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Reflections on the Best Week Ever

Last week was intense. Really intense. We volunteered at Best Friends Animal Society for three days and then drove to BlogPaws in Phoenix. I am still processing all that happened, but here are a few random thoughts and highlights:

Getting to the airport, checking in and realizing I left the bag with the laptop and my conference notes and appointments at home. Several hours later, we were booked on a new flight with the laptop safely in hand.

A crazy HOT six-hour drive between Phoenix and Kanab, Utah on Father’s Day. Note to self: next time I visit Best Friends, fly in and out of Vegas.

Visiting Best Friends – feeling at home for maybe the first time ever. I’m kind of restless by nature and feeling comfortable and at home is not something I experience very often.

A chance meeting with Faith Maloney, one of the original founders of Best Friends and animal rescue superstar in my book. We sat across from each other at lunch, talked, exchanged emails, and it was AMAZING.

Spending time with the beautiful cats of Quincy House. Many of these cats have special needs including severe mobility and neurological issues. Tune in Friday for more on these spirited, spunky and oh so inspiring kitties.

Walking dogs through the winding, dusty trails of Best Friends’ Dog Town. Seeing a rattlesnake safely lured away from one of the dog enclosures.

Visiting Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, Kaibab National Forest, and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Watching a herd of bison move like ghosts across a field near the North Rim.

Decorating cat masks with my daughter in the cat lounge at BlogPaws – Miss M says this was her favorite part of the trip.

Carrying my camera around, but forgetting to take any pictures.

Connecting with an amazing new group of blog friends while also re-connecting with old friends.

Being nominated and winning Best Cause Blog and Best Written Blog Post – still in shock, but incredibley honored and grateful. Thank you!

Not falling on stage and facing my fear of public speaking. Not sure what I said or how I sounded, but I didn’t faint, throw up or die so in my eyes, it was a success.

Best week ever third stop BlogPaws Nose to Nose Social Media Awards

My daughter joining me on stage and seeing me succeed in something I both care deeply about and for which I have worked incredibly hard. Spectacular.

Standing next to the other winners and realizing I am really short even in high heels. I knew this already, but the pictures were a not so subtle reminder.

Getting back to the room and realizing the price tag was still hanging on my shirt. Sigh.

Skipping the after party and going for a late night family swim. More like a steam bath, but still fun. Followed by a grilled cheese and fries because I was too nervous to eat during the awards dinner.

Remembering last year’s BlogPaws and how I was kind of lost and had no idea where I wanted to take the blog. A whole lot can change in a year!

And finally and most importantly, Ruby’s wagging tail and happy dance when we returned home on Sunday. She clearly hasn’t let blog success go to her head!


  1. The Menagerie Mom
    June 29, 2016 / 12:01 pm

    I love this post so much, I don't even know what to say. Of course, a huge congratulations on your accomplishments and much deserved awards! I am so happy for you, and your entire family!

  2. Nichole Burke
    June 29, 2016 / 2:28 pm

    I am so jealous of your best week ever! Best Friends is on my bucket list, and I hope to attend Blog Paws next year. Congrats on your TWO awards – that is awesome! And I love seeing your family there with you, as I was wondering how many bring spouses/significant others/family to BlogPaws!

  3. Leanne Southall
    June 29, 2016 / 2:30 pm

    My goodness, it certainly was a fantastic weekend, wasn't it!? I'm glad you had the opportunity to meet so many people making a difference in the pet world!

  4. Random Felines
    June 29, 2016 / 3:11 pm

    what a week….can't wait to hear about your Best Friends adventures…. mom has been several times and love it. she are lunch at a table with Faith as well and she is an amazing lady. Concats on well deserved wins!!

