June 30, 2013

Watch Me Grow: 18 Weeks

At 18 weeks Rory is definitely going through a toddler stage.  All the books I read say that from months 4-6 puppies go through a rebellious toddler stage.  They try to push their limits, test their boundaries, and establish their independence.  Rory is definitely in this stage.  She has started putting her paws up on the counter & table to try to find food and snatches any papers we leave out and rips them to shreds.  Also, lately whenever we take her out in the yard she always waits until we're distracted and then sneaks away to the mud.  Then she goes crazy and digs and rolls around it until she's completely covered.  It's been fun ;)
Here she is trying to sneak away to the mud.
She's really curious and observant.  It's fun to watch her explore the world.  Whenever the wind blows the branches in our tree she always looks up and watches.  It always makes me laugh.  I was glad to finally get a picture of it.
She loves to chew and will spend a good hour just chewing away on a rawhide bone.  It's nice to be able to toss her a bone to keep her occupied when we need to get things done around the house without her getting into trouble.

She's definitely getting calmer the older she gets.  She's getting better and better at controlling her urge to bite when she plays.  We're still working on teaching her to heel and not pull on the leash on walks.  She's getting pretty strong so we are really working on getting her trained on walking before she's full grown and harder to control.  Hopefully she'll make some progress with that soon, my arms would appreciate it!


June 28, 2013

Pictures and Goals

Last Sunday we had dinner at my parents to celebrate my dad's birthday and like a dutiful daughter I made sure to annoy everyone and pull out my camera.  I was thinking lately about how I don't have very many recent pictures with my parents or even just of my parents.  I made a goal to start taking more pictures when we were together and I'm happy to report I am staying on track.
My mom and dad.  I love seeing how happy they are together.
DSC_0040 Mom, Dad, & Zoey.
I made sure to take pictures of my own little family too.  Rory made friends with the barn cats.  The cats weren't quite sure what to think of this new "friendship."
Brycer.  I like him. 
DSC_0052 This picture makes me laugh every time I look at it.  We were trying to get a decent shot of us and Rory was not feeling at all like being cooperative.  We were holding her down on our laps while she kept scrambling and struggling against us to get down and play.  This picture was the result.  It looks more like she was sleeping but but she was definitely not.  I have scratches all over my arms to prove it.  
DSC_0053 Once we stood up and held Rory she stopped being a stinker and we were able to get a good picture together.  

I am also adding to my goal to take more pictures with Bryce's parents and mine and Bryce's siblings.  I'm sure they will all be thrilled to be new victims  participants!


June 26, 2013

Rory's BFF Zoey

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I was going through my photos the other day and found these that I forgot to share.  Two weeks after we got Rory we took her to my parents house to play with their dog Zoey.  Zoey is a sweet little Shih Tzu/Bichon cross.  Luckily for Rory, who is always so full of energy, Zoey is just as playful and almost at the same energy level.  They instantly got along and loved playing together.
After lots of playing they take breaks and cuddle up by each other on the couch.  This only lasts a minute or two until Rory starts pestering Zoey trying to get her to play again.

When we first took Rory to play with Zoey they were about the same size.  Now Rory is almost three times the size of Zoey!  I need to get some updated pictures of them together.  They still are best buds and love playing together.  We're keeping our fingers crossed that it will stay that way even when Rory is full grown and 60 lbs.


June 24, 2013

Whole Wheat Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is my go to recipe whenever I need to make a dessert or batch of cookies for something.  These cookies are so good!  They are my very favorite and everyone always loves them so I thought I would share the recipe.  They are really similar to Great Harvest's Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookies.  They are a little crispy on the outside and chewy in the middle, just like a chocolate chip cookie should be.  They are made with whole wheat flour, so that takes away a little of the guilt :).  You could probably do a few other substitutions for the butter and sugar and make them even healthier but I haven't ever experimented with that on this recipe.

Whole Wheat Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 cups whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 cups brown sugar, packed

1 cup butter, softened

2 cups rolled oats

2 eggs

2 tablespoons molasses

1 tablespoon milk

1 (12 ounce) pkg semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

Beat together brown sugar and butter until well combined. Add oats, eggs, molasses, and milk; beat well. Add dry ingredients to beaten mixture; beat until blended. Stir in chocolate chips. Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, scoop dough and drop about 3 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 12 to 13 minutes, until just starting to brown around the outside. Cool 2 minutes on cookie sheets. Remove and cool on racks.

Makes 24 giant cookies

Now hurry and go make a batch of cookies.  You can thank me later.


June 23, 2013

Watch Me Grow: 16 & 17 Weeks

I never got around to posting Rory's 16 week update so I am doing 16 & 17 weeks together.  
16 Weeks:
DSC_0024 DSC_0004 DSC_0032 Rory's 16 week pictures were taken when were camping last week. At 16 weeks she is still totally potty trained, loves to play fetch, and loves her crate. She goes in her crate all the time during the day to take naps, she loves it! She is doing okay on walks.  About halfway through her walk she always starts pulling on the leash because she is anxious to get home.  So the main thing we're working on lately is trying teach her to heel.

