Savanna’s first camping trip

Almost exactly 2 years ago, we took Josh camping for the first time. All I could remember is how miserable I felt on that trip. Looking back now, I suspect the pregnancy hormone and the physical discomfort probably had something to do with it too.

We decided to brave it and take both kids camping this past weekend. It was Savanna’s first camping trip ever. Even with all of us crowded into a smaller tent, forgetting to pack some important things, me having stomach issues, and the campground being kind of crappy, I enjoyed the experience and I think Savanna did too.

Savanna loved sitting in the lawn chair, running across the grassy field, stuffing her face with marshmallows, and rolling around in the tent. She also loves sitting outside the tent and playing with the rain fly. It was so much fun for me to see her so excited about every little thing.

First time camping-4 First time camping-7 First time camping-8 First time camping-9 First time camping-10 First time camping-14 First time camping-19 First time camping-22

Day 224/365 {play}

Josh: Mommy, do you want to play with me?

Me: How about after I finish washing these dishes?

Josh: Ok.

5 minutes later…

Josh: Mommy, do you want to play with me?

Me: Sure! Right after I put this load of clothes in the dryer.

Josh: Ok.

Another 5 minutes later…

Josh: Mommy, do you want to play with me?

Me: Yes, baby! How about right after I…

I paused. Remembering I made a promise to Josh when he was a baby that no chores will be more important than making him feel important.

Me: Ok, let’s play!

Angela Chang Photography Day 224 of 365

The life of Sam (in pictures)

There are no words to describe the emptiness we feel without our Sam. We keep coming home expecting to see Sam excited to see us, or out of habit get ready to feed him at 6 pm.

Tonight I decided to go through our photos of Sam and post some of them here. I miss him so much.

One of the first days home with us.

One of the first days home with us. 2007.

We napped together on the floor all the time.

We napped together on the floor all the time.

When Sam was younger and full of energy, we spent lots of time playing fetch at the park.

When Sam was younger and full of energy, we spent lots of time playing fetch at the park.

We called him Sam, Sammy, puppy, puppy dog, Sam-poo, poopy.

We called him Sam, Sammy, puppy, puppy dog, Sam-poo, poopy. He was 95 lbs and all muscles.

Sam at work with his buddy, Kevin. Kevin passed away last year.

Sam at work with his buddy, Kevin. Kevin passed away last year.

For his 6th birthday, I baked him a cake with egg and flour.

For his 6th birthday, I baked him a cake with egg and flour.

Going fishing in Mission.

Going fishing in Mission.

Our first trip to the Oregon coast with Sam. He LOVED the place.

Our first trip to the Oregon coast with Sam. He LOVED the place. His tail never stopped wagging.

Sammy was getting a bit anxious, watching us pack for our trip to climb Kilimanjaro.

Sammy was getting a bit anxious, watching us pack for our trip to climb Kilimanjaro. 2008

Being handsome.

Being handsome.

The two best friends hanging out at home.

The two best friends hanging out at home. 2009

In the front yard.

In the front yard.

Poor buddy had surgery to fix a torn ligament.

Poor buddy had surgery to fix a torn ligament in his knee. In hind sight, I feel that Sam never truly recovered from that surgery.

When Sam was recovering from his surgery, Cliff spent a few nights sleeping on the floor next to him to comfort him.

When Sam was recovering from his surgery, Cliff spent a few nights sleeping on the floor next to him to comfort him.

Second trip to the Oregon coast.

Second trip to the Oregon coast.

Chilling out on Salt Spring Island.

Chilling out on Salt Spring Island.

Getaway in Pemberton.

Getaway in Pemberton. 2010

Picnic at Jericho beach.

Picnic at Jericho beach.

Hiking in Pemberton.

Hiking in Pemberton.

One of Sam's favorite things to do--go for his warm water swims.

One of Sam’s favorite things to do–go for his warm water swims. This helps him exercise the leg that he received surgery on.

My handsome boy.

My handsome boy.

Looks like we nap a lot around here. Ha.

Looks like we nap a lot around here. Ha.

Regular nap times on the floor.

Regular nap times on the floor.

Camping in Squamish.

