Friday, October 26, 2012


It's taken me a while to grasp it all, but I have finally arrived at the grown-up place of life-is-what-you-make-it and there are lots of things in life we go through that aren't comfortable or ideal, but they could be so much more incredibly worse, and a simple life of comfort does nothing to change us, mold us, make us better, stronger more beautiful versions of ourselves....

I have been reminded so much these past few months of just how wonderfully blessed we are, and the older I get, the more I embrace change as an opportunity to learn just what I am capable of.

I am capable of so much.

...and I am excited at the opportunity of new challenges, more love....perhaps I have been planted for too long and this little bit of discomfort will challenge me, in my young 27 years of life, I hope to continue to push myself more toward new chapters in the story of our life.

They will be good chapters. Great actually. Full of love, laughter, good people, and amazing memories.

The past few weeks I have learned that life flows on, and I want to ride every tide, every wave, every calm with purpose.

Lately my spiritual side of life has become such a strong part of me that I feel like I can never get enough. Having a child makes you that way I think. You can't help to be so grateful for the miracle you are given and get to live with daily that you have to feel more connected to GOD. Prayer has become something I find myself doing countless times throughout the day instead of just at night. I have so much to be thankful for that a lot time when I find myself talking to GOD I find I am just thanking him over and over again for the insane amount of blessings I am given daily that I don't deserve. I can not believe that he trusts me so much that he has entrusted me with another life to care for and to mold. What greater gift can he possibly give us but that of a child??

Contentment has been something I have been asking for a lot. I feel like it's something each and every one of us strives for, to be content with so many different aspects of our life.

Philippians 4:11

11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

This is what Paul said in Philippians and I just think it's such a great goal to set for our own lives. How amazing would it be to be content no matter what the circumstances!!??? 

I have found myself seeing the good in the world and in people since I have begun this spiritual journey. I have found myself drawing closer to the grander amazement that GOD is BIG and ACCESSIBLE and like any parent who loves a child, he wants us to find the joy and good in life. We have to embrace all religions and races and not see the differences of the faces that walk into our lives but the similarities in their hearts. We all suffer through loss and we all rejoice when good things happen and that acceptance and celebration of life and the little things? That's GOD (to me).

I saw something recently where a guy was trying to teach his students a lesson. He had a large empty jar and asked the students fill it with large rocks. When it seemed no more rocks would fit he asked them if it was full. Of course all said yes. He proceeded to pull out a bucket of gravel and poured it in the jar. The gravel filled the spaces that were left open between the rocks, and he asked again, "Is it full?" And again they responded yes.The teacher pulled out a bag of sand and poured it in the jar. It  filled empty spaces inside. Again the question was asked if it was full. Again the students responded "yes". Lastly, he pulled out a pitcher of water and poured it in the jar. It seeped down in between the sand and gravel and rocks. He proceed to tell them the meaning of this experiment. If you would have put the big rocks in last they never would have fit, meaning, if you don't get the big important stuff in your life figured out and made a priority first you will never have time for all the little stuff.  This story really spoke to me and forced to figure out what needed to go in my jar of life first! There have been so many times in the past were I felt I was cupping my hands trying to hold water in when it's steady pouring out and there is nothing I can do to keep it there. Prioritizing makes that happen a lot less!

A huge thing for me recently has been trying to remember to pray (and be genuine when I do) for people who aren't exactly my favorite people.

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; Matthew 5:24

I wouldn't exactly call them my "enemies"  but there are several people who have left my life for various reasons that I try to pray for daily. I find that I am more willing to actually WANT the best for them even if they haven't been the best to me. Losing people is never easy, no matter how they go. If you loved them it's always hard. But, you learn a lot about yourself though pain, things you never knew you wanted to learn. You grow through pain. You may not want to grow but you will. You'll grow and that growing, that blooming, can not happen without pain.

Putting things off and making excuses was also something I wanted to be more persistent with working on. Excuses are monuments of nothingness, that lead to bridges of nowhere. Those that use these excuses, seldom become nothing, but nothingness at all. I have tried to stop making excuses in my life. I have started to stopped myself from saying the phrase "I'll do it tomorrow" or "It can wait". I don't put off social commitments as much. I try to take every advantage of a situation where I can build my relationships with the people I love and who are important to me. I embrace it and soak up the memories I can make or the lessons I can learn from each person I am around. I don't want to look back and feel like I missed so much or that I have periods in my life that are nothingness. I have tendency's to close myself off at times where I am stressed or have a lot on my mind. I get quiet and introverted. Blogging has helped me so much with that because when I get too many thoughts in my head I just write them all down here and I feel so much more free and clear headed.

