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Posts from the ‘Personal’ Category

Photographs: Rehoboth Beach and Dewey Beach Vacation

This blog post is over six months late! There has been so much going on as of late, and, consequently, I have been quite behind with editing our family photographs. I hope to eventually catch up on my editing of our family images and make our family yearbook for 2002.

This past August, we took our third trip, with our girls, to Rehoboth Beach and Dewey Beach. (You can view our first trip here; and our second trip here. And, we cancelled our 2020 trip to Rehoboth Beach due to COVID.)  Doug, fortunately, found another beach house to rent that would allow a small child and a furry family member!  We were not far from both beaches!  Alex loved the ocean and she even found little friends to play with on the beach, as she is so outgoing and social! She also enjoyed building in the sand with Doug! Alex also enjoyed using her boogie board as well, that she got at the beach last summer! Victory had a great time as well, she absolutely loves walking on the beach in the evenings, so much so, she did not want to leave the beach when it came time to leave!

We figured out a rhythm to our days, which went something like this: we woke up when Alex got us up, which was early; we all had breakfast; got our swimsuits and sunscreen on and packed up and headed to Rehoboth Beach where we stayed, and Doug walked to the Boardwalk to get our lunch each day, and we stayed until the late afternoon; then we got ourselves cleaned up and ready for dinner and we usually went to one of our two favorite places — Dewey Beer Co. or the Iron Hill Brewery; then we got Victory and we all went to Dewey Beach for a long walk, watching the sun set, which Victory always loved, along with getting ice cream; then we came home and got Alex to bed; and, then, we rested for a little bit.

We were not permitted to take Victory to Rehoboth Beach, but she could still go to Dewey Beach, thankfully!  So it worked out perfectly!  Victory has been to Dewey Beach several times before. Victory was absolutely in seventh heaven on the beach! And, Victory even let Alex walk her on the beach, again, in the evenings, shown below in the brief video! It was so sweet! We were also very fortunate for good weather on our trip.

Some images from our trip are shown below!  We are really grateful for our time away together with our girls!  We have many wonderful memories! 

Here is a video of our girls at the beach!

Happy Heart Day!

Happy Heart Day! We celebrated Valentine’s Day a little early, this past weekend, with Alex and Victory! They are quite the pair! I am so grateful for our beautiful girls!

I hope you have a great day celebrating with the ones you love.

You can view last year’s Valentine’s celebration here.

“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.” —Maya Angelou

Family Photo Yearbooks

Last year, I decided to make family yearbooks in order find a way to keep all of my favorite edited photos organized chronologically, by year, since becoming a family of four. (Printing all of the photos became too cumbersome.) However, I still print photos that I want to frame for our home. Even though it was quite a bit of work, I am so pleased that I made these family yearbooks for our family to enjoy and for Alex to have someday! I refer to these books as a “collection of life.” I used Blurb to make my family yearbooks; and I used archival matte paper with an image wrap. I made family yearbooks for the following years: 2018 – 2021, 240 pages each. In the coming months, I plan to make our family yearbook for 2022, as I am a bit behind on finishing editing family photos from 2022. I highly recommend making these books yearly, and Blurb does a really nice job, and there is a lot of flexibility to create your own templates to create and design a book that will enjoy for years to come. Most of all, it is really nice to revisit and edit the year to capture family memories all in one place, in one book! (Additionally, you can view the book I made of Alex’s preschool art, a way to preserve her artwork, here.)

Eleven Year Blogiversary!

Today is the eleven-year Blogiversary of the blog!  I can’t hardly believe it! It is extremely difficult to believe that eleven years, over a full decade, has already passed by so quickly!  The time moves so quickly, these days, and I often wonder where the time goes. Many things have changed, but some things remain the same, fortunately.  I am grateful for this little space here.

If it were not for our beloved Biscuit, I am not sure I would have ever started blogging and I know that I would not have started my long-term photography project, for which Biscuit and Victory are my inspiration.  Biscuit was such a blessing and gift to us. Biscuit permanently changed our lives in so many positive ways and he sent us our precious little rescue sheltie, Victory, who we adore and love, shown below! And, coincidentally, Victory is the same age (we suspect as she is a rescue dog) as the blog!

Thank you for reading this blog for however long or short you have been visiting!  I truly enjoy creating content for the blog to share with all of you, and I hope that you continue to enjoy visiting and reading the blog!

Thank you so very much!

One Little Word 2023: Joy

I hope you had a nice Holiday! We visited with family, we had some down time with our girls, and we got some sleep and rest, which was so nice. And, I cannot believe our little girl is turning four-and-a-half-years-old this week! She is growing in every way and she loves learning, she is incredibly creative, and she is curious about everything, which I hope never goes away!

It is a new year, which means there has been much talk about fresh beginnings. For me, I keep things simple and I select a word, an intention, for the year, and I try to really embrace the word for the year, which feels like a theme or mantra for the year.

