31 August 2011

Summertime and the livin is easy.

Next week mark's our one-year houseaversary. Unbelievable. It feels like just yesterday we were falling in love with our new little house, but life here is such a perfect fit that it feels like we've been here forever. I can hardly remember our house like this: one year ago.

And while we still likely have a handful of good beach days left, Labor Day is upon us, marking the official end of the summer season. I know I've been singing its praises for months now, but I can't tell you how much we've enjoyed our first summer here. Swimming, sanding, sunning, walking, biking, antiquing, drinks-with-friendsing, and, even, country clubbing. Until next year, summer, you'll never be far from my memory.

For nostalgia's sake, a few of my favorite summer scenes...

Beautiful aunties on the beach.

Beautiful toes with Melissa.

Lisa and Birgit visit for my bday. Birgit can't find a snowsuit, so towels suffice. ;)

Mr. Cool.

Birthday dingleberries with my princess.

Ferris wheel beach view.

My favorite onepointfive-year-old and my favorite five-year-old.

Baby's first beach.

World's cutest pooches.

 Havin' the most fun.

Beachin' with my sweetie.

Saturday Brad and I head even farther west for a road trip on the Pacific Northwest. Stay tuned for tales of the road (assuming we don't get eaten by a bear!).

03 August 2011

There will be weiners.

So far, 33 feels much like 32. So that's good. And I have lots of fond birthday memories to reflect upon, so that's good, too.

I spent my actual birthday much like I spent my 32nd birthday. Last year, though, I was just here visiting Brad, who was already living here. He had to work, so I walked around town, window shopped, and had lunch at Tosi's. This year, we live here (yeah!) and I rode my birthday gift into town...

World's sweetest Schwinn cruiser.

After a quick polish change and an iced coffee, I sat on the bluff for a bit while I waited for Brad to join me.

Party girl purple.

Just like last year, I decided on Tosi's for lunch. I went with a different sandwich, though - pesto and mozzarella, and a Dang! soda instead of a Coke.

After lunch, I had some work-from-home work to do, then Brad and I headed south to have my second annual birthday dinner at Brewster's in New Buffalo.

I went with the same cocktail, an Old Fashioned (like me, hehe), but chose the pasta dish (last year I chose the seafood dish) - homemade tortellini and roasted tomatoes in oil. MMM. Unfortunately, it was way too heavy on the garlic so I tried not to eat too much (still got a stomachache - boo!), but it was super tasty (and the leftovers still tasted delicious, cold even). Brad got spaghetti and meatballs. I was secretly jealous.


On the way home, I convinced Brad to pull in to Warren Dunes State Park so we could peek at the setting sun and the dunes. And then a vicious attack bee flew at me and stung me right on the knuckle! Ass bee.

Side note: I have only ever been stung by a bee twice in my life. BOTH times were on my birthday. Luckily, this time it wasn't on my butt.

The weekend eventually rolled in, and in with it, some lovely ladies from the east! Birgit and Lisa S. both came to visit, and to celebrate, we ordered La Perla take out. Another side note: I know I've been away most of the summer, and La Perla is a recent discovery. It's a Mexican grocery store in Benton Harbor, and they have a little food counter that makes the most amazing Mexican. It is GOOD stuff.

After some eating and walking to town and ice creaming and sunset viewing, we hit the hay, waking up bright and early Saturday for some donuts and birthday beach time. Emily and her beau, Paul, eventually joined us, and a good time was had by all.

THEN, it was time for weiners. Veggie and Vienna dogs for everyone! And inappropriate music, most likely played too loud when one has such young little neighbors.... "Chopsticks, only!"

So we could stop annoying the neighbors, we made a short trip over to the Boat House, another recent discovery. It's a dirty little bar in town, but it's in the marina so it's right on the water, which I love. So we had a seat outside, drank a few drinks, and got harassed by Party Marty, who nearly plowed his boat right through the dock.

Thanks to everyone who sent so much love my way. xo

27 July 2011

Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes.

Since I turned 32...

I left home for the first time.

I powered through world's worst summer (selling a house, buying a house, living apart from Brad).

I started eating peas.

I started drinking beer (a limited menu, but beer nonetheless).

I moved to the beach.

I bought a house I'm madly in love with.

I've remained in remission and have had little trouble with my guts.

