Friday, December 7, 2012

hi to our giddy guy

giddy looking out his favorite window

tomorrow marks two months with our giddy, which would make him about five or six months old now, since the shelter wasn't positive about how old he was when we got him. he has quite a personality-- it's weird to think that we "got to know him" the way you would get to know a person, but i feel like that is indeed what we did. i usually know what's going to make him happy or upset, or what will make him bark, or when he is going to go berserk and wreck everything (hyperbole). i frequently tell mark that it is like giddy is a "teenager" in dog years because it honestly feels like he's rebelling sometimes! he gets so mad when mark and i eat dinner or lunch because he can't have our food, and mark scolds and shoos him to the other side of the room if he tries to come over. then giddy goes very still, stares at us for a second, and barks like crazy! it feels like the equivalent of talking back or slamming a door to make a point. giddy loves all kinds of bread, and he adores ritz crackers with peanut butter. he also loves sweet potatoes, so whenever i give him the leftovers, he licks his bowl spotless, tracing it along the edge of the wall until he runs into something. it also seems like he's become "aware," if that makes sense. he used to be oblivious of the world outside our house, but now he loves to sit at the window or the front door and observe the outdoors. we take him on a walk every night before bed, which he loves. when we come back, though, he knows it's bedtime and tries to crawl under our bed and go to sleep, hoping we'll forget to put him in the laundry room-- but we don't forget. sorry, giddy. he is not a big fan of the car; it makes him quiet and kind of jumpy (and getting rear-ended, which sent him flying off the backseat onto the floor, did not help matters).  he loves company and gets really wild when people come over-- i swear, just like a child showing off. he is now completely house-trained, hallelujah. but he seems to have a bit of a weak stomach and pukes about once a week. hopefully that will stop soon! 

Monday, December 3, 2012

wassail fest 2012

i am planning to do a post soon about denton, and all the eccentricities of this town (at least as far as i understand them after living here for only 16 months), but suffice it to say that denton has a very unique character. it is never dull to live here. friday night mark and i got to experience "wassail-fest"---you should hear mark try to say that word. he can't get it right. it's pronounced like "waffle," except with s's instead of f's. wassail-fest is this big festival at the town square. lots of vendors set up shop (corn dogs, funnel cakes, pizza), thousands of dentonites come out, the square is lit up for christmas, and all the stores and boutiques stay open way past their usual closing times. wassail is a hot, mulled cider. at wassail fest, many of the shops make their own wassail and give it out for free! it's a lot of fun to go around and try all the different kinds of cider, because each one has its own flair and flavor. by the time we got there, a lot of the shops had already run out, so next year we will make a note to go early!

the town square swarming with people
this is one example of how unique denton is---a woman at wassail fest was walking her PIG on a leash! 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

the birthplace of Texas

we spent the past few days in deer park (near houston) with one of our favorite families ever: the blockers! deer park, apparently, is the 'birthplace of texas' because that's where the texans fought the battle that secured their independence from mexico---or so it goes according to one justin blocker. anyway, we love those guys. 

some highlights: 
  • fried turkey---unbelievable
  • bacon-wrapped-brown-sugar-cured green beans (the green beans function only as a vehicle for more bacon)
  • hot tub
  • track workout in pouring rain
  • anvil: if you're ever in houston, go to this bar
  • grilled steaks and great talks with justin, jayson, lizzie, brooklyn, and baby brody
  • late nights and sleep-ins
  • a good laugh over the maxima's amazing ability to endure anything, even F-350s knocking on her bumper
  • listening to the lumineers on the drive back home today
  • pad thai to finish out the weekend...just couldn't help ourselves
getting back to real life tomorrow is not going to be pleasant! but the good news is: Christmas! 

the knickerbocker: deeelicious! 
pleeease take note of mark's dainty glass
again, notice mark's glass

little miss brooklyn helping out in the kitchen
mark's only consolation today after realizing he left his travel mug at the blockers' house: the saga continues

mine is the cinnamon sugar one!

hope everyone had a wonderful thanksgiving! 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

pie for breakfast, anyone?

mark just walked into the kitchen and turned on the oven. i said, "what are you turning on the oven for??" he said, "sweet potato fries." i looked at the clock like i was crazy and said, "but it's 10:20 in the morning." he said, "exactly. i'm having eggs, bacon, and potatoes for breakfast." 
i guess it's still birthday weekend and he can technically do whatever he wants? after all, we did eat pie for lunch yesterday. 

annnyway, here are some pictures from the birthday: 

apple pie i made from scratch 
the only thing i could think of to keep him from seeing the cart. he didn't even notice the giant lumpy thing covered by a blue sheet in the corner. 
glenmorangie 18: a scotch that he has been wanting forever but that he would never buy for himself! he was not expecting me to get this for him!
the cart + scotches + glasses. i put that cart together allll by myself!
the pie after digging into it with mark and keith
oh, we also got giddy a little gift: a christmas reindeer to chew on! 


