Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A Note to All Drivers

Dear Drivers:

When making a right turn, please still look both ways before pulling out. A pedestrian may be in the crosswalk. Thanks.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Real Life

Yesterday was our first introduction back into real life. I wonder what I will begin to look forward to next. A whole year was dedicated to looking forward to Hawaii, and I doubt we will have another big vacation like that for a while. For now, we are just living in the present and enjoying this final year of dental school! Yikes, I guess this next year will be far from boring.

So, I headed off to work, while Richard headed to his first day of his externship. He will be at the local Veterans' Hospital for the next 3 weeks, practicing dentistry, working 8-5 just like me (well, actually he works 8-4), and enjoying the experience.

I'm making a shutterfly book of our Hawaii pictures and it is turning out pretty cool! I got the idea from a friend in our flock. If you do have an interest in seeing more of our pictures, however, you can follow these links:

Hawaii continued
Hawaii continued again

Monday, July 28, 2008

To Do List

Now that I am back home, I see things all over the apartment that need to get done. I think the excitement of going to Hawaii took over my life and in the process I did not see how unorganized our apartment is right now. My parents and Richard can attest to the fact that I am not the type of person who naturally puts things back exactly where they should go after using them. I am known to fold laundry, but not put it away for a couple of days. Instead of hanging a shirt back on the hanger, I lay it on the shelf underneath the hanging clothes. Instead of putting the shoes on the shoe rack, I set them beside the shoe rack. My intentions are always to come back and put them away... The only exception is in the kitchen. I can't stand the kitchen to be messy since it is the first thing everyone sees when they walk into the apartment.

In admitting these things to you, I must also admit that I have areas of anal retentiveness as well. My books and movies MUST be in alphabetical order on their shelves. Any notes or homework assignments must be neat on the page, or I will rewrite them until they look neat. I cringe when I have to cross something out that I have already written, or if I have to squeeze something in. I'm cringing as I type this just thinking about it.

I am also infamous for making a list, then losing it. Making a new list, then losing it. You get the picture. Each list may or may not have the same tasks on it. So, what better way to not lose a list than post it on our blog? Plus, this gives my readers the chance to be my accountability. I will add and cross off those things as they get done or need added.

Things to do:
  • Clean and organize my dresser drawers
  • Clean and organize my side of the closet
  • Study Isaiah 40:35-40 for Saturday morning study
  • Call a lady from church about childrens music in August (do tonight!)
  • Clean out the sliding door track - eww
  • Find places for all the crap on the dining room table
  • Vacuum and talk to Amanda about getting the carpets cleaned
That's a good start. I'll add as I think of more.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Home Sweet Home

Our journey home started Wednesday night at 8:10 HST, and ended on Thursday at 5:30 CDT. We arrived with tired eyes and swollen feet. Richard counted that we had been awake for 36 hours when we finally went to bed last night and yet neither of us felt like we slept well. It is nice to be back to our cozy apartment. It only took about an hour for our apartment to cool back took hours for the house to cool off. It only takes about 10 steps from our bedroom to the kitchen. It took a flight of stairs and about 40 steps in the house. Richard commented that he loves being able to see for miles and miles on our way home. All in all, we are happy to be back amongst our friends and familiar places.

So, I realized I did not do a good job of updating for the 4 last days in Hawai'i and now, I am having trouble remembering what we did!

Sunday afternoon we went on a drive on Tantalus Rd. It was a 10 mile drive up into the mountains/jungle and back and it was pretty cool. Vines hung down over us and the road continually switched back and forth as we climbed. We stopped at a state park lookout area and had a great view of the entire Leeward side of the island. Afterwards, we rented "Office Space" and ate pizza.

On Monday, we took 2 waterfall hikes and officially were "hiked-out" for this vacation. They were beautiful and fun, but our bodies were tired. We chilled at the house that afternoon and then went shopping that evening. The mall had a very interesting layout. The stores were inside, but the halls were completely open. Does that make sense?

Tuesday was our anniversary. We slept in and took it easy for most of the day. We celebrated by going to Waikiki and eating at Hy's Steakhouse. Definitely the fanciest restaurant either of us had been to. The steak was great and the atmosphere was neat. As we walked back to our car, we stopped at a little jewelry store and Richard bought me a new ring. The gemstone, peridot, is referred to as Hawai'i's diamond because it is mined in Hawaii. My new ring has a peridot and 2 amethyst stones. Isn't my hubby great?

