Note Taking

Are you a journaler? Do you feel the need to snap pictures of things so you never forget them? When you’re listening to music, do you ever write down lines of the song that really speak to you? At night, do you feverishly re-tell the events of the day?

I bet you would be surprised to learn that I am, in fact, a memory scribbler, a quote jotter, a “don’t move let me take your picture” taker. No? That’s not a shocking revelation? What gave it away? Was it this three year running public journal that I share with the world? Dang. I knew that would be my unraveling.

Throughout college, I carried a small little notebook (probably the size of your palm) around in my purse. The absolute worst thing was to laugh all night at some ridiculous joke and come morning, no one can remember it. So, my little journal filled this void. I’m not kidding you, I would take that out ANY time someone would say clever little one-liners and jot it down real quick. I’m fairly certain that I looked incredibly insane – at a bar.. writing something in a notebook. You know me though, I didn’t really care what it looked like I was doing — and getting to read them all the next morning was seriously priceless.

If I didn’t have my notebook, I would write them on little scraps of paper, receipts, napkins… whatever I could find. I still find little notes in purses, pockets and jackets. It’s pretty entertaining, really.

This one was exactly four years ago when we were getting ready to celebrate my 21st birthday.


I don’t do this as much now as when I was younger — mainly because, well, I’m way more boring now! Somehow I find that going to work every day is a little less “quote worthy” than living in a house full of girls in a college town. Strange, isn’t it? Yet — the tradition isn’t gone completely. On every vacation, you better believe I’m there to capture the funny moments! Like this one…


I’m not the only one that does it either! Alex started a whole section of his “Notes” app on his phone for stupid silly things that I’ve said. Isn’t he sweet? 🙂


A few years ago when Alex went on his first deployment (while we were together that is, he’d already been on a couple pre-us) — I started a journal where I would write to him every night. We only got to talk maybe once a week and during that short time, it would be so difficult to try to remember every last detail of everything that I wanted to tell him. I often found myself angry when we got off the phone because I forgot to tell him this or that. The journal also helped me feel like I was able to say goodnight to him. I know that’s kind of silly, but when you’re used to saying goodnight or calling when you leave work every day, it’s hard to break that habit. And honestly, feels weird and kind of lonely when you don’t have anyone to share those little details with.


I meant to give the journal to Alex when he got back so he could get up to date with all of my happenings. Yet, when he finally got home — I was kind of embarrassed by it. I don’t know if I didn’t think it would be “enough” or I didn’t want him to focus on the times I was sad when he was gone or what the problem was — but I never ended up giving it to him.

As Alex packed up to leave town this past weekend, I suddenly remembered the journal and fished it out of my nightstand (this was pre-me cleaning it out). I read a few entries out loud and we couldn’t stop laughing at some of the silly things that I said.

It’s been a blast to re-read them over the last few days. I’ve marveled over how much has changed in just a couple short years. Some entries were mundane and just really noted what I had done that day… like this excerpt from one —


…I got a lot of chores done today. What a way to spend Labor Day. But hey! At least I wasn’t at work! I did some more cleaning, took Smelly on a coule of walks (I didn’t even remember calling Hunter – Smelly.. hilarious), ran some errands, decorated for fall, addressed some Save the Dates, watched Maryland beat Navy & made Cinnamon Honey Butter. That’s a lot of stuff!

(the next paragraph is boring… we’ll skip that. It just talks about being half way through my journal)

I love you so much. I can’t wait to kiss you & hold you & lay with you & see your handsome face! I love you so much! Sleep well! Love, squeeze squeeze


This next one I particularly found amusing. Apparently, I wrote it pretending to be Hunter (remember — Bailey wasn’t even born yet, so I wasn’t favoring one dog over the other 😉 ).


Dear Daddy,

This note is being written by “your boy.” Dad, are you home yet? Momma keeps telling me that you’re coming home soon, but I haven’t seen you yet. Every day I hope that today is going to be the day.

Momma doesn’t play the same way you do. She doesn’t always get down on the floor and throw me around. She doesn’t throw as far as you do and she rarely takes me on my morning runs. I mean yeah, I guess she walks me and everything but she just doesn’t understand how much you and I bond on our runs.

Sometimes when I am outside with Momma, I see your truck! I get so excited! I start to bite my leash and throw it around celebrating your return. But it’s not you in your truck. Did you give your truck away? I really hope not. I love my truck. Momma says that other people have trucks that look and sounds like yours. I don’t understand that though. Bring my truck back with you when you come, will ya?

