LETS TALK

#LetsTalk

Hellllo Friday! First I wanted to thank you girls SO much for all your amazing feedback from my insta stories yesterday (it’s still up today if you want to check them out and chime in too!). I feel like I have a pretty good idea of what my Honeybee readers like to see but the extra insight makes it so much easier when planning fun and new content for you girls in 2020!! Speaking of new content, today’s post is something I’ve been wanting to start incorporating for quite some time (literally since last Summer!) but never really knew how to kick it off and just kept putting it off. So instead of putting it off one more dayyy, I’m just going to start! Today is my first “Let’s Talk” post.  These posts are more about life challenges, random Sh!t, and basically a place where you girls can chime in too. I love sharing here but can’t tell you how many times YOUR advice and recs have totally helped me too. So LET’S TALK!

I haven’t quite figured out if this will be done more Q&A style in the future (maybe you girls send in topics etc) or if it’s just going to be random ramblings but here are some random things on my mind lately…

Louie

First and foremost something that has been super heavy in our household is that Louie was diagnosed with a really aggressive cancer last year. It’s something we’ve been dealing with behind the scenes and you guys, she pretty much is in last stages now and it’s SO hard (okay now I know why I put this series off for so long bc I’m totally balling writing this post before pick up today). But honestly it’s just been a rough 9 months. It started when we saw some lumps come up on her hind leg so we went to the vet to have them removed. They biopsied it and basically said that she had a really aggressive cancer and to keep her comfortable as she didn’t have a lot of  time left. My husband and I were absolutely shocked! She seemed completely normal and acted normal for the next 7 months. Then we started seeing the lumps reappear (some getting larger than golf balls) and we would have them removed (four times she had to be put under to have them removed).

Then last month things spiraled really quickly. She is barely eating, constantly vomiting and having accidents, and has a lot of trouble even breathing. We took her to get an X-Ray a couple weeks ago and it shows an extremely large tumor in her stomach and my hubby and I are just absolutely dreading the inevitable. We don’t want her to be in pain but making that final decision is just so so hard. I personally have never had to put down a dog before and we both know it’s coming but neither of us is ready.

We’ve been trying to prepare the kids as best we can with them being so little. It’s going to be especially difficult for Ava as I feel like the last year and half she has really become so attached to her. She was crying the morning we left for Cayman because she was so sad to leave Louie alone for Christmas (ugh!). If you have any advice for preparing the kids plllease feel free to share. I know she is 11 years old but it doesn’t make it any easier and has been so heavy on our hearts lately.

Mom Life

This is way overdue but some of you may remember when I shared on IG stories that Ava had a rough start to second grade this year. She loves her school but this year she didn’t get the classroom she wanted with all of her friends that she had been in Pre School- 1st grade with. I was secretively kind of glad that she didn’t because I really wanted her to branch out of her comfort zone and meet new friends too. I figured she would be bummed for a couple weeks and then would bounce back, but that didn’t happen. It was over two months of crying every. single. day at drop off 🙁 and a couple meetings with her teacher until she finally started to get into the swing of things. It’s just one of those things that you know they have to go through but ugh it’s so heavy on your heart.

Turns out she was also having issues with a boy in her class and once we remedied that it got better. I have been meaning to thank you girls for the DMs you sent me who had gone through something similar with your littles. It was definitely comforting so thank you for taking the time to send me those. I’m sure this is just the beginning of the heartaches a mama feels when your little ones start growing up and you can’t be with them all the time.

 

The Struggle with the Juggle

This isn’t something new and I think that we all probably can relate here but so often I get asked “how do you do it all?” or “you make it look so effortless” and I guess that’s the downside to Instagram. Even though we all know it’s the “highlight reel” it’s easy to forget that it’s only the highlights. You can get so caught up and invested in what everyone else is doing (guilty there too) that I think it’s so important to stop and take a look at what makes YOU  happy.

Someone (on Instagram can’t remember now who) said if an account makes you feel like crap, delete them (or mute them – SUCH an amazing update to be able to mute on IG right?!) but honestly it’s true. Social media should be a place of inspiration but a lot of times it can leave you feeling blah and down on yourself. So just try to keep that in mind next time you catch yourself headed that direction and know that I most definitely struggle with the juggle too. I have a team that helps me and even then we stilllll struggle. If I’m doing amazing in one area, another is most definitely lacking. Trying to balance it all is always a work in progress and all I can say is PRIORITIZE. My family and friendships are always at the top of my list. When I take time off work, I admit I do feel behind or a little stressed but I am at every single thing for my kids, hubby and family and I always make time for my girlfriends (even if we have to book a month in advance) because 20 years from now those relationships are what matter the most. So just some food for thought.

