Thursday, June 27, 2013


I have quite a few memorable events and daily moments from the last month that I am looking forward to sharing here, but I am skipping all of those things (in spite of my OCD tendencies which are weeping in despair at the bucking of chronology that is happening) BECAUSE.....because because because because BECAUSE, J and I are in HAWAII! RIGHT NOW!

(B has texted me this cheer at random moments for the past 3 months - there has been no shortage of enthusiastic buildup for this vacation!) 

Classic boarding

We flew from Phoenix to Honolulu this afternoon with our friends B & M. We all sat separately (cheap tickets), and I was in a window seat, which made me feel a little claustrophobic and anxious. BUT when we descended in Hawaii, there was no seat I'd rather have had - I gazed out the airplane window, my forehead pressed to the pane, searching for the first site of island sand. When my eyes were scouring the water, I noticed a shape in the water, lighter than the water and the shadows from the clouds - a thing! When all I'd seen for hours was water water water! At first I thought it was wreckage in the water, and then I realized it was kind of....moving....ohmygosh I think that's a whale! I am pretty sure it was a whale close to the surface of the water, based on how high we still were and the size of it. People, I know I would be skeptical if I heard that story, but I'm telling you, it was sea life! Thrilling. (And I kept thinking of Life of Pi).

And then we continued descending - I turned away from the glass to mouth the words "I just saw a whale!" to J across the aisle and two rows down, and then remembered I was watching for land so I quickly turned back and had my first view of a Hawaiian island! It was small and undeveloped, I'm not sure which it was. And then a few minutes later, I saw golden sand, palm trees, and ombre water, aqua to turquoise over reefs to deep royal blue - it was beautiful and so very Hawaii. (Maybe Maui?)

Surreal. Magic.

And then we finally landed in Honolulu, collected our baggage, straightened out a connecting flight schedule change, and took a cab to our hotel, the Aqua Palms Waikiki.

Pretty flowers in the lobby

When we got up to our room, we realized we could see the ocean from our balcony!

We threw on our swimsuits and were off to the beach.

We stayed just across the street from the Hilton, which is beachfront property, but there are shops and restaurants galore on the property, so our walk to the beach was the equivalent of walking a few blocks.

Our foursome in front of pretty waterfalls outside of the Hilton - can't believe we're in HAWAII

And then we were THERE, on Waikiki beach, in Hawaii. So amazing.

(And I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't thinking of the Brady Bunch Hawaii episode once we were on the sand..... and basically every time I daydreamed about our Hawaii trip since it's inception - tiki curse, anyone?)

First time on this side of the Pacific! The water was SO WARM.

Doesn't this look like a postcard?

We swam for a while, raving about the (surprising!) warmth of the water and how beautiful the beach is - some of us may have gotten a little emotional over the loveliness, maybe.

And then we walked, first along the beach.

where we saw this turtle pop his head out to take a breath (I totally screamed when I first spotted the turtle bobbing right below us)

and then eventually realized there were three turtles (you can see two in this photo, one just beneath the other underwater).

After watching the turtles, we made our way off the beach to forage for food amongst the Louis Vuitton shops and Starbucks on every other corner. B & M found a vegetarian place and J and I ate tacos - korean short rib and shrimp for me, tuna for him (yum), and then we walked back to the beach to watch the sunset.

Tomorrow: Pearl Harbor Memorial and then flying to Kauai - more soon!


Monday, June 17, 2013


My favorite recent shot of the boys

SS eating his first corn on the cob (months ago, as you can tell by the SWEATSHIRT he's wearing - just looking at that in this 100+ degree weather makes me sweat)

Making muffins with BB - he did a lot of the mixing, as well as the measuring and pouring. I love these moments with him.

And he helped with the dishes too!

GG came to visit!

She read stories

and brought SS a Cozy Coupe, just like my bro and I had when we were little!
(My backyard is populated with multiple large mounds of plastic embossed with the words Fisher Price, all courtesy of GG. The boys love it. (And Mama loves the endless outdoor entertainment during dinner prep)).

Final harvest of lettuce and carrots before I planted my summer garden

Mud run on St. Patrick's Day - so. much. fun. That's me in the middle!

Hilly Cinco de Mayo 10K with friends

Girls' Night celebrating our friend visiting

We ran into some trouble with the law...

Playing in downtown Tucson on Girl's Night

BB put his monkeys down for a nap while he napped. You know it's love if he shares his blanket. He called them "my boys" and named them Oggie and George. 

He also carried a small giraffe around for a week, calling her "my sweetie" and napping and feeding her. Sweet to see his nuture and imagination so active.

And finally, some photos of me meeting two very special people - new, little people. You should know that if you are a close friend of mine, there is a very good chance you are pregnant or have a newborn right now. Seriously. It's an epidemic.

This is my BFF R. She lives in Colorado but came home to visit, and we got to go on a date - child-free. It was incredible.

R has a newborn baby boy who I got to meet when she came home.

Visiting with R at a potluck in the park

R and J and Auntie Seen grew up as next-door neighbors! All these years later, we are all still connected and close. 

And in April, Team P added another teammate:
Baby K, who I like to think of as our currently-non-existent-but-futurely-prospective third child's best friend

 J and I drove to Phoenix to meet and cuddle this little man within 12 hours of his birth. We were in the waiting room at the birth of their first son, Little C, and made it up to Phoenix within 12 hours of the birth of their second son, Little A. We almost postponed our visit to meet Baby K until the next day, and then I just couldn't fathom not continuing our tradition and holding that baby as soon as possible! So glad we did!

Team P boys getting to know their new little brother

Monday, June 3, 2013

11 Months Later

11 months later, they look like any other little girls dancing on stage. 

Looking at them with all of the other dancers, no one would know that 11 months ago, instead of sitting in these auditorium chairs, we were sitting in a hospital waiting room throughout a multiple hour (8, I think?) brain surgery to excise a tumor.

Apart from the duck tail of hair growing back in beneath her tight bun, no one could guess that she has faced multiple surgeries, countless MRIs, endless medical procedures, months of high-dose radiation, and even more months of nausea and headaches recovering from the treatments. And no one can tell that this other little girl proclaimed faith in God in the face of scary unknowns like "surgery" and "tumor", was so very brave while she missed her mom and dad and big sister during long hospital stays, and kept. on. smiling., day in and day out, while she waited for her family.

What set these girls apart tonight was their innate glow, their sweet spirits. B performed her ballet routine with grace and precision - it's not just my auntie pride talking when I say that she was the best in her ballet ensemble. Her lines extended from her fingertips to her toes, and even her hand placements were thoughtful and carefully held.

Watching her perform, I reflected on sitting in that waiting room during her first surgery eleven months ago and now sitting in this theater watching her perform -  how far we have come. How hard she and her mom and dad and sister have worked and worried and wept and loved and prayed and fought to get her here to this stage, where B can display her grace.

A memorable night was made even more special because I had a cute date - with a little man named BB.


The date started out as kind of a dud - it was like the guy had just woken up from a nap or something.

But he became lively and entertaining and hilarious in no time.

BB is such a photo-bomber!

And what's a night on the town without Nacky sweeping a floor with your hair?