Thursday, October 30, 2008

Never a dull moment

Never a dull moment in the McGugan house. And to be honest when the moments happen to be dull, we are so thankful for the rest and relaxation of it all.

Mom and Dad sent us a great Halloween gift. A box addressed to "Number one daughter and What's His Name" came to the house today. I'm obviously "number one daughter" because I was born the first of the three girls in my family, and Kelly is "What's His Name", which has been mom's nickname for him ever since she knew he would be around forever.

My hubby was nice enough to leave the box intact, unopened, waiting for me when I got home from work. I read the label, laughed and smiled, and began to open the happy from mom and pop. Turns out, we've been sent a great big metal canister of goodies. The metal tin is decorated in Halloween decorations with "Spooky Halloween" written on top... very cute.

I open the canister to see all the goodies, eeew'd & awww'd, and went to show my hubby what was all inside... and that's where that drama began.

Kelly quickly went to town to claim the items that he would get. I made sure to correct him that we would share it all... but he was adamant that he would get this, and that, and this, and I could have that, etc. I began my giggle, as I often do when he's in his comical state... and continued to correct him that we'd share it all.

"No, no, no.... here, you can pick first, you pick which one you want, and then we'll take turns," he attempted to compromise.

I laughed and didn't respond fully, not wanting to encourage him. ha ha. So he picked for me, "yeah, you take that one, the one your hand is on, that's yours. Okay, so I'll take this one."

I continued to laugh at him and said that I wouldn't pick like this, that we would share, but then I quickly remembered that he had already tried to claim the chocolate chip cookies in the batch before started the "picking" process. He, he, he. So I said, "okay, I'll pick that one!" - as I pointed to the box of cookies in the tin.

"uhhh, uhhh, no. It goes you pick, then I pick, then I pick, then you pick"

I lost it. Cracked up. He gave that smirk he gives when he knows he's being hilarious.

I tried to pull myself together - don't fall for his sillyness, come on, you can do it... and then the thought came to me... "honey, no... we are going to share all of this, what's yours is mine, and what's mine is yours... we share everything"

"Who says?"

"This!" - as I showed my left hand ring finger with both rings in place.

"Awwww, you've got to pull that one, don't ya"

I won. Ha!
Granted, my hubby is now asleep on the couch HUGGING the tin of goodies, apparently afraid that I'm going to dig in without him.

Wow.
You think I'm joking?
Look below:

Monday, October 27, 2008

Pumpkin Party

This weekend friends and I put together (I did little, but was still considered a hostess... I think the most I did was pay $10 for food and bring chairs and tables) a Pumpkin Party. It was a fun excuse to get a group of friends together and socialize with a little bit of a different purpose.

It was a blast. The goal was for everyone to bring a pumpkin and a bag of candy. We'd eat together, and then compete to see who could do the best pumpkin carving (winning getting a small prize) and spread the candy into goodie bags we would all take home.

The cool thing is, even though everyone did not bring a pumpkin to carve as planned (myself and the hubby included), it ended up being a great blend of carvers and socializers. The carvers focused intently on their mission, while the socializers buzzed around and "ewwwww'd and awwwww'd" at the works of art. This blend made for good conversation and interaction throughout the night. It was a beautiful chilly evening, and we all enjoyed the luxury of Candace's garage and the fire pit outside the garage door that allowed us to roast some smokin and yummy s'mores. Yum, Yum.

Here are a few pics I took throughout the night, a few of many. It was good night.


- Here's the group of hostesses, and my hubby being charming as ever behind us.



- I love this one. Tina & I + Jeff. Love the look on Jeff's face, classic.


- The hubby was ready for me to stop the picture taking, but then again, I always get an odd face out of him when the camera is flashing.


- Finally, the hubby got into the camera action. Alan, on the other hand, wasn't so sure.


- An example of the grub being served and yet again Kelly's photogenic action. Check out my necklace... the ghosts lit up and flashed, you can catch a few blue ones in this pic.


Good times. I can't believe Halloween is practically here, and November begins on Saturday. Where has 2008 gone?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Preach It Sister

One of my best friends, (girl) Kelly keeps a blog also. Today, all I want to do is post a quote from her blog and ask you to go take a look. It is well worth you read today.

