toby's instant weight loss

these are my two favorite boys (smile). the other day i walked in and found these two cuddling and jamming. i had to photograph. i ended up taking a lot of toby photos and in most of them, you couldn't see his eyes. he was drowning in fur. this made me realize: its time for a toby haircut.
it began on the back porch on one of the most beautiful days in austin's history. toby is not usually fidgety and haircuts are not usually a big problem. i got about halfway through and much like the broomsticks of fantasia, small tobys were cropping up all over the back porch. when i went to retrieve the camera for documentation purposes, he fled.
here he is. hiding at a safe distance. i knew this would probably happen, so when i came back with the camera i brought a pocket full of treats. this intrigued him. he crept over slowly.
i never want to force toby into something. i feel it is better when he thinks he is agreeing to it. the best way to accomplish this is with food. so i tossed him one across the porch. he was incredibly excited. then he saw i had more treats in hand! he came to me in the usual way: creeping slowly- one eye on me and one on the treat- ducking under a nearby chair so i can't capture him. i put the treat on the ground and he was hesitant.
he understood that in order to get the treat he would have to sit still for more minutes while i trimmed him. you can see him weighing the decision here.
in the end- the treat won. but i suppose toby ultimately lost the war. and thanks to his love of treats and excessive licking, i was forced to give him a terribly lopsided haircut. (seriously- it usually turns out better)
good thing he is cute no matter what! if only we could all lose half our body weight with a haircut...


i am the lorax, i speak for the trees.

what was the lorax?
and why was it there?
and why was it lifted and taken somewhere
from the far end of town where the grickle-grass grows?
the old once-ler still lives here.
ask him. he knows.

yes, it is true, i love dr. seuss. i love all of his books. my favorite of all of them is possibly the lorax. he is the greatest of all the seuss characters. he is small and adorable and wise. since i was a small child and my dad read me the story a million times, i loved him. in my mind, the lorax is the best representation of dr. seuss' genius. he had a talent for entertaining youth with his fantastic characters, beautiful illustrations, and great stories of adventure. and yet he simultaneously could speak to adults and teach them the simplest lessons that are so often overlooked. in this particular one, he reminds us that nature is fragile and can be hurt by the greed of humanity. though i am a human, i am sometimes greedy, and i am often small minded, the lorax is a wonderful reminder to me of the respect we should have for our world.
so what do i do when something is important to me? i tattoo it on my body. so today, melissa went with me to true blue and i got tatted up! i was very happy about having her along (obviously- she is my friend) but she also got a new camera on this very day and was not afraid to bring it around and document things. hence- photos of me getting tattooed! she took all of them so no credit to me, and she posted them on her blog too so i'm sorry if this looks like copying. but here are some photos of the adventure! (ps- go to mel's blog because it's great:southernvogue)

ta da! (read like wall-e would say it) this is my new lorax! i love him and i think he will always be a reminder of the importance of life in all forms.

and all that the lorax left here in this mess
was a small pile of rocks, with one word...


