A Peek Into Parenting?

Do you ever think about what kind of parent you will be? Would you be the spoiler, the punisher, the rule-enforcer, or the go-ask-your-father/mother type? Reynold has been home for about a month now, and with that has come this out of body experience of witnessing my (puppy) parenting skills develop.  “Jesus, I sound JUST like my father” is a common thought, and a scary one. If you ask anyone in my family, they’ll quickly tell you that I’m the crazy one; speaking up and correcting any nonsense that is presented to me in any moment, regardless of who you are.

My father was always more strict than my mother, and was the parent you feared if you knew you were up to no good. Don’t get it twisted though! Because mom would surprise you with some rage – if you pushed her too far – that would send you into an instant frenzy as you hustled to get out of dodge. When it comes to Reynold’s training and development, I’m the parent that’s constantly in his ass; making sure he isn’t eating some random rock, chewing on things that aren’t his toys or bones, trying to potty inside, and worrying about things that probably won’t happen. S is the parent who is more relaxed, and zen in all things puppy. “He’s a puppy! He’s fine” is what he tells me when I’m worrying about something as random as Reynold licking the floor, or vanishing behind the couch. “We have to stay on him so he learns… he can’t sleep with us until he’s been sleeping in the crate throughout the entirety of the night with NO accidents, for two months… DON’T FEED HIM TOO MUCH, YOU’LL MAKE HIM FAT!”

All in all we’ve been having a great time raising our first fur child together. Our parenting styles are very balanced, and in the end, we both spoil the crap out of him. I just ordered his Halloween costume… a handmade Yoda-ears hat from Etsy. Another thing I’ve started doing is making him homemade treats; eventually Reynold will be a paleo/low-carb pup, like his daddies. Yes, we’re THOSE dog parents. It’s been a fun preview into what I hope will be a similar experience when we have human children – minus the fact that human children can talk back, and I don’t do well with that, LOL. It’s only been a month, and I already feel like our lil pup is growing up way too fast. Slow down, mister! Your daddies love you.

Sister and a Puppy

Hello! Yes, yes, I’m still here, and I apologize. I know it’s been a while since you’ve heard from me, and that’s not anyone’s fault but my own.  The past few weeks have been filled with fun and excitement, with a touch of busy at the top of my schedule’s cake.  My sister came into town from Alaska – yes, my family is still up there in the way north – and we brought our puppy, Reynold, home! I’ve gotten a few emails, text messages, and comments wondering what the hell I’ve been up to, and where the next post for Gays in the Life was, so here goes; the update you all deserve.

Where do I begin? I’m so happy I was able to take a full week off of work to spend with my sister. The last time I saw her, and the rest of my immediate family, was last summer when S and I visited Alaska.  Tickets to, and from, Alaska are ridiculous – you might as well go to Europe or Australia with some of these prices nowadays – so I was extra pumped to have her come down to Indy for a couple weeks. The first day of her visit (a Thursday), we all just hung out around the condo, and S ended up taking the following day off. V had one single request as we passed through Bloomington, on the way down to the in-law’s and to get Reynold, and that was to stop for lunch at Mother Bear’s. Mother Bear’s one of the most tasty pizza establishments I’ve ever experienced and my Alaskan family agrees; always requesting a stop there whenever they’re in the state of Indiana. A few of my favorite people were able to meet us for that lunch, and it was a great way to break up the two-and-a-half-hour drive down to southern Indiana.

sisandpup

I remember the first time I visited S and his parents, and feeling like it was a completely different world. Sitting on the edge of a field of horses and a lake, is a charming home, complete with a huge garage, and barn for newborn horses. Indiana is flat, but pretty in its own way. The air is still, calm, and you can almost hear the bugs that are hovering nearby; until a local tears by violently down the country road on a 4-wheeler. The way I describe Anchorage, Alaska is if you squished Indianapolis together, surround the city with mountains and ocean, and you’ve got our hometown. V had seen pictures of the farm, S’s parents, the horses, and all the land, but seeing her experience everything I had, almost four years ago, was so exciting and enjoyable for me.  The parents are always so nice and would do anything for any of their kids; myself included.  V would be the first family member of mine that they’d met, because as mentioned above, plane tickets are out of control. The day was hot, clear, and gorgeous for V’s arrival to the farm. I love calling their home the farm because it’s completely different from how we grew up in Alaska as city kids.  We all had a great time together; checking out the local sites, food, and meeting some country friends.

Reynold joined the three of us on our trip back to Indianapolis at the end of the weekend. The little dude slept the whole drive back; which was awesome because we didn’t have to stop a number of times for new-puppy-potty-breaks. He’s been such an easy puppy thus far, and has made all my research and worrying seem all-for-nothing in a great way.  I could only take a week off of work, but luckily my sister was still in town for that extra week, and she continued the potty-training and getting him used to his new home. Currently, he’s about ten and a half weeks old, he’s learned how to sit and lay down on command, and we’re working on “stay.” He’s got the whole potty thing down at this point, we just have to keep an eye on him, and he’s pretty silent at night in his crate. I’m also so proud to say that there have not been any accidents while he’s in the crate, and he’s getting good at learning that the night is for sleeping, and I only have to take him out a couple times a night. Eventually we want him to sleep with us, but he WILL be crate trained before that happens. I can already tell I will be the parent that will be the enforcer (of rules) and punisher, but I’ll probably also be the one that spoils him the most.

reynold

Well that’s the update guys! From this moment forward, I will be back to my weekly postings, and plan on adding a new page to Gays in the Life! More details on that later, though. Until then, follow us on Twitter at @gaysinthelife, and follow Reynold – yes the dog has an instagram so I can freely flood feeds with puppy pics and vids – at @reynold_the_1st. Lastly, I’d like to shoutout a blogging buddy of mine for having me as a guest blogger on his page A Guy Without Boxers. Roger asked me to write a little about manscaping, and I was more than happy to share! Thank you for having me Roger!

