I personally believe that everybody feels this way numerous amounts of time throughout their lives.  And I guess that you can say I'm having one of those moments.  The sad thing is that I've been feeling this for a while now and I've just decided, being very emotional right now, that I'm finally going to blog about it.  Why would I bring something so personal out to the open?  Because I'm better at writing things than saying things and because like many other people with their blogs, I feel this is more like an open book journal than just a blog.  I love comments, I almost thrive on comments, and I feel so sad when a friend who's left comments in the past hasn't left one for a month, but I know that this blog is for myself to remember.  There was a lesson in Relief Society a while ago about keeping a journal.  The question came up do you jot down the bad things that have happened in your life as well as the good?  There were a couple of people who had different opinions.  One woman said, only the good.  Another said have one for good and another journal for the bad.  Another woman said have it all in one journal the good and especially the bad.  She went on to explain that you need the bad to help you learn from it.  You can also look back years from then and see how much you've grown since that last entry.  Also in hopes that your children, and your children's children will be able to see how much you've grown and maybe learn from your mistakes.  Well I know I have made a many mistakes in my life.  When I was younger with my three sisters you can say I was the rotten child.  I used to terrorize my younger sister, Cherie, so much she though I hated her.  I look back at how I acted and I am so sad that I treated her and my other sisters so badly.  There were times in my life that they needed me most and I wasn't there.  Maybe I've blocked some of those bad times from my memory but I honestly do not remember how they survived.  I fully believe I've changed my life around.  I'm totally not the person I used to be then but why is it that I still feel interpreted that way?  That I'm unappreciative?  It's like once you have a label you're stuck with it.  Label: Unappreciative.  It's hard for people to let the negative go and I understand that.  I obviously have things I need to let go.  For instance my birthday.  A group of my friends throughout the year have pitched in together and have gotten each other fun gifts.  For a while it was a coach bag, some people got massages, manicures and I helped pitch in every time.  For my birthday what did I get?  nothing.  I know I know who am I to expectant anything right?  I'm sorry I'm pouring this out to everyone and anyone who is still reading but you don't know how much that hurt how much it still hurts.  I always felt I got the short end of the stick.  Label: Walk all over me and I'll take it.  I don't know what it is about the nice person but you get walked all over.  It's like the controlling people find the stupid nice-guy and really makes sure they finish last.  I hate that!  My poor sister Cherie is going through it right now at school and I just want to go over to all her "friends" and tell them what I think.  And when she starts filtering out her bad friends from the good she's Labeled: antisocial.  You just can't win.  I don't know.  Maybe I'm just over reacting or my low self esteem is finally showing through but I already feel like a huge weight has been lifted off of my chest.  I guess I'm setting myself up for misinterpretation so just don't read too much into this.  See... why do I do that?  No!  It does mean something to me or else I wouldn't have written it.  Just know I'm not angry but hurt.  I've been emotional lately and I'm not sure I'm actually handling it.  There's so much more I want to pour out but I think I've gotten my feelings across.  I've come to realize that I love good friends, ones who know they're exempt from this, and I love my family.  It's so true with the saying, your friends will come and go but your family will always be there.  I just want to tack on ...and your Heavenly Father.  I have to remind myself that even though I may be feeling unloved by the world, I'm still loved by Heavenly Father.


