Monday, May 9, 2011

Picking Our Puppy: Bella "Blue" Harris

Bella "Blue" Harris

After 6 long weeks, we can finally say that Blue is our Bella!! Kitty called Friday evening after dinner to tell us that we had the final choice between Blue and Green. She said Yellow was everyone's first pick and she ended up keeping that one for herself (how nice of her..I even offered to pay extra to have yellow but she shot that down quick!) White was the next to go followed by orange. Since we had the fourth pick, that left blue and green. I am so thankful that at least one of those two had been in our top three this whole time! If you remember, Blue was our #1 choice in the first round. She stood out to us with the first impression and you know what they say about a first impression...! Kitty said that Blue is a very elegant, mild mannered dog and Green is very rambunctious and has lots of energy. Naturally we went with Blue!! She will fit in with our family perfectly. Plus, Hunter even let me know that he preferred Blue over white the whole time but knew I liked white so he didn't want to say anything. haha

I will admit it...I couldn't help but be just a little disappointed after getting of the phone with Kitty but I think I was partly in shock. It was official! We've been going through this process for 6 weeks now (and so have y'all by keeping up with us!) and we finally know which one is going to be a part of our family in a couple weeks!! I absolutely cannot wait to meet her. She is going to be so spoiled. :) I don't have any updated pictures of her since  my last post, so I decided to post a few of her throughout the "picking our puppy" process!

Bella Blue Harris
born 3/24/2011

@ 1 Day

@ 1 Day

@ 3 Weeks

@ 3 Weeks

@ 6 Weeks
@ 6 Weeks

Friday, May 6, 2011

Picking Our Puppy: Round #3

The puppies turned 6 weeks yesterday! I remember the day they were born and it seemed like these 8 weeks were going to take FOR-EVERRRRRR to go by! Two weeks from today I will be flying up to Minnesota to pick up our little Bella! Yep, we went with Bella. I've been wanting to name a dog Bella for a few years now. I'm not going to say that she is named after the Twilight character because she is not. However, it was while reading the Twilight Saga that I realized how much I liked the name and decided that the female dog I eventually adopted would be named Bella! I love the Bella character in theTwilight books a lot more than Kristin Stewart's movie character so while most people may picture Kristin Stewart when i say the name Bella, I picture the original character I created in my mind who surprisingly looked more like myself! ;)

When we got the email from Kitty yesterday telling us to make our final picks, I realized that this is probably the last round of pictures, and the next time I see them will be in person. I also second guessed every thought and reason I had for picking the top three that we did. Its so hard to choose a puppy based on their looks because they can have such different personalities. Hopefully, when Kitty calls to ask for our picks, she will give us insight about their personalities to help make our decision. There is a good chance we may not get our number one choice, especially since we only had the 4th reserved female. But Kitty said she would try to make sure we each get one of our top three so I am praying she sticks by her word.

A former student came by my room the other day because she is graduating and going to TCU next year. She plans on rushing and wanted to talk to me about the whole process. So I sat with her for about 45 minutes and talked about what to expect, what to wear, and how the process of choosing works. I told her how I had a hard decision to make because I really liked my top 3 choices for the final "pref" round. I literally did "eenie meenie miney moe" to decide between my first and second choices. I would have been happy with either sorority and ultimately left it to chance (well really God's hands). I knew that when I opened that card on Bid Day, I was going to be where God wanted me to be. It turned out that the sorority I had ultimately chosen as number one choose me too! And I can't see myself as anything other than a Pi Phi. So I relate sorority rush to picking my puppy. All three of our top females are absolutely beautiful and come from great parents and even grandparents. I will be happy with any of them!

It may seem silly to some, but I have been praying for our puppy for the past 6 weeks. I have been praying that she is healthy and well-raised, that she is mild tempered and has the right energy for our household. I have been praying that she gets along well with her siblings and is not too dominant but not the most submissive of the litter either. And I have been praying that she fulfills this need I have had since middle school of a faithful and loving companion to both me and Hunter. I pray that God gives Kitty the direction and wisdom that she needs to match her puppies with their owners. And I believe in my heart, that God will bless us with the exact puppy he desires us to have whether she be yellow, white, or blue!

So without further ado, here are our final puppy picks! One of these precious puppies will be our Bella!

