Friday, March 30, 2012


1. What giveaway would you like to do on your blog?

I'd like to give away something useful and purposeful.  An ipad?  A camera?  A mixer?  Hmmmm, this sounds a lot like another blogger I know.  :)

2. If you had to choose between natural artistic ability and natural athletic ability, which would it be?

Both.  :)  It's hard to choose, because I'm more artistic than athletic, but not totally great at either.  I'd love to be naturally athletic, because I'd love for activity and sports to come easily and naturally to me.  But I do NOT want to have that whole competitive-streak thing that comes with a lot of natural sports peeps.  So, if I could choose athleticism (without competitiveness), that's what I'd do.

3. Do you ditch the coat the minute it becomes "spring" or are you a holdout for more cool temps?

I wear a coat until I start sweating.  Then I ditch it.  If that's when the temps hit 70's...or when they hit 55....I just go with what feels right for me. 

4. What would you do if you won the mega millions lotto of 1/2 billion dollars?

We'd give most of the money to charities.  But, we'd finish the house.  I'd quit my job in favor of spending more time with the boys and doing some charity work, but D would still work (it's in his blood).  We'd possibly take a nice long vacation, though.

5. You are at a hotel by yourself...what do you do?

Sleep.  Veg out.  Sleep.  Watch chick flicks.  Sleep. 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

In terms of search....

Blogger has a new cute little "stats" button on the dashboard.  I can see who is reading my blog.  From which country, which site they're coming from, what they're reading it on, etc.

So, hello to Japan, France, Canada, Slovenia, Germany, Russia, United Kingdom, India, and Malaysia!

I can also see what kind of search brings people to this blog.  Some of them made me laugh....I thought I'd share:

1.  elmo fuzzy chair.  No doubt in reference to this post.  ((shudder)).  On a separate note:  there was a bat in the Love Shack yesterday.  C. went over there in search of an empty box to create a "project", and noticed some stuff in it.  He flipped it upside down to dump everything out, and out drops a hissing bat.  Scared my little guy half to death.  Thank goodness he didn't touch it.

2.  herbalife pamphlets.  I'm not sure why this brought up my blog, but I do take Herbalife supplements, drink the isolated soy protein shakes, and I do talk about it.  However, I'm not handing out pamphlets.  Hmmmm.

3.  Disney on Ice finding Nemo.  Probably in reference to this post.  That was a special day for the boys!  They loved it!  If you're searching for Finding Nemo on Ice, I strongly recommend going.

4.  Boy holey sock school.  I'm not sure where the search engine brought them.  However, we have a plethora of holey socks in the house.  And they're just waiting to be matched up with their partners and put away.  Anyone want to come over and help?

4.  If you searched this, then I love you.  I am totally humbled that someone went in search of my personal blog.  Thank you for reading. 

5.  Family closet.  I'm sure that this person went in search of the whole family organization keep-everyone's-clothes-in-one-closet kind of idea.  And instead saw Love Shack demo.  :)  Sorry, searcher.

6.  Hedgie Jan Brett.  Get the book.  It's one of our favorites.  I love Jan Brett's children's books.  So do the boys.

7.  Inside of a cave from the bottom.  Perhaps they landed on our vacation pics from last year?  That was a FANTASTIC vacation!  Heck, it was a fantastic summer.  Lots of memories were made.

8.  Malavastop.  Also known in our house as the "shiny stuff" that we put on C's thumb to discourage him from sucking it.  It's inexpensive, and effective.  Warning:  don't get that stuff on your own fingers!  It's really does taste nasty.

9.  One dollar craft.  Hmmmm, I can't really think what specific post it would bring you to, but I am thrifty....and I am there's probably a post in there somewhere.

10.  Zero the hero.  Ha!  Another "psych, this isn't what you think it is" post.  These searchers are more than likely educators in search of a zero the hero day activity, and they got a summary of A's 6th birthday party.  Oops....sorry guys.  Perhaps you'd also like some pointers for hosting a birthday party in the dead of winter for under $100?  If so, read on.  :)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Panera Bread, eat your heart out....

I've been gluten free for over 2 1/2 years now.

At first it was a horrible challenge.

I was resentful to everyone who could eat it.

To those that that thought I was doing this as a fad.

