Well, I finally got around to taking some pictures...I felt like such a tourist, just sticking my head out the window of our car every 5 seconds to take yet another pictures of those beautiful mountains....but I can't get over them...they are crazy gorgeous.
Anyways....here are a few from today! I'll have to add the videos to FB, because I don't have a youtube account...and I'm pretty sure that's all I can add on here....
Well, we MADE IT!!! Woo hoo!! But before all of that there was some waiting, more waiting, impatient kids...tears, freaking out....the whole nine yards. Speaking of the whole nine yards, I guess I should mention there was a HUGE windstorm and several fires around the city, that we drove past on our way to the airport. Our house was on evacuation watch, but never got evacuated. I am SO thankful for awesome neighbors and friends, who always are on the watch out for us. We made it to the airport, through security and customs (who did NOT ask if and when we were returning...what?! we heard from every source that this would be a huge issue, and had made measures to keep ourselves safe in that regard,which we did, and it was all for naught) VERY quickly.... despite the long lines. The first issue came up when we heard my hubby's name over the intercom (well, jason hatsma's at least, ha ha)...he was called back to checked baggage because of a problem with our luggage. It turns out you can't take camping stoves with you, who knew?! On a side note, we were able to fit one sleeping bag, a queen-size air mattress and pump, the camp stove AND a 10-men tent with 9-ft gazebo IN our luggage....yup, we're geniuses. Shortly after that we were called to the counter AGAIN....only for them to tell us that we were going to be delayed into SFO because of weather there, and that we may not male our connection...but we still should. After getting on the plane, de-icing for 45 minutes, then being delayed yet again due to SFO weather, we taxi-ed for a total of 1 hr 20 minutes...then took off for a 3 hour flight.
We an as quickly as we could when we got off the plane, and straight to our gate...and got there about 6 minutes before our scheduled departure time. They had closed the plane literally minutes before, and would NOT let us on, even though the plane was RIGHT there. The worst part was, another couple on our plane was on the same connection, and they made it!! They were at the front of the plane (us on THE last row, with no reclining seats may I add....not fun at all)...oh, and no kids with oodles of carry-on's to tote around either. I can't believe they let the their couple on, and didn't even wait an extra few minutes for us....so annoying.
Well, we then waited at the airport for 6 hours....yup, tell me how fun that was (especially after waking up at 4:30 that morning, with no naps thus far, due to non-reclining chairs and cranky little boys to console).
After boarding the second time...we finally made it....onto THE biggest plane I've ever been on....it was sweet! It made the 5 hour journey a little more manageable...and I was even able to recline my chair!!! woot!!
Despite it all, the boys did really well on the plane...yes, they were cranky and impatient, and may have had a few melt-downs....but really good considering.
It took around 1/2 hour for all of our luggage to make it to the carousel, but we did get it all...and then carried ALL of our luggage onto the shuttle to the rental car place. The carrying of luggage is my LEAST fave part....we had in total 2 huge bags (both which weighed slightly over 50 lbs, but the lady liked us, so we had no extra charge), a third one weighing 42 lbs...2 big car seats for the boys, 3 big carry-ons, 3 backpacks and a purse.
We got a REALLY nice rental, which I'm super happy....cuz face it, you spend a LOT of time in your car on vacation....we ended up with this nice spacious Laredo, that easily fit all of our luggage.
We began the drive to our little condo, and got there in about an hour....with both kids sleeping. They'd missed dinner that night, so I'm surprised they stayed asleep. We rolled in at somewhere around 1 or 2 L-town time, and 10 or 11 hawaii time....making a total of 21 hours of travel-time....SUPER cool....not.
One other major bummer was that we were really looking forward ot the drive to our condo, with all the ncie views...but it was pitch black as we drove, and we literally couldn't see past the one constant row of houses next to us, or see the ocean at all.
Our condo is super nice!! I'll try ad post some photos or videos soon. The condo itself is a little old, and pretty small (it's a studio)....but it has a really big lanai (Hawaiian for patio, look how much I know already! ha ha). It also has a TON of windows...which I love...and is surrounded by the ocean.
If you open all the windows, all you would see is palm trees and ocean all the way around you....and we sleep in the area with the most windows too....it's really nice.
We did find a little lizard on our kitchen counter, which kinda freaked me out....but it's better than a tarantula, so I'll take it!
Today was a little windy still, not warm enough for me to want to swim in the ocean....but the boys had a great time swimming.