Keenan Tanaka


This is my 100th post and it's only right that this tribute is to Mr. Keenan Tanaka.  Let me introduce you.  Keenan has been a friend of my sister, Cherie, for a few years now.  About four months ago they decided to become an "official" couple.  Since they have made it official, when Cherie was still here in Hawaii, Keenan would buy her a fresh bouquet of flowers everyday.  Even before that Keenan liked to hang out with Cherie, my family and I.  There was one incident when Cherie, and I took the kids to Ala Moana mall and Keenan came along too.  We were heading down to Old Navy and decided to put the kids in the stroller on the elevator.  Keenan offered to help hold the double stroller up and when we got off he was still pushing the it.  As we were weaving in and out of people and clothes racks a group of boys Keenan's age walked right in front of us, almost in a smug way.  Keenan dropped his head in an irritated shame. (hard to explain) 
"Oh, I'm sorry Keenan.  I can push now."  I felt so bad that I humiliated him in front of guys his age.
"Oh what?" he said popping his head up.
"Yeah." Cherie chimed in, "Noelle you push.  Keenan you don't have to push if you're embarrassed?"
"What are you talking about?  Why would I be embarrassed?"
"There was a whole bunch of guys that walked in front of us and you hung your head like you were shamed."
"What?  No!  I was mad that those guys cut me off.  I have the kids with the stroller.  They should've moved!"
Cherie and I could not stop laughing!  This is the kind of guy Keenan is.  He told my mom and I the other day that we want's to have a job where he helps people.  So right now he's going to go to school to me an EMT.  He wakes up at the butt crack before dawn to drive his mom to the bus stop because he feels bad if she has to walk.  He helps his grandma and his parents with weeding the lawn and doing yard work on the weekdays and even the weekends.  His family always has Sunday dinner's at his grandma's house and he never misses it.  He'll bend over backwards to help anyone out.  He even made those wonderful pictures of Kurt and I on steroids to the right and is teaching me how to use photoshop, as you can see from my work above.  Keenan is an all around great kid.  Just recently Keenan has decided to take the missionary lessons and started to come to church regularly.  He was always a great supporter to Cherie and any of his other LDS friends whenever they sang in church or a fireside or gave a talk, if they invited him he was there.  The first Sunday he came to church he had a nice white shirt and tie with black slacks, his vans shoes, and a volcom belt.  He was so cute!  I had wanted to get a picture of him in his Sunday best but I'm not sure how easy that is going to be anymore.  You see, two missionary discussions ago they asked him if he wanted to be baptized.  Keenan said yes!  When he told his mom she was sadly against the idea.  He, being an obedient son, wasn't able to make it to church on Sunday.  Me having children of my own, if one of them came up to me and told me they were making a life changing decision, I would be just as concerned as his mom.  Especially if I wasn't familiar with the decision.  She's just doing this because she loves him.  Poor Keenan really wants to be baptized for all the right reason's but he's scared and saddened by the consequences.  I wish you could all feel how strong his spirit is.  I know satan is working extra hard on him.  I don't normally do something like this, I've actually never asked anybody for this before, but I'm asking whoever reads this to keep Keenan in your prayers.  Pray that his parents hearts will be softened.  And/or pray for the missionaries and the people they teach.  I've never had a missionary experience before but it is one of the most wonderful feelings in the world.  I was talking to Kurt the other day about when he was fresh in the mission field.  His conversion goal was 1,000 people.  His missionary president told him to choose a more realistic goal, but my point is I know exactly how Kurt felt as a young missionary.  You want to baptize the world.  You don't see everybody you pass by as some person.  You see them as a spirit you want to bring back to Heavenly Father.  Right now Keenan's baptismal date is Aug. 16th.  Cherie even got a ticket to fly down for it.  You know maybe nows not the right time, maybe it's still too early for him but I'm not giving up.  He's honestly like a brother to me and I love him to death.  I would do anything for him but right now I just want to start him on the right path to our Heavenly Father.


Party Till You Drop

Saturday July 26th we had a small bbq/pool party at our house for Drew's third birthday.  The kids had so much fun swimming and jumping in the water.  Kurt grilled delicious bbq ribs and came up with the idea of a potato bar.  Then of course we had cupcakes requested by Drew.  She wanted to eat them from the moment they came out of the oven.  When I told her no she went to a couple of different people asking if they would give them to her.  It was so cute to see this moment she had been waiting for for a long time.  When we were decorating before everyone came she was elated!  She also was the biggest punk!  The 25th, on her real birthday, and today she had been doing some pretty naughty things knowing she could get away with it.  But it was her party and she could cry if she wanted to, which she did after everyone left.  She sat on the sidewalk bawling saying, "I want my friends!"  It's been hard for her since we've moved, from seeing her friends almost daily to seeing her friends every other week, if even that.  You can probably tell by the kids in the pictures but we had the Wynes', Jones', Crosby's and Jorgensen's grace us with their presents...hahaha jk presence.  We want to thank you guys for coming and all the other happy birthday wishes we received.  I also wouldn't have any pictures of this fun day if it wasn't for Shanae.  Thank you!


"One, two, free!"

