It’s The Little Things

Maggie Loves Pumpkins
I’ve been sick since last Wednesday. A no fun, suck all the energy out of you sickness that as left me holed up at home. This past weekend was one of our most “free” weekends we’ve had for months. I decided to fill up any chance of doing anything for myself by being sick.

(side note: One of my least favorite things to do is call in sick to work. I always resort to feeling like a 10-year-old convincing my mom to let me stay home from school. Anyone else terrified to make that call? When you’re actually sick?)

It’s so easy to get down and out when you’re stuck at home sick. Everything seems hard and it seems like it will be forever until you’re feeling like yourself again. Fevers take over and you feel trapped. Finding a reason to smile just seems to hard to manage, rather fill up your time with another nap or trashy daytime tv.

When you’re feeling down even the simplest things can make you feel happier. This weekend it was the joy of my dog.

Maggie LOVES pumpkins. Like loves them almost as much as taking a walk, getting treats, or running loose outside. She’s our little veggie lover dog: she also loves the smell of green beans, cucumbers, all other squash, and loves to eat edamame.

maggie sniffs out pumpkins
 Every fall we go through mini pumpkins like water for her. She loves to push them around in the house and carry them around. We cannot have too many mini pumpkins on display in our house. As soon as she spots them she makes them hers. Its starts with a slow creepy stare from across the room and soon she has her nose right up in the them and is barking at them. 

maggie pumpkins
Seeing her joy over a mini pumpkin made my weekend.  I trudged back into work today but was able to greeted by an over zealous Maggie and her pumpkin after work. 

Maggie Loves Pumpkins from KatieMacDonald on Vimeo
Remember that last time something that little made you that happy? Why do we adults lose sight of the little joys in our lives? So often they make all the difference. 

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Are you a book lover like me? Stay tuned tomorrow when I start a new series: Recently Read reviewing the last few books I’ve read. Let’s talk books!
 

 

 

5 Things My Dog Teaches Me

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Today we’re celebrating Maggie’s 8th Birthday! She is such a special part of our lives and I can’t imagine a life without her. She and her love is always inspiring me to be a better person. 

So yes, even though I saved her from the shelter all those years ago, she has found a way to turn my life around and save me as well. 

In honor of Maggie gracing our lives with her presence (she is such a poodle princess this one) I’ve decided to share a little sentimental post about:

5 Things My Dog Teaches Me

1. Always Show Your Love

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Every single time I walk through the door, doesn’t matter if I’ve been gone 4 hours or 4 minutes, Maggie attacks me with love. For a solid 5 minutes she will be jumping up at me, covering me with puppy kisses and bringing me her current favorite toy. She wants me to know just how excited she is to see me. 

My dog teaches me that we should always show/tell people how much they mean to us. Don’t store it inside for a rainy day. Shout it from the rooftops, let them know are loved. 

2. Give Your Undivided Attention

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If I happen to put on the TV in the middle of a passionate game of ball or if I pull out my phone while petting her on the couch, Maggie will promptly drop the ball or jump off the couch to retreat to the chair in the corner to pout and stare at me with sad eyes. She wants all or nothing. 

Maggie has taught me that when doing an activity or spending time with someone, give it or them all of your attention. Multi tasking has a time and place but you will get more out of life if you show up 100%. This applies to finishing goals, tackling your to do list, and spending quality time with friends and family. 

3. Walks Are The Best

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Maggie will never turn down a walk. She’ll go in the cold, in the heat, and even the rain. She loves exploring. The longer the better. Her legs may be short but they can go for miles. She prances with her head held high and stops to smell every smell. The highlight of her week is when she is let loose in the field near our house, that we aptly named “Maggie’s Field of Dreams”. She will run and run and run. 

She reminds me that there is nothing like connecting with nature while on a long peaceful walk. It’s probably one of the most healthiest things we can do for ourselves on a regular basis. 

4. We Can Do Hard Things

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 Maggie did not have an easy early life. I adopted her from a shelter when she was one-year old. I’ll never know what trauma she underwent as a puppy but she is terrified of most everything and all new people. But, in the seven years that I’ve been her mom, she has gone through an amazing transformation. Her curiosity and desire to have fun has, bit by bit, replaced her fear.

