Thursday, December 31, 2009

Goodbye 2009, Hello 2010!

This first decade of the century was crazy. I started off in 2000 hardly an American! I was in 8th grade when the Y2K frenzy was going on. I was in high school from 01-05, graduating in June. Those were some transformative years. Then university from 05-09. Now it's almost 2010.

The September 11th terrorist attacks, the two wars, the iPod and touchscreen phones... tons of innovations, events, so much happens in a short ten years. We've had 3 presidents go through, all different and all controversial. We've had births, deaths and reunions. It's almost 2010!

2009 was a year for me! It started out rough, I won't lie, I had a very rough 5 months in the beginning. Brandon was gone to Georgia for training and I was doing fairly well with that, but it had its ups and downs. School wasn't even that bad either! ROTC was horrible... I couldn't run, my peers didn't like me and talked about me behind my back (no clue what I did to them), and it was a trial trying to decide if I would stay in or not. If I was to go out, what would I do with my life? I had no other ambitions. I'm slowly working it out now, though!

I moved to Georgia in May, finally free, and a weight lifted off of me. I was happy. Georgia was an interesting place to live. We met some wonderful people there! Then it was off to Hawaii in September, where we've been since. We've had our challenges here (mostly to do with flies haha), but it's been rewarding. We expanded our family with Winston and Dexter, Brandon started a new job, and I'm currently looking for a new job. I've almost finished my novel. What a year.

2010 should be interesting. I'm trying not to think of the negatives (Brandon being gone for 9 months of 2010), and instead look at goals I have. Here are some:

1. Drink more tea
2. Practice patience
3. Finish my novel
4. Publish my novel
5. Learn to play golf
6. Learn to play the drums
7. Get better at mountain biking
8. Train my dog! (Starting Saturday!)
9. Start a new blog (you'll hear more of this as the weeks go on)

And so much more. It's going to be a hard year, but a good year. I am certain I'll make it through with shining colors. I just hope I can keep a good attitude about it!

Bring it on, 2010!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


1. We went to the Polynesian Cultural Center yesterday. It was fun! Brandon got tired, he didn't enjoy it as much as I did - but I like dancing and singing. :) Good food, good people, fun all around.

2. Got a call back for the Dole Plantation job - I was one of 3 people called back. The interview went really well!

3. Saw Pres. Obama's convoy. Cool.

4. Went downtown today to meet Sarah, who I met while in Georgia. Brandon played golf with Luke, her husband, and his father, Tom. I shopped with the girls and talked and enjoyed my time! It was nice catching up with a real friend! Hopefully we get to see them again before they leave Hawaii back for Alaska!

5. I've been having a good time. Tomorrow a reflective blog is coming. Beware: Long. ;)

Sunday, December 27, 2009


We had a wonderful Christmas! We woke up earlier than usual, probably because I was excited or something, and then we went downstairs to open presents. We took our time, don't worry. :P We started with our stockings. Brandon gave me some candy in my stocking, including a chocolate orange! He also put a label maker in there (Yay! I've been wanting one for forever!). Brandon's stocking had lots of candy, some underwear, a back scratcher, some toy cars, and other trinkets.

We started opening presents. The big ones I got were a food processor (awesome!), diamond earrings (beautiful!), Super Mario Bros Wii (yeah!), the new Star Trek movie (woohoo!), a couple new books (yay!), some stuff for my bike, and a corkscrew and cheese grater. (Some of that stuff from Brandon's family). Jenny also got us a cool spinny thing that says United States Army on it!

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Brandon got a 154 piece set of Craftsman tools (fun fun!), new Army gloves, a t-shirt (Relief Pitcher), 3 new movies, the last Michael Crichton book, a gun holster, and some Dominos. He loves everything!

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After presents we called everyone we knew and then we made breakfast. I made fruit salad like my mom always makes, and Brandon made cinnamon rolls like his mom always makes. It was a nice combination of both our traditions!

Then we got to cooking dinner. We cooked most of the stuff the day before, but still had some stuff to do. We made the stuffing first and then prepped the turkey. We also made the onion topping for the green bean casserole, for later. Once the turkey was in we relaxed and played my new video game and just hung out. We were expecting only a couple friends and their son since no one else RSVP'd, but we didn't know if anyone would show!

Towards dinner time we got the rest of the food ready: Mashed potatoes, brown sugar carrots, more stuffing, pickle/olive tray, cranberry sauce, gravy, etc. The turkey came out and was carved soon afterwards. We put everything into serving dishes. It looked great!

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In the end, our friends came real late and we ate alone and watched Star Trek. They stayed for a little bit and we talked, but it was kind of an anti-climactic night. All the food we cooked (almost all of which was the first time we had ever cooked it) turned out awesome! We had a great dinner and now we have awesome leftovers.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Oh Christmas Tree...

