Time for a little family update. It’s been a while since I’ve mentioned her on the blog, but you guys remember Em, right?
If not, allow me to introduce you again: this is my gorgeous, hilarious little sister, Emily. I call her Em (as does pretty much everyone else in our immediate family). People say we look alike, but I don’t really see it other than our mutual cheesy smile from Dad (my lighter eye and hair color is more from my Dad’s German side, while her darker hair and eyes are Mom’s Italian side). We are just shy of three years apart.
About a year ago, Em went through kind of a nasty divorce. The details are pretty unsavory (the words “emotional dumpster fire” come to mind), but let’s just say that if the best revenge is to live well, she is exacting hers pretty flawlessly. Recently, Em bought her first house (woot!) and we all came over to celebrate. It’s a cute little place, but it’s definitely going to take her some time to make it her own. Her awesome new dude has recently moved in with her too, so they are tackling quite a few projects right out of the gate (if she takes my advice and snaps before photos, I’ll share some of the progress so you can see those transformations).
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As a sort of gag gift for housewarmings, I often bring over the largest package of toilet paper I can find (with a giant bow, of course). It usually gets a few laughs, but as I’ve heard on more than one occasion from friends I’ve given it to, it’s strangely one of those products that people forget to buy in the chaos of moving (and discovering you’re out of TP after a full day of heavy boxes is the last thing you’d want to deal with!). In the same spirit of things-that-are-forgotten-until-they’re-desperately-needed-on-moving-day, I brought Em something I thought was even more perfect for her circumstances as an owner of multiple dogs: a giant green box full of Swiffer goodies. I’ve been a Swiffer brand ambassador for this past year and have given out a number of these boxes before, so I knew it would be a solid fit for her “clean slate” home (they often give these boxes to new Habitat for Humanity homeowners too, which is one of the reasons I enjoy working with them). Inside, she found a Swiffer Duster, Swiffer Duster refills, a Swiffer Sweeper, and wet and dry cloths — basically $50 worth of “home clean home.”
Her response? “YASSSSSSS.”
As for the dogs themselves, they now have their very own muddy backyard to sniff and dig to their heart’s content. Known in our family as LemonandLana (because they are never apart), Lemon (the red one in the back) is her very own piddle factory, while Lana (the black one) tends to be a lot more outgoing and affectionate. On this particular day, I was thrilled because Lemon actually approached me to give me a quick cuddle before retreating to the corner again (even though they are sisters, they have completely different temperaments). Perhaps she was just really into her gifts?
And speaking of canine family members, I had one more stop to make on this day, because we also have a tiny, new addition to my parents’ house: Buddy!
When our family dog, Lucy, passed a couple of years ago, my mother was adamant: she and Dad would. not. adopt another pet until she retired. But despite her declarations, I knew it was only a matter of time before Em (who volunteers and fosters with dogs regularly) wore her down. She wasn’t even subtle about it; I wasn’t exactly stopping her, either (hey, I love dogs too!). Mom is still shy of retirement, but when they gave in and agreed to go meet “Clyde” at the rescue center, it was all over. We debated changing his name a few times because he’s still a puppy (I was campaigning for Oliver/Ollie), and my parents settled on Buddy.
Now, they are pretty much smitten, and every day is as if they’ve never had a dog before. It’s really quite hilarious, especially because he’s so tiny compared to the other dogs (though as a dachshund, he makes up for it in attitude, of course). For instance, I’ve recently learned that he hates school buses. And trailers. As part of my dropoff of gifts to Em’s new place, I swung by my parents’ home and gave Buddy a gift of his own from Swiffer: a Bark Box complete with treats, toys, and a few items that replaced things he thought were toys.
New dogs, new homes, new adventures… 2016 is full of change for the Fogle family!