Friday, April 29, 2011

Tiny Townhome Tour

OK, let's start this post off with some good news. Kyle has officially completed his first year of Physical Therapy School! YAY! Only two more years to go and I couldn't be more proud of him.

In light of that, I'm sure you've completely forgotten about the fact that we've been in Augusta for a year now and I'm just now showing you pictures of our home. Right? Good! I knew you would.

So if you'll humor me, let's rewind back to May 2010, when we managed to pack everything we owned into a (cleaned out) horse trailer and Kyle's F-150. Yes, the very redneck but FREE way to move!

We left behind this cute little cottage in Athens, affectionately called Periwinkle Place:

And here's where we are now, better known as our Tiny Townhome. I know it's not tiny compared to most places, but you all know how I love my alliteration.

As you walk in the front door, this cute little sign is the first thing you see. Kyle's cousin made it for us as a wedding gift, and now Kyle has no excuses for ever forgetting our anniversary! ;)

To the left is our kitchen:

And if you keep walking straight past the kitchen you'll see our dining area. It's not much, but it's enough for the two of us right now.

Walking a little further you'll see our living room:

When we first got married, we were particularly excited about how our living room came together. We got the two couches for $20 each from a college friend, used Target gift cards to buy some slipcovers, bought the coffee table for $20 and end tables for $8 each at Ikea, bringing the living room furniture total to a whopping $76! The price was definitely right.

Going out the back door, you'll see our little patio area. Kyle and I plan to purchase some outdoor cushions for the adirondack chairs so we can enjoy more evenings outside this summer.

Back inside and up the stairs, this hallway is what you see facing our bedroom door:

To the left of our bedroom door is our bathroom:

And to the left of the bathroom is the guest bedroom. Disclaimer: My college bedroom decor is standing in while we wait to find a more "grown-up" comforter set at a yard sale or something.

Across the hall from the guest bedroom is our bedroom, much more serene:

This frame is one of my favorite wedding gifts. It has "Mr. and Mrs." engraved in the bottom right corner, and I just love it.

So all of this to say...Kyle and I are moving. AGAIN. Like TODAY. Before you freak out, let me back up and explain. :)

An opportunity to rent a house came up back in February and it was exactly what we were looking for and more: 4 bedrooms/2 baths, fenced-in backyard, close to MCG, and only $10 more a month than what we are paying now. We are just in awe of how things worked out, the whole thing has obviously been orchestrated by the Lord and we are so thankful and humbled by this blessing. We signed the lease in March and set the move-in date for today, so here we are!

And yes, I kind of had an ulterior motive behind this post than just showing photos of our home because that's what everybody does. I wanted to remember our very first place in Augusta, the very first place we could call our own. Yes we are excited to move into a house and say goodbye to community living for now, but I wanted to write this post and be able to reminisce about our Tiny Townhome whenever I had the inkling to.

Hopefully it won't take me a year to post photos of the new house this time, I have extra motivation to fix things up quickly as Kyle's family and my family will be in town May 22 for Kyle's White Coat Ceremony. Holy guacamole batman, I gotta go get busy! Later y'all!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Doc's First Three Weeks At Home

Today marks the third week Doc has been home with us, and I can't believe how big he's gotten already! I wish he could stay little, but at the same time I'm kind of excited about having a big, athletic dog (hopefully I won't have to eat my words on that later!). A word of warning, this post will be very picture heavy, but if you were in my shoes Doc would be your new favorite photo subject too. :)

First, a little bit on how Doc became a part of our family. If you've been reading our blog for a while, you know we've wanted a dog, and specifically a Weimaraner, for a long time now. Things just recently started falling into place for it to happen, and we found a breeder that we really liked and got placed on their waiting list. The only catch was that there were two other people ahead of us on the waiting list for a silver male, plus this breeder lived 4 hours away from us, one-way. But we decided to stay on the waiting list and see what happened once the puppies were born around the end of March.

