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I’m in a weird state of wanting and having so many things to write about – but somehow I just haven’t made the time. I have a feeling in a few weeks I may be writing a lot more again.

I’m currently 33 weeks and 2 days pregnant. Holy moly time flies when you’re pregnant. I’m officially in the getting uncomfortable stage. There are still moments/hours where I forget I’m pregnant (seriously, sometimes I feel so normal) but now there are more and more moments (usually at night) where I feel very much pregnant. I can’t always catch my breath, can’t get comfortable, piercing back pains (mid and upper back, not lower like I expected), hip pain, feeling super hungry then super full, and lots of tossing and turning at night.

I’m also sort of over all the pregnancy comments and advice at this point. I take it all in stride, and truthfully it’ll probably only get worse once I have a newborn but it’s funny how much and what people comment about. The amount of people who will negatively comment about what I choose to not eat/drink it so surprising (I guess I expected it the other way, people telling me not to eat or drink things versus questioning when I don’t). It’s funny because I know people who have gone on such restrictive diets – be in juice cleanses, paleo, whole30, whatever the case to lose weight (in a healthy or even not so healthy way) and choose not to eat things because it doesn’t make them feel good or impacts them in some way (the amount of dairy free, gluten-free, caffeine free, etc. friends I have has I swear doubled) – and yet when I say no, sorry, I’m not drinking any alcohol, no I’m not eating lunch meats, etc. it becomes almost an argument. “you really can’t have any? Would once really be that bad? Is this little bit of cheese really going to do anything?” It’s like…giving up some unpasteurized cheese, runny eggs, or a glass of wine for 9 months – is nothing compared to making sure this is a healthy baby that I don’t hurt in any way shape or form. More than ever I care about what I am putting into my body because it’s not just about me. At the same time too, I would never ever judge anyone for what they decide to do or not do when pregnant. I would never, ever forgive myself it anything happened as a result of that one time. If they comfortable doing something – it’s their body and their baby – it’s not something I would ever comment on! I mean… do you know how many nights in a row I have eaten rocky road ice cream? Maybe someone should comment on that, ha. 🙂

I have these moments where I feel so lucky, blessed and excited (borderline impatient) for this little girl to arrive. Then to be honest I am having more and more moments of fear. It’s so soon! I just can’t fathom how things will change. How the Husband and I will change, how it won’t just be “us” anymore, how it will impact Bentley, how tired I’ll be, if I’ll feel alone at all, what if I don’t feel the immediate connection with her and I’m not a “natural” mom? What if I completely feel lost and depressed by staying home for 14 weeks – and not working – something I have done since the age of 13 without break. What if I take out my tired/frustration/fears on the Husband and we totally crumble? What if all we can talk about – to each other and everyone else – is diapers and poop and babies?

Things with Bentley have been a little crazy over the past few weeks – but somehow I think it all worked out for the best. Long story short, we got a call two weeks or so ago that right after Bentley was dropped at his daycare, he bit another dog. Apparently a dog was jumping on him, the owner saw Bentley growl at the dog, the dog kept jumping on him and Bentley turned his head and bit the dog. He bit her right on the head so it caused an open gash and that dog had to go to the vet. Unfortunately, the daycare owner said he just can’t watch the dogs that closely – and that Bentley seems to want to be able to have personal space throughout the day at different times and since this is one open room for 30 dogs, that doesn’t work and unfortunately now that he has bitten another dog, he just isn’t allowed to return. In other words, my dog got expelled!

I had some immediate reactions when I got the call. First, like a failed parent, I felt embarrassed. Then upset. Then, and maybe I’m rationalizing it, a little annoyed. I mean he admitted to seeing Bentley show a warning sign – and still did not separate them. Then totally overwhelmed – we were about to go away to a wedding in Baltimore the week after, and where would he stay if not at his normal daycare? Then I took action, as fast as I could. First the Husband picked him up, and the owner reiterated the story – and apparently seemed sad about it since they like him and he’s been going there for a year now, but quickly we started realizing – maybe he doesn’t love it as much as we thought. And maybe a place with that many dogs and no personal space isn’t the best place for him anyway, especially with his aloof shepherd qualities. And so I quickly found an alternative for boarding – a place actually closer to us that my Aunt brings her two dogs (who would also be boarded at the same time since she and my uncle were coming to the same wedding). In the end Bentley had his own kennel and run, and was taken out twice a day to play with his Westie cousin dogs, and walked by the Mom and daughter who own the place. He got rave reviews and came home happy and exhausted.

