Sunday, April 28, 2013


I can't believe how perfectly beautiful the weather is this weekend. I'm not the biggest fan of Summertime usually. I burn easily, my eyes are so sensitive to sunlight, and being hot makes me cranky, but I'm actually quite enjoying it right now. I'm excited for all the family BBQs and get togethers to start. I love my family so much. Sometimes I wish I could go back and slap my 16-year-old self for not realizing how insanely blessed I am to have such an incredible family. Yesterday I spent most of the day with one of my very best friends (I also call her Mom.) and got fried sitting in the backyard in the sun, but it was so nice to not be cooped up in the house! My bronchitis is finally on the mend (thank goodness!) and I'm SO DONE with being inside. I want to be outside all the time. I can't wait for the pools to all open up in a few weeks, I'll spend every weekend in the water. And then boating. I LOVE BOATING. I'd like to just move onto Lake Powell for the summer, Please! I can't wait to take the boat out this year.
Today we are all getting together for dinner (because that's what we DO on Sundays) and I'm sure I'll get even more fried. Oh well.

I'm hoping that our cruise next month helps speed time along. It's funny, BEFORE I found out I was pregnant I felt like I had so much fun stuff planned this Summer and I thought that maybe it would fly by and be over before I knew it. Plus, since Jon graduated on Friday and is actually taking the summer off of school for the first time ever, he will be around so much more. I'm so glad. Even moreso now. As incredibly excited as we are to meet our baby, I am looking forward to spending time together this Summer because it's the last one that will be just us, and the first one in our entire relationship that he's not in school full time. Now, after our big news, I feel like we have nothing going on, a few small one day things here and there, but I'm pretty sure this will be the Summer that never ends. Yes, it will go on and on my friends.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Why I Left the Online Dog Community

It's no secret. I love dogs. I have for as long as I can remember. I got my first dog, a Beagle named Max, when I was 7, after years of begging and pleading. We did everything wrong with Max. We bought him from a pet store in the mall. We fed him bad food. We didn't train him worth anything. He was under exercised, under socialized, and lived mostly outside for the majority of his life. Even so, I loved that dog. I spent countless hours in my back yard with Max, and always snuck him into my room when my mom wasn't home.
I always wanted a big dog, and I always wanted an inside dog. So, after years of hearing "When you're an adult and pay your own bills you can have whatever dog you want." that's exactly what I did. I moved out, and have not been without a BIG inside dog my entire adult life.
I can't really think of anything that has brought more joy into my life than my animals. I love them dearly and have so much respect for canine life. So, naturally, years ago I became heavily involved with the online dog community and have been ever since. Being a member of several Facebook groups, attending every single local dog event possible, and moderating one of the biggest canine nutrition forums on the internet, you see a lot of the same people over and over again. The community is huge in the sense it spreads across the whole world. On the other hand, it's incredibly small in that it's the same things over and over.
For a long time I really enjoyed sharing and learning with other dog enthusiasts. For once, I had found a place that it wasn't weird and socially awkward to love dogs more than people!
But, over time, it wasn't so fun anymore. There is so much judgement. It's like a parenting community... only weirder. Every single decision you make regarding your pet's life is subject to cruel and harsh criticism. What you feed is a measure of how much you love your animals. Whether or not you spay or neuter dictates if you care about your animals. How frequently you walk your dog is a measure of your dedication. Every. Little. Decision. is subject to be ripped apart by complete strangers.
And even more so, as a breeder thee's a certain level of transparency that has to be maintained. What I feed. Where I buy my dogs. What health testing I do. How I select breeding pairs. Who has litters and when. How many litters I have in a year. How many litters my females have in their lifetime. If you rehome retired adults. All of these things are decisions that I make after a lot of thought, research, and always with their best interest in mind. It's truly hurtful when after that much dedication and heart and soul is put into something, to be ripped apart, lied about, and talked about.
I've been told I don't care about my puppies because I let them go to homes that feed kibble. I've been told I don't care about the breed because my dogs are the wrong color. (yeah. for real.)
I've watched as breeders turn from best friends to worst enemies over stud service, puppy sales, and general gossip. There is SO MUCH GOSSIP in the dog community, especially the breeding community.
I've reached a point where it's just not important to me anymore. I love my dogs. I will always do right by them, but I'm done feeling the need to explain and justify myself to complete strangers with nothing better to do than sit online and gossip all day.Even more so, I'm done listening to the gossip, the hate and the drama. I don't care.
I've made some WONDERFUL friends in this community. Friends I cherish so much, and for that I am grateful. I own a pet care business and I enjoy so much talking with pet owners in that setting. But this community... online... is a huge negative force in my life. It's not enjoyable, it's not fun, it's not friendly, and it's not positive. I simply don't need it.
As a moderator of a forum, I found myself CONSTANTLY disappointed, repulsed, and disgusted at people's behavior. That's not how I want to think of people. I'm amazed at the hurt that people cause without a second thought because it's so easy for them to sit behind a computer and not have to be accountable for their words and actions, and don't have to witness the damage caused by their words.
So, in an effort to remove negativity from my life...  I'm done. I'm keeping in contact with my puppy families, and ALWAYS will be there for them. I value the real friendships I've found, and will of course keep in touch with them. But otherwise, I'm ready to shift my focus back to reality. To focus on MY dogs, and no one else's. To spend more time with family, to make decisions based only on what's right for myself and my dogs, and not worry about what people will think.
Will I still breed Great Danes? I'm sure I will occasionally. But, I'm done acquiring dogs, pedigree chasing, and feeling like I have to make decisions based on a breeding program. If I happen to have a worthy pair, who happen to pass all health testing, and I happen to have enough interest, we will breed. But if at any point my current dogs are deemed unworthy of breeding, that's fine. They will be pets and I have no need to acquire for the sake of breeding. None.

