I Have Never

During my college orientation we played an ice breaker game called “I Have Never.” I don’t recall the rules of the game exactly, but basically you go around the group finishing the statement “I have never…” For example:

I have never been on a roller coaster with a height restriction over 3 feet.

I have never liked pumpkin pie. Something about the damp-mushiness makes my stomach turn.

I have never traveled by train.

I have never been to Disney World.

I have never texted.

Oh wait! Yes I have! We finally broke down and got texting a month ago.🙂

I have never had a fake Christmas tree. This year might end up being our first.

I have never gone fishing.

I have never gone snow mobiling or ATV-ing.

I have never seen a moldy brownie.

I have never known a pan of brownies that has existed for longer than 2 days.

I have never turned a brownie down.

(Can you tell I’m craving brownies???)

On the other hand, you might be surprised to know:

I have driven a stick-shift car. Three times. In a parking lot. It was a blast… and a bust.

I have sang in front of people. Twice. The first time was when I was little as special music in church. I remember an older gentleman in the church telling me, “Don’t worry about it, you sounded fine.” I wasn’t worried at all about it. I sang my heart out. And never sang in front of people again until I got roped into a solo during a church play in highschool. My character was supposed to sing atrociously. I think I nailed it.

I have sewn a pair of pajama pants. They were perfectly tailored to fit someone with one leg longer than the other.

I have written and illustrated a book. It was called “Baliry” and I was 8 when I wrote it. I was really into the American Girls books and decided to write my own. Except I made up her name, because I thought Baliry sounded prettier than Valerie because it sounded like ballirina. Coincidently, Baliry was a ballirina.

I have failed multiple tests in college! If you know me, this is kind of shocking, because I still managed to graduate Suma Cum Laude.

I have taken the mirror off my parents’ car side-swiping a semi while fumbling to grab something from the back seat.

Huh… looking over this, I’m not sure what’s more depressing: what I have never done or what I have done! I’ll let you be the judge of my pathetic-ness score.

Thank you, good night.

Rylie Roll-Up

I know my posts have been sporadic at best, but our lives have been pretty uneventful — yet somehow busy.

Anyway, my posting material seems to revolve around Rylie right now, since she’s much more interesting than Tyler or I.

So a treat just for you: A video of me teaching Rylie a new trick.



Puppy Classes

Yesterday was class #5 out of 6 for Rylie in Puppy Kindergarten. She did pretty well, but was getting very frustrated with us during one exercise. We were teaching they to “settle down” which means “lay down and stay down until I tell you you can get up.” At first, she was like, “Piece of cake guys, I don’t know what all these other puppies are freaking out about.” Then she got up and we tried using the technique the instructor had showed us to put her back down: form a wide “C” with your finger and thumb about about 2-3 inches away from each other and use them to push down on the spot right below the puppy’s shoulder blades. It’s not meant to hurt them, but it’s uncomfortable and they supposedly lay down to avoid the pressure in that spot.

Not for our puppy. She would whip her head around and try to bite us, enraged that we would do such an awful thing to her! It really got her wound up and it took a while to get her to calm back down. She did better if we just gave her the signal for “settle down” again, but she still wouldn’t stay down until we released her. *sigh* We’ll be practicing this a lot in the next few days.

On a happier note, our poor little social outcast made a new friend! She played with a spunky little 7 pound terrier (20 pounds lighter than Rylie) named Tucker. It was so funny to watch. The terrier was chasing her all around and she was having a blast running and pawing at him.

Made this puppy-mama’s heart all warm and tingly.

My favorite things we’ve learned so far in class are “leave it” and walking on a loose leash. The loose leash was a miracle! If you want to know her technique, leave me a comment and I can email you. It’s pretty genius and it worked wonders!

Next week is puppy graduation. I guess they are getting caps and diplomas, and it should be a riot. Honestly, guys, what is cuter than spending an hour and a half with a room full of puppies every Monday?

Answer: A room full of puppies wearing graduation caps and carrying diplomas!

If you have a dog and you get the opportunity to do classes, TAKE THEM! We enrolled mostly for the social aspect, but ended up gleaning much more than we ever expected. Of course, we have a lot of work ahead of us still, but at least we feel better prepared for how to train Rylie to be a well behaved member of our family.

