12.

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Dear Scorch-

You turned 12 a few weeks back. You- my first born, my baby, one of my greatest loves – turned 12. As you like to remind me a lot this puts you firmly closer to a teenager than not.

I feel like I should be sad about this. I should be gnashing my teeth and wailing that you’re not a baby any more. Facebook tells me I should feel this way, as do all the sappy blog posts telling me to cherish everything. And I do cherish them when they are happening- I love that you still love to snuggle (even though we all know I don’t). I love that you still chat with me about anything and everything and that your stories still never end. I do miss your toddler cheeks and your squeaky voice – the way your little body used to melt into mine (now you come up past my chin, so if you melted, I’d fall over). But that doesn’t mean I want to go backwards.

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I’m too excited about who you are becoming to wallow in it. Because life, my sweet boy, is about to take off for you.

11 was a tremendous year for you- full of school and friends and sports. You broke your first bone and handled it like a champ 99% of the time. You pushed yourself academically and athletically and started new things like boxing and academic games. You read the Hunger Games series, went to a camp where you knew no one and took first place in a state competition with your classmates. You learned how to argue fairly with friends, perfected the art of rolling your eyes and had more then a few meltdowns of epic proportions as your hormones monster started to grow (don’t worry, we’ll let you watch Big Mouth when you get much older- you’ll get that reference). You learned to care how you looked (still doesn’t mean you match, but you try) and spent more time combing your hair than anyone else in this family.

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So, now here you are at age 12. You gradate from elementary school this month and start Middle School in the Fall. You go from a class of 14 to a class of 200 and you.cannot.wait. While I’m just as excited as you are, I hope you savor every minute of these next few weeks because come Fall, nothing will be the same again. Hold on to these friends because there is great power in friendships that start when you were 3 and carry on throughout your whole life. You’re going to look back on these years and realize how truly amazing they were.

So, as we’re on the precipice of so many changes, I wanted to share my hopes for you.

1) I hope you stay in contact with your elementary classmates and you use them as your touchstones when you move into the big school next year.

2) I hope that Middle School is kind to you and that you handle the changes about to be thrust on you with grace.

3) I hope you fall in love. Hopefully not with a girl yet- but with a class, a sport, a friend. I hope you take all the opportunities given to you and try something new and you love it with every fiber of your being.

4) I hope you stay kind. You, child, are a leader. Kids like you and they gravitate towards you. I hope you keep that charisma and never, ever turn mean. It’ll be tempting. You’ll see kids picking on others and sometimes it’ll be just so easy to make a joke at someone else’s expense. While I hope you’ll be perfect and never slip- you will. That’s part of growing up- but I hope you realize it when you’ve done it and you’re big enough to apologize and try better the next time.

5) I hope you keep caring- about your friends, your grades and your loves. I hope you keep striving to do better and reach higher. Apathy is a terrible look.

6) I hope as you navigate school you find your core – your ride and die group that has your back no matter what. I remember how the sands shifted in middle school, but at the end of the day, those who really loved you were there when the ground settled.

7) I hope you remember that words have power. The power to build up – and tear down. Try to use yours for good. Compliment instead of complain. Offer solutions instead of whining. Use your voice for good, for the betterment of yourself and others. Use your voice to stick up for others, to advocate for yourself and to call out the wrongdoings you see. You’ll be shocked at how loud you can roar, child.

8) I hope you never put too much stock in “cool.” Cool is overrated, over appreciated and ever changing. Staying comfortable in your own skin is the ultimate cool. Don’t be afraid to shake your butt to the music, show your enthusiasm and laugh until you cry.

9) I hope you know that we will always, always, always love you. Forever. No matter what. We are going to fight and we are going to argue and we are going to want to pretend that we don’t know each other some days. There will be slammed doors, eye rolls and crying – from all of us. But we’re still going to love each other fiercely, have each other’s back and always build each other back up.

Child, I cannot wait to see where things go from here. I cannot wait to see you stretch and grow.  Stay true to yourself, stay bold, roar loudly and always, always aim high. I can’t wait to watch you soar.

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Adding On – Advice Welcome!

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Back in 2002 when we moved back to NY, one of the things we were most excited about was being able to afford a house. Prices were (are) obscene outside of DC, but we knew we could afford something when we moved back back…we just weren’t sure what. We were approved for a stupidly high amount of money, but we knew we didn’t want to be “house poor” (where we had a great big house, but no left over money) so we dialed down the amount we wanted to spend, rented for a few months and then found our house.

