Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Living out loud.

It has been a little while since my last post-I have had a rough week. Along with some minor, pesky health problems, I just flew back from Kentucky on Thanksgiving day. I found out the week before that my Papaw had passed away. I was able to fly back to be with my family, but it was very tough. I have lived away from my grandparents for most of my life, since I was 4. I have seen them once a year at least since then, but that isn't much in the world of grandparents. I think the hardest thing about going back was hearing stories from people who saw him all the time. I know this may sound selfish, but it was sad to hear their stories, knowing I didn't get the same amount of time with him. I have been struggling a little bit to really remember much, but here are some memories I do recall-

My Papaw was a quite man, but not all the time. I remember once when we were getting ready to fly home from seeing them one year my Mamaw and Papaw took us to the airport. This was back in the days before 9/11 when people could walk you to your gates and wave goodbye as your plane took off the runway. Papaw sat with our family while we waited to board. On this particular occasion, I don't remember much of what was said, but I remember him giving my sister a pocket watch and me a Swiss army knife. I can't remember why, but it still meant a lot to me. I kept it above my bed in a little jewelry box for the longest time. A few years later when we moved I lost that Swiss army knife and I remember crying like I had lost my best friend.

Another time we came to visit, right after he had undergone chemo, he had lost all his hair. He wore this bright orange toboggan. I'm not sure how anyone could forget that, but I had until I saw a picture while my sister and I were making a collage. I remember that Christmas, all our families got together and bought him this golf club that I guess he had wanted. I remember everyone opening all their presents and when we got down to the very last one, you could tell in his face that he hadn't expected anything, that he was just so pleased with the fact that all of his family was there and he was healthy and happy. I can clearly see my Uncle Jim say, "Clint, what's that behind the couch?" just like in A Christmas Story or something. My Papaw looked and then hesitantly got up and walked over and pulled out the box, and as he began to unwrap it his eyes began to fill with tears. Tears of joy, yes, but I'm sure they weren't really for this golf club. I think he was overwhelmed by the situation. By the love in the room. We all loved my Papaw so much, and he could feel it and was overcome by it in that moment. Plus it was a pretty awesome golf club.....so I'm told. =)

That same year, and in another airport, as we sat waiting for our plane yet again, my Papaw began to tell me stories from when he was in the Navy-of all the port he was in, all the people he met, how he had even been to Hawaii which was where I had travelled the preceding summer and now live. I am not sure why, but that conversation meant so much to me. Maybe it was his intention-it felt like he had a new lease on life and he wanted to really share his experiences. Or maybe it was just the fact that this man that I knew only as my Papaw, my dad's dad, had just told me about his life-a life I knew nothing about. Either way, it stuck with me.

Even though we lived far away, I feel like I got some great moments with my Papaw. I can still remember being in kindergarten and riding the bus home, knowing my Mamaw and Papaw were at home waiting for me. I would get off the bus and see their car and run from the bus all the way to the front door where they were waiting for me.

One story that I think all the kids in our family knew was the one about how he lost his pointer finger. At his funeral, my cousin Amy got up and told the story, and I had to laugh out loud because it rang so true. A long time ago, my Papaw lost his pointer finger. I remember being a kid and being kind of scared of it-I had never seen a severed appendage before. But I asked him, just like any curious child how he had lost it. He told me that when he was a kid he used to pick his nose and one day he was picking his nose when all of a sudden a booger chomped down on his finger and ate it right off! I never actually knew what happened and even though I knew booger monsters didn't exist, part of me just accepted that that was how my Papaw lost his finger. Papaw always was a practical joker.

My Papaw was a very special man. Anyone who has ever met him can attest to that. I know everyone says that after people pass away, but he really was. I have been blessed not once, but twice with 2 amazing Papaws, and I know God must have a special place in Heaven for them. even though I didn't get to see him very much, I feel like I still got a glimpse into the man my grandfather was by the man my father is-hard working, always there to encourage, and always there to make a joke. I think that if my Papaw had half of my Dad's sense of humor he must have been a very funny man. As I listened to my Aunt Leisa read her letter to him, as she talked about how he coached her teams and how he was the best dad, I thought about my Dad and how he was just like my Papaw. So even though I struggle in my memories of my Papaw, I feel like he lives on in my dad, in my uncle and in my aunt. That's his legacy-to all their faults(they will all tell you they have none, too) they are some of the best, most well intentioned people you could ever meet. My Papaw lives on in them and the world is better for it.

