Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Patience is a Virtue...

Or so I've been told :)
Well, I just got off the phone with my grandma. Bless her, she is stubborn...but she's my grandma and I sure do love that lady!! I really miss my family. Sev and I both agree that this living in "paradise" crap...is for the birds!!
We can't WAIT to spend the Holidays back home in SC!!!
However, we like to make the best out of every situation...and we realize how very fortunate and blessed we are to be together this Christmas...so we enjoyed time with our friends and relished our Christmas morning together!!
We baked cookies together. Half we packed to take with us for our get together and the other half we saved for Santa. He even ATE two big bites out of them!! (sev had ginger on his breath...so I'm a bit skeptical that it was reallllllllly Santa that ate them ;) )
Last night we got together with Mark, Mel, Val, Matt, Rickey, Chad K., Chad O. and Dink.
Mark and Mel are from Japan and they LOVE severyn and my southern accent...they are ALWAYS trying to mock us and its actually quite hilarious!! Mark always greets me with a "Hi Ya'llllll" :) One day they heard me call Sev "sweet pea" and they decided they wanted a pet name....they now call each other "soybean" haha. We're blessed with some awesome friends :)
ps. marks real name is Makoto...but its easier for us southern folk to call him mark.
After some fun with our friends we came home and got in bed to prepare for the big guy!!
Just to name a few gifts he dropped off:
I got a sweet little lacoste bath robe, a nice jewelry box, a monogrammed blanket and money. Sev got a nice fleece jacket, a few Wii games, a weather radio and some gadget thingy (a Gerber something or another). We both got a NICE stainless steal grill, money, a table for our house in Hopkins (built by Santa himself and even displayed in photos by Vanna White, hehe), and a lovely digital photo frame!!
We are spoiled and so thankful!! Our family really made it feel like Christmas all the way out here on this sandy, hot, sunny island!!
Here are a few more pictures, enjoy!!
Our sweet baby Christmas tree with gifts and SANTA'S COOKIES!!!
Sev, myself and our cute stockings sent all the way from SC!!
Sev among our Christmas gifts :)
Me pondering what the gift I'm holding is :) (It was a cute picture frame!!)
Sevy and our AWESOME digital Picture frame from Santa Clause!!!

The boys rough housing after dinner (Sev, Rickey, Chad and Dink)

Apparently the newest "cool" thing to do is sit around and play Guitar Hero.
Mark and I (the "peace" sign is what the tourists ALWAYS do here in Hawaii...we have no idea why...but most of the tourists are from Japan...and Mark is also from Japan...so we always hold up the peace sign in pictures with him...guess its a "had to be there moment" but I didn't want you to wonder what in the world I'm doing, haha)
Dink, Chad, Makoto and Mel (everyone is in Chads room playing guitar hero)
Chady and Sevy...being....Chady and Sevy

Chad, SANTA(matt),Sevy and Makoto

My sweet friend Valerie and the apple pie she was so proud of :)
Mel and Mark (Soybean)
The gang sitting down to dinner
Rickey and his baby brother that flew out here for Christmas, Chad.

Val, Mel, Matt,Makoto,Chad and Sev

Me and Sev :)
Sev finally decorating the cookies instead of eating the icing!!
Sev and I using the cookie cutters :)
Cookies for Santa!!! (can you tell the ones sev decorated??hehehe)

I'll be home for Christmas...


So I just got off the phone with mom and she fussed because she said I never post pictures...so here are a few pictures....

WolfHound Army Ball 2007
Just a cute picture of sev leaving for work
Christmas Photos :)
We baked cookies for our Christmas Eve party with our friends and for Santa :)

He ate more icing than he decorated with!!

Christmas Eve with our friends.

UGH it is taking FOREVER to upload pictures...and it IS Christmas DAY...soooo forgive me if these are all that I'm going to post...I have more...but those will come when I have the time and patience to post them!!

!!!!!!!MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Can I get a cup of coffee??

That or a nap would be nice.

