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Thursday, June 30, 2016

It's a... and Baby Name Reveal!

   Yes, you read that right!!! Girl, girl, girl!!! I'm having a little girl!!!!!!!!! Can you tell how excited I am?! And the test results for Down Syndrome and Trisomy, 21, 18, and 13 all came back normal and super low!!! Now we just have to get the Spina Bifida test done in a few weeks.

   Oh my God y'all don't know how happy this all makes me! For the past week and a half or so I finally had the definite gut feeling that I was having a little girl and my gut was right! And most of the old wives' tales were right! Holy shit, I'm having a little mini me! You better watch out world because my daughter is coming December 2016 and if she is anything like her momma, then she is going to be a whole lot of trouble and attitude.

   Jesse is going to have his hands full! Speaking of Jesse... he made me wait the entire day before I could announce the gender of our baby and her name! I found out the gender around 9:30 a.m. yesterday. He wanted to be the first to know the gender (besides me, duh) but he wanted to be told in person and he wouldn't settle for face time. My mom, sister, and step sister were dying to know and I was dying to tell! But I respected his wishes. When I told him, he didn't have much of a reaction because he already "knew" it was a girl.

   Now lets get to this little girl's name shall we? Drum roll please...

   Rory Brielle McAward! It is just so beautiful. This name (first and last) came to me randomly one day while I was driving (before I was even pregnant). I thought it was the most perfect beautiful name ever and when I told Jesse, he loved it too. We agreed that if we ever had kids and ever had a girl, Rory Brielle would be her name. And for those of you out in this world, because there are some already, Rory is pronounced Roar-ree (but this should be no trouble at all for you Gilmore Girls fans out there). Anyways, back to my excitement and to our daughter's name.

   Jesse loves Irish names (hence the reason Gary's middle name is an Irish name, Padraig) since he is Irish and I just so happen to be Irish too. So it felt like the name "Rory" was even more meant to be when I found out it is an Irish name! Rory means red or red king.

   Brielle on the other hand is French but I've also read that it is Hebrew. It means God is my strength or God is my might. Funny thing about the name "Brielle" is that it was originally Audrey's middle name! But I quickly changed Audrey's middle name to Georgina because she reminded me so much of my mom's English Bulldog, George, at the time and Georgina is or can be one of the female versions of George. But that's not why I picked "Brielle" for Rory'a middle name. Like I said, the full name came to me all at once one day.

   Like a lot of other mommies to be out there who got the materniT21 plus test (or the panorama or harmony), even after I got the gender results, there was still doubt and worry in my mind. Like what if this is somehow wrong? What if I'm one of the 1% that the gender was incorrect? But in all reality, 1% is very very low for it to be wrong and an ultrasound only has a 98% accuracy rate. So it is more accurate than an ultrasound. I'm not going to rush out and shop too too much yet for girly stuff but I am going to be buying one of these bathing suits for little Rory today! I cannot get enough of the watermelon print!!!

   Ahhh I still just can't believe Jesse and I are having a little girl!!! I've already told Audrey that she is getting a little girl to play dress up with and have bulldog princess tea parties with. I really hope that Audrey's mothering protective instincts kick in with the baby just like they did with Gary (although Gary is a dog not a baby) when we first brought him home. I want Audrey and Rory to be joined at the hip and best friends for sure. Just imagine my little girl dressed up and having a tea party with Audrey in one of her tutus and pearls... too freakin' cute! 

   Alright well I am going to continue soaking in my excitement! Have a great weekend and safe 4th of July! And keep those fur babies inside and safe! I can't wait for my birthday on Sunday! Keep an eye out for my 14 week bumpdate!



Monday, June 27, 2016

Old Wives' Tales

   I LOVE reading about the different old wives' tales and theories to try and guess the baby's gender. I can't use all of them because some of them require you to be a little further along and I didn't do some of the really crazy ones like mixing your pee with baking soda or your pee with boiled cabbage water lol. Some of these things are really bizarre. I'll admit, I was tempted to try some of the crazy ones but Jesse definitely would've made fun of me and plus, we should be getting a call with the harmony blood test results- and gender- any day now!!! I swear it has felt like foreeeeeever waiting for these results. I just want to know so so sooo badly.

   So while I wait for the results, let's see what some of those old wives' tales and theories say about the gender...

