Meeting Miss Millie

We get a house. Then, we get a dog. Then, we have a baby. That was the plan, according to us.

House – check

Dog- check

Baby- nope.

Dog 2 – check.

Wait, what?

I NEVER thought we’d be a two dog family. Ever. That wasn’t the plan. One dog (specifically, a yellow lab), then kids. That. Is. The. Plan.

But, somewhere in the middle of year two of our baby battle I woke up and had it on my heart to search for another dog. Why another dog? I have no idea. But I was on a mission to rescue a pup. I was called to save a dog in need. Husband said “okay, if you want, go ahead and start looking” read: “there’s no way we’re getting another dog, but if it will distract you from the baby battle, by all means, search for another dog.”

I’m fairly confident he didn’t think I was serious. And thinking back on it, I’m not sure I even thought I was serious. But hey, it would be a good distraction.

I researched about rescue dogs, and adding a second dog into your home. I spent hours upon hours reading, and answering questions about ‘is a second dog the right fit?’ and took all sorts of random quizzes trying to figure out if this was actually a smart idea. Excellent hobby, great change of focus from my previous obsession with getting pregnant. But, turns out, it was a smart idea.. All answers, all research pointed to ‘yes’. Huh. Well, maybe I’m not crazy. I mean, everything is pointing to ‘yes, Sarah, this isn’t crazy, it’s actually quite perfect.’

So, then began my search. I scoured the local shelters, and every now and then, I’d come across a cute face that called out to me, but, the search continued.

Until I came across this face:Meeting Miss Millie

The caption beneath her photo read: “10 months, house trained, in need of a loving family with another dog to learn from”. It may as well have said “SARAH THIS DOG IS MEANT TO BE WITH YOU. MAKE THE PHONE CALL”

So I did. I called. Requested more information on this little pup named “Velvet”. Turned out she was just down the street- living with a foster family who offered to bring her over the following Saturday.

Meeting Miss MillieShe melted our hearts. Instantly. This tiny little pup fit into our world so perfectly that we didn’t have a single doubt that she was meant to be a member of our family.

She came over for a simple, brief, meet and greet/home inspection. And she never left.

Millie

We worked with a local organization – MARS – Midwest Animal Rescue & Services. They are simply the best. We completed the interview and all of the paperwork; application, background checks etc. before scheduling the meeting and home inspection which made the process move quickly, and smoothly. Once we came across Millie we were already set and no hoops to jump through.MARS

If I am being entirely honest, I never thought much to rescue a dog. I think its a noble cause, and they all deserve loving homes, I just wasn’t aware that we were the loving home. Our hearts have been forever changed.

My dad said, just last week, “Millie sure won the jackpot” and the truth is, I think we did. She has forever changed our world.

For us, we were called to adopt. For others, that may not be the right fit, and that is totally okay. The beauty of it all is there are many different ways you can make an impact. Donations are huge, monetary or not. They can always use “stuff” – food, treats, beds, leashes, you name it. Or, perhaps fostering is an option for you.

There are a million different ways to help.

If you want more information on how to help other beauties like our little Millie check out: http://www.midwestanimalrescue.org/info/

We had been praying, and praying, for our family to grow. And just like that, in a flash, it did.

Just, not at all like we had planned.

 

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No Greater Happiness…

Grandma's PoemsMy Grandmother passed away when my mom was just a young girl. There are boxes of poems and blurbs she had written but this particular one has made the biggest appearance.

To this day, my Grandfather still carries a copy of this in his wallet. As a gift one Christmas, Mom had copies made for all of us. Now, we all have a copy in our wallets… worn, and well loved.

Awhile back I had another copy made and have it placed in a small frame in our kitchen so that the words are seen every day.

“There can be no greater happiness than to work – much with your hands, a little with your head, but mostly with your heart – and to live, simply, close to the earth, which never seems far from heaven.”

Why women need women in their lives

Being Margaret

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It was a Thursday Morning.  The first Thursday of the New Year.  That meant that I would be meeting up with one of my besties for coffee.    We made a pact last year to meet up once a week at the coffee shop that sits midway between her suburb and mine.   Thursday mornings, that was the day we agreed upon.  They would be our day!!  Regardless of weather.  Regardless of schedules.  And, we stuck to our deal.  Last year we met every single Thursday except for one or two.   The only thing that keeps us away from our sacred get-together is if one of us is out-of-town.  That’s a reasonable excuse.

She always arrives before I do.  And, there is usually an empty “to go” cup waiting for me.  Her treat.  We buy the “to go” cups because this particular spot lets you refill your java as many…

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Peanut Butter Pumpkin Dog Treats

Sometimes I just have too much time on my hands… but really, these are SO easy. And the pups go crazy for them.

I found the recipe on allrecipes.com– I  tweaked it a bit by adding oats, and chose to leave out the cinnamon.

To Print: Peanut Butter Pumpkin Dog Treats

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You can also substitute grain free flour if your dog is on a grain free diet.

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Homemade Peanut Butter Pumpkin Dog Treats

 

To Print: Peanut Butter Pumpkin Dog Treats

Ingredients:

1 cup pumpkin puree
2 eggs
1⁄2 cup oats (optional if your dog is on a grain free diet – sub an extra 1⁄4 cup grain free flour)
2 1⁄2 cups whole-wheat flour (brown rice flour or gluten free flour are great alternatives)
2 Tbsp all natural peanut butter

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°
In small bowl, stir together flour and oats

In a separate large bowl, whisk together the eggs, pumpkin puree, and peanut butter until well combined. Stir dry ingredients into wet.

