Our Sweet Little Coco

Many of you don’t know the story behind how Coco became a part of our family. Cory & I are both dog lovers; he prefers big dogs & I prefer small dogs. I gave Cory our lab, Natty as a birthday present in 2007 and he promised that after we got married I could get a small dog of my own. He had one stipulation – no chihuahuas
So one week after we returned from our honeymoon I went online to the Kansas Humane Society’s website to browse puppies. There were several little & medium size dogs…and then there was Coco. I fell in love. : )
So I called to confirm that she was still there & made an appointment to go see her the very next day.
We walked up to the front desk & I told the receptionist that I was there to see Coco, thinking that they would just take us back to the room to meet her & Cory would overlook that she was, in fact, a chihuahua because he would fall in love with her too. Instead the receptionist said, “Oh Coco, the chihuahua?” Hahaha – the look on Cory’s face. But I was right about one thing, after we met her, he fell in love too.
And so, Miss Coco has been in our hearts ever since August 2010.
Here we are the day we brought her home. Instantly, I was her mama.
We went on walks.
We went fishing.
We went on roadtrips.
We both loved shopping for new clothes. Here – a scarf for me & a coat (her first!) for Coco.
Coco loved to cuddle in bed.
She loved to cuddle on the couch.

She loved to lay in the sun.
She loved to nap w/me on the couch on Sundays.
Sadly, last night we had to make the difficult decision to put Coco down. Although I had called three times since we left her at 12:45 yesterday and got positive news each time, she stopped breathing & her heart stopped beating. The vet called Cory at work & Cory called me & told me that we had a decision to make once he got home, after 11 p.m. He told me that if Coco had any chance of surviving, she would need another surgery.
Coco’s poor little body had been through so much trama in the past two days, she couldn’t handle another surgery. We knew this. The vet didn’t think her chances were good at survival either & if she did survive the surery, she would need long term care. She would never go back to the quality of life that she had before. So my brave, strong husband made that horrible call around 11:15 last night.
Today was a hard day. I didn’t want to be at work, but it actually helped to have my mind focus on something new.
It just seems surreal. You watch friends & family lose pets & empathize, but you really don’t fully understand the pain, until it happens to you. The worst part was coming home because Coco normally greets me at the door, so happy to see me. I can’t believe that I’ll never see her or get ot cuddle with her again.
I know it will get better, and I know that there are much worse things happening in the world. Today will be the hardest day, but one day we will think back about Coco with nothing but smiles. I have to say, out of this experience I am blown away by the compassion that so many of my family, friends & coworkers have showed us. I am so thankful.
 Flowers that my friend, Kate brought me this afternoon, along with Starbucks.
Some of my favorite pictures of my sweet baby girl:
So precious.
Her Snuggie.

Sleeping with her dad & sister, while Mom went to work.
Her British look.
Us. : )
Thank you so much for your support of us on this short, tough & unexpected journey of losing Coco. Thank you for keeping us in your thoughts & prayers. I am reassured that my baby is no longer in pain & I hope to see her again one day in Heaven. : )

Coco Baby

Our family has some sad news to report this weekend. While Cory & I were in Kansas City this past week, Natty & Coco snuck out of our backyard through an undetected hole in the neighbor’s new fence.
Our neighbor saw the dogs running around the neighborhood & called Cory’s QT store. Cory’s manager called us & we called my mom, who called my step-dad, who was able to go look for them. He found Natty sitting on our front porch, but couldn’t find Coco.
Right around that time I got a call from a nice girl named Lora, who lives just a couple of streets down from our house, across Maize Road. She found Coco on her porch but when she tried to pick her up Coco ran under their car. They were on their way out and when they got in the car Coco jumped in & wouldn’t get out.
My mom was able to go pick her up, but Coco wouldn’t even come to her. She was snapping at everyone who touched her & shaking uncontrollably. Her lip was detached from her mouth & she was bleeding. My mom managed to get her into her car & take her to the vet.
At 5 p.m. Miss Coco went into surgery. She had tubes placed into 6 lacerations from where the vet believes a dog bit down on her & shook her, based on the way the skin was pulled away from the muscle. The tubes are there to make sure that her wounds drain properly and don’t get infected. She got stiches in mutiple places, including her mouth.
She made it out of surgery after 3.5 hours and stayed the night at the vet. My mom picked her up in the morning, brought her back home & waited there with her until we made it back home.
Here she is after her surgery, with her tubes in.
We were given two different kinds of medicine to give her a total of four times a day.