Okay, I promise that if I continue these LET’S TALK posts that they won’t all be this heavy but think it’s important to share the lows sometimes too. If you want to leave some topics you want to see on these posts, feel free to leave them in the comments too.

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46 Comments

  • Reply
    Andrea
    January 18, 2020 at 12:30 am

    My parents just lost their dog (but it was like my kids) and it was/is the worst! It was a month ago and they still talk about her all the time. Just be honest with them, have a party when the time comes to celebrate how happy she/he is now. Sorry to hear about Louie! She such an adorable dog!

    • Reply
      andeelayne
      January 18, 2020 at 3:27 am

      thanks so much babe- I love that idea!

  • Reply
    Kim
    January 18, 2020 at 12:36 am

    Ugh, Andee I’m so sorry to hear about Louie! I can’t imagine going through that, it’s your baby before babies! 😫 Thinking of you and the fam ❤️

    • Reply
      andeelayne
      January 18, 2020 at 3:26 am

      ugh I know! My first born ;( Thank you so much love

  • Reply
    Kelsey
    January 18, 2020 at 12:45 am

    First off, I LOVE this post! I feel like so many of us have been around for a loooong time (I started reading your blog sometime around when you had Ava) and its nice to get a little more personal.
    But, I’m SO sorry to hear about Louie! I have lost two dogs in my life and it is so tough. We had our first dog for 13 years and the second for just six (she passed very suddenly and too soon). I think what makes it so hard is that you spend every day with your pets and they are so integrated into your everyday life that when they’re gone you really see it and feel it. You’ll know when it’s the right time or Louie girl will let you know. Dogs have their ways. Sending lots of love and strength your way!

    • Reply
      andeelayne
      January 18, 2020 at 3:26 am

      Thanks so much mama- for the kind words and for following along over the years. I’m naturally not a super open person and realize sometimes I need to open up a share little more personal stuff sometimes too xo

  • Reply
    Lindsey
    January 18, 2020 at 12:45 am

    I LOVE this! My 2nd grade boy had a tough start this year too! We’re military so we moved schools and a lot of his old friends are all together. He was also wanting more freedom and a longer leash to play with friends outside but also they are still so young. Just know we are there with you!! Also I totally agree with the juggle. I find I let house stuff fall off in order to spend time with my son and hubby. If hubby and I “connect” often 😉 everyone seems to be less stressed and happier.

    • Reply
      andeelayne
      January 18, 2020 at 3:24 am

      oh mama I feel you! I am such a protective mom too and they are so little still (Even when they like to think they are big). Speaking as a military brat who moved every three years… it will be so good for him in the long run. I swear even though the first few months in a new place were always rough, it taught me to be an extravert and introduced me to so many different parts of the world. xoxo

      • Reply
        Lindsey
        January 18, 2020 at 11:47 pm

        Thank you for this! I have guilt about it at times and hubs still has 5 years left! 💜 and 👊🏻 For you mama!

  • Reply
    Angelina
    January 18, 2020 at 12:50 am

    Looove the deep and heavy talk too! It’s what makes us real and more relatable! Thanks so much for taking that leap and sharing. Sending love and light to you as you move into these hard days with your pup! Some of those darkest moments can teach us so much. Xo

  • Reply
    Joelle Tomasso
    January 18, 2020 at 1:58 am

    Andee! I give you so much credit for continuing to put content out there every single thing with a smile on your face despite all the very real things you’re going through. Will he praying for poor Louie and Ava❤️🙏🏻 Thank you for your transparency! Xoxo

    • Reply
      andeelayne
      January 18, 2020 at 3:21 am

      Thanks J! Ugh it’s just so sad… I can see it in her face and just feel so bad for her. thanks for the prayers mama xoxo

  • Reply
    Jessica
    January 18, 2020 at 2:50 am

    Aww Andee I am so sorry to hear about your sweet girl Louie ❤️. I wish I could give words to comfort you all during this time. Sending love to you guys. The deep sadness just shows how immensely loved she is by all of you and I am sure she knows and feels that love so much💕 Big hugs to you all ❤️

    Thank you for sharing with all of us and being open to share the highIights as well as the tough stuff too. I know I can relate so much to a lot of family things that you have shared and mom struggles and it just makes me love following along with you even more!❤️ So much love to you and your beautiful family!

