Monday, December 26, 2011

Little A rides her bike!

Today after a quick run in the park since the kids couldn't follow me on bikes since A still has training wheels...I decided to take matters into my own hands and take them off when we got home! Lickity split they were off and the whining and crying began. I sat her on her bike told her to pedal and ran behind her as she took off..still whining and crying. It took one time...one and she had it down. We stayed out for about 30 minutes of practice and she continued to cry and whine about riding her bike. Hopefully this passes because she can ride her bike just fine. She is actually really good. I can't believe it took a matter of seconds for her to get it! I am so proud!! Just wish she would stop crying!!! AHHHHH

Here is the video. Please ignore my screechy voice and just pay attention to the awesomeness of Audrey riding her bike. The only thing that would make it better was if S had been here. But, Audrey did have a good portion of the neighborhood cheering her on and telling her how great and awesome she was!

ENJOY!!

Hawaiian Christmas!!!


I know...I still need to post Kauai day 2, but things have been crazy! Christmas has come and gone, and so has my husband. Away on a trip the day after the holiday means I don't get to go shopping for all those great deals. Not that that is a bad thing...saving money and all. So the kids and I are just hanging outplaying with new toys. But lets go back to Christmas Eve shall we...

Christmas Eve was full of crazy anticipation by all of us! S had been hiding presents at a friends house for me so that I wouldn't know what he bought me, so I was just as excited as the kids! This is the first year that we have really bought presents for each other, that we don't know about ahead of time. It was GREAT! We had yummychicken enchiladas for dinner (very christmasy I know), the kids made some reindeer food...popcorn, oatmeal, and cinnamon. We proceeded outside to make a landing pad for the reindeer since we don't have a chimney for them to land near. Roy the Elf sat guard over the cookies, apples (for reindeer) and milk until Santa came to pick him up, and off to bed the kids went. Faster you go to sleep the faster Santa comes. S and I stayed up and watched Elf and waited for Santa to stuff the stockings and put out gifts for the kids.

Christmas started out just as expected...beautiful outside, happy kids, coffee in the parents hand, and lots of presents from Santa under the tree. Big A got the Battleship game that he had been asking for and was over the moon because of it. Little A got her "beautiful" barbie...the wedding barbie. She was so excited and told me how beautiful she was. Santa even brought me a present! A super nice and shiny blue beach cruiser with a bell and basket! Yea now we can all ride our bikes to the beach and school. The squeals of excitement from the kids were contagious and everyone had a wonderful morning. We FaceTimed with MaeMae and Grandma Kelly so they good see the kids open presents. Sometimes technology is so cool. We continued the day by just hanging out and not doing much of anything until we headed over for dinner at our good friends house.

Our fantastic friends the Bakers invited us over for their block party Christmas dinner. I brought over a green bean casserole and a sweet potato pie. We had a smoked rib roast, ham, sweet potato casserole, 2 kinds of stuffing, mashed potatoes, and so many desserts we couldn't even try them all. It was a great meal with great people. We had to call it a bit earlier than usual so that S could get home and pack for his trip..boo. When we came home S also said good bye to our neighbor who is deploying for a year, since he won't be here when he leaves.

The night ended with sitting around watching tv and enjoying each others company. I hope everyone had a fantastic holiday and were able to spend it with those that they love. I promise to be back soon with the conclusion to Kauai!

Much Love!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Kauai...Day 1 Airport to the North Shore to the Grand Hyatt.

KAUAI, the most beautiful of the Hawaiian islands in my opinion. Steve and I flew (no Lauren, there are no bridges..still laughing my ass off about that one) the 19 minutesover to the Garden Isle for a little getaway. Steve's mom is here in town and she was nice enough to watch the kids for us, so we got to go by ourselves! The best part is we decided when to eat, sleep, wake up, and got to go anywhere we wanted without any whining! Epic WINNING!!!
We rode to the airport with our good friends the Bakers, as they were on their way to Maui. (Seriously poor planning on our part, not taking a vacation together). Weall enjoyed a wonderful airport breakfastof Starbucks and Burger King, and then went to our respective gates. Our flight left at 8:06 am with and arrival time in Lihue of 8:26....yep. A whopping 20 minute flight gate to gate. That is my kind of travel! I didn't even have time to read a magazine :)
We picked up our one bag...had to check it because of sunscreen, (which we didn't end up using) Oh well. We headed to the rental car counter. We ended up paying the extra $10 and upgrading to a Jeep with a hard top that we could remove. It was so much fun. Iam glad we waited to upgrade till we got to the counter. Online it was an extra $50 a day for the Jeep. We took to top off and headed out on our adventure, and this was all before 9:20 in the morning. This is amazing seeing that we have a hard time getting out of the house before 10 to do anything.
We were well on our way to getting this vacation done right!First stop, after one wrong turn was Wailua Falls. The weather was breezy and drizzy, but not enough to sway us to put the roof back on the Jeep, or to miss anything. We got out and walked around for a bit. You view the waterfall form an outlook and it was glorious! Not really sure how else to describe it. It looks like 2 waterfalls, but only when the water is low, otherwise it flows as one giant torrent of water. The book says the falls are 173 feet. I trust them...I have no reason not to! There were a bunch of people there because the cruise ship was in, and they were bused up there. This was the only place that we saw people from a cruise.
Which we found weird, because we stopped at every place the tour book said to!
Next after another wrong turn was 'Opaeka'a Falls. These are viewed from a platform quite far away from the actual falls. I guess they were impressive.

