29 and Three Quarters

Upon realizing my thirtieth birthday is a little less than 2 months away, I have been thinking a lot about what my 30’s hold for me. If I do say so myself, my 20’s were pretty kick-ass {excuse the harsh phrasing}. In my 20’s I: married Joey, got a wiener dog,  graduated college, moved 4 times, had a baby that I adore, ran a 5K, finished numerous books, made a zillion friends, threw a million parties, traveled outside of the United States, watched friends start their families, realized who I am, and became more in touch with the Creator of the Universe (not to be confused with the Master of the Universe, which is still He-man).

So now I am left to ponder, what next? Somethings can only be done once in this life, and I want more firsts in my thirties as well. Sure I can have more kids, or get a masters degree in something, and I will probably throw more parties, but I am excited for more then that. I can’t help but think my thirties are somehow going to be my twenties part 2. Am I just going to do everything again, and repeat these things every decade until I am 6 feet under? I need to get a thirties resolution list going.

Ok, {ahem}. In my THIRTIES I will: Own a home, go to Europe, do my stand-up routine at a place that actually facilitates that, after that re-write my whole act so people actually laugh next time, jump into a new career with both feet, film a re-make of “The Landlord” starring Ava, have a ton of fun, and enjoy the journey God has given me.

Does everything have to change upon my turning the big 3-0? No. I am going to keep that Dugan around. I like that guy. And Ava is pretty cool, too.  Plus, I have the best friends in the world. I look forward to getting old with them, so we can all make fun of how we used to be.

 

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Cupcake

Ok guys, I have been MIA, but I have important and shocking news. My baby (the one and only Ava), has turned into a full blown kid!  It is the eve of her second birthday, and for me, bittersweet. Where has the time gone? It felt like forever when she was a baby and we were up all night feeding her, and changing her, and rocking her, but now she runs around with reckless abandon. I remember when she would sleep on my chest when she was first born, and I would sit there and try to remember her baby smell, how her wispy hair felt on my cheek, her tiny little hands, her wrinkly feet. Now she runs up to me calling “More food, mama, more food, pwease!” She still eats all of the time, so there is that. I received my first “My Preschooler This Month” newsletter, and shed a tiny tear. Not that I am sad she is growing up, but she reminds me that time is so short, and we only get one go around at this life. She is the funniest, sweetest 2 year old, and I am honored God chose me to take care of her.

My mom took us to Disneyland last weekend for her birthday, which was a huge blessing since we would not have been able to afford that on our own. Such good memories. My favorite is when she was checking out Tigger, trying to make sense of how a cartoon was in real life, and said “Ni Hao, Tigger.” And when we were on It’s a Small World, and she pointed to the dolls dancing and said “Look at the girls dancing! They are happy!” With all of the crazy stuff in this world, she reminds me there is such an innocence left. She is going to do great things in life. I just know it.

So, dear readers, part of the reason I have been gone so long is that the great Mr. Dugan has started going to school online, so he is really hogging the computer. Which is fine with me, considering in the great scheme of things, getting his degree far outweighs blogging. He is doing really well, so if you see him, make sure you cheer him on in his endeavors.

Community group is tonight! Potluck, whoop whoop! Chicken enchiladas as usual.

Enjoy a few pictures of our little one…

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Firsts

The past couple of years my life has been full of firsts. 2008- I ran my first 5K, and graduated from college. 2009- I had my first beautiful baby. 2010- was my baby’s first birthday. Now for 2011 I plan to do something I have not done for I don’t know how long. I am not going to make a New Year’s resolution about my weight. I resolved to lose 50 pounds in 2010 and I lost 75. Done. I actually accomplished that which I have been promising to do for years. 2011 is about something different to me. I worked on the outward, and now I am about the inward this year. My goal is to be a better me. A better wife, mother, daughter, friend, and Christian. A better Amy Dugan.