Sunday July 24th, Pioneer day, 2005 we had a normal Sunday dinner at Kurt's parents house.  I was two weeks away from my due date and I was feeling really good.  So good that when Kurt and I were playing a really competitive game of croquet I was chasing him around like I was only four months pregnant.  Hahaha!  We had just moved in to Kurt's grandma's basement because we were moving to come to Hawaii soon and our lease was up on our apartment.  That Sunday night we were down in our little dungeon watching a good old Disney flick, "That Darn Cat!"  The movie ended at 2 am and although Kurt feel right to sleep after the movie I on the other wasn't feeling to great.  I had had a couple of "braxton hicks" and my whole stomach and back were tighter than tight every time I had one.  I had timed them thinking in my wildest dreams that these could be contractions but they were not consistent and although everything was tight nothing hurt.  I had witness the decision making for my sister, Nikki and her husband Mike, when they decided it was finally time for them to go to the hospital with their first born Davis.  She had said, "You know when to go in when your contractions hurt so bad you can't walk."  That and them being at least five min. apart of course.  So I laid down and even fell asleep for half an hour.  I woke up around 3 am and made the climb to our one and only upstairs bathroom.  This I did every 15 min for the next hour.  I had so much pressure that I had to constantly pee.  And so much pressure that it stung to pee because the baby was pinching my pee tube.  I trekked back down and then I timed my contractions coming every fifteen min.  Could this really be it?  I was skeptical so I walked around the room.  I didn't know if that was supposed to make it stop or keep them coming but I heard that's what you do so I did it.  No contractions came while I walked so I laid in bed to try to go to sleep thinking I was defeated in my thoughts.  Every time I laid down a contraction hit.  They were getting harder too.  Enough to keep me from walk?  I stood up.  No!  I felt like I could do a jig during the contraction.  Finally after doing these routines of going to the bathroom without any relief, walking and trying to lay back down, at 6 am my contractions were seven to ten min. apart.  I finally woke Kurt up and told him he needed to time them with me.  We went upstairs where Grandma Kay was up and sat around timing my contractions.  At 7 am the were consistently five min apart and then we decided it was time.  I was so excited.  After I wobbled slowly down the stairs I started to get dressed and get some things in order.  I got up to grab my bag from across the room and my pain from my contraction slowly brought my upper body down to where I was a walking fetus all curled up in a ball.  Kurt could not keep from laughing which made me laugh and brought me to my knees.  I was now crawling to my bag.  After the contraction subsided Kurt finally got up from rolling on the floor with laughter and we hurried out to the truck before I got stuck crawling on ground.  We walked through the hospital doors around 8:30 am.  Kurt grabbed a wheelchair and parked it in front of me.  I was horrified.  "I don't need a wheelchair!"  I saw his hesitant face but I was so defiant against the cripple chair that we both started laughing and we slowly made our way to the labor and delivery unit.  When we opened the double doors three nurses heads popped up. 
"Umm...is this where you go if you think you're in labor?"  I had known where to go due to labor classes Kurt and I had taken but the way they asked, yes, you would've thought I was a hobo walking into a Louis Vuitton store.
All the nurses shared a long look then one finally said to follow her.  Kurt and I knew exactly what they were thinking.  This girl thinks she's in labor and we're going to have to send her home.  What a waist of our time!
We followed her into a delivery room where she said to hop on the bed;  Specifying to lay on top of the covers.  That solidified my thoughts.  She rubber gloved me and guess what?  I was dilated to a seven!  Buy ah!
"Wow!  I thought we were going to have to send you home.  I even told you not to get under the covers because of it."
So they hooked me up actually and started the labor routine.  Grandma Kay had spread the word and Kurt's uncle Keith came in and after retrieving Kurt from the cafeteria, they gave me a blessing.  I was so grateful for that blessing.  It really calmed me and cleared my mind to make the decision to have a natural child birth.  Kurt and I were having a good labor.  We were talking and laughing.  I knew I could handle the pain of the contractions.  I was already at a seven.  The labor was harder than the delivery right?  After I told my Certified Nurse Midwife that I wanted to go natural she instructed the nurses to fill up the jet tub with hot water and to get me some juice.  I was in the only room with a jet tub and because I was going natural I could have any liquid I wanted to drink.  I got in that tub as quickly as possible.  It cut the pain in half.  I would say more than in half.  It was SO nice!  The nurse came in regularly and just said that if I felt the need to push to get them and they'll get me out and start the actual delivery.  They also said that my water would break soon and when it did the contractions would get heavier.  Well sooner than I had expected I felt that need to push.  I had the nurses come in and help me get on the bed.  Funny thing for me my water hadn't broken yet.  Everything was happening so fast I don't remember if the nurses finally broke it or if it broke up itself.  I think the nurse was checking me and it broke.  My CNM came in right as I started pushing.
"Let's have this baby by 10 am.  My sons are in the Pioneer Day parade and I said I'd see them."
She said it in a totally funny manner.  No worries.  So I pushed and screamed and pushed and screamed.  I was using every muscle in my body.  Kurt had to constantly remind me to open my eyes so I wouldn't pop blood vessels.  I had to flip from my back to my side because I was having back labor and the pain was killing me.  I even remember pleading to them to give me some kind of numbing pain.   If you don't know what it feels like to give birth Bill Crosby gave a good explanation from his wife.  Take your lower lip and pull it over your head.  I personally would say put your fingers in your mouth and pull them has hard has you can against the ends of you mouth.  Then times that stinging by five!  Moving on, I pushed a good half hour and on July 25th 2005 at 10:03 am out came Drew Maeliana Reynolds 6 lb. 15 oz. and 20 inches long.  Ten fingers and ten toes with a good head of black hair. She was so healthy and pink when she came out that they didn't even need to put her under the warming light or need special attention.  Just straight on my chest she went to keep warm.  It was one of the single most amazing feelings in the world.  To have this tiny body on you for the first time.  My CNM didn't get to see her sons in the parade but she said it was okay.  They'll be in it next year and she much rather be here.  Although she ran out almost as soon as Drew was born.
It's amazing to me to think that it was 3 years ago today.  I honestly look back and can still remember everything so vividly.  I would do it all again in a heartbeat to have my little girl.
Drew is such a special spirit.  She loves her brother so much!  And he in turn thinks the world of her.  She show's him how to get into mischief and then in turn disciplines him for it.  They were jumping on the bed today and they were laughing so hard.  Nothing is more exciting to hear than little children laughing out of joy.  Drew has her dad's singing talent of hearing a song once and being able to pick up.  She'll even take a song and plug in her own words.  "Old McDonald had a farm EIEIO.  And on that farm he had a FOOT!  EIEIO.  With a foot foot here and a foot foot there..."  Drew also loves to wave and say hi to everybody she sees.  She'll get a smile out of almost anybody when she does it too.  When you say bye or say goodnight she has to give you hugs and kisses.  If not she'll throw a conniption!  Her heart is so full.  If you have something pretty on she'll tell you and if you look old enough to be a grandma she'll ask you if you're one.  She loves grandma's!  Drew loves to ask the girls waiting in the women's bathroom, "Oh, you got to pee too?"  I found myself in the beginning hushing her and stopping her from making contact for fear the person is being bothered.   But I quickly learned that she helps them more by brightening up their day.  I'm so grateful I was blessed to have my little Dew-b-Dew.  She brightens up my day and I know she will forever.  I love you so much Drew!  

