Yearly Archives: 2010

Even dogs need a pillow!

Kevin snapped this awesome shot of Lola today through our kitchen window. He peeked out and lo-and-behold Lola fell asleep on her basketball! What a crackup. That girl never ceases to make us laugh!

Who woulda thought a basketball could actually look like a comfortable pillow? 😉

Day trip to the Marin Headlands

I had President’s Day off so Kevin and I decided to get out of the city, take advantage of the sunshine and take a day trip to the Marin Headlands. After checking out some of the views over the cliffs, we got hungry and had a nice little picnic in the car.

Then we headed over to Battery Wallace (a battery is a place in which a group of guns/missile launchers are operated together in one place, there were quite a few out that way).

Kevin put the biggest smile on my face when he willingly took this photo that I begged him to pose for: him pretending to shoot a machine gun in the middle of the battery 🙂

The fog kept rolling in and out, and at this point it was pretty foggy so I thought it’d be cool to take a photo like this (if you click it you can enlarge the photo to see it more clearly).

I was trying to get all artistic and have Kevin take this photo of me in a small corner filled with graffiti.

Kevin peeking out of some lookout, pretending he was spying on the enemy I’m sure 😉

There were a ton of huge metal doors that had been sealed shut but I thought this one looked pretty cool.

After checking out the old abandoned military bases, we went to make a visit to the Marine Mammal Center which is free and open to the public every day of the year except for a few major holidays. We got lucky because President’s Day wasn’t seen as major enough for them to be closed!

The time we went to visit most of the sea lions were enjoying their naps in the sun.

“Big Daddy” wanted to say hello to our blog followers!

I couldn’t resist! What a cute little pup.

In the tunnel as we exited the Marin Headlands

It was really great getting away for the day, just the two of us. It was a great place to explore and we’ll definitely be back again (possibly to camp overnight…who’s coming with us? 🙂 )

Beatles Brunch and Alison/Seth’s visit!

Jessie had a fantastic get together at her apartment last Saturday (2/13) called the Beatles Brunch! She’s got quite a talent for cooking, especially breakfast foods, so she had a bunch of friends over for brunch that she made all on her own!

Two amazing scramble dishes (one with bell peppers, spinach and goat cheese…oh my!), bacon and home style potatoes.

Breakfast “dessert”…sour cream coffee cake (Kevin’s specialty that he brought along) and Jessie’s chocolate croissant banana bread pudding…yum!!

Somebody’s hungry!

She had the super cute idea of leaving out arts & crafts supplies and people making their own valentines…awwww!

The official Valentine’s nerd 😉

Must’ve been a special occasion because Kevin’s not wearing a plain ol’ t-shirt! 🙂 (I’m one to talk though because normally all I wear is jeans but that day I wore a skirt for the special occasion)

When the mimosas ran out, the boys opened up some scotch (which you can see they were very proud of)

Sisterly love!

That night we had a rare night out on the town because my friend Alison and her husband Seth were in town from Irvine! Alison is originally from Walnut Creek (in Contra Costa County) and she and I met at Redlands. Seth is in a PhD program at UC Irvine so they’re living in Orange County for now but are planning on coming back up to the Bay Area when he’s done (3-4 more years). She and some of her friends from home came out to the city for the evening. In the early part of the evening, Alison, Laura, Kevin and I went to dinner at Papalote’s Mexican Grill in the Mission (they have the most unbelievable creamy salsa you’ve ever had!) We then met up with Seth, Daniel and Eric in the Castro and spent a few hours at The Cafe, a really fun gay nightclub.

Laura, Daniel, Eric, Alison and Seth

Kevin had to fight off the boys at the club, haha!

Laura, me, Kev, Alison and Seth

We spent hours dancing away and we had a blast! I can’t wait for Alison and Seth to move back up to the Bay Area so we can get together more often! 🙂


Me and Kevin have been keeping ourselves pretty busy these past few weeks which is really great. Slowly but surely we’ve been meeting new friends and I think it’s been helping a lot. Nothing’s worse than not having a social support network, so we’re pretty lucky in that we’re slowly building up some friendships!

