Perfect couple of weeks

My to-do-list is finally reaching an end, relieving some of the stress that has been building these last few weeks.

A week ago today Jason and I moved into a quite little house that, so far, is a perfect fit for us and all of our animals. The picture below is one of my favorites. Lucy is so little that she could not see out of our front window in the living room, so I put something under it that she could climb on and view the world outside. Now every time I come home, I see her little face peering out the window.

Oct. 2, 2014

Oct. 2, 2014

The last few weeks have been nonstop . . . with that said, I wouldn’t change a thing. My parents flew into town on Sept. 23 and spent a few days with us before Jason and I drove them to Maryland, so they could end their vacation with my brother and his family.

I had begun a countdown as soon as my Mom told me she booked the flight to the Tri-Cities airport. I felt like a little girl as the excitement at times was uncontrollable.

I remember waking up that morning, Sept. 23, with a huge smile on my face and butterflies in my stomach. Although I was busy working all morning, the time still couldn’t go by fast enough. I was eager to leave the house and be on my way to the airport.

Jason called me as soon as I got off the interstate that afternoon and he too shared my excitement for the simple reason that I was going to see my parents in a matter of minutes. He told me he was excited for me to give them both hugs, which only made me smile more. When that time finally came I parked in the lot at the airport . . . I just couldn’t control it anymore. I was so giddy!!

The giddiness was because it had been quite some time since seeing my parents.  I won’t lie, from time to time it has been a struggle for me being so far away from my parents, especially when I was only a 10-minute drive from them for a long time in Fort Myers. The last time I saw my Dad was the day before we left for Tennessee last April. I was able to spend time with my Mom in Chicago last year when Jason and I drove to Illinois for my cousin’s wedding.

It was long past due to spend some time with my parents. I was beyond thrilled that after a year that time spent with them was at my new home. I had so much fun showing them around and taking them to some of the destinations that Jason and I have come to love since last May.IMG_2399

On Sept. 24, Jason, Lucy and I took Mom and Dad to Laurel Falls for a hike on the Appalachian Trail, something Mom had mentioned she wanted to do. The weather that morning was cool, making for a perfect day to be outdoors.

I loved every minute of that hike. Mom and Dad had the opportunity to experience what Jason and love to do on our days off, finding beautiful waterfalls. Although Mom has been following my blog and seeing where we have been through pictures, you fully do not experience the sight unless you are there taking in the sounds and scenery.

It was fun to experience the hike through their eyes. Everyone seems to take in the hike in a much different way. My parents were constantly trying to figure out the vegetation that surrounded the trail and the waterfall. Although I notice the trees, I spent more time looking at it all while hiking with them.

It appeared that they enjoyed themselves on the hike. They even had the opportunity to take in the fall scenery, which of course was a treat coming from Florida.

IMG_2416The following day while Jason had to work, I took Mom and Dad to Bays Mountain for a late morning hike. We followed the trail around the lake, which was a perfect path to show off some more of the beautiful fall colors. Mom even enjoyed picking up acorns for her grandkids . . . of course those included the biggest ones we could find.

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Bays Mountain was the first place Jason and I visited when we arrived in Kingsport last year, so you could only imagine how excited I was to show where our first adventure began. It seemed like Mom and Dad enjoyed another morning outdoors.

After we finished the hike, we went back to my place for a while before heading back out later that evening for a walk on the Kingsport Greenbelt. This was the only place on my list that I really wanted to show Mom because every time Lucy and I run the path she is constantly in my thoughts because of all the ducks we see. Since our walk took place around dusk, we saw a ton of deer that night, which is always cool to see.

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Friday morning, we hit the road early because we had a long drive ahead of us to Maryland. After being in the car for about 9 hours I think we were all ready to stand on our own two feet and stretch. I loved seeing Mom and Dad see their grandkids for the first time in almost a year. I have sweet pictures of my parents smiling, and my nephew Caleb while in the middle of a conversation. It’s those tender moments that I love to capture.

It was a lot of fun to spend Friday and Saturday with my parents and Tom and his family. I love seeing my nephews and spending time with them. The last time we saw them was in May and it’s amazing how much they grew up . . .

We ended up leaving earlier than expected on Saturday because of Lucy, our puppy. She’s usually a perfect little angel, but that day she was showing us a completely different side. A side that I was not too fond of. A side that had me stressed and rattled to the bone. She began barking at everyone that passed her or came in close proximity to her. This was rather strange because she seldom ever barks. So to keep her quite and calm I tried to take her away from everything, which did not give me the time I wanted to spend with my family.

It was bittersweet when I hugged everyone goodbye. I’m surprised I didn’t shed a few tears as our goodbyes were shared.

On our way back home we stopped at a friends house, a friend I have known for more than 20 years. A friend that Jason has known for almost just as long. The last time Anna and I saw each other was in 2003 or 2004 when I came home from college. It was so good to spend time with her and her family. So many good memories were brought up, even some yearbooks were opened, which provided a vision from our past as stories were shared.  I sure hope so much time does not pass before we see each other again.

