Wednesday, December 29, 2010


We did indeed have a White Christmas, and we will CERTAINLY have a snowy New Year.

This past Monday we had a blizzard. 16 inches of snowy goodness.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

White Christmas?

When Jake and I decided to move to Maine, one of my requirements was that the first Christmas I had was a white one. Of course, I know that being a requirement is a bit unrealistic, but in my head I view it as; it snows in December. Christmas is in December. Therefore, it snows on Christmas.

There has been a few inches of snow the past few days, and over this past weekend there were tons of reports of a snow storm lasting Monday through Wednesday (today). I was SO excited!!! More snow for Christmas! Well, Monday came and no snow. I was comforted by the news that said snow would come in the evening. I woke up probably every hour or two waiting for the snow, but nothing. Just fierce winds and gloomy days. On Tuesday it was 40 degrees, so I knew no snow would come. AND it rained, so it melted all the previous snow. Today is now Wednesday, and Christmas is just three days away. There isn't an inch of snow on the ground, and while little snow flurries have happened, it's nothing that will stay or even stick.

I guess there is still a possibility of a snow storm this evening in to tomorrow, which would guarantee us a White Christmas, but right now it's looking like a gloomy one. So sad!

Of course, Christmas isn't about snow or any other thing like that. Being tight on money this year, Jake and I have had to keep reminding ourselves that we should celebrate Christmas as the day our Savior came down to Earth, in the lowliest form possible, to save US. Because he LOVED us. It's not about gifts. It's about mercy I can't even begin to fathom! Thank you Lord!

UPDATE: well, an hour and 10 minutes later and it is DUMPING snow. :)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

West Coast Christmas

Merry Christmas from my West Coast puppy! Camry is beautifully sporting her GDA breeder bandana. I think she looks ADORABLE. But of course, I'm incredibly biased.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Jaw strength

Well, I guess we know what Fala is getting for Christmas!

Thursday, December 9, 2010


Since I started blogging four years ago, every December I would write up a summary of the year, month by month. I always ended it with what I expected the next year to be like. Unfortunately, a while back I closed my dog blog, which had all those posts. So I don't exactly remember what I posted last year about THIS year. I think I remember some of the things though.
Getting married (obviously), Camry maybe having her first litter of puppies, starting my second year as an apprentice trainer, starting a new life with Jake, yada yada.

Wow. How things change.

January -- After New Years, the first day I was back at work I put in my 2 weeks notice at GDA. It was a tough decision, and even though I knew it was RIGHT, I cried when I told my supervisor. That had been my dream job. I LOVED it. And not only loved it, but I was GOOD at it when my heart was set on it. But dreams can change. Hearts can be set on other things. I needed to focus on my life with Jake. Being a married guide dog instructor is not impossible, but it's incredibly hard. My last day of work was January 15th. Camry came out of heat at the end of the month. Jake and I found an apartment to rent in Camarillo. I kept preparing for the wedding.

February -- February was spent looking for jobs for both Jake and I. It was fun getting to spend so much free time with my soon-to-be husband. Having been a long distance couple for the first nine months of our relationship meant we had a lot of learning to do about one another. It was so fun. February was also a fun month for many other reasons, some that I shouldn't go into on here (I guess my loyalty to GDA still is as strong as ever), but if you guys thought about it, could figure it out. ;) At the end of February, Jake got a job for Sherwood Country Club as a greenskeeper. This month was also spent cleaning our new apartment and getting it ready to be lived in.

March -- We got married!!!!! March 20th, 2010. So great! We flew to Hawaii for our honeymoon and enjoyed five wonderful days there. When we got back we moved into our teeny tiny apartment with Fala. (Camry was gone again *cough cough*) We loved it. We loved getting a routine set up of Jake going off to work and me staying home to be a house-wife. I was still looking for jobs, knowing my savings account would only ast about 6 months with no additional income. We were losing about $600 a month. That. is. A LOT.

April -- in April my sweet, Cam Bam came home to me. My heart was finally whole again. I had my husband and my two wonderful girls in my house and I couldn't be happier. My job search continued. Jake continued working at his job. Around the end of April, we started toying with the idea of maybe, possibly, as a last resort, moving to Maine. I also started watching sweet little Dawson!

May -- the first weekend in May there was a graduation at GDA. I went to go see the dogs I had trained graduate with their partners. On the way up there, Jake said "we need to pray about moving to Maine." The whole way there we talked about the pros and cons to moving across the country. The biggest pro: We'd be making twice the amount of money we were making in CA. The biggest con: Leaving Camry behind. We called his old boss later that week to see if Jake would have a job up in Maine and he said of course. His parents said we could stay with them 'till we found a place to live. GDA found a home for Dawson... then they found a home for Camry. Two days before Jake and I moved to Maine, I gave up a little (actually, rather big) section of my heart. Camry went to her new forever home with a wagging tail and smile on her face. She loved her new mommy, having known her since she was a puppy. I, however, was a wreck. We made it to Maine in about 6 days, arriving the end of May.

June -- June was full of adjustment times for me. Jake started working 10 hour days, which is LONG, especially when he works 2 hours away. That adds on another 4 hours to a day. LONG. I looked for jobs, I applied for jobs, I looked for apartments and was disappointed. Fala was in Texas with my mom and I MISSED her so much. I missed Camry and my friends in California. I missed my job at GDA. I was homesick. Jake celebrated his 26th birthday.

