Monday, August 31, 2009

It's almost September...

Man, 2009 has gone by really quickly. Seems that just yesterday my sister told me she was expecting, and now little Brady is over 1 week old! Jay and Lucie have been back in Canada for 3 months now. We've been in this house for almost a year! Alissa will be 15(!!) in just a few short weeks, and it's almost the end of the first grading period already.

I am amazed at the speed that 2009 picked up. I guess it's all that wishing on my part for 2010 to get here so we can PCS already.

Don't get me wrong. Hawaii is fine. Great, even. I enjoy the beach and the warm sunshine, and the green grass and beautiful flowers, and I LOVE wearing a tank top and shorts everyday. (I hate wearing jeans!) I've actually turned into an outdoor-person - I look for reasons to be outside. I even like mowing the lawn and pulling weeds, because it means I can be outside.

And, I am so grateful for all the really wonderful friends we've made, who've become our Hawaii 'Ohana and who mean so much to us. It's been a great 20 months. (20 months! Already?)

But, it's crazy expensive here and so far from home.

2009 has been a year full of things happening on the mainland without me - namely, Brady's birth. Oh, how I wanted to be there. I see his adorable pictures and I think to myself - "It will be just like with my other 2 sisters' kids - he won't know us. We'll be strangers." My other sister has an almost-9-year-old, who loves Alex but doesn't really talk to me at all. I think I scare him a little, because he knows my name but he doesn't really know me.

That stinks. As hard as we try, sometimes the distance just gets in the way.

So, I am ready for this move to happen. Whenever it happens.

On other notes, Brady is doing great. He's such a doll. I'll see if I can get permission to post a pic so everyone can see him.

The girls are doing awesome. The school year is going well, and we're all settled into a routine. Abby's ballet starts up again this week, and I am once again trying to get the younger 2 into Girl Scouts. (Getting into Girl Scouts is an ordeal here.)

Jon's got a stress fracture in his leg. He's doing fine, and expects a full recovery, but he's been sidelined by the Army from running for a few weeks.

Otherwise, things are fine. Same old same old. No news on the job front, but I'm maintaining my positive attitude. It'll all be OK one way or another. And surprisingly, I am learning to let it go. It's just a job, right?

I'm working on another quilt - actually 2. I'll post pictures when they're complete. I think I've been hit by the quilting bug. It's actually fun to do, and the finished results are really great. I'm working my way up so that I can make one for my bed. (in shades of green, of course - I've already bought the fabric for it...)

Leave me a message, blog readers! Happy Monday!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

I'm going to be an aunt again, any minute now...

My sister Shari called me last night. Seems that my other sister Laurie, 39 weeks pregnant, went into labor around dinner time (East Coast). They went to the hospital last night and she was in active labor.

So, I barely slept. Terri and Shari and Mom and everyone else promised to keep us Hawaii-folk informed. We got a text at 1:30 our time saying that Laurie was dilated to 9 and they were going to push soon. The doctors said that the baby would be born by 10:00 am (which was 3 hours ago).

I didn't hear anything for several more hours, and I woke up every few minutes to make sure that my phone was still turned on.

Just a few minutes ago, I got a text that the baby is face-down and they are trying to turn him.
(Update: he's almost fully turned so hopefully it will be very, very soon.)

I don't understand why the doctors try things for hours and hours before they finally succumb to a c-section. When I was in labor with Abby, I pushed for 3 hours. (BTW, there was no way she was coming that way. Her head was way, way too big...) I started BEGGING them to give me a c-section.

Why isn't the threshold smaller - is it really safe to push so long? I do not claim to know anything about labor and what's safe and for how long, but I have always assumed that pushing for so long isn't healthy. (Maybe it is and I don't understand, but I can't imagine.)

I'm not there with my sister, she's over 6,000 miles from here. But I hear she's a real trooper and that it should be any moment now. She has a gaggle of family there with her, and we are there in spirit and in thought.

He's almost here, almost ready to join the world, to be held by my sister and her husband, and to become a physical part of the family.

