Log in

No account? Create an account

Will you light a candle?

In Memoriam
memorial candle at the Air Force Academy Chapel

In 1988, former president Ronald Reagan proclaimed the month of October as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. On October 15th, candle lighting ceremonies will be held throughout the United States, Canada, Australia, and Japan in memory of the babies lost. If you light a candle from 7pm to 8pm, you will be a part of this continuous wave of light. For the folks out here in Oahu, the ceremony will be held on the grounds of the State Capitol and we will be gathering there at 6:30pm. For a complete list of event sites and for more information about Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, visit Remembering Our Babies, the official October 15th site.

Although I have not personally gone through such a loss, I have spent countless hours with those who have. Though some people are lucky enough to have a great support system in their families and friends, I have seen many who suffer alone and are at a complete loss when this occurs. October 15th is a day not only for these families to provide support for each other, but for the community to acknowledge their loss and let them know that though their babies lives were brief, they were still very meaningful.

Step 2: Time for a change

A lot has changed since I've started this blog.  I've gone through many ups and downs, some of which I even managed to blog about.  I've gone from memes to random babbling, to posting tons of photographs.  I've blogged with entries MONTHS apart and I've made it through an entire month blogging daily.  Through the changes, I've tried to shape this blog to fit me a little better, but all I've really done is switch themes a few times and give it new titles.  I realize now that what I really need is a complete change in environment. 

I have a tendency to dwell in the past.  Now that I am in a much happier place than... well... than I've been in quite some time, I'd like to try and focus on the here and now and perhaps even look forward.  I may not be able to see far ahead, but it would be nice to at least face the right direction.  For now, I feel that one way to do this is to start anew.  

I've gotten to know some wonderful people here in LiveJournal and I do intend to continue visiting you.  I welcome all who want to continue my journey with me on my new site.  For now, take care, everyone!  I hope to hear from you. 

Then life caught up

What can I say?  It was a busy couple of months.  I still can't believe it's already October.  Where has the year gone? 

When I left off, I was actually already in Colorado but I was still updating about Tom and Krista's wedding/wedding preparations.  The wedding was beautiful, and the bride even more so.  I've seen many brides look gorgeous on their wedding day, but no one had the glow Krista had on July 30th.  I got to play photographer for a little while, though I was glad there was a professional photographer there to do their portraits.  It would have been way too much pressure on an amateur like me, especially since I had to get the flower girl to behave.


No sand where we were, but there was still dirt and petals to play with.

Overall, I was happy with the photos I took.  I definitely would need A LOT more practice and work, but I'm glad I at least attempted it.  It was fun and I get to give the bride and groom photos that they otherwise would not have had. 

After the wedding, I had a few days of work and then packing for our trip out to Colorado.  It was the most eventful vacation I've ever taken, perhaps outside of the road trip the hubby and I took a few years back.  There was a new adventure every day, and tons of pictures to document them. 

There were a couple of different days at the Pueblo Reservoir:
Ronnie and Haley on the jetski
My husband's stepsister and her niece on the jetski.

There was the visit to the zoo:

There was a lot of hanging out with the cousins:

Audrey's entire day at the pool:
Splish Splash

Audrey's first kite flying:

A trip to Garden of the Gods:

LOTS of photos at the Air Force Academy Chapel:

A drive up to Pike's Peak:

And a few other excursions. There were train rides and dinosaur exhibits for Audrey, visits to our favorite bookstores and Chinese buffets for Chris and myself.  There was a birthday party, a walk down the river, and arts and crafts with the kids.  There were lots of happy dogs and a well fed horse.  There was family reconnecting (one of my favorite parts of the trip).  It was one of the best vacations we've ever had.   

My other favorite part of the trip: two of our greatest friends, Brad and Kerri, came out to Colorado to join us and it was such a blast.  Kerri and I had our cameras glued to our faces for most of the time, but with all the stuff around us, who can really blame us?  My one regret is that with all the photographs that were taken, I can't believe we didn't have a photo of all of us together =(  What the hell?  Still, I did get some shots that I was really happy with.  I got a few "firsts" during the trip: first bee, first dragonfly, first still to be identified fly, etc.  And I've finally gotten to play around with my camera enough to discover the trick of bokeh.  I've been slowly uploading the photos to my flickr page, and I'm STILL not done.  In fact, I think I actually burned out there for a bit, hence the scarcity of photos in September.  

