Sunday, December 12, 2021

Feelings Buried Never Die

It's been just over 6 years and 11 days since I last blogged here. In this day and age, with social media and the ease of sharing constant updates, pictures, random thoughts on platforms like Facebook and Instagram, the use of a blog has become passé. But this often unvisited, little shoebox of memories still has a place in my heart, especially for the things that need more than a selfie or a funny/wisdom filled meme. So, here we go. 

Why "Feelings Buried Never Die"?

In 2003, I was 29. I had magical and awakening conversations with a cherished friend. There was a time when we were talking on the phone when I was in a bookstore in the mall (such a different way of life "back then"). As we talked, I came across a book titled, "Feelings Buried Never Die" and I paged through it briefly as we bantered about whether or not that was something needed.

At that time, finding this book was super appropriate, although I didn't know it. I was battling the deep inner conflict of trying to stay in my marriage of the time, to find ways to change myself, to think differently, to be different, as I thought that was the way things had to be. Picking up that book, I realized that perhaps instead of buying another self help book on marriage, perhaps I should be looking at how to unearth feelings and look at traumas I had put aside, to stay "alive", to stay functioning, to stay, period. I didn't buy that book that day, but all of these years later, I still find the title comes to mind, specifically when I identify life changing moments, the painful, heart breaking ones, that cannot and should not be buried. So here, as I tell why I am writing again, the only title for this post must match the title of that book. 

The Unexpected 

Since my last post, November 30, 2015, I've been on a betterment trajectory. Exercise programs, fitness challenges, books read, hours worked, happiness created, and more and more grand children welcomed in. I find that so many wonderful wishes have come true as I've been blessed to be aligned with good, caring, strong, capable, talented individuals and organizations. I've become more of the butterfly goddess I once dreamt I'd be when I grew up. Life is life though, and not without challenges, but coming from a place of pain from the formative years of my life and the first decade and a half of my adulthood, the challenges of the past six years are ones I could take in stride. Until last month. 

Until the first week of November 2021, every day life meant piles of work, kid and family activities, commitments to splendid organizations that I am grateful to support, and as allowed, late night TV with my husband. I had become a kind of content numb, settled, well-founded, and not wanting...I had no time for want in a life so full and perceptibly complete as mine was. 

Amidst my normal, I began to find myself feeling sick and tired. Truth of the matter, I was nearly to the end of my 2nd foray into the 75 Hard program, so feeling tired was not new at the time, but feeling sick certainly was. At my age, it could be so many things, and I went online to discover them all, but nothing seemed right, so I decided I should probably see my doctor. 

Funny thing husband joked about how I was in such good shape that maybe I was pregnant. It was quite literally the last thing on my mind. At 47, who thinks pregnancy, its more like menopause or something unfun like that. But his statement put me on the edge and I took a test. Positive. I was stunned to say the least. We were a few weeks away from celebrating our youngest son's 6th birthday. We had, just days prior, taken our extended family picture that I had made specific remark about being able to print it "because no one is pregnant this year." I thought maybe there was something wrong with the test. Maybe there was just something wrong. But a visit to my doctor confirmed pregnancy and the beginning of the roller coaster ride. 

Thrown Off Track 

My life was hurtled off track. I have loved being a mother. I have LOVED it with everything in me. I made my peace with the fact that I would never bear another child a few years prior. I wanted for nothing there, after being so miraculously blessed with our two youngest children, and five total children who filled my heart to overflowing. In that moment, I was bombarded with a thousand thoughts, like how funny it was that I ruined my own plans for a printed family picture, how I was excited to tell our Ayla that she might have a baby sister and that her many prayers for one may be answered, how I was full of dread to tell anyone that I was pregnant at my age, and how would I make my job work, how would I find a way to be healthy enough to bear a child, how, how, how. 

I sat in the car and cried. I cried thanks first, and then cried in confusion, and then lastly in fear because of the many risks that come with a "geriatric pregnancy". I sat in the car and let many thoughts wash over me, but prayed to find a way through, no matter what. 

That day and for many days after, my husband and I talked about the "what ifs" of the situation at hand. I told him about a story from when I was only 20 and a shaman told me that I'd have six children; was this the fulfillment of that prediction. I told him that I wanted to be healthy and asked him to help me take care of myself, as I tend to do better taking care of others. We talked about "three bebes" and mused on what it would be like. One of our anchors is the adoring love we have for our two babies. The thought of adding a third had a softening effect on him, one that inspired tenderness and I needed it because depending on the hour, I felt a wreck. 

