Life update

As I stare at this white, blank screen, I'm not sure where to even begin.  So much has happened since I posted last; it's almost like I'm writing on a whole new blog.  Although I'm not very good at it, and I take breaks often, I do love blogging and everything that comes with it.  I love finding new blogs and not only following their blog, but also following them on social media as well.  I love finding blogs to inspire me in all walks of life.  Whether it be fashion, food, home décor, etc., I have found some seriously great woman to follow on a daily basis. 

That's probably why I'm no good at blogging myself-I compare myself to blogs that have been around for months, maybe even years.  After a few months, I find myself having a hard time deciding what to write, so I'll start writing posts that mean nothing and are there for no good reason.  All the 'starting your blog' posts I've read seem to have one common theme through them-write about a passion so it's easy to write about and so it doesn't become a chore.  "Oh no, I've got to get a post published for tomorrow." So inevitably, after a few months, I take a break so it stops becoming a chore. 

So, here I am, needing that outlet again and hoping that this time will be different.  I've never had a true vision of what my blog will become; I simply try not to have any expectations of it and If I write one day, great!  If I don't write the next, that's okay too!

Today, I'm choosing to write. 

Maybe I'll go into more detail another day, but for now, I'll just simply say the last several months (7 to be exact) have been some of the most trying, difficult months I'll ever live.  September of 2014 I was 22 weeks pregnant with our first child-a boy we knew we were going to name Oliver.  I woke up like any other day, but upon going to the bathroom, I knew something was wrong.  To make a long story short, I delivered our son that day. 

On September 1 2014, our baby boy Oliver Jay was born and lived in this world for only about 2 hours before leaving us to meet his maker.  I could say the cliché words here like, "Words can't describe the feeling.." or " We are heartbroken..", and of course all of those are true, but everyone knows that.  Any breathing human being can empathize with a person who has had to bury their child, 4 days after delivering him.

The truth is, there literally are no words to describe what it's like to deliver a baby, and 4 days later bury him. 

Heartbreaking doesn't seem to do it justice. 

I've been fortunate enough to not ever really have to deal with loss through my life.  My grandfather passed away several years ago and of course that was sad, and I cried and missed him, but he was almost 90 years old and lived a good life. I was 18 years old and could accept that he was in a better place and he needed to move on to Heaven where he could be healthy and happy again. 

But when your son dies, what purpose does that serve?  Why would a 22 week gestation baby die?  I struggled, and still do, with understanding and accepting his death.

I've said since my son passed away, that the reason I never had much loss in my life growing up was because God knew the mother of all losses was coming my way when I was 25 years old and expecting my first baby with my husband. 

On top of the unimaginable loss, I had several complications and was in and out of the hospital for the entire month of September and have had countless procedures/surgeries since then.  And on top of all that, my other grandfather passed away a mere 5 days after Oliver did.  I felt like everything was caving in on me at once, and for that it took me a while to accept all the loss that had occurred. 

I have accepted, and am trying my best to be positive in a world where being positive is the last thing I want to do. 

Let me be clear, I trust in God's plan and thank God that He chose me to be my son's mother, even if it is in a way that is different than I had planned.  I found out a lot about my body and health when I became pregnant (another post entirely, if ever), and I truly believe that Oliver was sent to me to warn me of certain things I needed to be warned about.  He potentially saved my life and for that I am forever grateful.

He is truly my guardian angel and for that I am so lucky. 


Sunday Social

Hello friends!
I came across a new link up and thought it was a great idea, so here I am linking up and loving it!  If you've read anything on my blog, it's probably pretty obvious that I love a good link up; it's such a great way to find new blogs to read!
+What are your favorite things to do on a lazy day?
Sundays are dubbed our lazy days.  I love lounging around the house with our dogs watching movies all day.  A great lazy day includes just that: spending all day with my husband and our fur babies, watching movies/Breaking Bad (since we stilllll haven't finished it yet) and making a nice dinner at night.  All this while drinking wine. Can't forget the wine.. or in today's case, sangria and hard root beer.
+What is your TV guilty pleasure?
Pretty Little Liars is my true guilty pleasure.  I mean the plot of the show is just ridiculous but I can't turn away!
+What is your favorite road trip music?
Anyone have XM radio?  There is a station called Pop2k and it is my entire childhood in one station.  I love it.  I'm talking like Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys, Jessica Simpson, S Club 7 (anyone remember them? anyone? Bueller?).  Songs I didn't remember existed and then knew every word when it came on.  Love reliving the good ol' days on that station!
+What are your favorite magazines or books to read by the pool or laying around?
I wouldn't say I have a specific book or magazine I go to when laying by the pool; anything I'm currently reading I'll read.  I will say I'm more of a book person rather than a magazine person when it comes to laying out.
+What is your favorite snack?
I'm a 'chips and dip' kind of person as opposed to a 'sweet tooth' kind of person.  Give me a good dip with chips and I'm your girl.


