Just For Tito

Posting about Tito the other day motivated me to finally order a memorial stone for his spot in the yard. I was so excited when I opened up the package, I got a little teary-eyed. Image

The stone is from a store on etsy. I had actually purchased a stone for Lucas’ pumpkin garden from the same store a few years ago. I was really happy with the quality, so I went back to see what they had for pets. The dog option featured a simple paw. It was nice, but I thought it wouldn’t hurt to ask if there was any way they could replace the paw with Tito’s distinct silhouette. I sent them the link to the pictures I created for Marco’s room as an example. Tito’s was created with this image:



The store owner replied right away, telling me the special silhouette would be no problem at all.

I’m so happy with the way it turned out. It’s the perfect piece for our guy who was known for his distinct silhouette and those big, beautiful ears.

A special dog deserves a special piece.

And that’s just what he got.


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The “Teeters” Playlist

A few months ago, I got a new car. A new car, with a USB hookup. Excited to try out the accessory, I plugged in my old, neglected iPod Mini, and started scrolling through the playlists. That’s when I came across “Teeters.” I, of course, stopped for a moment, gave a deep sigh, and thought about my amazing dog. The one we lost so suddenly earlier this year. Then, I tried to remember why I had a playlist named after him. Naming the playlist after Tito didn’t surprise me – it’s no secret that I’m borderline crazy for my pets. But there had to be a reason I coined this vast mix of music – from Don’t Stop Believing to Dixieland Delight – after our old buddy. Then it hit me.

Tito was originally Lucas’ dog. He adopted him as a puppy from the Columbia Humane Society (sure to be a “real” German Shepherd), and eventually made his way back to St. Louis with him. Tito was three when Lucas and I started dating. And, in all honesty, before I feel in love with my husband, I fell in love with his dog. Those loyal brown eyes and big, always-alert ears were all it took. This dog and I had a connection. So, when I was moving into a new house, and Lucas asked me if I’d consider having Tito live with me rather than go into an apartment with him, I didn’t hesitate.


Which brings me back to the playlist.

It was a party playlist.

Rather than throw the old, cliché housewarming party when I moved in, we had a “Sweet Baby Teeters Welcoming Party.” The perfect way to celebrate my new house with my new roommate. I don’t really remember anything significant from that soiree. Lucas and I had a lot of parties in that house. But, I love the fact that I’ll always have the playlist in his honor. And that I fatefully came across it just weeks after we lost him. If there was any dog who deserved a celebratory welcoming, it was Tito.

Tito was so smart, genuine, and possessed a level of empathy I’ve never seen in any other dog. He loved camping and swimming, and even outswam a pair of labs on an 11 mile float trip back in the day. He loved coming to work with me, and was so loyal he never needed the baby gate (though, I will admit, he had quite a tough-guy attitude around other dogs, so it did go up from time to time). He even joined me out at a meeting at Purina Farms one time, where he got to live it up as “performance” dog, catching a Frisbee out in the ring and attempting to “dive” off the dock for a beloved tennis ball. I beamed like a proud parent that day, knowing my little man had had the time of his life. He had a bizarre love of vegetables. I couldn’t cut up a green pepper without him showing up, begging for a slice. And peas? Forget about it. He was in heaven. One pea, and he’d run to the carpet and begin performing his back-side, wiggle, rub the floor, snort with excitement victory dance. And THEN eat the single green vegetable. He loved tennis balls. Loved them to the point that I still can’t bring myself to throw away the piles of them in both our home and at my office. He was one of Marco’s first words, “Tee-To. Tee-To.” So fun to say that Marco continued to call Frankie by his name after he was gone. He definitely wasn’t an easy guy to forget.


Tito swimming in the diving dog pool out at Purina Farms


Tito happily playing in the snow, just a few weeks before we found out he was sick.


Out at Lake Michigan, again, with his ball.


Leading the way, like the alpha dog he was.

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Tito being a good sport as he began to accept the fact that Frankie wasn’t going anywhere.

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Handsome man.

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Happy guy.


Tito realizing Marco wasn’t going anywhere, either.


