Tuesday, August 30, 2011


August has been quite the roller coaster ride. Starting off with the stress of scrambling to get out of town to Lake Powell, followed with 5 days of complete and total relaxation and fun. Then, coming home, arriving with a bang of responsibilities to tend to, a mailbox full of bills, and reality to face. For a while, I felt pretty overwhelmed. My business partner moved out of state, so not only did it put more responsibility on me at work, but I also am missing one of my best friends. Our Tuesday and Thursday talks really seemed to keep everything in perspective and on a positive note with me. I am happy for her, truly, honestly, purely happy that she is right where she needs to be, but I'd be lying if I said it didn't hit me much harder than I thought it would. For a week there I let everything overwhelm me. So many changes, so many ups and downs in such a short period of time. A spontaneous trip to Idaho put everything... and I mean everything... back in focus for Jon and I. Seems to me like a good ole' visit to Jon and Natalie always has that effect. I'm back on board with what's important, what's not, and what's worth sacrificing for things that do really matter. I now stand on more solid ground in regards to what's temporary in my life, and what's permanent. I no longer feel overwhelmed, stretched too thin, or uncertain in our ability to meet expectations.

On top of that, I was thinking last night, about how life works. Choices, consequences, and the driving force behind decisions we make.

We make choices every single day, and those choices impact the path in which our lives travel, but also affect the people around us. Every decision we make opens up a new learning experience, be it for ourselves or the people involved in our lives. Sometimes it's difficult to understand why things happen, or to embrace the bad experiences for the lessons they teach, We, as humans, often fall into a dark hole of self pity and in turn hinder our own learning experiences.

I've recently closed a chapter of my life that began many many years ago. A dark chapter. The kind full of shadows, dark allies, monsters, and demons. For a long time, I let this chapter dictate how I felt about myself, what I thought I deserved. I carried with me negative feelings, fear, and doubt. I finally faced things that needed to be faced, said things that needed to be said. I knew there would be consequences, had NO idea if they would be positive or negative, but went with my gut feeling. I can not put into words how at peace I feel with my life right now. I'm at peace with where I've been. I've made a lot of poor decisions that have in turn hurt a lot of people... but now, finally, that's over. I've accepted all the good and the bad of the last 21 years for what they are, and that they never will be again. I harbor no grudges, no negative feelings, and no fear.

Jon and I have an amazing future to look forward to. It will not be without trials, but I know without the shadow of a doubt that we will rise above any challenge we are faced with. When we stick together, with a like goal in mind we are unstoppable. Some of you know what sparked this whole big turn around- but most of you don't. That's ok. The point is: we're happy. We are undeniably, uncontrollably happy.

Now, as the air cools and the leaves change as Fall rolls in, the physical changes taking place bring with them a breath of fresh air, a renewed outlook on life, and a sense of freedom I have never experienced before.

And that, my friends, is something to celebrate. Cheers.

And because no post is complete without a Dane face or two:

Monday, August 29, 2011


It's been a few days since I did one of these, so I figured it was time.

I spent this last weekend in Northern Idaho, and had a few realizations that were undeniable. We weren't planning on going out of town for the weekend, it just kind of happened at the last minute, and seemed like a good idea.

1. I don't want to live in town, like I do now. I need space, freedom, fresh air, and so do my dogs. I love my house. In fact, the very idea of leaving it someday makes me sad. This is the first house that I've ever purchased: the setting where Jon and I have been writing this chapter of our lives together. But, I do think it is only a chapter. I see us moving on to better things for us. living a lifestyle that better suits our wants and needs; one that does not involve neighbors.

2. My priorities have been out of whack. I love what I do for a living. It is very important to me and I feel blessed to be able to do something that I love- even if sometimes people really piss me off. But, even so, it is not my whole world. My husband, my dogs, my family, my friends- THAT'S what is really important in life. Time to get back on track and be more fulfilling to my husband and my dog's needs. Today, after focusing on work in the morning, 100% of my attention was on my dogs. I had fun, training, socializing, and just being. No TV, moderate internet usage (while they napped of course) and I didn't even mop my floors today! But, I feel so much more content.I think it is easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle that is every day life. Work, school, obligations, paychecks... they are all realities for most of us, but every now and then, it's so important to regroup and lay out the priorities.

