Sunday, April 29, 2012

Family Surfing in Town

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Amelie is a certified beach bunny.  She went out with Ryan on the board and then demanded another session the minute they came back in.  She is not afraid to go out and gets so excited to be out on the ocean.  I am busy trying to get her swimming so she can start tackling the waves and we can get her surfing.  She's already been surfing out with Ryan and he was throwing her around like a ragdoll, which she loved.

Ollie is a diehard boogie boarder.  He will not let Ryan help him on the surfboard so it's been hard to try and teach that kid.  He said Ami can use his board till he is ready to go surfing in the deep water. He likes to stay closer to the shore and is apprehensive to get too deep.  He tears it up on his board catching waves and standing up.  I tried to get a video of some of his moves.  By this time, he had been out in the water for over 3 hours solid.  The kid loves to be in that ocean. 

I had fun going out on my board for the first time and was sad when I realized that the 6 year olds next to me were a million times better at surfing:)  It was hard work and my arms were killing after about 10 minutes in the water.  I stepped on the reef a few times not realizing I had cut the bottom of my foot and of course my first thought was, now I'm a target for the sharks!  It was so shallow but it didn't stop me from being irrational.  I was paddling on my board at one point and was scared to death when a dark shadow came from under the water only to realize it was a sea turtle.  They are so amazing, I could watch them forever.  Anyways I got up on my board 4 times and crashed way more than that.  I'm excited to get out and practice more.       

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Life on the Island

This morning I woke up with a plan for the day starting with a YMCA workout. Instead we've been hanging out, making breakfast and the kids have been playing so nicely I just didn't want to get in the way of that. (Of course as I sit down to start this blog post, both kids have now realized that mom is busy doing something and they are both now crawling all over me, trying to sit on my lap). Do this happen to anyone else? Ugh. It reminds me of a Relief Society meeting we had a few weeks back on parenting with love. It was about positive reinforcement, like if they are playing well together, than you go and tell them how happy you are that they were playing so nicely. All I could think of was, if I interrupt them to tell them that, it will just remind them that I'm around and then that's it for playtime. I sure hope someone else deals with this.

Anyways, off topic. We are settling in nicely to island life. I am happy to report that I have not seen any cockroaches on premises, our home seems to be bug free which seems to good to be true. But I will continue to pretend that if I don't see them, they don't exist. I LOVE our home. It really is perfect for us in so many ways. We have a constant ocean breeze which in Hawaii sorta means life or death in the summer when it gets really toasty. Our dishwasher works great. Woods floors hardly ever have to be cleaned (not that I don't). The kids are comfy in their room which is equipped with built in blackout shades so when nap time rolls around, it's dark as night in there. I mean who has one room in the house with blackout shades. It's a gift I tell you. Our polynesian neighbors across the street are loud and friendly and I hear a "chee-hoo" every now and then when things are getting really exciting. We have very elderly neighbors next door that I like to check in on and they let us borrow their dog to take to the beach or park anytime we want.

Our ward is amazing. We felt welcomed in like family the moment we showed up, and especially when everyone realized we weren't just vacationers! I love that everyone gives you a hug and kiss on the cheek. It's something everyone should do. The people here are very open, un-assuming and non-judgemental. There is no drama. There are no clicks and really no one is left out. No one cares how much money you make. Keeping up with your neighbors does not exist. I'm finding that even though I'm spending more money on groceries, I spend a lot less in other areas. Like shopping for instance. I've never considered myself very fashionable. I mostly pay attention to what other people are wearing that I think is cute and then go out and find it at TJ Maxx. The thing with Hawaii, at least where I live, is no one is really concerned with fashion trends, new clothes, or brand name clothes. My friend Rachelle said she loved that she could send her son to school in anything and he would never be made to feel like he wasn't wearing "cool" clothes. It's kinda nice. In a werid way this in comforting cause I've felt overwhelmed at times to fit into social norms and there isn't that element here. Don't get me wrong, I love wearing cute clothes and having my kids wear them too, but it's not anywhere near my top priority. This does however leave me susceptible to dressing mom-ish so I'll definitely watch out for that:) I told Ryan to tell me if I was ever letting myself go. Of course he won't.

Some things that have surprised me about living here is that it's colder than I thought. Since I lived in Hawaii during the summer, I just thought that sweating was a way of life in Hawaii. I have actually worn hoodies and sweaters on many occassions. I think though, that my body is getting used to the heat too. Like there are seriously times that my car reads 83 degrees and I am like, there's no way that can be true! Most of the time it feels like 75 but says it's 85. I have heard that Kailua stays about 5 degrees cooler too, since its on the windward side. Speaking of wind, that has surprised me too. More times than not, it is windy at the beach, which kinda sucks. Not to say it isn't glorious, but sometimes I'm so over the wind. I have heard this is an especially windy winter/spring so hopefully summer will be less breezy. But the Hawaiian air never gets old. One of my favorite feelings is leaving an air conditioned room (where I'm freezing to death) and walking back out into the warm, fragrant hawaiian air. It is the best.