And, our last day. We started the day off with a 4:30 am hike up Makapu'u point to see the sunrise. Of course, the trail didn't open until 7am, but our solution was to park up the road a ways and crawl over the gate! Haha! Our last day happened to also be the cloudest day of the entire trip, but we still got a few good pics and it was fun. After some blueberry pancakes and a nap, we decided to head to the beach for the last time (sad). I think we were in a hurricane warning or something, because it was cloudy everywhere, windy, and raining. We stayed for about 2 hours and then went home to pack and clean. We ate a quick dinner at Chili's before heading to the airport and then we officially left Hawai'i.

What an amazing vacation. We are studying the names of God in a Saturday morning women's Bible study and Elohim is the name we are on right now. This name speaks of God as Creator. We saw plants, terrain, and ocean life that we have never seen before. God's creation was realized even more as we marveled over flowers, trees, giant leaves, sea turtles, fish - all as we sat in the middle of the largest ocean in on earth. How Great is Our God!

And a few randoms:

Local McDonals sign.

Richard in the Mustang Convertible

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Happy Anniversary To Us!

Today is our 2nd wedding anniversary and I am trying to decide if the time has flown by or not. In one respect I feel like we just got married a few months ago and in another I feel like we have known each other forever and can hardly remember not being married. All that to say, it has been a great 2 years and our 3rd year should be another exciting one.

I'm not going to get sappy in this post, or take a walk down memory lane. Not many people can remember what they did on their second anniversary, but I have no doubts this one will be remembered for a long time!

We are so excited to be in Hawaii. Today is our last full day, although our plane doesn't leave until 8:10pm tomorrow. I am sad that our time is coming to an end, but I knew it wouldn't last forever. I think O'ahu is a great island, and we both decided that if we ever lived here, we would probably live in a neigborhood in the mountains and visit the beach regularly. There is definitely a different "feel" here, yet they live life just as we do. We went to the mall yesterday and the stores are similar. Althought they have a lot of "name" brand stores (2 Louis Vitton, 2 Prada, Lacoste, Gucci, 2 Tiffany's, etc), they also have normal department stores, like Macy's & Sears. It is just another state, with a different history, which shapes the layout and culture. I think of it as: if we lived in Colorado Springs, our children would probably grow up skiing from very young. If we lived in Hawai'i, our children would probably grow up surfing from very young.

Too many words for one post! We have dinner reservations at a Hy's, a steakhouse. Richard and I aren't really seafood type people, but the best cuisine here is seafood (imagine that!). I have tried mahi-mahi and another white fish and I must say that it was wonderfully good. I am just not sure about ordering it for myself yet. Therefore, we found the best steakhouse on the island, and are going to try it out. I'm getting hungry already!

I have told you the flowers are vibrant and gorgeous here, so I decided to end this boring post with some of those pictures.

Plumeria, which is what they make the lei's from (both above & below).

Sunday, July 20, 2008


We dropped Ryan and Martha off at the airport last night. It was sad to see them go because the week went by SO fast! We miss them already. Then, we picked up our new rental car...white, soft-top mustang convertible. (Marth - riding in the front seat is a totally different ride.) Today we are just taking it easy. We went on our last snorkeling adventure before returning the gear and now we are just going to chill at the house for the rest of the day.

The road system on O'ahu is confusing, to say the least. I think we have done a good job navigating, but u-turns have been frequent. Even the car rental lady warned us that we would use up our gas just navigating around.

On Friday, we went to the Halona Blowhole. This is a hole in the rocks where water comes gushing out...kind of like a geyser. The observation area was closed for renovation. That doesn't stop us, though. We hiked our way right up to the blowhole so that we could get some pictures. The first picture below is of the blowhole and the second is just a great picture.

We then went on a hike to see the Makapu'u lighthouse and the Dragon's Nostrils (which are more blowholes). The noise that came from these holes really sounded like a dragon breathing - very loud and powerful. We walked up about 400 feet, climbed down rocks for 400 feet, climbed back up the rocks 400 feet, and walked down 400 feet. Phew.

