Sunday, January 29

HAPPY BIRTHDAY "DARLING"

Laila at 3: is still in diapers (lol), loves cartoons (her new obsession after Smurfs is Mickey Mouse Clubhouse), wants to help cook and clean all the time, likes putting on eye shadow and lip gloss, enjoys corn, broccoli, shrimp, chicken, and fruits, loves her sister but doesn't hesitate to hit or talk back to her, likes dancing the "This is Halloween" song on Just Dance 3,  tends to lip sync rather than sing, likes to look at the snow but asks all the time to go to the beach, is very talkative and currently says things like "not fair", "I fart", "mommy, you haffa get outta the bafroom" (she will wait for me outside forever), "te'e pilo" and "summapeech" (thanks Daddy), "I need to go on my laptop", and "I so hunkry". She continues to be very stubborn and very independent (likes to pick out and put on her own clothes). As her zodiac sign suggests, she is naturally funny. She still gives me the biggest hugs and will often smother me when I come home from work. She finds comfort in being skin to skin or hugging cheek to cheek and doing weird things like pulling on our ears lobes (biting her lower lip while doing so) and playing with our fat. Laila loves to watch and read about animals, and enjoys drawing and coloring. She takes care if someone has an owie or cries, likes to do things her way, is protective of her mommy and sister, has a sharp mouth when scolding anyone, but has the sweetest disposition when she wants to. Laila is also...still sleeping with mom and dad (lol) but I couldn't have it any other way. I love having my children near me at night, even it it means the 4 of us squishing together, barely able to move. As usual, she still shies around strangers, but is waaaay better at rejecting people's affections. Another year later, she is still my "Darling" (sister Fia's blog nickname for her), and I look forward to seeing more of her Aquarius personality shine. HAPPY 3rd BIRTHDAY LAILA!
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Saturday, January 28

Laila's Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Bday

My baby turns 3 Jan.29, but we celebrated her on Sat 28th with a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse themed birthday party. Of course you wouldn't know because I FORGOT the camera in the car. I'm so mad at myself because I really wanted to document it well, but at least my sister in law captured a few moments. We had a BBQ (in 30 degree Winter weather) with some yummy teriyaki beef, chicken, hot dogs, brats, beef sausages, complete with potato salad and rice. We also had Laila's favorites: parmesean corn on the cob, steamed broccoli, and shrimp. I stayed up all night making her rainbow cupcakes, chocolate covered oreos (in the shape of a mickey mouse head), andes mint cookies, homemade butter cream frosting, and a huge Mickey mouse shaped chocolate cake (I used the sour cream/choc pudding recipe---soo super moist). My sister added brownies, choc chip cookies, guava cake and goodie bags. We were definitely in BBQ and SWEETS heaven. These are the only pictures we have from the party.
 Rainbow cupcakes and chocolate covered oreos were a hit. 
It was so busy we didn't even get to play the birthday games I had in mind. But we had so much fun laughing, dancing, and DEFINITELY eating away. 

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Wednesday, January 18

TWELVE

"When endurance becomes enough to overcome there is no better feeling than that of standing,waking, dreaming and hoping together at the end of the day with the one you said, "I do!" to. Sometimes it seems it may never work out or it may seem too hard but there is a beauty in triumphing over trials together." 
est. Jan. 15, 2000
My best friend Ma'afu--who wrote this on my Facebook page the day of my anniversary--has seen me through the entire 12 years of ENDURANCE; the good, the bad and the ugly. For him to say such a thing, "at the end of the day" is not just for flattery's sake. My marriage really has seen better days lately, which has been so beneficial not just for me and Bo, but especially our kids. So this weekend, instead of retreating to SLC alone (where said best friend works @ Homewood Suites), we went with kids in tow. 

Our first night at the hotel was spent watching tv, facebooking, making pizza and saimini and just enjoying our relax time. I didn't want to get up the next morning, and the free breakfast wasn't enough to keep me out of my comfortable bed for very long. Lole and her Dad were gone the whole morning, and when they got back, surprised me with some balloons and flowers. It is the 2nd year that Lole has helped her Dad pick out something for me, and she always gets so excited! That morning, she must have hugged and wished us Happy Anniversary 10 times, meanwhile, Laila kept wishing us Happy Birthday, lol!

