Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Hell of the Mariana's - 100 K Bike Race

This last weekend Mark woke me up at 5:15 AM on a Saturday to take him down to the Pacific Islands Club, Where the starting and finish line for the Hell of Mariana's Bike Race took place. They say this is the hardest bike race in micronesia, and I would have to agree, with heat and humidity, even at that early time in the morning, hills upon hills and 60 miles (100 k) on a bike seat, I would have to agree. Mark on the other hand, it was one of his things on his checklist to do while living on Saipan, and Mark didn't only compete in this race, but he did an amazing job!

I was able to drive around the island stopping at points before Mark even came on the bike, which made for great pictures. There were roughly 110 competeitors in this race, and it was amazing to watch! Every time I saw Mark come around a corner, he was smiling, and I was so proud of him! (I am glad it was him and not me. hehe).

Mark thinking he is pretty hot stuff on the way to the race =)

The backside of #117Very early in the morning for me... approx. 5:45 AM on a Saturday... But so excited to watch and cheer on my biker! Mark, Jake, and Melody ready to begin.... Ready, Get Set.... GO!

Mark coming down Radar Hill, about 30 miles into the race....
Coming around the corner at the Last Command Post.... about 20 miles to go!

Leaving Bonzai Cliff, the last stretch and all flat...

Mark clocking in 4 Hours and 35 minutes.... 60 miles...

Glad to be done.... relaxing a little before going home to get ready for the Banquet. Receiving his prizes for coming in 2nd place in his age bracket (26 - 35 year olds) and on Road Bikes! 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. I am so proud of you Mark Andrew!

Mark was a little disappointed with his time, but I, like I have said, I am so proud of him! At the banquet he won $50.oo ( he got the devil, which was a man who jumps out during the race, hence the name HELL of marianas), a cell phone, a sweet medal, and a case of gatorade (a pregnant ladies delight) . It was really fun to be able to be a part of this, even as a cheerleader ( I wouldn't have it anyway.) Now he begins his training to compete in his first Triathalon - Exterra Saipan - in February.....

Good Luck Marko! And Congratulations! Coconut and I are so proud of you!

Stubborn Already...

Last week Tuesday, December 2, we had another doctor appointment. It was certainly a nerve racking appointment from a parents point of view. We went in to listen to the heart beat and after about 15 minutes of searching for the heart beat our doctor gave up and decided to do an ultrasound. Which I was excited about, because up until that point, Mark had never seen his little on on the Ultrasound machine, live! After laying down and them pulling up the picture, their our little Coconut was, heart beat and all. It certainly did give us a scare, but my dr. says that our little one is hiding so far behind my pelvic bone, it was no surprise she couldn't find the heart beat.

Also during our ultra sound, we learned that we have a live one! Little one, would not quit moving long enough to get a good picture. Proud Daddy seeing his child for the first time, was all smiles, especially when it decided to give a show and start punching and kicking into the air.... We even got to see it's spine and rib cage, very cool and creepy all that the same time, I must say.

Needless to say, Coconut is growing healthy and strong and doing just fine. So is Mom. I am feeling alot better and starting to show more and more. I did have my first run in with swollen feet the other night, but we wont talk about that =).

Thanks for your prayers and encouraging words through this time! We get to find out the first week of January if Coconut is a boy or a girl!

Monday, November 30, 2009

3 Ladies and 3 Shopping Spree's!

This past Thanksgiving weekend, Kristie, Jackie and Myself did a little hop, skip, and a jump in a small plane to the big island of Guam. A much needed little mini vacation for the ladies! All of us were so ready! We arrived on Guam Friday morning around 8:30 AM and by 9:00 AM we were in Ross shopping, mind you, it was black Friday too! Literally all day Friday we shopped, with a lunch break at Wendy's (Oh- how I miss Wendy's). 

