Five Things I Learned in January

1. Over the weekend, I celebrated my 37th birthday. Around the middle of this past summer I mentioned that I was 37 and my 6 year old son corrected me and reminded me that I'm actually 36. Oops. So I've been "feeling" 37 for some time now, but at least now I "know" my age.

2. There IS a wine I would drink (without gagging or dry heaving!) One of my New Year Resolutions this year is to find a wine that I would willingly drink. I mean, I think I am at an age that I SHOULD be able to swallow wine without gagging. My goal is to try ONE bottle of wine per week, last week didn't happen, I'm going to try to keep track and I'll hopefully share about my findings.

3. My word for 2018 is simplify. I started by doing Emily Ley's simplicity challenge and felt really great about my progress. I'm realizing that after making the early efforts to clean out in an attempt to simplify I lost some steam. SO, I am going to schedule my time and not let my efforts completely go to waste. I still have a long way to go, but my clean out goal was to "be ruthless" and it really feels GOOD to go to the places that I've finished. So far, I've done my overflowing master closet, bath vanity, the children's bathrooms, closets, bedrooms, and the pantry/under stair storage. The goal is to be unloading everything at the neighborhood garage sale next October.

4. I'm needing to reconnect. The chaos of life left me feeling a little disconnected. I'm trying to make some efforts to intentionally connect with the people that are most important to me.

5. Creativity clears my mind. My husband needs physical exertion to clear his mind...I need to slow down and MAKE something. I suppose I've known this for years, but with three little children I was less likely to USE my creativity. I am also going to try to schedule my time to allow some creativity. I've set a goal to MAKE something every month. (And I've already succeeded, now I need to share about it!)

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Introducing Jay {Wright} Knight

When I spoke to my husband about getting a puppy, I am 100% certain he was ready to certify me as absolutely crazy. At the time, we were knee deep in potty training our extremely free-spirited daughter. In retrospect, it was the worst time to bring a puppy into the mix. So of course that is what I decided to do. 

 When we visited the Oklahoma City Humane Society, and decided to bring home our little puppy it was apparent how unprepared we were, no small leash/collar, dog bed, bowls, crates. My husband was actually at work, and just resigned to let me do what I needed to do. I took a few very awkward selfies and sent them his way. The kids took very little convincing.
Once he was home, we had to name the puppy. Of course, no one could agree on a name. We went around and around, and FINALLY after 3 or 4 days a friend from college suggested that we name the little guy "Jay Wright" after the handsome Villanova basketball coach, her exact comment was something like "Jay Wright--handsome, with salt + pepper hair, and a winner!" When I told my husband we both laughed, and he was like "I think that's the name." After a few weeks, he and I were sitting together and for some reason I was thinking about combining both of our alma maters, so I mentioned "Jay Knight" and we knew that was it.  Knowing that we would probably struggle potty training a puppy AND a stubborn toddler, we decided to send Jay off to a positive reinforcement dog trainer to begin his training and then sent him back when he was a little older. I would like to work with Jay taking weekly classes once my husband finishes school.  Jay is about 9 months old now and about 20 pounds. He's durable enough to play with the children, he's great in the car, he's mostly potty trained, and melts our heart when he climbs into his crate on his own at the end of the day. While it hasn't been easy or perfectly smooth (I recall one day thinking my daughter and dog were having a dueling banjos of sorts--but with accidents!!!) 

One of the neatest things was finding out the results of Jay's DNA Results: 
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It's been a year...

My blog absence has been entirely unintentional. Finding balance and TIME has been such a huge challenge...three children is no joke. I have excuses all day long, but I am going to attempt to keep better track of my projects in the coming year. I've done a lot of  sewing, wood working, I'm really going to try to be better about sharing in 2018.

In the meantime, I should start this post with a happy thing to share. We have a new pup!

After losing Mason last January, life just didn't feel right. I had been trained, and even with the chaos I just had such an emptiness in my heart. My husband is in the process of getting a Master's Degree and having three young children, it just seemed like we needed time without a dog.

The grief was something I just didn't expect. It was really intense, it was great to really look back and remember all of these great times. {And just like that I'm a little teary eyed--not my intention!} It was really HARD, and SAD, and I'd give anything to have him in a moment of weakness, I started looking at dogs. Lots of them. We were even approved to adopt a Weimaraner at a local rescue. But knowing the energy and work required for another large dog, I didn't know if it would be the right fit for our family (along with other reservations we were chewing on...) and then all of the sudden I started finding these little terrier puppies that were just so cute...but they were out of state and they refused to allow us to rescue without living in the state. And then I was feeling sad again after feeling so excited..

After feeling a little heartbroken again,  I checked the local human society, AGAIN, because I'd already checked there with an embarrassing frequency, and there he was: a little black fur ball.

So I got myself dressed and ready and we headed to the shelter to meet this cute little pup. It ended up that someone was already there meeting him, so we had the option to look at the other dogs at the Humane Society. We saw the other dogs, and in a visitation room, we saw the cute little black puppy (I should add my husband was at work, and had lots of reservations, and was probably thinking I was insane, BUT also knows how stubborn I am once I get an idea in my head.) The gentleman who was with the puppy waved us in, he explained that he hadn't made his mind up, so we could meet the puppy. I explained that we had lost our 12 year old dog the previous January, and that we finally felt ready to open our family to another four legged friend, with that the man basically said "I think you found your dog." And with that, we had a dog.

Not to leave it as a cliffhanger, but it's suddenly very late, so I'm going to share some pictures of our new dog tomorrow (who we actually brought home in JUNE!! I'm just really behind!)
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