May 27, 2010

In an instant.

Earlier this week we got some exciting news, Jason got promoted to 1st class!!  We have been waiting for this for a couple years, and thought it was going to take a while longer due budget crunches through out the Coast Guard/military. We were/ are very excited, and I am SO proud of Jason!  Then yesterday we got some disappointing news... Due to the promotion, Jason's new station in McKinleyville does not need him, they already have their 1st class rates filled.  So, that is off the table, months of planning over in an instant.  (We have the movers coming next week, what were they thinking!!)
We are now going to NORFOLK, VIRGINIA.  Um.  Blah.  Meh.  Our first move in 2001 was to Alexandria, Virginia.  Norfolk is about 190 miles (3.5 hours) southeast.  I used to travel there for work trips, and I was not that impressed.  I was so upset when Jason told me, devastated.  I wanted to live close to our family, I wanted to live in California.  Boo.  I am sure Norfolk is awesome, but part of me feels like I've been there, done that.  Send me anywhere on the East Coast, why there... Jason does like to remind it could be worse and we could be stuck going to Cape May NJ, or somewhere else just as horrible (so I will count my blessings).
ANYWAY.  Enough of the pessimistic attitude.  I know (and I have to believe) that we were sent there for a reason.  The promotion is a blessing, and likewise everything that comes with it (whether I like it or not, right now).  Jason's new job will be very good for his career and schooling, and I have heard good things about some of the programs and schools there for the boys.  Even though we are going to be living so far from our family again, at least we still get to go home and see everyone this summer... and I am planning the most AWESOME road-trip ever.  Norfolk here we come!
There were a lot of things that I loved about Virginia the first time we lived there, and I am excited to see and do those things again: Fireworks at the Capitol for the 4th of July, all the Smithsonian Museums, 6 hours from New York, 12 hours from Orlando and one of my bestest friends up in Maine.  All the beautiful fall colors, and FIREFLIES, and Christmas time actually feeling like Christmas!  We are still very close to the beaches (even though they are not as awesome) and a lot of historical sites.  We will find plenty of things to do, and love, about Norfolk.  And maybe, just maybe,  in 4 years when we are getting ready to move, I will be just as sad that I have to leave.  Maybe.
Norfolk here we come, get ready!

May 25, 2010

Lost Without You...well for now.

One of my favorite TV shows of all time.
(Right after X-Files and Friends.)
This weekend was the series finale of the show.  Six years I have been invested in the show, six years of ups and downs, moving, and having two babies (that was me I was talking about, although they had all those things on the show as well).  Six years of watching the characters I have grown to love, and their moving, thrilling, dramatic stories.  Needless to say I was a little sad... ok, I was a lot sad.  I get overly attached to TV shows, it is embarrassing.  I am going to save myself the embarrassment, and you the hassle of having to delete me out of your contacts, by NOT telling you how much I cried at the end.  We will also not discuss how much TV I actually watch, or the borderline crazy ways I obsess over my TV scheldule and shows.
Back to Lost, it is one of my very favorites, and being as lucky as we are, we live right where they shoot the show, Oahu, Hawaii!  The past four years we have visited a lot of places where they have filmed, purposely and accidentally.  This last weekend we cruised the island visiting some of my favorite landmarks (from the show), saying goodbye to the show...and also to Hawaii.
Clark found our road map, not that we really need one, and proceded to tell us where to go.
Seriously, he was telling us about the water and mountains on the map, and what roads to go on.
Thankfully we did not take his instructions, or we would've landed in the ocean.

Our first stop, Dharmaville.
These little mustard yellow houses are a staple of the show (starting in season 3).
It is actually a YMCA camp, Camp Erdman.
I found it amazing to see the difference between what I saw, and what the film crews turn it into.  Surreal.
Next stop, Papa'iloa Beach.
This is where the survivors camp was, and where they spent most of the time during the first couple seasons.
This tree, on this little hill, off the beach, is one of my favorite landmarks from the show.
The grassy area below the tree was used as the graveyard, you can still see raised ground from a few graves, and a shallow half dug grave.  My imagination was running WILD at this point.  We will also not discuss how silly I was acting, or how excited I was, or the fact that I almost cried.

