Thursday, October 4, 2012

Coming Soon...

Big changes are coming soon. Its hard to believe but a five year old will be part of this house next week.  And just a couple of months after that we will declare victory on making it through the first year of having two kids, when Sam turns one on December 1st.  Sam really has made this year easy.  Hopefully his laid back attitude now is indicative of the little boy that he will grow into.  This has been a big year for us in a lot of ways.  The biggest change has been me leaving my job to stay at home with the kids.  I feel blessed to be able to do this even if it is only for a couple of years. Mac started Pre-K in August.  He also started Karate where he is learning self-control, discipline and respect (please let it stick).

We also changed schools this year to a small pre-school at our church.  I wanted Mac to have a chance to go to school with the children of my closest friends.  


Also I love that it gets out at 1:00 each day.  Next year he will be in Kindergarten, so this is my last chance for that extra time with him.  I am really enjoying time with Sam while Mac is at school.  I missed out on this before.  It really is nice to not miss out on it this time.  It is such a brief moment in time.  These are the sweetest days.



Friday, February 3, 2012

Oh Baby!

On December 1, 2011 we were blessed with our second little boy, Samuel Key Dickinson. He was 6lbs 5ozs and 19.5 inches long. It was very different going to the hospital knowing that I was going to have a c-section rather than the emergency c-section that I had last time. This time I got to be awake during the surgery to hear him cry when he first came out. It was such an amazing moment. I was so happy that Jay was able to be in the room with me. He had to leave the room when we had Mac when they realized that my spinal was not working and decided to use general anesthesia. Having Sam was the perfect end to what has been a very eventful year.



Sunday, January 29, 2012

What a Difference a Year Can Make...

My poor neglected blog is behind on what has happened in our lives this past year. Once you get out of the habit of blogging it gets harder and harder to get back into it. This year has been a big one. I found a Crohn's treatment that works, Mac got tubes again, I had another surgery, we found out that we were expecting our second little boy, we decided to add onto our house to make room for our growing family, we sold our lake house in Clemson, Samuel Key Dickinson was born, and I took another job. Whew. So once you miss blogging about one it just got harder to catch up. So we will just hit the highlights...baby and house. House in this post and baby in a later post.

Our house was built in 1940 and we have loved it from the day we moved in. It has lots of charm, which for years made up for the lack of closets and tiny bathrooms. Until we found out about baby two and realized we were about to explode out of our home. Not to mention it was getting old sharing a bathroom with a potty training three year old (who is now a big potty trained four year old). After looking at 5,000 houses within one square mile of our house, we finally decided to add on to what we already had. This also involved Jay driving me insane with spread sheets and over analysis of the square root of nothing. Finally I told Jay that moving during pregnancy or with a newborn causes postpartum depression, and he realized that adding on was the best of our bad decisions. The best decision was to do nothing, but I was going go crazy or donate all of our belonging if that happened. I was starting to feel like a hoarder in our own home. We ended making our bedroom bigger by ripping out two small closets and moving a door way. This made our bedroom four feet longer. It feels so much bigger. We then went out the side wall and added 270 square feet of closets and the master bath that we did not have before. This allowed us to free up two other closets in our house in other bedrooms. We are so happy with our decision. We actually might have made a different decision had we had any idea that we would end up selling the lake house that had been on the market for two years in the final hours of our renovation. I think that it worked out for the best though. It was the cheapest decision that we could have made. On to the pictures.

Before:
This was our small cramped room. The only thing that you cannot see is our window on the left. There was no master bath. Just a bath right outside in the hallway. We left that alone so that it would be available for guests.

After:

This is looking in from the same door only now the room is four feet wider. Huge difference in space. We were finally able to take our bed off of the window wall. The TV is where the other window used to be.


Looking into the hallway where there are closets on either side. Huge closets. I love it. There is another dresser on the wall to left that you cannot see.

I ended up changing the bedding. The old bedding is now in the suite that we stay in my Mom's house. It was in such good shape. I am glad that it found a new home.

And here is the bathroom that I have wanted since we moved in here.

And the shower that I no longer share with a preschooler. It was so worth the wait.


Did I mention that I was pregnant during this? Here I am 33 weeks pregnant at the end of the construction. I must be crazy. We gutted and renovated the hallway bath during my first pregnancy. CRAZY I tell you.

Mac's New Big Boy Room:



Everyone needs a pirate tent in their room. Can I just tell you that pirates and dinosaurs are huge right now with our little guy? If he could turn into Dino Dan or run away on a pirate ship, he would.


The Nursery with a few Updates:



We had all of the furniture when this was Mac's room. The giraffe was made by friend at work. She made it out of household products and paper mache. It is very green, which is pretty neat. We added drapes and few extra wall hangings. My Mom rearranged the furniture into the new configuration, which I like so much better than the old way. She moved all of the furniture by her self since she is Superwoman.

Check back soon for a baby post!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Oh Napa

When can I go back? Last year Jay I decided to start a tradition of going on trip in January for my birthday rather than do a lot of gift for Christmas and birthday. I know you might be feeling sorry for me. Thinking "Oh that poor January birthday girl got a combined Christmas birthday gift." Well don't feel sorry for me--I went to Napa. And of course we loved it! Three weeks of rainy and cold Napa winter weather ended the week we were there. We had sunny skies and temperatures all the way into the lower seventies. It was amazing. My friend Colleen and her friend Kate had many helpful tips, which I heavily relied. Thank goodness, because everything was perfect!

