Pallet Wood Calendars

Five months seven days and twelve hours ago I signed all four kids up for camp.

All four chicks leaving the nest for an entire week.

At the time I thought I was brilliant.

A week of lazy days spent lounging and twirling my hair and eating bon bons and reading War and Peace?

A week of date nights and witty conversation and dancing the night away?

The future was so bright I needed shades.

Stack of towels

Except my brilliant idea seemed to dim as camp got closer and closer and closer.

What was I thinking?

I went from “all four chicks leaving the nest” that ended with extra exclamation points.

To ending that same sentence with a question mark.

I distracted myself by getting everyone ready.  We shopped for snacks and washed towels and sheets and bought sunscreen and packed and searched for sunglasses and googled the six-hour distance to see how long the trip was actually going to take.

laundry room and Yorkie

And then the day finally arrived.

We arrived at the church ready and packed with a car loaded down with four suitcases and enough groceries to feed the entire western half of Kentucky…..

….and our newest member of the family.

He came along to see what all the commotion was about.

dining room and a yorkie

There were hugs and smiles and some more hugs and a whole bunch of “I’ll miss yous” and “don’t forget to wear sunscreen” and “take care of your sisters.”

And too quickly it was time to go.  I stood there silently, waving frantically with a big smile plastered onto my face as the bus pulled out of the parking lot.

Then I walked to my car, sat down in the front seat and promptly burst into tears.

Not a few tears.

Not the kind of pretty crying that you see in the movies.

Hugh, sobbing gulps from the very center of my self.  And hiccuping.  There was lots and lots and lots of hiccuping with the occasional bit of odd stuff running out of my nose.

Good times.

the cutest yorkie on the planet

And as I sat there with my head in my hands on the steering wheel tears dripping onto my yoga pants….

….I felt something on my arm.

It was a paw.

A tiny, furry little paw that patted me.

Again and again and again.

As if to reassure me that a week was such a short time.

And I hadn’t really ever read War and Peace before.

And I had a new outfit for date night and a brand new red lipstick.

And that if I blinked….

….all the chicks would be home again.

He was right.  Wonderfully, gloriously right.

And the funny thing?  I thought we were the ones who rescued him.

But he rescued us right back.

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  1. Image for Terri Terri

    That is ohhhhhhh sooooooo true!!!! those little fur babies... ( well, little or not) .. they just have a way about them don't they!!! :) ... and that little guy of yours is certainly a cutie pie!! :) .... So much truth in this MOM story!!!! :)

  2. Image for Vicki Vicki

    What a sweet story. I too had a yorkie who was with us 14 years. He knew me inside and out. Your thoughts brought tears to my eyes as a remember days sending my 2 kids off to camp so many years ago. You and your pup (what's his name)?? will get along fine while kiddos are gone. I'm sure he'll miss them too!

  3. Image for Peg Peg

    OMGosh...that little poop, who has been with you for a very short time, knew you were sad?!? That is just bitter sweet...makes it all worthwhile!! p.s. I fold my towels the same way you do!! : )

  4. Image for Janet Cole Janet Cole

    That pup is so stinkin' cute - what a face! We have assorted coffee mugs that say "This Family was rescued by a shelter dog," and "Who Rescued Whom?" I don't know what I would do without the unconditional love of my fur babies!

  5. Image for Julia Julia

    Well, you've made me a weepy, sniveling mess again. Tears of joy, though. Rescues rescue both ways. So true. Thank you.

  6. Image for Cecilia Cecilia

    Aw, melt. And not to be the bad messenger but just wait til they leVe for college. Gulp. (Yes, you survive that too but that goodness for our pets!) :o)

  7. Image for Doreen @ Hymns and Verses Doreen @ Hymns and Verses

    Ahhhhh - he is adorable! Our little doggies know our hearts and comfort us when we are sad for sure! Mine was also very jealous of the hubs - he would bark and jump on us anytime we hugged or kissed! You just made me shed a few tears for my Rags - a sweet black cockatoo that we rescued when our kiddos were little! Enjoy your new bundle of fluff and I can't wait to hear what you name him!!!

  8. Image for Donnie Donnie

    Awwwwww. The unconditional love and trust just melts your heart. Enjoy the blessing of time with your wonderful husband and before you know they'll be pulling in with suitcases full of laundry and tell you they are so hungry they could die!

  9. Image for Montina Montina

    I love, love, love your stories. That was great.Only people who see their "pets" as family members with a little more hair, get this. The unconditional love and their ability to just know when we need a paw hug. Nothing else like it.

