I realized two days ago that I better head out to the Ko’Olina lagoons if I wanted to make one last trip out there….time is running out!
So my friend and her kiddos and me with Jake and Hannah all headed out for what will be our last trip the the lagoons. So beautiful, so peaceful – a great way to spend a Saturday morning!



I know we may come back someday but it was definitely a reminder just how blessed we have been to live in such an amazing place. I know they won’t remember much about living here, but I sure wish they could. It’s been an INCREDIBLE three years.
Here’s to our last week in paradise!!

The Great Aloha Run….

 This was the crew – bright eyed and ready to run!!
Today was my last event in Hawaii….and it’s been a bittersweet day. I ran 8.1 miles at a pace of 10:11. Not too shabby considering less than a year ago I WALKED my first event and have no idea what my time was. I probably did the 10k at a 15-17 minute pace.  Shaving 5-7 minutes of of a run time – yeah, I’ll take that.
But it’s also the little things. I ran the entire race (except for water stations – really isn’t wise to snort the water!) which was my goal. Sometimes I get in my head a little too much and convince myself I need to walk. But like my trainer says, “How do you get better at running?”
“You Run.”
I ran it. Goal accomplished. And I ran the race with my battle buddies. 🙂 And I was able to keep up.
Wouldn’t have traded running through the finish line with Katy for anything! Afterwards we were chatting about paces and times and I realized I was the only one who was wasn’t a single digit pace. But then I had to back up and look at the bigger picture. One of our group ran cross country in high school, another has been at this for 3 years, and another a few years as well. While it’s never a competition between us, I definitely see my friends’ times as goals for myself. A measurable to achieve.
I may not be able to run an 8 minute mile yet….
but give me a little time.
I’m gonna get there.
And then I’ll be shooting for 7!
Aloha Hawaii!


I went out and got myself a new outlook. I felt awful about my first biathlon and I REFUSE to feel that way again this Sunday.

A common thread in my life (that my mother will attest to) is that I like to “know it before I know it”. In other words – I expect to be an expert at things I’ve never done before. Yeah, I know it’s not logical. But I do get frustrated when I’m not good at something or when it doesn’t come easily. (Insert 3 year old temper tantrum here.) I’m becoming more adult in this area… Please have patience with me!

While I was frustrated with last month’s biathlon results, I just can’t get upset about this one-whatever the results may be. IT’S ONLY MY SECOND TIME! Duh.

I’ve done everything I can (taken swim lessons, practiced, ran, etc.) to better my times for the next race. Aside from this, I have absolutely NO control over how choppy that water is going to be. I have no control if a shark decides to make me his tasty treat (although that might make me swim faster!) there are just some things that are outside my control. I’m prepared and I’ve practiced and the times will be what they are. I can’t take it so seriously. I am supposed to be having fun too, right?!

(And when I do beat last months time – you can be dang sure I’ll be doing a happy dance ALL OVER the place!)

The People I Admire

It dawned on me today that I have become “one of ‘those’ people”.

Six and a half months ago I began this bootcamp class.  When I first started, you could look out at the other wives and see that we all fell into 1 of 2 groups: those of us just starting, and those that looked like they didn’t need it. Why the heck are they here? They are already thin and fit. I wanted to be one of them. I’d spent too long in the first group.

Then I overheard some mutterings about one of the gals that lives in my neighborhood – that she RAN to bootcamp, did the insanely hard workout, then RAN home! Sheesh! She must be crazy! Or obsessed. That’s like 5 or 6 miles!

Then one of my friends, Nina, did it in preparation for a TRIATHLON! That’s just crazy! …or is it? I knew that Nina had been doing bootcamp for awhile. Then I was doing bootcamp. Ok, if she can do it, than just maybe I can too. It brings it home and makes it real in a different way when its someone you KNOW as opposed to just some “crazy exercise-obsessed” someone you have only seen from afar.

So I set a goal. I would run to bootcamp. From my house. And I did it! I didn’t die – and the sense of accomplishment was INCREDIBLE! Not to mention the view!


Today I rode my bike 6 miles one way to bootcamp, did the insanely hard workout, and rode another 6 miles home. Nina had ridden her bike to bootcamp, and now I can say I’ve done it too.
While I am a competitive person, I am so thankful for people that are stronger, fitter, and faster than me because it gives me goals to shoot for and achieve, as well as opening my mind to the possibilities.
Running to bootcamp seemed impossible – until I did it.
Riding a bike to bootcamp seemed scary – until I did it.
Running a 5 k was scary – until I did it.
Running a marathon was TERRIFYING – until I did it.
(Ok, that one still scares me!)
Swimming competitively isn’t necessarily scary, but I’m not very good at it (YET!) so it’s frustrating.
But I did it.
And while being given a hard time for being late this morning (btw, I detest being late but didn’t allow enough time for the bike ride) and announcing to the class that I had done a biathlon the day before, it dawned on me – she was calling me out the way she called out those super fit girls when I first started.
I have become one of them.
And that is AWESOME!
Oh and P.S., found out that I wasn’t last in the biathlon! I placed 6th!!
(out of 7 in my age group!) HA!

