Friday, May 8, 2009

A night at the Santa Fe

We met the Ramirez family at the Santa Fe Grille last night for a sunset dinner right on the beach. What a spectacular view. We sadly just discovered this restaurant at the end of our time here. This place at sunset is just breathtaking. We did not stay for dinner, we actually tried to, but termites came out to play. I do not like those little buggers! It's ok though...the photo ops made up for it.

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A promotion -- A Blessing

After 8 long years of service in the United States Navy, Chris was promoted to Lieutenant Commander. It was a proud moment for our family. Just 6 years ago he was promoted from Lieutenant JG to Lieutenant at a base in California. Logan was just born and was asleep in the stroller during the ceremony. Flash forward to present day, 2 more children added to the brood, Tyler removed his old boards and Logan added his new boards....while Ryland slept. Chris chose the beautiful spot of Asan Bay overlook. The area was originally chosen several months ago but my husband, the logistical thinker (he is a Logistical officer, afterall!), nixed it because he did not want to cause anyone too much trouble. He decided on the loading dock at the hospital for convience purposes because noone would have to leave the hospital. I'm so glad that he changed his mind on that one because the views were spectacular at the overlook...and in my opinion, he's worth it! ;-)

A BIG thanks to DOT for taking such beautiful photos and putting together these awesome collages!

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And after all the formalities it was time to celebrate. We went for chicken wings at Hooters and he got a tattoo! I laugh as I type this because it's such a redneck thing to do but it was actually my suggestion....does that make me a redneck? Whatever. I don't like labels. ;-P He's been saying for months that he wants to have Ryland's name tattooed on his arm underneath his family crest and the other two boys' names. He talked about putting a little latte stone next to the date because it's so Guam and we wanted to commemorate the island Ry was born on. If he waited until TN to get it, I'm not so sure they'd know what a latte stone was. Besides, he's gotten a tattoo in the state that each boy was born in...why stop now?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Honeymoon Hike -- Haputo Beach

While the boys were in school and Dot (Thanks DOT!) watched Ryland, Chris and I took advantage of our time alone with a hike down to Haputo beach. Going down was not as hard as I thought it was going to be...going back up was a whole different story. Once we reached the bottom, the trail opened up to a breathtaking view of a secluded beach and crystal blue water. We did not stay long because there was a storm looming just behind us but the time we did spend together was wonderful. It's nice to go on a little getaway...even for just a few hours, to refresh our memories of what it was like when it was just the two of us....quiet!

Don't let this pic fool you, this little guy was not so little. In fact, if given the chance I'm sure he could do some serious damage to a finger. He held on to that branch like he was bracing for a typhoon and I couldn't pull him off! He made a weird sound when in distress too. I did not know that crabs made a sound...did you?
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Farewell Fiesta

In good ol' Chamorro fashion, we had a farewell party on the beach. It was just a year and a half ago that we had Napu's (Ryland) christening and now we have come together to say goodbye. Goodbyes are never fun but MMD (Materiels Mgmt Dept) know how to make it so. We ate until we were stuffed with foods such as short ribs, dried corned beef, spicy chicken, chicken kelaguen and plenty of red rice (and white too!) w/ finadene. Chris was presented with a beautiful decorative machete set between two latte stones, a Guam seal carving and a Naval Hospital latte stone. The machete has his name (with new rank) which you can see below and the back says "Un Dangkalu Na Si Yu'os Ma'ase" (Thank you and God bless....TESS correct me if I'm wrong!). In our MMD fiesta fashion we even had a little shredding of the coconuts and coconut candy making which I missed because Ryland was done for the afternoon (meaning on his way to a meltdown!).

No, he didn't really cut the cake with it...this is just for show!
Materiels Management Department....a GREAT group of people that we will miss dearly.

Many more pictures available for your perusing in the web album. (Thanks to Rick for taking such great shots of the family!)
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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Marriage Vow Renewal

Our marraige vow renewal was one I will never forget. We had it at our church, Christian Life Center, right on the water in Agat. Everything was planned down to this most minut detail and that is where our story begins....

