Sunday, March 15, 2015

what's meant to be, is meant to be.

i read something awhile ago that resonated with me. the article spoke about how human nature is to look for patterns in things. we tend to relate things to other things that really don't have anything to do with each other. or we try to find meaning in things that have no meaning at all. i think this struck a cord with me because i read this after shortly after layla passed away. and, as most of you know, also shortly after layla died, we adopted denali. as hard as we tried not to, we related a lot of things denali does to her.

her sweetness. her desire to be loved. her lean. her sass. her need for snuggles. her dominating personality. her gimpy leg.

the signs all pointed to "she was meant to be." and i don't doubt it for a minute, but we attributed it to her similarities to layla, not her own "denaliness". but we try our hardest not to. because she is denali. not layla. we also know we chose her for other reasons.

to save her. to complete our home. companionship. love.

as much as she is different from layla, because she is an independent and stubborn lady, she will forever remind us of her. her adoption date will always be near layla's passing date. her leg issues will always be a reminder of layla's end of life struggles. her sweetness, love, and zest will always remind us of our peppy and happy girl.

and as much as we try not to make up patterns and try not to relate her to layla. i find that it is ok that we do. denali helped this grieving house. she did not replace layla, no other dog ever could, but she did help complete our family again. she brought life back into our home. she brings energy, craziness, and excitement.

as much as i try to separate denali from layla, it's tough. just today i was setting up her microchip information that that i finally received. the rescue organization had input some information to her online profile. so, when i logged on it had her name, birth date, etc. it was exciting to see her birth date on there because we have always been kind of unsure of the exactly date.

do you know who she shares a birthday with?


if this isn't a fucking sign, i don't know what is. she was definitely meant for us.


Friday, March 13, 2015

life's lemons

hello and happy friday!

i often do not try to write about the "boring" details of our every day life. i certainly want to share our world with you, but my goal is to share the things that make it special - whether those things are amazing, ridiculous, challenging or heartbreaking. but the every day, whereas it is special in its own way, i am certain you do not care that i pay bills, walk my dogs and go to the gym.

yet, i haven't written in a while. that is because our every day has been extra busy. we are moving. life has been consumed by packing our home away. actually today, and this weekend were supposed to be moving weekend.

but it no longer is.

our home that we are moving into had a pipe freeze, then burst, which flooded the entire home. naturally the clean up and remodel process has taken longer than anticipated. they hope to have it completed in two weeks. i really want to be upset by all of this. but mostly, i am just sad. i am so excited to move into our new home. it is bigger, has a yard for our sweet pups, and in a nice neighborhood. and this enormous maintenance issue is really no one's fault. so who could i even be mad at? who could i blame? there is no use is being upset. we now just have more time to pack away our final items, clean out cabinets, touch up walls and do anything else at our current home.

plus, our weekend is now WIDE open. we are free as a bird. we can enjoy some beautiful spring-like weather and play outside.

when life hands you lemons, there is no use in being angry or throwing them back at life. use them to make sweet lemonade. you often can't change what has happened, you can only make a plan and move forward.

this plumbing failure at our new home really sucks. however, it was beyond our control. furthermore, i am so glad it happened while the home was vacant. no one's possessions were ruined. and even if we are delayed, now we will move in to a an even more beautiful home.

so, instead of "enjoying" our weekend moving into a new home, we are going to enjoy our suddenly free weekend playing.

life is always an adventure. enjoy the ride.


Saturday, February 14, 2015

valentine's day: where did it begin?

so, today is valentine's day.

i notice that a lot of people tend to respond to valentine's day with a scrooge like attitude. i love you everyday, i don't need a special day to remind me. [umm, anniversary, anyone?] i don't need someone telling me when i should love you. it's a hallmark holiday. 

the origins of valentine's day dates back almost 2000 years. so, i'd say it is far from a hallmark holiday. the stories of how valentine's day truly originates does conflict. some say it was rooted in an ancient roman festival, lupercalia, in which young men would strip naked and slap women with dog or goat skin to increase fertility. some say there were several christian st. valentines that were martyrs. all in the name of love. one valentine married young men when it was outlawed due to war. single young men were entered into the draft whereas married men were not. valentine found this unfair to love and married young men in secret. another valentine was jailed when he fell in love with the warden's daughter. he would send her love notes signed "your valentine." both valentines were eventually killed.
and over the centuries the holiday has changed and evolved to sending love notes, cards, and gifts. it is celebrated all over the world.

the origins are forever uncertain, but one thing remains true - valentine's day is a day of love.

what truly is wrong with a day of love? some say they do not require a reminder of days to love. collectively, as humans, i think we do. i think we need more than one day a year to remind us to love each other. to fill this world with compassion. kindness. affection.
our world is filled with so much hate. so much intolerance. so much greed. so much violence.
days of love would kill anyone. [seriously.]

imagine if we filled our world with days, weeks, months of love. imagine if we bred love. compassion. tolerance. acceptance. patience. hope. imagine how peaceful our world could be? imagine if we loved first? can you imagine how amazing that would feel....

