Tag Archives: House Projects

Dining Room Makeover

One of my favorite parts of this blog is when I am able to refer back to previous posts I have written and remember things I had completely forgotten about. It also motivates me to take more pictures, which then in turn jog my memory when I’m trying to figure out what to write about.

In today’s case, though, I wanted some “before” photos of what our dining room used to look like, and lo and behold, I had already used some in a previous post.

Before I share these photos, let me set the stage for you…… Five years ago, Alex and I bought our quaint, charming little Craftsman home. We were 24. I wouldn’t go as far as saying we were broke, but we sure didn’t have enough cash to completely furnish our house. Boy am I glad for that because we would be re-furnishing our house now if we had made those decisions at age 24. Our styles and design taste has changed and grown up a little bit since then.

While our house on its own has a ton of character, it never got to the polished/finished point we’ve dreamed about since moving in. Enter our five year anniversary with our house, which we celebrated last month: we decided to take the plunge and move forward with our goal of finishing the decorating projects that we have been planning for over the last few years. Because we’ve struggled with how to pull everything together we opted to take advantage of Pottery Barn’s free Design Services program where they essentially send one of their designers to your home and help you select furniture, accents and different pieces to complete your home decor.

We had such a fantastic experience with Laurie, our Pottery Barn Design Services designer from the Bellevue store, and I can’t wait for you to see the outcome! Our house has come a very long way in these last five years. We’ve done major changes in the living room, dining room and our bedroom, and our big bathroom renovation is kicking off late-October. I’m not sure we’ll ever be able to say it’s “finished” but it sure is close.

Without further adieu, here are some before and after photos of our dining room…

{BEFORE: right after we moved in - didn't have much to work with.}

{BEFORE: right after we moved in – didn’t have much to work with.}

{BEFORE - taken in August 2013}

{BEFORE – taken in August 2013}

{BEFORE - taken in August 2013}

{BEFORE – taken in August 2013 after mini makeover where we added a few decorative accessories and some new placemats and napkins}

{AFTER! We are loving our new chandelier, rug and tabletop accessories. Somewhere along the line we got cushions for the chairs, but that was a while ago.}

{AFTER! We are loving our new chandelier, rug and tabletop accessories. Somewhere along the line we got cushions for the chairs, but that was a while ago.}

Here are some photos of the process…

{Jackson checking out the rug!}

{Jackson checking out the rug!}

{the new chandelier literally had 240 tiny crystals that we had to hang - and that was after mounting the chandelier from the ceiling. I'm really surprised it only took us 3 hours to complete the project.}

{the new chandelier literally had 240 tiny crystals that we had to hang – and that was after mounting the chandelier from the ceiling. I’m really surprised it only took us 3 hours to complete the project.}

{tabletop options... this one was too cluttered...}

{tabletop options… this one was too cluttered…}

{closeup of the chandelier}

{closeup of the chandelier – our labor of love}

Next up… the bedroom!

 

A Fall-ish Weekend at Home

This last weekend sure felt like fall and Alex and I were thrilled to have spent it at home. There is a definite crispness in the air. I brought back the down comforter for our bed since the evenings are getting really chilly.  Alex and I have both pulled out our puffy vests and I got myself a new cozy scarf for the occasion. The leaves are just starting to turn, so my fingers are crossed that the next few weeks will be filled with glorious autumn color.

{selfie with my new plaid scarf!}

{selfie with my new plaid scarf!}

In keeping with the fall-theme, I have been making some of my favorite fall foods: pumpkin bread, pulled pork, chili and stuffed squash.

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{slow-cooker pulled pork is one of my all-time favorites!}

{slow-cooker pulled pork is one of my all-time favorites!}

{we decided to become Seahawks fans this year, so last night we hung out on the couch with full bowls of chili}

{we decided to become Seahawks fans this year, so last night we hung out on the couch with full bowls of chili}

During our relaxing weekend I had two jaunts through the arboretum – one was my first “fun run” since my half marathon last weekend, and the other was a really nice walk with my cousin, Chris, and his family.

