Friday, May 20, 2011

Renewing Our Vows

Yesterday was our 10 year wedding anniversary. Ben had the brilliant and romantic idea of renewing our vows and sharing a second wedding day with our children (since they weren't able to attend the first one). We went to my parents house because they have a pretty gazebo in the back yard. We didn't invite anyone, so don't be offended that you weren't invited. It was just a little thing that we did to show each other, and our children, how much we love each other.

We weren't trying to exactly recreate our wedding day. I did wear the same dress (it actually fit!!) and I ordered the same flavor cake that we had 10 years ago, but the rest of it was different. Tyler officiated in our little ceremony. He did a really good job. :-) The girls did the rings, we wrote our own vows, my mom and dad helped keep the kids under control and videoed for us. I wrote out the transcript if you want to read it instead of watching the whole video.

Overall, it was perfect. I forgot my shoes, but it was a good day to go barefoot. Here's a few pictures from the happy day and a video of the whole shebang -- courtesy of my dad -- at the end. Happy anniversary, Ben!

Tyler:   We are gathered here today to witness Mom and Dad get remarried. It was 10 years ago that they were first married, and today they wanted to show each other how much they still care for one another.
Dad, would you like to exchange your vow?

Ben:  Kristi, you are the most beautiful, smart, kind and unfailingly-generous person I have ever known. 10 years ago, I pledged my love and commitment to you, but it seems like only yesterday. I promised to love, honor, and comfort you, for better or worse, for the rest of our lives and for eternity. You have been by my side as we created a family, a home, and this crazy life of ours together. So, today, at the beginning of our 11th year as an old married couple, I renew my vows, pledge my eternal love to you, and eagerly await whatever it is that life brings us. I love you.

Tyler:   Mom, would you like to exchange your vow?

Kristi:   On this day, 10 years ago, I chose you. I chose you to be the person that I share my life with. The one person in my life that would come to know everything about me. The person who would love me in spite of my faults, encourage me in all my endeavors, and pick me up when I’ve fallen.  Ten years ago, I chose you because of your contagious smile, your ability to make me laugh, your dashing good looks, and because I knew that you loved me more than anything else in this world. Ten years ago, I thought I would only make this choice once. Oh, how little I knew of marriage ten years ago! I choose you every day. I know that there are other options. I know that marriage isn’t always permanent. I know that sometimes we go in different directions.  But I choose you. If I could go back and do it all over again, I would still choose you. I will always choose you. I love you.
Tyler:   Dad, do you continue to take Mom as your loving wife? 

Ben:  I do.

Tyler:  Will you always love her and tell her how pretty she is for all eternity?

Ben:  I will.

Tyler:  Mom, do you continue to take Dad as your loving husband? 

Kristi:  I do.

Tyler:  Will you always love him and laugh at his silly jokes for all eternity?

Kristi:  I will.
Tyler:  Nicole and Tori, please bring up the rings.
Mom and Dad, these rings are a symbol that show you will love each other always and forever. 
Dad, you may now kiss the bride.
Now let’s go eat some cake!


Sunday, May 15, 2011


It's time to go home. It's a little bittersweet. I miss my kids like crazy, but it has been so nice to spend so much time with my husband. We have never spent this much time together. After 10 years of marriage and 3 kids, we needed it! We were together the entire trip. I think that the only time we weren't together was when one of us was in the restroom. It was so nice to spend time together, but we both really miss the kids. Talking to them on skype actually made it worse. Seeing their sweet little faces and hearing their voices made me want to fly home right then and squeeze them to death!

We got up early and went back to Boots and Kimos. This time I got the macadamia nut pancakes and they were delicious. I am really glad they don't have one here because I would weigh 400 lbs after eating those every weekend. We were done with breakfast by 7:20 and went to Aunt Susie's to say goodbye and return her stuff. We visited for a little while, vacuumed the sand out of the rental car, and headed to Honolulu. We left ourselves plenty of room in our schedule for things like traffic, delays in security, problems with returning the rental car, etc. Lucky for us, none of those things happened. We were at our gate, sitting down, and waiting for our plan a full 2 hours early. It was nice to not be so rushed.

The flight from Honolulu to Portland is about 5 hours long. That sounds like torture to me, but Ben and I had fun. We watched Burn Notice on the computer, we played games, we visited, I read my book, and did some word puzzles. Before we knew it we could see land out the window.

We got home and the kids were appropriately excited to see us. Even Baxter was jumping extra high so we would pay attention to him. They immediately wanted to know if we brought them "prizes" from Hawaii, but we decided to wait until the next day. It feels so good to be home. I'm afraid I'll wake up tomorrow and feel like I never left. Hopefully my tan will help me remember.

