Life In a Nutshell

wpid-20140614_110107.jpgIt has been a little over three months since we moved to Honolulu. Honestly, life is really good. Amazing even. We go everywhere, we enjoy each others company and things have really started to slow down in a good way. I finally feel like I am not missing out on moments. Since I am not working I am really enjoying being a Mommy. Believe me, it was definitely a transition, but overall the right decision for myself and my family. 

Now that things have settled and I have really taken the time out to enjoy myself things have kind of come together. Life has me going in the direction of Nutrition & Health. That being said, I have re-enrolled in school (despite the ridiculous amount of loans I am currently paying for Graduate & Undergrad School) and am studying Nutrition & Health and Weight Management. 

So what’s next? 

I am currently working on my Website www.labouldennutrition.com I am looking forward to starting a Health & Wellness business, but until I am Certified and finished in school, I will just blog about it! 

That being said, I will eventually take this Blog down and put all of my efforts into my new Website & Blog. I hope you will start following me at www.labouldennutrition.com. See you soon!

Makapu’u Point Lighthouse Trail

This past weekend we spent a lot of time enjoying the outdoors here in Oahu. We have been here exactly a month now, and more and more each day I love calling Hawaii home (especially coming from Ft. Polk). 

The hubs and I have been talking about hiking for the last few weeks. My only concern was finding a kid friendly trail (since we have yet to buy hiking packs sufficient for my 2 little giants). I managed to locate a paved hike at Makapu’u Point. The trail is easy to get to from the Fort Shafter area (H1 to Hwy 72) and there is a free parking lot directly at the beginning of the trail.  We put both kids in the double stroller and brought the carrier for baby just in case. 

The trail itself is just under 3 miles (round trip) and if you are pushing a stroller, be prepared to have a great leg workout. You are literally hiking up a mountain and pushing kids…enough said.

The views are INCREDIBLE. Whether going up or down, you are going to have some amazing picture moments.  

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Makapu’u used to be a Military Fort so if you are looking you can find old bunkers.

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Here is a bit of history we came across on the hike – a memorial for a nine American naval aviators that crashed in the area.
wpid-20140703_100414.jpg I strongly suggest you slather yourself (and any kiddos) in sunscreen. The sun is always shining right on you, and the earlier you go the better.  But if you need a moment, or just want to sit and enjoy the views, the trail also has a couple of pretty shaded areas.

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Or you can be like my hubs and grab a seat on a mountainside (while coercing your wife to take the obligatory shirtless photo).

wpid-img_20140703_124010.jpg Once we made it up photos were a definite. There is an “observatory area” at the very top where you can look out and get some great views of Rabbit Island & Kaohikaipu Island. 

wpid-img_20140707_090531.jpg (This is a picture of the 2 islands that I took on the drive out). 

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By the time we were ready to head back down baby was over sitting in the stroller, so I switched him to the carrier and took the obligatory “selfie.” I strongly suggest not using the carrier if your child weighs as much as mine. 23lbs on your chest is not the greatest idea while hiking. We are definitely shopping for a back pack for the kids before the next hike!

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This was definitely a great one for our first hike on the island!  

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First Comes Love: Jeremy & Amanda

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1. Tell us your story. How did you and your spouse meet?

In January 2001 I was starting the second semester of my freshman year at Mary Washington College and I was living in an all-female dorm with roommates from Hell. Most weekends I went home just to get away from them. I had become good friends with a girl that lived across the hall from me and she begged me to stay on campus the following weekend so that I could meet her new boyfriend that was coming up from Fort Eustis. I really didn’t want to stay just for that, but she was so insistent and excited, I said that I would. Her boyfriend arrived with another soldier that had apparently liked the idea of a weekend in an all-female dorm. When I came by to meet the new boyfriend I was introduced to Jeremy and was immediately very glad that my friend convinced me to stay. He didn’t say much for the first few hours but once we got more comfortable with each other, we talked non-stop for 2 days. He called me a few days later to ask if he could come to visit again and we’ve been “Amanda & Jeremy” ever since. 