I want to continue to live my life in light of the lessons I learned from my Papaw. Life is too short to be sad, too short to be mad, and too short not to tell someone that you love them. Hug the people you love and there's always time for a sense of humor.

I love you Papaw.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

newest additions.

My new fun toy! Yeah for Margaritaville Frozen Concoction Maker! Dad, I wish we had gotten this puppy when you were here! It makes perfect drinks every time-we made shave ice yesterday and it was ALMOST as good as Matsumoto's! I said almost......and I made a smootie with bananas and it had NO ICE CHUNKS! Call me crazy, but that is special! =)

My newest little baby. He likes to watch the clothes wash.....

He scales the screen.....

He was waiting for Duke to walk by so he could attack him.......

And he LOVES laying on the computers.......

Our little kitten is crazy. His name is Oliver, after Oliver and CO. since he loves Duke and follows him everywhere like he is a little puppy dog. We found him one rainy morning in the chassis of a van, crying like he was dying. We took him to the Humane Society first, but they said he was too small to adopt out and he wasn't socialized enough to foster, so they were going to euthanize him! There was no way Joel and I could let them do that, so we said we would take him. Call us suckers for a sweet face! Once we got him home it took a few days for the kitty to warm up to us but now he follows us around, greets us at the door, and cuddles up with Duke at bed time. He is a little loony, but it's about what we would expect from a little kitten. Currently, he has been attacking my fingers as I type this out......he sure makes us laugh!

Monday, November 10, 2008


After about 5 years of speculation, we are finally breaking ground on our very first Target! It is at the bottom of our mountain, about 2 miles from our house. The four walls are up and it is finally starting to look like a Target. Hopefully it will be here BEFORE we leave. We shall see, nothing comes fast in Hawaii-dey stay on local time, brah. =)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

A few of my favorite things.

We recently hosted some friends here and showed them our favorite spot on the island, the North Shore! Here are some pics from our day with them.

Entrance to Haleiwa Town.

Dave and Maryanne

Joel and Me

Maryanne and me enjoying Matsumoto's Shave ice! mmm

Joel and me at the surf museum

Said Surf Museum

Shrimp Truck

Needless to say we had an awesome time! Thanks Maryanne and Dave for letting us show you an amazing time, and reminding us of how much we love Hawaii!!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The results are in......

And we have made history! If there's one thing that I have learned from this election season, it's that politics is a hard game. I have been doing research and I have tried to be the most educated voter I can be. I really enjoyed being a part of this democratic process. But the election has also been an eye opening experience for me. It has really taught me not to rest on my laurels; put my faith in Christ but also know that God did not create the Republican party. While I do believe that my (faith based) values align mostly with the Republican party, my (real life) ideals are on the fence. I have been thinking about what really matters to me and here are the facts:

1-I don't want anyone taking away any of my freedoms. Or my pursuit of happiness. Who determines my what makes me happy? The gov't? NO! I'm pretty sure that would be terrible! My happiness comes from my freedom to worship, my freedom to love and be loved, my dog, expression, my rights to work and be outspoken and wear a bikini and short shorts and tank tops, to sing loudly and dance around my house. Imagine if the Gov't said that I had to dress more conservitavely, that I wasn't able to marry my husband, or that I should only speak when spoken to. We all know I wouldn't last a moment in that type of society. So that being said, why do we have the right to deny anyone else their freedom? Now, there are things I would never do, like buy a gas guzzling, air polluting Escalade. But if my sister wants to buy one, then good for her! I will tell her why I wouldn't-pollution, gas prices, cost of the darn thing-but I can't expect her to share my ideas. The same rings true in life choices. Like everyone keeps pointing out, 30 years ago the idea of a black man as President would send people over the edge in hysterics. BUt the reality is, today that doesn't seem impossible......duh! it just happened! Does that mean we have evolved? Maybe, but why should that be crazy in the first place?! Or a woman being President? Same thing. This year we had the possibility of both. NOw if you still believe that a black man and a woman shouldn't be President, think about this-what is the difference between a white man and a black man? Color right? What does that have to do with ones ability to....well...do ANYTHING?! Women may be a harder sell for some, but why? Women are natural providers, nurturers, problem solvers, thinkers, doers and have an insane ability to multi-task. That's 6 things more than I could say about most men! I am NOT a man hater.....I love men. =) And I repect them. But I also know the reality that if you descriminate on the basis of race or gender, you are still descriminating.