Then I learned to ignore the nay-sayers,

And love the supporters,

And...well, just embrace my new life with food.

It's been a blessing.

And I've been able to help quite a few people with support.

And pointers.

And encouragement.

And recipes.

So, I'm glad to be able to give back.

There's a gfree bakery in town.

I stopped there to pick up some pizza crust one Friday,

And saw some foccacia bread.

Then I remembered how much I miss sandwiches.

Particularly ones from Panera Bread.

Paired with a strawberry salad.


So, I grabbed the bread.

And on Sunday after church, I indulged myself a sandwich for lunch.

Complete with garlic aioli dressing left over from sweet potato fries.

At first, D couldn't wrap his brain over why I would want to take a picture of a sandwich....

...then he asked "When's the last time you had a sandwich?"

To which I replied, "One that I enjoyed as much as I'm about to enjoy this?"

Answer:  Over 2 1/2 years ago.

Mmmmm, sandwich.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012 and so

1.  Dear Michigan, I want to warm weather back.  Sincerely, freezy- McFreezerton.

2.  Dear budding flowers, hang in there.  Sincerely, sneezy McSneezerton.

3.  Dear Pioneer Woman.  I love you.  There are two reasons for this:  1) you appreciate John Hughes films, and 2)  You appreciate Tom Hanks.  Sincerely, 80's girl.

4.  Dear boys, Stop growing up.  Please?  You're breaking my heart.  Love you, Mom.

5.  Dear mom and dad, Thank you for offering to be the "vacation spot" for the boys during spring break next week.  My work load will sincerely appreciate it!  Sincerely, your loving daughter.

6.  Dear jeans, Thank you for being loose today.  Sincerely, thunder thighs.

7.  Dear husband, Thank you.  Just thank you.  For everything.  And everything in-between.  Love you tons, Me.

8.  Dear President, Stop screwing up the country.  Sincerely, Don't tread on me.

9.  Dear Tigers, OPENING DAY soon!  We're world series bound, right?!?!  RIGHT?!?!?  Sincerely, fan.

10.  Dear Friends, Thank you for your support, prayers, and love.  Sincerely, your friend.

Top Ten Tuesday at Many Little Blessings

Monday, March 26, 2012

This past weekend....

  • I was asleep by 9 pm on Friday night.  It was cold and dreary.  I was tired.  So, I crashed on the couch until D. woke me up.  Then, I went to bed for real.  :)

  • I found the most ADORABLE outfit for a friend of mine whose sister-in-law is getting married.  For $2.  At my MOPS consignment sale.  It made me so sad that C. is out of 3T.  I loved it.

  • I chilled out at my parent's house with my boys and my puppy.  It was great fun.  The boys played alot, and Ally ran alot.  I ate a peanut butter & jelly sandwich on gf foccocia bread.  It was splendid.

  • I had my first lumpia lesson.  The sister of my neighbor is home until May to help settle their mother's estate.  She invited me over for some lumpia making.  Ohhhh, how I love lumpia.  Ohhhh, how I love my neighbors.  :)

  • We went out for my brother-in-law's birthday on Saturday night.  The boys sat for 1 1/2 hours (without food!) waiting for dinner to arrive.  Apparently, there were more than 30 of us there, so they held our order (that I placed early so my boys could eat and get home at a timely hour) until everyone else had ordered.  Sigh.  They were SO well behaved....and didn't eat until 30 minutes AFTER their bedtime.  It was a proud moment for me.

  • I learned I'm going to be an aunt again!  My brother-in-law's wife is expecting a baby toward the end of September.  I'm VERY excited for them!

  • I went to church.  The sanctuary was so overheated that I actually got sick to my stomach.  Or...that could have been a repercussion from the lumpia.  (I'll never officially blame it on the lumpia, though!)

  • I went to small group.  It was a great study, and it was great to see them all again.  The kids played great all together outside, and we really enjoyed each other's company.  I love them.

  • I texted with awesome friends.  I love them.

Friday, March 23, 2012


1. If you were free to just hop in the car and drive, where would you go? Or, if you could hop a plane and go anywhere, where?

If I were to just hop in the car, I'd probably drive to Chicago.  There's a lot to do and see there, and I can safely say I've never spent a lot of time in the city exploring.  I'm usually just driving through.  It's not a terribly long drive, but far enough away to feel like a "get-away."

