Friday, June 28, 2019

Five Things for Friday

1. The boys and I really enjoyed our trip to Iowa over the past week. I felt good about keeping my promise to them that we'd go back to visit this summer. Done! It was so nice to be back again and to see our wonderful friends and our old familiar places (plus some new ones, namely a trampoline park that opened a few months after we moved that I brought the boys and their friends to three different times during our six-day stay!). I loved being back and part of me really wishes we'd never left and were still living our lives there. But another part of me was glad to come home to Massachusetts. It's weird to wish you lived in two different places, both of which you love dearly, but I'd have to say overall that MA wins. It's my original and ancestral home, after all. But Iowa comes close, and we'll definitely be back to visit. This may turn into an annual summer trip for us!

2. From Iowa to Paris, I saw this pretty picture of the Eiffel Tower with noctilucent clouds in the sky above it that was taken last Friday. How beautiful! I want to go to Paris!

3. Back to Iowa. While we were waiting in the airport in Cedar Rapids on Tuesday morning I got an email from Sonnet James, a dress company that was on Shark Tank that was started by a single LDS mom (at least I think she is, or at least was, LDS). They make super-comfortable and cute mom-friendly dresses, and there was this dress that I saw on their website over the winter that mysteriously disappeared, much to my disappointment. I've been thinking about that dress ever since and checking back on the site for it. Well, the good news this email brought was that the dress was back! Having learned my lesson, I wasted no time and bought it right there in the airport over my phone. 🙌 Hopefully it will turn out to be as cute and comfortable as I think it will be. Wouldn't it be kind of funny if after all that it turned out not to be? I don't think that will happen though. I mean, look at it, it's so cute!

4. I made a summer bucket list while I watched a new Hallmark movie last night (The Last Bridesmaid; it was pretty good). Here are the items on my list, which is pretty Cape-centric:

Go on a whale watch
Go on the haunted history walking tour in Barnstable with my sister who's never done it before
Visit a psychic for fun (Yup! Don't judge!)
Get a pedicure
Go to the Brewster Ladies Library book sale (I'm supposed to be on a book-buying ban for myself but I can't resist this amazing book sale every summer)
Go to a National Seashore beach (barring shark sightings)
Do yoga on the beach. At least once.
Swim in the ocean. Actually swim in the ocean.
Spend a day in Chatham shopping and doing an island tour to see the seals.
Find something cool to get from an antique shop.
Read all of the books that I picked out for my summer reading list.
Use my pool more. Especially with the kids.

Not exactly a ground-breaking summer bucket list, but if all these things happen then it will have been a very fine summer indeed!

5. Speaking of summer, I'm taking July off from blogging and will be back in August to continue documenting the saga of my life. I hope you have a wonderful summer!

Thursday, June 27, 2019

My 38th Birthday

My birthday last summer had some of my favorite things--the beach, reading and relaxing, eating out, doing something new, and, of course, owls. 🦉 (I discovered just now that Blogger now has an owl emoji!!) 😊

My mom and I went to the beach in Brewster in the morning while the boys were at camp at the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History. Lucky me, it was low tide! I love walking out on the flats at low tide.

 My favorite shells are these delicate, pearly iridescent ones. I have a small collection at the Cape house of my favorites shell finds from over the years, and this one was added to it.

My mom treated me to lunch at a restaurant we hadn't been to before that I'd been wanting to try for years. It was in an old, pretty Victorian house that I took a good picture of from the side parking lot but it was with my phone and as you know, those photos are currently missing. I also took a picture of a fantastic frozen hot chocolate that I enjoyed for dessert.

Before picking up the boys, we went to the Museum's new butterfly garden. The butterflies were lovely!

Very English garden, wouldn't you say? (Another one of my favorite things--England!)

There are many butterflies in this picture if you look!

We ate dinner at Yarmouth House, my traditional dinner place on my birthday. I didn't indulge in lazy man's lobster like I usually do because I wasn't that hungry, unfortunately. Then the boys and my mom and I went back to the house, where they had made me a cake.  

Then I opened my presents, two of which were great owl finds that my mom and Sam got me from a flea market we'd been at that afternoon. I love these! I added in the rock paperweight (which was also a gift) for the missing husband (that would be Peter 😄).

 It was a very nice birthday in one of my favorite places with some of my favorite people!

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Perennial Hydrangeas and New Fences

Because of our move last summer move we went to Cape Cod a lot later than we usually do. Normally we're there by the Fourth of July; last year we didn't arrive for our summer stay until July 27th! And we only stayed for three weeks instead of our usual five to six. But like I always say (not really), any time on the Cape is better than no time!

When we got there, the hydrangeas were in full bloom. This was a nice surprise because the summer before they didn't bloom very nicely. Those hydrangeas trend to be a picky lot! But I forgive them because they're so pretty and they do all the work on their own (I've never cut them back or anything--or whatever one is supposed to do with hydrangeas).

We had to replace the backyard fence in the spring (it was very old and two sections of it had come down). This was my first time seeing it. It looked nice!

