Back in November, I went to a South Hill Designs social at my friend R's house. She sells it and was launching her business, so I went to her party. She had posted something online and said the first person who said they wanted a free locket would get one. I immediately commented on the post and said I wanted it, and so she said, "It's yours!" I honestly wasn't going to buy anything. The jewelry that I wear is very specific and I only wanted to keep wearing the necklace that I was given for Mother's Day. But when I saw all the great things that I could put into the free locket that I won, I was blown away and inspired. I now have a new favorite necklace. My friend Kathryn and I decided that we'd host a combo party at my house and invite a bunch of our MOMS Club friends over. The party was scheduled for January.
I ended up buying a G for Gus, an H for Hugh, a diamond ring for Steve, a running shoe for me, and a mustache for Hugh. I couldn't wait for my order to arrive. (I now also have a popcorn bucket for Gus inside my locket.) I decided that I wanted to get a necklace for Claire for Christmas and I wanted to put Gus's name inside and a charm to represent him. So I went onto R's website and bought Clarie's Christmas gift from me and Steve.
When school started back up in January, Gus's bus driver, Serge, noticed my necklace and told me that he wanted the exact same thing for his wife. The next week he said he wanted four of them. One for his wife and three daughters and wanted to make them something great and give it to them for Valentine's Day. I told him about our social and invited him to come over and check everything out, but he wasn't able to come. Around this same time, several other people said that they wanted to buy from me, but couldn't make the party. It made me think about selling the jewelry myself. So after talking it over with Steve and creating a business plan, we decided to go for it. I haven't looked back since and have been doing okay for my first month selling the stuff. I'm having a REALLY hard time finding people to host a party. I can't blame people for not wanting to do it, as I didn't really want to do it myself. But I've got to keep at it. The thing that I really like is that there's no minimum that I have to sell each month, and I can stop at any time and everything that I've bought is mine to keep.
I really like the company and the business model and principles that it has. I also really love the jewelry and think it's really pretty. It's affordable ($22 gets you a mini locket and chain). So for under $40 you could get a mini locket with chain and three charms. Not too shabby! Anyway, I've been really excited to see the support that my friends are giving me. Two have thrown online parties and hopefully I'll be able to get others to also do a party. If you're reading this and you're interested in either selling SHD or having an online social, let me know!! And if you're curious to see what it's all about, you can check out my site!! Feel free to buy something while you're there!! www.southhilldesigns.com/cathywalker
This past week, we said goodbye to our good friend, Purry Como. He came into our family in October of 2010 when Gus was just five months old. We knew our time with him was honestly borrowed, as we knew nothing about what happened to him while a laboratory animal. When we adopted Purry Como back in 2010, he was pretty active and was always very loud. Purry was named Perry Como originally because of his loud purr that sounded like he was singing. When we had the chance to rename him, we liked the initial thought behind the name and just tweaked it to make us happy. Purry was always pretty clueless. As far as animals go, he had zero common sense. Chalk it up to being in a cage his whole life, but he was honestly clueless most of the time. This allowed him to just relax and go with the flow and he'd walk around the house and just wander. Often times, he'd walk right under your feet and have no idea why you'd be upset with him. The last few months were getting more and more difficult to bear. We watched Purry's health slowly deteriorate. He was peeing and pooping in random places all over the house, and his fur and face started to look odd. I can only describe it as saying if you've ever had a sick animal, you know the look that I'm referring to. Steve decided to take Purry to the vet last Friday (the 14th) and they did a full blood work-up. They said they'd need the weekend to get the results in and as soon as they had them, they'd call and let us know. We spent the weekend loving on Purry as much as possible, as we had an inclination that it would be his last with us. On Monday afternoon, the vet called with the bad news. There was a tumor (cancerous) and while there were options for us, with Purry's age and already declined health, they really would not have been fair to him to pursue. Instead, we made the agonizing decision to end his suffering. Steve took Purry to the vet by himself, since I had to stay home with Gus and Hugh. It was so hard to say goodbye to him. He was such a special soul and added so much to our family. There was a selfish part of me that told Steve to just not do it... just let him stay home, but I knew better. After Steve left with him, I fell apart. Steve was so strong and took Purry to the vet and was with him when he left this life. Steve snuggled him, held him, and loved on him as much as possible in the short time before the vet came in. They took Purry back and put the line in, and then brought him back into the room with Steve. The vet said that he was not happy about the line. :-( They fed him a few treats and Steve continued to pet him as the medicine passed through his veins. He passed very quickly, and was not in pain, and was next to a person that loved him and gave him the most wonderful life possible. Steve came home with the empty cat carrier and we both just cried. The decision to let a pet go is the most agonizing thing that pet owners have to encounter. It hurts and it makes you question your decision. In the end, I know it was the best for him, as I would never have wanted him to suffer. However, it was the most difficult goodbye and still hurts to think about. I still hear his purr in my head, and I still look for him in the house. I don't know when I'll see him again, but I look forward to being reunited with him. Here are some pictures of our sweet Purry.
Taken in 2010
So happy to have a home and people that love him
Gus loved Purry so much
He was so laid back... he didn't know he wasn't supposed to let Elphie put his head in her mouth!
Always loved to be touched
The last weekend with us... he just wanted to snuggle on Gus's bed
Gus had no idea that Purry would be leaving us soon
The last pictures of Purry. Taken just before leaving us
He was an awesome cat and had such a sweet temperament. He always wanted to be around people, wanted to be touched, and loved life. Our house a not the same without him, and the sweet sound of his purr is something I'll always remember.