If you know me, than you know that I DO sweat the small stuff. I try not to. But I just do. I spent hours, I mean HOURS on a slideshow (the one seen below) to make the perfect ending for our renewal. I envisioned it with tears and laughter, you know the typical wedding stuff. I kept coming up against road blocks meaning the slideshow wasn't timed to the music right, it would not burn to a disc, blah blah blah. I'm a persistent person when I want something but even persistence has a limit. I finally managed to get it burned to a disc and it ended up being the wrong kind (it was a CD instead of a DVD) so it was never shown to our guests. (My bubble burst.)

I planned for a cake, all in white and I was going to add my own tropical flowers to it. Well when I went to pick it up (30 minutes before our ceremony) it was not finished. I mean a layer of white frosting with a little cake still showing and that's it. That was my first inclination that this night might not go off as planned. (There went another bubble...)

During this cake fiasco Chris received a call from our friend, Dot while he was waiting in the car. She was picking up the beef fried noodles that I had ordered ahead of time. Apparently the noodles were not made and when they finally gave them to her it was a single order. Not a tray like I had asked for. (POP!)

Shortly after that we received another phone call from Dot. She was picking up the order of 50 Lumpia for us. Well they were never made. Order was taken but apparently not received by the master lumpia maker. Lumpia is not an easy thing to make so an order that big needs advance notice. (Wait for it...wait for it....SPLAT!...ANOTHER bubble.)

Now my reasoning behind telling you all this is simple. The night before, right after my slideshow "meltdown" I prayed for the Lord to help me focus on the real reason that we were doing this and not on the details. And HE did just that. He cleared my vision from all the "bubbles" that were clouding it. We had a beautiful ceremony. We dedicated our marriage and our children to the Lord. It was a moving time for us and I'm thankful for every "pop" that happened that evening. Another funny thing that happened right after we finished and blessed the food. A massive swarm of termites came out to join us....just as we were enjoying the sunset. And I just laughed. Like I said before, this will be a day I will never forget.

In the photos below is the McManus family (minus 3). They have been such a blessing to us. Pastor Nina is the Principal at the boys school and a wonderful woman of God. I tell her that she moves me to tears whenever she speaks at church. (I joke and say "Insta-tears...just add Nina!") Pastor Steve gives the most eye opening and soul searching sermons. He leaves me reflecting on his message throughout the week. Their 2nd child, Shannon is our babysitter but more importantly, the beautiful voice that lifts us up to the Lord on Sundays. She is a sweet soul and I wish that I had more time on island to spend with her. Katie, the oldest, ah, what an inspiration! She is a strong, single momma and goes to school on top of that! Her family pulls together to help her with the baby so she can finish school. They are truly a beautiful family, a model for which to follow.
This collage is filled with what Dot calls "my peeps". The friends we've made on island that are more like family. Without Dot, I probably would not have done the renewal. She gave me the prompting to see how important it was and the encouragement to see it through to the end. She was my go-to girl with the planning and picked up all our food. Her husband, Dale was the "Lumpia Superstar" that saved us from our lumpia woes. Tori was my sounding board when the bubbles were bursting. She's a great listener when I've got a complaint! Chantelle was my "Martha Stewart". I gave her a vision of what I wanted for the balloons/kite theme and she completely ran with it. She went beyond what I even envisioned with her beautiful photo kite creations. Meredith and Rick they are the family that "moved away" but are still there for us. Rick graciously took on the role of videographer for the ceremony. Jen swooped in and saved the day. My cake was looking sad, sad, sad but with her expertise it was transformed into an edible masterpiece. Mrs. Sablan, Logan's teacher, was my kiddie corraller. She loved on the little ones during the ceremony. Without all of "my peeps" it could not have been done. We are so very blessed to have each and everyone of them in our lives. God hand picks each person that crosses our path, even if it's just for a moment. I think He did a spectacular job in His choices.

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Girls' night out (mini-style)

I asked Daniella, Dot's daughter, if she wanted to have a present for her birthday or if she would like to do dinner and movie. She was all over the girl time! We went to Ruby Tuesday's for dinner and lots of laughs then on to the movie theater to see 17 Again which was a funny movie. I enjoyed spending time with Dani and getting my "girl fix" in. I would be blessed to have a little girl just like her someday.


Saturday, May 2, 2009