Saturday, January 30

Laila's 1st Bday Party

I had a week and a half to put together a party for Laila (that wasn't supposed to happen but did). The night before her birthday party was her real birthday and so amidst all the chaos of preparing the chapel, decorations, and food, we had to make an ER run because she fell off the bed headfirst. That was a scare, and we were irritated that she had a big lump on her forehead come party time, but at least she was ok.  We threw her a cupcake themed party, infusing the colors pink and blue, inspired by this picture by our photographer friend, Stephanie J.
 The week of her party, Bo was off island, so I spent restless nights conceptualizing and finalizing what I wanted, including this invite that took me forever to get right. Tissue pompoms were a BIZNATCH to make too, but I was trying to see if I could decorate WITHOUT the use of balloons. Luckily we had the help of some young (and skinny) family friends who helped get fish line across the chapel hall so we could hang the different colored pompoms. Our round tables were covered in different shades of blue and pink and the centerpieces were colored pink and blue plates taped to plastic margarita glasses that were flipped upside down to look like a single cupcake stand. It was way cute. Each plate was filled with an assortment of cupcakes topped with mostly homemade frostings. We had over 400 chocolate, yellow, rainbow, red velvet, and guava cupcakes (thanks to my friends for baking help), a BIG strawberry cupcake for her birthday candle, and a full pre-sliced sheet cake. The food: Fried chicken, Lu pulu, Sweet potato, rice, potato salad, teriyaki meatballs, egg fu yung, chop suey, raw fish, fai kakai, otai, and fruit salad and later, homemade cheesecake and my cousin Sina's yummy mini cupcakes. 
We reserved the primary room for the kids and filled it with huge balloons and a face painter. Instead of goody bags I had my sister bake reeses peanut butter topped brownies and her kids stuffed them in treat bags with thank you labels. Those were fun! My father-in-law also hired a one-man band but he was eating most of the time, and a dj that wasn't actively dj-ing, mostly playing a playlist. Lol. Next time I'll just play cds. It was cute and fun and even though I barely slept for a week and a half, it was worth it.
Her bday attire, before she snatched that Tongan lei off
 Laila blowing out her candle on her big cupcake

I didn't let her attack her big cupcake, instead she ate a little one
Big sister's face design

Can you see her head bump? Lol.   

Tuesday, January 26

almost there, baby

hard to believe that almost a year ago, i looked like this. the flicc was taken 11 days before i gave birth, moments after i arrived home from a night out for dinner and manicure with the girls. toting Laila around in my belly was the best, save all the extra stuff (heartburn, bloating, etc). she was heavy but i felt strong, physically. i loved every rad kicking movement and every somersault. ironically, i went through a myriad of negative emotions while carrying her too and that was not fun. mostly, it had nothing to do with the baby blues. thank heavens she survived all of that unnecessary stress because i don't know where i would be without her at this point in my life.

now as the days inch closer to her 1st birthday i feel so overwhelmed with gratitude. how this wretched soul of mine could've gotten so lucky, goes beyond my understanding. not a day has gone without her right by my side. when she's hungry, it's me, when she's tired, it's me, when she's hurt, it's me....only me...who can comfort her. even when she's happy she turns to me, to reciprocate her smiles. i've never felt so needed by another human being and it's humbling to know God loved me soooo much...that He sent her at a time when i needed her more. thank you for braving it with me, baby. it's been almost a year...

Sunday, January 24


i've been here before. slept with a broken heart, barely. maybe not so much broken (because you can't break this heart any more than it already has), but in AWE...wondering awe, how someone could be so cold, so inconsiderate, so thoughtless, so heartless. i despise (to my soul) the fact that i stay married to an alcoholic; that i sit here helpless and hanging on to someone that doesn't want to be held on to. someone who when he doesn't come home at night, doesn't answer your calls, leaves you to your thoughts about where the hell he could be and what the hell he could be doing, and then downplays his action to make you feel like you shouldn't chastise him because he is working so hard for your family, and promises never to do it again...promises never to let you sleep with a broken heart again, and does. this feels so....the last four years. it leaves the most bitter taste in your mouth, when you know you did nothing to deserve it. when you've given a million and more chances to him to make it right, and you've tried to forgive as God asks, and you've gone against your better judgment and advice from those closest to you, to try one more time.

