Monthly Archives: March 2012

Duke’s first family walk

This evening was a big one for Duke. He went on his first walk with us! I promise this is a bigger deal than what it sounds like. When we first brought Duke home, he was absolutely terrified of the little lanyard leash he came on and avoided it at all costs, crouching and hiding whenever he would see me grab it. It took a good week or two to even get him in his collar since he was so scared to have something put around his neck. But he embraced the collar well enough that I had hope for someday getting him in a harness for a walk. It’s important to me to equip Duke as much as we can for his forever home and I thought getting him to walk well on a leash would be a great trait for him to have.

Well, last weekend we get him a harness, an Easy Walk like we have for Wrigley (I highly recommend these harnesses, they’re great at preventing dogs from pulling you along). I had the harness out and around Duke last Saturday to help him get used to the smell so it wouldn’t seem like such a foreign object later. I’m not too sure how much this “introduction time” actually helped since getting it on him was a bit of a project. As soon as I tried putting the harness over his head, he bolted. After finding him in his crate, I was eventually able to get it on him and slowly tighten it so it would fit him better. He was freaking out a bit at first, jumping and trying to twist his way out of the harness and occasionally trying to bite it (we took it off of him after about 20 minutes to help calm him back down). Well, today we gave it another try. It was easier to get the harness on him but he was a bit thrown off at the leash, not budging when I would try to pull him. Luckily he began to follow my tugging and followed us out the door with Wrigley showing him how a walk is done. Who would have thought Wrigley would set a good example at something? :)

Duke ready for his first walk!

It was a short walk just up and down our street, but it was a big step for Duke. Halfway through our walk he seemed to relax more while following Chip and Wrigley and wasn’t trying to twist around as much to gain some control. He was even walking nicely beside me at certain points and seemed to enjoy his time outside by the end of it. He was still pretty relieved when we came home and ran straight for the crate, but I’m proud of how well he did on his first walk. I know he’ll only continue to get better at these!

Taking a quick break on our walk

First walk on a leash... check!

 

Dinner Time

Cooking used to intimidate me… a lot. Growing up, my mom and dad always made sure we had a good meal to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Then while living on campus at Trinity, the dining hall had me covered. But once I moved off campus my senior year, I was forced into the land of cooking. I’ve gotten a lot more confident in the kitchen over the last couple of years, especially the past 10 months since we got married. I was a little nervous, though, when we first got married about whether or not Chip would enjoy my cooking everyday or look forward to my dishes the way my dad does with my mom’s meals… would I find enough recipes so we wouldn’t be eating the same food every couple of weeks? Would I be good at these meals? Where would I find tasty recipes? Luckily all these fears have been put to rest. I have subscriptions to a couple of cooking magazines as well as a Pinterest food board that have given me a great range of recipes to choose from. Chip has been very open minded to me trying out different things, is always encouraging me to give recipes my own twist and has always praised my efforts. And luckily for him, my cooking has come far beyond the chicken, rice and beans that I once started with.

Spinach lasagna rolls

With that said, I have to say that this week’s dinners have been pretty tasty! Yesterday, I made some spinach lasagna rolls from a recipe I had found on Pinterest. I have a similar recipe for spinach stuffed manicotti, but I think I prefer the lasagna rolls. They just seemed to hold more substance than the manicotti shells do. And let’s be honest, I thought it was a little fun rolling the lasagna noodles up! Anyway, we had these yesterday with some salad and I know I will definitely be making these again!

