Saturday, March 24, 2012

Doing what makes you happy

I just realized I haven't blogged about what I've been up to lately. Life has been so busy with so many different things and I'm hardly home during the day now which is good but also just means by the time I do get in, I am busy with Avery until bed time and then I'm ready to crash when she does.

So as some of you know, the morning I got Janie I had went to the Denton Animal Shelter and started volunteer orientation, something I have been wanting and waiting to do for quite some time. My initial thought was to help out with the dogs since we had gotten to know the dog coordinator during our 3 month adventure of finding our own family dog. However due to my schedule, I can't come when she mainly needs volunteers which is in the afternoon and evenings.

Plus, I fell in love with the cat room. Currently there is no cat coordinator and a sweet volunteer is semi taking over so they can get adoptions, fosters and rescues better. It's a lot of work! I started volunteering 2 weeks ago and it's turned into a part time job! I go in the mornings and sometimes end up staying 5-6 hours at a time. Apparently this was noticed by a LOT of people and I was approached with an offer. To become the Rescue Efforts Coordinator.

What this basically means is that while doing my volunteer duties I am also creating a database of all North Texas cat rescue groups, fosters and adoption centers with contacts to help ensure that if we get full, need a cat rescued, or kittens fostered....we have a organized and detailed way of finding that and better assuring our kittys get out of the shelter as quickly as possible. If a need comes in, it's my job to find placement and work out transport, etc.

Sounds easy, right? Yeah....

This is such a challenge, there are so many groups and rescues but hunting down their info and contacts is like PI work. It truly is all about who you know in this industry. Me being a bit of a newb, I don't know as many people or groups or sponsors and this week I was tested big time when we had 2 litters of week old kittens come in in need of foster care. I literally spent 10hrs on the phone and email trying to contact people and find people to take them in. I got it down but it drained me and I went into several stages of emotions.

Plus, add in the emotional attachment you find yourself  getting with the cats. I currently have 17 babies I love on everyday and some have been at the shelter a long time. I even love my ferals and they hardly get rescued so some mornings I come into an empty cage and it breaks my heart. We are not a no kill shelter but our percentage of euthanizing is below 15%.

Yesterday was my first hard experience with this when I was the one that had to inform an officer of one of my sweet, docile, shy girls behaving oddly. She went from being able to hold, pet, brush and love on to being a hissing, drooling, foaming at the mouth wild animal in a matter of 48 hours. She was not the same cat and they tried to asses her to see if we could get her to the vet but it was clear....she needed to be euthed. Making that call was hard for me but I know it was what needed to be done. I didn't stay much longer after that, I was so defeated. When I went home Evan just reminded me I can't save every animal and that it's a reality I need to keep in mind if I plan on doing this.

I'll try to post a few pictures and stories of some of my sweeties past and present. I will say if you live in the Denton area, do yourself a favor and come see these amazing animals. It's puppy and kitten season so we are full, full full! Even if you don't adopt, you can come play with them, they love it!

Try volunteer work to, it's amazing what a difference you can make just by a few hours a week.

Happy weekend,

Friday, March 16, 2012

10 Years.

Crazy how time can sometimes be at a stand still in life and yet, other times it just refuses to slow down.
I find myself looking at Avery after she's done something out of the blue and so grown up to me for a 3 year old and I almost go into a panic. Slow down! Stop growing up on me. I think to myself over and over or You were just my baby girl yesterday....where has the time gone!?. I kid you not, I found her pink baby blanket 2 nights ago and literally grabbed it to my chest and sobbed like a weirdo in the bathroom. How is it already possible that this pink blanket can't even cover her legs anymore when just yesterday I was swaddling her in it!!

Today marks the 10th anniversary of my dad passing away.

10 years.


