The tall, skinny palm trees along the coastline are my absolute favorite; I think they have their own quirky sense of character. I’m still in awe that these surround us everywhere here every single day.
Whoa. I can hardly believe that we have already been living in California for a month and a half now. SO many things have happened in just a month and a half! I have been meaning to write since we got here and just haven’t quite found the time to do so yet (but I update Instagram frequently with #stltosocal adventure updates so feel free to follow me there!) I started my job out here with an amazing University of California school a week after we arrived. So thankful for the way that God has provided for us on this journey. There are definite reasons as to why we are here. We’ve both been busy with our jobs and spending any and all free time exploring all things Southern California. And let me tell you. There is so much to explore in Southern California. We still haven’t quite finished unpacking yet either, but when you’re across the country in a brand new place exploring so many brand new things, that tends to fall lower on the list, even for the perfectionist. Enjoying what we can of this adventure is what’s most important right now. (I never even got to share our full travel story with you, but we left the day after New Year’s Day, drove two very long days across the country with the dogs, waited two weeks for all of our belongings to arrive and are still trying to get settled in, but hey, it’s all a part of this adventure, and it’s teaching me to let go of the things that aren’t always in my control.)
Just a few hours into our road trip from Missouri to the West Coast! Had to make a pitstop for Starbucks. Bentley and Emma did amazing on the two day trek.
Day 2 of the trip. Once we started to see signs for LA, we knew we were finally getting ‘closer.’
And once we crossed the California border we had to stop at a vehicle inspection to ensure we didn’t bring any ‘foreign objects’ into the state (just another reason why I feel like this place is a country of its own). Once we crossed the state line, we still had a long way to go. California is a massive state.
So, now to the important stuff. Everyone wants to know about California. It’s definitely quite the change from St. Louis, I will say that. It’s amazing out here, yet so different in so many ways. But do I miss home? Oh yes. The Midwest is absolutely home, and always will be so if you’re asking whether or not we will be back, the answer is definitely yes. While I don’t want to ‘plan’ too much too far ahead (and like I’ve said before, this was never particularly in our ‘plan’ either, as our plans aren’t always ours), I do know that at some point, that is definitely where we want to be. But for today? This is a fun adventure that we fully intend to take full advantage of.
Or, as I like to say, our home sweet home AWAY from home, because of course, St. Louis is definitely home.
It’s only been a little over a month, so this will change as time goes on, but in this short period of time we have already learned quite a bit about this state. The one thing that I tell just about everyone here is that I feel like California is its own country. It’s just so different and strange in a lot of ways; this state has a lot of its own quirks that I don’t fully understand, and I’m not sure that I ever will, but maybe I will start to more so as time goes on, but I’m pretty sure I will forever hold onto my Midwest ways. But a couple of thoughts right off the bat:
1. Traffic. Is. Horrible. We’re in Orange County, so we thought that maybe being a little south of LA meant that traffic would be less frequent. Wrong. A drive to work in the morning that should take me no more than 15 minutes takes an hour. Or more. I cannot seem to wrap my head around the fact that people spend so much of their lives sitting in traffic here. I don’t love that. The plus side, though, is that I use my commute to either A.) listen to podcasts, B.) listen to sermons from the Journey or C.) call my mom and dad and other family and friends so at least I am able to put all of my car time to good use.
2. I don’t see Cardinals anything anywhere like I’m so used to at home. I LOVE our Cardinals. They are of course not so well loved around here. I have spotted a couple of STL Cards license plate covers since we’ve arrived though (and I get ridiculously excited when I do!!), and I recently added a STL sticker to my car. I have so much pride over that team and refuse to ever let that go.
3. There is quite a mix of people here who are either born and raised SoCal/Orange County or who are transplants from other cities. When I meet someone who is from across the country, I instantly want to become their best friend. Everywhere I go I also find it necessary to tell everyone around me that I’m from the Midwest (not sure if I’ll ever stop sharing this fact with strangers during our time here). What I’ve quickly learned, though, (and no, I am not speaking for everyone here) is that many of the people who are born and raised here seem to take all of amazingness that surrounds them for granted, and I don’t want that to become me. Sure, there are things that are bothersome like the traffic and the higher gas prices and other little California quirks that I’m sure I will at some point share, but the fact that I drive to work and see snowcapped mountains in my rearview mirror or the fact that I can drive 5 minutes away during lunch and stare at the ocean is so surreal to me. If you know me you know my love for all things city (and yes, I am longing for that I will not lie, but luckily LA is so close), but the beauty of God’s creations that are right in front of us, in conjunction with this amazing weather, are things that I never want to lose sight of. It’s snowing back home, and here I am at the beach after church then having iced coffee outside in 75+ degree sunshine. I don’t even feel like I deserve this so I don’t want to become one who complains at 60 degrees or who sits inside during lunch or on the weekends when there’s so much to go see and do.
