Crafts ~ Recipes ~ Our New House ~ Book Reviews

May 19, 2014

I became a mother and our whole world changed. Cliché? Maybe, maybe just honest. When I was pregnant with our first child, we talked about how things would change when he was born, but I had no idea that our world would be flipped completely upside down upon his arrival.
Our son was born healthy and howling 5 ½ weeks early. We were not prepared at that point, mentally or materially, for his arrival. We figured it out fast. He spent ten days in the NICU and we brought him home at 36 weeks gestation. Before we even left the hospital I had begun to worry about going back to work.
I like my job. It pays well, I enjoy the people I work with, and it is interesting. I’m not sure what more I could ask for as an employee. There are things that are not so great, but I’m guessing that’s the case everywhere. I was able to use 6 weeks of sick leave post birth and 4 weeks of accrued vacation leave. I took the remaining 2 weeks unpaid. I broke up my leave as 8 weeks full time and 10 weeks part time. For us, looking back, it was a good decision.  My husband went back to work after two weeks and then took part time leave when I started back. All and all we were able to hold off on needing childcare until he was almost five months old.
That brings us to right now. I am back to work full time. I am successful, I have a rewarding job and a happy baby.  On the surface I would like to think that we look like we have adjusted well to this parenting thing. The reality is I am consumed with guilt over both taking him to a babysitter every day from now until he hits kindergarten and guilt over the fact that I want to quit my job. I want to work substantially less and spend more time with him. I want to raise my child myself. How can I quit my hard earned well paid job that allows my family to have extras and save money to put us in a much tighter financial situation? Is that selfish? Why should I get the opportunity and not my husband? Will I ever get back into my field? Make the same amount of money? Not likely.
How does one weigh the pros and cons of this when the pro is so much more important and positive than any con, but the cons will stick around and eat at you forever. I don’t think you can put a price tag on the time spent with your child when they are growing up and everyday I think about the fact that it is one more day I am missing with him. I can’t ever get them back.
How can we as parents expect to raise good children if we only see them for two hours each night and an hour each morning? I can see now why parents have a hard time saying no to their kids. When you only see them a couple hours each day, you don’t want to deal with cranky, angry children. It’s easier to pacify them with what they want so you can continue to like each other and not feel like you spend all your time together arguing. I don’t want that for my son.

Conclusion: we as a family know what we would like to see happen in our lives. Both of us would like to work less and spend more time guiding and raising our son. We would like to maintain our incomes if possible, if not, we need to supplement somehow. The problem lies in that we just don’t know how to get from here, successful, educated career professionals, to parents. At present, it’s a vicious cycle of talk and not act. Eventually, hopefully sooner rather than later, we are going to need to make the tough decisions. By putting our son first, I’m hoping that we can make the right decisions for our family. 

March 7, 2013

My Pinterest Obsession

I am at the point in the house building process where I just want to start packing up my current house. Anything that we don’t use everyday, I have the urge to box it up and get it out. My husband has pointed out to me more than once when I have brought this up, that we don’t even know that we will for sure be building this spring. Phsshhh…details.

I am stalled out creatively at this point because I don’t want to make any updates to our current house, knowing that we are leaving at some point in the near future. So, what have I done about this? I’ve turned to many blogs and Pinterest for many ideas for the new house. So many ideas, that I am going to need to go back and organize my pinboards or I won’t even know what I have.

So, if you know of anyone who has great pinboards for new home construction, or just fun boards you like to follow, let me know. I’d love to check them out. And if you would like a window into my style, go ahead and follow one of my boards…I’ve linked to them below.

Hope you are having a great week so far, happy pinning!

March 4, 2013

Monday Morning Mission

Monday, Monday….Is it one of those days?

Not for me. Not today. I am so ready for sunshine and warmer weather. Although, I must say, this has been one of my favorite Wisconsin winters. I love snow and we have had it in abundance.

Anyway, today my project is to head over to one of our local flooring outlets, Macco’s, and get a bid on flooring for our new place. I am so torn over flooring.

Doug and I both agree on one thing, no carpeting. Between his boots and the dogs, we are not carpet people. That leaves us with several options. So far, from everything I have researched, I have narrowed it down to this:

-        Tile through the whole house

-        High end wood laminate in the main living areas and master bedroom, tile in the bathrooms and mud room.

-        Laminate tile (I checked this out at Macco’s and there were some pieces that I really liked)

-        Bamboo or hardwood ( I am trying to stay away from these as we are hard on floors and the upkeep on these might be pretty ridiculous)

-         Cork ( I believe that cork is too soft for our household)


I would love to hear some opinions/horror stories/suggestions on this. Anyone put in all tile and later hated it? Is hardwood worth the upkeep? I’ve sanded and redone a floor once, I don’t know that I ever want to do that again…..

March 2, 2013

Puppy Love

My poor puppy. He cut his foot on some serious ice two weeks ago and it is still not healed enough for him to be able to play outside. He’s going a little stir crazy.

