big moves & half birthdays

Over the past few weeks, a couple super awesome and fun, life changing things have occurred which I would love to share with you. In fact, both things began or happened on the same day. 

Before I get ahead of myself though, if you want to follow along with our adventures of newlywed life, turning a house into a home, and all of the highs and lows of everyday life, click the subscribe button on the right (or at the bottom if you’re on mobile).  It doesn’t send you crazy stuff or give your information to anyone—it just sends blog updates directly to you!

The first thing that happened is that our girl Blue turned six months old and we celebrated with a family photo session on the bed. 

For a pup who is not allowed on the furniture, that is quite a big deal.

She still loves the outdoors, probably even more than me, and would love nothing more than to spend all day, every day outside.

Which she can’t really do at the moment because she is recovering from being spayed. That cone of shame is legit.  She is so confused by it.  You are more likely to find her completely stationary, whining in confusion than anything else.  

Related Post: Oasis

She likes chicken in her food better than beef, she loves learning how to heel, and she thinks that working out with mom is super fun.  She recently chewed through her first rope and loves getting balls stuck under couches… until she realizes that she can’t get them back out again.

My other piece of fun, exciting, potentially life changing news news is that I signed up to be a Beachbody health and fitness coach and I’m super excited!  I am working on my website, learning the business, the lingo, and mostly just enjoying myself so far.  I was already on a path of discovering my own fitness journey while sharing it with others, so I decided to jump in and try coaching!  

I have been telling anyone who breathes about Beachbody since I started using it a couple years ago because I have major heart eyes for the programs.  They also have superfood smoothies and other products that I am fast falling in love with.  

Needless to say, we have some exciting things happening in the Shugart household this year.  I thought 2019 would pale in comparison to 2018.  Boy was I wrong.

If you have any questions for me, like what I do as a coach or if you want to know my fave workout programs, I’m down to talk about it any time.

Until next time,
Jamie out.

puppy’s first walk (+ teething)

Blue update—4 months old!

In the past month, Blue has continued to grow and learn, we took her on her very first walk, and she had a couple vet visits.

My favorite things about the past month:

  • How much she still loves snuggling
  • How joyful she was after her first walk

My least favorite things about the past month:

  • Her rabies vaccine & how sore she was afterward
  • The occasional accidents inside (there’s a lot more pee now!)

Things I have learned:

  • Teething seems awful

Our girl Blue is still a puppy and it is hard to remember that sometimes!  She is growing so much and learning every day.  I have to remind myself that if I am consistent, she will get it—right from wrong, how to behave, etc.  The occasional accidents still happen inside and I just have to remain consistent in reminding her where it is appropriate and how to ask to go outside.  Comparing her now to her tiny self at eight weeks old is crazy, even though I know she still has a lot more growing to do.  She has come such a long way!

We had two vet visits in her fourth month where she got her rabies vaccine and lyme vaccine.  Poor thing was super sore and sleepy after her rabies vaccine and we had to warn all of our New Years Eve guests to be gentle when petting her.  Her next vet visit finished up her shots and we opted to go for the lyme vaccine as well because we plan on camping and hiking with her.

Riding in the car is still one of her least favorite things.  We are trying to associate it with positive destinations and take her to my parents’ or my sister’s regularly.  She gets extra love, snuggles, and play time at their houses and you can tell she is growing attached to my family.

She isn’t napping as much as she used to and is still a little needy when she is awake.  I often find it difficult to get things done at home when she is awake because she wants to play or snuggle and be involved in some way.  Chores are easier—it’s when I sit down to write or edit that she gets bored.  Luckily, the day after she turned four months old we put in a fence (watch out for our next update!) and this has gotten a lot better because she can run and explore outside.

Her very first walk was adorable.  It seemed a little overwhelming for her, with all of the smells, noises, cars, and people.  Once we got home, though, it was obvious that she ultimately had a great time and we’re excited to go on a lot more walks in the future.

At the end of the month Blue began teething.  One day I looked down and one of her front teeth was HUGE compared to the rest of her mouth.  It. Was. Adorable.  She began chewing on her toys in earnest and it seems to me that teething must be an awful business because there was hardly a time when she was awake when she wasn’t chewing something.  So far she is doing great and only chewing on the things she is supposed to chew on.  Knock on wood!