I’m excited to see where this adventure takes us. While I sit here with a million and one ideas and visions and dreams and goals in my mind (I swear my brain never shuts off!), I still want to work to enjoy each and every day and take this all in. Our first month and a half here has gone by so quickly, but we’ve already done so much like explore LA, hike Peter’s Canyon, visit several beaches (and even take the dogs to the beach!), visit San Diego, enjoy the Farmer’s Markets in February and so much more. So yes, although I’m currently sitting outside writing, a piece of me misses St. Louis (and of course a huge piece of me misses my family and friends) and maybe even a little bit of the snow (gasp!), but this is us today, and it’s pretty incredible. There is so much more to experience, and this is what life is all about. I think that there is something to be said about experiencing an environment and a culture so incredibly different than what we’re used to.
I had ironically found this saved in my random things box (I save a lot of random things) while we were packing. The perfect, subtle reminder.
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” – Mark Twain
The west coast is the best coast? Nah. I was conveniently wearing my favorite ‘Midwest is Best’ tee when we passed this one day and clearly had to stop to take a quick pic.
Here’s to exploring and adventure. But don’t worry, as much as I love visiting and exploring other places, the Midwest is definitely still the best. But for today, California is pretty amazing too.
(Photo taken from above Orange County as we were about to land in Santa Ana last night (not the best quality but look at that sunset and all of the city lights!). Thoughts written from yesterday’s plane ride, post actually made from cute little coffees shop marketplace thing today.) *If this post is formatted funny, I apologize in advance…sometimes these come out weird when I post from my iPad.
Last week was my last week working with The Covering House, an amazing non-profit organization in St. Louis. If you haven’t heard of The Covering House, visit their website HERE to learn more about their mission and what they are doing in St. Louis. It has been an incredible year (or just about) with this organization and group of people. The job itself has humbled me in so many ways, taught me so many things and introduced me to some truly incredible people that I otherwise would never have met. This role was such a great transition for me for so many reasons, both personally and profssionally. My last event for TCH was on Thursday evening, and although my heart felt sad to leave, I am really ready to fully focus on what the west coast will have in store. Did you miss our moving (yet again, but BIG move this time around) announcement? You can read more about it in my last post.
As I sit here on this airplane leaving home to travel to our soon-to-be new home, so many thoughts are racing through my head, as they have been for the last few months as we’ve been working through the details of making such a big life change. And boy are there ever so many details. I’m going to miss so many things about home (as in home home, St. Louis home), but gosh this is just going to be such an incredible opportunity for us in so many ways. We’ve got big goals this next week as I fly out to meet Tim in Orange County, CA. We need to find a place to live. I’ve got job interviews lined up (prayers and good vibes are so greatly appreciated). You know. Just the minor details that moving across the country entails.
I think that this whole thing is a really good challenge for me. If you know me, you probably know two things about me. I’m a perfectionist. And I’m a planner. (A blessing and a curse I tell you.) But at the same time, I crave adventure, and although terrifying, I do actually like to take risks every once in awhile and just see what happens. I say all this as I continue to mentally plan our entire next year, next five years, next ten years. Will we still be living on the west coast? Will our family finally start to grow (as in with humans)? How old will our dogs be? Will they love our future children? Where will we be working? Whoa whoa whoa. Seriously people. This is how my brain works. This can truly make someone crazy. I want so badly to take things one day at a time. I will say that right now, I have never been so unplanned in my entire life, so unknowing as to what our future holds (no home to live in in CA yet, no official moving date on the calendar (we’re looking at shortly after Christmas or the New Year as of now for those who have been asking…hoping to know for sure real soon!), and I’m currently unemployed at the moment, if you will (gasp, that sounds SO weird!). But, somehow, deep down (like really deep down here), I also feel ok. I’m freaked out, yes. But I also feel ok. Something in the back of my mind (well, basically God here) is telling me that everything’s going to be OK, and things will soon fall our way. Slowly but surely, but they will. And slowly but surely, they have been. Maybe not quite as ‘planned,’ but you get my point.
