Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Ok, I had my fun. Now for the true story.

Alright, alright... so maybe it wasn't Bigfoot. Maybe I doctored the photos a little. Whatever. I think a lot of us would have preferred that it really was some sort of mythical creature living in the woods, as opposed to the truth.

The truth is this: Our favorite fishing hole just outside of Vancouver, WA just happens to be next to an infamous nudist beach. Now, this was my 3rd year of fishing here and I hadn't ever seen the legendary naked beings myself. That all changed this last time.

Come about 9:00 am, a guy who came to be known by us as "Buck" shows up on the beach and strips right down to his birthday suit. Keep in mind it was about 40 degrees out, and we were all in heavy coats, hats, and huddled around a propane heater in the boat. Not Buck. He was proud to shake what his Momma gave him and strut up and down that beach for a good part of the morning.

Passersby would walk up the beach (fully clothed) and we would just watch as Buck emerged from behind a bush (fully naked), cross his arms, put his leg up on a log, and stand there as the people walked by. We were pretty far out from the beach, so I'm not sure if there was any sort of verbal exchange occuring, but I can only imagine what both parties were thinking.

I mean seriously? What sort of mental instability does it take in a person to get up on a Saturday morning, see that it's almost freezing outside, and say to yourself, "I think I'm going to go hang out totally naked on the beach today by myself and call it a day."

Sorry for the graphic post this time, but this was just too weird to keep bottled up. Eww.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Spotted...

Hairless Bigfoot!!

It's true. He exists, and he roams the shores of the Columbia River just outside of Vancouver, WA. And now I have undeniable proof. Only, the variety that lives around here appears to be hairless.

Real? Fake? An elaborate hoax by yours truly? You be the judge...

Bigfoot's hairless/albino descendant, perhaps? And for your comparing pleasure:


Why would I make this stuff up, people? I mean really... I'd be wasting everyone's time. And isn't it weird how even though I took this picture with my new digital camera, it somehow is all color distorted and hard to make out exactly what is in the picture? I guess Bigfoot has that strange effect on technology around him. We may never know the truth.

Unless you guys really want to know and I'll tell you the whole story and show you the whole slew of pictures I took. But let me warn you... they aren't pretty, and are definitely not for the faint of heart! They just might send chills down your spine and make you rethink everything you ever thought you knew.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Wow... where does the time go??

How the heck has another two weeks gone by? I guess I should start doing shorter, more frequent posts, huh? Well, maybe that'll start next time. I have a lot to show today!!

Canada, eh?


So last summer Sam and I went and listened to a timeshare presentation so we could get a free trip. It was well worth the crazy salesmen, because they gave us 3 nights in Vancouver, B.C. for nothing but the cost of parking! It was great. We spent a night in Bellingham before crossing the border and had so much fun! We got to witness this gorgeous sunset over Bellingham Bay which would have been worth the trip in itself, but it was just the beginning :)

We spent our time in Vancouver exploring the city, hiking, shopping, eating tons of delicious food, and being entertained by silly Canadians. Vancouver is a super cool city and we really really like it there. If it wasn't in another country, it would definitely be on our short list of places to live someday. However, there are some things I just don't think we'd ever get used to.

For example, I don't know if you've ever heard this, but Canadians LOVE hockey. And it's not a stereotype. Really. If you doubt me, just go to a Costco in Canada. If you've ever needed to buy hockey sticks in bulk, where else would you go? Costco of course! This is a portion of the Hockey section in Costco. If you can't see, there are hockey bags, hockey goals, hockey tape, and hockey sticks all right here for silly Canadians to buy... in bulk. I mean really, could I ever live with myself if I got the phone call from my kid saying, "Hey mom, if you're going to Costco, can you pick me up some more hockey sticks? I need another 20." Really Canada?

Ok, enough about that. Canada does have its high points. Like I said, it's a super cool city and we had a blast on a day hike. It's gorgeous! If you're into outdoorsy type stuff (and we are!) this is a great place to live. One would never run out of places to hike, explore, kyak, and camp. There is just never enough time to do it all! Here is Sam conquering the Canadian wilderness:And me, hesitantly crossing the suspension bridge to start our hike:

Yes, it was like a thousand miles up in the treetops. It's not an illusion. Where do they come up with these ideas? Silly Canadians.

