Friday, January 29, 2010

Winston is 6 Months Old Today!

Happy 6 Months Winston! We've had some trouble and we still do (darn peeing on things...) but he's been fun.

Of course there's more pictures of him because he knows how to stand still ;)

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Happy 6 months Dexter!

My lovely little border collie puppy is 6 months old today. Half a year! He's grown so big (from 9 lbs when we got him to 28 now) and he's still as lovable as ever. Next step in the next half year: Neutering. ;) A new quirk of his: I got him a racquetball (he can't destroy those!) and now he drops it from his mouth, watches it bounce and then chases after it. How cute!

Here are some pictures to show how he's grown:

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Vivid Dreams

Somebody help me! My sleep has been interrupted the last week because of vivid dreams. Ever since I was little I would have very in depth, crazy dreams, so it's not a new thing to me. It's really just an annoying thing. It's like I'm awake all night and I toss and turn and wake up frequently feeling like I've hardly slept. It's almost like I can't get into a deep sleep.

This phase will go, I know. Since I've had it for years and years, I know that eventually the dreams will subside and I'll have boring or no dreams at all. It's just annoying now! I mean, Dexter woke me up at 12:55 last night and I swore it was 4am. It sucks.

But I guess I'm making it through the day :). I hit a slump while writing yesterday, maybe because the scene I was writing was boring to me, but I still made my word count of 1500 words per day. Today should be interesting, I have a big scene to write. I'm so close!!

I've also come up with a freelance article that I might pitch to a magazine. Scary! And I found a literary magazine to submit one of my old short stories - Problem: It has to be 1500 words or less and my story is over 1600. I'm going to see if I can rework it.

Brandon has been stressed at work, poor guy. They're expecting him to do things he just can't so it wears on him. He just doesn't want to disappoint anyone.

Life is good here otherwise. Been living the dream ;)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Today I was struggling to come up with something to blog about. I feel as though I should blog more, but I haven't done anything too interesting to talk about! Yesterday I did have a friend come over for a puppy playdate, that was fun. :) Anyway, otherwise life is going as normal and I'm writing a lot.

I actually wanted to talk about something political. Just maybe my opinion on it. I want to speak about abstinence-only education and how it is linked to the rise in teen pregnancy. You can find some information here.

Here's my view: Teenagers are going to have sex. There is no way to prevent this, other than locking them up (and then when they get out, they'll just go do it!). This doesn't mean all teenagers will have sex, not by any means. I'm just saying that many teenagers will have sex. They know what it is and they know how it works and they're in a rebellious, hormone-filled stage where anything goes.

The problem with abstinence-only education is that it isn't helping the teenagers that are having sex. That sex education teaches one thing only: You shouldn't have sex. That isn't effective for the ones who are already having sex. Those teenagers aren't getting the information on contraceptives and STD's and it's leading to a rise in pregnancies and abortions.

I agree that it is partly the responsibility of the parent to teach their children about the risks of having sex. And I agree that abstinence and the power of the word "No" should be taught in sex education as well. But I think that teenagers today should be learning about all the different forms of contraceptives that are available to them, and where to get them. They should be taught that sex is ok and a natural thing, but they shouldn't risk their futures by engaging in unprotected sex.

Abstinence-only sex education hasn't helped teenagers at all and hasn't helped the problem of teenage pregnancies. We need to take a step back and examine how we're doing things and change the programs so they benefit our children.

Monday, January 25, 2010

My Dexter :)

I think Dexter has the best personality. Maybe I'm biased though. ;)

I know exactly what type of mood he's in, even better than Brandon. I know when he's being mischievous (almost always!) and when he's hyper and when he's sad. I know when he's asking me for something, and I know exactly what that is most of the time. Sometimes it's food (even food he doesn't like, like lettuce...), sometimes it's to play, and sometimes it's to lay on the couch. Just today I was reading on the couch and he was laying on the floor. He sat up and stared at me. I looked at him and said "Alright, jump up" and he climbed right onto the couch and laid beside me to sleep.

I really love this puppy of mine. He drives me crazy but he's the light of my life! He keeps me laughing all the time and keeps me on my toes. I love when he gets excited about playing fetch or the look on his face when I say leash. Brandon loves him too, and Dexter worships Brandon.

We're such a great family!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

I'm feeling energized!

I'm feeling energized and I'm feeling accomplished and I'm feeling excited about my future!

When my Dad and stepmom Kat were visiting I received my first issue of "Writer's Digest," a magazine for writer's. I put off reading it and when they left I dove into it. It's so wonderful! There are great articles about writing, about the craft, about publishing - really, all facets of it. I can feel it now, I can feel that my goal is attainable. I'm going to be a writer!