If I were taking a plane, I'd probably head to Europe.  Some of my best memories are from that trip, and I'd love to create more!

2. What's your most recently read favorite book?

I've read lots of books, and I have lots of favorites!  Probably the one that sticks out the best is "The Help".  I loved the book, and enjoyed the movie.  So glad they didn't ruin the book with the movie (hello, My Sister's Keeper!!!)

3. What's your favorite Spring Break memory?

I really don't recall a "spring break" memory.  I remember going to Florida with my family in spring...was it on break?  I'm not sure.  But, that was a great trip too.

4. What do you put in your child's Easter basket? Or, for those w/o kids, what was put in your childhood basket?

We keep the whole "Easter Bunny/ Easter Basket" thingy to a minimum in our house.  One year, we gifted A a basketball hoop for Easter, but we wanted to get one for him anyway...and just used it as an excuse.

Usually a chocolate bunny, a few jelly beans and one (smallish) gift.

5. Do you get a summer haircut?

No.  The boys do, I don't.  My "summer hair" consists of a french braid.  It's up, out of my face, and still looks cute.

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Catching up (with pictures, this time)

I spent some time over this past week reconnecting with friends. 

Chit chatting, catching up....

It's healing balm.

I so love my friends.

But I have some blogging catch-up to play with you, my bloggy friends.'s my first installment:

Junior Basketball

This year it was a family affair.

D. coached A's team.

And (by an awesome fluke) C was allowed to play with the kindergartners!

They had one extra spot on a team, and I thought I wasn't going to be around on a specific Friday night.

I was brainstorming with some moms after school about having a youth watch C.
at basketball when the head of it said, "Just put him on the team...we have an extra t-shirt and everything."

Oh, how he loved being one of the "big kids!"

When I surprised him with the t-shirt, he puffed out his chest and had a smile on his face that said,


It was the cutest moment.'s some pics:

This first pic has nothing at all to do with the hottie coach who is bent over.

It has everything to do with the fact that I feel the need to remind you
that stretching is imperative before running.

It's a public service, really.

Yes, you're welcome.

Ladies, if you totally want to swoon at your husband,
encourage him to coach kids basketball.'s adorable.
And cute...

and I totally swoon.

a few action pics:

A going for the shot

C "dribbling" the ball.

Team shots

C looks so itty bitty here :)

The kid to the right of A. is the tallest kid in 3rd grade.

(reminder: A is in 2nd.  Tall boy.)

Brother shot!

A few busy Friday nights in the winter
translate into great family memories
for years to come. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Super crazy random blog post.

I've been a tad MIA in bloggy land as of late.  I have a ton of pictures to update you on...but there are no pictures in this post because I'm either

a) writing this post in a hurry and therefore have no time for downloading or

b) too lazy to grab my camera which is sitting upstairs on the kitchen table.

I'll let you decide that one.  :)

Here's a quick update in our world:

  • It's busy season for my work, and I'm kicking my own bootie to make sure none of my audits go delinquent.  This means busy nights trying to write up reports.

  • Since it's our busy season, the reviewers (actually, one reviewer) is short tempered and snarky.  I want to strangle her.

  • Our water heater broke.  There's NOTHING more I'd want to spend $790 dollars on.  Nothing in this world.

  • I had some blood work done recently.  Got the bill.  $799.  There's nothing more I'd like to spend that much money on.  Nothing in this world.  (Side note:  THANK YOU, Obamacare legislation for totally SCREWING over the small business owners who actually TAKE RESPONSIBILITY for themselves....jerk).

  • We're in decision making time as to whether or not to send C. to young 5's or kindergarten next year.  I hate making decisions like this.

  • I played russian roulette with my gut this weekend at the funeral of my philipino neighbor.  Mmmmmm, philipino food.  So good.  I'm pleased to say that their lumpia was wrapped with rice sheets (not wheat), so my only reaction was to the MSG in the dipping sauce.  (Still unpleasant, but not traumatic). 

  • Mmmmm, lumpia.

  • I'm having a relatively productive afternoon where I'm cruising down my to-do list of things that have been pushed aside for too long.  I'm feeling very happy about this.  However, I'm also thinking that I've forgotten to stick some things on the list, therefore, they're not getting done.  I cannot remember what those things are.  But I can just feel that they're undone.

