Sunday, October 31, 2010

Naples is the new Cape Cod

Though we'll always love the Cape and nothing can replace it, after a super nice Girls Weekend in Florida we just might have to make Naples an annual thing, like Kate visiting the Cape used to be.

We had perfect weather pretty much the whole time we were there, besides the 10 minute downpour that hit as we were sippin sangria on the beach, with temps in the high 80s/low 90s. The beach is about a 4 minute walk across the street from the condo, so we spent every day at the beach relaxing, swimming, dolphin-watching, taking walks to the beach bar, and getting tans.

I have to share and explain this picture I took at the beach, because it is too wild not to. Dolphins would regularly swim up close to the shore and so it was fun to watch them and try to take pictures of them. One time Kate was in the water while dolphins were swimming by so I had my camera out taking pictures of her with the dolphin fins in the background. Then there was a big splash and I took a picture of what I at first thought was a dolphin's tail splashing the water. But then someone else on the beach yelled sting ray, and I realized it was a sting ray flying out of the water right near the dolphins! We had seen sting rays swimming up and down the shore in the shallow water all week, so it wasn't shocking that there was a sting ray out there, just crazy that it flew out of the water like that and I happened to get a picture of it.

In the evenings we would go to 5th Avenue (Naple's mainstreet), 3rd Street (Naple's old/historic downtown- picture at top of the 3 of us was taken there at the Old Naples Pub), Tin City (small shops and places to eat near the water), or Venitian Village (outdoor mall/some restaurants- picture above of me and Mom was taken when we went out to dinner there at an Italian restaurant on the water). My mom treated us to nice dinners each night which was really sweet of her, and much appreciated.

One of the more memorable nights from the trip was when we went to McCabe's Irish Pub on 5th Avenue. We were just looking for a place to have a drink after dinner, but once we went inside and saw the guy playing singing/playing guitar and taking requests we ended up staying until it closed. The guy was a little crazy, but he pretty much played everything we requested and we had fun singing/dancing along. And Kate and I ordered mai tais since she had never had one before, and it definitely reminded me of happy hour in Maui since I hadn't had one since the honeymoon. Overall a wonderful vacation that we will have to do again sometime!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Big Wedding Post

The wedding photos are finally here, and as Rob and I looked at them together it just made us wish we could do it all over again! I don't think I ever really took the time to write about our big day, between the honeymoon and moving to Atlanta, not to mention most of the people who read this blog were probably there to experience it for themselves. But what everyone who is married says is true, it was truly the best day of our lives thus far.

I have to say the location made the wedding what it was. Getting married in Boston, where we met and where our relationship grew, was very special and meaningful for us. Having the ceremony at Marsh Chapel at BU made perfect sense, and was really the only place I could have imagined it. There was just something funny and special about getting out of the limo in my wedding dress in front of Marsh Chapel before the ceremony,
looking up and down Comm Ave, seeing Warren Towers where we met and spent 2 years of our lives, the Chinese restaurant across the street where we had one of our first dates, and the T driver waving and honking the T horn for me as it passed through the BU Central stop. Being able to share that part of Boston, for some their 1st time & others their 100th time, with all of our friends and family was great.

The reception was classy, gorgeous and fun- all the things I wanted it to be. Walking into the ballroom for the first time before the reception was an amazing feeling. Seeing all of my planning pay off like that made it all worth it. I loved the flowers, and considering I only met with my florist 2 times in person and emailed her a handful of times, she did a very nice job understanding what I wanted and setting the scene without much help from me.

And the lighting- if there was one thing I would have originally called a splurge it was the lighting, but after seeing the room lit up in purples and blues, it was worth every penny for sure. The food was delish- if only I had a bigger appetite that night to enjoy more of it. And the Winiker Band, well I had my reservations about them at first, and Bo telling me he liked to think of himself as the Tom Brady of music- calling the plays as he sees fit- did not give me the reassurance I was looking for. But in the end I was very happy we went with a band, because it added an element of fun and liveliness you don't quite get with a DJ. Everyone was dancing until the very end, which is exactly what I hoped would happen.

