Friday, July 13, 2012

Puppy Cam

Y'all, my day is over. Puppy cam is here. These six pups are being raised to help veterans returning from combat. Swoon.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Conversation of the Day

me:  This makes me unreasonably happy:

B:  haha
you would revel in that snake's misery
me:  :)
plus, I could attach the sticky paper to the can & the snake, and the bitey end would be covered
 B:  you be so weird about snakes
me:  hate. hate hate hate.
my coworker says she thinks some things (namely ticks) are simply evil. I think snakes proved that in the Bible. Of course, they do nice things, like eat other snakes...
 B:  and rats
how do you feel about rats?
 me:  dislike. opossums>rats
bunnies>opossums
puppies>bunnies
Colby>puppies
B:  bacon>colby?
brian>bacon?
 me:  I was trying to figure out where baseball fits in.
bacon=puppies
Colby>bacon
You>Colby
B:  ok, so fill in the blank: snakes _ rats
 me:  rats>snakes
If I saw a rat in our basement, I would be mad and try to trap it.
If I saw a snake, I would get the cold leg sweats and stand very still so I could watch it until you got home.
rats>roaches (as long as we're talking basement/theory).
In my house, my actual house, I guess I'd take a roach because I could squish it.
A rat in my closet would be rodent nongrata.
 B:  that made me laugh in my office
 me:  New holiday for us to celebrate: July 19 is Flitch Day. Here’s the explanation: An old custom from yesteryear developed into the holiday of Flitch Day. Bacon was given to any married couple who could prove they had lived in harmony and fidelity for one year. Very few "took home the bacon".
..how do you think they "proved" fidelity and harmony? #interesting.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Oh, Hi!

I'm sorry, were you trying to get something done?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Dog's Life

When at sea, let your ears flow freely.

Visit to Florence

More to come, but a quick shot or two. After the wedding, B & I ran by the house to let Colby out before the reception. Where did we find him? Nana's couch. Of course.

But at least we got a little walk in before it got too late...

Monday, May 28, 2012

Married Life

Apparently, I woke B up in the middle of the night. It went something like this:

Me: B... B... B...

B: What?

Me: Are my eyes playing tricks on me?

B: Why?

Me: Are there crawly things on the ceiling?

B: What?

Me: Are. There. Crawly. Things. On. The. Ceiling.

B: Do you want me to turn the lights on to check?

Me: No. No....

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Dear Dippin Dots

Can we all just agree that the future is now?

Nana's House

This weekend is the first visit by the granddog to Nana's house. I never realized how many reflective serf aces there are in mom's house, which for Colby means that the house is FULL of dogs who must be alerted to his presence. Windows, mirrors, and, yes, the old TV last night. At 2am.

And B's dad will be thrilled to know that 'granddog' was autocorrected to 'granddaddog'.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Small Town

Mom: We're getting a Panera!

Me: What? Where?

Mom: Next to the Publix.

Me: We have a Publix??

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Wife of the Year

Guess who just drove off with the keys her husband will need to drive their pup on a two-plus hour solo mission? Vote me wife of the year!

On the upside, Colby will now be able to test his motion sickness in a sportscar. And I bet he'll love a cooled seat!

Won't it be fun when he finds out by reading this post? Also, what a fun way to test if he's reading this post!

Me. WOTY. I've got it locked up (but someone else has the keys).

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A Day in the Park

Just another day at the park...






How (Not) To Cut The Grass

Our backyard has a sordid tale to tell. It's only been in existence for two years (since the previous owners landscaped) and we've owned it for less than a year; yet, there is drama.

When we first closed on the house, I insisted, nay demanded that B go directly to the store and buy a hose to water the lawn. To my credit, it was July 27 and we were about to leave the house until the end of August. Fare the well, Zoysia! It was nice knowing you before your heat stroke!

So in lieu of giving our grass a heat stroke, I gave one to B, who stood in that yard, watering away (with only a hose, mind you), front and back, for over an hour. He got soaked, of course, in the process, both from high-noon sweat and generally hose debauchery, then had to ride in his damp clothes all the way to Atlanta. Luckily, my clothes were damp too, because as soon as he wound up the hose, locked up the house, and picked me up, it started to pour.

The yard fared well. In fact, I'm not sure we mowed it until November of 2011, which has to be some sort of record or lunacy, one (perhaps a record of lunacy?). After that, we started listening out to see when our neighbors were mowing and watering, that is until we decided to just turn on HBO and forget that we had anything depending on us for survival.

In January, we adopted Colby, our lovable, much-documented golden boy who turned out to be part collie and part Derby winner in that he loved to run very fast and in well-defined circles.

Of course, it was winter. Our dormant grass didn't alert us to the fact that all the adorable running (prompted by our heartfelt chasing), was quite literally wearing thin on our grass. By spring, you could see Colby's favorite running route, and the exact spot along the stone wall in which I can pull on his rope toy with him without bending over. While the rest of the yard is, well, yard, these areas are... white. Or brown. Or yellow, depending on how scorched or depleted of grass seed they now truly are.

