Thursday, January 2, 2014

Our Puppy, Summer

If you know me or Nick, you know that we absolutely love dogs. We had been dying to get a dog ever since we got married, but with our crazy work and school schedules, along with apartment living, it was never quite the right time to get one. 

When we found out we were moving into a house, we immediately started looking at different breeds that we liked. Because I grew up with golden retrievers and Nick grew up with dachshunds, we could never quite agree on the size or breed of dog that was a good compromise between the two. But after stumbling on a picture of an English cream dachshund on Instagram, I instantly knew we had to have one. It was the perfect mix between a golden and a dachshund. After searching far and wide, we found a breeder in Tucson and put sent in a deposit before the litter was even born. 

The litter was born on July 10th but we waited several weeks to meet them and choose on of the three girls. 

When we went to make our pick from the litter, we instantly knew which one was ours. I mean, how can you resist this face? 

These are the first pictures we took of her at the breeder's house. She was the only girl in the litter that came up to us first thing and started licking our face. Melt my heart! 
We picked her up when she was about 8 weeks old and only 3 pounds. We almost died of cuteness. We already had the name Summer picked out as one that we liked, and it fit her perfectly. 

On the ride back to Mesa. All she wanted to do was sleep on my shoulder. 

Ever since she came home, we've taken far too many pictures and videos of her. Yes, we've turned into those lame dog parents that everyone makes fun of. 

We love this little puppy so much and are so happy she's ours! She has the sweetest demeanor and is so mellow. She's the ultimate cuddle bug, too. It's been so much fun to have her as an addition to our household. 

I'll let the pictures do the rest of the talking:

Summer 2013

Summer 2013 was consumed by this:
Back in January when Nick got accepted to A.T. Still for dental school, we started looking at houses in the area since it was still a great time to buy in the Phoenix real estate market. We discovered a fantastic neighborhood close to the school and a cute little house that we know with a little work could be even better. Even though the house is only about 10 years old, everything inside was just very builder grade. 

I had the bright idea that taking on a house remodel could be a "fun" way to spend the summer before Nick started school in July. And thinking back on that mentality, I totally have to laugh at myself now. Little did I know it would turn in to one of the hardest things we've ever done--literally! Even though it's still not totally done, the positives are that we've learned SO MUCH about this entire process and also about working as a team even when we disagree. Once everything is finished up inside I'll do a before and after post. 
Yep. We looked ridiculous. What you can't see is the sweat dripping down my forehead from the 100+ degree heat. 
But Nick felt pretty hardcore with his tool belt. Haha. 
Here's a (very) small preview of what's to come:

And in the middle of all of this, Nick started dental school! Of course in our naivety we thought we could wrap up all of the remodeling projects before mid-July, but that was far from reality. I mean really, it's December and we're still finishing a guest bathroom as we speak ;). 

During his first week of class, he was trying to help us move from Glendale to Mesa and get the remodeled house into a functional state as well. Nick has been amazing through this whole process--especially since it was mostly my idea to begin with. In the midst of tackling his first year of dental school, he still fits in countless "projects" around the house without complaining. 
We got to attend his white coat ceremony during his first week of class. And admittedly, I got a little teary eyed during the whole thing. The road to dental school definitely hasn't been an easy--or short--one for Nick. But despite all the road blocks and frustration at times, he always stayed so dedicated in what he wanted to do with his career, and it was so great to see him so happy in starting to do what he really loves. 

We were so lucky to have Nick's mom there for the ceremony, too. She was an absolute lifesaver during that week and practically packed up our entire apartment for us. We are so grateful for her! 
I love this future dentist of mine. So excited for what the next four years will bring! 

Milwaukee to Salt Lake City

A few days after Nick's graduation, we flew out to Milwaukee to help Marissa and Dan move back to Utah for his anesthesiology residency. I hadn't been to Milwaukee to visit them in a couple years, and this was Nick's first time going, so we were really excited to get to go. 

The move and the drive was quite the feat, but we made the best of it! 

We had a great time checking out the new Delta terminal in MSP during our layover. The iPads at each table are a definite step up. 

This is the cute little house Marissa and Dan's family lived in for the past 5 years. Lots of great memories here but we were so excited for the changes ahead of them, too. 

Nick wins the best uncle award... as I'm sleeping on the couch next to them. Haha. 
We took Charlotte out on a little day trip to the Milwaukee Art Museum while Eliza was at school. 

And we died over her cuteness. 

We also got some time to explore downtown Wauwatosa together. Such a quaint little town! 

Dan and Nick became expert packers with bubble wrap and plastic wrap. 
And then we proceeded to pack up the biggest truck possible that they could rent. Thanks to Nick and Dan's expertise, everything fit lit a charm! 
We got a late start out from Wauwatosa, and stopped in Rochester that night before the long drive the next day. 
The girls stayed occupied by playing "ticket time". Every hour of the trip they got to hand in one of their tickets for a treat or a fun activity to pass the time. They were champs! 

The second day, we drove from Rochester to Rapid City and got to enjoy some beautiful Midwest scenery. 

After our stay in Rapid City, we made a stop at Mt. Rushmore the following morning before we started on the home stretch. Mt. Rushmore was definitely different than I expected it to be--for some reason the movies always make it seem much more close up to the viewing area! But nonetheless, it was fun to check it off our historical bucket list. We had a few minutes to tour the visitors center and learn some more history about is construction. 

Nick was a good sport and drove the moving van the majority of the way. For some reason I don't think he minded driving a giant truck too much. :)

There's nothing quite like these big, fluffy Midwest clouds. 

After seeing the billboards for hundreds of miles, we of course had to stop at Wall Drug. My mom has some fun stories about stopping here on their cross-country drives in the 1950's and 60's. 

Everything was packed so well in the truck that it literally stayed in place like a Jenga game when we opened the door. Haha. Luckily there were no major fatalities and everything made it in-tact! 
The girls were sooooo excited to unpack their towns in the new rooms. It's so fun to have them a bit closer now and they are so happy in their new house and neighborhood. 

May and MWU Graduation

These pictures pretty much sum up how we spent the month of May. We found an awesome deal for a monthly membership at a golf course just by our apartment and we definitely got our money's worth!
Things were winding down with Nick's schooling so he golfed at least 5-6 times per week, and I went with him a good portion of the time. Having never really golfed before myself, it was a whole new experience for me! Frustrating a lot of the time, but fun once you get the hang of it! 
The best part, though, was just getting to spend time together. And the beautiful scenery doesn't hurt, either.
Oh, and the fun golf accessories are an added bonus. :)
May also brought a lot of graduation festivities for Nick's master's program. We helped organize a big pool party at our apartment complex that was a great way to celebrate before final exams. 

Everyone got together for a graduation banquet
And then took a party bus to the clubs in old town Scottsdale. Clubs aren't really our scene, but they're an excellent place for people watching! It was fun to celebrate with all of his classmates before everyone heads off to professional school across the country. We made so many great new friends throughout the year! 

My mom and Scott flew in for the graduation ceremony and it was so fun to see everyone in their caps and gowns. 
So proud of his hard work this year! Moving to Arizona for this program was such a great choice for us, and experience Nick got in his classes definitely put him a step ahead for dental school. 

Glendale will always hold a special place in our hearts! 

To celebrate, of course we headed to the golf course. This time we took my to ride along in the cart so we could all enjoy the amazing weather together.