3. I'm lucky. I'm lucky to have such a wonderful husband. I'm lucky to have such an amazing family. I'm  lucky to have such awesome friends. Jon is honestly the best thing that has ever happened to me. So understanding, patient, forgiving, and kind. I love him with every fiber of my being for who he is, what he does, and always will. My family.... I wouldn't even know where to begin. How in the world do I fit into a group of such strong, amazing people I will never know, but I sure do appreciate them. And Jon's family... we don't get to spend nearly enough time with them, but holy cow, I must have hit the jackpot in the family-in-law department. Friends. We have so few friends, but the ones we have.... absolutely irreplaceable. Tarah, Natalie, Jon, Rachel.... just to name a few that stand out so prominently in my mind, such positive driving forces in our lives. We are truly blessed. I hope that these people know what their friendship means to me- to us- and I will certainly do a better job of showing it.

So, after putting a lot of thought into things, Jon and I are toying with the idea of moving to N. Idaho in about 4 years, when he has his masters. I'm excited to see what the future brings.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Sun and the Sand

Well, it's back to reality after an absolutely WONDERFUL time at Lake Powell. It was so much fun. ALL of it. Everything about it. I love boating so much.

Jon and I left Thursday and drove into Kanab, where we stayed at the Treasure Trail Motel. It was kind of a joke. Our room was decent enough, I mean... we don't have high expectations of a place like that and we really just needed somewhere to sleep that would allow Zailey. The bathroom door didn't even come close to closing, it had several inches of space between the frame and the door, and it hung in a way that offered ZERO privacy to the toilet itself.... and the room smelled like dog poop, Orange Glo, and... just old. Old is a scent, right? Again, no high expectations because after all: it was pet friendly. I wondered how many little yapper dogs have peed on the floor unnoticed in there, and then wore my flop flops for the entire time- including in the shower. Customer service was terrible, so I posted a very honest review on google. Yes, I review things. Products. Services. Places.

Moral of the story? Never, ever... EVER... stay there.

Friday morning, we woke up early, and headed on to Wahweap marina. Have I mentioned yet that I love the lake? Well... I love the lake. Anyway, grandpa's boat was having trouble so we waited for a few hours to hear from them on a part, and then headed over to a beach to play in the water and cool off. Zailey did amazing for it being her first boating trip ever. She was great on Mitch's boat, and great at camp. We moved to camp after making sure Grandpa's boat was running well again... since camp was 30 miles out from the marina.

We set up camp, and I'm fairly certain I was in the water before the boats were even anchored down. I LOVE Lake Powell. We spent the next 5 days swimming, lounging, reading, playing, sleeping... and the best part was having ZERO agenda at all. No cell phone. No work. No errands. I think that's what I like best about the lake over any other kind of vacation. There truly is nowhere to be. No show to have to make it to on time. No sites that are important to go to. (Well, okay, apparently Rainbow Bridge is super awesome if you haven't already seen it 21 times before...) No meetings. No restaurants that close at a certain time. Just a boat and a tent on a beach. Ahh. That's my style.

But, we got home last night, to an inbox full of emails, a counter full of bills, and a phone full of voicemails and texts. Back to reality. It was great to see my dogs, and sleep in my own bed again... but oh how I can't wait to be back to the lake. 12 more months.

I did, after all, miss this face.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Can Not...

Recommend this blog enough. If you're pregnant, have been pregnant, will someday be pregnant, know someone who is pregnant, know someone who has been or will be pregnant.... then you should follow this blog.

Banned From Baby Showers

That's all I've got for today, I've got so much to get done, no time for blogging! But, I will leave you with this cute little face.

... doesn't that just make your day?

Busy, busy, busy

When did life get so dang busy?! At what point did "MOOOOOOOMMMM, I'm BORED" stop being a weekend event? Holy cow!

