My First Time Being a Puppy Parent!

After puppy-proofing the apartment last week, Kevin and I were ready to take the plunge and become puppy parents!

Last Saturday we picked up our sweet little puppy. Introducing the newest addition to our family: Penny!

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Penny is a sweetheart! She’s a great mix of playfulness and cuddliness. And doesn’t she have the cutest face?

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Of course, having a puppy means lots of training and house-breaking. So far potty-training her has been very successful. Penny is learning quickly. She has had one accident in the house, but besides that she has gone out in the yard.

I’d say we have been so successful with potty-training [thus far] because we’ve learned from observing Kevin’s parents as they were house-breaking puppies. They’ve had many years of house-breaking experience, and they’ve been a great example for us.

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Potty training a dog takes constant attention, noticing their behaviors, taking them out after each activity (like playing and sleeping), and just basically taking them outside constantly!

Penny is even starting to go near the door when she has to go to the bathroom. Part of the success may also be due to the fact that border collies are known to be quick learners.

Crate training has been a little bit harder. We put her to sleep in her crate at night and then we close our bedroom door. The very first night when she started crying, it broke my heart!

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First she’ll cry herself to sleep. Then every 2-3 hours she will cry and whine, telling us she needs to go to the bathroom. After we take her out and put her back to bed she’ll cry for about 10-15 minutes.

As you can imagine, these past few nights have not warranted much good sleep. I definitely have a new appreciation for people with babies! I don’t know how new moms do it!

But besides being somewhat exhausted, being a puppy parent is such a joy! We love our sweet Penny. I’m so excited for this new chapter in our lives!

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My Life This Week

It’s been an exciting week in our house. Kevin and I decided this week we want to get a puppy!

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I wanted to give him something really special for Christmas, and naturally a puppy was one of my ideas! But since getting a puppy is a big commitment and lifestyle changer, I wanted to make sure Kevin was on-board with the decision, too.

We decided now is a good time for us to get a puppy, so Kevin agreed to let me give him this spcial gift (took a LOT of convincing, let me tell you…) ๐Ÿ˜‰

We’re getting a border collie! It’s a girl, but we’re not totally sure on the name yet. I’ll be sure to update you all with her name and tons of adorable pictures. ๐Ÿ™‚

With our puppy on the way, my big project this week was prepping our house for our new little one!

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First off, I specifically wore my new white dress pants (or, “cigarette pants” as my coworkers call them) this week because I won’t be wearing them again until our puppy is potty trained…

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I also puppy-proofed the house…Moved things up off the floors. Moved Christmas ornaments higher up on the tree (yes, my Christmas tree is up!). Placed Christmas gifts in a tub instead of sitting under the tree.

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I set things up in advance so we’re ready when she gets here. Put-together the new crate. Placed food and water bowls in the kitchen. Hung the leash and some plastic bags next to the door (trying to make potty-training as smooth as possible).

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And of course…I got the carpet cleaner out and ready to use! Now all we need is our puppy!

I’m so excited for us to be puppy parents!

 

When Awkwardness is the Best Choice

Saying “no” is hard sometimes, isn’t it? We want to be able to do everything and please everyone. We don’t want to let people down. We want to be superwomen who can juggle it all.

I think this is especially relevant right now, as the holiday season is upon us. Soon you will be in-over-your-head with invitations to dinners, gift exchanges, work parties, family get-togethers, holiday festivities, church events, and more!

It’s hard to say no to so many wonderful things! But doesn’t just looking at that list already give you anxiety?!

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Last week I got a great reminder: it’s better in the long run to say “no” than to do something begrudgingly.

This great reminder came from the live Q&A call with Cystal Paine that I received as a pre-order bonus with Money Making Mom. The purpose of the call was to answer readers’ questions pertaining to starting a business, being a money-making mom, blogging, and more.

One reader asked her how she “does it all.” Crystal’s answer was that she doesn’t, she says “no” to a lot of things.

What Crystal said next really struck me: it’s better to to have a temporary moment of awkwardness saying “no” rather than have feelings of resentment later.

What she means is, when events and opportunities are knocking at our door, we need to ask ourselves,

  • Is this something that I’m going to resent doing?
  • Am I going to be driving to this event, wishing I was somewhere else?
  • Will I not have a good time because all I’ll be thinking about is what else I’d rather be doing?
  • Will I be full of anxiety wondering how I’m going to pay for this?

If it’s something that we will end up resenting, it’s not worth saying “yes” to. It is better to say “no,” and have a temporary moment of feeling awkward than to go and end up resenting it the whole time.

Your time is precious. Your marriage and family is precious. That is why it is so important that we don’t let an obsession with “busy-ness” run us ragged and take priority over the truly important things in life.

xmas1So this holiday season, before you say “yes” to any event, even something great, ask yourself, “will I end up resenting this?” If so, give yourself full permission to say “no.”

And instead, fully enjoy and immerse yourself in those things that are worth your “yes.”

Win a $1500 Gift Card to Start Your Money-Making Dream!