I spent the whole afternoon & evening by her side as she was crying & moaning from the pain.
She mostly laid in her bed.
I could tell she wanted to be cuddled up in my bed but when I tried to move her she screamed out in pain. She willingly went out to go potty around 8 p.m., but I couldn’t get her to eat any food.
Natty was being very gentle with her & giving her space. It’s amazing how dogs know when something is wrong.
Natty even shared her new bed. She’s such a sweet big sister.
When we woke up this morning to give Coco her medicine, she was hanging off the side of her bed in an uncomfortable looking position. Cory moved her back to cuddle up inside her bed, like she normally likes to lay & then he went to the grocery store while I stayed by her on the floor. About 5 minutes before he got back she started convulsing.
He called the Emergency Vet & they instructed us to bring her in. I really didn’t know if she was going to make it – & still don’t. When we got there she stopped breathing on her own & we were asked if they would like us to perform CPR. We declined & they put her on a breathing machine.
They think that Coco developed an infection from her surgery, which is understandable. She had a big surgery & is such a little dog. After talking with the vet for about an hour, we decided to leave her hooked up to meds for 24 hours & revisit the situation.
There’s no telling if Coco will make it through the night or if she will still need a breathing machine tomorrow afternoon. If things don’t look better, we’ve made the decision to put our sweet little baby down because we don’t want to her to be in anymore pain.

This is Coco in better times, shortly after we got her from the Humane Society.

I’ve never had a pet pass away, but know from friend’s & family’s experience that it is extremely painful. I haven’t been able to stop crying in almost 48 hours, and as much as Cory never wanted to be the owner of a chihuahua, he has been very upset too.
As devestating as it is, I know that God has a plan for every detail of our life & that he will do what’s best for this situation & I’m comforted by that. We would appreciate prayers for strength & comfort at this time, & most of all prayers that Coco isn’t in pain.
Thanks for reading & I’ll keep you updated.

Looking Back: 2011

As I may have touched on before, 2011 was a difficult year for me personally. Professionally, it was a fabulous year. Balancing the two was something that I struggled with. Regardless, lots of amazing things happened last year & I believe no matter how rough, every day of every year is a gift. Here are a few of my favorite days from 2011.
I scored a couple of basketball tickets from a vendor…
And took Cory to his first KU game ever!
I’ve yet to be in Allen Fieldhouse & not gotten goosebumps. Love this team & this place.
One of the many reasons I love my job is because of all of the fabulous events I get to attend. This was one of my first fundraisers – so much fun!
My hot date.

Coworkers who have become good friends of mine. : )
My grandma, mom, sister & I took a trip to KC for the day to visit family. We had lunch & got pedis & had some great girl time.
Then they dropped me off at Megan’s bachelorette party!
And in the process, met some really cool ladies! Fun night. : )
We celebrated my 25th Birthday! At first I was envisioning a big celebration in Kansas City (one of my favorite cities), but as it turns out, all I needed was my love. : ) And Whitney was icing on the cake! The fact that I celebrated this big birthday doing the exact things that I wanted to do, with the one person that matters the most to me turned out to be just what I needed. It drove home the fact that quality is better than quantity. This is a lesson I’m just beginning to learn at 25.
So we feasted on sushi…
And sang out hearts out w/Whitney at a super cool Chicago-style piano bar called Ernie Biggs in Westport…
And okay, we had a couple of drinks before we stumbled back to our hotel, The Q.
Which called for Bloody Marys the next morning.
Then we drove home & celebrated with the people that matter the most, our family.

I helped throw Quin & Joe a “Sip & See” for their new little man, Everett. I was in the company of some truly amazing women.
 I did something that I had been waiting six years to do – celebrate one of my best friends, Erica graduation!! Congratulations to Dr. Dorsey! (Who is now Dr. Mears – see next month.)
And we took our third (or fourth?) annual trip to Bull Schoals over Memorial Day.
I helped throw Erica a bridal shower…
With these fine ladies.
I went to Chicago for the first time and completely fell in love with the city.

Oh, and I accepted TWO awards for my company while I was at a conference there. Very rewarding!

The best part of June was when I got back from Chicago and found out the I was having a second nephew or niece (turned out to be a nephew).
We celebrated our one year anniversary by having a weekend staycation because I had to travel for work the following Monday.
We ate sushi (kind of a theme for us).
PS – How gorgeous is he??
I took Cory to the Director’s Suite in the Old Town Warren for the first time.
We went antiquing (is this a real word?)
And celebrated with champagne & gifts!
(Cory’s gift was the necklace he’s wearing & my gift was an anniversary band – see my hand randomly sticking out in the picture)

We took our biennial trip to Montana. This is us getting ready for a hike.
The view from the top!
Spending time at Grandma’s hous (which is a log cabin – love that).
And enjoying some adult beverages at the Swan Valley Annual Huckleberry Festival, of course.

