sarah starts chemo tomorrow


chemo. tomorrow. chemotherapy! the real deal.

sometimes I don't want to think about it. cancer, that is. Or the pain that my sister has gone through in the last five months. Or the pain that she will endure in the upcoming months/years..

2014 was huge for our family. Sarah found her match, Derek, and they were married in the temple in May. JJ and I were able to visit them in New York while they lived there during the summer. Then JJ left on his mission just weeks before Sarah Kay was officially diagnosed with cancer. It was the most emotional year of my life--yet. 2015 is going to be pretty intense too, it already has.

I've moved out to California (Palo Alto to be exact) and am currently taking a breather from school for a bit. It was pretty intense trying to focus in class when all I wanted to do was be with Sarah Kay and Derek. (Props to Derek for being a BOSS and working so hard at school and his job all while being Sarah's biggest cheerleader/nurse/life coach--wait isn't that what a husband is though?..anyway)

It's been great so far out here in the Golden State. I'm staying at a dear cousins and working fulltime at my nannying job. My poor boyfriend Mike has been very sick with an awful flu strain ever since we left Hawaii (2 full weeks now) so we really haven't had any real fun yet. But he's on the slow road to recovery and we're excited to see the sights and explore the gorgeous Bay area!

so. there's just a little update on my life I guess.

I'm excited to nurse Mike back to health and get some pretty California photos up on this blog soon!



my very first big adventure of 2015 and it was so rad.

basically I told Mike I wanted a to go somewhere totally MAGICAL for New Year's and since he adores me he said ok yah sure I'll take you to Hawaii my princess goddess of everything.


Mike's family makes frequent trips to the islands and have so many awesome memories there. With his brand new job out in California, Mike only gets so much time off so we decided to find any reason to get out and vacation there.

Luckily Mike's parents are on a dedicated mission to perform ordinances in as many temples as they can--we're talking global scale. It was amazing to me how easily his family can just get up and go (they've got insane flight benefits) so it only took a day or two to plan a little trip over to Oahu to see the gorgeous La'ie temple!

*hilarious sidenote: in our excitement to go, none of us checked to see if the temple was even open. we got to Waikiki and found out it is closed until January 14th. LOL

but we decided to totally enjoy our trip nonetheless *sarcastic because we're in HAWAII

so the first couple nights were spent in Waikiki, a very beautiful but touristy beach area. I really liked it because of the view (wow) and all the cool hotels that bordered the coast. Mike and I hung out in the First Hotel of Hawaii foyer one night and listened to beautiful piano music, with the ocean right behind us. PERFECT NIGHT!

One day we decided to leave our spot on the beach and take a walk down to a different beach. It was gorgeous to see so far out into the ocean and see how each beach was so different. We got down to a couple hotels when it started drizzling. Then it turned into a massive sudden storm with rain gushing down everywhere. We took cover under a hotel awning but remembered all our stuff was back on the beach! so Mike booked it back to our spot(a full two beaches away) and Mike's mom and I jogged in the puring rain, laughing the whole time at how ridiculous we looked while everyone in all the hotels watched us--running and laughing on a deserted beach.

turns out our phones, kindle and books were just fine. It didn't even rain that hard on our beach anyway. here's a photo of Mike's mom post storm.

I love this photo of Mike and I.
I think he enjoyed being my tour guide and sharing with me one of his favorite places to visit.

anyway back to our week in Hawaii.
On New Year's eve we trekked over to the more quiet, less touristy side of the island. We spent New year's eve in Waimanalo bay--a most perfect beach with the lightest blue water and whitest sand.

I loved Waimanalo. it was so quiet and calm. the layout was neat too, a tall, thick and massive forest dubbed Sherwood forest opened up and abruptly turned into the ocean front. everything was so tropical and delicate. the flowers, the leaves and the perfect soft sand. the only beach I've been to that maybe compares is Acapulco in Mexico.

so then here we are now, in La'ie. We're staying two blocks away from the Temple, four blocks away from the beach and a street away from BYU Hawaii. pretty neat. we leave tonight and I'm pretty bummed but also ready to get to California. I've got a nannying job lined up and feel ultra ready to work! can't wait to SAVE ALL THE MONEYS! lol sorry mom if you don't get my Internet lingo.

One more random side note: our Hawaiian neighbors are totally adorable and from our room I can hear their kids singing and playing. the music reminded me of my time spent on my two different Hawaiian hula teams. I love everything about Polynesian culture, it's just the best. Family is very important, everyone hugs and kisses each other, we get to eat tons of food and then dance all night with people we love!

basically this is how I want to live my life.

anyway Happy New Year and ALOHA

love ishel


*sorry I really didn't mean to make that blog title so cliche*

Hi family and others who read this blog,

for Christmas last year/week/whatever I gave my mama a little book I created that described different events during the year 2014 (it was pretty cute if I say so myself) this book was kind of an apology for breaking my tradition of writing weekly letters(emails) home to my family during 2014....

so Mom, today I write this post is my newly written down goal to update you on what's going on in my life. every.single.week. (hopefully)

***I also made a goal to not be so hard on myself so I'm not going to get bummed out if I miss a week here and there. ( and you shouldn't either)

anyway so without further ado-- here's what I've been up to this year!!

---wait-- so actually I just decided to leave this post as is and then make some more entries with better titles describing what's actually in the post....

so go read the new ones...thanks..

love ishel