Sasha Darling

She loves watching Elmo and I love taking her picture-- this was a win/win situation.


Allow to Me to Brag for a Moment....

My Beautiful Boy-5th Grade Graduate, Wrestling Champ and All Around Cool Kid!!!!
And this is just in one week!


Thursday Five

In an effort to reflect on more positive aspects of my life I have followed suit of some fellow MilSpouse Bloggers and joined ....

For those of you not familiar with Thursday Five it's a chance to reflect on five things that made you "Happy, Joyful, Excited, Jubilant and Grateful"! For me it goes like this:
Happy-My daughter saying "Hi you guys" when she walked in from the backyard. She is quite yet 2 years old and the way she said was like a 15 year old who was hanging out with her friends. Sasha can be such a social butterfly.

Joyful-My son graduated from 5th grade this week. Finally! I can tell he was ready to be done with elementary school so he was relieved. I got some great pics of him with his diploma, I will post them soon.

Excited-The new Sex and The City movie is out today-- whoop! whoop Bust out my Manolo's--- It's girl time!

Jubilant- We had "Ice Cream Sundae Sunday" this week-I am a sucker for the Haupia Ice Cream here in Hawaii. It is made from coconut custard and it ROCKS! Dark chocolate syrup, nuts, sprinkles and whipped cream. It put me in piggie heaven.

Grateful-I was able to purchase a new DSLR camera, my Husband actually okay'd this purchase on credit, in fact he encouraged it! Man, am I lucky or what?

So it's your turn now-- What has made you "Happy, Joyful, Excited, Jubilant and Grateful"? Hop on over to Mannland 5
and get started :)
Happy Thursday everyone!


Wordless Wednesday

A math problem


Me today



Well, I did it-- I allowed myself to go into a little bit of controlled, interest free debt for a year. I think it's worth it though...

When I was in high school I really enjoyed my photography class. When I started doing photography I was going through some pretty rough stuff even by teenage standards. I was really struggling to find myself after some traumatic events. I found a pretty solid voice through taking pictures. I had a great teacher who was incredibly supportive. Still to this day fellow classmates reminisce about what a class environment that was. I loved photography so much I eventually pulled my head out of butt (sorry, I know that was a little graphic) improved my grades and ended up going to art school. I loved it, until my old demons crept back to haunt me. Long story short-it's been awhile since I wanted to take pictures again. Just in the past weeks I have desperately wanted to start back up. The hubbie okay'd the purchase and even though I was hesistant, I am feeling pretty excited now. I also got a pretty cool lens.

I am sure I will be posting many visual updates in the future :)
I also splurged on a new sewing machine today. (geez-- what has gotten into me) I couldn't help it though. I really love to sew, it is the one thing that frustrates me and rewards me all at the same time. My Grandmother taught me to sew and it the one I know I can do to honor her memory. David and I were discussing his impending deployment and my coping skills for said deployment yesterday while on our way to Costco. I was telling him that I needed to seriously find some hobbies besides being Sasha's Mommy before he left or I was going to go crazy while he was gone. While walking through Costco I noticed they had an awesome machine with all these new bells and whistles that I have been wanting for awhile. Up until now I had been pretty stubborn about using a "fancy" machine. That all changed when I noticed how low the price was. So today I bought a new sewing machine.

I am hoping to start using some of creative processes to work through all the emotional baggage I have been carrying around lately. I am pretty excited! If I get to 50 followers I promise to have a cool giveaway with something handmade from my brand spanking new sewing machine, too :)


Mamarazzi Monday

I have had a slight obsession with "waldorf dolls" for some time now. I love anything handmade, especially dolls. When I was young my Grandmother (who happened to be the most creative, talented woman I have ever known) made me dolls, by hand with no pattern. I remember how special it made me feel, I felt like I was the only little girl in the world who was loved this much. Try as I may, I have yet to reach her talent level-so in the meanwhile I discovered http://bamboletta.com/shop/.Oh gosh, am I in LOVE with these dolls!!! Recently another Bamboletta "stalker" decided to do a doll hop. I thought it would be fun to participate and we are in a great location to share our unique corner of the world with other doll lovers. "Stella the Gnome" arrived on Friday, so Sasha and I took Stella for a ride just up the road to North Shore today and took some photos. Sasha was more interested in the beach (as usual) so Stella kind of got left in the sand, but we tried.

