Wilfred

Here we are, Laine.

You’re a homeowner. You have a good job. You live in a great town. You have an amazing partner in crime. You’re living the good life.

But something had been missing.

I had a hole in my heart for quite some time dealing with the loss of Lucy. Call me dramatic, but she was a big part of my life as I’m sure you read in I’m Left in Good Hands and A Happy Life is the Best Life.

However, my heart began to mend and Kris and I started the conversation about getting another dog.

Don’t get me wrong, Kris wasn’t pumped at first, but because he knows how happy a dog would make me and how a dog would bring complete joy to our home, he was supportive in my decision to adopt.

I looked at rescue websites for months, and even had family and friends sending me photos of dogs up for adoption. I just never could pull the trigger.

I was scared.

But finally, out of the blue, I applied to be an adopter through the Fort Wayne Pit Bull Coalition (FWPBC).

So many people were against me getting a pit bull (again). People would ask me ‘why’ or say ‘are you sure?’

For the record, I have been making decisions (bad and good) on my own for quite some time. I think I can manage.

The application went through and I had some conversations with the great people at FWPBC regarding what I was looking for: I couldn’t have another Lucy. I needed someone who was easy. Someone who was chill. And that is exactly who I got.

Enter Wilfred.

Wilfred

This 6 year old, blue pit is everything I had hoped for and imagined. Kris and I brought him home and he has been an absolute blessing to us both. (Don’t let Kris fool ya, Wilfred is his guy).

To be able to adopt a special needs dog and be the person who is going to change his life forever, that is why I rescue. I rescue dogs who need someone special to take care of them. Someone who won’t judge them or leave them. I have a purpose for rescuing– I want to make a change in a dog’s life. Little do they know that they change my life too.

I get emotional thinking about how no one wanted this guy and how people just passed over him. Until I realize that all of those didn’t work out so that we can be in this very moment.

Wilfred lays next to us at night in his own bed. He gives me a kiss goodnight and thanks me for bringing him home. I tell him and Kris I love them.

And that is living the good life.

 

Cheers,

Laine & Wilfred

WilfredLaine

PS. Thank you Debra, Suzanne, and the rest of the FWPBC family for everything you did for Wilfred and me. We are forever grateful.

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Always Make Room For Dessert

I remember the day distinctly.

A woman looked at me and told me, “Those people… They’re not your family. Not really.”

SayWahhh

I was roughly 15, and in the prime of my back talking years (years, lots of years). If she hadn’t had been in her 60’s, I probably would have knocked her out of her chair. But I’m a lady and didn’t (physically) react.

However, ya’ll know me… I gave her a mouth full. Who the hell was she? She didn’t know what family meant, or who my family was. She had no clue.

I thought about this day a lot, today.

I can’t remember a single time I fought so hard for my family.

You see, my grandfather passed away yesterday. He had nine kids, none of which were my parents. Weird, huh? Technically, I share zero DNA with this side of the family. But who’s being technical?

What you need to know is that my mom was my grandpa’s daughter-in-law, and my dad was my grandpa’s son-in-law. And me and my sister, we were his grandkids. Just like all the other 16 hellians.

I don’t have a single memory that doesn’t include this side of the family. Not one.

And I’ve actually never really thought long and hard about how fortunate I am to have this third family. I hadn’t thought about it until I found out my grandfather passed. Unfortunately, grandma passed years ago at a time where I didn’t understand anything about death. So I was never able to fully comprehend the life the two of them made possible for me by welcoming me in as one of their own since the day I was born.

It’s one thing to be stuck with the family you have. I mean those people aren’t going anywhere (not pointing any fingers). It’s another thing to CHOOSE to include an entire other set of family members. And that’s what my grandma, grandpa, and the nearly 60 other family members did.

I have never once questioned if I was an equal part of this family. And I know I never will. And I can’t help but think that Grandpa Till, Grandma Till, and even Tom are looking down on me right now saying that I’ll always be a Till, with or without the DNA. Hell, the loud mouth and drinking ability is enough to include me as it is.

