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Maybe we should just call it the “Dog Blog”

19 Nov


Taking a break from our busy Saturday to show a little love. This little nugget has it made. Am I right?


Fur Baby

10 Nov

People often ask me when we are going to have children. I get that. We are 28 (old boy is a few weeks from 29). We have stable jobs. We have been married a few years and have a home if our own. Sounds like we should be procreating, right?

Well, a major factor to be considered is this guy.

We got our Olde English Bulldogge JJ about 4 and a half years ago. Phil wanted a dog and, as a poor chiropractic student, had been saving up change for a couple years. He wanted a dog that looks tough, had personality, and would be man’s best friend. Well he got all of that except a best friend. JJ looks to Phil as his authority, but his softhearted mama is his go to person when given a choice.
(Note that I didn’t want a dog at all. Hair, drool, and buying something to rely on me for 10+ years was not appealing.)


Actually, as I’m typing this right now, JJ is curled up by my legs underneath a blanket. This guy has a face that makes you forget he just chewed your running shoes or humped the leg of a visiting friend. This guy is our fur baby, and the only one we plan on raising for a while. Allow me to better express this through imagery….




More photos are always available by request. Seriously, I have many more photos. If this whole “working for a living” thing doesn’t work out, I’m just going to make and sell calendars, and tshirts with this guys mug on them.

Between his constant desire to cuddle, need to be cared for, antics, and insistence to get between us during the slightest display of affection, JJ has decided for us that a fur baby is all we need for right now.

Thanks, Mom.

1 Aug


Saturday was our dog JJ’s 4th birthday. This is a milestone for us, well me, considering he is my first indoor pet and also our first big purchase together. We’ve learned a lot over his short life, bonding through the injuries and illness and learning to work together through the middle of the night potty training and such. My family, being farmers, didn’t get it. Why would you let an animal sleep in your bed or find it a babysitter? So it was especially meaningful getting this cRd today, addressed to the Beardog himself and complete with note about how embarrassed my mom was to walk into Hallmark and ask for a card for her granddog ūüôā

Another Bad Day Beater

20 Jun

I had a select group of photos, mostly candids, that I keep stashed away in case I of a bad day. While today was actually particularly good, I still had to swipe this from a friend and added it to the mood-improving archives.

In Perspective

19 Jun

I feel like I should include a disclaimer to start this blog post since there will be mininal wit or humor.  The past few weeks have been, well, odd.  The mix of so many joyous and sad occasions within a short time period have made me increasingly sentimental and pensive.

Don’t worry.¬† Phil and I are totally healthy, happily married, and pleased to be parents only to a bulldog for years to come.¬† So there is no hidden meaning or “read into” with this post.¬† I’ve just been reflective lately.¬† I suppose there is nothing wrong with that.

This weekend, I gathered with several of my longtime girlfriends to celebrate one friend’s upcoming marriage.¬† Over wine, lake water, Tom Petty, and grilled food, we laughed until our faces hurt, hugged more times than I can remember, and took a few pictures that I’m sure will resurface for years to come.¬† These girls are like my family- sisters I never had.¬† And in the words of my mother, a weekend getaway in the foothills of Missourri was truly “good for my soul”.¬† Although we are an unlikely bunch of friends (a couple Catholic schoolgirls, a couple country bumpkins, a couple cheerleaders, and a former¬†MXPX fan¬†turned LA diva), I feel so blessed to have them in my life some 10 years after we first assembled on the campus of Illinois College.¬† And that’s not all, I have even moreof these¬†sister-like friends, many of whom have known me since I stopped wearing dresses to school.¬† They love me in spite of my many imperfections and can provide the same sort of achey cheeks within a few hours. During the 5 hour trek home, I wondered, “What did I do to deserve such good friends?”

Later today, I called my pops to wish him a Happy Father’s Day.¬† As we talked about weather, my tires, his retirement, and then I¬†finished lecturing him on how he needs to get back in to see his chiropractor, we exchanged “I love yous” and hung up the phone.¬† I thought about my dad- his leathery, always tan skin, and the toothy grin and nubby fingers we share- and wondered, “How did I end up with him?” His relationship with his own father was not always exemplary.¬† So I’m not sure where he learned to be a father, but¬†he does a great job.

A few hours later, my heart¬†broke for one of those dear friends I mentioned as she watched her mother fight for her life.¬† Feeling helpless during this poignant moment, I asked God to spare her from this heartache. But he didn’t.