We got rain two weeks ago on top of the snow and it made a thick crust. Doug took both dogs out to cut firewood with him and somehow in the course of the day Griffin, our shorthair, cut his foot. It was bad, like, you could see inside it bad. But, it was also very clean and being that it was a Saturday night, I decided to clean it up and bandage it at home. I used antibacterial ointment and gauze and wrapped him up. Thankfully, he is has not chewed on it or tried to remove the bandage.

Also thankfully, it has remained infection free and so we have not had to take him in to our vet. It is healing so slowly and he is going absolutely stir crazy.  I have never had to play doctor to a deep cut like this before and it makes me nervous, but I’ve been changing the bandage every night and making sure it isn’t swollen or hot, so I think he’ll be okay. Has anyone else ever dealt with this? Anyone else have dogs that they worry so much about?

Other than that, this is a busy weekend, I get to go up to see my sisters and my nieces and nephew and Doug gets to go fishing. It’s March 1st people, here in the northwoods we are on the downhill slide to spring!

March 1, 2013

First of all, let me apologize. I disappeared. I’m sorry. It happens. Good news is, I’m back! J

For how long, I don’t know, we’ll see.

Life, as I know it, is crazy right now. Currently, my husband and I are waiting to see if our house sells. We have a unique situation going on here right now. When we bought our house in 2009, we bought it quickly, with the specific purposes of
1. Getting the homebuyer’s tax credit, and
2. Living here until and making enough improvements to resell it when we are ready to build.

Good news, we are ready to build!
Bad news, the house must sell for us to be able to build this year. If not, we’ll have to wait another year to do it.

Good news, we have a potential buyer.
Bad news, the buyer is our neighbor, who owns a butcher shop and wants to put up a store front. The tricky part is, he has to present a business plan to his bank for the purchase of the house  (and the lot, which is what he really wants) and the construction of the business. Translation, we are all in a waiting game.

So, where are we in the construction process?

Well, we spent all fall developing a plan that we both really love. It’s very non traditional, but for our style of living, it’s extremely functional. Now that we have a finalized blueprint, I am so antsy to get started on it.

Even though we have a finalized plan, there are still plenty of things we need to figure out, and plenty of things that we disagree on. For example, I would prefer the house be set further off the driveway, Doug, on the other hand, thinks he wants to keep it closer to the driveway. This is just one of the many disagreements we have, don’t worry, I’ll keep you posted as we go.

If, theoretically, everything come together here in the next month, we will start digging sometime in May. Because of the lay of the land, we will be digging a pond so that we have enough fill. I am excited about the pond for many reasons, I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

I am also excited to keep you guys in the loop through the blog. I’m looking forward to many updates in the coming months and I am so glad I can get your opinions on things. Stop by and check out our progress and any other goings on that we may have.

Have a great Monday!


February 23, 2012

Random Photo of the Week, 2

Another random animal photo.


1. Obviously, Griffin,the German Shorthair, is just being nice to Cat (yes, his name is Cat). Perhaps Cat was having a bad day.

2. Cat is loving this extra attention. Although I don’t think he could get away if he wanted to.

3. That blanket was probably crocheted in 1990. Thanks Grandma, Griffin loves it.

February 21, 2012

What to do tonight ? Make Apple Dumplings of Course....

I like to experiment. With recipes. I will try just about anything I have at least half the ingredients for. Tonight I had a bag of apples sitting on my counter....meant to bait a porcupine, but that is another story for another time. If you ever have a snoring porcupine take up residence under your hunting shack, just email me, I've already done the research for you.

Anyway...Tonight I made Apple Dumplings from a random recipe I found. It required the peeling and coring of 6 medium apples,

Then I made a basic pastry crust, wrapped the apples, and put them in a too big pan. Note: if you are going to attempt to recreate these, you must must must must must use an 9x9 pan. Not a 9x13. The smaller pan will keep the juice juicy. Or something.

Don't be scared of the pastry dough was very easy. Some good parchment paper will help as well. This was the finished product after 35 minutes in the oven at 400*. In the future, I will cover these for the first 20 minutes. Also, I will cook them in a smaller pan to enable the juice to remain juicy. Juicy enough or not, they were awesome and even better with ice cream.

Here is the recipe, complete with my after cooking experience modifications.


2 cups flour
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup milk

Cut together in a mixing bowl until it forms a soft ball. Place 1/2 the ball on a large square of parchment paper, roll out flat, cut each half of the dough into three equal sized squares. 

Peel and core 6 medium apples. Wrap in dough, pinch dough together at the top. Place apples in 9x9 pan. Preheat oven to 450*.

3/4 cup honey
3 TBSP butter
1 TBSP shortening
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup brown sugar

Mix all ingredients in a glass bowl. Melt in microwave, stir well. Pour over top of apples. Cover apple pan in tinfoil, do not seal edges of foil. Bake for 20 minutes. Uncover. Bake remaining 15 minutes. Devour.

Linked with : A Bowl Full of Lemons,