From here we continued up the road looking for the Kauai Hindu Monastery. After fording a stream (very Oregon Trail) and then fording it again when we realized we had passed it and had to turn around (notice a theme?) we finally found the Monastery, and we of course were unprepared. To keep with cultural custom
no shorts or tank tops are allowed. Well of course S had shorts on, and I was in capris. Thankfully the nice people supply you with sarongs to wrap around yourselves. S didn't bat an eye when I handed the sarong to him. What a trooper! The grounds were exquisite. So lush and green. You can pay (make a donation) for a tour if you call in advance and make a reservation. They only offer the tour once a week and the day varies depending on the Hindu calendar. Lucky for us, you are allowed to just wander around the grounds. So that is what we did. Not that we had any idea what we were looking at, other for what I could get out of the tour book. Which included this interesting tidbit:
"This temple is built entirely of hand-carved stones from India. Some stones take as long as 7 years to carve, and there are 4,000 of them."
We left the monastary pretty impressed with ourselves with how much we had done and our time. We decided to keep it going! We headed back on the road and up towards the North Shore. We stopped in Kilauea to view the lighthouse. This spot is the norther most point in the Hawaiian islands. Pretty cool I think. We have now been to the most southern point in the US (on the Big Island) and now the northern most
point of the islands! Go us. The lighthouse is also a bird sanctuary. S couldn't get enough of all the red footed boobies flying around...bwahahhahaha. I jest...but really. We paid the $5 a person
and walked down to the actual light house. The wind was whipping around and the waves hitting the cliffs were crazy. We left there and continued to drive north. We passed over many one lane bridges, properly following local etiquette (and traffic laws).

While driving we passed through the Hanalei Valley where much of the taro of the islands is grown. If you don't know...taro is a root that poi ismade out of, yep the stuff that tastes like wallpaper paste and is served at every luau. I personally like taro flavored frozen yogurt (had some tonight), but poi is nasty. But I digress. The valley is beautiful, you will have to trust me as I didn't get a picture. Along the way, S decided to pull over to a turn out because there were a ton of other cars pulled over and he wanted to see what all the hubbub was about. Turns out there is path down to a beach, so we took it. Plus we wanted to see this crazy old fool walking down with a boogie board try and go into the waves that were rocking the coast. Gotta love tourists! We goofed off down there for a while, S climbing rocks that huge waves crashing over them and hiding from the waves, me staying firmly on the sand enjoying the show my husband was
putting on. The guy with the boogie board got in the water and wiped out oh just about every time. Seriously the waves were insane. I have no idea what he thought he was doing. We left before he killed himself...talk about a vacation ruin-er. (note: when we left he was fine and we didn't see anything on the news about a drowning). I would love to tell you to visit this beach, because it was great...but I am not sure what it is called. Looking at the map in the book, I think it is Kahalahala, but don't take my word for it!

Next was the Mani-ni-holo Dry Cave. It sits right across from a beach park and was pretty cool. It was a cave that was dry. Go figure. Next up, and just a bit farther up the road was Waikanaloa Wet Cave. This cave, and the one that was a bit of a hike that we didn't visit, were sea caves. Meaning the ocean cut them, and now they are cut off from the sea. Interesting eh. Well not really. They kinda smelled.

Now I bet you are wondering J, what did you eat while on this epic roadtrip? The answer...nothing. Both S and I were starving, it was 2:30 and we had a drive all the way back to the south shore. We stopped in the little town of Princeville and got some really good Mexican food. Go figure. We also had ice cream from a local Hawaiian creamery. I say local because it is throughout the islands. Then hopped into the Jeep, with its top on because by this time it had decided to pour, and started to the resort. We found it with ease, as it is a giant Hyatt resort and headed to check in. We are told at the counter "we took the pleasure of upgrading your room to a ocean view". Why thank you nice Grand Hyatt people, thank you very much. From here on out there is nothing to talk about. Settled into the room, took a quick nap, found the jacuzzi, ate some dinner....blah blah blah. :)

Stay tuned for the next installment where we make a few wrong turns, try to force our way onto a military base, go off roading in a rental, hunt for glass on a glass beach, see a big hole in the ground and a donkey!









Wednesday, December 14, 2011

the things that occupy my mind....