And who knows, maybe some Saturday you’ll be bored and turn on the Purina Dog Challenge and see her weaving through poles and climbing up see-saws.

Hey, a puppy-mama can dream, can’t she?


I’m not even going to bring up the fact that my last post was eons ago. What an anti-climactic way to take a break from blogging! Ha.

Moving on… here is a picture of my hair post-headband wrap:

It was a very sunny day when I took this photo. Also, I have quit doing this hair-style simply because the headbands give me a headache in the morning!!! Sad…


In happier news, I know I’ve mentioned before that my husband is an elementary school teacher. Well since I had the day off today, he suggested that I bring our border collie puppy Rylie to school to meet the kids. They were having a walk-a-thon, where the kids walked around the playground for half an hour – the perfect activity for introducing her to 60 screaming children.

(To prepare, we gave her a bath last night. Unfortunately it resulted in a severe case of bed-head):

I was a little apprehensive, yet excited as we pulled into the school parking lot. I could already hear the music blaring from the gym teacher’s speakers and the roring laughter of kids happy to be outside.

As we approached the playground, a dozen kids came running up to us, asking if they could pet her. I got down next to her and said they could, hopeful that she wouldn’t pee like she normally does when she meets new people, and slightly nervous that she might get bite at someone if she overwhelmed. She’s never done it before, but she’s never been in this situation before, so I just didn’t know. I held her tightly until I could tell she was actually loving the attention.

And she did great the entire time! The kids LOVED her, and she ADORED them too! I can’t even describe how happy those 30 minutes made me. One of my biggest worries was that we would get this adorable puppy and then she would be aggressive towards children. And as cute as she is, we still plan to have kids someday, and that just wouldn’t be ok. Besides, I have the idea in my head that I would love to use her as a “therapy dog” someday and be able to take her into hospitals and schools.

*happy sigh*

Is she cute, or what?

Back in another 5 months!

– Cheyenne

Marriage and Hair

You’re wondering how these two topics tie together. Well, believe me they do. Hair has been the binding material of our marriage, believe it or not — teaching us patience, self-sacrifice, and drain-declogging.

Ok, so maybe it hasn’t played as crucial as a role as that. But I had to have some kind of tie-in for these two topics I’m posting about today.

 August 2 was our 3rd anniversary. It seems so crazy to me when I think it was three whole years ago that we got all dressed up and said our vows and began a journey together as husband and wife. A lot has happened since then, but the time went by so fast. I’m so thankful for this godly man I married. Thankful for God’s grace that He shows me through Tyler. Blessings, laughter, forgiveness, conviction, love… hair. Marriage is difficult at times. It reveals to you all the little sins that you can so easily hide from everyone else, most notably selfishness. But it also gives you the opportunity to relinquish your self-centeredness and focus on the one you love — the one who loves you also. Sometimes it’s a difficult cycle of self-centeredness-conviction-forgiveness-servanthood-joy. But I hope as the years go by, the cycle will more often than not exclude self-centeredness.

But enough sappy marriage talk for now, because I have something very important to share with all of you.

*pause for effect*

I’m trying something new with my hair!

Talk about being self-centered *puh* *eyeroll*

Who does this chick think she is that we would care about her hair?

I know, I know. But I just have to tell you about this amazing beachy-wave hair-curling technique that requires no heat sources whatsoever! I started seeing posts about it on a message board that I read and the results were so cute. I figured if all of these girls could do it, maybe I can too.

You just have to have a headband and some hairspray. Basically, you start with mostly-dry hair and put the headband on your head hippie-style. Let the hair that’s held down by the headband poof up a little bit so that your hair’s not flat when you take it out. Smooth out the hair around your part so that it looks neat. Then, starting in the front, grab one strand (small for tight curls, bigger for looser curls) and wrap it over the headband and tuck it under. Then grab another strand and keep doing this until you get all the way to the back and all of the hair. Then repeat on the other side of your head. Once you get to the back from both sides, you still have some short strands hanging down. Tuck them into the wrapped hair/headband and then hairspray the beejiggers out of it! You can either sleep on it like this or wear it out if you’re brave. I think I am going to attempt to wear my hair out like this today:

Whadaya think? Not too warrior-princess-esque it it? Should I go to work like this? C’mon, people, I need to know as soon as possible before I make a spectacle of myself. Speak now or forever hold your… laughter!