1. Yellow

2. White

3. Blue

Let the countdown begin continue...!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A blog is a blog is a blog

When I started this blog I wasn't quite sure how it works. I'm still not quite sure about 'blog ettiquite' or if there is such a thing. My goal was to blog frequently enough (approx. once a week) to keep people entertained but not too much to be overbearing. Then I realized that this is just a blog...MY blog. I can post however much I want and people can decide for themselves if they want to read it! In essence, if people get tired of hearing about us adopting a puppy then they can choose not to read my blog! With that being said, here are a few more puppy pictures from the breeder! I just can't help myself since they are just so darn cute at only 3 weeks!

Yellow has become our #1 choice this round!

Blue has moved to the #3 spot in Round 2.

 White has remained steady at the #2 spot both rounds!

The litter turns 4 weeks today so we only have 4 more weeks to go! We are halfway there to having a puppy in our home!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Picking Our Puppy: Round #2

Just got these ADORABLE pictures of the puppies at just 3 weeks old!!! May 20 seems like it will take forever to get here!! Luckily I have a lot going on before then...

This weekend of course, is Easter and my parents will be here! They've never spent Easter in Ft. Worth/ Granbury so I am very excited to have them! I am bummed my brother won't be able to come though. We have done some renovations to our house and will be switching master bedrooms this week so when they come, our house will be pretty different and I can't wait for it all to unfold.

Next weekend is Elizabeth and Xavi's couples shower that I am hosting with her two other bridesmaids! Miles and Lindsey's going away party is that same night so Hunter and I are going to try to make it out to Dallas after the shower to be a part of their farewell. That Sunday is Taylor's birthday so of course there will be celebrating! Wow...that will be a jam packed weekend!

We actually have a weekend with no set plans May 6-8 which I am really looking forward to!

The next weekend Hunter will be in Vegas for Taylor Chandler's bachelor party. Our friends Molly and Tanner are getting married that same weekend in Alabama so I am really bummed we won't be able to make it. I'll have to keep myself occupied I guess...I think Beer Olympics at the Burke's will be a must!

Finally...May 20 is the weekend after that and I CANNOT wait!! Its also Colonial weekend but I doubt I'll make it out there at all. I imagine I will be spending the weekend with one of these adorable little puppies!!

I've included all of the female puppies this time. I will distinguish our top 3 rankings from "Round #1: at 4 days" but we haven't ranked them at 3 weeks just yet!! Its getting harder and harder! At least we know from all of these pictures that we will end up with a beautiful dog.

Yellow was our #3 pick from Round 1

 Blue was our #1 pick from Round 1
(not sure why there is only 1 picture of her)

 Green has a little too much white on her chest but is still a cutie!

 I originally dismissed Orange immediately because of the amount of white on her chest as well but she is turning out to be one beautiful puppy!

White was our #2 pick from Round 1

Kitty said there should be more 3 week pictures so I will add them as soon as I get them!! I'll also update our ranking for "Round #2: at 3 weeks"!

Can't wait to see them again for "Round #3: at 5 weeks"!!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Picking our Puppy: Round #1

In just 6 weeks Hunter and I will have a little addition to our newlywed home! I cannot wait for our puppy to get here!! I will be flying up to Minnesota on May 20 to pick her up! read that right...Minnesota! I was hoping to find a breeder in Texas but none of the breeders I found had a litter planned that would work with our timeline. When I found this breeder online, I contacted her to see if she had any upcomming litters of all liver puppies! Once we found out that she did, Hunter called a guy he plays tennis with at River Crest who has become a GSP expert and he recommended the breeder! That was all we needed to hear so we paid for a puppy in full! :)

So here's how it works. Our gsp breeder (ironically named Kitty), periodically sends pictures of the puppies. Since she is located far away from most of her clients, she asks for the soon-to-be owners to rank their top 3 favorite puppies based on the pictures and information she sends at that time. The litter has 5 females and 3 males and techincally, Hunter and I should have the fourth pick of females. I like Kitty's process though because she lets us choose which puppy we would like and tries to make sure everyone gets one of their top three. We can change our mind as often as we want until we make final picks between 6 & 7 weeks. So here is the first round of our top 3 puppies at 4 days old!

1. Female #4 Blue

2. Female #8 White

3. Female #3 Yellow

The next set of photos should be around 2-3 weeks when their eyes will be open and they get up on their little feet. Looking forward to seeing those!!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Whoever said you can't buy happiness forgot little puppies

"A person who has never owned a dog has missed a wonderful part of life" -Bob Barker

I have been wanting a dog for a few years now and am happy to announce that we will be getting a puppy in May!! I haven't been this excited since the wedding! I am so ready to be a puppy mom! I can't imagine my life without a dog and am looking forward to this new chapter in our lives!