I have reflected on my word for this year: joy.  Last year, I chose the word: present; in 2021 the word grace; in 2020 the word bliss; in 2019 the word embrace; in 2018 the word peace; in 2017 I chose relax; in 2016 I chose present; in 2015 I chose flow; in 2014 I chose trust; and in 2013 I chose the word create.  The idea of picking an intention has worked well over the past few years. 

I have nothing against resolutions (or goals, or plans, or to-do lists), but for me, I have found the most impactful way to embrace a new year is to pick a word — just one word, intention — to keep in mind.

As 2022 came to an end, I know that things were really hectic and busy in 2022, on many fronts. I want to fully embrace joy this year! We have so much to be thankful for, always, and we are looking forward to a new year together. “The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.” —Thich Nhat Hanh

For me, it is an easy reminder to take whatever small steps I can to create clarity and feel better. For anyone similarly overwhelmed by resolutions, I recommend the practice of a New Year’s Word. Plus, since it is so simple, and you can change it at any time.

Happy New Year!

Happy Pawlidays!

“I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me, they are the role model for being alive.” — Gilda Radner

Happy Pawlidays! I wanted to thank you so very much for checking in over the past year — I am very grateful.

Below is the front of our Pawliday card (the back of our card containing text is not pictured), along with our matching envelopes using little photo seals of our beautiful girls, Alex and Victory! And, unfortunately, custom stamps are still no longer permitted by the Post Office. (You can view our previous Pawliday cards: here, herehere, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here).  Sending our Pawliday card is one of my favorite parts of the Holiday season! This is my way of sharing our Pawliday card with you.  It has been an exciting year and we have so much to be grateful for. Thank you for reading this blog for however long or short you have been reading.  I sincerely enjoy creating content for the blog to share with you.

I will be taking a break from the blog to enjoy some down time with family, and I plan to be back to the blog sometime early next year, during which I will have some exciting news to share!  Meanwhile, if you are in a blog-reading mood, you are warmly invited to visit the archives — the links are shown below.  Warmest wishes to you for a safe and Happy Holidays!

Dog Related posts

Dog Rescue posts

‘Dog-Centric’ Artists Interviews

For Artists posts

Photography posts

Personal posts

Victory Related posts

Christmas Time: Visiting Santa

After a two-year hiatus, due to COVID-19, we recently took Alex and  Victory to visit Santa, an annual tradition! All went well with both of our girls during their Santa visit!  Alex was a little apprehensive to visit Santa because she viewed the photos from her last visit with Santa, in 2019, when she was in tears on Santa’s lap, but she did wonderful this year! I even found a dress in her favorite color, orange, which she loved wearing to visit Santa!

Victory, our beautiful fur girl, did very well, like always! And, of course, Santa and his helpers remembered our beloved girls, as this is Victory’s seventh time visiting Santa and Alex’s third time visiting Santa! You can see Victory’s previous trips to visit Santa: here; here; here; here; here; and here. This is the only Santa in our area that welcomes both of our girls! Victory wore her light pink monogramed cardigan sweater and her holiday burgundy velvet ruff; and Alex wore an orange jacquard dress.  All proceeds from visiting Santa are donated to a local dog rescue, a very good cause near and dear to our hearts, as Biscuit and Victory are rescues.  If you are interested, be sure to check with and visit your local pet stores to see if there is a Santa in your area that specializes in furry family members!

A few images from Victory’s and Alex’s third visit together with Santa are shown below along with images of Victory with Santa from the previous six years!  The time really does fly by too quickly!  We are so grateful for our fur girl, Victory!

Below is Alex’s letter to Santa that she recently made!

Below is a video from Alex’s recent Christmas program at school.

Below are images from Victory’s seven visits to see Santa: 2014 – 2022 (excluding 2020 and 2021).

The girls’ visits to see Santa in 2018, 2019, and 2022. 

Pictured below is Alex in front of our Christmas tree and my parents’ Christmas tree during 2020 and 2021, since we were unable to visit Santa during those two years due to COVID-19.

Happy Holidays!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope that you have a wonderful Thanksgiving! My parents are visiting, and Alex is in seventh heaven! And, Victory is loving the chicken treats my parents brought for her, along with having more people in the house giving her treats! Victory can be quite persistent at the dinner table! She is a smart little fur girl! Our little family has so much to be grateful for this year.

Below are a few quotes that I love about this time of year. Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving!

