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!



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!!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Post Reunion Update

We're home!! The Nielson Family reunion is officially over and it was a blast. We did all sorts of fun things and I got a ton of great pictures.

However, I managed to get away from Clarkston with some sort of freak cold. My head hurts, my neck is stiff, my nose is runny, and I should be in bed... but what am I doing? Blogging!! Despite my total and undivided loyalty to this blog, I'm still going to have to cut it short. So, tonight I just want to wet your appetite and post some pics from our "hike" up to Kamiak Butte.

Why is hike in quotations you ask? Because it's a measly 1/2 mile jaunt to the top! I guess in the Palouse (aka: the land of rolling hills) we'll take whatever sort of peak we can get!

The view from the top... You can see both Moscow, ID and Pullman at the same time!

My very own Mountain Man, captured during a rare moment in time... smiling!! (Bonus!!)

And lastly, the token couple shot with stunning scenery in the background...

So after our little 1/2 mile hike in 90 degree weather that may have burned roughly 200 calories, what is there left to do? Eat 1000 calorie Blizzards at DQ of course!! Duh!! Ahhh man, gotta love Family Reunions!!
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