The first dog I remember in my life was a boxer named Ribbons. I loved that dog even though my memories of her are hazy since we had her in my early years of life. She grew up to be a big and strong boxer who knocked me over all the time. I would cry and cry but still loved that dog as much as a little girl knew how to love a dog. I remember the day my parents told Javan and I that Ribbons wouldn't be with us anymore. They said she was too big for us to keep and they gave her away to a nice family who owned a ranch so she had plenty of room to play with the other dogs. I missed Ribbons greatly and as I grew older I began to wonder if she was really on a ranch somewhere or if she was in heaven. I've never asked my parents because honestly I don't really want to know. I still want to be that little 5 year old girl who believes she is on a farm running through the field with the wind in her ears.

We went a few years sans doggie until I was in the third grade. We decided to get a smaller dog this time so we went to the pound and I got to pick one out. I remember thinking there was no way I was ever going to decide which was the perfect one! I picked up a few different dogs and played with them but hadn't found the right one yet. I picked up a little mut who was so sweet and calm in my arms and when my family pointed out that she had put her paw in the pocket of my overalls (yes overalls...I'm sure you all can vividly remember the overalls days), my heart melted. I looked down and sure enough her paw was in my pocket as if to say, "Okay I'm ready...take me home now!" We knew she was the one so Brittany became our faithful house dog. She loved to swim in our pool and run in the back yard and at first I thought she was mine all mine. That changed over the course of a few months. Over time she favored my brother over me. I was heartbroken but accepted it. She was the family dog overall and Javan was her favorite. As long as we had a dog in the house I could live with it. Brittany was our faithful family dog from the time I was in the third grade until she was put to sleep in 2008 due to kidney failure from her cancer. She was buried in a special place and will always be remembered.

When I was in the 6th grade, the summer olympics were in Atlanta, Georgia. My mom and brother traveld with our church for a mission trip while my dad and I stayed in Abilene. I remember like it was yesterday when, while watching the opening ceremony, my dad asked me if I would like another dog. He said I could pick her out and hopefully she would be "my" dog. I was SO excited!! We went to a pet rescue facility this time and I found a little black lap puppy that I just had to have! We brought her home and I decided to name her Atlanta Georgia Townsend in honor of the time we got her. I called her "Attie" for short and felt like a proud momma when my mom and brother returned home to see this new puppy! She was mine all mine and I had never felt such love from an animal before. Ribbons loved me but couldn't show it in an acceptable way since she knocked my to the ground whenever she tried. I know deep down that Brittany loved me too but her devotion was to Javan. Attie loved me above all others and I will never forget the day my dad told me that the backyard gate had been left open and Brittany and Attie had run loose. I wasn't too worried though because Brittany had gotten out before and found her way home so I was confident they would return. We went out searching anyway and got worried when neither could be found. We came home to find Brittany on the front porch waiting for us as always and my heart skipped a beat until I realize that Attie wasn't with her. Attie never came home and my heart still breaks thinking about it.

So on to a new kanine chapter. I am so ready to have a dog in the Harris household. Hunter and I aren't quite ready for children yet and we feel that after almost a year of marriage, a dog is the next step. I've been pressuring him for a dog for a while now and we've decided this summer is the perfect time for a puppy so I can train and play with her before I go back to school in August. She will be a great companion to both of us at home and can also be Hunter's hunting dog until he gets one of his own! I always imagined my next dog would be another Attie. I wanted a black lab and Hunter was fine with that since they are great hunting dogs. In 2008 we attended Fort Worth's first Friends of the River event which was outside and dog friendly and I saw the most beautiful dog I think I've ever seen! She was a silver lab! I was instantly in love and decided that was what our next dog would be. Since 2008, I have been set on finding a silver lab. They aren't easy to find and are even a bit controversial! Last May, Hunter's brother bought a german shorthaired pointer and I fell in love all over again. He is a beautiful all liver gsp and looks similar to a lab if you saw him from far enough away. I have spent the past year getting to know TR and decided I want a female version of him. So I've researched both silver labs and german shorthaired pointers and ultimately decided on the gsp. We found a breeder expecting an all liver litter and reserved a female. The litter was born just yesterday! How cute are they! One of those little females will be ours in May! I will update pictures as I get them.

I am currently taking name suggestions!! My top choices at the moment are: Bella, Milly, Ainsley and Bess. I'd be happy to take suggesstions or let you vote on which name you like the best for our little puppy!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

History of Valentine's Day

Since I teach World History and Valentine's Day was on a school day this year, I decided to give a lesson on the history of Valentine's Day! I think my students actually enjoyed it! In true Mrs. Harris fashion, I made them take notes and gave them a daily assignment at the end of the period but overall it was a fun lesson!

