Monday, March 12, 2012

You Are My Sunshine

Seven years ago...

This month, seven years ago, Filipo and I decided on getting married since we were soon-to-be parents. I didn't necessarily want to get married anytime soon but was in one of those "f*** it" moods so went along with him to get our marriage license. He asked me to marry him before but I don't think I ever took him seriously. Yes, I wanted a big luau with every drunk uncle and loud mouth aunties (from both sides) and my closest friends in my line and me in a big beautiful white dress. But with our license in hand we had 30 days to tie the knot before it expired. Time was of the essence and money...we have a love-hate relationship with money so we'll leave it at that!

Early March the Waikiki Shell was having their annual Honolulu Tahiti Fete. I really wanted to go that year and Filipo told me he would take me to check it out. So the usual routine of a Laie grown soon-to-be (young) parent: get drunk (beer, hards, kava...what have you!) and twist your priorities, theeeeeen go on that family outing with a bad hangover and complain for days, eat something, and eventually smile and enjoy the day. The dancing was fierce however and we did end up having a good time with one another.

The night before however, would be a night to remember. That would be the last time Filipo saw, shook hands, and hugged one of his best friends good-bye. It was the last time.

I thought this would be an easy blog for me but even seven years later it's hard to comprehend the loss of a loved one. From the time we found out to the day of the funeral and sometimes even to this day I haven't seen Filipo so sad. In respect for my husband and the unconditional love he shared for his best friend, I'll refrain from telling the details of when we were informed of Liki's tragic death to the day we laid him to rest.

March 19, 2005 was the date we all officially said farewell. I felt helpless and had no idea how to make Filipo smile again. I knew I just had to be there for him. Sometimes saying nothing truly says a lot!

Filipo told me the other day, "It's almost the 12th." Time heals all wounds and the best advice I can give him comes from a quote that would mean absolute nothing at any other time:


No truer words. Eleven days after his passing, four days after laying him to rest, we delivered a beautiful and healthy baby boy who we proudly named


Sparing the details of his full name, in honor of Patrick Vaea Ikakoula, we named our baby boy after my husband's best friend. From birth, Filipo has always called him Liki Pepe (Baby Liki--Patrick; Pateliki). To this day that nickname has stuck with him. Filipo sees traits in our son that comes from Big Liki. Filipo started smiling again and this blessing couldn't have come at a better time.

Dallas-Patrick, our first born, is truly a special boy. Intelligent, brilliant even! Kind hearted and extremely loving. We named him well. Sometimes I pretend that I'm not paying attention when Filipo talks to him about how he got his name. Heartfelt. As he gets older he asks more questions and even understands a whole lot more. His veil is slowly dissolving...withering away and that saddens me. But a feeling of joy overcomes me knowing that before my bub was sent here, Liki seen him before us and he was in tender, loving arms. May be the superstitious Polynesian in me, but I'm a believer.

In Loving Memory
Aua ne'i galo
Ofa lahi atu
Patrick "Liki" Ikakoula

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Happy Birthday T.T.

T.T.- Tristyn Talaesea (Name given at birth)
T.T.- Tinky Tinks (Nonsense nickname given because of her resemblance to Tinkerbell according to
T.T.- Terrible Twos (That came about six months early!!)

What’s in a name? –W. Shakespeare

Tristyn Talaesea Lauitiiti Alo-Suliafu was born on Monday, February 8, 2010 of goodly parents (First Nephi anyone? lol).  Leading up to the time of delivery and about her first hour of life here on Earth, she was originally named Brooklyn Talaesea Alo-Suliafu.  My mum liked the name Brooklyn as well as Filipo (just a few hours back) and we thought we might as well keep the whole city thing going on with our kids (Dallas-Patrick and Jimmy-Phrisco).  However, when her daddy looked at her, he said, “Hi Tristyn.”  Tristyn comes from two different people.  I LOVE the movie Legends of the Fall and I absolutely love Brad Pitt’s character, Tristan (yeah, I know it’s a boy’s name!).  I wanted it to look more feminine and I like how my mum spells my youngest sister’s name, Jordyn.  So instead of naming her Jordyn, we named her TRISTYN!

