two people, one dog, and one baby figuring out life in Hawaii

Sunday, December 13, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Last weekend Kenny and I got our Christmas tree at the local tree farm. It was PRETTY chilly outside, so we picked a good Fraser Fir and made our way home!

We got it all decorated and listened to some great holiday music (a little Bing Crosby). Please also notice our Advent Wreath! I have been wanting one of these since we got married. My mother's church bookstore connection has finally paid off, and she got us the wreath, candles, AND snuffer as an early gift! Kenny has not done a good job of holding up the tradition of fighting over who gets to light the candles and snuff them out, but hopefully with each passing year, he will get into the Buchanan tradition!

We also went to a beautiful wedding down in Seattle where we got to see the 49ers who happened to be staying at the hotel!
We have also had three Christmas parties this week! I had my VQ-1 Spouse's club party, and we have had two parties for Kenny's squadron.

Kenny and I won a Starbucks gift card!

It has been a packed week, and we are looking forward to getting to the east coast to hang out with family and friends!

I hope you and yours are gearing up for a great holiday season!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

So here I thought Kenny would be the one to post, but this weekend I got pretty caught up on life, and poor Kenny was the one working until almost 8pm on Friday night.

We flew into Honolulu on the 25th and the weather was cloudy, but WARM! We spent the first afternoon just hanging out with the other 3 couples and recovering from an eventful 6 hour flight. The girl in front of us had a medical emergency while we were in the air. It was rather exciting and not in a good way. She ended up fine, but epi pens were pulled out and oxygen was turned on. That evening we went to dinner at a restaurant in Honolulu where you got to grill your own food. My Mahi Mahi was so mouthwatering I wasn't willing to share (woops).

The next day was Thanksgiving. We spent the morning on the beach before getting to have a Thanksgiving feast! We had a turkey that was cooked Hawaiian style in the sand! It was so tender and moist. There was delicious stuffing with sausage in it, and broccoli casserole, and the Vaughn Potato Casserole, and my pecan pie :)

The view off the back of the house on Thanksgiving Day!
I look a little pale, but oh so warm!
The next day was a surf lesson for everyone while I lounged and soaked up the sun while reading for fun. My idea of heaven. :) After another day on the beach, it was time to head back to the house and rest up for Saturday's adventures.

Off to conquer the waves of Waikiki...

Yeah, he is like a pro...
Not too shabby!
Everyone else was heading to the Hawaii/Naval Academy game, so Kenny and I headed to Pearl Harbor, hiked the Manoa Falls, hiked Diamond Head, drove up the Northern coast, and ate Mexican on the North Shore. My souvenir was a Pearl Harbor DVD for my class. I was so excited to be there at such a historical landmark. It made me want WWII to come faster in US History. To heck with Jackson and the National Bank :) Kenny's souvenir was a cool book on the plane that Papaw flew! All in all, it was an awesome day!

USS Arizona Memorial

USS Utah Memorial
Hiking up the Manoa Falls (where LOST is definitely filmed!) Hikers have come down this trail and seen the crew filming!
Diamond Head Crater. Kenny is the only one near the edge because I may have a WEE fear of heights. Let's just say, had Kenny not been there to encourage me, and had I not said the Lord's Prayer over and over, I might not have made it!
Yeah, we hiked up that.
Just the coast of Oahu. Kind of beautiful!
Sadly Sunday we had to pack up and head back to the wind and cold. Before everyone else got up, Kenny and I drove down the coast from our house to take some pictures of the beautiful scenery. Where we were staying was just down the road from where parts of LOST is filmed. We are HUGE LOST fans, so we were pretty pumped! We even stayed down the road from "The Others" homes which were first The Dharma Initiative's homes. If you don't watch the show, don't worry about it. We were jazzed, but then it was time to take out the trash and head to the airport.

Last morning... :(
The Other's Houses! (Or the YMCA camp)

We were so glad to get to be warm and get to see Hawaii before we move from the west coast! We certainly will have to go back!

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


I am sure you are waiting for our extensive Thanksgiving post, but I am in the midst of grading until my fingers bleed and planning until I dream about the formation of our great nation and setting up our first NHS induction ceremony....With that, I just want to say, welcome December and Advent. I hope that you all had a fabulous Thanksgiving, and I have tasked Kenneth with the Hawaii/Thanksgiving post since he is the less busier of the two of us. :) I am sure he will do a great job!

Happy Advent!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A little Goodbye...

This week we said a little goodbye to our first friends here. Literally, first friends. First people who had us over for dinner on my first night visiting in Oak Harbor. First people we went to a squadron event with. First people who went through the first deployment with us. First people who welcomed us as newlyweds. First people who we had Thanksgiving with. The list goes on and on. The support of the Saxtons in our first two years of marriage has been priceless. We are ever so grateful for their friendship and the way the military brings you in contact with some pretty awesome people. Who would have thought that one of the people Kenny went to the second SERE school with would turn out to be some of our best friends! The Saxtons have moved onto the great state of Texas, specifically San Antonio. It was a little goodbye because Nate will come back to the O.H. for a little bit before he departs permanently in February, and we will see those Saxtons in Texas!