Tito passed away this past March. He was only 9. It all happened really quickly. Within 2 weeks of finding out he had a tumor on his spleen, he was gone. It’s a unique illness, in that he’d have an episode, become sick and weak, then rebound and bounce back to the old, lively dog we all knew and loved. He had probably 3 of these episodes until one was powerful enough to take him. All I kept saying was I wanted one last day of nice weather for Tito to go out and enjoy before he died. Considering the cold, wet, unending winter we were having, that was a lot to ask. But, sure enough, we had a Sunday of beautiful, spring-like weather. Tito, Frankie and Marco ran around outside, throwing the ball and enjoying the day. Tito enjoyed bowls of peas and some wet dog food. Then, we all went to bed, and when we woke up in the morning, I went downstairs to find Frankie alone, waiting to go outside. Tito had passed away in our family room while we were sleeping. It wasn’t easy, but I took comfort in knowing it happened over night, we didn’t have to go through the additional pain of putting him down, and he got that one last day to be the amazing, energetic, passionate dog he had always been.


Tito’s favorite place. On the river, with his people.

We miss you, buddy. Always will. Thanks for being incredible.

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Welcome Ty William

I never blog anymore, but I figure there’s no better reason to dust off the old keyboard and create new post than then arrival of our adorable baby boy –
Ty William Puricelli.

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May 4, 2013 2:07pm
8lbs 1 oz, 20.75 in long

Ty arrived in record time (as in 6 hours faster than his brother, Marco). From the start, he’s been a happy little guy. Now almost 10 weeks old, he’s busy showing off the sweetest big-cheeked smiles. I forgot how infectious those tiny little grins really can be.

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Marco is a great big brother, adjusting well to having to share the attention. Sure, we saw a little jealously sprout up at first, but overall he thinks “baby” isn’t so bad.
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All in all, life as a family of 4 is going well!
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July 10, 2013 · 3:54 pm

Making Room for Baby #2

One of the reasons I love finding out the baby’s gender is the chance to plan the nursery. And now that we know baby #2 is a boy, it’s time to get moving.

He’ll be in what we currently call the “computer room.” Which, in all reality, is the place we store the ever important things like Lucas’ college beer coozie collection and my rarely used knitting supplies. There’s also a nice shot glass collection, and a hand-me-down loveseat that I halfheartedly covered about a year ago, and has been doing a fine job of collecting dust ever since.

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This is also the last-remaining wallpapered room in the house. Hopefully it comes down as cleanly as it did in Marco’s Room de Toile. It’s kind of like a burlap print, which isn’t the most offensive we’ve seen, but definitely isn’t something we want to keep around, either.

I’m not 100% sure what I’ll be doing in that room, but I’ve been leaning towards a navy and lime green feel. I’ve found some examples that I really, really love, and I’ve found some examples that I really don’t. So, I’m being cautious as I move ahead. I’ve found a few starter pieces for inspiration.

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I love that sweater moose head. It’s made from upcycled sweaters. The only problem is, there’s no guarantee which sweater you’ll be getting. So, while that one is pretty adorable, there’s always the risk of getting some purple and tangerine argyle combo instead. Hmm. Risk worth taking?

As for the walls, I think I’ll keep them neutral. Like a soft gray. But, then again…maybe one lime green wall (or dark navy??) wouldn’t hurt? This is pretty cute:


I’m feeling good about the color combination. Now it’s just a matter of finding the motivation to clear out the room and strip that wallpaper. And figure out where we’re going to store/hide everything in there. Ugh. Did I mention that room also served as my overflow closet? Yep, a lot to do and the clock is ticking! Those moms weren’t kidding when they said pregnancy #2 flies by!

Anyway, just to finish things off, I thought I’d take a trip down memory lane and post a few before and afters of Marco’s room. Such a fun transformation. I seriously can’t believe that toile. I won’t mention names, but a few people questioned why we were taking it down…

Before (obviously)


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Holy cow we came a long way!


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2012 at a Glance

So, turns out 2012 was not the year I took on a professional blogging career. Not that it was ever really a goal (okay, maybe in far away dreams when there are 38 hours in every day and I no longer have that natural need for sleep). I do wish I had kept up a little bit more, but my lack of dedication to this page was well overshadowed by the other things in my life:

1. Watching my favorite little man grow into a walking, talking, adorable toddler. I can’t believe what a difference a year makes. It’s been so, so fun. I can’t wait to see him grow more and more. And see him as a big brother!


Our 2012 Christmas Card. The words say it all.

2. Yep, big brother is right! Baby boy #2 is due this spring, May 4th to be exact. Life with two is a little terrifying to think about, especially two within 19 months of each other, but we’re up for the challenge. In fact, we can’t wait. Oh, and any name ideas are more than welcome. Seriously. We’re struggling.