A few weeks later, one of Kyle's classmates told him she saw a sign advertising for Weimaraner puppies while she was out running on the North Augusta Greenway. We thought this was an interesting little development, so we got the breeder's name and contact information. We visited the litter a couple days later, and I fell in love with pretty much all the puppies! But I especially loved the one who kept climbing in Kyle's lap and made the cutest noise when you pet him while he was sleeping. That one turned out to be Doc. :) We didn't make a decision on the spot because we didn't want to act on emotion, so we waited a few days to pray and think about it. But everything kept pointing back to this litter in North Augusta, and we finally decided to take advantage of the blessing that God obviously dropped right in our lap!

To prepare for Doc coming home with us, Kyle read Cesar Millan's book, Cesar's Way, as recommended by his dad. Kyle said he didn't agree with everything Cesar suggested, and the way the book was written could be awkward at times, but overall it offered very sound and helpful advice for both the new and seasoned dog owner. The main takeaways were to establish yourself as the "pack leader" and to discipline your dog with calm, assertive energy.

So after signing a few papers and a couple trips to PetSmart and Wal-mart, Doc was ours and ready to come home! We picked him up on April 7, and he almost made it through the whole car ride home without whining. About 5 miles from home I think it hit him that he was really far from his Mom and litter mates, and he was with two new strange-smelling people. ;)

As per Cesar Millan's recommendation, we attempted to take Doc on a walk to symbolize that we were his new pack leaders and that he was "migrating" with us to his new home. I know it all sounds really primal, but I promise it makes sense once you read Cesar's book! Anyway, as we expected any 7.5-week-old puppy to do, Doc didn't know what to do being on a leash and didn't like it very much. But we persisted and eventually he started to get the hang of it!

Once we got back home from our walk, Doc was pooped. He found this spot on the floor and was out for a good while. Unfortunately, I think the sleepy puppy days are far behind us now. And let me tell you, that first night with him was TERRIBLE. We decided to let him sleep in his crate downstairs and we would sleep in our room upstairs, but sleep was not to be found that night. He whined and cried for a good two hours or so, and we felt so bad for our neighbors because the walls we share with them are pretty thin. He did eventually settle down, but woke back up again around 4 a.m. and then again at 6 a.m. Ugh! So the next night we put his crate in our room, and he didn't even make a peep. He's been really good about being in his crate in general ever since, hopefully it will stay that way.

Two days after we brought him home, we took him on his first long car ride to see my dad, who is also a vet, for his new puppy checkup. Before we left we took him on a walk to get him nice and tired, and thankfully he slept most of the way. Once we got to my parent's house, he had one of his first interactions with a dog that wasn't a Weim by meeting my sister's mini schnauzer, Brody. Doc didn't really know what to think at first, but eventually they became fast friends and playmates.

My mom especially loved to cuddle with him!

We had to give Doc his first bath a couple days later as he had his first accident in his crate. To minimize the initial fear of water, Cesar Millan suggested to get in the tub with your dog and make them think it was playtime. But I don't think Doc bought into that. ;)

Of course, you heard about our visit to Kyle's parents for Doc's 9-week shots here, and how he annoyed the heck out of Kyle's older Dobermans. From there, Doc has just become more and more playful and energetic as the days go by. We've already had to start running with him in the afternoons once I get home from work. This dog is gonna kick my butt! But I'm thankful for that motivation.

We can't wait for him to get all his shots so we can take him to the Greenway and to the dog park and let him get his energy out that way. He absolutely loves people and other dogs, so we'll definitely have to work on him being calm when we do venture out into the great big world. ;)

A few things that have surprised me is that he already knows how to sit, and we're currently working on stay, and he can already go up and down the stairs. It's quite hilarious when he goes down the stairs, as he's not graceful about it at all. Hopefully we can get a video of it so you can share in the hilarity.

Though everything is not always peaches and cream taking care of a puppy, overall we love our little Weimaraner and can't imagine our lives without him. Especially when he's sweet and cuddles on the couch with me. :)

Have a Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Celebrating One Year in Charleston

As alluded to in this post from a few weeks back, Kyle and I took our one-year anniversary trip the first weekend in April. And from the teaser photo I'm sure you guessed that we went to Charleston! This was Kyle's first trip to Charleston, so I was especially excited about him getting to experience the city's rich history and old Southern charm.

