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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Etta Rae is 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. 


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Lyla is Four

“Time just keeps slippin’, slippin’, slippin’ into the future

Our oldest girl is FOUR. Not sure how that happened so fast. 

She is kind, thoughtful, charming, endearing, agreeable, musical, funny, playful, smart, talented, empathetic, inspiring, cheerful, gracious, pleasing, animated, bright, joyful, light hearted, merry, lively, gleeful, and carefree. 

I can’t remember the world without Lyla in it – nor would I want to. 

Happy birthday, my girl. Thank you for making me a mama.


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I’m a Better Mom When I’m Not Pregnant

Dear Lyla and Simon, 

We are about five weeks away from welcoming your new sibling into our family and your mama is basically counting down the days (and hoping the countdown is a littler shorter than that). 

Man, do I feel guilty admitting that.

I really don’t want to wish away the last few weeks that we have together as a family of four. We are in a great groove right now. We’ve figured out schedules that work for us. We’re happy. 

But, babies, I’m a much better mom when I’m not pregnant.

As we near the end of this pregnancy, I find myself feeling guilty all the time. 

Like when you ask me to chase you around the coffee farm and I can’t. 

When all you want is to be held but my swollen body is just too tired to hold you for another minute. 

When I skip out on family trips to the playground so I can have a few minutes in silence with my feet up. 

When you tell me your belly hurts and my initial thought is “oh no, I don’t have the energy to be up all night”. 

The bigger my belly gets, the shorter my fuse becomes. My nightly prayers are filled with cries to the Lord for more patience. 

I start each day with the best intentions, and I almost always feel like I come up short. 

It’s those times when I feel like a terrible mom. Like I’m failing you both. 

But, somehow, you both know just when I need you to crawl into my lap for the extra snuggles. When I can’t break up another fight in the car so, instead, you hold hands. Your sweet little hearts are so loving and forgiving and I am beyond grateful for that. 

I know I’ll have hard days when there are three of you running around the house. With each new stage there will be an adjustment period. I will never be a perfect mom, but with the complications from this pregnancy behind me, I know I will be able to do a better job than I am doing now. Because, babies, I’m a much better mom when I’m not pregnant. 

Thank you for loving me always. For reminding me on a daily basis what sweet, loving beings you are. I can’t wait to see you in your new roles as big brother and sister (again!).

I Love You,


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Cake and Ice Cream Party

It’s hard to believe that Lyla is turning two this week. Time is moving way too fast – but you know that. What you might not know is that we celebrated over the weekend.

We kept things simple and invited a bunch of Lyla’s little friends over for some cake and ice cream and then sent them all into a bounce house in the backyard. Basically, we loaded them up with sugar and let them burn it off. It was perfect!

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I picked up the tablecloth, cake stand and Lyla’s cute little leggings from Target. I ordered her balloons from Etsy and my super talented friend, Charron, made the cake topper. I would have liked to make all of the decorations but, really, aintnobodygottimeforthat. I did, however, make some fun ice cream cone garland. #DIYerforlife

It’s so fun to see Lyla building relationships with other children. She has such a sweet group of friends (and their parents rock too). We had a ton of fun and are so thankful for everyone who came to celebrate our two year old with us. 

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