So then Thursday I got this idea for an article to write. It's about listening to your past to determine your future. I showed how I was stubborn and ignored my inclinations towards writing and history, but when I finally followed my heart it was the best thing for me. I think it's a fairly good article that I'm going to send off to people. How exciting!

This whole week I've been sticking to my goal of 1500 words a day. Yesterday I was sucked into a scene and just had to finish it... 2689 words later, and only a little over an hour, I was done. Wow! That's such a boost in confidence!

I've joined a few writing forums now, have looked into a writer's group here in Hawaii, and have applied to a good looking website to become a freelance writer. I'm taking control of my future and it feels so great. I have ideas and plans running through my head I can hardly sleep at night. This energy is coursing through me and I don't want it to leave!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Workout Day One

I started my Wii Active workout today! I haven't worked out since, like, November, so it was time for a change. I told myself as soon as Brandon started back up at work and my dad and stepmom left, I would start. Well, Brandon's four day weekend (thanks to MLK Jr. Day) ended yesterday and it was back to work for both of us today!

It was a hard workout! I did the medium-intensity and now I think I should've gone low-intensity... Well, I'm sure the medium was fine for me, I'm just a little wimp! :P Anyway, it started with a run in place (hurt my feet but I did it) and then continued to a combination of arm exercises and leg exercises. TONS of squats. My thighs and butt hurt. But it's a good hurt.

I'm doing the 30 Day Challenge on the Wii Active. Today is Day One... I should weigh myself and then keep track. I don't totally need to lose weight as much as maintain my weight. I'm back to eating healthier (does enchiladas count?) and I'm back to getting my schedule in order. Life is good!

Time to apply for jobs now...

Monday, January 18, 2010

The rest of the trip...

So Thursday was an easy day (ok, they were all easy days). First we went to Target to buy me some chair cushions for our chairs. We finally found some! We wanted to go snorkeling afterwards at Hanauma Bay but when we drove all the way out there, the parking lot was full. Frustrated and hungry we drove off in search of Subway. My lovely GPS brought us high on a mountain in a neighborhood to the supposed Subway where I promptly found it on my phone and we went to the real Subway.

After Subway we were going to drive to another beach to swim at. As we were driving by Hanauma Bay, though, the parking lot was open again! So we went right in. It was great to snorkel with dad (Kat went with dad afterwards since we only had two sets). I scratched my leg by accident on some rocks/coral, though it didn't hurt too bad. After a couple hours of swimming and sunbathing we went home and got stuck in horrible traffic!

Friday we wanted to do a hike. We decided on Manoa Falls down near Diamondhead (we were going to do that hike but the stairs would be too much for Kat's knees). It was a pretty hike! It was short and easy to do too. We wanted to go to the beach so we went to Hickam AFB... and found out there was a huge party going on so the beach was packed... Instead we just went home to do errands and laundry and hang out (it was already mid-afternoon anyway). It was a relaxing day!

Saturday was a busy busy day. Brandon started the day by bringing them early to Waimea Bay to watch the waves and surfers. I stayed home because of Dexter's puppy class. They went to shop and have breakfast in Haleiwa after the bay. Puppy class went great for me! We met up after the class and got ready to do to Kailua where we were going to kayak.

Kayaking was terrifying for me. I almost drowned once and since then it's been a big fear for me. The waves freaked me out and so did the close coral underneath. It was hard for me... I sea turtle scared me! lol. We saw a few of those on our trip around Kailua bay. We kayaked for a couple hours (Brandon jumped out and snorkeled beside us for a bit) before turning in the kayaks and heading home to clean up.

After cleaning up we decided to get dinner downtown. It was a Saturday night, of course, so it was horribly busy everywhere we went. We found a little restaurant with hardly any wait and decided to go there. After eating we went to the beach bar at the Hale Koa and listened to some live music. It was time to go to the airport after some time so we packed up and went there. Brandon and I got home about 11 o'clock!

It was a good trip. They were great guests! It's nice to have our house back. Now we need to catch up on all the shows we DVR'd during the week haha.

(As always, all photos can be found on our photo website:

Jessica & Andy's Wedding

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So Jessica and Andy got married Friday, January 15, 2010. I haven't posted anything for it yet because I needed to steal some photos!! They look happy and great and the wedding went well. Brandon and I are very happy for them. :) We wish we could've been there, it would have been nice...