   1. Skull Theory- Basically this theory says baby boys have square or blocky shaped skulls and girls have round skulls. This baby has a nice round skull for sure! My mom said the skull/ head and nose on my sonograms of baby McAward remind her of me on her sonograms!
   2. Nub Theory- This one is a little difficult to explain but pretty much this theory is about the angle of the nub in relation to the spine. I sent my 11 week and 2 day scan to The Gender Experts and they said baby McAward's nub is parallel and less that 30 degress in relation to the spine which means girl!

   3. Ring Swing Test- I'm really not sure if my result was accurate b/c I used my engagement ring since I don't have a wedding band yet and I don't have any plain bands but my result was that it swung in a circular motion which means girl!

   4. Morning Sickness- It has been said that if you have morning sickness, you're having a girl and no morning sickness or very little means you're having a boy. I started having morning sickness at about 6 weeks. It got so bad that I ended up dehydrated and in the ER to get fluids and meds. The ER gave me Diclegis to help me get through our trip to Vermont but not enough to hold me over until my next doctor's visit (which was at a new place because I decided to switch OBGYNs). About a day or two after I ran out of Diclegis, you can bet ya that morning sickness came right back. Luckily my appointment was a few days after that and they prescribed me plenty of Diclegis.

   I've also read that morning sickness is hereditary. My mom had morning sickness with me and my sister. She said the morning sickness with me stopped around 10-12 weeks, which I am past now. Even with the Diclegis, I still get a little nauseous and have to make sure I snack frequently and eat small meals. So I'm pretty scared to go off of Diclegis b/c I do not want morning sickness to come back. I think maybe in a week I might start lowering the frequency I take Diclegis (right now it's 1 in the morning and 2 at night). Wish me luck!

   5. Cravings- They say that if you crave foods that are salty, sour, or spicy, then you're having a baby boy and if you're craving things sweet, you're having a baby girl. I crave things in pretty much all of those categories! Sour gummy worms, french fries (but I don't like salt on them or barely any and I've cut back big time on french fries b/c those are the last things I puked up- sorry tmi), spicy food (chipotle or in the beginning spicy chicken sandwiches from Wendy;s of Chik-fil-a), ice cream, fresh fruits, and fresh vegetables (I eat a lot of celery. Like celery every single day).

   When my mom was pregnant with me, she craved steak and potatoes and with my sister she craved McDonald's. Which points to boys both times and her doctor even told us we were both boys. As you can see, my mom was blessed with girls instead. I know that was a long time ago and stuff has become so much more advanced, but the fact that her doctor got the gender wrong both times definitely got me nervous about my doctor being wrong when the time came for the ultrasound that would reveal my little one's gender. But now that I decided to get the harmony test (a blood test) done that also tells the gender, I feel much more confident b/c a blood test is waaay more accurate than an ultrasound. So let's just hope that the test is accurate for me and that I'm not one of those very rare cases where it is wrong *Knock on Wood*.

   6. Acne- Little girls steal their mother's beauty while little boys give their mommies perfect complexions. I've never had great skin, so the fact that I have acne right now is no surprise. However, it has gotten a little worse lately and I've noticed some popping up on my back and what not. So that could mean that I am having a girl but it might just be because it is summer and our a/c is broken right now. It is hot in our house and the dogs and I have to rely on multiple fans. Update: Jesse fixed the a/c Sunday night *Knock on Wood*.

   7. Heart Rate- I've read that little boys have heart rates under 140 and little girls have heart rates over 140. The first time I actually heard the baby's heartbeat was via doppler at one of my visits and it was 176, then the next two times were via ultrasound and were both 169, and on Thursday at my visit, baby's heart rate was 160 via doppler. So each time so far it has pointed towards girl!

   8. Chinese Birth Chart- According to the chinese birth chart, I am having a boy.

   Well, according to these theories, I am having a little girl *Knock on Wood*. We should find out if they were accurate or not pretty soon!

   Ultimately, all that matters is that the baby is healthy but I really really really so very badly want a little girl! I feel like she is a girl and Jesse (to his dismay) and my mom think I'm having a girl too. It would seriously just make my day so much more amazing if the results come back that Jesse and I are having a girl. But right now, I just want to know!!!


