I did something this morning. I deleted my subsequent Facebook group that went this website.
Because lately I have been feeling not very connected to this thing I am trying to create. I guess you could say I was forgetting my "why" or the very reason I was trying to do this. When I originally set out to create a Facebook group for this, I had the intention of creating a community where the content I put out there was of value to those receiving it. What ended up happening was I began to feel like I was creating and putting things out there but it was not reaching the audience who it was actually intended for and, as a result, I found myself downplaying what it was I was trying to do or even changing it all together to try to make my "audience" happy.
That's when I realized something:
I am not going to make my audience happy if...
I was inspired yesterday by something a friend said to me. Out of respect for her privacy, I will keep her anonymous. Originally when I started this project of mine, it was with the intent of simply finding my voice and figuring out what the heck I want to do. For the past 11 years, my life has revolved around being a mom and, like a lot of moms feel, I was beginning to not really know who I was anymore, especially as my kids gets older.
So for the past year, I have been plugging away, writing when I can or when inspiration strikes, gradually getting more comfortable with leaning into my curiosity more, while also navigating any negative self talk or limiting beliefs I might have to pursue the things I feel I am meant to do.
I remember back in January of this year, seeing all these companies out there that have opportunities for people to start their own business or side hustle, thinking to myself how I never really understand any of that but if an opportunity came up for me to sell active wear, wouldn't that be sweet? Well, I guess you could say I manifested the crap out of that because fast forward to April and I see a friend start her own journey selling, guess what? Active wear! My immediate reaction was first of shock, then of amazement because of the irony of thinking about something that actually comes to fruition. At first, I took my time observing until one day in June something pulled at me to, at the very least, learn more about it. I spent about a day with constant back and forth soul searching and questioning whether or not I could do it. But all was made clear when I woke the next morning bright and early with nothing else but that on my brain, so I knew I had to give it a shot.
Those who know me from my past might remember me as this quiet, reserved, afraid-to-do-anything sort of girl. To an extent, I might still be like that, but I think I have come a long way. I think there is no real explanation other than one day I just decided that I want to live in a way that, at the very least, inspires my children if no one else. I decided that I wanted to be able to look back at my life with pride for at least having the courage to try instead of looking back constantly with "what if?"
So I've been learning as I go, getting more confident with posting more, doing more live videos (which I'm still not very good at but I'll do them anyway) and though this may be a slow process and I might be a while before I see some of my goals accomplished, I am going to enjoy the journey along the way and be proud of every step I take. Instead of looking back and wondering "what if I would have done that?," I will look forward and wonder "what if I just be brave enough to give it try?" Because you never know where it might take you.
What bull do you need to grab by the horns?
Much love and respect,
One of the things I have come to appreciate about Facebook over the years is when I get surprised of a fun memory that I posted previously, whether that be a favourite photo of my kids or a fun outing we shared together or a trip with a friend or even an interesting article or video that I found uplifting or inspiring in the moment.
One such video that popped into my memories was of a talk Lisa Nichols was doing and she talked about shining your light and not letting others dim it. How I appreciate this message. Too often, in my own journey, I find myself having times where I will go all out in creating what feels right to me but will often find myself pulling back if it feels like others are criticizing what I am doing...even if that criticism is merely perceived on my own part. How often do you find yourself pulling back or playing it safe just to make others feel comfortable?
And what good does that do? Okay, sure. Maybe those people will feel more comfortable around you, but will you feel happy or fulfilled? I know I don't.
But here is what I am learning:
Much love and respect,
Since becoming increasingly more interested in learning about intuitive eating, what it is and how I can apply it to my own life, I find myself getting constantly triggered by various sources that are telling people, in their own way, that hunger and cravings are bad or that, GASP!, we must limit, or cut out altogether, carbs and sugar at all costs. These things we witness that are constantly telling us to do whatever we can to stop our hunger and ignore our cravings are products of diet culture. Should we choose to pay attention to them, we might find ourselves being unnecessarily cruel to ourselves because we cave into a craving or we ate too much or we can't seem to get a handle on on what or how much we are putting into our bodies.
