Monday, June 30, 2008

Last American Moments

So, we went to the Bramwell's tonight for Sunday night family dinner. The Bramwells lived in Kailua for my last years of high school and beyond, and then moved to North Carolina about two years ago! When we came out to UNC, they were one of the two families we knew who lived in the entire state of North Carolina. The close love relationship started back up with their family when we inherited Nick Bramwell's kitchen table and chairs when he moved from his "guy pad" back in with his family (which was a vast improvement from us eating off of a cardboard box in our empty apartment), and has blossomed into us feeling like members of their clan. We always drive away so happy after we visit them.

David Bramwell (dad) has two pet parrots

Today was a special occasion, because Nick Bramwell has been called on a mission to Sao Paulo North Mission, and today was his last Sunday in America for two years. He leaves for Brazil on Wednesday, and we leave on Thursday, which is amazing. He will actually be serving his mission exactly in the area Marcos' family lives, of all places on earth. We're hoping to coordinate our Temple schedules when we're down there, so that we can see him in Brazil. We've seen him every Sunday night for a month, and have had a chance to study from the missionary manual, the scriptures, and of course, some Portuguese.

Uncle Gavin had a Birthday, and the family has a great tradition. They throw a (sterilized?) penny into the batter, so that whoever ends up with the penny in their cupcake or cake has good luck all day! Marcos got the penny! I really like this tradition... so it may be a keeper. It may even take the drudgery out of baking for me.

Marcos shared some scriptures with Nick that helped him in Japan, and we all gathered around to listen and add to the conversation. Marcos has a real knack for teaching spiritual things.

Part of the reason I'm so ready to post entries is because of this new camera. Check out this shot. It combines two of my favorite things: Marcos and dessert. Don't read into the fact that the dessert is in focus, and my boyfriend is fuzzy in the background. Marcos is still the most beloved.

The Bramwell's family card game is "May I?". It's a good addition to our library of Gin Rummy (Pratt family game) or Canasta (Prieto family game).

Next picture he'll be "Elder Bramwell" with a suit and tag. How exciting!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Our first born

Our first born is a camera, and believe me, getting ahold of this perfect little angel took so much work that I might as well have given birth. He's a Canon A720 IS, which was recommended by a professional photographer at church, and so far he's been a dream. Here are the first few experimental shots I've taken in "micro" mode, which may be my favorite mode ever. What do you think? Go ahead and click on the images to see them in normal size; the photos are much more impressive when they're larger. Enjoy, and stay tuned for more!

So, as you can see, he's brilliant with plants. These are a few of my first garden explorations.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Welcome to Paradise

So, I finally have a blog entry for our trip to Hawaii. Since the other entries have been text-heavy, get ready for some eye candy.

So, we stayed at the Maero's house, along with The Gibson family. The mom Lindsay is one of my best friends in the world, and this is her little daughter, Malia. The last time we saw Malia she was just a few months old, so it was exciting to meet her all decked out with personality.

There is a common misunderstanding that pineapples grow on trees. Well, this is just to set the record straight. Pineapples grow in big fields very low to the ground, with very spiky leaves. Random Fact: when you are preparing a pineapple for consumption, if you cut off the top and put the base into the ground, it will grow another pineapple out of the center of the leaves!

Auntie Gail and Mom at mom's graduation dinner! Yay, she finally finished her Masters degree! The ceremonies were really spectacular, and we really screamed when they called her name.

Marcos is amazing with kids. It's a real turn-on.

The girls started a Surf Club every Thursday morning. We joined in a few sessions on the days we were in Hawaii. Leslie definitely won the prize for "most pregnant surfer" at 8 months along.

I personally think I win the prize for "most brave" with bearing those big, white thighs. These pictures, by the way, motivated some fitness. I'm now running a few miles a day. I hadn't even realized how fatness creeps up on you when you're in grad school and not paying attention!

Heaven, anybody? Linds was adamant about doing a sunrise hike to the pillboxes above Lanikai. These are the legendary twin sister islands called the Mokuluas.

The hiking clan: Maero family, plus a few, minus a few.

Girl's Night Out! We started off with Happy Hour sushi, and migrated to the Cheesecake factory, where we more than compensated for being so healthy the first round.

Malia is such a heart-breaker!

Ah yes, and there was a waterfall.

This was a humbling experience. I thought I was a decent photographer, but I still have to hone my skills a bit with kids. Marcos must not have been making the monkey face in this one, because the whole series was rather unimpressive and the kids are disengaged. Better luck next time!

Linds and me at church.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Celestial Temperatures

Today, the temperature was high at 85 degrees, and I've decided that 85 is about the most ideal temperature in the world. I was standing in the shade waiting for the bus, and the breeze was blowing on me in a really pleasant way. When I start creating worlds, I'll make sure to have a lot of 85 degree spots.