a day of love, not only for our significant others, but for our neighbors, strangers, friends, enemies; is essential to our survival. loving those around us makes this world a sweeter place. it makes it a safer place.

the feelings of love are far better than the feelings of the alternative. celebrating love - any love, is always worth celebrating. we do need constant reminders to love. to love each other and support each other, especially in a world filled with so much negativity.

i love love. celebrating it and living it is a magnificent way to live. love should always win.

i love all of you and hope you enjoy this beautiful day of love!


happy valentine's day!


valentine's day history source:
day of love - complex origins

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

life's little moments

last weekend was nothing out of the ordinary. other than it was exceptional.

sharing with you the "things" we did will show that it was in fact, regular and just as i said, nothing special. at least, not at face value. here is a small piece of what made the weekend amazing.

the husband + friends went to a regularly schedule hockey game. while we were there, we noticed that after hockey games on friday and saturday nights, the arena has a dance club + full service bar open to all who attended the game. we thought, "hell yeah! let's check that shit out."

so we did. it was everything an arena dance club could be. it was a regular conference room divided by partitions. you know, every club needs partitions. there was a strobe-ish light. the music was fantastic. all of your favorite songs completely club remixed. any song, from any decade, club style. we danced our faces off. it was a sight to be seen.

we let loose and did not care who tuned into our dance show. after all, if the 9-years-olds could boogie down, so could we. we laughed, sweated, and neglected to take any pictures. the time spent at the arena dance club was pure joy. moments that were not lost on any of us. we were completely absorbed in this novel experience that was just so much damn fun. it didn't hurt that so many songs of our youth were played. blackstreet, anyone?

any moment that is shared with people i love in moments that make me lose track of time and bring me true happiness, i'll repeat that shit. every single day.

and that is how last weekend felt. ALL of it. extraordinary. exceptional.


Sunday, January 18, 2015

the flu and you

so, the flu has over taken my home and workplace. keith and i both have it, the other teacher in my classroom has it, and countless children have been out of school with it. plus, who knows how many of them have it undiagnosed. being sick with the flu is a whole new level of sick. it's not something you can manage to struggle through a of work with [very well]. it makes you feel delirious. sensory perception is wayyyyy off. not to mention body aches and fatigues, to name a few. so, i'd like to share with you guys our journey with the flu. listed below are some of the things we've experienced, and it's not even over yet. flu, get on up outta here!


extreme sleeping. sleeping 40 of 48 hours has become the norm. 

sleep has now become a full-time job. this is because we are so exhausted we can hardly move. keeping our eyes open truly is work. 

food is no longer a priority. it all is disgusting. saltines and soup. that's it, if at all. however, if i could get an IV drip of fluids, i'd be in heaven. I'M SO THRISTY. 

a shower after 3 days without one feels magical. 

heating up tea, then forgetting about it leads to the ceramic tea pot bursting. thanks flu, for increasing my scatterbrainedness. as if i needed that. 

creating a swimming pool in your bed because you sweated ALL NIGHT LONG because your fever finally broke. yay! but now all the sheets, blankets, everything must be thrown out.

still sleeping in separate beds because one of us is still way sicker than the other. 

life with a puppy is now truly the most exhausting life ever. JUST LET ME SLEEP. 

binge watching on netflix has a whole new meaning. i started watching "hard time", a nat geo documentary. i was half way through it before i realized it is five years old. whatever. and then highly disappointed when the series ended after only six shows. SIX. what am i to watch now?! that is no binge watching...six shows. pssshh.

activity of the day: making kale soup, which was literally the easily thing to do. ingredients, get them and throw them in a pot. and done. this activity was also the most exhausting. 

did i mention the exhaustion? 

thinking you are on the mend and then the flu just laughs in your face.

deciding to go to work only because you haven't been all week. you go because you feel "you should" not really because "you can".

your spouse shows concern about the amount of weight you've lost. you know, because now you are so thin you look sickly. thanks, flu!

snot, phlegm, hacking, clogged head [just to name a few] have become accepted as part of the daily routine.

new household uniform: PAJAMAS and HOODIES with a blanket in tow.

i am happy to say, we are on the mend [finally!], and only minor symptoms are hanging around [stuffy head, fatigue]. i was fortunate to have a "mild" case of the flu, but i saw it's true effects on keith and my co-workers and i wouldn't wish that on anyone.

stay healthy this winter!!


