Saturday, December 27, 2008

Mele Kalikimaka

It has past, another year...and it was such a great learning experience for us all. Despite the challenges and the hardships, we are all stronger people. We had a great Christmas, even though we were far apart from extended family we had one another. Our "perfect" little nuclear family. We had a perfect small and hopeful celebration. I had my little cry when I watched "Joy to the World" and Brandon did his best to cheer me up. It really isn't the same without my mom around, it doesn't get any easier to celebrate holidays without her as the years pass. Hard to believe it's been 11 years since she passed. I love her and miss her everyday. I hope that I live my life so she can be proud looking down on me.

This year instead of leaving the old cookies, carrots and milk for Santa we made a gingerbread house. We made a card with his image on it and left him an ornament coke with his picture on it, just so there was no confusion on who it was for. I guess the reindeer missed out this year, or were high on sugar.

Equally, I hope that everyone had a great Christmas and that the season reminds us all how fortunate, blessed and loved we are. Hauoli Maka Hiki Hou for the year to come!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The dance

It seems fitting that about this time 13 years ago I was unaware of the plans that were being concocted to be eternally a Kros. I was very happy to be "out" of the dating we discussed not dating anyone else and being exclusive. This was kind of the big hint he needed to know that I was done looking. Not to say I was a subtle girl, I told it like it was. I told him not to attempt to kiss me that when I was ready I would kiss him. Besides the guy is always ready, and he agreed.

We did have several life changing discussions about where we wanted to be married, what I thought was a romantic proposal, and that my answer would not be right away if he did ask me. I wanted to be able to pray about it and know that it was right before I gave an answer, again he seemed very patient with my requests.

The hard part for us was definitely the talk about a mission. I was horrified to think about being away from him, but I understood the magnitude of the purpose he needed to serve. Secretly he struggled with the thought of going on a mission and not having me there when he got back. We had the whole discussion of me waiting for him and us being promised to one another as well, but it wasn't comforting to either of us. I understand the purpose of the way we ended up now, he needed to be there for me when my mom passed away...which would have occurred while he was serving a mission. So on his own accord he decided not to go on a mission, which devastated a lot of people, but I was understanding.

A very elaborate plan was concocted unbeknownst to me, and the plan for my hand was now in motion.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Holiday Season

I hope that throughout the years we've taught our children that the holiday season is for remembering the great sacrifice that Jesus Christ has offered to us and not just toys. Paka wrote an essay in school about wanting to have a magical power that he could create any amount of money, but only in one's. His story was about finding homeless and poor people and giving them all the money they needed to have a good holiday season. I guess we have done some small part to ensure they remember the reason for the season. We just put up a Christmas tree last night and we'll decorate it tonight. It's a great time while we're busily hanging ornaments to remind them what the Christmas season is about and why we celebrate it. If there ever is a legacy I want to pass on through my children it's to be grateful, thankful, and not take anything for granted.

I am so excited to celebrate this holiday, even though it'll just be the four of us, we always have a great time together. I can't help but reflect on how blessed we are and continue to be. Health, prosperity, and love keeps us going...and even if we were without one of them, it couldn't hold us down. Have a great holiday season, a very Merry Christmas (Mele Kalikimaka) and give a little to those who have none.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Future softball champ

Halana is an amazing athelete. She never complains about the vigourous workouts and strenuous practices she has to endure for softball. She wants to play tackle football next year for the first time for heavens sake! She pitched her first year this year and had at least a dozen strike outs. She's really come a long way and with some camps, practice and hard work she could pay for college! I think it runs in our blood, I have 2 nieces who excelled in the sport as well. It takes a dedicated and supportive parent(s) to get through sports. We love it!


Wow, we can finally settle down and relax in our temporary home for the holidays. It wasn't looking too good after we spent 2 weeks living like rednecks in an RV outside our house! After new carpet, new paint, and all our furniture out of storage we finally can breathe.

Thanksgiving is this week and we can't be more thankful for our lives and everything we have than right now. We are thankful for a roof over our heads. Thankful for each other...our beautiful family afar, friends who are always there for us when we need a hand or to chat. So thankful for the Church, Gospel, the promise of Eternity and our testimonies of it all. Thankful for food to eat each day, money in our pockets, and everything we need at our disposal. I am especially thankful for the choices my husband makes every day (and I know they're hard) to serve our country in this fine Navy. I love my 2 gorgeous children and how could I be anything less than thankful for their wonderful personalities and happiness they bring into our lives. If I had hand picked them I couldn't have done any better. I love the gift of life I was given and I plan to live it to the fullest and create a legacy my children can be thankful for.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Green Monsters

