“To laugh often and much, to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children, to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends, to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch…to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded!” ~Emerson


“The greatest gift I can give my child is showing her the world-not just ecosystems and fragile places, but the people, and the wealth and diversity of cultures and perspectives” Alexandra Cousteau


Woohoo, I’m done and have succeeded, Mars is a beautiful soul, although I can’t take credit for that. Hmmm, before I look for a spot for the “succeeded plaque” in the closet with my degree and other plaques,  I wonder if the child needs to grow up before one is to be considered a success.


I’m going to get all mushy and soft on you, but today is the day I actually had the moment I thought…this is my family. Lol, okay I know it’s not earth shattering but to finally be passed the phantom limb pain of losing what would be considered a rather large piece of this family, it’s quite an achievement for me. To finally feel as if we’re whole and not broken, not suffering or lacking anything is awe inspiring; we’re a family, however perfectly imperfect, this is us.


Now, to tell you a little bit about us.

I’m the maman, I bring home the bacon and bake the bread to serve it on (or know where to buy the best Baguette). Then I’ll add sliced heirloom purple Cherokee tomato, organic avocado and crispy red leaf lettuce, voila a B.L.A.T., super yummy. I heart BLATs! I drive a camry hybrid that is wonderful (good gas mileage) until I try and figure out how my finds at antique shops or roadside bargains will fit, let alone Ikea pieces to fill in the spaces.  I work full time in pharmacy informatics and yet am propelled to write thereby fulfilling my inner dream. A dream that didn’t stay hidden but very much became a life of its own, an intricate piece of my renaissance life.


My daughter is an almost 4-year-old going on 16 (if you think I’m kidding, look at previous blog post).  She’s a blend of her father and I; I think she got the best of us both! Her energy is endless, her zest for life inspiring (whether wearing her sleeping bag backpack-outfitted with water bottle and flashlight- to rescue any little animals in our back yard while sipping on her juice box, wearing spider rain boots complete with a headband around her head like a little hippie …) sorry I can go on and on about her, she’s my daughter, it’s how it works with us mamans!


She went to the dentist today and I was so proud to see her breeze through getting her pictures taken then sitting in the dentists chair (still freaks me out) adorning flower sunglasses and just chatting way with the hygienist. I kept thinking, she doesn’t even need me here. Then came the moment of I knew I recognized the dentist’s name! I worked on a few orderset for him –smiling while mentally trying to remember if it turned out well as sometimes I have to get a little tough in my job-then realized he’s smiling back so either he doesn’t remember OR all went well.


All did go well with Mars’ first dental apt, she got to pick two prizes and a purple toothbrush, but not before sweet-talking the hygienist for another toothbrush for the upstairs bathroom. Haha, yeah, that’s my girl.

Bentley Boy

The third member is really a four-legged 70 lb neurotic Weimaraner with an identity crisis, he goes between thinking he’s human and a lap dog. To his credit he can curl up so tight when wanting to get every inch of him bathed in sunlight filtering through the front room window, but on the couch, forget it, he’s sprawled out and spilling over my lap. He’s been with me since moving here and I cannot imagine life without him (but I do wish he knew how to use a litter box!)


Now, before I paint this day picture perfect I’m going to let you know just how much this family is perfectly imperfect and I wouldn’t have it any other way.


Bentley, that’s his name, has a finicky digestive tract as well as skin issues so he eats a special dog food that is EVO Salmon and Herring. Finding it locally has been an issue, but I finally found a pet shop that carries it regularly and is not far from my home. So after the dentist, Mars and I head out to a suburb near the suburb border we live near but I didn’t realize it was 5 o’clock until I rounded the neighborhood corner onto one of the main roads. Undeterred and intent on getting his food, I plugged in my iTouch and let Ellie Goulding take us there. Mars adores the song “Lights” and I love “The Writer”. Turning into one of those endless strip malls, I realized the pet shop had moved from the location described on the website, so I did a little psychic GPS and found my way there. Forty lb bag of dog food later and Mars rearranging all the plush animals at the shop, we’re back in traffic fighting our way home. Upon bringing Bentley inside for his dinner,  I realized he tracked in poop and then when going to get paper towels and cleaner, I found a little river and Mars sprawled out on the floor tangled in her tights as she didn’t quite make it (darn traffic). I did hold back my chuckle and simply asked if she needed help.


I could only smile at this happening to both at the same time.  I cleaned it up and then decided that Bentley is getting a bath, for which he knows the word and sulks the whole way to the bath acting all defeated that he’s going to get cleaned, as if dogs are meant to be dirty. Mars decided she’ll help with treats while I wash him with a special antimicrobial soap (for his skin), but she ends up chucking the treats at him quicker than he can eat them = big mess as they absorb the water running off his back pooling on top the drain. Keeping him in the bath isn’t as difficult as keeping him from shaking all the water off. Finally clean, I decided it’s time to clip his nails.


One would think I was going to torture him, rather than clip teensy weensy little bits off his, fortunately, dark nails (they grow slower) and here bloomed THAT moment of, “this is my family of three”. I don’t even have to show Bentley the nail clippers and he knows what’s coming, he like senses it with his hunting breed roots, lol. I’m trying to hold him in a way so he cannot see, but it doesn’t matter, the clock is now ticking in the timeframe I need to get this accomplished or forget it, game over. He’s 70 lbs (I’m more ;) )and he somehow can wiggle his way out. Mars, the sweet one she is, tries to wrangle him in with treats and is running with a bag full of them in a snowman fuzzy fleece footed jammies around the house trying to catch him and not fall on the wood floor. Meanwhile all I can think is “I need a glass of wine, a beer or better yet, a shot!”


Seriously, this boy isn’t going to be the end of my alpha in the house (although I know he feels he’s my protector) and at the same time, fear is not going to help anything, just make it worse. So I take a few breaths, he comes over, I show him the clipper and get about half of them clipped.


Better than nothing.


What a team we make, our family of three. We then snuggled on the couch (well it took Bentley about 20 minutes to finally realize I did not have the clippers nor was I hiding them) and we watched The Voice (breaking my rule of no T.V. during the week but some rules are meant to be broken every-now-and-again) but Mars passed out a few minutes in due to no nap.


It’s only Tuesday but it seems like a week has been compressed into these past three days. That’s what it is, living in the moment, you can stack them up then look back like a rolodex unraveling to then move forward, knowing that there are more and more to be had as a family.