Roll dough out onto a lightly floured surface to 1⁄2 inch thick. Dough may be sticky – add additional flour as needed- be sure to have a light coating of flour on hands and rolling pin. Should dough become too dry add a little water as needed.

Use cookie cutter, or cut into once inch pieces.
Bake in preheated oven until golden brown – about 35 to 40 min Place on racks to cool – treats will harden as they cool.

To Print: Peanut Butter Pumpkin Dog Treats

A Bridesmaid’s Dress to Baby Blanket

Bridesmaids Dresses. They can totally break the bank. Especially when you’re a broke college kid. But if you could “totally wear it again” the steep price can be validated… maybe. You smile, say I love it, take a deep breathe and swipe that credit card. There’s a good chunk of years where every dime you have, or don’t have, is going towards weddings. It’s brutal. Some dresses you possibly would wear again…  some, not so much.

One of my dearest friends got married on the beach in Florida. It was a beautiful wedding. Scorching hot – but our dresses were awesome. They were simple, lightweight, and oh so comfortable. They were sundresses we found at Express while wandering the mall one day. They were reasonably priced and matched her wedding colors perfectly.  I held on to this particular bridesmaids dress because you truly could ‘wear it again’. Bridesmaid's Dress

Fast forward a few years. She now has a beautiful baby boy.

As I was pulling out my storage bins to switch up the wardrobe for the season I stumbled across the sundress. I’d been holding on to it for years. Perhaps I wore it once or twice, but it mostly just came in and out of storage waiting for the right time to be put to use. Her little babe was about to turn one, and my mind started racing with ideas.

The winner: Make a baby blanket out of my bridesmaids dress.

Fingers crossed she won’t hate me for cutting up the dress.Baby Blanket From Bridesmaid's DressBare with me… I haven’t done much sewing since Jr High Home Ec. So the lines and stitching are less than perfect. And fighting with that jersey knit fabric is quite the battle as well.

Bridesmaid's Dress to Baby BlanketThis was about the time my sewing machine decided it had had enough. There was way too much I was trying to feed through it. And the thought of adding another layer to finish off the binding made me nauseous. I did my absolute  best to complete this project on my own. But in the end, I had to recruit some help from my neighbor – the expert quilter. I’m sure she was appalled at my uneven lines and misaligned fabric, but she never said a word. She helped finish the binding and off I went. What would have taken me days, took her 20 minutes.

To cover some of the misaligning stitches I pulled out some brown yarn and tied in knots to cover the imperfections add a little more to the quilt.

Bridesmaid's Dress to Baby BlanketThe knots actually gave some fun texture to the back of the blanket as well. Next time I would do two knots – so that an ‘x’ is formed.

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Now this little guy has a piece of such an important part of his Mommy & Daddy’s life.

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It was such an honor to be apart of their big day. And watching them become parents has been such a blessing.

This little guy is so loved!

 

 

Bless the Bliss

Where there is FAITH, there is LOVE; Where there is LOVE, there is PEACE; Where there is PEACE, there is GOD; Where there is GOD, there is BLISS – Sri Sathya Sai Baba

Bless the Bliss

The mind wants normalcy at any cost.  We say, Lord give me bliss, but we want to stay the same. This is not possible.  Bliss will rock your world if you let it.  Are you ready for the bliss?

We treat anything unusual as an illness. We want to get rid of it.  We have become adept at getting rid of anything that makes us feel uncomfortable, but are we willing to open to the Infinite?  Are we willing to let it blow our minds, shake up our bodies, rejuvenate our lives?

Everyone is waiting for the second coming but they fail to recognize it when it arrives. We do not expect it to come as joy in the belly, ecstasy in the heart, a great praise rising up in the soul.  We are in bliss, and we keep trying to exorcise it, and get down to business. Is this why we pray and meditate every day, to get down to business?

If we have to put ecstasy in a bottle so we can politely go to work, we are missing the point.  We have put too many things in bottles. We have labeled them and put them neatly on a shelf.  It is time to remove the labels, break open the bottles, and celebrate our lives.  Let your joy shine, let your bliss radiate, let your love touch and transform. Let your faith move the very mountain you are standing on, let it pay the bills you are fretting over.

Bless the bliss; because when the bliss comes there is no stopping the tidal wave of pure joy you may experience.  Bless the bliss. Bathe in it, bask in it, expand in it.  Let it be a bowl full of jelly in your belly. Let it cause you to roll over in ecstatic laughter. Bless the bliss and let the bliss bless your life.

Affirmation: I am open to the bliss of God.  I let go of preconceived notions about living and enjoy my life. I give thanks for all of God’s infinite, surprising expressions.

Rev. Safire Rose

Find your Andera

I completely copied the previous “Bless the Bliss” post from my cousin, Andrea  (I call her AndERA…and I always will).  Maybe it’s the family genes we share, but she always knows just what to say and when to say it…I can’t help but “copy&paste” her words sometimes.

She’s always been an inspiration, whether it be her words of wisdom, her  love for life and family, her calm, loving presence or her crazy-laugh-til-you-can’t-breathe self. She always has that little something that makes me strive to be a better person. Her outlook on life is beautiful, so is her voice. She’s going to make it big in the music industry, and I know that she will always be her beautiful down to earth self and I take full pride in knowing I got to experience her best performances when we were kids.

Everyone needs to find that person, or people that make life that much better…even thousands and thousands of miles apart there’s still that connection, that special bond and motivation knowing that life IS incredible, go find your Andera and make life amazing 

She’s mine, but I love to share 😉 Follow her! Twitter: @andreammusic Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/andreamusic