Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas Lights and Lawn Ornaments, Oh My!

Before we all left to go home for Christmas (minus our one local friend)--we had a Christmas celebration at my house. We ate frozen pizza, peppermint ice cream with magic shell, mint chocolate brownies and drank hot chocolate. After dinner and a few rounds of our new favorite game Pit, we went driving around the neighborhood to look at Christmas lights. Usually my neighborhood goes nuts for Christmas--i don't know if it was due to the bad weather/rain, or if it was still just a bit too early, but there weren't a lot of houses lit up. Still we made do--and had lots of fun posing with everyone else's decorations. Even the weather was as wintry as can be expected for some of these pics the rain actually looks like snow!

Chrissy, Carrie, Roni and Hill with the awesome Christmas Tree, that I swear was bigger than their house!

Hugging Frosty with our matching scarfs that we will get much use out of in Chicago for New Years!

Someone's house that we thought looked pretty... and look at the rain/snow!

Chrissy found a snowman her size!

Christmas Bear

Up To No Good

Monday, December 15, 2008

Thanksgiving Recap

I realized I never put anything up about Thanksgiving-- so i would like to share some pictures.

It was a beautiful day in Hawaii--sunny and warm. Hillary, Carrie and I woke up and watched the Macy's Day Parade while drinking frosted mint Kona Coffee. We were invited to a Thanksgiving lunch with a family from church and then we had all our "single married" military wives over for pizza, tiramisu and games. I know that's not quite the traditional meal, but we had such a wonderful Thanksgiving Day last year with the guys home that none of us felt the need to try and recreate it--not to mention us girls wouldn't have been able to eat all that food anyway.

Mike had a pretty good day too. He and his roomie/friend Jordan had the traditional meal at the DFAC and hung out together all day watching episodes of The Office and just relaxing for a change. The picture below is of Mike with 2 Iraqi food servers. They are supposed to be a pilgrim and an indian...pretty funny i think!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

"Not So Beautiful Week"

In a place that the weather tends to always be sunny and warm, this week has certainly been an exception. Overall, this season has been much rainier than the past winters we have spent in Hawaii...i knew something was up when i looked down at my skin and noticed it is the whitest i have been in over 2 years!

We had our yearly storm this week..(i say that, because i can count 2 since we have been here). Lightning, thunder,wind and rain...the works, if you can call it that. The same storm at home probably wouldn't have even got anyone talking, but it pretty much devastated the island. The joke is when it rains, life stops. No one knows how to drive in it, and heaven forbid it thunder a few times with some lightning! But all the same, rain here is equivalent to snow in Asheboro--its like they are totally unprepared for it. Of course much of it has to do with the elevation being at sea level --but wow. We have power outages, business and school closings, road collapses and closings, terrible traffic and major flooding all over. Here are some pics.

the road connecting our house to our closed indefinitely

North Shore gas station

North Shore, Haleiwa Boat Harbor

Mudslide on Highway

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

R&R, Veterans Day and a Whole lot more!

So today we celebrate Veterans day, and all of the sacrifices American service members and their families have endured since our country’s inception. I want to take a minute to thank each of our family members and friends who have served so selflessly in the armed for forces for their country. Today the Battalion celebrated the day by having a mass re-enlistment ceremony where 8 Soldiers raised their right hands and took the oath of enlistment one more time. Additionally we had a Soldier receive the Combat Medical Badge for her actions in July when she saved the lives of multiple Soldiers after an IED strike on a vehicle in her convoy. It is times like these that really make me proud to wear the uniform and serve with the men and women of 2nd Stryker Brigade.
A few short days ago I returned back to Iraq from my R & R leave which I spent in Hawaii. I could not have asked for anything more than for the time Jes and I were able to share with one another over those 18 days. Over that time we were able to accomplish many things as Jessi has written about in previous BLOGS, but we were able to have a lot of fun in the process. Between the UH game, our camping adventures at Bellows and taking it easy on the Big Island were able to finally relax, enjoy each others company, and create many memories. Being deployed for 10 months and being away from a since of normalcy has been difficult for me so it was nice to be able to come home to my wife and stay in our home and visit our church family. Those few short days brought a since of peace back to my life and allowed all of the stress I was feeling to escape away leaving me feeling refreshed and ready to finish the remainder of the deployment. The single greatest moment of the entire trip was when I walked up the jet way to be greeted by my beautiful wife. The feeling and emotion can’t be put to words but a single word sums up how I felt…JOY… As I close I want to take a moment to thank each of you for your vigilance in prayer and unwavering support for us as we finish up the hardest 15 months of our lives. Your kind words, consistent prayer and love have been an inspiration to me as I drive on over here.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween From Our Family To Yours!!!

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Do you ever have days where you have SO many things to do, yet there seem to be setbacks and problems at every step of the way? That seems to be the case for Mike and I more times than not--and although we try to remain patient through whatever comes up--sometimes at the the end of the day when you realize hardly anything got accomplished that you wanted it can be VERY frustrating.

