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Posts Tagged ‘love’

I’m thankful I had such a fabulous last weekend. A fun Friday night dinner with girlfriends. A full day barbecuing with the husband, friends, and a new baby on Saturday. Easter was with the Husband’s side of the family, celebrating my in law’s birthdays, running around with Bentley in their huge yard and talking the details of our late summer Cape Cod family trip. So much quality family and friend time.

And Marathon Monday. Monday, oh Monday I’m so thankful for how you turned out. I took it as a vacation day. It was a gorgeous day. 6+ hours camped by the fences with friends and my sister, watching the marathoners and cheering for friends and any stranger with their name on their shirt running by. It was emotional, in many ways (I was an ugly crier much of the day), and now marathon Monday feels like a positive day again. And I think I’ve officially decided…one day I really do want to run a marathon. Just one.

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I’m loving how attached Bentley has been lately. I joke that it’s annoying, but as soon I’m cooking dinner in the kitchen, he will come in with a toy, smash against me and when I don’t give in and play, he runs out, gets another toy, and tries again. It’s kind of the cutest thing ever.

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Almost as cute as this.

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After reading it for a long time on blogs, I finally tried cooking oatmeal in coffee last night, packed it up and took it to work this morning. Reheated with a little vanilla almond milk and shredded coconut, holy favorite breakfast.

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IN LOVE.

I’m really thankful I get to sleep with the Husband. I joke about us trying to figure out how to share the bed nightly after years of being together, the fact that he sometimes snores (and maybe always has and I didn’t know?), talks in his sleep, smashes his pillows in my face (like nightly, seriously) etc. but really, I love it. I love purposely putting my cold feet in-between his legs right as he gets into bed. I love talking, and giggling, and pretending to steal the covers from each other as we fall asleep. I’m thankful that when Bentley sometimes wakes up in the middle of the night with stomach issues (no more whipped cream or ham for that buddy), the Husband hops out of bed to take him out. Most of all, I love waking up in the morning to our sun filled bedroom with him right next to me. It’s that intimacy that I always craved and missed, and now we have it. It’s no guarantee it’s forever, so I’m appreciating and loving every night of it.

I’m thankful that in just over a week I’m heading to St. Thomas with all the women in my family! I know I’m going to miss the husband and Bentley dearly, but… I CAN’T WAIT. SUN. SLEEP. SAND.

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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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It’s my four-year blogging anniversary.

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Four years ago at this time, my heart was broken. It’s so funny how being heart-broken sounds like such a normal, common term, but at the time, my God I felt anything but.

I felt utter grief, physical pain, an ache so deep I remember waking up thinking my ribs were bruised.

I wasn’t eating and dropped to 125lbs at almost 5’8.

I was crying, somewhat openly to family and friends at first, then secretly, almost daily in my studio apartment.

Night time was the worst. 3am and somehow I’d always find myself crumpled and sobbing, shoulders shaking, on my bathroom floor.

I thought I would never get over B. At times I fantasized we truly were meant to be and we would get back together.

I spent a full year waiting, and hoping. Putting on a strong face, and being his friend. A full year trying to move past that heartache and yet one minor action, like holding my hand on our plane ride back from Ireland, or saying how much he still cared and loved me, would set me right back and I would start the heartbreak process all over.

It’s almost funny that now, I look back, and I am so incredibly thankful for that experience.

I’m thankful I felt love and loss like that, I truly am.

Sometimes I’m even nostalgic for that pain. It sounds ridiculous, but being heartbroken was the deepest emotion I have ever experienced to date.

Most of all, I’m thankful for who I became as a result of it.

I learned many wonderful things from B overall – he taught me to love myself and understand I deserved the best. He truly taught me how to communicate effectively and understand that fighting in relationships is never, and should never be about winning. He made me see an adventurous side of me that was waiting to come out.

But I learned the most out of my heartbreak time.

I learned to be independent.

I learned to love and appreciate my own time, with just me, writing, reading or relaxing.

I learned that I have the most wonderfully supportive and loving family and friends.

I learned that I could put my mind to something – finishing graduate school, getting promoted, signing up and accomplishing a triathlon – and be succesful, even without a significant other.

I learned that I could travel the world, Patagonia with a friend, for two weeks and enjoy every incredibly experience while there.

I learned, after that trip, to let go. That after experiencing the heartbreak you truly have to let go. And I remember the moment exactly… being in a bar in Chile, walking up to a cute guy and kissing him. Just like that.

I learned that opening your heart up and being vulnerable after heartbreak is harder. Much harder.

