Saturday, January 30, 2010


3 things I read about while blog surfing this week...

1. This one I was simply reminded of here. I love this tray. I used it tonight for our yummy taco dinner. I think of my sister-in-law every time I see it. So, I am getting her one next time I am at IKEA. Flori, do you already have this?

2. Checked out this blog just this morning and promptly set-up my DVR for the PBS miniseries of Emma. I missed the first episode last week (it airs at 8:00 pm Sunday nights) but luckily can still catch it online here. Makes me think of another sister-in-law who adores Jonny Lee Miller from Mansfield Park. Mary--you must tune in!

3. Saw these on this lovely blog and decided to try my hand at some today. I bookmarked a quick tutorial a few days ago (Martha Stewart magic...of course!) and just used some stuff I had around the house (unwound jumbo paperclips instead of floral wire.) They are so, so easy to make and totally girlie and fun. We tried them out in Cares' room this afternoon.

FYI--I have hung these closer together, and higher since taking these pics...still testing them out...

Cares insisted I layer her with animals for this picture...
This is my favorite corner of her room (and it's too bad her green walls are so washed out in the pics because they're such a cool accent against all her pinks and whites.)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Sick Hubby

The picture is horrible, but can you see my sweet hubby all bundled in bed? He has been in there for most of the day cycling through the stages of feeling kind of okay, steadily developing racking chills, shivering and layering himself in fleece and down, finally warming up and falling asleep, and then waking up covered in sweat as his fever breaks. My poor, sick hubby--he is totally miserable (and I need to keep telling myself this because it is so easy to get frustrated that he has been home all day and yet not able to do a single thing...he tried, good man that he is--but it was no use. He is just too sick).

When my husband wears a hoodie, flannel PJs and warm socks to sleep in, something is really wrong--this from a man who usually wears his underwear around our house, whether it's December or July. Lately he has been gracing us with pajama bottoms though--he's cute in those.

He is currently doped up on NyQuil and just emerged from the bed and came to tell me he needed something. I asked him what and he said "socks." He is already wearing socks--a fact I pointed out to him. So he wandered down the hall, came back with a warm blanket, sat down on the couch, smiled at me and fell right back to sleep. I am soooo tempted to try and mess with him and get him to say funny things. He can be so fun on these kinds of medicines! I will try to be nice :)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Fish and Fire Trucks

Beans and Cares=best buddies, have you noticed? But after long, winter days cooped up together they can easily turn into loathed enemies. This past weekend we aimed for lovely lazy days cuddled up at home, back together again. We tentatively planned on a trip to the aquarium on Saturday afternoon to get some wiggles out. But sadly, grumpy, whining attitudes ruled the day and the kids lost some privileges (namely the aquarium outing). There were tears and pouts and some serious talks. And then Sunday and Monday were great days--the kids tried very hard to be kind to each other, to speak sweetly to mom and dad, and to play happily together. It was very refreshing and they earned their little aquarium outing right back.

Oh Livs...that face is a constant around here.
And although it looks very grumpy, it is mainly her silly "get some attention" face.
She loves to pull it during church and get laughs out of all those sitting behind us :)

A lovely display but nothing compared to the reef fish I saw just last week...I really need to take the kids to Hawaii again--I think Cares is brave enough to try snorkeling. She was the only kid who touched the sting rays during our visit...

This morning we visited the South Jordan Fire Station for a preschool fieldtrip. Bentley was so pleased he could come since he is an afternoon Kindergarten boy. He loves fire trucks and the one we saw was even a ladder truck--his very favorite kind.

Friday, January 22, 2010


While on vacation...

...I didn't bring a blow-dryer and opted for hats and headbands. I used the hotel's dryer twice and it managed to do the trick.

...I left a very detailed document for the grandmas--4 pages worth in fact :)

...I decided on The Time Traveler's Wife while kickin' it poolside and ended up listening to a lot of The Count of Monte Cristo (Joseph's book of choice) while we drove around the island. Both good reads if you ask me. We also watched The Informant (on the airplane) and it was actually quite funny. I am a total sucker for that kind of humor though and think both my hubby and I were more amused than most people on the plane. I love that airlines edit R rated movies to play for us thoughtful...

These cuties are still my favorites (barfs and early mornings and poops and moody sibling fights and all...)

This picture is too funny to me: Cares with the random, creepy, skeleton gloves on, Beans in his new rash guard (from Hawaii), track pants, and a hat, Livs dazed and a little annoyed that I am letting the kids hold her so fresh from her nap...I love these sillies.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Indulge Me

Today reality shoved its nosy self right into my face: Olivia gave us a 7:00 am wake up call, Cares suddenly developed a case of the barfs (throwing up at 11:00 am right on the living room floor, and then again at 3:00 pm, thankfully in the toilet), Livs pooped while eating her lunch--a surprisingly soft poop which ended up all over her right leg, thigh to ankle, just minutes before we had to get Bentley to school, we scoured the house for Bentley's Leapster and cleaned the whole playroom in the process, I have done 6 loads of laundry and counting, you get the idea. My kids sure know how to welcome me home :) I am so glad I had a 6 day hiatus from all of that "mommy" work to renew my patience and energy. Liv's diaper just made me laugh today and Cares and Beans were excitedly grossed out over her messy jeans--and readily helped me with wipes and new clothes. Big kids are priceless I tell you.

