorita! come quickly and take nothing with you!"  And without asking any questions or speaking the language I got in a random boat with people I didn't know..full story to come!
I miss the sun! and the beautiful ocean!
And now today is the day.  The day we bring home our new golden retriever puppy.  Honestly, I have not been very excited.  I struggle with change- even good change, and I've been worried about how the kitties will adjust.  This is the only thing Pete has been talking about for the last year- his little hunting puppy.  I'm more ready for real babies at this point but we'll take it one step at a time.  More details to come!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Creating a Dining Room

A house project we've been saving for winter has been to create a formal dining room.  Right now we have a 4-person table that fits well in the kitchen area, and that's what we use.  However, we often don't even eat there unless people are over.  Often times our romantic tuesday evening dinners are at the kitchen counter or on the couch in front of some sort of quality reality television show.

This honestly works just fine for us, and would work just fine for once kiddos are around too.  During the summertime if we want to host more than 4 people for dinner we can use our deck outside.  But otherwise we really don't have a large table or designated space for a larger dinner gathering outside of squeezing 6 people around the smaller table, and it would be nice to have the option year round.  In Minnesota, we really only have weather enough to use our decks for 3 months out of the year and by then the mosquitoes ruin it anyways.
There is a small room right behind the kitchen that I think was meant to be a dining room, but the previous owners used it as an office.  We have our office in the guest bedroom because we still needed a place for our hutch and I've been dying to rip up the carpet, get a chandelier, and design a formal dining space.  We'll still be limited with space, but I'm hoping for an 8-10 person dinner space here. 

I struggled with deciding what kind of flooring we would put down.  We have grand plans to completely remodel the kitchen someday and knock down this dividing wall, but obviously that's probably decades away.  The dining room is located in this weird juncture of the entryway tile (would also LOVE to remove that) and the oak hardwood flooring of the kitchen.  I'm not crazy about the color of the kitchen floor, but I also did not want that space to have 3 completely different floorings all right next to eachother.  This is where my OCD kicks in.  I have a running color pallete in my head of the main colors and accent colors of our house, and we don't stray from that.  I like to keep the design of the house cohesive, which is why we tried as best as we could to get wood flooring that would then just match the kitchen floor.  Once we do our major remodel we would likely redo all the flooring on the main level.

So we have all of our supplies and we'll hopefully at least get the floor down in the next few weeks.  I plan to put a fresh coat of paint on, but keep the same light color.  I've been doing lots of Pinterest and Houzz inspiration research for this room! 
There will be plates on the back wall and Pete is very excited to hit up some antique stores to pick some out!
Create a decorative plate wall! Discover the best way to go about it!
via pinterest
Benjamin Moore Palladian Blue
via pinterest
Christmas Housewalk 2012- Stop #13-Holiday Dining Room-City Farmhouse
via pinterest
LOVE this display of thrift store plates for wall art!!!  mmmcrafts: corners of my house: foyer plate wall
via pinterest
Cozy dining room....I saw that type of bench at World Market. I love it!
via pinterest
We're doing all the labor ourselves so it's really just the cost of the flooring, a new light fixture, and a dining room set.  It won't all go in at once but I'm excited we're starting the process!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

2015 Seeds of Intent

On new year's day I was totally cliche and went to a yoga class (through #classpass, or course) with my blogger-turned-real-life friends and the fantastic instructor talked about planting your seeds of intent for the new year.  Forget resolutions, forget losing 20 pounds, forget your half-hearted plans to stop eating those delicious pillsbury crescent rolls.  Think about what you really hope to gain this year and overall.  It's yogi talk apparently, but I sort of liked it.  I have a lot of plans for this year and I'm excited to see how it all unfolds.

I would really love to enjoy photography more, and that means taking more time to learn my canon rebel t5i.  Pete and I took 2 intro classes through national camera exchange last year, but being a bit of a slow learner I sort of want to take them again now in the context of having used the camera on many occasions.  I'd also really love to take a course on composition.

My goal (which has been definitely launched with classpass) was to better incorporate exercise in to my routine again.  When I worked as a nurse years ago I had odd work hours and loved going to the gym on weekday mornings.  That is not possible anymore now that I'm a slave to the man working monday-friday and I've struggled to rediscover my fitness mojo.  I've definitely gained newlywed/new career/new house weight (more than I'm willing to admit) and I've been afraid to face that.  My focus (or seed of intent) is not to focus so much on the numbers (scale/calories/minutes/reps, etc., although I'm still tracking all of those things), but to instead remember that exercise makes me feel good about myself, helps my anxiety, improves my sleep, and encourages me to eat healthier.  Those are all amazing things and that's what I want.

We're busy making plans and have lots to look forward to this year-
At the end of february we're bringing our golden retriever puppy home!  I'm very anxious and hope the transition is smooth.
Right before that, I'll be celebrating Gal-entine's weekend with my girls in Puerto Vallerta, Mexico.
In June I'm hoping to attend the AANP conference, with a girl friend or two, and a hubby tag-along in New Orleans.
In the summertime we'll camp, visit up north, and celebrate my 30th birthday, and in August we'll celebrate 3 years of being married.  I'm pushing for a visit to the wizarding world of harry potter in Orlando for either one of those events.  I went a few years ago and have to go back!
In November I'm also hoping to attend the JADPRO conference, which will be in Phoenix, AZ this year.  I've never really considered wanting to visit Arizona, but some sunshine in November sounds right up my alley! 

We've also gone back and forth about visiting Abu Dhabi.  Pete has friends who are temporarily living there and he wants to see about visiting them.  We can't really afford for the both of us to go so it's a minor possibility that Pete might go in the next year.
Can you tell we're trying to get all the hoorahs in this year?! ;)
Welcome 2015!