Motivational Monday

I love this quote and everything it represents.  Nothing is too hard for us to handle and I think we need to remind ourselves more than we are in control, even if it feels sometimes we're not.

There is nothing I can't handle; God wouldn't throw it at you if He didn't know what He was doing.

Happy Monday and cheers to a good week :)


The Girl Behind The Blog: Meet Allie

When I find new blogs, I love reading about the author, in an effort to really get to know her.
It's where you can figure out what similarities you have in common, and can really connect you to a blog.

I recently read a blog post from a blog I frequent about her dog, and I had an idea. 
What if I make a new series for my blog, entitled The Girl Behind the Blog:  Meet ____. 

Because it makes so much sense to introduce my dogs before I truly introduce myself...

**You have been warned, this post is a long one.  When I start talking about my dogs, I keep going..and going..and going. **

I give you the first post of The Girl Behind the Blog.

Meet Allie.

Allie is our 6.5 year old Beagle and she has our heart.  She was our "first born" as we like to say.  All of our dogs have a special story on how we got them, and I love that.

I know all pet owners have a special story, but for each of our dogs it really is fate that we have them.

Allie's story goes like this:

Ryan and I had been dating for only 6 months at the time we got her. 

Ahh, I can't deal.  Look how little Rylee was!
And look how big she is now! They love eachother!
 I knew Ryan was "different" when we started dating, meaning I knew I would fall in love with this kid and it would either end in heartbreak or we'd go all the way.  I never once thought it would end in heartbreak...but being that young (I was 18, he 19) it's scary saying you might have just met your husband!  No one believes you because you are so young.  But, at that time, it was so early on in the relationship that he was just my current boyfriend. 

But to say my boyfriend and I got a puppy after 6 months of dating sounds crazy to me!  So, I adopted Allie never dreaming that Ryan would be in her life forever. So grateful things ended up the way they did.

She's such a little lover :)

Rough life
It was the end of November, and we and our good friends Adam and CJ were going to go on a double date to a car show in Omaha.  On the way up, we looked up the prices online of the tickets and they were like 20 bucks a ticket.  Our men live and breathe cars, so they would have been ok with still going, but us women weren't all that excited to look at cars for a couple hours and spend 40 bucks to do it. 

So, as we are on our way to the car show, we make the impromptu decision to visit Tully's, a kennel in Omaha.  Tully's has a ton of diffrent dog breeds, all puppies, for sale. 
Now, some people don't like Tully's because they say the puppies are from puppy mills, and believe me, I am the first person to tell you all about my absolute hate, anger, and disgust of puppy mills because of a situation Ryan and had with one. 
You'll hear all about that when I tell you the story of Hudson.

Here's my opinion on Tully's:  Allie is from Tully's and there has never been anything "wrong" with Allie.  I've had more health problems with Hudson, our designer dog from a breeder, than I have with Tully's.  But the way I look at it, even if there was something wrong with Allie, I still would have adopted her.  In my mind, I want to take that dog out of it's environment and give it the best damn life it could ever imagine.  Why leave a puppy in a horrible environment, when you can bring it to your home and show it love, even if it has health problems as a result of it's upbringing?  That's my two cents. :)

Ok, so back to Allie. 

Allie loves being in the car;
she's always perched up like this looking out the window.
The four of us go to Tully's just to look at the puppies because that was our idea of a good time.  We're walking through, and I see a kennel with a beagle in it.  I've only ever had beagle's growing up, so I am immediately drawn to them.  I see only one beagle though in this kennel, and as I get closer, I notice a sale sign on the kennel for $250.  All her siblings had been sold and since she was the last one, she was on sale.

*I will say I hate that she literally was on sale; what is she a pair of jeans? But, I thank God that she was left for Ryan and I to adopt her.

I've always had a dog growing up, the same dog (a beagle, Murray) and he had died about a year and a half earlier at the age of 14.  I was ready to get a new dog but hadn't really truly thought much into it.

So when we see this beagle in her kennel, Adam, CJ, and Ryan start giving me the idea that I should adopt Allie.  I ask the employees if we can take her to a play room to get to know her and they said that would be fine.  We spent some time, all four of us plus this new little puppy in the play room and I'll be honest, at first I didn't know what to think. 

