you’ll always be my baby

you'll always be my baby

good evening, fine folks. pardon my absence (again) and (again). lots of life going on right now. big things. exciting things. stressful things. i miss my blog. i miss sharing my story. i’ve got to catch you up on the wedding, the new house, dealing with my anxiety, etc. but for tonight, a love story of a girl and her pup.

[b] is traveling abroad for the next couple of weeks. (have i mentioned before that he has a blog, too? check it out here) which really bums me out. he’s my other half. my source of strength. my reminder that things will be ok. which i’ve needed a lot lately. thanks to the wonders of technology and FaceTime, i get to communicate with him quite a bit, which makes it easier. but what helps even more is having starksthepup. he’s my baby and my favorite non-human. i love him more than i ever could have imagined. even at the times when he’s being a lunatic; like when he runs through the screen door, or won’t stop pacing around, and when we go for a walk and he has to stop and either smell or pee on EVERYTHING, or when he does that high pitch whining noise in the car… even with all those things he makes my heart full every day. every morning when i wake up he is snuggling right next to me (sometimes with his face IN my face – that’s precious) and when i come home from work he is thrilled just to see me. and wants nothing more than to have his belly rubbed and play ball. and eat treats, too of course.

tonight we went on a 2 mile run (more like a jog, let’s be honest) and came back home and played ball in the backyard for almost an hour. and for that hour i wasn’t thinking about anything, or worried about anything, or sad about anything, or anxious about anything. i was happy. that pup is my baby. and he’s the cutest, smartest, more adorable pup you ever did meet. thanks for being there for me, pup, physically at least – because seriously you make the worst guard dog ever. thank goodness you’re cute.

[want more from starksthepup? be sure to follow me on instagram and follow him on Twitter – @starksthepup]



Photo Oct 15, 5 25 43 PM




happy birthday to our angel in heaven [haley ellen turns 21]

“death comes unexpectedly.”

today we celebrate my baby sister, Haley Ellen’s, 21st birthday. 21 years ago she was born asleep and left us before we got the chance to meet her. i was three years old at the time, and none of it really made any sense to me. mommy was supposed to have a baby, but then we never got to take a baby home. when i was old enough to understand, my parents explained; and i looked through all the pictures we had. i would think of her from time to time growing up, but as i’ve grown older there is an indescribable bond i feel with my baby sister. i’ve grown a more emotional attachment to her and i feel her around quite often. when i graduated college, when i was having a bad day, when spencer graduated college, when i got engaged, when carter went to prom. i know she was there.

it’s a funny thing, how you can miss someone so much that you never got to meet. and how today thinking of the fun we’d have toasting to her 21st birthday fills my eyes with tears. there are a lot of things about life we’ll never truly understand. how a baby so beautiful can be taken from a family ready to love her forever. i have faith that God needed that lovely little angel back with him. and if we had gotten to keep her, i might not have my (not so) little brother. things have a way of working themselves out exactly they way they are supposed to, which is more often than not the way we planned. i love and miss her so very much but know that she’s watching over me and my family; hanging out with her cousin Dana Patrice, Nana, Grandpa Marlo and Grandpa Paul and our neighbor Lorriane; and smiling over us every day. we love you sweet Haley Ellen, we will carry your memory on forever and we wish you the happiest of birthdays – mom and i will have a glass of wine and cheers to you, our little angel in the sky. you’ll always be our hope, you’ll always be our first light, you’re always gonna be our little girl. we only wish for one more day <3

if you’ve ever watched Pollyanna i would imagine you recognize that line from Reverend Paul Ford’s sermon. and if you haven’t watched it, i highly recommend. it is a lovely story of a young girl who teaches a whole town about seeing the brighter side of momma was watching that movie the night she felt that something was not right; and i watch it every year and remember her.

Haley Ellen Dahl
Haley Ellen Dahl

brandon turns the big 3-0 {happy birthday fiancé!}

today, at  2:45PM to be exact, my fiancé officially turns the big 3-0. (wow, you are old babe.) in the spirit of the occasion i have made a list of 30 of my favorite moments with the birthday boy. i hope you are enjoying your day off, brandon, and i cannot wait to celebrate tonight! can’t wait for many more birthday celebrations to come. i love you so very much! XOXOXO

happy birthday brandon

  1. the moment i got a message back from you on match
  2. sitting at OPH for about 4 hours on our first date
  3. learning that you like flowers in your cocktails at chino
  4. our first kiss
  5. you weekend we went on a pumpkin cooking craze and you tried to teach me how to cook
  6. when you met my family for the first time
  7. when i came over after work but forgot my overnight bag and you drove from softball to minneapolis to get it for me
  8. meeting your mom at thanksgiving
  9. teaching you how to make kringla
  10. going christmas crazy and getting our own real christmas tree
  11. the first time you told me you loved me
  12. having you there for me when my nana passed away
  13. your first trip Albert Lea
  14. when you asked me if we should start making my change of address labels aka do you want to move in
  15. how patient you were when i had a full blown anxiety attack before i went on my cruise
  16. when you got me the infamous serendipity 3 mug every time you drop me off and pick me up at the airport
  17. when we decided that we would have an agreement where i didn’t have to cook if you didn’t have to clean
  18. supporting me throughout working on my presentation at EXHIBITOR2013 with many saturday mornings spent at various coffee places
  19. celebrating your birthday in florida with matt and sandra
  20. laying in the hammock in marco island
  21. training for our half marathons
  22. many nights spent laying next to you crushing candies
  23. celebrating our one year anniversary
  24. carving pumpkins with starks
  25. starting to look at houses together
  26. classic pictures sticking out tongues out at each other
  27. our incredible trip to new york
  28. spending a week in paradise with my family (most of your time spent in the hammock)
  29. the last selfie we took as boyfriend/girlfriend
  30. when you asked me to marry you