Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Hot Dogs!

It's official. We're parents... to a pair of furbabies (and that's the last time you'll hear me use that term, because I think it's dumb... sorry to anyone who likes it, but that's just my opinion). :) Max and Maddie came to live with us on Sunday, and our lives are already changed forever. For starters, I do not see sleeping-in in my immediate future. It really is like training for children. They depend on us completely for their survival... we have to provide for food, water, trips outside, love, tennis balls, LL Bean dog beds, spaying... you know, the necessary things.

Let me go back to the spaying... we were supposed to receive dogs that could not procreate. Max is definitely neutered, or he's just a poor little guy if not (his cajones could be up in his abdomen). For the female, it's not so easy to tell. Their former masters turned them in to a shelter (jerks) and told them they were both fixed. The intake vet at AGA (the rescue) thought he/she felt a scar where her spay scar would have been, so they assumed she was spayed. Well, we got them home and noticed that Maddie was exhibiting what we thought was some dominant behavior toward Max (we already knew that she liked to sit on his head). Well, this was something like sitting on his head but more like raising her tail and putting her hind end in his face. Turns out, she's in heat! We caught Max trying to mount her a few times, which we thought was weird but didn't think too much of it. Yesterday, they got stuck together when Matt went home for lunch. He played with them, went to the bathroom and came back out and they were butt-to-butt. Maddie locked up on Max, and he tried to get out and couldn't. It was so weird, and thankfully they did come apart. I e-mailed AGA, because we found this all strange (again, assuming we had fixed dogs), and they immediately said she must not be spayed! So, off to the vent we went to confirm.

I actually just spoke with the vet, and she said Maddie did well and definitely had not been spayed. Apparently, her ovaries were covered with follicles and cysts, so she should feel a lot better once she recoups. I really wonder if Max is her sister, offspring or mate. She's clearly had puppies based on the size of her "teets", so who knows? So, Maddie is going to rest up until Saturday and Max will be visiting Grams' house as an only child. What an adventure already!

We are happy to have them though. They are both such good natured, lovable dogs. I think Maddie might have some lab in her, but Max appears to be all golden retriever, except his tail (unless the hair was cut). Max is on the hyper side... he just wants all of your love and affection and wants to play! He's very excited to go outside, go for a walk, eat, drink, play with a toy... anything. He's just a big, goofy, happy guy. Maddie is much more reserved. She's super sweet without being in your face. And fast. My, that girl can run. They both know their basic commands - sit, lay down, stay, shake - and are pretty obedient. Sometimes, it takes a few times, but we're working on that. We love Cesar Milan and Matt also read a book called "How to be Your Dog's Best Friend." We are showing them that we are the leaders of the pack by making them lay down in a designated area while we eat, following us through doors (not leading us), making them sit and stay before they get to go outside/get their food bowl/etc., having them move out of our way instead of taking another route if they are in our path, etc. It may sound harsh to some, but I can assure you that it is not. We are determined to have well-trained and well-adjusted dogs, and they will get all the love in the world!

They LOOOOOVE to play ball. I can't remember what Disney animated movie it is where the dog says, "Ball. Ball. Ball. Ball." I imagine that's what goes through Max's head. He's crazy and has to have two tennis balls in his mouth. Even though she can beat him, Maddie will let up on the chase if he doesn't already have two balls. Max is better at catching the ball mid-air on a bounce, but Maddie isn't too bad. I think we'll have to see if they love frisbee, because they both have the potential to be good frisbee dogs. We took them to our neighborhood park which has a field that they can run off leash, and they were so good. They come when they are called, which is awesome. I do not feel like they are a flight risk at all. Plus, they just want human attention, so they aren't going to run away from it!

Max is pretty good on the leash, and we're working on Maddie. We only got one pinch collar, but they both walk so much better with it on, so we'll be getting another (don't worry, it doesn't hurt them). Max needs to lose 5-10 more lbs (he's down to 77 from 85 at intake in August) and since he's good on the leash, he can be my walk/jog partner. It will be good for us him.

Well, I guess that is enough bragging on the new members of our family. Now for a few pictures! Can't wait to have Maddie home... Max is going to miss her (and so are we).

