Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Busy Holiday Season

What have I been up to?

October 20th, 2012 - Joint Spouses Convention
It was a great day with some of my friends. I took a yoga class, chocolate making class, photography class, and healthy cooking class. The guest speaker was Mrs. Hawaii 2012 Stacey Snee - Former Navy, Navy Spouse, Mother, and more!

October 31st, 2012 - Threw a Halloween Party
I dressed up like a panda... everyone that didn't come in costume got to "create" a costume out of a grab box, and we had a delicious potluck style dinner while watching movies on the driveway and handing out candy.

November 8th, 2012 - The USMC Ball
Here's the outfit ladies... Thanks for your input.

November 12th, 2012 - A Day on the Water
We hit up Hickam Beach for a nice relaxing day of SUPing.

November 22nd, 2012 - Thanksgiving Dinner at our House
We hosted dinner at our house this year, we had a great spread and a wonderful time with friends.

December 1st, 2012 - The Electric Light Parade
We went to Honolulu City Light's Opening night parade.
December 2nd, 2012 - Tree & Lights
We had a grand adventure at the Helemano Tree Farm, once we got home we decorated the tree & house!
December 15th, 2012 - The Boat Parade
Most recently we went to the Festival of Lights Boat Parade with a group of friends.

Between all of the fun events with friends -
  • I've had 14 photo shoots- family, maternity, newborns, homecomings, Christmas, etc!
  • I'm trying to finish up my current photography course by the deadline (self-paced) of Jan 16th!
  • I'm planning a Christmas Cookie Tasting Party
  • I have one more photo shoot on the books before Christmas and one directly after New Years
  • We've had friends from our last duty station arrive on island and want to spend time with them
  • Hubby will be standing up for deployment again in January so trying to soak in time with him!
How is your holiday season going?
As busy as mine?
 I can't believe Christmas is only a week away!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


We headed down to the local pumpkin patch this past weekend to enjoy some good "country" fun. We got fresh squeezed lemonade, chili/rice or hamburger/rice bowls, fresh picked and roasted sweet corn, and of course the best two pumpkins in the entire patch! *I kid, I kid... but they're pretty nice looking. It was fun to look down the rows of corn and see the ocean, then look up into the mountain and see the changing of the leaves in some of the trees.

I had posted a photo on my personal facebook and many people on the mainland made comments such as "Hawaiian pumpkins?" "Oh, I'm glad there are pumpkins there!" etc. Now, I do understand we live in the middle of the ocean, but we do have pumpkins and Christmas trees for that matter! It made me laugh, we aren't deprived (unless you count Chick fil'a or Chipotle =p ), so don't worry about us too much. I know many people in the military don't... but I LOVE living here, I even asked my husband if we can't extend this tour if there was a possibility of coming back later in his career.

Last note- The Joint Spouses Conference is THIS Saturday, who is excited? This girl! Will you be there? Please let me know, I'd love to meet you.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Dictating our lives

I have literally filled this text box to the max and "ctrl-a,  del" so many times now that I can't remember... I know there will be people that don't sympathize using the age old argument, "well you knew what you were getting into when you married him." But in this case I cry "lie!" I had no idea that the military would dictate my friendships, the social circle I could be in, who I am allowed & not allowed to go out to dinner with, etc. I knew that officers & enlisted friendships were a no-no, what I was't aware of is the inner breakdown...
  • Junior Enlisted
  • NCOs
  • SNCOs
  • Warrant Officer
  • (Then obviously officers...)
My husband recently got promoted; however, with this promotion & the upcoming "wet down" there have been multiple briefings on company fraternization. Basically how it was broken down to us is - even though you've been friends with so&so, hung out with them at the beach, had them over for dinner... Since you are in two different inner enlisted groups that has to end. Wow. 1.5-3yrs of friendship just cut-off. Like we aren't emotionally invested. Like we aren't humans, just the chevrons on my husband's collar/arm. The worst part is that they are telling us it doesn't matter what branch of service either, so our best friends in the Coast Guard & Navy somehow count as well. *sigh*

But I know somewhere one of you is saying "but wives don't count!" Or "stop wearing your husband's rank you aren't in the military, he is!" Am I right, were you the one saying/thinking that? While this IS true, while I do know women married to men of every rank, including officers, the hurt and separation still remains. While the men are deployed it's easy - we hang out, go for brunch, have ladies nights. But the entire dynamic changes when they return... Someone married to an E-4 simply cannot go out on a double date with someone married to an E-7 within the same company. So that best friend you made during deployment can be your best friend only if your husband's never hang out. Which no offense to her but I enjoy going out on group dates, hanging out with mutual friends. I love girl time, but when my husband is home (which seems so rare lately) I want to hang out with him too!

