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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Five for Friday

1. I love our inside jokes.

2. I love how you take care of some of the "manly" things around the house.

3. I love when you offer to drive!

4. I am going to love watching Daddy-Lila time.

5. I am going to love when I can hold you again in my arms.

ily <3

Sunday, September 23, 2012

October Photo Challenge 2012

The October Photo Challenge is back!

Next month, I will once again be participating in the October Photo Challenge hosted by Our Wired Lives!  I had a really great time last year documenting my and Mr. L's last month in Alabama, and I feel it helped me make the attempts needed to understand my camera better.  I've been bad for the past few months about not breaking my camera out as often as I should, so I am excited to have a reason to try to get some great shots!  Just be prepared for lots of beautiful scenery and Schnauzers, haha =)

If you'd like to join in, just click on the link above for more information.  Feel free to use your point and shoot, cell phone, or any other kind of camera -- it definitely does not have to be a DSLR!  You also don't have to be a blogger to participate.  As long as you have some kind of feed or stream (like Flickr or Twitter) to link to in order to show your pictures, you are good to go!  I can't wait to see everyone's pictures this year, so I hope you join up!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Five for Friday

1.  Man, I really could have used some time with you this past week!

2.  Have I mentioned how much waiting sucks?

3.  I want to hold your hand.  (And I hope that gets the song stuck in your head!)

4.  I really really really really hope everything works out the way we want in the next couple of months.

5.  You need to come home so we can finish our TV shows.  Like now, plz.

<3 ily

Friday, September 14, 2012

Five for Friday

1.  Is it weird that I honestly think I can still feel your support for me even after multiple weeks of zero communication?  I'm probably crazy, haha, but I swear I can!

2.  I miss your smile!!  It's one of the best things in the world.

3.  Football season just isn't the same this year because you're not here and maybe because the games start at 6 in the morning...what the what?!

4.  I'm so ready to be relaxing on the Big Island with you next year =)

5.  I already feel much more accomplished this deployment for various reasons, and I hope you enjoy the holiday decorations I'm slowly putting up!

ily <3

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Getting to Know Hawaii: Hanauma Bay Beach Park

The Need to Knows:
  • Hanauma Bay Beach Park is open Wednesday to Monday (6AM to 7PM in winter, 6AM to 6PM in summer); please note that it is CLOSED on Tuesdays.  (I've made the mistake of attempting to swing by there so many times on a Tuesday, haha -- don't be like me!)
  • Hanauma Bay is located at 7455 Kalanianaole Highway, Honolulu, HI 96825 -- AKA Highway 72, which circles around the southeastern corner of Oahu.  If you are coming from the west, the H1 turns into this highway.  Here's a Google Maps link for a better visual:

View Larger Map
  • The entrance fee is $7.50 per person; kama'aina (residents) and military as well as children 12 and under are able to get in for free.  There is also a $1 parking fee that can be reimbursed if you leave within 15 minutes of arriving.
  • Pets and alcohol are not allowed within the park, and feeding the fish is illegal.
  • There are lockers available to store your items at what I believe is $7 for the day -- we haven't used them yet so I'm not 100% positive.  Snorkel gear is also available for rent.
  • Restrooms are located at both the bottom of the hill and the top near the gift shop.
  • I would definitely suggest arriving early -- on this day, we watched the sunrise at Lanikai Beach and headed here to snorkel, so we were at the beach by about 8AM.  You won't have to deal with so many people or worry about actually being able to find parking in the limited space lot.
  • I highly recommend an underwater camera -- you can go back later and identify the types of fish you were able to spot if you are a marine life novice like I am!
  • Please, please do your best to not step on the coral when you are out snorkeling!  Not only can it be harmful to you (you don't want coral growing in a cut!) but it also damages this delicately beautiful environment.

Hanauma Bay Beach Park is a gorgeous stretch of golden sand and incredibly clear water that just happens to have some of the best (if not THE best) snorkeling on the island of Oahu.  Hanauma is a nature preserve, and the park takes the preservation of the different species of coral, fish, and other creatures that live, eat, and swim in this spectacular setting incredibly seriously.  Before you can enter the park for the first time, you must undergo an orientation of sorts, where a park official briefs you on what exactly a preserve is and then shows an informative video on how Hanauma and other notable sights (in particular Koko Head) were actually created in Oahu's past.

After the orientation, which lasts around 20 minutes, you are then free to proceed down the stretch of road to the beach itself.  (If you plan on coming back within the year, be sure to sign your name on one of the clipboards after the movie).  It's pretty steep to the bottom, but there is a tram that will take you and your gear up ($1.00 per person) or down ($0.25 per person) the road if you so desire.  As you walk or ride down, you are able to see this incredibly inviting curved bay beckoning you to come swim and explore.

Our friends, Shawn and Tay, searching for fishies!
Mr. L, our friends, and I spent a couple of hours lying on the beach, swimming, and snorkeling around the bay.  It was an absolutely amazing experience, and the only way we could have had a better time was to stay longer and spend the day here!

One thing I'm very excited about is something that I read about in a guide book a friend gifted me titled Oahu Revealed: The Ultimate Guide to Honolulu, Waikiki, & Beyond, which is a FABULOUS in-depth guide to all Oahu has to offer (I loved it so much I've already bought the Big Island edition and plan on purchasing the Maui one as well).  When talking about Hanauma, the guide book mentions the opportunity to do a nighttime snorkel.  On the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month, the park actually stays open until 10PM, giving snorkelers the opportunity to don their gear and underwater flashlights and see a side of the bay not normally seen by many visitors.

