Tuesday, July 29, 2008

No news is good news...right?

Nothing is happening. My life is wrapped around a 7 lb. furry animal that I love and nothing else is happening. I go to work, I eat, I hang out with the girls, and that's it. It's very strange because - nothing else is happening. Normally in my life there is always something going on in the background. But I guess most of that junk happens during school.

Oh well, for right now I am content with nothing. But unfortunately that leaves me nothing to write about.

Except for the fact that Charlie won't eat. It's getting annoying because I'm starting to worry. I put down her breakfast and she doesn't eat it anymore. She'll eat a few bites, play, eat a few more, and then quit altogether. Ugh. Eat dog! Now she is just sitting and chewing on her bone.

So my mission today is to figure out what to do. I'm going to email her breeder and then head straight to Google.

Oh, have I mentioned she loves to lick my toes. It's something that I've come to accept. It's going to happen no matter what I do, so fine. She can lick my toes - just as long as she isn't licking my face.

The video below represents one more thing Charlie doesn't like. We'll add this to the list along with purple frisbee, vacuum, and swiffer (ya know, the one I'm always using to mop up her pee).

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She's slowly on her way to being brown. Her paws are huge and she is gaining weight. We go to the vet for the first time on Thursday, and not gonna lie I'm kind of excited. Except for the fact that I'll be shelling out my last paycheck for her shots and junk.

It's been strange having her all the time. It's been a month since I got her. Sometimes I look at her and think "I can't believe I actually have a dog." Then when she poops on the carpet I think "I can't believe I have a dog." But then I stare into that little face and melt. And when we lay on my bed together I love that she like to sleep between my legs with her head on my thigh.

When she wimpers during bath time it breaks my heart. And you should hear the sounds she makes when I let her out of the fenced in area. But then there are the times, like just now for instance, when she runs away with my laundry, and I have to chase her around the room. That girls is quick.

Needless to say, I love her. And I never regret getting a dog. Even during those times when I have to take her to the bathroom in the middle of dinner.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Oh yes we did

On Tuesday we went on a tour of the Capital building in D.C. But this wasn't just any tour - this was a "private tour." Private in the sense that we got to go into rooms that no other tour gets to see. The reason we got so lucky was because of Zack's best friend from school, Steve Barton. Steve's dad gives the tour. The tour/day of conferences is for pastors from all over the country.

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Like I said, this wasn't your average tour. Instead of hearing about when it was built and when the declaration was signed and all the junk the average person hears - we got to hear about the Christian foundation on which our country was built. We got to hear about the things the history books don't tell us. We got to see documents that members of congress sent out asking people to pray and fast.

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It was truly amazing and was one of the most incredible things I've ever gotten to do. It gave me a new sense of patriotism.

Daniel Webster was one of my favorite people to hear about. This man have chapters upon chapters of the Bible memorized. When he was six years old his teacher gave the kids a special assignment - On Saturday as school was ending he told the kids that whoever memorized the most verses by Monday would win a pen knife. Daniel Webster was the youngest kid in the school and after reciting 61 verses the teacher asked him if he had much left. Daniel replied that he had more to recite. The teacher asked how much more, and Daniel replied "Several more chapters, Sir." Just incredible.

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Daniel Webster used to practice speaking by reading the Bible out loud. One of his favorite books to read was the book of Job. Mr. Barton told us that when Daniel read the voice of God the door would shake on it's hinges. People used to stand outside of his office to hear him read.

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We got to go into the room the senate uses today. We also got to go into the old senate room that is no longer in use. We also got to go into the senate's reception room. The best was the prayer room that is used by congressmen. That was another room no one gets to see on the regular tour - for obvious reasons.

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Mr. Barton also told us about Pocahontas. When she was 13 she was baptised and changed her name to Rebecca. Back in her day you had to research and really think about becoming a christian before you were baptized - the allotted time was one year. After that year Pocahontas decided to change her name and was hence forth known as Princess Rebecca, even in the presence of the Queen of England.

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The tour brought a whole new perspective to the capital and the men that founded our nation.

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A big thank you to the Barton family for allowing us to tag along.

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Monday, July 21, 2008

It's where the pets go

Charlie and I took our first trip to PetCo today. It wasn't my first time - but it was our first time together. Knowing Charlie, I was a little worried that she wouldn't follow me on the leash and I would look like an idiot carrying my dog around. We went in, got her nails clipped, ears cleaned (um, gross), and got out. She seemed to have fun sniffing around and meeting new people. And she followed me very well on the leash.

The rides there and back were full of cuteness.

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Charlie seemed to be a little nervous about her seat at first, it usually takes her a little bit to settle in.

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But once she does she seems good to go.

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Honestly, who could resist this face?

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She hadn't had her nap today and she yawned the whole way there. Finally she gave in and laid down.

