Sunday, December 14, 2014

Almost 2015!

Really, it's almost 2015 already?

This last year and especially this last month have FLOWN by. 

Last month we hit the two year mark for Jared being back in the military, he got a promotion in September (while he was broken and on convalescence leave), we moved (again) in October, we took our first family vacation back in May, we got a surprise visit in January from Amber and Tucker and so much more. 

While I have pictures from the entire year, I'll only bore you with photos from this last month and a half. 

Emma and Bailey 3Nov14 (10)
Walking Bailey

Working on 4-H project
Working on photography 4-H project

Bailey's New Sweatshirt (5)
It gets SO COLD here. We had to make Bailey a sweater. 

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Working on agility with Bailey

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Super Bailey!

Hugs and giggles with Da (2)
Snuggles with Da

Walking Bailey (7)
More walks with Bailey

First Wire Sculpture (1)
Playing with wire and aluminum foil sculpture

Reading with Bailey (1)
Reading buddy.

Surprise from Da- Forbidden Desert (5)
Da surprised us with a new board game- Forbidden Desert. It's a cooperative game.

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Obedience for Bailey. This apron from Memere is perfect for dispensing treats.

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Walks down by the river with our friend Skylar

Promotion Ceremony 1st LT (1)
Da's promotion ceremony.

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Restating the officers oath.

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Da explaining to Emma that it's tradition to tack (punch) the new rank to make sure it sticks. 

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She punched him so hard I felt it through Jared's back!

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The cake they got for the promotion had a bike on it. 

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Jared and I at his holiday party. It was a 1920's Prohibition theme and we had a blast. 

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I made my shrug, head piece AND I did my own makeup. 

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I love this photo :0)

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Some of the party decor. 

We are impatient. We opened our Christmas presents yesterday and it was so worth it. Emma has been playing her new piano keyboard every chance she gets. 

If you decided to follow us on Instagram, you'll get to see pictures all month long, not just whenever I remember to write a blog post. 

We hope you all have a fantastic holiday season! 

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Welcome to the Family

So, did anyone have any running bets on how long it would take us to get a dog once we moved into a dog friendly rental house?

We really believed we wouldn't be getting one until our next base. However, the more we talked about it, the more we realized it might be nice for Emma to already have an established friend for wherever we end up next. 

We talked about getting rabbits, but from all the reading I have done, they seem like more work than a dog with less rewards (bunnies don't fetch as well). 

Jared and I made the decision Tuesday night that we should get a dog. It would be a family dog, but mostly Emma's. Not ones to let moss grow, we went to the shelter on Wednesday (after dropping Gramma off at the train station) to see what dogs were available.

We "test drove" two different dogs. Chunk is a cute Boston Terrier, but he didn't seem super interested in Emma. He seemed fairly well behaved. 

Next we met Riki. She was a sweet pit bull mix and was great with Emma but had WAY more energy than we are ready for. 

We had horse lessons to get to, so we decided to stop back on Friday. We met Samwise who reminded me a lot of Icky. He is a pit mix with food intolerances that caused sever skin issues. He had no interest in us at all. He was a good boy, but again, more work than we are looking for right now. Then we noticed Bailey. 

Bailey is a five year old (they think) female terrier mix of some sort. We are thinking schnauzer and something else, but we are not sure. She was brought in as a stray Monday last week. The law is they have to wait 72 hours before strays are available for adoption. The shelter gives owners an extra day to recover lost pets. 

She is a super sweet little girl. When we met her for the first time at the shelter, she was so excited to be able to run around the kennel outside that she spent a fair amount of time sniffing at all the smells. 

Bailey 310ct and 1Nov 2014 (1)

That being said, she came over to us almost every time we called her. I thought that was impressive. 

Just to test the waters, I asked Bailey to sit. And she sat. Sweet! She also laid down with only a little coaxing. Again, totally cool.

I had Emma run around the enclosure and Bailey either ran next to Emma or ignored her. She never chased after Emma. Another score for Bailey.  

When Emma crouched down, Bailey would come over, but not try to jump up at Emma's (or my) face. In fact, we had to half pick her up so I could get the following photo. 

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Emma and Bailey

We visited a bit more and decided that we wanted to come back with Jared to see what he thought of her. 

So, a few hours later we went back with Jared. We fed her some treats and she was super gentle. Jared watched her run around with Emma. He chatted and just was there (to make sure Bailey wasn't afraid or against men). 

Jared was a bit concerned because she is a tiny little girl (I would guess 10 lbs or less) and she seemed to run funny. His first thought was she might have hip issues. 

Other than that, he had no objects, so we placed a hold on her so we could talk it over at home that night. We talked about how a smaller dog = smaller food bill (and smaller poop), smaller crate, smaller toys, etc. We also decided that if she ends up needing some sort of expensive procedure for her hips, that she will probably need to find another family. We will make her an appointment this week. 

With those two concerns hashed out, we decided she was just what we are looking for! So, after skipping out on my self-defense class (I actually went and we had three other instructors that were more than happy to cover for such a fun reason), we headed over to the shelter to pick up our newest family member!

Bailey 310ct and 1Nov 2014 (6)
Headed out the door with Bailey.

