Having Someone in my Corner

I don’t really know how it, but our relationship is vastly different from what it used to be. Thinking back over the last (almost) four years to when we were college students then new graduates then knee deep into our job fields makes me realize how much has changed in such a short period of time. They don’t make it up when they say your 20s will be some of the most roller coaster years of your life.

December 2008

Mr. High Wire’s Graduation – December 2008

So what is so different now? We know we’re in it for the long haul. We’re not boyfriend and girlfriend anymore, at all. In some areas, sure, we may have gotten a little lazy knowing that we have our whole lives ahead of us. But in other ways, the more important ones, arguably, we have really bonded together and built a really strong, stable foundation to rely on. And we definitely lean on each other in times of stress, sorrow, happiness, and excitement.

We’re at a really wonderful stage where we’ve put in the time to develop something really great – but have this whole new chapter heading our way as a married couple. It is like we get a fresh start, but don’t have to worry about starting over. It is the best of both worlds. I know we will have some great years and some very difficult years ahead of us and by no means am I saying our relationship is perfect, because it isn’t. But we do consciously work at it. And will continue to do so.

May 2010

Puppy School Graduation – Summer 2010

The last few months have had quite a bit of unexpected small-scale upheavals. A broken down car, a dog-related impasse with a neighbor, a huge increase in responsibility at my job, and unexpectedly putting an offer on a house and having that offer accepted. Oh and we are also still planning a wedding!! It has been an absolute whirlwind.

But one thing hasn’t faltered in the slightest – us. Relying on each other for advice, opinions, and having someone to vent to has been an irreplaceable source of comfort during these times. People fall in love and get married and all of that, but these events have really made me realize “Oh, that’s what being married is like.”

Having a soon-to-be-husband in my corner, fighting for my new transmission and me listening to the apartment staff yell after a nasty neighbor complains about our dog are just the beginning of the types of things we are going to do for each other. We’re a united front.

rome

Rome, Italy – November 2009

All photos are personal

Is anyone else having a tumultuous Spring? How do you handle crazy times?

A Really Tough Day

One not-so-great aspect of wedding planning that can crop up without warning is getting so consumed with details, appointments, and negotiating that you completely forget what this whole process is all about.

My fiance is such a wonderful man. He’s smart, outgoing, successful, hilarious, and just generally a fun person to be around. The fact that I get to spend my days with him just living our regular lives, is a gift I feel really lucky to have.

Having him by my side through the good times and bad is really irreplaceable. Today was an example of the bad times. My childhood dog, Sasha, was put to sleep this morning. Her quality of life had expired and she was diagnosed with an incurable sickness that resulted in extreme pain.

Without a moment’s hesitation, Bradley suggested we wake up early this morning and go visit her one last time to say goodbye. Knowing he was willing to be there for that was very comforting.

Sasha was a member of our family since she was 6 weeks old and she lived a life full of love and care for the last 13 years.

snoosh

snoosh 7

My mom loved to dress her up in outfits. This one is particularly fitting for this blog:

snoosh 2 snoosh 3 She was not a fan of Roland’s energy.

snoosh 4 But she was willing to share her family with him.

snoosh 5I love you sister! I know you are resting peacefully now.

snoosh 6

An Epic Year

What a year it has been! There have been lots of changes that have happened this year, and all for the better!

1. I started a blog which kept me accountable and introduced me to a whole community of people that were committed to a wholesome, healthy life.

2. Our household expanded to one very friendly, sweet cat and one very loving, affectionate dog.

3. We traveled to Las Vegas for the first time and got ENGAGED.

4. I went back to school and then decided to become a certified paralegal to further my career.

5. I started running and then ran EIGHT races.

What an awesome, awesome year, really.

How epic was your 2010?

The Weekend’s Here!

Well, almost! Happy Friday.

A storm yesterday evening killed my plans for a run outdoors, so I went to Target. I need a set of matching glassware for Thanksgiving and wanted to check our their office supplies to see if I could find the ever-elusive wedding organizer I’ve been attempting to make. As for drinking glasses, Target only sold glasses in sets of 12, and I need a total of 16. I don’t have space for 24 glass drinking glasses.

