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Keeping the Peace // The beach

At pretty much any moment I’m burying stress as deep as I can so it doesn’t constantly affect my life. However, when something gets added to the pile, it can become too much and I feel like throwing myself off a cliff…and that’s generally something you want to avoid.

Winter has sucked this year. There is no getting around that. Not only has it been the worst, longest, most cold winter of my life, I’ve also had to deal with a lot of pain from the dental work and we’ve been living at my parents place as well so we haven’t had a ton of space.

Being displaced is always this gross feeling sitting in the bottom of my gut these days. We are leaving tomorrow to shoot a wedding and then pack up everything at our condo in Ohio and move it back to Michigan. Unfortunately, we have not been able to find a house yet so we will be moving everything into my parents house. Now, don’t get me wrong, my parents have a lovely home and the basement is finished and it’s fine here but it’s just not very much space. We are in the bedroom downstairs and I’ve taken over my dad’s office to work out of. My parents are great and we get along with them fine, it’s just not our own home and our own space and at this stage in our life, it’s hard to not have your own place. We just can’t see the point of signing a lease and renting a place when we are searching for a house. We’ll just end up getting screwed into keeping a lease if we find a place soon. So although this trip to pack is going to be filled with many tears on my part I’m sure, I would still choose to live here with my parents for a while over being stuck in Ohio. The only good thing about Ohio was our condo though so it will be hard to officially leave it even though we have not been there for a few months. I’m losing hope on finding a home, but hopefully that hope will be renewed somehow in the coming months. But enough of why things feel sucky…

I don’t know if it’s like this for other people, but it takes a lot of effort for me to relax. I have to be really intentional about it because If I’m not, I’ll work all the time and not even realize where weeks of my life has gone. So that’s something I’m really taking seriously this year. Summer is AMAZING in michigan and I often miss out because I’m working so much since it’s our busy season but I’m determined to streamline my workflow, get up earlier and find a way to get everything done and still put effort into having a real life outside of work. You know, like normal people do.

Luckily, I have Ryan. He is laid back and always at peace it seems like. I like always having someone to go relax with as well. If I was totally alone, I’d probably fail miserably at relaxing. Over the past couple of weeks since the sun came back, we’ve been going down the beach taking walks and napping in the sand and it’s been a lovely break from the reality that is our life right now. Because it’s still cold out, not many other people are there and it’s so quiet and peaceful. It’s the most at peace I’ve felt in months. Although it’s chilly, having the sun hit my face feels so good and to breathe such fresh, crisp air is like breathing for the first time.

I just need to find these little things in life that bring me peace amidst what seems like a non stop wave of stress and uncertainty. As long as I can seek those things out and run to them when I’m about to lose it, I think I will actually enjoy this year. That’s the goal 🙂

So here are some photos of the good parts of the past couple of weeks.

Beach-0001_WEBThese photos were taken about 2 weeks before the ones you’ll see later. It’s crazy how it didn’t take much for all that ice to melt!Beach-0002_WEB


My hair was feeling annoying and then I found out I have not had it cut since December. NO WONDER. It’s crazy how long it’s gotten from the days when I cut the whole right side off.Beach-0003-2_WEB

Easter!! We got plastic eggs instead of doing real ones because if you empty them, they are really fragile and if you do hard boiled, you eventually have to ruin them so this seemed like a lot better idea.Beach-0020_WEBBeach-0022_WEB

The Heartstone in Muskegon has the MOST DELICIOUS SOUP I have ever eaten in my life. I look forward to going there for weeks waiting for them to have my favorite soup since they do a different soup every day. Needless to say, soup makes me really happy.

On easter, it was 65 degrees out so we went to take a nap on the beach. Unfortunately, it was about 45 degrees out by the water because of the wind. Good thing we brought a blanket. 🙂


It’s crazy how the sand get’s all messed up in the winter. Once summer is here, all these hills will be all smooth and this beach is actually quite nice.Beach-0029_WEBBeach-0030_WEBBeach-0032_WEBBeach-0024_WEB

Ryan made sure to take a photo of the sand to send to a friend in Ohio to show him what sand actually looks like, haha! Ohio’s BEST beach is basically dirt and rocks.


We probably won’t spend a ton of time at this beach once the summer is here because it get’s really busy and I hate all the noise but I’ve got other more secret beaches as a backup plan. 🙂



Duma’s Hunt for Spring

The “official” first day of spring was 11 days ago.

