Never a dull moment

I know I have said this a million times, but Lucy has been the perfect addition to our crazy little family.

There is never a dull moment . . . she is always making me laugh at something silly.

Yesterday I think was the icing on the cake.

I was working at my desk lost in the article I was writing, not noticing that the house had grown really quite. Here lately, when everything gets quite, I know Lucy is up to something. She came running into my office with her new find . . . a fork we forgot to put away. A plastic fork we left on the coffee table from when we ordered in Chinese the night before.

I literally laughed out loud when I turned around and noticed the fork in her mouth. I instantly thought of my nephew Colton, my brother’s youngest son. He always has a fork in his hand no matter what he is doing. When ever a picture is shared I always look to see if I can find Colton’s fork, kind of like “Where’s Waldo.”

When my parents were in town in September, Jason and I drove them to Maryland, so they could visit with Tom and his family. My Mom bought us all plastic colored forks that we greeted him with once we arrived. He was so excited to see so many forks. Needless to say his one fork grew into a collection by the end of the night.

I love how my crazy puppy reminds me of my crazy family.

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Today we took her to the vet and she got a clean bill of health. She gained some weight, she now weighs 9 pounds. I love hearing that she is perfectly healthy. It means we are doing something right.

Fun in the leaves

A couple of months ago I saw a post on Facebook of a dog sitting in leaves that really caught my attention. Now that we have a backyard with tons of colorful fall leaves, I had to give it a try with Lucy.

So, our photo session began . . .

Although I have some good ones showcasing Lucy’s personality, I want to try it again when Jason is home to help. I also received a tip from a fellow photographer friend of how to enhance the color of the leaves,which I definitely want to do while Lucy is laying in the pile.

IMG_2471There was definitely a huge difference with her tip!

It was in no way shape or form an easy task, but Lucy and I had fun. I used sticks, acorns and even treats to try to get her to sit still, which of course only worked about a third of the time. It was fun nonetheless . . . as Lucy jumped to grab the leaves, acorns and sticks. It was really cute to see her reaction as I threw leaves on her back . . .

Here are just a few, yes a few, of the many pictures I took of this sweet puppy having fun in the leaves.

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20141020_125144-1The last picture is now my screen saver. This picture tells her story, she absolutely loves chewing on sticks.

 

12.09!!

20140920_102518 I am happy to report that Lucy and I finished the week off with 12.09 miles, surpassing our last record of a total of 10.1 miles for a week.

We ran five days this week:

Sunday for 2.22 miles with an average speed of 4.0 mph

Monday for 2.30 miles with an average speed of 3.1 mph

Thursday for 2.14 miles with an average speed of 3.6 mph

Friday for 2.54 miles with an average speed of 3.2 mph

Saturday (today) for 2.89 miles with an average speed of 3.6 mph

I’m not quite sure what happened to us on Thursday, especially after taking two days off in a row, but that was our shortest distance of the week.

I love keeping record of what we accomplished. It gives me an idea of our progress.

Yesterday and today we ran a new route and it seems to be helping our distance. Maybe we were getting tired of the same scenery. Maybe we just need a path less traveled. When we head in the other direction there seems to be a ton of dogs, some of which shouldn’t be out on the path at all if you ask me. Yesterday and today we only ran past three dogs.

20140920_102628Today we ran further, quite a bit further, than yesterday. Every time I looked down Lucy was focused ahead, so we kept going until she slowed way down. Unfortunately when we hit this stretch of the path, it opens up quite a bit with no coverage from the trees. So, I listened to Lucy and we took a short break on a bench where we spotted beautiful flowers.

I’m excited to see what we will accomplish next week with our running distance.

I will sign off for now with a few of my favorite pictures from our cool down walk, which ended with us stopping so Lucy could watch the ducks playing in the water.

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Perfect ending

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After a long day at my desk, Lucy and I spent some time outdoors as the end of another day neared. The cool air that greeted us this morning remained tonight as Lucy chased one of her tennis balls. She went absolutely nuts sprinting in every direction. I love when she goes nuts, it’s adorable to witness.

Tonight as we played outside my mind kept drifting to the house we will be moving into next month.  Lucy’s not going to know what to do when she has a full, grassy yard to play in,  instead of a driveway. The excitement is definitely building.

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I seriously don’t know what I would do without this little lifelong companion.

Now with Jason working two jobs, it’s nice having her here with me.

Jason started working at his second job Tuesday night, which means I barely see him anymore. He leaves before 5 a.m. to go to his first job, returning in the late afternoon, before leaving a few hours later to go to his second job.

