My best friend Gus ~

Just days ago my dog Gus, my best friend passed away.  He was a lovable looking bulldog with a brown spot on his eye and hilarious personality.  The moment I saw his face on the Humane Society’s website, nearly eleven years ago, I just knew he was supposed to be in my life. He had been surrendered because his former owners did not have time for him, and he ended up spending too much time in the kennel. When I saw his picture, I immediately sent an email to my husband, who wasn’t even my husband at the time.

I said. “If you help me get this dog it will count as my Birthday, Valentine’s day, Anniversary, and all the other presents for this year! Pretty please?!” I just knew he was supposed to be my dog!

My plea to bust Gus out of the shelter worked! It was the best present my husband has gotten me to this day. I still remember his big butt wiggle when I met him. It’s the same one he reserved only for me until this day. Gus was a character with lots of quirks. He liked me the best and would often show clear disappointment; with a heavy sigh and a huff, when my husband walked through the door without me.

We also called him the ‘fun police’ because, if our other dogs got a little too excited, Gus didn’t like that and would try to subdue them. This was not his best quality, but it was truly him. He was also very cantankerous and did not like to listen all the time. He ran away every chance he could when he was a younger lad. We joked that Gus even had ‘street cred’ considering my husband had to pick him up from the back of a police cruiser after a neighborhood jaunt/jailbreak (depending on who you ask.) many years ago.

When our Labrador Jack was alive, we would try to play catch with them both. But Gus liked to turn it into a football game instead. With full-on headbutting tackles on his brother Jack, who was just trying to catch the ball like a retriever is supposed to do. So, we didn’t let Gus play catch too much and that was fine with him, he liked to chew tennis balls like they were bubble gum anyway.

The word Bubble Gum always made his ears square up and his head tilt to the side. It was my favorite way to take a good picture of him. Gus was a ham that loved the ladies and babies. We would call him LL Cool G. Because ladies love the cool G, much like LL Cool J but in handsome dog form. He just had an “I don’t give a crap” bad boy attitude that had me wrapped around his paw from day one. He was a legend in his own mind and mine too.

We had a bond that I am not able to explain. I have had other dogs that I’ve loved as well but Gus and I were just different somehow. I feel safe saying this because I’ve even joked with my husband “I’m pretty sure Gus and I are in love”. We just ‘got’ each other. There was a connection that was like no other. I feel like we bonded on a soul level.

When he got into trouble, I always had his back, even if I knew he was not innocent. When he wanted his way, I gave it to him because I could, and he was my dog to spoil if I wanted. This was not always good, and my family didn’t always agree with me, but it didn’t stop me. Gus was hard to love sometimes but this only made me love him even more.

He was my best friend and I believe he was sent to me as a gift from the heavens. It certain felt like a blessing to both of us when we came together. There are so many things I will miss about him. From the way he could look at me and I would know exactly what he was asking of me. To the way I could raise my eyebrow at him, and he would know just what I wanted him to do… yet he would take his sweet slow time doing it!

Did you ever have a pet who would look at you with judgment?! Gus would do this too. After eleven years of friendship, we had developed a language all our own. He was so human-like with his expressions, I swear some days he was sending me telepathic communications. Or maybe this type of communication happens after a decade of dedication to each other? I am not sure. But I am certain we were in love.

I know some of you are thinking how can you be in love with a dog? There is nothing weird about it at all. To me being ‘in love’ is just love in action and feeling in your heart. Like when you fall in love with an infant, you just fall head over heels ‘in love’ to your core. It just happened like that with me and Gus. My love never stopped or even once wavered. I made him a priority in my life.

If you know me, you know that I would often say “This is Gus, he’s my best friend.” And I always meant it. During my best days and worst days, Gus was there for me even when even my people friends or family could not be. Gus was always great company.

But, isn’t that what a good dog does? Befriending their humans and burrowing themselves deeply into your heart, so that they will be with you even after they leave? I have lost many dogs in my life and each one of them will always have a spot in my heart until it is no longer beating. My heart is swelling with so much gratitude for the opportunity I had to be his human. Yet the swelling of gratitude is so much, that I literally feel my heart breaking open as the pain of sadness settles in for all I will miss.

