Wednesday, January 16, 2008


As promised in my first blog entry, here is more about our Gracie.

First, today is her first birthday. I know, she is a dog but it is still a big deal for us. Gracie came to us on a fairly warm March Saturday (March 24, 2007). We had talked about getting a puppy - a labradoodle or goldendoodle. When we would see an add in the paper we would always call. They either had no females left or were too expensive. One evening we decided to go out to dinner and do a little shopping. I had been having a rough time with something and was pretty depressed, so my wonderful husband wanted to take me out. We went to a fairly large shopping area near here that has a very cute (ok, expensive-spoil-your-dog-rotten type of place). We had dinner and went in to check things out. (They usually had puppies that they kept in an antique crib in the store) When we walked in there was this tiny little white fur ball sitting in the bottom corner kennel just staring at us. She had crazy hair, and the saddest eyes you have ever seen. She was also being pummeled by her two "sisters" who were playing in the same kennel. The shop owner saw us looking at her, a yellow labradoodle, and told us that the pups had been there for a week and on display for three days. No one had wanted to see her, only her sisters and two brothers. They were all first generation labradoodles, and the other 4 pups looked just like yellow lab pups, with yellow lab fur. She was the only one with the crazy hair. Her eyes looked just like my soul felt, like I was her last hope. So, I looked and my husband and we looked at the lady and said we would like to see her. Well, the rest is history. That night we brought home a 10 pound scared to death little puppy. We had to stop at my parents house to get their old kennel and at PetSmart because we had absolutely nothing for this pup except the stuffed piggy we picked at the store for her.

For most of the way home she just sat on my lap and shook and cried. She was just scared to death. One time she did peek her head up just to bark right at me, then licked my cheek. I laughed for the first time in a very long time. So we named her Gracie, because we knew she would save us. Now that we have had her for a little over 10 months, I can honestly say that she has. She makes us laugh all the time, she cries with me when I am sad, and is just a great dog. Oh, and she is spoiled rotten. And I wouldn't have it any other way.
Happy 1st Birthday Sweet Gracie Lou!

Gracie's First Night (And Piggy)

This is the look she had for about the first week we had her. This was her first night with us, and you can see Piggy is there as well.

Her Favorite Nap Places

She likes to dig in the yard, then tries to sneak back in the house without us noticing the mud....

And what Princess is complete without the Princess Purse.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

A Year In Review

2007 started for me with a Sermon from Pastor Paul Sartarelli at the Chapel in Akron. On that Sunday he preached about Isaiah 40,

Do you not know? Have you not heard?

The LORD is the everlasting God,

the Creator of the ends of the earth.

He will not grow tired or weary,

and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary

and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,

and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the LORD

will renew their strength.

They will soar on wings like eagles;

they will run and not grow weary,

they will walk and not be faint.

I have read this passage many times over the years and have turned to it in many times of need. What Pastor Paul said that day forever changed my view of this passage, and helped me understand God just a little better than I had the day before. He talked about the strength of God, and the power of God and then he got a little more quiet. He talked about how sometimes, as Christians, things will happen here on earth that there is just not an explanation for. Times when believers will soar over the earth like on the wings of eagles. Sometimes there will be the stamina to run this race without fail, and to finish as strong as we started. Times to run and not grow weary. And there are also times when God gives you nothing more than the strength to take the next step. There is a promise in this passage, a promise that whoever hopes in the Lord will get this strength.

2007 was a time for my husband and I to see examples of all three. We saw friends of ours who conceived and gave birth to a child, when there was no medical reason as why this was able to happen. We saw them soar over the earth like on the wings of eagles. We saw other friends adopt children into their families, and run like they have never run before. We saw ourselves struggle through what has been the hardest struggle of our marriage, and saw how God gave us the strength to do nothing more than take the next step. I don't know if he realized it at the time, but Pastor Sartarelli saw us one of these morning eating breakfast at a little diner. He stopped at our table to say hello, and witnessed one of those moments where God gave us the strength to take the next step- because we were to weak to walk on our own.

It is amazing to look back at where I was last January first, and remember the hopes and dreams I had for 2007. 2007 was a hard year, but looking back it was a good year. We finally got a puppy, Gracie. She is the perfect pup for our family. (And yes, she is spoiled rotten) We have made new friends and old friendships have gotten even stronger. We had a new nephew come into our family as well.

I can't wait to see what 2008 holds......