Hawaii is a hard place to leave

Five years ago this month, Alex and I were packing up our apartment in Southern California and getting ready to embark on our big adventure in Hawaii.

After being married & honeymooning on the beautiful islands of Maui and Kauai, we decided to do something “fun” and purchased ourselves two (one way) tickets to paradise.

It was hard leaving family but we had always said that we were just going to go for a few years, have fun and experience something new. We would be back before we had kids…

Welp. Five years later and three kids later we are still here (sorry, mom) But, at the end of this month, we will be packing up one more time and cashing in some more one-way tickets; this time heading east.

Bittersweet is the best word that I can think of to describe how we feel about it but it doesn’t seem big enough. It’s hard to put into words how this island has become our home. How the people have become our family.

Hawaii is a hard place to leave. Truly truly truly. The scenery, the spirit, the people – all so beautiful. And so very special. There is really no place like it.

Hawaii is a hard place to leave. But, in all honesty, it’s a hard place to live too. It’s expensive (shocker, right?) – especially when you are trying to raise three kids on one income. It’s also very transient (at least our island) with lots of military families. This year alone we have had to say “a hui ho” to so many of our dear friends. It’s sad.

Hawaii is a hard place to leave. Especially now that we have kids. The island is littered with memories of pregnancies and the earliest stages of my babies’ lives. I love that all three of my children were born in the same hospital. That they all took their first dips in the same ocean. That they all were introduced to this world in a space of beauty. I know that they are resilient but, in all honesty, it’s hard for me to imagine them anywhere else.

Hawaii is a hard place to leave. But it’s our time. We both knew in the back of our minds that we probably wouldn’t stay forever. It’s time for us to be closer to the majority of our family (we will be leaving behind our auntie, uncle and cousins – wah!). It’s time for us to spread out and try new things. It’s time for us to find our home and put down roots.

Hawaii is a hard place to leave. But that doesn’t mean we aren’t excited. There are a lot of fun things coming down the pipeline for the Byrds. We are looking forward to more family time, new experiences and, in all seriousness, some good Mexican food. And Chic-fil-A. 

Hawaii is a hard place to leave. But we know we will be back. And until then, we will be spending our last week here drinking it all in. 


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The Coolest Mom at the Playground

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #DunkinCreamers #CollectiveBias


Have I told you lately how much I love our neighborhood? Well, it’s a lot.There are about a bajillion playgrounds, a new splash zone for the kids, a ton of family-friendly activities and a great group of moms. Oh, and we are right on the beach. Yea, it rocks. 

I can probably count on one hand the number of days that we haven’t made it to the playground since moving here last year. Right after Simon Earl was born, I started running in to the same group of moms every week. After a few meet ups, they invited me to their Facebook page where we could keep in contact and set up playdates – it’s awesome. We all have kids around the same age who play well together and I truly look forward to hanging with them every week.dunkin-donuts-creamers-to-go

Having a nice group of moms to chat with while our kids play is so refreshing. I’ve really loved getting to know all of these ladies (and their babies) and have found that we have a lot of thing in common. 

Things like our love for coffee. 

Raising tiny humans is exhausting and by the time that we get out to the playground, most of us are ready for our second (or third) coffee of the day. You know, just that extra push to get us to nap time.

Earlier this week I brought some coffee and the new Dunkin’ DonutsÂŽ Coffee Creamer Singles to our playdate to share which automatically earned me the title of “coolest mom at the playground” – at least for that day 😉


If you want to be the coolest mom at the playground, just remember the three c’s: coffee, cups and creamer.

  1. Set up a playdate at the local playground and show up with a big thermos filled with piping hot coffee
  2. Pour each mama a cup (extra portions for the moms with teething babies)
  3. Add a few Dunkin’ DonutsÂŽ Coffee Creamer Singles to make it extra creamy and you are good to go!


You can pick up everything you need to be the coolest mom at the playground at your local Walmart – the Dunkin’ DonutsÂŽ Coffee Creamer Singles can be found in the coffee aisle. 

Not a mom? No worries. Bring coffee into work and earn yourself the title of “Coolest Guy in the Office” or crown yourself “Queen of the Classroom” by sharing some liquid gold coffee with your classmates. That’s the beauty of these new single packs – you can easily bring them anywhere!

Bonus points if you bring in a box of Dunkin’ K-CupÂŽ for the communal KeurigÂŽ K-CupÂŽ brewing system 😉


Which flavor are you going to try?