Maggie proves that against all odds we can overcome. We are built to do hard things. Just try. Also, accepting encouragment from loved ones always helps.

5. Love Unconditionally

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Maggie is a loyal friend. There have been many times when I’ve ignored her need to play or go for a long walk because I’m feeling sick or sad. Although she could be mad or resentful, she is often all that more loving and attentive at these times. When I’m feeling down she is always by my side, cuddled up close.

Somehow, instinctively, my dog knows that I need her love most when I’m at my worst. This is a trait that we should carry over with our human friends. Love others, through thick and thin.

What furry friend has made your life better? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maggie Takes Over the Blog

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Hello readers of my mom’s blog, I’m Maggie! Well actually, my real name is Maggie May. I’m named after the Rod Stewart song. Do you know it? I love it and I make my mommy dance with me while she screams sing it. Her singing is atorcious and she looks ridicolous dancing, but I love her because she’s my mommy. So you better be nice to her.

You may recognize me from all of the silly and embarrassing pictures my mom posts of me on this blog.

maggie sleepingI mean really Mom, would you like me to snap pictures of you sleeping and post them for all of the internet to see?

My mommy was a little busy this week so I decided to jump on board here and do a guest post for her. I’ve been wanted to do this for like 45 billion years, mainly because my favorite TV show is Dog With a Blog. I have no idea why she hasn’t let me do this before. I AM the main reason for her to be alive so I don’t know why I”m not the main focus of this blog. I think it should be named “A Beautiful Little Maggie” – my mom and dad are both telling me how pretty I am hundreds of times a day.
maggie poodle at christmas timeAnyways, I lead a very important life, so I thought I’d walk you through a morning in Maggie’s world.

I know it must be a weekday when my mommy wakes up at 7:14 (on weekends me, mom, and dad all snuggle in bed and play peekaboo and other fun dog games) and gets ready for work. I try my best to ignore her and stay curled up in my warm spot on the bed. She keeps telling me that it’s time to get up, that we have to go, but I don’t really believe her. (Maybe this is another game?).

maggie shih tzu poodle cuddles By 8 she is downstairs clicking my leash and using her stern voice. Still, I refuse to leave my perfect spot in bed until I hear her utter the words “Time to go to Grandma’s!”. Once I hear those words I fly down the stairs as quick as possible. (We go to Grandma’s every weekday but every morning I forget, it’s kind of embarrassing and I’d rather not talk about it.) Going to Grandma’s is the best thing you can imagine. You wouldn’t understand unless you met my Grandma.

grandma of dogsShe is my FAVORITE person (outside of my mom and dad of course). Her house is perfect, her couches are perfect, her food is perfect, her lap is perfect, and she spoils me rotten. Also, my bff Bonnie lives at Grandmas. Bonnie is the only other dog that has my heart. She just gets me is all.

poodle and westie  I tell her everything and we take care of one another. I can be a big scaredey cat some days – I can’t seem to forget these awful people who use to own me and did awful things to me before my Mommy came along and adopted me. Now, I really only trust a few people. Most of my heart belongs to Bonnie though. She made me realize that life is supposed to be fun and full of balls, and barking, and running.two dogs running and playing

So we hop in my mommy’s car which I HATE. I don’t know WHO invented these things but they are the WORST! I’m eight years old and have ridden in the car every weekday for the past 2 years and I’m still terrified of riding in the car. Can someone please tell me why my mom who treats me like a baby everywhere else refuses to let me sit in her lap in the car? So rude!

She tries to soothe me by talking to me in her favorite baby voice (I keep telling her I’m no longer a baby but she doesn’t listen) but it doesn’t work. She keeps repeating “We’re going to see Bonnie! We’re going to see Grandma!” but I don’t believe her. Why can’t we just walk there? I love walking! I never understood why Grandma, Grandpa, and Bonnie have to live in a different house? Seems like such a simple idea to me. I wish it was summer time again because then my mommy magically makes the window go down and I can stick my head out and get distracted by all the smells of this big world we are flying through.

to and from Grandma's everyday The drive lasts about 8 hours (even though mom says it’s only 12 minutes). I shake and tremble the whole time. You better listen to my advice – never ride in a car while it is raining. It is seriously the worst thing. It sounds like the world is crashing down all around you. When it’s raining I take back everything about baby talk. Mommy, please talk to me in your highest pitch baby talk ever. Also sing. I love that. Especially Taylor Swift.