Over the next month we plan on more walks, getting acquainted with the outdoors, and lots of social time with other dogs.  We are looking into obedience training and got her a big girl collar in preparation for her next growth spurt.

Until next time,
Jamie out

Puppy’s first holidays

Blue update #3—3 Months Old!

Our girl Blue is three months old, growing like her life depends on it, and loves spending time with us and her toys.

My favorite things about the past month:

  • Blue’s explosive growth
  • How she is finally learning that her crate isn’t a negative place
  • Watching her run behind a grown dog and how cute and clumsy she looks
  • Watching her with my 10 month old nephew and how quickly she has learned to be gentle with him

My least favorite thing:

  • How she won’t stop chewing on my bathroom rug

Things I have learned:

  • She looooves learning
  • She notices when one of us is gone
  • She is still a puppy and new to this world

Blue turned three months old on her 13 week birthday!  She has changed so much since we brought her home just a few weeks ago.  She weighs over twenty-five pounds now and her paws are ginormous.  She got her rabies shot and has only one set of shots left in her puppy vaccines.

Around week thirteen, she began to become a little more aware.  She recognized that things can be scary, or that she can get hurt, or that some things are unknown.  She would get nervous and distrusting of things she didn’t know or understand, and if there was a loud startling noise, she reacted more dramatically than she would have just a week before.

Blue has gotten better since then and is growing in confidence in her own home and den.  She got too big to ride on my lap in the car, so she is relearning about car rides by riding in the back and isn’t the biggest fan.  She started playing with my sister’s dog, a five year old chocolate lab named Coco, and has so much fun with her in her fenced backyard.  Coco is really good with her, being gentle enough but still having fun rough housing and being pups together.

She is growing like a crazy pup!  She is super playful, but her eyes will suddenly droop and she absolutely must take a nap.  The other day when we were wrapping presents, she couldn’t sleep through the noise so she went to our bedroom to take a nap by herself.  That’s the first time she has done that!  She always loves being underfoot or napping with her head on our feet.

We are excited to start taking her on walks, to dog parks, and to keep teaching her more things.  She loves sitting and laying down, and her new chew toys she got for Christmas are her favorite toys still.  She loves her big fluffy bed, but isn’t so sure about baths or being brushed.  The last time I had to give her medicine, she did great and ate the whole thing.  

Over the next month we expect her to continue growing quickly and hope that we can accomplish more leash training.  We hope to get her a fenced backyard ASAP so that she can explore and enjoy, as well as become comfortable outside on her own.

Until next time,
Jamie out.

Christmas With the Shugarts

2018 was the year of the tabletop Christmas tree due to our tiny puppy.
The breakfast master.
We opened stockings at home, had a giant breakfast, and then went to my parents’ house for family time.
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It is hard to be a little pup when there is no time to nap and so many people to take care of.
Dinner.
Nephew.
Finally able to rest with Auntie Kasey.

Until next time,
Jamie out.

our puppy is a genius

Blue update #2—Weeks 10 & 11

In the past two weeks we dog sat another puppy, marveled at Blue’s genius, and had a potty training regression.  

My favorite things about the past two weeks:

  • Transitioning to only getting up with Blue once every night.
  • Getting lots of good puppy snuggles and kisses.
  • Watching tiny Blue climb up and down our stairs.

My least favorite things about the past two weeks:

  • The great potty training regression of 2018.
  • Hand bruises from sharp puppy teeth.

Things I have learned:

  • That Blue is really really smart.
  • That Blue is already great at posing.
  • That Blue loves to please us.

Blue has gained over five pounds since we brought her home.  At her eight week vet visit she weighed 10.8 pounds and at her 11 week vet visit, she weighed 15.8 pounds.  We feel pretty good about her size and are hoping she is right in the sweet spot when she is an adult, which should be between fifty-five and sixty-five pounds.  She is happy and healthy and still learning daily.  It is amazing to watch her pick up on things.

For the most part, things got easier for us as a family these weeks compared to the first two.  I have definitely grown more attached to our high energy fur ball and absolutely love her snuggles and puppy kisses.  She is really good at hugs and snuggles, especially when she is tuckered out after playing with a puppy friend.

