The First Little Eklove

This old girl has been an Eklove for almost 10 years.  Tonight is her last night with us.  It's been a long, good journey for all of us.  Rewind ten years ago and Jeff and I were newlyweds living in an apartment that didn't allow dogs.  Jeff's Dad owned the apartment….and I guess I decided to start testing the unconditional love of family early on - because about three months after we got married we started searching for a dog.  The first time Jeff and I went to the shelter we came home empty handed.  And full of tears (on my end….I have to clarify….Jeff is the rational one).  He reminded me that we could go back the next week to look again.  And the next time we went as soon as we saw her, we knew.  She was the one.  Her name was Jill and it only took us five minute to pick her new name - Autumn Louise Eklove.

She was a spoiled rotten dog for two years before we rocked her world (and ours) with Addison.  She went everywhere with us and she was a good pup.  When we brought Addison home from the hospital she was a bit miffed.  She basically ignored Jeff and I for the first six months of Addison's life.  She quickly abandoned her spot on our bed and slept in front of the crib every night.  Over time, she returned to her spot on our bed - but we would often find her getting down to check both of the girls bedrooms and "doing the rounds".

Autumn has some funny traits.  She will 'pre bark'.  It's not quite a bark but she will quietly let us know she is talking to us.  She literally eats her own paws when she gets anxious.  Get that, the therapist's dog is literally a cutter.  She has also decided in the last two years that she is allowed on the sofa.  We just came home one day and there she was.  And since then she's never once made an effort to hide it from us.  She carries her leopard print stuffed bone around like it's a baby and she will lay on her back with her paws on the air just because she can.

The last few weeks have been exceptionally hard.  She has become older and older, but she has also become sick.  She has a growth that the vet can't do anything about.  Her kidneys and liver aren't functionally properly and there's not much we can do for her.  It's been such a tough call because she has days where she is her old, crazy, energetic self.  On Easter Sunday she snuck away, rolled in the mud in the creek and chased about 20 wild turkeys and 5 deer out of the yard and came trotting up to us, with mud spraying everywhere.  She looked like her puppy self.  However, the next day - she never moved off the couch.

She has taught our girls so much.  Before age 3 Addison took responsibility for feeding Autumn.  And we've spent three years trying to teach Olive to watch where she's walking.  Olive steps on Autumn.  Every day.  It's almost as if there are magnets in Olive's feet that pull her to Autumn.  But most importantly, she has taught these girls how to love unconditionally.  Explaining the loss of Autumn to Addy and Olive has been heart wrenching - but they have also, had the privilege of loving her.

She's a good dog, and she deserves the right ending.  I am so thankful that God has given us the time to prepare the girls, to love and spoil this puppy and to get ready for tomorrow.  It's not going to be easy.  But loving her sure was, and always will be.

See you someday Autumn, we'll meet you at Rainbow Bridge.


...remember that time....

....that I was going to have an ovary removed?  True story.  It was last Friday.  I have known that I needed to have this done for about two months.  I put it off as long as I felt I could, and as long as my surgeon would let me.  So, last Friday, with my hubby and mother in tow....we waited - over three hours while the surgeon was running behind.  I remember the tears of relief that rolled down my face as they administered some pain meds for the massive headache I had and being wheeled back to the Operating Room.  I vaguely recall the starburst of lights overhead in the OR - but other than that the next thing I remember is the nurse in Recovery stating that I was staying overnight - to which I clearly recall becoming somewhat belligerent yelling that I was going home and sleeping in my own bed.

Then....I remember being in a room, and Jeff and my mom telling me that I still had both ovaries, because there was not a mass on my ovary.  At this point, I might have become a bit more belligerent.  However, Mom and Jeff are the only ones who could attest to that.  I went through cancer screenings, ultrasounds and the decision making process about how to handle this procedure....leave the ovary, or take it.  Only to find out....there was no mass.  There was at one point...but not last Friday.

I have been irritated about many things.  That I am sore and tired for no particular reason.  That we didn't do a physical examination before surgery.  That I had a dream two weeks before the procedures that there was no mass.  That I was scared about cancer and other things that I didn't need to be for weeks.  That I am going to pay a small fortune (think family vacation) for this procedure.

And I have these thoughts have rotated, marinated and rolled around in my head.  And it has taken me almost a week....but this is where I am.

I don't have cancer.  I don't have a mass.  And there could be worse ways for this to have turned out.  There are plenty of people who don't have great stories about no masses and generally good health.  It's all good, and I'll take it.


Reason #485 I love Pinterest

Fresh Bread.  It's pretty much as simple as that.  I have been wanting to start making fresh bread, rather than purchasing the loaves at the store that tend to be packed with preservatives and high fructose corn syrup.  I know that if I were home everyday I would be the kind of lady who made myself batty by trying to make as much from scratch as I possibly could.  I would probably be more tired than I am now, working.  However, I love my job, and I don't have any intention of fully becoming the natural home-maker I have the potential to be.  So.....when I found a recipe on Pinterest that made making fresh bread look easy, I was hooked.

So, tonight for dinner, with our chicken taco soup....we will be feasting on Jalapeno Cheddar bread.  I just pulled it out of the oven and it looks and smells amazing....we will see what my three taste-testers say tonight!

It really was super easy....I mixed the dough last night, let it proof overnight, and then rolled it and baked it this afternoon!


A Gift.

Tonight I am thankful for a gift.  From a stranger.  I know that it is at someone else's loss, which makes it bittersweet.  However, God has perfect timing, He is a healer and a giver.  We found out this evening that my Uncle who has been long awaiting a kidney/pancreas transplant, has organs.  I am prayerful that everything goes smoothly.  I pray that the doctors have steady hands and are sharp minded and well rested.  I am thankful for what we have in this moment  



Mr. Masters

I am incredibly proud of my husband. He has worked hard and today we celebrated the completion of his masters degree. He's a smart kind of guy, and I am lucky to be able to call him my Mister. We, together, are lucky to have the system around us that supported him and us through this. Dear God, thank you for perseverance, hard work and celebration! Amen!



I so thankful for today. The fact that I have it is a gift. I think I sometimes forget to remember that. I am going to spend time with my loveys today. We have a few things to get done but visiting with some specials is on the list! Nicki and Drew are in town and NANA AND PAPA ARE HOME! We are so blessed with this beautiful life! Amen.


Day 47???- catch up!

It's been almost a week since I posted! I haven't gone that long between posts since 2010! However, today there are two things I am exceptionally grateful for. My big kid learned how to tie her shoes. We worked on it for about 3 minutes yesterday before she got incredibly frustrated. But when I picked her up at school today she announced to me that she figured it out! I am so proud of that peanut. Also, today at noon marked the halfway point in our cleanse. Praise God! Dear Lord, thank you for your abundant blessings! Amen!


Day 470-Nama

Is awesome. She helped us out with the girls after soccer tonight so Jeff and I could attend a kindergarten meeting. We came home to two clean girls, in bed. An tomorrow she's helping again so we can look at a house and go to the swim team meeting. She's the best!

Dear God, thank you for Nama. And her willingness to help us out! Amen.