Wednesday, December 29, 2010

It's a Boston Thing

I really have no idea what got me hooked on the Boston Terrier breed; I always say it was the Disney movie, Lilo and Stitch because I thought whomever designed Stitch must have been a Boston owner. No one I have ever known prior to me owned one, but I just knew throughout college I wanted one. After graduation and finally settling in Wathena, my mom and I went to KC for my job interview for an Extension job and hit the Independence mall when we were done. We should have known, as most of our shopping trips go, that we should have skipped right on past the pet store. Nope, of course we had to stop in and low and behold in the far corner they had a little Boston puppy. Oh, I wanted him so bad. He was so cute, loveable, and a licker. We ended up taking him home, and that was my first Boston, Tux. He was born on Christmas Eve and became the love of my life at the that time. Here is one of his puppy pictures:
Melissa's Lil Tuxedo was such a great little Boston.
He grew up fast, and summertime came. The "past life" gave me one of the best birthday presents ever, Miss Tillie Mae. I have to be honest though, I really didn't want her. I wanted my boy, Tux. She was not as cute as Tuxers and I couldn't care for two dogs. So she stayed with me, and Tux went with the "past life," and on weekends we'd see each other. Here is a picture of Tillie when she was a pup:
She is a sweetheart. She loves to snuggle.

That was a big mistake, though. When the "past life" did what he did as I mentioned in the previous blog post, he took Tux away from me. I was heartbroken since my parents had given me the dog for my graduation gift. I would never get him back if I didn't want to go to court over it, so I let it drop. Every year around Christmas Eve, I think of my little Tux man and get a little sad not knowing how he is doing.

I thought I'd be a one-dog-household for a while after that ordeal, and we were for about a year until Todd played one of his jokes on me for our one-year anniversary. We had wanted to redo the bathroom, and he had picked out a used vanity on Craigslist in Warrensburg and told me that was what I was getting as my present. I was pretty excited and waited all night for him to come home. When he did walk in the door, his winter coat was a little larger than normal and out pops this little black and white bundle of Boston love. I thought it was another joke as he had talked about "surprising" his dad with a dog for his upcoming birthday. I didn't realize the dog was for us. That is how Willie came to be in our home. Here is a picture of Willie and Tillie meeting the first time:
Tillie went crazy over him. They really do love playing with each other.
Needless to say, Tillie and Willie have been an absolute joy in our house. Dog lovers who don't have children understand that dogs really do become your children, and they certainly run the roost in our house. The Boston breed sure does have its idiosyncrasies like the snoring, farting, inability to stay warm or get to hot, running like a crazy man around the house and ah yes, the infamous shred of any toy that comes to the house. This is what I got to look forward to the last few days while putting away all our Christmas decorations:
The two amigos doing what they do best, shredding any toy they have. Look at their innocent faces.
But I wouldn't trade my time with Tux, Tillie or Willie for anything. They are just such a funny breed to have and so loveable. I think they are rather smart; some people beg to differ. Either way, I love them, and I hope Todd continues to let me have at least one of them around. Oh, and if you are a dog lover and want a great read about happiness and life, you have to read this:
Bostons like this one can be so ugly, but I personally think this is the best thing about Bostons. They are so ugly, they are cute!
Until next time!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Reflection of the season

I will say each year I get older, I think the holidays get better. I find that kind of weird considering I receive less and the belief in Santa isn't as strong as it used to be (Ha!).

I think as we grow older we learn to appreciate the time we have with family and friends more and more. Gifts are nice, but time is so precious. I know the drive to Nebraska doesn't get any shorter, but I know my time with my grandparents will not always be there. I wish I had more time to visit them.

I especially loved this year as it is my second year celebrating the new life God has given me, and I know it's one year closer to marrying my best friend and being part of my new family, whom mean so much to me. I remember waking up last year and telling Todd on Christmas Day, "This is the best day of my life so far."

