Dreams To Do

March 2013 archive

Aloha!

Oh hey there! Remember me? I guess I decided to take a little blog hiatus, but I’m ready to get back in action! We returned from the most A-MAZING trip to Kauai last Wednesday and ever since then I have been going non-stop, sifting through 500+ emails at work and endless piles of projects to do plus preparing for and participating in my high school’s career day yesterday (fun times!). Returning from vacation makes you wonder if it was even worth it because it is so overwhelming to come back to reality! But in this case, I’ll take life’s craziness right now because I wouldn’t trade our trip for ANYTHING. It was absolute perfection.

Here’s a little summary of highlights from our family vacation followed by a LOT of photos (sorry if this post takes FOREVER to load – and this is only a tiny fraction of the amazingness we captured!)

  • Landon & Leila were angels on all flights. We timed the long flights perfectly at Landon’s nap time and got 2.5 hours out of him each way! Score! I actually got some gossip mag reading in! (I’ll post some flying with baby tips in an upcoming post.)
  • I drank a pina colada or lava flow (pina colada + strawberry sauce) EVERY day. We also ate shave ice every day. Heaven.
  • We saw whales jumping out of the water daily from our condo lanai (deck). We seriously had the most spectacular view of the ocean.
  • Andy & I went zip lining and had the best time! Another dream to do is DONE! (This one deserves its own post!)
  • We swam with seals and sea turtles.
  • We fell asleep to the sound of the ocean (and it wasn’t coming from Landon’s sleep sheep).
  • Our days consisted of coffee, beach, lunch, nap, pool/walk/shopping, dinner & drinks, sleep. And nothing else. PERFECTION.

I can’t even explain how special this trip was. It just felt so good to really BE with my family for 9 days straight. No work. No computers. No distractions. Just high quality time together in one of the most beautiful places in the world.

Enjoy the pics and I hope you all have a wonderful Easter! πŸ™‚

Some decent family photos finally! Taken with the handy tripod+remote.
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Andy’s parents who we were so blessed to have with us…
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Rooster on the beach! They were everywhere…
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My little friend who just about gave me a heart attack when he swam next to me…
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Struttin’ his stuff on the beach…
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Oh how I miss these sunsets SO much…
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Until we meet again, Hawaii. XOXO

Why We Bring Our Kids

When I tell people I’m going on a spring vacation to Hawaii, the first thing they usually say is, “Are you bringing the kids?” I’ll respond with an excited, “Heck yeah!” and sometimes they give me a wide-eyed look in return, sometimes they tell me I’m crazy, and every once in a while someone will agree that that sounds like fun.

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Sure, traveling with kids isn’t necessarily easy, especially when it involves a nearly 6 hour flight with a wiggly 17 month old and a 3 year old. But the truth is that I couldn’t imagine it any other way. While Andy & I hopefully have decades ahead of us to take romantic vacations together, the time that we have with our kids while they are little and cuddly and genuinely wanting to be with us is fleeting. Besides, I want them to see the world as much as I want to see it, if not more.

I want to witness the excitement in their eyes when the plane takes off.
I want to see their reaction to experiencing the ocean for the first time.
I want to build unforgettable family memories that will live on long after Andy & I are gone.
I want our travels to be part of the legacy I leave behind with them. Even if it is just one short trip each year.

So yeah, maybe I’m crazy because I don’t want a vacation from my children, I want a vacation with my children. But seriously, how could I ever leave these precious faces behind?

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Bye-bye Google Reader. πŸ™ Feel free to follow my blog with Bloglovin instead. Or transfer the RSS feed to another reader. I don’t know what I’m going to do yet! Boo hoo….

5 things & a Giveaway!

Hello! Long time, no see! πŸ™‚ I’ve just been off, you know, battling yet ANOTHER nasty, awful, horrible, painful, nuissance of a cold while planning an AMAZING baby shower for a good friend and spending unnecessary amounts of time daydreaming about our upcoming escape to Hawaii.

I mentioned in my last post that life has been less than nice to me lately, so I’m really feeling like it’s time to dig myself out of this trench and focus on the good. Because ya know what? Even when life gets bad and then it gets worse, there are still so many things to smile about. Here are 5 things that I want to remember in the here and now – good things that are happening amidst all the crap…

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  1. I am slowly, but surely becoming more confident in my parenting skills and I am proud of the mommy I am. I am a very laid back momma and I don’t fret the small things. Example: Most parents cringe at the thought of letting their 16 month old feed himself spaghetti – especially without a ginormous bib. Me? I let him have at it in a white onesie (ok, I admit it was because I was too lazy to go find the bib or take off the onesie). Landon had a blast, the stains came out of the onesie, and it took me like 2Β 15 minutes to clean up the mess. No big deal in the grand scheme of life.
  2. My daughter’s love for art makes me happy. She just figured out how to draw people and it is so much fun to see what she comes up with from her own imagination. That Mr. Potato head above? She was so proud of it that she wanted me to hang the doodle board on the wall. And so we did for 2 days. πŸ™‚
  3. Soon I will be lounging on the beach with a pina colada in hand while my kiddos build sand castles around me. Need I say more?
  4. We didn’t have to pay the government any more money this year! Yay for tax returns (especially right before you go on a trip that you really can’t afford)!
  5. Products that make my life easier, like Chobani Champions Tubes…

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A few weeks ago, Chobani sent me a big ole box of products to try and my family and I instantly fell in love with the Champions Tubes. I seriously did a happy dance when I found out that someone was finally putting healthy Greek yogurt in tubes! (Geez, I’m such a mom.) I mean sure, there are moms out there who are AMAZING and even make their own yogurt for their family (you need to check out this post from one of my favorite bloggers who I would love to become when I grow up), but that’s not me. I try to feed my kids healthy things, but in all honesty sometimes it just comes down to FAST and CONVENIENT over HEALTHY. So happy that Chobani is making my life a little easier!

