Sunday, April 13, 2014

Long Overdue Sunshine

Minus the torrential downpour and tornado-like winds over the last day and a half, the beautiful weather we've had most of the week was very much appreciated. My body and mind were in desperate need of some Vitamin D and it couldn't have come at a better time.

Lil Man and I took full advantage of the nice weather on Wednesday with our inaugural bike ride of the season. Although a bit chilly and windy, it was beyond therapeutic for the both of us to finally get out of the house. This winter was just way too long. The three of us have been on the occasional walk as the rest of the snow melted, but poor Miss Zora tore off her back pad, so biking gave her some time to heal up.

Zora has especially missed her sunshine. I feel really bad she won't get to spend my lunch breaks outside anymore since purchasing an automatic food feeder. :( Three years of coming home for lunch every day to feed her has finally taken it's toll. Especially now that my time is a precious commodity, I need that hour every day to do all the other things that don't get done when Lil Man is awake. Sorry Miss Zora, but a less stressed mommy means more walks and trips to the park. Win for everyone.

The food feeder was just one of many steps I'm currently taking in order to de-clutter and simplify my life. With Brody at his dad's all weekend, I cleaned and organized the hell out of my house/garage/shed/yard for two solid days. It felt amazing! My 96-gallon recycling bin is busting at the seams, the garage sale pile more than doubled, I have space in my closets and drawers now and we can see the floor in Lil Man's playroom. It's amazing how much ambition you have with the sun shining and windows wide open. 

This afternoon was spent at Grandma and Grandpa Z's house with everyone, including Great-Grandma and Grandpa Neiser. We all had a wonderful dinner and had Lil Man entertain us. He has changed so much in the last couple months. He pays attention to books and toys for more than a millisecond and loves to play with blocks, ABC magnets and his stacking cups. Even though he doesn't have a very big vocabulary yet, he jabbers all the time lately. Today's new sounds included "wow," "uh uh," and "uhhh ohhhh." Such a hoot. I love that hooligan. xo

Then there's that metaphorical sunshine I've been waiting for for what seems like forever. For as rough as things were a couple weeks ago, my life has made a complete 180 since then. Whether it's from finalizing the divorce, getting over seasonal depression, Lil Man's teeth finally coming through or my workload slowing down a bit... I feel like I can breathe again.

I didn't like that funk I was in. It was like an out-of-body experience staring at yourself knowing that person you see isn't you and something has to change. I'm so happy that things are heading in the right direction for once. Especially since there's this guy... ;) 

Saturday, March 29, 2014

The End

My blog was never meant to be my diary or my therapist, even as therapeutic as it can be. My readers know fairly well that most of my life is documented, unedited, on the Internet through candid photos and unfiltered stories. However, for the last 8 months, I've kept pretty quiet about a large part of my life.

I used to have my life all figured out... graduate college, get a job, get married, buy a house, adopt a dog, have 2-ish kids by the time I'm 30, grow old happy. How I woke up a 28-year-old single mother working full-time and battling through a long, messy divorce is beyond me.

Because men boys are ass holes, that's why.

Yesterday, the person who I've been with for twelve years... the father of my child... and I officially ended our marriage.

It is my conviction that our legal system is disturbingly flawed and those who suffer the most are, sadly, the children. The judges, lawyers and computer generated equations have no clue what happened behind closed doors, yet they're the ones who determine a child's fate. Michigan, you can take your no-fault divorce policies and shove 'em. Deep.

I am a true believer in karma. I walked out of the courtroom yesterday knowing we fought hard and we fought fair. We played by the rules. We know that and God knows that, and in the end, that's all that matters.

Those who decided to cheat and lie and manipulate... both me and the system... know that the only person you hurt was Brody. For that, you should be beyond ashamed. I find solace in knowing that someday you shall pay for your sins.

Deep breath.

These last 8 months (well, couple years, actually) have been the toughest times of my life. It is only by the grace of God and the love and support of my amazing parents that I am still standing. Mom... Dad... I couldn't have survived this without you. You guys have been my rock and for that, I am truly blessed and will never be able to fully repay you for what you have done for me and Brody.

Thank you to my family and ones closest to me for your continued prayers and support throughout this entire ordeal. God bless you all. With my head held high and big girl panties on, I look forward to the future and finding happiness again. xo

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Lost and Found: Skipper's Story

If you follow me on any social media platform, I'm sure you've seen this cute lil guy's picture more than once this weekend. Late Friday night as I started up my car to head home, I spotted this poor dog in my headlights obviously very cold and lost. I was in an unfamiliar area out in Marne/Allendale and there was no way I could just leave him wander... so he came home with me. 

Zora was clearly a bit confused when I came home with a new friend, but she was super gentle and followed our new house guest from room to room. I think he had gotten into something trying to keep warm or find food because he definitely needed a bath immediately. He let me get him cleaned up and even though he wasn't interested in eating any dog food, he scarfed down a ton of my homemade puppy cookies. I felt better that he at least ate something. 

While I was busy getting a bed ready for him on the floor in my room, he decided to hop up on my bed and make himself comfortable. Well, I'm weak and not one to make a dog move once they're sleeping, so I squeezed in between him and Zora and the 3 of us snuggled in for the night.

Zora was such a good sport about sharing her beds with our new friend. xo

He had so many of the same characteristics as Peanut. His mannerisms indicated he was definitely someone's well-loved pet and not just some stray. I decided to name him (needy) Petey. 