Talaesea is my maternal grandmother’s paternal grandmother (Got it? My grandma’s grandma.)  Her name was Talaesea Leiataua Lesa of Manono.  I have yet to see pictures of her if there were any taken.  Talaesea was the second wife of old man Ah Mu.  He was an orphan child in China who won the hearts of some English sailors (any family can correct me if I’m wrong) who took him aboard their ship (a.k.a. CHILD SLAVERY!!! Hahahaha juuuust kidding ;).  Anyway, he was “found” playing near a river -à AhMu- river in Chinese.  He was raised with the influences of the English and eventually ended up in Samoa where he became a very strong member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  He was a hard working brilliant business man during a time when Chinese people were frowned upon in the Islands of Samoa.  Ironic when he became one of the most wealthy.  For his wife, Talaesea, he built a huge, beautiful home that I plan to replicate one day.  That home was donated to the church and became a Mission House.  Because I haven’t seen any pictures of Talaesea, I’d like to think that she was as pretty as her name sounds (lol…vain much!).  I do know that not just anyone in our family can be named Talaesea and it is actually a title name.  So because of the rich history behind this name, since she was born we all call my daughter TALAESEA.  Being the only girl in our family, this titled name is just fitting.  Fit for our princess.

Lauitiiti is Filipo’s maternal grandmother’s paternal grandmother (his grandma’s grandma as well).  Her name was Lauitiiti O Manono Leiataua…of Manono [see above information! lol].  I have to be honest when I say that I absolutely did NOT want this name for my daughter.  Filipo has issues with Samoans (something almost all Tongans have- thinking they’re superior to Samoans…don’t get offended, you know it’s true!).  So I was very shocked when he said he wanted to name our daughter this as well.  In his defense however, he did say that he likes my family and claims his Samoan side only when we’re around them hahaha.  And what does all that have to do with her Samoan name?  Just that it comes from his Tongan hard family.  So I compromised with him and signed Lauitiiti instead of LauitiitiOManono.  Holy DEVIL EYEBOLOS!!!!!  My sweetheart was so pissed that I didn’t put her whole first name.  So now in my defense, I wanted a name that would suit my daughter and come from LOVE.  I still threaten him that I’ll drop the name when he bad mouths Samoans.  Think what you want, don’t talk shit about Samoans and then pick and choose the days you want to claim it (and that is not just to my husband)!  But this is part of my daughter’s name and lineage so I have to learn to love it.

Alo-Suliafu is my maiden name (duh) hyphenated with Filipo’s last name.  So many people still think his legal name is Filipo Mokofisi.  Nope, it’s Phillip Suliafu hahaha.  Our daughter is the first of our children to carry this surname (other kids to follow).  Plain and simple, I know my kids will do great things so I want them to have obvious ties to a name I wore so proudly for 21 years, ALO.  It’s just in the blood, not cocky but confident :)

This is the story of how our daughter received her name.  Today we celebrate her,
She loves all of her brothers and can be quite bossy to her big bros as well.  She’s such an awesome big sister and adores her daddy.  She’s my mini-me and that’s both a good and bad thing at times!  Like her big brother Dallas, she has a kind heart and is helpful.  Like Jimmy, she does not discriminate when it comes to food.  She’s a bit rough when it comes to Baby Filipo, always smothering him with kisses just like her Aunty Janae does to all the bubbies!  She looks more and more like her Aunty Jordyn as the days go by.  She says and does a lot of hilarious things and makes sure she’s being heard.  She loves dancing to LMFAO and is always copying me when I do things- dance, tend to the bubby, and even clean.  She is a true daddy’s girl and I hope their bond stays solid even through the teen years and beyond.  She is absolutely lovable!

