Meet Max

Wednesday, October 28, 2020


Meet Max!

On Saturday, 10/17, we welcomed a new furry family member to the crew. Maxwell Layne (named to honor our Layla) was adopted from our local animal shelter, who partners with a high-kill shelter in North Carolina to save pups who probably would have not had a chance otherwise. I am so glad they brought Max to us, because he is the absolute sweetest boy!

A little back story: If you know me in real life or have been following along for any amount of time, you know how much I (and our entire family) adored our Golden Retriever, Layla, who passed away in January of this year. She was truly my best friend, my constant companion, my calm in the craziness of life. Of course, she left us right before life got crazier than ever and I have missed her presence desperately during these long, lonely pandemic months. If you had asked me (and many did) if I would have considered getting a "new dog" after Layla died, it was a hard no. I simply couldn't picture doing that through the pain.

Over the course of the year I've continued to grieve. After a few months, the kids asked about getting a new pup someday, and around the 7 or 8 month mark, I began to open my heart to the idea. I think my readiness came about when I realized that no matter what, I will always miss Layla whether we have another dog or not... so we might as well save a life and enjoy all of the benefits loving an animal brings.

Back to the present: I knew I was committed to rescuing (just as we had with Layla), and we preferred not to adopt a puppy as they usually get a ton more interest than older dogs, plus, I'll be honest: I have three small kids and potty training a puppy, and dealing with teething/nipping and such just wasn't ideal. Our ideal age range was 1-4 so the pup could grow along with our kids. As far as breed and size, we weren't picky (although I do have a soft spot for larger dogs). Our only real requirement was: great with kids.

Enter Max.

I saw his picture pop up on our local shelter's website and sent our application in. It was a whirlwind from there -- he would be arriving on transport from the south in just two days, and could we meet him with the intention of finalizing the adoption that day? It was a little nerve-wracking because we take adopting so seriously but I just had a good feeling about this boy. The minute I saw him get off of transport with his handler, I knew he was sweet. I could just tell from his demeanor. He was shy and a bit timid (who could blame him?) but gave me a kiss on the cheek and had a seat on my lap right away. He didn't jump at the girls, but greeted them happily and took his treats gently. We all fell in love right away and knew we had to bring him home!

So far, he's doing wonderfully. About a week and a half in, he's relaxing in his new environment and showing us his playful side. He's well-mannered but fun-loving, obsessed with people, and so snuggly. He reminds me of Layla in that way! He just loves to be with us. We are so grateful that he is a part of our family.

Have you ever rescued a pet? Would love to hear your story, too!

Monday Coffee Talk | Fall Catch-Up

Monday, October 12, 2020

Hope you had a wonderful weekend! 

Our's was my favorite mix of busy and relaxed. On Saturday we met friends of ours at a local farm for pumpkin picking and a corn maze. They had live music, food trucks, animals, and beautiful views to enjoy too. The whole experience was "park and pick," which we loved! Everyone was wearing masks and being respectful of distancing. It was overall a great experience and so much fun for the kids.

Sunday was grocery day and H had soccer in the afternoon. C came with me to cheer her on (it's during I's nap time, so Steve stayed home with her. Y'all know how important nap time is! haha), and afterward we went through the Starbucks drive thru for cake pops & coffees. We caught up on some house to-dos, too, and today everyone had off school and work so we stayed in our pjs all day, played, cleaned up, and made this veggie soup in the Instapot for dinner -- it was so rainy and chilly out. All in all, a great long weekend!

How are you doing? I've been wanting to check in to see how everyone's holding up. I hope you've found as comfortable a balance as possible, and that despite the strangeness of this year, you are still seeking and finding happiness and making memories. As the seasons turn, I'm reminded that the Earth keeps spinning despite what's happening across most of it. While it seems life has been at a stand still since February, time still marches on. 

Life here has been crazier than ever lately, and I'm finding myself missing this outlet and connection so much. My friend Elizabeth over at Blush Magnolia Blog said it best a couple of months ago: "When things stop adding up, start subtracting" -- and that's what I've had to do lately. I've had to subtract things from my life in order to keep up the juggle of work, raising three kids, and virtual school/teaching. I know how many of you mommas feel me. How many of you have heard the insight of Nora Roberts about glass balls and plastic balls? Someone once asked her how she does it all, and she said "The key to juggling is to know that some balls are plastic and some are made of glass. And if you drop a plastic ball, it bounces, no harm done. If you drop a glass ball, it shatters, so you have to know which balls are glass and which are plastic and prioritize catching the glass ones." 

So if you need me, I'll just be over here attempting to juggle! ;)

Really, though, I have to say: virtual school has been going so much better than I expected. I think the key was that I had pretty low expectations to begin with (because 2020), but even if they had been higher, I believe they would have been exceeded. C's teacher is excellent and her online class is small, and with some close friends she made last year. I feel like she's making progress with her reading, writing, and math, so that's encouraging to see! 

H and I work on some "preschool stuff" each day and I think she's making some progress also. She can write her name really well, has mastered shapes and colors, and is getting pretty good with recognizing letters. What I think is hardest is that I know all of the social she's missing out on by not being with other kids in a traditional preschool class, and our H is a social gal. She would have loved to go to a new class and make new friends. That truly breaks my heart. But I am trying to keep my eye on the fact that she has two built-in, 24/7 playmates in her sisters, so she's still entertained and engaged, and she's still very young so I do feel like there will be time left to enjoy herself and get in the groove of things once she's back in school.

We are trying to keep up with occasional play dates too so the girls can see their friends, and each big girl has an activity that they're involved in right now to maintain some sense of normalcy: Girl Scouts for C and soccer for H.

Isabelle is doing great amidst all of this, bless her sweet soul. Thank God for her laid back, happy, patient little self -- she's a true easygoing third child and I think she's loving having her big sisters home so much and being part of the action!

I have a few *new posts* coming up, and have thought about reviving the Women Who Inspire series too. What do you think? Would you be interested in that?

Let me know what you've been up to and how everything's going (and feel free to be honest -- I think you'll find that more people can relate than you might have imagined!). So glad you stopped by today! Happy Monday and new week!

Happy October! Our Fall 2020 Bucket List

Thursday, October 1, 2020

 Happy first day of October!

Are things starting to feel fallish where you are? Our weather has cooled down a lot and we've had several days that have felt like full-blown, chilly fall already. Usually I'm sad to see summer go, but this year I've decided to just embrace each day as it comes and focus on the fun that there is to be had in each new season, and each new day. Even if it looks a little different.

How did you celebrate Halloween when you were a kid? Did you go trick-or-treating door to door? Did you do a trunk-or-treat (I had no idea this was a thing until I was older, btw)? Did your parents buy your Halloween costume or were they homemade every year?

I grew up in a tight-knit neighborhood with lots of kids. My two best friends lived in the two houses next door to me, so for many years we went trick-or-treating door to door together. I have really fond memories of my one friend's family throwing the best backyard Halloween parties each year when were little. I remember how big, magical, and exciting they felt to me. There were spooky snacks, music, games, bobbing for apples (we're probably never going to see that activity again!), and of course... costumes. Those memories are good and necessary reminders to me as a parent to remember that sometimes the simple fun is the best kind.

Anyway! Despite the weirdness of this year, there are still things we want to do to celebrate the season. Enter: our fall 2020 bucket list!

What's on your fall bucket list this year?

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