Our first time at ZOOBILEE! So fun! Here I’m with my co-worker, Stacie & my girlfriend, Ashley & some super-fit jungle people.
Cory & one of his BFFs, Dylan
 Bahaha. Love this pic & love this lady.
And I cannot forget The Script concert – one of the best bands I’ve ever seen live. This is Alex (another BFF) & I at the show.
I attended the best dinner party ever, for my dear friend Kristine’s 30th birthday. It was a black & white, French-themed soriee – so fancy! Her sister & a couple of family friends put this party together & it was top-notch. Such a fun evening with delicious food, lots of wine & good company.
The menu.
One of the chefs.
I tried to capture the ambiance of the room, but it was impossible.

The birthday girl!

Briggs’ Baby Shower! My mom & I threw my sister a baby shower, with the help of my Grandma and her partner, Kim (they were our sous chefs). We hosted the party at Junior League Headquarters on a cold November afternoon, but there was so much love for Morgan & Briggs in the room that you (almost) couldn’t tell it was so freezing outside.

Such a loved baby, even before he was here.
In December we celebrated two important birthdays (which happen to be on the same day – Dec. 15th):
Alex’s 24th
Brodie’s 4th

As I look back on 2011, I take the lessons that I learned with me into 2012 & cherish all of the memories that have been made. And I’ll end this blog post with the same attitude as I ended the year:

And thank God that it does! : )

Welcome to the World Briggs!

Morgan told me that she was pregnant with her second baby like this:

It was the cutest thing ever. I had just (barely) made it back from a conference in Chicago & was focused on getting to a friend’s rehearsal dinner (as a bridesmaid, you’re sort of expected to be there). I was so focused
on what I needed to get done that it totally flew under my radar. I was so THRILLED when I finally took notice!
Morgan was due the end of January, the 29th to be exact. We found out that she was having another baby boy (it was the first sonogram I had ever been in, in fact & I cried – it was amazing). We also found out that we would definitely be on vacation in Hawaii until the first full weekend of January. Issue.
Thankfully Morgan was scheduled to be full-term the day after we got back. And although she had a difficult pregnancy, we were obviously hoping for her to give birth to a healthy, full-term baby. 
We got back Saturday afternoon & received a text from my mom at 5:30 am on Monday morning, January 9th saying that Morgan was in the hospital! 
She officially went in to labor that afternoon. And to the hosiptal I went – awaiting the birth of my second nephew!
Aren’t these the sweetest little shoes?
After a tough labor (fitting for a tough preganancy)…
Welcome to the world Mr. Briggs Jonathan Jarvis! Weighting in at 7.83 lbs & 18.5 inches, you are precious & so loved. 
Thank you for waiting for me to come back from vacation. I owe you one, little guy.
Brodie’s first look at his very own baby brother. : )

Morgan & the family are at home & doing well.
Our family has been very blessed with these two beautiful boys & Cory & I plan to spend 2012 & beyond enjoying as many moments with them as we can.

Aloha Paradise

We’ve been back home for almost a week now and our tans are slowly starting to fade away…but I’ll fill you in on the last portion of our trip.
Monday, January 2nd
Happy New Years! Well, it felt like the new year by Monday at least, as I was…shall we say, recovering all day on Sunday. PS – I have found that the beach is truly the best place to wait out your hangover…wish I could use this tactic more often.
So to take advantage of this beautiful day, Cory took me on a hike. He had been on this hike with one of his twin aunts, Jean I believe, when he was younger. The views were amazing – we even saw whales! How lucky 2012 has been so far for us, with all of the random whale sightings? We had seen whales from Beth’s condo earlier that morning, making our total of whales sightings rack up to 3!
Our location.
At the top!
Then we grabbed a “healthy lunch” – really, they have a healthy section of their menu – at L&L, a local fav.
We ended the day with a truly lovely dinner at one of my favorite restaurants in Oahu. It’s called Hau Tree & it’s located in Waikiki. This is the restaurant that you envision when you think of Hawaii dining. It’s right on the ocean, open air – beautiful.
The view from our table.
After dinner with Cory’s aunt & grandma.
Tuesday, January 3rd
Ever since I first stepped foot in Hawaii in 2009 I have wanted to eat at one of these places that has rotating sushi. Well…I am happy to report that I finally got to try it & was NOT dissappointed. It was AWESOME!
Our experience at Genki Sushi:
The bar you sit at & grab up your lunch!
Big, delicious California rolls.
All of the plates we ate.