What a nightmare! There are green monsters invading our week old rental story to tell. I don't mind change, it's one of those things I've come to embrace. After all, it's going to happen and there's not much we can do to have a routine as monotonous as The Truman Show throughout life. Last month we were blessed to have sold our home before we moved to Chicago, not so fortunate to now have to find a place to live for a short 3 months before we actually make that move. Again we were blessed to have found a great landlord who offered a short term lease knowing we would only be there for 3 months. So when we saw that it was in bad shape, had an atrocious paint job of bright sky blue in the front room and salmon pink in the kitchen, had 3 panels missing from the "florida" room or screened porch, no porch door, filthy carpet and dog dug back yard we overlooked it because it was temporary. Little did we know just how temporary.

Yesterday while I was at work I got a distressed text message to call ASAP. To my dismay our rental home was flooded. My poor babysitter walked into it after picking up the kids. Brandon got there before me to assess the damages and everyroom was soaked. Long story short we missed work today, rented a U-haul, rented a storage unit and cleared everything out. They ripped out carpet and set up blowers in every nook and cranny along with dehumidifiers. It's about a 3-5 business day job so we are staying in a friends RV outside the house until then. Change. And I thought painting and moving was going to be our biggest challenge, what else could be in store?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Our beginning...continued

Brandon and I hung out as friends for quite some time. We cut a lot of classes together and went to a friends house and played basketball, jumped on the tramp, or talked. We tried a date a few times but plans fell through...we had fun just being together and hanging out was free. He had a great group of friends (Adam, Jason G., Trale, Joey, Jason A., Kenny) that were so gracious to accept a girl in their circle. I mostly preferred to be with boys because girls were so shallow, catty, and jealous at this point. I remained drama free when I was with boys, just had to put up with the teasing and fowl manners, no problem! The girl-free days didn't last long because I met Autumn, Joey's younger sister, and she and I hit it off. I never regret a day in my life that she has been a part of it, I love her with all my heart. To this day I consider her to be one of the best friends I've ever had.

I had a non-exclusive dating rule, which Brandon who only ever dated exclusively hated. I didn't date just one person, although I preferred to be with him. He had to book me in advance sometimes and there was one incident where I overbooked. This was memorable for me because I had to call him and break our date (for the record I didn't want to do, but it was the right thing to do) because I had already promised a second date with someone else. He was infuriated, hurt and confused. I felt torn but I went on my date and had a horrible time...he tried to kiss me and I cut the good night short. The next time I talked to Brandon he told me he and Adam (his cousin who he lived with) went on a double date. He took a girl from his ward who had a huge crush on him and he knew it would make me jealous. It worked, and I never broke another date with him again!

So, obviously we continued to date and we added a few friends to our very tight knit circle (Joel-home from a mish & Caleb) and had the time of our lives! We continued to date through Brandon's senior year at Woods Cross High. I had a scary date with a return missionary who after the second date was ready to propose and I decided that I didn't want to date any one else. When Brandon and I were together again we were driving towards his house in North Salt Lake and passing the temple I told him what I had decided. He about drove off the road but couldn't stop grinning. I don't know for sure but I think this was the push for him to start his plans for a proposal.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Motivated, Dedicated, Fired Up

"Are you motivated? Motivated, motivated, motivated coach! Are you dedicated? Dedicated, dedicated, dedicated coach! Are you fired up? Fired up, fired up, fired up coach! Take a deep breath, let it out. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!"

It wasn't our first exposure to this chant for champions when we started tackle football. Paka played baseball for the first year last year and they nick named him "Ichiro" the slap-stick that always pulled out a great hit when the team needed it the most. Coach Rusty really got the team motivated and fired up with this chant (can't be a cheer in boy sports, so chant fits the best). It's undescribable how much the kids light up with this chant and how much they love to say it. Paka's football team has always done this since summer practice. Coach Greg makes it like a treat when they get to do it and they have become such a dedicated team because of it.

With a record of no losses and no touchdowns scored on a team that consists of 7-11 year old boys, it's quite a feat to have that reputation. Our season is nearly over and only 3 more games to play...and win. Our bowl game will likely be against the dreaded Ponte Vedra Team mostly because of their passing game. You can't sway the Mighty Mite Black team from a win though. We all have our eye on the prize and I hear kids say in a very motivated way, "I wanna hurt someone today!" Now, for those that are against the violence or contact sports I will say this...the lingo is not for you. Coach Greg tells them to, "get out there and hurt somebody, put a licking on them, make him cry, make his mama cry from the stands and say, 'No, my baby!' and winning isn't everything, it's the only thing." But even though we teach them to be tough, play hard, and go for the win...we do it with love for them all.

