next week on dateline...

I've been in a summer funk. It's been a heavy, heartbreaking year. It's also been a really good year. There are a lot of factors at play here. The heat index has been over 100 for days now. I don't function well in this kind of extreme heat the way most people lose their minds when it's below zero out. I would take that over 100 degrees any day. Ok, most days. I will say, that long winter makes those lush cornfields more gorgeous than usual this year. There is nothing like a beautiful midwestern summer, but there is not much I hate more than sweating.

Enough about the weather. I've christened 2018 the Year of Death. Does that sound cynical or pessimistic? Oh well. A handful of acquaintances have died or been diagnosed with terminal cancer in the past few months. Colleen and her baby died, which is something I will be grieving for years to come. There's an extremely sweet and kind woman at my church--she helped lead our Bible study this spring, was a huge encouragement to me when my mom had a cancer scare this year, and is the mom of one of my close friends. She was diagnosed with terminal cancer last week. One of my best friends lost her dad over the weekend. Today is the two year anniversary of my grandma's death. It all just feels so heavy. Death tends to come in waves, and 2018 has been a veritable tsunami.

On the three month anniversary of Colleen's death, a man collapsed at church. I thought he had died. I felt completely traumatized and paralyzed. Thankfully he's ok, though he has some health issues. The whole episode gave me flashbacks of the panic I felt that day, and I thought I was going to be sick for the rest of the day. I'm constantly bracing myself for the next round of bad news and heartbroken for my friends dealing with theirs.

My three-year-old is pure love and sunshine, but she is still three years old. And some days are just very hard and we both cry a lot. We have a weekly playdate with one of our closest friends, and that is often the highlight of the week. I count down the days until my friend and I are laughing until we cry while our girls run wild. Last time they were over, Gracie and her friend sneaked off to the guest room, opened a bin of baby clothes, and smashed their toddler selves into INFANT clothes. When we walked in, Gracie was wearing two pairs of newborn socks on each foot and was in the process of squeezing herself into a shirt she last wore on the beach in California when she was 5 months old. She wore that shirt the rest of the day even though it was quite literally bursting at the seams. Gracie has little playmates and friends now, I've forged some solid and awesome friendships, and that has been the crowning jewel of the last 6 months or so.

And then there's our house renovation. Now I understand why people hate them. THEY ARE THE WORST. Also the best. It's so nice to make something exactly the way you want it but ALSO THE WORST. HGTV makes it look like you have one long weekend of working and tah-dah! Your whole house is amazing now. NOPE. Six months later and our house is unrecognizable from when we bought it, but we've barely even dipped into all the things we want to do. The kitchen is our main focus right now. Slowly but surely, it's coming along. It's nowhere near finished because James spends approximately 27 hours a week mowing our giant, unkempt jungle yard. I can't even talk about our jungle yard. Actually, yes I can. Our trees are huge and too tall to be pruned by us, the weeds are taking over, and we've been in the process of cutting down and ripping out the ugly, overgrown bushes all around the house. Our yard looks like a war zone. Our neighbors are retired and spend every single day outside weeding and planting. One man mows his lawn EVERY DAY. They must hate us. I have visions of a neat and tidy yard, but our yard is huge and was not well taken care of before we moved in. It will take years to get it to where we want it to be. I'm trying to be ok with that. Trying to be ok with putting my garden dreams on hold. I am so very grateful we have our own home and we're doing all these projects ourselves. I'm trying to be ok with living with half-finished projects until we have the time and/or money to finish them. Seeing the same peeling wallpaper and half-painted cabinets while wrangling tantrums every day for months can take a toll on one's mental health. Just saying. Doesn't mean I'm not grateful, it's just hard.

