Our family is getting four new legs.

It's official: we are adopting another dog. She’s an English Springer Spaniel like our sweet Sophie was. She lives in Texas right now. And like Sophie, she is coming to us because her owners are experiencing a medical crisis and can’t take care of her anymore. At least that’s what we thought at first. We learned after she was surrendered that the situation was much more dire than that — she’s been neglected for a long time. Living outside, severely malnourished, and her ears have giant dreadlocks that point to being ungroomed and unbrushed for a long time. I’m trying to hold this family in my heart without judgment because I cannot pretend to know what they are going through. But it’s hard for me to fathom allowing an animal in your care to get to this level of neglect without surrendering them sooner. :(

We named her Penny. (With the help of this lady, who also named Sophie.)

Penny the lucky pup.

The happy part? She will be coming to live with us as soon as she gains enough weight to be spayed (hopefully next week) and will live the cushiest, most love-filled life with a family of four who so desperately miss having a dog in the house. She’ll get to swim in the lake, go for walks, eat the best food, and get more snuggles than she can even begin to fathom.

None of this would have been possible without the power of social media and the magic of people willing to go above and beyond for a dog in need and for perfect strangers.

  1. To Robyn Arouty, when we started working together and decided to barter my design services I said I didn't know what you could do for me yet but I wasn't worried about it. I had no clue then the gift you would be giving me. Because of you and your connections, this was made possible.
  2. To Melissa White Raynor at peacelovedogs, you knew nothing about me but went out into the night to rescue a dog before a huge rain storm so that she wouldn't have to spend one more night in the elements. You have provided the most amazing care for Penny and everyday I see more light and life in her eyes. Your heart and your kindness truly give me hope for the human race. You work long days and still find time to text me photos, videos, and updates of our sweet girl. Someday I will find the proper way to thank you for what you have done for us. 

And now I'm crying.

Welcome Penny to our family. We haven't met her yet, but we're already in love with her.

Semi-frequent Tidbits

Let's just not bother with calling this "Five on Friday" anymore, okay?

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1. Chillin' with Daddy. Hank's legs are naked because he just had his toenails clipped (a.k.a. his mother was trying to murder him)

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2. Wind was blowing this sign around at Delta Sonic. #ohmy

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3. ILL JUS WAIT HER BY DIS SKOOL BUS 4 DA CHILDRENS

 

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4. Papa and Hank both REALLY love trucks. 

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5. Elf on the Shelf has officially begun. We are totally uncreative about it. Figure we may as well save ourselves for the later years.

Seven* on Friday

*because I'm a rule-breaker like that

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1.  A very-much-needed weekend with our best friends

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2.  I admit I bought this mostly because the name makes me chortle like a teenage boy. (Also, it was on sale.)

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3.  Thank God for indoor playgrounds at the mall now that the weather is getting colder. 

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4. Our messy living room. People have been begging to see photos of the inside of our new rental. However during daylight hours it usually looks like this. Keepin' it real. 

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5.  A view into the kitchen (with a Hank photo-bomb).

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6.  We've all been a little tired this week. Shaking my fist at you, time change.

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7.  Best. Smile. Ever. So honored I get to see it everyday.

This week: Our new digs

This has been one of the craziest weeks of my life. We moved into our new place this past weekend. I severely underestimated how complicated it would be to move with a 1 year-old. Not only do you have less time to pack/move/unpack, but you've got to do it without leaving crap everywhere that they can get into. Thank God for grandparents on deck to help out.  

Here's 5 on Friday.

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1. Our new (rental) abode for at least the next 3 years. It's cute and cozy, and you can't beat the view of Edinboro Lake from the front deck. It really could not be more perfect for us right now. 

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2. Sophie snoozing while we were working our asses off. All I wanted to do all week was curl up in a ball with her and take a nap. 

 

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3. I think I saw Chuck Norris in the parking lot of the Walmart in Edinboro.

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4. Sittin' by the lake with Opa. 

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5. These containers of ours now sit behind a glass-front cabinet, so I spent $12 on some chalk labels and a chalk pen to make them a little sexier. I may be a little too enamored with the result and want to put chalk labels on everything. 

 

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Bonus: Happy Hank

This week: art, Heisenberg, and a work trip

Here's Five on Friday.

