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.


Leave a Comment


  1. 9.5.16

    Love your summer recap! You have been busy getting things done around the house and enjoying the season.

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

  2. 9.5.16

    I loved reading this update post! It looks like you had a jam packed and productive Summer. I can’t wait for the final kitchen reveal!

    • 9.6.16

      Thanks, lady! We sure did. Home projects aren’t slowing down anytime soon, but I’m glad we have a little anniversary getaway to look forward to in a few weeks. We need some fun in our lives!

  3. 9.5.16

    This sounds like such a good summer – a mix of being super productive but still enjoying yourself a bit! So happy to hear your kitchen is almost done!! I can only imagine how nice that feels. And your landscaping looks great! That’s something I want to tackle next spring in my yard, but I have absolutely no green thumb. Here’s to a great fall, too:)!

    • 9.6.16

      Yes, we are so glad that the kitchen is almost there. It’s been quite the long haul with that one! And, the landscaping was so. much. work. We had no clue what we were doing either, but I’m happy with the results!

  4. 9.4.16

    Sounds like you had a great summer!



  5. 9.3.16

    You seriously had such a busy, but fun summer! I’m still jealous that you got to see Chris Stapleton, and your kitchen looks so good! I’m so glad that Finn is ok! I completely understand how you feel because we went through something similar with Dart last year. Vets sometimes freak you out a lot!

  6. 9.3.16
    Gretchen Braun said:

    Your entire house is so gorgeous! I’m so glad that you joined our linkup this month because I’m always looking for new DIY/home blogs to follow…and I’m in love with your style. Yay! Thanks for joining!

  7. 9.1.16

    your kitchen is so preeeeetty!!! sucks it has taken so long. seems like you had a pretty good summer, hopefully you are able to have more fun and less work for the rest of the year. but seriously, time really does go by faster as you get older, i hate when people say they can’t believe this or that but here i am saying i can’t believe it is september! what the heck! it will be 2017 before we know it.

  8. 9.1.16
    The Adored Life said:

    I would totally also summarize this summer as live music and I have NO REGRETS about it!

    The Adored Life

  9. 9.1.16

    You had such an eventful summer, lady! I’m so glad the kitchen is almost done (it’s looking amazing!) and that Finn is a-okay!

    Le Stylo Rouge

  10. 9.1.16

    So glad to hear Finn is healthy!!! I can only imagine how scary/nerve wracking that was! And yay for your kitchen almost being finished – I can’t even wait for the reveal!

    • 9.1.16

      Oh Finn, he sure likes to give me daily heart palpitations – lol! I’m so excited to get the kitchen reveal up soon!

  11. 9.1.16
    Debra Stachelski said:

    You have had a very busy but productive summer, and look at all you have to show for it! Maybe Fall will bring a little more fun and relaxation to enjoy all your hard work. I think Finn just likes to keep everyone guessing!

  12. 9.1.16

    Looks like you had a great summer! Love the kitchen renovation!

  13. 9.1.16

    Sounds like a super productive summer! Can’t wait to see the kitchen and nice work on your landscaping! I tackled only a portion of ours and it was such hard work. I’d love to know what you guys did on yours! Always looking for tips and ideas.

    • 9.1.16

      Oh gosh, that landscaping was a you know what – ha! We had to dig out four 20-year-old evergreen bushes, a ton of day lillies and ground cover, and some other random bush. We replaced everything with boxwood and spirea shrubs, and a limelight hydrangea. We also put down fresh mulch (we got rid of the decorative rock) and put in new pavers. Email me if you want any more info or need help – it just takes a lot of man power and patience!

  14. 9.1.16
    Pamela said:

    Sounds like a good summer! So glad to hear Finn is doing well and doesn’t need any more tests! <3, Pamela Sequins & Sea Breezes

  15. 9.1.16
    Mónica Sors said:

    So cute your dog 😉
    Mónica Sors

  16. 9.1.16

    So glad Finn is okay!!