So here’s to my Grandpa, Sam Till Sr., a man who always told his granddaughters there was still time to become a nun (not quite sure if he was joking or serious); a guy who never let any of us go hungry, and if we were full, there was always room for dessert, ALWAYS; and a man that almost always had a beer in his hand, because life’s no good if you can’t enjoy it.

Thanks for choosing me to be your granddaughter. I am forever grateful.

 

Cheers,

Laine

 

I’m Left In Good Hands

For a week I went to work, came home, and got in bed — for five days straight. Now, I lay in bed all weekend, with no shower, and sleeping for hours on hours.

I think that’s what they call sadness. Depression. Emptiness.

That’s how I feel.

All of those things wrapped in to one, and then some.

Kris and I came home for the first time after having to put Lucy down, and I broke. I dropped all my things in the hallway and lost my sense of balance. My sense of purpose. And hysterically cried. Over and over again. It was  like a bad dream.

I had never known loss like this before. My person was gone. The one that brought me out of complete darkness and into utter joy. She saved me. Literally. Read the post: The Pitbull That Saved My Life.

It seems dramatic, I know, but never in my life have I cared more about another living thing than I did Lucy.  She taught me how to love unconditionally. She showed me that it was okay to open up and to put my faith in to the universe — that everything would work out the way it was supposed to.

Which turns out to be quite a funny story…

Here’s a quick timeline:

Mid October 2013 Kris and I began dating (round one).

End of December 2013 Kris and I ended our relationship.

Mid December 2014 I adopted Lucy.

End of December 2014 Kris and I rekindled an old flame. (More like I got my shit together.)

Mid February 2015 Kris and I were officially a couple.

As you know, I’m sure, Kris and I started our relationship with a 6hr drive between us. And continued that relationship with that drive for over a year.

The funny part about all of this is that, until now, until sitting here and reflecting on Lucy’s life and our time together, I always associated her with bringing me out of that darkness, which is true. But, she also brought me much more.

You see, if I didn’t have Lucy in my life while Kris and I began dating again, I don’t think he and I would have stayed together. (Another me problem.) Imagine, my crazy ass dating a guy 6hrs away with no sense of responsibility… Right?!? I’m laughing too.

I mean in all seriousness, that’s what happened in round one. I was this crazy, let’s go out and party, unhappy girl in round one.

The difference this time was that I had Lucy. I had something to teach me unconditional love. I had something to ease me in to the feeling of being in love with another, and letting myself be loved.

We don’t ever realize it until they’re gone, but animals can have an amazing impact on us. And to be honest, I never in my wildest dreams knew this would be this hard or that she would be this impactful on my life.

I know time heals and eventually I’ll be able to focus solely on the good and not the sadness of her being gone. But I do take comfort in knowing that she has left me in good hands. She showed Kris the same unconditional love and he will forever love me the way she did.

For that, I will never forget her and there will always be a place in my heart for my girl.

lucy

If you are thinking about adopting an animal please consider these places for your adoption. I promise you, these animals will bring you more than you could have ever hoped for. And if there are other reputable animal rescues you know of please share them in the comments below.

Allen County SPCA

Fort Wayne Pit Bull Coalition

Tribe Dog Training and Rescue

 

Cheers,

Laine & Lucy

LucyatAllenCountySPCA

Bring It On Bloomington, Indiana

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I’ve literally sat here and attempted to write this blog post for over 1 hour. I’m not kidding. My stomach aches trying to do it. I type a couple sentences, then backspace. I type a line or two, then backspace. There’s no great way to get this all out, to put it in to words.

So bear with me.

More than once here on Cheers, Laine, I have told everyone how I believe in fate, and I believe in following your heart. It sounds all fine and dandy until you actually do it.

I have been in a long distance relationship for nearly two years. He’s the best. You first met him (Kris) in my post, Momma Knows Best, But You Don’t Have To Listen to Her. Then you read my sappy post, I Can Live Without You, where I basically tell him I can, but don’t want to.

And during this whole time, we’ve loved from a distance, knowing well that one of us would eventually make the move.

