Monday, May 09, 2011

Mothers Day 2011

I got to see both of my mothers this past mothers day.
The one who raised me and the one who raised my precious Sevy.

Sev and I packed our bags (yet again) and headed up the road Friday evening.
We drove all the way from Columbia, SC to Asheville, NC with both dogs and a truck packed to the brim with camping gear.  We were hoping to get to the Biltmore before dark, but we didn't quite make it.  We ended up pitching our tent in the dark, but that was okay, at least we made it with no doggy throw up accidents!! Molly is doing so much better with her car sickness issues.
We woke Saturday morning to a gorgeous view...the Biltmore estate? NO.  A field full of horses!!..and the Biltmore estates, which is a beautiful location, but I loved seeing all of the horses even better.
We cheered my mother-in-law on as she competed in a 50 mile endurance ride on her sweet horse, Elle.
It was the first ride I've ever had the chance to watch Sue compete in, she and her horse are an amazing little team.
I only wish I had taken my camera!!! I could not believe I had forgotten it!!
Molly was a little hesitant around all of the tall, strange looking, long faced creatures at first...but after awhile she seemed to just as comfortable around them as they were her.
In between ride check-ins,  I took Molly for walks, we played fetch and even introduced her to her first river encounter-where she promptly charged into the water before she realized what it was and then freaked out.
She was such a good little dog, everyone wanted their turn at petting her soft fur. 
Ali was no exception, he always charms anyone he comes in contact with.  He is such a little ham and crowd pleaser.  I think both dogs had a lot of fun and were exhausted on the ride back to Inman, SC on Saturday afternoon.

On Saturday evening, I got to see my mom!  We spent the evening throwing tennis balls and a frisbee for Molly.  We retired to the back porch when the sun went down and just enjoyed the warm weather. 
Sunday morning we woke up and enjoyed breakfast together...breakfast that my mom cooked for us!  It's okay, you can say it.....Bless her heart! I know! However, if you know my father, then you know I've never been allowed in moms kitchen.  Nope.  True story, when I was little I used to try and watch mom while she cooked, dad would come into the kitchen and sternly say "OUT!...out of the kitchen! No children in the kitchen!!" He would say it was because kids have dirty hands and he couldn't trust our hands being clean...but I think he was just afraid mom would make a mistake cooking his dinner if she had us rugrats running around under foot ;-) 
Still, to this day, he gives us the stink eye if we're anywhere near the kitchen when mom is cooking.  Therefore, mom got to cook her own breakfast.  So sad.  It's okay though, because I never really got to watch mom cook, I don't really know how to! So it was probably a good thing I didn't get the chance to cook my mother breakfast for mothers day.
I really do have a great mother and I thank God for her daily.
Yesterday evening our preacher spoke on the importance of mothers passing down their faith and teaching their children about Jesus. 
Sometimes, in my crazy life, I forget just who it was that taught me my morals, who raised me to love the Lord, who first read the Bible to me and who wrestled me into my tights on Sunday mornings so that we could make it to church on time (or close to it).
I am blessed to have a mother who raised her daughter to know the Lord.
I am blessed to have a mother that, even when her daughter pushed every one of her buttons, threw a tantrum, insisted that she knew what was best for her life, and did everything completely backwards from the norm, still loves me unconditionally.

Happy Mothers Day Mom, I love you :-)

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Tybee or not Tybee?

That really isn't a question...just go with it.
Sev and I spent last weekend on Tybee Island, GA.  Well, he spent last weekend...I spent a little more than a weekend, I took Monday off of work (my first vacation day of the year!) to spend a "girls only" night on Sunday.
We seriously had the best time.  We ate a lot (I'm blessed with friends and neighbors that REALLY know how to cook) we lounged around a lot, we soaked up a lot of sun (some of us more than others...poor Sev, he's currently a nice shade of Red), we (us girls) read a lot and we all laughed a lot.
I also....
wait for it....
took some pictures!!
Hello!


On Friday evening, Sev and I loaded up the car and headed down the road...we were Georgia bound baby!
This would be my first trip to Savannah...it's true what they say, it looks a lot like Charleston.
When we arrived at our destination, we unloaded our car, took a tour of the wonderful house that would be our home away from home and then headed straight for the porch for some card games and relaxation with our friends.

 After some time, it got a little chilly on the porch (well, us girls got chilly...the guys tried to convince us it was warmer than it felt), so we took our games and laughter inside. 


This is Christie...Hi Christie!!!...her sweet parents own a share of the GORGEOUS house we stayed at and allowed our bunch to take over one of their weeks.
The house was spacious, we all had our own rooms and bathrooms...I wish I remembered to take pictures of the place...but I did remember to take a picture of the elevator!  Yep, the house had an elevator and it didn't take long before we were all taking turns (like a bunch of kids) riding the elevator from the bottom floor on up.

                                                               

                                                                  Aren't we sweet!?
                                             (please ignore the horrid shine on my forehead, geesh!  You go through out your entire highschool carrier with not a blemish or oil slick one and then BAM! One day you wake up and reality hits you smack in the face-literally.)
 Saturday morning found us lounging on the beach.  We watched a group of dolphins play just a few short yards out from us.  We read beachy novels.  We stuck our toes in the water.  Christie and I took a walk on the beach.  We people watched (WHAT?! Doesn't everyone do that on the beach?) and we worked on our tan.

 **The adorable basket in the picture above was my Easter basket this year.  I have the sweetest Easter bunny :-)...(What? Don't all 27 year olds have Easter bunnies?!)


After our day out on the beach, the girls came back to the house and then took off on a nice-long-bike ride around the island.  The bike I was on did not agree with my overly long legs and awkwardly short torso...but I really enjoyed the ride.  Christie was our tour guide and along with showing us the different attractions, she kept us laughing....(and pedaling...she showed no mercy).

