MY LIFE. MY THOUGHTS. MY WORDS.

Celebrating 2010 in style!



Now is my accepted time to make my regular annual resolutions and I’m not going to be paving hell with them as usual. I’m dropping this year into the past. I’m letting it all go because it was imperfect. I’m creating a new 2010 book with all blank pages and I’m going to fill it with all my mew crazy experiences and random expressions. It will be called Opportunity and, its first chapter is New Year’s Day. I’m going to celebrate it in style. Can excusable randomness and generosity, (tied together) be considered styles?

This is the year (2010) to pay all debts, save money and prepare for traveling in 2011. I plan to travel by starting with a cruise overseas and then off to visit the big lights in NYC for inspiration, maybe even get “leid” under the Hawaiian sun or relax on sandy beaches of the Caribbean’s. Someday I’ll get the opportunity to admire the Ruins in Italy or romance in Paris. This year is going to be the year to prepare for big things. I really need to make the move to get back in school. I’m determined to help Sho start school and keep him focused and motivated to get it done. Our income needs some real growing up to do. I know more than anyone else does, that my husband Sho can really do anything he puts his mind to, regardless of what his family thinks of him. I know that if we can get school out of the way, we can really make our move to Oregon. Who knows what the future will bring, but I know this is the year for both Sho and I to get educated. No more warehouse jobs breaking my baby's back. They may pay great, but I know he's better than that. I also know that to jumpstart the New Year change must begin in our home with me.

My physical appearance may also be in need of an upgrade. I feel like hair do is dated. If only Sho would let me cut my hair. Short is “IN”… A Line is still trendy? Right? (rolling eyes) I like to keep it sleek and black. OMG I SO SO SO need to cut weight. Ugh. I feel like the more I try to battle the bulge, the more I pack it on. Lisa even asked me to try out for “Biggest Loser” with her. Tempting, but I’m not sure I want the whole world to see what’s beneath these clothes. I guess I don’t want to WOW or WHOA people with what I’ve turned myself into. YES, I totally let myself go. Pictures are now shot from my chest up. How sad is that? I don’t want to be the pretty face big girl. Growing up, I’ve always tried to stay active and really did my best to stay as fit as I can, to feel comfortable and sexy in my own skin. Now, that I’m married to my dream man who loves all of me, regardless of my size. I’ve just gotten really lazy. (Mental Note: GET THE HELL UP) No more excuses. It's NOT OK TO LOOK LIKE SH!#. Ok, so now that I have decided to make this LEGIT, time to get a pass to the gym, visit my doctor, and make use of the elliptical in my room that Sho bought for my birthday. I need to be more concerned about what I eat between New Years Day to Christmas and not only the time between Christmases to New Years Day.

On a more mental note, you should not confuse my kindness as a signs of weakness and despair; it’s manifestations of strength and resolution. Besides finances and appearance, this year, my new year’s resolutions will include a lot of charity, grace, humanity, consideration, patience, affection and a whole lot of HEART. Christmas has taught me that I am happier giving than receiving. I was very pleased with my family’s reaction to their gifts from our little family. I worked hard to seek deals and purchase gifts that would mean something, or would make great use. Not just any gift to unwrap on Christmas. This brought a lot of suggestion to what I need to be focusing on for the next year. SERVICE with LOTS OF LOVE, unselfish love.
There will be no competition but lots of encouragement this year. One resolution I continue to strive for, is this: To rise above the little things. To see the good in all things and people. Many acquaintances of mine have given me great ideas of service and reminded me of the simple things I need to continue to appreciate. I am reminded daily to count my blessings. I know I have many. I’m going to break out of my comfort zone to be more outgoing and sociable. Meet, love and appreciate more people. Not just those with money and a status, but even the cashier at the shops I’m always visiting, the elderly at the retirement home or the clients at support living centers. Do more temple work for those on the other side of the veil. Maybe they’ll take some interest in blessing my life. I know this is the year to be that great exemplar for Lana. Especially for Lana. My jewel.

