Thursday, June 30, 2011

prayer request

I don't normally do this, but my wife (Skinnie) was admitted to ER on Wed. The doctor's don't know what's wrong with her. She's been given an EKG, CT Scan, Chest xrays, and had  her blood work done. I'm asking if you could pray for her and the guidance of the dr's to figure out what is wrong.
thank you,
her husband

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

SPA Diaries

Hey ladies,
I realized that I've gained quite a few followers since I began writing over at SPA. Today, I resumed my current study "Becoming a Woman of Purpose" since I finally found the book (sneaky movers packing things we didn't want packed!). So if you'd like to join in on this study feel free, you can catch up via my note or the sidebar. If this study doesn't sound like your thing, the other ladies are writing on multiple subjects, we also have a "past studies" page that you can go through at your own pace. Feel free to ask questions/leave comments!

It's a SPA day!

[click the image to head over to the SPA!]

God Bless,

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Dream Vacuum

Do you ever feel like you're just existing? Existing, not living... obviously you are alive, breathing, eating, speaking, walking, sleeping. But living, truly living?

When people ask children what they want to be when they grow up, there is an abundance of answers, and generally no hesitation involved. Who cares if they just told you they want to win gold at the Olympics, be an astronaut, or the President of the United States... they are living!

Dreams are what drive us, when we stop dreaming we enter the stage of existence. I am there. I hate it.

I feel like every time I move the giant "Dream Vacuum" magically appears and sucks the life out of me.

2009 was a year of the double whammy - 2 moves (actually 3, but moving home didn't take my dreams away). In January I moved to Northern California for my final college internship, 4mo of living on my own, in a place I didn't know, with no one familiar. My mom drove with me and spent the first night sharing my tiny barracks room (I interned for the Coast Guard MWR), the next morning I drove her to the airport and then hung out at the Golden Gate bridge for a couple of hours to avoid the anxiety of returning to that base.

Honestly the first month was rough, it's hard to make friends when you're on a training base for the Coast Guard where almost all of the guys are coming straight from boot camp or their first 6mo at sea. I was 22yrs old and ready to graduate college, my (now husband) boyfriend was stationed in Maryland not particularly happy I was surrounded by 18/19yr old guys, the nearest town's highlight was an outlet mall, and it rained 6 days of the week! Okay so the last one isn't a huge deal- but for this Zonie rain is depressing... I need the sun! Ultimately: I loved my internship, I had a family take me in, joined Bible studies at the chapel, and made some great friends.

On the way home from my internship I got engaged which lead to the 2nd move of the year... Maryland. I'd been to Maryland numerous times by the time we got married, in reality all of my stuff was there 3wks before the wedding. My dad and I made the grueling drive so hubby and I could actually have a honeymoon that didn't involve a packed Mazda 3 and highlights of dusty motels dotted across the country. I knew where I'd be living... but I didn't have any friends, have a job lined up, know my way around, or have any idea how to drive in snow! The first 3mo of our marriage were rocky at best... I hated being there. Not my husband, I loved it when he was home- but let's get real... he worked 12hrs a day and was usually exhausted in the evenings so he'd pass out by 9/9:30pm and I'd be on my own again. This lead to many arguments, at one point he even told me he was going to buy me a one-way ticket home so I could figure out what I wanted.

Figure out what I wanted. That was it... what did I want anymore? By this time it was January 2010... in the past year I had moved 800mi from home and back again, graduated from college, gotten engaged, planned a wedding in 5mo, gotten married, then moved 2,300mi away from home- for good.

While I didn't love the state or weather Maryland had to offer... we found a great church, made lasting friendships, got to travel to so many places, I had my first two white Christmases, and I tried a new profession (Photographer's Assistant) expanding my love of photography. I will not lie saying I miss Maryland. I don't... I miss my friends, my church family.

2011 it was time to move again... and boy did we move! On February 3rd everything we owned was loaded into shipping crates and placed on a boat for a trek over the ocean. February 6th hubby and I hugged and kissed at the airport, we wouldn't see each other again for 1.5mo- I was off to my parents and he was off to the south for training. The end of March was spent in California on a family vacation, living with friends in Maryland, and taking a whirlwind trip to NYC & Hoboken, NJ. April 6th we landed here in the land of aloha. After 2mo of living in a hotel room we finally moved into this apartment.

I feel unsettled. I absolutely love this state, the ocean breeze, hiking, swimming, etc. I do not love our neighbors, and while our apartment isn't bad I can't shake the feeling that we need to live on base. If for no other reason than I would feel safer being there when he deploys (although we'd save money by living on base too- rent and electricity here is ridiculous!). I have applied to no less than 30 jobs... it frustrates me to no end that 90% of them just leave you hanging (I experienced this in Maryland as well). How hard is it to send out a a mass e-mail to those applicants whom you do not select for the position stating "I'm sorry but the _______ position you applied for has been filled." Seriously, at least I wouldn't be wondering. We found a church we like, but we haven't committed to anything yet (ie: small group), so I don't know if that's a sign that we really aren't going to stay there?

