250 in 2: The Drive

250 in 2
Happy Monday!
What does 250 in 2 mean, you might ask?
Well I realized this week that within two days, I put 250 miles on my car!
Crazy, right?
So we are currently staying in a hotel down in Waikiki waiting for permanent housing since we just moved to the island. We actually arrived on Oahu in mid-Oct and have been at the Double Tree Hotel ever since. The staff has been wonderful but we are ready for a home. So we are in Waikiki, and my hubby works between Schofield Barracks and Hickam Air Force Base. I am a temporary shuttle service for him until we his 1975 International Scout 'street legal' for a Hawaii inspection. It is odd to think that we live on an island of about 30x40 miles in size yet everything is far apart.

Here is what one of my crazier days looked like...

2:00-4:00AM Couldn't sleep.
4:50AM Wake up.
5:30AM Leave Waikiki, drive hubby to Hickam.
6:00AM Arrive at Hickam.
6:30AM Drive back to Waikiki.
7:00AM-9:00AM Prepare for an interview.
45 minute drive from Waikiki to Waipahu for said interview.
1 1/2 hour interview.
From Waipahu go to Kapolei to pick up our mail at my cousins house.
12:00-1:00PM Leave Kapolei and meet friend at Schofield Barracks.
1:00-4:00PM Hang with friend.
5:00PM Drive in rush hour traffic from Schofield Barracks to pick up hubby at Hickam.
6:00PM Leave Hickam to get home to Waikiki.
7:00-8:00PM Walking to a restaurant for dinner (we don't have a kitchen!)
9:00PM Unload from interview/work/get back to hotel.
10:00AM Bed.


Pinterest Pasttimes...

Check this out!!
I rearranged my pinterest boards
 and have been doing some
prehome decorating,
holiday hosting and
dreaming about DIYs!


Hawaiian Football Game

This weekend we received free tickets to see a college football game!! We bought shirts to blend in with UH, had great seats and enjoy a date night together. We had heard that the season wasn't the best but the game we went to was great! The score was 23 to 7 and we won! University of Hawaii Football

One of my favorite things to eat are soft pretzels. You know that going to any sports game you will probably find some. I was so excited and got one! The only problem is, aren't they normally hot? Or at least warm? The vendor lady used a spray bottle to adhere the salt and so it was a cold yet slightly wet 'soft pretzel'. Oh well. I still ate it-it dried and exercised my jaw! Ha.

I'm thankful we had the chance to go, so thank you Veterans United for the tickets!!


Details Before December

Hello Family J

It has been 1 ½ months since we left our home in Missouri. Ironically I feel settled, since our hotel is so familiar. My new friends are all the staff of the hotel and Hiking Hawaii café, or random employees I choose to start chatting with. Throughout the week, Robbie is working and currently taking a Commanders Course at Schofield. His 1975 Scout needs some ‘fixing’ to be street legal here and to receive a state inspection so we share one vehicle, which could either mean I stay down in Waikiki or become a chauffeur at 6am so I can run errands! If you might think I have been sitting around tanning in the sun each day, I have only had a handful of completely relaxing days since we arrived but most entail phone calls about home loans, doctor appointments, job searching, finding food for myself, journaling, an occasional devotional, and lots of walking to and from places. J

The 65th Engineer Battalion’s “Hail & Farewell” was last night at Schofield where Robbie was welcomed into the company officially and I got a fragrant lei from the Battalion Commander and his wife, Cindy. We were able to see our friends Shannon and Paul along with their 6 week old Riley! The day he was born was about the day we arrived.  It was nice to be a part of a social event because we see tons of people (tourists, strangers, traffic) but haven’t had much of a chance to get connected. The dive team is a smaller company within the battalion down at Hickam so we won’t be around most of those folks. Bummer. However, we tried a new church this weekend called New Hope Leeward and hopefully could find some great people there (if that’s the church we pick!). We ran into my cousin, without coordinating meeting there, we sat together and really enjoyed it!