Our April showers extended into May this year, bringing lots of growth, particularly in our rose bushes (yea!), but not so much in our yard. We still haven't mowed the front yard... ever? And it's about thumbtack height, which suits me fine. The backyard, however, surprised us. While we were watching and watering that beloved path, the rest of the lawn sprung up overnight to approximately dachshund height. How do I know? Our neighbors have three, but it was hard to know that when they were wandering in the heights of our now sea grass-like backyard.

B's been working crazy hours doing all sorts of fun things including, of course, word, but also volunteering with youth baseball, playing church softball, and playing basketball with his firm. Needless to say, he's well worked out and home after dark but, since doggie school is over, I'm home earlier.

Monday, I decided to weed, partly because our playscape area needed it and partly because Colby ate so many weeds that he threw them up Monday morning before I left for work (I'll let you guess which was the stronger catalyst). So I sprayed and weeded and planted something and still had hours of daylight left. I thought to myself, "I bet I can mow this lawn."

This thought will both make my mother proud and horrified. Proud because she has maintained our huge yard for decades, mowing it, tending to it, and generally loving it from the seat on her riding lawn mower. It will terrify her because the one time she asked me to mow it, I drove the riding lawn mower into a tree. I'll let you guess whether that was due to poor driving or strategy; I will say that I was never asked to mow the lawn again. And also that I failed my driver's test on the first try (something B only found out about this year and might consider grounds for future divorce proceedings).

Our backyard is a sweet little oasis. It has a large deck, a curved driveway leading to the garage, and a decent expanse of yard filled with grass, trees, roses, bushes, and the aforementioned playscape. It is also elevated. Step One: Prop 2X4s onto the stone wall.

I rolled the lawn mower out of the basement and prayed it was the right one. We have two hand-me-down mowers, but I assumed that the one lying pitifully on its side was the one currently benched.

I roll it to the 2X4s, and after two tries (mowers are heavy! walls are high!), I get it up on the grass. Pride fills my heart until I look at the settings on the mower. There is a sliding lever which features two pictures: a tortoise and a hare. Does one make the mower go faster? It's not self-propelled. Call B. "Doesn't matter which you choose; that's broken." Fair enough. "Is it set to the right blade height?" I ask. B replies, "It should be just right for the back yard. Also, if you can put those lines in diagonally like we talked about, that would be awesome." Silence. "Don't get used to this," I replied.
After priming the little bulb 10 times (and not calling my father-in-law... yet), I start to pull the start cord thing which, thankfully, does work, but not until I'm out of breath. The lawn mower whirrs to a start and I carve, quite literally, a path through the waving wheat that is our backyard. Don't believe me? Look:
Hello, path!

The difference is so drastic that I immediately let go of the throttle and let the engine grind to a halt. Reaching down, I try to tell if I've scalped the yard, but, in reality, it's still really long, like several inches long, it's just that this part of it hasn't seen the light of day since... ever.

I placate myself by saying that I can't leave it like this, it all has to match, so I may as well keep going. Several yank-starts later, I am in business, cutting the grass by dragging the mower back and forth (apparently not a traditional means of cutting, which typically involved moving forward at all times) as I attempt to make the parallel lines.

Even though the mower isn't self-propelled, I feel like it's in a hurry, so I go quickly, doing the backyard (minus the random mohawk-like tufts and the edges) in about fifteen minutes, which is when the mower decides to die, because apparently it needs more gas. Pushy thing, that mower.

I'm so darned pleased with myself by this point that I take a picture, making sure to display my (almost) perfect diagonal lines and even those little happy tufts in between them. We're buying an edger today; can you guess why?

Hello, lines!

Of course, the irony of all this is that the part in the middle that's bright green, the part that doesn't look scorched? That's Colby's path. The foreground and background are his other favorite parts of the yard, for reasons I'll leave unspoken, so we may need to do a little more watering work there. If you look closely, you can see back there by the last tree a particularly green area, the part I missed before the mower died. Take a look in case you thought I was exaggerating about the height of the yard.

The good news is that I didn't run into any trees this time; the bad news is that our trees are babies, so if I do run into them, I'll likely run over them, which probably wouldn't be good for the mower or the trees.

Stay tuned for adventures in edging...

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Love Is...

Entering the name of your husband's first girlfriend every time you log in to online banking. Sure, I could use my own log in information, but I have no clue what it is and if we're ever hit for insider trading, or the like, I can honestly say in court that I never even logged into our bank account with my own name.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Call Me Maybe

If a viral video of Harvard baseball players gets a song stuck in my head, then it has to be stuck in B's, too.

Me:hey

i just met you

and this is crazy

B: huh?

me: but here's my number

so call me maybe

B: ok, quit it

me: ( if it's in my head, it's in yours!))
 
fist, fist, cross

fist, fist, cross

(run in place)

Brian: stop it please

me: Love you. Press on, darlin!

B: will do

see you at home

ahh, dang it

you got it in my head

me: I can say wholeheartedly that I'm mostly sorry

 Brian:  i doubt that at all


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Anniversary, Part 3

Last night, B and I celebrated our third anniversary by sitting in our present to one another (a porch swing!), enjoying a fabulous dinner at a favorite celebration of ours (Hot & Hot!), and drinking another of our bottles of anniversary wine. I tell you all that so that you know that we DID celebrate and won't be ashamed at us for what I'm about to write.

