Some of us are excited for what 2021 will bring. Some of us remain uncertain and are maybe even afraid for the future. I’m almost certain that no matter which bucket you fall into (if not both!), you’re ready for some normalcy. And one of the only beings in my life who is loving all of this is my pup, Linley.
For Juan and me, January has been filled of some quick (and safe) visits with friends, tons of work after hours, and the occasional date with just us two; but mostly it’s filled with Linley-related quality time.
I hope that the remainder of 2021 involves more time with friends and more traveling, which includes more adventures with Lin!
Last year, one of my closest friends from a past study abroad adventure stayed with us for ten days. We visited the Niagara Falls, enjoyed some live music in Toronto and went to a roaring 20’s New Year’s Eve party hosted by one of my dearest friends. It couldn’t have been any better!
Fast forward to December 31, 2020: another beloved COVID test, watching Portlandia and snuggles on the couch…
I hope 2021 is full of more adventures, quality time with friends, reading and career advancement. I also wish for less social media/screen time and self-doubt this year.
As 2020 comes to a close, this is a great time to reflect and donate to a local charity or two. With many nonprofit organizations’ funding being eliminated due to the ongoing impacts of the global pandemic, there has never been a better time to help amazing charities in your area.
While there are many charities I care about, there are four that I have either participated in, heavily benefited from, or have grown to admire over the past decade. If you are interested in donating time or financially to any of these charities, please use the affiliated links or contact me for more information. And most importantly: thank you for your donation!
Big Brothers Big Sisters
I immediately tear up when I think of how much BBBS of the Great Lakes Bay Region (Michigan) has impacted me. Aniya and I have been matched for six years and to see her grow has been one of the greatest gifts I could’ve asked for. Aniya is gracious, strong and has truly grown up to be a phenomenal young woman. She is the sister I never had but always wanted. There’s no doubt that I’ve learned more from her than she’s learned from me! Please consider becoming a Big or donating a gift a money to: https://interland3.donorperfect.net/weblink/weblink.aspx?name=E246618&id=1
Compass Dog Rescue
I’m pretty sure my first word was “dog,” and I impatiently waited 23 long, ‘’miserable” (😂) years to finally rescue one. Compass Dog Rescue is based in Royal Oak, Michigan but rescues dogs from high-kill shelters in southern states. My little guy Linley was saved in 2017 from a high-kill shelter after he was dropped there during Hurricane Harvey. This pup has helped with my anxiety and depression more than I could’ve ever anticipated, and your new best friend could be waiting for you at Compass! To donate or even rescue/foster a rescue dog, please visit: https://m.facebook.com/compassdogrescue/
The Camilla Foundation
Based in Asheville, North Carolina, the Camilla Foundation is focused on helping those in need at both local and global levels. Their global mission is to empower and grow the stability of an orphanage in Uganda. They are currently approving the salary of 20 amazing caretakers and funding self-sufficient food security for our growing children through the entire year. To donate, please visit: https://camilla-foundation.org/donate
The Barn Sanctuary
As a vegetarian transitioning into a fully plant-based diet, I want to end animal cruelty, live a healthier lifestyle and protect the environment from the dangers of climate change. Animals are friends, not food! To learn more and donate to the Barn Sanctuary, please visit: https://www.barnsanctuary.org/donate/
Three years ago today, three-year-old Linley was dropped off at my parent’s house. After a rigorous adoption application process consisting of filling out a packet and researching animal health problems, multiple reference calls, a meet-and-greet and a final home inspection, Linley instantly became my best friend!
I’ll be spending all day with our beloved pup, but I wanted to share some past photos and posts in the meantime 🙂
Our last evening at Pictured Rocks was by far my favorite. After some epic hiking, we returned to Lake Superior Beach to enjoy our final sunset and some good night’s sleep. Juan and Linley needed a quick nap in the Jeep when we arrived, so I re-explored where Linley was digging around the day prior. I was drawn into the creek and the way the light was reflecting off the water.
I went back to the car to wake Juan and Lin up from their nap, and we settled in to enjoy the sunset. We didn’t take many photos because we were living in the moment, but it was a wonderful way to end our time on Lake Superior!
I can’t wait for my next adventure with my little family 😊
After a (shockingly!) restful night’s sleep in the Jeep, we hit the beach for a morning walk. Lin and I were the first ones there, and we allowed Juan to get s’more beauty sleep.
There was a small creek flowing into Lake Superior that Lin and I wanted to explore (and by ‘explore,’ I mean dig around in for hours!). We obviously had Juan on photography-duty!
Watching Lin dig, sniff and mark his turf in and around the creek was thoroughly entertaining! Juan and I walked and sat with him for about two hours while he went on this little adventure. If only we could see the world through our pup’s eyes…
…and no day at the beach is complete without a nap!
I hated Fenton in high school: there was “nothing to do,” no diversity and I couldn’t wait to get the heck out of there! With that said, however, I always enjoy my time in Fenton now.
I think this has something to do with the people. A lot of my close friends live in the area, including Donna. No matter what kind of mood I’m in or what stresses the week threw my way, I can count on her for a good time and great conversation! Plus there’s so much to do in downtown Fenton now, it’s unreal. Of course it became fun once I left…
Even my pup loves it!
In all honesty, I appreciate Fenton more than ever now. I have made amazing friendships there, and visiting always feels like home.