Happy New Year!

2012 was a GREAT year for me. My life just completely fell in to place.

This time last year Johnny and I had only been dating again for a little over three months. We’d just said the big “I love you” on Christmas. Everything was fresh and new and we had high hopes for our relationship. On New Year’s Eve, Johnny’s beloved grandfather passed away and we rang in the new year mourning for him and celebrating the life he’d had. It was definitely a rough patch, but I think going through it made us that much more stronger. It made me take everything that much more seriously. Knowing that life just flies by and you have to grab on with both hands and hold on tight. I wanted to hold on tight to Johnny.

So I did.

In May I finished medical coding school and passed my coder’s exam. In June I started looking for jobs in Marietta so I could move in with Johnny. In July I had an interview at Marietta Memorial Hospital. In August they called and offered me the position. In August Johnny proposed to me. In August I moved in with him.

Let’s just say… August was a big month. 🙂

We’ve only been living together for about 4.5 months now and it’s been going really, really well. In October we got a puppy. And life just keeps on getting better. And nine months from now, he’s going to be my husband. It’s amazing how much can change when you find someone… The love that opens you up and spills right out of you. Being with him has changed everything about my life. And all those changes are so good; they’ve made me better. He makes me better.

And I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with him. This is going to be a good year. 2013, bring it on! 🙂

I am going to try and document it by doing a 365 day photo project. We’ll see how long I stick with it. It’s going to be with Instagram, because I think it’ll be much easier to stick with it since I’ll use my phone to take the pictures. Because I always have my phone on hand. I downloaded an app called “Collect” so I can track the journey and also do a little bit of writing to go with the pictures.

I hope I can keep it up!

I have more to write about, but I really just want to go lay down in bed with my fiance and snuggle while watching TV. So… Until next time. 🙂

Project Life

So I started a new project called Project Life. It’s half scrapbook/half journal. I actually found it through Pinterest and thought it looked really interesting. All of the information about it can be found on BeckyHiggins.com. I’ve been scrapbooking lately… sort of. I’ve made 1.5 scrapbooks, LOL. But I never really liked how the scrapbooking turned out. It just never looked how I wanted it to. 

I’ve also missed journaling. I started writing in a diary when I was 8 years old, and I continued writing in paper journals or online journals through my first couple of college years. And then slowly, but surely, I stopped. It faded out. I’ve missed it.

Project Life makes scrapbooking and journaling a lot easier. I love it. My main problem is that my life isn’t that interesting to update it that often! Haha. Most people who do Project Life do it as a weekly thing. Each spread in the binder is supposed to be one week. I decided not to go that route. I’ve researched a lot of other Project Lifers’ books (one of my favorites is Elise) and I don’t really see the point in scrapbooking about what I ate during the week or my day-to-day boring activities. So I’ve been working on mine when I’ve had something to talk about. It’s nice because all those random iPhone photos have a place to go.

I thought I would share what I’ve got so far… Sorry about the picture quality. I took them at night inside my apartment, so the lighting sucked. I didn’t want to spend a ton of time on making them beautiful when I was just going to share them here.

 

This is the binder I chose to purchase. I love red.

This is the first page. All of those little papers came with the paper kit I bought. I like the kit, but it’s probably the least useful thing out of the three parts of the kit: 1) The binder, 2) The pocket pages, and 3) the paper stuff. It’s nice that the papers fit right in, but they aren’t exactly how I would want them to be. Meaning I wish I had more writing space on some of them. So I’ve bought a few of the add-on paper kits. I like those better.

Even though I started Project Life a few months after we got engaged, I wanted a place to showcase all of our photos and such from it. So I made this page first from the Sugarland concert and our engagement. Some of the stuff I’ve used in these pages is some random scrapbooking stuff I had already.

I made this spread from our trip to Dawes Arboretum (our wedding location) on September 29th. We went to see what the weather was like since we’re getting married on September 28th next year. I took lots of pictures and had a lot to say, hence, this spread.

This is a random spread. The first page is about a few hours we spent on Johnny’s 4-wheeler and the second page is kitty pictures.

The first page is from a play we went to that our friend Charleigh was in. She placed Alice in “Alice in Wonderland.” She rocked. The second page is about our little DIY project where we painted our living room pillar with magnetic paint and chalkboard paint.

This is the RUBY spread. 😀 The first page is about our first visit to meet her and the second is about our first week with her.

And that’s all so far. I doubt I’ll share ALL of my spreads here, but I wanted to share my experience with the project because I love it. It’s easy and fun. It helps that I have a photo printer, but it wouldn’t be so hard to get pictures printed at Wal-Mart or Walgreens or online. I definitely recommend it to anyone who likes scrapbooking and/or journaling and/or photos and/or paper/crafts. Haha.

