Be Kind.

Jacquie Here.

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Be kind. For everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.

This phrase has meant a lot more to me this week than it usually does. It’s been a hard one. I’ve felt pretty down-trodden. It just was one of those weeks where it felt like the whole world was ganging up on me to point out my flaws and make irrational claims about my intentions. People said unkind things, went behind my back, and made me feel like a terrible person.

Times like this are especially hard when you’re just merrily going along your way, trying to be a good person with only good intentions. It kind of hits you out of nowhere. I had an entire day this week when I was just stewing over some things that were said. I felt like my heart was breaking and I couldn’t fathom how I could have been so… misunderstood.

There aren’t really any especially “hard battles” in my life at the moment, like this phrase says, but I still have my day-to-day struggles I deal with. Things I’m working on. And it’s difficult not to feel defeated and hopeless when people tear you down and remind you again and again of your shortcomings that you are already very well aware of. Even if you know better than to let it get to you.

I’m usually pretty good about taking things people say with a grain of salt and not losing sleep over it, but this week I had to work extra hard at reminding myself that I’m the only person who truly knows my own heart, and I happen to know its a good one.

Im not a terrible person. I’m a good one.

I’m going to try harder to be more kind (and less insecure). I never want to learn that something I did or said was the cause of someone having a week like mine. I know that at some point in my life (probably multiple times, actually), I HAVE been that person who said something destructive to someone else. I wish I could undo it. I wish I could tell everyone I’ve ever hurt that I’m so sorry. And then hug them. Because maybe they lost their grandma that week. Or maybe they are going on only 3 hours of sleep. Or maybe they’re having car trouble. Or maybe they have a paper cut. Or maybe they’re working their butt off and no one has said ‘thank you’ yet. Too often we are too casual with our words and much less considerate than we ought to be. Let’s work a little harder to make sure people know we love and appreciate them. Let’s replace negative comments for positive ones.

Let’s all just… Be kind.

Love,
Jacquie.

Baby Talk

Jacquie Here.

An actual conversation Jake and I had late last night as we marveled over how incredibly cute our 11-day-old sleeping baby was:

Me: He is just so so cute.
Jake: I know! I just wanna squeeze him ’til he pops!
Me: Yeah, don’t you just want to kiss him until his face falls off??
Jake: Maybe we should stop talking about popping our baby…
Me: Yeah, and his face falling off.

We’re good parents.

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Love,
Jacquie.

I Had a Baby

Jacquie Here.

Just dropping in to let those of you who haven’t heard…

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I had a baby!!!

Grant Roberts Lyman was born at the Bay Area Birth Center in Pasadena, TX on Monday, September 30th at 12:06pm, weighing 6 lbs 11 oz. He is the sweetest little thing and we are head-over-heels in love with him!! Things have definitely been busy around here, and this is literally the first opportunity I’ve had in over a week with both hands available to type this short update on the blog!

I’m gonna go ahead and say right now that blogging is probably going to take the back-burner for the next little while, but I will do my best to keep ya’ll updated (see me getting all Texas on you?). Expect LOTS of baby pictures and mommy-talk on the blog in the near future, and I’m not even going to feel bad about it.

This is my life now.

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He is my life now.

And I couldn’t be happier!!

Love,
Jacquie.

PS –  Birth story to follow! It’s just going to take time. But just know… It was amazing. Difficult, but amazing.

Happy Due-Date

Jacquie Here.

HAPPY DUE-DATE TO ME!

Still barefoot & pregnant.

1240134_10152224146632729_1583042017_nAnd I’m perfectly ok with that… For now.

Just to prepare you, this is about to be a bunch of random ramblings from the mind of a due pregnant woman, and probably isn’t going to have much rhyme or reason to it.