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1. Had a beautiful evening at an art reception I attended with Rick's Aunt Bev, hosted by friends of hers at their amazing estate in Edinboro. I really miss my creative community in State College. It was lovely to meet a lively community of quirky, interesting art-lovers here in Edinboro/Erie.

 

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2. Watched the Breaking Bad finale on Monday night wearing these shirts. Please excuse Rick's wrinkly shirt. It was pulled from the laundry bin. We avoided the internet all day so that we wouldn't have the ending spoiled for us.

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3. The calm before the storm Thursday at TEDxJNJ@SpringHouse at Janssen Research and Development near Philadelphia — an event I was working on for the past two months. I speaker-coached and designed presentations for some brilliant, inspiring people including a bench scientist who moonlights as an improv comedian, an art therapist, an IT guy, a medicinal nano particle engineer, and a 20 year old Thiel fellow who developed a vaccine for cancer and is working to build implantable devices that monitor your health in real-time. I've worked with many speakers that I never get to meet in person, so being able to attend the event and meet everybody I was working with was amazing.

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4. It was also the first time I was away from Hank overnight. Even though I was only gone for 36 hours, I missed two days with him and I was definitely feeling it. Everywhere I looked there were reminders of him. This was at the airport when my flight had been delayed for over an hour for maintenance issues. Also, WANDS.
 
My sweet husband made a crappy evening much better by sending little videos of Hank to me throughout the evening during his night time routine. I love my boys.

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5. And a nice walk down the driveway on a wet autumn morning. I love Sophie's butt.

 

Also, Hank took his first few steps today. Watch out, world. 

Five on Friday

Since I stopped writing my monthly letters to Hank when he turned one, I'm starting to freak out that I won't remember to document the little things happening in our family. 

So, inspired by a friend, I'm going to take the "Five on Friday" challenge. Every Friday I'll take five minutes to share five little things going on in our lives. 

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1. The season of animal-shaming is upon us! I'm so excited that we'll have a new little neighborhood to trick-or-treat in, so I found the dog a new costume. She is not pleased.

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2. Popping a squat with my babies.  I love how Hank slows down in the grass and takes everything in. He's also really starting to play with the dog. He'll pet her and throw her ball for her. It melts my heart.

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3. Feeling lucky to have found a new choir family — The Presque Isle Chorale. Four part harmonies make my soul tremble. Also, I've been homesick for my friends and family since we moved here in January, and it's so nice to feel like I'm among "my people" among my new choir friends.

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4. Official new big-boy kicks for the Hankster. He's had baby shoes before and hand-me-down shoes, but this is his first pair of officially-sized and all-to-himself skidz. (They're the Garrett style from Stride-Rite, a gift from Grandma.) He's not walking yet, but he's cruising and getting pretty close.

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5. Sophie's birthday was yesterday. We mixed some pulled pork with peanut butter, stuck a candle in it, and sang to her. We are those people.

Happy Friday, everyone. 

P.S. That was more like 20 minutes than 5 minutes, but you gotta start somewhere.  

 

Presque Isle

We live about 20-30 minutes from Lake Erie's beautiful beaches at Presque Isle State Park. All summer I've been dreaming about a beach day, but busy schedules and crappy weather prevented one from happening until today. Today we had no plans and 79 degree sunny weather. So we packed up the car with the baby, the dog, and the Opa and off to the beach we went.

Taking a baby and a dog to the beach is seriously f*cking exhausting. I was not prepared. There are a million things you have to remember to pack, lug onto the beach, and then try to unpack while dealing with a mobile baby who likes to eat sand and a dog who vibrates with adrenaline coursing through her veins and makes demon noises until you let her go in the water. It was chaotic and stressful. I even snapped at Rick while we were trying to pitch our half-tent in the wind and it blew around like a kite. 

But somewhere in there I got to hear Hank's giggles as the waves lapped up over his legs. 

And I got to see my crazy dog fetching sticks in the water like it was the most important job in the world.

And in those moments, every ounce of stress was worth it. Isn't that how it goes sometimes? You have to give an hour of fight for 30 seconds of beautiful.  

 

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Lost his legs. Loved every minute of it.

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Licking the bottom of a Subway cookie bag. Shameless. Like her Mama. 

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My little sand-eater. He had sand in every orifice.

 

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Here's to breathtaking waves and licking the bottom of the cookie bag.