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?


Our Growing Family

by Maggie Griffin


Less than a year ago, it was a happy threesome--me, B, and Eleanor. We are now a family of 6.

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It's all happening so fast...I'm just waiting on TLC to call us. We deserve a show.

Today, we introduce our two newest members and brag about our beloved pups!

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Byron, due to his work at the Waco Wetlands, and his befriending of his coworker who studies turtles and has a vast knowledge of water animals, has been into aquatic species lately. Last weekend, while we were at Petsmart picking up food for the pups, Byron took a turn towards the fish and aquariums...and we left 2 hours later, after I denied his request for an aquarium. 

But. Marriage is compromise. And now we have a 20 gallon aquatic environment for our newest, yet-to-be-named turtle children. Last Wednesday, Byron sent me a picture of 2 turtles at work. "Do you want these?" (Oh, dear.) He asked the Wetlands supervisor about the turtles, and she was more than willing to let us take them under our care. They had been with her since this past summer after a local girl felt she could no longer care for them (read: could no longer take the smell.) My sweet St. Francis of a husband, always the champion for the cause of unloved animals, has taken it upon himself to rescue these little babes. Let's get one thing straight, I don't hate the turtles...but Byron will be their primary caretaker and lover. 

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Our turtles, being the aquatic beings they are, spend most of their time swimming around or walking on the bottom or climbing/hiding on the log/tree trunk we have for them. When we are not looking, they like to climb on their platform and bask in the light/warmth of the heat lamp. They enjoy eating floating sticks and freeze-dried bugs! Due to their size, B thinks they were malnourished so we are spoiling them with the protein filled bugs! We don't take them out too often (it's been three days...), but they are wiggly and fast when we do. They should grow to be about 8-9", but I wish they would stay this tiny forever. My favorite thing to do is sneak up on them when they are (fake)sun bathing...they scurry so fast and sometimes dive into the water with a funny "plop!" The turtles are fun to watch and they have added yet another source of entertainment to our lives and home. 

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The turtles are male and female, we think. And if they have babies I will lovingly put my hands around B's neck and shake him for one second. We'll deal with that later. Maybe. Hoping we've got same sex turtles. Can you fix turtles? 

As far as names, I have suggested: Dick and Jane (cute!), Tiny and Teeny (adorable!), Lucy and Ricky (classic!), and Michelle and Barack (duh.). All names have been rejected by Byron. So...we are currently taking name suggestions...anybody? 

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Bixby is still so dumb and so goofy. When he yawns, his limbs often get in the way and he ends up munching on them a little bit. He is still shocked by his tail and loves to chase it. He is hilarious. His kisses are long and intimate. He loves caressing Eleanor's ear with his tongue...and she loves it, too. Weirdos. He is a jumper...so if you come over, you've been warned. He is impatient with us when he needs to go to the bathroom. He has a current obsession with the bathtub...if we forget to put the curtain over it, he will jump in and lick up any water in there. One recent morning, I found some muddy paw prints in the bathtub between when I took my shower and when I was doing some finishing touches before leaving. He is crazy. 

Bixby is the craziest, silliest, goofiest puppy. He is so big. And his tail is so powerful. And he is so sweet....I can't imagine what our little family would be without him. Byron has been taking Bixby out on bike rides around our block. Bix trots along and looks like a miniature horse from behind. He often accompanies us to the Farmer's Market and makes friends with dogs and people and children a like. He is obsessed with babies. If he hears one on TV, he begins to watch. I've never seen a pup so enamored with young babes. Bixby is the best dog. And he looks like an OG (original gangster. I just learned that a few weeks ago, so I am slowly working it into my vocabulary. Thoughts?) when he puts on a cap. This fashion is much more suited to his former name, Reggie. I think Bixby should start wearing bow ties daily, but I haven't told Byron.

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FYI: Bixby is part pointer, and you should all follow the Insta account--ifitwags--for adorable pointer pictures.

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Onto sweet Eleanor. As most of you know, she is and always will be Byron's leading lady. He has had her for 4 years now! She is probably 6 or 7ish. She has gray hairs popping up and she loves a good nap. She is groaning more and she can be a grumpy lady. Bixby is keeping her young! I wake up every morning to find that Eleanor has nestled herself between Byron and I. She is a cover hog. (Obviously, I am so jealous of Eleanor because Byron loves her more.) Eleanor is the sweetest animal in the world. She understands human emotion and responds accordingly. The only thing she doesn't do is stop whining on command. When I am in the house with her and Byron leaves for a bike ride, she does not stop whining until his return. The love he gives is reciprocated. Eleanor is a terrific spooner, and she is always little spoon.   

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All of our animals are rescue/shelter animals...we love rescue stories! (This week on Sevenly, you can buy AMAZING t-shirts that support 4 Paws for Ability.)

Do you have a rescue that you absolutely adore? Tell us about it!  


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!

 


5 Months Down, Forever to Go

by Maggie Griffin


I must say that this month has been my favorite. I have a feeling that I will be saying that for months and years to come. Marriage just keeps getting better. Especially for Byron and I, who have not really been together all that long, each month we learn more about each other, communicate better, and have more fun! When we do the math, this month marks something pretty fantastic. We have now been married longer than we were engaged. And our months engaged + months being married now = our months dating! Woo! Altogether, it's been an amazing 18 months and we are excited to continue sharing our journey with all you readers!