Saturday night we all enjoyed a huge pile of beufort stew (or frogmore stew, or low country boil, or whatever you might call it).  It's one of our favorite meals anytime we all get together, so it only made sense to make it while on our beach trip.  This below picture is after we had filled our plates...I forgot to take a before shot...maybe it was the bike ride that had my tummy growling.
 Emily Ann made tomato pie...it was SO good!!  She even made an entire gluten free one for Christie.

 The guys left on Sunday while the girls packed yet another beach bag and headed for the sandy shores.  Below is a picture of the Tybee pier.  The beach house was located just a few short yards down from the pier, so our spot on the beach was pretty active...it proved to be a good spot for people watching.
                                        
 We lounged around on the beach most of the day, as a matter of fact we only left the beach because the tide threatened to chase us into the sand dunes.  However, the lounging didn't stop there, we just took up our lounging on the front porch of the house and watched the waves roll in from the safety of a relaxing porch swing.
We finally peeled ourseleves away from all of the relaxing and gave in to our bellies.  We traded our bathing suits for sun dresses and headed to the closest seafood restaurant on the island.


We fell alseep on Sunday night to the news of bin ladens death. 
Monday morning we woke up, and I forced myself to pack my bags...my relaxing vaca was coming to an end.  We headed to a local breakfast diner.  It was featured in Southern Living, so we just had to give it a try.  We found ourselves waiting in a line outside until it was time to eat.  The front door was plastered with signs that were very specific to what we, the customers, were expected to do if we wanted to have a meal at the diner.


 On our way out of town we drove into downtown Savannah and took a quick detour on river street. 
 Our weekend vacation was over entirely too soon...I hope to visit again real soon!

Food Frenzy

One of the best ways to wear an active dog out is actually through mental exhaustion rather than physical.  One common misunderstanding in dog owners is that they have to run their dog to death in order to wear them out.  In most dog breeds, it's nearly impossible to physically wear a dog out. 
One old school method of dog training is to mentally challenge your dog through their own natural hunting instinct. 
Basically, you take a hand full of dog food and toss it out into the backyard.  The dog uses their nose to "hunt" the food and in the process they mentally wear themselves out.
After they are finished eating, you have one sleepy pup on your hands!
We use this method with Molly, only we use a Kong feeder.  It's a large red, hollow, Kong shaped, toy/food dispenser.  The bottom of the toy is weighted, which causes the toy to bobble around when Molly noses it or forces it over with her paws.  There is a small hole cut out in the side of the feeder that dumps the occasional kibble out onto the floor.  Molly knows her food is in the toy.  However, she is forced to use her natural instincts and little puppy mind to extract her food.
It literally takes Molly a good 30 minutes and then some, to finish her entire meal...which used to take her all of 5 minutes.  After her meal, she's ready for a nap! She is honestly, worn out from tackling the food dispensing toy.
There is one con when using this method, she sometimes sends food kernels flying all over our floor...however, between she and Ali, I've yet to find any left over after the feeding frenzy ends. (though I do swiffer a lot more now days)
Molly may be smart enough to get the Kong to dispense her food...but the real Einstein award goes to Ali.  That rascal has it figured out...he sits back and waits while Molly spins and knocks the Kong around...then when the food goes flying...he's there quick as lightening.  Such a smart little Brussels.

Here are some pictures that make me smile. 
Little man not only steals Molly's food, but her chew sticks too.  He hasn't quite figured out that Molly is larger than he is...and in some cases, so are her toys!



Friday, April 29, 2011

Wait For It

I love working with Molly.  She's a lot of fun to work with, one of the easiest dogs I've tried to "train".
Yesterday we starting working on the "Wait" and "ok" command.
Molly already knows "Sit" "Leave it" and "off".
I started with  her tennis ball, she lovees her tennis ball.
After we played fetch for a while (to relieve some of her pent up energy) I took her ball and made her sit.  I sat her ball a few feet in front of her and said "wait" while holding my hand out in front of her.  She hardly moved, but when she would I would make a noise and say "NO".  Before long she was sitting and waiting.  I then clapped my hands and said "Okay!" and let her retrieve the ball.  She seemed to like the new game, so we played for about 15min.  Once she had the whole "waiting on the ball" concept down pat...I moved it up a level and grabbed her bag of treats.  Below are pictures of Molly demonstrating the "wait" command.

(See the little brown dot on the floor, it's a treat)
                                                                   Wait for it.
                                                                          Wait....
                                                                         Okay!
                                                  Trust me, the treat was gone in seconds.

I broke a milkbone in half and started all over.  I love these pictures, I wish I had used the video option on my camera, but I didn't...sorry.  However, you can still see the frustration and yet determination in her face.
She kept moving from side to side and would flop down on the floor some too.  However, she never once tried to snatch the treat before I said "Ok".
                                                            Wait for it.
                                                        Still waiting...
                                                 Oh the misery! She flops herself down in front of the treat.
                        Snout inches away...but she waits.  Head resting on her front paws....oh the temptation!       

                                           She scoots her way back beside me and looks up.
                            "Pleassse say "ok" please say "ok" pleassse oh please oh please"
                                      "Maybe I can just stretch towards it....just a little"

                                      
                                          "A little bit more...."

"Oh for the love of Pete!...I can't take this anymore!!"

 

OK!
                                                                  ...and it's gone.
                                                               What a good girl!!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Toy Trouble

One problem with a large breed puppy....they can get to things that little dogs can't reach. 
Molly has a toy basket, it is a hand-me-down from Ali (who rarely, if ever, has the desire to play with toys anymore).
Molly is all about the basket.  It does not matter where I place the basket in the house, she finds it and (if she can reach it) brings it back down to her level.
I caught her in action here:

                                                     "There has to be a ball in here!"
                                   
                            

                                    
                                   

                                     
                                                              "Where is the ball?" 

"It has got to be in here...somewhere!"

She soon realizes I'm in the room.  She knows she is busted.