One thing that life has really taught me, especially recently, is that no matter how much we plan, there are likely other plans out there waiting for us. Just a few weeks ago, I heard this quote…I can’t remember where I heard it, but it goes like this:
“You just give up the life that is planned to get the life that has been waiting for you,” Joseph Campbell
Boom. In my face. I needed to hear that. So badly. (It’s killing me that I cannot remember where I actually heard this though…was in in church? Did I read it in one of the ten different books I’ve started in the last several months that I’ve yet to find the time to finish? Huh.) I’ve been getting small signs such as that coming my way.
So, I can sit here and plan all I want. Every single step along the way. And of course I do still think that plans and goals are good. So so good. But, I also think it’s important to go where life leads us sometimes too. Will the timing always be right? Probably not. We’ve owned our house in St. Louis for a year, and our first nephew is on his way into the world in a few short months (yay! I’m already so excited to go back home and meet that tiny new human in the spring!). But can we always let things stop us? The unknown? The what ifs? I really don’t think so. (Coming from the girl who is having an internal anxiety attack thinking about what the future may or may not hold right this very moment.) I’ve always admired the people who have the courage to make such big and exciting new changes, and I always thought at some point I too could, would, be that person, yet it always felt so far away, and I never quite knew In what capacity something like that may actually look like. And here we are.
Life is a beautiful and bold adventure. I’d be lying if I sat here and told you I’m not going to plan a dang thing anymore because, let’s just be honest here, but I am going to continue to challenge myself to take each day one day at a time and to live life for what it’s worth. I can’t wait to see what the west coast has in store for us. But in the meantime, feel free to send good vibes our way 😉
side note – I am finding that dogs can seemingly go just about everywhere around here. Bentley and Emma will love it!
another side note – again, sorry if formatting of this post is weird (it’s driving me crazy); sometimes I think that WordPress has a mind of its own…will fix when I am no longer on a mobile device.
Life sure has a way of giving us its full share of unexpected surprises, does it not? If you haven’t realized yet, we love adventure, and we value and cherish experiences above many many things. Late this summer, a new kind of adventure came our way. Tim was offered a new job opportunity that is full of potential growth for the career path that he has been dreaming of. The thing is, the job is not in St. Louis, but it’s a bit further away…like west coast further. Talk about a whirlwind of thoughts and emotions! We love our city in ways that I cannot even begin to describe, but we’ve also had a heart for wanting to explore other cities at some point too. Not just traveling to them, but living in them. Experiencing cultures and lifestyles so different than what’s comfortable to us. No, going this far from home was never really on our radar (if you know us well, you know that Chicago was definitely up there on that list), but when opportunity comes to you, you sometimes just have to take it. God is continuing to do big things in our lives and is calling us to places that I never even dreamt imaginable, but I know that he’s got big plans in store for us.
Tim officially started his new job a few weeks ago, spent some time in SoCal, and I went out to visit. He’s currently working from home for a few weeks before heading back before the holidays, then in January, we’ll officially make the move to the west coast (California sunshine in January doesn’t sound too shabby). In the meantime, I’m busy searching for the next step for my career in California. Many things are definitely so much different there than they are here, which will take quite a bit of getting used to, but this will be an experience like none other.
As the pieces of this big move slowly but surely fall into place (finding someone to rent our home, someone to replace me at my job, finding a new job, a new place to live, a new church…) it still all just feels so right. Will it be easy? No, not at all. But this is a challenge that we’re willing to take. We’ve experienced every single emotion possible (really) over the course of these last several weeks. We’re scared, we’re excited, we’re anxious, we’re overwhelmed, we’re thrilled, we can’t wait. Yes, we’ve got so much good here – our family, our friends, our church community – but we know that there’s still so much more to be explored, and this will still always be home. If there’s a time in our lives that we’re going to take advantage of an opportunity such as this, now is it. Life certainly doesn’t always go as we plan, but as I grow older and dream more and more of growing our family, I learn that it’s alright to not actually plan every single step and to just take things day-by-day (easier said than done, sure, but I’m learning). We’re going to take this next step (ahem, leap) and see where life leads. I’m certain that there are many new experiences in store. God’s seemingly working on some pretty big plans for us, and I can’t wait to see what He has in store on this next part of our journey. So instead of the Arch, the river and Tower Grove Park, our daily views will soon consist of the Pacific Ocean, palm trees and mountains. Bittersweet? Absolutely. But we can’t wait to see what else this new adventure will consist of.
