Barbie World + [thanks]

Defrost.

Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings when the dawn is still dark. [Rabindaranath Tagore]

When I stepped out of the shower this morning, I couldn't believe the racket going on outside.

For once, I don't mean the dogs... I mean the birds. They were chirping and singing and trilling like mad in the backyard, and it made my heart fit to burst with happiness. I don't think I've heard them sing like that for months, and in the frosty, dark morning, it shows that spring really is drawing closer.

We walked into work today beneath a particular sort of deep, endless blue sky that makes everything below sparkle a little bit.

I think today is going to be better than good.

The red, pink, and white tulips that Kyle gave me for Valentine's day aren't drooping yet, as tulips are wont to do. Not even a little bit. They smell sweet and fresh, and they're safely out of Teddy's every-expanding paw range on the coffee table.

By the way, he is 14.5 pounds now according to last night's vet visit. What a heffer.

Bailey, when she isn't going bonkers trying to squeeze between us and Teddy and steal all of his toys, is attempting to demonstrate what a noble creature she really is, especially compared to that ruffian above.

But the mulch remnants clinging to her lips sort of ruin the regal look.

...

I've discovered Pinterest, finally -- actually discovered it this time. I've had an account for awhile, but at first, meh. I just didn't get it.

Yesterday, I saw that others had pinned all sorts of beautiful, funny, and inspiring stuff. And suddenly, it clicked. It's like putting together inspiration boards for a wedding (one of my favorite pastimes while planning our own nuptials). It's like that, except you're not confined to a wedding -- they are inspiration boards for your whole life!

By the by, if that doesn't scream "overly enthusiastic life coach proclamation," I don't know what does. But there you have it, my optimism cannot be contained this morning.

So now I'm finding all sorts of photos for spring style, braids, dogs, home decor. I haven't started looking for recipes yet, because it seems that most of the food pins are of the baking persuasion, and I don't have much of a sweet tooth (give me cheesy/carby/spicy/savory any day).

But perhaps I'll step out of my comfort zone and make something light and sugary and sweet this weekend, just to celebrate SPRING!

You can follow me on Pinterest using the sidebar button, should you so desire. I think it's going to be a beautiful relationship.

...

Kyle's mom has very, very kindly agreed to watch both of our beasts while we're visiting DC and she's off of work, so for the next 13 days, Teddy is going to get a crash course in manners.

He's already sitting very nicely on command, and sprints with enthusiasm into his crate (where he knows he will be rewarded with treats). He calmly accepts nail trimming and only struggles minimally while being brushed. He hasn't had an accident for several days, and has in fact started whining when he needs to go outside. But. A few other areas leave much to be desired.

For instance, in his enthusiasm to come hang out with us yesterday, he broke one of our baby gates (which was on its last rickety legs anyway, but still). Bailey, who is afraid of everything, still wouldn't climb over the poor, bent contraption to come see us. Teddy, who fears nothing -- and in fact once used the baby gate to scale his crate in an attempt to reach his dog food -- clambered right over it.

He jumps, a lot. Up on to things, and off of things. He coffee-table and couch surfs. And his brain seems to make no connection yet between the word "OFF," the act of sitting down, and the arrival of a treat beneath his eager snout.

And oh, the soulful howls he sends up into the darkened night when he is crated against his wishes. The barks and the whimpers have no effect on my emotions -- really, they just annoy me. But the howls are so beautiful (really!) and sad that I am forced to both laugh a little and to let him out. As soon as he quiets down, of course, so he doesn't think he's being rewarded for howling -- but if I'm being totally honest, I don't really want him to outgrow that. I have a little affinity for those howls, even if our neighbors don't.

...

Enough with the Teddy updates (no wonder Bailey is so zealous in guarding her position as the first beloved pet).

I still might go tanning, I make no promises. But as usual, everything looks better after a good night's sleep. And with the weekend on the horizon. And with dogs such as these, and a husband such as this:

Happy Friday!