  1. Well the newest and greatest thing that has consumed my life as of today is.....Pinterest. Seriously, did I really need something else to keep me on the computer doing nothing? No, I don't think I did, but......all day, that is what I have been doing, and you know what? I enjoyed every minute of it! I have so many ideas for getting my haircut on Friday, and hey maybe I will actually style it! No more plain ponytails!!!
  2. Pinterest led me back to Etsy. Which led to me spending more money. Le Sigh....oh well.
  3. Kauai! I cannot wait for our weekend getaway!!! Only 3 more days and we can leave the rock for another rock! I have it all planned out for the most part. I put an app on my phone that will tell us where the nearest point of interest is. Have to make the most out of the short time we are there.
  4. LOVE ACTUALLY, is currently playing. This is my favorite holiday movie. I am actually watching it pretty late this year. Usually I watch it as soon as Turkey Day is over. But alas, it has taken me this long. But I am thoroughly enjoying it.
  5. Housing.....I really don't even want to talk about it, but it is consuming most of my time. It is really annoying. I will leave it at that. bah humbug!
  6. DISNEYWORLD!!!! This March we are taking the kids to Disneyworld for the 4th time. They don't know about it yet. We want to surprise them when we get there. The best part is that my mom and Steve's mom are going to be there with us! We have the coolest mom's ever.
  7. Getting my run on. This is a hard one. I want it to be easy. Last week I ran 6 out of 7 days. This week....once. Epic failure. My back has been bothering me. I tend to hold most of my stress in my back and shoulders, so with everything going on it is to be expected. I am planning on taking the dog tomorrow for a good long one. Hopefully the weather holds out. We have officially entered the rainy season here on the island.
  8. Fashion. I am in a serious rut when it comes to my clothes. I wear pretty much the same things over and over. This is partly to do with the fact that the weather doesn't change, or rather the temperature doesn't change. I miss sweaters, scarves, jeans, boots, hats....the list could go on. Cozy fall and winter colors. But I will say I am not ready to leave the island! I really like it here and appreciate it for what it is.
  9. School....for me, not the kids. I need to find something to keep me busy (other than pinterest and etsy) I want to take French Classes. The only place that offers them is HPU. Not sure I want to pay for a university....
  10. Steve's work. This is also a source of stress. Everything is great. Just some changes on the horizon. I will fill you in as they present themselves. It is all good, no bad! So no worries! Just change....I don't do well. Big surprise there!
  11. Christmas lights. I love all the lights. I decorated the outside of the house and to an extent the inside too. They just make me smile :) everything is all sparkly. There is a Honolulu Light Tour that I am thinking about making us do. In a weird way I miss the James Island Festival of Lights. As much as it was a pain to go, its sad to not be going this year.
  12. Family. I miss them. My parents and sister with her whole family were just here. It was nice. Steve's mom will be here this week, we just saw his dad while we were in Seattle (which reminds me, I need to post about that! YIKES!). My mind is occupied with thoughts of my brother and his family. They are moving to GERMANY! How cool is that! I am so excited for them. He got a great job with the Army (as a GS) and is going to be working on the hospitals out there. He is an architect. This is fantastic news for them, sad news for me. I always love when I go home and get to see them. They have a little girl who just turned 1, and I have only seen her once. :( and now they are moving away for 5 years. I don't know if I will be able to get out there to see them.

So there you have it. The things that have been rattling around in my head for today. Boring, sorry. No pictures to post. But I will after Kauai. I need to post about Seattle too...and Big A turning 7! Good grief I am behind. From now on we can just blame Pinterest :)


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Audrey turns 5!

Day old- Charleston 2006

Well it happened...my baby turned 5! Five, I can't believe it. How is this possible?? Just yesterday she was born! Gah, or at least it feels that way. She is a happy, bubbly, crazy, inspired, fantastic little girl. I still look at her with those long legs and blonde hair and wonder if she is really mine. I am so blessed that she is. She makes everyday fun, she always has a smile to give and loves everyone. If you know her, you are a lucky person.

Thank you Audrey for being mine. Thank you for making everyday and adventure. I love you! Big 5!- Hawaii 2011




Monday, September 19, 2011

Air Force's 64th Birthday Ball

Last Friday was the AF Ball here in Hawaii. It was the Air Force's 64th Birthday Bash! It was held at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. We had a really good time, there were tons of people and even more speeches it seemed like. There were some very moving moments.

The guest speaker was Chad Hennings, he is an USAFA graduate, A-10 pilot and football player in the NFL with the Dallas Cowboys. (personally all this meant nothing to me...he had some really cool super bowl rings though). His speech went on and on, and yes I know it was rude, but I started playing Angry Birds on Steve's phone. I just couldn't sit there and pretend to listen anymore!

The food was as expected...ehh. The company was FANTASTIC! Someone pulled some strings (thank you BB) and got us sat at a super awesome table with super awesome people :) ahem love those crazy Baker's! After all it is all about the people you are with. We drove with our other favorite people the Moree's and endured the 50 minute drive to go 11 miles. Yep nothing like traffic on a Friday night in Waikiki. Blah...we survived and made it there in time to buy $10 cocktails. :)

We decided to get prom (err professional) pictures taken. I hate taking pictures, especially when I don't feel confidant about my appearance and well this was one of those nights. I am already shopping for next year's dress. Trying to find something decent to wear (and have fit) here on the island was not a easy task. Many people had the same dress on. I didn't see anyone wearing mine so at least that was a plus. A major minus---I had to pay FULL price for the damn thing. You know that wasn't easy for me! I scoured Ross (all 5 of them) looking for something to wear and couldn't find anything. I ended up buying my dress at Nordstrom. I did get my shoes at PayLess so that made the blow a little easier. All in all it was a fun night, and I can't wait till next year. Here are the "prom" pictures...please don't judge too much!


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wordless Wednesday



Monday, August 1, 2011

Afternoon Tea and First Day of 1st Grade

Today is hardly even over and it has been packed with fun stuff. Today was the first day of school for elementary school kids, which means...Aiden started 1st Grade today!! WHOOOO So far he said it was so much fun and he can't wait to go back tomorrow. I was so happy to hear that, he made new friends, saw some old ones and likes his teacher. What more could I ask for?Now you might be wondering about Audrey. This is the most disorganized school ever. The kindergartners don't start on the first day, or the second,or third day. They start in groups of 5 or 6, starting on Thursday. Audrey's day is on Friday. But then she has Monday off, so really she "starts" school on Tuesday the 9th...8 days after Aiden. Le Sigh (thanks for the new saying Lauren!) So until then she gets to hang out with me and my mom. Which she loves!

The other so much fun part of the day was our trip to Waikiki. Mom, Audrey and I trekked the 7 miles down to the Moana Surfrider Hotel, you can see it here. It was beautiful!!! I think S and I are going to stay this week when we go on our little getaway for the night.