After a few hours, we pull into Grandma’s neighborhood. I’m super smart so I know what it looks like. I bark and bark and wag my tail so Mommy knows that we are close too (she must be terrified of the car too, right?!). Once we get to Grandmas I can barely wait to get inside to greet Bonnie. All memories of the car vanish and I go nose to nose with my best friend. I lift my leg and let her smell me and then I do the same with her. We have to make sure everything is a okay! (I told you we are besties) We then run around a bit. We have so much to catch up on since it’s been a whole 15 hours since we’ve seen each other!

poodle and westie looking out of the door Grandma makes a huge fuss over me. I let out cries of happiness and nearly scratch her to death by jumping up on her. That’s the best way to show that you love someone.

In the background I hear Mommy saying goodbye, but I could care less, I’m at Grandma’s! Plus, I’m kind of mad that she leaves me all day to go to something called “work”. Doesn’t she understand how much fun she is missing out at Grandma’s? Or how much more fun we could have had if we stayed at home and cuddled and went for long walks, and she threw my ball for me for hours?

If someone would just listen to me, the world could be a much better place.

winery maggie Well the couch is calling my name. Time to nap and dream of chasing bunnies and balls edamame (I love that stuff!). If you love me, maybe my mom will let me come back and blog another day?

Puppy kisses,

Maggie May

 

Life Lately

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It’s been awhile since I used this space to do a little life update. To fill the space in between the lines, to ramble randomly, to give a peek into my every day life. So this is what current life is looking like:

Writing: in my One Sentence 5-year Journal from The Happiness Project. My best friend gave me this journal as a Christmas gift and I love it! The idea is to write one sentence each day. It’s an easy way to document moments from each day and be aware of your daily intentions and actions. It will be fun to look back at what I did on a particular day – 2, 3, 4, or 5 years ago!

Reading: The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro. Already entranced by this novel by a favorite author (loved Never Let Me Go).

Watching: Best thing about Sunday is the Sunday light TV line up: Downton Abbey, The Walking Dead, True Detective, and Girls. Obssessed with all of them, even if watching them all in the same two days makes me think that there are two alcoholic and twisted detectives running around an English estate trying to kill zombies while Hannah watches pool side contemplating how insufferable her life is.

Thinking: That I can’t take much more of winter. Enough is enough! Last week we were hit with another 12 inches of snow, followed by 2 more on Saturday and another 2 last night.

big pile of snow

Needing: To get into spring cleaning mode. Winter has made me a lazy hermit. It’s time to clean out the house, revamp my workout routine and get in gear with some new meal planning. The past weekend was filled with a lot of this:

And although it was relaxing and wonderful and great – it was too much sleeping and eating and drinking and not enough taking care of my body. Remember when I posed about that pesky newlywed weight gain? Well it’s still there. I failed at following through with any changes – or, when I did, two weeks last that weight gain found its way back. Like the snow, it just keep packing on. I’m ready to shovel out.

I signed up for Weight Watchers online yesterday with a great President’s Day sale. The program helped me lose 15 pounds 10 years ago and helped me tone up last Spring. I love the simplicity and the ease and the ability to each pretty much whatever you want. I know that I need the support and the motivation to take charge or else I fall into lazy habits.

Wanting: It may be caused by cabin fever – but my baby fever is so intense right now. It’s pretty disgusting/bad. Other than that – I’m having a deep need to get new drapes for all our windows, and do a lot of at home projects. Also NEW spring clothes!

Smelling: This candle. It is from the heavens. I’m sure of it.

Raspberry Peach Macaron candle

Loving: The 5-day weekend that was granted to Ryan because of the snow. I loved having so much down time with him and Maggie and lots of morning snuggles:

puppy cuddles

Cooking: A LOT! Hence the need to do something about weight! This past week were filled with cookies, cupcakes, pad thai, macaroni and cheese, quesadillas, dip, martinis, and spiked hot chocolate. Yikes!

spiced hot chocolate

Listening: to my Ella Fitzgerald Panda station – her butter voice just pours over the whole house and makes everything warm and okay.