I crave friendship. I love alone time- time to read, time to craft, time to veg. But I also need people in my life, people other than my husband for the pure fact that he's not always around. He's working 12hr days here as well, goes to bed early while I burn the candle into the night, we've been lucky to have a full Sunday together lately as he's had duty every Friday or Saturday for the past month. I want some semblance of normalcy.

I need the "Dream Vacuum" to stop sucking away... I need to get motivated, get out there, and do something for myself. Because we all know sitting on the couch watching netflix all day long and feeling sorry for myself is worthless, not to mention very unattractive! I'm praying God shows me something soon, be it a job, volunteering, figuring out if I actually want to try my hand at an online shop, or something else totally unexpected =)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Duty or rather "because of duty..."

So I know most of you have shared your "Murphy's Law" stories while your husbands have been deployed... and while I haven't had to experience that (yet-although I PRAY not) for me, it's always on the 24hr duty shift!

If you remember-
And now-
  • Leaky guest bathroom toilet that has dyed the tile blue!
Pretty awesome, right? First of all... I should have taken "before" pictures of this apartment- can you say DUMP?! I literally scrubbed our personal bathroom, dusted all the floorboards, and swept the entire place before I fell asleep my first night here. The bathroom took 2 full hours! DISGUSTING. We were so frustrated with the way the landlords left the place... but that's a whole different story.

Anyway, back to the guest bathroom, we hadn't used the bathroom and had all the boxes waiting to be donated sitting in it (hey, we were used to sharing a bathroom!). So today I decided I'd had enough. I removed the boxes and started scrubbing away, first I dropped a blue lysol toilet disc in the tank. Once I got to the mopping I noticed a small green ring around the toilet and thought "that's pretty raunchy" and mopped it up. In my final act (almost 2hrs in!) I cleaned the toilet, and flushed... oh man....

My thought is that the last renters didn't notice because obviously they didn't really care about anything seeing the state they left the apartment in (ie: how on earth did anyone live like this?!) and that the normal clear toilet bowl water would run around the edge and then towards the tub. Remember how I'd added the blue tablet though? Hah! Talk about blue water flood!

I mopped it up and called the landlord (praying they call us back... we've already re-sealed the a/c units, replaced 2 missing venitian blinds, and sealed the window screens on our own dime!) describing the problem. My dad was a plumber, so I think it's the wax seal. I however- do not know how to drain a toilet, cannot lift a toilet, and don't have plumbing tools to remove the current seal and scrape away the silicone then replace it with a new one!

This is a picture POST mop, it's still leaking...

Between the neighbors and the money we've put into this apartment... it's turning into the "apartment from hell."


Thursday, June 23, 2011

You asked, I answered!

A few weeks ago I opened up my blog for questions with the "ask box." I was hoping for a few more people to join in, but this is what I got...


Jessica from Me, Him and The Army asked:

1) What's your favorite and least favorite thing about being a milspouse (and not deployment!)? My favorite thing about being a milspouse has been the traveling! In the past 20 months I have lived in two different states and traveled to twelve other states and the District of Columbia! My least favorite thing tends to go along with my favorite- moving... it's hard to leave everyone, your church, and your job. It's time consuming finding "your place" in a new location!

2) Also, how do you go about finding a church when you get to a new duty station? I usually ask the people I know in/recently from the location (if I know any). If I don't know anyone, google maps is my best friend! The church we are going to currently was recommend by friends I made during my internship (they are Hawaiian and were stationed in Hawaii 2yrs before).


Elizabeth from The Young Retiree asked:

1) I'm curious to know how seasoned milspouses find churches, or if I'm doing the same as everyone else. Look above, I'm sure we're all the same!

2) As I prepare for our Navy Homecoming, I guess I would ask if you have any homecoming traditions/fun things you do with your spouse to ease back into him being home? If so, what? I haven't had to go through a deployment/homecoming yet, so honestly I should probably ask all of you this! When we were apart for 10mo (stationed across the country/training/I was busy with college) I picked him up from the airport alone... no pictures, no signs, not even a special outfit... just me jumping into his arms and being excited to see him.

3) Also, how do you go through the change of having someone back home? When we were separated recently for his 1.5mo of training I lived at home to give our HHGs time to get from MD to HI so getting back together didn't involve our own home/space. We stayed at my parents for a week, in California for a week, then with friends for 2wks before finally PCSing. It was definitely interesting once it was just the two of us again here in Hawaii... even then we lived in a hotel room for two months and just recently moved into this apartment! It's more of a process of making it a home together once again.


