"That's My Wife"

So it's 12:45ish Jan. 1 2011. Lauren is in bed because I'm making her clean the church with me bright and early. In a few days I think we hit our 6th month mark in Guam (Lauren is so much better with dates).

Since taking this crazy leap of faith to an island few will ever experience...I have continually said "that's my wife."

Here is my attempt to express my love to "boo-bear" and remind you all of that girl you probably miss dearly:

I wish you all could have seen "boo-nuts" (don't judge our nicknames) at my work Christmas bbq. Dancing and Singing in the parking lot, she put on one of the best shows ever for some of the best co-workers ever. That night ended with "that's my wife." (Sorry no picture of the dance, too busy laughing)

Christmas day...we took a lot of pictures and I'm sure Lauren will post some of the better pictures, but this one is my favorite. If there is a camera I'm making sure my euro-trunks are on! It takes a special women to put up with me. I'm pretty sure I'm doing/saying a lot of stuff right before this picture was taken. And look! It worked. "That's my wife."

Not sure if she's posted this picture before on the blog... But this sums up what I'm trying to get at...She might be your friend, cousin, niece, sister or daughter....but that right there..."that's my wife."


Eat, Drink, and Be Merry {Christmas}

'Twas the week before Christmas, when all through the house
"Traditions are scarce!" I cried to my spouse.
So off to the store with some cash in my hand
To find the goods that would make our night grand.

Martinelli's, summer sausage, and cheeses galore
One movie per night, I can't ask for more!
This holiday season feels more like it should
With family traditions anew in our hood.


The Sun Will Come Out, Tomorrow

"Tooooooooomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya, tomorrow,
you're always a day awaaaaaaay!"

Folks, I'm happier than a little red-headed orphan right now. 2:45 tomorrow afternoon marks the beginning of the glory us teachers know as Christmas break.



Rock on.

My plans are a-brewing: Cooking, baking, lounging, planting, SLEEPING, shopping, beaching, snorkeling, tanning, laughing, Just-Dancing, reading, EATING, scootering, movie-watching...need I go on?

Life is good.


To My Girl, J.

Tonight as I was lying in bed my mind took longer than usual to clear itself and fall into peaceful slumber. One thought triggered another until I realized the importance of today's date. A very special birthday for a very special person. This one's for her.

I wrote this last year for a book the ladies at my church put together.

"But there is a resurrection, therefore the grave hath no victory, and the sting of death is swallowed up in Christ."
Mosiah 16:8

It was December 12, 2009, and my father and I were busy finishing up some Christmas shopping. During this time of year, shopping becomes stressful. Parking lots are chaotic, customers are frantic and store clerks are hanging by their last thread of patience. Questions bombard my head like "will he like this?" or "what size does he wear?" and "can I exchange this later?" Despite starting my Christmas shopping in September, I still found myself in the middle of purchase pandemonium in the electronic section of Costco. My last big Christmas purchase lingered before my eyes and, as I pranced through the checkout line, elation filled my body as we exited the warehouse.

Running errands with my father has an advantage: free lunch. As we left the parking lot my father started driving in the opposite direction of our next destination. Maybe there was a new Thai restaurant he wanted to show me? Perplexed, but trusting he knew what he was doing, I went along without questioning him. Not ten minutes had passed before we pulled up to the gates of a cemetery. Baby Jasmine's cemetery. The realization sank in like an anchor to the ocean floor. Tomorrow was her birthday.

Last year my brother and his wife gave birth to their first child, Jasmine Pearl Higgins. The birth of a new baby usually brings joy and excitement, but for my family it was quite different. Ali, my brother's wife, was only half-way through her pregnancy when she went in to labor, and Jasmine only lived for an hour.

Recalling this event filled my heart with sorrow. Weaving our car through the cemetery we passed other families leaving mementos and paying respect to their lost loved ones. I couldn't help noticing all the groups of people with their chairs, picnics, and music desperately trying to feel close to those they missed dearly. Death's sting was still fresh in their hearts, and this was how they treated their pain; spending hours at a cemetery staring at a headstone. It was then my sorrow melted into peace. The sting of baby Jasmine's death is swallowed up in Christ. We will see her again because we are an eternal family.

My father hammered an adornment, a metal Christmas present topped with a green bow, into the ground next to her headstone. The questions that had previously bombarded me were long forgotten, and the only gift I was now thinking about was the gift of eternal life made possible through Jesus Christ. Is there anything more important than this gift? If you ask my brother, his wife, or baby Jasmine, the answer would be, no.

Merry Christmas, Baby J.


"Find your voice, stomp that yard, all that crap..."

I'm going to let you in on a little secret.

I love acapella music

Perhaps it's because I'm cheesy. Perhaps it's because my mother's cousins have been singing acapella since I was 4. Perhaps it's because I'm a band nerd and hearing five-part harmonies sung tighter than skinny jeans on Thanksgiving sends chills from my inch-long roots to my unpainted toes.

My current love affair:
The Sing Off.

I love the coordinated outfits, the vocal percussion, the heart, the blood, the sweat and the tears. I even appreciate Nick Lachey's dramatic prompter readings. This stuff thrills me.
I wish I could sing like them. I wish the students at the school I teach spontaneously broke out into song and dance like in Glee.

Unfortunately, our wardrobes are not coordinated (unless you count the uniforms), Sue Sylvester does not roam my halls terrorizing the no-gooders, and my school cannot afford Nick Lachey or a prompter.

C'est la vie.


Chapter 6: All I Want for Christmas is a Christmas Tree

Before anyone gets the wrong idea about this post, let me start with a disclaimer.

*Christmas trees are aplenty here in Guam. We didn't want to buy one.*

I am no Grinch. Just fiscally responsible. What is the point of buying a Christmas tree when we already have one tucked away in my parents' storage unit? But to keep the Christmas spirit alive in our humble abode, I used my connections at work to score some butcher paper. Sprinkle in some Santa hats, a dash of construction paper, a dollop of Baldo's creativity and a pinch of Mariah Carey's Christmas CD, and you get this...

Eat your heart out Rockafeller Center.


Stress Relief

How do I forget about the students who cursed me out and then proceeded to storm out of my room today?

I put on a happy face.

Happy Mustache Monday, everybody.