The view was amazing, when is looking out at Waikiki beach not amazing? The food was super tasty and just the right amount. Tiny little finger sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and lemon curd, green tea cream puff, mango layer cake and salted chocolate cookies! The tea was also fantastic. They bring out a tray of 8 different flavors and you get to smell them and pick which one you would like to try and then they bring it out in a cute silver tea pot. To end the meal you get a scoop of sorbet. Audrey had mango and mom and I got green tea/lemon grass. So refreshing and delicious. This was must do again. Who wants to come visit and have tea?

So who is coming to visit so we can go have tea??



Thursday, July 21, 2011

Thinking Thursday

So I went for a run today (YEA) and I forgot my ear buds (epic FAIL) so I spent my time on the treadmill thinking, and thinking and watching a little food network, but mainly thinking of random things.

  • Why doesn't the Community Center have blinds on the windows? I don't really like staring into the sun while running.
  • Why is it that when the kids are little you want them to so badly say "mommy" and then they learn it and all you want them to do is not say it at all? Only so many times I can handle hearing "mommy,mommy,mommy" in all sorts of tones, and whines.
  • I wish I could go take a shower/pee/think with the door shut with out a child banging on it having a major kid meltdown
  • I miss S., le sigh
  • I LOVE living in Hawaii, but hate that life catches up to you here too. Just like any other place.
  • Hickam Communities customer service sucks.
  • Why is this run taking forever...ack I have only done a MILE???
  • What would it be like to have a husband who works 9-5 and doesn't travel?
  • Why can't adults go to summer camp? I am uber jealous of Big A being at Tennis Camp all week...it sounds like so much fun!
  • I really wish all the homemade ice cream I have been making was fat free, but alas using whipping cream and whole milk makes it taste better ;)
  • what will I do when the kids are both in school? Get a job, sit on my ass, volunteer?
  • I don't want little A to go to school...I want her to stay home with me. Wait did I really just think that? The run must be making me crazy :)
  • how come the picture of the Fat Lady on my fridge isn't keeping me out of it at night..or during the day?
  • I am so happy I can watch at least the first 4 Harry Potter's with the kids. Fun for the whole family!
  • I really need to take some pictures of the house and post them on the blog.
  • why does S always want to go on a vacation to the beach...we live at the beach!
  • Can I make this vacation to Europe next spring actually happen? Thoughts of eating pizza in Italy, Beer in Germany lots of alone time with my hot husband....I will leave it at that.
  • Yea Miley gets here in a week!!! Got to buy pet supplies.
  • is this run over yet? Only half a mile to go!
  • UGH why do I always feel so nasty after a run, and all the bloggy running people say they feel so good...I bet they are full of it.
  • AHHHH DONE!
  • Did I enough to have pizza for lunch? hmmm maybe I will do a few weights just in case.
That is most of the randomness that ran through my brain during a 40 minute run. I think tomorrow I will remember my ear buds so I don't have to go through that again! HAHA

Sunday, July 17, 2011

A much NEEDED UPDATE!

So I know I know..I am a horrible blogger, terrible, I should be punished! So here is a massive update blog of the things I can remember.

The month of June was not spent on the "rock" we caught a Space A flight home to Travis (after 4 days of trying). We flew out on a KC10 which if you Space A and have a choice, I highly recommend! We had tray tables, the seat reclined and you had more leg room then on a commercial flight..oh and it was FREE!! i love free! I of course have no pictures of this...i know slap me now.
We spent a day in Lodi, CA which is about 45 minutes from Travis. My mom's uncle passed the day she picked us up, so we needed to go over and get a few things settled. Then I drove us the 7 hours back to Orange County. Usually I am a non-driver. But when the opportunity to drive 85 on the freeway presents itself you gotta take it! Plus I was itchin' to put the pedal to the metal! Here on the rock we can only go 60 on H-1 and it is sooooo slow!

We spent 10 days at home just hanging out, shopping, eating, eating some more oh and there was more eating. Seems to be all I do when I go home! Steve joined us on day 11 after returning from his first official mission!!! It took him 6 months to get on a mission, craziness! He flew commercial because he got an awesome roundtrip ticket the night before. I picked him up at the airport and from that point on it was non stop on the go! We Disney'ed with his Mom 2 days in a row (I should add the kids had already been to Disney 1 day already) My parents joined us for one of the days too. They actually had to leave and go to my nieces 14th B-Day dinner and Audrey left Disney to go with them...can you say MaeMae's girl! SHE LEFT DISNEYLAND TO EAT AT CALIFORNIA PIZZA KITCHEN!!!

Steve and I traveled for a quick getaway to Vandenberg AFB in Santa Barbara to visit with out fabulous friends the Bowker's. Love them! They let us stay at their house for a night and what ended up being a whole day because someone couldn't handle his margaritas the night before!!! AHAHHAHAHA! Once he was able to motivate his body we left and drove down to Santa Barbara and checked into a uber nice hotel. Thank you Hilton Points! Free hotel room and breakfast, yes please! We had dinner at a cute little Thai restaurant called Zen Yai, very good I highly recommend it. We walked around a bit and then headed back to the hotel. The next morning after we almost missed breakfast because we didn't have our usual alarm clocks with us, we went back and walked around Mission Santa Barbara, did some shopping and then headed back out on the road to get home to the kids. They could care less that we were gone.


Pretty quick after that Steve left to head back to work. Only to find out that he would be headed back out on another mission! Random! He spent all of 3 days of the month of June home. The kids and I putzed around, they spent two fun nights at Gramma Kelly's house and go to go to Disney 2 more times (can we say spoiled!) My mom and I did lots of shopping and updated my sad wardrobe. Got some great deals! I love a good deal! Ate more food and just lounged around. We headed back up to Travis to start the game to get home...
Aiden was happy to be with Miley (she will be here soon!)


