Saturday, October 3, 2015

swimming lessons...

Everyone says Weimaraners are natural born swimmers… Yeah, False.  Grace was not so amazing at it, especially considering her first time in the water was jumping from our boat- all because she was just that excited to be with her dad…  And our little Penny baby seems to be following right along in her older sister's footsteps.  You see, the first time she finally ventured out into the water, she froze like a deer in headlights… sweet girl.  She was neck deep in water and wouldn't budge an inch!  Now Birdie (totally fearless & yes… maybe a bit of a natural born swimmer) went straight out to Penny, not once, but twice- trying to coax her back to shore…  And that pretty girl absolutely refused to move a muscle- until mama came out to her rescue.  So… insert swimming lessons here.  And success!!  Our friend's pool + a lifevest, and she started paddling!!  Here's Birdie on the left and Penny on the right (sans lifejacket).  Good girls.
We also took a day trip to Lake Murray.  A little more practice & a lot more fun for everyone!
Of course they found the absolute perfect stick… which meant it had to come home with us.
Moral of the story, just because a dog has webbed feet, doesn't mean they will be amazing swimmers.  Sometimes they need a little extra help from mom and dad.

dog days of summer

Summer's coming to an end, and before I can post any of my "favorite time of year," autumn loveliness… I need to get caught up on this summer's happenings.  (Because I like to remember my life in some sort of seasonal order, and… I'm just a weirdo like that.)  But I kinda have a perfect reason for being a bit behind on my postings.  You see, I have been busy-busy-busy!!  (Lots of fun moments, but also some I want to pull my hair out and cry moments…)  I'm sure a few of you are aware that we've added four more paws to our home recently…  We've been fostering another furbaby for the last few months, which has been quite an adjustment for this girl!  I mean, it goes without saying that two one & a half year olds sure do have a ton of energy, right?  Understatement.  So say hello to our newest addition, Birdie (aka bulldozer, wrecking ball, & Tasmanian devil).  And take a peek at what these pretty little grey girls have been up to this summer!

the girls on their first (REALLY LONG) walk together
playing patty cake and hanging out in the yard
working on our manners so we can be proper patio pups!
visits with crazy aunt Frieda & a few summer storms
dog parks & lake days!! Oklahoma is HOT & we are practicing our swimming… 
And in case you wondered… Penny's the one on the left, in every single one of the two of them… RANDOM, I know.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

ghost runners 5k dog run - web design

Volunteering for Heartland Weimaraner Rescue this past year has made me a busy little bee!!  Not to mention it has been incredibly rewarding…  (Hello!  It's brought two special someones into my life… chicken little & big bird -insert big grin here.)  I mean, what a great group of people- that are all about saving grey & blue furbabies.  Donating my time has allowed me to put my love for graphics & design to good work… planning events, designing tees, constructing flyers, & even building a shiny, brand new website!  Now our biggest fundraiser of the year is coming up soon, so you better mark your calendars…  This event is unique, because it allows you to run with your dog.  That's right I said it!  Run with your dog.  You know, the one you already train with everyday, because not only are you working on your own fitness, but you are trying to exercise that baby properly!?  It's going to be a great time for the entire family, so I hope you'll join us this October 25th!  -And here's a peek at the website I designed for the race!  Below are a few screenshots, so be sure to visit the site for all the details and to sign up!!  See you there friends!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

vanilla chai jax weekend

Well this post may be a bit behind schedule, but the title is pretty self explanatory… toes in the sand, South Jax Beach, & drinking vanilla chai lattes all day, right?  Uh huh- sounds like perfection.  Okay great, where do I sign up?  -Well that's exactly what a few of my college besties planned and made happen.  Now I won't bore you with all the girlie chit-chat and bracelet making that happened during our stay.  (Shopping?? Check out Rosie True!!)  Instead I'll just share a few pics of our weekend getaway that will be sure to make you jealous & will have you planning your next beach vacation in no time!  Ps. You MUST go to Lillie's Coffee Bar… TRUST ME.  You'll thank me later!!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

adopting chicken little

dear grace,

Did you know, you're going to be a big sister?  She was pretty shy and nervous when we welcomed her into our home… but I just know you've been showing her the ropes.  I'm sure you're aware that she is super respectful of your bed… try not to growl at her too much, okay?  She just really wants to be a good little sister.  She didn't stand a chance of having just one name, of course.  "Chicken Little" is the obvious fallback, but she's really coming out of her shell.  Beeper came next, (it's the sound we never stop hearing…) as she runs throughout the house sharing all your squeaky little toys.  (I mean… they. are. everywhere.)  And of course there's Motorbutt… for obvious reasons.  But mostly we call her Penny.  Penny Jane (and Penny Jones, because we can't have a Gracie Jones and not a Penny Jones… hahah).  Which leads to PJ for short.  Yes.  Lots of cute little nicknames, as you are more than familiar with…  And I'm sure you've witnessed her shiny penny syndrome, yes?  Oh hi, please rub my belly… squirrel!!!!!  But we also know you have been looking out for us, so when I found this poem, it really just confirmed that we'd been right in calling her Penny all along… 

"I found a penny today just laying on the ground.  But it's not just a penny, this little coin I've found.  'Found' pennies come from Heaven, that's what my Grandpa told me.  He said angels toss them down.  Oh, how I loved that story.  He said when an angel misses you, they toss a penny down.  Sometimes just to cheer you up, make a smile out of your frown.  So don't pass by that penny when you're feeling blue.  It may be a penny from Heaven that an angel tossed to you."  -C. Mashburn