The rest of our time was spent exploring the gorgeous city and getting down with the locals... here are some highlights:

We had an awesome time, and can't wait to see where we'll get sent next time by those wonderful timeshare salesmen who just keep calling us and offering us free trips! What was that WorldMark? Vegas? Where do we sign? Awww... and who ever said there's no such thing as a free lunch? That's not what our $50 food voucher said! In summary, it was all well worth the hour and a half presentation we sat through on Saturday one year ago to enjoy this foreign trip, on the house. Until next time Canada!!


Wishin' I was a Fishin'!


We got back from Canada on Wednesday, worked a couple days, then took off again on Saturday to Vancouver, WA for some sturgeon fishing. This has been a tradition for the last 3 years, and is something I always look forward to. There's nothing like getting up at the crack of dawn and jet-boating at top speed on glassy, smooth water to watch the sun rise over the Columbia... and this time was no exception! It was gorgeous! Somehow, amidst all the rainy gray days, we were lucky enough to have a beautiful sunny day. Perfect for fishing.

Did I catch anything you ask? Oh c'mon! As if that even matters!! What really matters is the bonding between friends and family and the memories that are created during such times. Ok, and if you must know... I didn't catch anything. Sad, I know. But check out this monster Sam snagged:
I think it was like 8 feet long? I don't know... maybe it was 10. All I know is that it was huge. Or something.

Alright, I have sufficiently written a short novel (is there such a thing?) If you made it all the way through my updating and pointless banter, than you deserve some sort of medal. I promise my next few posts will be shorter and more frequent!! I already have a treat for you guys concocting in my head, but it's just not time yet. Oh yes... you are all in for a real surprise!

I'll give you a hint: While we were out fishing, we saw something that very very few people have ever even claimed to have seen. A legendary character that lurks around the Northwest, chillingly revealing itself to those with the sharpest of eyes and quickest of cameras. I was lucky (or unlucky) enough to witness this creature in its native habitat and even snapped a quick picture! I'm telling you... this picture just might make even the most critical of skeptics true believers once and for all...

(Jodi, Quiet! No spoiling!!)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Pickles, Pigs and the Puyallup Fair...

So I haven't posted in over two weeks. Life has been crazy and the weekends (my usual preferred posting time) have been packed. Since my last post we spent a weekend in Vancouver, WA with Sam's sister Jodi (previously mentioned multiple times in this blog) and roadtripped to Eastern WA the next weekend to watch the Cougs get pummeled by the Ducks. Yikes.

So now it's time to share some other interesting things the Nielsons have been up to since my last post. First things first...

PICKLES

While we were down visiting Jodi and Jason in Vancouver two weekends ago, we went to Sauvie Island and visited the Pumpkin Patch which has a huge produce and flower market with some pretty good deals on yummy fresh foods. This is one of my favorite things!! I have this big thing about buying fresh and local, and I love any chance to practice what I preach.

While we were purusing the market, we came across a display where they had conveniently laid out everything one would need to make and can their own pickles. Now, I have this thing for pickles. I love them. I eat them from the jar with a fork on a daily basis and the thought of making homemade delicous pickles that don't contain "Yellow #5" was very appealing. So, we bought up a 10lb. bag of pickling cukes, a dozen canning jars, some dill, vinegar, and pickling salt.

I did my research and found what I thought to be the best recipe on the internet (how could 150 reviewers be wrong?) and we got to work. It was a blast. Well, apart from our house smelling like a pickle jar for a week. The recipe said to not eat the pickles until they've been sitting in the brine for 8 weeks, but I dug in after a day and was not disappointed! In fact, it's been almost 2 weeks now and I officially just ate the last pickle from jar #1. Hopefully all 10 jars actually make it to the 8 weeks so I can see what all the fuss was about!

Anyways, it was a fun project and now we're all inspired to can something else. Apples? Peaches? Pears?? We'll see, and I'll keep you posted. Oh I know, you're on the edge of your seat. Don't they look fun though? They make a great addition to the top of my cabinets in the kitchen and I feel Oh-so-domestic.