{super adorable and unbelievably happy little family!}

{super adorable and unbelievably happy little family!}

{baby Henry is going on 6 months already!}

{baby Henry is going on 6 months already!}

{fun to do a side-by-side comparison of my first 5-mile training run two months ago against Saturday's 5-mile run. During my actual training, my 5-mile run was one of the hardest to complete. Once I pushed past it, it was smooth sailing}

{fun to do a side-by-side comparison of my first 5-mile training run two months ago against Saturday’s 5-mile run. During my actual training, my 5-mile run was one of the hardest to complete. Once I pushed past it, it was smooth sailing}

The last several weeks have been big decision weeks for our house. Alex and I are currently undergoing a major home decor renovation and in about a month from now we will be starting our bathroom remodel. Here are a couple of sneak peeks – more to come in early-October:

{Jackson claimed the new pillows on the sofa}

{Jackson claimed the new pillows on the sofa in the living room}

{Major reveal! New dining room rug and chandelier, as well as all new tabletop stuff: napkins, rings, place mats and candles}

{Major reveal! New dining room rug and chandelier, as well as all new tabletop stuff: napkins, rings, place mats and candles}

{tile decisions... stay tuned to see the finished product in November!}

{tile decisions… stay tuned to see the finished product in November!}

{my homemade spider repellent! here in Seattle we have freaking gigantic spiders and I don't care for them in my house. I think I've seen almost 10 in the last 2 weeks, so I'm done with that. here's hoping this repellent will keep the creepy crawlies creepy crawling outside!}

{my homemade spider repellent! here in Seattle we have freaking gigantic spiders and I don’t care for them in my house. I think I’ve seen almost 10 in the last 2 weeks, so I’m done with that. here’s hoping this repellent will keep the creepy crawlies creepy crawling outside!}

Life has finally settled down for us, and all is well. It was really nice to catch up on small projects around our house over the weekend and we’re looking forward to a relaxing, low-key fall and winter.

Mid-Summer Relaxation

I think it’s safe to say we’ve passed the “mid-summer” point now that Labor Day weekend is on the horizon. In any case, Alex and I are coming off of a quiet, relaxing weekend at home. We’ve both been pretty exhausted with everything we’ve had going on lately so it was perfect to get to wake up in our own bed on Saturday and Sunday and not have an agenda whatsoever!

{lunch making station... it has been weeks since I've taken the time on a Sunday to get Alex's lunches prepped for the week!}

{lunch making station… it has been weeks since I’ve taken the time on a Sunday to get Alex’s lunches prepped for the week!}

We did some cleaning around the house – nothing monumental, but we spruced up the carpet and rugs with our carpet cleaner. The victory round went to the new Bona “mop” though – holy, holy cow – our floors have never been cleaner since we moved in {and probably not before that!}. Previously we had used the Swiffer Wet Jet, which we thought did an okay job. Now the Bona puts the Swiffer to shame. I highly recommend it for cleaning wood or tile floors!!!

{Alex's lunches are the talk of the table :) }

{Alex’s lunches are the talk of the table 🙂 }

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In other news, the weather has been really nice for the last week, but the temps are on their way back up. Both Alex and I are beyond ready for fall. We’re expecting to have a pretty nice fall here in the Pacific Northwest, but I am longing for cooler temps so we can park it in front of the fire with a big juicy bottle of red wine, a hearty dinner and leg warmers and/or slippers. And apple cider. And pumpkin bread. And soup. And the list goes on…

{homemade pickles!}

{homemade pickles!}

My half marathon training is going really well! I did a six mile run last week {without walking!} and am coming up on my seven mile run this week. If I make it past six miles, that’s my “furthest distance I’ve ever run” mark. My race is quite hilly so I’ve been mixing in hilly runs once a week in addition to a long run and another shorter run. So far I am feeling great… Now I just need to double last week’s run in four weeks and I’ll be golden…

{slow and steady, but ready to keep running!}

{slow and steady, but ready to keep running!}

One of the themes of my summer has been mole removal. I have been blessed with many, many moles all over my body, and unfortunately a handful of them are ones I really don’t want to stick around, so I’ve had several doctors appointments throughout the summer to work on removing them. One of them; however, turned out to be pretty severely “precancerous” and required the doctor to go back and take out a 5mm section around the mole to ensure all of the cells were removed {which they were}. That was a bit more dramatic in the recovery.

