Category: Door County


Dear Lung Cancer,

I should say I hate you. I hate how you’ve come into our lives uninvited. I hate that you’ve fought against her, despite the fact that she’s stronger than you. I hate that, in spite of our requests, you still occupy her body. I hate you more than I’ve hated anything but it does no good.

I should yell and scream at you. I yell and scream about the damage you are causing in our lives. I yell and scream about the fatigue I see in my mother-in-law’s face after rounds of treatments. I yell and scream that there are people who don’t understand that you are persistent and aren’t supporting her in the way she needs to stay a step ahead of you. I yell and scream praying that you’ll hear me and let go of her. I yell and scream until I’m hoarse but it does no good.

I should be angry at you. I am angry that you are tearing us apart. I am angry that our uncertain lives turned into certainty – certain there will be bad days, certain there will be doctors appointments, certain there will be tests and results, certain there will be a fight. I am angry that you don’t care who you hurt or how you hurt them. I am angry that I have to watch her worry and see my husband’s fear. I am angry with you but it does no good.

I should cry at you. I cry as I watch her fight against you. I cry as I think about telling our son that his gramma is sick. I cry in despair of helplessness. I cry like I am losing my own mother. I cry in fear of her suffering because she’s too strong to tell me things aren’t going well. I cry when I see the pain in my husband’s eyes. I cry everyday but it does no good.

What I shouldn’t do is thank you but I do. I thank you for reminding me that life is too short to waste. I thank you for making me cherish each moment. I thank you for forcing me to live today without postponing for tomorrow. I thank you for allowing me to feel so deeply and love so fully. I thank you for proving that God gives me the strength to endure all things. I thank you for giving her more time; time to meet her second grandson, time to take her grandkids on a special trip, time to share her stories, time to spend with her family. I thank you and it’s the only thing that helps.

Sincerely,

Your Enemy’s Daughter-in-Law

The past three days have brought cold temperatures throughout the country. I pray for those in areas not used to such frigid temperatures and those experiencing other weather complications (such as being in a humid climate, snow storms, etc.) that this arctic freeze passes them quickly and leaves them healthy. Just as many people in Door County do not have air conditioners in their homes because it doesn’t often get unbearably hot and we have wonderful winds to provide natural cooling, there are places where furnaces are not normally needed and therefore, not in homes. For these people the unseasonably cold temperatures have hit hard and I understand how serious their situation is.

Door County has seen it’s coldest temperatures in 19 years. The cold has caused schools to close for three days, which means that the school calendar will have to be redone to accommodate additional days missed by the students – hopefully there will not be future days off due to hazardous snow conditions.

Yes it’s cold and yes children’s safety is important but we live in Wisconsin and it’s winter. I’ve lived in Wisconsin all my life and have often heard complaints from winter outdoor enthusiasts that it’s not cold enough or there’s not enough snow on the ground; admittedly I have even made these complaints some years, like the year it rained on Christmas so it was a brown Christmas instead of white. In addition to those who snowshoe, ski and snowmobile, each year men and women bundle up and take to the woods and water for hunting and ice fishing.

Today, despite school closings, I bundled up my son and took him to Little Lambs Story Time at Shepherd of the Bay Church in Ellison Bay for some much needed social time for him and for myself. It was cold for the short walk from the car to the building and then back a couple hours later but neither of us minded. I told him, “it’s cold outside but we’re tough, we’re from Wisconsin and it’s winter.”

The windchill was bitter and I certainly didn’t spend a lot of time outside these past few days but I still had to work, I expected my employees to work and my husband had to work. Yes some of the fans who sat for hours in the cold watching the Packers vs 49’ers game were crazy but they also showed that there are ways to prevent frostbite and hypothermia by dressing appropriately for the weather.

So while others may complain about the arctic air, I continue to think that days at -12 degrees Fahrenheit make 10 degrees Fahrenheit feel warm. I will survive the winter better by having lived through these cold days. I live in Wisconsin, I expect it to be cold in the winter!