I really do love living in the Pacific Northwest. I love how green it is. I love the mild summers and the winters without huge snow storms. I can't say that I love that it rains half the year, but I don't mind the rain so much. Being away from home always makes me appreciate it more. I love that it's NOT humid here. Having curly hair and living in a humid climate is not good. I like that our temperatures vary more than 10 degrees. I like that I can see snow, the ocean, and desert all in less than a day's drive from my house. Thanks, Hawaii for letting us visit, but I think I'll stay here for a while.

Ben, let's do this again :-)

Saturday, May 14, 2011


Day 7
It's hard to be excited for today. I feel like our trip is coming to an end way too quickly. Today is our last full day and we plan on spending the whole day relaxing.
See that beautiful, blue water? See that flat little island out there? Let's swim out there and check it out! This is Ben's face when I told him my idea:
Ben isn't the greatest swimming in the world. He sinks like a rock in a pool. In the ocean he's a little more buoyant. He grabbed the fins and the boogie boards out of the car and we struck out for the little island. We found out (once we got there) that it's a bird sanctuary. There are trails you can walk on and see stuff, but after swimming out there, I was tired and I didn't want to take off my fins and walk around barefoot. We paddled back and spent the last little bit of our vacation doing NOTHING. I loved it.
Now it's time to back to the house, pack up all of our stuff, and say goodbye to the island.

Friday, May 13, 2011


Day 6
At dinner last night, Shayna said that she didn't know if she had ever had a cake made from scratch. She had certainly never made a cake from scratch. She and Duke had both mentioned that they liked Arkansas cake (which is basically Texas sheet cake). Ben and I thought we would surprise them and make a cake. To keep a long story short, it took us a while to gather all of our ingredients but we got it done. It was delicious (not to toot my own horn) and they were certainly surprised. I think most of the cake was gone by the time we went to bed. We all ate A LOT of cake that night. 
Today was another hang-out-and-do-nothing-on-the-beach day. We went to Kailua beach (best beach in the whole wide world) and took the boogie boards with us. Apparently I really suck at boogie boarding. I didn't catch a single wave. Oh well, it was fun to just be in the water.
At the end of the day we went to the India Cafe for dinner and then back to Duke and Shayna's. It was a good day.

Thursday, May 12, 2011


Day 5
Guess what I had for breakfast today! Spam Musubi! Seriously, I love that stuff more than I should. I must say, buying breakfast at 7-11 is much cheaper than eating at a restaurant! So, after my delicious breakfast, we went to Aunt Susie's house to get some gear. We needed some chairs for the beach, a big umbrella, a cooler, boogie boards, beach towels... you know, beach stuff. We decided that yesterday was the most touristy day in the history of the universe so today would be a day to chill at the beach.

"WHAT?!?! Didn't you guys just get burned to a crisp two days ago? What are you thinking!?"

I know, I know. But this time we are smarter. We applied our SPF 50 sunblock before leaving the house. We rubbed it all over instead of just spraying it on willy-nilly. We also plan on spending time in the shade and using the umbrella to block the sun when we need to. Yay for the beach! After spending all day on the beach, we left to get cleaned up for dinner and found that neither of us were burned! In fact, we looked better now than we did in the morning! I was very happy about this. I spent most of the day in the shade, but I did get in the water quite a bit. It is so nice to be able to get in the ocean. You can't get in the water like that on the Oregon coast. The water here is so blue and clear and beautiful!

For dinner we went to Aunt Susie's and had dinner with her whole family. Duke and Shayna, Adam, Bailey, Uncle Shep, and their friend, Dee. There was prime rib, shrimp with pasta, sweet potatoes, salad, and more. It was delicious. I don't get to see them very often so it was a lot of fun to get everyone together. My Uncle Shep is hilarious. I wish he had his own reality show. I would totally watch that.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Day 4

