A Dog’s Tail (Tale?)

 

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I’m working from home today with my pups and I got to thinking about how I got to this point.  Before them, I never had a pet. My mother didn’t want another someone to take care of and  by the time I was old enough to have my own, I was entirely too fastidious and uptight to bring an animal indoors. So imagine my surprise when we became dog owners.

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February of 2012, I took up running. I had a lot going on in my life and I needed to relieve stress and really get serious about my health. I am an outside runner and have no desire to run on a treadmill or with a partner. If you are a Law and Order SVU watcher, you know this is the perfect recipe for me to end up in a gutter in Tennessee with all of my clothes ripped off and a star of some kind drawn on my forehead. So I decided I wanted a dog especially since my husband started working these crazy twelve hour shifts.

I spent MONTHS researching the breed of dog that I wanted. I found myself automatically drawn to the male giant schnauzer. I wanted a big black dog so I could name him Sirius Black and this breed is essentially my fiance as a dog. The only thing really stopping me from getting one was that I was intimidated by the idea of having my first dog being a giant schnauzer because they are notoriously stubborn if you don’t know what you are doing. They are also incredibly expensive. I also didn’t mind the idea of a standard poodle because of their temperament and how well one would go with all of my outfits. (Again, don’t judge) So I spent again MONTHS looking for a dog and what to my wondering eyes should appear while I am browsing the pets section of Craigslist but in March of 2013 but a male Giant Schnoodle. His name was Mateo and he was exactly a year old and he was previously training as a service dog for a girl who needed a fully trained service dog.  Big Black Dog? Check. Hypoallergenic? Check. Male? Check. Puppy but potty trained? Check. Local? Check. Rescue dog not buy? Check. We had to go see him.

 

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He. Was. Perfect.

Marcus was hesitant but when we met him, it was love at first sight on my end, even though looking back he was a strange looking fellow. We bought our baby boy home a week later and haven’t looked back. He was such a personality. Because I have never had a pet, I didn’t know that dogs had a personality. I mean I knew it conceptually, but I have never seen it for myself. This guy is us as a dog. Low key but alert. Bossy and intelligent. He doesn’t like dirt. He is obedient but with a mischievous streak and I can not help but love him.

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How did we end up with a second dog? Purely an accident. We went to the shelter to coo at puppies. While browsing the shelter website, we realized they had an Irish Wolfhound mix. The perfect Remus to our Sirius. We visited with him but decided to leave without him since we didn’t come to adopt a dog that day. He instantly put his little paw up on my leg and the rest is history.

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We love our dogs equally but it’s actually Remus who changed the entire trajectory of our lives and I don’t mean that figuratively. I mean Remus literally changed out lives. Because we got a second dog, we had to move. Because our second dog was sizeable, we couldn’t find a rental in our neighborhood. Because we couldn’t find an affordable rental in our neighborhood, we moved to the suburbs. Because we moved to the suburbs, I had better access to a better job. Because I had a better job, we could afford to buy our home. Because we bought our home, I have a better quality of life. Remus changed my life.

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While I never in a million years would have thought that I would own not one, but two dogs, I can’t help but be thrilled with them 90% of the time. That other 10% of the time, they are a living breathing nightmare. No one ever talks about that part. They talk about it broadly sure but no one talks about cleaning poop from an 80 lb dog out of a white carpet at three in the morning. No one ever talks about buying a men’s large Ralph Lauren shirt and ruining it because you have to put it on your dog to stop him from tearing into his hotspots. No one ever talks about your dog trying to manipulate house guests, literally toe the line of the no kitchen rule or how pricey boarding would be for a week while you take the much coveted international vacation.

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And yet, I can’t help but love them and be constantly in awe of how grace brought them to us. That 10% is just that, 10%. Such a minimal amount when quietly and gently, our lives changed for the better because a small impulsive decision.

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XO Prepford Wife (& Sirius & Remus)

 

 

Another Day, Another Rain Boot

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Jacket | Shirt | Skirt | Boots

For Christmas I only requested rain gear for days such as today. I will happily pair my rain gear even with work clothes. Such is the fate of this happy little pair of purple rain boots.

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I think there is a way to be dressed professionally even when wearing rubber wellies. I start with a professional and darn near stern base. Queue layered tweed. Tweed skirt, tweed jacket and a dark blouse with a high and conservative neck like this black jewel studded collared shirt from vintage J. Crew. Make sure to wear leggings to leave very little skin exposed and to avoid a chill.

