Monday, January 21, 2013

Odin: the great and powerful

As most people already know, we adopted our very first puppy at the end of December. We've been having a bit of a "puppy" fever since summer time and we have refused to get a puppy because (1)we don't have much space. we live in an apartment and dogs need yards. They just do. (2) puppies need time and attention and exercise: all things we could give, but with very much sacrifice on sleep and other things. (3) money, training, potty training, and however Ramona would react made us very nervous.
Anyway, I continued to torture myself by looking at all the adorable puppies on Craigslist and swooning over all the baby Bulldogs, German Shepards, Bloodhounds, and Labs I saw. Long story short, we decided that the opportunity would just present itself when it's time for us to get a dog and we shouldn't look into it any further until we decide we're ready and the chance is there.

That being said a few days after Christmas, our friend, Alan, asked us if we were interested in a free Husky puppy. He bought him at full price and tried taking care of him, but realized he didnt have the time to give the little guy the attention he deserved. Remember when I said that thing about an opportunity presenting itself when the time came? I think that was opportunity knocking on our front door. Dugan's dream dog, pure breed, free, comes with shots and kennel and food. All we needed to do was commit to giving him the time and exercise he needed, and find a place with a yard by the time our lease expired in a few months. 
Done and done.
We are in love.

This is what he did for the first couple weeks we had him. Just a little tyke. 

 This is Odin waiting patiently in the kitchen to get fed.

aaaand, this is what Ramona and Odin do all day long. It looks cute, but they make incessant, annoying groaning noises. Its sweet that they love each other, but annoying that they need to make noise when they wrestle. I am so happy that they get along. Ramona pretends to hate him when we're around. But if she doesn't know we're watching, she licks him and snuggles him. I think she likes having a friend around.

So far, we are so happy we made this decision. We love having Odin around and we don't mind going for walks in the freezing cold ten times a day so he can go potty. At first, he peed a lot in the house, but he is a champion, now. He is SO well behaved and listens so well. 
Dugan LOVES having this little companion. He tells me every day how happy he is that we got him.

We love our Odin.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Today, I Miss My Family

I've found myself lately getting choked up at the sight of mothers snuggling their kids at the movies. I constantly think about when the next time I'm going to be visiting my sisters in Virginia will be or when I will have a chance to visit Phoenix or Payson to see the members of my family. I think about my twin every day and never wish we weren't living in the same city. 
I  miss my sisters, and my brothers, my nieces and nephews, & my mom and dad every day I am not next to them. But today. Today, i'm blogging about it.

Love you guys.

Miss you every day.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

2012 In Review

I know this is said every new year, but I don't feel like a whole 12 months have passed since I last did this. My photo folders kept filling up- one after another, and yet I feel like not enough time has gone by for these things to all have happened. I'll give you a quick review of each month and a photo or two of a memory from that month, just to let you grasp what my year 2012 was like.

I honestly don't remember much of January from last year. I remember we had our first snow in New York in January and it was cold. I worked a lot at Panera Bread and I'm pretty sure we didn't go too many places and stayed warm in our apartment. We had a few game nights (pictured above). January, for the most part, must've been pretty cozy because I don't have too many memories of this month.

February, I do remember. I turned 20 and I was very sad that Seth wasn't with me for the first time in our entire lives. I had to come to the realization that we can't be together every year on our birthday- sometimes things just don't work out that way. SO, instead, we Skyped and I made chocolate chip cupcakes (he was supposed to have had a cupcake too but slacked off on his end), and we blew out candles together. February was full of work, snow, and snuggles with my kitty on the couch. We had our friends Tony, Krissy, Kelsey, and Ross come and visit us for a couple days and it was really nice having them around. We went laser tagging and ate Sushi. What a month in New York it was.

I couldn't just choose one photo for March because it was a great enough month to get 3 photos. In the beginning of the month, I flew to Virginia to spend some much needed quality time with Hillary and the Greenstreets. My Momma, Amantha, and Calvin flew out to Virginia too! Mr Eckstein made me breakfast in bed a lot because he's perfect, and we "celebrated" Saint Patrick's Day by making green cupcakes and taking an evening at the park. I say celebrated very loosely because we weren't really celebrating anything, we were just wearing green and eating cupcakes. I got to spend some time with Elyse in Buffalo and someone trusted me enough to hand me a big gun to shoot out on their farm in Rochester. The weather started to warm up a bit and I was beginning to get really excited for spring.

