About Me

Bountiful, Utah
We are the Ta'atiti family. Originally from Lotopa, Samoa (Anthony) and Nuuuli, American Samoa (me). We are living in Bountiful for the time being and we are loving it here. Sina is our one and only princess. This blog is for her in hopes that she will treasure her heritage and the memories of her family.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Let it snow

Unlike most people in Utah, I actually love the snow. I don't love to drive in it, but I love the sight of it and playing in it. I think it's beautiful. On Christmas day it snowed almost 2 feet in Bountiful. Nephi and Sulu and the kiddies went outside to sled down the side of Fua's house. It was hilarious. That one night of sledding fun led to two more consecutive days of snow sledding. I even bundled up on Saturday and went sledding. We must have been out there for 3-4 hours. I got snow down my pants and up my back, but it was so much fun. Not to mention, Nephi and I didn't have snow boots so the snow melted through our shoes and froze our toes to numbing. We didn't care though. Even Sina and Alo got some of the action. They didn't stay out long though, their little tushies couldn't take the brisk winds.

I took a chance with one of the sleds we were using by laying flat on my stomach and going down the hill with my eyes closed. When I opened my eyes I had gone over the snow barrier and nearly hit the wall of the school that we were sledding by. Needless to say - I had gone the farthest down the hill and no one could beat me. Anthony says it's because i'm so "light"!!! Riiiggghhhttt!

We thought it would be a good idea for me, Nephi, and Sulu to slide down the hill - together! on one sled!! hahaha... All I remember about that ride was spinning half way down the hill and thinking "we are so going to eat this hill pretty soon", but luckily we stayed on track. I got snow all down my pants though, who knows how that happened and of course snow down my socks and shoes, and that was only the 2nd time down the hill!! To top the night off, Fua took us to Millcreek Jr high in Bountiful to this massive hill. It seriously took me 15 minutes to walk up it. I vowed that it would be my first and last ride down that hill because I would not walk up it again. Sulu, Belle, and I decided to go together this time. We picked up so much speed going down that darned hill that snow flew up all sides of the sled that I even got some in my mouth and this time - we really did eat it - BAD! I conked the left side of my head really hard on the ground and lost my beenie somehow. When I stood up I was laying on Belle's Beenie and her hair was covered in snow. I couldn't move for a good 30 seconds. The sky and everything else spun like a merry go round overhead and staying true to my vow, I turned from sledder to spectator.

Sulu came down on one of the sleds by herself and someone who had been there earlier had packed a pretty good sized ramp of snow at the bottom. Not even seeing it, she went right over it and got at least 4 1/2 ft of height before bonking hard on the ground. It was awesome! We didn't even see the ramp until a split second before she hit it. And then of course everyone's attempts to find the ramp coming down the hill after that were unsuccessful, but fun to watch nonetheless.

Nephi and his little family left the next day back to San Diego. Irais was a little iffy about the snow, but I think it was the snow that converted Nephi to want to be a Utahn. They are planning a move now - I just have to find him a job!!

So it's supposed to snow tonight again - it should provide for some good fun the next time we decide to hit the hills. who knew snow could be so fun?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Confessions of a Twilight Obsession


This twilight blog is long overdue, but I have finally brought myself to write about 'twilight' and the somewhat obsession I had with it leading up to the movie. First, let me start by thanking Belle for giving me the first book to read. I carried it with me for about 4 weeks before I actually opened it. I took it with me on a road trip to San Diego, I lugged it around in my purse and even to our staff retreat in the canyons, but never had a chance to actually open it. Finally, one night, when there was nothing good on TV, I decided to give it a crack....and crack it turned out to be!! I made it through the first couple of chapters and thought, what a great story! I had never heard of the books before then and I surely didn't know it was about vampires - and I am afraid had I known I probably wouldn't have given it a chance. Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised by the story line and immediately fell in love with the characters and the element of 'pure' romance that the book entailed. I quickly finished twilight and then new moon in 2 days. I finished the whole series in about 8 days. I have had a lot of time to think about what exactly it is that drew me to twilight and why it has become a personal obsession.


First, I am intrigued at the author's imagination and how she was able to come up with such detail to describe each element of the story - from Carlisle's desire to be a good vampire to the La Pushe reservation and the development of the werewolves, to the role of the Volturi. She left no stone unturned in tying all of the stories and details together and I thought it was genius.


Second, I think the level of suspense as the story built up in each book was amazing. James' pursuit of Bella in twilight, Edward's sudden departure and Bella's jump off the cliff that initiated the turn of events in New Moon, Bella's dreaded kiss with Jacob in Eclipse, and of course the bed crushing 'love' leading to the conception of Renesmee and Bella finally becoming a vampire in Breaking Dawn were just a few of the highlights of the series that kept me glued to the pages.


Third, I have always been somewhat of a hopeless romantic, at least in my subconscious mind I am; when I try to materialize the romance, it never seems to work out. Anyway, the character of Edward definitely surfaced those emotions for me. I don't think it was so much that he was the 'perfect guy', but more so that he was the 'old-fashioned', 'not afraid to express the depth of my love for you', the ' i can't exist in a world where you don't exist' type of guy. I mean - what girl doesn't want to hear all that? So the author's characterizations really had me taken and I just love the 'domination' that Edward possesses. Ha!!!


Lastly, I love that the books appeal to a wide audience - from 12 yr old girls to young adults to 60 yr old grandmas and even guys of all ages. The love story, the Cullen family dynamics, the good vs. evil aspect, the super-powers and the fanasy of being a vampire, the thrilling action and the character distinctions collectively draws people of all ages and cultures to this story. I have heard many say it is 'not the best written' book and I agree with that, but it just goes to show that you don't always have to follow the rules of literature to write an appealing story - you just have to have a good story!!!