Target’s office supply section had a lot of potential. I found a ton of different pieces that almost worked, but I couldn’t come up with the right combination of binger/legal pad/planner/divider in exactly what I wanted. But, if I don’t find anything elsewhere, I’ll go back to Target and make it work.

So the quest continues on both fronts.

Tonight I am meeting up with some girlfriends for happy hour! I haven’t seen one of them in over a year since she’s been working abroad and then settled down in Houston a few months ago. I’m so excited to see her and my other two good friends. We’re going here, and I can not wait. Good friends, good food, good drinks? Sold.

The rest of the weekend is socially sparse and I am glad to have a chance to get caught up on a few odds and ends here and there. We are taking the kitty for a check-up at the vet on Saturday, since he’s overdue for some shots and a general once-over. Then the pup is on the docket next for a check-up sometime in the next few weeks/months.

Speaking of pets, we took the puppy over to my parents on Wednesday when we had dinner together, and they have an old-as-dirt dachshund named Sasha. Ordinarily she is the sweetest, tiniest little thing. But once my big bumbling puppy baby comes roaring into their home acting a foo’, she gets a little flustered and upset. I happened to snap a hilarious picture of her trying to defend her territory. She’s so elderly and most of her teeth are gone, so she grows and bears her teeth, but so many are gone that it doesn’t look remotely terrifying. She’s trying though, so I’ll give her props.

Roland LOVES my dad. He snuggles with him every chance he gets. This is from Labor Day weekend:

Other than that, there’s not much for the way of plans this weekend. Nearly every weekend from now until 2011 is jammed, so I better enjoy the rest and relaxation while I can get it.

Is your social calendar revving up for the holiday season already? What do you have planned?

Free Therapy and a Recipe

Well, September came and went, huh? I don’t mind it. Last night, I made a deeeelicious spin on an old favorite, the biscuit casserole.

But first, we took a lovely trip to the Plano dog park and it was PACKED. The weather yesterday was a complete 180 turn from how it has felt around these parts lately. It was cool, crisp, and breezy. Needless to say, human and pet alike wanted to get out and enjoy it. The doggy park was busier than I had ever seen it! At least 50+ dogs there, probably more. I was feeling sort of mopey and depressed yesterday evening after a tough day at work, but being surrounded by all those cayoooot (cute) puppies made all of my problems melt away. Dogs really are like free therapy.

The notable pups from the night was a fluffy white dog that resembled the flying dog from the Never Ending Story,

a whole bunch of brown boxers for Roland to play with, and a baby bull-dog. I died at the cuteness.

Roland is in cheetah mode here. Can you seem him zooming by?

After the park we were famished. So I whipped up this little beast.

Biscuit Casserole (adapted from Caitlin’s recipe)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees

2. Pour the following into a bowl:

1 bag frozen mixed veggies (corn, green beans, carrots, peas)
1/2 cup hummus
1/4 cup of feta cheese
1/2 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 and 1/2 cups of cooked brown rice
salt and peppah to taste

3. Stir

4. Place into a greased casserole dish of your choosing

5. Rinse out mixing bowl and combine ingredients to make biscuit batter (ingredients will depend on your brand, but I needed 2 cups mix, 3/4 cup milk, 2 TBSP vegetable oil)

6. Form biscuit batter into 8 balls, place on top of casserole, and press down slightly

7. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes

8. Plate and consume.

AND guess what? That recipe came out so incredibly tasty that my camera ate the pictures! Arg. Next time I’ll tell the camera to eat a snack before getting close to my food.

EDIT: They have been resurrected. Yay!

About to go heat up leftovers for lunch! Happy Tuesday.

What was your favorite childhood movie (besides the Never Ending Story, of course!)?

What always perks you up out of a bad mood?

Whirleyball and Other Weekend Plans

What a week!

Work has been crazy, my social calendar has been packed, and my budget is undergoing a complete overhaul. It has been nutso all around. I’m ready to do some serious unwinding this weekend in the form of going to the movies tonight, playing whirleyball on Saturday, and spending time with my boyfriend and family. I’m also running a 5k on Saturday morning. Just for fun. No pressure. I’m sure it will go fine.