Friday night was our first night in Waikiki to check out the sights and enjoy our last evening together. We ate at Duke's Canoe Club on the beach and checked out the hoity-toity stores. When I saw that a wallet cost $580, I knew we were in the wrong store. Or, the fact that we were being stalked by employees in every area of the store. We did see a poker set for Richard that was a mere $10,000. No, I didn't type too many zeroes. They had a small fireworks display on the beach that night. Martha bought me the beautiful lei I am wearing. It is made of plumeria and smelled so wonderful. So wonderful that I actually attracted a bee to ride on it!

Saturday morning we went to Leonard's for hot malasadas. I forgot to tell everyone that they should get the malasadas. My three companions opted for the apple fritters - bad choice, I guess. The malasada, however, ONO (hawaiian for delicious)!

We decided to do one more hike before Ryan and Martha left. This hike was a 1,600 foot climb in 2 miles. If that sounds painful, it is. We felt like we were in the Rockies for a lot of the hike. The view at the top, however, was well worth it. We were at the very top of the mountain range and walked along the ridge until we climbed 139 very large stairs to get to a peak. We could see for miles, though.

Afterwards we took a drive on H-3. It is an interstate that cuts through the mountain and cost $100 million per mile to build (16 miles total). I bet you are wondering how Hawaii could have an interstate. Well, it turns out if you call it an interstate, you get federal funding. Here we are holding our breath thru the 1-mile tunnel.
Well, I think I need to go for a dip in the pool. Aloha!

Friday, July 18, 2008


Not only have we been experiencing the beauty of the island of O'ahu, but also the life under the water around O'ahu. I will tell you that I did not know snorkeling would be so amazing. It is like your own Finding Nemo movie. This has been my favorite character to see, so far:

Yesterday, we took a trip to the North Shore (we are staying in east Honolulu). We had heard there were some good beaches and snorkeling up there. This turtle picture was taken at Shark's Cove, which was filled with fish. Our next stop was at Waimea Bay where we all took a jump off this giant rock, into the water. That picture is on Martha's camera, but we did take the picture to prove it. The rock was about 3 stories high.

Our last stop was Turtle Beach, and true to its name, turtles were everywhere and not at all scared of humans. Not five minutes in the water and one swam up behind me and under my legs. I screamed. They are the cutest things, but I don't want to be snuck up on in the water. This guy was taking a snooze on the beach. I don't think anything could wake him up.

On Wednesday we visited the Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor. It was a great experience. There is still oil leaking up from the fuel tanks in that ship. It is nice because you watch a 20 minute video prior to getting on the boat to the memorial. I needed that refresher about what was going on in the world at that time. Here's Marth and I waiting in line for our tickets.
We spent the rest of the afternoon at the Aloha Stadium Swap Meet where you can get any and every souvinir you desire. It was hot, but fun. And, we also tried some of the famous "shave ice" and I've got one word: YUMMY!

Wednesday night we went to a luau that was on the beach - so close to the water, it was amazing! Ry and Marth met a nice family on the plane who "had the hook-ups" and got us in for a lower cost and a few perks. We had a lot of fun. The food was okay, the atmosphere was fun, the people were great, and the show was good. For those of you that think hula is a this slow dance...oh my, you couldn't be more wrong. Those hips move so fast! We also sat by a brother & sister from Australia. They were hilarious. Marth has some good pics, but I will put of a few of ours.

Richard got those awesome aviators at the swap meet.

So, we are having a great time. I can't believe it is already Friday and Ryan and Martha leave tomorrow night. We miss everyone back home, though. I am leaving you with a pretty flower picture. There are so many, but I will pick just one!

Frameable???? I do believe so.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


I wish you all could be here to experience O'ahu. There are so many different terrains. From the beach...

to the rainforest...

to the mountains...

and you can't beat the rainbows here!