Monday, April 15, 2013

In a funk.

I've been feeling angry all day. It's just one of those days... I woke up not rested at all because this stupid bronchitis is still totally kicking my butt, and I'm up coughing my lungs out all night. Everything just went downhill from there. I miss my dogs terribly. Them not being here combined with the fact we are selling our house, this just isn't home anymore. It leaves me feeling incredibly displaced.
I got frustrated that I was trying to do little mini projects around the house and I'm just so dang tired I was getting nowhere. Then, I got angry that there was a showing sometime between 5pm-7pm and all I wanted to do was crawl in bed and not even come out from under the covers for the rest of the day. And tot op it all off- a work crisis came up, so then I hated my job, too.
And then I got to thinking- why am I feeling this way? Why am I in such an awful funk all day. I've been on cloud nine for a solid week now with the news of my pregnancy, where absolutely nothing could get me down, why all of a sudden today am I so damn angry with life, and with the world?
Instead of focusing on all the things that were wrong today, I sat down and started counting the blessings that have or may come from them.

1. I'm angry that my house is on the market.
But... this house, however wrong for us as it may be in the long run, was a GOOD investment. And this house, however annoying it is to have to work my every day schedule around showings and projects, is the stepping stone to getting our home. It's going to make it possible for us to afford the kind of place we can see ourselves raising our family in. Without the equity from THIS HOUSE, all that is just a dream. I am thankful that I even have THIS HOUSE. This roof over my head is providing shelter from the storm today. These walls are offering protection today. This house is where I rest tonight, and this house is where the last two years of memories at home are. This house is our first home, and this house is the key to the next.
I'm thankful for this house.

2. I'm angry that my dogs aren't all home. I miss them.
But... I'm also exhausted, and they're in good hands at Ruff House. They are being well cared for, and having them gone has made me dig deep within myself the last two weeks and cope with life without leaning on them so much. I'd say I'm pretty emotionally dependent on my dogs. I rely on them for company and I genuinely love having them around. I think a little bit of separation has ultimately been healthy for me. I'm thinking clearly about their best interest- and mine. Plus, when we move (which them being gone is key to selling the house) and they have a yard that works better for us, their quality of life will be SO MUCH LONGER.
I'm thankful I have a place to put them for a while.

3. I hate my job. (today)
My job can sometimes be incredibly stressful, and I admit.... while I love the industry I work in, I absolutely, positively HATE being "the boss" most of the time. Maybe I shouldn't admit that out in the open. I love the dogs. I love my customers. I love the staff. But I hate the responsibility that comes with business ownership. Sometimes I wish I could just go back to going to work, and doing my job, and leaving it at the door when I go home. Not every day is like this. Most of the time things are so smooth (thanks great staff) it's a non issue, but every now and then... I just wish someone else could be in charge. But, I have a job... and in this economy, that's not something to take for granted. I have a paycheck. My husband and I eat whole, organic food. We pay our mortgage on time every month. Both our vehicles are paid off. We are able to pay for all our necessities  And all... thanks to this job that has supported us. (sometimes better than others!)
I am thankful for my job.

4. I'm angry that I'm tired all the time.
I feel the need to be productive, and take care of everything all the time... sometimes (ok, ok, usually) to the point of being stretched too thin. The last couple days- be it the bronchitis, pregnancy, or both.... I'm SO tired. I need a nap in the afternoon most days, and that's not like me AT ALL. I don't like asking Jon for extra help- he works so hard outside our home as it is and chores at home have always been my responsibility since I'm here more. (ok, and we completely have traditional gender roles in our house. I admit it.) But... when I step back an realize: I'm pregnant. And being tired isn't going to pass immediately. This is a process, and a chapter that we've waited a long, long time for. God has finally blessed me with this child I'm carrying, and with that comes fatigue... fatigue that is a reminder that this is a time to LISTEN to my body and rest.
I am thankful to be able to take a nap when I need it.

