Archive of ‘Family’ category

Baby #2 is a…

Spoiler alert: It’s a Girl! A few days before Halloween, we finally got to find out what the sex of our baby was. Ever since we told Bear about the baby, he has been convinced that it was a sister. Like, he would not even entertain the possibility that it could be a brother. And he never wavered on his conviction. Geoff and I were both hopeful, we both really wanted to have a daughter. Her name has been picked out for literally years. So of course I had built up the whole gender reveal in my head A LOT. And it did not go exactly to plan. I’ll give you the condensed version of the story, but I came up with idea to do donuts for the reveal, mainly for Bear because, as you can see above, kid is obsessed with donuts. Not gonna lie, I am too. So I set it all up with the donut place, dropped off the envelope to them in the evening for pickup the next day. In the morning, I called to see if it was ready and the conversation went something like this:

Me: “Hi, I have a special order for Lisa Bardot. Is it ready to pick up?”
Them: “What was it?”
Me: “They were the gender reveal donuts.”
Them: Pause….”Oh, the girl ones?”
Me: “Uhhhhhhh….”

So yeah, that’s how I found out. From the donut person, over the phone. Not quite the moment I had anticipated to say the least. And honestly, I’m really playing down my disappoint here. I was crazy emotional. There was a lot of other stuff going on at the time that contributed to this, but I don’t really want to get into that. Geoff came in the room and immediately noticed something was wrong in my face. I told him “It’s a girl”. Then started crying, and not the tears of joy I would have if the situation happened differently. I told him I still wanted to go get the donuts and do the reveal for Bear. So we did. Then we rushed off to our midwife appointment where Bear was being a crazy person and pooped his pants (yeah, and I forgot a change of clothes, awesome). After we got home we put him down for nap and I decided to edit together the video of the reveal. That truly was my saving grace. Re-living his excitement made everything “okay”. At least sort of. As we got to share the video with family and friends, my anger and frustrations slowly faded to happiness and excitement. I really am grateful. Whenever I imagined having kids when I was younger, I always said I wanted at least one of each, a boy first, then a girl, and I am getting exactly what I have always wanted. I seriously cannot wait to meet her. It’s crazy how much more excited I am to have the actual baby than I was the first time around. I guess knowing all the great things about having a kid will do that to you.

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Art Everyday: weeks 28-37 (food)

This is part two of a series of catch-up from the summer. Read part one to learn about my pregnancy, and the “dark ages” of my Art Everyday project.

Food was a large and sometimes overwhelming part of my life this summer. Food was SUCH a challenge. I felt like if I was not eating every 15 minutes I was in agony. But, of course, absolutely nothing sounded appetizing to me. This just led to me feeling like crap all the time, unable to make decisions, and left my poor husband to try and figure out what the heck to feed me. Most of what I ate was comfort food, or stuff that was pretty bland, I would flat out refuse to eat anything with too many flavors (whatever that means). Lots of pasta and carb-y goodness. I also have an aversion to sweets which is super unusual because I normally have the biggest sweet tooth on the planet. 

The first four pieces are a series I did of “foods I actually like”. For all of them I used a new lettering style I was playing around with and for the food itself, I tried to use simple shapes with two-dimesional details added in.

“Mac and Cheese” | Digital Painting

Mac and Cheese

“Spaghetti” | Digital Painting

Spaghetti

“Enchiladas” | Digital Painting

Enchiladas

“Caprese Salad” | Digital Painting

Caprese Salad

The ones below are not a part of the series, but also not foods I was opposed to eating.