Ever since we bought our house, we've been itching to buy a new fridge. Ours is tiny, 20 years old, hideous, and not working well. It keeps our food cold, but the temperature is uneven and it leaks and drips. We have to place bowls in certain spots in the fridge and frequently mop out the bottom so it doesn't leak out of the fridge. After a phone call with our homeowners insurance, it was determined that it would be in our best interest to just buy a new one. We've looked at fridges three separate times since moving in but could never pull the trigger. After the leaking got worse over the weekend, I said ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. I trolled the Lowe's website trying to find the best bang for our buck that would fit under the cabinets. Apparently, refrigerators were much shorter in the 1960s. My one must-have was a deli drawer. Don't ask me why, I'm just tired of free range cheeses and lunch meat always lurking where I can't find them. When we got ready to go to Lowe's to check out the two we had narrowed it down to, Gracie looked at me sternly and said "Mommy, you can only have ONE deli drawer! No more!"

Hmm, I wonder where she's heard that before.

We didn't buy the fridge of my dreams, but we bought a close third. In all seriousness, I'm in love with it. I went with it because it was under the budget I set for myself AND had the deli drawer that the sleeker, prettier, more expensive one that I loved did not have. AND!! It has water and ice in the door, so I am LIVING FANCY. Sayonara, Brita pitcher!

These are the things that excite you at 29 years old.

We got home from Lowe's and James immediately got to work removing the swirly decorative trim in every kitchen from the 40s-70s so the fridge will fit. That was its own saga. Several things fell out of the cabinet and onto the brand new floor, obliterating a tile James had recently put down on the floor.

But that was soon to be the very least of our worries.

After that, he moved our old fridge to rip out the remaining square of kitchen carpet under the fridge so he can lay new flooring before the new one comes. I walked in the kitchen to find the surprise of my life lurking under the fridge.



Pools of dried blood. Blood splatters. I AM NOT KIDDING. THIS IS REAL. I AM LIVING IN A CRIME SCENE.

The year of death strikes again!!!!!

People talk about unexpected things in home renovations, but no one ever warned me about this. Why on earth would there be blood under the fridge? Why did no one think to clean it up?? WHAT HAPPENED. I have so many questions that will probably go unanswered. And yet, now we know why there were three times as many carpet staples to rip up in that area. I am living in an Edgar Allen Poe story.

When we first moved in and everything went haywire, my cousin told me that when he was renovating his first house, he came home to discover his plumber had had a massive heart attack while under the house and DIED. The fire department had to cut a giant hole in their brand new floor to get the body out. I had always wondered why they moved soon after they finished their house.

Surprise deaths during renovations must be a genetic thing. I smelled something weird the other day, and now I'm wondering if there's a decomposing body somewhere.

I guess that's what happens when you're in a funk and ready for a change in routine.



  1. Oh my goodness, are you sure it was blood??? Yikes! That is a little unnerving!

  2. Maybe you should call the PD so they can take a sample in case it’s connected to a cold case. 😉

  3. I am still so freaked out over the blood. And the extra amount of carpet staples?! That is shady for sure.

    What kind of fridge did you end up with? We have a side by side and while it's not the fridge I would have picked, it's good enough to use until it dies but I hear you on the free range cheese.

  4. I'm so sorry to hear about your friend's mom-I can't imagine how hard that is for her and for all of you. It's sobering to see so many close ones die or have serious illnesses. There's a lady in our church, she's pregnant with kid #6 and she was recently diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer. I'm pretty sure she's only in her early 30s, too. It's been intense to see what she's going through, and has helped me keep perspective that we really don't know how long any of us have on this Earth.

    And OH MY I would be totally freaking out about that blood! And your cousin's story is crazy. Who knew that Edgar Allan Poe stuff really happens???? Anyways, congrats on the fridge! We had a ridiculous time trying to find a fridge that would fit our house, too, even though it's a very basic top freezer/bottom fridge thingy.

  5. WHAT?!

    How do you even...what do you even do in that situation??

  6. Oh my word... I'm so curious too on how that happened. & why would someone just leave blood laying on a floor & think, "We'll just cover it up"... that cant be sanitary. UGH.
    Friend ,you know I'm with you on the year of death - its royally 100% sucked. So much loss in this world

  7. Gracie telling you that you can only have one deli drawer is the funniest!


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