July -- The first weekend in July I flew down to CA for 2.5 days for my best friend Christina's wedding. I missed Jake the whole time and surprised myself by being homesick for Maine, even though I was back in CA. Apparently, Jake is where most of my heart is. I got to visit Camry while I was there for a few hours. I cried the entire time. She tried to walk out the door with me. Turning my back on her for a second time was about all I could handle. When I got back to Maine, I once again started the apartment and job hunt. Fala, my sweet blackie, came to me that month and helped me be more comfortable. My mom and Danny visited while they brought her up.

August -- WE FOUND AN APARTMENT!!!!! Some good friends of ours owned a house with an apartment on the second story and their current tenants were moving out. Three weeks later, we moved in! I was so excited. Finally I could nest, and Jake and I could finally start making a life for ourselves! Sure we were stressed about money and bills and groceries and such, but I don't know a newlywed couple that isn't! That month I spent still looking for jobs, but much more content now that I was home. My homesickness was all but gone, and I enjoyed everything.

September -- Same ol' same ol'. Looked for jobs. Had a job interview and a dog bit me SO hard. I had a bruise for weeks! I learned that I loved to cook and bake things for my husband. I don't think anything truly exciting happened this month. OH! We went down to Virginia to visit my brother and sister-in-law. THAT was fun! Oh and ALSO!! We got little Belle!! Our kitten!

October -- Continued looking for a job.. are you starting to see a trend here? Now that my apartment was basically all put together I started feeling lonely for friends. I hung out occasionally with the girl who lives downstairs (she is probably a year older than me) but not very often. I had my first actual Fall season and SO loved the colors. I realized that I LOVED it here. It was so different than California.

November -- I turned 22, Ali and Shane came to visit for Thanksgiving, and Jake and I had miracle after miracle happen to us. God truly is an amazing provider! I still looked for jobs, but NOTHING was happening. To say I was discouraged would be an understatement. But I continued trusting that the Lord knew best, and when it was the right job, God would provide it for me.

December -- Well, this is December now. Jake and I have gotten our Christmas tree and bought each other a few gifts. Last night we bought the animals gifts, and I cried when we didn't buy Camry one. Yes people, I am STILL heartsick over Camry. I miss her more than words can say. I only hope that when she retires from the breeding program I can get her back. I feel so pathetic, feeling so sad about a dog I haven't had for 7 months now. But I can't help it. She was there when I graduated highschool, went to college, my sister got married and moved, I met Jake and got married, I started my job at GDA... she was there for all of it. And not having her now, when I'm in a new place, is hard.. maybe even painful. But at least I have Fala. She's not the same, but I still love her. And I spoil Belle rotten! Anyway! This Christmas should be a fun, quiet one. I am so looking forward to my first Christmas as a married couple!

So, that's my year. Very difficult, somewhat boring, but also definitely the happiest I've ever had. What are my predictions for next year? Well, I certainly hope I get a job! I've been unemployed for almost a year now, and that is difficult! Maybe I will fly out to CA for an unknown reason and see Camry again! Maybe Jake and I will decide to start expanding our family. Fala will become a senior citizen (nooooo!). I will have a new sister being born (my dads new wife is pregnant and due in February). I will have 3 new neices/nephews being born. I will probably have some more grandpups join the guide dog world.

Who knows. We will just have to wait and see. ;)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Winter is here!

Yesterday there was a pathetic snowfall. Really, it all settled on the tree's and melted on the ground. Something about the ground being warmer than the trees, blah blah blah. Either way, it was quite discouraging. I was ready for the snow! The REAL stuff.
I woke up this morning to lots of snow coming down. And it hasn't stopped! These pictures were taken around 10am. I just went outside again and I stepped down into the snow and sunk up to about mid-shin. CRAZY!! I LOVE it.
Fala hates it. When we had just a few inches of snow (like, 1-2) she loved it. On walks she would run through it, tail a-waggin. This morning? Not so much. She seemed completely offended. She stared at me, and didn't think my "happy voice" was very encouraging at all. 10 minutes later, she finally pee'd. Same thing happened this afternoon. Even deeper snow, even unhappier Fala. She even almost made me face plant in an attempt to get back to the house. NOT OKAY Fala!
I am more excited for this weekend when the snow is supposed to continue, and I will have my husband to enjoy it with. It's just boring when you can't express your happiness to anyone!
Oh and P.S. The low for Wednesday is 3... Maine winter, here we come!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Wonderful Thanksgiving

Ali and Shane (my twin and her husband) came to visit for Thanksgiving for 4 days. They got in late late Monday evening (around 1:30am, which makes a 2.5 hour drive back home REALLY long), and left early Saturday morning. It was SO nice visiting with them. I have been fortunate to see my sister three times this year. She moved to Florida after she and her husband got married 2 years ago. She was able to come out for my wedding back in March, and then Jake and I got to visit on our trek across the country and see where they live. We spent a day and a half with them and loved it! Wonderfully, they were able to come up for Thanksgiving and it was great. We did a whole lot of nothing for the most part. We had a Harry Potter movie marathon, watching 2 movies a day (which is A LOT, even for us Harry Potter fans!), and did a little bit of sight seeing. We also ate at the yummiest little place on the river named Eagles Nest. I had never been there, but I SO want to go again. It had the best fried chicken burger I had EVER had. And the lady gave me extra pickles.. I love pickles. :)

On Thanksgiving day we went to Jake's parents house and had dinner with his family. Lots of members were missing (two sisters, one brother) so it was a pretty quiet gathering (even though there were still 3 other sisters and 11 children) all things considered. The food was amazing. I had some of the best home made rolls I think I've ever had. DELISH. It was fun going out to their pond and throwing sticks on it seeing if we could make the ice break.. we could. Haha.

The day after Thanksgiving threw a surprise our way!

