Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Heaven in the Hood

David and I have been working really hard lately trying to get everything done with the houses. We have moved all of the big furniture, half of the kitchen, clothes & all 3 animals to the new house. We’ve tried to do it in small loads so that we can put everything in it’s place and keep the new house organized. As much as we’ve moved over, when I walk into the old house I get an immediate anxiety attack over everything that still needs to be done! I’m trying to keep myself in check but I have had a few meltdowns!

We have shared a lot of firsts together over this past week. We watched the dog’s use their pet door and play in the backyard for the first time. We used the fireplace, used the washer and dryer, cooked our first meal and had my parents over for the first time. I took a bath in my new bath tub for the first time, which was unbelievable! David surprised me with a ton of tea light candles lined up all around the tub and 2 big BB&W aromatherapy candles at each end that smelled divine! He also got me some great smelling bubble bath to use. I was SO excited to take my first bubble bath. I got right in and started up the water and put like 5 squirts of bubble bath in. I wanted it to be perfect! I had my book and some beer ready and I was just going to sit there and take it all in. Nobody ever told me that bubble bath and tub jets do not go well together! I have never seen bubbles like I experienced that night! I about drowned in Bath & Body bubble clouds!! I loved it!

Well last night was my favorite first. We both had a long day at work and were tired and crabby when we got home. I had forgotten to take meat out to defrost for dinner and we had nothing to go along with meat anyways. We finally decided to make a quick trip to the grocery store. We picked up some pork chops and veggies and some hummus & pita to snack on. Beer was not forgotten of course….in fact David couldn’t decide which kind he wanted and felt like he wanted to try something new…so he asked if I minded if he look up reviews on his phone to help him make a decision. UGH! I am marrying the ultimate “research before purchase” man…but I digress. =) On our way home from the store it started raining really hard. We made it inside with all the bags and started to cook dinner. As we were waiting for the meat to cook we sat on the kitchen counter-tops sipping our beer, munching on hummus & pita chips, chilling out listening to music. Outside it was storming the best storm! There was lightening & thunder and everything I absolutely love. It was the best feeling just hanging out together in our brand new kitchen experiencing our first thunderstorm. It was our piece of heaven in the middle of the hood. David mentioned how weird it was to think that in 10 years we will hopefully be doing this same thing with a few kids sitting over at the kitchen table working on homework. If you know David, you know that statement made me extremely happy! I hope forever remember that feeling of comfort and bliss!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Moving Day

I can hardly believe that the time has come to move into the new house. It feels like everything is happening so quickly! I haven't really let myself think about it for the past few months because I had so much time before I had to prepare....and then I blinked my eyes and the waiting was over! This Saturday we will be moving everything over. You know what that means? It means that this Friday night we will be frantically packing my whole house up! We haven't done ANYTHING to prepare. I am going to be pulling my hair out! As excited as I am about this move, I still get sad when I think about selling my house. Although i've only live there for about 4 years, I am really attached because it was the first BIG thing I did! I was so proud of that accomplishment. I was 24 years old and I purchased my own house and made my own mortgage payments! My Dad did get the ball rolling...and I didn't actually live in it for the first year...but it was mine and I loved it! I will miss my little house with the huge back yard. I'll miss sitting on the back patio drinking a beer by the fire watching the dogs run around everywhere. I'll miss living so close to my Mom and Dad and being in the neighborhood that I grew up in. It just feels like SO many important things happened in this house. It has been home for David and I for our whole relationship. I feel like I'm abandoning an old friend or something! I  know that when I eventually get there, I will love living in my new house, but I will leave a part of me on Ilene Drive.

Friday, October 2, 2009

I'm Baaaaaccckkk!

Well my awesome friends Sam & Elise have inspired me to jump back on the blogging band wagon! My intentions for writing a blog are to be more of an online journal for my future self rather than to have a lot of followers. So before I bring you up to speed on how my life has been since my last post on 2/19/09, let me just say “Hello Future Self"! I hope this post finds you skinny and wrinkle free! MUAH!

This year has been a big exciting year in my life! Let me give you a little recap of 2009 thus far!
We have added two more babies to our family since I last wrote. Now along with Gidget we have our 2nd child Felicity aka Miss Kitty. She is a beautiful, spunky Persian cat that I received from Elise’s Mom on Christmas Eve. Long story short, Nani was moving to a new house and couldn’t take Miss Kitty with her. She is my first cat ever and it took about 6 months for us to get used to each other!!! I love her now, and wouldn’t trade her for the world.

