December 28, 2013

New Year's Eve 2012

(Another Draft.) 
Reminiscing/feeling sorry for ourselves: last year, we were lucky enough to be all together through the holidays; New Year's Eve found us in Leavenworth, a first for all of us.  Leavenworth is surely a special place, but I think the magic is always found in being with loved ones, no matter where you are.

Beautiful drive over.

Waiting in line.

Waiting in line some more.

Trying to keep up with Josh.

The Olders.

The Seconds--
Second Sister, Second Brother, Second Daughter.

Oldest Daughter, Oldest Niece, Baby Niece.

The Twins.
Girls getting ready for the dance competition.
Yes--there is video.
The video has mysteriously disappeared; I can only imagine Kale must have paid somebody off to get rid of it--there was some good stuff on there. :-D  Hope your holiday season has been filled with love, laughter, and yummy stuff to eat; looking ahead to another great year. 

{All for now.}

My Sister

And yet another one from the Drafts Folder.  This was a post I wrote as my sister turned 30; she has since celebrated another birthday.  (Do you see how ridiculous I am?!) Still, I wanted to share, because truth is timeless, and...well, because I love her. :)

Today, my sister joins me in the business of being thirty-something.  As per her usual modus operandi, she took 4 years and 11 months to join me in this; her husband will be quick to remind me that she is {always} worth the wait.  

Of this fact, I am well aware. I've heard often the story of the 4-year-old version of myself bursting through the door of our Ala Kapuna Place apartment on the day she came home from the hospital, flinging my backpack (and all niceties) to the floor, and tossing a token "Hi, Mom!" over my shoulder as I raced to the bedroom where she lay: my future playmate, sparring partner, secret-sharer, and accomplice in a very few, very minor crimes--I am, in fact, a quite boring and rule-abiding older sister.  (And I also would give much to hear our mom tell this story again.)
Physically, we are nothing alike, aside from the identical subtle (and finely-tuned) expressions used to remind our husbands who is {really} in charge (lest they forget).  Discreet death stares aside, my sister and I are opposites: I am the adorable and slightly squishy sister; she is the charming, beautiful runner whose mere presence can command a room--sometimes intentionally, sometimes not.  She has both the honor and the burden of bearing a beautiful resemblance to Mom; when I look at her, I catch glimpses of our mother that make me both smile and fight back tears at the same time.
Growing up, she quickly established herself as the child with a mind of her own, not easily swayed by the preferences and opinions of any who would care to divulge such things; this was sort of cute when she was 2 years old, and became slightly less charming as she got older.  Sometimes, it was downright scary, and there is a thankfulness for the grace and protection that has been hers through these experiences.  To this day, she continues to do as she sees fit, but has called to service the ability to listen more closely to that voice that comes from both above and within; her example has  reminded me to do the same.
I talked to her this morning; she recounted how she had fallen asleep on the couch last night, and when Terry woke her to go to bed sometime after midnight, even in her fog, she remembers realizing, "I'm 30 years old now!"  Funny; turning 30 did seem to be one of those things that was both everything and nothing at all, at the same time, in my memory.
I never could quite figure out how to finish this post; it's often the hardest part for me when I write of my loved ones, trying to summarize the depth of emotion that runs through this short little body o' mine. So I'll just close this today with a picture of us; love you, Keala.





{Four generations of love}

(Another "Drafty." I get it: I'm a month late--did you expect anything less?  No, you didn't. Enjoy this picture of a picture; my sister-in-law is still in process of creating her pièce de résistance from this beautiful wedding, so you'll just have to wait for the real deal. :D)


Another one from the drafts folder. It seems timely, as so many at this time of year are either looking for fresh workout routines to support New Year's resolutions, or maybe just looking for more ways to "bring it" to the dance floor during their next New Year's Eve party; this video can help you do both! :D  (This post has been sitting for so long and embedding has since been disabled for the video; you'll have to click through to watch it on YouTube.)
This is not a joke, people.  
(But you may get a giggle out of it anyway.)

Rock on.

November 27, 2013

Brain Storms

Another one from the "Drafts" folder.  It's been interesting for me to go back through these unpublished posts and kind of see where my brain was at the time: seeing what I first deemed appropriate to share, and then lost either the interest or courage to do so.  These were notes I found as I was going through a stack of paperwork/notebooks; this is often what the beginning of a blog post looks like.   

{All for now.}

November 25, 2013

{rewind} } } } June 29

It's stuck in my brain, this idea of bringing my blog current, but, really--the thought stops me before I even get started.  Of course, the million brainstorms I have as I go through my days--"I'll write about this, I could write about that, oh! I have to share about____!" suddenly temper themselves into nothingness the instant my fingers hit the keyboard. 