Friday, January 9, 2015

a new year, a new you!

it's january!

that means it's time to get right. there are new workout plans. new fad diets. new, crazy "lose weight fast" plans. i've gotten plenty of fliers requesting me to join their gym for a nominal fee. i've also seen plenty of "runners" out on the street. and don't forget about those weight watches and jenny craig commericals.

i am happy for anyone who wants to make their body right. but it's hard work. it's a commitment and a lifestyle change. there is nothing "fast" about it. i've been doing what i've been doing for almost two years now and i still tweak it and change it to keep improving myself.

i have no huge goals for january or this year, other than to keep kicking ass [pretty great goal, eh?]. although, here are a few things i will be working on.

my strict workout plan:
i still do everyday. currently they are doing "HIITMAX" each day they post a video that is at least 12 minutes long. you start with workout 1 on monday. then on tuesday you will do workout 1 again and add the new video, workout 2. then on wednesday you will do workout 1, workout 2, and add workout 3....and so on until friday. it's really tough. i haven't been able to complete all five videos at one time, if that tells you anything.

here is the link for the first HIITMAX: workout 1 [if you'd like to check it out]
that post will explain the format in greater detail.

here is a link for the current "season". each "season" is 4/5 weeks long.
HIITMAX - season 3: workout 51 [start with fit test] and workout 52

in addition, each month bodyrock posts a calendar challenge, such as situps and pushups, or burpees. each day [or week] it progressively gets harder/more intense. i never choose to do them. well, this month i am. it is a combination of burpees, pushups, squats, and skipping [jumping rope].
check it out here: dailyhiit blog - january "just go" challenge

for the most part, i've always maintained a good eating regime. almost all homemade, organic, and clean diet. this month i want to eat as clean as possible. that means packaged foods. no pretzels, no tortilla chips. no beer [gasp!]. no eating out [although, we have a few farm-to-table restaurants that i could probably eat at].
the few things i kept: vanilla yogurt, whole milk, and coffee.

it takes a lot of planning to make sure there is enough food to feed this hungry face. especially when it all must be made from scratch. ALL OF IT. but it's fun to create new recipes and things to eat.

other thoughts...
i want to challenge myself more physically. so we will be looking to sign up for more 5k races, even if they are silly in nature. the first race? hopefully cupid's undie run in raleigh. and no, i am not kidding.

we also are going to join the gym [yes, even after i made the smart ass gym comment]. that probably won't happen for a couple of months due to other life events. we want to make sure we are using what we are paying for. so my best guess is april. we want to be a part of the gym for access to more things - variety of cardio machines, weights, classes, racquet ball, indoor pool, outdoor equipment [kayaks!]. this will also amp up our exercise regime and performance.

whew. that's a lot for just january. i'll follow up in february. but so far, so good. :)

do you have diet/exercise goals for this year?


Monday, December 22, 2014

rest sweetly now, layla

our lives changed forever on december 1.

it has taken me three weeks to even think about writing about this. as most of you already know, our sweet layla passed away.

it is difficult to describe the emotions that come with making a life ending medical decision for an animal you have shared your life with for 12 years.

heart broken.

we knew it was the best thing to do for her. based on the condition of her rapidly deteriorating legs, the vet determined she probably had a nerve and/or bone cancer. she was surprised layla's shoulder had not popped out of its socket yet.

there was nothing for us to do to save her.

it was only going to get worse.

she was living [and dying] in pain.

the hardest part about losing a pet is that they have become a part of your family. they are a part of your life. you have come to love and cherish them. you plan vacations around them [or including] them. they are a part of your day. you teach them things as they teach you things. you snuggle and play together. they make you happy.

animals teach us [or remind us] of compassion. loyalty. LOVE. wanting to please. happiness. pure joy. running and playing JUST BECAUSE. how to properly greet someone [slopping wet kisses, of course]. comfort. LOVE.

layla was all of these things. and so much more. she and i have lived in countless homes [eight...i think], been on even more trips and car rides. she's had many doggie friends [and doggie non-friends]. she was a prissy lady who was in charge. she was obedient, yet stubborn. she never met a human she didn't like [after all, they were going to love on her and give her pets - her all time favorite]. she was easily excited and always in the mix.

she shared everything with us. laughter. tears. joy. sickness. successes. loss. struggles. celebrations. she was there for it all. she was always by our side. she supported us as much as we did for her.

stanley laying with layla when she was really sick. what sweetness.

the more pets we have, the more i have learned that they just want to love and be loved.
and it hurts my heart that i can't love on her. ever again.

as much as it hurts every bit of my heart to lose my girl, sharing her life, well, i wouldn't trade it for anything.

12 years. so much happens in 12 years. i am so lucky to have had layla during such a challenging, chaotic and wonderful time in my life.
often times she was the only thing that was consistent. her loyalty and compassion never wavered. no matter what i was going through. she saw some pretty rough and dark days. she was always my shining light.

she was always there. to love. and be loved.

love your animals and your humans. i had 12 amazing years with my sweet dog. but often times we aren't granted so much time. we are never promised tomorrow. so hug your family and friends, sweetly squish your pets, and let them all that you love them.

because they love you too. as do i. thank you all for your love, support and compassion now and always. we can't thank you enough for being the amazing people that you are.

perhaps this wasn't the best pre-christmas post ever, but it was time for me to get out of my heart and head and down on "paper".

lots and lots and lot of love to you all.

happy holidays and merry christmas to everyone!