Until next beaus and betties,

The Wedding

“All I know is, when I get married, I will be in a Chanel suit…” is what I would say amongst friends when we would fantasize about weddings of our respective futures.  I never knew if I wanted a big ceremony, a small event, or to run away and elope, but what I did want was that top-of-the-roller-coaster-before-the-big-drop feeling. That feeling was boldly present on May 16th, 2014, the day of our wedding.

Being married to a CPA has its perks, and the ability to budget money well was a big one. We didn’t believe in placing ourselves in debt for a wedding, or placing unnecessary stress on our families. Why follow the “go big or go home” theory for a single (wedding) day if it would only invite stress into the marriage the day after the honeymoon? The important thing was joining our lives; to officially become one. A larger scaled celebration of our relationship could wait, so for now, we were happy with our decision to marry in a courthouse, with a few of our closest local friends as witnesses.

The mild, warning rain that threatened the day was welcomed as we made the drive from Indianapolis to Champaign, Illinois. “Rain on a wedding day means renewal… this is good” was my thought as I gazed out the window. The excitement in the car grew with every mile we placed behind us as we continued our approach to Champaign and the courthouse. When we arrived, we met the last member of our wedding party at The Courier Café; a delicious little breakfast spot popular among the students of the University of Illinois.

After brunch we made our way to the courthouse. I’ve never been a nervous person but the nerves began to make their presence know the closer we got to the main doors. “Omg you guys my knife! I can’t take it inside!” G digs a small grave for her pocket knife under a tree just outside the courthouse doors. Our wedding party was the perfect mix of individuals. I’d met G working at Goodwill back in Bloomington. E was one of my best friends, of ten years, and had the daunting task of picking up our rings and delivering them to us the DAY before the wedding. SB and SC were also two amazing friends I’d had the pleasure of knowing for ten years – SB was a student in Champaign, and SC volunteered his photography services for the big day.

There we were, in the courtroom, the judge’s warm voice instructing us on what was about to happen. Enter the nerves. G was crying, E looked longingly into both our eyes – of all the people with us that day, she knew me the best – and all the others were beautiful. I never knew what my wedding day would be like, but in this moment I was beyond happy that these were the people I got to share this day with.  What happened next was a blur. I remember saying my vows and then repeating them – stealing S’s turn because apparently I was nervous – shaking with each word I shared. Then it was done. We were married.

The night that followed was priceless. Everything was so simple and so easy. M made us the cleanest most delicious, layered, red velvet, gluten-free wedding cake. SO good. The girls and I powdered our noses before heading to our hotel, where the pre-gaming for a night at the bars would take place.  There’s so much pressure put on the process of a wedding. Was everyone as lucky as S and I? We were never stressed in any moment, the night was flawless, and we had a great time with people we loved.

Returning home the next day to a bouquet of white roses was the absolute icing on the cake. I don’t know if my friends know this about me, but white flowers are my weakness. There’s something about them that make me melt and dance inside; like a ballerina riding a fiery avalanche.  Only this group of people – my beloved, and highly valued musketeers of Bloomington’s past and present – would know how to make S and I’s day effortlessly perfect. We thank them for helping us skyrocket into this new chapter of our life.

CHI to IND Interlude

Brutally crisp air smacks me in the face as I get out of the car at Union Station in downtown Chicago. The weekend was fast and filled to the brim with family, fun, and sadly, a funeral for my great grandmother. My mom had flown in from Alaska – my home state – and to be quite honest with you, I probably would not have made the three hour bus ride up to Chicago from Indianapolis if she had not been there.  I always miss my Alaska family terribly. I’m never home sick, but I have days where I miss the hell out of my brother, sister, mom, and even my stubborn ass father from time to time. As I hug mom and my favorite aunt goodbye in front of the quiet bus station, I feel a mix of emotions. I’m sad because I’m not sure when I will see the both of them again. I’m happy that I had the chance, and time, to get to see my Chicago relatives; beyond elated to be there with them during this tough time. I smile as I reflect on the amazing time I had with family I’d just met, and those of whom I hadn’t seen for at least ten years. Watching my Alaska family drive down the hollow Chicago street, I finish my emotional equation and become warm with the thought of returning to my husband. When I’m down – and feeling like some sad, soulful Adele song – he’s usually the burst of light I need on my dark, rainy days. He’s the answer to most of my emo-life equations, and I needed hug; anything to prolong the feeling of my mom and aunt’s arms around me before today was gone. Pocketing my glasses, I replace them with my prescription Ray Ban shades… a single tear making contact with the inside of the dark lens just as my bus to Indianapolis arrived.