Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Just a couple of sleepy, snuggly pals.
(Bella says excuse my eyes - in all the pictures they were either red and devilish - or half closed)

Monday, June 29, 2009

Back Yard Furniture

After all the hard work we've put in on the back yard... this weekend was time to reap the fruit of our labors! We went out and purchased some patio furniture to set up out there!

Cute little table and chairs with striped umbrella

Faux adirondack chairs... can you just see me sitting back there with a cocktail in one hand and a magazine in the other? All I need now is a little table to set aforementioned items on when I fall asleep...

From another angle. Note very ugly side of garage that needs major work (we can't do EVERYTHING all at once after all - but at least it has a cute little window planter!)

Cutesy patio. How cozy!

We ate our first meal out there on Saturday night with our good pals Seth and Kelly. We grilled up some brats and some chicken kebobs (with veggies from our local farmers market - yum!) and enjoyed some cool beverages to the tunes of Bob Marley and Dave Matthews.

It was, as they say, a perfect lazy summer evening.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Beauty & Destruction

I snapped a few photos on our evening walk with Bella tonight.

First, outside our house... it's blooming! My first dahlia!

And then we walked over to the old Iroquois School.

I don't know the stats on this building - only that there was a lot of controversy when the uninhabited school lot was purchased and readied for demo. Granted a new school will replace it, but this one was such a staple in the neighborhood, now reduced to rubble...

I don't know the age of it, but you can tell it's been around for a long time. Think of all the generations of students that walked its halls.

It really was a beautiful building. Travis and I were shocked to see how much had already been torn down and so quickly. Look at the beautiful brick and colored tile work around the arch...

There's something really tragic about seeing a school in this state. I feel like there is some kind of subliminal message to see a school torn to shreds - almost like it represents the state of our education system or something...

I heard they were preserving some of the pillars and tile work for the new school. I sure hope so.

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Anniversary Post

Here it is. The long-awaited first-anniversary post.

It feels like we JUST got married and that it is impossible for a year to have gone by already, and at the same time feels like we've been married FOREVER - in a good way!

I think that we really learned a lot about each other before we actually got married. By living together (and yes, I know that living together before marriage is a dicey subject for some) for more than a year before our wedding day - a lot of everyday "stuff" got worked out before the marriage started.

That's not to say that there are no kinks along the way - or that everything is always perfect. But we've laid a solid foundation for working things out as we go along. I'm proud of the constant evolution of our communication with one another. I'm sure that's something that we will always continue to place high priority on.

I think that we're lucky to have had great marriage role-models in our parents. Subconsciously more than anything, I think that they have played a large role in shaping our marriage.

I'm lucky to be married to my best friend. I feel proud of the strong marriage we're building - because we've both seen plenty of young couples fail before they even really got started. We love each other - and we know that in a lifetime, challenges will arise. Maybe it's because we're still "newlyweds" (or does that title leave after the first year?) but we have unfaltering optimism, and excitement about the rest of our lives together.

I feel so very blessed. Love you Trav, Happy Anniversary!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

How Does My Garden Grow?

It's been awhile since we've had a garden update! While the grass in the backyard is growing in rather nicely, I haven't had the time or energy (who wants to garden when it's 90+ degrees outside?!) to do much in the front.

I've resigned myself to the fact that most of what we do this year will be in pots. Once the weather cools down I'll get the front of the house weeded and set up beds, but they will likely stay empty until the Spring.

My tomato plants are doing really well on my enclosed front porch, so I've just left them there rather than putting them all the way outside and risking them dying. No tomatoes yet...

Travis' parents gave us these pots from their yard. They're a little dirty in this picture (we'd just watered) but they look really neat on the front steps.

My lilies are coming along nicely!

My Dahlias seem to be doing really well - especially this one!!! It's HUGE! I planted both these and the lilies from bulbs. This Dahlia is getting ready to flower and I can't WAIT! Every day when I come home from work I check to see if it's bloomed yet. It's going to be beautiful!