“Pretzels” | Digital Painting

Pretzels

“Lemons” | Digital Painting

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“Oh Another Banana” | Digital Painting

Oh another banana

“Peachy Pattern” | Digital Painting

Peachy Patterm

“Popcorny” | Digital Painting

Popcorn Pattern

“Multiplied Fruits and Veggies” | Digital Painting

Multiplied fruits and veggie

“Leaves and Bananas” | Digital Painting

Bananas and leaves

Art Everyday: weeks 28-37 (pregnancy)

So. I’ve been absent form my blog for quite some time. And now that the following information is public (i.e. Facebook public) knowledge, I get to FINALLY talk about it here. As if the blog post title didn’t give it away…I’m pregnant! Baby number two is on the way and this pregnancy has been…hard. Much harder than my first. Especially the first few months. For the entire first trimester and part of the second, I went through periods of awful depression — on top the extreme exhaustion and nausea that comes along with being pregnant. Even though this pregnancy was absolutely planned and something we very much wanted, but I couldn’t help feeling the way I did. Nothing could make me happy. I had no drive, no motivation. I felt worthless. There was so much bad news in the world happening. I withdrew my self from friends and family. Dark thoughts would cycle through my head. Everything was just a heavy weight on me that seemed impossible to pull my self out from under.

It was a really rough time, to say the least. Hence why I’ve been off the blog. It feels like this pregnancy has been all-consuming and affects every part of my life so it’s hard to talk about anything without bringing it up. That’s why I haven’t been posting. All the feeling-awfulness did not motivate to make art either. Something that once brought me so much joy, I didn’t feel like doing it at all. Slowly, I did start making art again, drawing from my life and using it as a way to express the way I was feeling and eventually got back into the swing of things.  I’m finally ready to share the art that I made over the summer during what I call the “dark ages”. Instead of sharing the pieces chronologically like I normally do, I’ve divided them into themes and will share them over a few separate posts. The first is the reason for this all, the pregnancy theme. 

Before we dig in, I am feeling much better and am getting really excited to meet our newest family member. 

“Tired at Home” | Digital Painting
Tired at Home

“Tired at Work” | Digital Painting

Tired at Work

“I am so tired 2″ | Digital Painting

I am so tired

“Cry” | Digital Painting

Cry

“My Body Hates Me” | Digital Painting

My body hates me

“Butt” | Digital Painting

Butt

“Bump” | Digital Painting

Little bump

Ohana

Last night, about an hour and half before sunset, I said “Let’s go swimming!” We are currently in Maui for a “work-cation” as I like to call it. Bear is here with Geoff and I along with Geoff’s mom. So we all scrambled to get into our swimming clothes, slathered a bit of sunscreen on the baby, loaded in the car and headed down the street to the beach.

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As we walked across the grassy park and down to the sandy beach, we came upon the most gorgeous sunset going down over the ocean. Geoff walked Bear down to the water as I grabbed my camera. As Bear’s toes touched the ocean waves for the first time since he was about nine months old, he giggled with joy. The small waves broke across his tiny feet and he squealed with glee. His happiness nearly brought a tear to my eye. Geoff set off for a swim in the ocean and I played with Bear on the shore. We ran up into the sand and barreled into the oncoming waves. Back and forth, back and forth with the biggest smiles on our faces. I don’t think I have ever seen Bear that happy. In that moment, we all felt the happiest we have been in a while. Simply enjoying life, the beauty around us, the warm waves, our time together as a family.

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I left Bear to play with his grandma and joined my husband in the deeper waters. The last time we swam together in the ocean, we were on Oahu and I was pregnant with Bear. Before that, we were in the warm waters off the shore of Thailand. Those moments of being isolated together with the undulations of the waves all around us are very precious to me. They always make me feel closer to him and remind my of all the good times we have had together.

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It was getting dark, so we all decided to head back in, a tired but blissfully happy little family. As we did I thought aloud to Geoff, “These are the memories that we’ll keep forever.” And it’s true. Traveling with a toddler can be tiring and crazy at times, but it is to experience these moments together that I would go through the hassle ten times over. The joy on my son’s face, gazing out at the vibrant colors of the sun setting, swimming in the Pacific Ocean with my husband, watching Bear play happily with his grandma, all these memories are what make life sweet.

