We are in Hawaii right now and I’ve decided that this is where I want to spend every vacation for ever and ever. I am so in love with this place I’ve been moved to tears several times already. The hotel we’re staying in is completely fabulous. The two upgrades I made when we booked the trip were to get a room with an ocean view and to have their breakfast included.

First the view is absolutely spectacular! And the breakfast, for some reason, I thought it was just going to be a continental breakfast: some coffee, a bagel, maybe waffles if we were lucky. HOLY COW the breakfast is HUGE. Made to order omelets. scrambled eggs. Hash browns, eggs benedict, lox, bagels, fruit, waffles, steamed fish, even miso soup! There’s so much I can’t even remember it all. Then for seating, they placed us right next to this koi pond that has a waterfall. It’s simply paradise.

In the lobby of the hotel, in the open air, there’s another huge koi pond with another waterfall, and birds that just hang out there: like swans, flamingos, parrots. Everything is just over the top beautiful.

We splurged yesterday and had a couples massage. Then we drove down to the Maui Aquarium. Again, expectations were moderate, reality far exceeded anything I could have imagined. The first few buildings were very cool, but what totally blew any aquarium experience I ever had out of the water was showing up in the shark building JUST as they were feeding them. OMG!!! They have a glass tunnel that actually goes through the tank so these huge stingrays, hammer head sharks, and tiger sharks swim directly over your head and around you. Just…. OMG!!!

If my vacation was over right now, I’d say we had a fantastic time, but there’s still more to come. Today we’re just going to play on the beach and go kayaking, and snorkeling off the beach, then tonight we’re doing a luau (yes, I know they’re hokey. I’ve still always wanted to see one) Tomorrow, the road to Hana in our convertible. Then later this week, we’ll take a snorkeling boat tour. Still not sure about the helicopter ride. We’ve been tossing the idea around, but with my fear of flying, it might not be a good idea. LOL We’ll see.

All the restaurants are crazy expensive. IF I had any regrets, it would have been to get a kitchen in our room so we could have made our own dinner one night. But otherwise everything is about as close to perfection as I could imagine.

Life in the fastlane

-Ferris Bueller

Yeah, no kidding. So much has happened in such a short span of time, I’m literally dizzy. Most likely from adrenaline.

So here’s the order of events:

First, we weighed it all out, and even though Portland, OR sounds like a nice place – the fact of the matter is that Sam wasn’t seeing a lot of jobs there. As well, I know even there, without family nearby, I wouldn’t be 100% happy. Whereas in California, there are more job opportunities and we have family nearby. My brother has offered to help us get settled, so all in all – this is a no brainer. We are headed to California.

The hard part was deciding when. Sam still has a job technically, but it will soon be ending. But they haven’t been really clear about when. At the same time, we can’t base our lives around them. Another factor is the kids. Rachel is FINALLY in a good school, with a awesome teacher – she’s doing really well in class – so I did think maybe we would wait it out this year and head out in the spring as soon as she got out of school… but… I have no idea what the market will be like in the spring. Right now, the market didn’t seem all that bad to me. At least not as bad as I would expect with the current economy and headed into the “slow” season. There were a few house sales right on our street… so we figured we’d jump while it was hot.

We did a massive clean up, and de-clutter, got the house ready to show, put it on the market on Monday. I figured we’d be sitting on the market for at least a month, maybe 2 or 3… We’ve had such amazing luck in the past. The two previous houses we’ve owned and sold, we had a buyer immediately after the Open House. I didn’t want to get my hopes up that we’d hit it a third time…. but we did. In fact, we BEAT our previous records. LOL! This time, the open house was scheduled for Saturday… but we didn’t even make it that far. We got a good buyer by Tuesday night. Seriously. AND, of course we want to make this buyer happy – but they want to move in yesterday. So forget about a lengthy packing and closing process – we’re all going to rush it through in a MONTH.

A FREAKING MONTH from today I will be in my car heading out to California for GOOD. I can’t even wrap my head around it.

