Rosie’s 1st Birthday

Rosie’s 1st Birthday

I’m a wee bit behind on this post, seeing as today marks Rosie as 13 months old.  If you haven’t heard, I’ve been pretty ill for the past couple weeks with severe pneumonia.  It finally landed me in the ER a few evenings ago, but I’m happy to say that I’m now on the mend.  Of course, Tristan is now fighting pneumonia as well.  It’s been a rough few weeks, for sure.

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A month ago, however, we were celebrating our little girl’s first birthday! My mom and dad  arrived on Rose’s actual birthday and we were able to have a mini celebration that night, with her first taste of a cupcake.

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We hosted her garden-themed party on the following Saturday at our house.  With a name like Rose, I couldn’t resist.  All in all, it was a simple and sweet DIY party that I seriously could not have pulled off without my mom and dad’s help!

We had tea sandwiches and other pupus (appetizers, for you mainland folks) as well as sweet treats, including Fairy Bites.  Seriously, the fairy bites were my favorite – and addictive.  I strongly recommend checking out the recipe! My mom got fancy and made a watermelon basket for the fruit salad too.

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My dad did an amazing job with the floral arrangements! I had picked up an assortment of flowers at the grocery store and my dad mixed them all up in some mason jars that (no joke) we literally dug up from the yard.  We had found them buried when clearing and leveling the mass of weeds in front of the driveway.  A little washing and drying and they cleaned up perfectly.  I loved my dad’s arrangements so much, I skipped the ribbon I had planned to tie around the jars.  I really wish I had a good picture of the flowers.  I loved putting the jars all throughout my house after the party and enjoying the flowers in several rooms!

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Other decorations consisted of bakers twine strung up by the food tables with a picture of Rosie for each month clothes-pinned to the twine.  We also loaded a digital frame with many, many more pictures of her throughout the year.

Favors consisted of “Thanks A Bunch” wildflower seed packets I ordered from American Meadows.  They were so cute and easy to slip into thank you notes for the folks that weren’t able to make it to the party.

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We (me and my parents) even DIY-ed a “1” piñata for the party.  My dad is a whiz with cardboard construction and my mom helped me with the ombre tissue paper.  We made it as a pull-string piñata, which I figured was more age-appropriate and less dangerous for our little guests.  Every kid grabs a string and we all pull at the same time.  All but 1 or 2 strings just slip through a slit in the bottom of the piñata while the “winning” strings (I had 2) pull open a flap on the bottom and let the treats out – in our case fruit snacks and Annie’s cookies and crackers.  GIF courtesy of our friend Sean.

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After that, there was of course cake!

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Rosie was not shy about digging in and enjoyed everyone singing to her.  Again, GIF courtesy of Sean.

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Other memorable moments included Rosie dancing to her favorite song, “Shut up and Dance with Me” by Walk the Moon.  That girl loves a party!

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We have been so blessed with her addition to our family over the past year 13 months.  I can’t imagine our family any other way.  We love you Rose Pomaikai!

 

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Christmas 2015 – Recap

It’s hard to believe the holidays are just about over. I actually get a little down every year starting December 26. I tend to feel like someone burst my bubble and I’m suddenly back in the real world. I try to hang on to Christmas as long as I can. 

After all, the Twelve Days of Christmas only begin on December 25. I’m totally that weirdo still rocking out to Christmas music. My tree and decorations may come down in the next few days, or I might leave it all up until Three Kings Day, also known as Epihany, which marks the end of the Christmas season on the church calendar. 

Before New Years and it’s suddenly January (!), I wanted to stop in and share a little bit about our Christmas. 

In my last post, I mentioned that the Sunday School Christmas program was the following morning. I’m not sure that I shared that it was a family affair. It’s a pretty small church, so Rosie, Shane and myself were drafted to play Jesus, Joseph and Mary. Tristan played both a scribe to the Wise Men as well as a [wandering] sheep. 

  
The whole thing is on YouTube, if you’re so inclined. It’s about 24 minutes long. There’s two different perspectives available, actually. One of the high school youth wrote the play. It’s a comedy that focuses on the Wise Men and I found it hilarious. 

Tristan’s shining moment as scribe is about 5 or 6 minutes in. 

  
The rest of the week consisted of fudge and pizzelle-making, the crafting of paper snowflakes and a visit or two with some family. 

   
 Shane was working, so I took the kids to church on Christmas Eve. They were adorably excitable throughout the service. It all went well except for the part where Tristan nearly lit Rosie’s hair on fire during Silent Night. Thank you, Jesus, for letting us avoid that disaster!

