Sunday, October 31, 2010

My Pups {Part 2}

2 + 2 = 4
The story of Tony & Moo Moo

After some unfortunate events with Kari (involving her moving to Florida) and her then husband (we'll just call him D-bag) ending up in prison again we got a call on a chilly mid-November morning in 2008 from Brad, Kari's brother. He told us that they had Tony & Moo Moo (as well as Buffy & Buddy) at the house and they were looking for homes for them and if we knew of anyone that might want them to let him know.

Well, at that time we had just moved in with Wayne's grandma a/k/a Green Grandma a month before, who happens to have 5 dogs of her own...Budz, Molly, Pokey, Sweet Pea and Snickers, plus we had our 2 (B&P). I'll admit, I pushed the issue first, but let me tell you it wasn't hard to get them on board with me. We decided that we wanted Tony & Moo Moo. I couldn't let go of the idea of them going to somewhere unknown and possibly NEVER seeing them again. It just didn't sit right with me. So Wayne called Brad back and told him we wanted to come and pick them up.

We headed down to Robbinsdale to the house and we both were a bit nervous because we knew they wouldn't be in the best of shape. Boy did we get an eyeful. As we entered the yard, all the dogs were huddled against the side of the house next to the door and SCARED out of their mind. They didn't know what to think. They were super hairy and dirty and didn't look like they had any sort of bath in months. I brought with a comforter to put in the back seat partly because I knew they were going to be dirty and partly to give them a comfy place to ride back to the house.

Wayne approached Moo Moo first and picked her up in his arms, he then walked over to me and transferred her into my arms. I then brought her to the car and set her in the back seat. She was shaking the whole time. We then went back and Wayne approached Tony...he was A LOT more skeptical than Moo Moo was and he let us know it. Wayne eventually got him into his arms and instead of transferring him to me, he just walked him to the car as I opened the door. He was so scared and also shaking. As soon as Wayne picked him up, he rested his head on Wayne's shoulder like he was trying to say "Thank you." I immediately BURST into tears cause I was so overwhelmed with emotion.

From there we had to stop and get gas (great timing). But it actually worked out OK because as I was continuously talking to them the whole time trying to keep them occupied as they were shaking in the back seat, Wayne came out with one of those beef stick/cheese combos. He started breaking it up into pieces and we sat there for a few minutes feeding it to them piece by piece. Wayne was so smart and thought we should try and at least gain their trust little by little. "Here have a piece of cheese...we come in peace" type of thing. We then continued on home and let them out of the car to be greeted by the other 7 dogs. We immediately gave each dog a bath and we even had to change the water in between each one. That's how dirty they were. The water was so black and gross. After we got them cleaned up a bit they started getting more familiar with their surroundings. I think they remembered Grams and her house because during the summer months they were there EVERY weekend visiting.

In the week that followed I made an appointment for them to see the vet and also the groomers. We also noticed as the weeks went on that Tony was very aggressive towards the other dogs. There were occasional fights and growling, but overall the transition went smoothly. He learned that he needed to share the house and us. At first when Tony ate, his whole body would just shake and he would not let anyone close to his bowl...it took him a long time for him to get better at that. Moo Moo was VERY timid and would not jump up on anyone on anything and would actually put her head down most of the time and not make eye contact. That has changed a lot as well and I have to say over the last 2 years they each have developed their own personalities. Tony is no longer so aggressive. He definitely has his moments, but nothing like when we first got him. Moo Moo has also come out of her shell and is a lot more outgoing. Here is a picture of them when we first got them after we gave them baths, but before their haircuts.

Photobucket

And here is a closer picture of Tony showing how hairy they were before haircuts.

Photobucket

This is a picture of Tony after his first haircut.

Photobucket

And this is a picture of Moo Moo after her first haircut.