Next we move on to our 3rd and final child, Buddy! Buddy is the baby of the family! He is a rescue pup we picked up from SACARC…the Springfield Animal Care and Rescue in March. His is actually an interesting story! I will spare you the details now, but will maybe post about it later.

One of my favorite accomplishments of the year was losing 40 pounds! Woohoo! In March I started walking the bridges downtown in the evenings with David’s Mom. It started out as a way for me to spend time with his Mom and get to know her better, but grew into something that I really, really enjoyed doing for myself! David’s Mom was definitely my motivation every day, and I am grateful that we did this and continue to do this together. I will not tell you where I started out on the scale (neither will I tell you where I am now…I know you, you’re smart…you can add/subtract and then my secret will be known!) but I will tell you that I am at a very happy weight now. I have not reached my goal yet but I’m still working towards it and hoping to reach it before my BIG day in March 2010! This leads me to my 3rd exciting detail of the year!
David and I are engaged!!!!

Finally the day I waited for came on July 3rd. David planned an extraordinary weekend getaway for the 4th of July (my fav holiday!). We started out with a helicopter ride over St. Augustine which was unbelievable!
I have never been on a helicopter ride and what an adrenaline rush it was. From there we headed over to the Alligator Farm. I have lived in close proximity of St. Aug my entire life. I couldn’t count on all my fingers or toes how many times I have been there through the years, and I have never gone to the Alligator Farm. If you haven’t been, you aren’t missing much, but it is pretty cool! I think we spent maybe an hour walking around. Next we headed to a lunch of oysters & beer. This was our first oyster meal of the weekend, and I have to say the best, but not the last. I now know how David grows pearls in his belly button….he loves him some oysters! From lunch we headed across the street to hang out on the beach for a while. We had a good 30 minutes to cool off in the ocean before a storm came through. After the beach it was time to check into our hotel. Let me tell you the Casa Monica in St. Augustine is the end all, be all of hotels. I felt like a celebrity being able to pull my 04 Ford Mustang under the building to valet with all the Beamers & Mercedes. I avoided the bewildered looks from other Louis Vuitton luggaged patrons as the hotel employees wheeled up my generic hot pink bags and David’s 20 year old back pack….and I felt like a million bucks! Seriously, this hotel is beautiful and the staff could not be any better! Anyways, after much hesitation, (because of nerves) David wanted to play a song he learned for me on the guitar. He was so nervous and I didn’t know why! I was trying to make it easy on him, so I didn’t sit there and stare as he played and sang me the song “Green Eyes” by Coldplay. It was so sweet, and he sounded SO good and I couldn’t believe that he learned and practiced all of that by himself just for me! His original plan was to propose to me then, but he got cold feet. Instead we headed out to sit by the pool and drink a beer. When we came back to the room, he finally proposed. It was a very sweet proposal, down on one knee, holding the MOST BEAUTIFUL ring I have ever seen!
I was mesmerized as soon as I saw it. I grabbed it right out of the box and put it on my finger…and then said yes! The ring is so special to both of us. The middle diamond belonged to David’s Great-Grandmother Hap. Hap was her nickname because she was always happy! David says that he thinks she would be proud that I am now wearing her diamond! His Great-Grandparents moved to Orlando, Florida from North Dakota. They started a jewelry store called Swalsteads 100 years ago this year. So on the 100th anniversary year of their jewelry store, their Great-Grandson took Hap’s diamond from her engagement ring to be set in another ring for me! After we called all of our family & best friends to share our exciting news, we went to meet my Mom & Dad and friends Rob & Karen for dinner to celebrate.