PIGS & the PUYALLUP FAIR

So some of my happiest childhood memories are of my summers spent at the Puyallup Fair. It was one day at the fair with my parents (I was probably 10 or 11?) when I was super inspired (yes, 11 year olds can be inspired!) to join 4H. I was so envious of the kids in the horse and dog barns who got to show off their cool pets and I knew I had to do it. Enter Dominoe. As my 4H dog for 4 years with the pivotal part of our year spent at the Puyallup Fair, it was an emotional trip to the fair this year. But it was fun. It'll always have a special place in my heart. Where else can you get a picture with creepy people dressed up as barn yard animals??

Or kiss the smallest, cutest sheep I've ever seen?? Ok, I didn't actually kiss him... but it made for a fun picture, right?

We also got to see a 4 day old piglet who was incredibly small and cute, and Sam got to eat the biggest hamburger I've ever seen... none other than the "Earthquake Burger." As if that wasn't enough, he had to get the french fries on the side that are served as a 6"x6" cube and eat every last bite of it.




This picture doesn't do the burger justice. It was huge. And delicious. Gotta love the fair!!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Happy Birthday Husband!

I know it seems like just yesterday that I was blogging about my birthday (actually it was 2 days ago) but now it's time to recognize another birthday in the Nielson household... Sam's!! His birthday was yesterday, and if I hadn't been so busy celebrating his birthday all day yesterday I probably could have blogged about it on the actual day. Anyways, it's probably a better sign that I was off doing other things rather than spending time on the computer on my husband's birthday, right?

So, we celebrated Sam's 29th birthday yesterday... how you ask? Well, he spent the first half of the day playing golf in a Parametrix company golf tournament while I was at the gym. But don't worry, it gets better... what does my husband choose to do on his birthday when he could do anything he wanted? He takes me shopping!! Do I have the best husband in the world or what? And that's what we did for a good portion of the day... went shopping at Southcenter.

I think maybe he was buttering me up for the next part of the day: going home to watch college football and eat pizza. Hey, that was just fine by me! If that's how the birthday boy wants to spend his day then by all means, it's what we're gonna do.

So now our birthdays have come and gone and we're left being a year older but not really feeling much different. Unless you count all the wise thoughts that have just been coming to me lately... I have had some pretty good insight on things these last two days. Coincidence? I think not!

I'm actually quite excited to grow old with Sam. Mostly because I think he'll look very George Clooney-esque when he gets all salt and peppery. But aging does have it's high points, right? I mean we're building up our past here and with every day that goes by we're just adding to our memories. Cheesy but true. Four years have gone by since Sam and I started making memories. Another birthday shared together means another year has come and gone and we're moving into the next with more opportunities to do things we'll look back on years from now.

This picture is of Sam and me at Pike Place Market right after we had come home from our first big trip together: Washington, D.C. Since then we've ventured to at least one new city every year. These have included Vegas, San Francisco, Baltimore, Victoria, and Vancouver B.C. I can't wait to watch another 4 years go by and expound on this list and build up our history together!

So Sam-wise, here's to another year of traveling, playing, working, hanging out, weekend-tripping, hiking, baseball/football/basketball/ (enter-sport-here)-watching, and making memories together-ing.

Happy Birthday Husband!!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

You Say It's Your Birthday...


It's my Birthday too!!!

Isn't that a song? From like, the 80's or something? I think I remember it from the movie "Sixteen Candles" where the red-headed kid sings it to the girl when he finds out it's her birthday... so anyways, that's what I was going for there.

(**Update** My sister Heidi informed me that this is in fact a Beatles song. Ok, not exactly the 80's. My bad. Hey, it's before my time! And since I was born in the 80's, is anything earlier than that really worth remembering anyways??)

Well folks, it is my birthday. Yup, #26. And let me tell ya, this one has been better than the last. I don't know why but #25 was tough. That whole, "Quarter-Life-Crisis" thing. 26 feels good. I think I'll stay here a while, or maybe I'll just start counting down. How does that sound?

At 25 I was all like, sad about being 5 years from 30 with no kids and no permanent job. Now I'm comfortably in a permanent job that I really enjoy and I know kids will come sometime before 50. Haha, that was a joke. They'll come before 40.