Snow! I woke up around 8am to big, gigantic snowflakes falling quickly and I quickly woke up Jake with very excited noises. He just about grunted and rolled over. I guess snow isn't so exciting to someone who has lived in Maine the last 22 years of their life. :) But I woke up Ali right after and she and Shane were able to take part in my excitement. It snowed about 1.5 inches throughout the day. I know that's not a lot, but it was SOO exciting for us. It snowed a little bit over the next day, and the snow is still on the ground, but just barely. It should all be gone in the next few days. BUT! It might snow again this weekend and a few days next week! It really is beginning to look a lot like Christmas. :)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Birthday Progress

This past Monday was my 22nd birthday. Jake had to work so I wasn't expecting the day to be filled with much. We were, however, lucky enough to receive some money so we could go out to dinner that night! Wahoo! So, I was planning on spending the day cuddled up with a blanket and my Harry Potter book, and just enjoying the simplicity of it. Turns out, I wasn't bored at all! My mother-in-law called and asked if she could take me out, so we went shopping, had lunch, did MORE shopping, then she dropped me off at my house around 2pm. I got to pick up Jake from work that day too and left to pick him up around 2:30. When we got home he jumped in the shower, then we left for a super yummy dinner at Texas Roadhouse. I LOVE THEIR ROLLS. Yum.

Jake made me a mint chocolate chip and Oreo ice cream pie. Unfortunately, Jake got food poisoning that night (so sad!) and we didn't end up eating it for my birthday. Finally, however, last night we were able to sink our teeth into it. AMAZING. I've been meaning to take a picture of it, just because it's so beautiful. Hopefully I'll get around to that today.

Yesterday I finished up book 6 of my Harry Potter-a-thon, and started up book 7. I am hoping to be done by tomorrow. I get to see the movie on Friday night and I don't really want to be reading the book the day I go see it. When that happens, I tend to be disapointed. So I wouldn't mind one day for my head to clear before I go see it. I can't wait! I'm going with Jake (of course) and our friend Sam. It should be lots of fun!

Well, I am contemplating spending some birthday money on new clothes. It probably SHOULD go towards important things like, paint for the walls in my livigin room. Right now it's all primed, and very white. I would love to have it painted before Ali and Shane arrive!

That's right, Ali and Shane (my twin and her husband) are arriving 5 days from today!! WAHOO!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I know I'm a geek!

As I'm sure lots of you know, the final Harry Potter (part 1) comes out next Friday, the 19th. I am beyond excited. My birthday is on Monday and tickets to the movie are the only thing I have asked for. I am not entirely thrilled at the fact that they are splitting up the movie in to two parts. HOWEVER! I am pleased that, by doing this, they seem to be putting in lots of the book in to the movie, so that the viewers do not miss out on too much. Book number 5 transferred to a movie was AWFUL! Not a bad movie, but if you hadn't read the book (as my dear husband hadn't), you're just left with lots of questions. Anyway, I digress.

I have given myself a challenge for the next week. I am going to re-read the 6th and 7th Harry Potter books before the movie comes out. I am beyond excited. That is 1411 pages in about 7 days, or 201 pages a day (give or take a few). I will not be reading on Saturday or Sunday because my husband is home and I won't neglect him, no matter how much I love the books! Also, he gets off work around 3:30 these days, so I will have from around 10am - 3pm to read.

Of course, I can't neglect my wifely duties either. The house will have to stay clean, the dog will be walked, and the kitties litter shall be scooped (as I speak, she's throwing it all over her room right now. Waaahoooo.....). And of course, the husband shall be fed. And I guess I will shower sometime in there too.

What a waste of time this is... but it's gonna be great!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Dogs vs. Babies

So I guess the title doesn't quite reflect how I feel. Babies are WAY over dogs in my opinion.

What am I talking about??

I was emailed by someone in my family who's baby was just bitten by their family dog of over 5 years. They were shocked, upset, and scared. Of course! Who wouldn't be? they asked for my advice on what to do in that situation.

I gave them my advice and while doing so I realized how much being a dog trainer for GDA has shaped my attitude towards dogs. I do not want to go into too much detail here. I have to protect GDA's reputation (which is still quite intact!), and I don't want to to cause a huge controversial discussion. but I was surprised as I was writing down my advice. I spoil my dogs like no one else. Fala is SO ridiculously spoiled, even Belle is spoiled, and they know it! They know Mom spoils, and Dad trains. I am the "fun" one.

Since when??? I guess I just feel that owning a dog and training a dog for guide/service work are two completely different things that can allow for different training methods. However, my basics are still the same. Fala disobeys, she gets corrected, followed by praise. I'm just so much more relaxed about it now!

Now, my cousins situation is very serious. The baby, thank goodness, is perfectly fine. But action does need to happen. They are not even thinking about re-homing their dog, which I think is great. But they know there are steps that need to be taken in order to re-establish a healthy balance in the little family or not. And whether or not the dog likes it, she is bottom of the totem pole!

Babies win!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

HOW cold??

Well, this post is mostly to those people out there who complain when it reaches 60 degrees Farhenheit... *cough cough* Erin *cough* ;)

This morning, driving Jake to work at 5:15, Bangor reached a chilly 23 degrees.


When I was 12, I went up to Mammoth in CA for a church winter group thing. It was 19 degrees then, and the coldest time of the year. It is just the beginning of November here!

I love it! I really do. Feeling the semi-frozen ground under my feet, scraping ice off my car, looking at all the ice on the grass... it's so much fun! Of course it WON'T be fun when the ice is dangerous to drive on. But that's for another post, I'm sure. For now, I am loving this totally-differen-than-CA weather I am experiencing.