This week I have been bouncing between decisions with job options. My first options is through Crystal, the owner of Hiking Hawaii Café, connected me with a colleague named Chef Chai. He has multiple high-end Thai food restaurants in downtown Honolulu along with other business venues and could use an administrative coordinator. After scrambling to pull together an updated resume and sharing with a potential employer my vision for an un-said job, Chef Chai said after 20 years without any assistance he could use the help. He needs help with scheduling his catering business, could use a monthly main floral display, responding to guest inquiries/secretarial work, bookkeeping, and almost anything a business has in the office. The Hawaiian mentality is very relaxed and Crystal reminded me that vagueness is normal.  The idea of coming up with my own job description, hours, pay, and tasks in the area I have talked about wanting to get into sounds amazing. Terrifyingly vague. But exciting. The second option is through New Hope Leeward Church’s Christian School. After receiving the “welcome to our church” phone call, I was able to ask the New Hope church if they had any staff positions available and they mentioned that their preK-6 school is hiring. The sound of becoming a preschool teacher was very intriguing and I applied! The difficulty was in writing out a several page application, to include a testimony of how I became a Christian, on the spot while writing on a clipboard. I like writing but it is always nerve wracking to figure out the best way to portray oneself. This job appears to be teaching 2-3 year olds through an established curriculum and classroom. I believe that I might have healed from my past teaching experience and can move on towards teaching again. It’s nerve-wracking that I would be trying to teach again. Yet exciting. So, between both options that both have elements of excitement and risk; I’m waiting to see which leads to the best answer of doing something fulfilling and “Audra-like”. Right now I am thinking I will do both because I love the idea, experience, and opportunities of being an administrative coordinator (I picked the title!) and preschool teacher! I did pray about the opportunity for getting involved in event planning-the next week, “poof!” the opportunity with Chef Chai popped up. I did tell Robbie two weeks ago that “I think I’d be interested in teaching again, and would love to do preschool teaching, but teaching (not daycare) positions for preschool never are available.” POOF! I believe I’m supposed to be learning a lesson here… J

Robbie found out that his command time has been moved up from May to January! The dive team will be doing a TDY mission to Cambodia for a few months in February and that will the main mission he is already prepping for. December is right around the corner and we hope to move into a home by then, we won't be able to visit family for Christmas (so I guess it's going to be a big day for Skype-if we have internet), by the first week of January I can start both the job with the school and Chef Chai, Robbie goes to Virginia for dive training in the second week of January, then he starts command mid-January, and in February is Cambodia! So things will ramp up quickly!! Not to mention some medical stuff, but I’ll talk about that later. J

Otherwise, our life is simply waiting to hear about our date to move. We did buy a house and we are so close to closing! We are just waiting for the seller to do their termite inspection and we are ready to record. The place is a townhome in a complex with a pool. There is a detached two car garage, enclosed lanai (porch), and 3 bed/2 bath one story home. The third bedroom has an open wall into the living room and is more of an office. I believe you know how much I love color, but we will probably have to repaint into a few neutrals because the neon toothpaste mint in the bathrooms and passionate mandarin pineapple in the living room is a little too much for even me. Otherwise, our new home is a clean and wonderful home built in 2000 in Ewa Beach. J We hopefully will move out of our hotel and into our home mid-December. The only pressure for timing is that our government TLA allotment for hotel reimbursement ends Dec. 14 (we have 60 days and will have used them all!). As long as we are in by Dec. 14, I’m happy. J

Anyways, I hope this gives you a little insight into our lives. I love hearing from you too! I hope you get to bake Christmas cookies or at least eat some for me because I really wish I was able to have people over and do something festive for the holidays. The weather is between 70-80 degrees during the day and although beautiful, it’s not a true winter that I am used to. J

Thanks so much for reading!!

Audra (& Robbie too!)


10 Observations

Week 7 Living In A Hotel
(Week 9 w/o a home):

Observation #1)
I've learned I can live on very little however it is easy to forget there are crates full of things waiting for me!

Observation #2)
Home is where you are with your spouse however without sounding materialistic, I can't wait to see my stuff when we move!

Observation #3)
Living in a tourist area gives me a false reality of what Hawaii is really like; because I will have to pay for that nice cold A/C and warm bath water!

Observation #4)
Why does it say, "Patience is a virtue?" Because it is. Simple as that. A simple statement, yet hard to execute.

Observation #5)
I can decorate anything for the holidays!!! A 6 inch USB Christmas Tree from Target, a $3 strand of colored twinkle lights, and Pandora's endless holiday tunes; if that doesn't spread Christmas cheer I don't know what will!!

Observation #6)
New beginnings are equally scary and exciting. Adventure holds both.

Observation #7)
I have learned that I felt at home in our hotel (ie: stress level decreased) when I stopped using the TomTom to navigate to our hotel in Waikiki and repacked our suitcases to make available only the 'daily items'.

Observation #8)
Life is about who you know...hate to say it, but it's true! O'hana-family/close friends-When people take care of each other and the opportunities are endless.

