Here for some puppy cuteness? Meet Olive and Bernadette.

We love our woolly bullies...even when they flooded our house!

Covid Birthday Party and Home Photos

The timing was not great for my birthday in 2020. COVID was brand-new and especially scary, so we didn't risk any sort of get-together, socially distanced or otherwise. 

This year, SN and my parents are fully vaccinated (here in New Mexico, we're #1 in the country for our COVID vaccination rate), so we planned a COVID birthday party.

Interior design bloggers
Welcome (finally) to our home!

SN and I are not big on housekeeping. We try to keep up with daily tasks like dishwashing and sweeping up endless tumbleweeds of dog hair, but even that often gets away from us. Pre-COVID, our house would benefit from a good scrubbing every time a visitor came. 

COVID = No visitors for more than a year. Our home was a disaster!

We tidied and dusted and rearranged our decor for springtime.

Spring cleaning
Spring decorating ideas
Much better.

Interior design ideas
I'm clearly incapable of taking a straight photo (too much peer pressure coming my way through the glass), but I was able to hang my carrots properly.

You know, whatever is the proper way to attach linen table runners to your walls with thumb tacks.

Now I'm looking at the photo and seeing that my carrots are not hung properly. I'm moving them anyway, just as soon as the 6 matching table runners I ordered arrive.

Deer salt and pepper
I was excited to have company. Aren't these reindeer salt and pepper shakers just the cutest? I bought them months ago and haven't been able to show them off.

What's even better than reindeer shakers? (And what doesn't go with reindeer shakers at all, but just try and stop me?)

Wallace Napoleon Bee
I could not 'bee' more delighted with my new Wallace Napoleon Bee silverware.

SN and I don't do birthday presents. If I want something, I talk myself in and out of purchasing it until SN insists I get it. Technically, the reindeer and the bees were his idea.

White kitchen with red brick

For my COVID birthday menu, SN fired up the pizza oven. He just finished it last weekend and was optimistic that the Ford blue engine paint would not peel off the instant he got the oven up to temperature.

Pizza oven
It survived. Whew! Olive also managed to survive, despite repeated attempts to sniff inside the fiery pizza oven.

Our homemade pizza oven
Not great for puppy noses.

Pizza party
There's one of those out-of-control tumbleweeds of dog hair now, right on the floor next to SN.

Wait, that's Biscuit.

Herringbone ceiling
Fun fact: That's our Christmas tree on the dining table. We're 99% certain it died before Christmas (never watering it is a good indication), but it stayed green, albeit a bit crispy.

I worked tirelessly to make the house presentable and became more frenzied as our deadline approached. We'd originally planned for my parents to come over at 2 pm. I'd called them the day before to change our plans to noon. What was I thinking?

Also, what was SN thinking? Every time someone comes over, I race around the house trying to clean everything before they arrive. Every time, SN decides the house is as clean as it's going to get and relaxes. "It's done," he'll say, ignoring the trash that needs to be emptied or the mozzarella cheese he just dumped all over the counter and floor. 

Every time, he says, "Why are you mad?" Every. Single. Time. 

I've heard most husbands are guilty of this. It's weird, right?

Indoor fountain
See how he won't make eye contact? That's because I asked SN to put Bernadette's harness on, which reduces her social anxiety. (Can dogs have social anxiety? Apparently.) Instead, I caught him exiting my office with a handful of Skittles.

He was later upset that Bernadette would not behave. If only someone had put her harness on like they said they would...

Dog sisters
This is the smile of a dog who is about to go berserk.

Panorama Homes ABQ
THEY'RE HERE! (OMG! THERE'S STILL SO MUCH TO DO!)

Williams Sonoma copper party tub
With a drink in each person's hand, everyone quickly relaxed. 

Social distancing
Mine may have been a big glass of wine.

Smile for the camera
Pre-wine and post-wine

Thrive rose recipe
Fun fact: This Thrive rosé is the perfect wine to serve at an outdoor party. It's even more refreshing (and fancy) mixed with iced green tea and served in a champagne flute.

Dogs smiling
Olive was thrilled to see her grandma and grandpa. During COVID, we've cautiously kept the dogs away, lest my high-risk parents pet a COVID-covered pup. With everyone fully vaccinated, Olive made up for lost time by insisting on extra attention. 

Like anyone could say no to that face.

Bernadette was rescued right at the start of the pandemic and has had almost no socialization outside of our house.

Dog friends
It shows. Bernadette was terrified of my parents. Here she is hiding behind Biscuit, the big, scary dog that she is.

Fearful rescue dog
Bernadette checked out my mom from the safety of a non-opening window.

To Bernadette's dismay, we took a few COVID birthday party photos out on the back patio. Then we retreated inside because the wind picked up. Gotta love springtime in New Mexico.

COVID Birthday Party

Outdoor party

Taking photos was fun (oh, and finally seeing my parents, I suppose), but if you know me at all, you know where my priorities lie. It was time for the highlight of my birthday party.

Time to eat.

Party menu
I can't resist a sweet treat. Note to self: Next time, photograph the desserts prior to devouring them.

Birthday lunch
Look at all this salad. Such a healthy meal! It totally cancels out the pizza.

Birthday party at home

After our meal, we played Mexican Train Dominoes. We used to do this often in the pre-COVID world and it felt like life was returning to normal.

Family photos
You even get a smile from my dad in this photo. He loves Mexican Train Dominoes. You'll understand why in a moment.

Mexican Train Dominoes
I tried to convince our guests that the birthday girl automatically wins by default. No luck.

Poker face
We're a competitive family! The lighthearted and fun Tootsie Roll Pops I'd put out only increased everyone's poker face. 

I gave my dad a hard time because he always takes the longest to decide which domino to play. He won. 

He always wins.

With our wine bottles emptied, the food polished off, and three Mexican Train Dominoes players licking their wounds, we called it a day.

Patio after our party
The sign of a successful party? Your meticulously cleaned house is messy again.

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