  5. Lone Star Cats
    June 29, 2016 / 4:05 pm


  6. Morganna
    June 29, 2016 / 4:10 pm

    Much love and congratulations on your sucessful endeavors! Glad to see the whole family involved in this amazing journey! xo talenthounds

  7. Mark Muller
    June 29, 2016 / 4:14 pm

    Congrats!!!! and I like the way you celebrated with your family with a nightly swim :o)

  8. Bouncing Bertie
    June 29, 2016 / 5:06 pm

    Oh that is brilliant, and congratulations on your so well deserved success. Oh and it is so nice to read about your Best Week Ever, as due to certain political events, many of us in the UK are experiencing a total nightmare of a week.Toodle pip and cheers! Bertie and Gail.

  9. Bailey
    June 29, 2016 / 5:49 pm

    Congrats on your award. Sounds like a remarkable week.

  10. Edie ThePug
    June 29, 2016 / 6:17 pm

    Wow! You are right saying it was the best week ever! Congratulations on your win! I must say I think I would have been in a panic realizing I left my laptop at home. I love hearing and reading all about the excitement everyone had a BlogPaws. I can't wait to attend next year for the first time.

  11. Ruth Epstein
    June 29, 2016 / 6:19 pm

    Congratulations on winning, fantastic. Reading through what you did I am exhausted LOL and it sounded like a fantastic week

  12. Murphy
    June 29, 2016 / 6:35 pm

    Sounds like a wonderful time! Glad you were able to absord everything!Your Pals,Murphy & Stanley

  13. Elkbee10
    June 29, 2016 / 7:06 pm

    What a wonderful, exhausting week you and your family have had. Congratulations and well-deserved on winning Best Cause Blog and Best Written Blog post. Also, I personally want to thank you for your love, energy and attention to educating all of us about "Specials". I adopted (and, of course, fell hopelessly in love with) a kitten found on a casino parking lot the year before last year. Within 14 months, I lost him to FIP (Feline Infectious Peritonitis). It was a very ugly way for him to go and I have never been so heartbroken. Now, after visiting your site, you have caused me to consider taking a chance again! Thanks again.

  14. Casey
    June 29, 2016 / 7:12 pm

    That sounds like a fangtastic week! Congrrats on your big victories.

  15. ♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥
    June 29, 2016 / 7:38 pm

    Wow – a wonderful time with many lasting memories. Congrats on your award – so very well-deserved for sure!!! We are very proud of you and your work. Great family pics too:)Woos – Ciara and Lightning

  16. da tabbies o trout towne
    June 29, 2016 / 8:07 pm

    guys…..we iz bee yond buzzed mega happee for yur mom & yur blog !!! ☺☺☺ how….total….lee…..kewl….iz…..that….conga ratz timez two on winnin yur awardz ♥♥♥ HOORAY !!N thanx for sharin yur journee at best friendz, we look for werd ta heerinmor a bout it later on; theeze fotoz R awesum ~~~~~

  17. Foley Monster, Pocket and River Song
    June 29, 2016 / 8:10 pm

    First: Congratulations. You are very deserving. It is not just your blogging. It is your tireless work in helping the unrescued dog of the world. You could have done anything on your vacation but you spent time a rescues. Bless you for that. Now take a much deserved rest.

  18. Spencer the Goldendoodle
    June 29, 2016 / 8:18 pm

    Congrats, not one but both of your awards!!! 🙂

  19. Two French Bulldogs
    June 29, 2016 / 8:27 pm

    It must have been so much fun meeting every buddysLily & Edward

  20. Yamini MacLean
    June 29, 2016 / 8:50 pm

    Hari lmWell done on tnd accolades and for keepi g it feal!!! YAM xx

  21. Idaho PugRanch
    June 29, 2016 / 9:25 pm

    Congrats on your wonderful accomplishments! hugsMr Bailey, Hazel & Mabel

  22. Bocci
    June 29, 2016 / 9:39 pm

    Ha! Loved this! You're very funny, Kristin…loved that you forgot to cut off the tag on your new shirt:-)Congrats again!

  23. Molly and Mackie
    June 29, 2016 / 9:54 pm

    Congratulations! It sounds like you're having a great time!

  24. tubby3pug
    June 29, 2016 / 10:09 pm

    Looks like tons of fun

  25. Three Chatty Cats
    June 29, 2016 / 11:50 pm

    Oh my gosh, your post had me laughing! With you of course, not at you! 🙂 I'm so glad that we got to meet and look forward to meeting again!