 17 Weeks: DSC_0002Rory sleeps really good through night, but she usually wakes us up at six a.m. This morning after Bryce took her out to go potty he brought her back to bed. After a few minutes of playing she curled up and went back to sleep. We usually put her in her crate if we are sleeping and not watching her but we decided to try out letting her nap with us. Since she has done so good with potty training the last month or so I figured she'd be okay. She slept like a baby for three more hours. It was awesome, and we were so happy to get a few more hours of sleep!
I caught her mid bark. She's probably telling me to quit taking so many pictures of her ;)
Rory's hair has been so funny lately. She has the messy mohawk thing on top of her head that is always doing it's own thing. It's always making us laugh, we love it. Rory always has one ear flopped backwards, all the time!  I'm always flipping it back over.  Sometimes both ears flop over and she reminds me of a little batdog.

At 17 weeks she has started losing her baby teeth (finally!) and her adult teeth are growing in.  We still have a couple months of this but it at least means we are closer to being done with the teething stage.  Her legs are getting way long.  I'm so curious to see how big she will end up being.  She also does really well on car rides now.  She used to whine the whole ride but now she just sits and looks out the window or takes a nap.  We really like this little stinker.  She has been so much fun.


June 17, 2013

Camping in Payson Lakes

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Friday night we went camping in Payson Lakes with Bryce's family.  It was my first time camping there and I loved it.  It was beautiful.  We had so much fun spending time with family and enjoying the gorgeous scenery.  We were only able to camp for one night but it was still a nice little getaway.  

I don't know about everyone else but we seem to always look our most attractive when camping, bedhead and all.
And one of the best parts of camping is always the food.  Bryce and I were in charge of dinner Friday night.  We made tinfoil dinners with garlic potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, zuccini, and hamburger.  They were really yummy!  Then for dessert we made my dad's speciality, a sort of cobbler made with apple pie filling and cinnamon rolls in the dutch oven.  It's so easy and everyone always loves it.
Rory was a big fan of camping.  She loved being outside so much and was spoiled getting to play with all the grandkids.
Now that we've had our first camping trip it feels like Summer is in full swing.  That's my cue to start working on some other fun plans before Summer comes to a close as it always seems to end far too quickly.


June 16, 2013

Standard Dad

For father's day this year I thought I would share an essay I wrote about my dad five years ago when I was a senior in high school.  The essay actually won me a national scholarship and a full ride to any University of my choice and I thought my blog would be a good place to preserve a copy of it.  I owe my dad a lot for giving me the inspiration for the essay....and I guess for the whole 18 years of raising me ;).

Standard Dad

The loud thudding of my father's work boots echoed on the cold tile outside of the classroom I waited in for him.  His large frame filled the doorway as he entered to accompany me to my parent teacher conference.  Inwardly I groaned at his appearance.  My friend's father had just left in a 3 piece suit and tie carrying a briefcase, fitting the image of what I pictured to be the "standard dad."

The standard dad I pictured is the one seen in a Hallmark card clean shaven with a trendy haircut, designer suit, and a fancy car.  He goes home every night to a two-story suburban home and his wife and kids waiting with dinner on the table.

Here stood my dad.  His stained coveralls and mud caked shoes were far from designer apparel.  His weathered cowboy hat hid is disarrayed hair, and instead of being clean shaven he had a handlebar mustache and smelled of a mixture of cement dust and cattle.  He had just finished work at the cement plant, rushed home to feed the cows, and made it barely in time to attend the conference with me.

I shamefully looked at my hands folded in my lap, embarrassed at the apparent contrast between my father and all the other standard dads.  My dad, however didn't seem to notice or didn't give his appearance a second thought.  Either way, his views and mine were completely opposite at the time.

As I grew older, my perception of a standard dad began to take a turn.  I gained experience while working at my first job.  I began to notice the difference between my work ethic and the work ethic of those around me.  The daily chores my father had given me on the farm taught me responsibility and hard work even in my early years.  My work ethic needed no adjustment.  I could work the full shift with ease while others struggled through it.  Not only did growing up with my father's example on the farm teach me diligence in the work place but it also taught me perseverance in the classroom.  Slowly my eyes were opened to the example my father had set for me and the priceless lessons he consistently taught.

I am very fortunate to have a father who raised his family on a farm.  I have gained experiences that so many of my peers fail to have.  I have learned that it is essential to always finish what I start.  Working is a part of life, and it should be enjoyed not just endured.  Hard work makes an honest man.  The satisfaction one gains from doing a job well is worth more than taking an easy way out.  Leadership is a skill that is imperative in any task that you undertake.

