"I have come that they might have life and have it to the full..." -John 10:10b

Tuesday, January 13, 2009



Well guys, the moment I've both hesitantly and anxiously awaited for the past 3 and a half years is at my doorstep. The movers come tomorrow. They're coming and they are going to pack up all things dear to me. My clothes, my books, my sketch pads, my DVDs ...everything.

They are even taking the computer. So, it is with great sadness that I initiate this blogging hiatus, if you will. I don't know how long it will be until I have regular access to a computer again, but it could be close to 6 weeks depending on how long it takes my stuff to travel by boat across the Pacific, down through the Panama Canal and up to the Baltimore docks.

But, before I go, let me leave you with some pictures that Paul and I took last night on a farewell walk down the banks of Pearl Harbor. Hickam AFB is a beautiful base and I'm sure that there are not many military installations that compare. I'm pretty sure that Ft Meade won't even come close. So, Paul and I plan to take the next few days to snap some shots of memorable spots and locations on Hickam and around the island before we leave on our jet plane next Tuesday.

I'll be able to share them with you in just 6 weeks. Hold tight, my friends. I'll be back!

Monday, January 12, 2009



This morning is a rough morning for me. I did NOT have a red letter day yesterday, but I won't go into detail about that. My stomach is churning, my heart is aching, and I just feel a sense of unrest in every part of me. There's SO much going on right now as we prepare for our move. Not just on the calendar, but in my soul as well.

Moving is stressful.

For as long as I've looked forward to getting off this rock in the middle of the Pacific, the emotion that comes with leaving a place that you're comfortable is starting to hit me...hard. Especially after yesterday.

But there was a silver lining around my dark cloud. I've come to treasure a friend who will listen. And not listen with the intent of interjecting (as I tend to do) but listen and not grow weary of you saying the same thing a million times. Listen even though you're complaining about the same thing you complained about a month ago and have done nothing to remedy it. Listen as you make your mental and emotional breakthroughs and need someone to help you make sense of them. A friend who will listen and never make you feel like you're boring them or burdening them or taking them away from something more important.

Do you remember High School? Do you remember that group of friends you had? The friends you could be silly with and sad with and dumb with and boy crazy with. Now do you remember that one friend in the group of those friends that you just had to talk to at the end of the day even though you'd seen each other all day at school? That friend that you could jump on your bed with while singing at the top of your lungs along with Hanson's MmmBop. The only friend you really trusted to give you a make over right before you were supposed to meet the "guy of your dreams" at the movies and the friend that would let you cry all over her new shirt from American Eagle when he broke your heart. It's been a long time since High School and it's been a long time since I had a friend like that.

But I have that friend in Kasey. She listens and listens and listens (and guys that what it takes because, let me tell you, I'm a talker). She's fun, giggly, real and a total life giver. Our friendship has been tested and tried as we've dealt with all the trials that come with being women, wives and mothers and it's withstood them all. We don't always agree on things but we value each others opinions and the experiences that have brought us there.

And today, I'm both happy and sad. I'm thrilled that the Lord has granted me a friend like that during my stint here on this rock in the middle of the Pacific. And I'm so sad that after a little over a weeks time, I'm not sure when I'll see her again.

But I'll take comfort in knowing that if our friendship has conquered all that we've put it through, surely it can conquer a little bit of distance. I know from experience that there are some friendships that a measly few thousand miles just can't stand in the way of.

"A man of many companions may come to ruin,
but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother."
-Proverbs 18:24

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Rest In Peace, Lumpy


This is a sad post. This is a memorial post. A post paying respect to a member of my family that I'm just not sure we'll do well without. He was loved and cherished and we had high hopes for him just as any parent would for their child.

This post is for Lumpy, may he rest in peace, wherever he is.

Paul and I loaded up the girls to head down to the Ala Moana mall this morning. Nothing special, just a normal Saturday. We were in search of winter clothing. A pea coat for me and some jeans for Paul. We weaved our way in and out of stores, stopped for a quick bite and continued the search.

Eva and Izzy sat patiently in the stroller both being very well behaved, for the most part. Eva couldn't make up her mind whether or not she wanted to hold Lumpy. She'd ask for him, hold him for a while and then ask for one of us to take him. He rode in Izzy's side of the stroller for a bit while I carried her but was happy to take his place back in Eva's lap when Izzy got back in. Point is, Lumpy didn't stay in his usual spot in Eva's arms the whole time. Eva was antsy and Lumpy was an afterthought for a big chunk of the outing.

When we loaded up the girls to head home, we didn't even think to look for Lumpy. It's always assumed that he's with Eva. When we got home, we gently pulled our sleeping babies out of their car seats and laid them in their beds. Izzy immediately turned to her side, cuddled her blanket and drifted back to sleep. Eva, on the other hand, turned over to cuddle with Lumpy only to discover that he wasn't there.

