The Good Bye

Friday, September 30, 2016

"I'm starting to worry about her, " he says to the Therapist.

"Oh? Why is that?" The man in the argyle sweater vest bites on the end of his small square framed reading glasses. They look like a pair you'd pick up at Walgreens on you're way out as an after thought.

"Where do I even start?" He scratches his ears and releases a quick sneeze.

"How about from the beginning," the Therapist puts the Walgreens reading glasses back onto the rim of his nose, readying himself to "read" his patient.

"I suppose it starts with the good bye."

The Therapist nods so he continues.

"It used to just be one. Just one good bye and then she'd leave. It was fine. Normal. I appreciated the salutation, you know? So I'd say good bye back and that was that."

"And now it's not normal?"

He rolls his eyes a bit and sighs, "No, it's become a whole thing."

"A thing?" Asks the Therapist.

He lowers his head and speaks a little quieter, "She says good bye at least 45 times now."

"Forty five?" The therapist mouths.

He nods, "Just over and over and over.  It's just, good bye, I'll be right back, I love you, I'll be back, bye, I'll be back. I love you." He scratches his ear harder, this time with his back foot.

"Can I help you out with that?" The Therapist pats his lap and Harlow happily jumps on it.

"And then she puts a pile of toys in front of me. Sometimes even on me. As if I'm going to play while she's gone and not just immediately fall into a blissful sleep." Harlow pauses to enjoy the ear rub and push his head harder into The Therapist, "thanks Doc, that's really nice. That scratch has been bugging me since the last one. Yeah, yeah right there."

"I see."

"It's to the point where I'm like, who are you doing this for? You or me? You know? Like I said, I'm worried." Harlow bites at his front nails, then continues, "what's the thing called when people are afraid to leave their house?"





"A mess."

"Obsessed, yeah that's it."

"No, I said a mess."

"I absolutely did not."

They both look confused for a second then the Therapist continues.

"Sounds like separation anxiety to me. Does she ever chew things or cause destruction?"

"Just inside her head, I think," Harlow turns around to lick his backside, then pauses, "sorry, do you mind?"

"Actually, I do Harlow. Several people sit on that couch."

"Good call, who knows where they've sat before this," Harlow jumps to the floor. "Between you and me, doc," he lowers his head once more, "After she leaves, she almost only comes back within five minutes. I'll be in the thick of a great nap and then she bursts through the door sputtering about a candle she left burning or a curling iron she left on. It's always something."

"Is there ever?"

"Ever what?"

"A candle burning?"

"No, I blow them out the second she leaves. Do I look like an idiot to you?"

Pit Bull Ban In Montreal

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Let's keep this short today because there's work to be done and I'd rather you all go and sign a petition to reverse the pit bull ban in Montreal rather than read a blog post.

In case you haven't heard, on Tuesday of this week Montreal passed a ban on all pit bulls. So any dog with a "blocky head" or "with pit like features" that is currently in a shelter located in Montreal will be euthanized on October 3rd. Apparently the law is so vague as to what is considered a pit it's laughable.

Except it's not laughable, because so many dogs lives are stake because of it.

Anyone who owns a dog "that looks like a pit bull" in Montreal will have to register it and pay $150, or risk it getting taken away at any moment.

I don't know if signing petitions will help, but I know that doing nothing at all for sure won't help. So I suggest starting here and here.

If you want to donate to the rescue groups who are working like crazy to move pit bulls out of shelters before their death date on October 3rd, go to this site.

Also this post has a lot of good information (and adorable photos of dogs.) If you have any other ideas or know of good reputable rescue groups who need funds, let me know.

And yes, I'm aware there's a lot of other issues going on in the world today. Trust me, I worry about all of them as well. Humans are complex individuals and we're capable of several thoughts (and worries.)  This one just happens to be on mind today as Harlow lays on my lap.

Since I've been a little vocal about this the past 48 hours several people have told me that unfortunately this is pretty common and in some cities pit bulls are immediately euthanized upon getting dropped off at a shelter. I was aware of this to some extent, but bringing up shitty situations that already exist doesn't help this one any so... so I guess that's my opinion on that.

So now you know, take a few seconds to sign the petition and maybe just maybe the power of the people could win this one and save thousands of innocent dogs who have now idea what might happen to them in just one week and have no voice to speak up about it.

It's just not right.

Favorites of Fall

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Isn't it weird how we all lose our shit for fall?