My kids confiscated my ipad!
Crazy cousins on the beach in Balboa.

While in Travis we shopped some more, ate (are you sensing a theme) at restaurants that I had missed since we left there 6 years ago, and did some more stuff in Lodi. One of the highlights of Travis is the JELLY BELLY FACTORY TOUR!! The kids loved it. You get free jelly bellies and then you can load up in the gift shop, which we did of course :) So remember how I said Steve was on another trip...that trip just so happened to go through Travis on its way back to Hickam :) Totally not planned but oh so good! Steve landed Friday afternoon and we got to do one of the best things EVER!!! We had dinner with some of our favorite people from Charleston. Michelle, Brandon and Conner Tellez! WHOOO HOOO! Michelle made a fabulous meal for us and we sat around and talked. It was great. I have missed MT so much and I know S had a great time talking with B. It doesn't matter how much time has passed, good friends will always be good friends! We headed back to lodging where the kids stayed in our room with my mom and I spent the night with Steve. I didn't want to wake the kids up coming in late ;)

I did a total walk of shame the next morning when Steve kicked me out so he could get ready for the flight. I headed back up to my room gathered the children and our carry-on (steve took the other bags.) It wasn't looking good for us to get out so we broke down and bought one way tickets out for Sunday just in case. I wasn't going to be checking 4 bags and PAYING for 4 bags! highway robbery! So I just packed the kids and I a few days of clothes in a carry-on and headed to the PAX terminal. I will save you the stressful 2 hours I spent there and the long boring story, but we made it on with Steve by the skin of our teeth. PHEW! Only to have an inflight emergency and have to turn around and go back to Travis :( UGH really and of course I had already called Delta and cancelled the tickets (got a full refund!!) Luckly it was an easy fix and we just had to sit on a bus for 30 minutes. We got back on and off we went! Steve came down and talked to us for a bit, but no special treatment...pssh! We were very happy to make it back to the rock! PHEW I was glad that trip was over! I had a great time, but it is always nice to come back to your home! kids laying on Steve's bedroll and the quilt I made while home, watching a movie on the IPAD, spoiled much?

Once back things didn't slow down. We spent Sunday lounging around the house and cleaning, putting a month's worth of stuff back in place, lots of laundry and organizing. Monday was the 4th of July and we were all still pretty bushed from the traveling so we just played it low key and went to see Transformers 3. Highly recommend. My only complaint was the random use of curse words throughout the movie. They weren't needed and added nothing to the dialogue. Audrey slept through almost all of it, but Aiden sat on pins and needles the whole time! Steve took the kids to watch the fireworks and I stepped outside for a few minutes to see what I could from the house. Tuesday started back the work week for Steve and with this exercise that he is doing in Australia right now, we hardly saw him. He worked long hours and came home after the kids were in bed, but not on Friday night...oh no because Friday night started the intramural Softball Tournament!

Oh how my husband likes to play any organized sport! Friday night was the beginning. It was a double elimination touney, but no one likes to lose and Steve was determined that they would go all the way. He and Blaine Baker are hardcore...hahahahha....well as hardcore as a bunch of "old" guys can be :) Steve hit a walk off 2 run homer Friday night to win the game, and start the Tigers off on the right foot. Saturday we had to change some plans around which I wasn't all that thrilled with, but it ended up alright. I had a sitter already lined up so she watched the kids and I went to the game with JBAKE and we cheered (very loudly and to the other teams displeasure) and the boys won the first game. So they played another game, which they lost, this is also when JBake started taking pictures and then we stopped...it was bad luck! But oh that didn't mean we were done with the games oh no.....they played again! Which they won! Then I had to run back pick up the kids and bring them back to the field because they were playing again! By the end of the day we were sunburned, sore from the stress and hoarse from all the cheering. We were pretty impressive at heckling and rooting for our team! Oh but wait we aren't done yet...they had to play on Sunday too! EEEE GADS more softball! Needless to say the boys were very sore when they rolled themselves out of bed on Sunday morning. They won the first game!!! But had no break inbetween and got steamrolled by the Navy team. So they were out! BOOO! They did get 3rd place in the league which we were pretty impressed with. They did great! We stayed and watched the championship game and rooted on the Air Force Security Forces team which was called "Pound Town". They had very inappropriate names on the back of their jerseys! They beat Navy which was great! Air Force took home first place! WHOOO. Can we go home now? Needless to say Steve was useless the rest of the day. He passed out on the couch for the majority of the rest of the day.

Aiden started Summer Camp the next day and had a blast. A whole week of doing fun ocean related things! He went boogie boarding, to the pool, to the waterpark and then on Friday to the tide pools where he held a little octopus. Craziness! Audrey and I shopped and had lunch with Daddy the first two days and then S left on the BIG trip on Wednesday morning. He was nervous but so far so good everything has gone according to plan. He is now lead upgrade complete!

Aiden starts a tennis summer camp tomorrow which he is very excited about. Then one more week of summer camp and wait for it....SCHOOL STARTS!!!! August 1st is my favorite day of the summer ;) Audrey will start Jr Kindergarten and Aiden will start 1st grade. So hard to believe both of the kids will be in school. I am at a loss with what to do with myself all day! I am sure I will figure it out :) Steve has mentioned the "job" word, but I don't think that will happen just yet!