We're drove around the PCC,BYUH and the Laie Temple today...and we'll visit them more tomorrow. We took a long scenic drive all the way up the coast to the very north shore and went to some cute little stores.
the biggest shocker so far was the local super-market. It looked so normal on the outside, like a sobey's, then when you walk in it's crazy!! I can only compare it to the Bishop's storehouse (comparable to a food bank but run by our LDS church)....although, I think that it may have been a little more rundown than that even. The food has been good so far, not too pricy either comparatively. Cheese and grapes were pretty pricy, but beef, hotdogs, juice, chips etc....were all the same. Oh, and so is gas...or maybe a teensie bit cheaper.
Well, that's it for today....I'll try and take more photos tomorrow, so I can upload a whole bunch at once:)
Everyone that we meet, in every situation, little A comments to them: "we're moving to hawaii!!" (although both him and Roo pronounce it haw-I).
They are both REALLY excited....hopefully all of that excitement carries over to them being very well-behaved and happy on the airplane!! ha ha...doubtful. Things are finally coming into place....a little more disorganized, and maybe a LOT more pricy than we were hoping to do it for. Apparently Dec-March in the high season in Hawaii....so we're hitting it right at THE most expensive time. Also, there is some crazy surfing championship, which makes it even MORE busy....yay us...what great plan-ahead-ers we are. So...THE PLAN thus far is to have a place booked for about 2 1/2 weeks...all around the north shore area. We are hoping to know by the end of that time whether or not we will stay for longer. We should have a good idea about jobs down there, and houses and what not....so either we'll be signing a lease, and starting a job....or planning our trip back home. If it's the latter, we have decided to pack a WHOLE bunch of our camping gear in our luggage...and we're going to rent a car, and camp out all over the island...maybe even island hop for a while. There are always really cheap flights in and out of hawaii, no matter what the day, if you are going to seattle...so that'll be our back-up plan. We'll just hang out there and maybe Victoria...and slowly make our way back home, sometime in January. Even the best-made plans have been known to fall through...and this isn't even a best-made plan...ha ha...so we'll see. We have quite a few back-up plans though, so I think we'll be okay!! Although camping for a month or more wasn't really what I'd hoped for, I still think it'll be awesome. The weirdest thing is saying good-bye to everyone...just because we have NO idea how long we'll be gone for! I mean....we could wimp out, and come back in 3 weeks....or we could LOVE it and find a fantastic DREAM job, and never come home?! ha ha....who knows. This is BY FAR the craziest thing we've ever done. We are SUPER grateful for my in-laws who are staying at our house and taking care of everything here for us...so that we have a place to some home to whenever we decide to. It really is amazing... Well folks...I'll hopefully keep my blog updates regularily...we've made sure that ALL of the places we are staying at have wi-fi...that IS a must...and if we end up camping, my posts may be a little sparse...but I'll try to make it work. I love you all! Keep reading about ALL our crazy future adventures:)
I haven't been posting in what seems like forever...so sorry!! Sorry for my MIA-ness... Apparently planning a 6 month stay-cation in another country, whilst trying to pack and clean most of our house and dealing with just being a mommy, and also a sister to someone who needs a LOT of help right now...is time-consuming or something? ha ha...I guess. So ya..here is a little note to tell you that I AM indeed alive and kicking...and our hawaii plans are sssllloooowwwlllyyy coming together. I wish they would come together a LOT quicker than they are right now...since how we leave in T-11 days....but we DO have a rental car as of today....and a place to sleep for the first 3 nights...and some appointments to see some other houses once we land....oh and MOST importantly....we bought tickets for a submersible scooter and sea-turtle watching tour....COOL!!! Well, peace out...I'm going to apply for some more jobs for my hubby:)
Yes, I had a difficult day yesterday....dealing with everything I talked about in my last post...and even more that evening....and even more this morning as we were told from the adoption agency that we would have to be taken off the list while we are in Hawaii (which I am super sadabout...). I was probably just going to end up being bummed out in my whole post....again....then I read a beautiful post by a friend this morning entitled "beautiful heartbreak"...all about an especially difficult trial that she was going through this last week. I would link to it, but it is a personal story of hers, so I'll just use the beautiful song that she named her post after. If you haven't listened to it, you should...it's perfect.
It made me feel silly for these tiny little trials that I am so disconcerted by. There are so many trials that I could have, that other do have, and that I probably will have one day...that will be much more heat-breaking than the ones I have now. I am also reminded of the Canadian soldier who lost his life a week ago, and left behind a young wife, close to my age, with 2 young children...one being only a few weeks old. This soldier was from my home town, and went to high-school with my brother, my husband and I. I watched a little video clip of the memorial, and watched this young mother holding her tiny little baby, with her toddler walking behind...what a heartbreak.