I'm as guilty as the next (well maybe not quite as guilty, but I did eat Pumpkin Cheerios for breakfast.) However, I'll never drink a Pumpkin Spice Latte because they taste like a cup of pumpkin sugary syrup mixed with a little bit coffee- to me.

I feel like we have this brief window of time where it's fun to transition from tank tops to thick sweaters and then BOOM it's winter. And it stops being fun real fast. Even yesterday I had to add a jacket AND a big scarf for my morning Harlow walk and I was not happy about it. 

Yes I love fall, but I don't exactly do well with the end of summer either simply because I know what it's implying. Winter. Winter is coming. Winter anxiety is a very real thing in Chicago. People start talking about it in August already. 

We say things like, "Gotta enjoy these days while they're here, won't be long before..." Or "remember winter 2014? I just hope it's not like that," or "heard the cold's going to move in early this year, gonna be a long one."

We are always talking about, thinking about, and worrying about winter, once mid August rolls around. 

But enough about winter. It's not here yet, so I'm going to tuck that dark thought away for now and move onto much better things.  

Like the fact I've decided it would be fun to give one of you the chance to win a few of my favorite fall items. 

1. I've already talked about this cardigan 100 times and I think you all need to share in the joy of it with me. You could also swap for this one as it's another one I've bought in a few colors already this season...

2. This awesome mug from Darling Savage.

3. The perfect fall booties from Alice & Wonder

4. And of course, my COZY AF T-Shirt.

To enter, head to my Facebook page for more details. What do you think? Which item do you love the most? Comment below!

BRB tomorrow with a new pilates fan fiction post....

House Hunting in Chicago - Part II

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

We went to an open house last weekend where there was a line about thirty people deep before it had even started.

The house was tiny so we had to wait before we could even walk inside because there wasn't room to move around. By the end of the day it had three offers. Luckily, Chris and I didn't love it so we were happy to walk away.

A few weekends ago we saw a gorgeous brownstone (the second floor of it anyway) and I really liked it. But Chris thought it was too pricey for what it was. Did I mention it was only the back half of the second floor, the back "left half" if I remember correctly. Mind you, these are insanely huge brownstones that were single family homes only when they were first built back in the 1900s for Chicago's elite. These days they house about 8 families.

The owners purchased the back half just a year ago and already jacked up the price more than $100,000. So yeah, the market here is a little stupid.

We didn't put an offer in, but four other people did. Pretty sure it sold for above listing.

Our current space has been good for us the past two years, but it's time to go... I dream of having a bedroom where the bed has enough space for TWO nightstands- one on each side. Talk about luxury. Right now if I get up in the night I have to hurdle myself over both Chris and Harlow in order to get out of bed.

On most days this sweet little space becomes covered with T-Shirts. And labels, and tissue, and envelopes. It's a real shit show at any given time. So an actual work room with a work table would be dreamy. Also, working in a room with red walls just isn't good for online retail. Red causes anger.

And I know I've mentioned this before, but Chris and I share a closet that most would consider a coat closet. Imagine your own closet, then cut it in half, then once again, then add another person's wardrobe in there. The good thing is we don't keep unnecessary stuff around. When bloggers showcase their shoe closets I can't help but laugh. Let's just say my shoe collection doesn't exactly look like that...

We've lived in Lincoln Park our entire time in Chicago and it's been wonderful, but we're ready to branch out. It's gotten to be too comfortable and familiar. It's time we see some of the other awesome neighborhoods Chicago has to offer. So our primary search has been in neighborhoods like Wicker, West Town, Ukrainian Village, and a few spots in West Loop. If you're not from around Chicago this means nothing to you, but all of these neighborhoods are just a couple of miles southwest of where we currently are.

More importantly, all of the neighborhoods mentioned are even more dog friendly than Lincoln Park. If you walk down Division Street it's just patio after patio covered in dogs brunching or doing happy hour with their parents. I feel so at home there already.

As for an update on the actual show House Hunters, check back with me in about three weeks and maybe we'll know more...

How To Tackle Monday

Monday, September 26, 2016

I had a really good plan for today.

I was going to take my parents to the airport at 5 a.m. and then come home and GET RIGHT TO WORK.

Emails, T-shirts, blog posts, I was going to do it all and tackle this day hard to make up for a weekend of having a little too much fun and not doing a stitch of work.