  • It's unseasonably warm (read: HOT) in Michigan right now.  Our high today was 86.  Two of my friends have travelled to warmer locations to escape Michigan winter.....EAT THAT, L.A. and FLORIDA! 

  • I attended my LAST IEP meeting for A. on Monday.  Last one.  :)  No more speech.  After 6 of them, I'm ready for them to be done.  I'm proud of my A and his good s's.  Way to go, kiddo!
Ok, the boys are begging for a snack, and Ally is making a snack of my coffee table.  I'm out!

Happy Wednesday!

Friday, March 16, 2012


It's Friday!!!  Which means I have two glorious days of weekend ahead of me.  Two weekend days filled with fun (ok, and some work and household chores too...but we ignore those. )  I'm excited to spend some extra time with the boys!

I spent the morning with D's cousin's wife who has just been diagnosed as Celiac.  She was horribly overwhelmed ( I remember that feeling well), so I offered to help.  Together, we went through cupboards, talked about cooking and baking, tasted some of my home made concoctions, and we went to the store where I walked her up and down every aisle giving her helpful hints to eat gfree and still come in (almost) under budget.  BONUS!  Her Meijer has the gf Ciabatta bread that I had in Wisconsin last summer.  I haven't been able to find it since.  I was SO excited!

I'm excited about bread.  No, it doesn't take much to excite me.  ;P

1. Will you run to the store or to pick up a kid looking a mess?

Yep.  I will, I have, and I do.

2. Do you finish a book if it's boring or you don't like it?

No, I have better things (and books) to read.
3. Beach or mountain vacations?

Mountains.  Any day.

4. What thing/event says "winter will end and spring is right around the corner" to you?

Easter (usually in Michigan, winter is still hanging around on Easter)

5. Would you prefer couples or family vacation?

Right now, we're in family-mode.  So, I'd rather do a family vacation and create memories with my kids.  I have the rest of my life to be selfish with my time....after they're out of the house.  Time with them under our wing is so short...I want to make the most of it.

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

I'm moving out

That's right.

I'm packing up.

I'm moving out.

I've been wanting to do this for a long, long time.

Move out.

So, when D and I had a discussion, and he told me to start packing,

I was more than happy to comply.

I'm packing up.

And moving everything out of the Love Shack.

Everything that we've needed to live with for the past 6 1/2 years has

(at some point in the past year or so) been packed and moved.

This is all that remains:

(Which, if your counting is 3 bins of stuff, a trampoline, an ironing board and LOTS of empty totes.)

Key word:  empty.

That bookshelf off to the left is actually for a customer of D's.

Interior demolition has started.

My super handy shelves are gone.

The "doors" to the boys rooms have been taken down along with the closet.

(To help you get a feel for how tiny the house really is, I'm standing in the farthest corner
looking across the front of the house.)

Yes, tiny.

The wall between the boys' rooms is down, and another view of the family closet that
has been dismantled.

(Again, tiny house.  I'm up against the back wall looking to the front of the house.)

Hooray for demolition!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Sometimes I get into a funk.  Sometimes I feel like life is pulling me in a million different directions when all I want to do is curl up into a ball and take a nap.

So, instead of doing "have to's", I'm trying to do "get to's."

Instead of saying "You want me to do WHAT now?!?!?!"

I'm doing "no" without guilt* or
"what can I rearrange to accommodate this thing I really feel called to help with?"

*ok, so I'm still working on that guilt thing.

So, I'm doing my list today of things I'm grateful for....

1.  Ally.  She's really feeling her oats lately, but she's aiding me in a toy purge.  The boys leave their toys out and their bedroom door open,'s all fair game.  8 toys down...a gazillion to go.  Thanks, Ally for being the 'bad guy' here.

2.  A low maintenance husband.  I've been way too busy lately for my own good.  Between our busy season at work, MOPS, school stuff, PTL stuff, and a few friends scattered in, I've been pretty much MIA lately.  He's patient and loving, and holds down the fort while I sit in meetings.  I know his patience will reach a limit (sooner than later), but I'm just glad he has a tolerance level in the first place.  (Love you babe!)

3.  The rain.  Yes, it's been gloomy.  But we're expecting a few steamy days this week and next.  Which means we're in for a VERY green and colorful spring. 