What I am learning is that our hunger cues and cravings are not as evil as diet culture has led us to believe. Hunger cues and cravings are our body's way of communicating to us what it is we need. The problem isn't in our hunger and cravings, the problem occurs when we choose to ignore what it is our body really wants or needs, which is often what results in binge-eating. Too often, we are bombarded with articles and information from diet culture about eating this and not that, or consuming this to prevent hunger, and to be honest, I am quite sick of it. In my opinion, we should stop looking for ways to end our hunger and cravings. Instead, I think, it would be more beneficial to everyone to change the narrative and change our mindset around it. This is why I think learning more about intuitive eating is so important.
Those still caught in the trap of diet culture might be thinking that by choosing intuitive eating and choosing to actually listen to our hunger and cravings, it will mean we will just start filling up on "unhealthy" foods and eating nothing but sweets and fatty foods. That is not it, at all. This article explains it quite well here: https://www.health.com/nutrition/intuitive-eating. What happens is, when we really start to give ourselves permission to eat all the foods, no matter what it is, over time we begin to recognize whether or not we really want that thing. For example, we might wake up thinking we really want a big bowl of sugary cereal, but, when we stop to listen to our own intuition, it is possible for one to find themselves asking, "do I really need this?" or "will I truly feel satisfied once I eat this?" or "how will I feel when I eat this?" We stop thinking less about the things we think we're not allowed to have and thinking more about what it is, in the present moment, that will leave us feeling nourished and satisfied. Diet culture, on the other hand, always encourages some form of restriction. But when we restrict what we are allowed to eat, we ended up wanting whatever we are restricting more. If we are on a diet where we are counting calories or tracking points, our cravings tend to include rich, high-calorie foods. If we restrict fat, we crave fat. If we restrict sugar, we crave sugar. The only time that restriction should be okay is if one has a food allergy/intolerance or if there is some other underlying health issue, in which case, one would be expected to be working with their doctor, who hopefully is weight-neutral, to ensure their health needs are properly met.
As I continue on my own intuitive living journey, I recognize that not everyone is going to agree with me or even be interested in what intuitive eating really is about. But considering how prevalent the messaging in diet culture is, I can also understand how hard it can be to think of anything different. So, even though I don't agree with diet culture, I respect those who are still following it and I choose to not shame people for their choice because I, too, use to buy into that hype for a long time and I understand how hard it can be to change one's mindset around the subject. Diet culture does such a good job convincing people that they need to lose X amount of pounds within a certain time frame or they need to look and feel a certain way...it's no wonder it makes so much money every year. But what diet culture doesn't teach is that every person has their own natural weight set point, and whether or not one loses weight following an intuitive living lifestyle is all dependent on whether or not they were already above their own natural weight set point before they started. Diet culture also does not teach one to learn how to listen to their own body. Instead, it constantly sends messages to people of how they are not enough or how they will never be good enough unless they follow this plan or that plan or do this exercise and on and on. But the truth is, only YOU truly know YOUR body and your body just wants you to listen. Your body gives you hunger cues or amps up the cravings because when you restrict, you are in famine mode, and your body is doing whatever it can to keep you alive. It's part of our survival. When we really start to respect that, it puts a whole new light on the garbage that diet culture tries to feed us.
The answer really is quite simple. If you are hungry, eat. Whatever you are craving, allow yourself to have it in whatever quantities. You are enough and beautiful as you are. As hard as it might be to fully embrace intuitive eating, there's a certain moment that is pure magic, and it hits everyone differently, when you realize that food...ALL FOOD...is neutral and it no longer has power over you. Speaking for myself, whenever I receive any kind of restrictive messaging from diet culture, while I am still learning more about it as I go, it feels incredibly freeing to be able to adopt a "no, not today, diet culture...or any day...I'm not going to buy into whatever you're selling." I simply am choosing healthy behaviours through foods that nourish me AND have me feeling satisfied in addition to moving my body in a way that feels right to me. I allow for treats but I refuse to call them "cheat meals" or have "cheat days" as there's no need to "cheat" when we are following our intuition. Plus, the less food has power over us, the less likely we'll want to binge.