To be honest, our house was not the house for me. We found the house, but it was more than we wanted to spend so we settled on the house we bought which has a layout I hate(d)- but it had 2 acres of gorgeous land and a perfect location. We figured it was just a starter home- we’d be here 7 years tops and then we’d move on to the house we really wanted.

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View from the front porch

Almost 16 years later, we’re still here. This still isn’t my favorite house- the layout is all wrong, the bedrooms are small and we only have 1 full bath. But it’s home. And it’s still cheap- allowing us do a lot of amazing things we wouldn’t have been able to afford otherwise. And frankly, those are things I’d rather do then have a bigger house.

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Just a part of our gorgeous yard

But…that one full bathroom thing (especially when that bathroom is roughly 8×9) and the lack of closet space is getting to be a bit much. We’ve looked at houses for years now and have never found one that made us decide to move (the $10-13K in annual taxes on more expensive homes with comparable land has something to do with that too), so after a lot of consideration, we decided the best option is to put an addition on our house.

*gulp*

We have a (rough) plan, a kick-ass contractor and an amazing architect and we’re slowly turning our ideas into a reality. We’re 90% sure we’re doing this and things are getting real. We’ll be adding a 25×35 foot 2 story addition that will include a master suite (my own bathroom AND a window seat to read at!), a spare bedroom, storage, a game room and a laundry room where the pipes don’t freeze in the winter. We’re waiting on the first draft back from the architect and I’m giddy! The best news? We can complete 90% of the addition without touching anything but the exterior of our existing home – so while we’ll be dealing with noise and people, we won’t be dealing with a mess inside my house until the very end.

#winning

Outside of re-doing our kitchen, we have never dealt with anything like this- so talk to me. What should we be considering? What did you wish you had done / known / thought about if you went through something like this? What should we be prepared for? Hit me with your thoughts- I’d appreciate them all!

 

Road Trippin’

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The calendar tells me it’s Spring. The kid’s sports calendar tells me it’s Spring. Mother Nature didn’t seem to get that memo though- it’s cold and grey and sleeting outside my window. It snowed on Easter Sunday. This seemed like a particularly bitter pill given that we had arrived home from Fl the day before.

We had a fantastic trip – hitting the West Coast…

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Disney…

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and the East Coast…

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There were feet in the sand, Mickey Ice Cream Bars consumed daily, trips to numerous pools and tanned faces. There was also one trip the ER (the Hubs, sinus infection), one puking kid (the Bean, low blood sugar) , two teeth lost (Scorch, they were loose) and minimal tears. We drove 1115 miles* on the way home and no one lost their minds until about 45 minutes from home, so I consider that a win. There was lots of family time with some of our favorites, a date night that turned into sharing a table with two drunk fishermen with lots of funny stories, and lots of movies watched over and over and over to make the drive down and back bearable.

All in all it was perfect and the Hubs is on his annual campaign to convince us all to move south. Maybe one day…

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Full confession- I wanted to fly to FL this year. So did the kids. But a combination of a last minute date change and the Hubs iron will meant we drove. And while it’s a pain in the butt (2 days in the car both ways), I’m so thankful for these times.  When we travel, we usually travel with people or to see people – but those days on the road are just the 4 of us at dinner and crammed into a hotel room. We only have 7 more of these end-of-winter get aways with both kids (!!!!!) so I’m feeling the need to savor them.

The kids are also amazing travelers. I’m sure it’s a combo of their personalities and the fact that they have no choice- but they really are. Road trips with them are a joy 90% of the time (the other 10% involves vomit and/or sibling death matches).  Because they are so very awesome, we’re driving cross country with them in 2019 for a few weeks…

…and I have no idea how to plan this trip. I mean, I know how to plan the route and where to stop, but I don’t know how to plan how we’re doing this. Taking our car and staying hotels or cabins? Renting an RV? If so, do we tow our car?? That part baffles me. So hit me up, peeps, with any thoughts you have on that topic!

 

The Years are Short

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One of my friends on Facebook has a one year old- the most darling, beautiful little boy.  She posts about how she can’t believe how fast he’s growing, how quickly the time goes by and how much she’ll miss his wrist folds, chubby cheeks and open mouth kisses. She posted a beautiful video the other day about the last time…not knowing when it will be the last time your rock your baby to sleep, the last time you pick them up, the last time they ask you to read to them because the next day, they’ll be too old to need that again. It was gorgeous and I admit to getting choked up for a minute…

…and then I thought how much I don’t miss that.