Once I get this next biathlon under my belt, I just know there is a triathlete inside me that is dying to come out! 😉

Kokohead, Battle Buddies, and Facing Fears!

So after hiking Diamondhead a couple of weeks ago, Katy and I decide that we are rockstars and we are gonna do Kokohead. It’s only 1,048 railroad ties or “steps” to the top – can’t be that bad! And we swam over a mile yesterday – lets climb a volcano today! Yippee!!
My rockstar battle buddy Katy!!!
These pictures of course aren’t going to do it justice, but here is where we start. Way off straight into the distance you can see the path that leads STRAIGHT UP!
A few steps in we see some people (and one crazy guy) RUNNING down the ties. Katy’s husband says there is some 70 year old that does this multiple times a day!


There are stretches where you can’t see the whole trail because of the incline. It’s INSANE!! Just keep climbing, just keep climbing, just keep climbing…
This was my view when I had to sit down for a bit….
Had to let my stomach calm down….


Katy had to lean in cause I physically could not make myself stand up  and look down simultaneously!
This was the AMAZING view from the top!


Way off in the distance you can see the last mountain we climbed! Diamondhead!


And this is Hanauma Bay from the top looking down!!! Never thought I would see that view!!
And from this view, it dawned on me just how far I ran during the marathon. Diaomndhead crater is there in the upper left corner and I ran all the way from the front of the mountain (actually where the Waikiki skyline is) to where the first little water inlet is on the bottom right corner of the picture. And back.
Seeing it from this vantage point really brought the accomplishment home in a remarkable way. And if I hadn’t faced my fear of heights, I would have never seen it.


Yeah, all I can do to stand there and not hug the mountain on all fours!


Battle Buddies Baby!!! We did it!!!




I am so glad I was able to do this. The crazy guy we saw running down the mountain (and a couple of others who did it twice in the time it took us to do it once!) made a comment as we passed him that stuck with me….
Us: “Can’t believe you can RUN down this thing! That’s awesome. Aren’t you afraid you are going to fall?”
Crazy Guy: Big smile, “No. We have different minds. I don’t think about falling.”
Hmm. Got me to thinking. Our main focus is what will be brought to fruition. If my main focus is fear, then I will be incapacitated. All the way up that mountain I had to keep telling myself some things…
No fear
All the way up – and all the way out! (What is chanted at us in spin class!)
Don’t feed the fears
Keep climbing
One step at a time
Baby steps
Look only in front and where your feet are going
Stand up and be proud of what you are accomplishing
Finish Strong
Victorious not Nauseous
And we did.
And on the way back down when my stomach stopped flipping around, we ran a few of those last stairs too!



I’m not sure if I believe in karma, but I definitely feel like we should all live by the golden rule – do unto others…
Well, apparently I haven’t been very nice because karma came with a vengeance in the last 36 hours!! I can’t make this stuff up – it would be hilarious if it hadn’t happened to me!

The day started like any other, getting ready to take my shower and luckily, Hannah was still asleep on my bed, snoring softly. I thought I might be quick enough to get in and get dressed by the time she woke up. Ahhh, the best laid plans! Just as I was pulling back the shower curtain (naked and vulnerable, mind you) my good friend Mr. Cockroach decided to pay me a visit in the tub! BLEEEGHHHH! Any one that knows me well, knows my intense fear/dislike/hatred of bugs of any kind, but spiders and roaches specifically. And the little bugger didn’t even have the decency to make his appearance at a time when my baby was awake so I could have at least done my normal primal scream!! Just another reason I’m not a fan!

So without my ability to properly scream and holler at Mr. C – I finally get him shoved down the drain followed by whatever chemicals I can find to ensure his demise. I decide to postpone my shower until the heebee jeebees have subsided.

But then I decide – eh, who needs a shower before heading on a hike when I’m bound to get all sweaty again anyway???

So off to Makapu’u we go with friends!!! It’s a great, kid friendly hike with a wide paved path big enough for strollers. The view was amazing!!! So stunning!

 So we are climbing higher and higher and Jake wants in the stroller. Then out. Then in again. OVER AND OVER AND OVER! And it’s no big deal – he’s wearing himself out so he’s bound to take a decent nap….


