Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Warning

Part of the reason that I decided to start a blog was because I am terrible at keeping up with friends and family. I wanted to give them a way to stay updated with me and Nathan, and a way to do so on their own time. 

Part of the reason I decided to make this blog focused on my dog is that he has no idea it exists. He, to your disappointment I'm sure, does not know you exist, and probably doesn't care whether you visit this blog or not. I focus my posts more on him so that I don't become consumed with what  people I may have or have not ever met think about me, or my living space, or my clothes, etc., etc., etc. I know that I could easily get wrapped up in finding my worth through the number of followers I have, the number of comments on posts, and the number of daily readers, instead of where my worth and identity truly is, and that is in Christ.

All that to say, I still check my stats like crazy. Some people must love me on facebook because it is pretty much my biggest referencing source...
Other than that time I commented on Young House Love.
And then geeked out when Sherry responded on my comment, because SHE visited my blog.

 But I wanted give a general warning to bloggers on what I found out this morning. After reading that "" was a big traffic source, I decided to look into it.

All of these are viral links. So, don't click on them!

Anyway, happy Wednesday. How's the middle of your week?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I took some Photos

Warning: this post is not about Dillan. Dang, I just made it about him. Now you'll probably be thinking about Dillan through this whole post. But don't. It's okay. He won't be sad. He'll still love you...moving on

Am I a photographer? Errrrrr....I don't know. Let's not categorize things that way. 
I graduated with a Digital Media degree, so I'd say that I have a good knowledge of Photoshop. I had to take photos for lots of projects, including finished architectural projects for work, so I know how to control settings on my camera (mostly). But a professional, I think not.

I do have lots of fun taking pictures though. Recently I did a quicky engagement shoot for my sister and her fiance. Here are a few of my favorites.

Aren't they beautiful (people not pictures)?

So, if your sister graciously asks you to take photos of her for any occasion, here's a few things that a professional photographer could remember.
     1. Remember to focus...
     2. Remember to check your exposure...
     3. Don't be shy to boss them around. They feel awkward too...
     4. If you're photographing subjects for free make sure they buy you   coffee...or ice cream...or both.
     5. Going inside Hotel Roanoke is a waste of time. A pro would have a great flash and lighting to deal with the situation, I don't.

I loved spending time with them and watching their cutesy selves be in love and capturing some fun moments with them.

I had fun. They had fun. They got free photos. Everybody won. Except me, they didn't buy me coffee...just kidding. But seriously, coffee date at Christmas.

You two, I'm So EXCITED for your wedding and marriage!! I can't wait to celebrate with you!!! I love you guys!

If you're around East Tennessee, sure I'll take some pictures of you. But you're buying the coffee.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Lessons Learned - Black Friday Edition

For the past 10 or so years I have woken up with my mom and sisters for the insanity that is Black friday shopping. I missed shopping with them this year because we were with Nathan's family all weekend. But I still perused the sale papers for "great" deals and ideas on what to buy people for Christmas.

Nate and I stuck with the envelope method and only used cash for gifts so we wouldn't go over budget. Highly recommended. 

Also recommended, not shopping at midnight when most crazy stores open. While creating our list, we decided that the best place to do that was in bed. So at 11 p.m. after a day of pigging out, we decided to stay in bed and cut our losses by shopping in the morning. I got up at 6:30 as usual to let Dillan out, and we were out the door to hit the shops at about 7:15. Of course this was not before stopping at Chic-fil-a for chicken minis...
But the town was deserted. Seriously, no lines, no traffic, and we still found everything on our list. Noted for next year.

Since family members read this (I'm talking to you mother) I can't give away our awesome Christmas surprises. But I did find a great deal for Dillan.

Petsmart had all Purina products on sale with your "PetPerks" card. I usually buy the giant 34 pound bag at Wal-Mart for about $30, but Petsmart had bags for 25.99, savings of maybe $4. WOOT! I am a deal machine. 