Now, every goal needs a plan in my book, so lets see, how will I do this…

  • A better wife lover- Well, I cook and clean, check. That is the easy part. What I need to do is work on the AFTER the cooking and cleaning and mothering, and dog care taking. The times when I feel like I am all out of energy from wiping and vacuuming and talking. Especially for [Ahem] Mr. Dugan. Because, I will tell you, after a day of doing nothing but being touched and grabbed and pulled, a girl needs a break. But I do resolve to being a better lover. So thus, I resolve to at the end of the day after my sweet baby is in bed, pulling myself together, and giving my husband what he deserves – his girlfriend.
  • A better mother- Hmm… well, keeping in mind that a particular baby is going to be 2, this one is going to be most challenging. I think I do a pretty good job already, but there is always room for improvement. I resolve to keep my patience, even if it looks like a difficult go of it. I resolve to keep building her into a strong, God-seeking woman, who loves people and is kind to friends, even when you want to slap them. However, I do not resolve to keep a straight face while disciplining her, because that girl is funny.
  • A better Christian- I resolve to complete the current devotional book I am reading, and potentially start a new one. All in an effort to connect with a God that loves me so much. Plus, I need to make sure I keep asking for forgiveness for making up jokes about Jesus being the ultimate zombie. But you have to admit it’s true right? He dies, and comes back, and instead of wanting brains, he just wants to give you salvation. What can be better?
  • A better friend- I think this has a lot to do with being a better listener too, or just keeping my big mouth shut. I need to resolve that I listen more than I speak, and make sure I pass on more love than opinions. Which is difficult because I feel like I have SO many great opinions. However, I will keep the few things I do well, making them laugh, being quick to apologize, and being honest.
  • A better daughter?- Well, I am already pretty great at this.  But I should resolve to continue giving my parents a hard time about smoking. I would like them to be around a while without having emphysema and lung cancer.

So that my dear friends is what I resolve to do. Some parts may be more difficult than others, but I think I will be a better person for it in the end.  As my friends and blog mates, I would like you all to hold me accountable for these things as well. If I fail at these, please tell me, and I will blog about how [you are a jerk] thankful I am that we are friends. ;)

For dinner – Party! I am bringing pulled pork sandwiches. Yum!

Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other. ~ Abraham Lincoln

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Catching Up

Halloween came and went. Ava was a sweet little cow and was so cute when she attempted to say trick or treat (came out “tik o tee”). So fun.
I have been having trouble sleeping lately. Not fun. I can’t shut off my brain for sleepy time. Probably because I am super smart.

I am excited to see my family for thanksgiving, and super excited to do my stand up comedy act at Max and Summer’s wedding reception! I am continually amazed by God’s goodness and sovereignty. I am so thankful for so many things. Good friends, a place to call home, and a sweet baby girl who is the funniest thing on the planet. She makes me laugh every single day. She is completely obsessed with Elmo. She gets down from the table after breakfast, runs to the TV, turns it on, runs to the couch while yelling, “Elmo, Elmo, EELLLLLMO!” I don’t get it. I am a Oscar fan. And remember Oscar’s pet worm, Slimey? That guy was always cool.

Sorry for the lack of blogs. I have been rather uninspired, and really tired. I have instead been napping, when I should be blogging about various things. Monday, November 15th, I am doing a cake demo at church. It’s at 6:30pm and it’s $5. Would love to see you all there! We will be making bundt cake wreaths, Christmas trees, and fondant bows. Come on out. I promise to tell jokes and ham it up. Let me know if you are interested in going, and I will send you the address. I will post pics of the cakes for the demo and the wedding cake I made for today.

We are going to a wedding tonight, so dinner will be whatever they feed us. Hopefully something good.

Enjoy this little heifer:

Love!

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Lucky Lady

My husband recently made a statement that I do not talk about him enough in my blog. Well, Dugan, you asked for it. Here it goes.

For those of you who do not know, I am married to the illustrious Joey Dugan. Born in 1982, Joseph M. Dugan was born to John and Lynn Dugan on Halloween at Tri-City hospital in Vista. He has lived in Vista is whole life, except when we lived in Escondido for a short time, but ended up moving back to Vista because Escondido was in Joey’s words, “Hotter than Balls”. I met my husband while I was having coffee with my friend Jared in 2001 (ancient times) at the old Starbucks off of University (R.I.P.). Jared knew Joey who worked next door at Cold Stone (also R.I.P., sad). So we went over there and he introduced us, and then they proceeded to talk about things of which I had no interest in, when Jared ran out of the door because he knew someone outside and went to say hi to them.

*Ok, let me explain the look of Mr. Dugan at this time. Joey had long shoulder length hair and a long goatee, and looked a lot like Jesus. If Jesus worked at Cold Stone. Ice cream into wine anyone? OK continue…

Joey and I stood there awkwardly, and I eventually just walked back to Starbucks. When Jared came back I told him I thought his friend was cute. Jared offered to “hook us up”, but I said no, because I thought it would be weird. Well, because Jared is a true friend, he did it anyway and one day I was online and I received an IM from Joey.

*Remember IMing on AOL? That used to be so cool. IMing is to communicating how the beeper is to cell phones. Wait… 2001? Did Al Gore even invent the internet yet? Oh well.