Watching us cry must have broke your heart…  And then you saw this sweet Penny and somehow made sure she would find her way to us.  She looks a lot like you, which was really hard at first, but it only makes sense… you are sisters after all.  She never has all her feet on the ground at the same time… and I know that's just because sometimes she wants to visit with her big sister in the sky…  Not a day goes by that we don't think about you…  We just miss you to pieces, sweet girl.  We didn't think it would be possible to smile again, but it's evident you are still doing your best to make that happen.  Of course, we should have known.  -Well we finally made it official & our adoption is complete.  But can you do us a favor?  Keep an eye out for your little sister.  She's a good girl, but sometimes the naughty sneaks out…  Of course I'm guessing you have no idea what that's like, do you?  Wink wink.

-loving you always…
mommie, daddy, & penny

Thursday, June 18, 2015

throw kindness around like confetti...

The last five months seem to have vanished into thin air all of a sudden.  Even after I thought the first two would never end… A time when the pieces of my broken world lay all around me, and there were days when I would just find myself wanting the earth to swallow me up whole.  I just couldn't imagine my life, without my Gracie girl in it.  I still have bad days, when -as a sweet friend would say- I just ugly cry.  But I'm finding there are still lots of big hearts, warm hugs, and kind words that somehow manage to encourage me along…  Thank you to so many for reaching out.  Kindness is truly contagious.  So the next person you see…  Look at them and smile.  Wave hello.  Their world may be falling apart & they may feel completely lost… and honestly who knows?  You may just be the unexpected little boost they need in their life.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

week 16

one good deed a day

an ongoing journal of a few good deeds throughout this year

106. apr 30. give an anonymous donation to a person or family in need the organization or charity of your choice » I always find myself saying, I want to donate to that cause, or do something to help this cause, but never seem to get around to it…  So it's making my heart happy to know that this year, I am finally turning my words into action!
107. may 1. learn your local barista's name and use it » Hi Valerie at Starbucks in Moore!!
108. may 2. try something new » Another good deed for the back of the book!  (I mean, how is this one not in there already??)  I went to my first ever crawfish boil today!  It was fun in the sun with a few great friends.  And you know what?  I finally ate a crawfish.  I said I never would, (I think it's more about knowing the poor things were just alive), but my girlfriend was kind enough to peel me one so I could try it.  Pretty tasty!!
109. may 3. don't double book yourself » Remember, this doesn't just apply to work (as in booking two appointments at the same time).  For me it was about saying no.  And it was to my Grandmother no less (I know, I'm a terrible person!!).  She comes down to visit me quite often, but this time I asked her if she could push out her visit for a few days, because I really needed to buckle down and get some editing finished for a family session.  And because even though I know she doesn't need entertaining… I knew I would feel bad spending hours in front of the computer & not being able to chit-chat with her.  And without any distractions (except for the four-legged kind wanting to be in my lap) I actually finished earlier than expected!  
110. may 4. go to an independent bookstore, movie, or business » A big shout out to Blue Seven!  I seriously just love that place.
111. may 5. smile at kids or give them a silly face to distract them and give their parents a moment of reprieve » let's just say teething is no fun for anyone.
112. may 6. pay attention » I'm guessing this one is meant more for paying attention during a conversation, or something to that effect…  But I am using it for tornado season.  Sometimes, I just really become reliant on my hubby for weather updates, and to just keep me safe in general.  So when he isn't home, I find myself panicking a little bit more.  Our weather here in Oklahoma right now is seriously no joke.  So today, I kept my eyes glued to the news (which I NEVER watch), and prepped the storm shelter, and had a plan.  (Which included getting down there twice this evening!!)  Stay safe friends!

first ever crawfish boil, fresh from the pot!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

week 15

one good deed a day

an ongoing journal of a few good deeds throughout this year

99. apr 23. learn how to change a tire so you can do it yourself or someday help out a stranger in need » okay, so this is a bit of a cheat day, because I learned how to do this a really long time ago… but good skill to know, especially if you drive a car!
100. apr 24. stop and pet a dog and say hello to the owner » I keep running into a couple on our walks that also has a pretty new rescue pup.  The were struggling with her at first, she has a bit of a protection/aggression issue, but I love seeing how much they've worked with her and just how far she's come!
101. apr 25. offer your car truck to a friend without wheels that needs to move big furniture » My only wish is that I could have lent a hand as well, but I know just having the truck helped greatly.
102. apr 26. make signs for the trash, recycling, and compost so it's clear what goes where » Calling all label maker lovers everywhere!!
103. apr 27. donate a little bit of money to aid disaster-relief work somewhere in the world » You may remember me boasting about my cousin's upcoming climb on Mt. Everest.  Well the Nepal Earthquake pretty much gave our entire family a heart attack, because it occurred during her ascension!  She is safe, thank goodness.  So this good deed seemed to peek out of the book right when help was needed.  I hope you'll consider making a donation as well.
104. apr 28. don't eat meat today » pretty excited to have discovered the sofritas at Chipotle (and loving that their menu is now GMO free).  Well let's just say everyone that tried mine, had no idea it wasn't meat!!  Bet you can't tell what it really is!
105. apr 29.  learn how to say "thank-you" in other languages so you can thank people in their native tongues » I've always appreciated when someone can't speak our language, but I can see that they are trying…  It may not be easy, but it shows respect.  Of course I do my best to return the favor when I am speaking to someone knowing that English isn't their first language.  It is so funny to see how tickled they get just to hear me say a few of their words!  -Danke, Merci, Gracias, Kheili Mamnoon!!  Any idea which language the last one is??