Happiest 2nd Birthday my beautiful, my sweet!
I carry your heart, I carry it in my heart.


Thursday, January 5, 2012


On this day at 7:09am (HI time) I came into this world :) However, I have always felt that birth days should give recognition to our mothers who have gone through the pains of labor and delivery along with years of back talking, eye rolling, and every other thing I did to put my mom through hell as a teenager and even young adult. haha The karma I see in my future does NOT look bright.  So on this day I would like to recognize my dear mum who we all miss terribly. She just recently went back to Hawai'i from a two week visit/vacation with us.  It was so nice having her and my youngest sister here with us.  I coud relax and she had the opportunity to spend time with my kids who seem to only behave when she's around! Damn kids!!

My mum is truly the great in me, she is my strength and everything good about me today is because of her.  I was recently told she is what a grandma should be by a few people.  I have to agree.  I share(d) a special bond with both my grandmas.  I miss my dad's mom who has passed away and I think of her often.  I miss her laugh and even her old wrinkly hands.  When I would look at her hands it always made me think of the life she lived.  She had her favorites when it came to us grandkids (I was not a top 5 lol) but she showed my kids, myself, and even Filipo unconditional love.  There's just so much about my grams that when I think of her I still have an ache in my heart knowing that she is not here with us physically.  She would love my rotten-as-hell second boy! Ask anyone in our fam, she loved her hard head boys!!!

My other grandma has spent her years between New Zealand and Australia with a few months in Hawai'i every so often.  She grew up wealthy and privileged.  She's head strong and extremely strong in the LDS church.  That can be a good and bad thing! lol  She has taught me (by example) to have poise in all I do and always be proud of where I come from, to know my roots.  Hopefully I can take my family to Australia and visit her soon.

So back to ME...the birthday girl ;)  I have always looked at New Year's day as just that, the new year's day.  For me, my new year/ new me starts on my birthday, where each year is renewed by default with my age getting older.  It has taken me just about 28 years to get my shit together, no nicer way of putting that.  I have seen the good, the bad, the ugly, and just recently experienced the most high.  The road less traveled sucks and that is exactly why it's the road LESS TRAVELED!!! hahaha But the ride was exciting at times and the tests it gave me proved how strong my family is as a unit as well the bond and love I have for and with my husband.

Above all, all the glory to God.  So cheers to another year of life and LOVE!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Year in Review

I decided to make another attempt at blogging but was waiting for the right time and big enough event to rant on about. Little did I know everyday is a big enough event and I've just been really busy and sometimes lazy. There is no proper time to start anew like NOW! I should have been recording the many things my kids do that irritate me, comfort me, make me laugh, and show me that they love me and the reasons I love them unconditionally.  But I didn't so here is our year in review. 2011 has been a wild ride and our lives have changed for the better :) It's most definitely a work in progress but I know in the end everything will all be just fine.

January- I turned 27 and decided to stay focused in school.  I'm brilliant by nature yet lazy by choice. Honesty can be mistaken for sarcasm or arrogance at times but it's true! lol

February- Talaesea, our daughter, turned the big ONE. I pierced her ears with her birthstone, the amethyst. She's such a doll and I enjoy her company.

March- Dallas turned 6 and his Grandma, my mum, sent him a box of toys and clothes along with a toy for Jimmy and Talaesea as well so they didn't feel left out. He's my lil Man and he is such a good boy. I can't emphasize that enough. He has such a good heart and is truly his brother's keeper. He, like me, is brilliant! ;)

April- I can't remember what happened this month besides family birthdays which included my mum's :) I also completed the workout Insanity this month. While working out I only gave about 50% but surprisingly lost 20 lbs. After having my daughter I gained a lot of damn weight! Anyway I kept losing even after the workout was completed. I switched birth control pills towards the end of the month which brings us to May...

