30 April 2012


Today, we have a ONE YEAR OLD bouncing around our house and getting into everything.
Exactly a year ago at 10:50am, little Mahie came popping out with a full head of hair and already blinking at the world around her. I remember the nurse placing her in my arms, and this tiny little bundle looked up at me with the most curious face. She even scared/shocked the doctor and my Mom when she raised her head up, already not needing support and very alert!! And of course, making the doctor laugh at how much she can eat. She has since been VERY interested in all things surrounding her, especially food. She has become one of my greatest teachers ever and continues to introduce new things to me everyday.

At ONE, she is a rascal. Seriously. Sometime we all wonder if I had a boy because this girl is for sure heading down the tom-boy path. The only time she cries is when her grandparents come home because SHE KNOWS she can get away with anything from them. Other than trying to be very independent (as in we call her name & she keeps walking away) now that she is an official walker, James and I are grateful to have been blessed with a healthy, smart and VERY happy baby.

A trip down memory lane. I'm glad I always had a camera near for these perfect shots!
Also, a BIG Mahalo to both local news channels: KITV4 News and KHON2 Wake-up Today. They both gave a birthday shout out to Mahie, which made me a very proud mama.
KITV4's Website
KHON2: Olena Perry below! The producer emailed us & said to watch at 5:20am & 6:50am.
You are our first born and we will probably expect a lot from you as the oldest. But you have taught us and will continue to teach us how to be patient, loving & forgiving parents. We work hard to provide the world for you, we look forward to every milestone you make, you will always be our baby girl. We are so glad to have you in our lives, in our home and in our arms to hug you good-morning and to kiss you good-night.

How lucky we are to have been blessed and entrusted by our Heavenly Father to care for and love such a sweet little spirit that we can call our own.  

We love you our Hawaiian-Navajo-Samoan "ONE YEAR-OLD!!"
xo, Mom & Dad

29 April 2012

Aspinall Mommy Update

So now that EVERYONE has caught up with our "BIDNESS", and ALLL THE PEOPLE who kept asking when the next baby is coming....AND after almost two weeks of our move (down the street), our things are still scattered everywhere. Mahie loves the space to run around, my parents love that Mahie is constantly running around them :) This girl loves to walk, she can't keep still, even while we feed her. She does however sit quietly for one thing only, which is when we have family prayer. My Mom taught her how to sit down and fold her arms, which is basically putting her two hands on her chest, lol. But she understands what "say prayer" means. We are amazed at how smart she has become and how quickly she understands new words. "Toys, baby, hug, kiss, drink, juice, food, go sleep, aua, sasa, brush your hair, dance, daddy, mama, grandma, grandpa, uncle, aunty hillary, puppies, cooper"...the list goes on. I crack up the most when our dog barks and she runs to the window, points her finger, and scolds Cooper with angry baby words. AND if you haven't seen my latest status update, for about a month and a half she has learned how to take off her diaper. The first time it happened, I came back from my morning class, scooped her up on my arms and felt bare okole! Looked in her crib, saw the diaper, saw 'it' smeared all over, looked down at my arm, and screamed at James to get up, hahaha. I'm sorry, but baby poo will always disgust me, even if I have a million kids. Anyways, that hasn't happened since, but we've figured out that if we take too long to change Mahie....well, she'll begin to change herself. Which is weird, because when we do lay her down for a change, she screams and kicks until she's free, eh.

With the addition of a new baby on our minds, our future game plan has changed since we've decided to have our little one here in the islands. We're not at all disappointed in putting a hold on Australia, especially with soooo many people giving us their "2cents" about Australia. (I never ask, but people give it to me anyways as soon as they hear or read 'Australia') But whatever, you know why? Because I am grateful that Heavenly Father has blessed me with a healthy body that CAN HAVE BABIES. A lot of women don't have it that easy. We're happy to have another little one (minus the post-labor recovery, ugh). And NO, to answer a friend's question. I haven't turned into a diehard exercise & soy milk drinking pregnant woman. If anything, my usual schedule has kept me 'maintained' so far, lol. As in I throw up every morning from 6:30-7:15a.m. And then I go to work and keep really busy from 8am-2pm and when we have private events at night. Not to mention I didn't realize I was already pregnant during my 2nd block of my jogging class. So...so far so good. But a little exercise doesn't hurt the heart right? I am thirsty though.

