Ko’olina Lagoon aka Sometime you just need to go to the beach

So after  long day of fun we decided to keep driving west until we hit the beach. One of the best beaches on that side of the island are the Ko’olina Lagoons. We grabbed a spot, pulled the ever-present beach chairs from the trunk, and just enjoyed this fabulous life we have.

 

 

 

 

This was one of the best sunsets I’d seen since we moved here, we are rarely over on the west side of the island and the sunsets just aren’t quite as pretty from Pearl Harbor, too much in the way!  Stunning.

 

 

Mckenna of course wanted to model for me… This girl loves having her picture taken but it’s hard to get one now where she isn’t posing like a crazy person. 

 

And then there is this kid who HATES having his picture taken but I can occasionally get such a wonderful shot of him I could die.

 

Okay, disgusting post I know, my kids are gorgeous, I live in paradise. What can I say, it’s a rough life!

 

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Blah

So.

I’m kinda sorta in a HUGE funk right now. And I can’t shake it.

I don’t want to do anything, housework, cooking, leaving my house, I just want to stay home in my cocoon and be pissed off.

So to ensure that I actually get out of the house as well as hopefully get me in a better frame of mind, I have been scheduling the shit out of myself. PTA, fundraisers, Humane Society, dog sitting, Family Readiness Group, training, lunches, playdates, coffee, football. Anything so that I am not sitting at home thinking about how much longer I am going to be alone.

This sucks.

This wasn’t in my plan for Hawaii. We were going to explore the island together. I had so many more spots that I wanted to go to as a family and as a couple. We never made it to a luau and I won’t go to one without him now because that is something I want to do together.

I haven’t snorkeled since he left. That was our thing, man. Something that he found out he totally loved to do and something we loved to do together.

I was chatting with him tonight and mentioned how much they had done and he said something along the lines of it hardly matters. Which I understand. I mean what we still have left is more than a normal deployment, we have MONTHS to go before we even have a normal deployment left!

And I am angry. And sad. I feel cheated out of my time with my husband. Time that we were supposed to have together as a family. Part of it is the lack of warning or warm up time, it was so, so sudden. Part of it is the shear LENGTH! I don’t know how Army and Navy IA do this crap for a year. Over and over again.

I am just looking toward this sea of months left and thinking about everything that he is going to miss, and then he’ll be home and we’ll have to re-integrate which always sucks because he’ll feel like so much has changed since he was gone. And it will have changed, we’ll be different, the house will be different. And it’ll take time for us to get to the new normal after being separated for so long. I don’t want to deal with all that! We were in such an awesome space together as a couple and a family before he left.

Anyways. That is my vent. It’s not a unique one I know but this deployment has been particularly sucktastic.

So, pray for peace in the Middle East and all that, I want my man home.

End rant.

So sometimes we sneak into pools…

Okay, this was an honest mistake. Mostly.

See we knew there was this awesome pool on Fort Shafter, sand in the bottom, great splash area, beautiful views of Pearl Harbor and the ocean..

I assumed that is was the same deal as the pools on the other bases, like Hickam and Pearl and Tripler. They are there for all military to use.

So we get there and there is a sign in book and a sign that says something about a pool pass. Uh-oh. But instead of turning around I act like we belong there, sign illegibly in the book and grab a chaise lounge. It probably helped that it was late in the day and the lifeguards were bored.

I guess the pool is only for the residents of the Island Palm Housing, which totally sucks because we aren’t going to be able to go again and my kids LOVED IT.

Look mom! Sand. IN THE POOL!

 

Seriously, this is a genius concept. It’s like the beach but with clean, chlorinated water. Heaven.

The sandy beach side of the pool is shallow and great for little kids (and big kids, Mckenna loved it).

 

There is this rock wall divider that separates the sandy, shallow part from the non-sandy deeper part.

 

 

It really was a great pool and I’m bummed because we probably won’t be able to sneak in again and it’s the ONLY pool that Omar actually asks to go to. And yes we are spoiled by a ridiculous amount of pools (and beaches!) but dang it! This one was awesome!

Living in Hawaii {4 Month Update}

We have officially hit four months of living in Hawaii.

And I am in love with this state.

Hawaii can be a difficult place to live. It is so very different than living on the mainland. It can be hard to not have every store and restaurant you are used to having around the corner. (No Olive Garden, Michael’s or Chik-fil-a!) Living here means that you are living far from family, at least a 5 hour plane ride away. It can be expensive, housing is expensive, food is expensive, we are on an island so you will pay more for everything. We are lucky to be able to shop at the commissary and exchange which offer a huge savings over shopping on the local economy.

But with all that it is still magical to live here. I will be driving and then all of a sudden see a gorgeous rainbow, a vibrant green volcanic range, or a stunning sunset over the beach.

We did come here with a bit of an advantage. After living in Spain for four years we learned to live without many of the American conveniences that people complain about not having here. Plus we’ve been living far from family. So when we moved from Rota to Pearl Harbor it was awesome for us! We had Target and Starbucks and T-mobile…

It is like most places for me, it depends on what you make of it. If you spend your time here complaining about how much you hate it, you’ll end up hating it.

We’ve had a great time getting out and exploring the island, learning about the culture and customs and eating!