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The trip was a success and we even left with a friend. I know, I know - I spoil her. But only with toys. She is just so darn cute and she needed a buddy. But I must admit, I really got this toy for me, because I knew she would look cute carrying it around. And I did not stage this shot.

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Right now Charlie is spending time in her fence area (which is awesome by the way). After I put her in, I went to the bathroom to look out the window. She just sat by the gate waiting for me to come back (torture!). So I set a timer, and came up here to be distracted. 1 minute left till I let her out.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Something Else

So I'm sure by now you are quite tired of hearing my puppy stories and all the goes with Charlie. Well too bad, because there will be a lot more of it. But not today. And just a warning: You are going to be reading the word "favorite" a lot in the next few paragraphs.

All my life I have been able to memorize lyrics in a snap. It doesn't take me long at all to memorize an entire song and be able to sing it back. I love that small, insignificant talent. Mainly, because it allows me to remember my favorite hymns and praise songs. I have a hard time remembering verses, but hymns stay with me. They are a comfort to me as much as any Bible verse, because they hold the same truths.

I have many favorite hymns, but there is one that is my all time favorite. I don't even know if it has a name. Actually I'm not sure if it's a hymn. The first time I heard it was in a Psalty tape. I sing it when I'm scared, worried, or anxious. It's very simple and beautiful. It helps to calm my heart. I sing it all the time, I just love it.

"I cast all my cares upon You
I lay all my burdens down at Your feet
And anytime I don't know what to do
I will cast all my cares upon You"


But that's not my only favorite hymn. As we closed the sermon today we sang the hymn "May the Mind of Christ My Savior." This is a new favorite for me. The last lines are my favorite part of the hymn. The sermon today was about showing others love when you feel tired, lazy, or scared. The sermon was amazing, and this was the perfect end:

"May His beauty rest upon me,
As I seek the lost to win,
And may they forget the channel,
Seeing only Him."

It brought me back to reality. Though I may be the one speaking the words or living the life - it is God, and only God, that changes lives. It is God, and only God, that saves.

And just because I can: here is one of my favorite hymns.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Who you callin spoiled?

Alright, so it's true. Charlie may be a little bit spoiled...but she is top dog here and doesn't have anyone to compete with. And - it's all mom's fault. She's like the grandma that plays with the kids, gives them tons of sugar, and then hands them back to their mom. But it's hard not to spoil this puppy face.

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Here are a few pictures to show you just how spoiled Charlie is. While I don't allow her to sleep with me at night, I don't have a problem with sharing my bed during nap times.

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She's spoiled.

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Very, very spoiled.

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Also, an exciting thing happened - I took the towels off the floor! Yippee! At first I wasn't sure if I wanted to do it, but then I decided that I might as well go for it. And I must admit, it felt really good. I had started to not even notice them, but now that they are gone I love it. Charlie likes it too - she keeps sniffing the carpet. But that might be due to the fact that she has peed on it several times. Oops.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Say hello to my little friend

Charlie's tickle spots have given my family and I hours of fun. It never gets old to scratch her and watch her feet go crazy. I used to think that there was one certain spot that makes a dog's legs go crazy. Who knows, maybe when she grows up she'll grow out of a couple spots, but right now there are three main areas of fun.

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Area 1 is located right where her hair ends on her belly. It never fails to entertain. It works on both sides, and the leg that shakes matches the side you scratch.

If you scratch right on the white patch of hair in Area 2, she has a hard time deciding which leg she should shake - because more times than not, we do this to her while she is standing up. Its just more fun that way.

The third and final area is the hardest one. This one takes some trial and error and doesn't work everytime. But if you catch her in a moment of bliss and scratch her neck then you may get to see a rare leg shake because of it.

I do have a video of this - but it's very dark, so you're just going to have to bear with me until I can get a clearer video.

This Thursday it will officially be three weeks that Charlie and I have been together. It's a beautiful thing. I've definitely lost some statis with the Culbert kids lately. Now when they see me all I hear is "Where's Charlie?" But I'm glad they like her, even if my ego is a little bruised.

At first I couldn't tell if Charlie knew that she was mine. But lately I've seen that she does. It's exciting and exactly what I wanted in a dog. She follows me around and even listens to me. I love it. We are bonding and I have proof.

This is my view when I get dressed, especially on Sunday mornings.

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

A love rekindled...

Oh Photoshop, how I have missed you. Charlie has been keeping me busy, and instead of it inspiring me to action - I sit around like a bump on a log. Anyway, today was a productive day for me and as I sat down to enjoy my hour and a half of freedom before bed, I felt the need to be creative. I have not felt this need in a long, long time. Like since-before-Christmas-long-time.

What you are about to see is my journey of learning. I have once again found the photoshop I know and love. When I sat down I orginally planned to attack the photos Kelly sent me of the "guinness book of world records long slip 'n slide," but was distracted by this tutorial. Don't worry - I'll get to those photos soon enough.

