Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Aloha!

We have been in Hawaii for over two weeks already! A lot of it still feels like a dream, but I will tell you I am already over living out of suitcases.  It probably doesn't help that the whole suitcase lifestyle has been going on for over a month now, since we moved out of our house in South Carolina July 29th.  There's been a lot of traveling and a whole heck of a lot of toddler meltdowns, but hey! We are in paradise now and enjoying almost every second of it (those aforementioned toddler meltdowns are very hard to enjoy in the moment.)


Ready for our flight!
At the Luau.




Hawaii has been pretty great to us so far--after two weeks of house hunting, many mispronounced street names, and a nerve-wracking bidding war--we are almost-homeowners! We just had our offer accepted on the perfect house.  We still won't close until October, but at least there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Future home!

THE VIEW FROM OUR FUTURE HOUSE!


I can't complain too much though; we're staying at the Hale Koa right in Waikiki, and we've been able to enjoy the beach or the pool nearly every day.  The girls' tan lines are INSANE.  They definitely did not inherit my fair skin.  We've still tried to be diligent with the sunscreen...even so I managed to get at least one decent sunburn.  After that day Dan told me he doesn't think there's enough sunscreen in Hawaii for me to live here.  I definitely am not going to get mistaken for a local anytime soon. ;)

The Freckles are poppin'.

Hotel pool...conveniently located right on the beach.

A rare moment of sisterly love.

She has the right idea.


I wish I had more to report, but we only have one car right now, and Dan has been using that most days to drive to Schofield or Tripler to finish his in-processing, and on the days that he's been home we've been looking at houses.  But now Dan doesn't have to go back into work for a couple weeks and once we get the ball rolling on escrow I'm hoping we can get out and explore the island a little more.




Aloha from the Snows


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

I'm back, baby!

I've never really been the most regular of bloggers, but around December of last year, as I was prepping for all our celebrating, family time, and Christmas cheer,  I kept catching myself thinking how I was going to present it all on "the blog."  It just felt a little bit silly that my main focus wasn't on my family or the holiday, but on how I was going to tell everyone else about it.  I feel like that is a sticky situation that I often find myself in when it comes to social media.  It's the phrase "pics or it didn't happen," on steroids.  All of this to say it really made me ponder why I was blogging, because it just seemed to be adding to the stress of not just the holiday season, but also motherhood/life in general.  I started asking myself if I even enjoyed this anymore?  And if I didn't enjoy it, why was I adding this extra pressure into my life?  So I decided to take a conscious break and not blog for six months.  Obviously that turned into a longer period of time.

But not because I decided I hated blogging.  I found that I actually really missed it!  I love not only writing about our adventures and taking pictures of every silly little thing and sharing them with you, but also being able to go back and remember all the fun and messiness that is my life.  So about three months into my hiatus I had already decided that I would begin blogging again at the end of my six months...but then some crazy things happened, the main one being that I got pregnant again!



If you know me or have read my blog mch at all, then you'll know that when I get pregnant, I am horribly sick the first few months.  I basically go into survival mode and foucs on not throwing up 24/7.  On top of all this we were also preparing for our move to Hawaii!  And we are so excited, but moving nearly 6,000 miles away takes a little bit of coordinating and planning, even with the army helping along the way.  It's been a busy and crazy summer, and some parts have been not-so-wonderful, and other parts have been unbelievably awesome, but my point is that at the end of it all, I'm back, baby! (Grandparents, Great-grandparents and extended family rejoice!)



So join us as we explore and adjust to our new home here on the beautiful island of Oahu, welcome our new baby girl in December, and navigate the ups and downs of life in general.  Thanks for still being my friends through the long silence.  I'm going to try and not let it happen again.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Columbia

Not only have we been exploring the Carolinas in general, we've also been taking the time to discover this place we are calling home for the next few months.  Columbia is full of history.  It was the birth place of the Southern Confederacy and where the secession documents were signed.  But because of this, to the North it symbolized the original catalyst that started the Civil War, and it was almost all entirely burned to the ground by Sherman and his troops on their march through the South at the end of the war.  When we first moved here, I was able to take a tour with some ladies from church to see a few of the sites Columbia has to offer.  We were able to gain special permission to visit these ruins of the Millwood Plantation (it's on private property).  Millwood was home to the influential and extremely wealthy Hampton family.  Because of the crucial role they played in the secession and confederate government, Sherman made double sure to incinerate this home, once known as the "Versailles of the South."  All that remains are five columns from the large and luxurious front porch.




For a sense of scale, your average human being is as about as tall as the brick base.

This is the current home on the property.  Still beautiful, and I love that they tried to stay true to the original roots of the home.

While we're on the topic of General Sherman, a fun factoid--He burned much of Columbia, but the building he wanted to destroy the most was the only building he didn't burn down.  Sherman's men were searching for the church where the secession papers were signed.  They knocked on the door of the church and asked if it was the correct one, as there were several churches in the general vicinity.  Those inside (not wanting their church burned down) told them it was actually the church across the street.  The "Secession Church" still stands. It is the First Baptist Church of Columbia, and has been in use since 1856.  In 1992 the church stopped being used for services.  I think now they have like a coffee shop or something?  It's still owned by the First Baptists.  Anyways, I just think it is kind of funny that Sherman and his troops did all this burning and ransacking, but the one building they wanted to get the most was left untouched.  Oops.

The tour I took was a driving tour, so we only got out at a couple of different spots.  This is the only other picture I got.  There is an artist here named Blue Sky that has different pieces all over the city.  (Including a giant fire hydrant and a giant chain linking two old buildings together...)  This mural is called Tunnelvision.  It's in a parking lot downtown, and supposedly there have been several accidents of drunk drivers trying to drive through it at night...not sure if that's true, but that's the rumor.