Friday, November 16, 2012

happy birthday, mark!

happy happy birthday to my darling husband today! 
my life would have infinitely less mustaches and general bravado without him. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

oh hey there, it's been a while

i haven't forgotten about my blog! we just had a few weeks where everything was kind of humdrum and i didn't feel like updating to say "oh hey, we're just doing the same normal go-to-class-read-write-sleep-eat that we always do." 

what we've been up to...

1. some little crafts, as usual! 
ribbon wreath for the guest room

corks from our first year of marriage
birthday garland! i couldn't resist. 

2. angel and valerie drove down from kansas city to visit us for a few days! of course we didn't even take one picture together, go figure, but we had a great time showing them around denton. we had ice cream on the square, made a visit to the candy store (and did not leave empty-handed-- well mark and i didn't, anyway. val and angel have more self control), grilled kebabs, ate out, and showed them around campus. we didn't have time to do everything we wanted but we were just happy to have two days with them!

3. giddy is twice the size he was when we got him a month ago! he is, i think, completely housetrained now. he is extremely friendly and loves to play with other dogs--even if the other dogs don't reciprocate at all (i.e. angel's dog husky, who is content to lay on the floor while giddy chews his ears and legs incessantly). i've been trying to teach him a trick and i think he's finally learned! see the video :) it's strange to think that growing up i was so not a dog person. it just goes to show that marriage changes people! 

giddy finished his first bag of dog food!

4. it's birthday week in this wagenaar household! poor chagrined mark has to endure my extensive birthday celebrations, as in, i sang him happy birthday today even though his birthday isn't until friday. but i <3 birthdays, and any reason to celebrate my sweet husband! 

Monday, October 22, 2012

the paradox of thrifting

a recent hobby of mine, since moving to denton, is thrifting. i love it for several reasons. one, i think it's a tremendous way to get to know the town you're in. i didn't feel like denton was "mine" until i spent considerable time in denton's many thrift stores over the summer. the way i see it, thrift stores are the attics of a town. and we all probably know that you get to know a lot about someone by going through their attic (thinking back to the hours and hours i spent playing in my grandmother's---and the furniture i salvaged from it). 

secondly, i love thrift stores because they're cheap! that one should be obvious. but it ties in to the paradox, which is: thrifting makes me both like my things more, and care about them less. what i mean is, when i thrift something (a bookshelf, bedside table, picture frame, dress, pants, blazer, or cup---all of which i've thrifted at some point), i like it more. it's like i discovered it and had a vision for what it could become. especially if i've redone the thing in some way---like the bookshelf and bedside table, which i repainted. i've invested myself in it, and tailored it specifically to how it fits into my house. but on the other hand, i care less about it! meaning, since i didn't spend $100 on a bedside table, i don't care if it breaks or chips or collapses. i don't care if i drop the cup and it shatters, because it was only fifty cents. it doesn't matter if the dress shrinks in the wash or rips---it was $4. i find that the more an item of clothing cost me, the less i wear it. strange how that works. anyway, i am all for ways to care less about my stuff---the last thing i want is to be in love with my things. 

recently, i've taken to spray-painting baskets. almost every thrift store has a plethora of baskets, they're usually $1 each, and spray paint is a really fast and easy way to spruce them up and make them go with a room. baskets are also a quick fix for organizing. my bathroom shelves, which were full of medicines and bandaids and lotions, which usually took me several frustrated minutes to dig through, are now organized into baskets. 

baskets before: yikes, look at that ugly bow. you can also cut handles off of baskets, which i did for the one on the left.
linen closet before (sort of)---i had already done the bottom shelf. but you can see what a nightmare that middle shelf is. 
baskets after! 

closet after

Thursday, October 18, 2012

around here...

1. my favorite trees in denton...these are just down the street from us. i would love to know what kind they are because gosh, they are beautiful

2. gideon and his best friend bessie. some of us hang out with our best friends. some of us eat them. 

3. our backyard oasis: we've been spending a lot of time back here, reading, grading, and drinking tea while gideon sniffs and digs and trots around. or just lolls in the grass and tries to get us to rub his belly.

4. our little guy! he's 12.6 pounds this week! 

the semester's definitely in full swing and i stay pretty overwhelmed, at least this week and last week (and next week, by the way things are looking). but i'm hoping to do a post soon about why i love thrifting with maybe some little projects i've been doing (and i mean little--no time for anything big unfortunately!). does anyone else love to spray paint like i do?? 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Meet Gideon!

Meet Gideon. He likes to cuddle a lot, and doesn't squirm if you pick him up and hold him. He loves to have his belly rubbed. His ears are slightly oversized and floppy; his brown eyes are big and serious. He's a cross between a lab and a catahoula leopard dog, so his coat is white and dappled brown. Sometimes he gets the hiccups. He doesn't bark, but he growls at utility men and cowers at the exterminator. When he poops in the house, he is polite enough to do it in the bathroom. He used to live at the Denton animal shelter, but now he lives on Ponder Street with humans. He prefers to lie on rugs, not the hardwoods. Sometimes he tries to chew Chelsea's slipper, but most of the time he is good about chewing only his toys. Once, he puked on the rug. He has a little cough, but he takes medicine for it. In the backyard, he likes to trot around and chew the pecans that fall from the tree. He doesn't quite get the hang of fetch, but his efforts are promising. Once, in the backyard, he tried to stand on his hind legs where the ground slanted downhill, and he did an accidental back flip. If you scold him, he pouts. He also has a very strict sleep schedule and needs to nap about eight times per day. If you give him a milkbone treat, he will try to bury it in his bed. He goes by Gideon, Giddy, Giddy Little, Little G, Big G, and Giddy Guy. He answers to none of those. 