Even though Momma lets me sleep on the bed, I’d rather you be here and have to sleep on the floor again. Speaking of that, would you mind if I slept on the bed when you come home too? Momma says that I have to ask you. Maybe just for one night?

One thing that I’m really looking forward to is getting all your food scraps! Momma’s lame and only sometimes gives them to me. All in all, if I could take myself out and feed myself I wouldn’t need her. Don’t worry though, Dad. I know how much you love her so I’m taking good care of her. Come home soon, Daddy! I miss you! Love, Mr. Hunter Bo Ziffer



I like how Hunter called me out on multiple occasions. What a great dog!

One thing Alex gave me for my birthday this year was a new journal, which I started writing in last night. Maybe in a couple years I can share some of those entries with you as well 🙂 My new journal pages are much larger than the old one — see them compared to each other here…


Can’t wait to fill that bad boy up with new memories 🙂


Anyone else an avid journaler? Does anyone know any guys you like to keep a journal? I couldn’t think of any! I’m sure it would be fun to read about the days events from a man’s perspective. Have you shared any journal entries with anyone? What about crazy people like me that take a notepad into a bar?

Life {lately}

Wow, I just signed in this morning to write a quick little post and WordPress alerted me that today is my third blogging anniversary. Crazy. Seriously, that’s nuts! I’ve always loved journaling, taking pictures, and reminiscing – so, this seems to be a good match for me! I have loved getting to know you guys and sharing our little journey with each of you 🙂 Thanks for making this worthwhile for me! Three years ago we were just dating, living in an apartment and Hunter was still a little pup. Now, we’ve been married for almost two years (where did the time go??), have two dogs and tackle home improvement projects like nobody’s business. It’s funny how things change! Who knows where we’ll be next year or even next week, but I’m happy that I get to share it all with you 🙂

I had a small computer malfunction that has slowed my actual camera picture editing. Thankfully, it seems to be fixed now (yay!), but that means I don’t have all the goodies ready for sharing. Oh well!  I still have a boat load of pictures on my phone that I cherish as well. Sometimes I feel like my phone pictures are a better representation of my life anyway. Not staged, not edited for the perfect lighting… just life.

Before we get started on those, here are a couple quick things that are worth mentioning that don’t have pictures attached to them…

  • For the last two weeks I’ve had a terrible pain in my knee and Alex has had some serious back problems. We’ve almost worn out our heating pad and ice rice bags (thanks, Suzzette :)). We took some time off our normal workout schedule and things seemed to get better. However, this weekend my knee took a serious downward spiral. I’ll be picking up a brace this evening to see if that helps – if not, I’ll be making my way to an orthopedic doctor.
  • Remember how I told you that we were asked if we wanted our bathroom to be on HGTV? Sadly, I found out last week that it won’t work out. Apparently my “before” pictures were not high enough quality. It’s not like I can just re-stage the bathroom and take new pictures, you know? There’s nothing I can do about that! The old bathroom was hideous, dungeon-ey and falling apart. Of course the pictures didn’t look as shiny as the new bathroom. I was pretty disappointed but – maybe next time!
  • Alex is about to finish up his second school semester after taking a long hiatus when he joined the military. This will be his second semester in a row getting straight A’s!! (Fingers crossed that I’m not jinxing anything, although he only has one week left and 99% of his work is already done!)

Okay, here’s what our life has looked like over the last few weeks —

Ribbet collagewv

a+ b.) a gorgeous covered bridge that we visited on a recent trip to WV (although I think this particular bridge was in VA) c). Alex, Alyse and I (oh and a little Bailey and JoJo in the back) hanging out on said WV trip d.) the gang minus a few of us.

Ribbet collagejake

a.) my mom’s super cute pup, Jake. She sent this picture to me yesterday and it’s too cute not to include! b.) Alex alseep in WV with a bed full of dogs. You better believe that I kicked those pups out to get a little room c.) Our collection of golden retrievers (my mom’s two plus ours) d.) My mom’s dog, Jake was so tired in WV that he literally fell asleep while begging for treats.

Ribbet collagesew

a.) my newest toy that I’m slowly becoming smitten with b.) a deliciously perfect pair of rainbows on my way home from work last week c.) the beautiful sunset that quickly followed the rainbows d.) my first sewing project. I made two little bags to carry dog treats in during our walks.