It felt so weird to wake up this morning and see “September 27th” on the calendar. September 27th. Today is the day we have been counting on, waiting for, telling our friends about, dreaming about ALL YEAR. Literally. I’ve been pregnant for the entire year of 2013… See what I mean? Even though there’s still no baby to show for it (aside from an enormous baby-shaped belly on the front of my body), today is still exciting for us. So I let Jake celebrate by eating chocolate for breakfast (I’m going to be a great mom). I honestly can’t believe the due date is HERE. Yeah, we haven’t met our baby yet, but we’ve made it. We’ve arrived at week 40. It feels like it’s been forever, but also like it totally just creeped up on us. Time is funny like that.

Now it really is just a waiting game.

I’m prepping myself emotionally for all of the texts/phone calls/messages I am going to get from my friends/family members every single day now until the baby comes saying, “No baby yet? Still no baby? So you gonna pop that baby out, or what?”. It’s inevitable. I’m prepared. But pleeeeeeease, if you’re reading this, don’t be one of those people. It’ll only make me more anxious and uncomfortable. Thanks. People, believe me – when he’s arrived, you’ll know. This baby is going to come when he comes. He gets to decide. Not me. And if I could decide, he wouldn’t come until Tuesday anyway. Haha. So I’m just gonna let him do his thang. What other options do I have, really? 

Last night, my hands and feet got so swollen, I felt like they were literally going to burst if someone poked them. I had to elevate my feet and ice them. So that was fun. I also have to remove my wedding rings every evening around 7pm when my fingers become too fat to keep them on anymore. Then they go back down. I feel like this happens to my face too. Weird. Pregnancy is kind of hilarious. I’m pretty sure it’s the weirdest, funniest thing a woman’s body could ever go through. And I can’t believe that in a matter of days, I’m not going to identify as a pregnant woman anymore. That’ll be weird. I’m pretty used to that label. But soon I’ll be able to identify as a mom, and THAT is even weirder! I honestly am so excited.

We can’t stop talking about how excited we are to see what he looks like. We’re banking on him being pretty small (Jake was 5.5lbs, I was 6.5lbs, both full-term) and that is a reassuring thought, even if it is just wishful thinking. We think he’ll have lots of hair, since both Jake and I are… er… “blessed” with an abundance of hair (seriously, my mom could do a ponytail in my hair the day I was born, and Jake had a fro as a baby). On that same token, he’ll probably have some pretty serious eyebrows and eyelashes – both a blessing and a curse. We have no idea what color his eyes will be, but I HOPE he gets Jake’s crystal clear blue eyes (so gorgeous) as opposed to my almost-black eyes. No solid predictions for what color his hair will be. Jake had a blonde phase, but mine’s always been really dark. So far, all my siblings with kids have had blue-eyed, light-haired babies, and all of our spouses have similar coloring/features, so chances are our baby will fit into that description too. But we won’t know for sure until he’s here! I just think it’s fun to document these thoughts, and it’ll probably give us a few good laughs to come back and read this after he’s born to see how accurate our predictions were. Either way, we were both pretty cute babies/kids, so I think this baby’s got good-looks comin’ for him. :) I know, what mom doesn’t think that about her own kid(s)?

But just LOOK at us!

But just LOOK at us!

You know what else he’s got comin’ for him?
Dimples. Dimples for days.

I can’t wait to pinch his dimply cheeks (all four of them!).

Love,
Jacquie.

The Final Countdown

Jacquie Here.

It’s the final countdown for Baby Lyman’s arrival! Crazy, I know! I’m due on Friday, but as I said before, I’m okay waiting until Monday night/Tuesday for my favorite midwife to get back from her big conference up north. But not any longer, okay??

As of this week, I am finally starting to understand why almost every woman that’s ever been pregnant says the last week or so is the hardest and most dreadful. I don’t feel dreadful by any means. I’m pretty lucky to still be feeling pretty great 90% of the time. But am I sleeping comfortably? No. Do my hips feel like they are going to snap in half any second? Yes. Am I enjoying the fact that, no matter how much I eat, I am ALWAYS hungry? No. Do I love having 4-hour spells of consistent minute-long, ten-minutes-apart contractions every single night just for them to completely stop and have nothing happen? No. Don’t make me go through that every night for a weeeeeeeeek.

But I’m doing good.