I sit here and think of everything that has happened since this day back in 2001. I can still see myself, sitting at work and getting the call. I still remember my friend coming to pick me up and my youth pastor meeting me in that horrible consolation room at Denton Reginal. My mom, sitting with the funeral coordinator and a hospital staff member and her being so calm and yet knowing she was falling apart on the inside. How confused I was when for the last 3 years we had done everything from a nursing home to home care to hospice and roughing it on our own to keep him with us and just like that, he passed away in bed at home. How upset at myself I was. I had moved out  months earlier from it being just too hard to live there with other family members moving in and helping out with his care and to also escape how painful it was to deal with all his medical issues and watch him become a stranger to me.

As Nan has told me repeatedly, it's hard to not have regret with death.

I have my regrets, I've dealt with this regret and am no longer haunted by it. As much as I wish we could get do overs I also know he knows how I feel about him even though I never really made it easy on him and I never truly told him  how much I loved him as much as I could have. Yes, he was my grandfather, but he was also my dad. A true definition of that word in every sense. His actions spoke so much for what we both lacked in communication. I didn't even attend his memorial or his ash scattering ceremony. I left the day after he died to a ski trip with my youth group(at the urging of my mom) and never skied but just dealt with it all with a few friends and my youth pastor. 2 weeks later, I missed an entire week of school just lying in bed and crying. I was so sick for 3 days letting it all sink in.

I think the hardest realization of it hit me on my wedding day. Something I shared in a past entry about thinking about the walk down the aisle and how I wished so badly that Jonathon wasn't the one giving me away and how weird it was to not have a Father/daughter dance at the reception even though my biological father was there. Gary did dance with me and I remember thinking how wrong it was! He just wasn't the right man for that job on that day. (totally different now as he IS my dad)

The only other time his death really came up again was the day Avery was born. Here I was, a mom finally. Surrounded by those who would love her as much as they love me, a day of joy and celebration and a very important man was missing. Evan knew this and simply reminded me that he had already met Avery before we did and how he loves her in heaven just as much as if he was down here with us. We still keep some of his traditions going with Avery so she can keep them going when she has a family. For me that says a lot for my dad. He was always trying to make everyone happy, he always kept traditions and he always had a smile of his face.

So yesterday when it dawned on me what today would mean, I didn't cry (I did today). I just sat in bed and started thinking of Avery and all the things that have happened the last 3 years and about my brother and his son and just overall how HAPPY and proud my dad is of us even though he isn't here with us. I know he would approve of who I am at 27. I know he would be proud of everything I've done and of Jonathon too.

Just so weird to think it's been a decade since we lost him.


Thursday, March 15, 2012


I am so happy to get to post about this....



Yep, we're now a family of 6. :)
I love this girl so much.

So, after the Goldie incident I made Evan take back all the stuff we had bought. I didn't want to think about getting a dog because I was truly that broken hearted over Goldie!! (Lame, I know) However, I kept in contact with the dog director at the animal shelter and she invited me to come to a volunteer orientation and start spending time at the shelter. I'm already on their FB page daily and know some of the volunteers so I figured, why not.

So Saturday, I met up with my friend Beth and we went to the volunteer orientation where I decided not to help with the dogs but rather, the cats and eventually help in the office. Totally up my alley, easy and would offer me some ME TIME! After we signed out paperwork and played with some dogs and chatted with Amy, the dog director we headed over to Beaus Bath and dog spa to check out their event going on with several rescue groups, low cost vaccination clinic, raffle and food. Had no intention of getting a dog despite Beth's attempts.

We walked into the show room and there she was. She was on a leash by the Animal Shelter table and doing this excited dance and bark/howl beagle call. You couldn't miss her. I walked by the pug rescue group and sat and loved on the great pyramease group (giant, white, fluffy, teddy bears!) Beth pointed at her and said, she's cute! So we walked over where I met Karen, a lead volunteer and Calamity's foster mom. I've seen her but never met her. We chatted about the shelter, Amy, dogs and the weather and all the while, I'm on the ground petting on Calamity and falling in love with her smile.

Karen tells me her story, She was dumped in Hickory Creek at the Walmart, was taken to the Hickory Creek Animal Shelter and then a short time later Fostered by Karen and she was waiting to be adopted. You could tell Karen loves her, she really does. I jokingly sent Evan a picture msg of her with no thought other than "Look who I'm playing with" and he responds with ":/ is that the one you want?"

