12 June 2016

Welcome Reuben!!

After a 9 month long, emotional recovery break from having a dog around the house, we welcomed our newest member of the family 2 weeks ago.  His name is Reuben and he is everything his foster mom said he would be and then some.  He's a smooth collie/lab mix, which to us means we have a great combination of super smart and trainable with playful and people-loving.  So far, that is exactly what we have experienced from him.  He has that calm nature and wants to please, with an affectionate side that is super lovable.  He has his playful times and he listens really well, although he is still learning some of the rules.  We are totally thrilled to have him here and can't wait to get him out for his first hike in the next few weeks.  Here are a few photos and videos of him playing.  It has been hard to get a lot of pics yet since we are still actively training him, so we need to be focused on him when we're interacting and not the camera, but we've managed a few good ones. 

A very special thanks to Freedom Street Rescue in Houston, TX.  Karoline and Rhonda were a pleasure to work with and it is very clear that they care so deeply about each one of the dogs in their care and are committed to finding the best match for both the dogs and the rescue families.  When we told people that we were adopting a dog from the South, many people warned us, "You have to be careful with those.  Some groups are just in it for the money and you don't know what you're going to get."  Well, Freedom Street Rescue is the epitome of "doing it right".  They put in amazing efforts to get to know each and every dog well enough to trust the matches they are making with families and we had an absolutely accurate sense of who Reuben was before we even met him.   Thank you for all the hard work you and your team do Karoline!

Another shout out to Greg from Rescue Road Trips for helping to bring our happy guy to us.  Though our meeting with him was only a few minutes in a parking lot in CT, it is immediately clear how much he cares for each dog that comes through his care and his mission is about as noble as they come.  Thank you to Greg and all the volunteers that help him along the way for transporting so many dogs to their forever families over the years.

17 August 2015

Saying Goodbye...Cooper

Earlier this month, we had to say goodbye to our dog Cooper. He would have been 11 years old this September. He ended up with a an anal tumor that couldn't be contained and we made the best decision for him and our family, but of course, it is very hard to let him go.

He was a good boy, although, as Rory reminded us when we said that..."well, he did run away from us sometimes". We had to explain to Rory that when we lose a pet, we try to focus on the happy memories with him. Kids are funny. I thought I'd post a few photos of some our happy memories. This is the photo that sold me on needing to adopt him. I couldn't pass up that adorable face. And, his first week in my house. He used to collect all his toys on the one chair he felt comfortable in. He never really played with them, he just always wanted them in one spot. Even as an old man, with his graying fur, he still maintained that puppy look about him. He was my hiking buddy and was happiest out in the woods with his family. When Bev and her cat Audrey moved in, Audrey quickly took charge and provided Cooper with a true sibling relationship, full of snuggles, bullying, sharing, torturing and loving. They used to switch beds. We were never really sure if he was afraid to ask her to move or if he was just being a gentleman about it, but he looked ridiculous curled up in her tiny cat bed. He still chose to sleep in that one even long after Audrey was gone. And of course, he loved his boys. He was about as nervous as they come in the beginning, cowering in my closet all day long for the first 3 weeks I had him and even after he warmed up to me, he'd still take off and hide whenever someone new was in the house. But when Rory was born his whole attitude shifted. You could always tell he was still nervous, but he felt like he had to be brave for that baby. He would sit near him, even when other people were around. He never wanted to leave the baby out of sight, despite every bone in his body yelling at him to go hide. By the time Jordy came into our lives, he was used to putting on his brave face for visitors and he loved the attention those boys gave him. We are happy for him to be free of his pains and to reunite with Audrey. He was so well loved and will be missed by everyone.

17 April 2014

Spicy pickles!

Jordy decided that he really wanted to try one of our homemade spicy pickles. Overall I think he liked it, but he did spit out the skin. 

Helping hands

My little guys are such big helpers these days. Rory is in full on gardener mode helping Bev start the tomato seeds. 

Jordy has been very good at doing laundry. 

Group shot!

