Thursday, March 31, 2011

still alive [barely]!

It's only been three days since I last posted, but it feels like much longer. 
And I'm sorry to say this post won't be anything exciting, 
But I just wanted anyone out there reading to know I haven't given up the bloggy world.
Instead, finals have suddenly popped up. 
I have one more week of the semester. ONE.  But it's going to be a busy busy busy week.
So if you only hear from me sporadically in the next 7 or 8 days, that is why.
But afterwards, I have 10 lovely days off.
Meaning lots of time for the beach, pictures, and blogging.

Happy Thursday guys! 
I hope you're day is a bit more relaxing than mine is gonna be...

Monday, March 28, 2011

necklace trend

Alright, thoughts on owl necklaces? 
Honestly, I kind of love them. 
I got the above owl necklace at PacSun for a steal of a deal. 
I can't take credit for finding it myself though.  
My dear husband was actually the one to spot it and encourage me to get it.  
Have I ever mentioned that my husband is very good at identifying fashion items?
More on that later though.
Anyhow, I love the second owl necklace--so much color!
Totally wish I had that one.
But then again, I don't want to be some weird-o who collects owl necklaces...
So, for now, I'm content with my one necklace.  

Saturday, March 26, 2011

a friday afternoon stroll

After being cooped up in the house and busy with school all week, 
Beau and I took a much needed walk on the beach.
It was an incredibly windy day, but otherwise beautiful outside.
We strolled along the shoreline and played around with our new camera.
Here are a few pictures from the afternoon.

Friday, March 25, 2011

experience number three

Sorry if anyone has gotten bored hearing about my past lately, 
but I promise this will be the last experience I'll write about for awhile. 
I was going to write one more, buuut, I myself am getting tired of writing about the past.
So, last but not least...Marriage!
Yep, marriage is one of those life changing experiences.
Well, I've only been married for 9 and a half months, so clearly I'm no pro, 
but I like to think I'm doing pretty good so far.
Instead of writing about my marriage though, I decided to fill out this fun little couples quiz that I've seen on a few people's blogs lately.

How long have you been together?
We've been together for a year and a half and have been married for 9 months

How long did you know each other before you started dating?
Hmm..about a week I think. 

Who asked who out?
I invited myself over to make dinner for him after only our second meeting...does that count?

Whose siblings do you see the most?
Neither. Both Virginia and Georgia are pretty far from Hawaii.

What about pets?
This guy lives in our shower occasionally. Geckos are all over the place here.  
But no real pets. Yet.

Did you go to the same school?
Yep! We're both in school right now actually.

Who is the most sensitive?
Believe it or not, this one is all the husband. 

Where do you eat out most as a couple?
Subway. Trust me, there's no place to eat in my town.
Subway is considered "going fancy."

Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple?
We spent 2 weeks in India the second month of our marriage. Read more about it here

Who has the craziest exes?
My husband.  *sigh* One reason I'm grateful to live far far away from everyone...

Who has the worst temper?
Neither of us really have too much of a temper actually.

Who does the cooking?
That would be yours truly. The hubby makes a good quesadilla though

Who is more social?
Depends on the day. He always wants to be social when I don't, and vice versa.

Who is the neat freak?
Mostly me. I'm really good about picking things up around the house...he's good at dishes. We complement each other pretty well.

Who is the most stubborn?
Ah, I gotta say me again. It's not my best quality...

Who hogs the bed?
Hmm, I'm starting to see a trend in these guessed it! What can I say, I just like to have a lot of covers...and room apparently. He secretly loves it. 

Who wakes up earlier?
99% of the time, it's my husband.  He hates waking up after me, because I'm one of those crazies who has to set 5 alarms at 5 minute intervals. It drives him crazy. Understandably so of course.

Where was your first date?
Ours was pretty simple, we watched a movie at his house. 

Who has the bigger family?
Our immediate families are close to the same. He's got two siblings and I've got one. We both have pretty big extended families, but his is concentrated within an hour radius.  I'm talking like 40 family members, all living that close. It's a bit of a foreign concept to me still.

Do you get flowers often?
Not really. (hint hint to the husband)

How long did it take to get serious?
Depends on which of us you ask. :)  Him? About 2 weeks. Me? A little longer than that.
But really, we decided to get married after three months of dating and were engaged the month after that.

Who eats more?
Definitely the husband. He also eats twice as fast.

Who sings better?
I'm sorry to say we both struggle in the vocal department. 

Who does the laundry?
We actually both do it together.

