Friday, November 30, 2007

If only we could speak Dog...

Because we're hosting a small birthday lunch for Mr. Howard at our house, we wanted to give ourselves a little extra time to get the house settled for the holiday season (Christmas tree bought and decorated, our lights up on the house, decorations around the house...). So, Mr. Howard and I decided to buy our Christmas tree a few weeks early this year.

On Monday we headed over to the little Christmas tree place by our house and picked out a really large (it was the largest one we could find) tree. No sooner had we trimmed it, put it into the stand, and brought it into the house when we remembered the drama, surrounding the tree, that had occurred last year. Oh yes! How we could have forgotten, is completely beyond me.

First, let me give you a little background information. Two years ago, we were a very happy little family, but something was missing. We had Harley in our lives and were superbly happy, but felt like he needed someone else to keep him company while we worked. So, we thought long and hard about where to find a new member of the family (yes, I know it sounds silly...but we don't have children, so get over it). That is when we heard about Jake. A woman that works with Mr. Howard had two dogs and 2 children, with one on the way and thus needed to give one (Jake) to a loving family. We jumped at the chance to adopt an adult dog (we had adopted Harley when he was a pup and worked SUPER hard to do all the things that go along with raising a baby dog). So, Jake entered our life. Of course, having an adult dog enter our family had perks: we didn't have to potty train him, we never had to teach him pup manners, and so much more. However, there were many things we weren't expecting!!

Last year we innocently and lovingly brought a Christmas tree into our home. We smiled to ourselves when it was all set up, excited that Christmas was finally upon us and that we could celebrate in our beautiful new home, never knowing what true drama lay ahead. While we were busy smiling at our fabulous decorating skills, Jake was seething mad. If we could have read his pup-brain, surely he was thinking, "What is this friggin tree that they have uprooted and planted firmly in our living room? Why do they decorate it with these balls that surely should be licked, chewed, and buried in the backyard? Why does no one seem concerned that there are flashing lights coming from the tree?! What on earth is this glittery blanket that they have placed around the base of it and why can't I put it in the bedroom and sleep on it? Why have mommy and daddy put this water underneath the tree - where I CLEARLY can't reach it? Despite their stupidity, I'm determined to play with the balls they've put too high up, bring the blanket into my puppy bed, and drink out of the extra water they've given me in the living room!" Seriously! It took us three weeks to get Jake comforable with the all-consuming presence of the tree in the home!

This week has been a challenge, but we're diligently trying to explain to Jake that it is not an invasion of his home, although the process would be a heck of a lot easier if we could bark.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Poor Hubby

Mr. Howard has had a really rough week! He, unfortunately, had to work through ANOTHER Thanksgiving and has recently been told that he might have to work through Christmas this year. Additionally, he received no time off this weekend! As many of you are quite aware, my husband is great at what he does. He has such a positive attitude and has always loved going to work. He is one of those people who has found a job that completely defines him, motivates him, and makes him whole!

Unfortunately, the joy has been sucked dry from his job (which shall, for the purposes of this blog, remain nameless) by some individuals who aren't very kind or equitable. He is exploring other venues and has been in the throes of resume writing for a few weeks now (and when I say "he has been," I mean I've been doing all the work and he's been providing the basic details). In an ideal world, he would find a Monday-Friday job but at this point he'd settle for not having to work EVERY SINGLE weekend and time off to spend with his family on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Any extra prayers and good thoughts you can throw his way would mean the world to him and, of course, to me as well.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

What We're Thankful For:
Each Other


We're so thankful to have such loving friends and family and can't wait to see what next year brings us!!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Mrs. Howard, M.A.

My beautiful wife just picked up her Master's Diploma yesterday and in honor of the occasion, I wanted to tell her how proud I am of her! She put in so much time and effort, while working full-time, planning a wedding, and doing BTSA. I know how hard it was for her to write her thesis in the evenings after working all day and I know how happy it makes her to have proof of that degree proudly hanging in our office.

I love you, sweetheart, times infinity to the infinite power.