24 December 2013

Christmas Eve - Traditions

As the 4 of us sit in our pajamas, in our own house, with the Christmas tree lit and a few special presents on the table to open, I look at the excitement in our 4 year old's eyes and watch our 1 year old bopping around from toy to toy as happy as can be. We realize that what we are doing will be wonderful and magical no matter what. What we are doing this year is committing fully to the evolution of Christmas traditions. Last year, with a 9 day old baby at home, our Christmas fell out of the pattern of traditions for obvious reasons. We didn't travel at all. We managed to make it special for Rory and we got the best present of all in Jordy being born. We did have some family visit around the holiday, but it was definitely different than our past Christmases. It was easier to accept last year. I was in a hormonal haze and we were all sleep deprived enough not to mind the calm of being home with just our immediate family, including Grannie. It was the right decision for our family and for Jordy as new to the world as he was. This year, those changes are hitting a little harder. We knew what we had done the past few years before Jordy was born was unsustainable. As our family grew and we settled into a life that was hours away from each of our families, it was going to be impossible to see everyone that we love on Christmas day. We tried to get the best of both worlds 2 years ago by travelling the 2.5 hours down to Massachusetts for my family's Christmas Eve party, then putting Rory in the car to sleep on the drive home, rushing back after midnight to try to get everything set for Santa to visit and then being home for Christmas. It was just too much, for everyone, and it didn't feel like the right way to fit it all in. And as some of you might remember, it was also the year that Rory brought the stomach flu to everyone for Christmas...another clue that it just wasn't meant to be. So, we decided to make the shift to staying home on Christmas Eve and starting a new tradition of letting the kids open 1 gift on Christmas Eve, and that gift will be a Christmas movie, that we can all sit and watch, with popcorn and hot cocoa and have a relaxing Christmas Eve in our own house. We will go from spending Christmas Eve with over 50 people, to spending it with just the 4 of us. The thought of missing the Christmas Eve party at Carol and Buck's house makes my heart heavy. I will miss seeing so many family and friends in one place. I'll miss the chaos, the raucous laughter coming from every room in waves as stories are told and retold and people mingle and kids get silly with the excitement of the night. I'll miss the noise, the sounds of so many people taking time to just relax and have fun and enjoy and appreciate each other. You can feel it in the energy of the air at that party. It's love. It's Christmas magic. It's loud and wild and overwhelming, and I love every second of it. But I also love the idea of waking up Christmas morning in our own house, in Maine, our chosen home; watching the kids come down the stairs and see the bounty that Santa brought with the shimmer in their eyes that only the magic of Christmas can bring. I love the idea of not having to spend half of our day in the car, like we used to have to do...and of actually getting to sit down and enjoy a Christmas dinner instead of just missing it at every house we went to, which used to happen all too often to us as we tried to hit all of the stops we wanted to hit on Christmas day. I wouldn't change a thing about the way Christmas was for us the past 3 decades, but we do have to accept a change for our kids. Change is hard. We all know that, but I find that people are particularly attached to holiday traditions, which makes them all that much more difficult to change. Even our favorite parts of traditions have to evolve at some point. New babies join us. New loves become part of the family. We outgrow houses and have to shift traditions. New loves also mean we have to share our loved ones with other families. Families move away and can't get back for every holiday. People pass on and become part of the traditions in spirit only. Change happens. The best we can do is embrace it and try to guide the changes that we do have some control over to best reflect the needs and values of our family. It doesn't mean we have to change everything. We will always say "ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh, my side, my side" every time we drive by Christmas lights on someone's house; we will always see all the people the we love, but it might have to be a different weekend than the day that Christmas falls on. There are new traditions that I hope will stick, like a holiday party with our group of college friends where we do a yankee swap for the adults and a secret santa type swap for the kids and feast on yummy food and have a few drinks. We are spending time this Christmas day with friends who are like family, who live close by. Hopefully we can do that most years. Perhaps this movie night on Christmas Eve will stick, or perhaps we'll start our own Christmas Eve party, like Carol and Buck did almost 30 years ago and someday our boys might be nostalgic about these new traditions that they've known for most of their lives. We need to to focus on a few of our favorite things and make sure we incorporate those. We need to keep the memories of traditions that we've moved on from in our hearts and recapture the happy feelings that they brought us in new ways, but always appreciating the old ways. So while you enjoy your holidays and participate in traditions, old or new, remember that change can be healthy and it's okay to mourn the loss of old traditions while still embracing the excitement of new ones. Although we know it's not the same as getting to see the kids in person, we thought some people would like to have a bit of their laughter and presence in their day this Christmas. The attached video link is long, and we won't be offended if your Christmas day is too busy to watch the whole thing, but it will be here for when you do find yourself with 17 minutes to check out some of the fun our boys had this year. Who knows...maybe this video recap will become a new Christmas tradition too. Please keep in mind that we just decided last minute to throw this together, so if the time we spent together this year or a special event was not captured, it was not intentional. Next year we will try to start it earlier to make sure we don't miss anything, but we all know how that goes. :) Love to you all and Merry Christmas!! here's the video password to watch the video is rory