Update: if you're curious, Dillan eats Purina One Chicken and Rice along with a fish oil pill and a scoop of plain yogurt. What does your dog love to eat?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Kind of like Barney

It seems anymore that I can't take a candid photo without making this face.

Me = center of the couch

Throwing leaves for my sisters engagement shots.

I want to play wii, but no one else does.

Dinner with friends, but not supposed to be in the picture??

Everyone else looks normal. But I look super excited or interested or enthusiastic. I don't know that I am any of those things often. 

But I'm going to take it.  And just say that I can't take a "bad" photo. Kind of like Barney Stinson. 

Road Trip (Part Deux)

You'd think that traveling with a big dog would be somewhat problematic. But Dillan is a pro. I think he learned a lot traveling to race tracks and such, so he seems mostly comfortable in a car. 

The first few weeks we had him he'd stand the whole time and topple out of the backseat whenever I made a turn or quick stop. To try and train against this behavior we'd say "Down" just as Dillan was starting to lie down in the backseat. This way he would associate the word with this action. Our "Retired Racing Greyhounds for Dummies" book called this the "couch potato training approach," meaning we're too lazy to actually try and teach our dog any tricks. But this method worked really well and Dillan knows that the car won't move anywhere unless he's "down".

Dillan has been on this trip before (about 3 hours), but this time we got stuck in traffic for about 1.5 hours! So, I took pictures of him to pass the time. 

He was bored.
So I cracked the window for him.

Then he was happy.

Which reminds me, Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Road Trip

Husband, Dillan, and I took a little road trip to visit my family in Virginia this weekend since we will be with Nathan's family this year for Thanksgiving.

Of course, since having a dog is like traveling with a 65 pound 3 year old, we had to pack all of his necessities. Here is the contents of Dillan's travel bag:

Bag included the bunny, bear, and ball toys, food for the weekend, and his coat. Not to mention the crate that went in the trunk and the fluffy pillow he slept on the whole way. He wore his leash in route.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Plus this: 

Equals This =

 Social Networking, you never cease to amaze...

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

My Dog's a Winner!

When people find out I have a Greyhound, they usually ask me what his racing career was like. To which I respond, "I don't know, but I think it was probably pretty good because he raced for about 2 years..."

Greyhound puppies are introduced to the track when they are about a year old, then they get to play around. If they show promise of being a strong racer, they continue training and usually begin racing around 2 and continue until their career starts to decline. The longest careers can last until the dog is about 5. If the dog is being studded then he might stick with the owner until he's 7 or 8 and I think it's the same for females.

Anyway, yesterday I decided it was high time to find my dog's racing scores. So I did what any normal human being would do and Googled "greyhound stats"...duh...and found this awesome site.  Then I entered Dillan's name, which is technically "BACS Dillanbrooks" and there he was!!

Isn't he handsome!
This site gives me the pedigree, stats, and racing scores of Dillan. He never got the chance to breed (which is a shame he would have been a great Dad), so there's no info in that section.  And I have no idea how to read the whole pedigree thing, but check it, that boy was a champ!

Bacs Dillanbooks has won the following races:
Race NameDateStadiumGradeDist m/yTimeBoxComment
VictoryLand 13 MAY 2010 HT A1 13 MAY 2010 VictoryLandGR D503 / 55031.581Box To Wire, Rail
Raynham/Taunton 02 August 2009 HT A6 2 AUG 2009 Raynham/TauntonGR TC302 / 33018.065Led every step ins
Raynham 29 July 2009 HT 29 JUL 2009 Raynham/TauntonGR TC302 / 33018.137

I immediately jumped up and gave him a victory hug!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Cozy Time

This weekend I woke up and decided it was a shopping day. I love those early morning shopping trips, ya know, the ones without teenagers and traffic. I floated around my usual stores when I noticed a huge banner while leaving Target. The banner read "FLEECE FEST" below the Hancock Fabrics store sign and I couldn't resist. 