We found turtles, and lots of them.
(Nothing to do with Lost, I was just excited.  Sea Turtles make me happy.)
We have seen Sea Turtles before, but never so many in one place.  I think we saw 15-20 different Turtles that afternoon, amazing.  One of my favorite beaches to visit, for Lost and the Turtles.

So Lost is over.  The final episode was beautiful, heart-wrenching, and even a little maddening.  I will miss the show, I will miss it characters, and yes I will miss Hawaii.  But at least I still have GLEE!
I heart GLEE!
I feel like the show was made JUST FOR ME!
I look forward to the new songs every week, and I am constantly blown away by the talent of the cast.
(I adore Lea Michele, and I am SO happy Idina Menzel has been on the past couple episodes.)
Oh! And Fringe!
(What a great show.)

Jason, Clark and Harry.
Standing next to, what will hopefully be someday, our future home.
(Obviously when we are rich and famous.)
(Home not photographed, I did not want to be a stalker.)
What a wonderful (bittersweet) weekend.  Thanks Jason :)


Our time in Hawaii in coming to a close.  
Everyday Jason and I are more nostalgic.
We are spending every extra second we have outside, enjoying the places we have come to love.
Jason and the boys.
Me and my little boogers :)
Sunset at Ko Olina.
We only have 21 left, 21 beautiful sunsets, before our time in Hawaii comes to a close.

May 20, 2010

Just the way I like you.

We got the diagnosis.
Harry is Autistic.
Even though we suspected it, it is still a shock, a shock to my very core, to hear the words to come from somebody elses mouth.  A confirmation of my fears and worrying.

Yesterday he had yet another evaluation, this time from a Physcholgist.  She comfirmed what I already suspected for months, that he was Autistc.  She did say she wasn't ready to make an exact diagnosis as to where he was on the spectrum, but he was there....floating around somewhere. (Sad face.)  She was the first person that ever said the words OUT LOUD.  I hate her a little, why couldn't she just let me be in denial a little bit longer.  

We talked about switching his diet.  We talked about a couple of new programs we are going to enroll him in.  We talked about all the things she would've done, but can't now because WE ARE MOVING.  One good/great thing, she is signing us up with a group that will ensure we have all the resources we need in our new area, and if they don't have the programs/resources we need, they will find a better place for us to live (amazing).

Yesterday I was sad.  I cried.  I wallowed.  I complained.  I tried to think of when things went wrong, what I did and didn't do to get to this point.  It was bad.  But, after a long talk with my Dad I feel MUCH better.  (Thanks Papa, your phone call was inspired, and you said exactly all the things I needed to hear.)  I had my moment to mourn all the things I thought I wanted for Harry, and came to realize all the things he still could have, and MORE actually.  I took the afternoon to challenge my thinking, on what is normal...  What is normal anyway?  Who is to say my normal is any better or worse than yours?  I like my normal, I love it.  I gave myself one day, but I am done now.  I don't want to feel like that again, the doom and hopelessness, it is futile and TOTALLY unnecessary.

I know Harry is going to be okay, more than okay.  We all are.  I KNOW IT!   I have seen first hand how early intervention can work miracles, just look at my nephew Gavin, he is a little genius, and such a delight to be around.  Harry has a Speech Therapist, a Special Education therapist, and an Occupational Therapist.  We have our bases covered.  I am not afraid anymore, I am not sad.  I am ready to be put to work, to accept and conquer this new challenge.

Already in the past month, since Clark has been in school, Harry has made some improvements.  He is thriving on the one on one time.  He shows his happiness better, and comes out of his shell more (instead of always vegging out).  He does this cute little thing where he hops and skips when he is excited.  For instance, when we walk in the mall he will be so excited he will take a couple steps, then hop a couple steps (I think it is adorable), even at home when he is happy he will hop across the living room.  He smiles more readily at me and I don't have to work so hard for it.  Also, I swear last night when he was hurt and crying he said maaaa, not the normal repetitive mamamamamamama that he does for hours, monotone, and for no reason, but maaa at me, beacause he was sad and hurt, and he wanted me.  Progress, slow but steady, progress.