Oh wait, what’s whirleyball, you ask? It’s fun, that’s what. It can also be described as bumper cars-meets-lacrosse-meets basketball. Yeah, roll that up and smoke it. (or “Run and tell that” if you are Antoine Dotston).

Whirley ball is a hodge podge of fun. For New Year’s Eve I organized a group of us to go play Whirleyball. (No one felt like getting dressed up and blowing a ton of money on a hotel, dinner, and booze like we had done the year before)

I don’t know these people, but there’s a pic I snapped so you have a good idea of what we are working with here. My new friend Kellye is turning 24 (25?) this weekend, and among other things that day, that is one of the planned activities. Yeah!!

Other plans include an obligatory trip to the dog park so my sweet pup can stretch his legs, and a little fall cooking/baking sesh. Stay tuned. I also need to show off my fall decorating creations around the apartment. I am so proud of this project!

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend! Sorry for the not-so-often posting this week. I haven’t felt very inspired.

Summary (to be included on all “Local” posts)

Event: Whirleyball for a friend’s birthday

Place: WhirlyBall & LaserWhirld Plano
3115 West Parker Road
Plano, TX 75023

Date: Saturday, September 18th, 9:45 PM

Frequency: Open Daily

Who can attend: Ages 9 and up and over 4 feet tall

Cost: $25 for two people as part of group on Saturday night. We both played an hour of Whirley ball, and he did one game of lasertag while I napped on the floor (I had a long day and it was nearly midnight by this point, okay?! :))

Whirlyball for 10 or more people Price
1 Hour / 1 Court – For 10 or more people. $149.50
1/2 Hour/ 1 Court – For 10 or more people. $74.75
Whirlyball for 6 to 9 people
A minimum of 6 is need to play the game
 
1 person per 1 hour $14.95
1 person per 1/2 hour $7.48
1 person / 1 game (15 minutes) $4.62

Well, howdy!

I hope everyone is having a nice Monday. This weekend went by in the blink of an eye! I did some a ton of fall decorating around my apartment and I think things are looking quite festive. Prep yourselves for a photo tour coming soon. Following photo not from my home.

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We also went to a festival in the old downtown area of my town. There were booths representing the different stores and restaurants. We also did a little antique-ing. Cost to get in was free, although there was a special area with a band that was $3. It was empty so we didn’t go in. We spent less than $40 on drinks, snacks, antiques, and I picked up some local honey. It was the first year they hosted the event, so it was a little disorganized and not very busy. Anyone can attend, and I guess they’ll try to do it again next year.

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I found even more fall decorations in the cute antique shops and think my home is finally complete with the last additions. I can’t believe how much joy I take from sprucing up my home. It is oddly rewarding. This is the second  year to celebrate the holidays in my own place post-college and it was really fun to take out my box of decorations after the boyfriend so kindly dug it out of the guest closet. His anniversary gift to me was also a huge bag of fall decorations. So those combined with some additional purchases at Hobby Lobby made for a fall-tastic living space. Hobby Lobby is one of those stores that just likes to eat money out of my bank account.

I also picked up a new harness for the pup since he outgrew his old one. Then I took the harness (holding my dog) on its maiden voyage out to the dog park (Saturday) and the nature preserve (Sunday). It was PACKED with people! Roland seems to be less interested in people, and more interested in doggies these days. However, he’s gotten really bad about jumping on people who come visit, so we’ll need to keep working on that.

Sunday included a Rangers vs. Yankees sweep of the three game series. I saw people with brooms and had no idea what is meant until the boyfriend explained to me it would represent the hopeful “sweep” of winning all the games of that series. This Red Sox fan is providing me with a fine example.

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Our seats were in the shade (thank G-d!!!). Will this heat ever break? The highs are still in the 90s for us this week. Yuck! Here’s some pics from the game that my friend took.

After the game, we had a few people over to watch the Cowboys game and the season finale of True Blood. Both were a huge disappointment, unfortunately. We did manage to make a huge dinner spread of leftovers and groceries we never got to during the week. I wound up with a lovely lovely dinner of a veggie burger, corn, strawberries, potato salad, and a pickle. Yum.