“Showing gratitude is one of the simplest yet most powerful things humans can do for each other.” —Randy Pausch

“Gratitude is when memory is stored in the heart and not in the mind.” —Lionel Hampton

“Joy is the simplest form of gratitude.” —Karl Barth

“Wear gratitude like a cloak, and it will feed every corner of your life.” —Rumi

“Be present in all things and thankful for all.” —Maya Angelou

“The more that you practice the art of thankfulness, the more you have to be thankful for.” —Norman Vincent Peale

“Be thankful for everything that happens in your life; it’s all an experience.” —Roy T. Bennett

“To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live gratitude is to touch Heaven.” —Johannes A. Gaertner

“Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received. Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling. Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse.” —Henry Van Dyke

“Forever on Thanksgiving the heart will find the pathway home.” —Wilber D. Nesbit

“Give thanks not just on Thanksgiving Day, but every day of your life. Appreciate and never take for granted all that you have.” —Catherine Pulsifer

“There are only two ways to live your live. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other as is though everything is a miracle.” —Albert Einstein

“Appreciation us a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.” —Voltaire

“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” —Marcel Proust

Victory: A Birthday Celebration — 11 years

October 12, marked nine years since we adopted our sweet dear little Victory!  The time is going by much too quickly!  We decided to make October 12 Victory’s birthday — the day we went to Michigan and adopted our sweet fur girl.

As such, we recently celebrated Victory’s birthday marking her ninth year with us since her adoption!  This also marks five years celebrating as a ‘big sister’ to Alex!  This year, for Victory’s birthday, we did a personalized fall themed and pastel themed birthday! (As shown below, last year, we did a personalized theme and a pastel theme; two years ago pink theme with gold accent; three years we did a pastel rainbow theme with a silver accent; four years ago we did pastel theme with a gold and silver accent; five years ago we did a gold and champagne theme; six years ago we did a light pink and gold themed birthday; seven years ago we did a pink themed birthday; and eight years ago, we did rainbow themed birthday for Victory!)  For this double-digit birthday, we had another small cake made with Victory’s likeness, with a fall twist — Victory peering out of a pumpkin! It turned out beautifully! We also purchased some fun decorations and balloons, along with a light pink sweater for Victory, a tradition, in honor of her birthday!  Victory also enjoyed a Snake River Farms steak prepared by Doug, along with her very own cupcake (with no icing, of course!) Victory looked absolutely adorable and beautiful on her birthday, as always, shown below!  This is the fifth birthday that Victory celebrated with her sidekick, Alex! It is wonderful to witness their relationship blossom as Alex grows older. Alex loves giving Victory treats and hugs (with supervision!) Victory had a fun birthday and she truly enjoyed being over fed and the center of attention! I sincerely believe Victory knows her birthdays are all about her!

We are truly the lucky ones to share our lives with this wonderful, loyal, and loving being. Victory has been such a source of comfort to us all. She is always by our side, and I have enjoyed working from home full time with her since COVID. Victory has also fully embraced her ‘big sister’ role!  Victory is very attuned to her little sister and loves to greet Alex in the mornings and evenings!  It melts our hearts!  Victory continues to join us each morning and evening for play time and story time, in addition to all feedings!  We also do our best to keep Victory fully integrated in our outings as well, and we had a fun fall together with many outings together!  We are so very grateful and thankful for our Victory.  She means the world to us and we love her very much.

For Victory’s birthday, we gave her: a Snake River Farms steak; a customized Yeti water bowl with her name on it; treats; and a new light pink sweater! Additionally, Alex also made some art for Victory!

(All birthday decorations are via Sweet Lulu.)

Here is a video of the girls celebrating our fur girl, Victory!

A look back at Victory’s birthday celebrations over the years…

Here is a look back at Victory on her birthdays!

If you are considering getting a dog, I hope that you consider adopting a rescue dog.  There are so many dogs in need of a good, loving home, especially now. As shown below, Victory, a rescue, has changed so much physically and emotionally over the years since we adopted her, pictured on the left (image from Victory’s foster mom via the Michigan Sheltie Rescue).  You really can save a dog’s life, while simultaneously enriching your own life/lives. We cannot imagine not having a rescue dog in our lives!

Happy Halloween from our Rainbows!

Happy Halloween!  Halloween is one of our favorite times of the year!  We love the fall season!  This is Alex’s fifth Halloween! Victory is a rainbow this year for Halloween along with her little sister, Alex, shown below! Victory (along with Alex) was a peacock last year; Crayola red crayon two years ago; Victory (along with Alex) was Super Woman three years ago; a unicorn (with Alex) four years ago; Wonder Woman five years ago; a fifties girl six years ago; a lioness seven years ago; a butterfly eight years ago; and a ladybug for her first Halloween, nine years ago.

Here is Doug and Alex’s pumpkin, which they worked diligently on this year, shown below! Alex picked the butterfly to carve this year, but Doug did most all of the magical pumpkin work!

Additionally, here are links to other pumpkins carved by Doug: last year; two years ago; three years agofour years agofive years agosix years agoseven years agoeight years agonine years ago; and ten years ago!

Here is a short video of the lit pumpkin that Doug carved for us this year! He did a great job, as always!

Additionally, here is a look back at Victory and Alex over the years on Halloween!