An attractive larger view for you, so you can see what it looks like from the back. I can’t wait to take it out and see how my curls turned out! I just really hope I can pull off the warrior princess look today.

Here is a link to the tutorial I watched to learn how to do this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aYxS1ohz4Ao 

The way she does it is for more classic vintage curls. But depending on how tight you do it and how much hair you use, it can turn out differently. I promise to post an update of how it looks when I take it out.

*crosses fingers*

Hopefully this will not be a waste of valuable blog-wothy material!

Happy Hairstyling!

Help Wanted: Apply Within



Seeking self-disciplined individuals to train to train (no typo) one extrodinarily cute puppy how to behave politely with guests.

Individuals must be available for puppy training-training prior to puppy exposure as immediate exposure can lead to weak cuteness thresholds. In addition, puppy training trainees must be willing to undergo — but not encourage — possible slobber, nipping, and jumping. Prior experience helpful, but not necessary.

To apply, please submit resume and application information in the comments section of this blog. Applicaiton questions are as follows:

1. On a scale of 1-10 (1 being immediate caving to cute puppy antics and 10 being stoic as a rock towards cute puppy antics), rate your cuteness threshold.

2. What is your availability?

Positions available immediately. Prior experience helpful, but not necessary.

*Cash paid in full at the time of puppy training completion. Cash may be paid in Monopoly money.  

My Wish Fulfilled

Ya know the “Dear _____” post I wrote a couple days ago? Well, when Tyler got home that night, he saw that I was just publishing my post and saw his name. Since he doesn’t read it on his own (psh, boys!), I showed it to him and he actually seemed amused by it.

*warm fuzzies for making my hubby laugh*

Little did I know…

After we put the puppy to bed (ha! ohh boy…) I went upstairs to get some water before we crashed. Tyler came up a minute after me and asked me to grab an ice cube.

“An ice cube?” I thought. “Oookayyyy.”

It’s been sweltering weather here lately, though, so I chalked it up to either being excessively hot or delierium.

I opened the freezer door to grab an ice cube and something catches my eye–

Ben and Jerry’s Coffee Heath Bar Crunch!!!! Whaaa???!!!!!!!!

HOW-onearth did he know that I was crazy-craving this???

Needless to say, my disappointment that his amusement was more for somehow psychic-ly fulfilling my wishes than because he thinks I’m funny was far outshined by my delight.

*sigh* So this is love… hmm, hmm, mm, mmmm.

(Sorry, I watched Cinderella recently and the songs tend to stick in your head. There was one day last week whenI had “Bibbity-bobbity-boo” playing itself over and over in my head. Boy was that a long day.)

So I sit before you today as a very happy wife who now really needs to workout sometime this week.

Hope your weekends were as good as mine!

Dear _____,

Dear Heat Wave,

Please wave good-bye soon. I miss sleeping upstairs in our bed. And cooking. And being outside without wanting to collapse on the ground from exhaustion.

Dear Water,

I know I have taken you for granted and I’m sorry. I have never appreciated you so much in my life. You’re pretty cool.

Dear Alex Trebek,

How old are you? You look the same age as you did 20 years ago when my grandma watched Jeopardy.

P.S. Please don’t write such long clues. They confuse me.

Dear Tyler,

Thank you for all of the time you’ve been spending with Rylie. I love coming home to see her playing with you and giving you that perky, expectant look like you’re the greatest thing since American cheese. Which is pretty darn great in her book. She loves you — though not half as much as I love you.

Dear Ben and Jerry,

I miss you. Please go on sale soon so I can savor the sweet creamy goodness of your Coffee Heath Bar Crunch. Mmmm…

Dear Tyler,

Do you want to stop by the store on your way home for some Ben and Jerry’s? Please??? Pretty, pretty please???

