Saturday, August 17, 2013

Aloha!

Well, it has officially been FOREVER since my last post. But since March, things have been a bit crazy. Brad graduated from CGSC. And he got his Masters degree in International Relations from Webster University. We received orders, packed up all of our worldly belongings, spent a month traveling all over Oklahoma and Texas to visit family, and drove halfway across the country to ship a vehicle from San Diego before boarding a plane with 4 people, 10 suitcases and a dog to HAWAII! We arrived in Honolulu to a round of lei's from friends and new co-workers. Then we headed to our hotel a block off the legendary Waikiki beach for a 4 night stay. We frolicked in the sand. We visited bars and restaurants on the beach and listened to Hawaiian crooners play the ukulele. Then we headed over to the windward side of the island to stay at Paradise Bay Resort in Kaneohe in a 2 bedroom hotel room until we found a place to live.

Paradise Bay was set in a paradise-like location, on the water in the bay, surrounded by beautiful mountains. But it was far from paradise. We awoke on our second morning to a 2 inch long roach crawling IN THE BED with us, and I quickly fell out of love with the resort. The manager then moved us into a bigger, nicer room that would work perfectly for our family until we found a home. The military then offered us a house on post, like we were hoping, but the home was less-than-desirable. No back yard. No front yard, since the detached garage was situated directly in front of the house on the lot. A maintenance shed next door, with a giant radio tower looming above and head-high grass growing everywhere. So, we went on 8 rental property viewings to see what we could find on the civilian market. We found a lovely home, signed a lease, and prepared to wait it out about 10 days in the hotel until we could move in on the first of August. But 3 days later, the manager of our hotel told us we had to move back into the smaller, roach-infested room or "find a different hotel." SO...I moved heaven and high water to change our move-in date and get our express shipment of "emergency goods" delivered so we could get out of that hell-hole and into our home ASAP, after a couple of interim nights with friends who graciously put us up (and even babysat our kids while we went on a date night. THAT is the sign of a good friend.)

We spent the next week camping in our house with nothing but air mattresses, a card table and folding chairs, a TV, and a few kitchen items and linens. Oh, and did I mention, we only had one of our vehicles, the other had yet to arrive, and Brad had returned to work? Yeah, that meant I was trapped in the 'burbs of Hawaii in an empty house with two kids and NOTHING to do. Fun times.

Finally, our household goods were released from customs and were delivered by a mean Hawaiian giant and his minions, who proceeded to destroy many of our belongings and even damage the lovely house we'd rented. But on the bright side, I was able to sleep in MY BED with MY PILLOW after a month and a half of traveling and living out of suitcases.

Since then, I've been unpacking boxes and putting together a home while refereeing sibling arguments. We've enrolled Aubrey in school and sent her off for her first day of kindergarten, and I've ordered curriculum and began planning for our first year of homeschooling with Aiden. (PS--Hawaii public schools are pretty awful).

So, that catches you up. Sort of. It completely glosses over our fun travels this summer (Great Wolf Lodge, Sea World, the Grand Canyon with some of our closest friends, lake trips and dancing under the summer stars). But, it is a start.

I'm only a few months late in my updates. But what can you expect?? We're living on Aloha time now.

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Check out A Belly in Bloom, a page devoted to Angela's pregnancy with Aubrey. You can see belly pics, sonograms, and learn more about how Aubrey (formerly known as "The Bean") came to be the lovely little girl she is! You can also find Angela's favorite recipes and newest food experiments at Cooking with the Parker Pack.