Photobucket

So now as we're coming up on their 4 year birthday (November 10th) and we have had them for almost 2 years now (November 16th) (half of their life) I am so happy that we made the decision to go get them and "rescue" them. I love having all 4 of our dogs and with Gramma's 2 cockers (Sweet Pea & Snickers) we ended up with 6 out of the 7 of the litter. To me it's a happy ending for everyone. 

Thanks for letting me share this story with you all.

Leah

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Life as seen thru a dog's eyes.

So this came from an ad on the Billings, Montana craigslist site. The link is being passed on and re-tweeted all over the world. My Husband shared this with me this afternoon and now I am sharing this with you. I got about 5 sentences in and already had tears in my eyes and was absolutely bawling by the end of it.

Please BE SURE before you make the commitment to buy that puppy. When I was a puppy, I entertained you with my antics and made you laugh. You called me your child, and despite a number of chewed shoes and a couple of murdered throw pillows, I became your best friend. Whenever I was "bad", you'd shake your finger at me and ask "how could you?" But then you'd relent, and roll me over for a belly rub. My housebreaking took a little longer than expected, because you were terribly busy, but we worked on that together. I remember those nights of nuzzling you in bed and listening to your confidences and secret dreams, and I believed that life could not be anymore perfect. We went for long walks and runs in the park, car rides, stops for ice cream (I only got the cone because "ice cream is bad for dogs," you said), and I took long naps in the sun waiting for you to come home at the end of the day. Gradually, you began spending more time at work and on your career, and more time searching for a human mate. I waited for you patiently, comforted you through heartbreaks and disappointments, never chided you about bad decisions, and romped with glee at your homecomings, and when you fell in love. She, now your wife, is not a "dog person" still I welcomed her into our home, tried to show her affection, and obeyed her. I was happy because you were happy. Then the human babies came along and I shared your excitement. I was fascinated by their pinkness, how they smelled, and I wanted to mother them too. Only she and you worried that I might hurt them, and I spent most of my time banished to another room, or to a dog crate. Oh, how I wanted to love them, but I became a "prisoner of love". As they began to grow, I became their friend. They clung to my fur and pulled themselves up on wobbly legs, poked fingers in my eyes, investigated my ears, and gave me kisses on my nose. I loved everything about them and their touch because your touch was now so infrequentand I would have defended them with my life if need be. I would sneak into their beds and listen to their worries and secret dreams, and together we waited for the sound of your car in the driveway. There had been a time, when others asked you if you had a dog, that you produced a photo of me from your wallet and told them stories about me. These past few years, you just answered "yes" and changed the subject. I had gone from being "your dog" to "just a dog," and you resented every expenditure on my behalf. Now, you have a new career opportunity in another city, and you and they will be moving to an apartment that does not allow pets. You've made the right decision for your "family," but there was a time when I was your only family. I was excited about the car ride until we arrived at the animal shelter. It smelled of dogs and cats, of fear, of hopelessness. You filled out the paperwork and said "I know you will find a good home for her." They shrugged and gave you a pained look. They understood the realities facing a middle-aged dog, even one with "papers." You had to prise your son's fingers loose from my collar as he screamed "No Daddy! Please don't let them take my dog!" And I worried for him, and what lessons you had just taught him about friendship and loyalty, about love and responsibility, and about respect for all life. You gave me a good-bye pat on the head, avoided my eyes, and politely refused to take my collar and leash with you. You had a deadline to meet and now I have one, too. After you left, the two nice ladies said you probably knew about your upcoming move months ago and made no attempt to find me another good home. They shook their heads and asked "How could you?" They are as attentive to us here in the shelter as their busy schedules allow. They feed us, of course, but I lost my appetite days ago. At first, whenever anyone passed my pen, I rushed to the front, hoping it was you, that you had changed your mind that this was all a bad dream...or I hoped it would at least be someone who cared, anyone who might save me. When I realised I could not compete with the frolicking for attention of happy puppies, oblivious to their own fate. I retreated to a far corner and waited. I heard her footsteps as she came for me at the end of the day, and I padded along the aisle after her to a seperate room. A blissfully quiet room. she placed me on the table and rubbed my ears, and told me not to worry. My heart pounded in anticipation of what was to come, but there was also a sense of relief. The prisoner of love had run out of days. As is my nature, I was more concerned about her. The burden which she bears weighs heavily on her, and I know that, the same way I knew your every mood. She gently placed a tourniquet around my foreleg as a tear ran down her cheek. I licked her hand in the same way I used to comfort you so many years ago. She expertly slid the hypodermic needle into my vein. As I felt the sting and the cool liquid coursing through my body, I lay down sleepily, looked into her kind eyes and murmured "How could you?" Perhaps because she understood my dogspeak, she said "I'm so sorry." She hugged me, and hurriedly explained that it was her job to make sure I went to a better place, where I wouldn't be ignored or abused or abandoned, or have to fend for myself a place of love and light so very different from this earthly place. And with my last bit of energy, I tried to convey to her with a thump of my tail that my "How could you?" was not directed at her. It was you, My Beloved Master, I was thinking of. I will think of you and wait for you forever. May everyone in your life continue to show you so much loyalty. THE END.

