I was tidying up my PC desktop this weekend and realized I never posted any of the photos from the purple-themed baby shower I co-hosted for one of my most favorite friends – and considering she’ll be turning ONE now in a few short months, better late than never for posting these, eh? 😉

To ensure she felt included, we got gifts and balloons for the soon-to-be big sister!

The centerpiece was a purple mini-cake and matching cupcakes – kudos to my husband for frosting them all!

We tucked fresh made raspberry lemonade + orange juice into mason jars and accompanied them with striped paper straws (which, no, I can’t seem to get enough of).

Because this was a morning shower, we stuck (somewhat) to a breakfast theme. Using white chocolate as the “glue”, I dipped each champagne flute in purple sprinkles and then filled them with graham crackers (that we lovingly bashed to dust), vanilla yogurt, and topped with blackberries.

Another easy “purple” finger food? Teeny blueberry muffins.

More of the spread from another angle.

And the lovelies who helped me host – plus the darling mama-to-be! 🙂 And apparently nobody got the memo to join me in my duck face. AS A JOKE. I swear.


It had been a little over two years since Sean and I last went to the lake – our usual Summer vacation. Last Summer, we were still working on making strides with Gizmo and decided a 4,000 mile road trip wouldn’t exactly be in the best interest of a dog who needs ROUTINE and PREDICTABILITY. 😉 But this year we decided to take the three moo’s on a drive from Texas to Washington – and here it is, recapped in photos!

Because you’re an over-packer, always use your roof top holder thing.

Watch Bailey take in the (many miles) of new scenery while Gizmo wonders just how far away this dog park is.

Find some neat cows and mesa’s in Wyoming.

Die laughing when your senior spaniel FALLS ASLEEP in the chip bag.

After 16 hours in the car, be EVER SO EXCITED to reach your halfway-point-hotel room. Drink out of paper cups.

Be overjoyed at the idea of being in a position that isn’t “pumping gas” or “driving car.”

Get back on the road for another 16 hours… and have your husband photo bomb your mountain shot.

Arrive, fall asleep, and wake up to take in the beauty than can only be Nana’s (Sean’s mama) front porch. Hello, Washington.

Get to the lake, stop, and just breathe in your view from the cabin. Ahhh, mountains. TREES.

Her spirit is at home on the lake.

Invite your in-laws for a dinner at the cabin – and snap a moment of pure joy on Nana’s face when Gizmo decides to share space.

Spend the rest of the week with great friends, grilling way… way… way too much food. Skip mentioning the part where you spent the week with a stomach bug (oh wait).

Admit that your senior spaniel has a love of being ON boats. To the point he will put himself in one if you’re ignoring him. Feel bad when Gizmo realizes that he wasn’t a fan of the mud puddle he ran through. And nine hundred tosses of toys for Emmie ensues (she did awesome, thanks surgery!) – be sure to mention that no, that isn’t Sean’s gut, it’s his other arm (because he was mortified when he saw it and realized you’d already Instagramed this without a disclaimer).

Say hello to Lenny the Beagle – who brought the count of dogs on vacation to FIVE.

Who was number four? Oscar, this terribly handsome little puff of pug mix.

No, I’m serious. Bailey only wants to spend his week sitting on any type of boat.

Watch Gizmo discover he likes this vacationing thing – especially the grass choices.

Leave the lake, get back to the hotel, sleep, and then watch the moo’s desperately hope Sean will share his hotel breakfast (he did).

Decide Colorado barns are the cutest thing ever.

And then get home, 40+ hours in the car later, and face plant in your actual bed – so, so, so glad to be home.


I was digging through our study this afternoon because I needed to re-purpose a plastic drawer organizer thing into our linen closet because I saw this on Pinterest and have reached a new level with my Type A-ery by doing things like labeling our medicine cabinet and folding Walmart grocery bags, but that is besides the point here. I also came across a stack of old photos – you know, the kind that went onto actual film and you paid like $15.00 to develop in 60 minutes, heyyyyy – and they swooned my heart because they were of beloved pets that have crossed to the Rainbow Bridge. And god forbid I do something that I don’t feel a need to post on the interwebs, I immediately scanned them for sharing!

This is Bo, an amazingly patient, loving, protective, tolerant 100+ lb German Shepherd we rescued from our shelter when he was a few years old. He is one of my “childhood pets”, the ones who make my childhood memories, and one of my first special needs pets. When he turned 9, we thought he was developing hip dysplasia, but several tests later showed he was developing lower body paralysis and wouldn’t be a candidate for hip replacement surgery. He became our first “wheel chair dog” – and is the reason we donate annually to Pets with Disabilities! And I was totally wearing underoos, but I’m like 6 here, so… modesty patch!

This is Hammer, after MC Hammer, and we ended up his family after some neighborhood kids could no longer keep him. Part rottie, part pittie, part lab – all chunk and love. We had more tea parties than I can count, more adventures than I thought possible (including sailing the Pacific on a routine basis wearing a stupid hat?), and ruined more of my dad’s nice shirts playing dress-up than I care to recall. He lived to the ripe ‘ol age of 17 and passed away in his sleep – he deserved nothing less.