We even hit of Motherhood Maternity, where 99% of my shopping money was spent in 2 or less hours. However, it was really fun. I think Jackie and Kristie had just as much fun as I did.... for me it was getting clothes that fit again, for now that is; and for them it was trying on maternity clothes with the little pregnant pillows they have for their customer's to try on. I was in the dressing room and kept hearing giggling, and this is what I found when I came out... 

They were certainly having some fun, and made it a really fun shopping trip! They were great shoppers too, finding me clothes that were cute, comfy and cool. And I must say when their time comes both Kristie and Jackie will make pretty cute pregnant mama's! 

Here we all are trying on the clothes with the baby bumps.... My real one is growing quite rapidly... so maybe this is what I will look like in 3 months or so =) Hopefully not so pillowish though. 

Well After shopping from 9:00 AM to about 8:00 AM on Friday, my money was spent, but was all worth it. Saturday was window shopping =) 

Maternity clothes ( THANKS MOM!) , needed personal items that are expensive to get on island, and even some treats for coconut from Grandma and Grandpa Sawyer! Overall it was the weekend we were all hoping for, minus the rain that came down for 24 hours a day all three days we were there until about an hour before our flight back to Saipan =). 

So Long Wendy's, Macy's, Cold Stone, Ross, Motherhood Maternity, and K-mart! I will see you all this summer when back in Washington! Thanks for being good to me on my shopping spree! 

ALOT to be THANKFUL for...

Mark and I certainly have a lot to be thankful for... family both near and far, close friends, a little one on the way, great jobs, each other, yummy food, health, and Jesus' gift of life both here on earth and in heaven. 

It seems that every year when Thanksgiving comes around, we tell ourselves what we are thankful for, but alot of the time, I catch myself complaining about one thing or the other. But either way, I am so very thankful for the Life Christ has given me, I have been blessed beyond my dreams. 

For Thanksgiving this year, we were able to celebrate twice! Once on Monday night with our Home group (I forgot my camera at home) and then again on Thanksgiving with some of our church family! The Winkfields were generous hosts in opening their home to 30+ people! It was certainly a feast! 

Games after dinner! 
Marko enjoying his pile of food, Our tummy's were certainly hurting at the end of this meal. 
Jen, Shea, and I at the kiddo's table. 
Debbie Winkfield one of our wonderful hosts, and kristina. Kristina is Due at the end of January with her first, and it is a little boy! It has been really fun having a friend on island who is also expecting! 
Enjoying the festivities outside! 
Tami and Jeremy Winkfield! Tami is The Winkfield's middle daughter, and Jeremy is the youngest of all the Winkfield kid's! He was home visiting from Hawaii! 

Happy Thanksgiving to each of you! And may God bless you this upcoming Holiday Season! 

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

15 Down, Roughly 25 Weeks To Go...

We can not believe how fast the last 8 weeks have gone. We found our we were expecting a little one at 7 weeks along, and now here we are 8 weeks later, 15 weeks along. Time has certainly flown by, which is both very exciting and a little be overwhelming.

For about the last two weeks, I have been feeling much better. I gladly welcome the 2nd trimester! It has certainly been good to me. I have not had as much morning sickness, I really haven't had any, until the last two days, but it doesn't last long, and for that I am very thankful. I also have been able to make it most of the days without a nap, and am going to bed a little later now, 9:15! Running to the bathroom, and constant hunger pains though, have not subsided, but I can live with those =)

As time is getting closer, though when I talk about it, it feels like years away. There is so much to do, discover and decide. We have our 16 week appointment next Tuesday, and we are eager to hear how our little coconut is doing. We are praying for a healthy update. We also, we hopefully (crossing our fingers) with in the next month, get to find out whether our little one will be a boy or a girl! Mark and I both have dreamed of a little boy, but we are both getting the gut feeling it is a girl..... Either way, just healthy and I will be happy!

We recently have started looking at different things we will soon need to be purchasing, car seat, clothing, diapers, pacifiers, etc.... and it is exciting and scary all at the same time. This weekend, the day after Thanksgiving, I will be headed to Guam with a few friends for shopping, and am excited to pick out some cute maternity clothes, and baby gear... Thanks to Grandma Judy, Grandpa Garry, Grandma Betty, and Grandpa John!

