Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Work Out Anyway

When I got to the gym this evening, there was no Zumba instructor. BUMMER!  After visiting with my friend for a bit, I decided to leave and "maybe" head over to my other gym and do some cardio on the elliptical. By that I mean probably would have drove home, made dinner and not left the house again.

Instead, Kort, my trainer, said he would work me out if I wanted.  I happened to mention to him that I was not sore the day after my last workout with him.  Confident he took my statement as a challenge.

I hear people mention their trainer worked them so hard that they cried.  I have cried during workouts.  However, that was from my body moving and working through things.  NOT WHAT THEY MEANT!!!  Tonight, there was a point where I thought I could not do what he was asking of me.  I truly felt I was not capable.  The pleaser in me started to feel uncomfortable. My desire was to do what he asked. Yet, I did not think I was physically capable.  I wanted to say to him he was crazy for asking this 36 year old (37 in two days), single mother of four, just worked 9 hours, I am here to do what you ask lady. Yet, I tried to think just one more rep.  TARA YOU CAN DO ONE MORE REP.  He pushed me.  I responded.  WORKED OUT HARD.  When it was over, I felt FABULOUS.

That is courage my friends.  Being afraid.  Real fear.  And doing it anyway.  THANK YOU KORT!!

Worked so hard, even my mascara ran.

Post workout, meet Kort
Notice I did not crop my belly out....thought about it  :)

My trainer. Since starting his workouts,
I have noticed my body changing

Happy Girl Headed Home
 In addition to working out HARD today, I reached out to a friend in OA.  She brought me to my first  OA meeting and it was time to touch base.  I have been all over trying to "control" my food addiction.  Yeah, well that doesn't work so well. 

Today I surrendered.  I gave up.  I gave it all to my Higher Power.  I am back to following my plan.  No wheat/No Sugar.  When I follow my plan for abstinence, I am able to get out of the crazy.  I planned my meals and followed my plan. I connected with two others in recovery and I participated in a phone OA meeting (the only in person meeting here is on Saturday). 

One thing I am certain.  I can not do this......I can not do this on my own.

One Day At A Time!!!!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

What to Blog?

I was all prepared to blog about how at 11:45 p.m. last night, I found myself making friends with two, count them two, orange flavored Hostess cupcakes, a peanut butter sandwich and a ham sandwich (cause the peanut butter was so good and the bread was moist and engaging).  I was prepared to blog about falling asleep angry, sad and disappointed in my failure after eating clean and working hard all day.  I was prepared to blog about my 37 birthday coming up in exactly one week from today and how it SUCKS to know I will be spending it alone.  I was prepared to blog about aching all day for arms wrapping around me and a voice telling me all will be well.  I was prepared to blog about failure, resentment and sadness.

Now, after an amazing yoga session, I don't want to continue with all that negative stuff.  I want to talk about forgiveness and perspective.  While I ALMOST went to bed with no guilt or shame, I am still a good person.  I still have qualities worth loving.  While I went to bed with a full tummy, I did not hurt by body even further by purging once I completed my binge.  Today, I woke up ready to be good to me.  Hurting.....but ready to start again.

When I put the calories from the full day in perspective, I was not incredibly overboard.  Breakfast was a string cheese and grapes.  Lunch was tuna fish and salad greens. Snack was steamed vegetables.  Dinner was baked salmon and an ear of red corn (yes a starch but extra protein).  The bread from my midnight snack was wholegrain and only 52 calories a slice.  I ended up with four.  Had 2 teaspoons of peanut butter and two slices of lean ham.  The bad comes from the hostess orange cupcake....twice.  I have not calculated the total calories but I am pretty sure my damage was not that excessive. 

The issue comes from the time I did it.  Midnight.  Really???  The final hour.  I had almost made it through a day.  I was ready to rest and put the day to sleep.

Ready for third person......I think Tara is dealing with some pretty intense feelings of loneliness right now.  While on a day in, day out basis, she is rocking being a single working mother of four, there are moments when even she questions everything.....and I mean everything around her.  Good thing for a visit to her therapist scheduled for in the morning.

Back to first person.....I am grateful for friends that feel my struggle without even seeing me.  You know who are.  Thank you for showing concern and helping me work through it.  Grateful for friends that keep tabs on me through FB and send little text messages to touch base.  Even better when they use my own words of support and strength on me.  Grateful for a perfect stranger posting a picture on FB that brought me peace. 