I'm just taking a break from my hectic life for a minute. Sev is playing Wii Sports and I'm enjoying the wonderful smell of my baby Christmas tree...it amazes me how much aroma this little tree puts off!!

Sev and I had a bit of a hectic night and early morning...it's a bit of a lengthy story and quite frankly I don't know that I want to relive it right now, lol....so maybe I'll share that with you later.

Anyways, sev left for class this morning and I began to tear my apartment apart. You see...I have OCD. Really. I think I get it from my daddy...heaven knows my mom isn't this organized!! (hehe, nothin' but love mom!!).
The thing is...if you were to look at my table tops, counters and any flat surface in my house....you would see stacks upon stacks of....stuff....just stuff. Oh, its all neat and organized....it just looks like one big clutter.
BUT open my cabinets, closets and drawers...and you will see everything organized and half the time alphabetized!!
I seriously have anxiety attacks if my stuff isn't put up and packed the way I LIKE IT!!! So me moving across country is TOUGH!! It wears me out and takes a toll on my nerves, and seeing as how I've done it...oh 3 or 4 times...I'm just about to pop with excitement that this will be the last durn time!!
However...before this time can come to an end I must pack...yet again!!
My first problem is that I don't like other people touching my stuff. This is the first time we will have had actual movers come and pack us up!! I like to pack my own things. I have a system. I label and take pictures of everything. I keep a list of what I've packed and where it is and serial numbers beside the high priced items. Rubbermaid is my friend. Everything goes into nice neat Rubbermaid boxes. On top of the boxes I have a list of what is inside the box. I then put the list in a zip lock bag and tape the bag to the top of the box. OCD I tell ya!!
Well the movers wont let me pack my own things :( They want to pack it so if anything is broken they know whether or not it was already broken before it was packed...makes sense....but ohhhhh how will I survive not being in control?? Soooo even though this will make my life a bit busier...I've come up with a solution. I'm going to fit everything into my nice neat little boxes, take pictures, label and list everything...just not bubble wrap it. That way...when the movers come they can unpack everything, wrap it up, list it themselves and place it BACK into my Rubbermaid :) HA. Problem solved.
Nowwww I'm just rushing around trying to decide what I don't need here anymore and won't need in MT. Those items are going to be taken to our storage unit which will be packed and shipped Dec. 31st.
The stuff we're going to pack in our luggage will be packed and placed in our closet...most of this will be winter clothes for MT weather!!
The rest I will organize and prepare it to go into boxes a few days before the movers arrive at the apartment.
We live in a itty bitty one bedroom apartment...and we have TONS of STUFF!! I just don't get it...I don't understand how we accumulate so much!!
I've pretty much finished sorting through sev's army crap that has to stay here and the items I'm taking to the storage unit...now its a matter of packing.

My dad say's I'm always in an emergency and everything about me is drama...or something like that. Boy do I feel like he is right...sometimes I wonder how people spend their entire lives in the military....moving from here to there and back!! Hopefully my life will slowwwww down and get normal here shortly!! I'm exhausted!!

Okay...sev needs the computer to finish his midterm and I'm back to packing!!

Merry Christmas to ME!!! Which reminds me...I've got to plan a Christmas meal!! Yikes!! Does anyone know how to cook butternut squash? lol. (really though, I bought one b/c I hear they are good and have no idea how to cook one!!)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Beat to the Punch....

my dear cousin posted our good news!!!

Which is fine, I shouldn't have been slacking (sorry Haley :) )!! hehe.

Anyways, if you haven't read her post....Sev and I have good news!!!!

WE WILL BE BACK IN SC JANUARY 26 2008!!!!!!!!!! Yipeeeeeeeeee!!!

We are both soooo very excited!! We have really enjoyed our time in Hawaii it has been such a great experience for us...for so many reasons!! We both agree that we could NEVER live here forever, but how many people get the chance to live here on the governments dime for the years we did?? So I consider us pretty lucky :) ... well besides the fact that we paid for it with 2 longggg deployments.