2. What have each of you learned about yourself while being married?

Jeremy’s says he’s learned that he doesn’t need as much alone time as he thought he did. I try to let him have time to decompress, especially after a trip, but he says the longer we’re together, the more he’d rather spend off-time together.

3. If you could go back to yourselves as newlyweds, what advice would you give yourselves?

Marriage is hard. Military marriages are harder. Everything that’s important in a marriage,…trust, communication, sex, finances…is even harder to maintain when your apart for long periods, when you’re adjusting to living together again after a deployment, when you’re family continues with day-to-day life while you’re away, and when your spouse’s job dictates every aspect of your life. In that environment it’s easy to let issues ferment. DON’T!! Hurt will turn to anger and anger will turn to resentment if you let it. Address problems as they come. And I don’t mean have a fight and then make up sex. Work to resolve the issue. If you’re still fighting about the same stuff ten years down the road, you haven’t fixed it yet.

4. What is the biggest lesson you have learned while being married?

Jeremy was used to taking care of Jeremy for most of his life. He did things when he wanted, the way he wanted, with little outside influence. Marriage has taught him that committing yourself to another person means that, big or small, he must consider me in every decision he makes. Whether it be a career move, an expenditure, how he conducts himself in public, or how he spends his time at home, his choices affect more than just him now. 
 
I am a textbook, A-type control freak and I always want to have a game plan. Being married to Jeremy (and the Army) has taught me that it is OK (and necessary sometimes) to ask your spouse for help. He’s my partner in life and that means that when I have too much on my plate, I need to feel comfortable asking him for help.

Trust, and honesty are the most important elements in a relationship. Without these two things, there is nothing.

5. What advice would you give to other military couples (if this applies)?

Your spouse’s military career can only be successful if they have a power-partner backing them up. This life isn’t for everyone and if either of you is having to worry about the other’s fidelity, spending habits, social behavior, ability to keep the household functioning, substance abuse, etc., you’re never going to go the distance. Jeremy knows when he leaves on a trip that I’m going to keep our household rolling, our son will be loved and cared for, the dog will be fed, and the bills will get paid, and I’m not going to do anything insane while he’s gone. That peace of mind allows him to focus on his mission and look forward to coming home to a happy, healthy environment. In return, I know he’s going to jump back into our home life without skipping a beat and be a happy, healthy, present husband and father. At the end of day that’s what its about. 

Amanda & Jeremy have been married for just over 10 years. They have an adorable son Gabriel and a personality filled dog named Murphy. They are currently stationed at Ft.Campbell, KY.

If you would like to be featured please email me at laboulden21@gmail.com and I will forward you the questionnaire. (This applies to Military and Non Military couples)! Thank you so much and I can’t wait to read about you!

Need a Reason to Break Up? Here Are 10

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A recent surge of Facebook status updates on my feed that involved relationship happenings and drama reaffirmed two things for me:

Some things are WAY better left off of Facebook/the internet in general.

There are just some things that a relationship probably can’t come back from. 

So based on a few of these updates, here are 10 reasons you probably shouldn’t stay with your husband/wife/significant other.

1. You just found out about secret children.

2. You just found out about an ex-spouse of some sort.

3. There is a secret house/apartment that you had no idea about.

4. You found an “extra” phone that you had no idea that he/she had…and that you definitely don’t have the number to.

5. A bank statement just came in…but you didn’t know he/she had a bank account at Bull Crap & Lies Credit Union.

6. You just learned about an additional email account that just so happens to end with the numbers 69.

7. It turns out he/she was fired from their job months ago….so where have they been going everyday?

8. In an effort to try to reach them while they are on yet another business trip, you just learned that their position definitely does not require them to travel…at all…ever…like never…

9. You just learned that his unit is definitely NOT in the field..or there was no scheduled TDY.

10. Your status update has the words “again” in it…they just lied, cheated, hurt you or whatever AGAIN.

Markets, Honey & Pinterest Projects

I finally feel like I can post a decent weekend recap, since we did a few different things. Usually we do one family trip and then get back to the house to continue unpacking moving boxes. But this past weekend we managed to get a lot in.