In terms of a daycare – I think we are realizing – maybe he doesn’t need 3+ days of daycare a week. Instead, we have found a new place that he is doing a trial at today, also closer to home, where we can bring him if he likes it maybe 1x a week just to get his zoomies out and keep him socialized. I was completely honest with the woman about what happened at the previous daycare and so they will begin with “day boarding” – where he gets his own room, toys, and will be taken out on 5 short walks a day and will meet dogs one by one through a fence or in the play yard if they see it as a good fit. If he enjoys being around the other dogs, then he will join playtime with a maximum group of 7 dogs with the same temperament. All dogs have “nap/quiet time” in their own rooms from 12:30-2:30 which I think is a good break for him anyway. So we’ll see how it goes. Overall reducing his daycare will save us a couple hundred a month!

I have to admit, one of the best things about keeping him home – while it makes me feel bad that he sits in the house on my non WFH days from about 11am-6pm alone – is that the Husband and I are actually spending more quality time with him. He used to come home from daycare so utterly exhausted he would go up to the bed and sleep. Now we play more outside (he loves to sprint through the yard, but only if we are outside watching), we’re doing tricks and training again at night – lots of puzzles, he seems to enjoy being in the house more and is almost always by our sides, and he’s already being a bit more social with people when they come over. It only takes about 10-15 minutes of sprints outside to completely exhaust him, something I can easily do in the mornings before work and at night when I get home. To be honest, I forgot how much fun I have when we play and do training, and most of the time, he seems content to just be around us.

I’m going through a strange phase at work. One minute I’m pushing hard, focused, and getting so much done (I think preparing to be out) and then moments of pure impatience, frustration with little things, and just wanting to get to the point where I’m going out on leave. I know I will want to go out feeling like I got everything I could done, so I need to spend the next few weeks really focusing on work.

I’m also going through a phase where I really want to make an effort to make plans and spend time with friends and family while I can – but more specifically – positive people who also make an effort too. I’m sort of tired of trying so hard when it’s not reciprocated or leaving hangouts feeling negative or mentally exhausted and drained, especially when I have some new (well not new, but not my regular core group) making a good effort to see me. I have dinner with a handful of girlfriends this Wednesday, dinner with two old college friends who I don’t see often but one is about a month behind me in her pregnancy, on Thursday, a full day of brunch and my sister’s dance show on Saturday with my Mom, my Mother-in-law, Sister-in-law and two family friends, then mid next week dinner with my old boss and coworker. I’m also trying to keep some time free on weekends for organizing and cleaning in preparation of the baby. The Husband and I also have a full Saturday birthing class coming up, as well as a night where we tour/go through the practice triage process in the hospital, a friend’s birthday that I’m hoping to spend some time with her celebrating, my baby shower later this month (with a few college friends making it a big girls sleepover weekend – the highlight of my month!), and more. I think January is going to fly by!

Funny story, the Husband and I had a wedding down in Baltimore over New Year’s Eve. It was actually so fun, even at 8 months pregnant and sober, and I loved getting all the extra family time for the few days (with moments of course of I NEED SPACE). My cousin, who was the one getting married, actually shares a friend with B (yes, that B). Ironically, this friend and his wife are pregnant, so my cousin sat them at our table, also with my sister and cousins. Somehow they ended up sitting right next to the Husband. I didn’t actually put two and two together until halfway through dinner – and I never said anything to him or anyone about it. What is sort of funny about it though is that there were SO many glasses on the table (4 per person, plus any glasses people brought with their own drinks from the bar) so when the husband sat down at one point he hit a champagne glass that went flying and COVERED this guy (he might as well have thrown it directly in his face). He took it very nicely, and I could tell the Husband felt so bad (but at 230lbs, 6’3 and a regular bull in a china shop he just can’t be near that many glasses). I have no idea if he connected who I was, but hopefully he doesn’t think it was on purpose. Well, actually I don’t really care as I’ll never see them again. 😉

My dreams lately when I do sleep, are crazy. I think my fears and anxieties are coming into play in my sleep because I have had countless dreams of fighting with friends, including a fist fight with my best friend from home (which is hilarious to think about in real life because it would never, ever happen). A number of dreams and scenarios of the Husband either cheating on me (and me seeing it, ugh) or him not paying attention to me and me feeling really sad and alone. It doesn’t take much to see what my dreams are getting at, but man I wish they would stop. As it is I’m practically an insomniac at this point and when I do sleep, to wake up feeling like crap after a dream like that really isn’t fun.