The other day, I was at the dog park, as I am every evening around 6pm, without fail (Nelly’s got to get her exercise, and my 9-month-pregnant self can’t help her with that anymore… obviously). One of my “dog park friends” (yes, I’m one of those people now….) commented on how he couldn’t believe I was only a few days away from my due date, because every full-term pregnant woman he had ever known was really grumpy and so ready to be done at this point. He said, “You’re just too cheerful!”. Haha! That made me happy to hear, actually. I’m trying to be just that – cheerful. And patient. I mean, it could still be another two weeks, for heaven’s sake! No use being grumpy for two whole weeks, just because I’m impatient. That’d be exhausting. Plus, I’ve got plenty of things to be cheerful about and nothing worth being grumpy over.

I’ve been trying really hard to eliminate ANY and all negativity from my life this past week or so, as we’ve been preparing to welcome a baby into our home. I’ve been avoiding things/people that might bring any negativity into my life, and let me tell you – it’s not as easy as it sounds! Along with life just happening (people I know and love unexpectedly passing away at far too young an age, for one), it seems pretty inevitable that people, even random strangers, can ALWAYS find negative things to say to pregnant women. WHY DO THEY FEEL THE NEED TO DO THAT?? The “oh-just-you-wait-until-[insert difficult pregnancy/birth/parenting topic]“, or the “let-me-tell-you-all-the-horrible-things-that-happened-to-me-when-I-gave-birth”, or my favorite: “you’re-birthing-outside-of-a-hospital-what?-You’re-definitely-crazy-and-going-to-die”. People, I can’t afford having your negative vibes around me right now. I’m bringing a brand new, special, sweet baby to this earth and I need to think only happy thoughts! It’s really important to me that my home is a restful, bright, happy place where the Spirit can be felt, and where no negativity whatsoever is allowed inside. I can do this.

Today we had what very well could have been our last prenatal midwife appointment before we go in to deliver! That’s a pretty exciting thought! Everything looked good according to the midwives. They are always so surprised to hear that I have hardly experienced any issues with swollen hands/feet, that I have a big appetite still, and that my blood pressure is, well, perfect (bragging rights). And whenever they check the baby’s heart-rate, without fail, he always gets really excited when they move him around and his heart rate spikes a teeny bit. It always makes us laugh that he’s kind of a nervous little fella. I guess he just doesn’t like to be jostled! She checked my cervix and I’m only dilated to 1 cm and 50% effaced, which is good news since we all want him to take his time. Honestly, things couldn’t possibly be going any better! Well, besides that fact that I’ve gained 2 whole pounds since Friday…. As in 5-days-ago Friday. I’m officially up 32 lbs from my pre-pregnancy weight… Uh…. What? Haha. If you know how small I am, you know that’s quite a bit for me. So please excuse my new double chin. :))) (< double chin smiley). I’m still going to eat three dinners every night, as long as Baby has any say.

Our pre-baby checklist is pretty much complete, too! Being the OCD list-maker that I am, this pleases me. We’ve got all three of our bags packed, we gave our spare key to the dog-sitter, we’re finished reading the birthing books that we really wanted/needed to finish, we’ve got our “contraction timer” apps installed on our phones, I’ve got a couple freezer dinners already made, Baby’s clothes and other things are washed and neatly folded in his drawers, we practice our relaxation techniques often, I clean the house daily in anticipation that tomorrow-might-be-the-day-and-the-house-HAS-to-be-perfectly-clean. Now we just need to clean the inside of the car and install the car seat, and I think that’s it! And on Saturday night, Jake’s mom flies in to town. I am so anxious for her to get here! Once she’s here, everything will feel a little more real. I still can’t believe this is happening sometimes!

In other news, I pretty much want to boycott clothing.

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Oh, and in other other news, I joined Instagram. Yes, I finally caved, *groan*, and gave into peer pressure (Amanda, Hannah, Autumn… I’m talking to you!), so now you can find me @jacquielyman. I used hashtags (click for funny video) for the first time ever in my life the other day and felt pretty ridiculous. Haha. Do I sound like your grandma? Anyway, expect your IG news feeds to be SWARMED with a bazillion baby photos soon, because I am shamelessly going to post like 10 a day. Watch me. #you’vebeenwarned (see what I did there?, wait, I mean #seewhatIdidthere?)