That’s all. Tata for now.

Meeting New Friends

So we took Ruby home this weekend to stay at my parents’ house and meet all of her new friends. She did so well! We started off with an hour long car ride home and she rocked it. Just lays in the back seat and chills out. First we went to Johnny’s parents house and they have two pugs there and she got to meet them. That was fairly entertaining. They’re fast little boogers and get under her feet and it was just amusing.

Both pugs at the same time had their noses buried in her butt. Ahhh, gotta love the way of the dog.

I think she really likes their house. There’s a lot of stimulation there and friends to play with it. They have their back yard completely fenced in, but we weren’t able to let her out on Saturday because they were cutting down a tree. So Johnny’s mom and I took the two pugs and Ruby for a walk instead. That was entertaining. Since she has horrible leash manners, it was just… interesting. First, she kept tripping Johnny’s mom, which is just kind of embarrassing. And secondly, she freaked out every time a car drove by. And thirdly, she thinks everybody’s house is a safe place, so she tried to go up the steps to everyone’s house… EVERY SINGLE HOUSE. That was fun. LOL. But even though she kept tripping her, my soon-to-be mother-in-law just loves her. Which, duh! How can you not? Aside from the leash, she is super calm and well-behaved.

After that we stopped by my parents’ house to drop all of our stuff off and let them meet Ruby. Keep in mind that this entire time, my dad has been super disapproving of our decision to adopt this dog. He thought it was stupid, because we need to pay for our wedding and we shouldn’t be wasting money on a dog. And that our apartment is too small and no place for a dog. And on and on and on… He doesn’t understand the fact that I am 26 years old, an adult, living with my fiance… It doesn’t really matter what he thinks about it. But it was just hilarious, because he could NOT get over how well-behaved she was. I mean, COULD NOT get over it. Kept commenting on it, kept trying to rile her up just to see if he could, etc. He was completely and totally impressed by her. I found that extremely amusing. I wanted to high-five Ruby like “Way to go, girl!” LOL.

We also took Ruby to meet Daniel and Hannah’s dogs. They loved her. Haas kept trying to hump her… He is an equal-opportunity humper… humps basically every dog he meets, regardless of their gender. And he gets CRAZY eyes the entire time. So funny! But, luckily he’s fixed. Gus just wanted to play with her, but he got so excited that he drooled buckets all over the place… including on Ruby’s head… and my foot. That was lovely. The only oopsie moment we had is when Ruby took a huge dump on their basement floor. Luckily it’s concrete so it was easy to clean up. LOL.

Playing with Haas and Gus.

Johnny bought a stake and a tie-out leash to put in my parents’ yard for her. He wanted to try it today. That included making me leave her out there and watch her freak out. It was horrible. I am NO good at this part of mommy-hood. I don’t like to see her stressed out. Unfortunately, I understand the necessity of it. We want her to be less timid and more independent, especially outside. And be able to put her out and let her have some exercise and go to the potty and just explore the yard. But believe me, I kept my eyes glued to her the whole time from inside the front door. She systematically went around in a circle trying to test the stake for weak spots. I only left her out there for MAYBE five minutes. That was about all the torture I could withstand.

Then we took her back to Johnny’s parents and let her out in the backyard with the two dogs. And then closed the door and walked away. I think she had fun playing with them, but I still had to keep going to check on her, and eventually I let them all back inside, although I felt bad because Johnny’s parents were eating and the pugs immediately tried to get up in that. But I just can’t handle it. That’s something that she’s going to have to teach me. Maybe it’s definitely a good thing that I got a dog before I had a kid. Haha. Maybe this will help me chill out. It’s just… I am a crazy mommy. I did this when Lucy was freaking out when we moved her down here to live with Johnny. I just completely cannot handle it when my pets are unhappy. How am I supposed to do that with my children? LOL. It’s going to be interesting.

Now we are back at home. With a ton of dog stuff in tow. She has more bones and toys than any dog I know. Haha. And we’ve only had her for five days. LOL. But she is wiped out, currently laying behind me on the floor ignoring all her bones. My girl’s had a busy, busy weekend. It was fun, but I think we’re both glad to just be home and relax a little bit.

Oh, and I promise to eventually write about something other than my dog. 🙂

My man and our baby girl.