Well today, i just want to share, that we did in fact have a extremely successful day and everything that i have needed to get done has been accomplished and then some! I mean, no traffic, no lines, the first stores we stopped at had exactly what we needed, no rude/unhelpful city employees, no outrageous fees, EVERYTHING WAS PERFECT!

Here is our checklist for today: RED = Accomplished
1. Vote (no waiting lines)
2. Get Out-of State registration cards on base
3. Haircut on base
4. Register friends car at City Hall (they are so picky about signatures, dates and POA's because we are out of state--i have literally been sent away more times than not)
5. Find unmarked car storage office and drop off registration and insurance papers
6. Get Jeep Horn Fixed (which Mike has spent countless hours on, and finally decided he didn't want to waste anymore of his R&R time on)
7. Get Wireless Inet Fixed (so i don't have to bounce off the neighbors anymore)
8. Find and Install new water filter faucet (everywhere we go, they only have the white ones, and we need stainless steel)
9. Find receipts and turn in old car batteries for $
10. Close/Open new banking accounts (they haven't let me do this since Mike has been gone even though i DO have a ton of different POA's)
11. Find Comp. monitor cord--so we can hook it up to the old laptop
12. Get all of the files off of old laptop
13. Mail off 2 gifts
14. Hang up new shower curtain rod (the curved kind! this is something extra Mike is doing for me just because he knew i wanted it!)
15. Get showered and beautiful so we can go out on a date!

You may think this blog is somewhat silly, but to a girl who has been having much trouble with some of these things, i am so relieved/glad that these things are done and that we got them all accomplished in one day with no trouble so we can spend more time with each other doing the fun tonight at our dinner and Cirque de Solei Saltimbanco date!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Rest and Relaxation Part 1

These first four days have been so wonderful. We haven't done anything super extraordinary, but we have had such a great time just being with each other that it really doesn't matter.

We quickly got back to all our old routines--even our midnight runs to Walmart and Wendy's for Frosties!

So far we have visited the new Aviation Museum on Ford Island, got pedicures (his poor feet sure needed some help after 10 months in boots), had a date night of dinner at my favorite Italian place and then a movie--Appaloosa, which we thoroughly enjoyed, rode the Trolley in Waikiki and ate at a yummy hotdog stand called Puka Dogs. Puka is the Hawaiian word for "hole". These dogs are in a bun with a hole in the center where they squirt in their special lemon garlic sauce and then one of their signature fruit relishes with a polish sausage dog. I know, sounds a bit sketchy...but they were surprisingly good! We had one Coconut and one Pineapple hotdog...yum!

Also, we have only made it to the beach once. We didn't stay long because Mike is SO WHITE...and i doused him in sunscreen using Hillary's rule of thumb if you can see it then it is working...but we forgot to put it on his although this back, chest, neck and ears are fine..the back of his legs are FRIED. I tried to get a picture, but he won't let me. So, needless to say we are giving the beach and his legs a rest! He even wore pants today in town so that people wouldn't see his legs and think he was a tourist!

Tomorrow is Sunday, church day, our favorite. I can't wait for him to get to see everyone there. The church has been such a great support to me while he has been gone, and each Sunday they never fail to ask about him and pray for him. Mike also hasn't been there since we split to 2 services and i started leading Children's Church, so I am excited for him to see what I am doing.

I have been super impressed with how well Mike has adjusted to the time. The past few days, he has slept normally, He was even staying up later than normal, while waking up early like he always used to. That is until tonight, he suddenly crashed at 7:30, hardly finishing dinner and he is definitely out for the night--which is why i am having time to write this blog! I was wondering how long his energy and excitement would last!

This next week we have plans to go camping for a few days at our favorite beach, which should be very relaxing. I will try to update again sometime near the end of the week. I have uploaded all our pics thus far to our pics website. The link is on the right hand side under our favs. Love to All!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Home Sweet Home

So, Mike's home and the first day has been great. Just wanted to post a pic from the airport. Check back in a couple of days and we will post a little on what we are doing. Thanks to everyone for all the kind words and wishes throughout the past few days!
Love, Us

Wednesday, October 15, 2008



After not hearing anything for another 32 hours or so, i just got a call at 0330 HI time to tell me he is boarding a plane in Atlanta to Honolulu! I am now very, very excited and can not sleep.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Okay. So finally after 48 hours Mike has called to let me know he is still waiting in a hanger in Kuwait. So far the trip has been a lot of missed planes and bumps for more important people and cargo--apparently a group of guys trying to get home for R&R is at the bottom of the totem pole. Anyway, he is hoping to get out of Kuwait in the next 12 hours or so. From there, he has another stop to make before Atlanta and then finally to HI. Projected time to arrive at the earliest will be Wed. night HI time.

This waiting around stuff is killing me! Prayers for a safe and quick journey are much appreciated!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Hopefully in Kuwait!

okay so i haven't heard anything so i am hoping that is good news because he is so busy catching flights and actually flying he doesn't have time to call.'s my projection of where he's at...and maybe he's even somewhere between Kuwait and Atlanta--that would be even better!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

He's Coming Home!!!