Who’s better with the computer?
Me! Which is sad, cause I struggle.

Who drives when you are together?
 Beau almost always drives.

Who picks where you go to dinner?
We usually switch off, or just choose together.

Who is the first one to admit when they’re wrong?
Definitely Beau. There is where my bad habit of being stubborn comes in.

Who wears the pants in the relationship?
I just asked my husband this question and his response: "I think that's obvious. I don't want pants. I like to be free." 
He's cute. 

Who eats more sweets?
Maybe me? Beau always has a specific sweet craving though...cookies.
I definitely enjoy baking sweets though.

Anyhow, that is us! 
Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

a list of some favorite things

Mel over at Perfect Peace tagged me in this little blog game!

(1) Food: Crabs. I grew up eating these with my family during certain holidays (Labor Day, 4th of July, etc).  Mmm there's nothing like a good ol' fresh, steamed Chesapeake Bay blue crab.  
(2) Color: Green
(3) Animal: Lemurs. They are so cute! And surprisingly really smart!
(4) Sports Team: Washington Nationals (gotta represent the home team!...even when they don't look too 
(5) Dessert: Hmmm...I'm gonna have to go with key lime pie
(6) Artist/Singer/Band: Sugarland
(7) Pair of Shoes: My Rainbows. I seriously live in flip flops

(8) Outfit: Skinny jeans and a cute and comfortable top
(9) Store: Forever 21
(10) Brand: Mek Denim and 7 for all Mankind (I'm not a crazy brand woman, but I admittedly can be a bit 
       of a jean snob)
(11) Perfume: Dream Angels: Heavenly 
(12) Accessory: A simple bangle bracelet and a long necklace
(13) City: Haleiwa, Hawaii. Go look it up. Seriously, you will want to book you a  nice little flight to Hawaii 
        just to visit this adorable little town.

(14) Hobby: Reading, blogging, game-playing with the hubby, and group exercise classes that are straight 
        from the 80s (more details to come on this last one later)
(15) Beauty Product: Mascara and Burts Bees chapstick
(16) Snack: clementines
(17) Holiday: Fourth of July maybe? I just love seeing fireworks
(18) Movie: No way could I choose--too many good ones!
(19) Song: Our Kind of Love, Lady Antebellum
(20) Guilty Pleasure: Desperate Housewives (don't's addicting)

I was gonna tag some other awesome people...but, it seems like this little game has been making the rounds quite nicely, soooo, feel free to play if you haven't already, and if you have...awesome! 

Happy Thursday!
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we are orange people

My lovely husband came home with a carton full of fresh oranges the other day.
Thank you Costco. 
Yes, there's only the two of us, but let me tell you...we can eat us some oranges!
We eat them every single day now.
Anyone have any creative suggestions for yummy treats with oranges?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Natalie over at Little Pink Book gave me the Versatile Blogger award this past Monday.
Thanks so much Natalie!
Everyone else, go check out her blog if you haven't already, cause she is awesome!

With this award, I'm supposed to tell you 7 things about myself.
Here are the 7 things I came up with...

  1. I love cereal. Like love. I think I could eat it for every meal
  2. I've been to two foreign countries and hope to travel to many more
  3. My first car's name was Marvin
  4. When I was a kid I once had 21 pets at once (10 were fish..but that's still 11 that weren't. My mom was a brave woman to allow that)
  5. I adore country music. Sugarland is my favorite
  6. I play solitaire on my computer during classes
  7. I've only been to two concerts in my life. One of which was Brittany Spears way back in the day

I'm passing this award onto:

Rachel @ playing house

Thanks again Natalie!
Enjoy your Wednesday everyone!

experience number two

Now that I already told ya'll I was going to spend time this week writing about past experiences...
well, I'm kinda nervous now. 
Don't worry, I'll still write my experiences, 
but I don't want anyone to think that I'm trying to write some of these for any type of sympathy. 
And I'm not trying to make anyone sad. 
I recognize that everyone goes through different challenges in their lives 
and I simply want to talk about some of the challenges I have had. 
I feel like I'm at a good point in my life and after many years of being scared to open up about things, 
I'm finally not as afraid anymore.  
So, with all that in we go...

I'm a bit of a daddy's girl. I am and always will be. 
Dad's are there to look up to. To watch over you. And to love you.
They protect you, they give you advice that you sometimes don't want, and they give you hugs that you love.