I tried to "go with it". I downloaded at least three baby apps, I started planning dates and found ways that this miracle could work into our lives. I began to cancel summer 2022 plans and made last minute 2021 vacation plans in anticipation of not being able to travel. I kept up my exercising, but my body hurt and seemed out of sorts in a way that was not like my previous pregnancies. I even broke down and told my boss as I needed someone at work to know that I'd have to make a change, if not for myself, than for the health and well being of the baby I carried. It was confronting to have that conversation, only because I didn't feel settled and still wondered if this would work out. 

Looking back, I think I knew it wasn't going to work out, but I fought those thoughts. I tried to cradle my tummy in my hands and picture a baby, however, I could not form a connection with that future. It troubled me. I would close my eyes and try to visualize and magic up how it was going to be, however I felt blocked and floated along, waiting for something to confirm my path. 


Three weeks after having a positive pregnancy test, I began to have signs that something was not right. I called my doctor and they had me come in for an ultrasound. I felt that this was going to be the confirmation I needed to find my feet and know what was next. As the ultrasound scanned my insides, I expected to see the sight I was so familiar with: a tiny tadpole and a super fast heart beat. But to my despair, there was nothing. Just darkness. The technician told me that it didn't mean there wasn't a baby, that it might be too soon to tell, that it wasn't time to throw in the towel yet, but in my heart, I knew. I walked out to my car, overwhelmed and not sure what to feel aside from disappointment, pain, confusion, and the realization that this was not going to happen. 

In the week following my doctor's visit, I began to miscarry. I was in the car on my way to California and I felt my heart break. I sent out a text to the few family members who knew about the pregnancy, "Body seems to be miscarrying now. I'm really sad even though I knew it was high risk and might not work out. I have to believe it's all for the best and as it should be, but I also wish it never happened, it's been so long since my heart felt broken." For the many dark miles between home and Las Vegas, I indulged in weeping as my children slept in the backseat because I needed to let my sadness live. I would not bury what needed to be released. 

The next day, when we arrived in So. Cal and went immediately to my grand parents' graves, I held in my hand a golden healer stone that I had brought from home. After we cleaned the graves and took pictures of the great, great and great grandchildren at the graves, everyone wandered back to the cars, ready for the next leg of our adventure. 

I stopped and looked back at the graves and silently prayed a bit. I prayed thanks for all my grand parents went through and for the miracle it was that I was born and lived and was able to bring more of their progeny into the world. I prayed that if there had been a baby that they would take care of him, so that he wasn't alone. I prayed thanks for families and put my golden healer stone to that sacred, blessed ground and let the stone absorb the holiness so I could take it with me. I left a portion of my pain there and took up the feeling of peace instead. 

After the graves, we stopped at Laguna to get out and play in the ocean. Again, I felt I should produce the golden healer stone and wash it in the Pacific. I turned it over and over in the gentle waves, then let it lay on the sand and soak up the sun. I gently held that stone near my body, as if it were my heart that was being remade. It was the beginning of my healing, then and there. It could not have happened any other way. 

Back on Track 

I came home from our vacation and continued to go though the process of miscarrying. I wrote about it once in my journal to make sure I didn't forget, however I knew I'd need to really write it out when I had time to reflect in without deep pain. My life snapped back on track and since no one really knew what happed on my three week roller coaster ride, no one was the wiser or knew that my heart was still mending. Some days that has been good and some days it has been not so great, but it is what it is. 

Here I am now, mostly healed and focusing on the hope that even though I still wish this had never happened, I am sincerely hoping that this experience helps me to care more for others, to understand the pain that some have had to feel as it relates to having children, just generally hoping that I am a better person for this. I hope that my broken heart is healing with greater capacity to love, and maybe that is why the heart break was needed. 

So here, my wish is to let this experience be and let the feelings live, unburied, beautiful, real and free. 

Monday, November 30, 2015

Our First Whole Week of Double the Babies and More

It's been over one year since I last posted here. So much has changed since October 2014. The most notable changes have been that in December 2014, we welcomed our baby girl, Ayla, into our family. My Ikaika came home from his mission in April 2015. Just before Ikaika came home, we found out that we were going to have another baby in December 2015. Baby Ayan joined our family this month, about 3.5 weeks early. Last week we got to bring him home. So in the past year, we went from one child at home, to four children here. My heart and home are both tremendously full.

