What's New : Him & Her Edition

by Maggie Griffin


Greetings readers! & HAPPY SPRING!

Thank you all so much for caring about us and checking in with us to see what's going on in our lives. It is fun to keep you all informed, and it is so much fun to get your loving feedback. Thank you for letting us be a part of your lives and for being part of ours. 

Now, for what's NEW:

She colored her hair for the first time...ombre style to stay young and hip.
(Also new: apparently selfies...how embarrassing!)

He  has found a love for americanos...what a MAN, right?!

(Byron edit: Pictured below are actually mochas. He didn't want you all to be duped by me, so he preferred I make the confession. Also, if you drink mochas, he thinks that is not manly, but still does it himself. But he really is into americanos now. And he still indulges in 'girly' drinks on weekends and after hard days at work.)

She finished her Spring line for Magpie Writes (available here) and has a big project in mind for the near future...stay tuned!

He got into cycling/biking. He got a mountain bike at the end of last year and befriended a mountain biking buddy who he rides with on the weekends. During the week, he has been riding on his single speed (until he can get a "real" road bike) and loving it. He has a new app where he can send her tracking info so she can watch him ride from the comfort of the couch. She is not allowed to post pictures of him in his riding gear. WOMP.

THIS IS A GREAT APP!

She found a new drink -- chai tea latte! She prefers it iced. She is trying to cut back on spending money, and this one is pretty easy to make at home with a very similar taste!

He was sucked into 'Believe' and 'Resurrection.' Those mid season premieres got to him!  Way to go, NBC & ABC. Granted, both shows have only aired twice, and they come on at the same time now, and neither of us have a great track record of keeping up with new shows...but here's hoping! 

The new thing we share is betting...(yikes!) We have a point system for The Amazing Race: All Stars weekly eliminations. It is amazing. Byron is brilliant and a much better better (whoa!) than me, but we are only 4 episodes in and it is gonna get CRAZY!

What's new with you?!


Weekend Recap : Magpie Writes 2nd Show

by Maggie Griffin


Just about 4 months ago, I made my debut on the craft fair/market scene, selling my calligraphy paper goods and hand-written home decor. This past weekend, I was able to do it again! My sweet family-in-law was hosting a Spring Hand-made Market, and they asked me to come as one of their favorite vendors--what an honor! 

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I launched my new spring collection full of bright, fun images to prepare for warmer weather and Easter, as well as some Texas-themed items. I can't wait to add them all onto Etsy to make them available to everyone! While at the show, Byron and I sat by the folks from Hurd and Honey, a wonderful rustic home furnishings small biz. The co-owners, a married couple, were so sweet and we loved chatting it up with them during the show, definitely a highlight! 

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a special gift from our new friends!

a special gift from our new friends!

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Another top moment was the mixture of our families. I felt such love and support as my family trickled in and "oohed" and "aahed" over my newest items. 

While in town, we were also able to celebrate Byron's upcoming birthday (March 18!). After the show, we did some upscale shopping not available in Waco, and celebrated with his family with a dinner at Del Frisco's--their favorite celebration spot! On Sunday, we celebrated a second time with brisket from my brother-in-law's Big Green Egg. In my opinion, the latter meal was far superior. Nothing like some Texas brisket & delicious sides. We all traveled to visit Byron's grandmother and we made a special puppy friend!


Then...the ride home. Our drive normally takes us a little under 2 hours. This time it took 4+. A freezing cold front came through town with sleet and ice. We left at the perfect time and were thankful to be safe when we arrived home! Take a look at some of the conditions and some puppy pics we took when we got bored & sleepy...

We had a fun weekend, and we are still battling the cold, wanting to stay inside and snuggle with these cuddlepups all day long...aren't they the sweetest?!?

I'd say our weekend was perfect--new business opportunities, new friends, family!, and a new adventure--an icy ride with our babies! What is your perfect weekend?


All You Need is Love: V-Day Recap

by Maggie Griffin


Byron and I don't really have a traditional way of celebrating Valentine's Day because this is only our second. During our first, we were swamped with wedding planning, and I don't even remember how we celebrated. The only part of it I remember is my gift to him--a round bottom flask with confetti hearts and pink tissue paper and a "love potion." This year, I knew I wanted to do a little something to celebrate...including food. 

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My favorite restaurant in town, Cafe Homestead, hosts monthly farm to table meals. Their Saturday seating for February filled up before I could reserve us seats. With several other people in the same boat, they opened up their restaurant for Valentine's Day--perfection! The menu had our mouths watering the whole week! It was obviously what I was looking forward to...but Byron made the day even sweeter by waking me up with a "Happy Valentine's Day!" and holding a small jewelry bag over my head...I wouldn't mind that wake up more often! After my eyes adjusted, I rolled over and pulled out the most adorable pendant necklace! WHAT A SWEETHEART! I got up and began getting ready for the morning and snuck my love letter and "Let's Make a Deal: Valentine's Edition card" onto his bedside shelf. He heard my rustle and read the card and then amused me by playing the game as I did my best Wayne Brady. Byron traded door 2 for door 3 and stuck with it, winning a planned camping trip from yours truly...actual plan to come later. 


