Life Lately

Another week has flown by. I’ve been in total nesting mode and have been trying to get our house fully un-packed and (mostly) decorated before Simon gets here which is proving to be quite the challenge because every time turn around, I find a scene something like this…

lyla-making-mess

She did point at me in a picture this morning and said “mama” which was all sorts of heart melting. (She loves to call Daddy and Rocco “bocko” by name but not mama)

In between the nesting, I’ve also been trying to soak up these last few weeks of life as I know it – ’cause it’s a good one. 

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Fall Bucket List

Happy first day of fall, everyone! 

FALLOHA

Fall looks a little different here in Hawaii than it does in much of the country. We spend more time sweeping up sand than raking up leaves, there aren’t any apple orchards to explore on the weekends (at least on Oahu) and the temperatures don’t quite dip low enough to justify wrapping up in cozy sweaters and scarfs. Yep, fall in Hawaii is definitely different but it’s exciting and special and I love it. So much so that I’m giving it a pet name this year (cause that’s what you do with things you love right?!) – falloha. Fall + aloha. Get it? 😉

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^ “really, mom?!”

Falloha is definitely the busiest season for our little family. In the span of a few weeks we celebrate Alex’s birthday, our wedding anniversary and my birthday and then roll riiiiiight on into the holidays. This year, we will throw Simon’s arrival into the mix somewhere and I’m just a teensy tiny bit anxious about that. 

Oh, and by teensy tiny, I mean extremely. 

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Of course, like any good blogger fall fanatic, I had to put together a fall bucket list for our family:

|| IN THE KITCHEN ||

Make apple crisp, fall marshmallows, apple cider, pumpkin ravioli and try a new soup recipe.

|| AT HOME ||

Paint pumpkins, make corn husk dolls, watch a Halloween movie, do a fall kid craft.

|| OUT & ABOUT ||

Go on a hay ride, trick or treating, and to a football game. Bring donation to the local food bank. Visit the pumpkin patch. 

Hopefully we will be able to cross everything off of our list this year! 

falloha

What is your favorite fall tradition? You can follow along with our falloha adventures here and on Instagram

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Back to Ewa

The Byrds are on the move (again)

Last year, we did some major downsizing and left our little blue house in Ewa Beach for a charming little studio (in my Auntie and Uncle’s backyard) in Kahala. The move came at the perfect time for our family and we could not be more thankful that we have had to opportunity to be here for as long as we have. 

aloha, little blue house

^old house

Our current space is cozy and totally gets the job done, but as we get ready to bring another little Byrd home we need to move on to a bigger nest (I know, I’m sorry. I can’t help myself)

We have spent so much time looking at places and weighing our options. Should we buy or should we rent? Should we stay in town or go back to the west side? What about Kailua?! I have made about a zillion pros/cons lists and probably made Alex crazy with my indecisiveness (sorry, babe) all to decide that we are going to go back to the neighborhood in Ewa that we fell in love with when we first moved here.

sunrise ewa beach sunset ewa beach

^ can’t be mad at views like that!

I hate moving. All the packing and junk-sorting and unpacking is the worst but, I am excited to get into our new space and try to make it a home before little boy Byrd makes his appearance!

P.S. we are going to have an extra bedroom so book your tickets now!

 

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Energy Bars

Since moving to Hawaii we had been passively searching for a home church. We really wanted a place where we felt comfortable, had a good worship service and that provided opportunities to get plugged in.

A few months ago, we decided to give Calvary Chapel of Honolulu a try and were happy to find that it checked all of our boxes. Plus, it has an awesome nursery, huge playground and a cafe that serves delicious food after both services. Lots of wins in my book. 

This weekend, they are hosting a big Pastors/Leaders/Church Workers conference and they had asked for willing members of the congregation to make some energy bars to hand out to participants in the mornings. I grabbed the recipe from the information booth and spent some (ok, hardly any) time in the kitchen yesterday prepping a batch to be delivered today. 

energy-bar-recipe

energy-bar-recipe

I’m not sure where the original recipe came from but I can say that these are delicious! I really wanted to play around with the recipe but, for the conference, they want consistency which I totally understand and respect so I held off on experimenting this time. Don’t be surprised when another batch pops up on the ol’ blog soon. 

energy-bar-recipe

energy-bar-recipe

A big batch of these energy bars take less than 30 minutes to make and would be perfect to have on hand for everyday snacks, to pack into lunches or to hand out to the soccer team this weekend. 