I look back on the kid’s younger years with so much joy and love in my heart. I loved the squishy newborn years and the sweet/crazy making toddler years. I loved the excitement of preschool and the earnestness of the start of elementary school – but I don’t miss it. I wouldn’t go back there.

So then, of course, I start wondering if I’m a horrible person. Am I wishing my kid’s childhoods away? Am I not present enough? Am I rushing them to grow up? Am I heartless that I don’t wail over every new milestone? Do my kids know how much I adore them at every age? Am I wrong to much prefer my kids old enough to tell me when they are sick, read books with me and laugh at inappropriate humor? Because while I have adored every age with these kids these are the best years.

~*~*

After all that-  I know I’m not completely heartless because occasionally I’ll come across an old picture that makes me gasp. These were taken 8 years ago today.

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That’s 3 year old Scorch a month before he started his first year of t-ball. This year, he’s in his last year of Little League. He still love to catch and the Hubs is still his biggest fan and constant coach. There will be rose ceremony on Opening Day marking this crazy baseball milestone and *poof* next year he’ll start 7th grade and modified sports. I don’t know how that’s possible.

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While the boys played, this 20 month old wanted to climb. She wanted to climb and escape and do the opposite of what you wanted her to do. She never wanted to ride quietly in her stroller, didn’t want to be confined and she spit nails if you tried to make her. This year she’s in 4th grade…and she hasn’t changed. Her cheeks are less chubby and she’s got a hell of a lot more hair- but that fire still burns.

I may not miss those itty bitty kids, but I do marvel at how fast they grew.

Broken- and Why I’m the World’s Worst Mom

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When Scorch was in 3rd grade, he started snowboarding. He worked so freaking hard to learn- it took him all 6 weeks in row of weekly 2.5 hour lessons to finally- FINALLY- get his green pass. He hasn’t looked back since. Last year, the Bean and I started skiing. She’s fantastic, I stink- but we are, officially, a family that skis. (Except the Hubs- he wants nothing to do with it thanks to his previous 5 knee surgeries.). We love our Thursday nights on the slopes- Scorch heads off with his friends while the Bean and I stick together and she makes fun of how slow I go. We meet up randomly and then have a fun dinner out. #bonding

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Last week, just as the Bean and I got off the ski lift at the very top of the mountain, I heard my cell phone ring. I ignored it and we continued on with our group lesson, slowing inching our way down the hill with our instructor and 8 other kids. All was going well enough until I got a tap on my shoulder from another chaperone who some how tracked me down to tell me Scorch was hurt and that I needed to go check on him ASAP.

Which was doable – in theory. Except that I was stuck at the top of a trail I didn’t know with my 9 year old who promptly fell over, lost a ski and started to sob that she was never going to get up again. So I called the head chaperone who was with Scorch, determined that no bones were jutting out, EMTs were not called and he was calm – then I more more less told the Bean to calm down, pull herself together and get moving.

15 agonizing minutes later I rushed into the room where Scorch was to find him acting completely fine. Sure, he had ice on his wrist, but there were no tears, swelling or bruising. It was rather anti-climatic after our rush down the hill.

We headed home and had the Hubs (a former EMT) look at Scorch’s wrist where he deemed it fine. We asked Scorch to perform a bunch of mobility exercises, that he did successfully and then basically shrugged our shoulders and figured he was fine.

The next day, the wrist was still sore, and, given that Scorch had a basketball game and two football games the next day, we decided to get him x-rayed just in case. The doctor we saw agreed that it was probably nothing but ordered the x-ray just in case.

You know, just in case his wrist was broken in two places. Which it was.

Scorch handled this rather well all weekend long – until Monday when the cast was put on and reality set in. That night, my sweet, patient, loving child lost his ever loving mind as we drove to the gym (something we so every Monday, Wednesday and Friday so the Hubs and I can work out). There were tears, yelling, stomping of feet- and then finally, after getting the Bean all riled up – The List.

My kiddos spent the last 15 minutes of our drive to the gym outlining all the things that I don’t let them do that I should:

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For the record, I defending myself against the “lying” accusation by noting that telling my kids that they can do something, only to find out what they wanted to do wasn’t offered at the time they wanted to do it (something out of my control) was not lying (that happened the week before). I also told them I’d stopped yelling in the morning (why do I yell? So we get to school on time. I didn’t yell yesterday once, we were 20 minutes late). The rest? Well, they’d just have to suck that up- that’s called parenting.