I learned that once I did, I would love deeper than I could have imagined. Because I finally found a love that loved me as me, even on bad days, and was willing and wanted to give me what I wanted most – a family.

And so it’s almost ironic, though I won’t tell her in that way, that my younger sister has found herself in the exact same place, at almost the exact same time in her life.

My sister has followed many of my footsteps, from college to even moving to Boston. At 24, just about turning 25, she and her boyfriend of about one and a half years broke up. She is utterly and completely heart-broken.

I can’t take her pain away. I can only help to support her, to distract her, and to help her pass the time. Because truly, the one and only thing that helped, was time. Time heals all.

And I hope that one day, a year, maybe four years from now, she can look back at her heartbreak and feel the same way.

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Bentley: 5 day update

Monday at noon we walked into the vet in New Hampshire and asked for our new puppy, “Michael”. The vet tech looked at us almost sadly and said she’d be right back.

Out came a yawning, shaking little guy. At first I thought, is that actually our puppy? The recent pictures the adoption counselor sent had made him look so big already. But this guy wasn’t, at 10 weeks he is tiny, and in that moment was clearly so scared.

He was also sick. Kennel cough and parasites. Apparently quite common, especially after the stress of transport but he had two medications we needed to give him.

I quickly picked him up and cuddled him to alleviate the shaking. The collar we brought, the one that everyone said we should just buy normal size so he can grow in it, at its smallest loop fit around his stomach. At that moment, I felt nervous and like a failure.

The car ride home wasn’t bad, he was still scared and slept a little on the seat across from me in the back. He seemed leery of us and exhausted.

Once home, he quickly fell in love with his bed, and slept. However, each time we moved he would wake up and follow us. We realized quickly that would had to keep him on the bed between us on the floor until we were ready for bed.

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The first night… oh the mistakes we made. We felt bad when he started spazzing and crying in his crate so we kept the crate door open, blocked our bedroom loft off and let him roam if needed. We woke up at 4am to poop, pee and running around. Bad, bad idea.

What we’ve learned since then…

He loves being held. It’s really funny because he doesn’t necessary like cuddles when we sit down, but if you pick him up into your arms he relaxes and leans his head against ours. This is one of the few times he likes to give puppy kisses too as he burrows into our necks.

He needs to release energy and he has far more energy now that he is comfortable with us and our house. The second night we ran into about an hour of time where he was chewing our couch, biting at our legs, putting his butt in the air and barking and leaping everywhere. I honestly was scared we had a “Marley” on our hands. We soon realized, if we take him out on many walks and let him decide when it’s time to come in (he runs towards the home stairs) then he gets so sleepy and tired.

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Spawn.of.Satan.

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Happily tuckered.

Speaking of stairs… we are able to get him to go up the stairs now. However, down the stairs is another story. Our stairs are actually very steep and he is little – but if we try to take him near the top of a stair case to go down he FREAKS OUT. I’m talking whining, yelping, running in the other directions, spazzing sideways on the leash. Right now I’m carrying him down the stairs which is fine at 16lbs but… I can’t do that forever!

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Speaking of sleeping… he actually loves his crate. We learned that whenever he goes in he gets one treat inside and a little peanut butter inside a kong toy. He goes in happily now and when we close the door he whimpers for maybe 2 minutes and then goes to sleep. He will stir or eventually whimper if he needs to go out to the bathroom (although we are currently setting alarms to take him out 1-2 times during the night just to be safe). He apparently was tired enough that this morning at 6am (an hour later than we normally wake up) when I went to take him out he looked at me, yawned, whined and walked to the back of his crate and went back to sleep! I gave him another 15 minutes and then turned the light on and he slowly made his way out. He apparently takes after my hubby already.

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Puppy life is SO hard

In terms of training I was a little worried at first that he wasn’t that motivated by food or praise – but he sure is learning. He is great about showing signs of when he has to go potty – he sniffs around frantically in the house or he runs into the kitchen. Most times we get him down stairs on time but (our fault) we sometimes miss the signs and he pees inside. During the day he needs to go sometimes every 30 minutes! He has quickly learned though when he goes to the bathroom outside, then he sits and I click the clicker and he gets a toy and lots of praise. He seems to know “sit” but more so for the treat — now each time he knows we have a treat in our hands he runs to us and sits!

But oh, the chewing and nipping. He’s learning (and when we burn enough energy, make sure he naps, and do “no bites” and stop playing) he now nips less. But gosh the incessant chewing. He loves everything he shouldn’t. Our bathroom carpet, our couch, the living room rug, the wooden stairs, the metal chair legs…we have had to find many toys to attempt to rival what are apparently like crack big chew toys for him. Luckily, I just don’t care about most of our old stuff in this apartment – but I definitely don’t want that habit to start.

