Thursday, December 25, 2014

And still sick....

This dang cold is kicking my trash. Work was pretty brutal today. I felt like every sneeze was going to blow down a cube wall. My coughing fits were the worst! They were the type of coughs that you'd usually want to do, at home, in bed. 
My sweet husband was kind enough to pick up more medicine for me. He's so tender at the right moments. He even picked up some necessities for next week, along with chocolates and other snacks I crave then. 
My heart wants to burst because he is  just sooooooooo good to me. I look forward to spending my Christmas alone with him....just some peace & quiet.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Sick/Sleep.

I'm sick.
I can thank my cube mate for this.
I sound like Barry White.
I felt so bad for Levi last night because I just need to cough all this funk out.
Sometimes, I feel so bad for Levi because I'm such a restless sleeper...and falling asleeper.  Seriously, I just can't lie still sometimes.  And A LOT of times, I take all the covers.  And maybe occasionally, I talk in my sleep.  
God bless this man for putting up with my terrible sleeping habits. I'm so thankful he'll always be my #mcm. (Man Crush Monday)
I'm so lucky, I know. Happy Monday! T-minus 3 days til Christmas.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Last weekend.








Last weekend was my work Christmas party. Luckily it was at a nearby hotel, so we booked a room. It was a very nice evening and fun to hang with the Hubs and some of my favorite people from work...basically Tina & Mamacita. The food was delicious and there was a photo booth! 
I LOVE PHOTO BOOTHS!!!!!
They're just so much fun!! 
The next day we finally used our season passes to the San Diego Zoo. It was a lot of fun and A LOT of walking!!!!  
Last Sunday evening, we spent some time at Levi's sister's home with her family and their Dad. It was quite enjoyable. I like getting to know Levi's family and spending time with them.  All in all, it was a wonderful weekend.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Motherhood: 10 Things Your Mom Never Told You.

Today, I came across such a beautiful article on Motherhood. I'm not a mother, yet, but it's definitely a role I'm excited, nervous, ecstatic, scared and anxious to experience! Reading this article makes me wish I had read this when I was younger so I could better appreciate my Mom and understand get better