Planning For: This Spring is full of fun events! First, we have Ryan and I’s birthdays in March followed by a bridal shower and bachelorette for my best friend, and we just booked our 1-year wedding anniversary trip. Come on SPRING!

I’d love to hear what you’ve been up to lately!

xoxo Katie
 

 

 

 

 

Weekend Wrap Up – 11.18.13

This past weekend was the last relaxing weekend before the hustle and bustle of the holiday season sets in. I love my relaxation time but I’m so excited for the holidays! My enthusiasm caused me to get some of the holiday decor out. I ordered new monogrammed stockings and can’t wait for them to arrive tomorrow. There is nothing like a home decorated for Christmas…

On Saturday we were babysitting my parents dog, Bonnie. She and Maggie are best friends for life and are so cute and happy together.   bestfriends maggieandkt   ryanandbonnie

Saturday afternoon we worked on cleaning out the closets and managed to fill up more bags of clothes for donation. This has been an ongoing project since September – and by the sheer mass of clothes that both Ryan and I have donated it is obvious that it was long over due.

Back in September I donated a huge stack of gently worn clothes to an amazing online consignment company, thredUP, and made $28!

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Here is how it works:

1. Create an online account with thredUP.

2. Send away for a “Clean Out Bag” (which ships to you for FREE)

3. Fill the bag with you gently worn clothes and ship it back to thredUP for FREE

4. thredUP combs through your items and pays you up to 40% of the resale value in cash!

What is there to lose? I was so happy with my $28 and can’t wait to see what my new donation brings in! Try it out today! 

After doing some major clean out we headed out for dinner.

katie and ryan

Later on Saturday evening I forced Ryan to watch one of my favorite movies of all time, Gone With the Wind. He’d never seen it, and because he’s such a good sport, he said yes. This was my go to movie when I was at home sick from school as a tween. I remember going to the video rental store and seeing the huge record size display case holding all FOUR VHS tapes. It was so beautiful and I looked forward to renting it during every  bout of middle school strep throat. I’d cry my eyes out and memorize all of Scarlet’s monologues. I know way too many facts about this movie and felt like Ryan needed to watch it with me as it is such a part of who I am.

I also proceeded to drink cheap red wine throughout the movie and of course ended the night in a puddle of my own tears. On the other hand, Ryan fell asleep a few times and couldn’t believe how bitchy Scarlet was and that it was about 2.5 hours too long. Oh well.

Sunday was spent doing some work at home and preparing for the last full work week of November! My social calendar is full this week too, and then we are off to Asheville, NC for Thanksgiving, and come back home on December 1 ready to celebrate Christmas!

I hope you had a great November weekend!

xoxo katie

 

Happy Birthday, Maggie May!


Happy Birthday Maggie May!Today, is my dog Maggie May’s 7th birthday! I received an e-birthday card from her vet, reminding me to schedule her first “senior wellness visit”. Wahh?? She’s a senior? No, my little poodle love is going to live forever…

I rescued Maggie, an adorable Poodle Shih Tzu mix, from a shelter in Annapolis Maryland six years ago. I checked the shelter’s website almost daily for weeks, waiting for a poodle mix as I have bad allergies. One day as I was carefully walking through the halls of the shelter, trying not to cry at all the sweet faces of the many dogs who needed homes, I came across Maggie. Unlike the other dogs who were all begging for my attention, here was this tiny, matted, trembling dog, sitting patiently in the corner and staring up at me with these huge dark eyes full of emotion.

It was love at first sight.

When I asked to see her, she ran right up to me and nuzzled her head against mine as tears rolled down my cheeks. There was no way I could not take her home. Upon arriving at home I decided to name her Maggie May (yes I’m a huge Rod Stewart fan) and she quickly felt at home with me and I with her.

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The day I first brought Maggie home

Since then she has filled my world. We have moved from Annapolis to Chicago to central PA together. You all non dog people can judge, but, yes she is my baby and my most loyal companion. She always knows when I’m feelings down or sick and is quick to lend puppy kisses as she flops belly side up on my lap, her big eyes saying, “it’s okay mommy, I love you!”