I spent Saturday morning summoning my inner stalker and looked online for phone numbers for the houses near where I found Petey. I spoke to a couple dozen people and none of them even knew of a neighbor who owned a chihuahua. Once Harbor Humane opened at noon, my plan was to head over there and get him scanned for a microchip, and sadly, surrender him over to them. There was no way I would be able to handle two dogs and Brody come Sunday.

I gave my parents a call before I headed out and because they are such wonderful, loving people... they told me to bring Petey with me to their house. Gah, they have such big hearts. xoxo

We stopped at Harbor Humane anyways to check for a chip and sadly, no such luck. Peanut and Zayla took to Petey instantly. So, Mama and Papa Z's house looked like a small zoo all weekend with four dogs, but they all did so wonderful together. 

Made himself right at home... 

Saturday night, I went out with my sister and peoples to Grand Rapids. My amazing parents took Petey and some flyers back to Allendale and went door-to-door in the area he was found. God bless them. They had no luck, but the lil guy sure did enjoy curling up on my dad's lap and going for a truck ride. Mom sent me a picture later that night of Petey curled up in a pile of my clothes sawing logs. LoL!

On our way back home from GR at midnight, I received a Facebook message from a guy asking me to give him a call regarding the chihuahua. Long story short, we made arrangements to meet first thing Sunday morning to reunite Petey (whose real name is actually Skipper) with his owner! Mama Z and I gave him another good scrub down and trimmed up his nails so he was all ready to go. 

I am so relieved that Skipper's owner was found and we didn't have to go through with handing him over to a shelter. I just love that little guy and it warms my heart to know he's back with his family. Thank you to everyone who shared his photo! I had posted Skipper's picture and bio on Craigslist, a couple "lost and found" pet sites, Twitter, Instagram and on roughly 8-10 different Facebook pages. The initial photos I posted were shared 207 times! Skipper's owner was able to contact me after his cousin down in Florida saw one of the shared photos in his Facebook news feed. God bless the power of social media!

Time to quick hop up on my soap box... people... make sure your pet is microchipped! My dog doesn't always wear a collar when she's outside, but there needs to be some way for people to get ahold of you if your pet does manage to escape. Also, if anyone loses or finds a pet in Michigan, get their photo on the "For the Love of Louie *Michigan Lost Pet Lookers*" Facebook page. It's a great community of animal lovers who shared Skipper's photo 123 times. Thanks guys!

Thanks again to everyone who shared Petey/Skipper's photo! You guys are wonderful! xo

Sunday, March 9, 2014

A Boy and his Dog

I'm no dog whisperer, but Zora's thoughts were loud and clear this weekend... "Omg mom, isn't it time for Brody to go to bed yet? Please?!"

These two have been hilarious to watch over the last week. They've really figured out how to play with each other which is a total bonus for mommy. They entertain each other and I just make sure they're safe. Win.

However, by the end of this weekend, Zora was frantically looking for a place to hide and take a nap. Lil Man said the heck with an afternoon nap today and was wired. I bought this new dog bed for both the kids (no, seriously) and now every time Zora crawls in it, Brody has to join her. It's adorable and thank God Zora is so patient with him. That poor dog. LoL.

Monkey see, monkey do.

Claiming territory? 

Yes, we also sit in the dog's toy basket now. Of course.

If those eyes don't say, "get him away from me"... I'm not sure what does.

Gah, they're so adorable. xoxo

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Blogiversary and Weekend Recap

Today marks my 3rd blogiversary! That's 3 years of endless rants about furry children, babies and DIY projects. A huge thank you to all my loyal readers for actually making me feel like my mundane, repetitive lifestyle is somewhat intriguing. 

Anyways... Thursday night, Ash and I decided to do something a little different and checked out the Ladies Night Out put on by a local chiropractor. It was fun... we did a hand wax treatment, shopped, had our picture taken, ate lots of goodies...

... and drank wine.

Friday after work, I rounded up the children and went into Muskegon to spend the weekend with Mama Z. We mastered several new toys and activities, tried some new foods, learned how to swiffer, terrorized Peanut... ya know, the usual.

We also discovered if you put things in his shirt or pants, he wigs out a bit. LoL.

New foods include Oreos, Cinnamon Life cereal and tuna fish sandwiches. As always, a huge hit with the children... furry or not. 

Sunday we celebrated my Grandpa's 82nd birthday and twin cousins' 16th birthday. I obviously have a horrible sense of time. In my mind, my grandparents are in their 60s... have been my whole life. LoL. They're in incredible shape and never look any different, so I guess I can understand why I feel that way. (Or I'm in denial they're getting older.) Same with my cousins... I remember when they were wee babies on heart monitors. Now they're driving... WHAT?! God I'm old. So very very old. 

Lil Man loved Dan's hat and the Sugar Daddy sucker from great-grandma.

Pants optional.

Other than that, a pretty low key weekend. Went with Ashley to Fowler Monday to pick up her wedding dress. You're all going to be blown away... she looks gorgeous! But then again, she could rock a Hefty bag and still look pretty hot. ;)

If everyone could say a prayer for my living room furniture, I'd appreciate it. The baby gate has been lifted and Zora will have free rein starting Wednesday morning. I'm a little nervous I'm going to go home to a room full of furniture fluff... but then again, after 5 days at Grandma's, she might just pass out on the couch. Fingers crossed it's the latter. 

Have a great rest of your week everyone!
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