Anyway, my little sister is a big girl now! Haha.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Their visit so far

On Monday we decided to go on a hike in the afternoon. It was a hike to Maunawili Falls, which I heard was really cool. Well since it had rained the day before, the path ended up being horrible muddy! We brought Dexter on the 1.5 mile hike and he had a blast. I took him off the leash so he could run without almost pulling me into the mud!

Anyway, by the end of the hike we were completely covered in mud. We had to cross a couple of rivers and the falls were great on the end, it was a good hike overall. Dexter of course had lots of fun!

In the morning on Tuesday we went to the Pacific Aviation Museum, which was built in a hangar that was in the Pearl Harbor attack. It was pretty cool to be in the middle of all that history! Dad bought me a couple of books and bought Brandon a toy helicopter (and he loves it!).

In the afternoon we wanted to go snorkeling at Sharks Cove but the waves were so huge on the North Shore. So instead we decided to go on a drive up the coast and watch surfers here and there, and stop a few times to take pictures of the huge waves. It was surreal! Then we stopped at Matsumoto's in Haleiwa to get some famous Shave Ice. Yum!

This morning I had to go to the elementary school for an interview to be sponsored to become a substitute teacher. It went well! I went off and signed up for the class, which goes from March 22 to April 21. Then after a bit more, I'll be a sub! Yay!

Dad, Kat and I went to Wal-Mart. They wanted to go golfing so we stopped by a local golf course to check prices. That's where they are now! I've been worrying that they aren't having fun, even though I feel like I'm doing all I can! But anyway... I can't do much about it.

Hopefully Brandon gets home early and so do Dad and Kat and then we can so to the italian restaurant that we love. Otherwise I'm making homemade pesto. I can't wait for some good food!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

So far...

We are having fun! My dad and stepmom, Kat, are perfect guests and are helping us with everything. They say since we're giving them a place to live and not have to rent a car, then they can spend more money on us, haha.

They got here Friday night, so we didn't do anything except talk and drink, but Saturday we went to Bellows Beach. First, in the morning we did dog training (they came with us and went walking around the Mililani Shopping Center while we trained), then it was off to the beach. My dad had fun boogie boarding! Saturday night we made a steak dinner.

Today it was rainy so we didn't go to the beach, and since Brandon had staff duty and couldn't leave post, we didn't go very far. In the morning we went to a farmer's market in Mililani and Kat bought us some great food (it was so fun! We're definitely going back). We even got some local honey and starfruit and Hawaiian peppers (HOT!). Then we came home and decided to go to the Wahiawa Botanical Gardens. It was so pretty! Then the downpour came, so we stayed inside and played games. So far it's been a great day!

Since Brandon's working, I'll be shuttling them around touring the island. We have a few hikes planned, some kayaking and some snorkeling. It'll be a good week!

Friday, January 8, 2010

TV Shows

The other day Brandon and I were at the grocery store. It was Sunday morning, so it was football time (of course it's in the mornings here in Hawaii because of the time difference). Our bagger, as we're walking out, was asking us if we watch football. I said no, but we watch tons of TV shows. I proceeded to tell him some and stopped myself. I personally follow so many shows it's ridiculous (online, DVR and Netflix). I want to list them because I need a reality check!

(in no particular order...)

Cake Boss
18 Kids and Counting
Table for 12
Say Yes to the Dress
The Office
30 Rock
American Idol
America's Next Top Model
The Soup
The Tudors
Biggest Loser

Ok, maybe that isn't too bad? I'm probably forgetting a show or two... These aren't counting the shows that are now over that we've fully watched, or the shows that I don't follow religiously but I watch when I'm bored (i.e.: House Hunters, Cash Cab...). Wow! Too much time on my hands!

Thursday, January 7, 2010


Update: Brandon came home with a surprise, tricked me, and when I opened the bag it was Wii Active! I don't think I'll be working out much while my dad's here, but afterwards I will! I'm so excited!!

On Writing and On Reading

Yesterday I ordered Stephen King's On Writing. Apparently it's a very well done book about writing, so I thought I'd get it for my collection of books! Hopefully it arrives quickly, though of course I have so many books to read, I don't know when I'll get to it.

This comes a few days after I told Brandon I won't be reading anymore books on writing. At least not the kind that tell me how to write. I've come to realize that there isn't any "proper" way to write, other than my own, so I've decided to stop getting those books that tell me that I should write a certain way. It makes me upset, first of all, because I feel like I'm not doing it well enough, and second of all, I like the way I write! So after I read On Writing and another writing book I have (since I have it, I should read it, right?), I'm done with writing books.

Of course, some writing books I'll read. Those are the ones that don't tell me how to write but more are encouraging in other facets, like developing good habits. I read Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg and it didn't tell me how to write, but more encouraged me just to write. I guess it's hard to explain. But those are the kinds of books I will read!