Oh, that little face just melts my heart
I hadn't expected to come home with a dog, and I knew I'd have to run it by my parents.  I call my mom, and tell her the story...except I fudged a little on her price.  I knew if I told my mom she was $250 she'd tell me that I shouldn't spend that much money and that it was a big fat no.  I told her she was on sale for $100...and after a small debate (my mom wasn't ready for a new dog yet) she agreed, without talking to my dad first. He was surprised, but ok with it.

From there, I went back in the kennel and started the adoption process.  I think I was more stunned then anything.  I mean, I woke up that morning having no idea I would go to sleep with a new puppy.

The first saturday of the month, at 11am, the sirens go off as a test. 
This happens, every.single.time.
She is a beagle, afterall!
Since I literally had no idea we were going to get a puppy, I had absolutely nothing for a new puppy, so we literally had to stop at Walmart and Petco on the way home so Ryan and I could buy food, dog bowls, collars, leashes, etc.  Adam and Cj stayed in the car with Allie while we ran in and bought necessaties.  I remember that shopping trip; it was so exciting buying items for a new puppy with my boyfriend!

We had no idea what to name her, but I knew I wanted a girly name.  I had only ever had boys for dogs, so I wanted a super girly name, even though beagles aren't typically that girly.  Cj suggested Ellie, and I fell in love.  We called her that for a couple days, but Ryan wasn't in love with it so he suggested Allie. 

It was just as girly, and very close to Ellie, so Allie Mae was born.  (I dont know why I called her Allie Mae, I still call her that to this day.  Does everyone make up middle names for their dogs? No?  Just me?)
She loves sunning herself.
She will find whatever ray of light there is just to lay in it.

I am so happy that fate brought us to Tully's that day.  We had absolutely no intention of going there and I'm so happy that we did.

6 years later, she has our heart more than ever.



High five for Friday!

Well, it's Friday again, and I'm pumped for that. 
Don't have a lot planned for this weekend, and my husband and I are excited for that.
I've mentioned before, but he works about 65 hours a week so when he gets home he's super tired.
This week, three of the five days he had something to go to after work as well.
Meaning he didn't get home until close to 10pm those nights, so he didn't have any free time to just hang out.
He's tired, and a tad grumpy.

On top of all of this, it's effing cold. 
Now I know I live in Nebraska, so cold weather comes with the territory.  I'm used to it by now.
But it snowed about 8 inches this week, and since then we've had seriously cold temperatures all week.
Yesterday got up to all of 9 degrees, and today is a high of 12.  Add windchill to that and it felt like it was
-30 the other day.  Literally, the "feels like" temp was -30.
I'm over the cold weather, I'm over my car being freezing for the first 10 minutes in it, even though I remote start it ahead of time.  I'm tired of worrying if my stupid neighbors will take their dog in at night.  I'm tired of having to make sure I always have my gloves on me or my fingers will freeze off.
I'm just tired of winter and it's only February.  I can handle 20s and 30s, but single digits with wind chills below zero gets a little much after awhile.
Spring time, please hurry!

Ok, enough of that rant.

I'm Linking up with Lauren for this week's High Five For Friday post!

1. Rylee spent the night last weekend and we had so much fun.  I took her swimming Saturday during the day with my Dad, and then Ryan and I took her bowling that night.  I try to have Rylee at least once a month spend the night so I get to really spend time with her.  I love that kid more than anyone on this planet (sorry Ryan..) so I really try to make an effort and be very involved!  They just moved about 30 minutes away from us (as opposed to living a house away from my parents) so it's been different not being able to see her exactly when I want.  This is why I schedule time, so we don't let life get in the way.

On Sunday when she woke up, I put in Hotel Transylvania, one of her favorites, and we watched it while eating breakfast. 
I looked over at her and Ryan and they had some serious zoned out faces going on at the TV.  It was cute so I snapped this picture. 

2. Superbowl Sunday!
...was a dud.  At least the game anyway!
I was soo rooting for the Broncos because I love me some Eric Decker.  And I am from Omaha...and Peyton loves his Omaha!
I was really disappointed they didn't perform better.
Can't win them all though, right?

I did, however, get some quality time with my favorite little 7 month old :)

3. When I came out of the bathroom after taking a shower the other night I came out to the living room to see my husband and his buddy cuddling.  It was so sweet.  Hudson is the absolute sweetest when it comes to cuddling, he's always on your lap and wants to be as close to you as possible.
Needless to say, my heart melted when I saw they were sleeping together.

Don't mind his devilish eyes; I have to keep the flash on when I take pictures of him because he literally blends in if I don't, so his eyes look creepy!

