26 June 2011

Wedding Bands

Yesterday was such a great day!  I got a jump on moving, spoke with Mrs. Levus, and a great lunch with the future Mrs. Alicia Teague, and drove down to the lake to spend some time with mom and work on moving.  Mom took the boat and I took the jetski, and we went out to Sweetwater Creek to tie up with Ranger Bubba and his family.  His son Jason is visiting from Washington D.C.  It was especially nice to speak with Jasons wife, as she grew up on Oahu and told me about her experiences with the island (and jellyfish!).  The lake is still WAY up right now and we have to take a boat to even get out to the dock.

our dock... only reachable with a boat or a swim
Mrs. Levus offered two family heirloom wedding bands to us to use for our wedding bands!  They are very nice gold wedding bands that have been in the family for quite some time.  I feel so honored that we have been given the opportunity to use them!  Levus' band is his great-grandpa's band, and my band is his great-grandma's.  I am really looking forward to spending time with the Levus family and getting to know more about the original owners of our wedding bands!

our future wedding bands

23 June 2011

Food With a View

I *think* I have decided between two places for us to all eat after the wedding ceremony.  We will be very pressed for money during wedding (and moving) time, so the cost played a big part in deciding where we went after.  I wanted somewhere with live music, a good view, and a casual atmosphere.  I have spoken with people from the staff of both restaurants and am working on getting us a nice spot in the restaurant and getting some flowers on the table as well just to kind of hint a reminder of the wedding and ceremony.  I have decided between LuLus Waikiki and Tiki's Grill & Bar.  Both appear to have live music on Saturdays and a good view.  I am leaning towards LuLu's for the prices on the menu.

LuLus Waikiki

View at LuLus Waikiki

Tiki's Grill & Bar

View at Tiki's Grill & Bar

Paige (my little sister from BBBS) and I went to Fassnight Park today to swim at the pool!  The coolest part of the pool (in my opinion) is that they close the pool to all kids for ten minutes every hour on the hour but leave it open for adults.  There is a diving board and a water slide, and about a million kids there... so it was fun to get to skip to the front of the line to go down the water slide!  I didn't have much to do in the pool without Paige swimming and playing with me... but skipping to the front of the line for the water slide is pretty awesome!

Fassnight Park pool and water slide
Paige and me at the pool
using the foil wrapper from her pretzel as a spoon to enjoy her leftover cheese

22 June 2011

Midwestern Reminder

I'm not the kind of girl that dreamed about getting married; the white dress, the flowers, the cake... but when we decided we were getting married in Hawaii, I knew I wanted one thing: sunflowers.  I'm not big on flowers, but I knew I wanted to have a 'unique' Hawaiian wedding in the sense that I wanted to have non-traditional Hawaiian flowers at my wedding.  Sunflowers remind me of the midwest, my grandmother, and my aunt.  Being a midwest girl, I wanted to bring some of the midwest in to my very non-midwest wedding.  I was a little bit concerned however, about getting sunflowers out in Oahu.  Both cost and availability are issues with the island.  When I spoke with one of the possible wedding companies we are going through on the phone last night, I asked the man if they had sunflowers out there on the island.  He wasn't sure, which concerned me a little.  I had heard about a sunflower field out on North Shore, but I wasn't sure of the availability of the flowers in the shops throughout the island.  After speaking with the gentleman with the wedding company, I called around to a few florists, and SCORE: they all offer sunflowers and at a relatively affordable price, about $3 a stem!  One gentleman said that the farm is having "some problems" right now, so I am hoping they get those "problems" straightened out before October!  I'm planning on purchasing around five to fifteen stems (depending on size) and fashioning my own little bouquet.  I'm not yet sure if I want to throw in some filler greenery or such with that, or just the flowers.  But I have plenty of time to look and decide.

I really like the "country" feel of these bouquets.

Planning on using hemp rope around the stems like with these bouquets.
The hippie look suits me.

I really like the size of this bouquet, not too big and very simple.