Camping in Squamish.

Camping in Squamish.

Camping in Squamish.

Chilling out at home.

Chilling out at home.

Waiting for baby Joshua to show up.

Waiting for baby Joshua to show up.

Hanging out at home.

Hanging out at home.

Sammy hanging out with Daddy on Cannon Beach.

Sammy hanging out with Daddy on Cannon Beach.

This was our "babymoon". I was 37 weeks pregnant with Josh.

This was our “babymoon”. I was 37 weeks pregnant with Josh.

We walked miles everyday during the babymoon.

We walked miles along the beach. Sam loved it. We were always able to walk him without a leash. He never strayed from us.

Meeting Joshua for the first time. Josh was 2 days old here.

Meeting Joshua for the first time. Josh was 2 days old here.

Right away Sam took to guarding Josh.

Right away Sam took to guarding Josh.

Our first walk together with Joshua.

Our first walk together with Joshua.

Somehow he just knew he needed to protect this baby.

Somehow he just knew he needed to protect this baby.

Sam has always been so tolerant of the kids.

Sam has always been so tolerant of the kids. 2011

Teaching Joshua to do tummy time.

Teaching Joshua to do tummy time.

Checking out our new tent.

Checking out our new tent.

Brothers.

Brothers.

Sam was probably wondering when he's going to get some attention.

Sam was probably wondering when he’s going to get some attention.

All my boys.

All my boys.

Hanging out with Josh.

Hanging out with Josh.

At home.

At home.

Looking so majestic.

Looking so majestic.

God I miss these big paws.

God I miss these big paws.

Hanging out at home.

Hanging out at home.

Going for a walk with Daddy.

Going for a walk with Daddy.

Family photo.

Family photo.

At home.

At home.

My handsome boys.

My handsome boys. 2012

He's really starting to look grey here.

He’s really starting to look grey here.

Handsome as usual.

Goofy as usual.

At home.

At home.

So handsome.

So handsome.

Snow dog.

Snow dog.

Going for a walk.

Going for a walk with Mommy.

At home.

At home.

Sam is a gentle giant.

Sam is a gentle giant.

Sam loves snow.

Sam loves snow.

All my boys together.

All my boys together.

Sun tanning at the park.

Sun tanning at the park.

Joshua is taking forever digging in the sand, and Sam just waits.

Joshua is taking forever digging in the sand, and Sam just waits.

Waiting patiently at the park.

Waiting patiently at the park.

Josh started to think he can walk Sam.

Josh started to think he can walk Sam.

Going for a walk.

Going for a walk. 2013

So cute.

Just snoozing away while I worked in the office.

Just snoozing away while I worked in the office. 2014

Hanging out with Josh at the park.

Hanging out with Josh at the park.

At home.

At home.

At home.

At the park.

At the park.

Those big brown eyes just melt me.

Those big brown eyes just melt me.

In the last year, Sam slept a lot. His hearing was starting to go, and he barely hears us.

In the last year, Sam slept a lot. His hearing was starting to go, and he barely hears us. He was down to 78 lbs–almost 20 lbs less than what he was at his prime. His back legs were skinny, and he struggled to get off the ground.

Sam's last morning at home. Savanna giving him some love.

Sam’s last morning at home. Savanna giving him some love. She really loved Sam.

At the vet, almost time to say good-bye.

At the vet, almost time to say good-bye.

It was very sweet of the nurse to put his IV in and put a heart shaped bandage on.

This was the last picture I took of Sam. It was very sweet of the nurse to put his IV in and put a heart shaped bandage on. After this, I put my camera away, and spent the last few minutes with him while sobbing uncontrollably. He has given all of his love to us, while never making a single demand. Thank you, buddy boy. I miss you so much!

Day 217/365 {real wasabi}

Angela Chang Photography Day 217 of 365

My parents are heading back to Taiwan tonight. So for our last dinner together, Cliff made sushi and he insisted on getting real wasabi to go with it. This is what a real wasabi plant looks like. The little piece of root needed to be scrubbed, washed and grated. The flavor is nothing like the fake wasabi made from powder. The real stuff is fragrant, flavorful, but not annoyingly spicy.