On a sober note, today is my would-be 2nd anniversary as a trainer for GDA. Words don't describe how much I miss it.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween Happenings

Jake and I don't really celebrate Halloween. Actually, we don't celebrate it AT ALL. When I was younger I would go trick-or-treating at my church. Jake's family just had a nice dinner at theirs. So we were never much into the festivities. Plus, this year, we have no children. So, all this to say, we woke up Halloween morning with nothing too incredibly exciting planned.

Jake took Fala to the bathroom around 8:30 in the morning and came back saying, "WOW, it's cold!!!!" According to, it was 32 degrees, but with the wind chill it clocked in around 25. BRRR!!!!! I had been hoping all weekend there would be snow. There was rumors of snow. But when we woke up, no pretty little white stuff to be seen.

We go to a church up in Lincoln, which is about forty-five minutes north of us. It only took us about 20 minutes of driving before we were completely engrossed in snow!!! It was everywhere, and it was BEAUTIFUL! I was so unbelievably excited. Of course, I didn't have my camera on me. SO sad!!!! But I so enjoyed it. I felt like all the little kids at church. Their parents weren't excited, but the kids were running around making snowballs. I didn't make snowballs, but Jake did. Just for me. :)

When we got back to Bangor, weren't we pleasantly surprised to see just the tiniest dustings of snow on lawns, cars, and driveways. I had to take pictures. It's really very little, but enough for this Californian native to be beyond herself with excitement!

This is Belle. You can't tell how small she is in this picture, but she is right around 3 pounds, and around 5 months old.. Maybe closer to 4. I'm bad at remembering these things. :)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Puppies, part 2

Well I emailed back and forth with a representative of GEB for a few days, asking as many questions that I could think of. My decision is this:

I will not raise for GEB.

I'm not going to go into reasons, except that they have very different style/technique of training than I am used to. This is not to say I am set in my ways and refuse to try different techniques, because that's false. I've been doing positive reinforcement with Fala and it's going well. However, the techniques GEB uses, to ME, do not seem beneficial or helpful to the guide dogs in training. When I asked the representative about this, she did not write back. So... I made the very easy decision not to raise for them.

Am I bummed that I won't be raising in the near future? Yeah, of course I am. I was excited at just the possibility. But I am not sad with my decision. I know it's the right one.

So, back to enjoying Fala and being excited for the day when Jake and I get a little puppy of our very own. :)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Well, for those of you who may not know, I used to raise guide dog puppies for Guide Dogs of America, back when I lived in California. I started when I was 12, and raised 5 (and a half) puppies for the program. My last dog was the famous Camry, who became a breeder for the program. It was around the time she was selected for the breeding colony that I became a trainer at GDA. That put all puppy raising on hold.

When Jake and I got married, we tossed around the idea of puppy raising. we weren't planning on doing it for a while. We still had two dogs and a tiny apartment, and making it three would be absolutely insane. Plus, I was happy with my two girls. I didn't really miss the whole puppy raising scene.

Fast forward 7 months. I now live in Maine, I have 1 dog and 1 kitty, and I am getting The Itch. That all familiar puppy itch that a puppy raiser knows only too well.

I have different responsibilities now and, as much as I would like to, I cannot just jump back in to the puppy raising scene. The only guide dog school I could raise for is Guiding Eyes for the Blind. I have looked at their website SO many times. I have talked to Jake about it occasionally, but never deciding anything. I talked to him again last night and he said I could email GEB with my questions.

So this morning I found the email for the Regional person in Maine. I emailed her a huge email full of questions that I had. She replied, and of course, i replied with another gigantic email.

While things are still up in the air, and Jake and I will have a lot of praying to do, I am excited at this possibility. I would SO love to be a puppy raiser again. Of course, I have to keep my head on straight. Jake's job pays the bills, yes. But if we want all the "extras", I'd have to get a job. Plus, I want a job! So if I were to raise a puppy, it would be back to the "well I can only take such and such job that will take a puppy". Or, I could just crate the puppy during the day. Who knows.

All this to say... maybe, just maybe, there will be a little puppy, in a little puppy in training jacket, in my house someday.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Jake works ten hour days. He gets a 15 minute break around 9am, and then his lunch break. Usually, during his 15 minute break, he has coffee (always!) and some form of snack; pop-tarts, scones, cookies, etc. Well we are short on groceries this week so we couldn't afford to buy pop-tarts, and didn't have enough butter for scones (it takes 8 tablespoons, and I usually double the recipe!), and I just didnt feel like making cookies. But I hated the idea of Jake sitting during his break with no snacks! Enter donut holes. I've been wanting to make some for about a week now, but I was too intimidated by the whole frying aspect that I kept putting it off. I searched around on the internet looking for recipes that I already had all the ingredients to. I found one that sounded simple and had good reviews. So today I finally tried it. They came out pretty well! The first batch (I put five blops of dough in at a time) came out burnt and underdone. So I turned the oil down. Once I figured out the right heat for the oil, my job was simple. I would put five little dough balls in at a time, fiddle around doing other things for a few minutes, and turn them occasionally. Then I'd come back, take them out of the oil, wipe the oil off a bit, then roll them in cinnamon and sugar.
They are so yummy! I think I put too much cinnamon in the actual batter, so next time I try these I'll do less. But that's my only complaint. I am hoping Jake likes them. I know cold donuts aren't the best, but my personal belief is that anything is better than nothing! Quite a few were made out of the mixture, so hopefully there will be enough to last the next two days of his work week!