Thursday, January 21

for my friend

today, one of my best friends celebrated his 32nd year of life. (wow, doesn't seem that old until you write it down.)  what can i say about maafu, besides that "he's sooo funny" (insider). over the years, our friendship has grown to accommodate the real life drama/lessons/experiences that comes with adulthood. unfairly, but not on purpose, i have often used  him as my crutch through the shitty and the sad because he always managed to pick my spirits up. (sorry) but when you have someone in your life that you've known since you were 9, who played pepper with you in high school, who wrote to you from 3 different states on his mission, who told you when your boyfriend cheated on you, who planned your baby shower, who answers your phone call at 3 in the morning, who scolds you when you're an adult, who you can sit around doing nothing and still have the time of your life with, who counsels you for your children's sake, who KNOWS you unlike anybody else, and is still your friend when you hurt just never want to lose someone like that. i can say so much more but maafu has so many other faces besides his funny one, my favorite being the one who gives selflessly and compassionately without care for anything in return. so even though it's his birthday, i want to say what a gift he has been in my life. since the 5th grade he has made me laugh. i guess that's a gift you just don't lose, ever! thank you maafu for your friendship, may you have many more years to share your gift with others like me.

Monday, January 18

weekend whirl

monday already? happy holiday everyone (thanks to MLK, my daughter and hubby can sleep in)! here is my weekend in review:

friday (MLK's real bday)
our anniversary day started off with a trip to town for some shopping, after taking lole to school. I woke up to these:

and grubbed on the best breakfast for your buck from Mitsu-ken's in Kalihi:

and later went to watch da man:

and ate hella dry ribs (never again) @ Chillis, but this was gone in a matter of seconds:

 we were so to' up by the end of the day (more than usual, at least):

ate taco bell for breakfast (i know, who does that?), went to the farm, and then to town again to return the rental and my $150 cell phone that i didn't need. that afternoon me and the kids went to ricky's reception @ byuh. omg, the food was ono: palusami, chicken, ham, noodles, sapasui, kalo, potato salad, opihi and poke, trifle for days, cakes, cakes and pulingi. mmm mmm, the beauty of polynesian weddings! entertainment was nice. there was a halau that performed, maliana galeai's kids, terina them, even a special number by ricky's dad (brought his karaoke mic and everything). i wish i recorded the number from the campbell whanau (and allll the maoris) cause they were the bomb! shucks. anyway, here are some clips of the night:

once again, i waited till right before church to prepare for singing time (it's only my 3rd week as the new primary chorister, 4 counting the sunday they called me and put me straight to work...eek!) so like the previous sundays, i ended up winging it quite a bit. the primary children are so awesome, and i have THE BEST pianist, sis. faleolo. the jr primary learned the 2nd verse of i know that my Savior love's me by coming up with motions to remember the words per class. for the most part they're catching on. then we did a song using the symbols fast, slow, hum, loud, etc...unfortunately i did it to a song they didn't know by heart, so it was kinda blah. the sr. primary did great. (i always do different things for the jr/sr primary because of age.) i split them up into groups again and they unscrambled 2 lines each from the 2nd verse of our new song. then i asked them to choose a song that best relates to their line and then either sing it in front of the class (thereby qualifying them for a special treat next week) or have the rest of the class sing it (no treat). ALL of the groups got up and sang their song, so i need to think of something to reward them with. i didn't say the treat would be edible, so we'll see.
mom made lusipi and kumala after church and then our little family ended the night with dinner @ the fullmer brother's home on the point (bo's  high school friends from utah). they were such awesome company--total of 11 kids between the 2 bros and their sis emily--and we are looking to get together a lot more often.

