Monday, March 30, 2009

Girrrrrl Time

It's amazing what a little girl time, and a few Mexican Martinis can do. One little deviation from our normal TV show, make dinner, drink wine routine, and we are SUPER high on life. Laughing at each other, making doing it motions in the middle of a restaurant, trying out the Hills look on each other with only two of us accomplishing it, too many Mexican Martinis and making fun of the one of us who drank Dos Equis. Good times, good friends. I love it.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Unpack and Unwind

Last night I finally had the chance to unpack after being thrown back into the wash of things on Tuesday. I decided to use the time to catch up on all my girlie conversations I missed the eleven days I was gone. After three lengthy conversations, the last of which was with Alyssa who I miss terribly, probably even more so because she's five thousand miles away from me and the likelihood of seeing her again anytime soon is next to nil, any way, off topic, she suggested adding wine to the unpacking. After we got off the phone so she could take off to shoot her wedding, I promptly made a vino run and texted KT to join me for wine and unpacking after she got out of yoga if she wanted to. She ended up showing up at my door an hour or so later. Even better I had just finished the last of the unpacking, so it was perfect time to catch up on girlie hanging out time. We finished the bottle of wine, the best fudge ever in the world I bought from Hawaii, hardwood smoked turkey sandwiches with cucumbers, and cheese bread from Papa Murphy's, looked thru my pictures from Hawaii, and watched two episodes of Kath & Kim. Ahhh, relaxation.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Life on Vacation

First of all, Hawaii was AHmazing. I had no idea discovering how Brando and I could be without children would be so helpful for my perspective on when we get into parenting scuffles. Prior to Hawaii we had never taken a vacation together, and never been away from the kids for more than one night. We've always had a child in our relationship as Justinbustin was five months old when I met Brando. Being away from kids that we were responsible for for an entire week and not getting in more than one fight - and even then, getting over it very quickly and in a sweeter manner than we normally do - helped me realize how MUCH stress children bring into life. Their constant opinions, needs, wants, decisions, create an unavoidable strain and further demand on your persona.

I even noticed the phenomenon with food. We ate at home a lot or packed picnics in Hawaii, because we didn't want to waste money on eating out when we could be doing other things. It ended up being so romantic packing picnics together, eating in our rented convertible with the ac blasting in the Pearl Harbor parking lot, eating on Turtle Beach, shopping together for just the two of us. I wouldn't trade that experience there for the world. I also noticed one container of deli meat lasts us two and a half meals with just the two of us. With the four of us one container lasts us ONE meal. WOW it takes a lot more to feed four than two.

Being on vacation with having so much great advice to give a little on Brando's side so that it was a vacation for him as well really taught me a lot about who he is and who I am and who we are when we are together. His favorite activities? Eating breakfast at a small cafe in a cute coastal town about ten minutes from us. We ate there four times. My favorite activities? Trying something new together - like kayak surfing, snorkeling Shark's Cove, seeing the Rainbow at Shark's Cove, visiting the USS Bowfin and Pearl Harbor. I learned that he is perfectly happy to do all those things with me adventurously and romantically and has an even greater time doing those thing when he enjoys spending his time indulging his favorites like breakfast, even if they seem miniscule to me.

Arriving home, I can't tell you how many countless arguments this perspective I've gained has saved us. I'm still grumpy in the morning, but when I am I sit back and realize this argument wouldn't be happening if a small child wasn't involved, and how silly is it that a small child can have that much control over a relationship. I look at Brando in a different light, how I would if we were still on vacation, and realize that I love him just as much as I did then, and point out what I want to say in a much more loving way. In a way I would if I didn't have the stress of the small child and only the motivation of having an amazing time together on vacation.

I didn't expect this to be a "fix it all" vacation. I only went to experience new things, and feel what it was like to be alone with my husband. In fact, my sister told me in the airport as we were leaving California that this was not a counseling session or a marriage seminar. It's not the time to bring up issues. It was VACATION. To relax and just enjoy each other. My first thought was, well, I don't know about that this is the perfect time to talk about issues when the kids aren't around. But you know what? She has the best advice and I totally listened to her, and I'm so glad I did. I came home learning so much more about my hubby, myself, and our relationship than I could have ever imagined, especially because I went not realizing I would learn ANYthing!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

