Tag Archives: Wilbur

Old dog tricks

Wilbur is 11 today! Although considered “geriatric” in dog years, he still feels a lot like a puppy. Shiba Inu life expectancy is 12-15 years, but lucky Wilbs hasn’t really had any health problems yet and I’ve heard of shibas sticking around much longer.

To celebrate, we made this goofy video of his only trick and I gave him two shrimps from the stir fry at dinner. Livin’ large!

Shiba Kisses

Wilbur’s b-day also seemed like a good time to pass along info for a friend: If you’re an animal lover, my friend Caeli is hosting a Perfectly POSH fundraiser for Animal Lifeline of Iowa. She’s donating 100% of the proceeds from her sales through March 29 to the no-kill shelter.

My skin is super dry after spending the past few days in a hotel at a conference, so I’m excited to try a few samples from the affordable, cruelty-free and vegan-friendly line. Time to admit I’m getting old alongside my dog and start taking care of my skin!

P.S. Totally unrelated, but I’ll be at the Art Center tomorrow (Saturday) at 2 p.m. doing a live reading for an exhibit they have going. If you’re looking for something to do, come check it out!

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Beauty & the Beast

Forget the groundhog; our magnolia tree is the official harbinger of spring at our house. I just want to set up a lawn chair in the front yard and stare at it in between sips of lemonade. The blossoms are fleeting; almost as soon as the buds open, big pale pink petals litter the lawn. It doesn’t help that sunny skies are reverting back to their wintry state, either.


Just act natural, Wilbur. Pensive stare. Got it.

And now, for some random updates:

Spring must truly equal love in the air, because the search term “Des Moines Dates” is sending quite a few people to BS in the Midwest. I’m going to have to come up with a quick and refreshed date list, but in the meantime, may I direct you to previous posts that I categorized under “Des Moines Dates.” Scroll down to get to the warmer weather ones.

I kind of can’t believe that I gave my final grad school presentation on Monday (just have to make it through the May 19 ceremony before my water can break!) and that the nursery remodel is finished. We just need to touch up window trim and put up some curtains and details before the big reveal. Oh, and build a little radiator cover. And maybe some bookshelves. I just go in and stand in it for no reason.

Joe is working on a guest post for you all about his 125-mile brother-in-law bike trip from Des Moines to Perry and back! They went last weekend when the weather was perfect and when I was crankily finishing up my school work.


I’m curious to see what he has to say about the trek. He didn’t get a lot of training in beforehand, but they seemed to have a blast.

Are you reading anything? I started NW by Zadie Smith on my way out to the baby shower. Now the class is over, I may finish it! I wrote about her novel White Teeth as part of my undergraduate thesis, so the timing is interesting.


Filed under At home, I love Des Moines

Thanks, Craig: Nursery furniture!

While our upstairs remains draped in plastic tarps (the drywall stage of our remodel is coming to a close), downstairs is beginning to resemble a stall at the Brass Armadillo.


Tail down = Wilbur is not pleased. But he’s been super curious, too.


It’s getting to the stage where we’re going to be able to start decorating the nursery in a few weeks. My grandpa has this tradition of buying beds for his grandchildren (I think I started it when he gifted me with my first real grownup person bed when I moved to Des Moines), and he’s keeping it alive for the first great-grandchild in the bunch!

I had originally planned on going with a modern crib, but then Jenny Lind cribs kept catching my eye. (This nursery is so incredibly lovely, it put an arrow through my heart.) Grandpa came through and our crib arrived this week. We haven’t set it up yet, but here’s the website image:


Reality is setting in that our new room is actually going to become filled with things, like furniture and a child.

I’m not the kind of person who needs to have everything new, especially considering the environmental impact of having kids, but I also know what I like. I had a vision of finding some of our nursery furniture on Craigslist. We hadn’t had much luck finding what we were looking for, but then yesterday ended up nabbing a glider and dresser set within a few hours of each other for supercheap. Score!


The glider cushions might get re-upholstered if I can figure that out, and a few paint touchups. The dresser will not remain that violet color. (Likely, it will go white. I tried painting a desk a teal color a few years ago and that was a total fail, so I’ll keep it simple/gender-neutral.)

The dresser has a mirror that gets attached on one side, and I think I’ll use the other side for a changing table. And it has a matching mini dresser that will likely go in the closet or something.


Pardon the sandwiching, but I wasn’t about to move furniture today.

We plan to paint the room a light spring green and decor is inspired by the sweetest wall decals that ever lived graced Etsy:



Filed under At home, Baby

Winter walk in Brown’s Woods

We headed to Brown’s Woods for a sweet 2-mile hike to test out our new camera and get some exercise. We’ll have to practice getting the lighting right, and focus. It’s a Nikon D5100; we got it for each other for Christmas and had to take turns behind the lens. Wilbur is almost impossible to capture when he’s busy exploring the trail.

winter boots




shiba den


Hikes are best when followed by Wendy’s frosties and fries, right?

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Filed under I love Des Moines

Emo Wilbur takes a walk

Wilbur wanted to show off his mastery of the “look pensively into the distance” pose and I wanted to try to capture fall on our street.

Good morning, final September Saturday!

Whenever I walk past this tree, it reminds me of a line of a poem I wrote in grade school about leaves falling “like God’s confetti.”

My poetic pup.

Golden canopies offer a reminder to breathe in the moment, to look around and see how nature can delight.

Stop and smell the flowers, perhaps?

Home again, home again.

All of the marathoners are getting in one last long run before the race. What a beautiful day.

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Filed under At home, I love Des Moines

Fox face

The two most frequent funny questions people ask me:

1) Are you Asian? (No, I’m Irish/Mexican.)

2) Is that a fox? (Gesturing toward Wilbur.) I like to tell people that he is a fox, because it comes off as badass and because otherwise people spend the next five minutes trying to repeat Shiba Inu and then telling me he really does look like a fox.

Joe got me a fox hat for Christmas, because I’m secretly 8 1/2 years old and really wanted one. I used to have a bear-shaped hat in high school and it was one of my favorite things ever. I especially like to try to get Wilbur to wear it, which he totally loves:

That lasted about four seconds.

Speaking of fox faces, that was the nickname of a character in The Hunger Games, which I just finished. (Well, book one.) It’s the second book I read on the iPad (first was The Submission for book club) and I am going to have to say that I’m fully aboard the eReader bandwagon. Mostly because, since it’s lit from behind, I can do what I did this week and stay up extra late devouring a book while Joe sleeps undisturbed by the light. I was totally one of those kids who used to stay up with a flashlight under the covers, reading. (Nerd alert: I read Gone with the Wind in fifth grade.) I can’t wait to download and start book two!


Filed under At home