4.  Zyrtec.  See number 3.

5.  C.  Last night he woke at midnight from a nightmare.  I found him sweaty, shaking, screaming and his heart was pounding.  I asked him want he wanted to do (because it was a doozie, I was expecting him to say he wanted to sleep with us).  He replied, "I want to pray."  He proceeded to lead me in the sweetest prayer and asked to sing afterward.  We went through three choruses of "I love you, Lord." Before he was calm enough to sleep again.  So thankful he's starting to "get It."

6.  Budgeting.  Today C and I visited Target and Costco.  We got through BOTH stores in UNDER 2 hours and LESS than $250.  That never happens.  I feel like a budgeting rock star.

7.  Deposits.  Today's payroll deposit has put us less than $4000 way from our goal to start the house.  We're SOOOO close!  It's SO worth it to save up and pay cash!  Everything just feels so much sweeter!  GAH!!!  SO CLOSE!

8.  A.  He's growing into such a sweet patient little boy.  He loves doing anything dad does, but he's also so protective of me.  I had a meeting last night (big surprise), and we were in the middle of inclement weather.  He laid awake in bed until I came home to kiss him goodnight (way past his bed time by 2 hours).  By the time I left his room saying "goodnight," he was already cashed out.  My poor tired boy was worried about his mama.

9.  Sunny days.  Perfect for walking a high-energy short-haired puppy.  And getting some vitamin D.  Naturally.

10.  My parents.  Last weekend, my mom was recognized for 35 years in ministry.  We couldn't be there on Sunday morning (obligations at our own church), but thankfully her church has a Saturday night service that we were able to attend.  My dad has always been very supportive of her ministry. I'm grateful for that example.

Top Ten Tuesday at Many Little Blessings

Friday, March 9, 2012


It's Friday already.  It's mid-march.  I am in denial that time is going so quickly. 

Don't forget to spring forward this weekend (ugh).

We've had the weirdest weather lately.  Warm and sunny, warm and windy, chilly, frigid, warm, my poor Mitten state (the real one) is so confused.    I'm ready for the warm and sunny.  So is my short-haired puppy.

D and I found out last night that our neighbor passed away on Wednesday night.  She lived there with her daughter and son-in-law and their 3 kids.  We saw a police trooper there (no lights or sirens).  He came, stayed for 30 minutes, and left.  That's it.  No other vehicles in or out.  I actually found out when her daughter posted it on facebook last night.  This was the lady that named us "honorary philipinos" after attending her surprise 70th birthday party a few years ago.  Ester was a very sweet woman who loved God.  For all of her quirks that we loved to laugh at (hey, SHE laughed too!), it was wonderful living next door to her and chatting with her in our yards.  She will be missed.

On another note, I believe that the "cold-funk" that's been going around our state has finally caught up with our family.  A. started with a stuffy nose, C. followed with an asthma attack and sore throat...and now me.  I'm loading up on Air-Born and vitamin D to help get over it quickly.  All I have to say right now is:

Dear idiot druggies,

Thank you SO much for making the
REAL (effective) Sudafed nearly impossible
to obtain.  You guys are jerk-faces. 

Sincerely, a regular law-abiding
citizen with a sinus headache.

It's a crazy busy weekend, and I still have a TON of work to do today and tomorrow to get caught up.  It's our busy season it's time for me to focus and buckle down.  Let's answer some questions, shall we?
1. Are you looking forward to the time change this weekend?

What about LOOSING an hour of precious, precious sleep is worth looking forward to?!?!?!?

The only nice thing about it is knowing that spring is right around the corner.    I can look forward to that.

2. Are you getting the new iPad/would you want a iPad?

If someone just gave me an ipad, I would not throw it back at them....but we're just not they type of people who need the latest technology gadget all the time in order to feel "connected" or "important."  Just not our style.

3. If money was not a problem, what is the one thing you would splurge on?

THE HOUSE!!!  We'd finish the house in a heart beat!  I'd probably spend the most money in the kitchen- really decking it out.  But I'd also do an awesome deck with a fire place/ chimney off the back.  It's in the plans for someday...but not right away.  So, if money were no object, it would all be 'right away.'

Can you tell I'm ready to be done with the whole-house thingy?