I gotta hand it to a great coach and motivator, Coach Greg Taylor for his ability to lead this team. Hard words are not all he has to offer, he sacrifices his own time and money to give this team everything he can, and to make us look and play like a unified team. More famous quotes, "That's the way to do it! I don't wanna hear can't I know you got it in you, so do it. That's the way to play some ball son, now give yourself a hand. I am proud of you! That's what I'm talkin about!"

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Never too late

The inevitable is death...there's no getting around it for now. We deal with death daily and in all forms of it. Whether it's someone close to you, someone's loved one, or a stranger, it's never any less sad. We can't change when it happens but we can keep a good memory alive by remembering them at their best and not dwelling on the bad things that never changed. Asking ourselves what we could have done differently to avoid it won't bring them back. A healthy closure and an acceptance of death will come with time. If you've ever taken a class that talks about death you would have heard about the grieving stages. While I was in nursing school we rememberd them as D.A.B.D.A. Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance. You may experience them in order, out of order, or some not at all. This process can repeat itself even if you've achieved the Acceptance stage.

I've dealt with a lot of death in my short time on earth starting from when I was very young and impressionable. I don't have an epiphany that will save anyone from grief, but I do know that each experience has made me stronger. I learned when my mother passed away that you cannot let time pass you by and do nothing. Nothing should go unsaid, no arguement unsettled, and never wait to tell someone you care about them or love them. For some, reaching out to them could make all the difference in the world. Yet for others their minds may have already chosen another path. Suicide, cancer, untimely motor vehicle crashes, random gun fire, and such tragedy's occur daily...don't wait to say what you want to say. It's never too late to care.

Rest in peace Marcus W. Kros and all those who passed before you. I promise to make your life a memory of learning and love.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Behind the times

I feel so behind the times with just having started a blog. Well I guess that's what you get for giving up 4 years of your life for college. While it was well worth it, I missed out on a lot. Luckily there are great creations such as this to catch us up! I started a scrapblog too and I'll post them as they are completed.

Biggest news is Halana, turning 11, wants to be the first girl in the NFL and is starting off with wrestling, flag and tackle football.

Paka is enjoying his first year at tackle football and so far his season is as follows: 21-0, 2-0, 6-0, 34-0. He might be our kicker, he sure does a great job bouncing it their heads.

Brandon has advanced in the US Navy quite quickly. He went in from delayed entry an E-2. Got voted by his peers to advance to E-3 (I forget the official term at the moment). He did an early promote out of A school to E-4 and then advance to E-6 at his first command! We’re moving to Chicago where he’s going back to boot camp, only now he’ll be an instructor.

I just graduated from nursing school. A very long haul, but I did it! I got my license a couple of weeks ago and started a preceptorship on the post trauma unit in a Trauma One hospital where I worked as a PCA (CNA equivalent). I love trauma and surgery, it’s been a great experience so far!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Where to begin?

Every now and again I'm going to post a past try and catch up those that haven't been there for the entire Kros relationship. So if you see a throwback post, it's intentional. It's so hard to know how far back to go...but it makes sense to start at our families beginning. Your in for a nearly 15 year ride, keep your hands and feet inside at all times, do not stand, and enjoy the ride!

Brandon and I were transient kids in our high school days, we both attended 3 high schools, but were brought together at Taylorsville High School. He had moved down from Hamilton, MT and decided to attend school with his cousin Adam Stark and other neighborhood friends he already knew. I had just moved to Murray/Taylorsville area from Sandy and attended Jordan High School. My original plan during the summer was to ride the bus to Jordan every day and finish up my Senior year there...but when I found out I would have to take 3 buses to get there and leave at 4 am it hardly seemed worth it. So reluctantly, but luckily I went to first year there for my final year. I knew no one for my last year of high school, but it was meant to be.

Brandon and I had beginning Spanish class together. I had taken Spanish at Mt. Jordan Middle School but didn't retain too much. Brandon turned out to be 1/4 Mexican but didn't speak any Spanish. Lucky for me he needed a tutor to help him pass and our paths made a permanent merge. He sat a few seats in front of me from the alpha order of K-L and got up to sharpen his pencil in the back of the room a lot. He later shared with me that it was to get a glimpse of me and try to remember my name, how sweet. He couldn't pronounce it, so he gave me a nickname when he was telling his friends about me and it stuck...Puki.

Friday, September 19, 2008

We have arrived!

In an attempt to keep our friends and family constantly updated being so far away, I (Pualani) am reluctantly starting this blog. This is going to hold me to a weekly standard, at least, to keep everyone abreast of what's happening with us. Reluctant because I know how much time starting it off to be what I want it to be is going to take!