Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving Fun: Family Edition

So enough about the dogs, right? There are people in my family, too! :)

It's been a while since I've spent a holiday with my whole family. When Joe and I moved to the East Coast, we promised we would fly home for major holidays. But finances prevented us from ever doing so. My parents flew out for Thanksgiving both years, but I didn't get to see the rest of the family (well, except via Skype).

Also, with so many things going on with everyone in my family (other family obligations, work obligations, vacations, etc.) it's hard to nail everyone down for one big get-together. Actually, my aunt and uncle weren't supposed to be home for Thanksgiving this year, but due to weather conditions on the passes, they were 'forced' to stay home, which was great for all of us! (Unfortunately, my brother and sister-in-law and their kids weren't able to make the big party. Otherwise it would have been complete.)

Thanksgiving was at my aunt Kathy's house, and I always love when holidays are hosted there, because that house used to be my grandma's house. And my grandmas always used to host every major holiday. With my grandma gone, it's nice to have a little bit of her with us (not that she isn't always with us, she definitely is) in her family home.

Anyway, on to pictures!

Joe and Me

The three sisters! My aunt Kathy, my mom, and my aunt Bonnie.

The happy family! My cousin Christi, her boyfriend Brent, and their dog Bogey.

Close friends of the family: Pete, Barb, and their daughter Emily.

My aunt Bonnie and uncle Gary.

My dad and me.

The whole crew! Pretending to be in a 'Turkey Bowl'. (See, we're football players... I know, it's lame, but that is my family.)

Thanksgiving Fun: Dog Edition

We went to Wenatchee for Thanksgiving and yes, I literally have to divide my Thanksgiving post into two because I have so many pictures of the dogs. My cousin, Christi, recently got a new puppy and this was the first time Jackson and Ava were able to meet him. And he is cuuuuuute. I think Ava was jealous because she's always the cute one, but Bogey is frickin' adorable. And even smaller than Ava, so everyone finally could see how chunky Ava really is! He is a three-month-old Chiweenie (Chihuahua/Dachshund mix) and is tiny and full of spunk. He even got Ava to play a little bit, and we all know Ava doesn't play. :)

The moms with the pups. :)

Introducing Bogey to Jackson. Jackson scared him a bit at first, but then they got along great.

See? Bogey is already giving Jackson a little sass.

Bogey is still a puppy, so he sleeps a lot. He liked cuddling with his grandma. :)

Bogey: "What did you get to eat?? I want some!"

Ava cuddled up in a blanket, and Bogey settled in on the top bunk. lol

Cutest cousins ever!

My mom with her 'granddog'.

Aunt Kathy showing off Bogey's best feature - his ears!

Sharing laps...

We had such a great time! I can't wait to watch these three dogs grow up together!

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Cutest Cheerleaders in the World

Yesterday our friends Ed and Jessica invited us over to hang out and watch some football. We had so much fun catching up with them and playing with their adorable twin girls. And Joe was in heaven watching football on an actual t.v. instead of catching what he can on ESPN3.

The girls were so dang cute in their little Seahawks cheerleader outfits (their dad is a huge fan!)

Seriously - how cute??

Hanging out with mom while dad checks fantasy football scores in the foreground. :)

Here is a good shot of their little Seahawks cheerleader outfits!

Busy busy girls!

We're going to have this great family over to our place soon to introduce the babies to the doggies. That should be an adventure!

First Seattle Snow

This morning there were a lot of angry, stressed-out, scared, and otherwise unhappy people in Seattle. Joe and I were not two of those people. We love this stuff!

Sure, it took me two hours to get to work this morning. I was 30 minutes late. Joe had to walk farther up the street to catch the bus that was on a 'snow route'. It was incredibly cold and a little slick.

But it was beautiful! It just started snowing as we walked the dogs this morning and it was dark and quiet and it was so peaceful. Then the snow got heavier as I headed off to work and I have to say - sitting at a standstill in a traffic jam is so much better if you have some snow to look at. (It didn't hurt that the radio station played a couple Christmas songs to try to calm the more stressed-out people down.)

I say bring it on! If it's going to be cold, it might as well be snowing. It's the only redeeming factor of cold weather! And much better than the typical Seattle rain. Plus, it's the holidays! White Thanksgivings and especially White Christmases are all the more merry!

What do you think about the snow?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Fighting with (and Losing to) Ava

As you well know, Ava has a way of manipulating me into getting her way. For example, she will eat all her food and then stand there looking pathetic like, "I'm still soooooo hungry!" so I'll give her a little more. Or, she'll cuddle up to me when I'm working on my computer and stretch and give this cute little sigh like being with me is the MOST wonderful thing in the WHOLE wide world and if I would just move the computer a little off my lap it would make her SO much more comfortable.... so, I'll move my computer so it's in a completely inconvenient position, and really hard for me to type on. (And Ava smiles as her plan of world domination becomes more of a reality.)

