Friday, October 25, 2013

Friday Update: Home Remodel & Feeling a Bit Better

I thought of participating in Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real, or in 7 Quick Takes; but I just don't have the energy to do all the writing or link-ups.  However, I did want to update you all on the plans for the house.

I met with a builder this morning.  He's done work for us before and wanted to get a more recent look at the house.  He took measurements, we sat and viewed my Pinterest boards, he gave me advice about the proposed mudroom and garage.  He also gave me a time line.  I was really hoping to break ground soon and have the interior work completed over the winter months.  But with cost of working in the winter being much higher because of the frozen ground, we should really wait until March to start the project.

Here's a proposed plan from the architect for the interior work:


And this is the proposed plan for the exterior front view of the house:


Here's a front view of our house currently:

Hee, hee....just kidding!
OK, here's the real pic of the front of our house.....


With the proposed plan the garage will be built out pushing it further into the driveway area.  The front of the garage will likely be at the end of the small curved sidewalk that leads up to the front door.  The front entryway will also be built up forward to match the garage and not be set so far back.

I also am getting a handle on the nausea of the pregnancy.  The plans for the house also put my mind at ease.  When I see all of us struggling for space and organization and squeezing around in the kitchen, I feel super-overwhelmed.  I know we can squeeze a baby in any space in the house and in our hearts, and he or she will grow there becoming another integral part of our family.  It's awesome that babies start out small!  Items can be purchased or borrowed, and all will be well when this baby arrives.  It also feels better now that most of our friends and family know.  I feel the prayers of those around us who know how overwhelmed I get.  All those prayers are buoying my spirits.  

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Expecting the Unexpected

After May, I was having a hard time adjusting to my new life.....being a woman without a father.  My grief counselor said it would be a hard adjustment, but I didn't know she would actually be right.  The piece that was really struggling was our marriage.  For two months I couldn't figure out why I was so bitter toward Paul and almost resented everything he did for me or for us.  I would look at all of his actions critically, and what may have annoyed me before was now really getting under my skin.  I couldn't pinpoint why the sudden change.  It wasn't until September that I was able to put my finger on something.

I would call my parents religiously every weekend usually on Sunday evening while driving to my weekly meeting.  It was a time I could be alone without interruptions and debrief with my parents about the week.  Somehow my dad would either rub me the wrong way or give me something to think about in which I would appreciate the same quality in Paul.  He would either criticize something I was doing or have an opinion about a decision we'd made or just kinda not really be paying attention to me while I talked.  I would always come away from those conversations thinking, "Paul would never treat me that way," or "Paul would never say that," or "I'm so glad I'm married to Paul.  He's so sweet."  On the positive side, I would be grateful that Paul would think or act similarly to my dad.  I would come home in greater appreciation of my husband and my marriage.

After dad died, I no longer had those weekly phone calls with him.  All of the things I looked forward to him doing or saying to me stopped.  My goal post of comparison was no longer there.  Now Paul had to stand on his own two feet with all of his failings and foibles.  So Paul went from a hero to a zero in my eyes.  Well, maybe he didn't go down that far on the totem pole.

I was so happy that I finally had a reason for my frustrations with Paul.  I was so happy that our marriage wasn't falling apart.  I was also very humbled by my attitude and behavior toward Paul for 14 1/2 years of marriage.  Sheesh!  I'm going to be 40 in December, and I was still acting like a kid in high school comparing a boyfriend to her dad!

Take all of that plus my cycles were all over the map.  With all the added stress, my age, and all of the anxiety over our marriage, homeschooling, etc.; I just couldn't get a handle on my fertility.  All I knew was that I couldn't just go on blindly and just shut down completely in an area where our intimacy could really benefit the love we have for each other.

So insert God and the Holy Spirit and probably all the angels and saints, too, because I was instantly thrown a curve ball of sorts!

That's where I find myself today....very pregnant, very scared, and very nauseous.  I'm probably only 4-5 weeks along.  I haven't even looked at a calendar to pinpoint everything....you know, dates and such. All I've been doing is walking around in a daze, a nauseous daze.  I am happy, too, but I would be lying if I let on that I'm over the moon about this baby.  I gave away everything after Nick.  Yep, I have no crib, no clothes, no bassinet, no receiving blankets, or anything else for a baby.  I was mentally over all of that.  I have had so much emotional and psychological difficulty since 2010, I was sure that another pregnancy would send me to the looney farm.

So I called my mom on the day I took my pregnancy test.  I grabbed the leash, the dog, and headed for the park.  I cried to her telling her how afraid and overwhelmed I was feeling.  I kept saying, "I can't do this.  I don't want to do this."  She was amazing!  She said I can with God's help and that I will do just fine.  But....there's always a BIG BUT.....she said I'd have to slow down.  I'd have to take it easy and let things go.  I told her I like having a clean house and keeping a strangle hold on the schedule.  I like baking and cooking and spending oodles of time in the kitchen.  I also love homeschooling the girls and driving everyone around.  She said I have to let go.  She's supportive and also very practical.

There you have it.....my BIG NEWS!  I guess that's why I've been so quiet around here.  We've been busy as usual, but nausea and exhaustion have taken over.  We've also been processing a lot of apples so it's been a little crazy around here!





Tuesday, October 8, 2013

You Say It's Your Birthday

Well, yesterday was Lucas's 9th birthday.  I had a mom-fail and gave him a dud of a birthday party.  First, off I forgot his age and only picked up 8 balloons.  What was I thinking?  Then, I forgot a special present which I always do for the kids even if it is a pack of gum, a smallish gift, and maybe a cool t-shirt or sweatshirt.

However, I did think of a few things and made a "party room" for the birthday boy....






I picked up camouflage plates and a blaze orange tablecloth at Party City.  I purchased a hunting birthday banner from Etzy from That Party Chick.  Next, I used Paul's and Maria's target sheets from their last trip to the gun range to set in the middle of the table.  I made the table tents from a Google image, orange construction paper, and camo scrapbook paper.  I think they came out well!

Lucas is super into archery, has a couple bows, and has spent a bit of time at the archery range with Paul and Gabe.  He's a very good shot.  I'm still trying to wrap my head around being the wife and mother of hunters!

Which leads me to another bit of news.  Paul entered the two oldest girls into a lottery for a youth hunt in St. Croix State Park.  They won.  Note I didn't use an exclamation point with that last sentence!  This means he'll be taking the girls up to Hinckley, MN for a weekend hunt in November.  That means more range practice, a squirrel hunt next weekend, and hunt dog training for Tup.  

Kettle River in St. Croix State Park
Isn't that a beautiful picture?  So, Paul and the girls will get to enjoy that in a few weeks.  Meanwhile, I'm starting to enjoy the colors around here....





I've also been processing a lot of apples from Grandpa Ben's apple tree.  This year has been a good year for apples so I've been saucing, freezing, and canning over the last week.  I have 3 more large boxes of apples in the garage which I am grateful to have.  This evening I'll be giving a 10 minute presentation on home canning & freezing as part of "The Lost Arts" Evening for the women of the parish.  One woman will be talking about Kombucha, another will be showing how to make yogurt at home, while another mom will be talking about quilting and knitting.  I think it will be fun!

Stay tuned for more Minnesota living.  I hope to report the girls getting a deer in the weeks to come!

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