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Monday, April 29, 2013

Experiencing the Food of Hawaii!!!

When I sat down to write this post on all the different food experiences we had in Hawaii, I laughed when I realized how many food pictures I took :) Normally, I don't take food pictures but mom and I had a little too much fun.  We had quite a variety of food during our short stay.  Here are a few pictures to share.
This was at the Honolulu Coffee Company right after we arrived at our hotel in Oahu.  We stayed at the Waikiki on the Beach Marriott Resort and Spa.  Their iced tea is my all time FAVORITE!

We were feeling a little crazy since it was 7pm Hawaii time and 10pm our time.  Our first dinner was at Cheeseburger in Paradise.

 
The next day we headed over to the Hilton Hawaiian Village and I surprised mom with a night's stay at that resort.  We even got upgraded to the Rainbow Tower overlooking the saltwater lagoon.  We had lunch at the Tropics Bar and Grill which is the restaurant that is famous for hosting various Hawaii 5-0 episodes. 

My mom introduced me to this amazing capresse salad!  Ummm...yummy doesn't even begin to describe this tasty treat.  Pesto, cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and basil to top.  I could have just eaten the salad.
This was my lunch at the Tropics Bar and Grill.  It was a pulled pork sandwich with homemade potato chips.

That night for dinner we ventured to eat Japanese at Benihana.  It was an amazing dinner and mom and I were the only ones at a table for 8!  The chef was hysterical and also really great at making my heart skip a beat with his "tricks".  They came around to our table to take pictures and I couldn't resist buying this one to remember the fun night out we had.


The next morning for breakfast we headed back to the Tropics to eat.  Mom had her favorite mac nut pancakes.  I had bacon and eggs.
 


We took a cab back to our original hotel and promptly busied ourselves by laying out by the pool for hours.  We finally decided it was time for lunch and walked 50 feet to the poolside restaurant.  We had fish tacos which were incredible. 

Fruity drinks poolside were a must.  This was called a lava flow :)
 
We had dinner that night a little adorable outside Italian restaurant.  We watched people walk by on the streets.  The service and the food was amazing.  We started with another capresse salad and then I had a pizza and mom had this amazing mushroom pasta dish.  We finished in time to watch the sunset on Waikiki beach.

The next morning I got up early and took a walk along the beach and ended up at the Honolulu Coffee Company and ordered myself a Nutty Hawaiian Latte.  They always make fun shapes in the coffee.  This one was a heart.  In Maui they are pretty good at making a palm leaf shape too.

On Thursday we took a drive up to the North Shore.  We stopped at the dueling shrimp trucks.  They have all these shrimp beds lining the roads up towards the north shore.  I had never eaten at a shrimp truck before but this was AMAZING! 

We stopped at the Turtle Bay Resort for lunch.  Seriously....look at the tables right on the sand in the beach!  This stuff really does exist!  It was an amazing view and reminiscing about all the times we had stayed at that resort in the past.

I got my Hawaiian shaved ice!  Enough said!


Our Aloha dinner was at Duke's.  So many great memories at Duke's.  Mark LOVES Duke's and it was one of my Dad's favorite places.  It felt good being back. 


Before heading to the airport, we had macadamia nut pancakes one more time...oh ya and some bacon.  I heart bacon. :)


Even at the airport, waiting to go home, we continued to be impressed with the food!  Chicken skewers anyone????

I can't believe how fast the week flew by and how much food we ate! It was so fun to eat all this food and not have to cut anything up, clean anyone up or leave my food to take care of someone.  I love my babies but after nearly 4 years of not having a break for myself....I enjoyed EVERY minute.  I was so happy to hug their little bodies when I got back.  We hit the ground running with baseball and bowling.  This trip was truly a blessing.  Here's to 6 more months and then a family vacation to Maui!  Mahalo!





Wednesday, April 24, 2013

One More Thing...

I am still trying to decide why I scheduled an unearthly amount of appointments all in the same week.  Was I out of my mind???? Regardless it has been the week of appointments and the week is only half over.  All three wee ones needed well child checks.  Throw in a couple of therapies, baseball, the dentist (for me) and an IEP meeting for good measure and you have my week in a nut shell.  Ok...breathe :)

The good news is the sun is shining. It leaves my soul feeling refreshed and my outlook happy, regardless of how some of the appointments for my wee ones have gone. 

Can I just be real honest for a minute??? Confession...I'm sick of taking my wee ones to all these doctors (primary cares, specialists, dentists etc.).  I'm tired of "hearing the latest gadget" and being "sold" on the newest intervention and being told twenty more things I NEED to do and a hundred more doctors I need to take them to (ok I am exaggerating).  So-in-so has a huge cavity, you let her use the binky too long, she's not potty trained yet? etc., etc., etc.,  I'm done hearing one doctor say one thing, only to be told by another that information is incorrect and then given new information.  It leaves this mommy's head spinning and a heaviness in the pit of my stomach knowing that I am going to go against one or the other doctor.  I am tired of justifying my decisions.   Ok...rant over. 

