20 years later…

Eric and I are celebrating twenty years as a couple today. In 7,305 days we have visited 40+ countries, bought a house, started a business, raised two dogs, and most importantly, fallen in love again and again. Happy anniversary Eric!

I wrote about our ten year anniversary here, and below is our official engagement photo, taken in 2000. :D

Riesling, lost & found

Back in early September (during our trip to Canada) our house-sitter let Riesling out into the backyard unattended and she wandered off. She was missing for three nights and even writing this now I can feel the ache in my chest from the emotional toll this careless act had on Eric and I.

Through social media and in-person searches, so many of our friends and neighbors helped us look for pup while we were away and helpless. My heart swells when I consider all the people who took time out of their busy lives to help Eric and I find our beloved dog. I have included the timeline of my posts below, including some very happy ending photos.

Neighborhood list-serv, September 5 (4pm): A miniature schnauzer is missing from 226 Dunhill. The house sitter has been looking her for a few hours. She (the schnauzer) is old and mostly blind so unlikely she has gone far. Please watch and if you see the dog contact the owners (don’t have their name) or stop by at [address]

This is how I found out after checking email when I saw two missed calls from our house-sitter. When she still wasn’t found a day later we called our parents and put up the first post on Facebook.

Facebook post, September 6: We are in the middle of our worst travel nightmare – our sixteen-year-old pup Riesling went missing from our yard due to an inattentive house-sitter while we are out of the country. She has been missing for 32 hours so far and several searching neighbors and friends have not been able to locate her. We are cutting our trip short and flying home tomorrow to keep the search going. If you are local and want to help, please contact me directly. I will be scouring our neighborhood and surrounds on Friday. Not giving up hope.

We were able to cancel our remaining hotel reservations and book award tickets home two days early. Several friends posted to local list-servs, went out on foot searching, and called local vets to let them know to keep an eye out.

Facebook post, September 7: Short layover and then we are home. No news on Riesling yet but Eric and I will be out at first light tomorrow searching. I want to hug and squeeze everyone who had traipsed through our neighborhood over the last two days looking for her. You are all keeping my heart strong. Thank you so very much.

It took forever (it seemed) to get home. As soon as we landed at 1am, we put out water bowls and recently worn clothing in case the scent of us helped her find her way home. We searched for over three hours in our neighborhood on Friday morning on foot and for another hour and a half on bikes through nearby neighborhoods. In our hearts, we knew she couldn’t have ventured that far away but where was she?!?

At 3pm Eric and I were exhausted both mentally and physically. It was our anniversary but we did not feel like celebrating. I decided to run some errands (including putting up more flyers) to avoid sitting around the house and while I was in the driveway I received a call from my neighbor Don who simply said, “I have your dog!”

To say I collapsed with relief (sobbing) would not be an understatement.

Eric and I ran over to his house (less than a five minute walk away) and he walked out of the garage with Riesling in his arms.

Facebook post, September 8 (4pm): Riesling has been found!!! Our wonderful neighbor swore he heard barking this morning and even though we checked the area already he returned after lunch and found her trapped in a drainage ditch. I cannot even describe the relief I feel and the love I have for all of you who helped us search. ❤️

We took Riesling straight to the vet and got her a full check-up. She was severely dehydrated but rather than having her stay another night away from us at the emergency vet we got her subcutaneous fluids and promised to bring her back the following morning at 8am for a day of IV fluids. After a bath and more water, she crashed out on the couch for the rest of the evening. We had champagne with our take-out pizza.

Facebook post, September 9: Riesling update: after running some blood tests yesterday, we decided to bring pup back to the vet this morning for IV fluids from 8-5. Her numbers and weight are nearly back to normal and she only needed an antibiotic shot for a few scrapes. If you need me, I will be here snuggling my sweet girl (whether she likes it or not).

 

Welcome home Riesling.

Homemade Energy Bites

Ever since discovering Tom & Luke’s cranberry and cashew snackaballs in New Zealand last year, I have been wanting to try a homemade version. After picking up a tub of pitted dates at the Indian specialty market yesterday, I scoured the internet for a recipe I could modify. I decided on two versions, a cranberry/cashew mixture and an apricot/ginger/cashew mixture. Both use the same base ingredients so feel free to try these with your favorite dried fruit.

Ingredients (makes 10 balls, easy to multiply!)

1/2 cup roasted, unsalted cashews
80g cup pitted dates
1 tsp coconut flour
2 Tbsp shredded unsweetened coconut flakes
3 Tbsp cranberries OR 3 Tbsp dried apricots and a large slice of crystallized ginger
dash of garam masala, cinnamon, or cocoa (optional)
1-2 tsp water, if needed

Add nuts to the food processor and pulse until fine. Then add remaining ingredients and pulse until everything is a uniform size and ingredients start to form a ball. Gradually add a tsp of water, pulsing the food processor, if needed – it won’t take much! Roll into small balls (~20g each) and enjoy!

These freeze nicely as well.

Memory Monday: a year in the garden

In May, just before we left for Bali, I built a wire trellis to support several climbing plants including moonflower, cardinal climber and passionflower. Starting in early June I took a series of photos of the plant growth over the summer and into fall – the following animated GIF is the six month result.

patio_anim_nov

Clearly I lost control sometime in August, especially with the passionflower!

passionflower  moonflowerpassionflower; moonflower

Carpet Cleaning 101

With two dogs and frequent guests, our living room carpet gets a lot of abuse. In the last few months in particular, a bunch of random dirt spots have showed up with no logical explanation and it was, frankly, a bit embarrassing.

So, when a friend of mine last week mentioned she was going to rent a carpet cleaner from Kroger (she had a leak in her upstairs bathroom), I shared my carpet woes and she suggested we split the cost.

Done!

livingroom1

livingroom2

Totally worth $30 and an arm workout.

A family of four…

If you follow either of us on social media, you may have noticed an extra dog has been showing up in our photos lately…

So, say hello to Pasha – the newest member of our family!

She is also a mini schnauzer and we have pup-sat her on numerous occasions, including a trip to the mountains for waterfall hiking. Our friends were having trouble caring for her and asked us to adopt her right after Labor Day. We knew it was going to mean a big change in our daily routine and another added responsibility but we love her and couldn’t say no.

Riesling is adjusting pretty well. She would really prefer to be the only dog (soaking up all the attention) but if anyone is going to win her over, it’s Pasha.

Stay tuned for more adventures with our two furry kids.

Three Weddings in August

After not having been to a wedding in over two years we found ourselves with three in one month this August! Thankfully one was local and the other two involved family, so we got to visit with lots of friends and family throughout the month. And, as always, we took a LOT of photos!

Click on the couple’s name to see our entire Flickr photo set for each wedding.

Andrew & Kristin

blue glass newlyweds! first dance photo booth madness

Ryan & Emily

me acting as usher just married! wedding wishes cutting the cake

Leah & Rob

we are all friends! you may now kiss the bride the newlyweds! centerpieces