One restaurant Chip and I have gone to a couple of times recently is Tiago’s Cabo Grille. Overall, the food there is really good, but we’re particularly fond of their fish tacos (and their delicious chocolate Mexican cake with vanilla cinnamon ice cream!). So while we were at Tiago’s last weekend, Chip and I were talking about the fish tacos and wondering if I could make something similar. I’ve done fish tacos before, but one thing that makes the ones at Tiago’s so good is their mango salsa. So with that, I began to Google different mango salsa recipes to put one to the test. In the end, I chose one I found on Simply Recipes that was a hit (one quick note, I made ours without cucumber or jalapeno chile)! We both really enjoyed tonight’s dinner, so it will also get added to the favorite recipe list :)

Mango salsa and avocado

Can't have a taco night without Dos XX

 

Weekend visit

I am so glad my parents were able to come visit us for a quick trip last weekend. We hadn’t seen them since our surprise visit to California back in January, so I was definitely more than ready to have some time with my parents. They got in last Saturday around noon after spending a couple of days in Omaha visiting my brother during his spring break. It means a lot to me that my parents are able to come see both my brother and I, even if it means a little less time with both of us individually as well as additional plane tickets. I’m pretty sure my brother and I would have an intense competition if my parents could only visit us one at a time :)

Since my parents would only be in San Antonio for about 30something hours, we didn’t plan too much for us to do but just hang out together. Well, that and the weather was slightly crummy last Saturday which forced us to stay indoors… it was in the 40s and with a light drizzle throughout most of the day… my least favorite kind of weather. So after a yummy lunch at Papouli’s in the Quarry, we spent a few hours just hanging out in our house. My parents hadn’t seen our home since the summer, so Chip and I proudly showed them the little things we’ve done since then, from decorating the living room to (finally) cleaning out the back room. My parents were also able to meet our foster dog, Duke, who warmed up to them quickly and was much more social than I could have expected (good job, Duke!).

After hours of conversation about everything from life in San Antonio to visions for our backyard to overpaid professional athletes (word of caution to those who know my mom… never bring this up around her unless you want to hear her opinion on it for 20 minutes :)) we made our way over to Dough for dinner. Dough is one of our favorite restaurants here in San Antonio. It’s so good! One of the only downsides to this restaurant is the waiting time since it’s so popular. By the time we got there, we were told it would be a good hour to hour and a half wait before we would be seated (I may or may not have thrown a little fit about this… don’t judge). Dough is currently working to expand their space which will hopefully help shorten this wait and allow them to serve more people at once. I’m definitely waiting eagerly for this to be completed!

We had been to Dough once before with my parents and since we all love this place we stuck the wait out. We were also sharing a very special bottle of wine, one that Chip and I bought on our honeymoon in Italy, and Dough was one place we knew where we could bring our own bottle. It was a delicious red wine that accompanied our meal perfectly. Even my mom who prefers white wines finished her glass of this red wine. Not sure if I’ve ever seen that happen before!

A fun fact about this bottle of wine: it was made in 2007. We got a kick out of this since that’s the year Chip and I met, so it’s like we were meant to have this bottle. :)

Waiting for our table at Dough

On Sunday, we took my parents with us to church at Redeemer Presbyterian Church. Chip and I have been going there since around October and really appreciate the community of this church and its focus on the Gospel. I was excited for my parents to come to the service with us so they could meet some of the people that have been impacting us for the past several months. After the service, we went to Urban Taco for lunch with Matt and Haley, some of our closest friends here in San Antonio. We love Matt and Haley and the way they live so honestly. I was glad that my parents were able to meet them and we were able to spend lunch talking and laughing together over delicious street tacos.

After lunch, we stopped by Matt and Haley’s house quickly to pick up some tools. Now with all the rain we had gotten the last month or so, a couple of doors in our house weren’t closing well with the shifting foundation. So with my dad’s help and Matt and Haley’s tools, Chip was able to sand these doors down and get them to shut properly again. I’m thankful that my dad has become so handy over the years; he usually teaches us something whenever they’re in town!

By the time the doors were fixed it was time to drop my parents off at the airport. The weekend went by so quickly and it already feels like it’s been much longer since they were here. But it was a great weekend and we’ve learned to be so grateful for quick trips like these. I know I’m already looking forward to their next visit, whenever that may be :)

Good dog

About my resolution to blog more often… whoops.