Instead, when my alarm went off at 5 a.m. I stumbled into the guest room and told my parents, "I'm calling you an Uber." So for the 28th year in a row, I don't think I'm going to be winning "Daughter of the Year."

I went back to bed, but only until 7 a.m., at which point I moved out to the couch. While I was waiting for my coffee I decided it would be a great time for some Monday meditation. I like to start my mornings by pretending to meditate, when in fact I'm just falling back to sleep. It happens every time. I always start sitting up, but the second I close my eyes and try to concentrate on my breaths I lay down and immediately pass out.

I could pass out right now just thinking about how relaxing it is pretending to meditate.

It's basically noon now and I'm three hours behind on my Monday and my inbox is growing scarier by the minute. I have to do all the things, but instead I'm petting Harlow and talking to him about life. He's begging for his lunchtime visit to the park, but I'm trying to convince him we can wait until 3.

Okay, I need to quit dicking around and get to werk, werk, werk. We've got some big stuff coming in the next 30 days and I have to make sure I'm ready for it. Perhaps I should meditate about it real quick...

And before I forget, the cardigan I'm wearing above (and right now, and basically every day until summer 2017) can be found here. It's so comfy it almost pisses me off. Similar loafers found here and jeans found here.  And also this sweater because it's 50% off and I want every color.

Bye, Monday. Byeeeee.

The Politics of Communal Laundry

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

And now a post about the politics of sharing a laundry room with people you don't know. Perhaps some of you can relate to it, or perhaps you will have no idea what I'm talking about if you've never lived in a city, or are just lucky enough to be independently wealthy.

Whatever the case, it must be discussed.

Let me set the scene for you. It's Monday morning and I have two loads of wash to do; towels and sheets for the guest room because my parents are coming to stay.  I begrudgingly go to Trader Joes to get my roll of quarters, cursing the entire time that "why the hell can't our laundry units join the modern world and be hooked up to a card reader like every other damn laundry unit."

We've lived in our place for 2.5 years now, one would think I've accepted our quarter situation. And yet I haven't. Of course our washing machine can't take a card, it was manufactured in 1807. Occasionally it gets so out of control I have to physically stand on it to keep it from traveling to the back of the basement where the gremlins live.

But I digress.

I choose to do my laundry on a Monday morning because I know I have no shot on a Sunday. If you're not down there claiming a machine by 10 a.m. you are SOL, my friends.

And so I go down there and open washer machine #1- the good one, the one that doesn't do somersaults around the dungeon if you put one too many towels in there, and what do I see? A load of semi wet clothes.

Have they been in there an hour? Two? Four? I don't know. And thus begins the politics of the laundry game.

Having been a laundry sharer for five years now, I know what I have to do. And that's go back upstairs and wait it out (whether it's 10 min or 2 hours, it's just a polite gesture.) You can leap a person in the laundry game, but never on the first try. You have to at least get them once shot to switch it out because what if their cycle just ended?

But before I go back upstairs, I leave my basket of laundry on the communal table. 1. Because I'm lazy. and 2. because it's a sign to fellow washers that says "I'm on your back....." *but never leave your laundry soap. Unless you're a millionaire and can just afford to give away free soap.

I only give them thirty minutes because I don't have time to dick around today. When I go back down, the clothes are still in the washer.

At this point I have to move stranger laundry into the dryer and learn way too much about a person I don't know. I may not know the new guy on the third floor who moved in two months ago, but I know what kind of underwear he wears...

When you're moving stranger laundry it's crucial you do it AS FAST AS YOU POSSIBLY CAN. God forbid they walk in during the midst of your laundry jump. Other than getting mugged on the train, this is my number one Chicago fear. I would die if the upstairs people saw me touching their wet laundry. Die die die.

I put stranger clothes in the dryer, but don't start it obviously. First of all, I don't want to shrink their shit. But more importantly, I don't want to waste $2 in quarters! If I was made of quarters, I wouldn't be in this situation in the first place.

40 minutes later my wash is done and I see their wet clothes still sitting in the dryer. So what do I do? Move that shit back to the washer. And suddenly I feel excited that I'm about to do a full laundry leap- washer AND dryer. I feel validated in my decision to skip them when I did, had I waited, I'd still be waiting- you know?

One hour later my dryer is done. The wet clothes still remain in the washer. Has the other person stopped down even once to move them in the past hour? I shall never know. But now I present to you the age old question, who's the asshole in the laundry situation?

