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

5 Christmas Gifts I am Loving

My family is great at giving gifts, but my husband is like no one I have ever met before.  Not just for me, but for many other people, he is very intuitive and can instinctively pick out things that they will enjoy, just by knowing them.  Needless to say, many of the items on my list were gifted to me by Will.  

Recommendation: if you don’t know what to give someone as a gift, or you don’t know how to let people know what you want, make a public Amazon wishlist and share it with everyone.  You can also encourage others to share their wishlist with you.  I have my wishlist set up so that if someone buys me something off my list, it won’t spoil the surprise and it leaves the item on the list for a few weeks once purchased.  

All of the items on my list of Christmas gifts I have been loving have been well used and well loved almost every day since they were received.  I’ve linked each one to Amazon in case you are interested!

LapGear Designer Lap Desk

This first gift was a very intuitive gift from Will that I hadn’t thought to ask for.  I had a lap desk from childhood that I used all of the time.  I mean ALL of the time.  I left it in our storage unit while we were in Arizona and, as I am sure many of you can guess, it was lost when our unit flooded.  I was not expecting Will to get me one for Christmas, but he went beyond that and got one for each of us!  Not only has it been incredible for use while blogging and editing photos for photography, but it has also been very beneficial during game nights and the occasional meal on the couch in our bonus room.

He got two of the beige quatrefoil desks, linked above.

Giantex Bedroom Wooden Full Length Mirror

This mirror was on my Amazon wishlist for a while.  I got hooked after seeing similar mirrors at the Christmas Tree Shop and on Instagram influencer pages.  I was surprised and blessed to find two of them under the tree this year and get to have one in my room and one in our guest room!  

After returning from Arizona and losing my cheapo full length mirror in our storage unit fiasco, it has been lovely to finally see my full outfits again.  Our girl Blue also enjoys building a relationship with the puppy in the mirror.  haha.

Spring Form Pan 

My mom came in with the win and got me a spring form pan!  It was an awesome surprise, especially because Will and I were able to buy a food processor on Black Friday back in November so that I can make cheesecake.  I have already tried them both and made a super delicious chocolate swirl cheesecake that was to die for, even after we accidentally dropped it (crust side down) in the yard.

Land’ End Hooded Squall Winter Jacket 

God bless the Lands’ End squall.  It is wind proof, waterproof, hooded and fleece lined.  I have put this coat to good use, through photoshoots and cold winter days, it has yet to let me down.  I took photos of a house in a downpour recently and was completely dry and warm afterwards.  Another time I took photos of a house in freezing temperatures and felt nothing but cold hands because I neglected to wear gloves.  It is legit, cozy, and absolutely what every adventurer needs on their list.  Bonus: Lands’ End has great sales and coupons so you don’t have to pay full price.  Like ever.

Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle Cooperative Deck Building Card Game 

Last but certainly not least was an awesome gift from my sister and brother-in-law.  Will and I had many date nights involving this game and recently beat the seventh game.  However, with four players we have yet to get past game two, so we are enjoying the strategy and variables.

It is a deck building card game that includes seven games (just like the seven books/years).  There are four heroes (Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Neville) that must defeat the villains who are trying to gain control of different locations.  Each game gets more difficult with different obstacles and abilities being added in each deck.

Next up, I think I may look into getting the expansion, which adds another hero and some other cards and items.  Who knew I would love a deck building game?  All it took was a Harry Potter theme, I guess.   

Have you and your loved ones started using Amazon wishlists yet?  It seriously makes gift giving so much easier.  Whenever I think of something I need or want during the year, I add it to my list!  #LifeHack

Let me know your favorite Christmas gifts you have been loving down in the comments.  If you enjoyed this post, please give it a like and don’t forget to join the family and subscribe if you haven’t already.

Until next time,
Jamie out

My Word for 2019

Do you ever give your self a word, or a mission, or a phrase to cling onto?  Something that makes decisions easier and priorities clearer.  Will and I started prioritizing early on in our relationship.  Underneath God and our relationship, we put family.  This helps us make so many important (and maybe seemingly insignificant) decisions clearer and easier.  

I have never chosen a word for a year before now.  Sure, I have set new years resolutions that I rarely, if ever, keep, but this year I am approaching things differently.  I have set personal and professional goals, as well as giving myself a word to focus on.  To be my driving force for learning and growing in 2019.

My word is Simplify.

Much in the way that people say “don’t put yourself in debt during the holidays to show people how generous you are, or how much you love them,” my approach to Simplifying is very similar.  I view Simplifying as a way to gain freedom.  Freedom from overcommitting.  Freedom from clutter.  Freedom from being overwhelmed.  Freedom from feeling obligated.  It is a means to prioritize, and that prioritizing begins with practical steps, that turn into habits, that change the way you look at things, so that the things you look at change.

Some practical steps I have already taken include deleting unused and unwanted apps from my phone and turning off notifications for basically everything.  I already feel this freedom.  There is much less pressure—much less anxiety—much less obligation when I look at my phone. 

Other practical steps include cleaning out the fridge every time I go grocery shopping.  Making the bed every day.  Throwing out expired medications.  Keeping lists on my phone for easy access at grocery stores.  Reducing the trips I make to stores so that I have more time for my family and other priorities.  Making a master spreadsheet for my photography business to simplify keeping track of everything for myself and my taxes.  Getting rid of clothing that has holes, that I never wear, and that doesn’t bring me joy.  

Etc.

I am so excited to dive into Simplifying my life this year and to experience the freedom it brings.  Does anyone have any suggestions for me?  For ways that I can Simplify in 2019?

Do you have a word for 2019?  Leave it for me in the comments!  If you enjoyed this post, please give it a like and don’t forget to join the family and subscribe if you haven’t already.

Until next time,
Jamie out