On the weekend Blue turned 11 weeks, we dog sat our friend’s puppy who is one month older than Blue and twice her size.  He is a shepherd mix—a herding breed—and is much more calm and less high energy than our girl Blue.  He is also better at sleeping through the night than she is.  And while they were both mostly house trained in their own homes, this weekend turned into utter chaos that caused both dogs to regress a little bit.

Our visiting pup wasn’t sure how or where to potty at our house, so he decided that inside was the perfect spot.  We had a lot of accidents the first couple days, especially because he refused to go outside.  At first Blue just observed this, but eventually she started to go inside as well.  As you can imagine, this got pretty frustrating.   

The short story is, we got the dogs on a strict schedule for going outside.  If they weren’t in their crates, they were going outside every twenty minutes, whether or not we thought they had to go.  This cut down on the accidents dramatically, and improved our relationship with them as well.

Dog sitting also emphasized repeatedly how intelligent our Blue is.  Not in comparison to the other dog, but just in the way that she would help him when he didn’t understand.  For example, he was terrified of going down our stairs, so Blue got right next to him and went down every step with him one at a time.  He also kept chewing my carpet, so Blue finally laid a chew toy across his paws and showed him to chew on that instead.  I have never been more proud in my life.

We are growing closer daily, and as Blue learns more and more, Will and I enjoy her more and more.  Often times before bed you will find the three of us sitting on the floor and playing with a ball or rough housing.  By the end of week eleven Blue weighed in at almost 19 pounds.  It’s safe to say she is heading into a big growth spurt!  She is still fearless and resilient.  We didn’t go a lot of places during these two weeks and she is definitely learning that the house is her den.  We still keep doors to a couple rooms closed to avoid temptation for her, but in the rooms she is comfortable, she is great at only chewing on her own toys.

Until next time,
Jamie out

Read more: 
Weeks 8 & 9Bringing Blue Home

everything is new

Adventures come in all shapes and sizes.  Sometimes it is camping, hiking and exploring the great state of Arizona every weekend.  Usually it is more of an everyday moment that turns into a great story.  For us, our November was exciting and eventful, sad and overwhelming, and definitely a period of growth.  

We closed on our house, refurnished almost our entire house due to our storage unit flood, replaced my totaled car, and got a puppy.  We also sprinkled in some babysitting of my nephew, my getting back on the worship team at our church, and starting new jobs.

November 2018

Home Life

We closed on our new house at the beginning of the month and were super grateful to get the keys the same day.  (You can read all about buying our first house here)  The very next day, our family and friends came out to help us move items from our storage unit to our house.  Unfortunately our unit flooded in Hurricane Florence and we lost almost all of our furniture due to water damage and mold.  We are still working through the insurance claims process.  That blog post is linked here.

November 2018

Within a couple days of moving in, the microwave handle broke off, which was not surprising since it had been glued back together.  Despite all of the stress from no furniture, chaos in boxes strewn throughout the house, starting back at work, and replacing everything that had been irreparably damaged, we were still very grateful to be in our own home with a roof over our heads.  The first few nights felt like a dream.  An air mattress padded dream.

November 2018

New Stuff

A few days after we closed on the house we bought a new (to us) car.  If you haven’t read about my car being totaled on our move out to North Carolina, that is linked here.

If you didn’t know, you canNOT finance a car while you are under contract for a house because it will seriously mess up your mortgage process and you could lose the whole thing.  Thankfully we were scheduled to close very shortly after returning home so we only had to wait about a week before we could replace my car.  

My dream car is a 1996 4Runner, and while financially that is attainable for us, I wasn’t excited for the upkeep of an older vehicle with a lot of miles.  While I may be drooling over the new 4Runners, we decided to be more financially responsible and get an all wheel drive RAV4 four our adventuring.  I am super pumped!  I love all of the bells and whistles that my little Mazda2 was lacking.  Cruise control, bluetooth, and a sunroof?  This girl is a happy camper.

November 2018

While we had to replace a lot of things that were damaged, we also got to indulge a little on things we didn’t have before.  We have a bonus room over our garage and our intent is to turn it into a cozy and fun movie room with a game corner and space for me to work out.  We got this super beautiful sectional from Ashley Furniture and we are in love.  It is so nice to unwind at the end of a long work day by watching some Brooklyn Nine-Nine in our nice little get away.

We ALSO got a washer and dryer and I am over the moon, even though I am doing laundry almost every day.  I have never had my own washer and dryer and having them in my house feels like such a luxury.  What do you mean, I can do laundry whenever I want?!

