LisaListed

The best things in life aren't things at all


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10 Things I Miss About Calgary

Yesterday I posted “Ten Reasons We Love Life In Chicago” – but I didn’t want Calgary to get jealous! There are definitely some things that we do miss about Calgary, after all I did compose a love letter for Calgary about a year ago which I will post soon.

Ironically, as I type this… it is SNOWING in Alberta… like real snow. It’s May 6th, 2015. Guess which picture is taken today in Calgary and which picture is taken today in Chicago:

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I wish this was a joke, but it’s just a way of life. No one is surprised by this, yet nobody welcomes it either.

Okay, let’s get on with it shall we? Obviously, I miss our friends and family…  let’s collectively “awww” over that for a minute…   I also really miss our accent! Yeah, I know you are reading this and think to yourself “I don’t have an accent…” But we really truly do! I get SO excited to hear it when I speak to most of you… people from Northern Alberta have it the most. “Eh”, “sorry”, “about”, etc are all very true to the stereotype… and I’m darn tooting’ proud of it! Alrighty then, let’s move on to what I miss about the city itself, shall we:

1) Second Cup – The Pumpkin Spice Latte and Gingerbread Latte seriously makes me homesick during the winter time. There is no comparison. Suck it, Starbucks… their PSL is more like StarSucks.

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2) Waves Cafe – The caramel frappes in the summertime are in a whole new playing field then all of the other frappes in the world. Yeah, I said it… I totally go whappe for their frappe!

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3) The Memorial Trail Stairs – Those stairs are a lung burner, a thigh burner, a butt burner… but I LOVE them so much for these reasons! I cannot find a hill, let alone stairs, in Chicago to improvise on. I loved the commadery and respect of other stair lovers as well. “Started from the bottom….”

 

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4) Glamorgan Bakery – Cheese Buns. And donuts. And sausage rolls. And cream puffs. And cheese buns again. Hint: microwave the cheese bun for 10 seconds and your life will forever be changed into a ooey gooey cheesy goodness!

 

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5) Rat Free since ’93 – don’t quote me on the year, it just has a nice ring to it. Rats.. gross. Dear Americans reading this… yes, it’s true!

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6) Plus Fifteens – Best winter invention ever. Working downtown and walking through the secret passages from building to building deserves a Nobel Prize. Especially during the 8 month winters. I didn’t realize these were not in every city until I moved away… they are an absolute necessity in life.

 

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7) Jelly Modern Doughnuts – After one bite of their donuts, you’ll be willing to spend more than $3 per donut.

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8) Eau Claire Park and Stephen Ave – I used to love going to Eau Claire during my lunch hour to break up the day or else sitting on a patio on Stephen Ave drinking my day away

 

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9) Floating Down The Bow River – Can you miss something even if you’ve never done it? I was always dying to do this… One day!

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10) The Mountains – Have to give it to them… those mountains sure keep ya wanting to come back for more. We got engaged in the mountains, had our mini honeymoon in the mountains… so many special moments happen in the majesty of the Rockies!

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YES PLEASE!

 

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Calgary, you are where I became my true self. Where I met the man of my dreams. The place where I realized that life didn’t have to have limitations… That I decided settling wasn’t an option for me. Calgary, you were only my home for 5 years, but you will always hold a place near n’ dear to me.
I miss you, ya cold son of a gun!
And Albertans, I miss you too… Cheers ya tough troopers!
P.S. you definitely have the Canadian accent in case you are still in denial 🙂

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Enjoy Life,

Lisa

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10 Reasons We Love Life in Chicago

We have been in Chicago for just over a year now and in some ways it seems like we just got here yesterday, but in other ways it feels like this has been our home for a while. The year has been a whirlwind adventure, but I wouldn’t trade this experience we’ve been able to share for the world. Although I now know way too much about Visa’s then I would ever care to know, there is nobody else in this world who I would rather be on this journey with then my amazing husband, John.

 

 

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I’ve tried to make a video about our one year in Chicago, but apparently I am not tech savvy enough to do so. Therefore, out of frustration, I have put together a list of why we love this gosh darn city so much!