On a Tuesday, I went to the hospital. At nearly midnight on a Wednesday, Ayan was born. He was so tiny. Seeing his face reminded me of Ayla. He was rushed off to the NICU. Holding him with so many wires and tubes attached was heart wrenching. Everyday he got stronger and better. Leaving him at the hospital had me up crying and calling to check in and see how he was doing in the middle of the night. But it was only a few days before he came home. When we brought him home, I felt such a complete peace. Finally, to have my babies home, together. 

Since last week Sunday, I have been trying to get used to "Double the babies" as Ian and I have referred to our situation for month now. It is an incredible thing to go from pregnant with no babies, to no longer pregnant with two babies in less than one year. My body is tired. I have had energy to do so many things for most of my life, but I find myself drained and grateful for the times when Ian gets up to make bottles, feed babies, change diapers or put binkies back in crying baby mouths. One week in, I feel like I've got a better handle on it than I did last Sunday, but it will be a while before I have everything under "control" the way I wish I could.

At night, there are two babies to put to bed. There are double the diapers in the middle of the night to change. There are double the bottles to prepare. But that also means there are two sweet baby faces that I get to kiss good night. There are double the babies to hold in my arms and cradle. I feel so blessed.

I am grateful for my sons, Kekoa and Ikaika, who love these babies and tease me about being replaced. Nothing in the world could ever take the place of my children, not even "new" children. If anything, I have looked back and wished I could have done more, provided more or loved Kekoa and Ikaika more. I did love them with all that I had, but I will always wish I could have given them more.

Tonight, Ian got Ayla to sleep and left me to put Ayan to sleep. They are all sleeping now, which has afforded me this moment to record a bit here. I love my husband and babies...all of them. I thankful for this family of mine. I am thankful that I was able to spend time with my parents, my siblings and our family this week. I am so grateful as I look at our lives and see that things are working out, and even if things are difficult, that we keep going.

I look at my children and my heart hurts for families who may be missing their children for whatever reason tonight. I look at these sleeping, peaceful babies and it makes me pray for those who are in situations where they are longing to keep their children safe from harm. I cannot help but pray for the families of this world who are torn and harmed by the wars of all kinds that are waged against them. I wish and pray and hope for peace, for all who seek it, especially for the children of this world.

I am thankful that this exhaustion that I feel is within the walls of my home, with my husband to love and help me, with my children who are healthy and safe. All I can be is grateful tonight and always.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

It Made Me Wonder If I Am Fat

Last night, I was faced with a statement from the M that truly surprised me.  She was telling me the story of how she had been playing outside with a new friend she made.  This new friend apparently skinnied right through the bars in the fence they were playing on, but the M could not squeeze through.  She had a very sober face when she said of this situation, "It made me wonder if I am fat."

My first internal reaction was immediate and demanding: NO! NO! NO! But I knew that I had one chance to help this beautiful little princess of ours understand that she is not "fat." DEEP BREATHS...and then I started to talk to her about what she thought.

I let her know that the bars she was trying to squeeze through were not the "You're Fat" or "You're Skinny" measurers in the world.  I told her that they were just bars.  I tried to let her know that everyone's body is different, and while some kids may slip right through the bars, and she didn't, it doesn't mean anything about her.

I told her she's beautiful and definitely not fat.  I told her it is more important for us to focus on how healthy she is, as well as staying safe and not trying to fit in tight spaces where she might get hurt.

I also talked to her about substance; that she is very pretty, but her character, her choices, her pursuits and much more speak to how truly and wholly beautiful a person she is everyday.

Then I took her picture, as she munched on a slice of sour dough with butter at Kneaders.  I wanted to see her smile and fawn over how all I see is how beautiful she is to me and her Dad and her family and friends.

She felt better.  No more wincey, somber face. No more quizzical looks of wonderment.  She was just happy.  I was so relieved.  But this situation made me think back to what I told her about the bars in the fence she was trying to squeeze through just being bars, not "fat-dicators" by any means.

I thought of how hypocritical I may have been in what I was saying to the M.  My "fat-dicators" may not be bars in a fence, but I've let numbers, be it on a scale or on the tags of my clothing have more power than I ever needed to.  Talking to the M about what she thought made me ask myself, "Why should you talk to yourself any differently?"

We had a nice ride home together.  I looked down at my plumping belly and in that moment, I loved it. This belly is here by choice.  I am so lucky to have the health and strength enough to choose to bear a child.  The life I have inside of me doesn't care if I can't fit into my high school sized jeans anymore. The baby just wants to be cared for, by a Mommer who loves her and herself.