I think the only thing I still hate about it, the diagnosis, is the label.  I hate labels.  Even in high school I never want to be pinned down as anything.  I tried my whole life not be what anyone expected, even to this day I am still a little rebellious (a boring type of rebellious, but still).  I didn't want Harry to be labeled as anything, especially something that is still looked down upon by some poeple.  I know Autism is more main stream these says, but there are still some people -people I know- that will look down on him because of it.  And selfishly I didn't want the label either, the Mom of that Autistic kid.  I know I am horrible for even thinking about it, but yes it did cross my mind.  But I am OVER it, label me all you want... I am a Mom, a sister, daughter, wife.  I am chubby, happy, sassy, hopeful, nerdy (oh my, am I ever so nerdy).  I am a million things everyday, and yes I am the Mom of that Autistic kid, that adorable little Harry.  And I am fine with that, MORE than fine.  I feel blessed because of it, and privileged that he is my Son.  I thank God for him, and I wouldn't want it any other way, honestly.  I love him just the way he is, wholeheartedly 100%. 

My Boys

Jason, Clark and Harry.
My 3 Boys.  
I love them to pieces.
Clark loves the ocean, loves it, he could swim all day everyday.  My little beach bum.
My little BIG Harry.  I love this picture of him, quietly looking out at the water, watching all the people.  I love that quietness about him, he can run around and be silly just like his brother, but he is also reflective and will sit and relax taking in all the things around him.  He has recently gone through a growth spurt, I swear he grew a couple inches overnight.  He is getting tall just like his brother, and not so chubby, but he still has that larger than himself quality that makes everyone around him want to pinch his cheeks and cuddle him up.

My crazy little Clark, so FULL of life and energy.
We spent the afternoon at the Polynesian Cultural Center a couple weeks ago.  Clark loves that sort of thing, running around all day, exploring different things, people, and situations.  Jason is so good with him, being patient and just letting Clark see and experience as much as he can.  Can you believe how long his hair is getting, he can almost put it behind his ears, and I don't think I am going to cut it, so there.
Daddy and Harry. 
Knocked out after a long day at the beach, too much sun, swimming, food and playing.
This face just cracks me up!
Oh my little Tuna man, you are just too cute.  
He is in such a fun stage right now, talking a lot more and finally teaching us what he really likes (no more guessing for us, no more tantrums when we don't understand him).  He LOVES buses and trains.  Last week he went on a field trip with his school class to a bus depot, his teacher told us he was thrilled, and he talked about it all week.  They got on a city bus, drove to the airport to watch the planes take off, went to a car wash to wash the bus, and learned about where the buses live.  
Next month when we move we are planning a special train trip for Clark, a ride on a REAL TRAIN all the way from California to Utah (it is actually the cheapest way to get there, who knew)!!  I can not wait to see the look on his face, planes, trains, buses, cars, roadtrips...he is going to have the best summer.
Harry has beens sticking out his tongue a lot lately, and I love it.

I am so BLESSED!  
I have these three amazingly handsome, smart, fun boys...and I don't know what I did to deserve them, but I am grateful.

May 19, 2010

WHY am I leaving Hawaii???

We only have four more weeks left in Hawaii!
I am not ready to leave yet...
I am going to miss everything so much!
I am going to miss the mountains, the beautiful breathtaking Ko'olau Mountains.
We are so lucky to live right next to them.  During rain storms you can see hundreds of little water falls cascading down the steep cliffs and cracks.
I am going to miss the clouds and the sky, and all the amazing colors they produce here. 
The sunsets are always amazing, and the few sunrises I have experienced were lovely.
Mokolii Island or Chinaman's Hat.
The sky REALLY was this purpley-pink color.
How beautiful!
I am going to miss the trees, probably the palm trees the most.
Hawaii does have some of the most curious tress I have ever seen.
(I know we aren't going to lack in that department, in our new area, living only minutes from the Redwood Forest!)
Isn't this tree just crazy.