Having a job since high school, through college, pregnancy and with a baby, has made me realize that I enjoy working. I'm one of those Moms who enjoys being a mom and in the office. My husband knows that. My parent's know that. & Heavenly Father sure knows that too. A lot of things in my patriarchal blessing are beginning to make sense. And I'm slowly feeling the need to be back in school learning something new. Is that weird or no? Not really the papers, but the learning.
Sleep tight.

25 April 2012

Temple Marriage, Baby, DEGREE!!!

Saturday morning of April 14th, 2012 was both a dream come true and a nightmare. The last of my assignments were turned in, all of my credits approved, college life was at its end. It could've, would've, SHOULD'VE been a perfect celebration...but my world was turned upside down as I suffered the worst "morning sickness" I've ever experienced. It hit at 5a.m., in between trying to curl my hair & put on makeup, when dropping Mahie off at my Parents and when waiting for the commencement to begin and end. I didn't want to get out of bed at all that morning. James had to keep warning me, "Remember you need time to do your hair" lol. You can't tell by any of the pictures, but I was so nauseous that I wanted to just go home. It felt like time was going by so slowly and it did, because we started almost an hour late. I was dizzy, hungry and had the worst tension headache. All I really wished for, was to roll up my gown, use it as a pillow and take a quick nap on the floor where all the graduates waited. Then we started to march out, and for a couple minutes I felt fine because a girl tripped and fell and I didn't want to fall either, haha.
Can you spot my shaka??
Commencement was loooooong. I listened to only one talk, by Sis. Elaine S. Dalton, YW President. I'm glad I did, she was a very wonderful and inspirational speaker and made me forget about being sick for a bit, as I reflected on her counsel:

1. Remember who you are
 "You must never be like the world. You have been uniquely prepared to be unique. You are sons and daughters of God, and because of that knowledge, your response will not be the same as the world's response to any situation. You not only know who you are, but whose you are. That knowledge alone is now, and will continue to be, reflected in all your actions, reactions and associations."

2. Work hard
 "It is the secret of all great accomplishments. It is to learn to, and love to, work hard. It is to find satisfaction in going the distance and in completing a task and to love the labor of it all."

3. Train for adversity
 "Never, never, never give up."

4. Dream big
 "Don't lose sight of your dreams and when you dream — dream big. And remember attitude is everything. So, keep a positive outlook. Look for the silver lining. Don't get discouraged. Don't focus all your energy on negative situations — or people for that matter. Keep going. Put one foot in front of the other."

5. Winners do not always finish first
Sister Dalton shared a story of a group of youth who trained for and entered the Special Olympics. At the sound of the starter, one of the participants fell and began to cry. All of the other participants looked back and saw what was happening, turned around and helped the boy up. They linked arms and walked together to the finish line. "What matters in life is helping others win, even if it means slowing down and changing course."

 "You are not ordinary. You are extraordinary and you have been reserved to be here on the earth when the challenges and also the opportunities are the greatest. ...

"Today, I see kings and queens in the audience of this commencement gathering. You will be blessed by the King of kings as you remember who you are and live what you know, as you continue to work hard and train for adversity, as you never give up, as you dream big and as you remember that winners do not always finish first.

"Now, run into your marathon of faith and life. Don't get discouraged by the hills, but see the opportunity in adversity. Go with a sure foot and a sure knowledge that you are never alone."
It was a beautiful morning. I'm grateful for my parents, who've been there near and far as I persevered as a college student. My siblings for keeping me open-minded, patient and simply doing things for me when I ask. (And I ask a lot). And my incredibly hot husband, for always encouraging me that I can do anything, that I am smart, that I am special and that he loves me no matter what. I am grateful to have had a wonderful support system that got me to my educational accomplishment. I completed a Bachelor of Arts Degree in ICS: Communications with a minor in Political Science. My internship at PCC's Marketing Department hired me, so I work all day everyday with the best boss ever, Larie Manutai. I felt very loved by Sis. Dalton's counsel, by the numerous family and friends who congratulated me online & via text message (lol), and who pulled me here and there throughout the crowd to lei me. I know I missed a ton of friends because I left a little early due to feeling even more sick with the heaviness of the leis, the hot sun and wanting to throw up, but everyone made it a special day for me. 