No more caring about what others think of me. I will be open to ideas of style in not just what I wear, where I live, and what I ride but in my attitude. I think of those who always seem happy, like the Makai sisters and my brother Mone. It’s the way they present themselves, the way they carry themselves. I always see them smiling, laughter, and bright eyes. It’s a style I need to adopt and make my own. No one wants to be around haters or a negative vibe and I don’t want to create one. We all have felt the unpleasantness and discomfort of being in the company of misery and man’s judgment. You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life. I believe the Lord puts HAPPINESS right in front you because he loves us enough to make it visible in plain sight. We all have sweetness in our lives; it’s all in how we perceive it. Let it be known in how we present our selves. Turn the frown upside down.

I found a collection of all my past new year’s resolutions. I hate to admit that I’ve only followed through a few of them throughout the years. The end of this year will not be the end or beginning of something new, but it’s just a continuation with all the wisdom that experience has instilled in me. Trisha Yearwood couldn’t have said it better in Real Live Woman when she said, “I no longer justify reasons for the way that I behave. I offer no apologies for the things that I believe and say and I like it that way.” I have learned a lot this year about who I am. I have always been one to fess up to what I have done or said and apologized for it. Well, no more pleas. I’m imperfect and those that care don’t matter and those who don’t care definitely matter.



I gotta feeling! Yes, I know 2010 is going to bring great opportunities. I’m going to embrace it all with sophisticated style that only screams INDEPENDENCE.

Parenting Challenge & Check (Random Thoughts)

Before Alana, I honestly couldn’t stand children. Despite my love for my young cousins, I was totally annoyed by little children. As bad as it may sound, I just didn’t have time to deal with misbehaved brats. My judgments on how others raised their children slapped me back in the face. I thought I had it down pack. I was so sure that my child would always exercise obedient manners. I was always hard on and short with kids, thinking I could teach them something by emphasizing the entire list of do’s, dont’s, do-not’s, no no no’s, wrong, don’t touch, stop and bad. I even thought raising my voice and hand would make them understand that they don’t need to be acting like that. Like what? Like a normal kid would act? I thought my child would never embarrass me like that in public. Always thinking, if that were my child, she would really get it from me. How wrong was I?

Alana has taught me so much about to be a good listener, how to take the time to understand why she feels, says, acts and does the things she does. I love being around her, even when she does embarrass me. She has made it so much more pleasant for me to be around other children. She’s helped me to appreciate other kids and what makes them unique. She has such a great love for others. Although, some may be really mean to her, she is so quick to forgive and forget. I mean she really forgets how others may mistreat her. She may cough up her little attitude at a time or two and (omg)yes, it does drive me crazy.(Note to self: WWJD)At the end of the good day (which is almost everyday with Lana), it feels good going to bed, knowing that I didn’t do anything to hurt her. I know she remembers how good I am to her each and every day. As I have said before I love her so much, it hurts. I want her to know how special she is to me.

Those who do not have children of their own, will know what I mean when it's their turn. Like me, you may not be able fully appreciate children until you have your own. Those who are now patient with children, will be the most perfect parent a child could ever ask for and may the Lord bless those parents with plenty.

GAME NIGHT

Yesterday, we hosted game night in our home. We invited relatives and friends to join us play dominoes, board, card and video games. We had so many games to play but no enough time.

Games Played:
Apples to Apples
Dirty Minds
Dominoes
Spades
Catch Phrase
Mario Bros.
Madden
WII Sports

It was too much fun. Although, some games put me on edge, most of the games were fun. It was loud. We really enjoyed the company of our family and friends. Thank you Mone and Ashly for coming up with the idea of having game night, yesterday and thanks to all who attended too. It was fun and we love you all and hope to do it again!

Holiday

This month was super duper fun and busy month. Today is a day of relaxing, recooperating and returns. As I sit here exhaling from all the Holiday Festivities and plan for the New Year, I can't help but to be so thankful for yesterday. Yesterday, we spent the day at mom's very simple and humble cottage for dinner, gift exchange and games. Mom invited all the siblings & family, cousin Tue, Derek and Na'a, Aunt Kat's family, and my dear in laws Spence and Lisa. It was a full house. Mom did most of the cooking and we baked. Ash and Lisa provided the bomb corn bread and dinner rolls. The food was amazing.