10 Things Your Mom Never Told You
by Natasha Craig

Pregnant.
There it was, clear as day, two blue lines staring back at me from the small pregnancy test I had just purchased.
I double checked...
One line = not pregnant.
Two lines = pregnant.
Yup, I was definitely pregnant.
My heart was pounding.
My head was spinning.
My stomach was churning.
I was nervous, excited, scared and ecstatic all at the same time.
This was actually happening! After years of dreaming, preparing for and anticipating this day, it was finally here. I was going to be a mother.
Little did I know that in nine short months, I would begin the most exhausting, life-changing, heart-wrenching, but indescribably rewarding journey of my life.
In nine months, I would learn the price of motherhood firsthand. I would know exactly what it takes to be a mother. I would gain a whole new understanding of and gratitude for the beautiful woman I call Mom.
I would learn about things mothers experience that their children often know very little about.
Here are 10 things your mom never told you.
1. You made her cry... a lot. She cried when she found out she was pregnant. She cried as she gave birth to you. She cried when she first held you. She cried with happiness. She cried with fear. She cried with worry. She cried because she feels so deeply for you. She felt your pain and your happiness and she shared it with you, whether you realized it or not.
2. She wanted that last piece of pie. But when she saw you look at it with those big eyes and lick your mouth with that tiny tongue, she couldn't eat it. She knew it would make her much happier to see your little tummy be filled than hers.
3. It hurt. When you pulled her hair, it hurt; when you grabbed her with those sharp fingernails that were impossible to cut, it hurt; when you bit her while drinking milk, that hurt, too. You bruised her ribs when you kicked her from her belly; you stretched her stomach out for nine months; you made her body contract in agonizing pain as you entered this world.
4. She was always afraid. From the moment you were conceived, she did all in her power to protect you. She became your mama bear. She was that lady who wanted to say no when the little girl next door asked to hold you, and who cringed when she did, because in her mind no one could keep you as safe as she herself could. Her heart skipped two beats with your first steps. She stayed up late to make sure you got home safe, and woke up early to see you off to school. With every stubbed toe and little stumble, she was close by; she was ready to snatch you up with every bad dream or late night fever. She was there to make sure you were OK.
5. She knows she's not perfect. She is her own worst critic. She knows all her flaws and sometimes hates herself for them. She is hardest on herself when it comes to you, though. She wanted to be the perfect mom, to do nothing wrong -- but because she is human, she made mistakes. She is probably still trying to forgive herself for them. She wishes with her whole heart that she could go back in time and do things differently, but she can't, so be kind to her, and know she did the best she knew how to do.
6. She watched you as you slept. There were nights when she was up 'til 3:00 a.m. praying that you would finally fall asleep. She could hardly keep her eyes open as she sang to you, and she would beg you to "please, please fall asleep." Then, when you finally fell asleep, she would lay you down and all her tiredness would disappear for a short second as she sat by your bedside looking down at your perfect cherub face, experiencing more love than she knew was possible, despite her worn-out arms and aching eyes.
7. She carried you a lot longer than nine months. You needed her to. So she did. She would learn to hold you while she cleaned; she would learn to hold you while she ate; she would even hold you while she slept, because it was the only way she could sometimes. Her arms would get tired, her back would hurt, but she held you still because you wanted to be close to her. She snuggled you, loved you, kissed you and played with you. You felt safe in her arms; you were happy in her arms; you knew you were loved in her arms, so she held you, as often and as long as you needed.
8. It broke her heart every time you cried. There was no sound as sad as your cries, or sight as horrible as the tears streaming down your perfect face. She did all in her power to stop you from crying, and when she couldn't stop your tears, her heart would shatter into a million little pieces.
9. She put you first. She went without food, without showers and without sleep. She always put your needs before her own. She would spend all day meeting your needs, and by the end of the day, she would have no energy left for herself. But the next day, she would wake up and do it all over again, because you meant that much to her.
10. She would do it all again. Being a mom is one of the hardest jobs anyone can do, and it will take you to your very limits sometimes. You cry, you hurt, you try, you fail, you work and you learn. But, you also experience more joy that you thought was possible and feel more love than your heart can contain. Despite all the pain, grief, late nights and early mornings you put your mom through, she would do it all again for you because you are worth it to her. So, next time you see her, tell your mom thank you; let her know that you love her. She can never hear it too many times.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Silent Night.

Tonight, I am in love.
I love my husband more than ever before. I adore him for all he does for me and the many ways he shows his love for me. I'll never know how I got so dang lucky!
I love and miss my family. I'm thankful I got to share a good dinner with my parents and spent time catching up with my sister, nephew and niece. I look forward to seeing them again, next weekend.
I love my dear sweet friends that I don't get to see often....such as Mama & Papa McK who gave us the beautiful handmade wall hanging.
I love my home, my safe shelter from the worries of the world and the stresses of life.
I love my Savior, whose birth we celebrate at this time of year. He is my perfect friend, who has been through it all. I am thankful for His example and hope I can be a better person this next week.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Things that make me happy today....







Saturday morning sickie.

My sweetheart is still asleep, next to me.
I've been craving Pho since last night. Have I mentioned how much I haaaaaaate getting sick!? 
The Misher looks so peaceful, I just want to wake him up cause he's just so dang cute. It always feels like Christmas morning as I anxiously await his awakening. 
I just want to stay in bed and eat brothy soup all day....Pho, Saimin, Pozole... That would make me so happy!!! Sadly, we planned on having our Thanksgiving today and our turkey has been defrosting in the refrigerator. Hmph! I hope I kick this cold by tomorrow, cause I wouldn't mind cooking it then. 
Man, I seriously wanna go find some Taco shop just so I can have some Pozole. Luckily it's the weekend, so it's most likely being served somewhere to help all those hangovers. (The things my friends teach me)  Just some warm hominy would be oh so lovely right about now.
Until then, this is me staying silent and still till The Mister wakes up. 
Happy Saturday folks!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Sick... With busy hands.

