My Mother, My Friend

Weekends. We love them, work all week praying they will come sooner, and then are bummed when they’re over. That is EXACTLY how I feel right now at 9pm knowing I need to be up at 6:30 tomorrow for work. My mom was able to visit this weekend for the first time since Christmas last year and it was seriously the most therapeutic time for the both of us. We are both battling situations beyond our control (the unpredictability of med school is draining and Lupus sucks, to put it bluntly) and spending a weekend together was the therapy that we needed to refresh our outlooks on life.

We ate lots of Chinese food. We baked cookies and proceeded to eat almost all of them within 12 hours. We went thrift shopping until the little bit of cash in my wallet was gone. We took our dogs to the humane society where they were adopted to show them off to the workers who so diligently loved and cared for them until they came to their forever homes. We did yardwork and for the first time I actually enjoyed it; thank you mom for buying me gardening gloves that fit and pruning shears I so desperately needed. We hiked 7+ miles and enjoyed views so beautiful that it’s hard to believe they were real. Most importantly, we laughed. When life hits and you get depressed to the point of simply going through the motions, it can be so hard to remember what happiness feels like.

Go outside. Breathe fresh air. Hug your cat, walk your dog, or do both if you have five pets like I do. Call a friend. Exercise. Take a bath. Hug a loved one. Do something that makes you smile. For me, seeing the struggles my mother endures daily as someone who suffers from Lupus makes me admire her even more. Spending time with her this weekend made us both smile again, and for that I’m eternally grateful.


My mother, my friend.


Formerly unwanted and now forever loved pups!


They adore her too 🙂


View from Blue Bend Recreation Area


Mother’s Day 2017 Thoughts

Mother’s Day. It’s a special day honoring the women whose love and influence has shaped us into who we are today. This is my mother, the strongest woman I know. She is a business owner (shameless plug here), lover of the outdoors, and has taught me the importance of loving animals. She has always been the perfect balance of friend and mother, and if I can someday be half the mother she is, I’ll consider myself a good parent. I’m so grateful to have had her support over the years, including my MSW graduation THREE years ago today.


Bottom line: Treasure the time you have with your mother, because only when you move away will you realize how much having her close by was so wonderful.

Mother’s Day can also be a very rough time for those who have either lost their mothers or desire to be one and it hasn’t happened yet. It is easy to feel alone when you’re scrolling Facebook and see everyone’s Mother’s Day posts. You know what?

You’re not alone.

There is someone else out struggling just like you are.

More often than not, someone has endured a hardship and kept silent about it.

Lastly, stop scrolling.

On this particular Mother’s Day, I was fortunate to be surrounded by my husband; my church family; lunch with neighbors who took us under their wing and act as surrogate parents; and my fur babies, all five of them.


This dog has the good life.


So content in her special spot.


So many personalities in these felines.


Until the time comes for me to be a mother, I will savor every moment of my fur baby motherhood and always cherish those who have made a difference in my life: My own mother, my grandmothers I lost too soon, and my mother-in-law. Thank you for all that you are to me. I love you.

A Real Life Venting Session

Has there ever been a week that just 100% kicked your butt and you thought, “This is just a really bad nightmare and I’ll wake up, right?” This week was that nightmare, and I am so thankful it’s over. Don’t get me wrong; there are some weeks that are difficult, but this took the cake. Let me start off with what happened nine days ago to give you the full effect.

As stated in my Thanksgiving post, Leia got ahold of an umbrella and chewed off half the plastic handle. She spent 48 hours at the vet (including Thanksgiving Day) and we weren’t sure if surgery would be necessary or not. Thankfully, she was able to pass the plastic pieces and had to be on a specific gastrointestinal diet for three days before allowing her to eat her regular food again. That Royal Canin food is not only expensive, but stinks too. So glad we don’t need to another can of that anytime soon… My husband and I have been watching her closely over the past week and are fairly certain the worst is over. I’m glad to have my precious pittie back to normal.


My brother and his wife, along with their dog, Gavin, came to visit Friday into Saturday, and we had a wonderful time. They have been to West Virginia to visit three times since we moved here and it has been cold and gloomy every single time. We are clearly terrible at planning trips to see each other. We took a trip to Beartown State Park for a hike, saw Dr. Strange in theaters (Benedict Cumberbatch is equally as hot as Dr. Strange as he is Sherlock, fyi), spent some time enjoying Small Business Saturday, and basically just caught up after not seeing each other for five months. Even though PA really isn’t that far away, it’s just enough time and distance that it’s too much for a day trip and not quite enough for a short plane ride. My brother has always been one of my best friends, and thankfully for me, his wife is the sister I never had.


