We Fell in Love Online

I know plenty of people who have successfully found love through online dating. I even know some folks who have grown their families by starting the adoption process or the search for a sperm donor online. It never occurred to me that we would fall in love online, but we did.

To complete our family, I had envisioned a picturesque sunny day- our whole family walking into a shelter and playing with pups until the perfect little girl- playful, sweet, tough, but not mean- would shine through the rest. That never happened. Instead, as I dreamed of the pitter patter of little paws and the giggles I knew I’d hear as my children played with our future family member, I stumbled onto petfinder.com and shared pictures of cute canines with my husband (who wasn’t yet 100% on board.) On the third or fourth night I spent this way, I literally fell in love at first sight with the cutest little brown-eyed face- and I couldn’t get her off of my mind. Andy felt the same tug at his heart and I jumped at the chance to make something happen.

AllYouNeedIsLoveAndADog

It turns out, this sweet girl was a rescued pup, staying with a foster family in Tennessee. The rescue organization was really helpful. We all wanted to make sure that this pup was placed with the right family. We had 3 children and 2 cats and needed everyone to be happy and comfortable. Not only did they send photos and video via email, but Ginger’s foster mom and I had several phone conversations and then we received more video footage. Because she had been in a foster home, the organization was able to tell us a lot about her temperment and confirm that she was good with cats, small children, and other dogs.

On November 19, 2011, we drove to NH to meet the truck transporting Ginger and the other dogs who were rescued from high kill shelters. She instantly became part of our family- snuggling and playing with the kids, enjoying long walks and hikes and eliciting endless giggles from ALL of us with her silly antics and playful personality. My son would snuggle her after a long or hard school day and feel better about whatever had been bothering him, and since we lost Josh this summer, she has helped us all through. She’s extra snuggly when she knows we need the extra love and she’s silly and playful to make us laugh and smile. I can not say enough how thankful I am to have this sweet pup as part of our family.

This dog never runs out of kisses!

This dog never runs out of kisses!

If your family has a little more love to share and you’re thinking of adopting a dog, consider adopting through a rescue organization. Check some out here or use Petfinder, Rescue Me or Adopt A Pet.

-M

A good habit that has stuck! NaBloPoMo challenge day 5

Today’s challenge question…. Do you have any good habits that were hard to start but you’re happy you worked to build them?

My family went GMO free about a year and a half ago. Reading about what this country does to our food system makes my blood boil. For a few years, I would read about GMO’s and get mad. Read and get mad, read and get mad. I was walking around mad which wasn’t helping anybody, especially myself.

I had been searching for a solution to the GMO problem but it just seemed so overwhelming that I would just kind of give up. Three out of four of my children have food allergies so I felt like I had to make a choice, purchase products from the big companies who are excellent at labeling ingredients but use all GMO’s, or go with the smaller companies that are organic/GMO free and risk cross contamination and not so great labeling. (Legally companies only need to list ingredients that are IN the food you are eating. They do NOT have to label what else is made in the facility or on the equipment. When dealing with nut allergies and anaphylaxis, this is not optional.) I felt I had to make my purchases through the big companies and just eat the GMO’s. I did this for a long time.

About a year and a half ago I decided that I would choose one product at a time and do my research on it. I chose products that we use the most of first, like cereal and bread, figuring I could make the biggest impact there.

anti gmo

I spent a lot of time on the phone and on the internet and found out that eliminating GMO’s wasn’t going to be as difficult as I originally thought. I started with Kashi’s “non Gmo certified project verified cereals”. More info on that here. There are a few that are nut safe and non GMO that we use.

Bread was trickier. There aren’t a lot of bakeries that are nut safe. I did manage to find two that are organic (GMO free), nut safe, and most importantly, that my kids like.

Organic and GMO free is more expensive for sure! I have had to cut other expenses to make sure we can afford non GMO food and it is worth it.

Instead of walking around angry, I know that each and every purchase I make is making a statement. I am creating a demand for non GMO products and not providing funding towards the companies that use GMO’s and don’t label them. I have also dug a little deeper and have created a list (in my head) of companies that not only use GMO’s but also fund the campaign against GMO’s being listed on products. I will not buy anything from them either. You can find a good list here.

I am so happy I turned my anger into something positive. My youngest son who just turned 7 had the most positive allergy appointment he has ever had, just last month. I think there is a direct link to the choices we have made these past two years and his allergies. That is a different story for another day but I am so very grateful for working hard to build this good habit of ours :-).

We are far from perfect, nor are we 100% GMO free.  My kids still eat pizza and they have snacks that are not all GMO free.  I would say we are closer to 85% GMO free and that is SO much better than we were two years ago.  I hope more people will consider joining us with building this good habit and really cut out GMO’s and having your dollar matter.  🙂

 

*Image from shutterstock.com