So, this last weekend we had a family BBQ with my siblings & cousins & grandparents. It was such a beautiful day, not TOO hot, but far from cold. and of course, when you get a bunch of us Rowley family members together... there's bound to be way too much good food. It really got me thinking about a few things. Mainly, how flippin' lucky I am.
My siblings and I have gone through so much together. Many dark days- but twice as many good memories. Lake Mead, Lake Powell, Lagoon.... how lucky were we?! I never really appreciated having them around as much as I should have. I spent way too much time being angry at one thing or another, and not nearly enough time appreciating what I have, and the people in my life. I spent way too much time being angry that I didn't have a dad in my life, and not enough time appreciating my mother for the strong, loving, caring person that she is. Who the heck needs a dad when you have the single most best mom in the world?! When needs a dad when you have a brother that would do ANYTHING for his sisters? Who needs a dad when you have grandparents that absolutely rock. If I could change anything about my past- it's how much time I spent wanting what I didn't have, feeling sorry for myself, instead of opening my eyes and recognizing how blessed I am, how much I have. Family is everything, it is the central unit to life, and I am so lucky to have the one I've got. All of them. Each and every one of them.

I have the most amazing family ever. I really do. How many families can get all the cousins, their spouses, and their kids together and everyone is just so happy to see each other. No arguing. No fighting. No mean comments. Just love. I think in today's world that's pretty hard to come by. I am so blessed to have such an amazing, loving, caring family. I'm not sure what I ever did to deserve to be a part of this group of people, but who am I to question a good thing?

In other news, this weekend Champ went to a new family. It was so bittersweet. I have so much history with him. So many memories- good times and bad. We went through such a healing process together both concerning health and emotions. Champ was there for me in my darkest of days, through it all. But he was never mine. I don't think that a bond like that can have claim. I've always felt like he was an animal that came into my life for a reason- but only for a season. Not forever. I'm so happy for him to be someone's world now- he deserves that. And, the last 3 days, we have had exactly zero pack issues and things here run much more smoothly. No dividing, no separating, no aggression, no frustration. I've gotten a little bit of flack for the decision, but he is happy, adored, loved.... what more can I ask for?

This week is of course busy, busy, busy. We will be leaving for Lake Powell on Thursday. I'm excited because that means a whole 5 days with Jon! We hardly ever get quality time together because of work, school, and conflicting schedules. I am so blessed to have such a hard-working man in my life, I have no idea how he manages the schedule he does. Thursday we will drive to Kanab and stay in a cheap motel (life's an adventure, right?!) and then hit the water at sun up Friday morning. I am so excited, I can't wait! I look forward to this trip every year. In fact, I think I'd rather go to Lake Powell than anywhere else in the world. No agenda, no phone, no work schedule... just sun, sand, family... and of course a Dane.
It will be really sad to leave the rest of the pack behind, but I think Zailey will have an absolute blast.

This week, I am in fact proving to be my mother's daughter- cleaning the heck out of my house, and getting everything in order before leaving. All the way down to pairing my socks to their original mate. My to do list over the next two days is about two and a half pages long. But it will be worth it. I can't wait. lake Powell makes enduring the miserable Summer heat so worth it. The dogs definitely know that SOMETHING is up. Packing, my stress, setting up and testing camping equipment in the living room... but they don't know what. I don't think Zailey is NEARLY as excited for her Lake Powell adventure as I am. In fact: I'm certain she's not.  That's ok, she will get over it.

Well, since it's 3am, I think I ought to swap the laundry, finish cleaning the bathroom, and then call it a night. A trait I seem to have gotten from my Grandpa: I simply can not rest with a to do list on my hands.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Annie's Big Adventure

I've never had a dog run away. Ever. I've had dogs get out, and run down the street, me hot on their heels, and brought them home with me, but never... ever... have any dogs of mine been able to slip out, unnoticed, and be gone.

Until tonight.

I have a routine. I feed the dogs, then put the ones that sleep in crates away, shower, and get in bed. If someone hasn't pottied by the time I'm sick of sitting outside being eaten by mosquitoes, I leave them in the backyard while I shower, and bring them in after. (I just spent almost $2000 making my back yard secure, by the way...)