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A couple Instagram “selfies” for your enjoyment. (Also a first time taking a mirror selfie like this… I’m growing up in the world! Either that, or I’m becoming more vain.. Ha!) You should know that I nearly put myself into labor getting these boots on. I literally had to wait for Jake to get home to get them off. The things we do for Fall fashions.

Jake is the best husband. Seriously. He painted my toenails for me, which I can no longer reach, so they look pretty for the birth. He did a pretty good job. AND he didn't even complain! Husband points!

Jake is the best husband. Seriously. He painted my toenails for me, which I can no longer reach, so they look pretty for the birth. He did a pretty good job. AND he didn’t even complain! Husband points!

I’ll keep you updated as best I can these next few days!

Love,
Jacquie.

 

PS – Besides adding a new baby to our family, we have some other pretty huge life changes coming up! Stay tuned.

Midwife Thank You Basket

Jacquie Here.

Here we are, 6 days away from our due date!! I seriously cannot believe I am at the end. I feel like it wasn’t too long ago that we found out we were expecting, and now we are within mere days of meeting this little babe! 9 months really does fly by! And oh man, we just can’t wait!! (Exclamation point overload in this paragraph!!!).

My midwives have been such a joy to work with since we moved to Texas and switched over to this office. I absolutely LOVE them and feel so so blessed to have found them. I really can’t even begin to express my love and appreciation for these ladies! That deserves a whole post of its own. I know that Heavenly Father led me to this birth center for a reason. These ladies have become dear friends to us. After each appointment, we always end up staying just to talk and hang out with them for an extra half-hour… Seriously, who gets to feel such a strong personal connection to her prenatal caregivers?? Midwives truly are special ladies!

I know I will never be able to thank them enough for the outstanding care, friendship, and confidence they’ve given me throughout this pregnancy, but I really wanted to put together a little gift basket to bring to them when we go to give birth just to show them I appreciate them. I scoured Pinterest for some ideas, but ended up putting my own taste/spin on things that I thought they would like. The last week or so, I’ve set out gathering goodies for them and my “Thank You Basket” is now complete!

My Midwife Thank You Basket:
(Excuse the poor-quality photos…..)

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I found this cute wicker basket at a consignment store down the street for $2!
A few doors down from said consignment store, there is the cutest little health food store, Erma’s Nutrition Center & Natural Market. I am so glad I found these little gems, and I frequent both of them on Saturdays when there’s a little Farmer’s Market going on in their parking lot. The hippie in me just dies over places like this. I could seriously spend all day in there.

I got most of the contents of the basket at Erma’s.
I got three of everything that was individual-sized because I believe there will be three midwives/birth attendants there.
I included lots of tasty treats that they will hopefully be able to enjoy while we wait for Baby to make his appearance. It could be awhile, and I know they’re definitely going to want something to snack on!

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Organic cherry/vanilla lip balms
Ancient Clay mini soap bars in assorted scents
ChocoLove chocolate bars in different varieties
Jasmine scented candle (from Hobby Lobby)
GF vanilla cookies, and organic honey sticks.
Also not pictured: a cute little bag of organic mint candies and Hansen’s sodas.

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I found this quote about midwives and just had to print it out to hang on the basket, along with a little Thank You card.
Tie it off with some tulle ribbon and done!
I could’ve added some tissue paper too, but I kept it simple.

I’m really happy to have this ready ahead of time and I’m excited to bring it to them when we go in to deliver our baby!  Hopefully he doesn’t decide to come ON his due-date while my favorite midwife, Jackie is out of town for a big midwife conference! Pleeeeeaaasse pray that he’ll either be 2+ days early, or 2+ days late (but not much more than 2 extra days please, haha!).

Love,
Jacquie.

Everyone Stay Calm

Jacquie Here.

Today is my half-birthday.

