Friday, July 15, 2011

Fritz the Frisby's foster

A friend of mine who volunteers at a dog shelter here told me they had an airedale come to the shelter, so of course I had to call and see if I could help. I was mainly interested in fostering him, but who knows, AJ says maybe we'll keep him if he's better behaved than Griz. Haha. So, his name is Fritz. He's part airedale, part something else with long straight black hair. They told us he's 9 months old, which is probably pretty close. I like to think I'm good at telling that sort of thing (duh because I'm a nerdy dog lady), but it's hard to tell how much of what I see is puppy, and how much is the other somethin' that's in him. They warned me that he is very nervous and shy and afraid of men. But they also said he loves to play with other dogs so we decided to try this out.

We (Griz and I) met Fritz at Petsmart first. Griz was fine with him, but could tell that Fritz is a little weird. Fritz had his tail between his legs, wouldn't look at me, tried to hide if a man walked by...I felt so bad. I walked the both of them around the store and they did alright. Once in a while Fritz would get nervous and try to lean into Griz, which bothered him a little.

We decided to see how he'd do in our home. The lady brought him over and after a few minutes Fritz had his tail wagging playing with Griz. That alone gave me so much hope. He doesn't mind Griz being bouncy and loud and obnoxious, he has total trust in Griz and follows him around. If I need Fritz to go down stairs or outside, Griz has to come too.

I can tell Fritz is just a sweet guy. He hasn't growled or barked. The only peep he has made from he cried yesterday morning when Griz left the living room and he was still in his crate. So Griz went back to hang out with his new friend. (awww...)

Now with us, he is warming up a little bit, but he's very nervous about everything we do. He prefers to be ignored, and to walk behind you all the time so you're never behind him. He's very curious and hangs out with me in the kitchen while I make dinner. As long as I don't reach out to him or open a cupboard in his face, he actually doesn't mind the noise or anything.

Fritz came to us pretty smelly. And his crate was smelly. I took the crate outside and washed it, and put lots of padding and blankets in it for him so he's got a safe place. Once I get him in there he immediately sits down and looks calm, and drinks a gallon of water. Then the scary bath. I took Griz in the bathroom with me, who just laid down and groaned and napped. Fritz was scared but I helped him into the tub. Amazingly his tail wasn't completely under his bum and he tolerated the bath. I think we bonded a little. I felt so bad feeling his skin and bones...He was very good and I like to think he feels better now.

Fritz is nervous around AJ, but not terrified like I was afraid he would be. When he thinks AJ isn't looking, he'll come up and sniff his feet and hands. AJ even laid down next to him and started inching closer and closer to Fritz and he was just fine. The lady who had him before us told us it took him 3 weeks before he came to her when she called him. I think we're doing pretty well so far.

Basically Fritz dashes away from us all day and once we all sit down and relax, the one time during the day that Fritz wags his tail is when he decides it's ok to wrestle with Griz. It makes us so happy to see him be confident for 5 minutes. What would be do without big goofy Griz? I had to get a video of the two of them, it's a rare occasion when Fritz acts this comfortable!

The good news is I know Fritz is curious. I can tell he is sweet and loving but probably just really afraid of letting people into his heart right now. I can't tell you how happy it made me to see his finally sit and lay down his first night after several hours of pacing, and even seeing him finally poop outside! He's been eating lots and lots of food and hopefully he'll gain some weight soon. More updates to come :)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Ragnar Wasatch Back 2011

I did it! I was scared, but the time came for the Ragnar and I did it!

12 girls split into 2 vans, and we ran 192 miles from Logan to Park City. I'm not sure how much I really feel like writing about the experience...I'm sitting here getting exhausted just thinking about it.

Let's just say it was a blast. Here's a quick summary of my own experience this year:

My first run was hard but fun: 1.5 miles unpaved uphill over Avon Pass, 4 miles steep unpaved downhill with gorgeous views, with a couple miles flat (worst part actually). My second run pleasantly surprised me by being a beautiful and almost spiritual night run and probably my most rewarding run. I was terrified to run 8 miles uphill, but it was the perfect temperature with rolling hills that kept my legs feeling fresh. As the sun went down it got quiet, but I was still surrounded by runners and vans that lit the way. I could see the vans lining up going up steep hills ahead of me, but somehow I totally rocked every hill (YEAH!). Coming down the last hill and seeing a bright light at the finish line was magical!