Allie from My Marine and Me asked:

1) What is the craziest dream you ever had? While sleeping? Or something I want to do? This is hard... but since I don't normally remember my dreams much longer than making it to the bathroom after I wake up, I'll go with the second part! Besides my dream vacation which you'll read about in 30sec, I always had that dream to become an actress or singer. Which is absolutely crazy because my acting and singing doesn't go anywhere past church and summer camps.

2) Dream vacation? (budget-less!) Funny enough I answered this for your guest blog segment while you were gone on your vacation!

3) If you had to turn into an exotic animal for the day, what would you become? I have always loved Siberian tigers but I'm not sure I'd enjoy killing another animal and eating raw meat... so I think for one day I'd like to be a Rainbow Lorikeet (tropical bird from Australia)! I'd love to soar through the rain forest and near the ocean... it would be so much fun to be able to fly without the need of a plane.

[Picture I took in Sydney, AU while studying abroad in 2007]

4) What is the best thing about being a military spouse? ... besides your spouse of course! I did answer this above but I should mention that (most) milspouses/girlfriends that I've met are amazingly strong women and I'm glad to have these kind of people in my life!


Ladies, thanks for playing along!
If anyone has more questions,
I'll still answer for you.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Elephants Upstairs

So, you remember my post about “hotel life” …what I said about it preparing me for apartment living was true, and terribly off at the same time! The family that lives above us is so inconsiderate of others it boggles my mind. Honestly it sounds as if there are elephants walking running across our ceiling, sometimes our ceiling fan even shakes. This also confuses me because it’s right above our dining table (where is theirs?). I believe the older son is home-schooled and school begins between 4:30 & 5am… with “home etc.” aka, breakfast, always including a blender and the banging of dishes in the sink -- yes at 4:30am! This is promptly followed by “music class” aka, u'kulele & singing… really bad singing. There is usually a fight between him and his teacher (dad) at some point during the day, the mom joins them for lunch, the little sister screams and cries whenever she doesn’t get her way, and dinner is just as loud as breakfast. Just from their loud conversations I have learned their children's names, heard the woman rant to her friend about a mutual friend's diet & supplements, pretty much always know what's for dinner, and more. Then… the kicker… they play music ALL NIGHT LONG. I only got 4 fitful hours of sleep last night, I was such an angry person today, I’m not an angry person… *sigh*

I should mention that most of us don't have A/C and those that do avoid running the window units at all costs because of the toll they take on the electric bill. So, we all have our windows open all.the.time... advantageous for the trade-winds coming off the ocean, not so much for quiet.

Everyone has told us to simply confront them and "kindly remind them you live below" but, I just don't know if I can do the "kindly" part... and honestly how can they NOT realize how extremely loud they are?!

I know there are other "neighbor/apartment horror stories" out there... let me hear them!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Monday: Pick-Me-Up

Hubby and I went to see "Green Lantern" on Friday, his favorite comic book character... we loved the movie. It's different than the comic books, but what Marvel/DC movie has actually followed along completely? The comics are too vast, with many branching story lines. Supposedly DC will be re-launching "The Green Lantern" this fall with issue #1, I assume to go along with the movie's plot.

One of my favorite lines (may not be exact words):

"My new job requires me to travel and be away. Away, not gone."

Pretty neat quote for all of us connected to the military.

Did any of you see the movie this weekend?

Also, don't forget that I'm still taking questions!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Summer Essentials Swap - Reveal!

Back when I was still in the hotel I said "screw it!" and signed up for the swap... I missed out on the previous two due to PCS and I wasn't letting it stop me again when I was so close to moving into the apartment.

I was paired up with the lovely Jennifer from "Life with the Haas'" and boy oh boy did she SPOIL me! No seriously... look at this mountain of goodies:

  • A cute tree & birdie card
  • Book: "L.A. Candy" by Lauren Conrad
  • DVD: "Legally Blonde Triple Feature" (I didn't even know there was a 3rd!)
  • Softlips double pack
  • Slatkin & Co Candle in Island Colada
  • Cute handmade camo flip-flops (unfortunately I have teeny tiny feet and these were men's size 9-10, I probably could have cut them down but instead I had hubby try them on. He needed some house slippers --Hawaiian thing, we don't wear shoes from outside in the house -- so I took off all the ribbons and have them saved for a future craft project!)
  • Not one, but two bars of Lindt Dark Chocolate! (Chile & Sea Salt)
  • 3 Homemade? (or local) wax bars in very unique flavors- one is PB&J
  • 4 Scentsy Bricks (Cinnamon Bear, My Dear Watson, Cappuccino, & Baked Apple Pie)

See... I told you I was spoiled!
Thanks so much for everything Jennifer!