13 Week Bumpdate

   Some say 13 weeks is when the 2nd trimester begins, some say 13 weeks and 2 days, 13 weeks and 3 days, or some even say it doesn't start until 14 weeks. Well guess what? I don't care. I'm saying hello 2nd trimester! I've heard you're going to give me some energy, increase my sex drive and decrease the morning sickness? Totally looking forward to that because I am exhausted, my sex drive in the 1st trimester has been almost non-existent, and the "morning" sickness has been horrible and only managed by Diclegis. So please hurry up and bring me these 2nd trimester positives I've been looking forward to.

   Alright, let's give this bumpdate thing a try!

Ok so technically I'm 13 weeks and 1 day in this photo and I'm 13 weeks and 2 days today.

How Far Along: 13 weeks

Due Date: 12/31/2016 New Year's Eve!

Baby is the Size of: Peach, measuring 3" long from crown to rump!

Weight Gain: So at the new OBGYN's office, they don't seem to let you look at the scale or tell you your weight. However, the last time I went, they used a different scale and I caught a glimpse of the numbers, just not what was after the decimal point. I've only gained 1 lb in the first trimester, yay!

Symptoms: Nausea, vomiting (controlled by Diclegis), sore boobs, bloating, moody, fatigue, and sciatic nerve pain.

Gender: We should be finding out any day now thanks to the harmony test! Eeek!!!

Name: We already have a name picked out for a boy and a name picked out for a girl. We will reveal when we find out the gender! So freakin' excited!!!

Movement: For a first time mom especially (or so I've read), it is usually too early to feel anything. But I've been feeling these little tiny quick electric shocks and I can't help but wonder if that is the baby moving?

Nursery: We're going with a woodland/ woodland critters theme regardless of gender. We will just make it a little more masculine or feminine depending on the sex of our baby. I've been pinning away and can't wait to paint and decorate! I've already bought two things for the nursery.

Maternity Clothes: I actually bought my first piece of maternity clothing this past weekend! Just a simple tank top that was on sale at Target. I have been using a hair tie to keep my jeans closed since it is uncomfortable to have them buttoned while sitting down and I got two belly bands already since my doctor gave me a coupon code for two free ones, just had to pay $15 shipping.

Sleep: I am so freaking tired. Twice this week I have considered leaving work early b/c I was so tired (and moody) but I stuck it out.

Best Moment of the Week: Getting to see our baby at the ultrasound appointment and getting to hear the heartbeat twice since I had two appointments that week (1 with a specialist and 1 regular appointment with a midwife). Also, finally announcing on social media (and to my office but that was an uneventful one b/c I work with complete idiots). It feels so good to be able to share our wonderful news with the world!

Missing: Wine and Margaritas- especially margaritas! I need to get a new bigger blender and get Jesse to make me some virgin ones.

Cravings & Aversions: In the very beginning I mainly craved spicy chicken sandwiches from Chik-fil-a and Wendy's and then it transitioned to more of fresh fruits and veggies. Right now I love Chipotle (always have and I mean, who doesn't?), LOTS of fresh vegetables, fresh fruit, whole grain rice, and maybe some ice cream.

   Aversions... ugh I can't even say or type some b/c I will feel so sick but I'm going to go ahead and just type a few. Grilled chicken (unless it is like overdone and crispyish), nuts, spinach & artichoke dip, biscuits, and steamed green vegetables aren't appealing to me at all but I still mix steamed green beans into my lunch and am still able to eat them as long as I don't smell them. I know there are others but I have pushed some so far out of my mind so that I stop thinking about them to prevent from puking.

Mood: So excited!... and moody. I have been getting very easily annoyed this week. But when I'm happy, boy am I happy. I LOVE seeing our baby on the ultrasound screen, hearing his or her heartbeat, and have I mentioned how much I can't wait to find out the gender?!

Looking Forward to: Finding out the gender!!!

Jesse: Also looking forward to finding out the gender. It's funny b/c before I got pregnant, he was all about not wanting to know the gender of our future child/ children until birth and now he is all about wanting to know it now too! It is awesome!

Well that was fun!


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Wedding Wednesday

   Yes, I am doing one of these. I might do them every week, maybe every other week, or just once a month but lets give this a go!

