plants_4I know, I know – January is almost over already and I’m just now posting about 2016. Well, I finally made it just in the nick of time! There have been many reasons that the start of this new year has been so exciting that I could burst (more on that later!) and other reasons that it’s been heartbreaking and frustrating in such a way that I haven’t had the energy to post on my sweet blog. The darkest moment has been the loss of our precious, perfect Callie girl. She went to heaven just before New Year’s Eve after valiantly battling cancer for six months, and we miss her every single minute of every single day. I wish I could muster up the strength to write more but thinking about her still just makes me so sad. I did write a lengthy post on Instagram about her life and how much she meant to us, so please hop over to read it if you feel so inclined. We are so grateful for the support we’ve received from everyone ranging from our family and best friends to the loving staff at the vet and our neighbors. We are surrounded by pet-lovers and that has made this process easier in so many ways; people have related to us and commiserated with us and embraced us during this difficult time.

So, that’s my update for now, but I’m looking forward to resuming a normal posting schedule. Stay tuned, friends, and thanks for walking beside me on this journey.

Image via Veda House


Week & End

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetHappy Friday! These past couple of weeks have absolutely flown by; life has been moving at such a fast pace, per usual. I had to share this inspiring photo of our Callie girl running around our backyard – isn’t she the most darling tripod you’ve ever seen?! We are so grateful for her good health and for the way she’s adjusted to life without her fourth limb, and we are equally encouraged by her bravery and resilience. God really knew what He was doing when He gave us dogs, didn’t He?

The past few weeks have been full of lots of goodness. We’ve been meeting friends for dinner (at new-to-us spots, like Pints & Quarts and Wild About Harry’s, plus some favorites like El Bolero and Taqueria La Ventana) and delivering meals to friends with new babies. We attended a gorgeous wedding at The Brooks at Weatherford, and I’m heading home to Chicago tonight to attend my cousin’s wedding tomorrow (I’m wearing this dress and I’m really excited about it). We’re planning parties and adventures and schedules and trips (more on the latter to come!) and enjoying the hustle and bustle of it all.

Have a great weekend, and enjoy some fun links!

I’m not 30 yet but I totally identified with this list created by the Huffington Post, 30 Things We Do In Our 30s That We Didn’t Do in Our 20s. I really resonated with #2, #14, and #18.

This article – Why The Overhead Myth Stunts Nonprofit Growth – was so encouraging to read. Non-profit employees and donors alike should definitely check this out and join the conversation.

Speaking of reading, what titles have you been digging into lately? I’m currently flying through The Hypnotist’s Love Story and I recently finished In the Unlikely Event and The Status of All Things, both of which were really enjoyable. I’ve got The Royal We, Modern Romance, and Circling the Sun on the docket. What else should I add to my list?

I know it’s still blazing hot in Dallas but I’ve already busted out the dutch oven to make white bean soup and it’s just as magical as always, even if it’s not yet soup weather. It’s so easy to make and leftovers freeze really well.

Artifact Uprising is giving you 25 free prints – this is a MAJOR score, peoples. Sign up, sign up!


CallieHappy Tuesday, folks! I know I keep marveling over how quickly time is passing, but can you believe that it’s July 14th already?!

It’s been quiet around here, and if you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen the photo and update I shared about our beloved English mastiff, Callie. Two weeks ago she was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, an aggressive form of bone cancer. For consistency’s sake (and so I don’t drown my keyboard in tears), here’s what I posted:

Over the weekend we found out that our sweet, precious Callie girl has an aggressive form of cancer, one that gives a heartbreaking prognosis of only a few months left with us. We are, in a word, devastated. Our sweet love is only 6 years old; I took for granted how much time I would get with her, watching her & Coach grow up together, having her around when we have children someday. We are going to spend every single day making Callie feel even more loved & cherished than she already does. We don’t know for sure how much time we have left together but we are going to make every minute count.

THANK YOU to our family & friends for loving us so well, for supporting us, crying with us, bringing us meals & adult beverages & dog toys. To quote my wise friend Katelyn, people give pets a varying degree of worth, but to us, Callie has always been FAMILY, our first baby. To our people, our home team – thank you for embracing her as your family, too.

And to my Callie, I love you more than you will ever know. Thank you for allowing me the honor of being your mama. You have taught me about love, grace, and patience, and you have brought me out of the darkest of moments and celebrated alongside me during the happiest of days. Cheers to so many more adventures. I’m praying for a miracle for you, my love.

Callie underwent surgery yesterday, an amputation process that will hopefully eliminate the cancer for the time being, allowing her to be pain-free and to enjoy her remaining days (which will likely be prolonged, thanks to the procedure). It was difficult to have to make such a big decision so quickly but thanks to the support of our family & friends and to the peace we found through prayer, we truly believe that we did the right thing. Our main focus was providing Callie with a peaceful, pain-free existence; we refused to simply allow her to undergo this medical procedure just so we could enjoy her for longer. We consulted with many talented veterinarians, specialists & surgeons and ultimately decided that this route was the most humane way to go. Callie is home already and while she’ll definitely be on the mend for awhile, she is happy as can be; getting used to life post-surgery, certainly, but already gobbling up peanut butter and barking at the neighbors just like she was yesterday morning.

We are immeasurably grateful for so much – for God’s peace & grace that we’ve felt so intimately, for the consistent and generous outreach from family & friends, for the resources to be able to move forward with this procedure, and, of course, for our sweet Callie (and for Coach, too!). Thank you for continuing to keep her in your prayers as she recovers!

Meet Coach!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetWe are so excited to be adding another furry friend to our family – meet Coach! Like Callie, he is an English mastiff and he was just born in the middle of February. Is he the cutest puppy in the world or what?! We absolutely love the breeders we found – they have been so kind to us, letting us visit Coach in his puppy phase. When we bring him home in April, he’ll be twice the size he is now! And by May, he’ll be the size of the pup you can see giving me a kiss below (wowowow). These photos were too cute not to share. Enjoy!

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Callie’s Birthday

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Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetToday is Callie girl’s 6th birthday, and if you couldn’t tell, we are fairly obsessed with our pup. She is truly the greatest companion, the sweetest face to come home to at the end of a long day. She is our family, so we treat her as such, of course! To celebrate her special day, we took Callie to our local pet store, where we stocked up on toys and treats, including an adorable pupcake that she quickly devoured.

It may seem silly or trivial to celebrate the life of a furry companion, but in the midst of the darkness and sadness that plagues the world, we certainly believe in the power and beauty in cherishing all of life’s moments and God’s gifts. The joy that Callie has brought to our lives is certainly worth celebrating. Happy birthday, puppy girl – we love you!

P.S. Remember when we threw Callie a birthday party and tons of our friends (and their dogs) came and celebrated alongside us? We love our people.