  26. Lola The Rescued Cat
    June 29, 2016 / 11:51 pm

    Congratulations again, Kristen! Your awards are well deserved for sure. I'm so glad we finally got to meet in person!

  27. Ruby
    June 30, 2016 / 12:17 am

    WooooHoooo! CONGRATS GURL!!!! So well deserved! Sounds like a FABulous family vaca! I hopes there were beers and margaritas…just sayin'….☺Oh, those kittehs are adorable! Oh, and Ma remembers the Bison of OK, they STINK! phew! BOLRuby, this is RUBY…hehehehe…yeah, still doin' that….you look FABulous!Kisses,Ruby ♥

  28. Cathy Armato
    June 30, 2016 / 12:28 am

    Great post! I'm so jealous of your amazing trip to Best Friends, how wonderful for you and your family to experience that. You totally ROCKED the BlogPaws awards! I'm so happy for you, so well deserved. p.s. you did great up there on stage!Love & Biscuits,Dogs Luv Us and We Luv them

  29. Dolly theDoxie
    June 30, 2016 / 12:43 am

    Congratulations on the awards, sorry we haven't sent them earlier. So sorry I missed BlogPaws this year, I think. Not sure if it's a good fit for me any more but glad you enjoyed it! Love Dolly

  30. The Island Cats
    June 30, 2016 / 1:47 am

    Wow, you really did have an amazing week! Congratulations again on your N2N wins…they are so well deserved. And it was great to see you again. ~Island Cat Mom

  31. Sadie and Co.
    June 30, 2016 / 1:54 am

    Congratulations. And, well deserved. That sounds like such an amazing experience; volunteering AND the conference.

  32. rottrover
    June 30, 2016 / 1:55 am

    Woo Hoo!! A terrific time was had by all! Go RUBY go!!

  33. Sweet Purrfections
    June 30, 2016 / 2:06 am

    Congratulations on your win! You did a great job!

  34. Brian
    June 30, 2016 / 2:38 am

    What a wonderful week indeed and we're so proud of you and happy for your most deserved awards! Hugs to you sweet Ruby!!!

  35. Rugby James
    June 30, 2016 / 2:48 am

    Wow!! I loved this post, and found myself in awe one moment, and giggling the next!! So happy for your big win! I was streaming from home. Couldn't see the price tag on your shirt, and your speech was great! I'm also one who forgets to take photos, so you're not all alone! 😀

  36. Dory and the Mama
    June 30, 2016 / 3:04 am

    What an awesome adventure!! Congrats on your award…we were sooooo happy to see that you won!!Smileys!Dory, Jakey, Arty & Bilbo

  37. GonetoTheSnowDogs
    June 30, 2016 / 3:15 am

    Goals for next year, make it to blogpaws!

  38. Christine Caplan
    June 30, 2016 / 3:18 am

    Huge congrats on winning — and I'm so sorry I was not there to congratulate you in person. I'm such a fan of your posts and it was fun to learn more about your experience at Best Friends. This trip is absolutely on my bucket list!!

  39. Chasing Dog Tales
    June 30, 2016 / 3:24 am

    Wow! What a trip with so many amazing moments. Congrats on the two awards and all you have accomplished. Very much deserved! 🙂

  40. meowmeowmans
    June 30, 2016 / 3:53 am

    What an awesome week! Congratulations again on your wins … we are proud of you, and SO happy for you!

  41. M. K. Clinton
    June 30, 2016 / 3:53 am

    I was so happy for you at the Nose-to-Nose awards. You looked beautiful and spoke wonderfully. Best wishes for continued success. ♥

  42. Tenacious Little Terrier
    June 30, 2016 / 4:03 am

    Congrats on the awards! Sorry we missed it. I forgot you went to Best Friends too. You certainly had a whirlwind week!