   I have done a lot of wedding planning/ brainstorming... in my head. I even took the time to make a whole wedding planning binder complete with spreadsheets, diagrams, and a timeline planning guide I came up with by combining a bunch of planning timelines. But I have yet to fill this thing out slowly started filling it out. Jesse will be away for most of this week due to his grandfather passing away, so I am hoping I can get my butt moving on filling this binder out more!

   Also on the to-do list this month is wedding dress shopping! Yes!!! I cannot wait to go wedding dress shopping this weekend and I definitely want to get my wedding dress purchased before I start getting bigger and actually have a baby bump. And no, we are not getting married before the baby is born. And I am not announcing the exact date just yet until we order and mail out our save-the-dates (on the to-do for next month) but I will say that it is in June 2017. So I won't really know what size I will be around that time post-baby. That reminds me... we need to also work on getting addresses so that we can actually mail out the save-the-dates!

   Next month, besides save-the-dates, we need to also interview and book our wedding officiant. Aaaand keep filling out that wedding binder! That's about it on the wedding planning to-do list for this month and next because we also have a lot of other things to do (house related, baby related, my birthday, and Jesse's birthday).

   So what have I done so far besides making a wedding planning binder?

  • Set the date
  • "Booked" a ceremony & reception venue (my mom's new house/ property that she is closing on next month *Knock on Wood*)
  • "Booked" a hair stylist & make up artist (Jesse's aunt who just so happens to be a make up artist in NY)
  • "Booked" a photographer (Jesse's dad and Jesse's uncle)
  • Made a draft guest list
  • Went over things that are usually at weddings but that we don't want at ours, etc.
  • Oh and went crazy on Pinterest!

   Working on the house, planning a wedding, and preparing for a baby... it is a lot! But it is all totally worth it and I am just so happy, excited, and overjoyed.


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

I'm Pregnant!!!

   Yup, you read that correctly! I am pregnant! What a freakin' year. I still can't believe it but Jesse and I are over the moon excited that we are expecting our first child. Baby McAward is due New Year's Eve!

   Just a few years ago I was saying I'm not going to get married. I was completely content by myself being an independent dog mom and here I am today: engaged & preggers and couldn't be happier! I just made the announcement on social media and it feels sooo good to get the amazing news out and share our excitement with the world! Like I seriously cannot stop grinning and even got a little teary eyed typing and posting the announcement.

   So how far along am I? As of today, I am 12 weeks and 3 days! 2nd trimester is almost here!!! And thank God because this morning all day sickness is killing me. Thankfully my doctor put me on Diclegis (which I am still on) because I could not keep anything down or function and even ended up making a trip to the ER due to dehydration.

   Wow I don't even know what to say because I am just so excited!!! And yes, you will be seeing weekly bumpdates (which will probably start next week) on the blog (if I get the chance to actually do them every week) but I do plan to try to blog about other non-baby and non-wedding related stuff too- keyword "try".

   I have been informed that I do have a high risk pregnancy because of health problems and medication. I've gone off of Concerta and Paxil but am still on Lamictal (a lower dosage per day) and Ritalin, which for now, I cannot come off of. Some studies show Lamictal can cause cleft palate, cleft lip, or Spina Bifida (because it affects the absorption of folic acid). And the fact that Jesse was born with Spina Bifida Occulta, a type of Spina Bifida that usually goes undiagnosed/ unnoticed unless the individual has a x-ray done at some point in their lives and it doesn't affect the individual, puts the baby more at risk for developing Spina Bifida. The increased risk is only 5% but still. I occasionally worked with a student with Spina Bifida when I worked in a Middle School and it is no joke but even if our baby does end up having it, we will still love him or her no matter what.

   We had our last appointment with a genetic counselor and had a diagnostic ultrasound done on Monday. The doctors say that Baby McAward is growing and doing great, which is relieving news for a momma-to-be to hear. And I have another prenatal appointment Thursday to discuss more genetics and family health history, which of course, I have made a spreadsheet for!

   And guess what?! I decided to get the Harmony Test (blood test) done, which tests for Down Syndrome and Trisomy 21, 18, and 13. And... it also tells you the gender!!! The doctor said I should get the results and the gender early next week!!! *Knock on Wood* *fingers crossed* I won't be having a gender reveal party, so look out for a post that should go out sometime next week with our baby's gender revealed!!!