Happy Birthday!


Day to day

We went to the park the other day and I couldn't get over how pretty this tree was.  It's funny.  I've lived here my entire life, minus four years in Utah, and I've only started to appreciate how pretty things are.

You can't see that well but Drew has one freckle on her nose.  I love it!

We went to a baby shower the other day and Drew loved the cupcakes, obviously.  For her birthday I asked her what kind of cake she wanted and she said, "No.  I want cupcakes!"  So she's getting cupcakes!

We were definitely bored the other day.  So we took a walk to the bridge over the canal.  We tried to see fish but couldn't see any.  Next time we'll have to bring read to feed them.  It was still a fun walk.  Honestly five seconds after we stepped in the house in down poured.  Talk about perfect timing.

Oh Brody.  He got into the computer stuff last night and started eating an ink cartridge.  Do we wipe of his face immediately?  No we take pictures.  We're such good parents!

This is one of my favorite parts of the day.  When Brody wakes up.  If we're still asleep when he gets up he'll come through our door and give us the best wake up call anyone can ask for.  If I'm awake before him I can hear his little feet pitter pattering on the wood floor.  Then he comes out with a full diaper and this Brody walk that he has.  I'll have to record it soon because it's so cute.

So a small update.  We're bored!  It's been gloomy lately and too cold to swim in the pool or at the beach.  We have zero mullah so Kurt went in today to Covance, a human testing center, to get a blood test to determine if he qualifies for a study.  This would be the only one he could do before we move so keep your fingers crossed that they'll accept him to be a guinea pig!  He's also coming along with his German.  Another plus for Kurt to be a test dummy, he would have two weekends couped up at Covance where he could concentrate on his class.  His greatest accomplishment lately has been getting the highest word score and longest word on a computer game called Bespelled.

Drew and Brody are thoroughly enjoying having digital cable.  So many more cartoons to choose from beside PBS kids and the Disney channel.  Right now their favorite is Nick Noggin.  And I must say I like it too.  A nice break from Mickey.  Kurt also found his xylophone that he sent to my sister Cherie when she was in band.  The kids love banging away on it.  Kurt's even learned to play Harry Potter theme song on it by ear.  I'm so jealous of people who can do that.  But yeah, the kids fight over playing it.  The kids love living with grandma.  To say they follow her like a shadow is an understatement.  The poor lady can't even go to the bathroom by herself.  Drew is really excited for her "Happy Birthday Party!"  Her actual birthday is this Friday July 25th and she asks if today is her birthday every morning.  One of her favorite things that we've been doing together is I'll write a bunch of names or the ABC's on a piece of paper and she'll copy over them.  She's writing so well!