There are so many other parts of the wedding weekend and details that made it wonderful and memorable. The emotionally heartfelt rehearsal (aka mini-emotional breakdown as Rob and I practiced our vows ;), rehearsal dinner at the Castle and the special slide-show my mom put together for us, getting to see all of our friends at White Horse the night before the wedding, the very cool rooftop cocktail hour overlooking the city, the touching toasts given by the dads, my sisters and Hayes, the fun candy bar and flip flop baskets we put much work into turning out to be a hit, our impromptu last dance with everyone surrounding us, and so much more. But the absolute best part of the weekend was having everyone we love there supporting and celebrating with us. We are so grateful for the time, money and travel everyone put in to making it out to Boston for our wedding. Having so many wonderful people around you that you love all at once does not happen many times in life, maybe only once, so we especially want to say thank you to all of our guests!

The morning after our wedding, Rob and I somehow woke up at 5am. We were still so excited about everything that had happened the day before, we couldn't wait to talk about it. So we got up and sat on the floor of our massive suite at the Colonnade that over-looked Huntington Ave and the Prudential Center, and ate our slices of wedding cake that were delivered to our room the night before. As we sat there eating our cake, looking out the window, Rob just looks at me and says, "Wow, we just had a dream wedding in Boston, how crazy is that?" We are very fortunate that we were able to have such a beautiful wedding day, and to my parents we say thank you, thank you, thank you.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

One week down

We brought Roxanne home one week ago today, and already I kind of forget what it was like without her. Well I don't know if I forget, more like I just can't imagine going back to living without her. It was calmer, more relaxed, and I got more sleep, but I'm pretty sure I am laughing a lot more now throughout the day than I was before she came.

She has made good progress in one week. She is doing better and better with house training. The past 3 days she has averaged 1 accident a day. This usually happens in the evening, making it even more of a bummer that we didn't quite reach the exciting "1 full day without an accident" mark. Maybe today will be the day?

Roxanne went to the vet 2 times this week, and she did great. Once was just for a regular check-up, and then yesterday she got her second round of shots. We found out she now weighs 9 lbs. There was one big, loud, sorta scary dog in the waiting room yesterday, who really wanted to greet Roxanne when we came in the door, but we weren't sure if the "greeting" would have been a playful hello or more of an attack. The owner had a pretty strong grip on his leash so we took that as a warning. Roxanne was hesitant for a minute or so, but soon relaxed and didn't mind the other loud dog. Shortly after we walked in the lady at the front desk said "code yellow" over the loud speaker. We were like 'what is that, do they think there is going to be a dog fight or something?' Nope, we realized that code yellow is what it sounds (looks) like...the other dog had an accident in the waiting room that needed to be cleaned up!

One of the most exciting achievements for Roxanne is that she now sleeps through the night without crying! Given how the first few nights went, I didn't know if it was possible so soon, but she's finally ok sleeping in her cage in the living room by herself. Now, she still wakes up at 6am to go outside, and hopefully soon we can stretch that to 7am, but for now I am just glad to be sleeping in my own bed again.

She is also doing well with meeting other dogs and people, which is so important. She even met her new friend/cousin/boy friend/we haven't decided what we want them to be yet Bailey- my mother-in-law and John's 80 lb labradoodle. The size difference was hilarious, but they got along well and will have many more play sessions together soon since Ann and John are moving to Atlanta this week.

So, what do we need to work on? Her play biting. She grabs onto my pant legs and shakes them up like no other. We are trying to give her toys in place of the pants when she does this, say 'off' and if necessary, remove ourselves from the situation by going to another room and shutting the door. She is so darn cute, but her teeth are sharp as nails! I did think it was possible I was over-doing it with the toys we bought at Petsmart last week, but not anymore...we need all of the play options we can get for Roxanne to keep her interested in anything besides our hands, feet and pants!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Meet Roxanne

She is my precious little rascal and I love her :)

She did such a great job on the 3 hour car ride home yesterday, mostly sleeping in my lap. She was so calm and relaxed, but I think she was just saving her shenanigans for at home.

She likes trying to chew the rug in the living room, she parades around the apartment with her puppy pee pads like they are toys, she loves biting my hair, and rolling around and laying in the ferns where she is supposed to be doing her business.