Monday, July 14, 2008


Can't write too much, cuz I'm on vacation! Here's us, thinking of you all!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Come, Lord Jesus

"For behold,
He who forms mountains,
And creates the wind,
Who declares to man what his thought is,
And makes the morning darkness,
Who treads the high places of the earth—
The LORD God of hosts is His name."
Amos 4:13

Just think about how creative God is to create the human body and its intricate details - the way we can feel emotions and think; the trees and the flowers - how they receive sunlight and grow; the mountains and the oceans - the grandeur that they display; the planets - that stay suspended in the galaxy; the sun - that warms and lights the earth. Wherever you are over the next two weeks, remember the awesome God we serve. And, remember that awesome Creator of the entire world, saw us, loved us, and sent His son to die for us, only to conquer death so we may have life and know Him. Live every second knowing this.

"He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.” Amen.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus! "
Revelation 22:20

Thursday, July 10, 2008

New Shoes

Last night, I got these:

Richard also got a pair, but his aren't fuchsia.

I'm not gonna lie, I did not want to get these shoes. Over and over in our reading on Hawai'i we found this sentence: We recommend that you get a pair of reef shoes to wear in the water because there are sharp stones, coral, and even little animals.

So, we decided to go check it out. I was looking at the array of shoes before me and thinking, "Why spend money on these shoes that I will NEVER wear again?" Nonetheless, I tried the only size 6 1/2 on the table. They were an ookey brown color, but they fit. So, I asked him to bring me any style he had in a 6 1/2. Sometimes it is good to have small feet because you don't get many options to choose from! He brought a black, blue, ookey brown/red, and fuchsia. I tried on the fuchsia and I was sold. They were so comfy and, I have to say, they look pretty cute on my little feet! They will be perfect for hiking and playing in the water in Hawaii. And, I know I will wear them when we get back to Nebraska, too!

We are almost ready. Just a few more errands to run, a little more cleaning at the apartment, packing and we are set to go. I really, really can't believe 48 hours we will begin traveling to O'ahu!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Proverbs 16:9

"A man’s heart plans his way,
But the LORD directs his steps."

Our Tuesday morning "Breakfast Club" is going through Proverbs, which I find challenging. I am not, nor will I ever be, a poetry fan and I find Proverbs to be somewhat poetic. I am more of a literal, black/white gal - just tell it to me like it is. But this verse stopped me and applies to our life so well at this time.

When I was younger, I planned out my life. God has directed my steps elsewhere everytime! Need examples? I planned to go to Cedarville University, I went to HCC and UNL. I planned to be a nurse or a doctor, I am neither. I planned to graduate from college, I have not. You get the picture.

I have found that God's plan is always the right way and he has directed my steps in amazing, obvious ways. I am very content and glad that I am where He has me today, but you would have thought that I would learn from the past.

This verse was a great reminder to me as Richard and I take a look at our future. I have been planning to go back to school and finish my degree, no matter what. I have been planning to move in a year. I have been planning many areas of my life, and then letting God know about it.

So, I am working on listening to where God's leads me in many areas of my life, and then planning from there. The verse definitely doesn't say, "Sit and wait until God directs your steps." We still plan ahead for our future, but remember as you plan, that God is directing your steps to take you to the place He wants to put you in. Watch your attitude when he changes your way. And remember: where better to be than in God's plan?

A Long Week

This should be a fast week. I have lots to do at work and at home. Instead, the hours slowly pass while I am at work and at home. is only Wednesday, but it feels like Thursday. It has to be because we are looking forward to seeing Ryan and Martha on Saturday. It hasn't helped that the weather has been kind of a drag this week. Really muggy and hot.

But, the summer has flown by, overall and here is a glimpse of what is happening when we return to the mainland:

July 28th - Richard starts his externship at the VA hospital in town. This lasts 3 weeks (thru Aug 15th)

August 3-4 - My youngest brother, Jake, will move to Lincoln and my parents will be here helping him move in (not with us, on campus).

August 9 - Mom's Birthday
August 15 - Dad's Birthday

August 25th - Richard starts his last fall semester of dental school. Whoa baby!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Fireworks, food, etc.

What a weekend! Here's the recap.

Thursday night we bought our own fireworks. We went to the Clabaugh II's residence to shoot them off, since we aren't allowed at the apartment complex. Our neighbors, Garrett & Johnna, came along too. We had some artillery shells, a couple fountains, some really cool spinny things, and, of course, sparklers!