I am blessed to have had his love and his company. Being sad and immensely grateful to experience Gus in my life is a bizarre feeling, but it makes so much sense. Gus was getting old, and to be honest, I worried about when and how he would pass for a while now. Death is part of the cycle of life that none of us get to escape.

I just have to say. The blessing of time spent with my best friend Gus is worth the pain of heartbreak. I know it won’t end any time soon, with all the ugly crying, swollen eyes, puffy face, raw running nose, and literal heartache yet to come. I gladly suffer this pain of loss for the blessings he brought to me during our life together. This I know to be true.

I also know that my best friend Gus provided a great deal of joy to myself and others who knew him. Yet “I got to be the lucky one to be his momma. I’m going to miss him so hard. I will never get over him because he is part of me. I was blessed to be the one! I am grateful for that. You never know when the Universe sends you gifts like this, but you sure know when they are taken away.

Sending love and a reminder to count your blessings. Time goes by so fast and like molasses; all at the same time.

Hold your loved one’s close today and your fur babies too.

*Photo credit – Franny Buturian-Larson took this picture of Gus during a campaign shoot because, he is adorable.

Wishing you love and blessings,

Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister

https://emyminzel.com

@EmyMinzel

Follow the Adventure Sisters on Facebook!

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Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister

https://stacycrep.com

 

 

5 reasons to foster furry friends!

Have you heard of animal rescues?

There is a local animal rescue in my town called Ruff Start Rescue. It’s run by a young woman with a heart as big and radiant as the sun. Since starting the rescue in 2010, they have grown to over 600 volunteers and have saved over 5,500 animals. I do my best to volunteer when I can, although it is not nearly as often as I wish I could. So, I donate dollars and I foster animals in need, as often as possible.

I love our local rescue because they are not like other shelters or rescues. Ruff Start Rescue sets dogs and cats up for success in a home-based atmosphere by asking volunteers to foster them in their homes as part of their family. This allows the animals to learn manners, be potty trained and get vetting needed; while giving the animal the opportunity to be loved by the family that hosts them.

I have learned so much from the dogs I have helped find forever homes for. Some of them broke my heart. Yes, I cried and wished them well on their journey into their new lives. It was all worth it though; all the tears, all the messes, vet visits, laughs, cuddles, slobbers and love. All worth it!

We have had such great, heart opening experiences, that I just had to share the top five reasons you should foster too! The number one question/statement I get from friends when they find out I foster is: “I don’t think I could foster because I would fall in love and it would be hard to let them go. How do you do it?” Here is what I tell them.

1. “You” get to choose the right family – Ruff Start Rescue lets you, the foster, pick the best family for your foster animal. They trust, that since you have been loving and caring for the animal, that you will know what kind of atmosphere it will thrive best in. If you don’t think the dog will do well with little kids, then the dog does not go to a family with little kids. The point of the rescue is to give the animal its best chance for success and not to put it in a situation destined for failure. You get to go through the adoption applications and interview the families. It it’s much safer for the animal then just allowing anyone to pick and purchase them from a website.

2. You will fall in love – The truth is, as a foster family, we do fall head over heals in love. That’s the point! To show love, compassion and consistency to the dog/cat that may have never been loved before. This is a soulful connection that doesn’t just make emotional growth and stability possible for the animal, it helps you too! To love another living being enough to let them go to a forever family where they belong, is selfless. Helping them find their forever family is much like raising your kids to be prepared for the world. It’s the right thing to do and so rewarding to see them happy and healthy; living their best life.

3. Be fully prepared for the possibility of a foster failure – Foster Failure happens when you foster and end up falling in love with an animal that just fits your family. Then you decide to adopt the animal yourself. I have done this twice. The most recent foster failure was our dog Hank, who was found as a stray. He was held in impound and his time was up. I saw his face and plea for help and I just knew we had to help him. He was almost like a wild animal when we got him home, he needed lots of training and love.

