Monday, May 18, 2009

Greetings from Space

I'm not gonna lie, this hasn't exactly been the easiest few months. You know how sometimes you get overwhelmed by life and instead of stopping to smell the roses you keep tripping through all the stuff you have to do until finally you fall flat on your face? Well that'd be me. I finally reached a burnout point and am looking up from the floor smiling because finally the sun is out and it is over 50 degrees and this semester is so close to being over I can smell it. Thank goodness.
That having been said, I hope now I may be able to return to my regularly scheduled programming. And for you support systems out there who unfailingly lift me up when my going gets tough...thanks.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Some Good Things

   Because life sometimes requires us to take a break and smell the roses (instead of dog pee), I thought I would take said break and relish some good things going on in my world right now. First, and possibly most importantly, Obama is pretty much housebroken.  I'm not sure who is trained - him or us - but somehow or another we've all figured it out.  This means we can now work on getting the carpets cleaned.  Professionally. 
  School is really going well, and today I got the highest grade in my class on our quiz.  In the long range (and the short) this really doesn't matter, but to my inner competitive self, being top of the class is of imperative.  It's really a self-actualization thing, and being good at school makes me feel valid.  I kind of have that "jack-of-all-trades-but-master-of-none" perception of myself.  I enthusiastically engage in all sorts of cool things, but fall sadly short of being exceptional at any of them.  Except in school.  I am a really good student, and thus want to stay a student forever.      
   Next on my list of good things, Brandon has weekends off and way better hours this month.  Hooray!  He also has a lot less stress, and less stress + fewer hours = happy Brandon = even happier wife.  We've been spending quality family time together taking the puppy out to the park, and even hope to go winter camping this weekend up at the Hoh Rainforest.  Should be fun (if I survive the freezing wetness)!  
   Also, I've been getting jobs to sub.  Any opportunity to work is a welcome one, especially since substituting is so much fun!  Last week I worked at a two-room schoolhouse on an island, and to get there got to enjoy a ferry ride across the Sound.  It was really neat!  I hated leaving the puppy alone all day, but thankfully have good friends who are willing to potty break in a pinch.  
   So that's what's happening on my side of the States.  Not too much excitement, but just enough to keep me smilin'.  

Sunday, January 25, 2009

You Might Be a Psychotic Dog Owner If...

Your dog cost more than having a baby.

You speak German to your dog.

You brush your dog's teeth (NOT an easy feat).

You name your dog after the President.

You won't leave the house with your dog without his diaper bag containing doggie treats, favorite toys, paper towels (in case of any "oopsies"), and a blankie.

You assume everyone wants to hear about your dog as much as you want to talk about him.

You cry whenever he cries in his crate.

Your whole day revolves around pooping, peeing, sit, stay, and naps.

You talk more to your dog than to human beings.

You don't trust dog-sitters to do a good enough job so you just don't go anywhere.

You turn up the heat when your dog is cold, but laugh when your wife is.  

You spend way too much money on a Costco membership just so you can buy the dog's favorite food.

Your dog only eats organic.

You refer to your dog as your child.

You've forgotten what life was like before having him, but wouldn't dream of going back.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


A Puppy Tale

    In a momentary lapse in sanity, Brandon and I decided to bring a baby into our home; a four- legged, curly-haired, scallywag of a pup with whom we have fallen absolutely and unequivocably in love.  In a move most controversial to our family members, we decided to call him Obama.  Our reasoning is very simple: First, like the new President, he's a cute little biracial boy, only in this case his mother was chocolate and it's dad who was cream-colored.  Second, we adopted him the day before the inauguration and we wanted to commemorate the occasion so we'd never forget when we got our first dog.  Third, like the President, we are confidant that Obama the pup will be bringing many changes to our lives.  
   My groom is completely enamored, and I am so excited that he has something to brighten up his days when work gets especially tiresome.  Brandon's a natural trainer and we have high hopes for our young son, although he's spoiled rotten already.  After the adoption was official we paraded into PetSmart and spent a small fortune getting everything our special boy could never need: specialty dental chews for his developing teeth, brain-stimulating toys, blueberry flavored snacks - you name it.  Needless to say, we were far more excited about his stuff than he was.  
  While Obama has proven to be quite the little love (all puppy kisses and happy scampering about), Brandon and I both underestimated how unpleasant potty training could be in 27 degree weather.  Every hour we bulk up in all our cold-weather gear, then drag poor Baby 'Bama out to freeze while he sits there looking at us like we're morons as we continuously chant, "Go potty!  You can do it!  Go potty!"  He has this uncanny skill to make us sit outside for fifteen minutes begging him to go, only to relieve himself the minute we give up and walk inside the door.  Lovely.  Thankfully, we live in an apartment with all the original fixtures when it was brand spankin' new in 1978, so the carpet has certainly seen rougher days.  Don't worry, we've got a date with a carpet cleaner as soon as he figures it all out.  
  Meanwhile, he has already mastered two commands that don't involve trying to guess the speed of his metabolism.  For some strange reason (I blame it on the fact that we are new parents), Brandon and I decided to teach Obama German, a language neither of us claim to know.  Thus, with the aid of pocket translators and my meager memory from German class in undergrad, we are using all German commands to train.  Whenever he hears "Achtung!" (attention), he already knows to stop what he's doing and look into our face.  I'm really excited he got that one so fast!  Next he has is "Setzen", which means sit.  He's gotten pretty good at that, although now whenever he hears "Achtung!" he immediately looks at us and sits. Could be worse.  We are quickly memorizing more German so we can continue training.  Now if we can just get him to pee outside...