   Alright, well that's all for now and I hope you check back soon!

 Our announcement picture! Which did not go as well as planned because of Mr. Gary being an obnoxious puppy and because of the heat. So Daddy had to step in for us to get the picture real quick.

 12 weeks and 2 days!

11 weeks and 2 days! One of the sonograms from our first ultrasound.



Friday, June 17, 2016

When Tragedy Strikes Part 2 and Tattoo #9

   On Sunday, March 27, 2016, a sweet little angel was taken from this world way too soon... just barely over a month before his 2nd birthday. My nephew, Roman Carmello, passed away Easter morning and this post is for him. I'm not going to write about how he died or any details regarding his death, so don't bother asking. I'm just going to keep this post short and simple.

   This was the poem I typed up (not written by me), put his picture on it and framed it to be put on display at his celebration.

Little Angels
When God calls little children
to dwell with Him above.
We mortals sometimes question
the wisdom of His love.
for no heartache compares with
the death of one small child,
who does so much to make our world
seem wonderful and mild.
Perhaps God tires of calling
the aged to His fold.
So He picks a rosebud
before it can grow old.
God knows how much we need them
and so He takes but few,
to make the land of Heaven
more beautiful to view.
Believing this is difficult
still somehow we must try.
The saddest word mankind know 
will always be "Goodbye".
So when a child departs
we who are left behind,
must realize God loves children,
Angels are hard to find.

   And naturally, I got a memorial tattoo for him. Roman and his twin brother, Vinny, love Mickey Mouse (or "Gickey" as they call him) and Roman's favorite color is red. I found a tattoo very very similar to this on Pinterest and thought it was perfect. I just personalized it a bit.

And this is Roman's hand print that I framed, painted a quote and his name on, and hung in my living room. "When a loved one becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure."

   I also got my step sister a bouquet charm with Roman's picture in it to put on her wedding bouquet when she walks down the aisle. I'm not going to post a picture of hers on here and I don't think they sell the exact one I ordered anymore but if you think a wedding bouquet charm would be perfect for someone you know, check out AdoreAmorAccessories on Etsy.

And this is where I'm going to leave this post. We are all still grieving and will never get over this but thank God for family because we wouldn't be able to get through this (or try to get through this) without each other.


Thursday, June 16, 2016

Meet the New Fur Kid on the Block: Gary

   I know, I know, you're probably laughing or at least smirking at his name. Yes, Jesse and I named our newest fur kid Gary Padraig (Padraig is Irish, Pa-dray-g). But of course anyone who follows me on instagram or Facebook already knows this.

   Before the passing of Gemma Madeline, we had talked about possibly getting a 4th dog but just hadn't gotten one yet. So don't go thinking Gary is Gemma's replacement because in no way, shape, or form is that true and Gemma could never be replaced. Anyways, I believe everything happens for a reason and that things happen at the right time. Like I said, we had been talking about possibly getting another dog. So I had been looking at different breeders, shelters, rescues, etc. off and on for a little while but took a bit of a break from that when Gemma passed away. There were specific breeds (or a mix) that we were considering... another English Bulldog or French Bulldog (you know those choices were all me) or a Dachshund or a Bluietick Coonhound (Jesse's picks).

   Jesse has always wanted a Bluetick Coonhound. He loves hounds. And technically, even though we consider all of the dogs ours, he didn't really have his own dog. I wanted another Bulldog so badly though. So we continued to look at puppies that were one of the four breeds we discussed but we weren't really looking at Bluetick Coonhounds anymore because you cannot find them on the east coast like anywhere. We would have had to travel down south.We would find some really cute puppies we wanted to go see but then just never followed through with it (sound a little similar to Gemma's adoption story when I was looking for a dog). But then all of a sudden one day out of the blue, I saw an ad for Bluetick Coonhound puppies for sale in PA. I contacted them immediately and also told Jesse. He was sooo excited. The puppies weren't ready to go yet but they were taking deposits.

   The breeder was about an hour or so away from us. We had never been to that area before and the drive there was pretty easy until we were almost there. Just a few minutes (10-15?) before we got to the breeder's house, we lost signal. We both have AT&T and rarely have problems with signal. So our GPS/ phones started losing signal and got us lost. We asked people in the area if they knew where the address was or if they knew of the breeder selling Bluetick Coonhound puppies. They took us in the complete wrong direction. Jesse was getting so frustrated and ready to give up but I wasn't going to let him because I knew how badly he truly wanted one of these puppies. So we drove back until we got signal and called the breeder. They gave us directions and we finally got to their house.

