Friday, February 29, 2008

My morning walk on base

It's friday morning here and I just took a 30 minute walk on base to get a workout in, it's a beautiful day this morning and Robert went to the gym so I decided to have a nice walk. I walked by Robert's new barracks building and thought I would take a picture to share, these are nicer barracks for him and there's only 2 guys to a room which is pretty nice for them.

We are heading out to the beach for a little while this afternoon so I will post again later on for those of you that check my blog over your morning coffee on the east coast.

Aloha!

What a rollercoaster ride!!

Hawaii time 11:00PM thursday night

But praise GOD after delays that left us all shaking our heads after a while, our heroes finally landed and were reunited with us this morning at about 9am Hawaii time! We were originally told 5:29am but at 4:50am I got a phone call that they were 'circling' and we hightailed it over to the hangar only to find out that they didn't land because of 'poor visibility' and they landed a Hickham Air Force base which is in Honolulu. Robert called me and he was not happy and that is an understatement!! He wanted off that plane in the worst way and the rumors started flying around that in fact they weren't ready for them and no one was in the tower so the pilot continued on to Honolulu so he could land!! 2 1/2 HOURS later they finally refueled the aircraft and after another 'glitch' in the form of the hose for the fuel getting stuck in the plane they FINALLY took off for the short 15 minute flight back to Kaneohe Bay and we were so happy to see that plane land the place went crazy!! I spotted Robert right away when he was walking toward the hangar and I was jumping up and down and so happy to see him and that smile of his just lit up the place. Alex and Jim were so patient and let me have the first hug again, I'm so blessed. Look at Alex and Robert smiling at each other as I'm hugging Robert, so sweet!!

I just love to see Alex get to be with his brother again, it makes me so happy and I can't wait until all 3 of my sons can be in the same room together in a couple of weeks when Robert flies home for his post deployment leave time and gets to see Jesse, too.
Dad was waiting to be next to get that welcome home hug and Robert's smile just continued to shine and I'm so happy that he seems more relaxed this time after this deployment, we are beyond relieved and blessed that he is home safe and sound along with the rest of the battalion.

I want to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for getting me through this 2nd deployment and I want you to know that I couldn't have gotten through it without all of the love, prayers and support from everyone. My friends always knew when I needed a prayer or just a kind word of encouragement to get me through to that next phone call or email from Robert. We did it!! Again, thank you so much for everything!
Thank you so much to Mike and Marie for taking video/photos for us today. I will share the video when I get home, the file is pretty large and needs to be trimmed and edited before I can post it...so please be patient.

June, my dear friend who I haven't met in person (YET!!), I want you to know that your son is my son and I ran to hug him just as tightly as I did my own...all of these boys deserve equal love and support from everyone who was there to welcome them back. Steve is as handsome and sweet as ever and I know you'll be seeing him really soon and get to spoil him to pieces but for now I will make sure he has a good time with us until he can come home to you. And this is for you. :)
Savannah, I wish that you could have been here too, today. Just know that Cailen is one of my own as well and he got a big old hug from me and a handshake and hearty "thank you and welcome home" from Jim.
Well it is actually late in Hawaii and I've been up since about 3am so I'm going to hit the hay knowing that my boys are home safe and sound and tomorrow we get to host a family BBQ here at the Lodge and hope lots of Marines come and enjoy the food and have a good time with us.

More tomorrow...

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Almost here!!!

I just spoke to Robert...it is now 9:20pm Hawaii time and they just landed in Alaska to refuel!! Woot!!! They will be here in a few hours, I can't wait!!

For now, here's a picture of Alex from today...he says, "HI GRANDMA I LOVE YOU!!"

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Tuesday 8:45pm Hawaii time

Another picture perfect day here, the only thing that would have made it better is if Robert had come home as we had hoped this morning but we will see him tomorrow and when it's been this long one more day is bearable to us. Once we knew we weren't leaving to head to the base early this morning Jim and Alex decided to take in some swimming down at the hotel pool and I just relaxed on a lounge chair and watched them have fun.

I just put my head back several times and let the sounds of the crashing waves lull me into a relaxed state, it can put you to sleep at any given moment if you're not careful, especially when you're in a postcard environment such as we are right now.

We stopped in the lobby first for some photo opportunities and it's so nice to have the tripod to use so that I can get shots of all of us, including myself in the photos! Thanks Nan, I love the tripod...you'll have a hard time getting it back from me, LOL!! Just kidding, sis. :)

After swim time we had a nice lunch in the hotel at their salad bar, buffet area and then put the top down on our convertible and cruised on down to Kaneohe Bay to check in at the Lodge on base and get our gate pass all taken care of. Wow, it was so nice to see everyone that is there already from our 3/3 Yahoo group little family, the old faces from last deployment and the new ones...there were hugs all around and I was thrilled to see all of my old friends and yet I feel a touch of sadness because I know that when we say goodbye after this trip I won't see any of them again since this is our last trip out to Oahu because Robert will be getting out of the Marine Corps by the end of this year.

