Hello Again Old Friend

Hello blogging world, it’s been a while hasn’t it?

How are you? That’s wonderful I’m doing well myself too!

So what’s new?

I have a freaking one year old!?!? We celebrated his birthday a little while ago and it was so cute. It was a Star Wars Party and he was dressed up as a Jedi. Cuteness overload!

And my golden birthday is this weekend! I’m turning 26 on the 26th of this month! I bought a beautiful dress just for the occasion!

 

Life doesn’t slow down. Not one bit! Just when I think we’ve reached the summit of a rough week or month or year, another climb is ahead of us.

But maybe that’s a good way to look at life? If you keep expecting things to get easier you might find yourself dissapointed.

Life is a series of seasons.

Some of those seasons are a breeze. Others are really hard to walk through.

One of the things that makes our life hard now is the amount of stuff on our plate. The husband works a lot at the plant, I work a lot at home with my one year old and trying to keep up with things around here. We have to clean up the house together, we have to work on the forest that is our backyard when we can find the time. And on top of that, we have to make sure we’re getting time together as a family AND time together as a couple. How does one find the time to accomplish every thing on that list?

I don’t know, close your eyes as the wave crashes over and you and hope you come out on the other side alive!

But one day, our son will be able to entertain himself long enough for us to cross off things on our to-do list. The process will be more streamlined.

But, unfortunately, today is not that day.

This season is hard to walk through sometimes. But I like to remember that I’m not the only one who has walked through this phase of life, millions have done it before me and them and their families are on the other side of it all in one piece.

If they can do it, so can I, right?

Advertisements
Standard

The Whole Story

I’ve been silent on this for a a long time because I’ve been afraid that people would call me heartless or cruel.

It was too soon to talk about, too soon for me to open up about.

But this feels like the right time and I think writing this down will help me to move on.

If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, you’ve become familiar with a very significant character in my life story: Zelda the dog.

The husband and I were very excited about having a kid and a dog. Our family was going to get bigger. But, unfortunately, things did not turn out the way we had planned and I just need to get the whole story out.

 

A little backstory; Zelda was a rescue dog. Me, the husband and our friend spent two hours trying to coax her out of hiding so we could take care of her. She was skin and bones, she had a broken jaw and a swollen face. Being an animal lover, I told myself the whole time that I didn’t need to get attached, we would rescue this dog and get her to a good home.

But all three of us were smitten as we sat in a late night vet clinic, this puppy curled up in my husband’s arms. Our broke, college aged friend even volunteered to scrape up any money he could spare to make sure we could keep her.

As she grew up, we saw more of her personality. She was sweet, gentle and also very hyper. And she was terrified of men, especially big men. We think she was probably abused seeing the terror that overcame her around men sometimes.

But she learned to trust our friends and my dad fairly quickly and was beloved by all our friends.

A lot of times she was misunderstood. She was a big dog, all lean muscle. And she was obviously a pitbull mix…which sadly makes people more afraid of her. There were a lot of people who were intimidated by her and her size; not many people were willing to give her a chance. Which is why I think she loved me and my husband so much because we gave her a chance when no one else would.

When I found out I was pregnant, I felt scared. I knew Zelda, she wouldn’t willingly hurt a fly; but something just felt wrong. Something felt off. And I could never put a finger on it. We were both so uncertain of how she’d be around a newborn! All the time we talked about what we would do if it didn’t work out, and we came close to weeping every time because we just couldn’t imagine things ever coming to that.

My son was born eight days late. And the day before he was born my doctor wanted to see me and there was a high probability that I was going to be induced that night.

Zelda was always in the same room with me, no more than ten feet away from me at all times, my silent guardian angel. But on this day, Monday, February 23rd, Zelda was no more than two feet from me. She was extraordinarily loving that day. She laid on my feet while I brushed my teeth in my tiny bathroom that barely had room for the two of us. She laid right beside me while I put my makeup on while sitting on the floor. She gave me lots of hugs where her huge paws would rest on my shoulders as I sat on the floor facing her. She curled up in between my legs when she got the chance too.

And it was then that I knew instinctively, that this was it. But I didn’t want to face it.

I didn’t come home from my appointment that day. I went straight to the hospital and my husband made sure she was boarded like she had been many times before at our vet’s office.

Fast forward three days and we are finally going home with our first child. So many fears, so much joy and so much trepidation.

We get home, we spend a few hours enjoying the visitors that made their way to see us. But the whole time, my stomach was in knots. I missed Zelda and I needed to know what was going to happen.