2-People need to learn to think for themselves. I have had conversations with so many people and the things they are so repetitive. And when they give their reasons for who they voted for, it's never "I like this candidates policy on this", or "This candidate has a good record of that". It's "McCain is old and Palin is not fit/a woman/silly/too hot/Tina Fey/insert whatever here. " or "Obama is a terrorist and who is Joe Biden?" Seriously people! I have gotten so many fwd'ed e-mails that go on and on about how Obama is the anti-Christ and that this is the sign of the end of days. (Personally, if that's true-bring it on! I know where I am going!) But do we really believe this propaganda? It is fear based tactics to make people discriminate, to set us back HUNDREDS of years. Why don't we have a good old fashioned witch trial, or a lynching while we're at it! I may not be the most informed person to cast a ballot, but I did my homework. Before I voted, I read up on each candidate, did the whole pro's and con's list, and made an informed decision. I know where each candidate stands on the issues that matter the most to me, and am somewhat familliar with their track record. I am not spouting out meaningless reasons anymore. Instead, I am blogging about people who do ; )

3-Apathy is a sad thing. Even with the huge voter turnout and the long waits, I saw a statistic today that said in the 1952 election the participation of registered voters was in the 90% range, and in yesterdays election, even with the increase from last year, it was only in the 60's. I can't believe that. And so many people complain about the turn-outs and the state of the world. VOTE THEN!!! Really.

Anyway, those are 3 life lessons, and now I will step down from my soap box, for now at least.

Friday, August 15, 2008

In response to the question "what does a haole mean?" It is a racially based term, and while the original meaning is foreigner or stranger, it has come to mean white person and is usually used as a derogatory term and usually follows an expletive starting with the letter "f". While it doesn't always mean something bad, it has garnered a harsh meaning no matter how it is used. It is the southern equivalent to the "N" word. 

Update, I quit my job on very good terms. My big boss came to me personally and expressed regret that I felt the need to leave, and I was able to tell her everything (in a professional way of course) that I had been frustrated about. Things have been changing a little there since I left, but things are still pretty much the same, so I feel good about my decision, although I do miss my job. I have been doing some volunteer work though through the Red Cross and that has been nice. Hopefully I will get a chance to teach (for pay!) soon. =) Joel and I also get a lot more us time which is nice. 

I started playing softball again, and while it has been a slow start it has been a lot of fun. I am playing on the base team again with a few of the same girls, and I felt very welcomed back to the team. So I will keep everyone updated on how that goes. Last year we were supposed to go to Korea for a tournament, so hopefully we will get a chance like that again. 

Another update, after a recent visit to the dr. I have decided to cut meat out of my diet. I am not a vegetarian in all that it entails-I still eat fish/seafood, and most dairy (although I only drink Silk instead of milk)-but I am not eating met. So far, so good. I found that Morningstar makes meat substitutes that, if you add a LOT of vegetables, you can hardly tell the difference......not really, but it isn't bad. We will see how long it takes, so far I haven't missed meat at all with the one exception of the 3 lbs of taco meat I made the other day for a party. It is sitting in my fridge and it's oh so good. 

LAST THING: The Olympics is in full swing, and I am obsessed! Anyone else? It's my favorite thing every 4 years! 

Out for now, Aloha Nui Loa! Love you very much.


Monday, July 14, 2008

through the door

Ok....so I went and re-read my post "a fallen world" while I don't take back most of that, I do feel a little silly after reading it again. I was angry about my job. I have FINALLY given my anger to Jesus to deal with and I have come out the other side stronger. In light of Eternity, this Job is a small thing. But I have let it change me I think. I had high aspirations to make the world a better place, starting at Richardson pool. While that may not have happened the way I planned, I still think that God was able to use me through that situation.

