Wednesday, September 17, 2014

My Glass is Half-Full

Today marks 2 years since I lost my dad (my Pops). Being that I haven't written here since April, it's hard to catch up on everything when so much has happened. But, in honor of him and how life has gone forward, I wanted to write a little recap and where we go from here.

My Glass is Half-Full

I can't believe the day is here, but Mike, Baris and I are on our way to Florida. In just a few short days I will marry my best friend! After Mike proposed and we were trying to think of the day to tie the knot, September was the first month that came to mind. When thinking of a day in September, the 20th immediately stood out. From the moment we got engaged up to today, I have had a hard time getting in the spirit and really dedicating these planning months to strictly wedding thoughts. Of course I've longed for this day since Mike crossed my path, but I always imagined my wedding day would have had everyone present. 

I'd be lying if I said I'm not having a hard time right now thinking of these next few days and knowing my Pops won't be there. I'd be lying if I said the various weddings I've attended since his passing have hit me like a ton of bricks and reminded me that when my day arrives, I won't have his arm to lean on when walking down the aisle, I won't have his wink when Mike vows to take care of his little girl, and I won't have the dance I've always wanted to have with him. 

Thinking that today officially marks 2 years without him blows my mind. Somehow over 2 years, I've gotten by, gotten engaged, started a new job, adopted the best dog out there, moved into a new place, and planned a wedding. There have been so many moments during these milestones where I know he has shown up when I least expected it. I think after you lose someone, you hold on soooo tightly for their physical self that you are knocked off your feet when they show up in a song, in a sunrise, in a flock of geese, or even when you pick your wedding date. 

September will always be a rough month for me no matter how many years pass by without him. But when selecting our wedding day, I have a really good feeling my Pops wanted this month to bring about something different :) 

When I think about this new chapter of my life, I have the biggest smile, the most overwhelmed heart, and the kind of feeling everyone dreams of having. Mike was the first guy I felt true, deep, Notebook-type-of-LOVE for (if you know me, you know I have a hardcore crush on The Notebook)! He has been the one guy I'd give my car up for just so we could always drive together, the ONLY guy who has opened every door for me, the guy who lets me eat Qdoba 4 nights a week without judging, the one who compliments my dance skills when everyone else laughs (along with my singing voice), the one who I want my kids to call their "Pops," the only guy I ever let meet my dad (who thankfully was the one standing next to me when I had to say goodbye), and Mike is the one person I am so thankful picked me because without a doubt I never thought I would have gotten so lucky picking him. 

As these next few days take place, we're reunited with so many people we love, and we finally get to become Mr. & Mrs.Gioioso, I have to remind myself of who raised me, what he taught me, and the part of this new chapter he'd remind me to remember. My Pops was always, and I mean always, seeing life through a glass half-full type of lens. The glass could have been broken, foggy, or filled with sour milk, but that didn't stop him from seeing and thinking the best about what stood on the other side. 

I am taking this approach as we go through the next few days. This is about to be one of the most memorable weekends I'll get and I know he will be there. This is the day I've wanted for so long ... the day to say "I do" as I take my best friend and vow to be the best to him, God and our life together. This is a weekend where so much love will be pouring from everyone's glasses, and from the looks of it even Mother Nature's glass, that I can't help but think he would be winking and saying, "Sweets ... do you see what I see?"

Pops, I sure do. I see you in me, the places I go and the people who have shown up. I see that life unfolded just the way you wanted for your little girl. She found the man of her dreams, the guy you always rooted for, and the day you told her would be worth waiting for. I see that when the glass does have a crack, looks a little foggy, or holds sour milk, you just keep pouring. Sweets, life is always going to be that way. You'll have a hard day, you'll have to say goodbye to a loved one, and you'll be thrown some sour situations, but remember keep pouring ... because one day you're going to be knocked off your feet by love, you're going to find that your best friend is about to become your husband, and you're going to have so many people to lean upon as you walk down the aisle. Play the song you wanted to play and just think my big feet and awkward dance moves will now save you from embarrassment. And at the end of the night, take Mike by the arm, pour yourself a drink and look around you. You are beyond blessed and you have something that so many people forget to remember, a glass that will always be (more than) half-full. 

Being that my dad was the best darn electrician out there, I found a quote that sums up Mike and the man my Pops wanted for me. "What is a soul? It's like electricity, we don't really know what is it, but it's a force can that can light a room." Mike, thank you for last 6 years and being the force that has lit up my life.
Thank you ALL so much for your love and support over the last 2 years and for being there for us. We've always been so excited to tell our story about how we met, but over these last 6 years it's been a true test to the love and commitment we have to know that our story is only going to get better!