    • Reply
      andeelayne
      January 18, 2020 at 3:20 am

      Thank you so much Jessica <3 and for your kind words about Louie I really appreciate it xoxo

  • Reply
    Gabrielle F
    January 18, 2020 at 2:59 am

    So sorry to hear about your pup, Andee. Our beagle got really aggressive bladder cancer at the end of 2018, and I felt the same way you do now. I had never had to put a dog down and seriously asked all of the vets and specialists what/when to do it, and never really felt like a got a good answer for them. The only piece of info that stuck with me was “don’t wait until it’s too late”… Unfortunately that’s exactly what happened, and I still regret it to this day. I wish we would have said goodbye sooner rather than put him through agony for our own selfish reasons (unintentionally, of course). It’s one of the hardest decisions, and it never feels like the “right” time.

    Our daughter was younger than Ava (4 at the time), and we got her a book called Doggy Heaven before he passed, and I really think it helped with that rough transition. She was VERY attached to our pup.

    Keeping your sweet family in my heart as you go through this.

    • Reply
      andeelayne
      January 18, 2020 at 3:18 am

      ugh thank you so much love and so sorry for your pup loss. It’s just such a big decision and think neither one of want to make the call ;( Thank you for book recommendation too! I think thats a great idea xo

  • Reply
    Jackie
    January 18, 2020 at 3:45 am

    GREAT post!!! Recently had to put down our 17 year old furbaby- it’s awful! For the kids, I would suggest taking pics with Louie before he’s gone – happy memories are important… and just being age appropriate honest with the kids. It will suck either way – but our girls enjoyed having pics to look at.

    Thanks for a reminder to remember this is just a glimpse!

  • Reply
    Jessica
    January 18, 2020 at 4:01 am

    Andee, I’m so sorry to hear about Louie! My heart goes out to you🤎We just lost our family dog of 13 years and it’s so hard so I know what you all are going through:( prayers for you guys during this difficult time!💗

  • Reply
    Megan
    January 18, 2020 at 4:10 am

    Oh Andee! I am so sorry about your first baby! I have been following you since before Ava and know how much you love your baby!! Sending lots of love! We had a tough start as well this school year. We moved to a brand new state for my hubbys job and my oldest had a hard time adjusting and gets homesick and it is so tough on my mama heart! I’m glad Ava is doing better!! Hopefully she is seeing her friends at recess and lunch and if not maybe set up some afterschool or weekend play dates? We have been doing FaceTime calls with my daughters friends (on parent cell phones ha) when she is feeling homesick.

    • Reply
      andeelayne
      January 18, 2020 at 4:57 am

      thanks mama it was definitely a rough few months but so glad she is good now. Here’s to hoping your little one isnt too homesick. xo

  • Reply
    Mo
    January 18, 2020 at 4:13 am

    I am so sad to hear about the pup. As a fur mom I can’t image when that day comes for us. Enzo has a ton of lump and we actually are going to the vet tomorrow morning 🤞🏽

    Just remember, Louie is living his best life in your home and has been for many years surrounded by so much love. When that time comes, I suggest bringing someone to the house to have him cross rainbow bridge, as he is comfortable in his home/that environment. And When it’s time for you guys to get another four legged friend, adopt from the shelter or rescue to save that dog and make room for another one in the shelter.

    Thanks for sharing

  • Reply
    Ribkah Kam
    January 18, 2020 at 7:38 am

    Ohh wow…i’m so sorry about louie. She is soo precious. I always loved all your pics of her. 💔😔 my prayers are with u and ur family. Thank you for sharing ur life with all of us. U are such a blessing in so many ways. People always say “ohh those bloggers on ig are just so fake and not real…” and i would tell them about u and how real u are and so sweet so down to earth…and they end up following you on ig. Lol 😅🥰 sending you lots of hugs and may God bless you and your family always ❤️🥰😘

    • Reply
      andeelayne
      January 18, 2020 at 4:04 pm

      awww that is the ultimate compliment xo Thank you SO much love and for your kind words about Louie xoxo

  • Reply
    Abigail P
    January 18, 2020 at 4:34 pm

    I am so sorry to hear about Louie!! I still remember when we had to put down my childhood dog. My parents let me choose what we did with him that day (McDonald’s chicken nuggets for him and me), and then framed a photo I had with him for my room with his paw prints underneath them that the vet gave us the day we put him down. As painful as it is, don’t wait too long AND don’t wait too long to get another pup. We probably got another one about 5-6 months and although it felt weird it brought a new buddy and happiness to all of us.

    I’m loving this series though. Feels so authentic. Rachel Parcell just did a great post for her 29th where she stated- you’re always going to let someone down, don’t let it be your husband or kids. No truer words! You’re doing great at it all so don’t be hard on yourself. Us honeybees appreciate you!!