Side note – I know, I’m pointing to Oregon in this photo (imagine how long it took us to get this photo), but right around where Emma’s nose is is right about where we will be living 🙂 More to come as this adventure continues to unfold. Stay tuned.
Wanderlust is a very real thing, and I’ve got it bad. We just got home from vacation last weekend and jumped right back into a very full work week this week. My family goes on vacation to Destin, FL every summer. There’s a big group of family and family friends that has been going ever since I was a little girl. I am so grateful for the opportunity to get to do this. For the opportunity to spend a week away, to spend quality time with family, to have this view right in front of our eyes when we wake up every morning and sit out on the balcony eating breakfast while listening to the sound of the waves crashing and the sea gulls soaring by.
Each day is is filled with a very subtle schedule of walking on the beach, sitting on the beach, enjoying a drink or two and going out to dinner. A schedule like this for an entire week is something that I am far from used to. This vacation, more so than most, has made me realize more and more the importance and beauty of what surrounds us, what truly lies right in front of us. It’s so hard to unplug in today’s say and time. I try to, I really do. I’ve done a social media free weekend , and it was amazing. When Tim and I went on our honeymoon to Jamaica four years ago we locked our phones in the safe and didn’t even turn them back on until we got back in the U.S. I didn’t miss my phone one bit. But now, even with an out of office reply, I can’t help but still consistently and obsessively check emails and check all of the social media business pages that I manage (this is really important regardless, in my opinion). I want to make sure that I’m still pleasing everyone, that even though I’m taking a break that everyone so deserves every so often, I’m still there for anyone’s needs, even if it is something that could truly wait a few days until I was back in the office and could give it my full, undivided attention.
Last week’s vacation was honesty the first full week that Tim and I have both had off since our honeymoon. Four years ago. Sure, we take the occasional long weekend, and we’ve been able to explore some amazing new cities and take frequent weekend trips to Chicago, but for the first time in four years we were off work, out of the office, for an entire week. That seems like quite some time. It seems like some people are constantly on vacation, and it seems like others never have the opportunity at all. I truly believe, despite my struggle to unplug and my workaholic mentality that I know I inherited from my father (not that this is a bad thing, but for one’s self worth, it’s certainly a challenge), I think that vacations should be far longer and far more frequent. Although it’s easier said than done, case in point, I think it’s import for us to escape reality, to escape the mundane, and to truly revel in what surrounds us. Last week was an amazing getaway, but being just a few months into my new job, I especially felt like I needed to stay as tuned in as possible even from afar, even when my coworkers told me not to. I am truly so grateful that even for being there just a few short months I was still able to take this week away with my family. Although I didn’t fully unplug, it was still an amazing escape, and today, all I can think of is the amazing views that we had all week long. Only God can make a something look this good. Seeing things like this make you truly think about the most important things in life.
I love to travel more than a lot of things, even if it’s the same place I’ve had the opportunity to visit every single year. Every day, I dream of visiting new places and seeing new things. I want to see the cityscapes, the architecture and the beach and the sea. I want to travel the world, I really do. Maybe one day, this will be true. There is so much in this world to see. In the same way that time away refreshes the soul, exploring places that are different than home helps us to learn and grow too. All of these tags are such important key aspects in life.
In the meantime, I will continue to dream, already anticipating whatever our next adventure will be.
Hi there! Long time, no write. So, over the course of the last few months, life has certainly been happening for us with so many amazing new things. I finally, officially finished grad school in May, and shortly before that, I started a new job on the next step of my career path! I officially have a Master of Arts in Marketing, and I am currently working in partnership development for an amazing non-profit organization in STL. I just did my last big wedding for the time being in June, and it feels really good to finally be starting to really narrow my focus down to a couple of things as opposed to a million so that I can truly devote myself to what I am doing (although I still haven’t quite been able to eliminate the ‘busy’ that I’ve been trying so hard to do, and I’ve still got a lot of things on my plate, but for today, it’s ok). With my new full time position, I am finally really feeling like I’m on mission, and truly doing something that matters, which is what I’ve been seeking, and I get to utilize my passion and skills in doing so (plus, I’m still planning a lot of events!). It’s amazing, it’s challenging, it’s so many things, but I’m excited to see where this next step in my career path leads.