My life and my head have been full of moments like these and others over the last few weeks that make me feel so fortunate to have my health, my family, my home, and my job.  As a result, I have been hugging a little tighter, putting chores off a little longer, listening a little deeper, and making sure the people around me know how much I value them in my life.

I know I won’t always feel so appreciative and that it will be easy to get caught up in the rush of life and the “woe is me” when things get a little hard.¬† But in the meantime, I will annoy my husband with out-of-the-blue “I love yous” and arm touches (which he tolerates), kiss my dog more, and appreciate the people and things that make life- although so unpredictable- a completely worthwhile adventure.

Consumer Confessions

13 Apr

I don’t consider myself a material person. I think I’m kinda simple really. I just don’t “need” a lot of stuff and take pride in being thrifty actually.¬† Yet, I find myself going in phases where suddenly all my clothes suck, or a piece of furniture needs replaced for no real reason, or I have talked myself into thinking that an item has lost functionality. (Most recently, I decided that our candles were emitting an odor rather than the mulled cider smell promised by the label, and therefore, needed replacement candles asap. Lame-o.) I realize this is a pretty normal phenomenon. Everyone goes through phases where they want a new (fill in the blank) to change things up.¬† But I am trying to become more aware of¬†my consumerist cravings before I make an¬†irrational purchase.¬† After all, for my little family, life in your 20’s is about saving and prioritizing spending. So to curb my cravings a little, I’ve been keeping a mental list of all the stuff that at some point I convinced myself I needed or deserved.¬† Sparked by watching a few minutes of “Extreme Couponing” coupled with “Storage Wars” tonight, I’m honoring my (and probably your) incessant need for “stuff” by listing all the¬†possible purchases¬†that¬†went through my mind just today, since 6:30am:

I Phone (4G, then I talked myself into a refurbished 3G)

Delicious and almost medicinal 16oz. non-fat latte

Mascara (Freaked myself out about eye diseases caused by more than 60 day old tubes.)

Sassy earrings to make up for my plain jane spring wardrobe (Would substitute envious spring wardrobe in sacrifice of sassy earrings, for the record.)

Candles (I¬†caught a whiff of the “mulled cider” and thought it was a¬†bar¬†of soap.)

Some grown up decor for my plain, but freshly painted office

A dining room table (sparked by the bum leg on one of our 1970’s chairs. Amazingly, no one seems to know what happened to it.)


Actual things I bought today:

Soup, dinner roll,and pop a la hospital cafeteria 


So I guess I didn’t do too bad resisting my inner brat. It’s okay to dream about new and improved stuff, but that’s a lot of stuff, isn’t it?¬† Maybe I could blame too much tv or the fact that we are budget maniacs for having shopping on the brain so much. I just feel kind of bad about it because I know none of it is stuff I really “need”. I mean, before the time of Target and Home Goods, people didn’t even know about this “stuff” and they lived just fine. Granted Malaria was rampant and they lost all their oxen¬†fording the rivers, but I’m pretty sure that was unrelated.


8 Mar

Like most mothers, my mom Barb is my biggest fan.  Let me qualify that by saying that my husband likes me a lot more than most people in this world.  But when it comes to the details of my recent trip to Old Navy, latest accomplishment at work, or dilemma over dishsoap, my mom is all ears regardless of the topic.  She intently listens, gives her thoughts if asked, or reassures me, depending on what I need.

Don’t get me wrong and say what every daughter is thinking right about now- yes, my mom has her quirks.¬† She can also set me off faster than a dead battery on my remote start, but I know I can do the same to her.¬†So it’s fair. However, when it comes to a mother-daughter relationship, 9 times out of 10, I couldn’t be luckier to have Barb.

This isn’t the first time during my blog’s short life span that I have devoted an entire post to a Barb love fest, but this time I want to focus particularly on¬†a one-liner from my mom¬†that I will hang on to and invite you to do the same.

During a recent “I’ve never been so stressed/the world might end/I am doubting my own abilities and mad at life” talks on the phone, my mom offered this little gem to go along with my self-loathing: ”¬†Well, if you are so confident you are going to fail, then you might as well have a great attitude along the way. It’s hard for people to be mad at someone who is enjoyable to work with.” Well said, B.¬† (And don’t think I missed your sarcastic tone when you pointed out that I’ve made up my mind that I am going to suck it up. I get the message.)

She quickly changed the subject afterward to the garage sale we are planning this spring.  This tells me two things: 1) She has nothing more to say on this topic. 2) She has probably been buying things on major markdown in hopes of putting them in this garage sale and making a profit.

I wish that last part was a lie, but she has probably been¬†“scouting” good garage sale items.¬†I know her all too well.