Monday, September 28, 2009

It's Typhoon Time!

Okay so it's not a formal typhoon...yet anyway. But we do have a tropical storm headed our way and boy is everyone going crazy! I started gathering items last night, candles, batteries, flashlights, water etc. This morning I went to the Commissary (along with 843 other folks) to grab some more water and food. I am pretty sure I have enough but there is this sort of paniky "but what if I don't have enough??" feeling I got so I decided to go. They ran out of carts! It was crazy. I had to wait in line for one and when I finally wound my way around the store for the essentials I waited behind 30 other people (in the express line no doubt!) to check out. It was the same at the gas station too. I decided to pull the ole' generator out of our storage closet and quickly remembered one very important thing I forgot to ask my loving husband before he the heck do I work this thing??? So I spent much of this morning filling it with gas (and going to the gas station for more...again) and playing with hookups and manuals. I have figured out one thing...I can run the monster but I can't hook it up to our house because we forgot to buy a hose for that!!! Since we expect to lose power by tomorrow I"ll plan to use an extension cord to run basic appliances and fans. Phew!

Along with yours truly, Cheddar is getting her first experience with a Guam storm. We made a valiant attempt at our morning walk with our neighbor Stephanie today until a huge wall of wind and rain came off the golf course and decided to curb that idea. Soaked, we sulked home. While I was bringing patio items into the house Cheddar disappeared. Of course without her collar! So I spent the better part of a half hour searching for her. She eventually reappeared but looked quite spooked from everything going on. So until this puppy passes over the island, she's on a tight leash!

If our phone goes out (likely) I have my cell available: 858.883.5079. I only use it for emergencies so I'll turn it off in a couple of days. But if you need to reach me, there ya go!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

A last look at VBS!

Our main character "Gadget" (also known as Doug O'Meara!) composed a video that takes a peek at the three day retreat we organized at church earlier this month. I must admit, craft time was my favorite!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Well this weekend certainly was a whirlwind. I was telling my friend Tessa the other day that my life in Guam is like a New York cab. Busy busy busy, moving fast and then slam! Everything comes to a halt. Before you know it I'm busy busy busy and boom, I'm bored! This weekend provided many a social opportunity for this chick. Friday brought a big giant party at Tessa's house to welcome her husband Christ home for a whopping 36 hours (his ship pulled in port for a quick stop). I'm still mystified she was generous enough to share her husband with 50 of their closest friends for a good portion of that but hey, free food, why not?? :) 

Saturday was insane! In effort to stay busy (and no ability to say no to anyone) I welcomed about 50+ people over to my house for the squadron's customary Hail & Bail and annual basket auction. Every few months we get together for a tradition formally known as "Hail & Fairwell" where the Skipper welcomes in the new officers and their families and sends off the departing ones. This "mandatory fun" event is also a great excuse for the guys to get together over a few beers (it IS the Navy right??). The OSC (Officers Spouses Club) organizes a basket auction every fall to raise money for the children's Christmas party we host for all the kids in the squadron (and yes, I am putting that together...too). Over the last couple of weeks the ladies have gone together and created baskets to auction off. I must say, for an organization that does not hold a 501(c) 3 status, we kicked some booty! These baskets were AMAZING. I've got a couple of pics below for ya. There is no lack of creativity among these wonderful women, I'm just sayin!

A few of the guys came over on Friday to setup a HUGE tent and tables, chairs and a sound system. Yep, a sound system and yep, I realized ten minutes before the event began that I forgot to alert the neighbors about that one. My house hasn't been TP'd and I haven't received any hate mail yet so I think we're all still on good terms! Before you know it we've got dozens of folks milling about the basket tables, licking their chops. And I'm not talking about the mexican food sitting at the end of the line! The JOPA decided it was theme night so they all showed up in bathrobes. Fantastic. Again, like the wives, there is no lack of creativity in these guys. (See pics below!) Tessa and Jolene joined in and put on their robes and sold raffle tickets for our 50/50 raffle (BTW, a huge money maker for all you non-profits!). Todd and Mason did an incredible job of emceeing the night. I haven't laughed that hard in quite some time, they did a fantastic job. I truly think the guests enjoyed the event quite a bit. By the end of the night we raised $3700! It's the most successful basket auction we've had in YEARS. Whooppee! And since I'm putting together this next shindig, I am a VERY happy girl!

So after the mayhem of Saturday, Sunday brought a tupperware party (yes, they still exist and they ROCK!), a kickball game and Chinese food with the Pikes! The most notable part of the day was the Pooch Plunge at the base pool. Scheduled to close for complete remodel the next day they had a dog swim in the pool. Fantastic! The event consisted of owners dragging, throwing, pushing and pulling their dogs into the water. I did all of the above with Cheddar, she was not happy to be dunked!! She held onto me like a baby and kept trying to make a beeline for the edge of the pool when she had the nerve to let go. It was chaos in a pool. She did however master the 1 1/2 foot baby pool with an air of confidence and it probably explains the prissy behavior she displayed shortly thereafter. While running around the kiddie pool with a small pack of dogs, she growled at a dog. I probably shouldn't have intervened because the pool boss came up behind me and demanded I leash "that dog" and remove her from the pool area. The expressions on the faces of those around me were awesome, how lame. Clearly, he'd never been to a dog park...or pool before. So I suppose I am the proud owner of the first and only dog to ever get (almost) kicked out of the base pool! How's that for bragging rights? 