Mark has been an amazing daddy/hubby throughout the pregnancy thus far, doing extra chores around the house that I would usually do, making sure I am not over doing it, and recently, which warms my heart the most, is at night when we are in bed and about ready to shut the lights off, he comes over to my belly (that doesnt seem to be any bigger, until I look in pictures) lifts up my shirt, kisses it, talks to our little one, and is reading the Max Lucado Children's treasury book to it. Listening to him read it, in such a kinda and gentle voice, just makes me melt. I can not wait to see Mark as a daddy, holding his little one, and reading to it! Only 5 or so months to go.

We love you little Coconut!

Friday, November 13, 2009

A True Honor...

In Honor of tomorrow's Big Game, Mark and I wanted to send our Vandal Love and Support to Boise, Idaho. Vandal's we know you will play with heart, soul, and Vandal spirit. Win or Loose we will always be tride and true to you! GO VANDALS!
Our Engagment Picture, November 2006 (Like the sweatshirts?)
Q: Why do Bronco Fans leave their diploma's in the dashboards of their car?
A: So they are able to park in handicap spaces.
Did you hear about the Bronco fan who was so upset that the Vandals beat Boise State that he tried to commit suicide by jumping out of his basement window?
Q: Where was O.J. hiding right before the famous white Bronco chase?
A: On the Boise State University campus. That's the last place you would find a football player.
Q: How do you make Boise State University cookies?
A: Put them in a big Bowl and beat for 3 hours.
Q: What's the difference between a Boise State fan and a carp?
A: One is a bottom-feeding, scum sucker, and the other is a fish.
Boise News Report: Football practice in Boise was delayed on Monday for nearly two hours. One of the offensive players, while on his way to the locker room, happened to look down and notice a suspicious looking, unknown, white powdery substance on the practice field. The head coach, Chris Petersen, immediately suspended practice while the FBI was called in to investigate. After a complete field analysis, the FBI determined that the white substance unknown to the players was the goal line. Practice was resumed when the FBI decided that the team would not be likely to encounter the substance again.
It was reported that Boise State head football coach Chris Petersen will only be dressing twenty players for the Idaho game. The rest of the players will have to get dressed by themselves.

Q: How do you get a Boise State University grad off of your front porch?
A: Pay him for the pizza.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

So Close to the End... of the First Trimester that is...

I am officially 12 weeks and 5 days along!

