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!!

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'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 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 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 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!