Now, what was different about tonight: when we prep food for the dogs, we do it in the garage, so we can just hose out all the blood. Our orders are usually 900lbs, so it can create quite a mess. Jon left the garage door open about 3 feet, which is typical. What I did not know, is he opened the door from the garage to the back yard as well.

So, that brings me to tonight. Annie hadn't pottied yet. So I went to shower. As I was drying off, he came into the bedroom and asked if Annie was in there. No, she wasn't. He said she wasn't in the backyard. "Jon, that's not funny!" When I turned around and saw the look on his face I knew.... he was not joking. Not even a little bit. Annie was gone.

I searched the whole house, calling for her, growing more and more frantic all the while. She was nowhere. I went to the front yard, in all my towel-wearing glory, calling for her. Nothing. That's when I saw the open garage door, and the clear shot to the backyard. I ran in, shaking, threw clothes on, got in my car, and drove around looking for her. Seconds became minutes. Minutes became hours. We drove the neighborhood. No Annie. We went to the park. No Annie. The Church parking lot. No Annie. At some point Jon made me switch driving, because I was all over the place. My bad. Less than a mile away, there were some drunks tailgating in the parking lot of a movie theater. They said they had seen her 15 minutes prior. At that point, we ditched the car, and went on foot. Barefoot. I ran the entire Scera area calling for her, willing her to be OK. Still. No Annie. At some point, I literally fell to my knees in Zurchers parking lot, just pain struck at the thought of something happening to her, or the thought of her terrified and unable to find her way home. Jon was wonderful. He helped me pull myself back together, and the hunt continued.

I wanted to go home. If Annie went home, I'd need to be there. I felt an overwhelming urge to just go home, like that's where I NEEDED to be. If Annie isn't hurt, or seized, she's trying to get home and by golly she might be smart enough to make it.
Annie was in my neighbor's yard. Right next door. She was walking all crouched down, terrified. When I jumped out of the car and called for her, she was scared initially, and then ran straight to me, and literally climbed up me, and clung to me. She was trembling, terrified, and wet. I carried her inside, cried some more, looked her over, cried some more. She has a bunch of scratches on her chest and neck, probably from some bushes, and she is favoring one of her back legs just a tiny, tiny bit. But she is fine. I gave her a bath, cried some more, and now she is sprawled out, right smack dab in the middle of my bed. I did not notice, until I had her in the house, that my feet are all cut up from running the parking lots. Oops.

I learned a few things tonight.
1. Communication. letting me know the always shut and locked door was in fact open would have been great.
2. I now support drunken tailgating in places that make no sense.
3. Annie is smart enough to find her way home.
4. I knew Jon was amazing, but seriously, while I'm usually the calm and collected one during crisis, I LOST IT and couldn't have pulled myself back together without him.
5. My business partner is even more amazing than I thought she was. I called her sobbing at 2am, and she wasn't even mad!
6. Someday, when I really do have to let Annie go, I will have to be committed.
7. Annie is grounded for life.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

A Piece of my Mind, not for the Easily Offended

Anyone who knows me, knows a few very basic things:
1. I love my dogs.
2. I feed them raw
3. I research EVERY topic that spikes my interest, obsessively.

So, of course, the topic of interest lately has been, well, babies. I guess that secret is officially out of the dark by now. Well, actually, it's probably not, since I'm fairly certain not a soul reads this blog. Shoot, I don't even read this blog. But, nonetheless I will continue to use it to spew the ramblings of my mind while Jon is away at work being the hard-working man that he is. (Have I mentioned that I have an amazing husband yet? Well, I do.)
Anyways, no, I'm NOT pregnant. (though I don't know WHY... it doesn't seem like a very hard thing to do....) but it's certainly something that I *hope* is in the futer, sooner rather than later works for me.