And that day has come.

I know what you’re thinking, miss “Go Fort Wayne,” “I’m never leaving,” is a hypocrite. How can she promote a city and be as involved as she is, then just up and leave?

I thought that too, at first. How can I leave a place where I’ve put my heart and soul in to it? How can I leave this place where all my family and friends are? How can I leave this place that made me who I am? Believe me, all the doubt and questions and thinking has gone through my head over and over and over again.

Then I remember I love him more than all of that.

I believe in following your heart. I believe in giving it a shot because it may change your life. And shit, if it doesn’t work out it doesn’t work out (mom, save me a spot on the couch). But at least I’m trying. At least I’m saying I gave it a go, and really put myself out there.

Now, do I think I owe anyone any type of explanation? No. Maybe I’m writing this to make myself feel better. I don’t know. I just know that leaving my hometown, leaving this place I’ve worked so hard to make a name for myself in, is what I want to do.

I chatted with a friend today about moving, telling her I’m leaving everything I know and everything I’ve worked for behind. And you know what she told me?

“But you are going to a new awesome place with an awesome person and you definitely worked for those things too.”

She is so right. (Thanks, Lauren).

As sad as I am to leave my home, I am so excited. I keep telling people it’s this extreme sadness and extreme happiness all at once. Those are not easy emotions to process at the same time.

I am about to leave a city I love for a man I love more. And that is how I want to live my life, by choosing love.

There will always be another Fort Wayne out there for me to jump in and make an impact. But I won’t always have this opportunity to go and follow my heart.

So, what the hell?!? Kris and I have never lived in the same city before while dating. Why not live in the same city, live in the same apartment, and while we’re at it, let’s work together.

Bring it on Bloomington, Indiana.

Bring it on Cook Pharmica.

Laine is headed your way! (Kris, brace yourself).

But Fort Wayne, never forget… You will always have my heart.

 

Cheers,

Laine

I Can Live Without You

When I was younger and “in love” with the flavor of the month I literally thought I couldn’t live without that person. And as I’ve gotten older I hear people telling me that the person I will spend the rest of my life with will be the one I can’t live without.

Well, what if I can live without him?

Think about it…

My boyfriend and I have had the conversation about spending the rest of our lives together. That’s the plan-till death do us part (lucky you, Kris). We’ve also had the conversation where I looked him dead in the face and said,

“I can live without you.”

Seriously. I’m not kidding.

But he wasn’t surprised. Why?

Because, he knows if anything ever happened to him or to us, I’d be okay. I’d move on or move forward with my life. And so would he if the roles were reversed.

Do I admit I’d be devastated if he just looked at me one day and told me to take a hike? Hell yes! I’d probably: 1. Eat and lay on the couch for weeks or 2. Live at a bar. Choices…

I just truly believe we can all live without people in our lives. Easier said than done, I know. But we’re all still standing, right? We’re still here, breathing after that terrible break-up we thought we’d neverrrrrr get over. Or that death in the family that came too soon.

None of us want to go through heartbreaks or heartaches, but we all end up coming out stronger in the end. It could take weeks, months, or even years, but we are stronger.

So this isn’t about whether we can or can’t live without someone. It’s about wanting to.

Following my bold statement of telling my boyfriend I could live without him, I said,

“But I don’t want to.”

Cue the “awwwws” and the “cheesy one liners.”

But I meant it, exactly how I said it.

Remember, we sometimes can’t imagine our lives without certain people in it. If and when that day comes, you can live without them. You will be okay.

Everything happens for a reason.

 

Cheers,

Laine

 

 

New Year New You Is BS


How many times towards the end of the year have you heard the phrase “New year new you”? I’ve heard it from friends, family, and seen it all over the Internet.

To be honest, I think it’s a bunch of bull.

I don’t want to be a new me. I want to be a better me.

At the end of every year I evaluate how it went. If you’ve read any of my other blog posts, you’ll quickly realize other years (with the exception of 2015) haven’t gone so hot. And by not so hot, I mean hot mess. Judge me.

