Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Lantern Floating Hawaii

Every Memorial Day thousands of people gather on Oahu's South shore at Ala Moana Beach Park for the Lantern Floating Ceremony led by Her Holiness Keishu Shinso, the spiritual head of Shinnyo-en. The ceremony remembers those who gave their lives in conflict, illness & natural disaster allowing for reflection on the memories of loved ones.

We arrived in plenty of time to get great seating with a wonderful view of the stage but not to close were we would get mobbed by a bunch of people. Chatting away while writing on our lanterns we reminisced over past get together's & memories we had. Taking in the moment & Enjoying one last group gathering "in Hawaii" with the Brooks family.

This was the 13th Annual Lantern Floating Hawaii Ceremony, More than 3,000 candle-lit lanterns bearing individual and community remembrances prayers were let off into the ocean. The ceremony brings over 40,000 Hawaii residents and visitors from around the world and from various cultures and traditions to celebrate in the ceremony. I was lucky enough to be able to attend myself this year with a few close friends. Remembering my loved ones that have passes on before me, Honoring my Papa (Donald J. Thompson Sr.) and a fellow Wolfhound SPC Gregory Rundell. It truly is a special experience that touches every ones heart that attends. Words can't describe the feeling you have when Her Holiness is speaking and watching everyone release their lantern into the ocean. There are tears, tears of joy, happiness, sadness and love for the ones we have lost but still hold near and dear to our hearts and soul.
The theme of Lantern Floating Hawaii is "Many Rivers, One Ocean." We all come from different walks of life and backgrounds, yet we are all able to come together as one honoring the memory of family & friends.

The Lantern Floating Hawaii tradition is a unique event bringing together people from all cultures, nations, and faiths. Its a way to express our gratitude for the past while looking towards a brighter future. And that is just what I did, while remembering my Papa & everything he did for me & my family I chose to live a better life for him. I know he is so proud of were I am in life today & that he is watching over me. I can't help but wish he was here to tell me in person. He really was such an amazing man, that taught me so much about life.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day 2011

When I was younger I looked forward to long weekends at the river with the family. BBQing it up and enjoying some time on the water in the sun. Now as life has changed & I've grown up and been put in a completely different environment that being a Military Spouse. Memorial Day isn't just another BBQ get out of work free for the day holiday.
Memorial Day allows us to honor our service men and woman whom have given the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Now they may not have chosen to die but they knew going in to serve The United States of America that it might happen. We honor then every day in everything we do, but today is set aside to completely & 100% focus on them.

God Bless our military men and women! Thank you for sacrificing so much so that we can all be safe in our beds at night and for protecting our freedom.....we will never forget! ♥ As well as remember this Memorial Day when you're gettin' your grill on, smiling and laughing that in another house somewhere there is an empty chair where a hero should be sitting. They gave up their life so that you can sit with your family. So take a moment to think about those heroes who did not make it home and those who are still serving around the world. I have been so blessed to have my hero return home to me from his first deployment and as we near the end of our second I can't help but say an extra prayer every night in hopes that the time will go by fast and he will return safely back in to my loving arms. There is never a time were you sit back and think oh he will be ok its almost over, because you know what you just never know.

I thank God for opening my eyes to a new walk of life, that when I was younger I may not have paid much attention to. Thank you to my husband my hero for allowing me to be apart of your life and stand by you and support you. You choose to put your life in danger so we "I" can live in Freedom & not have to look behind me as I go in the the grocery store.
I am so proud to call myself an army wife (not just any army wife but HIS wife).. remember what today stands for and never forget our fallen the ones who fought till the end.

I took a moment out of my day today to go and pay my respects to a fellow Wolfhound & friend who was lost during our first deployment. With a lei laid around the 2nd Brigade Memorial honoring the ones lost over the last few years during OIF and flags place around it you can't help but be touched by the love that the soldiers back here on the home front have for their fallen brothers. SPC Rundell was loved by everyone and touch many people with he life. We will always remember him and everything his life stood for. "Once a Wolfhound always a Wolfhound"