    • Reply
      andeelayne
      January 18, 2020 at 8:01 pm

      thank you so much love – I’m not normally a very open person but feel it’s important to share more personal stuff too. We are all going through it and not alone xo
      Also that is such a great take from Rachels posts and totally agree!

  • Reply
    Jen
    January 18, 2020 at 6:12 pm

    This is a wonderful post! Thank you for being so open and raw with us. I can relate sooo much from your fur baby, to Ava and school and juggling mom. It is so comforting to hear advice and other people’s thoughts too. I don’t feel so alone.

    I am so sorry about Louie! My heart and prayers go to you and your family.

    Regarding Ava, I literally just went through that with my 4 year old son changing classes. He would cry everyday. My advice to my son was to keep saying to himself that we don’t quit. I understand that your friends are in the other class but I am challenging you to meet a new friend today. It is hard but we don’t quit. This might seem intense but I was hoping to teach him at a young age to keep trying. You win some lose some…and things get hard but to try to push through. He understands and ironically when we went hiking and my husband and I got tired and wanted to turn back. But that is when my 4 year old said to us…dad, I thought we don’t quit. So we looked at each other and kept hiking until we got to the end of the road. The view was absolutely stunning too and we would have never seen it if my son didn’t remind us not not quit. So for Ava, challenge her to meet a new friend and to try to have fun. That is her challenge for the day. Hopefully that will help her sweet heart.

    Thanks again for sharing this post. I think it was one of my favorite posts! Wish you and your family blessings.

    • Reply
      andeelayne
      January 18, 2020 at 8:00 pm

      Thanks so much Jen and you’re so right. It’s so hard to see them struggle but that is life and you have to keep moving forward. xo

  • Reply
    Katthleen Catanzaro-Lato
    January 18, 2020 at 7:33 pm

    “Life” such a small word but has the meaning so large that can overwhelm the very being…. like most families, our pets are more than just paws, feathers, fur (you get the pic). They are our heart, when the heart hurts the mind that controls our life is truly affected. We had a similar situation with my nephews rescue and my grandchildren’s dog Reggie. They were both the smartest dogs, but then again I could be bias, The point I’m trying to make is both were diagnosed with Cancer, my nephew is a young man in his early 30’s and my grandchildren were young boys. When the decision to put the dogs down were no different for them it still was very hard. I learned that a vet would come to the home and very peacefully would allow the family members to respectfully say farewell in a way that was loving and understanding that after your pet left this world to travel over the “Rainbow Bridge” comforted the family. This past November I too learned that I had the “C” word and that has changed our family forever. We must understand that not all in “Life” is in our control and we must do our best, but to understand that there is another “Life” that we will all be together again. Sending prayers to you and your family, and a peaceful rest for your beloved Louie, with kindness regards

    • Reply
      andeelayne
      January 18, 2020 at 7:58 pm

      oh my gosh so beautifully said Kathleen and thank you so much for taking the time to share this. Sending so much love to your family as well xoxo

  • Reply
    Sophie
    January 18, 2020 at 11:54 pm

    Hi Andee,

    Two months ago, we had to make the hard decision to put our 12 year-old dog down. It happened very quickly, the day before he was his normal self and the next, a tumor we did not know he had had ruptured and he was bleeding inside his abdomen. We did not have time to prepare. Our 7 year-old son took it pretty hard at first, but what eased the pain for the three of us is that we were confident we had made the right decision for our dog. As much as we loved him, we know we did not want him to suffer. I still get very emotional just thinking about it! They really are members of our family.

    Someone told that first comes the pain, but then what you will remember most is the good moments you spent with your dog and the joy he brought to your life. We still think about him every day, but it gets a bit easier every day, trust me. And kids are resilient. More than we are! My heart goes out to you and your family 💜

    • Reply
      andeelayne
      January 19, 2020 at 3:48 pm

      ugh thank you so much babe… we know it’s time but just so sad to say good bye ;( Thank you for kind words xo