I am going to miss all the different types of flowers, that we get all year long, and their sweet smells.
(I am going to save you from the hundreds of flower pictures I want to post.)
Did you know Plumerias are my favorite?
I want a Plumeria tree.

I am going to die without the sunny, warm beaches, DIE!
I have taken for granted how close we are to some of the best beaches, in the world (yea, I just went there).  We can go swimming whenever we want, and snorkeling...I will miss you the most snorkeling, me and you are best friends forever.
This is Turtle Beach, where all the giant Sea Turtles come to eat and swim.

This was our home for four years.  We started our family here.  Never before have we felt more at home than here in Hawaii.  In all the places we have lived so far (Utah, Washington DC, Alameda) this one feels the most like we belong, it is going to be so hard to leave.
I am so GLAD and HAPPY that we are going to live closer to our families!!!  No more six hour, four hundred dollar flights!  Family roadtrips!
Still, despite the all the GOOD our move will bring, it is so hard to leave...maybe we might come back, maybe.
This is Kaneohe, where we live.  If I was smarter I would digitally add in a little arrow where our neighborhood is, but alas I am not.
This place is all about coming to, not leaving.  She whispers and calls to you, come visit me, play at my beaches, experience my culture, shop and eat, explore my beauty.  Hawaii seduces you, she wants you to be here...she doesn't want you to leave.  
Oh, Hawaii...I LOVE YOU!

May 18, 2010

Family Pic

Our family at the Temple in Laie.
It has been under renovation for the longest time.  I am so sad that it will not be re-opened before we leave...guess I will just have to come back.
Isn't it so beautiful. I love visiting, even though we can only walk around the grounds.

Ocean vs. The Shower

Really boys, I take you all the way to Ko Olina to play in the ocean, and you want to run around in the showers?!?  Silly babies.
At least they were having fun, playing TOGETHER.
Harry loves to try and "catch" the water, he will try all day :)
I am sure going to miss taking the boys to the so so much.
Why am I moving AWAY from Hawaii?

WALLE...take 2!

It is no secret that my boys LOVE to watch tv.  
Sometimes they agree on shows and movies, sometimes they don't.  We seem to go through phases.  For a while it was all Toy Story and Madagascar, then Monster Inc. and Kung Fu Panda. I think the only movie Clark watched the first 18 months of his life was Finding Nemo, over and over and over again.  Right now, Harry is going through a very intense WALLE phase, intense.  It is all he wants to watch, all day.  I remember going through this WALLE phase with Clark when it first came out, now I get to do it all over again (I guess it is better than Barney or Dora).   Sometimes, when we let Clark watch his train and monkey shows (he loves Thomas and Curious George), we let Harry watch WALLE on Jason's iPod.  There is no sound, and just a teeny tiny little screen, but he is happy and content just the same.  This is going to be a life saver when we have to go on the plane.  I think he looks so cute kickin' back, watching his show, so into it.
Harry concentrating with all of his might.  It must have been an important part.
I love how happy Harry looks in this picture. 
That WALLE, he is such a groovy little robot.  We sure do love him.

May 17, 2010


Joelle, Cody, Laura and Jamin
Earlier this month we were very fortunate to have my brother and sister, and their spouses, come stay with us for a couple weeks.  We had so much fun!  The was lots of swimming, lots of tanning (and some burning sorry Cody and Joelle), lots of eating out, and lots of driving.  The girls enjoyed picking pearls downtown, and the boys pratcially had thier snorkel masks on the enitre time.  It was so fun to get to know Laura and Cody's new spouses a little bit better, and I enjoyed all the laughs.
Clark and Harry loved having their auntie and uncles to spend time with, and Clark could not get enough of his new 'Daddies'.  We went to the Polynesian Cultural Center for a luau and a show, and got the traditional pineapple drink pictures that I make everyone in my family do. We even got to swim with TURTLES!  We were playing at Ko Olina beach, snorkeling and stuff, and they they were, two big beautiful Sea Turtles, just an arms reach away.  Clark was so afraid of them, but only cause his Auntie Laura was teasing him about sharks, nevertheless it was an amazing experience.
There is nothing I love more than spending time with my family, NOTHING.  And I loved sharing Hawaii, and my home, with my brothers and sisters.  It was so sad to see them go, Clark looked for them in their rooms all night long.  I am looking forward to spending sometime with  my WHOLE family soon, even though it means leaving Hawaii :(  Until then I have the over 1200 pictures we took to remind me of all the good times.  Below is a side show of a few (small few) of my favorite pictures.