She still has time to locate her ball...I'm too busy snapping pictures.
I get left with the mess of toys to pick up.
Don't look so smug Molly.


(PS. No I do not have a rug that changes pattern...by the time I finished picking up her toys, she had already run from the sunroom to the living room with her ball)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Puppy Problem Numero Uno

**Warning: This will be nasty, if you're not a dog lover or have a weak stomach, read no more! However, if you can handle it, continue reading...you can laugh at me later.**




The day we brought Molly home was such an exciting day for me.
I got home from work, jumped into Sevs truck and we headed to the farm to pick up our pup.

After saying goodbye to the sweet breeder and Molly’s littermates, we loaded our new puppy into the back seat of Sevs truck and headed down the road. The farm where we got Molly was in the middle of nowhere. No sooner had we pulled out of the dirt driveway and onto the dirt road, Molly began to panic. I quickly realized...Molly had never been in a car before! Uh oh.
I climbed out of the passenger seat and into the back seat of the truck. I scooped my long legged puppy up and placed her in my lap. I tried to calm her down and reassure her that the world was not coming to an end. Sev eased the truck down the dirt road and soon we were on interstate 20. Sev had just signaled his way over into the far left lane and was passing a few other vehicles when I looked down at Molly and saw "the look".

The look that every dog makes when they are about to....

throw up.

She was panting, drooling and within seconds she was making the gagging noise I'm all too familiar with.

I didn't have time to stop and think, I cupped my hands together, shoved them under her nose and watched as she deposited a pile of warm, wet, digested dog food, into my hands. Gross! (I warned you).

Severyn couldn't contain his laughter, or his amazement that I knew what was coming before she actually threw up. We were still in the left lane on the interstate, switching lanes was not yet an option as we had cars beside us and directly behind us. Sev rolled down the window and I prepared to...well I can't really think of a proper way to describe what I was intending to do, but you get the picture...then I thought better of the idea. I realized one of three things would likely happen.

One-the digested dog food would fly back inside the window and I would have an even bigger problem.
Two-the car behind me would forever hate me.
Three-my wedding ring set would fly off of my wet hand as I flung my hands out of the window.

None of those options were actual options in my mind. So I sat...as patiently as I could, hands cupped together, digested dog food oozing between my fingers, and one sick puppy laying in my lap. Severyn passed the cars beside us as quickly as he could, turned off onto the next exit and pulled over onto the side of the road. I did the best I could to wash my hands with a cup of water and napkins from the glove box. Needless to say I was disgusted.

We headed home as quickly as possible.

We made it a block away from our house when I was lucky enough to be the recipient of yet another heaping handful of doggy throw up. Again, there was no time to think, cupped hands and quick reflexes left me with the prize.

It's a good thing I love my dogs...and have a strong stomach when it comes to anything dog related.

Huh...maybe I should have been a vet after all!

Stay tuned, that was just puppy problem number one...puppy hood is anything but easy.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Dog Blog

Just about everyone that knows me, knows my love for dogs. 
I'm not sure where my passion for the animal comes from, but I've heard stories about my mother gathering all of the neighborhood dogs up, loading them into my grandmothers car and then pretending to drive them around-while safely parked in the driveway of her childhood home.  She grew up with dogs and in return I grew up with dogs, mostly labs and a handful of mutts.  When my father finally put his foot down and allowed us to have no more dogs, I simply went to my grandmother and explained why owning a dog was very necessary.  Between the ages of...oh maybe 9 and 20...I had talked my grandmother into bringing home over 9 dogs (possibly more...actually probably many more).  I believe we had some form of every breed known to man. 
As fate would have it, I married a man that shares my love for dogs.  For our one year anniversary we brought home our wild man, Ali.  He's part Brussels griffon, part human.  Basically he's the ruler of our household, all 7 pounds of him.
Since we've had Ali, I've rescued, fostered and re homed a handful of other dogs-2 of them with the intention of keeping but ended up finding new (read: better) homes for...which was really okay with me, I knew that even though their forever home was not with me that I had still saved a pound puppies life and they were better off.
However, I always yearned for my "big dog".  I told anyone that would listen that I would live on a farm someday and have my "big dog". 
Well, I don't live on that farm just yet, but last month Sev and I welcomed that "big dog" into our life.

Meet Molly
I honestly can't say how many hours (read: time I should have been working or spent cleaning my house) researching breeds. 
I started to feel that familiar tug on my heart every time we passed a dog on the street.  I would try and squelch my "big dog" desire by walking Ali but after a short block or two he reminded me that I worked for him, not the other way around and he ended up in my arms.  He just isn't all "dog"...and I wanted a DOG.  A dog I could walk, train, play fetch with, take to the park, take hiking and just do general "dog" things.
Severyn came home a little over a month ago and informed me that he would be graduating (for sure!) in exactly one year from this coming May.  I had tried telling myself that we would wait until he was finished with school and were tucked away in my dream farm house, before we got our big dog.
The more I tried to talk myself into waiting, the harder it became.
Shortly after my father informed me that he would be giving up our shared hobby of dirt bike riding.  I was beyond crushed, words can't really even describe how sad I was (still am).  I loved (love) the sport, but I knew-deep down-that my riding days were over.  I just can't see enjoying the sport without my riding partner, my dad.
I decided if I was going to give up my bike, I was going to have to take on a hobby that I loved/enjoyed just as much.  That hobby being hiking and camping...and that included my big dog!
I continued my research, called numerous kennels, vets, breeders, dog trainers and family members...and decided on a breed.  Sev and I visited a local litter of pups on a Wednesday.  I made Sev promise that we would not take a puppy home that same day, I reallllly wanted to think about everything just one last time.  I walked away that evening with my heart in the palm of a puppy paw.  By Friday I had written out an entire schedule proving that we could take proper care of a puppy.  I could walk her in the mornings before leaving for work, Sev comes home for lunch so he could let her out during the middle of the day, he is also home most days before 4pm so she would not be left alone for long. 
On that Friday Sev helped me pull the "big dog" crate from the attic, we assembled it, filled water and food bowls, grabbed a package of dog treats and went to pick up our puppy.