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Dîner en Blanc

There are some experiences in your life that you will never forget. For me tonight was one of them. We heard about Dîner en Blanc last year from our friends, Stacy and Jason, two Texas expats who have been living in Paris for two and a half years now. They told us of a special night in June that happens once a year in Paris, where you dress all in white, gather tables, chairs, dishes, glasses, candles, and food, wine and, of course, friends and go to a location shrouded in mystery. You only find out where exactly you are going about 15 minutes before the event begins. When it is finally announced, you and 10,000 other Parisians descend upon one of Paris’ beautiful landmarks and set up long lines of tables for the most colossal dinner party you’ve ever seen. You eat and share food, drink wine and champagne, and laugh and enjoy each other’s company. At one hour before midnight, all the dinner guests light up thousands of sparklers and celebrate the joy of life. You dance for an hour or two longer and then as quickly as it was set up, everything is packed away and taken home, without a trace to be seen, as if it had never happened. I was enamored with this concept and only let it remain in my imagination what it might be like to attend such an event. We don’t usually get to travel abroad during the summer, plus the event is invite only, so I figured I would never get the opportunity to see it for myself.

The first morning we were in Paris, as we were getting ready for the day, Geoff announced to me that he’d just been informed that Dîner en Blanc just so happened to be tomorrow and Stacy and Jason were inviting us to attend with them. We didn’t quite know what to say at first, but we quickly formulated a plan to procure some white outfits for the three of us and set out on a day-and-a-half long journey to prepare for the event. A lot of shopping and a little cooking later, we got all donned up in our white clothes and we were meeting our friends near the Palais Royale, and then on to the Arc de triomphe du Carrousel, the arch across from the center of the Louvre, which looks directly out to the more famous Arc de triomphe de l’Étoile off in the distance. It was there, just around 9:00 pm, that everyone started setting up.

Diner en Blanc 2015 001Diner en Blanc 2015 002Diner en Blanc 2015 005Diner en Blanc 2015 003Diner en Blanc 2015 004Diner en Blanc 2015 006Diner en Blanc 2015 008Diner en Blanc 2015 007Diner en Blanc 2015 010Our group of 7 (if you count Bear) pulled out all the yummy food we’d brought and shared a toast of champagne before digging in. After we’d eaten for a bit, Bear was getting a bit restless in his stroller, so I let him run around the perimeter of all the tables, while I followed, taking photos along the way of course. And in case you were wondering, yes, he did get dirty immediately. I can tell you that ours was literally the only child in attendance, but that was okay. Most people were unfazed, but others smiled and said hi. We got a few funny comments, people were calling him “bébé en blanc.” I will say he looked pretty darn cute. He was seriously having a blast. If there is one thing that I have learned about Bear’s one-and-a-half years young personality, that is that he is a people person. He always seems really content after he has spent time around a group of people. I can tell you he gets that from his dad. Maybe Bear will turn out to be an extrovert just like Geoff. Geoff truly has a gift when it comes to conversation. I, on the other hand, am severely lacking, so I’d be happy for Bear to get that trait. Bear spent the next hour or two running to, fro and all around our table while Geoff and I tag-teamed watching after him. We ate, we drank, we talked, we laughed, we snuggled our little man.
Diner en Blanc 2015-012Diner en Blanc 2015 015Diner en Blanc 2015-016Diner en Blanc 2015-017Diner en Blanc 2015 025Diner en Blanc 2015 022Diner en Blanc 2015 026Diner en Blanc 2015 029Diner en Blanc 2015 031Diner en Blanc 2015 034Diner en Blanc 2015-037Diner en Blanc 2015 039Diner en Blanc 2015 040At 11 o’clock we waited for the Eiffel tower to start sparkling (as it does on the hour) and in turn lit our own sparklers. This was when the night turned magical. The glow of thousands of sparklers combined with the energetic joy of everyone around me was enchanting. We waved our sparklers in the air, took photos, and danced a little.Diner en Blanc 2015 044Diner en Blanc 2015 043Diner en Blanc 2015 048Once most of the sparklers were done, we started to see people sending paper lanterns up into the air. One went up, then another, and another. Soon there we dozens floating off, up and over the far-off Eiffel Tower. We all stared in wonderment.Diner en Blanc 2015 051It was getting pretty late, and (it seemed like) Bear was starting to lose steam. So I laid him into the stroller with his bottle and walked the gravel pathway between the Dîner and the Tuileries garden entrance back and forth, back and forth. It was in this time that the whole night, the whole trip thus far, really, started to sink in for me. I know I mentioned extroverts before, but my extremely introverted self sometimes needs a little alone time so walking Bear around was just the thing. It was then that I simply and truly looked at everything around me. I felt the cool night air, I gazed at the beautiful architecture of the old buildings, I watched all the other happy Parisians and visitors, walking around, having picnics (yes, even at nearly midnight, people are still out having picnics when the weather is nice), playing Pétanque, talking, laughing, and enjoying life. I looked at all the beauty around me and was left in disbelief that this exquisite place is actually real, and I am actually here, and this is actually happening. It all seems too good to be true. I walked my baby back and forth with a huge smile on my face and a happiness in my heart.Diner en Blanc 2015 052Normally the bumpiness of the stroller is just the trick to get our tired baby to lull to sleep, but not today. He was far to excited to fall asleep and so he never did until we put him in his crib back at the apartment. He just wanted to be a part of the party I guess. Just around midnight, we decided to pack it in and head back. We packed up, cleaned up, and made sure that not a scrap was left behind. I listened to our friend Jason play a song on his banjolele (that would be a banjo ukulele and I want one so bad!) and sing along with his wife. We hugged all as friends and parted our separate ways for the night. Geoff, Bear and I rode the Metro “home”. It was truly an unforgettable night and one I’ll always be grateful for having experienced with my little family and friends.