Monday, October 18, 2010


The Lord has really been speaking to Jake and I recently. Lots of changes need to be made, and we need to start now.

Life can be rough sometimes, there's no denying it. It is how we handle the rough times that makes all the difference. I am human. I am a sinner. More often than not I do NOT rely on God to get me through hard times. How stupid I am! God has made it so clear to me that He is the only way to happiness. I can have a place to live, animals to love, a husband to adore, and still be unhappy and unsatisfied. God HAS to be in the center of it.

Jake and I do not have a lot of money. We have enough to pay our bills and make rent, and to buy a few groceries every weekend, and that's about it. It is hard for someone like me who previously never had responsibilities but had a good paying job, to learn how to stretch the money and pay the bills on time and make sure there is still food to feed the husband when he gets home! But I can not do it on my own. The Lord asks that we offer Him our money, ask Him to be in control of it. That is the only way our money will ever truly be in safe hands. But my logical, reasonable self (hey! It's known to show itself once in a while!) says "But how can we give God money when we do not have any for ourselves?" Trust. Faith. It's HARD. But God rewards those who trust in Him.

Just this past weekend Jake and I were needing two stamps for two bills we had to pay. All the post offices were closed and stores only sold books of stamps, which we can't afford. We went into another store and asked the cashier if she stold stamps. "Yes," she said "but only in books." A lady was in line next to us and asked "How many do you need?" We said two, but we didn't have any cash. The lady smiled at us and ripped off two stamps from her newly bought stamp book.

The Lord is good. Jake and I have a long way to go with our lives. We have a lot of learning and a lot of growing up to do. But if God is for us, who can be against us?

Thursday, September 23, 2010


About a week and a half ago Jake and I got a little kitten. Her name is Belle, although it took us over a week to come up with the name. We just couldn't figure out the right name for the little girl, and we wanted it to be perfect for her. :) She is so cute though and so fun to have around. She is very snuggly but also very feisty. I think it's a healthy combination! Jake chose her out of four siblings and I'm glad he did. A picture of her will be up soon... Internet is being slow and I don't want to bother with it.

That's about the most exciting thing from here. Last weekend we went down to Virginia to spend two days with my brother and his family. My other brother, Matt, came in from CA so we had to go to see him! It was a fun, albeit short, weekend. Next time though, I think we will fly instead of a 14 hour day drive. ;)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


well, it's been a while!

Jake and I have moved to our wonderful 2 bedroom apartment in Bangor. It is such a nice size for the two of us and has a great sized kitchen, which our last apartment in CA was certainly lacking! I have kept busy the past two weeks cleaning up and settling in... There are nice sized closests here which is a good way to..."hide"... things that I don't know what to do with. :) We still have a huge box of clothes waiting for a dresser, but we will be getting one from Jake's parents in a few weeks.

Fala has made the transition beautifully. I believe she is enjoying her freedom (although she's also abusing it). It took her a day or two to completely get settled, but now she seems right at home. I am hoping to get her a kitty friend in the next few weeks to help keep her company. :)

Much to my surprise, one of my biggest delights at the moment is cooking! I know, right?? Who knew! I never did. I always had such low confidence in my cooking ability, never having learned as a girl or a teenager. When Jake and I lived in CA before, he got off of work early enough to cook dinner for me. But now, working in construction, his schedule is never the same and sometimes he's not home until around 8pm! I certainly wouldn't ask my hubs to make dinner that late! So, I dove right in. Using the recipes I got from my wedding, I have succesfully made Easy Chicken Bake (my new fave), Apricot Chicken, Mexican Corn Soup, Taco Salad (always easy), and we've had some spaghetti and such too. I have also made (on the dessert front) a butterfinger icecream pie (SO good!), strawberry shortcake (classic!), and just today oddly shaped but SO yummy chocolate chip scones!

My plan for dinner tonight was teriyaki chicken... but a certain black lab friend of ours decided to take advantage of my stupidity by eating the chicken breasts I had put out to thaw... That was just two days after she ate 2lbs of hamburger, and a bag of candy! Stupid dog? Yes.. Stupid me? Well... yes. Lesson learned!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


So I FINALLY uploaded my pictures to my computer! Yay!!! Here's just a taste of the BEAUTIFUL place I live in!!

The lake above is called Craig Pond. Jake and I like to go there when the weather permits. Fala has already been there once and, being the wonderful swimmer that she is, raced right to the water and started paddling away. She loved it! We so love having a dog that enjoys the water!

The house above is none other than Stephen Kings house! For you unfortunate souls who don't know who he is, he is an author of many many best selling books. He loves the town of Bangor (he lives there), and has donated money, and helped re-do parks, made water parks, also donated buses for the town! It's very fun.

Fala has been here a week now and is in love. She seems to really enjoy all the fun things here like the parks and the ponds and trails to go hiking. Unfortunately (but maybe also fortunately) we have been in a heat wave (humidity is AWFUL!!), so the most she gets is either an early morning walk or a trip to the pond. But she really does enjoy it here, I think!

The hunt is still on for an apartment. We found one that might look promising that we hope to go see sometime this week!

Monday, June 28, 2010


I promise I will try to upload some pictures this week. I have 200+ pictures on my camera that need to come off, and I want to show you guys how pretty it is here!

Jake had his 26th birthday last week. We celebrated by going out to Longhorn Steakhouse. It was good food, and of course we both ate WAY too much. I also got him the new Zac Brown Band cd (he LOVES them) and a gift card to Dicks, which he spent on golf stuff. He was pleased, and we had a fun day!!!