Our little one is roughly about the size of a fresh plum (2 1/2 inches from rump to crown), and growing rapidly!
Yesterday we had the biggest appointment thus far, and it truely put my heart and mind at ease... for now. Yesterday after school Mark picked me up from work and we headed to the doctor's. When we arrived in the exam room, I thought we would be doing another physical, etc. But nope, we simply sat back, relaxed anxiously, and waited, and waited, and waited to hear the heart beat. Our little one is already ornery... Coconut was hiding way in the back about it took about 10 min. for our Doctor to find that rapidly beating heart beat... But she didn't give up... and when she did find it, it was absolutly amazing! We were able to listen to it for abotu 5 minutes, and what an experience, it truely made it a realization that there is something in there. =)
My body has slowly been getting back to "normal." I do not have morning sickness as much, but it does like to sneak up on me quite quickly... I am beginning to slow down on the eating, and gaining a little more energy.... But still pretty tired... and recently my tummy hasn't been as large, which I am guessing because I haven't been a bloated =).
The picture above was taken on a bloated day, and after two slices of pizza, so take this with a grain of salt... My doctor said at the next appointment, which is Dec. 2, she should be seeing alittle pouch....
Yesterday, to make the day even more real, we recieved our first baby gift, from Coconut's Auntie Kara.... It was a wonderful treat for the day! Diapers, pacifiers, burp clothes, feeding blankets, a rattle, and a beautiful Vera Bradley Diaper Bag (maybe if our wee one is a girl, we can get her hooked early to a Kappa Delta "must have.") hehe. Thank You Auntie Kara! Your beautiful gift could not have come on a better day!
Thanksgiving is coming up! And we are pretty excited for the wonderful meal with our island family! Also- the day after Thanksgiving, my friends Jackie and Kristie and I are headed to Guam for a 2 day girls shopping trip.... Which means my goal is to find summer maternity clothes at cheap cheap prices =) But I am excited to get off our little island, head to a bigger island, and feel a little bit more Americanized! Chilies we are headed to you for dinner! Ohhhhh and dont forget Wendy's, Macy's, Ross, yes... I am ready and soooooo excited!
While I am away, Mark and Jake (Jackie's hubby) are hoping to head to our neighboring island, Tinian to do a 2 day trip of biking and camping. Tinian is much small then Saipan, but has some great War history, for instance it is where the Anolagay too off... the atomic bomb... It will be good for all of us to have a girly-girl and manly-man weekend!
It certainly isn't getting any cooler like it is back home. Mark just checked the temp. currently for Spokane and it said 38 degree's... Oh how I long for that! I know, i should be loving this heat... but it dosen't make for a very festive fall or Christmas, BUT, thanks to all of our wonderful friends who sent us care packages this year and last, our house is looking quite like fall on the inside =)
We love you all and miss you very much! We are counting down the days until our little one is here, and then adding roughly 40 days until we can stand on the soil of the beautiful Northwest! We can't wait to be home! BUT FIRST, Australia for Christmas with Aunt Betty! We can't wait!
M, B, and Coconut.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Excuses, Excuses. I could think of a hundred excuses for not updating our blog sooner, but I will just stick with the most exciting one.

I come home every day after work, take about an hour nap, get up spend a few hours with Mark, try and stomich some food down, and the get back into bed between 7:30 and 8:30pm. Then I wake up the next morning, usually feeling pretty sick,but it is getting better, and then the day repeats its self....
WE ARE PREGNANT! As of today I am 10 weeks and roughly day along! And our little coconut is growing so fast already! My tummy is getting bigger and bigger already, and I am hoping it will slow down soon =) This was take the day we found out at 7 weeks. Here's Daddy trying to be supportive.
Thank goodness this isnt possible =) Maybe with Beer, but I dont see that happening anytime soon!
We have had three appointments already. The day we found out... our first prenatal, and then a quick stop in yesterday.
At the first appointment the dr. wanted to make sure everything was looking good, so at 7 weeks he did an ultrasound and showed us the heart beat. It is amazing how just in three weeks I can actually make out what that little thing is!
At the second appointment, our first prenatal, they simply did an over all physical and said everything looked good.
Then yesterday, I simply went in to get an infection looked at, nothing serious, but it was bothering me. BUT then they surprised me with an ultra sound, just to see how things are looking.... and there was our little coconut. I could make out the head, and body, even the little legs and arms! It was absolutly amazing! I only wish Mark could have been there. The cooolest part was the dr. was able to push on my tummy a certain way and we were able to watch it punch its little arm into the air! I also got to see the heart beat which was completely reassuring!
Here are some pictures from yesterday!

What a whirl wind of experiences pregnancy has been so far... from the tiredness, not tiredness, exhaustian, to nausea (thank goodness no puking), to being hungry alll the time, to sudden break downs and uncontrolable crying, to watching my belly grow!
We havent even met this little one, and Mark and I are so on Love it already! Mark has already been such an amazing daddy, from doing house chores, to making dinner, to rubbing my shoulders, to simply sitting for 15 min. and talking to my belly =)
I cant wait to meet this little coconut and welcome it into the Sawyer/Oliver family!
We are currently about 10 weeks along, so roughly 30 more weeks to go! Pray that this little one and I stay healthy and safe throughout the pregnancy =)
Mark, Brit, and Coconut.

So Proud of Mark!