  10. Image for Sheri Howard Sheri Howard

    Having been in your shoes, every time you take this step it makes the next ones a little easier to swallow, not easier to do, just easier to, summer jobs, marriage. I found the empty nest syndrome to be much like your camp experience, not only did the kids go, but all of the friends, noise of radios, the shower noise was was just a great big silence for a couple of months. The house just felt so......silent. Then one night a couple if months later it happened when a hamburger commercial came on the TV at 11:00. We looked at each other, smiled and went to town to get a hamburger, not worrying about anyone but us! Our empty nest was strange at first, but then we really grew to like it! (We should have gotten a little dog!) Eventually they start bringing other little people back which is even better.......but for you, one step at a time, one week at a time. (I am glad you have a little guy with paws!)

  11. Image for Yvonne Yvonne

    Just wait til they go to college! You night need a whole pack of dogs -- I felt like I did! You're story touched my heart, as usual. I hope you enjoy your week!

  12. Image for Lori Kolecki Lori Kolecki

    Karianne, you you brought me to tears. The pup and his little paw, showing tenderness as our pets do. But also it reminded me of my grown kids moving on in life one saying goodbye as he left for the Air Force (now Home!), one wedding day (so far), one hig functioning Autistic turning 30this year who wonders if he will ever have a home or family of his own, and one who moved 1600 miles from home and lost his life to a reckless driver (yes my son is home now with us but he Lord as well). Karianne, start stocking up on tissues cause as they get older we still have so many days and events to shed so many tears for. Yep, I still have tears after writing this note to you! Love and hugs, Lori

  13. Image for Jackie Cooney Jackie Cooney

    Hi, I had to comment. You are such a good story teller! Have you ever thought about writing a book!! All you do is great but I just LOVE reading your stories.

  14. Image for Donna Marie Donna Marie

    You want a little quiet in the house and can't stand it, but little buddy boy will keep you from going beserk.

  15. Image for Zolane Zolane

    Truly, KariAnne, your posts are like reading the best books or seeing the Hallmark movie that you want to buy and save forever. It's uncanny how our fur babies sense our emotions endearing them even more to our hearts. I'll be excited to hear more of how involved and special he becomes to your dear family. What's your sweet little guy's name? Hugs to you and your sweet little fur baby!!!

  16. Image for Mary Mary

    Oh my gosh... I'm blinking back my tears now... I love those four soft furry paws too. My little girl knows when Mom is having a not so good day. She cuddles next to my pillow and when I've been gone too long I can find her on my bed instead of at the back door. They know nothing but unconditional love and loyalty. If I could do it, I'd have a house full of more just like my Maddie Rose. She is the love of my life. Your post was so touching. Be brave and hug your little fellow and let him know you need him and thank him for his love and concerns about you. And in no time at all, you'll have all that dirty laundry to do when your chicks come back. :)

  17. Image for

    Ohhhhh Kari! I have two Westie's and a Yorkie - Elvis - and he wants everyone to know he rules the house! As a mother of three daughters and four grandchildren all I can say is: Take this week to re-introduce yourself to a girl named Kari, take her out to lunch, buy a silly dress and a hat. Move the furniture around and eat breakfast for dinner. Because believe it or not, when those four munchkins get off the bus they are going to expect stories from you too! Wild, imaginative, unbelievable stories! FYI - wear the silly dress and hat to pick them up - it will give them something to remember fifty years from now!

  18. Image for Regina Regina

    So, so sweet. This is just a tiny little peek at what's to come, and if you don't do the week-long separations, you'll NEVER survive one kid being on one coast, and the other kid being on the other! Oh wait! That's ME! ;) We moms are survivors!! Hmmmm . . . . THAT should be a reality show! Moms surviving their children leaving the nest! It would probably be every bit as dramatic as anything the tan and buff "Survivors" can dish out! Enjoy your date night, and do NOT be all sad. Men aren't nearly as good at comforting as a Yorkie. just sayin' . . . :) Happy Friday, sweet girl! <3

  19. Image for Patty Soriano Patty Soriano

    These sweet animals mean so much to us. They are family. They understand much more than we will ever know. For some reason your post reminded me of an obituary I read a few days ago. A local man who loved his bulldogs SO much died while trying to save one of them from drowning. So sad. But it shows the incredible bond we have with our chosen ones. *** Your week will fly by, Kari, and soon you'll have all sorts of laundry to do !

  20. Image for Toni Toni

    Such a sweet post.....your emotions so real and the love of your dog the same! People who don't have dogs really miss out I think. I remember well the first time both of my sons were out of the nest for the first time and I flew home from a trip (my husband was still on a business trip) and I remember being hit by a ton of bricks as I drove home from the airport.....there was no one home to meet me, no one excited that I was back, no one to hug! Transitions....not at all easy!

