Happiness is… Puppies and Hikes and Being Together

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We have the best life! We really couldn’t feel any more blessed. We were able to move to a nice, comfortable, and safe community back in August, and we have been savoring every moment of living in such a nice place. It’s funny that you never think about your safety, or what living in a clean place really means- until you’re faced with the opposite! Luckily, we have passed by that stage of life, and now we are happy, safe, and comfortable.

On top of it all, we’ve been able to get us our “Little Miss Molly-in-the-Face” (as we have come to call her!). She is so much fun! I don’t know how we got so lucky as to have such a cute, mild mannered, cuddly puppy! But we sure did! We have had so much fun taking her with us on hikes, dog events, dog parks, and training classes. She really has made our little home feel more home-y. It’s so fun to have little paws running around the house, enthusiastically squeaking her squeaker, and snuggling up for a nap. Brig and I are definitely ooey-gooey pup parents… and can you blame us? Just look at her cute face!

Brig and I are getting into the camping/backpacking scene, and it is so much fun! There is something so refreshing about getting out on a hike away from the confines of the house or work, and away from the computer and TV. I think we connect just a little bit more as we walk through the beautiful mountains, noticing the changing leaves or the last flowers of the season, or the towering peaks with snow at the tips. We get to talk and talk without distractions, and if we want, we can be happy just listening to the birds and the wind. It’s awesome. We can’t wait to go on our first camping trip next weekend! We are pumped!

The next few weeks are going to fly by as we prepare to bring home another new member of the family… stay tuned!

Miss Molly

This little fur-baby has made our home more home-y, and certainly never lonely! We were pining for a puppy, and we allowed ourselves to go “look” at a litter. Well, you know what that means- we brought home Miss Molly!

Isn’t she adorable? Because she is. And she’s naughty. And cute.

We love her ‚̧

She thinks she’s big and tough:

And she’s super cute when she’s sleepy:

And she knows how to take a bite (after much crying and howling of course ūüôā )

We love this little Miss- she is so much fun! And since we don’t have babies to adore over, be sure you’ll be seeing lots of our puppies! (Wait, puppies??)

With puppy-love,

Brig and Tiff

The Berthold/Hulet Wedding Palooza

Wedding Palooza! Our families know how to do parties RIGHT!

Here are the highlights (in order of wedding!)

Naturally, we were the first! January- starting the year off right!

Next in line: Garr and Jessee! They were married in May!

Next: Sarah and Pete, married in June!

And last, but certainly not least: Mally and KayCee were married in July!

 

 

 

Our family is pretty amazing. I mean, who does 4 weddings in a 6 month period? It has been so fun to see our family grow- we have accumulated such great people! The best part is: we get to live close enough to each other to see and grow with each other- hopefully over many years!

I feel pretty blessed to get to have such wonderful people so close to me. I can’t wait to see where our lives take us!

My Baby Sister is MARRIED!

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Wow.

Aren’t they lovely? I can’t believe that my sister is married now too! What a crazy year it has been! (And my poor parent’s are sick of weddings!) It feels like a whirlwind of love, stress, happiness, and… wedding stress. I guess I personally was done with the wedding stress stuff months ago, but I couldn’t help but feel for my parent’s and my sister as they tried to pull of another wedding. But in the end, as always, it turns out beautiful and wonderful.

It was so much fun being on the other side of a family wedding. I got to watch them smile with relief from finally making it to the day they’ve anticipated for months, I got to watch the little cousins get excited to see the bride in her beautiful dress, I got to be a part of the party and talk my face off with relatives, I gave a toast directed at the newly married couple, I got to send them off at the end of the night. It was so much fun to get to be the sister of the bride instead of the bride ;).

It was so interesting to me to observe how different Sister and I were in picking out what we wanted for our weddings and… pretty much how the whole day went! It was amazing to me that, despite our differences, we still got the best part of the deal- an eternal marriage to the love of our lives.

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Sarah’s wedding was beautiful, and it made me tearfully (with pure joy of course!) think of my own recent wedding. How beautiful it is that two people can find each other and quickly become best friends, in fact, more best friends than you’ve ever had before, I mean, you want to spend the rest of you life with them and make a family with them! I heard of an ancient Greek myth about why we click with each other so quickly:

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The Idea is that we used to be connected, but the gods split us up before we came to earth. They gave us the task of finding each other again to become our whole selves.