This last weekend was fun too. On Friday (Jake has Friday-Sunday off) we stayed around town but seemed to run lots of errands, and watched movies. On Saturday we went to a touristy town in Southern Maine called Freeport. It's a cute town with lots of shops and places to eat and, because it's in New England, it's all really cool to look at and old looking! We spent the day there, and even when it started raining, we really enjoyed stretching our legs and going into lots of stores. They also have (I think the one and only) L.L Bean store there. It's so big they have four buildings for it!!! Jake made me try on coats for fall/winter. I'm pretty sure we'll go back there around October to get me a good coat. I don't want to freeze come winter!! :)

I leave for California on Thursday. It's bittersweet to be going because I don't want to leave Jake, but I wouldn't miss my best friends wedding for the world. It'll be a short trip and I'll be back Saturday. And the nice thing is, that because Sunday is 4th of July, Jake has Monday off!! Which means we'll still get a two day weekend together before he heads back to work! :)

Fala comes a week from today!!! Assuming my moms driving goes as planned. I absolutely cannot wait, although the first few days here will be hectic. Another family friend of the Burke's will be spending a day here next week, and they have a German Shepherd!! Hopefully the two dogs get along well, I don't want Fala's first day here to be a bad one!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Good news!!

Well this week has been, and will continue to be, a busy one. Kelsey, Jake's sister, is getting married on Saturday! The quiet house of just five people will go from that to 22 people in just three days!!!! It's going to be crazy, but fun!!

Jake and I found an apartment we loved, but after lots of thinking and praying, decided we just can't afford it right now. And I mean, we really can't. But I can't help but be bummed about losing it. It was SO nice, and it had a washer and dryer included, which is SO rare anywhere!! So I'm still looking for apartments while Jake is off to work, then we talk about them when he gets home.

Still no luck on the job front. There is a possible opening at a dog kennel, but we won't find out for a few more weeks. I'm praying about that one. I REALLY want a job, but I want it to be a job that I do enjoy so badly. There are a lot of openings at little fast food type places (Tim Hortons, Dunk'n Donuts, etc), but I really wouldn't enjoy that type of job. So I'm still looking and doing my best to not get discouraged.

Back to the people visiting this week... my best friend (Kelsey and Jake's cousin) will be here soon!!! She is in the wedding, so she's traveling from CA to ME tomorrow, and will arrive around 12 midnight. So I really won't see her until Thursday, but I still couldn't be more excited!!

Two weeks from Thursday I myself will be going back to Cali, for Christina's wedding. She is the one coming out here tomorrow. I am the maid of honor and through God's good grace have been given a plane ticket. I will be sad to leave Jake for a few days, but I'm excited for the wedding. :)

AND! Fala comes in about 3 weeks!!!! My mom and Fala leave TX around July 2nd, and will be here in about 3-4 days. I CAN'T WAIT!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

We're here!

Well, Jake and I arrived in Orrington, Maine this past Thursday. We had a very fun trip traveling across the country visiting my mom, sister, and brother! It broke our hearts leaving Fala in Texas, but she will be back hopefully within a month. I miss her very very much, but I know she's loving it there! She has a Boxer friend to play with, a beach to swim in, and a nice air conditioned house! Really, it doesn't get much better!

Maine weather has treated me decently so far. The past four days have been sunny and warm. Today is cold with rain off and on, but I'm finding myself enjoying it more than I thought I would. I hope my attitude will last like that for quite some time!

Maine is beautiful. I had forgotten just how pretty and green it is out here! Right now at his parents house I'm in our upstairs bedroom looking out the window and even though it's dark and rainy, it's still gorgeous. I'm working on getting pictures up here so everyone can see what it's like. This house is magnificent... 6 bedrooms, 4 baths, and tons of land... I love it! I'm enjoying being in such a big, comfortable house before heading back to an apartment. :)

Speaking of apartments, Jake and I have been quite the busy bee's searching for some. So far, it's either too expensive, or they don't accept dogs. I'm doing my best not to get discouraged, but it is hard sometimes. I know the Lord will provide.

I have also been busy the last few days finding jobs, calling places, getting resumes sent in, etc. Surprisingly, the Orrington/Bangor (the big city Orrington is near) has TONS of dog kennels/daycares! WAY more than Camarillo ever had! I'm shocked, but very pleased! I've called four places already, 3 are not hiring, but 1 is willing to look at my application. I would love to work at a dog daycare again, I think I would love it!

Not sure what else to update on. When I get off my butt to take pictures, I'll try to remember to post them. I also have pictures I took on our trip, but I don't feel like posting them right away. :)

Monday, May 17, 2010

4 days

Well, about half the house is packed up. It's sad and hard to see it all in boxes again. I had finally just unpacked and became content with how things looked, and now it's a mess again. Oh well.

I'm still excited to move! I know it'll be super fun to go on the drive across country, I just LOVE doing that.

Dawson went to his new home yesterday. I'm sorry I didn't post much about him, but hopefully once life settles down again I'll be able to do that, AND a wedding post, AND a honeymoon post. :)

Camry goes to her new home on Wednesday. :( She is going to a breeder keeper I have known through GDA for the past six years, and Camry has stayed with her multiple times when I was in class when I worked for GDA. I know Camry will love it there and will be loved in return, but I am at the point now where I'm constantly holding back tears. I'm trying not to think about it, but I'm afraid that when I finally am forced to confront the fact that she's leaving, I'm going to absolutely lose it. *sigh*... I am NOT looking forward to Wednesday.

The Lord has really blessed us in preparations for this move. He's given us extra money and cash thatw ill certainly help, and He has settled our hearts and prepared us for this.