Molly is a Shepadoodle.  She is half German Shepherd, half Standard poodle.  She does not shed a bit of hair.  I'm talking, you can take your hand and firmly grasp her fur, yank it and nothing, not one hair, will be left in your hand.  She is a combination of two of the top three ranked most intelligent dog breeds, of course I think she's smart.  She will be a big dog, but she has a lot of the "lazy" poodle in her as well, so she's great indoors.  So far she has been fairly quick at picking up basic commands.

However, all of that being said...puppies are hard work!  They take a lot of time, dedication, patience, guidance and attention.  Molly is a lot of fun, but a lot of hard work too.  She is all puppy and likes to test my patience, but luckily I prepared myself for the challenge and so far everything is going okay.
I'll probably start blogging a good bit about Molly, the good and the bad. 
A "puppies first year" kind of thing.  Maybe along the way I can connect with others that decide to "take the puppy challenge"...or if you're even thinking that a puppy may be in your near future....well....I can give you one trillion good reasons why you NEED a dog, just ask my grandma, cousins, family and friends. ;-)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Wouldn't It Be Nice...

if I posted pictures!? Sorry, again no pictures...but if you like, you may read on to hear about my weekend.

As soon as I returned home from work Friday afternoon, I met Sev at the door (he had just returned from dropping our pups off at the kennel) and we headed next door to our neighbors.

We quickly loaded up the car, packed it full mind you (this is where pictures would really come in handy) and then five of us loaded in and headed down the road to Charleston.
We had big plans and we were ready to get the show on the road! (what does that mean exactly? show on the road?? Whatever it means...we were ready to go!)
Along the way, we munched on white trash (powdered sugar, peanut butter, chocolate chex mix) and passed the time by talking non-stop (shocked? hello-I was in the car!).

We arrived in Charleston just as our hosts were arriving home with pizza.  We unloaded the car, ate pizza and just enjoyed time with our friends.  We played a few rounds of catch phrase and laughed hysterically well into the night.
Christie graduated from College of Charleston and pretty much knows all there is to know about downtown Charleston.  I thought I knew plenty, but she quickly proved that just being from South Carolina doesn't mean you know all there is to know.  The atmosphere was fun, we stayed just a few short blocks off of King street...which meant, we got to walk everywhere.  That is one thing I love about Charleston, you can walk or ride your bike to pretty much anywhere you want to go.  Saturday morning we woke up to the Charleston sun peeping through the blinds.  We all threw on our bathing suits and headed out the door.  We had a beach party planned and the bus that would take us to the party location, the Windjammer, was scheduled to leave by 11am.  We walked a short distance to the bus stop and boarded our ride. 
We had the best time at the beach.  It was all you could eat BBQ...and it was all I could do to STOP eating the boiled peanuts.  Christie and I participated in a water balloon toss, where we lost after I managed to catch the balloon only to have it burst all over me in the process.  We watched a few tug of war competitions and played a little corn hole.  The girls walked down to the ocean, stuck our toes in and then ran back to the party, the water was still a bit too cold.
We had fun and I soaked up too many sun rays, by the time we returned home, I was sporting a lovely new tan line. 
After the beach party, we didn't have much time before we were scheduled to attend the 2011 Charleston Affair alumni party.  The girls rushed to take showers, fix our hair, fuss over what dress looked best on some of our sun kissed (read: burned) bodies, and then pose for pictures.  We then rushed the guys to get ready.  When the last tie had been tied and the last picture had been snapped...we took off on foot and headed to the College.  It dropped all of three rain drops on us the entire walk, we were relieved as all weekend the news reports kept saying there was a possible tornado threat. 
Sev and I had fun meeting new people, mingling with our friends and trying to pretend we knew how to dance.  I tried to learn how to shag, but I seriously give up on ever learning that...again, just because you're from South Carolina, doesn't mean you can do everything southern. 

We slept in on Sunday and then walked down to King street for some quick shopping and then lunch at the kicken' chicken.  We headed home shortly after lunch, unpacked the car, dropped our luggage inside the house and then Sev and I quickly took off to retrieve our furbabies.  When we returned home our sweet neighbor Rachael invited us to dinner, she is an amazing little cook and we love dinner invites from her!  After dinner we hung around for a bit, trying to soak up the last few minutes left of the weekend.

Today, I'm exhausted...but I can't complain.  I love spending time with friends and laughing the weekend away.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Six Hours, Twelve Months

I hardly get my hair cut.
I've never had it highlighted.
I don't wear it pulled back in cute clips or tied in a fancy knot.
I don't sport the latest style either.
Yet, I spent six hours at the hair salon over the weekend...and it wasn't the first time.
Just about everyone that knows me knows that I get my hair Japanese straightened. I have this process done to my hair right around once a year. It takes forever, it costs a pretty penny, I can't wash my hair for three days after the procedure (I KNOW, NASTY!!)...but it is worth every single bit of trouble.
Usually...until last night.
Last night my hair kept me from playing in our second softball game of the season. Our team still won, but I missed out on the fun. I couldn't pull my hair up in a rubber band and I can't wash it until tonight (I'm counting down the seconds until I can wash my hair, yuck!)...so I missed the game. I have had a lot of people ask me about the whole hair straightening procedure.
Lately, hair straightening has been given a bad rap....as some treatments should! There are a number of products out that claim to straighten hair. However, they use chemicals that are so toxic not only does the stylist have to wear gloves, but the client and stylist both are required to wear masks! Now who in their right mind would allow someone to put something on their head...that they couldn't even touch with their hands or breath in to their mouth. Crazy. The process I get done is completely different. As with any cosmetic or hair care product, the products do have chemicals...but nothing that requires gloves and masks.
The worst thing about the treatment I get...is the amount of time it takes to complete the process...good gosh! The lady that straightens my hair is wonderful and by far the best person that offers the Japanese line, Yuko, in South Carolina (and trust me, I've been to many and research even more).