1. The Mover.
2. Or The Sitter.

Am I rude for jumping out of turn? Or is the other person rude for taking their sweet ass time?

Someone's communal laundry habits say a lot about them as a person in general, I think. For example, I know I can get kind of pushy and should settle down and take a chill pill. But also, I don't like to keep people waiting and expect from others what I expect from myself.

And this concludes the most wonderfully self indulgent post about laundry that I have ever written. I truly enjoyed it. I hope you did, as well.

House Hunters

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

I have a very long mental list of stuff to do "once things calm down." One of which is getting back to blogging every single day. I hate not being able to write regularly.

But then I remember that I've been waiting for this magical "calm time" for awhile now and perhaps it's never coming. Maybe it's just called life. And I should probably learn how to balance things sooner or later (or "time block" as Chris says) because it's only going to get busier.

I look around at people my age with 2 or 3 kids and a four bedroom house and wonder how in the hell they do it. It's a struggle for me to keep our two bedroom apartment clean on the regular and it's just Chris and I. And Harlow. And in my defense Harlow insists on dragging every single toy from his basket to various places around the house every single day.

Speaking of houses, we've been on the hunt lately. Our realtor has jokingly told us he knows the producers from House Hunters and do we want to be on an episode? I jokingly bring it up every time we meet with him...Because yes, yes I do want to be on the show. And since I am a hustler I would just casually change the t-shirt I'm wearing every five minutes to showcase my entire collection during filming.

House hunting in Chicago is interesting. Houses get listed and sold within hours, often for above asking price. And when I say a "house" I mean the floor of a house, sometimes even just the back half.

We have our lists of "wants" and "must haves."

After living in the city for five years my "must haves" seem pretty simple, yet also pretty dreamy after being without them for years.

*In-unit laundry.
A washer and dryer NOT in a scary dungeon basement that is also shared by 8 other tenants would be AMAZING. Every time I do laundry now I have to make sure we have quarters (we never do and the quarter fight is an on-going thing in this house) and then I have to fight off rats and spiders in a basement that feels like the Upside Down.

So to have laundry steps away from our bedroom and/or kitchen would be unreal. I wouldn't know what to do with myself. Probably laundry all the time.

*A parking spot.
Doesn't have to be covered (what do you think I am, a millionaire?!) but simply a designated spot where I know I always get to park.

Walking a block with eight bags of groceries isn't as fun as it seems. Especially in January.

*Two bathrooms.
We've lived with one bathroom for far too long now. We have people stay with us A LOT and one bathroom makes everything so much harder.

For example my family is coming to stay with us this weekend and I'm already dreading the bathroom situation. I can't wait for the day we're living like fat cats with two toilets in the house.

I guess that's pretty much it. Like I said, we're not looking for anything too crazy here.

I guess I forgot one thing, I'd love to have a fridge that has an ice maker. I don't feel like that's asking too much, and yet I've gone my entire life without having this luxury. And I am so damn tired of filling ice trays.

Anyway, we've been looking for about six months and have already seen some crazy shit. I need to write more about house hunting in Chicago but it's already 1 a.m. and I'm exhausted and need to head into T-Shirt Town for a bit.

The thought of buying anything is exciting and also very overwhelming. If you're a home owner, have any tips? Give me all the tips, please.

Wedding Details I Don't Want To Forget

Friday, September 16, 2016

Well friends, here we are. It's Friday September, 16th and I might be writing my last wedding post. I'm not ready for it to end either...

Today's post will be about small details I don't want to ever forget/things I'm so happy we did. Perhaps I've already talked about them, but maybe I haven't? I've been dragging this thing out for so long I hardly remember anymore.

Let's start with the seating chart.

Instead of having table numbers, we decided to name our tables by places (mostly bars) that were important to us. This little detail gave me a real tickle and I'm so happy it's how we designated our tables.

I was so excited to see what our friends thought of this. The names weren't just important to Chris and I, but we sat people at places we thought they'd enjoy as well. One of the coolest things is that we sat my bridesmaid Kate's parents at a table called Barrymores, and it just so happened that's the place where they got engaged so many years ago. (We had no idea.)

2. Out signature drink, The Harlow.

So Harlow was there with us in spirit. (Or in spirits.)