Luckily for us, our sitters happened to be in SLC too, so they stayed with the kids while Bo and I spent the WHOLE day together. It was so good to be away from Utah county, feeling "touristy" in this metropolitan Sabbath-observing town, with little traffic...just my style! We found Gateway Mall a few blocks up and cruised around for lunch. We came across an Asian (fusion) place called Thai Foon, (totally misleading name) where we ate (junk) sushi, (yummy) miso soup, some (alright) duck and (bomb) Seafood curry. We did a little shopping, driving around town and even visited Temple Sq. 
As soon as we got back to the hotel to get ready for the night, we find our oldest laying in bed, crying. She had a migraine and was throwing up everywhere. Some ibuprofen and rest did the trick, but this ended her night quickly. Hours later, Bo and I set on the town only to be disappointed that nothing was really going on. Some restaurants were closed or closing early, and there wasn't much that the average out-of-towner could do. We settled on a random Sports Bar & grill, where Bo got acquainted with some hillarious truckers from Missouri. Picture Dale and Boomhauer from  "King of the Hill"...it was classic, so I had to get a pic. lol.    
I convinced hubby to take us to WVC where some friends were visiting from Hawaii. That was fun, being in the company of hometown peoples, kanikapila'ing for the gods. It made me homesick to hear Vika, uke in hand, serenading us like she would in Laie, those lonely nights I would frequent kava circles. Isaac, her classmate, also dedicated "Mrs Jones" to us for our annivesary, lol. The next day, we cleaned up, checked out and we were on the road again to our little valley. The snow was so pretty on our drive home. 
All in all it was a good weekend and I have the scar to remind me of the time well spent. (see above) Bo and I both know that we are farrrrr from perfect. We reflect daily on our victories as well as our defeats. We know we have tons more to work on, and now that we are beginning to taste the sweet again, we are more focused on how to keep it that way. Having my kids see the importance of celebrating our marriage...that is what I appreciated the most. Happy TWELVE, Love!


Thursday, January 12

Moving On

     2011 was very WOW. This is the only word to adequately describe it for me. New Years was the WORST EVER, started it off fighting with my husband, after also fighting all Christmas morning. I don't have the energy to talk about, let alone think about the events that surrounded that time, but let's just say I almost moved on my damn self early that year. In 2011, Laila turned 2, Lole turned 6, and shortly after that, Bo quit his job after being asked to take a demotion. That event was probably the hardest to deal with because I was partly at fault, ok, mostly at fault. I have always wanted Bo to quit his job because it was the nunmber one stressor in our marriage. But when he finally did (with a lot of my help), I had instant regrets. Not having a weekly paycheck like we were used to was hard. Then in June, my family (Poloais) had our very first family reunion with just our siblings and parents, grandchildren, etc. It was held in Orem, UT and was THE highlight of my year. At some point I will go back and write about it because it was truly unforgettable!
     So, this brings us to the very biggest change my family has gone through in 2011, and that was making the decision to STAY here in Utah after my reunion. It's been 7 mos, going on 8, since we left our island paradise. Hawaii (and esp Laie/Hauula/Kahuku) is THE PLACE, no doubt about that. I miss it so much. But being here has had its advantages, and mostly it starts and ends with family. It has been great spending the holidays and other special events with my parents--whom I have lived away from for about 14 years--as well as my oldest sister and her kids. Bo's younger sisters live here (my babysitters, lol), my best friend Maafu, as well as heaps of Bo's friends and family. The biggest plus so far, has been being VIRTUALLY DRAMA FREE since we have moved. Even I am at a loss to describe the complete contrast in our lives. My sister Fia  compared recent developments (ie, me working, and my husband staying home with the kids) to night and day, and if you knew the type of things we have gone through, you'd agree. As much as I hate being away from HOME, my kids' other grandparents in Laie, and my sister and her kids (holding down the fort in Kahuku), I cannot fathom going back to the state of misery I was in the last 6 years! I never want to know it again. I wasted a lot of tears and lost a lot of faith. However, I also felt like I gained some power back during the early part of 2011, and I continue to feel more confident in my fate today. We had a great summer here in Utah, and so far it has only snowed a few days this Winter. I turned 33, my husband turned 34, and we joined a community that is filled with lots (and LOTS) of people from my hometown area. Although my little family is still struggling to find our momentum, 2012 will bring more changes for the better whether we last out here in the Beehive state or not. Even with some of the uncertaincies, I am happy to be in a place (literally, "Happy Valley" and figuratively) to start anew. 2011, we're MOVING ON!