Now that everyone is finally asleep, I am indulging myself in a few more pics from our trip. Humor has been a long day...

the view at dusk from our lanai

just a sample of my hubby's new found obsession with lava

poolside breakfast

Bana-mac waffles in Hilo

Sundae for two--can you tell we love food?

Thank you. That was a lovely refresher. I'm ready for tomorrow :)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A Piece of Perfection

Yesterday. Our lovely last day in Hawaii. We planned on a little hike we had heard about up on the northern coast. We started out early, drove up to the Pololu Valley and happened upon the most gorgeous beach. And we were there with hardly a soul in sight, although more were trickling in once we decided to leave.

view from the first switchback

near the end--reaching the valley floor

It was so heavenly there and exactly the ideal Hawaii I had always imagined: rugged, rich, isolated and serene. I had been dying to sink my toes into some of the island's rare black sand and this beach was filled with it--so soft and light to the touch, and so stunning against the white waves. I don't know if our pictures really captured the beauty of the place but we couldn't stop taking them. I loved being there and now deem it a new favorite place in the world. Wandering that beach, breathing that fresh and misty ocean air, and walking hand in hand with the love of my life on that deserted piece of paradise was absolute heaven for me, the perfect end to our glorious holiday.

On our way back south we paid homage to King Kamehameha (at one of the many statues of him on the island) and the lovely Maui across the sea--the northern coast provides a stunning view of its neighbor island. We also explored a more local black sand beach which really must be called a "peppered" beach when compared to the rich sands of Pololu.

Maui in distance

After an afternoon at the pool (but of course), a late checkout, fish tacos for dinner in the heart of Kona (my hubby's favorite meal), and one last stroll through an ABC store, we met our plane at the airport and have made it home. We were so eager to see our children, but can one ever feel ready to leave Hawaii? It is such a beloved escape of ours. And the Big Island is an amazing place that we only began to discover during our short stay. I love that there is so very much to see and explore, and because of this, the tourists are dispersed which leaves things feeling so open and raw, even on the beach at our resort. And so many of the best beaches, tide pools, snorkeling bays and waterfalls require real efforts to actually see them as they are not just waiting for us tourists off the side of the road.

I am definitely going back.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Hilo and Hangin'

One thing I was super excited about on this trip was a helicopter ride over the active volcano and flowing lava on the island. To see this spectacle we had to venture over to Hilo on the rainy, volcanic side of the island (more of a journey than on any other island because Hawaii is so huge). Can you see Hilo on the map? We drove 2 hours each way from Waikoloa on the western Kohala Coast to Hilo on the east. That info is for you Dad, and any others like him (me, for example) who find the logistics of it all quite interesting.

Luckily for us, the skies cleared up for our afternoon helicopter ride when they had been too smoky earlier in the day (yep--from Pele herself) and those rides had been canceled. Sadly, recent underground shifting of vents and lava flow meant that there wasn't much active lava on the surface and hadn't been for about a week. The flows that had been streaming into the ocean suddenly changed paths and so we didn't see any of that fiery red lava hitting the water like I had wanted. Who knew it could all shift so abruptly? Apparently Pele had a mind of her own and decided to slow things down for my island appearance. I actually thought the ride was still amazing and the pilot shared fact after fact about Kilauea, Mauna Kea, and Mauna Loa and how volcanoes work and thrive. It was all fascinating and very humbling. When (not "if") Mauna Loa decides to erupt again the lava could reach the western side of the island in about 45 minutes. Of course I had a frenzied dream about that very thing happening while we were staying there that night... frightening and fascinating at the same time.

Back on the sunny side of the island, we took a late afternoon stroll around the Hilton Waikoloa which was just down the street from the Marriott. It is a huge property and may be a good choice for us if we make it back here with our kids. I have to admit, I am a huge fan of the Big Island. I might just love it the most of all the islands. More on all of that to come...

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Adventures in Paradise

We started the day very early (leaving here at 7:00 am) and drove about 50 miles down the coast so we could do this:

After kayaking on both Kauai and Maui we have decided we are quite the kayaking pros :)

We loaded our kayak into the water and paddled out to Kealakekua Bay to experience the highly acclaimed "state's best snorkeling." They were not kidding--it was an amazing experience, with crystal clear water, a huge reef, and hundreds and hundreds of colorful, beautiful fish. Bentley would have been in heaven there and I kept thinking about him and what he would try and tell us with his snorkel in his mouth. He is our little fish for sure (which he gets from his Dad.)

After an hour of snorkeling, we parked our kayak up on the shore and hiked around the edge of the island a bit.

We see tons of messages in white rocks all over the lava fields here so decided to make these for our little ones back at home. We miss their sweet snuggles and happy faces so much.We keep talking about how we can get all 5 of us back here sometime next year...we shall see...

poor little crab...he was all dried up and already dead, but still so vivid against the black rock

When we got back to the hotel we rested by the pool--a daily ritual the past 3 days.

And last night we drove into Kona for dinner and a temple session. It was so lovely to be there with my hubby and a handful of local saints. I love the temple and how easy it is to feel at home there even when we are so far away.