Kelly's post is titled: What Happens When You Google "Barack Obama AntiChrist"?


Kelly writes:

Two days ago I received yet another forward from a frazzled evangelical christian claiming that Barack Obama is the Antichrist.

When people start trying to use the Bible to push their agendas, I sit up straight and listen closely. The email "quoting" Revelation made me do just that. I became angry because someone who loves Christ sent me (and MANY others) this email. They didn't open their Bibles to see if Revelation actually said something about the Antichrist being in his 40s and a Muslim; they allowed their emotions toward Obama's liberal morality to take over, clicked "Forward", and sent this garbage to everyone they know.


Seriously, go take a look:

http://observationsoftheordinary.blogspot.com/2008/10/what-happpens-when-you-google-barack.html

Friday, October 24, 2008

Bragging On A Friend's Talent

The hubby and I are good friends with a family. The family is composed of two awesome parents (the dad even officiated our wedding) and two amazing young ladies. This family rocks. They love the Lord, love their friends, and are very active in so many things. Often, it's hard to make our schedules meet and visit with them as often as we like... but hopefully that know that we love them, and cherish their friendship.

One of those amazing young ladies in this family is named Natalie. Today my post is bragging on Natalie and showing off SOME of her stuff. She's super talented, and I have loved listening to her music. I hope to be able to post some more of her stuff soon.

But for now, please take a moment to listen to the attached video of Natalie's song "Distractions". Lyrics are posted below also. Enjoy.


video


Distractions
(words & music by Natalie West)

I'm still awake at 12 a.m.
my mind's gone wondering again
off to the many thoughts that some
how have a hold on me

Cause I strive to be a people please
instead of trying to be God pleaser
and more than ever do I see
my selfishness and vanity

It's on this restless night I've finally realized

That I need a distraction
from all my distractions
because I just can 't seem to keep
my focused on you
I need a distraction
from all my distractions
and the only distraction I need is you

VERSE 2:

I try so hard to concentrate
when yet I deviate
and my priorities become about
what I want and what I need

Late nights and early mornings
I have seemed to miss the warnings of
the dangers of losting sight of
who YOU are and where I stand

CHORUS:

It's on this restless night I've finally realized

That I need a distraction
from all my distractions
because I just can 't seem to keep
my focused on you
I need a distraction
from all my distractions
and the only distraction I need is you

BRIDGE:

When I had every intention of
keeping my full attention on
what I claim to be my life's ambition
But I get distracted
from all my distractions.

CHORUS

Quote of the Day

What others say of me matters little;
what I myself say and do matters much
- Elbert Hubbard

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Commercial Appeal Editorial

With the pending elections, my pop sent in an editorial to the local paper, the Commercial Appeal. It was posted today but they took out two or three lines - imagine that.

When it comes to politics, my dad tends to consider himself to be an independent. He would be a conservative independent. He doesn't always agree with the Republican party, and doesn't always agree with the Democratic party... so he chooses neither. He votes according to each circumstance and each man, rather than along party lines.

As a conservative however, and rather, first as a Christian, Dad finds it very difficult for a person to vote for Obama who is more than liberal. He is one of the most liberal Senators in Congress, according to some.

I thought his editorial was interesting, definitely considering the time and effort my dad puts into things before writing. He felt lead to write this one, and this is what he wrote (prior to the Commercial Appeal editing).



Editorial 10/21/08

I respect Gen. Colin Powell and would have elected him President. However, his backing of Barrack Obama is an error in judgement. I too desire a strong transformation in how our government is run. However, what goes with that is equally critical. Sen. Obama and Biden are ranked the #1 and #3 most liberal senators. What they will press to transform I simply cannot support. I prefer a leader moving us in the mostly right direction over a perceived transformational one moving us quickly in the wrong direction.

First, this country has flourished as a capitalistic system, and no doubt more must be done for the poor and disadvantaged. But, taking from the rich and giving to the poor isn't how this country will return to greatness. This "Me Generation" is breaking this country with its "what do I get out of it" mentality. News Flash: It isn't about Me, it is about God and We. Staying true to moral roots and helping one another is the key.

