Temps backing down a little as we head through the weekend...

>> Friday, June 20, 2014

Here's all of the information in today's video:


Scattered storm chances increasing....

>> Thursday, June 19, 2014

Here's today's video:


Hot and humid with a few PM storms...

>> Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Here's today's video...


We miss you Heili

>> Monday, June 16, 2014

Over the weekend, my family lost our sweet Heili. It was a very difficult Sunday with lots of tears. My wife got Heili way back before we were even married, and she has been such a huge part of our life in the many years since then.

In the beginning of our marriage, it was just the three of us. In that immediate summer, our days consisted of taking Heili for walks and out to play in the fields around Mississippi State and then going out and playing intramural ball each weeknight (Heili was the mascot).

She was a very smart and sweet dog, and those were some really great times.

**that picture is her playing with bubbles**

The following spring we welcomed our first child into the world. Heili immediately fell in love with her and became her protector. Every person and family member required Heili's approval prior to holding Jayden from Day 1.

And she was just the same with all of the rest of our children as they came along through the years. In fact, Heili was always the first one (even before my wife and I) to know we were pregnant. She just knew, and she had a definitive way of letting us know. And she was oh so protective of them... you didn't mess with our kids around Heili.

And boy did they love her.

So many great memories swimming, playing in the snow, playing fetch, wrestling in the house.

Before all the seats at our table were filled with our family, Heili would often times seem to hop up into one of the empty chairs before the meal was over and patiently await any leftovers. If you brought a snack into the living room, Heili would sit perched in front of you and quietly whine to let you know she was ready for a snack as well.

Our youngest daughter, who is approaching 2, really seemed to have a special bond with Heili. They would sit together in the floor and just communicate with one another. They would talk and roll around. Penny loved getting kisses from Heili, and Heili loved giving them. Heili also knew that at dinner time, hanging out under Penny was the place to be...the most dropped food occurred there.

 And watching Penny tell Heili 'bye Heili' yesterday was absolutely gut-wrenching. I'm so glad she got a goodnight kiss from her Saturday night.

In the beginning of a meteorologist's career, it can often involve lots of moving. I am thankful to have had more stability than many do in my career to this point, but due to finishing college and life circumstances, we lived in 5 different homes during the first several years of our marriage. Heili was our constant through all of those moves....always a part of our home (and for my wife, even before I was a part of her home!). Our home, though bustling with life and people, feels strangely empty at this point.

After the kids would go to bed, it would be my wife and I and Heili watching TV, normally snacking, Heili normally asking for hers too. Didn't feel like watching any TV last night.

As she got older, she slowed down a lot, but overall, her health was very good until a few weeks ago. Over the past 6 months or so, she had gotten pretty restless at night. I chalked it up to getting older and wanting to go out to the bathroom/ get water more, but in retrospect, I suppose that was the first sign of heart failure.

Her breathing got more labored in intervals a couple of weeks ago, movement was really becoming a struggle for her, and we took her to the vet last Monday. After a battery of tests, medicine was prescribed and we started that on Wednesday.

She seemed to actually get a little more alert and a little better by Friday and Saturday morning, and I guess I allowed myself to get hopeful for continued improvement. I wasn't expecting much, but I was hopeful she would improve enough to allow us to take her on one last car ride or one last trip to a lake or pond. She always loved water.

But Saturday evening, it was evident she had gotten much worse.

Sunday morning, our other, younger dog, woke me up a little before 6am. He never does this. I had hoped to get a little more sleep on this Father's Day morning, so at first I ignored him. But then the thought crossed my head 'what if he's telling me Heili is gone.' So I rolled over and checked, and that unfortunately was exactly the case.

I woke my wife up and told her, and we had a little time to process it together. It was actually a bit of a blessing yesterday morning that our kids woke up basically individually and spread 15-20 minutes apart. While that meant I had to deliver that awful news 5 times, it allowed each of the kids to have some time with us and Heili and come to terms with it one by one.

Yesterday morning was just absolutely filled with tears from all of us. We tried to begin to cope. We sat and talked and began to come to grips with it.

It was time to get ready to go to Sunday School and church, and the kids told her goodbye for the last time. Brutal. They went off to church, and then I had to get to the business of caring for Heili for the final time. I loaded her up in my car and we took our last car ride. It wasn't the last car ride I had hoped to take with her, but it was our last car ride nonetheless. I told her about the things we were seeing on the way and just stroked her neck as we drove. And I tell you.... leaving her there was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. I just couldn't bring myself to do it. Eventually I figured out that it was never going to feel 'right' or complete, and I had to just turn and walk away at some point. And eventually I did. And that was it.

I'm sorry for laying so much of this out there. I just felt like I needed to type it out. I knew it was going to be difficult to say goodbye, I just didn't know it was going to be quite as hard as it is. And I am hopeful typing all of this out helps a bit.

But I am so thankful for all of the wonderful memories we have. I honestly can't imagine ever having a better dog. She was just the right dog for our family at the right times in our lives, and her absence is going to be very tough to fill. I am thankful that she didn't seem to struggle, and I am thankful we didn't have to make any really difficult end of life decisions.

And above all of that, I am thankful we all had Heili.

We miss you Heili....



Mid-summer-like weather this week...

Lots of heat and humidity on the way. Here's today's video:


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