3. All of our signs.
We moved this from the hotel lobby, to the welcome party, reception, ext. It came everywhere!

I will forever be grateful to my mom's very talented friend Natalie Garden for making us all of our cool artwork (the seating chart, the Harlow, and every single table name sign not pictured.) Natalie created all of it and it turned out wonderful! The Harlow sign will be framed and kept forever. As will everything else...

4. Our globe guestbook.
I most definitely found this idea on Pinterest and I'm so glad we went with it rather than a traditional book. We have globes all over our house so it fits in nicely.

I've had several of you ask about where to find globes like this and I suggest two places. 1. Salvation Army and 2. Goodwill. Or any other thrift store! I think this one is from my great grandpa and it probably came from a garage sale.

5. Our Welcome Bags.
Welcome Bags ARE SO IMPORTANT. Jk, but it feels that way the week before.

My mom made the salty mix and Chris's mom made the sweet mix. My friend Kammie created our welcome programs and Chris ordered the mini Fireballs...  We also put in some wildflower seeds in hopes people would plant them and then NEVER EVER FORGET OUR WEDDING. Missing from the photo is our favorite beef jerky from R & R Meats in Norfolk. It's not photographed because we ate it too fast.

6. Bridesmaid Pajama Sets.

From Love Ophelia and they're the softest, most comfortable robes and shorty sets ever. I can't speak highly enough of this awesome store.

7. Personalized Bridesmaid/Bride Hangers from Delovely Details.

Full discloser- this is not my photo. The photos I took on my iphone did not do the beautiful hangers justice, so I'm waiting to share my actual hangers once I get my professional photos back. Delovely Details did a phenomenal job and I'm so glad I decided to add this fun little detail.

8. Makeup by Brooke Rock and she was simply wonderful. It would be such a treat to have her over every single day to do makeup so I could have eyebrows any time I wanted!

And eyes. And lips. Basically just a face.

The further we get from our wedding, the more and more I'm thankful we hired a videographer. Just one more month and I get to relive the entire thing. We hired Ross Wooten from Kansas City, and no I'm not getting commission for mentioning him, I just like to let people know when I find a cool company that is fairly priced. Did I mention we forget our flowers on the bus from the hotel to the reception and Ross and his crew brought them for us? That's pretty legit.

Don't you worry, I'll share the vid with the world as soon as I get it.

And now.... now we write thank yous. It's taken us two months. Ooof.

Very cool "I Love You a Shit Ton" wooden clip board found here by Darling Savage.

And when we're done with the thank yous, we plan to play with our new book, Our Perfect Marriage.

It's a tongue and cheek workbook that Chris and I get to fill out together and it is hilarious and also quite touching.  It's one of those gifts I know we'll be glad we filled out our first year of marriage because we'll always love to look back on it and laugh.

And that's it. Cheers to Friday.

*that might not be it. I can't let this die.

Dogs and Avocados

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

It all started with an Instagram video of me giving Harlow a little piece of avocado at his birthday dinner last night, which was obviously followed with an entire hotdog from Weiner Circle right after.

I started getting messages via Insta from people concerned I was giving Har avocados. Be careful, those are poisonous to dogs, several warned. I got one message after the other, after the other. About 30 in total. The messages were not rude by any means, just fellow dog enthusiasts looking out for Harlow's well being.

I panicked, as I do every time I'm worried Harlow is sick or is just about to get sick. Like the time he sneakily ate 16 chicken wing bones in about four minutes. SIXTEEN. BONES. And then we went on a nine hour car ride immediately after. Much to my surprise, he didn't get sick once.

Anyway, first I texted a friend who's dad is a vet, then I turned to google. Both confirmed this, "Avocado contains a toxin called persin, but despite the rumors, avocado is not poisonous to dogs. But can be to cattle."

I've given Harlow avocados since he was a baby. Not a lot by any means, just a bite here or there. But I think that may have been his last bite yesterday- at least that I'll show to the insta world anyway. I really had no idea it could be harmful. But I guess we'll add it to the list with popcorn, grapes, chocolate, poppy seeds, ext.

However it's worth noting Harlow eats mysterious garbage food at the park regularly so....

So last night's dinner was great except for the avocados, and the scary man who walked by the restaurant patio we were sitting on to "say hello" to Harlow.

Harlow will pick up certain scents from people he doesn't like and he will go absolutely nuts. It happens far more frequently when it's just me, rather than when Chris is along.