I took a drive out to Pearl City to pick up a few things at Walmart with Karen and of course stock up on the cold adult beverages that I'm sure will be consumed over the next few days...heehee.

We made plans to have a family BBQ with all of us on friday afternoon and everyone was making signs to hang up with messages of "Welcome Home" to our boys. Alex made a really cute one and he's going to hold it up in the hangar tomorrow morning when we go out there to wait for Robert and his 'brothers' to come off the plane.

We drove back up to Turtle Bay for our last night and Jim and Alex went to take a short swim in the pool and enjoy a bit of the hot tub before we turn in tonight, tomorrow morning we are checking out of here and driving back down to the base to stay for the next week.

I can't wait to see Robert!!!

Update 8:30am Hawaii time

Just found out that Robert's flight isn't getting in today after all, they were held up in Ireland last night due to problems with the plane. He won't be landing now until tomorrow morning so we wait another 24 hours to see our boy...we'll spend today at the pool a bit and then head down to the base to check in and get our gate pass so that we don't have to wait in line to do that tomorrow morning.

Tuesday morning here in Hawaii

We had such a great day yesterday, I don't even know where to begin!

We took a nice walk as a family all around the grounds of the hotel and explored and just reveled in the beauty of the ocean here. We are surrounded by ocean on all 3 sides of the hotel because this resort is at the northern most tip of Oahu so you can imagine the waves and the sounds of the surf. Jim and Alex spent most of the morning snorkeling while I went out on a short drive in search of a grocery store which I found about 5 miles down the road and picked up a few things and some Subway sandwiches for lunch. I spotted an L&L that we will have to make sure we hit up at some point while we are there, there is nothing quite like Hawaii BBQ and macaroni salad, YUMMY!! I can't wait! We were at the pool for a bit and then went up for lunch and then Jim took a nap and I went on another walk with Alex and waited to hear from our friends who were coming up to hang out with us. Mike and Marie joined us at around 3pm (their son is also coming back from Iraq and they are here from Minnesota and we had met them last homecoming and I've really been looking forward to seeing them again!). We hung out at the pool with them until about 7Pm and came up to our room to get changed for dinner but alas Alex fell asleep so we didn't make it out of the room last night, Mike and Marie left to head back to the base and we went to bed at 9pm ourselves. I guess all the sun and water just knocked us all out!


Today is the day that Robert is scheduled to land back on U.S. soil...so we wait for the information to be available and keep our fingers crossed...can't wait to hug him and welcome him back to us. Hopefully we'll get that information in the next hour or so because he called us last night from Ireland and said they were delayed so we wait.

More later....

Monday, February 25, 2008

Waking up in paradise

It was so great to wake up here this morning, Alex slept really well last night and so did Jim and I but of course we were up at the crack of dawn because it was noon on the east coast and our internal clock is still messed up, I opened the sliding glass doors to hear the ocean waves and watch the pool being cleaned at 6:30am...the moon was still out and the sun was just peeking up to start a new day. Here is a short video I took this morning.
video

Our room overlooks the ocean side and the pool just below us, we have a very pretty view. Alex and I enjoyed our morning coffee outside while Jim took a shower.

We took a morning walk as a family and now Jim and Alex just went to take in some snorkeling and I'm going to head out for a bit of exploring and then go relax by the heated pool. We can't wait to see Robert tomorrow!!!

We're in Hawaii

Sunday Feb 24th

We left the house at 8:30 sharp and stopped at the ATM and the gas station and still pulled into Sandi and Sean's driveway before 10:30am. We transferred all our luggage to Sandi's truck and off we went so they could drop us off at the airport for our 1:20 flight to Honolulu. After we checked in and went through security which took all of 5 minutes we found out that our flight was delayed almost an hour, no reason given at the gate and I was somewhat perplexed since it was a picture perfect day to fly today, not a cloud in the sky. I guess there might have been a delay with the flight coming in at the gate before we left because it was the same plane that we took off on after all the passengers got off. We had warm chicken sandwiches for our lunch which Alex inhaled and with that we had a small caesar salad and some chips, Alex didn't want his salad so I had a second helping of the green stuff. They made an announcement that we would get another meal in about 4 hours so I guess we're getting dinner as well, this flight is 11 hours, after all. Also we will be getting cheese and crackers around an hour before landing...wow, I feel like we're getting the royal treatment here...hahahaha...I'm so used to Southwest and getting crackers and peanuts so to get a warm meal on a flight is quite different for us. Alex and Jim are sitting right in front of me and playing video games on the tv monitors that are provided at each seat...oops, Alex is watching "The Bee Movie" again and Jim is playing blackjack. Alex and I watched The Bee Movie after we first took off and it was a very cute movie, I enjoyed it. I'll probably watch another movie a little bit later on but for now I'm happy just relaxing and enjoying the fact that so far it's been a quiet flight and not too many small kids around us like last time, I still remember a toddler sitting behind me the whole way to Honolulu and being kicked in the back constantly...that sure made for a long flight! Alex is being really good so far and just enjoying the electronics available to him at his seat but I'm hoping that he will take a nap later on so that he won't be so wired when we get to the hotel tonight.