I'm especially grateful to stand as an example for my children, that if we follow the Lord's and our Church Leader's counsel, we will truly find happiness in discovering hidden strengths and talents that we can stand back and smile upon.  
"A woman with a mother heart has a testimony of the restored gospel, and she teaches the principles of the gospel without equivocation. She is keeping sacred covenants made in holy temples. Her talents and skills are shared unselfishly. She gains as much education as her circumstances will allow, improving her mind and spirit with the desire to teach what she learns to the generations who follow her."--Julie B. Beck, "A 'Mother Heart,' " Ensign, May 2004, 75

Temple Marriage [CHECK]
Baby(ies) [CHECK]
Education [CHECK]
........and many more things to come! Why stop here?? 

16 April 2012

midnight cheerios

right now our tva home looks exactly like it did almost two years ago as newlyweds: empty, quiet, unorganized, food-less....except now we have a cute little baby snoring in the back room. It's bittersweet. We'll finally be escaping the list of pet-peeves we've been accumulating that's ONLY known in TVA. Inconsiderate neighbors, messed up tv, messed up water heating....and on and on....but then it's a little sad. We are leaving our first HOME. Our OWN private escape. The place where we first walked in as Mr. & Mrs. Aspinall. And where we returned one early morning, dark circles under our tired eyes with a precious newborn cuddled warm in my arms.

It's crazy how a one bedroom apartment, can accumulate so much STUFF over a short period of time. I guess I've been very good at organizing things into every little space we had, because it seemed like no matter what, our house was NOT emptying, haha. Eventually, after many trips to our car, back and forth to my parents (our next temporary bungalow before Down Under), to the dumpster, and to the donation bin....our home has a bed, tv, laptop and enough cheerios and milk to eat out of a cup we forgot behind. My back hurts, James' entire body aches...and yet we still have the fridge, bathroom & floor to get at, not to mention our tv. It's 12:38am, and basically our mood is "ahh freck it all" lol. We're on our break, we're almost pau, by 11:30am tomorrow we'll officially be checked out. I smell like lemon clorox wipes, James has bleach stains all over his red shirt, and we both have matching wrinkly but chapped hands from scrubbing everything. I'm pretty sure our apartment is way cleaner than when we moved in.

After we're out & the new bedroom is organized & we catch up on our sleep & when I can find time before returning to work.....then I'll update on the craziness of the past week. Like I GRADUATED, yay me....anyways, I hope we don't get fined for anything. TVA loves to collect money I hear, :)

TVA L110, it took me forever to memorize your address and now we're out of here. Goodbye gecko's and bogus ant traps....and the karaoke neighbors who belch until 1:30a.m.!!! But we'll miss you walls, who've seen James & I grow as a family....and have kept us sane from the world outside. Goodbye to all our friends who have definitely touched our hearts in some way....until we meet again!

11 April 2012

good, better, BEST

After this mornings 6am jogging class, I was completely finish with undergraduate assignments, FOR-EV-VER (sandlot). It's crazy, but at the same time not really, since I've had an easy going last semester. However looking back to when my college experience first started when my Mom said her goodbye's at my good ole' Heritage Halls dorm, living on my own, walking my butt everywhere IN THE SNOW, budgeting every crumb of my meals, coming home for summer vacay & being swept off my feet by my husband, transferring to BYU-Hawaii, getting married, living in TVA, full-time student+part-time working+full term pregnant, giving birth, and now graduating with my little one tearing my house down around me....and moving, wow, that ALL seems more amazing than an actual degree. Life is interesting.

I thought I wouldn't marry until 23, I'd finish at BYU-Provo and head on to Law or Grad School, travel the world inside and out, dress absolutely flawless everyday, never even THINKING about children and basically staying far far away from Laie.