But I'm holding my ground on nightly walks. (so far). Every night when we get home we bundle up and take the dogs for a walk. And it's getting colder and colder and Ava is trying to work her magic on me. She'll burrow under covers and look at me with these pathetic eyes and plead not to be taken out. She will hide under the table and almost cower, making me feel like I am actually abusing her in some way. (This one really hurts.) She will lower her head and refuse to look at me like I'm the worst mom ever.

But it's GOOD for her. She doesn't get hardly any exercise and she needs it. So, I force her to go.

Well, like I said, it's getting colder, so she is now wearing her winter coats to try to keep her a tad bit warmer outside. Last night I brought out the big guns.... her four-legged jammies. It's the warmest outfit she has and it was cold out there. And she HATED it. And she tried all the tricks in the book to make me feel bad enough to take it off her and let her stay home. But I didn't give in. And dang it, I think she looks damn cute!

A bit pathetic, sure, but damn cute!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Trupanion's Pawliday Blog Contest

I am so excited to announce a blog contest from Trupanion - the Pawliday Blog Contest! Unfortunately, as a Trupanion employee, I'm not allowed to enter, but I know many of you have fabulous holiday stories about your pets, so you all definitely should! First place prize is $500!

Find out all the rules here:

I hope one of you wins!

Friday, November 12, 2010

R.O.A.R. Squad

I am so excited! I just found out that Joe and I were accepted as the newest members of Fido & Wino's R.O.A.R. Squad - a group of 'rockin' individuals' (that's a quote, people!) who are rescue owners. I'm usually not one to enjoy being in the spotlight, but I am loving this distinction and the feature they posted on us.

Read the full feature by clicking here: R.O.A.R. Feature

What do you think?

The Wordpress Bandwagon

I'm thinking about switching to Wordpress. It seems like the thing to do right now, and as I got to thinking about it, I realized that all these ship-jumpers have a point. Blogger is limiting. The upload format is frustrating. Spacing and other elements always seem to go haywire. And it's starting to really bug me.

Plus, I help my mom with her Wordpress blog and so I've already become used to what it has to offer. And I'm jealous. And I don't want to be jealous of my mom anymore. :)

My only concerns: Should I try to transfer all posts to the new blog? Or should I just start fresh on the new platform and build from there?

Anyone done this recently? Advice? Thoughts?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

First Trip Back to Magnussen

Since Joe had Monday off, and it was actually a rare sunny morning in Seattle, he decided to take Jackson to our favorite Seattle dog park - Magnussen. We used to go to Magnussen quite a bit when we lived in Seattle before, but hadn't been there since moving back. I admit I'm a little sad that I didn't get to join the boys, but I was happy they had such a great time.

Making new friends.

Taking a break.

Crashed out back at home.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

One Month Anniversary Surprise

Today is Joe and my one-month wedding anniversary. We never celebrated anniversaries when we were dating, but I am LOVING celebrating each tiny wedding milestone that comes our way. If you remember, I rushed home at 6:00 a.m. on Halloween from out of town so I could spend the day with Joe... it was our three-week anniversary, after all. :)

Anyway, Joe and I plan to have a romantic homemade dinner in tonight to celebrate. Little did I know, Joe was going to up the celebration anty today. He sent me these at work:

Daisies, my absolute most favorite flower ever. They are perfect and beautiful and smell delightful. They make me smile just looking at them. (Don't you think daisies are the friendliest flowers?*)

This husband of mine.... I think I might just keep him.

*Name that quote and you rule in my book. :)

Date Night at the Outback

Joe has Mondays off, so if we decide to do something after I get off work, it's usually Monday so we don't have to worry about the dogs. (He stays home with the dogs all day as opposed to the dogs being home alone all day.)

So this previous Monday we decided to do date night. For a wedding shower gift, Joe's Uncle Larry gave us a gift card to Outback, one of Joe's favorite restaurants (he's a steak man). So we used that for an almost-free night out! It was great!

That's a happy man right there. And I love to see my man happy. :) I was impressed that the Outback now has a vegetarian option on the menu - their parmesan fettucini with seasonal vegetables. I used to have to order off menu.

Anyway, we had a great time. Thanks Uncle Larry!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Halloween 2010

Sorry, I know this post is a tad bit overdue. :)

So, I was in Wenatchee during Halloween weekend for my cousin's wedding, and unfortunately Joe had to stay home since he works on Saturdays. So, I was alone this year for most of the Halloween festivities. Luckily, my cousin, who loves holidays almost as much as I do, invited me to the Halloween party she was attending, and of course I jumped at the chance!

