Monday, November 22, 2010

My first post as a married woman!

Quite a lot has happened since my last post which was 28 days before I was married.

Well... now I've been married for 43 days. And being married ROCKS! At least... my being married to Rod ROCKS!!!! When we got the link to the plethora of pictures our amazing and awesome photographer Mike Shuaib (Michael Lawrence Photography) sent us, we had to share with as many of our friends and family as possible.

Our wedding was blessed with talented people - including multiple photographers. I can't thank John Stamatakos and Bruce Crouch (Bruce Allen Photography) enough for not only taking photos, but for sharing them with us and our friends and family! I laughed when someone commented, "Wow, that John guy sure took a lot of photos of your maid of honor. I bet he had the hots for her!" Well, uh... yeah. She's his fiance. :-)

I'm not sure what all to detail in this particular blog, so I'll try to highlight the massive events over the past few months.

Our wedding was incredible and everything that I'd always dreamed of. Getting married on the Farm was a lifetime dream of mine - but it wasn't just about the location. It was about the love and family and down-to-earth-ness that I've always loved about my time spent at the Farm. And we had that.

The weather was amazing. Our friends and family ARE amazing. We had the best time EVER getting ready for our wedding. We even had a few hours "free" to bathe dogs before the BBQ on Friday night. I didn't get to groom Garrison like I would have if we were going into the show ring and without any Bouvier show people present at our wedding, I couldn't rely upon anyone to "show prep" him so he would be "photo ready" the way I like him to be photographed, but he was a happy boy and was enthralled with the sheep in the pastures and the fields of cows. And Nickel just LOVED running with Garrison and acted as a happy and carefree Scottie - it was awesome and so much fun!!!

I loved spending time with Rod's mom Marilyn during the weekend. How could I not? She gave birth to 7 boys... one of them being my husband... and a mother's love of her son runs deep. Only once when I said, "Hey Marilyn! I'm marrying your son Rod and I'm terribly excited about being his wife," did she say, "You better be!" We had a short conversation about his first marriage and I'm thankful that she told me that she sees how happy we are and how much I genuinely love him and that makes her happy.

Our wedding day was just lovely. The weather was gorgeous. I had to "just be" and not produce my wedding any more and trust the people who were "in charge" of making sure things were as we discussed... or made their own executive decisions about where things should go or what should be done with such-and-such. And I had already said, "I trust you all. I'm going to be a bride on Sunday, so do what you all think is best. You are all smart and capable and I've given the parameters... so fill 'em in."

And WOW! The Walton Farm looked stunning. It was as if I'd always dreamed of and imagined. It was down home yet classy. It was elegant but not pretentious. The food was top notch. The wine... well... we knew the wine would be amazing because we bought it from the Rabbit Ridge Winery! Our audio and lighting guys did a nice job. The DJ was OK. Fair is fair - if someone had given me a list of songs preferred, I would have worked them around my schedule of "what to do during a reception". I did perform a "Voice of God" announcement about the bride and groom's first dance at my own wedding... and what made me laugh even more is that no one except my (new) husband, maid of honor and the best man Rodger knew it was me. People thought, "Wow... that DJ has a great pre-recorded voice to announce the first dance!" (Ahem... to all of those reading who hire voiceover talent - take note!)

What made both me and Rod laugh and smile the most were the gaggle of kids that were like our viewing entourage. When our first dance was announced, they all grabbed chairs and hauled them over to the dance floor to watch. And... later in the evening after I sang Happy Birthday to several birthday folks - one including my father... who gave his only daughter away on his 69th birthday - we danced to "C is for Cookie" with all of the kiddos. Rod and I had a blast!

We got to say goodbye to our pups before we left for our wedding night. They were all happy to see us... and I had changed out of my wedding dress so I wasn't worried about paw prints. My maid of honor Katina and her fiance John gave us great peace of mind knowing they were taking care of our beloved 4 legged critters until we showed up to the Davie School Inn the next morning.

Our wedding night B&B cabin wasn't far from the farm at all. And the most meaningful thing about our wedding night was the moment when we got down on our knees and prayed to God to thank Him for our marriage... for the gift of marriage... and to honor our lives and bodies together as we went forward as man and wife. And that's it for the details that I'm gonna share about our wedding night. :-)

For those of you that saw pictures from Shuaib, you know that the day after our wedding took some time, but well deserved with photos that captured us, our love, our recent nuptials and.... our dogs.

Our schlep back to California wasn't too shabby. We chose to stop in different cities on the way back so that Rod could work from the car and we could spend a few hours at the Grand Canyon before we returned since Rod had never been to the Grand Canyon. He has now! And we took a lot of pictures of Fuzzy Gman along the South Rim Trail path where Emilie and I traversed 3 1/2 years prior when Garrison was born.

Since our return, we realized we slept a total of 5 nights in our own bed in the month of October.