Second, Obama's stand on partial birth abortions and commitment to derail the definition of marriage as one man and one woman is also what you'll get. How any Christian can support those positions is beyond understanding. Killing a child moments from independence remains killing. For the other, in John 8:11 NIV where Jesus dealt with the prostitute, He said "Then neither do I condemn you...Go now and leave your life of sin." Not, "Go now and do what you desire" ! To rewrite scripture to your liking is not being a disciple, it is trying to be God Himself.


May God take compassion on us and not give us what many are asking for in this election. The transformation will much greater than you expect.

Lloyd Wilson
Collierville, TN

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Disgusting Habit and Smelly Breath

After bragging about my dear, precious puppy and how he graduated from school... I find myself needing to express the nasty secret Kelly and I have discovered about our pup. I knew I'd have to write about this once I finally took the steps to google the problem and hope to find a solution.

I'll just go ahead and put the secret out there...

Dexter eats his poop!

Yep! I know it's disgusting! Who would do such a thing, regardless if you're a dog or not! What is even worse is the stench of his breath after he comes inside and we KNOW he's been chomping away on the nastiness. GROSS!!!! It makes us want to gag!

I've discovered through my little bit of google research that this poop eating disorder has an actual name. It's called: Dog Coprophagia.

Hi, my name is Heather, and my puppy Dexter has Dog Coprophagia.

They tell me admittance is the first step to recovery.

So... what did I discover on my bit of research?

A. Dog Coprophagia is most common in puppies up to a year old. So Dexter is the not the only one, and he's in that exact age range - a little over 6 months.

B. Dog Coprophagia has a couple suggested common causes: it tastes good to your dog - GROSS, come on Dexter, isn't your food and treats tasty enough!; symptoms of anxiety or boredom - Dex has Kodi to play with, how can he be bored!; the dog is hiding the evidence of their poop because they're confused that pooping is bad rather than knowing that pooping in the house is bad - hmmm; result of over feeding - Dex is skinny, even smaller than his sister who was the runt of the litter...

C. Dog Coprophagia has a couple suggested solutions: adequately exercise and stimulate the dog - maybe I could take Dexter on more outside of the house exercise adventures; put a tablespoon of pineapple, pickles, or garlic in the dog's food because it makes their poop taste bad - How does poop alone NOT taste bad?!; provide distractions to your dog after they poop - so I have to watch Dexter every time he goes out?; keep your dog on the training collar so when they get near the poop you crack the leash to bring about negative association - hmmm... means I can't use my backyard effectively for Dex; and last but not least, keep the dogs living area clean of feces - so we can clean up after he poops to keep it away from him.

You can read all of this in detail on the stop dogs eating dog poop website.

So, yes. I'm going to have to try something to get Dexter out of this nasty habit. It's disgusting! Yuck! If anyone has any tried and true suggestions, pass them onto the comments page. I'm open to suggestions!!!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Puppy Graduated

It's official. I'm super proud of my pup. After six weeks of training and learning the ropes, Dexter graduated from Dog Woods today. We had a test today, an evaluation of many of the key points we learned during the training.

Dexter had to HEEL with Kelly while walking fast, slow, and regular. He had to do an ABOUT TURN while heeling, and when Kelly stopped walking he had to SIT by him without being commanded to do so. After this individual test, all of the dogs had to get out on the mat together, stand by their owners and test on their SIT STAY and DOWN STAY. This part of the evaluation first consisted of doing the SIT STAY. Each dog was told by their owners (Kelly continued to work the test with Dexter while I cheered from the benches/audience) to sit, and then to stay. In order to pass this section, the dogs were required to stay for a total of one minute without getting up. The final bit of testing consisted of the DOWN STAY. The owners took their pup beside them, had them sit first, then lay down. You got two extra points if the owner did not have to make the dog lay down, but rather the dog laid down simply upon the verbal command. Once all the dogs were set in their down position, they had to stay in that position for three full minutes.

So how did Dexter do?

He passed with flying colors. He did great on the individual evaluation with the heeling and such, and did fabulous on the SIT STAY, but we did have a less than perfect performance on the DOWN STAY. Dexter got his two extra points for laying down on verbal command, rather than Kelly having to make him do it. And Dex stayed down for a full minute and a half, but my hubby's pride got the best of him. We saw Dexter get antsy, and I looked at Kelly to tell him no, but as Kelly put it in his own words, "his pride got the best of him, he wanted Dex to do like we knew he could do"... so Kelly did not give a proactive "NO" command, and Dexter found his way to his feet. No worries though, Kelly easily got Dex back in the correct position strictly by his verbal commands and Dex hung out in the stay as needed.