My novel is coming along great. I'm almost 75k words in with a goal of at least 85k. The way it's developing, I have a chance to surpass 85k. 85k words at 250 words per novel page is 340 pages. That's pretty good for a historical fiction novel! I'm happy with it. I want something that's substantial but easy to read. :)

I'm happy with my writing. My stepbrother Matt (who sends me random articles and comics about writing) introduced me to Ommwriter ( It's basically a meditative writing program for Macs... it has soothing music, sounds for keystrokes, and has a background that blocks out everything but your writing. I LOVE IT. I can write more and faster without distractions. Before I used to write for a few minutes, then stop, then go again. Now I just write. It's amazing! And free ;)

It's a beautiful day outside. I can't wait for when my dad's here and for us to go to the beach. I can't wait for dog training on Saturday. I can't wait for Brandon to be home and for us to go to the PX today! I'm having a good day. Are you?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Work out? Ha!

I told myself once Brandon started work again that I'd get back into my work out routine. You know, getting up when he gets up, then going to the gym across the street for some cardio and lifting weights. I stopped it back in December when Brandon got home... mostly just because of being lazy.

Here's a problem: Brandon gets up earlier than before now. Like 5:15 not 5:45. This sucks! So I decided to let myself sleep for a bit before getting up to work out. But I sleep and sleep and sleep. It feels so heavenly too. I usually let Dexter up on the bed after Brandon leaves and we nap together. Sometimes I sleep until right before he gets home, so like 7:30ish. But I feel so great! I have the whole bed and it's so cozy...

So I decided I want something I can do at home. Maybe that'll give me incentive to get up. I'd love to have Wii Active to work out to... and I've been trying to convince Brandon to get it for me... maybe this weekend?

Also, I've finally lost my Christmas weight. I gained about 4 pounds then started back on the Richard Simmons diet this week, and I'm back down 4 pounds! Yay. Maybe I'll lose even more. :P

Life has been going good. Brandon has started pre-deployment stuff. He started with medical things yesterday, but thank goodness he didn't have to get any of the shots! He's also done a mental health assessment. He's waited in line a long time!

Weather has been good - rainy, but good. My dad and stepmom get here on Friday, so we're kind of excited. Today I might hear back from the Dole Plantation job. Wish me luck!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Doggy School! And other things...

Dexter started school on Saturday. I was so excited!! He was overstimulated by all the dogs and smells and just being outside. The first day was mostly telling us what to expect, what we'll be learning, stuff like that.

We did learn a couple basic things though. The first was a way to settle down the dog (get him to sit facing out between your knees while you kneel, then tell him Settle while holding his collar with your right hand and petting him with your left. It works, seriously). The next was the release command (we use OK). The last was a basic sit command, which Dex already knows, but we had to get him perpendicular to us and do a "tuck sit", where he doesn't move his front legs. Thank goodness he does it well!

My highlight of doggy training on Saturday was we were standing behind another border collie puppy who had the same eyes and face as Dexter, though he was tri-color (had some brown on him). The lady came to us at the end and asked where we got Dexter because she thought they might be brothers. Come to find out, they were born from the same mom on the same day - Definitely brothers!! They were jumping on each other and just being so cute. I love it! Now his brother is in the same class as us!

The rest of the weekend was nice. We spent Saturday afternoon with friends of ours from Georgia, Sarah and Luke, who are here from Alaska with Luke's family. We made them some Mahi Mahi and then went to get some shave ice on the North Shore. It was a good afternoon! It was so nice to be able to talk to someone other than Brandon for a change haha.

Sunday was a relaxing day because Brandon starts work up again today. We played games and then went to Barnes and Noble (there's only one on the island) because he had a gift certificate from his birthday to use. He bought two books (Ender in Exile by Orson Scott Card, and Next by Michael Crichton). He let me get a book, so I bought The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory, a book I've been wanting for awhile. Then we came home and played games.

Today I was going to start working out, and almost didn't go but then my phone went off and I couldn't sleep anymore. So off I went! Halfway on my walk to the workout area in the community center I saw the lights on and people on all 3 machines. Whoops, no working out there. I came home to try my yoga/pilates DVD that I got with my yoga mat. It was nearly impossible to do with Dexter licking me, jumping on me and laying on the mat. I quit after that! I really want Wii Active... I'll talk to Brandon today about it.

We're back to normal again. Brandon working, me doing my thing during the day (writing especially), and just living our lives. Not too much longer now before everything starts getting a little more serious!

(Sorry this was so long, I always have so much to say!)