Wednesday, January 11

Puter=Pooter

 Last month, my husband and kids surprised me with  my very own  HP Dv7 BeatsAudio laptop. They couldn't wait for the 25th, so they gave it to me a week or so early, in the cutest pink PUMA bag. (Bless their souls!) But anyone who knows me KNOWS that I refuse to spend more than a few hundred dollars on myself for ANYTHING, even if its something I need. Bo has been promising me a laptop since before my bday (July), but wasn't able to get me it. Instead, he got me a $300 Ipod touch and I REFUSED IT....told him to take it back, because, again, SO EXPENSIVE. I LOOOOVE having a computer again, but some things I am just not willing to pay the price for. I'm thinking about taking this bugga back because not only was it too much $ (I would've bought THE CHEAPEST one) it has also been giving me too many problems. First the webcam crashed/died and I had to take the computer back and switch it, only they gave me the wrong one and I had to go back a 2nd time for the right one. Just yesterday, the fingerprint scanner (a feature for password protection) also stopped working and so I'm seriously contemplating it. Aside from the very cool built in speakers (bass and all),  I can survive without this. (That's what my droid is for).  I could think of a lot of things I'd rather do with this money. Bills, (of course), my 12th wedding Anniversary is on Sunday, my baby's bday is in 2 weeks, RUGBY SEVENS is next month, including Ali Campbell (whom I saw in concert in Hawaii)  that same weekend. The possibilities are endless. Heck, I could even take this back and invest in an Ipod touch again? 

Thursday, January 5

Tomorrow is a Gift

"Every man must do two things alone; he must do his own believing and his own dying."- Martin Luther
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As a teen, I used to believe that I wouldn't live long. I don't know why, but I always felt like my life was not mine and that the length of my earthly stay was pre-determined to be short. Yet here I am. I STILL have moments when I don't even believe the things I go through are real and I feel strangely disconnected. Weird I know, but when I had my 1st born, I had a similar feeling that as much as I facilitated her birth into this world, I knew Lole was not completely mine. The underlying truth being that she was created--just as I was--by a loving Heavenly Father for His purposes; ranked highest among those, to gain Eternal Life and to live with Him again.

But with the gift of life also comes death. Last week one of my husband's young relatives who died in a car crash, was laid to rest. He was supposed to report to the MTC in 3 mos. Around New Years, a good friend of mine in Fiji lost her only son. And yesterday, my first cousin hung himself.

I've been thinking a lot about Death lately...how it comes quickly/surprisingly to some, and not soon enough to the weak/suffering...how it doesn't discriminate against age, race, color or status...and especially how whether you meet it calmly (sometimes willingly as in my cousin's case) or like a thief in the night, it is I N E V I T A B L E.

We are taught that suicide is wrong. But I do not judge such actions because I have been low enough to understand. While the act is selfish, the aim is to relieve pain...pain so unbearable that death is the only escape/relief/remedy...(seemingly) the only choice. Being able to say that I actually know someone (3  in the past year and a half) who has taken their life makes me really sad, but GOD has given us agency over every aspect of our lives, down to our last breath.

So what then, becomes of the dearly departed who felt they only had only one choice left? I don't think anyone can truly say, despite knowing that LDS doctrine condemns it. I still believe God has mercy on even our most grievous sins (save the unpardonable), so who am I to limit His forgiveness?  The beauty of His plan through the Gospel of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is that we know there is life after death, and that families can be reunited in the afterlife through saving ordinances done in our temples. When someone dies, we focus on the way they lived, and we cherish the memories and life lessons we learned from them. Death will come whether or not we are ready, so the goal is to be ready all the time...to live like everyday was your last.



May you rest in peace, Sikivi, and may His mercy be upon you, and all of us.
XOXO,
Tala