Tag Archives: weddings

Gotta have the Rain to Make the Rainbows.

When one does not write a blog entry for several weeks, it always helps to have something life changing happen to get the writing back in gear. On Saturday, sister Megan married Shaun Mitsuda. Three cheers for marriage, rainbows, and adorable Caucasian-Asian babies one day.

Megan planned the most excellent wedding ever (photos to prove it coming soon) and then let us take it from her visonary hands the day before the wedding as we forced her to be the pampered bride. Don’t get me wrong. she was no bridezilla. She was gracefully and happily calling, erranding, and directing and would have given J-Lo a run for her wedding planning money but we insisted she prepare for her walk down the aisle. And she did, beautifully.

A team of expert friends and professional family readied the ceremony site into a garden walk and the reception site into an evening garden wonderland, exactly according to Megan’s dreams. There were hanging potted plants, 200 bottles of garden roses and ranunculus, a photo booth, a dance floor rimmed in large bulbed lights, and individually wrapped matchboxes waiting for the sparkler exit. And then, at 5:25, it rained. A lot.

Sara and I sat in the car with Megan that was to bring her around for the beginning of the ceremony and as the rain beat harder and harder on the windshield and Megan became quieter and quieter, I thought about Mom. I haven’t been angry about it for a long time but sitting there watching Megan fight the emotion of a possible rain-out, I felt the anger rise up that God didn’t let Mom stay for our weddings and that now he was letting it rain.

My prayers in my head began sounding the same as when Mom would be hurting and I didn’t feel like a calm nice prayer. I felt like shaking my fists and reminding God of what we were all going through and that he was in charge of it. In that rainy car, I couldn’t say anything but “Jesus” because I knew the fists would start shaking. And then Dad knocked on the window and squeezed in to the backseat with us and he prayed. He told God how good he was and how thankful we were. He told God how much we loved him and trusted him. And he asked in Jesus name for a beautiful wedding. I watched Megan praying silently and not allowing her emotions to overcome her. And I was filled with a huge joy to be part of our family and gratitude for the roads we have walked together. The rain relented to a shower rather than a downpour. And we were a go.

Somehow in the space of 25 minutes, Sara and I had a few last moments of sister jokes with Meg, Dad found a beach umbrella to walk her down the aisle with, and Shaun and Megan pledged their lives to one another under a beautiful double rainbow. And there was not a dry eye in the garden. Or a dry anything else either. But it was perfect.

The rest of the night was a 400 person party complete with luau food, the greatest best man speech I have ever heard (followed closely by the maid and matron of honor speeches), and some seriously good dancing. Yes the bride and groom have moves but my fiance also made a pretty lasting impression on the extended family with his line dancing skills. And I was grateful once again for the man I get to marry.

And it only took six hours to clean up. Let’s do it again in two weeks.

No really, we are.

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This week I began my rural rotation with the SEARCH scholarship program. This is a short-term experience offered (AND funded) by the Health Resources and Services Administration to give health care students the opportunity to decide if they want to work in rural health. Before I received my National Health Corps scholarship, I never knew so much about government health departments. Now I feel like they are a rich great-uncle I never knew I had. It’s almost enough to make me a Democrat. Whoa. Sit down, I said almost.

It’s Day 2 of the program and if I didn’t already want to work rural, I do now. I am living in an apartment in North Carolina with some other students and driving 45 minutes out to “K-town” (I don’t think privacy policies apply to entire towns but it feels better. Besides, it reminds me of British books where the characters lived in D-shire and traveled to B-ham). K-town is a small farming town that boasts a pretty river, a rich history, and an all-out fantastic community health center. The population is a poor one and the patients seen in this clinic often cannot pay, have limited transportation, and face multiple health risks.

Community Health Centers like the one in K-town accept patients with Medicare/Medicaid and also offer a sliding fee scale to match the patient’s income. But if the patient still can’t pay? They are still seen and treated. The facility itself has been recently renovated and offers family, pediatric, and OB-GYN services as well as dental and behavioral health services. This means that a lot of referrals are done in-house and consults are as easy as a knock on your neighbor’s door. I had the privilege of shadowing a very talented Certified Nurse Midwife as she examined patients from all sorts of backgrounds…and all very different from the Hawaii demographic. In some ways rural is rural. In other ways, they are worlds apart.

