While attempting to stay true to our vow to take it easy this month, Bradley and I have successfully completed another relaxing weekend. And I have gotten much better about taking pictures. We hardly ever take pictures (especially together). People probably wonder if we even like each other. (Spoiler alert: we like each other a whole lot.)
Friday evening usually means staying at home but going to bed later. The abandonment of our bed time makes us feel like rebels. Besides, Saturday is really the only time we can sleep in without having to set an alarm. We attend the 8:30 service at our church on Sunday so Friday evening is when we feel free to throw caution to the wind. The rain that poured all morning stopped in time for the afternoon, leaving the weather slightly cool and plenty humid. I poured my Lacroix in a fun pint glass (because maybe it will magically turn to beer and if I happen upon beer by magic I can’t possibly be expected to turn it away), challenged Bradley to a fierce game of big Jenga, and dodged the wet tongues of dogs as best I could. (I’m not very good at it. Or Reese is exceptional at it.) We completed one terrifying round of Jenga – it is scary to have heavy blocks that high up in the air knowing that they could tumble down on your bare toes at any moment – before heading inside for a classic game of Uno. I won both games. Pretty standard.
Making memories at home.
Oh, and before all of that, I clogged the garbage disposal (something I am VERY good at), because I like to give Bradley chores to make him feel useful. Both he and the girls were thrilled to throw a little domestic work into our evening shenanigans. And before the night was through, both dogs had thrown up. The big one – who has NEVER thrown up before – completed her act on the carpet. We only have one room in our entire house that is carpeted. And she nailed it. It’s a glamorous life, y’all.
Garbage disposals are very handy until they break. The act of fixing one is awkward, requires you to move cleaning supplies you haven’t touched in weeks, and puts you at tongue level with the dog.
Saturday mornings are slow to start and full of cuddles. I will usually get up once I hear the girls start to move around in their crates. I stumble down the stairs, open the back door, fill up dog bowls, and head back upstairs. It doesn’t take long for the herd to come tearing thru the house and toward our room. They jump on the beds, lick us like they were worried we might have been taken in the night (even though I just saw them five minutes ago), and eventually settle down for belly rubs, ear massages (Labs LOVE to have their ears rubbed), and sweet cuddles. It is one of the few times where we all fit in one place and Honey (mostly) allows Reese to be close to her. We joke that we will need a bigger bed once the new puppy starts joining the tradition. I think the joke will prove true before too long.
It was raining when we woke up and, while the Farmer’s Market operates rain or shine, this gal doesn’t. I used the weather as an excuse to spend a little extra time in bed with my favorite person/dogs and let the errands wait a few more minutes. I love it when you are presented with excuses to relax. We bought tickets to go to an Escape Room at 2:00 so there was no sense of urgency. Absolute perfection. Bradley attempted to cook a Whole30 breakfast for me and quickly realized it was harder than you think. Zero breakfast sausage options at the Food Lion. Zero. And frozen hashbrowns all have dextrose in them. So he got some frozen ones for himself and I hand shredded a few potatoes for myself. He burnt those to a black crisp (bless him) in about three minutes. I didn’t have the will to hand shred anymore so I reheated some leftover sweet potatoes from last night and called it a win. In any case, it was nice to have someone else do the cooking for a bit. I’ve been on cooking overload this month. And I really really really don’t enjoy it. But it is so much easier to do the cooking yourself when you are on Whole30. The list of can’t-haves is long and complicated and includes lots of things that you wouldn’t typically think of. So you do it yourself. Some bloggers say they learn to love the kitchen. I’m not holding out for that.
I’ll have Bradley whipped into a Whole30 chef in no time!
There was a Harry Potter Marathon on TV this weekend so I camped out in front of the television to achieve ultimate relaxation. I wish I could say I did much else but…that would be false.
Until it was time for the escape room! Betsy has been telling me how much fun she and Preston are having with these so I found a Groupon for Escape Room Virginia Peninsula and set us up to do the “Great Estate Burglary.” My first impression: I did not realize that there were so many varieties of locks: three and four number combinations, four and five letter combinations, and one that included letters and symbols. The final lock was so complicated, I can’t even describe it. And even though it is not a real scenario, I had already promised myself that I would devote my time to a life of thievery if we were able to pull this off. (Sounds much more exciting than social work.) We weren’t able to crack the lock to steal the jewelry in time, but I thought it was a great way to spend an hour. We had to work together, manage our patience for one another, and got to loot through a room that we aren’t responsible for cleaning up. I call that a win-win. I’m already looking forward to the next one!
