Todd Family Blog

Welcome! Read below for our latest news and pictures.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Joy of a Fence

This week something truly momentous happened. After four years of having large dogs in small spaces, driving to dog parks or walking them every day, we finally have a fenced in yard. And not just that, but a BEAUTIFUL cedar plank fence enclosing about an acre of land. It was so exciting I wanted to hug our fence guy, Rob, from Backyard Solutions. (Had to throw in the plug - they were really great!) When he came out to do the estimate I knew he was my guy; He rescues Weimaraners and has three! A guy after my own heart.

The fence was finished around 2:00 on Tuesday. We then had to wait for Brad to come home around 6:00 for the first big moment of letting the dogs out into the yard. Until now we have gone to a nearby dog park every morning to play ball and get them tired out. Then the rest of the day they had to be taken out on-leash or stay inside the house. For them to have their own area to run and run is such a big deal for all of us. It's the whole reason we bought a home with over 2 acres, and we finally get to enjoy it!

This also made me free like a real "home owner". It's definitely our first major home purchase. I told Brad, I can't believe that we were allowed to put up a fence just 'cause we wanted to! We didn't even have to ask anyone! Certainly not a luxury you have in an apartment or rented house. It's such a strange feeling! (It also felt amazing to paint our bathroom wall - never been able to do that either! That's another blog post though....)

So, here are some fun pictures of some very happy pups. I also uploaded our first videos! (Sorry for my camera work!) Very exciting.

Relaxing after lots of ball playing.
Gracie, Luke and Cal



The payoff - Very sleepy dogs

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Home Sweet Home

We officially have a home! We moved into our log home in Westfield on July 19th and have been hard at work making it our own ever since. It’s been quite the month – lots of projects, lots of fun with visitors, and LOTS of unpacking of boxes. The end is finally in sight. We’re all unpacked, pictures are on the walls, and all of our initial projects are pretty much completed. It’s definitely feeling like home now!

I thought I’d just post a compilation of pictures from this past month. There are some great moments that we didn’t capture – Tyler Smith coming over for dinner (our first guest!), Miriam coming over for dinner (the first of infinite visits, as she said), Brad going up to Michigan to visit Louis and Heather (Baby Sowinski coming soon!) – but there are still some great picture moments to share.

I know there will be a lot of posts coming quickly and soon. This weekend our backyard will be fenced in for the dogs. That is going to be a huge, momentous occasion for us - years in the making. I think we may even post a video of them getting a first look at their very own backyard dog park. And I'll take some shots of our favorite rooms now that they are all put together. We've had a lot of fun repainting some old furniture, putting quite a few Ikea purchases to use, and even finding some great pieces at secondhand stores and salvage yards. We are still short on furniture in some rooms, but we've got the rest of our lives to fill 'em up.

In other news, jobs are going well, too! Brad is still loving his new position at Roche and they are piling on the responsibilities. He's very busy, but is doing great. And my voice studio is almost full! I have quite a few students coming to my house now, and starting Monday I'll be teaching about 10 students at Western Boone High School, too. I also have an audition in San Francisco next month and quite a few more applications out to other opera companies. We'll see! Things are definitely falling into place and life feels like it is returning to normal.

You’re all welcome to stop by any time! We’re big fans of just dropping in to say “hey”.

Pulling our cars into the garage for the first time.

The dogs getting their first look at the new place.

What will soon be fenced in as their own backyard:

Polly, Andrew and Oliver were our second dinner guests. As you can tell, Gracie was sorry to see them go. Oliver got to pet her (see below). She was SO sweet and gentle - laid right down and rolled onto her back. Oliver's eyes were HUGE. He definitely was fascinated by these three giant, fluffy, living stuffed animals!

Polly took these for us:

What happens when you buy your first house? Mom and Dad spontaneously jump in their car (with two dogs and a cat!) and drive all the way to Indiana from Vermont! And boy did they whip our house into shape. They took on the MASSIVE infestation of bag worms on our bushes (seriously - they gave me nightmares) and won, Mom whipped my garden into shape, we painted the master bath, Dad set up a wood working shop in our garage (I'm not kidding. All I owned before he arrived was a hammer and a drill.) and built us a BEAUTIFUL bar (I'll have pics of the finished product soon), we made a covering for the wooden stairs to protect from dog nails, and assembled the patio furniture you see below. Very exciting. It was a really fun week!

We all discovered Handel's Ice Cream (voted best in the world by a travel magazine) and now we are addicted. I ordered the brownie sundae with chocoholic ice cream and hot fudge. I just can't get enough.

This section is entitled: Dogs, Dogs and More Dogs

Odie (my parents' Schnauzer) figured if my Dad wasn't around, Brad would do just as well.

New friends:

We were SO nervous to have all the dogs meet each other. Odie and Liza (Mom and Dad's Schnauzer and American Eskimo) are getting up in the years and definitely don't want to play or wrestle with a German Shepherd. But it was a total non-event! They all were completely fine with each other and even seemed to enjoy the new company. What a relief!

The dogs all enjoyed dining al fresco with us, though the big dogs had to stay hooked up (they have a tendency to be tempted by a rabbit, perhaps?). This whole section is part of what will be fenced in by next weekend! Then we can eat outside as much as we want - no leashes required.

Each of our dogs gets initiated into football season. I can almost see Gracie and Cal rolling their eyes when the dog bandanas and collars come out, and especially when we start yelling at the TV and/or jumping around. I hope they filled Luke in.

Everyone is getting very comfy in the new place. They LOVE having carpet to sleep on.

And Cal has deemed this his spot. I spend a lot of time vacuuming hair off those pillows, but at least he's happy.