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This Christmas tree has seen better days. It originated in my older sister Jennifer's place, but she hardly ever used it, so it came to Brandon and I. Brandon wasn't totally thrilled at the idea (he didn't even want a tree at first) but it was our first Christmas in our apartment, so I wanted to set it up.

It's sparse, it's course, it's kinda ugly. It lights up when you plug it in.

Except the bottom part, where Winston decided to chew the wires and disconnect the bottom part from the top. Luckily, you can't see the bottom from out the window, so anyone looking in will still see a lovely little Christmas tree.

It's the only thing in our front room now, save for a bar stool, a lamp, Rock Band equipment, and some TV trays. (It's our everything room.) I plug it in every night and love coming out of my bedroom in the morning before the sun comes up to a red, orange, green and blue light filling the room.

It is covered with the 5 ornaments we own, and some candy canes that I can't eat anymore because they make me sick. Brandon has forgotten about them, so he doesn't eat them. There are no presents under the tree because my "children" will go and rip them apart. We don't have stockings hung up because it's our first Christmas without a fireplace. We'll toss them somewhere Christmas Eve!

The tree has been attached by the cat, chewed on by the cat, knocked over by the dog, and has been attached to a frantic and scared puppy, who ran around the house with half a tree around his neck before we subdued him. It has moved from Denver to Colorado Springs to Columbus, GA to Schofield Barracks, HI, without too much damage to it. Every year after Christmas we pack it up in it's broken box and stow it away for the next year. Then it comes out to some grumbling from Brandon and giggling from me.

Eventually we'll get a better tree, but for now, this tree will do. It's been through a lot with us and we couldn't ask for much more.

Except maybe a new wire so the whole thing lights up!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Winter Break!

Today is Brandon's last day before he gets a little over two weeks off for Christmas break. How exciting! It's just like being in university again! Except, of course, he only gets 2 weeks, not 4 or 5 weeks like we got. Oh well, it still rocks. He's excited for the break, he really wants it.

It's also the last real break he gets for the next year and a half. We're going to make the most of it.

I finished tutoring yesterday. I hate to say that I won't miss the majority of the kids in the class. It was a tough job, kind of unforgiving, I'm not sure if I love to do it. I definitely have difficulty teaching younger kids and having them stay on task. I still have some things I need to finish up with that job, but the classroom part is over.

Today I am going down to Kapolei to take a census test for a census job! I don't want to be a census taker (hello, white girl going to people's houses at night?), but I'd like to see if I could work in an office or something. We'll see what that holds. It'll help if I don't have a job, but you never know what the future holds.

Anyway, wrapping presents today, finally got them all... hanging out with Brandon when he gets off work early... just a good Friday, finally a break!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Manic Monday

I was busy yesterday!! It's so funny, I don't have a job, but I always find myself busy busy. I guess it's better than laying around watching TV!

First I got up and got ready. I had a job interview at the Dole Plantation for a temp job as Sales Supervisor. I think it went well! I dressed up really nice and was well prepared for the interview. They asked the typical questions and I think I answered them well. Hopefully I have a good shot at it! This way I'll have a job for the next few months (until April or so) and then I can keep looking for others.

The interview ran late, though, so when I got home I had an hour and a half to do things. I wanted to write, so I sat down outside for half an hour to write. Then I came inside to make lunch and gave myself the luxury of watching TV for half an hour while I ate. By that time it was time to go to tutoring, so I packed up the pets and grabbed my stuff and hurried out the door.

Got to the school, did make-up tutoring for 4 of the students, and then rushed back home. It was about 4:30 now. I had another hour and a half before I had to leave again, so I did some chores, allowed myself to take some deep breaths and relax, and read my new book. (Going Overboard: The Misadventures of a Military Wife, by Sarah Smiley). Then I had to pack up the pets again, wrap an ornament and grab some Christmas cookies, then rushed off to the FRG coffee.

The coffee is basically a meeting with other spouses to discuss things and get together and chat! There's always food and always a raffle to make some money. I haven't won one yet :P. This coffee was hosted by a wife in Brandon's platoon down near Tripler, so it took me like 25 minutes to get there. It was fun though! We talked for a long time and enjoyed food. We had an ornament exchange, and I got a beautiful Hawaiian etched glass globe.

So it was 8:45 when I left there, came home almost by 9:15 and then relaxed with Brandon, since I had hardly seen him the entire day. It was busy, but it was a nice day!

Monday, December 14, 2009

My first blog award!

Yay! My very own blog award! I got it from Amie at The Thoughts of Household Six. It's the Happy 101 Award:

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The rules for this award are:
1. List 10 things that make you happy
2. Tag 10 bloggers that brighten your day

10 things that make me happy:

1. My little family (Brandon, Dexter, Winston).
2. Christmas cookies.
3. The smell of fresh air.
4. When Brandon is happy.
5. Writing.
6. Peppermint hot chocolate.
7. Pizza!
8. Getting things accomplished.
9. A clean house.
10. Hiking, biking, swimming, snorkeling!