Finally my husband brought her home from the vet, like we had many times after vacations and put her out in the backyard to calm down. I went out to see her and immediately was in tears. She would not stop running; she was so hyper. Normally she listened to me and I could soothe her when she got crazy. But not this time, she jumped on me so hard I thought I was going to fall over. She would not stop running laps around our back yard. She was nipping not totally harmlessly at me and my mom and sister.

I was one of the few people in her life that was not afraid of her. And I was scared.

My husband told me that there were a lot of things going on: I smelled different from the breastmilk, to my hormone changes, to the fact that my son had slept on my chest every night since he was born. There were a lot of new things that she needed to adjust too. He told me to go back inside and give her time to calm down by herself and we would worry about introducing them later.

But as the hours lagged on, and I checked on my dog out in the cold February night, she did not slow down. She was not about to stop. She was manic almost and there was nothing I could do.

Fear and worry were gnawing at my guts and finally I begged him to help me introduce them, I couldn’t take this not knowing anymore.

His sisters and brother in law were in our living room with my sisters hanging out and having fun; we knew that if too many people were involved it would only make things worse. So we made sure that my parents were in on things but that everyone else had no idea what was happening behind the scenes.

I fed our son. He was passed out in a deep newborn sleep; not stirring. And we knew it was time. I was waiting in the nursery with Clayton asleep in his crib, prepared to snatch him up if I needed to. Mom and dad were waiting outside the nursery since my dad being so tall made Zelda nervous.

My husband got our dog and held her by the collar while guiding her into our son’s room. She caught sight of him in the crib and started whining and licking her lips. Her muscular body stiffened, every muscle ready for action. She looked at him like he was a rabbit ready to be chased.

I was scared.

My husband brought her a few feet away from the crib and told me to hold my son in our arms so that maybe Zelda would see that I was protective of him. She strained at her collar so much so that my mom and dad felt the need to come in the room and help my husband restrain her.

My dog, who always has one eye on my dad, did not even blink when he came in the room, all she saw was my son. Every inch of her being focused on the 8 lb baby in my arms.

My husband told her to sit, normally the stubborn thing would need a pat on her rump to sit down; but she sat on the first command the way she would when she knew a treat was involved.

The whole time this is happening, my husband kept asking me, “Baby, what do you think?”

And all I had the heart to answer was, “I don’t know.”

Finally my husband told me to switch places with him, I got behind her holding her collar while he picked up our son, hoping that maybe seeing the alpha would help her to understand.

She whimpered, shivering, licking her lips, not responding to me or my attempts to soothe her.

I was silently weeping, I knew what was coming and I couldn’t take it.

Finally my husband asked one last time, “Baby, what do you think?” almost pleading for it not to be the answer we knew it had to be.

I couldn’t answer him.

I collapsed on the floor weeping. There was swift exchange where my dad took the baby, my husband took the dog outside and my mom wrapped her arms around me chanting a mantra to me, “You’re doing the right thing. You’re doing the right thing. You’re doing the right thing.”

All I could think was, if this is the right thing why does it feel so bad?

My husband left our dog outside until he could contact our vet. We couldn’t let her sleep outside because it was too cold but we didn’t want to risk her being inside and something happening. I crawled into my bed weeping more than I’ve ever wept before in my life.

He worked out with our vet that they would take care of her until we could figure out what to do.

As he and my mom were gathering up her things, I was able to slip outside with my sister (who loved Zelda almost as much as I did) and we were able to say our last goodbyes.

Both me and my youngest sister were very respected by Zelda, she would listen to us better than other people. But even still, she was nipping a little too much and not able to calm down.

It was like she was a different dog. I didn’t get a calm moment with her before my husband took her because I couldn’t get her to calm down.

My husband and his brother in law took her and all her belongings to the vet for the night. And that was the last I saw her.

There were a lot of crises that happened that weekend on top of trying to figure out what to do with our dog. We didn’t want to send her to a shelter where she would be put down in a few months. We’d rather just put her down ourselves so we could be with her in her last moments. But we also didn’t want to put her down period.

Finally a solution came up, there was a shelter an hour away from us; it wasn’t a no-kill shelter, but they spent a long time working with their animals to find them good homes. They don’t give up easy. My husband’s sister had adopted a dog from there who was in the shelter, altogether, over a year.

