31 July 2012

Full. a BIG weekend post.

From beginning to end, our weekend was overflowing with fun tropical happenings, resulting in a stiff body, coffee-filled Monday morning.

We’ve been in Hawaii for five weeks, and as amazing and surreal as that sounds, the reality of that statement is we only have one week left until we head home. It’s truly bittersweet. We’ve had the time of our lives spread across the beaches of Oahu, on top of spending time with Mimi (my mom). As bitter as leaving all of this sounds, the deliciously sweet side is when we land in Oklahoma, we’ll have one month --possibly two-- until this deployment comes to an end.

Friday we ventured to a lagoon, peacefully anchored between Honolulu’s city buildings and the Pacific Ocean. If you remember this post, this was the first place we visited when we first arrived here on the island. I was instantly bursting with creatively and a rekindled internal fire, which even today I’m finding hard to contain. I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again… “This place is magical.”

The highlight wasn’t the calm pace of life inside city walls, or the lush lime greenery, or even the twinkling aqua water… it was these birds:

There were flocks of these white and grey birds, scattered along the sand, in between palm trees and around beachgoers. In one swiping gush, like synchronized swimmers, they fluttered up into the air and dashed around the lagoon making circles and figure eights. Everyone stopped to watch the show.

Swish, swish, swish, they danced through the sky, then like falling confetti, the birds gracefully bowed on the beach. William shrieked, “MOM-MOM!!!!”. Mom-mom is what Will now calls me. It’s the new “mama”.

birds circling the lagoon

Saturday came bright and early, as we drove out to North Shore to go hiking.

Our Destination: Waterfall.

It was beautiful and well worth the huffing and puffing, and the sticky sweat that came along with it. We passed through rivers, ponds, lush foliage, and tropical flowers. Stopping to take in the beauty along the way, we were treated with various species of exotic bird who sang from the tree tops.

The rumbling of water rolled in the background as it trickled around rocks and curved into the water hole. We made it!

My mom and the kids jumped in the water for a refreshing dip while I sat on the edge wishing I had brought my swimsuit. Krysta was completely over-the-moon to have been able to swim in a waterfall. I’m sure she’ll take these memories with her always. 

 my mom swimming with the kids

We couldn’t leave North Shore without going to the beach.

After our hike, we hunted for a parking spot where I swapped out my clothes for a swimsuit.

Let me just point out that I’m so glad we got to experience swimming in North Shore, however, I’ll never return to this particular slice of the beach. It’s totally not kid friendly or out-of-shape mom friendly. We lugged beach chairs, beach bags, sand buckets, and a cooler --along with William’s over-the-top ambition to run straight for the water even while I’m screaming “William stop, William wait”--  through the loose sand, up and over sand dunes, and down to the beach. I.THOUGHT.I.WOULD.DIE.

But alas, we made it just as the tide was carrying out, revealing a nice little drop off to fish my partially drowning kids out of the water.

We opted for plan B: to build castles, which ended up in a fight over whose sand is whose, so on and so forth. I turned to my mom, “let’s just call it a day.”  

this photo represents my kids the best-- Krysta posing for the camera while William runs in the opposite direction.

Don’t let these photos fool you….they’re actually squealing at each other.

The weekend ended with relaxing weather, cloudy and rainy. We were determined to have a low key beach day, and Hanauma Bay was the perfect location for doing just that. A bay surrounded by mountains and lined with palm trees, along with very small waves, lifeguards on duty, good sand for castle building, and lots of other small children to play with, plus great snorkeling on the reef for us adults.

It was nice and completely made up for Saturday’s beach experience.

I relaxed, sank into my beach chair, and struggled to stay awake. It felt so good.

The kids played.

And all was right.


We've been nominated to participate in the Circle of Moms Top 25 Military Family Blogs 2012! It's such an honor to be part of this group. Please vote for us, once a day until August 16 by click the button below, and then the "thumbs up" button by my name, “Writings of an Air Force Wife”! Thank you guys so much!

26 July 2012

Good News, Bad News

Like Yin and Yang, Ebb and Flow, Peaks and Valleys, Wax and Wane, and all other opposite sayings that walk together hand-in-hand, I have good news, and I have bad news.

pic from our zoo trip. more on that after I sort through the 100's of photos...

Bad News:

I have a virus. Well, my computer has a virus, but it 's giving me an unhealthy dose of frustration, both mentally and emotionally, along with the harsh effects on my pocketbook.