Best part? The kiddos can’t get enough of them! Protein + Calcium + Vitamin D + Deliciousness = WIN!

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And the even better part? You can win a case of EIGHT 8-pack boxes of Chobani Champions Tubes – that’s 64 tubes of yogurt! These babies will be sent right to your door from Chobani in a nifty cooler box.

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All you have to do is enter via the ever-fabulous Rafflecopter widget below. One no-obligation FREE entry + 6 other opportunities to enter. I will pick the winner next Sunday. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I was not paid to write this post. All opinions are my own. If you’ve previously purchased Go-Gurts for your children, then you can understand my excitement over a healthier, even yummier option. πŸ™‚

2 extra hours…

Life is like the ocean. Never-ending waves carry the good and the bad. Every now and then you’ll hit a calm, steady rhythm. And then a storm strikes. And then another calm. Every once in a while there will be a tsunami.

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Right now I’m experiencing the effects of a little burnout. I’ve been go-go-going non-stop for the past few months and I’ve been feeling great. I hit a steady rhythm in my life – I found a good balance of work and play – I was riding the waves. But now it is all catching up to me. My right eye won’t stop twitching and I’m about to rip it out. All I want to do is sleep, but there’s too much to do. A series of unfortunate events pushed some of my usual priorities to the back burner. And now I feel frazzled, scatter-brained, and utterly exhausted.

I feel like I could sleep for 10 years.

In less than 2 weeks I’ll be boarding a plane to Hawaii. I should be jumping for joy, but in all honesty, I think I’m more stressed about flying with Landon. Ha! This weekend I’m co-hosting a baby shower for a good friend. It is also the last weekend I have to get crap together before our trip. So, the rest and relaxation will have to wait.

But, ya know what? Even with the burnout weighing me down, leading me to the edge of my breaking point, I’m happy. I love life. I love my family. I feel very blessed. I just wish I had 2 extra hours each day, ya know? If I had 2 extra hours all to myself that I could do anything with, here’s what I’d do…

  • Let myself fall asleep with Leila when I tuck her in at night.
  • Go to Starbucks just to people watch.
  • Write a book.
  • Have a new blog post every. single. day.
  • Read.
  • Make the jewelry that’s been in my head for 2 years.
  • Master photoshop.
  • Clip coupons.
  • Cook dinner. Real dinner.
  • Cook breakfast. Real breakfast.
  • Paint my nails every 2 days.
  • Volunteer with a local charity.
  • Keep my closet organized.

Oh man, I could go on and on. That’s kind of fun! I feel better already. Sometimes I think you just have to admit that you need to take it easy and allow yourself to do so. I’m hoping to get caught up on sleep soon. I’m hoping that the storm in my life will settle down a little and I can return to riding the mellow waves for a while.

Leila Jade, Hawaii 2011
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Your turn! What would you do if you had 2 extra hours every day all to yourself – hours that didn’t cut into your sleep or usual wake time?

Phone Photography

My favorite thing about my cell phone is the fact that it has an awesome camera and a bunch of fun photo apps. If something special happens I don’t have to scramble to find a camera because my phone is pretty much always with me. Because of that, I’m trying to step up my phone camera photography skills. After all, I’m using it more than ourΒ spendy DSLR these days.

Here are some pics from today. All taken and edited right on my trusty iPhone.

Sunshine today! It felt like spring & I loved every minute of it!
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The story of my life: Toys. Everywhere.
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Sunshine calls for bubble blowing…
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Brother wanted to join Sissy outside…
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First flip flops of 2013! Even though it was only 45 degrees out. πŸ™‚
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Keeping watch over his land…
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The princess of our castle (love here fashion sense!)…
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It’s easy to take great pics when you have such a beautiful model…
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Okay, and now for some attempts at self-portraits with my kiddos…
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All of these photos were taken with the Camera+ app (I don’t even use the iPhone camera app anymore) and edited with Afterglow. If you don’t have either of these apps, I highly recommend them.

Besides playing around with my phone (which I actually spent very little time on this weekend), the past couple of days have been lazy and fabulous. I’ve just been busy basking in the love of my children who have been in freakishly great moods all weekend. No tears around here! I know that it sucks royally when tragedy strikes in our lives, but at the same time, without it we wouldn’t be reminded of just how precious our one short, sweet life really is. I’m savoring the small things these days and it isn’t a bad thing.

I hope your weekend was full of love!

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