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The Best of Summer 2016

Happy September, folks! Gosh, am I the only one that feels crazy saying that? I know that people say time seems to move quicker as you get older, but this summer in particular seems to have come and gone in a blink of an eye. While we are still a few weeks away from truly embracing all things fall in the Midwest, most people consider Labor Day weekend the last summer hurrah. So, I thought it would be appropriate to look back at the best of summer 2016.


Well, let’s state the obvious – the biggest and best part of this summer was our kitchen renovation! Yes, there were a lot of setbacks along the way, but we are this close to being 100% finished. Actually, as we speak, there (hopefully) is someone downstairs delivering and installing the remainder of our damaged cabinets and drawers. I feel so fortunate that we were able to afford and undertake a renovation of this scale for only being in our house less than two years. Now we can enjoy it for the years to come!

Kitchen Renovation 7 Weeks In

See the last progress post here

I’m not going to share any updated photos since I hope to have a full reveal up in the next couple weeks. You can, however, check out all the past progress posts.


Also on the home front, we tackled the front landscaping all on our own! Not exactly the most exciting part of our summer, but it was a lot of hard work that I’m proud of. We haven’t managed to kill anything off since then, which always is a plus. The limelight hydrangea bush next to our walkway even produced huge blooms already, so I was able to cut a few off and enjoy them inside the house!

Life Lately


We always try to see at least one concert a year, and we were lucky enough to see two in one week! Thanks to Summerfest in Milwaukee, Wis., we saw Chris Stapleton and Alabama Shakes, and the one-and-only Sir Paul McCartney. Oh yeah, remember that one time that we got upgraded from lawn seats to 14th row for that one? Best. Night. Ever.

Life LatelyLife-Lately-13

You can read all about those experiences in this life lately post. I also shared my go-to summer concert outfit.


Okay, obviously Finn is the best part of any season, but it was a bit of a roller coaster with him at times this summer. After our emergency trip to the animal hospital (that I hope NEVER to repeat) the end of June, we kind of were in a constant state of worry about Finn’s health. The vet at the hospital mentioned that we should get him tested for a few things, but we didn’t want to jump to conclusions until Finn was able to see his regular vet. Well, sure enough, he had his annual appointment for lab work and vaccinations at the beginning of August, and he is healthy as can be! Our vet also told us that he doesn’t need any extra special tests based on his general health otherwise. I almost cried in the office – I was beyond relieved!

I Just Want to Hang With My Dog

This probably sounds silly to some people, but I’m a crazy dog mom (as evidenced here), and I’m really not ashamed of it. Finn is the closest thing I have to a child right now, and I would be a wreck if anything were to happen to him. So, needless to say, it was great to receive some good news about his health.


We made more of an effort to explore our little town and take advantage of all it has to offer. We participated in a wine walk downtown, played one too many rounds of mini golf, discovered (and now frequently visit) an old-school drive-in diner, and of course, visited The Paine Art Center and Gardens.

The Not-So-Secret Garden

Check out this hair tutorial here

I’d be lying if I said that life in a small town still doesn’t have its difficulties. Of course it does, and even two years later we still have to adjust. But, I’m proud that we pushed ourselves (and continue to do so) to embrace what we do have around and near us. We’re not sure how long that this place will be considered home, so we might as well make the most of it.

I’ll admit – as I write this post and look back at all we did this summer, we accomplished a ridiculous amount. However, that did come at a cost. I do wish we made some more time for fun as opposed to work, but it’s all a trade-off. Plus, there’s nobody other than Ryan that I would rather do all this with – we make some of our best memories together when we work together on the house!

I am, however, so ready for fall since we have a lot to look forward to – most notably our three-year wedding anniversary (and eight years of dating!), a little getaway to Door County Wis., and fall family photos with a local photographer that I’m obsessed with. While it’s always bittersweet to see summer go, it will be a nice change of pace to sink back into a regular routine and enjoy everything that fall has to offer.

What were your favorite moments from the summer?

Linking up with Kristen.