I had joked that I wanted the house sold for my birthday. I think I need to be careful what I wish for. (Well somewhat) The other thing I was wishing for my birthday was an iPad. You can just imagine how much I’ve been drooling and pining for one… I wonder how anyone could have ever guessed it’s what I wanted for my birthday… well, that and my trip to Hawaii – which is the reason I really didn’t think I’d get the iPad too… but I GOT IT!!!!! And it’s everything I was hoping it would be. No birthday wish remorse at all. I totally love it.

So yeah. We go to Hawaii for vacation – Just Sam and me – then we come back and hit the ground running like crazy people. Pack. Move. Done.

Oh, where will be staying in the meantime until we get settled? Heh. My parents. You’d think when your kids turn 40, you’re free from them moving back in with you. Think again. And it’s not like I’m just bringing a load of laundry from College. I’m lugging a husband and two kids with me this time! LOL!!!


This past weekend we made the trek up to Park City to the “Park Silly” market they have on Sundays. It’s lots of fun, always get to see cool jewelry, clothes, and crafts. I love to look but rarely buy anything. We saw this one booth for “Twisted Spiders” – and I had to break my rule and get one. It’s not like I’m a fan of spiders, but at the same time I’m fascinated by insects in general just about as much as I’m grossed out by them. (Yes, I know, a spider isn’t an insect, it’s an arachnid – don’t get technical on me!) 😉 So, the jewelry… they make these spiders out of metal wire and beads, and I’ve never seen anything like it. (They then make the spiders into necklaces, earrings, pins) They looked too cool to pass up. Even cooler was seeing all these (FAKE) spiders all over their booth table. Take a look:

Life Lesson I Learned from doing my presentation

The presentation I gave at WordCamp Utah went really well. It was the first time I’ve ever done anything like that. I prepped as much as humanly possible. I practiced as often as I could. I must have updated my slides several times every day for about a month leading up to the conference. AND I also had anxiety dreams almost every night especially the week before. In my nightmares, everything that could go wrong, did. I’d left my power cord at home. I left my laser pointer somewhere. I lost wifi connection and couldn’t find my presentation. My nose began to bleed spontaneously. I mean literally everything my subconscious could do to undermine my confidence, it fed it into my nightmares.

The irony is that I’m not here to tell you that “… and NONE of it came true… everything was fine!”. Well, everything was fine, but that’s not the end of the story. The truth is that almost everything I dreamed actually came true. I did accidentally leave my computer’s power cord at home. I couldn’t find my laser pointer when I needed it. The wifi did get disconnected from my laptop in the middle of my presentation. Really, if you told me that all of that stuff would really happen, I would have run from the room screaming, called up Joseph Scott and told him to forget it, I couldn’t do it! In the nightmares, when all of these things happened, the world basically ended. My presentation was a complete failure and life ended there. Every night, in the middle of the night, I’d wake up, jot something down on a piece of paper I needed to remember so that I could prevent the catastrophe I had just envisioned.

But despite all these things coming true, life did not end. In fact, nothing happened. Thankfully, my battery lasted long enough to survive the length of my presentation. It did die eventually, but not until about halfway through the day – hours later. The wifi timed out on my laptop and disconnected, but I kept going even though the cool slide remote I had on my iPhone no longer worked. (In my opinion: a design flaw in the app to have it only rely on wifi and not bluetooth!!) The arrow keys work perfectly well to move the slides!! And the laser pointer I realized later I left buried in my purse so I just made do without it.

All the anxiety and thinking the sky would fall if any of these things happened, and even my desperate attempts to prevent them – they happened. When they did, there was a logical solution. And life went on.

I think I know I spend too much time worrying about what could happen. I spend too much time trying to plan for all conceivable contingencies. And the truth of the matter is that, when a problem is real, there is usually a solution at hand as well. I won’t say always. But usually. It certainly isn’t worth the time spent worrying about the “what ifs.”

Missing my puppy