5. I'm angry I have bronchitis.
I've never had it before now, but it's awful. I've coughed so much my throat, ribs, and head hurt all the time. Plus, a really good friend is in town for a short period, and this is the SECOND time in a row she's come to town and I've been sick and I really want to see her and her new baby. Bronchitis isn't a risk factor for the baby. It HAS forced me to slow down though, something I am not always good at doing. It's forced me to slow down, take a rest, and reflect on what's important. I have so many blessings, so many things to be thankful for. A bit of a cough is nothing.
I'm thankful for the time too reflect.

I have an amazing family. I really do. I'm so thankful for them. I'm thankful for the roof over my head, the husband by my side, the car in the driveway (for reals, love you, Sorento) and the baby in my belly. I'm thankful for my good general health. Sure, I have bronchitis now, but that's temporary. I'm thankful for the realtor working so hard to get my house sold so we can move on with life. I'm thankful for my job and the people who make that job possible. I'm thankful for the friends who put up with me. I'm thankful for my amazing dogs, especially miss Annie. I'm thankful for so much.

and I don't feel nearly as funky anymore. And for that, I'm thankful.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Unsolicited Advice

Now that the secret is out, I am already getting all that unsolicited advice I heard would be coming. Starting with "You might regret telling people so early."
Well, I've just got one thing to say- I am a learner by nature. I love to research, study, and learn. I'm opinionated because of it, and I don't care much what other people think. Trust me when I say that every little decision we make regarding family planning, pregnancy, birth, and parenting is done so after countless hours of reading, studying, and even praying.
So, before you tell me what we should and should not do, or why our plans won't work out.... save it. Your experience is not my experience. Your thoughts are not my thoughts. Your beliefs are not my beliefs.
I don't need to hear about how you would have died if your OB hadn't been there to save the day.
Or how I'm going to die if I refuse any of the bajillion completely unnecessary prenatal tests.
Or how you tried cloth diapering and it was so much work.
Or how long you think breastfeeding is OK.
Or anything else. 

1 + 1 = 3

Well, we weren't going to go completely public with this news for a while, because it's still REALLY early.... but I honestly couldn't keep my mouth shut with my family, and Jon couldn't with his.... and one by one it slipped to a few friends, and then Jon had a big fat slip of the tongue at work today so everyone there knows.... so, what the heck, here goes.... WE'RE PREGNANT!
Again, REALLY flippin' early.... early enough that we honestly have no business even telling anyone yet. I'm bad at secrets, though. Apparently Jon is, too. 
I've known for about 10 days now, tests confirmed it on Monday. (ahem... like... 17 tests because I kept NOT believing them....) 
We couldn't possibly be any happier. Well, maybe we could but then we'd surely explode into a billion little pieces. 
Thirty eight months of trying.... now it's happening. 
So there you have it, there's our secret. There's the source of my unusually chipper posts lately. We aren't due until Dec. 18 (I TOLD you it was so early....) so lots of time. We both feel pretty overwhelmingly positive that this is our time. It's hard to explain, we just KNOW everything will be OK. 

Monday, April 1, 2013


I've never been one to be happy about hot weather. I don't like to be hot, and my eyes are sensitive to the sun, frequently giving me headaches. For those reasons, you'll not catch me saying that Summer is my favorite time of year. However. I'm really loving the things that come along with the change in weather.
I couldn't care less about the sunshine, the leaves back on the trees, or the grass turning green again. No, what I'm talking about is all the stuff that comes along with that. Mostly... family.
I love that I have an incredibly close-knit family. In fact, any time I've moved more than a few blocks away it's short lived and I come back wondering why I ever left in the first place. Perhaps I'm lucky that my husband puts up with my family so well... we get together all. the. time. My mom and my siblings are easily my best friends in the world, and I can't fathom not living nearby. Now that it's getting warmer, we kicked off Spring with a good ol' family BBQ at Tanya's house. It was so nice to just have everyone together, and be outside, and just... hang out. All my nieces and nephews ran around playing and having fun.
I will miss the cold, and it's already getting warmer than I'd prefer at night for sleeping... but that's OK. We're just that much closer to BOATING SEASON, so I'll take it. We had dinner together as a family on Saturday and Sunday this week.... and we already have next weekend planned.... as a family. Not only that, but we have a camping trip planned for next month and I'm so excited.
It's not that we're not close as a family during other times of the year. We are. It just seems like Spring/Summertime makes it that much easier to do more stuff together. Lindon pool. BBQ's. Boating. Camping.
OK, I'm officially ready.