Night snorkeling at Haunama -- via Ken-ichi on Flickr
I can't wait until Mr. L and I get the opportunity to not only try that, but come back during the day as well to discover all of the beauty Hanauma Bay has to offer!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Two is Better than One!

There's another puppy hanging around the Landrum household these days!  Her name is Lila, and she's an 8 week old Miniature Schnauzer that we've had for about a week now =)

Even though we love our little buddy Liam, Mr. L and I decided to go ahead and add a second dog to our family while we're out here in Hawaii, before kids make it into the picture.  Luckily Mr. L got to meet her a couple of times before he deployed, but as for now it's been all me (and a little Liam!) taking care of her.

She's absolutely a sweetheart of a puppy, and very intelligent.  She pretty much took to pottying outside from the first day on, and has a relatively small number of accidents in the house.  And she and Liam are getting along so much better than I ever thought possible!

They've already started bonding and it's the sweetest thing.  They play constantly, and I even caught Liam licking her ears the other day.  I love that they're getting close, and I know it was a good decision to bring in another dog so Liam could have some more four-legged company around here.

I'm going to get her socialized ASAP, especially after she gets her parvo shot and can actually get on the grass at the dog park!  I'm very excited to see how she turns out and what kind of personality she develops. I'm also pretty excited for Mr. L to get his butt home and "re-meet" her!

My babies!
Are you a dog person, a cat person, or neither?

Friday, September 7, 2012

Five for Friday

1.  I don't think I've ever wanted to send you pictures as much as I have over the past week!!

2.  I wish you were here so you could help me figure out how to build this shelf/mantle thing.

3.  I miss dinner with you.

4.  I like having our wedding day letters to each other on the gallery wall =)

5.  I'm pretty sure your face needs mah kisses right about now.

ily <3

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Why Living in Paradise Can Sometimes Suck

This evening, as I was sitting on the couch watching a little 30 Rock on Netflix, I heard my dog jump up from his typical position on a rug close by and run off in some unnoticed direction.  Given my show of choice, I wasn't really paying him much mind, naturally, until I realized he was still scuffling around a good thirty seconds or so after he’d originally gotten up.  I glanced down the hallway towards the front door and found him stretched out as far as his little Schnauzer body could possibly go and then jerking backwards, all while making his typical trademark snorting noises. Knowing that as of yesterday we had had a little gecko friend visiting with us at that part of the house, I rushed down the hallway to stop the eventual murder of our sweet little new friend.

What I saw next literally stopped me in my tracks.

It wasn’t a terrible image of a Miniature Schnauzer ripping apart a nice, friendly little gecko, however.  Thankfully the gecko has survived at least another night.

It was something much, much worse -- a centipede.

via The Baker Family -- yeah, that Google image search was not fun...
A disgusting, super-long, thousand-legged, horrible, squirming centipede…and my dog was lunging directly for it.
I snapped out of my frozen state and yelled at Liam to get away from the nasty creature.  He hesitated, and I took the opportunity to grab him and pull him to safety.  And then it hit me -- there was a freaking giant CENTIPEDE in my house.

Ever since we moved on island, Mr. L and I had both naturally heard tales of the centipedes who call this place home.  I never really thought much of them to be honest, except for the fact that they can be dangerous to dogs and have a very painful bite.  We’d even seen one back a few months ago during one of our evening strolls.  Let me tell you, it was disgusting then, but SO much worse this time since it was in MY foyer.

I locked Liam up in his crate and started straight up freaking out.  Bugs are not my thing.  They never have been; they never will be.  I will freak out no matter what kind of creepy crawlie creature I find near me, spiders and cockroaches especially.  Even ants in large numbers send me into a pile of the weeps.  So you can imagine what this thing did to me this time.

via Thankfully Thorns Have Roses -- FREAK OUT!
In the midst of my blubbering, I decided to take action and do the only thing I could think of -- I grabbed my trusty bottle of Raid and proceeded to spray the crap out of the intruder as it dove for cover under the rug by the front door.  I stopped spraying and waited.  I turned around, ran to my phone, and asked Google for help on how to dispose it.  I looked back up at the mat, willing it to diediedie.  After about five minutes of watching, Googling, and crying, it hit me -- what if it had darted from under the rug while I was looking away at my phone?

So I gathered up the remaining shambles of my courage and grabbed an old cardboard box to shove at the rug, hoping to scare the critter out from underneath it.  Nothing happened.  I tried again -- still nothing.  I began to have visions of this nasty insect crawling through my house, wreaking havoc on my peace of mind.  So I rolled the vacuum cleaner to the hallway and used the hose attachment to shove the rug out of the way.  Thank God, it was still there!  And it was very clearly jerking and spazzing around.  So I did what any sane person would do -- I sprayed some more.  After enduring a few more minutes of being on its death bed (and a few cell phone pictures), my nemesis finally, finally expired.  At the time of this writing I’m still attempting to figure out just exactly how to dispose of him…ugh.

Mr. Centipede on my dirty floor!
Have you had any awful experiences with a bug, or just awful experiences being alone during a deployment or separation?  Personally, this will probably go down in the history books as my worst experience this least I hope so!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Five for Friday

1.  I miss your hugs!!  I sure could have used a lot of them this week!

2.  I really wish you were here to welcome Lila (our new puppy!) into our family officially!

3.  I love your ability to calm me down when I panic or freak out.

4.  You are seriously amazing.

5.  I am praying that this deployment flies by!  And that Lila doesn't make me lose too much sleep!

ily <3