I bought the little one her very own pool and honestly thought that since she was still a puppy, I may regret the decision…  But it wasn't the flying leap into the water I had expected, hah!!  We're still working on getting in the pool, so for now it's just bobbing for toys!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

bake & take - graphic + web design

A client of mine's been coming to me for a variety of lessons, and I'm pleased to say we have struck up a happy little friendship!  So when she turned to me asking for a blog re-design… of course I jumped right on it!  Every week she pops in her kitchen and bakes up the most wonderful, yummie delights!  And I get to sample them… naturally, it's only fair.  I am currently claiming that her lemon scones were out of this world.  Honestly, I never even told my hubby about them, all because I didn't want to share!!  What!!?  Don't judge me.  Please see number 17- random things about me.  Anyways, I wanted to share her blog with all its fabulous recipes and the new re-design with you all!  bake and take - the blog  -by Gwyn Day

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

week 14

one good deed a day

an ongoing journal of a few good deeds throughout this year

92. apr 16. say hello to a stranger » Honestly, this is so easy & you never know when such a little gesture, such as making eye contact, smiling, and saying hello could brighten someone's day.  Do it.
93. apr 17. when someone does or says something rude or offensive, assume he/she is having a bad day and respond with compassion » Today was a day when I was doing a favor for someone that I had actually never met.  There ended up being a little confusion, and I'm pretty sure a little frustration as well.  Normally, I would respond in kind as to the mood of the conversation.  However today, I kept on my happy face and apologized for any part I may have caused in said confusion.  I also focused on making small talk that was kind and personal in nature, and wished them a good weekend.  And rather than turning sour, we were laughing and telling jokes when it was all said and done!
94. apr 18. give credit wherever you can » My sister (well actually, sis-in-law… boy, do I really confuse people on this one) has played assistant for me on a few really large shoots…  I just can't even imagine trying to do one of these without her!  I swear she is the baby/child whisperer, and has a really good eye for helping me achieve the look I want!  Thank you Sarah, for being so wonderful and helpful!!
95. apr 19. don't be overly dramatic » Another one to file in the blank pages at the end of the book, entitled what else can you do?  "Chicken Little" has a neighborhood playmate she pretty much loves…  It's another Weim- we call her Crazy Aunt Frieda, hah!  They are the cutest together, but managed to get into a teensy scuffle today.  A Hurt Feelings Report was filed, and the next day they were back to chewing sticks together… and all is well again in the neighborhood.
96. apr 20. bring your coworker a coffee local veterinary office some cookies » And take your dog!  Hey, not every vet visit needs to be a stressful stick or a poke… so make this one a social visit :)
97. apr 21. treat yourself » Hello Starbucks.
98. apr 22.  give someone one piece of constructive criticism » and don't take offense when someone gives it to you…  It's one of the best ways to grow & learn how to step outside your comfort zone.

Really missing our patio time and the redbuds already!!  Storm season has arrived…

Thursday, April 16, 2015

week 13

one good deed a day

an ongoing journal of a few good deeds throughout this year

85. apr 9. If you're thinking about donating money, ask a friend to contribute and increase the impact » skip your latte today (or just buy Heartland Weimaraner Rescue one too!!)  All donations will help- by providing heartworm prevention or helping pay for treatment for a weim in our foster care.  April is Heartworm Prevention Month.  Help save a life.  Giving $10 will supply one dog with prevention for an entire month!  And if you'd like to donate more, that would be wonderful as well!  We've had 4 weims come in this first quarter alone testing heartworm positive.  Their treatment can cost upwards of $800-$1000 dollars each.  Any amount helps!!  Please help spread the word by sharing this post (links below).  We really appreciate you for your support in helping these loving dogs!  Please Donate!
86. apr 10. wave hello at a four-way stop, yielding to the other person » easy peasy.
87. apr 11. accept a new friend's invitation an old friend's constant begging to come visit her » Hehehee… okay, in all fairness, this is a pretty accurate description… So after her latest plea: "please come see me!!"  We have decided to plan a girls trip and make it happen!  Sandy beaches here we come!
88. apr 12. set high expectations » This one was actually for myself… today is the Redbud Classic, and I'm participating in the 5K once again.  I really wanted to beat my previous records and push myself to run a little faster this year.  My GPS showed just below a 9 minute pace, which I was pretty excited about!  Definitely better than past runs… And when my race results were emailed to me, I finish 8th out of 93 in my division (although it shows my official pace to be 9:06).  My finish time was 28:16, and I'm quite certain this is the fastest I've run it to date!
89. apr 13. do a little dance and be silly » Take me bowling… it will happen.
90. apr 14. watch the movie that your significant other wants to watch » And yes.  It was pretty terrible, haha.  Not to mention we forgot to return it, so now we are paying double for said movie!
91. apr 15.  return a long-overdue phone call » which of course leads to a fun game of phone tag!

my "giftcard" design for our local Rescue helping spread the word on heartworm prevention

Monday, April 13, 2015

planting trees & patio time...

