Saturday, February 27, 2010

I survived the Great Tsunami of 2010

When your neighbor calls you at three in the morning, it's probably best to answer. That's what I figured when my phone lit up this morning. McKenzie was calling to let me know that there was an 8.8 magnitude earthquake in Chile, that Hawaii has issued a tsunami warning and that the evacuation sirens were going to go off at 6am. She was probably worried that I was going to pee my pants when the alarms sounded before daybreak. Sweet girl.

So, I woke up, called my parents (aren't I a good daughter? Gotta make sure mom doesn't pee her pants when she hears that a giant wall of water is headed straight for her favorite daughter!) and then called Leanna. She probably had the same thoughts I did upon getting a phone call at 3:30am. Can I just let it go to voicemail and then call her back if it's important? Is she drunk-dialing me?? What if she's dying and I'm the only one to help her and I didn't answer because I was in the middle of a fantastic dream about Chick-fil-a??


Thankfully, she did pick up and at 5:30am, I arrived at her apartment with my car loaded with all the important stuff--birth certificates, my favorite blanket, wedding photos, five pairs of clean undies, and two bottles of water (as if two bottles of water was going to sustain me if the worst occurred??) I was ready to camp out for a week.

The sirens (which would not have made me pee my pants--they sounded like quietly dying geese. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have known they were evacuation sirens unless otherwise informed!) went off around 6 and we turned on the news to see if we should go someplace else. Kris and Leanna live in Honolulu at the top of a big hill. We figured we were pretty safe and decided to stay put.

The rest of the day, we watched the news, answered phone calls from worried friends and family, made french toast and napped on their couch. 11:19am (the time it was estimated the first wave would hit the Big Island) came and went with hardly any activity and a few hours later, the tsunami warning was lifted.

I'm back home now staring at the piles of books and artwork protectively placed on my dining room table, thankful that there was no catastrophe in Hawaii today. (Though still praying for Chile and their own catastrophe last night)

Although, if we're being honest here, I could have gone for a little action. If I'm going to wake up at 3am and abandon my home, I could go for a short power outage or some pounding waves--you know, a little story to tell the grandchildren. Oh well. I'll settle for a t-shirt that says, "I survived the Great Tsunami of 2010". I'm sure someone will make them.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Happy Birthday Ike-man!

I can't believe this little guy is EIGHT today! 

My nephew Isaac (Ike) is the sweetest kid you'll meet. Even when he's rocking his mohawk and camo shorts, he still finds time to come snuggle with me on the couch. During one of our sweet snuggle sessions a few years ago, I said, "Ike, even when you grow up and you're 16 years old, will you still snuggle with me?" He replied, "Of course Aunt Lindsay!" 
For the sake of his reputation, I think I'll let him side on that promise when he gets older. 



He's a great brother, an expert at video games, a fierce wrestler and football player, and a fun sidekick. His little smile warms this Auntie's heart! 




The worst part of being half way across the world is missing these little guys grow up and missing months worth of their kisses and hugs! For now, I will settle for singing "Happy Birthday" on speaker phone and sending (belated..oops!) birthday packages...

 Happy Birthday Ike-man! 


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Unfinished Paintings

I've been going through some real discouragement with my two painting classes I am taking this winter. I had expectations that while Chris was gone, I would spend most of my time painting, that I would love it and that I'd be learning so much and creativity would just bubble out of me like a drool from a baby. 


Nope.


I'll spare you the gritty details but pretty much, I'm not enjoying it most of the time and I'm questioning the notion that I was ever a good painter in the first place. This is a combination of disliking my teachers, comparing myself to other artists in the classes, not liking much of what I paint and much more. I've been praying alot about it and hoping that if I don't learn anything in the classes themselves, I at least get the lesson that God wants me to learn from this frustrating situation (perhaps...pride goes before the fall??).

With that said, I'd like to share a few sneak peeks at the paintings I've been working on. Some of these are paintings I loathe and some I love. Some are just small parts of the whole painting and others are the entire painting. Honestly, it's hard for me to put these up here (especially because they are not finished and in different stages) but I do want to share with everyone what I've been up to the past few weeks.





Please pray for me as I struggle through this. There's a lot more to it than I'm sharing right now and I wish that my husband was here to bounce ideas off of, pray with me and encourage me. (He's doing a good job through email... but it's not quite the same!)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Two is Better Than One

This song (by Boys like Girls) came on while I was driving in the car this afternoon and immediately the tears sprang to my eyes. Of course, I was in the Micky D's drive through (don't hate on me, we don't have a Chick-fil-a here and I wanted some chicken nuggets!) and I'm sure the girl at the window was wondering why I was crying over nuggets and fries.

