Big Changes

It has, yet again been quite some time since we’ve written. I have toyed with whether this would be Casper’s post or mine. I think just to get thoughts out it will be straight from me. I want you to hear his voice, I want to hear it too, but again I just can’t get there today. I think it’s fair, and enough time has passed where we can comfortably talk about what has been happening in our lives.

I have to think back quite a ways so forgive me if the timeline doesn’t match up quite right, I’ll try and not leave too much out. The real craziness probably started about the time of Spring break. This year we planned to drive down to southern Florida to see my parents. (Last year, you may recall was our trip to Oklahoma.) I added the roof rack cross bars to the truck to accept a gear box, then had it tuned up for the road and was making all the final preparations. Lauri planned our stops and caretakers for the cats (AKA basement monsters).  All of this while making sure the girls saw their Dad and step-mom as much as possible before leaving for a week. If anyone has 50/50 custody you know how challenging that can be. Add to that, their Dad being sick and an eighteen year old cat, which as we found out has a thyroid condition which requires daily medication within the week prior to our scheduled departure. These two “situations” left us with cause to evaluate the trip. Lauri and I had a conversation and I told her that I really felt like we needed to stay because at that point Lucy needed to be fed at least 3 times a day plus ensuring she ate the pill. I was not comfortable asking someone to make that commitment. If any of you know me personally, you know most can read my emotions easily. I can’t hide them, they come bursting out. I know this and so does Lauri so I don’t even try to hold back when I really feel something. The next morning we called my parents and told them that we sadly would not see them. They understood, of course. eally, how could my awesome come from nowhere?

We took a couple day trips, and even an overnight, thanks to wonderful friends checking in on the cats. I’m sure you read the posts, so I won’t go into details here. The rest of the week we tried to have the girls available to their biological Dad and Step-Mom. While we all wanted to take a trip, staying home turned out to be the best thing we could have done for the girls. It turned out that the very same week their Dad lost his battle with cancer. I’ve lost family members to old age, in shocking situations, and even my own grandmother to cancer. I have not lost a parent, and certainly not as a child to something as unforgiving as cancer. I can’t imagine what that’s like, so I do my best to be a positive role model and just be there, hoping that is enough. When I look back on that week now, I know I was being told to stay for a far greater purpose than keeping a kitty healthy; we’re glad we did.

As life moves away from tragic events, we took our hobby of browsing the country for fun real estate to earnestly considering why we might be doing that. We both felt that now is the perfect time for a change. We added criteria of bedrooms, bathrooms, yard space, school systems, and distance from family. Ideally we liked the idea of being half way from both of our parents, or parental groups as the case may be (Editor’s note: My (Lauri)  parents are divorced and both remarried and I am adopted and am close to my birth mother and her husband as well). In our searching around the country and talking about what felt right for us, we settled on a home coming for Lauri and making the move to Oklahoma. This is really convenient for one side, and about the same trip to get to the my parents. Having the support of multiple family member for the girls was the final decision maker.

This decision to move has set us into overdrive. We have been spending our free time with projects large and small that make a well loved and well lived in condo a bit more attractive to a new resident. We are doing everything from patching the ignored drywall holes and painting to updating the bathrooms and putting in a brand new kitchen and appliances. We have been sorting our belongings between give away, throw away, sell, and keep. It really is amazing at the amount of stuff you acquire by being in one place for nearly ten years. There really is something to be said for rehoming items that haven’t been used in a year. Simplifying one’s life has been a difficult process, but I can say it is getting easier as I go.

We are excited about the changes and moving confidently in the direction of living the rest of our lives as a team. Since we’ve posted last we have celebrated our second anniversary as a couple and I am happy to say I have a fiancé; conveniently for me it is Lauri. I figured it would be way too confusing for me any other way. (See early statements of me not being able to hide emotions and you know that I’m joking, here.) It is said that when you ask for big changes and move toward them with an open heart you will get them in ways you may not imagine; this is true. We jumped in the proverbial river and are trying to ensure we point downstream; it’s a fun ride, with some swift moving water along the way, but the best ride of my life so far because I know I have asked for all the change we’re working though. As I write this now, I can’t believe it has been two years since I gave in to the universe and have been receiving gifts in so many strange ways, not the least of which has been SDP, Casper, CPs, and our wonderful readers!

**I (Lauri) wanted to share a photo of the GORGEOUS ring I received!!! Dan had been looking for the right time to propose for months. He and Casper had this custom made with the kind of stone I wanted. Morganite: “This crystal also attracts the abundance of love into one’s life and assists in maintaining that love as it continues to grow. It encourages loving thoughts and actions, consideration and responsibility, and being receptive to love from others. As a crystal of the heart, it may be used to attract one’s soul mate or in deepening a current relationship. It inspires joy and reverence for life, and increases the opportunities which allow one to experience the unconditional love of the Divine.”**


16 thoughts on “Big Changes

  1. lufree54 June 13, 2014 at 3:43 pm Reply

    Wishing y’all all the best and I love the story of the ring’s stone – PERFECTION (the stone choice and the setting!).

  2. Renee June 3, 2014 at 11:35 am Reply

    Congratulations on your engagement and upcoming nuptials. It sounds like your family has been on a whirlwind of a ride. Heartfelt thoughts to your girls on the loss of their biological dad. Casper will be a comfort and companion to you all in addition to doing what he does best for you. Best of luck on your move.

