Friday, August 31, 2012

Dash(er) Connelly!

Wow, it's easy to lose track of time with everything we have going on these days.  Now to pick up where I left off.  After getting back from the honeymoon, Kristin and I went about slowly getting rid of or repainting or moving around all my old stuff in order to make the house our own.  In the middle of all that, we decided that Sully needed a little brother.  After doing some research and contacting Recia from Recia's Prize Labradoodles, we were sent pictures of several adorable puppies.  We just happened to fall in love with one of them in particular:

I had no idea what I was in for.  Kristin had done a great job with Sully already in just the few months she had him before we started dating so alot of the puppy behavior was already dealt with.  But, with her reassuring me all the way, we headed out on October 18th, 2011 to pick up the newest member of the family, Dash Connelly (we decided it was short for Dasher haha).  This is a picture of Dash on the car ride home with us that first day.  He was cuddly though obviously a little scared too.

You can see why we knew this guy was the one for us.  He was so cute back then with his little white markings and strikingly green eyes.  I've never seen those on a dog before!  We got him home and the first thing we set about doing was letting Sully and Dash get to know each other.  Dash was extremely excited to meet Sully and, at least in his mind, they instantly became fast friends.  Sully took a little longer to warm up to that idea.  There was a lot of ignoring and little snips at the little guy before he just gave in and started to play along.  I was off work for a couple days and getting ready to start working nights again so it was my job to watch the little guy and hopefully distract him enough so my lovely wife could get some rest.  It was alot of fun, with a few moments of frustration mixed in.  Like I said earlier, I had no idea what I was in for.  If he wasn't peeing on the floor or whining, he was finding the nearest electrical cord to try to pull on.  It was interesting to say the least.

It wasn't too much longer before our two boys started getting along and playing, though.  We kept Dash in his crate at night, which caused a fair bit of whining for a few weeks, and Sully stayed in his bed nearby (until he jumped on the bed late at night knowing we wouldn't notice :) ).  Here are some of the early photos we got of the two of them:

Sully didn't like that all of the toys ended up in Dash's little den, but he never got too upset when Dash stole them from him.

Both boys absolutely loved the chance to sleep on either the couch or our bad as long as they could near Kristin or I.  At this point, Dash was still a long way from the jumper he is now.

I think Sully may have bet him he couldn't get under the couch.  Dash won, but some crying soon told me that it wasn't quite as easy to get out as it was to get under there.

Kristin and I decided it would be fun to see how they liked the coats that my parents' dogs wore while we were visiting around Christmas.

Here are our boys a few month later after their first haircuts together.  Sully got the actual cut we wanted, though they left the ears a little longer than we would have liked.  Dash, however, apparently needed to be warmed up to the idea so they only gave him a "puppy cut,"  which seems to mean trim the paws up and a little bit of the face and don't touch another hair on his body.  He looked a little ridiculous haha.

Since then, our boys have continued to teach us what it means to be responsible and how it's possible to care for someone so much even when they make life a little difficult.  We've gone through our fair share of Resolve and a few destroyed slippers (mostly Dash), but we wouldn't trade any of that for the joy they also bring.  Hopefully this has started to prepare us for another future member of our family, but that's something for an entirely different post!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

We're going to Disney World!

For several months we were planning on going to San Francisco for our honeymoon.  Kristin had joked about Disney World early on, but we only had the west coast on our minds really.  After searching for several weeks and receiving some help from some very gracious family members, we realized that Orlando was the way to go.  I think we can both say now that it was the perfect choice for us!  Here are a few pictures we snapped along the way:

Tea!  This is what you get when you ask the Mad Hatter to take a picture for you...

 This was probably one of the coolest things I got to see while we were there.  There were hundreds of these carvings on the tree.  It was pretty amazing!

I can't even count how many of these we had :)

 Kristin's Mad Hatter costume was a hit, but people struggled to realize I was Tweedle-Dee from Alice in Wonderland. 

  Honeydukes and the train to Hogwarts!  We couldn't very well go to Orlando without checking out Universal Studios and the World of Harry Potter!  Also, I'm still surprised about how excited I was to see Tigger... It was a wonderful week and an amazing way to start our marriage!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

On A Night Like This (with pictures!)

It's hard to believe that it's been over 10 months since September 17th.  After looking at several churches around the Raleigh area, Kristin and I finally settled on Fairmont United Methodist Church.  It was still decorated for Christmas which made the decision all too easy for my bride-to-be.

The next step, of course, was to find the perfect place for the reception.  We looked at several options, but it wasn't until we met Sarah Morris at The Stockroom at 230 that we knew the search was over.