What We Did Do in Hawaii

White Plains Beach where Brando attempted to surf - I was a wimp because the water there was too cold, Bellows Beach with beautiful white powder sand and clear warm water set against the back drop of the incredible mountains that looked they were carved by a hundred different waterfalls and covered in a luscious green, Sunset Beach where we saw the sunset twice, Turtle Beach where we saw sea turtles lounging on the beach, drove by Waimea Beach every day
Ko Olina Resort lagoons and tide pools
Waimea Valley Audobon Center
Sailing on the Makani Catamaran by Waikiki, Diamond Head and watching whales
Hiking Diamond Head
Cocktails, coconut shrimp, beef brochette, and seafood egg rolls watching a show at Halekulani House Without a Key, a restaurant on the beach at a gorgeous resort
Cafe Hale'iwa four times, Brandon's favorite
Shark's Cove tide pools
Halana Blowhole and another gorgeous lookout
A bar on the beach next to our bay, with a lava flow watching the sunset
Kayak Surfing and Kayaking alongside a sea turtle for an hour and a half
Kayaking with Alyssa's little girls
Matsumato's shave ice twice
Dinner at Ola's at Turtle Bay Resort where the Hills was filmed a few weeks ago. Eeee! That was even a little better than our normal girls' nights watching it ; ) .
Drove the east coast which was gorgeous along the southeastern end and driving right next to the beach but depressing when we got to the northeastern drive where the homes were right on the water but so weather beaten and junk laden that they looked desolate
Brando swam under a waterfall at Waimea Audobon Center
Pearl Harbor, the USS Bowfin and Arizona Memorial
Aloha Bowl Swap Meet for souvenirs
Dole Plantation, where we had pineapple ice cream (yum!)
Dinner twice with Alyssa's family!
A stroll along our private beach and bay
Drove by Chinaman's Hat island while driving the windward side
Snorkeled Haunama Bay and Shark's Cove (AMAZING! Now we wish we had snorkeled there both times)
Walked the cute little beach town of Hale'iwa
Malasadas from Leonard's (thanks, Alyssa!)

Basically everything on my first list minus two, plus a few from the other list (we decided we'd rather relax and not stress about money than do the shark swim)! Yay!

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Wedding Shoot

So Brando did his first (well, technically, first as the main shooter) wedding shoot on Saturday. We messed up and didn't go see the venue beforehand. It worked out okay, but we missed out on a great photo op with the family and bride and groom in front of the venue because we didn't scope the place out first. Brando has such an eye for photography he captures that photo op that I wish I knew how to. The bride got sick of taking pictures in front of the guests though and wanted to just hang out. Totally her, but too bad for her because she missed pics with just him and her. Ugh. It was my job to referee the family and boy did I wish I had scoped out the place and done some research. Like make an announcement after the ceremony that his family would be taking pictures first, then hers, then the bride and groom, THEN the reception would start. It was difficult because the wedding and reception ended up being in the same place, then because we didn't plan out the after ceremony shots we ended up doing those where the ceremony had taken place, right in front of the guests. Ergh. Not so good. BUT the photo ops that Brando was able to capture were beautiful, even in the, shall we say, questionable environment it was in. Next time: research, scoping out beforehand, and announcement after the ceremony thus avoiding the herding. Learn as you go, I guess!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

So Many Choices, Too Little Time!!!

This is where I bring you guys and your expertise in : ) . Oh my word!! We are going to Oahu for spring break and WOW there are SO many things I want to do. I've had my itinerary planned out for three months now, but the more I research, make reservations, and plan out routes, the more and more I want to do. Here is what is on there so far:

Tons of beaches (Bellows, Sunset, Turtle, Waimea, Ko Olina)
Snorkeling (Sharks Cove, Haunama Bay)
Shark Swim (although I'm iffying on this one as it's $200 for the both of us. I don't know where but I had gotten the idea it was $130 for both of us)
Sunset Sailboat Ride (again I'm iffy on this in changing it into a morning or afternoon sail. There would be more time to see the coast, plus apparently you can see whales. You can see them on the sunset one too, only the sun sets halfway thru.)
Coffee and macademia nut farm
Pearl Harbor
Waimea Falls & Botanical Garden
Hawaiian flea market (has special name, can't remember it right now)

Any sane person would be perfectly happy with that list, right? Maybe I'm not sane. This is the list I've come up with of things I'd like to do as well. I may even be willing to trade some stuff out, I just can't figure what!!

Hike Diamond Head
Rent a bike for a half day in Kailua
Kayak Kailua to the islands
Halona Blowhole
Tantalus Drive (we may squeeze this one in one afternoon)
Morning or afternoon whale watching sail (already mentioned that one)

What do you guys think? Anything on the second list sound like a must trade?

Monday, March 02, 2009

Weekend Full of Fun


We went to a good friends wine and cheese birthday party on Saturday night. I actually  did take my camera to that one - only Brando took pictures.

Kite Festival on Sunday.

Afterwards, flying our own kites at the local park. Our baby girl got to come with us.


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