I am blessed.  Do I have tough days.  HELL YES!!!! (sorry for the profanity)  Do I feel success almost in my grasp and do something to sabotage it.....more often than I care to admit. 

After work I gathered up my littles and hustled over to the gym.  I live for yoga Thursday. Although it is an intense, challenging workout, it is gentler on my mind, body and spirit.  After class I felt lighter.  Happier.  Forgiven.

So to wrap things up.....these things were good for me today.  I hope something here is good for you.

Sweating Until Happy posted this on FB

Sophia posted on FB

Looked out my office window to see my boys
 riding bikes to their grandma's house

A friend reminded me to "Be Still"

Same friend reminded me of a place I went to find peace

Yoga session ....Miss Olaya joined me for corpse pose
I didn't get a copy of a beautiful post my friend Kathy sent to me.

Today I renewed my commitment to be good to my body in every way.  I ate clean and on plan.  I honored my body with yoga.  I quited the negative thoughts.  This day was rough, at times.  I think I made it though pretty well.

Tomorrow I leave for a weekend trip to one of my most favorite places on earth.  Planning for lots of floating the river and just taking it all in.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


It is not a secret that I have been hovering at the same weight for the last 2 1/2 months.  April I lost big time.  May was nothing.  June was vacation gain.  Lost that right away and then stagnant.

Until now. 

Today (since I have moved to only weighing on the 1 and 15, however the 15 I was smack in the middle of my cycle -sorry boys, but it is a huge factor for the women folk- so I postponed it) I weighed in at ......

253 lbs.  That is three pounds under my lowest and a total of 26 lbs down.

I am thrilled.  Yet, it did not come without pain.

The last few days I have been 100% on my abstinence from wheat and refined sugar.  Which means at night there has been no sneaking of ANYTHING!!! 

Last night I wanted to eat.  That feeling of loneliness was starting to creep in as it sometimes does.  Have you ever stood in the middle of your kitchen, paralyzed.  Afraid to move that you might lunge for the nearest loaf of bread or rip into a chocolate frosting container just to have something to numb the pain.

My move was quickly to the bedroom.  It was already late. Even grapes, at that hour, were not "needed" to fuel my body just to go to sleep.

Instead I climbed in bed and basically cried myself to sleep.  My heart hurt and I had nothing to sooth it.....which is OK.  Part of recovery is learning to live in the emotions I have and not numb them with food.  I ached for someone to touch me, hold me, pull me into them and tell me everything is going to be OK. 

I didn't turn to food.  I didn't turn to a man.  I lived it out until my body gave out and let me drift off to sleep.

This morning I had already planned to weigh.  The scale was a bittersweet blessing to the night before.  It showed me that I can live through emotions and not cover my pain with food.  Not only can I survive those emotions, I can lose the extra lbs that shield me from the world. 

Recovery (from food addiction) is not easy.  It does take work. Which brings me to my workouts........

Check out the pics from today's workout...........

Miss Belle doing Muay Thai for Kids...my girl is in yellow

Miss Olaya doing the final stretching with her momma

Post one hour of strength and conditioning followed by
an hour of Muay Thai cardio
The more I do the more I want...addictive personality.....yet it does feel amazing to move and push my body.  The teenage boys in the class had all taken breaks when I was still out there going strong.  It is hard.  I have never in my life done martial arts.  We do so much jumping.  My philosophy has always been everyone is much safer with both my feet on the ground.  Not any more.  It seems jumping rope and I are becoming fast friends.  Who said that?????  Hurts so good!!!

Hope everyone is pushing hard to acheive their goals!!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Weekend Workouts

Friday I joined in my first "Fridaynightsweat" with my new friend, Jamal over at Big Man Shrinking.  The idea is Friday night you work out really hard, take a picture with instagram and tweet about it with the picture to Jamal. 

Friday I always have intentions to work out but I am not always so good at getting it done.  This last Friday was no exception.  The boys had already left with their dad for the weekend so I knew we wouldn't be going to the gym together (that makes me sad).  

