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Monday, July 18, 2011

Time to Celebrate!

At last year's Swim for Melissa, Ann Catherine's team came in second place in fundraising. For the team prize, she chose a party at The Matrix Gym!

It's been hard to get everyone's schedules together. This past Sunday, Melissa's Miracles (and their siblings) FINALLY celebrated together!

The eight kids on this team raised $15,000 at last year's Swim for Melissa. I think that's just phenomenal! Each of these children understand WHY they are swimming - and I think that's the most important part.

My sweet niece and nephew even made it to the party. I see this picture of the four of them and I know that Melissa is so proud of her sisters and cousins for helping other babies in memory of her. The only thing that would make it better is if SHE was in this picture with them :)

AC is team captain of Melissa's Miracles. She gave each of her team members an engraved medal at the party as a way of saying thanks. I'm so proud of the young lady she's becoming. She has such a big heart and truly loves helping others. I hope that never changes!

This team will be back together in less than a month to Swim for Melissa again!! I'm so proud of all of them!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

So Much Better

Lily Baker wanted a dog for her birthday. That was back in November.

Since her birthday is during the winter and since we thought we would get a puppy, Chris and I decided to wait until spring to buy the girls a dog. After all, taking a dog out to potty each hour during the freezing cold didn't sound too fun to us.

Spring rolled around, but our doggie plans got delayed. We went to Walt Disney World instead. So, we told LB to wait until summer.

Summer began and we had loads of stuff to do. Dance recital, AC's birthday party and a trip to the beach. No dog just yet.

When we returned home from the beach, LB looked at me and said, "Are we ever getting a dog?"

She had waited long enough. So the search began.

Chris and I decided we wanted to rescue instead. First of all, there are so many dogs who need good homes. Plus, we could bypass the puppy stage of chewing and pooping in the house.

Win-win for us.

I began searching and found the most precious dog. It was a Saturday and the shelter was already closed. The following Monday, as soon as I dropped the girls off at Vacation Bible School, I drove an hour to the shelter to see her.

She was adorable. She was the size we were looking for. She seemed like she would be good with children (which was THE most important factor for us).

I couldn't take her home that day. We had a jam-packed week full of appointments and I had some shoots I had to do. I didn't want to get a new dog and then leave her alone in the house for most of the week.

I told the lady at the shelter that we couldn't get her until Friday. I came home and told Chris that if she was still there on Friday, then that was our sign that she was meant to be our dog.

I showed the girls a picture of her on my phone and they went nuts. They wanted to go get her that instant! I told them we couldn't, but we would get her on Friday.

That Thursday, I was getting my hair cut and decided to show her picture to my friend and stylist. I went to and SHE WAS GONE!

I panicked! I called the shelter, but they were closed. I called Chris who told me to calm down because I couldn't do anything until the shelter opened the next morning. My friend tried to reassure me - maybe they had just moved her to another shelter?

But I knew. That dog had been adopted.

I was so sad, but I understood. After all, I had said that would be my sign. I was an adult. I could understand that.

But what about my girls? I knew they would be devestated.

The next morning, Friday morning, Ann Catherine woke up and came running out of her room. "Mommy! We get our dog today!!"

I just looked at Chris and didn't say a word. I took the girls to their last day of VBS and as soon as I got into the car, I called the shelter.

Yes, the lady told me, she had been adopted.

How in the world would I tell my girls? They had been so excited about getting their new dog. I dreaded it so badly.

When I picked them up from VBS, AC immediately asked if we were going to get our dog. I somehow ignored it and got her mind on something else. Later that day, she asked again and I sat her down and told her we needed to talk. I gently told her that another family had adopted the dog before we could get her. She broke down in tears. Actually, more like giant sobs.

I told Ann Catherine that this was a good thing for the dog. After all, she was adopted and that's the goal of every dog in a shelter. But, she couldn't get past the fact that the dog wasn't coming home with us.

I said, "You know what, Ann Catherine? Sometimes in life, we want something so badly and don't get it. It doesn't make any sense to us. But you know what? That means that God has something so much better waiting for us down the road."

I assured her that there was a dog out there waiting for us. We just had to find her. And Chris and I promised her that we would.

I continued to check the Petfinder website almost daily, looking for our dog. Last Tuesday, I found her.

Gigi was part of a family that couldn't take care of her anymore. I immediately emailed the rescue organization asking questions about her. The next morning I heard back from them. She sounded just perfect for us. I called and the lady agreed to meet us on the way back from our vacation the next day. As soon as she pulled up and I saw Gigi, I knew she was our dog. I just needed to see how she would interact with the girls.

They loved her. She was gentle and laid back, but affectionate. I told the lady that we wanted to adopt her. We drove home and bought all of the neccessary supplies that night and I picked her up the next day.

We feel so grateful to have Gigi with us! She is wonderful with my girls and they are learning so much about love and responsibility. She really was the perfect dog for us. And in case you're wondering, Chris had the bow out of her hair about thirty minutes after she got home. He had to draw the line there :)

There's no doubt God had something so much better waiting for us. What a great lesson for all four of us about being patient and trusting God.

Let the fun begin!!