I'm sure my fellow bloggers have noticed that over the past few months, I've been absent. I just needed a break for a little while to clear my head and focus on the things that were happening around me. I'm glad to say however, that my hiatus is over with now and I will be back to blogging more frequently!
Since you guys have missed out on the happenings in my life over the past 5+ months, here is a very brief summary. I will fill in more details & pictures later on!
In no particular order:
1. Jack and I are no longer together: I wish him well in life. However, I deserve more for my life than the hurtful things he subjected me to in our relationship. He refused to elevate himself, and make positive changes to improve the overall situation, so I refused to stay in a relationship that was detrimental to my well being and future. That's it in a nutshell.
2. My beloved cat, Velvet passed away in June after fighting Chronic Renal Failure for several years. I had owned her since I was a young child. It broke my heart to say farewell, but I am happy she is at peace now.
3. I moved out of my apartment when my lease was up and into a rental house recently. I LOVE IT! (Surprisingly, it was cheaper each month for a rental house, than it was for a tiny apartment...go figure! The dogs and I are loving all of the space and the lack of stairs!)
4. I brought home my new Australian Shepherd puppy back in March. Her registered name is: AKC Brake's Femme Fatale. (Her call name is "Mykelti". )She is a love bug! She is a Blue Merle with Tan & White points. She has one brown eye and one split blue/hazel eye. Since I brought her home, she has passed her puppy and beginner/intermediate obedience classes, and she is currently enrolled in Advanced Obedience classes. She will begin Agility classes soon, and is on track to become a registered therapy dog like Ranger. (I will devote an entire post to Mykelti and her pictures soon!).Mykelti has already been to one event as a "therapy dog in training" and couldn't be more well-suited for that line of work! Wish us well as we prepare for her upcoming CGC and Delta tests over the next few months!
5. Since Ranger and I passed our therapy test back in March, we have been busy going on weekly therapy visits throughout our community! We visit an adult daycare center every week; the people there are so nice! Ranger loves going on visits; he always gives out lots of kisses and makes everyone in the room smile! It absolutely makes my heart melt when I see the people we visit, smile the moment they see us walk in the door! Ranger also did the summer reading program for a local school. We loved it so much that we plan to do the year-round school program as well! It's amazing to watch children who were once fearful of reading, read to Ranger and find joy in their new found skills because they do not feel judged by him! The impact we've been able to make in our community with our therapy visits has been such an amazing blessing! I pray we are a successful team for years to come!
6. Macy , my pit bull mix, celebrated her first "Gotcha Day" on August 28th. It was a very big deal because Macy is in end-stage heart failure. She was born with several birth defects to her heart that have dramatically affected her health and will shorten her lifespan. The vets told me that she would not see her first "Gotcha Day" when I adopted her (we expected a few good weeks, maybe months at that). Sweet Macy has thrived in her new home here though, and got to share that milestone with us. It was an amazing blessing! :)
7. I got my tragus pierced on my 26th birthday; it's that little flap of cartilage near the inside of your ear). On that note, I celebrated my 26th birthday at the end of July, with my best friend, Renae. We had dinner, drinks, got my ear pierced, and saw a movie. It was so fun!
8. I recently "celebrated" the 1year anniversary of my heart procedure on August 16th. That date marked the anniversary of the complications I suffered post-op. (Phrenic Nerve Palsy, 2/3rds of my right lung is collapsed,etc.) For those of you wondering about my heart/lung issues and the surgery complications I suffered, unfortunately, there has been no improvement yet. I still go to cardio-pulmonary rehab, take my medicine, and follow the specialists orders. I do what I can physically to take care of myself and I leave the rest of it up to prayer. Hopefully one day God will see fit to restore my heart and lung function to a healthy/safe level. In the mean time, I just make the best of it and I'm thankful that things are not worse than they could be.
9. My nephew introduced me to the joys of hot air popcorn poppers! I LOVE MINE! (I just got an inexpensive Sunbeam popper from Target). I use it all of the time and like to make my own seasoning. Once you try it, you will never go back to microwaved popcorn again!
10. NARS "Wonder" lip gloss...try it, love it, buy it! It looks quite orange in the tube (I was VERY hesitant when I first tried it...I decided to be brave though and found that the color turns into the most gorgeous coral-peach shade when you wear it. It literally flatters every single skin tone I've seen it on. Try it; you won't regret it!)
11. My sister and her family moved recently as well. Unfortunately the house they moved into did not allow cats, so I took in one of theirs, Lucky to give him a home. I wasn't planning to add anymore cats to my house after my oldest one, Velvet died back in June. Lucky was too sweet to turn down though. My sister's children home-school, so since they stay with me a lot during the week, it makes me smile knowing that they still get to see their cat anytime they'd like and that he's in a safe home with me.
12. I was diagnosed with Obstructive Sleep Apnea after I had a sleep study done recently. (It was NOT a pleasant experience!). The specialists think that it relates to my decreased lung function due to the complications I suffered from my heart procedure. For now, I have to use a CPAP machine at night to help me breathe better. If my lung function ever returns to normal again, they will retest me and see if I can be taken off of the machine at night. Keep your fingers crossed that it happens soon; I'm very claustrophobic and hate having to wear a mask on my nose at night!
13. Purex Crystals (lavender): the best thing to hit my laundry room shelf in ages! The fragrance is awesome and I love how soft it makes my clothing!
14. "Rio" is my new favorite movie! I love the vivid animation and how well-made it is! I've watched it twice in the theatre and six+ times since I bought the DVD: I'm hooked!
15. I've had to deal with the stresses of my ex husband's continual harassment and stalking. I have moved 5 times since I left my abusive marriage nearly 3 years ago. It's draining and upsetting to say the least! Since he is a cop, there does not seem to be any accountability for his heinous actions either. I'm fed up, but I will not let him control my life or hurt me again! I may have to make adjustments for my safety, but I'll be damned if he will get the best of me.
16. I finally put up the family picture shelf I've always dreamed of. It is too stinkin' cute! I posted a picture of it on Facebook, but I will have to post one on here for my blogging friends!
17. I re-discovered the amazingness that is 7-Up. I am in love; I like it more than Sprite!
18. I recently had Vonage phone service installed and I have to say that I'm loving it! My new home is essentially a "dead zone" for my cell phone. As a result, I can not use my cell inside of my house without it dropping calls. Since I still have issues with my ex husband stalking me and the continued heart/lung issues, my dad insisted I get a home phone. I do not regret it! If you are in the market for a home phone, consider Vonage! (It works through your internet).
19. I'm soo excited that it's almost fall! I love that the weather is starting to cool off. Pretty soon I will complete my yearly routine of filling my place with fall-scented candles and decorating. Can't wait!!
20. Free Body Wash Alert: Ladies, the next time you're in the mall, stop by Sephora and sign up for their "Beauty Insider" club. It's completely free to join and you get free rewards (like a Kroger card.) Every year on your birthday, they give you a free bottle of Philosophy's "Happy Birthday Beautiful" body wash. (you can claim it two weeks before or after your birthday.) It's an amazing body wash, and it's completely free! I got mine this year on my birthday, and my mom recently got hers for her August birthday. All free! Ya! (It's a good sized bottle too and it smells just like vanilla cake! )