There are a number of different legends about the origin of St. Valentine's Day. Enjoy!
  • One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Cladius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men - his crop of potential soldiers. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine's actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death. According to legend, Valentine actually sent the first "valentine" greeting himself. While in prison, it is believed that Valentine fell in love with a young girl - who may have been his jailor's daughter - who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter, which he signed "From your Valentine" an expression that is still in use today.
  • Other stories suggest that Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons where they were often beaten and tortured.
  • While some believe that Valentine's Day is celebrated in the middle of February to commemorate the anniversary of Valentine's death or burial -which probably occurred around 270 A.D. - others claim that the Christian church may have decided to celebrate Valentine's feast day in the middle of February in an effort to "christianize" celebrations of the pagan Lupercalia festival. In ancient Rome, February was the official beginning of spring and was considered a time for purification. Houses were ritually cleansed by sweeping them out and then sprinkling salt and a type of what called spelt throughout their interiors. ("spring cleaning") Lupercalia, which began at the ides of February, February 15, was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the Roman founders Romulous and Remus. Now here's where it gets really interesting...To begin the festival, Roman priests would sacrafice a goat for fertility. The boys then sliced the goat's hide into strips, dipped them in the sacrificial blood and took to the streets, gently slapping both women and fields of crops with the goathide strips. Far from being fearful, Roman women welcomed being hit with the hides because it was believed the strips would make them more fertile in the coming year. Later in the day, according to legend, all the young women in the city would place their names in a big urn. The city's bachelors would then each choose a name out of the urn and become paired for the year with his chosen woman. These matches often ended in marriage. Pope Gelasius declared February 14 St. Valentine's Day around 498 A.D. The Roman "lottery" system for romantic pairing was deemed un-Christian and outlawed.
  • Valentine greetings were popular as far back as the Middle Ages (written Valentine's didn't begin to appear until after 1400), and the oldest known Valentine card is on display at the British Museum.
  • Thanks to the History Channel for this research! (

Hunter and I celebrated our first married Valentine's Day by going to dinner at Bob's Steak and Chophouse in the Omni Hotel downtown Ft. Worth. It was delicious!! Yummy steak and lobster and an amazing dessert. I came home to this beautiful arrangement of flowers! My Valentine did good! :)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

A new name, a new year, a new hobby!

We ran out of Colonial Country Club, hugged our families and were driven in a vintage 1940s Packard to the Ashton Hotel where we spent our wedding night exhausted and ready to be on the beach already beginning our lives as husband and wife! That's is how the picture above can be continued. And now I have a new last name, its a new year and I am hoping that this is the beginning of a new hobby.

I always enjoyed writing in my diary as a girl. Over the summer I went home to Abilene and found my very first diary still with the heart-shaped lock on it but unfortunately there was no key. I tried a couple ways to pry it open but gave up quickly. I started to think...maybe its best kept locked. I am sure there are trivial and dumb things written in there that would be embarrassing to even visit (like my crush on  Macaulay Culkin when he was in the movie Richie Rich). After the diary phase I fell into a journal phase. I wrote in journals all the time. Most journals were about what boy I had a crush on that week or how I felt about myself that day. Some journals were religious themed. I would do a bible study and write journal passages based on what I felt. One journal in particular was 'N SYNC themed. Oh "The Story." These were all written by hand, on paper. In college, I began writing journal entries in word documents. My old computer is in Abilene and isn't hooked up, but sometimes I think about plugging that old desktop in to retrieve those electronic journals. I am sure they were interesting since they were during my first couple years of college! That was the last time I really wrote. I enjoyed writing to no one; knowing no one else was ever going to read what my true thoughts and feelings were. Then came emails. My first group of girlfriends in college and I would write each other throughout the summer about what was going on while we were away from each other and keeping each other in the loop. I guess that was a form of journal writing.

So here I am now. Blogging. I have to give credit to friends Lauren McMurrey, Erika McWilliams and Taylor Green for inspiring me. I have enjoyed reading their blogs over the months (although I miss Taylor's blog!) I am sure there will be entries where I will be doing the same as I always did...writing to no one and I am okay with that. I would be surprised if Hunter even read half the stuff I will put on here! Since I don't have baby news to blog about like some of my friends, I am hoping to post fun things that Hunter and I are up to and share about trips we've gone on! Since the wedding, we've already done a lot of fun things and visited a number of fun places! For those that care enough to read what I have to say, I thought a blog would be a fun way to keep you up to date on what was going on in the life of Mrs. Adrienne Harris.