This is a post that has been sitting in my drafts folder since, you know...July; by now, you'd think it would have had enough time to steep to perfection, but it rarely works that way.  I'll just share it as is, and then we can move on to the present in the next post, hopefully...
June 29th marked one year since Mom's passing; it seemed right to spend that day remembering her and just being together near the ocean, one of her favorite places to be.   
Papa and the girls.

Everything tastes better at the beach.
I'm Baby Brother's mini-me! :-D
♥ I really love this picture. ♥
♥ ♥ ♥

A year later, and the sadness has mellowed on most days; as it turns out, today is not one of those days:

....Daughters visit with Tutu in their dreams;

....Sister finds letters Mom wrote to her children, never sent; 

....Baby Brother recalls the 5-year-old version of himself, arms wrapped tightly around her neck, being unable, as most 5-year-olds are, to imagine a world without her. 

And, yet, here we are.

Miss you every day, Mom. 

♥ ♥ ♥
{All for now.}

September 28, 2013

Hippo Birdies

It's been three years since I complained publicly about it, but she went ahead and did it again, like she does every year; the nerve.

This cutie-turning-beauty made the jump over into 9-year-oldness two Tuesdays ago with her usual gusto and determination; apparently, she has long possessed a slightly rebellious streak: 

But when you've always been that cute, really--who's going to argue with you? 
*shrugs shoulders*

Oh, dear.
♥ I miss this baby. ♥
This year has served me many reminders of time marching on; I learn a little more each day about simply embracing it, and trusting that there is just as much goodness and joy for us in the future as there has been for us in the past.
Since celebrating Malia's last birthday as a Single-Digiteer, we've celebrated a few more in this family:
 Oldest Younger Brother turned 28 on the 20th: 

Husband kicked off his last year as a 30-something on the 23rd: 
And Sister moves into her second year as a 30-something tomorrow! 
Yep--it's the fall birthday season for this 'ohana once again;
bring on the stretchy pants.
{All for now!}


September 7, 2013


(Oh, hey--didn't expect to see you here.  But then, you probably didn't expect to see me here either, huh?  I mean, despite the fact that it's my blog, and all.)
Seriously, guys, what is going ON? 
{shrugs shoulders} I don't know.  Writer's block again, I guess.  What an identity crisis, being a writer who can't write. 
Now I'll admit, I sometimes startle myself with the cool stuff I'm able to fluff out, like this one, or that one, or even random ones like this one; it's fun, I sound intelligent--life is good, you know? (Why, yes, this is a blatant attempt to remind you of just how good I can be sometimes.) 
And then there are days when I wake up, and all I can think is, 
"Me. Want. Cookie."  
That's it--that's as good as it gets.  (And don't even try to pretend you didn't go back over that quote in your best Cookie Monster voice.) 
Well, it's been a "Me.Want.Cookie" couple of months; I don't even know where to begin.  Maybe I'll just leave you with a single picture of our beauties, on their way to Uncle Josh and Aunty Bethany's wedding:
We've had a full and fabulous summer;
more pictures to come later, I think...
{Have a great weekend!}

June 25, 2013

Ramble #7,354

Well, there's nothing quite like the pressure to get my house ready for company to remind me of how vitally important it is for me to update my blog; funny how that works. :-p 

It doesn't help that the weather this morning is my preferred "writing weather"--a misty, cool, raindrop-symphony kind of a day.  The couch feels comfier, the coffee tastes better, my brain feels clearer on days like this; it makes you wonder how I functioned, growing up on a sunny tropical island.  It won't surprise you to know the ocean has the same effect on my sense of well-being; perhaps I am a "water baby" in the truest sense: it's no matter, the source--just let me dance in it.

As I've already mentioned, we are making preparations for a full house; the family is convening for the wedding of Oldest Younger Brother. This will be a week of "firsts" for us: first brother to get married; first major life change since Mom's passing; first anniversary of her death.  That's right, folks--Saturday marks a year.  I know you've not been dwelling on it--it'd be kind of odd if you were ;-p--but it has surely been an ever-constant in my mind.  I remember, in the days after Mom's passing, some of the random, sometimes irrational thoughts that came to me; the one that stands out in particular this week is, "We can't change; we all have to stay exactly as we are in this moment, because how can we become people Mom never knew us to be?"  It's funny, the ways in which we try to cope with loss, the things that suddenly qualify as "sensible" as we try to keep rooted in a foundation that is shifting and crumbling and redefining itself all at once.  It's not surprising that stagnancy would suddenly feel more like stability; but stagnant water is a prime breeding ground for all sorts of unhealthy...stuff, and so can our lives become, if we refuse to keep flowing, circulating, allowing the tides of time to move things in and out of our lives, as it has since this world began. It can be hard to trust that as we get older, and the "goodbye" experiences begin to outnumber the seemingly never-ending "hello" experiences of our youth. I have begun to struggle with that even down into the "littler" things: the scattering of the family as all return to their homes after this wedding; the sending off of my brother into his new life; and looking only slightly further down the road to the flight my own little birdies will take when they finally launch off into the wild blue yonder. :')  Scary stuff.  Looking inward and upward, trusting and growing roots deeper in Him.