We have "family day" coming up... I never used to complain about company events, I thought it was nice to meet the other wives in the battalion... But this time around I'm being selfish and absolutely don't want to go. I don't want to make anymore "friends" that I'm technically not allowed to hang out with while our husbands are involved.

Today the USMC fraternization policy is really bringing me down. I don't know who initially got in trouble in my husband's battalion & brought this hammer down... But even though I love Hawaii, I'm desperately missing the camaraderie we had at our last duty station.

Have any of you been at a unit with such a focus (or crack down) on the company fraternization? 
If so, how did you handle it gracefully?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Fashionista Advice Requested!

Hello lovely ladies...
If your husband is in the Marine Corps, or you have friends associated with the USMC, you will know that our Ball is fast approaching! I will be re-wearing a matte black floor-length gown as a strapless this time around, instead of tied around my neck and minus the shiny silver brooch. I have added a photo of the top below:

I altered the color on the left side to show the details... the right shows where the dress falls on my chest.

I have two pairs of heels that I can re-wear... the gold are from the very first Ball I attended in 2008, the red are from my wedding in 2009:

I went jewelry shopping browsing today... and ran across these two sets:
Gold & multi-colored gems.

Gold & maroon/red/pink amber.

Now ladies... here are my questions for you!
  1. Which set of jewelry? Multi or Reds?
  2. Which shoes? Gold or Red?
  3. To throw a wrench in the game... if I could find awesome blue heels should I go with the Multi & rock the blues?
Thanks for the advice!

 *Please be nice... if you don't like my dress, shoes, or jewelry choices - that's fine. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I simply thought it would be fun to see what you all thought... especially since I can't decide!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Teeny Tiny Pineapple...

Pineapple plants are suppose to grow to the height of 2ft.
They are suppose to take 18-24mo to flower and produce fruit.

Mine decided that was too long.
6in tall & 5mo old, I've got a quarter sized pineapple.

...now what?

At this point I'm surprised I've actually gotten it to grow, albeit way too fast. I tend to kill everything. Do any of you garden? Pineapples are actually really easy to grow, literally pop off the top of the plant, pull off the bottom section of leaves, place into a glass of water and wait for small roots to show, then plant (in the ground like me, or in a pot - they can even be grown indoors!), then water once a week if there is no rain. They won't do well outside in cold weather though.

Monday, September 17, 2012

I get to keep him. +home business woes

I get to keep my husband around... for a couple of extra months. We finally found out that his name was dropped from the October deployment roster! Not to be outdone, the Marine Corps has decided that he will be attending a 4mo Course followed closely by a 6-7mo deployment in the coming year...

At least we get our anniversary, Thanksgiving, and Christmas together!

2013 is looking to be very interesting, very interesting indeed...

I hope to share some vacation photos with you if I can get my booty in gear, at the moment my car's check engine light is on {again x6}, my laptop's hard drive literally fell off the bottom of it, and my camera has something rattling inside and won't focus to save my life. All of the above are very stressful since my home business is contract marketing & personal event photography, aka: car, laptop, and camera are ESSENTIAL to my work life.

We're budgeting things out, while we can't do anything about the car, we'll just keep praying it's a short in the circuit since no one has been able to pinpoint anything truly wrong with it other than it's an island POS. I'm hoping to find a reasonably priced camera shop to clean my baby, but I am also planning on upgrading to a new Canon (keeping the Rebel as a back-up if she works). As far as the laptop, we have a desktop (using it now, obviously), but I'm super lazy/love editing photos while watching movies and that can't happen in the office... but I guess that will wait too, haha.

Goal #1- New Camera.