Top Reasons We Love Life in Chicago:

1) Unhealthy Food! From popcorn, to deep dish pizza, to italian beef, to hot dogs… it’s paradise! Cue “paradise” song from Bachelor in Paradise…  When we first moved here, I ate like we were on vacation every weekend… turns out, my jeans weren’t stretching with the rest of me… Jerks. 

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2) The Weather! People LOVE to bitch about the weather, and although it is now May 2015 people are still complaining about the winter in 2014. One thing I’ve learnt about winters since living in Chicago… Canadians and Chicagoans measure snow very differently. We didn’t need our “real” winter gear this year at all and it is so wonderful living somewhere where there are actual Springs and Falls!

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3) The Beaches! Who knew a ginormous city could boast so many beautiful beaches off of one lake!? I love the beaches here.

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4) The architecture… also referred to as Chi-tecture. It’s something that photos don’t do justice, looking at all of the incredibly diverse buildings in an experience in itself.

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5) Free parking! Or if you have to pay for parking, it’s extremely cheap compared to what we are used to. Free parking seemed to only exist in Monopoly in Calgary…

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6) Flowers & Art! Throughout the city, there are beautiful flowers planted. And not just pansies… but hydrangeas, etc! Chicago prides itself on having amazing art sculptures, paintings, etc and you can’t help but be impressed by how beautiful the city is!

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7) Diversity: Until living in Chicago, I always lived where the people were predominantly white. I love learning about other cultures, influences, food, etc. If you choose ten random people on the street, there will be a handful of different races in that group. I love it. I was talking to my friend the other day and had mentioned Bridget Jones Diary, and he had no idea what I was talking about! That blew my mind! Things like that make me realize how ignorant I can be to just assume that my normal is somebody else’s normal. 

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8) Restaurants/Pubs/Breweries/Wineries/Cafes … need I go on?

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Cheers!

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9) Baseball games! I will never ever, ever, EVER get sick of watching a Cubs or Sox game. The whole city comes ALIVE and they are so proud of ALL of their sports teams.

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10) SO MUCH TO DO ALL THE TIME!!!! If somebody ever says that they are bored in Chicago, then the city itself is not the problem…. From Second City, to Blues music, to Jazz music, kayaking on the river, paddle boarding on the lake, to visiting the Bean, or going skating in front of the Bean in the winter! There are so many free events that happen all throughout the summer and even the winter. There are tons of museums, including the Art Institute that just won Best Museum In The World award, an incredible planetarium, the Field Museum, etc. There are AMAZING parks, the lake side goes on for miles, and miles, and miles, and it NEVER gets old. There are free fireworks over the lake every single Wednesday and Saturday night throughout the summer. There are parades, which can be really annoying when you live on the same street as the darn parade. And the shopping is absolutely ridiculous too.

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The city is just so alive and people who live here have such pride in living in Chicago. It’s amazing! There is a city of Chicago Flag, and you will see that bad boy almost anywhere you go.. from clothing, to bumper cars, to flailing in the wind, dog collars, etc…

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There is a huge sense of pride in living in such an amazing city, and there should be. We are proud to be part of the city as well.

I could go on and on about how amazing Chicago is and how much we love it, but I’ll never do the city the justice it deserves. It’s a city that needs to be experienced. So, my lovely, put Chicago on your bucket list if you’ve never been here before… the only thing you’ll regret is not coming to Chicago sooner!

Enjoy Life,
L


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A Year Ago I Quit My Job To Move To Another Country With My Husband

Holy crap – One year ago today, we gave our two week’s notice to our jobs and told our friends/family that we were packing up and moving to the US in two weeks. That was one of the toughest things in the world to keep a secret, as we weren’t sure until the very night before that we would actually be moving.

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We had to list our home and keep that as a secret from our friends, which sucked because if friends wanted to come over we would have to come up with some sort of excuse/dirty lie so that they wouldn’t see the For Sale sign in our lawn. 

