First Summer Weekend

This last weekend, we went to a fun Greek festival at St. Paul's Greek Orthodox in Irvine (there was a good looking LDS church a block down the street :). The pastries and baklava were to die for, and gyro delicious.

Gyro pizza

Later on we saw Disney's latest movie "Brave" and really enjoyed it. The graphics were great as always, the humor was spot-on, and the theme was heart-wrenching.

My parents (Spencers) visited yesterday, which I loved. Mom brought us some snacks and Mom and Dad both helped us find the right plug for the wall at the hardware store so the wall wiring is fixed! Our microwave works again, yay! It also enabled me to do more with my newly-recovered counter space:

We had pizza, watched "Cheers" on Netflix (one of our favorite older shows), and fiddled with the upstairs laundry doors. Overall in the few hours they stayed, we got a thing or two done and greatly enjoyed the company. I can't wait for them to come back on the 4th of July, and I'm so excited for our first mini-family-party (especially since I found great food deals and have a few fun ideas). This may turn into a tradition if the fireworks over the lake are good!

Here's a fun jello cake idea for July 4th - I'm doing something similar, but without the cake.

what you need

cups fresh strawberries, divided
cups boiling water
pkg.  (3 oz. each) JELL-O Gelatin, any red flavor
 Ice cubes
cup  cold water
pkg. (12 oz.) prepared pound cake, cut into 10 slices
cups blueberries, divided
tub  (8 oz.) COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, thawed

make it

SLICE 1 cup strawberries; cut remaining strawberries in half.
ADD boiling water to gelatin mix in large bowl; stir 2 min. until completely dissolved. Add enough ice cubes to cold water to measure 2 cups. Add to gelatin; stir until ice is melted. Refrigerate 5 min. or until slightly thickened. Meanwhile, cover bottom of 13x9-inch dish with cake slices. Add sliced strawberries and 1 cup blueberries to thickened gelatin; stir gently. Spoon over cake.
REFRIGERATE 4 hours or until firm. Cover with COOL WHIP. Arrange strawberry halves on COOL WHIP for stripes of flag and remaining blueberries for stars.

kraft kitchens tips

Prepare as directed with fat-free pound cake and COOL WHIP LITE Whipped Topping.
Prepare using JELL-O Berry Blue Flavor Gelatin.
Layer cake and fruited gelatin in dish as directed. Refrigerate 4 hours or until firm. Beat 2 pkg. (8 oz. each) softened PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese and 1/4 cup sugar with whisk or mixer until well blended; gently stir in COOL WHIP. Spread over gelatin layer. Continue as directed.

Neither of us slept well last night because of Maya having stomach trouble all night, which includes a few accidents (ick). She's feeling better today and I'm feeding her smaller meals a few times a day with rice and chicken broth to make sure her stomach stays calm. My stomach wasn't too happy with me either, so I cut my gym time short. Hopefully tomorrow I'll feel back to normal. One outing we always enjoy is the bark park - the dogs had a blast tonight.



After a hectic month, everything feels like it's back to normal. Mike is happy it's Friday, and so am I because it means the end of the school year! My summer will have a lot of photography, crafts, and workouts in it. I'll continue to get paid until the end of August because of how school district pay periods are spread out, so the "summer drought" may not hit us until then, if at all :crosses fingers:. We have a few photo gigs coming up and I have a few ideas for new wreaths, just trying to figure out what materials I want to use. Maya is healed and looks great. Her hair is slowly growing back. There's a bump on the lower wound so I'm keeping an eye on it.

Last weekend I house-sat for my parents while they met up with Allyson and Peter in Nevada for Father's day. I got Dad a Vin Scully book, which he was very happy with, and a personalized card with pictures of us printed on it like I made for Mom. They both really liked it so I think I'll keep making them. While in Simi, I went to Starbucks with an old friend from high school. I'm so glad I have some genuine, good-hearted, true friends and close family in my life that really care.

The weekend before, I took photos of the Owens' first grandbaby, Kai. He was born prematurely and has some medical issues, so it was difficult for him to feel good that day :\ But the shots still turned out great. See the full post HERE

Today I'm going to Disneyland for the last time in a LONG time because my pass expires and it's just too expensive to get tickets. Mike and I probably won't be going until our first kid is 8 so they'll actually remember it. haha. Meredith is coming down after work so we can check out Carsland <3 Thanks for taking the time out to hang out with me Mer!


Good Vibes for Maya

The point of this post is to ask for prayers and good vibes for our dog Maya:

This past Wednesday we drove up to Mike's mom and step-dad's house in Clovis to celebrate our sister Christina graduating high school. Unfortunately one of the bigger dogs up there was confrontational with Maya and he got a hold of her for a few seconds. You know how dogs shake their heads roughly to the side with a chew toy? Yeah... That keeps replaying over and over in our minds. As soon as he let her go, she just froze, regained her senses, and headed straight for the car we just got out of. While she didn't have any immediate emergency needs, she did get two puncture wounds about 2 centimeters in diameter that were slowly bleeding. We watched and waited to see if she'd go into shock (which she didn't) and cleaned her up. We came home the same night and I took her to our vet as soon as they opened.

Because of the way she was thrashed from side to side, the small punctures were actually on top of bigger pockets of air where the skin had been pulled away from the muscle. If we didn't do anything, they would've developed into infected puss pockets and poisoned her body. So, we forked over the money (good thing we had a few photo gigs... so much for the summer cushion) and paid for her surgery. As soon as she saw me when I came to pick her up, she wanted to get the heck out of there. For now she has two drain tubes so excess "stuff" can come out for the next few days. Once those are taken out and hopefully the areas aren't infected, she'll still wear the cone for a couple of weeks so her stitches will stay in. I took her in for a check-up appointment after she got her cone off and licked her wounds clean overnight, and they said to watch her closely. We're very wary of infection and have to constantly keep her occupied and distracted from scratching, and she's afraid of the cone hitting things as she walks.

This whole thing is very stressful and we ask pet lovers and friends to keep her in your thoughts and prayers. Most people haven't said anything, maybe they don't care about pets or how we feel about them, but whatever. We care, a lot.