We went to the Cabrillo dog shows in Del Mar, CA as soon as we got back. Nickel picked up 2 more points toward his championship but that was all that really stuck out for us there. Then we drove up north to the Del Valle shows. Lara picked up 4 points by going Winner's Bitch at a Specialty on Saturday and an all-breed show on Sunday. Rod showed her at the specialty and I showed her the next day and it was a really good feeling to beat Bergit Coady Kabel and Amy Rutherford with our girl. Lara is starting to come into her own and they were nice wins. Pretty much as nice as winning breed in the Bouvier ring over top handlers and dogs. Especially since I haven't been showing Scotties very long. My first "trial by fire" was Indianapolis the weekend Rod and I got engaged - February 2010.

I had to fly home to work my last year as the Voice of Goddess for Maria Shriver's Women's Conference in Long Beach - a gig I have enjoyed for the last 5-6 years. The most frustrating part about this year's event, however, was that Michelle Obama was a speaker during the morning and we were in total lock-down for hours. I couldn't go to the bathroom without having to go all the way around the auditorium, go through metal detectors, and work my way through the audience to get back stage again. I posted to Twitter that I should have packed my lunch and worn Depends. As soon as she left... I could pee as often as I liked. I preferred to pee as often as I liked IN the restroom. Just saying.

I then flew back up to NoCal and Rod and I drove up to Portland for the National Bouvier Specialty. Lord have mercy... Garrison was more than full of pent up energy. Rain didn't allow him to run at the park and chase his ball in San Ramon. I flew back to SoCal and Rod had to work during the day and he didn't take Gman to the park after he was done working. I had an overzealous boy puppy. And he forgot that he's won groups and that we've beaten top dogs and handlers around the country on the day of our National Specialty. Yup. He thought we were doing our best impression of the Calgary Stampede. Romping. Jumping. Galloping. Nipping at my jacket. Rolling around on his back. Total embarrassment. His sister, on the other hand, went Best Opposite for her 2nd time at our National Specialty. We were proud of family. I just wasn't wanting to be dubbed "Comic Relief" but Garrison obviously felt that we needed it. He was probably right in the long term and in hindsight.

So we got back to SoCal. And we had (wait for it....... ) a full week before we left again!!!! Yes... it's true. We were home for a full week before we left for our honeymoon to the Baja peninsula and spent 8 nights/9 days at the Coral Baja resort near San Jose del Cabo - north of Cabo San Lucas.

But we had to throw in a dog show before we left. Oh yes. We did.

Garrison showed the best he's shown all year long - no joke. He went Best Opposite to his sister on Saturday and thankfully he won the breed on Sunday. We didn't get a group placing, but we weren't expecting to given the group judge and inside word we received. I just wanted him to show well... and he did. That's all that mattered. And a breed win after months of a dry spell!

Honeymoon. This warrants a blog of its own. However, here are some pictures of fun times as newlyweds. :-)

And we got home from an amazing honeymoon. Our dogs were MORE than happy to see us. We were MORE than happy to see them! And then we went off and looked at a puppy that we had been approached about while up in Portland.

She's nice. She's sweet. She has qualities that we want to incorporate into our Bouvier breeding program.

So we have a new puppy. Her registered name is Vanleighof's Victory Lap. Her call name is Danica (for Danica Patrick). I think we're certifiably crazy to bring a new puppy into our house right after we get back from getting married and having our honeymoon... but at the same time... is there ever a good time to bring in a new dog to a house or to have a baby? No there is not.

We just hope that Rod can sell his house sooner than later so that we can buy a place while it is still a buyer's market. Our pups all enjoy the day with us and it takes time, but we make it work, so that they all get individual time and love and attention and training... but we need a little more space. Including closet space!

So Husband-o-mine and I are spending our first Thanksgiving as a married couple at Casa Fairview with our pups. Then we greet canine and human friends for Eukanuba weekend... and... OH YEAH...

We're having a wedding reception for local friends on Friday, December 3rd. I confess I laughed when a dear girlfriend asked if we were staying somewhere on Friday night and if she needed to take care of all of the dogs that night.

Nope. We spent enough time away from our pups on our wedding night and during our honeymoon. We aren't imposing that on anyone! We're heading home afterward... and happily, mind you.

I love being married and I'm glad that events of my life (and Rod's) happened as they did so that when our relationship developed as it did... we were open, willing, and ready to be married. I've had a few friends ask me if I'm scared being married and I laughed out loud. This is the first time in my life that I've never felt a twinge of fear about being married... but not just being married. Being married to Rod. When it's the right relationship... there is no fear. We made a commitment to God and to one another and we intend on keeping that. And that means being real... communicating... and working at our relationship until we're dead. I didn't go through all that I have endured just to go through the motions of getting married. Why do that? It's easier to stay single!

When I met Rod... being single and living my life all by myself suddenly didn't make sense anymore. And to be emotionally open, malleable and willing to share my life as is is one of the hardest things I thought I'd ever do until I met Rod. He respects and appreciates me for me... and I feel the same way about him. Every day is a joy and feels like "home" when we're together.

It is an honor and a privilege to be Rod's wife.

And we have a new Bouvier puppy.

And all of it makes me laugh and get happy warm tingly butterflies of happiness. :-)