My co-worker and our friend Maya (who I’ve spoken about a few times on here) has been hanging out with us a lot lately (and sometimes her room mate Katie joins in on the fun). We’ve had quite a few game nights at their place which have been a blast (anyone who knows us, knows that we love playing games! 🙂 )

A friend of mine from Long Beach, Cynthia, came up to visit her friends that live in Oakland a few weeks ago and invited us to tag along one day she was in town. Her friends Mika and Matt have been in the Bay Area for a while and they’re a lot of fun to hang around. We met up with the three of them at Dynamo Donuts, which is a gourmet donut shop in the Mission. Cynthia really wanted to try the Maple Bacon Donut which was advertised on the Food Network (she was raving about it so it must’ve been good!) The donuts really are good, but be ready to spend a pretty little penny on each one. Then they did some sightseeing during the day and we met up with them that night at their home for some dinner and games (what did I tell you, we love games! haha). Matt and Mika made homemade pizza (BBQ chicken pizza and a potato/onion pizza, yum!) and spent a good chunk of time playing Scattergories. Since that first weekend we met them we’ve gotten together with them another time for a Super Bowl get together at their house. Though there’s talk of them moving out of state it’s nice to have some married friends in the area!

This upcoming weekend we were actually invited by one of my college friends to join a cooking party that gets together once every 1-2 months to eat yummy food together! Last month’s theme was Italian food and this month’s theme is Fat Tuesday: Comfort Foods. We’ll be preparing some delectable dessert and an update will surely follow after the event. 🙂

Another little something that I’ve been getting more involved in is the Buddhist organization that I grew up with. Each member of the organization is part of a district (neighborhood groups that get together once a month for discussion meetings), so I’m part of the Glen Park district and it’s been really great getting involved up here in SF. A couple of weeks ago I was honored by some of the Young Women’s Division Leaders (members who volunteer to help care for other members) and asked to become the Diamond Chapter YWD leader (a Chapter is made up of 3 or more districts, so I’ll be in “charge” of the young women in the three districts that make up Diamond Chapter, one of which is Glen Park district). I was a little hesitant to take on the position at first but am happy to say that on 2/7 my appointment as the new leader was announced! My goal is to really help develop the faith and practice of the young women in my Chapter and it’s my hope that by the end of the year (I know, pretty ambitious timeline!) I’ll have YWD district leaders for each of the 3 districts (at this point we don’t have any YWD district leaders). I just feel really proud that in such a short amount of time people here have faith in me to take on such a responsibility and I’m looking forward to the challenge and rewards of taking on this position! 🙂

Visiting with the Edmonds family in Turlock

On Saturday 2/6 we were lucky enough to get to spend some time with some of Kevin’s family for the day! His parents, George and Dorothy, were spending some time near Coarse Gold (which is near Yosemite) and on Saturday made a visit to George’s sister’s home in Turlock so we met up with them there. It was really great to be able to see them even if only for a day. We spent a few hours chatting and catching up with each other at Kevin’s Aunt Jayne’s house and then went to lunch at AJ’s Cafe and Grill in town which had some pretty good sandwiches (typical diner style food). We were able to spend over half the day with them which was a great little visit in between the months we go without seeing them! Unfortunately I didn’t take any photos during our visit so you’ll just have to take my word for it. 😉

Foodie reviews

The past few months we’ve ventured out and tried some new restaurants that I’d like to share for those of you planning trips to the city!