Monday, November 19, 2007

The Stars Aligned

It is a very rare occasion when the stars miraculously align and allow us to have the same day off. But we must have pleased the work Gods because today was one of those days! Normally when these occasions avail themselves, we spend the day doing all the things that NEED to get done that require two of us. In fact, all week we had planned a long laundry list of to-do's (hanging the Christmas lights, tackling the gift list for x-mas, moving the entainment center, etc.). But we threw caution to the wind and decided to go for a drive. I know...we live a life full of serious dare-devilish behavior.

On a whim this morning we decided to take the scenic drive to Chico to explore the quaint college town. We thought we'd stop by Marysville on the way there and Lake Oroville on the way back. While we were in Chico, we went by the Bidwell Mansion (above), the Sierra Nevada Brewery (a must-see for Mr. Howard), and Cal State Chico.

We had a lot of fun sight-seeing, but an even better time just being together. It reminds me how lucky I am to like my husband. I know that sounds funny, but I'm just so in love with him and feel blessed that I can spend a whole day doing nothing with him and have it be the best day!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Go Kings

Alright, so we aren't really Kings Fans. I know, I know... somewhere our Sacramento friends are gasping and shaking their heads in disbelief. :-) It's always a fight to explain to Northern California folk that it would be unreasonable for us to be Kings fans, having grown up in So Cal for 21 years of our lives.

But, we thought we'd get into the Northern California spirit and go to a game! I sucked it up and rooted my heart out for the Kings, but Mr. Howard couldn't be swayed. He silently cheered for the Pistons (silently, because the two uber fans behind us seriously might have shot us had they heard him say one positive thing about the Pistons). What is it about Kings fans that sets them so far apart from any fans I've ever seen before? Perhaps its all the booing and complaining after EVERY single ref call! Do they really think that the refs are out to get them???? Mr. Howard would say it's because they need a reason for their crappy playing. ;-)

Wow, what started as a GO KINGS entry has slowly turned! Sorry to our Sacramento friends, but I'm sure my dad and brother are grinning from ear to ear!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Parent Conferences

Talking to parents isn't a strength of mine, but every year I make it a personal goal to do the best job that I can do.

Wish me luck for the next two days and pray that I make it out alive!!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Allison's getting me a job and Sara's finding us a house! ;-)

How to have a truly fun weekend with your friends:
(1) Paint pottery with your best friend and husband:
(2) Go to Pinkberry to see if the LA hype lives up to its reputation:
(and it does)
(3) Walk the promenade in Santa Monica!!
(4) Give a monkey $1 & get a great look at Mr. Howard's bottom:
(5) Celebate Jen's Birthday dinner with her:
(6) Get marriage advice from a happy couple married for 4 years:
Drew and Jenny
(7) Talk to Jessica and Nick about their upcoming wedding:
(8) Watch Brett's brother, Eric, belly dance:
(9) Catch up with Allison Robbins!!!
(10) Talk to Sara and Nate about their wedding in June:
(11) Laugh with our good friends Allison and Jack!!
(12) Celebrate Jen and Brett's engagement


It's easy to forget how much I love my friends and how much I want to move back to Orange County. We get so wrapped up in our jobs and life in Sacramento, that it's always a bit of a jolt when we hang out with the people we care so much about and realize HOW much we actually miss everyone. The weekend ended with Sara & Nate promising to find us a house, Allison promising me a job in her school district, and Jen and Brett offering us a place to stay until we move back . :-) I love you guys!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

The Secret She Managed to Keep for 24 Hours!!!!

So I've been dying to write about our trip down to Southern California, but wanted to give the future Mr. and Mrs. Jaffe a chance to tell people their way. But now I think I've waited long enough!! So... CONGRATULATIONS Jen and Brett!!!!

They got engaged the night before we arrived and we were able to spend the whole weekend with them while they told thier friends the fabulous news. Brett gave her a gorgeous ring, but an even more spectacular promise and commitment. I'll leave the story of how he proposed for Brett and Jen to share, but it's a fabulous story with an even more fabulous conclusion. I will say that Jen's response was utterly perfect. In her most excited voice, she said "OF COURSE!" Why didn't I think of that?!?


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