I just finished reading a book that was life touching. The author asked several times throughout the book "Tell m, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" I have thought about that so much since reading this book and every time I go to make an excuse or be down or upset over something I remind myself that this is MY one life and I am responsible for making it amazing!

Just this past week I learned that ALWAYS when GOD is pushing away from something or someone he is ALWAYS pushing toward something better! I am so thankful to have a friend back in my life this past week. And there just feels like there isn't a more perfect person to be in my life during this time in my life!!

Along with so many other things I am trying to learn and improve on, most importantly I am trying to learn to enjoy where I am on the way to where I am going and see the beauty in each day!

Sorry for the rambling. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Let's play catch up shall we?

With all the recent events and struggles there have been a lot of really great things happening that I have failed to bring up. So we'll play a little game of catch up.

I posted a lot about school starting and how amazing it's been going but I haven't shared those "first day of school" pics :) There you go.....

Day 2 :)
1st day of 2012

You didn't expect just one photo did you?!!?! 

We also went to the rodeo with some friends recently and had a blast. It was a first for all of us and it was something we will be doing again. It was Hensley, myself, Andy, my mom, our friend Jamie and his girlfriend Suzanna. We ate dinner before at out favorite family restaurant and then we were off ;) 

I have started reading a new book that I hear is amazing and makes you look at life in a new and different way. I feel like it's just what I need right now with the spiritual change I am undergoing and the path I am striving to lead each and everyday. Anyone else read it? Review to come soon :)

We have a new park near our house that has been open for a little less then a year but we only managed to make it to in the last weeks of summer. It's a pretty awesome park with a huge play ground many ponds and walking trails, and a SPLASH PAD! We enjoyed it a few times before it closed on Memorial Day and Hensley and I have been a few times to just walk around and play outside on the nice fall days :) 
This is going to be a weekly regular spot next summer! 

Speaking of Memorial Day, my mom's birthday falls on that day and we made this little gem! Simple, yet full of love! It's proudly displayed framed in her living room. 

This past weekend we had all the kids and we ventured out to a new bounce house in the area. We all love a bounce house!! Monkey Joe's has been open a few months and it's a very colorful, loud, fun filled place. Has all the standards of a regular bounce house place with the combinations of Chucky Cheese (they have games you play for tickets to cash in for prizes.) They also have the added feature of a large flat screen TV in the center of the building with couches and chairs for dads (let's face it mom's, while here we never would expect to be able to sit and watch TV) which is usually on football. They have computers for the older kids that allow them to play internet learning games. They had really thought of everything. They kids had a blast and fell asleep on the way home! MISSION ACCOMPLISHED :) 

your caught up...for now! :) 

Saturday, October 6, 2012

All dogs go to heaven....or so I believe!

R.I.P  Buddha   Sept 2008- Sept 2012

This past Monday we all lost a piece of our hearts. Our home lost a piece of its love. My husband lost his best friend. Hensley lost his wrestling buddy. I lost the one thing that always made me feel safe. Our beloved Buddha passed away after a month long battle with sickness. He had developed kennel cough from a short stay at the pound which eventually led to pneumonia. He had a bacterial infection that he just couldn't shake and lost almost 20 pounds. It was heartbreaking to see him this way for the past month despite tons of trips to the vet and lots of fluids and medications. He just couldn't recover from it.

He no longer spent his days running wild in the front yard barking and chasing everything that moved. He no longer wrestled with Hensley or chased Sophie under the bed. We tried everything. EVERYTHING. The vet recommendations,  friends suggestions, even Google search ideas. NOTHING WORKED. His breathing only got more strained. His body got thinner and more weak. His eyes started to lose their shine. He was giving up but....he just couldn't. We know he didn't want to leave us, he didn't want to not be here to protect us and love us. He just couldn't let us down. We finally made the decision that we could no longer let him suffer. He had not eat in 14 days. He had not moved off our couch for 19 hours. We were ready to put him out of his misery....but not without getting one more opinion. A friend of mine told me that she knew he was like our child and if it were our child we would get a second opinion. So with an appointment at our vet for 4:15 on Monday afternoon I quickly called another vet to make a 3:00 appointment just to see ...... just to see if there was even an ounce of hope.

God's finger touched him, and he slept.

As I carried him in from the car (he was took weak to walk at this point) I just knew I wouldn't be walking out of that office with him. After the consult she assured me he would probably never be the dog he once was and it would be long long long (and very expensive) road to even try. I had spent the last few nights before this sitting with him on the couch just crying. Praying and crying. Talking to him. Loving him. Telling him we would be ok and it was ok to let go if he was tired. And crying.