Much love and respect,
"Fake it until you make it."
That is a common thing we hear, and while I recognize the seemingly good intentions behind it of using it to build confidence in what we are doing and to gain more experience, I still don't like it.
First of all, on one particular occasion when I heard this phrase, I was volunteering at one of my kids' Science workshops at school, like I often do, and I overheard a teacher say this quite proudly around the parents as we were taking a break at recess time. In all fairness, she was a fairly new teacher, and it was a tool she adopted to help her gain confidence and she was a lovely young lady, who I am sure will prove to be a great teacher as her experience wears on, but as a parent of one of her students I did not care for it. You see, I have this crazy notion that my kids have a right to a proper education so it doesn't sit well with me that a teacher wants to play willy nilly with my child's education in hopes that she will make it someday if she pretends to know what she is doing. This applies to a lot of professions out there. When you go to receive proper medical attention, do you want your doctor to be faking it until they make it, or do you want them to actually know what they are doing? I think the answer is pretty simple. There's a certain amount of respect and honour and integrity that goes with careers that doesn't match well with faking it.
Not only that, but I think it's one thing to quietly give that to yourself as a little pep talk to keep going, if that really is your thing, but, in my opinion, it makes you more fallible to project an image that you know everything or that you always know what you're doing because when you do finally make a mistake, and it is bound to happen, you will begin to lose face. People will turn on you. You'll lose business. Maybe you will even get demoted or lose your job. Then you find yourself back at square one, and all the faking it in the world isn't going to get you out of it.
What I am trying to practice is this:
Good Morning, Good Afternoon, Good Evening! Whatever the time is where you are, I hope you are doing well, and whether you are doing well or not, I hope you are getting what you need for your self care and manifesting goals.
I hope all the moms out there had a wonderful Mother's Day. I am incredibly thankful for the love I received that day. My husband and kids treated me to a nice lunch and later on I treated myself to a trip to the bookstore, where I came across a new book by Caroline Dooner called "The F*ck It Diet." Members in my private Facebook group might be cringing and thinking, "Oh, Lordy, she's talking about it again. She must be obsessed." To that I say, "You're f*ckin right I'm obsessed." I almost didn't allow myself to include the F-bomb in my hypothetical response, but considering what I am talking about, it feels appropriate and I am in no mood to be precious about it. I just finished the book and it is already having it's effect on me. I just can't stop thinking about it and I am excited to learn more about Intuitive Eating and how to apply it to my own life.
Right when you open the book, Caroline pulls you in with her introduction by poking a little fun at things you might have read in other "diet" or "health" books. She brings attention to how those books promise you that as long as you follow their "diet" or "lifestyle change" exactly, you will be so healthy and thin and fit and strong...and you will have no more cravings, ever! I respect how she calls BS on this way of thinking, especially the last part. Why do cravings have to be such a bad thing? Our bodies are amazing and can do amazing things, including regulating how much food it needs or what type of food it needs.
How many times in your life have you doubted whether you were the right size or whether you were eating the right foods? How often have you found yourself obsessing over whether or not to have dessert because it might interfere with your plan? How much have you punished yourself for caving in to a craving that didn't fit your plan? I think it's fair to say that we've all done those things at least once.
Thanks to the beauty industry with their ridiculous standards of what is deemed acceptable for people, women in particular, to look like, I'm sure we've all found ourselves at one point or another constantly thinking about how we can cut back on calories and make sure we are consuming the right foods and trying to figure out how to allow those "treats" in moderation, if at all. Should we fall off our plan for even a second, rather than just move on with it, we constantly punish ourselves for being a failure at something, which might lead us to cave in to our "dreadful" cravings and we might even go so far as to go on a binge. Then eventually, we promise ourselves that the next time will be different and the cycle continues.
Sounds freaking nuts, doesn't it?