Friday, January 15


Not long after we met, I knew I wanted him. He was different, in a bad-boy, bad-for-me kind of way, but I liked it, and I was determined to make it right. With him, it was always an adventure; I felt carefree, yet oddly protected by his aggression. He lived dangerously cool and uninhibited, while I was soooo the opposite. He was the lion, I was the lamb and we were young, but inseparable. I still recall the first time he told me he loved me with the deepest sincerity, and I believed. Months later he informally asked me to marry him, and on Jan. 15, 2000, we did. 
♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥
That was ten years ago. Like most marriages, ours has never once been perfect, or total and complete bliss, but it has been a journey. I would venture to say it's been a very SCENIC journey, and an even better one now with the addition of our two sweethearts. We are alike in our differences. We are opposites that still attract. We are 2, but 1. We survived an entire decade filled with joy and pain, and continue to TRY to uphold/forgive each other, so we can persist...w/ God's help. I know that I am in the right place today, if my heart still flutters when I hear the phone ring and see his name, or if I can still laugh hysterically at his silliness/stupidity, or if I still feel incomplete in my own home without him near, or if when he says I LOVE YOU, I still believe.

Thursday, January 14

my day

today, I
woke up swearing
did taebo via youtube
saw laila do a new trick (holding liquid in her mouth and slowly spewing it out x 20)
cleaned up my room
watched the kids mess up my room
overheard someone say Tiger is the man
drove way too fast
listened to myself sing, and hated it
slapped my husband's face
ate chicken burritos from Taco Bell
laughed watching Tyler Perry
cried looking @ funeral pics
spoke to Twitter
looked forward to tomorrow

this is the "put a check next to get off your butt" post

i have my tennis shoes on. fit tv is playing an "all star workout" and the instructor is yelling at me to "kick, two, three, jump, two three..."and YET i'm still SITTING here on the computer reading other blogs....haha. i'm done with the more important things on my to-do list and it's only 12pm (yay me), but that's only because i don't have much on my list. so...i'm staring @ the empty spot next to exercise...
instructor: "lift that knee, four more...three more..." 


Wednesday, January 13

Gray skies

Literally. It's been cloudy/overcast all day, much like my mood. Feel so sluggish. I didn't even write a To-Do list.  Today sucked. Right now, I need some of this...

 And a lot of this wouldn't hurt either...

Tuesday, January 12


"...The fact that you feel love for your children does not guarantee that they feel loved. They need to constantly hear you tell them 'I love you' and see your love demonstrated in the small details of life. Give your child the best gift of all--yourself. That's what they really want and need." -J.Lubbock
I love my children, period. But sometimes I am so preoccupied with other things that I very often find myself feeling "inconvenienced" by being at their disposal. (Yah, I know, that's what moms are supposed to do!) I was going through a book called, "To A Child, Love is Spelled T-I-M-E" while both my kids were napping just now, and I am reassured that I am a pretty sucky mom. Sorry my babies, mommy is such a rookie. So hopefully from now on, the house will be a little messier, laundry may pile up (even higher), dinner might be saimin or cereal, but as long as those things are ignored to spend time with you, I can live with it. *Oh, and less FB and other waste time sites for sure!

Don't put your children off, even if you're tired.
Don't squelch the moment, even if it's inconvenient.
Nothing is more powerful than showing your love at the point of a felt need.
Tomorrow they may not be asking for you.
Life goes on, but children never stay the same.
(found this quote in the same book, author unknown)

Backtracking: Christmas

Just so I can remind myself NOT to be like this in 2010, I was a complete SCROOGE this past Christmas. I tried to get into the mood; I went to 2 ward parties, put up the tree and all of Lole's cute decorations from school, but when you don't have it in you, YOU JUST DON'T. It doesn't help that my husband didn't grow up with any holiday traditions, but I guess that shouldn't be an excuse for me not to make any for my own. Aside from the tree in the corner, you probably wouldn't even KNOW it was Christmas in our house, but I did muster a store bought graham cracker house (what is the story behind gingerbread houses anyway?) and Eve PJ's.

Lole was great this year. She now knows that Christmas is Jesus' birthday (and learned about Mary and Joseph) and when asked what she wanted to give to Him, she said "Transformers." Even though I was such a grump, I was glad that she got excited everyday we got closer to Christmas morning. All she wanted was "pretend make-up" which her favorite cousin got for her, and a barbie (which I have seen her play with only once).

It was so funny to watch Laila's reaction to the Christmas tree. First, she refused to crawl anywhere near it and would scold it from afar. Then, after getting used to the tree she wouldn't stop taking the ornaments off. By Christmas day, the whole bottom of the tree was bare.