It really made me count my blessings...I have a family whom I adore, a great church family here in our neighborhood, and so many wonderful friends. I have a wonderful husband, who is here for me, who gets to spend a lot of time with our family, and who I always look up to and lean on for strength.
In the song that went with my friends post, beautiful heartbreak, there was shown a myriad of women, who showed the trials that they have been through....really tough and difficult trials...much more difficult than anything I'm ever seen. It also reminded me of the need to be caring, loving, and especially understanding. As that car drives you by and cuts you off, or someone loses their temper at you, or forgets to come to an appointment you had set up (like my day yesterday)....we can think of all of the things going on in their lives....we have no idea what a difficult day, or year, or life that they have...and we can all try and be a little more understanding of others trials and decisions in life. I will definitely be trying.
I have already begun to see blessings and solutions to problems that I have been contemplating, specifically my difficulty with enabling vs. loving with a specific person is my life...I think I have found a way to do both so far...and I hope it works. I'm truly grateful for these answers to prayers, and grateful that for the trials I have...for they do serve a purpose.... to increase my faith... ....and they have.
Okay...so sometimes I am a whiner....especially today!! I want all of my worry stress and time to be going into planning our move to hawaii...since how that's kind of a big deal, ya know? BUT, alas...I seem to have absolutely NO time or mind-space for any of that lately. Apparently other people just aren't reliable...especially in the goods and services industry. We have been trying to get this house fixed that we are managing...and it seems like anything that could ever go wrong, has. Today, for instance, we were supposed to meet someone at 9 to look at fixing something...my hubby went over there....no one showed after 1/2 hour of waiting. Then I go over at 11:30 to meet with someone else to fix something else, and NOPE, no show again....seriously?! We've spent most of the morning just trying to meet with these people, phone calls etc...just for them not to show. LAME!! I hate having to rely on other to be responsible, it would be SO much easier if I could just fix everything myself...wouldn't that be awesome?? ha ha...if only I was Chuck Norris. The other major stress in my life is in finding the fine line between enabling and loving....I would love to just love and support ALL of the time...but will they ever learn? On the other hand, I'm not even sure if this person has the capability of learning....it may never happen. All of the rest of my mind-space and time this morning has gone to researching homeless shelters, mental health programs, rehabilitation centers etc....so at least I can be some help in giving this person information, if not help beyond that. It's hard to figure out how far to go when you want to show help and love to someone, when you want to feed the hungry and shelter the homeless...especially when it's someone you care about...but not give them so much that they will then take advantage of your help. I'm not sure if any of that made sense...but yup, I AM a whiner today, that's for sure. Hopefully in time, preferably in the next few days, some of these stressors will dissipate so I can focus on my own forthcoming dilemmas.
Well, I thought after my last post that life would get a little less crazy? a little? Especially because my hubby has been home quite a but this week. BUT, nope. It's still crazy...but whatev, that's what life's about right? Some of you may have seen via crackbook, that we are headed to HAWAII!!! UM, yes...we ARE! :) It's exciting for sure...and I would be more happy-go-lucky excited about it if I wasn't so anxious, and busy planning, and just buy with life in general...oh, and if my life wasn't so much like THIS ladies here. (which btw is an AWESOME article about the language of CHILD..yup, both mu kids speak it...and I sure don't...I think they may be partially lingual in adult, depending on the situation...but rarely). We are heading out on the 28th...to a CrAzY and hopefully awesome adventure with our kids, before they get all grown-up and have to go to real-school and what not. Although, who am I kidding, I would totally pull them out of real school and travel the world via hot-air balloon whilst homeschooling them, if I ever had the chance.... Fortunately for us, we have awesome family members, in particular my hubby's parents, who will be staying at our place while we are gone. That little fact is what is making this whole thing possible. While they are here enjoying all this town has to offer in cold, windy snow-iness we will be headed out in hopes of finding a job and a house down in Hawaii. So far, all we have is a few days booked at a little cottage, and we're hoping after that we'll find a monthly rental type situation, and some sort of employment for my hubby. If so...we'll be staying for a while. I, unfortunately, am NOT american like my super-cool stud of a hubby, so I can only stay in the country for up to 6 months....AND our adoption renewal thingy comes up too...so 6 months will be our cut-off (unless some adorable Hawaiian baby washes up on shore and we stay there forever...yup, it could happen...Moses, right?) Anyways...that's OUR news...we are cray adventurers....does that make us hippies? I've always wanted to be a hippy.... peace out! (that was very hippy-ish in case you didn't know)
