Let’s Talk Spinal Cords

Derek's Been Keeping a Secret

Numbers 6:24-26

24 The Lord bless you
    and keep you;
25 the Lord make his face shine on you
    and be gracious to you;
26 the Lord turn his face toward you
    and give you peace.


Even though you only turn every age once, for some reason 30 just seemed like a big one. I remember on my 18th birthday, I told my mom, "Finally! No more drama and no more acne!".

This year, my birthday fell on a Wednesday, I figured Derek and I would work that day and then celebrate with a nice dinner Wednesday night. Boy. I was wrong about my 18 year old chant and I was way wrong about Wednesday, July 19th.

As many of you know, we've been tossing around the idea of a puppy for awhile. We finally settled on getting a dog once we moved to Quarry. Well, Derek settled on it and I agreed that it was fine if he wanted to wait. In the meantime, I bought training dog books.

Part 1

Wednesday morning started out pretty normal, but then around 1pm, Derek announced, "It's time to go! And make sure you cancel our dinner reservations for tonight. No way are we making that." I was confused and excited...mainly because who doesn't love to be kindly kidnapped in the middle of a work day. 

We climbed into the car and started heading north on 65. He announced that I could ask one question every 30 minutes...and I apparently chose really bad questions because I had no idea what we were doing. A little over an hour in, we turned off on this country road and then down a gravel driveway. It snaked around and opened up on this beautiful farmhouse. As I parked the car, I noticed on the big front porch were 2 adult Bernese Mountain Dogs. I basically just started crying tears of joy and Derek laughed.

*I should clarify here that I've always known Derek can keep secrets like crazy but I never knew he had a planning bone in his body.

A minute later, out tumbled our boy. At 20+ lbs and 8 weeks, he's a big, fluffy fur ball. We named him Barkus Adroolius Lavender, after the great Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius (think Gladiator). And yes, that was all Derek. I just gave permission.

We got this papers, instructions, and were back on the road within a few minutes. I was IN SHOCK. As I asked questions, I learned Derek had bought the pup about a month ago and had been ordering supplies through Amazon. The supplies were actually down in our apartments mail room! 

Part 2

On our our way into the city, Derek suggested we swing by Quarry. With the big back yard, we figured it would be a good way for Barkus to stretch his legs a bit before the rest of the drive home. 

As we pulled up to Quarry,  there were cars everywhere. I know how ridiculous this sounds, but I seriously didn't think a THING about it. I told Derek, "Wow! Our contractors must have the whole team here today!!". As I unloaded the wheelchair, I then noticed we were parked next to my brother's very distinct vehicle with Ohio license plates. And then I squealed. 

Inside, Quarry was stuffed full of my favorite people from ALL over. So much love, food, and tons of kids. Derek went all out and ordered dinner from our favorite local places, had asked some people to come early to decorate, and even had those big, gold 3-0 balloons *you know those are necessary for any trendy birthday party*.

We finally got home around midnight, and I just felt so full (emotionally and physically). As we laid in bed and Barkus whimpered on the floor, Derek said, "You are so loved by so many people." And with that, my birthday came to a close. I have never been more grateful for the community God has surrounded us with. Thank you ALL for making my 30th the absolute best July 19th ever. 

Ps. Barkus is doing great! Already 92% potty trained and is only getting up once or twice a night. He has started to nibble on our furniture, so the house is now wrapped in bubble wrap and tin foil. We plan on starting training classes next week! 

So. Feel free to pass on any puppy advice. Any tricks for leash training?

With Love,

The Lavenders