Dreams of an Aloe Garden

Last week we had the rare opportunity to spend a leisurely day in San Francisco with my sister’s family. Geoff had an engagement session to shoot there that day, so we invited them along. We actually didn’t do too much at all, which was perfect.

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We lounged around in Golden Gate Park and while the kids ran around in the grass. It was the first time Bear had actually been able to run free in the great outdoors. He had a blast with his cousins. We ate delicious shawarma on a picnic blanket and I learned a new song on my ukulele.

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While Geoff was on his shoot, the rest of of toured around the botanical gardens. My sister suggested it would be great to check out the plants because I was on the market for some new greenery for my front yard. I love the colors in the fountain there.

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I could not get enough of the Aloe plants! I think I want to pant an aloe garden. What do you think, could allow be the new hot succulent? 😛

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I wouldn’t mind some cactus either.

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Plants

For dinner, we all went to zee German restaurant, Suppenküche.

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I can’t get over how good these pretzels with bavarian cheese were.

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And because it was literally a block away and super yummy, we went to Smitten for dessert, one of our favorite spots for amazing liquid nitrogen-frozen ice cream.

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Yard Sale Recap

With my little blogging break, I never got the chance to follow up on how our yard sale went. In short: AMAZING. The amount of people that came was insane. Between the hours of 8 and 9 am alone, our street (which has tons of parking around our house) was packed. People were double parked. We were so busy! We made a sum of money that definitely made it worth our time, and we got rid of a TON of stuff. I think there a few factors that contributed to our success, and I’m happy to share them here.

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Getting prepared

First of all, prep for the sale was pretty minimal, but necessary. I had exactly one week from when we’d decided to actually do a yard sale until the big day. This week comprised of cleaning out the garage, kitchen, bathroom, closets, and dressers, taking photos, posting online, and making and hanging up signs.

Great photos

I photographed some of my favorite/the best items from the yard sale. This was partly so I could always remember them, but mostly to showcase the goods we had. I used these in all my online postings and got many pre-sale inquiries about the items in the photos.

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Social Media

I reposted my ad text and photos to Facebook and this drove several friends, both old, new, and current, to the sale. It was so cool to see old friends from high school and I even got to meet some online friends in real life. Super cool bonus.

Cool stuff (and lots of it)

It really helps when you actually have good stuff to sell at your yard sale, go figure huh? I highlights these items in the photos I posted online. Tons of cute clothes for men, women, and baby, jewelry, baby gear, vintage items, furniture, electronics, etc. We also upped the quantity of sellables by inviting my sister (who had SO. MUCH. BABY. STUFF.) my mother-in-law, and one of our friends to also bring stuff.

Funny Ad

I had a ton of fun writing my ad and I actually got a few comments from people about it. I think when you can make people like YOU, it makes them think they might like owning your stuff too. Haha. Plus a funny ad will stand out amongst the sparsely written ads that are abound on craigslist.