weekday update

greetings! i have been away from the blog for a time now and i apologize to myself. i would feel foolish apologizing to the internet and my assumed readers, for i hardly feel my blogging is something you would terribly miss if it were to disappear. however, this has become one of my favorite venues to write in and i feel my words are probably all jammed up in my head without it. why have i been gone so long? i have been in a duel with laziness the past few weeks. perhaps a duel with the couch. andrew's lack of job has not helped. he and i can combine our powers to create the most pointless days imaginable. perhaps it is not only ironic that today he began his new job? yes, andrew is now employed. he is working at the austonian downtown. for non austin residents, this is our newest residential high-rise. it is an absolutely stunning building and has like 56 floors or something. it is still in construction, but the multi million dollar living spaces are already being purchased. and andrew seems to have landed a perfect position amidst it all. he gets to take all the potential buyers around and show them the sample rooms etc. amazing! he basically is getting paid to show people around an incredible new building downtown that is still being built; i.e. andrew would have probably agreed to pay them to let him do this!
anyway. i will say with confidence that i have slowly but surely defeated the couch in the battle. my dear melissa and i have been committing suicide in the gym every day for the past two weeks and this is something i am very proud of. fitness can be an eternal battle for some people and it feels less terrifying if you meet it head on (apparently). and with the help of my dearest we are doing just that! the more i think about these group classes we've been taking, the more i can't decide if we are magically picking the hardest ones or if i'm really that much of a fat ass. however, i will say with confidence that "step 'n sculpt" is as close as i ever hope to get to hell. not so much in the unpleasant sense, but rather in the amount of sweating i was doing. i will admit that i have always assumed step classes to be something old ladies did, but melissa assured me it would be difficult and really good for us. i went. i died. i kept thinking, "if i do one more set, my legs will literally fall off at the hip," and of course the jane fonda/lance armstrong hybrid would only scream out "4 more!" but 4 more never means 4 more. i learned very quickly that this is a jedi mind trick to make you keep going. you think, "4? of course i can do 4." but no... she only means 4 more in this set. and there is no warning of how many more sets you should expect. by the time she stopped and said "good job ladies" i looked from the mirror to melissa and just had to laugh. i looked as if i had just stepped out of the shower (fully clothed). never has my face been so red or my shirt so drenched. i was by no means proud of how difficult the class had been, but i was proud that i made it out alive (and that i'll be back on wednesday). *and for the record, when i said jane fonda/lance armstrong hybrid i only meant a combination between someone that loves group fitness and someone with incredible endurance
besides this act of bravery against my will towards immobility, i have been attempting to put together my portfolio. for those of you that have not spoken to me- i am currently applying to the school of the art institute of chicago. (am i the only one that thinks the words are possibly out of order in their name?) more easily read s.a.i.c. this is a terrifying thing. i have been telling myself for some time that i will go back to school and finish my degree. i have also been telling myself that it is ok and even necessary to take time off. what i was forgetting to remember however, is that i am getting older and the age of the average undergrad isn't. when i visited recently, i kept thinking "these kids look really young." no. they are the same age everyone is when they are in college. i am the one that is old. i have always feared being that random old person in the class full of 18 year olds and it appears that i will soon be she. i suppose the only thing to do is make sure that i at least don't look like the random old person in a class of 18 year olds that can't even keep up.
finally, andrew and i will be traveling abroad very soon. we will be going around the world in somewhere close to 80 days! (or maybe much much fewer). either way, we will begin in dallas and head west- stopping in hong kong, delhi, various european stops including but not limited to england, and then back to the states (unless i can convince andrew to pop in the bahamas with me) and see new york just before returning to texas. i am overwhelmed with excitement for this and haven't stopped worrying about details to figure out. andrew is far less concerned about details. i will admit that this has briefly irritated me, but i have decided it to be the very thing that will make our trip all the more fabulous. a combination of stress and relaxation will balance out the two. hopefully, making things get done, but without too many medications involved! i am most excited about seeing where sarah has been for the past two years. between all the stories and photos i feel it will be an incredible shock to my senses- but those are the best kind of adventures to have.
toby has not yet heard the news of the changes. he will be terribly unhappy to not only hear that we are leaving him with grandmother for 2 months, but that afterwards he will have to move up to a much colder environment. (we already saw how well he handled ice) i foresee a disgruntled pup. currently he is snoring (loudly) because he is on the heat blanket my grandmother gave us for christmas. he is possibly a greater appreciator of the gift. and yes, i know how old i sound when i say i have a heat blanket.
on a last but not least note, i would like to share with you all my new favorite card game. before i do, i must say that i am an admitted game nerd. i love board games and i love card games. i especially love trivia games (and if it involves movie quotes i'm probably going to win). bananagrams is one of my previous obsessions to which i may never find an equal. it is like scrabble but way better and way faster. if you haven't ever played, look into it. but the new one came from two of my favorite people alive. heatherino (sister) has a very old and wonderful friend named katie. katie has an adorable mother. they both love games and puzzles as much as my mother and i do. we have found ourselves on many a vacation playing these games for too many hours. sometimes games have been rejected (for instance the "scrabble apple"- waste of time! don't even bother.) and some have been made up and mixed up causing only frustration and confusion for the rest of the players (especially carla). last weekend i was introduced to a new game. the ladies taught me how to play: dutch blitz. it is so fun. i admit that i am absolutely terrible at it, but this does not decrease the fun-ness. you may be initially turned off by the games description on the packaging. it cheesily describes it as a "vonderful goot game" and there is almost a paragraph of an attempt at a poem that is spelled in such a way that, when read aloud, sounds like a possibly dutch accent. (that remains a point of debate, but you get the idea) i don't even know if i could accurately describe it, but it involves cards. go play it. you will love it if you love games.
and to all of you that suffered through this ridiculous post- i love you! thank you for reading and i hope your new year is without a glitch thus far! i also promise that my next post will at least have a humorous picture or something to ponder. until then- much luck and love to you!


toby on ice

what's this?? a white christmas in dallas texas? tis true my friends. it snowed all day on christmas eve and all the houses and trees were dusted with snow by christmas morning. a significant portion of my parents backyard was frozen and the back porch was iced over. this obviously was the perfect opportunity to try out toby's cold weather gear. in cruel dog photography tradition, toby has four little doggy snow boots. i put them on him (which is funny even when there isn't ice) and took him outside. this is the result:

hilarious, right?

unfortunately toby was not allowed on the ski trip this year. (apparently you can only bring your children if they aren't covered in fur) but he was dogsat by the grandparents and had a wonderful time not being in the kennel. i, on the other hand, did get to go on the ski trip- though this year i opted to do little to no skiing. really just no. it was beautiful to be in the mountains though and so nice to catch up with all my favorite cousins. in my opinion, the highlight of the trip was possibly the new years eve party that shannon and i hosted. however, i will have to post those photos later due to the large number of them. just wanted to say happy holidays to everyone. hope you enjoyed the tobe on ice. new years eve post coming soon!