So, YES, he passed, AND he got the most points of all. He was even titled the BEST IN CLASS!!! That's why that plush squeaky star is in the picture. He won the prize!!! He was the STAR! Proud momma!

Now, as I'm typing about it all... I'm listening to both Dexter and Kodi go crazy about that exact toy. My hubby is egging it on... laughter and all. Ohhhh, my boys. All of them. I best go referee.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Kellyism

Kelly: "What? Look at you! You're drinking my beer!"

Me: "Your beer? Excuse me?"

Kelly: "Yeah. You see... it says NEWCASTLE KELLY."

Me: "Oh really? Where?"

Kelly: "Yeah, uhh... it's invisible ink"

Sweeney Todd - Loving Date Night

Ever since the movie came out, I've been wanting to see Johnny Depp's depiction of Sweeney Tood - The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. I love musicals, I love plays, I love theater, and I love Johnny Depp, so I knew it would be good. I think the movie even won awards. However, I haven't stopped to actually watch the movie yet. It's still in my plan of things to do.

Nevertheless, I'm uber excited to see the theater version of Sweeney Todd tomorrow at the Memphis Theater.

Kelly and I have a fabulous date night planned. First, we will use the Folks Folly gift certificate my father in law, Larry gave to us for our wedding (1.5+ years ago). Yummy expensive eats. Then, we will make our way to the Memphis Theater for the 8pm performance of Sweeney Todd. I'm so excited!!! It should be super fun and entertaining.

Kelly also informed me that he helped direct, or was in (I can't remember, sorry honey) Sweeney Todd during his younger years. So he's very familiar with this show. I've only read things about it. Never seen it. So I'm in for a treat. I think I'll watch the movie this weekend after seeing the depiction of the show on stage.

Update: Sweeney Todd at the Memphis Theater was great last night. We really enjoyed it. If you like the theater and musicals are your thing, go have a date night or a random night out and support your local theater.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

McGugan Family Reunion

You don't choose your family. They are God's gift to you, as you are to them. ~Desmond Tutu

I cannot believe that the McGugan family reunion has already come and gone. Wow. It seems like it just arrived, and with a whirlwind, we have already completed it.

I've been absent from my blog for awhile now. It has been over a full week since my last post, but I have good cause as to the delay. For the past six plus days I have been attending and participating in the McGugan family reunion.

What an experience! What an awesome experience! I married into the McGugan family on March 17, 2007. Because the family has a reunion every four (4) years, until this point I have been unable to meet the full extended McGugan family and participate in a McGugan family reunion. For months, I have been poking fun of the fact that I join the family when the reunion is practically in our back yard (Memphis), but missed out (wasn't part of Kelly's life then) on the Bermuda location four years ago. Memphis vs. Bermuda - why would they want to come here, I thought.

I didn't know what to expect. What would we do? In Memphis? What would the people be like? Four official days doing what? Would I enjoy it? I had even asked some of the family members I interacted with on facebook - What should I expect? They gave me clues like: lot of hugs, lots of talking, some drinking, laughs, etc. But what would that really look like, I asked myself.

Well, I was more than pleasantly surprised. What a great time!!!

The busyness and fun began on Thursday as most of the family arrived into Memphis. I would call Thursday the "meet and greet" session of the reunion. It was amazing how I recognized so many faces already through our facebook group page interaction. Family would walk up, I'd smile big, feeling like I knew them, but struggled to remember which name went with what face. We'd introduce ourselves, hug in an embrace, and let the socializing begin. My brother in law (Kevin) and father in law (Larry) cooked out ribs for us. Yum Yum! Great, homecookin BBQ to start the festivities.

Throughout the four official days of the reunion (Oct. 10 - Oct. 13), we ate together, laughed together, visited together, toured Memphis together, took hundreds of pictures together, and soaked up the time together. I didn't want the time to end with these folks, I now call family.