How are you all doing?
I'm so out of the blogging loop.
I apologize!

Oh... are any of you going?!

Friday, September 7, 2012

I registered, Hawaii ladies... did you?!

I just finished registering (as in 5min ago!) for the Joint Spouses Conference 2012, if you have been following me for awhile you'll remember my short re-cap from last years conference.

I'm excited for this year because I am hoping to have some friends accompany me and I would ABSOLUTELY LOVE to meet up with any of you Hawaii MilSpouse Bloggers at this event. That being said- please let me know if you will be attending, we should grab a table together at breakfast/lunch, and definitely socialize during the late afternoon expo!*

Also, if you are on the Windward side of the island, I am totally cool with carpooling.

If you haven't registered, do so ASAP,
last year it closed within the first 3hrs!

*We can e-mail each other our workshop schedules as well to see if we'll be in any together!

Friday, August 31, 2012

The Comfy Cow

Hubs & I have been traveling far & wide (wide?) visiting family & friends. We made a stop in Louisville, KY to catch up with his sister and our nephew, we ended up getting dessert at "The Comfy Cow!" I'm blogging from my phone so the pictures aren't top quality... I may do a trip re-cap once we're back in the Land of Aloha but for now check out how cute this place is and how delicious my Scooter Ice Cream Pie (mint/fudge) looks! I highly recommend this place for the treats and atmosphere, if you're headed to Louisville it is located in the Clifton Neighborhood.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Pretty Prize

Allie over at My Marine and Me hosted a contest for a super cute Marine's bracelet featuring a heart that says "half my heart is deployed." My husband just returned from his 7mo deployment in the middle of June, and his name is still on the deployment roster for the unit leaving in approximately 2mo... so I thought I might as well enter, and what do you know, I won!

If my hubby deploys again I am planning on keeping it to wear while he's gone, if not I will probably give it to a friend who is struggling with her husbands deployment, in 2mo she'll be halfway thru and it would be the perfect time to gift it.

So thanks Allie for hosting the giveaway, 
thanks Suzanne for providing the bracelet!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Win a "Date Night Package!"

Did you read my review on "Marriage Retreat?" No, well click here...

Anna contacted me once again to let me in on their current giveaway and asked me to share it with all of my readers!
Hopefully you have Facebook, to enter this giveaway head on over to their Facebook Page!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Review: "Marriage Retreat"

Roughly 2.5wks ago I was contacted by the lovely Anna Zielinsky regarding a movie that she not only stars in but helped write, produce, and (obviously) market! Once I learned that the movie was inspired by her personal marriage struggles and had Biblical backing I was ready to watch it! It also came at a perfect time for us since our church is hosting a marriage conference, but due to military obligations my husband and I will not be able to attend.

I will not lie to you, this is not like the movie "Couples Retreat" and I don't believe it's meant to be. "Marriage Retreat" is a Christian film, scripture is sprinkled throughout the movie, the Bible is read aloud, the couples pray... but, it doesn't lack comedy. Especially since the comedic scenes are extremely relatable to everyday situations. I found myself laughing at things in the movie simply because I know my husband and I do them! Many of us unwillingly drag baggage into our marriages, our jobs take over our lives, priorities change over time, and on, and on... this movie follows three couples through these struggles. Each couple's struggle is different but if it didn't relate directly to me, it was still a good learning tool and I know some friends that could benefit from watching. The antics of the Marriage Counselor's are often quite blunt and in your face, but they seem to work, even if it takes some time for the concepts to sink in for the couples.

I will highly recommend that my Christian friends watch this movie with their spouse (mine thought some of the things were a bit "cheesy"-but he still said it was good overall). I also feel like it would be a great movie for non-Christians to view, even if they don't believe in God, there are many nuggets of wisdom that can be taken away from this film. As far as the military goes, I think the Chaplains should get together and host a viewing night in the Base Chapel, or at the very least the CREDO retreats should feature snippets from this film!

If you are interested in learning more about the movie please check out the Marriage Retreat Website, you can purchase the film at any Wal*Mart or Christian book store. If you are on leadership for a church and would like to host a viewing party, click here for more information. They also offer a free guide to use after watching the film featuring three themes of a successful marriage which allows for easy discussion with your spouse about your feelings.