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just love me

I’ll never know for sure what troubles she faced before I adopted her. (All the shelter could tell me was that she was abused). Whatever happened, it still haunts her. She is afraid of everything. And yes, I mean everything – plastic bags, water bottles, clothes being shaken before being folded, beards, large boxes, tv remotes,hats, bangles, any “new” object brought into the home and I could go on forever. She doesn’t trust much, but she does trust me. Over time she has also put her trust in others like family and close friends. Others she barks at in fear and is quick to run behind my legs to hide. But once she opens up to you she is a sweetheart. Oddly, Maggie loved Ryan upon first meeting him. They were best buds from the start. From that day, I knew Ryan was a keeper!

one of Ryan and Maggie's first meetings

one of Ryan and Maggie’s first meetings

I always looks forward to coming home because I know I’ll be greeted by her jumps and squeals as she nearly scratches me to death with excitement. My favorite times are our long walks and runs, exploring together as well as our lazy weekend morning puppy cuddles in bed. She is most content sitting in my lap, playing, or taking long walks. She also loves her bff Bonnie (my parents dog). Otherwise she’ll sit in a corner and mope. Don’t even try putting clothes on her.

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seriously Mom?

Some may say she’s spoiled but I say she deserves all of it. When she’s scared or anxious she’ll tremble and look at me with the saddest eyes, “Maggie eyes” we call them, and I know she just needs to be held and loved. I honestly feel she takes care of me on the same level that I take care of her. As someone who has also struggled with trusting people, I feel so special that she puts her trust in me. She was a source of constant support during some lonely times. When I feel her weight on me while she lies contentedly in my lap, my world feels complete. She keeps me company during the days and nights that Ryan is not at home and cuddling with her makes it easier to go to bed at night.

Her way of loving is a role mode for all us humans. I know that she will love me unconditionally until the last beat of her heart. I’m so lucky to have found her. The least I can do is to take the best care of her that I can and try to give her as much love as she gives me.

I can’t imagine a world with out her, so she must live forever.

winery maggie

Weekend Wrap Up – September 9

Another busy weekend is under our belts. Is it just me or do you feel like once the Fall season starts everyone starts getting in a hurry to do stuff? Is this the beginning of the race toward the holidays? Maybe it’s just me – but I’m already ready to sloooooow things down a bit.

Saturday we had the annual MacDonald family reunion at the Phillies game. We started with some tailgating fun. One of the best things about being married is combining your family and friends.

I had all intentions of taking some great family shots – but when I pulled out my camera realized it didn’t have a memory card in it! ooops! #fail! So the only shots I have from the day were taken on my phone.

phillies tailgatingI’m not really a sports fan at all. Meaning I watch zero spots and couldn’t care less. I look at each sporting event I attend as a way to play dress up. And boy, do I love myself some sequins. So, I got to have fun in this red sequin Phillies tank. What really matters was the time spent with my new family. Ryan is the big brother. He has two kid brothers – 18-year-old twins. It’s nice to spend some time with them and his parents and meet more of his extended family.

It was a beautiful day with a spectacular sky.

phillies game

phillies

On Sunday we went to our favorite local spots – Moondancer Winery. The wine isn’t spectacular but the views are beautiful and there’s always free live music. I always say yes to a view with live music!

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winery maggie  We park ourselves down with a cooler of goodies, chairs, and a blanket and simply enjoy being outside. We both fell asleep – win! DSC_0886  We park ourselves down with a cooler of goodies, chairs, and a blanket and simply enjoy being outside. We both fell asleep – win! DSC_0886 DSC_0888We snacked on some cheese, dip, and a bbq chicken pizza from the wineries brick oven pizza. It was a perfect day. Maggie was feeling it too.  We snacked on some cheese, dip, and a bbq chicken pizza from the wineries brick oven pizza. It was a perfect day. Maggie was feeling it too.  DSC_0892 DSC_0894 DSC_0896 DSC_0883

Everyone else seems to be rushing right into Fall – only talking about pumpkin spice this or that, but I want to hold on to these warm days and green views a little bit longer.xoxo katie