I wanted to share this with my friends and family because it meant a lot to me to "let myself off the hook" and to look through eyes of appreciation at my physical body. I'm grateful for this experience.

I see that if I am to raise two healthy girls with grounded self images, who love themselves, I know that I need to have that within myself first.  Today its here. Today I am free.  I hope you will read this and experience it with us...the joy of loving who you are, as you are right now.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Happy Anniversary Mr. Law

Tomorrow, September 29, 2014, Ian and I will have been married for two years.  He jokes with me, "Two years already...eesh!" It makes me laugh, mostly as I reflect upon how it feels we've been together for a lifetime thus far.

Meeting him back in February 2009, I never pictured that this is where we'd have ended up: married, full-time parents to the little M, in a house of our own, looking forward to our baby, and truly happy with a myriad of other positive life changes under our relationship belt.

We started out as co-workers. After getting to know him a bit better, we became friends, and in time, confidantes of sorts. For the most part, I just loved being with him and wanted it to last as long as it could.  Honestly, I still feel that way today.

Although he teased and still teases me rather mercilessly, he has always made it known that he saw that I was more than the life I was settling for at the time.  He saw that I could be so much more and wondered why I was not meeting my potential.

He gave me the courage to see myself as he saw me. The belief and love he has for me still pushes me to be the most that I can be.  I like to think I have done and do the same for him. It was and is easy for me to see him, to love him and to back him up because I believe in him. 

Our mutual approbation came naturally. We both work to keep it that way. is something we strive for and choose.  We have been blessed with the ability to maintain our "harmony bubble" even amidst the many difficulties we've faced together.

Are we perfect? Haha no, we've had our misunderstandings and stressed out times of miscommunication for sure. But at the end of the day, after facing some of our toughest moments, tenderness and togetherness have won. That is real love.  That is a miracle.

I'll post this tonight because when tomorrow comes, I'll be swept up in work and be very far from squishy, reflective, lovey memories.  I'm waiting for him to come home from his radio interview right now.  I can't wait to see him again. Happy anniversary tomorrow to you, my sweet husband. I love you :)

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Happy Birthday My Love

I have so much to say to you, but for now, I felt to listen to this song as it is one that my Dad sang, and mostly wept through, at Keaka's farewell. 

I send the words to you now, and a picture of you and Grandpa, so that you know all that we wish for you today and everyday. 

(I'm not sure if you can see the picture, but I will be printing off a few and laminating them so you can keep them in your scriptures as you travel).

I will write again later, but this could not wait.  All of this song makes me cry as it was so tender when my Dad sang it.

I understand better today the way my own father's heart was expanding and breaking all at once now that I am the one who has sent my son on a mission.  Still learning...always will be. 

I love you my son. Thank you for breaking this heart of mine so I could find ways to strive to be a better person. 

Love you so much,

In the Hollow of Thy Hand

Dear Lord who blesses us with love
Please send this day thy spirit from above
As this thy son, accepts a call from thee
Help him we pray to learn humility

Direct his footsteps everyday
And keep him ever walking in thy ways
Inspire him as he spreads the gospel plan
Lord, hold him in the hollow of thy hand

In the hollow of thy hand as he grows from boy to man
Help his understanding deepen and increase
In the hollow of thy hand as he grows from boy to man
Let him know the special blessing of thy peace

Dear Lord, who hears and answers prayers
Please keep thy servant always in thy care
As he prepares to teach his fellow men
Oh keep him safe and bring him home again

Protect him from all worldly ways
And always send thy spirit when he prays
Give him the courage of a righteous man
Just hold him in the hollow of thy hand

In the hollow of thy hand as he grows from boy to man
Help his understanding deepen and increase
In the hollow of thy hand as he grows from boy to man
Let him know the special blessing of thy peace

As he faces life's demands
May he take a valiant stand
Give him shelter in the hollow of thy hand

Ikaika's Two Latest Correspondences

Happy Ikaika's 20th birthday everyone!  We received a letter from Ikaika on Saturday, but didn't get to read it until Sunday. It was an unexpected surprise to receive a second item yesterday in the mail.  We wanted to wait until everyone was together, but opened it this morning as we were anxious to hear from Ikaika. 

His letters have been transcribed and sent on to family and friends, but I wanted to share some of his words here as well.  He's just so sweet and still so much his very precise self :)  We love him so much! 

Remember if you want to email Ikaika, his email address 
He will be in the MTC through May 13, 2013 - flying out to Philadelphia on May 14, 2013.