I don’t believe in this story or anything… but then again, I look at my husband and I think about our past, and I can’t help but wonder if we promised each other we’d find one another before we came to this life. God didn’t separate us, we chose to come down to Earth to “do” life. But, what if we wanted to find each other, our souls were searching and we just didn’t realize it?

Love is this most wonderful, mysterious thing. It brings us the most joy, and our greatest accomplishment (TRULY!) is finding our second half. No experience in life trumps self completion in love- how incredible is that!

And so, “Congratulations Sarah and Peter!” I love you both so much, and I’m so excited to see what will happen with our lives now that we’ve found our second half!

Doggy Daydreaming

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Ladies and Gentleman this is exciting news!

Since Tiff and I have been dating… A very common discussion in our lives is that we both love dogs. We both want to own dogs. Yeah that’s right, plural. Rest assured we are both aware that some time needs to be spent in preparation. Many things are being discussed in our wishes to move toward this exciting life decision. We anticipate taking this step in at least one year or more. In the meantime, however, we LOVE to daydream and consider all of the different possibilities. Which breed? How many? Where to live? On and on our conversations go.

Funny story, while we were dating, and consequently getting to know one another, Tiff and I had a very important conversation. I told her that, in my world, the word “Dog” really means Rottweiler. Synonymous I say. As a dog lover I have had the pleasure of experiencing many different types of k-9. I have had wonderful experiences with most of them, especially if I couldn’t punt them. (Un-Puntable is a prerequisite) I grew up around Labs predominantly and I have been able to use that as my personal baseline for my decision.

Tiff, on the other hand, grew up around her maltese.

Well forget the history lesson, it’s the future we are concerned with here!! BAM!

Introducing out of the red corner, weighing in at approximately 110 lbs, a towering 27 inches tall… Our Future Rottweiler!!

Puppy RottiOk our little guy won’t start that big. He’s gonna look much more like this at first. Like a little TANK!

Eventually these bad boys get to be very large and very fun.

Rottweilers have been mishandled by immature owners for years. This is why they are branded as violent, ill tempered, aggressive animals; all very sad. The Rottweiler is among the top ten most intelligent K-9’s in the world.

Eager to please and a craving for a challenge make these incredibly fun pets. All dogs are pack animals, therefore they are born with an innate sense of hierarchy. This little butt head will do everything he can to test those social roles and break free from the role he finds himself in. As owners it will be our responsibility to encourage good behavior by enforcing our position.

Rottweiler Male Smiling

Alpha male and Alpha female positions of dominance need to be taught early. The Rottweiler is extremely capable of learning this pecking order and Tiff and I could not be more excited to have a great deal of playtime with our little guy.

Protector, Guardian, Workhorse, Playmate and Champion.

I suggest you watch this awesome video!

Out of the Blue Corner… ok right now we have no idea what we are going to do about our second pup. We have discussed many breeds and have narrowed it down to three. Tiff gets to pick this breed (as long as my Rotti couldn’t use it as a chew toy) and actually I have been super surprised at her suggestions! I’m very excited about the dog breeds she has been considering. Let me show you who they are.

The Bernese Mountain Dog

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The Bernese Mountain dog is a medium-large breed. The breed has very long hair, almost shaggy but the dogs seem to wear it comfortably. Not to mention how dang cute they are. The only problem is the hair. Other than the incredible amount of shedding this furry little guy will dole out annually, this is a smart, loving and lovable pet. Depending on the animal’s training and natural temperament they have a disposition to be either energetic or tranquil. Perfect family dogs and almost too ooey-gooey loving.

The Swiss Mountain Dog

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While a cousin to the Bernese Mountain dog, noted by the exact same coloring, the Swiss Mountain Dog holds its own social and physical differences. Most noticeably is the length of hair. This little guy features a much shorter hair and probably what is known in dog words as a double coat for added winter protection. As the breed originates out of Switzerland I would be surprised to learn the contrary. Size-wise these two animals are also quite different. The Swiss mountain dog is a much leaner and slightly shorter version of the Bernese breed. This comes in handy, however, as these adorable k-9’s are extremely energetic. The smaller stature enhances the dog’s agility greatly. ¬†Some of our closest friends have a Swiss Mountain Dog and they absolutely love it!