After our picnic lunch at the top, its time to head back down, but Jake decides it would be much more fun to biff his sister in the head with his apple. (We are having issues with hitting). So as a consequence, he has to ride in the stroller all the way back down.
Screaming all the way down, “LET ME OUT!!” “UNBUCKLE ME!!”
I’m sure it was entertaining for all.
Or not.
These are the days I just wish I would have stayed home! LOL!
It was stunning though, and I am glad I went. But note to self for next time – bigger lunch and don’t forget Hannah’s shoes so she can get out and walk around more!
So I proceed to be DONE at this point so I start to make my way back to the car (screaming Jacob the whole way, Hannah trying to pull his hair and poke him in the eye, which only riles him up further) and I load up the kids in the car and we are not a mile down the road and they are both ZONKED!
So my genius self thinks – hmmm. I wonder if I can manage transferring them both to their beds, AND keep them both sleeping?????
Yeah, they woke up a mile from the house. Both of them.
So in the house we go and I dutifully get them some milk (C’mon tryptphan!! Do your sleepy magic!) They drink it down and up to bed we go. We are having a nap cause we didn’t yesterday. Jake is in his bed, Hannah is in her room
For an hour.
No one is sleeping.
I give up.
So backdown we go as day two of Stoffers Nap Boycott continues.
Then I get the BRILLIANT idea to go for a bike ride (Hannah in her trailer behind my bike and Jake on his own bike) because that will surely wear them out. Especially if I let them run around at the playground forever and a day!
So off we go pedaling down the road. My bike shoes have cleats that clip into the pedals (they rock) but I am still getting accustomed to them. You twist your ankle to remove your shoe from the pedal. And, I’m a newbie so this takes me a bit of time. And you have to pedal while doing it otherwise you slow down and you will fall over.
And that’s just what I did.
Tore up my knee and my elbow. Feel like a 6 year old.
And my first thought is, “I have to get back up. Jacob is watching me. When you fall – you have to get back up and try again.” And that’s what I did. I got back on my bike. We went to the playground, ran around like crazy people, got back on our bikes, then headed to my Battle Buddy Katy’s house for some TLC in the form of neosporin, band-aids, and an adult beverage!
After some patch up work, off we went home to have dinner with Daddy – which consisted of  – well this:
Now, I know what you are thinking….That’s not a healthy eating plan! And you would be correct! This is not what I would normally eat – but it was one of those days.  (And yes, I am back on track!)
And these are the nibble trays we made for the kids:
By this time, Eric is commiserating with my horrible day and the fact that it’s time to bathe the kids so we can ALL just go to bed. So I go up to get Hannah bathed. She’s playing in the bubbles having a grand time. Then she poos.
In her bath.
I really can’t make this stuff up.
Tomorrow just has to be a better day right?!
Wellllllll, Katy and I are going to swim at the pool on base as they have this “Swim 2012 yards (that’s over a mile!) and get a free towel” promotion for the new year. And both of us being on board with free fitness fun – we decide that’s what we are going to do! Keep in mind she is a swimmer – and good at it. I am a hack. But I’m learning and we are both training for our first biathlon next weekend. So we swim. And swim. Katy is done and I’ve still got a ways to go, so I’m doing my thing but have to take breaks and swim on my back for a half a lap or so…
and then I bonk my head on the side of the pool.
Really? I’m able to keep going, not really thinking much of it other than hoping that no one saw me! We do our swim, get our towels, and go on our merry way.
I head to the commissary to pick up some groceries and realize I have a blind spot in my peripheral vision. And I’m feeling a little foggy – but that’s just because I swam over a mile! I’m bound to be a bit tired I suppose.
Then my arm starts tingling and going numb.
And I have a monster headache. Like the worst headache I’ve ever had in my life. (I don’t get headaches often, so it was probably not that bad, but it was awful to me.) So I come home and sleep for a couple of hours.
Yeah, a mild concussion.
I am officially DONE.
Karma, the universe – I sincerely submit my apologies to whom ever I have offended, wronged or otherwise displeased. Please make this stop!!!
Thank you! And good night!

Christmas Lights!

Eric has attempted to get us all down to see the Christmas Lights display in Honolulu and we finally made it! They have huge scene displays, a Christmas train and more lights than we could count!
 Jake and Daddy on the the ride!
 Mele Kalikimaka!!! Merry Christmas!
 Hannah was enthralled by the lights!!
 Jacob, Hannah and Daddy all holding hands!!



So much to see!!!





 There is just something odd about a Santa and Mrs. Clause in a Hawaiian shirt with his feet in a pool and palm trees in the background!!
 Attempting to get us all looking at the camera simultaneously!




 Dad, Jacob and Hannah on the carousel!
We had a great evening out and about with the kiddos!! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

More From the Marathon….

They finally made the professional photos available for download from the Honolulu Marathon!


Some of the pictures included in the package were various shots in and around Waikiki and the areas where we ran……

The early morning ceremonies were spectacular!

This truly is a stunning place to live. There is much I am going to miss about living here.

The downtown Christmas lights were on full display as we ran!

And there were various photographers along the run capturing us in all our glory…

….and in tougher moments….this was taken about mile 22-24.

Smiling pretty for the camera….

And the finish line!!! I was in so much pain and I was so relieved that it was finally over! Almost 7 hours of running/walking was INSANE!!!




Unforgettable moments and an unbelievable experience! So glad I pushed through and did it!