So, it only comes natural that I have 234872367 tabs on my computer open at any given time, ALL on fertility, conceiving (hey, it's more complicated than high school sex ed made it out to be!) and then of course, that big scary topic of the birth itself. Except, what I am learning in all of this is: it doesn't really have to BE scary. maybe I don't know what I'm talking about because I haven't done it yet, but the way I tend to make my decisions in life is by asking myself one thing: Does it make sense? Babies in a hospital. Does it make sense? Well, to be quite frank: no. I'd go to the hospital if I were sick, dying, diseased, or has my life seriously threatened in some other way. Being bitten by an alien? Totally logical to go to the hospital!Having a baby? Not so much. If medical intervention were REALLY so necessary in MOST deliveries, the human race never would have made it. Ever. If you're reading this thinking "Hey now, don't be a jerk, my OB saved my baby, by giving me a wonderful emergency C-section!" I'd really be shocked if that c section was a TRUE medical emergency, and not the result of a slippery slope of intervention, usually starting with an epidural or pitocin, and ending with a major abdominal surgery. Or your OB was impatient, or convinced you that your able-body was "unable" to birth such a "large" baby. (Yes, because your OB totally knows better than God what your body is capable of...) If none of the above were the case, then I'm so glad we have modern medicine for those who really need it, and move power to you! Yay!

So, I guess what it comes down to, is as soon as I get my stuff sorted out and Jon and I whip up a baby Lanman, we will be deciding between home birth, or a birth center. I'd love it if anyone has personal experience with either one!

And if I've pissed off a few hospital-goers, apologies, not my intention. Just speaking my mind. I mean, shoot, if I'm going to have a blog that no one reads, I might as well not hold back, right? And on that note, I couldn't have put this into better words if I tried.


I also learned, which I did not know until recently, that apparently people are OFFENDED by public breast feeding. Offended. Really. Seriously? Yeah. Well, tell me, in what kind of world do we live, where 13 year olds can trot around looking like strippers, an no one says a word, yet breastfeeding is offensive? If you're an adult, offended by breastfeeding, please, PLEASE, grow the heck up, because you're kind of a shame to the human race.

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Results Are In: Time to Get Healthy!

Well, we got the results of my blood tests back. So far, there is no reason as to why we have not gotten pregnant, but I do have low Vitamin D, and my cholesterol is on the high end. I guess I could have guessed that. While that shouldn't effect fertility and ability to conceive, it's still duly noted, and the reason I've spent the last several hours reading and making entire meal plans to revamp the way we do things around here. In fact, I am challenging Jon to 30 days of NO fast food. None. At all. No exceptions. It is rather convenient that it is the first of the month. So, August 2011, the month we make big changes to the health around here. I guess that means I have to really start setting aside time to make dinner, but I think it will be worth it. It really helps that two of the best foods for lowering cholesterol (avocado and almonds) are two of my favorite things ever. So, if anyone has any super yummy, and also super [heart] healthy so-easy-a-caveman-could-make-it recipes, send them my way! (does anyone even read this?) I mean, I lost 40lbs on Weight Watchers last year, and I don't really remember why I quit, I felt AWESOME, other than I was so BORED with the same 5 things for dinner over and over. What happened?! Not this time though. I haven't decided if I'm going to do WW or just take a long hard look at *what* I eat, because really, my portions aren't out of control. So, fingers crossed that next year, bathing suit shopping for the Lake Powell trip is a whole lot more fun than it was this year.
Oh another note, I also took the time today to take a look at how time is spent... and I'm surprised at realistically how much time I waste. Well, not anymore!
I'm super motivated today to make some big changes, and I hope that motivation sticks. I think it will. This time, I have a purpose behind it, and I'm reminding myself that someday, my kids will pick up MY eating habits, so I better make changes now, today.

On an entirely unrelated note, the last of Mousse's health testing came in on Saturday. He is O.F.A. Thyroid NORMAL, which means that I can now offer him for stud and not feel bad about it. Woot, I'm so happy. now here's to hoping that the other four Danes prove to be decent breeding quality. So far, Velcro Danes is off to a great start!!

Now, I'm off to watch All My Children, while doing steps on my handy dandy aerobics step. Yup, I dusted it off, and it's going to live in my living room, where it will remind me every single day, to get off my butt. Changes, remember.

Ps. There's still a kitten in my basement. Really, anyone... come get her. She's free, cute, and doesn't belong here.

**I totally lied. Vitamin D deficiency totally effects fertility. BAM, a starting point.