2018 To Do List

The results are in for 2017’s To Do List. I wasn’t able to accomplish everything, but overall I think it was a pretty productive year, especially considering how busy work was this past year.

2017 Goals/To Do List:


  • Save up for an SUV or all wheel drive vehicle (used, preferably something that can handle all the rough weather we get up here)  I got my super cute RAV4. I LOVE it! 
  • Save for a family trip, ideally to the Gorge  We didn’t go to the Gorge, but our family trip to Newport was amazing.
  • Start contributing to our IRA accounts again

Personal Growth:

  • Get the lead promotion this summer when my manager retires
  • Get Project + Certification
  • Go to the Gym at least 2x per week, walk the dog, wrestle Piglet, or do a workout video on other days. Goal is to lose 10 pounds, but really just get back to feeling fit. (I did work out at least 2x per week, but I also ate a ton of junk at work. I didn’t gain too much, but I definitely didn’t lose any weight.)

Travel and Family Adventures:

  • Visit the Gorge
  • Take a family trip, just the three of us, not to see family, but just for us We went to Newport, and it was such a fun weekend. I’m realizing I never blogged about it, which is super sad. We went to the aquarium, the beach, and just relaxed together.
  • Visit our California family this summer
  • Hike Silver Falls

Home DIY & Crafts:

  • Build shed
  • Build porch swing  I made my own bench instead 
  • Build built in dressers or storage in master.  I still really want to do this!
  • Landscape the yard
  • Plant a garden

Here’s my list for the new year.

2018 Goals/To Do List:


  • Save up for a trip to Hawaii and set a date to go.
  • Pay down car loan.
  • Start investing for Piglet.

Personal Growth:

  • Take part in a 30 day fitness challenge
    • Goal is to get back to Driver’s License weight by the end of the new year
  • Learn how to play at least one song on the keyboard
    • Ideally take a course someday to learn more, but I’ll be happy if I can just learn one for now.
  • Take a leadership training course

Travel and Family Adventures:

  • Visit our California family/friends
  • Go on a trip to the snow
  • Go camping with friends
  • Visit the Gorge (someday we will finally do this)
  • Go on a family train ride
  • Take a trip to Hawaii

Home DIY & Crafts:

  • Build built in dressers or storage in master
  • Build a printer cover
  • Night stand for guest room or filing cabinet cover
  • Paint the exterior of the house
  • Finish mixbook for 2017, update the 2018 book regularly.

Couples Counseling

Carrie: [about therapists] First they want you to come there two times a week, then three times a week, and eventually you’re starting every sentence with ‘my therapist says… ‘

Miranda: ” My therapist says that’s a very common fear.” -Sex and the City

Match and I have started couples counseling. I’m actually super excited about this, as we have started this proactively, as a way to keep a healthy relationship. Match has always struggled with depression, and it has definitely affected our relationship. When he’s feeling good, our relationship is so strong, and I have zero complaints. He’s an amazing father, wonderful husband and partner. He cooks, cleans and helps out with all household duties with minimal complaint.

But then there are the down days. He loses his temper. He never hits, but he has thrown things (again never at either of us) and overall just no fun to be around. He hates that he gets this way, and the good news is, he sees it. I’m not perfect by any stretch. I lose my temper right back, I swear like a sailor when I’m angry at him, and then I nag him incessantly. What’s wrong, just snap out of it, etc. All the while in no way helping someone who cannot “snap out of it” and isn’t trying to be this way.

Match was always against counseling, instead just trying to pull himself out if it, and seeking ways to improve his mood. He goes to the gym, he takes St. John’s Wart, and other homeopathic supplements. I’ve also tried to make a conscious effort to ignore the storm cloud moods. I try not to nag, and while I do make sure he pulls his weight around the house, I try not to force my cheerfulness on him. These do seem to help, but I think the issue is bigger than either of us.

Match finally opened up to me and said he’s tired of feeling sad, and he doesn’t want to be a bad example to Piglet. He wants to not be so quick to anger, and he wants to be sure we’re solid as a couple. So we found a counselor, and we’ve started some talk therapy. So far we’ve only had one session, but I’m optimistic. I am so grateful that Match is willing to work on issues, because I know most men just shut down emotionally. I’m so glad that he’s ready to make changes, and I’m hopeful he can get to a place where he can conquer his depression, rather than just putting on a show for mine and Piglet’s benefit. Besides Piglet, he is the most important person in my life, and I just want to see him happy. It’s my default setting, and I want it to be his too.

How about you dear readers? Any of you go through couples or even individual counseling? I did individual counseling in college for awhile, and I found it pretty helpful. This is my first experience going as a couple. I think it’s long overdue, especially with all we went through with losing Roo. I hope we can both gain wisdom from this experience, and most of all I hope it brings us even closer.

Happy New Year, 2018!

Happy New Year, friends! Ringing in this year will mark my 10th year of blogging. I cannot believe it’s been almost an entire decade! I’m so grateful for the friendships I have made, and for this time capsule of sorts. It’s fun to look back on previous years and see all that has happened.

To celebrate New Year’s Eve, my dear friend L and I went out for drinks, and Match opted to stay in and have a quiet evening for himself. We started the night off with games with Match and Piglet. We played Hungry Hungry Hippos, Mouse Trap and a memory game with playing cards. Piglet was all hyped up and crazy excited to have his “Auntie Weirdo” over.

Match made us a nice dinner, and we relaxed a bit, and then headed out. It was a pretty mellow night, with some fun people watching.


I ran into a friend I made through work, whom I would love to spend more time with. Her husband was the one who got Match his job closer to home. I hope we get to see more of them in the New Year.