After all the celebrating was done, we pulled out the iPad and tried to finish a show we'd been watching for a while. Around 3:30, I woke up with my glasses in my hand. This morning, this happened...

Me: Did I fall asleep last night?
B: Yes, yes you did.
Me: I woke up with my glasses in my hand at 3:30.
B: Oh, sorry about that. You do realize that you fell asleep holding the iPad, right?
Me: NO.
B: Yep.
Me: What'd you do?
B: Well, you were doing a good job holding it, so I just let you sleep and hold it while I watched the show.

Love.

How to Stop a Nightmare

In case you've ever wondered how my marriage works, this about sums it up. I'm the tiny flailing kitty; B is the steady, stable cat.
It's worth noting that we hate cats, as a general rule, but that now I'm seeking to adopt these two (or at least foster them during naps).

Friday, March 9, 2012

Back to School

I've completed obedience school once in my life, in sixth grade with my golden retriever Simba. Notice I say "completed", not "graduated." Midway through "down-stay" in the final test, he got an itch, curled himself up, then returned to (gasp!) seated position.
So it's no great shock that I was timid about attending last night's first session with Colby.
My memories of obedience school aren't great. Choke collars (and yes, we called them that back then, no "prong collar" foolery) and lots of crying after corrections.
So last night, I loaded Colby up amidst a thunderstorm (which is already no small task as he. won't. get. in. the. car) and off we went to a Methodist church gym to master the art of sit.
The night began simply. The ladies who run the course clearly do it for love and enjoy seeing each other and new dogs. We began the night sitting in a circle on the floor.
First, there was the example dog, an extremely well behaved mutt, then us (totally tangled in our leash), a tiny white dog who napped the whole session, a 5-month old lab puppy, and a Irish something or other, a dog with long hair and a penchant for chewing shoes.
We shared doggie drama as we "massaged" our dogs for about 30 minutes. The point of this exercise was to relax your dog and get him comfortable with you touching every inch, including his tail, his paws, and around his mouth. As even the lab puppy collapsed in a relaxed heap, belly up, on the floor, Colby refused to be tamed.
He wined. Oh did he whine, as he does only when we don't allow him to go play with another dog. He worked himself into a drooling frenzy, then would either sit and lean against me or sit directly on my lap before deciding the solution to all things obedience MUST be standing on my shoulders.
Honestly, I think he was confused. What the heck was the point of being in this gym with all these other dogs and not being able to rumble? I somewhat agree.
Finally, he hiked himself as far across the circle as I'd allow him and sat facing me so that his prong collar, as we in-the-know people call it, squished his face up so that it was a complete mess of ears, fur, and snout. He sat like this for several minutes, as if to show the other people in the group, "See what she does to me? Torture!"
I, for one, was simply happy that he was still. Like my Mom told me once when I threatened to scream every time she brushed my hair, "Go ahead and scream. You'll pass out before you hurt yourself." That's right, Colby, keep mushing those ears and they just might stick like that.
The hardest part was that it was adorably cute, though I felt for sure it would be frowned upon to start documenting such rebellion on night one.
As they intro'd the class, one lady said, "At some point you will be mad at your dog. At some point you will wish you had someone else's dog. Do not compare your dogs."
Five minutes later, while Colby tried to eat the tiny white dog next to us as I struggled to keep my going-numb rump on the concrete floor, the room got quiet as they looked at me. "Does anyone want to trade with me now?" I asked? Colby gave another ear squish for good measure. I think he should've gotten points for waking the tiny dog up. Be present, tiny dog!
The next question they asked prompted the class's attention to turn to us again, "Does anyone have a hyper dog?" the teacher asked as Colby tied himself in a literal knot, one leg through the pedestrian lead on his leash, two legs tangled in full length of leash, prong collar closing in on neck. Luckily, he then found the treats in my bag and proceeded to try to eat through my canvas tote while still in a total tangle. Best of luck, bud!
"Oh, no", everyone said. They looked at me. "I have no idea," I said. "He just loves other dogs."
And he does! Everyone else shared these war stories of 4am wake-ups, dozens of eaten shoes, and vindictive bathroom breaks on favorite rugs. The worst thing Colby does is rub his back all over the green rug, meaning it has a slightly golden tint which, to be fair, could be removed if I just vacuumed more than once a week.
"Ask questions", they said, so I asked how to curtail the nipping/mouthing that goldens are prone to do, especially up one's arm and, if you're B, through one's hair.
My mistake, of course, was asking this question at an appropriate time while Colby was nipping his way up my arm and onto my shoulder. So while I did start to sweat profusely and try to mop up the slobber that was pooling in my elbow, I did not hear what on earth you're suppose to do until the very last thing, "just make sure you get on that now."
Excellent.
Basically, last night was a class in how to perform a phone interview while holding a newborn. You hope they'll be good and quiet, like they usually are, but they instead decide to imitate a hornet and work themselves into such a frenzy that we were both asleep by 9pm last night in the living room, much to B's amusement.
After the "relaxation" period was over, we got up and started working on "sit", which Colby knows really well. We learned about saying names and releasing, things that I think will really help, and then I got a crash course in the no-mouthing thing.
"How do I respond when he nibbles on us, again?", I ask?
"Like this," she said, literally fisting Colby in the mouth while saying STOP THAT. The key, apparently, is to a) make it no fun for them and b) remind them that you are in charge. If they bite you, you put your fist in their mouths, shake your hand slightly, and wait until he retreats from you.
Of all the things we worked on, I have to say, this one might be lifechanging. It doesn't hurt Colby. In fact, as my nuckles will tell you, it definitely hurts us more, but he stops. Immediately. And it doesn't make it a game, as the pushing or pinning can do.
By the time we left, Colby was exhausted. He came home, ate everything in his bowl, and collapsed, not to be heard from again. I made it slightly longer, until 9 when B came home from basketball, then made him read in the living room so I could sleep on the couch. When he came to get me for bed at 11, I thanked him for reading with me. He responded, "You didn't know I left? I left for like an hour!"
That boy has got to learn how to take some credit!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

