It was Christmas, then it wasn’t, then I got sad. Also : where the heck I’ve been for months.

I’m so terrible with consistency in so many aspects of life, that the fact that I take months-long hiatuses from this space (and my previous online space) shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. But, life has indeed been trucking right along. We got through the holidays with minimal stress, and even put away with no tears. I hate that part. This also may be because since I “put away” Christmas we’ve found two tree skirts, a large christmas decoration, and two wreaths that are most definitely not in their proper storage bins downstairs. Oops. Blame it on the Twilight Zone marathon I was watching while working away. I’m easily distracted. 

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Also, this girl has been keeping us quite busy lately. Meet little Miss Palmer. Shes a blue Great Dane (NOT a weimaraner, if I have to explain that to one more person on the street I may just have her paw at them so they could get a measurement of their enormity, then all questions would be answered). She joined the household in October, as a sweet little 23 pound snuggle bug. Here we are almost three months later, and our sweet little snuggle bug has gained about 40 pounds and still can’t figure out what’s wrong with laying directly on your head. Like she used to. Um. Ok, pup. Ok. I may be biased, but she is quite possibly the sweetest canine known to man. We’ve been so in love with her since day one, it’s hard to remember a time when the house wasn’t scattered with toys, we weren’t woken up by incessant squeaking noises, and the backyard was fully intact. Turns out she likes eating the landscaping. We’re still working on that part. Really, there’s nothing better than standing in the kitchen then hearing gigantic paws bursting through the doggie door and across the hardwoods. Sister is excited all the time. I’m gushing. But I love her. 

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Also new to the mix, is my new ride. I don’t get terribly worked up about cars. In fact, if I lived in a city where I didn’t have to own one and could just take a taxi, I would be perfectly content. I enjoy a road trip just as much as the next guy, but really, let’s face it. I drove a Toyota Yaris for five years and survived just fine. However, in the last year I have learned that cars are the boys thing. He loves them, and I say more power to him. So, this is the newest edition to the fleet. The orange interior makes me happy and it’s fun so all is right in the car world with us…for now.Image

2014 is my year of 30. I have until August, but I think it’s time to start rethinking the home-school-long hair I’ve been sporting for the majority of my 20s…and well, my life. Like any normal modern woman, I’ve turned to Pinterest as a source of inspiration and think I’ve settled on the above cut to take to my stylist. Fingers crossed she can pull off the cut and color. I’m feeling the need for a change. I would also like to guarantee that I will back back here, a few months from now, begging for ways to get my hair to grow faster.

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This is just a pretty photo of the sunrise a few days ago. I’ve been thinking a lot about the New Year and resolutions the last week or so. I’m not generally a resolutioner, but there are so many things I’d like to do better, pay more attention to, and do due deligence to this year that it never hurts to say them out loud. 

Yoga. More of it. When I can. For my mind and my body.

Reading. I’m not sure what happened in 2013 (buying a house, selling a house, falling in love, moving states, etc) but feeding my brain really suffered. I have eight months until I start my graduate program so I need to get on the “pleasure reading” train quickly. 

Family Time. I’ve been terrible at getting to my parents’ (2.5 whole hours) home the last few months. I so value my time with them. I need to make this at least a monthly priority.

Food. Just better. And more. And consistent. And green.

Support. To everyone. Especially that lovely man in my life. With the insane pressures of his professional life, it’s my job to make his home life nothing but relaxing and safe. And remember to pick up my clutter. That’s apparently stressful. 🙂

Just be better. A better daughter, sister, girlfriend, friend, and coworker. Just be better.

Here’s to 2014. Hopefully you’ll be hearing from me a bit more.

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Drawn to Imperfection

When I was little, I would bring home every stray random animal I could get my hands on. 98% of the time they were actual strays, and the other 2% of the time, I probably had hijacked a family pet just out for a little solo stroll. Not to worry, all were returned to owners and good homes found. Bless my mother who so gracefully dealt with me and a sister who once walked into the house with two fistfuls of baby snakes, and proclaimed, “Mom! I found some worms!”. Needless to say, our animal hoarding is probably genetic. 

I have always had some kind of four legged creature around me. I love them all. 

Growing up, I had a surrogate grandmother who adopted a huge, black Great Dane from the pound. He was sweet and kind, and I can remember sneakily sharing my cookies and milk with him by the fire when no prying adult eyes were present. He was my buddy. When I met and starting dating my man, I couldn’t believe how fitting it was that he owned a Great Dane too – yet another sweet, huge boy with a propensity for lap cuddles and ear scratches. Yet again, I had found a buddy. Yet, right before I packed up my life and moved in with said boy to start our life together, a massive landscaping project was planned for our backyard. Grass was torn up, retaining walls built, a hot tub installed, and plans for sod, decorative rocks, and a water feature. All this of course meant our big boy would have to spend some time at Grandma and Grandpas. As the landscaping company kept pushing our completion date back, and I was still traveling every week, and the man working insane hours, our big boy got quite used to his temporary quarters. Two other four legged buddies to play with and weekly trips to the family ranch won him over. Long story short, we would have a moppy, miserable teenaged attitude on our hands if we forced him back home. Even with me here now full time and working part time. He refuses.  