Mom&Dad bought leather jackets for the Men & a little one for Pete on the end (lol).


Each year has been a family tradition for us to pick names on Thankgiving for Christmas. We are all assigned an item for exchange on Christmas. Last year, we did Christmas Pajamas. This year was scarves, gloves and hats. Next year, sweat shirt hoodies. So Fun! We played board games, poker, dominoes and video games. Afterwards, we all went to Thanksgiving Point to watch "Avatar" at the movies.

Lose had Mone
Mom had Derek
Spence had Jr.
Lisa had Peter
Sho had Lisa
Niva(I) had Ashly
Mone had Na'a
Ashly had Niva(me)
Jerome had Spencer
Jr had Lana
Tue had Sho
Derek had Lose
Lana had Mom
Na'a had Jerome
Peter had Tue

Here's what it all looked like...

Mom & Dad...



Spence & Lisa...



Us (Sho, Niva & Lana)...



Mone & Ash. . .



The Single Men...

Holiday Happenings...

Time was swift this month. So much has happened that my “Ladies Night” activity for this month had to be moved to January. So much has happened and not enough time to document the details or post pictures of every event. However, I must say it was a busy but AMAZING month.

December Highlights:

Thanksgiving Point Lights
Festival of Trees
Ward Christmas Party
Sub for Santa Service Project
Work Christmas Party
Lana’s School Christmas Concert
Temple Lights
3G Date with Lana & Granny “Princess and the Frog”
Lana’s Class Christmas Party
Cousin Saryn’s Wedding
White Elephant Exchange at Work
Christmas Exchange with Family
Movie Night with Entire Family “Avatar”
Hope your Holidays were as blessed as ours, with lots of warm love, family and friends. Happy New Years!

Time is…
Too slow for those who wait.
Too swift for those who fear.
Too long for those who grieve.
Too short for those who rejoice.
But, for those who love time is eternity.
-Henry Van Dyke

Bless her heart...

Lana's has always had great Christmas mornings opening up piles and piles of gifts. This year, she asked, "Mom, I need to make a Christmas List, so I can have lots and lots or presents like before". My jaw dropped as I realize I had failed to teach her the simple principles of Christmas and what it really meant to me. This was the time of the year where I am the most emotional and she doesn't have a clue as to why. This was my chance to herald the Savior's mission as a parent to my child.

As a member of the Gospel, I know that our Redeeming Savior is the reason for this season. I'm immensely comforted to know that on that day, our dear Savior was born in a simple cradle, in a stable and not a ch√Ęteau nor tower. At the time, he was only visited by a humble few and not acclaimed by many. The story of his birth is an amazing one and one that is close to my heart. I shared this story with Alana and bore witness of his birth, his death and his purpose. The shared the importance of this season. I couldn't believe how much I cried in front of her. I felt this experience a special one shared between a daughter and a mother.

After explaining to Lana that this was not her birthday but the Savior's birthday, I was so touched by how quickly she felt the message. She gave me a look of appreciation for sharing the story of our Savior's birth. She said she didn't want any presents. We told her, she could have at least one. She was grateful. She asked what Jesus would want for his birthday and we told her that he would want us to give. To give to others who were less fortunate than us. She happily agreed.

A few days after the experience, my brother's had asked her what she wanted for Chrismas and were touched when she would answer, "I just want us all to be a happy family for Christmas". They were amazed by her answer. (LoL). My mother asked Lana to write a letter to Santa with a list of things she would like to have on Christmas (This was intended for them to have an idea of what she wants). She innocently replied, "Come on grandma, Santa's not real". My mother was shocked. She told me that every child should have the opportunity to believe and enjoy the thought of a fat white man in a red suite living in the North Pole with elves making toys for tots. I honestly do not know where she got that idea that Santa wasn't real. So, Sho and I came up with a crazy story about Santa living in the North Pole. We told her Santa could probably get one more gift for her and bring it over on Christmas Eve while she's in bed, sleeping. Here's what she came up with on her own.