I saw the post from Jamal regarding this event.  So I decided it would be a great way to stay motivated and have some fun.  THANKS JAMAL!!!!  I ended up having a great workout led by Lewis at our new training center.   I attended strength and conditioning class.  We did one hour of plyometrics.   I do believe he was trying to kill me.

Post Fridaynightsweat
Saturday morning I was right back at the training center for my box aerobics class. 

 As you can see, right now class is small.  Just the two of us and the trainer were in attendance.  Not a problem.  Lots of attention and lots of hard work.

Ross had us use the gloves to add a little weight resistance to our workout.  HEAVENS!!!  Those one pound gloves felt like bricks by the time we were done.  Thinking I may need to invest in my own gloves.  The ones I used smelled like dirty gym socks and I don't want to think about how many sweaty boys have had them on before me.  I hear they run around $100.  I better stick with boxing for that size of an investment.

Can you believe, another full body shot....hoping one day to see that arm much smaller for sure.

post work out- feeling good
 Silly me to think boxing was going to be my only workout that day.  I spent Saturday night dancing the ngiht away with some great friends.  Two hours of dancing in a hot warehouse type dance studio and I was covered in sweat.  Nice thing about going out of town to do things, no one there knows me except the friends I went with.  I didn't care what the other people thought of me.  I am never going to see these people again so I let loose.  People say women glisten.  No, this was pouring sweat.  Not so cute in a skirt but they say if you are still cute after a workout, you didn't work hard enough.  You know I danced hard when after the 45 minute drive home my hair was still damp....and not from the rain we walked through to get back to the car.

Today, Sunday, I am giving my body a little reprive.  This evening, when my boys are home to join me and the girls, we will take a little stroll along the river.  Otherwise, today is a day of rest for my body.

Happy Sunday everyone!!

Happy SUNDAY!!! 

Never As Good As The Fantasy

We all have them.  That thing that we either see, smell, taste or touch that sends us to this place in our brain where everything is good.  We think that if we could have that one thing, then all would be made right.  Many people have a sexual fantasy, whatever it may be. They say to themselves, "If only I could.........(you fill in the blank).........then that would be living!!!" 

I have them as well.  Only my fantasy doesn't involve sex, it involves food (yeah, go figure).  For the past 6 months I have been secretly eyeing my fantasy through glass.....at Costco.  You see, I have been fantasizing about sharing a quiet (no kids), dark (no witnesses) night with a bowl of defrosted, perfectly welcoming, Costco creme puffs.

 (Welcome to my crazy) When I pass the aisle where the creme puffs are stocked, my heart starts to race.  My mouth salivates.  A big smile spreads across my face as I think of the beautiful perfection in the pastry custard concoction.  I dream of the sweetness I will find as I place one in my mouth, allowing the custard to burst forth from the dough. 

Up til now I have kept my desire for a creme puff completely in my head.  Wednesday, that all changed.

Picture 21 days of abstinence from wheat and sugar.  Picture me at the company picnic.  Thinking I was planning ahead, I brought cut watermelon to insure there was something for me to eat at this picnic.  I never touched the watermelon now that I think about it. 

As we wait for the rest of the office to arrive, I notice a box of creme puffs sitting on the table nearest me.  A co-worker suggested we start with desert.  Thoughts of indulging in my long standing fantasy began flooding my every sense. 

I took one.  Placed it in my mouth. YUCK! was my first thought.  It was waxy, heavy, bland.  I closed my mouth around it, expecting the beautiful custard to be joyful.  Nope.  Nothing.  It barely had any taste. Then I panicked.  This must be because I haven't eaten refined sugar in 21 days.  I took another.  Nothing.  They were both awful. It is a sad day to learn all that mental energy was forfeited for a failure.

Normally, I would have seen this moment as complete failure.  Wasn't the case this time.  Instead, I used it as a learning/growth moment.  I didn't allow the negative thoughts to begin, consuming my every thought (which could have led to a month long binge).  After the creme puff, my thoughts went to the fresh raspberries in my fridge at home.  Now that is a sweet treat.  When I pop a raspberry in my mouth the flavor bursts and my tongue tingles from the sweetness. 
I learned, eating whole clean food is truly the best thing for my mind, body and spirit.  The flavor is real.  The emotions associated with a raspberry lead to healthy pleasant thoughts.  Even looking at the pictures of raspberries next to the creme puff, makes me wonder what was I possibly thinking.