But I’ve never wanted to change who I was. Never.

Did I want to get my shit together? Yes.

Did I want to improve my relationships with people? Yes.

Did I want to be a better mentor? Yes.

Did I want to grow as a professional? Yes.

With each of these I’ve wanted to be BETTER. I’ve wanted to learn from my experiences and build off of them to create NEW memories in the upcoming year.

So here’s my challenge to you in 2016…

Look deep within your soul and look for what needs improvement. Be realistic, but push yourself. Find something you want to be better at. It can be something as simple as not interrupting people while they speak, or pack your lunch 3x a week. To each their own.

But please promise me that in 2016 you’ll strive to be better. This world only has one of you, and we don’t want a new one, we want to help you be a better one.

Cheers and Happy New Year!

Laine

Momma Knows Best, But You Don’t Have to Listen to Her

I’ve mentioned in multiple blog posts about how 2013 and 2014 were some of the lowest points in my life. Shit happens.  And I typically tell people I was single during that entire time.

Ehhh wrong.

I actually kind of hung out with a guy at the end of 2013 for a brief time. I was lonely and our families are super connected, so they were just thrilled. Plus he drank like me and appreciated my smart ass comments.

And when I say “our families are super connected” this is what I mean…

  1. His mom has worked with both my parents for like 15 years (maybe more?). They’re BFFs
  2. My mom, dad, both of my sisters, me, his mom, and his oldest sister have at some point in time all worked at the same place
  3. My oldest sister and his middle sister currently work together
  4. He has worked for my brother-in-law

So, like I said, connected.

Well, because of that connection, of course our families are going to want us to date. Duhh. We’re the same age, tall, funny, drinkers, independent, and awesome.

My family in particular really pushed the issue. And I mean pushed. So, what the hell? I was single, wanted a drinking buddy, plus he lived out of town (perfect!), might as well. So I asked him if he wanted to hang out. And we did.

That lasted maybe 3 months. Like I said, very low points in my life. I had no business being with anyone other than myself. He was such a great guy, and I was such an asshole.

My family and I went back and forth during that entire time and even an entire year after about how I needed to get it together and talk to him, blah blah blah. Or how he and I would be perfect together, something they’d been saying for years! I didn’t want to have anything to do with it. They had no idea what I wanted or what I needed. He wasn’t it.

Fast forward a year or so later…

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Yes, that is the same guy I hung out with at the end of 2013. He is now the love of my life.

So, what the hell? What changed?

I got my shit together for starters.

No, but really. I got it together and was starting to date again. I apologized to him somewhere in the middle of 2014, and we didn’t really talk again after that (remember, he does live out of state). Until he was in town for the holidays and I asked him to go to dinner. I was just trying to clear my conscious I guess. I didn’t need to apologize again, but I wanted to be a grown up about the situation and just go to dinner as friends. Boy was I wrong.

We hung out three different times over the course of four days, and then I drove five hours to see him just two weeks later.

Yes, I was just as shocked as you. And so was he.

And the rest is history.

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We’ve known each other for probably 10 years, we’ve been together (this time) for almost a year, and I plan to spend the rest of my life with him.

So what the hell does the title of this blog even mean?

Momma Knows Best, But You Don’t Have to Listen to Her

Here’s what I’m thinking…

My family (and his) knew over a year ago that he and I would be a match made in heaven. I listened the first time around because I didn’t have my own voice. I wasn’t in a good place. I didn’t know who I was and I didn’t trust myself. So I listened to them, even though I had no business doing so. And it ended.

But this time around, I was calling the shots. I wasn’t listening to what everyone else thought I should do. I was doing things because I truly wanted to. I knew who I was, what I wanted, what I needed.

Even though my family also knew all of this, I had to figure it out on my own.

It’s important to listen to your family. They are the people that know you best. And yeah, they might be right. But it’s not their life. They aren’t the ones who are supposed to be choosing.

When you’re ready, you’re ready.

So listen to YOURSELF first, in everything you do.