Lucas’ work Christmas Party. I have no idea how he got his stomach out that far, but it’s pretty impressive.

3. Some house stuff, though nothing compared to 2011. When I look back at 2011, I can’t believe everything we accomplished on our new-to-us home. We bought that sucker as-is and dove headfirst into an insane amount of work – stuff I swore I’d blog before and afters of. Yeah, it hasn’t happened. Maybe one day it will . That being said, it was nice to not have the stress of “must get done work” this year and focus on more basic things like painting the shutters from green to black and finding the right living room rug. And if it weren’t for that 1st trimester exhaustion + toddler that hit me like a rock this fall, I swear I would have done so much more.

4. It’s hard to do housework when you’re busy doing work, work. I don’t really like to blog about my job, but there was one project in particular that really reminded me how fortunate I am to have it. It was an annual contest held by Purina® Pro Plan® Rally to Rescue®, where rescue groups within the program submit their stories, four finalists are chosen, then videos are made for the public to watch and vote on. For me, this meant about 3 weeks of traveling to 4 cities across the country – Phoenix, Sacramento, Charlotte and Door County – listening to rescuers and adopters tell stories of how their rescued pets are now doing great things. I swear I was touched by each and every person we met along the way. And their pets. With all of the bad things that seem to happen in our country, it’s so wonderful to be welcomed by 4 groups of total strangers, and feel connected with and inspired by them in just two days. And all the more reason I believe that if everyone in this world had a dog or a cat (or both) in their home, it would be happier, more selfless place.


Pudding, this year’s contest winner. He saved his owner’s life the night she brought him home. Pretty amazing. The story was shot in Door County, Wisconsin at a little neighborhood flower shop. I kind of wanted to move there, or at least find a vacation home.

5. All the rest.  We’ve also been busy doing what we do. Lucas and I did manage to sneak in a trip to Mexico in February when Marco was 5 months old. It was so needed (though I think we could use one more than ever right now). I think we attempted one camping trip together, which didn’t even last an entire night due to a horrible thunderstorm. We spent a few weekends at the lake (both Table Rock and Ozarks). We made it out to the wineries a couple of times. Lucas grew another giant pumpkin, while being challenged by a horrible drought. We went out, hung out with family and friends, all the stuff that keeps you going. And, I’m sure there’s a lot more, but it’s all kind of a blur. We’re very blessed to have all we have!


Annual lake trip with our friends, this year at Table Rock.

I’m not big on resolutions, but I do hope to blog maybe once a week. Along with getting more done with the house, getting back in shape after baby #2 comes (I am the only child in my family who has yet to run a 1/2 marathon), taking a much-needed vacation…and the list goes on.


Marco watching the fireworks this week. Since the drought caused everyone to cancel the 4th of July shows this year, Kirkwood saved theirs for the New Year.

Happy New Year! Be safe and cheers to a wonderful 2013!!


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Since Today Felt Like September…

…I figured I might as well post about something I meant to write about this fall — the patch.

Many people have asked if we (well, Lucas) grew giant pumpkins again this year. Yes, he did. However, being the hottest summer on record, the pumpkins didn’t get to the 500+ lb range that last year’s did. But the main one was over 300 lbs. Rather than compare the growing pumpkin to my growing belly, like we did last year, we got to model it with our growing boy.

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I think he’s hired.

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We tried to take him to other pumpkin patches, but…

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…they just put him to sleep.

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My Holiday Art Project

Walk into our house, and you’ll immediately notice our original oak, built-in bookshelves surrounding the mantel. I think they’re pretty beautiful. But, easy…they are not. Rather than figuring out how to decorate one mantel for every season, I have the challenge of adorning the mantel, and it’s two sides.

I recall not being entirely thrilled with whatever I ended up doing last Christmas. Then again, with a newborn in the house, it was all pretty much a blur anyway. So, this year, I did what any other sane woman my age would do…I searched Pinterest.

That’s when I came across this festive, glittery reindeer.

I figured I could do that, times two. So I simply bought some sale-priced canvases, a little glitter and some glue. Then I found a couple of cute reindeer silhouettes online, and roughly drew them from there.

I have to say, I’m pretty pleased with the final products!


With one deer on each side, I now have some balance to my extra-long mantel. They cost me a total of maybe $16 and, seriously, I think I had the whole project finished in about 45 minutes. VERY imporant since my little 1 year-old helper was there by my side.

And now I’m starting to wonder what I could create if I had 4-day weekends all the time…

Party-Linked to:

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