Our total bill ended up being around $25 w/tip. No too shabby.
In the afternoon we visited the North Shore. It’s one of my favorite parts of the island. Lots of celebrities own or rent homes there – so it’s safe to say that it’s a popular place. This is where all of the surfers go because the waves are outrageously big! Here’s what we experienced that day.
This is not a joke. Really.
My preferred view of the day.
Wednesday, January 4th
We had a really low-key day. Day off from pics!
Thursday, January 5th
We had to take one more run at Ala Moana before we left.

Then we spent the rest of the day lying on the beach at The Outrigger. Shirley is a member there & was able to get us a week guest pass. If you have seen The Descendants w/George Clooney, some of the movie was filmed at this country club. Therefore, I made sure to position myself in the exact (as far as I could tell) spot that George was at the beach. : ) I’m kind of a big deal now.
After the beach & drinks at The Outrigger, Cory took me to a historic local drive-in for dinner called Rainbow Drive In. This place was so authentic Hawaiian. The served spaghetti & weiner. For real. I tried to order it but they were out. So…we went with another Hawiann classic that was suggested to us by our friend, Kendra. She warned us that it was heavy…
The Loco Moco.
Friday, January 6th – Last Day : (
We went shopping. : ) I walked in to my first lululemon store!
And made my first “investment!”
Every girl knows this man’s name. : )
Then I spent some time relazing on the beach while Cory got his tattoo re-inked.
And we spent our last evening having pupus & drinks at Cory’s grandparent’s with family. It was the perfect way to end our vacation.
Grandpa Tom w/an injured foot/leg.
 Great Aunt Marilyn & Grandma Kristi – some awesome ladies.
We had the best time in Hawaii & were sad to go. I would say this sums up what we got on our vaca to a T:
Until next time Hawaii!!!

New Years Eve/New Years Day

We rang in 2012 in Waikiki at a bar in the Sheraton Hotel called Rumfire. They were having an “End of the World” party – so much fun! Here’s our night:
Us with Suzi & Shirley – Two inspiring ladies I am so proud to have met!
Us with Suzi & Aunt Beth in Shirley’s apartment for pre-NYE party drinks & pupus (the Hawaiian way to say appetizers).
Party at Rum Fire!
Getting the party started.
Our weapons.
There was even a base jumper at this shindig.
Watching the “meteor” drop – 3…2…1…
Happy New Year!!!
Our first photo in 2012. : )
Twas a good night. We stopped by PF Changs for happy hour – yes, 12 am happy hour – for our very first date in 2012. Fabulous start to the New Year!
Things I witnessed in my hung over state:
1. A whale – no joke. We were laying on the beach & Cory pointed out whales jumping in the distance.
2. Two surfers break their boards. These waves were wild. There was no swimming allowed.
Hangover Cure Attempt #1
Purchased from this food truck on the North Shore – it doesn’t get more authentic than this!
Hangover Cure Attempt #2
So far I have no complaints about 2012. So happy for this New Year!!

Island Life

We have definitely been enjoying our vacation. Here is past Thursday-Saturday in photos:
A late morning run in Ala Moana Park. Running is so much easier here than in Kansas (especially in December) – look at these views!
Followed by a day at the beach.
And a University of Hawaii basketball game with his grandparents. His grandpa is still a professor there & his grandma is alum (which is how they met).
We’re rocking our new U of H gear.
Cory surprised me with Stand Up Paddleboard lessons because he knew that it was something I really wanted to do this time around. They were such a blast!!! Not to mention a great workout – I could barely walk that night/the next day. Our instructor’s name was Marcus & he was awesome. He thought we were doing so well (in the top 10-15% he said)for our first time that he took us out to ride waves! I didn’t really make it out far enough, but Cory did really well. Cory & Marcus:
Once again – we vegged at the beach. Here is the beachpath:
And had dinner at this spot in Chinatown called “Little Village.” It was like Siagon in Wichita – delicious.
On NYE Day we went for another run in Ala Moana.

Then we went to a country club called The Outrigger, where Shirley got us a week pass. We spent the day on the beach & then went down to the bar for a couple O’Henrys – the signature drink.
Life here is good! More to come!