We had THE greatest halloween this year...I can't decide if it was the best year ever...but I think it probably was. I had all of these ideas of going out for hours, and getting just a HUGE hoard of candy...but after such a cray weekend, I wasn't sure if I'd make it....I was SO drained. I'll give you a quick run-down of my SUPER crazy weekend. It started thursday afternoon while I had to spend HOURS, literally, on the phone with hotel people, flights places etc.....trying to plan this CRAY adventure that we are about to embark on. BUT...more on that later, that's a whole post in and of itself. After that, we woke up early friday morning and drove straight to the passport office in clagry (while not quite straight, since how I had written down the address for some random govn't office...so we had to backtrack about 25 minutes). We got our passports renewals figured out pretty quickly, and had a wuick lunch with Uncle Scotty....then headed back home. As soon as we got home, we headed over to a family birthday party for one of A's little friends. We had a blast there, and A learned the awesome-ness of a whoopie cushion...thanks guys!! ha ha We left there to pick up our babyistter, and get ready SUPER fast for an adult halloween party, which was a SUPER great time....great snacks and fun games. It ended in the LOSERS pf the game (aka, us, the women) having to either eat a teaspoon of cinnamon (which we learned after the first loser wasn't THE greatest pick in the world) or eating a donut off of a string whilst your spouse spraying you down with water....awesome times! ha ha The next morning we had a primary party, followed by another friends of A's birthday party, followed by our OWN halloween party....whew....it was a long day. Our party was a blast! I wish I had taken more pictures....but the games turned out awesome! We were laughing so hard by the end of the night that we were tearing up....a lot. Good times! That didn't end till close to 2 am....yup. Craziness, I know. Sunday was full of church, including our annual primary presentation, which I conducted. That evening was a church fireside, and I sang an a capella quartet of a beautiful song HERE....it was awesome. It couldn't have turned out better. In fact, afterwards, a lady came up and asked one of the girls that sang with me: "so, that song was off of the CD right? Is it you guys on the CD then? You sounded JUST like them!" ha ha....nope, not us on the CD, we only wish! Well....that was my cray weekend. We woke up monday for a little playgroup we go to, that we dressed up for....then went to lunch for "octopus hot dogs" at a friends...then home for a short relaxation before our night of craziness. At THIS point I was all for only trick-or-treating around the neighborhood...or not at all...because I was SO tired. BUT, somehow I got a second wind....I think it was all of the kids excitement and joy at getting candy....it was SO fun and cute to watch. We started at 3:00....yup 3:00...we went to the main mall here in town, and then to a smaller mall of the north side....both which have trick-or-treating to all the stores. The first mall was complete chaos!! It was SO packed....it was cray. Luckily we went with a friend, and she came up wit ha strategic way to get to ALL of the stores with out ANY back-tracking...and we did it, in 48 minutes!! I'm so proud of us...ha ha.
After the 2 malls, we headed home to pick up daddy, and then went to 2 trunk-or-treats in church parking lots. We just pulled up, and daddy took the 2 little ninja's around, while I handed out the goods...the 2nd church was super packed...and we got 3 full-size chocolate bars there! Score! We then headed to Burger King for some much-needed dinner and playing at the play-place. At around 7pm we headed out to a subdivision on the very south-end with massive houses....it was awesome. Everyone there was SO nice...and the houses were awesome to walk around, because they were SO beautiful....it was great. We scored several full-sized chocolate bars...and the boys even got $5 gift cards to toys'r'us!! Awesome!! We headed back home and stopped at a few freinds on the way...we dropped off the loot and then went around our little cul-de-sac. We actually got a TON of candy there, because apparently we were some of the first trick-or-treaters that night in that area. At close to 9:00pm we finally went home....a mere 6 hours after we had started!! ha ha...it may sound cray, but it was SO much fun....the kids never died down until the end...they just kept wanting to do more. I'm not sure who had more fun, us adults, or them! It was really nice too, because our good friends, who have boys the same age as ours, did it ALL with us! We let the kids eat a TON of candy when we got home, then they picked out a few little candies to put in a zip-loc bag...and that's all they are keeping. After they went to bed, we picked ut what we wanted...including the 9 full-sie bars we ended up with, and ll of the potato chips (around 25-30 bags). We put the rest in a bag and weighed it....11.4 lbs!! We are bringing all of that to the dentist in town who buys them for $1/lb. They are sent to troops overseas, which is great!! So, after tomorrow...we will be almost all theway candy-less...and the kids will go to toys'r'us and get to pick out a toy! What a great weekend, and especially, a GREAT halloween day!!!