Columbia newbies soaking up the culture.

We are in love with having a yard!  When we first moved in, London wanted to go play outside in it every. single. day.  Which normally I wouldn't mind, but it was nearly 100 degrees PLUS humidity our first couple weeks here.  I didn't last that long.  But our yard here has the crappy grass that is really just a lot of weeds.  Since we have to care for the yard in our rental, we bought a lawnmower.  Dan and I used to joke that it was time to go mow the weeds whenever the dandelions started popping up.  But one time I decided to make London a flower crown before Dan got around to mowing them down.  She loved it and was pretty heartbroken when it withered away a couple days later.  Now the lawn is dead, so she'll just have to wait until spring for another.


Once it started cooling down a little, we went to check out some more of the sites.  After a trip to the main, fancy branch of our county library, we headed over to Finlay Park.  The top of the park has this cool fountain.  If you go up some stairs they have all these nice swings that you can sit on and watch the water, but stairs don't really work when I'm solo with the double stroller.  There were more stairs down to the main portion of the park too, but once again, that wasn't happening with this beast.  So we just came and looked at the main attraction and left.  It was one of the first cold days this year, and I think my California babies were kind of over it anyways.


There's a lot of fishing holes around here, so Dan has really been able to get back into that old hobby of his.  He seriously goes all the time. I think he fishes more than he golfs now.  Which is fine, because fishing takes less time and costs less money. :)  Plus, he likes to take London with him, so that is some great daddy/daughter bonding time for them.  Once we all went together to one of his favorite spots on the base, so I snapped a couple of photos.



 Here is picture of my living room, semi-finished.  As you can see, we've been reunited with our old piano!  It just gets uglier and uglier.  Also, please note London's "decorations" she placed on the piano, including one of her own shoes.  The girls love to reach up and bang on the keys.  But anytime I sit down to actually play a song they both start screaming they want a turn.  So I don't think I'll be getting back into piano anytime soon.


One week we did a dinosaur theme for London's "school," (which I have not been very good about keeping up this holiday season...).  There was a dinosaur exhibit at the children's museum, so we decided to spend the day there.  It was pretty cool, they had a million interactive and role-playing type exhibits.  London is all about anything where she gets to dress up, so she had a great time.

Firefighter London

This one should make Dan proud...Dentist London!
Veterinarian London
Cute Juliet, who is always with us on these adventures, but usually strapped onto me or in the stroller.

We found the dinos!

They had this little timed camera that would e-mail you a picture...this was the best Juliet and I could get.
One of our favorite things to do when we lived in LA was to spend the morning at the zoo.  Lucky for us, Columbia has pretty great little zoo.  We've been able to go a couple times, and we always love to feed the giraffes.  And by love I mean it freaks London out every time, but she keeps trying anyways.


Like lots of zoos, they have these little statues everywhere to take pictures with.  There was one stretch where they were literally across from every exhibit, and London insisted upon playing on every single stinking animal.  I was starting to get annoyed, because it was close to nap time and we were trying to leave, but then I saw her holding this orangutang's hand, which I thought was super sweet, even if it was just a statue.


They also have PONY RIDES at our zoo.  London has done these before, and loved them, but for some reason this time, she just was not too sure about the whole situation.


She did however LOVE riding this elephant on the carousel.


And finally, I leave you with this picture of my children breaking in the new KING SIZE bed.  Woot woot!!

I have lived here long enough to drive places without my GPS, have favorite places to go and things to do, know all the major freeways, highways, and roads, have the word "y'all" work it's way back into my vocabulary and speech patterns, and most importantly, started to make real friends.  South Carolina, we may not be here for long, but thank you for making us feel welcome for the short time we are.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Adieu, Fall

Although I love the Christmas season, Fall is the season that will always hold my heart.  In honor of it's giving way to our holiday merry making, I thought I would share a few pictures from a day trip we took up to the mountains with friends over Veterans Day Weekend.  It is hard being so far away from our dental school friends who had become like family, but at least we are living on the same side of the country.  DC, North Carolina, and South Carolina aren't too horribly far away from each other. ;)  It was so fun to spend the day with the Lukers.  The only thing that could have made it better was if the Stephens could have joined in! 


Have you ever wondered what your Thanksgiving dinner looks like in transport?  We passed this on truck on our drive up:

Yummmm....maybe not.
 We met the Lukers at Chimney Rock.  The drive up was perfection.  Bright, beautiful leaves everywhere!  When we reached the top of the mountain, the view was spectacular.  Picture perfect.  So obviously a photo op was essential.



Since we had little kids, we decided to take the elevator up to the top of Chimney Rock.  26 stories in 35 seconds, all the way up through solid rock!  (The other option is 31 flights of stairs.  No thanks.) 

Chimney Rock





After we were done taking in the views, we decided to do a short hike to Hickory Nut Falls.  The Falls are the second tallest east of the Mississippi, and they were used in the filming of The Last of the Mohicans.  Which I have never seen, so I can't vouch for that.  Regardless, they were worth the hike.

I think these two missed each other.


London was a trooper, she walked most of the way herself, but I think she was pretty worn out by the end of it all.

First selfie (post-Myspace, that is).


After we finished up at Chimney Rock, we headed over to Asheville for dinner.  We drove through the Blue Ridge Parkway on our way over...but we were about a month too late for the leaves.  I can imagine how impressive it was during the peak season though.  Oh well, maybe next year if we are still around these parts.  In Asheville we ate at Moe's Original BBQ.  It was awesome!  Once we wrapped up dinner, it was getting pretty late, so we had to head home.  Thanks so much to the Lukers for letting us tag along on your trip.  Let's go again soon and check out Biltmore!! ;)