It was just Hensley and I at the vet since Andy is still working out of town and he and I both knew this would probably be the outcome so he had said his goodbyes that morning before he left at 4 am. As we sat in the room on the cold hard floor I cradled him in my lap feeling this heartbeat against my leg and hearing his labored breathing every few seconds. He was warm, and he listened intently as I told him how much he had changed our lives by just being in it. I told him that I would keep Hensley safe and wrestle with him now. And that all our hearts would heal slowly over time. Hensley and I talked about Buddha leaving for a few days before this appointment and when we sat there all together and the tears poured down my face he put his arm around me and said "Momma it will be ok. Buddha is going to live in heaven and Jesus will keep him safe." I was a little shocked that he had remembered what we talked about and knew this was the time I needed to hear it. They gave us a lot of time with him and as the nurse entered she carried a small purple blanket that was the softest thing I have ever felt. She layed it in my lap and layed Buddha back down. They slowly shaved his two front legs for the injection and explained to me that once the injection entered his vein it would only be a few seconds before he was gone.

I thought at this point I cried all my tears. I have cried for days at home and again when the vet told me the same news I broke down in front of her, and again when we were left alone with him waiting for the procedure. I was sure I had got it all out and got myself together. I held him tight and Hensley observed from nearby. I told him I loved him once more and as the needle was inserted it effected him instantly.That thought I had about having got all my tears out left me and the tears came streaming when his little body went limp. It was so surreal in that moment. So dreamlike. I have never experienced anything like it. My cries came from deep within my gut and it felt uncontrollable. The doctor and nurse left us alone with him and I held him so tightly it felt like I would never be able to let go. I couldn't say anything but "I'm so sorry". Over and over again.

 After what felt like hours the nurse returned and asked us if we needed more time. I told her I had to leave because if not I would sit there forever. She couldn't stop expressing how sorry she was and how she hated we were going through this. Her hugs and sweet words that day were so comforting to me. She wrapped Buddha up in his soft purple blanket and as we left the room I saw her tearing up too. We walked out of that office without our boy. Without our best friend. Without a piece of our heart. I felt so awful crying in front of Hensley but I just couldn't stop the tears. The hurt was so strong and so deep I just couldn't stop. That evening was so hard with lots of phone calls and texts from friends and family who were thinking of us and knew the pain we were dealing with. Coming home to see his leash on the front porch. His medicines lined up on the counter. My husbands favorite blanket that he had given Buddha to sleep on and keep warm on our couch the past weeks was empty. Our home was silent and felt empty and like it was missing something. It felt cold. Hensley and I held Sophie extra tight that evening and I spent hours on the phone with my husband. I have never in the 5 years we have been together seen or heard him cry (although I'm sure he has). But that night he couldn't stop. The tears just kept coming. He kept saying he missed his Buddha.

I have prayed every single day and night about Buddha and how I hoped his soul was in heaven. I hoped he was free from his sickness and pain. I pray he knew how much he love him and how much we tried to make him better.

I started looking into what the Bible says about animals and heaven and I found a lot of comforting information. I guess none of us know for sure if there are animals in heaven but I have think there is. I have to think that dogs like Buddha who love unconditionally and are so amazing have to be there waiting for us.

“Ask the animals, and they will teach you...In God’s hand is the life of every creature, and the breath of all mankind.” (Job 12:7 and10)

Ecclesiastes 3:19: "After all, the same fate awaits human beings and animals alike. One dies just like the other. They are the same kind of creature. A human being is no better off than an animal, because life has no meaning for either."

Eccl 3:20: "They are both going to the same place---the dust. They both came from it; they will both go back to it."

***UPDATE*** It's been about 6 days now and the hurt is still fresh and raw. We have received several cards in the mail expressing sympathy for our loss and it has been both encouraging and sad at the same time. The hurt and pain comes in waves, as well as the waves of feeling peaceful in the decision. Thank you to all our family and friends who have grieved with us and been there for us. It's going to be a long journey but we will never forget our boy! 

"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened. "


"Grief is like the ocean; it comes on waves ebbing and flowing. Sometimes the water is calm, and sometimes it is overwhelming. All we can do is learn to swim."

“The risk of love is loss, and the price of loss is grief. But the pain of grief is only a shadow when                                                 compared with the pain of never risking love.”

"A good dog never dies. He always stays. He walks besides you on crisp autumn days when frost is on the fields and winter's drawing near. His head is within our hand in his old way."

"Dogs have a way of finding the people who need them, Filling an emptiness we don't even know we have.

There is just something about a boy and his dog.

Just a few of the THOUSANDS of memories
 we were blessed to have with Buddha!~

Oh how we pray that Buddha is here and waiting for that day!