My Job Today

Today I'm creating a gallery on throwing a Snow White birthday party and also content to celebrate Justin Bieber's birthday (today, if you're curious).
Sometimes I'm (happily!) shocked that this is my life.

Monday, February 27, 2012

New Mom

Dropped Colby off for x-rays today after weeks of limping, meds, and a cortisone shot. He scampered off while I struggled to see him around the corner. Is this what the first day of day care is like?

And yes, I am that person comparing my dog to your kid. And I'm not really sorry!

Not being a huge dog person (I just like MY dogs!), I promise to keep my dog off you at all costs. I just can't promise not to blog about him!

In other news, first blog from iPhone. That's a huge tech win for me!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Hope

I've been wondering what to give up or take on for Lent this year. After seeing this picture of Colby in our basement, I've decided I'm going to be thankful. I read somewhere to ponder if whatever you didn't thank God for today was taken away tomorrow, what would you have left. Makes me extra thankful for my loves up there!

Friday, February 17, 2012

My View In The Mornings

...as I drive away.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

"No, Really-- It's For Work"

I'm pretty sure B doesn't think I actually work. This week he busted me hauling two kinds of cookie dough, two kinds of cake mix, and brownie mix into the office. My defense, "It's for a cookie dough tasting video!" didn't satisfy him so much as make him more curious.


But, of course, I have proof:

See? That, my friends, is a video of said cookie dough tasting. Can you believe we have a lady at our office who has never tried it? Check out her Cookie Dough Virgin post. Nary a spatula, beater, or whisk had passed her lips until yesterday. I think you can tell from the video that she was terrified!

So it should come as no surprise that our afternoon conversation went something like this:
Me: Sorry I missed you!
B: What are you up to?
Me: Hosting a King Cake Vodka tasting.
B: (silence)
Me: So technically, when we go to refinance this afternoon, I can claim that I wasn't in my right mind.
B: Make sure to say that out loud when yo u get there.

Done. Anything for you, love.

Let the countdown to Mardi Gras begin!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Dog Training Through Bacon

Some people train their dogs by using clickers, treats, or other reinforcement methods. Thanks to the UPS man, today I'm training our dog by leaving a box of Benton's Bacon on the front porch while he sniffs longingly from the backyard. I'm coming, Colby!

I should note before you think I'm crazy that we sent a box of this goodness to my brother-in-law who got the regular-looking box and sat it on his coffee table. His dog went nuts and continued to do so until Kevin removed the box from the house (after unpacking the bacon, of course). I'm assuming the boxes, like everything at pint-sized Benton's, sit in the smoke house.

If you're in the market for bacon, I can tell you that Benton's Bacon is honestly the best I ever had and my mother-in-law's worst nightmare. We cooked it for her, once, in the oven and called a week later, when she told us she could still smell it in her drapes.

Scene of the Crime

Colby has been doing so well. He had one 24-hour period in which he got up on our green couch every chance he got, even leaving us with his toys on the floor and going into the other room to do so. And, every time, I hauled him off with a stern "NO".

My sister keenly pointed out that he likely stopped after that day-long stretch figuring, "Whatever, she's at work all day and I get the couch then, so why fight over this little stretch at night?"

So lately we've been leaving Colby out of his crate at night and during the mornings while I'm at work. We wake up first in the morning and we always find him on his little pillow or the hardwoods, but I have no idea what he does while I'm gone as he always greets me at the door (and doesn't chew the drapes, so we're cool).

Then, today, I came home to this.

If you look closely, you'll see what's called a Bully Bone (which is apparently the new rawhide) tucked neatly between the cushions of our green couch. Colby, buddy, if you didn't shed and weren't lazy with your bone placement, you might've gotten away with it!

In any case, do you know what happens to puppies who get on the couch? They go to the puppy pen(itentiary). Consider yourself warned. 


Valentine's Day...

is not off to a good start when your husband has to wait 90 minutes to be seen at the appointment you made him in November by specifically asking for the next "first patient" appointment slot available.

I'm generally sensitive to doctor criticism; some of my favorite people are doctors! But when I got back to my desk after a morning meeting and saw many an email from B saying that he was still waiting, I was just bummed. Even more bummed when he said that several patients were seen before him (and this is no urgent care situation, which leads me to believe these were "squeeze in" appointments). We've been guilty of being the ones "squeezed in" before, but normally that means we're squeezed in for the 7:45 appointment before the day's start at 8am. Today, B's appointment, the first on the books, was at 9am and he wasn't seen until after 10:30. Knowing that B normally goes to work at 8am, you can imagine what this did to his day.

