Friday, June 22, 2012

Kindergarten is Completed!

And just like that kindergarten is over.

I still can’t believe Devyn will be a first grader. Gone is the little girl who repeatedly wrote her “j” and “e” backwards. She no longer writes her sevens and threes backwards, and the girl who used to always skip number 15, now counts to well over 100 without skipping a beat…or a number.

From now on the coloring becomes less frequent. Beginning next year, individual desks will replace classroom tables. Bags get heavier with math notebooks and required reading books. Special classroom parties become less common and Devyn will be more independent. This years wide-eyed rookies will return as veterans in August. 

Devyn had a wonderful experience with an amazing teacher who had great expectations. The day of her Kindergarten graduation was bitter sweet. If only Miss Stewart is able to move up to first grade with her. She really loved on Devyn this year. I was a proud momma that day. My Devyn thrived in her class. She is now reading and doing math well above her grade level and brought home the Academic award. Devyn has a natural bent towards learning and I loved watching her succeed. 

This past school year has also been good for me. I've learned to let go--a little. With Devyn being our only child, Kindergarten was huge for both Uela and I. I felt like I graduated with her. Perhaps they could consider handing out diplomas to parents like me who are rookies at the kindergarten experience. “This diploma is presented to you on the 31st day of May, 2012 for successfully navigating the role of Parent to a Kindergartner. You showed patience when teaching site words, humor upon hearing recess tales, enthusiasm for timing "Rocket Math" and the ability to find wall space in your house for showcasing projects your child completed.” 

Actually scratch that. A big smile from my kindergarten graduate was all I needed.
Miss Stewart was in tears :(  and she loved the crayon monogram!
Devyn & Jaice getting their certificates
Proud grandparents, minus my dad hard at work
Aunties and Uncles who had a big part in Devyns success
Proud daddy and her Aunty Ola
We're number ONE!
Horizon Kindergarten class of 2012


Thursday, June 21, 2012

This momma is back in school!

Okay so if you've been following my blog for awhile, then you know that going back to school was something that I've been planning to do. This week I finally did it!

I have been suppressing my feelings towards going back to school but when the day came for me to take my mommy hat off and strap on my back pack, I was more nervous than a prized turkey in November.

First day of school, feelings of inadequacy and inability came over me. I felt like a fish out of water. My last class had a quiz within the first hour of class and a rigid assignment was due the very next day along with another quiz. <---In true BYU fashion of course! The professor was spitting terminology like ciphers and it all seemed like a foreign language. Transitioning from seven years of Dr. Seuss books to statistics equations is as smooth as my driving skills.

Did I really make the right decision? Am I going to be able to handle this, especially when Devyn is back in school? Questions started to fill my mind. I've been over these a million times before I made the official decision to start school this summer, but it was now my way out!

I came home feeling defeated and extremely overwhelmed, but I hit the books hard and crammed my brain out that night. I finally got to bed so exhausted in every possible way--physically, mentally & emotionally. I broke out in tears, completely letting out all the emotions I was encountered with that first day of school. Then in the dark of night when I thought everyone was fast asleep, I heard my husbands sweet voice whisper words of comfort and wise council, "Remember your WHY!"

At that moment, I knew I was going to be okay, as long as I remembered WHY I had made the initial decision to go back to school--for personal growth, to better my family and be a better role model for my children in hopes that they will obtain a higher education.

So here I am with the second day of school behind me and I think I just freaked myself out on the first day. My husband will testify that I'm the biggest worrywart. I'm getting into the groove of things and there are millions of mothers who have done it. I'm just glad I FINALLY took that first step!


Saturday, May 26, 2012

Crayon Monogram: DIY project

So I thought I'd do something more personalized for Devyn to gift her teacher at the end of the year. I found this project on Pinterest five months ago and started to research it out. Everyone was asking about the letter "S" and some unsuccessfully tackled it. It just so happens that Devyns teachers name is Miss Stewart. Just my luck! I had nightmares of crayon shavings smeared everywhere and an unrecognizable, deformed "S", so I started to think of other options for a gift but none as cute as the crayon monogram.

Today, I finally mustered up enough courage to take it on. I got all the supplies I needed, rolled up my sleeves and went to work. I probably didn't blink or take a breath til it was done. It was so much easier than what I had played out in my head.

Here is the finished product and I am very happy with it.

This would also be adorable in a bedroom/nursery

*diy tip- Xacto knife is key in cutting crayons precisely. Also, I printed out my S on a practice sheet and as I cut the crayons, I glued the crayons together. Not on the practice sheet but glued crayons together as I went. So the S was already formed and all I had to do was hot glue the whole letter onto the cardstock.

