Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Blog Catch-Up

Since I have so many new readers, I thought I would acquaint everyone with the things I might refer to on the blog or the people and things and review some of the more noteworthy past events I've blogged about. So, first, the cast of characters.


Well, there's me, Mary.

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I'm 33-years-old and am in my one millionth year of graduate school, pursuing a PhD in Biology. The good news is that I am submitting paperwork today (yay!) to graduate in May. The bad news is that I am attempting to write a dissertation while caring full-time for my three-month-old baby. But, I am 100% determined to do it.

Here I am doing my best scientist impersonation.

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This is Jason, my husband.

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He's also 33 and was an avid cyclist until he met me, got a full-time job, and had a baby.

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Now he bikes when he can. So, if you wonder why there are so many bike references on the blog, such as in Elsa's nursery, it's because of him. He's in sales and he's really good at it. In fact, he was the top salesperson at his company last year and his success landed him a big promotion, which is awesome. I am so proud of him. He proposed to me in 2005 by surprising me on the beach at sunset while I was on vacation in Florida with my family.

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I had no idea he had flown down and planned the event, aided by my family. We got married in June of 2007, while my dad was dying of lung cancer. Our wedding was as much a celebration of us as it was of my dad.

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[Photo Credit: Robert George Photography]

This is Lola, my most high-maintenance charge.

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She was gifted to me at Christmas 1999 by a former boyfriend. All you need to know about her is that I complain about her a lot, she screeches all the time for my attention, she enjoys laying eggs in her spare time, and she's completely insane.

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Monty is my green-cheek conure and he is named after Mr. Burns.

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I acquired him in 2001 as a baby bird. He could live THIRTY years. And he's a she, but we don't talk about it in front of him in order to avoid gender confusion. Monty is basically a giant hambone who wants nothing more than lots and lots and lots and lots of attention. He used to be a feather picker, but when we adopted our pit bull, Levi, he miraculously stopped. Monty talks a little bit, saying "hi, baby "who's my baby?" "Monty" "I love you" and I'm pretty sure I've heard him say "you're sweet." He's also an alcoholic.

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Levi is my amazing pit bull, my heart, my love, whom we adopted in 2008.

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While we sometimes joke that he was raised in a million dollar house because he acts superior to everyone and everything, he was actually rescued as a stray from north St. Louis, probably the most dangerous area in all of St. Louis. He was around two-years-old when we adopted him and he is NEVER GOING TO DIE. Did you know that? He's a magical vampire like that. The rescue group Stray Rescue of St. Louis found him on the streets. Jason and I volunteered with them from April of 2008 until four days before my water broke with Elsa. We walked shelter dogs every Thursday night and met more wonderful dogs than I can mention here. Cletus was one special one.

Volunteering introduced us to pit bulls and how wonderful they are. We are huge supporters of Stray Rescue and I was on hand when they took over the job of the city pound and became St. Louis city's no kill shelter. While we are not as active as we'd like to be due to life being crazy in general, I'd like to someday foster or start volunteering again.

Anyway, we have had numerous adventures with Levi. He has been through all the levels of obedience training with the Greater St. Louis Training Club, he has taken out both me and Jason (fracturing Jason's knee) when we dared not get out of the way of his zoomies, he has been on a million walks-in the snow, in the sun, in the city, in the county, he has endured holiday parties with celebrities, he has been in parades, and he has healed broken hearts. He has done it all! And he's amazing.

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In 2010, Jason and I purchased our dream house [my favorite room, decorated for Christmas].

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We had been living in a condo and had been dying to move for a long time. Even though we had the closing from hell, we got our house and love it more every day. Since it has already been rehabbed, we haven't done a lot of stuff to it, but we did revamp the yard last summer and, of course, created a nursery for Elsa.

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Less than a week after closing on our house, we officially adopted Neptune.

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My friend was fostering him and was holding onto him until we moved so that we could adopt him. Like Levi, Neptune was rescued as a stray, but from East St. Louis. He was in bad shape when they rescued him-severely underweight, covered in scars, and he had an abscess in his neck. But now he is happy as can be and is my little shadow. Even though he may not be as handsome as Levi, he is absolutely the sweetest dog on the planet. He wants nothing more than love. Truly. While I sometimes think Levi has ulterior motives for his actions, Neptune's motive is simple: please just love me; let's cuddle. Nonetheless, he still goes on adventures like Levi does and he is a pretty great, if reluctant, artist too.

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And in case you were wondering, both dogs get along with the birds.

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So, what else do you need to know? Let's see. I enjoy running, but have had my ups and downs with it and one painful body part or another (currently my ankles). I have run four half-marathons, always the one in the spring in downtown St. Louis. My best time is 1:49 and I don't think I'll ever be that fast (or skinny) again, but that's okay.

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Jason and I have participated in two mini team triathlons, with me doing the swim and run and him doing the bike. One day we'll get Elsa in the water and she can do the swim.

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Jason and I love to travel, but that mostly got benched when we bought our house. One of our most memorable trips was to Belize where we went diving with whale sharks.

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We also like to hang around our house and do nothing, which is perfect since we love our house so much.

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What else? I feel like I'm forgetting something...OH YEAH! I had a freaking BABY in October! Elsa Katherine, born 10/19.

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We had always been on the fence about having kids, but decided to take the plunge in July of 2010. I finally got pregnant in January of 2011 and the rest is history.

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I had an incredibly easy and wonderful pregnancy, but had a pretty traumatic labor and delivery, ending in the birth of a girl who I totally expected to be a boy. But, the important thing is that I have a healthy baby and she is so much more perfect and wonderful than I even could have imagined.


Week 39

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On April 23, 2012, I defended my doctoral dissertation, an unbelievable accomplishment considering I wrote the whole darn thing while taking care of an infant.  I finally graduated with my PhD in May.  I have an application pending for my dream job.  We'll see what happens.  Hopefully I'll be able to update this page with news that I am employed!






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I pinch myself everyday because you can tell from reading this post, I have so many blessings. And I haven't even talked about extended family or friends. I also love cookies, booze, cheese goldfish, naps, and celebrity gossip.

If you're still reading, is there anything else you'd like to know?

8 comments:

Julia said...

this post is seriously hilarious and I love it so much. It's funny that Levi is never going to die because my Henry isn't, either! I guess they both drank the same eternal water as puppies. :)

Love this summary, Mary. So cute.

sarasel said...

What a coincidence! My cat Max is also never going to die. :-)

Angie said...

lol you're awesome.

My Husband's Watching TV... said...

Thanks for the update! Great post.

Two Pitties in the City said...

Love the recap...and so many reminders of why I enjoy reading your blog. The wolves, the wedding story, the running, the birds' hijinks, Levi's 'rich dog' antics, Neptune being Neptune, and Elsa who is so cute and seeing you all make it work so well reaffirms that we may some day have a kid. And the sense of humor! Oh...and the balancing act.

Sadie said...

Just found your blog through Two Pitties in the City, so glad I did. We have two adopted pit mutts and I can't wait to read all about yours : )

Rachel said...

I just found your blog through Two Pitties in the City and I love your bio! Especially about Levi being vampire like... I like to think our Amy will live forever as well (she seriously has to!!).
Nice to read about your experiences handling such a busy household... Very great to know its possible to balance everything :-)

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