Wowzers. It’s been a long time since a blog update (subtracting me opening my heart and sharing it a short time ago – thank you my dear friends for your wonderful feedback on that. It touched my heart). It feels like we’ve had so much going on and nothing at all at the same time. I guess that’s the way to best describe summer. Life is a little more loose and free, but we’re still very much in the daily grind. I think it might be best to categorize what we’ve been up to because it all, more-or-less, fits nicely into these subjects.

WEATHER:
It’s been very warm, sometimes hot, but generally bearable and mild this summer. I will most likely not say the same thing on a triple digit day, but you can’t really blame me for that. We’ve been enjoying evening walks with Jackson, when the sun goes down and it’s not scorching outside. I suspect it’s his favorite part of the day… and it’s become Ryan and mine too. We get to talk about our days, spend some time alone and enjoy something other than work or the other grown-up duties. Occasionally we walk with the neighbors, who we are building a friendship with, and their dogs, who Jackson is building a friendship with. They are really nice people and it’s been nice for us to start to feel a part of the neighborhood, from our little house out on the end of the block.

JACKSON:
He seems to be a very happy dog and has made the adjustment to “city life” very well. I’m sure his days are lonely as Ryan and I both head off to work, but he really comes to life in the evenings when we walk… especially when it involves a dive into the ditch we found just a block or so from the house. I’ve never seen a dog more in love with the water and more in love with chasing and fetching a tennis ball. Jackson’s had some trouble with his shoulders or maybe his back so we took him to the vet and discovered that our little boy is probably a few years older than we think and is just starting to age. We were given some medicine to help with the soreness and swelling. We just gave them to him the other morning and when we got home, we’d never seen him more energetic! He’s a whole new dog.

THE NEIGHBORHOOD:
Construction is just trucking along in our little neighborhood. The two houses to the west of us and one the east are all complete. We expect two sets of neighbors to move in sometime in August and are really excited. We’ve met them all and they seem great. They just started construction on two more houses (one across the street and another to the east). Our neighborhood is growing and our fears about being lonely on our block are vanishing. We’ve gained a lot of curiosity from the neighbors up the street – likely wondering who the heck would build a lone house on a completely undeveloped block. We tell them we are “Pioneers!!”

THE HOUSE:
What can I say about the house? * sigh * We are in love with it. It’s just about the only place I want to be right now. We just had our first houseguests for the weekend. Our dear friends Trevor and Heidi came out to play a house concert and stay with us for about a week. I missed the bulk of their visit as I was away in Boise on business, but I felt really comfortable knowing they would have a room, warm bed and bathroom to themselves (and rooms that are semi-decorated!). My cousin also came to stay with us this weekend as she was passing through town. It’s always nice to open your home to friends and family.

Last week we had all of the blinds installed in the house and they look fabulous. Instantly the house was transformed a bit and felt really “homey”… and a lot cooler and darker. It’s one of those weight-off-the-shoulders moments where I felt like we’ve really made some progress. In the next post I’ll share some pictures of what we’ve been up to.
Of course, there is a still lot to do. Next on the agenda is to get back to doing some more painting. I think I’ll tackle our master bedroom next. It’s a big room, and so are all of the rooms left to paint, so I’m a little wary. Our wish list continues to grow but we’ve been very disciplined and treat ourselves to one or two things a month. We know it’s about time for a housewarming party but I’m still trying to decide when we’ll feel ready for that. Maybe in a few weeks.

WORK:
Work is work.

Haha, I was going to leave it at that. But I’ll say this. We’re working hard and long hours and dreaming and thinking about making changes someday, sooner or later. We’re not sure what God has in store for us but we have high hopes and are trusting.

In the meantime, I’ve been busy making a little money in my many side jobs. Baking, photography, etc. I’ve also decided to give my Stella & Dot jewelry business another big push with hopes that the holiday season will bring in some more interest and some more trunk shows. I’m having a Fall Premiere event on August 12th that I’m pretty excited about. I get the share the new Fall/Winter line (which is gorgeous) and have some girlfriends over. I’m still trying to convince Ryan that even if I’m not bringing in a lot of money yet that it’s a lot of fun because I get to sell a product that I LOVE, with super awesome discounts, and I get to wear it around town. What woman doesn’t love jewelry?!

LOVE:
How’s that for a category?! Ryan and I are doing great. Time is just flying by. It’s hard to believe that our birthdays are right around the corner, and right on the tails of that, our 2nd anniversary. Ryan is such a treasure to me. I feel blessed to call him my husband and lover. Maybe God is opening my eyes to that more, but he’s been such an amazing blessing to me the last few weeks in particular. He really comes through in rough times and makes me feel like I can conquer anything.

We’re working hard on keeping that love alive, squeezing in date nights and quality time when we can. We’ve seen a couple of movies lately… Toy Story 3, Despicable Me (which we loved) and Inception (which, we’re sorry, seemed a little overrated).

ALL THE REST:
And that’s about it. It’s already August? How is that possible? Summer is coming to a close and we still haven’t had a vacation!? We do have some plans in the making, probably for our anniversary, but I’m getting very excited and hope it will work out. I’ll share more when it’s (hopefully) booked. Hint: I need to get a passport!

Family is all doing well. We’re gearing up for Eric and Annie’s wedding in October, then the wedding of close friends the weekend after that. The Corum side have been doing lots of traveling this summer and we hope their journeys bring them back down our way sometime soon (hint, hint).

Our focus now is just to get through summer and get our house nice and warm for a housewarming. 🙂

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