Well there you go. I full update on what the Nolan's have been up to. There has been some beach days scattered in there too. Lunches with friends and such. It was nice to go home to California but it was nice to come back to Hawaii. Different types of nice but you know what I mean. I will try harder to post. I just feel like everything is so mundane. Hope everyone is having a great summer! and didn't fall asleep reading this post!
in case you didn't fall asleep...here's a picture of the sunset the other night :)



XOXO
J

Sunday, April 3, 2011

535th Wahine Spouse Flight April 2, 2011

Yesterday was one of the coolest days I have had since living in Hawaii. It was the spouse flight for the squadron! Now I did this at Charleston and it was cool, but this my friends was AH-MAZING!


The morning started out early for a Saturday. After showering and getting ready, I had to make sure I had all the correct patches, for we were wearing the guys flight suits. After we situated the kids with S. ( watching a friends kids too...so for the day he had 4 kids!) We were off for our 8:30 show at the squadron. I had just enough time to drink half a cup of coffee and eat no breakfast before JBAKE and E picked M and I up to head over.


We had a brief, briefing on what the C-17 does here in Hawaii. Just a glimpse of how much work our husbands really put in at the "office". Then there was a drawing to see which 2 people would be up in the cockpit for take-off and 2 more for landing. I unfortunately did not get to do either...darn you number 13! Then it was off to the bus for the quick ride to the plane. The jet is so big. Sometimes I forget how much crap can go in the back of it. I have seen them up close many a time and still it takes your breath away when you start walking up into it. Holy HUGE!
There was only 20 ladies and plenty of seats so we had lots of room to move around and sit where ever we wanted.

It is a little unusual taking off in a jet like this. It isn't like a regular airline where you can see out the window. There are windows...at the jump doors and above 2 of the seats. So it can make you a little disoriented. No one got sick or even felt ill. We were all a little dizzy or rather tipsy! Once in the air they let us get up and basically do what ever we wanted. We went to the windows and started taking pictures, and goofing off doing funny pictures.



The highlights of the flight, other than spending it with the lovely ladies, were:
*North Shore of Oahu. We could see Haliewa, Turtle Bay.
*East shore of Oahu. Kaneohe, and Kaliua
*North Shore of Molokai. Good gracious there were some amazing cliffs. If only we could have been closer and with no doors! It looked a lot like Jurassic Park. (even though that is on Kauai)
*MAUI!! JBake and I were up on the cockpit for the last half of Maui and the beginning of the Big Island.
*Big Island. Volcano, lava fields, coffee plantations, amazing coast line. I think the first island I want to hop to is the Big Island. I was in awe of its beauty. The volcano, the beaches. Oh MY!






North Shore of Oahu







Kaneohe and Kailua








Cliffs of Molokai

View of the Big Island and Volcano












By this time most of us were very hungry and just ready to get back to Oahu. We had about a 35 minute flight back and most of just sat back and talked. We landed with a big bump...but all survived. They opened the back of the jet once we were on the ground. We cheered until we all looked and realized how sick it was making us. Goodness I was dizzy. I couldn't look. Once we stopped and we all cautiously looked out we were parked right in front of another 17! So cool!

We headed back the squadron fully anticipating on leaving, when we were told they had a whole spread of food for us! Sandwiches, veggies, sodas, hot wings and cake! It was great..since I hadn't eaten breakfast and my stomach was eating my spine. It was a great end to a fabulous morning.
I spent some time with old friends and even had some laughs with new friends!




Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Finally...

WE GOT A HOUSE!!! It is nothing spectacular but for now it is ours. I made this decision after loads of hmmm and hawing. Was this what we wanted? Would we be happy? Would there be enough room, so that we aren't climbing all over each other and everyone can have their own space? Where am I going to put all the crap (and it is crap) that I wasn't able to get rid of before we left Charleston? Well friends, I am not sure I have the right answer to any of the questions. I had to make a choice. I had to decide. So I did. I was done playing the "maybe we can..." game. I am going to have to be very creative as to where we store things. I see a big storage unit in our future. No house was going to be perfect. All of them had flaws. I actually made a PRO/CON list between new or historic. Here is what my list looked like.

Historic

PRO


CON







1. Neighborhood

1400 SQFT
2. Huge already fenced yard
no garage
3. I can paint

Window A/C's
4. house has character
no storage
5. close to school

away from most friends
6. no traffic

construction across the street
7. Feel like you live in Hawaii
far from Steve's work
8. privacy


small kitchen
9. only 1 neighbor




10. sewing room




11. Can move in ASAP (like Friday!)
















NEW


PRO


CON









NEW

feel like you live in Arizona
garage

no yard


1880 SQFT
no privacy (on top of neighbors)
plenty of storage!
4 plex (we would be in middle unit)
playgrounds
can't paint

huge kitchen
all look the same

close to work
noisy


lots of friends
farther from school

kids can ride bikes to friends houses can't move in until middle of April
central A/C















































































































































In the end what it came down to was that, we need a yard and I can't live in the middle of 4 houses. I made a choice between a garage and a yard basically. Ok the kitchen was a struggle. It was hard to give up a new big kitchen. But hey I will make it work. I am excited to start on this journey here. I finally feel like we LIVE here and I can get off this weird vacation where my kids go to school and husband to work and I have no where to call my own! So like I said was it the right decision? I don't know. What I do know is that it is made and I can now start shopping and painting and decorate! I will post pictures as soon as I get into the house again. If anyone has ideas on how to make storage in such a small place work let me know! I will leave you with the one picture I have. I took it while sitting in the car waiting to see it for the first time. Don't judge a book by its cover! Oh and another maybe CON for the historic...I asked if it was haunted. Yes I seriously asked. The leasing manager said she hadn't ever heard anything about this house...but some of the ones across the street being renovated she had heard that the maintenance guys don't like working on them!