I haven’t posted on here in quite awhile. It was easy to use the excuse that time is too short but short is measurement not an excuse.

I can’t believe how much Mylo has learned in 750 short days. Yes, my little guy is two! He is putting together sentences, today he woke me up and said “ It Friday,” completely unprompted, he’s starting to potty train, loves to play outside, and is becoming more independent each day.

We have been thoroughly enjoying the summer weather and cool spring breezes. We bought and double kayak; we have taken Mylo out once and look forward to many more family adventures. We fixed up the old sandbox that has been in the backyard since our friends grew up in our house (their grandparents owned the property for 30 years before we bought it). When we dug it out we even found a Thundercats toy and Mr. Potato Head tongue within the layers of dirt and sand. Mylo thought the sandbox was the perfect present for his birthday!

After all of the tree troubles we had a couple of years ago, we were proactive and took down some unhealthy trees. While we were sad to see the two tall spruces go, we were happy to finally get rid of the maple stump from the tree that fell on our house and even happier to have all the roots ground. The new open space in our front yard inspired Ryan to dig out the old stonewall and rebuild it, in addition to finally starting to landscape. It will be awesome to see what blooms after this endeavor.

The cottage is still on hold but we are starting to get plans together to finish the outside this summer. We have been spending the time we could have spent on the cottage with friends and family – a Brewers game, birthday parties, family reunion/cookout, Door County Beer Festival, and a lot of other fun get-togethers.

So there’s a little update and I’ll try to make it a short time before I post again, no excuses.

A Moment

Christmas 2012

I finally have some time to sit and take a moment to reflect on the past year.

It has been an amazing journey. Remodeling the cottage, fully moving into my role as Distribution Manager for The Paper Boy, an amazing happy healthy one and a half year old son, and new and old friends alike!

Mylo is an abundance of energy and every day helps me discover something exciting. It is so much fun to help him learn and watch him grow. We have been enjoying the past couple of weeks by sledding down the mound and playing in the snow. Gizmo has particularly loved the fluffy falling flakes.

We got the outside of the cottage sealed up for the winter. Spring should prove the problem areas are solved and then we can finish the outside this summer. Thanks to help from friends and family we were able to put on a new roof and were able to complete a lot of other work – like resetting windows. We also said goodbye to our 1950’s oven whose stove-top barely worked. Our home once again smells delicious!

Peninsula Publishing and Distribution has been celebrating success – 10 years of Door County Living in 2012, starting volume 19 of the Peninsula Pulse in 2013, and additional distribution by The Paper Boy. I love being part of such amazing group of people and look forward to the year ahead.

Welcome 2013!

 

Just as the stars have been glimmering with the cloudless nights, 2013 promises to sparkle with new opportunities and interesting adventures.

Fall fell fast upon Door County, as the leaves began changing color in September. It never ceases to amaze me how fast the time goes by. This summer was especially quick. Ryan and I spent most of the summer chasing Mylo around as he explored and discovered life’s wonders. In-between each of Mylo’s milestones and discoveries, we began renovations on the cottage next to our house. So far, we have the inside gutted, old siding removed and most of the outer repair is complete. While we are hoping for snow this year, we pray that is comes sometime in December (before Christmas) so that we are able to get the new siding on before the first snowfall. The temperature has been dropping but that has not stopped us from continuing to make progress on waterproofing the cottage, which had a lot of water damage from insufficient exterior walls and draining.

We are so glad to have our downstairs bathroom whirlpool tub. It has come in handy many nights after long days of working hard. It has also created a lot of laughter during Mylo’s bath time.

I know this post is short and it’s been a while since I’ve written one but I hope this brief description will explain where my time has been spent, which has not been on the computer. I promise to post again soon; I’ll even include a few pictures!

 

Making Time

Last year I sat here counting my blessings and, while I have more blessings than ever, I wonder where the time went between then and now.

