Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Meet Rosie

On Sunday, Chris walked into our home with a St. Bernard puppy.  Four sons raced to see who could hug her first.  This was our dog.  Our first dog.  We named her Rosie.

Rosie was a bit overwhelmed with the situation at first.  Four new "brothers" can do that to a dog.  She cowered in the corner and then found her spot on the carpet.  For the next 24 hours, she slept on the floor, and then slept some more.  In my world, she was a dream dog!

Last night, the honeymoon was over.  Rosie suddenly experienced a burst of energy.  Our seemingly docile dog took a flying leap and landed on our bed.  When we shooed her down, she found it a great time to explore other avenues of mischief.  

Her cuteness was beginning to wear off.

This morning, she woke us up at 4:30 a.m. and abruptly peed on our carpet.

Rosie is officially on my bad side.

My friends say this is all part of the process.  She'll learn, they insist.  

I just wonder if my carpet and sanity will make it through.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Finally, a girl!

I had a sweet birthday celebration with my dear friend Erin.

Mom and Dad provided another great birthday companions.

No shirt required when it comes to birthday cakes!

My new 9 year old!

Where does the time go?

My (our) birthday present.  Meet Miss Rosie.

If you would have told me a year ago that I would be looking at a dog for my birthday, I would have laughed.  

Full-belly laugh.

Your crazy laugh.  

But life if funny that way.  

On my 44th birthday, I was sitting in the living room of a breeder staring into the eyes of a dog.

I think one should know that "just looking" at a dog is dangerous.  It's like "just looking" for a house.  Odds are you will walk away with a new house.  Or new dog, in our case.

The night before, our friends the Brinkruffs announced that they were considering getting a new dog.  Their new dog has a sister, they mentioned.  My usual response would be "so nice for you." Instead, I peppered them with questions.  Why so many questions? I can't explain.  Something about the dog and the situation was intriguing to me.  Before ordering dessert, we agreed to visit the breeder with them.

On Sunday (my birthday), we traveled 45 minutes to the breeder's house.  The first dog that greeted us at the door was a monster.  The owner laughed at our reaction and explained this dog was a St. Bernard/Great Dane mixture.  (Which means the dog was the size of a tank.)  I suppose seeing the largest dog known to man makes every other dog look petite.  And so when I gazed at our puppy (a plain ole St. Bernard), she looked smallish.

The 50-pound puppy was docile and sweet.  She definitely put on her best manners for "adoption day."  (I'm sort of wondering if they gave her Benadryl before our visit as she was so dang calm.)  She nestled up to my leg and cuddled near my foot.  In an instant, this non-dog person became a convert.

Chris and I agree to "talk it over" which basically involved all the males in the house telling me it was going to happen.  We called the breeder and agreed to be her new owner.  I guess the Woods' dog philosophy is "Go Big or Go Home" as we will have a dog as big as a house.

Rosie, as we are calling her, will arrive on Sunday.  I've spent the last few days getting familiar with Pet Smart and learning a new lingo: pet-speak.  Many friends are eager to share advice.  (While some share pet horror stories that scare the socks off me.) For good or bad, we are ready to start the next adventure: dog owners.  Rosie has many hands that will love on her, and hopefully lend a hand to help too!

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Ice Skating

View of our snow-covered house.

California band trip.

Basketball tournament winners.

Despite the cold, outdoor ice skating can't be beat!

Look for us as one of the competitive ice skating teams in the winter olympics!

This one adored the ice.

These two learned to love the ice.

On Martin Luther King day, the kids had the day off school.  The bitterly cold temperatures dipped above zero for the first time in days.  I rejoiced at the sliver of hope that winter was on the outs.  With time on our hands, my friend Nicole recommended ice skating at a new outdoor rink.

What I can say with confidence is that we will not be recruited for the US figure skating team.  Half of our group spent the majority of their time clutching a wall; the other half exuded too much confidence that resulted in many backsides colliding with the ice.