We were away for almost three weeks (with way too much time spent at the airport in Las Vegas).  Coming back was a bit rough and I felt I needed a vacation just to relax after such a busy vacation.  Still, I managed to return to work without too much grumbling.  Hell, I've actually even enjoyed being back at work.  I think mentoring a student nurse has made a difference.  It keeps me on my toes.  Now things are slowly getting back to "normal" and settling down and my biggest fear is falling into a rut.  I just hope that in my attempts to avoid the rut, I don't go nuts getting into too many projects (I'm prone to extremes, what can I say?)  I'll try and take it slow. Step one: write a blog entry.  Check.  Step two... I don't know yet.  I did say I was gonna take it slow. 

Aloha! (Part 3)

After a couple of days at work, it was already time for the wedding rehearsal and the wedding day.  We met the family at the hotel and walked over to a nearby park for the rehearsal.  Silly me didn't bring my DSLR that day, but I still managed to get a couple of shots of the event. 

Rehearsal?  But there's sand!
The flower girl easily gets distracted by sand-- a big concern for a beach wedding

The ladies
The ladies

The Gents
The gents

The lovely Maid of Honor, aka bride's sister
The Maid of Honor, aka sister of the bride (I like this pic of Kellie)

My fave shot of the rehearsal
My favorite shot of the day. 

Rehearsal dinner was at Duke's where everyone enjoyed the food and atmosphere.  I didn't take any pics there though-- I was too busy stuffing my face from their awesome salad bar and my mouth-watering prime rib. (Yum!)  We trekked back to the hotel afterwards and shuttled the bride's side of the family to karaoke =)  Before this night, Kellie was the only one who had been to karaoke that didn't consist of a bar, a stage, a mic, and EVERYONE else watching.  Chris and I figured it was a great way to show them the FUN way to do it.  Out in Hawaii (and apparently in New York, which is where Kellie was exposed to it), Karaoke means paying for a room that has all the equipment, bringing your own food and booze, and just letting it go while surrounded by your friends and/or family.  It may have been the only time I never sang a solo, but it was just so entertaining watching the cousins go off.  Makes me wish we were around them more often. 

From left to right: younger sis Kellie, younger bro Ryan, and the bride herself

Who needs a mic?

Grease, of course!
ending with Grease, of course!  What else?

Next part?  The wedding....

Aloha! (Part 2)

We're actually in Colorado right now, which explains why I haven't written/read in a bit.  There's already quite a bit to write about our trip so far, but I realize I need to continue the previous post.  (Now if I didn't call it Part 1, it wouldn't be such a need). 

Anyhow, the day after the round-island drive was scheduled for the Arizona Memorial and a helicopter ride.  Audrey was with her grandmother, so it was just the hubby, Aunt Tori, Carol, and myself.  It was pretty busy at the memorial that day, which meant we had a bit of a wait before we could take the ferry over to the memorial itself.  Since parts of the park was under construction and folks didn't really feel like paying for a tour of the submarine or the USS Missouri, we spent some time looking through the memorial's collections.  There was everything from models of the ships on the harbor, to their flags, to posters from the era.  There were photographs of sailors, uniforms, and medals from both the American and Japanese sides. 


We were there for quite a while, just enough time to make it to the makeshift theater where we watched the video about December 7th.  Although it wasn't my first time watching the video, it still gave me goosebumps.  The best part for me, though, was seeing a rather large gentleman wiping tears from his eyes when everyone else was walking away at the end of the film. 

From there, we headed to the dock to catch the ferry.  It was a nice little ride over.  The weather was perfect that day.  Despite the early morning rain, the sun came out, and there was a nice breeze blowing.  The ride didn't take but just a couple of minutes. 

approaching the Arizona Memorial from the ferry
The approach to the memorial

The flag as seen from inside the memorial

Arizona Memorial
The names of the shipmen lost with the USS Arizona

The one disappointing change from our last visit to the memorial:  there were kids running around, and way too much noise.  On previous visits, everyone was reminded that this place is basically a tomb and to treat it with respect.  This time around, there was not as much  sense of solemnity. =( Even so, it was still nice to be able to take family to the site.

As for the helicopter ride, we ended up not going.  After looking at our crazy upcoming schedule (wedding rehearsals, wedding, work, and packing for our own trip)  we realized that we weren't going to have any time to ourselves before leaving Hawaii.  So we begged off for the afternoon and spent some alone time together.  Carol and Aunt Tori ended up going to the Polynesian Cultural Center for the rest of the day and attended their first luau. 

