Nothing comes close to the Golden Coast!

.. and thank you, Katy Perry! Last Thursday through Tuesday, I got to go to just about my favorite place ever-- Orange County, California. My family is there, my family that is now so different with the addition of my niece and nephew, who I have completely fallen for after spending my entire visit with them.

Since I've come home, I've sang excerpts of "baby signing time" with a little bit of sadness that Aidan and Brooke aren't around to finish the last line for me. [insert Brooke's "me.. me... meeeee"]

This was one of the most eventful visits home. Started the weekend dancing the night away with my parents. For those of you who don't know, my parents love to dance! On Thursday night, we met them at Nhu Y in Fountain Valley for some 8 entrees of fish and some singing and dancing.

Here is a photo of my twinkle-toed parents:

The next day was full out girls day with my mom and sisters. We met at Jim and Grace's home in Riverside to meet my new niece, Abigail Grace Stefanovic:

Then the Ngo women headed to Ontario Mills mall where we did two things we enjoy: shopping and eating. That evening, I came home and got to spend time with Aidan and Brooke at the park. These kids love being "ah ah" (outside).

The next day we mosied on down to San Marcos to celebrate my grandma's 90th birthday! I cannot stress how much I love my Ba Noi. She played a huge part in raising me and my sisters. I thank God that she is here to celebrate our 90th birthday, and continues to be full of good health and spirit to hopefully celebrate a handful of more birthdays to come.

This is me with our birthday girl, the oldest member of the Ngo family and Brooke, the youngest member of the Ngo famly

Here is a photo of Ba Noi with all her grandbabies/nieces/nephews

Ngo family parties are the best! We have amazing food, and great conversation. We just sit around and laugh and be our goofy selves, and I missed this so much.

The next morning I had dim sum with some of my friends. It gets so hard to visit friends because I do so much with my family in the short time of my visits, but I could not be happier to have had time to see my buddies. I love these people and every time I get with them, its all laughs.

Me with the ladies:

Me with the fellas:

And then it was off to the Orange County fair with the Lamily and Bao. I have to say, I've always enjoyed pigging out at the fair, but this was without a doubt my favorite fair experience. Namely because Aidan and Brooke were so excited to be there! They pointed at farm animals, got excited when seeing stuffed animals, and were just over stimulated with their surroundings. It was one of the most precious things I've ever seen and I am so glad I was around to experience this with them.

A & B loving the "moooo"

My final day in California was spent at the happiest place on earth. Bao and I had this crazy idea to take Aidan and Brooke to Disneyland along with the Abris trio. When Shanielle showed up, we were finally 5 adults with 5 children. It was a lot of chaos, but totally worth it. I was too busy to take photos, but here are some photos taken by Chi Hai. I also got to meet up with Deejay, who is a friend I grew up with and she is now 8 mos pregnant, and just about the cutest pregnant woman ever.

It was very hard to sum up a trip that was packed with so much fun. Here are the rest of the photos taken during my trip. I'd like to close with a thank you to my husband, who sacrificed his trip to stay home and take care of our sick beagle (who by the way is doing a lot better). I came home to a house that was cleaner that I've ever seen it. Eric, youre the best. And to my family, what a wonderful visit I had in California. That was one of my favorite visits, and I feel so blessed to have such an awesome family.


Prayers for Indy

Indy is back in the hospital under critical care due to seizures this morning. She seemed fine and wanted to leave with us, but we were advised to keep her there in case she should seizure again. I know there are a lot of people that are going through much more serious things, and it may seem silly to pray for a dog, but Indy is my life and I ask you to send a prayer or two her way.

This morning, just minutes after Eric left for work, I was heading upstairs to my home office, where Indy usually follows me and sleeps as I work. I heard a thump on her way up, and when she got up, she had her foot tight against her body as if she had injured her foot. So I picked her up and took her back downstairs, where she began shivering, a sight all too familiar to me (during her trauma last November). I got dressed quickly and before I could step out the door, Indy went into a seizure. I was able to get her into the car and to our home vet where they gave her shots to stabilize her. Eric met me at our vet, where Indy again went into another seizure, and our doctor advised us to take her to a nearby 24 hour emergency care hospital, where she is now. The whole ride there was scarily dejavu for us, but I feel better now that she is under constant watch. The whole frustrating part now is figuring out what caused the seizures and how to get rid of them. We're still waiting to hear from the doctors, as our baby is under their care.

I know a lot of people won't understand the love a person has for their pets. Frankly, I don't care about those people. I love my dog, she is my best friend, and I can tell you that no one can love you more unconditionally than your dog. I pray that Indy comes home to us safely, the same dorky, prissy dog she always was that I simply adore.


Brew @ the Zoo

Last Thursday, Eric and I joined some friends at an annual beer tasting event held at the National Zoo. Brew at the Zoo gathers a handful of beer vendors and a large amount of the local beer connoisseurs (read: young professionals who like to drink beer) together at the zoo to sample a variety of beer. It was an extremely hot day; thank goodness we had cold, refreshing beer to cool us down.

When you enter the zoo, you walk down to the pavilion where the event takes place. Every drinking participant gets a mug as a souvenir but also for beer! Notice the fill line at the bottom (and thank you hand model, Jamie Kucab):

Behind us is a small section of the many beer tents that were there. I was designated driver, so I'm holding a milkshake instead of a mug. Unfortunately this wasn't "Shake at the Zoo" and I did not get free refills:

There were also food vendors there, and when your hands were full of food, you had friends to help you wash it all down with a beer:

It was a fun and chill event, I know Eric enjoyed the beer and we both enjoyed the company. I wouldn't be surprised if we attended this event again next year... I'm still waiting on "Shake at the Zoo" though.


4th of July @ Galway

This year we spent July 4th with Eric's family up at his Grandpa's lake house in Galway, New York. I heard about Galway very early in our relationship, but never had the chance to go until now. The great things I've heard about it could not be more spot on. It is such a beautiful place, so peaceful and yet so full of things to do. The family introduced me to Quizo (which is Galway's version of Bingo), they took me to the candy shop (can't find prices better than that), and Andrea even walked me to the "Gingerbread house".

Grandpa's lake house itself is one of the most charming houses I've ever seen. Aside from all that, it was great to relax on the lake and spend such quality time with the family. It was awesome to have the majority of the family in town (but we missed those who couldn't make it!)

Here's the outside of the house:

but here's our temporary home for the weekend:

Even Indy got used to the tent. On the last night, she nosed it to let Eric know she was ready to sleep. This was quite the weekend for our little beagle. She even learned to swim:

It was fun to learn about and relive most of Eric's childhood Galway memories. I hope that this is something we will continue to do every year, but even more so than that, I hope this is a tradition that the family will share with the generations to come.