We had a bunch of great costumes among all the partygoers, and I had so much fun. I asked my cousin what she was dressing up as, and she was all, "Oh, I'm just a referee." Yeah, right:

haha! Everyone was cracking up at her costume! (And there's me, the bunny!)

The party was held in a friend's garage. The garage was wallpapered with Halloween scenes - it was very cool and very well done. Outside there was a bonfire with haybales to sit on.

Avatar and Dolly Parton

Scary Clowns

Pirate, Avatar, and Dia de los Muertos

Ninja, Buddy the Elf, and Cowboy

Dia de los Muertos

This is my cousin's boyfriend, who ROCKED his Buddy the Elf costume.

The next morning I woke up at 6:00 a.m. missing my husband terribly, so I headed back to Seattle before the sun even came up (very unlike me!). I got home around 9:00 and Joe and I spent the day lounging on the couch. (It was also our three week anniversary, so I really wanted to spend the entire day with him, which I got to do.) We hoped for trick-or-treaters but didn't get any, and watched "The Crazies", which was actually a scary movie with a good plot. Who knew?

Overall, I wish Joe would have been able to join in on the festivities, but I thought it was a very successful Halloween!

I hope everyone else enjoyed their Halloween.

And now I'm moving on! While I know Thanksgiving is technically next, I now pronounce this Christmas season! Bring on the colored lights, unique ornaments, bell ringers, Santa Claus, and holiday cheer! This is my favorite time of year!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

My Cousin Weds in the Rain

On Saturday I had the honor of attending one of the most beautiful and personal weddings I've ever seen. My cousin Bruce married a wonderful woman Grace, at their home outside of Wenatchee. These two are a beautiful couple and a community filled with all walks of life came to celebrate their big day.

The live on a mountain off of a very narrow and bumpy dirt road, so only a few hearty vehicles were allowed up. Everyone carpooled to get there.

My crazy family, waiting to be allowed up the mountain.

Me with my nephew (his mom is in the background). It was a very casual wedding and very cold out and this little guy rocked his Halloween costume. So cute!

We made it up the mountain in the capable hands of my father and his big heavy duty truck. (We also made it back down in the capable hands of my father, which was a bit scarier, but my dad did a great job!)

As I said, it was cold out and on top of the mountain it was extremely foggy. But it was a gorgeous setting and the fog made it feel like this couple had the world all to themselves in that moment. And when it started to rain, no one cared, not even the bride, who was absolutely glowing.

My sweet cousin Bruce tearing up at the first sight of his bride.

A beautiful song by Grace's brother and sister-in-law.

A cleansing ceremony for not only the bride and groom, but the guests as well. Very cool.

Vows. (I bawled my eyes out. Seriously.)

It really was a beautiful ceremony with a variety of readings and stories that really spoke to the couple's lifestyle. They exchanged handmade wristbands instead of traditional rings, and were pronounced husband and wife. Then, they walked up to their home, where Bruce carried Grace across the threshhold. *love*

The reception was held on the other side of the house and included the most amazing food put together by the community of guests. There was also a huge bonfire to keep us warm and several live bands that kept the energy up!

My dad and me at the reception.

Me with the bride!

Congratulations Bruce and Grace! I wish you a lifetime of happiness, honor, and love!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

I know, I know, I haven't even finished with my Halloween posts and now here I am talking about Christmas. But you KNOW me, and you KNOW how much I love Christmas! (Only 51 days to go!!)

And one of the best things about Christmas is Christmas cards! I've always been a fan of sending out Christmas cards, and when I met Joe it became even sweeter - and I realized how much fun it can be to send out those cheesy family cards showing us with our furry family.

But now - now! - we are married!! Which makes it soooooo much sweeter to send out family cards. Which I absolutely plan to do. And I plan to turn to Shutterfly to create my cards because Shutterfly has been good to me over the last few months. I ordered my guest book from them. I ordered a gift for my groom from them. I ordered my dad's birthday card from them.

So, I've started looking around to see which cards I might like to choose this year. And they have so many cute designs, it's going to be hard to narrow it down. Here are a few of my favorites:

I tend to be drawn to those designs that include one main picture. This design is lovely. Simple and elegant.

Then there is this one, which is a bit more fun. I love the black and white photo and love the phrase at the top. I think I like a phrases more than just the simple "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays".

But this is my favorite. The phrase may seem overused to some, but I love what it implies (see the title of this post) and the design is simple but fun.

So, what style of card will I end up choosing to send out? It's still up in the air. But I thank Shutterfly for the opportunity to write this post to start the process of figuring it out.

Do you send out holiday cards?