a day at the beach.

Heather and I went to beach on Friday (and met Tracey and Christina there). Have I ever told you how much I love living near the beach?

I should have been more careful, though - I got sunburned.


This fostering rescues thing, its a bit of an adventure.

Last night, Scooter got out of the fence. I realized this when I went to bring the dogs in after about 20 minutes outside, and only two came in. I know he's capable of jumping the fence, but given that he hasn't even looked like he considered it over the past week and a half, I figured it was safe to leave outside for short periods of time with my supervision. After I drove around looking for a good 30 minutes, I got the call that someone had found him one street over.

Today, I figured out exactly how he got out of the fence - in between the pickets (one is half-broken) in the gate, in a space Dakota can't squeeze through, but Scooter can because he's skinnier than she is.

I was sitting right there, I saw him do it, and I just grabbed the bag of treats I was using for training Dakota, and ran after him.

I chased him for forty minutes, all through out the neighborhood, until he was finally tired enough to sit when I told him and let me get close enough to grab his collar.

At this point, a man working on a nearby house had been trying to help me catch him, but Scooter was too fast for us to corner him.

Faced with the prospect of having to walk several blocks hunched over with my hand on his collar (I hadn't grabbed a leash, and kept following him as long as he was in my sights), I asked the man if he had a rope I could use.

He came back with a rope that I threaded through the ring on Scooter's collar, and it promptly broke, and Scooter went running after a squirrel.

This was the point where I swore.

Luckily, he was running onto the grassy area just before a dock, which was surrounded by a retaining wall. The man went one way, I went the other and he said, "Now we've got him - he can't go anywhere." I was doubtful because I knew that Scooter could jump the wall, but one can hope, right?

Wrong. With his head up watching a squirrel in a tree above him, Scooter leaped right over the wall.

Right into the Elizabeth River.

Fortunately, it was pretty shallow there. Scooter could have walked right up on to the bank a few feet away, but was so surprised to be wet, that he just held still. I was trying to brace myself to walk into the water (and if you know me and how I feel about fish, you'll understand that is a very big deal), but the man climbed down onto a little ledge, hauled him up by his collar, and passed him to me.

Then we got another rope, checked it carefully to make sure it was strong enough, and we walked home.

i made art.

After reading this, I was inspired to create something similar. I finished the project Monday - it was even easier than I thought it would be!

I bought 16x20-inch canvases on sale in packs of two. I started with a base coat of acrylic paint in light green. If I wanted the background to be a bit more solid, I could have painted a second coat, but I like the way it looks.

I also bought a pack of coordinated scrapbook paper (it was easier for me than agonizing over my choices). I created a simple template of a flower petal, then traced it on the backside of the paper. I cut out eight petals for each flower (24 petals total).

I also bought small wooden circles and painted them black (though I think using large buttons would have been really cute, too). The stems are created from a solid piece of paper.

I added the quote to the top because I'm finding that I like being surrounded by words and phrases.

I haven't hung these yet, but I love how adorable they are! And so easy.

perfect day.

Ever have those days that just feels like a perfect day?

I called Heather on Friday, and told her we should have a cookout to celebrate Memorial Day and the beginning of summer. (As I don't have a grill, this means it would have to be at her house). It was a relatively small group of people, but still a great time. After we ate dinner on their deck, the kids played in the yard, several people threw a football or Frisbee, and I rocked on the swing, holding baby Seth and talking to Errin.

It felt like we were smack dab in the middle of a commercial for American life.

I so love this time of year.

weight loss challenge (day one).

My friend Kelly is hosting an extreme weight-loss challenge - its a $20 buy-in, and whoever loses the most inches and pounds, as a percentage of their body weight, gets to keep all the money.

Can I tell you a secret? Sure, the money is a nice motivator, but I really joined for the camaraderie and competition.

Can I tell you something else? My arms are killing me.