4. How did you and the Mr. (or Mrs.) meet?

Really condensed version:  In a bar.

Short(er) version: I was out one night with some guys that I inherited from a previous relationship.  He and his friends were bar-hopping and showed up where we were.  They knew the guys I was with, so they joined us at our table.  D WEDGED his chair in between mine and another guy's chair.  I poured him a beer from our pitcher.  We chatted, danced, flirted, etc.  He asked for my phone number that night. 

And called me by 4:30 the next day.  :)  sigh.

For the longer version, click's all there.

5. Summer is right around the corner. Bikini or one-piece?

I have a tankini that I wear - only if I can't avoid getting into a suit.  It's actually kinda cute, and the great thing is that I don't have to strip all the way down to nothing in order to go to the bathroom!

Ok, guys...Have a great weekend!  Catch you on the flip side.  :)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Wednesday Random

Random seems to work well for me right now.  I can spit out thoughts in bullet points as they pop into my head....which may or may not give you an indication of how quickly my mind spins from one thing to another.

 And the fact that you still come back and read the blog astounds me.  :)

  • just too darn cute.  She's a smart dog, but not stubborn (like Molly was).  Molly actually had a few bad manners that I'm working diligently at making sure Ally doesn't have.  One of them is good car manners.  So far, Ally has been on a ride at least once a day since we got her.  She's not at all a fan of her as soon as she's a bit older and bigger, I'm excited to get rid of it.  Probably not as excited as she is.
  • Today has been a fantastic day, and things in general are starting to come together in a good direction.  It doesn't hurt that it is 64 degrees out in Michigan today.  :)
  • I have a slew of play dates/ coffee dates/ and just plain-old-get-togethers scheduled for the next few weeks.  I seem to do this every spring when coming out of hibernation from the winter.  I'm excited to reconnect with some friends.
  • Instead of giving something up for Lent, I've decided to be intentional about something for these 40 days.  I'm intentionally picking one person in my life and spending my thoughts that day praying for them.  Who gets on the list?  Well, I'm leaving that up to God.  I'll pray in the morning, and usually within the next few minutes, He'll place someone's name on my heart.  The first few names were of people I really (really, really) didn't like.....apparently, He's got some work to do on me still.  :)  But I prayed for them anyway.
  • I [heart] pistachios
  • I've signed the boys up for spring sports.  A chose baseball again, and C chose soccer league.  Which essentially means a few things: 1) I'm now broke from purchasing equipment/ apparel and 2) next month, I will be crazy busy two nights a week and Saturday mornings.
  • I sat down to watch the Biggest Looser last night, and promptly fell fast asleep.  Ally cuddled up nice a close...and we dozed for 2 hours when I woke, stuck her in the cage and went down to bed.  Apparently, I was one tired girl.
  • It's National Lutheran School's Week this week.  Today was dress-up day (they had chapel today anyway, and usually dress up...but hey...).  It was also "move-up" day.  Each grade got to got pretend to be in the next grade up.  Which meant for an hour this morning, I had a kindergartner and a 3rd grader.  Heaven, help me next fall.
  • It's March 7, and I have yet to fill out my dinner schedule for the month.  Which means I'm haphazardly throwing dinners together.  I have NOTHING thawed or planned for tonight.  Which means one thing:  taco night.
  • A few preparations and demos have been happening inside and outside the Love Shack.  A few interior walls have come down, and landscaping rocks are being moved.  The time is coming soon!

That's all I've got.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Post Molly Update....Ally

After I dropped the bomb on my blog last Thursday, I wanted to do a post Molly update.

First of all, THANK YOU, friends for your support and love as we lost our companion.

It was a LOT harder to put her down than D and I had anticipated.

The anticipation of loosing her was horrific, the actual act of taking her in was traumatic,
but the after math has been peaceful.

I took some photos of her the morning of....upon A's request....

And I'm so glad I did.  I looked back at them the other night and she just looked so miserable.

D saw her afterward (I just couldn't bring myself to go in there), and he said that she looked so peaceful.

The rest of the day we just kinda hung around our house.  Wanting to be close to each other, but not get in each other's way.

Then, I had an unexpected visit from a friend who brought me this lovely little token:

Friday was weird.

  • D had Molly's collar in his pocket, and took it out in the morning.  I heard her tags jingle and it woke me out of a deep sleep.