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I recently had the priviledge of being a part of the Money Making Mom book launch. You can read my review and take-aways in my previous post, Two Dares from Money Making Mom.

This book really has me brainstorming the ways I could use my gifts and talents to earn extra income. And if you, too, have dreams to start your own business, be a money-making mom, or just earn some extra income on the side, I have something awesome to pass along to you!

To celebrate the launch of Money Making Mom, Crystal Paine (author and blogger at MoneySavingMom.com) is doing a $1500 Visa gift card giveaway in order to help someone else get started on their money-making dreams!

This giveaway ends in a few days, so be sure to enter soon!

And if you have any interest at all in starting your own business, I would definitely recommend you read Crystal’s new book. You can even read the first chapter free here, if you would like to “try before you buy.”

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10 Goals For November

Getting back into goal-setting…woot woot!

It’s so easy to let busy-ness get in the way of sticking with my goals. But my mantra came back to haunt me recently: do the things now that will make you the person you want to be in the future. I asked myself, so, what are you doing to…

  • Be a devoted wife?
  • Be a healthy person?
  • Know God and the Bible deeply?
  • Grow personally and emotionally?

Asking myself those questions reminded me that all the little choices I make today add up to shape who I will become.

So here are my goals for November. These are the things I’m going to do now to become that person down the road.


Goals

Spiritual/Church

1. Read my Bible every day

2. Pray over a prayer list once a week

3. Learn the names of two more people at church

Marriage

4. Read The Love Dare together five times a week

5. Write Kevin two encouraging notes

6. Read one marriage book

Health

7. Eat vegetables five days a week

8. Go on a walk three times a week

Personal

9. Write two blog posts a week

10. Say “no” to someone once a week

What are your goals for this month?

The Number One Trait of Successful Marriages

wedding 1I think everyone who has ever been married would agree: when they first got married, they believed their marriage would be successful. They believed they would be together forever.

But if we all go into marriage thinking this, what goes wrong? What makes some marriages more successful than others? What is the secret to a happy marriage?

If you’ve ever wondered this, you’re in luck, because I have the answer! Last year, our church had the priviledge of hosting guest speaker Shaunti Feldhahn, best-selling author of books such as For Women Only and For Men Only, speaker, wife, and mother.

Shaunti recently released the book The Surprising Secrets ofย  Highly Happy Marriages, which is a book detailing the results of a nation-wide survey of married couples. When she spoke at our church, she shared some of the great insights she found when doing this survey.

There was one overwhelmingly common trait among the happiest married couples: choosing to believe their significant other had the best intentions, even when we’re hurt.

wedding 2In marriage and relationships, things are bound to go wrong. Your spouse will let you down. Your spouse will make mistakes. But in those moments, do you automatically assume the worst of your mate, or do you choose to believe that they had good intentions?

Your spouse said something that hurt your feelings. You can either choose to believe (a) they wanted to hurt you or (b) they didn’t know their words would come off the way they did.

Your husband is running late from work. You can either choose to believe (a) he cares more about work than you or (b) he tried his absolute hardest to get out of work to come home and be with family but some unexpected issues came up.

Your wife forgot to pick up that item you needed from the store. You can either choose to believe (a) the things I say don’t matter to her or (b) she had a lot on her mind and accidentally forgot.

I know this is something that I personally struggle with. I’m more of a glass-half-empty type of person. It’s not necessarily that I think the worst of others…it’s that I believe that others are thinking the worst of me! But in the end, that way of thinking comes off as negative as if I were assuming the worst of others.

This plays out in my relationship with Kevin. He will say something to me and I’ll automatically think he is putting me down. That is certainly not assuming the best in him!

wedding 3If we want to have more successful marriages, let’s choose today to change our thought-patterns.

That’s a nice principle, but how do you actually do that? Admit to yourself now that your spouse will inevitably make a mistake…we’re all human. Then, decide right now what you want to choose to believe whe that situation arises:

“I know he genuinely loves me and cares about me. I know that he would not choose to hurt me and that he has the best intentions. While what he did has upset me and frustrated me, I know that he did not intend to, so there must have been some other reason why he did it.”

Say that out loud several times. Even write it down. Really ingrain it in your mind.

It’s important to decide ahead-of-time what kind of attitude you will choose to have when problems arise. In the heat of the moment your emotions will take over. Your gut reaction will not be to believe the best. But if you have chosen ahead-of-time the attitude you want to have, it will be easier for you to think past the emotions.

Of course, choosing to believe your spouse had the best intentions doesn’t mean you should just shrug off the issue. Communicate openly with your spouse about what they did that hurt you and how they can avoid that in the future. Additionally, if your spouse is abusive, the time to “think the best” is passed. Do not stand for being abused.

wedding 4Now I don’t know about you, but I certainly want my marriage to stand the test of time. We can make that happen today in the tiny choices we make to choose to believe the best of our mate.

Is this something you struggle with too? Are you more of a glass-half-full or glass-half-empty type of person? I’d love to hear in the comments! (No spouse-bashing, please)

You can listen to Shaunti’s full message, “There Is Hope For Your Marriage,” here!