I don't know where to start....hmmmmm....okay, first I will tell you about our move back home. Severyns mothers side of the family is from Montana. His grandfather (whom sev is named after) still lives on an over 800 acre ranch there. His sister Angie and our nephew Eddie also live there...not on the ranch but in the town of Billings. Sev's uncles also live there...anddd I believe a handful of cousins. Severyn hasn't been to the ranch in over 6 years...possibly alot longer, he can't remember. Anyways, Sev's grandpa fell very ill this past summer. They actually didn't expect him to live. Sev's mom flew out to MT to be with him and we actually told Severyn (while in Iraq) that his grandfather would probably be passing away very soon and to give him a call if at all possible. We were thrilled when his grandfather started to take a turn for the better!! I had never had the chance to meet his grandfather and we had discussed taking at trip out to MT...so when his grandpa started getting better we promised that while on our way home from Hawaii we would stop in MT, whatever the cost, to spend time with his grandpa.
So...last week severyn finally got his ETS orders and that cleared the way for us to begin getting everything else finished, ie. turning in gear, getting travel dates, packing, shipping household goods and our car, turning in our notice to the landlord, SHARING OUR EXCITING NEWS :) etc. etc. etc.
We left the ETS office and made our way to transportation...now if you know anything about the military you know that EVERYTHING is backwards and nothing EVER makes a lick of sense!! The joke in the Army is "If it makes sense the Army WONT do it!!" Anyways, we were fully prepared to hit a few road blocks during our preparations to exit the Army. We were aware when we entered the transportation office that we were only there to schedule an apt. for an actual time to come BACK and make an apt. for our HHG and Car to be picked up and shipped out. Along with making another apt. with travel to come back LATER and get our travel dates. (if you're lost don't worry, I'm still confused and this is my life!!...but to clarify there is a "transportation" office and a "travel" office both you have to wait forever to be seen at :) ).
Well....I guess lady luck was with us because they allowed us to be seen, SAME DAY!! (this nevveerrrrr happens in the Army it is ALWAYS "hurry up and Wait"). We came back to the office 1430 and scheduled dates for our HHG to be picked up. We have a storage unit from before Sev deployed...mainly filled with stuff we obviously don't need...because we've lived without it for over a year...but you know, as Americans we "need" our stuff. Anyways.........they actually allowed us to leave our stuff in storage and schedule the last day in December for them to pick that up and ship it home. That way we don't have to pay another months storage rent. Then they allowed us to schedule whatever time we wanted for our actual apartment stuff to be picked up.....so we scheduled the 17, that way we won't live without our stuff at all and we wont have to worry about finding a place to stay before we fly. Then they allowed us to pick a day for our car...seeing as how we have 2 vehicles back in SC we aren't in a hurry for this car to get there, so we are able to keep my escape here until the day we leave...therefore no rental car!! Then they allowed us to go to the travel office for our tickets home!!!!! This is were I knew our luck would run out...b/c we wanted to go home...butttt with a minor layover in MT. So the lady starts plucking away at her keyboard, "GSP is your final destination correct." ......"well uhmmmmm...technically yes, but uhm...can we have a layover??".........

and without even looking up she said "Sure as long as its in route, where would you like to layover?"
Well....MT isn't in route, but Salt Lake is....so long story short (okay not so short) but anyways:

Sev and I are now leaving Hawaii January 18. We will fly into Salt Lake where we will rent a car (with military discount and because we're on orders) for reasonably cheap. From there we will drive to Yellowstone and spend a night there. We will continue on to MT the following morning where we are so very fortunate enough to visit with sev's family until January 26th. We will then return to Salt Lake and the government will fly us on to SC. How exciting!! ....not to mention it gives me a GREAT excuse to go clothes shopping!! Hey you don't expect me to wear slippa's and tanks in MT do ya?? ;)

I realize this post is rather lengthy so I'll end it....but, I do have plans to post about my experience here in Hawaii before I end this Chapter in my life....so:

To be Continued.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The oddest thing...