We had to figure out if we should sell our house, then we had to actually sell our house when that decision was made (thanks Dad). We had to sell all of our belongings (I was an effin Kijijii ninja), figure out what the shit we were getting into, try and manage the thousands of pounds of paperwork that was coming our way that we didn’t understand, figure out if we should keep our car, if we should hire movers or if we should rent a U-Haul and drive a trillion miles, keep a documented spreadsheet with every single item listed with a value that we had to present to the always so friendly peeps at the border, cross our fingers that our Visas would actually get issued. We were homeless and jobless for a few days and it was utterly terrifying…. yet thrilling!

Everything fell into place for us literally seconds before manic panick mode struck… John’s offer was unconditional on the Friday, our house closed at 11:58pm on the Monday, and we quit our jobs the very next morning so that we could LEAVE the country in 15 days to make John’s start date. Ideally we would have given more than two weeks notice, but we didn’t have that luxury. Our renewed passports arrived the day before we left the country. We both had a sense of relief knowing that things would get a little less hectic after we arrived in Chicago, but little did we know that things were going to get ten fold more hectic once we actually got here. The hectic-ness was just getting rollin’…

I look back at the excitement, fear, and courage on the day where we were able to spill our secret and by golly goodness, I am so damn proud of us for taking one hellllll of a risk. Over the past year, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about taking chances… about how it’s really just about overcoming your fears. I’ve come to realize that every time you take a big risk in your life, no matter how it ends up, you’re always glad you took it.

Enjoy Life,
L


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Bikini Butt Friendly Noodle Vegetable Chow Mein

If I could eat Chinese food every day for the rest of my life, I’d die fat and happy.
Sadly, Chinese food isn’t exactly considered healthy… but it sure makes my taste buds dance!

I’m on a vegetable kick lately as we are going to Miami in a couple of months and the very thought of being on a beach with Miami girls makes me feel insecure. So, here is a healthy version of noodle-y, veggie, chow mein goodness that is bikini butt friendly!

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BIKINI BUTT FRIENDLY NOODLE VEGETABLE CHOW MEIN

       Ingredients:

  • 1 large daikon radish spiraled into noodles (can also use a veggie peeler, a knife, or a mandolin, but I use my veggie spiral slicer which I LOVE)
  • 1 carton of shiitake mushrooms thinly sliced (stems removed)
  • 2 baby bok choys chopped up
  • 1 bell pepper sliced
  • 1 sweet onion chopped
  • 1/2 cup of grated carrot
  • 1 heaping cup of snap peas
  • 1 handful of spinach
  • 1 garlic glove smashed and chopped (or grated)
  • 1 tbsp of grated fresh ginger
  • 4 tbsp of soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp of sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp of honey
  • 1 tsp of EVOO
  • 1 splash of red wine vinegar
  • Directions:
  • To make the sauce, combine ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, honey, EVOO & red wine vinegar in a bowl and stir well.
  • In a wok, sauté EVOO with the onion and garlic until starts to become tender
  • Add mushrooms to the wok and sauté until mushrooms begin to become tender
  • Add the bell pepper, bok choy and snap peas to the wok until the peas become bright green
  • Add in the carrots and spinach
  • Once spinach starts to wilt, add in the sauce and combine everything evenly
  • Lastly toss in those daikon noodles to the party, sauté everything for about 5 minutes until the noodles start to become slightly cooked
  • Serve with sesame seeds and chopped green onions on topTwirl those noodles round and round, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised how hearty, filling and delicious this dish truly is!

    Could easily add baby corn and/or brocolli to the dish as well.
    Or chicken, shrimp, ribs… whatever floats your boat.

    Would love to hear what you lovelies think of this butt friendly dish! This one was also husband approved… as long as the noodles are twirly, I have a happy hubby!

    Bon Appetit!

    Enjoy,
    L


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Zucchini Pasta A La Lisa

There is something so comforting to me about a big bowl of fresh, warm pasta covered in delicious sauce in the winter months. Comfort food at it’s finest! Unfortunately for me, my hips find pasta a little bit TOO comforting.

So, how to get a bowl of fresh, warm pasta still covered in delicious sauce that is jean approved? Use vegetables as your noodles!