And well, I got a BETTER deal.
Thanks Heavenly Father. For allowing me to be in the right place at the right time to meet James, and to allow us to create the lives we have so far. For Mahie...who drives me nuts and has taught me QUICKLY that I wasn't born with patience ;)

1st camera pic I sent to my parents!
Me & my roommate Bryn (who has a little boy now)
She was so nice, fun, sporty, and frickin weird it cracked me up that I became friends with her. After about 4 days being in Provo with my Mom and Aunty Linda, my Mom finally forced me to start taking things over to my dorm. It was cool checking in, getting my own key (& BYU rape whistle)....but as soon as I opened my door, I was like "what the hell?" There were pictures of pirates everywhere on the wall, bed, desk opposite me. I didn't mind the Johnny Depp ones, but I told my Mom that I wasn't staying there. Haha, Bryn and I made the best pair out of all the roommates in our dorm apartment. I remember knocking her out with my pillow because she kept farting one night, and then I got scared and poured water on her face. I introduced her to Rated R movies, lol, the good ones though aka The Patriot and 300, lol. We LOVED the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I hated her older brother and she knew I wanted to kill him, lol. I made her dye her hair goth black. She had my back when I told off our immature Relief Society President. She truly kept me active in Church, and taught me the difference between jam and jelly.

One thing why I always encourage anyone to go to school on the mainland, well, its because its on the mainland hello! For me, home will always be home....so take advantage of experiencing what's out there. Once I realized that I was my own Boss out there in Utah, I was definitely out and about. I truly experienced a fun and full two years of mainland college life. And if one thing, haoles know how to plan activities and they always have one right after another.
(Paramore Concert in VEGAS) Tammy, Claire & Bryn
Me & Amanda heading to her house in Camarillo, CA
Jesse & Me heading out to reggae concerts all over Utah
Me & Tara Thanksgiving break at her home in Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Sophomore Year "Campu Plaza" Roomies, Kaui, Sipopo, Me & Katie (LA Temple)

 Meeting awesome people & traveling the world
I loved that college (at both BYU's) offers you experiences to travel, FOR FREE! And you also learn more of the world, issues, differences out there.
(Paraguay-Argentia Trip) Tessi, Me, Steph & Kapua (Crystal)
Catching the Metro in DC (Political Science/Public Policy Trip) Samantha, Me & Chelly w/baby Javhan
Night Show Life
I'm glad I danced at Night Show. I made some of the best of friends there, who are now all Wifey's or Mommy's and live around the world. I learned to enjoy dancing other cultures, learning from the best & sharing the stage with the best. I danced both "Horizons" & "Ha", but miss all the girls from Horizons. I originally wanted to dance Canoe Show but didn't make the cut. In fact I was later told that I didn't get it because the girl auditioning didn't like me (WTF). I waited a week, nervously auditioned for Night Show and got it! (Better dancers get hired at Night Show anyways, lol)I became a makeup addict and hoarder! I got to meet the Prophet, majority of the Apostles, celebrities & traveling performance groups. I learned to manage school and work aka reviewing terms onstage in my head and running straight to the testing center before it closed. I also learned the definition of a "diva", how "politics" have a BIG influence on who gets hired/not hired, good/crappy costumes, front row/sand pit (lol), the itchy people that sleep around, the broke okole's who steal, and the fun ones who make me miss dancing. If I didn't do Night Show, I would've been a loner at BYU-H.

Getting Hitched!
Dating-Engaged-Married-TVA (lol) & Mahie
I'm glad I found my James Aspinall!

Studying & working while pregnant, while battling postpartum, while nursing, while your daughter is tearing the house upside down.
 lastly, ALWAYS being surrounded by the Gospel. 
Some members have a hard time having both Church and Education together. I found that the only time I didn't like the two together, was when I wasn't living my life correctly. I'm proud to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I'm grateful that my faith provided for my education, housing and college experience. I'm glad I attended BYU, however I will ALWAYS be a Cougar Fan :)

Like I said, I got the BETTER deal.
Wouldn't change a thing.
Looking forward to what the future brings.....BRING IT ON!

08 April 2012

the low down

It's crazy how so many events have gone by and EVERY TIME I feel like blog-sharin' but come home too late or too tired, and then still recovering the morning after but then the morning-after-responsibilities remind me I gotta hurry up and run to class then work all day. And then when you know it, another exciting blog worthy event pops up and I'm BACK to putting it off. (Like now I'm tired) However, I'm pretty sure that the majority of my blog subscribers are also friends with me on Facebook, so you've seen my status updates (My most recent being I busted some random weirdo smoking & about to pee in my parent's front yard) and mobile uploads of Mahie. Well, as of right NOW, here's the low down:
Today we celebrated Mahie's first Easter Sunday, and as our family tradition, she woke up to a new pair of church clothes. I only knew of one other friend (Renny) who's family also practiced this growing up. I'm surprised she didn't scratch at her tights. She looked like a fluffy little polka-dot cupcake. As you can see above, eggs didn't interest her at all. With all the craziness we didn't get her an Easter basket, she wouldn't have appreciated anyways I guess, but Grandma got her a new toy and we let her munch on a mini kitkat.