“Branding”

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Of COURSE I branded our yardsale. I just can’t help myself. “OMG YARD SALE” was the name of our game. Again, with the humor. It was on every sign, and in every online ad and post. All of our signs were the same day-glo yellow with bold black text.

Incentives

We devised a scheme to provide a free donut to anyone that made a $5 purchase. It actually worked. There were several people whole were at a $3 or $4 total and deliberately bought more stuff to get the donut. There were actually a TON of people that asked how much it was to buy just a donut. I told them $1, haha, those donuts are for paying customers!!

No price tags

I bought packs of price tag stickers to use at the yard sale, but it got so crazy that morning that I just did not have the time. I think this actually was a great benefit. People had to come up and ask us what the prices were and we could cheerfully yell out “one dollar!!” “ummm…two dollars!!” “a quarter!” It was exciting. It was fun. Whenever a little kid came up asking about a small toy or something, I’d give it to them for super cheap. It helps to be cute, people. Most things sold for one or two dollars. Shirts were mostly $1, pants were $2-3, dresses were around $3, baby clothes were 50 cents, but the sheer quantity of them made the day very lucrative. There were also few “big ticket” items like our Rock Band set $45, monitor $40, small furniture $15-20, vintage scale $15, kitchen appliances $10 or so.

If I had to do it all again, there is one thing I might do differently.

Get up way earlier

I woke up just after 6 am and starting really setting up at 7 with the intention of “opening” at 8. People started showing up at 7:15. I was completely alone too, yikes. Geoff was out getting the donuts, hanging signs, and getting cash to make change with. My sister who was coming to help out hand’t yet arrived either. People were asking how much stuff cost and I was not even close to set up. By 8:00 there were at over a dozen people riffling though boxes of clothes that weren’t even hung up or set out. I hand’t even gotten the chance to think about how much to charge for my stuff. I was forced to think on my toes and start giving prices. I was actually pretty nervous about that part, but once I started I was ok.

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One last little cool bonus story from the day. There was this guy who bought our record player and the king figurine pictured below. He was so excited about the king because he has the matching queen. No joke! I gave him my card and told him he had to email me me a photo when he has the set together. So random and cool.

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The cutest yard sale worker ever. Check this kid out, he’s already reppin’ his parents out and handing out business cards. 

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We ended things at 2:00 pm when most of the stuff was gone and people were no longer showing up. Everything (well, almost everything) we didn’t sell, got loaded (crammed) into our car and taken to Goodwill. Goodbye stuff! 

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Playing in the Rain

This weekend our area saw a ton of rain. I think it was the first time it has rained THAT hard since Bear was born. So in celebration I took him out to really experience rain for the first time. I haven’t purposefully stood out in the rain in…I don’t even know how long. I remember that I used to love it though. I loved playing soccer in the resin as a kid, and slipping and falling down and getting all muddy. I loved standing out in the rain during those very special moments when the sun is setting and the light peeks out from under the clouds and turns all the water dropping from the sky golden yellow. I remember standing on a corner in my neighborhood for almost a half hours, just soaking it in, literally and figuratively. As I walked out in the the back yard with Bear in my arms, and the rain started to hit my head, I remember feeling actually surprised that I was getting wet, and a jerk reaction to get underneath something quick. Then I thought to myself, ummm…isn’t it kind of the whole point to get wet? Funny how we forget these things as we grow up. So I kicked off my shoes and took off Bear socks and let him just run around for some barefoot fun. Our hair and clothes got soaked. We splashed in the little puddles. Bear was really confused looking at first but then he loved it. This kid sure does love being outside and the rain made it just that much more fun.

Afterwards I changed Bear into his snuggliest pajamas. I don’t know what is better, playing in the rain, or getting all warmed up after being wet. It’s a close call. 

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Goodbye, Little Dog

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On Friday afternoon, January 30th, our Little Dog passed away. The following words and pictures are my way of remembering and saying goodbye.