The morning of, several family members and friends headed down to the Stockroom and started decorating.  It truly made the place feel magical by the time we got there after the ceremony.

Mike Williams agreed to perform the wedding for us even though he had recently moved to Burlington.  Mike had officiated both Brian and Jenn's weddings so that made it even more special that he was willing to do that.


The whole day seemed to fly by, but everything was perfect.  We were so glad to share our day with all our friends and families. God has truly blessed us with amazing people in our lives, who I'm sure will help us to always put Christ first as we try to help each other along the way.  In case you were wondering, On A Night Like This is the name of the song that was playing when I proposed to Kristin.  The singer, Dave Barnes, also sang the song we used for our first dance, Nothing Fancy.

A few more pictures from our special day:

Kristin and her matron and maid of honor

Our amazing wedding party!

The cake topper was another easy choice for my wife :)

Downtown Raleigh never looked so good

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Christmas 2010 Recap...

For the past three years, I've drawn the short straw at my work and had to work on Christmas day.  2010 was no different.  Kristin and her family celebrated in the morning and then hopped in a car and headed to Danville, VA to visit her grandmother.  We had talked about the possibility of her heading back early to spend the evening with me, but I was still very excited to find out it was actually happening.

I later found out that she already knew I had bought a ring...apparently my "hiding place" was not very good.  My original plan was to wait until closer to New Years and maybe decorate the back porch with lights.  I wanted to make everything magical, but it turns out I couldn't wait and I knew Christmas is definitely her favorite holiday so...

See, the Lowthers have a tradition (with German roots I believe) where all the kids race to find a certain ornament on the tree.  I've tried it once, and believe me, it's harder than it sounds.  Well, I hid a small plastic ring on our little tree (think Charlie Brown size) and told Kristin we were going to play our own version.  She finally found the ring and by the time she started turning around to ask me what it meant, I was grabbing the real ring and getting down on one knee.  The picture above is Kristin's actual engagement ring while we tried to recreate the scene during our engagement shoot.

The two of us had known for some time that we wanted to get married one day, but Kristin had always joked that she would say maybe or something like that when I "finally" asked her.  She forgot.  I think she was trying to say yes before I finished my spiel.  Still, up to that point, it was the best day of my life and I can't blame her for getting caught up in the moment.

Monday, July 16, 2012

First Date

As Kristin always puts it, we were both very aware of the other, even though we didn't really run in the same circles.  I played ultimate frisbee with her brother, Brian, which is how we initially met. 

Fast forward a few years and we get to January 23rd, 2010.  Kristin and I had been talking for months and kept mentioning getting together sometime to hang out, but something always popped up.  She'll tell you she did the asking, and she's technically right, but what she tends to leave out is that I took the day off from work when she told me Saturday afternoon would be good for her too!

We met at Starbucks in Cary Crossroads since she was going to be at Kara Snoke's baby shower earlier that afternoon anyways.  I was incredibly nervous when I walked in, but K promises she didn't notice.  When we got to the register, I offered to pay like the gentleman I am, but then promptly lost control of the card I was getting out of my wallet and threw it in the air.  I tried to grab it several times, only managing to knock it into the air again each time.  When it finally hit the floor, I quickly picked it up and paid, and we made our way to a couple of seats.  I don't think I looked up for a good 45 minutes at least. 

Nevertheless, we talked for close to 4 hours and I could have stayed all night.  In fact, Kristin asked if I was hungry, and I took what I thought was the bait and said "Yeah, actually I am. We could go over to Noodles & Company and grab something to eat, if you want?"  When she responded, "No, I'm not really hungry," you can imagine I was caught off guard.  But a quick "Yeah, me either" from me saved the day, and we talked for another hour anyways.  All in all, it was a great time and a great memory!

No, we did not take pictures during our first date.  Pretty similar though :)


Welcome to JK & Company!  In case you don't already know, JK stands for Joey & Kristin.  With 2 crazy dogs already and our first kid on the way, I finally decided to give in to this blogging craze in order to document it all.  This blog may well serve as a source of our life updates for friends and family, or it might just be a fun way to store all of our memories and funny stories along the way.

The beautiful woman in the picture above is my wife, Kristin.  You might think she's posing for the picture with our mini labradoodle, Sully, but they actually just hang out like that pretty much all the time.  We also have a chocolate one named Dash that we got back in October.  I still find it hard to believe that he's already bigger than Sully (who is almost exactly 2 years older).  Anyways, I'm going to attempt to update this as often as possible, but in order to do that, I feel like we need to start at the beginning...