Sunday, December 2, 2018

Life lately

Cap: from the Nascar race in Miami | Sweater: CS Gems (use CARYLEE15 for 15% off) | Leggings: Lululemon | Sneakers: New Balance

A lot happened during the 3 months that I took a blogging hiatus. Many of it has not been the best, which is a big part of the reason why I took the time off. But, there were definitely some good things along the way - I should still be thankful. Regardless, this post is my attempt to catch you up on some recent life events. For the sake of not having a post that takes you an hour to read, I have other posts drafted that cover specific buckets of my life like travel, work, and Pilates. This post is a catch-all for the more general topics. Let's get started.

My birthday was the middle of August and my coworkers made sure I had a good time. A group of us had dinner and cocktails at one of my favorite places in St. Louis - Gamlin Whiskey House. Those of us that could hang continued the party at Thaxton Speakeasy. It was legit! You had a secret phrase to recite at the entry door in this random alley. The drinks were great, the company was awesome, and the DJ had me booty dancing. I perhaps had a bit too much fun because I spent the bulk of the next day recovering!

The husband's extended family in front of Grandpa's house

We were supposed to have a belated birthday celebration with my family at our timeshare in Galveston the week after my birthday. Unfortunately, two days before we were scheduled to leave, the husband's grandfather passed away. He was in his early 90's, lived a long life, and passed peacefully in his favorite place - his recliner. Needless to say, we canceled our trip. It was great to have the entire extended family in the city at the same time. If only it were under better circumstances.

Celebrating life at Grandpa's house

After the funeral services, we spent the day and night at Grandpa's house, visiting with each other and reminiscing by looking at all the old photos scattered about his house. Grandma passed shortly before our wedding in 2009. Her death was a bit more unexpected and traumatizing. Not that Grandpa's death was easy, but he did pass in his sleep, ironically at the end of a weekend when they had just prepared for him to move into assisted living. To have been able to live by himself through his 90's is pretty amazing! He is definitely missed.

September was a big month for both of our pups. We decided to put Lolly the Bassett through 30 days of dog training. I cannot recommend The Dog House enough! The place came recommended by a good friend and it did not disappoint. They boarded her and worked with her daily. The biggest issue we had with her is that she was always restless - searching and rummaging through everything in the house and peeing in the house regardless of how many times she had been outside. Since we have brought her home two months ago, she's only had 2 accidents in the house, both of which we could have prevented ourselves. (For context, she used to be 2-4 times DAILY in the house.) Money well spent, for sure.

Annie the Beagle is less of a good story, though she's been better the last couple of weeks. Long story short, but she was diagnosed with kidney disease and they also found she has lumps on her liver, so her liver wasn't functioning properly. She stopped eating for us and was having soft stool accidents in her cage. At her heaviest, she was a happy 30 pounds. When she was her sickest, she dropped to as low as 14 pounds.

Long story short, she now has to get supplemental fluids every day to ensure she is hydrated with plenty of electrolytes. Once she switched from getting the fluids every 2-3 days to every day, her disposition completely changed. She is eating pretty normal for us now, and though it's been a couple of weeks since she's been weighed, she definitely looks like she is filling out for us. Fingers crossed she remains in this steady state!

After our blowouts at Maplewood Beauty Bar

In October, a couple of friends and I decided to take a random Monday off to have a girl's day. It was. Amazing. An Uber picked us up and drove us to Maplewood Beauty Bar for some blowouts and mimosas. We then walked across the street to Reeds American Table where we had our own personal mixology class!

Courtney had called another restaurant about a mixology class, and though they didn't do this, they recommended she call the bar manager at Reeds American Table to see if she would be open to doing this for us, and she was! The restaurant was not open to the public, but the bar manager was there and she taught us how to make some pretty cool cocktails. We got to drink them, too, of course. We also shared a cheese plate in the process! This took about 2 hours and was seriously so much fun!

We then had a black car pick us up and drive us around for the day! He took us to random places like a movie theater just so we could get popcorn, Chick-Fil-A for lunch, the outlet mall, and then our final destination was Cleveland Heath back near our houses. This was a much needed mental health day and we decided to make this a regular thing! 

That brings us to Halloween! We don't normally dress up for Halloween at all, but our good friend was having a party, so we played along. The invite said it was Office themed, so of course I had to look at the two Asian references the show had - either the Benihana girls or Asian Jim. I opted for the latter and I went all in, photoshopping my face on the family photo and everything!

And that brings us to November! November is the husband's birthday month, and I had been working for weeks to set up a surprise party for him. It ended up being seriously perfect, and I had so much fun, I didn't even stop to take many photos, so this is all you get!

I rented half of the upstairs balcony space at The Old Rock House, which was great because it was full of flexible seating, our own bar, and our own bathroom. It also overlooked the stage where Somebody to Love, a Queen Tribute band, was playing. I had my eye on this venue first and foremost because of its location. It was nice and central for people coming from the Missouri as well as the Illinois sides of the Mississippi River. But when I walked the space, I immediately fell in love. It had so much character! And! Even though it is downtown-ish, parking was free and located right across the street and behind the building. So perfect. I wasn't sure how I would feel about a Queen Tribute band - they were already playing that night, I had nothing to do with the selection - but they ended up being so entertaining! Lots of scream singing! I had no idea how many Queen songs there were, to be honest!

Sweater: Express (limited sizes/colors) | Jeans: American Eagle (option) | Booties: Matt Bernson "Brooklyn" (sold out)

This is what I ended up wearing. We had just gotten 6" of snow overnight, so I knew booties would be the most practical option. I wanted to be warm but sassy, hence the rips and the cold shoulder. This sweater is actually reversible - the back side of it is twisted, and I preferred the twist at the back vs. the front. I'm bummed it's not available in this color anymore!

I mentioned this being a surprise party and it would take a post in and of itself to explain the web of lies I created to get the husband to show up! From fake dinner reservations I made, to a fake restaurant person I talked to, to fake texts I photoshopped to myself, man! It was mentally exhausting! But I know how the husband's mind works and I knew I needed some finagling to get him there! Thankfully he showed up and he had no idea what he was walking into, but he was quite pleased!

I'm sure there are other highlights I missed, but those were the biggest things that happened over the last couple of months. Like I said, I have other things to share in terms of work, travel, and Pilates, but at least you're getting caught up slowly but surely!


  1. Wow, this was an epic post! I think you're making up for lost time here! I almost don't know where to start but I am SO glad you included your Halloween costume! I can't believe I would have missed that entirely! That is foo funny. AND you put yourself in the family pic!? Dying! How did you do your hair? Is it a wig or did you finagle it that way? I'm also stunned at the effort you put into your husband's surprise party. WHOA!! Looks like it turned out so well but wow! Photoshopping texts? That's commitment! Haha!
    Gina || On the Daily Express

  2. I love this post, so much happened! Lolly is so cute, happy the training helped. Asian Jim, looooool I cannot! This is brilliant. So happy you are back at it, this was so fun to read.


  3. Glad to have an update! I am sorry for the lows like the loss of your husband's grandfather and the difficulties with your sweet pups health. I am glad you took a blog break when needed. And happy to have you back! I wanted to thank you for your incredibly kind comment on my blog post about our adoption news.

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style