Rar. Not a great start.

Lately I've been in the habit of calling people out on things. Yes, I ask for discounts when something's dinged (even at Sam's and, yes, they told me 'no'). Yes, I call to complain if something is done wrong, but I'm always nice about it and normally understanding. I believe Delta received the brunt of my wrath when I wrote this complaint (and yes, I actually sent this, plus more):
However, on this flight, it seemed that we were merely passengers on a bus waiting for the next stop, in our case, RDU. It was the most expensive bus ticket I've ever purchased.

I thought you should know that you are close to losing another passenger to the low-price battle; I'll no longer simply look for the DL code, but rather the number behind the dollar sign. If travel with Delta is going to be stripped-down service, I may as well fly Southwest and enjoy myself.

I thought I should make you aware of my complaint, and the complaints of my fellow passengers. Most mentioned they would not complain after the fact, as Delta has already ruined one night of their weekend travel and they didn't wish to spend another minute thinking of them.

The upside? They gave me (or, B, actually, as I wrote this on his behalf) 7,500 miles, which did actually help soothe some of the pain (though I'm not sure why!).

The week before we picked up Colby, I asked for discounts on three things at different stores. I teased B that I would've asked for one on Colby as he turned out not to be purebred, but that seemed just terrible. Then, lo and behold, they charged us less for him. Poor Colby. We think you're worth every penny, bud!

So it should come as no surprise that I called the clinic this morning and told them that I was calling to see if  they could tell me anything that I might be able to tell my husband to ever incline him to return to see this doctor. What happened? The lady who answered, Brenda, was fabulous and said she'd check and call me back.

I don't think it'll change B's mind, but here's what she said:
Your husband did have the first appointment of the morning, but he's actually one of the first appointments. She makes 3 appointments for 9am.
Me (internal monologue): Seriously.
The bigger problem arose when we had a last-minute emergency call from someone last night about adult acne.
 Me (internal, thank God): HOW IS ADULT ACNE AN EMERGENCY?
So she showed up at 8:45 and it turned out not to be adult acne but actually skin cancer which resulted in 7 biopsies which, you can imagine, is a very different situation than adult acne.

I told her that I understood. After all, does the Bible say that the sins of the father will revisit the children? I know for a fact that my Dad got called out to emergency surgery while he had people in the waiting room. What else can you do? You go!

Note that I say "I" understood because, believe me, I'm pretty sure B's never going back.

The good news is that I'm off to a cookie dough tasting with a staffer who has never tried cookie dough. Ever. Pray for her. And for us that she isn't the 1 in 1,000,000 who falls sick!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Not-So-Newlywed Comment of the Day

B, working hard at the desk, stops for a break and flops down beside me on the couch.

B: What are we watching?
Me: Hoarders: Buried Alive
B (moaning quite loudly): Ooouugh. Can we please not watch this?
Me: Sure! No problem.
(clicks 'last')
B: What is this?
Me: The Notebook.
B: OOOOUUGH. Can we PLEASE not watch THIS?
Me: It was too easy! I had to get you...

It should be noted that B isn't a remote tyrant. Rather he is, in turns, avidly against watching other people in pain (hence, the no-go on Hoarders) and against all things he thinks he should be as a man.

Case in point? After we found Criminal Minds, he told me he'd never even seen The Notebook.

The horror! At least now I know what to ask for for my birthday...

Lunchtime

It's lunchtime! That means it's time to go home and see if Colby ate our drapes. The good news? We didn't pay for them (or we did, if you consider that they came free with a 30 year mortgage). The better news? Since not crating him at night, he's been even sweeter and calmer during the day. We can't figure out if he wasn't sleeping at all in his crate (so he was anxious during the day) or if he's not sleeping at all out of his crate (so he's tired all day). Either way, we have a happier dog and, so far, drapes.

Hide Your Playgrounds!

video
This weekend, we took Colby on a play date with a rescue lab who showed him a thing or two...

B & I have been amazed. We've been trying to figure out ways to get involved in our community and, honestly, make friends. I have great girlfriends here, and we have my high school friends and their husbands (and kids) whom I LOVE, but it's been hard to find people in our stage of life-- we've got free time, but it's later in the evenings (hard on kids) or generally lazy (we like going out to eat!).

We've found several great friends through his work and we're looking for the right church for us but, in the meantime, Colby has definitely made himself useful. How, you ask? We now have several friends on our walking route (though we generally know their dogs names before we learn theirs) and we've been going on puppy play dates; Colby has a blast and ends up exhausted and we get to hang out with new-to-us friends. Score.

This is our new friend Matt's dog, Fuji, who ate Colby's lunch a few times in their playtime, but everyone had fun, even Colby who had to get a bath as soon as we got home.

To new friends and new loves. We love you, slide!

Last Night's Dream

This morning, B woke me up to ask if I was having a nightmare. "You were mumbling and moving around," he said.

No, not a nightmare exactly, but rather a dream.