We both took off, sending lovey-dovey messages and selfies throughout the day. After giving away Sochi the pup to my sister, we dolled ourselves up and headed off to grab a drink before dinner. Dinner did not disappoint! Having memorized the menu, I was delightfully surprised when a special soup course came out--loaded potato soup--my favorite! (I scarfed it down so fast, there is no picture proof it ever existed.) Everything else was as expected, and absolutely appetizing. We left completely stuffed and crashed with full hearts and bellies as soon as we got home! 

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What did you do for Valentine's day?!

 


Introducing Bixby Griffin : An Adoption Story ; Part 1

by Maggie Griffin


There are two things I have always wanted: 

1. A puppy to call my own. Year after year, I remember praying on Christmas Eve that a little bundle of fluffy fur, wrapped in a Christmas bow would clumsily jump on my bed and wake me up Christmas morn with puppy breath and a wet tongue. Year after year, I was greeted with a full stocking and presents from Mom & Dad, (and of course Santa), but never a puppy. Sure, we had a dog...but I wanted a puppy of my own. 

2. To adopt.  ... a human. I have always been inspired by adoption stories, and am excited to, in the VERY far future, have our own story and welcome a child into the Griffin family. But for now, my love of adoption is limited to rescuing animals.  

On Monday, I mixed these two wants as my adolescent dreams of a puppy came into fruition through the adoption of Bixby Griffin.  

And so, without further ado...The Adoption Story of BIXBY GRIFFIN. Part 1. 

Byron and I had decided that we wanted to be a multi-dog family long before we exchanged vows. We are dog lovers. We obsessively share pictures and stories of rescue dogs to one another. We plan names for future dogs  like most do for their future children. We are passionate about offering our love and home to tail-waggers. 

We had made a deal that upon Byron being employed, we would begin the search for the perfect dog. But, as luck would have it, a stray dog changed our planned course of events. (Spoiler alert: said stray is not the dog we adopted; but, he was rescued, too!)  

This is Ralph, who inspired our search, which led us to  Bixby, the world's most perfect rescue pup.

Two Wednesdays ago, I arrived to work to find a sweet scruffy puppy outside the employee entrance. Immediately, tears welled up. Not because of the dog's condition, but because, as stated above, I have an irrational love of puppies and often cry upon seeing them. Other coworkers went inside, but I stayed and bent down to play with this little ball of fur and send videos to Byron. 

As if it was an emergency, we began to rapidly text about the possibility of adopting him and giving him a good home. Had people been watching us, I'm sure they would have found our frantic thumb action, tapping the keyboards of our phones, to be humorous. During this frenzy, a co-worker came to my office to ask if I would be wanting to take the dog myself or if they should call the humane society. I couldn't take a puppy home then, so I said "make the call," with a heaviness in my voice and a lump in my throat.  We decided to arrange a visit to the humane society shelter later that day, only to find out Ralph,--the name I had already bestowed upon him--wouldn't be available to be seen for 3 days.

3 days?!? We wanted a puppy now!

We also were told that this little stray had some corgi in him. (Byron hates this part of the story.) Upon learning this, B said "CORGI?! He's going to have short legs...so, I don't think I'm interested anymore."  Yeah...he said that. 

We decided that this little cutie would go quick, because he (unfortunately, for us) would be small. We also decided, in our irrational and swept up state, that we were obviously ready to begin our search for the perfect addition to our family.  

We checked out the dogs at the humane society and didn't fall in love. Then, we went to Fuzzy Friends Rescue. We had looked over the catalog of adoptable pets and were on the search for some of our favorites when we arrived. One of our hand-selected pups, Stryker, had the same problem as Ralph--he was going to be too small. Pass.

So, we made one circle around the cages, commenting on the puppies, wondering which ones would sell in person as much as in the pictures, and at the very end of round 1, I spotted him. "Reggie" as he was called in his former life, was shy and sweet and he would drag his body along the cage like a cat--it was love.  We decided to take him to a "Getting Acquainted Yard." All he did was sniff. He didn't play with us too much, his curiosity getting the best of him this visit; and he would run, frightened by the little dogs next to the yard. Byron wasn't feeling it, but I knew he was the one.

During this visit, we also played with Nick, a spunky dog who played with us and zigzagged through obstacles and bit my scarf. Pass. Yes, puppies are playful, but this one was too playful for me. 

We walked back to Reggie, and I knew. Byron returned later that day to play with him again. He texted me, "Bixby (we had already named him as well, and he totally fit the name) put his paws on me and gave me a huge hug and kiss. I'm sold."  

 Byron filled out the adoption application. Bixby would be ours. 

The next time we returned to see him, Byron's phone rang as we were walking to the "Getting Acquainted Yard." I gave him disapproving eyes and told him to ignore it--it was puppy time. He answered, and it was the Fuzzy Friends office telling us we were approved to be Bixby's adoptive parents. Hooray! 