This birthday has been really fun... Sam has really gone out of his way to remind me repeatedly that I'm a birthday girl and I think he finally understands that this day means something to me. So that's been fun. He's even staying home from basketball tonight to hang out with me at the mall! Woohoo! I've gotten lots of texts and phone calls and emails from you guys remembering my birthday... but then again, I suppose it's not that hard to remember when I share it with the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history, right? Well, at least I can say I'm memorable.

So, here's to another year... hoping that this one is every bit as good as the last. Some things I'm looking forward to about year #26 of my life:
  • Going to Australia in November
  • Celebrating my 3rd year of marriage
  • Running my 1st 10K
  • Buying a bike and competing in a duathlon
  • Riding the Seattle to Portland bike ride
  • Make it another year of remembering all my nieces'/nephews'/sisters'/mom's & dad's birthdays with cards in the mail
  • Finishing the "Twilight" series and seeing the movie in November
  • Become a better blogger so I can make a "Blog Book" (check it out here: Blog Book)
  • Learning how to kyak at Boston Harbor
  • Going clam digging at Ocean Shores
  • And many more things that I can't even think of right now!
Thanks again everyone for remembering my special day and making it extra special for me to live another year!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

When I Say "GO" You Say...

COUGS!!

Woohoo!! It's that time again, time for Cougar Football! Last weekend Sam, his sister and her husband (Jodi and Jason), Sam's Dad, and I continued on the tradition of going to the Cougar football game in Seattle. Every game day follows a distinct pattern, as follows:

1. Waking up early and watching "College Gameday" on ESPN and getting all excited about college football. We watch for the WSU flag being waved in the background by proud fellow Alumni and feel the pride of being Cougs.

2. Putting on my Coug gear. Consists of football jersey or WSU sweatshirt and hat or visor.

3. Driving to the game, honking and waving at other Coug fans who are also all dressed up and clearly going to the same game.

4. Getting to the stadium... everyone is excited, there is Cougar pride everywhere, and with every 10 minutes that go by the crowd cheers, "20 minutes til Cougar Football, Woooo!!!" until it's go time.

5. The team runs onto the field with a bang of the Cougar canyon, Butch T. Cougar is running around or driving on a 4 wheeler, cheerleaders are doing flips and other crazy things are going on.

*It should be noted, that this is the high point of the game usually, for most Coug fans... because from this point on, it's all downhill.

6. The game is played... this usually consists of many incompleted passes, or quite a few "3 and outs."

7. More often than not, the Cougs lose, we get so mad, and we go home.

8. Next Saturday comes, and we repeat.

Gotta love being a Cougar.


Sam and I at a point in the game where there must have still been some hope... we don't look totally distraught yet!

I'm clearly the only person still excited to be at the game at this point...

Jodi and Jason... so happy to be here!

Go Cougs!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I Heart Rockband!

This last weekend Sam and I made a little trip over to Spokane and spent some quality time with Ben & Kim, and Ryan & Christy. Among the highlights of our trip was going over to "Barber Harbor" and playing some "Rockband".

For those of you who don't know what "Rockband" is (is there anyone?) it's a spin off from "Guitar Hero" that adds the drums and a lead singer (could I use anymore "quotations"??). So, basically, you get three people together and make a band. This weekend the greatest band of all time was formed. Too bad we had to break up after about 2 hours. We were starting to lose touch with the original intent of the band.

At least some pretty good pics were taken while it lasted.


video

PS: Don't knock it til you try it.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Portion Control, Schmortion Control!

I love that my husband can eat 6x my daily food intake and then get on the scale the next day and say, "What? Down a pound?? Better up the eating!!"

Who said life was fair?

Oh, and in case you're wondering what the ginormous bowl is holding, it is Sam's nutritious after-church-snack of Chocolatey Marshmallow Mateys! I know... we didn't know they existed either!

Needless to say, the bag only lasted 2 days.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

My "Me Mosaic"

K, this was actually pretty fun to do. I will admit that I cheated a bit and didn't always use the very first picture returned from the search, due to either inappropriate content, the picture didn't work, or simply because I didn't like the picture! So here ya go, learn about ME!