The next couple of days for me was spent at work.  Meanwhile, Chris and Audrey spent those days picking up family, including the bride and groom, from the airport and taking them all to a luau at Paradise Cove.  Everyone had a great time and it gave Audrey a chance to bond with her older cousins.  She was a hit (of course). 
It has been a whirlwind of a couple of weeks.  It wouldn't have been so bad if I was off work the entire time, but no... I fit it all in AND worked my full shifts. 

A while back I mentioned that Chris's cousin was coming out to Hawaii to get married. The bride's mom (Aunt Tori),  sister  and maid of honor (Kellie), brother (Ryan), 3 more bridesmaids (Erin, Stephanie, and Darryl), the musician (James-- also Darryl's bf), and mom's friend (Carol) all arrived together.  The groom's family and friends, the bride's other brother, and the bride and groom themselves came in separately (and later).  Chris and I got the first group their welcome leis and took them to their hotel in Waikiki and walked around to get some dinner.  We ended up at Senor Frogs that first night, which wasn't too bad.  They had karaoke that night and James went up to sing first, then the girls did a Brittney Spears song.  Overall, not a bad night.  We didn't stay out too long, since they DID just have a long ass flight from PA. 

The following day was spent as tour guides for Aunt Tori and Carol on a round-island trip of Oahu.  The younger group decided to hang around in Waikiki and do all the active stuff on the beach (surf lessons, parasailing, etc.).  We visited Dole Plantation, of course, then made our way around North Shore.  We then took them out for some local food followed by dessert at Matsumoto's =)  Audrey was more excited than anyone when she realized we were in the same store that was mentioned in her book, There's a Monster in My Opu.  We all tried out different flavors, of course.  Audrey's favorite was Melona (yum). 


From there we continued our drive, on the lookout for a spot to just watch the surf.  Being a weekend, there wasn't much left of the roadside to park on.  We did eventually find a spot to stop at and decided to go out to the tide pools.  Audrey, who prefers swimming pools to oceans, spent her time on the beach, playing with the sand.  She and Aunt Tori built a little sand castle just in time for us to head back to the car (Carol was getting too hot).   

there were a ton of little hermit crabs and fish swimming around in the tide pools

building the sand castle

gotta get the feet wet at some point


Aunt Tori with the final touches


We continued our drive and took them out to La'ie Point.  If you've seen the movie Forgetting Sarah Marshall, this was the spot they hiked to and jumped off the cliffs. 

La'ie picsCollapse )

Onward we drove, enjoying the views as we drove past.  By late afternoon, we were on the Windward side and headed up to the Pali Lookout.  It's usually windy up there, but on this day, it was even gustier than usual. 

At the PaliCollapse )

We stopped at a couple more of the scenic lookouts then eventually found our way back to the west end of the island.  Though we didn't think we were that hungry at first, we ended up having a filling dinner at Bravo's and called it a night. Chris, Audrey and I headed back home and Aunt Tori and Carol back to their hotel.  We needed our rest.  Afterall, there was more planned for the next couple of days. 

A much needed update

Well, I actually completed a full month of NaBloPoMo last month, quite an accomplishment for me.  Then I sort of dropped off the face of the earth.  (Sorry about that.)  It's been quite a month already, and this is just a quick list of things that have happened since I've had a real post. 

--  Spent fourth of July at Turtle Bay Resort the fireworks show wasn't as long as the ones at Ala Moana or Schofield, but it was also less crowded.  We're thinking of heading back there next year.

-- Dad got into a car accident.  He got some bruised ribs and an even more bruised ego (I think) but he's otherwise doing well now.  Trying to get him to rest was the most challenging part of the whole thing.  He's a total workaholic.  After the accident, he called work first, then my mom, THEN 911.  And he's a trained first responder.  I think he needs a review.

