“Mommy, Where Are You?”

^^ Etta Rae now walks around the house asking “Mommy, where are you?!” and it is the cutest thing ever

I haven’t posted on this blog since May. Eight months! 

Maybe you noticed, maybe you didn’t. 

We’ve been a little insanely busy since the last time I posted – we packed up and sold our home, we had a nice, long trip to the UP and we found our way back to Hawaii. There have been lots of ups and downs and happy in betweens. I captured a lot of those moments in our “1 second everyday” video…

While I don’t feel like I have an obligation to post here, I am a little disappointed that I haven’t been keeping up because, more than anything, I use this blog as a place to keep memories for our family. I regularly go back and look at old posts. My kids love watching the videos that I make. And now I have this huge gap. (insert eye roll emoji)

I haven’t decided yet if I will go back and fill in some of the gaps or if I will just keep moving forward. Either way, I’m excited to be back. If you keep up with the blog, I’m happy to have you along for the ride! 

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4 + 1 = CINCO || Our Girls’ Birthday Party

Lyla and Etta Rae have birthdays only three days apart which makes for a fun week of celebrating in our home. While we don’t plan on having a big party every year, Lyla is way into birthdays this year and you’ve gotta celebrate the first birthday – right? πŸ˜‰ So we decided to throw a joint party this year. 

When I pulled out my calendar to choose a date – I saw that the Saturday after their actual birthdays was Cinco de Mayo.

Lyla was turning 4.

Etta Rae was turning 1.

4 + 1 = 5.

Five = Cinco. 

And thus a theme was born πŸ˜‰

Our backyard is pretty awesome for hosting so we took advantage of that and threw the party at home. 

We strung up some balloons and colorful paper banners and laid down some borrowed Mexican blankets in the yard. The Coco soundtrack was on repeat (anyone else as obsessed with it as I am?). It was simple and effective. Just the way we like it. 

Of course, the most exciting part of any party is the food – right? I kept that pretty simple too. I assembled both chicken and beef burritos, cut them in half and then kept them warm in the oven until it was party time. We bought the chips, churros and 6 layer dip from Costco (if you’ve never ordered enough churros to fill one of the large Costco sized pizza boxes – you aren’t living πŸ˜‰ ) The pico was from one of our favorite local Mexican markets. I also made some guacamole, street corn salad and put together some chili-lime fruit cups. 

I covered our dining room table with Kraft paper, laid out the food, sprinkled some festive confetti on top and called it a day. Very unoriginal but oh so easy. Ain’t nothing wrong with that. 

The girls had matching dresses which I thought was the cutest thing ever. I’m pretty sure that I’m going to make that an annual thing. 

We piΓ±ata-ed…

We caked…

We partied…

Thanks to all of our family and friends who came to celebrate with us!

Happy birthday, my girls <3

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Let Your Light Shine

Over the past year, God has been showing himself to me big time. His word has come ALIVE to me as it never has before. His presence and goodness is so obvious to me in every aspect of my life. It is glorious and exciting… and a tad bit overwhelming. 

I feel like my mindset, values and beliefs are very different than most of my peers (based on what they choose to share on social media, anyway). Every day, I scroll through social media and am so disheartened by the things that I see. Anger, hatred, gossip, murder, abortion, broken families, etc.  On a lot of seemingly polarizing subjects, I hold the seemingly unpopular opinion. Because of my fear of confrontation and my weird desire to be approved of, I don’t share. I take a step back. I stay quiet. I dim my light. 

I hate how that makes me feel. As believers we are called to reflect the light of Christ, not hide it.  

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14- 16 (NIV)

God wants me to make a change. 

He started whispering this on my heart last year when I was in the hospital. 

But I was “busy”. I had a newborn. And two toddlers. And a husband. And a move across the ocean to coordinate. And a home to take care of. And and and… (insert eye roll here)

I turned up the volume of the world and pushed his voice to the side. 

Rude, right?!

But, being the loving, patient God that he is, he just kept on whispering. (And when that didn’t work, I think he just walked over and hit “mute” because I hear him loud and clear now haha) 

He wants me to make a change. To shine my light. To use my gifts. 

I’ve figured out that part, but I’m not entirely sure on how it will look yet.

My faith walk has always been pretty private- I’m not ashamed to admit that I am a believer but I’ve never really been one to shout it from the rooftops either. 

