An update, a rant (or two), and a soapbox…

By January 30, 2014 Family, Holiday No Comments

I’m baaaaa-aaaack!

Yup…I suck. My last post is dated September 18. That was nearly FOUR MONTHS AGO! Agggggh! Just for the record – I was very honest about my ability to keep up with this blogging thing. But still, no excuses. All humility aside – I’m pretty good at a lot of things: crafting, organizing, tending to the house,  being a mom (although sometimes I wonder…), even writing. But I s-u-c-k at blogging. Most days I’m lucky to dress myself and brush my teeth. I should have known it would come to this. Forgive me for my ineptness.

So “What have you been up to the past four months,” you ask?! It seems a whole lot of nothing. But as I think a little longer – a whole BUNCH, actually. This post has absolutely NOTHING to do with repurposing, decorating or the like. So proceed with caution. And consider yourself warned.

We held our first Hatchlings & Hens open house in November and up until then I was busy as a bee getting projects ready for the sale. Perhaps you saw a few of them on Facebook. I became very good friends with a woman named Annie Sloan. Ok, so I don’t know her personally, but I’m IN LOVE with her Chalk Paint. It’s made me want to paint just about everything I see. Including (but not limited to) my children, husband and our kitchen cabinets. The kitchen cabinets portion of that painting, not the children, mind you, has sent my hubby into hysterics! Probably not going to win that battle. Dang…

Also in November, we lost a member of our immediate family, our 11 year old black lab, Izzy. I have to be honest – I don’t really understand people who don’t “like” dogs. I’m going out on a limb here because I have several friends who are in this boat. Friends I still call them – and I love them. But there’s a tiny part of them I just won’t ever understand. I think there’s a certain unspoken language that “dog people” have and those who don’t speak it are a mystery to me. Having to put Izzy to sleep (she went into kidney failure) was one of THE hardest decisions I’ve had to make thus far in my life. Knowing that the decision for her life to continue or end was in my hands, was enough to make an already half-crazy girl certifiably NUTS! You guys – it was HORRIBLE! The worst part of it all was that to a lot of people she was “just a dog.” I would run into friends who would ask me what was new and after mentioning that we lost her, would brush it aside as if I was telling them I had a tooth pulled. I was grieving and very few people acknowledged that grief. We’re not what I would call “crazy dog people.” We’ve never dressed our dogs in clothing, we don’t let them kiss our lips or even sleep on our bed – but they are undoubtedly part of our family. To ignore the grief of losing a part of our family is unspeakable. As my husband put it when we drove away from the vet that dreaded day – “I loved that dog more than I like most people.” She is forever in our hearts and will be missed no less than the closest of friends and the dearest of family.


Izzy

Of course, in December, we had that little holiday called Christmas. My youngest son’s birthday also falls on December 20th so we had a whole lot of craziness in our neck of the woods. I always look forward to the Christmas season and by the time it’s all over I am so exhausted from all of the visual and mental clutter – that I can hardly wait to “un-deck the halls.” Though I always try to keep the meaning of the season at the heart of it all – Jesus. And, while the tree and garland all come down the day after Christmas, my nativity scene remains until the Epiphany! So, yeah, there was that.

In early January my husband and I, and our two children, along with both of our immediate families, took a trip to Orlando, FL. At the forefront of the trip was running the Family Fun 5K at Disney World to raise money for a charity near and dear to our hearts – the A-T Children’s Project. You can learn more about the charity here. When combined with the efforts of all of the other ATCP families this year, we raised over $900,000 dollars to fund research and life-improving therapies for children with a genetic disease called Ataxia Telangiectasia (A-T for short). We had been looking forward to this trip for so many reasons, including a trip to the Disney World theme parks. But the highlight, by far, was the race and the supporting pasta dinner the charity hosted. I was moved to tears more times in that week than I care to count – tiny little moments of happiness, sadness, pride, humility…it goes on. It was incredible. No, it was more than that – it was life changing.


My gang with The Mouse & Minnie!


Magic Kingdom Fireworks!

If you’ve never had the joy to stand for something you care about – do it. The reward is great! I’m not a runner. Not even close. I can barely call myself a “walker.” But every time I wanted to quit during that 5K I reminded myself that there are some in this world who can’t even walk, let alone stand and run a race. So I kept pushing on – running for those who can’t, holding my niece and nephew in my heart. What do you stand for?


“Selfie” during the race!

Ok, whew – and as if all of that wasn’t enough to fill four month’s time – we adopted a black lab mix on Saturday. Her name is Penny. She is 63 pounds of pure puppy and she is bringing life back into a house that has seemed a little empty since Izzy left us. The list of things she has already damaged with her teeth is growing by the day. My husband has nicknamed her Chewbacca. She came to us with absolutely ZERO training so we’ve got a long road ahead of us. But she’s smart – and she’s already learning the rules of the house.


Penny

Penny is snoozing on her bed as I write this and in an hour’s time she’ll be back to her tricks. It’s a little like having a newly crawling baby in the house again. I can’t take my eyes off of her for a second, for fear of what she might decide to devour next. We’ll survive. We always do. But if you decide to stop by – please excuse the half-eaten couch and the holes in our dining room chairs.

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