This is Michelangelo, our duck. Yes, our duck. He was part of one of those horrible school ideas of having kids raise eggs that hatch (YAY – the miracle of life!) and then the class finds themselves with a bunch of baby ducks no one wants. My mom couldn’t bear the thought of where they might go and thus, we kept ours. He spent his years consistently untying our shoe laces and was quite convinced he was one of the dogs.

This is Ferris and Sean. I say that together because that’s how they worked. Though he had a dog growing up, Sean didn’t really become an “animal person” until he met me and I drilled it into rubbed off on him. 😉 We scoured the shelters of Southern California for his ‘first’ dog. Although I reminded him that many dogs are so excited to be out of their kennels that they take a few minutes to warm up to potential adopters, Sean had decided his first dog would run right to him and want nothing but kisses. On a repeat trip to a shelter in Orange County, we came across Ferris, who we had somehow not seen the day before despite his being there. He was old, he stank, and he had clear tumor growths along his mouth. In fact, he was so ill that the shelter vet had decided he wouldn’t have much longer to live and he wasn’t for adoption. But a volunteer missed that tidbit on his info card and out Ferris came — and like a scene from a cheesy Disney movie, he ran straight into Sean’s arms with sloppy, hideously scented kisses. Sean decided there was no way this little senior citizen would die alone, confused, on a metal table in the back of the shelter and deserved his last days to be spent with a family. After a very long conversation with the staff vet, a lot of begging, a big warning that he was on his way out, and a special waiver – he was Sean’s. He came home that night, hanging his head out of the window, not a care in the world – he was saved and he knew it. And he would have nothing to do with anyone else — Sean was his boy and that’s all he cared. We didn’t have long before his cancer progressed past where it could continue to be treated, and a little over a month after adopting him, Ferris passed in the arms of his final family. He was loved.


It’s okay…

May 25, 2013 · 0 comments

courtesy of kelseydavisdesign


Hello world! I’ve been away from the blog and completely absorbed in life lately — with my biggest focus being Emmie’s recovery from her dual surgeries the last few weeks. 🙂

Before we decided to do the surgery, I Google’d like a mad woman to find experiences and footage of other dogs who had also undergone femoral head ostectomy (FHO) surgery, but couldn’t find any of a dog that was undergoing both FHO and patella surgery at the same time (in fact, though many other surgeons had done it, our vet had not and we were both a little unsure at how long the recovery would take). So I decided to document hers and throw it on YouTube for other owners who were doing their own crazy Google searches!

Ignore all of my overly cheesy “GOOD GIRL!” right into the mic — oops, I was a little too enthusiastic for her progress! 😉 Also don’t mind the fact that Gizmo has learned he loves nothing more than to be the focus of every photo and video and sneaks into everything. And ignore my “I’m a nice wife” commentary in the pool video… Sean, ever self-conscious, whispered, “I’m not in this, right?” and I nodded no… then forgot we were trying to not make comments and blurted that out. Sigh. Videographer I am not.

24 Hours Post-Op: Very groggy, a lot of spaced out wobbles, but she was standing!

3 Days Post-Op: She surprised everyone by deciding she could use the leg about 2 weeks early.

And had to be reminded that no, she couldn’t climb stairs or conquer the world. 😉

4 Days Post-Op: More “Ahead of the Game” footage.

To get an idea of how ahead of the curve she was, most dogs don’t even begin to “toe touch” the ground until about Day 14-16. She was so ahead of the game that she actually overdid it and lost all confidence that she could use that leg – and we had about a two week set back that worried everyone to the point we ran some basic physical therapy tests early to ensure there was no nerve damage and was indeed all in her head (it was).

5 Weeks Post-Op: Hydrotherapy Begins!

One of the toughest obstacles, outside of convincing the dog the leg still works (which consisted of doing physical therapy exercises at home 4x a day), is rebuilding the muscle that inevitability gets lost during the few weeks of recovery that the leg is utilized less. Luckily for us, Emmie loves to swim and swimming is the top rebuilding method for these type of surgeries, so once we got the green light? We set up a 36″ deep temporary pool and begin doing swimming exercises several times a week in conjunction with her walks.

So far she is doing well. She’s still on sporadic pain medication as one of the toughest parts of this surgery was the fact that the lone leg she was left to rely on was just as bad as the one we were fixing, so she gets a little sore. We’ve got a few more months of therapy and focusing on getting as much from that leg as we can for optimum success, but I already feel it was worth all the money and stress — and stress it has been. It’s definitely a commitment to do the physical therapy at home, to carry a dog up and down stairs four bajillion times a day, to watch her struggle or hurt or be unsure of herself. How do I know it was so worth it, though? She wags her tail far more than she has in the past year or so – a clear sign that her constant pain has at least reduced by half! 🙂