Somehow over the Holiday time off the Husband and I watched 4 movies. Gone Girl, the Good Lie, the Equalizer and This is Where I leave You. I read Gone Girl so had been dying to see it, but as always the case, it just wasn’t as good as the book. I swear in the book they did a better job of making you hate them equally, while in the movie, you have far more hate towards the wife. The Husband also figured out the plot far earlier than I did in the book – be it his detective skills or the hints were just easier to pick up on. The Good Lie was a great movie, based off the Lost Boys from Sudan and it definitely made us remember how damn lucky we are in America and with what we have. The Equalizer was silly – the Husband liked it because it was Denzel and it was a revenge type of movie – it was predictable but entertaining. This is Where I Leave You was my favorite and just my type of movie. The kind that is a little dark, funny, makes you laugh/cry and sort of is just an honest look at regular life and being an adult.

I think from now on I may just write more. My posts may not be put together, grammatically correct, or even make any coherent sense – but I miss writing so much. I miss pouring out my thoughts, memories and experiences even if they are just for me to reread one day.

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I can’t believe I’m into my third trimester of pregnancy already. I swear, sometimes I feel like time is just flying.

At 29 weeks and 2 days (7 months, 1 week and 2 days) pregnant I’m…

Feeling pretty good still. Although for the first time I’m starting to really feel pregnant. My stomach feels expanded, my left rib hurts, my back is sore and I’m falling asleep on the couch by 10pm every night but then waking up with crazy insomnia.

Loving the kicking and movement. As strange as it is (it really is odd at first) it’s been fun to share the movement with everyone else. The Husband can feel it at night when we’re sitting on the couch and she seems to be the most active and riled up. Sometimes she even keeps me from falling asleep because I swear she’s doing jumping jacks.

As excited, and happy and blessed as I feel and truly can’t wait to meet her I’m having these crazy strange nostalgic moments. Like sometimes I get almost sad thinking, it’ll never be just Husband and myself again (ha, or Husband, myself and Bentley). I’m also having these (more so fleeting) thoughts of I’ll never quite get to schedule things the way I want anymore – like just going to a flywheel class when I want to, or staying late at work. I know it’ll all work itself out and we will create a new normal, just like with Bentley, but it is interesting to go through this set of emotions too.

Also, I never even posted about the amazing babymoon weekend we took to Stowe, Vermont. If I could recommend one thing to do during pregnancy, this would be it. Let’s just say it was a lot of eating, sleeping and just relaxing and it was magical.

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I’m also going through what I imagine is more nesting. Which I L-O-V-E. Hello can I just be that productive all the time? I hammered out 72 Christmas cards just because I HAD to the other night. I am constantly organizing, purging, cooking and cleaning and slowly feeling like things in the house have a place, and I love everything that’s actually in the house. The only struggle I’m facing now is that with being more tired the last week or so, it’s hard to do all the things I want (need in my mind) to do.

I experienced my first cold while sick and that was probably the most brutal thing ever. Everything hurt, and not being able to take a darn thing was really frustrating.

To be honest I’m also getting a little scared. Scared that I have no control over when I’ll actually have her. For all I know I could go early in the next 6 weeks – but then I could be late and that means I still have 11 weeks left! Scared that being out of work for a few months will make it hard to return – like I won’t be as good at my job anymore. Scared that I won’t get to see my friends as much and miss out on a lot of things. Scared that I’ll become one of those Moms that only wants to talk about babies, and baby things, and gives up her life. I know that’s not me and who I am, but I can’t fathom what this all will be like. I’m scared that I’ll go crazy with too much family time and help after her birth (everyone keeps scheduling trips and planning times to stay with us and help but didn’t really ask us what help is needed, and add in that the Husband’s parents want to stop by daily…) I know I can’t picture it and maybe I’ll appreciate the help but all I can envision is not getting a second alone with my daughter, bleeding out of many orifices, and trying to walk around half-naked to feed my child and then there are people…everywhere.