We arrived around noon on April 2, and started our day with a picnic lunch at a park next to the New Cooper River Bridge.

Try not to laugh at Kyle's modeling skills. ;) There were a ton of people walking around the park in running clothes with numbers on their chest, so we figured there must be some kind of race that day. Little did we know that the Cooper River Bridge Run was that day, which usually attracts around 40,000 runners every year. Duh!

After lunch, we explored around the park a little bit and then headed to Patriots Point to see the USS Yorktown. Just a little side note: If the colors of the sky seem off in some of the photos, it's because Kyle and I were using two different cameras. Kyle was using my old point-and-shoot, which tends to cast everything with a blue hue. I tried to fix it in Photoshop, but alas, I am not as much an expert as Michael Scott. ;)

As you can see, it was really windy on the flight deck. Below is probably my favorite shot of the trip. I can't believe we got the timing right on just the second try!

Our tickets gave us access to tour the USS Clamagore submarine, but walking around the inside of the Yorktown was already pushing my claustrophobic limits, so we just snapped this quick photo and called it a day.

From Patriots Point we headed to Middleton Place, which turned out to be the favorite part of the trip for both of us. We just bought tickets for the gardens and stableyards, and even got a discount with Kyle's student ID. Woo hoo!

They had garden chairs set up for a wedding that night. What a gorgeous setting for a wedding, and the weather that day was equally as gorgeous!

Speaking of weddings, Middleton Place will be having a Royal Wedding Event tonight. The attendees are encouraged to dress in cocktail attire and hats to pay tribute to the princess-to-be. How fun is that? I immediately thought there must be some link between Kate Middleton and Arthur Middleton (signer of the Declaration of Independence and past resident of Middleton Place), but so far they have not been able to establish a connection. They are still working on it though! We wrapped up our day at Middleton Place with a walk through the stableyards, where Kyle apparently got in touch with his inner animal whisperer.

That night we had dinner at the Swamp Fox, which is at the bottom of the Francis Marion Hotel off King Street in downtown Charleston. When researching for our trip, we decided to use for eating out, which allowed us to save lots of moolah! We had an 80% off coupon code, so we were able to get a $25 gift certificate to Swamp Fox for only $2. Sweet! I highly recommend using for when you are traveling, and they always have coupon codes available. Just watch for them on Southern Savers. Anyway, we both ordered the Shrimp & Grits, which of course earned both of our thumbs up.

After dinner Kyle treated me to a double chocolate cupcake from a bakery off King Street called Cupcake. Unoriginal name, but super-amazing cupcakes! We woke up to another gorgeous day on Sunday, so we grabbed the continental breakfast at our hotel and then headed to the Battery and White Point Gardens for a nice Sunday morning stroll.

We walked over to Market Street Deli for lunch, and then headed to Boone Hall Plantation for the rest of the afternoon. The house tour was included in the admission for Boone Hall, and I think my favorite takeaway from the tour was that they used chicken wire on their bookshelves to allow the books to breathe while still protecting them from little children's curious hands. I kinda want to do that on our bookshelves one day!

The famous Avenue of the Oaks. Breathtaking!

It looked like Boone Hall also hosted a wedding on Saturday.

We ended our day at Boone Hall with an open coach tour of the plantation, seeing some of the live crop that the plantation still produces and even a few reptiles. :)

We concluded our trip with a casual dinner at the Noisy Oyster in downtown Charleston, where we were able to score another $25 gift certificate for only $2. I couldn't resist grabbing something sweet at the River Street Sweets across the way, and from there we were on the road back to Augusta. It was a short and sweet trip, but the perfect way to celebrate one year of marriage together. We are hoping to go back soon since we didn't get to check out the beach, and we would love to go to next year's Family Circle Cup (we heart tennis!) or maybe even run in the Cooper River Bridge Run. Who's with us? ;)

Love y'all!


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