4. It’s hard but worth it – We even had to do a couple weeks of shutdown acclimation before Hank got to meet my resident dog Gus. Hank got to sleep, eat and just decompress in my daughter’s bedroom until he got comfortable and relaxed with his new living situation. It took him a couple weeks, but I believe allowing him this time to feel safe, made all the difference when we introduced him to our family dog. It was hard keeping everyone separated at first, but we were dedicated to Hank’s success. Hank has paid us back for not giving up on him with love and loyalty and he is a wonderful addition to our family!

Photos 3_17_2017 1664
Hank in Impound

Handsome Hank Hank after adoption

5. Letting go  I like to think dogs are like people, although I love them all, some are easier to get along with then others! So, this means some are easier to let go then others! There was a little dog named Rosie,  we fostered several years ago, who had contracted Parvo. Parvo is a disease that kills puppies. This little stinker beat Parvo but the battle was scary and heartbreaking.

There were sleepless nights and a whole week where all we did was just cuddle her, while praying she would live. We had to hydrate her by injecting fluids subcutaneously, which it hurt her to do so. Listening to her cry, while we tried our best to keep her alive, was just as hard as letting her go to another foster family.

We nursed Rosie through Parvo and our resident dogs helped to potty train her and teach her manners, while we loved her very much. She was the coolest little dog I have ever known. But, one day out of the blue, we had to let her go to another foster family on very short notice. One of my dogs, Penny, started to get aggressive towards my other big dogs while playing catch. We felt that it was just not safe anymore for little Rosie, in a house of big dogs that just became unpredictable.

So we called the rescue. They came and got Rosie immediately, because they are dedicated to keeping their foster dogs safe and healthy. It was hard for me to love Rosie for so long, only to have her gone in a flash because of my own pack. It was the best thing to do for Rosie, but it was hard on all of us.

Rosie Rosie

It is true that not every story ends on a happy note, but most of them do! Rosie found an amazing family soon after leaving our home. We have had foster dogs who’ve had Cancer, Parvo, broken limbs, worms, and broken spirits but have gone on to live great lives. The rescue we work with understands that life and animals can be unpredictable and have helped me through many situations throughout the years. I think of the starfish story when I think of fostering animals. You may not be able to help all that need rescuing, but you can help one at a time, and that is better than none.

If you have the time, energy and enough love to share; I recommend you try fostering too. It is such a wonderful experience that I keep going back when our family has the time to dedicate to a rescue animal. I keep going back to Ruff Start Rescue because they have always been there to help me when I need them. They are local hero’s in my mind and this is a cause and crew I love to support. Maybe you would consider opening your home and heart to a furry friend in need.

Please donate if you can to a wonderful and deserving organization! http://www.ruffstartrescue.com

Wishing you an abundance of blessings and love,

Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister

https://emyminzel.com

@EmyMinzel

Follow the Adventure Sisters on Facebook!

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Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister

Will you hold my hand?

Earlier this week, I had a minor surgery to remove a cyst in my neck. The procedure was performed in an operating room. As they wheeled me in, I saw a room full of stainless-steel equipment and nurses bundled up in their surgical garb and masks and remembered I was going to be fully awake for this procedure. The area numbed with Novocain before the doctor was to remove the growth with a scalpel.

Being awake, I made small talk with the nurses, who were very kind and chatted with me too. There was one nurse whose job it was to sit and keep me company, while monitoring my vital signs. I did not think I was nervous since I knew what was going to happen and how it was going to happen. Yet the moment they helped me on to the operating table I seem to have gotten cold feet. I wanted to run away!

When she strapped on the blood pressure cuff, my cover of small talk and cracking jokes was blown! My heartrate and blood pressure were through the roof! Even though I tried to play it cool, statistics showed my body was clearly in fight or flight mode. The nurse, in charge of my vitals, was a welcome distraction from the reality of a large incision being made to my body while awake.

When the doctor walked in, I chatted with her too. She’s become my favorite doctor and I feel very comfortable with her. In my head, I was trying to calm myself, by inducing my own meditative state of breathing deep and such. No luck, my body knew what was going to happen and even though my mind was very logical and factual, my blood pressure was not coming down.