Before the Saxtons left, some of our friends and I threw Beth a Cowgirl baby shower. We had a great time putting together all of the fun pink, cowgirl decorations and showering Beth with our love.

We couldn't resist these cute little onesies that were SO wee!
I was so excited about these cupcakes, and Kenny even helped taped those hats to the toothpicks. He is a good helper!
The little outfit we got little, baby Saxton!
Beth's diaper cake and Jamie's super creative way of decorating the table with fabric!
The five dollar boots that Jamie found!
The precious onesies that said things like, "Can I get a Yeehaw!"

Then this Tuesday we all gathered at Esteban's (the local Mexican place) and said goodbye to the Saxtons. Beth will certainly be missed as a key component of our group. No one makes homemade cooking like that girl including chicken tenders, blackberry cobbler, enchiladas, and guacamole to name a few. More importantly we will miss her warmth, support, hugs, and love!

We hope that they get settled into San Antonio, and we cannot wait to meet the newest addition to the family! And thanks to Beth for going before me, I had asked that she move first since I wasn't sure if I could leave her. (Now I didn't ask that she leave 6 months before!) We look forward to eating a lot more Mexican food with you in the great Lonestar State!

ps. I "borrowed" all of these pictures, so thanks to Lara and Beth for the pics!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

What we've been up to...

Just a little wine tasting and skiing...

On Veteran's Day, we rented a car from the local Enterprise. They only had two cars to choose from, and we went with the Corolla as opposed to the PT Cruiser. I was hoping for the PT Cruiser just because I thought it would be funny to watch Kenny drive around in a silver PT Cruiser, but alas his manly side came out and we went with the Corolla. Why did we need a rental, you might ask? Well for those of you that don't know, Kenny was rear-ended by a "speedy" car who decided that if two cars are stopped in front of you and the light is yellow, you can still go. Therefore, the Dodge truck is getting a little face lift, if you will. Hopefully we will get the Dodge back sometime after Thanksgiving break.

Our real fun started though when we decided to head down to Greenbank farms which is conveniently located in Greenbank on Whidbey Island (about 30 minutes South of us). They have a wine tasting room, cafe, and many art shops. We decided to do a little wine tasting of the local vineyards and then wandered over to the cheese shop to take a look. After looking at the art that I declared looked like something I did in art class in 3rd grade, we headed home. The best part of going was it was one of the few days this week that the wind has not nearly toppled you over and the rain hasn't been pelting you in the face.

The Barn...
I really liked the wooden cheese. It kind of reminded me of the movie "Ratatouille"

Then this weekend we decided to hit the slopes since our local mountain opened up on Thursday. We skied with our good friends the Smiths who snowboard which was awesome since that meant that Jamie and I could head to the lodge when our less experienced legs needed a break. I think I am finally getting the hang of this skiing thing! I have even said aloud that I would LIKE to go on a ski vacation!

Yeah, we skied that...

It is a definite winter wonderland!
It was pretty cold up there on the top, but pretty beautiful too!
We hope you all are gearing up for Thanksgiving! We are heading to Hawaii then, so we will be gratefully getting out of the wind and cold and heading to the (hopefully) sun and warmth!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Happy Veteran's Day!

Thank you to all who have served for our country including Papaw, Uncle Rick, Phil, and Kenny! May we thank those who put their lives on the line so that we may be free!

Papaw Vaughn

Uncle Rick and PhilKenny
Thank you!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy Halloween!

This year we once again carved pumpkins! Last year, we had seen these cool Obama carvings; however, we felt like we couldn't carve those. First of all, we didn't want to jinx Obama's win and secondly, both of our job environments are a little more right swinging. But THIS year, we are just supporting our President! I did an Obama pumpkin, and Kenny did a cute little face pumpkin.
My pumpkin!
Kenny's Pumpkin

Then on Halloween Day, it was so pretty during the day (which it hasn't been) that we decided to take a little plane out. I nearly had an anxiety attack as we were slightly jostled by the wind, but once we got to 2000 feet, I was breathing regularly. (and I had loosened my grip on both the door and seat). It was awesome to get to see what Kenny does (on a very small scale) and to see how much he enjoys seeing the world from above. It was super fun to see the little San Juan islands from above. I just couldn't believe how quickly our hour was over, and we were back on the ground. Next time we might make our way to landing on one of those islands and having a little lunch.

So here are some pictures of the pretty scenery from above!

Looking at Lopez Island.
The islands...
My personal pilot.
Look I am SMILING not puking!
Heading home...
Then we got ice cream from Dugualla Bay since they close today and won't open again before we leave. It was DELICIOUS! Kenny got peanut butter and chocolate ice cream and I had to go with the cookie dough.... That ice cream will be missed!
Hope you all had a beautiful Halloween as well!