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Pineapple Run 10K

Yup that's right, I ran in my 2ND race this weekend and did freaking fabulous if you ask me and even better if you ask my husband. He was so stinkin proud of how well I did that he couldn't stop talking about it and asking me how it was.
Another early morning up at 5am dressed and ready to rumble our way through Wahiawa for the 36Th Annual Pineapple run. We made our way to the field with plenty of time to spare, no stressing about parking this time since we knew right were we where going. We met up with another friend prior to the race who just so happens to be in the army, (talk about a rock star). Her son goes to the CDC were I work & I just so happen to be his temporary legal guardian. (his parents are dual military)
The plan was for S & I to stay together the entire time we hadn't talk about me going ahead of her. I had no intentions to at all, this was something we were doing as a team but boy did she have different plans. Right before the race started she encouraged me to go ahead of her if I wanted to and we would meet each other at the finish line. I was super nervous about getting separated from each other, I mean what if something were to happen to either of us I had my phone but she didn't so how were we to find out. And besides that this was something we signed up to do as a team. I think I asked her a couple different times if she was really sure about it and she continued to say yes.

Right when the gun went off its started to rain on us, it wasn't to hard but enough to get us pretty wet. I have to say it was a nice cool run, the sun stayed away till right after it was over with. The rain passed on around mile marker one as I was off on my own going across the bridge leaving Wahiawa headed up the hill. This was only the 2ND time since I started running that I have done hills and boy was it killer, I managed and ran the whole way up but I would be lying if I said it was easy.

The down hill as you are coming back from North Shore was a breeze the view of the mountains & a rainbow made me smile pushing on as I could see the aid station in the distance. I kept telling myself that I can do this I do it every day just minus the hill, I just had to stay strong and not stop. Finally MILE MARKER FIVE "5" I passed it and had this in the bag I wasn't slowing down I stepped up my pace finishing strong. "Almost there Almost there, you got this" is what I kept telling myself.

Crossing over the finish line at 1 hour & 15 minutes I was very impressed with my time for it being only my 2ND race & my FIRST 10K.

The finishing Trophy was a PINEAPPLE hints the name of the race of course. "ONLY IN HAWAII" I went and picked up my lovely pineapple & looped back around to go meet up with Sarah who was coming in the last stretch of the race. Our friend Kristi came back to check on the two of us after she finished and when she saw I was doing good & about to finish she continued on to meet Sarah. Be time I got to them they had just passed mile marker 6 and she had .2 miles to go to the finish line. We ran with her shouting, encouraging her to go and finish strong and boy did she do it. Finishing well under her goal time she had set for herself, I was SOOO proud of the both of us.

We had a great time together and it was such a fabulous feeling of relief and accomplishment once we finished.

We don't have anything set for the month of June yet but that could change. July & August for sure though there are already two races that we are going to be participating in. I have found yet another passion & accomplishment through this deployment.
I'm so proud of were I have come from since Gabe has left, I look forward to him coming home and see all the changes I have made in my life. And most of all standing at the finishing line watching me go across!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Cards & Drinks

After our fabulous girls night out down in Waikiki a couple months ago we decided we needed a repeat. Something different though, a girls night in "sleep over" sounded great. After putting our heads together we had a plan set & a date. Friday the 13th....eeks, meeting up and getting nothing other than the FAMOUS Maui Mikes for dinner, then off to Sarah's house it was. Nancy, Myself and my puppies of course it wouldn't be a sleep over if Ella (S's dog) didn't have some one to play with. We busted out the wine, deck of cards & spoons and were on a roll, having a grand ole time. You never know what you are gonna get when you put the three of us girls together.....add in there some Chocolate Covered Strawberries, Lemon flavored Smirnoff Ice ............and this is what you have........... some crazy girls, barking dogs running in to glass sliding doors, Nancy showing her hubby something in the bathroom & Sarah trying to prank call people that wont answer their phone. Now let me stop you right there and say that it really wasn't as bad as it my sounds. We had a fantastic time chatting away playing The Circle of Death. I always know that I'm going to have a good time when we are together. They have really helped me get through this past year, looking back we have done so much together and gotten so close. These memories will be with me for the rest of my life and have helped make me who I am.

