Everyone keeps asking me if I'm busy at work.
Thankfully, this year, our weddings are quite spread out. This is a lot more manageable than the typical 5-in-a-row series we end up booking every season.
Instead, we have a nice wedding schedule, with a 2-3 week break in between each one.
Our current goal is to grow our portrait business as much as we can in the meantime. This includes meeting with vendors, business people, and marketing in ways we haven't before. We also just hired an "art consultant" (i.e. sales girl) and we love having someone fill that position! It frees up a lot of extra time for Kristi and I to do PR and just focus on growing our business strategically.
Aside from new challenges at work, I continue to stay a busy person at home, as usual.
I know I always say that I would rather be busy than bored, but sometimes it's nice to have some down time. I find that most of my down time, if it does occur, happens on the weekends. I look forward to these blocks of time in which I can catch up on laundry, clean my house, do yard work, and just chill on the couch with a bowl of popcorn.
In other news, I have a new kitty :)
The whole situation happened rather quickly and spontaneously.
Shortly after Kitty was put to rest, I began my search for a new kitten. I wasn't about to go out the very next day and find one, but I knew I wanted one soon.
I felt OK. I had convinced myself that I had mourned Kitty's death mostly before she even died. By the time it was right, I was all business. I was sad, but I knew it had to be done.
After, I missed her... a lot. But I also just missed the idea of having another life around... you know? Coming home to an empty house every night isn't ideal. It helps to have a furry friend.
SO, the search began. I had many offers for older cats who needed a home, but I declined each one due to two reasons. First, I for sure wanted a kitten, so I could enjoy kittenhood again. Second, another option would have been to adopt one of these older cats as a "friend" for my new kitten, but after some thought I decided against it. While it sounded like a good plan, I knew in the long run I would want to keep it easy and simple, and I liked the idea of having "one" kitty who traveled to the studio with me and kept me company. Having two means twice the amount of food, toys, and kitty litter, plus I never wanted to "leave one out."
After a week of unsuccessful searching, I sort of went crazy. I went into panic mode and started scouring craigslist for every kitten available in Central IL all the way to the ends of the state.
It seemed like every time I would find kittens, I would strike out. They were all male. Or they were all shorthair. Or they were female medium-haired kittens, but when I called, they were all already taken.
I finally found a black & white "medium-haired" kitten. She was the only available one left, and her picture looked adorable. Her owner told me she didn't have short hair but it wasn't long, either. Sounded like medium hair to me-- perfect.
So, I drug Kristi along with me on a very long car ride to pick her up.
On the way there... I was excited. Excited to meet her, excited to finally have a kitten.
But when I arrived, I was very surprised at how I reacted. She wasn't what I expected, in the first place. She was tiny and adorable-- but, she wasn't a medium hair. Her hair was a bit longer than your typical shorthair, but she wasn't soft and fluffy like Kitty was.
She wasn't spunky like Kitty, either. She was sweet and cuddly. She didn't have the right dose of attitude. She was long and lanky, and I could feel her bones underneath her fur. When I pet her, she wasn't super-soft. Her eyes were dark green, not bright like Kitty's.
As I tucked her in my sweatshirt and headed for the car, the clouds gray overhead and my mind even grayer, I couldn't stop the comparisons.
She wasn't Kitty.
I don't know what I expected. One thing was for sure, though-- I was caught off guard.
I thought I would be excited, and jumping for joy. I thought I would immediately fall in love with this kitten. I thought it would just seem right.
Instead, I felt overwhelmed with sadness. I felt like crying because I missed Kitty even more than I imagined. I felt like handing this kitten off to someone else and going home empty-handed, because it would have been easier.
So for the first time since the day I watched Kitty die... I cried.
I cried for Kitty and for who she was and our short life we had together.
Then I listened to my mom and Kristi tell me to "Give it a week. See how you feel at the end. If you're still not connecting with her, you can give her away. There are a lot of people who want kittens."
I took their advice and took this little kitten home, despite my uneasy feeling.
The first night, she slept with me. I wasn't too attached to her yet so I didn't really care what she did, but at one point I woke up during the night and she had nuzzled herself against my chest and had snuggled in underneath the covers with me.
It was the sweetest thing ever.
But I still wasn't in love. I woke up the next morning, still uneasy.
Yet I took her to work, like I did with Kitty.
And I watched as she didn't look out the front window like Kitty did, and how she didn't sleep on my desk on the pink bed like Kitty did.
But she had her own unique quirks. She sat up on the counter and batted at the planted palm, biting it and attacking it in a cute, playful fashion. She chased a crinkly ball around the office and laid beneath my desk and batted at all the cords hanging down. And she sat in my lap and snuggled in with her blanket on my desk.
On the second day, I was starting to like her but was still unsure. She continued to live life with me as usual, and in the mean time, my mom and Kristi were both in love with her.
By day 3, all of my nieces and nephews had met her and played with her, and my mom had measured her neck to make her a personalized collar.
And she became Facebook official.
So she is a keeper.
I named her Lily, and she definitely fits her name. She is a petitie little spit fire. She darts across the room and up and down my furniture, much like Kitty, but she also plays very nicely with all of her toys. She can occupy herself very easily, but also LOVES to be around people. She is less independent than Kitty, and definitely more of a "lap" cat. She loves to be pet, and will start purring when you pick her up and cuddle her. She will play hard, and then sleep hard. She sleeps for 2-3 hours at a time and slips into a mild coma, in which she curls up into darling positions.
No, she is not Kitty. Kitty will always hold a special place in my heart that no other cat can replace. However, Lily is a sweet little companion to step into place post-Kitty, and I know she will be a great and loving friend.
I am excited to get to know her better and begin life with her.
So, I will conclude on that note about Lily. I'll be back soon, and will hopefully transition to another less-feline topic :) I have a lot floating in my head these days, and a lot I'd like to eventually share, so I'm sure I will be back before long.
Love you all!