Saying goodbye to Sam

We had to say goodbye to our family dog, Sampson, yesterday. He was 10 years old, and his death caught us all off guard. Just a few weeks before he passed, he was tearing around the backyard with the kids. But at the start of this week, I could tell something was up with him.
Sam--lounging around last week on the arm of the couch
He laid around more than usual; he was slow to get up; and his food dish sat full and untouched. On Wednesday, I came home after my morning run expecting Sam to greet me at the door, tail wagging like he normally does. I opened my back door, and there was no dog to greet me. I hollered his name and listened for the jingle of the tags on his collar, but still...nothing. One of his favorite spots to go when we're gone is in the basement to lay snuggled on the bed, burrowed in my grandma's quilt. That's where he was, but when I called for him again from the doorway of the spare room in the basement, he only looked at me and then rested his head on his paws. I sat next to him, softly stroking his head. "What's wrong, bud?" I whispered. "Do you want a treat?"


Book chats with Danielle: Present Over Perfect

I just finished the book, Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living by Shauna Niequist. Shauna was a guest on a podcast I listened to a while back, and listening to her talk about this book was compelling because I've suffered from a habit of hustle for most of my adult life.
The subtitle of the book really gives the story away--it essentially narrates her journey from a frantic way of living to a more sustainable, joy-filled life. At the end, Niequest writes,
"[...] I was on a dangerous track, where I was giving the best of myself to people and things 'out there,' while the tender inner core of my life and home were increasingly stretched, pressurized, brittle. And now they're not. Now the most beautiful, well-tended, truly nurtured and nourished parts of my life are the innermost ones, not the flashy public ones. That's just as it should be" (228-229).
This quote really is the heart of the book--how and why we must nurture ourselves.

I think this book likely speaks to many women since the expectation of women in our society is to do all and be all for all. For me, this book came five years too late. In my mid-twenties, I battled with these same pressures and eventually traded my frantic pace of life for a slower one when my husband and I welcomed our second child into our home.

There are ideas from the book that I'll be exploring in the days to come: Which emotional resources of mine have been depleted? How did they become so? Who did God create me to be? How do I fully embrace this? What am I attempting to outrun?

For the most part, though, it was a chore to even finish the book.


Technology: Setting boundaries to avoid gluttony

It's Friday, which means a long run day for me. About a year ago, I added The Sorta Awesome Show podcast to my listening line-up on long runs. Today's episode was all about technology and the ways it helps and hurts us--a topic I've thought of often. While I fall into the digital native label because of my millennial status, my family wasn't quick to adopt all the technologies.

I vividly remember when my parents got their first mobile phone: a car phone in a bag sometime in the mid to late 90s. I was mystified that my mom could make a call FROM HER CAR.

We even had a computer during my elementary school days, but I don't think we had internet at home until I was in junior high. My small Catholic elementary school got a tiny computer lab when I was somewhere around fifth or sixth grade, and it was a big deal. We played Oregon Trail and learned basic keyboarding skills, but I don't ever remember doing anything on the internet until junior high.

The technology I really loved, though, was my stereo complete with a fancy cassette deck. Music has always been my thing. I know the pain of rewinding and pushing play at just the right time to listen to a song over again. When I became interested in song lyrics, I often would listen to a 10-second snippet of a song, pause it, and then scribble down what I thought were the lyrics. Anybody else do this?!? Those were the good old days of technology.