Life Lately

Hello and Happy Friday!

Fun breakfast for toddler with fruit arranged in a smile

Who is ready for the weekend? I sure am! We had a crazy week over here. Jimmy has been working a ton lately, which I know is stressful for him. Us girls miss him while he puts in extra hours, but at the same time I am so thankful he has work! It was almost a year ago that he was laid off due to COVID, so we never take busyness for granted. 

Niva randomly bit Sadie yesterday. Guys, yesterday was a year and a day since Mavis bit Sadie. I can’t make this stuff up. I cried and cried. I still don’t know what happened. I was in the other room and Sadie and Niva were in the living room and suddenly Sadie was sobbing and clutching her arm and sure enough, she had a bite mark.

I’m not sure if she was bothering Niva or if they were just playing, but ugh. I just feel so bad all around. Thankfully the bite wasn’t bad, but Sadie was really upset afterwards (and so was I 😢). 

Toddler making a mess

Sadie was back to making messes within a few hours!

After having her bloodwork done recently, the results showed that things are a bit off with Sadie. Her doctor referred us to a gastroenterologist at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. We had an appointment and the doctor did an exam and without going into too much detail, something is up so she needs to have an upper and lower scope done, plus more testing. 

I don’t even want to think about little Sader Tot under anesthesia. I know she will be fine and we’ll get to the bottom of this, but it’s just sad thinking of more testing and procedures. I am so thankful for healthcare and amazing doctors. 

Toddler playing Melissa and Doug fishing game

We’ll get our silly little Sadie back to feeling normal again! She has been loving this adorable fishing game lately. Also, the random flashcard in the background was for homeschool that day. We learned about nurses!

Okay, enough of me being a Debby downer over here! We had our monthly family night last night and it was lovely! We decided to do a family gift exchange and split up to shop for little gifts for each other. Sadie and I bought for Jimmy and the pets and he bought for us girls. 

Daddy definitely delivered… Sadie got a Paw Patrol toy and she has not stopped playing with it since she opened it. In fact, we (stupidly) let her keep it in her room overnight and she woke up at 5:30 this morning to play with it, LOL.

My sister and I were talking about Paw Patrol recently and she said she thinks it’s a cult. Neither of our daughters really watch the show (we don’t have cable) but are somehow totally obsessed with all things Paw Patrol?! 

Toddler with Paw Patrol Drawing

We did homeschool today and I drew Skye for art class and Sadie’s mind was blown. She wanted me to draw every. single. character. 😂

Other stuff of note:

  • Obsessed with this peanut butter.
  • We found out my brother and sister-in-law are having a baby girl in May!
  • Still reading Ruth in the Bible and loving studying it. 
  • Excited to watch Battle Bots tonight with Jimmy 🤓
  • Our lil picky eater loves these, but only the chocolate ones 😂

That’s pretty much life lately at the Zottola Zoo. Some hard stuff, mixed with blessings, along with great stuff. God is good!

Tell me about your life lately!


Choosing Joy

This week has been kicking my butt. I’ve been extra busy. We’re all busy. You get the point. It’s just been one of “those” weeks. The kind where I feel like I don’t have a moment to breathe, I’m multitasking to the point of exhaustion, and nothing actually has my full attention.

I’m learning to roll with the punches, though. Life is full of ups and downs, and that’s okay. It’s normal. I’m also slowly learning how much is too much in terms of work and extra things I commit to.

I could have said no to some of the things I did this week, but I didn’t. And that’s okay. I’m learning this whole work-life balance thing as I go. I am also learning how supportive my husband is. To be able to hug him for a good 10 minutes while tears stream down my face and not feel one bit judged is such a nice release.


In the midst of a tough day or week, I try to remember that I can choose joy. It is completely up to me to focus on how hard something is, or to look around me and decide to be happy because of everything else in my life. My focus determines so much of my attitude.


I can choose to dread juggling the busyness of pet sitting numerous dogs in a day on top of my regular job, or I can choose to be present with my clients and soak up all the puppy love I can get. I firmly believe that spending time with animals is good for the soul.

I can choose to stay stuck inside my head with negative thoughts, or I can choose to listen to a Christian podcast or radio station and hear God’s word.


I can choose to stay inside and catch up on laundry, or I can choose to get out in the sunshine with my camera in hand.

I can choose to panic when I feel sad or anxious, or I can choose to remember that all emotions are given from God and that it’s a good thing to feel all of my feelings.

I can choose to keep pushing myself to get things done around the house, or I can choose to snuggle with Lola and take a nap.


I can choose to spend my days off by myself, or I can choose to visit my family and relish our time together.

I am learning to choose joy and thankfulness in every moment.

What brings you joy when you’re feeling overwhelmed?