Maine, here we come!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

9 days

We are moving to Maine in NINE days!!!!

After much deliberation, Jake and I decided to go with a moving company to get all our stuff across the country. We looked at things like U-Haul, Penske, etc, but those were all incredibly expensive. We've been a bit wary of moving companies, but this one really did have a good price, and we've looked them up on the Better Business Bereau, and they got a good report. So we're crossing our fingers that this all pays off! The movers come on Thursday the 20th to pack all our stuff, then Jake and I will head out early Friday the 21st. It'll be nice to only use our car on this trip; less to worry about!

On the trip we'll be stopping in La Porte, TX to see my mom and her husband. We'll also be dropping Fala off there so we don't have to take her the whole way. When Jake and I find our own place, Fala will come back to be with us!

Next stop will be Ft. Walton Beach, FL where my sister and her husband live. We're planning on only staying one night there, but we may end up staying two nights. I guess it depends on how tired we are!

After that we'll be headed to Sterling, VA to visit my brother and his wife and kids. When Jake and I drove across the country back in November we got to visit them, but only for the day. This time we'll be spending the night with them as well!

After that we'll just trek it on up to Maine. It should only be a day and a half drive from there.

I am looking forward to getting the Western states out of the way. Compared to the dryness of the western states, the east coast is beautiful and I can't wait to get back there!!

Jake and I have started (slowly) packing. His last day of work is this coming Friday, and after that it should only take a day or two of serious packing to get all our stuff in order. We're trying to get rid of a couch, a bookshelf, and a dresser, so we may have to take those to the dump eventually too.

I'm still excited and optimistic about this move!!!! When I get a little worried, I am reminded that this is what God has intended for us, and He will take care of us!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Ready for some crazy news?

Jake and I are MOVING!!!! Yep, we're headed back to Maine. I'm SOO excited. When I first met Jake I told him I've always wanted to live on the East Coast (like Maine, Rhode Island, etc.). We took that to be a positive sign, but still wanted to give CA a shot.

Jake found a job here, but it's paying about half as much as his previous job was in Maine. Which isn't fair, considering it's WAY more expensive to live here than it is to live there! And I didn't have a job, and have only have horrible interviews, so that wasn't good either. But we've been making it work for now.

But lately we both feel God working in both our hearts, preparing us to make this decision. And when it came down to it, it was incredibly clear where the Lord is leading us! Jake's old job was offered to him as soon as he called his old boss, and his parents offered to let us stay with them until we found our own place, so it just felt so right!

We will be moving soon. Jake put in his two weeks notice at work today. Our hearts and heads are already in Maine, and we're ready to pack up and head out.

The sad news is, this is the end of the road for Camry and I. The breeding manager will find her a GREAT home, and Camry will be happy here. I am so so sad to be givng her up, but I'm also so excited to start somewhere new!

Fala will, of course, be coming with us. :)

Friday, April 30, 2010

And the name is...


I love the name, and I've always wanted to receive a male black lab from a "D" litter so I could name him that. I, of course, completely forgot about this when I was first told I could name the puppy. When Jake and I were driving to work yesterday though, he said "what about Dawson?" I freaked out and said YES YES YES!!!!! Turns out, he only said that because we were passing Dawson street at the time. Jake said he liked the name, but wasn't sure if it was a dogs name. So I gave him the day to think about it, and told him if we couldn't find one we liked more by Friday (today), his name would be Dawson. So, today arrived and Jake and I still hadn't found a name we prefer. So I just sent the email in to GDA, saying that his name would be Dawson. :)

I just can't wait. I have to seriously puppy proof this apartment, and I'm not quite sure how I'm going to do it. But I'll figure out a way. So today will be lots of cleaning and puppy proofing, just how it should be the day before you get a puppy! If I had more money, I'd buy him brand new toys, but for now he'll have to be okay with Fala and Camry's hand-me-downs. :)

I'll try my hardest to post pictures of him this weekend! If I don't though, rest assured come Monday you'll see some pictures of the baby!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Here we go again...

Well, Jake and I might be crazy, but at least we're happy and crazy! No, this puppy isn't to train for GDA, although in a way I wish it was. :) This little guy needs a home! He was born at GDA, but has a heart defect so he was CC'd before being issued out to a raiser. They have been trying to find him a home, but because he is sick he has a short life expectancy (2 years, maybe more is what I've been told), people don't really want him. So I offered to foster him until they find him a permanent home! He is 9 weeks old, full of energy, and excitable. I was told he is handsome, and chubby. The above picture was sent to me, and they said that the picture doesn't show his expressive face. :)

Even though Jake and I are only fostering him, we do get to name him! We're pretty much at a loss, because it doesn't have to start with any specific letter. So far on our list we have:


I like Ace, Barrett, Dawson, and maybe Tagg the best right now, but I'm still open to suggestions! I want to name him by Friday, so I can get it in my head before we pick him up on Saturday!

I'm very excited. I'm not sure how long we'll have him. Wouldn't it just be my luck that they find his home next week?? But at least I could spend a few days with him! I'm just excited to get him out of the kennel and start introducing him to things like a collar, a leash, and all that fun stuff before he goes somewhere else! Hopefully he'll have a good start here and do well when he goes to his next home!