  3. Bobbity212 June 2, 2014 at 11:33 pm Reply

    Well congratulations, Dan (and Casper) on popping the question and getting the right answer from Lauri. Ring is beautiful, glad Casper helped you with the design. I am very sorry to hear of the passing of your girls’ dad, but oh how fortunate they are to have all of you in their lives. A move might well be the best medicine for all, although I feel sad that we won’t have the pleasure of seeing you at Sunday Stews–you’re a lovely family, and Casper is clearly devoted to his whole pack. He was one of my favorites from the start, just THE best disposition, and I know he’ll be the rock for you to lean on as you transition to a new stage. Please don’t forget us, we’ll all be eager to hear more from Casper (and YOU, of course). Very best of luck to all of you. 🙂

  4. Linda June 2, 2014 at 11:26 pm Reply

    What a beautiful ring! I am so happy for all of you and wish you much peace and happiness for a long, successful future. Much love to all two and four legged family members.

  5. Carolyn Calo June 2, 2014 at 8:48 pm Reply

    So sorry for the loss of the girl’s dad. You, Laurie, and the girls are a very special family. I wish you much love and happiness in your new home. Congrats on the engagement! Sending hugs to Casper, too.

  6. Karen Maitland June 2, 2014 at 5:17 pm Reply

    Isn’t it strange and wonderful how the universe conspires with us? My condolences to the puppies on their loss – I can’t imagine. But the change to a new home and new school is probably an answer to a question about perfect timing. I remember how much everyone enjoyed their vacation in OK – it’s always nice to have family around!! Dan, you did a wonderful job on that ring!! Just lovely. Please keep up your blog and I’m going to beg for wedding pictures when you two take that trip, also! Give our boy, Casper, a huge hug from me. He was my first ‘favorite’ as a CP – I’ll always love that happy little ‘ghost’!! And maybe if I’m lucky, I’ll get to meet him and his gorgeous family one day! God bless and keep all of you!!! {{{}}} nhteach

    • casperthedane June 2, 2014 at 7:01 pm Reply

      OH, wedding photo will be posted. Casper is the best man!!!! The date is Oct 31, 2015

      • Nicole M Pelletier June 7, 2014 at 9:21 am

        A Samhain wedding, greatest time, veil is thin, those who have crossed may be present! Wonderful! for you all!

      • casperthedane June 7, 2014 at 7:16 pm

        Yes, we wanted to celebrate with our grandparents!

  7. Marilyn Sygrove June 2, 2014 at 2:39 pm Reply

    There have been many changes since we last heard from you, and the great way that you include us in your life is so appreciated. I am glad that the girls have good relationship with their families. It is family that gives unconditional love during the good and the bad times in life, so right now it is so wonderful to have that love all around them. Emotions are what makes us human and the ability to share those emotions willingly allows everyone to see your good soul. Making changes can be hard, but to move forward in life, changes must be made. So enjoy these new adventures, and let us know how things are going. The best of luck to you all, and thanks for sharing Casper with us.

  8. Janice W. Constantine June 2, 2014 at 2:02 pm Reply

    So sorry to here of the passing of the girls father. Dan and Casper did a good job on that beautiful ring. You all have so many wonderful adventures ahead in your new home. I will look forward to hearing of all the fun ahead. Take care.

  9. Nancy June 2, 2014 at 12:35 pm Reply

    I wish you nothing but the best in your transition. I know from experience that moving and getting everything together and “stuff” that has been sitting around. Luckily I have the church to donate clothes to and a local large breed rescue who I do work with that will get a ton of things. It is time consuming but in the end it will be worth all the time and effort. Casper will love his new environment and everything will work out wonderfully. I do hope you keep writing and letting us know how you and Casper and the rest of the family is. Both of you did a wonderful job in getting Laurie that beautiful ring. Excellent taste.

  10. Donna leonard June 2, 2014 at 12:28 pm Reply

    I wish the best of everything to you all… Sometimes a grad adventure is just what the soul need to heal.. Love to all

  11. Diane June 2, 2014 at 11:53 am Reply

    Congratulations to you both! May you and your family have a future full of much peace, love and happiness. I suspect many grand adventures are ahead for all of you! May God bless you all the days of your lives!

  12. kbtz-AZ June 2, 2014 at 11:52 am Reply

    What timing….the power of the Universe is mighty…..and it seems to be present in your lives. My condolences to the little puppies. I am confident w/the love and support of your family and extended families, you all are Blessed. Hate to see you move as I will really miss my Little Ghost at SDP now and then. But he is just where he is supposed to be.
    Lauri, the ring is truly lovely. Dan may have had it made, but no doubt Casper breathed on it for extra sparkle. May this be just the beginning of a truly amazing and blessed life.
    p.s. please keep up the blog so we know how you are all doing….thanks

  13. Laura Fahey Hron June 2, 2014 at 11:49 am Reply

    I am so very excited to hear of all the changes in your lives and so look forward to your move down to the Central US. You are heading to my neck of the woods now. I’m in North Texas and heck, North Texas and Oklahoma are just one big metropolitan area. LOL. So sorry to hear that the girls lost their biological dad and cannot imagine what that is like but am so thankful that they have you in their lives. Cannot wait to hear of the Casper adventures in the southwest. You know that we all wish you the best of luck and that we will miss you tremendously but know that you are only a facebook or blog post away.

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