Saryn's Wedding



Saryn Schwenke is my first cousin through my mother. My mother's brother (Uncle Paul) has one son on a mission and Saryn who was married yesterday, a son in High School and two younger daughters in Elementary School. A beautiful family. Saryn was stunning bride, absolutely beautiful. She was married in the Salt Lake City Temple on a cold winter morning, yesterday. She had a luncheon at her parents home during lunch hour and a reception at the Court House in Provo, at night. It was beautiful. I'm so proud of her. Although, it was Saryn's wedding day, we just love to capture moments hanging with the cousins!

Our (some) Schwenke family members with the bride and groom.



Some of mama's sibling with Bride & Groom. My mama is the beautiful woman on the right end of this picture and we all just love her so much.



Saryn and Uncle Paul



Lana & Tasi...



Cousins, Cousins, Cousins...





CHRISTMAS SHOPPING DONE!



Although, I did nothing this weekend but chill around the house, I did manage to get all my wrapping done. I totally camped in my PJ's watching reruns of "The Sing-Off" which I totally loved, "Go NOTA!". Anyway, I'm so so so excited for Christmas. All this shopping done and not one thing under the tree for Sho, Alana and I. This was our year for giving. It feels great! We are excited because I did not pay full price for any of these gifts. Everything was purchased during amazing sales (50% to 80%)I found great deals in the papers. Everything here I got double the value but only a fraction of the cost. I'm so proud of how we got our shopping done before the crazy (hustle and bustle) last minute crowds move in. I know everyone's going to love our gifts and we're so excited to give them out on Christmas Day.

Last year, we did alot of shopping for ourselves and enjoyed Christmas with the Hickman's. This year, Mom is having Christmas meal at her home. This year's going to be crazy fun because it's not just my immediate family but we also have cousin's Tue and Derek and my favorite inlaws Spence and Lisa over. My sister Pearl just texted me last minute to let me know her family will be showing up after all because her and baby's flight gets in Christmas Eve. NICE! It's going to be a full house and you know what they say, the more the merrier! YaY!

Love Story

How we met…

1994 was a sweet year for me. I was 13 years old, living in good old El Monte. All though leaving Downey was one of the hardest adjustments, my life would ever experience in my adolescents, it was a good thing for me. School had just ended, allowing us a beautiful sunny summer. I had a successful year, I guess. Even my boxing matches at school had not stripped my title as Student body president of Potrero Middle School. I had an outrageous time, playing every sport imagined in Jr. High School. I had good friends and I had bad ones. I enjoyed being young, but wished for my sweet 16 to come around sooner, then the Lord had planned for me. My childhood crush had now become a reality of blissful conversations on the phone and all was well, of course until I met my destiny.

We were both young and not looking for anything new in our lives. Fate would soon turn us into each other's direction and our lives would never recover its same form again. A relative had invited me to join her in attending a LDS youth social, a dance, where kids ranging from ages 14 to 18 could meet and developed friendships or whatever. I must admit that at the time I felt it may be a waste of time to go, as I had already made up my mind, that I had already started talking to the one love I was meant for. As I wandered aimlessly around the dance, I felt a sense of eagerness to return home. I walked through the hall near the kitchen, where the refreshments were served and there walking through the entrance were a few handsome fellows, but only one stood out. My eyes locked onto this one tall, dark handsome young man. Now, I must admit, I felt a bit of a rush as my eyes gazed upon this beautiful sight. Who was this young man?

I continue to gaze upon him and in return, he couldn't help but to notice the fullness of curves, at such a young age. I must say, I was pretty blessed for a young girl, physically endowed with my womanhood at such an early age. I know he loved all of me. His eyes started at the top of my head and slowly made its way down to my feet. Thanks to my mother for purchasing that beautiful black dress because you know I rocked it. It hugged my body like a baby clinging on to its mother and the shoes I was flossing made my look, very sleek, sexy and slender, a triple threat. I know it was all about me, that night.

