Anniversary in Yosemite

Where are we in my recap of our time in Yosemite this past June?

Our third full day in the park was the whole reason behind our choice of vacation location. Jason and I celebrated five years of marriage!

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We look so young!

Apparently one day of rest after our intense hike wasn’t enough, so we spent our anniversary hanging out around Yosemite Valley. We started with a visit to Yosemite Falls. For the first time in any of our trips, there was no crowd. It was glorious.

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The only real plans we had for the day was a nice lunch at the Ahwahnee Hotel. We opted for lunch instead of dinner to save some money (plus, we weren’t going to miss out on any Pizza Deck dinners).

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I had the pastrami reuben with red potato salad. The sandwich was good, but the potato salad was a little bland.

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Jason had the french dip sandwich. He felt the same way about his lunch as I did about mine. It was good, but it wasn’t as good as he thought it would (or should) be.

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Even though our food was a little disappointing, it didn’t matter to me. All that mattered was that I was in my favorite place with my favorite person on our special day.

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We spent the rest of the day in Yosemite Village, exploring the visitor center and shopping at the Village Store. Finally, we took in the evening program at the Curry Amphitheater: the showing of a few episodes of Yosemite Nature Notes.

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Watching great Yosemite films in the shadow of Half Dome while sitting next to the love of my life? So perfect!

Meet Naya!

August was full of big changes, from losing my beloved dog to taking a new job. But why stop at just two major life changes?

Over Labor Day weekend, we adopted a new puppy!

Meet Naya!

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After Thea’s passing, I was a mess. But I wasn’t the only one. Bailey just seemed lost. She had never known our home without Thea, and they were best buds for close to eight years. As the days and weeks went by, we worried more and more about Bailey. I mean, it’s not like we could explain to her what happened.

Jason and I started perusing the most dangerous of sites for dog lovers: Petfinder. We knew that when we adopted again, we wanted a puppy. Jason put it best: We only get a relative handful of years with our dogs – We want to spend as many of those years with them as possible.

Despite the amount of time we spent on Petfinder, that is not where we found Naya. Jason found listings of labs/lab mixes on Rescue Me. One night while Jason was browsing, I suddenly stopped him from scrolling and told him to go back to a dog he passed. That was her – “Isabella.”

We contacted the woman who had “Isabella,” and she was still available. However, another family had also contacted her with an interest in the puppy, but they had not been able to get there to meet her. This was the Thursday before Labor Day. My last day at the university was Friday. We had a Brewers game on Friday night and the Badger football home opener on Saturday. “Isabella” was five and a half hours away from us.

The next day, we found out that the competition was planning to see “Isabella” on Saturday. If the family took her, it obviously was not meant to be.

Saturday morning, Jason got an email informing him that the other family was pulling out – They found another dog. 5:00am Sunday, we hit the road. About seven hours later, we were headed home with the new member of our family.

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As for her name, I knew I wanted to find a Yosemite-related name for our new little girl. But while Yosemite is pretty ripe with good boy names, it was difficult coming up with a girl’s name. Jason and I kept coming back to Tenaya. But Thea’s most common nickname was simply “T,” and I worried that it would be too easy to go back to that with another dog. Jason suggested shortening Tenaya to just Naya, and it fit.

Naya has been with us for about a month. She is an absolute sweetheart. She loves Bailey. And while she has definitely brought back Bailey’s spark, she’s a little too much for Bailey to handle at times. Bailey is a lover, not a fighter. But that disposition is a challenge to maintain when your ears, face, legs, etc. are being bitten by a little puppy.

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Bailey’s coming around.

Our vet is pretty positive that she does have some lab in her. The rescue group thought she was mixed with pointer. Our vet suggested border collie. Who knows.

To us, she’s a Naya dog.

August Changes

Yes, I said August changes. It has been a month since I wrote, although it feels like longer. When I left off in August, I was recapping our June trip to Vegas and Yosemite. But that story can wait, because there have been some big changes in the Jacobs’ household.

The first change was a very sad one. We lost our Thea  🙁  Those of you who follow me on Twitter or Instagram may already know this. After we found out about Thea’s tumor, her health declined very quickly. The point came when we knew it was time to say goodbye.

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I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again – Thea was my once-in-a-lifetime dog. She was such a special soul, and she was an incredibly important member of our family. We were devastated (including Bailey), but it brings me comfort to know she is with my dad. I will see her again one day…

The other change has been a very happy one, and it actually had its start the day before we put Thea down. That day, I interviewed for a new job. Not even a week later, I got and accepted the job. I have a new job!!

I left the higher education world for the business world. I took a marketing communications job with a local marketing company. I manage social media and write for a living now. This was a change I had been contemplating for some time, and the time finally came to make the move.

My home for the last five and a half years, all empty on my last day.
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The move was definitely scary. I had been with the university for seven years. I had been working in higher education para-professionally/professionally for 10 years. Heck, my master’s degree is in higher education counseling. But over the last five years, I had been dabbling in social media and ultimately made it a large portion of my work. I found another area of passion, and I’m so excited to finally be pursuing it full time.

I will say that I deeply miss the students I worked with. And I was sad to leave so many of the things I built at the university. But I am now in a happier, healthier place. I’ve been in my new job for a month, and it’s going great!

So yeah, a lot has changed in the Jacobs’ household in a short period of time. Oh, and I can’t forget a third big change that will impact our family for years to come…

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