It’s like my body knew trauma was coming and it was very scared. At that moment I knew I needed comfort. I looked at the nurse, who was right next to me the whole time, and asked her. “Will you please hold my hand?”

She obliged kindly and continued to hold my hand for the whole procedure. Doing her best to ask me questions and give me distractions from the doctor and scalpel working diligently behind me. Nurse W told me she was a seasoned nurse, working part-time until retirement. I could tell. She had calmness and caring demeanor only years of practice can produce. It made me feel like I could ask her to help me in the only way she could, by holding my hand.

Isn’t it funny how you can find comfort in a perfect stranger’s hand in a time of trauma, anxiety or extreme stress? Okay, maybe funny isn’t the word. It is quite a miracle and blessing that humans can form a connection so quickly in times of need. What is even more beautiful is the nurse who chose to make this her life path; to help strangers with kindness and compassion in very stressful moments.

Nurses, Doctors, Firemen, Police Officers, Caregivers, are often there for strangers on our most horrible or trying days. The men and women who stand with folks in their community to help them through it all, are very much a blessing to humanity. Not everyone is wired to be able to have a heart, so giving and open, to hold a stranger’s hand even on a regular day with no stress.

Do some people hold more compassion inside then others? I think so. But what I find is that even those of us who aren’t comfortable with unfamiliar people will still offer comfort in times of duress, even if they too are stressed. Is this a characteristic built into our DNA, to care for others when it is most needed? Is it an innate knowing that we are all connected by the spark of God, that brings us all to life? I do not know. But I’d like to think so.

What I do know is that I am very thankful for the nurse who held my hand that day. She kindly offered me comfort and did her best to divert my attention from the surgery happening while we talked. I cannot help but use this scenario as an analogy of life.

It is on our hardest, most challenging days, that we need others help us get through.

Unfortunately, these days aren’t always as obvious as being strapped to an operating table. Sometimes there are strangers walking past us in the grocery store or working in the cubicle right next to you; that are having one of the worst days of their lives. Inner trauma is just as painful as physical trauma, just in a different way.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all live heart-centered lives so that others would feel safe in asking; “Will you please hold my hand?” when they need it most?

Even if it is just for a short time, your compassion does make a difference. Kindness is a characteristic that we must practice to be good at. Seeing folks in our community as extended family, instead of strangers, is where we can start. Do unto others and such. Remember, even a kind stranger serving as a short distraction from pain (in any form) can make a huge difference in the world.

Thank you for reading my blog today.

May you find comfort and love all around you. May you have the chance to act as comfort and love to another.

Wishing you an abundance of blessings,

With love,

Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister

https://emyminzel.com

@EmyMinzel

Follow the Adventure Sisters on Facebook!

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Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister

https://stacycrep.com

My husband ~ My ordinary everyday hero

Is there divine intervention that happens, to put the people you need in your path, at the time you need them? Is it fate or divine order? I think there has got to be a little of both. I feel like my husband and I were put together at the right time, in the right place and for the right reasons.

Jason and I met at work, I was 28 and he was just turning 30. We dated four years before we got engaged. We were both doing our best to take it slow to make sure we were both happy in this relationship. My daughter was 11 and a huge factor in our relationship, it was imperative and non-negotiable that they got along.

Thankfully, Jason has a great sense of humor and handled it with laughter when Danica tried to frost his bald head with a spatula full of chocolate frosting. One of the first times they had met! They have been jokesters with each other ever since. He was very inclusive of her and their relationship has blossomed. At the age of 16, my daughter asked to change her last name to Jason’s last name, because he was more of a father to her than her own.

My husband had to go through many tests before I knew he was ‘the one’. I was not exactly an easy girlfriend, I was highly independent and had all that I needed; a car, a job, a house and a wonderful little girl. He was going to have to bring something to the table that I did not already have. What I needed was a best friend and companion to be my partner through life. I needed someone who made me laugh and help me do the things I could not. Someone who would stay by my side through the good times and bad.