Aside from getting my hair smashed flat, I spent the weekend hanging out with my neighbor. Sev and I are not quite sure what we're going to do when we move out of Columbia and away from our neighbors. We've gotten to be such good friends...but we know moving is inevitable...our neighbors will be graduating this time next year and.....
so will SEVY!!!
(YIPPEEEEE, Hallelujah! Praise the Lord, please mark your calendars-there WILL be a Party!)
That's right, Sevy boy is on target to graduate May 2012!!
I never thought I'd see the day...

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Something borrowed, something blue, baby brother says "I do"?!?

My brother got engaged last week, last Wednesday to be exact.

I'm still not sure how I feel about it all, and maybe that sounds strange, but he's my baby brother and I suppose I just never thought he would/should/could get married. haha.

Stranger still, his new bride will have my name. Not that long after Sev and I were married, his sister made the comment that it was strange to her that I would have her last name and eventually she would not. I never really gave her comment much thought, until now. I wonder what she would have thought about sharing her entire name with me? First and last! It's such a strange feeling, for me at least.

In a way it's exciting. My baby brother will be married and that just means one thing...I will have a new sister.

Sevs sister and I are very close, I hope to share the same bond with my brothers wife.

I know one day I'll look back and feel silly for all of these emotions that I'm having over my brothers engagement...but those that know me very well, know that I've never been fond of change. My baby brother getting married is a big "change" for me. I'm already making plans to get a prescription for some drugs. I don't cry often, but when I do...it's ugly! I'm talking, red face, drippy nose, mascara running. Not pretty. I'm not convinced I can stand in front of a crowded room, while watching my baby brother get married, and choke back tears.

This is big for me, I'm having a hard time seeing the little boy that I grew up chasing around the yard on scooters, sledding down the hill behind our house with, playing Nintendo for hours with and...just to keep anyone from seeing through rose tinted glasses...fighting with until we were both out of breath, actually getting married!! AHH!

Chris was my compadre, the robber to my cop, the marco to my polo, my Christmas morning wake mom and dad up buddy, my mud pie baking, paintball shooting, creek exploring, fort building, demand taking, bunk bed sharing, trouble making brother.... he can't be old enough to get married.... can he?



**sigh**



I'm more certain now than ever that eloping is way less painful than weddings!

Monday, April 04, 2011

"Take Me Out To The Ball Game"

After we play ball tonight, I'm positive my teammates will be singing a different version.... * I can hear them now. * "Take her out of the ball game, take her off the field......buy her some peanuts and cracker jack, we don't care if she ever comes back..." * **Sigh** *Tonight is our first softball game of the season. I do not feel prepared at all. On a good note, my softball glove got some practice over the weekend! I however...did not. Autumn Lynn and one of my favorite little girls in the world, Alexa Lynn, came to spend time with us over the weekend. We had so much fun catching up and laughing at the crazy things that a four year old will say! On Saturday afternoon Sev and Adam wanted to play ball with a friend from our softball team. Adam used my glove...so that counts for some practice time, right?! Whatever. * Honestly, I'm excited to see what all of this softball hype is all about. Everyone is so excited, it was all they could talk about outside of church service yesterday. The game, the game! "Are you coming to THE game!?" If I remember to take a camera, I'll take pictures from the dugout. I'm fairly certain I'll be spending a good bit of quality time in there.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Why I Don't Write

I have no excuse.
I just haven't.
....too tired, too busy, too consumed with other things...you pick.

Lately, I've been too busy blowing my nose and sitting on my hands in an effort to keep from clawing my eyeballs out.
I don't know about anywhere else right now, but currently, right here in the arm pit of the state....the pollen is CRAZY! I don't mean, a little pollen dust here. I mean BIG, BILLOWING, PUFFY, DENSE, THICK, EYE BURNING, NOSE ITCHING, THROAT CLOGGING, CLOUDS of pollen. They say it's a record year for pollen here...I think they said that last year.
All I know is I can't get away from the stuff and my car...well, it's currently blanketed in a thick coating of the horrible yellow substance.


Severyn and I were asked to play on our church softball league a few weeks ago. At the time I thought it sounded like the most awesome idea!
Two weeks in to practice and...not such a great idea.
I suggested I trade my glove and ball in for a pom-pom...no I have never cheered but I've GOT to be better at cheering than softball.
I was informed there are no cheerleaders in softball and then I was directed to the outfield and told to "stand...there, right there...that's right...now look alive and be ready."
After a good five minutes I started looking for four leaf clovers.
After ten minutes I heard "HEADS UP!" and watched as a ball landed a good five feet from me with a loud THUD.
I silently gave thanks that it didn't land any closer, because then I might have been expected to catch it.

So, I'm not all that great at softball.
I'm more of the extreme sports kind of gal.
However, if anyone wants to make a bet that dirt bike riding is more dangerous than playing softball...I'll take that challenge.
I've got two bruises where a softball whizzed straight past my glove and made contact with my body.


If you need me, you can find me in the outfield...I'll be the one with the puffy red eyes, picking clover and rethinking my grand idea of playing softball in the spring.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Hot Pink

My parents came for a visit last weekend.
I haven't seen them since CHRISTMAS!! Which, is funny because for awhile there we were stuffing a bag of clothes, Ali and fifty pairs of shoes (yes-all mine) into the back of our car just about every weekend, only to stay for two nights before traveling back.

It was a LOT of traveling!

At the start of this year, I vowed to stay home more. We needed to stay home more and after doing so for a few weekends in a row, we got into the swing of it and just never really felt like leaving. Well...that and the fact that we found a church home, Severyn started a new internship, and we began to feel like we fit in here in Columbia-along side our precious neighbors.

My mother did not like it.

Not one bit.

