Monday, January 23, 2012

Goodbye, sweet boy

 

"Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.
 
They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.
 
Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together.... "

~Author Unknown

2012 started off extremely rough for our family. We began this year with a heartwrenching, tearful goodbye to our sweet Charlie Brown. 

His cancer spread much quicker than the doctors had anticipated and he deteriorated rapidly within just a few days. We knew he was suffering. And we couldn't bear to see him in pain. His furry brothers knew that his time was limited. They spent his last few days by his side, licking his face, rubbing against his body and keeping him company. 

 


 

And then it was time for his final car ride.

He devoured his last meal of chicken, dog biscuits and donuts. He laid his head lovingly in my lap as I stroked his beautiful, soft ears and Jason patted his back. His breath was steady and even. He was happy, content, loved. And then he slowly drifted away and was gone.

It's never easy, saying goodbye. And this was no exception. A beautiful soul was lost on January 6th. The likes of which this world will never see again.

I miss him. We all miss him. 

Things get especially tough when Aidan talks about him. He doesn't understand. He still includes Charlie in his everyday talks. When we leave the house he says goodbye to Charlie. When we give Flippy a treat he wants to give one to Charlie, too. He thinks Charlie will be coming back. It's hard for him to understand that his constant companion is gone forever.

 

It's hard to believe that he won't be. We'll never see that big, goofy smile in person again. He'll never roll over with all four paws in the air for a back rub, or skid across the kitchen floor as he runs in from the back yard at full  speed. And Connor will never know him, either. That's especially hard.


It physically hurts. My heart is broken. But, I know I am lucky. And so was Charlie. He loved us unconditionally and he knew his love was requited. He left this world truly happy. 

And I know I will see him again. And the next time I do, he'll have four paws, a shining white coat and by his side will be another wonderful boy that we lost four years ago. 

We love you Charlie Brown. 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

I'm Living My Life

It's been awhile my friends. So many things have happened. There is so much to share. I guess I will start by saying that I've been doing great with my resolutions. Which is why I haven't been around the blogosphere.

I'm  living my life. 

It makes for many things to write about, but I am using that time differently these days....

It's been great to spend more time with my little boys. To have my focus completely on them. It's a relief to not be distracted by my cell phone, kindle or laptop during the day. I think in a way I was beginning to feel stressed out by technology. But not anymore. I've just let it go... and it's a breath of fresh air.

I turned 30 (yikes!) on January 1st. To commemorate this historic moment Jason gave me a kindle fire. I am in love! It's wonderful to browse for books to read and have them instantly available at my fingertips. I've all ready finished four books and have a long list of others to check off before this year is over! I love curling up at night on the couch and getting lost in a book. :)

And, I joined Weight Watchers! I officially started last Saturday and I lost 6 pounds in my first week. Surprisingly, it hasn't been that hard of a lifestyle change for us. Jason is pretty much doing it with me, since he eats whatever I do. I love the recipes I've found on their website and I'm finding it pretty easy to follow their Points Plus program. I've also been taking classes at the gym and made it there four times last week. My goal is to go atleast 4 to 5 days a week.

I feel good. Really good.

My life feels back on track. And I couldn't be happier.

Any good healthy recipe recommendations? Do you have a great book you'd recommend for me?

~Emily

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Reflections and Resolutions

As I look back on all the events that unfolded in 2011, it's almost mind boggling to believe that it was only ONE year. Somehow time has simply flown by, and all the moments we spent together just seem so very plentiful. Which makes me smile.

I feel so very privileged to have the opportunity to spend everyday with my boys. I realize that this is something that I take for granted from time to time. And I shouldn't. They will grow up so quickly. One day I won't be able to hold them in my arms and rock them to sleep. One day they won't want me to read them stories while they sit contentedly in my lap. And with that being said, one of my resolutions  this year is to cherish all of the time I have with my little men. To live in the moment. To put aside things that I may deem important at the time. Because, frankly, who cares if the laundry is folded or if the dishwasher needs to be loaded? Those aren't the things that matter. Spending time with my two greatest treasures should be at the top of my list.