I’m scared that Bentley will feel so out-of-place. I’m so tired of people saying once we have this baby he will just become a dog or we’ll “forget about him” because I can promise you, we won’t. I love that dog fiercely and while I know he isn’t my child, whether it’s difficult or not – that dog is part of our family and will always have a place with us. Maybe not as big of a place in our bed though…

MUST be squished between us. (He appears much smaller than his 60lb body actually is.)

MUST be squished between us. (He appears much smaller than his 60lb body actually is.)

And truthfully, I’m most scared of messing her up. I constantly watch women and girls now – I can see these glaring insecurities, jealousies, unhappiness, and unfavorable traits and how do you make sure not to do something that will totally mess up your child’s life and cause issues like that? What if I say or do one thing, and it spirals into an eating disorder, or a need for the wrong attention? What if the Husband isn’t as active as I want and that takes a toll on her, and one that unfortunately I can’t fill because she needs her Daddy.

Somehow though, even among the fears and discomfort, it all just feels so right now, more than ever. I just cannot wait to start this chapter of our lives.

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Tuesday afternoon I treated myself to a prenatal massage. I was a little nervous not knowing exactly what to expect and if it would be comfortable or not and was surprised to see that I was still lying face down for the first part – just on top of a bunch of pillows with a sort of belly area in the middle. The first half of the massage was pretty good, although without her being able to put pressure on my lower back (where my pain is right now) it was less pain/muscle soreness reducing and more relaxing. About 20 minutes in, I was practically in a sleep state when I felt the softest flutter in my stomach. The only way to explain it is like butterfly wings moving down the inside my stomach for just a second. In my head I immediately thought, oh my God I feel the baby, but seeing as this is my first, wasn’t really sure. The massage continued on, and while I love a good massage, I’ll be honest and say I’m not sure it was worth the money in the end. Anyway, last night as I was going to bed, about 20 minutes after trying to fall asleep and just lying there, the flutter happened again. Just once, and so softly, but I swear I felt it. I don’t think I have felt it since though…

Tuesday night while Husband and I were grilling dinner (buying that grill has been the best purchase ever) I was playing with Bentley. At one point I had a stick in my hand and was pretending to throw it so he was running while looking at me and BAM into the deep end (10 feet deep) of the pool he fell. Now I know what everyone is thinking – dogs can swim – all dogs can swim – but I swear mine can’t. We have tried to get him to slowly go into ponds, oceans, etc. and he’ll wade but whenever he gets deep he sort of panics and thrashes versus swimming. So he fell in and I immediately went over to see him bobbing under and above water with his butt and back legs completely sinking. I pulled him out and he shook himself off and then went playing along and…I cried. He’s shown no interest in the pool but the idea of him falling in really freaks me out. The next warm day I’m taking a page from Caesar Milan and getting in the pool with him and showing him how to get out via the steps at the shallow end. Last night he kept trying to get out of the side but the water isn’t high enough, and I worry after 10 minutes of that … who knows.

I’m loving our house. I still don’t quite feel settled or unpacked by any means, but the progress between the renovations being done and the painting is amazing.

I’m ridiculously into the show Big Brother. It’s a show that has apparently been on for like 10+ years and I have never once watched an episode until this year and somehow I found myself hooked. It’s so stupid and silly and yet… it’s the one summer show I’m watching.

When we got married and got all our wedding presents, aside from gifts cards, rather than take them to our apartment at the time, we kept them at my in-laws. We have just started bringing them all over to our house and OMG it’s like Christmas! All new dishes, pots, pans, grill set, pillows, and more.

Tall decaf non-fat cappuccino with one pump cinnamon dulce…oh my word delicious. My new favorite drink that I can pretend is caffeinated.

I am finally starting to feel like a human again. Happy, energized, excited, and (mostly) non-nauseated!

90’s on 9 (satellite radio) or Spotify best of the 90’s playlist = sure fire way to find me singing and dancing as I apparently know the lyrics of every damn 90’s song.

This is my first weekend in months that I am home, I have minimal plans (aside from a shopping date with a friend and my first haircut in 7 months). TGIF.