Today started out wonderfully. I had a left-over Spam Musubi in the fridge (they are surprisingly filling) so I scarfed that down in the car as we headed off to Pearl Harbor. Wait, let me rewind a little. Ben and I got back from the movie last night and realized just how badly burned we both were. We bought some waterproof/sweatproof spray SPF 50 sunblock for the trip. When we got to the beach, we sprayed each other head to toe and laid out in the sun. It turns out that even with the spray, you still need to rub it in so that you get an even coating. It was a rookie mistake.
Yes, that is my leg. Yes, it hurts. Anyway, we decided that lying on the beach isn't a great idea for today. We went to Pearl Harbor early to beat the crowds. The museum, movie, and memorial were all very interesting and moving. We left feeling grateful for the people who serve our country and keep us safe. Now, off to the swap meet to spend our money!
The swap meet -- for those of you who have never been -- is a bunch of little stalls set up around the outside of the Aloha Stadium. If you want Hawaiian souvenirs for very little $$ this is the place to go. We got a bunch of little things for the kiddos stuck at home and a BBQ chicken sandwich with "ice cold lemonade" to wash it down. It was hot and "ice cold lemonade" sounded divine. Turns out they just fill the cup with ice all the way to the top then fill in the cracks with some Countrytime lemonade. Oh well.
After getting stuff for the kids, we thought we would drive out to the middle of nowhere and get some Matsumoto's shave ice. This is the greatest shave ice on the island (which is really saying something). We got coconut, strawberry, and watermelon. Now, this isn't normal shave ice. First, they put a scoop of ice cream on the bottom. Then the ice with the delicious flavored syrup. Then, to top it off, they squirt on some sweetened condensed milk. So good! We ate outside and I saw a tree that looked like it needed someone to climb it. Since Ben was holding our snack, the responsibility fell to me. Too bad I was wearing a dress and sandals. That made it a little more difficult. Did I let that stop me? No way.
I seriously HATE this picture, but I think it's funny so I put it on here. Just before taking the picture, Ben said "knockers up!" and I did this as a joke. Then he took the picture. Dang.
Anyway, I climbed back down, brushed all the ants off of me (so many!) and we were on our way. We thought we would go to the North Shore and watch the waves and the surfers. This is what Ben looked like for a lot of our trip:
 Ben's GPS told us to go one way, but it was actually the opposite way we were supposed to go. We were looking for a place to turn around and found the Dole Pineapple Plantation. Should we go in? Sure! Why not? We did the World's Largest Maze and then went into the cafe to get some Pineapple Dole-Whip. People, I would go back to Hawaii just for this ice cream. It was so good! If you get the chance to eat some, DO IT!
Next we went to the Laie Temple and spent a few minutes walking the grounds. The bench that I sat on for this picture was like sitting on a frying pan!
We had plans to go to a Luau at the Polynesian Cultural Center tonight but we were pretty early. We went anyway and walked around to see the different exhibits there. I was tired. We had spent a lot of time walking around and I wasn't wearing great shoes (they are the shoes I wore when I got married!) so I just wanted to sit on a bench and enjoy the surroundings. Instead, we ended up sitting on a bench playing "words with friends".

By the time the luau started, we were both starving. Ben was so hungry, he was about to eat his lei.
We have both been to the luau here before and I think that either they were having an off night or that we just remembered the food being better. Either way, we were a little disappointed with the food. We sat next to a couple who was on their honeymoon and they were from Australia. I think I enjoyed the conversation more than the food.
 (Ben is having a very intense game with my dad. He REALLY wants to beat him.)
After dinner we saw the show. Ha - The Breath of Life. The dancing was amazing, but the actual program itself was surprisingly cheesy. At the end of the night, we were both tired and ready to crash. I was glad Ben was the one driving home, I just wanted to close my eyes and pretend I was asleep in my own bed with a cool breeze.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Day 3

I am not used to sleeping in this kind of heat or humidity. It might take a few days to get used to. Thank goodness for 5 hour energy! We went to breakfast at Boots and Kimos. They are famous for Macadamia Nut Pancakes but I wanted some protein so I got eggs benedict. it looked good, but Ben's tasted sooo much better. Next time I'm definitely getting the pancakes.

We wanted to lay on the beach, but it was pouring rain. Lucky for us, we could just drive to the other side of the island and enjoy the sun. We ended up at the beach in Waikiki where we spent a few hours lounging in the sun. 

 And of course, when I say "lounging" I mean that I was lounging and Ben was playing "words with friends" on his phone. This was a constant for both of us for the entire trip. I think the sun was frying my brain as well as my skin because I was really having a hard time focusing on the game.
I could feel my skin frying so I forced Ben to leave and buy me some lunch. He went for the "plate lunch" option with steak and rice. I was craving subway (I've been wanting it for months!) so I got a BLT with sweet onion sauce. Delish.
We both got a little toasty on the beach so we decided to stay out of the sun for the rest of the day. There were a few movies out that we wanted to see, so (after buying some aloe at Walgreens) we found the nearest theater and decided to see Fast Five. Too bad it doesn't start for an hour... and the tickets are stupidly expensive... and we are covered in sand and seawater. Back to Shayna's and Duke's house. We got all cleaned up, got some dinner at L&L and then went to the theater in Kaneohe. The movie was entertaining and the theater was cool. Perfect. I had a pretty awesome movie snack too (shh... don't tell anyone that I brought outside food into the theater). Now, keep an open mind and don't judge me until you've tried it:
It's called Spam Musubi. It's like sushi, but they use fried Spam instead of raw fish. This one is Teriyaki flavored so it has sauce on it. OMG. I love this so much. I don't eat Spam unless I'm in Hawaii. It's seriously like heaven in my mouth. Oddly enough, my favorite place to get Spam Musubi is at 7-11 by the tray of rolling hot dogs. YUM!