  • The Hidden Vine: An amazing little wine bar near Union Square. Me, Kev and Jessie went here and had a fantastic time. The atmosphere is extremely cozy with big, plush armchairs grouped together for small groups to get together and relax over a bottle (or two) of wine. Decent prices. It’s kind of tricky to find so don’t be afraid to ask around!
  • Barney’s Gourmet Hamburgers: A really great hamburger place in Noe Valley. We went here with our friend Maya who lives in the neighborhood and highly recommended we eat there…we were definitely not disappointed! They’ve got a great variety of beef, turkey and veggie burgers and amazing sweet potato fries. We will definitely be back!
  • Roosevelt Tamale Parlor: A cute little hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurant in the Mission (what restaurant isn’t a hole-in-the-wall in the Mission?) Me and Jessie went here last week for a mid-week sister’s dinner. They’ve got a great selection of tamales but they were a little dry which was unfortunate. The salsa is super spicy so just be ready for that. Fast, attentive service and a warm atmosphere.


Okay, so my plan to update this blog through the present didn’t really happen like I had hoped! I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it’ll all be updated by the end of this weekend (someone help me keep to it, wouldja? 😉 )

Most of you know the ordeal that Kevin and I went through with Lola at the beginning of the year but for posterity’s sake 😉 I’d like to post a rundown of the events:

  • Day 1, Mon. Jan. 4: Lola was vomitting, had diarrhea, and wouldn’t eat or drink
  • Day 2, Tues.: $500 worth of tests/x-rays at SPCA, sent home with meds, the problem continued. Called them back, they suggested hospitalizing her for 1 1/2 days (estimated $1,000).
  • Day 3, Wed.: A co-worker recommended his vet, they also suggested hospitalizing at ER hospital down the street (est. $500). Other option to give fluids intravenously and send her home (which we did). Problem got worse, she woke up with–and I apologize in advance for the graphic details–diarrhea that looked like pure blood. Again they wanted to send her to ER hospital (est. $500) but after seeing the struggle that Kevin and I were going through to see the bill grow by leaps and bounds each day, he gave us an amazing option: though normally they don’t hospitalize pets at their facility because no staff on duty, for $100 Lola could stay at their facility and the doctor said that he would stay at his parent’s house in the city so that he could check in on her during the night…amazing. Took blood sample.
  • Day 4, Thurs.: Still no improvements, we were afraid we might have to put her down. Blood test results came in: white blood cell count and albumin (a blood protein) levels were dangerously low. Doctor said that if levels didn’t get better, she’d need a plasma transfusion. We never got an estimate but we knew that we could never afford a procedure such as that. Lola was extremely lethargic (barely lifted her head) and still not eating/drinking. Kept her hooked up to fluids/antibiotics another night.
  • Day 5, Fri.: Doctor retook blood test mid-day (hopeful that after 1 1/2 days of being hooked up we’d see improvements). During our visit she seemed to have improved by leaps and bounds! She actually stood up to greet us and went for a walk outside. Blood test results: white blood cell count almost back to normal, albumin level still extremely low which meant is was still life-threatening. The doctor wanted to keep her through Monday to make sure that Lola’s body was given a chance to recover. She knew that the cost of hospitalizing her for 3 more days/nights would be impossible for us so she offered to keep Lola at the facility, hooked up to fluids/antibiotics until Monday evening without charging us a penny. And on top of that, their office is closed on Sundays but she was going to come into the office to administer Lola’s meds and check in on her. She did this for us even though Lola hadn’t even been a patient of hers for a week. It was in that moment that I was reminded that there are some truly amazing people in the world, and our vet is one of them. My heart was overflowing with appreciation.
  • Days 6 & 7, Sat. 7 Sun.: Slow improvements in energy level and desire to eat/drink.
  • Day 8, Mon.: She was finally able to keep food, water and meds down so she came home that evening!
  • Week 1 of recovery: When she came home she was skin & bones (she lost 6 pounds, and for a 48 pound dog that’s quite a drop in one week) and still had very little energy. But each day Lola regained more and more strength and at our one week checkup with the doctor she was so impressed with her recovery!
  • Today, six weeks since she first showed signs of illness, Lola is doing FANTASTIC! Other than her “battle wounds” (the shaved areas of her front legs where they had to put the IV’s in) that are still showing, you honestly could not imagine that just 6 weeks ago she was hospitalized and on the verge of death. We have absolutely grown a new appreciation for our little girl Lola and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about how lucky we are. She is absolutely the best thing that has happened to us in our move to SF and we hope to have her as a part of our family for years and years to come!