So that is my weekend, hope you enjoy the pictures!

Tessa, Joe & Jolene selling raffle tickets! Who can say no to a woman in rollers? Or a guy in a pink robe?

"Rolling Cocktail Party"

"Everything But the Clubs"

"His & Hers" BBQ set

A few items kidnapped from the XO's house. XO decided the golf package was way more valuable than his stuff. =)

Our awesome emcees, Todd & Mason, fully dressed for the part!

"Deployment Survival" basket put together by Tessa & Yours Truly. It doesn't take long for a couple of Det wives to come up with something like this! It went for over $200!

The proud JOPA sporting their finest bathwear. 

Cash holding on for dear life.
Some pups even dressed up for the occasion! 
Look at us!

Friday, September 18, 2009

A Half Marathon in Guam....shoot!

So just when I thought I was over my impulsive tendencies, I caved...again. So I was out shopping for some items for my "Deployment Survival" basket for our squadron basket auction on Saturday. I decided to run over to Hornet Sports and sign up for a couple of 5k's. I figure that would motivate me to run and well, just get me out of bed on Saturday mornings. Now, coming from a high tech company that processes online registrations for thousands of athletic (and participatory!) events each year, you'd think I'd expect to go online and register for these events, conveniently. Oh! But this is Guam! Haha, I almost forgot. Take back 10 years and that is what we've got here. Old fashioned paper and cash registration.

So I'm at Hornet browsing the whopping two 5k's they have posted when I come across the Koko's Half Marathon next month. People have been asking why I hadn't signed up for it and I said, it's just too humid and why punish myself for 13.1 miles on this cliff laden Rock? Why I didn't propose that argument to myself in the store, I have no idea. But I can say the rush of race day came back to me again and I thought, I should sign up, surprise everyone and do it! So I did. I paid my $30 (THAT is a reason to do it right there, a steal!) and walked out only to get in the car and go "HOLY BEANS! WHAT ON EARTH AM I THINKING???" And yes, I'm still saying that to myself. I guess I'll let you know when it stops. 

But for now I will get my tush out of bed each morning and push myself toward a goal of 13.1 miles by October 18th. Yes, ONE MONTH FROM TODAY! Oh geez, that's a new record for impulsive race signups for me. And I didn't even have the atmosphere and peer pressure to cave into. Just 100% humidity, 85 degrees and dirt, lots of dirt and my current ability to run about three miles at a time. Oh and did I mention the base doesn't allow joggers to use i-pods? 

I'm not in Kansas (ahem, San Diego) anymore am I?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Go Go G.A.D.G.E.T!

So the last five months of my life culminated last weekend with Vacation Bible School at church. A few obstacles got in our way but God prevailed and we were able to succeed. Yes, normally VBS is supposed to be a summer activity but due to some conflicts with the Guam Public School's schedule we had to delay VBS by a few weeks. So we turned it into a weekend retreat, sort of a welcome back to the island, family event, parents included! "Gadget's Garage" came to Lutheran Church of Guam with music, drama, games, dinner and storytelling! For three nights 25 kids and their parents came to church and what a time we had! The parents got some much needed time away with a bible study with Pastor Austin and the kids....well they had a pretty darn good time. For two and a half hours each night we sang, danced, painted, and ran around learning about "God's Always Doing Great and Exciting Things!" - Get it? G.A.D.G.E.T! I spent a better part of my time refereeing the craft table. The kids made robots out of milk cartons, toilet paper rolls, bottle caps and an assortment of other recycled items. If I had any idea how much they liked to paint I probably would've given them a canvas and some finger paint and they would've been over the moon. Our youngest participant, Trevor used his 2 year old creativity on the carton, the table, his shirt...his face. It was a hoot! It was so great to see kids aged 2 - 15 enjoy playing together, they had so much fun! And I must say I did too, it was so great to see all that work culminate into a success...whew!

Enjoy these next couple of pics, truly a great time!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Husbands are fantabulous!

Ahh, I knew there was a reason I married that guy. He spoils me! ;) After organizing a three day retreat at church this week I came home to a package sitting on my doorstep....a NEW GARMIN WATCH! It's a Forerunner 405 and it's pretty!! Despite a car packed to the gills with craft supplies, costumes and set decorations AND a warm humid house (island wide power outage from storm) I sat on the living room floor to check out my newest toy. Oh it is SO COOL! It is so not just a "watch". We are past those days. This sucker is smart! Not only can it time a run, but it has GPS to track distance and direction, tracks your running history and connects to your computer wireless! It also has this little dude on the screen you can race against...who'd thunk!