2011 began with preparation for the coming arrival of our son, who decided to make his entrance into this world sooner than expected. We put the bathroom-remodeling project on hold to tear down and rebuild the nursery before Mylo’s birth but it still wasn’t ready the day he was born. It didn’t help that I spent 3 weeks on bed rest starting Easter evening. Although I did enjoy the much-needed time off my feet and a few books, the lack of exercise and not being able to help my husband prepare for our son was hard to handle. Thank you Ryan for taking such good care of us while I was laid up. Also, a big thanks to Colin, Garrett, Brian and my mom, Jane, for helping to get the nursery completed so that Mylo was able to come home to his room.

The night of Mylo’s birth was the longest of my life, as we slept at two different hospitals one hour apart. After 18 days of 10-12 hours in the NICU plus 1 hour of driving, Ryan and I were finally able to bring Mylo home.

First Family Christmas

While there is no place other than by Mylo’s bedside I would have been as he got strong enough to leave the hospital, those were the toughest days of my life.

The months that followed are slightly blurry because Mylo’s prematurity required extra doctor visits, blood tests, specialists and a monitor system on top of the normal newborn needs. Between diaper changes, feedings, bathing, playing and occasionally nap time, our lives were enriched beyond my beliefs.

By September we were finally getting into the groove of being parents; Mylo was sleeping through the night and no longer on the monitor or needing extra doctor visits and blood tests. In November we were told we no longer needed to see a specialist – a wonderful reason to be thankful. Baby’s first Christmas further reinforced the fact that Mylo is growing and developing well with each present that he opened.

Whirlpool Tub Installed and Working!

I am so glad that I made time to be the mother Mylo needs and took time to lose myself in snuggles and the wonderment I constantly see in his eyes.

In addition to becoming proud parents, Ryan and I finished Mylo’s nursery and have completed 99 percent of the bathroom.

And, in between it all, we were sure to make a little time for each other and ourselves.

Looking back, this year may have seemed to go by quickly with an ever-growing baby boy but it was long enough to be filled with accomplishments, laughter and above all love!

Ryan & I

If you would have asked me five years ago where I would be now, I could never have dreamed how wonderful my life would be. I was starting my senior year at the University of Wisconsin – Madison and had just started dating Ryan, who recently moved from Madison to New Berlin. We kept dating despite his move, which turned out to be the best decision in my life.

 

First Family Picnic

Ryan and I celebrated our three-year wedding anniversary (September 6, 2011) with a weekend full of adventures. We took Mylo on his first picnic at Weborg Point in Peninsula State Park. Even though it was Labor Day Weekend, we were still able to find a peaceful, private spot under some trees. Regardless of the fact that our picnic ended up getting rained out, we really enjoyed some special family time.

First Swing

First Swing

 

In addition to his first picnic, Mylo went for his first swing. Ryan and I got him a swing for his baptism and we happily strung it around the large, old maple tree in our backyard.  Mylo liked swinging and hated to stop.

After becoming members of and having Mylo baptized at the Ephraim Moravian Church on August 28, 2011 – almost three years after we were married there, I feel more in love now than I was on our wedding day – something I thought impossible. Nothing compares to the joy of being a wife and mother.

 

Looking Towards the Future on Our Wedding Day

I can’t imagine my life without Mylo, whom I wouldn’t have without my wonderfully fantastic husband, Ryan.

Looking back, I realize there was always something pushing me in the right direction. It’s like the pastor said to us during a service at the St. John USVI Moravian Church on our honeymoon, “you are where you’re supposed to be.” I know that Door County is where we were meant to be because God reminds me everyday how truly blessed I am by my amazing family.

These past three years have brought me unsurpassed happiness and I look forward to years yet to unfurl with hope that the love and adoration I feel for my family today will continue to grow exponentially!

Progress…

Time flies when you’re busy being a mom and finishing a bathroom. Mylo is doing awesome; he grows and is learning more everyday. He is starting to hold his head up, makes eye contact and smiles at us a lot, can “stand” and sit-up if you help support him, is gaining weight and growing tall, no longer needs to be on the apnea monitor, is happy and healthy!