Previous relationships I had experienced, were not horrible, for the most part. They were just not enough. When Jason and I met we said; “It took me so long to find you, I am not letting you go now.” We both felt that the life we lived before, was not nearly as good as when we finally found each other. So, I want to tell you what he does that makes me feel lucky to have an ordinary everyday hero like my husband.

My husband is always there for me and our daughter, Danica. He checks in morning, noon and night; just to keep in touch. His work has us away from each other quite often. We always let one another know when we get to where we are going. So, the other won’t worry. He also is always ‘there’ for his family and mine. Even if he doesn’t want to, he shows up, because he knows it matters and he loves me. Jason is the kind of husband who grumbles about going to some events but doesn’t let me down.

The first time I thought of him as an everyday hero, was the morning he acted as the best husband in the world. He woke up extra early to drive me to the airport. That morning I wanted to fill up the bird feeder before we left, while still dark. When I did, I stepped in dog poop! Yet, I did not notice until five minutes after we had left and were well on our way!

I was about to lose my cool and have a meltdown. I was horrified at the possibility of being the person on the plane that smells like dog poop! My husband just kept his calm used the random tools he had in his truck and a bottled water; to help clean it off and take care of me in a parking lot at 4:30 am. So, I didn’t have to fret. I’m telling you, at this moment, his help was like an angel sent from heaven just for me.

He takes care of me in other little ways almost every day. This morning he made my coffee. Yesterday he made me an oak bookshelf and one for my mom too.  The day before that, he held me and made me laugh about the week we had endured together; while both inflicted with the stomach flu. Day in and day out my husband is steady and here for me. He works, he comes home, he loves me and our daughter and will do all he can to give us the best life possible.

When I look at my handsome husband’s regular looking life, I see what it looks like to be an ordinary everyday hero.

It’s the men that show up to support you, who keep their word, who don’t leave when times are tough, money is low or tragedy hits that are the real heroes. He is still here, holding me, loving me and taking my crap through it all. My husband is not perfect, and I don’t want him to be. I just need him here with me. Being himself; the loyal, hardworking, handyman that makes my heart pitter patter is all that matters.

Some hero’s rescue you from a burning building. My husband saves me from day’s that feel like this, even if I’m the one who started the fire. (or stepped into some poo!) He is very much my best friend, my confidant, and my hero. I have known him for going on fifteen years, and watching him live with integrity, has earned my devotion and respect. When it comes to what matters, his consistent actions have made me quite certain, I picked the right one.

Thank you, Universe/God for the divine intervention of putting us on the same path. We have been taking turns rescuing each other ever since. I know I am incredibly blessed to have someone who loves me and helps me grow. I am beyond grateful for my husband. My ordinary everyday hero.

I’d love to hear what makes your husband or partner, your hero!

With love,

Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister

https://emyminzel.com

@EmyMinzel

Follow the Adventure Sisters on Facebook!

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Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister

https://stacycrep.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018 Review!

What are you proud of and what could you do better?

If I were to make an adult report card about life, I feel like there are major courses we all have in common. Each of these life courses may demand more time than others at times, so they cannot always be as equal as we would like them to be. Balance is good thing, but when life hands us assignments, it’s not always in manageable bite size pieces.

This year I wanted to grade myself on my personal performance in 2018. Then use it as a guide going into 2019 so that I know where I need to focus my attention. Here are the courses of life in which I am going to grade myself and do my best to be realistic yet kind; so that I don’t romanticize areas in which I can improve.

2018 Report Card

Family Relationships = B

Marriage/Love = C+

Career & Money = C-

Health & PE = F

Passions & Hobbies = B

Family 2018 – I believe that relationships with my closest family members have improved this year. We all have grown on personal levels and learned to accept and respect each other for who we are. Yet there is always room for improvement. We could be closer, and I would like to work more towards that going forward.

Family 2019 Goals – Spend more time with my mom, daughter and extended family. This summer has been crazy busy, and I did not get to spend as much time as I would have liked to with my favorites. To rectify this, I’d like to plan some girl dates and outings that support team work and relationship building.