4. Speaking of Hudson...now a picture of him and I sleeping together!
I swear I love all my dogs the same, but Hudson is just the most cuddly so I have a lot of pictures with him.
Isn't he just the sweetest? 

5. I subbed on Thursday, so this means I come home with a mountain of artwork from students. 
They are so sweet, they get so excited to make things for me.
Makes me love teaching even more, and really makes me long for my own classroom!
Fingers crossed...

Have a wonderful weekend!


One Photo Wednesday

I've seen this trend around the blog world: One Photo Wednesday.
I thought it was a fun idea to sum up your day using just one photo.
Below is the photo I took that sums up my day:
working while watching Horton Hears A Who a thousand few times. 
Side note
When I'm not subbing, I work at a pediatrician's office.  I'm lucky enough to work for a company that allows me the flexibility to come and go, depending on if I get a call to substitute or not.  I am so incredibly thankful for that.  I know that I'm probably limited on how much longer they'll continue to let this happen (due to budgets and things that are out of my bosses control) but I'm so thankful I've been able to sub and still have hours at the clinic on off days. 
Ok, back to the original post.
I'm filling in for a friend who works at another location within our company, and the office is brand spankin' new.  As in, we had zero patients today.  None.  And the phone rang, maybe 5 times, total.  This is a huge change from what I'm used to, but I have to say it's refreshing to have a totally boring day. 
So, needless to say, I sat here and played Horton Hears A Who (which by the way is the shortest movie everrr) while trying to find things to do to keep myself busy.  I even turned on Netflix and watched a little bit of Footloose I was so bored. Guilt took over though and I turned it off.
Side note number two:  I did get the okay from my manager.  I'm not that terrible of an employee. :)

Not a lot happening for this One Photo Wednesday.  I am pretty excited though for tonight; I'm heading over to the gym tonight with a brand new workout from Jessica at Glisten Fit and I'm excited but nervous.  I've never really "worked out" consistently but I'm hoping that changes.
It's one of my goals this year and right now I'm extremely motivated!
Here's to a great workout, being able to walk tomorrow, and not watching Horton Hears A Who for a long, long time!


Road trip!

My husband and I are officially in planning mode for a summer vacation we're planning this July.  Yay!
We love to travel, it's kind of our thing. 
I wouldn't say we're crazy about it; we don't go to extravagant places very often, we just so happened to have gotten married last year and we've always known we wanted to go big on our honeymoon. 
I love an all inclusive resort just as much as the next person, but we wanted to do something that we may never get to do again.
Enter: Ireland 
Gougane Barra, Ireland

view from the top of Blarney Castle
Beautiful right?!
 and London:

Big Ben and Parliament
from the London Eye
At the wax museum in London.
 I had to :)
I have a lot of family in Florida because my dad was born and raised there.  The first vacation Ryan and I ever went on together was in the summer of 2009 to Florida.  Ryan and I went by ourselves and stayed with my aunt and uncle who have a condo on the beach. 
If you look at this post, Ryan refers to it as his favorite vacation we've ever been on.  He says that because he said it's the first vacation we ever went on together, and it's the first time he truly realized that we were going to go the distance and he wanted to marry me. aawh :)

parasailing together
won't ever do that again...just sayin.
I love going back to Florida; I mean who doesn't love sun and the beach?  But Ryan really loves it.  His family didn't travel to the beach every summer like mine did when he was a kid so he truly enjoys every ounce of it. 

Florida 2012
We decided that this year, we're going to go back to Florida, but we're going to take a road trip instead of fly.  Ryan is under miles (by a lot!) on his truck since he leases, so he has some miles to burn. 
Our plan is to stay a night in Nashville going down, and then stay in New Orleans a couple nights coming back, as well as Memphis.  We've never been to New Orleans so we're going to make a little mini vacation out of that and stay two or three nights there as well. 
I can't tell you how excited I am! I love road trips and I love the quality time with Ryan that we get when we go on mini road trips to Kansas City, so I think we're going to have a blast.
We've decided we're going to rent a condo together as opposed to staying with my aunt and uncle since we're going to be down there at least a week.  I love the idea of making dinner in a kitchen and then taking a walk after dinner on the beach as opposed to going out for dinner every single night.  Daytona Beach has some amazing seafood joints, but that gets a little old to me. 
I'm so excited for what's to come this summer for him and I.  Half the fun is planning, especially if it's a road trip!
Here's to making memories with my husband in these first years of marriage!
Florida 2012 -  view from my aunt and uncles condo: heavenly

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