Monday, June 30, 2008

Jump!



My friend Adriane is competing this week in the Olympic Trials!

Adriane is one of my school friends. Her son is in 1st grade, just like my Emily, so we see each other at the drop off/pick up times. When I met her last year she was boxing, this year she's jumping.

Adriane is a striking woman. She is tall and beautiful, with great hair. She has 3 cute kids and she's an Army wife who lives here on Schofield Barracks. And she's totally nice. Adriane knows every one's name, and she's always fun to talk to. All year she's been working her way toward the Olympics, and this week she's in Eugene, Oregon competing in the Olympic Trials in the high jump.

The base paper printed a story about her last week. Isn't she cool! Here's another great article about Adriane.

She was also quoted in KATU channel 2 news in Portland, Oregon:

Fellow high jumper Adriane Stone said she doesn't worry about the other athletes in the field.

"I have no pressure, because my competition is not the women," she said. "My competition is the bar. I don't run up and jump over an Amy Acuff or a Tish Waller, who are phenomenal jumpers. I run up and I jump over a bar. I come in expecting just to have a great time, to jump hard, and if I PR, if I make it, icing on the cake."


Monday was the qualifying, and according to the schedule, the 4th is the final jump. The top 3 high jumpers will go on to Beijing.

At the Olympic website I found the results of today's jump:
High Jump: Qualifying (14 advance) - Group 1: 1. Amber Kaufman, Sharon Day, Adriane Stone, Destinee Hooker, Elizabeth Patterson, Amy Acuff and Deirdre Mullen 1.82m, 8. Raevan Harris 1.79; Group 2: 1. Chaunte Howard, Ifoma Olausson and Gwen Wentland 1.82, 4.,Shanay Briscoe, Sheena Gordon and Rebecca Christensen 1.79


Look! Did you see Adriane's name? She made it to the finals!

Go Adriane!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

2 Wheeler

Look who can ride a bike!



I didn't have to spend a day running behind John, holding on to the seat to teach him how to ride, he just kind of figured it out. I did have to run along behind him to help him stop. That was a little harder to learn.



Today we took a trip out of our neighborhood and over to the pool. We ride bikes to the pool all the time, but until now, John has been on the scooter. Today he took his bike. It was a little treacherous.





I followed along behind John, calling out directions. Staying on the sidewalk was tricky for John, and my heart nearly stopped beating when he flipped off his flip-flop and nearly followed it right into the road.

But we made it to the pool, had fun swimming, and got back home all in one piece.




Good Job Little Buddy!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Is this my real life?

Nathan's deployment is winding down, but I'm not seeing an end to deployments any time soon. And it makes me a little sad and a little scared. In our neighborhood I see families preparing for the next deployment, though it seems like their husbands just got home from the last one. Wait, they did just get home in October.

During Nathan's first deployment I read every WWII book I could get my hands on. I felt a sort of kinship to those families who waited on the homefront with their victory gardens and blue star banners. But the deployment pattern in WWII is not the same pattern we have today. For them, it was one big bad deployment, and when (or if) their son or husband or brother came home, that was it. Mission completed. The end. Next up - Real life and happily ever after.

Today the deployment cycle seems to be never ending. Deploy. adjust. reunion. adjust. deploy....

Each time Nathan has deployed I have told myself that this is the only time he'll have to go. Or the last time. And while he's gone, I'm waiting. Waiting for him to call. Waiting for him to come home. Waiting.

I'm probably a little slow in realizing that this could go on for a long time. A really long time.

Don't get me wrong. I'm proud of my husband and the job he does to support and defend our great nation. And I am genuinely happy. I'm just thinking out loud here. And I'm wondering if I've got the right perspective on today. on my life.

Maybe this is my real life. What now?

Monday, June 23, 2008

I was going to file a complaint

I typed up a whole big bad blog post, complete with mean words and whining and wailing and gnashing of teeth. It wasn't pretty. (cliff note version: unhelpful sales guy = unhappy me) But it didn't make me feel better.



Then I decided to edit some photos I took last week at a youth activity at Ali'i beach.



I was disappointed that night because the low light made it impossible to get good shots of the kids playing, and the cloud cover made it impossible to get an actual sunset shot, but the ocean was calm and the evening was lovely.




Now I feel mo bettah.

i heart hawaii

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Reunion Boot Camp

There's nothing like my husband being gone for half a year to make me want to get in shape.