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Coffee was, and let’s be honest, still is, one of my most favorite things in the world.

On an average day I will have a cup of keurig coffee at home, a venti blonde roast from starbucks, and usually another 16 ounces of coffee from my office.

I love the smell of it, the warm happiness it always brings.

I love waking up and first thing sipping a hot mug of coffee. On sunny days, rainy days, and wintry snow days – I just love it.

I love how it reminds me of road trips.

I love the me time behind it. My first cup of coffee each morning is usually by myself. It’s quiet and peaceful.

I love the social aspect of it too. How having a cup of coffee during the day or weekend mornings with someone usually includes conversation and time to connect.

I truly, deeply, love coffee. Giving it up was so, so hard.

But it’s been worth every single second because just a few weeks ago I started growing what is already one of my most favorite things in the world. And keeping that someone healthy and growing is more important to me than my coffee addiction.

Yes. Yes, I am.

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God willing, Baby Pursuit of Happiness…expected February 2015*. 🙂

*I know it’s extremely early. If you know me IRL or on social media, please do not post about this. We haven’t told many people yet but more than anything I need to talk about it. The process to get “here”. The fears, anxieties, and overwhelming feeling of happiness. I need an outlet. So while the rest of the world still won’t know for a bit of time, this place will. And if God forbid, it doesn’t work out this time, I know this will be a place I’ll turn to.

 

 

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I’ve said it before, but I have a tendency to write a lot more when I’m in a negative or confused place. I wanted to be sure to document some things from the past two weeks because really, life has been good!

The Husband and I watched episodes 1-7 of True Detective on Sunday. Yes 7 (1 hour) episodes straight. To say we can’t wait for the finale this weekend is an understatement. That show is strange and so damn addicting. Watch it.

We took Bentley on an hour hike together on Sunday, the Husband’s idea, and it was so nice to spend time just the three of us outside, even though it was cold and icy. Bentley was so well behaved…that is until he ran up and grabbed something off the ground. We went to pull it out of his mouth and out came what looked like a dirty baby wipe. We both said to each other, no that must be mud on that wipe. Mind you, we were hiking in a really nice, wealthy, reservation area. A few hundred yards later we spotted a pair of torn boxers, covered in shit, with a bunch of used baby wipes next to them. We spent the rest of the walk hands out, gagging, just wanting to get home and sanitize ourselves.

The weekend before this last one, I bought a new car! Well, I traded my 12-year-old Honda in for a 2014 Jeep Patriot lease. I know a lot of people didn’t understand, but it was oddly emotional saying goodbye to that car. It was MY first ever car, and it is tied to so many memories. However, driving around in a nice new car, that I’m not worried will break down or get stuck in a snow bank, is pretty sweet. 🙂

This actual past weekend we had friends from college come out, with their 7 month old baby. I swear I have never seen such a happy, easy-going baby. It definitely didn’t help my baby fever and I actually think it sparked it a bit more in the Husband. We still plan to wait until after my half-ironman (at earliest).

I was so happy to see Bentley’s reaction to having a baby in the house. He was curious, sweet (kept wanting to lick his feet) and oddly calm –at one point I was holding the baby, sitting in the dog bed and Bentley came over, sat down and put his head on my leg. It was one of those moments looking at the baby sitting on my left leg, and the puppy resting on my right leg that I felt, this is pure happiness, and the Husband and I will have this one day. Granted, the baby was in our house for only a few hours, so we still plan to have the behaviorist come and help us prepare him and all that jazz, but I’m still relieved.

Speaking of Bentley, he is back in daycare/going on long walks after being neutered. Life feels far less hectic now that Bentley is more tired, and we actually have more time to have lives.

Our wedding schedule this year keeps getting crazier. We now have the following weddings: July 26th, (August 30th got cancelled (well they decided to make it a family only wedding), yay!), September 20th, October TBD [friends moving home from England having their American reception], November 1st, and December 31st. Plus showers and bachelorettes for all. No more please.