We had so much fun, I don't remember at all passing out I was soooo tired (after a long day at work)...... just going over to the couch and then the next thing you know Nancy & I are sharing a blanket cuddled up on the couch. Sarah said she went up stairs to sleep in her bed because we got the good couch, oops sorry chicka. Another girls sleep over is in the future for sure before the guys get back, who ever said sleep overs were for little girls. ummmm WRONG they are for BIG girls to.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

~Puppy Love~

I'm always willing to lend a hand when someone is in need, and I don't look to get anything out of it. This time was no different when one of my parents came in with a last minute request from myself or coworker. Her family had planned a over night stay at Bellows and last minute the person they had watching their four legged baby was unable to doggie sit for them. I dug a little deeper for more information on just what it was that she was needing. (not knowing the dog I didn't wanna just up & offer him at my house) She simply explained that she was just needing someone to come by two or three different times to let him out of the house to go potty while they were gone.
Easy enough I though, and told her I would be happy to do it. Knowing they lived close to me & I pass their house on my way to and from work & even on my run it worked out perfect. Their little fur baby Major is a 11 year old mutt. (really I just don't know what kind of dog it was)
Today when C came to class his mom had a gift bag that she left on the desk for me as a "Thank You". I'm thinking in my head really it wasn't out of my way or anything to do it. I love dogs and I was glad I was able to help and that they were still able to go on their over night trip.
In the bag she had a few yummy treats (yummy to my pups) for my four legged babies and a toy for them as well. AWH, how sweet is she, we had talked about my dogs before so that is how she knew I had two. I never would of though to do something like that as a "thank you" for anyone. What a neat and creative idea.

Also inside was a homemade Thank You card and a candle, I love love candles. Making my house smell pretty is so relaxing and makes me feel so good.

Simple acts of kindness make the biggest impact on a person's life. I'm so happy to have had this family come in to my life while working at the CDC. I will miss them as they soon embark on their next PCS.

This is what was written on the inside of the card:


Kindness ~ comes in many forms but always from the heart. (this was a stamp)
Thank you so much for taking care of our third child on such short notice! You truly were a lifesaver for helping us without hesitation. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. "

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


I have been working hard on my runs after work and on the weekends. I actually look forward to getting off work and coming home to run. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would say this but I do. I've been going longer distances & reducing my minutes per mile. This past weekend I decided to try something new and ventured off the track. I mapped out a course around post and ran that both Sunday & Monday. I had the dogs with me both times, Sunday was a bit of a challenge at first as they were checking everything out along the way but they quickly got in the grove of we are not stopping every 5 feet so you can smell the tree. About half way through the run on Sun. we got rained on or let me rephrase that we got poured on. It wasn't to bad though made for a cool morning run. Monday I got all the way down by the ACC on post and a stray dog started following me. Boy I bet that looked silly, I tried running fast up around the corner hoping it would turn around and go back. Thankfully it did, and I never saw it again. I kind of felt bad for him for a brief moment but that didn't last long. I have my hands full with the two I have. I think I am really starting to like run around post more than the track. We will see its only day 3 today so I'm going to give it a week and see if I still feel the same.
I have decided that I am going to participate in the Marathon at the end of the year here in Hawaii. I have more than enough time to get ready for it and I will be a big accomplishment for me. Last year a few friends that I know did it and they just raved about how good they felt and what a relief it was to pass the finish like. Heck a 92 year old lady did it and finished, I can sure do it myself. Gabe has been very supportive about my running and even more encouraging and always asking how I did that day. He his self isn't a long distance runner so It's not something he would do but I know he will be there to cheer me on as I cross the finish line.
I have a lot of work to train up and get to were I need to be before December but I'm ready to take on the challenge. Sarah & I have our 2nd race coming up this next weekend and I'm super stoked about it. We have talked about doing a Triathlon as well, I have to say I'm sure that might be a bit more challenging but you have determined that I can do any thing I put my mind to.

I think I have found a new hobby that i enjoy and will help me get my body into better shape and maintain that as well.

This is a little something I put together from our First run together!!!

Monday, May 9, 2011

A Mix of here & there

Over the last week or so I have been so busy with life & so much going on. I don't even know were to begin, so I'll just fill you in on a few of my favorite moments that I have had.

Who doesn't love a good movie, I know I sure do and over the last month I have managed to see THREE new ones. "Soul Surfer" opening night was simply breath taking, a real life story turned in to a movie and quite touching at that. "Fast Five" my all time favorite of the deployment, I am definitely a car girl and could quote every Fast & The Furious word for word. This one kept you sitting on the edge of your seat the whole time, jam packed full of action. I can't wait for it to come out on DVD. "Something Borrowed" one of the most sweetest movies I have seen in awhile. As two college friends celebrate their graduation together, they have no idea that the other is in to them. Mean while a best friend comes in a swoops the guy away. In the end everything works out in its own way. I can't wait to read the book that follows the movie.