Ryan and I went on a date last night to Buzz's steakhouse. We just sat there and thought, wow, we actually live here. We actually made this happen and followed through with one of our dreams. Ryan has already had great things happen at work and as far as I can tell, project managers are fighting over him to get on their team for projects. I am certain that his job prospects and much better at this company than the last which is a great feeling. He is so busy so I guess there's no shortage of construction on the rock.

For the first two months I was really having a hard time with the move. I knew it was right for us but it didn't change the fact that we sacrificed so much to be here. I missed my parents so much it hurt my heart. I realized that in leaving, we were giving up something that we might never get back. I missed our sweet spot in South OC and have realized on many occassions what an amazing place it is to live. The future is still wide open. There's times when I'm sure we'll move back to CA, it just feels like home. Then there's times that this Hawaiian life feels so right for our family. I'm glad that we just get to enjoy each day as it comes. I love a slow-paced life. I can soak into each moment and just focus on what's important. I am loving my kiddles at this age. They are so funny and keep me laughing all day. There is no doubt in my mind that we have been blessed in very specific ways by our Heavenly Father. Sometimes I feel like I don't deserve all the wonderful things I'm given in life. I chalk it up to having such a great companion who deserves the world. I'm trying each day to do better so that I can deserve it all.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Celebrations

Tonight we had a potluck dinner and Easter egg hunt with some friends
While the kids ate their dessert, the adults ate theirs:)
Strawberry cheesecake, carrot cake, and chocolate haupia pie, yum!
Austin and Ellen came from Laie to spend Easter with us, we're so lucky! They are in the midst of finals, and it reminds me how happy I am to not be in school anymore:)
Cute Maisy
The boys checking out their loot
Ami, hunting for easter eggs. She was slow and methodical, not like her mother
The ultimate blurry, action shot.
Dinner time. We were going to have it in the backyard but then true to Hawaii weather, it started pouring so it was moved inside. Throw a sheet on the floor and you've got a place for kids to eat!

On the menu...ham, potatoes, salad, fruit, rolls, and so on. I love potlucks
Ollie with his buddies, Nash and Brent
Before church we were trying to get some Easter pics
Happy about Easter

Looking qutie serious in her beautiful Easter apparel
My handsome little man
Dying Easter eggs a few night ago. 3d glasses...check!
I just noticed neither of my children is wearing a shirt. What can I say, this is how you roll in Hawaii I guess.
Do you SEE the 3rd dimension DAD!
Helping hands
It was a happy Easter. Church was awesome and we heard some really wonderful messages. One of my favorite was that we are here to become better, as Christ did. It is important that we go from good to better. Isn't that what we should lead our lifes thinking about? How can I be a better friend, better spouse, better parent, and better child of God. I am so thankful to know that my Savior lives and loves us.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Kalamas

Today we met some friends for the second day at Kalama Beach. It's becoming a bit of a tradition to meet and leave when the sun goes down. Two great girls I've met have little boys Ollie's age and they love playing in the ocean non-stop. This is becoming one of our favorite beaches.
It's fun to have my little kiddos playing on the same beaches I played on while growing up and visiting my grandma and grandpa here. Amelie comes all the way out in the water with me, going under waves and all. It's pretty impressive for a little thing like her. She even went boogie boarding today (with mom close by).
Ollie riding a wave in
Check out Ollie slamming the lip!
Surf's up
This beach stays pretty shallow for a while and has pretty small rolling waves. Perfect for boarding and perfect for kids. When you get further out it gets pretty fun for us big kids too.
This sassy girl is out of hand lately. I don't know whether to lose it or just laugh at her. So rascally. Still can't get enough though

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Lanikai "Bunkers" Hike

Ready, set, go!!!
The start of our trail. This is the point where Oliver abandoned his shoes. Yes, he hiked this whole trail without shoes. I get the parenting award:) That kid is tough
Once we got to the first platform and felt the ocean breeze! It was warm so we were working up a sweat.
Basking in the glory that is our home
Amelie set off to make some headway on her own (not for long).
Onto the next hill
Up, up and up
The next flat spot. This was a pretty easy hike to do with kids, as long as you have a hubby like mine who's got everybody's back. It doesn't take long and into the first 10 minutes you already have amazing views.
The view on the other side. This is where we live:) Out our front window is this mountain we hiked and now I can look at it and think "conquered"!
Like I said, hubby's got us covered. Ollie's feet needed a break at this point but we weren't ready to give up.
Getting even further up. You can basically see all of Kailua behind us


We made it to the bunkers!
Ollie said, look the guys who painted my skate park came here too!
That up there where you see the person standing is the highest point. We weren't ready to make the trek up there quite yet, maybe next time:) Gorgeous
We got someone to take a family picture
Our sweaty, lovely smiles
I even got a great smooch from my #1 girl. She enjoyed being carted around like a monkey this whole hike. Lucky for us she still weighs under 25 pounds:) We could probably seriously put her in a baby carrier still. Kinda love that