Monday, January 30, 2012

Celebrating (almost) 10 years of wedded bliss. . . Status-update style

Hawaii was absolutely divine. Picture perfect weather. Seven whole days on a tropical island to just relax sans kids, enjoy the beautiful nature, eat delicious (albeit horribly expensive) food, read the seven books I brought with and snuggle with my kulta of almost 10 years. It was the honeymoon we never took that I always wanted and I was blissfully happy 99% of the time we were there. I missed my little ones who were living in loving chaos with grandma and their cousins but we NEEDED this time away. More than I can ever put into words. We returned more in love than ever (I know, cheesy for me to say.) and life at home with the kids has been sweeter and easier post-blissful vacation. My only regret was staying in Waikiki - which is the Hawaiian version of Fashion Island. I wished we would have spent every night on the more relaxed and remote North Shore. But, it is hard to reach true perfection here on earth. Right? Right.

As I have been absent from Facebook now for over a week and am going through a withdrawal of updating my status, I figured summarizing our trip with typical status updates was in order.

Just ate Japanese BBQ in HAWAII. Delish. Let the lovers getaway begin!

Preparing for a sunset out of Waikiki. Hoping to see some humpback whales!
(Side note: We saw a huge pod of whales!)

What Hawaiian vacation wouldn't be complete with out an expensive VIRGIN fruity drink? Tried the Smokin' Pineapple. Worth the $15.

How healthy can a hamburger be that you can't fit your mouth around? Praying the weight gain this vacation is minimal.

Kailua Beach. Amazing.

Lance just chose an oyster that had two pearls in it as my anniversary gift. The lady at the jewelry counter insisted that meant we were going to have twins. Call me nuts but I am actually hoping that is true!

A limo arriving at a shrimp truck for lunch. Now if that isn't a juxtaposition, I don't know what is.

Who would've thunk the best food we've ate in Hawaii would be from a truck on the side of the road? @Haleiwa, HI w/ Lance S.

People keep asking us if we are newly weds. Guessing we still got the heat! (Or at least look 10 years younger than we actually are.)
Just danced in front of 200+ people at the Polynesian Cultural Center luau in honor of our 10th anniversary. I sure do HEART the nerdy stud I married.

It is possible to eat too much fresh pineapple. Seven canker sores later and I am still gorging myself. . . @ the Dole Pineapple Plantation, Oahu, HI with Lance. S.

The Laie HI Temple has got to be one of the most breathtakingly beautiful sights in the world. Hoping one of my children decides to get married here.

Awww yeah. A room with a view. @ Turtle Bay Resort, North Shore - Oahu, HI, w/ Lance. S.

Lance dancing the hula. Worth every penny spent at the Polynesian Cultural Center to see this.

Watching pro-surfers brave suicidal waves is enough to make me want to take up surfing.

Falling asleep listening to the 15 ft waves crash upon the shore. Can life get any better than this?

Pearl Harbor. A humbling, somber and touching experience.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Beautiful Day

The kids watching solar system videos on the computer together. They are actually starting to play with each other lately and I love watching them interact.

Coming home from a vacation that was absolutely divine and assuming normal, everyday responsibilities proved to be hard yesterday. One massive, two hour long tantrum; no naps; a mommy breakdown and Dad bringing home an emergency dinner later; I kept looking at my Hawaii pictures, wanting to go back. Life before kids was so carefree.

Today was different. Not only was it tantrum, whining and Facebook free, but the day was absolutely beautiful. I made dinner and the kids were happily in bed by 7 p.m. I honestly enjoyed every moment with my kids while we did things like going to the park and dance class and I kept thinking - Now this is the beauty of motherhood. There is no other place I want to be then here with these sweet children.

The only thing that could dampen my spirits today would be the fact that the battery on my Macbook Pro is about to explode (much like this one.) So, my evening has been spent trying to back everything up and not start a fire in my house.

Oh well. Guess that means it is time to buy a new laptop! Now that is a beautiful idea as well.

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Abundant Life Experiment - Part 1

Time. We all want more of it. As I lay here in bed early in the morning on my dream vacation in Hawaii with my dear husband of 10 years, I keep thinking how I wish we had more than a week for our vacation. A fault of mine for sure – wishing for things I don’t have instead of enjoying what I do. I have been thinking about this for months and have come to the obvious conclusion – I can never get more time.

In the words of a wise fictional character, “All you have to decide is what to do with the time given to you.”

We decided on a theme for 2012 as a family – “Living the Abundant Life” based on this talk by the president of our church, President Monson. Basically, focusing on the most important things in life and simplifying everything. Making the most of the time given to us. See where I am going here?

For starters, I am disabling my Facebook account for at least the next 3 months as part of my “Abundant Life” experiment. I am a believer in Social Media. I have a Masters in technology for crying out loud. I love being able to know what all of my friends near and far are doing. Be a part of their lives. Share the triumphs of my life, post cute pictures of my kids and ask for advice. There are so many positive things to Facebook that I love. However, I know I am addicted. I waste so much time during the day checking my blasted iPhone. Time I could be teaching Elisabeth to read, singing with Carsten, blogging, doing laundry, learning new talents, keeping up-to-date with educational news or heaven forbid – reaching out to my friends and family IN PERSON. I realized we rarely call some of Lance’s siblings because I feel I know how they are doing based on their Facebook posts. Something about this lack of personal contact saddens me.

This isn’t a decision I made lightly. I have thought about it and even attempted it in the past. I have been feeling prompted for months the need to remove the clutter in my life and focus on what is most important. My family, my friends, my spirituality, and my mental and physical health.

So, if you need to get a hold of me, I will be happy to send you my contact info. Please just leave a comment and I will pass it along. Let the experiment begin!

Sunday, January 8, 2012


As 2012 is upon us I can't help but anticipate this upcoming year as one of new experiences and most importantly, one of planting of our family's roots. But before I reflect publicly upon 2011 and list my resolutions for 2012, I do feel I need to recognize highlights of the last few months, which were filled with many firsts for our family.

First time (yet won't be our last) we dressed up with a family theme for Halloween.
My handsome Captain Hook, the adorable Peter Pan, the sweet Tinkerbell, and the youthful Wendy.

Elisabeth's first dance recital. She really stole the show and we see that the stage may be in her future.

This man became one of the newest equity partners at Knobbe Martens Olsen and Bear LLP.

I ran my first 10K at the Dana Point Turkey Trot. Averaged a 10.30 minute mile.
For someone who was pretty out of shape a year previous, this is wonderful feat.

Elisabeth rode Space Mountain for the first time.
Mom's thoughts: A three year old is way too young.
Pop's thoughts: She is definitely tall enough. Go for it.
Elisabeth's thoughts: Never again. ;-)
(Until she forgot about it and now she can't wait to go into space again.)

Carsten took his first steps in December (14 months.)
At first he looked like he was doing Michael Jackson's "Thriller" dance. He still has an adorable little waddle that is done with his little fists balled up near his armpits. Now he is on the move, all day, every day and into everything.

Elisabeth and Carsten attended their first candlelit Christmas Eve Lutheran service.
Made me miss my mom more than ever, wishing she could have been there to see this sweet moment captured in this picture. This moment highlights the simplicity and beauty of Christmas to me.

Jesus wants this little girl for a Sunbeam.
When in the world did she grow up enough to attend Primary.