I know, I know… It’s just so exciting. Nobody freak out!! Everyone. Stay. Calm.

What am I going to do to celebrate?

Well, this morning, Jake and I attended our first La Leche League meeting. That was very exciting and informative (we actually both really enjoyed it). Then we indulged in some super healthy (wink) burgers & fries at Texas’ famous “Steak & Shake” drive-in (this last month of my pregnancy I have been craving burgers ALL the time. It’s bad).

The rest of today’s agenda includes (but is not limited to):
- Taking Nelly to the groomers to get her nails clipped
- Taking Nelly to the dog park
- Taking Nelly to meet her babysitters who will be watching her while Baby is being born

Sheesh. You’d think it was HER half-birthday.

But I may just take myself on a date to the mall later tonight, sans Nelly, and get a little treat, which most likely will be a new maxi skirt. ‘Cause, let’s be honest, that’s all I ever want to wear these days.

Well, this post was pretty much pointless, but I just really wanted you to know the super important news about today being my half-birthday and all.

That is all.

Love,
Jacquie.

Cara Box Reveal

Jacquie Here.

A little while ago, I mentioned that I had signed up to be a part of August’s Cara Box Exchange hosted monthly by Wifessionals, and how it was something I normally wouldn’t do, seeing as I hardly hold a candle to the big “blogger” world.

I’m here to tell you it went well!

I’m really glad I decided to participate. It gave me the opportunity to get to know two lovely ladies and make new blogger friends (pretty much like pen pals, but better) AND get some fun goodies out of it! Basically how it works is, everyone who signs up is assigned two different ladies to get to know via blogstalking- one who you will send a box to, and one who will be sending you a box. The boxes typically go around an assigned theme and are supposed to contain a number of items that you hand-select for the blogger that you think they would enjoy based off of what you’ve learned about her. It’s fun because it all kind of goes full-circle by the end of the exchange.

I got to send a box to Emily, who blogs at The Newfangled Housewife. She writes about life as a military wife and stay-at-home mom of a cute, toe-headed two-year-old named Michael. She also posts lots of really tempting recipes for healthy baked goods! Can it get any better? I love-love-LOVED getting to know Emily by reading through her blog (and going wayyy further back into her blog archives than I originally intended to!). She is such a genuine lady, and her sweetness really shows through in her writing. As we’ve been emailing back and forth, it’s been fun to get to know each other beyond what we’ve read on each others’ blogs and we’ve become virtual pen-pals. To see what I sent Emily, check out her reveal post.

As far as what was sent to me by Kristine over at The Foley Fam….

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I was so excited when my box FINALLY* showed up at my doorstep!

*Poor Kristine had to go through way more trouble than she should have to get that darn box to me (So sorry, Kristine!)… It just so happened that we were moving a few apartments over right when she was trying to send the first box, and that box ended up completely disappearing off the face of the earth, along with the tracking number. She was sweet enough to do a new box ALL over and re-send it! The mystery remains as to where that first box ended up, but I like to think someone out there who really needed it is enjoying whatever was in there! Haha.

There’s no doubt she did her homework by reading my About Me section to learn that my favorite color is green! I’m pretty excited to try out the green nail polish she gave me, once I can reach my toes again. She’s obviously a psychic, because somehow she also knew that I have a serious obsession with tumbler cups (or any cup-like vessel that comes with a straw). This one will be a wonderful addition to my collection. And I was so excited that she included a little something (TWO little somethings, actually) for Baby! That was so sweet of her!

Go check out Kristine and read about her adventures as the mommy of two realllllly precious little girls (who totally remind me of Lilo, from Lilo & Stitch!) and all the fun things they do. And if you’re interested in reading about HER Cara Box experience, and following the circle around, here’s her reveal post.

And if this doesn’t make you want to join in on this Cara Box fun for the next round, I don’t know what will!

Love,
Jacquie.

Nothing That Has To Do With Anything III

Jacquie Here.

