Wednesday, January 11, 2012


I bought Zeus 9 months ago, hoping he would be a good fit for our family.  The Havanese breed comes with raving reviews as the perfect dog for a family and children but what really convinced me was that this breed was one of the best for allergies and asthma.  Ryan had to use steroids twice in the 9 months because of difficulty breathing and his inhalers not being strong enough.   He did fine during the week while at school but had a harder time on the weekends.  And the two week Christmas break didn’t help things.  We finally decided it was time to find a new home for Zeus.  It took several months for me to finally be able to place the ad.  Zeus was my little shadow.  This breed is known to be  a“velcro dog”.  Following my every move.  He was always under my feet and I had to watch where I was stepping so I didn’t step right on him.  If he wasn’t right next to me then I knew he was up to trouble.  House training was not his strength.  Marking his territory (or anything on the floor that wasn’t carpet) was.  I finally placed the ad and let Gavin screen the calls.  The ad had only been on the website for two days when we got the call.  Someone was very excited to buy him and during the phone conversation they figured out that they were the original owners of this dog who sold him to us in April.  He was out of his apartment and in a better position to own a dog.  Knowing that Zeus was going to someone who already loved and knew him made it so much easier.  Not that there haven’t been a few tears shed.  But it’s nice to know he’s with his original owner.  

Hadley loved Zeus and had the hardest time with letting him go.  She had one request.  To give Zeus a bath.  She had wanted to bathe him the entire 9 months and always chose the craziest times to ask.  Usually on a really busy day when we had no free time.  “Mom, can I give Zeus a bath today?”  Bathing Zeus was at least an hour ordeal.  He had to be brushed before and after the bath because he had such fine hair that it matted all over if we didn’t.  He was very overdue for a bath and Hadley got to give him a bath a few days before we sold him. 

This was his favorite spot.  Right next to my feet by the computer chair.

He slept in a kennel at night in our laundry room.  Everyone fought over who got to let him out of his kennel in the morning.  It was usually Morgan.  She would come into my bedroom every morning and whisper, “Mom, can I let Zeus out?”  Zeus didn’t really like Morgan.  She didn’t know how to be soft with him and had spent the last 9 months torturing him.  She liked to open the door to the kennel and then try to pick him up (which he hated) or block him from getting out.  Morgan knew he was going to a new home but forgot he was gone that first morning and came into my room and asked.  She was so sad when I told her Zeus was gone to his new home.  I think she was hoping he had just gone away for the day.

Hadley spoiled Zeus for Christmas and got him a cute little Santa suit that he wore and some dog toys.  His favorite was his toy fox that Santa brought him.  He loved to play fetch, tug-of-war and chew on it to make it squeek over and over.  I'm bummed that we never got video of him singing along to Hadley’s piano practicing.  Whenever she started to practice, he would run into the living room and sit right next to her doing his best howling.  Funny.  For a minute.

He loved riding in the car with me.  He would try to sneak out every time he saw me grab my keys.  Most car rides ended up at my parents’ house and he loved playing with their two dogs and hanging out by the pool while we swam.

We met the new (previous) owner at The Gateway to make the trade.  Zeus seemed a little hesitant to leave his old family behind.  I think he kinda liked us.  Us meaning everyone but Gavin and Jack.  I’m positive he didn’t like them.  He barked and barked at both of them whenever they walked into the room.

I’m still adjusting to not having my little buddy with me, sitting by my feet while I blog, following me to the bathroom, watching me fold clothes (hoping to get his scent on all of my freshly folded piles), walking out with me to check the mail, waiting patiently while I got ready every morning.  I can see how a dog can quickly become an important part of a family.  I texted his new owner several times that first day and it sounded like Zeus was doing well.  He said we could visit him one day if we wanted.  Hadley is excited about being able to see him again and I told her we could go in about a month, give him some time to adjust to his new family.  And to give us some time to plan the hour drive to his new home.  

Out with the old . . .

Time to say goodbye to 2011.  It was a great year that went by way too fast.  We did a family activity for FHE and had everyone write down their top 20 blessings of 2011.  It was interesting to hear what the kids came up with and to see that everything on the list was not something materialistic, even if Xbox and iPod touches did make a few lists.