The last time he deployed, I secretly joined Weight Watchers and lost 20 pounds. That was a fun surprise, but hard to beat.

Nathan's deployment is winding down and we have 6-8 weeks until he gets home. Suddenly I have so much to do. I think it's time for a list:


Make a list
Whiten my teeth
Lose 5 pounds
Consider pilates or weights or something
Put up curtains in my bedroom
Start moving my stuff out of Nathan's side of the closet
Start shaving my legs again
Find an outfit to wear to the airport
Work on my tan
Feel a little guilty about Nathan coming home halfway through the Army's full 15 month deployment.
Mow the back yard. twice.
Clean out the garage
Take stuff to Goodwill
Make and freeze some easy dinners
Start thinking about signage
Get my hair done and my eyebrows waxed (in late July)




That's all I can think of right now, but I know there's more. And that "find an outfit" item deserves a blog post of it's own.

Congratulations Field Family!



I wish we could have been there on your special day!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

But I'm a race car driver and I just speed away.*


Watch Out!



the Wendianapolis 500



What a fun day! Today I met Jersey Army Wife. She is so totally cute. We had a nice lunch of burgers and fries at BK, and then we had a chance to talk while the kids played. Her little girl is just adorable. Jrzy Army Wife was really easy to talk to, and not a weirdo (you just never know, you know?) It felt like I was talking to an old friend. Isn't this blog world an odd thing?

While we were watching the kids play on the slide at Burger King, we could see a fancy race car parked across the street at the gas station. So we headed over there and got to climb in an actual formula one car (it may not be a formula one car. I could be making that up. what is a formula one car, anyway? I remember reading this board book to John when he was a baby - it had all kinds of fast vehicles - a jet plane, a bullet train, and a formula one car. The picture in the book looked something like that car up there. But my information from the Firestone guy calls it The #10 Budweiser/Ralph's Della Penna Motorsports Car, if you were wondering)

Here's some information about that sweet ride:

weight: 1550 lbs

top speed: 250 mph

price: $500,000 (without engine)

While we were waiting for the pictures to print I spoke to the owner of the car. He said he is too smart to drive it. He also said I could not drive it. But Firestone Tires had brought the car to Hawaii for a car show and they were taking it all over the island to different military bases as a way to say thank you to the military. Isn't that sweet? It will be at other bases on Oahu this week, if you want to check it out. They'll even give you the picture and a hat. John loves his new hat.

Jersey Army Wife jumped right in and had her picture taken, so I had to try, too...

A new friend, a lunch out, and a fast car. What a fun afternoon!

* bonus points if you know where the title of this post comes from.

ps - Wikipedia says: A modern Formula One car is a single-seat, open cockpit, open wheel race car with substantial front and rear wings, and engine positioned behind the driver. The regulations governing the cars are unique to the championship. The Formula One regulations specify that cars must be constructed by the racing teams themselves. So, other than the "constructed by the race teams themselves" bit, of which I would have no idea, I think that looks like a single-seat, open cockpit fomula one car to me. ha!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Look Ma, I'm in a Book



Introducing HOUSEHOLD BAGGAGE HANDLERS: 56 Stories from the Hearts and Lives of Military Wifes

In this deeply personal collection of stories, 48 wives share their total embarrassments, tragic experiences, and tender emotions as they tackle the daily dramas of military life. By turns touching and hilarious, Household Baggage Handlers opens the door on an often overlooked world, one requiring the independence and survival skills to:

Move overseas while six months pregnant
Manage labor, delivery, and a newborn … without a spouse
Nurse a critically injured husband back to health
Confront the sight of someone in uniform at the front door
Shelter five children alone during a tornado
Cope with bats, blizzards, and broken cars during long deployments
Read all about it in their own words. With anecdotes from WWII to the present, these compelling stories capture a sisterhood forged by extraordinary circumstances.


If you click here, then scroll down (a long way) to section 8 you can see my name! woohoo.

Last year I heard Marna Krajeski was accepting submissions of military move stories, so I sent in a story about our move to Hawaii. I was so nervous when I sent it off. Would she like it? Would she laugh and rip it to shreds and use it to light her wood stove? And now, about a year later - published. Me!

My story is not nearly as interesting as those listed above. no bats or tornadoes or wicked witches of the west or anything. Is that bad? I haven't recieved my copies of Household Baggage Handlers yet, which means I don't actually know for sure how embarrassing this whole thing might be, but I'm totally excited!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

shameless self promotion below:

Household Baggage Handlers can be found at Amazon.com, bn.com, householdbaggage.com, or your local retailer can order it.