We always say that we found Charlie and Little Dog found us. He came into our lives one evening 5 years ago as I was walking Charlie, who we’d adopted from the shelter about a month prior. We walked up to our house and I noticed a little brown dog across the street and no one around. Even though Charlie was barking like crazy, the little dog walked over to me. He had no tags. If you know me, I am always willing to help a lost dog.

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I put Charlie away and walked the little dog around the neighborhood, knocking on doors, and asking if anyone recognized him. We posted signs everywhere, Craigslist, Petfinder, and took him in to check for a microchip — there was none. One of our friends who lives nearby said they thought they recognized him and that the owners might have moved away and left him. I still don’t understand how people can do that. We started looking for a home for him as we were (or so we thought) a single dog family and we were trying to keep our home shedding-dog free. But he was pretty sweet so we did not mind holding on to him while we found him a good family. We called him “the little dog” as we did not want to give him a name because we all know how attached you get once you name them. He was so sweet, he LOVED to cuddle, and he really seemed to calm Charlie down, who was suffering from separation anxiety whenever we left the house.

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He cried when we tried to crate him overnight, so it wasn’t long before he was sleeping in our bed too. He was with us for a few weeks when we found three different people that wanted to adopt him. BUT by that time, we’d fallen in love. We decided to keep him in our family and the name “Little Dog” stuck. I bought him his collar, got him vaccinated and microchipped, and it was official. Little Dog was ours.

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Not more than a few days after we decided to keep him, he suffered a terrible seizure. It happened at night right before bed and I was terrified. We took him to the emergency vet, and they were able to calm him down and explained that this epilepsy would simply be a chronic condition. It happens in small dogs sometimes, they told us. Every time I think about that, I wonder if his previous owners had left him because of it. The seizures still happened every now and again, but whenever they did, we held him close, spoke calmly, and gave him lots of love until it passed. I believe that was why he found us. He just needed some love in his life.

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We always joked that Little Dog was our grumpy old man. We joked that his “time on the streets” made him a little rough around the edges. We didn’t really know exactly how old he was, but he did lose a few teeth and his fur was going gray. His grumpiness was certainly a characteristic of his. He’d bark and/or growl at you when you came in the door, but then a few minutes later he’d be curled up in your lap. We thought he must have been exposed to violence in his past, perhaps specifically by children. He hated to see anyone hitting anyone else. He was really afraid of young kids. What is interesting is how is relationship with Bear had developed in the short 13.5 months they shared together. When Bear was a little baby, Little Dog would sometimes come cuddle up next to him. Where Charlie didn’t really want anything to do with Bear, Little Dog didn’t mind him too much. As he grew, Bear was really good with Little Dog. He’d pat him on the back and I was just teaching how to “pet” by stroking Little Dog down his fur. Little Dog would grumble, but was tolerant. I know if Little Dog had a few more years with us, they’d be best buds.

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Charlie and Little Dog were best buddies. They didn’t quite get along at first, but they grew to love each other. Charlie is an escape artist and Little Dog was his shepherd. Or maybe you could just say they were partners in crime. Whenever Charlie managed to find his was through a hole in the fence, Little Dog would follow him, as if to make sure he didn’t get into too much trouble. Sometimes when Charlie got out, Little Dog would come up to us and pace and whine, letting us know something was wrong.

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He never learned many tricks but he could sit and “dance”. He never took off when he was off leash, he’d always stay nearby. More than anything Little Dog was a sweetie and a cuddle bug. If there was a lap available, he was always in it. He was always the one to love a warm body to cuddle up next to. He was notorious for sleeping right in the small of our backs or nuzzled in between our legs at night. Together we got to go hiking and camping and had plenty of fun park and walking adventures.