Wowza.  Well, I never claimed not to have issues. :)

Let me bring this back to happy, because life is good, and I prefer people to leave my blog with smiles on their faces.  The following video fuels my happy on so many levels; I hope it does something for you, too:

I love watching the hesitant observers become willing participants. :) 
Joy is contagious--go out and spread some. 
(And may I one day have the courage to bust a move at the Silverdale library. :D)
{Have a beautiful day.}

May 12, 2013

Happy Day

Wow--it's been a big weekend.  Celebrating my 13th Mama's Day, and the official induction into teenagehood for Oldest Daughter--{gulp}.  I can hardly believe it.  And I really wish I could whip up something like this birthday post from last year, but, alas, my writer's block has been insurmountable for the past 11 months.  It'll come to me...

It was a happy weekend, complete with the coolest glow party this house has ever seen (courtesy of The Uncles, of course), and quiet moments of reflection and remembrance.

Let me start off with pics from the party:

This is *my* sweet, well-we-have-to-give-her-credit-for-trying-I-guess
contribution to the decorations.  I'll just note that if you need someone
to hang decorations from the ceiling, maybe a 4-and-a-half foot tall
person will not be the best idea you've ever had. 
(To be fair, it was my idea. :-p)

Group shot on the stairs before admission
to the REAL party.

And, {there} you go. 
Seriously, brothers?!?!  This is how my brothers
subtly let me know that despite the fact that I am the older sister,
they are, and always have been, better than me at everything,
even the pretty, sparkly stuff.
Needless to say, the girls were {thrilled}.
A lighter shot, courtesy of the professional. :)

Does someone want to give me credit for this cool idea?
Okay, fine--it was Pinterest's idea.
These days, aren't they {all} Pinterest's ideas?

Opening presents. 
She's gorgeous, no? :')

The grown-ups, seeking respite in the living room. 
(And, a call-to-arms in support of the idea that Christmas
lights should not be reserved for Christmas only.)

As you can imagine, Saturday was recovery day, with clean-up and lots of naps involved.  Sunday has been sweet, with lunch after meeting with the brothers, and Sean, and some sweet-parents-to-be; and then an amazing surf 'n turf dinner with the brothers--I have never eaten so much crab in my life, I think. 

Now, close of day, and another first--first Mother's Day without *my* mama.  Tonight, as I drift off to sleep, I will close my eyes, and I will see {her} eyes smiling back at me, and I will be made infinitely grateful again for lessons learned and impressions made during her short time here.

(Don't forget to hit pause on my playlist in the upper right sidebar.)

This was the slideshow Mom's sons created for her service; the opening track is a song our dad wrote as a teenager.  The last 4 minutes or so of the slideshow were added later to include moments from our final farewell to our precious mom.  I hesitate to use the word "perfect" to describe anything other than God's will for our lives, but I'll make an exception here; this day was a {perfect} tribute to her life.  I miss her every day.
{All for now}


February 1, 2013

We've Got Work To Do

Once again, my blog has been sitting up on a shelf, waiting for inspiration to strike; I love it when things like this show up (Thanks, hubby.):
"It's everybody's duty to give the world a reason to dance.  So get to it."
The End.
(Well, that, and Have a great weekend!)

January 16, 2013


I've been getting a kick out of this sweet gift Youngest Daughter gave to her Daddy for Christmas this year:

♥ His view. ♥

Life on the other side of the cup. :D

The Concise Encyclopedia defines diplomacy as the "Art of conducting relationships for gain without conflict."  

I think she's got it down.

January 15, 2013

Checking in...(again)

The Fab Five, upholding their tradition of excellence.

Hello, faithful few; just wanted to get a quick pic up, and see if I can't get things rolling again on this here blog. :) 

It's 2013--I'm having a hard time wrapping my brain around that one.  I hope your holidays were full of time well-spent; I'm grateful to say mine were.  So much to reflect on, so much to look forward to.

More later, I hope; hau'oli makahiki hou!