Marriage/Love 2018 – I put marriage in its own category because I believe it is a separate relationship that takes much more tending to. 2018 has been a major year of transformation and growth for my marriage. I admit that not all of it was as perfect as the pictures I post on Facebook. To be honest, we had a very trying year. Yet by the end of 2018 we are better than we had been all year. We made it through the growing pains, we got stronger and our marriage muscles improved from this struggle. We both have sincerely thanked each other for the life lessons we seem to have given during the past year.

Marriage 2019 Goals – We hope to use those lessons as stepping stones. I am thankful for our love and communication skills that helped us through really trying months. I will not take my husband’s love, support and loyalty for granted. I realize that there are ways I can improve my part of the relationship. Like not blaming him for things we both have a part in creating. Again, I must work on myself by managing my time, emotions and expectations to better benefit our relationship.

Career & Money 2018 – Like the teacher who is hard on you because they know you can do better, I’m going to be very tough on myself in this area because I feel like I need to be. Although I have worked harder this past year than I ever have in my life! My bank account does not reflect a smidgen of the effort I extended, and this is not okay with me. In a world that sees success as dollar signs; I know that I need money to accomplish the things I want to. I’ve got Adventures to go on gosh darn it!

I am doing my best and working hard to make a career by following my heart and passions. While reality is that my real-life needs are not being met by doing so. This current situation frustrates me beyond words because I love being a Massage Therapist. I love helping others feel better in their own skin.

Owning your own business is not easy. It’s taken me eight years to build my practice and gain clients to be financially successful… and only one summer to feel like I hit a massive recession. Currently my career is not supporting the lifestyle I wish to live. Now and it’s up to me to decide what I am going to do about it besides complain. I’ve got to get back to good in this course!

Career & Money 2019 Goals – I just don’t know how to justify doing what feels good and following my heart; when it does not support my other human needs and wants. I am hoping the Universe/God sends me some signs of relief soon. That being said; I am very proud of myself for overcoming my fears and taking the chances I did.

I used every single ounce of courage I had to run for State Representative so that I could affect the change I wished to see in my government and community. I lost the election, but I learned a great deal and had a magnificent life experience. I am proud of myself for that. Yet, doing so had a negative effect on my income and career that I did not anticipate.

If I choose to run again, I will now have the experience and knowledge of what to expect, which should help me prepare.

Health & PE 2018 – Although I lost weight in 2018, I know I failed health class. I will not candy coat it in anyway because I would be lying. I had an adventurous and fun yet, very stressful year, that had me reaching out for the comfort of all my bad habits I had thought I was over. I started smoking again, I was not eating nutritious foods and basically lived off wine and pizza. I was not exercising except when I was out door knocking or in a parade.

It was the stress and anxiety that helped me lose the weight. Yet during the short time between the election in November and ringing in the New Year, I have put every single pound back on. I was seeking consolation through food and eating my feelings. Not healthy and I know it. Time to regroup and recoup.

Last, but not least. I learned that I have a strong tendency to fall back into old habits.

Health & PE Goals 2019 – This year I will focus on losing the weight in a healthy way. Giving my body what it needs to be its best. Utilizing nutrition and exercise will be my number one goal for healthy living. I will give my body the proper nutrition it needs with whole foods and stop feeding it sugar and pizza!

I need to love myself enough to say no to things that insult my body, mind and spirit. I must love myself enough to make decision and choices that heal, not harm my body. I know better, I must do better.I have resolved to manage my stress with exercise instead of the brain changing chemicals of smoking. (So far, so good!)

From what I remember, I used to like to exercise! Dance parties in the kitchen are back into my routine and squats while I fold laundry are now on the schedule most every day. I have a goal to start running again too! I am ready for this change.

Passions & Hobbies 2018 – Although this year was plum full of goal setting, and dream chasing I feel like I had a really hard time with balancing it all into life. I gave myself a B, because I had a very adventurous year doing things, I never dreamed I would do.