This is one of my favorite pictures of Lola, I had it up in our house while she was hospitalized to help keep me thinking positive and remind me of how she looked when she was healthy and full of energy!

Thomas and Joshua’s visit

Early in the morning on t he first day of the new year we jumped in our packed car and made the drive back up to SF. Kevin’s brother Thomas and our nephew Joshua followed us in Thomas’ car to spend the weekend in the city with us! The trip hadn’t been planned more than a few days so it was a great way to end our trip.

Kevin and Thomas playing with Lola during a pit stop off the 5

After hanging out at our apartment for a bit we decided to head out to Fisherman’s Wharf (my favorite spot in the city…yeah, not really! haha) for some exploring.

I have to admit, it was nice seeing Fisherman’s Wharf at night
We were entertained for about 3 minutes by “Captain Jack Spareribs Pirate Show” (as you can see, we had to practically tear Thomas away from the show, haha)
We made another visit to the Musee Mecanique (antique penny arcade) and Josh made a little discovery (this photo was aunt/uncle inspired! 😉 )

For dinner we wanted to go to Goood Frikin Chicken or Balompie but unfortunately both were closed because it was New Year’s Day. So we ended up going to a Mexican/Salvadorean restaurant called El Patio in the Mission which had great food but horrible service unfortunately. Guess we should’ve read the reviews first, about half of them had the same complaint as us (click link above)! At least it was good food!

On Sat. 1/2 we headed out for more sight-seeing. We made our first stop at Buena Vista Park in the Haight which Kevin and I had passed many times and always said we’d visit so that day was good as any!

The boys race to the top of the staircase

Thomas, the victor

And of course the most fun the three of them had was in the kiddie playground!

After driving through some neighborhoods and popular spots we decided to get out of the city for a change so across the Golden Gate Bridge we went! We spent the afternoon in Sausalito, a really cute town just across the Bay.

Josh contemplating the meaning of life (or something along those lines, I’m sure…)

After Sausalito, Kevin and Thomas wanted to drive to Point Reyes Lighthouse but met some resistance with me because it was such a long drive and we had already driven 8 hours the day before! So we settled for a visit to Fairfax, a cute little town in Marin County. We spent some time on the major strip on Broadway checking out the cute shops and sipping on some coffee/hot chocolate/tea/coke (whatever our choice drink was 😉 ).

Thomas and Josh left first thing Sunday morning to make the trip back to Long Beach. Their visit was such a great way to start the new year!

Christmas & New Year’s in Long Beach

Kevin and I were fortunate enough to be able to spend a nice chunk of time in Long Beach visiting with family and friends for the holidays. Kevin was out of school early so flew down a week before Christmas. Lola and I held down the fort at home while he was gone and with Jessie drove down at around 2am on Saturday 12/19. That morning we had a delicious breakfast with Kevin at Nick’s Burritos in Seal Beach (haven’t had Nick’s yet? You must!!) And that afternoon we were lucky enough to be in town to celebrate Sophie’s 3rd birthday!

Little miss Fancy Nancy in all her glory!
Me and the birthday girl

After most of the party people left, we decided to introduce Lola to Kevin’s parent’s neighbor’s dogs Tango and Cash, two cute Boxer puppies.