  21. Image for Marisa Franca @ All Our Way Marisa Franca @ All Our Way

    Those little adorable creatures give us so much more than we give to them. They unselfishly love us and all they want is a little pat on the head -- oh! and be let outside when the need arrives. An empty nest is not all that it's cracked up to be. I miss my kids and grandkids and they've (my kids) have been gone quite a while. Visiting them is very boisterous with lots of laughter and hugs!! Your kids will be back soon. Have a wonderful weekend and I hope your hubby has a great Father's Day.

  22. Image for Carol Bray Carol Bray

    My husband and I are empty nesters and all our fur babies, past and present have helped to fill that void. Our Miss Molly follows us everywhere. She's even giving a gift to her daddy for Farhers Day. Love your little dog.

  23. Image for Kim Kim

    KariAnne, you have no idea how much I understand this post. Except when we drop our youngest off at college in August, the middle son who has been coming home from college for the summers is moving out for good! And there's a good chance, if the youngest gets the summer internship he applied for, he won't even be coming home during the summers! Where did the time go? Wasn't I just wiping popsicle juice off their faces? And teaching them to tie their shoes? Sniff Sniff.

  24. Image for Michele Michele

    Oh boy. Whew. *Gulp* weeeeeeelllllll.................our furry friends indeed are there for us. Or in my case WAS there for me. Whenever I was sad or sick he did the same thing. In cat form. He was more a dog dressed as a cat. Oh my gosh I loved him. Even posted about losing him. It's only been a few weeks and I cry every day because my soul MISSES HIM so so much. I hope you have years and years with that adorable pootch friend. ♥ Here's Romeo's obit:

  25. Image for Dale Deacon Dale Deacon

    Sipping my coffee, after a brisk walk with our pug (which we adopted a week ago) and I am already captured looking into those soft brown eyes, her little snorts when excited, and her quirky habits that make me laugh. She follows us around, her little curly tail wagging each time we look down at her, even now, as I write about your moving post, that touched me for so many reasons. We have our youngest home from college and suspect it will be the last summer he will be coming home and how I will miss getting up in the morning and finding remnants of what he snacked on the night before. The sound of music in the house ( he is a musician) and our mother-son talks as we share our day. I also know our little Charlee will be here at my feet, in the fall as we wave good bye to the last one in our nest as he takes flight. Sweet photos of your wee furry one♡ another keeper post!

  26. Image for Debrah Nash Debrah Nash

    I too have a sweet rescuer! Her name is Gracie and she came to us weighing in at almost 9 lbs.(sounds like I'm talking about a human baby:) ). Gracie came scurrying into my life several months after putting down a beloved dachshund Patch who had lived with for 14 years. My heart was hurting when we were told about a little miniature dachshund who needed a forever home. Because she was 7 years old and not a young dog some thought she would never adjust. She stole our hearts with her devotion and her funny ways and brings such joy to us in a period of our lives where much is in turmoil. After 2 1/2 years we will be apart for a time. She will be sojourning for a while at our oldest daughter's as we go to spend a season with our youngest and her family. My husband is a pastor and we lost our position 4 years ago as well as a home to call our own. Gracie will be "visiting" with brother and sister dogs as we wait to see what lies ahead. The home our youngest and family lives in aren't allowed pets so Gracie must spend time with Milo and Baby as we all wait. Kari Anne your story reminded me that the Lord reaches out to us in so many unique ways and offers comfort from the simplest life, the one you thought you had rescued who in fact saved you instead!!! I understand so well!!!!

  27. Image for Karen Karen

    I LOVE READING YOUR BLOG!!!! There are two other people I enjoy as much. Brenda over at Cozy Little House and Marion at Miss Mustard Seed....each day I look forward to reading each of your comments! Each of you are quite different....but OH SO BEAUTIFUL!!!!!

  28. Image for Diane Diane

    Sweet, sweet dog and sweet, sweet story. While I am now an empty nester, I have cried many of those tears from first day at DAY camp for crying out loud (no pun intended) to first day of school until she asked me in 4th grade not to walk her to class anymore (more private tears) to the day she moved into the dorms and I am sure tears of joy and sadness will be shed next year when she marries and is truly "gone" forever. Better get me another dog! And enjoy the heck out of that date night!!!

  29. Image for Sharon H Sharon H

    Miz karianne, you bring tears to my eyes once again....and I like your little furr-baby. God sends sweet souls into our lives just when we need them most....usually before we even know we need them....have a great day!