My mom and I have been sitting with Cherie's boyfriend, Keenan, during the missionary lesson's at our house.  He's such an amazing investigator!    Last Wednesday the missionaries invited him to get baptized and he said yes!!  I want to do a full dedicated post to this awesome guy, Keenan.  So look back soon to hear more.  If you've seen our muscle pictures he's the talented artist behind it.  Other than that not much, just taking care of the kids.  Making sure they don't get into too much trouble. :)


Another Shark Movie

Sorry this video is all over the place.  There were so many at one time I didn't know which one to record.

Da dum, Da dum

I was SO lucky enough to swim with the sharks this morning.  Hahaha that sounds funny.  Well yesterday on my friend, Shanae's, blog she invited anyone and everyone to go swimming with her with the sharks.  This is something that Kurt and I have always wanted to do but could never afford it.  So I happily wrote her a have-fun-wish-I-was-going comment.  The day before I checked Mark Lee's blog, who's a photographer and he and his adventurist wife went for their 10 year anniversary.  You know how these things always work in pairs or threes.  He has water housing equipment for his DSLR and had an awesome picture on his blog.  Anyways, I forgot about it and went on with my day.  Around 9-9:30ish Kurt heard the cell phone ring, thankfully, and it was Shanae asking us if we were still interested.  The group that Rob Potts put together needed one more person and they were going to offer us the last seat at a discounted rate.  Shanae suggested we talked about it and call her back.  I got of the phone and explained everything to Kurt.  His birthday is on the 8th of August and I suggested that he go for his birthday present.  Kurt was really excited!  After a minute in his own fablehaven he stopped me and said, "Why don't you go?"  It kinda took me by surprise.  "Well... I get sea sick, your birthday is coming up, and this is something you've always wanted to do."  Plus since moving to Kailua, Kurt has not had a man session to himself and I've had some fun girl's nights out.  Swimming with the sharks seemed like the best way for him to boost his testosterone.  But he was pretty admit and very convincing.  So I called Shanae back and announced that I was the lucky winner.  I was SO excited.  We finished watching our movie and went straight to bed so I could actually get up for my 4:30 am wake up call.  When I say go to bed I mean lay in bed and stay up half the night talking about how exciting the next day would be for me.  Then finish the night off with making fart noises and laughing hysterically like we were 10 years old.  We finally got tired and fell asleep.  Let me tell you 4:30 came pretty early and again felt really late.  I woke up three different times afraid that my alarm clock wouldn't go off.  At 3:30 am Kurt got up and I asked him what time it was.  Okay I had an hour.  As I fell back asleep and entered the dream part of my REM cycle I dreamt that I indeed had slept in.  Eyeyah!  I practically laid in bed for the last hour.  I arrived at Shanae's house with perfect timing and we we were off to pier 35 at the Haleiwa Harbor.  Before we got on the boat Rob offered me Dramamine which I gladly took and for the rest of the time was ever grateful!  Thanks a million Rob!  I would say, and I'm no expert, that when we got out there, there being three miles of shore, it was pretty calm.  The captain and his one man crew explained to us that they don't have to bait and wait for hours.  The sharks know the sound of the engine as being a grab or fishing boat where they get the left over bait and crabs that are too small to keep aka food!  It took us five seconds to stand up after the boat stopped and see the first shark.  It was amazing to me that I'd lived here my entire life, surfed for seven good years and I had to pay to see my first shark.  It was worth every penny.   Even though they don't have to bait the sharks, every minute or so the captain or his one man crew would throw pieces of meat to the sharks and they would gladly feast.  We broke up in three groups and every group got to be in the water for 20 min.  You step into the, I would say and someone correct me if I'm wrong, 4x7 ft. cage in the water with snorkel gear on and then they lower you away.  You drift away a good 15 ft from the boat and have fun looking like a fish in a fish bowl with cats all around you.  We had about 15 Galapagos sharks swarming around us, or maybe they were the same 5, but 15 is my guesstimate.  If we weren't sane and if the crew hadn't specifically told us not to, we could've reached our hand out and touched them.  They were swimming all around and beneath us, it was just amazing.  As if the day couldn't have gotten any better, as we were going back into the habor we saw a pod of spinner dolphins.  As Shanae said, "Killed two birds with one stone."  Thank you SO much Rob for putting this together and let me sneak my way in.  Shanae I'm so glad you called us.  You were the best person to go with.  Then thank you Kurty for suggesting I go.  It was so much fun!

These seven pictures are from Shanae.  I personally believe she should have a career in underwater photography.

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