{my stitches... I ended up finding out that I am allergic to the adhesive in one of the bandages I was using and it caused a really awful rash all over my arm! That was by far the worst part of the whole ordeal.}

{my stitches… I ended up finding out that I am allergic to the adhesive in one of the bandages I was using and it caused a really awful rash all over my arm! That was by far the worst part of the whole ordeal.}

As a result of the mole removal and “precancerous” diagnosis I have been educating myself on a few things, namely sunscreen and natural products. I essentially never wore sunscreen until July this year because I almost never get sunburned and I had heard mixed things about sunscreen giving you cancer, so it seemed like a lose-lose to me. Now I know that you need sunscreen to protect against both UVA and UVB rays, which in themselves can cause cancer, and I know that it’s important to look for titanium dioxide and zinc oxide as the “sunscreen” ingredients to avoid getting cancer from wearing sunscreen. Oye ve. Thanks to my new super helpful friends at EWG I am now a more informed sunscreen, household products and skincare consumer.

{my scar is healing REALLY well! I've been using shea butter to help with the process...}

{my scar is healing REALLY well! I’ve been using shea butter to help with the process…}

Presently, I am feeling duped by the “big” cosmetics, cleaning and skin care industries. I’ve been extremely cautious of what I eat for several years now, but I almost feel like this is a more challenging issue to tackle than food. I had previously purchased big name products and am now horrified to read about the harmful effects of some ingredients lurking in them.

I know a lot of this issue is fear mongering and this industry’s own marketing, but at the same time I think there is a lot of sense in seeking out more natural, non-toxic products. I mean, our skin is a living, breathing part of our body – whatever we put on it gets absorbed inside our bodies. I’d rather avoid getting cancer if I can help it.

That said, I’m in the process of a major overhaul of all of the products I put on my body and use at home. I purchased new reusable glass containers {instead of plastic}, we’ve got a new line of dishwasher and laundry detergent, I have new face and body wash, sunscreen, face lotion, body lotion and deodorant. Next up: shampoo and hair products and a final cleanse {heehee} of any nasty cleaning products that weren’t replaced a while back. Amazon, Mighty Nest and The Honest Company have been very helpful in my shopping… It’s a really big undertaking, but I think it’s worth it.

Now that I’m off my soapbox, I’ve got another relaxing evening and stunning sunset to go enjoy 🙂

Master Bedroom Redecorating!

The home theme of this year is to redecorate our plain Jane master bedroom and remodel our upstairs bathroom. We just entered phase one of the bedroom redecoration… our new bed has arrived! Now that it’s here and amazing we are very motivated to finish the process.

{BEFORE!}

{BEFORE!}

{New bed!}

{New bed!}

Alex and I got a lot of use out of our IKEA dresser and nightstands. We bought them when we were 22, the summer we moved to Seattle. These pieces have served us well and housed a whole lot of clothes. The time has come; however, to pass these pieces of furniture on to someone else.

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We ordered some really fun new nightstands, which won’t arrive until September, and we have selected a new dresser which we plan on purchasing sometime down the road. While we impatiently wait for the new nightstands we are planning on collecting some new decor and art to tie everything together and create a polished look in our master bedroom. Both of us are really looking forward to seeing how much these changes will impact the overall look and feel of the room!