   I think the puppies were close to 6 weeks old at this point and oh my gosh were they freaking cute!!! One puppy was spoken for, so we had our choice from 2 males and 1 female. I told Jesse early on that the sex of the puppy didn't matter (even though I like females better). It was all about the temperament and personality because I did not want chaos brought into our household (well, more chaos than a puppy usually brings anyway). Of course I fell in love with the little girl and he fell in love with a boy. The little chubby male puppy was in the kitchen when we got there, so we didn't even see him at first. They said he LOVED to eat, so it only makes sense that he would still be in the kitchen while we were there. Jesse picked him up and held him in his arms on his back like a little baby and he just laid there like that, completely content. I ended up asking Jesse if we could get both, the male he fell in love with and the female I fell in love with. He ultimately said yes.

   So we put down the deposit on the male puppy, they didn't require a second deposit for the female. And I'm pretty sure they said we didn't need to put a deposit down on the female because they knew what would happen on our ride home. I was in such awe over the cuteness of the puppies and couldn't believe that in 2 weeks we were taking home not 1 but 2 puppies! Then the anxiety and realistic thinking kicked in. What the hell was I thinking?!?! 2 Bluetick Coonhound puppies??? Was I nuts? Had I lost my mind? 2 Bulldog puppies I could handle no problem but 2 hyper loud howling Bluetick Coonhound puppies that needed lots of physical AND mental exercise. I realized that getting two was not a smart idea at the time. This is a completely different breed from my two lazy fur kids I have at home and we have a wedding to plan and partially pay for. So I had Jesse text the breeder when we got home saying we could only take the male and they were completely fine with that. I'm almost positive they saw that coming. We decided to get the male over the female because ultimately, the male puppy had the temperament and personality that we wanted and needed for our home. He was calm, lazy, and loved food.

   Fast forward to March 18, 2016 when we got to bring little Gary Padraig home. He is so smart, loud, naughty, obnoxious, and growing like a weed! I'll let y'all enjoy pictures of our new puppy.

 On our way home!

He thinks he is a cat.

But he also thinks he is a Bulldog (Bulldogs like to sit on other dogs' heads).

 This boy is all legs. At about 20 1/2 weeks, he is now taller than Audrey! He last went to the vet on 6/1/16 and weighed 23.2 lbs. We think he is going to be a big boy.


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

I'm ENGAGED!!!- The Proposal

   Ok, ok, so this is old news but for those of you who do not follow me on instagram or Facebook... I am engaged!!! I am over the moon ecstatic! I have already started wedding planning and created my own wedding planning binder with tons of spreadsheets I made, guides, tips, diagrams, and I also made a wedding planning timeline from looking at like 10 different wedding planning guides. I just need to actually start filling the pages out. It can't all be stuck up in my head forever.

   So let's get to the proposal story shall we? On February 19, 2016, it was a typical Friday afternoon. We had planned on just keeping it simple that night, make dinner at home, watch t.v., and go to bed. But Jesse was taking forever to get home and I was getting really hungry hangry. And then I started craving a gin and tonic, so I figured once he got home and we ate, I would suggest we go to Smokey Bones (yes, the place that we got cut off at the bar but hey, it's right up the street) for drinks and dessert. Well my amazing man must've been a mind reader that day because he texted me asking if I wanted to just do dinner at Smokey Bones. So of course I was down for that. But he was still taking forever to get home.

   Then there were some meaningless details that I don't all quite remember, so let's jump to when we actually got to the restaurant... They were busy. I was so annoyed but decided we should just stick out the wait anyway. I was being a little snippy with Jesse because I was so hungry and wanted a drink but I don't think we actually ended up waiting too too long.

   So we got seated at a booth, we ordered, drank, ate, played those little trivia games on the table (I think it's called Ziosk?), and blah blah blah. I was pretty much full but wanted dessert anyway, so I ordered dessert and asked the waitress to box it up and then Jesse headed to the "bathroom".

