"Begin today and write in it your goings and comings, your deepest thoughts, your achievements and your failures, your associations and your triumphs, your impressions and your testimonies. I promise you that if you will keep your journals and records, they will indeed be a source of great inspiration to you, each other, your children, your grand-children and others throughout the generations. Remember, the Savior chastised those who failed to record important events." --President Spencer W. Kimball

January 31, 2013

Instagram January 2013


January 29, 2013

On the Wall

When my baby Katea was born, she spent 134 days in the NICU.....that's almost 5 months.  In the time that she was there, I went to the NICU every single day....sometimes more than once a day....never ever missed one single day!  To get to some of the rooms in the NICU you have to walk down this hall, and on the wall in that hall they a bunch of frames with before and after pictures and stories of preemies who had been there before.  I loved that wall.  I called it the miracle wall.  The wall of hope.  Some of the stories on that wall had miraculous endings, some not so happy.  Everyone had different trials and struggles and different successes, but those stories were real and true and those were babies and families who had been in the exact position that I was in at that moment.  Ova and I stopped at the wall several times throughout our time there, just looking at the pictures and reading their stories and getting hope.....we always wanted our little girl to be on that wall.

Last month when I was taking baby Katea to one of her appointements, we stopped by the NICU to see if we could see any of our nurses, and Tricia came out.  Tricia is one of my good friends from the NICU.  She had a preemie daughter, who is 12 years old now....and she has dedicated her time to giving back.  She, with another lady, Kathie, started up Common Bonds.  A support group made up of parents who had been through the NICU experience and wanted to help others by giving hope.  She's such an amazing woman and I can't say enough about her.  She helped me a lot!  She came out to the hall and played with baby Katea for a little bit and then she asked me if I would let Katea be on the wall.  At first it didn't click at what she was asking, but as she started explaining to me what she needed from me, I realized that she meant THE WALL....the NICU wall...the miracle wall....the wall of hope.  My heart smiled as I said yes, so happy that we'd be able to share our story and hopefully help give hope to the NICU families that would come....like those on that wall did for us!  :)

I typed up our story, sent in some pictures......and a little while later Tricia picture texted me these pictures:


Thank you Tricia for giving us the opportunity to share our story on the wall.....Thank you to the NICU nurses who loved and cared for our baby girl.....Thank you to our little miracle Katea for your strength and fight! 
We are so blessed!
Here's the story that's up on that wall:
Kalolaine Katea Fangupo
Our daughter Katea was born at 24w5d, weighing 1lb.12oz. I was pregnant with twins, two girls, but had complications throughout my whole pregnancy due to a subchrionic hematoma. Half way through my pregnancy my baby Cindy's heart stopped beating and shortly after that my body tried to reject her fetus and I went into labor. At 22w my water broke and I was admitted to the hospital until further notice. I had to go through that very difficult conversation with the Neonatalogist about how my baby Katea was still really early and probably wouldn't survive either. If she did survive, I was told she could face some serious mental or developmental delays or issues. That conversation was probably the hardest one I've had in my life. Thankfully, they were able to stop my contractions and my precious little miracle Katea held on for those 2 critical weeks that got her to the 24 week mark and she made her debut on September 26th, 2011 at 24w5d. Baby Katea came into this world so tiny, but so so strong. We call her our little miracle, because that is what she is. When all odds were stacked against her, she showed them who was boss! We were so blessed that she didn't suffer any ventricular hemmorages, and that her little heart was developed and beating. But obviosuly, being born so early, her lungs were not completely developed and that is where she's had the majority of her struggles. She was intubated for the first couple months of her life and it took her 4 1/2 months to strengthen her little lungs as she moved from one type of support to a lesser type of support until finally, after 134 days in the IMC NICU, she was able to go home. The NICU was not easy at all, and it really was that emotional rollercoaster ride that everyone warned us about, but we are grateful for it! Katea went home on oxygen and a monitor and she really needed the additional oxygen support throughout her first year of life. Her eyes were not fully mature when she was born, and she did develop some ROP, but with time that has healed itself. She is 15 months old now and she's amazing! She still has some struggles with her lungs and has had to be hospitalized a few times since leaving the NICU because of it, but she always fights her way through it. She's completely off oxygen now and has been for 3 months. She's reaching the milestones of her adjusted age and with every milestone she meets, it's a huge celebration! We understand how lucky and blessed we are that she is alive and we are aware of the progress that she makes every single day. We would like to thank the IMC NICU staff for everything they did for our little miracle. She wouldn't be here with us, doing as well as she is if it wasn't for them, they are true miracle workers!  

January 25, 2013


They're married!! 
Mr Asafi & Kaufale Veasisi

For having less than a month to plan a wedding, everything turned out so nice!  I was so happy that we all pulled together as a family and made this day super special for our brother!  Everything from the decorations to the entertainment to the food was done by our family (minus the front table) and everything was so nice!  I'm glad they got the wedding they deserved!  Here's to a lifetime of love and happiness for both of you! 
One with the parents
 With the nieces and nephews...
With the siblings...
Our kids put together the entertainment, I wish I would have taken more pictures, but they all did a great job performing for their Uncle Safi!

I thought this was the cutest picture.....Tala girl giving Folau uma's on the head :)
 And one with Uncle Daniel :)

January 19, 2013

Fale's bridal shower

Safi is my first cousin, but we consider him our brother.  He's my Dad's only sister's son and he's been living with my parents for the past few years.  He's the joker kind that always has something sarcastic to say, and he's the uncle that all the kids are scared of because he's always scaring them or teasing them or tickling them, and he's really rough about it.  LOL  He has a very rough and harsh sense of humor, and most of the older grandkids have finally gotten used to it, but my little Tala is still scared of him LOL.  He still acts like a little kid himself, so when I found out on Christmas that he was getting married, I was completely shocked!  I didn't even know he liked girls, let alone that he has had a girlfriend for almost a whole year!  LOL.