Today is the first day of the challenge (though yesterday I was careful to eat healthy things, though I didn't count calories). After taking Scooter on a walk (I'm going to walk Harvey and Dakota later today), I went to the gym to do some weight lifting and swimming.

I grew up with a pool in my backyard and used to swim laps all the time - it was a work out sure, but it didn't wipe me out. But halfway through my first lap, I realized this wasn't going to be as easy as I remembered. I managed to finish what I told myself I would, but I was wiped out at the end. Both my arms are sore (I guess my triceps?), and I didn't even work out those muscles during weight lifting.

Feel free to send some encouragement my way - I have a feeling this is going to be a long six weeks.


This is Scooter:

He's a border collie mix, just over a year old, and living with me until we can find a permanent home for him. Harvey and Dakota met him yesterday, and I brought him home today.

So far, so good. He marked all over the yard, and I was prepared for him to try the same thing inside, but he didn't. A few minutes ago he was helping Dakota catch a fly (I'll never need to buy a flyswatter), and now all three dogs are curled up around me taking a nap - Harvey beside me, Dakota on the other side of the couch, and Scooter at my feet.

more birthday thoughts.

This is my third day being 30, and I have to tell you - 30 doesn't feel too much different than 29. I keep walking around telling myself that I'm 30, just in case it suddenly hits me differently.

The only different I'm sensing in myself is a resolution to actively pursue the things I dream of. If that sounds vague, its because I'm not really sure what it means. I'm hoping clarity will come later.

For now, a couple pictures:

From part one of the birthday celebrations, this is Heather, Heather and I dressed up for dinner on Tuesday night.

My favorite birthday gift - Bethany sent me flowers! The best part, was that she called to make sure I had received them. I didn't, but they came while she was on the phone.

happy birthday to me.

Today is my 30th birthday.

To be honest, I'm not quite sure how I feel about this yet. I expected to feel a bit down, reflecting that my life wasn't where I thought it was going to be when I reached this age. But I wonder if anyone really looks back and finds that life went exactly the way they expected.

Should 30 feel like a big milestone? Should I be evaluating my life, or resolving to make a big change in some aspect of it?

Tonight Heather and Heather and I are dressing up to go out to dinner to celebrate, and on Saturday, several friends are going with me to see Prince Caspian, then to eat dinner at Unos so I can have deep-dish Chicago-style pizza and my favorite restaurant dessert of all time.

more spray paint projects.

I found both of these at the Habitat for Humanity Restore in Virginia Beach. The door bucket, below, had no price sticker on it, so the cashier gave it to me for 50 cents. It was dark green with an odd check pattern, so I spray painted it black. Normally, a deep blue/violet is my favorite color of hydrangea, but with the pink flowering plants in my flower bed, I thought these colors were a better choice.

I was searching for a way to store the jewelry I'm making, and this rack is perfect. I could make another jewelry organizer, like the one I use for my personal jewelry, but I don't really need everything on display, just easily accessible. I paid $2 for this rack, and tried painting it green, but didn't like the end result. So, I went with a dark brown instead.

weekend recap.

I spent most of today at home, spray painting a few things in the backyard or cleaning up the kitchen or making jewelry or reading. After my busy weekend, it was good to just be quiet at home.

Dad, Katie, and Jacob came to visit, starting Thursday. We went to Busch Gardens on Friday, which was blast because (1) Jacob got to ride his first real roller coaster, and (2) Dad used an electric scooter, which meant we got to skip ahead in line at all the rides.

Saturday we met Robbie at the fire station so Jacob could see all the fire trucks (which he loved). He got a sticker and a fire hat (Dad got a hat, too), and just about freaked out the next day when he thought Katie left the sticker at my house.

My family left Sunday after church, and after a quick trip home to change, eat lunch, and take care of the dogs, I met Robbie and Jenni at their house to go back to Busch Gardens for the day. There are these great Christian groups playing every Sunday in May, so after a few rides and dinner, we saw Third Day in concert (absolutely amazing show).

So, hanging out at home today - felt great. Even if I did have to clean up my kitchen.