Yet, I still did not do much of the things that bring me to balance. Like camping in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area or kayaking and spending time on the water. I justified this by saying if I didn’t run for office, I may not have the BWCA to escape to in the future. When I should have made time to go because that is where I feel my connection to spirit the most. After all, it was my passion for the environment that led me to running for office.

In 2018 Stacy and I submitted our book proposals three different times and where unsuccessful. I will not let this dishearten my resolve but will work harder to get better so that we will succeed.

Passion & Hobbies 2019 Goals –

I allowed the demands of my time to pull me from my spiritual path at times. I now see I need those time outs to center my soul and listen to my inner guidance. Being realistic with the timeline of achievements will benefit my state of mind too.

Adventure Sister Stacy and I know that 2019 will lead to another book to add to our Trilogy and are excited to get to work on it!

I’d like to work on my public speaking ability in 2019 also. It is an area in which I would like to improve for the sake of my own personal growth. In 2018 I learned that facing my fears is difficult, but the reward is worth it.

I am extremely proud of my courage, tenacity, persistence and dedication I showed I am capable of in 2018. There are many areas in which I see I can improve, like working on my closest relationships that took the back burner as I chased my dreams. I have learned the value my time and the importance of balancing it.

Comments:

Look at that! I have not only grown older but maybe even a little wiser! 2018 has been full of lessons and growth that have led to setting more goals. Self-improvement is something I work on every day. Working on ourselves is important so that we don’t blame others for situations in our lives. It helps us take responsibility for where we are, where we are going, how we are going to get there and who we are while we are there.

You cannot change others, you can only change yourself!

I tend to look on the bright side of things, so I had to be tough on myself in this report card. As you can see 2018 GPA has some room for improvement! My hopes are that these grades will serve as a tool to continue my own personal growth. I can’t wait to see this report card come up in my timeline over the next years to compare!

When we put our pro’s and con’s down on paper its easier to see how far we’ve come in one year and how far we have yet to go!

What lessons have you learned during 2018?! I’d love to hear how you’ve grown!

May your 2019 be full of blessings and Lessons through Joy!

With love,

Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister

https://emyminzel.com

@EmyMinzel

Follow the Adventure Sisters on Facebook!

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Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister

https://stacycrep.com

What if we all just love each other?

It is common for people to fear what they don’t understand. When you don’t know how to overcome or process fears, fear becomes hate. When you compare all your differences instead of your commonalities visions and truth are skewed, perceptions are half-truths. I denounce organizational practices that use scare tactics to keep people separated and fearful, knowing full well Unity is where the power is. When an organization, religion or race is spurred to be fearful of another it turns into “Us vs. Them.”

I believe the Higher Power gave us free will to make our own decisions. We can choose to use our curiosity to learn about others instead of imagining false reasons to fear someone you do not know. I do not buy into any separation of myself, other humans or living beings on this planet. I do not think any living being is less or more important then myself. I believe in helping and supporting others who are doing the best they can in the everyday struggle of life. I know we all struggle in our own ways.

I believe must not fear or try to make life harder for others because you do not have the same beliefs, religion or culture. I believe when we show compassion to others it is good for both souls. I believe refugees do not leave the country they love to unless they feel they must. Would you? What does it say about me if I choose not to see through the color of skin or religion into the soul inside? Maybe they fear me in the same way? Should they?

Why don’t we open conversations and get to know others who are much different in your perception? I bet if you took the time you would see, most people have very similar wants and needs. I want healthy food to eat, clean water to drink, a safe place to lay my head at night and a good life for myself and family. I want peace. I bet that is what you want too.

I want opportunities of success for my daughter and her children who are not born yet. I want the same for your children and grandchildren too. I imagine a world full of good will, unity and cooperation. Can you imagine how the world would look if we thought of our neighbors and other countries as family? I bet we would not fear others and practice wider acceptance of characteristics we do not share.