So we have a rule around our household...I'm sure many of you have the same one. This "rule" is mainly in place for Severyn. Why?? Because he is the one that has issues with storing random items in his pockets. The rule?? Well its simple really...its just "clean your pockets out BEFORE you put your clothes into the dirty clothes hamper." Easy right?? Wrong.
It is very common for me to find the following in the dryer after each load of laundry is complete: pens, pencils, pen tops, coins, dollar bills, buttons, little ear bud protector things he has to wear while at the shooting range, knives, paper clips, and even...and this one gets me every time...bubble gum!!!
This morning while I'm doing the laundry I pull the clean clothes out of the dryer and to my surprise there in the middle of my nice, warm, bundle of clean clothes is.........a tube of toothpaste......EXACTLY.....what, where and...well I know WHO.....but WHY does someone keep a TUBE of TOOTHPASTE in their POCKET???? Not even a travel size...nope, the full size.
When questioned about this he reacts as if it is perfectly normal to carry toothpaste in ones pocket. Although I may never understand my husband...I do have him to thank for a perfectly washed and fluffed on permanent press tube of toothpaste. I dare not ask where the toothbrush is!!

Bless his heart...as soon as he got Holiday leave from work he began winter term at school, and because he is such a hard worker (he would probably say b/c his wife kept pestering him to do so) he signed up for two classes this term. This requires him to go to school every week evening from 5-10 and every weekend morning from 8-1. While he does grumble about getting up early on the weekends and being bothered by homework during the day...he is making the best of the situation and really working hard at earning his degree. I'm really proud of him...and while he may leave odd things in his pockets....he truly is my hero. I'm really proud of him!!

Tomorrow is the day we're hoping to get orders in our hands and...drum role please......A DATE TO LEAVE THIS ISLAND!!! yipeeee!!!

I'll keep you updated :)

ps. we had a blast at the Wolfhound Army Ball this past Thursday and I'll post pictures later :)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

What smells better than Warm Chocolate Chip Cookies??

.....mmmmmm yeah, I'm at a loss too :)

Sev has been asking me to bake cookies...and not my health nut, no sugar no fat, organic cookies. So today I broke down and mixed a batter of chocolate chip cookie dough. I will admit I used organic flour, shhhh.
So they are baking in the oven and sev is waiting with his glass of milk.

I'm patiently waiting to find out if my best friend, Autumn, will be gracing me with her presence here in Hawaii. We were fortunate enough to spend Christmas together a couple of years ago. I didn't really know my way around island then and was just getting settled into my apartment during her visit so she didn't really get to have the whole island experience...so I hope she will be able to make a second trip out here.

Well...my exciting news is that Sev will officially have ETS (the date he will exit the Army) orders in his hand this Monday!!!!! This is such and exciting and scary time for us!! We're very ready to end this chapter of our life and begin a new one...yet its never easy to close one chapter without being a bit nervous. Once he gets his orders he will make an appointment with travel and transportation and then we will be given the date that our HHG and POV will be shipped out...they will then place us in lodging for a few days before we ourselves take flight into our next chapter :)
Today was sevs "last" day of work. He signs out tomorrow on leave and then when he signs back in mid January he will use the remainder of his time in the Army clearing (turning in his gear, getting signed out of everything, taking classes and doing everything required of him to entire into the civilian world). Of course the lovely United States Army couldn't allow him to leave without a reminder of what its like to be in the Army...so tonight he is actually assigned CQ...basically he will leave me tonight and pull guard until 9am....I KNOW its only for one night and its our last...but this is the first night I will have spent without him since he has been back from Iraq....its bringing back old feelings :( I'm so thankful we're almost Army free!!!! Oh and to top it off...sevs unit just found out they will be REDEPLOYING...get this....NEXT OCTOBER!!!! That's right....if sev weren't getting out he would be scheduled to leave for 2 weeks in Feb. for training on the Big Island (the army calls it PTA). Then two months later he would leave for a month and a half for training in Cali (Called NTC)...then in October he would be leaving me again. It breaks my heart for the families who will be enduring their THIRD over a year deployment....Thank you Lord for allowing us to escape this one!!