So almost a week from my child’s birth, my husband was driving our first baby to the shelter by himself. I woke up early and couldn’t sleep. While the rest of my house was sleeping, I called my husband and asked him to tell me everything that was happening and how she was doing.

He said that according to the vet, Zelda wanted to wear her Christmas sweater. The same sweater that normally she hated wearing, she was now whining for it to be put on her. She was comforted by it.

He told me that she was a lot more calm. That he thought she knew that things had to happen this way. And that he knew that she knew she was loved. Especially by me.

He drove her to the shelter in her Christmas sweater. He took pictures of her and him in their last moments. Took her collar from around her neck to bring home to me and left her there. And I cried the whole day.

He told me the whole way home that the workers at the shelter told him that she was such a beautiful sweet dog, she would be snatched up in no-time at all.

And I think they were right. My friend visited the shelter to look at kittens not a month after this happened. And she said that Zelda was not there.

I like to think she has found herself a loving home, a couple with older kids or a single guy. That she is curled up at the feet of someone else who loves her just as much as I did.

I thought she was going to ours forever. And I’m sad that it was only for a time.

I never thought I would be the person to give up on an animal. I never thought I would get rid of my dog when my baby came into the world. And maybe there are people that will read this story and get mad at me; that’s okay, I used to be you!

Just know this. I loved that dog more than I could handle sometimes. I also knew her and her behavior. And her behavior was different that night. Like my mom said, “For the first time I saw her for the animal she is not the baby she was.”

Getting rid of my dog was always a last resort attempt. And that’s what it was that night.

There isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t miss her. But I believe all things happen for a reason, even if you can’t always see it.

Standard

On Kayaking And Other Such Things

The husband, his siblings (and his brother in law) and me climbed aboard a colorful assortment of kayaks and canoes.

Armed with plenty of beer and whiskey we set off on our grand adventure to watch our brother-in-law go fishing.

Along the way we remarked how much we were like the fellowship of the ring.

Beer was spilt, whiskey was swigged and plenty of shenanigans ensued.

The husband’s brother paddled one of the sisters in his canoe while standing up. Then proceeded to accept my challenge to row towards the husband and I’s tandem vessel at “ramming speed.”

Our brother-in-law caught a fish, a tiny one which he then threw into the canoe much to the squealing from the sister sitting inside.

The sun set while we rowed home and us three girls were sure to capture a lot photographic evidence for Instagram.

Once we reached the shore, the husband’s brother declared he was going to jump into the middle of the lake with anyone who wanted to join him.

It was crisp and windy as I went inside debating if I should go. I forgot to pack a swimsuit and all!

But as I stood at the window looking out at the water, I had a realization that this was a moment that I could never get back…besides, my shorts were wet from kayaking anyway.

I flew down to the docks and made it to the canoe just in time.

Me and both my brother in laws set off into the dusky evening.

They rowed us out to the middle of the lake, the sun had just dipped  below the horizon.

A chilly October wind blew across my legs and arms giving me goosebumps.

“Who’s going first?” my husband’s brother asks.

“Ladies first I guess…” says the man who married his sister.

Never one to shy away from a challenge I stood up in the canoe and jumped into the water without a word.

It was cold and shocking to my skin and I surfaced with a squeal!

After getting in one by one, (and figuring out how to climb back in without tipping over) we all jumped in together with shouts and screams of how awesome it was.

We tread water and floated on our backs looking up at the sky.

As it started to get dark, we all climbed back in the canoe, almost sinking it in the process and the guys rowed us home while the breeze nipped at our exposed skin.

When we reached the dock it was dark and cold. I stood shivering in my wet t-shirt and shorts while they tied the canoe to the dock. And after we’d all got back into dry things, our adventuring selves were warmed by some stew a bonfire and s’mores.

And as I went to sleep that night, I knew those were memories that would last a lifetime.

Standard

The Bike Incident

I was talking to the husband about this the other day and it made me laugh so hard that I just had to tell it!

So, me and my family had just moved back in 1999 and a few days after we moved we decided to take a walk around the neighborhood to explore.

The whole family sets off; me and my middle sister are on our bikes and my youngest sister is walking with mom and dad.

We haven’t walked terribly far–we get to this steep hill. I decided to ride down the hill really fast because I was an egotistical show-off.

So I let gravity take over; I stick my legs out letting the pedals spin out of control.

At the perfectly timed moment I began to brake and came to a graceful stop at the bottom of the hill.