That night we arrived at a designated sleeping area around midnight. This is the part of Ragnar no one tells you about. This was a high school that let everyone sleep on the gym floor. It looked like a refugee camp. Hundreds of people in sleeping bags in tight rows, snoring and not exactly smelling like daisies. Because it was so crowded, people had also filled the hallways. I found a random empty area and tried to pass out. Well 2 hours after dealing with the heat of the place, not being able to lie with my sore hips on the hard floor, and having my mind racing, the cafeteria I was close to started preparing breakfast which would be served at 2:30 am. Well I was pretty much awake after that. I think I got 30 minutes of sleep total. But you know, as we left the school into the freezing cold, I walked past the nastiest fart-plus-grimy-feet-smelling hallway that made me think it could have been worse (and I could have been in van 2 who ran through the night). But next year I may sleep in the van.

My third run was supposed to be "easy" but it was rough. I ran in the morning and when I woke up I could hardly move. Everything was sore. But somehow I got those 3 miles done without too much pain. After we all finished our 3rd legs, we had a chance to eat and shower (glorious!) and change into our attempt at fun 80's attire, while van 2 finished their last legs of the race. Then we met up with everyone at the finish line. Victory!

Here's some photos, a mix of mine and Jen's from the 32 hours.

If I didn't describe the race well enough, here's a video that Matt (AJ's brother) sent me shortly after I finished the race. Thanks, Matt! Ha.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Red Air day in Logan

Last Saturday AJ's sister Ashlee came to visit. That evening we went lookin for some inner-tainment and found ourselves at a real bonified Utah truck pull. A truck pull. It was pretty much was it sounds like.

Now, I don't know the "lingo" so bear with me. Basically, there is this trailer thing with a big weight on it, and a guy sits in it and pushes buttons that makes the weight slide around and get harder to pull. Then you take a hick in a jumpsuit who gets into their truck, and the truck pulls the heavy trailer thing. They've got about a hunnerd (ahem, hundred) yards to pull the weight, and it gets heavier as they go. So the goal is to go farther, and do it faster than the next hick.

Here's a patriotic truck taking its turn. I think this truck's name was "Ram Tuff", but the more hilarious names I wrote down (because I didn't want to forget them!) were "Ain't Skeered", "Git U Sum", "Shake and Break", and "Happy Hooker". Kind of amazing.

That's not the only entertainment. There was also mullet-watching:

And don't forget the game, "How many two-tone hairstyles can you find in this photo?" If you don't know what I mean by two-tone, look at an Oreo cookie.

(Answer: Three.)

And let's not forget the deezel (diesel) category. In this fine category we got to witness jet black fumes shooting out of these trucks' hoods. They would start their engines, puff out a white cloud, then gray, then black would blast out.

Then leave a magical red-air-day type of cloud behind them the whole way.

Here's what I don't understand. Look at this truck. The driver gets in, then the body lowers down on top of them. I don't remember the name of this category. It was something like "Trucks that cost more than this fiscally-irresponsible person's trailer home". They were somewhat cool to watch, but I didn't get the practical reason. Then AJ informed me that there is no practical reason. (I referred to AJ for most of my questions, since he grew up in Idaho and I figured he'd know more about hick behavior than me. *Burn*) He said, "It's so they can get into their trucks since they don't have functioning doors". Oh my gosh, come on.

What was just too cute was there were couples doing this together. They'd have matching jumpsuits and matching paint jobs on their matching $60,000 trucks. How romantic.

To top off my confusion about was the time one of the trucks had a mechanical issue. It went about 30 yards and then there was a loud pop and he stopped. The guy who had the microphone took a break from making comments and jokes and announced, "can we get a tow rig down here to pull out this truck?" Then an ATV zooms in to help out the stuck truck.

So then I HAD to ask AJ, "We are at a towing event. There are 20 trucks sitting here, all equipped for towing. Why the heck are they bringing in a "tow rig" to help out that truck?!" He said, "They're just...not...made for that." Then I gave him a crinkly confused expression and he rolled his eyes.

