There is so much to write about this week!
The first thing I want to touch on is that this episode really showed the many different experiences that women can have in relationships. Watching Kim as she opened herself up again to meeting someone, it was a reminder of how hard it can be to allow yourself to be vulnerable in the hope that you will be rewarded for that bravery by finding a consistent, trustworthy person with whom to share your life. Even after you find that person, it's rarely the romantic fairytale that we dream of – I think Taylor's blunt conversation with Kyle was a real eye-opener for so many women who are evaluating the trajectory of their relationship or marriage. Sometimes what we think we want doesn’t end up being what we really need, and it takes a lot of courage to dig deep and be truthful with ourselves. Of course, finding that truth is a very valuable thing – because it gives us the ability to make positive changes in our relationships, parenting style or career. I'm also a firm believer that it is never, ever too late to change things for the better. That being said, marriage is an incredible amount of work and compromise, and I know through my own experience that it is a learning process every single day. But hey, no pain no gain, right?
As you saw, Paul and I celebrated our eighth anniversary on the episode. I was surprised and delighted with how much thought and care Paul put into planning our anniversary and choosing my gift. It's a running joke in our household that we rarely buy the other something that just "works." Paul is a surgeon, and that makes him kind of a perfectionist, so there is usually something wrong with what I get him (and vice versa!).
Therefore, the gift of the beautiful German Shepherd we named Luna was an especially touching surprise. Here is where I take a very regretful deep breath - we couldn't keep Luna with us. Rest assured, we found her an amazing home with our wonderful dog trainer, who you saw in the episode, and Luna is very happy in her new, loving environment. Obviously, our kids are our first priority, and unfortunately she could not seem to get settled in a house that has three young boys running and playing at all times. Her apprehension made her unpredictable in our environment and she began to ignore the commands she had been trained to follow as a security dog. We were so happy that finding her an ideal home worked out so well, and I can promise you she is thriving with her new mom!
We've talked as a family, and we do want to bring another dog into our household in the next few months. The lifelong relationship between children and their pets is so important to me for so many reasons – pet ownership teaches children about responsibility, compassion and respect for other living things. In return, children get the unwavering love and loyalty that comes with being a good owner. It's an amazing thing to see just how much a pet can change a child's world and how deep that bond can become. I think the lesson here is to really choose a dog that fits with your environment – and this goes beyond researching for the right breed. This also means paying great attention to the unique temperament of the specific animal you choose before you choose it, and exposing the pet to the situations it will encounter in your home to see how it will react.
So yes, the dog was a great gift and she now has a home she is comfortable in. Our next canine addition will definitely be one who enjoys the noise and chaos of three active little boys!
By the way, I had SUCH a great time on Watch What Happens Live with Andy and Lance this week. They both have amazing energy and they made me laugh so much. It's been a whirlwind few days in New York, but now I'm ready to get home and catch up on some much-needed rest. I'm so tired that I'm kind of surprised that I didn't fall asleep while writing this blog!
P.S. I just want to thank you all for being so kind and honest in the comments and feedback you have been giving me through this blog. It's been very uplifting to read what you have to say and you've made blogging such a positive experience for me!