Don’t get me wrong it’s far from perfect here, the DMV is a nightmare, the traffic is the worst, and the bugs are out of control. There are shady parts of the island, it sucks being 6 hours behind all my friends and family on the east coast (especially when your husband deploys!)

I have found some fun friends by stepping outside my comfort zone and playing football, volunteering with the PTA and getting together a FRG for the Paul Hamilton.

The only thing that would make it better would be if my husband were still here to explore the island with me!

Happy Halloween!

We had a GREAT Halloween this year… It was Omar’s first Halloween in America. Wait I lied, he did have one before when he was a month old.  We did celebrate in Spain on base but it was not quite the same. So this year he was SUPER excited.  He dressed as Darth Vader and then decided the mask was too annoying to wear the entire night but at least I got a picture with it on.

Mckenna was a dark fairy. This is our homemade costume this year, I had a lot of fun making it and she loved it.

I also tried my best with her makeup. I am NOT artistic or good with makeup but she thought it looked great and that’s all that matters!

Although I did it a few hours prior and it did get smudged and had to be fixed before we headed out.

Me, I was pretty boring this year and did a cop out with a witch had and some awesome feathery eyelashes…

And then was irritated because the breeze kept blowing my hat the whole time we were out, AND I carried a light saber that SOMEONE just couldn’t carry.

I can’t post the aftermath sorting of candy because Omar stripped as soon as we walked in the door and sorted in his underwear. Sounds about right.

Also? People are getting WAY too stingy with the chocolate. Keep your Laffy Taffy and Twizzlers, mama wants Snickers and Reese’s!

Oh I had to go snooping for pictures from Halloween past. I can’t believe how much my babies have grown over the past few years!

Care Packages!

While I hate pretty much everything about deployment, the one thing I do enjoy is sending care packages to my husband.  It’s been years since I’ve had to do it (5? 6? I don’t remember!) So I’ve been having fun coming up with ideas of what to send as well as making the boxes themselves fun.

This was the first box I sent out. I LOVE these large size priority boxes from the post office. First off, you get a discount if you are sending these particular ones to an APO/FPO. Second a 12×12 sheet of scrapbook paper fits each side perfectly!  I decided to put some pictures on here, just printed them out on copy paper so I could glue them on. I was hoping it would give him a little boost to remember why he is doing this and what he has to look forward to when he comes home.

 

The next box I sent was my favorite and I forgot to take a dang picture of it! I am so mad at myself! I had it all decked out with a Navy theme, that one had the PS Vita he wanted as well as his iPad cover/stand he forgot to take. You’ll just have to picture it in your mind. It’s terrible but it was a good use for the Navy embellishments that I didn’t like and wasn’t going to use for actual scrapbooking but didn’t want to throw away. So don’t throw away your ugly stuff! Just use it on your husband, he doesn’t know the difference!

 

Okay, I normally try to split the box at least half and half between snacks/junk food and meal type food but this one went a little overboard on the junk food. What can I say? I am trying to eat less crap so when I see something tempting I just buy it and sent in off in a box. Seriously, those Pocky sticks were tough, I LOVE them!

 

 

And here is the latest box, just sent this one this weekend and I am a little mad at myself, didn’t realize how late it got in the month! I want this to get there before Halloween but it probably won’t.  This is my first ‘theme’ box.  I didn’t want to just sent a crap load of candy so I sent some other snacks in there too… The little jack o’ lantern tin was in the dollar section of Target, I put some of those single piece candies you see, pumpkin shaped snickers, rotten egg cadbury, etc. Also Target had the crinkle paper filler in lime green so that is in the bottom of the box. Oh and I found a stupid creepy mask at the exchange for a dollar so I threw that in too…

 

There are some things that I know I am going to put in (like the gel insoles, those steel decks are murder on feet!) febreeze to make his rack smell a little nicer and not like ship. Yes, ship. It is a VERY distinct odor. And haribo gummies, his favorite candy (which will hopefully bring back memories of the haribo candy store we couldn’t stay away from in Germany!)

But then a lot of times I just cruise the aisles of the grocery store or exchange and just see what crazy new stuff is out there.

But here is a list to help get started on packing those boxes:

Food – meals

Precooked rice packets

Cup o’ noodles

Microwave soup

Single serve mac & cheese

Tuna steaks

Tuna salad kit

Single serve oatmeal/cold cereal

 

Food – Snacks/Junk Food

Trail mix

hostess/little debbie stuff

Combos

Gum

Mints

Nachos

Pringles

Beef Jerky

Single serve cookie packs

Popcorn (I love the new bowl one)

Goldfish

Energy shots

Granola Bars/Clif Bars

Toiletries/hygiene

Insoles (I bought the ones made for work boots)

Travel size toothpaste, shaving cream, qtips, shampoo, medication (they take up less space and I replenish them as needed. If your husband has hair a full size shampoo may work better for you!

Foot powder/spray (wearing those dang boots)

Febreeze

hand sanitizer

sanitizing wipes

Etc.

Cards, letters, notes from the kids

Entertainment such as playing cards/dvd’s or handheld games

Magazines/books

I do tend to send lots of food, the galley food isn’t the best and I want him to be able to have something to snack on if he’s hungry. If there is ever something he doesn’t like he can just give it away to someone else.  I am going to try to do the cake in a jar, we’ll see if it works and if it is still edible when he gets it however many weeks later!