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That chair was later removed as it became his favorite chew toy.

Honestly, I never ever imagined the work that went into having a puppy. I just didn’t know that it would be constant watching, constant training, and to be honest, constant worrying. I didn’t know how much of a worrier I would be but I worry – I worry he is still sick, I worry he could get dehydrated, I worry he misses his siblings – I just can’t stop worrying!

And yet through all the constant work and utter exhaustion having a puppy has made me realize…

I never imagined I could love an animal this much. Sure I loved Meatball my cat, but somehow it’s not quite the same. I love this little guy so much it hurts. And I just want him to be healthy and happy.

I never imagined it would make me fall in love with my husband more. To be honest, I feared that since the Husband never had an animal he would like play time but not the rest. However, he has been one hell of a team-mate. After working the overnight he still spends an hour tiring puppy face out in the morning, when he is home at night he does the night wake-ups, he is constantly taking him out for walks, cleaning up after him, offering to do things whenever I appear tired. He calms me down when I worry and even he hugs me when I cry and doesn’t make fun of me (yes, I was exhausted and overwhelmed and actually cried the second night).

Bentley has been one of the most exhausting additions to our life… but one that brings more joy and love than I could have ever imagined. So for all you dog people out there, I get it, I truly now get it.

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❤ ❤ ❤

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In the past few years many of the blogs I used to follow stopped posting. And then since the demise of Google reader I have only been consistently following a handful blogs. A couple of them are blogs that I have followed and connected with (commented on back and forth) for years now. These are blogs that might not even always be frequent posters, and I might not always read or comment right away, but I continue to read them because they’re real. They share the good, the bad, the frustrations, the heartache, and the random. I love them for that.

It’s rare that I’ll follow a non-food/non-home improvement blog that is always peachy keen where everything is always roses. It doesn’t feel as real. But there’s one running blog that I absolutely love, and even though 99.9% of the posts are optimistic, light and fun I have become very attached to her journey these last years. I’ve grown especially vested over the past year watching her become a Mom, raising seriously the cutest one year old girl and still killing it on her runs.

When I was catching up on blogs yesterday and I read her post that started with the fact that she filed for divorce…my heart broke for her. I know, to many it may sound ridiculous – such an attachment to someone you’ve never met in real life – but I can’t explain it. It was an utterly shocking (to many readers) and stomach-wrenching post. I haven’t stopped thinking about her today.

That’s the thing about blogging. We show only what we want to show. What we choose to show. People reading my blog get maybe 10% of my life (unless you know me on Facebook, instagram, and real life in which case you probably know a lot more).

What’s funny though is that 10% you do know as a reader, is probably the 10% I don’t share with most people in real life. Not because I don’t want to, but in day-to-day life I like focusing on the positive and being optimistic seems to just come naturally.

It’s probably why I love that my space isn’t as public as some other blogs. The public blogs seem to feel they have to always be positive, only show the good, and hide the bad as if there is none. To me, it can feel fake or too surface level to enjoy. This is my space to vent, to be frustrated, to rant, and to be introspective. For whatever reason when things are great and easy – I tend to write less. It’s happened over the past few weeks especially. I’ve struggled to find the time and energy to read my favorite blogs, let alone post on my own.

Anyway, reading what this blogger is going through, my heart breaks, it really does. I swear, I have truly only experienced heartbreak once in my life, and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. While I wouldn’t take my experience back, I learned from it, I grew from it, and I’m stronger than I could have ever imagined, it’s the darkest place I ever was for a time. I hate to think of anyone else in that same place.

I guess it’s just a good reminder. Blogging is a different type of outlet for everyone. But I would venture to say, that you never, ever, get the full picture in this little space. Something to keep in mind.

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I’m not sure how we got on the subject of bullying last night, I think it had to do with the Husband having watched a special on Hershel Walker earlier in the day. Hershel was a young boy in Georgia who was horribly bullied (he was overweight and had a speech impediment) and made to feel worthless by teachers and kids for years. One day he snapped and started focusing on athletics and school – by the time he graduated high school he was valedictorian and the number 1 collegiate football pick. (We re-watched it together in the evening, and it’s a really great story even if you don’t enjoy sports.)

It turns out the Husband didn’t have many friends before he started playing football. He was telling me that in fourth grade he had a few friends, but one boy got popular and made fun of him and they all decided they didn’t want him around. He said he was almost always alone during recess or after school. He said in 5th grade he remembers after school going straight to his aunt’s house, grabbing her golden retriever, and then playing for hours in the backyard and pond with the dog. Alone.