I learned to live without Zingerman's.

I was reminded of how many super duper awesome friends I have.

I met a handful of super duper awesome new friends.

I said hello to a bundle of new babies.

I got to use my master's degree.

I celebrated my fifth year of marriage.

I ate at a Gordon Ramsay restaurant.

I (sort of) reentered the work force. I'm not entirely bitter about it.

I saw Scissor Sisters in concert and it was pretty dang sweet.

I got to introduce my family to my beach town and run around in the sand with my ever-growing nephew.

I bought my first automatic car, and welcomed power locks for the first time.

I celebrated my second year as a vegetarian.

I started riding my bike.

I went swimming with Heidi for the first time.

Not too shabby.

Here's looking at you, 33. You better be nice.

25 July 2011

Garden of eden.

I've grown basil for the past few years, but this year I decided it was finally time to try my hand at actual food. Earlier this spring, Hillary, Ceile, and I hit the Sawyer Garden Center, and we all loaded up on lots of goodies. I've been very patiently waiting, and things are finally starting to sprout. So far, I haven't killed anything. I may have veggies just yet!

Big Boy tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, red peppers; on the railing, banana peppers, basil, and mint.

How cute are these guys?

Hillary and I went back to Sawyer two weeks ago, a way to escape the heat, and I picked up these banana peppers for $0.39! That may be the score of the year. And they are the cutest ever.

I also had a little (well, huge) interloper on the deck last week, trying to get at my goodies...

Female stag beetle. Huge female stag beetle.

And one last quick image before I head off to watch Hoarders... World's prettiest fruit.

Pink currants! They look like little glass balls. And they were sweet and tasty, too.

14 July 2011

Fun in the sun.

It took a screwed-up Firefox and me thinking my blog got deleted for me to log in for the first time in almost two months. Normally I tend to slip away from blogging when times are tough, but this time I swear that's not the case.

I just really love my town. And we're really trying to make the very most of our first summer here. At the beach. In town. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world.

So what have I been doing, you might be wondering... ?? (Or maybe not! Ha!)

Going to Chicago.

Having awesome visitors.

Aunt Sandy from WV and cousin Alex and Aunt Karen from CA.

Birgy turns 30. I find this amusing.

Going to the beach.

Watching amazing sunsets and fireworks on the beach.

4th of July on the Bluff w/ Chris & Ceile.

Riding my bike. (Yes, you heard that right.) Walking (or biking) to town. Attending art fairs and watching fireworks. Going to the farmers market and getting iced lattes. Having romantic sushi picnics on the bluff.

Hanging out with my lovely St. Joe ladies.

Golfing with Bradford at the 'club. I even have golf clubs (purple!) and golf shoes (with rhinestones).

Oh yeah, and my in-laws moved in across the street.

26 May 2011

Get off my yard, sonny.

Georgie says, "Suck it, old yard!"

This picture is from last fall (spring hasn't sprung quite as fully just yet!), but it illustrates why exactly we needed to go and order ourselves an instalawn...


So yesterday, despite the monsoon we were having here, the guys showed up and put in a whole new yard for us. And by the time I got home from work, it cleared up and we could actually stand back and enjoy the beauty. Sigh.

It looks like a furry Fraggle!

We can't walk on it just yet, and we definitely can't let the dogs loose on it (so it's back to the old leash/front yard/walk routine), but in a few weeks we can all roll around and revel in it.

In other new-around-here news, we FINALLY painted the LAST room in the house (and the second to last hallway left to do), the sun porch. Nothing drastic, but we went from dirty country yellow to fresh pale yellow (the same yellow we painted the kitchen).

Old. New.

It just looks that much nicer, feels that much better, and makes that much more sense with the rest of the house. (We also painted the downstairs hallway that leads to the two spare bedrooms and the guest bathroom.) All we have left to do is the staircase that leads upstairs. Eventually... For now, we will just enjoy our even brighter, beautifuller sun porch.

Don't you want to come lounge here with us?

20 May 2011

Boys and beaches and ladies and balls.

I guess spring springing (then unspringing and being all winter-like again) has really kept me occupied. But I'm here. Still good. Loving my house more and more every day, and loving living in such a lovely little town, eagerly anticipating warm-weather beaching. Needless to say, the past few weeks have passed pretty quickly, with visitors, trips to the garden center, and general enjoying-being-outside-ness.