Mylo likes to play and has started grabbing some of his toys. He also loves to have books read to him. He babbles and always wants to be where the action is happening. He gets up on his knees and, as soon as he learns to use his arms better, I’m sure he’ll be crawling.

Mylo was baptized on August 28, 2011 at the Ephraim Moravian Church. We had a wonderful party with family and friends after at our house.

Speaking of our house, we are almost finished with Mylo’s nursery and the downstairs bathroom. Mylo’s room only needs window trim and blinds to be complete. The bathroom was complete enough to be useful during our party. The tile floor is in, the walls and ceiling are painted, the door and trim are on, and the toilet and sink are installed and functioning. The only things we have left to do are cut, stain and varnish the shelves, cut and paint the window trim, put up the tile around the tub, and install the tub fixtures.

I am already in love with my new bathroom and can’t wait for the day I can gently glide into the whirlpool tub for a relaxing bath. It looks beautiful and will be finished in no time.

Ryan and I have made great progress on the bathroom and Mylo is making awesome progress with his growth and development. I am looking forward to more and more treasured memories to come.

First Family Photo

Early Monday morning my water ruptured while I was sleeping and without my realizing it. I called the doctor once the office opened and, since I wasn’t having contractions, they told me to stay in bed and rest all day. I was to call if I started to contract, which I did not. That night I got the best night sleep I had gotten in six months but woke up feeling gassy. After the grogginess subsided, I realized that I was having contractions and started timing them – 7 to 9 minutes apart. I immediately called Labor & Delivery and spoke to a nurse who told me to come into the hospital. Ryan packed an overnight bag, which we had previously discussed but hadn’t yet done.

In half an hour we were on our way to the hospital with my contractions coming 5 to 7 minutes apart. I continued to breath through the contractions as we made the 30-minute drive to the hospital…the contractions got quicker and stronger. By the time we arrived my contractions were about 3 to 5 minutes apart. Ryan wheeled me up to the second floor into the Labor & Delivery department where we were directed to room 12. I put on a gown and tried to settle into the bed, which was a little hard to do with worsening contractions.

Hooray, I'm getting to be a big boy!

I continued to breathe through contractions as the doctor checked me…5cm, baby’s head really low. It was too late to stop labor or transport me to Green Bay. While I was happy to be able to deliver in Sturgeon Bay, it was still surreal that my baby was coming. We started talking about a c-section because the doctor was concerned that the baby was breech – despite my confident assurance that baby was head down and had been for some time. She confirmed that baby was head down with a quick ultrasound and said I would be able to deliver vaginally – as long as no complications arose.

The contractions continued to get worse and were almost on top of each other. She asked if I wanted an epidural. While I was open to change when making my birth plan, I was really hoping that I would not feel the need to have an epidural. Thinking that I was only 5cm, feeling a lot of pressure and believing that there was a long way to go yet, I thought I might need the epidural after all.

Before we got past signing the paperwork for the epidural the doctor decided to check me again…9cm dilated! “Too late for an epidural” I said happily.

Mylo & Daddy cuddling, kangaroo style

“It’s not too late but it may not help you at this point” replied the doctor.

She didn’t understand that I was telling her that I no longer felt the need for the epidural, I wouldn’t have even asked for it if I had known that I would progress so quickly. I was elated to be delivering in Sturgeon Bay, naturally and without any pain medications.

“Do you want to push?” said the doctor.

“Yes. There is so much pressure,” I exclaimed, literally going from breathing through contractions to pushing as the contractions were on top of one another – never subsiding but flowing peak to peak.

Family photo before leaving the NICU

“You can start pushing,” she told me as she walked away to put on her scrubs. She came back minutes later, “I can see the head.”