Bringing Ruby Home

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So, we got our doggy! We brought Ruby home on Tuesday night and I just… I could not believe how well behaved she was. She didn’t attack the cats, though she was curious about them. And they were curious about her. She didn’t jump, bark, lick, etc. Her one downfall was that she wasn’t very good on her leash. She was really skittish outside. But the thing is, we live in town and there is a ton of traffic around our apartment. Her old home was on a farm so the only cars she was exposed to were the cars in her driveway which are much less frightening.

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Over the next few days she’s gotten a little less well-behaved, lol. She’s still a really good girl, but that first night she slept through the night and didn’t make a peep. I started bragging about how she was so quiet and never barked, etc, and then she started barking. But she only does it a couple of times. When we come in the house and don’t get to her kennel fast enough to let her out and when I turn on the TV and it startles her. It’s actually kind of funny how she’s scared of the TV. But otherwise she doesn’t bark.

She’s getting slightly more aggressive towards the cats… but by that I mean, getting closer to them, getting more excited and chasing them. She hasn’t tried to bite them or growl at them or hurt them in any way. I think she just wants to play. The cats are like, “nuh-uh, girl!” But they are dealing with it. Although Lucy has taken to hiding again. :/ But we’ll break her of that just like we did last time.

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She still hasn’t had any accidents inside, which is awesome, but she hates going outside. And she lets you know if she doesn’t have to go. When you put the leash on her and try to take her out, she sits down and stops moving. If you manage to drag her out of the apartment and to the stairs, she once again sits and refuses to move. But if she does have to go, she drags you to the grass, does her business, and then drags you back to the steps to go inside. It’s funny, but something we’re definitely going to have to work on with her, because we want to be able to play with her outside and train her and such. So hopefully she’ll eventually get used to the traffic. We are going to try and train her some more on the leash this weekend when we are at my parent’s house so that it’s not as scary. Maybe she’ll enjoy the outdoors more and we can work with her on the leash.

Last night we let her in to our bed for the first time while we watched TV. It was the best thing ever! Haha. I love puppy snuggles. She just laid down and chilled out and snuggled with me. It was great.

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Stealing my spot on the bed while I was out of the room. Haha.

Here’s two more of her with the two cats. I love the second one of her between the cat’s ears. She’s like, “Mom… WTF? Pay attention to ME!” LOL.

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Ruby (in the Rough)

So, Johnny and I have been talking about getting a puppy sometime in the near future. We originally were planning to get a dog around springtime, so we could train it when it was warmer outside, and also so we could include it in our engagement photos. Then Johnny started to talk about getting a “Valentine’s Day” puppy. But then… a dog fell into our laps.

I talked to my mom on the phone on Wednesday night, and she told me that she received a phone call from a lady named Stephanie. She owns two golden retrievers and they often breed them and sell the puppies. I’ve seen signs for them all the time and have always wanted to get one, but living with my parents meant I wasn’t allowed. This past summer Stephanie had a litter of puppies and my aunt and uncle went to look at them. I guess my uncle knows Stephanie’s husband somehow, or maybe it was Stephanie, I can’t remember. So my aunt and uncle told them that my brother and I really wanted golden retrievers. So this lady called my mom.

Stephanie’s daughter had wanted to keep one of the puppies from their most recent litter from this past summer, but then she didn’t take care of it, so they decided to give her up for adoption. Usually they charge around $300-400 for one of their puppies, but since this dog is already six months old, they just wanted to give it to someone. So Stephanie called my mom to see if my brother was interested. Since he is doing rotations for his last year of pharmacy school and living all over the state (and Florida, actually) and then living with my parents in between, it just isn’t an option for him.

So on Wednesday when I was talking to my mom, she mentioned her phone call and told me all about this dog. I couldn’t resist, so I told Johnny about it. And he was completely sold on the idea of at least going to look at her. We wanted a dark red female golden retriever and here was a six month old for free that we could just have… He couldn’t pass up the opportunity.

Yesterday we went to meet her. The family lives on a farm and their dogs are outside, so they were basically in a big mud pit. When we pulled up, I caught a glimpse of her, and I immediately was like, “oh crap.” Because she was DARK red… and that’s what I really wanted. Before we went, we weren’t entirely sold on the idea of getting a six month old, especially since we have two cats, but as soon as I saw her, I knew I was screwed. We pulled up and introduced ourselves to the husband (I can’t remember his name) and he took us down towards the dog pen. Stephanie came out of the barn and she brought the puppy. The mother was in the pen and the father was somewhere in the barn.

They said the puppy’s name was Zoey, but from the sounds of it they don’t call her by her name very often. It seems like they had a lot on their plates between their farm and their family, and so they couldn’t give her a lot of attention — hence the reason they had to get rid of her. The mama dog was Annie and the dad was Clyde. Annie was somewhat on the smaller side and not very fluffy, but Clyde was a big beautiful boy. I am hoping the puppy is a mix of something in between.