Members of the family and a few friends have taken advantage of the same day delivery to the MTC service by the Post Mart in Provo :)  I'm looking forward to Ikaika getting his birthday bag today! 

Without further adieu, here are his letters then mine :)


May 1, 2013 Letter

Dear Family/Everyone,

Today was a great day.  I have felt The Spirit so much more so than I have ever felt in my life at any point. 

Like we thought Mom, my companion is Elder Health J. Madsen.  We only have two room-elders, Elder Cavanah and Elder Gosper.  They are going to Tucson, Arizona just like the rest of my district. 

We had the opportunity to almost sit in on group teachings with big groups (almost 90 of us) where we just had the opportunity to feel the Spirit and write down impressions we had as well as talk to the investigators.

The last rotation of that, Elder Madsen and I had the opportunity to just "knock" on the door to enter the investigator setting.  We ended up speaking to him after and were almost late to our next meeting.  I had to talk to him before I left and I am glad that I followed my feelings to do that.  I can't wait to keep learning here and feeling the Spirit of the Lord.

I'm supposed to sleep now so in closing  I love you guys.  I know that I am where I am supposed to be.  You will be blessed as I am here.  God loves you all so much.  Please try to see that as best as you can, and it you can't, you are not looking hard enough. 

I know the church is true.  I know that God lives.  I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God.  Read it for guidance and I know it will help you.  Once again, I love you all and thank you for getting me here.

E. I. Danner - Elder Danner
Be Strong like I Know You are


May 3, 2013 Card 
(The outside of the card says: My Whole Heart Jumps for Joy...All Because of You!)

Dear Family,

Today is P-Day already.  I was assigned as the DL (District Leader) last night.  I know it is so I can help and learn to help others.  It is a serving opportunity and I hope I will do a good job. 

This is a cheesy card so don't look into the silly picture too much.  You do make me happy and I am grateful for your love and support. 

We all go through hard things, but your attitude will determine how you get through it.  A bitter heart is poisonous to the mind and soul. 

We all have room for improvement so don't forget to look for ways to be better.

After I was assigned as the DL, I wanted us to meet really quick so we went to the classroom to get our stuff.  I had a quick thought as well as said a prayer. 

As we gathered our things, the sisters asked for blessings.  We will be doing that today after the temple.  We are fasting to prepare and we are hoping to have guidance as we do this for them.  It is so important that we do.

You can share these "family letters" with anyone as well.  I love you all and I know the Lord is blessing you.

E. I. Danner - Elder Danner

My District:
Elder Danner        
Elder Madsen   
Elder Cavanah   
Elder Gosper   
Sister Barnes   
Sister Hendricks   
Sister Black      
Sister Clark        
Sister Craig     
Sister Allred


Email Sent on May 6, 2013: Happy Last Day of Being a Teenager!

Good Morning Elder Danner!

I couldn't help but jest at this being your last day as a goes by quick, we've got to enjoy even the silliest of things like your last day of 19 years old :P

How are things going?  We received your letter of May 1, 2013 in the mail on Saturday.  It was good to see your hand writing and to hear your testimony. 

I love that the work is making sense to you and that you are sensitive to the spirit that you are immersed in.  How wonderful :)

Oh yeah, and I was totally tickled to hear that Elder Madsen, who's name we save at Missionary Mall, is your companion haha That is so awesome!

Things around here are the same, except that everyone in the family keeps talking about how much they miss you :) 

It has been really amazing to me, to get texts or posts from our family members saying that they are crying and so filled with love.  Even the hardest hearts are softened. 

Maybe I'm looking too hard, but it seems so obvious to me that our family is being blessed with a tenderness that it may have been missing, because you are out there serving.  I like to think this is a good wake up and remember call for all of us, to know and be grateful for what matters most.

Here are some of my favorites from the family thus far:

Texts with Haruko:
H: How do I email he who shall not be named?
Me: Haha I just fwded you his address :)
H: Crying like a baby. I miss that kid.
Me: Awwww :( I did that earlier :(
H: I'm so happy for him
Me: Yeah he sounds like he is doing well.  That is such a huge relief
H: Today I drove past the mtc on my way to work and was fingers crossed hoping I might see his face. Nope. Probably best.  I might have slammed on my breaks, choloroformed him, and thrown him in my trunk.

Facebook Posts from Kamalani and Yukiko and Haruko and Kekoa:
Khom Jhana: Just wrote Kaika...yeah, I cried.

Yukiko Hanamaikai: He's so great. You can't help but be proud of him.

Yukiko Hanamaikai: And my first email is sent. Khom aka Kam...I cried too.

