Christmas 2018 + Meet Marvin Garvin

Happy New Year, friends!! I can’t believe we are already a week into 2019! We took some major time off over the holidays to enjoy all of the festivities & time with family. This was our first holiday season here in Kansas City and we had so much fun making memories & new traditions. Christmas Eve weekend we took the girls out on a “family date,” which we decided we have to now do every single year because it was so much fun. We started the morning at Union Station seeing all of the Christmas festivities, got Root Beer Floats at the famous Fritz’s restaurant and saw a movie. We came home to rest of a little bit, and then went back out for a progressive dinner at all The Plaza restaurants and looked at the lights. The girls seriously had the best day ever and we will remember it forever! Christmas eve we wrapped up the rest of our baking, delivered goodies to our neighbors and then went to an early church service. We hosted my family for Christmas Eve dinner, and decided to make Chicken Parmesan, which was something our very first friends in Atlanta made for us on our first Christmas Eve there when we had no family living close by. We watched Christmas Vacation, drank some champagne & waited for the kiddos to go to bed so Santa could come! 😉

The girls were up bright & early on Christmas morning and took turns running down the stairs to peek at the presents. They wanted bean bag chairs so bad & Santa delivered! They tore into their presents and stockings while we made homemade cinnamon rolls and waited patiently for the best gift of all to show up.

Rewind to last summer we decided that we wanted to get a Goldendoodle and were on a waitlist back in Atlanta to get one. We were weeks away from fencing in our yard when we decided to move to Kansas City, so we decided to put that all on hold. As soon as we moved here, we were given a referral from some neighbors to find a doodle and again, got on a waitlist. After months of not being able to find the right puppy for us, we were finally thinking we would be getting one in February, but got a call the first week of December with good news. A family had decided to move out of town and wouldn’t be able to take their puppy, a six week old red goldendoodle. The lady told us she was so excited to call because she knew we would freak out, and she was right!! Since we had two trips planned before Christmas, we decided to have him start puppy training for a few weeks and then surprise the girls on Christmas morning. My parents drove to get him early that morning, snuck him inside & we brought him out in the living room to introduce him to the girls. They were SO excited and happy, it was so much fun to see their reaction and we have it recorded to re-watch over and over. He immediately peed all over them, but they loved him through it!

We got to keep him just for Christmas, but then had to take him back to his puppy training for his remaining two weeks. We finally get to bring him home for good this Sunday and CAN NOT WAIT. Had we known how hard it would be to say goodbye (even briefly!) we probably wouldn’t have done it to begin with, but we are hopeful that he will come home peeing on just a few less things! 😉 I can’t wait to share more Marvin Garvin with you guys and all the fun we will have with him!!

I hope you all had the most magical Christmas & New Year with your loved ones, cheers to the best year ever!! XO

PS. Send all the dog training advice & tips our way!



  1. Teach him the difference between his toys and the girl’s toys by rewarding him whenever he chews on his stuff, and removing anything of the girl’s that he tries to chew on the very second he goes for it, and replacing it with his toy.

  2. Just keep him in the same room that you’re in so you can monitor him AT ALL TIMES!!! We actually put up baby gates to keep our pup close (not attractive, but effective) and she’s never destroyed anything because she can’t disappear and find things to get into 🙂
    Congrats! Can’t wait to see more Marvin

  3. oh. my.. gosh! Your Christmas Eve weekend festivities is EVERYTHING! This makes me so excited for when ALL my kiddos are a little bit older and can do fun things like this! So far for like the last five Christmases I have been super sick pregnant or had a new baby…Christmas 2019 can’t come soon enough hahahaha totally stealing your tradition!

  4. It is so fun to see your family with a pup pup!! ☺️ We got a puppy ourselves in Sept…. it will be fun relating my (offline) experiences with yours!

    First tip: be on the same page as a family!
    Second tip: make training FUN! Let the girls pick out training treats – our corgi pupper goes BONKERS for the BLUEbits Tasty Chicken Recipe (and they’re heart-shaped – too stupid cute) and be part of rewarding him!

    Excited to watch you finally be a boy mom! ??