{can't wait to see what the new nightstands do to pull things together}

{can’t wait to see what the new nightstands do to pull things together}

Hopefully we’ll finish off the bedroom/bathroom remodel by the holidays this year. We are in the process of nailing down a design to completely overhaul the bathroom and add some early 1900s charm and character while making it more functional and modern. Stay tuned for more progress…

New Jewelry Organizer

This really is a ridiculous little update but I’m excited about it. I love bold, fun costume jewelry {as well as nice, classic jewels, too} and have been realizing that my costume jewelry storage is overflowing and also going to result in damaged necklaces. I perused the internet and settled on this fun little jewelry organizer and wanted to share it…

{this is the jewelry organizer without anything on it - the hooks below the frame are to hang necklaces, while the rod is to hang bracelets. If you look closely you can see some chicken wire on the outside of the chevron - that's earring storage!}

{this is the jewelry organizer without anything on it – the hooks below the frame are to hang necklaces, while the rod is to hang bracelets. If you look closely you can see some chicken wire on the outside of the chevron – that’s earring storage!}

{I'm having so much fun having my jewelry be kept in my closet now and displayed so I can see it when I pick out an outfit to wear}

{I’m having so much fun having my jewelry be kept in my closet now and displayed so I can see it when I pick out an outfit to wear}

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New Siding

We just wrapped up a big house project: new siding on the south side of our house! This was the side of our house that was next to a home fire next door {four years ago} and our recent repair was a follow-up of that, which meant that we were able to use our original insurance claim. The siding that wasn’t replaced immediately following the fire had started to chip and peel quite a bit, thus telling us that it should have been replaced in the first place and causing us to re-open the claim.

It was really fun to see “behind the scenes” of our house, particularly what our house looks like without any siding. Our house was built in 1909, so it’s quite old and things were done a little differently back then!

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{there was no Tyvek house wrap… no insulation… just the wooden planks which were covered by cedar shake-style siding – they would have kept up if it wasn’t for the fire!}

 

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{the contractors wrapped this side of our house with Tyvek to keep it dry and they installed flashing above the windows and trim and replaced the trim in half of the windows.}

 

{the siding contractors did SUCH a nice job. we are really pleased with the care they put into their job - it was really clear that they wanted us to be satisfied with their work and that they were trying very hard.}

{the siding contractors did SUCH a nice job. we are really pleased with the care they put into their job – it was really clear that they wanted us to be satisfied with their work and that they were trying very hard. and the cedar shakes smell sooooooo good!}

{the finished product!}

{the finished product!}

Summer is Here!

Summer has arrived in Seattle! The transition from our beautiful, amazing spring to summer took place over the last week or so and it seems like the new season is here to stay. The highs all weekend were in the mid-80s, which is considered very warm {and a little unusual} for Seattle. I have a feeling we are in store for a long, hot summer here! I’m certainly ok with that but need to be better about planning no-cook dinners and preparing lighter evening meals, as we don’t have air conditioning {what happened to our mild, wet climate!?}. Oh, and I need to stock up on ice cream ingredients!

Alex and I had a nice week followed by a restful, but productive, weekend.

{I kicked off the weekend on Friday afternoon with a run around Green Lake with my friend Ali, followed by a pit stop at Mary's house to pick up this gorgeous bouquet of the last of her peonies}

{I kicked off the weekend on Friday afternoon with a run around Green Lake with my friend Ali, followed by a pit stop at Mary’s house to pick up this gorgeous bouquet of the last of her peonies}

{thank goodness I changed out our bedding last week and exchanged it with our lighter summer quilt - the timing couldn't have been better! we have been roasting this week.}

{thank goodness I changed out our bedding last week and exchanged it with our lighter summer quilt – the timing couldn’t have been better! we have been roasting this week.}

{this is Jackson's "come on, let me sleep, mom" look}

{this is Jackson’s “come on, let me sleep, mom” look}

{and this is him not caring that he's not allowed on the bed...}

{and this is him not caring that he’s not allowed on the bed…}

{Henry cat loves the change in bedding, but mostly, he loves the addition of the fan in our room!}

{Henry cat loves the change in bedding, but mostly, he loves the addition of the fan in our room!}