  30. Image for Denise at Forest Manor Denise at Forest Manor

    Oh Kari, you've made me cry -- not just a lump in my throat but tears and a crumpled face. ;) Your dog is such a cutey pie!! They are so good to comfort us; our first two Scotties were, but this one's still a bit of a terror. ;-) I'm so glad you have him and your week will go by faster than you think. Ask me how I know! Thanks for sharing this sweet story and the sweet pictures. Have a good weekend! Big hugs, Denise

  31. Image for Shar Shar

    I sympathize. Just sent my "baby" (16) on a 14 day Scout hike in NM--1200 miles from Ohio. Sounded good--but at 3AM you think of things like bears. Date night, plus painting & redoing a bathroom (BatterUp Yellow!) helps. So does the bench in the back of Meijer's (for sniffling.)--it's also close to the cookie aisle. Just sayin'...

  32. Image for Kris Kris

    What a bunch of weepy moms we are! ;) I was SOOO grateful to have my cat when my youngest started kindergarten a few years ago. Talking to the cat seems less crazy than talking to myself. At least, that's what I tell myself (oops, talking to myself again! Ha!).

  33. Image for Ann weisman Ann weisman

    Hi Karianne Just wait, next year you will counting the days to camp time. And maybe they might want to go for two weeks? You and brown eyes will have lots of fun while they are gone and the week will fly by! Enjoy Your pen pal, Ann

  34. Image for Susan Susan

    Dogs have a way of comforting us like no one's like they know just the right way to approach us when we are feeling down. Bless you for giving this sweet baby a home...he is showing you how much he appreciates all you've done for him! I know love like that, GSD, Hoss, has been my faithful companion for 11 years now. He has a disease called Degenerative Myelopathy which is like ALS in humans, so he is losing his back legs and will eventually lose the front legs, too. But even with his daily struggles, he is always there for me...this is why I will fight for him for as long as he wants to stay here with me. He deserves that much. I hope your little ones will hurry home to you! You are such a wonderful Mommy!

  35. Image for Delilah Gillio Delilah Gillio

    Omgoodness! That is the sweetest ever! You got me over here crying! Can't tell you how many times my fur baby has saved me! Thanks for sharing! Love your blog! I hope you enjoy this week to the fullest...(doesn't mean you love your children any less to have a good time while they're gone!)

  36. Image for Judy McCall Judy McCall

    I know just how you felt. I am curious where you got the rug you have in the picture in the dining room. I love your blog. It's always entertaing. Thanks

  37. Image for Brandy Low Brandy Low

    You know...It's funny. I noticed today that I get SO excited when I have a new post from you! Many things can wait... But when I have a new post from Karianne... Well I have to open that right away! No matter what I am doing... I pause and read... And most of the time let out a good laugh. Your writing and pictures are just like a present. A sweet, beautiful, encouraging present!!

  38. Image for Donnamae Donnamae

    Our fur babies seem to have a 6th sense when it comes to their humans! I totally get your mom story...I've shed many a sob...still do! Enjoy your weekend! ;)

  39. Image for Marijean Marijean

    I always like to save the best for last, and that is why I like to read your post last. I look forward to each and every entry. I can so identify with this post. Bravo Karianne !

  40. Image for Lisa Marie from Quebec,Canada Lisa Marie from Quebec,Canada

    Beautiful! I just love reading you...You either make me smile, cry or giggle!!! A lot of design bloggers have come and gone but you're a keeper!

  41. Image for Debbie Esparza Debbie Esparza

    Miss K, you did it again! Tears and more tears. I so love your new family member...I have two of those little darlings, and they brighten my day and night. You are such a gifted writer, and touch my heart with your blog, and may I say, very talented too!

  42. Image for christiann christiann

    Sniff, sniff..!! Gonna hug my fur baby now... And then each of my 4 children whenever they come for a visit!!

  43. Image for Tracey Tracey

    Such a sweet story! What would we do without our furbabies? I happened upon your blog while searching how to make my hydrangea bloom- it linked to your post from June2012. I am so glad it did- love your blog! And hoping coffee will do the trick for my hydrangea! Only one cluster of blooms on two plants. :-/

  44. Image for Mary Ferguson Mary Ferguson

    Dogs know when you are upset and he was trying to give you comfort. I bet he or she followed you around all week. Rescued dogs are the very best. I have two and they would go to rhe ends of the earth for me. By the way, what's the dogs name? I hope you had a great date night and wore your new red lipstick. Mary

  45. Image for Diana Walters Diana Walters

    And that would be why I love helping our local rescue society! We have 5 dogs who are all rescues and who each have a special place in our hearts. I'm so glad you were strong enough to send your chicks off...they will be better for the experience! You mush tell us more about that baby! Name, age, rank and serial number?

  46. Image for Susan Susan

    Our fur babies have that knack of always giving so much to us when we don't ask for it! Unconditional paws up love! Hope your chicks had a great time and safe memory making experience at camp and will maybe want to go again! Every little things gonna be alright! Blessings to you!

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