Happy New Year, everyone! Yes, it's the 12th (I think?) but at least it's still January! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday time. This year we were able to go to Ohio for Christmas to stay with my mom. Sister and hubby came too, and we got to visit Jon's family also, so it was a good time. We even got snow, which made the kids and I very happy! My little dog Frodo was with us, and he really enjoyed the snow as well.
We came home a few days after Christmas (and wow, was that a looooong trip - traffic was horrible!) and began unpacking. Sadly, one of our barn kitties disappeared while we were gone. The friends who were taking care of the cats for us never saw him the whole time we were gone. There was no sign of any sort of attack, and I drove all over the area looking for him, so we're guessing he just decided to go traveling. Hopefully he's fine and getting spoiled somewhere else. Still sad, though, as he was my favorite cat.
New Year's brought an unexpected blessing - some dear friends from Michigan were traveling back from Florida and were able to stop and spend a couple nights with us. It was wonderful to see them and get caught up on all the news. Plus, they had their 6-month-old Jack Russell puppy with them and he wore Boris out! They were hilarious to watch. Rocky was not above playing dirty, and if all else failed he'd grab Boris by one of his back legs and just tow him around. We all just sat and laughed at the dogs playing. Nothing fancy or formal, but one of the best New Year's we've had in a while.
Jon and I have been talking about diet and exercise for quite a while now, and that's as far as we'd gone - talking. But after the holidays we decided to get serious. Several of Jon's co-workers set up a weight loss challenge, so he joined in on that. I decided to "play along" at home and see if I could beat him. (evil chuckle) Rather than adhering religiously to any one plan, we're mostly just cutting the junk and focusing on lots more lean protein, vegetables and fruits. And surprisingly enough, it seems to be working! At our last weigh-in Jon was down 4 lbs and I was down 3, which I consider a good start. More important - to me, at least - since I started changing how I eat, I am not experiencing heartburn (which had become a daily issue), I no longer have the "bloated belly" feeling, and I just generally feel better. That's pretty good motivation to keep going, wouldn't you say?
Unfortunately, this morning all the good news is shadowed for me. Yesterday I had to make the difficult decision to put our dog Shyla to sleep. As I'd mentioned in earlier posts, she hasn't been doing well and we knew that there was some sort of mass in her abdomen. Yesterday exploratory surgery showed that we had very few options - extensive and risky surgery to remove the growth, along with parts of her intestines, etc., which may or may not have worked; closing her up and continuing to manage her symptoms, while she grew continuously more miserable; or allow her to go to sleep. Given her age and how she's been obviously more and more uncomfortable and unhappy, I chose to let her sleep and not wake up.
This is one of the hardest things I've ever done. I cried so hard yesterday that I still have a headache and my vision is blurry (although that could be today's tears....I don't know anymore). I loved Shyla, and I'm torturing myself with the fear that I made the wrong decision. My one comfort is knowing that for the five years she was with us, she was well-loved. I miss you, Shyla.