Last Friday we got on an airplane and flew to the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

We’re on Maui…one of my happiest places on earth.

Today is our last day here on the island.

It’s been a wonderful time despite many meltdowns at breakfast, lunch and dinner; a crazy sleep schedule; kiddos that don’t want to walk anywhere; and sniffles and coughs.

Lorelai has become a fish in the water.

Reece is making fast friends with kids of all ages at the pool.

They have both perfected the words ‘Aloha’ and ‘Mahalo’.

It is an awesome experience to share such a special place with my kiddos (and Ryan).

We ate breakfast at The Gazebo, lunch at Kimo’s, and dinner at Hula Grill.

We ate quickly melting ice cream under the Banyan tree, and looked for crabs on the rocks along Front Street.

We’ve also created new family experiences…staying on Kaanapali Beach at a hotel with a fabulous pool (and the only full service Starbucks on Kaanapali right below our ocean front room).

There are awesome kids activities…feeding the fish around the resort grounds, outdoor movies, treasure hunts, and shave ice.

We have relaxed by the pool everyday…going on “tours” of the big pool, waterfalls, and slides…swimming like mermaids and searching for pirate treasure at the Pirate Ship.

Last night we took the kids for a night swim and had the entire pool to ourselves.

Very different from all the other times I have been to Maui, but an amazing experience to share with my kids.

I can’t wait to come again and share even more with them…snorkeling, paddle boarding, boogie boarding, the North Shore, Haleakala, rainforests, waterfalls, Hana, Kapalua, Napili, Lanai, Molokini, Makena, and Little Beach.

Reece wanted to save a trip on the Sugar Cane Train for the next time we come.

I guess we have a reason to come back…

home is…island magic.

working on it

So, I said it in my about page…I’m a procrastinator.

Yep, still don’t have our summer list done.

Actually, the list is done, but the display is not…and I’ve got to have it all ready for a blog post, right?

We have already crossed two items off the list…

5th annual playgroup birthday celebration

The first year (when all of our oldest turned one), it was 30 adults and 15 kids.

This year we had 26 adults and 26 kids (with one more due this month)!

One of the families lives on 5 awesome acres near wine country, apple orchards, and berry farms.

They graciously hosted the crew and it was fabulous!

Lala found this jumprope…

…and wouldn’t let it go.

And, we lucked out with June weather here in the Pacific Northwest…sunny and in the 70’s!

Bobo had a great time playing with some of his buddies and ran all over the place until he got blisters from his Batman Crocs!

It’s always fun to get the dad’s together with all of the kids.

The dad’s play with the kids, and , after 5 years, I think they know everybody’s name!

They all looked relaxed.

She finally played with the other kids after following me around for almost 2 hours.

Isn’t this outhouse awesome?!

We did it all potluck…the kids love the homemade cupcakes!

We sang Happy Birthday.

The kids shared their cupcakes with me.

This hammock was a hit with all the kids…Lala even wanted me to change her diaper on it!

I gave it a try and decided we need to get one for our backyard!


Today we “officially” went to the pool.

Bobo had gone in a couple of times before his swim lessons, but today we packed a lunch, brought our beach towels, and all had our swimsuits on!

The kids has a blast!

So did I!

Actually, I didn’t sit around.

I got in the pool, went down the water slide multiple times, and left feeling like I had been on a mini vacation.

Sometimes, the easiest way to take care of kids is to act like one yourself!


I made a fun graduation gift inspired by the theme of the graduation party we went to over the weekend.

I’m thinking about making more to put in the shop…so check it out later this week!

home is…working on our summer list.

a new day


It’s amazing how a shower, putting on “real” clothes, getting out of the house, and watching your kiddo learn something new can change your mindset.

The little guy had his last swim lesson of the current session last night. We couldn’t miss it.

This summer, we realized that our little guy LOVES the water.

He has excelled in his swim lesson this fall. By the second class the instructor said he was ready for the next level.

By then end of the class yesterday she said he was almost ready to skip  level.

His stroke is strong, he is confident, and he LOVES the water.

I grew up spending the summer at the pool.

Swim team early in the morning, pool all day, and when I was in high school I lifeguarded as a summer job.

I am thrilled to see his confidence.

I needed that yesterday.

This morning I am sitting here watching the sun stream in through our windows.


In December.

In Portland, Oregon.

I am listening to my kids play together in the other room while the Christmas lights glow and Christmas music plays in the background.

This is more like it.

home is…a new day.

{summer in snapshots} week four

Our week was shortened due to our beach vacation, which I promise to post about soon.

So, I have photos from Wednesday through Sunday.

Wednesday and Thursday we were just trying to get back into the swing of things after our vacation. The only photo I took is of the kids in baby girls crib!

Friday we went to playgroup and I did not bring my camera…oops!  Needless to say, the kids got messy playing in the water and sand at Tualatin Community Park!

Friday night, as promised, we turned the little guys bed around so the ladder to his top bunk is no longer against the wall. There is a photo of him sleeping in the top bunk for the first time.

Saturday and Sunday we spent lots of time together as a family…it was great!



Playing in a tent.

Eating s’mores.

Going for a run.

At the pool.

On a walk in the neighborhood.

Good times.

home is…summer is going too fast.

*linking up with The {Starfish} Blog again this week…

{summer in snapshots} week three

I am participating in the {Starfish} blog Summer in Snapshots again this week.

We spent most of week three getting prepared for a visit from Meme and Topher that included a trip to the Oregon Coast to celebrate the 4th of July and the little guy’s birthday. We left for Bella Beach soon after Meme and Topher arrived from Colorado on Friday and were at Bella Beach through Tuesday. I am going to do a separate post about our Oregon Coast adventure, so I included shots from our week prior to Friday.

Between packing and errands, we went to the pool, played baseball in the backyard, had a bit of mommy time, made up our own games, checked the forecast, made the playhouse patriotic, ate dinner outside, and went berry picking.

I think we even crossed a couple of things off our summer list!

home is…making the most of the summer.

{summer in snapshots} week two

Linking up on The {Starfish} Blog today…

Monday, June 20th: lazy day

Baby girl was proud of herself for stealthily stealing all of the chocolate chips out of her brothers oatmeal!

Tuesday, June 21st: 1st day at the pool

Wednesday, June 22nd: tryon creek state natural area

Thursday, June 23rd:  bubbles in the backyard

Friday, June 24th: tigard festival of balloons

The little guy and I had an early morning date at the Tigard Festival of Balloons balloon launch. We left the house at 5:30 while baby girl and Ryan were sound asleep. We walked down to Cook Park with our hot chocolate and coffee and saw this…

Later in the day the little guy, baby girl and I went back down to the park to the carnival to ride some rides and play some games!

Saturday, June 25th:  tigard festival of balloons

We’ve been going to the balloon festival the last four summers since we moved into this house. This year was the best weather we have had yet.

Saturday morning was beautiful!

The sun was shining and burning off the fog down near the river. We spent some extra time down at the park after the balloons launched just soaking up the beautiful Pacific Northwest morning.

Sunday, June 26th:  walk to the bridge

On the other side of the park where the balloon festival takes place there is a natural area and a pedestrian bridge over the Tualatin River. This is where Ryan runs and swims the dogs and where we sometime just go to throw rocks in the river and have a nice family outing.

We crossed a few things off our summer list this week and are excited to cross off a few more next week. Stay tuned…

home is…a fun 1st full week of summer.