Wednesday, December 3, 2014

the hustle & the bustle

 Well this may have been the longest I've gone without blogging.  I've been meaning to do it- we've had so much good stuff to document lately, but I've just been way too busy enjoying it! This time of year is always my favorite.  Getting ready for the holidays, the pretty decorations, the hallmark movies, I just love it all.  Some highlights of the last 4 weeks or so--

this guy was wandering through our yard, and my hunter husband almost shipped his pants.
We get a lot of deer coming through our backyard; they come out of the woods to cross the street in to another section of woods, but he's the biggest buck we've seen.
We had our 2nd annual Friendsgiving (Thanksgiving, but with people you like) with Jess, Lo, Kell, and our hubbys.  Jess and her husband were so generous to host in their seriously beautiful home, and Jess is a bomb cook.  We did this for the first time last year and I'm hoping the tradition continues because not only do we get to eat the most delicious food ever, I love that the group of us have become pretty good friends.  We met through blogging over 2 years ago, and even though I still refer to them as my "blogger friends" they are sorta just regular, real life friends now.  Especially since half of us don't really blog on the regular anymore.
 After dinner we played Cards Against Humanity and my husband tried to trick me in to saying words I don't like saying.  It was fun and Jess made recipe cards of her amazing dishes, which I forgot to take home in all the bustle. 
Over the last month we've been also updating our cabinetry in the house.
We painted the linen closet, to match the white trim and white doors through the rest of the house.  We ended up using the existing bronze handles.
Plus, I just found out Pete has a label maker!! So I can organize all of our meds by body system.
People ask me all the time what we do with our free time since we don't have kids yet.  Well folks- this is it right here. 
I'll do a full post on our bathroom cabinets- We stained them darker and changed the hardware from the bronze to a brushed silver, to give the cabinets a more updated look.  Initially I did a poly/stain combo, did 7 coats of stain/sand/stain/sand, etc. and wasn't getting the look I wanted.  After doing some blog research I tried the gel stain and OMG it was so nice to work with.  For big staining projects like this I wouldn't use regular stain ever again.
My plan is to do this to our kitchen cabinets which have the same look, but that is going to be a pretty big project.
Pete started taking the doors off before I got my before pictures.  A rookie mistake for the husband of a former blogger.

For Thanksgiving weekend we went to Two Harbors to spend time with Pete's family.
We spent a night at the shack (their hunting shack in the woods) and after almost 6 years of going up with them, I finally started going to the outhouse by myself for the first time.  I usually make Pete escort me, especially once it gets dark because you never know what's lurking out there.  Instead of my husband being proud of me for going outside of my comfort zone, he thought it would be funny to make wolf barks from the other side of the shack while I was out there.

While in Duluth we also visited Bentleyville with Pete's mom and his aunts.  Pete's dad and uncle took the scrooge car home because they didn't want to go.
But look how awesome-

Before we leave the shack/the woods we also go search for a Christmas tree.  This year we actually got one that I picked out.

When we got home we finished getting other Christmas decorations out- seriously so much fun for me!  And Ferdinand of course loves all the boxes and discovered a box with a window that he can lay in but still look out of.
These next few weeks are going to busy to say the least- this weekend the girls and I are going out for the 12 Bars of Christmas pub crawl we do every year, you know, for charity!
And then Saturday will be my nephew J Dub's birthday party, followed by Pete's birthday party, plus his brother will be staying with us from Madison.  Next weekend is my work holiday party, baking party, family party and the following weekend is our annual girls' secret santa party.  I need to make time for the new Holidazzle Village in downtown Minneapolis and finish our Christmas shopping.  This is why I start before Thanksgiving- there's just too much goodness packed in to such a short period of time!  So I may come back and check in, or I may wait until after the new year..we'll see.  Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Blog Tour!

One of my favorite newlyweds, Sar tagged me in this Blog Tour today and I thought it would be fun to share a little bit about the blog that has definitely evolved over the few years since I've started it.
A little fun fact about Sar- we sort of go way back.  Not sure how far back, but we "met" through blogging a long time ago and she was so amazing and designed my wedding invitations & programs!  She was seriously such a lifesaver and so sweet for doing it for me (and has since helped me with some other really cute invitation/announcement stuff- she is really talented!)

Anyways, I'm Syndal:
I'm a hematology/oncology Nurse Practitioner living in Minnesota with my hubby and our 2 cats (with a golden retriever puppy on the way).
what am I working on?
When I first started this blog it took a while for me to find my way through blogland. I didn't really know what to write about and those early posts were pretty weird. And then I got engaged and I spent a great amount of time sharing my wedding planning and DIYs, which of course was then followed by wedding posts.  A year ago we bought a house and I am now very focused on our home updates and other DIY projects.  This week I've been working on staining our bathroom cabinets.
  Most of the blog is focused on daily happenings and documenting events, much like an online journal for myself.

how does my work differ from others?
There are a lot of "theme" blogs out there and despite the title of my blog, I really suck at cooking.  I occasionally bake and like to share some recipes, but I really try not to limit myself as to what I "should" blog about and when.  I blog for community and to document what's going on in my life so there are times when I go several weeks without blogging.  I also think it's fun to share the DIY projects (and misshaps!) because I love that we can learn from each other.  My cabinet staining "research" this week consisted greatly of reading other blogs about cabinet staining- it's that type of commentary you just can't get from reading the minwax can.
why do I write what I do?
Like I mentioned above, my biggest goal in starting this blog was really to document this time in my life.  I love that I can go back and read what I was thinking in anticipation of our wedding and buying our house (so I can LAUGH about it now) and being able to take the time to reflect on my relationships, life, and career.