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Baby it's cold outside

Here I was, naive little Floridian Rachel, thinking that winter was a whole new season in which to explore fashion and style.  I was so excited, planning the knit outfits with boots, coordinating scarves and hats, wearing holiday-themed earrings and adorable pea-coats.  Of course, with it 29 degrees outside, reality is now in full swing, and this is what I have worn for the past month of cold: 

1) Two pairs of socks, one with long neck to stretch up to my knees, the other nice and thick to keep my toes warm
2) Stretchy pants that act as long johns, since I don't actually own long johns
3) Sweat pants - big, awful, purple ones (they are sooo comfy and warm!)
4) If I feel like dressing up, I'll manage to weasel into some jeans...don't even think about a skirt or thin dress pants
5) Camisole with built-in bra
6) Long sleeve stretchy shirt
7) Sweat pant-matching purple sweatshirt
8) My fantastically warm albeit not-too-aesthetically-pleasing Goodwill sweater (It keeps me nice and toasty, at the expense of looking like I've been mauled by a dog)
9) Bulky jacket that smells of Wiemeraner, even after I washed it
10) The closest, warmest scarf I can find
11) My hat I crocheted
12) Faux-fur lined boots that have a lovely crust of mud along the bottom

That's it.  That's my fantastic winter wardrobe; a hodge-podge of the thickest, comfiest, warmest articles of clothing I can get my hands on.  Gone are the days of excitement and revelry; now I know all-too well that "winter fashion" is a big fat farce.  I'm waaaayyy too busy trying to keep my tookis warm to worry about anything matching, let alone looking at all presentable to the public.  The worst part is, I will try to get away with wearing the same thing as long as I possibly can because it is too cold to shower and once I do, I must sacrifice my warm clothes to the laundry basket and search out new ones.  If that isn't gross enough, I actually found myself thinking in the car yesterday, "Man, it is a good thing I haven't shaved my legs in five months.  If I tried going smooth again, my legs would be so much colder right now!"

This, my friends, is why all our future babies will be conceived in the summer.   

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

'Twas the Night Before Christmas

So quickly the season comes and goes, and I can't help but feel that I was standing on the sidelines for much of this one.  Christmas is still tomorrow, I know, but I have this strange detachment since I'm not at home wrapped up in the coziness and familiarity of my family.  I have my Washington family here, no doubt, but it's just never the same.  My sweet groom, however, has made Christmas so special for me; he never fails to cheer me up.  Last night he surprised me with tickets to the Pacific Northwest Ballet's Nutcracker.  We got all dressed up and drove into Seattle for the most wonderful performance ever.  That was my Christmas.  I was on the edge of my seat the entire time, wishing every moment that I was a ballerina.  The dancers floated on air, and the symphony moved me to tears.  In attendance there were many beautiful little girls dressed in their Christmas best, holding their mother's hands and tip-toeing like the ballerinas.   Little boys in suits and ties were equally adorable, and I imagined one day holding my own children's hands on our way to that magical show.  It was truly the perfect Christmas gift, and as we walked through the snow among white-twinkling trees through downtown Seattle, I couldn't help but feel that this was one of those sweet moments that Brandon and I will cherish when we think of our first Christmas together as husband and wife.