The Concept:
a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
b. Using only the first page, pick an image.
c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd’s mosaic maker.

The Questions:
1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What school did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. Favorite drink?
7. Dream vacation?
8. Favorite dessert?
9. What you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. One word to describe you.
12. Your nickname.

The Answers:
1. Amy
2. Anything BBQ.
3. Washington State University
4. Blue... but really I don't ever buy blue clothes or decorate with blue, so I don't know why it's my favorite color. Maybe cuz I like blue water and blue skies?
5. Joel McHale! I heart The Soup.
6. Chocolate oreo or chocolate peanut butter milkshakes.
7. Sydney, Australia... going in November!
8. Chocolate cake.
9. an Ecologist... oh wait, I am one!
10. my husband :)
11. Laidback (yes, it is one word thank you very much!)
12. Amy Wang. If you don't know the origins of this one, you're gonna have to ask.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Saga of the Cell Phones...

This week has been absolutely ridiculous. Many of you received a text from me on Sunday (or Monday?) with a new cell phone number. That number is no longer accurate and the service has been canceled! Why you ask? Well, thus begins the subject of today's post...

Cell Phone Service #1 - SPRINT

Sam and I have never been entirely happy with Sprint. The phones stink, customer service is subpar, and well, we were just ready for a change. Our 2 year contract expires next week so we began exploring our options. We did some pretty serious comparison shopping and were bound and determined to get the best deal. On Saturday we thought we had done just that.

Cell Phone Service #2 - T-Mobile

We signed up with T-Mobile through Costco and got the smallest shared plan we could find (we used to have 300 shared mins, and never went over that) so we thought "Hey, let's go with the smallest and cheapest plan we could find." Plus, Bonus! Free Blackberries! Sam got a very cool black one, and I got a matching red one and we set off with what we thought were the best phones, best rate plan, and a pretty cool internet package. We went home and spent the weekend updating our address books, chatting with friends on the Yahoo! IM feature, surfing the web, and feeling pretty dang cool. Then comes Monday and we go to work. I sit at my desk to start my day and think, wow, sure is cool to have a new phone. Maybe I'll send an email from my phone since I have all these new features. And what do I see, but a big red "X" where all my reception bars should be. No Service. Ah man, I was heartbroken. I jump up and start asking everyone around me what cell service they had. Verizon, verizon, verizon, and... T-Mobile! I asked this lady if she gets service and she says, nope, only outside and she's switching to Verizon next month. Ok... I guess Verizon must be the way to go then, right? I get a 17% discount for being a state employee and everyone in my office has it. How can we go wrong??

(*Side note: I forgot to mention that the geniuses at T-Mobile gave us long distance Bellingham numbers! I realized that when I tried to make a local call to Sam from home and it told me a "1" was required! So much for changing our eastern WA 509 numbers to 360's! Shoulda known it was doomed from the start.)

Cell Phone Service #3 - Verizon

We did our research and realized plans with Verizon were going to be the same price and the network was much better. We weren't going to get free phones, but they were still going to be the next generation Blackberries with a much faster internet connection and lots of other cool new features. Worth $50 each. We stop by Verizon on our way home from work on Tuesday, talk it over with the salesguy and feel like this is the way to go. We would cancel T-Mobile tomorrow (we got a 14 day trial period) and live happily ever after with our newer and cuter (note that mine was super cute pink!) Blackberries and put our T-Mobile days behind us. Good job to you Amy and Sam. We left Verizon feeling pretty dang good about our choice. Nevermind that we have THREE cell phones in our pockets from THREE DIFFERENT SERVICES!! Now, that wonderful feeling would have lasted a good long time if we had never had to go home. Oh yes. We get home and I notice that the phone is telling us we're not getting the best possible signal. In fact, we're not getting signal enough to pick up the internet. That's weird. We start making phone calls and they're not getting through! We call from our home phone and the phones don't ring. We finally get connected and start walking throughout the house saying, "Can you hear me now?" from various spots in the house. Long story short, it was impossible to talk to one another while both on our cell phones and the calls were dropped more than once. No service at our house. I call customer service and they confirm my fears... "You live in a known dead spot and we don't see any fix for it within the next 2 years." Great.