Beartown State Park



A man and his faithful companion.


Family is everything.

When Monday hit, I was already exhausted from the busy weekend and dealing with a sick pup. I should have known the week would hit me like a ton of bricks! For starters, Matt began his month long pediatrics rotation. Although he’s having a good experience, the hours are long and like the beginning of every rotation, it’s a new place to get used to. My car had to have the torque converter replaced in my engine, and thank heavens for extended warranties. Shout out to my dad for making sure I had one because I got my car checked out at 97,656 miles and my warranty ended at 100,000. Talk about luck! The dealership is an hour away, so I missed work and spent four hours alone driving taking care of the vehicle. Now Matt’s car is acting up and has to go to the garage on Monday. Jerking him back and forth with loss of power is not something I want to mess with when he drives an hour to and from rotations every day. Ever heard of being car poor? Well, over the past nine days, I’ve realized that it’s possible to be car poor, pet poor, AND medical school poor at the same time. I swear, if we didn’t have a savings account, we wouldn’t be eating for the next two weeks. Has it been a full moon?! It rained for two days straight, and that combined with the sudden change in temperature, caused me to experience a nasty sinus infection that resulted in an Urgent Care visit for treatment. For real, those infections are nothing to mess with either.

Despite all this, I’m trying to think positive because, at the end of the day, I live in a nice little house, have an amazing marriage, and a job I enjoy with the best coworkers. Oh, and I am a rescue mama to five incredible pets who allow me to live vicariously through them. Life is good, and it’s important to remember that always.

“When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.” Psalm 94:19  



Yes, it is as cozy as it looks!



Dad’s visit to the Wild and Wonderful.

My dad has only visited our place once since we’ve been here (two years!), and with all the stress going on in his life, I’ve been trying to convince him to visit for awhile now. He arrived Thursday night around 10:30 and left Saturday at noon. It was a short visit, but I’m sure he was glad to get away. He slept in Friday morning (I took off work, so it wasn’t huge deal to do nothing for a morning) and then headed to The Greenbrier to show dad a landmark WV is proud to show off. The Greenbrier is a luxury 5 star resort in White Sulfur Springs that has been around for over 200 years. Although the decor is not exactly my taste (picture something out of That 70’s Show only with pink and green instead of orange and yellow), the place itself is stunning. There are outside activities including horseback riding, a swimming pool, gardens, and then the bunker, which is what we were mainly interested in. President Eisenhower was presented with idea of building a bunker under The Greenbrier in case of an attack in 1958 and the building took three years to complete. Although was never used to host individuals during The Cold War, it was used by the Senate and Legislative Parties for many years. It was the first bunker to be built in the United States. It was kept a secret for 30 years until a reporter leaked it to the Washington Post in 1991. Since that time, rooms are still used for activities on the premise, but as an actual bunker, the place has not changed and is not used for its designated purpose.

I am not into history and wasn’t sure what to expect during the tour. However, the tour guide was excellent and it was cool to see something to historic and meaningful. Dad was fascinated by the old equipment used to do the cooking and the electronic equipment that would have been used to communication in case of an emergency. He was extremely impressed with The Greenbrier and had a wonderful time. The links to the Greenbrier and the bunker tour are below if you would like more information about them.

Matt was home by 5:00 and then after a quick haircut, the three of us went to Bellacino’s for pizza. Now my dad has been in the restaurant business for a LONG time and it’s hard to impress him when it comes to cooking. (He called my homemade chicken dry!) He LOVED Bellacino’s Chicago Style pizza, which says something. We then picked up a huge tub of popcorn at the local movie theater and rented My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 at Redbox. It was hysterical, so hysterical that Matt and I went out the next day and bought it. In case one were to ask, yes, I am proud to be Greek 🙂

Lastly, we took him the Dutch Haus restaurant (located at our two terminal airport) for Saturday morning breakfast. He was, again, impressed with the food, which made us happy because we love the restaurant. If you haven’t been there, go. They use local free-range meat and eggs and take time in their cooking. Sometimes too much time, but the food is fantastic. Dad left right after lunch to head home to his bistro in PA and although the visit was short, I’m sure it was much needed for him. Thanks for coming dad; hope you had a wonderful time!!!

PS-In the middle photo, he’s loving all over Miner and Leia. There’s something special about puppy love!!!!