I’m trying really hard to pull myself out of this half-ironman funk. Let’s see if I were to be completely honest… I’m doubting myself. Flat-out doubting myself. So much so that I thought, hmm I could just get pregnant now and not do it. But I don’t want that. I also know, deep down, if I don’t do this now – it will be one of, if not my biggest, regret to date. I think that the best athletes are consistent. For the next few months all I want to do is consistently get these workouts in, no matter the pace. Just get them in. It’s true, I honest to God just want to finish – that’s my only goal!

I went to bed at 9:45pm last night – that’s the earliest in a long time. I was up at 5:40am thinking I was still tired but after my train ride and completing my 45 minute run class – I felt, and still feel, fantastic. The power of sleep…and coffee!

I am so, so, so over the cold weather. I like winter and I love snow, but it’s March. I need sunny mid 50’s now not 20’s with wind chills down to single digits. This weather makes me just want to get home, bundle under covers, lay on the couch, eat hearty meals and watch TV. After doing that since December, it’s time for a change. I never thought weather would affect me this much, but it’s really draining me.

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My first valentine is my Husband of course. But this year, for the first time, I have a valentine in fur form.

My Dearest Bentley. I never knew I could be so attached, and have such deep love, for a dog.

At almost a week away from 7 months Bentley is, well a combination of things. Smart yet sassy. Loving yet aloof. Confident yet fearful. Courageous yet stubborn.

He is a contradiction. Just like his Momma. And just like his Daddy. 🙂

Bentley is incredibly smart. And I don’t say that just as a proud mama I say that as a witness to watching him take in everything around him and then take action. To knowing my morning routine so that when I walk into the guest bedroom that means he runs upstairs to get away from the hairdryer that he knows is coming. Or that at the end of his well-behaved 1 hour off leash hike in the woods with the dog walker yesterday, he noticed the cue for getting leashed back up to leave and instead decided… no the hike is not over. One hour later he returned, happy as a clam, to the entrance of the park when he decided the walk was over. Only 1 hour of waiting for news, sick to my stomach and holding back tears at work.

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Bentley is a great listener and understands what you want him to do. Last night was the last Good Manners class and he completed it with flying colors. As long as he knows something is in it for him – treats and praise – he’ll do anything you ask. Sit, down, up, off, stand, recall, leave it, whatever it may be. So good in fact the behaviorist who runs the class recommended he move on to CGC (Canine Good Citizen) prep to get certified. And yet…he knew a few weeks ago he should not grab and swallow my thong. But he knew I wasn’t looking closely enough until the last-minute, and therefore decided it was what he wanted to do. Or sometimes when we ask him to go into down, he will bend one leg and look at us, as if to trick us, then when he doesn’t get the treat, he’ll bend the next, and look up again. Until finally, he fully gets into down and sighs as if we have asked him to do so much!

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Bentley is aloof. He isn’t one to run up to strangers and ask for pets or lick them. He doesn’t dislike people, he just doesn’t really care about them. And yet there are these moments, that it just feels like he is finding his own way to say, “I love you” to us. When I’m sitting on the couch and he jumps up and wiggles his way to snuggle into me. Or when driving, if he’s not wearing his seat belt he will jump to the front, lay down and rest his head on my hand that’s resting on the arm rest. Or in the morning now, after he first goes out to go potty, he runs back upstairs and excitedly jumps on to the bed knowing the hubby and I like to spend another 30 minutes to an hour there. He’ll slowly squeeze his way between us and spread out, so his back is against one of us, and his paws against the other. Or when the Husband got into his accident, Bentley followed him around, attached to his leg for the entire day and night. Not trying to play, just standing by his side. Or when out of stress, feeling overwhelmed with work and maybe giving a little too much, I cried on the couch the other night. No sobs or anything, just a few tears. But as I sat there Bentley jumped up with his antler, put his antler in my lap, and leaned his head to rest on my shoulder. And we just sat there quietly for a few special seconds.

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Bentley is confident. New places and new dogs are his favorite to experience. He absolutely loves, loves, loves seeing and playing with any dog he can. He has a serious case of FOMO, and if other dogs are playing and we can’t for whatever reason, he will sit down and whine. And yet, maybe blame it on the fear imprint stage, but when a zipper is closed, a dish thrown in the sink, a motorcycle drives by we end up with the dog shakes and he runs up to his crate, tail between his legs, in a total meltdown.