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I caution against this outfit if your workplace is formal or if you meet with different external conservative parties but otherwise, go for it. It’s perfect for a casual, and yet rainy, Friday. I use to wear these boots all the time when I worked in sales. My customers would get a kick out of a full suit, a striped tshirt, and a pair of Hunter boots. While it was stylish and cute, it was also just practical since I would be hoping in and out of the car all day in pouring rain. As with the red pair of boots from my last post, these boots have a wider calf. They’re the purple adjustable back boots to allow me more space to wear pants if I want to.

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So what about you? Are you into work clothes meets casual?

A Hint of Pink, I Think.

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“There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing.” – Alfred Wainwright

I’ve lived my life by this quote for so long. Bad weather is the perfect opportunity to demonstrate personal style. With the creation of colorful wellies. There is never a time where I dress for rain or snow where I don’t get the best compliments. Because even in this weather my own style is apparent.

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Today it rained and I could. not. wait. to leave the house because finally, finally I could use this umbrella I got for Christmas (thank you sister in law who listens when I speak), these rain boots (thank you husband who also listens) and this Stutterheim x Madewell jacket that I scored for the low, low price of $20 at a J. Crew warehouse sale.

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I love this jacket because while I have a full dress under it, I didn’t have to. I will probably just pair it with boots for rainy days where I want to go to the grocery store dressed like a hermit. Honestly that’s why I own a lot of the long coats I own, even though we live in North Carolina where the weather is mostly temperate. It even has a deep hood to fit my bun, a crucial measure for what jacket makes the cut. I love it even more since its pink which has been my favorite color to wear for some time now. It just adds to my “girlish charm” even though I’m a grown woman now.

 

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Even though I have several pairs of Hunter boots at this point. I always come back to the red ones. These are the Huntress model which has a wider calf diameter which I need if I’m going to wear them with pants. It’s also slightly short which works out nicely since I am a munchkin. I usually pair these the same way with black and white for a pop of color or with all monochrome of a color like here. The Hunter boots are totally worth the cost. I have yet to have any sort of damage to mine *knock on wood*. As long as you get the buffer spray to maintain the shiny gloss, you should be good to go. I would caution you though, these are definitely rain boots and not all weather boots. I don’t care what other blogger say, adding those boots socks does not a winter boot make. Still, totally my favorite weather shoe.

 

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Do you have Hunter boots? If so, what color did you snag? *Asking for a friend who is me*

XO PrepFord Wife

Openness and Accountability

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I tend to think of myself as a bit of a loner. While I am talkative and bubbly and easy to get to know, I hold my true feelings close to my chest and say very little of substance unless prodded for the truth. But I do a really good job of pretending. What that looks like in execution is that I am everyone’s best friend. I am literally the best friend you will ever have. I tend to go above the call of duty because my assumption is that if I do everything right and never fall short that will make people love me. And it does. It’s worked for years. From a strictly unbiased perspective this has been my life.

But a year ago, I started to think about who was my best friend; who would I call if I had a flat tire or a rough day or whose sofa would I crash on if I got into a fight with my husband. And I drew a blank. But then I thought of the number of people who would call me if any of the above happened to them and instantly I had a list of over 20 people. And you know what, some of that is my own fault.

I make it my mission in life to put my best foot forward, to only let people see me at my best, to only show my face when I am happy. As a woman in this world, particularly as a black woman, we don’t exactly have a lot of space to emote. There is no prize for vulnerability. To be less than graceful and gracious is a sin, and god forbid you express negative emotions like anger and grief. So I stored those emotions away even from those closest to me. People who I knew like the back of my own hand but knew nothing about me.

I was the no must, no fuss bride. The “it’s okay you forgot my birthday” friend. The you-don’t-need-to-call-me-regularly daughter. I was hiding parts (read: gaping geysers) of myself from people and in turn, could not hold people accountable for how I wanted to be treated because they didn’t know how I wanted to be treated.

So this year, the goal was “openness”. Every year, I  chose a word, a part of my personality that I want to be working on. This year was openness. I would work on being vulnerable, exposing myself a little more to family, to the friends who have known me for twenty years, to my husband but to work friends and even to myself.

There is something to be said about vulnerability and letting people learn you after so much time. That sort of exposure has been difficult and muddy and hard to navigate through especially in the face of not explaining to people why they are suddenly getting a lot more information about me than they’re use to. But I want to be known. I want the people in my life to know my heart as well as I know theirs. I want to be able to hold people accountable for how they love me and that starts with holding myself accountable for letting them. So my word for 2018 is not just openness but accountability.