Oh and it gets better. When Colin realized my watch wouldn't arrive in time for my birthday he contacted my friends Kristina and Crystal (they own a flower business!) and arranged to have them deliver roses. What a guy! So now I have this fabulous watch I get to take adventuring and beautiful flowers to come home to. 

Soooo happy. Can you tell?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Busy Birthday

So I turned the big 2-6 this past Monday. I have to say I don't feel any different. Once you get that discount on your car insurance (and apparently another when you get married??) it's all downhill from there. I've been told once you hit 30, you start receiving those "I'm sorry you're old" cards from your friends so I guess i"ll have to enjoy the next four years!!

Since Colin was gone (again) for my birthday I felt like it just needed to be low key. Well everyone got mad at me for not telling them but I guess I was never one to advertise? It is just a birthday after all, right? Well thanks to Facebook, it didn't take long. My friend Kristina clued in (that clue might have come in the form of an email from my husband) and immediately told me to come over that night for pizza and wine. Who can say no to pizza and wine? I AM a det wife after all. Eventually word got around and before you know it I had a packed schedule for the day! Food court lunch & ice cream with Stephanie (guam kinda closes down on holidays, evenings...whenever it feels like it), pool with Tessa (where we judged a diving competition for some visiting AF dudes who had a grand time making complete fools of themselves), a Pampered Chef party at Erin's (where once again I bought something when I promised my husband I wouldn't...but I've always needed a cheesecake pan and the opportunity was there!), bible study at the Willand's (where I get my share of laughs for the week!) and finally Kristina's for not only pizza and wine but birthday cake! And it was Cold Stone birthday cake...with sweet cream ice cream...with cookie dough on top. Cold Stone knows how to do cakes, if you've never had one, go and pick one up now! Kristina invited a bunch of ladies over as well (including Crystal's little daughter Caroline). They all decided I needed to see a movie that night (it was 10:30pm) so we trucked over to Micronesia Mall. Of course only in Guam would the box office close before the theater ITSELF closed. Now knowing me, I would have said "It's all good!" and gone home, popped in a DVD and called it a night. No. Not with Tessa. My should-have-been-a-lawyer friend decided we were going to see this movie (she rarely loses an argument). So lo and behold, she befriended the usher and over the course of five minutes gave him the biggest guilt trip on this side of the dateline. 

1) We drove all the way from base to see this movie.
2) It was nonsense for a box office to close before the previews even start.
3) It's my birthday!!
4) We are ALL det wives meaning our husbands have been deployed for anywhere from 1-5 months, we are LONELY!
5) Because we're lonely, if we don't get in, we'll start bawling on the spot.

Poor Movie Mark didn't even know what hit him. Before he knew it we had two other employees scrambling for a phone to call the manager at home. Ten minutes later a sweet girl comes back and says "The manager says "Happy Birthday, go and enjoy the movie!" Woohoo! So we even got in for free and had the entire theater to ourselves. Not bad eh?

So all in all it was a great birthday. I got home at 1:30am and called my mom like a good girl to say hello. I got to bed at 3:30am with plans to get up in time to start Running Camp at 5:00am. Yep, lunch + pool + pampered chef + bible study + WINE, pizza and cake + late night movie = I completely slept through my alarm. Argh, so it was almost a perfect 24 hours. I did start running camp on Wednesday however and it kicked my butt, rightly so. 

It's all good right?

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Back from the Big Island.

I'm back! It was a great week in Hawaii and even greater break from the Rock but it's nice to be back amongst my friends and neighbors! A couple of things I learned in Kona...
  • We didn't actually stay in Kona! We stayed up on the Kohala Coast, about 20 miles north...beautiful!
  • Hawaii's west coast has the most sunny days in a year whereas Hawaii's east coast has the most rainy days, crazy eh?
  • It is good to have generous friends. We stayed in a BEAUTIFUL house in the Mauna Lani Resort complete with a car (mercedes!), beach equipment and a private beach!
  • One can actually walk on a volcano crater floor.
  • Losing your contacts AND glasses is not a good idea when your vacation is heavy on the sightseeing. Ugh.
  • Going to the honeymoon capital of the world is surprisingly difficult when you just sent your husband off to Kuwait.
  • Goats! Tons of them! We were told the island still has a herd of wild goats roaming around...I think we found them in our backyard. (see picture below)
  • Waterfalls are cool. Paying $13 per person to see them is sooo not.
  • Pina Coladas, Lava Flows and Daiquiris are a great way to ease deployment worries. (Thanks Dad!)
  • Hawaii sunsets rock. Period.

The Crater!
Right before dad burns his hand on the steam vent. Nice goin dad!

Triple Falls
Our new "pets"
A great house!
Sipping away the deployment.

Pretty typical.

A few pictures from the week before Hawaii. My folks made pizza and margaritas for 35 of my "closest" friends one rainy night. I think we set a record for squeezing a small army into our flintstone house. 

Hi Tommy!

We also attended Tommy's first birthday party! My littlest neighbor turned one and got to dig into the customary baby birthday cake!