Well, this is going to be a quick post on an article I read earlier today. It’s no secret that I love dogs. I love hearing stories about dogs, whether they’re funny stories (check out this site for some laughs), heart wrenching stories or heart warming stories. This article I read today was a reminder to me of how loving and protective dogs can be and how dogs can defy their breed’s stereotype. A woman was leaving a playground with her two-year old child when a man approached them with a knife, ready to attack. Fortunately this story ends on a happy note; out of nowhere came a stray pitbull that scared the man away from this mother and her child. The mom then ran to her car with her kid and the pitbull followed and jumped in their car where he waited with them until the police arrived. I am amazed that this dog who had no connection to this woman or her son came to their rescue, sensing there was trouble. It’s stories like this one that remind me to thank God for these loving and compassionate creatures he’s given us as friends. I also loves how this article shows a different, sometimes unknown side of pitbulls. It breaks my heart that people only see the aggressive stereotype of these dogs. Yes, breeds will have key traits, but it’s people training their dogs to be violent that leads to a violent dog. All of the pitbulls we’ve ever met have been some of the sweetest dogs we’ve known. Hopefully tender stories like this one will show people that pitbulls aren’t always the aggressive dog they think they’ll be, that they can actually be great protective family pets. Here’s to hoping this little stray pitbull earned himself a forever home and that he will always have a special bond with this family.

Let’s plant a garden

I’m pretty sure I’ve never really planted anything in my life. Growing up in Arizona, I would help my mom try to keep her plants alive… and by help I mean I would occasionally water for her. So needless to say, my green thumb experience is pretty limited. Despite this, one thing Chip and I were really excited about when we first bought our house was to take full advantage of the front and backyard. We loved the idea of spending evenings playing outside with Wrigley, having friends over for barbecues, having fresh cut flowers, etc. However, we haven’t really done anything to our outdoor space yet. By the time we got back from our honeymoon in May, summer was in full swing here in San Antonio and we really didn’t have the time needed to bring this yard to life. We were also hesitant to try planting anything last summer. We didn’t want to waste time or resources trying to get something to grow in the scorching San Antonio summer, during one of the biggest droughts the state has experienced. So we decided to wait until this spring before we got to work on our yard. Instead, we used this time to envision what we would like for our front and backyard. With spring now quickly approaching, we decided it was time to get started on this project. We’re hoping to get new grass and flowers in our front yard and grass and a small garden in the backyard. Since this is going to be a lot of work, we thought it would be smartest to start out with the garden I was planning to have, instead of spending days tilling the yard, laying down compost and soil and then try to get some grass in and possibly doing various steps of this process incorrectly or inefficiently. So my little garden is officially our test project for the rest of our yard work :)

Garden Space - Before

There’s a small patch off the side of our back patio that is going to be the perfect little space for this garden. It gets a great balance of sunlight and shade, so hopefully our plants won’t melt away during the summer. I’m hoping to get some flowers, vegetables and a few spices here (we’ll see how it goes!). As you can see, the soil here isn’t the best. Since my gardening knowledge is near non-existent, I spent some time after church on Sunday at Arbolito’s Nursery to learn the best process for getting a good garden started. The staff there was extremely helpful and very patient in all of my Gardening 101 questions. Based on their guidance, Chip and I spent some time Sunday afternoon spraying this area down with Round Up so we can kill off the weeds that are currently residing in this space so they hopefully don’t come back when we plant everything. Since we were spraying these chemicals out on the ground, we had to block off this area so the dogs wouldn’t get sick. Looks classy, right? :)

Preparing the garden area

We’re really excited to get going on this garden and eventually the rest of the yard. If this nice weather continues, we could be ready to start tilling the soil here as soon as this coming weekend. Wish us luck!!

Mountain laurel giving us hope for our garden

The dogs imagining a grassy backyard... they'll have to wait just a little bit longer!