I left one side…

And a mere 17 hours later, I arrived on the other.

I’m enjoying the combination of a visit back to my southern roots and a taste of future practice. Before I left, my thoughts were fairly wedding centric. The day I flew out, we had a  wonderful Friday of Father-Daughter trousseau shopping (yes, Daddy Bill knows what a trousseau is and yes, he let Megan and I go into certain shops alone. But he was very helpful at the decent stores). And after a full day of flying, it was great fun to be with Lindsey and Whitney for a night discussing all things bridal. But the work I am doing now is turning my eyes to the future. Roger and I are excited to start life together and then find out where we will invest two years of that life! There is one rural community out there that God has our names on…and we can’t wait.

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Doing Lots of Life

So, I have still been doing life. I just have not been writing about it. A lot of people say that planning a wedding is a busy time. A lot of people say that sisters planning weddings in the same month is busy bordering on lunacy. I say its the best busy we have ever been.

We always fill our lives with something so that when our friends see us at Starbucks and say “Heeeey. Haven’t seen you in forever! How you been?” we can sigh and smile wearily and say “Busy! Good, but man, so busy.” It’s a pretty boring answer that I think should be banned. In fact, let’s all just commit right now to say something good whenever we are asked that. Then at least 35 people will be having a more interesting conversation at Starbucks this week.

But since we all do some kind of busy with our days, it’s nice to be doing the business of wedding planning, school, and enjoying each day as much as possible. I wouldn’t dream of complaining that it’s crazy or stressful. For one thing, it’s just not. It’s a big party that I don’t have to clean up after. How is that stressful? Friends are giving me things and I’m getting to know a super hot guy that said he wants to marry me. This is not stressful people.

So, in the spirit of stress-free busy, here is a little photographic synopsis of what I have been up to this month.

Sister Megan had a smashing bridal shower. Our friend Soo hosted in her beautiful home with her elegant decor to which we added some not-as-elegant craftiness. Turns out that stuff looks good together. Megan was a stunning bride-to-be, her twin sisters wore matching stripes and were not ashamed of it at all and Shaun made a guest appearance via flat screen television.

Fiance Roger continues to do manly things like dig imu pits to cook pigs, build water tanks, and help me pick out table linens. He is secretly talented at everything but don’t tell.

I continue with studies, edging my way toward being a Family Nurse Practitioner. I miss clinical work but realize that if I were working full-time, Roger would have met Miss Crazy Pants and run the other way. Presently I do the occasional volunteer work in the office above. It’s no cubicle on the 30th floor but it’ll do.

Why yes, I did get an Easter manicure.

Friend Ellen visited for Easter weekend and we celebrated with egg dying, early church celebration, and lots of food. I love that Jesus is alive. LOVE IT.





The porky terrier continues to grow and I continue to find innovative ways to keep him from binging. He insists that he is a skinny starving dog on the inside.

It's just green cauliflower but it might be in my bouquet.

I’ve been on a Farmer’s Market kick and traveled 45 minutes to Waimea on Saturday to hit two popular markets. Today we visited the Ho’oulu Community Famer’s Market at the Keauhou Outrigger Beach Resort. Our friends Lewis and Carla Draxlir have recently begun a bread company called Bread Alone. They bake sour dough breads of many varieties in the stone oven that Lewis built. It is AMAZING. And so are they. Buy their bread.

I have been thinking about health and living fear-free. I would like to share these thoughts with you soon. Also, Roger and I will be staging a dramatic Facebook exodus upon becoming Mr. and Mrs. We are doing it to get attention but also to focus on more important things than status updates.  So you should subscribe to this blog if you want to keep hearing about E(with a new)B.

Remember to tell people something good at Starbucks.