I just looked at Beth, I seriously wasn't thinking of adopting her, she's not what we were debating on, she's a beagle, she's a fat, senior dog who'll just sleep all day.....right? Karen was asking me if I was interested and I just said in that "no not really...maybe" kinda tone "I'm not sure" so then Karen tells me her qualities...She's house trained, she's crate trained, laid back, has a small anixety when you leave or come in the house, gets along with other dogs, wouldn't care about cats probably, loves kids..yadda yadda...

The whole time I'm seriously not seeing her as a dog I would have, but I'm also not leaving her side or have I stopped petting and loving on her. Karen shows me the 2 other dogs they had at the moment and we were interrupted by the owner or manager of Beaus Bathhouse (I wish I could remember her name!). She was making sure Karen didn't need anything when she saw me petting on Calamity. "Are you thinking of adopting her?" I looked at Karen and asked how much her adoption fee was (you know, thats a big thing on rent week) and she says 120$. I did not have that much to spend on a dog. Beth knew this and chimed in with, "I'll pay and you can pay me back, you need a dog!" to which that sweet woman looked at Karen and said "Oh no! I'll sponsor her! She needs a home today!"

Did that just happen?!

So I text Evan and let him know "she's ours" and am lead to the bath house with Karen and the lady who runs the place. As I'm filling out the paperwork the staff spruces Calamity up with a pretty bandana and some puppy spray and trims her nails. :) Karen then tells me she brought her crate and bedding if I'd like it to take with me since it's Calmity's anyway.

Seriously, Now I'm getting a free crate and her bedding?!

Then that sweet woman returns to my side with this giant basket and hands it to me and says it's for adopting Calamity. It has a leash, a collar, food, treats, a brush, toys and 2 other bandanas in it.

Are you kidding me right now?!

So I walk in with Beth just passing time and checking the place out to leavng with a new baby, a crate, bedding and every supply I'll need for at least a week? And it only cost me $20.

Yeah, after the past 3 weeks of emotional garabage she was so what I needed. I'm sorry but this is all a God thing. How on earth could everything have lined up to lead me to her and then to have a stranger sponsor her and then give me everything I'd need for her?

She has settled in perfectly!! She loves walks and being in the car. I took her to the dog park Monday and she had a blast! She's afraid of Gus and Paris but as of today they no longer run, hide or hiss at her so lots of progress there. She loves her crate and the living room rug to take naps in, she also snores like a freight train but once she loses some weight that'll change. We've named her Janie for short but since she knows her name from the shelter I'll call her Calamity Jane when she goes in the kitchen or needs to come inside and she knows she better listen to me when I call her that. :)

Avery could have cared less but is slowly starting to pet her on the head or ask me if she can give "Jayme" a treat. :) Evan wasn't too keen on a little dog or a beagle but once he got to see her smile and she shook all over with excitement and did her happy bark/howl show for him...he was a goner. You should see her when he comes home, he has to drop everything and go to her to calm her down, she gets SO excited to see him.


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Happy Birthday, Beloved!

No, not Pie, although I love Pi day too, just for other reasons. :P

28 years ago today, the love of my life was born from my best friend!

Happy Birthday, Evan!

You may be a little sad about this birthday since you are getting closer to 30. I hope you know though, that you have never looked better to me. ;)

You are the best Daddy & Husband! Avery and I are so blessed.


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

When You Finally Get It. *long venting post*

Oh my goodness, it has been FOREVER since I have updated the blog! I know I said I would be better at maintaining both blogs but truthfully, I also feel this blog has lost it steam so to speak. I get few views and even fewer comments anymore. I know it's because I pretty much share EVERYTHING on FB and sometimes Twitter (although, I closed my Mrs_hartfield account) so by the time I find a moment to sit down and blog it out, it's not news to anyone who actually reads my blog.