I love you, Laurie and Dion, and we are anxiously awaiting your new arrival!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Summer's Over...

Well,the girls are back settled into school now. They're into their 4th week already! I can't believe it. Some kids (on the mainland) haven't even started back and my kids are halfway through the 1st grading period.

Alex is doing great in middle school. She's really gotten the hang of changing classes and moving from building to building. She's taking "band", which isn't really band in 6th grade, but ukulele lessons. (You can't take real band until 7th grade here, for some strange reason...)

It's cool to hear her play songs on the ukulele. It reminds me that my kids are getting so much more than a mediocre education here. They're getting cultural immersion. They eat rice and li hing mui just like everyone else, they even try Spam! They're creating memories that most people won't get to have in their lifetimes. We're experiencing these things together. Things that I hope will stay with them for years, so they can share the stories with their own children and grandchildren.

Jon is busy, working toward the crazy travel season that is fall and winter. He's already scheduled for at least 3 trips between September and January. It's great for him, great experience and he really enjoys it. But these trips are long trips, and they fall on some really inconvenient dates: namely, Jon's 40th birthday in January. I had some grand ideas - travelling without the kids for a couple days, a great party, something. But he won't be here. Guess I will have to adjust my plans a little bit.

With school in full swing, the house is quiet everyday. I'm still working, but there is no bustle. There is peace, except for the blare of Chris Daughtry on my iPod. I find that the loud music makes me miss the kids just a little less, and it clears my head to concentrate on work tasks.

Alissa has started taking piano lessons with our neighbor (and good friend). She's been in lessons for about a month now, and she's really taken to it. She practices with dedication, and her instructor says she's picking up quickly. She's also busy with her Class President duties. There's a meeting every week, and she's required to take "Leadership" as one of her electives. She's currently designing the Sophomore Class Spirit T-shirt. I'm so proud of her. She's really taken this responsibility and run with it. She's always been confident, but this has given her some real tangible evidence, that she can not only do something well, but enjoy it too.

Last night was the high school open house. As Sophomore Class President, Alissa was required to speak at the opening events.

I was incredibly proud of her. She wasn't nervous at all, as she spoke to over 200 people. She showed enthusiasm about her role, and she looked incredibly cool and confident. She spoke about all the events planned for the year, and how she's tasked with designing a new Class of 2012 t-shirt, and she asked for her fellow classmates to get involved. Her advisor's husband works with Jon, so he and the advisor got talking. She explained how Alissa is a confident, hard-working, smart young lady who will make a difference to the class of 2012, even though we won't be here for 11th and 12th grade.

We, of course, already knew Alissa's ability and that she's a great kid. But hearing it from her teachers is a welcome blessing. It's nice to know that she's showing her good side at school :-).

As we approach the busy last months of 2009, I am reminded of all that I am blessed with - a job (at least for now), 3 incredible kids, a hard-working husband, a life in a warm, sunny place, and friends out there who mean so much to me. When I have a rough day, or worry about my employment, I remember that I have these things. Things that will carry me through if the job turns sour.

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A positive attitude...

As you all know, I have been stressed out about this job situation for a while now.

Well, stressing doesn't make the situation better. It only makes my stomach upset, and it makes a lot of people wonder why I am in such a funk...

So, I finally decided that I would put it in God's hands. I read recently on Facebook, someone posted a note that said to be specific when you pray. Maybe I haven't been specific enough.

I figure that, in addition to being always being thankful for what I already have, I would be a little more specific when I prayed the next time.

And, you know, I haven't been stressing about the job so much over the last couple of days. Yes, it is still definitely on my mind. Yes, I am still doing my best to help myself through this situation.

But, I have opened up myself to allow for God's Will to be done. I said I would before, but I don't think I ever really did. I kept control of it, even though I really didn't have any control in the first place. I let it bother me, I let it sit there like a rock in my stomach where it wasn't helping me at all. In fact, it was hurting me. Hurting my family (because I let it rule my emotions...)