I dreamed I was on a cruise ship with my mom, dad, and sister. Dad kept trying to sneak into the "gambling room" (as the sign read), which would be so like him not because he was a gambler, but because he liked to think he was getting away with things.

My sister saw Dad's hat and said, "Dad, nice one!" His hat, a wide-brimmed army-green hat read "U.S.S. Maine". "I don't get it," I said.  She replied, "We're on the U.S.S. Star; that's like wearing a 'Joe's Sub Shop' tshirt to eat at Frank's Italian Subs."

I think I'll eat fewer almonds before bed.

While the dream was... odd, I can see where it came from. B and I unintentionally celebrated a "memory land" weekend this weekend. We ate at McAlister's Deli (a mainstay during my time in the apartments across the way from it), enjoying our favorite dishes and nacho cheese dip. We walked on Lakeshore's trail, which I did every day for, literally, years, and made B walk with me when he was in town. And we went to the Baptist church which, while not a tradition for us previously in Birmingham, reminded me so much of home.

McAlister's, particularly, brought back a lot of fun memories. I used to go every time I got back from a trip with my job (I even have their number still programmed into my phone). We went some when we lived in North Carolina, but, as B pointed out yesterday, it just didn't taste the same.

Dad was a huge fan of McAlister's. In general, his favorite (fast) food groups were soup, salad, and sandwich. The fact that McAlister's has spuds (baked potatoes) pretty much sent him over the edge. He would always, without fail, order too much. He'd start with his usual, a chicken salad sandwich (which comes with a side; his pick? Potato salad) and then say he'd also like a baked potato with butter and sour cream on the side.

Now, you can tell (or at least I can) by the pricing that this is no basic Wendy's baked potato. Instead of $1, it's more like $3.29. And yet, dad would always be flabbergasted every time the guy walked out with the food and hoisted a heaping sandwich on the table with a bulging side of potato salad  and then another add another full-sized plate with what can only be described as the monster of baked potatoes. Jim N Nicks, a bbq chain in our area, offers similarly sized potatoes, but only succeeds in doing so by serving, I kid you not, a potato and a half splayed out on a plate.

As B and I waited for our order, we shared my bucket of sweet tea and remembered the good dad memories and also our own favorites, like how B used to always order the chicken salad sandwich until I reminded him, every time, that he hated it here because it was "too mayonnaisey". Did I mention that dad added mayonnaise to his?

Here's to strolls down memory lane. Happy Monday!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Did You Forget?

Did you forget what we look like? I can fix that:
It's been a while since I've written much of anything, honestly, and I have to say that I've really missed it. Now I find myself dying to write and yet completely blank-minded. Oh muses, where have you gone?

Whatever. They're still here, the little punks. I just have to bait them out.

I know I told you what we've been up to, but let me tell you what we've really been doing.

B & I have been relishing our time together. We knew that work at the firm would kick up and, boy, has it. He's working at the office from around 8 until about 6:30, then working for a few hours (or more) at home at night. I love having him around and having Colby for him to snuggle on. Seriously, have you tried fuzzy therapy? I might open a mall kiosk and allow people to rub their hands in his fur for a donation to charity.

Generally (amazingly, ironically), I'm not a dog person. I don't like the way my hands smell or feel after I've petted one. I lose patience for things that can't talk or reason. I feel guilt for leaving them alone during the day and I project emotions onto them with an alarmingly high frequency. Just last night I threw Colby's hedgehog in his crate and he trotted in behind (a first!), so I softly shut the door. As soon as I did, I panicked and started to pepper B with questions. "Should I open it?" "Was that too fast?" "Did I mess it up?" We've spent hours on the floor by his crate in hopes that he'll find it a safe space that's his own. B reassured me that Colby could give a damn; he didn't want to stay in the crate either way!

But with Colby, I find myself literally drawn to being with him. I want to lay on the floor and snuggle with him. I'm still not a face-licker (disapproving of the action for myself as either the licker or the lickee, in case you're curious), furniture-sitter, bed-sleeper, or table-food-sharer when it comes to him, but I will brush that soft hair every chance I get and, whenever I do, I swear I feel my blood pressure drop.

So while B works, Colby and I sneak in an extra walk in the evenings, then, like last night, build a fire in the fire pit and await the arrival of Colby's best friend (What? B's way faster than I am, so he's clearly the favored playmate).

If Colby sees us (and, of course, beloved Hedgehog) as his lovies, then, to be honest, I can't help but feel the same way.

Where was I? Oh right, getting back into this "writer" thing. I think I'll work on theme, flow, and not meandering... next time.

For now, we're doing more laundry (hello dog hair!) and actually running our vacuum, but we're also meeting new people, including Colby's best friend, a pup named Milly. They both get walked in the morning and as soon as they see each other, they start to run. It'd be a downright love story if Milly wasn't already heavily involved with a pooch named Moose. Did I mention they're both basset hounds? The ears on those two!

Plus, it's nice to know someone's actually using our front sitting room or, as my coworker calls it, Doggy Television.

I can't complain about our life right now. We could get more sleep. We could eat better meals (though slow-cooker pork is pretty much my hero this week). But the thing I'm most focused on is just being here. Now. I'm looking up and realizing how fast (almost) 3 years of marriage has gone, how fast (just shy of) 6 years post college has gone, how fast (nearly) 30 years of life has gone and I'm thinking not about what all I want to do, but just generally how much I want to enjoy it.