R&R is so close now... I can hardly stand it! I just got word Mike should be flying out of his base about 1am EST. He has another stop in country before heading to Kuwait. I will keep you updated! ~YAY~

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Little Helper

Today I had a helper to fold my clothes...such a sweet boy!

8 Passengers Set Sail That Day, for a 4 Hour Tour, oh a 4 Hour Tour

This past weekend was Hillary's 26th birthday. A couple friend of ours, Laura and Adam, have their boat licence for the Kaneohe Marine Corps Base Marina, so we took out a pontoon boat around the bay and out to a sandbar for the afternoon. I have always heard about this opportunity but never actually gone and checked it out. We had a great time and now i have the "boat bug". So I am hoping to go get certified soon (preferably before Mike gets back for leave). It is way to beautiful out on the water and an awesome way to spend the day--i can't believe it took me 2.5 years to figure this out! So, sorry to all who have already visited...this is definitely on the list of things to take visitors to do now!

Anyway, we had a great day. It was good to spend time with the girls, all 5 of us hadn't been able to spend time together in a long while. It was good to catch up. Katie and Laura's husbands as well as Hillary's brother came too. They boys spent most of their time in the water playing.

Before heading back to the marina, we took a little detour around Coconut Island. This is where the opening scene and all of the long shots were filmed for Gilligan's' Island. Now the island is strictly a research center for the University of Hawaii and no one else is allowed on it.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A Good Time

This weekend I helped my friend out with her daughters 8th birthday party sleepover. Elizabeth wanted a "horse-themed" party--so that's what we did. I made country music CD's to set the mood, my friend Marybeth made a Saloon Door backdrop for the Cowgirl fashion show. We made cowgirl vests and belt buckles, put the girls hair in pigtails and braids, and taught them how to line dance to Alan Jackson's Good Time. There were times where us adults were having more fun then the kids--and we definately outlasted those kids with the dancing! I can't believe I am actually grouped in the "old people" catagory now--but Marybeth informed me that in the girls eyes I was old, like their parents...geez! When did this transformation happen??

Enjoy the pictures!
Making vests and belt buckles

Line Dancing
Wild Wild West

Thursday, September 25, 2008

September Down Range

It has been quite some time now since I have taken the time to post anything tangible here on the BLOG, but I can easily say the past several months have gone by so quickly that I sparingly find time to catch my breath nonetheless write a summation of my experiences. During the past few months I have been traveling extensively to many key areas in which I inspect the sites for ammunition storage and safety violations. During my travels I had the opportunity to visit one of my great friends Jake Sweatland and hit a few balls on his driving range he spent countless tax dollars creating. I found that although I had not swung a club in quite some time, I could still hit worm burners without exerting any effort whatsoever. It hasn’t been often that we have been able to come together all in one place for a picture, but Jordan and I made sure to try and get out there on the same day. Although it was an especially long day on the road, it was well worth the time we were able to spend with our friend.

As I have explained in previous posts I spend a lot of time on the range honing my skills and learning new weapon systems in an effort to relieve the stress the builds up over time. I anticipate my “Therapy” sessions each week as I look forward to spending some much needed time away from the daily grind. Teaming up with some of my friends I have found something that I truly enjoy and appreciate that I can teach these same skills to my Soldiers.

As the time nears for me to come home for some much needed time with Jes and relaxation I can’t help but to get excited with each day that passes by. I am blessed to have such a great support network of family and loved ones who constantly check on my wellbeing and pray for my safety each and every day, but need for everyone to understand that it is the spouse that has the toughest job in the Army. While I am on leave I suspect I will do my fair share of lying on a beach and trying to think about anything but ammunition or Iraq, but I also will make sure to spend time telling my wife thank you for all of the sacrifices she makes on a daily basis. Jes you are the best…I love you!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Month of Parents

Its been a little while now, but in the beginning of August my Dad and Stepmom, Anne, came to visit me for the first time. We had a great time--tried to fit in as much touristy things as possible and also get to see a little of my everyday life here as well. Their arrival was just in time for a minor car crisis of a dead battery that my dad came to the rescue for. It's amazing all the little things that can go wrong with the house, car, etc. that i have no idea how to fix and completely rely on my husband to handle. It was very nice to have someone else there to help take care of me for awhile.

Me and Dad at Volcano National Park

Dad showing us where we are Our kayaks and our rental after snorkeling at Captain Cook's Monument

Then for Labor Day, Mom and my Stepdad, Scott, came to visit. This was their second visit, and we really spent more time visiting and only did a few "hawaii" things. We had planned to go to the Big Island, but Scott got sick off (we believe) some questionable Asian chicken the night before our flights and we had to cancel the trip. Thankfully he was feeling better after 24 hours. We still did some fun things while they were here--and i took mom to her first ever pedicure where she got a Hawaiian flower painted on her toe.

Me and Mom

Getting our Pedicures

For more pictures check my Google Pics website at