I personally believe what a pastor in Germany once stated in his sermon, that God knows what we need/want, and wants to help us. He's just waiting for us to ask. And I also believe that God will help me, in His time, in His way, and even if my prayer is not answered in the way I ask (no matter how specific I ask), that He will help me because I asked. (And because I try my best to walk through life the best way I can - being a good person with morals and compassion and love in my heart.)

I have always believed this. But, I let my fears and stresses get in the way and cloud what I know to be true.

The things I'm worrying about (read: my job and employment future) will turn out OK. Because I have asked for help, I know it will be OK.

And for some strange reason, even though I still don't know what will happen with my job or when, I have some peace inside me that says that it will be OK. There might be some trials to get to "OK", but we'll get there.

I felt the need to post this. Mainly for myself. To remind myself what my former manager used to tell me, that work is work and that it is never as important as the people you love.

Besides the job situation, life is good. The hurricane didn't hit us. (Well, it's raining a little bit now but that's totally OK with me. Lower water bill this month!) I killed yet another phone - 2 in the last 3 months! I sent it to an accidental watery grave...

So I finally bit the bullet last night and upgraded my phone to an iPhone.

(Did you hear that, Jay! I finally have a new phone, and even though it's not the one you wanted me to get, I finally made a choice...)

I have been hem-hawing about this stupid phone for almost 8 months. Last night I just sucked it up and did it.

I am in love. It is a great device. I already knew that because Alissa has had one since December and occasionally she lets me drool over it.

But I waited and waited. I'm not sure what I was waiting for. Waiting for life to go one way or the other. But I should know that waiting for things to change doesn't make them change. Isn't that what today's blog entry is all about??

So, here's to today and the miracle of Tiffany finally deciding that waiting for change won't make anything change. And deciding that things are going to be fine. With God's help, whenever the time is right, things will turn out fine.

Until then, life as normal, but with a little less stress. (Hopefully!)

Happy Wednesday!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Shower Gift

Well, now that my sister's shower is over, I can post the pictures of the gift that I sent.

It's a crib quilt. That I made. My very first quilt!
Front of quilt

Quilt folded so you can see the front and back at the same time

back of quilt - you can see the quilting lines on the back if you
look closely...

I am super proud of this quilt. It isn't without it flaws, but it was so super cute when it was finished.

My sister is doing the baby's room in camouflage, and her hubby is in the Army National Guard (National Guard? Reserves? I always get them confused.) I don't know if the camouflage actually matches the nursery. I hope it does!

I wanted her to have something personal from me. And a blanket is something that seemed appropriate. I cried when it was finished, because it looked nice and the idea of it just felt right.

And it sort of got me started with the quilting bug. I've already started a second one. Maybe I'll eventually be able to work my way up to grown-up size quilts. :-)

I'll continue to post more pictures as my new hobby flourishes...

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, August 1, 2009


Man, am I missing Ohio lately. I remember being homesick when we first moved to Germany. It didn't feel like this, though. This isn't homesickness, I don't think.

It's more like missing the people in Ohio that I love so much.

Today is a special day for my sister. She's having a baby shower. For her first baby. A baby she wanted so much, and tried for for a long time. He's almost here, and it's time to celebrate!

Everyone in the city's going to be there, it seems. My other sister, who is hosting, said that 60+ people will be there.

I'm sad to miss such a special, wonderful day in her life. I know that with 60 other people there, we wouldn't have gotten much of a chance to talk anyway. She's the center of attention today, as she should be, and everyone's eyes will be on her.

I just wanted so badly to be there. In the same room.

But, 3 kids in their first week back to school, a demanding job (with an uncertain future) and a husband at the whim of the Army prohibit a trip back to the Mainland right now. It just wasn't able to happen.

I am there in spirit. My heart is there. And can't wait to see the photos.

I miss those people. So much! (You can tell from my last 2 or 3 posts, can't you?)

Laurie, I love you so much. Have a wonderful day! We're with you there in spirit for sure, and I am certain that we'll see you sooner than we think. I can feel it.

Big hugs from Hawaii!