Tonight I plan to enjoy it by giving Colby a bath. Happy Friday, indeed.

iPhone Upgrade

Verizon Guy: Nice iPhone!
Me: It's my husband's.
Verizon Guy: What are you using?
Me: A Chocolate Touch.
Verizon Guy: You HAVE to upgrade.
Me: I know, it's a dinosaur, but hear me out-- it holds battery for five days even after 2 years of use and spent a night outside in the rain on the driveway last weekend without missing a beat. How can I upgrade now?
Verizon Guy: Hm. That is a good argument.

While he was setting up B's phone, his cell rang with a work call. He spoke for a few minutes then started saying, "I think I'm losing you. You're going in and out." for about 30 seconds before hanging up, prompting me to say, "Well, that's awkward." He replied, "I know, right? Can you hear me now?"

For the record, I really did leave my phone out in the rain overnight on the driveway, so from about 6pm to 1pm the next day. Oops. But it's fine! Long live the Chocolate Touch!

Happy Friday! And Remember...

When in doubt, it's best to carry all your toys. And a leaf. Happy Friday!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Good In Blogging

Just because I haven't been writing doesn't mean I haven't been reading. In fact, I think I've been reading more. As blogs grow, I feel like they've moved from simply updates to annoyances (why do I need to know this?) to, generally, vehicles for good. Good news. Good ideas. Good will.

The last one is what gets me today. Multiple times lately I've seen blogs do good-- real, tangible good.

This family of 6 went suddenly to a family of four over the course of four months. Her blog friends sent up a fund to help her the blogging mom cover the cost of the headstone from her son's dead four months earlier and her husband's more recent funeral expenses, plus basic things, like groceries. The goal was set for $35,000. So far, over $31,000 has been raised., according to the fundraising page. A modest goal? Sure. A noble effort? Definitely. The best part, at least to me, is that you can see all the donations (and kind notes), which show that the largest donation was $1k, followed by 2 at $200, and all the rest were $100 or below, with the majority around the $20 mark. Most people start their notes with "you don't know me". How amazing is the internet?

The Bloggess, a favorite of mine, got press attention for the giving, which was deemed The Christmas Card Miracle of 2010, she orchestrated, which was so simple it was genius-- match people who want to give with people who are in need. She offered 20 gift cards to people who posted that they were in need. She received over 500 responses, some in need, some wanting to give. What started as a happy lark steamrolled into $40,000 of reader-to-reader exchanges of gift cards and straight-up cash donations.

This sweet family lost their son in a freak flash flood incident this fall and struggled to fit their newly-shorn family of three into the life they'd built for four. As the worried about their daughter, friends rallied around the girl's fanciful Christmas wish; on her list, underneath seeing her brother again,was "Meet Justin Bieber." And you know what? She did. Through the power of PR, Twitter, friends, sorority sisters, and hope, she and her parents were flown to a music awards show (gratis), given tickets, and allowed in to hear his sound check. The blogging mom never asked for this; people simply realized, "this is how I can help" and did it.

Don't worry, I'm not turning my blog into an aggregate for hope and causes, but I am mindful now of being more involved. This posts, these people inspire me and remind me that there is an overwhelming amount of great and good in our world, sometimes it just needs to find its mate for that perfect match.

If you're up for being inspired, read the stories above. Good prevails!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Catalog Living

Do you ever open a magazine and dream that one day you'll have those perfect white kitchen cabinets or that just-so placement of perfect picture frames? Do you ever open a magazine and wonder who the hell lives like that, and how on earth do they have 80 pictures that fit just so into those darn perfect frames? Welcome. We've been waiting for you:

"It took some work, but Gary was confident Elaine would stop whining about wanting an 'open concept' home." ~Catalog Living: A Glimpse Into the Exciting World of the People Living in Your Catalogs.

Long-Suffering Hedgehog

Dear Long-Suffering Hedgehog,

You are a friend,














a nap buddy,













and clearly a stress-reliever.













In all seriousness, Colby has a hedgehog chew toy that he has never made squeak (and hates when we do). Instead, he sleeps with it and sits to come back in to get it if he forgets to take the toy outside with him.

Dear hedgehog, I love you. And I may go back to Wal-Mart and buy 10 more of you.

Thanks for taking one for the team.

Love,
A

Colby's Favorite Things

Pulling on the rope





Getting loved on by A




More love from B















Sleeping on his back. Alll day.

Lunch with Colby

I would promise that I won't become one of those people who only blogs about her dog, but, well, I can't. Not because he's adorable and lovable, which he is, but because he's constantly teaching me things.

For instance, don't take the curves too tightly on Ridge Road unless you want someone (with four feet who shall remain nameless) to spit up in your car. Lesson? Go slower. Enjoy life. Why hurry?

I say "spit up" because you can't say someone who hasn't eaten all day has "thrown up", because there is, inherently, nothing to throw. Colby's our night-owl eater--breakfast at 1pm, dinner at 7 & 11. Lesson 2? Eat when hungry.