When we arrived back home on Sunday, reality sunk in .  .  . moving day was right around the corner and we still had so much to do.

Tuesday was the big day . . . a day that started way too early and ended way too late. This of course is a trait that I love about Jason. When he has a vision we accomplish it, or surpass the goal. We ended up renting a UHaul, which helped tremendously. In two trips we were able to load all of our furniture and washer and dryer, as well as some boxes. We finished moving about 90 percent of our apartment in one day.

To say we were both tired and sore is an understatement.

The benefit of getting all that accomplished  . . . sleeping at the house a week ago for the first time.

I absolutely love living in this cute little two bedroom house with a beautiful backyard.

20141001_171845Except for a house we rented for no more than six months when we first started dating, Jason and I have gone from one apartment to another over the past five years. It feels great to have privacy once again. I cannot describe how good it is not to hear our neighbors through the thin walls, or to keep our voices down because we don’t want to disturb them. I can now play music in the living room while listening to it in my office without worrying about being too loud for our neighbors.

The list goes on and on of why I enjoy living at this house.

Sunday morning Jason and I headed back to the townhouse we were renting to clean and make sure we had all of our belongings. When we sat in the car a sense of relief washed over the both of us. We were beyond ready to say goodbye to that little place that we seemed to outgrow in a year.

Another chapter begins . . .  one that seems to be off on the right foot.

Rescued

A week ago today, my life changed.

I was still asleep when Jason came upstairs into our bedroom and said “Meghan,” which scared me awake. I was in a really deep sleep. He said come on I need your help. I got out of bed, got dressed and walked outside. I was greeted by two adorable little puppies eager to have human attention.

Jason said when he went outside, he started talking to our neighbor, when two puppies came walking from around the back of the building. These two puppies, one female and one male, still had their collars on. They were shaking and looked very scared. My heart instantly broke. These two little puppies were lost. I picked them up and embraced them, trying to get the shaking to stop. After a few minutes, I went back inside and got my shoes, so we could take them up the hill and try to find its owners.

You see, our place is kind of isolated on top of a hill. Our driveway is pretty steep, an incline from the bottom to the top. From our place there is another hill up where there are more houses.

Jason picked up one of the puppies and I picked up the other and we were on our way to hopefully find the owners. We started our climb up the little hill with puppies in tow, both still shaking. That morning it was kind of cold, but I’m almost certain their poor little nerves were also causing the shakes.

Jason went to a about a half a dozen doors, knocking and asking if the puppies were theirs. Unfortunately, door after door, we received the same answer, no, we have never seen them. One gentleman said no one on the street had any dogs.

Our hearts heavy, we walked back to our place and brought the puppies inside to get them out of the cold weather.

I sat on the floor in the kitchen and both puppies snuggled in my lap. They almost instantly fell asleep. These poor things were worn out. We had no idea how much traveling they did, or how long they have been outside.

As I sat on the floor, the puppies began to stop shaking, as they were snuggled up against each other.

Jason called our landlord to let her know about the puppies because she only allows cats inside her building. She also is a huge animal lover. Vickie often times stops while driving when she sees an animal on the side of the road and helps bring it to safety. She also has many animals at home that she has rescued. So we figured, why not give her a call, let her know of the situation and ask if she had any numbers to rescue groups.

Jason called both of the rescue groups. One of them called back. Since the puppies found us, this woman told us we have to exhaust all of our options before she can pick them up, foster them, and find a forever home for them.

At this point, Jason was pressed for time. He had to leave for work shortly. I also had a full day of work that I had to get accomplished to meet all my deadlines. We were stumped. What were we going to do with these precious puppies? We guessed they were only about three months old.

After me freaking out a little bit, Jason and I decided to take the puppies up to the shelter because we heard it was a no kill shelter. We put both puppies in Jason’s car and went up the street. As I followed him in my car, since he had to go straight to work afterwards, I started to cry. Tears began to fill my eyes as I fought them back, so I could see where I was driving. My gutt was telling me this wasn’t a good idea. Jason too had the same feelings.

We pulled into the parking lot and Jason went to find someone to talk to about the puppies. I went to his car and tried to calm the puppies down again. As he walked back to the parking lot, I saw it in his face. His look told me he was not comfortable about the situation. The workers at the shelter were rude, outside smoking, and weren’t interested in what he had to say. We went to the front door and a woman came out, gave Jason a clipboard with a piece of paper that he had to fill out. This woman took one of the puppies and started to pet and kiss it while Jason started to fill out the form. He got to a certain point, stopped and asked if it was a no kill shelter. She said low kill. We then found out most of the dogs inside were sick. Jason pulled the piece of paper off the clipboard and said, sorry, I can’t leave them here. She of course said she understood. I gave her my business card with all my contact information and Jason wrote on the area of where the puppies were found. I asked her to call me if anyone called the shelter looking for the puppies. She also said she would let the neighboring shelter know of the puppies as well.

