Waimanalo Beach with Uncle and SwimZip

In the week leading up to our big trip to the mainland we spent a lot of time with my brother (AKA Uncle) cruising the island and hitting all of our favorite spots. 

[If you didn’t know, Uncle had been living here on Oahu for the past year but recently decided to go back to the mainland to finish school.]

Waimanalo Beach

Waimanalo Beach is one of my favorites on the island. The mountain views are unreal, the water is the bluest of blues and the sand is so nice and soft. Just a little slice of heaven here on earth

On this particular morning, it was pretty windy and we were getting sprinkled on here and there but it was still just as magical as we wanted it to be. 
lyla swimzip waimanaloSprinkles or shine, I take sun protection very seriously, especially for my kids which is one of the reasons I love SwimZip products. Their rash guards have UPF 50+ Sun Protection, have an awesome zipper in the front which makes it super easy to put on (am I the only one who thinks my kids’ heads are huge?!) AND are super cute. What’s not to love, right?

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While Uncle and Lyla played in the waves, Simon and I hung out on the beach. And by hung out on the beach, I mean I was an obnoxious mom and put him in the grass for some photos. 

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Admit it, you wouldn’t have been able to resist either. 
waimanalo baby toes(Simon isn’t repping SwimZip here but they do have tons of cute options for boys. Which one do you think would look cutest on him?!)

Before calling it a day, we spent some time on the giant rope swing. 

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SwimZip isn’t just for kids! They have products for women and men as well as sun hats and fun circle towels. (seriously, how cool is the world one?!)

I know that I have a pretty long wish list going…what would be on yours?

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post, however I did receive a sample for my review. All opinions are my own and not influenced in any way.

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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…

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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! 

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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.

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^ 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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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!

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^ 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. 

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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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