Today, whenever I need to talk to my dad, I write letters to him.
He passed away when I was ten years old. 
He was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) years and years before, 
and by the time I was eight, he was completely bed-ridden.  
The thing is, I don't remember ever thinking something was wrong.  
I remember my mom giving me children's books that taught about MS.
I remember Hospice workers coming to my house weekly.
I remember having a pen pal in Florida whose dad also had MS.
But I never remember thinking that one day my dad wouldn't be around anymore.

When you're a kid, you don't worry about things like that. 
Your parents are invincible and there's nothing to ever worry about. 
Well, when I was in 4th grade, that all changed. 
It was exactly one week after my 10th birthday.
I came home to find a house full of people.
Hospice workers, my Bishop from church, my mom's close friend.
They were all there.
I don't remember the words that were said to me. I hardly remember anything.
I do remember walking back into my dad's room and having him tell me he loves me.
I didn't want to stay though. 
I went to my room and cried until my mom's friend came up to tell me that it was over. 
My best friend at the time came over with her dad and they took me and my brother 
home with them for the night.

I think the mind of my young self tried to protect every bit of innocence it had left,
because I don't remember much of anything else. 
I'm sad to say I don't have many memories of my dad either.
But this experience has shaped my life in so many ways. 
I'm strong because of it.
I'm understanding.
I have the desire and need to help others.
And I've learned the importance of "I love you."

I can't ever say that I'm grateful for losing my dad, but I'm grateful for the person I have become because of it.

One of the letters I've written:
15 Nov. 2009
I wish you were here with me still.  I always get excited for November to come because of my birthday, but once it actually gets here I just think about you all the time and miss you.  I miss you so much. I wish I remembered you more.  I don't really know much about you. I'm so close to mom now.  She's like my best friend. I wonder what kind of relationship I would have with you now.  I like to think I would be a daddy's little girl.  Thanks for always being my hero.
I love you so much,
Your little girl 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

i love pictures and yellow flowers

About a week ago, Beau and I went and did a photo shoot in this lovely field of flowers.  
My dear friend Christal, over at mustard me yellow is practicing her photography skills 
and asked us to be models.
Isn't she such a good photography? 
I love the photos that she took!
Go check out her adorable blog to see the rest of our pictures
and all the other great pictures she's taken lately!

experience number one

Remember how I mentioned in this post that I wanted to talk about experiences this week?
Well here is the first one. 
More to come as the week goes on.

When I was just a baby
(yep that's my little self you're looking at up there), 
I was adopted by a wonderful couple 
that I like to call "mom" and "dad."
My birth parents were only 17 and 19 when I was born, 
and not ready to become parents. 
I've never met them and I know almost nothing about them, 
other than some very basic demographics, such as their hair color, height, etc.
Is anyone surprised that they both had curly brown hair?
Yep, that's where my curly locks came from.

I was 22 days old when my mom and dad flew into New Hampshire to pick me up and see me for the first time.  They too have never met my birth parents.
I'm grateful to my birth parents every day though, especially my birth mother.
It takes courage to carry a baby that you know you will be giving away.
Giving away to a family that you know nothing about.
I was fortunate enough to be adopted into a wonderful family.
A family that I belong in.
A family that fits me.
A family that I'm supposed to be in.
And most of all, a family that I love.
A family that I'm proud to call family.

When I was 3 years old, we adopted my little brother.
I had prayed and prayed for a little brother
and had picked out his name before he was even born,
always calling him "my baby James."
My brother's birth mother was only 15 when he was born,
and we adopted him within the first month of his life as well.
Over the years, whenever my brother and I argued, my mom's remark was always, "you prayed him here."
Though annoying, this was always a great reminder to me,
I love my little brother to pieces.
We quarrel, we disagree, we jest.
But most of all, we love each other.

People have always been hesitant to ask details of my adoption,
and I've never really understood why.
I love that I'm adopted and that my brother is adopted as well.
I've never called my family my "adoptive family" because frankly, they're my real family.
No question about it.
Family is so incredibly important to me and I think that adoption has only made us
a closer and stronger family.
And that is something that I'm grateful for.

(Yes, I had a bit of an afro people...I'm aware. You'd laugh if you could see some of the other pictures I have...)

Monday, March 21, 2011



I've been thinking a lot lately
 about the things I want to do with my life.
I feel blessed to have so many options to choose from in my future.
Thinking about all the possibilities that life has for me,
I can't help but think back onto the many experiences that have changed my life.  Though some of my experiences have been rather personal, I feel compelled to share them for some reason.  Whether that reason is for my own personal growth, or for someone else's benefit, I'm not sure.  But for this week, please bear with me as I reminisce
on what I consider to be some of my life's most important experiences.
And if you'd like to know anything else about me,
just let me know. 