I learned that a fantasy is just that, a created world that does not exist.  I had imagined a food that was going to bring me all these wonderful sensations.  The reality was nothing like that.  It did not fulfill a single belief I held.  Which from what I hear about fantasies, the real thing never measures up.  I had made eating a creme puff so big in my head that when I actually had one, disappointment was all I felt.

Lesson learned. Moved on.

Saturday, while at a movie, I took fresh cherries to snack on.  No sour patch kid fantasies for this girl.  Fresh is best.  And back to whole clean eating.

What is your experience with food fantasies?  What foods do you dream of eating but know they aren't good for your body?  How do you balance that?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Today was one of those perfect days. A balance of up and down, good and bad. 

It's late so here is the low down.
1. Olaya was sick last night and this morning/got to spend the morning cuddling, making breakfast, watching Diego....AKA being a mom
2. Ate a little to much at the work picnic this afternoon-fantasy about creme puffs in now defunct/worked my arse off at strength and conditioning w my trainer, round two was muay thai cardio followed by a casual walk on the greenbelt

Life, a beautiful blend of bumps, bruises and magical moments. 

Post two hour workout

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Do I Have a Problem??

After FINALLY cleaning out my travel bathroom bag from June vacation, this is the stash of hotel goodies I collected.  Those deep dark corners can hold oh so much.

Honestly, why do I feel compelled to clean the counters every morning to my bag, allowing the housekeeping staff to replenish while we are out for the day?  It is almost magic/tragic.  I take away and when I ,it is there again.

Pretty sure I will never use these items, at least not as fast as I am acquiring them.  I tell myself they will be great for camping.  I tell myself they are free.  I will use them on my next trip instead of hauling my family size bottles.  NEVER happens.  Have you seen how much hair I have?  It takes four of those conditioner bottles to do anything.  The travel lotions do get used.  They are perfect for my purse and church bag.  But REALLY Tara.....how many of those things am I going to collect?  Not to mention the bars of soap.  We haven't used bar soap in ten years.  Don't anticipate starting now.

Which brings me to my other problem...Bath and Body products.

Don't fret, I only buy on clearance and when I have a $10 off coupon when you spend $40.  I think I paid $1 for each of those Christmas scents on the right side of this picture.  You can never have enough mint chocolate scented hand soap.

 My problem comes when I run out of the body wash before the lotion, or the lotion before the body spray.  Exactly like when the conditioner bottle empties before the shampoo bottle.  I have been compensating by buying two body washes bottles for each set.  See, I don't want to apply more than one scent to my body.  Just doesn't seem right.  Therefore, from shower gel to sparkly body spray, they all have to match.

Which brings me to the bottom picture.  In my house, this is where lotions (top basket) basically go to die.  Bottom basket is the lonesome leftover body sprays.  A few of them match, but without a body wash to start with, they are useless to me.  And since it is forbidden to throw something "useful" away (which I just said in the previous sentence they were not), they gather dust.  I have a jasmine scented lotion from my trip to Hawaii, still resting in this basket.  That trip was over five years ago.

I won't talk much about the middle basket.  That is where my perfume bottles go. Notice the vast amounts of space.  I have never really bought myself perfume.  That was the husband's job(from way back when) or a gift from a suitor.  Jokingly, I say you can tell how long it has been since a man has loved me.  Soon I may have to remove that basket all together.  :) 

Do YOU have any "problems" like I do?  I am not a hoarder (don't look in my garage).  But with a few things, I seem to be a "collector".

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Making Progress

You would be pretty hard pressed to find me in public without make-up.  In fact, I take my paints with me when I go camping.  I keep it on when I swim.  I don't even take my make-up off to go to bed.  I should, but I don't.  Seriously, do I think perfect make-up will stop a burglar or something? 

A while back someone challenged me to go without make-up for a day.....in public.  Couldn't do it.  Then he asked me to at least go without it when I was with him to see how I did.  I could not do it. 

The theories behind my need to wear make-up are extensive.  It is my mask.  I feel more put together.  It helps me feel like I have taken care of myself.  It is a shield.  I only use it to accentuate the natural beauty (even typing that make me cringe).  I could go on.

Truthfully, it is something to hide behind.  If someone says I have nice eyes, I can pass it off that it is the way I apply my eyeshadow or line my eyes that they are truly commenting on.  Always afraid someone actually sees me.  But that is a conversation (or many) for me and my therapist.