I am incredibly thankful for the love and support shown to me by our amazing church family here in Hawaii. I always have a friend to go surfing with. God has provided us with great neighbors who look after me and ring my doorbell at 9 pm to tell me that my car lights are on. And my friends and family all over the country have been showering me with prayers, encouraging cards and phone calls just to check in.

But unfortunately, none of these can compete with having my best friend and husband around. I need him there when I've been trying to open a jar of spaghetti sauce for 2 minutes and none of the usual tricks are working (shh, don't tell my mom. Sometimes I'm lazy and don't feel like waiting six hours to make my own sauce!).  

I want him there when I'm driving in the car and I have no one to talk to while I sit at the 20th red light in a row on Kam Highway.


 I wish he could be there on the blanket with me when I am surrounded by friends on the beach, laughing and joking and thinking, "Wow, God is good."

He can't be here right now and I am so proud of the work he is doing out in the Pacific. So, in the meantime, I'll keep the tv on for company, snuggle with my pillows at night instead of my husband,
and wait for the day when I can run into his arms and thank God for bringing him home safe again.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Welcome to the Jungle (part 1)

Two days ago, our back yard looked like this:

(poor little table is lost in the jungle!)

That's what happens when your husband is deployed and you have a case of the lazies... for over a month.

But I got over that, pulled on my big girl pants and weed whacked the jungle. Go me.

So, that was part 1.5 of trying to transform our humble little back yard into a restful place where we can relax, entertain and enjoy a quiet dinner together once Chris returns.

(Part uno was grabbing those yellow adirondack chairs, some bright candles and that plant from the Navy Exchange Garden Shop. More fun additions to come!)


Part two is to work on this guy:
(I love those cute little orange candles and my little green guy!)

I love the lines of this table! We got the table for free last summer from an abandoned house our realtor was in charge of. So, here's the dilemma. It needs some refinishing... as you can see here:




Beautiful, right?! Here's where I need your opinion. After a bit of sanding, should I...

A). Give it a fresh coat of stain and keep that beautiful wood color?

B). Paint it bright & white?

C). Spice it up with a splash of color? Which color??

D). Got another brilliant idea? Chime in!


Here's a chance for all of you who are reading this blog but lurking in the shadows to pipe up! I know you're out there! So, click that little comment link and give me your .02 cents!


 I'll be patiently waiting for your opinions to pour in. 

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Sister Act

My fabulous little sister, Tori, came for a visit this past week. We had a great time galavanting around the island, celebrating her 18th birthday, soaking up the sun and watching the Olympics each night.

My sister was the perfect person to come visit me while Chris is away. She's such a positive, sweet girl and I love her to pieces! Even though I adamantly deny it when people ask us if we are twins (approximately 13.5 people this week),  I love that it's become a joke between us and we look at each other and laugh each time it happens. 

                     ("Um, no, we're not twins. Actually I'm six years older. No, really, I'm serious.")


And yeah, we spent pretty much every night sitting on the couch, watching TV, and surfing the web together, but it was just perfect to just hang out and be together!



I am constantly amazed by the maturity and wisdom she shows even at 18, and I love seeing when a little bit of my goofiness rubs off on her.



She's pretty much the coolest little sister ever. 

Monday, February 15, 2010

An Update from Chris!

Chris has been writing emails to our friends and family with updates on the deployment. He asked me last night to post the most recent email so that those who are not on the email list are in the loop. So here's the latest from the most amazing man in my life:


Aloha!

Well the last time I wrote I mentioned my plans for an overnight bike trip. I went with three other guys and we biked about 60 miles around the largest of the islands of Palau.

(yes, that is my husband on the left with the mustache...what a stud!)

 I would like to tell you that I was leading the pack the whole day, and that on occasion I would have to turn around and wait for the rest of the group. However, that would be little bit of a fib. 

For the first 25 miles I was staying well hydrated drinking lots of water. Unfortunately, I was not drinking or eating anything to replace the electrolytes that were so rapidly oozing out of my body. We found a tiny little store that had some Gatorade in a small refrigerator and some “Nutritious Crackers”. I devoured this humble lunch and was excited to get back on the road feeling refreshed. Despite my confidence, I quickly learned that it takes more than ten minutes for those electrolytes to get where they need to be. Very soon after leaving the store while pedaling up a hill, my left quad seized up. There was a little bit of pain and discomfort, but the most concerning thing was that I could no longer bend my knee. It was locked in place by my cramping muscles. I could no longer pedal on my bike and I started to lose my balance. Just as I was figuring out how to get off my bike my right quad did the very same thing. I was toast. No longer able to bend either knee I yelled out to my companions to wait. 

