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Posted on Jan 9, 2015

Out with the Old & In with the New

The transition into a new year is always a time of reflection for me as I look back over the past year and contemplate my hopes for the new year. 2014 was a big year and I wanted to preserve some of the memories that stood out for me.

So, join along as I look back. 2014 was the year of:

Ella: this little fireball came into our lives on December 31, 2013. She was dropped off at the shelter with an ear infection and needed medication. As we were closed the next day, I grudgingly took her home with me as a foster …. ha! Anyone who knows me knew that she became a Hunt at that moment. We fell hard for Ella and sure enough, fostering turned to adoption and she joined the pack. She has a huge personality for a tiny little dog and we love her so very much.









ella (1)

RunDisney Goofy Challenge: After running the Disney World Half-Marathon in 2013, we got the crazy idea in our heads to tackle the Goofy Challenge which is a half-marathon on Saturday followed by a marathon on Sunday, for a total of 39.3 miles. We headed to Disney with Andrew’s parents and had an incredible time. It’s no secret that I love Disney World and they do such a phenomenal job with their races – such positivity and good cheer. It was an incredible experience – finishing that marathon with my husband and knowing we had completed the Goofy Challenge  definitely stands out as one of the top 10 moments of my life. Now that we live across the country, who knows when we’ll be able to run at Disney World again … which makes this memory all the sweeter.








Annie’s Heartworm Treatment: when we adopted Annie in the fall of 2013, she was underweight and heartworm positive. After getting her to a healthy weight, we treated her for heartworms which carries a small but very real risk of fatality. I was so so so worried but she came through with flying colors and has been living the life ever since.





Racing: 2014 marked the first year that I ever really and truly trained for speed and I successfully ran and placed in a series of races. If you’ve read my posts on running (here & here), you know that once upon a time, I utterly despised it so this was a really big deal for me.




Animal Sheltering: Until we moved, I worked as the Adoption Outreach Coordinator at the county shelter. I loved this job with every fiber of my being … even when I cursed the emotionally draining elements of it. I poured everything I had into the shelter while I was there and received such blessings in return. Countless adoption fairs, an incredible work family, inspiring volunteers and dogs and cats who all became my surrogate children- I miss it all.


*Billy Blass – the coolest cat in the world


* Springer, Hatteras & Kahlua – three incredible dogs who’ve seen hard knocks and bounced right back


* Buddy – the most incredible lab who has ever lived


* Charlie – I fell hard for this sweet guy and think about him all the time.


* Brady – I fell even harder for this loveable plott hound. I have so very much I could say about Brady that I think he deserves a whole post to himself.


* Eva – (the human, not the dog) … one of the most inspiring women I’ve ever met


* Adoption fairs with fabulous people and even more fabulous pets


* Elvis – this dog made the most dreadful noise at the shelter and nobody thought he would be wanted. But his sweet personality won the hearts of an incredible (and I mean INCREDIBLE) family who not only adopted him but treated his heartworms as well.


* Cool Kelly who let us dress him up in a Hawaiian shirt and doggles.


* My mother-in-law: I could always rely on her valuable help at adoption fairs


*Little Petunia – beagles were my soft spot! And of course, my husband who helped at many events, handled difficult dogs and picked up lots and lots of poop 🙂


*The last dog I worked with before moving – his name was Oregon. 🙂

Kiawah: We joined my parents in Kiawah, South Carolina for the Fourth of July and had such a simple and relaxing vacation filled with outdoor activity in a beautiful setting.





Goodbye to Sherlock: 2014 marked Sherlock’s last year with us as our little beagle baby succumbed to stomach cancer on July 10, 2014 – which is ironically the same day that Andrew found out he had an interview with Oregon State University. I miss him so much.


The Big Move: From August onward, life was a whirlwind of visiting Oregon, packing, moving to Oregon and settling in. Andrew flew out to interview mid-August, was offered the position several weeks later and we packed up our lives and waved goodbye to North Carolina at the beginning of October.






– Thanksgiving in Oregon: This year marked the first Thanksgiving that we didn’t celebrate with either set of parents which was hard but we were fortunate to have Andrew’s sister fly up and visit with us. We ended up having a wonderful time together and look forward to more visits.


Our First Christmas in Oregon: as I wrote in a previous post, we had a wonderful Christmas vacation with our families, showing them around this beautiful state we now call home.





As this new year spreads out before me, just as in years past I have goals. But this year, I’m defining them by who I want to be rather than what I want to do. Every new year, I get so caught up in making checklists and calendars and detailed plans to accomplish goals. And it pretty much never works. So, this year I’m just focusing on starting each day with Jesus and being a compassionate and thoughtful wife, a devoted daughter, a writer and one day, mother (no Mom, I’m not pregnant … yet).

The dogs are now looking at me indignantly and demand that I include something about them. So, here are their New Year’s Resolutions:

Sawyer: I will not go through the trash … when my parents are looking.

Wally : I will lay in my mom’s lap every chance I get … even when she’s doing yoga.

Annie:  I will hike up a whole mountain with my parents.

Sasha:  I will learn everything I need to be a therapy dog for nursing homes.

Ella: Since I’m pretty much perfect, I will just continue being me … oh, and I will convince my parents to feed me double.


Happy New Year!

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