I’m sure you’ve seen this latest “trend” spiraling (pun defs necessary) out of control and you’ve probably thought that the concept seems interesting but there is NO WAY that you will replace your delicious, carby pasta noodles with VEGETABLES!? Stick with me, my fellow Carb Lovers!

Think zucchini is only delicious in loaf form with chocolate? Well you are wrong, my lovely!

First, let me share some health benefits of that silly, little green squash we call the zucchini:

  •  There’s ONLY 21 calories per cup.. HELLOOOO!!
  •  A POWER house of Vitamin C… move over oranges!
  •  Lutein & Zeaxanthin which promotes healthy eyesight… I CAN SEE CLEARLY NOW THE RAIN IS GONE!
  •  Manganese… no this is not a “manly” Japanese dish, but a very essential mineral that promotes healthy bone tissue development and helps your body produce collagen. Asta la vista crow lines!
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Have you SEEN more beautiful noodles?!

Now let’s get to it, shall well?

Zucchini Pasta A La Lisa Recipe:

 Ingredients:

4 medium sized zucchini
Splash of olive oil
1 garlic glove diced
1 jar of tomato sauce
1 can of tomato paste
Approximately a cup of diced onions, mushrooms, garlic and bell peppers
Seasoning (I used Italian seasoning, and the classic duo of S&P)

Directions:

> I used my Paderno World Cuisine Tri-Blade Spiral Vegetable Slicer to turn my zuch’s into long and luscious zuch noodles, but you could also use a mandolin slicer, a veggie peeler or simply a knife. I kept the peels on for extra nutrients. And it’s prettier.

> Sautee diced garlic in the EVOO for a minute or two, add the raw zuch noodles to the pan.

> Sautee, toss and coat the noodles in the oil & garlic until evenly coated. Only sautee for a minute or two… the noodles will JUST start to change color. TAKE THEM OUT! You’ll probably be tempted to keep cooking them because they still kind of look raw, but NOBODY likes mushy noodles.

> Remove noodles from the pan, put them in a side bowl.

> In same pan, sautée the diced veggies in a bit of EVOO. After they get a little bit tender, add in the tomato sauce and tomato paste.

> Stir around until heated throughout. Season to your taste.

> Once heated and seasoned accordingly, toss back in the noodles into the sauce bath.

> Toss to coat the noodles evenly and serve immediately. Dig in and be amazed!

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Be prepared to be surprised how full you are off from a beautiful bowl of vegetables that is jean friendly! All comments, tips and questions are welcomed!

Also, this was “Husband Approved” – that’s a winner in my books! Voila!

Enjoy!
Lisa

*** Can also easily be made with added meat or beans!


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10 Things To Stop Complaining About Tis This Season

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Complaining has become a national pastime. It’s been a gradual process, a creep of grumbling and carping that started out kind of wry, then, over time, became full-on obnoxious. We even complain about good things now, because it’s supposed to be cute or coy—implying that we don’t take ourselves too seriously. We call our kids “a-holes,” go on and on about our high rents and mortgage payments in our comfortable neighborhoods, bemoan about the weather … IT CANNOT ALWAYS BE EITHER TOO HOT OR COLD!

Seriously, people?

Do we need some outright hardship to remind us of how great we have it?

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Nothing induces as much groaning and whining as the holidays, which have all the ingredients for the perfect self-pity pie: family, money, subtext and weather delays.

Enough is enough! If you have something to complain about this holiday season that isn’t a grave illness diagnosis, bankruptcy or a surprise serial-killer spouse, then shut up and sit down.

Here’s the list of the top 10 least bitch-worthy holiday gripes:

1. Houseguests

Yes, it’s taxing to have extra bodies crowding your couch, talking at you when you just want to watch TV after a long day, and generally changing the air quality in your home. But how lovely to have people who want to come and stay with you. And a home.

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2. Family (even if they’re #1, above)

They anger you, they frustrate you, they infuriate you. With a single raised eyebrow or shift in intonation, they cause you to revert to a cranky 7-year-old. But they’re yours, and you’re theirs, and—give or take one (or two of them)—you will miss them when they’re gone. So be grateful you even have a family whether they are near or far.