However as this man staggered toward our table, clearly very intoxicated, I could just tell Harlow wasn't going to like him. And I was right. He barked and growled and did his best to keep this man away, but the guy persisted.  Chris and I were cordial and apologizing for Harlow's behavior, but eventually the guy got down on his knees, face to face with Harlow and just glared at him.

And this is when I got mad because Harlow wasn't barking anymore, but cowering under the table with his tail tucked high between his legs. See Harlow talks a big game, but he has zero back up. He regularly runs from moths, centipedes and the occasional large fly.

The man drunkenly told us he was a dog trainer. He said he has seven pit bulls at home and he could "make our dog scary" if we wanted.

And now if you're like me your heart just broke a little and you added seven more pit bulls to your dog prayer list. Because yes, I pray for animals every single night. My list is very long. It's fine, we all have our things.

The guy begrudgingly left our table only after the manager and two hosts asked him several times to leave. I was so tempted to follow him home in hopes of finding where he was keeping those poor seven pits because I can't stand to think about what their lives must be like.

Maybe at the very best he was lying and doesn't own any dogs. I will never know. But I will most definitely waste a lot of time worrying about it.

Moral of the story: don't give avocados to cattle.

Is it Friday yet? Man, it's been a long week.

Harlow's Best Day Ever

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

I recently read an article that was circulating on Facebook about how "dogs can understand words a lot better than we thought." I read the headline to Harlow and we both laughed and rolled our eyes.

"Are people really just figuring this out?" I asked him.

Apparently, he replied. Not with words, but with his eyes, and his ears, and the overall tilt of his face when he dips his chin down and sighs.

Harlow and I have been having in-depth conversations for years. He gets my words and I get every single look or movement that flashes across his face. I'm pretty sure I understand him more than I do most people. And vice versa. But I guess that's to be expected when you spend every single hour of your day with someone.

So what do two best friends do to celebrate a birthday, you might ask?

Pretty simple, we embark on an adventure of Harlow's best day. This will most likely include:

*The jungle gym at 7 a.m. before the kids/nannies arrive and won't let us in- which really pisses us off by the way because where are those kids all winter long? Huh? They can't handle the park in January when it's -25 like Har and I do, yet once it gets nice outside they kick us out.... Anyway.

*Stops at the church and yoga studio for treats on the way home.

*Hitting up the water fountain on Wrightwood. Then Lincoln. Then back to Wrightwood.

*When the mailman/UPS/Amazon guy comes today I might even just let him bark it out without screaming "Harlow, QUIET!" because it's his day.

*We'll chase squirrels for a bit around 2 p.m. Again- this is another indulgence I usually wouldn't allow. But today he gets to bark up any tree for as long as he wants.

*Maybe an afternoon stop at Weiner's Circle for a special treat...

*Dog park around 4. Maybe just maybe I'll turn a blind eye and let him air hump his crush for a moment longer before I pull him away. (Harlow has many crushes and they are all embarrassingly small dogs, so he doesn't really make contact, he just kind of walks behind them moving his hips.) It's a little humiliating to watch, so on second thought I won't let that happen.

*Hit up more stores that leave treat jars outside of them. Harlow knows literally every stop in the neighborhood. If we map it out right, we can hit up about 14 in a one mile radius.

*A stop at Home Depot so Harlow can run up and down the stairs and greet the man who always works the popcorn machine.

And we'll finish the day like we do every year, where I tell Harlow the story of how he came into our lives.  You'd think he'd be annoyed after hearing it all these years, but he loves any story that is just about him.

How it was 2010 and Chris and I were living in a little place called Topeker, Kansas.

We lived two blocks from Westboro Baptist Church and every single day I'd walk by their compound and plot how to destroy it. Chris worked a lot of hours and I was pretty lonely back then. Let's just say that town wasn't exactly the best fit for us.

Our stint in Peker didn't last long, but I know exactly why we had to be there for that time in our lives, and it was to pick up our Harlow.

Our pudgy little baby Harlow. The little guy who wasn't nearly as regal as his Vizsla siblings, who trailed behind the group as if saying, "hey guys, wait up for me." The pup who flopped and rolled on his side as his more coordinated siblings jumped and pranced in the air. The "odd one" of the group the breeder told us.

As soon as I heard "the odd one," I was sold. I picked up Har, put him in my car, and the rest is history as they say.