The Doberman Pinscher

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The Doberman Pinscher, conveniently, is a cousin to the Rottweiler. A newer breed than it’s native German cousin, the Doberman have some incredible qualities. First, let’s get over the fact that it fits the “aggressive breed” category for a minute. I will refer you back to my previous caveats while discussing Rottweilers. It all comes down to the training. If you want your Dobie to be a snarling, rabid muscular force then you can. However if, like Tiff and I, you want a family dog with a strong territorial and protective sense, this particular breed is extremely effective. Built like a ripped Greyhound, the senses of a German Shepherd, and the playfulness of a Labrador on crack (basically a Dalmatian). This would be an incredibly fun breed to get to know. NOW, Tiff has asked me to post a photo of an adult Doberman without it’s ears cropped. Do not be fooled by the rose in the photograph, it’s a ploy and you’re about to be manipulated by sleazy marketing. I do not endorse the idea of leaving Doberman’s ears floppy and as a byproduct I do not support this photograph but what can I do, she’s a redhead.Red Rose and Dobermann

Basically we have puppy fever hardcore! ¬†It’s a serious problem. I don’t know when we will be able to move forward on these dreams of ours but we will certainly keep you updated as it progresses.

Our Sisters are Engaged!

Both of our baby sisters are engaged! We are so excited for them to do the marriage thing, Brig and I happend to know that it is the bee-zy!

Here are our lovely girls:

~Miss Mally (with Sir KayCee)~

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~Miss Sarah (with Sir Peter)~

Sarah

(Both photos from OUR wedding!)

Well dearest girls, I (Tiff speaking) am so happy for you! The engagement period is the worst, and if you can get out of it still adoring each other- you’ll know it’s right!

You know, this being a team/marriage thing is awesome, and it’s work, and it’s awesome. I’ve been thinking of all the things that I love about being married to Brig (which is pretty much everything, but specifics are always nice to point out!) and all of the information or observations I’ve gleaned that have helped me to prepare to be a wife- which you will be soon!- and I thought that I’d just outline a few things that have made me feel prepared and have made mine and Brig’s relationship wonderful.

First of all, READ THIS BOOK:

It changed my life and the way I view relationships in general. I have not always been the¬†biggest fan of the marriage concept, but it’s because I didn’t understand the things that mattered in marriage. I had just looked at it as some sort of obligation or religous pressure or a way to not be lonely (and all of this because I simply couldn’t find my¬†perfect man! And when I did- boy did I soften up quickly!). However, marriage is not any of those things!¬†None of them!

Instead, marriage is a friendship, a team, a partnership, an intimate companionship, a closeness, and a safe haven.

Mr. Gottman’s book helped me to see that, and helped me to understand what kind of actions strengthen that friendship or break it down. Even if you have a good attitude about marriage and always have had one, it’s still about helping you to figure out how to be the best kind of friend, and avoid things that will hurt your most precious relationship.

Seriously. Do it.

Next, here is the best bit of advice I feel Brig and I have ever gotten:

~ Always defend your companion, and never take anyone else’s side (even if they’re wrong, it doesn’t matter)

~ Always present yourself as a unified front

~ Never talk bad about your companion, ever. To anyone.

~ Put your companion first in your life- before your goals, your hobbies, your extended family, your gym membership- whatever!

~ Care about the things the other cares about.

~Be eager to forgive and forget

~ Never lie to your companion, not about sex, not about food preferences, not about what you spent your money on, not anything! There are no secrets in this friendship

~ And on that note- be open and honest! Be tactful if that honesty isn’t something that the other is excited to hear about, but never keep a secret. Secrets will put wedges in your trust, which is the foundation of your relationship.

~Always greet with a kiss and a hug and a big smile- they are the best thing that will ever happen to you, so treat them that way!

And here are some things that Brig and I do to strengthen our friendship:

~Support the other in their interests and desires

~ Allow daydreaming! Then, be practical and prudent in your timing of acting/puchasing. Balance each other out!

~ Do things together! Go on walks, go to random classes, learn somethign together, watch movies, exercise, eat healthy, cook together. Whatever you do- include the other!

~ Never put the pressure on the other to be perfect or ideal. That’s just impractical! Make mistakes! Learn from them together!

~ Always express love. When you say it, mean it. Every time.

I have so much more to say and tell you (and you will find things to tell me! How cool is that?!) but I will stop here, and I hope we will get time to discuss more of these types of things.

Ladies, there is nothing more important in this life than loving and supporting your future husband (and vice-versa for him!)- so put the work into the relationship- not into panning your wedding or bridal showers. Those things don’t matter.

What matters is your team. Your friendship. Your intimate companionship.

I love you both dearly. Welcome to the best part of life!

With excited, Sisterly-Love,

Tiff