Tim’s now officially got less than a year to go in grad school himself, and we’re taking this time to determine what the best next steps will be for us and our little (four-legged) family. So many exciting things to think about and ideas and opportunities to explore. A big part of me wishes that I wasn’t such a planner and so goal-oriented all the time, but at the same time, it’s what truly drives me and inspires me each day. As usual (while trying to really focus on living in the present), I’m exited to see what lies ahead for us. Our favorite thing to do as of late is sit down in our favorite local coffee shops and dream (real) big dreams. I heard a quote in a service a couple of weeks ago that really stuck with me that went something along the lines of, ‘Find your purpose in life, and find it well.’
In the meantime, while we’re over here dreaming big dreams, we’re also being inspired by two of our favorite couples, one who just made the move to KC, and the other who is NYC bound. For a couple that wants nothing more than to see the world, we’ve got a lot of work to do, but that’s an inspiration to me in and of itself. We finally found this perfect cork board map to hang in our home to start pinning some of our favorite places we’ve been, and the places we want to be.
Happy Fourth of July weekend, America. Hopefully I’ll be able to find more time to write again soon, but at the very least, I’ll be doing some dreaming and a little bit of travelling and taking a lot of notes along the way.
A couple weeks ago I was on ‘grad school spring break,’ meaning, I had the week off from classes and homework. I suddenly felt like a new women and as though I had all of this free time to take advantage of. I didn’t really, but I took advantage of a few homework-free days anyway. Instead of writing papers or reading textbooks, I went back to picking up a few books that my attention has been craving. I finally finished reading Lara Casey‘s, Make It Happen. It was everything I had expected, and more. I’ve been a fan of Lara Casey for a few years now, and the fact that she now has a book on shelves, and I believe another one on the way, left me thrilled and instantly wanting to read. If you’re searching for more purpose in your life, I highly recommend it. I just went through all the highlights and bookmarks in mine, and there’s too much to share without sharing the entire book with you here. This book shares a story of how to make it – a greater purpose than our own – happen. It’s time to start being intentional and living on purpose.
If you’re not following Benton Park Prints on social, you should be. They create fun prints for a wide array of subjects, but they create a lot of fun city prints which I especially love. Some of their featured prints are for two cities which I love most, St. Louis and Chicago. I’ve had my eye on this STL print for awhile, and when we moved, remaining city residents and knowinig that we’d probably be here for awhile, being our first home purchase, I told Tim that I really wanted to buy this print for the new house. Surely enough, this was my Valentine. We finally got it framed and hung in our dining room last weekend, and I am so in love with the way it looks. What’seven more incredible is that Tim had a few of the street names from the original design swapped so that each of these streets in St. Louis has special meaning to us. These streets include the street where the church that our wedding ceremony took place was, the location of our downtown condo that we lived in for two years, our favorite date night place, our current church home and the neighborhood that we now call home. I love things with significance, and looking at this just makes me smile. Have a good weekend friends. Maybe we’ll get a few more things to hang around the house (it’s finally starting to really feel like home around here and the bare wall are starting to diminish!), and maybe you’ll have fun frolicking at some great place on one of St. Louis’s great streets. I know that’s what we plan to do. Have a good one!
Last night was the final night of my second to last grad school course. Can you believe it? Am I really, finally, almost officially done with grad school? For awhile there, it was seemingly beginning to feel like this time may never come. And now that it’s so close? I’m beyond excited, but a part of me is also a teeny bit sad. Is that strange? Probably. I have a love/hate relationship with school, but all in all, I love it, and as I grow older, I’m learning that I love and appreciate it even more than I ever even realized. I’m so nerdy, I legitimately love to learn. I truly enjoy going to class every week. Some nights, outside of class, I’m not so fond of doing so much paper writing and studying, but the more that I get to focus on the aspects that I truly enjoy, the less I mind any of that. I have a feeling I’m not actually going to know what to do with myself once I’m done with school which will be a big adjustment, but one which I think I will happily welcome, for at least a little while anyway. Depending on what the next few months may bring my way, I’m actually considering the possibility of furthering my education even more. Yup. I said it. I really didn’t think I would. I don’t know if that entails another masters degree, of which I’ve got a couple of program options in mind, or maybe something even more than that? Every day I think I know what I want my future to hold, but other days, I have even brighter ideas. But you know what? God’s plan is greater than mine, and I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing, but I’m going to leave the master plan up to him and trust what he’s got in store for me. Whatever it is, I know it must be good. Right now, the biggest thing that I think I will miss about being so involved in my grad school program is getting to work together with the awesome people I’ve had the opportunity to meet on so many group collaborations over these last couple of years. My mind has worked in ways I’ve never dreamed imaginable, and I’ve been lucky enough to work with some pretty incredible people too. What I do know is that I have one week of ‘spring break’ (from school that is which means one week off of studying and paper writing) and then starts my final (for now) nine weeks of school. I’m beginning to feel fairly confident that May will be here before we know it, and I’m excited for what’s to come. New adventure awaits. Bring. It. On.