Bottom line: Scorch is in a cast for the next 3 weeks, he’s a resentful mess over it and I’m wondering how much a kid with a broken wrist would get me if I sold him to the circus.

 

The Best Books of 2017

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Full confession here: 2017 was long year. There were job changes, crazy schedules and the general upheaval in the world. There were times when I was hanging on by a thread, trying to keep the balls in my life from crashing spectacularly to the ground – and days that, despite my best effort, they crashed anyhow.

So this year was the year of comfort books. I subscribed to Kindle Unlimited. I revisited the romance genre- contemporary and historical.  I didn’t read much that strained my brain and while part of me feels badly for that- I mainly just enjoyed the hell out of everything I read this year. And I plan on doing the same thing this year.

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So, here’s what I loved last year:

My Most Favorite of 2017

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Beartown by Fredrik Backman. Beartown is the story of a small town on the edge of being forgotten. The only thing the town is proud of is its junior hockey team full of talented high schoolers. Hockey is life and these boys are raised up – more myth then almost-men. So what happens when one of does something unthinkable?

As a mom raising a male athlete, this one hit me right between the eyes. I still think about this book months later and cannot wait until I can slip it into both my kids hands so we can talk long and hard about it.

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A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah Maas:
I preach my love of Sarah Maas loudly and proudly- and this series shows exactly why. An engrossing, far reaching novel with amazing character development, twists and turns- it’s pure escapism at its finest.

Honorable Mentions

Stand-Alone Books

  • Kulti by Mariana Zapata: truth be told, I loved most of the books by Zapata that I read this past year. Wonderful slow-burn romances filled with grown up who talked about problems, reacted appropriately and are sexy as hell.
  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas: The Hubs is a police officer and, the past few years, the way police officers have been portrayed has broken my heart. That said, this book- about a police related shooting- was outstanding as it examined the repercussions of such a shooting.
  • The Alice Network by Kate Quinn: this story was about the strength of women during WWI and WWII- their grace, their passions and their sheer determination to make a difference. Much like The Nightingale, this book wasn’t always easy to read- it was it was well worth it.
  • The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer: I’m not a huge Amy Schumer fan- I didn’t care for her TV show and thought she was OK in her movies- but this book made me laugh out loud. I read it as we were stuck in traffic trying to get to our beach house at the very tip of Corolla, NC. I laughed so hard I had tears in my eyes and I seriously wondered if the Hubs was going to kick me out because he was so mad at the traffic as I laughed like loon next to him.
  • Something like Happy by Eva Woods: I am, at my core, an optimist. This book grappled with how to hold on to that optimism when your world crumbles around you. How do you keep that sense of wonder and joy when the worst has happened. I laughed and cried .

Series

  • Rock Kiss by Nalini Singh: Super sweet, super sexy rock-star romance.
  • Fever by Karen Marie Moning:  This series went up and down for me, but the last book came out in 2017 and it tied things together really well!
  • Wraith Kings by Grace Draven: I don’t even know how I found this series, but I listened to it on audio book and it was outstanding. I inhaled all 3 books and cannot wait until the 4th comes out.
  • The Wallflowers by Lisa Kleypas: This series was my first taste back into historical romances and the whole series was sweet, funny, saucy and sexy.
  • Lost and Found by J.M. Madden: This series, about a detective agency that employs injured vets, was smart, funny and suspenseful.
  • Cainsville by Kelley Armstrong: I preordered this book when it was released in October and I sat on it for 2 months. I adore this series to the point I didn’t want it to end so I simply didn’t read the book. But once I did, I’m so glad I made the leap. While it wasn’t everything I hoped it to would be, it was a great ending to a fantastic series.

So tell me- what you have loved? What can’t you wait to read in 2018?

20 Years In

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20 years ago today, the Hubs and I went on our first date. We had met a few weeks earlier, but through a series of random events (like having my wisdom teeth taken out), our first official date was delayed. I don’t remember what I wore on that date- but I know I had awful yellow/green bruises on my cheeks and that it hurt to smile. But that crazy man wanted to take me out anyhow.

Obviously I agreed to go out with him because he was good looking and was highly recommended by a friend – but after that first date, I realized that for the first time in my (young) life, I was dating someone solid. Someone with goals, a path to achieve them, passion and and a sense of humor. At 19, that was like cat nip and once we took off, we never really looked back.