  
Christmas morning started early, especially early for Shane who worked until midnight Christmas Eve. I’m not sure who was more excited, me or Tristan. He came up to our room about 4:30am, which is typical for him. He’ll usually snuggle in and go back to sleep until 6 or 6:30. 

  
This year, however, he knew to check to see if Santa left gifts. On his way to our room he stopped to check out the gifts under the tree. All were wrapped except for a new play tent, which he started asking about once in bed with us. Shortly after, Rosie woke. Everyone was squirming around and we realized nobody was going back to sleep. Thus, gift opening began at 5am. 

Tristan was so excited to figure out which present had his Kylo Ren lightsaber. Rosie was just totally content to toddle around holding scraps of wrapping paper. 

Once the much anticipated lightsaber was located, the dueling commenced, using the Anakin/Vader lightsaber he received last year. My kid has a thing for the Dark Side. Much of the morning (and the past week, actually) looked like this:

  
Gifts were pretty simple this year. Apparently Shane and I are of an age where gifts are [mostly] practical and received in advance. We didn’t exchange gifts with each other since we got power tools to build the swing set (post coming soon!)

  
We set a strict budget for gifts for the kids – and lucked out when we scored a few new-to-us items from friends that were moving. Rosie’s big gift from Santa was a sing & learn dog. However, I think she was most excited by the jingle bells in her stocking. 

  
Between coffee, pizzelles, more lightsaber duels, and ripped wrapping paper, we Facetimed with our family on the mainland before heading to brunch with Shane’s dad and Anita. 

  
Shane had to work that afternoon and evening. The kids took a nap when we got home while I assembled one of their gifts – an art easel – and watched Elf. The three of us had a simple dinner and called it an early night. 

  
All in all, it was a great Christmas! Don’t mind me, I’ll be hoarding candy canes to make it through to next Christmas season. 

Summer Updates

Summer Updates

I’ve been MIA on this blog for most of the summer despite post ideas galore. With school starting up again (shoot, school has been in session in Hawaii for a month already) and pumpkin-everything season looming, I figured I could update you all on what we’ve been up to. 

 

Camping at Kiholo Bay

 
We didn’t take any big trips this summer. Correction: Shane took a big trip and landed himself a 3-night stay in Hilo Medical Center complete with shattered knee. The good news is, we got to spend a lot of extra time with him over the summer months. The bad news is that he only had one weight-bearing leg for over 2 months. Shane has been back at work on light-duty for a few weeks now and is recovering from his injury and subsequent surgery well. He’s building up his strength again with hopes to return to full duty in October. 

  

Shane’s knee 2 weeks after surgery

 
In June, I volunteered at our church’s Vacation Bible School. The theme this year was “Camp Discovery.” Both kids and I had a lot of fun! It was an incredibly successful week with about 50 kids attending (around 5x the number we had last summer). Tristan is still singing all the songs he learned. 

 

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We also got to spend some unplanned time with Shane’s mom who came to help out after his discharge from the hospital. Shane required A LOT of extra care initially and there’s no way I could’ve managed the two kids and Shane on my own. I am so, so grateful for all of the ʻohana that has helped me wrangle/entertain the kids so that I could care for my hubby too!

 

Father’s Day

 
The 4th of July was spent eating lots of delicious food and playing in the pool at an Aunty’s house followed by watching the fireworks over Hilo Bay. Not gonna lie, the fireworks were pretty lame compared to what I’m used to viewing in DC from the Capitol building. It was still fun watching all the keiki twirling their glow sticks and oohing and aahing at the show. 

 

Driving to the Home Depot Kids Workshop

 
Later in the month, we took a day trip over to the Kona side for some beach time and to say goodbye to dear friends leaving the island to move back to the mainland. Shane was a good sport hobbling on his crutches and sitting in the 95 degree sun, unable to swim. 

 

Enjoying the beach at Onekahakaha

 
For living on an island, I really haven’t been to the beach much at all this summer! Most of our swimming has been in pools. After Shane was cleared to swim we’ve been making weekly trips to an Aunty’s pool for his exercise and to tire out the kids (for the love of God, how do they have so much energy?!) Tristan started swim lessons in July (and just concluded yesterday, actually). He’s done really well at swimming under water. We’re still working on jumping in and on coordinating all the parts for swimming on top of the water. We love his instructor since she makes it so fun for the kids. Rosie actually starts her swim class next week!

