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All You Need Is Love

Sand Heart
Over the past 7 years, I have been blessed to be a part of many weddings.  I have probably officiated close to a hundred weddings and wedding vow renewals.  From experience, I can tell you that being a part of someone’s special day never gets old.  I love to hear how couples met or when they fell in love because those are the moments that define our lives.

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to meet and marry an incredible couple.  Having previously worked in Waikiki for many years, I have a few friends that will call me sometime when a guest calls the hotel and is looking to get married in Hawaii.  This particular couple wanted to get married on the beach and of course, I was happy to comply.

We met at the beach and at first glance, I could tell that they were in love.  They had a certain joy, a certain bounce in their step as they exited their car.  It also surprised me that they were a little older than I had expected.

As we walked to the beach I found out that this wasn’t their first marriage.  They confessed to me that both of them had previously been married for 25 years…to each other.  Six years ago, this couple got a divorce, slowly started hanging out again, going to weekly family dinners, began talking, fell in love and decided to get married again.  Apparently six years of separation proved to be too long and they decided to recommit their lives to one another again.

So here’s this couple, married for 25 years, divorced for six, standing in front of me on a beautiful beach in Hawaii.  Who could ask for anything more?

I’m reminded of a Bible verse from 1 Corinthians that says, “Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love” (13:13).

Congratulations Dave and Cheryl!

Having worked in Waikiki for many years and having gone to many luaus, the one food we tell every tourist to try is poi.  For those of you not familiar with poi, it’s the mashed up root of the taro plant.  It kind of has the consistency of wallpaper paste, and some will even tell you that it tastes like it too.

Personally, I like poi, but I don’t love it.  I’m the guy that sneaks in a little sugar when my wife isn’t looking just to make it a little more palatable.  But it is nutritious and hearty and many island moms feed it to their infants because it is easy to swallow and it is readily available.

A few weeks ago, we were at a graduation party and they were serving up Hawaiian food.  We took the opportunity to introduce Sunny to her very first sampling of poi.  How did she like it?  See for yourself.

 

Tastes Like Chicken

You always think that chickens are such mild-mannered, docile birds, but left to their own devices, they are cold-blooded killers.  Yesterday, I came outside to see my sweet, peace-loving chickens tearing apart a small bird they killed.  Don’t believe me?  Here’s a short video as proof.

Friday Night Fireworks

Even though I have lived in Hawaiʻi my whole life, like so many locals, there are many things that are published in the tourist books that I have never done. I have never been to Mānoa Falls, I hiked Diamond Head only once in my life in elementary school and I didn’t visit the Arizona Memorial until college.

Last night, I crossed off Friday night fireworks at the Hilton Hawaiian Village off my list.

Keao and I had a rare Friday night off so we headed to Waikīkī with the girls to see the festivities.

When we got there two things surprised me. One, it was really crowded with both locals and tourists and two, we were really close to the fireworks.

For the price (free), it was a great show. I read online that some people thought it was too short but really for a free show what do you expect? Truthfully I didn’t think it was short at all but then again Slugger got scared by the big booms so I know it was definitely long enough for her.

20130713-123938.jpgAround the lagoon waiting for the show to start

20130713-123958.jpgSlugger would not stand still for a picture


A 20 second sampling of the fireworks

All in all, it was a very nice evening. There was plenty of seating at the lagoon and except for the two dollars I paid for parking, the price was great! It was a perfect way to spend a Friday evening.

Wow, has it really been over a year and a half since I’ve blogged anything? It’s not for a lack of content I tell ya, it has been sheer laziness on my part. In future posts I’ll try to get you caught up but for now I will tell you about my day.

Today, for the first time, I got to attend a Marine retirement ceremony. I always knew it was a big deal but I definitely didn’t realize what a big deal it was.

My good friend Vic retired after 22 years of service and when they have a ceremony, they do it right. There were a whole bunch of people on the grounds including a marching band. You read that right, a marching band! It felt like I was at Disneyland…well if Disneyland were located on a Marine base.  When I retire I hope there is a parade in my honor too.

It was a short but nice ceremony. They even brought up Vic’s wife, AnnMarie, to present her with a small token of appreciation. As a very classy touch, they even presented Vic’s daughter with a bouquet of flowers as well.

20130711-235326.jpgAnnMarie being presented with a small certificate

20130712-161145.jpgThe marching band

20130712-161207.jpgThe color guard

20130712-161225.jpgVic addressing everyone one last time

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Thank you Vic for your dedication and service to our country.  I know that God has big plans for you and we’re praying for you and wish you well!

Happy New Year! Whew, I can’t believe how quickly 2011 passed. It seems like it went by in such a hurry. Well, here we are in 2012 and I know I missed a whole bunch of blogging in 2011 so here’s a quick year in review.

2011 was a year of many firsts for us. We got to see many new things and experience many new experiences individually and as a family. Here are a few of my favorites.

One of the big changes had to do with a change in the way I think about what I eat. In addition to trying to eat healthier (which i often fail at) I also started trying to grow my own food. Here is my attempt at doing aquaponics and growing some lettuce, eggplant and tomatoes. I have since gone on to grow broccoli, green onions and kale and I’m thinking about expanding to more systems in 2012.

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A few weeks into growing

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Manoa lettuce

For the first time since my wedding in 2007, the Hasselhoffs reunited and played a few gigs. Two to be exact. That may not sound like a lot, but it was more than we played for the last four years!

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We’re getting the band back together (not pictured is our drummer, Clinton)

Slugger also got to celebrate her first Easter! We had her all dressed up nicely for church but by the time we took an Easter picture, we had already changed her into something more comfortable.

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Happy Easter!

Then in May I revisited the Lone Star State again for a short conference. The trip wasn’t too memorable, but I did get to visit the new Cowboy Stadium. That sucker is impressively massive!

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Sitting in the owners box

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On the famous star at midfield

After I got back we got to go to the Big Island! We were very excited because it was Slugger’s first time on an airplane and the first time she would be able to meet her Aunty Genesis and Uncle Jordan, Keao’s sister and brother. It was also her first time meeting her cousin who was born just three weeks before her.

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Slugger was absolutely glued to the window

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Aunty Genesis meets Slugger for the very first time at the rodeo

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The cousins weren’t too interested in each other at first

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Uncle Jordan and Slugger

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Zylin and Aunty Keao

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Keao also tried stand-up paddling for the first time too

Rather than make this a super long post, I’ll stop here at six months and bring you up to speed with some highlights from the second half of the new year later. Stay tuned part 2 of 2011 coming at you soon!

Uh-Oh

For the past couple of days Slugger has been taking a hesitant step or two. Usually she’s near the couch or near an adult and she’ll slowly venture out and take a few steps. Sometimes she makes it and sometimes she drops to her butt and sits down. But either way, it has just been one or two steps.

That all changed Tuesday night. For the longest time, we were both eagerly awaiting the day when Slugger would walk and not just take a few steps, but we were also somewhat reluctant to know that our little girl would be walking. In fact, we knew that once she started walking the game would change forever. I don’t understand how someone learns to walk as it has been a while since I’ve been anything but bipedal, but I assumed that she would take a few steps, followed by three or four steps and then she would gradually build up. I totally did not expect her to go from two hesitant steps to confident walking overnight! Now, that’s not to say that Slugger only uses walking to loco-mote but she is a lot more surefooted than I would have expected. In other words, watch out! Things are going to get a lot more hectic in our home.

Our friend Gina was on hand the other night to capture her walking on her phone. Click here to check out her video.