Well....Sev's cookies are done and need to be packaged for him to take with him on his last night of guard :( Guess its movie night for me.....only thing missing is my cuddle buddy Ali to keep me company.

I'll keep you all updated on sevs orders :)

Friday, December 07, 2007

What a way to spend a day...

I spent yesterday shopping!! Two friends and I spent the afternoon walking from shop to shop, store to store, and mall to mall. I'm 3/4 of the way done with Christmas shopping :) We were also on a mission to find accessories for our outfits for the Army ball next Thursday. I found the cutest shoes from Aldo and the best part was they were marked 50% off and then I got to take another 50% off of that!! I love sweet deals!! We left Ala Moana Mall around 5pm and picked our husbands up for dinner.

I have found the wonderful PF Changs!! YUMMMYYYYY!! We got seated right away and shared the lettuce wraps while we decided what we wanted for dinner. I had the lemon chicken and it was ohhh sooo yummy!! We will def. visit this restaurant again!!

After dinner the majority of our group wanted to hop on over to Senor Frogs for after dinner drinks. We enjoyed each others company and even sported some really funny balloon hats one of the waiters created for us. We got home fairly early since the boys had work today and sev and I spent the rest of the time before bed discussing our future. That's always a fun topic.

On another note...my mother has officially turned into my grandmother!! Yep. I received a letter in the mail yesterday that included a newspaper clipping WITH highlighted paragraphs!!! I must admit the clipping was pretty interesting and I could see how my mom thought of me when she was reading it...but actually sending it to me was my grandmother made over!!

Well, Sev just text messaged me and said he was on his way home and he wanted a date night, yipeee. I live for date nights :) hmmmm wonder where we'll go. He said my choice...I said "Shopping?"...I don't think he liked that idea, lol. Oh well...I'm exited to start another weekend with my husband :)

Happy Friday!!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

O' Christmas Tree...

O' Christmas Treeeeeeeee, I have the Sweetest Daddyyyyy :-)

Our 2007 Ornament
Decorations on the Wine Bar
The most adorable real mini tree ever!!
A real live, fresh from Maine, Christmas Tree!!

It's around 85 degrees here. Some may say that's just GREAT. While others...Sev and Myself...would give ANYTHING for some snow, a blanket, fireplace and cup of hot chocolate!!!

The weather just doesn't make for a very good Christmas feeling. That on top of being so far from family made Sev and I decide we were going to treat Christmas as any other day and bypass decorations and wrapped Christmas gifts all together.

Well Santa just wouldn't stand for that!!
My diddy called me a few weeks ago and told me to keep an eye out for a package. I asked him if I needed to save it for Christmas and he said "No open right away!!" Boy was I confused!!
So I kept my eyes peeled and made a daily routine of checking the mail box. A few days ago...my package arrived!! It was from LL Bean...no surprise there...but wait a minute...what is that smell??
I loaded the box and myself into the elevator and made my way up to the 23rd floor. I was standing beside a few other Lele Pono (our apartment) residents and we all kept sniffing the air...I thought, "my word somebody has a Fresh Christmas tree HERE on island!!"
I get off the elevator and make my way inside...Sev joined me in the kitchen and we began tearing into our box!! The top was off and....WHAM the house filled with the smell of Christmas!!!

That's right...my dad...I mean, SANTA had sent me a Christmas tree!!!! A Christmas tree full of fragrance and all the tree trimmings!! He said it wasn't Christmas without a tree!!
Now don't I have the sweetest Dad!! I'm pretty lucky!

So of course we couldn't let our little tree feel like the only lonely Christmas decoration...so I placed a bit of garland and a single ornament on my fake palm tree. Sev decided we needed a strand of lights on our Lani...so the next day we strung a strand of lights on the railing.

~~~~It's beginning to look a lot like CHRISTMAS!!!
Here in Ha Wa iiiii
Sev and I don't feel left out and I don't have to pout
With our Little Christmas Treeeee~~~~