 

Drying in the sun

 
Speaking of Rosie, she has just been on fire lately, learning all kinds of new skills! Since June, at not quite 5 months, she got her first tooth, started eating solids, and really started sitting up. She learned to crawl in July at 6 months old. She can now clap and is working on waving, pulls herself up to standing and thinks cat food is quite tasty. I even saw her take a couple steps while holding onto the couch today and attempt to jump. This girl is just 7 months old and I already fear she may be as active and energetic as her brother (if not more). Lord help me, she was supposed to be the mellow one! 

 

Look Mom! I’m standing!

 
A couple weeks ago we went on a big family camping trip to Kiholo Bay. (Again, Shane was a good sport hobbling on the rocky beach!) Tristan played in the waves with the big kids, explored an ice pond with me and then played in the waves some more. Rosie enjoyed eating dirt. Of course there were smores. The adults had a great time playing Cards Against Humanity. Despite 95 degree temps and next to no breeze, it was a great weekend! 

 

Just hanging out at Kiholo

 
The rest of the time has been spent between the library, ʻimiloa Astronomy Center, eating popsicles and playing in the kiddie pool in the yard. It’s been a great summer filled with blessings, even if some of those blessings were disguised at first!

 

Popsicles!

 
Here’s hoping with Shane on the mend I can start tackling the 101 DIY  projects I have in my head so I can share with you soon!

What’s in Da Box?

What’s in Da Box?

Not a sponsored post, I’m just really happy and enthusiastic about what The Hawaii Food Basket is doing!

“Da Box” is our local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program here on Hawaii island. More info here for residents. 

I’d been wanting to participate in such a program for awhile, so I was excited when I heard the radio commercial introducing Da Box as a new CSA. 

By participating, our money goes directly to the farmers who contribute local, seasonal produce each week. We pay up front and commit to 10 weeks at a time. In return, we pick up 8-12 pounds of fresh produce once a week. Cash flow for the farmers is improved, money remains in the local economy, and food sustainability is increased. 

   
Today I picked up our produce for week 8. I was really surprised with all the goodies we got this week! Included were bananas, papaya, avocado, beefsteak tomatoes, mushrooms, kale, Manoa lettuce and string beans. 

We pay $16/week for 8-12lbs of produce. At worst, that works out to $2/pound, which is still better than a lot of items at the grocery store. When you live on an island, groceries are incredibly expensive! When I pay $5/gallon of milk, I’m happy to cut the grocery bill where I can!


The produce has been fantastic. Even though I tend to purchase as much locally grown produce at the store as possible, we can still taste a difference. Everything is incredibly fresh and we love the assortment of items we get each week. 

In addition to the items I picked up today, in past weeks we have received corn on the cob, green onions, sweet onions, bok choy, beets, carrots, bell pepper, cucumbers, grape tomatoes, zucchini, other varieties of mushrooms, and apple bananas (side note: they’re a thing here in Hawaii. I personally don’t really care for them). 

I also love that each week we get a handout detailing which farm each item came from as well as a few recipe ideas for the produce in the box. If you’re like me, you often find yourself in a cooking rut making the same old thing and out of new ideas. 

Da Box has really helped shake me out of that rut! I’ve been coming up with some new meals by trying to use up what I get. A few weeks ago I made pizza topped with kale and mushrooms, which is outside my usual repertoire. I’ve also had to find recipes to cook things I’m not as familiar with, like bok choy and beets. 

Bok choy is really good sautéed with garlic! We also used it in a pork stir fry the other night. I don’t recall ever eating beets before they showed up in da box. I enjoyed them roasted in a salad of greens and walnuts. The boys didn’t care for the beets, but Rosie obviously approved. Rose and I ate them all!

  

While sourcing food locally and seasonally seems to be quite the trend, it’s an important step to take towards a sustainable lifestyle. The drought in California is going to have a catastrophic effect on commercial agriculture, the ripples of which will be felt across the U.S. 

Find a CSA near you here. Other ways to increase your food sustainability include seeking out local products at farmers markets, or growing your own in a simple backyard garden, [sub]urban homestead or in a community garden. 

I hope to eventually establish a vegetable garden in our yard along with raising chickens for eggs. In the meantime, I at least know I am contributing to my local farmers and eating really well because of it!

Puna Lava Flow: The Price of Paradise

Well, the volcano isn’t going to blow (at least not yet, then we’d really be in trouble) but there is lava coming down the mountain!