Ugh.... So I think I'm coming down with the same cold everyone in the office had/has.
Suuuuuck.

I hate getting sick.
I should have known since all I wanted to do today is sleep and relax. Especially since my nose would NOT stop running. Annoying!
Some little yellow paper roses. Lady night, I was practicing in case I wanted to make a red rosette wreath.
Mira...(look)
Isn't it delightful?
Since I'm also making our Christmas cards this year, we'll see how ambitious I am with all these crafts.
Until then, I hope this DayQuil that I just took, starts working and gets me feeling better real soon.
G'nite.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Boomers!!

Today, we had the wonderful opportunity to spend some time with Levi's family. Sometimes, it still trips me out that I have "in-laws". From the get go, Levi's Dad has always been kind and welcoming to me. I think he's very nice and funny. The only problem I've ever had is that sometimes I can't hear him. He speaks kinda low and my hearing in my left ear isn't great, so sometimes I miss what he's saying. Most times he's cracking a joke, so I just start chucking when he laughs. Other than that, I like him and his {new} wife. I wish we could see more of them because I do enjoy their company. 
So we meet up with Levi's Dad, Sister & her family to go miniature golfing. It was a pleasant way to spend a gorgeous Sunday afternoon. 
That's my father-in-law, Grampy. He was kind enough to pay for our round of miniature golf. I felt like a kid. It was a fun course!
That's my partner in crime. I think he looks pretty dang hot with his sunglasses on, his fresh hair cut and scruffy face. Then again, I think he's HOT all the time! 
So I think he came in first and I.... Well, I was terrible! At one hole it took me 7 tries! It was pathetically sad!! Then I hit my ball so hard, it jumped the sidewalk and got lost in the plants! Luckily, my brother in law, Pedro, found a replacement in those same bushes. Sadly, I came in last! Even Levi's 5 year old niece beat me. Ugh.... Terrible!! Or maybe I didn't want her to be last and "played" terribly? Hmmmm :) 
After mini golf, Kate & Pedro went to ride on the go carts while Levi, Grampy & I went to play for tickets for Kate.

I had a lil wager with my hubby. Whoever had the highest score out of the games could pick where we went to dinner. By the way, his skeeball lane was on the right. I won one game and the rest were games in which he got at least 50 more points than I did! Have I ever mentioned how AWESOME he is at anything & everything!! Seriously, he beat all of us by golfing left handed!! And he's right handed for crying out loud!! It just bites that I'm so dang competitive!!! But I'm glad he doesn't gloat about it, at all! He's much more humble than me!
Moving along.... I liked her reaction when we gave her the tickets! I think she was overwhelmed by the 900+ tickets she just scored!
Kate is such a sweet little girl!
I really like this photo of these two. They're so dang cute! Plus I always love watching Levi with her. He's so caring and attentive. It makes me so excited to make him a father, someday.
All in all, I had a great time with all of them. I look forward to making more memories with them, in the future.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Attitude of Gratitude - Day 23: Church & Hymns.

Man, I couldn't be more grateful to have my new ward building less than a mile away.  
It's such a blessing to have it so close.  Today, as I was sitting in church, I loved listening to the musical piece by a pianist, violinist and flute player (flutest?). It was a beautiful piece dedicated to Veterans Day & Thanksgiving.  It's nice to be in a ward with such beautiful talents.  I almost feel like I'm in a Utah ward. 
The Bishop spoke about Tithes & Fast Offerings. It was a pretty good talk.  
Today, I think I was more thankful to be sitting in the congregation singing the hymns.
I have a deep love of the church hymns.  They made many missionary miles seem shorter as I would hum or sing the hymns.  Sometimes, if I wasn't getting along w/ my missionary companion and I needed an uplifting thought, I would recite the words to my favorite hymn. 
As I was singing the hymns, it made me think of the time I was in my ol' stake choir....something I always wanted to do, growing up.  It was such a beautiful blessing!! I truly loved singing that choir.  
After Sacrament meeting, the older gentleman behind me said that my "singing was wonderful, just as beautiful as you!"...so sweet!  I'm not gonna lie, sometimes, that's the whole reason I go to church, I LOVE LOVE LOVE to sing.  
As I was walking out of the chapel, I saw an old friend that I use to work at the temple with and was from my ol' Singles ward.  It was nice to see a familiar face, especially since I know like 1 person in the ward.  
I hope that as I attend more, that I make more friends and hopefully get a calling soon enough. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Attitude of Gratitude - Day 17: Talents.