April was nice. The sun was shining more and the Tulips were in bloom. Dugan and I had our one year anniversary and chose NYC as the place to be for that. He had never been before so I thought the time was now or never. We took a 6 hour train ride there and back and walked about 8 miles per day in the city. We saw everything that didnt cost money and then spent a little bit to watch a last minute showing of Marry Poppins on Broadway. 
For Easter, we drove to Rochester and stayed with the Catlin family. April was my last month I would be spending in New York so I made every second of it. I slowly began to pack my things for the move out west to Arizona again and worked my last hours at Panera Bread.

May was really nice. I flew to Arizona with Ramona and Julia and RD let me stay with them for awhile until I could find an apartment in Flagstaff. I helped pamper Julia who was experiencing her first pregnancy. Rachel graduated from High School, Teagan had a birthday party. I found our apartment and worked my way toward moving in. The Arizona weather was nice and the sunshine was warm. Just what I needed after a cold winter in New York.

Made a last minute trip to California with Julia, Ethan, and RD for a wedding. Attempted to get over my driving anxiety and while doing so, I drove over RD's foot (sorry again, buddy). June was the month that we finally moved into our apartment in flagstaff and began our hunt for a job. There was a lot of idle time I filled with watching movies and hanging out with family. Dugan took our jeep for it's 2nd tour across country and met me in Payson 2 days before our move in date. I dont remember much more from june, but I do know that it happened.

So, in July, we did and didn't do a whole lot. I started my babysitting job and began watching two of the best kiddos in the world. We watched the fireworks in Payson- which I haven't done in years. The days were hot and the nights were chilly. It rained everyday in Flagstaff at about the same time each day. Seth had a show in Sedona so we drove down there 3 or 4 times to see him and spend time with him.

August was great! Dugan found a job and I began kicking myself in the butt to get working out. I made the decision work out each and every day and not only start eating healthy, but thinking healthy. We had a nice vacation up at Lake Powell and camped out in the bed of a truck on the beach. I continued to work and it continued to rain. I successfully planned and threw Julia's baby shower. Rachel moved in at the beginning of the month and tried to get herself a job too.

School started off September for us. Dugan, Rachel, and I began our first semester at college together. Dugan and I went on picnic-date and it became one of my favorite dates we've ever had together. The sunflowers hugged the fields of Flagstaff and I was surrounded by Sunshine. My sister in law, Geneva, came home from working in Alaska and we spontaneously went to phoenix to have a surprise dinner for my mother in law. The nights grew colder.

Halloween is pointless to me so I didn't even bother dressing up. In October, we worked, we went to school, we did homework, we slept. The leaves began to change from green, to yellow, to orange, to red. October is one of my favorite months because everything smells like leaves and pumpkin and the colors engulf me. My god son Elias was finally born and I was forever changed. This year, October brought us warm sunshine, cold evenings, slight breeze, brisk runs in the morning. The sun began to hold off on showing its face and went to bed earlier and earlier each day.

The Greenstreets and miss Hillary came for a visit and we got our whole family together for the first time in years. I skipped class to be with them, but still found a way to pass my classes as the semester neared its end. I began looking for a job aside from the babysitting to better stabilize my income. I cleaned the house a lot and spent some time at the Nielsen's household. Hillary and Dad had a birthday. I got my braces on. November meant less runs outside and more time at the gym. I got sick for a little time in there but fully recovered and got back on my feet.

As school ended, Rachel, Dugan, and I breathed a sigh of relief. We all passed out classes and embraced the time off school with ease. We celebrated Dugan's 23rd birthday with sushi and bored games.I began my job at Harkins Theatres and Elyse came to visit. We spent time with our families to celebrate the holidays, but the amount of time spent was way too little. We scraped together some Christmas money for presents and just enjoyed each others company. The snow fell and fell and the temperature dropped to next to nothing.

Overall, 2012 was monumental for us. It contained us moving across the country again, beginning school, fighting through our bills, job hunting, and puzzle building.We watched Mad Men, Archer, How I Met Your Mother, Parks and Recreation and a ton more. We drank a lot of hot cocoa and ate lots of sushi. We braved the new world of Flagstaff. We discovered new restaurants and fought colds. 
2012 meant working together, living together, laughing together. We played a lot of phase ten and mario cart. We took a lot of road trips. 2012 meant getting one year older. 2012 brought chaos from a lot of people who thought the "world would end" on the 21st of December. 

2012 was great. 
2013 will be even better.