It was a really special day and weekend that I will never forget! Thank you to my sweet engagementor for planning the weekend and for choosing me to spend the rest of his life with. You are who I waited for my whole life and everything I could ever want or need. You make me feel special and loved every day, and I still can’t believe how lucky I am to have you!
We are now up to #4 exciting detail of 2009! The day we returned home from our engagement weekend was July 5th. Since January we have been looking to buy a home in Springfield. Springfield is a historic district in the city that we live in. Most of the homes in this area were built in the very early 1900’s and in its day Springfield was the most prominent section of our city. It is downtown and has been known as “the ghetto” all the years of my life. Over the past 10 or so years the city, along with quite a few people with a heart for historic areas, has worked really hard to put Springfield back on the map. I have gotten to know the area better because David’s parents bought and restored a beautiful home down there. Anyways, David and I have fallen in love with the area and the homes and decided that we want to live there too. The Sunday we returned we received an email from Reggie the Realtor about a home down there in foreclosure. We liked the pictures so we asked Reggie to take us that day. We fell in love and made an offer! Our offer was accepted and as of August 19th our new home is here:
The house was already fully restored, but with the help of David’s parents we have added more closet space and put in new wood flooring. The floors are still being worked on and I can’t wait to see the finished product. I will not be moving in until after our wedding on March 20th. I can tell you that I am elated to be able to live there. I can’t wait to spend my nights relaxing on that balcony with David, or having my girlfriends over to drink wine on the porch.

Whew…I’m out of breath and my typing fingers are about to fall off. Now that you are privy to all of the important matters of my life I can’t wait to keep you updated on what’s to come.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Hey...some things are just not meant to be

I don't know...maybe it's PMS but I just can't stomach the thought of Puppy school this weekend. BTW....David agreed! ;) This is the email I sent this morning:

Dear Colleen,
After much thought, I have decided to withdraw my dog Gidget from the Puppy 1 class. We attend your Saturday 9:30am class. To refresh your memory, Gidget is the high-strung, 7 month old black lab mix that humped you pulls a lot. We have been working with her at home, and she has made NO much progress with going on walks and such, but is still so horrible excitable that in a setting like our class, with lots of other dogs, she just does not focus on me.
The last class we attended I felt like Gidget was a huge distraction to the other pups, and would probably be better suited for 1 on 1 training. By no means am I unhappy with the training you offer. I think your class is wonderful, and in the event I get another puppy I will be signing up a lot earlier than 7 months old.

I am not aware of your policy on refunds (partial?), but if you would please let me know if this is possible I would appreciate it.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I Wanna be a Dog School Drop Out

Well Gidget made it through her first class of obedience school….David & I do not expect to pass with flying colors. I don’t think I have ever been so embarrassed in my entire life. It was horrible! Gidget just started off bad from the beginning. Immediately she went crazy pulling me everywhere to see the other dogs and was barking up a storm. The other dogs, while we are on that subject, are primarily tiny puppies, maybe 6 weeks old. All of the other dogs are “pure bred” with snobby owners…my little Gidget was the only 7 month old “mutt”. I’m sure that, on it’s own without her behavior, had people thinking “what the heck are they doing here?” Well the beginning of class went as well as can be expected…she didn’t really want to listen, but she did as good as she could. We are all outside standing in a big circle around the trainer (Connie). Connie is now going to demonstrate “leash walking” and she decides that she wants to use a dog that likes to pull a lot. Ding, Ding, Ding…you’re up Gidget. I noticed that Connie didn’t have to think long on who she would pick for this demonstration. So I watch as Connie takes Gidget with her to the middle of the circle (spotlight) and Gidget is just jumping and barking and SO excited to be the center of attention….then the clincher came… dog…ahem….humped the teacher. OMG….I couldn’t believe it…well I could, but I didn’t want to. I swear I heard a fellow dog owner cry out in shock. The teacher reacted in a calm state….she tried to pretend she didn’t notice what was going on and non-chalantly tried to kick Gidget off of her. This only provoked Gidget to start jumping all over her and growl. This was a wonderful part of the training session. On to our next embarrassment.
At the end of each class the dogs get to have off-leash play time in the fenced in pin. I could already tell that Connie really didn’t want to let Gidget join in on this fun. She asked me if Gidget had experience playing with other dogs…which she definitely has. We have taken her to the dog park in Springfield a few times, and also she likes playing with Gracie (David’s parent’s dog) Libby (Ryland & Smitha’s Doberman whom she has grown up around) & Sassy & Tuffy (my parent’s dogs). She loves other dogs, but is very spirited in her play time. Well the first group that get’s to go are the tiny, baby puppies. They were so cute, and Connie was clueing us in on the “body language” they use. When it was time for the 2nd group, I got the feeling that I was overlooked at least 5 times. Finally Gidget is chosen for the last group. She get’s to play with a German shepherd & an Akita…both at least 2 times larger than she is. David, Gidget & I go into the pin, along with the other dogs and parents. The teacher says “on the count of 3 take your dog off the leash and say GO PLAY”….so we did…and Gidget ran straight for the German Shepherd, tackled him to the ground, knocked him into the side of the pen, and caused him to yelp in terror. Connie starts yelling “Get your dog, Get your dog!” It took both me & David to catch Gidget and get her back on her leash…and she is just begging for more. So the owner of the sissy German shepherd puts her dog back on the leash and takes him out of the pin. Now it’s just Gidge & the Akita. The two of them played very well together….the Akita took Gidget down a few times, but she got some good tackles in as well. We were very proud!
I left class not planning on ever going back….actually expecting a phone call from Connie saying that this really wasn’t the right class for Gidget….but the call never came. Unfortunately we will be going back this Saturday.....I can only imagine what embarrassing moments are in store for us!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

New Year!