So she finally stuffed her clothes, my dad, his clothes and their two pairs of shoes into THEIR truck and traveled south.
Wasn't that sweet?
They can be.
Sweet.
When they want to be...
for instance, my mother took me out for a day of shopping Saturday, a day full of leisurely strolling the mall together, laughing in the dressing rooms, a Starbucks mid day run and lunch. We ended the day with a manicure-my fingers are now Hot Pink.
That was sweet.
On Sunday they went to church with us and then took us out for lunch.
Very sweet.
but before I get carried away-I don't want anyone thinking I'm spoiled-they still won't pay off my student loans...something about "it's good for you to work for something you want" "this is a life lesson!" "You'll thank us one day"...etc. etc.
I'M KIDDING
I'm kidding...I totally-100%-respect the fact that my parents are letting me pay my own student loans, it has definitely helped me to appreciate my degree more.
and if truth be told, I probably am a little spoiled (keep that between me and you) so I really can't complain.

We really did have a lot of fun with my parents over the weekend.
I was sad to see them go on Sunday afternoon.
I think, regardless of how independent someone is sure they are, a little bit of "homesick" feeling is good to have...it keeps you grounded, reminds you where you came from and who you are.
Right now, I'm a working girl, just trying to pay off my student loans, while sporting hot pink finger nails.

Happy Wednesday.

Monday, February 21, 2011

"I'm lovin' It"

This warm weather we've been having -Spring is my favorite time of year and I'm happy it feels like spring may come early this year.



My new Mac -seriously, I may have to say this a few more times...I really adore this computer!



My church -say what?! Yep, Sev and I have officially found a new church home and we're loving it!



To learn -though, sadly this week marks the end of two of my classes. I've learned a great deal from the both of them. Furthermore, they have helped inspire me to try new things and step even farther outside of the box. I have already begun a new online class, a follow up to the writing one.


Web designing -YES!
I'm constantly starting something new, trying something different and then dropping whatever I started by the wayside. It's a bad habit of mine...or at least I used to think it was a bad habit. I've decided it's just who I am and it's NOT bad to try new things, even if you don't continue on with them...it helps you figure out what it is you DO like along the way! It also makes life very interesting.

So, back when I signed up for my online writing class, I also signed up for a web design class. I didn't blog about the class, or talk to many people about my decision to take the class. I was afraid it would be another one of those "things" that I would start and then stop...and then have to answer for (and it still could be! So don't hold me accountable).

However, my web design class ends this week and I'm happy to announce that I. LOVED. IT. I loved every second of the class! I soaked up every word, every lesson, every assignment and LOVED IT. It was just a beginners class, there is a world of information left to learn, but it has definitely peeked my interest. I'm signing up for another class, hopefully starting this summer, and maybe this time I'll post along the way.


I still don't know what I want to be "when I grow up"-but I feel like I'm getting closer ;-)
Happy Monday!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Is it a bug?

I hope not.
I'm typically a fairly healthy person. If I catch a cold, it's usually once a year and it doesn't last long.
I've already had my one cold for the year, back around the first of January.

Apparently my body forgot...I woke up this morning and quickly realized that I had slept through the night with my mouth open. I always breath through my nose, unless I'm catching a cold and my nose is stuffy. I felt okay, besides a little tenderness in the back of my throat, but I brushed it off and refused to believe a cold could be coming on.
Slowly, I'm starting to feel more and more worn down. I keep sneezing and now I have a lovely roll of toilet tissue, keeping me company, on my desk. My eyes feel weak and there is an annoying little tickle in my nose.

I hope it's not a bug!
It is going to be a B-E-A-UTIFUL weekend, entirely too enjoyable to have a cold!
....excuse me while I sneeze....

I hope everyone else has a wonderful weekend!!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Random FYI

There is a free online typing test that you can utilize if you ever need to know your average WPM (words per minute).
Here's the link: WPM test.

I googled typing tests and found the one mentioned above to be the most user friendly.
You know, just in case you ever get really bored and want something mindless to do...or you want to impress your friends by telling them your WPM typing speed...or you need the information for a employer...

Whatever reason you have, this was just a friendly, random, FYI.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Happy Day After Valentines Day

Some people really do not like Valentines day, I am not one of them.
Show me the person that does not like a box of assorted chocolates, fragrant flowers and the feeling of love in the air and I'll show you a very sad person!! (come to think of it, a person that dislikes chocolate alone is just SAD!)

However, all of that being said, Severyn and I do not go above and beyond on Valentines day. We do celebrate it, but for different reasons than others probably do. We celebrate Valentines day as a "anniversary" because it was on Valentines back in 2005 that Severyn returned home from Iraq, 5 months after we had married and he had redeployed. Valentines day really marks the first day we actually spent as a married couple.

blah blah blah....this is getting WAY TOO mushy for me.

Let me just skip to the good part...
My Valentines Day gift...
This Valentines, I got a new toy!!!

"Hi, I'm a MAC"
...no longer a PC....
I have seen the light, the better side, the side that promises fruit and not frustration!!
I'm the proud owner of a Macbook Pro and I. Love. It.

The end!

Friday, February 04, 2011

The Lesson I Learned Beneath the Dining Room Table.

Huh?
I'll explain.

I do not consider myself a clumsy person.
I don't know that I would consider myself "graceful" either, I struggle with stilettos, but I'm not usually the one that trips over my own feet when I walk.
However, last night, I managed to pull off the most ungraceful maneuver possible.
I fell down our entire flight of hardwood stairs...and I never saw it coming.

I had just gotten out of the shower and wrapped my wet hair in a towel, turban style.
My feet were cold so I put on a pair of ragged, but warm, fuzzy socks. Later I would discover that the rubber pads on the bottom, placed there to prevent you from pulling off any Tom Cruise (Risky Business anybody??) moves, had worn slap off.
Deciding that I needed a glass of ice water before heading off to bed, I made my way down the stairs.
You see where I'm going with this, don't you?
I had just cleared the first, carpeted, flight of stairs and was rounding the landing when it happened...my foot slipped off of the top stair.