I know you're all dying to see what I got her, not to mention all the other lovely packages CLICK HERE.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Why Hello Internet & Bloggers!

It’s official, Skinnie Piggie is back online!

It was quite interesting not having the internet for 1.5wks, I don’t think I realized how much I rely on it (sad)… I couldn’t job search, look up donation info for the local thrift stores (we went from 1,000+sq ft to a little under 900sq ft so we have 4 HUGE boxes to donate), research the state fair show times and ticket prices, but most importantly check my banking info! Of course, I missed perusing all your lovely blogs and we can’t forget my addiction friend facebook! People always ask me why I don’t have internet on my phone, the reason- I spend enough time on it at home (not to mention how much it costs to add it to your cell plan, my husband has it- one person is enough extra $)! However, I think I’m going to sign myself up for text alerts connected to the bank account so I can keep up with it that way.

I hope all of you have had a great week, let me know of any big events I missed out since I doubt I’ll be able to catch up on everyone’s blog no matter how hard I try. I’ve got a bit more organizing to do around the apartment, maybe add another box to donate… but I’ll be back soon with some interesting stories! Don't forget to check out my guest post over at My Marine and Me... after that, ask me some questions! Anything, everything. I know you're all dying to know something... =p

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Checking in...

Hey everyone...
No internet at the apartment until next we, so I'm hanging at out Starbucks for a bit, sippin' on a Double Chocolatey Chip (because I don't do coffee!). --I-- We survived the move-in. We had a couple issues with the apartment manager (verbal warning/written notice for 2 days!) because of the boxes on our front porch. It's not our fault the bulk trash pick-up isn't until Saturday- we shoved them all onto the back patio, hopefully it doesn't rain.

We had minimal damage: broken bed frame, 2 broken book shelves, cracked coffee table leg and a broken mirror. We ended up giving away a desk and have 3 huge boxes to give to the thrift store, working on the 4th. Downsizing sure is interesting!

Hope you are all well...
I'm going to have a lot of catching up to do later on!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Bad Joke

I seriously thought this PCS nightmare was almost over, almost.

We are suppose to move into our temporary apartment tomorrow...

  • It's almost 3pm and I don't have the keys yet nor heard from the landlord
  • The electric company still hasn't been notified
  • TMO/DMO doesn't deliver on the weekends
  • I still haven't told the front desk we're checking out tomorrow (2 days early) because TLA won't pay for the room since our move-in day on the lease is listed as the 4th
  • I need to confirm TMO/DMO is delivering on Monday
  • I need to change our TLA appt
Icing on the cake- Hubby just found out he has 24hr duty TOMORROW & starts a training course that he can't get out of on Monday.

Looks like I'm sleeping on the floor alone.

I'm so frustrated and annoyed right now.
It's a good thing we don't have kids. =/

Please pray for me... it's going to be a long 3 days...

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Final Love Letters

Because this has to be shared.
Because it terrifies me.
Because tears flowed freely while reading them.
Because I am thankful they have something.
Because God let him know it needed to be written.

I pray I don't ever need a letter like this.
If I get one, I pray I am as strong as Emma.

Read them now-
"Dear Emma & Dear Kiley"

You can also find her blog here.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Color-Guard Services

The Presenting of the Conch Shell.

Hubby was in 3 color-guard services this weekend, 2 were open to the public so I was allowed to tag along as their "unofficial photographer" (these pictures are a mix of both events). I have to say that Tammy Duckworth was the most amazing key-note speaker at each event, just seeing her stand up to salute the flag with both prosthetic legs can bring tears to your eyes.

While we didn't get the weekend completely off for relaxing, these events were more than worth it. The veterans sang the national anthem, the Hawaii anthem, God Bless America, and snapped their salutes to the colors perfectly. Like my husband's buddy said: "Some days color-guard seems like a duty that no one wants, then you see those veterans and you hold your flag a little higher or stand a little straighter with the rifle, it makes it all worth it."

Ever seen a Coast Guard flyover?
We had one at both events.

The MarForPac Band played for one event.

Instead of each Veteran Group laying a wreath, they placed leis (there were two concrete blocks, both completely full).

Also, did you know TAPS has words? I didn't, until the lady started singing it...

Day is done, gone the sun
From the lakes, from the hills, from the sky
All is well, safely rest
God is nigh.

Fading light dims the sight

And a star gems the sky, gleaming bright

From afar, drawing nigh

Falls the night.

Thanks and praise for our days

Neath the sun, neath the stars, neath the sky

As we go, this we know
God is nigh.

If you'd like to listen to it: Click Here.

I hope your weekend was full of fun and remembrance.