It's cheaper to get a crappy car, paint it, then crunch it in a demolition derby. And it's more entertaining. So I just don't get what attracts these drivers to the idea of spending all the money they have on this sort of thing. But hey it was fun to watch. So if you want to come visit, I'll surely go again.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Video Chatting with Lucas

He's only 7 months old and already working his way around the computer. My nephew is freakin adorable.

Just ignore the crazy lady in the corner that looks like she's gonna eat him.

Okay who am I kidding, I really do want to eat him.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Good Morning, Nibley

This morning I had an awkward moment.

We have to take Griz out on his leash to "go potty" because our yard isn't fenced. It's really annoying, especially since my knees hurt right now (thanks Ragnar training) and he likes to yank me down the deck stairs and around the yard. It's also annoying because he demands to go outside as soon as AJ leaves for work each morning (Not as soon as AJ's shoes are on. As soon as AJ drives away). Well that's the same time that I'm getting out of the shower. So each morning I'm trying to dry off, get my contacts in before my face dries out completely and cracks (dang Utah), do that whole facial routine, then get dressed, and everything else. And the entire time Griz is scratching at the door while I'm yelling "Hoollld OOONNN!" (is that was having kids is like?)

So my solution to this problem is to make sure I've got moisturizer on my face at least, then throw on my comfy white robe, slip into my rubber boots by the door, and leash up the beast so he'll go potty outside and not in our basement to teach us a lesson. Sometimes I even put on underwear first. And sometimes I don't.

Usually I go out and I'm reminded of what a beautiful morning it is at our new house. Birds are chirping, the grass is glistening with dew, the cows an acre away are's pretty nice. Then Griz thinks he's a cow too and starts eating the longs bits of grass he finds. He pees. We walk and walk. He sniffs. He poops. YES! We can go back inside now so I can get dressed and move this morning along.

Well. That's when I heard someone walking close to our yard. We have a railroad behind our house, and I recognized an elderly man, probably 50 (just kidding, Dad!), okay, in his 70s doing his morning workout. I've seen him before. He carries dumbbells and power walks down the railroad track and back. He's always got his head down like he's embarrassed about it, and I kind of just want to high-five him and tell him "good job, you're working out like every day, and you're old! Way to go." But I don't because I'm pretty sure he doesn't want to be noticed.

Well, Griz noticed him. I was trying to get Griz to walk in the opposite direction before he noticed the man, but it was too late. He shot towards the railroad like a...train! Talk about whiplash! Griz was barking and growling and snarling, ... I heard the guy grumble something about my dog...then Griz lunged again, and that's when I felt my robe flap around me like a loose blanket.

Oh man.

Did that guy see me flash him? I mean, in this case, yes, I was able to get my underwear on under my robe (phew!), but still. That guy just saw a huge dog lunge at him, and then probably a blur of the most awkward white fabrics and skin flailing around after it. Seriously, I don't know what he ended up seeing. But it was embarrassing. And who knows what neighbors had seen the whole thing.

We really need to put up a fence already.

Monday, May 2, 2011

What the #@*! am I doing?

I'm think I'm gonna be sick.

I'm signed up to run in the Ragnar Wasatch Back Relay. It's June 17-18. It's a run from Logan to Park City split up between 12 people who run all day and night, each taking turns running 3 different legs. And these legs range from "easy" to "very hard".

This girl is probably smiling because she's running an "easy" leg at a 12 min/mile pace. Lol.

These are my legs (click on the numbers if you are willing to wait for the website to load the maps and elevation charts):

6 (6.9 "very hard" miles), 18 (8.1 "very hard" -OMG all uphill- miles) and 30 (3.1 "easy" miles).

My other legs are lumpy and mushy and weak (not to mention pasty white). I won't post a photo and I don't think you'll mind.

Yes I ran 2 half marathons, but that was 2 years ago. 2010 involved playing soccer here and there, but not a lot of running in between. I'm out of shape. I have a long way to go. Not only do I have to train to make sure I can run a distance of at least 8 miles, but I have to train uphill. And downhill. And on gravel and trails. And I have to make sure I can do a run at night and wake up the next morning and run again.

