In the end of this “live in a different state as your husband” chapter of our lives, I know there will be things that I am stronger, more grateful for, more wise about, etc.
One thing I do know already…
I am so grateful for the time that we are able to spend with my family here in Chicago. Having the mister here makes it so much easier for us to hang out with family members that are literally minutes away.
I love that.
Happy Father’s Day!
To celebrate this year, my dad and I went to see the Dixie Chicks and the Eagles at Soldier Field. To say the show was amazing would be an understatement. The Eagles were insanely incredible.
If the prompt asking about 5 of the best bands I have seen would be asked again tomorrow they totally would be number 2 on the list. I don’t think I stopped dancing the entire event. And to hear 50,000 people sing Hotel California was just ridiculous.
To finish Father’s Day, Dad and I rode back from Chicago on the Harley. Which is pretty big time… Considering the first time I rode the bike was just last Father’s Day. Although I still get butterflies in my stomach right before we ride, I am getting a little less scared each time.
So, it was a happy day of fathers.
I am of course a little biased, and happen to believe that mine is one of the best. I am a lucky daughter.
I have a really hard time with the prompt for today.
If you could go back in time and meet your 16-year-old self, what three things would you tell yourself?
I mean obviously there are a million things we should tell our 16-year-old-selves. But what fun would that be? It’s hard to look back and think of things you shouldn’t have done. Because how would you ever have learned? I am a real believer in the idea that we learn from all of our experiences… good, bad or otherwise.
Don’t get me wrong, there are a few things that I can think of that probably would have saved a lot of stress, heartache or concern at the time. But, in the end (I think) I am a better person having gone through most of my life.
So all that being said, I think I would not let tell myself to avoid anything. I think I would just need to remind myself to cherish time, and get ready for good things ahead:
1. Spend as much time as you can with your grandparents. They are some of the greatest people, and they are the link to your past. And within 8 years, you won’t have any of them. And the older I get, the more heartbreaking it is for me to have lost all my grandparents by 24.
2. Hang through the awkward times, they really are going to be a funny story sometime in life. And relish in the idea that you made the absolute right choice when it comes to college. You are about meet some of the greatest friends, experience an amazing education and really get to know who you are and what you stand for at Cornell. Get ready, because your college experience will be like nothing you can imagine.
3. You will spend a lot of time in some heartache, and that’s alright because in the end it makes who you will spend the rest of your life with that much better. You will meet your best friend, who later will become your best love. There is nothing that compares… he’s that good.
Today’s prompt asks what is the first thing that pops into your mind when you think of your father?
Without a doubt for me it is.. solid. My dad is my foundation.
He is the constant rock that has continued to hold my life together for the past 28 years.
He is a good man.. and his life lessons are just that. For life.
things have been pretty exciting here at home lately…
we got a new dog.
at first i was a little nervous to be excited about getting a new dog. kind of like it was cheating my love for ninja.
like saying i didn’t still miss ninja, or worse yet, saying he was replaceable.
and this is where i feel like having dogs is like being a parent.
i have all my parent friends tell me that you don’t actually love your first child more than your second child. it’s like you didn’t think your heart could actually fit more love in it, until you met your second child. and then you know your heart is capable of it. and you can’t ever imagine that you would have thought any differently.
that’s exactly how my life has been since march. my heart showing me what it is capable of.
back up to this winter… without a dog.
i was having a terrible time not having a pet around. it’s no secret how much i love dogs, and i am sure it wasn’t much of a secret how out of character i was without a dog.
i just kept thinking… well, as soon as we move to a different house. that’s when we will think about getting another dog.
plus, what i was really thinking was… there will never be another ninja.
fast forward to march. i spent a couple days with my parents in cedar rapids. my mom has a friend who is a foster mom for dogs. i thought some “dog therapy” would be good, so we headed to amy’s house for a couple of hours. amy has 4 dogs of her own, and was fostering a dog named joey.
i can’t really say that i fell completely in love with the dog right away. i thought he was a very sweet dog, and seemed incredibly lovable. but again, he wasn’t ninja.
amy told us that he was a stray dog in a town south of cedar rapids. the shelter there is known to be a high kill shelter and had him on death row. knowing this, the shelter in cedar rapids brought him to stay with amy while they tried to find a home. she also went on to tell us that he had an application put in on him already, and she was taking him to meet the potential family soon. knowing that he was wanted was reassuring to me. in a few different ways. one, i knew amy would make sure the family was a good fit, and he would have a good home. and two, it reassured me that maybe i still needed to wait a bit before getting a dog myself.
but, for some reason that nite i sent derek a message and told him that i had to put an application in on this dog. even though i was almost certain that things would work out with the other family. i felt like i needed to make sure the dog was taken care of… just in case.
well, things didn’t work out with the other family. and derek and i were back in cedar rapids the next weekend… and had time to spend with the dog needing a home.