*The views and opinions of this review are my own. They in no way reflect the opinion of the United States Marine Corps or any other branch of the US Military. I received a copy of the movie as compensation for my time.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Up and broke myself...

Okay so I didn't "break" anything... but I did manage a major strain/minor tear my pectoral muscle, let me tell you friends, it is no fun.

How did I do it? Some combination of me "pushing thru the pain" while doing my cardio yoga workouts and weight training sets, followed up by stand up paddle boarding and surfing. In the words of the doctor: "you just can't do it all at once!" (aka: you are no longer a teenager and your body is not invincible!).

Now I'm in a sling for 2wks until my follow-up appointment, then no upper body work for a month following that. I'm definitely going to need to hit up the gym for the stationary bike and stair climber since I can't run outside (too much jarring) to keep up with cardio...

I'm praying it heals quickly but most importantly, correctly so I can start re-building my strength! My little piggie decided he wanted to wiggle his way into my sling which was quite interesting to watch since he now weighs 2lbs and is 1ft long when he stretches out:
Look at that cute little nose!

I think the biggest blow was the fact I can't use my DSLR, so my budding photography business seems to have been put on the back burner. I'm choosing to remain positive- working on finalizing contracts & finding a suitable web host/domain. 

What is the most recent injury you've had?
What did you do to keep your spirits up?
Recovery tips?

Friday, August 3, 2012


T.G.I.F. Right?
Except in our house it's more like... great, it's Friday evening and we've both had stressful days and all we want to do is absolutely nothing at all.

Which is lame. Really lame.
We live in Hawaii for crying out loud!
We should be going out and enjoying this wonderful place before that whole PCS shenanigan sneaks up on us.

I technically work for myself. However, being a "contract employee" I do what I have to do in order to keep hours/clients. My two main clients are realtors here in my town, their open day is always Friday so I spend 5-6hrs working in their office on marketing items. Within the past month things there have seriously been wearing me down. Last week there was a verbal confrontation with another contract employee that was very uncomfortable to witness. Today I had to address their mail-outs in cursive...um, I honestly don't think I've written in cursive since I was 12, I had to re-do the first 10! One of them is pretty Type A, so everything has to be done specifically step 1, 2, 3. It's not terrible, I make money and get to do all the other work via internet, but some days I feel like my patience and kindness is stretched to it's limit with all of the tiny intricate "this is how is must be done, there is absolutely no other way."

Hubby is still getting thrown around the battalion. Right now they want him to teach, which is fine he is instructor certified but he hasn't taught since we PCS'd here which is 1yr+ ago, not to mention a deployment thrown in there that didn't deal with what they are requiring him to teach, so he feels very unprepared and down on himself. We still haven't gotten post-deployment leave, so no plane tickets have been purchase. We haven't seen his parents since Christmas 2010, his sister since Thanksgiving 2010, and he hasn't seen mine since early last fall. Not to mention the fact that his name is still on the deploying roster for this fall...
*le sigh*

Hoping to bring you some lighthearted stuff soon!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Post-deployment Downtime?

I just got my husband back... Literally.

Last night we were told he could be deploying again within 3-4 months. We haven't even gotten leave yet from the last deployment. I understand he's in a specialized unit and his skill set is in high demand... But in my head I'm screaming "COME ON, IS THERE NO ONE ELSE?!"

The sad truth is, currently in his job field, there isn't anyone else. Everyone that has the skills are deployed or getting ready to deploy. Others are training to do the same. So many people have gotten out of the military (in his job field) that they are severely lacking in man power. Post-deployment downtime is suppose to be 12mo but we know way too many guys that have been sent back within the 6mo-12mo timeframe, 4-5mo seems to be stretching it though =/

It could change. The rotation time could extend, I'm praying it doesn't shorten. My saving grace is that we don't have children, I cannot imagine trying to explain why daddy would be missing Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentines Day, and Easter again...