Birthday celebrations are the best, this past week we went out and celebrated one of our dearest friends birthday. With dinner and gifts at a new place (to us) called The Chart House down in Waikiki. It was good, a quiet place right on the water by the harbor. I have to say they had some delicious wine ummm that just made the night.

Last weekend I made my way down to BWW's in Waikiki for dinner & a much needed catch up date with Vic. & Tara. It was great getting out with the girls and just chatting away. We ordered a few different flavors of wings and like 4 sides and split it all. It was so good, I even had one of the best margaritas I've had in a long time. I can't wait to go back just to have that again.

I always like trying new restaurants so when a friend asked if I wanted to go to "Egg's & Things" in Waikiki for breakfast one morning I was in. Having never been there before but always passed by I was excited to check it out. I had heard great things about it, Boy were the reviews right, that place was phenomenal. So good, I had a Bacon, Potato Cheese Omelet that was simply delicious and Banana Pancakes umm umm good. I can't wait to go back when Gabe gets home, we love going to breakfast together and although this is a semi touristy place I think he will like it.

This past weekend outside of some minor shopping with my spouse I spent the rainy days inside. Working on getting the house clean and things taken care of here. Little by little my "To Do List" is getting short and short and then I add to it. Got to make sure everything is just perfect for my lovers return. :) "Not Much Longer Now" as he would say.
I have started working on my CDA and have just about completed my resource binder and I couldn't be happier the more I work on it the more excited I get. I gave myself a dead line to finish it by and have it turned in which is by June 12th and I think I might just be done and ready to turn it in by the end of the month. One more thing marked off my list. I can't wait to have this under my belt and done.

I've been pretty busy over the last few weeks, but not overly busy were I'm going crazy. I have managed to squeeze in a few beach days here and there before the 2 going on 3 week rain storm came in that we have been having. As much as the rain sucks sometimes its nice to have a change here and there. I love having all my windows open in the house and feeling the cold breeze blow through or falling asleep to the rain falling outside my window. Its simply peaceful and relaxing, I'll welcome the rain any time.

Monday, May 2, 2011

My First 5K

Today was a first for me, as well as my two running buddies. We were participating in the Honolulu 5K for kids downtown. To help promote health and fitness for Hawaii’s children as well as their families to create a more active and healthy lifestyle. It was a 3 mile race. I have been training and working up to this day for the last two months now. It definitely paid off well to, however I should have worked more on the getting up early part. The plan was to get up at 4am and get to Sarah's house by 5am. I did make it but I was so tired at first, I just wanted to lay in bed. Some how deep down I found some energy and got my butt in gear. Dressed ready to walk out the door just as my husband got on line. AWH, I love him so much and he couldn't have gotten on at a better time. I was able to talk to him the whole way down to the race up until we parked. He is my best supporter and its all because of him that I am able to do something like this. I love love it when he tells me how proud he is of me. It just gives me butterflies and makes me push that much harder.

Here we are right before the start of the racing hanging out and getting all hyped up. We were so excited, but so nervous at the same time. There was so many people there and allot of them looked really really fit and totally knew what they were doing. Not that we didn't know what we were doing but we were definitely beginners at this whole race thing. Seeing all the young kids out there gave me that much more strength to push on and give it my all.

Here are a couple of shots from during the race, we managed to snag. I carried my camera with me, no way we could do this and not document it. Right before the two mile marker we grabbed some water from the aid station set up and were quickly back on our way. As you can see Nancy & I looking back at Sarah as we make our way down the marked street. The three of us below was right before the finish line. We could see it up above in front of us and decided to sprint to the end. The three of us finished together at the same time crossing the finish line right at 43.57 minutes. We started off jogging and then walked a bit and then back to jogging. We continued this pace through out the whole race and finished strong.

We DID IT!!!!! We crossed the finish line like I said just at 43.57 minutes. We were each given a finishers metal as we crossed the finish line. I think I'll frame a picture of the three of us & add in there my bib number & metal with it. I'm so proud of myself for doing this and I want to remember this day forever.


Now we are off to celebrate our VICTORY with breakfast at the Original Pancake House down in Honolulu. I can't wait for our next race just a couple weeks away. Its twice as long so I better buckle down on my evening run at the track with the pups!!!!