In an attempt to appreciate my body and love who I am with no shield, no excuses, Saturday I went without make-up on purpose.  Not a stitch I tell you.  And here is the proof........

driving to Salt Lake to pick up my girls-
not to bad
 Not only did I go without make-up, I went to my OA meeting, hit the corner gas station before heading out of town and went inside to get water, saw my ex-husband and his wife (met her for the first time- the woman he cheated on me with- didn't even feel I had to be all covered in make-up to impress her and him) and I took a picture.  I didn't hide from the camera.

To keep the growth and acceptance coming, today, I had my son take a more full body shot, which I never do.  Time to be real about who I am.  As I strengthen my mind and body, as confidence grows, I can't hide from who I am any longer.  So this is me......

after church

close up, unedited even
In another attempt to accept my body the way it is, I have decided to only weigh twice a month.  My friend Stephanie has been successful with weighing on the 1st and the 15th, so I decided to give it a try.  I can't let that silly number determine how I feel about myself that day.

As this week begins, three cheers for making progress to loving the body I have been given.  I think I actually got a pretty good one!!!!

What do you do to show greater acceptance for the body you have been given?

Friday, July 6, 2012


I am beginning to think my body is comfortable at my current weight.  Although I am happy with losing 7 lbs in the last 17 days (6 was from vacation), I have been at my current weight of 256 for the last week.  I know.  I know.  Be patient.  I didn't gain it in one day, it won't come off in one day.  However, there are times I find myself wishing it did.  Even a few ounces.  A pound. 

I read blogs every day on fitness and weight loss.  Most having a weekly weigh in, where they describe their food and exercise for the week and then post their results.....as I have done when I can get my behind to my computer more regularly.  This last week as I struggled with no loss (YEAH no gain), I watched blogger after blogger post loss after loss.  UGH.

My workouts are good.  I have done something basically 6 days a week.  Trying to keep the workouts different and intense.  This last week I added box aerobics and Muay Thay cardio.  I have stayed with abstinence and recover,y avoiding wheat and sugar if I have any control over it.  I feel good.  I feel great in fact.  And yes, I recognize that is a non scale victory right there.

So, with my kids away today and my 40 hours of work completed by 2:30 this afternoon, I called up my friend Dianna at my favorite spa and treated myself to a little something. 

First a Pedicure
Followed by a Manicure
It has been a long week.  With the pressure from work, my kids being gone, my family up camping and all the other stress of life, not to long ago, this would have been a week for me to binge and binge often. 

Not anymore.  Today is day 17 of abstinence and I don't take that number lightly.  With each day, I grow closer to my goal.  With each day I see more clearly.  With each day I want to fight harder. 90 days is possible.....6 months is possible...God willing.....a year is possible.  One day is possible.  For now, my goal is one day. With one day, I can do the impossible.  All I work at is today.

So, even though the scale has not budged in over a week, I have something to celebrate.  This week, I honored my body.  That deserves a WOOT! WOOT! and a little pampering.

How do you celebrate your non scale victories and honor your body even when life is hard? 

Thursday, July 5, 2012


Sunday I did something that even I didn't see coming.  This momma suggested her girls stay with their dad for a week, 6 hours away from me with their dad. 

Let me explain.  My girls have never had an overnight with their dad (long story).  Now that some circumstances have changed......ultimately it comes down to this...  One day, in the future, my daughters will look at me. They will hug me and with tears in their eyes, they will either accuse me of being the reason they never knew their father or they will thank me for doing everything possible to encourage a relationship with their dad and sister.  I chose the second option.

So with sadness and joy, during a visit from their dad, I offered him the opportunity to take the girls back to his home in another state for a week.  He was overjoyed at the suggestion.  Within 12 hours my girls were packed and headed to a destination 6 hours away where I can not sing them to bed, kiss little Olaya's every bump away and hold my Bella ever so close.

Overall, I knew this was the right thing to do.  Knowing it would hurt didn't hinder my decision.  Yet, I didn't know exactly how painful and empowering it would feel, at the same time.

This is the first.....FIRST time I have no kids home.  Sure they have spent the night away.  But this, this is different.  My boys are with their dad for a week.  The girls are with their dad for a week.  This momma has had the evenings to myself for almost an entire week so far. 