Well it is now 2009! Can you believe it? Shouldn't we be flying around in cars by now? It's even more of a new year for me as I turned 28 a few days ago. Sheesh...shouldn't I be married with children by now??? Life sure doesn't go the way you think it should or plan it to be! Thank God for that though. :)
A new president was inaugurated into office this week....Obama. ehhh it's bittersweet. I think it's wonderful that we have come this far as a country to have our first African-American president. It's amazing! But, I do not think that Obama was the best choice. I believe he was voted in solely for the color of his skin, and not for his ability as a leader. Enough of that!
Gidget begins much needed obedience training this weekend! Yippee for that! David enlightened me to that fact that Gidget believes she is "Alpha" over me...meaning she is above me and has no respect for what I say! After some reading into the subject, I realized that this is my fault. I have treated her like a real baby since the day I got her. :( She sleeps in bed with me, sits on the couch next to me, I hug her and kiss her and cuddle her all of the time and NEVER follow through when I tell her no about something. I tried to work with her yesterday...I made her sit before I gave her food, I pushed her off the bed & the couch at least 2.5 million times, I stood up and firmly said no as she was biting my ankles. And all the while she looked at me like she just couldn't understand. I tried very, very hard not to cuddle her and love on her but I couldn't not do it. What is the point in having a dog if you can't love them and treat them like a person? I can't think of anything. David wants her to be a good guard dog, which she already is....except when she's in the warm bed with me snoring under the covers and kicking me off!!!
I am very ready to start this new year off with my sweet little Doodle & Gidget! I love them both very much, and couldn't imagine life without them. David has already told me that this will be the best year of our lives...and I belive him. As long as we are together I am ready for whatever is in store for me!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Good Bye Weazel Babies! :(

This is an extremely hard day for me. I have decided to give my sweet ferrets Lucy & Gizmo away to a new family. I have had these little guys for a year. One crazy Thursday night, David and I went to dinner at a Mexican restaraunt and had a few toooo many margaritas! While buzzing, we discussed the fact that I wanted an animal that I could name "Gizmo", because I thought that was the cutest name ever! Well David, feeling a little loose, decides that we should go to Pet SuperMarket and get ourselves a hampster and name it Gizmo. I thought this was a wonderful idea! We went home, and took a few more shots and headed off to Pet SuperMarket. David used to have a ferret that he loved when he was younger, so we walked over to see the ferrets. I of course decide that the one ferret that is jumping at us really "loves" us and wants us to take it home! David's response: "well he's probably going to get lonely, so we better get 2"! A few hundred dollars later we were on the way home with our 2 new friends "Gizmo & Lucy" and their HUGE ferret home! We eventually regretted this decision after I realized that ferrets are ALOT of work! They poop ALL the time, and EVERYwhere! I loved them so much though. If you have never been around a ferret you just don't know what amazing animals they are! I think we got the best one's ever born! They became 2 of my best friends over this year and I am really,REALLY going to miss them! I'm going to miss the ferret dance they do when you let them out of their cage! I am going to miss finding them curled up asleep in the most random places (my kitchen drawers, my dresser drawers, behind the kitchen cabinets, in a pan, inside the couch!) I am going to miss watching them play with each other and having them follow me everywhere around the house! But most of all I will miss the love they gave me and the love I have for them! One thing I won't miss is the POOP! And that is the reason I have to let them go! I live in a small house which the smell can take over very quickly! I plan on hopefully having kids in the next few years, and I cannot have a baby crawling around on floors where ferrets have gone to the bathroom. I will miss them terribly, but am thankful that I had them in my life at all! I have found a nice family to take them! They have 3 kids who are incredibly excited to meet Lucy & Gizmo, and I hope they have a good rest of their life to come! I love you & will miss you always!