The DJ had been playing all the latest hits. Only one song would never be forgotten. "Close your eyes, make a wish and blow out the candle light, cause tonight is just your night, we're going to celebrate all through the night". Yes, this was our song, our very first song together. Thank you Boys II Men, no other group could have set a better mood for us.

A sudden burst of courage in me started to pound in my chest like Asian drums. Slowly I walked over to where this young man stood with his entourage, and to my surprise he started walking towards me. Nervously I asked, "Would you like to dance"? He had such an inviting smile and replied, "of course". As we lost ourselves in the moment, I'll never forget his smile, his scent, his Wrigley’s spearmint breathe, he was so fresh, so clean and I was on cloud 9.

I wondered with disappointment, as he failed miserably by ending our conversation without making any further inquiry about me. I knew, without a doubt that he was in love with me, or should I say in love my body. (LoL) Many conversations with a relative and her friend led to our “Hook Up”. I was on a mission. I knew what I felt had been real. I’ve never felt so safe in a man’s arms. I knew he felt it too. My feelings were confirmed with countless communication between us. Besides his reputation, I knew he was mine forever. We loved each other so much and made it clear every time we saw each other.

Happily never after…

That’s the story of how we met. I wish I could suggest that we lived happily ever after that, but it’s not the honest truth. As crazy as we were about each other, the “Distant Lovers” thing never worked out for us. My family had decided to move to Utah. I met and dated others, as did he.

In 1996, after my father’s passing, I was on my way to Tonga for school. I had stopped to spend some time with my friends in Hacienda Heights. I attended a Young Single Adult (YSA) dance in Long Beach, where I had the opportunity to reunite with him. I’ll never forget how he noticed me and quickly asked me to dance. He had a girlfriend then, but it didn’t stop him from pursuing me and taking me in his arms. (lol). I’ll never forget the song, “Let it Flow” (by Toni Braxton) and how it made us feel while we were slow dancing. There he was with that inviting scent, again. He asked me to take a walk with him. We went outside and he immediately kissed me. Oh how I love his kisses. I’ll never forget how he told me he loved me just like he did in 1994. He told me he never stopped loving me. I told him I couldn’t stay but he insisted that I marry him because he didn’t want to spend another day without me. Although I knew I’d miss him like crazy, I took that flight to Tonga.

When I returned from Tonga, I was surprised to hear that he still wanted me to be a big part of his life. He still wanted to make me his wife. How could I refuse? I never stopped thinking about him in Tonga, nor did I ever stop loving him. Even with all of that, our engagement failed us.

The Saga Continues…

1997, he found me again and wanted me back. I’m not sure why he kept returning. Maybe I was his cushion when he would fall back from something. I’m not sure why, but he kept coming back. This last time almost made me hate him forever. He said he had to let me go again because he was to marry another who claimed to be expecting his child. He left again and I met Australia.

2001, we were connected for a moment and discussed what he and I had been through, while apart. I made it very clear that I did not want to have anything to do with a divorced man. A man with a past I thought may be worst then mine. Life had thrown many curve balls at me. After the storm had settle, I didn’t want to settle for anything less then what I had before. I found out the hard way, just how wrong I was not to give his love a fifth chance for romance. I should have known better that he was all I needed. I didn't want to forgive or forget what had happened between us. And, fate would hurt me one more time before returning to his arms to feel his undying love for me.

This time it’s forever love . . .

2005 after all the heartache and all the bitterness, I prayed for love. Not just any kind of love. A love that was familiar. A love that is sweet. A love that could heal my heart from what he and others had put it through. A love that made me feel like I belonged. A love that I have felt before. A love that would be eternal. People always say that, “If you love something, let it go and if comes back, it’s yours. If not, then it was never yours to begin with”. He returned to me with arms wide open and ready to love me forever.

His Love, Love, Love, Love, Love and Kisses...

Some of the greater things in life are unseen that’s why you close your eyes when you kiss, cry, or dream...



