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Happy 2nd Birthday, Nora Jean!


Happy 2nd Birthday to our girl!

Happy 2nd birthday to our sweet Nora girl! I can’t believe she’s already 2 and been with us almost as long. It feels like she has been in our lives so much longer


For those that don’t know, Nora is a Pandemic Puppy. But more than that, she, similar to gardening, has been my lifeline and my breath when I couldn’t breathe.

One of our very first walks

I didn’t have a dog growing up. Well, I did, but only for a few months because she had to be crated all day and my mom just couldn’t do that to the poor thing so we adopted her out to a wonderful woman and Lady lived a long, happy, healthy life.


AJ did have dogs growing up. But they were never HIS dogs…they were always his siblings. So after his brother and his dog moved out, AJ started planting the seed in my head that we should get a dog. I always said “one day” thinking I could push it off forever. But when I got pregnant, AJ thought it was a GREAT idea to get a puppy while I was on maternity leave. And then when I was on medical leave, and then again when I first started working from home because of the pandemic (which was only supposed to be 2 weeks). So finally, in the Summer of 2020 when it was clear it was going to be a while before I went back to the office in any capacity, I said yes. And about a month after I agreed to a puppy, we brought home our Nora.


We adopted Nora from Helping Paws, which is a local pet adoption to us. AJ's assistant at work was adopting one of the puppies from this litter and convinced AJ to adopt from the same litter so that two of the puppies could see each other frequently. We love Helping Paws. They were amazing to work with and it helped having J walk us through the adoption process, but the shelter was really amazing and I'd recommend them a hundred times over. They aren't specific to one breed of dog (Nora is a true mutt) and have a lot of young dogs and puppies to adopt as well. And the best part is Nora and her brother Hogi see each other ALL the time!


Nora and her brother Hogi

Our first family photos

To be honest, I wasn’t THRILLED with the idea of a new puppy. I had ZERO idea how to care for a puppy and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t cry a couple of times when her little puppy teeth caught a finger or ripped a whole in a sweatshirt. But then there was the first time she threw up and wouldn’t eat her food. I laid on the couch with her, snuggled up and cried. No no….I BAWLED.


Here’s the thing. I couldn’t lose her. There couldn’t be something wrong with her. And let me tell you, I WebMD ALL the things it could be…kidney disease, Parvo, some weird worms or something. You name it, she absolutely had it in my mind. I was in a really tough mental space still at that time. As much as I knew there was absolutely NOTHING I did wrong that caused us to lose Jack, there was still a part of me that felt like my body had betrayed me. And in reality, it had - but it wasn't my fault. And as irrational as it sounds, when Nora got sick that very first time, all I could think was “I can’t lose you too. I have to be able to take care of something or SOMEONE.”

Project Over-seer

I’m happy to report that in 2022 my head space is much better than that dark day, but those thoughts do occasionally still creep in. And that’s partially why we spoil the living day lights out of her I think. In July of 2020 we were supposed to have a 3 month old human baby boy. Instead we had a 3 month old puppy and she became our life. She was born a week after what was Jack's due date. We took her (and still do) everywhere with us. She truly became a member of our little family. That little stinker gives the best hugs and knows just when I need one. She doesn’t mind when I smother her with my love and she has just been absolute sunshine in our lives during a very dark time and really helped us see the light again.

It’s true what they say, we don’t deserve dogs. Happy birthday to our sweet gi

Always looking for the coziest spot to be near the kids

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Hi, thanks for stopping by!

Welcome to my corner of the internet, where I'm (real time) navigating a lifestyle change after a pretty traumatic 2020. Stay a while and watch the Real Life Schmidt unfold and learn a little bit more about me, my husband and our life in small town Wisconsin. So happy you're here!

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