Haruko Hanamaikai Boren: I miss that kid so much.  Its hard walking past his room and seeing it empty of all of the crap his little hoarder self possessed.  Two years. I loves that Mr. Elder.

Kekoa Danner Status: Emailin the lil bro! Love doing that ISH!!! Makes my heart warm and fuzzy lol #fuzzywuzzies #femaleemotiins #elderdanner #PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaMission #longest2yearsofmyvida

Other friends have posted nice things as well:
Cyndi Jordan Good job letting him go, Mama! He'll be a great missionary!!

Barb Mahleres LOVE This!!!! (It was the picture of you me and Koa dropping you off)

Tara Pualilia Hernandez: Safe travels Ikaikaolahui Danner! Many blessings - you will be amazing!


Mrs. Abbott asked for your mailbox number, so I gave that to her.  She is such a neat lady :)

I hope these messages will warm your heart and help you to know that you are so loved :) 

Yesterday at church, Madisen and I were looking in to see where everyone was sitting, and she pointed to someone who had dark hair in the back...I realized she had been looking for you.  I got a bit "mommer weepy" for a moment, but it made me happy that she associates church with you.

I think the First Counselor in the ward, he was at your setting apart, came up to me and asked about how you were doing.  I told him that were doing so well, that you had gotten right to work and that they had made you a DL. 

He just beamed and said that it didn't surprise him, that you are a leader and how great it was to hear that you are doing well.  I appreciate their care and concern for you.  Thank you for writing me briefly so I could update them.  I am glad to have things to say and report back to those who are behind you :)

Kekoa brought Melissa and Kiana over on Saturday.  Kekoa also pulled out his phone and showed me his long email from you hahaha He was so proud of it, you know Kekoa, "What, you didn't get a letter this long? Yep..." haha

I honestly am not concerned about how long or short your letters may be, you know that I know you love me, so its just good to hear that you are well.  But it sure made a difference to Kekoa haha.  Thank you for taking the time to be so communicative with him.  He loves you so much!

For now, you are in super learning mode, so the quick check in works for me :)   I do look forward to hearing of your experiences as you feel to share them and you have time.  I just want you to know that I am totally supportive of you having a great mission. 

You have a lot of light and love to share, but be sure not to run or write faster than you can walk :P  Be wise with your energies and take care of yourself so that you can be the most effective instrument of God that you can be okay my son :)

I'm going to send you a package tomorrow for your "first day of 20" birthday :)  I want to be super fun, but I am also aware that perhaps going too over the top may make other missionaries feel homesick, so I'll do my best to balance both loving you but being sensitive as well :) 

If there is anything you need or would like for your birthday, please feel free to let me know.  You know I'll get it for you haha :) 

I love you son :)


Friday, May 03, 2013

For the Next Two Years...

I have decided to use this blog as the place where I will chronicle the next two years of my youngest son, Ikaika Danner, LDS mission. I may make a few minor edits, but overall, this is where I will be able to share what we talk about as he is away.

It is a great joy to me to be able to share my heart this way.  I hope that it will be an enjoyable, insightful and perhaps even fun read for whomever may happen upon this blog :)

So, here we go...

May 2, 2013

Hola Baber...I mean, Elder Danner :)

How are you doing? I hope you are well :)  I'm sure you are, but you know your Mommer, I hope it every other minute :) 

I found it relieving that yesterday when you opened the door that you had a friend there to receive you. I felt like that was a blessing.  Of all of the hosts we could've stopped by, there was someone who knew you.  I am grateful for every tiny, merciful, loving blessing, especially as it pertains to you.  I told Sheri, he went from the arms of his family into the hands of his friends.  Beautiful :) 

Anyways, I hope your first night was good.  Around 10:40 p.m. the Mommer cried cause she was thinking of you laying in bed, perhaps a little sad but trying not to be; the realization of the reality of your choice to go on a mission just may have been pretty real when you were going to sleep, and so I, like many mothers before me, wept a little as no mother wants their child to suffer, even one iota of sadness.  

I don't mean for that to be a sad message from home, just that I do think of you and I pray so much that you will feel every bit of comfort and confidence that you can, even in the sad times that may come up.

As you know, we appreciate the sweet because we have known the bitter...i.e. knowing sadness can really help us appreciate and seek joy, and be more patient and understanding of others who are in the middle of their sad times.  That is something that I've been grateful to have in my life.  I hope it is something that will help you as well.  