At least we get visitation.

Which of course now leads me to the power of the internet. I’ve researched – breeders, rescues, maybe getting a hunting dog so the man can do more bird hunting and mountain lion hunting (this is Wyoming, ok?). BUT yesterday, I found something that stopped me in my tracks. A sweet rescue Dane, with an excellent bio, no desire to share his people with another pup, and a love of car rides and morning jogs. A light went off. As I looked closer I realized, he’s also pure white. Startling white. He’s deaf. A special needs dog and probably not the most desirable for a lot of families.

I work with children with special needs every day. I receive comments constantly about how hard that must be, how sad, how frustrating, how (fill in the negative blank). Truthfully? Yeah, there are some difficult days. Some days where I go home and want to cry out of all of those – sadness, frustration, difficulty – but it’s the most rewarding thing I have ever done. These kids, not “ideal” for every family. They’re the ones I understand, the ones I have so much fun with…that challenge me, push me, make me be better and think better. They’re so worth it.

The translation between this new buddy in need of a home and this part of my life I treasure so much is not lost on me. Of course now, I need more information, to meet his little (big) fella, to convince the other half of our little family that we can do this. Those big blue eyes need us.

So now, I’m off to print off some pictures of this great package of imperfection to hang in the office as a not so subtle hint. I may also canvas the bathroom and bedroom. Maybe the inside of the closet too if I go a little crazy. Have printer, will conquer.

It’s on. 

A new little family

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There’s this man in my life. He’s pretty awesome. He’s also shy and quiet, private, and would hate for me to ever talk about him in his “him”ness here. Just take my word, he’s pretty much the bee’s knee’s. 

The last eight months since he’s come  (back) into my life have been incredible and the most “grown up” and “me” I’ve ever felt. I’m not sure how I feel about fate and kismet (I think I’m a huge believer) so to me, it makes sense that he would crop back up into my life two days before my mom’s last chemo treatment. It makes sense that this relationship, THE relationship would happen in a time frame where I was a less-messy version of myself than I had been in months. In a place where I would finally have a little room in my life, emotionally and literally, for something that would change everything. This timing thing. It makes sense.

In the almost twenty nine years of my life, my nuclear family has been the end all be all to me. My parents – undeniably the center in which my world has always revolved around. The relationship with my sister a bit more messy, complex. There are days when I truly think we love each other more than we like each other. Two completely different creatures – this subject worthy of its own post alone. Just not today. 

So now at this point in my life I feel this crossroads. This new dance I’m doing around my new family and my old family. The juxtaposition of mixing these people in my life, proving to be a tricky thing. But I’m learning and I’m doing. I’m finding time for everyone, to keep these parts of my life separate when they need be, and together where I hope them to be. 

 

52 Weeks

52 weeks ago, I wasn’t. I wasn’t a lot of things. I wasn’t happy, I wasn’t in love, I wasn’t in this place. Teeming with nervous energy. Anxious and hopeful about the future.

I was devastated. I was sitting in the parking lot of my gym, chatting with my mom, when I realized the tone in her voice was off. It had been off the day before too. I can’t remember if I asked if anything was wrong the day before but I remember thinking it. Something was wrong. She approached it slowly. Reassuring me that it was going to be alright but she needed to let me know. Breast cancer. They’d confirm it the day after, but the physician that did the biopsy had seen enough cases to best prepare her. Be prepared. She was calm , collect, matter of fact. I took a few deep breaths, got off the phone, and proceeded inside and climbed on a treadmill. Before I had even gone a quarter of a mile I was breathing heavy. Too heavy. I ripped off my headphones, jumped off, and held my hand over my chest and my rapidly beating heart. Not the most opportune moment to have an anxiety attack.

I drove home, stopped by the nearest market and grabbed whatever wine was closest. I remember it was a white (which I never drink, I’m a red girl) and I sat on my bed and bawled.

I drank the entire bottle. Fell asleep. Woke up the next morning with a lump in my chest. A lump that I don’t think will ever go away. This year has changed me, changed us, our family.

We are closer, happier, we play more, I think we love harder because you just never know. Her port is now out, her hair has grown back, her life getting back to normal. Although to be completely honest, the woman never slowed down much. She kept working, kept her commitments, and didn’t allow herself the pity parties. She’s amazing, a rockstar, and well, just my mom. It makes perfect sense that she would have approached it like this. She’s five feet two inches of awesome. It’s how those Reichert/Mitchell ladies roll.

So, 53 weeks later (I started this post a week ago), it’s done. It’s a mess of emotions, and my best friend is back to herself. She’s chipper and happy and so centered. It’s amazing to watch and I am so thankful for that little lady who just kicked cancer in the ass.