I thank my lucky stars for all my wonderful talents. I know that I have been abundantly blessed with the amazing talents I have. I'm not trying to brag, at all. Tonight, as I was painting some items for a colleague's baby shower, I couldn't help but think of how another colleague just handed me a box of items and basically said, "Work your magic! I trust you! I've seen your skills!" It's way awesome that this colleague thinks I'm just as talented when the whole office knows her as the creative one.
She gave me the colors & theme and I started to go to town. I've got several more pieces, but I love the starfishes! 
I owe a lot of my talent to my Mom! Seriously, I wouldn't be the talented person I am today if I didn't have her challenging "encouragement". She taught me how to sew when I rather have played outside, when I was a kid. My friend & co-worker Tina ran into a bind when she needed some help with her Halloween costume. With her measurements, 1.5 yards of red fabric and black & white paint, I was able to create her costume. Not too shabby for just free handing it!
I guess my colleagues were convinced that I was talented when I came up with the idea for our Halloween decorations: 
I must admit, I loved the lil paper fences and the trees, the best! People thought I bought the fences, but they were just cut out by hand. I don't know where this idea came from, I just drew it up as I saw others decorating their cubes. Everyone loved our decorations and my cube mates really enjoyed it! That made me so glad! I also loved decorating my pumpkin for the office competition :
It was so hard for me to throw it out after Hslloween!! 
I'm glad my talents don't end there! When I became the Relief Society President, a couple years ago, I found myself cooking A LOT! I developed the talent to make soups! Oh how I love that talent and the joy of soups! In the course of one summer, I found myself cooking for a few regional and several ward acrivities! It was hard work, but I LOVED feeding my ward family! I still love to feed people, especially friends and family! I love the genuine gratitude they have when finishing a meal and their "Thank you! That was so good!" that they exhale as their waist band gets tighter!
^Thid was some Tongan food I made on Sunday, it's called Lu Puaka and the Taro root is in the background. Man, it was so good!! Have I mentioned how much I LOVE to cook?!? 
Now that I am married, I've tried to develop my baking skills. This was the first Apple Pie I've ever made:
I've got say, it was perfection!! Seriously, I couldn't have made a more perfect pie! And my husband loved it! That's AWESOMENESS in my book!
So I've gotta say, I'm so truly grateful for the way I can make my little corner of the world a happier, enjoyable and more colorful place to live. I will never cease to thank my God for the way He's blessed my life! My cup runneth o'er!
{Matthew 5:14-16}
"Because I have been given much, I too must give...." 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Like a hand print on my heart...


I'm pretty dang excited for tomorrow! More deets maƱana! 


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Attitude of Gratitude - Day 11: Military.