You could look at your neighbor with different color skin, or the woman who drums in her garden with compassion and acceptance as if they were your beloved aunt or uncle. You may even think “Oh that’s just Auntie Em, doing her thing, not hurting anybody, she will stop banging that drum soon.” Or you may think “Uncle Joe is preaching to the choir again!” You would not roll your eyes in annoyance because you know his heart is made of gold. We choose to practice compassion and acceptance when we share connection.

Why do we continuously choose not to see we are ALL connected? I believe we can change our thought and beliefs. When you change the way you look at things, what you look at changes. When I look for negative things about others, I find them every time. When I choose to look for the good in others, I find it every single time. I am choosing to believe in my faith of a kind, loving, and compassionate world full of great neighbors and family. To do this I have to start in my own back yard, in my town, in my state. Every day I choose to actively practice acceptance, choose love, and choose faith over fear.

Wishing you an abundance of joyful blessings,

Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister

https://emyminzel.com

@emyminzel

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Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister

https://stacycrep.com

 

Gus n’ me

People who know me, know that I am an animal lover. I love all animals, even the rodent kind, the crawly kind or big and scary kind. I wasn’t always like this, but I am now and there is no turning back. I am champion of animal rights and the humane treatment of all animals, but my favorite kind of animals are dogs. I love them like crazy, and most of the time I like them more than people.

Dogs are soulful companions that know instinctively if you are mad, sad, happy or just need a cuddle. They live in the moment, and they love without judgment or expectations. It only takes about 30 seconds for me to fall in love with most every furry four-legged friend I meet. It’s easy make friends with a dog, don’t you think?!

I have been blessed enough to have companionship of my bulldog Gus for over 12 years. I tell everyone who has the pleasure of meeting him, that he is my best friend. I even tell my husband that Gus and I are 100%, without a doubt, in love. Gus is kind of a meat head, not super friendly to all dogs, and before he grew old, he had a tendency to run away and chase cars, which scared the crap out of us at the same time.

My husband sees how upset I would get after these events and say that Gus is like a bad boyfriend that I keep coming back to! We laugh about this because I just cannot help but love my Gus for all that he is, we have a bond, and soul connection. He’s a lover, fighter, cuddle bug, sensitive badass, we call him the ‘fun police’ for his intolerance of shenanigans. He is full of character all wrapped up in an adorable mean muggin’ furry faced package.

Yes, Gus and me, we are in love. I will take his side and have his back until his last breath. He is my best friend. I am his. I cannot compare human love to dog mom kind of love. It is special in its own way. Dog moms know exactly what I am talking about.

Puppy love is very much like the love I feel for my own child, just a little different and without the drama and sassing back. Now that I say that…. It’s not true, he does sass back, will give me dirty looks, and when he runs away there is always drama. Because there is so much love between us, I worry. I sincerely consider him my friend.

I recently saw on Facebook that an acquaintance of mine lost her dog just last night. This sweet woman is very much into the dog rescue world and is a rescue rock star for my favorite local rescue organization. Her best friend got out of the house and they could not find her for a whole day and when they did it was too late. Her fur friend was gone, passed over the rainbow bridge to wait for her there.

My heart breaks for her, I know how in love she was with her best fur friend and I know she is grieving the loss tremendously. Not everyone is a dog person, but the ones that are know how significant the love you share with your dog can be. I have lost very special dogs in my life, and I know it doesn’t matter how they go, it matters that they are gone. Your friend is just gone, taking a large chunk of your heart with them.

I will do it again. I will choose to fall in love with more furry friends throughout the rest of my lifetime. After every heartbreak I know the pain of loss is healed by giving more love. It takes time to heal from loss, not just the human loss but any being that touches your soul and seems to always take that part of your heart with them when they pass.

Loss of loved ones makes me know for sure that our soul, our energy, our love, is fluid and moving, for some of my heart is up in heaven waiting for the rest of me when I get there.

Today I will count my blessings, give extra love to all my family and friends, especially my furry friends.

Wishing you an abundance of love and blessings,

Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister

https://emyminzel.com

@emyminzel

Follow the Adventure Sisters on Facebook!

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Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister

https://stacycrep.com

 

*photo credit Franny Larson