You can find the actual link to the ad HERE.

Leah

Thursday, October 28, 2010

My Pups {Part 1}

As you can tell from my header on my blog, my Husband and I have 4 dogs. You can read about us and them here. In honor of Adopt a Dog Month I decided to share our story of "My Pups" in hopes of sparking some love for our furry friends or in my case my furry "children". Although we didn't adopt from a shelter and had the opportunity to receive from a family member, doesn't mean I don't support adopting or that at some point down the road in our lives we won't find ourselves in a shelter. Wayne and I actually took many trips and spent many afternoons at the Humane Society (Golden Valley) visiting the homeless animals before we received ours. 

A little history from me is that up until Bella and Puckett, I had never owned a dog, much less a pet before...not even a fish. My parents weren't the pet having type and I didn't have much choice. I knew I liked pets, more specifically dogs, but didn't know if I would actually own one in my lifetime as I had allergies and I couldn't imagine the dog hair. I was also younger, naive and ignorant on the topic.

Now almost 4 years later, I couldn't imagine them not in my life or quite honestly my life dog-less. I believe dogs bring so much happiness into ones life, home, and more importantly family. Don't get me wrong, they are a lot of work at times, but for me the positives out-weigh the negatives by far. 

I was fortunate to marry a dog-lover who came from a dog loving family. He had many dogs and cats while growing up and throughout his childhood. We had many a discussions about one day getting a dog of our own and as stated above, even went to the Humane Society on occasion to see what was available. After meeting him and dating for a couple years, I knew at some point I would become a dog owner. In the end it was all fate and worked out the way it was supposed to.

In the late summer of 2006, Wayne's cousin, Kari, had brought to our attention that her cocker spaniel, Buffy, was pregnant. She had mentioned to us that if we wanted one of the puppies once they were born we could take a look. We were super excited and agreed that when they were born we would visit them and then decide at that time. We lived in Waite Park at the time in a two bedroom apartment, but it was NOT dog friendly. We knew that if we were serious about this that we would have to start looking for a dog friendly place to live and it would mean more changes.

Well, just a few months later, on November 10, 2006, 10 little puppies were born, only 7 actually survived, and it happened to be the day before our wedding (rehearsal day). I remember waking up that morning and Wayne getting a text message from Kari saying "You're parents." Wayne took off early in the morning to complete some last minute wedding errands and I stayed at my parents to also complete some last minute wedding projects. What he didn't tell me was that he planned on stopping at Kari's house to see the newborn puppies. He texted me a picture of him holding one of the pups...saying "Hi Mama" or something to that effect. It was so cute and made my day.

We were officially starting our life together the next day and how ironic that the puppies happen to be born the day before. Like I said above I feel like it was all meant to be and it brought the two of us even closer together.

