i was one month away from turning 16 & had been up visiting a friend at Notre Dame when i got home and spotted a Jeep in the driveway. adorned with a big yellow bow the size of Texas, i immediately screamed, jumped out of the car i was in, & ran toward the Grand Cherokee that would become my most reliable relationship for the course of 13+ years.
this 4x4 beauty has taken me on countless trips to the country— 12 hour drives back & forth to undergrad in Nebraska, a trek across the country to California when i decided i should spend a semester out West, a two-year stint in Manhattan (KS), & so many day more miles in between.
for almost half of my life, this ride has been there through so many physical & emotional storms. we’ve made it through new relationships, heart breaks, music-blaring-end-of-the-night karaoke parties of one, friendships, friday night light adventures, errand runs, the hauling of furniture, moving days, & even the everyday schlepping around of goods.
sure, we haven’t always been on the best of terms (read: we’ve paid for this car at least three times over), but there’s no doubt my 2001 SUV, the one that holds 158,000 miles, has safely transported me from point A to point B more times than i ever gave credit.
today, after much thought & consideration, i’m trading her in.
i’m way more emotional about it than i should be.
when’s the last time you spent 13 years with a selfless object?
i’ve created so many memories with so many great people in this hunk of metal, & while i’ve been looking forward to a new change, i’m not sure i’ll ever be prepared to say my last goodbyes.
my little Jeepy, i know you’ll soon be crushed, but you’ll be in my SUV-lovin’ heart for a long while.
the deck is slowly but surely coming together.
thanks to two strands of outdoor lights & an easy-to-install table & chairs, i am really starting to love my deck.
but let’s be honest, i would’ve loved it even if it meant using folding chairs from my parent’s attic.
with a high of 72 on Thursday, there’s never been a better time to accessorize a neutral foundation.
when i moved into my house, i opted out of a deck/patio/screened in porch because the men in my life graciously volunteered to build me a deck when the time was right.
at 5 o’clock last night, the time was right (!!!).
after a day of media training, i arrived home just as the last board was being nailed down.
i can’t wait to spend many mornings, days and nights out on this sturdy beaut of a deck,
but more than that, i can’t wait to think of my family’s hard work & dedication with every use of this structure.
plus, i’m pretty sure bentley is jazzed about it, too.
(from the bottom of my heart, i thank you, RJJD! xo)
last Saturday, we took Bentley to have her staples removed.
with one paw back in the door at home, she started showing signs of her old sassy self.
sure, we’re still waiting on a couple culture results, but in the meantime, our girl is acting more “normal” than she’s been in months.
we’re so grateful for this fifteen pound ball of fur, it’s nuts.
at 6:30 this morning, i arrived at the office.
we drove thirty minutes to a Fuel Up to Play 60 school & then headed about an hour south to Kelsay’s Dairy Farm in Whiteland.
with an intern from Chicago in tow, we witnessed one of the smoothest breakfast in the classroom routines followed by the first hours of seven calves’ lives.
from little humans to little animals, it was a beautiful start to the week.
even with the chilly temperatures and the smell of milk still stuck in my hair,
i wouldn’t have wanted my week to start out any other way.
in an effort to truly recognize the simple pleasures in my life, i have compiled a list of random happenings that made the last seven days a lot brighter. (& trust me, they were all very much appreciated.)
- City walks/runs. there’s something about walking and/or running through the streets of the city as a cohesive clan. regardless of pace, the ability to look through windows & take in views otherwise dismissed is a wonderful thing.
- Doggy drugs. without the added prescriptions from our beloved vet, Bentley would still be absolutely miserable. fortunately, we finally found a few (yes, a few) that seem to be doing the trick. (t-3 days til staples are removed!)
- Hoosier Hospitality. i suppose living in the suburbs can have its ups & downs, but here lately, i’ve experienced more ups than downs. last night, while rolling out my trash cans, my neighbor lady invited me on a tentative walk date. she also invited me on a tentative wine date. now, whether or not we can coordinate these two events to take place at the same time is beyond me, but i’m more than willing to try if it means hanging out with my fifty-something neighbor who possesses a better fashion sense than yours truly.
- Kind men. there’s something about a genuine compliment, a solid laugh & a particular look into a guy’s eyes that easily captures attention—the best kind at that. it’s rare, but definitely not overrated.
- Mama J. another year older, but another year filled with support on the deepest level. it’s always been interesting to me that your lowest point often reveals the true colors in those who you once thought meant the most, & this last year, when i was at a lower than i would’ve care to be low, Mama shined when i needed her the most. i am so proud to be her daughter & have always admired her heart for others…& for me.
- Simple favors. the smallest actions often have a greater impact than you ever could expect.
- Zest. their scrambled Uptown omelet is divine. as is their made-from-scratch strawberry jam.
i dropped off this little girl for surgery this morning.
after staying overnight at my parent’s house for a solid seven hours of cuddling,
i feel a little better about it all.
Bentley is very much a family member in our household,
& after today concludes,
we hope she makes it to her 9th birthday in May & sticks around for another few after that!
all the puppy prayers, precious.
you deal with the bad & you celebrate the hell out of the good.
(at least, most of the time, that’s what i choose to do)
today, Bro #1 received some great news,
& i could not be more proud.
so proud, in fact, that Party City was my first stop before heading home—
who doesn’t love a champagne bottle-shaped balloon bouquet?
it’s been a gorgeous day in Indianapolis, & getting pulled out of a meeting to take a mid-day call from my brother was the proverbial cherry on top.