The good news is, I've already run a few times and so far 4 miles feels just fine, which means I'm not starting completely over like I did training for the first half marathon in '09. When I started training for that I hadn't run in a couple years and 2 miles hurt.

The other good news is Griz goes running with me and needs to lose a few pounds . The bad news is Griz goes running with me and lifts his leg every 5 minutes.

I'm pretty nervous, but I know if I can get into shape (in a hurry) that it will also be a lot of fun. I'm running with an all-girl team (Girls Just Wanna Run) and you ride around in vans when it's not your turn to run and you get to blast music and wear crazy clothes and cheer for your teammates.

If any of my family and friends (you) want to cheer me on, so I'm not just hearing swear words in my head, I'll meet you in the Wasatch Back in June.

Here's some photos from a past race.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Monday, March 7, 2011

Our new backyard!

I promise, interior photos are coming soon! I don't have everything decorated yet, but it's starting to feel like home. In the meantime, here's a video I took of our backyard. I found my snowboots and went out there with Griz to give you a full 360 degrees tour. The only thing worse than hearing your own voice is hearing your own "doggy" voice. Oh well...put it on mute or something :)

Griz had an adventure. He actually climbed up the playset but couldn't (wouldn't) get down. Not that he would have grown a pair (get it? he doesn't have any!) and ran down the slide, but the slide was taken off the playset so the only way down were these scary wobbly plastic "rock" steps. He sat right there for 30 minutes before I got him to come down.

That dog cracks me up.

Oh, and this is for Ashlee: Ash (AJ's sister) came over yesterday and as she literally walked through the door, we welcomed her by having her help us hold Griz down while AJ pulled a TICK (a TICK!) out of Griz's neck. It was so gross. Who would have thought a dog could get a tick (EW!) when everything is covered in snow? I don't get it. It's been a week of firsts at our new house. Thanks for enjoying that one with us, Ash!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

When I was Young...

This is hilarious. It's a great break from work right now! *laughing-so-hard-I'm-crying sniff*

Mormon Mommy Wars: When I Was Young

And for what it's worth:

I thought boogers were poisonous. Thanks Megan. (it worked)

I always got "pedestrian" and "presbyterian" mixed up.

My prayers were basically a wishlist of which toys I wanted. A Santa letter, if you will.

Like another commenter on this blog "I believed for a lot of years that cows that lived in hilly areas had one set of legs shorter than the other (so they could stand on the hill sideways to graze)."

It took me years to realize that fun curly shape was a "D" for "Disney".

I firmly thought my little brother Jeff could speak Japanese as a baby. That's what my parents told me, so it had to be true.

I was in the gifted program too. Haha.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

We bought our first home!

If you don't know already, we've bought a house! Yaaaayyy!

It's got a great view of the mountains, a big garage for AJ, a big yard for Griz (and us too), a garden, a playground (come over and play!), and the house definitely has room for our family to grow. And we can't contain our excitement to have a house that stays heated in the winter! YES!

We are SO excited to move in. We've been boxing up what we can and our current place looks like a tornado hit. The house isn't too far away (it's in Nibley) so I'm tempted to fill up laundry baskets, dump them out, and return for the next load, but I'm trying to pack things up the "right way". The right way involves finding lots of boxes and using lots of tape. Griz is in heaven...if you know him you know he loves him some cardboard boxes!

I'm a champion at packing. Just so you know. It's a good thing our boxes aren't very big, because with all the stuff I can (in a somewhat organized fashion) cram into them, they are getting pret-ty heavy. But at least I don't have to help pack anything in the garage. AJ is all over that.

So this weekend I'll be grungy and sweaty and probably get a headache, but it will all be worth it. I'll try to keep you all updated with pictures and fun projects we'll be doing.

Here are some photos AJ took of the outside of the home. He had to build a temporary railing for the deck so we went out there to get some measurements. And we took Griz. He FREAKED out. Right when he got there he ran up the front steps like he owned the place, waiting to be let in the front door. After he peed on everything in the backyard, he ZOOMED around the property, sprinting in all different directions, running in circles and diving into tiny piles of snow. It was pretty darn cute. He approves.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Thanks to my friend Shari, I'm sharing this with you all. It is SO good. Very flavorful. I'm craving it. Right. Now. Gotta get home...

Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 Packet of Dry Ranch Dressing
1 Packet of Taco Seasoning
1 Can of Corn
1 Can of Black Beans
1 Can of Kidney Beans
3 Cans of Chicken Broth
4 Chicken Breasts
1 Bunch of Cilantro (unless you're named Jenni)
3 Cans of Diced Tomato (preferably Cilantro Lime, but plain will do)

Boil and dice Chicken Breasts. Combine Broth and Seasonings in the Crock Pot and add chicken. Add in canned beans, corn, cilantro, and tomatoes (don't drain tomatoes). Heat and enjoy with Sour Cream, Mozzarella cheese, and corn chips :)

Get seconds and thirds until you have to unbutton your pants. Don't move until it settles or you might topple forward out of your chair. Follow with dessert as soon as possible. Then get romantic.

(okay, I added the last part)

Monday, February 7, 2011

My favorite Super Bowl Sunday Ad

Actually, the best ads were during Puppy Bowl! Puppy Bowl VII on Animal Planet! Check out the other Subaru ads on youtube. So funny. But then I find dogs sitting in a car's driver's seat absolutely hilarious.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Good Things are Happening

For those of you who received our Christmas Card, you know that 2010 wasn't the most interesting or exciting year. Statements like "Hilary got contacts", "AJ shaved once", and "Griz (...okay anything about my dog)" were sort of funny to thrown in our year-in-review. But I felt like I never had anything happen that was worth reporting, or blogging about. Plus, I didn't make time (what time?) to blog much, hence the 6? posts all year.

Don't get me wrong, it was a great year. AJ and I really started figuring things out about, us, and the life we want to have together. We both had good jobs and were trying to make good, new, grown-up decisions. We formed meaningful friendships with neighbors and coworkers. That was new for us because we had never lived one place long enough to feel it was worth while to spend quality time opening up to neighbors. (Yes the world would be a better place if we all reached out instead of kept to ourselves...but like I said, we were learning to be grown-ups, okay?) We spent the year learning to enjoy what we had, but there was always something we felt was just around the corner. We waited for Spring to June. We spent the first 6 months of the year waiting for my job offer to happen. I waited for my new social security card with my new name on it. I waited for my last freelance paycheck. We waited for AJ to get a pay raise. We waited for cars to sell and car parts to arrive. And then we started looking for a house.

Actually we've been looking at houses since we moved to Logan 3 years ago. We made an offer on a house probably 4 months after we moved here, and I'm really glad we didn't get it because I feel like NOW we know what we want. And it definitely wasn't that split-entry dingy blue house with the pop out windows.

Last fall we found a house that seemed perfect. Great location, lots of square footage, big garage, half an acre, and for a great price. Because it was a short sale. So we (and countless other people) made an offer on it. We had to at least try. And we had to be competitive to have a chance. So then we waited. And waited. (um, SHORT sale?) And waited. And then we found out a friend who we knew we made an offer on it as well, way higher, and when it got accepted he backed out because, um, he forgot he couldn't afford it. So the house went to auction and we weren't exactly in the mood to try and find that much money in cash to bid on it. We let the house go. And it was okay.

I was really starting to get discouraged. I had this crazy idea that there would only be like 10 houses in the entire valley that we would like, and one by one they were disappearing. I would get really pouty (opposite of grown-up behavior) with each house we turned down and AJ would tell me there would be another house. And he had been right so far: there always was another house, but I'd always fall in love with it. AJ told me not to do that either.

The good news is, we thought we had all the MLS listings in our range memorized, and in the last few months we've been pleasantly surprised to see a few new ones popping up. More options! So we started working down this new list. And part way down the list we found a realtor we actually considered sticking with. (Let's be honest, if we had all the MLS listings memorized, why did we need a realtor to e-mail the listings to us?)

And then we found a "for sale by owner". And we like it. And good things are happening. 2011 is going to be a great year...more updates to come!