Speaking of, I'm madly in love with my front porch. It faces due west, so it's brightly lit come late afternoon and it stays lit until the sun sets behind the house across the street (between 8:30 and 9 right now). I can sit on my chair, drink a glass of wine, and watch the town go by. It's also deeply set, so as long as there aren't hurricane-force winds, you can sit and watch a good thunderstorm there, too.

I say this all today, the first sunny and warm(ish) day after a week of cold nonsense (which followed a week of sun and heat). Brad's out golfing, so I've spent the evening reading and drinking out front, only taking a brief break for a delightfully French-inspired meal. Scrambled eggs, toast, sardines, asparagus, and, of course, wine. It was heavenly.

Here are some sights from recent goings ons...

My family visited for Mother's Day. Little man loves the beach.

...and smearing dandelions at parades.

Some special ladies visited. And we harassed the wine pourer guy.

The ladies loved the balls on the Bluff.

I bought a bat plant to attract hummingbirds. Cutest ever.

I also planted tomatoes and peppers. Fingers crossed.

And I got to "enjoy" some Red Lobster with my family during a quick trip home.

What more can a girl ask for?

27 April 2011

Booky wooks.

The spring babies have made a first appearance. A huge congrats to Liz, Aaron, and Sam on the newest edition to their family. Welcome, William! Can't wait to meet you! Still to come, Tabi, Marla, Jess, and Tracy. So many little ones joining the world in the near future. You know what that means... Baby knits! :)

In other news... an ode to the public library. Obviously, the St. Joe library has been at the center of my social life here. Book club (and hence all my friends), trivia, Iron Chef. But I had yet to really do a good library browse. We had weird weather today. It rained the majority of the day, and when I left work, the ground was warmer than the air, so there was steam rising everywhere like crazy (it was very The Fog). I was almost home when I decided I wanted to see how the steam was affecting the lake, so I zipped right. Then saw the library and thought, hey, I should go in there. And zipped left. And in I went.

Right in the entrance, they had a Michigan books display set up. And they were all shiny new hardcover books, for which I am a total sucker. First I grabbed a fiction novel about a couple in the 1940s. Then a bright red cover caught my eye. I picked it up and... it's a book written by the niece of one of the assumed victims of John Norman Collins (The Michigan Murders). Turns out, she was killed by someone else, and the book is about all of it. Woot!

Then I wandered over to the regular fiction section to grab the book I technically came in to get. Knit Two, a slightly chick litty sequel (to The Friday Night Knitting Club). Not usually my thing, but I have to confess the series has me hooked. Then that reminded me... I need a knitting project! So I wandered off to the knitting section, where I found a knitting book co-written by... Tracy Ullman! Whaaa?? I don't know that it'll yield any me-friendly patterns, but I figure it's at least worth a look.

Needless to say, I heart the library.

(...and the librarians are pretty sweet, too. Shout out to Alicia and Andrea!)

George and Heidi, on the other hand, are always suspicious of library books.

 Ok, enough chitty chatty. Time to pour over my new books.

22 April 2011

Pretty in purple.

We've never been big on Easter. We typically forget about it until it's upon us, and we haven't done much of anything in years. But it's still fun to get in the spirit of spring and bunnies and chickies and pastels. And, of course, Cadbury eggs!!

Easter nearly slipped by me before I could purchase the requisite one egg for the year. I was in line buying hot dog buns yesterday when the woman behind me started clucking like the Cadbury bunny. I looked down and the highly desirable eggs were right there. I thanked her for reminding me and grabbed two.

Because of the holiday, Hillary was off work today, and somehow I convinced her to go see Scream 4 with me (thanks for being a trooper!). It was super fun, and since it was filmed in Ann Arbor, it felt like a little visit home. Afterward, we went for pre-Easter mani-pedis. $35. Seriously! Beautifying yourself in St. Joe is quite reasonable. Hillary went with powder blue, I went with a pastel purple.

I will be perfectly matchy with my new purple shawl. That I am wearing to Sunday brunch. With the in-laws, who arrive tomorrow.

For now, I am enjoying a delicious bottle of local wine. First Kiss, from Founder's. It is a sweet dessert wine, infused with raspberry and chocolate. And it is pure heaven. Swoon.