Thursday, September 18, 2014

Summer in the country

We spent the month of July with my parents in Oklahoma. Forget Hawaii, my boys think that Oklahoma is paradise! There are wide open spaces to explore, grandparents, aunts & uncles that spoil nonstop, cousins everywhere, swimming pool, snakes, frogs, squirrels, dogs, sandbox, Gator rides, Cocoa puffs for breakfast, freezer full of ice cream... can you understand why they think this?

Here are some highlights:
the annual "ice cream pic"
Tomatoes from Brumbra's garden! Mark loves helping in the garden.
Summertime watermelon!
Oklahoma bugs!
I absolutely love this picture. Having a crazy fun time with our friend, Noah.
This summer was unseasonably cool in Oklahoma, but this did not keep my boys from enjoying the pool every day!
More than one trip to Kiddie Park!
Beautiful downtown B'ville
My 93 year old grandmother decided that she wanted to take the kids on a picnic one day, so she came and picked them up in the Gator and off they went. I wasn't invited, so I have no pictures. From what I gathered, there was sweet tea, marshmallows, carrots, cheese & crackers, and a special rendition of "Peter Rabbit" told by Grandmother. When I looked closely in this picture, I realized that she is wearing my favorite Kate Spade sunglasses that I've been looking everywhere for! I texted my mom about it, and she says, "Oh yes, I told her they were yours and she said she didn't care, she liked them." Oh well...
Helping Brumbra in the kitchen...
Beautiful mornings...
Mark and his Pepper dog! I love how Pepper is smiling in this picture.
Adrian celebrated his 4th birthday while we were there - at Chuck E Cheese of course!
 One of our favorite things to do when we are in OK is to visit the Safari Zoological Park in Caney. It's better than any zoo you'll ever visit, trust me! Talk about close encounters!
Hanging out with the Bermese python.
Since we sold both of our cars in Hawaii, I bought a new van while we were there. I call it my "mainland mommymobile!" And I love it. LOVE. IT.
 Once I had wheels, Lisa and I took the kids on a road trip to Texas to visit Meg and her boys. 

Keaton and Mark think that William, Hudson, and Crew are their TX cousins. I refuse to correct them. :-)
Mark and Crew are about 13 months apart. This was the first year that they were able to really play together. They were buddies!
And wore each other out...
Good ole Abby-Doo
My mom's crazy-early pumpkin harvest from her garden. Jack-o-lanterns in July, anyone?
Grandmother's roses
More ice cream and cousins. Mark and Adrian are only a month apart. They were inseparable!
Brumbra in her element!
The cooler weather made my mom's garden exceptionally beautiful this year!
This was our last night in Oklahoma. That little boy/man who is towering over me to my left was my ring bearer 11 years ago. He's driving now. I'm old. Sniff. sniff.
 So many amazing memories made! 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Angela's Wedding & Girls Trip 2014

I left Hawaii and flew into Oklahoma just in time for me to drop off the boys with my parents, and  high-tail it to Canada for Angela's wedding! I'm so glad that it worked out that we could celebrate our 11th annual girls trip watching Ange marry her dream guy, Charles Ibsen. Their love story is so unique and so clearly orchestrated by God. I'm so excited to see what He has in store for them!
They were married in the backyard of one of Ange's good friends in Greenley, Ontario (right outside Ottowa). Beautiful backdrop, and such a lovely day for a wedding!

Finally her turn! God is so good!
Ange's recessional song was "Happy" by Pharrell Williams, and of course, she danced down the aisle. The whole wedding and reception was so "Ange" from start to finish, complete with uncomfortable party games at the reception. :-)
Next year: our first ever couples trip?
First in line for refreshments. You will notice this trend...
We spent a day or two exploring beautiful Ottowa, the capital of Canada. Here's us in front of Parliament. (I think?)
High Tea at Château Laurier
It wouldn't be girls trip without pedicures!
One of many coffee stops

We spent the 4th of July watching fireworks on TV, eating Indian take-out in CANADA. Very surreal!
After Ottowa, we took a road trip to Mont Tremblant, a beautiful ski town in Montreal.
Feasting on "Beaver Tails" (AKA Canadian version of a doughnut) before our day of hiking
We took a ski lift to the top of the mountain.
We found some beautiful hiking trails overlooking the town.
The weather was perfect!

 After Mont Tremblant, we drove in to Montreal. It was such a fun city, and so FRENCH! It really felt like we were in Europe.
22 and 21 weeks (respectively), me with #3, Meg with #4. Not sure if she is having a boy or girl yet, but either way, they are destined to be BFFs. So fun to get to share another pregnancy with Meg!
Unfortunately, it rained for most of our time in Montreal, so we spent the majority of our time there inside eating and making each other laugh (which is what we do best anyway).
Dumplings in Chinatown. We liked them so much, we actually ate dinner here both nights!
Genuine French Crepes - yum!
We were able to snap a few shots of old town Montreal in between rain showers...

Lunch at Swartz Deli
 Over all, we laughed enough (and ate enough) to last us until next summer. I know I say this every year, but I'm so blessed to have these girls in my life. I think every summer gets more special because we know how rare it is that we have each other and this fun tradition. I hope and pray that there are many more girls trips to come!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Aloha to Hawaii! Our Crazy Summer: Part 1

What a summer... where to start? 
I guess I could start with: we're having a girl! Due on or around November 7th - only 10 1/2 short weeks away now! Still can't believe this! I didn't really realize how much a wanted a girl until I received my first pink gift. I gushed.

Also, We've moved from Hawaii to VA: 5 days before we supposed to leave for our annual mainland trip to OK, Scott was offered a new job with the Naval History and Heritage Command in Washington D.C. So, we decided to postpone our trip to OK, so that we could pack up our entire home and say goodbye to last 4 years of our life in three short weeks. Not an easy task - even for a person with normal energy and balanced hormone levels (unlike me). By the way, after this summer, I'm swearing off moving over oceans mid-pregnancy. Twice is enough. 

Here's a few photos of us soaking up our last few weeks in Hawaii Nei.

One last trip to the beautiful Byodo-in Temple in Temple Valley

Shark watching  at our favorite "evening beach" - Pyramid Rock. (water was closed due to hammerhead sightings!)

Crazy daddy!
Mark's first snorkeling lesson - he did great!
My first and only trip to Sharks Cove.
One last shave ice in Haleiwa
Chris took us out to the sandbar with our good friends, the Pitts.
Mark and his buddy, Will
The sun was high, the tide was low - it was a perfect day.
Paddle-boarding at Kailua beach on our last Saturday in Hawaii.

Baby sister starting to make an appearance.

Mark and Edward at the Aloha Tower harbor. Dinner out with the Heaths on our final weekend!

Farewell breakfast at the Kahala with great friends!

Breakfast at Duke's on our last morning!
Maddie, Will, and Barbara came to see us off at the airport. We will sure miss these sweet friends - and SO MANY OTHERS!
Giving our farewell leis to the Duke statue! I'm still blown away by the blue-ness of the water and sky in Hawaii!

We are so thankful to God for the four incredible years we had in Hawaii. What an unexpected and amazing adventure it was! It is so strange to think that it's over and we are opening  a new chapter in the life of our family.  New blessings and adventures ahead - stay tuned!