-- Took Audrey to her first cleaning at the dentist.  I wasn't sure if she'd be ready for more than just the counting of teeth, but she did wonderfully!  She wouldn't lay back at first, but she was fine as long as she could hold my hands.  She did well while they were poking at her with their nasty hooks and didn't really get upset until the brush and suction started up, and only because of the noise.  She made a friend with another little girl while there, and picked out a toy dinosaur (of course) as her prize.  Since she got her own floss from the dentist that day, she's been an avid flosser =)  After the dentist visit, I took her to the mall to see the dinosaur exhibit (again) and let her ride the train around a couple of times.  Who knew we could be at the mall almost all day and not walk out with a ton of bags AND still like each other by the time we leave?

riding the dinosaur train with her favorite mommy maiasaura and her nest in the background

-- Mom FINALLY got a CT scan scheduled and done to check her out and is now waiting (AGAIN) to be rescheduled for a CT with contrast for a better diagnosis.  This whole thing started out in February this year and she STILL hasn't been diagnosed.  They've tossed the dreaded "C" word around for a couple of months but have done nothing about it.  Since her CT, cancer is no longer being looked at (I don't think), but they have mentioned a possible heart block.  Then they told her to wait another couple of weeks and to call them back only if they haven't called by the 23rd.  It's the 20th, and guess what?  Still no call.  *sigh*

-- The fair came out to our side of the island this month and we got to take Audrey back.  There weren't any shows this time, but the rides and games were still there.  THIS time, I had a camera.  

on her favorite horse.  She rode the Merry-go-round three times "because (she's) three years old!"  and wanted the same horse each time.

-- I went through the most emotionally draining training and am now a Resolve Through Sharing coordinator.  It was the only seminar I've ever been to where tissue is provided for the attendees.  It was rough, but quite enlightening.  Although I believe all health care professionals should go through some kind of grief and death class, this particular class is definitely not for everyone.  I know that it was a good thing for me, though.  I'm just glad that I got the training after feeling better.

-- Regarding the "feeling better" mentioned above:  one of the reasons I joined NaBloPoMo last month was to push myself to do something daily.  One of the challenges I gave myself was not only to post daily, but to make sure not to post about negative thoughts or feelings for an entire month.  And that explains the links and poems last month-- trying to stay on the positive side of things.  Since then I've returned to my psychologist and have actually started anti-depressants.  I feel SO much better right now and I wonder why I was so resistant to it for so long. 

-- My parents' rabbits had a litter and the runt of the litter was kicked out.  We got some milk for it and have been feeding it ever since.  Since Mom has gone to back to work and is away for so long during her work days, we brought the baby home with us and I am nursing a baby once again.  Who knew I'd be bottlefeeding outside of work again? ;-)

-- We finally got our tickets for our trip out to Colorado next month.  It's been a little more stressful than usual to plan this trip with all the things happening around here, but it is actually going to happen.  I'm really looking forward to seeing Audrey with her other sets of grandparents and her cousins.  There will be pictures galore for sure.  =)

And there you have it.  For the most part, anyway.  The next couple of weeks will be pretty busy as well.  The cousins will be arriving at the end of the week for the wedding, there's a bunch of doctors appointments before leaving, and of course some packing-- all in between cleaning house and working.  Hopefully, I'll be back to posting regularly (though not daily), and also catch up on the blogs that I've been missing.  'Til next time! 


Jul. 13th, 2010

I write like
Stephen King

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

First it told me I wrote like JP Lovecraft. I picked another entry and it said I wrote like JK Rowling. Next entry was Stephen King. I thought, is it just shooting out random names? So I posted the same entry... still Stephen King. Another entry... Stephen King. Hmmm... does that mean I don't know how to end things?
It's the last day of June and I finished ONE book this month.  It's been a crazy month, what can I say?  Compared to how I used to be able to devour books, this was pathetic.  But considering how little time I have nowadays to read, I'm glad I got at least one in.  I'm even happier that I chose to read A.J.Jacob's The Year of Living Biblically.  For someone raised Catholic who ended up agnostic, I really enjoyed reading this book.  A.J. was his usual funny self, but it was also quite enlightening.  It made me want to look for the Super Book and Flying House cartoon shows that I used to watch as a kid and actually sit down and watch them with Audrey (and maybe even with Chris).  Despite my own difficulty with religion, teaching Audrey bible stories is now something I wouldn't mind doing.  After all, there are a lot of good things to learn from them.   Don't get me wrong-- I won't be joining any churches or anything like that any time soon (I have A LOT of therapy to go through before I get to THAT step).  If anything, I think I fall in with the group A.J. called the reverent agnostics.  "The basic idea is, whether or not there is a God, there's something important and beautiful about the idea of sacredness..."  I like that.     

Another thing I like-- Ted talks.  Here's the one A.J. did about his year of living biblically:

Hmmm... I think he looks better with the beard.

Jun. 29th, 2010

The moon is no longer full, but the babies keep coming.  I know I should just think of it as job security, but MAN!  I'm tired.  At least tomorrow is a short day. 

The Hello Kitty Maternity Ward