I have been there in that endless cycle. Probably from the time I was a teenager, I have been obsessed with excessive exercising and trying to eat right, which usually involved restricting something from myself. I have never really confessed this to anyone because I have never really fit in as someone who is seen as a person who needs to work on their physical self, whether that is through diet or exercise. If I ever said to someone, I am trying to eat healthier or I am trying to be more active, they would look at me with my "thin" arms and legs, and think, what the hell is wrong with her? Why should she have any body image issues? What they don't see is the belly fat that I am always trying to hide. What they don't know, is that when I do gain weight, it goes straight to my midsection, which is apparently the worst type of fat to have. I have been subconscious about it probably most of my life, more so since becoming a mom. I have been ridiculed about it more times than I can remember. But I often feel I cannot talk about it for fear of more ridicule because the person I might be trying to confide in can't understand why I have these issues. Like most women, I have these issues because of what has been portrayed in the media and because of the message that companies keep trying to put out there that I am not good enough. My wish is that, as women, we will stop making assumptions about each other. Our struggles may not look exactly the same, but that does not mean they are not valid or warranted.
Because of my own struggles, I have done my fair share of dabbling in various health trends. I've done P90X, Gunnar Peterson's Core Secrets, Pilates, and even Kathy Smith videos back when VHS was still a thing (yikes, I just made myself feel old, Lol). I've read countless magazines and tried following different health plans that all had some form of restriction (which is essentially what "diets" or "lifestyle changes" are). I went through periods where I felt like I was successful and I would be so proud of myself for working so hard at exercising every day and not allowing any sweets or chips or fast food of any kind. Eventually, though, I would start feeling resentful towards the constant monitoring, say "screw it" and allow myself to give in to one of my cravings, usually chocolate, and I would never eat just one or two pieces. It would always result in a binge session.
As Caroline points out in her book, with the science to back it up, that is what "diets" and "lifestyle changes" do. Essentially, they are forcing you to restrict or limit something, and when we do that, we are putting our bodies into constant famine mode. Even if we find a plan that we swear works for us...I mean, sure, for as long as we are on the plan, being good little students and following it precisely, we might see the results we are hoping to see...as soon as we come off the plan and attempt to eat normally, we gain the weight back, and we think we need to start over again or find a new plan, which makes it pretty easy to understand why the weight loss industry is such a lucrative business (we're talking billions of dollars a year)- it relies on our perceived failure!
So what is the solution?
This is what I love about Caroline's concept of the F*ck It Diet, also known as Intuitive Eating. One of the first things you need to do is to eat. When you are hungry, eat! Whatever you are craving, eat! Now, this is not about just deciding to eat whatever "unhealthy" food you want and to not bother exercising. This book is about learning to accept your body at whatever weight it falls, trusting your own intuition, really listening to your body and giving it whatever it needs. It is about adopting healthy behaviours as it feels in alignment with you. She goes on to explain the science of how our bodies work and the natural way our bodies are able to get back into the rhythm of things and return to whatever our own weight set point is, and that is different for every person. She explains how, with the science to back it up, when you give yourself permission to eat all the things, eventually food becomes neutral, which is what we want as opposed to the power struggle with our constant fear of weight gain or fear of cravings and hunger. In the beginning of this "F*ck It Diet," it's completely natural that your body might only want "bad" foods or you might find yourself eating a lot and gaining weight - this is what our body is supposed to do. Whenever we apply any kind of restriction or rules to how we nourish ourselves, we are putting ourselves in famine mode, and when our bodies are finally allowed to eat all the things again, it puts on weight as means of keeping us alive. What happens over time is that you begin to recognize naturally when to eat and you find yourself eating a variety of foods without over thinking it, and you most likely well feel happier because you are no longer ignoring your own natural intuition. Fueling our body with what it needs really is that simple when we learn to trust ourselves, unless you have a food allergy or some underlying health issue(s), even then the concept of this could still work for you, though it is recommended you continue to work with your doctor. What it comes down to is accepting who you are and loving yourself just as you are in addition to recognizing that our weight is meant to fluctuate through different seasons or hormonal changes.