Once Ryan saw the baby’s head he didn’t stop watching his son, Mylo Thomas Sherman, enter the world! We had arrived at the hospital just after 9am and, with a full head of hair, Mylo was born at 10:44am on Tuesday May 17, 2011 weighing 5 pounds and measuring 18.5 inches. He was 6 weeks and 5 days early but, thanks to the early labor scare at Easter, did not require oxygen and was healthy.

Within a few hours he was transported down to the NICU at St. Vincent Hospital in Green Bay where him and I “lived” for the following two and a half weeks. We were able to bring Mylo home on Saturday June 4 and have been loving being able to spend more time with him. He is eating and gaining weight well. Even though I had time to get to know him in the hospital, there is nothing like being able to care for and nurture him at home.

Mylo Relaxing At Home

Ryan was able to get the nursery almost finished while we were in Green Bay and made plenty of time to come visit us; all that is left is the door and a little bit of trim. We were able to arrange and decorate the room together, once Mylo and I were back home.

Being a mom is the best! I couldn’t be more thrilled than I am to share a son with my wonderful husband, best friend and most amazing father Mylo could want!

A big thank you to my co-workers at Peninsula Publishing and Distribution for being so understanding of Mylo’s early arrival and for giving me extended time off to be with him. I am truly grateful for your friendship and kindness.

Check back for more stories about the newest addition to my life in Door County.

Confined

Here’s a post I wrote last month but didn’t get a chance to post…will explain in the next post.

Well, there is much to say because a lot has changed since my last post. I was finally getting my energy back and started feeling absolutely wonderful when…complications arose.

First, I had two wonderfully amazing baby showers. One on April 2 at the Village Green Lodge, Door County thrown by my parent-in-laws. It was a co-ed shower and we were delighted with around 45 guests from all over the state. There was a taco bar, beer, margarita punch (with tequila to spike it), games, gifts and two beautiful cakes – one shaped like a teddy bear and the other a reminder of our wedding day, carrot. The second was on April 10 at my mother’s home for ladies and babies only. There were over two-dozen of my family members there and some friends to help me get ready for the arrival of baby “Chili.” We had a late lunch filled with a variety of delicious items made possible by my guests and enjoyed a couple hours of fun and games. Ryan was excited to come back and find a unique assortment of gifts for the baby.

It took us weeks to get all the new baby items sorted and put away. Especially since I made another large change happen before the showers – remodeling of the nursery.

Of course, I told Ryan that I just wanted him to do a couple of quick things in the nursery before the baby is born. Logically, having a remodeled nursery before filling it with a crib, dresser, baby toys, and more seemed the right thing to do. My thoughts about removing the closet, which made the room much smaller than it could be, and replacing the plaster and lathe with drywall before adding a new coat of paint and underwater mural were a lot simpler in my mind than in reality. My mom came a few days before the first shower to help Ryan remove the closet and walls because I couldn’t be in the room due to old insulation, which may have contained harsh chemicals harmful to both myself and especially the baby. In no time the “quick” project turned into a complete renovation. The closet was removed only to find that there were patches without carpet and worse yet, the carpet in the closet had been different than the carpet in the room. In addition to the carpet, we found that the wall with the window was moist and had to remove more and more of it in order to find the wet source. As it turned out, the window was not properly installed and had been leaking for some time. We also found that the walls we thought had drywall were actually plaster and lathe covered by drywall. Ultimately, three walls and the carpet were removed completely.

On a positive note, we hadn’t yet order the bathroom window so we were able to add the nursery window to the order and saved over $160 for both windows, which were both installed recently. Ryan did some research and found spray-in insulation that helps as a sound and moisture barrier in addition to keeping the temperature. We were also able to rewire the nursery and remove some very old cloth-wrapped wires that were truly a fire hazard. In the end, it will all be for the better that we took the time to do the needed repairs now before the baby arrives – despite my feeling a little guilty for adding so much work to Ryan’s list and forcing him to work on three rooms at one time.

