Monday, August 31, 2009

A Lifetime of Loving Dogs

It all started with Angus, our beagle/basset/spaniel mix. A true companion and wonderful dog to grow up with. Then on to Oliver, my golden sweetheart who was the love of our lives and who Dama took care of when we were engaged in Ollie's final days. Then the gentle giants of Emma and Rockford, 2 bull mastiffs with so much love to give. We have always had dogs in our lives, and when we haven't, there was something missing.

The road to the first Hakamada dog was a long process. When we got married, we knew eventually we would have a dog and never imagined it would be 10 years later.

There are so many times that someone waits for "13 o'clock". You know, that mysterious time when everything is "right". I have heard it many times and have done the same. "We need to wait until the timing is right". Or "we have to do x and Y before we can do this". This is what happened with getting a family dog.

All the while we thought long and hard about breeds, what we will do when we go on vacation, the walks, the feeding, the vet bills, the mess, the grooming, the heartbreak when they go. But it never swayed us. Having a dog was just a dream we always wanted to fulfill.

The time finally came when everything seemed right and that's when Baxter came along.

And he is the dream we have waited for. He honestly has changed life for us in so many ways. The puppy days were so much work. I remember early on Googling "how old when a puppy settles down". He wore me out, night and day. I often wondered why I had done this to myself.

Why? Because now he is a Hakamada. He is truly part of the family. He has given us so many moments of fun and happiness. He fits in like a glove. He loves the kids and they love him. They take responsibility for him and he is teaching them. They know the love that we have always had for our pets. He craves being with the kids, whether it is on the couch during a movie or when they hide in the tall grass at the dog park and he tracks them down. I am so happy we have given them the gift of Baxter.

Life just would not be the same without him.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

For My Crafting Sisters

The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul. No matter our talents, education, backgrounds, or abilities, we each have an inherent wish to create something that did not exist before. . . .Creation brings deep satisfaction and fulfillment. We develop ourselves and others when we take unorganized matter into our hands and mold it into something of beauty. . ."

Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Camping '09

We had a great overnight camp trip in a new location for us: Mount Baker Snoqualmie National Forest. It was our first time to camp her and we found these campsites when we were on our way to a hike a few weeks back. I have to say, this was the most perfect site for us that we have ever camped at.

The beautiful trees covered with moss, nice big site, huge flat tent pad.

And at the foot of our site was this little creek, easily accessible for the kids to play and hunt for cool rocks!

The creek led to the Stillaguamish River and a small beach area with a calm and safe place for the kids to swim. They loved it! Brrrrrrr.......

There was lots of time by the campfire too. We did all of our cooking over the fire. Everything always tastes so much better that way! We had steak, Dama made curry, garlic bread, grilled veggies.

And Jiffy Pop of course.

We finally got to use the doggie door on the tent since it was our first camping trip with Baxter. He loved the freedom but wasn't sure what to think when it got dark and we weren't going home! He had a restful night in the tent, curled up next to me all night. It was so nice to see him enjoying camping with the kids.

We will definitely be coming back here. The area is so gorgeous and less than an hour and a half from us. The ice caves hike is also 20 minutes up the road and that is breathtaking. Pacific Northwesterners, make sure you make a visit here!

Friday, August 14, 2009


Hard to believe that summer is coming to an end in 3 short weeks. The kids will be headed back to school and the days will become cooler (yeah). This summer so far has been a lot of fun. A lot more relaxing than I had planned on but I am ok with that.

We have done a lot outdoors as evidenced by the kids' sun kissed skin and new collection of freckles. Me? I am still white as white can be :) Backyard pool, neighbor's cool inflatable slide pool, endless doggie park trips (our second home), hiking.

Friends have been a big part of our summer. Trying to get in as many playdates as we can, playing with old friends, and making new ones. I am amazed at how many calls come in for the kids. It warms my heart to know their friends love them as much as we love their friends.

Swim classes every week. The kids are improving by leaps and bounds and can't get enough of the water.

My first year of veggie gardening. Quite proud of myself! Green onions, lettuce, tomatoes, basil. I want to expand my garden for next year. No more little pots, I am thinking big plots!

Dama working less. Getting home in the early evenings has been great. Lots of time in the evenings to go on bike rides, to the park, play games, practice Japanese.

It has been a lovely summer!
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