It’s been just about a month since Emma became a part of our family. I love her more and more each day. Sure, she’s a puppy, and she’s still got a lot to learn, but she is a quick learner and has already learned so much in such a short amount of time. She really is such a good dog too and so loving. She has already grown so much, and she is keeping us busy and active all the time with lots of extra walks and early mornings, but that’s not such a bad thing.
Bentley and Emma have been getting along too, and that didn’t take long, which is such a good thing. I’m glad that they both have each other. Every once in awhile, Bentley makes it clear that he still needs his space, but they love to play together and snuggle with each other. They’ve made so much progress in just a few short weeks, which has been amazing to see, and I can only imagine how much more progress they will continue to make as time goes by. In the meantime, feel free to follow along with either #adventuresofbentleyandemma or #bentleyandemmainthecity on Instagram to see more of my pup pictures. They are one of my favorite things to share via social. If you don’t love dogs, you probably won’t want to follow me on IG 😉 Here’s a little puppy love for you to enjoy…
PS – I am loving our new dog tags from Canine Habits (as shown in the first image in this post). Visit her Facebook and Instagram accounts to see more of her work and to find out when she shares special discount codes!
Meet Emma Rose. Bentley’s (already bigger) little sister, and the newest member of the Lucas Family. Emma has officially been a part of our family for one week today, and we are so in love.
Tim and I have talked for awhile about how we would love to get another dog someday. Bentley is very much our ‘only child,’ though, and sometimes the thought of taking 100% of the attention away from him makes me incredibly sad because Bentley gets a lot of attention from us (and from his grandparents). Now that we’ve got a house and a backyard (talk about an amazing change of no longer having to use a leash every time we go outside!) complete with a privacy fence, another dog seemed more feasible. Although, we weren’t really thinking about making that change quite yet. But then came Emma. My dad was the one that showed her to me. He has some friends who do a lot with animal rescue and fostering, and one of them shared Emma on Facebook. Long story short, someone who knew someone who knew someone who knew someone, was fostering Emma and shared that she was ready to find her forever home. Emma was found alone on a highway near a trailer park about 30 minutes south of where we live. She was sick with mange and emaciated (she’s still pretty skinny). Her foster mom took good care of her, and in just a couple of weeks she was much healthier and ready to find her home. When my dad showed her to me, she instantly reminded me of both Bentley and Daytona in just her looks (Bentley’s size and stature and some of Daytona’s GSP coloring). I knew we had to meet her. Tim and I drove an hour west to meet Emma, and we instantly knew that she needed to be a part of our family. I talked to Bent for a week about it telling him that he would be meeting Emma and he might be getting a new sister (I know, I really am a crazy dog person). Emma came to our home to meet Bentley last Friday night and she stayed for good.
Bentley and Daytona get along incredibly well, and Bentley surprisingly does much better with bigger dogs than smaller ones. We knew that ultimately this would be a good decision for us and for Bentley because we can’t bring him out to my mom’s to be with Daytona everyday, and we thought that it was time he finally had a forever friend at home with him and with us.
Many people know how much Bentley means to us and how much of a part of our family he is. They’ve been asking how Bentley has been adjusting to the new changes. Bentley is a very high anxiety dog (he truly takes a special human) and is very protective of people and things. When Bentley and Emma first met, he wasn’t unfriendly, per se, but he also wasn’t my big hearted puppy that I know he soon would be. We were a little nervous and it did take Bentley a couple of days to warm up to her, but in only one week, I can already see how amazing this relationship will soon be (and already has become). When I was talking to one of the girls at church last weekend about the new puppy and getting the two of them used to each other, her response was, ‘Well, it’s just about the new norm, right? They’ll figure it out.’ So true. For all of us.
