Monday, May 31, 2021

Memorial Day Weekend 2021

The month of May has ended in a flurry of activity for us.  I've left the house multiple days in a row for the first time in forever.  I'm pretty sure my FitBit doesn't even know who I am anymore.  I've certainly been getting my steps in!  As I mentioned before, Eliot and I were really busy the first few days of our extended holiday weekend.  We had to adapt our plan a little bit, but we got a lot of business stuff done.  The past few days have also been busy as we've been visiting with my family, working on completing more orders and getting some stuff done around the house!

Eliot and I spent Saturday morning finishing off the rest of our hard work from the previous days.  Eliot dropped off a few Snowblade Creations orders at post office and returned with Dunkin Donuts bagels for breakfast.  My parents, Nana and Jeremy all weren't going to arrive until later in the afternoon, so after we ate our bagels, Eliot and I decided we'd try to get a few things done around the house.

Eliot went upstairs to work on a few small projects while I cleaned up in general.  I did the dishes, laundry, and the usual stuff.  Then, I went upstairs to see what Eliot was working on.  We decided to put together one of the new 3x3 cube storages units that we picked up at Target on Thursday.  Eliot put it together but I handed him the pieces while we discussed plans for the house.  After he finished it, I helped him move it down the hallway.  Then, I put a bunch of my Loungefly mini backpacks on it.

My brother Jeremy arrived right as I was checking my phone saying that he should be showing up soon.  My parents were still quite a ways out, so Jeremy relaxed on the chair and a half while we kept working.  Eliot sat on the couch putting together a few storage pieces that we'd bought from Walmart and IKEA for our entryway.  I ended up snacking since I was getting hungry.  Jeremy and Eliot eventually got some food too.

After what felt like forever, Mom called to say that they were finally at the hotel in South Portland.  Once Mom and Nana were settled, Dad drove out to our house.  When he arrived, Eliot and I walked him through the house projects we need help with.  (He's planning to come down with Mom in June and probably again sometime this fall when it's cool out.)  First, we walked around to the backyard so Eliot and I could show him a few things.  We've got a bit of landscaping that we'd like to change.  We also wanted to look around at where we might eventually put a fence for the puppies.

Finally, the thing we needed my Dad to look at the most was our deck.  Our deck is in rough shape.  I've honestly never been a fan of it.  In the five years we've lived here, I've probably gone out on it less than 5 times.  Right now, the sliding door from our dining room to the deck and the backyard has a folding table in front of it that we use for our businesses.  Eliot and I don't even go out there because I don't trust it.  But, because we're hoping to have the puppies soon, it was time we look into the deck.  

Apparently, my gut feeling was correct.  Dad had Eliot bring him out a chair and he placed it near the deck so he could sit and lean under it to see the structure.  I went back inside the house for a minute to change from shorts into pants because it was cold and I didn't want to get eaten alive by mosquitoes... and while I was gone, I missed all the excitement.  Dad had Eliot go up on the deck to check something and Eliot's foot went right through one of the stairs from the lower level to the upper level.

I've sworn that thing wasn't stable, and now Eliot's foot literally went through one of the boards.  Thankfully, the way the stairs were designed, he was able to stop from going all the way through with the deck below it... but still.  The wood is rotting and the entire lower section is warped where the hot tub is.  (The deck is literally floating above one of the posts because the wood is so warped.)  After Dad checked it all over, he has determined the upper section near the house is stable, but the lower section is not.  I'm not sure what our plan is, but I'm for ripping the entire lower section apart and starting over.  My Dad built the deck at my parents house and that thing is sturdy!

Once we showed Dad everything on our projects to do list, we all got ready to head up to Portland.  Jeremy rode with Dad in his car while Eliot and I piled into the truck.  We arrived at Longhorn Steakhouse and split up to divide and conquer.  Eliot and Jeremy took the car to get drinks while Dad and I went inside to order the food.  After we all gathered dinner, we met up at the hotel and dove in.  It was the first time we'd seen Nana since Christmas so it was nice just to hang out and talk.  A few hours later, around 11 pm, we decided it was time to call it a night.  Eliot, Jeremy and I hopped in the truck and went back to our house where we all went to bed.

Sunday morning, Jeremy, Eliot and I got up and took turns showering.  Once we were all ready, we drove up to South Portland to meet Mom, Dad and Nana at IHOP for brunch.  Jeremy packed up his overnight bag and took his car so he'd be able to leave from Portland.  Eliot and I tried to order our food on the drive up, but their phone line was constantly busy and both the website and the app wouldn't let Eliot order.  We finally gave up and arrived at the restaurant a few minutes later anyways.

My family had just gotten there too.  We all parked and gathered by Mom and Dad's car.  The guys ended up going inside to order while I jumped into the car to visit with Mom and Nana.  Eliot came back outside after ordering and Dad and Jeremy waited inside for the food.  Then we all drove over to the JCPenney parking lot at the mall so we could park next to each other.  We split up the food and all ate inside of our cars with the windows down.  My strawberry and banana pancakes were so good!

Once everyone was finished, we went into the Maine Mall.  Mom wanted to get new sneakers so we all went to the shoe section of JCPenney.  They were really picked over with few options, but we were able to find two pairs of sneakers that fit her.