(on a side note… adopting a dog is quite the process. i filled out a huge application. we had 3 references called, our vet called, our house inspected and a vet visit!)
things happened really quickly, and we were able to take this new dog home that weekend. it wasn’t what either of us had expected, and i wasn’t exactly sure how i felt about it. except that it felt right.
first thing was first, his name had to be changed. weird or not, i had a really hard time professing my affection to a dog with the same name as my old boyfriend. it just felt odd. so our new family member became known as garth.
i think he was feeling as rushed and confused as i was the first couple of days. he was very nervous about things, and i was still looking for a routine. garth was trying to decide if he was safe, and i was trying to decide if it was safe to say i was happy with a new dog.
it’s interesting because i think we were both on the same path. he obviously had come from a home (as he was neutered when the shelter found him), so he had obviously known some kind of love and security. and i was still grieving a dog that had given me lots of love and security.
both of us were unsure. and even though it was weird, it felt right to be unsure together.
it has been about a month now with garth brooks and i getting to know each other. and i have loved every moment of it. and while there will never be another ninja, that’s okay. i don’t want there to be. but there is now a garth who wasn’t asking to be a new ninja. and consequently who i am madly falling for and including in my love.
it’s like we both changed our expectations about previous lifestyles and hold no grudges about past loves. we both have a place in our hearts for each other. there is no room to feel like we are cheating or replacing… because neither of us are. our lives have just expanded enough to add a new love.
and it’s exciting.
whoa… its been awhile.
my new year has long since started and things seem to be on a little better note than when the “year” ended.
in with the new.
i have a new job. and while it is true that i miss my kids that i worked with for the last 2 years, i have grown to love my new ones. i terribly miss the kids i used to work with. in fact, i went back to visit them during my fall break and my heart felt so good. (not to mention i felt like a celebrity!) they all looked so big and old… it was incredible. i loved seeing their faces.
don’t get me wrong, the new kids that i am working with are pretty incredible themselves… in fact, i love my new job. not only the kids, but my co-workers, and the entire population of families that i get to be involved with is something that i see myself doing for quite a good amount of time. i have the opportunity to work with some amazing programs, and i am so fortunate to be able to work where i do. it really is a good fit for me, and i am so excited to go to work every day.
speaking of fall break, my new school is an extended year school, so i teach from july to the end of may. i love this schedule! we started around july 18th, had a 3 week fall break at the end of september, have normal breaks around holiday time, have a longer spring break, and an extra break at the end of april. if someone told me that they would give me more summer back in return for fall break there would be no way that i would be up for the trade. not only is fall the best time of year to have a 3 week break, the break also happened to fall on the most important day of october….
this year my birthday was a little more relaxed than normal, but not any less celebrated. because i was on fall break, i was able to spend a little time in marion with my family. my mom was able to take some time off work so we could do some serious birthday shopping… love. a couple days before my actual birthday derek took me to my favorite restaurant in des moines, sage. we had a great meal, as always. on the actual sweet day of my birth, i was treated to a massage before we had a little birthday party at taki. i had a great time and am so thankful for the friends and family who were able to make it out. the rest of the month continued with various birthday celebrations, which of course i enjoy… no sense in cramming it all in on one day when we have the whole damn month to celebrate….
this was another fun little celebration that derek and i enjoyed in october. we ended up between two different restaurants. (dessert is a serious thing in my life and if one place can’t offer what i want, don’t worry we will just go somewhere else.) we ended up having a really great evening (“fucking sweet” as described by my romantic husband). derek and i debated for a bit about what we could each other for gifts. we are not really “anniversary gift” people, but since this years gift to give (celebrating the 2nd year of marriage) is cotton i was trying to think of something funny to buy him. instead i got a little distracted with some other news and we decided to just get a couple of new knees….
for our dog.
well we knew that ninja had been having some hip issues for awhile, but we thought that the issues had been pretty well managed with a little diet and one ascriptin a day. but a few weeks ago when i was outside with him i realized that something else seemed wrong and he was having a terrible time getting around and putting any weight on his left leg. of course i was a wreck thinking about what had happened. fast forward through a long story and about 2 weeks later, we found out that he tore both of his knees (the ACL). we took him to ISU to get a consultation done with the vet hospital there and they clearly recommended surgery. luckily, my dad loves our dog as much (well maybe not AS much, but loves ME enough) to help pay for these new knees for ninja. the vet made it seem like a pretty simple surgery that would take a significant amount of healing time, but it definitely seemed like something that we could manage…. that i am still deciding on. we were able to pick him up and bring him back home this last sunday. but he ended up having 2 staples ripped (it is questionable that they weren’t ripped before we actually even left the hospital… fucking cyclones.) so we ended up having to take him back to the hospital that nite and that is where he still is staying. i am so sad to not have him at our house. it is terrible to not have him greet me at the door, sleep on my feet at nite, or wake me up with millions of kisses. hopefully he will be able to return home soon. if it gets much worse, i am not sure how easily i am going to be able to deal with this same surgery on the other knee in december. maybe he will get to leave the hospital the same day as our new family addition…
derek’s sister and her husband had their first baby on november 2. daniel christopher was born a toddler (close to 10 pounds!) but is doing well, as are bre’anna and chris. they are very excited to finally have him… i know this role as great parents is one they each were born to excel at. on the other hand, derek and i are trying to decide on a time to visit them… when the baby is not quite so fresh… you know sometime around his 14th birthday….
which i promise not to be the next time that i update this damn website.