Minus our sleep struggles, this past week was a really good one. The husband and I were both off work the majority of the week, so we took advantage and did some fun, family time things, especially because the crazy heat finally broke and we actually had weather that made sitting outside comfortable again.
On Wednesday we drove out to Merroir, which is our happy place. We went there for our first dating anniversary (we stayed at the Tides Inn and I surprised Rob by chartering a boat to take us over the water to Merroir for dinner, little did we know at the time that our "romantic" anniversary dinner would also include the boat's eccentric captain, his tiny dog, and his couple friends who were along for a ride, and that since we had a party of 5 instead of 2, we would wait about three hours to eat and get exceedingly drunk during the wait, all in all I'd say a pretty successful first anniversary). We've gone many times since, while dating, while engaged, as a married couple. This was our first time bringing Ryley so it felt extra special. And the weather could not have been more perfect. It was overcast and almost a little cool (for August at least), with a warm, salty breeze coming off the water. I feel more relaxed just thinking about it.
We both got the tangerine wheat beer, which I am obsessed with and determined to find in stores. And then we got a pound of their amazing peel and eat shrimp (huge, and with so much Old Bay and butter) and a half dozen Olde Salts (the best oysters in the world in my opinion) to share. Rob got fish tacos and I got the special softshell crab sandwich which was perfection.
After Merroir we drove across the bridge to Irvington and spent a lazy hour wandering the tiny town. We went into Jimmy and Sook and got Ryley a sweet pink onesie with the blue crab logo (perfect for our upcoming river trip at the end of the month). We also went into another local store and got the baby a toy for the ride home (she has started to be way into grabbing things and bringing them to her mouth, which means it is a lot easier to keep her entertained during car rides). Along the way we had a few nice, easy conversations with the people who worked in the stores. Definitely a lovely small town vibe in Irvington and one of the reasons I love going there.
On Thursday we decided to treat the dogs to a trip to Pony Pasture since the weather was still beautiful and milder than normal. George's favorite place in the entire world might be Pony Pasture (or any river really). His retriever heritage definitely comes out in places like this. We let the dogs off leash and found a nice little beach where George could swim happily for a while and retrieve sticks. We walked (and the dogs frolicked) around the trails for a while (so nice going somewhere where you can let dogs run off leash) until they were dirty, wet, and totally exhausted.
On Friday we got the last of our plantation shutters installed! As a still breastfeeding mom I will say it is wonderful to have a little privacy and not broadcast my boobs to the entire neighborhood any more (although I'm sure at this point they are kind of used to it). We went with the local company Mann Kidwell and they have been fantastic throughout the whole process (and quite a bit cheaper than other companies we got quotes from).
On Saturday we headed to an estate sale that my parents recommended. It was actually randomly in an old warehouse near the Hanover Airport, but it was a Beck estate sale (I've been to some of theirs before and they are usually pretty good quality). I have always gone to consignment stores/estate sales/antique stores, and these are definitely the way to go for so many furniture/decor items. The pieces are almost always higher quality than what is made today, and of course much cheaper usually too. Especially at estate sales if you go on the 2nd or 3rd day and everything is marked down. We went on day 3 so everything was 50% off. We have desperately needed something to hang on the walls of our giant, 2 story family room since we moved in, but have had a hard time finding something large enough that wasn't insanely expensive. As fate would have it the estate sale had just the piece, a signed and numbered print by the artist John Powell.
It adds a lot of color to the room which we also desperately needed because the walls are off white and all of the furniture is neutral. I think it looks like a Charleston porch and whether or not it actually is, I will tell myself that it is. We looked up this artist online and some of the same types of prints go for $500-800 unframed. So the fact that we got this framed one for less than $100 feels like quite the bargain. We also picked up another piece for the opposite wall, by an artist named Christian Title.
I'm pretty positive this depicts a scene in Paris (which makes sense since this artist apparently lived and studied in Paris for a while), which of course makes me love it because of my Francophile ways. My handy husband hung both pieces up right away and along with the shutters, our family rooms feels a lot warmer and softer (one of the drawbacks of a big, lofted space is that it can feel a little cold).
On the way home from the sale we stopped by my parents house in Ashland (ostensibly to grab my sunglasses that I left there, but of course we smartly stopped by right at lunchtime and were fed homemade bbq by my mom :) ) And then on the way home from my parents we stopped at the Hanover Vegetable Farm (literally right on the road back to Goochland) for some massive, gorgeous Hanover tomatoes, huge Hanover zucchinis, and Hanover corn. I LOVE summer veggies so much and it's nice to live adjacent to the county that produces some of the best.
We capped off Saturday by having my best friend MK and her husband and kiddos over for an impromptu, super casual dinner and drinks. Mickey was on the TV. Babies were in slings and jumparoos. Paper plates were used and lots of wine poured. Definitely the kind of dinner party that is in our wheelhouse right now.
Even with our sleep challenges it was a really lovely week spent with the people (and dogs) I love most. I have to step back every so often and remember to not get so hung up on sleep and schedules and remember that life is pretty darn great right now.
I'm a thirty-something mom of two, wife, pediatric RN, and writer with a passion for all the big and little things in life.