After that, Mom wanted to get a card for my Dad's birthday so we slowly walked down to the Hallmark store at the opposite end of the mall.  Jeremy took Dad to Best Buy to keep him busy and Eliot wandered ahead of me and Mom so he could go over to check out Newbury Comics.  I helped my Mom pick out a card from her and I bought one for Dad from the three of us kids as well.  While I was checking out, Eliot met up with Mom and me and the three of us slowly walked back towards JCPenney.  

On the way, Dad and Jeremy caught up to us.  We made a stop at Mrs. Field's to pick out cookies.  Eliot grabbed two lemonades for us to split and we made our way back out to the cars. We separated everyone's cookies out and ate them in the cars.  It was raining pretty hard at this point, so we had to close the windows.  It was depressing since we didn't get to say proper goodbyes with hugs, but we all said goodbye and waved from our cars.  Jeremy headed south while Mom, Dad and Nana headed north.

Eliot and I had a few errands to run while we were in town.  First, we picked up a few things for the house at Home Depot.  While there, we also checked out tools and new storm doors.  Next, we went over to Target.  Eliot ran inside quickly and emerged with what he went in for as well as some rainbow cups he thought I would like.  (He was right; I love them!)  Finally, we swung by Walmart to grab a few more supplies.  Once we were finished running errands, we drove home and were prepared to collapse into bed for a nap.  (I'm not sure why, but we were both so tired!)  

However, when we arrived home, I noticed that the birds nest on our front porch had fallen over.  (It's been there for over three years, so it really surprised us.)  We dropped our stuff off inside and went back out to check it out.  Eliot put his gardening gloves on and carefully picked up the nest.  Thankfully, we couldn't find any babies on the porch or on the ground.  We tossed the clump of grass and twigs (that were the base) aside, but Eliot carefully put the actual birds nest on the porch under were it used to sit on the windows.  We have no idea what happened... but we were relieved we didn't find any dead babies.  The eggs we found on the porch have been there for a few weeks, so hopefully if there were babies, they were able to leave the nest safely before it fell over.

While reorganizing the nest, we heard a bird tweeting.  Eliot looked around for a minute and found our bright red cardinal sitting in the trees out of the rain and watching us.  I felt comforted by his presence and we decided that we'd done all we could for the nest.

Eliot and I went inside and took our nap.  Thankfully, I woke up feeling refreshed.  We went downstairs and put playoff hockey on.  While listening to the game, Eliot worked on orders at his work table.  Meanwhile, I was on my laptop making a social media plan for Happily Ever Hatter for the next two months.  Once Eliot and I were both finished with what we were working on, we put on a Hallmark movie we hadn't seen before (that's been on our DVR for 2 weeks), watched that, and went to bed.

This morning, we slept in a little bit.  (It is a holiday after all.)  When we finally got out of bed, Eliot ran down to Dunkin Donuts to pick up breakfast.  He returned home with the food and prepared to go into work for a few hours.  While he didn't have to work today, he did have a test he wanted to run while no one else was there and needed to use the equipment.  After setting up the 3D printers, he said goodbye and headed in.  While he was gone, I tackled a few things on my computer... including working on this post!

Eliot returned home around dinner time with an Amato's BLT for me.  He had a pizza that he'd already eaten so he went upstairs while I was eating.  He decided to hang the picture shelves that we bought at IKEA for some of his Funko Pops.  He wasn't 100% sure what he thought of the shelves, but I swore they'd be perfect.  They actually fit in his office perfectly and now he's bummed out that we only bought two of them.  We're planning to go back down again to get a few more to finish off his office!

After Eliot showed me his new Pop display in his office, I wasn't feeling well so I went to lay down for a bit.  After napping for about an hour and a half, I got up and felt a lot better.  I went downstairs and Eliot had the hockey game on while he was working on a few more orders.  I decided to play Emoji Blitz since I still had a two hour infinity lives prize that I had to use before the end of the month.  From 9 pm to 11 pm, I played the 101 Dalmatians event while we listened to the Bruins hockey game.  Thankfully, I was able to finish it since I had two hours to work on it!

Eliot turned on American Ninja Warrior after the hockey game ended.  (He finished his pile of orders and decided to take a break.)  While he watched his show, I've been finalizing this post.  We're staying up for the July Loungefly pre-order bag release at midnight.  Then, we'll probably go over this weeks' orders before we head to bed. 

Tomorrow, Eliot goes back to work and our 6 day extended holiday weekend will be over.  All in all, Eliot and I had a pretty good mini "vacation" even though it wasn't really much of a break.  I have to admit, I'm feeling kind of disappointed that we didn't have the super productive "home project completion" weekend that I've been hoping for... which means we just have that much more to do these next few weeks... which is depressing, but it is what it is.  At least Eliot got a bit of a break from work, which I think he needed just to clear his head.  We did get a few things done around the house... no matter how small it feels right now.  Plus, we got caught up with most of our orders which is a big accomplishment!  It feels good to not have that looming over us.

Finally, as people across the country are kicking off summer and enjoying barbecues, I want to take a minute to acknowledge the real reason for today.  Memorial Day often gets overlooked and I admit that we usually use this weekend to get together with my family to do something fun.  But this is not a fun holiday weekend for a lot of people.  

Today, we remember the members of our armed forces who have served and made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedom.  You have not been forgotten.  °o°

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