Flash forward to today. We are conceding to what our good friend Ryan has been trying to sell on us from the very start:

Cell Phone Service #4 - AT&T

Yes, this is it. The big Kahuna. We're doing it. The iPhone. It's a much larger up front cost and they don't exactly give these puppies away with new activation. But you know what? This is the pedicure after the end of a hard day. The hot bubble bath after a rough day of work. The ice cream at the end of my emotional break down. It's the same monthly price as what we would pay for T-Mobile and Verizon, and you get oh-so-much-more. We'll be able to surf the net and feel like we're actually surfing the net. In other words, we'll be getting what we pay for. As far as reception goes, I've called AT&T and they say there is a tower less than a mile from our house and service should be great. I'm crossing my fingers. I work with a lady that has AT&T and she loves it. But there is one hitch. I couldn't get reception with her phone at my desk, and you know what? I've given up! I don't care anymore!! Just give me a phone that will work other than the place where I really don't need to be using a cell phone (I am a state worker you know, and I need to be productive on taxpayer time, mind you!).

There is hope though. The new iPhones operate on a 3G network which is much stronger than the previous 2G networks. There is a chance that this phone will pick up reception where the ladies phone drops off... aka: my desk. She gets it everywhere else at Ecology, but all bars die when she steps into my section. More confirmation that I work in a black hole.

Long story short (too late), we're getting iPhones and it will be glorious. Don't tell me otherwise because I don't want to hear it. I've been sold, we've made up our minds and we're sticking to it. I just hope AT&T offers a 30 day trial period as well...

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Memory Game

1. As a comment on my blog, leave one memory that you and I had together. It doesn't matter if you knew me a little or a lot, anything you remember!

2. Next, re-post these instructions on your blog and see how many people leave a memory about you. It's actually pretty funny to see the responses. If you leave a memory about me, I'll assume you're playing the game and I'll come to your blog and leave one about you.

Get it...?? Elephants have good memories, duh!!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Dominoe - We miss you!

Ok, so today has been hard. Why lie about it?? We got out of the house yesterday and spent some time in the 'Couve w/ Jodi and Jason. That was probably a good thing. However, a quiet Sunday afternoon in the house which has historically been Sam, Amy, and Dominoe family time has been rough. No little dog going in and out of the house with Sam while he BBQs, no dog curled up at the foot of the couch during our family nap, and no Sunday evening walk. We miss him a lot! We just keep telling ourselves, he is in a much better place. Isn't it amazing though, how quickly we forget all the bad things? I even thought to myself today, was cleaning up his messes 6 times a day really that bad? Yeah, it was... considering it was occurring because it was either too painful for him to stand up and go to the door, or because he had just plain lost neurological function of his hind end. It was for the best.

Let me just tell you guys... enjoy what you have!! You will not realize how much you love something until it's gone. Really. All the good times really make the hard times worth it. Definitely. Don't set yourself up for a situation where you wonder, "did I give everything I could have??" Cliche, but true.

To everyone that has left comments, sent emails, given phone calls, or drawn pictures and sent them in the mail ( - Thanks Jodi & Briannda ;) it is truly appreciated. Even though his little presence will be missed for a good long time, I know every day will get easier. We'll realize a bit of freedom that comes with not having a dog for a while, and when the time is right... we'll find another little furry friend to bless our lives. We're really trying to focus on how fun he was to have and celebrate his life. That's much more fun to think about!! I mean, I had this dog since I was 12! He had been through so much with me and just absolutely loved us unconditionally right up to the end.

Before we left the hospital, we took some prints of his little paws. I am so happy my sister Heidi helped me come up with the idea because I love this little piece of him that is left with us in the house. I'm not quite sure what we're going to do with them just yet... I think we'll probably put them in a frame with a picture and his little "Dominoe" dog tag and find somewhere we can put it up.

Seeing these little feet make me so happy! I guess Alfred Lord Tennyson (yes, I looked it up!) knew what he was talking about when he said, "'Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all."


We love you and will miss you Dominoe!