I can’t tell you how thrilled I have been waiting to prime and paint the nursery, bathroom and laundry room once the drywall is installed. Since we decided to paint before putting any other flooring down, which will save us from worrying about spilling, we were finally getting to a point that my pregnant body could do without too much effort. Then it happened…

Easter morning we woke up at 5am to attend sunrise/cemetery service at the Ephraim Moravian Church. After service we had a delicious breakfast at church, helped clean up and then went to Ryan’s parents house to visit before 10am service. After the second service we went home and relaxed until going to brunch with Ryan’s parents, grandparents, uncle and aunt at the Log Den. When we returned home I was full from the days eating binge. I relaxed on the couch and ended up falling asleep – nap number two. When I woke up I was not feeling well but wasn’t sure why. I ate a little dinner and continued to relax.

A couple hours later, as Ryan and Colin were outside enjoying a bonfire, I went to the bathroom and noticed blood when I wiped. I immediately called Ryan to come inside and then called nurse direct. After speaking with the on-call doctor, Ryan and I headed south so I could be checked in labor and delivery at Ministry Door County Medical Center. Within an hour, I found out that the baby was very low and head down while I was having mild contractions and dilated 1cm. Quickly the doctor came in and explained that I would be transferred to St. Vincent Hospital, Green Bay in case the baby arrived early (they have a wonderful NICU). She also explained that they were going to be giving me IV medications to help stop the contractions, lower my high blood pressure, antibiotics in case I had an infection, and two steroid shots to help the baby’s lung develop. Without question I agreed – despite my dislike of taking anything while pregnant – for the record, I’ve only taken my prenatal vitamins and Tums since finding out I was expecting.

Just after midnight I was in the ParaTran ambulance heading to Green Bay. Ryan left me at the hospital to run home to get a change of cloths, his computer, and a few other things for an overnight stay away from home. Luckily, we had already asked Colin to take Gizmo to Ryan’s parents house – thanks Colin for putting out the fire and making sure our dog was cared for, we really appreciate it!

I had a sleepless night but just kept praying that everything would be okay. With each prayer my blood pressure dropped a little more. Late Monday afternoon the contractions stopped but my blood pressure had still not gone back to normal, although it was decreasing. Tuesday morning my blood pressure was almost back and I was taken off all medications. Happily, I was discharged by 3pm and on my way home.

Unfortunately, once you dilate you can’t undilate so I am on bedrest orders until further notice. I had no idea how hard it would be to relax but try to keep reminding myself that it is just the beginning of the sacrifices that I, as a mother, will make for my child. I am full of energy but have no way to use it – except for writing, reading, and thankfully working from home. The guilt I mentioned feeling about adding so much work to Ryan’s load with the remodeling of the nursery has doubled as he now is solely responsible for all household chores in addition to the few things I was going to do to help get the nursery, bathroom and laundry room completed. While he is the most amazing husband and has been handling everything well, it seems so much for one person to do. At least we are blessed to have family to help.

Changes

24 weeks

Well the past few months have led to many changes in my household. In addition to my growing belly, I have felt more and more kicks/punches from Baby “Chili.” As spring and summer get closer, we get more and more excited about our coming arrival. At five and half months pregnant, I am glad the weather is improving so that I can start wearing sandals.

New Plumbing

Ryan continues to diligently work on remodeling the bathroom. He has completed running new plumbing for the entire house and new electrical wiring for the bathroom and laundry room. The new sub-floor has been laid and final preparations are being made to get the next layer of flooring installed. Progress may seem slow but Ryan’s well-thought-out planning will make future remodeling projects easier, as will his thoroughness and attention to detail.

The season is changing along with my body and our bathroom. It is an exciting time in our lives as we begin a new chapter of life. I look forward to continuing to share this journey with you.

It’s been awhile since my last post. Unfortunately the holidays found me traveling, working and taking care of a sick husband. But it’s time to deliver what I promised…

The additional things I am thankful for coincide with my New Year’s resolutions (if one must call them that, I prefer to think of them as words to remember in the new year).

1) I have been reducing my stress level as stress is a luxury I no longer have while I joyful grow ten little fingers and ten little toes.