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As I write this, the Hubs is sitting on the couch on the other side of the room from me. He’s sick – a sinus infection, we think. He didn’t sleep last night because he felt so crummy, so he napped today and his sleep schedule is all out of wack. I have to work until 1 am and, really, all I want is for him to take his snuffling, snorting, sniffling self to bed so I can have the TV to myself. Or maybe not to bed- maybe to the couch so I can sleep without his clogged nose making him snore next to me.

Sexy? Nope. Romantic? Not even a tiny bit. But that’s life. The romance and the sexiness is still there – sometimes. Fancy clothes, sweet gifts and a quick call during the day just to say “I love you.” Purposely putting on each other’s favorite song just to make them smile. Sharing news and stories and memes because you know it’ll make them laugh during a shitty day. And sometimes it’s not. Sometimes the romance is found by laying out NyQuil, warming up a car and buttering the other person’s toast before it gets too cold and the butter won’t melt.

The romance now is rooted in the partnership of all that comes with raising two smart, active kids. It’s working on the weeks logistics on a Sunday night, determining who is taking which kid where so you both can get to the gym, cook a meal and still have a date night the following Saturday. It’s purposely carving out time for yourselves because the kids no longer go to bed at 7:30 and those relaxing evenings that you used to have with just the two of you are long gone because you’re both going to bed by 10 even though the kids just fell asleep 45 minute ago.

20 years in with an 11 year old and 9 year old, romance is dreaming together about your kid’s future. Planning your retirement. Working on your long-awaited cross country road trip itinerary even though you both loathe pre-planning trips because you’d much rather wing it- but you know this trip is too big to leave to chance.

20 years is literally a lifetime worth of memories. Amazing, horrible, astounding memories that are yours together. It’s an in-twined history that makes it hard to remember life without the other person. It’s knowing even on the nights when you know you’re going to be tempted to smother your partner due to the damn snoring, there is no one else you’d rather have your back.

Here’s to 20 more years with my favorite person to laugh with, raise our kids with and dream big with.

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I Do Not Think it Means What You Think it Means

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Happy, happy holidays! After a lovely Thanksgiving where the only food I had to provide was a pie from the local cider mill, we’re smack dab in the middle of the holiday craziness. Shopping is more or less done- but wrapping? Well, let’s not talk about it. The kids played in 3 basketball games between 9 am and 12 pm today, I’ve forgotten to buy eggs the past 2 times I’ve been at the grocery store and the stomach bug cycled through the house this week.

Let’s all just agree to pretend that I 100% have my life together- it’s easier that way. To distract myself from the wrapping I’m still not doing, I want to tell you a Scorch story (shared with him permission). Why? Because tweens are my most favorite!

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About a year ago, we had The Talk with Scorch. We debated and hemmed and hawed over when the right time was, but he was going to learn about puberty in school (something we had already discussed) shortly there after and he had been making enough comments that we knew he was curious about how babies were made. So one cold winter night, he and I had a very frank discussion about the mechanics of sex. I prefaced the conversation by telling him that this would be one of many, many conversations we’d have about the subject – but that I wanted him to get his info from us and not around the lunch table.

You guys- it may have been one of the funniest conversations we have ever, ever had. The shock and horror when he realized that the Hubs and I had “done that disgusting things TWICE?!” was something I’ll never forget.

A week or so ago, Scorch and I were out running errands and we ran into a family friend in the store. When we did, she was in the middle of telling the person she was talking to a story about her teenager. Said teenager has a significant other and my friend came home and realized the teens were making out thanks to the “remnants” they had left in the house. My sweet friend was trying to be discreet and used that exact word in front of Scorch instead of the word “hickey”, trying to protect his 11 year old ears.

The minute Scorch and I were alone together in the car, he very quickly blurted out the following all in one breath:

“Mom- what’s a remnant? Because when the cat poops outside of the litter box, Dad calls that a remnant! Are you telling me when those teens got done making out, the boy pooped on the girl’s floor?! When we had the talk, you NEVER said anything about pooping!! Were you saving that for another talk!?!?!?!?”

I almost drove the car off the road I was laughing so hard! The poor kid was so earnest and so confused and so, so disgusted. I had to very quickly explain why our friend used that word and exactly what she meant, otherwise I shudder to think what would happen a few years from now when Scorch gets his first girlfriend.

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Self(ie) Love

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This weekend, the Bean took my phone, snapped a quick selfie and asked if she could post it on my Facebook page.