Our house!!!!!!

Monday, March 21, 2011

USS Abraham Lincoln...I think

So this post is oh I don't know about a week late. Last Monday our friend called and said want to go see that big ship leave this morning? Why the heck not! The "big ship" was the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln.

It was returning from a 6 month deployment and had pulled into Pearl about 4 days before. The coolest part other than how GINORMOUS this thing was, is the families could fly here to Hawaii and get on board and cruise home with their sailors and pilots! HOW COOL WOULD THAT BE??!!! (this also explains why we saw so many kids and civilians standing and waving to us) You can read the article from the Star Adviser here. You can also read, if you are really really interested about its arrival to Pearl Harbor here.

So here are a few pictures that we took while standing out by the O club. Oh and while sitting at the beach the other day we watched another submarine come back into port. It just cruises by like no one's business. Apparently there is a Japanese Sub here right now. They had no idea what had happened, or at least to what extreme things had happened until they docked. They don't get the news or Facebook while out to sea. I think that should be changed.

Anywhooo enjoy the pictures!
Watching the "big ship"

Jet inside the ship

Our first view


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

twidling my thumbs

So I have this really bad pain in my butt. No its not the kids, it is a legitimate pain from my run yesterday. I stretched and stretched, drank loads of water but still it hurts to walk. Hmm maybe no 7 miles for me tomorrow.

So March begins the 3rd month of being in Hawaii and living in a hotel. Rock on...NOT. Again it hasn't been terrible, kinda enjoyable to have someone clean your bathroom, give you clean towels and make your bed. But it does get old not having your own things. Yes things I have mentioned before.

So today I went to the housing office to get an update. I didn't get good news, but I got news that made me optimistic. Hopefully Friday we will know one way or the other. What it really means is if we get this house SWEET! If not we wait till the end of April. Well I don't want to wait till the end of April. I don't want to be in a one bedroom hotel room with two kids and a husband. So hopefully we get this house. The downside to the situation is that this house is a duplex and not renovated. That means that its OLD and has window a/c units. I guess it could be worse. The best part is that it has a yard and is fenced. No work on our part! With the renovated houses you cannot install a fence and um hello..I have a 70 pound dog to contain not to mention 2 rambunctious kiddos. So I think if they offer we will snap it up. Now I just have to wait and see if they offer it to us. Fingers, toes, legs, arms and eyes crossed!

Hopefully I will have an update Friday...with good news!

XO

****well still twiddling my thumbs. The lady never called me today so I have no idea if we have a house or not. I am taking it as or not. It is really annoying. When you say you are going to call just call! It's called being professional for gosh sake! So now I get to wonder all weekend and you better believe I will be at their office first thing Monday morning.****

Monday, February 14, 2011

a perfect Sunday

Saturday Night S and I tossed around the idea of going to breakfast Sunday morning. We aren't BIG breakfast people but I had a craving for pancakes, french toast or waffles...I wasn't being picky! Just something that I didn't have to make to be honest. We looked up a few places and believe me there are some GOOD places for breakfast on the island like:

*Boots and Kimos in Kailua, where the pancakes with macadamia nut syrup are to die for! (haven't tried them yet, but have been told by countless people)
http://www.yelp.com/biz/boots-and-kimos-homestyle-kitchen-kailua

*Cinnamons in Kailua, Red Velvet Pancakes anyone?
http://www.cinnamonsrestaurant.com/

*Mac 24/7 for pancakes the size of manhole covers. This place was featured on Man V Food...one of my favorite shows!
http://www.mac247waikiki.com/

All of these places sounded perfect..other than we would have to drive to get to them. I said to S wouldn't it be fun to go with some friends, because well everything is better with friends! So I texted JBake and after some back and forth we settled on.......Brunch at the O CLUB! Hahaa! Yes I know that wasn't on our list but hey it is right down the road and convenient and well good!

We get there and have an 10-15 minute wait, guess that was "island time" estimation. We waited an hour! We sit down and well I think they were just overwhelmed with people coming for VDay or they were understaffed because service was horrible. We finally tracked down a waiter, got our coffee, orange juice and Champagne and dug into the food. It was actually really good. The kids enjoyed it and were very well behaved. I think we put them in a sugar coma with the whip cream/syrup combo on the waffles. We spent a total of about 90 minutes at Brunch which was actually more like lunch because we didn't sit down till noon. We closed the place down.

After we stuffed ourselves silly we went outside to take a few pictures. We still had no picture of the 4 of us together in Hawaii! Blasphemy! JBake helped us out and snapped a few pictures for us just to prove that we are actually here. We headed back inside to go out to the car and only the girls made it outside. Somewhere walking through the club the boys got sidetracked. We found them about 30 minutes later in the bar looking at old photos and drinking a bottle of champagne they found out of coffee cups. Hey we paid for it, it had to be left over from Brunch! We said our good byes and headed back to the room. It was a great outing with friends, but wait what to do with the rest of the day?

easy peasy lemon squeezy...BEACH!! We got back to the room and started to change and pack up the necessities of going to the beach, when my phone rings and it is our lovely friends wondering if we wanted to go to the beach! Why yes of course since that is where we are headed anyhow! We met down at the base beach and sat back, watched the kids play, drank lava flows and Bloody Mary's and chatted the afternoon away. Then the kids realized it was dinner time and wanted to eat. I did have dinner bubbling away on the crock pot in the room, but it was just too easy to say sure lets go eat at the beach shack place right there. So we walked over and eat a decent meal. Took the kiddies home, put them to bed and we followed quickly behind them.