I’m not totally confident in my biblical knowledge (my husband on the other hand is so great at this, I have a lot to learn from him!) I definitely don’t feel like any sort of authority when it comes to the Bible.

A people-pleaser by nature, I hate confrontation and care way too much about what people think about me…and my kids…and my family. So taking this step, writing this post, hitting “publish” is a little terrifying to me. 

But I’m learning that it’s ok. 

God meets us where we are. 

I’m finding a new freedom in just being me.  I’m not perfect. I don’t have all of the answers. But I do know what I believe, what values are important to our family, and how we want to raise our kids.  

And really, it’s not all about me.

I’m here to boast less about myself and more about Him. 

To answer a call that’s been in the works for a year. 

To show that the gospel is real and true.

To shine a light on the world because, let’s face it, this world is a dark place and we so desperately need the light that God provides. 

“…in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:6 (NIV)

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ONE

Etta Rae is ONE!

I truly can’t imagine our life without her (so cliche, I know). She has been the perfect addition to our family. I can’t get enough of her sweet smiles, giggles or cheeks. She has the softest skin that I have ever felt. She looks just like her daddy. Her big brother and sister are easily her favorite people. Girl loves to eat and gives the sweetest kisses. She knows what she wants and isn’t easily convinced otherwise. She started off being “too cool” for us – giving us quick little “ha”s when we tried to make her laugh, but we’ve broken her πŸ˜‰ I feel so blessed to be her mama and am looking forward to watching her grow. 

We love you sweet baby Rae <3

I don’t think that I ever shared her birth story on the blog, and as I sit here and reminisce about the last year, I feel like sharing how our beautiful baby made her way into the world. So, if birth stories aren’t your thing…I’ll see you next time πŸ˜‰

A year ago today, I was miserable like only a woman in her third trimester can be. Of course, looking back on it now, it doesn’t seem that bad and I wish that I could do it again. Bringing a baby into the world is such a special thing and I would sign up to do it a million times. 

I had a doctors appointment in the morning – just a standard checkup. Even though I wasn’t due for another two and a half weeks, I was ready to have this baby and was a little annoyed that I was only dilated to 2 cm. When I got home, I just remember feeling super uncomfortable and too hot to stay home (Hawaii in May with no AC) so I packed up Lyla and Simon and headed towards town. I had decided to take them to the Children’s Discovery Center but as we were passing the airport I was just feeling so uncomfortable and fed up with being pregnant that I pulled over and called Alex.

Even though he was working, he picked up the phone and listened to me cry and complain (he’s the best) and agreed to meet me at the Kahala Mall (A/C and close to my auntie’s house). He probably knew that I was going to have the baby once I started crying about nothing in particular – it seems to be a theme for me in the last hours of all of my pregnancies haha. 

I got to the mall with the kids first so I took them to Fun Factory. Alex met us there and we all walked the mall for a bit. I started having contractions that were pretty predictable so we decided to split up – he took the kids to auntie’s and I went to the hospital. 

I checked myself in at the labor and delivery unit and was put into a triage room to be monitored for a bit. My contractions were still consistent but I was still only dilated 2 cm and my water bag was in tact. The nurse told me that I wasn’t far enough along to be admitted at that point but gave me the option of walking around for an hour to see if that would help. 

Despite her advice of staying on the third floor “in case something happened”, I spent the next hour walking up and down six flights of stairs – lunging and squatting on each landing. Determined not to be sent home. Praying that this would be the day. 

After my hour was up, the nurse checked my progress and I was at 5 cm – time to be admitted! I called Alex and told him to make his way over to the hospital so he got the kids situated with my cousins and met me. 

Throughout the admission process, I had the sweetest nurse (really though, all of the L&D staff at Kapi’olani are amazing). Lyla and Simon’s births were completely natural but I was kind of over being uncomfortable (see a theme here?!) so I was thinking about getting an epidural but I was scared. The sweet nurse answered my fifty billion questions about it and helped me feel at ease about the whole thing so I went ahead and ordered it. 

Best idea ever. 

The rest of the night was pretty uneventful. My doctor met us there, monitored me for a bit and eventually decided to break my water. Once that was done, things progressed really quickly and it was time to push. I pushed twice and she was out. 

Like all newborns, she was perfect. A little slice of heaven here on earth. Instantly, my heart was overflowing with love for this new little human.

It still is. 

<3

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