Here are some pictures from the event:

1. This is Jadis. I KNOW Jadis made more pictures than ANYONE over the entire event. Isn't he adorable. I'm seriously in love. He pokes his bottom lip out quite a bit and it just makes everyone melt. I think this picture here catching his personality a bit. I had a blast with Jadis!

2. Of course we have to take goofy husband/wife photos. It's very rare that you get a serious one of us both at the same time.

3. Every 4 years at the reunion, they take GENERATION pictures. All the folks from each generation get together and they take the generation shot. This is Kelly's generation. Rather than posting the nice smiley pic, I chose the silly one. This one is much more like themselves anyway!

4. And of course with every generation picture, there is an OUT LAW picture. These are all the "significant others" of the group above. They're lucky to have us, right? ;)

5. And last, but not least is a picture of the portion of the family I specifically married into. Pop is in the middle, sitting down. He makes up part of the generation that brings this entire group of folks together. Pop has two sons (both pictured here), my father in law (Larry) and Kelly's uncle Alan. The rest are composed of Alan's wife (Lisa), his kids (Jessica and Mathew), and Larry's kids (Kelly - my hubby, Kevin and his wife Leah), and his grandchild (Grace).


We've had quite a few offers to come visit them all over Canada and in Bermuda. I truly believe Kelly and I are going to take them up on these offers... let the planning begin. I can't wait to hangout with them all again!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Target is Evil.

yes. Target is evil. As many times as I've said I'm addicted to HGtv, I would have to say the same thing about Target. It's ridiculous.

Wait. I have to sidetrack for a second, just thought of something. The other day, during my coffee date with (girl) Kelly, I opened Kelly's birthday card and gift. While I was thanking her for her and Elian's generosity in their gift, she went on to tell me that she had hoped to give me a magazine subscription instead. A subscription to HGtv magazine, however, to her knowledge there is no such thing. HA! I thought that was hilarious. I'm addicted enough, and talk about it enough that one of my best friends wants to even add to the madness by giving me a magazine about it all. How awesome is that? or maybe scary, I don't know which.


So anyway, back to Target. You go into the store with one item in mind. Item A.

You say to yourself or to your husband or friend, "hey I'm headed to Target to get A." You go on your way, walk into the store, and BAM! before you know it you get A, B, C, D, E, .... and a $50-100 bill, easy!

I don't get it. How does that always happen? Before Kelly and I got married, I had to set myself to a bi-monthly Target visit, otherwise, I could go once a week and spend $100+ a week on randomness. That's NOT GOOD for the budget.

Today, it happened to me. I managed to get out of the door with less than a $50.00 bill, but I wasn't planning on buying ANY of the items I left with. I went into Target with the plan of getting ITEM A - a birthday gift for my coworker. As I walked through the aisles, attempting to make my way to the Halloween aisle for the gift, I first came upon the candle section. I picked up a bag of plain tea light candles (item B) - I used our last one last night. So that was sort of a "need". Next I walked to the Halloween section. There was nothing on cheesy for my coworker's gift, so I made my way to the electronic department - to my defense, it was sort of on the way. There I stopped and picked up a movie - IRONMAN (item C) for my hubby. I bought it as a happy for him. Next I went to the card section, looking for a card to add to the happy. Instead, I picked up two boxes of cute thank you cards (items D & E). Finally, I picked up the card to put with my hubby's happy (item F). Then I decided I wanted to wrap the happy in something, so I picked up a back for the movie, I rationalized this one because it was only $.34 (item G). As I looked over the multiple items in my hand, I decided it was time to get to the check out line before more damage was done. There I was psychologically stimulated by the product placement of candy - geez louizzz - I picked up two Laffy Taffy bars (items H & I) that were calling my name.

Do you see what I mean? Does this ever happen to you?


I went for item A. I ended up NOT GETTING item A, rather I walked out of Target with Item B, C, D, E, F, G, H, and I.


Target is addictive, you could spend hours in that store, and spend lots of money while you're at it.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Good B'day & Upcoming Reunion

I had a wonderful, very low key birthday this weekend. Sunday, I turned 26 years old. I don't feel any different. Just another number on the ticker, right? I really enjoyed the low key atmosphere of my day. Sometimes it's nice to just relax and enjoy a day. I even took a nap on the couch yesterday afternoon... nice! The evening consisted of a great family birthday dinner. Dinner at Cafe 1912, and dessert at Baskin Robbins. Mmmmm, MMmmmm, Good.