I’m grateful he is doing this for us. Working nonstop. I can’t help but love a dedicated man like that. I hope he makes incredible tip money without completely wearing himself out in the process! He’s worked two jobs in the past, so I know once his body gets into the routine he will be okay. But, I worry about him, especially since his day starts so early.

Although I work three jobs, I have the luxury of stepping away from my desk when I need a break. I can go outside for 5, 10, 15 minutes without worrying about the clock. The benefit from working from home. I just hope this two job situation doesn’t have to last too long.

So, I’m trying to make the best of the time we spend a part because I know it’s for the greater good, our future.

Lucy created that perfect ending tonight. She got me laughing nonstop! I love how much an animal can lift your spirits. How much they can make you smile, laugh, and enjoy life a little more.

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Another beautiful Kingsport sunset!

Chilly morning run

After taking two days off from running, Lucy and I headed back to our favorite place, the Kingsport Greenbelt for a late morning run.

It was rather chilly this morning with no sun shining through the clouds. Yesterday we didn’t run because it looked like it was going to start to rain at any moment. Today, I was going to take the chance. If it rained, so be it. It would just make us run faster. HA!

I put on one of Jason’s long sleeve shirts before we left and a pair of shorts. The good thing about the cooler temperature this morning was Lucy and  I ran a little further.

Today we didn’t stop and sit, but rather walked for a few minutes while Lucy sniffed in the grass. After a few minutes the magic word “ready” picked up our speed to running once again.

It was not crowded this morning. Maybe we went at the perfect time, or maybe people were questioning the weather too. It was nice having the path almost to ourself.

Nonetheless we ran 2.22 miles at an average speed of 4 miles an hour. The speed is what got me excited. We increased our speed.

My favorite part was during our cool down walk after we finished our run. Lucy led us to the ducks.

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I absolutely love this photo of her peaking around the tree spying on the ducks.

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We also spotted the geese, this time in the water. Last week we saw them walking towards the path.

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Before making it to the path.

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But today, they let both Lucy and I squat near them, as we watched them sit in the water.

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Another fantastic run with my little running partner. I’m still determined to run at least 12 miles this week. I hope the weather allows us.

Another chapter begins

Another chapter will soon begin for Jason and I in Kingsport. A new chapter that was unexpected, but very exciting nonetheless.

On Sept. 4, Jason and I headed to Bays Mountain for a morning hike outdoors on one of the many beautiful trails. On our drive back home Jason turned into a driveway, which I was not expecting at all. This cute little house had a “For Rent” sign in the front yard. Since we had Lucy with us, I stayed in the car, while Jason peeked through the windows and walked around back.

Ever since we moved to Kingsport last May, the houses on the way to Bays Mountain have always caught our attention. I think it’s the nicer part of town, for sure.

Before we left the house, I plugged the phone number that was written on the sign into my phone and we were on our way home. It never hurts to call, right? The lease on the place we are living in now is up in October, so timing was, well, perfect.

I decided to give the number a call and spoke with a nice older gentleman, Bobby, on the phone. My excitement grew as we were talking because it sounded doable. There were no restrictions regarding the number of animals we had, just a separate pet deposit for each one. A separate deposit that was cheaper than what we owed when we moved into the townhouse and we only had two animals at the time. The last time we were apartment hunting, it was hard to find a place that would accept cats. If they accepted cats they had to be de-clawed, which Jason and I don’t agree with at all.

When I told Bobby that we have two cats and a puppy, he didn’t skip a beat. He just asked how large the dog was.

The conversation continued on the positive side. The rent was not much more than we are spending now on a two bedroom townhouse. A two bedroom townhouse where we can hear our neighbors through the thin walls. Early in the morning when the world is still sleeping I can hear Jasper, our neighbors cat, digging around in the litter box on the other side of the wall while working in my office.

Privacy and having neighbors further away has been a part of our plans for quite some time now. We had a glimpse of that privacy when our good friends in Estero let us rent their house. We lived there for about six months before we moved back to Fort Myers.

Royal Poinciana Tree

Royal Poinciana Tree

The yard at that house was absolutely beautiful. Everywhere we looked there were gorgeous flowers and numerous royal poinciana trees.

So the following day, Jason, Lucy and I met Bobby at the house and had a look around. It’s a cute little two bedroom, one bathroom house with a decent kitchen and living room. The living room is larger than the one we have now, as well as the guest bedroom. There are also more windows in the house AND it’s one story.

Our last apartment before we left Fort Myers I miss from time to time because of all the windows. It was such a bright, sunny and happy apartment. I miss that natural sunlight. Our townhouse now often times feels like a dungeon because of the lack of natural light.

So, the house had all that going for it . . . but there is so much more.

