six days

I will always remember our “welcome” to Erne Avenue. It was one of our first days on the island. We were busily unpacking our things when the doorbell rang. It was our neighbor, Charron, inviting us over for a beer. She told us that she lived across the street and that whenever we were ready for a break, that we should come over.

So we did.

It was there that we met her boyfriend, Jasen. And our other neighbors, Jenny & Steve. We spent the rest of the afternoon drinking beers, swinging in the hammock and getting to know each other.

It was then that I knew life on Erne was going to be good.

erne ave, ewa beach

The group of us became really close and we always had a good time when we were together. It was so awesome having a great bunch of people within walking distance. We had a great thing going – it felt like we won the neighbor lottery.

Two years later, we are the last ones standing. Everyone has moved away for various reasons and new families have moved into the houses our friends left behind. Although I will miss our sleepy little street, I almost feel like it’s time for us to move on too.

I like to imagine that the next people to live in our little blue house will become great friends with their new neighbors and that the cycle will repeat itself – like there is some weird little triangular connection between our houses. A girl can dream, right?

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seven days

Today marks the start of our last week in the little blue house.

When I turned in our notice to vacate back at the beginning of the month, I comforted myself with the fact that we still had a month left. I never could have imagined how fast that month would go.

I’m really going to miss our carport. I know that it seems like a pretty weird thing to miss, but as I sat down to think about my favorite parts of our house that one popped into my head almost immediately.

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I loved sitting against the carport on random, winter days trying to warm up in beautiful, Hawaiian sun. (I could use a “cold” winter day right about now)

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I love the little bird feeder that we hung from the carport. We picked the one that looked like a little red barn because it reminded us of the pharm. We haven’t had any seed in there for months but I still catch birds chillin’ there from time to time which makes me happy.

pregnancy photo - week 14

The biggest reason that I love the carport is because it served as the backdrop for my weekly pregnancy pictures. It seems like it was yesterday, not a year ago, that we stepped outside to take our first photo of my growing belly. We started them at week 14, when we made the news of our growing family public. I thought I was showing big time in that picture — so funny.

pregnancy photo week 40

From weeks 14 to 40 I marched waddled out into the yard and lined up against the carport to see how much my belly had grown. It was so much fun to check the progress from week to week. I love looking back at these pictures. Especially week 40 because just three days later, miss Lyla made her grand entrance.

When I look at these pictures, all sorts of emotions come flooding back to me. Excitement. Anxiety. Impatience. Love.

I look at this picture and laugh because I had NO idea how hard my world was going to be rocked. No idea how much love I would have for our tiny human. No idea how hard labor was going to be. No idea that my love and respect for Alex could grow the astronomical amounts that it did. No idea how fun it was going to be to be a mommy.

newborn baby

We were home from the hospital by the time Lyla’s due date rolled around so, of course, we had to grab one more shot in front of the carport. It was hot that day, and in total new mama-bear fashion I was afraid of keeping my nugget in the sun for too long.I was bummed that I still looked six months pregnant (really, I don’t know what I was expecting). I was exhausted in only a way a new parent can be – so exhausted that I gave her an extra inch on this announcement (whoops!).

I’m sure that I will want document our future pregnancies in a similar fashion and when that time comes, hopefully I can find as good a background as our trusty, blue carport.

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the byrds are on the move

In September 2012, my husband and I packed up our lives and moved to Hawaii.

The move was supposed to be temporary – a grand adventure for us to take together in our first years of marriage. We planned to be here for two years before heading back to the mainland to “settle down”.

As of this month, our two years are up.

In the last two years we’ve soaked up the warm, tropical sun. We’ve surfed the beautiful, blue waves. We’ve met amazing people and developed lasting friendships. We’ve consumed tons of ono grinds delicious food. We’ve grown together in our faith and our marriage has evolved. We’ve started a family.

Truly, these two years have been the best years of my life and I’m so not ready for this adventure to be over. Thankfully, I don’t have to be because we feel like at this season in our lives, Hawaii is where we are supposed to be.

Although we are staying on Oahu, a move is still on our horizon.

Since we first moved here, we have been living in a sweet little rental house in Ewa Beach and it has been so good to us but, sadly, it’s time to say goodbye. At the end of this month we will be heading to the east side of the island.

Moving is never easy, and I think I am extra emotional this time because this is the house that we brought Lyla home to. It’s where we evolved from a party of two to a family of three and because of that, it will always have a very special place in my heart.Luckily, our memories get to make the move with us.

Overall, I am excited for our next adventure and can’t wait to see what the next few years have in store for us.

Moving to Hawaii

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valentine’s day breakfast: hawaii style

Hawaii is the best place to fall in love.

At least, that’s what the author of this article on the Huffington Post website claims & I have to say that I agree.

Sure, Alex and I didn’t fall in love here in Hawaii but we did say our “I do’s” here, honeymoon here, & have decided to start our family here so, with us at least, it has certainly proven itself to be a great place to stay in love.