After our whirlwind wedding weekend a/k/a one of the best weekends of my life to date...we seriously started hunting for a new place. We found a two bedroom townhome, put in our notice at our current place and started packing. We were married 11/11/2006,  moved into our new place in mid-January and brought the pups home about a week after that.

Yes, pups meaning plural. We had planned on only getting one to start with since I had never had a dog of my own before and wanted to ease into the new role. After a couple of weeks after their birth we went to visit them (Thanksgiving) and each Wayne and I held one. I held a black female and Wayne picked up a buff colored male. We were trying to decide which one we wanted and just couldn't decide on the spot as they each had made such an impact on us in such a short amount of time. They weren't even opening their eyes up yet at this point and were as small as gerbils. Here is me with each one:

Photobucket Photobucket

Look at how tiny they were at 2 weeks. Well, after we left there and continued our debate and discussions, Kari ended up calling us and asking us if we wanted the TWO we had held, because they had decided they really wanted to try and keep all 7 of the litter in the family. We said we would think about it and get back to her. Honestly, who were we kidding? I told myself that if I had to train 1, it would be just as easier with 2 and that way they would have a playmate 24/7. We decided that we would just take a leap of faith and jump in head first. So from there on out...we were now getting 2! It was such a fun time getting to see them grow up and visiting them those first 2 months while still with Mama. I have shared my Scrapblog of the puppies first year here. I am also working on the subsequent years to present.

That is the story of how we became parents to Bella and Pucket.

Stay tuned for part 2.

Leah

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Horton Wedding Weekend

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Wayne picked Dana up from the MSP airport that evening and made the trip back to the house. She came just for the weekend (Thursday night through Sunday morning) from Point Lookout, NY. Due to traffic they didn't arrive until late...almost 11pm is late for me. We sat up and all chatted before heading to bed.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Green Grandma and I both took the day off of work to spend with family. Wayne has every Friday off, so it was nice to spend the whole day together. It was very much needed. We met a family friend and others at Broadway Pizza for lunch. Whenever Dana is town we always eat at Broadway Pizza at least once. We always go to the Robbinsdale location as it is the only one that is still family owned.

Photobucket

From L to R: Green Grandma, Lisa (family friend), Aunt Dana and Kim (my MIL). We also saw Brad & Jackie as well. It's always fun to eat there and catch up with everyone.

This picture isn't so good, but it's the only one I have of us at Broadway that day.

Photobucket

Once we were done there Wayne and I did some shopping in Maple Grove. We accomplished getting our Halloween costumes and accessories as well as some Christmas shopping completed.  We saw this movie:

Photobucket

and had a nice dinner just the two of us at Mongos. Overall it was a fantastic day spent with my one and only.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Rachel & Evan's Wedding Day

The ceremony and reception were both located at the Dakota Lodge located in West St. Paul.

Here is a video of the site. They had a beautiful outdoor ceremony with the reception inside.

 

We arrived at about 3pm for family pictures, with the ceremony to start at 4:30, happy hour to begin at about 5, dinner to be served at 6, and dancing to commence afterwards. One of the funnest things was the photo booth they had set up for everyone to use. At some point I plan on scanning in our strips of photos, but our computer that is hooked to our printer/scanner is on the fritz right now. So look for that blog post in the future. Here are some pictures of the day.

From L to R: Green Grandma, Aunt Dana, Me, and Gramma Jo (Evan's paternal Gramma)

Photobucket

Dianne (Evan's Step-mom), Aunt Dana and my MIL Kimmy...Sisters

Photobucket

Wayne had to work until 5pm, so although he missed the actual ceremony, he made it in time for dinner and social time with the family.

Photobucket

I didn't get a real picture of Travis or his girlfriend Ashley. Darn. On the left are the girls, including Aly & Veronika  (Evan's two younger step-sisters) and on the right are the boys, Travis & Jared (Evan's two brothers). They were all in the wedding.

Photobucket Photobucket

Wayne & Jared

Photobucket



Wayne with Veronika and Aly.