3. Eating too much

If it’s really a problem, don’t do it.

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Just! Stop! Eating!

Simple, right?

But if you’re going to eat—a lot or a little—savor it and start fresh tomorrow. But above all, do not complain because you have too much food. That’s just disgusting. And if you DO have too much food… give some of it away to people who would truly appreciate it.

4. Spending too much

See above. Just don’t do it. You are not actually contractually obligated to spend more than you have on other people. Anyone who expects that from you sucks.

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We put that pressure on ourselves. It’s a choice.

Let’s be real… do you even remember any of the Christmas gifts you received three years ago at the TOP OF YOUR MIND? Didn’t think so. But I bet you do remember when Jimmy accidentally lit the Christmas tree on fire three years ago!? Point made.

5. Work parties

You have a job. Shut up.

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6. Vegetarians/Vegans/Gluten-freegans/Pesca-what’s-a-tarians

Hey! How nice! You have friends!

Friends who have beliefs and care about their bodies!

And who want to come over and eat at your house and spend time with you!

Must be tough…

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7. People spoiling your children

But seriously now…people love your children, and children love to be loved and spoiled once in a while. This is definitely not the worst problem anyone has ever had. Some people show their love through expensive Christmas gifts… so thank them, appreciate them and be grateful that there are people out there who like your booger fingered kids.

8. If you’re too old to write to Santa, then don’t even dare writing a “wish list”

But for real… isn’t this the most obnoxious thing about Christmas? Handing somebody a list of items that you want them to buy you?! Yeah, yeah, yeah, I hear ALL of your excuses… but none of them are valid. Nope, not even that one… NONE OF THEM! They all suck. And so does your wish list. Go buy everything yourself.

Don’t know what to get your friend or family member? How is that possible… you don’t speak to them and you don’t know their likes and dislikes?! Maybe instead of exchanging wish lists you should actually start by having a conversation once in a while.

If you are REALLY stuck get them a damn gift card – and to all you people who bitch and complain about receiving free money, then why don’t you just give that “awful, thoughtless gift” to the next homeless person you see on the street. At least somebody will appreciate it.

Pissed off that you spend way more money on somebody than they spent on you?  Looks like you need to revisit #4 again

 

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9. Weather

It’s either too hot, too cold. Too windy, too glumy. Too rainy, too sunny. Too much hail. Too much drought.

Complaining about the weather is a full time job… and what exactly do you think complaining could possibly do to change it!?

Especially at Christmas… there aren’t songs about a non-white Christmas! So shut up, suit up and grab your shovel. Or if you live in a land where there isn’t any snow at Christmas time and can roam the streets in your bathing suit… you best be shutting up extra hard.

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10. Travel

You have people to go see and the disposable income to buy a plane/train/stagecoach ticket. The crowds are terrible, people behave in direct opposition to the principles of the holiday spirit, and the inner Scrooge residing in your deepest core is stretching and yawning, awake again after a 51-week nap. But that’s what you signed up for when you planned this trip and chose to go somewhere else at the busiest time of year. You’re going because, for better or worse, you want to be with people you care about, who care about you, at a time when our hearts are cracked open just a teeny bit more than usual. You’re traveling to share love—just like all the other millions of nasty-faced assheads standing in the security line behind you. So when your patience is threadbare and you’re stranded on the tarmac at O’Hare with only one granola bar to split among a family of four, try to remember that we’re all in it together…one big happy holiday human stew.

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Enjoy Life,
L

Adapted from here


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Puphood: Parenting Lessons Learnt From A Puppy

 

 

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Obligatory “first day at home” photo of Ernie

 

Our little boy is turning ONE! Cue the “where has the time gone?” and “time sure goes by fast” and “I remember when we brought him home the very first day” stuff that nobody cares about except the parents and potential grandparents.

 

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Very first time we met him at the breeder’s when we were only going to “meet the breeders” and ended up falling in love with this Patootie

 

 

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His 1st car ride and his first toy which he quickly destroyed

 

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“What do you mean this is my new home?”