We haven't told anyone, not even the parents, you know how the military will change their minds 25x in the span of a week. As much as I don't like it, it would help him advance in his career as well. If it ends up being true 2011-2013 sure will be testing me emotionally, spiritually, and physically!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Learning to Live Together {again}

I think homecoming is played up to be this big beautiful event (especially with all the new TV shows) and while I think it is... date, time, and location changes are bound to happen. Or in my case you find out your husband's unit will be returning in, oh, four days. Yes I literally got word on a Friday that he would be back on Tuesday. But homecoming isn't actually what I'm here to talk about, although I guarantee ours was different than most seeing as they returned in a small detachment (27 men) and all in civilian clothing - the same way they left. I don't have any "magical" photos of my husband in uniform. I actually get questions about our d-day and homecoming photos because other Marines from the unit were there to see them off and welcome them home, so our friends/family were confused as to why my husband and his guys are the ones in "normal people" clothing, haha! Oh the life of a specialized unit!

Anyway, after my tangent, I am here to talk about re-integration aka: learning to live together after time spent apart. I got used to doing everything- bills, car issues, laundry, chores, legal items, etc. I figured he's off defending the country I can manage things here at home (not saying I did everything gracefully, or happily all the time). A week after he returned I was doing the dishes after the dinner that I prepped and cooked and he gently grabbed the pot I was scrubbing and looked me in the eyes and said: "Honey, I remember how to do dishes."

It's not that I thought he forgot how to put soap on a sponge and run hot water over pots & pans. Or that he couldn't get the mail, help cook dinner, etc. I was just used to doing it my way.

I went to bed when I wanted.
I ate what I want, when I wanted to.
If the girls called at 8:45pm asking if I wanted to head down to DQ, 9 out of 10 times I said yes.
I watched the TV shows I wanted.
Rented movies I knew I would like.
Cleaned the house in a certain order.
I made checklists for everything to make sure things got paid in a timely manner.

After the dishes situation, I let him "help out" around the house. I mean he does live here! We ran into some issues with him saying he would do something and me coming home later and the trash was still full stinking up the kitchen, or the cable bill was still sitting unpaid on the desk. No huge arguments, just figuring out the system all over again. Who does what exactly.

I think the biggest thing I had to work thru was me feeling like I wasn't needed. While I was doing everything around the house, I felt like I could be invisible at times. He was still re-adjusting to our time zone, not sweating to death in the middle of a jungle, getting to sleep in a bed and not on a piece of plywood, no longer having to do night watch every 3hrs, and instead of understanding that he needed time to decompress... I just felt ignored. One day he asked me what was wrong and I started crying and said "I feel like all I do is cook and clean for you." As soon as it came out of my mouth I wanted to take it back... what a horrible thing to say to your husband that just came home! We had a long discussion and things were eventually resolved.

We're still settling in one month later, he is getting placed in a new division of his unit so things are up in the air at work, but at least I know that his toothbrush will be in the holder, probably some stinky boot socks crumpled up on the floor- that I will remind him once again to put in the hamper - but most importantly he'll be in the bed beside me at night!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Patriot Surplus Winner!

Congratulations to...


You have won the $25 Store Credit to Patriot Surplus!

You will receive an e-mail shorty, please respond within 48hrs.
If no response is received I will have to pass your prize along to another participant.

Thanks for playing!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Fitting into the mold...

So I ran into this website called Feel More Better, and I absolutely love their mission page...

Women shouldn't see at a Victoria Secret's Advertisement (or any other fashion, make-up, etc) and think "oh, I am suppose to look like her..."

I am a skinny person by genetics, which is not saying that I don't do anything, I work out 3-5x per week and I eat fairly clean. But, I do not condemn other women for being curvy, I actually think it's beautiful. The pin-up girls of the 40s are some of my favorites and those women had curves!

Being skinny people often say- "oh, you have nothing to worry about, you're so perfect." Excuse me? I am just as self-conscious as the woman wearing size 16+ jeans, and no... in-case you're wondering I am not a size 2. I think every girl grows up with advertisements thrown at her on how to "be a better person" Why? Why can't we be the best version of ourselves and not change ourselves to fit the mold when it comes to looks (minus being healthy)?