My middle sister then began to follow suit. She poised her pink bike at the top of the hill. Pink, sparkly, streamers trembled in the breeze; her pink basket and ‘Hello Kitty’ horn were a spectacular symbol of her status.

She takes off, pink helmet askew atop crooked pigtails. Her bike picks up speed, the training wheels rattling.

She takes her feet off the pedals just like I did. We’re all watching her when suddenly things start happening in slow motion it would seem.

Right around the time she should start applying the brakes…she doesn’t. My parents are shouting from the top of the hill and I’m shouting from the bottom of the hill:

“BRAKE!!! Put on your BRAKES!!!”

Slowly, I watch as she speeds past me, legs stuck out to either side, mouth open in a shrill scream, pigtails streaming out behind her.

She zooms down the hill past me, across the road, then off the road and right into a phone pole.

She falls off her bike with a grown and lies wailing in the grass.

Now when things happen fast like that, I freeze and can only observe. Mom and dad run down the hill, my youngest sister is toddling after them and I’m just sitting there on my bike at the stop sign feeling like this is all my fault.

My sister ended up being okay just really embarrassed. But at least she learned a very valuable lesson about gravity!

Standard

Four Years Later

Six years ago, I was facebook chatting with a boy I’d known since I was ten years old. Little did I know that those random, late night conversations, states apart, were making me fall in love with him.

Six years ago we spent a whole weekend being thrown into each other’s company. We were just friends……who secretly really liked each other. We played Coldplay songs together and I sang them. He played me a song he’d made up and I had a feeling that it was the start of something big.

Six years ago, I realized I loved that boy and that there was no way in hell that he could love me back.

Six years ago I found out he did and that he wanted to date me.

Two years went by of him living an hour away from me. I worked and he went to school and we went to starbucks on the weekends to spend every last moment with each other. We went window shopping and out to lunch dates with each other. We shared music all through those two years and held each other’s hand every moment we could.

Two years went by of me crying every time he had to leave when the weekend was over.

Two years went by and we started to talk about getting married.

Two years went by and he asked me to be his bride.

Two years went by and at the end of it we got married!

Four years ago I said ‘I do.”

Four years ago we made our home in a dinky, little apartment. We worked three part-time jobs between the two of us and our special date nights were at McDonalds. I hated my job and he hated being in school still. He graduated and got a real job.

Four years have gone by.

Four beautiful and painful years of a crazy relationship. A relationship where we loved each other most of the time and hated each other some of the time. Lots of ups and lots of downs.

Four years of fighting hard for our relationship. We’ve both changed a lot, hurt a lot and laughed even more!

Four years of inside jokes and weird voices. Watching our tv shows and playing weird, made-up games.

Four years of growing into who I am and I couldn’t have done that without him.

We celebrated four years of marriage on August 6th! We were such babies when we got married I’m surprised we’ve survived on our own this long!

Four years later we have our own baby and we are loving being parents–most of the time!

I am a very lucky girl and I love you husband!

0563

Standard

Struggles Of A Night Owl Who Loves Sleeping: Part 1

This post was inspired by a dear friend who was having a heart-to-heart with me over facebook messenger one night.

Things were wrapping up when I had to address a very important issue: namely the fact that I had taken something to make me sleep and two hours later it was kicking in and I couldn’t hold on much longer.

It’s really sad. I LOVE sleep. Nothing is more delicious than waking up in a dreamy haze to feel that the arm sticking out of the blankets is freezing cold; and then you slip that arm into the cozy depths of your bed nest and burrow back into its warmth and drift into your dreams again.

Nothing is better than cozy mornings as you lazily wake up.

That is until you have a kid that wakes up and you have to get him and there is no more sleep for you!!

I am a night owl by nature. But night owls and five month olds don’t mix. I thought I was cured of my sleeplessness when I had a baby! Waking up two times in the night left me falling asleep in five minutes. And then that baby started sleeping through the night at 3 months old and I was used to waking up in the night at least once!

So hear I am: a steadfast night owl to the end!

But when morning comes, this owl’s feathers get pretty ruffled.

So I’ve turned to the age old cure of melatonin to help me sleep.

But it’s so different! Waking up is like being dragged back from limbo. The dreams are intense, weird and strangely detailed. The being-woken-from-an-alternate-universe kind of dreams that leave you questioning reality for a minute or two when you wake up.

Not a pretty way to start the day!

But what’s a girl to do?

Standard

Beaming and Blushing

Oh my!

I just got the very first award on my blog…..I just fainted, I’m back now!