Frame: $3 from Michaels (%50 percent off sale plus online coupon)
Box of Crayons: $1
Cardstock: $.60
Total cost: $4.60

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Concrete Jungle where dreams are made of

Two weeks ago, I was in New York City with a friend. It was my first time there, so I walked along the crowded streets with huge eyes and wonder. I was like a kid in a candy store.

I was completely taken and suddenly, I had an epiphany. I felt like Jay-Z's home boy. Made me want to raise my hands in a form of a diamond and drop lyrics about a city I love. I get it. Whatever it is. It hit me like a ton of bricks. We planned this trip on the fly and the next thing you know, we're staying in the city, riding the subway like pros, walking through Central Park, having Jr's famous cheesecake, bargaining on Canal street, devouring Serendipity's frozen hot chocolate and running across streets dodging cars. That last part? Sooo New Yorker.

The big apple took a big bite out of me and I'll never be the same. The energy...diversity...creativity...the life there seems unstoppable.

I fell so madly, deeply in love. With everything and everyone. With its inspiring, enchanting feeling and imagining myself walking the streets of NYC and owning them. I felt alive in that moment and realized Jay-Z is definitely on to something--one hand in the air for the big city. Street lights, big dreams all looking pretty. No place in the world that can compare...In New York, Concrete jungle where dreams are made of, there's nothing you can't do, now you're in New York, these streets will make you feel brand new, big lights will inspire you, lets hear it for New York, New York, New York...

There is no denying that there is something magical about New York!


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

I'm in no way a Valentine's kinda girl. I feel like it's too commercialized and too mandatory. But I totally get it. Any reason to celebrate LOVE is fine by me and I love what the day represents.

I'm not into pink and red gifts or anything over the top. But I do love thoughtfulness. I asked Uela not to get me any gifts or over-sized balloons stuffed with a teddy bear inside that reads "Be Mine." As a teen I wanted the heart shaped chocolate and red roses proclaiming love, but today I'm happy just being together. In fact, a simple dinner for two would be perfect...normal, yet perfect.

This morning, I woke up to a handful of kisses and a handwritten note. While quite simple, it's simply perfect. 

I hope you have an amazing Valentine's Day and you surround yourself with love!


Saturday, February 4, 2012

February: Fall in love with...myself

I've lost confidence in myself more times than I care to admit, and to say it's been difficult for me would be the greatest understatement I could make. After the wedding bells and baby in a baby carriage, I just let myself go. My weight, body, hair...everything. And along with all that went my confidence. 

So as part of my Happiness Project 2012 I have realized, I need to make some changes. For the month of February--the month of love--I will focus on loving myself. Fitting. Problem is, as I sat and thought about the focus for February, I questioned...How do I love myself? Thinking about it seems as difficult as seeing the back of my head. As elusive as it is, I know it is necessary.  

In truth, I know that loving myself is a prerequisite to loving others and self-confidence will grow as a by-product of self-love. Honoring myself is in fact the only lasting way to release a truly selfless kindness to others. So, the real and lasting focus for the month of February is to remove what obstructs me so I can be who I am, holding nothing back.   

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Calling out to the DIY gods

January: Cleaning out the closets
As part of my happiness project this year, January's focus is on clearing the clutter. Every clutter imaginable...physical, mental, spiritual, etc.

I'm starting with the little things before tackling the closets and drawers. I've been needing one for quite some time. Everything is scattered all over every little candle holder, cup, hook, you name it--every nook & cranny.

The Dilemma
Necklaces, hats, headbands hanging on anything they can find & hiding my big candle sconces.
Earrings, wedding ring & watch scattered everywhere.
The Solution
A cheap DIY jewelry holder and organizer.

Something to tackle and help clear the cutter.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Year in Review

Happy Twenty Twelve!
This year, like the last couple of years, we forewent the late night party and started 2012 all cozy in bed. I will say, I am happy to see 2011 go. While it brought a lot of new friends, new family members, good memories, family trips, and much happiness. I am really glad to put behind  the heartache and trials that we dealt with throughout last year. I can say, however, that I did learn A LOT about my self this last year.

A partial recap of 2011

Trip to Vegas with some girlfriends. Fun, Fun, FUN!!

Family trip to Hawaii to spend another mother's day with my grandmother.

My brother Vini returns home from serving 2 yrs in San Bernardino, CA mission.

The Aussie and NZ cousins visit America.

My dear grandmother dies at age 90.
Devyn started kindergarten.

Tapusoa family reunion was a big hit.
Cute little nephew Talitonu is born.

Amidst our share of struggles, Uela and I celebrate another year of friendship and love.

I happily casted 2011 a fond (or not so fond) farewell. So what's in store for 2012? A happier, skinnier, healthier, go-getter, peaceful-er ME! Leti 2.0.

Cheers to the new year, new challenges and new triumphs!