For me, I tried to channel my inner Nancy Kerrigan.  Even though I lacked the fancy skater outfit, I pulled off some pretty sweet moves (like skating backwards and turning right)!  I even attempted to add some dance moves (swaying and arm pumping) to my slightly disjointed skating gait.  A lot of other skaters took notice, and I believe the smiles were a nod to my exceptional skills!

In typical Cooper fashion, he took on the ice with gusto.  He treated the ice rink as if something to be conquered.  Cooper would race across the rink at full speed only to have it end with a icy nosedive (or backslide).  And repeat.  And repeat.

Connor and Collin were more timid.  The ice was not something to be trusted.  The put in their time on the rink, but have no short term plans to return.

I was bummed when our skating session was over.  If I have any hopes of becoming the next Nancy Kerrigan, I need a bit more time on the ice!

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Post from the Frozen Tundra

I treasure the individual "dates" I get with a son.  Caleb let me join him at the art museum.  I love watching him transition from a child into an interesting adult.

It's 29 degrees right now, and I am giddy; it feels tropical.  I'm tempted to toss on a tank top and lather on some sunscreen.  Last week, temperatures dipped under zero degrees.  The "feels like" temperature was too upsetting to record.  For days, we cocooned ourselves under blankets and layers of clothing.  We prayed that God would teleport us to either Florida or to April...asap.

To make matters worse, water stopped flowing from our faucets, showers, and toilets yesterday morning.  I think it was just too cold to move.  One doesn't truly appreciate running water until it's not running.

The fact that we lack running water has been met with mixed emotions.  The boys feel like their prayers have been answered with the non-working showers and the encouragement to relieve themselves in the great outdoors.  Chris, ever the frugal optimist, believes running water is right around the corner.  He assures us that there was no need to bother a plumber.  Spring will come soon enough.  As for me, the lady of the group, showers and working toilets seem like a necessity, not a bonus amenity.

This morning, the faucets were still silent.  The garage was flooded with water which had spilled out onto our drive way.  We now have a homemade ice rink outside our back door.

I'm no plumber, but things seem off.

Desperate times call for desperate measures.  A professional has been called.  With everyone else battling their own busted pipes, he is slated to visit our home tomorrow. 

Until then, we're praying for water, or spring.  Whichever comes first.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Missing Quiet

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Christmas lights did not disappoint.  As an added bonus for the boys, we drove on the track!

Monument Circle....all dressed up for the holiday.

I can't recommend the Winterlights at the Indianapolis Art Museum enough.

Of course if the temperature was a bit over 3 degrees, we would have enjoyed it even more!

The candlelight portion of Christmas Eve service always makes me smile.  So pretty!

My casual Christmas Eve crew.

Christmas morning.

Our annual Christmas morning run continues!

The celebration continued into the day.  Christmas dinner with the cousins.

Adulting on Christmas.

I've stopped asking why.  I heard the melodious sounds of the saxophone coming from outside.  I opened the door to discover Cooper serenading the kids playing in the snow!

Back to snow season.

 This was last year's Christmas present that didn't get used until this week.  This winter, we are not so lucky.

My Christmas Eve date at the Colts game.

Chris spent Christmas Eve working in the ER.  I enjoyed the evening with this crew of party animals!

I've often heard people say they want a "quiet evening at home."  For us, "quiet evenings" and "at home" are oxymorons.  Our home is never quiet.  Clamor and commotion are intertwined in the daily workings of our house.

Young entertainers are banging on the piano.  Budding musicians are belting out notes on brass instruments.  Aspiring athletes are bouncing balls.  Fiery siblings are hollering.  Feisty boys are wrestling.  Clumsy sons are crashing pots and pans.  Defiant offspring are arguing.  Spectating males are cheering for favorite teams.

The cacophony of sounds is enough to push this mama over the edge.

I miss quiet.

I know it exists, buried under the mound of noise.

Someday it will be quiet, I'm reassured.  But by then, I won't know how to live any other way.