Right after the girls left with their dad Sunday evening (just for the evening), after I suggested he take them for the week, I wanted to eat.  I wanted to physically hurt from eating.  I wanted to visit every fast food place I could and eat nothing but comfort foods that could dull my pain (in a way). 

Instead I meditated.  I talked with friends.  I watched some tv shows I have wanted to catch up on. 

Second hard part came yesterday during all the festivities.  A dear friend offered to let me spend the day with him, his kids and his extended family.  The day was uncomfortable for me.  What does a woman do at parades and BBQ's when they don't have children to keep an eye on, entertain of chase?  Not sure how it happened but I ended up talking with all the guys....not that way.  I am guessing since all the sisters and sister in laws see their men all the time they wanted to visit and chat with each other.  I, on the other hand, didn't really know any of them so I stayed pretty close to my friend who was also pretty close to all the other men at the events.  You know.  You have seen it.  All the women are on one side of the yard/room/dance floor and all the men are on the other.  Sort of the same thing.  Only I was over on the "other side".  It was a fun time.  I got some great mortgage shopping advice and had the most awesome grilled steak.

The pain came that night during fireworks.  I can not describe the pain I felt as we prepared to go to the hill to set up our spot to watch from.  I physically ached for my girls.....for my boys as well but I have been doing the "every other holiday" for almost 10 years.  As the fireworks went off, I could see their beauty and hear the patriotic music playing but I was feeling pretty numb.  My arms ached to feel my girls wrapped snuggly up to me.  However, I got through it.  Good friends understand when they just need to let you cry. 

I am grateful the girls are having an amazing time with their dad, his wife and their new sister.  I wouldn't want it any other way.  My desire IS for them to grow in a relationship with all of them.  To come home with an abundance of memories and a desire for more. I am grateful for this time alone (wow, who said that?)  It is nice to read when I want.  Go to bed when I want.  Sleep with no kids in my bed.  Soak in the tub without barbie joining me.  I don't want it for much longer, but it has been a little break for me.

On the flip side....I want them with me.  I don't want to know that someone else is kissing their owies, reading them bed time stories or playing at the pool with them.  I don't want to hurt when they are away.  I don't want to be forgotten, replaced.  I want to be the mother that can give them everything they can possible need.

See the struggle.  I rejoice in this time they have with their dad and I also struggle to breathe while they are away.

That said, I was somehow able to give this pain to my Heavenly Father.  I have stayed busy with good things for my body.  I have fed it with clean whole foods and have continued to exercise daily.  The pain of them being gone is enough.  I do not want to add guilt and shame to my list of pains right now.  Nor do I want to break abstinence.  I am at day 16.  Feeling good.  No chocolate bar is worth losing that many days or the  joy of hitting my 90 day mark. 

So there you have it.  This week has been a week of growth.  I have made good choices even when a pint of chocolate brownie ice cream would have felt good to drown my sorrows in.  A new chapter is starting for my girls, and me. 

Two days and they are home.

What A Day

The easiest way to describe my day yesterday would be to list each item out
  • 8 a.m. walk/run up City Creek with my dog, 3 miles
  • 9 a.m. hand wash suburban
  • 9:45 a.m. pick up bountiful basket
  • 9:55 home to bathe Olaya get her breakfast and off to gym
  • 10:10 Training center for one hour of box aerobics (first time for me)- trained with a world champion boxer and a MMA fighter helped out and trained as well
  • 11:40 home to drop off Olaya
  • 12:00 OA meeting ----LOVE IT!!  NEEDED IT!!!
  • 1:30 home to get ready
  • 3:00 Off to go 4 wheeling
  • 9:00 off the mountain and 4 wheelers put away, then to get girls from my parents
  • 10:30 dinner
  • 11:00 marathon of 3 episodes of Modern Family to wind down the day
Photo from work this week

Getting ready to hit the trails

Rescue Mission - We found this beautiful creature 7 miles in

Got to try my hand at shooting
Not to bad-what do you think?

Packing her out
Saturday was fabulous.  Did many things that were great for my mind, body and spirit. 

Update:7/5/12 Owners were found.  I sure enjoyed her the last five days.  Thinking a Golden Retriever is in my future.  :)