5 Barks for the Dog Park

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I have had my sweet little puppy Koda Bear for a little over a year now. My husband and I fell in love with this Mini-Aussie when I was about 7 months pregnant. I did the research and it turns out it is better to introduce a new baby to an already pet rather than the other way around. Long story short we took home this fluffy little brown puppy and he has been taking up space on our bed ever since.

Now, I would take him for walks and play with his toys throughout the day, but I hadn’t ever even heard of a dog park until my sister-in-law told me about this magical place. She took me the first time along with her dog. Now her dog, Spry, is a little older, so he simply enjoys the extra space and opportunity to spread his scent over a large space. Koda, however, is a ball of ADD disguised as a cute brown puppy with a severe underbite. His underbite has also sparked the nickname Baron Von Underbite, and I swear when I see him prancing around, yes he prances, all I hear is dur-da-dur. Koda is by far the most clumbsy, most uncoordinated dog on the face of this earth, or any other planet for that matter.

Now that you know a little bit about my canine companion, let’s get back to the dog park. I absolutely love the dog park in our city. It has separate spaces for large dogs and small dogs. Over on the small dog side, our domain, there are trees strategically planted along the perimeter with metal picnic tables under their shade. One of the many things I love about the dog park is that Koda can take all of his energy and expel it on to some unsuspecting dog at the park. If I bring my one year old Maddison, I spend my time holding her hand while she walks around, and I try my best to steer her away from piles of puppy poo. But if I am lucky enough to go sans child, I find so much peace at the dog park. I take my notebook with me at all times, but I also bring whatever book or books I am reading at that time. I sit in the shade, I get to read or write and Koda gets to play. The best part is that the evening after a dog park day, Koda is so tired he actually relaxes. Puppy peace is a rare and treasured thing when you have an overactive dog.

What I Call Hilarious, My Husband Calls Crazy

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Simply put, I think I am hilarious. I am so incredibly easily amused that I laugh, literally, every day. I know that some people equate the easily amused with the simple-minded, or more harshly put, stupidity. I am here to argue this point. Not to toot my own horn, but I am an intelligent person. I managed an entire company by the age of 25, I have been promoted or received a raise in almost every professional position I have held. Honestly, I think that I can attribute this partially to my sense of humor. A well-developed sense of humor can be a welcome relief in a time of crazy stress. In business, it allowed me to have a personal approach to business which was important in an industry where you deal with people all day long.

More importantly though, I know that my sense of humor is one of the reasons that my life is full of the people around me. I love to laugh. I love to make people laugh, including myself. Most of the time I find some tiny detail of a situation that for some reason puts me into hysterics. While I am spewing tears in between uncontrollable laughter, I catch a glimpse of my husband looking at me like I need to be committed. The most recent thing that just kept making me laugh was this joke:

“What do you call a cow with no legs?”
(keep in mind that I am laughing right now simply writing it!)

“Ground Beef!”

Oh man, I just think it’s too funny! A running joke between my husband and I is to simply point at our wedding ring and say “ha ha sucker! You’re stuck with me!” This little routine is usually followed my an I Love You and a peck on the lips.

I think that laughter can be a welcome relief in any stressful day. Often times I am home with the baby while Jesse is working hard either at school or work. If I run into a situation that is intense and stressful, being able to laugh at myself can be the perfect way to ease some tension. Once a good laugh has broken the ice of a situation, I am able to look at the situation with a more positive attitude. It just helps!

Do you find that laughter can be a big stress relief?

Feeding Maddison

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While the idea of writing a book has long been on my bucket list, actually doing it has only recently been a possibility. After being laid off from my demanding job as the General Manager of a restaurant, I now have the time and motivation to do so. For the longest time I thought I wanted to write fiction. I have always had an overactive imagination, but I was never able to hold any motivation for fiction writing. After having my daughter Maddison, I decided that I wanted to make her baby food home-made and my husband was nothing but supportive. While I thought it would be a simple task, it turned into a very memorable process and the inspiration I needed for my book.

Feeding Maddison is the story of my decision to make my daughter’s food homemade, the recipes I used, and amazing stories that will make any new mother craze the experience. It is fueled by close friends and family that have recently had babies and are waiting for a copy of my book. As I continue to write my book I will continue to update you on the process.

Thanks for reading!

A List of Why I Love Lists

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  • A well-organized list can get all of my thoughts down without having to worry about the proper wording
  • Even a disorganized list can inspire me to get stuff done
  • A list can be written anywhere: a scrap of paper, my hand, on my phone, on my computer, etc
  • A list can inspire productivity much more than a paragraph of to do’s
  • I have a need for accomplishment and a list makes finishing a task feel so rewarding. The act of crossing off that first task can snowball into a day of productivity!
  • Lists are the perfect canvas for doodling
  • A list can be written by one person and easily understood by another
  • A list can be a motivational tool. Put a few things on the list that you automatically do each day, that way you will have crossed off a few things on the list.
  • A list is a great way to teach children a routine. Make a running list of your night-time routine and have your children cross off each task
  • Lists are easy to write, I tend to think about the next days tasks while I’m trying to go to sleep, so I write down my to do’s on my notepad app on my phone
  • Lastly, I love lists because they keep me writing

Being the Other Half

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People always say that the grass is greener on the other side, so what does that mean for being someone’s other half? The most intelligent response to that idea is that the grass is actually greener where it is watered! So, how does that translate into a marriage? I’ll tell you!

First, you have to figure out what your seedling needs to grow. In my marriage, being that it is a second marriage for both my husband and I, respect was an essential ingredient. We both had come out of our first marriages feeling disrespected and taken advantage of. We both had the same need for respect, and therefore knew how to provide each other with such respect. I have a tremendous amount of respect for my husband. He works full-time, is finishing his fourth degree in biochemistry, all the while coming home and still making me laugh and feel incredibly loved.

Second, you have to make sure that the surroundings are made for growing. You wouldn’t plant a delicate flower in the sand and expect it to grow, would you? You need to evaluate your relationship and make sure you are in the right place. My husband, daughter, and I live with my mother-in-law, brother-in-law, and his girlfriend. I don’t think I need to say this but, most women could not live with their mother-in-law. I just so happened to be blessed to have inherited a mother that I get along with very well. This situation works well for us. It allows us a much lower cost of living so we can pay off our debt. It also allows our daughter to develop a wonderful relationship with her grandma and the rest of the family.

Third, to keep your grass green and vibrant, it needs consistent care. In my relationship, we have a great line of communication, which I think is possibly the most important thing in a marriage. I make a point to always talk to my husband about how he is feeling, how I am feeling, what we want in the future, and how to get there. If we do have a disagreement, we are able to explain our different view and listen to each other, which more often than not results in one of us realizing that the other person’s view is a little better approach. Agree or disagree, we talk about it… a lot!

When it comes to tending to a growing marriage, you need to make sure you know what you both need, where you need to be to have room for growth, and continued love and care. When you are with the right person, you won’t be worried about the grass on the other side, you’ll be happy to be the other half of your spouses garden!