I was just nominated for the Liebster Award by the ever so sweet Naturally Dreamy! I was in the middle of a wrestling match with my 5 month old who was refusing to sleep……he won and fell asleep playing just in case you wanted to know…

So needless to say….this made my day!

Thank you so much! I am honored, humbled, beaming and blushing–I feel so validated as a writer so THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

I feel so silly accepting this award, because I get so anxious about my writing! But how can I say no to such a sweet and generous gesture?

LIEBSTER AWARD

Here are the rules for accepting this award:

-Thank the blogger who nominated you and display the award on your page. (Did I thank you enough Naturally Dreamy? Because THANK YOU!)

-Nominate 10 other bloggers (less than 1,000 followers, the rules are hazier…I most definitely apply to this!)

-Answer the 10 questions asked you by the blogger who nominated you.

-Ask 10 questions to the people you nominate

Here are my nominations (there is absolutely no pressure to accept, just wanted to spread the love!):

The Grand Parade In Our Past – You are my #writinggoals all the way girl! You write with the magic of a gypsy storyteller. You obviously put so much time and effort and love into your stories, weaving them with beautiful words so carefully. You are my everything and you are so beautiful! You have one of the most beautiful souls and it comes dripping through your writing! Thank you for being my inspiration!

Just Erica Lynne – This fine lady right here is amazing! She is so bubbly, so wise, so FUNNY!! She writes all about life and love and her love for the Lord. She has such a sweet, funny, loveable personality…I’m sure you’ll fall in love with her just as much as I have!

Storytime with John – This guy tells stories that will have you laughing until you cry! He has such an optimistic outlook on life and the struggles we’ve all had to face. He reminds you to take life in stride and to not take yourself too seriously. He’s a pretty awesome guy!

(As you can see, I don’t have much time to read…these people get me through the day!)

Okay, you can stop reading if you want or we can delve deeper into the post, are you with me?

Here are the questions I need to answer:

1. What music did you grow up with?

I grew up with a LOT of classical music. Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Rachmoninov, the lot! As we got older it morphed into movie soundtracks, the Beatles, and Coldplay. I don’t know, we were all over the place…

2. What impresses you that doesn’t impress anyone else?

That’s a tough one. I think sometimes it’s the simple things–I don’t know if I have a good answer for this one.

3. What song do you race to the radio to turn off? Or turn up?

Oh gosh! Anything by Taylor Swift–kinda sucks when I come home and the husband is blaring it in the kitchen. (He’s a recent convert and I’m staying strong…for now!) And I like to turn up anything by Alt-J, particularly Every Other Freckle, this song brings me life!

4. What skill do you want to have?

I want to be a master at yoga! I’m already very flexible but I hope one day to be strong enough, and flexible enough to be a yoga instructor!

5. Do you have a hidden talent?

Yes, I do a BOSS Kari impression. As in, Kari the babysitter from The Incredibles. I’m very good!

6. When was the last time you laughed and what were you laughing about/at?

Tonight. The husband and I are watching through Twilight (in an attempt to laugh at it and make fun of it…no, we are NOT enjoying ourselves at all, we don’t like it…not even a little bit….) We’re watching Part 1 of the last movie and I cannot get over how Bella always looks like she’s about to throw up! The husband and I could not stop laughing at the absurdity of this movie!

7. What question do I wish my nominator was asking me? 

Something you may not know about me?

I have a scar that is the perfect shape of a heart on my wrist. It happened when I was curling my hair once!

8. Do you have an accent? Do you like it or wish it was different?

I don’t know. Some people are surprised that I’ve spent most of my life in the South and swear I don’t have an accent to show for it. Others think my accent is SO CUUUTTTEEE! I don’t know. I try so hard to not say “Yustacould” (Used to could) or “Y’all” or any other Southern slang words so I guess you could say I wish it was different.

9. What did you think of the last movie you watched?

Twilight doesn’t count, I already knew what I thought of it. The movie before that was Magic In The Moonlight with Emma Stone and Colin Firth. So sweet, so adorable, so simple. It lifted my spirits immensely!

10. What’s the story behind your favorite photo?

This picture that me and my sisters recreate at every photo shoot. This is one is particularly bittersweet because this was a few months before I got married. It was a beautiful time!

Shoot with Heather (308)

I’m going to cheat and ask my nominees the same questions I was asked because the baby needs me and I’ve got to go!

Thank you again for the nomination and best wishes!

Standard