Update on that though: I quit my job. I put in my resignation for the end of this month and 31 July is my last day. Part of me is really sad, but unfortunately it is what it is. So I am done at that facility, but I am looking for a job a little closer to Joel so that we can carpool. I don't look back on this experience and think it was bad. Like I said in my last post, I feel as though God has taught me a lot about myself and my strengths and weaknesses. I love the saying when one door closes another opens because I really feel like this will open a lot more doors for me, spiritually, emotionally and relationally.

So I finished my book: Merle's Door. Great. Again, that's all I can say. It was so sad of course-all dog memoirs end with the dog going down that long walk into the light, and I bawled my eyes out. But it was so great. Everytime I finished I wanted to move to Wyoming and buy a farm and let Duke just run free. If you can't tell, I love my dog.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


I think these surveys are kinda fun, so I  figured I'd post it onstead of send it to people who will delete it anyway. Enjoy.

1. What is your occupation right now? Lifeguard instructor, Swim instructor. Tough life.
2. What color are your socks right now?  Invisible
3. What are you listening to right now? No music....just Oprah.
4. What was the last thing that you ate? Stouffer's Chicken panini. mmmm

5. Can you drive a stick shift? yes! fun stuff.

6. Last person you spoke to on the phone? Joel. 

7. Do you like the person who sent this to you? Fo sho.
8. How old are you today?  24 years and 42 days......
9. What is your favorite sport to watch?  Baseball and diving, ooh and figure skating. yeah. that's fun! And ALL of the olympics. 8.8.08 baby!

1 0. What is your favorite drink? let's see. Wild Strawberry Cyrstal Light.

11. Have you ever dyed your hair? once. not myself.
12. Favorite food? Italian, mexican, fun food, all food.
13. What is the last movie you watched?  Wall-E. Best movie ever.
14. Favorite day of the year?  my birthday. and Christmas.

15. How do you vent anger?  Exercise. And I scream. Seriously. No not really. I bottle it. 
16. What was your favorite toy as a child?  Softball glove and ball. 

17. What is your favorite season?  Winter, then fall. 

18. Cherries or Blueberries?  Cherries
19. Do you want your friends to e-mail you back? is this really a question? Who doesn't?

20. Who is the most likely to respond?  Well since this is a blog, probably no one. 

21. Who is least likely to respond?  Hullo. no one.

22. Living arrangements?  cozy.
23. When was the last time you cried?  i don't remember.

24. What is on the floor of your closet?  nothing. maybe dukes bone.
25. Who is the friend you have had the longest that you are sending to?
26. What did you do last night? played Indiana Jones LEGO and then went to bed at 8. I  work at 5:30.
27. What inspires you? laughter, music, the craft  store
28. What are you most afraid of?  Bugs. yuck!
29. Plain, cheese or spicy hamburgers? Joel's Chipotle cheddar burgers.  Best I have ever had!

30. Favorite dog breed?  Most. 1st-my Dukie (lab/shep), 2nd-Boxer, 3rd-Rhodesian Ridgeback
 31. Favorite day of the week? Friday
32. How many states have you lived in?Ohio, NC, SC, Mississippi, Hawaii-so 5.

Monday, June 30, 2008

a fallen world

So a few things to update:

Joel has been offered a pretty cool opportunity to work in an ROTC detatchment, namely the one he was a part of at UNCC. So what this means is that he would be a teacher for 4 years at a university. A few that we have discussed are UNNCharlotee, N.C. State, UNC Chapel Hill and UK. 
We have also pretty much decided we want to try really hard to get back home for our next base. Of course it is up to the military where they want us, but we are going to put mostly places near home.

Work has been crazy lately. Just recently I almost walked out. I was so frustrated because my boss didn't back me up when I kicked 2 boys out of the pool. The situation was a little more intense but that is sumation of the problem. Anyway, I had the hardest time reconciling my anger yesterday, and pretty much remained that way all day. I have never worked anywhere or been in any time of situation or environment as frustrating as my job right now. If I didn't just love what I do I would have quit a long time ago. I love my actual job, it is so rewarding and fun. But my boss and a few of my co-workers are just out of hand with control issues and it makes me miserable-so much so that I can't relax when I'm home. This leads me to my next thought-

Hawaii has a lot of catching up to do with the rest of the world! This is such a backwards place sometimes. I really feel like I am living in a time remniscant of the 30's in the south. People are racist and violent. And if they don't like you at work they make your life a living you know what. It is insane. If I hear about another "haole" who is beat up or killed by a local person I swear I will just scream. It is very sad to beleive that there is such ugliness in such a beautiful place. We truly live in a fallen world. I know that even though I am miserable right now, God has a plan for all of this. I have learned how to stand up for myself quite a bit when it comes to my job, I just wish my lesson hadn't had to come so rudely. 