Emma was named ‘Emma Jean’ when she came to us. After first meeting her and talking both what we would name her, I didn’t really want to change her name (plus, I think Bentley + Emma sounds really cute together). We ended up just changing her middle name to ‘Rose’ instead of ‘Jean.’ We aren’t aren’t 100% sure what Emma is, since she is a rescue. Her foster mom told us that they believe she is part Border Collie and part Jack Russell…which would explain a lot. We believe Bentley has some JR in him (again, don’t know for sure since he, too, was adopted), but they have a lot of the same mannerisms, and this girl can jump. Tim’s excited because he thinks she will be really good at frisbee (which is what he really wants, but Bentley just isn’t a big fan). Emma will likely weigh in at about 35-40 pounds once she’s fully grown. Bentley is a whopping 15 pounds, and she’s already bigger than he is. We really wanted a bigger dog for Bent, since that’s what he loves, so I think this should work out perfectly.
The night we got her, we took the two of them right to the pet store. They both rode in the front with us. It was interesting, to say the least, but luckily the pet store is only about five minutes away from our new home. We got Emma a new collar and leash, bones for both of them, new food bowls and everything she needed to be a part of our home.
The next morning, we took them on their first walk together right away. Our first walk as a family of four was a success. For only being on a leash a couple of times, she did really well.
And after just a few hours, they started to warm up to each other (well, Emma was trying to warm up since the moment she came home to us; she was constantly putting her paw on Bentley trying to get him to play, and he wasn’t having it right away, but he did allow her on the couch, and he let her get pretty close too).
And just a couple of days later? They’re laying in bed together and coming up with mischievous plans (Emma discovered the art of unrolling toilet paper, and Bentley may or may not have stood by her side and watched it all happen).
We’re housesitting for my parents this week and watching Daytona too (not the best timing to get a new dog, eh? Well, everything happens for a reason, and I’ve come to the realization that timing isn’t always in our own plans 😉 ). Daytona loves everyone so we weren’t worried about him. We were worried, however, about throwing Emma off of a schedule that she was starting to adjust to and yet another new home. ‘Grandma’s house,’ as we so call it when Bentley goes to see Daytona, is like Bentley’s second home though, and will soon become Emma’s too, so this isn’t such a bad thing. The dogs have been going wild since Wednesday morning and loving every bit of their time together (and expelling lots of energy which is an added bonus). It’s so funny because between Bent and Daytona, Bent is usually the trouble maker. Somehow now having a puppy is making Bentley seem like the most well-behaved dog I’ve ever met 😉
It’s been a long few days adjusting to new family members, new schedules, lots of walks and extra playtime and even earlier mornings, but it’s so worth it, and after seeing how much Bentley and Emma are already bonding, I absolutely cannot wait to watch this relationship continue to grow, and I’m happy that Daytona gets to be a part of her life too. We’re a big family of dog lovers around here (if you haven’t already realized), so she fits in quite perfectly. I can’t wait to get Bent and Emma back to our home tomorrow and start to really get her into a routine with us.
And lastly, this morning, after waking up for another bright and early play session with three crazy pups, I found Bentley and Emma doing this:
My heart literally began to melt. This makes me happier than I can even explain. Is it weird that I’m already envisioning the time in our lives that we bring children (not four-legged) into this world, and these two are protectors of them? Literally warms. my. heart. I could write an entirely different blog post on that though. We’ll save my thoughts on that for another day.
I’ve been sending frequent pictures and updates to Emma’s foster mom to let her know that she’s doing just fine and fits in so perfectly with our little family, and her latest response was, “I’m so happy she found her perfect family…Bless your heart for providing her with the love she deserves.” I think I cried a little when I read that. Dogs mean the world to me, and the fact that we’ve now adopted two of them makes my heart feel full. I cannot wait to see the adventures ahead for the two of them (well, three, Daytona too of course) and watch their love for one another continue to grow. The three of them are all played out from a morning of fun and are currently all passed out all of the kitchen as I’m writing this. I love it 🙂 Off to sneak in a quick shower before they wake back up and are ready to go at it again (is this what motherhood is like?!)!