First, I went airborne.
My feet flew out from under me and my arms, instinctively, flung out to the side, hands grasping for anything to prevent the inevitable crash my coccyx (who am I kidding..my BUTT) could sense coming.
It was no use.
My left hand grabbed on to the cast iron piece of death trap artwork displayed on the wall.
My right hand tried to cling on to the banister but to no avail, I managed to grasp nothing but air.
The next thing I know, I'm partially under the dining room table, that sits across the room from the bottom of the hardwood stairs. My, over grown guinea pig of a dog, Ali was ferociously standing over me barking his little head off. I would like to think that he was trying to protect me from the ungraceful alien that had taken over my body, but really, I think he just thought I had lost my mind and he was there to let me know he would eat me alive if I dare move.
Such a sweet dog.
Not two seconds later, Severyn is swatting Ali away from me and looking down on me with fear in his eyes "oh my gosh! Lindsey are you okay!!??" "Get up" "Are you okay? Did you hit your head??"
Part of me wanted to answer "I'm fine, I just thought this would be quicker than actually walking down the stairs"...but another part of me (probably my tailbone) was screaming "Ouucccccch!!!"
Tears sprung to my eyes and I just laid there.
I told Sev not to move me while I wiggled my toes, tried to push up on my arms and twisted my head from side to side. In the end, with the help of Severyn, I climbed to my feet.
My butt hurt, my back hurt, my head hurt and my left arm hurt. My left hand was bleeding from my efforts of trying to cling to the cast iron wall piece.
I was a mess.
Thankfully, I decided later, that the towel I had wrapped around my wet hair, had actually provided a bit of protection from the stairs...as I did manage to hit every one of them with the back of my head on the way down.

Severyn, who had been sitting on the couch and witnessed the entire thing, said all he had time to see was a white blur (I had on a white sweatshirt) come crashing down from top of the stairs, by the time he looked I was already under the table.

After I realized I would be just fine, I started to laugh...I mean, how comical it must have been to bare witness to my stair tumbling act. It brought back memories of the times I would convince my brother to climb into moms laundry basket and then let me push him, head over heels, down the stairs to our basement...."cummmonnnn Chris! Just do it! Let me push you down the stairs, it will be fun, like a roller coaster ride!!"

Today, I'm sore. I hurt. I can hardly sit down.
Daddy always said "payback is painful".
Last night, I learned that lesson while staring up at the bottom of my dining room table.

Friday, January 28, 2011

I'm Simply Wrote Out

I am loving my creative writing class.
Loving every second of it.
I now carry an entirely different bag, along with my purse, filled to the brim with notebooks, pens, highlighters, pencils, my nook, a clip board, small slips of paper and my net book.
I'm a writing fiend.
I simply can't get enough of it. Crazy plots, characters, dialogue and ideas are constantly streaming through my mind.
Until....
I sit down to write a quick blog post.

BLANK

That's what my mind does. It's like it just shuts down.
I guess it could be a form of writers block, only...I have no problem writing anything and everything else.

It's such a rush writing.
I love having others critique my work, I'm learning so much...and when I get a "oh my gosh, that's phenomenal you need to run with this idea!" or "keep it up, I love this"....I'm literally on a writers high! It's fun, rewarding, challenging and keeps my creativity flowing.

Then it comes time to jot a little something down, to keep up with my blog and...
I think I'm simply wrote out!

I'm so glad it's Friday!!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Always The One With An Active Imagination

My creative writing class started yesterday!
Really?
Okay, I realize if you read this blog, then you already know I started class yesterday...considering it's all I've blogged about in my past few entries.
Moving on.

So far, after day one, I love it!
It's more about the practice of writing and how to separate the creative mind from the critical mind.
Ha! and I thought I was the only one that had different voices constantly clattering, crashing and clashing around in my mind!
Alas, it turns out, I'm not the only one.

The first assignment was to introduce ourselves.
Easy enough.
After reading my fellow students introductions, it got me thinking about what it is I like about writing.

I'm still not sure!

All I know is that, from a very early age, I've always had a VERY active imagination. I always have a cast of characters running rampant in my mind, or some plot unfolding in my day dreams. I also found, again at an early age, that I liked the way writing evoked feelings from the reader. I wrote poems for friends and family to make them smile or laugh or just to make them remember a time that we shared together. For fathers day one year, I wrote a poem for my dad. I remember sitting patiently, waiting for him to open my framed "masterpiece" and read my words out loud. I couldn't wait to see him read the words that I had worked to piece together to show my admiration, gratitude and love for my dad. The moment came, he read my work out loud, my mother cried (they do that, moms, they cry at anything their children create from the heart...I've learned this over the years), my dad smiled and I was beaming with pride.
Just a few months ago, I was visiting my parents, and I happened to be sitting upstairs in my dads home office. We were chatting...well, to be honest I'm sure I was doing all of the chatting, I tend to do that (me!? yeah it's hard to imagine, huh!?)....I glanced over his meticulously organized bookshelf and spotted the framed poem, displayed beside a few other trinkets dad deems important enough to keep on display. It made me smile and it made me realize that it didn't matter if I was a great writer. It only matters that I do what I enjoy and maybe along the way, for brief moments in time, I can make someone smile, laugh, cry, or think.
I don't write because I'm a word master.
I write because it's fun.
I don't blog because I think anyone with access to the world wide web should know (or heaven forbid, agree with) what I think.
I blog because it's a creative outlet for me and maybe, as a reader, you'll appreciate (even if just a snidbit) my crazy, sometimes random, imagination.