  • On the way to school, we left and on the way out the door I said, "Be good, Mol...."  Wow...that was a habit.

  • I came home to make calls for work, and after an hour I went upstairs out of habit (I would always let Molly out after working for an hour).

  • I made A's lunch, and dropped the crust on the floor...out of habit.  Then quickly picked it up realizing no one was going to gobble it up.

  • My dear friend, Michelle, dropped a Love Bomb off on my front door that morning and let me know it was there with a sweet text.  (I LOVED my Love Bomb, thank you!!!).  I was just in the basement, and never heard her.  What was erie was that for the first time in 10.5 years, I had no idea that someone was on our property.  Molly ALWAYS made me VERY aware when someone was close to us.

  • I sit and read a book or devotionals every afternoon, and mindlessly put my hand down to pet Molly...where she always sat when I read on the couch.

  • At 5pm, I felt like I was forgetting something....that was when we usually fed Molly her dinner.

It was a weird weird day. 

A very quiet day.

We started researching new dogs right away.  We knew that (as dog people), we didn't want to be without a dog long....but didn't want to rush anything.

Our research (done a year ago when we fleetingly thought of being a 2-dog family) had been narrowed down to 2-3 breeds, so pointed us in the right direction.  We inquired about a few...there were a few that had already been adopted. 
No biggie....wasn't meant to be, I thought.

I was willing to wait until the right dog with the right markings with the right temperament came along.

I ran across a boxer/dalmatian mix that kinda warmed my heart.

We were really interested in boxers (or labs) for our next dog.  And her markings were adorable.

All email inquiries told me that no new information was available on her other than what was on the site...and she would be at an adoption event.....the next day.  Over an hour east of our house.

I asked the boys if they wanted to go to grandma and grandpa's house or look at a dog the next day.

They both SCREAMED "DOG DOG DOG!"  (sorry mom)

So, the next we went.  I told the boys that there was a good chance we would come home empty handed.  That this decision was one we were stuck with for the next decade...and we needed to wait for the right one.  But she was at least worth looking at.

When I first laid eyes on her, I was guarded.  Sure, she was cute....and she wasn't barking or biting.  She was loving and licking a lot.  The boys took to her right away.  She just licked on them as much as she could. 

I talked to the foster mom about her mannerisms.  She'd been in a kill-shelter before the rescue found her.  She was supposed to be euthanized last month.  The foster mother has had her in a puppy pen ever since.  She's never been outside, never been on a leash...nada.

I called Dave, and talked in length to him.  Hung up, left the pet store and called him again for more conversation.  Eventually, he said it was up to me and left it at that.

I went back in and the foster mom said I had 5 days to return her if she turned out not to be the dog for us.  Then I was sold.  I signed the paperwork and she was ours.  As I signed my name, THREE other families came to claim her as their own. 
Sorry, snooze, you loose!

So...I drove home with a new dog in the front seat calling her by her name we had chosen....


(yes, after Ally Sheedy...the next member of our Brat Pack)

So far, she's been a really good dog.  She is SO loving, a HUGE cuddler (a dog after my own heart), and very intelligent.  We've already taught her how to sit, and we're working on potty training....but that's coming along.  She sits well in the car, although we'll have to teach her some more riding manners.  We have yet to hear her bark.  She's got a great temperament with the boys.

I'm just so grateful I listened to my gut and got her when I did. 

I hesitated only because I didn't want to rush the decision-making on a new dog, but she was actually everything I was looking for.

She sleeps well, and has learned to walk well with the harness.

Since she has a short coat, we'll have to look into jackets for her during cooler months here in Michigan...(D is none too thrilled about it hehe).  I figured, I'll pull out the sewing machine and some Michigan fleece w/ wool lining and make my own.  Then he'll be proud to walk her.  :)

I just love her little underbite.  D and I refer to her a "bubba gump."  :)

And while she keeps our house busy, and fills our faces with smiles, I still find myself missing my old Molly girl.  She was my girl for over 1/4 of my to loose that routine and that connection is hard to handle.  But I'm looking forward to a new chapter as well.  Hopefully Ally will pick me too.  :)

Friday, March 2, 2012


Friday, Friday.  What a week.

I'm exhausted.  In every sense of the word. 