When I was on my LDS mission in New Jersey, I had the wonderful opportunity of living in Bordentown, which placed me in the North Hanover LDS Ward.  There were four missionaries in the ward and the two Elders who were also assigned to the ward, lived in Wrightstown.  At one time, the ward used to be called the Fort Dix/McGuire Ward, for the Army & Air Force base.
There were a lot of military members, both active and retired, in the ward.  Having grown up in San Diego, I was used to having Navy & Marine servicemen and women around the city. Many of my friends' Dads were in the Navy.
I remember when the war first broke out in 2003.  The following Sunday there were so many men gone from the N. Hanover Ward.  It was a very surreal realty of the war and how close to home it had hit.  It must have been a 15:1 ratio of women to men for the first few weeks after deployment.  Luckily our Bishop, who was also in the military, wasn't called away to war.  Knowing and loving these ward members made me have a greater appreciation for military members and their families.  I remember earnest prayers on behalf of the military and the sacrifices of their families. I had and still have a great appreciation for the military and their families.
A few years back, I became good friends with two YSA military members.
It became real again, as to knowing and caring for those in the military.  I remember more earnest prayers offered up on their behalf and their fellow servicemen and women.  They were my friends, not just strangers in a uniform. It's funny how quickly your perspective can change when it becomes personal.  
I am so truly grateful for all those who sacrifice on my behalf so that I can enjoy the freedoms of this great country.  God bless America and all those brave souls who uphold Freedom and Liberty!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Attitude of Gratitude - Day 7 - 9: Weekends!

Man, can I just say how much I LOVE and LIVE for the weekends.  I love being able to wake up without an alarm clock.  I love spending as much time in my world's most comfortable bed! I love being able to relax in bed with Levi as long as I want.  I love the ease of going out for breakfast and running errands with him.  It's always so nice because I feel like I can reconnect with him and that it's just us against the world....well, you know what I mean.  I think sometimes we get use to just spending the weekend together, that when something scheduled comes up, it throws us off and our freedom feels so compromised.  I love the ease of doing whatever we want, whenever we want.  LOVE IT!
I feel like my blood pressure goes down a gazillion points and there's no traffic in sight--such a wonderful feeling.  It's just nice not having to be anywhere at any certain time.  Man, how I LOVE the weekend!!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Baby dreams.

I took a lil nap this afternoon, and had an odd dream. I'd try to write it in my journal, but typing seemed a lil faster...
I dreamt that I was an IT for a SEAL team.  Our SEAL team was called up to go on a mission, but this was my first mission as an IT. (Don't ask me what SEAL team has an IT??) As I looked at the guys on my team, I obviously did not look like a typical SEAL member.  I went to work, in the evening, thinking it would be a typical IT day. Before going into the office, I found out I was pregnant...three months pregnant. After the announcement came at work that we would be going on a mission the next morning, we were told that we couldn't leave.  It was imperative that we sleep the night there so we could all prepare ourselves for the next day's events.  I looked at the guys and they were all mentally focused and quietly preparing themselves.  I had never been on a mission nor ever expected to go on one!  They SEALs knew that of all the tasks that needed to happen, I needed to be returned safely at the end of the mission.  I didn't know how to prepare myself or be calm about it! I was freaking out and wanting to go see Levi to say good-bye.  I told my commanding officer that I had important news that I wanted and needed to share with my husband, especially since I didn't know if I'd be coming back or not.  He told me that leaving the office would be detrimental to the team and myself.  I started to rethink telling Levi because if something did happen to me, I wouldn't want him to feel the pain of loss of both his wife and his unborn child. I was over the moon about being pregnant and wanted to scream it from the rooftops.  I wanted to share this elation with my sweetheart, but at the same time, the seriousness of the mission would be compromised if I left.  Somehow, I think I was able to get to Levi, who was apparently working at a car dealership, and I remember the exquisite joy we shared over knowing that we were going to be parents!  It was a blissful moment for us as we embraced so tenderly. Levi's face was so beautiful as he received the news, he looked happier than I had ever seen him.
Then that was it....I woke up.  No mission.  No baby.  I wish I could have seen our baby, that would have been nice.  My Dad has had a dream or two of my future baby.  He said that he was holding a lil baby boy with blonde curls.  I remember how happy & emotional my Dad was telling me about his dream about my future baby boy.  It makes me wonder, that's for sure. Someday. :)

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Attitude of Gratitude - Day 6: Our Bed.

