January 30, 2012

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. : )

January 29, 2012

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.

January 24, 2012

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! : )