"Chicken Little" loves to help…  She frequents the local Home Depot with us quite often, as did our Gracie girl.  Since springtime is starting to make an appearance, we've decided to plant a few trees!  Here's our very first redbud (the Oklahoma State tree).  I'm pretty excited about seeing it outside my window… they are just the prettiest part of our landscape here every year, ranging from blooms of pink to purple!  Thank goodness we staked them before our first tornado of the season rolled through… and they survived the first major storm without incident.  The patio is getting a little color too, and is becoming our favorite hangout place.  The pup is sure to stick her nose in everything, checking out every new flower and herb we plant.  And after a long day of playing, chasing, & running in the sun, she settles down on the concrete to cool off for a quick nap before it starts all over again.  Hope wherever you call home, you've been able to enjoy a bit of the outdoors finally with family & friends!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

week 12

one good deed a day

an ongoing journal of a few good deeds throughout this year

78. apr 2. say good morning to your coworkers everyone along your morning walk/route » Make eye contact and say hello!  Last lap?  Wish them a good day!
79. apr 3. ask a friend who seems down to go for a walk » or to come hang out and chat, or join you for a cup of coffee out.  Sometimes just telling them you are there for them may be exactly what they need to hear.
80. apr 4. find ways to help others avoid embarrassment » It's as simple as politely telling someone they have something in their teeth.
81. apr 5. sign up for a run or walk that supports a special cause » Every year I look forward to the Redbud Classic and it's almost that time again!  This year's beneficiary is the Boys & Girls Clubs of Oklahoma County.
82. apr 6. encourage somebody » I'm currently helping a friend with her blog, and while proofreading, I discovered a sweet comment in her post-  You encourage me to do better every day.  So sweet.  Really needed to hear this today.  It made me smile.
83. apr 7. look into the eyes of the person you are talking with » I sometimes catch my eyes wandering, but I find there is so much more sincerity in good eye contact, so I am working on this.
84. apr 8.  make someone laugh » or better yet, make a lot of people laugh!!  This was easily accomplished by sharing a few pics of a funny moment in our household with a few friends.

"chicken little" showing off her cat-like skills… 

Friday, April 3, 2015

week 11

one good deed a day

an ongoing journal of a few good deeds throughout this year

71. mar 26. befriend someone new » We are lucky that our days have been filled with doggie playdates for the new foster pup.  It's really cute watching her play and interact with other dogs, not to mention it is also great for keeping her socialized!  There is a family I met on my many walks with Grace that also has a weim.  Our girls just love to run and play… we often end up hanging out for hours, not realizing where the time has gone.  Their friendship has been a wonderful find!
72. mar 27. leave a nice comment on your friend's blog, facebook wall, or twitter feed » My cousin is climbing Everest.  You heard me.  Mt. EVEREST.  It will be a two month journey, you can follow here.  I am so proud of her drive, determination, and overall dedication.  Her goal is to raise awareness, to empower Nepali girls, and to put a stop to human trafficking.  Please, if this is near & dear to your heart, considering donating.
73. mar 28. find two days this year when you can donate your time » Okay folks, this one will make your heart happy.  First find something you are passionate about and then go help!  For me… well I love animals (I'm guessing no one knew this, yes? wink wink).  While volunteering with Heartland Weimaraner Rescue, I am able to do exactly what I enjoy (helping weimies, anything graphic or computer related, designing stuff, and the list goes on…).  So figure out what your skills are & find a group… I promise it won't actually feel like work & sharing the load helps everybody!
74. mar 29. add a few plants to your bedroom back patio » Making my time out in the sun with my family just a little more pretty!  (And chances are, the plants will live much longer out there than in my house… haha.)

I usually use these cuties as a perimeter border around my front planter bed.

75. mar 30. choose a glass of water instead of another coffee » not always easy… I know.
76. mar 31. take your dad parents out for lunch » beautiful day for a patio visit, and lakeside too! The hubby's family often take turns visiting this time of year during their travels, and we are lucky to live about halfway along their routes!
77. apr 1. start a composting program at your building, school, or home » Really happy we finally started composting last year, and that my hubby is completely on board.  We just used our first batch of our own compost this past weekend when planting this year's garden!  It will be really gratifying knowing that this year's harvest will have been fertilized from last year's "waste."  But you shouldn't compost everything… Here's a guide we found useful: what you can and cannot compost.

Friday, March 27, 2015

week 10

one good deed a day

an ongoing journal of a few good deeds throughout this year

Okay… for those of you keeping track, you caught me.  There may just be a two week gap in my numbers, but really… who's counting?  Fostering "chicken little" has kept us busy, busy.  She is only 14 months old, so her energy is go-go-go!!  Well let's just say, she makes me run (and walk) quite a bit faster…  Now even though I may have a small time gap in my good deeds, doesn't mean I didn't still practice doing them.  I said hi to strangers, opened doors for others, waved at people in traffic (while trying to set aside road rage… yes, it can be a struggle), donated my time, shopped local, played outside, practiced patience… well, you get the idea.  Alrighty then, here we go- more suggestions from my journal: One Good Deed a Day!