We found out on Christmas that he was getting married and everything after that happened so quickly.  The wedding was set for January, that was less than a month away.

My Aunty Denise wanted to put together a little bridal shower for Fale....her family wasn't planning on throwing her one, but we didn't want her not to have one, so everyone met at Leslie's house to plan it out (I conference called because I had to work) we weren't planning anything big, just a little something to show Fale that we loved our brother and that we were excited to welcome her into our family.  Fale is from my parent's ward, so the shower would just be us and the ward...and of course we invited her family to come too!

Anything Denise does is amazing!  She's so crafty and creative and she had the place decorated so beautifully.  Safi and Fale chose Red/Black/White for their colors......really they just chose red because that is their favorite color, but we decided to incorporated black and white so they could have a whole color scheme.  The shower was beautiful and a lot of people came.  It was just simple, held in the gym of my parent's ward....we just had finger foods and some desserts and we did it more like and open house...no games, just mingling and visiting and then she opened her presents.  I don't know Fale very well at all.  The first time I met her was at my parents house on Christmas when they told me they were getting married.  She's a very quiet girl, but I'm happy that she's marrying my brother Safi.  Hopefully she'll be just what he needs to calm down and settle down.  And hopefully she knows that we love and welcome her to our family!  :)

So my parents have sent 3 kids on a mission (me, Misi, Misipou) and married off 6 of us (Leslie, me, Marie, Misi, Fanga & Safi)....we're just waiting on Leka to find her Mr. Right and then my parents will be kid free LOL


January 18, 2013

Dad's letter

When I was serving as a missionary in the Chile, Santiago West mission, I only got one single letter from my Dad the entire time I was out there.  Only one.  It is my most favorite letter I have ever received!!  I love it so much because it's totally my dad.  He wrote it himself, without any help.  He wrote it exactly how he speaks, and I read it with his voice in my mind exactly as if he was talking right to me.  I love my Dad so much!  He's not a man of many words (well, he used to not be..... but being a stake president has helped that a lot!) ......and he never liked to write because he was always unsure of how to spell things.  I remember when we were young, he used to always ask us kids to help him spell check his work, or he would just have us write it for him.  This one single letter that I received from him meant the world to me, and I will always cherish it!  Always a daddy's girl!

January 12, 2013

90 years old

When Ova and I got married, 10 years ago, one of the first big celebrations we went to with his whole Fangupo family was Ma's 80th birthday party.  They went all out with dinner, decorations, talents, a slideshow.  It was a big deal!  I can't even believe that it's been 10 years......time is flying right by!

Ma turned 90 years old this year, on January 9th.  90 YEARS OLD!!!  Not everyone makes it to that age, and there were several times that we, ourselves didn't know if she would make it....but she's so strong and here she is, 90 years old!!  Her body is aging and she isn't able to get around as easily as she used to or wants to, but her mind is sharp and she still remembers everyone and everything.  She remembers little details about events that have happened in her life and she loves to share them. I wish so bad that I could understand every word that came out of her mouth, and that she could understand me.....but honestly, without being able to understand each other, we totally understand each other!  I love Ma so much, and I know she loves me!  In fact, I think she loved me even before Ova did....before we even started dating.  She's always been so kind and nice and sweet and welcoming and I honestly can't say enough about this very special and amazing woman!

When Ova and I were still dating, he told me that Ma and Tea were his responsibility and that I needed to be aware that at some point they would live with us and we would take care of them.  We only spent the first year of our marriage alone, and then they moved in with us.  I have been so blessed to have lived with Ma for the last 10 years.  She knows me, she accepts me with all my imperfections, she loves me and she loves my children! 

I've learned a lot about her in the 10 years we've lived together!  She's a woman of great faith and she has read her scriptures, or church literature all the time.....over and over and over again and can tell you any story from the bible or the book of mormon, in great detail.  She's limited to what she can do right now physically, because of her age, but she continues to strengthen her mind by reading and learning and sharing her knowledge.  Ova is a scripture buff as well.  He loves the scriptures and I have no doubt that he gets that love and passion for the scriptures from her.  I am blessed because of it!

We wanted to do something really special and nice for her for her 90th birthday so we all met as a family and threw ideas in on what we could do.  We finally decided that the best idea would be to do exactly what she would want.  Her life revolves around her family....her kids, grandkids and great grandkids....and her ward, so we decided to throw a birthday party for her and invite all those people!  We reserved the gym of a church building, planned on doing finger foods for the guests and a front table for Ma and her honorary guests.  We were going to make it fun so Jr brought his DJ equipment so we could dance.....each family was in charge of preparing a talent or a tribute to Ma....and we were just going to spend time with her and celebrate her life!  It turned out perfect, so much better than we had even planned!  That whole gym was packed.....you could definitely tell how loved she is by the amounts of people who came to celebrate!  Everyone had so much fun, but most importantly Ma had fun!  She was laughing and smiling and clapping almost all night long!  I don't know how much longer she'll be with us....my guess would be at least a few more years!  But I'm so glad to have her in my life.  She's such a special woman and I love her so much.  Happy Happy 90th Birthday Ma!!!  Thank you for everything!

Should have taken a picture of her before her party....this was when all was said and done and she was exhausted!  :)
Tea and baby Tea preparing the Lu for the front table
Tala girl did a tauolunga, that was the first time she ever got in front of a crowd and actually did it, willingly!  I was SO SO SO proud of her, and Ma was loving it!
 Tahitian number by her great grand-daughters