The majority of our time in LB we stayed at my mom’s house. We were a little worried about how Lola and Luke (my family dog) would get along. The first day we took extra precautions when introducing the two of them because we know how territorial Luke can be so we introduced them in the front yard. They immediately were interested in each other and when we took them in the backyard they were sniffing around and sniffing each other and just getting a feel for each other. Luckily, they ended up getting along just fine! They were quite the duo–Luke the small, old fart and Lola the big, rambunctious bundle of energy–but they quickly became close “cousins”. 🙂

The week leading up to Christmas was full of catching up with folks we hadn’t seen in a while. My mom hosted a holiday party on Sun. 12/20 which was a lot of fun. On the 22nd we went out to dinner with our good friends Heather and Gabriel (Heather and I met each other working for the OC Girl Scouts) and we had a delicious meal at Outback Steakhouse and it was even more enjoyable because of the great company we had! My brother Derek and his friend Emily also joined us for some shenanigans that night. 🙂 On the 23rd my mom took me, Jessie and Kevin out for our Christmas gifts…Chinese massages! It was such a nice treat and I wasn’t in quite as much pain afterwards as I was last time we got them! We definitely need to find a place like that here in SF. Christmas Eve we spent with my family–my mom, Jessie, Derek and my Aunt Tina–and we had a really great time making homemade pizzas and sharing gifts. That night intead of staying at my mom’s which we had been doing we stayed the night at Kevin’s parent’s house to be ready for the festivities in the morning!

Christmas Eve (I think I was being forced to watch some weird Japanese movie with Kevin and Thomas, haha…go look it up “Big Man Japan” and you’ll know what I’m talking about)

On Christmas morning Thomas and I drove out to Riverside to go pick up Sophie to celebrate Christmas with the family. It was so great seeing the little munchkin after almost 6 months of not seeing her! The morning and afternoon we spent at Dorothy & George’s house, hanging out, opening gifts, and snacking on holiday treats.

Josh & Sophie showing off their hats

Even Lola got some gifts (thank you Judith, Luke, Joshua and Katelyn)!

Christmas night we went over to our good friend Judy Rotty’s house to celebrate with her and her daughter Lisa. We had a delicious dinner and had a great time playing the Wii.

Sophie distracting Aunt Sarah while playing Rockband
Cowgirl Sophie!
Kevin playing Sophie’s favorite game: Toss up! (though it was more like a workout for Kevin than a game!)
Check out that hair!

One of the best parts of the day was that the Sophienator spent the night at the Edmonds’ house and we did too! It was great being able to see her in her pj’s playing fort with Thomas before bedtime.

The week after Christmas we went to lunch with our good friend Susan (Susan and I also used to work together at the OC Girl Scouts) to Open Sesame in Long Beach. That week we were also reunited with Shige, a student from Japan who lived at my mom’s house a couple of years ago while he was studying English at CSULB. It was SO great to see him after such a long time away! One of the things we had to do while he was in town was make a visit to Island’s Burgers which, when he first came to visit, he called his burger “The #1 burger of my life”. And they sure didn’t disappoint!

Kevin, me, Shige and my mom at Island’s!

For New Year’s we took Shige along with us to hang out with friends at JJ’s Karaoke in Tustin! We spent 4 hours singing the night away with Alison, Seth, Brianne, Brian and Allison. After karaoke we went to Allison’s new apartment in Costa Mesa for the countdown!

Creating an awesome music list takes lots of concentration!
Alison and Shige

Alison & me singing our signature song “Proud Mary” by Tina Turner! (We were “rollin’ down the river” at this point in the song!)

About two minutes after the countdown we rushed home to catch a few hours of sleep before our looooong drive back up to SF the next morning (we left the house at 6am!) Overall it was a GREAT trip to Southern California!!

We’re back!!

Happy new year!!! Okay, so we’re now one month into 2010 and it’s been well over a month since my last post. After a great 2 week trip to Long Beach life has been nothing short of crazy around here so I apologize for not keeping our “fans” up-to-date with all that we’ve been up to! I’ll be updating all of you wonderful folks on what we’ve been keeping ourselves busy with and hopefully be caught up by this weekend.

Thanks so much for visiting!!!

Lisa (oh yeah, and Kevin too 🙂 )