So, now I had two puppies on my hands and Jason had to go to work.

We put both of the puppies in my car. I gave Jason a hug, which was such an incredible embrace. He told me he was sorry and we will figure something out. He kissed my neck as we said I love you. I will never forget that embrace. It was exactly what I needed to calm down.

I got in the car, backed up as Jason and I said goodbye one last time.

Once the puppies and I arrived back at home, both of them had become sick in the car. So, I cleaned up their mess as best as I could, gave them another chance to go to the bathroom and took them inside.

My heart was so heavy. I felt incredibly sad for these puppies who had clearly been through a lot. I got a towel out of the closet, laid it on the floor of my office and closed the door. I wanted to give our kitties free range of our home, since they were not too excited to have two puppy visitors.

I sat down at the computer as they cuddled up with each other on the blanket and instantly fell asleep. I called the local newspaper and put an ad in the paper. The ad, she told me would run for three days.

I also posted an ad on Craigslist.

I checked everything off my list that I had to do to get the word out that these two sweet, innocent puppies were found.

When Jason got home later that night he had a plan in place. His boss said he was more than happy to take the puppies in until we found the owners. You see, I had a full day of interviews on Wednesday and Jason had to work as well. I didn’t want to leave the puppies at our house with no kennel to put them in while we were away. We didn’t want to upset our cats as well.

So, Jason came home, got changed out of his work clothes and we were headed out the door again. I laid the towel on my lap and then both dogs, as Jason drove us to his bosses house. The female curled up on my lap as the male stood over her with his nose in my neck as I calmed the poor thing down. This is how it stayed for almost the entire way to their temporary home.

As we walked through the door of Chris’s house, my heavy heart started to feel a little better. Chris and his family instantly became excited about these puppies and showed them so much affection. I knew we put them in good hands while we waited to hear something from its owners.

As Jason and I drove back home, my arms felt empty and my heart became heavy again.

Jason found the dogs before 10:30 that morning . . . it was after 9 p.m. and we had not heard from anyone looking for these puppies.

The next morning we both went about our day, with my mind completely scattered as I thought about these puppies. When Jason came home, he said he found two homes for the puppies if the owner did not contact us.

Thursday came and went with no calls of someone missing their puppy. I did receive one call from Craigslist, but they were looking to purchase the puppies.

By this point, my thoughts turned negative. These poor puppies were dumped. How could someone drop off these poor things? It made me furious. Jason kept trying to calm me down. I cannot believe someone would be that evil. I don’t care if you can’t take care of these sweet puppies, do not drop them off. If it wasn’t for Jason taking them in under our wing, God only knows what would have happened to these poor things.

By Thursday, I wanted to adopt one. I wanted to bring one home and give it a life it deserves. I felt like I had to do something more than putting ads in the paper and finding them homes. I wanted a puppy. I wanted to save this poor innocent life that apparently was not wanted anymore.

So Jason told me if I could convince our landlord of having a puppy and talk to our neighbor to make sure she didn’t mind, I could have a puppy. So I called Vickie and told her what I hoped to do. She said she would have to talk to our neighbors and see if they were okay with it and she would let me know. She said she was fine with us having the puppy, as long as we followed a few of her rules, all of which we would do anyway.

On Friday, we both went about our day. Jason went to work and I finished the last couple of articles that were due. We began talking about dinner and made a list for the store of items we needed.

With the weather warm again, Jason decided to use the grill for dinner.

Jason put chicken and a few veggies on the grill, as I started the rice and the biscuits inside. Once the food was done cooking, Jason cleared off our TV tray, put a candle on it and turned off the living room light as we put our meal on the table. This completely blew me away. Really, a candle lit dinner? I have such a sweet man. Jason had planned an incredibly sweet romantic dinner for us. We also turned on some music and began eating.

That’s when the text came through  . . .

The emotions that ran through me as I read that text, immediately showed. I couldn’t contain the excitement. Our landlord said we can bring a puppy home. Jason immediately sent a text to Chris asking if we could stop by and pick up the little female puppy.

Well, our romantic, incredibly sweet dinner came to a stop. I couldn’t control my excitement. We were out the door on our way to bring a puppy home.

IMG_1491Meet Lucy. She is the newest member of our crazy little family. I can’t even put into words how much joy this little puppy has brought into my life since last week. She has such a sweet temperament and is completely mellow.

IMG_1490She absolutely loves to play outside. As soon as a leaf starts to roll, she goes running trying to catch it.

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IMG_1500It feels incredible to have a dog once again. It’s been many years, since I have lived with one. Lucy has made me think a lot about Samson, the family golden retriever that touched all of our lives.

I am so glad we were able to give this precious, kind-hearted puppy a home. Lucy has enriched my life in so many ways and we have only had her a few days.

The good news is her sibling, the male puppy, will soon go to its permanent home soon too. Until then, he is being loved by Chris and his family.