Saturday, July 26, 2008

A rough day ahead.

Well, there are many of you reading this who have had the privilege of making the acquaintance of my little spotted friend, Dominoe. Unfortunately, he's gotten pretty old and life isn't so fun for him anymore. We think he's in a lot of pain, although he doesn't really show it. But I reckon that hardly being able to walk and falling when you try to run just can't be a good time. He's pretty much lost all control of his bodily functions which makes living with him pretty hard, but what he lacks in cleanliness he makes up for in personality and love. I think that's what's gotten him this far. This dog has the biggest heart in the whole world... He's gotta be in a whole lot of pain, but he would never let us know it. He still makes his crazy "Chewbacca" sounds when we come home, and wants to be nowhere else except exactly where we are. Even as I type this, he's curled up at my feet not having any idea where he's getting loaded up in the car to go do in about 1/2 an hour.

Our appointment with the vet is at noon today, and it's not gonna be easy. For us, anyways. I know how peaceful and painless it is for the dogs but our pain doesn't go away near that fast. It's gonna be much much harder on us than him. That selfishness is also probably what kept him alive this long... why have we kept him alive this long to be in pain when he walks, when I'm sure he'd much rather be running? He can barely make it down the stairs off the back porch to go do his chores without falling. But every night after his 7:30 dinner, he's standing at the front door waiting to go on his walk.

He's given me 13 amazing years... that's more of my life with him than without. I got him when I was 12, and he was my 4H dog for 4 years. He's always been such a show stopper, and everyone stops to look at and pet the Dalmatian. He takes it all in stride... it's just another day of being a gorgeous dog. He's given us so much unconditional love, and I couldn't ask for any more loyalty out of anyone. I know he's going to a much better place, where he can run and jump again and play with Kody, Lucky, and Barry.

Ok, I've got to go... thanks for the support everyone, we definitely know he's in a better place and I am already excited for him to find his running legs again!

-Amy


Dominoe
1995-2008

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I'm Alive... I Swear!!

Ok, I know I started strong and now it's been a few days since I've posted. Well, it's not purely from neglect, I promise!! Sam and I just got back from a Christensen Family reunion in Bear Lake, UT. It was an AMAZING weekend and we had an absolute blast! If I wasn't nearing my death bed in coughing and nose running, I would stay up another hour or two and write the recap now. However, alas, my bed is calling my name and I'm pretty sure Sam is already bordering REM, so I better get to bed.

I just wanted to say updates will be coming, I am NOT neglecting my blog, and there will be plenty to read about SOON!

For now, enjoy what I got to enjoy the last 5 days :) G'Nite!


Thursday, July 10, 2008

I Retract a Previous Statement...


Ok, so I've said before that Sam doesn't smile in pictures. Apparently lately he's just set out to prove me wrong because all I'm getting are pictures of him smiling. I love it.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Let's Hear it for the Girls!!

Well, just within the last 2 weeks something miraculous happened... I got to see TWO of my very favorite ladies of all time!! Not together, though. I got to see Meghan while she was in Olympia for some work training, and then a week or so later I saw Devin while she was here visiting her family in Puyallup! Hurray hurray!!

First, Meghan: She is absolutely hilarious. I'm talking like, knock-your-socks-off, milk-coming-out-of-your-nose hilarious! Something I often find myself asking whilst hanging out with Meghan: "Did she just say that? Really? Was it out loud??" And the answer is always "Yes, that did happen."

Our love affair all started when Meghan literally picked me up in her minivan from off the street (I was waiting for the bus in Pullman) and said, "Hey, wanna be my roommate?" To which I replied, "Can I bring my dog?" The rest is history. It was truly a match made in heaven!

She is truly one of a kind. We have so many booty shakin', "The Beach"-goin, Photo-takin' memories that I will never, ever forget!! It is so good to see her doing well in her life and career... congrats Megs!

This picture was taken after dinner at a little (not-very-good-so-I-won't-mention-any-names) pizzeria in Oly.

