Our little family has expanded.  No, not that way.  Meet Lucia (as in "Santa Lucia," pronounced "loo-chee-ah"), an Italian name coming from the word that means "light."  She is a three month-old purebred mini piebald dachshund, and the sweetest little puppy ever.  She likes to tear around the house (running kind of sideways) in the mornings, pounce on her rope chew toy in the afternoon, and sleep cuddled on our laps for the rest of the day.  She's not totally potty-trained yet, but she does a very good job going on the puppy pee pad and outside when we take her.

She was a surprise, to me.  Mike brought her home on Thursday, and since then, our little newlywed nest has become puppyland!  It's a little challenging, as I was not completely mentally prepared to give up our no-strings-attached newlywed life, with no real responsibilities beyond running the household.  I wasn't prepared to clean up the bathroom after our little one ran through her poop.  I wasn't prepared to wake up three times a night to make sure she's not running through her poop again.  I wasn't prepared, and maybe I would have chosen a later time to get a puppy, but God works in every situation, and I believe He's working through this one.  

He's used this to grow Mike and me right now, closer together and closer to Him.  I believe He's using this to prepare Mike and me for some day in the future when He blesses us with a child.  Because both he and I are far too selfish to be parents.  I suppose this is preparation.  It is so sweet to take care of a little being, and then have your husband say, "You're going to be a great mom."  And how charming to watch him care for our little one with such affection.  What a blessing little Lucia has been in the few short days we've had her.

But my heart breaks.  We have our wonderful vacation coming up-- tomorrow!  I'm so excited to get away, but leaving my little puppy for three weeks is tortuous.  She won't know us when we return, and she'll be older, out of the tiny puppy phase.  Kill me now.  But God is in control.  He will watch over our pup and we'll be a full family again starting July 4.  

Meanwhile, I'll be gone from here until July, so I apologize for the absence, but please don't give up on me!  I'll have tons of pictures and stories to share afterward.  Enjoy these shots of our Lucia before I sign off for a while:

And from my phone:

xoxo, A