I believe exercising and eating healthy is important. I personally feel that the lack of these two items have lead to the downfall of many... but I do know that sometimes that's just not the case. I have friends with PCOS, and it is an ongoing battle for them, and you know what... those ladies may not be the media's image of "perfection" but they have the most beautiful, caring, and gentle souls I know, not to mention they can rock some curvy clothing that makes me jealous at times =)

Be who you are!

**Sidenote: I don't really agree with their sex/sexuality columns due to personal beliefs, but I really do love the reason for the start of the page, and their t-shirts (which is what actually prompted this whole blog-too bad they cost like $75...)!

[Completely unrelated, but don't forget to enter, the $25 Giveaway to Patriot Surplus ends tomorrow!]

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Value of {Your} Life

Recently a friend from college was injured in a car accident while touring with Warped Tour. It is sad that he and another in the car were injured and rushed to the hospital... but what is devastating is the fact that one of the band members died on impact. While I didn't know him in person my sister did, he was actually in the youth band during her time at youth group (aka- he went to my church). The friend I did know I met in college at Chi Alpha. For him and the other guy that survived I pray they don't ask "why him and not us" for the rest of their lives and instead continue making music and living the dream that they all shared.

All of that to say... I clicked on the Facebook page for the guy who passed away (we have a lot of "mutual friends") and wow what a life he must have lived in his short 22yrs on earth! Everyone was thanking him for the positive impact, showing his joy in life, sharing his music, etc... **sidenote: isn't it crazy how fast a Facebook page can turn into a memorial?** While there were some sadder posts, such as "I wish I had told you..." "I can't stop crying..." the majority of them were positive outlooks on HIS life.

Not to be cryptic... but... what would people write on your facebook wall/blog/etc if you were gone? I would hope I had positively impacted at least one person on this earth. Even if you aren't "living your dream" or if you feel like your past was a "much better time" for you, think about living here & now... because honestly here and now is what we get. Who are you impacting with your words, your mannerisms, your lifestyle, your actions? Are you happy with that? 

[Completely unrelated, but don't forget to enter the $25 Giveaway to Patriot Surplus]

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th! {GIVEAWAY}


Awhile back I was contacted by Ruth of Patriot Surplus, she wanted to know if I would be willing to host a giveaway for you lovely readers. Who would I be if I turned down $25.00 store credit for one of you amazing followers?

Especially considering the fact that this company was created by and is owned by Veterans!

I am confident this store has something for everyone... gear and tactical supplies for the military man (or woman), camping gear for those adventurous types, patriotic tees for all, and novelty items for us proud family members!

This giveaway will run for ONE WEEK (Today July 4th-Wednesday July 11th), with the winner being announced on Thursday July 12th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, July 2, 2012

Coming Soon...

I am enjoying spending time with my husband and exploring the island, I figured you all should be able to celebrate too... not to mention the fact that Independence Day is literally just around the corner!

So... I will be posting a giveaway very soon!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Snapshots of Maui

I was very blessed that my parent's came to visit and allowed me to tag onto their Maui trip, locations pictured include:
  • Haleakala National Park
  • Lahaina
  • Ka'anapali Beach
  • Kanea Point
  • Surfing Goat Dairy
  • O'heo Gulch (7 Sacred Pools)
  • Black Sand Beach
  • Black Rock Beach
  • UpperWaikani Falls (Three Bears Falls)
It was a great trip and nice to get away from the "daily grind!"

Sunday, June 3, 2012

I feel like many turn to blogging during deployment...
I seem to have turned away from it...
I still owe you pictures from Maui...
Tons of stuff has happened...

Yet I have no motivation to write.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Tear drops on my pillowcase

I'm laying in bed (beauty of technology right-blogging via my phone) surrounded by tear drops on my pillowcase and wet cheeks. I followed the advice of my friends to not see the movie "Act of Valor" without my husband, especially not while he is deployed. Which is fine with me considering I know he is going to want to see it anyway... I also enjoy reading books prior to seeing the movie. So when Target had the book on special during opening week I bought it. I didn't start reading it until two days ago... Then I couldn't put it down.

And now here I am. Wondering how I was privileged, honored, dare I say blessed to marry a man so much like the Boss & Chief. To marry a warrior. I just pray I am as strong, independent, and tough as Julia & Jackie... Wow.