I went to set up your iPad yesterday, but I need a passcode.  I was still able to access the songs though.  I think some of the music must be Kekoa's, but there are definitely songs in there that are you to me.  What a dear you are :)  

I was glad to get that package to you yesterday.  I laughed at myself thinking that it had only been 3 hours and I had already sent you a care package haha What a delight it is to love you and get to dote on you this way.  It makes me so happy to be able to put my love for you to work :) 

Last night I went to Keoni's band concert.  Afterwards, Sheri, Heather, Haruko and I were going to go to dinner.  I texted Kekoa and he, Aubrey, Kaleo and Lori came and had dinner with us too.  It was very nice to be together, especially last night.  It makes me proud that we all have such fond and loving memories of you.  Do you know what a blessing you are and have been to this family?  It just brings happy tears to my eyes.  We've been so blessed to have you <3 div="" nbsp="">

I asked Aubrey to add me on FB so I could get her email address and include her in the list of people to whom I forward your progress.  She messaged me and said thank you for raising such an amazing person. makes me happy that there is someone who calls you "best friend" and cares for you so much.  

I sent her a link to my blog also, with a note that said, if you want to read a bit more about the boys, that she could check it out.  Some of my tenderest memories live in that blog.  I'm so glad that you read it a while ago.  

I read the post I wrote for your 18th birthday.  I'm still as smitten as I ever have been to be your Mom :)  I know you know I love you, but here is some niceness so you remember: 

"To my sons:  "Warrior King from Heaven" and "Prophet Who Rules with the Strength of Many Nations in his Blood". Once my babies, now young men still growing.  

Everyday, no matter where you are, I am aware of you and sending you all the love I have and hoping that you remember.  

I want you to remember what you've learned by being the sons you are.  I want you to live well and make the best choices you can for yourselves, for your families and if possible, to make this world a brighter, better place because you have been here.  

 ...I love you both.  Thank you for being my heart all of these years."

I hope you have a wonderful day and know that you have so many people who love and support you.  If you need anything from me, please let me know.  Otherwise, quick notes work too, as I know you are super busy!

All my best and love, 



May 3, 2013 

Dear Mommer,
This has to be short because we spent our personal time giving blessings to the Sisters in our district. I love you mom. Share the letters that are coming your way. Thank you so much mom for being there for me. I love you and know that I care for you so much. ... I know I am where I am supposed to be. And FYI I am the DL(District Leader) I said that in the letters so look there for that. I did get the packages so thank you so much. I love you. Take care of your family.
Elder Danner



Thank you for taking the time to write me.  You're so thoughtful!  This made me soo happy!  I am amidst planning your birthday package and this email popped up.  ...  I'm so proud that you would use your personal time to help others.  That really made me happy! 

Also that you know you are where you are supposed to be.  That just makes my heart smile...what a blessing it is to know that you are doing what you should be.  ...if/when things get tough, you will have that confirmation to lean on, to keep you strong and help you know that you are equal to all that...has and will be put before you.  

I am also very proud to hear that you are a DL!  You have been such a good example and have a talent for caring for others.  I hope that it will be a wonderful experience for you.  I hope that all of our love from home will buoy you up so that you can share the  fullness you have with others who need it.  We are all so very blessed...thank you for choosing to serve this mission.  

Thank you so much for loving me.  I missed you a lot today, but I know it is because we love each other...I'm so grateful for that.  Thank you for being such an inspiration to me and others around you.  

Stay strong Elder Danner!  Shine Bright! And love every minute of this time.  No one tells you that even the hard times of your life will someday be a fond memory :)  Crazy as it sounds, I'd give anything to have a baby Koa and a baby Kaika in diapers again, begging me for Nonalds/B'Donalds :* 

I look forward to many more years of good times together and even this short time that we'll be apart as I know we are all where we should be :) 

I love you son!


Monday, December 31, 2012

Wrapping Up 2012

I'm comfortably nestled on the couch, listening to songs singing me back in time to things I do not want to fade as this year closes.  This year was the year of the water Dragon, the year of the last repetitive date until January 1, 2101, a year of transition and movement.  Whatever you believe about 2012, for me and my family it was the next step in our growing up. For us, it was the year of the letter M.

This year, Utah lost a great man: my Dad, James Hanamaikai.  After living in Utah since August 1981, Dad was offered a position in Arizona.  When I found out he was moving, I sat on the couch and cried.  Ian told me that it would be okay, but at the time it was hard to imagine how anything would ever be alright without Dad less than 3 miles away.