Our Winter Holiday Celebrations- 2012

Christmas time is always a conundrum to me. I never know how to feel or what to do. The world expects me to put up a tree in my living room and cover the stem of the tree with presents. I'm supposed to bake a ham or a roast or something and eat pie and drink hot cocoa until I turn into a cocoa bean. I don't really know what the world is celebrating on Christmas anymore. Is it food? Is it international-you're-going-broke-day? If I had my way, I would wake up on Christmas morning to a warm house and the sound of a crackling fire and the smell of home made cinnamon rolls in the oven. I would go to church and sing a few songs about Jesus and about his birth under that bright star. Yes, I would sip hot cocoa all day. I would sip away under a blanket, with music playing, bored games going, and my family sharing stories. There would be no trees, there would be no presents, there would be no expensive plane tickets so my whole family could be together without selling any body parts to do so. If I had it my way, there would be no commercials for sales... only for the price of things to go down the day after Christmas anyway. People would put lights on their houses and nativity scenes in their front yards instead of disturbing 13 foot tall blow-up Santa.

I am the Grinch, but I don't feel like my reasons are so bad.

My Christmas celebration this year was weird. The weekend before Christmas, we went to Payson and tried to get together with our families to over eat and exchange presents. We did this, but it wasn't the whole family by any means. Sadly, with a large family, I fear there will be many more years celebrating the holidays after this one. It was nice. It was way too quick, but there was lots of delicious food and lots of laughter. You know I love family time!

 Silas and his Dad. Don't they look like the same person? It's pretty eerie.

 Buggy being buggy.

 Sweet, sweet, baby Calvin
 My beautiful mama

This one here is a photo of us with our "family" from the SCA. We all have SUCH a good time together. I really enjoy being around these people. They're giving, loving, kind, funny, and so fun to be around. Thanks again to Maureen, Delphia, and Christopher for throwing such a lovely Christmas party. Can't wait to get together with these peeps real soon.

Christmas eve I worked at 9 am until 5. Not too big of a deal, but it felt like the longest day of my life. When I got home, I remembered Dugan was staying in Phoenix for the night because I was working on Christmas and I told him not to just sit at home alone. I lit a fire, made some hot chai tea, and snuggled up on the couch with my kitty for the night. Christmas eve= success.

Christmas morning was weird because it was the first time in my entire life I had ever woken up alone in my house. It didn't feel like Christmas day. There was no word of Santa, the fire had burnt out, and I even woke up with a bit of a headache. The last thing I wanted to do was go to work but the show must go on. I got ready for work, my honey came home to quick open up our presents from each other before I had to go to work, and I worked a 12 hour shift. Not doing that again. People watching movies is just not that important to me. I was so happy to be greeted by Rachel coming home when I was on my break- cherry ontop of my ice cream let me tell you. 

Ok. This is a little bit of a difficult thing to write about without sounding sour or bitter or any other adjectives that have to do with taste. So I will just spit it out (haha pun). Invited a lot of people over for New Years party at my place, people had other things going on. Whatever. 9 people came, and I am so grateful for those 9 people. It's about a 4th of the people I had expected to come and about an 8th of the amount of people I invited. I was so very worried that no one was going to come because 2 and a half hours after the start time, no one had showed up. BUT, all was well by the end of the night. We had friends over, eating all of the snacks I made and drinking the drinks that were available. Thank you to the people who were able to make it here. You are all terrific.

My goals for the year are as follows. I will not look at the bad in the good, but will instead look for good in the bad. I will deal with my emotions better and stop stressing over little things. I will pray more often. I will read a book each month.(and write down my thoughts on them). I will continue to work on a healthy life style- diet, exercise, and attitude.

Happy new year everyone. I hope your 2013 is spectacular. I know mine will be! It will be full of:
Reading good books
Taking more classes and PASSING THEM
Finding a house with a backyard and more storage space and happily move into it.
Working out.
there's probably a lot more I could put on this list, but I wont spoil it for you. I would have nothing to write about later.


Elyse's Visit.

ELYSE! What a good friend she is. We talk every day- good day or bad, it doesn't matter. She's on the other side of the country, literally, but she is one of the closest people to my heart. She surprised me with a visit the week before Christmas, and around my work schedule (stupid), we made the best of every minute together.

I was a HAPPY lady to have this chick by my side for a full week and 2 days. Its the longest we've seen each other in a really long time and the only time we've seen each other since May. I'll have to get her out here again when I can request some time off work so we can do more like see the grand canyon and go for a hike or two. I think she really enjoyed Arizona and I definitely enjoyed having here in Arizona.
It never feels like enough time.
Thanks again for the Christmas surprise!
You're the best!