They turned around to watch me stumble off my bike (straight kneed of course) and (while yelling in pain) try to find a way to get down on the ground without falling flat on my face. After managing to fall with a little bit of control I had to grab my legs and physically force them to bend at the knee. I got my knees to bend, but as I leaned back to stretch my quads both of my hamstrings cramped. 

At this point I knew that there was nothing I could to but wait out the pain until it stopped. My buddies watched with amusement as I crawled across the street to sit under the shade of a scrawny tree to wait for my legs to start working again. It took a few minutes but soon I was back on my bike to tackle the next 35 miles, this time with more regular stops for Gatorade.


 

That night I camped under a bridge with one of the guys while the other two went back to the ship. There were a couple of strange locals who came and went throughout the night fishing and partying and sometimes just staring at us, but we got a good nights rest anyways and made back to the ship in time for another day of diving.




We left the next day en route to Cebu with a short stop in Guam. Cebu is a large city in the central islands of the Philippines. While transiting through the Philippine islands we came across a small bonka boat (outrigger canoe) with a couple of guys who had been drifting on the open water for 24 hours after their engine failed. We picked them up and took them back to Mindanao after fixing their engine. Because of the delay we could not make it to Cebu until the following morning.

 We anchored yesterday and went out in town to experience a Filipina Valentines day mixed with Chinese New Year Parades with dragons and hearts everywhere. Cebu has two very large and very nice malls that are nicer than any malls I have seen in America. And everything is nearly half the price. We had a big party at a Filipina restaurant to say good bye to a couple of the officers who will be leaving the ship throughout our deployment and after that a few of us went wandering through the poor neighborhoods and crammed alleyways looking for what the city is really like. We found some guy selling strange food out of a bucket on the street and convinced him to be our guide and take us to the cock fights. 

After a taxi ride through the crazy streets of Cebu we came to the cock fighting arena just in time for the last two fights of the night. I am apparently no good at choosing chickens because I came up 500 pesos short after losing both fights.


Thanks for your prayers and your emails and for the care packages! (Lucy may be coming up on her first birthday but she can already put together a mean care package)
-Chris

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Carded.

Since the weekend Chris left, I have opened my mailbox almost every day to a bright colored envelope with my mom's loopy handwriting on it. I love the comfort it brings me to see her distinct, familiar handwriting and knowing inside the envelope is a hug, a cheerful word and a Bible verse from the most influential woman in my life.


If you've ever met my mom, you know what a beautiful person she is. If you are looking for her, you can probably find her in one of several places--the kitchen, the garden, a wrestling room or the Pregnancy Clinic. 
She's the first person I call when I'm standing in the grocery store wondering, "What's the difference between chicken stock and chicken broth??" One of the first thoughts I had when I got to Hawaii and saw all the flowering plumeria trees was "Wow, Mom will love this place." She knows more about the wrestling world (and loves it!) more than any woman really should. And she did such an amazing job raising 7 of us crazy kids that I want to be just like her when I grow up. 

Thanks Mama, you're the best!


Monday, February 1, 2010

Oh Joy.

Happy Monday, loved ones. Thought i'd share some things I'm excited about this week. 


--I got to talk to Chris yesterday for half an hour! He's in port this week and he's excited to go scuba diving today. It was so great to just chat about life with my hubby and it made things seem a little more "normal". Then before I went to bed, he popped onto Facebook chat. What a treat! 


{yes, I took a picture while on the phone with him....blog much??}

--Today is February 1st! That means my listening limit on Pandora starts over! I  had about 20 minutes left last night when I went to bed. Whew, just made it! Love a fresh start. 

--My niece Lucy (with a little help from her mama, Beth) sent me a package! It was such an unexpected surprise in my mailbox yesterday! Thank you sweet Lucy! 


--Little Sister comes in 5 days!! Woo! 

--I am coming up with some plans to finally decorate our bedroom and our backyard. Both are areas of our house lacking in personality. I bought a new white comforter for the bedroom and I'm planning on a color scheme of soothing teal and green. And for the backyard, I'm thinking some bright adirondack chairs would be ideal for enjoying a glass of lemonade and a book in our little patch of grass. (And of course, a hair cut for the grass!)

--Lastly, I am slowly working on my paintings. I've experienced some "painter's block" the past couple of weeks but I've just started to put paint on canvas, expecting to push past that at some point. Here's a sneak peek from a few days ago.




Have a great week everyone!