Now for my review of the movie:


For the most part I liked it. I had to see it 3 times to really appreciate it. The first time I saw it, I think I went in with high expectations and was horribly disappointed, though months of daily youtubes and twilight searches may have contributed to the spoil. However, when I decided to go for the 2nd time to see it, I mentally prepared myself to just watch the movie as it was and separate it from the book altogether, which was hard to do, but I managed it. Thankfully, I really liked it the 2nd time around.


I think the movie could have emphasized the 'love story' a little more. I feel like it was all so rushed. There were a lot of 'silent' moments in the movie which made me wonder if they were getting paid by the word!! One of the greatest aspects of the books are that they really emphasized the uncompromising love that Bella and Edward had for each other. You kind of get that toward the end of the movie, but I don't think it did that aspect justice. I also feel like there were a lot of akward moments like the tree climbing, the flying out of Edward's window, the wierd field trip, and of course the all too menacing looks that Edward often gives Bella that only people that have read twilight or midnight sun would really understand, but I guess for cinematography purposes, it works!


What I really liked about the movie was the Cullen family. Edward looked really, really good and Carlisle and Emmett couldn't have been hotter. With the exception of Rosalie, I think the women casted were very beautiful. Rosalie should have kept her brown hair even if she's described with blonde hair. It would have made her beautiful as the book describes her to be - it's the least they could have done with the person they chose (ouch!) On a brighter note, my favorte parts of the movie were - the first exchange in biology class, the Port Angeles rescue, the first kiss (of course), and the prom scene (mainly because I love that song "flightless bird").


So that concludes this session of 'confessions of a twilight obsession'. I tag anyone and everyone else who has read the Twilight series to share your confessions - come on, you know you want to!!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I JUST HAD TO POST A PICTURE OF MY CHRISTMAS TREE!!

OUR FIRST CHRISTMAS TREE

Last weekend I finally bought my first Christmas tree. I had been anticipating this event for weeks, since before we even left for Missouri for Thanksgiving. The thought of having our first Christmas in our own little home was exciting and I couldn't wait to decorate for the holidays. We went to Wal-mart on Friday and chose a nice 7.5 ft tree though our ceilings are barely 8 ft. ha! a little ambitious I'd say, but I loved it nonetheless. I just had to have it. I chose some cute ornaments I thought would be just right and we bought a bunch of lights. As soon as we got home, I opened the Christmas tree box and it already started to feel sentimental. After about 2 hours of putting the tree together I finally dragged it to the corner our little apt. where I wanted it to be. The joy of seeing my first very own Christmas tree was something I will remember for a long time.

My mood was slightly dampened by the fact that our Christmas lights didn't work - not even one set. So I had to be patient for Saturday when we could go back and exchange the lights. I settled for putting my ornaments on a lightless tree. It was beautiful, though the OCD side of me was irritated that I couldn't light it up with pretty white lights. Needless to say, I spent the rest of Friday night staring at it and thinking of all the family traditions we had in Christmases past and how I wanted us to start some of our own traditions.

This year will be our first white Christmas together. The last time I had a white Christmas was probably 20 years ago in Baumholder, Germany. We lived in the mountains of West Germany and so it would snow almost every day of Winter. My brother Mani and I would go sledding down the hills in the back of our house. We'd stay out for hours and hours and then come home as frozen icicles. My mom would always make warm hot chocolate and have treats for us and our friends. Now I hope Sina can enjoy white Christmases here in Utah. There's just something about the snow and it's purity that really brings Christmas to life for me. I can't help but smile when I see how pretty it makes everything look. And since white is a symbol of purity and cleanliness, you can't help but associate that with Christ. How appropriate this time of year.

To all who read this - Merry Christmas!! Stay warm, eat lots of holiday treats, and don't forget to make your own traditions - you're kids will thank you for them.

Monday, December 15, 2008

7 things people may not know about me.....

So this sounded kind of fun to do...thanks for the tag Cine! It gives me an excuse to get on here and post a blog anyway.....

1) One thing people may not know about me is that I was born in Germany and lived there until I was 10 years old with the exception of 3 years between ages 2 and 5 when I lived in Ft. Lewis, Washington. I went to Wetzel Elementary and every year we would attend a live theater play so I got to watch Puss n' Boots and James and the Giant Peach. So because of that I love live theater shows!(watching it, not me acting)

2) I have a birth mark almost the size of a dime on my right hip (is that giving away too much?)

3) Most people don't know that I'm an 8th Chinese. My maternal great grandfather was from Hong Kong - his name was Ah Mu. He lived in Pesega, Samoa for a long time and though he wasn't always a member of the LDS church, he loved and supported the church and it's leaders for many years.

4) I skipped kindgergarten when I was 5 and went straight to 1st grade because my mom didn't want me to be behind in school. My late September birthday put me a year behind everyone else, but with the skip I was right on track. (okay, so that was kinda lame but i'm running out of interesting things)

5) My middle name is Camilla after Camilla Kimball who was Prophet Spencer W. Kimball's wife. My mom joined the LDS church in the 70's and loved Pres. Kimball.

6) Unlike Francine, I have a huge sweet tooth, which is NOT a good thing considering diabetes runs in my family.

7) Finally, one thing most people probably don't know about me is that I'm ambidextrous (spelling?) only in that I use my left to write, eat, play pool, and brush my teeth, but pretty much everything else, from shooting a basketball to swinging a baseball bat I do with my right hand. Go figure.

So that's all folks. Good thing too cause' I was running out of things to write. I tag....well, i don't have anyone to tag, but as soon as I can I'll tag someone!!