Observation #9)
I sincerely believe traveling is no excuse to not prioritize the parents, sisters, and kiddos, plus close friends you left on the mainland. I do my best; but always try to communicate!

Observation #10)
Nothing is possible without prayer, grace, & love. :)


Hello Hawaii!

We have landed in a life
Where people see no strife.
Another day in paradise,
Could be somewhat nice.
But it's not all rainbows,
Sometimes it's simply different
Than my usual expectations.
I couldn't have imagined all God's blessings,
We even shared Thanksgiving dressings
Learning family-o'hana-includes
So many chicks and so many dudes!
What is expected of me here?
Life has simplified what I hold dear,
Living 2 months in a hotel up high.
Soon our Hawaiian home will be where I lie.
I'm thankful for provisions and a place
To be with my hubby and God's grace.
Glimpses of our life I will share,
I will tell you more, because I know you care! :)

Divine Donuts


Snooze Away!

Best breakfast ever! We went home to CO and ate breakfast at Snooze with our good friends. After seeing the most adorable yellow curvy coffee mugs ever, I was hooked.  I was able to find their mugs for sale online and my hubby said I could use it as a reward for finishing the HHG Claim with our military move that took 6 months to get the paperwork complete for our damaged goods and to be reimbursed. So now we have a lil' handmade ray of sunshine each morning from Colorado.

I love our Snooze mugs!

Scissor Grass

It never occurred to me that when mowing the lawn, it would actually turn into a dust storm because of our basically dessert collection of weeds: aka: grass. This weekend in my attempt to be a responsible home owner (renter) we watered the grass and cut the trim with a weed whacker. Simple, right?

Since we will be moving soon we haven't purchased a lawn mower or weed whacker. Who knew those were the hottest commodity in the entire Ozarks! People apparently dumpster dive for these items or share. I don't have the heart to do a drive by neighbor stalking session so we have borrowed these yard appliances. A few weeks ago the new neighbor down the street was trashing a lawn mower and after my hubby's encouragement to snag it, I knocked on the door (like a civil dumpster diver) and asked if they were keeping the lawn mower. They said I could have it! My hubby fixed it up and we now have a great mower for free. :)

This weekend we used our great machine, but it doesn't always get the edges so our lovely neighbors still get that random door knock to borrow their weed whacker. Since they were away at the moment and I was eager to complete the yard I agreed to a DIY version. First, I did some preparing for those tall pesky weeds by stomping the edges like a freak with my feet! Then I did another stomping session right in front of the mower while my hubby carefully mowed forward. So I'm sure our neighbors were home and laughing at us. The lawn mower got most of the tall unruly weeds but the others I figured I would help-with scissors.

Can you imagine it? My husband mowing our basically dead lawn of weeds in the 100 degree Saturday weather with a big dust funnel forming above him, then myself bending over like a crazy person cutting all the edges of our yard around the patio with scissors! It worked, it just made me laugh :)
It is a windy Martin Luther King Day! A year ago, I was passing out special activities for my 2nd grade students to celebrate their unknown celebrity of history. My, how much has changed since then! The dark clouds roll in and let the light flicker through the window. We have been so blessed in the short two weeks we've lived in St. Robert. We met several neighbors who share our enjoyment of laughter, play, and time hanging together. Then we found a church full of old West Point buddies from Robbie's school days and chatted through the lunch crowd at Panera (the sole attraction on a Sunday morning!). I'm so excited to already know so many people! Out of the 2500 people it feels like we've met 200! What great odds...Like a family member said, "Maybe we'll run for mayor at this rate!"

We have a spacious home and already feel like taking on home projects. Our neighbors have strongly influenced my New Years Resolution to be more eco-friendly. I got excited and planted seeds in an egg carton for growing indoors, then even took the banana peel outside to our wooded backyard! I have to laugh, wearing a headlamp and creaping out the side porch door with a banana peel does look suspicious! Robbie has taken on the Elantra as a project; somehow the heater went out with the first icy snow. Fabulous timing. Our squeaky engine alerts the neighbors that we don't own the twin to their beefy F250 with 20 inch rims. 

Today's forcast looks like a roadtrip to Springfield with a few showers of couch cuddles. Some eggs, biscuits, yogurt, and the smell of coffee are calling me to the kitchen. Enjoy your MLK Day!


I now live in St. Robert, Missouri. Life is simple, cold and full of hills.
Now I need to choose what to do with my time....