First Dad moved, then a couple of months later after as much of the family business and organization and etc... could be settled, Sheri moved down to Arizona as well.  I feel like our family appreciates each other more due to this change.

I'm grateful that after all of the years he spent watching out for us as adult children, that Dad finally got a chance to have a great change for him and his wife :)  I love that for the first time ever, those two will get to explore life as a couple, without all of us kids and grand kids and one great grant kid clambering through the place.  Now is their time :)

Last weekend, my Mom moved as well.  She and my Step Dad, Jeff, moved from the home they had lived in for more than eight years.  Although her move was approximately 2 miles from her last home, it was still difficult to imagine that she would not be at that place anymore.

In that home, Mom had held dinners and birthdays, had grown immense gardens, had fire pit family nights and had been a place where some of us kids would stay during our own life transitions.  That house was a blessing to our family.  I'm grateful that Jeff takes good care of Mom.  I'm grateful that they will have a spacious new home that over looks the valley.

Both moves are great for our parents.  It is as if the year ended, and an era ended.  The era of their lives and their dreams, their homes and own spaces are now in place.  Moving and moving on.  All of this is very good.

This year was the year of babies.  If babies are a sign of house hold good luck, we experienced a down pour!  Five to be exact, with one on the way.

In June, Kekoa and Melissa had Kiana Elizabeth Kuulei Danner, my little grand daughter.  (Insert laughter here haha) Ian's Dad and Step Mom had a beautiful baby girl in July, his Aunt Rani had terrific twins, his cousin Colin and wife Kearsten are expecting, hoping for a New Year's Day baby.  My step brother Daniel and wife Brooke had a sweet son too.  Babies everywhere!

When I hold Kiana, I remember Kekoa as a baby.  All of the tenderness of being his Mother is rekindled and I feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude for him.

When Kiana squeels and bounces/dances to crazy rap music, I'm reminded of a butter ballish Koa who used to hold himself up on the couch and bounce to the beat of his Father's music.

When Kiana smiles, I remember my boy when he was also toothless, wide eyed and the world was full of wonder.

When Kiana snuggles into me and falls asleep, I remember the reason why I loved being a Mom to Kekoa, to Ikaika and now to Madisen. I remember the thought I often had as I watched my babies sleep, here in my arms, you are safe, my Love...stay as long as you can.

These little ones have brought joy and love and life into our family this year.  I know it may be somewhat far fetched, but I look forward to them growing up and being best friends, bound together within our family who loves them all.

After months and years of wanting to raise Madisen and have her in his home full time, Ian was given that responsibility in March. It was not under the best circumstances for the M, but we are grateful that she is with us now.

2012 meant no more anxiety about whether or not we'll be able to visit her, no more fear that when she goes home she'll be taken care of, no more tracking, reporting, writing letters, making phone calls, going to court, pleading with others to listen and help; no more waste & destruction.

The M is home now.  She lives in a pink palace of a room, crammed from floor to ceiling with toys.  She's a Mine Crafter, a Level Two pianist, an Aunt to Kiana, a niece to her baby Aunt M, a step sister to two older brothers she simply adores and best of all, she's safe.

I met Ian through his best friend, Chris Perry, and his brother, Kolby, back in February 2009 when I started working at PMI.

We had a lengthy friendship that was tested by our choices, where we each were at that time in life, the possibility of other relationships and the general not knowing where we were going individually. But after weeks, months and years and life changing experiences together, I like to think we found our feet as "Ian and Kuulei", boyfriend and girlfriend, now husband and wife.

I wrote this to him about how I feel with him back in 2009.  It's still as true today as it was then: " In that moment, when you take me under your arm and have me close to you, I am not afraid. I can stand there and embrace you and let that feeling of "you're so wonderful" seep out and it's okay."

I read Ian our instant messaging conversations of days gone by. No one will ever get to read all of them, but here is an ironic one from Spring of 2009 about how we were skeptics on marriage:

Kuulei says:
"If Life Is Like A Box Of Chocolates and You Never Know What You're Going to Get, Then Marriage is Like Running the Gauntlet, You Never Know How You're Gonna Get Taken Out" - Kuulei Hanamaikai in FML (2009)
ian law says:
"Marriage is a good way to not get laid."
-Ian Law in FMD (2009)

I love this man. He and I were an unseemly match at first, but now, we are fairly inseparable best friends, counter balances to each other and happy Frog and Toad :)

All in all, these were the happenings of the 2012 year.  I am grateful to have been so blessed to be where I am today.  I look forward to all that 2013 will bring us.  Happy New Year to everyone :)