Friends, Fireworks and the Fourth of July!

Hope everyone had an enjoyable 4th of July! We were fortunate to get to hang out with our friends, enjoy lots of sunshine and have a front-row seat for the fireworks (Thanks, Seth!). My husband wasn’t traveling this week since there was a holiday, so we got to spend lots of time together at home. We watched some funny movies, did some yardwork and took our boys to the Whitewater Center for a 3-mile hike. While I think his current job is a great career move, the boys and I miss him when he’s gone during the week and we’re thankful for the weeks when we get to have him at home with us.
run club

On Wednesday (the 2nd), I did NoDa Run Club in the sweltering heat. I ended up running 3.75 miles which was pretty good for me because I haven’t been focusing on my running lately. I joined a new HIIT gym and am hoping to see results from it that I’m no longer seeing from running.

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However, my love of running is pushing me to sign up for the distance challenge offered in Charlotte. It’s a combination of races, starting with a 5k and building up to a half marathon or full marathon. Clearly, I would do the half because I have no desire to do a full but I haven’t signed up just yet. Our boys donned their patriotic bandanas on our walks over the weekend and one obviously enjoyed it more than the other.

4thofjulydogs

On the 4th, we went to the Plaza Midwood Pig Pickin’ with two other couples and their adorable children. The weather was absolutely fantastic in Charlotte, so we had the perfect day to be hanging out outside.

4thofjulyfriendsGrown up jobs, kids (not ours!), and busy lives in general make it hard to get together as often as we’d all like, but we’re so thankful when we are all able hang out. I’m especially thankful for the friendship that these girls offer and that they live in Charlotte. Having had the same “best friends” for most of my life and not having any of them in Charlotte was tough when I first moved here; finding awesome friends who share common interests made the transition much easier!

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LW and I wore our most patriotic outfits for America’s birthday. This was the 8th photo that was taken of us before we finally nailed one where we were both smiling.

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We headed over to our friend’s condo uptown as it started to get dark. We were given a front-row seat to the fireworks from his balcony. We arrived with Prosecco, chocolate chip cookies (with M&Ms) and patriotic cheesecake squares (I added blueberries for a red, white and blue treat!). We got there in time to see this stunning sunset over the new Knights stadium.

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The fireworks show was incredible. There were several times we thought it was over and then a new round of sparkly explosions would occur. The flood of people in the streets and from the stadium was incredible. We could see fireworks beyond the stadium as well, all over the city and surrounding areas there were pops of lights on the horizon. It was absolutely amazing – especially from that vantage point!

And I can’t forget to share this photo of two of my favorite people in Charlotte. Seth moved here around the same time as me (6 years ago!). He’s been such a good friend to me over the years and never fails to make me laugh. He introduced us to Scott and we quickly learned that Scott is also awesome and quite the chef!

4thofjulybffs

We managed to pack a ton of fun into our week and weekend together and I wouldn’t change a thing. We ate at several of our favorite local restaurants, went to a baseball game, and spent time with friends which was one of our “resolutions” for the new year (to do MORE of this and not say “no” when someone asks). Back to the grind today and waiting for the next holiday week…. is it Labor Day yet?

Puppy Love!

This weekend, we fostered puppies (through Dog Days of Charlotte) for the very first time. I cannot tell you how happy my heart is that we were able to do this and give those boys a place to stay, toys to play with and lots of love. If you’re not familiar with fostering, it’s a great way to get involved with rescues without adopting or donating money (although I’m all for adopting and give as much as I can to help those in need – including pups!).

On Saturday, I took the boys to an adoption event at Petco and they both got applications for adoption. I’m sure they will make those families very happy. But while I was at the event, I noticed how everyone cooed over the puppies and ignored the full grown adult dogs. It completely broke my heart, especially with Denver. Denver is literally THE PERFECT dog. He’s sweet, he’s up-to-date on shots, he’s heart worm negative, does well on a leash, what more can you ask for? I fell head-over-heels for this boy after spending the day with him. He gave me the sweetest kisses and he has such kind eyes. You can just tell that he’s going to be a loyal dog. I can’t believe he’s been in foster since August.

Bam Bam (also available through Catering to Cats & Dogs) was the other guy that stole my heart. (Yes, I was there with the puppies but they got lots of attention and both had applications before I starting hanging out with D &BB). This little guy is only 7 months old and so super sweet. He was so calm to be a puppy and just wanted me to hold him. He does well on a leash and being 7 months old, he’s pretty much grown. He’s the perfect small dog, with THE softest fur. I would have taken him home myself if I knew my husband wouldn’t kill me.

If you’re local to Charlotte and interested in getting involved with rescues or fostering or even considering adopting, here are some good places to start:

Fostering:

While all of these groups will gladly take you on as a foster for a weekend, a week, two-weeks or until the dog gets adopted, a good starting point is this Facebook page for Foster Charlotte Area Dogs. They post dogs daily that are on death row in the shelters and need out immediately, and just need a foster to step up. If you think you can’t do it because you’ll get attached or sad when they get adopted, think about the alternative: they’re going to die if someone doesn’t step up. Not to sound like a bully, it just the truth.

If you aren’t in Charlotte and want to get involved, just google it. Or even search on Facebook and you can often find groups local to you. If you insist on getting a purebred dog, please know that 25% of dogs in shelters are purebred and there are purebred rescue groups that can help you find your new best friend. Rescue groups will also help arrange transport to get the dog to you if you don’t live close by.

Give fostering a shot. A lot of times fosters fall in love with the dog and decide that’s the dog they want to adopt. Even if you only do a week or two, you’ll be saving TWO lives. One for the dog that was pulled for you to foster and one for the dog who now has space to live in an overcrowded shelter. If you foster puppies, while two are a handful, they keep each other company and ours slept through the night without crying AT ALL because they had each other.

It’s such a rewarding experience and at zero cost. You will get everything you need from the group you’re working with. Seriously, sounds too easy, right? It is! There are millions of dogs in shelters that will die this year, fostering for a weekend was the least we could do. I can’t wait to get more involved with these organizations.