I've been wanting to get Dillan a nice piece of fleece for his crate. All I had in there was an old pillow and an old towel, not the comfiest (see before picture...). So, you can only imagine how LUCKY I felt when I spotted this fleecey gem in the scraps bin outside.  Oh yes, it is covered in grizzly bears and pine trees and just Screamed DILLAN! at me. I bought it.  

First though, of course we had to throw it on the dog...

Don't let him fool you he loves it, Loves It!


For all you makeover buffs, my fleece scrap was $3.50.  Small price to pay to keep my pico warm and cozy when we aren't there.

As you can see, this crate is not inviting. Dillan kept telling us, you guys I hate pink! But we just couldn't do anything about it until now.

EWWW. The Before.
The cozy after. Who doesn't want to sleep in there???

And the after, he's so comfortable in there, he can't wait to go inside.  But maybe the treat he gets for going in has something to do with that too.  Nah, it's definitely for da Bears.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Quick Turn Around

My husband sent me these pictures this morning...

See how easily we go from this:

What we'd refer to as "Peekin"
To this:

Awww, the puppy is sleeping.
Have a happy weekend.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

It totally Worked!

So, option 1 for getting more sleep worked like a charm. Closing those blinds allowed me to sleep to a full 8.5 hours. How 'bout that!

What doesn't work so well is not letting the dog out before bed and getting woken up before 5 a.m.

Yup. That just happened.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Daylight Savings? Time

Every year we get so excited about the Fall Backward portion of Daylight Savings time. After all, who doesn't want an extra hour of sleep on a Sunday morning. Waking up refreshed. Able to soak in the morning light. School children everywhere rejoice!

It seems, however, that Dillan missed the memo. C'mon dogs, don't you know that the sun seemingly rising earlier is not earlier at all? Don't you need the same amount of sleep every night? Don't you sleep all night? Don't you know your masters want to sleep ALL night ?!?

Answer to all of the above is "no". Dillan is confused. He's started jingling around the room at 5:30 a.m. since the change in time. Making my struggle for one more hour of rest a lost cause, and my day at work full of coffee.

So, I'm trying to figure out how to get him to lay still at least until 6.

     Option 1: Lower and close the blinds in the bedroom making it seemingly darker.  
(Duh, probably the best idea...ever?)

       Option 2: Don't let him nap. Dillan takes a late evening nap at about 8 p.m. I simply disturb/pester him to prevent napping.  
(This one is not so nice...but I need sleep.)

     Option 3: Make time to take him on super long walks to tucker him out before bed.
(This option requires more time in the day. Daylight Savings accomplished that for farmers but not for Pico's. )

I'll let you all know how that goes...until then, I am getting more coffee.

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Way the Dill Pico Lays (an ongoing series)

I'd like to do a little ongoing series of the different positions that Dillan decides to lay in (lie in, but the rhyming part is more fun)...

He comes up with some very strange ones, and I have no idea how he could possibly be comfortable. 

Here's Position 1:

Again, how is that comfortable?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


I'm sure that you have all heard of "No Shave November".  That special time of year where the 5 o'clock shadow lasts all month and eventually turns into a man's coveted beard.

I truly have no problems with this historic time of year. The husband is no stranger to scruffage, and I have learned to deal with it. 

See the beardage???

However,  this year has a new tradition..."Movember."  Instead of the traditional beard, men worldwide are joining together to grow moustaches to help raise money and support for awareness of men's health and specifically prostate cancer.  Here's a little blurb:

        "During November each year, Movember is responsible for the sprouting of moustaches on thousands of men’s faces, in the US and around the world. With their Mo’s, these men raise vital funds and awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer and other cancers that affect men."

Check out their website for more info. 

Puppy Stache
While I still prefer beards to their little brother, the moustache, I gotta say I love the look for puppies. 


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