Right before we took them home. See Max's two tennis balls?

The car ride home... just check out that tongue!

Yesterday morning before I left for work. They promised they wouldn't tear anything up, and they didn't! Good little lickers.

Ask a Designer

My friend, and interior designer extraordinaire, Capella Kincheloe has gone and done it again. In addition to her amazing IDESIGN service that is perfect for people like Matt and me who love to DIY but don't have the best eye for design, she has started an Atlanta Meetup group called "Ask a Designer". This is an awesome, low-cost way to ask all of your design questions without having to pay a designer by the hour! I encourage all of you metro Atlanta residents to take advantage of this, as like IDESIGN, this is an unmatched opportunity to have access to someone with her level of talent and experience at such an affordable price. Check out the before and after photos of our master bedroom IDESIGN. Amazing right? She's also helped us with a space plan and layout for our kitchen remodel, as we ran into some hiccups with taking out the wall we wanted to remove. Stay tuned as that will hopefully be happening in early 2011. And, we are definitely utilizing Capella's talent for our living room and dining room, after the kitchen!

Friday, November 19, 2010


For those of you who can't read my secret code language, that is Thank God It's Freakin' Friday and Thank God Next Week Is Thanksgiving! Can I get an Amen and a Hallelujah!?

I think because most of my weekends over the last two months have been spent on the road, I am especially looking forward to a weekend spent at home. It would be nice to just lounge about and not do much, but alas, the weekend is full (and I'm not complaining). Dinners, doggies, CLEANING (is it weird that I am looking forward to that?), Home Depot (at least one HD visit per weekend home is required), some work on the bathroom, some college football, church, etc. We are visiting Max and Maddie tomorrow, so we'll likely decide this weekend whether or not they will be making our party of two a party of four.

The weekend is going to fly by before we know it. But, at least next week is Thanksgiving! Oh, how I love Thanksgiving... probably because it's all about giving thanks and EATING. And, this girl loves to eat (and give thanks, of course). And, I love waking up and watching the Thanksgiving Day Parade, then the Dog Show, then football. Rain is predicted in the southeast, so I'm hoping the weathermen have it all wrong.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Kids, stay in school

And away from drugs. And pay attention. Especially in English.
(At least my counterparts in the grammar police tried...)

This, Not That

From this weekend, I'd prefer to focus on this...

Defying the law... on a cruzin cooler... in dresses. There is really no way to sit lady like on a cruzin cooler, though I like Dai's style. I cozied up really close to Jenn. Side saddle is not an option.

...not that...

the USC @ UF football game

Suffice it to say, it wasn't pretty. And, our view for the un-pretty was 13 rows up on the 50 yard line. Urban was not a happy head football coach. I was not a happy fan. But, I did not boo. Booing is so classless, there really isn't even a word that covers it.

On the bright side, we don't have to kick our butts trying to get our upstairs bathroom done by SEC Championship weekend, because we won't be playing in it! Every cloud has a silver lining.

Friday, November 12, 2010

It's that time...

I went to the mall yesterday to look for an orange necklace, and the Christmas decorations are already out. Apparently, Santa is already there too, but I did not see him. So, you know what that means... Christmas card time! I *LOVE* getting Christmas cards in the mail, and I love sending them out.

Shutterfly has some fantastic cards to fit any style. I personally love cards with more of a religious background, and they must say "Christmas" to fit my bill. Here are just a few I have my eyes on this year.

I love that this one has multiple options for photos and a monogram. We have several photos from our travels this year that would be great to use on a Christmas card. And you can't go wrong with the classic red and green.

Although this one doesn't say Christmas, it says Noel and blessed and that makes up for the lack of "Christmas." Plus, if you know me, you know I'm a sucker for aqua.

This one is orange and blue. Need I say more?

Once again, very classic, multiple photos and a monogram.

Another beautiful, classic card.

This is just so pretty and is perfect for those beach photos.

I LOVE the colors in this one... classic red and green with a touch of aqua, swoon.

Another beauty in aqua and red.

The site is so easy to use, and uploading and inserting your pictures for the cards is a breeze. I can also say that everything I've ordered from Shutterfly has been of great quality.