I'd like to preface this story by telling you this took me a solid 2 hours. So don't mock my hard work and love of blue - because it took for-e-ver. The length of time it took me is due to my lack of experience...learning your way around Photoshop is not easy. There are about 50 different tools and then there are options for every tool! Uff Dah!

The blue gradient you see below took a few trys to accomplish. When I got it I felt like screaming - it was so exciting. I know it's simple - but there were a few steps to get that blue.

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Then it was time to add stuff. Lots of stuff. Notice the change of the background - another exciting step!

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The hardest part was finding my balance. Is there too much junk? Should I add more? What should I take away? Should I change the color of something? Unfortunately for you, blue is my favorite color. I love every shade of blue and I love the way each shade looks together.

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For my final product I got rid of some small details and tried to make sure it wasn't too overwhelming. Not sure how anybody else will like it - but I love it. Lots. Mostly I think I like it because of the time it took to put together, the excitement of learning new tools, the blue, and the bubbles.

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Hooray for Photoshop and all those creating online/free tutorials.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Relaxing...

Life has been good lately. Charlie has gotten easier to watch and my work schedule is really spread out. I don't get many hours at Barnes and Noble, but that is ok with me. While I would like more money, I love the time I have right now.

This is my first summer off from field hockey and it's been wonderful. I don't have to get up everyday feeling guilty that I didn't run or I don't have to get up dreading the fact that it's a sprint day. It's been great.

I've gotten to spend a lot of time with the girls I love here and have been thoroughly enjoying time to sit and read, watch a movie, or play with Charlie. This is my last summer as a kid and I'm going to milk it for all it's worth. It's the beginning of July and I still have 2 months of summer left. Normally I'd be heading back to school a few days before preseason, not this year!

Ah, how I love being a retired field hockey player. Yes, I do considered myself retired.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

So Long

All the cleaning, all the organizing, and all the picking up went bye-bye. No longer do I have a clean and tidy room. Nope, not anymore. Not since this little punk moved in.

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In preparation for potty training I put a rug down, and soon found out that just one rug wasn't enough. She decided that peeing on the rug wasn't very fun so she went for the carpet instead. So the next tactic was to cover the carpet completely. It's been working out well, now instead of staining the rug, she is staining the towels and throw rugs. Which is fine with me.

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But I do miss my nice and tidy room.

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Until my little lady is potty trained I'll be dealing with the towels. We have come a long way in 1 week. She understands what "go potty" means, but doesn't always choose to follow orders. I guess that is the terrier stubborness in her.

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Currently I have been enjoying a bit of freedom because Charlie has been sleeping for almost 3 hours straight. This is just unheard of and I can barely believe it. I've caught up emails and even got to shower, blow dry, and straighten my hair. Craziness.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

What a Personality

It's been a long and grueling 6 days. I don't know if you knew this already - but I'm a night person. I like to be up late and sleep in late. It has never been a problem for me to stay up til 3 am. Who knows why - but it's true. But ever since I brought my furry friend home, things have changed drastically.

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Now I go to bed promptly at 11:30 and get up at 2, 6, and 8. Hmm...that seems like too many numbers doesn't it? Well, until my little one is potty trained and has a larger bladder, I'll be sticking with 3 wake up calls.

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The past few days have been all about getting to know my girl. Not only the fun stuff like which toy is her favorite, or how she likes to run in figure eights, or even how she turns in circles while I get her food...but I'm also getting her routine down; like the fact that she always goes poop about 10 minutes after she eats, and that she takes 2 hour naps at 9 and 1, then 1 hour naps at 5 and 8. And bedtime is strictly at 10pm, and then I get to do whatever I want, until 11:30 anyway.

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I've started to countdown the moments til bedtime or nap time. Nap time is one of my favorite times because I get to sleep too. We may get up at 8, but we don't last very long. Now I plan my day around her naps. I need to run to Walmart to get some pictures printed for the relative in Illinois and stop at the pet store, so I'll do that tomorrow during her nap. I like to leave her in her crate when she'll mostly be sleeping.

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It's been a joy. Charlie and I are learning together. Many people have made the comment "It's just like having a baby." Oh my goodness is that ever true. When I leave the house with her I have to make sure I pack everything she'll need. When I put her to bed I stick some of her favorite toys in her crate. But boy does my baby have an attitude. She will follow me when I walk, if she wants. She'll go potty on command, if she wants. She'll even bring back the ball I threw for her, if she wants.

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She's recieved several nicknames so far. There are the crazy ones like Thumper and Spaz. Thumper because of the way her back leg shakes like the bunny in Bambi and Spaz because, well, she is one. But I've also given her more loving nicknames like Little Girl, Little One, and Baby.

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I'll have more to share as time goes on, but for right now I thought I'd let you in on all the fun I'm having. I love her so much already and I'm so grateful that I get to have her with me. The video below is Charlie's first encounter with the purple frisbee. It's been sitting on the shelf since she came home, but she just discovered it 2 days ago and this is what happened:

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