We took a picture together! An hour flew by and, with the Groupon, it was a great deal! I will definitely do this again – perfect for a rainy day!
The rest of the evening was dedicated to more Harry Potter, grilling chicken wings, and not fighting the sleepy urge that comes with a rainy evening.
Grilled chicken wings and a few veggies – delicious dinner and a brief relief from plain old sauteed chicken!
Sunday was nothing extraordinary. We went to church, I did some meal prep, and the girls followed my every single step. The big dog threw up again but this time there were chunks of black plastic. Other than that, just a typical day of moderate laundry, barely vacuuming, and enjoying the conclusion to another week.
In other news…
Junior League: I attempted to join the Junior League of Hampton Roads last year but ended up deferring my enrollment a year after our engagement. Between wedding planning for myself, being in my bestie’s wedding, and still adjusting to the move, it didn’t seem like the right time to add something else to the plate. One of the women on the New Member Committee(I don’t know if that is the formal name of the committee – making it up as I go) reached out to me earlier this week to let me know about some upcoming recruitment events. It is time to build my community here. I keep putting it off because I’m homesick for my community in North Carolina. I think I also have this fear that I won’t be able to juggle a new group and still have close ties to my current group. And I am nervous about making new friends as an adult. (And we thought the first day of Kindergarden was rough! Imagine being 30, slightly more skeptical of the world, and overly aware of how sweaty you become in new situations.) I really enjoyed the women that I met at recruitment last year. It is time to get out there and build some relationships. I’m a social worker (with a recently discovered desire as a jewel thief) for goodness sake! It shouldn’t be this difficult.
Date Box: I stumbled upon this idea after casually reading a blog that someone shared on Facebook. The idea is simple: the company (We are going with Date Box but there are tons!) sends you a box once a month with date night ideas. They give you the supplies and usually include some type of conversation prompts that get you talking about your relationship. Given that we live in a small town with little extracurricular activities, I thought this might be a good way for us to have more fun at home while also encouraging us to branch out a bit. And it is one less thing I have to plan. Am I right, ladies?! Depending on the plan you choose, this particular service costs between $28 and 34 dollars (it is cheaper if you purchase a few months at one time versus one month at a time). Our first box will ship on September 1 – I will definitely share our experience with it!
Yoga: Expectation: I’ll do yoga everyday! Reality: nope. It was a grand idea, one that I admitted was lofty considering the fact that I was doing Whole30 at the exact same time. Whole30 wasn’t the reason why it didn’t work. It has more to do with priorities. I spend two hours a day in my car, which is ten hours a week. That is ten hours that I do not get to spend with my dogs or my husband. Some days yoga fits. And some days I need to dedicate that time to my family. Don’t kick me for being cliche but…it is all about balance. So, I’m not doing yoga everyday. I’m doing yoga on the days that it fits. And on those days when I need to go on an extra long walk with the girls, I do so without regret. Each day is so incredibly precious. There may come a time when those leisurely walks aren’t as frequent. And this amazing weather will get colder. And God help me when those walks are a few furry feet less. So I’ll gobble them up while I can. The mat is always there. Some things aren’t.
Financial Peace Institute: Our church, Trinity United Methodist Church, is hosting the Financial Peace University (FPU) by Dave Ramsey. It is a financial workshop designed to help people eliminate (not reduce – eliminate) their debt, focus more on savings for short-term needs and for retirement, and also give overall guidance on how to better manage finances. I am pumped!! This seems like such a wonderful time for Bradley and I to build our financial future together as newlyweds. While we are both blessed to have full-time jobs that allow us the luxury to not be worried about meeting our needs, I do think we could use guidance in how to plan for the future and how to get rid of unnecessary consumer debt (I’m talking to you car loans!!) While we are still on the fence about whether we will grow our family with dogs or with humans, I want to have financial freedom if we decide to bring a child in this world. I want to be able to meet their needs, save for our retirement (which is a blessing for your children – trust me), save for their college, and have extra money to provide our children with valuable experiences. And I want this to be as easy as breathing – not something that causes us stress or worry. Besides, we work too darn hard to not be able to fully enjoy the fruits of our labor! I will keep y’all posted on how it goes and what we learn!!!