This was all before our Palm Desert Trip. We fit in one more visit with Bixby, and took off, anticipating our return just like the Christmas mornings I had dreamed about as a kid. Adoption day did not disappoint. We arrived as soon as they opened, ready to pick up our Bixby and become a two-dog family. Bixby is ours now, and we love him. 

 

Come back to the blog for Part 2: Adjusting to our new life with Bixby!

 


Babysitting in the Desert

by Maggie Griffin


When offered a five day trip to sunny Palm Desert in the middle of October on the condition of babysitting the world's most adorable three-year-old...you go!  

Last Wednesday Byron's mother, sister & brother-in-law & niece left for an annual mortgage/lender's conference.

...Last Wednesday, Byron and I jetted off with them to relax in the land of palm trees and sun! 

Though we were there to babysit during the conference, we were able to do so much more--it was terrific! On day 1, we played hookie upon landing and took off with my best friend Kaytlyn, who was SO SWEET to drive to pick us up and drive us out to the desert. Leaving my vegetarian ways behind, I embraced CALI and we darted to In-N-Out for a burger & shake! I cannot go on about how wonderful it was to spend time with this lady! Six months ago, she was holding up my wedding dress so I could pee, adjusting my train, and handing me Byron's ring. We haven't seen each other since! Golly, I love this girl. She dropped us off in the desert, stayed to play for the day, and trekked back to nanny the next morning. She is a keeper. 

The next two days, we resumed our babysitting roles. Babysitting is enjoyable. Babysitting in California is AMAZING.  

Thursday & Friday went like this: 

  • snuggle with Charlotte & take her on a walk to the resort lobby, home to a full-service Starbucks and live birds! Look HOW sweet! 
  • Lunch...either reserve spots for the conference crew or go out for a bit.
  • Charlotte naps; we relax (my favorite relaxation times were the ones by the pool!)
  • Hang out a bit on our own, pick up dinner for C, and chill while she sleeps!

How perfect!  

Favorite activities included: babysitting (duh!), shopping on El Paseo (the Rodeo Drive of Palm Desert), reading in bed & by the pool, and more shopping! The sweet pups below are from Cold Nose, Warm Heart! Byron and I dropped by this store to pick up goods from our new pup (blog on Bixby coming soon!). Byron was reading "Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know" and looked just like a puppy himself one evening. I was reading "The Obamas" & "Jesusland" by the pool. It wasn't awful. 

This was by far the best babysitting gig ever. Thank you Charlotte for being adorable. Thank you Lindsay & Ryan for trusting us with your little one and inviting us. Thank you BeeGee for all the fun! 

I love traveling the world with Byron...we have already had so many adventures this year, and I can't wait for years packed full of more! 


Two (appetites) become One (diet).

by Maggie Griffin


This is the second post in our 'two somethings become one something' series. This post could also be titled "Confessions of a Once Strict Vegetarian/Pescatarian." Before marriage, Byron and I had very distinct appetites.

I had been a strict vegetarian-who-eats-fish-/pescatarian. I took this stance after cooking on "cookout night" for a camp-like missions organization during the summer of 2011. I didn't mind the slaughtering of animals; I still don't. I do, however, mind the conditions of the animals pre-slaughter, the way they are slaughtered, and what they are fed. Also, all the grease was icky. 

Byron was a quick meal before/after class, eat out or eat simple at home kinda guy. The more grease on the burger, the better.  

And then we united; and so did our appetites. Byron, being the world's sweetest person (do I boast of him too much on here?), excitedly agreed to begin to live my lifestyle. With each passing month, opportunities where people prepared meat or hosts provided it arose, and we took part. We also would purchase organic meat from the farmer's market or be sent home with organic meat after trips to Dallas. And slowly, overtime, we both became semi-vegetarians-who-only-eat-organic-meat-with-the-occasional-restaurant-splurge-just-because. 

All this to say, meal planning at first as a vegetarian trying to please an omnivore was difficult. With our newfound food consumer status, it is much easier to work in the occasional organic meat dish with our semi-vegetarian diet. Marriage is compromise. Compromise is delicious.

Here are a few favorites from the summer months:  

Zucchini Risotto! Recipe can be found here

This one was DELICIOUS. I had never made risotto, but I watched The Chew and saw this one being made--and we went for it! Success!

 

You can't see what's under the bun, but it was a sausage burger...take a link and  cut it in half (hotdog style)! Organic, of course.

Classic Frito chili pie! I used to LOVE these during my junior high & high school football concession stand days. So good. Add some avocado!

Oh, man! Kabobs are such a treat. Definitely one of my favorite meals growing up.  We put all of our toppings on a bed of brown rice and ate all that with hummus and lightly grilled pita! This was my favorite meal from the summer!

Honorable mentions, worthy of mere iPhone (and Pinterest) photos go to: quiche & mexican pasta dish & this DELICIOUS gyro with homemade Tzaziki sauce from Pinterest.

We love making meals together. Due to our weekly schedule, Tuesday and Thursday, plus weekends are the days we are most likely to experiment with the lengthier, yummier meals. We would love to cook with you on those nights!  

What have been your favorites meals recently?