{summer is DEFINITELY here - it ended up being 84 on Saturday and 88 on Sunday and it's 84 right now on Monday}

{summer is DEFINITELY here – it ended up being 84 on Saturday and 88 on Sunday and it’s 84 right now on Monday}

{our Saturday afternoon plans of going paddle boarding were shut down by the wind, so we went with Ryan and Mary to Westward, an absolutely adorable water-side restaurant on Lake Union for a drink}

{our Saturday afternoon plans of going paddle boarding were shut down by the wind, so we went with Ryan and Mary to Westward, an absolutely adorable water-side restaurant on Lake Union for a drink}

{we enjoyed an evening out at a fundraiser on Friday night, followed by an unexpected stop at a restaurant for dinner, then Saturday we spent the evening grilling out at Mary and Ryan's}

{we enjoyed an evening out at a fundraiser on Friday night, followed by an unexpected stop at a restaurant for dinner, then Saturday we spent the evening grilling out at Mary and Ryan’s}

{We had a very active weekend. Our pilates instructor, Diane, came over for our pilates lesson on Saturday morning. I am loving my FitBit - I walked more than 24,000 steps (!) on Sunday, which included a nice run along Lake Washington. Alex went for an awesome 20 or 30 mile bike ride on his new bike.}

{We had a very active weekend. Our pilates instructor, Diane, came over for our pilates lesson on Saturday morning. I am loving my FitBit – I walked more than 24,000 steps (!) on Sunday, which included a nice run along Lake Washington. Alex went for an awesome 20 or 30 mile bike ride on his new bike.}

{as a "thank you for putting up with us" gift, my dad got Alex and me three glassybabies. a glassy baby is a glass votive holder that is hand blown in our neighborhood. they are really iconic in Seattle, but particularly around my neighborhood. it was fun to pick out three colors and now proudly display them, along with the original one I already had. thanks dad!}

{as a “thank you for putting up with us” gift, my dad got Alex and me three glassybabies. a glassybaby is a glass votive holder that is hand blown in our neighborhood. they are really iconic in Seattle, but particularly around my neighborhood. they make great gifts! it was fun to pick out three colors and now proudly display them, along with the original one I already had. thanks dad!}

{the big project for sunday was staining the back patio table and the fence. it's our first time staining the table and it looks brand new! alex sanded it down and applied some stain and voila!}

{the big project for sunday was staining the back patio table and the fence. it’s our first time staining the table and it looks brand new! alex sanded it down and applied some stain and voila!}

{aside from the lack of grass, I'd still say our backyard looks pretty okay!}

{aside from the lack of grass, I’d still say our backyard looks pretty okay!}

{this crazy pants is loving his kiddie pool!}

{this crazy pants is loving his kiddie pool!}

{trying to stay cool!}

{trying to stay cool!}

{that's all for now!}

{that’s all for now!}

Backyard Update

After nearly four weeks of trying to grow grass seed and rejuvenate our backyard it has become quite clear that the weeds and the mud have teamed up against us. We set out to join forces with the weeds and dominate over the mud and rehabilitate our backyard, but instead, the weeds really just took matters into their own hands and abandoned us by taking over the entire yard.

{BEFORE}

{BEFORE – 4 weeks ago}

It certainly isn’t for lack of trying that we are fighting with the backyard again. The damp mud has just created a perfect breeding ground for the weeds to grow and they seem heartier than the new grass seed, which just isn’t taking off.

{Yesterday... it certainly looks better but the grass seed just isn't coming in as thick as it needs to and it's been four weeks. Also, the entire right half of the yard is 100% crabgrass.}

{Yesterday… it certainly looks better but the grass seed just isn’t coming in as thick as it needs to and it’s been four weeks. Also, the entire right half of the yard is 100% crabgrass. On a positive note, the plants in the retaining wall are growing really well and look pretty nice!}

Both Alex and I are extremely frustrated to be basically back to the drawing board again. If someone comes over and happens to have a cement truck full of extra cement I would happily allow them to dump it and spread it across our backyard right now.