64. mar 19. swap life stories with someone you don't know very well » When we laid Grace to rest, there was one person in particular that left me a voice message… It was so kind, and heartfelt, and from someone I've actually never even met.  Somehow she just knew all the right things to say.  It made me cry.  The sincerity in her voice… well it's just really heartwarming when you don't feel so alone, and someone takes the time to provide comfort when you really need it.  I decided to call her today and tell her just how much her words meant to me that day…  We laughed and we cried and we talked for hours sharing stories.  We discovered a lot of similarities in our lives, and we both agreed that there is a special kindredness in our spirits, that somehow drew us to each other.
65. mar 20. when you are inspired to say something nice, say it. » We went to my Dad's to celebrate Norouz, which is the Persian New Year, along with his birthday.  His wife, and my dear friend, went all out.  Everything looked beautiful!  She made a variety of yummie treats from scratch, which she spent all day making, for her first time ever!  It was really wonderful to have the family together, and I am so grateful she has come into our lives.
66. mar 21. recycle » I'm really jealous that we STILL do not have curbside recycling yet… but we will continue to do our part, sort it all out, and take it to the next town over.  You should too.

67. mar 22. plant a seed tree » (or two!!)  Super excited to say we planted our first Redbud, the Oklahoma state tree!  Along with a pretty peach tree, we look forward to seeing a few blooms and some green leaves waving hello in the wind outside our windows!
68. mar 23. thank someone for something you usually take for granted » We are incredibly lucky to have so much family nearby (and handy too!)…  Over the weekend, our sprinkler system decided to EXPLODE.  Seriously what a gross mess.  Family came to the rescue, helping us get the situation under control, allowing my hubby to focus on finding a solution.  Family also made us dinner after taking advantage of their showers.  We often expect family to just step up in our time of need, but it's really important to take the time & actually thank them for getting us out of crisis mode or lending a helping hand.  
69. mar 24. bless your interruptions as an opportunity to take a deep breath and smile » the girls (and more recently, their brothers too) come to play with "chicken little" quite often.  It is never planned, and at random times throughout the day… but their visits never cease to bring a huge smile to my face.
70. mar 25. establish an emergency plan with your family or friends » It's tornado season people.  Stay safe and more importantly, have a plan (that includes your furry loved ones)!!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

week 9

one good deed a day

an ongoing journal of a few good deeds throughout this year

57. feb 26. tell your dentist you appreciate him » Yes… I'm pretty sure I am the only weirdo that loves going to the dentist, but I do love me some clean teeth!!
58. feb 27. foster a kitten or puppy » teeny, tiny, baby steps…  but it's pretty impossible to look at her & not love her sweet, mischievous little face.
59. feb 28. strike up a conversation with the person working the cash register » We learned today that our cashier is a retired Marine, served in Vietnam, and moved here from Boulder, Colorado.  All because I made the comment that most people look at us like we are crazy when we say we will bag our own groceries- to which he responded, it's pretty common in Colorado
60. mar 1. wake up thirty minutes earlier and get some exercise » and on a Sunday too, yeah buddy!
61. mar 2. clean up someone else's mess » Persian food is an all day cooking event that tends to get every pot, dish, & spoon in the house dirty (or maybe that's just because my hubby is the one making it…).  And although I may complain a lot about the aftermath of the kitchen once he is finished- ummmmm yeah…. not today people!!
62. mar 3. get some fresh air » lots of weird weather in Oklahoma, gotta get out there & enjoy it while you can!
63. mar 4. start a list of books you'd like to read for fun » lots of Dean Koontz in there lately…  Also recently picked up a book called Mosquitoland, by David Arnold (I'm not gonna lie, I kinda bought it because I love the cover, obviously… ).  Any other suggestions for me??

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

o'city st. patrick's day parade

Oh boy… I hope you're wearing your green today!!  (I have my pinchers ready, so watch out!)  Of course one special day of wearing green, pretty much isn't any different from any other day of mine…  But I did get to spend my Saturday loving up on a few extra cute weimies…  (You guessed it.  Day made.)  My family joined the Heartland Weimaraner Rescue group, and we got all decked out (humans and pups alike) & we marched (got pulled, trotted…) along the streets of downtown Oklahoma City for this year's annual St. Patty's Day Parade.

We even took 2nd in best dressed, yeah buddy!  Okay now, this may be just one of the reasons why…    
And if that doesn't put a huge smile on your face, well here's a few other favorites from the day!

Okay, not a weimaraner… but my sexy hubby in his green afro, well I'm really digging the vibe here…  
Of course you know I couldn't forget "chicken little"… I put on my mom hat & made her cute little outfit :)

You better believe there's a whole lot more cuteness & tutus & bowties & sequins to be witnessed from this day's festivities… so grab yourself a green beer & be sure to check out the rest!  Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

chicken little

I've recently been offering help to a local Weimaraner Rescue.  When I filled out the volunteer form, I mentioned that we wouldn't be able to foster just yet, thinking it was a bit too soon, but I really wanted to help out in other ways… fundraising, transporting, etc.  They immediately responded, asking if I could design a tee for their upcoming St. Patty's Day Parade.  The next thing I know, emails are coming back to back to back- needing transports and fosters for several different dogs… (because now I'm on the volunteer list, you see).  The email requesting help with transporting a pup had already been filled by the time it reached my eyes, however there were still a few dogs needing foster homes…  I left one of the emails in my inbox, but didn't respond to it right away, thinking someone else will scoop her right up.  But as the day went on, for some reason, my thoughts often wandered back to her.  I eventually asked where she was located and if anyone had stepped up to help her yet, to which came the reply, she's in OKC and no.  