We then had the idea to start doing this throughout football season. True Blood is over, but Dexter is coming back so we can watch the game, Dexter, and cook some dinner. You know I love any excuse to throw a party. I love the idea of a whole season of celebrating. I have a feeling once the big holidays start rolling around I’m going to go bonkers.

Summary (to be included on all “Local” posts)

Event: Rangers Baseball Game

Place: 1000 Ballpark Way
Arlington, Texas 76011
Tickets: 817-273-5100

Date: Sunday, September 12th, 2:00 PM

Frequency: During baseball season

Who can attend: Anyone, I believe.

Cost: $25 for two tickets (deal on groupon.com). ~$40 additional on beer (for him and friends), kettlecorn popcorn for me, and we brought a cooler with our own sodas and water that we purchased at a gas station beforehand (friend paid for). Parking was another $10 but we drove, so someone else paid for it.

Looking on the Bright Side

Want the good news or the bad news? Let’s start with the bad news and get it over with.

I took the Camelbak on its maiden voyage (run) last night and it was fabulous! It didn’t chafe or move around at all. I didn’t bring my i-pod with me this time because I just wanted some silence after a HORRIBLE day at work. So the only thing that was annoying was I could hear the water sloshing around. But with my headphones in, I don’t see it as a problem. It was a great run. I seriously debated hibernating in my bedroom in the dark for the rest of the evening, but there was lots to be done around the house before some friends come to visit this weekend. And I knew that the more I debated, the less likely it would be that I would get the run in. So, I just laced up and headed out the door without giving it any more thought.

After the run I swung by the apartment workout facility and did a little upper body weight lifting. Then I headed home with much higher spirits than when I left. Success.

I ended up going to grab a quick bite with a friend and decided the dog was free to roam the apartment while we were gone. Side note: I had the most delicious greek food. We split the hummus and pita appetizer which had smooth creamy hummus that I could have eaten by itself with a spoon probably, and piping hot soft pita slices. Oh heavens, me. Then we split the Spanakopita platter which is a spinach and feta pie in Phylo dough. I had never had it before and it was so amazing. It came with a side of roasted potatoes which I think were cooked with vinegar, and green beans. I’m pretty sure I tilted my head back like 10 times because everything tasted so good! Definitely worth the trip (we walked), the bill, and the calories. 100%. I love when that happens.

I thought I had set the Camelbak up on a high surface where it wouldn’t get disturbed, but I was wrong. Well, when I got back the dog had completely destroyed the Camelbak! He chewed it to smithereens. I was so bummed. The water pack and the bag are still salvageable, but the hose and all that is attached to it is shredded. Arg!

So I guess the plan is to take it to a recreational store and see if they carry the replacement parts and can put the thing back together. I’ll need this:

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And I think this:

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Alright, now for the good news. If you recall, I’ve been growing my very first seedlings on my balcony. They are bell pepper seeds and for some reason they were absolutely flourishing. I have absolutely no experience in growing anything whatsoever, so I was pleased. It actually had just burst open its very first teeny tiny baby bell pepper. It was the cutest little thing. Well I forgot to water a few days after my birthday (in 100+ degree weather each day) and the whole thing crashed and burned. It looked like an atomic bomb had swept through.

The leaves were toast but the stalks were still bright green and mostly alive. I pulled off all the dead leaves and have been attempting to nurse it back to health. Well, I go to look at it last night and several baby leaves have sprouted on the stalks. IT’S ALIVE!!!! (in my best Dr. Frankenstein voice)

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Some of The Boyfriend’s good friends from high school are coming in town with their boat and we are headed to the lake this weekend. Sounds like the perfect idea if you ask me. :)

And how super attractive are these folks? They are also equally super kind and friendly. I absolutely adore these people!

The Bandana

This past weekend if you remember, we (the boyfriend, the dog, and I) went to visit a friend in West Texas.

Our pup Roland is no stranger to road trips. He took his first one at 6 weeks since we bought him in The Boyfriend’s home town and had to drive him the 3 and 1/2 hours back home to where we lived. Here’s some of his shots in the car.

Just a few moments after we got him! Okay, admission time. He is out of a car in the Wal-Mart parking lot. I promise to adopt from a shelter for our next dog. I promise!!!

My friend says his tag here looks like a little baby boxer bow tie. Eek!