 

Cheers,

Laine

3 Ideas That Will Change the Way You View Life

I recently had a conversation with a friend about what we believe in, whether that’s a higher power, fate, an idea, etc. I believe in it all to an extent. He doesn’t. How could someone not believe in anything? To each their own of course, but it made me really interested on his thought process behind all of it (which I’m still trying to comprehend).

All this talk about beliefs had me really appreciating the things that I personally believe in. I have found that these 3 ideas have gotten me through life’s toughest times and have helped me understand why things happen the way they do.

Everything happens for a reason.

Who actually believes this when they’re knee high in tears from their first heartbreak? Or their dad dies? What’s the reasoning behind stupid shit like that? We don’t realize it right then and there. Hell, we might not realize it for years to come (or even at all). But it’s true. That asshole broke your heart so you could learn that A. he is indeed an asshole and you’re better off without him, and B. you didn’t like being told how to dress anyway. So why did your dad have to die? He didn’t have to, but he did. Would you have had a different life if he was here? Yes. Would it have been better? Who knows? But what you have right now at this very moment, you probably wouldn’t have had if he were alive.

Every event that happens in our life leads us to another door. You have the power to CHOOSE the door, but it’s because of that particular event that you have the ability to do so.

What’s meant to be will be

I even have this tattooed on my foot in Portuguese. For two reasons: 1. I’m proud of my heritage and 2. This saying has gotten me through a lot in my life. I’ve cheated on boyfriends and I’ve had guys I was “in love” with break my heart. I interviewed for five jobs before I landed one. But that’s okay. All of those things were supposed to happen. They have brought me to this very place I’m at now. Does the process of break-ups and no job offers blow? Hell yes. But at the end of the day ALL of those things weren’t meant to be, otherwise, I would be there and not here.

Timing is everything

I was dating (if that’s what you want to call it), a guy a little over a year ago that lived out of town. We hung out, we talked, whatever. I was not very nice to him. Mainly because I’m a bitch and had no business trying to have any type of relationship with anyone other than myself at that time. But he put up with it and finally I was way over it and just pretty much stopped talking to him.

Fast forward to January 2015 and Laine has a done a complete 180 with her life (in terms of her mental/emotional stability, go me!). And guess what, it just so happened that same guy from over a year ago was in town and we decided to have dinner and catch up. That dinner alone proved to me that timing is everything. I wasn’t ready a year and a half ago to have him in my life (in any capacity), but I am now. Now we talk every day. I even drove 6 hours to see him. WTF?!? Haha

 

We might not all believe in a higher power or fate, but I am certain there is not one person who could make me think that the belief in these 3 ideas have not helped shape my life.

Cheers,

Laine

Being 25 And Single Is Okay

I am one of three girls: Bahillary, Bastupid, and Bolivia (our nicknames… for what reason, I do not know). Yes, I am “bastupid”.MelloSisters

Hillary is 33, married for like ten years with 3 boys under the age of 4.

Olivia is 22, finishing up her last year of college, and just recently got engaged.

Me, well I’m 24 (almost 25) and single. Shocker.

But this isn’t a feel sorry for myself blog because my sisters have found ‘the one’ and I’m still searching. This blog is for those who have either: A. After I told them my younger sister was engaged they responded with, “How are you feeling about that?” or B. They didn’t say that, but I could totally tell they thought it.

HELLO?!? WTF is wrong with being in my mid-twenties and single?!?

Like, for real people.

No offense to my sisters, but damn, currently where I am in life, I couldn’t imagine marriage. Am I open to it, hell yes. But until I can steadily take care of myself, pay my bills, and not have to call my parents to act like I want to see them and in all reality I have no food at my house and want them to buy me dinner, I will not be ready for marriage. And I am okay with that. So why can’t everyone else be?

Who gives a shit that I’m a quarter of a century old and single. Just because you chose to go down a different path doesn’t mean I need to go down there with you.