I'd still like to someday get hydrangea bushes lining the fence. It would be so pretty!

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

July Flowers

It's fun to see what crops up in the yard when you move to a new house. I haven't been disappointed in the near year we've now lived here. Many different types of flowers have bloomed throughout the past year. These were July's new-to-us flowers: stargazer lilies and hydrangeas.

I apologize for the brevity of this post, but I'm sure you'll get over your disappointment. 😆
There were also some really pretty bright yellow tropical-looking flowers, but if I took any pictures of them it must have been with my phone. Not having my phone pics makes putting posts together faster and easier, that's for sure! (But I do still hope they'll turn up at some point!)

Monday, June 17, 2019

Oh What Do You Do in the Summertime? Housework.

Last July was not the most exciting of Julys (that looks kind of weird but I think it's correct. The plural form of two other months that end in "y" is "Januaries" and "Februaries," but "Julies" looks pretty silly, so we'll take a page out of May's ("Mays") book and make it "Julys.") ANYWAY, I spent most of the month unpacking and working on getting the new house organized. We didn't get to the Cape until the end of the month, which is very unusual for us. But that was in keeping with a very unusual summer.

The first room that I unpacked and organized was command central--the kitchen!

It was still so bare and empty!

I bought myself a housewarming gift (courtesy of Von Maur in Iowa). 

First picture of Boo Boo in his new digs!

It's crazy but only four days after moving in we hosted a 4th of July BBQ and pool party for Peter's family. The house wasn't at all ready for social gatherings but we spent most of the time outside anyway. They helped us put together our new trampoline, which was nice.

Sometimes I like to pretend that Naomi or Lizzie is my long-lost daughter instead of my kids' cousin! Hee hee.

A pretty arrangement for the 4th that I bought at Target. This was the one and only 4th of July decoration that we had up. The rest was still in boxes.

Magna-Tiles were one of the only things unpacked that the boys could play with our first few days there.

Eating breakfast on the dining room windowsill. Who needs a table anyway? (Even though there's one right there. It even had a table runner on it!)

I should take a picture of Sam every year in this spot to track his growth.

I missed our Iowa backyard, but I had to admit that this one was a pretty nice replacement!

The garage looked like this for most of the month. So much packing paper!
There were a lot of boxes too but my mom's friend who was moving took a lot of them, and a family in our new ward took most of the rest. It's usually pretty easy to pass good sturdy moving boxes along. Gotta keep them moving! (Get it? 😉)

Friday, June 14, 2019

Five Things for Friday

1. I somehow hurt my arm and tore a muscle or something in the side of my left bicep (or maybe it's a tricep? 
I don't know). It's hurt so much this week. I haven't been able to lift my arm to do my hair, turn on the left-hand turning signal in the car, reach back to fasten my seatbelt, or other previously mindless things like those. It feels like I got stabbed or shot in the arm. But there's no bruise or anything. I've been taking ibuprofen all week and that's helped. Today it's almost back to normal. It's such a weird injury, especially since I have no idea how I got it.

2. The plumber came and fixed the low water flow problem in the shower. It was a problem with the showerhead. He put on a new one and it's amazing. My shower is now a glorious experience each morning. 

3. I got my eyebrows microbladed. I'd been wanting to try it because I have light, sparse eyebrows and I wanted them to be more defined without having to fill them in myself anymore. So I did it, and and I looked like Frida Kahlo for a week because they were so dark and dramatic-looking. I looked ridiculous and had to go into hiding as much as I possibly could last week! But then they healed and lightened up and now I really like how they look. I'll post pictures at some point if I feel okay about publicizing how funny I looked. Oh what am I talking about, I'll do it, I have no shame.

4. There was a cursed day recently when in the span of just a few hours I was confronted with three dead/almost dead animals. It was so random. And so gross, especially the third one.

First, Boo Boo got something that looked like a mouse that was hiding in some stones near the front porch. He ran off onto the lawn with it and I called him in so he dropped it and I think I saved its life because it wasn't there when I very gingerly looked later. 

Second, there was a dead bird at the base of the front porch steps when Sam got home from school that day, which I had John dispose of because I just can't with dead animals. I don't know if Boo Boo got him too. If he did he was really on a roll that day. 

And finally, the horrors of the pool filter baskets happened again. Sam and I were checking them and he opened one up and there was a dead furry animal with a long tail floating in there. 😱😱😱 I only caught a glimpse and then shouted for him to put the cover back on right away!! This was even worse than the dead frog with the white eyeballs, and I didn't think much could top that! My mom is a brave woman and took care of it a couple of days later. It was a bloated mouse. I may never look at the pool the same way again. 

5. The law of threes happened again, but this time it was in a much better way. In the span of just a few weeks, I received three different Edible Arrangements. Two of them were completely unexpected. That has never happened to me before! The boys and I ate them all up. 😋 Chocolate-covered strawberries are one of my favorite things (especially when it's premium dark chocolate, which Edible Arrangements uses!).