Jake and I ate an entire pan of dinner rolls last night. It’s not the first time something like that has happened, and we’re not even ashamed. One time, we were invited over to dinner at the home of Jake’s good family friends. Their mom is known for her amazing homemade dinner rolls. As Jake and I were walking back to the car after dinner, I turned to him and said, “Don’t tell anyone, but I had SIX of those rolls during dinner. With butter”. He laughed and said, “ME TOO!”. It was then it occurred to us that we had eaten an entire DOZEN dinner rolls between the two of us, in one sitting. If you’ve ever had Carol Tingey’s rolls, you know… They’re just so irresistible. And that is why I haven’t yet asked her for the recipe. Dinner rolls will be the death of us.

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I’ve recently implemented actual meal-planning in our household. This means that I actually wrote out what I am going to cook for dinner every night from now until baby comes, and I went to the grocery store and intentionally bought everything I will need for those meals. So far, for the week and a half I’ve been following it, it’s been going great! I always thought meal planning was a hoax for some reason. I thought no one actually made it work. But I’ve been proven wrong. It’s been nice to not have to think of ideas for dinner and already have it all laid out for me with the ingredients I need and everything, especially because I have been SO tired. I also am pretty proud of myself for intentionally making meals that are freezable and making lots of extras to freeze and have when baby comes/I no longer want to cook. *Patting myself on the back*

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So, Victoria’s Secret stopped making my favorite bra (the BioFit Demi, in case you care). This really gets my panties up in a wad (pun intended, I’m funny!) because…. Now what? My current BioFit no longer fits due to pregnancy reasons, so I had the associates there try to help me find something that would be “the most similar”, but they were no help at all. There really is nothing like it, and why they stopped making The World’s Best Bra is beyond me. I had to resort to getting a demi from the PINK collection, and while it is quite nice (and much less expensive), I still am mourning the loss of my beloved BioFit. I hope to pass it on to my future daughters as a vintage family heirloom in remembrance of the way bras used to be. Just kidding. Also, fun fact: I worked at Victoria’s Secret for a year while I was in college. “Welcome to Victoria’s Secret! Would you like a free measurement and bra consultation?”

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Is it just me, or is the produce section in the grocery store (especially “health food” stores like Whole Foods, Sprouts, etc) just so beautiful to look at? I love all the colors and the way they set up the carrots and squash all in a perfect line. I always save the produce section for last during my grocery trips because, A.) I don’t want so squish my produce under other stuff, and B.) the “save the best for last” rule applies. Also, if you’ve ever been to Pike Place Market in Seattle, their long span of farmers’ produce is so aesthetically pleasing! Something about seeing colorful fruits and veggies in a beautiful array makes me all sentimental. I NEEEEED to have a garden.

See what I mean? Beautiful.

See what I mean? Beautiful.

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I’ve come to the conclusion that Nelly‘s favorite musical artist is Modest Mouse.  When I’m doing things around the house, I like to listen to Spotify, and the other day’s artist of choice was Modest Mouse. Well, what do you know, Nelly went right over to the table where the speakers were playing “Float On”, sits herself down, and stays right there for the entire song, just staring at the speakers in wonderment. You should know, she never does this. And now we jam out to Modest Mouse on our drive to the dog park almost every day. We’re cool.

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How cute is this picture of us FaceTime-ing our niece, Kendy last night? I can’t believe she’s already two! Not much longer until we can no longer call her “our favorite niece”! My sister-in-law Caitlin was due with her baby girl (and our soon-to-be-second-niece) last Sunday, so any day now! (So many babies!!!)

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Today, we are officially two weeks away from our due date! I still cannot wrap my head around the fact that we are going to have another human around for permanent in a matter of days! Some ladies who are due AFTER me have even had babies already! What? Jake laughs at me because lately, I’ve been getting all sentimental about everything I do, wondering if it may be the very last time I do it as a childless person. This morning, I changed the toilet paper roll in the bathroom and said to him, “Aww! We might not even get to the end of this very roll of toilet paper before the baby gets here!” and now I realize why he laughs at me. (Also, chances are we will probably go through multiple rolls of toilet paper before he gets here, considering I wake up to pee approximately 5 times every night now).