No biggie. He's probably in the car. Paul called down to me to go grab him from the car and I slipped on my shoes, walked out to car, opened the door and began the search. Lumpy was no where to be found.

We've looked everywhere. Every possible place he could be. He's gone.

This isn't a total travesty as I did purchase a back up Lumpy about a year ago from Ebay, but still. I had hoped to keep the original Lumpy forever. When Eva outgrew him, I had planned to put him in her memory box, all tattered, washed and un-stitched. But that just won't happen now.

I'll just have to wash Lumpy II a few dozen times before he has the same worn in, loved look about him that I cherished so much about Lumpy I. A kind of velveteen rabbit type look. Poor thing was hardly recognizable as the purple elephant from Winnie the Pooh anymore.

Anyway, we would appreciate your thoughts during this time of grief for our family. Although we're so grateful for Lumpy II, Lumpy I is just irreplaceable.

Holding On


It really only takes one time of being blessed with parenthood to come to the gut wrenching realization that childhood flies by all too swiftly. The sweet stages of newborn-ness are gone in a blink and then before you know it, you're having to discipline the toddler that has recently discovered her will. Try as you might to hold on to every smile, every "I love you" and every sentimental moment, they come and they're gone too quickly.

That being said, I want to take a moment to dwell on the things I love about this stage in my life and in the lives of my girls. Things that I wish I could hang on to forever.

I love the way that Izzy moves her fingers across my chest while I'm nursing. She ever so lightly grazes them back and forth across my skin reveling in every second of my full attention. Every once in a while, she'll peek up at me out of the corner of her eye and give me a grin, only to immediately return to the task at hand...filling her belly.

I love that Eva is a reconciler. Whether she's had a time out or Izzy has pulled her hair or Daddy has scolded her, she always looks to make amends. She'll trudge slowly to wherever it is that we are and say, "I'm sorry, Momma/Daddy/Izzy. Hugs and kisses?"

I love that Izzy already completely adores her big sister and that Eva seems to take great pride in that ever growing responsibility. Izzy's eyes light up at the sound of Eva's voice and as soon as they make eye contact, Izzy grins from ear to ear. Eva is generous with her affection for Izzy and I've never felt my heart swell more than when I watch my children enjoy one another.

I love Izzy's laugh. That infectious baby giggle that is brought on by the most unpredictable and obscure occurrence.

I love that Eva is so polite. She says things like, "excuse me," "please," "thanks," and "no thank you" and Paul and I haven't formally taught her any of those.

These are the things I want to burn into my memory forever. These are things I hope don't fade with time and life.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Taking a Time Out


Okay, so I know that I haven't really been my usual blogging self this last month or so. What can I say? The holidays are a time for reflection and I've been doing alot of that. I've also been doing a lot of stressing out and hyperventilating as we have been awaiting our seemingly mythological military orders to make our big family move to Maryland at the end of the month.

Well, the orders have finally arrived and most of our out-processing is complete. In a mere 13 days, we will be on a plane, flying over the island of Oahu, saying good-bye to the place that this young, newlywed couple started their family. It really is bitter sweet.

On one hand, I cannot wait to be closer to grandparents. I really hate that they are not accessible for birthdays, outings, firsts, etc. And on the other, the autonomy has been nice and much needed as Paul and I worked to solidify our family unit. I'm very much looking forward to living in a place that actually has 4 distinct seasons, but at the same time, I'm afraid my kids will freeze to death as I have NO idea how to dress kids for cold weather. Heck, I don't even know how to dress myself for cold weather...I grew up in Florida!

I will miss my brother Ryan and my sister in law, Jacquie. Jacquie and I have gotten closer than I could've hoped for when they moved here over a year ago and she has become someone that I love whole heartedly. I'll miss my church, my routine, my familiarity with the traffic and the way of life out here. I'll miss Kasey.

Hawaii has been special to me. I spent 3 of my childhood years out here and one of my favorite things to do is drive around base looking for landmarks that hold specific memories for me. I glance at our old house with the sprawling Plumeria tree in the back yard every time I drive down Fox Blvd. My brothers and I used to climb those branches and sit there eating Corn Nuts or sunflower seeds. I see the sidewalk that Justin and I used to walk to school every morning to Hickam Elementary. A long sidewalk lined with gigantic trees that yield fragrant, sticky seed pods which litter the ground. There's the patch of asphalt behind our home where I learned how to ride my bike with no training wheels or the "hill" in our front yard that I was afraid to roller skate down. And now, Hawaii holds even more memories for me. It's the place that Paul and I made our first home together. The place we became parents, twice. My memories of this place have only broadened and become even more dear.

I don't know what it feels like to have our family anywhere else. Weird thought.

Anyway, Paul and I are trying to capture the places that hold memories for our family on film in these remaining days. And as you all know, we spend a lot of time at the park on Worthington and First on Hickam AFB. Enjoy the photos!