I have been blessed with two hands to hold, two legs to walk, two eyes to see and two ears to hear. My blessings have surpassed what I could ever imagine, when Lord granted me with two hearts (Mines and Sherwin's) to love. The best thing about me is my dear sweet Sherwin. He's my best friend, the one I laugh with, live for, and dream with. We will grow together, change with age but my love for my husband Sherwin will never change. It's always been the same. I've always loved him and will always love him. With each new day, I will continue to always fall in love with him. He gives good love. Sweet love. He's my first love and my last. He's my forever love. He adores me. I can't believe this man is crazy about me and how crazy in love I am with him. I've always been crazy about my Sherwin. My husband was never just a crush, nor did it begin with a crush. We met and knew that being together was all that we both wanted.

I found someone who calls me beautiful instead of hot, who calls me back when I hang up on him, he stays awake just to watch me sleep (even if it ain't cute), he kisses my forehead, and will show me off to the world when in my sweats. He holds my hand in front of everyone and thinks I'm just as pretty without makeup on. He is constantly reminding me of how much he cares and how lucky he is to have me. He lets me act like a brat and caters to me. He apologizes for everything. He's healed my heart from it's been through and has finally given me something worth building my love and life around.

I share my feelings about Sherwin because he doesn't get enough credit for loving me. Lately, I have been following a widow's blog and she doesn't realize how much she has blessed me with her short, simple, sweet, and often time’s sad post. Not long after her husband passed away, she sadly posted that had dreamt of unconsciousness. A few days ago, she simple posted that she missed kissing. She missed kissing her husband. Nothing could express how I felt at that very moment, reading that post, my heart just dropped and the tears poured. I didn't waste anytime; I stopped by my husband job, after work, just to kiss him. I couldn't stop kissing him. Sherwin use to ask me to stop by his job, just for a kiss and I would always refuse with the excuse of too much to do. I felt so much love and appreciation from him as I kissed him. I kissed him with tears coming down my cheeks as I told him that I never want to go a day without kissing him. I told him that I understood why he would be disappointed with me, when I left to work in the morning without kissing him, or how bad he felt when I wouldn't kiss him at night before bedtime. Call me selfish but I hope my time on earth ends before his, because I can't think of living a day here on earth without kissing my dear sweet Sherwin.

I'm a real live woman
In love with this man I see lyin' here next to me
Lost in the way that he's holdin'
This real live woman
In the arms of a man where I'll fall asleep knowin' there's
Nothin' on earth he loves more than
This real live woman
-Trisha Yearwood

A mother's treasure is her daughter.

It's because of Alana that I have learned about the sweetness and spice of little girls. Regardless what she will become, I know I will still feel proud of her simply because she has the key to my heart forever. I love her so much, it hurts. She is my bundle of joy that excites, delights, and she's the giggles that come from deep inside and are always contagious, everything wonderful and precious and my love for her knows no bounds.



She's a day brightener, heart warmer, a gift of love, a treasure and one of the most beautiful surprises this world has to give me. She is the a miracle that never ceases to be miraculous...full of beauty and forever beautiful...loving and caring and truly amazing. I truly believe she is my angel sent from above to fill my hear with unending love. She is the most precious of my treasures, the dearest possessions of my home and the objects of my most watchful love.



What I want most for Alana is hat she be able to soar confidently in her own sky, whatever that may be. Alana is the happiest memories of my past, joyful moments of my present, and the hope and promise of my future. As the thorns surrounds Lily's, so is my love surrounds my little girl. She will be like flowers and fill the world with beauty, (hopefully) without attracting any pests. :oP



She may outgrow many things but she will never outgrow my heart. The Irish believe that, "A son is a son till he takes him a wife, a daughter is a daughter all of her life." This I believe to be true and I'm obliged to have such a fascinating daughter as Alana.

Even Hundredfold Grief is Divisible by Love.



I walked a mile with pleasure,
she chattered all the way,
and left me none the wiser,
with all she had to say.

I walked a mile with sorrow,
and never a word said she,
but oh the things I learned from her,
when sorrow walked with me.