We celebrated New Year’s Day with a family hike at a park near our house. We are so lucky to live in an area with beautiful parks like this right in our home town.

We talked about our New Year’s Resolutions as a family, and what we plan to accomplish.

Piglet’s resolutions are:

  1. To visit someone on a trip
  2. To whine less
  3. To work on not interrupting

Match’s resolutions are:

  1. To swear less
  2. To work on his temper and to be happier

My resolutions are:

  1. To get back to my driver’s license weight
  2. To nag less
  3. To take a fun family trip

I’m also working on updating my 2018 to do list. Looking back at 2017’s list, we actually accomplished quite a lot this year. It was a good year fr us in many ways, but also some sad moments. We said goodbye to our sweet Monkey pup. We also dealt with the Sonoma county fires and the emotional upsets for so many dear to us. But we also welcomed our new baby niece into the world. Match and I are both doing well in our careers. Piglet is growing and becoming this wonderful little person that we love spending time with.

We were very busy, and I hope we can reduce some of that this year, though it feels like as Piglet gets older, the busier we become. We’ve been in our home over a year now, and we’ve accomplished so many DIY projects. The house feels almost finished, and we don’t have any huge projects looming over our heads. I hope that means this year will be the year of travel and exploration, with our relaxing and cozy home base to return to.

Happy New Year to you all. How did you ring in the New Year?



Christmas ’17

Merry Christmas, everyone! How was your Christmas? We had our second Christmas at our home, and also the second that we haven’t spent it with family. It was just a quiet Christmas at home with our little family of 3.

Christmas weekend started off with me having Friday off from work. Piglet and I spent the day relaxing. We had Kempo in the morning, then we baked up a bunch of cookies all day. We had Happy Hour with friends in the afternoon.

Saturday morning was Piglet’s belt test for Kempo. He has been doing an amazing job at Kempo, and shown a lot of focus for a 4 year old. There are times where he goofs off in class and it makes us cringe as parents, but most of the time he does great. The belt test he just blew us away with his focus. 1 whole hour of following directions, having to stay quiet and calm, and having to remember all the moves. I was practically in tears when the belt ceremony came. He was so proud of himself, and us of him!

We celebrated with a sushi dinner. That boy loves his sushi!

Christmas eve we opened presents with Grandy and Grumps over Skype. We spent the rest of the day playing with the games they bought us. We also made sure to leave out cookies and hot cocoa for Santa.

The anticipated Christmas morning finally arrived, and Piglet was once again so cute. He was such a good boy about not waking up too early. He has this habit of coming into our room around 5ish in the morning to cuddle. Then he usually wiggles around until we give up and wake up around 6. This Christmas, he snuggled up with us, and tried to sleep in, until I had mercy on him and woke up at 7:30. I managed to scurry out there first and make sure the lights were on and the fire was lit. It all looked so magical.

Santa brought Piglet a couple of great presents, including Legos that he desperately wanted. Santa also made sure to make our choo choo loving boy his very own Train lego.

Match outdid himself and genuinely surprised me this Christmas. Tickets to a comedy show in Portland! I have been begging him to go to stand up comedy with me for almost a decade, and he finally did it! I was floored. I know this photo looks staged, but Match snapped it right when I opened his card.

We had our traditional chocolate croissants for breakfast, and then spent a lazy morning hanging around the house. In the afternoon, we had our neighbor friends over for a playdate. They’re a wonderful family with two of the sweetest little girls. Piglet was so happy to hang out with friends after being out of daycare for an extended weekend.

Merry Christmas from our home to yours. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas with your families and friends.

A Garage May Not Sound Luxurious, But…

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When someone says the word garage, it doesn’t really provoke excitement, does it? After all, it tends to be a space whereby we simply throw in the things we don’t use a lot. However, while a garage may not sound luxurious, it can do wonders for your home. This is in terms of functionality, as well as boosting the value of your property too.

There is only one place to begin, and this is with the fact that a garage has a lot more to offer than most people give it credit for. After all, there is no rule that says a garage has to be used for storage and storage alone, is there? There are plenty of innovative uses for garages, as you will see at http://armstrongsteel.com. For example, you could create an outdoor office or workspace from your garage. This will make it feel like you are leaving home to go to work in the morning, which can cause your productivity levels to increase considerably. This is a great solution for anyone that works from home. You could also turn your garage into another living area. Plus, even if you do stick with the traditional storage option, who’s to say your garage can’t look great and enhance the overall appeal of your home?

The functionality of a garage is not the only factor to consider. You also need to think about the impact this will have on the value of your property, and it’s assured to be a positive one. A garage could add up to 20 per cent to the value of your property. Of course, this all depends on what you are using the garage for, how big it is, and the style of it. Nonetheless, the potential is clearly huge. Space is at a premium today, and this is one of the most important factors people consider when looking for a home.

Needless to say, garages are often used to house vehicles as well. This can also drive up the value of your property, especially if you live in a space where parking isn’t widely available. Plus, the added security of having your car locked within a confined space can put your mind at ease. This could also be a moneymaking venture. You could rent out your car parking space inside your garage to any professionals that are working nearby. Find out more here: https://www.savethestudent.org/make-money/rent-out-your-unused-car-parking-space.html. This is ideal for anyone that lives in a busy city and is looking for a way to generate more income.

As you can see, there is a lot more to adding a garage than may meet the eye. This can boost the functionality of your property in many different ways. After all, a garage does not have to be used for storage only. It could be an outside office or converted into a living area. Plus, no matter what you decide to use the garage for, it will most certainly drive up the value of your property overall.