As if a direct hit of Hurricane Iselle last month wasn’t enough to contend with, Puna now has a lava flow heading straight for the main town of the district, Pāhoa.

I wish I was talking about one of these lava flows, as they’re quite yummy, but unfortunately, I’m not. [Sidenote: this pregnant lady misses cocktails!]

The lava flow I’m talking about is the result of a June 27th eruption near Puʻu Ōʻō and has slowly, but steadily been making its way towards the ocean all summer. Over the past week there has been a marked increase in the speed of the lava flow as it nears a residential area, Kaʻohe Homesteads.

See the USGS lava flow map here.

Those in the area expected to be affected have been making preparations over the last few weeks in the event that evacuations are ordered. From the most recent reports, it sounds like the lava could reach the Kaʻohe Homesteads as early as today.

Preparations seem to have ramped up into high gear over the last two days. It is expected that the lava will continue straight across Highway 130 which connects Pāhoa town with Hilo and the rest of the island. Construction began today on an emergency route that will bypass the highway when (not if) the lava cuts it off.

Thank God, the Hawaiian Acres subdivision where we live is located upslope from where the lava is flowing and our home will not be impacted. Once in awhile the wind shifts and we can smell the burning forest from the lava flow. Shane took this shot from the Volcano Highway (above our neighborhood) using his binoculars today. The white plumes of smoke are where the lava is burning the forest.

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Although our home won’t be directly impacted, this lava event will certainly keep Shane’s job interesting.

Obviously we don’t want to see any homes, property or lives destroyed. I’m praying for an act of God that will stop this flow before it causes any real damage.

I guess this is the price we pay for living in paradise [on the slopes of an active volcano], right? At any rate, it sure keeps life interesting!

Iselle and Her Aftermath

[Text heavy post. No gratuitous storm photos – had to save cellphone battery. If you really want to see some footage, check out HawaiiNewsNow.com – they have aerial video of Puna provided by a drone flyover]

We are now 11 days after my first hurricane in the Pacific.  

Holy mackerel was that different from any storms I previously experienced!

It of course started with the forecast, people rushing out to buy toilet paper and water and reminders to have your emergency kits ready to go.  The forecast, however, was looking iffy.  Would Iselle still be a hurricane when she hit? Would she veer one way or another and miss Hawaii altogether? 

Maybe it’s all the storms we lived through in Virginia (tropical and winter) that ended up being over-hyped and turned into mostly non-events that had me feeling a little cynical.  Shane hadn’t experienced a hurricane in Hawaii since Iniki hit in 1992 when he was just 6 years old.  We had no idea on what level to freak out  make storm preparations.  

The day before, we hit up Target after an appointment with the midwife to pick up some regular groceries.  The morning of the storm I pulled our lantern and extra flashlight out of our camping stuff to make sure they were handy.  We taped our windows as a precaution against breaking glass (we have some big plate glass windows), filled up all of our bottles and pitchers with extra water and filled up our jacuzzi tub with an extra water supply. I was planning on filling up Tristan’s tub after I gave him his bath that night. I set dinner to cook in the slow-cooker and sent Shane off to work.  I still wasn’t convinced it was going to be all that big of a deal.  

I was wrong.  

After Tristan’s nap, it was rainy and we sat down to watch Harry Potter.  Not even 10 minutes in, the power went out.  It was only 4:30pm! It flickered back on a couple minutes later, just long enough for me to reset the clock on the stove before going out again.  The part that was incredibly annoying was that the wind wasn’t even blowing yet! We were really only experiencing outer rain bands.  Of course, I now had absolutely no idea what was going on with the storm since my power was out and internet was down (and we don’t have a battery operated radio – rookie mistake!).  

Luckily, the power went out with just enough time for my slow-cooker dinner to be finished.  I entertained Tristan for a little while reading books and we ate dinner before it got too dark to see much.  

A power outage during a hurricane isn’t exactly fun when you’re all alone with a two-year-old and happen to be pregnant.  Drinking to pass the time is obviously not an option and Tristan isn’t exactly a great card player – unless you count 52 Card Pick Up.  Can’t say I wanted to play that game in the dark.  So, we put on our jammies, brushed our teeth and crawled into my bed to read a little more.  

Right about the time Tristan fell asleep, the storm got real.  