I have so much I want to share right now as a venting post because I have to tell you, the last 2 weeks have been an emotional nightmare for me. Like, seriously. However, I do not have complete control over who sees my blog and I don't want to go through the drama of a few "family" members reading it and starting an attack again on me for simply saying how I feel. At the same time, I'm almost just ready for some of them to open their mouths to me once again because I'm not going to be like I was when I was younger, I won't take it and I will not be out numbered.

 I turned 27 last week. A few days before my Birthday I received a vicious series of text and information about me from some people I used to respect and look up to and seemingly idolized for God knows what reason. This information cut like the sharpest knife could and opened 10yrs of hurt in my life that I have fought tooth and nail to resolve and understand essentially. I have blamed myself for years due to believing all the things these people have said about me seemingly since birth, I let it mold my mindset in my teen years which brought on more stress and garbage than I wish to admit.

The only difference in this time is that I finally figured it all out. Like the switch that got flipped ON the day Avery was born and I made a promise to her and Evan out loud in those early minutes of her birth as I was sobbing with JOY at what I finally had! FAMILY. A true family.

It is no secret that I was raised in a broken home, actually, that is an UNDERSTATEMENT. I come from a broken family. There wasn't much love, praise, togetherness or any big traditions. My grandparents did their damnedest with Jonathon and I but they were always the bad guys if we did something the rest of the family deemed "not right". My grandmother has and always Will be my only mother and it seems like the day she went to California to get my brothers and I away from the deplorable living situation we were in (you know, birth mother in prison, birth father up his butt and the state housing us at an orphanage so we could get proper food and parenting in us) that some family thought she turned her back on them.

I have always wanted what so many, if not all, of my friends had. I wanted both parents, I wanted a mom who took me shopping and a dad who actually cared about my schoolwork. Silly right? I wanted to grow up with all my siblings, not just 1 brother while the other 3 were scattered around. When Evan and I got married, I got that normalcy I so craved growing up. Jarrod is an amazing brother who unlike my own, wants to talk to me and catch up and will call me out of the blue and doesn't get annoyed when I ask about his life. Nan and Gary embraced me from day 1 and spoil me rotten not just with gifts, but with friendship, love, humor, honesty and communication. At our wedding,  He was the first face to greet me as Mrs. Evan Hartfield and all he could do was grab me in a huge hug and tell me how happy he was! Nan is truly my best friend. I love how we can spend a day out shopping or over lunch and just lay everything going on out in the open and help each other. How many inside jokes we have and how we relate with both our spouses just in different generations.  We get each other on so many levels and I feel so sad for my friends who can not stand their in-laws. I simply do not know what I would do without mine!!! I've been calling Nan and Gary "Mom & Dad" for years now which a few of my friends told me is weird. Is it?

So when I received the big news 2 saturdays ago I happened to be with Evan and Gary out on the patio enjoying a sunny day together. Once I read the text I just started laughing and then...fought back tears as hard as I could. When Evan asked what was wrong, (earlier I had had a good cry over this issue and he was livid but also super supportive) I simply handed him my phone and let him read what was shared with me. From there Evan explained to Gary what I was dealing with  yet again with some of my family, mind you, it's been over 5 months of he said/she said over this subject that has thown in several other family members who didnt need to be involved. For the first time in 8 years, I witnessed Gary lose his cool. He was so mad at what I was dealing with and so hurt for me. He couldn't believe that it was coming from my family. When Evan shared with him my past 10yrs and other incidents I've been subjected too, Gary was speechless and red. Of course he knows the gist of it and he knows how some of these people work because he has witnessed some events first hand! (I know I'm being cryptic, sorry)

For me, it was the final blow. I can no longer fight, defend or make excuses for these people who continue to kick me around. You are not supposed to treat your family the way mine has! Again, not everyone in my family is bad, there are a few decent people but I can not even begin to explain how fake some are....there's no trust in my family and everyone bad mouths each other and bickers and's so toxic!