Our 2011 was filled with so much joy, but there was also some heartache in there as well. When I try to recap all of our ups and downs, it's almost too much. I all ready feel that I'm forgetting things that happened this year. And I don't want to...

So, without further ado, here is our 2011 in review: (Sorry if it's boring to most, but this is more for my failing memory than anything else!)

January-
Celebrated my 29th birthday (eek!). Found out on the 2nd that I was pregnant with Connor. I called Jason (who was driving back to Texas from Ohio) from my parents garage to let him know the news! Aidan is a walking machine at 11 months old.

 

February-
Our sweet Aidan turned one and we celebrated with a Backyardigans birthday bash! My sister, Elizabeth, came down to celebrate with us.

 

March-
Jason's parents came down for a few days to visit. Saw Zac Brown Band at the Houston  Rodeo.We announce to the world that Aidan is going to be a big brother!

April-
My sister, Elizabeth, and her husband came down for Easter. Found out she was also newly pregnant and we bonded over being expectant Mamas and anticipating babies only one month apart. Aidan loves Easter egg hunts!

















May-
My brother and sister-in-law came down for a visit. Jason and I spent some much needed time away from Aidan in the form of a Jimmy Buffett concert. Aidan goes swimming in the Gulf for the first time.

June- 
Went to Ohio for a visit, which included big events including, my sister Natalie's college graduation and a surprise baby shower for Elizabeth. Aidan and Jason started "Daddy and Me" swim lessons.


July-
Rented a condo on the lake with friends for the 4th. Aidan loves boats and went tubing for the first time! We finally get  renters in our Ohio house after having it sit vacant for over a year.


August-
Jason and I get engaged on a weekend getaway to Lake Travis. Plans begin for a June 2012 wedding. Charlie started limping.

 


September-
Connor is born on Labor Day after only 20 minutes of pushing! Aidan starts "school" and loves it. My Mom and then Jason's parents come for a visit and to meet baby Connor.

October-
The boys dress as Winnie the Pooh and Tigger for Halloween. Charlie is diagnosed with cancer and has his leg amputated three days later.
 
November-
Thanksgiving spent with our Texas family here in Houston. Charlie is hospitalized due to an infection contracted after surgery.



December-
Aidan is a little lamb in his "school's" Christmas play. Jason's Grandpa becomes very ill and is hospitalized for almost the entire month. We plan a last minute trip home to spend some time with him and introduce our families to Connor. We are all sick over Christmas. Connor contracts RSV.

 

 All in all, a wonderful year... so many blessings, with some sadness thrown in for good measure. I am so very much looking forward to 2012. This will be the year that Jason and I get married, that Connor learns to walk, that Aidan's vocabulary will  explode and that we will lose our dear, sweet Charlie Brown. That last one is going to be heartbreaking, but there's no other way around it, unfortunately.

And for good measure, I am planning to ring in 2012 with some resolutions. Uncustomary for this girl, but I think it needs to be done. So, here they are...

1. As I mentioned above, to live in the moment when spending time with my family. It seems that I'm always checking out my phone, checking facebook or reading blogs when I should be snuggling on the couch, playing with legos or reading a book. So, I resolve to cherish our time together and to be in the moment.

2. To read more books. Not only for me, but with my children. Aidan LOVES books and I wan to instill that love of literature (be it Brown Bear, Brown Bear or Pride and Prejudice) in Connor, too.

3. To lose weight. Preferably before our wedding in June. I was looking into Weight Watchers last night and I think it may be just the thing to give me that extra push. My weekly yoga class just isn't cutting it, so I am looking into adding a step class and/or Zumba to my workout routine, as well.

4. I also have been contemplating going back to school. Originally  I was going to wait until the boys are older, but I've really got the learning bug. I have been thinking about taking one or two online classes starting this fall and I think I just may do it. Since it's the new year and all, I think I will go ahead and go back to school.

Have you made any resolutions this year? How did 2011 treat you?

Oh, and did I mention that I also turned 30 today? Yep, January 1, 2012 marks my entrance into a new decade. It's surreal... but also exciting. I'm really looking forward to see what 30 has in store for me. :)

Happy New Year!

~Emily

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