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In reality we are backtracking to instal a partial patio/walkway by way of pavers and small rocks so that we can minimize the area of our backyard that contains grass.We now fully understand why our neighbors loath grass, why one family literally blacktopped over their backyard, and why most people in our neighborhood have turned their entire yards into beautifully landscaped masterpieces to avoid grass. It is just that hard to maintain it in this dog loving, wet climate with clay soil.

{our intentions...}

{our intentions… I’d love to have some fun planters next to the house by that lovely ADT sign, and we could move our grill out to that area, too, and add a bar under the overhang of the house}

We’re patiently impatiently awaiting the call back from the landscaping company we liked the best to hear just how much this will set us back. Initially back in February we didn’t want to spend any more money on our backyard but we’ve reached the point where the weather has been so nice that we’ve been quite disappointed to not be able to go back there, plus we’re just so tired of dealing with it that we’re willing to compromise.

Here are some ideas we like:

{pavers with river rocks in between will hopefully become our new patio/walkway}

{pavers with river rocks in between will hopefully become our new patio/walkway – I’d like rocks between pavers that are bigger than the ones shown in this photo.}

patio idea

patio idea 2

 

patio idea 4

Weekend Parties & Projects

As the saying goes “work hard, play hard” – we definitely can succeed at both! This weekend was a nice mix of getting stuff done and having a good time. It was a gorgeous day on Friday {goodbye productivity during the workday… hello spring!} so we kicked off the weekend with burgers on the grill and an amazing wine, followed by a movie night.

{Henry cat enjoying the nice weather outside}

{Henry cat enjoying the nice weather outside}

Saturday was our big project day of the weekend. Alex tackled the backyard and I spent the day scouring the kitchen.

{our lovely backyard complete with some new topsoil, tons of grass seed, a fair amount of weeds and some new plants up in the retaining wall}

{our lovely backyard complete with some new topsoil, tons of grass seed, a fair amount of weeds and some new plants up in the retaining wall}

Alex’s main project is re-seeding the backyard. He and the weeds are united in the fight against mud right now. I really hope the new grass is the winner of this battle.

{the heavily trafficked area right off the patio needs the most love... check out the fancy sprinkler!}

{the heavily trafficked area right off the patio needs the most love… check out the fancy sprinkler!}

Last spring The last three springs you may recall we did basically the exact same thing we’re doing right now. I can only hope the outcome is more successful and long-term this time around. One thing that we are doing differently has to do with watering, which was our achilles heel last year. We get a bit lazy with watering and for some reason last spring it didn’t rain at all, so our grass seed didn’t come in strong. This year we’ve got a fancy sprinkler set up on a timer, so it automatically turns on and off twice a day. Hopefully that does the trick!

{sprinkler timer!}

{sprinkler timer!}

I was able to squeeze in a little time in the yard on Friday and did some weeding and also planted some new fun stuff in the containers we have on our front porch.

{loving the new plants!}

{loving the new plants!}

After Alex got the backyard squared away and I finished deep cleaning the kitchen we took an impromptu trip to Marymoor dog park since it was Jackson’s birthday. I think it’s safe to say he enjoyed the swim, walk and ball playing he got to do! We are extremely lucky to have such a magnificent dog park nearby.

{Jackson enjoying his birthday steak}

{Jackson enjoying his birthday steak}

The birthday celebrations continued on Sunday when we went out to Salty’s for brunch to celebrate my birthday and my friend Mary’s, as well. We had a great time and thoroughly stuffed ourselves.

{such great friends!}

{such great friends!}

 

The Happenings

Since our return from Jackson Hole at this time last week our schedule has been fairly mellow. It has been a much easier re-entry to reality than after our trip to Mexico last month.