So, I'm going to try to keep this blog updated about him. It should be fun!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Dog Hair

Oy. Dog Hair. Jake asked me to write a post about our woes with dog hair. I thought to myself, "why would I want to focus on something that so greatly irritates me?" But, I have nothing better to write about. I mean, I could write about our wedding or our honeymoon, but those will all come along in due time. In the meantime; Dog Hair.
Our apartment is not, by any means, big. It's small. It's fits the four of us (Jake, myself, and the two dogs) relatively well, as long as we don't both try to cook at the same time. When we first moved in, it was only Fala living with us. Fala's hair mess was definitely manageable. I would vacuum twice a week, one of those times being deep serious cleaning. It was fine and easy to control. We do have wood floors in our family room, so it was gross to see little tufts of dog hair floating around, but one quick broom swipe and they were gone.
Enter Camry, the yellow lab. I thought, for some silly reason, that blonde hair would hide even more easily than black hair did on the hardwood floors. WRONG! Not to mention Camry has decided this week she is going to shed her entire winter coat. So while Jake and I make sure to brush her AT LEAST once a day, there's still hair... everywhere. Oh, and I did I mention she likes to sleep on our bed? It has a dark comforter, ideal for showing blonde dog hair.
So, now I think it will be necessary to bring out the vacuum once a day, much to my dismay. I am happy to keep this house clean. I like it, my husband loves it. But vacuuming once a day may kill me. It's just a good thing this house is so small!
In the end though, I wouldn't give away my dogs just to be rid of dog hair. I'm coping with the idea of more cleaning, and it's an easy sacrifice when faced with the other alternative.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

3 days!

Suddenly there are only three days left!

Beginning of this week I wrote out a daily schedule so I could easily keep track of things that needed to be done before the wedding. Some of the stuff included car insurance, getting a unity candle and candle holders, figuring out beverages for the reception, etc. Some I'm thinking I may have to live without, like a unity candle ceremony. There is absolutely no place that sells candle holders! It's been the biggest stress for me until yesterday, when I decided, if I can't find it by Thursday, then we won't have a unity candle ceremony. Not a big deal, and like Jake's sister said, we'll still get married! Too true!

Today has been spent mostly in my room, cleaning and cleaning and packing some more. I packed most of my stuff for Hawaii, and left out clothes for tomorrow and Friday. Everything else is in a suitcase headed for the apartment. It's fun seeing just wedding things mostly lingering around my room now. My veil is out being steamed everytime I take a shower, my wedding dress is hanging up in it's bag, and I kept trying on my shoes this morning! I love seeing my little bag packed for Hawaii... it's just full of honeymoon stuff and I am so beyond excited!

Jake moved into the apartment last week and says he loves it very much. He's excited to have "our" house now! I can't wait to join him in just three days. :)

This will probably be my last post before the wedding, but after the honeymoon I will hopefully post some pictures and a good post about everything!!!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

9 days!

I spent two and a half hours today cleaning... kind of. There is more cleaning to be done (like, serious, deep cleaning), but the clutter was going to my head. I can't stand clutter, like I mentioned before. This is weird, because I am not a neat freak, and my room supports that statement. It's just when there's something I love that I want to look nice, and it doesn't because there's piles of boxes and bags in it, then it begins to irritate me. PLUS! Jake moves in tomorrow so I wanted to make it nicer for him.

Three trashbags and a New Beetle full of cardboard, the house looks so much better!!! I took gifts that we had already opened and stashed them in certain areas to make it look SO much cleaner. I also took some gifts and put them to good use!! Like my lovely bathroom set (which I am in love with). :) I am doing my best to not open everything and put it to use before Jake has a chance, but I just couldn't resist with the bathroom stuff. I mean, he'll need to use the bathroom, right?? :) Thank you.

All in all I believe it was a successful two and a half hours. I also swept the floor a little! There are still big boxes that I couldn't fit in my car that we'll have to get later with Jake's car. But it's not a biggie. :)

Oh! AND! Jake and I put all our bed stuff on a few nights ago! We have a wonderful down comforter with a beautiful sham, and the most comfortable sheets I've ever felt!!!! And mom, when we get the rest of our pillows, the pillow shams will also be put to good use. Can't wait! :)

Monday, March 8, 2010

12 days!

So I figured out today that I can now say "we're getting married next Saturday!!!" It's very exciting!! 12 days!!

This past weekend Jake and I were busy moving stuff to our new apartment. Jake is going to take up residence there in the next week or so (he's being "kicked out" of the Satterbergs, so they have more room for guests!), so we're trying to make the place a little bit more liveable.

First: Target. We bought tons of cleaning supplies so we could give the apartment a full scrub-down. It took two of us about an hour and a half to get the bathroom satisfactory! Honestly, I don't know how people who lived there previously could not clean it well before they moved out!!! It was really gross. But now it looks clean, and I even put a few of my gifts (hand towels and my soap dish!) out so that the bathroom had a bit more of "us" in it. :)

Ruthie, Jake's mom, bought us a table when she was out here last weekend for my shower. So Jake set that up and it looks great!! We also got the cable hooked up (of course it's one of the first things!) and the bed is semi-set up!
Just yesterday we finally got our couch into the living room. The Satterbergs graciously offered us their two old couches and a recliner, but our little apartment probably isn't up to holding all of that. So we just settled for the smaller couch. It fits so well!!!

It's very exciting watching our house form and become ours!!! I'll probably stop by there later today and get pictures of the house as it is now (with tables and couches and such), but here's something for now! For the kitchen picture: Lest you think that's all we have for a kitchen (although mind you, it is close!), also behind where I was standing is a fridge and freezer, and above those cabinets are more cabinet spaces! So hopefully it should work for now!

Our little enclosed patio! It's a nice private entrance. The sliding glass door is our front door.

The pictures are a little out of order. It should go: Patio, living room (room with the hardwood floors), bathroom, kitchen, and then bedroom. But, blogger being blogger, is stubborn. :)