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Three Ways to Make Beachside Diaper Changes a Breeze

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SwimAdventureContest #CB #CollectiveBias

Huggies Little Swimmers Diapers

I think it’s safe to say that most toddlers don’t like getting their diapers changed. Especially if there is other fun stuff they could be doing (like playing with their friends at the splash pad or in the waves at the beach).


As a parent, I know that when you are somewhere that doesn’t have a designated changing area (like the beach) diaper changes can get a little more complicated than usual. Add a wiggly toddler to the mix and it’s easy to get frustrated. And messy. Nobody wants that.

Since we spend so much time at the beach (#luckywelivehawaii), I’ve spent some time figuring out how to make our beach days run more smoothly and have come up with three ways to make beach (or pool) side diaper changes a breeze:

1. Designate a special changing area. As soon as you get to the pool/beach, set up a towel or blanket in a designated spot and leave out changing essentials like HuggiesÂŽ Little SwimmersÂŽ , wipes and any diaper creams that you may use. Having this space set up will alleviate any stress of having to round up your things AND your toddler when it’s time to do the dirty work.


2. Distractions, distractions, distractions! Give your baby something to hold – a toy, a tube of sunscreen, a Huggies® Little Swimmers® diaper– anything to take their mind off of all the fun they are missing while mom or dad takes care of business. Lyla loves Nemo and always makes sure to point him out to me on her Huggies® Little Swimmers® diaper.

As much as Lyla loves these diapers because of Nemo, I love the HuggiesÂŽ Little SwimmersÂŽ for their ease and effectiveness. They have full side panels with a very soft velcro which make for quick diaper changes and a comfortable fit for Lyla.


3. Sing a song! Any song will do. Can’t think of one off the top of your head? Sing about how much fun you are having at the pool/beach! Your baby is going to love it.


We are really looking forward to the release of Finding Dory this summer so we were excited to find boxes of HuggiesÂŽ Little SwimmersÂŽ diapers with the special Finding Dory packaging at Sam’s Club last week. Each box comes with a pack of wipes and a small tube of sunscreen – perfect for keeping with all of your beach stuff for easy diaper changing station set up. 


Want a chance to win a $1,000 Sam’s Club giftcard? Snap some pictures of your summer fun and share using the hashtag #SwimAdventureContest or upload directly to SamsClub.com/SwimAdventureContest by June 1, 2016! I’m really looking forward to checking out all of the entries. 

little swimmers sweepstakes image
You can follow along with Huggies on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest

What fun summer adventures do you have planned?

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Year of the Byrds 2/52

This week FLEW by, didn’t it? Between playdates and swim lessons and spending as much time as possible outdoors (the weather has been an absolute dream lately) I didn’t find much time to open my computer but I did spend some time brainstorming new content for this space so make sure to stop by in the next few weeks for that!

But, until then, here’s a peek at life with the Byrds this week:

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On Saturday morning Simon and I headed to church for One Creative Day – a training program for all of the children’s ministry volunteers. I’ve been serving on Sunday nights with AWANA and am now going to be helping out in the nursery during one of the Sunday services. The training was so much fun and Simon was his usual well behaved self. While we were busy there, Lyla and Alex got to have a sweet daddy/daughter date at the zoo. 

When we met back up, we headed to the beach for some family time. Clearly, Lyla was thrilled. (really, she was)IMG_0745IMG_0756IMG_0752IMG_0775IMG_0776IMG_0807

Sunday morning we all went to church and then headed home for a picnic lunch at the beach. It was so nice. I think it may have to turn into a weekly thing. Alex has been super busy at work lately and still continues to be a rock star at home by helping me with the kids and chores so, on Sunday night, I took both of the kids to AWANA with me and left him to enjoy some peace and quiet. 

It was so much fun watching Lyla at AWANA. She hung out with the older kids during the opening ceremony/worship time and she made herself right at home by clapping and dancing along with everyone else. At one point she realized that she wasn’t standing on the line with the rest of the clubbers and quickly scooted her tiny self in between two kids. Precious.

During counsel time, I dropped her off in the nursery where she colored pictures of Adam and “Ella”. Cinderella was in the Garden of Eden, right?

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We started Lyla in swim lessons on Tuesday which we are all really excited about. After her lesson, we picked up Simon and headed straight to Aulani to celebrate with more swimming (and a Mickey ice cream sandwich for good measure). 

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We really are blessed to live in such a beautiful place. Have a great weekend, folks!

Week 2/52

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