Q: Favorite moment of the fifth month?

M: I just love Byron. I really do. He is very supportive of me. Both of us change our minds all the time about what we want to do and pursue in the future...but when we are passionate about something, we each encourage the other and help when we can. I started work again this month and Byron came along with me on (a very hot & giant mosquito filled) block walk to advertise for our after school program. What a trooper! This example represents my favorite moments this month--the ones that were full of support, encouragement and love.    

B: There is a group at our church focused on married couples without kids called "Hitched." This month, there were two "Hitched" dinners that we had a blast at. It helps us to feel a little bit older, and it has been fun to get to know so many similar people. This is a group that we are just getting into so we are meeting lots of new people we haven't really been more than acquaintances with before now. 

Q: What is something new you have learned about your spouse?

M: Byron is a family man. He is deeply impacted by all the big and little things that go on with his family. I knew this, but some hard things have been going on in our families, and Byron's heart and compassion have been the sweetest thing to witness. 

B: Her obsession for online shopping has picked up this month... 

Q: What is one life lesson you have gained from "married life?"

M: Communication is key. In life. In everything. There were a few moments this month where a bit more communication, and especially clear communication would have spared us some not so glamorous moments. In all relationships, communication is key. Tell people how you feel and be honest and don't be scared to bring up confrontational things. We aren't terrible at communicating, but we can always be better. 

B: It is better to do things that you don't want to do instead of talking about it forever. Example: we have had strings of lights we have been meaning to hang up for the 2 months we've been in the house. We always talked about it but never accomplished it. We finally got around to hanging them as well as a few other things and we were very satisfied with our productivity. 

Q: What project/hope do you share this month?

M: This past month, our home group, has been coming over every Monday to share what's going on with their lives and share a treat. This month, I want to continue to make fun dishes and open up our house even more for guests to enjoy it! 

B: I got back into photography this past month and have also applied for a few jobs, so I want to take ten unique portraits of different people and have coffee/meetings with potential employers. 

Q: Three words for the fifth month:

M: Community, caffeinated, (fun) work. 

B: Espresso, backyard, school.

 


What's Going On with the Griffins?

by Maggie Griffin


A lot.  

The Griffin puppies are back in the swing of things: school, work, taking on more than we can handle as Autumn offers her abundance of new groups, TV shows, and projects. This is my absolute favorite time of year. Though Spring is the season known for newness, I feel especially re-energized during Fall. My favorite blogger ladies over on A Beautiful Mess call it the "pumpkin spice effect," and I most certainly fall prey to it. Every year, I force myself to wait until Oct. 1 (the first true day of fall in my book), to indulge in that insanely addictive beverage offered by the coffe corporate geniuses, but I feel its effect much sooner.  This year, with the newness of married life & house life, Fall has been extra exciting, and we are doing lots. Check it out!

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Reading? 

I finished Brian McGrory's memoir, Buddy: How a Rooster Made Me a Family Man and quickly after sped read through Paris, My Sweet: A Year in the City of Light (and Dark Chocolate) by Amy Thomas. I am on a memoir/mini-autobiography kick at the moment and have just opened the cover of Jodi Kantor's The Obamas (which is my favorite thus far!). I recommend all. The first two for something fun and silly, and my current read for the Michelle lovers out there. 

Byron and I were reading Buddy together, but I couldn't wait to finish... so we abandoned each other and he picked up Zoobiquity: The Astonishing Connection between Human and Animal Health, which he LOVED. There were several small blips about Dobermans and how odd they are. Byron became a better, more understanding puppy parent because of the book. Also, reading is attractive. It was a joy to watch him turn pages that fast. 

Watching? 

Byron, the ever dedicated husband, completed all 9 seasons of Grey's Anatomy in order for us to have a prime time show to watch together. Do you all love him as much as me? 

This past Saturday we had a together but alone day where we each staked our place in a room of the house and completely vegged out for hours to catch up on or start/finish a show. He returned to Breaking Bad after a hiatus taken due to a commercial ruining something for him. (He's beginning season 5 now, for those who are interested. DO NOT RUIN ANYTHING FOR HIM.) I just don't care about that show, so I was in the office beginning and finishing House of Cards,  which was amazing. 

We felt the need to get out of the house that day, so we went to Target at 10 pm for wine, ice cream, and John Adams, the HBO mini-series. We have watched 3/7 parts of that.  (For the record, this is the only time I have enjoyed Paul Giamatti, and Byron now has a HUGE crush on Abigail Adams, the historic figure, not Laura Linney, though I suppose her portrayal has something to do with it.)

TV junkies, us Griffins.  

Hoping to accomplish? 

We have a few more house projects we are hoping to complete in the near future. I want to read a million more books (just ordered 3 more on Amazon) and Byron wants to finish school. I have also been working on some holiday calligraphy prints I am hoping to get out soon! Yay!

Pining after? 

His and Hers Fall outerwear from the ever fabulous J. Crew. As if we weren't a model couple already, we would be bring the paparazzi down to Waco in these. Since being married, I have become an addictive online shopper. I am confessing that to you all because it is the first step in my recovery process. If you see us walking around in these, take me to a Shopaholics meeting.  

 

Hope you enjoyed our updates! Tell us what's going on with you!