Normally, when I go without posting for months at a time, it's because there's nothing happening and I just can't bring myself to whine about it online. This summer's hiatus, however, has definitely been the opposite. There has been SO MUCH going on here, and I feel tres guilty about not posting and telling what few readers I have left about it.
Here's a list of some of the stuff that's been going on here in the last few months:
-As you may have noted in the last post, Don and I finally got married last week, in a civil ceremony at the courthouse. If you are related to me, you will probably find a wedding announcement in your mailbox soon. If not, you'll have to live with the online version. Being married isn't very different from being engaged for seven years, other than the Big Name Change: I'm Jamaila Brinkley now.
-I've had a host of health problems since May; two emergency room visits, countless doctor appointments, and more blood and urine tests than anybody should ever have to go through. In early May, I had my second kidney stone (the first was about six years ago). The followup for that included a cystoscopy, two rounds of antibiotics, and a great deal of nausea, most of which turned out to be unnecessary. During the CT scan, they happened to find out that I have gallstones lurking menacingly around inside of me, too. I'll be having gallbladder removal surgery sometime in the next year, although it's not urgent. In the meantime, I can't have alcohol, caffeine, or extra-greasy foods -- turns out that the gallstones' interactions with those things have been why I've been nauseous practically all the time for the last three or four years. Who knew? Right after all that had gotten cleared up, in early August I abruptly developed gout in my foot, a genetic inheritance I had no idea I was due for. I couldn't walk for two weeks, and slept on an air mattress in the dining room. It was all very exciting.
-While I was battling all of these health issues, somehow -- you're not going to believe this -- the rest of the subfloor and ALL of the framing got done. Yes, we have walls, even though they're just studs. But you can actually see the shape of the rooms in the house!
-After the framing was done, right in the middle of my gout issue, we got PLUMBING. Or rather, we got rough-ins. The plumbers came out, politely ignored me flailing around on my dining room air mattress, and roughed in the plumbing for both upstairs bathrooms. There's a little more rough-in work to be done -- the master bathroom tub was delivered later than expected, and we haven't ordered the master bathroom vanity yet, so they'll be coming back, but most of it is done.
-Our old fridge died, to nobody's dismay. We bought a new fridge, and while we were at it, rearranged the kitchen and finally opened up the wall between it and the dining room. It's a much more pleasant place to cook and clean and hang out now, and the new fridge is AMAZING.
-Right after my gout healed, we went on our annual vacation to Deep Creek Lake with friends, and had an amazing, relaxing, wonderful week. I also turned 27 that week, which was less exciting.
-Don passed Spanish (I know, I couldn't believe it either), and at the beginning of September embarked on what will actually, truly, really be his last semester of college. Undergraduate, anyway. He's applying for January admission into UMBC's graduate program in Human-Centered Computing, and he's really excited about it.
-The last post before my unexpected hiatus announced that we'd hired a landscaper to come in and wrestle the backyard into shape. He did it at the very beginning of the summer, and we've been enjoying it ever since - along with his remarkably reasonable rates for biweekly mowing services.
I've got pictures in various stages of editing for almost all of the house updates; I'll try to post visuals to get you all up to speed right away. I'm sorry to have been gone so long, and to have let so much get done without documenting it here; it got harder and harder to put together an update as more and more got done and we got busier and busier! Right now we're facing a brief plateau as we get ready to get the electrical work done, so I'm going to try to get everything documented and up to date and then we'll go from there.