Maybe it was our budget, maybe it was the horrible year we had...either way I know I need to do way better for my kids. And by that, I don't mean materially. I mean more tradition, more meaningful gifts, more desired company, more of the spirit of Christmas. Thank goodness redemption is a gift, because I can't wait for a lot better "next time". 

Sunday, January 10


It's ten days into 2010, and right away, I realize that I am still doing a lot of the same things I was doing in '09 that got me and my family nowhere, ie. web-surfing, not playing with my kids, wasting time and energy being angry, eating too much while exercising very little (mostly not at all), and forgetting to pray. Of course these are just the few at the top of my list, but I am ready to make amends and forgive myself for my past imperfections (even apologize in advance), because I refuse to let 2010 cripple me like '09 did. I am excited for forward movement--even just an inch at a time--because I have finally learned through experience that "in order to get what you've never had, you have to do what you've never done."

Tomorrow, a To-Do list is in order (a big task for me considering I don't DO lists and am a HORRIBLE planner), and the beginning of my goal-writing for the year. RENEW.REPLENISH.REJUVENATE.REPAIR.REVIVE...YOU. Best wishes for us all in 2010.

Thursday, January 7

Eternal Rest

I don't personally know Natalie Norton, but I prayed for her. I don't know what it's like to watch your little one suffer as much as she did hers, but I can imagine there is no greater pain. I followed her blog in the recent days as she invoked the prayers of loved ones and strangers alike on behalf of her infant son, Gavin, named after her late (younger) brother. Even in her time of struggle, she has remained faithful and is continuing to give honor and praise to God. One of her tweets while in the hospital said: "Best thing you can do for me? hug your kiddos a little tighter , speak to them a little softer & spend some time just being silly together." How can I refuse? So, Natalie, today when I hug my kids tighter, and speak to them softer, and be sillier together with them, I'll remember you and your son and echo your testimony of gratitude for our Savior. Rest in Peace, Sweet Little Baby Gavin!

*photo by her husband Richie Norton

Wednesday, January 6

Back to Love

It's 2:00 pm, and I feel like a kid again, waiting for the ice cream truck to come by on a hot summer day. I haven't been this excited to see my husband--whom I am picking up from the airport soon--in a long time. For the past month and a half he's been working on another island and home only on the weekends. Some weeks have been longer than others with just me and the kids, but I've managed to hold it together pretty well...and by that I mean EMOTIONALLY. It's not that I don't LOVE my husband, it's just been really hard to LIKE him, and even feel IN LOVE with him, over this last year (which has to be one of the worst if not THE WORST in our history). Two months ago, I packed up my kids and I in a matter of hours, and left to find some peace...a peace that I found in the company of my family and dear friends, and in, of all places, HAPPY VALLEY, UT! LOL. But it wasn't so much the zip code that mattered, it was my heart and my soul--left broken and hopeless--that needed to be healed. I never prayed so much in my life. I let Heavenly Father give me strength I NEVER EVER had, and through constant communication with Him, I knew everything was going to be o.k. Till this day, it is hard to put to words the transformation I went through those few weeks I was away. I still feel that strength in me now, and God-willing, I will never go to THAT (lonely.desolate.hurtful.hateful.spiteful.) PLACE again.

I'm not naïve...I know that my my marriage is way off the path to happiness, in fact, we haven't even begun to walk, but like that song goes
♫ We'll crawl, 'til we can walk around
And we'll run, until we're strong enough to jump
Then we'll fly, until there is no end
So let's crawl, crawl, crawl
Back to Love ♫
With the New Year bringing hope of resolution and renewal, I look forward to forgetting the past so we can go THERE again, back to love.

Keep it simple

In my attempt to stay away from Facebook, I've decided to blog more often. All the columns I had on here were so distracting (much like FB) so I cleaned house a bit...hence, the "minimal effort" look. It's so plain up in here, but I still haven't found a good one to replace the old...for now, I'm just gonna keep it simple. (Something I am taking a liking to lately!)

Monday, January 4


Okay so it's 5 in the morning, I'm fully awake because I took my husband to the airport again. I found this and thought it was a great blog-quickie. Hope you all had a wonderful Holiday Season.