A New Life

I just wanted to share this beautiful video.
What a true inspiration to Stephanie is.
I am humbled by her story and her faith.
I want to say more, I need to say more...
but all I feel is enormous GRATITUDE,
for the life that I have,
for the things I hold dear.
It really puts things in perspective, what is REALLY important.

I pray this video touched your heart, as it touched my.

May 13, 2010

So Totally CLARK!

I heard this little children's rhyme the other day that totally reminded me of Clark, 100%

There once was a boy with a curly little hair, right in the middle of his forehead.
And when he was good, he was very very good.
And when he was bad, he was horrid.

I couldn't stop laughing when I heard this.
There is really no explanation needed. When he is good, he is the sweetest 
heart-breakingly adorable little boy ever. And when he is bad, he can be the
spawn of Satan himself.

I think the original rhyme was about a little girl, but it works well enough for Clark.

May 11, 2010

Our 9th Anniversary

Last month we celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary.  Nine whole years we've been married!  Somedays it feels like just yesterday we got married, and other days I can hardly remember a life without Jason and my boys in it.
Jason is so sweet.  He planned a nice romantic dinner for us, at the Top of Waikiki, which is one of those crazy-high rotating restaurants.  He even made a thoughtful little playlist (via iPod) of all 'our' songs to listen to, on the way down town. It totally brought me back to our dating days, listening to and sharing music (via mixed tapes/cds...  awe, remember the good old days of mixed tapes).
There is our restaurants, way up there, I think it was 25 stories high (yikes), and it rotated, CRAZY.
Beautiful view of the ocean and the Royal Hawaiian hotel.
Our sunset view was marred by these obnoxious buildings.  Too bad we weren't a little higher up (wait, did I just say that, I am scared of heights, down please).
All in all it was a lovely evening, good food, quiet dinner without fighting kids and food on the floor, and some quality time spent with my sweetie.
Hoping and praying for another wonderful nine years.

Garbage Free

I got this story from my Granny, and I really loved the message of it.

One day I hopped in a taxi and we took off for the airport. We were driving
 in the right lane when suddenly a black car jumped out of a parking space
 right in front of us. My taxi driver slammed on his brakes, skidded, and
 missed the other car by just inches! The driver of the other car whipped
 his head around and started yelling at us. My taxi driver just smiled and
 waved at the guy. And, I mean, he was really friendly. So I asked, 'Why
 did you just do that? This guy almost ruined your car and sent us to the
 hospital!' This is when my taxi driver taught me what I now call,
 'The Law
 of the Garbage Truck.'

He explained that many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full
 of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger, and full of disappointment.
 As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it and sometimes
 they'll dump it on you. Don't take it personally. Just smile, wave, wish
 them well, and move on. Don't take their garbage and spread it to other
 people at work, at home, or on the streets.

The bottom line is that successful people do not let garbage trucks take
 over their day. Life's too short to wake up in the morning with regrets,
 so...Love the people who treat you right. Forgive the ones who don't. Life
 is ten percent what you make it and ninety percent how you take it!

I must admit I am more than guilty of this.  I always let my frustrations build up, then I blow up (normally Jason gets it all...poor Jason).  I don't want to dump my garbage on anyone any more, and I am going to try to be kinder and gentler to people who dump all their garbage on me.  I hope we all can.

Have a garbage-free day!

PS.  I am MEGA behind on blogging.  
I had some of my family out to visit, and I haven't been on my computer in two 2 weeks.
Two whole weeks, CRAZY.
So, for the next few days I will be playing catch up.