December 31, 2012

Hau'oli Makahiki Hou!

 Hard to believe another year is behind us!  Looking back I must admit that it's been a challenging one for my family, lots of changes - change is never easy.  I am thankful for many things; not the least of which is my family, immediate and extended, who have provided me much council and love through all our struggles and celebrated with me during our times of joy.  

2013 will bring more change, David will finish up his tour on Lake Erie and Olivia will graduate and become a high schooler!  Ready or not.  I'm happy to report (fine print... nothing is official and always subject to change), it looks like we will avoid a move this summer and get to extend our time in paradise for a few more years.  We are all happy about that!   

I'm also grateful for these green eyed monsters!  They bring joy to us every day.  Forgot to show you Olivia's new Uke in my Christmas post!

Little Miss Emily is officially 8!  Her sister bought her a tiara which she proudly wore all day.

Of course we had to upgrade the "do" a bit to support such beauty.

AND...we took her to get some new fish.  Introducing Bubbles (2.0), Scooter and Angel.  Fingers crossed :)

Have to have a snow ice on your birthday!!

AND a clown ice-cream cone

 She had a great day and the party is still to come!  Best part was having my Mom with us all month.  She is a special part of our family and we already miss her tons!  

Wishing you all a happy, healthy new year!  

Ha uli maka hiki ho (That's for my brother who always forgets how to pronounce it)

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December 27, 2012

Wonderful Christmas

Every year I am half happy and half sad when it's over!  We had a wonderful Advent, chock full of all the usual Christmas traditions...

We are beyond lucky to have a "tweenager" in the neighborhood who enjoys playing with the kiddos!  She holds craft camps nearly every day and Emily is always returning home with some wonderful creation.  This September (yes, September) said tween wrote a Christmas play - 15 pages - full of dialogue, songs, dances and even flute solo!

The gang worked tirelessly for months to learn their parts, paint scenery, prep costume changes...the works!  Finally it was time!  

Ever the director - assisting from the back when she wasn't on stage ;)

It was adorable and made for some special neighborhood memories for sure!

All decked out for Christmas Eve candlelight service

Choosing one gift to open that night

He came!!!!  That is a happy, happy face for 6:30 am.

We had a great morning of gift opening, enjoying our new toys.

Ending of course, with a wonderful feast!

Mahalo to all for the thoughtful gifts, cards, calls and wishes.  We had a great day and are thankful for our family, friends and Savior.

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December 22, 2012

Everything but the Stockings are hung!

Although we have some beautiful hand made stockings from our Aunt Betty, we have no fireplace to hang them from!  We just have to settle for laying them out - another unbearable fact of living in Hawaii ;)  Other than that, we are all spiffed up and ready for the big guy!  

Here she is...don't pretend you aren't jealous! 9 strands of lights baby!!

Cookies are made, presents are wrapped, food is bought.  Today we are going to tackle the gingerbread houses and just enjoy the beauty and breezes.  Hope you all are checking off the "to do's" and have a few moments to reflect on the season.  We all have much to be thankful for!!

Merry Christmas

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December 17, 2012


As a Navy wife of almost 20 years, I have lived all over the world.  With each move, each new neighborhood and job comes the standard question, "where are you from?"  Depending on the distance from home my answer is usually "oh a small town in Connecticut, not far from Danbury or Hartford."  If I'm very far away like Hawaii or Japan, I usually have to say "just outside of New York City."  Not many folks have heard of Newtown, Connecticut.

I suspect that has forever changed.  The once quiet little New England town has for a time become the geographic center of a stunned nation.  Now it is known, but for all the wrong reasons.  

You are seeing the photos of my town, I wish you could see my memories.  This is where I took my first step, rode my first bike, danced in my first recital, acted in my first play, learned to drive, kissed a boy, fell in love for the first time and had my first heartbreak.  Newtown is where I learned to ice-skate, hung out with my friends and made plans for what would be the rest of my life.  A life that has taken some strength and courage to live.  Strength and courage that came from my upbringing.  My parents, friends, neighbors, teachers and mentors - all Newtowners.  

Like everyone, I am deeply saddened by this tragic event, but I have to find a way to put it aside and make all those things that seemed important last Thursday seem important again.  Time to turn off the TV and get on with it but it's hard. It's hard because these last few days have called me home and made me a small child again.  A child who followed the footsteps of the Jolly Green Giant up the driveway to her Sandy Hook Elementary school fair.  A child who pushed the milk cart down those very hallways.  A child who played on that playground and climbed on firetrucks at that station.  I loved being that child.

Time to learn how to close my eyes again.  I have the luxury of distance that you don't.  You are facing an unspeakably tough few weeks.  You will be there when the cameras are gone.  You will be there next year on December 14th, lighting candles, laying wreaths and remembering.  You have to send your children back to school.  You have to make this ok.  I can only pray for your strength.  I can take heart in knowing what kind of people you are and that you can and will continue to make Newtown a wonderful place to live and raise your children.  I can tell you I love you and I'm so very, very sorry. 

December 8, 2012

The Best of Times, The Worst of Times

I'm very sad to report that our beloved Bubbles passed away earlier this week.  If you are familiar with my Emily and her extremely tender heart, you can imagine how very sad she was.  We placed Bubbles in a fancy box with his greenery and decided the only thing to do was have a proper funeral.  Proper meaning; invite pals, say prayers, blow bubbles (fitting tribute) and of course, eat cake.  

She made sure he was feeling the love - he had a very decked out resting place

Her prayer: "Dear God, thank you for Bubbles.  He was a good pet.  Let him be taken good care of in your hands.  Let him be safe and happy and joyful.  We love Bubbles so please take good care of him as we all did."

Bubbles for Bubbles!

Nothing turns around a sad occasion like store bought, over died, sugary confections...

Her pals were very sweet and supportive - she has a real group of BFF's in this hood.  They all showed up with bereavement cards for her!

In case you're wondering, we didn't send Bubs down the "tube" or bury him.  Daddy took him to the ocean to rest in peace.  I don't think she could have handled the former!

 I think a dog is a long way off for us. marches right along and last night was a big night for my gals.  Emily was chosen to light the Advent Wreath in the school Christmas Musical!!  

As soon as we found out we called upon our private dress designer to the princesses.  As usual, Emma whipped up the perfect dress (headband, neckless and shoes) for the big show.  

Part of the reason Emily was chosen was because she has a superstar big sister.  Olivia was her "private Elf" for the night. Responsible for getting her in her dress backstage, getting her to her spot on cue, changing her into her outfit for the 2nd grade performance and then back into her dress for the Nativity scene at the end.  Whew!  Where does one get a private Elf?

All dressed

We were sitting in the back of the church so we got to snap a few shots while she was waiting for her cue.  

Notice the beautiful crosses on the ribbon!

Perhaps too many photos :)

Had this picture existed a week ago it would have been on your Christmas cards but didn't.  

There she goes.

Lighting the wreath.

All done!  She looked like a little angel.  So glad Emma was here to watch - it was a very special night.

 The theme of the show was Christmas in America if you are wondering about the large USA balloons and stars.  Very cute show and very appropriate for December 7th.  

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