November 2018

#everydaymoments

Our new dish set survived the #GreatFlood of 2018.  We love them!  We got them as wedding gifts and they are from the Ellen collection.  I personally think that pizza looks very good on them, but I suppose all of the other healthy meals we have been having look just as good.  

I also began reading Eragon (not for the first time, don’t worry) but it has been hard to find time to read while we are SO very busy.

November 2018

My family lives in Fayetteville and every Sunday we all get together for dinner and quality family time.  My nine month old nephew has grown six teeth since we saw him in June and is basically walking.  He also ADORES music and he plays the piano with just one finger and gets frustrated when he can’t play as well as me or my mom.  

I don’t think I have ever mentioned EyeBuyDirect on here but I LOVE them.  You can get prescription glasses for a fraction of the price that you would spend somewhere else.  You can also invest in more trendy frames if you’re feeling it.  I spent less than $50 on these two pairs!  Click here for $10 off your own pair.

November 2018

Being back at church is amazing.  We love all of our friends, the culture, and the events that Manna has.  We arrived back in Fayetteville just in time for their yearly missions event called The ROC.  Last year I played with the band through the event, which ended up being a huge time commitment but I had a blast.  It was nice to just be an attender this year and not commit to serving.  I did hop back on the worship band the Sunday before Thanksgiving, though, and I sure have missed it.

November 2018

Holidays

We celebrated both Halloween and Thanksgiving since my last monthly round up.  We had just arrived in North Carolina when Halloween rolled around so we were very “chill” with our costumes and dressed up as “Netflix and Chill.”  You have my permission to steal this costume idea, because we sure did.  

My nephew was an adorable lumberjack and at this point he was still pretty unsure about us.  A couple weeks later he was giving me hugs and sloppy kisses though, so I’d say he has warmed up to us.

November 2018

I got to eat three glorious Thanksgiving meals this year.  Everyone brought their A game.  Our Friendsgiving was probably the best ever, with our traditional southern fried turkey, sweet potato casserole, and my huge bowl of mashed potatoes.  The spread at my mom’s was just as delicious and I made two dishes I have never made before.  They both turned out great!  I am so glad that we live here so that I don’t have to brave making my own turkey yet.

November 2018

Adventures

Fayetteville had a fantastic Harry Potter themed event downtown the weekend before Thanksgiving.  There was a horcrux scavenger hunt that involved riddles and we explored all of downtown while freezing our buns off.  We stopped in at The Coffee Cup for some delicious Harry Potter inspired drinks (mine was a golden snitch coffee).  

What would have qualified as an adventure in Arizona came in short number this month, but we have a LOT going on!  Hopefully in the new year we will be able to get out of town a little and explore more of the east coast.  For now we are content to work on the house and play with our puppy.

Yep, we got a puppy.  Also on the weekend before Thanksgiving we drove up to Virginia to pick up our girl Blue (read her blog post here).

November 2018

Blue’s November

We brought her home when she was 8 weeks old and weighing in at a little over 10 pounds.  She was unsure and timid the first couple days but we worked hard to help her feel safe and loved with her new forever family.  She is a Golden Retriever (my favorite dog breed in the world) and is super sassy, but also super snuggly.

November 2018

Her first night here was the one and only night that she could fit under this couch.  She almost immediately grew too big and if she tries to jam herself under there now, she just gets stuck.  It’s super adorable.  

We are making sure to have her meet a lot of people, men, kids, and other dogs while she is this age to get her nicely socialized.  My nephew loved her when they first met and my sister’s dog  got super excited!  We were careful about those two meeting.  Our friend also just got a puppy who is a month older than her and they had a great play date.  

November 2018

These were taken on her first few days with us.  She is already so much bigger!  I can’t wait to compare photos of her side by side.  We think she is super adorable, a LOT of work, and are excited to help her become a good girl with great manners who loves hiking and exploring with us!  

November 2018

I hope you enjoyed this monthly round up!  My goal is to do this on the last Friday of every month, so stay tuned for some glorious iPhone photos from December in a few weeks.

Hoping you all had an amazing month.  Share your top three favorite things from your November in the comments below!  If you enjoyed this post, please give it a like and don’t forget to subscribe and join our family if you haven’t already.  

Until next time,
Jamie out

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