No one should love a bed as much as Levi & I do! Seriously, this is the most comfortable bed I have ever slept on!! It's so lusciously inviting ALL. THE. TIME.!!! Once you lay down, it pretty much captivates you! It's perfection, 24/7! I remember our old bed and how tiny it was!! Only one of us could sleep flat, while the other had to sleep on their side. Oh so sad!! One Saturday while I was sick, Levi scooped me up and drove us over to SleepTrain. I thought we were just going to look around. 30 minutes later we were being rung up and scheduling a delivery time for the next day. I think that was the first time that I had no problem being sick in bed! :) 
Whenever we go on trips, sometimes we can't wait to get home so we can sleep on our own bed! I typically have those same feelings when I'm at work! 
I love this bed, I truly do...but the thing I  love most about it, is who I share it with. :)

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Attitude of Gratitude - Day 5: Answered Prayers.

Almost every morning, before I leave for work, I say a prayer.  I have so much to be thankful for, but I also have so much I need.  I know my Heavenly Father knows of those needs & wants, but it's always good to ask and be vocal about it.  I usually pray for the same things, because those are the things that mean most to me.
I always prayer for safety and protection as Levi & I travel about the city.  I know how bad traffic can be, so I always pray for heavenly protection upon us.  I pray for my parents, that they have patience with one another and treat each other well.  I especially pray for my Dad that he be kept safe and upright because of his advanced age and lack of eyesight, he has fallen several times.  I'm always worried that his next fall might be the worst one yet.  I pray for my sister that all is well in her life, and my nephews & nieces that they make righteous decisions.  I know how hard jr. high can be, so I especially want Heaven's choicest blessings upon my niece.  I pray for special blessings upon my oldest nephew as he prepares to marry his fiancee in the temple, this coming winter.  I also express my sincerest gratitude for my sweetheart Levi and the true blessing it is to be his wife.  Sometimes, I ask Heavenly Father that the traffic be light, just because it gets so crazy on these freeways here.
Today, my morning was definitely answered, in the most visible way.
I was in one of the two left turning lanes, waiting at the world's longest red light.  The Mini-Cooper in front of me kept egging on the light.  I was the second car in the lane.  Once it finally turned green, we started to go.  Two cars in the other left turning lanes were already through the intersection, when all of a sudden the Mini-Cooper in front of me slammed on their brakes.  We weren't even near the middle of the intersection and I didn't understand why they were so impatient 20 seconds ago and now at a sudden stop!  A couple seconds later, a car came flying through the intersection!!! It had to be going about 60 mph.  Due to the timing of it all, it would have most likely taken me out.  I was just floored.  How can people be that selfish to think they can run a red light and it'd be ok?  After driving through that intersection, I drove a little slower because the thought of my morning prayers came to mind.
So many times have I prayed for safety and protection and all is well on my daily commute.  This morning, my prayers for safety were answered in a very real and very true way. How many times have I prayed for something and didn't notice the answer?  I hope that hasn't always been the case.  Today, I feel like I need to be more aware of my prayers being answered.
I know my Heavenly Father answers my prayers.  Usually it's in the way I desire, and other times, it's in ways that help me grow & become better.  Today, I am so tremendously grateful that my prayers were answered in exactly the way that I needed and wanted them to be.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Attitude of Gratitude - Day 4: Work.

So.... I want to do this whole 30 days of Thankfulness that I see a lot of my friends do, each November. I only thought about doing it this morning, so I don't really have a day 1 or 2....or 3 really, but for now I'll count last night's post as Day 3.
Today, I'm grateful for the job that I have. It came at the most perfect time. Seriously, I ended one job and started up here a week and a half later! Actually, my last day at my old job was the same day as my first interview. 
The benefits are nice and everyone's friendly. The office is relaxed and very nice. Probably the nicest office I've ever worked in. I like my lil cube. I've decorated it so it feels less grey and cold. 
I'm thankful I get to work with my friends, Tina & Mamacita, especially when we go out for Happy Hour after work sometimes.  Tina and I work alongside each other and I couldn't be more grateful. It's nice to have someone who understands exactly what the job entails and goes thru the same experiences. 
Chuy's not so bad either. So extremely helpful! I know we get on each other's nerves, but I'm truly grateful to have these two to work with.