19 June 2011

Hawaii Dwelling 1.0

The biggest hurdle we are presented with right now with my move and our upcoming union is where to live.  Although there is housing available to military couples on base, there is a 2 to 4 month waiting list.  The military also provides something called a BHA (Basic Housing Allowance) to military members and their families that are living off of base... but since Levi is required to live on base in the barracks until we are married, we won't receive that housing allowance until after we have been married.  In a town like Springfield or Hopkinsville, this would not be as much of a problem, however the cost of living in Hawaii is about 30 to 40 percent higher than the national average.  This is understandable being as that the island Oahu is arguably one of the most beautiful and desirable places to live in the world, and it is half the size of our smallest state, Rhode Island.  The average rental cost for a studio or small one bedroom condo is around $1500 to $2000.  If you've ever rented before, you know that before you move in, the rent is not the only thing you have to pay for up front.  However, one of the benefits of Hawaii is the access to many rental condos spread throughout the islands!  After many messages to many property managers and rental companies, one of them finally responded with a positive message!  He was so happy to accommodate a pair of newlyweds and a member of our military, he is willing to cut us some HUGE deals (we're talking discounts in the thousands of dollars range) as well as waive the almost 13% Hawaii tourism taxes for us!  To put that 13% in perspective for you, 13% of a $2000 a month rental is $260 dollars... which is more than half of what I pay a month in rent here in Springfield for a large two bedroom two bathroom apartment on the south side of town!  And again, that is just the taxes!

The owner of the apartment has e-mailed me, and I have e-mailed him back.  Levus and I are both in high hopes that this condo works out, because it is going to save us quite a bit of money in the long run.  It is already equipped with utilities and internet, so we wont have to set those up or pay any deposits, and because it is a rental we will not have to put down a deposit and first month of rent.  It isn't big, but it has adequate space to sleep, a stove and refrigerator to cook dinners so we don't have to spend money on eating out (and I have somewhere to cook the amazing local food I find at the farmers market), and a computer and wireless internet so we can keep up with friends and family back home!  It is also located about 10 miles from Hickam AFB, which is actually going to be a pretty big commute for Honolulu traffic as I've heard, but it is much closer than many of our other options.

view of the mountains from the condo sun deck

kitchen, dining area, couch, bed and tv... VERY small!

bed, computer desk, couch and kitchen

view of the ocean from sun deck... walking distance to ocean

18 June 2011

Our First Car... and my new blog!

I've had this blog for a while but my life up until now has been pretty uninteresting, and nobody besides Levus really wants to hear my angry ramblings and opinions!  So, because today was such a big and exciting day in our lives, I figured it would be a great day to get the blog started!  This blog is intended to chronicle our perhaps boring daily lives, but also my move to Oahu, planning my tiny wedding, and all of our adventures, travels and PCSing (Permanent Change of Station) together as a couple!  For those of you (like me) who aren't used to military acronyms... I'm going to start slowly trying to use them while also sharing the definition.  I'm using these mainly so I can learn them, because half of the time I don't know what Levus is even talking about!

Life is pretty stressful right now between moving overseas, coordinating a tiny wedding, and joining two separate lives in to one life.  Today was a big day for us, as we both accomplished some goals!  Mom and I went shopping here in Springfield, MO for a wedding dress!  The first store we went to was Vintage Vice in downtown Springfield.  I wasn't going in to this store with high hopes.  Ordinarily it is quite difficult for me to find clothing that fits me from vintage stores.  People back in the day were so tiny!  Anyway, to my luck (and surprise) the first dress we found was not only PERFECT it was also MY SIZE!  It was literally everything I had dreamed about for a beach wedding in Hawaii!  I won't be posting pictures until after the wedding (because I don't want Levus to know anything about the dress) so if you want pictures either let me know, or wait till I post pictures from our wedding day later on.  We have also selected a wedding location in Hawaii called "Eternity Beach".  The beach was apparently in a movie 1953 called "From Here To Eternity", which I of course have not seen.  I wasn't too excited about getting married on a beach (I was voting for a waterfall) until I saw the pictures of this beach...

The more exciting news of today is WE HAVE A CAR!  Levus went and looked at our car today, and it was a DEAL!  We spent about $2000 under the KBBV (Kelly Blue Book Value) and Levus even pulled the negotiation card and got them to come down on the price $100!  Even more exciting to me... IT'S A VOLVO!  The car has only had one owner for its entire life (the owner literally cried as he was about to drive off) and has been kept up meticulously (with records).