On Saturday night, Steve and I went out on our first (of hopefully many) date night. The last one that we went on was so long ago I can't remember, and it was well before Hugh. Steve asked our neighbor that pet sits for us, and she was excited to come over and watch the boys. We decided to have he come around 5ish and then she'd only have a little over an hour with the boys before bed at 6:30. We went to Longhorn for dinner and it was AWESOME. I mean, to just sit and relax and talk and focus on each other was incredible. Something that you forget about when one of you is feeding a baby and the other is wrangling the preschooler. We had firecracker chicken roll ups for an appetizer (part of their two for $40 deal) and then I had their warm bree salad and it was frigging delicious! Steve just had a regular side salad. Then we each had filets and we were able to get a free sundae to share for his birthday. It was so great. There are a few movies out now that we had wanted to see, but they're "fluff" movies and I figured if we're going to see something in a theater, it needs to be something good that we can't watch with the boys and can't spend several days trying to watch. We chose The Wolf of Wall Street.
First of all, I love Leo. Always have, always will. He did NOT disappoint in this movie. In fact, he was outstanding. The movie was three hours long and moved so quickly that we didn't realize that it had been three hours. It was non-stop interesting and had us hooked. There's a LOT of nudity and drug use, and a lot of swearing, but it was such an interesting and honestly, quite funny a lot of the time. I highly recommend it!! It was so nice to hold my husband's hand during the movie and to snuggle and enjoy a movie together. It reminded me of our days before children. We love movies and would go weekly to see a movie. It was nice. Our movie was at 7pm and I was reminded instantly that I haven't been out at 7pm on a Saturday in ages. The theater was busy and there were people everywhere! It was so crazy! We must be the only people in the area that don't get out (EVER). LOL After our movie, we headed home (it was after 10). When we walked into the house, the living room was clean. Our sitter cleaned up and it was so sweet.
When we came in, she was up in Hugh's room and brought him downstairs. He was hungry, so she was going to feed him. He was so excited to see us and I was excited to steal some snuggles before putting him back to sleep. She said the boys were good and went down without any problems. It was such a great night. We've decided to try to do a date night every month. I think it's a great idea and I really look forward to our date in March!!
This week, we were able to enjoy a freak snow storm here in the South. The Atlanta-area isn't known for snow and cold weather, but this winter has been exceptionally cold. We usually have mild winters (40s-50s) and only get to watch our northern friends play in snow.
On Tuesday, just before noon, we were treated to some snowflakes. They started slowly and then as the afternoon progressed, they came down harder and started to actually stick! Gus had just arrived home from school when the snow started, and I'm so thankful that he was home safely.
Steve sent me a text and asked if we had snow yet, and I said we had not. Just after sending, I opened the window to see what was happening, and sure enough, there were flakes!
Of course, I had to take Gus outside so he could enjoy the flakes as they were coming down!! Steve decided to head home at noon, and I'm so glad that he did. He made it home by 1 and said the roads were getting really icy and there was a lot of congestion and traffic. I'm sure you've seen the news about this, but there were people stranded on the freeways for more than 15 hours, and in some cases, some were there for 24 hours. Kids were stranded on buses trying to get from school to home, and some were stranded overnight at school because their parents couldn't get to the school to get them. It was a traffic nightmare.
However, we were all here and safe and warm and we enjoyed the snow tremendously. It started snowing just before noon and didn't stop until we went to bed. We went out before dinner and gathered with some of our neighbors and the kids were sledding down our neighbor's yard. Gus got to experience the joy that a little snow and a sled can bring and it was so fun to watch him.
After he had figured out the neighbors small yard, we decided to try our monster driveway. It was a big hit and Gus had a great time with our neighbor!
Even Steve got in on the action!
It was so much fun and the snow was coming down while we were outside. To watch Gus's joy was so awesome and it was a moment that I'll never forget.
Trying to catch snowflakes on his tongue
Hugh was stirring from his nap (we have the iZon camera and can see him on our iPhone) so we headed inside to get him and brought him out to experience the snow. He was not as impressed as his brother was.
While we were outside, we got the call that school was closed for Wednesday!! Hurray!! Wednesday morning, Steve decided to stay home and work and we were delighted to get to spend his birthday with him! We played outside while Hugh napped and it was a ton of fun!!
Slipping on ice!
Daddy slipped too!
We don't have a sled (we're going to get two cheap ones next time we're in Michigan and it's winter), but Steve improvised with using the baby pool that we had in the backyard! It turned out to be the perfect sled for Gus!!
He had such a great time using our steep driveway as a sledding hill!
Our neighbor (next door) came over to watch
Gus decided that he wanted to throw snowballs at everyone!
The neighborhood kids came over and used our driveway as a sledding hill
Our neighbor (across the street) showing Gus how to create the perfect snowball
Hugh was waking, so we headed inside to get warm and to play for a bit. Hugh did not want to head outside, and it was starting to warm up, and the snow started to melt.
The snow has almost completely melted, but we had a great time while it lasted. I even took out a bowl to collect snow so I could make snow cream. It wasn't as yummy as I had hoped, but Gus enjoyed it!
My blog that's specifically about open adoption and how our family came to be complete.
Cat Walker Photography
I'm Cathy and I'm a former elementary teacher turned SAHM. This blog has grown and evolved through the years to be my sounding board, then a place to share my thoughts, fears, and celebrations, and then where I post pictures and practice my photography skills. I blog about daily happenings. To read more about my family and how we're connected to open adoption, please follow our family blog: A Completed Family.