 

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Our first family photo Photo Cred goes to Stacy

 

Now I’ll have to answer the “how old is he” questions using years rather than weeks or months! Is this when we can no longer call him a puppy? Or use the excuse that he’s just a puppy when he pees from excitement? Mr. Ernie may “only” be a fur baby, but to us he is a part of our family. People scoff that he is “just a dog”, but to us he is the third member of our family. We love the lil monkey so much! It’s okay to call a dog a monkey, right?

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This has always been his favourite way to lie

 

 

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Over the past year Ernie has taught us so much about parenthood. Or as I like to call it, Puphood. I’ve been told to “wait until you have a real baby, then you’ll see the light” but maybe I like living in this well light world! How can one scoff at loving an animal too much anyhow? Ernie has opened our eyes to what it’ll be like to have human babies one day and we’ve learnt a few things along the way:

– Watching them play. I have watched Ernie play with other dogs for  literally hours at a time and throughout those hours I have a warm, glowing heart and a big, goofy love struck grin slapped on my face. I LOVE watching him have so much fun with his little buddies and it brings me joy to see him so happy! When John is able to join Ernie and I for our long walks and playtime at the dog park, we sit on the bench holding hands, completely love struck, and watch our boy run laps, chase others dogs, wrestle with other dogs and have the time of his life.

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Playing with his cousin, Freddy

 

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– When they are sick, you feel sick. When little Ernie is sick I feel absolutely helpless. I would do anything, pay anything to make him feel better or to know what is wrong with my cutie patootie. It’s heartbreaking to see your little baby in any sort of pain or suffering and have no idea how to make them feel better. When something is wrong with your baby, you just KNOW! Who knew that instincts were actually legit!? (Except, it seems that my instincts always lead me to believe that poor Ernie is dying of cancer every time he is sick, but the Vet tells me that those instincts require some fine tuning.) 

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Heart. Wrenching.

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He loves me too

 

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– You always sleep with one eye open. Any sort of peep, whine, simper or bark that Ernie makes during the night I am well aware of. I am always on edge in case something is wrong. If he stopped breathing in the middle of the night, I would be giving him CPR within 5 seconds of his last breath. Ernie has woken up twice in the middle of the night from throwing up in his little beddy-weddy (yes, I baby talk to my puppy wuppy) and each time this has happened, I have sprung out of bed like the ninja that I am. I sit with him, rub his back, talk soothingly to him and hold his hair back (or wait.. that last one is what my Mom did for me when I was sick) until he is done. After clean up, I bundle him into his blanket and sleep with him on the couch in the living room with a bucket close by. He appreciates being comforted afterwards, he tells me with his eyes.  As I type this, I realize that I may sound like a crazy person, but I would probably do it for John too.

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– They “talk” back! Yes, I’m well aware that my dog doesn’t actually talk to me… how would you know if he did anyway!? No matter how much training the little fluff ball goes through, sometimes if he doesn’t want to “come” when called HE WILL NOT COME! He sits and stares at you, almost as if he is taunting you. He knows that he is supposed to come, but he won’t. Because he doesn’t feeeeeel like it. He sits in his air of stubbornness as if to say “I don’t need to listen to you, you’re not my REAL Mom” and then I say “you don’t mean that” and then he sits there taunting me as if to say “maybe YOU should come to ME” and I try to reason with him. I do my best to stay cool, calm and collected trying to show that I am the Alpha, but we both know that I’m about to lose control.

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Don’t give me those cute n’ sassy eyes

 

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You come to me!

– Everyone has parenting advice. Now, don’t get me wrong I DO appreciate useful and helpful advice from people who actually know what they are talking about. It’s the people who I hate getting advice from as their dog is humping my leg whilst (fun fact: “whilst” is a word that I love to overuse as it doesn’t get as much love as it really should) getting treats fed to him.   They’ll ask me if I’ve considered puppy classes for Ernie as he is running in circles not hurting anybody while their giant ass, stinky, drooling dog has got a grip on my leg as if my leg were Marilyn Monroe woken from her grave. Or they tell me, not casually mention which dog food they prefer, but they will adamantly TELL me what is the best dog food in the whole wide world. They will go on and on about how the generic brand from Walmart is the cat’s meow (clever, right?!) as if they are the dietician for all dogs that ever once lived. And if I even HINT that I prefer a different brand ((I’m an Acana lover, thank you very much..(love me a Canadian brand with wholesome ingredients) (not a plug, I swear) (these brackets within brackets get me every time… so much fun, give it a whirl one of these days… just not at work))  all hell breaks lose.