I cried. Hard.

I may have to go dark for awhile until this problem is resolved, or until I have a new laptop...

Good News:

I've been nominated by Circle of Moms to participate in their search to find the Top 25 Military Family Blogs! I took part in this last year and had a great time meeting fellow military wives.

The rules are, you can vote ONCE a DAY until August 16! So if you enjoy my blog, please send me a daily vote by clicking the button below, then click the orange THUMBS-UP button by my name (Writings of an Air Force Wife).

I'd appreciate any and all votes! Please help spread the word.

Tomorrow's Friday, so it can only go up from here. Right?

Have a good one, EM

25 July 2012

Happy Day

It was an ordinary day-- a day like most, but a little smidgen of something different. The sun burned a white glow, streaming through fragmented clouds that bounced off of every surface creating a shimmering effect, like silver tinsel during Christmas.  

We shifted gears this afternoon. Instead of the usual mac-n-cheese or peanut butter sandwich, we zipped to the drive-thru and took our lunch at a nearby park that was equally lined with palm trees and city buildings. Spreading our blanket under wispy palms, we ate in silence-- each of us taking in our surroundings and soaking up the local fare.

After several minutes of swiping away ants and tossing french fries at hungry birds, I gazed upon my kids. Their faces were deep in thought, their eyes filled with curiosity. They were staring at the ants-- all single file in a straight line, attempting to consume our crumbs. Krysta asked, “If we give the ants a fry, do you think they’ll carry it on their backs to the queen?” My answer was, yes. She seemed pleased with that conclusion.

A day in Hawaii isn’t complete without dipping your toes in the water, so we headed to the beach for a mid-afternoon swim. It was extremely low tide, making it perfect for wading and searching for broken coral fragments. With every found half shell and coral piece, they ran to show me. “Look at this! It’s a keeper!” they would exactly exclaim. Well, Krysta would say it; William just giggled through his words, attempting to keep up with his sister’s speech. 

We swam until our fingers and toes resembled prunes, and then we swam a bit more. Krysta practiced floating and stretching her new found sea legs. That’s right! She’s swimming all on her own with no assistance. We worked hard to get to this point-- there were many, many days that she was in tears because she just HAD to have her floaties and many days where she didn’t even want to put her head in the water. I’m amazed at how far she has come with just a little confidence and a lot of determination.

all giggles 

And little brother? He’s floating on his own as well! He still uses his floaties for swimming, but he has more than enough confidence to get out there on his own. Practice, practice, practice and he’ll be swimming like a fish in no time.

 straight into the ocean he goes | I love how he pops his feet to a perfect point

sibling kisses

Happy Wednesday!


19 July 2012

I Ride Rainbows

I like you.

I like you a whole whole ton.

I even like you more than Shark Week on the Discovery Channel, and that’s saying a lot.

Krysta ran proclaiming, “TODAY’S BEST DAY EVER!!!!”

And it was.

This island is bursting with beauty and sparks of inspiration in every direction. I’m convinced that when the world was created, God gave Hawaii extra doses of All Things Good.

It ignites my core to watch my babies run fearlessly over white sands into an ocean of turquoise. The scene forces me to pull out nostalgic memories of my brothers and I splashing through the Atlantic Beach waves. My fire has officially been relit, and my creativity cannot be contained. Floods of color fill my veins and it tingles my every cell. I want to paint the world through my eyes in vibrant shades of yellow, lime, and aqua, and every rainbow in between-- which I will paint as soon as I return home. I’m already thinking ahead to the future, finding ways to transplant this blossom of happiness and inspiration in our Midwest home and harvesting the seeds from my new found island love.

Growing up, drip castles were how we constructed our sandcastles. We didn’t have fancy molds or shovels, just a bucket mixed with sand and water. Little by little, drip by drip we let the wet sand run through our finger tips until a castle mound was created.

Today, Krysta created a village.

Today, William destroyed that village.

William was happy; Krysta was not.

When you add a rope swing to a tropical beach, the I like you meter skyrockets to I love you. Does it get any more free than this? I'll tell you, we’re riding weightlessly through rainbows, and they're bright.

"The true harvest of my life is intangible- a little star dust caught, a portion of the rainbow I have clutched" ~Henry David Thoreau

Find your rainbow, clutch it, and enjoy the ride.

Happy Rainbow Riding,