how does my writing process work?
I very rarely draft posts anymore. I used to schedule ghost-posts throughout the week but my writing now is much more spontaneous.  I don't write well if Pete is home so I usually (like today) write on a day I'm working from home or get home early.  And then if I get an urge to post about something, I do it quickly and try not to overthink it, and publish it right away.  I write & document a lot for work that I want this space to be easy and maybe a little less carefully written.
And if you'd like to continue your blog tour today, I recommend you visit:
the striped flamingo- another newlywed blogger but she has the cutest little grumpy dog and does the best outfit posts.
little mrs married- Mel and her hubby just bought a house too, and she is so encouraging when it comes to getting (and staying on) a healthy eating kick!  She is the sweetest!
legally lovely- Emma is a lawyer but mostly blogs about her daily life.  She's super sweet and I love her because she loves You've Got Mail as much as I do.  And her pictures are always super gorgeous.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

On the Horizon

Life is hopefully starting to settle in for the fall, and soon- the dreadful winter.
Last weekend we watched Pete's brother Andy run his first marathon on his 27th birthday.
{mile 12}
he was still really excited at mile 12.  I would be dead at mile 12.
Also, it was fun to try to practice with our camera.  Although with a cloudy day and runners, I couldn't figure out how to get enough light, focus, and not so much grainy-ness.  Photographer tips anyone?  ISO too high?

It was a beautiful, chilly morning and we brought coffee and donuts to cheer on the runners.  We wore our blaze orange Ortman sweatshirts so Andy could find us in the crowds.

{Pete's senior photo}

{mile 22}
At mile 22 Andy was over it.  He stopped for a sip of chicken stock and kept going though.  He finished in a little over 4 hours.  While I am incredibly proud of his accomplishment especially after seeing him training for the last several months- seeing all those runners at mile 22 definitely ensured I will never run 26.2 miles.  At mile 22 those runners were sweating and tired, and white as ghosts.  There were a few that made it look easy, but most of them made me worried that I would have to perform curbside CPR.
This happened this week:


And our landscaping guy happened to find something while doing the dirt work.  Something way creepy.
We have not looked inside it yet.  It was buried in the garden bed and I think we need to just re-bury it in the woods and not disturb whatever it is was.  I don't want any bad juju. 
And it's a bit ironic- the previous owners left us piles of file folders with information on the house.  Maaaaybe they could have alerted us to a burial plot in the garden?

Anyways, once we figure that out it'll be time to get the grass going.  Hopefully by this time next year we'll have a decent yard that we can actually use.  And also a new fire pit because Pete doesn't think it's a good idea to sell our firewood.
Pete may or may not have a lumberjack birthday party this year so we can invite people over to chop wood.  But they'll be tricked and think it's cute because it's a lumberjack birthday party, but really we're just getting everybody to do our dirty work! ;)

We have a few house projects on the horizon along with hunting season and (omg) the holidays are already coming up.  No vacations planned as of yet, but we have some friends who live in Abu Dhabi and Pete is toying with the idea of going next year.  I might be taking a girls trip to Puerta Vallerta in the winter but I'm afraid of getting kidnapped (anyone know of a good all-inclusive down there??)
All in all life is pretty steady.  Work at work and work at home (hashtag: adulthood).

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The second half of September I did fall stuff

With the first 2 weeks of September dedicated to Britt's wedding festivities, the last 2 weeks of September were spent trying to enjoy the beautiful weather.  We most likely had our last few days of warm weather in the 80's and I've been on a quest for fall colors.
Last year we couldn't go to the apple orchard- the weather was so bad on the trees that there were no apples so I was excited to go this year.  And that was partly because I got a delicious, warm apple donut when we got there. YUM.


Every single Monday night is still dedicated to getting together with my friends Brittney & Blaire.  We eat dinner together, catch up on what happened the past week, drink wine, and watch some sort of a reality show (usually the Bachelor).  Brit was gone on her honeymoon, but Blaire was very eager to peel apples with Pete.  So I had no choice but to make delicious apple crisp.

On September 24th by nephew Orrin turned 5.  I can't believe how fast time has gone, and he also just lost his first tooth! (Is it me, or does that seem way too early?!)
It's hard to believe that it's been 5 years since my parents, my older sister, Pete and I stayed up all  night at the hospital waiting for this little boy to arrive. 
And now he's the craziest, cutest, smartest little kid ever.
Orrin is obsessed with monster trucks and zombies.  And we did a monster truck birthday party I think the last 2 years so this year was all about zombies.  He loved it.

Now we're already getting in to hunting season, which I sort of love because it gives me a chance to have some ME time and have the house to myself.  I've complained about this before- but I'm a very light sleeper and hubby is a not-so-light snorer.  I wake up 3-4 times a night, every night and I'm tired during the day.  So when I get to sleep by myself it is seriously a luxury.  I always get so much done the next day!  This last weekend Pete was out duck hunting so after running errands and doing jobs around the house I took myself on a 6 mile hike in a state park I hadn't been to before.  It was gorgeous.

and a guy took my picture.  It sounds weirder than it was- a guy that could be my dad with his wife, insisting I get a picture of myself taken.
And he loved my shoes so he took a picture of my shoes!

When Pete is gone for deer hunting I plan to re-stain all of our cabinetry in the house.  It's going to be lovely.  Happy Fall :)