People are just happier here. The “aloha spirit” you always hear about is real. When you are completely surrounded by the natural beauty of the islands and the beauty of truly hospitable people, you can’t help but be happy. And in love.

hawaii

I’ll be working on Valentine’s Day this year so we won’t be heading out for a fancy dinner (not that we would anyways since we are in the middle of our month of home-cooked meals) but I do still plan on making a special breakfast for Alex.

In honor of Hawaii being mentioned as one of the best places for love, I’ve decided to ditch the traditional Valentine’s Day theming for this breakfast and will be replacing it with a little bit of island style.

beach valentines day table

valentines day breakfast table

The menu is simple – hawaiian sweet bread french toast, portuguese sausage and eggs. I’ll have fresh brewed coffee (of course) and some yummy pineapple iced tea.

What I love most about this island style Valentine’s Day breakfast is that it isn’t overly romantic or “valentine-y” which makes it perfect for any morning that you feel like bringing a little aloha into your world.

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first trip of 2014: the recap

We are back from our first trip of 2014. Alex and I were lucky enough to spend the last five days in California visiting family and friends (with a little alone time squeezed in too).

First stop of the trip was Fallbrook to see some of Alex’s family Chick-fil-a for breakfast and then we got on the road.

I hadn’t seen most of Alex’s family since our move to Hawaii so it was great to have some time to catch up.

We also got to take some fun pictures with the three Byrd/Wilde cousins 😉 Amber, my sister-in-law, is due with her second just ten days after me!

On Saturday, Alex and I made our way to LA to catch the NHL Stadium Series game at Dodger’s Stadium. Even though we lost, it was still a great experience. I couldn’t get over how fun KISS was 😉

The next couple of days were spent at the Disneyland Resort. We met up with my mom and some of our family and friends to tour the parks on Sunday, had a special lunch at the Blue Bayou on Monday, and got to catch up with “Brayla” the morning that we left.

Of course, before returning our rental we had to make a pitstop at Chipotle for lunch.

With full, happy bellies we boarded our flight and headed back to our little island home in the Pacific. It was a nice little getaway but it feels great to be home.

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a post about love

|| Warning: this post is mushy ||

Today marks our two year wedding anniversary.

Two years ago we stood in front of our family and friends {in the rain} and were joined together as husband and wife.

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I know it’s so cliche of me to say, but it was seriously my favorite day ever…

…until today.

That’s a really hard thing to admit – both publicly and to myself. I almost feel guilty for feeling as though my wedding day is not my favorite day ever.

I think we (especially women) are conditioned to think that your wedding day is the single most important day in our relationships — or even our lives. We spend countless hours planning the “perfect” day and when all goes well, we believe that no day should ever be better.

Two years ago, I had that “perfect” day. Our wedding was everything I imagined it would be. It was simple, beautiful and very fitting for the two of us – if I had the chance to re-do it, I wouldn’t change a thing.

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So how could today top that?

Today, I was overwhelmed by love.

It was a pretty normal day for us. Our morning started with homemade waffles. After breakfast, we both had projects to work on so we did. I went to a class I had registered for a few weeks back, and Alex took care of some stuff around the house. We picked up Taco Bell for dinner and watched the newest episode of “The Amazing Race”.

Pretty romantic stuff right?

Call me crazy but the simple fact that we spent our anniversary really not doing anything “special” is what made today so amazing for me. And as we sat on the couch figuring out what we were going to do for dinner I started to cry the happiest tears.

Now, if you know me, you know I am a crier. But this wasn’t a “normal” cry. Tonight I was completely overwhelmed with the amount of love that I felt for my husband and once the tears started flowing, I honestly felt like I would burst if I tried to suppress them. Never have I felt an emotion as strong as this.

I cried because I love that we are “boring” and don’t need to spend tons of money to be happy. I cried because I love the fact that we celebrate “us” on a daily basis – and that our anniversary isn’t something we go crazy over. I cried because I love our love.

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Obviously, I loved Alex on {and before} our wedding day. But that love has continued to grow and evolve in the past few years and today it reached out and slapped me in the face. It’s really hard to explain, but that overwhelming “I’m-going-to-burst-if-I-don’t-let-it-out-NOW” feeling of love is something seriously special and I hope that everyone reading {if you are still reading these rambles} gets to experience it at some point in their lives. And because I got to experience that today, is why today has been my favorite day ever.

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hula grill

Today is a pretty special day. No, it’s not my birthday nor is it our anniversary. But it is a Sunday – and I’m off! This never happens. To say that I am excited would be an understatement. I know some of you are reading this and thinking “so what, you are off on a Sunday, big deal”. But like I said before, this never happens and I’m feeling like a “real” person (haha)

So I did what any “real” person does on any given Sunday – I went to brunch ! After a few quick errands that we needed to take care of, Alex and I headed to Waikiki to have brunch at Hula Grill which was a first for both of us.

Alex at Hula Grill

We pulled up to the Outrigger hotel, valeted the truck and made our way upstairs. We were quickly seated with an awesome view of the (rather flat) ocean and Diamond Head.

Outrigger

View

Alex ordered the kalua pork hash and I went with the crab & spinach omelette.

kalua pork hash

 

spinach and crab omlette

I love spending sweet mornings with my husband. Pair that with breakfast, which is easily my favorite meal of the day, and you have one happy lady.

 

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