We both instantly fell in love with the porches. There is a half porch out front, where I am already picturing rocking chairs, and a porch the length of the back of the house overlooking a gorgeous rather large yard. Yep, we were sold.

Ever since Lucy entered our lives, there has been a ton of discussion about having a backyard. I’ve always said I will not own a dog until I had a backyard. Well, with that said, Lucy was very unexpected. Although she is a very small dog, barely 9 pounds, she still deserves grass to play in and run around, space that she can call her own.

When we stood on the back porch and walked in the backyard, I was already picturing Lucy and I playing.

The porch, oh my gosh, the porch. When Jason and I left the house, the discussion had already begun of how much time we would be spending outdoors. There would be chairs, tables, a fire pit, you name it . . . Jason could also barbecue on the porch next to a table where we could eat. The best part is there are outlets on the banisters, so I can work outdoors!

10389088_850300231654723_2340627226820874762_nWe stood in the front yard and talked with Bobby for a while and let him know that we were really interested in the house and we would be in touch.

I was sold, Jason was sold, we had to make this happen.

So after crunching numbers, we decided we could afford the home. With the generosity of both of our parents, we got the ball rolling.

I have to be honest, it was a hard week while the planning, nonstop discussions, were had about moving into this home. We had some great conversations about staying where we are now compared to living in a home.

Jason, like always was my rock this past week. He knows how to calm my nerves.

He simply made it happen.

When he called me Thursday afternoon telling me we were meeting Bobby at the house, that we were going to give him a deposit, my heart sang. I think I asked him “really” a few times.

To make sure we could afford this new chapter in our lives, and to live a little more comfortably, Jason is taking on a second job waiting tables at The Texas Roadhouse. His orientation starts tomorrow. This is what I love about this man. He saw how much it meant to me, to be fair, it meant a lot to him as well, to move into a home that he is doing what he does best, providing for us.

A week later, Sept. 12, we met Bobby back at the house and put a deposit down after taking another walk through, meaning the “For Rent” sign came down, and this house is now ours to move into come Oct. 1.

I haven’t been this excited about moving into a new place in a rather long time.

The possibilities of how we can turn this house into a true “home” is what is making me excited. There are places in the backyard where I can start a garden. There is a tree in the backyard where I can hang a bird house. There are places where I can plant flowers.

Endless.

On Sept. 9, Jason and I celebrated five years of being together.

Photograph by Dorene Lowe Photography of Jason and I in 2013

Photograph by Dorene Lowe Photography of Jason and I in 2013

Although I can go on forever why those five years  have been among the best five years of my life, there is one thing that stands out the most.Jason will do anything and everything to make me smile. The best part, as a team, the sky is our limit. Whatever we put our minds to we find a way to make it happen.I am so excited to see what our future has in store for us.

I’m going to finish this post by pasting what I wrote on Facebook the day of our anniversary . . .

I never thought a friendship that started 18 years ago would turn into a relationship with a man who I would want to spend the rest of my life with. It’s hard to believe five years have already passed, five of the best years of my life. This photo is my all time favorite because it’s a symbol of our relationship. (a photograph of both our heads leaning back laughing uncontrollably) I love all the laughter we share, all the great memories we have created. I love you more than words can ever express. Here’s to another five years of wonderful memories . . .

 

10.1

A week ago, I decided to freeze my membership at Snap Fitness until the end of October, and I have to say it was a great idea. I got into a funk and wasn’t going as much as I liked, so needless to say it was time to change my exercise routine up. 

Why not enjoy exercising outdoors while the weather is still nice?

I wake up every morning eager to tie my running shoes and hit the path. My favorite part is hearing how excited Lucy gets when we park in the parking lot of the Greenbelt. I can never gather everything fast enough. It warms my heart that Lucy becomes that excited.

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Lucy, my puppy and I, went running on the Kingsport Greenbelt 5 days this week for a total of 10.1 miles. (We also walked and hiked 5+ miles with Jason this week. Lucy and I only took one day off!! I have to admit I feel amazing!!)

Although we take the same route everyday, I absolutly love running outdoors instead of on a treadmill.

Whenever I ran at the gym I would have my earphones in listening to music. When Lucy and I go for a run, the music is never turned on. My music is the outdoors and the exchange of good morning to those who pass us. I really enjoy listening to the sounds of nature.

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I am beyond proud of Lucy and I! I absolutely love having this little 8 – month old puppy as an exercise budy!

Her stamina amazes me and her pace keeps me going while my legs start to get tired. The best part is she makes everyone smile as we pass them by.

10.1 miles, yippy!

My goal is to add another 2 miles next week to our total. I love setting exercise goals and surpassing them. Incredible feeling.