Toodles!
I'm off to write the REALLY JUICY stuff in my PRIVATE journal!
Ha! I kid...I'm pretty much an open book and what the heck could I have that would be considered "juicy" ;-)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I Knew There Was a Reason

In the process of getting my office organized for 2011, I opened my box of old college notebooks and began to sort through them.
I tend to do this once a year.
I pull them out, dust them off, reminisce...decide that there is really no point in keeping them...only to put them back in the box and stuff them back in the attic.

Well, as I was doing the above, this past weekend, I came across my old Creative Writing notebook.

I actually enjoyed sitting down and reading the bits and pieces I wrote for the class and decided I could probably benefit from keeping that particular notebook out and referring to it for my class that starts...TOMORROW! eek.

I knew there was a reason I was such a pack rat when it came to keeping old college notebooks!

It even gave me a little boost of confidence as I read the comments my previous professor had noted on each of my writings.

I think I'm ready to be a student again.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Swamped!

I'm swamped at work...and I'm waiting to go completely under, no return in site.
Until then, I'm still chugging along and treading water.

My writing class starts next Wednesday! I'm very excited and starting to get a tad nervous!
I've been jotting down writing ideas all week, so hopefully I'll be a prepared student on my first day.
Yes! I realize that sounded dorky.

I'm not sure what I felt Monday morning when I got the call that there would be NO WORK....due to SNOW!!
WHAT?? A snow day? Are we even allowed to have those as an adult?
I won't lie, it was one pretty sweet day of being L-A-Z-Y.

We were also told to come in at noon on Tuesday and then I couldn't have been happier when I was told that on Wednesday I would get to sleep in AGAIN and come in at 10!
It was nice.

Then I was told that I will need to make some work time up by staying later and...
reporting to work at 7am this Saturday morning....way to ruin my good Snow day mood.

Oh well, guess being an adult really ISN'T all it's cracked up to be.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Investment Numero Uno

So, in order to follow my own advice and "invest in myself", I came up with a list.

First, I came up with a list of things that interest me.
This took me awhile and required a lot of paper, lots of things interest me.
I enjoy learning and trying new ideas.
I tried to narrow the list down into things that were really interesting enough to spend my (limited) free time on.

Then from that list, I came up with a list of things that I want to try to accomplish in 2011.

Then, I sat back, closed my eyes, took my index finger and randomly placed it down on top of my list

"THIS is what I will start with! This is what I'll try first!"

I opened my eyes, I was full of enthusiasm as I glanced down at my first "investment" endeavor.

"Bring it on!"

My finger was on the bottom left portion of the page.
My list didn't extend into that area.

"Figures"

So I took my list to the computer and sat down to do a little bit of research.
I guess if I wasn't going to pick my first "investment" blindly...I was going to have to make an educated decision.

I finally concluded that my first endeavor will be to work on my writing skills.
Skills?
Okay, so I'm not 100% confident that I even possess the "power of the pen", a way with words, or the skills to succeed.
All of heaven knows I don't have a lick of grammatical or spelling sense,
but dang it, I have fun when I write.
I've kept journals, notebooks, a diary, word documents, and this blog for years.
It's a creative outlet for me.


I signed up for a creative writing class today at my local community college.
I start this month.

Investment Number One: Write more.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

I'm SO, VERY Excited!

and for absolutely no reason, what-so-ever.
I'm just happy.
I have been telling myself that 2011 was going to be a good year, MY year! Great things are going to happen this year, wonderful, happy, fun, interesting, different THINGS are going to happen.
Nope, I can't see into the future. Nope, I have no clue what tomorrow will bring. Nope, I don't have some, off the wall, perfectly thought out, plan of adventure that I'm about to partake on...unless you consider the plan that I do have all of the above.
My plan for 2011 is to just BE HAPPY and to INVEST in myself!

I jotted this quote down in my Moleskin (that's a journal for you non "journaling" people..I just felt super important and cooler than I really am by saying "Moleskin") yesterday and thought I would share.
So I shared it with Severyn.
Severyn laughed at me and then said "I've heard that before, where did you copy that from?!".
Well...I don't care if he laughed and for his information I did not copy from anyone or anywhere...I just thought about it and it made sense and I decided it was Moleskin worthy material, ha!

So...because this year I have decided not to care about what ANYONE says or thinks, because I have promised myself that I am NO LONGER going to allow myself to fear failure, and because I've decided that 2011 is going to be MY YEAR.....here is my quote:

"The secret to success is investing in yourself...then getting others to buy into you"

I'm dedicating 2011 a year of investing in myself.

We'll see where this year takes me!

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

AAAAAAhh chooo

I was trying to think of a title and could NOT stop sneezing...so I found the above appropriate ;-)


Lately I have been:

WORKING my hiney off! If the economy is doing bad...my company has yet to catch wind of that! (please note this is NOT a complaint!)

On a tapioca pudding diet. Well...pudding, jello, chicken noodle soup, and ...basically anything mushy diet. It's the only thing I feel like eating with this lovely little cold I have.

Going through an entire box of puff plus (with lotion) a day! Yuck!!

Trying to organize my house for the start of the new year! It's a work in progress.

Reading on my new NookColor....LOVE it!!! I can hardly put it down. I don't know what took me so long to finally come around to the hand held reading device idea.

Researching classes offered at my local technical college. I've decided that I'm going to register for a new and exciting class to take this year! It's a small treat for myself...YEAH! I'm THAT girl, the one that really loved school and dreams about going back....so much so that I'm willing to take a class just for fun! Ohhhh if only my highschool self could see me now.



okay...well that is all I've got for now. The pile of work on my desk is starting to block my view, I better get back at it.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Like Death Warmed Over

THAT is exactly how I feel!!!

UGH.

Not exactly how I wanted to start this new year...but what do you know? Here I am, nose stuffy one minute and the next I can't find enough tissues. One minute I'm coughing my head off, the next I can't see straight I'm sneezing so hard.

Yuck.



Regardless of how I feel welcoming in 2011, I am positive this is going to be a good year!
I have my list of resolutions, maybe I'll get around to posting them later...
if I survive the first week.