Now, we are reasonable people, sometimes the first day of spring isn’t beautiful and warm but it’s been 11 days. So we took Duma outside to enjoy spring…but we looked and looked but simply couldn’t find anything that resembled spring. It’s  been one of the worst winter’s Muskegon has had in…possibly my entire life and we are all very anxious for spring to arrive FOR REAL.

Duma climbed up high to get a better view, but all she saw was dirt and snow…
And she looked in all the places where it might be hiding…DumaSpring14--0003_WEBSo she sniffed around to try and hunt it down…DumaSpring14--0025_WEB

We looked everywhere!

But just seemed to find more snow.DumaSpring14--0012_WEBAfter a failed mission, I guess the small patches of dirt where the snow has melted will have to do for now.DumaSpring14--0007_WEB

Tomorrow is the first day of April and I think we have all been more than patient at this point.

Stress, Worry, Pain & Priorities.

The past 7 months have been difficult, to say the least. I’ve experienced more pain, frustration, stress and disappointment in just these 7 months than I have in my entire life. Just the past 2 months have had a whole slew of misery attached to them.

I’m not going to get into it all right now, but here’s a very brief summary. Kidney stone, tons of work to be done while in insane pain and exhausted all the time, quitting our jobs, tons of dental work, botched root canal, financial ruin and we have been living in my parents basement for a couple months now since we couldn’t rent out our nice condo in Ohio. That’s how much we don’t want to be in Ohio. We are paying $1,100 a month in rent for a really nice condo yet living in one room with Duma at my parents place.

So thats the VERY short version of what has been one of the most difficult times of my life. However, I finished all my wedding work for the season, the kidney stone eventually passed (3 1/2 months later!!) I’m still dealing with lots of dental pain but I’m not on daily pain medication any more and I’m glad we no longer work where we were working even though there is a lot of financial uncertainty since this years medical/dental bills have ruined us financially. But most of those things have somewhat been resolved. Well, resolved enough to not be the most urgent thing in my life.

Then I had this bump on my left leg, right on top of my bone. I thought it was a bruise early last spring and didn’t notice it much. Then It hurt a little more a few months back and the Doctor thought it was a shin splint and sent me on my way but in the past couple months, the pain got worse and was spreading throughout my whole leg. So I made another appointment with the doctor to get an x-ray. They said it should get over there the next day but took 6 days to hear back from them because of the weekend. Let me tell you, that was a stressful 6 days.

It caused me to think a lot about my life and how one phone call from the doctor could change everything. “We need to see you back in the office for more tests” kept haunting my mind and I prayed to God those words wouldn’t be said to me. Because I read about things online way too much, I was mostly worried about bone cancer. That led me down a bad path of what would happen to Ryan if I was no longer here. Out of everything I could feel worried or sad about when pondering on what would happen if I died, the only thing that hit me really hard was leaving Ryan. My parents would be devastated but they have each other and would eventually move on, I don’t have any friends that are close enough for it to impact them that deeply but Ryan and I are everything to each other.

Well, after much worry, on Monday night I heard back from the Doctor and they said everything looks normal. My chiropractor examined the leg and said it’s the muscle. It is insanely painful to work on that muscle, it’s like torture but it’s not going to kill me so I’ll get through it.

I feel like I dodged a bullet. It very well could have been something life threatening and something may happen someday that is but for now, I’ve still got a lot of pain and a lot of problems but none of it is going to take my life.  I want to be able to experience the rest of this life with Ryan and grow old with him. Ryan, kids and a house is what I so desperately desire.

Stuff like this does make me think about how I spend my time though. It causes me to notice the time more and think to myself, if I don’t have a guarantee I’ll be around tomorrow, what should I really be doing at 10pm? Still working at my desk is not the right answer. So I leave my work and go and hang out with Ryan and I feel good about that choice. The work will get done  but if something happened to one of us, I’d have to live with my choice to work late every night and I’d hate myself for the rest of my life. Choosing to spend time with him is a choice I could live with.

So one bullet dodged, now many other things to focus my energy on. I need to find a new chiropractor and medical massage therapist closer to muskegon so I can start getting healthy again. It’s incredible how much medical massage therapy  decreases the amount of pain I’m in on a daily basis. I just need to figure out how to afford it all after the devastating costs of all the dental bills. For the cost of 3-4 teeth, I could get all the chiropractic care and massage therapy I need for a year. That is crazy.

I also need to finish my taxes… yayyyy.

But all this other life stress is somehow manageable because I’ve been given grace and live to see another day.