This, of course, stirred my becomingly familiar, all too often, anxiety to the surface again… causing my heart to hammer in my chest once more.  I realized sadness was slowly becoming my new way of life.  And knowing I've always had a passion for animals, could I make the decision to pick up the shattered pieces of my heart and offer my help?

We decided to reply yes.  To try.  Fostering would consist of four weeks.  Get to know her.  Welcome her into our home.  Yes, another weim.  My emotions were all over the place.  We hadn't even seen another weim in person…  Her picture was mostly of her face, so I knew she was the same color as Grace, but not too many other details.  On the drive over to meet her, the first song we heard after Gracie's passing began to hum over the radio.  (We hear it pretty much every single car ride we take, no matter the hour or day.)  Well that started the tears again…  After meeting her & bringing her home, well… there were just so many bittersweet moments.

The first few days proved a little bit scary and overwhelming for her, and we started to lovingly call her "chicken little."  She's just such a shy, sweet, timid little thing.  But of course she really thinks her name is "good girl."  With each day that passes, she comes out of her shell a little more.  I have no doubt Grace is whispering in her sweet gigantic ear… okay now, so listen up real good, here's how you get them wrapped around your big furry paw.

Our crazy Oklahoma- windy, freezing, sleeting, snowy, icy, winter- weather doesn't seem to bother her in the least bit.  She actually loves to take curious little bites out of the snow.  She literally prances around the yard, checking everything out…  And the next thing you know she is frozen to her spot- pointing, always pointing…  It's really funny to see- she doesn't seem to know whether to point with the front leg or the back one… but she always has to have one off the ground (with her face full of snow, of course).  Oh and you can bet she is pretty darn cute (I mean, let's be serious- it may be safe to say, she knows this).

We are discovering more and more about her sweet, playful personality each passing day she spends with us.  But more importantly, what I'm discovering about myself- is that a life without paw prints in it, is a life lived less full.

Friday, March 6, 2015

week 8

one good deed a day

an ongoing journal of a few good deeds throughout this year

50. feb 19. play a song you love as loudly as you want » lately that song has been Photograph, by Ed Sheeran… manages to make me smile & cry at the same time.
51. feb 20. donate to a charity that benefits animals or children » I have been doing this to help raise money for Wonder Weims Rescue for the past several years now.  They host an annual auction, and I am happy to help by donating weimie artwork of my Gracie girl…  This year I decided to donate something a little different which will end up being a custom piece for the winner.  You may remember the many terms of endearment I have for Grace, and now another lucky person will have personalized artwork with all their baby's nicknames to hang on their wall as well.
52. feb 21. leave a treat on your coworker's desk buy extra girl scout cookies and give a box to a friend » We all know it's a limited time when the girl scout cookies come out…  And always right after a diet is started, yes??  But we still can't resist purchasing those delicious thin mints, can we?  Great thing is, they are perfect stored & enjoyed fresh from the freezer.  Now I recently had a friend show up with a few boxes before I even saw a girl scout selling…  So today when I visited the grocery store, I bought extra and decided to pay it forward by sharing with a couple special people in my life.
53. feb 22. take out the garbage, without being asked » The hubby and I are usually pretty good at helping each other out, or not having too many gender assumed roles in our household.  (He usually cooks, and is damn good at it I might add!)  But when it comes to the garbage, he is generally on top of it, and has it out to the curb before I can even ask.  Every now and then I like to return the favor, and today happened to be one of those days.
54. feb 23. get a library card » Okay, so I actually have had a library card pretty much since we moved back to the states.  And last year I discovered an app for my iPad/Kindle that lets you check out books from your local library (with said library card).  And even though I still prefer the feel of a good book in my hands… well this has been a wonderful little discovery!  I've read more than I have in ages… and it's a lot lighter to throw an iPad in your bag than 3 or 4 books, so that works!
55. feb 24. spell-check and proofread before you send » seriously people.
56. feb 25. listen to a solicitor's whole pitch (even if you're planning to say no) » I know this one is hard.  I used to always give common courtesy until I felt a few people weren't "soliciting" with good intentions… some we even later found out to be scams.  But I am trying to put my faith in others that they are doing this for the right reasons.  And if nothing else, maybe they need the money more than I do.

Sharing an image from last summer's float trip… although somehow I feel this better reflects the cold winter weather Oklahoma has been experiencing lately.  Stay warm friends. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

week 7

one good deed a day

an ongoing journal of a few good deeds throughout this year

43. feb 12. eat your next meal in silence (away from a computer) » and any other electronic distractions…
44. feb 13. empty the dishwasher -before anyone in your house or office has a chance to ask you to do it » Well considering I normally do this, I'm not sure if it's really a good deed, but I'll take it!
45. feb 14. be the first to apologize » I may be quick to snap lately, but I am also trying to make sure and take responsibility for my actions and any wrongdoing on my behalf…
46. feb 15. shovel the snow off your neighbor's porch salt your neighbor's driveway » Oklahoma's version of snow, usually ends up as slick & hazardous ice…  So we prepared by buying salt, knowing the storm was coming.  My hubby went outside to investigate the weather situation as evening started to fall, and the next thing I know he comes inside and has already salted both ours & our neighbor's driveways…  Ummmm wait a minute.  This isn't Brad's good deeds, is it?  Haha.  But you know what?  I guess that works.  Get others involved with your good deeds, because that's good too.
47. feb 16. make an effort to mend a rift in a friendship » by actually sitting down and talking- not over the phone or through text messaging… but face to face.  It will be hard.  Be honest.
48. feb 17. volunteer » especially when it's for a great cause (and very near and dear to my heart).  There are so many wonderful people helping Weimaraners out there.  Heartland Weimaraner Rescue is one such group.  I've donated to another Weim Rescue in the past, but I've decided it's time to do more, especially here locally.  I have time and skills worth contributing.  And you know what's great?  Just as soon as I put myself out there, someone contacted me needing help.  Would you be interested in designing our St. Patty's Day Parade tee?  You betcha.  The marketing coordinator suggested that maybe since the parade falls on March 14th, we could base the design on the number of Pi.  I got to work, and this is what I came up with.  Weimaraners, easy as Pi… get it?

