Who let the dogs out?

This weekend, I have had the pleasure of dog sitting one of my friend’s dog, Teddy. He is one of Grace’s besties, so it works out that she gets a playmate for the day. They have been a hoot to watch all day!

Grace and Teddy!

Having two little rascals really highlighted the fact that right now I am a “single mom.” When Tom is home we obviously share the responsibilites of letting the dog outside, exercising her, and just generally taking care of Gracie. I sure do miss having him here to help, especially now that it’s getting colder outside. It is nice to have someone else to help with the load.

I have been contemplating lately how I am going to do the holidays this year with Grace. Last year, Tom was here so we could trade off who would watch her while we were home visiting our parents. So it was rare that we would have to pawn her off to our parents to watch. Plus my parents are divorced, so I have to go to several different houses in order to see everyone, which means Grace has to move with me. Without Tom, there are a lot more things that I have to consider. It is not as easy to just go to Chili’s with Annette and Jeannette, because then I would have to leave Grace kenneled up alone or hope that my parents don’t have plans so they can watch her. And then there is the issue of just traveling alone with her. Grace gets really bad anxiety when she is left alone, so I really have to time out my potty breaks and hope she doesn’t destroy the car. Before Tom and I would trade off who would watch her, and it seemed so easy. And trying to get her kennel and all the other luggage out of the car while managing her is awful to do alone. Although, I am sure it is pretty comical trying to watch me carry as much as I can while juggling her leash hopping she doesn’t pull me over.

All in all, Grace and I have gotten into a pretty good routine that it works out alright. It is just on those really long days where I have meetings back to back that I feel like Grace is getting neglected. And I can’t just leave town or be gone all day shopping; I have to make plans around Grace’s schedule and make sure I have someone to watch her. I miss having my partner.

I also feel bad at times talking about how awesome our dog is when I am on the phone with Tom. I know he misses her so much, and here I am rubbing in the fact that I get to play with her every day. I mean seriously, I am supposed to cheer him up, not bring him down about missing home. So I have this argument with myself of whether I should be telling him how she runs laps around me at night when we go for our bedtime potty, that we had a really good snuggle that morning, or that she is somewhat getting the hang of laying down. It can’t be easy for him to know he is missing things and fearing that she won’t remember him when he comes home. But it is not easy for me either hearing how he misses her when I tell her the latest “Grace is great” story. I want him to be here to share these moments with me.

I know that Grace is only a dog, but it does require a little more planning now that I am raising her on my own, Which makes me admire military spouses who have to take care of children through a deployment even more. I am thankful that Tom and I haven’t started our family yet, because it would break my heart every day for him to be missing out on the little day to day things that our kids will do. It is a sacrifice that we choose, but that doesn’t make it suck any less. And unfortunately, the military is awful with it’s timing and will take parents away from their newborn children which makes them miss most of the kid’s first year. There is a family in Tom’s unit that had a baby the week after they deployed. To think about how that father missed out on seeing his child’s first breaths…sigh. The sun still rises and sets whether our significant others are present or not, so we also have to keep getting up too and keep our families moving and grooving. We have to do the best we can with messages and pictures to keep our loved ones in the loop. Thank goodness for the internet and modern technology! My heart goes out to the families that are here trying to make do without an intrical part of their family unit.

And this is a shout out to my parents who were single parents for awhile before they remarried. I still have no idea how they managed to get my brother and I both where we needed to be. Sometimes I feel like I cannot manage Grace let alone trying to wrangle two other human beings who were not perfect angles. But they both showed Randall and I what it means to be a family and caring for one another no matter what the circumstances may be.

Today’s craft was probably the easiest thing ever. It took me all of 5 minutes, while I was on the phone with Tom.

I made a shadow box holder for tickets. I have always wanted to do something with the tickets we have to events, movies, concerts, etc. It’s cool to remember what you have been to, and I am not big on scrapbooking to mark it that way. So I saw this Pinterest and made it.

All you need is a shadow box and scrapbooking stickers. I will warn you that shadowboxes are expensive. I waited until they were on sale and used a Hobby Lobby coupon. (On that note, I highly suggest signing up for Hobby Lobby’s weekly coupons and deals. Every week, I get a 40% off coupon for a single item. Not that I use it every week, but it does come in handy!)

And then you just slip the tickets in. Voila, craft done.

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