10 bloggers that brighten my day:

Jesse and Marissa's Blog

Happy Life as an Army Wife


Cake Wrecks

The Thoughts of Household Six



Gail Carson Levine

Mama Bear's Den

Follies of a Fat Girl

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sweet Saturday

I had a good Saturday with Brandon! Even though he barely slept Friday night because he worked all night (staff duty), he was still in a cheery mood the next morning. I enjoyed that! We took it easy in the morning, hanging out and playing games, watching TV, just relaxing the two of us.

We got ready and decided to have some fast food for lunch at Popeyes (yummy, but bleck at the same time!). Then we had to go shopping for a few things for dinner at the commissary (Brandon really wanted steak, I really wanted to make potato wedges), and then we had to run by the PX for me to buy an ornament for an exchange at tomorrow's FRG coffee.

After that we came home, played some more video games, and then decorated some cookies! I made a special icing Brandon's mom makes and he loved them. I also decorated some Gingerbread men. I'd post a pic, but I have no clue where my camera cords went... we got our nice camera back though! No more using a phone!

Afterwards we took a walk as the sun was going down with Dexter around the neighborhood for half an hour. Then we got to BBQing the steaks and ate them while watching the movie "Passengers". Brandon was super tired by then, it was 8:30, since he hadn't slept hardly at all. We went to bed, though I stayed up for a bit to read my book. Then we slept!!

Today, Sunday, we're going to the beach, bringing my bike in to be fixed (the gears stopped working :( ), and just relaxing more before Brandon works tomorrow!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Christmas Cookie Crazy

Ah! I baked a ton today! I have never baked so much in my life. It was fun though! As soon as I got into the zone, it was really easy.

It didn't start out well. I slept in and wanted to keep sleeping, but drug myself up to get to work. I did make breakfast and took a moment to eat so I wasn't hungry and have low blood sugar. Then I started making the dough for the gingerbread men. First, I realized I would have to refrigerate basically all the cookie dough for 1-4 hours, and I was not anticipating that! But that was ok, it was only 9am. I was fine until I got to the baking powder... which I thought I had but didn't.


So I climbed in the car with Dexter in tow to the commissary (thank god it's right there) and ran inside to get some baking powder! Once I got home I made all the dough for the 6 types of cookies I was making (sugar cookies, stained glass sugar cookies, peanut butter blossoms, peanut butter cup tarts, gingerbread men and snickerdoodles).

This is what my kitchen looked like as I made everything. It was a mess and I had to have fortifications so the kitty wouldn't jump on the island!:

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Close to lunch time the first batch went in: the peanut butter blossoms, Brandon's favorite. Here they are finished:

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Then I made the snickerdoodles, since they were fairly easy to do, and then on to the sugar cookies, which took forever since I had so many!! I also did the stained glass cookies. Here they are:

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After that were the peanut butter cup tarts, made in a muffin pan. They looked good!:

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Finally, I made the gingerbread men. It was hard at first because the dough was solid, I thought I did something wrong. But I worked the dough a bit and it loosened up and I was able to make the cookies. I sure was tired, but they turned out well:

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I'm glad I did all this! I had Christmas music playing the whole time and Dexter was keeping himself entertained outside (he refused to come inside, silly dog). I had a few difficulties but I did well. Of course, I have a whole load of cookies, so I'm going to be sharing them with neighbors and Brandon's platoon. :) We still have to decorate them, but that will be for another day when Brandon is home.

Now the next Christmas challenge... making Christmas dinner for Brandon and I. AH!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

My Day Today

4:27am - Winston crawls on the bed and onto my face, trying to play with my hair, like every morning. Like every morning, I push him away several times until he gets the picture.

5:00am - Brandon wakes up, turns on bathroom light, I groan and roll over. Dexter wakes up.

5:18am - Brandon is about to leave. Dexter is in his crate whining because he wants to get out. I get up, half asleep, to let him outside.

5:30am - Dexter won't come back inside so I leave him out there and go back to bed.

5:40am - I hear Dexter scratching at the door and whining. I drag myself out of bed again and let him in. He comes upstairs and I put him on the bed, and he sleeps right next to me. I'm not longer angry at him because he's too cute. :)

6:00am - Alarm goes off. I snooze.

6:20am - I was going to go work out at 6:30, but I feel sick from low blood sugar and just don't feel like it. Heck, I don't have to if I don't want to! I read my book for a bit but decide I need to eat something or else.

6:30am - Eat, hang out on the computer doing my regular stuff. Apply for some jobs. Sit outside, decide it's too cold, go back inside.

