Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Emma

I've actually got some things to post about, but feel like I can't until I get this one out of the way.

Two weeks ago today, we said goodbye to Emma - a/k/a Miss Emma Dilemma, Jem Jems, and our foster failure.

We brought her home as a foster in February of 2011. We had lost two dogs in the span of six months the previous year and weren't ready to commit to a dog of our own. So we thought we'd foster for a while so we could still have dog energy in the house.

It only took a couple of months to realize that we could never give her up. She wormed her way into our lives and hearts.

She was guesstimated to be seven years old when we brought her home, so I feel very fortunate that we got to share our lives with her for another seven full years. She was a very easy dog. She was fully house-trained, never chewed anything that wasn't hers, and rarely barked.

She was the most excellent travelling companion. She rode across country with us, and stayed in many hotels and Air BnB's with no problem. And when we had to live in a hotel for an extra three weeks after we arrived in Philadelphia due to the rental house flood, she assumed that was our new home and settled right in. She charmed nearly everyone she met, and the word most people used to describe her was "sweet."

She had been living with Cushings disease the last couple of years of her life, but developed cancer last summer. We promised her we would not let her suffer. And as soon as she told us she was ready, we let her go.

I still miss her every day. Rest easy, my sunshine girl.


Monday, February 5, 2018

E-A-G-L-E-S !


I have been to exactly two Eagles games in my entire life. One was a few years ago at Candlestick Park when they came to San Francisco to play the 49ers. And the other was at the Vet with my Dad when I was maybe 6 or 7 years old.



My parents were friendly with the GM of the Eagles at the time – they knew him through church. He gifted two tickets to my Dad, and since he was the GM you know these were great seats. We were on the 50-yard line maybe 10 rows off the field. I knew nothing about football, but it was a chance to spend the day with my Dad.

I don’t remember anything about the game from that day – not even who the Eagles were playing. But I do remember it was very hot – it was pre-season, after all, so August in Philadelphia. There was a high school marching band right in front of us on the sidelines. They performed in their full uniforms before the game. I think the were probably going to perform again at halftime, but instead more and more of them wound up leaving the sidelines, some being taken away on carts. These poor kids were collapsing from heat exhaustion. I think I probably spent more time watching the kids collapse than I did the game. It didn’t matter to me. I was just there to hangout with my Dad. And we returned home sunburnt from head to toe, both of us. Isn’t it funny, the things you remember?

I thought about my Dad a lot yesterday as I watched the pre-game hype. I wish he would have been here to see the Eagles win their first ever Super Bowl. But since he is no longer with us, maybe he had a little hand in securing the victory from beyond. I like to think that anyway.


Thursday, January 4, 2018

I Can Do Hard Things

As I look at 2017 in the rear view, I can honestly say I've never been so happy for a year to end. While there were some really good times - buying a new home, a trip to NYC to see Bruce Springsteen on Broadway, my mom coming to live with us through the fall - it was probably the most difficult year of my life.

But...I made it through. I wasn't always sure I would. The grief over losing my dad, the stress of remodeling our new home, and an incredibly stressful job with a horrible commute really tested me - I think even pushed me into a mild depression.

But I have recently started feeling lighter and more like myself. And that nicely coincides with the start of a new year.

I am not going into this new year thinking everything is magically going to be great. In fact, just the opposite. I know this year is also going to be hard. I start a new job on the 8th, and while I'm looking forward to it, it's always stressful starting a new job. I am nearly certain that we are going to lose Emma this year, and that is going to be hard. I'm battling a health issue that has turned into a bit of a medical mystery. And we found out right before Christmas that my mother-in-law's cancer has returned.

But I'm choosing to focus on the good and start the year with a sense of optimism.

I have a new job! That's exciting. It's in a field I enjoy and my commute will be cut in half. DH also has a new job that he's very excited about.

Emma is still here and holding steady - I honestly didn't think she'd make it to the new year when we got her cancer diagnosis. But she continues to chase every squirrel or bunny who dares to enter her yard, and she still climbs the stairs to go to bed every night with gusto. So this itself is a blessing.

My mother-in-law starts a new cancer treatment this month, and we will just pray for the best. DH is planning a trip to see her for their birthdays in April, and I will probably go with him.

I have learned so much from the struggles of the past year - how I married the absolute best partner I could have ever chosen, how kind people can be when you lose someone you love, and how strong I can be when I have to. I have learned that I can do hard things - and it give me the the courage to face whatever 2018 throws my way.


Saturday, November 4, 2017

Here Goes Nothing

My gym is hosting an indoor triathlon in January. 10 minute pool swim. 30 minute spin bike ride. 20 minute treadmill run.

And I just signed up. *gulp* Let the training begin!

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Q4

I saw this photo today and it struck a nerve with me. 2017 has probably been the hardest year of my life and I've been ready to write off this year entirely. But I've got two and a half months left to turn things around.



The year started off with so much promise. DH and I made an offer on a house and closed in February.

And then my mother-in-law was diagnosed with cancer.
And my dad had a major stroke and passed away.
And now my dog has cancer.

I've also been spending about two hours a day in the car commuting to a job that I'm not crazy about. And as a result of the stress and the commuting and the grief, I've gained about 20 lbs.

But all is not lost. I started doing Pilates a few weeks ago. I've swam a few times. I've been on my spin bike a few times.  I've been eating better and making sleep a priority. And I'm starting to feel like myself again.

So I'm going to make the last quarter of 2017 the best quarter of the year.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

On Happiness

I've sat down to write so many times but don't want to come off as negative. This year has been HARD.  I just haven't felt much like myself this past year. I will write about it eventually but not today.

So instead I will share this. Today, DH and I played golf. We've probably only played a half dozen times since we moved here. In California we played an average of twice a month, so it's something that I have really missed.

We used to play the same 3 or 4 courses regularly, and we'd throw in a different one every once in a while just to mix things up. We have yet to find one that we both like enough to play regularly. Until today.

Today was everything I've missed about golf. A course with a driving range, a nice putting practice area, and close to home. The fairways were beautiful, the greens very well kept. It was a beautiful day - if a bit hot at 90 degrees. But DH and I both agreed after three holes that this could be our new "regular" course.

I played well and thoroughly enjoyed the day. And I am so happy and grateful. I think I might have found a little bit of my old self out there on that course.


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Starting Over

I joined a new gym this month - one that has an outdoor pool. Hurray for outdoor swimming!

I just joined last week and went and swam twice. I plan on going three times this week - probably two swims and one different workout.

I'm gradually easing my way back into things. At this point, I am honestly starting over like a beginner exerciser. Because when you go months without doing a single workout - or maybe just one workout that month -  and those months turn into a year, you really are a beginner.  And I'm fine with that. I'd rather workout three times a week than not at all. There will be no triathlons for me this summer. I just don't think I could get myself race ready.

There are a lot of reasons why I haven't exercised very much over the past year - some very recent. But I'll go into that later.

For now I'm just happy that I want to exercise again. I'm looking forward to seeing progress - because the gains are always great in the beginning.