May- I hated every scent and food in sight! Spring 2011 semester was coming to an end and I went to the doctors after feeling like crap for about two weeks. I knew what was "wrong" with me but wanted to be positive. Fertile ol' me was expecting baby number FOUR!

June- Still feeling like crap, my kids and I all flew to Oregon to meet up with my sister. The boys were going home to Hawai'i for the summer. My sister was visiting her inlaws out there. It was good to see my sister for about 5 minutes and kind of depressing seeing my boys so excited to say bye to me! hahaha My daughter and I barely had a full nights rest before we had to head back to the airport to head back to Utah via Las Vegas. On our layover we stopped in San Francisco and that was my first time in the Bay Area and standing on the Golden Gate Bridge. The bridge is so impressive in person and Alcatraz was amazing to see as well! Filipo's cousin picked us up and played tour guide. Love her! It was a refreshing 24 hour vacay.  A few short weeks later Filipo, Talaesea, and I packed and we left for Hawai'i. We made it in time for Jimmy's 4th birthday. Aside from toys and cake/ice cream all he wanted on his birthday was a lei. He's the crazy, hard head, rough n tough, sweet little boy in our family.

July- We had our Atoa-Tugaga family reunion. It was so good meeting more of my mum's family. There were more birthdays this month including my pop's birthday. During this month I still felt like crap :/ My pregnancies suck! It kills me how horrible my sickness lasts...does not discriminate and goes on around the clock, not just the morning.

August- Filipo had left Hawai'i to go back to work in June or July. He returned to help me bring all the kids back to the desert heat. It's always hard saying bye to my family but even harder seeing my kids cry because they know we're parting from their loved ones in Hawai'i. We had little time to be sad because Dallas was going to start 1st grade at his new school and my Fall 2011 semester was about to start as well. Still feeling like crap! Lost about another 20 lbs at this point but couldn't enjoy it because I was always so sick and trying to take care of the kids. My kids are soldiers though :) They're all such a big help to me despite the younger two always fighting.

September- Still feeling under the weather but calming down a little. By this point in our lives, Filipo and I have been churchin' it a lot more! The Lord truly works in mysterious ways and the blessings are endless.

October- For halloween Dallas was a ninja, Jimmy was Captain America, and Talaesea was a zombie boy and a cheap lady bug all after she was a witch for about half a minute. I didn't dress up with them this year even though I wanted to. Time just flies by when you're busy so with school and these knuckle heads I'm always busy. Sickness has gone down drastically but now the uncomfortable stage has kicked in. Never ending I tell you! On a brighter note, Filipo received the Melchizidek Priesthood :)

November- Started going back to to'ona'i with my Alo family out here in the George. We should always make time for family no matter how busy we all may get in life. It has been so nice and such a blessing having them here and having our children all play together. We even spent Thanksgiving with them and met more Alo's from Hawai'i via Fagasa, A. Samoa.  (woop woop ;) My big braddah Keala flew into Vegas with his daughter and we all went to an aunty's birthday dinner at the M Resort...meanest buffet ever! So good to meet my dad's Samoan side...finally.

December- The last month of the year, yet the most eventful. 12/08/11 we delivered our fourth baby. He was and is such a joy to have. Our family is a little bigger but still not complete. I see a few more babies in the future :) My mum and sister came into town as well on the 15th!!! On Filipo's 28th birthday (December 19th) we got sealed in the Saint George Temple. I'll go more into that in a later blog. Filipo also blessed our youngest two bubbies...was a BEAUTIFUL thing! Then we said goodbye to my mum and Jordyn (another blog for details).

That pretty much sums up our 2011 Year in Review. So much more has happened that I can't think of at the moment. Hawai'i is currently into the new year as of 31 minutes ago. I wish we were home with the family. I'll have to blog more, I need to blog more! Cheers to 2012 and documenting the most random nonsense but memorable events in our lives...Happy New Year!!!