When we first got there, the puppy (who I am just going to refer to as Ruby from now on, because if we get her, that’s going to be her name) was excited and wiggled a lot, but she never jumped on us. Which is good, because she was muddy. At first Annie and Ruby were both barking a lot and feeding off of each other’s crazy energy. But then Stephanie handed me the leash and I crouched down and started petting Ruby and she just immediately chilled out. I really don’t think she gets very much attention, so the extra rubdown just completely calmed her. And she sure is BEAUTIFUL.

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I just knew I was going to fall in love with her. I KNEW when we got there she’d be dark red and have those eyes and that big black nose and just bowl me over. And she sure did. We stood and talked with Stephanie and her husband for about… 15 minutes, asking questions about the dog and getting more information. But I just couldn’t get a read on Johnny. I was already head over heels, but it seemed to me like he wasn’t interested. Which I completely know why. He’s a salesman. He has a great poker face.

We gave Ruby a few extra rub downs and then we left. And when we got in the car, I was like… “So?” And he was like, “She was such a good girl.” And then it was instantly like… “CRAP” and “OMG” and “YAYYY!!” LOL. I have never owned a dog before and I’ve always wanted to. My dream dog is a golden. And here she is. Just… right there.

And when we visited, she was such a good girl. She didn’t jump. She calmed down really quickly. She didn’t lick our faces (Johnny really doesn’t like that.) She just… sat there and let me love her and was adorable.

There are some drawbacks to the situation:

  1. We have cats and she’s basically a full-grown dog. It’s going to wreck their little cat worlds. One of our cats is easily stressed, so that should be interesting. (On the plus side… We brought a cat out at the farm to see how Ruby handled it, she just sniffed it. That was it. SO CALM.)
  2. She is an outside dog and we’re going to have her in our little apartment. Plus, we have nothing, basically, in the way of a yard.
  3. She isn’t really trained… We’re going to really have to work on potty training her and crate training her and such. I am worried it’ll be hard since she is already six months old and has six months worth of “bad” habits.

So we decided to do a trial run with her. We are picking her up in two days and we’re going to try it out for the week, see how she behaves, how the cats handle the situation, how WE handle the added responsibility. It’s going to be interesting. But I think with a little time, a lot of hard work and dedication, and some luck, she’ll fit right in to our little family.

I can’t wait to bring her home! I hope this goes well. 🙂

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I like to think of this as her “Bliss” face. Post-rubdown bliss. LOL.

Paintings Nails with Spam

So ever since I saw this post on Pinterest the other day, I’ve been wanting to try this trick and see if it works.

Let me just say… it kind of works. So I followed this woman’s instructions:

1) Paint nails
2) Spray with Pam
3) Let sit for one minute
4) Rinse hands and wipe off.

Here are MY changes:

1) Paint nails (I did two layers pretty quickly on top of each other.)
2) Spray Pam on nails.
3) Let sit for 2-3 minutes.
4) Rinse hands and let AIR DRY.

The first time I tried it, I rinsed, then wiped off my wet hands with a paper towel and it immediately smudged my nail (I tried it on one nail first.) So I did the rest of my hand, re-sprayed, waited a few more minutes, then rinsed with cold water and let air dry. It worked pretty well, so I did the second hand.

The thing is, it doesn’t make your nails COMPLETELY dry. It dries the polish pretty quickly, but then once you rinse, the nails are still slightly tacky. I had made a mess with the Pam, so I was cleaning it up with a sponge, and I smudged one of my nails, because they weren’t completely dry.

Does it make your nails dry faster? Yes. Is it a miracle nail drying technique? No.

Also, it makes your hands smell kind of funky. But I want to wait a little bit before I wash them really good with soap and water so I don’t smudge them even more.

P.S. WOW, I need to put some lotion on my hands. Look how pink/red they are with irritation. Siiiigh. I hate you, cold weather.

Welcome

I decided to start a blog because I have been “falling up” lately, hence the title of my blog. My life has done a complete 180 in the last few months and I am loving it. I want to share my stories, my photos, my projects, my LIFE here for whomever wants to read it.

This blog will include stories about my life, my upcoming wedding (and the planning for it), the craft projects I do (sometimes with my fiance), my weight loss program (gotta get skinny for this weddin’!), etc.

Follow along if you’d like, I am mostly here to express myself and give myself yet another outlet for my thoughts and creativity. Now, it’s time to go spend some time with my man and consider what I want to post next.