  • Reply
    XTINA
    January 19, 2020 at 6:30 pm

    Hey Andee!
    Thanks for sharing all of this, it’s great of you to be so candid. I put my dog down 5 years ago, had him for more than half of my life (14 years), and it was the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. Some things I did, being so attached to him, were: I saved his commonly used items (leash and collar, cute doggie bowls w/stand, etc.), made a big photo book of him with cute little entries detailing some of his funniest habits and warm memories. I also had his paws baked in clay, so I have a keepsake of all four of his paws, and I also engraved his urn with his name and a shirt but nice quote about him. My family all really appreciated these things to remember him by because it was such a huge hit to our household, the vibe completely changed after he was gone, there was an emptiness; we still cry about it. Dogs have a way of letting you know they’re ready to go, my dog specifically wanted to go to my car (he lives running errands with me), he was not in good shape and after he didn’t come out for over half a day, that’s when I knew I had to take him in. Now you got me crying! But you will know when it’s time. I’m so sorry you’re going through this, I wish I could give advice on the kiddos but I don’t know what else would work other than to just be honest, they may appreciate some keepsakes as it tends to bring a sense of closure, it doesn’t feel like they’re 100% gone if you have something to treasure about them. And as far as Ava goes, I had an issue with a boy in school when I was young too, my parents also had to intervene, it turns out he had a crush on me, boys! I hope it gets better from here on out, and just keep doing what you’re doing girl, don’t overthink and keep being you 🙂

    • Reply
      andeelayne
      January 20, 2020 at 5:45 pm

      thank you so much babe for sharing too. Ugh it’s so hard and I think you’re right its that emptiness that I fear with losing her (because she’s been our family for the last 12 years) but know that it is time. Ugh just doesn’t make it any easier. Thank you so much for all your kind words.

  • Reply
    Andrea M.
    January 19, 2020 at 8:50 pm

    When we had to put our dog down last summer after 6 months of putting it off after she got sick, I dreaded telling the kids. I explained to them that she was sick and we needed to take extra care of her. I also bought the book, The Heaven of Animals by Nancy Tillman. When the day came, I couldn’t bare to tell my kid what was happening because I didn’t want them to be confused. So I just made sure they gave her extra hugs that day and I told them she wasn’t feeling well so we had to bring her to the vet. When we came home without her I told them that she passed away and was in heaven now. To make it easier I had them draw pictures that we could “send to heaven”.

    • Reply
      andeelayne
      January 20, 2020 at 5:43 pm

      omg i love that idea of drawing pictures. Thats a beautiful idea and ordering that book now xo

  • Reply
    Lindsey
    January 20, 2020 at 1:51 pm

    Wonderful post. My sister and I had to put her pup down a few years ago after a long, hard struggle with cancer. It will be very, very difficult – I still get emotional talking about it.

    I would say, for the kids, have one last happy day with your pup where you do everything your pup loves most – walks in the park, head hanging out the window of the car, ice cream cones, the works. And then I think you and your husband go with Louie to say goodbye. I would not recommend having the kids there (not sure that was something you were considering). This way, you can ugly cry as much as you need to without worrying anoint being strong for the kids.

    Thinking of you and yours ❤️

    • Reply
      andeelayne
      January 20, 2020 at 5:42 pm

      ugh thank you so so much love xoxo And I agree- definitely want them to say their goodbyes but not going to the actual vet with my husband

  • Reply
    Jen | The Lucky Lifestyle
    January 20, 2020 at 8:38 pm

    I am so, so sorry to hear about your sweet pup. We just had to put our Layla girl (14 year old golden retriever who we adopted at 18 months old) to sleep last weekend and it was the HARDEST thing I’ve been through… and I’ve been through some stuff. So I feel deeply for you and my heart hurts for you. Know you’re not alone in the questioning yourselves and wondering how to handle it with kids. I wish I had the answers — the only thing that’s comforted me is knowing how very much we’ve loved her for every day of her life and what a gift that was to her (and she was to us). Hugs, mama!

    • Reply
      andeelayne
      January 21, 2020 at 4:59 pm

      thanks so much for your kind words love- so hard to have to make that decision and even harder than I thought having to explain it to the kids ;( She will be so missed but know it was time xoxo

  • Reply
    Quinn
    January 21, 2020 at 5:28 pm

    Love love love this new series, Andee! I’m beyond sorry about your baby Louie. It’s always so difficult no matter how old a dog is. They’re such a cherished member of the family. Sending prayers your way! You and your fam are strong and you’ll brave it together xx

    http://www.qustomquinns.com/blog

    • Reply
      andeelayne
      January 21, 2020 at 11:31 pm

      thank you so much love xoxo and glad you like the series- i promise they wont all be about the lows 😉

  • Reply
    Diana
    January 23, 2020 at 9:59 am

    Sorry to hear about Louie, you’ve had her for a long time. I agree with the one post, celebrate the good times and the happy memories. Enjoyed this post, thank you for keeping it real. But I take great joy in all of your blogs. You have done an amazing job with your family and business. I couldn’t be more proud. Take care little Missy.
    Love you bunch, Mama H

    • Reply
      andeelayne
      January 23, 2020 at 9:06 pm

      awwww love you mama H! Love to see you on here too! Hope to meet up again in person one day soon! Love you all xo

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