It doesn't mean I don't believe in doctors/dentist and medication and the such. Quite the opposite, but I have reached a point I am tired.  I am tired of thinking I am fighting the right race only to be told I started the wrong one.  I sit here questioning and wondering if the doctor is right.  Today I decided that I am going to trust my gut my more and worry less about what a doctor/dentist thinks or decides.  After today's appointment with Grace, I need to take her to see another doctor (because the one I already did the doctor doesn't know), it's a 6 to 8 month wait list for that doctor, get a weighted blanket for her, special shirts, have a sleep apnea test, and try a new iLs pillow to then purchase.  I sit there saying great...where is this money going to come from.  I stay at home and there is no extra money.  I felt that being here was the MOST important thing.  Now I am told I need these THINGS that cost extra money to help my child.  Really??? It's not a winning situation. 

When they found out that we pulled Grace out of school....it was like a deer in head lights look.  Seriously...walk a mile in my shoes and then tell me your opinion.  I put up my wall at that point.  Don't mess with mama bear.  Sometimes I wonder if I fight to hard.  Is there such thing?  I'd love Grace to return to school, but she is NOT ready.  I would love to put her in a small private Christian school, but no extra money.  A scholarship might be available...maybe.  But 5,000 dollars is A LOT to come up with a school year. 

The thing that is most difficult for me is to think that I have everything figured out and then something/someone comes along and tells me I don't.  It bursts my bubble of confidence and leaves me deflated.  I hate that.  I am tired of that.  I don't want feel this way anymore.  These are my children....I am educated...I am qualified....I am THEIR mom.  I do know what is best for them.  They have lives to lead and God has BIG plans for each of the wee ones lives.  It is my job to help them find their path.  Sometimes I just don't think it is continuously in a medical providers office...I truly believe that each one will find who they are supposed to be. 

"...plans to give you a hope and a future."~Jeremiah 29:11

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Fear

~The thief comes to kill, steal and destroy~John 10:10a

That is exactly what happened at 8:57am on Friday, April 5.  In an effort to make up for some missed appointments, I scheduled a dermatology appointment for April 5.  Being a red head and having many moles covering my entire body, it is important for me to have a yearly skin exam by a dermatologist (not just a primary care physician).  I have been doing this since I was 17 years old. 

I don't know exactly what I was thinking the morning of the appointment except I was glad to cross it off my list of never ending appointments.  With as many moles as I have it should not have came as a surprise during the exam when the doctor found a "suspicious" looking mole that he wanted to remove.  What the dermatologist didn't like was the center of the mole was raised like a blood blister and he told me that was a warning sign of melanoma (skin cancer).  That news was followed shortly by the announcement that he was removing a second mole off the same arm.  It was two moles growing together as one mole.  It resembled a fish.  They have a thing against fishy looking moles.  So.off.it.came. 

The procedure took only a few minutes to remove both.  They numb the site of moles and the doctor shaves if off.  The two samples of skin tissue was deposited into separate little glass jars filled with some sort of clear liquid.  Then the medical assistant plastered a big white labeled sticker that announced it was being tested for MELANOMA.  They said they would contact me in two weeks with the results.  And they made it very clear NOT to call the office until the two weeks had passed.  Left alone to dress, the FEAR crept upon me and took over.  The only two words I could think of was "skin cancer". 

I wish I could say that I came home and didn't think of it again.  That I had great faith I would be ok and I didn't worry one bit.  Instead, I became this pool of tears, anxiety and fear.  I felt like I was going through the motions of life without really living it.  Mark had to put me back together, my mom had to put me back together, my sister had to put me back together.  In all honesty...I.WAS.A.MESS!  I jumped every time the phone rang, anticipating it would be "the news".  I googled everything about melanoma (which by the way was a REALLY bad idea).  I would look at my children and sob, because I didn't want to leave them without a mother.  Yes, my crazy mind went there. 

A week after my appointment, I was sure the letter would be in my mailbox.  But on that Friday, one week later... it didn't come.  On Saturday I was for SURE it would be in the mailbox because I wanted an answer to this before I left with my mom to Hawaii.  But...it.didn't.come.  And I was ANGRY.  It is difficult for anyone to go through the waiting to find out if you have cancer.  It is even more difficult for someone with an anxiety disorder to wait.  But, off to Hawaii I went with my mom, determined to not worry about the results no matter what they be.  I was going to enjoy myself, and Mark and I had a system of how he would report the news when it came.

Monday came and went...no news.  Tuesday evening my mom and I were walking back to the Hilton Hawaiian Village, and Mark called me.  He had checked the mail that day and there was the letter.  A thin envelope that would contain to the answers to my nearly two week wait.
He opened the letter for me and reported the news....
BENIGN nevus (or another word for moles)!!!  This was the best news!  My mom and I celebrated on the streets of Waikiki and I am sure no one looked at us funny at all. :)
FEAR gripped my heart and because of that I lost a week of my life living in fear that the phone would ring that death would be on the other side of the phone.  It is not death I am afraid of, but leaving my kids without a mother is the fear that I struggle with, and spent many hours in counseling discussing. 
~but I have come that you may have life and have it abundantly~John 10:10b
Working on choosing to live life even in difficult circumstances.
~Carissa



 
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