But she is a sweetie, and no matter what she does you just want to give her a big hug and kiss. After 1 day she is about 50/50 with the house could be worse. And when she does the right thing I'm just so proud of her - I didn't know I could be this proud of peeing and pooping outside. With some encouragement she now does the stairs without much hesitation, and she got over her fear of curbs. She met 2 dogs in our complex so far, both much bigger than her, and she handled it very well. She loves all of her toys and carries on, going from one toy to the next, being very cute. And when she sticks our her little tongue and wags her fluffy tail it's the best.

I will try to keep all of these good things in mind tonight when she wakes me up every hour, on the hour, to go to the bathroom 60% of the times we go outside. Oh Roxanne, your Dad is lucky he is a very sound sleeper...and you are lucky I am not.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Puppy preparation

Today I went to Barnes and Noble and bought a book called The Perfect Puppy, which I am going to read by Sunday so I have some idea of what I need to do to properly socialize and train her. Rob and I made a list of puppy things we are going to need and have a date to Petsmart Friday night. I've also scoped out possible Halloween costumes for her, and have been checking out vet websites and reviews online. One of the vet websites had this advice to offer new puppy parents...

How to Prepare for a New Puppy
■Pour cold apple juice on the carpet in several places, and walk around barefoot in the dark.
■Wear a sock to work that has had the toes shredded by a blender.
■Immediately upon waking, stand outside in the rain and dark saying, “Be a good puppy, go potty now – hurry up – come on, lets go!”
■Cover all your best suits with dog hair. Dark suits must use white hair, and light suits must use dark hair. Also float some hair in your first cup of coffee in the morning.
■Play “catch” with a wet tennis ball.
■Run out in the snow in your bare feet to close the gate
■Tip over a basket of clean laundry, scatter clothing all over the floor.
■Leave your underwear on the living room floor, because that’s where the dog will drag it anyway. (Especially when you have company.)
■Jump out of your chair shortly before the end of your favorite TV program and run to the door shouting, “No no! Do that OUTSIDE!” Miss the end of the program.
■Put chocolate pudding on the carpet in the morning, and don’t try to clean it up until you return from work that evening.
■Gouge the leg of the dinning room table several times with a screwdriver — it’s going to get chewed on anyway
■Take a warm and cuddly blanket out of the dryer and immediately wrap it around yourself. This is the feeling you will get when your puppy falls asleep on your lap.
– Author Unknown

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Over-the-top excitement

The Porter household is in for a big change. If everything goes as planned, Rob and I will be proud puppy parents this Sunday! If there is one thing I go crazy over, it is dogs. They are all cute in their own way, even the ones that Rob says aren't. Rob has heard the 'aww I want a dog' line from me more times than we can count over the past few years, but there was never the right opportunity or time to get one, until now.

If you've been keeping up with my blog, then you know all about Christopher the terrier mix we visited at the SPCA not long ago. He was a cutie, and his name still comes up on a daily basis, but I can now say that I don't think we were meant to be Christopher's parents. For whatever reason, maybe the daunting task of training him or his fuzzy history or excessively energetic personality, we just felt too much hesitation when it came to actually adopting him. Part of me, and Rob, wanted to, but part of us just couldn't commit. However, I am thankful for meeting Christopher when I did, because he really sparked my interest in getting serious about searching for the right 1st dog for us.

Rob and I have always wanted a goldendoodle (cross between a golden retriever and a poodle). We both love golden retrievers, but with Rob's allergies and how much they shed, it would never work out. Goldendoodles are the next and even better option for us, because they don't shed very much and they have a little curl to their coats which makes them simply adorable. The down side to doodles? The price. Many of the breeders I came across charge over $1,000 for a pup, some over $2,000.

While searching for goldendoodles online Sunday night, I just happen to come across a site that said their goldendoodle had a liter of 12 puppies on August 15th, and they would be ready for their 'forever homes' on 10/10/10...this coming Sunday! Not to mention the price was by far the lowest I had seen. After looking at all of the cute puppy pictures and videos, and finding out there were still 6 females available, we jumped at the opportunity and sent in our deposit check which will hold this adorable little girl for us :)