Saturday we got up early to visit our first Farmers Market here in Oahu. We went to the one at Kapiolani Community College. It was full! But definitely worth going to.

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They have produce, jams, honey, breads, seafood, music and some delicious prepared food. If you ever go make sure you wear tons of sunscreen (because even at 9am that sun is hot) and bring a reusable bag if you are purchasing items.

My favorite purchase was the apple banana (it is half the size of a regular banana and has a sweeter taste) it basically solved all of my “banana has too many carbs but I still want to eat them all day” problems.

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I saw people walking around with these babies and I was all over it! I don’t know if I wanted it more for the fresh lemonade or the huge mason jar.

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My husband’s favorite thing by far:

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Tons of different honey. And the vendors will let you try the different flavors and give you a good little lesson on each one. The Ohi’a Lehua was my favorite. It came from the Big Island and has an almost buttery taste.

On our way back from the the market we had to stop so that I could feed baby. How lucky were we to find this little spot it Waikiki.

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Daddy did a good job of entertaining Babygirl while my chunky butt got fed (Boobs are the best invention ever). And after a few I joined the fun.

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Do you see that big boy! 7 months and 23lbs and he is strictly on breast-milk!

After all of our fun Saturday (which also included the commisary, Sam’s and Walmart). I wanted to work on a cork board project that I had seen on Pinterest. It was SO easy! Old cork board, new fabric, adhesive spray and tacks.  It made my kitchen tech center look so much better!

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I also glued matching buttons to the tacks and project done.

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Throw in walks and a trip to the park and that was our weekend in a nutshell. So now it is back to unpacking and trying to get this cluster fudge aka home organized. But we had a great weekend. How was yours?

 

First Comes Love: Brittany & Mike

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1.Tell us your story. How did you and your spouse meet?

We met in September, 2001 in Montclair, VA through our friend (and Mike’s best friend) Shorty (Shawn Huffman). Mike happened to stop by Shorty’s house after they got off of work. Our first verbal exchange was me complimenting him on his Jordan’s, and him complimenting me on the sweater I was wearing. He still has an exceptional collection of Jordan’s, and my sweater collection, 12 years later, is pretty serious too.

2. What have each of you learned about yourself while being married?

Mike: I have learned that I used to be a selfish douchebag, and compromise is the way to go.

Brittany: I have learned that I have to be as forthcoming with my expectations, desires, and needs as possible. Holding my tongue to avoid confrontation only perpetuates said confrontation. I have also learned that I must look at everything from his perspective.

3. If you could go back to yourselves as newlyweds, what advice would you give yourselves?

For us, our advice would be, “Don’t get married. Everything is perfect the way it is.” This is specific to our situation. We are not in any way suggesting that no one should get married. WE simply did not need the marriage certificate. (We became official 2002, married 2005, separated 2/2008, divorced 7/2008- we were only separated for 4.5 months, and even then we talked on the phone for hours every day. I went with Mike to divorce court and shook our lawyer’s hand).

4. What is the biggest lesson you have learned while being married?

Trust, and honesty are the most important elements in a relationship. Without these two things, there is nothing.

5. What advice would you give to other military couples (if this applies)?

We are not a military couple, however, we are still going to answer this question. Be friends first, and live together before getting married.

Brittany and Mike have been together for 12 years. They live in Dublin, Texas where Brittany is a Band Director and Professional Flutist and Mike owns a Plumbing and Remodeling Company.

If you would like to be featured please email me at laboulden21@gmail.com and I will forward you the questionnaire. (This applies to Military and Non Military couples)! Thank you so much and I can’t wait to read about you!

Out and About in Oahu

This past weekend we took the kiddos to the King Kamehameha Parade in Waikiki. It was really fun to experience the local culture and get a good history lesson as well. I have heard so many things about the high cost of living in Hawaii, regardless of this, I still think it is possible to find fun things to do that don’t cost a thing!

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The traditional clothing was gorgeous!

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I do believe these guys were the most appreciated during the parade!

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Babygirl was too funny waving and yelling “hi” to everyone!  We will have to teach her “Aloha.”  I am pretty sure she had the best seats though!