She also brings up an interesting point how a lot of these plans that are trying to "improve" our health suggest a daily caloric intake of around 1600 - 2000 calories, which is absurdly low based on the Health At Every Size studies, for what we need in order to ensure our food needs are properly met. They determined that number was barely enough to sustain a child. The studies showed how restricting what we eat and limiting calories drastically affects one's mental health. The men in the study showed increased levels of anxiety, one gentleman's psychological behaviour was so erratic that he had to be transferred to a psych hospital. But once they put him back on a normal diet and increased his caloric consumption, his anxiety symptoms diminished. Given this information, how can we expect as grownups to healthfully fuel our bodies and have optimal physical, mental, and emotional health with all this restriction?
Some might argue, "oh, but my plan is different, it's all about eating in moderation." As I have come to understand it, eating in moderation is not the same as eating intuitively. Even as you are eating in moderation, you are still constantly thinking about it whereas with eating intuitively it is all about listening to your body. While we think we might be doing our bodies good by "eating in moderation," any type of forced eating in moderation is actually a form of restriction, and we will still, at some point, feel deprived.
How am I going to apply what I learn from this book?
For starters, I recognize that I am enough. I am meant to be who I am, in the body I was blessed with, and whatever weight my body feels most comfortable with, I am okay with it. I release whatever negative feelings I previously possessed about my body, including my belly, and I see it for the amazing things it has done and continues to do. I wear my stretch marks and post-baby belly as a badge of honour as that is what my babies called home for 9 months. I am giving myself permission to eat all kinds of food. I am interested in eating a variety of foods, and by giving myself permission to eat even what is perceived as "unhealthy" or "incredibly bad" for me, I am releasing the power it has over me. Good example: this morning I really wanted some licorice. The old me would have had anxiety over that and I would have ridiculed myself for making such a bad choice. But, after giving myself permission to eat the whole bag if I wanted, I decided to just eat two pieces because I truly didn't want any more. Life is short and I no longer want to waste time obsessing and over thinking about it. When my body wants to eat, I will eat. I am not afraid of my hunger and I am certainly not afraid of my cravings. As far as physical activity goes, I will do it because I choose to do it because it feels good and because I want to move. As long as it feels in alignment with my core values, then that is all that matters.
Since reading the book and becoming more interested in learning about Intuitive Eating, I've began noticing all the little tricks and wording that you might come across when health "experts" are trying to convince you to buy into their plan. They might pick up on a few general tidbits about what they think Intuitive Eating is and then apply that to their own marketing. They might try to convince you that their plan is all about balance and there is no restriction. They might say things like "it's all about eating intuitively while closely monitoring carbs and sugar," true intuitive eating is not about monitoring anything is except how you feel. I am learning, and I hope others learn this to, to be very careful about what others might be trying to tell me is best for me. Whatever plan they are selling, if that truly is something you want to look into, really do your research. Take time to ask all the questions and learn every detail through your own research what that plan entails. If it includes any kind of rules, point tracking, calorie counting, portion measuring, and so on - that is all restriction and will only continue to put our bodies in famine mode, which is actually quite stressful on all of our organs and nervous system and mental health in the long run.
No one knows you and your body better than you. Trust your intuition. Whoever you work with, make sure they are working for you and not the other way around.
You can learn more about intuitive eating and the practices to put in place to help apply it in your own life in Caroline Dooner's book, "The F*ck It Diet," which is available in bookstores or online. You can also check out her website: https://thefuckitdiet.com/. Though her book is not the first book on Intuitive Eating. I'm sure with the help of your search bar, you will find a plethora of resources to refer to; I believe you will also find a list of resources on her website, including some great Instagram accounts to follow.
Much love and respect,
I haven't posted in a while, but rather than beat myself up about it for not being consistent enough, I am going to recognize it as the break I needed to reflect on what my mission is and what I am trying to put out there. This is my second attempt at this post. My computer booted me out and my draft didn't save, so let's just see how well I can remember what I was trying to say as this is a subject very near and dear to my heart.