Hope you enjoy! And if you are on Oahu this weekend, come check out the Summer Light Celebration happening at Calvary Chapel Honolulu. It’s a totally free event, happening all weekend and it’s open to the public. We are hoping to get there tonight to enjoy the concert. See you there!

summer light celebration

Energy Bars
Quick, easy energy bar to take with you on the go!
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
15 min
DRY
  1. 2 1/2 cups crispy cereal
  2. 2 cups instant oats
  3. 1 cup dry roasted peanuts (unsalted)
  4. 1 cup raisins
  5. 1/4 cup sunflower seeds (unsalted, no shells)
  6. 1/4 cup sesame seeds
WET
  1. 1/2 cup butter
  2. 10 oz mini marshmallows
  3. 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a 9x13 pan, mix all dry ingredients together. Bake for 7-10 minutes, stirring 3 times.
  3. In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the wet ingredients.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry while still very warm and mix together thoroughly.
  5. Spread out in the pan, pressing down firmly
  6. Let cool completely
  7. Cut into squares and wrap individually in wax paper or saran wrap
  8. Enjoy!
BRINGING UP BYRDS http://www.natashabyrd.com/
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How Did We Get Here?

“How did you end up here? Are you military?”

We’ve been living in Hawaii for just about three years and that is still the question we get asked most often. I have my standard answer ready [no, we were just ready for a change and my husband worked from home so we just did it!] and that usually quenches people’s curiosity enough for the conversation to keep flowing but I thought that I would spend some time really answering that question for those of you out there who really want to know how the Byrds ended up in paradise. 

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Grab your popcorn, throw in some kakimochi and settle in – this is gonna be a long one!

Four years ago, we were a year out of college and living in Ventura County, California. We were in the midst of planning our dream destination wedding in Maui so Hawaii was definitely a popular conversation topic in our home. 

Fast forward to November 2011. We were married on Maui and set off the next day for a few weeks of honeymoon fun on Kauai and then back to Maui. Everything about that trip was perfection and we were not ready for it to end. 

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Once we were back in California, I was really missing the islands. The beaches of Malibu and Ventura, while beautiful, just weren’t cutting it for me. I mentioned the possibility of moving to Hawaii to Alex but he was not into the idea at all and so I left it at that. Sort of. If you know me, you know that once I have an idea I have a hard time letting it go and while I didn’t pressure Alex to make a big move (I don’t think!) I would bring it up every now and then. 

Fast forward again to Easter Sunday 2012. We had brunch with our brother-in-law’s family at their beach house and spent some time talking with someone who had lived in Hawaii for a number of years. Anytime that we come across someone who had lived, or was currently living in Hawaii, Alex had a few questions for them.

On the way home from brunch, Alex turned to me and said “Let’s do it” and I said “OK!” so we called our parents and told them our big news and got to planning. 

easter brunch 2012

^ The day we decided to make the move!

Like with any big move, there was a lot to coordinate — shipping vehicles, belongings, making sure Rocco fit quarantine requirements, living situations, etc.

Luckily, I love doing that kind of thing so I got the ball rolling pretty quickly. First up, two one-way tickets to Honolulu!

one way tickets

^ one way tickets to Hawaii – woohoo!

Overall, I found the move to be pretty stress-free (as far as moving goes) but we had two big factors working in our favor (1) Alex already worked from home and was going to be able to continue with his same job from Hawaii (2) I have family that lives on Oahu so they were able to help us in so many ways, including finding us a rental home that we could move right into once we arrived!

September 2012 came pretty quickly and we said “adios” to California and “aloha” to our new home on Oahu. Of course, there are sacrifices that we had to make to be able to live and start a family here (being away from immediate family being the biggest) but it has been an awesome ride so far and we are truly loving our Hawaii life. 

moved-to-hawaii moved-to-hawaii

So that’s how we got here. 

If you are playing with the idea of moving here – or even have the slightest interest in seeing how you could find yourself here – stay tuned! I’m working on a step-by-step guide for moving to Hawaii and hope to have it finished soon. 

Have you ever made a big move? What was the hardest part for you? I would love to hear your stories! 

 

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Home Sweet Home

The Byrds are back in town [Byrds are back in tooowwwnnnnn…da na naaaaa]

anyways. 

We got back to Hawaii yesterday after a whirlwind of a trip to the mainland.

I know this sounds totally cliche but I feel like I need a vacation after that vacation. It was so great to see family and friends and we crossed almost everything off of our to eat to do list but when we landed in Honolulu yesterday I felt more stressed out than when we had left. I guess that’s mom life for you! 

I’ll be back with trip updates soon (complete with billions of photos) but right now I’m going to try to get our house in order while Lyla sleeps!

Fellow mamas – how do you relax after a busy vacation?

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