Ribbet collagehuntera through d) a whole lot of Hunterbug love! Including his new antler (A) and a generous ball of dirt and grass that he thought would be fun to bring into bed (C)

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a.) a Nissian Skyline we saw at the Baltimore car show b.) Me sitting in my future mom car. I used to be slightly obsessed with the Honda Pilot, but have recently switched over to the Toyota Highlander. One of these years I’ll actually need a bigger car! c.) an old school Cadillac that was also at the car show

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a through d) more WV doggie shots, including getting completely squished by Bailey (B and C)

Ribbet collageweekend

a.) Alex got up early on Sunday and surprised me by making our weekly quiche. Isn’t he sweet?? b.) a night full of whiskey tasting with the man and our good friend, Alyse c.) proof — haha. Alyse + whiskey d.) the cutest picture of Alex and Bailey ever. Ever. Ever. Ever.

Ribbet collagebothdogs

a.) Alex took the boys to get groomed last week. They’re so handsome now! b & c.) little Bailey and his big nose 🙂 d.) how our night ends… every single night!

What have you guys been up to? Have you taken any quick trips to get out of town? Does anyone else in the world take as many pictures of their dogs as I do? Are you getting into any new hobbies? Sewing? Anyone… anyone??

Random Acts of Kindness

Before we delve into tonight’s chatter, let’s check out how big Jakey is getting! (If you haven’t been here for awhile – No, Alex and I did not get a third doggie – he’s my mom’s new puppy!)


He’s past the “I-sleep-all-the-time” puppy stage – now he’s got an incredible amount of energy and just goes, goes, goes! Whew, thankfully he doesn’t keep me up every night!

Back on track — In the last two days I have experience two amazing, random acts of kindness that I can’t help but to share with you.

Do you remember when I wrote a post about how we got and then proceeded to get rid of mildew from our carpet? No? Well, check it out here. My main purpose for writing that post was to save at least one poor soul who was frantically searching the internet for ways to save their stanky (yes, I meant to say stanky. so what?) carpet.

We spent FOREVER a long time searching for the miracle answer that would save our carpet. Honestly, neither of us thought it could be saved and we feared we would have to replace our carpet only one year after we installed it.Thankfully, we found that miracle answer with the good people at Bissell and their wonderful Big Green Machine.

About a week after I wrote that post, I received an email from Bissell thanking me for the positive review. Not only was I shocked that I received a heartwarming pat on the back, Jeff (the amazing Bissell guy!) ended his email by wishing Hunter a great recovery from his recent surgery.

Yeah, that happened.

How awesome was that?! If that wasn’t enough, I received an incredibly generous gift from Bissell in the mail yesterday. I’m embarrassed to say, but I’m actually pumped to clean just so I can use my new stuff! We’re also working on getting a giveaway ready for you, the awesome blog readers that you are. Stay tuned for that little baby!

Not only does Bissell make an amazing product that I completely stand behind, their employees are sincere, wonderful individuals.

They made Hunter happy. That’s for sure.


Another GIANT thank you to Bissell for making my day more than once!

Something else wonderful happened. Well, first it was bad… then it was good.

Here goes…

So we’ve got an acre of land to maintain. That, my friends, is a lot of grass.


People are always surprised when I tell them this, but yes, I cut the grass. Definitely not all the time, but when your husband is gone for months at a time, well — someone’s gotta do it… And I sure am not spending good money to have someone else cut my grass when I am perfectly able albeit lazy.

Anywho, yesterday after work I was just puttin’ along cutting the grass when, all of the sudden, a band (I’m not even going to attempt to explain this one) came off and made the lawn mower completely unusable.

I called Alex in a frenzy to get some insight on what the heck just happened. He tried to walk me through putting the band back on, but no dice. It was already getting dark outside (remember how I did this after I got home from work??) and I couldn’t even reach one of the pulley things (very technical here people) much less connect anything to it.

I ended up calling my mom’s boyfriend, Don, who conveniently works on these beasts every day!

When I got home from work today, NOT ONLY was the mower back in mint condition, but the rest of the lawn had been cut for me!!!! A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. Apparently cutting the grass for me is an instant way to completely make my day. Another big thank you to Don and Stan!


Freshly cut goodness.


How ‘bout that? Two truly random acts of kindness. Anything like this happen to you lately??


(Yes, I do wear Christmas pajama pants all year round.

I’m off to bed! We’ve got rain (and maybe hail??) hitting the roof and windows right now beckoning me to listen. You know that’s the absolute best way to fall asleep!

Goodnight my friends!