I actually started crying as he said this. It’s silly I know. Elementary school was a long time ago, but the fierceness I feel for making sure no one hurts him, and that he knows how loved and amazing he is, is indescribable.

Once he started playing pop warner football in sixth grade, he made friends and by high school he had a very solid group of guy friends, that are his closest friends to this day. All 6 of them were in our wedding party.

It makes sense now why in high school his focus was on football and friends, hardly on girls. It makes so much sense now why he is the planner of the group, always making sure the guys get together, and never leaving anyone out. It makes sense why he never wants to miss an event – he has a fear of being left behind and forgotten. (Even though I know without a doubt, they’d never forget him.) It even makes sense why if I go away for a weekend, and I don’t call, he gets so upset and feels like I have forgotten him too. It also makes sense why every time we look at a town he researches the football team. For him, football gave him a focus, a team, and many friends.

It’s unbelievable how much those young years can impact your life forever. In one interview of Hershel in his college years he mentioned he had such built up anger he wanted to go into the marines to kill people. Those exact words came out of his mouth. Luckily football became a more healthy outlet, but he has spent many years to this day working with a psychologist to handle the multiple personalities he created for himself just to get through life.

Just thinking about how I feel hearing about the Husband’s childhood, I get almost sick thinking about having our own children. How do you make sure they aren’t bullied – do you teach them to stand up to bullies? Because I know from having been bullied pretty badly for my 9th grade year, ignoring it – doesn’t make it go away, and it slowly eats away at you. How can you really make sure they know and believe they are loved, they are full of worth, and they are beautiful inside and out?

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Everyone grieves differently.

The Husband has to take action when he grieves – any action. I’m the opposite – I find myself crippled by pain and sorrow for a time. He expresses everything externally, while I deal with it all internally.

There’s no right way to grieve. And there’s no best way to grieve, in my opinion. But I realized for me, the one and only thing that truly helps – is time.

Yesterday I was angry. I was angry at my husband for talking about it all, for wanting to do anything outside the house, for still wanting to start a family in the future when there is such darkness in the world. I was angry my office was back open and having people work when that seemed so trivial in comparison. I was angry at all the pictures of Boston and the world coming together – because I wasn’t ready yet. I wasn’t ready to move forward, or come together, or see the good – I just wanted to hurt.

Today I feel different. I finally slept – over 12 hours slept. I was up on and off, with nightmares and strange dreams – but I slept.

And today as I rode my bus into work – a packed bus heading through downtown Boston, everyone was silent. I put my phone away and I just looked around. Sure I had tears behind my sunglasses (as I think many did) but I started noticing the good.

Today is a beautiful sunny day in Boston. I can truly see how much light there is. The green spring grass. The many runners. The hustle and bustle of those going to work.  The families holding their children close and smiling. The city is back to life. Life is going to be different for a while, but we’re all living. Every single person chose to go out the front door of that bus today and say thank you to the bus driver.

I’m not angry at my Husband for grieving differently – I’m so thankful for him, for his love, for us. And I’m no longer angry at my office. Because the truth is, working yesterday – whether in the office or from home – offered just a little semblance of solace – of meaning, of purpose, of distraction. And for many who live alone, coming into the workplace was a way to be around people, to be around coworkers who are friends and who are the people we are with daily.  And I’m no longer angry at all the people who are bonding together or focusing on the positive – maybe I was never mad, I just wasn’t ready. But today it feels right – to live, to focus on the absolutely amazing people in this city, to appreciate and be thankful and to do whatever it is we can. It’s heartwarming.

Yesterday I just felt so helpless. Today I have a list of things I have done or will do.

I donated money to the One Fund Boston. I want to donate blood within the next few weeks as supplies get lower. I want to walk outside my office area and ask the officers at their posts if they want water, coffee or food. From talking with my Husband many of these officers are posted for 12 hours in one spot, with little time away. I want to thank them, and bring them anything I can to make them more comfortable.

And most of all, I want to live. I want to take a walk with my husband after work, hold hands, and just be. I want to talk with friends and family and tell them what they mean to me. I want to read all my favorite blogs and hear about the good – the engagements, the miles, the delicious cookie recipes, all of it. I don’t want to forget, or pretend life is all the sudden back to normal for everyone, but I want to be kind to those around me, I want to do whatever it is I can, and I want to remember that everyone grieves differently. I want to be thankful and appreciative for everything and everyone in my life, and I want to live in the happiest way possible.

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