I think this is one of my very favorite pictures of my Sasha. *swoon*

This photo is actually from Sunday when we were in Waikiki. My little girl loves the beach so much, it breaks my heart when it is pouring down rain here and the first thing she asks for in the morning is "beach?"

As you can tell I am getting back to my photography roots, or at least attempting to. Long ago I actually went to photography school, before the dawn of digital. Recently I have grown more and more frustrated with my limited abilities on my little point and shoot. My husband recently gave me the green light to purchase a Canon Rebel with a big beautiful lense and all the bells and whistles on his credit card. The purchase itself would be interest free for a year, but I am having a tough time putting anything on credit lately. Just to play devil's advocate though-I feel like I am missing all these great photo moments with my kids due my lack of a long range lens. It is really hard to get good photos of my son at his wrestling meets from all the way in the stands. So.... since today is Mamarazzi Monday my question for all you Mamarazzi's is-- would you buy it?


'Eat, Pray, Love'

I cannot begin to explain how totally utterly stoked I am to see this movie (for a study in contrast, by the way, I am equally excited to the new Sex and the City movie)
I just finished this book, yes-- I know I am little late to the party. But, oh, how I am in love with the richness of love in this book. If you haven't read it, please do. If you have read it then you know.


FRG and Me...

I never thought I would say FRG and Me in the same sentence. But, alas, things have changed and once again the old adage "if you can't beat-join 'em" comes into play. I used to have pretty healthy amount of resentment reserved for anything Army or Army related. This is the conglomerate the steals my true love away for exponential amounts of time without my consent. How can I possibly support anything that supports this evil entity? Time can change a person, or maybe it is safer to say time can wear a person down. I spent the better part of the first half of my Husband's career removed from Army life-happily removed. He was stationed at Fort Irwin and was home as often as he wanted to be. Then we did two years of ROTC and with this brought less haircuts, a beard, no deployments-- you get the blissful picture. And then -WHAM! BAM! ALOHA! the Army reclaimed us. The first few weeks on this rock I spent crying myself to sleep-I was NOT blooming where the Army had planted us. How can you bloom when you have no garden? I spent a few weeks really soul searching. I emerged, maybe not shining, maybe a little worse for the wear-thinking that this was only going to get as good as I let it get. Busy-Busy is what is going to keep me going. So gosh darn it, I am going to stay busy. Then the email came-"POC needed for FRG" (sorry for the Army lingo) and "what he heck is wrong with me"-- I volunteered. Treasurer for the FRG needed? My hand shoots up like the freaking class know it all---oh oh oh pick me pick me! Coffee Group with the FRG ladies-- sure-- why the heck not? So last night I find myself in a small back room of a local restaurant with a group of officer's wife - of which I am pretty sure I am the absolute only one who has ever sported a visible non dolphin or lady bug tattoo-(wait until they get a load of the fully sleeved shins I secretly sport.) Are you ready for this? Surprisingly, they are nice ladies-not fake nice, but really nice-genuine nice. So what if they wear pearls (real ones, of course) maybe I am what they need-- they're a little bit country, I'm alotta bit rock and roll.. variety is the spice of life. I might go so far as to admit I was a royal jerk for shrugging this off for so many years. These gals are positive! friendly! supportive! What the heck was I thinking?Not one of them looked down their nose at me. Damn you Ego- I should of done this years ago! I still feel there is much soil to push through-but my roots are expanding and digging in. Like any good gardener knows it takes time to plant a good crop, I've got nothing but time as it turns out. At least 13 years according to my husband, so roots-you know what to do. It's not a matter of "if" this plant will bloom-but "when" now.