On the plus side, D is taking the boys to basketball by himself tonight so I can have a fun fondue night with my friends.  Just what this lady needs.  :)

Ok...let's answer some questions, shall we?

1. Where is your favorite vacation spot and why?

I'm not exactly what you would call a "seasoned traveler" only because I don't go on a vacation every year.  The places I've been to are probably my favorites because of the people I was with and the memories I've created there.

My ultimate favorite was Europe.  Specifically the Rhine river cruise we took and we saw so much of the beautiful German countryside.  It was gorgeous, and probably one of the most relaxing days of our 2 week tour of Europe.  I loved loved loved it, and I loved that D was there with me.

2. What is your biggest guilty pleasure?

Does blogging count?  It's strangely therapeutic.

Or going out with my friends.  Or chocolate.

Or a massage.

Any of those will work.  :)

3. What is your favorite fashion trend right now? Or, in the past?

Ugh...I'm not a fan of this question.

Honestly, I don't consider myself a trendy person.  I don't follow trends because I "want to be like eveyrone else."  I just want to be me.  IF there's something in the store that works for me, my body type, my wallet, and my personality...and IF it happens to be a trend, well....that's fine.

But I don't scour magazine ads or watch fashion articles just to "fit in."  I consider that a waste of time.

I do like my chandelier earrings, though.  I'm told that those are "in" right now.  But, chances are if I like them now, I'll like them forever...and will continue to wear them even after they're considered "cool." 

And I'm perfectly ok with that.

4. What are your spring break plans?

Work.  Work. Work.

And spend some awesome quality time with the boys. home.

5. What baby names do you hate?
Is this a trick question?!?!?    What if there are names I hate that are names of my friend's kids who I'm not sure if they read the blog or not....GAH.
Actually, I really don't hate any names...because they belong to precious human beings, who are worthy of respect and admiration.  And just because I'm not a fan of names doesn't mean that they are bad names....they're just not my favorite.
So...a few names that aren't my particular favorite: 
1.  Any boy's name that ends with "-den".  Only because there's a TON of them out there for the last 5 years or so, and the name is saturated.  Our Dr. office actually THANKED me for naming my kids "regular names" because it was getting very confusing in their office.  I know this category includes my nephew and my friend's child, and those boys are very precious....just not the name for me.
2.  And name that I need to ask "how do you spell it?"  If it's hard to figure out how to pronounce with just phoenics, don't name your kid that!  Kindergarten is hard enough.

BUT, naming your child is your porogative.  I mean no offense to anyone.  I promise.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

She picked me.

For those of you who aren't dog-people, this post is not for you.

You see, my Molly-girl has been acting sick for a week or so.

On Tuesday I took her to the vet because she wasn't bouncing back.

Lab results showed kidney failure.

Her labs were so high, they were literally off the charts.

There's no cure for kidney failure.

Just treatment.  Very expensive treatment that will only prolong her life for 6 months to a year.

And that wasn't even a guarantee to work for that long.  Just prolong her pain.

The vet actually recommended that we have mercy on Molly, and put her down.

Ohhhh, soooo not the words I wanted to hear.

So....that's what we did.
This afternoon.

One minute, she's here....                                                  

                                       ...and just like that, she's gone.

My baby girl is gone.

Some people just don't get it.

They can't grasp how someone could be heartbroken by the loss of a pet.

Yes, she's a pet...but I'm her person.

She picked me.

Each dog will gravitate (or choose) a person in their "pack" to be their anchor.

The person they love the most.

I was her person.

This earned me her respect, her protection, her whimpers, and her unconditional love.

When she was scared, she searched for me.

When she was happy, she searched for me.

When she was sick, she searched for me.
(which actually wasn't the best deal for me...cause I ended up cleaning it up)

When she wanted to cuddle, she searched for me.

If we were out walking as a family, she walked by me.
(no matter WHO was holding her leash)

There's a special bond between a dog and their person.

Most of it is unspoken. 


She always kept tabs on me.

When I was sick, she didn't leave my side.

And then she got sick, and I stayed by hers as much as I could.

And when I couldn't....she'd move her sick butt over to be near me.

And so now, she's gone.

I'm sad. 

I'm more than just a dog person without a dog.

I'm a dog's person without her dog.

I'll miss you, baby girl.
Thank you for picking me.