He didn't whimper once that first night, or any night thereafter. But that might also have to do with the fact I slept hugging him. And still do today...

During those first weeks with puppy Harlow, on the rare occasion we'd go out at night we couldn't wait to get back home to him. I wondered at what point that excitement would wear off, when we'd walk in the door and no longer feel the need to run to him, happily announcing that we were back.

Six years later, we still do it. Every single time. Chris and I often greet Harlow like we're the dogs and he's the human... It's hard to tell these days.

Har's slapping at my hand as I type this so I know I have about thirty seconds to wrap this up.

So happy birthday, sweet Harlow.

Aka Harby. Charby. Charbies. Harbs. Har. Harvey. Harvard. Har Har. Harls. Harvs. Charvies. Marbies. Mr. Wentworth.

And Carl when he's being just plain naughty.

*We're basically live streaming Har's best day ever via Instagram vids by the way (Harlow insists, check them out @thedailytay)

Honeymoon in British Virgin Islands

Sunday, September 11, 2016

The second half of our honeymoon was spent in the British Virgin Islands. We stayed in Tortola, but also visited Virgin Gorda and Jost Van Dyke.

We loved Antigua, but we really loved BVI. The beauty of this place was unreal.

We quickly learned we weren't there during peak season as we basically had the entire resort to ourselves. Granted, it wasn't a big resort to start with (as mentioned we kind of like boutique style places the best) but every single day it felt like we had a private beach.

The resort was called Frenchmans. We had a cute two story little villa with great views from every window. I think Chris found this place through a basic google search. It was so small that we had to call the front desk before arriving since they usually only have one person at the desk, and for only a few hours a day.

But once we got there, this was all ours.

It was amazing! When we'd feel the need to interact with people we'd simply walk the ten minutes down to the marina and sit at a bar by the water and watch the boats come in. And I would also make Chris take photos of me trying out this new smirk. Don't worry, I left the smirk in Tortola.

We took a boat to the Baths one day and I got to live out all of my Goonies dreams climbing the rocks and playing in the underwater caves.

But I am sad to report the Baths ate this hat while we were sitting at lunch when the wind suddenly picked up. Chris didn't seem to mind since he was the one I made carry it in every airport... Floppy hats, how the hell do you travel with those things? Anyone? Anyone?

We left the Baths certain it was one of the coolest places we'd ever been. But then we went to Jost the next day.

And it was the bluest, most beautiful water I have ever seen. Our captain told us Jost is the beach where the Corona commercials are filmed. He could have been lying, but it seems likely.

We anchored the boat, put our stuff in wet bags, and swam to shore to hit up the beach bars just like everyone else. And something about swimming to and from our boat to get shore was wildly entertaining for me.

It was also around Jost where we stopped by a teeny tiny island to do some snorkeling. It was Chris's birthday so I decided to suck it up and go along with him. Much to my delight (and his disappointment) we didn't see many fish, until we got closer to the boat and saw a stingray.

He swam after it and I watched from a safe distance. It was at this moment when I swam back to the boat and was starting to climb the ladder when I saw the biggest, ugliest, fish an arms length away from me, just staring at me. More like glaring. It looked like a bulldog in a fish suit. I scrambled up the ladder as fast as I could, tripping and falling a hundred times in my damn flippers, until I pulled myself on board.

One of the crew on the boat wanted to jump in to take a look at this fish I was freaking out about, (I'm pretty sure he just wanted to make fun of me) but as soon as he got under water he popped right back up and said it was the biggest barracuda he had ever seen. Naturally, I felt quite validated.

I also felt quite stupid for swimming in all of my jewelry, including two dangly bracelets, a necklace, and an ankle bracelet I bought from Claudette the T-Shirt lady back in Antigua. Barracudas are known to go after shiny objects...  I think we can all agree I barely escaped death.

In conclusion, The British Virgin Islands, Yost specifically (well and the Baths) were incredible. We're already in the process of booking a sailing trip for next summer. Our plan is to spend seven days on a boat and sail around to all of the islands. I'll keep you posted on how that all pans out.

And that's a wrap on the honeymoon posts. It was truly two of the best weeks of my life and I am so so happy we chose to go where we did. If you have a question about anything specific ask me below, or shoot me an email.

Now I'm going to spend the next five or six hours in T-Shirt Town. But I'll be okay because the Jon Benet movie is on! Let's all chat about it tomorrow.