Here's my bulb garden. I have some calla lilies in there too that I thought were a lost cause but have just started to come up in the last week or so. So exciting!

And finally the beans. They're funny, those beans. Remember how strong they were? Well, they continued to be the best looking plants of the bunch. I transplated them into pots and they continued to do excellently on my front porch with the tomatoes. When I moved them outside, however, it all went downhill. They were on the back patio, and were just getting bleached out and yellow. I was watering them when they needed it, checking to make sure they weren't water logged, etc. etc. I couldn't figure out what was going on! I moved them to the front steps and they are doing a little better - this photo is actually their most flattering angle - don't be deceived!

And then just yesterday I found this...

A BEAN! Just one... but a bean all the same! Could this symbolize the bean plant comeback? Only time will tell... : )

Mackinac Island Trip - Final Installment


It was a beautiful sunny morning, so after breakfast we headed into town on a photo walk. By now I was more than a little obsessed with taking photos of lilacs... they were just so pretty!

And what trip to Mackinac Island is complete without loading up on fudge and goodies to take home, right? So we dropped some cash at Ryba's...

We came out of the store with this huge bag! I swear most of it was for gifts!

After our fudge excitement, it was time to board the ferry and head back to the real world. Of course I couldn't resist snapping a few last photos as we left the dock.

With everything going on in our lives, and the whirlwind year we've had, it was so nice to take a couple of days and do something for ourselves. Maybe it was the lack of cars, etc. but I had absolutely no problem kicking back and unwinding. It was a wonderful trip and the perfect way to celebrate our anniversary!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Mackinac Island Trip - Part 2

Note... I mentioned to Travis last night that I had posted to the blog some photos from Mackinac to which he replied "I know." When I replied "Oh, so do you read the blog every day?" his immediate response was "Well I check it, but there's never anything new!" Ouch. He's so right! I promise to do better moving forward! So without further ado...


To say that we woke up to a hazy morning was a huge understatement. We had planned on renting bikes and riding around the island - but it didn't seem worth it when we couldn't see much at all!

After breakfasting at the hotel the haze began to lift and we made our way about town exploring and learning more about the history of the island...

It wasn't long before we couldn't resist the temptation any longer and just HAD to make a fudge stop. We got just a little taste of maple-pecan from Ryba's. Yum!

Although the Mackinac Island lilac festival had been the week prior to our trip, the lilacs were still blooming and plentiful. The smell was just beautiful! (seeing them all made me think of you, Heather!)

After a lunch break we took a walk partway around the island to Arch Rock. It was a hefty climb (yikes - I need to get into shape!) but the views were well worth it!

Next up was some putt putt. We have a little bit of history with putt putt courses in Northern Michigan (Pirates Cove in Traverse City, anyone?!) and it turned out that our resort had a course. Actually, they stress that it is an "Executive Putting Green" and not a putt putt course. But you know, it's all the same to me! The course has a restaurant on site so we could grab drinks and take them with us as we putted. I channeled the Caribbean with a pina colada!

Travis won, which was okay, because the sun finally came out! After golfing we lounged in some Adirondack chairs and observed a wedding that was taking place - made me think of OUR beautiful outside wedding last year (and yes, I still have the sentimental one-year of marriage post heading your way soon...)

We headed back to our room to change, and then hoofed it back into town to catch a carriage shuttle to The Woods restaurant. Owned by the Grand Hotel, it's set in the middle of the island in the middle of... you guessed it... woods! It was a beautiful, romantic ambiance with great food!

I ordered whitefish AGAIN, which was ironic considering I'm not a huge fish fan in general. But it was delicious! Travis had spicy beef goulash which was also yummy. We ended the meal with a vanilla bean cheesecake with a raspberry mint sauce (so good!) then grabbed a carriage back to the hotel.

Day three on Mackinac Island coming tomorrow!