Three Months.

I love this picture of us, even though you mostly see me. I love it because I love how happy I look and how comfortable he is asleep on me. 
Yesterday marked three months since we were married. I wish I could do it all over again. How is time flying by so quickly?!?
I love him so deeply. I love any extra minute I get to spend with him. He is my whole heart, my partner in crime (aka: taco shop runs!) as well as the BEST adventures and my very best friend. 
My cup runneth o'er!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Hello Autumn!

There is something oh so lovely about Fall! I love the crispness in the air! I love any reason to wear a sweater or hoodie! I do miss the turning of the leaves, out on the east coast. I do enjoy the non-beach weather here in San Diego. I love seeing more pumpkins & mums around town.  There's just so much to enjoy about Fall! Especially now that the time has gone back an hour! I think that's my favorite part most of all!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Dia de los Muertos.

In honor of Dia de los Muertos today, I'd like to share an experience I had a couple months ago.
One morning, before work, I was scrolling through Facebook and came across a story a friend's niece had written for the Friend Magazine.  It was a sweet little story about two little girls who wondered what happened to their great-grandmother who had recently passed away.  They wondered if she was happy and with her loved ones.
On the way to work, as I was traveling on the freeway, the cars in front of me suddenly came to a screeching halt! The car directly in front of me stopped so fast that he swerved out of the lane to avoid the car in front of him.  I've never hit my brakes so hard before! I was already envisioning the aftermath.  To go from 70 mph to 0, in a couple seconds, can be a bit jarring. Luckily, by the grace of God, I was able to brake in time without any damages!  However, I was so shaken up because this situation could have ended A LOT worse!! I started crying because in an instance, I could have literally died and left my sweetheart and all my loved ones. I started to think back to that Friend story, and I thought about who would have greeted me in Heaven.
I thought about my maternal grandparents, Kuku & Tutu. 
 It's been about 12 years since I last saw them alive. I miss them. I wish I could hear them speak to each other in Hawaiian.  I wish I could kneel at my bedside with them every night and sit along side of them every morning, as they held hands, and prayed. I wish I could play the card game, "Speed" with my Tutu again.  I miss them so much and think about them often.  I look forward to the day that I'm reunited with them.
I thought about my Grandma Salote, my Dad's Mom that I'm named after.
Unfortunately, I never met her.  I can't say I've ever really talked to her.   She didn't speak English and I don't really speak Tongan.  I remember hearing her voice on long distant phone calls, as my Dad translated our conversation. My Dad told me that while she was alive, she would go around her village and share my photo with everyone she knew. She would tell her friends all about me.  As I look at her photo, I can see my Dad's face.  She passed away on a Sunday morning, in late September 1997.  I thought about what it would be like to meet her in Heaven.  I would hug her and hope that she would embrace me like we've known each other for a very long time.  I hope she has a nice view over me, from Heaven.


The next person I thought about was Levi's Mom who passed away a little over two years ago.
 Unfortunately, I never had the chance to meet her.  I would go up to her and tell her how Levi has been.  I would update her on her family.  Most of all, I would thank her for raising a very good son who makes me tremendously happy.  I would share my appreciation of teaching him not to judge, one of the first things Levi shared with me, about her.

I thought about my Uncle Ned, my Uncle Walter Wolfgramm, my Uncle Walter Fernandez, my Uncle Eddie & Auntie Moana, my dear friend Ana, Sister Donna Parke & Sister Joyce Sabine.  It consoled me to know that if and when the day comes for me to be "taken home to that God who gave them life", I know that there will be a joyous reunion of dear loved ones who have passed on before.  Until then, I will hold them in my heart and fondly remember them, most especially this weekend on Dia de los Muertos.  Aloha 'Oe.   

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