Another Reason to Love Guinea Pigs...

If you haven't had a chance to watch the guinea pigs pick a winner over on Skinny Piggie's Blog... I highly recommend it. Not only because it is just about the silliest way I have ever won a contest-but there are also links to some other girls weddings and they are super fun to look to at. (I just love wedding photos)
Anyhow-Thanks to Skinny Piggie for the fun contest. It was just icing on the cake to win a treat after getting to brag about my wedding. I needed a little pick me up and it def put a smile on my face. Hope everyone is having a good Monday. I am back to work tonight. Now that I got to vent about my situation I am feeling a little better. Thanks for reading and for the support. I will post a picture of my super cool prize from Skinnie Piggie when it arrives.


Lost: Work Mojo

LOST: Perfectly good job-provided self esteem, good pay and friendship. Last seen in Long Beach, Ca in December 2009. Please call if found-(It's definitely not in Hawaii.)
Have I mentioned I really hate my new job? I think my disenchantment with this island mostly has to do with my disdain for my job. I used to love what I did for a living. I used to feel like I made a difference. Since I moved to Hawaii I've been doing what respiratory therapists refer to as "floor work". Now I don't mean to belittle the importance of taking care of moderately ill patients, there is value in this kind of work too-but I am used to working with critically ill patients, patients who are relying on me to keep them breathing. I am also used to having a certain level of interaction with doctors and nurses who respect respiratory therapists. I was really excited to start my new job, I had been missing working so much. Back home I got so much satisfaction from my job and the first few months in Hawaii had been so rough on us that going back to work meant that I would get at least some normalcy back in my life. I knew going in that my last job was pretty cushy-we had a great crew, the RN's were good, really good and the docs loved the RT's. We made decisions for patients as a team, we worked as a team-kids got better because of our team. Sadly I am not finding that to be the same situation at my new job. I am also totally frustrated with how far behind their medical pratices are here in Hawaii. I see so many opportunities for this place to try something new, I keep suggesting new methods of therapies-but it all falls on deaf ears. They are so attached to their old school ways here. The docs have zero respect for RT's and the RN's are even worse. The RT's here are constantly talking about how cut throat the department is, how one mistake can cost you your job-there is a total lack of trust among these guys. And to make matters worse I am not a "local" - so they are automatically suspicious of me. So I have been working "floors"-bored out of my mind. To ease childcare issues, I am working nights-7pm-7am-staying awake and fighting off the boredom is killing me!
Yes, I know I am complaining-really I should be happy to have a job. Most of the wives I have met over here have all said that they looked months for a job and if they found employment it was usually a low-paying job. I am struggling with the realization that my self worth is no longer to be found in my profession. I didn't realize that so much of my self esteem came from my job. Being good at what I did really got me through some rough times in the past. It gave me a chip on my shoulder and swing in my step. Without that boost I admit I haven't been myself-some days are better than others-usually on the days I work I am just so darn grumpy. Even I am sick of me lately . I have come to the conclusion that my career is never going to get back on track and maybe I should go back to school to try get my Masters in a different field. I have lost my work mojo. *sigh*


wordless wednesday

Homesick for:




a little of this, too:

sigh, i miss Los Angeles.


Military Wedding Week Contest..

Oh gosh, do I love to talk about our wedding. So what if the wedding almost 3 years ago? It was the party of the decade! I am taking full advantage of The Military Wedding Week Contest over on Skinnie Piggie's blog page! I hope to see lots of entries. I love looking at wedding photos, especially ones with beautiful brides and their handsome military hubbies (we all know weddings are better with a groom decked out in his blues, right?)
We got engaged in November of 2006 and decided to have a July wedding. Originally we wanted to have the wedding in my parents backyard, but that idea was quickly squashed by the sheer size of the guest list. A good 80% of the guest list was his family!!! Whoa! I am an only child and I have a small extended family. We had a very small budget and I will forever be proud of my amazing ability to negotiate a lower price for pratically everything. We settled on a restaurant in the Hollywood Hills. Yamashiro's dates back to early Hollywood, you can see all of Los Angeles from it's hilltop location. It is modeled after a Japanese pagoda and had a beautiful koi pond garden setting. David and I love our Los Angeles, I could not have ever imagined a more perfect location than this one.