This was a long time quote I remember reading during my dad's funeral. It has stuck with me ever since. Today marks one year from my last miscarriage. I had two miscarriages last year. This one is more memorable for me. My first pregnancy of the year was in August last year at which I miscarried after 6 weeks. One word: Painful. The one I have such a hard time forgetting is the baby I lost at 11 weeks in December. I had the opportunity to hear his it's little speedy heart beat. I saw the ultra sound which confirmed it was real for us, then. We had a name for him. Yes, we know this baby was suppose to be our first boy. The chosen name was MoneLoa Makelani Magalei. As die hard as I am about being a Tuha, of course these names were picked from my dad's family. Mone and Loa after my two little brothers and Makelani which was my father's brother. We were so excited, thinking of all the sports this new comer could play and how he would protect his older sister Lana. We even made financial plans to ensure we could provide all the needs of this baby, without cutting out Lana’s needs. I'll never forget the hope our hearts were filled with as we knew Lana’s prayers would finally be answered.

Reasons for our lost are unknown, but I know the Lord has his plans. They weren't our plans, but we now understand the Lord knows what's best for our family and for the baby we never met. Despite the pain and agony, Sherwin (Sho) and I felt, we had to keep ourselves together for Alana. She was devastated to hear that she was going to remain the only child in our home. Sho did very well in keeping a positive attitude and moving on. I on the other hand fell apart. I become resentful and bitter. I was more than upset, I was hurt. I was emotionally drained from all the disappointment. I can’t imagine how it would have been without Sherwin and Alana’s unconditional love, it really healed me. Their love was a constant reminder that our Heavenly Father loved me, without doubt. He loved me and I felt his arms were invisibly wrapped around me with comfort and peace during a time where I felt such grief. This may come across selfish, and I don’t mean to be. I’m just expressing what I felt about that very day, one year later. And, although we haven’t been expecting since then, it’s still fun trying.

I know this started a bit sad so I'll leave you with this quote by St. Augustine

“Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being "in love" which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossom had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two."

Festival of Trees @ The South Towne Expo Center

Although there were so many elegant wreaths, charming gingerbread homes, enticing treats, beautiful quilts, amazing playhouses and radiant trees. . .

Lana's Favorites were. . .

The Disney Princess Tree



And, the Barbie Tree



Mine was the Utah Jazz Tree

Family Shoot (cont) . . .

Kid sister...



Love somebody like you...



Love on a two way street. . .



Men of Valor. . .



Ta Daaaaaaa...



Band of Brothers...



Boys II Men...

Thanksgiving...

At little late but I wanted to jot down some things about how great Thanksgiving was. No pictures because I totally forgot my camera. It was a great morning waking up to Sho's baking. He was up and baking like it was Christmas Eve. (LoL) I caught a tear or two that morning thinking about all the things I was thankful for. Lana just loved the Macy's parade on TV. Although, Mom thought it was going to be a flop because Jerome and Pearl were in Washington and Mone had caught a small case of the swine flu, so it was just Mama, LoDawg, Pete, Joon, and my little family, it was absolutely amazing. Mom is always good about cooking EVERYTHING, she only asked me to bring the Yams & Marshmallows. Sho made the bomb brownies. 3 different flavors. One word: Delicious! Thanksgiving turned out better, it's always better and better with each new year. For me, what makes a great Thanksgiving is the food and mama's cooking is always #1 to me. She made the best meal. Thanks Mama!

As the night fall, Sho and Lana took our tree out. Since it's pre-lit, we just put that up. It's been our family tradition to pick names for assigned gift giving, name one thing you're thankful for and put up Christmas Decor on Thanksgiving night. It really made me sad to take down my fall decor. This Thanksgiving we wanted to make sure Lana got to watch Christmas Carol in 3D. That was fun! Although the ghost of Marley scared Lana to death, I enjoyed the film. We went to the movies with my favorites, Spence & Lisa. They always keep things pop'n. Maybe it's a Cali thang. (LOL) I wish I had Lisa's energy, but I'm always thinking of curling up in front of my TV. Anyways, it was a great Thanksgiving!

Daddy's Deserts!


Lana with Daddy only putting up the tree.


Lana loves this time of the year!


Only some of the decor going up. Great Job Lana & Daddy!