Monday, October 8, 2012

if you want to see beautiful,

just look at the pictures i'm going to completely photo-bomb in this post. i spent the most amazing and quick weekend with my family in landrum, south carolina, celebrating kate and justin's wedding---congratulations, mr. and mrs. schultz! or should i say felicidades, the language of your costa rican honeymoon ;) 

a few things: 

1. when i got home yesterday, mark asked if it made me sad how much bigger kyler has gotten since we last saw him. i said well, kind of, except he still says funny dumb things, so it's not like he's matured into adulthood since june. for example: what kind of kid starts saying a word incorrectly, that he used to say correctly?! kyler now says "nuse" instead of "use." as in, "alaina, i'm nusing that crayon." or "chels is gonna nuse that ball and you nuse that one." so funny! i also loved his combination of "settle down" and "chill out," which becomes the rather handy: "chill down." he is also prone to make very sudden, important announcements, such as: "kool-aid makes my mouth soggy." but he might also sit on the couch and cry because his last airplane broke (styrofoam airplanes can only crash so many times). 

2. landrum is a beautiful little town. it's right in the middle of the blue ridge, so you'll all of a sudden be driving along this windy little road trying not to crash off the side and hoping your transmission can make it up one more hill, and you'll just come around a corner and right there stretching out beside you are blue peaks, mist, clouds beneath you, and the first tinges of autumn in the trees. absolutely breathtaking. 

3. my extended family is amazing. they are such great conversationalists. i laughed a lot, got to eat some of josh's culinary creations which are basically the anti-calorie, given the amount of heavy whipping cream he used, and i got to hold a few sweet marshall babies ;)

4. i missed my husband a lot and i came home to quite a few surprises, but i'll save those for another post! here are some photos from the weekend. i kind of did a bad job getting photos of people (or even the bride), but i was just too busy socializing during the wedding and reception to remember to take photos. i'll collaborate with marissa for a later post because i know she got some good ones. enjoy! 

the road our house was on
in the backyard
also in the backyard: portrait of a boy with airplane

Thursday, October 4, 2012

the next few days...

i fly out tomorrow, heading to landrum, sc, for my cousin kate's wedding! she is the soon-to-be mrs. justin schultz and i am so excited to be able to go. i love weddings and all things related. it's hard being so far away from family because i have to miss out on things like wedding showers and birthday parties and graduation get-togethers. not to mention first days of kindergarten and middle school, and flag football games. as much as i love our life in denton, we do not plan for texas to be our permanent home and hope on the other side of these next few years, maybe just maybe, to make it back to the east coast. i try really hard to be content where God has us and to dwell in this time of our life, but sometimes it is just tough not to be sad and feel like i'm missing out on a lot. all that to say, these 48 hours of impending family time feel like such a gift, and on top of that to see my sweet cousin marry her best friend, well, that's a lot for one happy heart to handle! i just wish mark were able to go this time, but unfortunately this country has not yet moved toward universal airfare. (can we make that a priority, obama?) 

since i don't have photos of kate's wedding (yet!), i'll post some of ours to ring in wedding spirit... 

my bouquet with my nana's ring wrapped into it 
this picture has always made me laugh. i can't remember what he said to me, but he probably asked for my food. 
i think it was alaina who had the beautiful idea to string up daisies with the lights 

photo credits: josh beacham

Monday, October 1, 2012

so we meet again, october

october is such a beautiful word, is it not? i like to say it: happy october, happy october. we spent a lovely rainy weekend with our windows open and candles burning, writing and trying to get a headstart on the week's reading. it rained all day on saturday: all day. such a rare thing for texas.

yesterday began worship diversity month at our church, which i got to experience last october, as well. basically the band leads worship in a vastly different style each week of october, such as gospel, traditional/liturgical, etc. yesterday in addition to the regular band, there was a choir, a brass section, and a full strings section. amazing. i wish i could somehow encompass that entire experience and put it in this blog. let's just say it's a good thing i wasn't wearing any mascara.

for today, i've got my first pot roast in the crockpot, along with carrots and potatoes of course...can't go wrong with a crockpot right?? denton friends, if you don't know what you're eating for dinner tonight, come join us. i'm serious---we will have way more than two people can eat.

dear friends Tim & Catherine who came out for Mark's game...just in time to see the second half get canceled 
that sky! 

the grocery list for saturday night
the aforementioned 'snack dinner' FAVORITE 

i taught mark how to make my curry chicken salad. he requests this on a weekly basis, so now he can fend for himself when he wants it! 
curry chicken salad with grapes (usually red) and cashews