  43. Jackie Bouchard
    June 30, 2016 / 4:22 am

    Wow, what a week! Best Friends, bison *and* Blog Paws! Congrats on the win!! And congrats on not fainting or falling on stage. I have a huge fear of public speaking too so that's impressive!

  44. KB Bear
    June 30, 2016 / 4:44 am

    Congrats on an absolutely amazing week!

  45. Oreo
    June 30, 2016 / 5:39 am

    WOW quite a trip but it sounded like fun. Congrats on the award, thats awesome. We did miss you at the BAR too!!WagsOreo and Diana

  46. Denise Gruzensky
    June 30, 2016 / 8:02 am

    Kristin, you and your blog are inspiring! I've been happy to consider you a blogging friend for awhile. Now friends in real life as well. I'm so pleased for your well deserved wins! Your post makes me even more excited to get to the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary! 💙🐕🐾

  47. Daily Dog Tag
    June 30, 2016 / 11:30 am

    It sounds like you really did have the Best Week ever! Congratulations on your awards!

  48. Madi and Mom
    June 30, 2016 / 1:39 pm


  49. stellaroselong
    June 30, 2016 / 2:41 pm

    So proud of you for your award which you more than deserve!!!!!!! I bet you did have the best time at Best Friends. stella rose

  50. Golden Woofs! SUGAR
    June 30, 2016 / 6:01 pm

    It was good to see you again and a big congratulation on your 2 awards – you deserve it. What a great experience at Best Friends. Golden Woofs, Rosalyn n Sugar

  51. lsob21
    June 30, 2016 / 6:47 pm

    Kristin I'm so proud of you! How exciting! I'm also very happy that you got to experience Best Friends. It's truly one of the happiest places I've ever visited. The work you do is so important! I'm proud to know you and count you as a friend.

  52. Shawnee the Shepherd
    June 30, 2016 / 10:26 pm

    Wowser, wowser, wowser! So furry pawsome all around!

  53. Sometimes, Cats Herd You
    July 1, 2016 / 1:10 am

    What an amazing week! Big congratulations again on the well-deserved awards. It's hard to believe you weren't sure what direction you wanted to take this blog a year ago. Now you're an inspiration!

  54. CreekHiker / HollysFolly
    July 1, 2016 / 1:59 am

    Wow! What a trip! I know we don't get here often enough with my career transition but so happy reading this!!! Congrats to you!!! (Ps…tag on the shirt…been there, done that. Sigh!)

  55. Momma Kat and Her Bear Cat
    July 1, 2016 / 2:13 am

    Beautiful pictures! And congratulations on BOTH of your N2N awards … they are much deserved and you should be proud <3

    July 2, 2016 / 1:23 am

    Wow! What a great family adventure! Congratulations on your BlogPaws award! You really deserve it! 😀

  57. Caren Gittleman
    July 2, 2016 / 8:46 pm

    This brought tears to my eyes!! HAPPY TEARS FOR YOU!!! I cannot begin to tell you how all of your recent accolades are BEYOND well-deserved! Loved reading about Best Friends, LOVED seeing your family! Your daughter is precious, and I have to tell you, you and your husband look like brother and sister! Handsome guy! I soooo wish I could meet you one day, hoping I will. LOVED that you were so up front to say a price tag was hanging off of your shirt! You are adorable! Eating burgers and swimming later in the evening………all FABULOUS and of course, Ruby!!!! Here's to many more accolades coming your way, I am CERTAIN they will be!!!! Have a happy and safe 4th! DakotasDen

  58. Melissa, Mudpie and Angel Truffles (Mochas, Mysteries and Meows)
    July 3, 2016 / 10:19 pm

    Congratulations on your big wins!

  59. The Flynnigans
    July 4, 2016 / 1:07 pm

    Really enjoyed reading your account of your adventures AND you sharing your visit at Best Friends. Beautiful place and cause. 🙂

  60. Neeko
    July 5, 2016 / 2:01 pm

    Wow! Such pawsome experiences, such pawsome and very well deserved awards! Congratulations!!!Smooches to Miss Ruby ❤

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