49. feb 18. be understanding and truthful » The quiet and heartbreak in my life still continue…  I struggle with this new normal daily.  I want to reach out.  I want to help other furbabies.  But I am having such a terrible time…  In addition to losing our light, we went from a family of three to an empty nest.  It's no joke people.  I never REALLY understood the enormity of the situation prior to experiencing it ourselves…  We've been in contact with a few Rescues, hoping to welcome a new addition to our family when the time is right… which we are all too aware hasn't quite worked out for us in the past.  So for now, all we can do is be understanding with each other, truthful as we go through this process, and hopeful for the strength and the courage we so desperately need.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

week 6

one good deed a day

an ongoing journal of a few good deeds throughout this year

36. feb 5. offer to give your loved one a massage » Not sleeping well has taken its toll, so tonight rather than just watching my hubby use a heating pad, I offered up a neck massage (followed by a back scratching, of course).
37. feb 6. deliver something small and sweet to everyone on your team your mom - midafternoon, just when everyone's energy wanes because it's her favorite » Mmmmmarzipan.  There is likely no better treat on the planet I tell you.  And considering it was my mom who introduced me to the delectable goodness so much earlier in my childhood…  Well, let's just say when I discovered it inside a pastry from a fantastic local bakery, I immediately purchased another & decided to deliver it to her office on a whim & for absolutely no reason at all!  And considering I had not yet decided on a good deed for today… I was happy to find this one in the book.  Just needed a few tweaks (and since I don't currently have any co-workers…), it worked perfectly!
38. feb 7. pick up the tab » Have gift cards just sitting there, collecting dust, waiting to be used?  How about sharing the meal with your family or friends, and treating them to a night out…
39. feb 8. get some exercise » Running has always been my go-to when I'm feeling overwhelmed, or when I just need to work things out in my head.  It's been almost a month since I've had a workout of any kind, so I took today as a kinda first step in getting back out there.
40. feb 9. take your neighbor's trash bins in off the curb » I can do that.
41. feb 10. tell someone she is appreciated » some people are just a breath of fresh air… maybe it's because they have life experiences which give them a unique perspective, or maybe they just prefer joy & positivity.  Either way- tell them.  It could make their day, just like their kindness made yours…
42. feb 11. stop and look around » At the gym today, I was feeling a bit frustrated waiting on a machine hog.  I like to keep my heart rate up and complete circuits quickly, you see.  But if I hadn't decided to stand there, and wait, well then I wouldn't have seen this very important message someone took the time to share on the chalk wall: When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life.  When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up.  I wrote down "happy."  They told me I didn't understand the assignment, and I told them they didn't understand life.


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

week 5

one good deed a day

an ongoing journal of a few good deeds throughout this year

29. jan 29. pay for the car behind you at the toll booth in the drive-thru lane » Having a pikepass makes paying for the driver behind us a bit difficult, so I decided to go a step further than a toll charge, and pay for the gentleman's coffee & snack behind me as we went through the drive-thru today.
30. jan 30. teach someone one of your skills » this has been ongoing and has ranged from photography to phone to computer & graphic skills… sharing what I know has brought both joy and a few new wonderful friends into my life.
31. jan 31. write a nice little note on the check to your server » wishing you a wonderful weekend
32. feb 1. fill the printer with paper so it won't run out on the next person » easy enough.
33. feb 2. drink eight glasses of water » and be prepared to have a restroom nearby…
34. feb 3. start a recycling program at your building, school, or home » we actually started doing this years and years ago…  While living in Mustang, Oklahoma, we helped start a recycling program for our community and would volunteer from time to time.  And while we lived in Germany, it was mandatory (and should be here in the states if you ask my opinion).  And although we still do not have curbside where we currently reside, we continue to sort our recycles in bins and take them to the nearest town so that they may be made new again.
35. feb 4. tape a coupon to a product at the grocery store » I also enjoyed seeing that almost all of the coupons I taped had been utilized by other customers, when visiting the store on the following day.  Because every little bit helps.

