Category Archives: Emma

I’m so mad there’s steam coming out of my ears and Andrew is as happy as a pig in mud.

Or, alternate title:  “Hoodlum neighbor kid’s Punk-ass friend broke our gate”.

Kids these days…  Grumble grumble…  When I was their age…  Etc.

The alternate title pretty much sums it up.  Punk-ass kid broke our gate.  The neighborhood kids were playing some kind of chasing and hiding game and one of the neighbor kid’s friends went tearing through our back yard.  BACK yard! He doesn’t even live around here, he’s trucked in from some other area where they clearly don’t learn manners or property laws.  He came in one gate, left it hanging wide open, then ran into a second gate; he attempted to open it the wrong way, bent the hinges, bent the latch, and broke the picket on the fence post it’s attached to (kid had some forward mass & momentum, if you know what I mean).  Then, having only managed to open it about eight inches the wrong way (conveniently about the width of Emma) he proceeded to run through the yard again and go out our third gate, leaving it wide open.  Know how I know all of this?  I saw him.  I was about to let Emma out when he went tearing through the first time.  I heard the pop when the wood broke and then saw him go running back the other way.  Punk-ass kid is quick.

So, I’m mad.  Emma’s mad because she’s not allowed outside without supervision.  She could get out of the fence right now, and that’s not acceptable.  And Andrew, well, he’s happy.  He’s just as pleased as he can be for an excuse to break out the power tools unexpectedly on a Wednesday night.  He’s out there all bundled up with some kind of light system set up, he’s got two different types of saws, his drill, and all sorts of screws and bolts working out there.

I’m honestly glad it was Punk-ass kid and not Hoodlum neighbor kid who broke the gate.  I’d probably stay mad at neighbor kid, but I don’t have to see Punk-ass kid on a daily basis.  Plus, I’m glad Andrew’s handy enough that he can fix it no problem.  Emma’s really glad of that too, she’d really like to get out there and explore in the yard some more.


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Filed under Emma, House, Life

I have an Intermediate dog.

Tonight was Emma’s Graduation night.  Emma graduated (with colors, although I’m not sure they were flying) from intermediate obedience class at our local PetSmart.  (I never know if it’s supposed to be PetsMart or PetSmart, but I think it’s the second one.)

Check out her hat! (she’s not amused by the hat)

Our usual trainer was out under mysterious circumstances that might be emergency surgery, and the new (to us) girl was tough!  She timed our “sit-stay” and “down-stay” and all that, it’s hard to sit still for a full minute when you’re not even six months old and you’re at your favorite place with all your friends.

Andrew hadn’t been to class in a couple weeks, and even he was impressed with Emma’s “heel” and she was a champ at waiting at the door.  I’m super proud of her tonight!  We’re taking a break before we start the advanced class.  Andrew’ll be busy with tax season, and I’m going to be traveling for work.  Plus, we want the trainer to have a chance to recover and come back, we like her style, and hope she’s feeling better soon!

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Filed under Celebrations, Emma

Happy Christmas

I hope your Christmas was filled with food and friends and family and laughter and enough alcohol to make it through without screaming.  Mine was, and for that I’m really thankful.  I helped Daddy host 23 people today for Christmas lunch at his house.  It went as well as it possibly could.  A little hectic in certain moments, minimally awkward, lots of leftovers.

And now, it’s almost 1am.  I know it’s because of all the emotions of the day, and because I’m exhausted, but I miss my Mom so terribly I can hardly breathe.  I missed her all day yesterday, when I was working in the kitchen, by myself, no idle chatter or “can you pass me that cutting board” to keep me company.  I’ve missed her all month, as we planned out the menu and the seating arrangements.  I missed her when I was trying to decide if it was really okay to skip the tablecloths this year and just use the runners and cloth napkins.  I missed her when the third relative said “How about I bring sweet potato casserole?” and I couldn’t figure out how to say that it was already covered.  I missed her when we were Christmas shopping, this was the year of “the perfect gift for mom”.  But now that the meal is over and the leftovers packed away it’s all crashing down on me.


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Filed under Celebrations, Challenges, Family, Food, Friendship

Richmond is weird. I like it.

Andrew, Emma and I piled in the car last weekend and drove up to Richmond to hang out with friends.  This is not a picture of our car.

I’ve driven through Richmond too many times to count, but I’d never visited the city as a destination.  We were only there for a weekend, and the main goal was to hang out, but we couldn’t miss the Richmond “Tacky Light Tour”.

