To say that the last couple of weeks have been exhausting would be an understatement. Raising a puppy and a toddler at the same time was a much larger task than I had mentally prepared myself for and downtime is currently a thing of the past.  I’ve found myself going full blown embarrassing stress attack mode over things such as: the dog playing too aggressively with my sons favorite/irreplaceable stuffed animals… the dog and my son tumbling each other all over my feet as I’m trying to make dinner… the dog biting holes in about 6 pairs of my son’s socks. All should really just be slightly annoying occurrences throughout my day, and yet each one has just…been…GETTING to me. At one point I even turned to my husband and said “I am confident that this is how people go certifiably insane”. Now you’re probably thinking to yourself “dang, this girl is dramatic”. Welp, I would have to agree with you. And yes, I know I signed up for this the moment I decided to bring a puppy into our home. That being said… each incident built up and up and up and my amount of sleep was less and less and less. NOT a good combination to say the least.

As all of this has been going on, I’ve been so caught up in my stress and exhaustion that I have not once sat down and thought about all that I have to actually be thankful for. I live my life by the motto that you will receive back the positivity and good vibes that you send out into the universe. Every day (usually while doing chores) I take about five minutes to simply think about all that I have to be grateful for and thank our higher power for everything I have been blessed with. So, not having done so in a while, there’s nothing like Thanksgiving to bring me back to earth and slap me in the face with a big ol’ serving of grateful pie (does that even make sense?).

I’m thankful to have a roof over my head, but beyond that, to have such a beautiful roof over my head (although the actual roof itself is covered in pigeon poop usually). I’m thankful for a husband who takes care of me and our son in a way that is beyond the wildest dreams that I could have ever envisioned for my future. I’m thankful for my son, his good health, and his loving spirit. I’m thankful for a fridge that is always full of my favorite foods and a pantry that never runs dry. I’m thankful for the many loving family members that we are surrounded by who love us so incredibly selflessly. I’m thankful for Coffee Bean. I’m thankful for tacos. I’m thankful for wine and cheese, of course. I’m thankful for the many ways in which my husband’s job blesses us, from stability to traveling opportunities. I’m thankful for a functioning vehicle. I’m thankful for my education opportunities (even if this semester has been jam packed full of way too many writing assignments). I’m thankful for Bare Minerals and long baths. I’m thankful for our quality group of caring and often incredibly loud friends. I’m thankful for our pup, no matter how many pairs of socks she decides to destroy. I’m thankful for waking up every day, happy and healthy. I’m thankful for the beautiful life that I have been blessed with.  Very, very thankful. Today, every day, always.

A very happy Thanksgiving to you all.


The Whine Connoisseur





If this time last week you’d told me that I would be cuddling an eight week old German shepherd on the floor of my living room right now, I would have gotten mad at you for toying with my emotions in such a cruel way. But here we are, perfect little German shepherd puppy following us around the house and nuzzling into our laps.

Saturday morning we woke up with zero intention of finding a fur baby. We took our son to the park, just like every other Saturday, and while watching him happily interact with a dog there, my husband turned to me and said “I really think we should get Liam a dog for Christmas”. You see, we’ve been talking about this whole dog thing for a good while now, but the timing just never seemed quite right. So as he said this, I honestly thought nothing serious of it since we’d had similar conversations about a bajillion other times. Moments later, I discovered him casually searching for dogs on his phone, and of course I had to join in on the fun because it would be a total shame to let my husband stare at cute photos of puppies without me. We eventually stumbled upon a German shepherd puppy listing that grabbed our attention immediately. Within minutes, my husband was on the phone with the owner and we were on our way across town to go check out the puppy.

The entire way there, I tried to prepare myself for the worst (such as the owner not feeling that we were a good fit). But the second we jumped out of the car and walked up to the beautiful farm property that she’d been born on, i just had a feeling we would be leaving there that day with our puppy.

As we quickly learned, our pup was the last one left of the pack besides the runt, who the owners were keeping for their own family. We got to meet the mommy and daddy shepherds, were given a rundown on her early weeks of life, got to watch her play with her brother, and were told that a deposit had already been put down on her but was retracted the day prior. Some may say that we happened upon good timing, I would like to say it was puppy fate.

We named our little pup Athena right away, because 1. Having a German shepherd named after the goddess of war and wisdom is awesome and 2. Just look at her… She is a freakin goddess.

She is quickly settling into our home. She frolics around the floor playing with our son as if he is just another litter mate. She cuddles into our laps the second we sit down. She yelps the most adorable little puppy yelp if you leave the room without her even for a quick second. She shows up at the side of our bed with the best most cutest puppy face ever after waking us up to play at three in the morning (which won’t last for long since her crate is arriving Tuesday, thank goodness). She is teaching our son what it means to have to share our attention and is giving us a glimpse at how adorable and big brotherly he will be with a future sibling added to the mix. She is perfect and she is everything that we thought we would have to wait several more years to have. Welcome to the family, Athena.


The Whine Connoisseur

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