Photobucket

On the left is Veronika & Me and on the right is Aly & Me.

Photobucket Photobucket

They are really getting so grown up!

This is a cute picture of the Horton Family dancing.
Can you guess what song it is?

Photobucket

From L to R: Uncle Mark, Aunt Dianne, Veronika and Aly Horton.

I snapped this next picture of some brotherly love.


Wayne and his younger brother, Andy.

Last, but certainly not least is us with the Bride & Groom.

Photobucket

It was a great day filled with laughs, hugs and many memories.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

We woke up on Sunday and brought Dana to the airport at about 10am. Gramma and I had lunch at Big Bowl and also did a little shopping at Ridgedale. We then stopped to visit Barbara on our way home and I helped her fill out her assisted living paperwork (more to come about that later). We then headed home for the evening and I was looking forward to watching football, but instead fell asleep for about two hours. Then I woke-up, watched Brothers & Sisters and basically went back to bed. The weekend had obviously taken it's toll on me with staying up late and getting up early, but it was a GREAT weekend nonetheless.

Congratulations to Rachel & Evan!

Leah

Friday, October 22, 2010

Song of the Week {Travie McCoy}

Travie McCoy: Need You


Leah

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Mandy & Family

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I took family pictures for Mandy and her family. They live on Lake Pulaski in Buffalo. We had set up the time weeks in advance so everyone could make it. It was so windy that day, especially off the lake, but thankfully the pictures turned out wonderful.

Family

Photobucket

Mom & Children

Photobucket

Father & Son

Photobucket

Grandma & Grandson

Photobucket

Jeremy, Mandy, Mollie & Allie

Photobucket

Mollie & Allie

Photobucket

Photobucket Photobucket

Mollie

Photobucket Photobucket

Allie

Photobucket Photobucket

Thanks Mandy and her family for such a fun shoot!

Leah

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Currently {October 2010}

Excited...to "start" trying to have a baby again...that today is my Friday...to spend all day tomorrow with Wayne (and family)...I have a 3 day weekend...Wayne's Aunt Dana is coming into town from NY tonight...we have a family wedding on Saturday...that hopefully the Vikings win on Sunday

Worried...about medical bills continuing to pile up and getting them all paid off

Reading...What to Expect Before Your Expecting...highly recommend this if you are thinking of starting a family...this book is different than What to Expect When You're Expecting...totally didn't realize that until recently

Creating...I am trying to finish up my scrapbook of our time in LaCrosse, WI and Wayne working at Z93 so that I can move onto others...I am still using Scrapblog and I love it

Loving ...the extra $ that Wayne is bringing in because of his new gig at Babe's in Lakeville and then his new gig at Valentinos starting in November (also see Hating)

Hating...that EVERY Saturday night Wayne is in Lakeville at Babe's and not with me..LOL...that starting in November he will be gone EVERY Friday night as well...the commute to/from work everyday (it's REALLY getting on my nerves)

Wondering...what the future will bring

Hoping...the future brings great things for Wayne and I

Craving...Big Bowl...my favorite restaurant EVER

Watching...a lot of fall TV...Eastbound & Down, Boardwalk Empire and Brothers & Sisters (Sunday nights), Intervention and Gossip Girl (Monday nights), One Tree Hill and Parenthood (Tuesday nights), Road Rules/Real World Challenge (Wednesday nights), Vampire Diaries and Jersey Shore (Thursday nights)...I also TIVO Oprah and Ellen everyday...if I like it, I watch it, otherwise I delete it.

Listening...to anything with Nicki Minaj in it...see HERE... to a new favorite of mine, Far East Movement - "Like a G6"...see that HERE

Looking forward to...this weekend...October 29th at Valentinos for the Exotic Erotic Ball (Far East Movement and HWood are performing)...October 30th at the Target Center for SYTYCD with Lemonhead...paying off bills...hopefully being pregnant soon

Photobucket

Song of the Week {Far East Movement}

Far East Movement "Like a G6"


Leah

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Marty's in "The Town" & Baby Noah

Friday, September 17, 2010

Marty came into town Friday night. The three of us went to see "The Town."