Then I got to see Devin! Ah man, talk about a soul mate! Even if you aren't soul mates with Devin, she is the kind of person that makes you feel like you are. She is one of the nicest, most genuine people I have ever known. She is so freaking funny and one of those people you can stay up all night with talking about anything, dancing, laughing, crying and then running to Dissmore's to get donut holes and chocolate milk at 3am, or making chocolate chip cookie dough just to eat the dough. I have endless memories of us listening to music that makes you cry, driving around in my old Jeep listening to Keith Urban and clapping along w/ the crappy speakers, hearing her say "I just love love!", going to the gym to run 6 miles (we were CRAZY then!), and snuggling with Dominoe on my bed in our apartment.

Wanna know something weird? My love affair with Devin started at a bus stop too! We started talking about Lord of the Rings and our infatuation with Legolas and Aragorn, and it was then that we knew this was the beginning of a long and beautiful relationship!

Now Devin has a GORGEOUS little girl named Hayden who is so cute and she is the best little momma in the world! I can't wait for the days when her and Carl move up to the NW and we can make sooo many more memories!!

The above pic was from Sunday night after a night of yummy BBQ (thanks Dewey!) and Food Network tv-watchin!

I just have a couple things I wanna say to Meghan and Devin... long live the following memories:

-Hawaiian dress-up
-Sunday dinners
-Donut holes
-Surprise wedding shower strippers
-Meghan's episode in the bathroom caught on tape
-Karaoke parties
-Roommates leaving the appt from the window
-Moscow ice skating
-A photo shoot with an ambulance while Sam may or may not have had a concussion
-Countless nights at Applebee's for half price apps
-Meghan's vacuuming habits in skirts and high heels
-No bake chocolate cookies
-Chocolate chip cookie dough episodes
-The day Meghan and Devin ate a dozen bad eggs

Ok, that's it for now, but there are so many more!! Thanks for always being there for me you two, and putting up with me when I'm being me (I think you guys know what that means!!)

We've come a long way ladies :)

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Red, White, Blue, & Delicious!

Well I hope everyone had a fun and safe 4th of July weekend. Ours is coming to a close, so I thought I'd share some of the highlights and let ya'll know what we've been up to!

We spent the 4th down in Vancouver with these crazy kids:

Meet Sam's little sister Jodi and her husband Jason!

Spending time with them is a guaranteed good time. There was lots of yummy food to be eaten (BBQ... what else do you eat on the 4th??), games to be played ("Take 2 Scrabble"... gotta love playing Scrabble with Grandma Neal! Scrabble quote from Grandma that I'll never forget: "Does whore have an 'H' in it??"), and pretty fireworks to be watched. Sam's parents were there too, so it was lots of fun.

Also, I got to make a "Flag Cake" that I've been wanting to try ever since I saw the recipe in a magazine. I'm sure lots of you have seen variations of it... this one has Jell-O, pound cake, strawberries, cream cheese, and whipped cream in it! It's pretty dang good. It was fun to make, and of course I had to snap a couple pics!

Happy Birthday USA!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Staying Home Sick

So those of you who read my last post may or may not have picked up the reference to my cold. I decided it was bad enough to where I should stay home and spare my cubie neighbors from another day of loud and juicy nose blowing. Plus, Bonus! I would get to stay home and never change out of my PJs and glasses and work all day on trip photos! Woohoo! Nothing like sitting at the computer wrapped in a blanket, listening to Arcade Fire, and playing with photos on PhotoShop. What? You're surprised they don't just come out of my camera like this? I don't know what sort of fancy pants camera you have, but let me tell you... photos that look this good take some work!

The top picture (taken by my bro-in-law Jason) is my favorite picture of the whole vacation! Priceless! My sister, Heidi still can't believe this is Sam. You see, Sam has this thing against smiling in pictures. And in life. Ok, not really, but sometimes it takes him a while to come out of his shell. The truth is, Sam is crazy. He's loud, obnoxious, and has an incredible knack for making up games. Although, weird enough, they usually involve someone getting hit. Or hair pulled. Anyways, I digress.

When people come over to our house to look through wedding photos, it is not uncommon for them to ask, "Wow Sam, was this the worst day of your life or what?" When in fact it was the best day of his life, duh! So when a picture like this one is candidly captured, I have to post it high above the mountain tops, and do what else...?? Blog about it!!
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