If you have any further questions, you can contact Marna through her website: http://www.householdbaggage.com/. I hear she's looking for more moving stories...

#1 Dad

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We love you! Happy Father's Day!

Come home soon.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Manoa Falls

Yesterday I finally got to cross an item off my Spring Break list. I just love crossing items off a list!

I'm not sure what happened, but this island seems to have gotten bigger in the last few months, and going downtown seems like such a loooooong drive. So, I don't go into Honolulu very often. But we had to make the trip into the big city to see Hannah's orthodontist, so we decided to make a day of it.

About 10 minutes after Hannah's braces were adjusted we were out of the city and into the rain forest. Manoa Falls is right there, surprisingly close to town. One minute you're in bumper to bumper traffic, the next minute you're in a quiet neighborhood, and then a few turns later you are deep in a jungle.



My favorite guide book says Manoa Falls is the second only to Diamond Head in the hike popularity contest. But there were way, way less people on this hike than on Diamond Head. And good parking. That's important to me.



I was amazed how the weather changed on our 10 minute drive. Sunny skies downtown. Overcast and drizzly at Manoa Falls. I guess that's why Manoa is so green and lush!



About halfway in, the trail went from damp gravel to slippery mud. And John slipped. He was so sad. Having muddy hands is no fun, but come on, it could have been his whole front (or back) side covered in mud. I'd say we were pretty lucky.



Ooooo. Awwwwwwwe. Wowwwwww!



Sydney saved the day with her bottle of water and towel. She helped John clean up his hands and he was happy for the hike back down. As we were hiking and John was crying about his muddy hands, I thought of a few important hiking tips:


Bring treats. Oh, what I would have done for one little Starburst...

Bring bug spray.

Go slow. Take your time to enjoy the scenery.

Wear good shoes. Even though this hike is rated "easy", high heeled flip-flops seemed a little dangerous.

Smile at your fellow hikers. Those Japanese tourists were the happiest people ever!

When you get to the teeny tiny viewing area at the waterfall, be polite and give others a chance to see the information sign and get that great shot of the pool.



At 0.8 miles to the falls, it was a nice distance for me and the kids. Not too far, but still an adventure. I had a great time. All the way down the kids kept saying how much their dad is going to love this hike.


How did you like Manoa Falls, Hannah?



Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Very Scary

This morning I saw a mosquito sitting on the edge of the toilet seat.



That's just wrong.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Swim



We love to swim.



We go to the base pool a couple times each week. (I originally typed "a couple of times." that's how I say it: "a couple-a times." But it looked wrong. How do you say that? Maybe I should just change it to "a few times", or "two times" or...)



John has really learned how to swim in the last few weeks. He says "something is floating me."

Today we rode our bikes to the pool. That was a little dangerous, but do-able.

With gas prices so high and me with a gas guzzling suburban, we are planning to use the car a little less by riding or walking when we can. We can walk to the commissary, library, pool, bowling alley, post office and movie theater. Yippee for living on base.

My plan for the summer is to take advantage of all the fun that we can have close to home, and plan big beach trips for Saturdays or for when we have to head downtown for other things (like tomorrow - Hannah has an ortho appointment in Honolulu, so while we're there we are going to do a short hike then head to Waikiki to swim.)

Are you driving less? Have the gas prices affected your summer plans? Are you considering investing in a horse and buggy or mo-ped?

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Happy Birthday!



14 years old!

We started off Hannah's day with our traditional paper-taped-across-the-door thing. Nathan called just as Emily and I were taping up the last corner. So we put him on speaker phone and we all sang Happy Birthday as Hannah busted through the paper.

After breakfast we headed to Old Navy to let Hannah pick out an outfit. I generally have an outfit for the birthday kid to open at breakfast, but this year I decided it would be more fun if she was able to pick it out herself.



She hasn't had a "friend" party in a couple of years, so this year she invited a few friends to see Kung Fu Panda (on opening night.)



They were a cute group of girls. It's just too bad I somehow managed to ruin all my pictures of the evening (and of her promotion the day before.) (let's pretend that first photo is all artsy on purpose) The settings must be off on my camera. And I'm not sure why...must go ask Scott Kelby....

Happy Birthday Hannah!

I hope you had a fun day!

You are the best!