What truly gets me is some of the "reasons" I was/have been told over the years for why I'm the bad guy. I've cried so many tears, I've taken some low blows and sadly, I've dished out a few myself to feel justified in the years past. My mom and I have some inside jokes about some of it all but then again she can turn around and defend them and be just as hurtful as they are if and when it suits her.....yet...I'm the only one who she calls when she needs help.

The next day, Pastor Dave laid out a sermon that had me doing the ugly cry for all to see. He truly was speaking to me and my heart and my situation with my family.SPOT ON. It just clicked for me. I sang with the worship song and got such a restful peace about the entire situation. I wasn't going to shed another tear because of these people. I wasn't going to allow them to continue this cycle of abuse and bullying and I was going to be happy. My mind was set, my choices made. I was going to move on. Little did I know that later that night, all that would be sorely tested, and it was! In a hurtful confrontation where I ended up leaving a public place so disgusted with so many people and so torn. I sat in the driveway for almost 20minutes just crying it all out and figuring out how to tell Evan what had just happened. When I got inside the house he knew. He grabbed me and sat on the couch with me and with a sigh just simply said "Britt, let everyting out, cry til you pass out, sob, wail, kick, scream, but do it now and be free of this crap!"

I did all that.... I threw a "why me" tantrum with lot's of "it's not fair!" and plenty of "Is it so much to ask for?"'s thrown in. I was so drained I simply let Evan put me in bed and slept for 15 deep hours.

Monday was amazing. I woke up with a puffy face but I was happy, I was rested and importantly I was FREE! I spent the day with Evan and Avery just snuggling on the couch with movies and counting my blessings. I have EVERYTHING I need in my family. I have parents who exceed my own expectations, I'm a wonderful parent and Avery is safe from any and all the horrid things I had to deal with in my childhood. I will never have to deal with the negative attitudes of people I do not wish to have in my life. It saddens me for Avery because I feel she deserves a big family but I also will only teach her to LOVE everyone and PRAY for those who can't seem to be happy in thier own lives. I feel worse for the ones in my family who are never going to get to see how amazing she is simply because they are so bitter in their own lives and they just can't move on from the past or even be happy for me for NOT becoming what they all said I would be some day.

I'm working on the forgiveness part. I've let so much go and have given up some hurts I doubt the person who issued it is even aware of. I'm very iffy on the trust part and I'm seriously double thinking thoughts I may have about some people simply because I hardly see them as it is. It's just so refreshing to know though that the majority of the negative-ness thrown at me is simply because they can't understand or possibly do not like how happy I am. Who I am offends them because I didn't become just like them in my family. I got free of the cycle and I've made a name for myself. I'm a christian, I'm married to a amazing man who has a very supportive, close-knit family and I've done things the right way for years now. (you'd be suprised how that has been viewed as me thinking I'm better than them.(really? because I got married, work hard, live on my own and had a kid later down the road?! That is stupid.)

I sit here and vent this all out and I still hurt, the sting is there but there is no guilt or regret on my part. I wish I had figured this out years ago! Would have saved me from so much heartache, so much self loathing and confusion and several years of therapy. It's weird (to me at least) because I say all this, I feel secure in my decision and yet, I wish them to be as happy as I am. I truly want whats best for my family and as twisted as it seems, I do love them. Reguardless of the years of mental, emotional,verbal,  physical and sexual abuse in my life at the hands of my family in my life.

I'm so Blessed with some amazing friendships that have been so helpful the last 2 weeks for me. For my sweet family being so supportive and understanding and getting so upset simply because they don't like seeing me hurt...only sheds light for me that I am not alone. God put some new people in my life when I needed it most and since being married to Evan, shoot, let's be honest even when we were dating, his family came in with arms open, ready to tackle the hot mess that I was and to show me what love is, what being a family means and just how important I am.

If you've stayed with this emotional disaster of a post to this point, your probably one of the blessings I am talking about. Thanks for all the love, support, comments and encouragements over the last several years as I tackled this subject on and off on the blog. You are all treasure to me.

I promise, the next post will be more cheerful and upbeat! :)

Monday, March 5, 2012

Update soon.

Sometimes a pause button is necessary.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...