I spent the next several hours more or less paralyzed with fear in my bed.  I was afraid to look out the window as the wind was absolutely howling.  (Note: palm trees sound terrifying when whipping around in the wind!) I was scared to leave Tristan to even go to the bathroom (not cool for this pregnant lady).  I’ve never seen trees bend at 90-degree angles and not break.  The whole house was rattling and the rain pounding on our metal roof was deafening.  I couldn’t sleep but I couldn’t do anything else either.  

Most disturbing of all was knowing that my husband was out working in the middle of the storm.  I’m still adjusting to life as the spouse of a police officer.  We made this decision together knowing what it would entail, but I still find myself surprised by what it requires of all of us sometimes.  Riding out a hurricane alone, with our two-year-old son, isn’t exactly at the top of my list of Things I Want to Do.  I know it wasn’t easy for Shane either, stuck in the middle of the storm, worrying about his family at home.  

My body would doze off for a couple minutes with every break in the wind (I was so tired), but each new gust would wake me up and send me into a panic again.  I’m pretty sure I cried at some point.  I don’t recall ever being so scared before.  Imagine my relief when Shane miraculously arrived home about 2am.  (I honestly wasn’t expecting to see him until the morning).  At least I had someone there to hold my hand through the rest of the storm while Tristan slept the best night of his life between us.  

The morning after the power, of course, was still out.  I wanted to let Shane sleep since he still had to report to work later that day.  I got up to get Tristan some breakfast before crashing on the couch.  It was maybe an hour later when Lily (one of our cats) woke me up to let me know that Tristan Tornado had just hit.  I blearily saw Tristan was in the pantry, I assumed he was eating dried pasta out of the box per-usual.  

I was wrong again.  

I said, “Tristan, what are you eating?” He emerges from behind the kitchen table: “It’s CHOCO-late!”

The boy’s face was smeared with Nesquick Powder so that he looked like he had a beard and there was chocolate powder all. over. everything.  (In fact, over a week later, yesterday I just found more chocolate powder that we missed!) It was ground into the rug, all over my chair, mixed with the cat food and in their water dishes, a gooey mess in the grout of the tile where it had mixed with water, coating Tristan’s pajamas.  It was a mess.  I maintain it would have been daunting to clean up even if we had electricity.  In fact, I spent some time today still trying to get it out of my rug! At least Tristan provided some comic relief.  

After that things became even less fun.  It was while we were cleaning up the chocolate that the water stopped flowing in the house.  I had neglected to think about how a power outage would affect our water supply.  We have a 17,500 gallon catchment tank in our backyard which provides our home with water via rain run-off from our roof and is then filtered several times and pumped back into our house.  I’m quite certain following the storm, the tank was full, but once the water that was already past the pump ran out, we had no running water.  

We were upbeat about it.  We headed into town to charge cellphones, check on family, have some lunch.  We were confident it wouldn’t be too long before things were back to normal.  

We hadn’t realized yet that Puna – the district on the Big Island of Hawaii where we live – had taken the brunt of the storm and suffered the worst damage.  Basically, Iselle came at the Big Island as a Category 1 hurricane, right over Puna, ran into the mountains in the middle of the island which acted as a buffer for the west side and the rest of the state, stalled over Puna and then dissipated into a tropical storm.  Even Hilo – the major town just 15 miles or so north of where we live – didn’t experience such a severe impact from the storm.  

We realize now, how incredibly fortunate we are.  Thank God, our house suffered absolutely no damage and only two trees came down on our 3-acre property (one way out in the middle of the yard that we were hoping to see go anyways).  We were all kept safe from the storm, even Shane who had some scary moments with power lines and trees coming down right where he was patrolling.  

It turned out we were without power and running water for one week.  Again, we are very lucky in that the roads in and out of our neighborhood were clear and we were able to drive into town to purchase available supplies (not much at this point), shower and charge phones at family members’ homes and get hot meals.  Some of the hardest hit neighborhoods finally just got their streets cleared of fallen trees and still are waiting on power to be restored.  We could’ve been trapped in our house or neighborhood for a week.  I even read one story of a woman and her granddaughter that were trapped in a bedroom for a couple days by a fallen tree.  Much of what I found to be an inconvenience could have been much, much worse.  I can’t imagine what some storm victims are going through.  