Sunday, March 20, 2011

sunday quotes

food banks and fresh food

I have been busy busy these past two days!
But, I'm happy to say that my little apartment is now spotless thanks to "white glove."
Every semester the Resident Advisors do a white glove check, where they basically just come and see if your house is clean.  Kinda weird I guess, but in Hawaii if you let your house get even slightly dirty, in come the ants. And the cockroaches.  And the occasional cane spider.  Ew, right? Yeah.

Today I spent the first half of my day participating in a food drive with my some people from my social work class.  I was so impressed with the amount of food we were able to collect. We just went door to door around the dorms on campus and around the married-student apartments and a few off campus houses.  
People were so incredibly generous though.  We overfilled a truck bed and completely filled the back seats in the truck with bags and bags of food.  I wish we could have weighed it somehow to see how much food we actually collected, but it was definitely substantial.  Everyone that we talked to was just so kind--I'm so glad I was able to participate in this.  I really need to do more service, it's such a fulfilling thing.

On Saturday mornings, Beau usually goes out and works on the farm.  
Our church has a farm right by the married-student housing where students can get their own plots if they want.  Because we're so busy usually, we haven't gotten a plot yet, but Beau likes to go and help out will the collective area of the farm.  He wasn't able to go this morning, but because he goes almost every Saturday, they brought us a bagful of fresh-from-the-ground sweet potatoes.  I took the pictures before they were washed, so they were still pretty covered in dirt. 
But seriously, we now have so many sweet potatoes.  

We have small ones...

and large ones...

We can't wait to make some sweet potato fries. Yumm.
I love fresh food.  When we leave Hawaii and have us a nice little home, I'm definitely going to
 start gardening.  
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Thursday, March 17, 2011

too many roles

Sometimes I'm not sure how to divide my time. 
I feel pulled in too many directions.
I'm asked to be a full-time student.
I'm expected to be a skilled and experienced researcher.
I'm told I'm a leader.
I need to be a hard-worker.
I want to be a great wife.
I wish I was a creative cook.
And when it comes down to it, I feel overwhelmed.

Yep, these are all the things that have been swimming through my head lately.
So yesterday I finally did something about it. 
I talked with one of my professors and decided to stop working on one of the research groups that I was involved in.  And let me tell you, with one less responsibility I'm feeling much better.  
Yes, I'm still working part-time in one research group, volunteering in a second research group, and leading a third research group.  All while being a full-time student and wife.
BUT, I feel a whole lot better today than I did two days ago.
Only three more weeks and then I have a lovely 10 day break from school.
Ahhh I can taste the end.  It's so close!
For now though, at least I feel like I can breathe again.
And that, is enough to get me through the rest of the semester.

I think I'm beginning to realize that I can't be super woman.
As much as I want to be and try to be, it's just not gonna happen.
There are days when I may not be as prepared for school as I want.
Days when I just don't know the answer to a question.
Days when I don't feel like leading anyone, because I won't want to get out of bed.
Days when I may be a bit short with people.
Days when I won't want to cook,
or days when my cooking is just plain bad (if you ask my husband about this, I guarantee he will bring up the pad thai incident...).
And finally, there will be days when I just want to sit at home, stay in PJs, watch a chick flick, and have a good cry.
But you know what, that's OKAY.
That's right, it's okay to have days like that.
Not all the time, but ever so often, I think we need these days.
At least I do.
Because then, I start feeling a heck of a lot better about things.
I have my stress out moments and when they're over, things look just a little brighter.

As I'm sitting here writing this, it's sunny and gorgeous outside. And all I want to do is go strolling down the beach. I'm pretty sure it looks like this almost every day here, but for some reason, it seems just a little brighter today.
The wind feels just a bit better than usual.
And when I look at a day like today,
I know that things will be okay.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

who says healthy can't be delicious?

I have a confession.

The hubby and I like sweets. 
It's not such a good thing sometimes.
In fact, the hubby sometimes has a bit of a cookie addiction.
Which makes me have one too.
Every night after dinner we crave something sweet.
Just a little something.
Most of the time we're good and eat a nice juicy clementine.
But there are always those nights when it's too hard to pass up on some oreos.
I know, I know, why buy them if I know they're bad?
Well I have one question for you.
Have you ever eaten an oreo?
Especially double stuffed. Mmmmm.

