Archives For Friendship

My best friend is gone

March 1, 2016

Murphy goodbye

Waves of grief and gratitude have crashed down on me over the last several days. Yet I looked into her eyes and I knew she understood and that we would both be ok.

Like every soul-shaking loss I’ve endured in life, I just need time. Time does not heal, but it helps soften the blow…a little bit…day by day.

I’m normally frustrated by my mind. I have an awful memory. But in times like this, I need to wrap myself up in my natural tendency to forget the details over time like it’s a security blanket protecting me from painful flashbacks for which I am not prepared.

Trying to stop the tears proves as futile as trying to hold onto her forever.

Sixteen years. I was blessed to have my pug, Murphy, in my life…and in my family’s life…for 16 whole years. She started off with just me and Ryan. Throughout the course of her lifetime, she gained a brotha-from-anotha-mother canine companion named Eightball (who passed away on June 3, 2010 and now waits for me on this side of the Rainbow Bridge) as well as two human brothers (now 14 and 12 years old) and a human sister (now 7 years old).

My kids have never known life without her. Hell, it’s hard for ME to remember life without her…and even harder to imagine life moving forward without her.

It is clear to me that my heart has a tendency to latch onto and love those who snore the loudest: My grandma Peterson, Murphy, and Ryan.

(I’m doing my best to remember to laugh.)

She was not in pain. She simply had finished her journey here. She was tired. I am a lot to take care of, after all.

Dogs love with every bone in their body. I know they’re not for everyone and I never try to convince a non-dog person that they should change their mind. What I will say is “think of something in your life that you love so much that it’s incomparable to anything else.” That’s how my dogs have made me feel over the years. I couldn’t ever fully pay back their love, but I tried.

I could rehash 1,000 stories about Murphy, but I feel like pictures reveal more than any words ever could.

My best friend is gone. But not forgotten. And I have to believe that one day I will see her again.

October 4, 1999 – March 1, 2016

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Written by Heidi Woodard

Our friends would all make fun of us
And we’d just laugh along because we’d know
That none of them have felt this way
Delilah, I can promise you
That by the time that we get through
The world will never ever be the same
And you’re to blame – Hey There Delilah

Innocent love. Crushies (as my daughter would say). Is there anything more pure and fun to observe and feel in our overly cynical world?

I started blogging back in 2009. I’ve shared many stories over the last several years, but one of my favorites is not something I crafted in my mind and completed with a punctuation mark, but instead continues to grow in front of my very own eyes with an ending that has yet to be defined.

I’m just lucky to be able to sit back and watch it unfold.

My daughter is now 7. She was not yet 3 years old when she first noticed Parker at preschool. And Parker noticed her.

Parker and Jaycee 1

Jaycee and Parker

photo (16)

 

Parker’s mom and I were equally tickled by their budding relationship. We soon learned that they would find secret hiding spots on the playground, places of solitude to share their innermost ideas and trade kisses on each other’s cheeks…which they were both told was not approved behavior on more than one occasion.

Their teachers were very much in-the-know about what was going on between the pint-sized pair and would report daily to Parker’s mom and me about our children’s ongoing fascination with one another.

We both sort of assumed that they, like so many relationships before them, would grow older and their memories of one other would fade as quickly as their toddler denim jeans.

I detailed their ongoing courtship in these two posts.

photo (15)photo (17)photo (18)

The time came for Parker and Jaycee to say goodbye and head their separate ways to two different elementary schools for kindergarten.

I think Parker’s mom and I were sadder about this reality than they were. I guess they always knew, unlike us, that a good thing was worth holding onto…despite the distance.

In kindergarten, Parker took his dad’s old class ring and sent a text message proposal (from his mom to me) to his favorite girl.

photo (14)

When I showed it to Jaycee, she accepted. And smiled a whole lot.

Parker has surprised her the last two Valentine’s Days with gifts of affection.

Jaycee Valentines Day

Parker and Jaycee

After all these years of him treating her so nicely and not forgetting about his first true love in spite of this crazy world we live in…guys…seriously…I’m not even joking…

I don’t know what I’m going to do if these two DON’T get married!

I mean, after college and several years of living on their own and discovering what they truly want out of life of course (wink).

Parker, you’ll always have a special place in not only my daughter’s heart, but mine as well.

Written by Heidi Woodard

Those who regularly follow my ramblings know that I don’t do a lot of product promotions. In over three years, I can count on one hand how many times I’ve posted about my experiences with companies via MaternalMedia: Fanatics, Great Wolf Lodge, and Freshly Organized come to mind. I only agree to blog promotional stuff when I think my followers will actually be interested in reading it…plain and simple.

**Upfront Disclaimer** I also tend to want to promote companies who not only fit this criteria, but can also help me escape my off-hours job of uncompensated shuttle service for my kids, get me out of the house to reunite with friends over wine and hors d’oeuvres in a peaceful place, and offer me a chance to win roundtrip airfare tickets.

Enter Travel Design Lounge (TDL) stage left!

TDL signage

Frequent travelers are likely already familiar with Travel and Transport, the 5th largest travel management company in the United States. Their company has launched a new venue in Omaha, Nebraska, centered around a fresh concept when it comes to traveling – allow the destination seeker a space to become inspired.

I was lucky to attend an event with other wonderful bloggers in my city to learn more about what TDL offers.

From people who already know where they want to go and what they want to do when it comes to vacation planning, to people who want to get a taste of and feel for sample destinations before making a decision, the friendly TDL trip advisors are there to help you along the way.

I guess I represent their “non-worldly demographic profile” (a category I just made up) because the farthest I’ve ever drifted is Jamaica. In terms of continental US destinations, I’ve seen a lot of places through corporate travel and sporting tournaments. Put it this way, when my dear friend Judy Daniell posed the question, “Have you ever thought about having a book club onsite and then working with readers to plan a destination trip to the city featured in the book?” I sort of wanted to retreat back to my inferiority cave of existence.

But, instead, I just kept drinking my nice sparkly glass of wine.

TDL wine

Guys, their storefront is beautiful. Located in the Shops of Legacy off of 168th and Center, it is pretty easy to find…even for non-Westies like myself.

This was my initial assessment of the place within 10 minutes of arriving and hearing the event hosts talk:

TDLtweet

I can envision my sporting family friends meeting together here to experience a night of food, drinks, and laughter while discussing destinations to hit up while on the road living vicariously through our offspring.

I can already hear the dads starting to groan, my husband leading the charge. To that initial reaction, I counter with the following…

TDL bar

A night of travel planning discussions with the ladies suddenly doesn’t seem so bad after all.

Within the TDL, there are several collaboration spaces where you can either talk one-on-one with a trip advisor or gather with your family and friends to share ideas. There are also in-store technology tools at your fingertips in case you want to research every step of your journey.

Here's a pic of Judy and I planning a trip to Milan. (Who am I kidding?! We're just goofing around.)

Here’s a pic of Judy and I planning a trip to Milan. (Who am I kidding?! We’re just goofing around.)

Whether you’re in or out of Nebraska, I encourage you to follow TDL on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and share travel posts and updates from your neck of the woods.

And if you’re in or around Omaha, if for no other reason than this, you must stop by and get a picture of yourself in front of their snappy tagline #gettripsy sign.

TDL tripsy

Below is everything else you need to know. Now GO!

Travel Design Lounge
The Shops of Legacy
16950 Wright Plaza, Suite 151
Omaha, NE 68130
www.traveldesignlounge.com

Monday-Thursday: 9am-9pm
Friday-Saturday: 9am-10pm
Sunday: Closed

Written by Heidi Woodard