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I’m finally back home in Phoenix, and already I miss Nor Cal (my parents to be exact) – I think I slept about 10+ hours every night,  it was heavenly. As always I ate way too much Chinese food as my parents have plenty of it for every meal – I ran for the pizza at the airport as soon as we were dropped off!

I did OK being home – thank you to many friends who text to check in on me about the passing of my yorkie just days before I’d get home. If you follow me on IG (@dianaelizabeth_), you may have seen since I started my account, it was a whole bunch of selfies with Paris. He was my world – and my dads.

There are two things I learned from this experience:

  1. Our pets are like family and we can mourn over the loss of them just as hard.
  2. When you’re sad, friends reaching out via phone calls (they are rare!) and text are meaningful – even check ins meant so much.

I surprisingly did fine. I can look at photos with crying. I had cried for 3 days straight, the bawling and hyperventilating crying any time I was alone, tears streaming down my face while driving, that whole bit. I was mad at everything, I had so much anger about the situation I directed it towards friends who didn’t call or reach out who I thought didn’t care, to God, back to friends who didn’t check in on me, and back to God. I realized once I got home, it helped me accepted it. God really helped me through it (once I stopped being super mad at him and blaming him) and I can look at photos of Paris, his collar, his knitted sweater and smile while at the same time missing him terribly. But dang, guys that was one of the hardest losses I’ve ever gone through in my life.

I saw where my parents buried him and I didn’t lose it. I chatted a little bit with him but I accepted that he was old and nature took its course. Thankfully I also had mature Christians in my life who helped me through it and when I said, “I’m really mad at God, how do I deal with this?” they said for me to express my anger to him, and it’s OK to be angry at God – but to talk to him about it and to remember sometimes he has a plan we don’t understand.

I have so many personal thoughts/updates I wanted to share.

  • I finished reading “Stop Acting Rich and Live like a Real Millionaire” by Thomas J. Stanley (author of “The Millionaire Next Door”). What a book! I love financial books and I also love that millionaires wear Seiko watches and drive Toyotas. I also love that they live in homes in the $200-$300k range and spend way below their means – that’s why they’re millionaires – but the best part, they are so OK with not being flashy because it’s not about the stuff – and the millionaires who aren’t flashy, they are the ones who give 10% to charity. So much goodness in this book and the theme really is – people who drive these fancy cars, upgrades, big homes, they live for their next paycheck, they think these fancy things make them look rich when they in fact, aren’t. Income can be high, but their net worth is low. Anyway, I could go on about the things I learned and loved, I highly recommend it if you love those types of books.
  • I started reading Cameron Diaz’s book, “The Longevity Book: The Science of Aging, the Biology of Strength and the Privilege of Time” and there is so much goodness about aging and dealing with it – in a positive way. I remember reading an article about her book and she said we beat ourselves up for not being able to stay 25. I was like wow, I need to read her thoughts and her perspective. Great book so far, that really helped open my eyes and embrace EVERY decade I’m going to go through and realize growing older is a privilege.
  • I didn’t take any blog worthy photos while I was home. I had planned on it, you know, before my dog died but whatever. I took a few photos but nothing blog worthy (though Dad insists the photo we took as a family with Lincoln Brewster needs to go on my blog, and so I’ll just link to it here). As I watched the moments unfold, they weren’t picture perfect, but they were perfect and I felt like I was in the moment. I recall reading somewhere that when we take excessive photos that we experience it through the camera and it’s less meaningful or memorable (see #7). I just wanted to share this to encourage you to relax when you want to relax, and take the photos when you want to take the photos.
  • If you’re in Phoenix, save the date for Saturday, January 28. The blogger/stylist yard sale I was telling you about has a date in Central Phoenix. Email me diana(at)dianaelizabeth.com or message me through IG whatever way we keep in touch and I can give you the exact address. Time isn’t set yet but there are a handful of us who are putting on quite the yard sale – unlike anything you’ve seen – Gypsy Cup will have her trailer full of caffeine for shoppers.
  • January is the slowest with blogging campaign which is fine by me as I need a little break! I have a lot of advice/business/relationship posts I have had drafted and wanted to share so please expect a lot of heart chat posts this month – and also, please let me know if you like them so I know whether I should continue.
  • Realizing how much stress this year’s Christmas cards caused me (and expense as the postage stamp cost continues to rise) I’m seriously considering Walgreens printed photos for like .20 each and with stamp and envelope each will be $1 each. It was like an epiphany on the pressures we have when let’s face it, cards and photos go in the trash after a month. *wah*
  • I did a freak load of thinking. Everything from my blog and photography, to what I do on a daily basis, to friendships, to thinking more about others, to how I spend my time and money. I hope to share more of these thoughts and the principles I’m learning as I grow as a person. Life is so short, my precious little Paris showed me that, and I find that at the end of the day, the work that needs to be done is in me, so God help me.

I hope you give 2016 a hug, however good or bad it was, and welcome 2017 with eagerness, hopefulness, and togetherness.

Photo by Melissa Schollaert.