Also, for those hard to shop for (i.e., parents and grandparents), I highly recommend the photo books. They are so easy to make, and I did them for my mom and mother-in-law two Christmases ago using our wedding pictures. They both LOVED them. I also made one for myself. These are great to document any special occassion (wedding, birthdays, anniversaries) or just to chronicle your travels, your children, etc.

Happy shopping, and send me a card! :)

Bloggers get 50 free holiday cards from Shutterfly… sign up: http://bit.ly/sfly2010

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Musings for today

  • I actually like having Matt home! I don't even mind that I can't watch TV in bed or that he gets up early or that we have to share the TV. It's nice having him around.
  • I'm going to see Max and Maddie after work! It will be nice to see them without so many other dogs around. We have to see if we still like each other.
  • The SEC East Championship is this weekend - South Carolina @ Florida. Go Gators! Time to redeem this season.
  • Thanksgiving is in two weeks. This is blowing my mind.
  • I am almost done with my Istanbul post... two months after returning from our trip.
  • We are redoing our upstairs bathroom. It is gutted right now. We're keeping the cabinets and bathtub, but redoing floors, countertops, sinks, mirrors and faucets. And painting, of course. We picked out a countertop finish, so it's time to pick some tile so we can get this thing going.
  • IF the Gators win this weekend, we will most certainly have guests for the SEC Championship, which means we have to have it put back together by the first weekend in December. We shall see.
  • I am so thankful for all of our troops and veterans.
  • There was an awesome show on History Channel last night called WWII in HD. I did not want to turn it off. This segment I was watching was on the Air War.
  • My grandpa was a Retired Lt. Col. for the USAF and a veteran of WWII, Korea and Vietnam Wars. When I think about him being a fighter pilot, I don't know how my grandma slept at night. Unreal. He did not want to be a fighter pilot; he wanted to be a teacher. But, right when he was about to get out of the Airforce (after school), they recruited him as a fighter pilot because he was the perfect size and had good vision. He went on to teach after he retired from the Airforce. I know he taught high school woodshop... not sure if he taught anything else. I think he would have been a tough teacher! I can just hear him saying, "what a crime," to his class. haha He was the best. And, his middle name was Guido, which pretty much makes him the coolest ever.
  • I am very sleepy today. Which makes me really not want to go to CrossFit this evening. But, I kind of like the workout for today. But, I'm tired. Therefore, I am conflicted. But, I will go because I should... really really should.
  • I don't know what I want for Christmas. And, I don't know what to get for anyone else. So, how about no gifts? Jesus is the reason, anyway... let's just throw a party for Him and call it a day, shall we? I'm sure I can come up with a few things if I'm forced to do so.
  • Well, that's about it for my random thoughts for today. Au revoir!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Forever Young

Today would be my dad's 59th birthday. The thought of him being 59 is totally incomprehensible to me. Would he have a bald spot like my grandpa (Dad's hair never was his best feature... the three of us kids lucked out in the hair department with my mom's hair genes... thick!), would his hair be white, how would he be as a grandpa (my guess, awesome), what would my parents' relationship look like today, etc. There are just so many "what ifs" and "how would it be." But, that's life and death for you. To me, he will always be the funny, smart, loving 42-year old dad with a young wife and three young kids that I know he hated to leave behind, but I know he's still watching over us, so Happy Birthday, Daddy. We miss you and love you so much. Love - Mom, your two Sweet Peas and Bubba

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Party of Four?

There's been a lot of talk in the "O" household lately of expanding our family, and we've decided to adopt. And, we're seriously considering 5 year old brother and sister, Max and Maddie. We have our home inspection on Sunday, and if all goes well, we could end up being parents soon!

Max and Maddie

Are we crazy going from just us to plus two? The cost alone is high for two, not to mention the hair everywhere, scratches in our wood floors, etc. But, we just fell in love with them.

We also like these two, but we haven't met Cooper yet. Maggie's picture doesn't do her justice... she's only about 40 lbs and is a lab/golden mix, if I were to guess. Her hair is soft like a golden's but the length is in between lab and golden. She doesn't have any training though, so she'd require a little more work.