He asked for my phone number, and we started talking. He was 18 and a senior in high school and I was 19 and in college. The point is that he was 18, ok. No cradle robbing here. I am a law-abiding citizen! I went to Joey’s winter formal with him, and his graduation. We even took some community college classes together. We got engaged in October of 2002 after dating for a year and a half, and were married in July of 2004.

It is crazy to think we have been together for almost 10 years. Joey has definitely made it easy. It doesn’t even seem like 10 years. We are such easy-going people, and things don’t get us angry very easily. That is definitely a trait I loved about Joey from the beginning. When things get tough, he calms me down. For the most part I just need someone to tell me it is going to be OK. He is such a sweet, loving, person, and has always treated me the best. Coming from a divorced household, it was scary for me to get married. I have never once felt scared that he would leave. I know that we are in it forever together. He has worked really hard for our little family, and still does. Joey is the exclusive breadwinner for us so I can stay home with our baby. What an incredible gift he has given me that i have the opportunity to raise our babies. I love it and could not ask for more.

It has been such a wonderful experience to see Joey grow as a father. He loves that little bean so much and I get to see it every day. I am so happy that Ava will get to have an intact family. I know the pain of divorce, and I would not wish that on my worst enemy. It is a heart-wrenching experience that no child should have to endure. (With exception of divorce because of abuse, addiction, and adultery, I feel those are valid. It is divorce because people stop trying that makes me sad.)

I know he will read this as he reads all of my blogs, and I just want to say thank you Joey Dugan for loving me as I am everyday. You are the best husband, father, and friend a girl can have. I know if I am 1/1 millionth of a wife to you as you are a husband to me I am doing a great job. I love this life adventure we are on together. You make it all worth while. You supported me while I worked my way through college so that I could graduate, which was one of my life goals. Thank you for Ava and allowing me to be her mommy all of the time. I am so looking forward to what God has planned for us. There is no one I would rather spend forever with than you.

Now enjoy these pictures from our wedding and honeymoon!

Tonight for dinner we had oatmeal cookies. What? They were good! Don’t judge me. Ava had mac and cheese, fruit, scrambled eggs and cookies. Dinner of champions!

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Home Works

So after long discussion, and weighing the pros and cons (or as I like to call them, pluses and minuses) we have decided that we are going to stay in our current place for another year. A few things encouraged our decision. First, Ava is just young enough to freak out and not yet at the point of understanding what a move is. We fear if we move she would be a nervous wreck and we would have to spend most of our time consoling her rather than completing the moving process. Second, we have NO money for another deposit at this point. Third, this place is close to all of our friends, and is fitting for us right now. So now after living in this place for 10 months, I have decided to start decorating. I know, it is a bit soon yeah right, but we are going to jump into it. And I am not talking decorating for the season, I am talking decorating in general. I have not so much as hung a picture since we have been here. I guess we just did not know how permanent this move was going to be. We thought we would be in a house about now, but that is not in the cards for us this next year. So we are making the best of it.

This weekend was the beginning of the “Dugan Home Beautification Process 2010-2011″. Mr. Dugan put up the ledge shelves on either side of the mirror in the living room, I found frames and printed out pictures for them. We had a tray that you could put pictures in, so I put pictures in it even though baby Dugan likes to take it off of the ottoman and tap dance on it! I told her tap dancing is only on the linoleum. Whatever. New shower curtain, pillows for the couch. The white one has owls on it (LOVE) see pic below. Put black birds on the wall in the kitchen – one of my favorite things I have done. A vinyl saying above our bed *so sweet*. Lastly, place mats on the dinner table. It’s weird when you start to do these things and it starts to feel more like home. Now, I really like this place, and will probably be sad when we leave. I guess I always thought of this place as so temporary. Take a look at the pics and let me know what you think.

On a side note I would just like to give a shout out to our friends Stuart & Patti and Mindi & Jared. You guys are the best! We had so much fun with you guys last night. Just like old times! Thank you for loving us and our little family, we love you guys! <3. Min – I hope your birthday week was the best, and that it was memorable for your big 30, ahem, 29 1/2. Love you so!

On a side side note: James and Kristen – you guys need to come to the wave next year. It was bomb, but we missed you guys.

Trying to keep this one short since my last blog was so drawn out. Tonight for dinner is pork chops and rice. I should have Joey get applesauce on the way home… yum…

Love!

Special thanks to Target and World Market for making this all possible.