Bailey 310ct and 1Nov 2014 (7)
This is Bailey sitting on Emma's lap on the car ride home. 
(Bailey seems to do well in the car)

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A girl and her dog.

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Some down time- Emma is reading next to Bailey but otherwise just letting Bailey settle in. 

Bailey 310ct and 1Nov 2014 (14)
Bailey seems to love snuggle- but don't worry, we are aware of the signs of an unhappy dog and we are keeping an eye out for them. 

Bailey 310ct and 1Nov 2014 (17)
New bedtime routine- reading and petting Bailey. 

We really didn't plan to let Bailey on the furniture, but she gets off the couch when we tell her too so I am not worried that she will aggressively guard her spot. That being said, at this point she will only be allowed on Emma's bed and only when invited. Bailey will not sleep in Emma's bed, but in the crate next to the bed. But, I see nothing wrong with Emma and Bailey snuggling during bedtime reading. 

Bailey has done really well today. She has whined a little, but I am pretty sure I would too if I lost my family and was in a strange new place. We took her out quite a bit and she did well with no accidents. We also took her for a walk around the block. She seemed to pull a bit, but nothing Emma couldn't handle (another plus for her small size).

She ate pretty well and had no objections to eating from Emma's hand or being petted while eatting. She even let me put my fingers in her food bowl with no complaint. 

We will see what the next few weeks bring us, but I have a good feeling about this little girl. 

Bailey 310ct and 1Nov 2014 (9)
Welcome to the family Bailey!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

We've Moved. Again.

After two years of renting small spaces, we finally decided we needed more space.

We have loved living in both the apartment (minus the smokers and noise) and the small house if for no other reason than the low rent. Two years of low rent meant we got to put a huge chunk of money to our loans (student loans suck). It felt really good to see those loans shrink by leaps and bounds.

While our loans are not fully paid off yet, we decided that for our last year here, we just needed more room to spread out. We wanted dedicated space for school work (both mine and Emma's) and we wanted Emma to have a space all her own. She's been great sharing a room with us, but she's been talking about wanting her own room for the last few months.

And really, Jared and I are ready for our own room again.

So, we started looking. Ideally we would have liked to find a house with at least two bedrooms and rent that wasn't way more than what we had been paying. All we could find were run down houses in not so awesome neighborhoods. The one that we found and liked had already been rented. Another one that we were interested in collected applications for a few weeks before making a decision (it's still for rent a few weeks after we saw it). I'm not that patient.

So, desperate to move at this point, I started looking on base. Moving on base wasn't really what we wanted, but we had made up our minds that we wanted more space (and something insulated for the coming winter). Moving on base means that all the money Jared gets paid for housing would be taken and we only had two floor plans to choose from. Oh, and they had a six month waiting list.

Then I realized if we were willing to spend that much money to live on base, why not look in that price range off base?

We loved the first house we found. A few hundred less than what it would cost to live on base, a huge fenced backyard, 2.5 car garage, and FOUR bedrooms. We drove by the outside a few times and the neighborhood looked good. We called and found out it's still available and we made an appointment to check out the inside. We fell in love again.

Empty room photos are courtesy of Emma.

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The Gallery- the front door enters into this room

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The Gallery

We plan to plop a huge farmhouse table in this room (that I hope to build in the next few months) and line the walls with all our art and creations. Hence, The Gallery.

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The Kitchen

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Breakfast Nook

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Stairs to the basement

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Living Room

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Mine and Jared's Bedroom

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Emma's Bedroom

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Exercise Room

Across from the Exercise Room is our Library, but we both forgot to take photos of this room while it was empty. Now for a few photos of the unpacking in progress. 

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The Library
Emma is working on signs so that those awesome people that helped us move would know which rooms were which. 

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The Living Room
The cable got hooked up Saturday morning. It was a rough job hanging out waiting for the cable guy.

We were all to busy moving stuff to take any photos during the moving. I did manage to get one before everyone left though. 

After the Moving Party 4Oct14 (3)
The conclusion of our Moving Party.
Emma and her friend Megan are putting on a show for us. 

And here are some photos after we have unpacked and organized and rearranged a bit. 

Unpacking (1)
Emma's bed after her first night in her very own room.

Unpacking (2)

Unpacking (3)

Unpacking (4)

Unpacking (9)

Unpacking (10)
We had pizza in the Gallery after all the moving was done. 

Unpacking (13)
The bulk of the boxes ended up in the library and Emma's room. 

Unpacking (14)
This will be the craft corner of the library.

Unpacking (15)
The sign says it all.

Progress- Kitchen and Library (2)
Mostly put together kitchen. The portable dishwasher will be used as a drying rack. 

Progress- Kitchen and Library (4)

Progress- Kitchen and Library (5)
The hardest part about organizing the library is not getting caught up in every good book. 

Progress- Kitchen and Library (6)
Dennis the Menace

Progress- Kitchen and Library (7)
It feels so good to have these shelves mostly finished.

And I realize I also forgot to take photos of the living room. Oh well. Over the next few weeks I will post more about each individual room. 

But for now, I need to get back to work. Today will be all about my bedroom and the living room while we wait for the garage door to get fixed. Then it's off to the old house to empty out the shed and start the clean-up process over there. 

Have a great day!