Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Keep waiting for us Hawaii...

It's official, we met with Vaka's advisor this morning and there is no way he can finish his degree in less than 3 years. So, sad but true, we are stuck for 3 more long years in "beautiful" Utah. In case you can't tell, I'm not thrilled. :) The problem is, all he basically has left to finish are his major classes, and they all have to be taken in a certain order, and the U is dumb and doesn't offer ANY of them summer semester, so there really is no way for him to complete them any sooner than what we mapped out today. Good news is, at least he won't have to go full-time all 6 remaining semesters, and he'll still be finishing the lengthy engineering major in less time than most students do. It just seems SO FAR AWAY. On a positive note, grandma will be happy to know her new grandson won't be moving an ocean away from her anytime soon!!

A nice, long weekend...

One of the great things about living in this blessed state of Utah is the official state holiday which falls on July 24th... Pioneer Day. Luckily for me, this year we convinced the partners to not only give us the 24th as a paid holiday, but the 25th as well. After all, who wants to come back to work on a Friday after just having had a holiday?? So, needless to say, I fully enjoyed a nice long FOUR DAY WEEKEND.

My brother Brandon and nephew J.T. just so happened to come to visit at the same time so for once I could actually have fun with the family rather then be the only one stuck at work while everyone else played!! And play we did.

We swam...

and golfed...

and cooled off getting drinks at Sonic during "happy hour" more times than I can remember...

The only disadvantage?? Coming back to work on Monday was ROUGH.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Swelling, Sailing, Surfing, Shopping and Stuffing ourselves with food...

The title is a pretty accurate description of the rest of our time in Hawaii. Oh, and add SWEATING. As mentioned before, it was HOT and HUMID so there was plenty of that going on too. :)

The day we left on vacation I had a doctor appointment and got the final thumbs up to go. Over and over again my doctor's main word of advice was to make sure that I was consciously moving my feet and getting up and walking around regularly during the drive/flight to prevent blood clots. However, never did anyone warn me that THIS would happen...

Lest you be fooled, no, that is not a balloon, those are my feet. During the course of the flight, they literally BLEW UP. And then it took 3 days of elevating/icing/massaging to get them down to a reasonable size. I should have just popped them. :) So on the flight home, I was prepared. The plane wasn't full so I spread out and had a wonderful flight attendent who waited on me, bringing me fresh ice and orange juice throughout the flight. All was well until the drive home from Vegas. Despite my efforts, I arrived at my parents house with a set of balloon feet all over again!! Don't worry though, only mild, typical swelling is now present and no amputation is needed. :)

(Just in case it was at all difficult for you to tell how "elephant-like" and deformed they really were, the picture above offers you a comparison to a "normal" foot...)

Because of my swollen belly and feet, I was pretty limited in what I was able to do. No hiking stairway to heaven for me this visit!! However, we were successful in finding one new thing for me to try that was adventurous and doable, swollen or not!! Shortly before we arrived, Vaka's brother William and his neighboor purchased this awesome catamaran together. Perfect timing for us!!

Believe it or not, Vaka was the one that was skeptical about my ability to ride on it at first. But it looked so fun, and I had grown up here and never been out on a boat on this side of the island, so I was determined!! The Tu'ifua men took it out for a spin first without a hitch...

so now it was my turn. Yes, if you can see my face, after I hopped on, I was now the one not convinced this was something I should be doing. We were going to go all the way OUT THERE?? What if a wave knocked me off?? There was no way I was going to be able to just hop back on with this big belly. So roles reversed and Vaka did the convincing that should I fall off, I'd be fine, because I had a built in floatation device. :)

Luckily, we didn't have to test out his theory. :) It was so much fun, and Vaka learned quickly how to sail it himself, so we were able to go back out quite a few times while we were there. See that rock way out on the horizon to the left of the sail in the picture above? That gives you an idea of how far we'd sail. Vaka always wanted to go around the rock, but then you have to deal with wind variations, etc. so it was out of my comfort zone. It was so relaxing to be out there on the open ocean and experience getting to see my home from a completely different perspective. If we ever end up moving back, I think we'll definitely need to invest in one ourselves!!

The same neighboor that William bought the catamaran with is also an amazing surfer. (Honestly, there isn't much this guy doesn't do!! He was also the photographer at the wedding. Check out his work here: I tried my hand at surfing a few times in high school. It was something I always wished I was good at, but never ever was. Vaka had never tried and convinced Mark to give him lessons one day. Well, at least if I can't be good at it, I can live vicariously through my husband. He was a natural, (or maybe Mark's just a great teacher!) and caught a wave on his first try!! Maybe he can quit school and enter the pro circuit so we can move back to Hawaii NOW.... :)

The last two title descriptions, dented our budget and expanded our waistlines, but they were a must. :) We went over with two suitcases and came back with four stuffed to the brim. Gotta stock up since who knows when we'll be back with flights as high as they are these days!!

Here's a list off the top of my head of some of the highlights of what we consumed, just to make your mouth water. :) Pig, mussels, crab, shrimp, mango, pineapple, papaya, huli huli chicken, manapua, Matsumoto's shave ice, Ted's chocolate haupia pie, haupia ice cream, macadamia nut ice cream, Leonard's malasadas, hawaiian sun juice, Jack in the Box, teriyaki burgers, and Dirty Lickin's Chicken (thanks Kris! Can you please send me some more?) :) Luckily, mostly what I stuffed myself with was mangos and pineapple so I can't feel too bad right??

Home to Hawaii

Yes, we're alive!! Sorry for the blogging hiatus, life has been busy, but fun!!

Our trip to Hawaii was wonderful as always, though it probably would have been more wonderful had I not been 28 weeks pregnant in 95 degree humidity heat with no trade winds. Good thing the beach was closeby!!

The main reason for the trip was to attend Vaka's brother Jimmy's wedding. We flew in the night before the sealing and spent the next 3 days preparing for and attending wedding events. One of the most memorable parts of the wedding was that Jimmy & Kalea were sealed in the same sealing room we were sealed in just over a year ago. It felt like deja vu, but I was more than happy to not be the one wearing a heavy, hot wedding dress!!

Unfortunately, we weren't great about taking pictures (maybe that has something to do with the fact that the camera is my worst enemy these days??) but here are some of the few we have!!

Vaka the groomsman

Some of the cute keiki's

Roasting pigs for the reception