Monday, November 8, 2010


My friend and Miss Florida 2006, Allison Kreiger Walsh's platform was much more than your average pageant platform. Not only had Allison lived it, she created a 501c3 corporation that she is still extremely active with today. Helping Other People Eat, Inc. (H.O.P.E., Inc.) was begun by Allison in 2001 to create awareness for eating disorders. Since then, it has become a full fledged not-for-profit company providing outreach, education, and financial assistance to those who cannot afford treatment. H.O.P.E. supports all other advocacy groups and organizations with the same values and efforts to aid in the cause.

H.O.P.E. recently launched the "Get R.E.A.L" program, encouraging everyone to set Realistic Expectations and Attitudes for Life. H.O.P.E. created an educational video that will be distributed to over 7,000 schools, hospitals and legistlative offices in the state of Florida (in fact, I think the schools have already received the videos).

H.O.P.E. has been selected as a finalist to receive a $25,000 Pepsi Refresh Grant to support Volume 2 of this amazing outreach video. It only takes a few seconds to vote... go to http://www.refresheverything.com/getrealprogram and click on the Vote button in the top right corner. You can log on through facebook or create an account. I can confirm that I have not received any unwanted spam or facebook messages by doing this. You can vote EVERY DAY until November 30! Help support a great organization!

You can find out more about H.O.P.E., Inc. at www.hopetolive.com, and don't forget to vote!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Camp Anawanna...

...we hold you in our hearts, and when we think about you, it makes me wanna fart... It's "I hope we never part," now get it right or pay the price.
Think Anawannawanna, speak Anawannawanna, live Anawannawanna, Ug!

Man, I loved that show (and just about any show circa late 80s/early 90s on Nickelodeon... "Are You Afraid of the Dark?" and "Hey Dude" anyone?).

I am not going to Camp Anawanna, but I am going to Camp Stars this weekend! Holler - two days at a really amazing camp with a group of 12-13 year old girls, glittery nail polish, glow bracelets, arts and crafts, ropes course, and general tomfoolery. Unfortunately, they will all be there for a serious reason... the loss of a close family member or friend. Through the Junior League of Atlanta, I began volunteering at Hospice Atlanta last year. Due to scheduling, I was unable to attend camp last year, so I am super excited to go this year. Ironically enough, I was 12 when I lost my dad to cancer, so I really feel like I'll be able to relate with these girls. Some of them may be more "fresh" in processing their loss, and others may have been coping with it for several years. But, what an amazing thing to be able to bring them together so that they know that there ARE other people going through this, and yes, you can get through it. My mom lost her dad when she was only 14, but I did not know any other kids who'd lost a parent when my dad died. I'm really excited to be able to share this experience with them. I'm not a counselor and it's not my job to try to get them to talk about anything... I'm just there to foster a good time, but should any of them ask, I will gladly share my story and let them know that as hard as it can be at times, life goes on and more than ANYTHING, that's exactly what their loved one would want for them.

I was checking out the camp's website yesterday, and this is NOT the summer camp I went to once as a kid thanks to a scholarship from the Mandarin Garden Club... I was a budding conservationist back in the day (shout out to Camp Wekiva near Jamlando!). The cabins are climate controlled and I believe have attached bathrooms (I hope so, because I just realized I didn't pack any rubber flip flops! and I don't want to be walking any girls to the bathroom at 3am in 30 degree temps). The entire camp is completely accessible for kids of all abilities and has a fishing lake, kayaking lake, ropes course, zip line, playground, soccer/baseball/softball field, basketball court, tennis courts, library, arts and crafts building, arts building (for dance, theater, etc), ceramics room with wheels and a kiln, and even a radio station! That doesn't really even begin to cover it. It is amazing. The camp is a non-profit and partners with dozens of organizations to provide camps for kids with serious illnesses, disabilities and other challenges. So awesome.

So, that's what I'm doing this weekend... and then maybe hitting up adoption day for our favorite golden retriever rescue when I return on Sunday. Now that Matt is home (yeah!), we're thinking about getting a dog. I had an event after work the other night and came home to him laying in bed reading a book about dog training. Have I mentioned how much I love that guy? He is the best. Hope you all have a fabulous weekend!