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He’d been diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure a few months ago and we’d been trying to counteract the symptoms with medication, but his little cough had persisted and become worse over time. On Friday morning, I noticed the cough was getting really bad. I gave him his pills and got ready for the day. Geoff had left really early, before dawn, to go hiking with a friend. As I got ready to take a shower, both Charlie and Little Dog were sitting on our bed, and I gave Little Dog a worried sigh as I pet him gently. I knew in my heart we might be getting close to the end. I took a few photos of Little Dog on my phone. That very first photo above is the last photo I ever took of him. I ran errands with Bear and came home to make some yard sale signs. Little dog was moving around, but to random spots where he would just stand and wheeze. I tried to make him a comfy spot on the couch but he just wanted to follow me back into the other room. He stood in his favorite sunny spot in the dining room while I made yard sale signs. Bear woke up from his nap and I made us some lunch. As I was eating, Little Dog walked over to me and noticed pinkish fluid dripping from his mouth. I immediately scooped him up, carried him over to the couch, and sat down with him on my lap. Once I sat, he took only two or three more labored breaths before letting out a long final breath. I felt the weight of his head on my arm and knew he was gone. I’d been preparing myself mentally for his death for some time now. I knew he would not be with us for more than maybe another year. But the reality of what just happened, literally in my arms, hit me like a ton of bricks. The emotion that escaped me in that moment was the most real thing I’ve felt since Bear was born. I cried out in agony, screaming, and sobbing. He was really gone. Once second here, the next gone forever. Geoff was not home, but he was on his way. I called him and told him what happened. Saying those words to him was so hard. Geoff was being so strong and supportive to me on the phone. I know how hard that must have been. When he finally got home, we hugged for a long time, and cried together. We decided to have him cremated, but before Geoff took him to the vet, we make a plaster impression of his little paw print. It is in the shape of a circle and his collar fits around it perfectly. We are so glad to have that little memento of him to keep with us.

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I already miss him so much. Since he died, things had been SO busy, until last night, when it could all really sink in. Wrapped in Geoff’s arms, I cried myself to sleep. Goodbye, Little Dog. You were our “little buddy” and we’ll never forget you. I’m sure doggy heaven is filled with lots of warm laps.

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(Our) 4th annual Dine Downtown

We met our friends Mike and Melissa because we were their wedding photographers almost four and a half years ago. We instantly connected over frozen yogurt (among other things) and have remained friends ever since. Something that has now become a bit of a tradition for us is partaking in Sacramento’s Dine Downtown Restaurant Week that happens every year in January. Dozens of the city’s best restaurants participate, creating exciting three-course prix fixe menus. It is an awesome opportunity to try some really yummy food. In 2012, our first Dine Downtown, we all went to Biba. 2013 was The Grange (I will not forget the chicken and waffles), 2014 was Foundation (with our very brand new Bear and their months-old Charlotte), and this year we were excited to try out the delicious sounding menu at Hock Farm & Provisions

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We decided to bring along our little ones as well. 

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For the first course, Geoff and I both ordered the same thing: Dungeness Crab & Beeler Ranch Pork Potstickers with citrus-coconut curry, Meyer lemon-herb slaw. These were super yummy. I even gate Bear a few tastes. It’s good to know he likes curry!

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For the main course, I ordered the Mesquite-Grilled Pork Tenderloin, with brussels sprouts, sweet potato, & house-smoked bacon “hash,” apple sauce, and pickled mustard seed…

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…and Geoff ordered the Black Forest Ham & Fontina-Stuffed Rocky Jr. Chicken Breast with truffled butternut squash risotto, and field greens.

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Whenever Geoff and I go out to eat, as much as we can we try to each order something different so that we can share and try as many things as possible. After the meal, we always declare a “winner” as to who chose the better meal. Geoff definitely won the main course round. The stuffed chicken was super flavorful and that truffled butternut squash was out of this world.

The kiddos got to “play” together a bit.

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Baby aperitifs were some gourmet pouches.

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This was a baby-mama selfie attempt.

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For the dessert course I ordered the House-made Donut Holes with caramel & chocolate sauces. These were good, nothing super special, but the carmel sauce was scrumptious. 

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Geoff ordered the Meyer Lemon Cheesecake with candied kumquat, and caramel. He was the winner here again! It had a great tartness and that bomb carmel.

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After the meal, Bear thought he would help out by wiping up the table. It’s funny, whenver he gets his hands on a baby wipe or something like that, he likes to “wipe up” whatever surface is in front of him. I will not say no to that!

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It was a fantastic evening with great food, great friends, great conversation, and a couple cute babies.

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