Some people in town go.all.out. for Christmas.  Decorating everything that can’t fly away.  Then they list their homes on the tacky light tour registry and people drive by, and stop by, and get out and walk (see random guy, above) by to see the horrors, err, lights.

One house that I didn’t get a good photo of had their lights set to dance to the music playing on a certain FM radio station.  It was awesome.  I’ve never seen something like that except in youtube videos and movies.

My favorite house on our short tour had mostly home made decor.  It was easy to tell that these people had put a ton of time, and hard work and thought into their perfectly placed twinkling lights. Christmas on Wendhurst is certainly serious business. They say that their December electric bill jumps by $1000 each year!  What a gift to the community!

I loved this part of their decor best:

Check out that snowman bandit down at the bottom!  Too cute.

They were even very considerate about all of the family members whom might be enjoying the lights with you by providing treats for your four and two legged pets.

The yellow ribbons you can see there are on the memorial gate, the family had a son (I think) killed in action in either Iraq or Afghanistan (I’m sorry I don’t remember which, anyone who knows please enlighten me).  The gate was a nice tribute to their loved one.

I tweeted this picture that night, but it’s too funny not to share again.  This is a wooden cutout meant for children to put their faces in and “be” snowmen.  Please enjoy my snowmen:

But, the “funny lights” award for the night has to go to this place’s neighbors.

And really, I have to agree with them.  It’s the perfect display for living next door to one of Tacky Lights Richmond’s greatest.

Thanks for the lights, Richmond!

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Filed under Emma, Friendship, Fun, Travel

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween y’all!

We’ve got our front porch all spooky

We’ve got a puppy in costume:

She’s waiting at the door

We’ve got a wreath that watches your every move

We’ve got creatures waiting for your arrival

And we’ve got a cauldron full of concoctions

(see, we even bought the good stuff)

So come on out and see us!


Happy Halloween from Rosie the Riveter!

(psst, dressing up for Halloween was one of my Day Zero list items, how’d I do?!)

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Filed under Emma, Fun, Life

Puppy Class Graduation

A few weeks ago I posted about how we were taking our puppy Emma to puppy class.  It’s been a few short weeks, and tonight was graduation!

Emma’s been great all the way through class.  She’s a champ at “sit” and “wait” and has a hilarious “down”, it’s like she dives at the floor – it cracks me up every time.  “Stay” is hard for a wiggly little puppy like her.  And “loose leash walking”, walking on a leash without pulling, is tough for us all.  She’s the best in class at “leave it”, amazes me every time.  We’ve had a great time in class, and I’m sad to see it end.

We plan on continuing her training.  We’re taking a short break before starting the intermediate class.  Emma has a few things going on in her life, she’s teething, and soon we’ll set up the appointment for her spay surgery.  We also have a few things going on, with the holdiays coming up and my busy season at work imminent.  But I do recommend the PetSmart trainer, Sarah, at the Apex location.  She’s great.  Emma loves her, we appreciate her knowledge and helpfulness.  We’ve had a great time in class.

Emma has even made friends.  She especially loves a labradoodle in the class.  We joke that they’re “dating”.  They like to go dancing.


And check out that huge puppy in the background.  He’s an English Mastiff, six months old.  He’s going to be in the intermediate class with us too.  I can’t wait to see how big he gets.  He’s such a sweetheart.

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Filed under Celebrations, Emma, Fun

Puppy Class Challenges

This is our puppy, Emma.

Emma is 12 weeks old.  She’s a cocker spaniel and lab mix.  Tonight we went to the second week of puppy class at our local Petsmart.  Last week she did really well with her “sit” and “here” and “spin” and “watch me”, this week is going to be a lot more work for us (and by “us”, I mean mostly me and Andrew).  Learning “Loose leash” walking is hard.  It’s frustrating for us, frustrating for Emma, involves lots of starting and stopping and getting tangled in the leash and lots and LOTS of treats.  The poor girl has a stomachache after tonight’s class.

We’ve had Emma right at a month, and she is so much fun.  A puppy is a challenge, we knew that before we got her, but she’s such a fun challenge.  So far (knock on wood) she hasn’t torn up anything except some junk mail and a roll of paper towels.  I know the “chewing” stage will come.  Hopefully my shoes will survive.

Andrew couldn’t come with Emma and me to puppy class tonight, he had his own classwork to do.  He started graduate school a couple weeks ago working towards his MBA (and from there, his CPA license).  Lately I’m feeling like we’re never going to get to a point in our lives where we can just enjoy what we have and each other without working towards some goal.  But then I talk to my friends who are in a place like that in their lives and it just seems so boring.  It makes me thankful for all that we have, challenges and all.

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Filed under Emma