David and I also love everything asian themed-Anything to do with Japanese culture we really flip for. One of my friends had a cousin that performed with a Chinese Lion Dance group. They offered to do my wedding for almost free! We didn't tell anyone that we had a scheduled a performance with them, so when they came out and performed our guests flipped out! If you haven't ever been to a Chinese New Year festival you most likely aren't too familiar with how awesome these groups are. It typically is accompanied by a drum group, the lion is supposed to bring luck to whoever "feeds" it. The whole performance just took my breath away. It was really special and I don't think it could ever be topped!

I love the color orange, it has great energy. Our colors went perfect with the garden setting, orange and brown. My grandmother made most of the bridesmaids dresses, each one cost about $25.00 for the fabric. I let all the girls pick their own pattern, shoes and accessories. They all added their own personality and I loved what each girl came up with. Everything looked so beautiful with all the green in the garden.

One my best good friends in the world, Roberto, got ordained online and married us. He is a natural at public speaking and has a great sense of humor. He did a great job and it meant so much to me to have one my oldest friends preside over the ceremony. And just to prove what a great presence he has -- he currently can be found on the Ellen Degeneres show! He is her personal chef and does a monthly segment about vegan cooking! I love this guy!

We had quite the party after the wedding, it went well into the night. We sold the bar out that night according to our coordinator. A year later we went back to celebrate our anniversary. When we told our server what we were celebrating she brought half the staff over and they all clapped and celebrated with us. Several of them said they will always remember our wedding, which says a lot considering this restaurant has hosted thousands of events.
Here are some of my favorite photos from that amazingly perfect day.

Well, I can't say I didn't warn you-- I love talking about our wedding. I can't wait to see everyone else's photos!


Operation Doggie Delivery is a Success!!

I think champagne is in order! After waiting for six month- my pups finally made it to Hawaii. If you know what a pain it is to ship pets to Hawaii then you understand how relieved I am to have this process over with. It was easier to ship our 2000 sq. foot home, all of it's contents and all four of us to Hawaii than it was to ship two 8 year old dogs to here. We had to wait out a 120 day at home quarantine to be able to avoid a 90 day in state kennel quarantine. I visited the in state kennel facility once and it was covered in roaches and smelled horrible. Considering both our mutts are getting up there in age I was really worried they wouldn't even survive the plane ride, I knew they wouldn't survive the quarantine on island. So we made the decision to have them wait out the at home quarantine with Nana. She did a great job making their reservation and shipping them over here successfully. Currently they are busy sniffing and peeing their way through their new backyard and being tortured by our toddler. I finally feel like our family is complete now!


Happy Mother's Day!

I woke up to flowers, breakfast on the patio and a new bottle of perfume! I love perfume-it always fits no matter how much weight I gain!

About a year ago we bought beach cruisers. We were still in California at the time but we knew we would use the bikes when we got to Hawaii, too. Sadly they have been collecting red dust on the back patio since we moved in-until today! We finally had sunny skies and no plans -- all day! We just rode around post, but it felt really good to get out in the sun and get some fresh air.

Sasha looked so cute! The last time we tried this she wasn't even a year old and she cried most of the ride. This time she only cried because she was ready for a nap.

It didn't last long-she fell asleep really quickly.

This guy thought he was pretty cool with his new glasses.

Dinner is always better served on the patio-

And now, my friends, I am relaxing-The Pacific is on tonight and even though I am pretty sure I know how it ends, I am still excited to watch. Life is good. Hope everyone had a relaxing, peaceful day.