The last 3 hours of the flight were really bumpy for me, I couldn't believe it because the last time we flew to Hawaii I hardly felt like I was in the air at all except for landing and take offs...but this was either due to weather or windy conditions because we had to stay with our seat belts for a long time. All in all I got through it and Alex was super duper good on the long 11 hour flight time, I'm very proud of him.

We picked up our rental car pretty quickly and made our way up to the north shore with a stop at Walmart for a few needed supplies like adult beverages, a boogie board, some new sunscreen and some breakfast goodies. It is now almost midnight Hawaii time and 5am in New York and I'm still awake, don't know why or how but I am...that's just the way it goes for me when I'm on vacation, I guess.

We checked in at Turtle Bay and I'm glad this room is free for the next 3 nights because honestly I'm not impressed with the rooms here at all, I wasn't happy with it the last time we stayed here and that is why we are getting our stay at no charge plus a dinner for 2 in one of their restaurants. This is supposed to be one of Oahu's most pristine resorts and yes the pool and the beaches are stunning here but the guest rooms are just mediocre as far as I'm concerned...the bathroom has sand in it and I'm not going to complain about it and just try to enjoy the facilities here and look forward to the real reason we are here and that is to see Robert come home from Iraq!!

I will start posting pictures tomorrow! Stay tuned!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Enough for a snowman...


...makes for a happy little boy here!

Alex was so excited to be able to go out and make a snowman even though by the time he was done it had started to rain and I had to make him come in because he was getting soaking wet.

Hard to believe that in a couple of days we will be flying off to a nice and warm place when here we sit in a winter weather advisory in the northeast today.

I have to remember to be a bit more choosy in my photo taking this trip so that I don't have hundreds of pictures that I want to scrapbook, you just can't do it all because eventually you just have too many layouts and the book is too big, much like the one I did for our last trip to Hawaii. I am excited that I have the tripod that I'll be able to use so that I can take family photos with all of us in it and not have to ask someone else to take the shot for us.

Snow!!


We woke up this morning to a blanket of fresh white stuff on the ground and it sure is pretty outside, especially since we don't fly out until sunday and I don't have to worry too much about traveling for a couple of days!!

Took this shot of our bird condo in the backyard with all the pretty snow on the roof and yes we still have some die hard birds hanging around even though it is winter time here.

Yesterday I picked up a cool card reader so that I can transfer images from all of my memory cards easily to the computer which having to bring all of the cords, I have 3 different cameras with 3 different memory cards so this reader can take care of all of them in one fell swoop, you gotta love modern technology.

I'm also thrilled that I bought a 2 piece bathing suit, well ok it's one of those tankini things so my tummy area is covered but I still have the effects of a 2 piece suit and if I want to lift it up to have a little tan in that area I can. :) I'm happy that I'm going to Hawaii with the scale registering 122 pounds and I've been holding steady at that weight for about 2 months now even though I'm not really following Weight Watchers too much anymore, I just know when I can or can't go overboard on something.

I have to start packing and since I'm not going anywhere today I should be able to get that done pretty easily and tomorrow will just be straightening up and taking care of things around the house that need doing before a vacation.

I'm getting excited...we'll see Robert in just a few short days now!!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

I was so cool...wasn't I???


I'm having a good time going through all of these old photos now that I've had the slides scanned...these range from 1974 to the late 80's so I'm enjoying the trip down memory lane, that's for sure. I have to laugh at this...check out the sneakers...and I guess I had watched that old TV show, huh? Dynomiteeeeeeeeeee!! HAHAHAHA!

It will be a lot of fun to scrapbook all of these old photos and put a story to them when I do, I think our future generations will get a kick out of it.

It's hard to believe this but we leave for Hawaii in a week...I have a ton of stuff to get done but at least we went through the snorkeling gear today and figured out who needs what so that's taken care of. I think I'm good on clothes but I might just pick up a new pair of shorts, we'll see if I get the chance this week...with Alex home from school all week my time will be a bit more limited but I don't mind...it's nice to know we can sleep in and relax all week, everything will get done.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

All work and no play....

....makes for a busy Linda...I haven't had much time to blog. But wanted to post a couple more layouts I did at the crop last weekend. :)

First, I had to scrap the craziness after the Giants won the NFC championship game and remember that day!! And then I had some nice pictures of my boys....can't wait for those 3 to be together again, just a few weeks now. WOOT!! The 3 Hughes brothers in the same room....it's going to be a blast!!