 

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Acana & Bracket Lover

– Potty behaviour. Never in my life did I ever expect to discuss in great detail quantity, quality or timing of fecal matter with my husband. Since we live in an apartment, we can’t simply let the dog out in our backyard. Because of this we are with him every single time he does number one or two and it seems that every time John or myself come back inside with Ernie we document to the other in great detail about his disposals. And then I worry if his bathroom “duties” are trending differently. When you are married to a mathematician, you cannot help but pick up on trend analysis… in fact, I’m trending to become 25% more analytical this time next year. (I can just imagine the horror in John’s eyes that I just wrote “25% more analytical” and that is partially why I included that last part… I’m nice like that.)

 

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Outside they go!

 

– When they learn something new. When Ernie learnt how to “shake a paw” or do any of his other “tricks” (there aren’t many, so don’t bother asking what his tricks are… and don’t bother bragging to me that your dog plays dead, good for him) both John and I felt an overwhelming rush of PROUDNESS (not sure if that word fits here or not, so I thought it would feel more welcome if I used caps) for Ernie. At times it was incredibly frustrating trying to teach him a trick or we thought we should just give up, but then he would go ahead and surprise us. A sense of pride would sweep over us and we would be so proud of how smart and intelligent he was when he would shake his itty bitty paw at us.

 

 

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What do you mean “shake a paw!?”

 

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Show me again, please

– Prejudice. Ernie has really opened up my eyes to holding back judgement on others. When I take Ernie for a walk on the downtown streets of Chicago, we see so many different kinds of characters. There were people who I would see who I would instictively walk a little bit quicker past, but then they would smile at Ernie and reach down to pet him. And I would feel like the biggest ass there ever once was. Not too boast or anything like that, but Ernie gets stopped on the street multiple times on a daily basis  by ALL kinds of people wanting to love on him, pet him, hold him, talk baby talk to him, take his photo, etc. Ernie treats every single person the same, regardless of their race, ethnicity, clothing, general appearance, wealth factor, etc. If you show Ernie some love, he’s got plenty to give right back regardless if you are a struggling homeless person who has seen better days or if you are a top exec business man or woman. I’m doing my best to be more like Ernie in that sense.

 

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Loves every single person and dog! Photo Cred again goes to Stacy 🙂

 

 

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Ernie gets told he looks like a Teddy Bear every single day. He loves it.

 

– Unconditional love. No matter how many times he is “bad” during the day, at the end of the night when he is snuggling with John and I, we forget about the chewed up baseboards. Each night, no matter what happens during the day, our hearts blow up with love for our little boy. I don’t know how it happens, but I love this little boy more and more every single day. Even if he talks back to me, is extra sassy and stubborn, eats the garbage as an afternoon snack, at the end of each day we always love him more.

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Busted.

 

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“Sorry I was bad earlier”

Although some think I’m completely bonkers for loving my doggy-woggy so much (among other reasons), can you really fault a love so strong? While John is busting his tail feather at work, Ernie and I spend almost every waking moment together. You could call him my companion, my exercise buddy, my lunch partner, my therapist, my travel buddy, my best bud, my furbaby or you could even just call him a dog.. it doesn’t matter what “name” or “title” you put on him because he is all of those and so much more to us.

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Our little munchkin is turning one today and even though he has no friggin clue what that means, that is as good as a reason as any to party like it’s 1999.

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Whad’ya mean, it’s my birthday!?

So, Lovelies, crank up your Sugar Ray (a hit band from the 90’s in case you seriously don’t know) and please help us wish Ernest Theodore a very Happy 1st Birthday!!!

 

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Happy Birthday, Pal 🙂

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Most recent family photo xo

Enjoy Life,
L