Dogs go to heaven

There are two things in this world that can easily pull at my heart-strings.  My son and my dog.

For those of you who are not pet-people, you probably don’t understand how my son and my dog could be listed together.  But for those of you who are, you totally get it.

This is hard for me to write, but I feel an overwhelming need to put this out there.  To let the world know how great this little girl was.

Yes, was.  It’s been 4 weeks since we said goodbye to my dog of 14.5 years.  But it still feels like yesterday.

I was lucky enough to find her online through a local rescue group during my senior year of college.  I was getting ready to move to Florida for grad school, and my Mother and I both agreed I needed a companion for the move.  So I looked for a dog.

I went to meet her.  She was sweet, cute – and the only one of the dogs in the little pen the rescue lady set up that wasn’t jumping and barking all over the place.  I immediately loved that about her.  We got her out and petted her, but she wasn’t leashed – so once the hands were off her she ran like the dickens.  Luckily, she came back.  And she was mine.  From then on, she was mine.

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I named her Caroline, after my soon-to-be alma mater, UNC aka Carolina.

She traveled with me to Florida for grad school, then back home to Charlotte for life after school.  Along my chaos of boyfriends, ex-boyfriends, jobs, former jobs, several different apartments, and all that goes along with a 20-somethings life, she was there.  She would curl up underneath me whenever I sat on the couch.  She would sniff around at my feet every time I went to the kitchen.  She would jump in excited every time I said ‘walk’ or ‘outside’.  She was the best squirrel-chaser in the world.  And she was the most loving dog anyone could ever meet.

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Then came my 30’s, and the meeting of my later-to-be husband.  She took to him right away, and he to her.  He included her in the proposal which was outside at a local park.  Every time I passed that bench I thought of our proposal.  Now I think of her.

She was at our wedding.  I could not imagine having it any other way.  My favorite wedding picture is of the 3 of us – me, him and her.

She traveled with us, she hiked with us, she made us laugh and smile.

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Then she got kidney disease.  And she was a fighter.  But those kidneys are a bitch – and they won out.  It was her time, even though I so desperately didn’t want it to be.  She had been with me for so much, I wanted her to see my son grow up a bit more.  Her little brother – she never really got to know him and that makes me so sad.

She lived a remarkable, beautiful, active, happy and long life.  She was 3 months shy of her 16th birthday when she passed.

Since her passing, I’ve walked a lot.  One of our favorite things to do together was walk.  I’d go on the paths she used to take me on – the further from home the better for her.  I see a ceramic cat she used to pull towards, thinking it was real, and smile – then cry.  I see a road she loved to walk on because it was full of squirrels, and walk down in her memory.

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I miss her so much my heart literally aches.  For so long it was me and her, and now I have to figure out how to live my life without her.  And I will.  I know time will heal, and I will live a long and happy life, even get another dog to love, with my little family.  But I also know when my time comes, she and I will have such a happy reunion in heaven.  Because, yes, I do believe dogs go to heaven.  Especially this beautiful girl!

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I love you Care Bear always and forever!!

 

A little progress is better than nothing

I just had to pat myself on the back a little bit.  Three days of doing some working out while my little one napped (or was suppose to be napping).

I have to give you a bit of background information.

This used to be me:img_0497

After a rough pregnancy (all day sickness started at 6 weeks – ended 2 days after I gave birth) and a bad recovery (unplanned C-section, reflux baby requiring round the clock care, etc.), working out has not been in my schedule for over a year now.

Before pregnancy, as I went out to run 3-4 miles before a good 30-45 minute strength training session, I used to look at people who were walking and be jealous.  Part of me hated pushing myself so hard to get a good workout.  Now, by the end of my 30 minute walk, I’m sweating.  I’m that person I used to be jealous of – and I’m completely jealous of the old me.  Grass is always greener, right?

So part of me is a bit down on my current workout.

I’m doing the 21 Day Fix DVDs (no, I’m not a Beachbody rep – but I do enjoy their products).  And I’m not even doing all the DVD – I’m only doing one round of each exercise.  So my workouts are more like 15 minutes.  And yep, I get a little winded, sweaty, and I definitely feel them the next day (even though I’m using little to no weight).  Compared to where I was, I feel like a slug doing such a little workout.

But I have to quit comparing myself to, well, myself.  My body has been through a lot – and made a beautiful, healthy and amazing little boy.  So yeah, it’s going to be a little beat up.  And that’s ok.  Because it will get better.  And I may never be where I was when that picture was taken, and that’s honestly 100% ok with me.  My goal, to be perfectly open, is just to fit into some of my pre-pregnancy clothes.  Not all – but at least a few.

3 days down – 18 more to go, then a habit forms, right?

Come on be happy

I’ve had a mini-revelation.  It’s not earth-shattering and it’s not life-changing, but I think it’s still a positive revelation that I hope to make a positive change in my life.

A lot has happened which led to this moment – and you’ll learn about that later.  I don’t want to make this a mega-long post about all the craziness in my life this past year.

I want to focus on the good.  I want to be happy.

Isn’t that such a simple statement.  It should be so easy.  To be happy.  But we actually have to work on being happy.  That is insane!

I look at my beautiful almost 7 month old son, who becomes insanely happy when I make a goofy face at him, and think adult happiness should be that easy.  But alas, that’s not the world we live in.

But we can be happy.  And that’s my goal.  I have a million and five excuses not to be happy or to avoid doing the things that may make me happy.  And I generally have let those excuses win out.  Thus, here I am – not as happy as a I should be.

So I’m letting go of the excuses.  Sure, things will pop up that will make my well-thought out plans fall apart.  And I need to go with the flow, and make the best, and be happy.  Not get upset over lack of control in my life, but relish the opportunity to grow and find opportunities in the chaos.

Sounds beautiful right?  Well, I’m sure it won’t be easy.  I’m sure I’ll have my ‘why bother’ or ‘I give up’ moments.  But as I watch my son practicing his new skill of sitting right now, and watch him topple over (safely in a well padded pack n’ play) and get back up to try again – I got just get over those moments and try again.

So let’s do this, folks!

I’ve been complaining about not fitting into my pre-pregnancy clothes since I was about 4 months pregnant.  My son is almost 7 months and I’m still complaining – but still finding excuses not to exercise or watch my diet.  Still sitting on the couch and eating potato chips (literally) and feeling bad about myself.

So this week: I’m going to work out around 9am every morning.  I have DVDs I can do while my son is asleep – or playing in a safe environment – and of course those can be paused if he really needs me.  So there you go.  Week one task.  Stop letting the ‘I have a baby’ excuse keep me from exercising.  I’m interested to see how this one will go!