According to @bell_letstalk on my Instagram feed, today is National Child and Youth Mental Health Day. Who here suffers from, or has suffered from, or knows someone who has struggled with, mental illness? If we were in a room together, I imagine an eerily quiet room with everyone awkwardly looking around, waiting for that pin to drop because no one wants to admit it. Why?
Because even in this day and age, we still feel shame around it. We still feel the stigma. If we were to admit any of this to anyone, we can sense the judgment. Even as organizations and celebrities are increasingly doing their part to raise awareness and funds to support mental health initiatives, very seldom does anyone want to admit to this. Whether that is a result of the societal norm or a product of our own environment, finding the courage to admit that we, or someone we love, struggles with mental illness is not an easy task.
So here is my confession: I struggle with anxiety and have a history with depression. You might already know this if you read my "About" page. It is a daily practice to overcome this, and as I know more about myself, I have come to learn what works for me and what doesn't. For me, I choose not to medicate. That is a decision I make based on my own family history, what I know I can handle, and through consultation with my own doctor. Though I will never judge nor condemn someone who does choose medication, with the advice of their doctor, as treating mental health is NOT "one size fits all." What helps me is daily exercise (even if that is a walk around the neighbourhood in the sunshine), watching what I eat (not dieting but rather ensuring that I fuel my body with the right things), writing things down, and using action to alleviate anxiety - in other words, using small, actionable steps to complete simple tasks to help get my mind off it. Sometimes, however, it can feel rather debilitating and I can barely breathe let alone complete whatever may be on my to-do list. When this happens, I know that I either need to rest or get outside into nature, and once I calm down, I can reflect on why I am feeling that way. Usually it has a lot to do with worrying what I perceive others might think of me or, if I'm being honest, it might have to do with something I chose to consume that maybe wasn't the best choice. It may not always be perfect, but as I become more aware, I find it easier to recognize if I need to rest or if I need to change things up with my nutrition or what have you.
I would love to say that therapy is awesome and such a great solution. I'm sure it is, but therapy is expensive and I think there needs to be more of a moral responsibility among professionals in this field to bring more awareness and accountability to our government so that more people can afford to seek help from qualified therapists because not everyone can afford to, and not everyone has benefits that will help alleviate some of the cost. Just saying. Though I feel another post coming on about what exactly organizations are raising funds for when it comes to mental health initiatives. Hmm....something for me to look into. Stay tuned.
I'm not sure if my rambling is making any sense or if I even still have your interest. I felt the need to talk about this on this particular day because I am a mom and I want my children to be healthy. I want them to know that there are resources out there to help them, should they ever need it. I want them to know that whatever they feel is completely normal and that it's okay to not be okay all the time and that it is always okay to talk about it. But in order for me to best help them, I need to recognize what I need to work on for myself. And in order for any of us to make a positive contribution to improving the mental health of our children, then we have to be more willing to talk about it. This is my start.
Much love and respect,
As I look at this thing that I built, I am not ashamed to say how proud I am of myself for wanting to put myself out there. Even though I am still just starting out and still have a ton to learn, I feel really good about where I am headed. Not only am I proud for what I have done so far, I am also extremely grateful for anyone who decided to have a look around and keep coming back.
As I continue to build this further, one of my core values that I feel is necessary to be true to my mission is to have a positive community where women can support each other while also live their journey in a way that feels right to them without feeling ashamed to do so. In addition to that, I also want to ensure that whatever I do is giving back to community in some way. As I embark on this journey more and more, I have faith that I will find those opportunities in the right time.
Sometimes, though, it can feel difficult to keep pursuing my goals with the right kind of momentum, if it seems I am not building at the "right pace," in other words, not seeing the results I want to see fast enough, it can be easy to either give up or push myself so hard that I end up burning out. This has led me to think about how it can be possible to continue to pursue my goals while still protecting my energy.
Here is my list of 10 things that may help in protecting your energy:
What is one thing that others might be surprised to know about you?