ANYWAY. Read a good book, or am reading a good book to be correct. Merle's Door. Wonderful. Funny. Make's me look at my dog in a whole different way. Dog lover should read it, even dog haters should read it because it will make them understand dog's a little more. I think I might start doing book reviews on my little blog here....look for a full version of the Merle's door review soon. =)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

it ain't easy being green

well, joel left yesterday for a little over a week for home. i am so jealous. =) he will be spending the bulk of his time in hilton head island (pictures to come later). here's to hoping our next base is closer to home.

speaking of next base, june 20 was the date we in processed, so in a year and a month from now we will be getting ready to fly away from hawaii. there is so much to do in a year. this year we are hoping to get the rest of the family out here at some time, we need to sell our house (which is daunting already) and figure out how to save some gas in the mean time. gas prices just hit $4.25 here and with driving an old jeep comes great awareness of gas prices. i have to admit, driving the hybrid to work everyday i tend to forget a little bit about the gas prices, and haven't really paid much attention. but i have bee driving the jeep around a bit and have noticed how much gas it sucks. that things gets about 12 miles to the gallon, whereas the honda gets about 42......BIG huge difference. we need another hybrid, like now. 

and speaking of hybrids, for about the past year joel and i have been trying to "go green". we use reusable bags when we shop, we recycle, we are starting to compost, we are reducing our energy (not just because it's expensive) and we have been trying all sorts of organic and natural things. reducing our carbon footprint has been a little bit of work and a little more expensive up front, but in the long run it has been paying off. for instance, we switched to cfl's right after we moved in and it has saved us a little over $20 each year in electric. i am also trying to drag the green movement over into my job. another girl and i are trying to get everyone there to recycle and we are working on starting a compost bin for our landscaping. in the name of being green here are something i think are easy ways to go green without changing your lifestyle that much:

1. cfl's-they cost more than traditional lightbulbs, but they last longer and use less energy.
2. use nalgenes/coffee mugs-starbucks (and most coffee places) give $.10 off when you bring in a tumbler and it reduces paper waste. using a nalgenes reduces plastic bottle waste.
3. buy reusable bags-now that green is "in" these bags are at most grocery stores and wal-marts. they are bretty inexpensive (around $.60/bag) and reduces a ton of waste.
4. you know to turn off lights, but also unplug appliances and computers that aren't in use. they suck more electricity than you think.

Friday, May 30, 2008

oh what a day.

i forgot to add that today was my birthday. yay me! but seriously, thanks everyone who called or wrote to wish me a happy birthday.

24 years. time is such a funny thing. relatively, 24 years can be a blip in time, or can feel like....your whole life.

we also just recently celebrated our 3rd anniversary on may 20. talk about time flying. marriage i think makes time paradoxical. on one hand, 3 years have flown by and and our wedding seems like it was just yesterday. on the other hand, i kinda feel like i have been married for a LONG time sometimes. not a bad long, jut a long long..... like i have never been without joel as my other half. i guess that's what it means for a man and his wife to "become one flesh". not that joel and i aren't individuals, we very much have out own independent likes, dislikes and identities, but we also are very much one flesh. while life would go on without my "other half" it would be a little broken. =)

ok enough of that mumbo jumbo....

by the way-i miss home. birthdays just don't seem the same unless you are surrounded by your family.


50th state fair

Last weekend Joel and I went to the state fair. It was a little small but it was a lot of fun. Above is Joel and me on the tilt-a-whirl, before it started of course.

On the ferris wheel. I was holding on for dear life........

not really, but it kinda looks like it.

Ok, I am having a little trouble with layout and typing stuff in between pics, and all that jazz. Bear with me as I try to become SOMEWHAT computer savvy. I need the dummies guide to blogging........

Friday, May 23, 2008

welcome, aloha!

welcome to my blog! i will try my best to keep it updated with our last year here in hawaii. check back soon!