The point though! I've been looking for healthy desserts.
Just something sweet and tasty enough to satisfy our sweet fix.
Because honestly, I consider us to be pretty healthy people in general.
So, in my search for something tasty and healthy,
I stumbled upon this idea...
Soft-serve ice cream!
I know what you're can ice cream be healthy?

Well my friend, let me tell you how.
And you're all gonna wanna stop whatever you're doing and go make you some.
Because it was Dee-li-cious.
And the best part, it's easy too!
All you need is bananas
and milk!
And whatever other yummy things you want.
Now tell me that doesn't sound heavenly? 

For ours, I used 3 bananas, a bit of peanut butter, and a small dash of nesquik.
First off, slice up the bananas into medallions and put them in a freezer safe bag.
Freeze them for a few hours
(I froze them overnight and it was a lot harder to make because the bananas were too frozen).
Once you're ready to whip up some yummy-ness, take your bananas and pop them into a food processor (we have a knock-off Magic Bullet that worked perfectly for us).
Add whatever extra add-ins you want. 
Some other extras that we considered were...vanilla or cinnamon.
If you make some and add a secret ingredient I'd love to hear about it.  
This is something I will definitely be making for us again!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

good is good

It's nice to see people still doing good in the world.
Even if it's just a small act, like a bake sale.

My heart goes out to all those in Japan and all those who have loved ones in Japan.
The stories, videos, and pictures that have been dominating the news are almost unbearable.
There are stories of heartache, stories of survival, and stories of hope.
But most of all, there are stories of people.
People just like you and me.
Only one day they found their lives turned upside down.
One day, they lost the stability in their lives.
And the whole world watched it happen.
We watched lives and memories being swept away.

A tragedy is a tragedy and this occurrence easily fits that definition.
But there is always good that comes from these things.
It amazes me how quickly people respond to disasters.
Thank you for all those individuals and organizations that have sacrificed their time and been so quick to respond and help any and everyone in need.

Isn't it kind of ironic that it often takes an event like this one to really unite us?
I say 'I love you' to those I love every day.
Because what if one day they weren't here anymore?
What if there was some freak accident and time was cut short?
Because it wouldn't just be their time that was cut short--
no, it would be my time as well.
My time with them would no longer exist.

Remember to say 'I love you' and 'thank you.'
Because maybe one day you won't be able to.
And that would be a tragedy.

Do something good for someone.
Help a random person, because you never know what they've gone through.
I've spent a lot of time being selfish and worrying about my own life,
and my own problems.
But it only takes one act of kindness--even from a stranger--to remind me what life is all about.

And when it comes down to it, life is about loving and doing good.
I hope you find ways to
do good
show your love today.

monday with the bachelor

The hubby and I are currently sitting here watching the Bachelor. 
He's being good and working on our taxes while watching (what a multi-tasker he is).
I'm thinking about doing some homework...does that count for anything?

Anyhow, my thoughts...

  • Do both the women know everything about you, Brad? Everything? I think that may have been a bit of an exaggerated statement.
  • Brad, could you be more awkward about Emily's past coming up in your family's conversation?? Emily, way to be real and level-headed. As expected of course.
  • You could never get me into a shark cage. Chantal, you are one brave woman.
  • Chantal says, "It's crazy to think this is mine and Brad's last night together." My husband says, "Yeah, before he dumps you, ho"  We have nothing against Chantal, we have simply been rooting for Emily.
  • Speaking of Emily...umm, can we be best friends, Em? Yeah, that'd be great. 
  • Chantal, I'm sorry, you're the first one to meet Brad...this means you're going home. 
  • Ohh now I feel bad that you're crying. You really are a good person. And, if it counts for anything, you look gorgeous Chantal. Seriously, like Oscar-gorgeous. 
  • Emily, you look gorgeous too. Simply elegant.
  • Aww Brad, you're getting nervous now---just ask her man!
  • Sooo glad Brad and Emily ended up together. Chantal is wonderful, but how can you not love Emily? Just look at her. Pure Southern charm. 
  • Has anyone else noticed that Brad is 38 and Emily is 24.  Nothing wrong with age differences of course, but are you really 38 Brad?  Looking good for almost being 40.
  • And who's the new Bachelorette going to be?? I'm rooting for Ashley H!
  • Oh wait, what is going on with the "after the final rose"--problems in loveland?
  • Sad days, it doesn't look like the two lovebirds are having some problems. Wedding to come still--so they promise.  We'll see I guess.
  • Oh, and no Ashley H...Ashley S. instead.  She will for sure make it an interesting next season.
  • Thank you Brad and all of this season's women for making Monday nights rather entertaining at my house.