Raise your glass, fill it up, and let's go get married!
_____   _______   _______   _______
In case you're wondering what song I had saved for my Pops and I it's Rod Stewart "Forever Young." We would spend Saturday mornings cleaning the house (Mike get ready for this tradition), and my dad would blast Rod Stewart. The minute I heard "Forever Young" for the first time was the minute I knew that song would be ours :)

"May the good Lord be with you down every road you roam, and may sunshine and happiness surround you when you're far from home. And may you grow to be proud, dignified and true, and do unto others as you'd have done to you. Be courageous and be brave, and in my heart your'll always stay forever young." 

Friday, April 25, 2014

Friday Fav - Happy Birthday, Pops!

It's been far too long since I wrote a Friday Fav, and to be honest, 2 weeks ago I almost wrote a farewell for now type of a post. The type of posts I was writing, outside of my Friday Fav, didn't have any flair and I wasn't digging the writing process. So I ended with just sticking to the Friday Favs and realized the weeks were flying by and I didn't have a chance to reflect on it all (and I would rather hang out with Mike and Baris). 

But today is my Dad's Birthday. Today he would have been 57, and just like I continued writing a Friday Fav for his 55th Birthday here, and the same way I did the week I had to say goodbye here, well today's Friday is no different. I started the public form of journal writing in 2008, and it all started because my Dad encouraged me. He was the first one to read my blog posts, he was the one who would save them and reference for later conversations, and he would ask before the subject even came up, "Did you take time to write today?"

Friday Fav - Happy Birthday, Pops!

I never thought how tough it would be to celebrate a person's birthday when they are no longer with you. I never imagined that my Dad wouldn't live to see his 60th, 80th, or even 100th Birthday, let alone never see his 56th. From the conversations we had and the way we both thought, I know he will reach those birthday milestones. I know Heaven is a place where party hats are worn and pork chops will be served from your birthday dinner request. I know that if I can't celebrate my Dad the way he should be celebrated, then God, his family, our pets who extended our family tree, and John Wayne and Patsy Cline are for sure celebrating the wonderful man that is my Dad. 

During the first few months after my Dad passed, I clung to the hope that he was still here and somewhere I could see/hear. I wanted to find him on the other end of a phone call, outside of my front door, or even where he was all along, in Utah just living his life with a smile on his face. Swallowing the reality that is, he is no longer here, still can't be processed.

When I think about my Dad and the way he approached life he was always looking up. Whether it was the stars, the sun, the moon, or the flock of birds, he always had his head where life was a little more peaceful. Being 6'7'' maybe it was his height that kept his head tilted so high, but when I think about where he is now, I can't help but look up. 

I no longer cling to the hope that he will show up, but instead, live for the type of life he did. One where my laugh travels for miles, where dancing doesn't mean you have to be good at it, where a house filled with dog hair is the happiest of homes, and where you make sure everyday (no matter the time) you tell the people you love how much they mean to you. My heart fills up when I think about the last time I saw him and the last thing he did that showed the type of man he was. I was on my way to Montana for my friend's wedding and my aunt offered to take me to the airport (she works there). It only made sense so I agreed. Just as I was approaching the security checkpoint, I saw my Dad. No appointment in the world would let him miss this moment, no distance from his house to the airport would stop him, and no matter if he had to park his car in short-term parking and deal with a fee that only provided him 5 minutes to see his daughter and say goodbye, he did it. He made those in his life a priority and always made sure to go the extra mile. I can remember his hug, his smile, and the way he waved at me as I turned the corner and walked to the departure gate. I'll never forget this moment, and I'll never be able to thank him enough for showing up and proving to be, one more time, the man who was always there for me. Little did I know that less a month after this moment, that was our goodbye. 

Pops, today for your Birthday, I'm looking up. Looking up at the life that is still ahead and the life that you gave me. Until we see each other again, I've got my party hat on and I'm celebrating you! 

I love and miss you, 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Wednesday's Words

I typically keep my Wednesday's Words short, sweet and with some wonderful quotes from Pinterest, but I do have a little catching up to do.

I saw this quote and it has truly summed up this last year for me.

Very true!

You see, this last year I've really been trying to figure out what it is I want to do for my career/work. The question has been asked far too often, "What is your passion?" I can't hear it one more time. I haven't found that one thing that I was put on this earth to do. I have some ideas - you know like have babies, rescue as many animals as I possibly can, travel the world with only $5 to my name (obviously impossible), and so on. But when it comes to my professional passion, it really can be summed by "working with people." I enjoy talking, selling, informing, educating, and the list goes on with people. I think, just think, I've finally found the job that might solve my past year's dilemma - what is it that I should do?

I might be getting ahead of myself, and possibly ruining my chances of landing this job, but I've realized over the last year and reading over this quote, that life, again and again, will pull you back to your weakest moments and drag you into the place you know is far from where you're destined ... but life also has a way of testing your patience and demanding to see your focus only to show you that things can get better, and possibly become so great. 