Two years ago my world turned completely upside down on Christmas Day, but I know the Lord had his hand in that. I believe I had to go through what I did that day to know how much my family means to me and to be led to the most perfect person I am supposed to be with in life, Todd. I know the other half of that equation is in a much better place too, and as time goes on, I begin to heal and forgive and accept what happened and learn God knew all along what was supposed to be. I didn't know those five years were preparing me to be a better friend, daughter, mother and wife.

I pray each of us do not have to "learn the hard way" but sometimes it takes a life-awakening moment to ground you and make you realize what you were doing, who you were with, etc., is not your life path.  I know several of my friends have had this feeling in 2010 and know this holiday was especially hard for them as they went through the season with a new life path. I know that God works in mysterious ways and often think He knows when to "unanswer" our prayers. I pray those friends find peace and clarity in the new year with new experiences.

I personally can't wait for the best year of my life in 2011. I know it will be. I know from what Todd and I have found through our marriage class and RCIA classes is that we have so much to look forward to and learn about each other.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

It's time for some holiday baking!!

Now that the crazy school semester is over. (I admit I am not one to always complain about school this time around simply because it really is my choice to go back to graduate school; no one else but mine. However, this semester has been hard with lots of writing and entire weekends devoted to writing, which I didn't sign up for! I guess that goes with the territory.) I digress..I wanted to share one of my FAVORITE holiday recipes that I will be working oh so feverishly on this weekend as a gift and treat for our family Christmases.

Banana Bread in a Jar. I have seen cookies and brownies in a jar, but never banana bread. And I LOVE the recipe. It is oh so good. Check it out if you want a great gifting idea on the cheap. I will be posting more as the weekend baking commences.

Yummy Banana Bread in a Jar


  • 2/3 cup shortening
  • 2 2/3 cups white sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups mashed bananas
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2/3 cup chopped pecans


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease insides of 8 (1 pint) straight sided, wide mouth canning jars.
  2. In a large bowl, cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, bananas, and water. Sift together flour, baking powder, soda, salt, cinnamon, and cloves. Add to banana mixture. Stir in nuts.
  3. Pour mixture into greased WIDE MOUTH pint jars, filling 1/2 full of batter. Do NOT put lids on jars for baking. Be careful to keep the rims clean, wiping off any batter that gets on the rims.
  4. Bake at 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) for 45 minutes. Meanwhile, sterilize the lids and rings in boiling water.
  5. As soon as cake is done, remove from oven one at a time, wipe rims of jars and put on lid and ring. Jars will seal as cakes cool. Place the jars on the counter and listen for them to "ping" as they seal. If you miss the "ping", wait until they are completely cool and press on the top of the lid. If it doesn't move at all, it's sealed.
  6. Jars should be eaten immediately or kept sealed in refrigerator for up to a week.

Friday, December 10, 2010

She's a sweetie

My niece, A, is the cutest five-year-old out there. I may a little biased, but she really is a sweet gal. I went home for a short visit to my parents in Hiawatha over the Thanksgiving weekend. A spent most of the day with her dad and had dinner with us. B and I then took her to the movie, Tangled, in Hiawatha. Oh my goodness, it had been YEARS since I had been in that movie theater. It makes you think of all the "teenage" things you did in the movies. I digress, but I couldn't believe not much had changed. It was still only $6.00 for an adult to go; $2.50 for a popcorn and no crowds. Ahhh, it was good.

This little guy was a hoot! He had me laughing the whole time! Reminds me of me sometimes.
Aa few years ago on Halloween. She's the cutest little witch!
I also have to be honest when my brother called to ask if I wanted to go with them to the movie that evening, I had a slight thought of "I am not sure I can sit through an hour and a half 'kids' movie," then I also thought, "Melissa, you are far from ready for parenthood," just as I thought my poor parents sat through hundreds of kids movies without I'm sure really enjoying most of them. I then realized I don't spend enough time with her nor my brother so why not. We went and it was actually really good. Graphics sure have changed since Cruela DeVille in 101 Dalmatians (the animated one) made me cry in the movie theater at 5. A cracked a few giggles, enjoyed her own napkin of popcorn and was quiet the entire movie. We had a great time, and I hope we can do it again soon.