It was a PERFECT day with family and great friends. It made up for the horrible day on Friday which I have now put behind me. I am blessed to be here. I will wait until the time is right to get the house that is meant to be ours. My kids are healthy and happy, I am in love with the perfect man, and I am rocking a decent tan :) Life is good. This is just a little hiccup in the grand scheme of things.
DISCLAIMER: this in no way means that I won't complain about the house issue in the future...just not today :)







Friday, February 11, 2011

I want to go HOME!

So yeah I am going to vent, since my husband is on a mission and can't answer his phone, my mom is not answering hers and no one else will pick up I am turning to the blog world to VENT!

I want to go home. I mean my home, my things, my place to call my own. Not my parents house or really the house in Charleston. I just want to go to someplace that is mine. I thought, stupidly, that this move wouldn't be so bad. I could handle living in a hotel for 2 months with 2 kids. Well it hasn't been terrible. The kids have adjusted and call the hotel home. But today I go to the housing office and they tell me that the houses we were slated for won't open until April/May and that sorry you are probably too far back on the list to get one now. What happened is the people that were in 6 month leases will be in front of you. So I say "well what does that mean for a move date?" Maybe in June or July when the other renovated houses open up. WHAT THE F#*K! Where the hell am I supposed to live until then?

The base hotel we are in will only let us stay till the end of March...and even that is on a space available basis. We thought we had a reservation in April but they said that isn't because it is all Space A because we exceed what they have for PCS moves. HOLY SHIT...so where do we go after March? I have no idea. A hotel I guess where we pay 200 a night out of our own pocket to live.


Get a rental house you say. Oh we have thought of that. We only brought one car because we were told 2 months for a house. S can ride his bike from anywhere on base to the squadron. No need for 2 cars. Plus now we don't have a car payment, gas, insurance of maintenance to budget for. If we move off base he would have to have his own mode of transportation. He alerted at 4:45 this morning. You think I would be getting up with 2 kids to take him 20 minutes to the base and then drive back. He couldn't just take the car because well I have 2 kids to get to school. Not to mention that if we move off base we would have to switch schools again and we just got them settled in their new schools. So that isn't going to happen.

So yeah I am pissed and have no one to talk to, so I came on here and vented. I really don't feel any better and I still want to go home. Oh and on top of that the poor dog is with my parents and losing weight because she is depressed and needs to come out here because we feel bad taking advantage of my parents generosity in keeping her. They signed up for 2 months of dog sitting, not 6.

So if anyone has any great ideas on what we should do, let me know. That doesn't involve moving off base and paying out the ying yang for rent, buying a car and having payments, insurance, gas and maintenance to worry about, making the kids switch school again, I am open to them all. Maybe I can pitch a tent on the beach or on the side of the road like the other homeless people do.

Bottom Line: I WANT TO GO HOME.

Monday, February 7, 2011

back from "Vacation"...

So we have spent the last 10 days in 2 different hotels. We first stayed at the Embassy Suites in downtown Waikiki...fun you say? Well it was for the most part. The bad part is having to drive (well to be honest S had to drive) Big A and little A all the way to school which is 30 minutes away in traffic. So it was early mornings, but that was made better by the awesome Embassy breakfast buffet! Big A was in heaven getting to have eggs and fruit every morning. The kids have also become fans of POG juice. (Papaya, Orange, Guava) We just call it pink juice and little A just drinks it up thinking it is princess juice.
Our week there went quickly. We walked around the mall, the main streets of Waikiki, went to the zoo and ate every meal out (YUCK)! It gets very tiresome deciding which place the kids will eat chicken fingers or mac and cheese at. They saw a vegetable and gobbled them down...I think they were a bit deprived of vitamins!

The second hotel we stayed at was the Turtle Bay Resort. I highly recommend it! It was beautiful and the people we super nice, the rooms was clean and big. Breakfast was tasty but expensive and dinner was good but we had to eat the same place both nights because it was the only place to get something for the kids to eat. Dessert was fantastic though!
We only spent 1 full day at the resort. We arrived Friday afternoon and played at the pool and watched the sunset. Saturday we got up had breakfast...mmmmm good, and then went to the beach. You get one hour of snorkeling included with your room. So S and big A set off to explore and see what they could find. A seemed to enjoy it and could actually do it. He now insists that we buy him his own "gear" so we can snorkel anywhere at anytime. I went out for a few minutes after the boys came back in. Lots of fish out and the water is pretty clear. The surf was rough so it was a little cloudier than I think it usually is.

Speaking of the surf....WOW...it wasn't even as big most winter storms make it. The waves were amazing to watch. The resort was hosting a paddle boarding world tour so there were guys out there giving the guests a preview of the event. They are so crazy! They basically surf of the waves while paddling to keep themselves going. INSANE!!!

Sunday we got up to a rainy morning but that didn't deter the boys from using their free hour of snorkeling. They headed out while little A and I sat under and umbrella on a lounge chair. They didn't last as long this morning but S said they saw a lot more fish, still no turtles but we will come back to find them!

So now we are happily back at TLF on base. (never thought I would say happily!) It really is nice to know that we don't have to pack everything up for a long while. That is the bad part too...we don't have to pack for a long while because it doesn't look like we will have a house for a while still. Hopefully the end of March or early April. Trying to no think about it to much. The kids are happily adapted to staying here and they are glad to have beds to themselves again. It is also nice to not have to play the where are we going to eat game...we are going to eat right here in the room!!!!

here are a few pictures of the Resort.