One of the artillery shells

Richard, me, Johnna

On Friday, Richard and I started the day by playing some tennis. I think we are improving! It was fun to get out and be active. We were out there for about 2 hours and I took away a mild sunburn on my neck and extremely sore muscles the next day! That wore us out and we went home and took a nap. We went over to some friends' house for supper, which was awesome and then went to the fireworks at Oak Lake with our neighbors. It was a really good show and it was perfect weather.

Richard, me, Garrett, Johnna

On Saturday, Richard had a 6:54am tee-time. It was raining and thundering; so, after 2 holes, they re-scheduled for that afternoon. I went to get a much-needed, long-awaited pedicure with Laura and her sister, Audrey. My feet are now Hawaii-ready.

We had a flock party on Saturday night at the Grosse's house. Once again, great food. They had a great patio with tiki-torches and we played catch-phrase.

Sunday was a relax-day. After church, we had lunch with the Clabaugh family and then went home and napped the entire afternoon away - oops! Richard got together with a friend and I cleaned. I inherited my mom's desire to have a super clean house before leaving on vacation. It is so nice to come home to a clean house! I should only have to do a little straightening up on Friday night.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Independence Day

July 4th is one of my FAVORITE holidays. I love the atmosphere, the music, the food, sparklers, the parties, everything. I have great memories of this holiday:

When we lived in Findley Lake, NY, July 4th was a party for the entire town. There were craft shows and booths set up downtown, performances as the gazebo, a boat parade on the lake, and all sorts of other activities. Everyone would purchase flares from the girl scouts and they would outline the entire lake after the sun went down. As the flares burned out, the fireworks would start. We would sit on blankets in jeans and sweatshirts. It was so fun.

Three years ago, was another great 4th of July that I will remember forever. It started off with a walk around Pioneer's Park with Richard where he surprised me by proposing! The rest of the day was like walking on clouds. We went to an air show and finished the day off with fireworks. Another great day.

So, what are our plans this year? Not really sure. Maybe go to Seward, maybe go to some friend's parties, maybe do some pool-action, but definitely go to the fireworks show at night.

It is also at this time of year that I blare the patriotic music in my car and at home. Unfortunately, I forgot to grab my favorite Gaither video from the parentals (yeah, I said Gaithers-make fun all you want). I couldn't resist the urge to post the lyrics to one of my favorite songs (I actually wanted to post 2, but realized that was a little excessive):

Deep within the heart has always known that there was freedom
Somehow breathed into the very soul alive
The prisoner, the powerless, the saved have always known it
There's something that keeps reaching for the sky

Even life begins because a baby fights for freedom
And songs we love to sing have freedom's theme
Some have walked through fire and flood to find a place of freedom
And some faced hell itself for freedom's dream

Let freedom ring wherever minds know what it means to be in chains
Let freedom ring wherever hearts know pain
Let freedom echo through the lonely streets where prisons have no key
We can be free and we can sing --- let freedom ring

God built freedom into every fiber of creation
And He meant for us to all be free and whole
When my Lord bought freedom with the blood of His redemption
His cross stamped pardon on my very soul

I'll sing it out with every breath, I'll let the whole world hear it
This hallelujah anthem of the free
That iron bars and heavy chains can never hold us captive
The Son has made us free and free indeed

Let freedom ring wherever minds know what it means to be in chains
Let freedom ring wherever hearts know pain
Let freedom echo through the lonely streets where prisons have no key
We can be free and we can sing --- let freedom ring

Have a great Independence Day. Relax. Have fun. And, leave a comment if you are doing something fun.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

What do you think?

I was the featured employee in our e-newsletter at work this month. Each month, an employee answers some questions and must include a picture of their family. On the first of the month, the e-newsletter comes out and we all learn something about one of our co-workers. This morning, the e-newsletter came and sure enough, there I am. Well, it is only 10:00 and the consensus around the office seems to be that I look 12 in the picture. Twelve. Half my actual age. Not even in the teens. I'm not even joking around here. People asked me why I picked such an old picture, thinking it was taken years ago!

The sad part is that I agonized for 2 whole days about what picture to send in. I now realized I should have gone with my other option, but I chose this one based on the fact that we see more mountains than me.

So, I have decided to ask you all to contribute. How old does the girl in this picture look? Be honest now.