So with the possibility that's ahead, I can only keep aiming. I hope these words move you the way they have for me. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Wednesday's Words

What a Wonderful World ♥

Typography |dreams quotes dreams inspiration inspire living life don't stop dreaming abstract art design font type

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Friday, January 31, 2014

Friday Fav - Baris Newberry

Happy Friday! As I look back on this past week I can't help but smile as I see one little warm, furry body hug my side and rest his head on my arm. Today's Friday Fav is one we've all been waiting for ... it's all about my pup!
Friday Fav - Baris Newberry

You all know him, you've seen his pictures, and without a doubt, I'm sure he's crept his way into your heart just like he did with me the first time I saw him. I can remember it perfectly, Saturday October 5th, I was asked to help out at DogFest (a local animal festival focused around the humane society and the importance of rescuing). As I drove up to the parking lot, unloaded my bag of materials, and started walking into the registration area, I saw in the distance table after table, vendor after vendor. It was at this moment I knew I might be in for a very long day and the possibility of being the only one stationed next to the bathroom tub and tile renovator (they seem to be at every show, festival, fair, you name it). I walked over until I saw table #29 and plopped my bags down. As I settled in, I noticed a caramel colored, pointy eared, and black snout little pup walk over to table #28. "Oh my goodness, your dog is so cute, what's his name?" 

"Thank you. This is Baris."
As the hours passed, I couldn't help but inch closer to Baris and abandon my table. It was right then and there that I was hooked. I no longer wanted a golden retriever named Nugget (well I mean I still do), I no longer wanted to wo"man" my table, and above all, I didn't want to leave Baris or let him steal someone else's heart. As my time at this event was coming to an end and I packed everything up, I went back to #28, donated a few dollars to Col. Potter Cairn Terrier Rescue, and whispered in Baris's ears, "One day I hope to see you again."

As the weeks went by, I found myself going straight to the Available Cairns sector of Col. Potter's Rescue website, clicking on Pennsylvania, and seeing Baris with the note that he was still available. One night I couldn't take it anymore, gave my mom a call, and asked if she would help me apply for Baris. See I was living in an apartment that didn't allow dogs, but I was so over the moon with him that I was hopeful he could find a forever home with my mom. We submitted our application at 11:55 pm, and woke up the next morning with a volunteer eager to get the process started. The process was much longer than I expected, but one that obviously ended in my favor. Part of the application was that I would provide Baris a home until I could get him on a plane to Idaho. As I mentioned earlier, my apartment didn't allow dogs, and therefore Baris wouldn't be able to stay with me during this transition time. So our application was put on hold and unfortunately there were many other families looking to call him theirs.
His picture on the Col. Potter website. 
Mike came to the rescue, gave our landlord our one-month notice, and found us a new apartment (that allows furry friends) in one day! So now here we were, waiting an extra month hoping Baris wouldn't be adopted. My new application for him was on file, and I started going through various adoption procedures such as reference check, vet check, and studying of the Cairn Terrier breed (although Baris is a mix and the best mix out there).

On December 1st, we moved, we asked Baris's foster mom, PK, to cross off our home check visit, and we waited patiently hoping we would get the final approval. With so many other families looking to adopt the perfect Christmas present, it seemed as if Baris was never coming home. It was until Saturday, December 21st, I got the call that we had been approved and Baris was going to be ours!!! We arranged a pick-up date for the following day (I couldn't wait any longer), drove up to Newberrytown (hence his middle name), PA, signed the paperwork, swaddled him in his blanket sewn together by one of the fabulous volunteers with Col. Potter, fastened his leash, gave PK a big hug for loving our boy for 5 months, and drove home as a family! We decided to keep his name as it means "peace" in Turkish, and that's truly the personality he has (minus his love for chewing on slippers).

Baris has been the best dog ... ever! Coming from an Amish Puppy Mill (makes me want to vomit), he has the best personality and so much love to give. I've always loved the phrase, "Who rescued who?" In our case, I think we both got very lucky. If you're ever considering a dog, I would highly recommend Col. Potter Cairn Terrier Rescue as they have volunteers every step of the way to help you with your adoption process, they provide their rescues with the best home and training, and post-adoption they are still there as a resource for any questions, advice or even fun stories you'd like to share.
His very own stocking!
His favorite place to nap. 
I am so grateful I had to "work" DogFest, my table was assigned next to Col. Potter's, PK provided my pup the best home and care during his foster stay, and Baris was the one who caught my heart! I can't wait to love him even more, continue to share all of our adventures, and begin volunteering with the organization who made this all possible for me!
Baris with his Col. Potter scarf on his first official day home :)