Here is a picture of my sun burnt husband and myself at our dinner birthday celebration.




This weekend is a big upcoming event for the McGugan family. Our family reunion has arrived. Beginning Friday, October 10th - the McGugan's are flocking to Memphis. Watch out! We will take over the city for four days. October 10-13th.

The reunion happens once, every 4 years. It travels to the different McGugan family locations. Four years ago the reunion was in BERMUDA, and now it lands in my backyard. I'm sure I'll have plenty of stories to share as the weekend goes on and I meet about 80 of my in-law relatives. So far, I think I know less than fifteen. Bring on the good times!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Commentary of My Life

I'm so thankful for the amazing friendships the Lord has blessed me with. Among the friendships I am thankful for is the gal you see at the bottom (Kelly and her daughter, Lexi). During our coffee date Friday night, Kelly said something that I now believe defines true relationship. I do not believe that was her intent when she made the comment, rather I think she was just using a Kellyism and going about her way, but it has stuck with me - even now.

As I shared some stuff with Kelly, and talked, and talked, and talked about what was going on, I finally came to a stopping point. Once the silence hit, Kelly looked at me and said:

"I'm going to go pee, but when I come back I have commentary."

According to Merriam-Webster's dictionary online, commentary is:

Main Entry:
com·men·tary
Pronunciation:
\ˈkä-mən-ˌter-ē, -ˌte-rē\
Function:
noun
Inflected Form(s):
plural com·men·tar·ies
Date:
15th century
1 a: an explanatory treatise —usually used in plural b: a record of events usually written by a participant —usually used in plural
2 a: a systematic series of explanations or interpretations (as of a writing) b: comment
3 a: something that serves for illustration or explanation commentary upon our civilization — H. A. Overstreet> b: an expression of opinion



So this is what I think - true friends have commentary about our lives. They speak the commentary to us, write it in emails, give us explanations or insight in the things that we experience. They are not strictly bystanders in our lives, they make a mark on it. I'm so thankful for Kelly's commentary in my life. Thanks Kelly!


Friday, October 3, 2008

Chicken Biscuit Birthday 'Cakes'

Birthday "cake" chicken biscuits this morning. Yum. Look at the creative sweetness of one of my dearest co-workers. Janis & I share a birthday this Sunday, and our dear friend Shan presented us with Chicken Biscuit B'day Cakes with candles taped to them and all.
Too cute!

In other news, my coworker Kathie gave me a card today (and an awesome purple witch's caldron or body with witch legs and feet - it's a candy pot) for my upcoming birthday. The card she gave me totally hit the nail on the head - definitely a "Heather" card. Check it out:
























Let's just say, with my past history of injuries and style, people at work don't call me Grace. :)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Country Road

I have the desire to write today but 1,000 things are going through my mind. We're busy these days, and lots of things are going on. From Kelly's busy schedule, to my daily grind, to our extracurricular activities, to catching up on our favorites shows, to training our dog, to finding time for friends and family, to housework, to home improvements, to everything else you can think of - we're definitely on the go. I can't decide which one of the items in my mind I want to focus on and use my blog as an outlet.


I guess what I'll do instead is post this picture.

One of the blogs I follow pretty regularly was suggested by my friend Brittany. Britt has a great blog of her own, and while avidly reading Britt's blog one day, I discovered this site in her list of blog reads. Dooce is usually a good read, and besides the reading enjoyment of the site, the author also posts daily pictures of her dogs and other random things. I happen to think she's a fabulous photographer. The picture above is an example. So one of my favorite items to follow with Dooce, is her photos. Hope you enjoy the one I'm sharing from her today.

This photo, she calls "Country Road" is currently my desktop photo. I love fall. I love the crisp air it brings and the colors that surround it. The smells in the air and the blue jeans and sweatshirts that come out of the closet. The football that takes over my TV, and the passion that spurs for the fans that cheer it on. This photo makes me think of all of that.


At the same time, I find myself staring down that country road wondering where it will take me. Where will I go if I follow that road? What is around the curve when you get there?

And then I ask myself, why do I live in a place that doesn't find a view like this on a regular basis?