I am beyond ecstatic for both of my sisters, kids, marriage, the whole nine yards. And they are beyond ecstatic for me. Trust me, if you asked either of them what they thought about me being single they would say, “Thank God, no one can handle her crazy ass.” They are two of my biggest supporters. They aren’t thinking that my biological clock is ticking or anything. They want me to find the one like they have. It may be this month, it may be in ten years, but they know there is someone for me out there, and so do I.

So the next time someone makes you feel like holy shit, you’re getting old, you’re single, what are you going to do with your life, give them the finger. (Okay, maybe not right to their face, but maybe as they walk away? Or maybe just in your head? Yeah, just in your head).

There is no longer a norm when it comes to marriage. There is no age, no limits, no time, nothing. You are the one who chooses. You are the one who decides you’re ready. Don’t let anyone make you feel like there’s another way to it. Because there isn’t.

When you’re in love, you’ll know, say “yes,” make babies, and live happily ever after. But until then, for me, I am good with being the middle sister who has no boyfriend and who doesn’t have marriage in the near future. And I am good being single and supporting both of my sisters and their families.

God knows I may need to bunk up in an extra bedroom of theirs some day.

 

Cheers,

Laine

 

2 Things To Do To Find Love

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I’m not going to bore you with my long (and I mean longggggg) story about my love life. In a nutshell, I’ve been in some type of serious relationship since I was 18. To those of you that know me, you’re probably shaking your head, thinking about all the idiots I’ve dated as well as how many times I was the idiot.

Well, I’ve been very single for about a year and half now after a very rough ending to a super serious (on my end) relationship. No, I haven’t stayed single because I was still in love! Initially, yes. But ultimately, I was enjoying the freedom, the party, the crazy, the stupid.

Since my “single girl swag” era, I have joined Match.com. Dun dun dun… Yes, I joined an online dating site. Welcome to the 21st century.

I joined back in July, with little expectations, other than I may or may not get a free dinner out of it or I might meet someone super cool. I did not join to find “the one” or to even find a man. I was trying to be open-minded in the dating scene.

You see, I’ve never really dated. He was always a friend that turned into a boyfriend, a random guy at a bar that turned into a serious relationship (which I would never recommend, by the way). But, this time I was actually going to TRY and date people, like a grown up would.

So off I went. Since July I’ve given my number to roughly ten guys and been on five dates (four guys total). Boy oh boy were those duds. But, that wasn’t the point. The point was for ME to try something new, step outside of my comfort zone, grow up (a tad).

In addition to my Match.com dates, I’ve also been on three more dates (sorry if you’re reading this), with a guy who happens to NOT be a Match.com stint. Luckily, he’s a friend of a friend, so I know he’s not crazy.

The first two dates were good. We talked the whole time, had a lot in common, I liked him. I was still trying out this whole open-mindedness thing. He was cool and I enjoyed hanging out with him. But I just didn’t feel “it” (whatever the eff “it” is).

After the second date I talked to a friend about him, dating, all the above. She told me that…

Love is a choice.

Which got me to thinking, “What was I doing?” Either I wanted to continue a relationship with the guy, or I wanted to continue to just get free dinners out of it. I actually thought about this for a while. Was I going on dates with him, or anyone for that matter, just to say I was going on dates?

Come the third date, everything changed. He may not have realized it (I’m sure he has now after reading this), but I was so giddy after the date it’s not even funny. I mean within the date itself, nothing was different. We didn’t act different. It was like a light bulb went off in my head and was like, “Laine, you like this guy, quit fighting it.”

I was not just going on dates anymore. I was choosing to bask in his company, to truly enjoy every second we were spending together. I hadn’t felt that in a long time.

Am I saying I love the guy, Jesus I barely know him. What I’m saying is that you must do two things in order to find love:

  1. Be open-minded.
  2. Choose to love.

I am NO expert on love, I promise you that. Hell, I barely know what the word means. But as I went through my 24-year-old single girl swag era and now am maturing (somewhat), I’ve found that these two things can and should lead you to it.

This thing between me and my non Match.com guy may not even work out, who knows, but it’s all about being open-minded, trying something new, and choosing to really, and I mean really, bask in the moment with the person.

 

Cheers,

Laine