{our new compost bin! we are so excited about this funny addition to our kitchen -- it is now illegal to throw food waste in the garbage in the city of Seattle...}

{our new compost bin! we are surprisingly excited about this addition to our kitchen — it is now illegal to throw food waste in the garbage in the city of Seattle, so we figured we should probably comply, plus it’s a good thing to do…}

I had a huge fundraising event that I helped put on for my work on Friday evening. The event was really fun, but an enormous amount of work. We hosted a wine, beer and spirits tasting event, along with a silent auction, and had 200 guests come to support the great work that the organization does. It was a very successful event in terms of the attendees enjoying themselves, and of course, raising some money.

{me with Bre, one of the board members who helped put on the event}

{me with Bre, one of the board members who helped put on the event}

We had a really quiet, relaxing weekend at home to get caught up, which was wonderful because I was absolutely exhausted after Friday’s event. Alex went for a long bike ride on Sunday with some friends, which kicked off his bike training to prepare for his July bike ride to Vancouver. Since we have a pretty low-key spring we made a gigantic spring cleaning list and have come up with some projects to tackle in the next few weeks. We got a slow start to the list, as we’re in no hurry to get all of the tasks accomplished. Probably two months ago we were debating hiring a landscaping company to come overhaul our backyard. Since then, we have come to realize that Jackson is the cause of 80% of the problem, with the wet climate accounting for the other 20%. We decided that the best option for us is to simply try to grow the grass as thick as we can back there to create a solid yard for Jackson, throw a few new plants in there and call it good. That said, we’ve got our work cut out for us in getting our yard and house in ship-shape for spring and summer!

{spring cleaning list!}

{spring cleaning list!}

In other news, we had been monitoring some strange behaviors in Jackson over the last few months, to which we referred to as “episodes.” Jackson had been exhibiting uneasy motions and it almost seemed as though he had lost control in his movement, particularly his left front side, and after observing this a few times we started to notice his face twitching and his eyes dilate. During the “episodes” he was cognitively aware and responsive, but lacked full command over his body.

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This sounds more dramatic than it is to experience it – it actually was really subtle when we first saw it and because he’s so aware it almost looks like his limb is asleep. Ultimately we became concerned when these “episodes” became more frequent, so we checked in with our vet, who diagnosed Jackson with epilepsy. Again, this sounds really dramatic, and it’s definitely cause for concern, but our vet assured us that epilepsy is extremely common in male golden retrievers and can be effectively managed with anti-seizure medications, which he will have to be on indefinitely.

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We’re bummed that Jackson has been going through this and that he’s not perfectly healthy, but having experienced far more difficult health issues, this is a walk in the park. It’s manageable and it’ll just be a blip on the radar screen. Otherwise, Jackson is very healthy, extremely happy, and we’re about to celebrate his second birthday!

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On a more positive subject, Alex and I just hired a Spanish tutor who will come over to our house once a week to hopefully kick our butts and help us become conversationally fluent in Spanish. It has been a goal of ours for a number of years to be able to have a conversation in Spanish and we’re on track to making that happen. We also aspire to participate in an immersion program in a Spanish-speaking country sometime in the hopefully not too distant future to solidify our skills.

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I have been going to a Pilates studio in my neighborhood for about 9 months now and since January have been taking mat classes, yoga and reformer classes four days a week. I have been absolutely loving it. Unfortunately the studio just increased the price of the membership that allows you to take unlimited classes by $100 a month (!!) and I am unwilling to pay that much, so I’ll be dropping down, probably to once a week. I think the timing will work out okay, as I have decided to run a half marathon at the end of the summer. Training begins next week! And Jackson is my training partner… not sure if he’s the best choice 🙂

{taking a rest after our first run of the year around Green Lake}

{taking a rest after our first run of the year around Green Lake}

We have some spring cleaning in store for us this weekend, along with a birthday celebration for Jackson on Saturday {I foresee a steak with his name on it!} and then a joint birthday celebration in the form of a boozy brunch full day for my friend Mary and me on Sunday. I can’t wait! Hopefully the forecast turns around for the weekend and gets back to being sunny now that it is officially spring.

{daffodils mean spring!}

{daffodils mean spring!}