TBT | My birthday boy's wish comes true! Meet the newest member of our family, a Cockapoo puppy!

Gosh, it is so fun to look through these pics again. 18 months ago, we expanded our family to include the 4-legged kind. 592 days later and I can tell you I don’t regret it one bit. We enjoyed the new energy and excitement so much that a few months later we brought home a second puppy so Charlie could have a playmate. :-) Charlie and Ozzie are my shadows and my office buddies most days. While our house has gotten a little crazier it’s also filled with a little more love. Thinking about getting a pet? Do it! You won’t regret it!




I think every child at one time in their lives wishes they had a dog.  When Joey, my oldest, was 5 (John 3 and Jake 1)  Joey wanted a puppy really bad.  With 3 young kids to care for and a husband that was rarely home, I knew responsibility would fall on me with any animals we brought into the house.  I wasn't ready for that.  I told Joey when he was 9 we could THINK about a puppy.  Pushing that decision off four years felt like a safe length of time for the desire to fade. And four years later, when Joey was 9, Joey was not quite as inquisitive about owning a puppy but his younger brother John sure continued to be.  John, at this point 7 years old, continued to ask about a puppy realizing his older brother reached magical age of 9 I mentioned all those years before.  By the time Joey was 9 (John 7 and Jake 5) my marriage was falling apart and shortly after that my husband left me.  That was definitely not the right time for a dog.  So I kept putting it off.

My kids typically have an intense desire for things for a short period of time and it quickly fades.  Whether it's the latest clothing fad, electronic game, activity or pet, their excitement comes and goes with the setting sun.  But John and his desire for a puppy never faded.  He's wanted a puppy since he was a baby.  When John was 3, I said 'maybe in 4 more years.'  And then 6 MORE years passed after that and I was still saying no.

The last few months, I've had a tough time living in the moment with my boys.  I feel like the time I have left with them before they go off to college is fading fast.  It's hard some days to enjoy NOW instead of worrying about LATER.  I talked about the struggle in this post about cherishing the small moments.

About 6-9 months ago, I started really considering the idea of a dog but pushed it out of my mind because I didn't feel it was the right time.   But I kept going back to the idea of getting a dog... and then quickly thinking I was crazy for considering it.   Several months ago, I started researching dogs that would be good for a boy with allergies in case I ever decided to take the plunge.  And then for John's birthday last month, he got to open a special present.

The two videos below show the reactions his younger brother was able to get of John opening the present last month.  The excitement on his face... I'll never forget that.



His reaction made my heart so happy.  John has wanted a dog for 10 years and I finally said yes.  John couldn't wait to pick out his own puppy.  After researching a variety of hypoallergenic dogs (a necessity for our family), we found a breeder in central Illinois that had a litter born just a couple weeks ago.   Talking to the breeder on the phone, I felt like going through her was a great fit.  So yesterday, we went to look at the puppies that were only 2 weeks old.  John would be able to choose one and then go back in about 6 weeks when the pup would be old enough to leave his mama.  Well that was the plan.  Here's what happened yesterday.


A family that had spoken for this little guy weeks ago had found a puppy elsewhere in the meantime.  So we walk into Heather's Heavenly Hounds and she explains the situation of this 'new puppy' and tells us he is available to take home now and asks if we'd like to see him.  John couldn't contain his his emotions.  As she went into the other room to retrieve the dog, he had the biggest grin on his face and tears in his eyes.   The anticipation of this long awaited moment was overwhelming.

Watching him eagerly wait for the pup made me thankful he not only FEELS but he not afraid to let his feelings SHOW.  Men often feel like they have to always be tough, containing feelings, and believe men shouldn't cry.  I applaud those who realize the negativity in that flawed thinking.  There is something so valuable in learning at a young age how to be raw and willing to expose your feelings to others.  I was thankful to see his reaction.  I hugged him and cried a little too while we waited for the breeder, Heather, to return.  The next video was taken just seconds after he met the puppy that now has a forever home with John as his daddy.  :-)  John often has a big grin on his face but I don't think I've EVER seen a smile this huge plastered on John's face before.  This is the moment he's been dreaming of for years and years and this is one of those moments that I'll never forget.


So why did I say yes?  Why now?  Because life is too short.  Our family, friends and community continue to be reminded of that far too often.  And because there is NEVER a right time to do anything in life.  Sometimes you just have to have faith and jump.... and trust everything will work out.

So was I ready to have a puppy? No.  Is now the 'right' time to get a puppy? No.  Am I ready for the extra responsibility? No.  Do I think I'm crazy for saying yes?  Yes!

But I still said yes.  This puppy was not purchased on a whim.  This is a 10 year wish in the making.    I don't think I'll ever regret saying yes but it's likely that I would have regretted it if I kept saying no.  Sometimes you just have to say yes.

John has such a tender soul.   It's obvious to me just seeing him with his puppy in the pictures below that he will nurture and care for this dog better than anyone else possibly could.   John will be his caretaker, friend, playmate, teacher and protector.

John will love this pup fiercely no doubt.   And I'm so thankful that I can call John mine so I can love him fiercely in return.

Without further ado, I'd like to introduce you to John's 'son', a 7 week old Cockapoo named Charlie.  Welcome to our family Charlie!




Heather is the owner of

Sweet Lemonade Photography

and co-owner of 

Sweet Darling Weddings

 located in central Illinois (Mahomet).  Life gave her a bunch of lemons (you can read a little more


 on her personal blog

Sweet Lemonade Life

) and by keeping her focus on God, finding the positive in each day, and surrounding herself with supporting, loving and encouraging people she has turned those lemons into the sweetest lemonade.  This blog has been created to share her heart, her adventures and find ways to bless others.  You can contact her at heather@sweetlemonadelife.com or heather@sweetlemonadephotography.com.