   I was just awkwardly waiting for him and I think my boxed dessert might have even showed up before he got back. I don't remember why I turned around when I did, maybe it was just to look around to see if I saw that he was headed back to the table, I'm not sure but when I turned around... he was getting down on one knee with an engagement ring in hand!!!

   I was in COMPLETE shock and it is definitely hard to surprise me. I don't exactly remember what he said, something about making him the happiest man in the world and asking me to marry him. I said yes and nodded my head but my hands were cupped around my mouth (hiding my dropped jaw) the entire time. He put the ring on my finger, got up, and told me to kiss him lol. And what was even better was that one of the staff members recorded it on her cell phone and texted it to me!

   We decided to get two or maybe three more drinks before we went back home. My jaw was dropped to the floor like the entire rest of the night. Everyone congratulated us on our way out and asked to see the ring. I felt so freakin' special and could not believe he planned this. And some staff even remembered us the next time we went back to eat there!

I looked a total hot mess that night but whatever because I got engaged!!!

 Did I mention that this wonderful amazing man of mine designed this?! He did very very well in my opinion. It's perfect!


   That was such a special day and I am so glad that it was recorded.


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

What Do You Do When Your World Comes Crashing Down?... When Tragedy Strikes Part 1

   On January 26, 2016, my sweet Princess Gemma Madeline crossed over the rainbow bridge. To say I am devastated is an understatement. I have been so depressed and broken and just couldn't bring myself to blog but I know that this is not what Gemma would have wanted. I know that she would want me to kick myself in the ass and get back on the blogging train. It might take a little while and start slowly and inconsistently but I am going to do it.

   If you didn't know much about my sweet fur baby, you can read a little bit about her in Meet Gemma (Furrkid #1 of 3).

   She was the sweetest most amazing miracle to come into my life and came into my life at the perfect time. Gemma was a true angel and I know that she is now my guardian angel still watching over me. Cue the tears.

   My little baby had a brain tumor. Or at least that is what the final vet said, which I think was correct. He was the most realistic and helpful- plus, it doesn't hurt that he was named the best vet in Lancaster County (or something along those lines). Gemma had been to 2 vets, 2 pet ERs, and had a phone consultation with a neurologist. Putting her out of her pain and suffering was the best thing I could do for her and even though I stayed there at the vet crying forever before and after it happened, I know I made the right choice. I will always put what is best for the animal before what is best for me or my feelings. I had her purple kangaroo in the car (her Christmas present that she LOVED but barely got to play with because of miss naughty pants Audrey trying to destroy it) and they cremated it with her for me, for her.

   I still find myself wondering if there was something that I missed. First of all, I don't for sure know her age. When I adopted her on August 4, 2012, the shelter had told me she was 1 1/2 years old but shelters just guess and sometimes they say they are younger than they are to try to increase their chances of being adopted. Even if they had given a more accurate guess, I still would've adopted her no matter what. As she got older and when I asked the opinion of one of her many vets, they estimated her age to be 8 (at the time of her passing which was 3 days after her estimated birthday that I gave her).

   But back to second guessing myself... I took Gemma to the vet ALL THE TIME and so of course they started not taking my concerns quite as seriously (they all knew her by name because she was there so often). So as time went on, if I had a possible concern, I didn't always take her to the vet. She would have little cysts pop up, mainly on her head. This was something none of her vets were worried about but I wonder if it meant something. And probably in the last year that I had her, she would randomly just stare into the distance at nothing, not move, and not listen when called. She would just stand there. And now I wonder if those were seizures (different types of seizures vary so much and there is a type like this).

   I know that I can't keep doing this to myself, going over everything in my head and wondering if there was something that could have been done had I caught a sign earlier. But what's done is done and she is no longer in any pain. And that is what mattered. She had a very rough life prior to me becoming her mommy and I know that her last few years were spent spoiling her and treating her like the true princess she was always meant to be.

   The vet took her paw print and paired it with a lovely perfect Eleanor Roosevelt quote that I framed and put in the dog room and they put her ashes in a gorgeous little box/ chest with her name on a plate that sits in our living room where she loved to lounge on the couch watching "our shows". I will be forever grateful for that and all the amazing care Manheim Pike Veterinary Hospital gave Gemma and has given my other fur babies.

 Snowstorm Jonas

 On her final birthday.

   I love you sweet baby girl. Forever, forever, forever.