We also celebrated my Mom's birthday. Hands down to Safeway bakery for making yummy moist cakes, pretty impressed. She also got a new bike for her morning exercise. She was totally surprised and excited when we sang to her after dinner. It was nice relaxing with my whole family home and laughing at Mahie pulling everything off the shelves. Happy 52 Mom!! (Her birthday was actually April 3rd)
Earlier in the week, before all the rain and clouds, Kiana was off from the airlines so we hit the beach. Mahie is darker than the both of us, and freaked us out by darting straight to the water. Not afraid at all! I'm enjoying the fact that she is becoming more interactive. I asked her to help me dig a hole and showed her what to do, and she understood and helped clear the sand. She is such a smart girl. Too smart at times that we can't trick her anymore with certain things. And can I just say it's been hard lately trying to enjoy my OWN plate of food, because she'll drop whatever she's doing to get a piece of what you got. lol. Mahie loves to eat. I say she's like her father because she'll keep eating if there's food in front of her.
 Friday morning I took Mahie to say "to fa soifua" to my FOURTH and LAST semester of Gagana Samoa. I can't believe I made it to the highest level (with TONS of studying and help). First semester: Interested, but didn't take it seriously. Second semester: slightly dreaded but sat myself down and fully studied/embraced the language and culture. Third semester: Half confident, half dreading class, glad there's only one more semester. Fourth semester: Walk in my first day totally unprepared for fluent Samoan, with a different teacher, smaller class of students FROM SAMOA. I was so nervous, I forgot how to introduce myself in Samoan. Well, it being my last and required class for graduation, I told James I was gonna push myself, and I did. Perfect attendance for a 7:30am class. Since I took tons of notes in class and studied my brains out for tests, I can brag and say I usually scored the highest on all the tests. I learned my Mother-in-law's entire fa'alupega for her village Vailoa in Aleipata....went a day early than everyone else's speeches and was the ONLY one who scored perfect in memorization, pronunciation, and knowledge of what I was saying. Shabooya!! All in all, I learned alot, but THANK GOODNESS I'm pau. FYI I'm proud to be Hawaiian :) He Hawaii au mau a mau!!!!
That Friday night James and I went to my Graduation dinner for ICS graduates. My hair was totally not the business since it was raining hard outside. A total waste of hot rollers. Hmmm....ICS needs to step up their game, lol. I could've gone without attending, seriously. As soon as we got there, we wanted to leave. I should've been in charge of planning that dinner. As always though, it's the thought that counts right!
We've been passing out invites for Mahie's 1st birthday, booking things to entertain the kiddies, gathering decorations, etc. I'm sad that some of my close friends won't be there to enjoy it. Hopefully it will be fun, lol. I'm still waiting for school to GET OUT OF THE WAY and then I'll fully wrap my head around the party.

And school....will be officially done this Saturday morning at graduation. We have a busy week of filing out important school, mail, health insurance, change of address, alumni papers. Deciding what to sell, throw and pack. Upcoming deadlines, appointments, papers. Our house is a cluttered mess. It's basically crunch time, but I'll save the crunching for tomorrow morning. Our move isn't that stressful since it's a temporary stay at my parents. I feel sorry for our TVA neighbors who have to get rid of everything and move to the mainland. I'll miss the friends we made here.

A reminder in our lives:
"As I think about your schedules and the pressures you face at this time in your lives, I can understand why scripture study can so easily be neglected. You have many demands pulling at you. In some cases, just maintaining your social life is a full-time occupation. But I plead with you to make time for immersing yourselves in the scriptures. Couple scripture study with your prayers. Half an hour each morning privately studying, pondering, and communicating with your Heavenly Father can make an amazing difference in your lives. It will give increased success in your daily activities. It will bring increased alertness to your minds. It will give you comfort and rock-steady assurance when the storms of life descend upon you." -Elder Ballard

Good night Easter bunny.