Thursday, May 30, 2013

Successful Siblings

The hardest thing about living in Alaska is being so far away from my family...especially when big events occur. This last week I was quickly reminded that my siblings are no longer little and instead are growing up and truly beginning lives of their own. In the last few months my family has been blessed with graduations, new school degrees, US Navy enlisting, a pregnancy, and a wedding!

I am so stinkin' excited to know that I am on the way to becoming an auntie!! I love being a mother and have secretly (ok, maybe not so secretly) hoped for one of my sisters to get pregnant. Amanda will be 15 weeks tomorrow so we are getting closer to that highly anticipated gender reveal. I can't wait to have a new niece or nephew this November :) And in addition to baking me a baby, she just got her Associates of Art in Medical Office Administration. I know she didn't feel like it was a big deal since she's still pushing forward, but I'm very proud of her recent accomplishment.

Amber is doing very well for herself these days, too! She is currently living in Pensacola, Florida where she is completing her schooling for the United States Navy's IT program. She is set to finish up there soon and will hopefully get a nice duty station. I know she's keeping her fingers crossed for San Diego, which is great for me because I definitely need another excuse to vacation somewhere warm. Last week her boyfriend, Mitch, flew down to visit her and he proposed on the beach at sunset. And the next day...they tied the knot! So she is now officially Mrs. Kochishan! It was a very quick engagement, but they had everything already planned out ahead of time. She knew that he was coming to propose, but the details of the event were left as a surprise for her. I wish everyone could have been there, but they had a nice intimate ceremony for themselves. I look forward to getting to know my new brother-in-law and hopefully spending some quality time with the newlyweds. My fingers are crossed that she will be home around the same time as we are in August/September.

Another reality check for me was that my brother Brian just graduated from High School. High School? Seriously? Out of all of the recent events, this one was by far the most shocking to me. Sometimes I feel like time stopped in place after we moved, so I still tend to view Brian as my 11 year old baby brother. I can't believe that he's done with school and is about to start the next chapter in his life. Sounds like he is very interested in working with our dad instead of going to college, but hopefully he'll change his mind. He had a few academic set-backs in school that posed a threat to him walking, but he pulled through and got to cross the stage just like everyone else. I'm really proud of all the hard work he did to get where he is now. Congrats to the class of '13!

And we can't forget little Cameron! Can you believe he is now 6 years old? Crazy, right? He's almost a 1st grader. I have been gone almost all of his life so sometimes its hard for me to picture him as my little brother. Being as he is only 18 months older than Lucas, I often feel like he is one of my friends kiddos. But even through the distance I try to be very involved and up-to-date on his life. I am so proud of all that he has pushed past and overcome, and I am so excited to get the boys together this summer. I love this little guy and really miss him. I wish more than anything that he and Lucas could grow up together. Hopefully someday that will be a reality.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Bring on Paradise!

Graduation is right around the corner and I cannot wait to hop on the first plane out of here.

Nursing school has confined me to this state for far too long. I honestly don't think I've been in Alaska more than six consecutive months since we moved up in 2007. I get a little stir crazy from the isolation away from my friends and family and find myself returning home (or to Hawaii!) quite frequently. Levi's traveled and vacationed  a bit during my schooling so you can imagine the jealousy and resentment that has caused. This mama is beyond ready for a vacation. And I mean a serious vacation!

I plan to leave for at least a month as soon as school is all said and done. I will be flying down to California with the kids shortly after my recognition ceremony and Levi will join us a week or so after that. For the first time since having two munchkins, we are going to leave the kids behind and take a true vacation to paradise! My graduation and our wedding anniversary fall within a few days of each other so this is a perfect opportunity to get away and spend some quality time as husband and wife.

We took a cruise on our honeymoon and have been wanting to do another one ever since. I've had my eye on a particular one for a few years so we decided to take the plunge and finally book it!

We will be departing out of Galveston, Texas on a 7-night Western Caribbean Cruise. Our destinations include Montego Bay, Jamaica...the Grand Cayman Islands...and Cozumel, Mexico. Can you say heaven?!

Of course I intend to spend nearly two weeks in Cali before we depart to ensure that the boys are comfortable, and probably an additional week or two after our cruise. I'm excited to hang out with my family and take a short getaway with all my girls. And there are so many activities that I want to take my boys to experience back home, too. My list just keeps growing!

Rumor has it that I can't take my state boards until late September, so I see no need to sit around Alaska when I can just as easily study back in Cali. August cannot come fast enough. Senioritis has hit me hard and I'm already falling into vacation mode!

Now that my cruise is officially booked, hopefully this will give me the incentive to get in better shape. It's amazing how one can be so skinny yet flabby at the same time. Time to get beach ready!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Champagne and glaciers

This past weekend I was invited to join some friends on the Champagne and Shoes Glacier Cruise. It was a 4 hour long trip out of Whittier and thankfully for us the weather was quite nice.

I left the boys home with Levi and got to spend an entire day out of the house. That is a rarity these days so I jumped on the opportunity to sneak away!

We saw porpoises, eagles, sheep and of course, lots of spectacular glaciers! I was nervous that I was going to get motion sickness, but the boat was large enough that I was able to focus my attention away from the water when needed. They put on a fashion show and catered delicious food and champagne. We got some orange juice and enjoyed some much needed mimosas while staring out into the beautiful scenery. Blissful!

Every time I start to get depressed and lonely up here I am quickly reminded of the beauty all around me. I'm making a pact to myself to travel and truly enjoy this summer (whenever it finally decides to make its appearance!). Can't wait for warmer weather and lots of camping!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Nearly 30

Monday was Levi's birthday. We had a mellow celebration at the house where I made him baked salmon, rice and artichoke. And the boys (with a little help from me) baked him a cake!

Over the weekend we went to the indoor greenhouse and the Potter's Marsh Boardwalk. Nothing beats a fun weekend with these boys.

It's crazy to think how far we've come together. I was only 17 when we got together, and somehow Levi is now 28. And if you haven't noticed, that's darn near 30. It's amazing how fast life seems to be passing us by.