The perseverance and diligence I've learned from my father have driven me to excel academically.  I am graduating from high school with an associates degree from Utah State University.  I have worked a part-time job all four years of high school and maintained a 3.9 GPA.  My performance and attentiveness in the classroom have given me the academic skills to do well on standardized tests such as the ACT in which I have received a 31 composite score.  The considerable standards I was expected to follow have taught me to be a natural leader, which has helped me in several positions I've held throughout high school including president of National Honor Society and General Sterling Scholar for my high school.  

I accomplished all of this because of the values my father instilled in me throughout my life.  I set high dreams for myself early in life to attend a university and my father's example has helped me accomplish this goal.  His stalwart persona showed me the kind of person I wanted to be.  The stained coveralls, mud caked boots, weathered cowboy hat, and even the scent of cattle on my father's clothing have taken on an entirely new meaning to me.  I no longer hang my head in shame but hold it erect with pride and embrace my dad and all that he has taught me.  All of these qualities that shape the man he is have shaped the person I have become.     

Happy Father's Day Dad!  I am incredibly grateful for all that you taught me, for your stalwart example, and for always loving me.  I couldn't ask for a better father than you. 


June 10, 2013

Watch Me Grow: 15 Weeks

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Rory is now 15 weeks old.  She has still proven to be all the way potty trained, and hasn't had an accident in weeks.  Her newest trick is giving high fives.  I think it is my favorite one.  She still loves naps and going on walks.  She is pretty wimpy though and gets scared when other dogs bark at her on walks.  She loves people.  She doesn't bark when someone knocks on our door instead she runs to the door full speed with her tail wagging a million miles an hour.  She won't make a very good guard dog but at least she's a good buddy.


June 9, 2013


My parents and grandparents live on a little hobby farm with a small herd of cattle.  Every year in early summer the whole family helps brand, tag,   DSC_0029 DSC_0036 This year there were only eleven calves, sometimes they have around twenty, so branding went by fairly quickly.  It also probably helps that with me and Laci married there are two extra boys in the family.  My dad loves having more sons. 

Mom riding Jethro the mule.
DSC_0041 Dad roping calves off his mule George.
DSC_0044Bryce vaccinating while Laci's husband Brian helps hold down the calf.  
DSC_0071My dad is a real live cowboy.  Even though currently his "cow dog" is a shih tzu he's still the toughest guy I know.
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The branding.  This part smells awful!

After everything was finished we had a big lunch on my grandma's patio.  It was a long but fun day with everyone.  I love days like this with my family on the farm.  I feel lucky to have grown up there and I am glad that I still get the chance to go back and help every now and then.  Especially when my "help" is being the designated picture taker.  I'm okay with that.  I'll let the boys tackle the calves and do the dirty work.


June 4, 2013

Feeling Grateful

DSC_0005 Tuesdays are my Mondays. I started a new job in April (still with Intermountain Healthcare but in their contracting coordination department) and I get to work from home on Mondays & Fridays. So Tuesdays are my Mondays. I'm with the majority in the feelings towards Monday, meaning it's not my favorite day of the week. All day I felt like time was dragging and I was wishing I was home hanging out with Brycer and my puppy instead of working. I decided I would concentrate on gratitude to brighten my mood  and think about things I am grateful for.
  • Clorox Wipes.  I am obsessed with clorox wipes.  I use them all the time.  I will never be a person who can leave a wet dish rag in their sink.  It grosses me out thinking about the soggy rag filled with all kinds of germs sitting in there.  Needless to say I am grateful for clorox wipes that are antibacterial and disposable.
  •  Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches on homemade whole wheat bread.  I feel like a ten year old since I've been eating these for lunch almost everyday for a week.  They are way yummy and always bring back memories of my childhood when I eat them.
  • My husband Bryce.  This one is a given of course.  Everyday I am so grateful for him.  I love his laugh, his patience, and the crinkle lines around his eyes when he smiles.  I don't know what I'd do without that boy.
  • Heated car seats.  My car is still sometimes chilly when I leave early in the morning for work and I love flipping on the heated seats and feeling cozy and warm during my drive.
  • Music.  I am always listening to music, playing my guitar, or singing.  It is a constant part of my life.  I love the influence it has on my mood and how I can escape my worries even if just momentarily through a song. 

June 3, 2013

Watch Me Grow: 14 Weeks

 DSC_0037  There isn't a whole lot to say for Rory's 14 week update, but she is finally 100% potty trained.  It has been so nice not to have to watch her like a hawk any time she's out of her crate.  Rolling over can be added to her list of tricks.  Now the biggest things we are working on is getting her to stop biting when she plays and getting her to come whenever she's called.  Those seem to be the trickiest areas with her so they may take a while, but she is smart so hopefully she'll start making some progress.