7:45am - Make coffee for Brandon, he should be home soon.

8:20am - Wonder where Brandon is... then he shows up. He had to find somebody and talk to them so he stayed behind at work. Oh well!

8:30am - Shower, then breakfast, and switch the laundry.

9:10am - Brandon leaves, I go outside to write a bit. It goes well, though I hardly write 1000 words. I need to stop taking breaks and start writing more! I want to finish my novel by Christmas.

9:45am - Put Dexter away, hop on my new bike all excited, head down to occupational therapy for my wrist. Almost fall over once while riding. It's all good. I need to practice more. :P

10:33am - Done with therapy, hop on my bike again, almost fall over twice, get home fairly quickly. I am happy. Fold laundry, let dog out, put away laundry, print stuff out for work, come downstairs to do some Facebook and Cinchouse stuff.

11:25am - Sit outside, wait for Brandon to come home for lunch (if he is going to), and contemplate reading a book.

11:45am - Brandon comes home, we eat lunch together, hang out, play with pets.

12:30pm - Brandon leaves for work, I put the laundry basket over Winston just for fun.

12:32pm - Remove basket, go outside to read and watch Dexter play.

1:20pm - Get everything ready for work, cut up some apples for a snack, put Dexter away.

1:45pm - Get to the school, meet with coworker to chat about work, then start getting to work tutoring the kids.

4:30pm - Finally come back home. I was going to go to Wal-Mart for cookie cutters but decided since I'll be down there tomorrow for a haircut, I'll just drop by tomorrow. Makes more sense anyway! Once I'm home, I bring Dexter out for a much needed walk.

5:10pm - Almost get arm ripped off by dog chasing after someone while I get the mail. Mad.

5:15pm - Get about 3 phone calls at the same time. Yikes!

5:30pm - Cleaned all the bathrooms, finally, and put the water bottle holder on my bike. Now I'm ready!

6:22pm - Finally made and ate dinner. It was turkey breast cooked with string beans on top of a regular salad. It was very good, filling, and healthy. I've lost almost 6 pounds in the last few weeks thanks to the Richard Simmons diet. The first 4-5 pounds came off the first week!

6:30pm - Sat down to watch some shows I've DVR'd. Brandon won't be home until later, he's working late tonight with his troops.

7:36pm - Sit at computer, browse internet, contemplate reading again. I want to finish this book soon!

8:35pm - Brandon finally comes home. Yay!

9:00pm - We're tired, we go to bed. What an eventful day :)

Monday, December 7, 2009

A new bike, a good weekend, and a breakthrough!!

We'll start with the breakthrough... twice now, Dexter has gone into his crate without me forcing him to! Before, he knew what it meant, so he would avoid me and I would have to carry him and place him in there. He usually was good afterwards, though, he just hated going in. Well yesterday, I said "Let's go!" and went upstairs and he went straight into his crate and sat down. We were shocked! Also now if we're upstairs he goes and lays down in his crate just to rest. I'm so proud of my puppy!!

So this weekend was good. Brandon got a whole four day weekend again, because they missed Veteran's Day while training. Thursday I had a doctor's appointment and work, so we didn't really do much. Friday we spent the afternoon Christmas shopping for our families back on the mainland, it was fun! Got lots of stuff that I'm sending off today.

Saturday morning we went on a hike to Kaena Point (picture of the ocean below). It was beautiful! The ocean was to our right and to our left were large cliffs/hills. The "dirt" road was totally a 4x4 road, covered with large muddy puddles and dips. Dexter loved to run through all the puddles. We went down to the beach a couple of times, but the waves were so huge and ferocious, we tried to stay away. Brandon once went out of a rock and a wave nearly knocked him over! Anyway, we walked about 4 miles or so altogether. We couldn't make it to the point because dogs weren't allowed, but we plan on going back with our bikes and seeing if we can do it. :)

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Speaking of bikes... I got my NaNoWriMo bike!! It's the bike Brandon promised me for finishing NaNoWriMo. It's a Specialized bike, which is a very good brand, and is all decked out with cool gear shifters and disk brakes and a shock system I can turn off. It's also incredibly light and fits me perfectly. I love it. I can't wait to hit some trails or even just ride down to the doctor's for a check up!

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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

My new 1Lt!

It's hard to believe that it's been nearly a year and a half since Brandon commissioned and we started this journey in the Army. I feel like we've hardly gotten anywhere, but look at us! We've moved from Colorado to Georgia to Hawaii, I've graduated university , and now Brandon is the leader of a platoon.

Today also marks 18 months of marriage! Wow it's gone quickly! I love him more and more each and every day. :)

So congratulations to Brandon on his promotion (and a lovely pay raise, thank you), and congrats to us on our healthy and happy marriage!

Right before:

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A new 1Lt:

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Brandon and I:

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