Recently I have struggled with knowing who Hope is. Part of this is because I am going through a divorce, which, as many people know is as large of a personal identity transformer as marriage is and was; part of that is because I moved home to my childhood bedroom, and then out in to my own apartment since college; and part of that is because I started a new job with new coworkers and a new working dynamic that I have yet to experience before.

All of these things come with new rules and expectations of myself that are given to me by myself, my family, society, whomever – you name it. All new identifier tags come with a set of behaviors to go along with them.

Naturally, this does not mean that I need to adhere to all of those – but some of them come from a space of caring and goodness, and those are the ones that deserve a second look.

With my divorce I promised myself a couple of things.

  1. I would travel internationally every 3 months.
  2. I would put myself and my self care first, and meet the needs of my girls next, I would not be responsible for the health and wellbeing of another human on a regular, reliable basis.*
  3. I would have a regular schedule of things that make me feel good; that means learning a new skill or two, and staying fit as I define that.


The next chapter of this blogs journey is to follow me as I maneuver this new world I have found myself in, and teach you the rules and work arounds as I learn them.


Welcome, and enjoy the ride of reinvention.

4 Reasons Why I Don’t Raw Feed


Feeding dogs raw is so trendy right now. And I will admit, I have seen the results of raw fed shine during my time working in the veterinary industry. However, when I weigh the cost-benefit of exclusively raw feeding, it just doesn’t make sense for our family.


It’s Time Consuming

I rarely want to cook for myself. My dogs are my children, so I do pamper them more than some people, but on days when I am scooping peanut butter onto a waffle that came out of my freezer to feed myself, you can bet that I won’t be preparing anything for my little babes. That said, when I meal prep, or have some extra energy at the end of the day, they always reap those benefits.

It’s Expensive

I recently left my job and this has left my family a little strapped for cash. We’re not poor, but we are frugal. We cut costs where we can and live well below our means when I am earning money to ease the financial impact when I am not. If by some miracle I have a week where I am inspired to feed raw, I carefully incorporate it into their routine, and they LOVE it, but it is definitely a splurge.

It’s Rude

Have you ever been asked to do something for someone and candidly agree on the assumption that it will be no big deal? Yeah, me too. Well guess what, that something that could have just been, “snuggle my puppies for me, make sure they have water, and give them a couple scoops of food before you leave,” just turned into a much more involved chore. That’s right, say good-bye to guilt-free vacations.

It’s Not That Much Better For Your Dog

This is perhaps the most important factor that I consider in all this, because if it were really as night-and-day as some people claim, I would be on the bandwagon. The fact is, the research just isn’t out there to outright support people’s claims for the benefits of raw feeding. Remember earlier when I said I could see the difference? Well, usually folks who raw feed are the types who naturally put more time into caring for their pups, and it is clear that those people have healthier dogs! That’s what I’m seeing.


Brush your dog’s teeth, be intentional about the intensity and kinds of exercise you’re providing for your dog depending on his or her specific breed, look into the kibble you’re feeding, and be conscientious. Your dog will be healthier, and your veterinary technician will be able to see the difference all the same!


The Fox

5 Things I Love About Deployment

Deployments suck. Anyone who has been through them knows that, and it doesn’t matter which end you’re on, they suck. It can be hard to appreciate life as it comes to you. It’s so easy to sit back and complain about all the things we miss or wish were different; it’s a lot harder to find positivity and light in the midst of darkness. Deployment sucks, but there are some great things that we as military significant others’ get to uniquely experience.

Here are five things I love about deployment.

You get your whole bed back.

When Tyler and I moved to Savannah we bought a King size bed because I just couldn’t take it anymore. Two dogs who stretch out to take up as much space as possible while still wanting to cuddle with me means that I’m usually sandwiched in between the two bodies of my pups on one side, and my husband that sleeps like a rock on the other.

In a queen sized bed, that meant I was a side sleeper, which killed my back. At least in a king I get to sleep more comfortably in my sometimes-less-than-twin-bed sized spot. When Tyler leaves on deployment, I get to stretch to my bodies will. While this may seem small to you, this is literally the best part of deployments for me.

You make more money.

It may be crude, but I don’t care, it is a major perk of deployments, and one of the only ones that the army knows it’s giving you. One of my favorite parts of deployments is the hazardous duty pay. This money always gets put straight into a separate account that pays for any vacations we go on.

While we never wish for deployments, we know that this is the whole reason he’s in the army, and is thus inevitable. In that vein we always utilize the extra money we earn while apart to find an excuse to explore and get closer.

You get to exist on your own schedule.

Even though Tyler doesn’t do PT in the mornings anymore, and we don’t have to wake up at the crack of dawn, he still gets up early or stays out late doing flights. Deployments mean that I can lay in bed as long as my work schedule allows, and go to bed as early as I want.

More than that, deployment means I can have dinner at 4pm if I want, and that I don’t even have to make anything at all. Pretzels and hummus for dinner? Perfectly acceptable. Raw cookie dough? Maybe.

You can travel.

Whether you chose to go on an adventure, see friends, or move home, deployment means that your life is yours again. The army dictates so much in your life, but only because you’re attached to your significant other. Once he or she is gone, the notion of having to be in the same place as someone else disappears.

Go ahead, take that girls trip.

You get to re-appreciate your SO.

You know how they say that love shows itself in the little things? How often have you heard “the little things add up” as a reason for a breakup? I know how easy it is to notice the little things when they bother you or are absent, but how often do you notice the little things when they’re happening right in front of you?

Chances are, unless you are very intentional all the time, that you probably don’t think about all the little things your significant other does for you. Deployment offers me the opportunity to acknowledge, respect, and appreciate Tyler a little more. He does things like fold the laundry, unload the dishwasher, and ensures our Brita is never empty – among others.

These are all things that I know he does, that I usually don’t need to ask him to do, and that increase my standard of living.  I love him for it. When Ty is deployed and I find myself having to pick up dog poop or seed the yard I think about all he does for me. It serves as a nice little reminder that he loves me too.

The Fox