I did learn some lessons from Iselle:

  • Take storm preparations seriously.  Now that I have been shaken out of my Virginia mindset, we will definitely be more adequately prepared for the next storm.  We are waiting on generators to become available here again (island, high-demand, next several shipments sold out), but will probably be purchasing one of those.  Along with stocking up on plenty of water!!! (Again, when available.  Target the other day was still sold-out of bottled water, even with a 2-case/family limit)
  • Don’t leave necessary laundry or dishes unwashed before a storm.  Yeah, that crockpot meal I cooked before the power went out…sat for a week. I didn’t want to dump out the chicken fat/juices in the drain (would attract ants without being able to run the disposal) and I was confident we’d get our power back soon.  Oops! I don’t need to give you the details of my cloth diaper load that sat unwashed for a week as well.  Better planning next time!
  • Get solar power! Actually, we started getting estimates on solar power in the weeks before the storm.  The fact we could have been flushing toilets and not lost a fridge full of food are pretty darn appealing! We were pretty sold before our week-long power outage, but I think we will be signing on the dotted line soon to get moving on our photovoltaic installation!
  • Always keep a store of ice! Yep, going to be putting that chest freezer to work pretty soon.  You have absolutely no idea what a premium ice became here since the storm.  For the first few days post-Iselle it was next to impossible to find (especially as everyone held onto storm supplies waiting to see what Julio would do).  They started trucking in donations from the west side of the island for the hardest-hit areas, and as more and more people got back online they started making ice to donate/share with friends and family who needed it.  
  • There truly is an aloha spirit in Hawaii.  We have been so blessed to have so many family members nearby (enough that we didn’t have to impose on any one for too much) to lend us coolers, let us shower or do laundry, supply us with much needed ice in the week after the storm.  I even had acquaintances that I hardly know reach out via Facebook and offer to supply us with ice or whatever we needed to help us get by.  I’ve been quite impressed by the outpouring from local businesses cooking hot meals for the residents who still don’t have power, or donating fresh produce and all those who have offered up free ice and water every day since the storm.  We even had a neighbor come clean up our fallen tree at the front of our driveway since with Shane’s working hours we hadn’t had a chance to get to just yet! It is so refreshing to see people looking out for their neighbors (or complete strangers) and doing whatever it is they can to help.  As they say here, I’m lucky I live Hawaii.  

Iselle was a bit of an adventure, although I’d prefer to not experience anything similar in the future.  At least, we can take what we learned and better prepare next time.  

May Highlights

May Highlights

Can somebody please tell me how it is already mid-June? Gosh, time keeps sneaking by me!

I had a few post ideas for May and obviously never got around to writing them. I figure I’ll just share the highlights with you guys and bring everybody up to speed.

We had some pretty heavy rain at the beginning of the month, followed by a little over 3 week dry spell. We took advantage of the heavy rain one day and checked out a couple of the local waterfalls. It was my and Tristan’s first time to see them and they were just pumping with all of the extra water! (The heavy rain is why the water is quite brown in the first photo).
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Peʻepeʻe Falls

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Rainbow Falls (I actually think this photo is from when we went back the second time).

Tristan loved the waterfalls! He’s asked nearly everyday since if we were going to see the waterfalls again. We made a quick trip to Rainbow Falls again on another day just to humor him.

Mid-month we booked kind of a last-minute trip to Honolulu for a quick getaway. It dawned on us that with Tristan’s approaching birthday it was going to get more expensive to travel (Infants 2 and under fly free) so we decided to go for it while we only had to pay for 2 airline tickets. We met up with a college friend and spent a nice day in Kailua and were able to spend some quality time with Shane’s grandpa.

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Tristan getting comfortable waiting to board the plane in Hilo

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Tristan and one of his Great-Grandpas

The weekend after we returned, we got a truckload of gravel delivered for our mud pit of a driveway (See Heavy Rains, above). Boy was I thankful for family nearby! It was several hours of effort of raking and moving gravel to fill in low spots and get it where the truck was unable to dump the rock.

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The truck was probably the coolest part of the day!

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Even Tristan and his cousin helped out with the raking.

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The end result is a much nicer driveway. Even Tristan’s dump truck approves!

We got our driveway just in time for hosting a party. The BIGGEST highlight of May is that our little guy turned 2! Remember how I said time keeps getting away from me? I’m really not sure how it happened but suddenly I have a two-year-old. To celebrate we threw a party at our house (the first time we really had anybody over since we moved) on Memorial Day.

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It was mostly family and a few friends with kids Tristan’s age. We grilled out, blew bubbles, drew with chalk, played a lot of bocce and of course ate cupcakes! It was a great time!

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That was our May in a nutshell. Hopefully I’ll be more on-the-ball this month. (Yeah right, it’s already mid-June).

Aloha for now!