Napping on a road trip. Is there anything better? Well, I guess looking at scenery and entertaining the driver would be some other options.

Anyway, back to the story. We were on yet another road trip and making our way out west. (cue Spaghetti Western music) I look into the back seat of the car and I see Roland start heaving. So, I tell the boyfriend to pull over quickly, the dog is going to get sick. I grab the first thing I think of to use as a “catcher” for the throw up (gross I know!). I use the map I printed off of google (we had written directions and a GPS so it didn’t matter if we lost the use of the map). I hold the piece of paper under his mouth and hope for the best.

Well, what comes out completely flattens the paper to the floor. A solid mass is now on the floor of the back seat. What on earth could this be? We had stopped on the side of the road at this point, and I had to get it out of the car. So, I did what any fur-mom or regular mom would do, I took one for the team. I grabbed the thing bare-handed and tossed it out onto the side of the road. Sorry Earth! I still didn’t know what it was so I decided to do a little investigating by poking it with a straw and lifting it up into the air.

So my sleuth skills had uncovered the following:

1. It was a solid mass

2. It was blue

3. It was larger than I thought an animal his size could swallow

4. It was some sort of blue fabric

Oh, right. Remember that Cowboy party I threw? I ordered a whole set of blue bandanas for it. And I insisted that he wear one of them wrapped around his neck. Well, at some point he SWALLOWED the damn thing! There wasn’t one in the car as far as I remember, and we were an hour or two into the trip when he got sick. So he had to have swallowed it hours (days?) beforehand. His survival skills amaze me. How can one live after swallowing an entire bandana?

I don’t even know what sort of follow-up question I can leave for you, but how about:

Have you ever swallowed anything weird (TWSS)??

People Friends and Puppy Friends

This weekend we took a trip to another small Texas town (I seriously can not get enough of these) to visit a friend who just returned to the country after spending 6 months in South Korea teaching English. We became fast friends towards the end of college, and she is one of my favorite people in the whole world. One time, I showed up to a party she was hosting in nearly the same outfit as her (tanks and long peasant skirts in similar colors). Check it out.

The little back story on this is that we both had just returned from trips abroad (Her – Greece/Turkey/Italy and Me – Israel) so we were both feeling quite Mediterranean. We both picked up those outfits while we were out of the country I believe.

She watched me graduate!

We play twister.

We have headstand competitions.

We celebrate Halloween.

So anyway, back to this weekend. The house we stayed at was so awesome. Lots of doors and walkways so you can take different routes through the house and get to the other side. The outside of it was all covered in large stone and had a stone fence around the property. There was also a few other separate structures that also were covered in stone. It was so pretty. I am the world’s worst blogger and didn’t snap a pic, so you’ll have to use your imagination, and this example.

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These small town trips are always great and here’s why:

1. Change of scenery between Concrete Jungle city life that I live in to dirt roads, nature, and wildlife.

2. Change of pace from heart-attack-inducing stop and go traffic down to slow and easy. This applies to driving, cooking (amen to real cooking with real ingredients), talking, living. It’s so relaxing and rejuvenating.

3. Change of interactions. To go from stuffy professional business interactions to relaxed loving family gatherings (even if it isn’t my own family), is really nice.

4. Visiting these places usually means there is always an abundance of adorable dogs. I’m a bit if a dog lover if you couldn’t tell by reading this blog.

Meet Roland’s new friend!

The bull-dog was pretty sensitive to the heat so he had to spend most of his time inside. Whenever he did go outside, he and Roland played and played and played. They had an awesome time I think.

Roland, who has gotten quite large, gets a little confused sometimes and likes to sit like a person. (Pardon my bed hair!)

The only downside to this weekend is that I forgot to water my plants before we left, and I didn’t remind anyone to water while we were gone. My bell pepper plants were flourishing BEAUTIFULLY last week with one teeny tiny little baby bell pepper starting to finally sprout. I got home yesterday and the whole plant look murdered. I’m hoping to bring it back to life, but it looks pretty bad right now. It is my first seedlings that I’ve ever grown, and I was so proud of the little babies. Hopefully they’ll be back with some TLC this week!

Hope you have a wonderful week!

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