Friday, February 6, 2015

week 4

one good deed a day

an ongoing journal of a few good deeds throughout this year

22. jan 22. be quick to apologize » What to say other than I feel like every time we eat out lately, we seem to get service that could definitely be improved upon…  I know that all my nerves are completely frazzled right now, but tonight when my order was wrong, I felt like I'd had enough.  So I popped out of the booth & told the manager, not to remake my food, I didn't feel like waiting.  She said it was a super easy fix that would only take a few minutes, and she would bring it to me anyways.  She was really nice & I had to admit… we'd had a terrible week.  I accepted her sincerity and quickly said I was sorry.
23. jan 23. return all of the items you take into the dressing room to their original spots instead of leaving them in the dressing room » I used to do this all the time.  (I know. I worked retail.)  But lately I've noticed I seem to be in a rush or maybe I'm being just a bit more lazy in general… either way, this was a good reminder for today.
24. jan 24. visit an animal shelter sanctuary » Ugh this one made me cry.  I didn't want my Beans food to go to waste though, especially when I know there are so many babies out there that still need to eat.  But man oh man… giving away her food and a few of her treats was just so hard.
25. jan 25. play hooky » I'm feeling pretty slacktastic lately, and have honestly been wanting to actually play hooky from my good deeds project in general… so I'm going to act like this one counts as my good deed for today (it was in the book, after all).
26. jan 26. hand-deliver send a handwritten thank-you note » Saying thank-you with a card & a gift & flowers & food will never be enough.  Although our vet claims there is no need to keep thanking her… I disagree.  I'm sure she thinks she was just doing her job, but I KNOW it was so much more than that.  Well in advance, she helped me have a plan, prepare, and introduced me to wonderful people that would help us make sure Grace was well taken care of… (and it helped, because let's be honest, I was in complete denial that Grace would ever have to leave our world, even though we constantly joked about having her freeze-dried & stuffed, haha NO I'm not kidding).  She gave me her personal number.  She came to our house.  She hugged us & told us we were doing the right thing (even though we never actually spoke the question aloud).  She whispered sweet things to our girl.  She treated Grace & us… like family.  I couldn't have hoped for a better person to come into our lives.  The world needs more people like her.
27. jan 27. say I love you to someone you haven't said it to in a while » In all the times my hubby's job has taken him away from us… I always had Grace by my side.  And I always knew if something happened when it was just the two of us, it would have made a terrible situation that much worse.  Even though I had zero doubt I would make the right decision for my girl (whether her dad was away or not), we were incredibly lucky to have him home with us.  It has meant the world knowing I don't have to go through this alone.  My husband has been wonderful to me, even as he is grieving.  And I don't tell him often enough-- just how very grateful I am, to have him by my side now and always.
28. jan 28. brew the next pot of coffee » and share a cup & a moment with someone special.

from the archives… it was always a happy day welcoming daddy home

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

week 3

one good deed a day

an ongoing journal of a few good deeds throughout this year

15. jan 15. take a walk, looking as far into the distance as possible » This was our first walk without our sweet Grace…  Really just concentrating on putting one foot in front of the other right now.  Remembering the way she would run ahead, but always look back, as if asking… mom, are you coming?  I miss her sweet goofy face so much.
16. jan 16. offer a kleenex to a person in need » We decided to try and visit the local theatre as a little distraction, try to clear our heads a bit of this horrible week.  I brought an entire box of kleenex with me, just knowing I would go through them… And instead ended up offering it to the woman next to me.  (Although this example was not written in my book's pages, I found it to be the perfect good deed for today.  I added to the blank pages at the end entitled- what else can you do?)
17. jan 17. talk about what you're grateful for » This was so hard, yet so important.  As we are trying to find ways to cope with our loss, we are really striving to focus on all the good & wonderful things we have shared with each other and with Grace throughout our lives.
18. jan 18. choose the longer walk home » On all our daily walks, I would always let Grace choose which path to take… somedays it would be the shorter route and on others she would surprise me by picking the longer route.  But those routes were still just a bit shorter than the one we used to take… She hadn't been able to take it in a while because the distance proved to be just a little too much for her tired legs.  So today my hubby & I chose this one once more… And we talked & we smiled while thinking of her.
19. jan 19. make up your own family holiday to celebrate » There are two girls in our neighborhood that met & visited with Grace over the summer last year. They would ring our doorbell just to pet her & love on her… And I just knew the day would come when they would come knocking again… And I dreaded it. Just the thought & telling their innocent smiling faces, made my stomach turn. I assumed we would have plenty of time, it's winter after all… But you see… It has been the most beautiful day. 72 degrees… sunshine, and only the slightest breeze on your face. And guess what, our doorbell just rang. "Is Gracie taking her nap?" "No honey, she is in Heaven now… But she loved you guys coming by to visit her." So hard. We had a moment & said okay, and she left. And only a few short minutes later my doorbell rang again. She was back with her siblings… And they asked us… "Since she's gone already, would it be okay if we have a birthday party for her every year to celebrate her life?" My heart is so full.
20. jan 20. take a long bath » I may be the only woman on earth that doesn't do this… pretty much ever.  I always choose the practicality of the shower instead.  Today however, this proved to be exactly what I needed.
21. jan 21.  offer your respects, always » I need to remember I'm not the only one hurting & that all the support we have received should be shared in the hopes of comforting other friends experiencing the same hurt and loss.

I never meant for my good deeds to feel sad, or be about myself… however these were all in the book.  I've always believed- we can't choose what will happen to us, or when it may happen, but we can choose how we react to it.  Right now my heart needs time… it continues to ache for my sweet Gracie girl, & I know it may need a lifetime to heal.  It's been comforting to know that as I am going through this project, I am realizing good deeds for yourself are just as important as those that you choose to do for others.  --  Recently, we have been blessed with beautiful days, completely uncharacteristic for January, including record high temperatures in the 70s & 80s.  This was our first sunrise without her (after weeks & weeks of grey).  Lately, I find myself strolling our usual routes & I can't help but look to the sky, seeking the sun's warmth… and it brings me such joy to picture my pretty girl's smiling face.