Lessons on (puppy) love.

Look at this face:


Who wouldn’t want to smooch this face and snuggle this puppy endlessly, am I right? Well, I know I do. I want to, that is. Whether or not I get to is debatable.

You see, sadly, Moony DOESN’T LIKE TO SNUGGLE. *Insert a picture of my weeping face here.*

Moony was born on my parent’s farm and I’ve known him since he was 3 days old. I spent many (many) hours with 7 squirmy little potato puppies, snuggling and playing with them all as they grew. I got to know each of them; I learned their personalities and quirks.


I had the literal pick of the litter, it was completely up to me. I loved them all, but there was something special about my connection with Moony, then dubbed Waylon, and he was my early pick.


I loved snuggling with him so much. I mean look at that face!


Moony came home at 8 weeks, and we continued to develop our relationship, but as he got older, he became more and more independent. He prefers to nap in the corner down the hall, he sleeps on the floor under by bedroom window (instead of on the bed where I want him), if I try too hard to smother him with hugs and kisses, he gets up and walks away.

I have a friend who has one of Moony’s litter mates and she posts about how much he loves to get up in her lap and snuggle. What? Why not me!? I can’t help but feel a pang of jealousy!

Don’t misunderstand, I truly love my pup. I really do. He brings me so much joy every day. And surprisingly, he has been the greatest lesson I could have received right before I embark on this Foster Parenting journey. Let me explain…

While it is my first instinct and strongest desire to smother Moony with hugs and kisses and lay all over him and squeeze him till it hurts, that’s not how Moony wants/needs to be loved. (Not that I don’t still try from time to time…lol)

Moony loves to go for walks, and run around in the back yard. He likes to hike, looking back at me frequently to make sure I’m keeping up. He loves to play in the water and bring me toys for him to chase. He loves tuna fish and likes to lay at the other end of the couch while I watch TV. He stares at me during obedience class with focus and determination I didn’t think he’d be capable of. He hates being in the car but likes to put his head on my shoulder while I’m driving.

He most definitely wants affection, but mostly, he wants it on his terms. He’ll approach while I’m watching TV and sit in front of me, looking up like, now’s your chance lady.


He’ll come up and bow his head down in my lap, asking for me to scratch his ears and shower him with just a few moments of attention. Then when he’s had enough, he’ll go lay down where he’s comfortable.


What I wanted was a big fluffy snuggle monster. What I got was a puppy who loves me, loves spending time with me and truly wants affection, BUT on his own specific terms. I’ve had to learn to adjust my expectations and my own selfish desires to respect the needs/desires of this big floofy doof. Despite what I saw at first as a major detriment to our relationship, we have a strong bond that I know will only continue to grow throughout the years.

I learned to let go of my expectations and love the puppy I got, not the puppy I thought I wanted

Some of you may think I’m being a little silly (and maybe I am), by reading so much into this relationship with a dog. But, I truly think that dogs are special gifts from God, I think that our relationships with them are important, and can teach us a great deal about ourselves.

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Sisters at odds.

I haven’t talked about it much, but I live with my younger sister. She’s 6 years younger than me and we’ve been roommates for over 5 years. Most of the time, we get along. Most of the time, we are friends.

Throughout this Foster Care process, she’s been fully on board. She says she’s ready to be supportive and to help when/as she can, she helped prepare the house and the kiddos’ room for all of the inspections, she took a CPR class, she even went to the training classes with me (Which, honestly, I doubt I would have done if I didn’t have to, they were long and boring for the most part!).

Recently though, she started dating a new guy and has completely disappeared.


Like one day we were watching Locked Up on Netflix and cooking dinner and the next day, POOF, adios, gone. She basically uses our house as a closet and a place to sleep for a few hours at a time. She leaves early in the morning and doesn’t come home until after I’m in bed. Her life literally revolves around this new guy.

It’s been a rough few weeks. I’ve been resentful. We’ve been fighting, a lot, mostly over text since she’s never home. She thinks I’m jealous. I’m not. I’m actually happy for her, she’s dated a lot of trash monsters on her quest to find a good guy and I’m glad she has.

The problem is, I’m worried (hell, I’m scared) that the support I thought I was going to have during this Foster Care journey won’t be there when I start this thing and I really need it.

I’m trying not to freak out and be discouraged, but I know I haven’t handled this as gracefully as I should have.

I’m struggling right when I need to be resting and mentally/spiritually preparing for all that is about to change. I know that there’s some spiritual warfare going on here.

It’s been a rough and lonely few weeks.

I’m not really sure what the solution is. I don’t have the answers. I’m just praying that we figure out a peace soon. I’m praying that when push comes to shove, God will give me the strength I need, whether she’s there to help out or not.



p.s. Still no word from DHS. I thought I’d have heard by now, but it’s not all that surprising that I haven’t. It’s all hurry up and wait with them.


Tomorrow, my baby sister turns 17. I remember being 17. Wasn’t that like, yesterday?

Where did the time go?

ClaireAnna, my love, my favorite person in the world. I am so proud of the young woman she’s becoming. She’s smart, witty, kind, clever, creative, full of light. I could go on and on. I have loved her with all of my heart since before she was born and I’m so blessed to call her my sister.


The happiest of chickadees. (5 yrs old here)



A smiley girl and her horse. 



Strong and passionate. 



Gorgeous, in and out. 

I love you, I love you, I love you.


Friday morning, I had my final walk-through with DHS. I’m hoping that this week I’ll hear back about being “open.” It really struck me this morning at how quickly all of this has happened.

At times if felt like things were taking forever, but really, it hasn’t even been three months.

On December 28th, I attended an informational meeting about becoming a foster parent organized by The CALL.

The CALL is an group in Arkansas whose mission is: “To educate, equip and encourage the Christian community to provide a future and a hope for children in foster care in Arkansas.” The CALL recruits, trains and supports foster and adoptive families in Arkansas. In fact, families recruited by The CALL make up over half of all foster families in the state. (How cool is that?)

They provided the training I needed, at no cost, and assisted with the paperwork process. They have an outstanding relationship with DHS and help to expedite the process.

Now, here it is, March 12th, not even 3 months after that informational meeting and I’m almost licensed, waiting on the call that will tell me I’m “open.”

It’s just crazy how much your life can change so quickly, and all it took this time was a couple of months, a little bit of hard work, and a mountain of paperwork!


Worth it.

8:30am tomorrow. DHS is coming for the final walk-through. I’m not nervous, this will be the 4th time we’ve had someone at the house, poking around. How many times do they really need to count the fire alarms before you’re allowed to take care of kiddos? Four, I guess.

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A family that was in our training class had their final walk-through and then about a week later got a call saying that they were officially “open” as a foster home. Another friend said she got a call for a placement the same day as her final walk-through.

At this point I still have no idea how long it will be before I’m officially “open.”

It’s a good thing that I’m a person OK with uncertainty. This process teaches you that you have no control of anything. You have no idea when anything will happen. Some things move fast, others at a sloth’s pace, and there’s no telling which it will be or why. And in talking to others going through the same thing, you learn it’s different for everyone. Hurry up and turn in that paperwork, now wait.

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