  5. OMG that puppy face is the sweetest! We got each of our sons 2 sister puppies from the same litter last year and my boys faces lighting up when they first met, just warms my heart. You and your family will definitely cherish this Christmas for adding a new member to the family! If I can give a few pieces of puppy advice that has worked wonders for not just our current dogs, but all previous as well… Look into getting a dog door bell. There are many different ones you can find on Amazon and it has done wonders for my pups being able to tell us they need to go outside without barking and when I may be in the middle of a task and not thinking that it may be time to go outside. It only took a few days for them to pick it up and it is amazing. Take Marvin on lots of car rides to random places, that way he can start car training as well and doesn’t fear the car or act erratically while in the car. For the first few months, don’t keep anything that you want to keep on the floor or within his reach…never underestimate the power of your pups chewing abilities. Also, to discourage begging at the table during meals, we would put our dogs in their crates at every single meal. Eventually, when I told my kids to come sit down for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, our dogs would automatically go back to their crates and lay down. Now we don’t even close the doors, they know the meal is finished when our kids go wash off their hands and face after the meal and that they can come back out to clean up whatever crumbs they can find ?? Sorry this was so long. Congrats and good luck with your new dog!

  6. I had male boxer and boy was it hard training him. I wish you all the luck!! My advice is definitely to neutar ASAP. We did that with our boxer and he stopped peeing in the house. Oh and also take him to the vet as soon as you get him even if they had all the shots and everything. My boxer ended up with fleas and worms ? even though he was given all shots and flea treatments prior coming home with us.

  7. Marvin, you are the FRIGGEN CUTEST. Goldendoodles are the very best. Ours is a 90 lb. gentle giant who reminds me so much of the dog Nana in Peter Pan. He follows the kids around from room to room and is always keeping an eye out for them. Can’t wait to see the next Garvin grow up!

  8. I had a Pomeranian that loved chewing up my shoes. I found a chew toy that was in the shape of a stiletto that I got for him (my mom was furious and said that would make him think it was okay to chew shoes) and never had a problem with him chewing shoes again since he had his own! Not sure if that would work for every pup, but was perfect for us 🙂 Marvin looks like he fits in perfectly–excited to read more Garvin Girls + Marvin Garvin Adventures!

  9. Consistency is key. We took our sweet pup almost every hour on the hour outside and we would say things to her like outside potty, potty outside. After a week of constantly doing that she now heads to the door to let us know she has to go.
    Good luck and can’t wait to see all things Marvin ❤️

  10. We found this rule helpful: however many months old they are=about how many hours they can be left alone before coming home/waking up to potty break. We followed it religiously, even through the night and it worked amazing. It was a lot of work being so diligent in the beginning but paid off later (like most puppy training!). Lots of baby gates and we put away all our area rugs during potty training. (Cleaning pee out of a jute rug? Learned that one the hard way!) Take lots of pics to remember later! They grow so fast!

  11. What a wonedeful Christmas! The bean bag chairs are so cute! And look very cozy! Marvin is adorable! Someone above mentioned the bell on the door for potty training… it’s great! Try it! Also I would just talk to the vet about neutering, in regards to the appopriate age. Some vets rather wait a little while because I’m the long run it’s better for their hormones.

  12. So adorable – all of you!! ? Question – what is this puppy training that you can send your new dog off to for weeks?? When we get a puppy I need to do this haha

  13. Love seeing your family grow by one adorable puppy! Same question on the bean bags, but also the stuffed animals on top? My girl would love one of those!

  14. We have a desk bell by our back door that our dogs ring when they need to go potty. To train them to use it we would tap their paw on the bell evertytime we let them out to potty.

  15. We trained our dog to ring a jingle bell attached to our door handle when he needs to go outside! We started by taking him out every hour and ringing the bell for him. He associated the bell with going outside, and now he can use his nose to nudge the bell and jingle it! He even taught our cat how to ring the bell to go outside LOL.

  16. For sure teeny tiny training treats! I think Blue Buffalo makes ones called blue bits maybe? They’re like a small little kibble size and the perfect thing for tons of repetition like training!

  17. No advice.. but I will be following since we are getting a puppy in April and I have 3 little girls (6,4, 2)! We are crazy but very excited ? Marvin is adorable and seems like the perfect addition to your family!

  18. Hang a bell on your back door and teach him to hit the bell with his paw when he needs to go outside (while house training him ring the bell when you let him out). Kong toys are worth the money, red kong balls are the favorite at our house. Good, quality antler bones are great for chewing, we get split ones from They come in different sizes.

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