Bentley has been the most positive, and healing force in our marriage. I can’t explain it, but we’ve become this team, and this little family. We had a tough first year of marriage – full of transition and truthfully a lot of fighting and growing. Somehow, all of that little shit we used to argue over doesn’t matter anymore now that we have Bentley. We don’t have time for it. We enjoy spending time all together, watching his antics, getting involved in training, hiking all together and figuring out how to give him the happiest life we can. In addition to time as a family, we make sure now we get out and have date nights, away from it all.

We rescued this little nugget at 10 weeks old and months later, he’s truly rescued us.

Happy almost Valentine’s Day to my favorite fur baby. I love you my dearest Bentley.

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I believe in a God. In fact I sometimes talk directly to God.

I believe that the deceased, especially loved ones are looking down on us and sometimes even standing right beside us. I believe, even though I can’t fathom the specifics, that there is a lot more than just this life here. I still believe, deep down, that my Grandmother was with me on my wedding day, and gave me that light snow fall I so wanted but was nowhere in the forecast.

I believe, deep down, that whatever God there is, they truly wants us to just do good. Do good for others and for ourselves. To not hate, judge, bully, or force ideas on others – but to just do good and love deeply. I don’t blame this God for pain, hurt, or devastation. I don’t blame God for making my older sister a drug addict. Or subsequently for not fixing her on my time-table. I blame people for that. I look to God for support and for strength though when dealing with life’s ups and downs, lessons, and pain.

And so sometimes when the Husband and I talk about how we will raise our children we quarrel a bit. He was raised Catholic. He was forced to go to CCD during the week and church every Sunday. Once he got to college though and it wasn’t forced, he stopped. He hasn’t gone to church since. And yet, he feels like our kids should do the same.

I do not.

Belief is very, very important to me. But I’m also particular about it all. It’s not about having to do it. It’s not about going to church just to go while sitting there writing to do lists in your head (guilty of it) or looking around at people. It’s not about forcing your kids and yet not doing or believing in the same. For me, it’s about wanting to do it. Learning about it all. And choosing what feels real and right. I in no way want to hide religion from my children. If anything, I wish my parents sent me to a variety of religious classes as a kid so I could know about it all. And I wished, many times that I had a religious community that I felt part of. I often read or see the communities my Jewish and Mormon friends are involved in, and I do feel jealous of that support system.

Funny story actually. After I got accepted to my first choice school I was thrilled. Only at the time I thought I would become a Pastor of sorts. I had envisioned majoring in religious studies. Only to find out my college was known for engineering and had very little in terms of religious studies (yes you’d think I would have taken notice of that before applying early decision). So off to that college I went instead as a political science and Spanish double major. (That also changed quickly.)

And when it came time to getting married, I knew I wanted to get married in a church as did the Husband. There’s something about being in a church that makes me feel close to God. But I wanted to get married in a church with my Gay Step-Father standing before us and being the one to marry us. I wanted to be in a church that my Gay father could happily walk me down the aisle, my Gay uncle, my Catholic friends and my Jewish friends, all felt comfortable sitting in. The Unitarian church we found was perfect for us. I felt lucky to have a Husband that wanted to be in a church, but also wanted (and was the one to ask about having my Step-Dad marry us) and cared about my family playing such a big role in our ceremony.

So with kids it’s a touchy subject. It’s something I guess I’d like us to discuss and start to figure out now. I know they will be our kids, and therefore we will make this decision together. I believe and therefore I do want them to believe as I know he does too, but I don’t necessarily want to be the one to choose what exactly they believe. I want to learn with them and read with them about Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and so on. I want to teach them that the most important thing is to love, do good, and not to waste time judging. I want to teach them that faith is a powerful and wonderful thing and that for each person, faith may be slightly different and that’s OK. I want to teach them to take that faith, and take the desire to do good – and DO something with it. I don’t know maybe as a family we won’t spend an hour each week in church, but I would like as a family to spend that hour maybe volunteering or being involved in a church community. Or maybe it’s just finding the right church for us.

It’s all just a mess of thoughts now. I don’t know why religion and God has been on my mind so much lately. Maybe it’s seeing family get older, knowing more and more people with cancer or other diseases, and at the same time watching as many friends get pregnant or have kids. I think most of all though, it’s watching my older sister and desperately wishing I could take control. Since I can’t, I’m turning to faith.

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