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Modern Living

This week was Sister Trip week. In honor of Megan’s upcoming wedding and 25th birthday, the three of us (plus Baby Sawyer) spent 72 hours in Honolulu. We shopped, we ate out, and best of all – we stayed in a hotel that beats the pants off any other I’ve stayed in on Oahu. Bear in mind, I do not stay in five-star-500-a-night places. So, The Modern beats the pants off of any other relatively affordable places on Oahu. This place had a 1960’s vibe with a Coastal Living twist. The staff was attentive, the pool and garden terrace were unreal pretty, and the rooms were super chic. It is located on Ala Moana Blvd within walking distance of the mall and overlooks the marina. But when you are inside and at the pool area, you feel like you could be anywhere. Like in a James Bond film for example.

We have all inherited Mom’s delight in hotels and fun places. She would have LOVED The Modern. She also would have loved picking out Megan’s wedding dress with us. Guess what? We didn’t cry a single time on Sister Trip so you better not start now either. We had a blast as Megan tried on stunning gowns and the staff all raved over her as the perfect wedding dress model. Good sales tactic perhaps but we all agreed it worked. Dad purchased the dress for her long-distance and she now owns the Most Beautiful Wedding Dress Ever. Sorry everybody else.

We found the dress on the first day before dinner. So the rest of the trip was spent leisurely shopping and vacationing and pretending to be the Vacationing Mainland Sisters everyone thought we were (“You’re from Kona?! You don’t look like you’re from Kona.” Umm, thank you? Or no thank you? I’m confused). Brother Sam came by the hotel between his crazy class schedule and work hours for Megan’s birthday breakfast and it was great to have all the siblings in one place. Even Sawyer got the staycation memo and was the most chilled out six-month-old you have ever toted along for wedding dress shopping.

We got home yesterday, on Megan’s birthday. Her fiance had created a sushi extravaganza that rivals Hayashi You Make the Roll magic and Roger helped with Mochi icecream and Mojito making. Sister Trip resulted in some Husband Ryan, Fiance Shaun, and Boyfriend Roger time. Turns out they make pretty good brothers.

So, now I am home and grateful for my sisters who love some finer things in life, my mom who showed us how to love those things but not serve those things, Dad who is generous and wise, and the newly forming brotherhood of Other Halves.

And it’s back to Pharmacology and Health Assessment presentations…I miss The Modern.



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Counting by Saturdays

Three Saturdays ago, I had a lunch that changed a lot of things. I already knew that Hayashi’s You Make the Roll Sushi is the best place to get sushi (Ever. Anywhere.) But now I am fairly convinced that it’s magic. And I have to keep getting weekly Ninja Rolls with special aioli sauce or the spell might be broken.

But that’s another post for another time. The point is, I am now counting my life in Saturdays.

Two Saturdays ago, one of my little brother’s best friends got married. I watched this kid grow up next door and both of our families have gone through a whole lot of life together. It made me feel old and happy and proud to see my little brother stand by his friend in dress clothes and Filipino sash. (Yes. Sam wore it and rocked it.) And it made me feel young and sad and humbled to hear my dad tell this new sweet couple what marriage really meant. In sickness and in health, for better or for worse. Both giving 100% because if one person has a bad day, you’re still covered. And then we dried our tears and ate more Hawaiian-Filipino food than I thought existed on the island.


So handsome.

Last Saturday, my nursing school friend Ellen came to visit for the weekend. Ellen is the first friend I made at the start of my RN-crazy-year. We discovered quickly that we were both tall and had names that start with “E” and we better be friends since everyone thought we were the same person. Past that, we also discovered we both had parents with cancer. She lost her dad, I lost my mom. We both liked to run and eat and read textbooks at the beach. And we spent about the same amount of time on studying for exams. Which in my opinion is the exact right amount. So this weekend we studied minimally, ate maximally, and went to the beach as much as possible.


Friends forever.

This Saturday will be the first social event of the 20s and 30s demographic of Living Stones Church. There are about thirty of us that fit the two decade span. Some single, some married. All very cool. And we have done enough together to warrant a cool name. Kainos. It’s Greek for “fresh” and “new” and I can’t help hearing it in Mr. Portakalos’ voice from My Big Fat Greek Wedding.



So, if you are in Kona this Saturday and you are between 20 and 39 and 11/12ths, get in touch. It will be fresh and fun I promise.

Happy Tuesday everybody. I’m going for my weekly magic Ninja roll.

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