My immediate, visceral reaction was No. No- we don’t draw attention to ourselves like that. No- we don’t just take selfies and share them. No, just no. I hate taking solo selfies- if I take a selfie, it’s with other people while we’re doing something that I want to document. It’s not just me, sitting on a couch, snapping pics. That makes me* feel like I’m begging for attention (…as opposed to blog writing?? I didn’t say my thought process was logical).  But the Bean was adamant and I don’t ever want to squash her if I don’t have to, so I told her to have at it.

Her caption? The beautifulest girl

You guys, I wanted to cry. And cheer. No matter what society is throwing at my kid, right now my 9 year old is feeling herself. She thinks – hell, she knows – she is the most beautiful kid. I don’t want my kids to get all caught up on external beauty- that’s not my priority and it shouldn’t be theirs. But I do want them to have a health self-esteem because, lord knows, the world will try to knock them down a peg or two as they grow.

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While I really hope my kids don’t grow up taking duckfaced selfies all day long, I do want them to love themselves today and every day.

 

*No judgement if you’re a selfie fan!

Goodbye, Crazy.

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14 years ago, we got a call from a friend about a dog. He had adopted a sweet puppy, but couldn’t keep her because she was just a little too high energy for him. I had met her a few times and there was no way that sweet yellow lab puppy was going back to the pound, so the Hubs and I (mainly me) decided to take her. I mean, look at that face…

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We brought that ill mannered smooshy face home the week after Christmas and discovered two things very quickly:

  1. She wasn’t very bright. At all.
  2. She was allergic to a lot of food.

We discovered the first thing when we realized that the name she came with sounded way too close to the word “No” for her to be able to tell the difference and the second by cleaning up some seriously disgusting messes. So we renamed our pup Abby, enrolled her in training and quickly found a diet that worked.

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All went along as swimmingly as life can with a yellow lab puppy until Abby was 2. That is when her thunder phobia set in. She made the dog in Marley and Me look like an amateur – this crazy dog tried to chew off door knobs, eat her way through dry wall, hide on your shoulders and once even managed to knock herself out by tipping over a shelf on her head in her frenzy to escape the thunder. We tried thunder capes, desensitizing her to the sound, and watching Rambo movies really loudly during storm. We lived and died by the weather forecast and lost so.much.sleep. staying up with this pup- most of the time with her panting and draped your neck.

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Things got so bad that the summer the Bean was born, I tried to rehome her. I was exhausted from having a 2 year old and new born and I was at my limit. Oddly enough, no one else wanted a crazy dog, so she stayed part of our clan. Finally our vet recommended that we take Abbers to the major veterinary hospital within driving distance and see a psychologist.

We were desperate so we did. That is how my 6 year old lab ended on daily Prozac and Xanax during storms. We were officially as crazy as our dog. But it worked and we all got some peace back.

Through it all, Abbers was the sweetest dog. She loved my kids wildly, thought the snow was the best thing ever and tolerated our kitties. She loved meat, but bread (her other love) gave her ear infections. Walks with the Bean were the best thing ever up until about  a week ago. She was pampered and loved each and every day.

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She never learned how to do any fancy tricks and would beg shamelessly for your food. She had the most soulful eyes and the sweetest disposition. Her ears were silky soft and her tail never stopped wagging when she had your attention. Nothing made her happier than being touched- a pat on the head or an absent minded rub of your foot when watching TV.

Abbers started to get sick a little over a year ago when she was 14. We knew she had cancer of some sort, but we all agreed that putting a 14 year old dog through invasive tests was cruel, so we concentrated on keeping her comfortable. And we did a great job of that until about a week ago. Everyone had always told me that I’d know when Abbey’s time was up, and we did. She stopped wanting to eat or go outside. Walks didn’t make her happy and treats were often left uneaten.

So we gave Abbers a week- a week where she got unlimited chicken and other treats. A week where we loved on her and said a million silent goodbyes. We warned the kids and had talked all week about how little time Abby had, but last night we told them flat out what was happening today. There were tears and questions and hugs- but ultimately understanding that it is our job to make sure Abby doesn’t suffer and that sometimes that means making really hard decision.

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The kids said their last goodbye’s this morning and we all cried on their way to school. Shortly there after, the Hubs and I took Abby to the vet where she passed away with cookies in her belly and people who loved her dearly around her.

Goodbye, my crazy girl – thank you for loving us with your whole heart.

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