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Vacation Daze

Uggh… I have been a super lazy blogger lately. As in, I have not been. Last Thursday, we took up and headed out to the AZ to see my family. We left about 12:30pm, and away we went. Ava did SOOOO good! We managed to make it there without a stop. Ava slept, and played, and spaced out, and whined a little, but she did it. We brought so many toys, and so many snacks. Thank God for Veggie Stix, which are like vegetable french fry things. She loved them. And we loved them because she loved them. Of course also in tow: lovey bunny, water cup, baby, Violet doggie, Baby Einstein rattle, squeezy bottle, books and books about animals, 2 silky blankies, and endless snacks. We went through Palm Springs this time which I loved because it reminded me of out weekend getaway, and did really feel shorter. Having driven out to Arizona many times, every minute counts on that God forsaken drive out there. Finally we got there about 6pm. Tired, and in need of moving our buns. It was soo good to see my family again. Ava gets to see them on Skype, but has not seen them in person since her birthday. It took her a while to warm up, but then she was so good. Plus, they have 2 dogs, which magically makes everything better.

First order of business was hugs, and then laundry. That is correct, we lugged our dirty clothes 326 miles to use my parents washing machine. I am not above that, people! They have a sweet front loading washer and dryer that I like to drool over while I am at their house. *sigh* Ok, then we got Ava’s area ready in the room we were staying in attempting to make it look just like home. Then some hanging out and eating, (a salad, yay me!), and off to bed.

2am: Crying

Joey in his sleepy stupor gets up and brings Ava into our bed. Terrible idea. She wanted to play. The next 2 hours consisted of being poked in the eye, covered in a blanket, and getting it pulled off with a baby saying “BOO” at us, and general making sure she did not fall off of the bed while being good examples of what sleeping looks like. She fell back asleep at 4am. (Aside: When I asked Joey why he brought her in our bed, he said he thought it was morning. It was morning, I guess, just super early morning. Ok.) The next day (Friday), I hung out with my sister in the morning, and then back home to chill. And by chill, I really do mean chill, because it was 110 degrees outside – EVERYDAY. Anyway, the only nice thing about the heat is it is warm at night. So we would let Ava run around outside naked in the back yard to get her sillies out and play with the hose, and inch near the pool if she wanted to. She eventually got in later in the week, but Ava is slow to warm up to large bodies of water. Saturday, Joey really wanted to go to the Goodyear swap meet. What a party, huh? It is a kitschy little place where they have weird odds and ends and weird people selling them, but unfortunately, when we pulled up to the gate they were closed. So we went to the next best place – World Market! I love that place, and it was near the swap meet area, so that won. We picked up 2 throw pillows for the *new* couch, a shower curtain, and some place mats for the table. While we were there we also picked up some stuff for my sister’s room. When we got home, my sister was at school, and my mom and I gave Sarah a total room makeover, complete with cleaning it. That was the worst part. It took us about 3 hours to clean it and then sort through the stuff covered in cat hair to organize it. I took a Claritin before that venture. I am soo allergic to cats. I muscled through it though!

Sunday, we went to Old Navy with my mom, and she bought Ava a bunch of clothes, and then we went grocery shopping. Not so much there, but Monday was the World Wildlife Zoo. Never do you realize how lucky we are to live by the San Diego Zoo until you go to the World Wildlife Zoo (WWZ). Let’s just say the WWZ is for the animals the did poorly in high school, and did not get ready for college. Ok – #1- It was 110 degrees outside. #2- It was so hot your feet were hot through the bottom of your shoes. #3 – None of the animals looked happy, and we totally felt for them. Bright side – They had some good Icees that we definitely took advantage of. Plus they had an aquarium that was indoors, so we hung out in there for a time. My step dad even went up to a monkey and held it’s little hand. But I bet it just wanted a cigarette.

That day we also went to Toys R Us and Ava got to pick out a new baby and a stroller. So sweet. She loves those babies. Plus my brother Matt found some old beanie babies in the garage so I threw them in the washer and they were good as new. Ava now has some doggie babies who also hang out in the stroller.

Tuesday we came home. Left about 9am and headed back. We were ready to be back in our own space, back to normal. Ava was a stellar passenger on the car ride back as well. I think she was a little more tired though, so was a bit more cranky, but she is a baby, what do you expect?

This week has been pretty normal. Just catching up on things and celebrating my best friend’s birthday.

Happy birthday Mindi! We love you, and are so excited for what big 3-0 has to bring for you! You are the best! <3

Happy travels everyone!

Tonight for dinner I made shrimp fried rice. It was good, and easy. I love that.

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