Much love and respect,
About 3 or 4 years ago, if you would have told me I was going to get a dog, I would have thought you were nuts. At that time, with my kids still being pretty little and I was in the thick of all things motherhood, there was no way I could imagine our family getting a pet of any kind unless it involved my kids making their variation of a pet rock or something. Plus I knew that once we got a pet, it would essentially be my pet because the responsibilities would ultimately fall on my shoulders. I definitely was not ready. I was barely holding it together keeping my little humans alive and keeping them entertained...I was exhausted. Who am I kidding, I am still exhausted. Albeit in different ways, but exhausted just the same. The kids get older and more independent in some ways, but there's always challenges.
Despite any challenges motherhood might throw at me, I love my kids so much. I am incredibly thankful I get to be their mom. As I have watched them grow and gradually become more responsible, I found myself wondering if we were, in fact, ready for a pet. The last couple of years, my kids were really starting to show an interest and were constantly looking for ways to convince their dad and I that we should get a puppy. To be honest, I didn't need much convincing. I was starting to get to that point where I thought it would be fun to have a little fur baby running around, if only to help me transition from my kids getting older. My husband, on the other hand, needed a bit more convincing. He dragged his feet on the subject for as long as he possibly could, or so it seemed. Until one cold winter day last year, he surprised us with the news that he had been secretly saving up for a puppy...actually, I think he was really saving up for a special toy for him, but something must have changed his mind. So, one cold Saturday morning, he showed me pictures of some puppies a breeder had to see what I thought. After my quick and easy soul searching and making peace with the fact that even in all the attempts of the kids helping out, I would be doing the bulk of it...let's be honest here...I was like, "yes, sure, let's get a puppy!" Then we surprised the kids with, "okay, kids, we're getting a puppy today." After spending the last couple years begging and pleading and convincing us to get a puppy, I am sure you can imagine their surprise.
Suffice it to say, they were shocked in the most wonderful way. I think as we were driving the hour and a half out of the city, my husband and I were a bit in shock as well. 'Oh my gosh, I can't believe we're getting a puppy.' We were also a bit stressed and worried because we kept thinking what if the puppies got picked over? What if it didn't work out? But we quickly changed our mindset and agreed that our puppy was waiting for us. Sure enough, once we got there, he was there waiting for us. We knew he was for us as he was jumping and greeting us excitedly. We were sure to tell the kids how it's important to go with the puppy that picks us, and he most definitely did.
Meet Freckles. He is a miniature Australian shepherd. When we first met him that cold winter day, we fell in love with him instantly. The whole way home, and even once we got back, our kids were a bit in shock and still couldn't believe we got a puppy. To this day, I think we all have moments of thinking, oh my gosh, I can't believe we have a puppy. Though he's not a puppy anymore, we still like to call him that because he's just so darn cute and sweet. I even think he gets cuter as he gets older.
Embracing becoming pet parents has certainly had it's challenges. Stuffies have been chewed, things have been peed on, but we couldn't imagine our lives without him. Going for daily walks and adventures at the dog park have become a regular occurrence. He has most definitely warmed his way more and more in our hearts and become one of the family, one of the kids, even. As I type this, he came sauntering into my office to say hello and get a few pets. He's just so content sitting at my feet, as long as he gets to be a part of it and with his family, he is one happy pooch.
Though I find it can be very distracting. It's so hard to really concentrate on my work when he gives me his little puppy eyes and rolls over to get a belly rub. Or when I am bending down to clean something and he keeps coming up to me and nuzzling and licking my face. I wouldn't want it any other way though. I love how he loves us so much. I love how excited he gets when he knows instinctively that it's time to go get the kids from school. I love how his little bum and tail, or what's left of it, wriggle profusely because he's just so excited to see us...kind of looks like his bum has a mind of it's own sometimes, LoL. I love how he just wants to be included when we're hugging as a family...I think he gets a little jealous. I love how he always seems to know if we're having a bad day and instinctively joins us for a cuddle or gets us to play to get our mind off things. He may be temperamental at times, and a little apprehensive towards people who are not his family (apparently an Aussie trait), but he is ours and we love him so much.
At the end of the day, no matter if he might have behaved badly or not, because sometimes puppies do, he is such an important member of our family and I am so thankful we found him when we did.
Much love and respect,