Dear Drew,

Happy Birthday! I’m sorry I wasn’t there to celebrate with you. But I told Tyler to tell you “happy birthday” very enthusiastically for me. I’m so glad you’re my brother-in-law. Oh, and thanks a lot for exposing Rylie to bacon. You are to blame if she starts begging for people-food now. But I think you’ve permanently established yourself as her favorite family member ever.

Dear Rylie,

Why are you pulling yourself across the floor on your side? You are so silly, puppy.

Dear Laundry,

Please get done soon. I need you. Tyler needs you. Rylie… doesn’t need you.

Dear Verizon,

Thanks for the new phone. I hope you have better service in the boondocks than Sprint does.

Dear Weekend,

You are always welcome here. Please come home soon. Feel free to stay a while.

Dear Blog Friends,

Thank you for reading. I’d still be writing to my Lion King Nala diary if it weren’t for you.

Yours Truly,



One of These Days

One of these days, I will find myself refreshed with an unending stream of interesting blog-worthy non-puppy-related thoughts to share with you on a regular basis.

One of these days, I will have time to work out again.

One of these days, I will capture a good action shot of the Black and White. Maybe even in black and white if she’ll give me a chance to adjust the settings on my camera when she’s in her spunk-punk mood.

One of these days, Rylie will cuddle with her plush toys instead of biting their eyes off, ripping their gauzy brains out, and abandoning them for the next chew-thing.

One of these days, Puppy will love her crate.(Actually she’s sleeping in this picture. But she sure doesn’t look very happy does she? She only looks vicious. She’s really a silly sweetheart. Who doesn’t much care for her crate.)

One of these days, this puppy:

…isn’t going to be such a puppy anymore.

Because only 4 short weeks ago, she was an itty-bitty clumsy fur ball:

And now she’s a clumsy, fuzzy, happy squirt with a generously sized posterior and cute little panda-tail who sleeps in a wide variety of crazy zombie poses. Seriously, if you need inspiration for your next zombie walk, Rylie is your girl.

Dear Silly Rylie-bear, please don’t grow up too fast. If you’re going to be such a bundle of energy and puppi-ness, you at least owe us that.

Because one of these days, we’ll hardly remember you were ever this small at all.

And then one of those days I will blog about something else.




Rylie – 7 Weeks

What a week it has been! Rylie has done so well, but today is the first day this week in which we actually feel rested. Getting up in the middle of the night for bathroom breaks certainly interrupts one’s REM cycle. Up until last night, when we put her back in her crate after her break, we’d lie half-awake while listening to the sad puppy wimpers coming from downstairs. But last night? Last night was awesome! She slept a whole 4 1/2 hours before her break and didn’t whine one bit!

Meanwhile, during the day she is one happy, curious, playful pup. She’s pretty independent. She likes when we play with her, but she’s completely content to play on her own with her toys as well. She doesn’t like for us to be out of sight though. If Tyler or I get out of view for a minute while doing yard work or picking wild raspberries, before we know it, the little Black and White has plopped herself down right behind us, curious about what we’re doing.

She’s chewing on everything right now. Pinecones seem to be especially palatable to her. I was really hoping to be able to start training her to sit and lay down right away, but she doesn’t have much of an attention span for training right now. Instead we are teaching her manners, just by either reinforcing good behavior (i.e. sitting and waiting for us to pet her versus jumping up on us to demand it) and punishing bad behavior (i.e. biting at our hands) by loudly saying “ouch” and turning away from her for a minute. It gets her attention and worries her that we are mad at her, but doesn’t scare her or hurt her at all. This way she learns that nipping and jumping don’t get her anywhere, but sitting and being gentle are rewarding.

Her first two days with us, it was hard for me to be very strict with her, just because we were introducing so many new things to her at once. Tyler on the other hand, stuck strictly to our plan. When I watch how she plays with him, she doesn’t jump on him at all. She knows what he expects of her and she is submissive and eager to please him.  As she tires out, she waddles over to him, rubs up against his legs and collapses. She knows she is safe and secure with her daddy.

She does keep us busy though. Dishes and laundry are piling up right now, so please excuse the mess if you come over to visit us. On second thought, please come over and visit and keep our happy puppy occupied for a couple hours so we can clean things up a bit!

Any takers? I promise, she will not disappoint you! Her cuteness level is only magnified in person!