So we flew in through San Francisco and then rented a car at the airport. They gave a free upgrade to a premium car--score! Jay had one client meeting before our trip really started, so we drove to the client's house in Berkley. I then proceeded to drive down hills that scared me to try to find coffee while Jay did his finance genius stuff. And I found Philz Coffee where they laughed when I asked for a latte. Apparently this was a place where they brewed each cup when ordered. The barista fixed me up with some ambrosia coffee that was delightful.

Once Jay was done with his meeting we headed off to Napa with our trusty GPS that for once did not let us down. Thank goodness I finally updated the maps. We arrived at the Cottages of Napa Valley, which was everything that we hoped that it would be. I love the heated tile floors in the bathroom and the fireplace operated by thermostat. It was so cozy and perfect. My favorite perk was the breakfast from Buchon Bakery delivered to our door each day...delicious.

While we were there we ate at three restaurants for dinner. We picked all of these based off of recommendations from friends and the wine client that we visited. We went to Mustards Grill, Celadon, and Tra Vigne. All three were amazing. I really could not pick a favorite. Each had wonderful food, ambiance, service, and wine list. You really could not ask for anything more.

Our first full day in Napa we started with a tour of Buehler Vineyards, which is a smaller winery in the hills of St. Helena. John Buehler and his dogs toured us around the vineyard. This was a such a great way to start the trip. We were the only one there and really got to see how a small winery worked. I loved the Estate Chardonnay here and was amazed by what a good value it was.

In front of the gate to Buehler

View from the hill at the highest point of Buehler

In front of Cabernet vines

At the recommendation of John Buehler, we headed of to the parking lot of Flora Springs Winery to dine at Mark's the Spot Truck. We dined on sliders in the beautiful outdoor courtyard at Flora Springs Winery, which we then of course followed up with a tasting. We actually had the Flora Springs Chardonnay at dinner the night before and loved it. They also has a wine called Trilogy that I will be serving with a beef tenderloin sometime in the near future. Flora Springs is a wonderful place to stop for lunch even if it is not on Friday when Mark's truck is there. They have a lovely courtyard picnic area that you can use for lunch as long as you purchase one tasting.



Courtyard at Flora Spings

We finished off the afternoon with tastings at Cakebread, Turnbull, and Beau Vigne that day. Going during the off season had a lot benefits. We were had wonderful service at each winery that we went to and the servers had plenty of time to spend with us. The disadvantage was not being there during the growing season, but the scenery was still beautiful. Every wine that we had wonderful.

The following day we started off at Duckhorn Winery. This was a beautiful way to start off the day. We shared a tasting on the porch over looking the winery. They had some wonderful merlots and cabernets. Our server looked like Justin Bieber so that was kind of fun. Of course Jay had no idea who Justin Bieber and just kept asking me why our server had such long bangs.

The porch at Duckhorn

After lunch at Rutherford Grill, we went to ZD Winery. This was another tour that had been set up for us. Emily from ZD guided us through their wine library, bottling room and through the barrel room. We were lucky enough to do some barrel tasting of the estate pinot noir that will be released this Spring...loved it. Here we are in the barrel room.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wordless Wednesday



Monday, January 17, 2011

Another year

Well its a new year and hopefully a great one. This weekend I am going to be another year older. Jay and I are going to do something special to celebrate this weekend and then I will celebrate with friends next weekend. Last year I was really sick on my birthday. I actually had my blood transfusion one week after my birthday dinner with my girlfriends. This year has started off so much better. My scan results came back clean with no signs of active disease. That means my medicine is working! Here is to another year and being 33...gasp.


Monday, December 20, 2010

Begin the Begin

And this year should be another chance to begin. It has been a long year. A year that a times has felt like an up hill battle. As I sat in my 20th doctor visit of the year, and my 10th visit to St. Francis hospital today, I reflected on the fact that I had made it back to the beginning. I felt good today when I woke up. DAMN good! Cinnamon Dolce Latte good! And that has not happened for too long. It has been a year of been too sick, too depressed, and too pissed at life to feel the way I should. But for today I feel like I am back. For the past two months, I have felt like I am back. I have really had to take a step back from my life this year, but in returned I gained a lot. I grew in my faith, I was reminded of how amazing my husband is, and my relationship with Mac has blossomed. There are a lot of things that people did not see when I was sick, because they did not live with me. Mac and Jay saw them though. Jay saw me not being able to get out of bed at least once a week, because I was in too much pain (usually a Saturday because I would literally drag myself to work). Mac would see me not able to do simple things like taking him to the park. People did not see that I only ate rice for every meal and had to grill waiters on every aspect of how something was prepared. I would go to lunch meetings and pretend to eat. I love to eat and I had to basically stop eating. Today the doctor feels like I am in remission. I go for a CT scan next week to confirm this. I stopped my chemotherapy drug (Imurran) four weeks ago. Remicade is working and I will be going to treatment every eight weeks. That treatment day is like a little vacation. I go in, I lay back in my hospital recliner with my blanket from the heated drawer, and I sleep thanks to the benadryl pre-drugs. It is so nice being off the chemotherapy medicine. My hair has stopped falling out and I am back to remembering what my friends ate or wore ten years ago on a Friday. So here is to feeling good and cross our fingers for it to keep on keeping on.