(*gasp* A new blog post?!?)

Matt and I traveled someplace totally lame and boring last week. Hawaii. Specifically, Molokai. I know, I know. Ugh. Well, actually, the whole story about our adventure getting there is very “ugh”. Short version: insanely long security lines at Sky Harbor -> missed flight -> new flight to Kona (big island) which was 7.5 hours and an hour delay on runway -> hopper flight to Honolulu ->  all this caused us to miss our flight to Molokai -> rescheduled us on two separate flights to get there -> finally arriving on Molokai.

But totally worth it because it was soooooo beautiful! We met up with Dad, Rae and Tim there. Miles and miles of undeveloped/uninhabited land. Tons of little beaches to explore that had only you as visitors. We snorkeled, we did some spear fishing. Well, the boys did. We fished. We stayed in a beautiful condo that had papaya trees and a rooster, peacock, and two turkeys that made their rounds each day. We saw beautiful coral, reef fish and sea turtles galore. Sometimes, we were the only car on the road. The town was teeny tiny.

Here are a few snippets. You can find all of them here.  

Those rocks were an excellent snorkel spotOur beach on day 1

Watch out, fishies!
Gonna spear me some fish!

It's been a long time since a sibling picturesibling pic

We're the only ones around except for a few people on a boatHarbor – day 2

All ready to snorkel!Ready to snorkel!

UntitledFinal beach – just explored the tide pools behind me because it was too rough to snorkel

So that was Molokai in a nutshell. Such a beautiful place.

We flew back to Oahu. Matt was flying home but not until 9pm. So he and I walked to his fave place – L & L’s bbq – to eat, and walked back. Then, we packed up and drove to a beach (all of us and the doggies) so Matt could try out surfing. He caught a few waves! Next, back to the house. Matt and I were still antsy, Tim and Dad were pooped. Rae was at work. So we went to do the Manoa Falls hike. I did it when Phil and I visited back in 2010, but Matt hadn’t done it before. It’s a beautiful, tranquil place.



We finished it off with Hawaiian shaved ice. Then it was time for Matt to head to the airport. Aloha!

I stayed until Monday. We took it easy. I would take the moped down to Waikiki beach to catch some sun rays each day. I went to Kailua for a day to visit some shops I found last time. We went shell collecting. Ate lots of good food. Had a family dinner with Tim and his gf and Rae’s boys. Oh, and I got to swim with dolphins! I’ll have to do a separate post with those pictures.

I flew back Monday afternoon. As usual, I didn’t want to leave! But I’ll be back again soon.

A year ago …

Exactly 365 days ago, we were in China. Specifically in Jianjiagang. Meanwhile, back home, Beebop was suffering from major migraines. Communication back home was not often, and so we didn’t know what was going on. I think we found out she was getting an MRI towards the end of our trip. I think we got home the day after her MRI. We were in a haze of extreme jet lag when we found out about the tumor. It was world-stopping.

There was a waiting period (I don’t remember how long) before the surgery. Here are some pics from either during that time or while waiting for the results of the MRI.














(Modeling their dresses from China. Yes, it’s blurry but it captures their happiness so perfectly).



(Playing behind Nina’s couch.)



(Except for some shadows under her eyes, who could tell?)


Well, fast forward through a major brain surgery; endless MRI’s; infections; multiple hospital stays; unbearable pain that she bore with strength, courage and grace; radiation therapy; months and months of nausea and headaches; missing many days of school and ballet rehearsal; and so much more that I couldn’t possibly understand.

It’s a year later. She is 9 years old, about to turn 10. The family attended her and Keek’s dance recital on May 18th. We sat with our jaws dropped as we watched her perform. She was AMAZING! Yes, we have family bias. But an unbiased opinion would still say she was the best in her group. She had, what I call, the triple threat.

1) She is a smartie. Beebop knew her dance routines to perfection. There was never a moment of hesitation. She anticipated every move.

2) She is a natural dancer. She has rhythm, poise and grace. That girl can shake her booty!

3) She is a performer. Anyone who knows Beebop knows she isn’t shy. She blossoms in attention. She had amazing stage presence.


Now, I have to give some praises to Keeks as well. She LOVES ballet with all her heart. She is graceful, and thoughtful. She performed beautifully with her shy, sweet smile. She was the most adorable person on stage in her little fru-fru, tu-tu costumes (ok, that was a biased statement). We could not stop squealing at her cuteness while she performed!


And after the concert, they both had the most beautiful glow. So did Mom and Dad.

This amazing family, living in the joy of the moment.


This amazing mama, who has endured what no mama should have to endure. This mama, who loves her girls to pieces.


This amazing dad, who has been the rock of his family. This dad, who has provided, withstood and sacrificed. Who shouldered the burdens of his family with strength.


This amazing sister, who is so silly sometimes it’s hard to get a focused shot! Who worried and prayed for her sister. Who sweetly and strongly stood by her sister. Who brought rays of sunshine into our dark days.


This amazing aunt, who provided solace to the family through her medical training, her love, and her thoughtfulness. Who took care of Keeks through all the hospital stays, and loved her as her own. All while taking care of her family too!


These amazing Grandparents, who spent endless hours at the hospital. Who did whatever they could to be there for the family. Who cheered up, soothed, comforted and spoiled Beebop and Keeks.


(unpictured: Aunt S, who was there but was camera shy! Snagged this pic from Aunt K’s blog post about the same thing!)

This amazing aunt, who was there for S, as only a sister could be. Who used her creativity and humor to console the family. Who loved on them with all her heart.


And this Aunt, who is SO proud of her nieces!

These were the family at the recital, but there are others equally important. Uncle Justin, Uncle Phil, Jeff, Mick, Dad, Rae, and Uncle Tim – who all loved and supported just as much from near or far.

We face the future with faith, hope and love. We got each other’s backs!

More adorable pics here.