Photobucket

Saturday, September 18, 2010

While I was at the hospital visiting my Dad all day, Marty went with Wayne to work. They then went to Ridgedale because JJ Hardy (MN Twins) was there signing autographs. Of course Wayne had to go.
 
Photobucket

I went home after the hospital and the boys went to Babe's in Lakeville for Wayne's first night there. It's his new Saturday night gig for KDWB.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

I stayed at home while the boys went to the Twins game. Marty had tickets from his work. It was Media day. Later in the afternoon they met me at the hospital in Monticello. Our friend Jeannine had her little baby boy, Noah, on that Friday, so we had to go visit.

Photobucket

Us with Noah, only 2 days old. I can't wait until it's our turn!!

Leah

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Dad's Back Surgery {2010}

Friday, September 17, 2010

My Dad had back surgery (posterior lumbar fusion) on the L5 and L4 vertebrae. It is a major surgery and thankfully has been doing well recuperating thus far. He is out of work for about 2-3 months and cannot do much of anything for about 6 months.  

Saturday, September 18, 2010

I was there for most of the day with my Mom and my sisters. I like how his preferred name is "Les."

Photobucket

Sitting and watching TV while Kate laid in the bed playing DS. We read magazines and talked a lot. He was progressing faster than most back surgery patients. The next day he was getting in/out of bed and walking to the chair/bathroom.

Photobucket

Mom (of course cleaning up after everyone)

Photobucket

Me, Kate and Amie (behind the curtain)

Photobucket

It is now the end of his 3rd week of recovery. He is doing very well. He goes on frequent walks around the neighborhood and soon he will be able to drive, but he cannot do many things he enjoys doing. If you know him, you know he has a very hard time sitting still. He is always doing something. He loves to putz around the yard and/or garage, 4-wheel, hunt, snow blow, shovel, anything that takes him outside. Well, he isn't supposed to do any of those things, which is so hard for him. He is already getting very antsy and bored.

You can watch a VERY helpful, short and to the point video on Lumbar Spinal Fusion Surgery here.

If you would like to read more about Lumbar Spinal Fusion Surgery you can go here.

Thanks.

Leah

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Song of the Week {Nicki Minaj}

Nicki Minaj ft. Will.i.am - Check It Out

(Live On David Letterman)


Love it!
Leah

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Adam & Kayla's Wedding

Saturday, September 11, 2010

So in the morning I had the bridal shower for Rachel and then in the afternoon I met up with Wayne and we headed down to St. Peter for a wedding. Adam & Kayla were married at the Arboretum at Gustavus.

Photobucket

It was a beautiful day. Kayla and her Dad came around the ceremony site in a horse & carriage.

Photobucket

Her Dad actually owns it. Super cool. Kayla's dress was gorgeous!

Photobucket

This picture shows the lanterns in the trees.

Photobucket

These are the boys (our friends).

Photobucket

From left: TJ (Best Man), Pat & Jeremy

We snapped a funny pic of us during the ceremony.

Photobucket

They did both lighting a candle & a sand ceremony.

Photobucket

It was a beautiful ceremony for a wonderful couple. I graduated high school with Adam, so I have know him for 10+ years. It has been great to re-connect and keep in contact with friends over the years and see what different directions their lives have taken them.

Photobucket

I snapped this picture of her bustle.

Photobucket

We were all excited to find out it was an open bar. Woot! Dinner was fabulous. I had prime rib, Wayne had ham. We also found out after dinner that all the meat was provided by Kayla's Father's farm. The food was delicious. Here is their cake:

Photobucket

From left: Pat, Wayne and TJ

Photobucket

Friends Forever

Photobucket

From left: Pat, Wayne, Leah & Wendy

This wedding included great friends, food, drinks and conversation. I love my friends!

Leah