Love,
Jacquie.

It Hurts To Admit, But I Love That Dumb Dog

Jacquie Here.

How did our little chocolate chunk go from this:

BabyNelly

To this:

LittleNelly

To this?

MediumNelly

I don’t know how it happened so fast! In May, when we got her, she was just a little 10-pound ball of brown squish with whiny, nippy habits (see first group of photos). Then she became a feisty little beast who didn’t want to do anything we said and had attitude with us ALL. THE. TIME (see second group of photos). Then, suddenly, she turned into a big girl. A really good big girl who weighs over 40 pounds (see third group of photos). How did that happen so fast?? As much as I sometimes miss the cute squishy, rolley-polley phase, she and I are getting along much better now that she’s grown into herself a bit.

In the past 4 months, I have learned a lot.

We had a rough start, Nelly and I. After the initial cuteness wore off,  I was not very tolerant of her potty accidents, her nighttime whining, her stinky smells, or her slobbery “kisses”.  I was NOT a dog person. Not even a little bit. But I pretended and tried to be. The move to Texas was not a fun one for me, having to share the front seat of our jam-packed car with that little stinky animal who cried the whole 20+ hours of driving.  And once we got settled into our new home and Jake would leave us alone together all day to go to work, I really began to hate her. Hate is a strong word, but I really did for awhile there.

I hated working around her schedule, I hated cleaning up her gross messes, I hated that my whole house was being taken over by dog, I hated having to pull things out of her mouth that she shouldn’t have been chewing on, I hated having to apologize for her when she’d jump on people’s kids while out walking. I hated having to repair parts of the house that she chewed up and destroyed. I hated doing those things all for a creature that I didn’t love. I tried not to talk about it too much, because I didn’t want to hurt my husband’s dog-loving heart, but I would send my friends texts about how much this dog was ruining my life. I would get really angry with her and cry about ‘why do we have a dog??’. I threw some pretty serious fits (I’m sure being pregnant and emotional had a lot to do with it). But I was seriously unhappy.

I considered driving her somewhere and letting her out of the car, then driving away. I considered giving her to the first person who told me how cute she was while on a walk. I considered a lot worse things too…. But Jake loved that stupid puppy so much, I couldn’t bear the thought of seeing him so heartbroken. So I persevered. Not very happily, but I did nonetheless. He kept saying it’d get better, that it’d be worth it. I never believed him. All I knew was, by the time I turned 35, natural causes would take her and I could be done. I was NEVER going to be a dog person, that was that.

But slowly, as we pushed through all the hard times and figured out how to co-habitate in only 700-square-feet of space, something began to change. We began to understand each other, she and I. She began to listen to and respect me, and I began to see her as a real, living thing with feelings and a pretty cute personality. Somehow, my rock-solid, dog-hating, never-gonna-change heart went soft and I found myself being kind of glad to have her around. I found myself happy to have another body around during Jake’s long work days, even if that body has scratchy claws and doesn’t speak English. I found myself glad to have a reason to get out of the house, even if it meant going to the dog park and hanging out with more smelly dogs. I found myself wanting to go out into the living room in the middle of the night just to check on her and look at her while she’s sleeping and calm, and maybe get some good pets in while she’s still sleepy and isn’t trying to wrestle me. I found myself saying things like, “Oh my Nelly, I love you, Pup”. The first time that happened, I almost swallowed my words, ‘what are you thinking? You don’t love her! You hate her, remember?’. But then I just went with it.

And it hurts to admit, but it turns out it’s true… I love that dumb dog.

Never in a million years did I ever think I would say those words, but Nelly and I… We’re buddies.

You should know that it took approximately twenty thousand tries to get her to take this selfie with me, as well as numerous bribes. That's why she looks so serious. She's really focused on the treat.

You should know that it took approximately twenty thousand tries to get her to take this selfie with me, as well as numerous bribes. That’s why she looks so serious. She’s really focused on the treat.

She better be nice to her new baby brother when he gets here. Any advice on preparing a 6-month-old puppy for a newborn baby?

Love,
Jacquie.