Mark is such an amazing man! I couldn't be luckier to have such an amazing husband!

After being in the hospital two weeks ago for kidney stones, this last weekend Mark competed in a 50 km. Bike race, called the "Mini Hell of the Mariana's". There were roughly 100 competitors and they all worked hard. This bike race was not just nice and flat, it was mostly hills and he did so well.... he was just simply hoping to get done within 3 hours =) Which I knew he could do it in less, but since he had been in the hospital he didnt want to push it....

Well he finished in 1 hour and 58 min. and came in 28th place!

I was one proud wifey to watch him come across that finish line!

Later that afternoon he decided he could bike some more, and went out with some of the guys for an afternoon mountain bike ride... he's crazy =)

Now he is training for the next race, which I believe is in December, "The Hell of the Mariana's." It is a 100 km. bike race!


Here he comes!

There he goes!

All smiles coming into the finish line!

One sweaty and hot biker man!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Update: Super Typhoon Choi Wan Level 5!

I am soooooo thankful this passed us. Granted it would have been an awesome experience, but not at this level. Thank you Lord for protecting us. We are still feeling some side affects from it though. Still cooler outside, grey skies and lots of rain and wind.... but we are safe. 

Please pray for the families on the small island that is may hit. 


If you look closely, you can see the island of Saipan right below the center of the eye of the storm. 

Super Typhoon Choi-wan had just become a monstrous Category 4 super typhoonon the morning of September 15, 2009, when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this photo-like image. Choi-wan is a perfect circle with bands of clouds pin-wheeling around the dense center. The dark blue surface of the Pacific Ocean is visible through the clear eye, which is defined by a towering wall of clouds.

At the time the image was taken, Choi-wan had sustained winds estimated at 230 kilometers per hour (145 miles per hour or 125 knots), according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center. Choi-wan was strengthening. Twenty-four hours later, the storm reached Category 5 status with sustained winds of 260 km/hr (160 mph or 140 knots). The Joint Typhoon Warning Center expected the storm to intensify a little more.

While the storm raked across the Northern Mariana Islands and was targeting the small islands of Iwo To and Chinchi Jima, it was not forecast to hit any major land mass. In this image, Super Typhoon Choi-wan is centered over the northern arc of the Mariana Islands in the western Pacific Ocean, with the larger islands of Guam, Saipan, and Tinian located on the southern edge of the storm. The islands north of Saipan are volcanic and are either unoccupied or sparsely populated.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

...Island Living...

Welcome to our home in the sweet village of Santa Lourdes....
We live on the top floor of this island style home. Our landlords, though its hard to tell there is a lower level, live on the lower level to the left.
Our House and our New 97' Honda Civic. Gets much better gas mileage then the 4-runner. Front Door.
Front porch, to the left of the front door... Its a nice, big, wrap around porch...
the side porch, next to the living room.

Side porch looking back towards the front porch.
My Orchids....
Kitchen view when entering the house through the front door. Kitchen/Dinning Room looking at the front door.
Our sweet little kitchen.

Hallway to the two bedrooms and bathroom.

Living room/dinning room looking back from the hallway. Kitchen in the distance from living room.

Living Room and Side porch view from Kitchen.
Living Room.

Our Bedroom. Like the brown curtains mama?

Our bedroom looking out at the living room. Love the new bedding, thanks to IKEA, and the mirrors we bought when we were first married, from IKEA.

Our awesome closet space in our bedroom. We can finally fit back into one closet!
Marks Office/ Guest room. Also Marks Decorating skills. =)

My experimental plants are doing great! They are growing like weeds!

Thanks Mama for the sweet table piece, I love it! Our chairs we purchased at a garage sale last year for $15 a piece... (BEFORE)

Our chairs, $15 more later... SO MUCH BETTER! and a fun bright color!

Thanks for visiting our sweet little island home! We have a guestroom avaliable, trust me, Mark WILL clean it up for you =). So I hope to see 1 or 2 of your sweet faces on our island this year!


B & M