But today, Colby's been teaching me about slowing down in general. I come home for lunch to let him out and play for a while and, whether it's the Vitamin D or the fuzzy therapy, this kid's been good for me. That doesn't mean, of course, that B doesn't occasionally hear about how hard it is to come home every day and go back, and it is. But for those blissful 50 minutes, I sit in silence and read or pet or eat or play, which makes me a better cube-mate back at the office.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Last Night

This little man got carried to bed.

While he may look light on his feet, Colby is shockingly stout (and stubborn) when being nudged by B at 2am who, finally finished with his weekend work, was trying to put the little guy to bed in his crate.

Colby, logically, had no interest in moving and was likely loving the fact that we'd (assumedly) forgotten all about the "sleeping in his crate" thing for a night. I'm not sure I would've gotten up either!

Just so we're clear, Colby's "crate" is large enough to hold me and is filled with his bed, towels, and about 4 toys on average. This is not a suffering dog.

B working until 2am on the other hand? That may count as suffering. At least the pup stayed up with him, or outlasted me at least.

Friday, February 3, 2012

It's Time

I've been quiet since July 22nd and, well, it's time.

It's been 6 months and 2ish weeks since I've written, so a cursory catch up is clearly necessary, as well as some form of an explanation.

Where have you been? you ask, if indeed you're still there. Friends, I've been everywhere.

I've been under my house in Florida, where we (and I use "we" very loosely here) finally trapped our friend the opposum while B was taking the Alabama bar, meaning we had to leave our little house guest unattended while we headed for Montgomery, trusting that he wouldn't thwart our fail-proof weight system and make himself at home in our home. No, we didn't leave the AC on when we left.

I've been in Montgomery, where B took the Alabama Bar while I worked from the hotel room and finalized our plans to head to Birmingham as soon as the Bar was over to close on our house the next day.

I've been in an attorney's office, signing legal docs to tie myself to B (again) and to our first home. Happily!

I've been driving a moving truck due-West on I-10 leaving Florida in my dust, but not my rear-view mirror because, did you know? Moving trucks (quite logically) don't have rear-view mirrors. Sure, if you had a rear-view mirror, you'd be looking directly into the front of the ginormous truck you're driving, but it's still odd feeling. When you're moving, you literally can't look back.

I've been calling my sister on my first grocery run in Alabama to tell her that being "at home", to me, means buying the large-size can of Crisco, because I can afford to invest in something I certainly don't want to move. Ever.

I've been unpacking, buying furniture, settling in, and, finally, hanging pictures (um, this week). We love our house. Our home.

I've been getting typhoid shots and taking malaria pills to enjoy an amazing vacation to Nicaragua and Costa Rica. We watched monkeys, crocs, and sunset after gorgeous sunset as we watched the curtain fall on our life pre-law firm and anticipating what the next act might bring when B started at his firm. The malaria pills, if you're interested, were optional, but the lady told me, "If you get malaria and then happen to get pregnant any time in the next year and get so much as a cold, go directly to the hospital because maternal mortality rises dramatically as a result of the virus." B could've cold-cocked the lady, as I'm already a nightmare when sick. Now I'll assume I'm dying, at least for exactly one year post-vacation, when I get a sniffle.

I've been wondering, is it cold-cocked or cold-clocked? My office of editors is firmly divided.

I've been spending some time with B at his family's lake house in upstate Georgia, and enjoying the calm before the (much anticipated!) storm.

I've been transitioning to work back in the office and to B at work with the firm, and loving that we're both pleased as punch with where we are these days.

I've been cheering on Alabama at football games, taking B's Dad to his first SEC game, savoring the National Championship, and, subsequently, mourning the transition of another college football season into (ick) NBA games.

I've been enjoying holidays. Our first Halloween that actually brought trick-or-treaters, even the older kids who came through twice. Another wonderful Thanksgiving with B's family, then a pre-Christmas gathering with all my siblings and their 9(!) children followed by Christmas with B's family and his grandparents. We rung in the New Year with B's best friend from childhood in quiet upstate Georgia with a low-key dinner, Champagne, and football.

I've been researching B's birthday present, a rescue golden, who became a reality two weeks ago when we brought Colby, 18-months, home to his forever home. His fuzzy therapy is the closest I've been to God in a while, especially when I find him napping on the dining room floor and can drag him onto my lap. Overnight I became that person who wonders why I can't bring a dog into a grocery store.

I've been applying to the Junior League (and waiting to hear), meeting with PEOs (another volunteer league for women's education), dining with our fabulous neighbors, hosting low-key dinner parties, and generally trying to get involved with our city, which I love. We're shopping churches and suddenly wondering why they don't have puppy parking.

I've been taking walks with B every morning before work (and sometimes before sunrise), which as been blissful as we've been able to talk about ourselves and our hopes, then watch that come true as our walks changed from "maybe a dog" to "Let's go, Colby! Let's GO!"

I've been researching puppy trainers.

I've been missing you, and this, and writing, and experiencing via this blog. There are things I couldn't write about and, as a result, I let them keep me from writing at all. Suddenly I am the cow in the field separated from the other green acres only by the vent that crosses the gate-less road; it was always here and available to me, I just had to have faith and step over.

Over it (all of it) I am and thus, I'm here. It's time.