2) While I have a great excuse to gain weight, I will not give up eating healthy. Eating healthy is also a great way to ensure those ten little fingers and ten little toes are healthy too! In addition to eating healthy, we became YMCA members and have already started using the pool to keep in shape during these cold Wisconsin winter months. I intend to thoroughly use this membership and am looking into prenatal yoga classes.

3) Dream big, wish often and love lots. I am definitely doing a lot of this as, yep you guessed it, our first child is due July 4, 2011. We are dreaming of the day we get to meet our beautiful baby (especially since we will not be finding out if it is a boy or girl until s/he arrives), wishing for him/her to be healthy and happy, and loving our little one with all our hearts.

So far 2011 is starting off better than 2010, although it is still to soon to be sure. We rang in the new year at the Ephraim Moravian Church for a late night service followed by a pancake “breakfast” after midnight. I couldn’t think of a better way to begin this year than by thanking God for the gifts he has given us and asking him to help us navigate this new year and new adventure in our lives. While I am still trying to make the best of last year, I am truly looking forward to stepping out of that negativity this year. I wish all the best to you and yours as we continue to grow throughout the new year. Happy 2011!

Finding Thanks

This year Ryan and I had a lot to be thankful for; some we can share and some have to wait a little longer. Particularly, we are extremely thankful to have each other. With the passing of Ryan’s friend and fraternity brother (Ryan C. Davis) on Oct 10, we were reminded how precious life is. It got us thinking…I had said that 2010 was one of the worst years I can remember (next to the year my Dad died) and while I still sort of think that, we have been able to look past the negatives and see some of the wonderful blessings we have experienced.

1) We made it through our first Door County summer. We didn’t get upset by slow-driving tourists that stopped on the highway to look at something, we didn’t have a car accident with someone pulling out not paying any attention to the road, and best of all we still got to enjoy some of our favorite spots without interruption.

2) We developed (and are still developing) skills that will help us overcome difficult situations. Our year started off rocky and continued on that shaky footing for quite a while before we regained control and could begin to work on making ourselves even better than we already are (I know hard to image we could get better but we have!).

3) We are both employed. Ryan continues to work for PDS, a company he has been with for over 6 years. I have the most amazing job and am finally using my BA as the Event Calendar Manager and contributor (live music and other miscellaneous articles) for the Peninsula Pulse newspaper. A guarantee for the summer turned into year-round employment as I maintain my position through the winter. I work with some really amazing and fun people and couldn’t be more thrilled.

4) We survived our first “joys of home-ownership.” We had many obstacles to overcome this year. Our mailbox was too low and needed to be replaced, our entire home needs remodeling, the same tree fell twice (the first half fell on the house and the second half took the power line with it), a 30-foot section of a massive blue spruce fell (taking the cottage power line with it and nearly hitting our house), our refrigerator and other appliances have and are failing, and the list goes on. Luckily, somehow, we managed to keep our wits about us and work together to keep our house as livable as possible. Some days are harder than others (as our downstairs bathroom is still in the process of being remodeled but almost everything has been ordered, some things delivered and we are making progress) but have definitely realized that we can get through anything together.

5) We were able to drive to Chicago to spend time with my family for Thanksgiving. While there we got to meet a new addition to our family, my oldest sister’s new puppy Cooper. He is a beautiful, loving and energetic puppy that gave Gizmo a challenge to keep up with as they played and played and played some more. Unfortunately we did not get to meet my brother’s girlfriend but we are hoping that we will for Christmas. It was so nice to spend time with my mom and siblings, especially since we will not all be together for Christmas this year. We also got to enjoy some delicious food; from vegan & gluten-free to the traditional staples, it was a feast fit for royalty!

6) A few other things that you’ll have to check back to read about!

As you can see, we had a lot of ups and tons of downs but have almost made it through the year. We are looking forward to additional blessing in 2011 and I hope that you will keep your eyes out for more writings to come. I promise, you won’t be disappointed…