My top 20 (in no particular order):
1.  Family trip to California
2.  Girls trip to Seattle/Vancouver
3.  Mia potty trained.  Finally!
4.  Happy at work
5.  YW presidency
6.  Youth Conference
7.  Good Friends
8.  Dinner, Movie, Reality TV date nights
9.  No hospitalizations for any of the kids
10.  Grandpa got a better diagnosis and prognosis :)
11.  Morgan started cheerleading
12.  Griffin’s big hugs
13.  San Francisco trip to celebrate 15 years of marriage
14.  New York surprise birthday trip
15.  Mexican cruise with Jensens and Nan & Papa
16.  Forty years old
17.  Activity Days leader
18.  New bishopric
19.  Having a bunny for 11 years and a dog for 9 months.  Both had to go.
20.  40th Birthday surprise.  Trip around the world (aka Las Vegas).

Biggest lesson from 2011:  Life is fragile.  Appreciate family.  You never know how much time you have together.

We celebrated 2011 with dinner and games with my family.  Everyone had early morning church the next morning so our party died out around 10.  I really debated about going to sleep and even climbed into bed.  But it just didn’t feel right to go to sleep before the New Year.  

I got out of bed around 10:30 and convinced Gavin to go over to our friend’s party for a few hours.  We played a few rounds of Celebrity Names and then it was time to get the bubbly out and countdown to the new year.

We woke up anyone who may have been sleeping in the neighborhood with our loud pots and pans, fireworks and cheers.

Happy New Year!


Oh Christmas!  The highlight of the year!  Not sure who woke up who but everyone was up by 7 am and ready to go.  Well, everyone except for Mom.  I went to bed after 2 am and wasn’t quite ready to be awake 5 hours later.  

Who’s ready for Christmas???

Santa delivered!  Jack got his first cell phone.  Hadley got the iHome she was wanting.  Griffin got a new Ds game and lots of Legos.  Mia got a new Belle dress up and doll.

Ryan was excited to find not one but two hamsters from Santa.

Morgan got a talking Belle doll from Santa but didn’t care about that.  She was way too excited about her Tangled barbie doll from her aide, Brittany.  She opened it up and ran right to the computer and spent the rest of the morning acting out “Tangled” with her new doll and the movie playing on the computer.  She had a huge pile of presents waiting for her after she finished the movie.

A new family picture for the office

The big surprise in the stockings . . .  a family trip in February.  This will be our first time to take the 3 youngest on a cruise.  Hoping it won’t be all work and there will be some fun mixed in with the chaos.  Nan and Papa are joining us too!  Wahoo!

Since Christmas was on Sunday this year, we opened presents, had Gavin’s gourmet french toast for breakfast, took a late morning nap (maybe that was only me?), and got ready for church at noon.  After church, we went up to my parents for brunch and more gift exchanging.

Grandma and Grandpa with all of the grandchildren that live in Utah

Once again, everyone was spoiled and loved what they got!

Until next year, Christmas!

’Twas the night before Christmas

We hosted the Seal family Christmas party this year.  This is such a fun tradition and something my kids look forward to all month.  It’s the perfect way to celebrate Christmas Eve . . . with family.  The kids love their cousins and have so much fun together.  Everyone played a few games (The Celebrity Name Game) while I quickly wrapped the Wiseman Gifts for the story.

Aunt Rae continued the tradition of reading the story of the Wisemen, stopping to let the kids open their own "wise men gifts".  Gold = worldy gift   Red = sentimental gift (books).  Green = necessity gift (Christmas pajamas).   I don’t think we even finished the story this year with all of the excitement of Nan and Papa on the computer.

Nan and Papa didn’t want to miss out on the fun.  Gotta love technology and Skype!  The best part of this picture is Savanna.  Not sure what she’s doing but it looks like she’s telling Nan and Papa they better watch out!

All of the cousins in their Christmas pajamas.

Even Uncle Jeff and Aunt Rae joined in on the Christmas pajama fun!

It was getting late and we didn’t have time to have the kids dress up and do the Nativity play.  Big mistake.  Mia and Morgan were so disappointed and asked about it for several days.  Morgan thought Avery was all dressed up as an angel in her beautiful nightgown.  Next year, girls!  I promise!

 Then it was time to leave a snack for Santa and his reindeer.  Hadley helped Griffin and Mia write their notes to Santa.

Then a little magic, sparkly food for the reindeer and time for bed . . .