Aloha everyone! We are just returning from our Hawaiian vacation and I am still dreaming of Maui sunshine and surf. We had the most incredible visit to Kipahulu to stay with Jeff’s brother and lots of friends. Kipahulu is lush and idyllic and just a short drive to one of the guys’ favorite surf spots. Having a house to ourselves with an infant made for a stress free stay! We stopped at Whole Foods on the way to Kipahulu and were able to cook our meals at home, and drink our drinks by the pool.
Julian and I played with friends and napped at the beach while the guys surfed. We swam in the pool, hiked, and watched Jeff fish. Julian tried his first foods and has quite literally loved everything! We were up early enough to enjoy sunrises and late enough to see the stars. We even had the opportunity to take Julian to the landing where Jeff and I got engaged. I was overwhelmed with nostalgia. Many amazing things have happened to our little family since that day!
We capped off the trip with a few days in Wailea, because what trip is complete without a little room service? And Jeff took Jules while I got to enjoy a spa day at the Grand Wailea. It was heaven!
I’ve also had a lot of questions about flying with an infant and I have to say, it was a breeze! Much easier than I had anticipated. I feel like I could write a post just about traveling with an infant, but for now, I’ll just let you know the two things I feel helped us the most. Wearing Julian through the airport made for a happy baby! We didn’t even bring our stroller. Secondly, nursing during takeoff and landing prevented any ear pain. It really was that simple! I had some infant Tylenol in case he was really in pain, but I never needed it. On the plane he napped in my arms when he needed, and played happily when he was awake. I was amazed at how well behaved he was, and how much energy I wasted stressing about it!
Mahalo friends for all your traveling tips and well wishes on our vacation! We had the most amazing trip, and it really is such a treat to be able to share it with you! Any questions about our vacation? Let me know in the comments!
We are doing the island hop this week! Goodbye Bainbridge, hello Maui! Maui holds a special place in my heart. It was Jeff and I’s first trip together shortly after we met, and where we would later get engaged. I can’t wait to show Julian the lush landscape and watch from the beach as Jeff and my brother-in-law surf.
I have always been a planner when it comes to trips. After creating a packing list, I often pack and repack my suitcase well in advance. My husband on the other hand can pack in 5 minutes the morning of a trip and not think twice about it. Note how his packing list has not been included in this post! Now that we have a baby in the mix, getting organized is a tad more challenging. So for all of you traveling families with young babes, this one is for you! I’ve thrown in a few links of my favorite products. What do you pack when you are traveling with a baby? Any last minute traveling or packing suggestions for us? Here is a list of what baby Jules and I will be bringing on our 10 day Hawaiian vacation.
This month I dove into “Kitchens of the Great Midwest” by J. Ryan Stradal. I had been waiting to read this novel for some time. My name was number 62 on the waitlist at the library when I finally caved and purchased it at Eagle Harbor Books on the island. This story is a vibrant, funny and emotional tale. Even more than that, it felt like such an original read. Each chapter is a new stage of foodie Eva Thorvald’s life, as told from the perspective of different people within her life. I highly recommend this book for food lovers and readers alike. It’s pure enjoyment.
Favorite quote: “She’s told me that even though you won’t meet her tonight, she’s telling you her life story through the ingredients in this meal, and although you won’t shake her hand, you’ve shared her heart. Now please, continue eating and drinking, and thank you again.”
-J. Ryan Stradal, Kitchens of the Great Midwest
Thoughts, questions, tips? Be sure to comment below!
Our Julian Koki has been with us for 6 months today. It’s hard to believe, since I feel like I’ve known him my whole life. It has been such a joy to watch Julian’s growth and development. His personality is coming to life and he brings such love into our family. Here are some of the things I want to always remember about our sweet baby Jules at this age.
Biggest Milestones: Julian is sitting up and rolling over in both directions! The first time he sat up for an extended period of time I was in awe. He loves being on his tummy, especially while sleeping. Initially this caused many sleepless nights for me (back is best, right?!) We still put him down on his back, but every night he settles himself to sleep on his belly. He is beginning to look like he wants to crawl, but it is mostly just scooting backwards at this point.
Talking: Julian is “talking” more than ever, and louder than ever. Since 4 months he has been babbling “Dada” but he doesn’t necessarily connect the word with Jeff, and it’s not clear enough to call it his “first word” just yet.
Sleeping: We have been so fortunate that Julian is a wonderful sleeper! He goes down every night at 7pm in his crib and wakes the next morning between 6-7am ready to start the day!
Favorite activity: Jules love story time! We have been reading to him since birth, and I love that he cherishes books as much as I do. Every Tuesday I take him to baby storytime at the library where we sing, read, and play. We read fun books during the daytime and his nighttime/bedtime themed books in the evening before he goes down for the night.
Favorite book: Julian loves his crinkle book “Silly Tails” by Jellycat. The book has various animals and their tails are made of different textured fabrics. I wish I could recall who gifted me this book at my baby shower, because he is obsessed with it.
One thing I never want to forget: I wake up every morning around 6am a bit before Jules is up. And every morning I get to hear him wake up slowly and talk to himself in his crib. When I come in to get him for the day he is smiling ear to ear. It is the best way to start the day.
I have had several requests to share our Mother’s Day brunch details on the blog! If you follow me on Snapchat, you know that I have been in the kitchen a lot lately, prepping for Mother’s Day. I am a big lover of holidays, and I think it is important to mark these occasions with a special event. I see holidays as an opportunity to share and celebrate love. There is always a little magic in that.
I hosted the event at our home and was in charge of the carbs! A noble calling of mine. I prepared a simple homemade brown sugar bread the day before the brunch and left it out overnight to allow it to stale a bit. Stale bread makes for the best french toast. In fact, french toast was a dish created to use stale bread instead of wasting it! My mother loves cherries, so I wanted to be sure to incorporate those into the meal. To fit the bill, I made a cherry streusel coffee cake with a milk glaze that was as delicious as it was beautiful. My dad brought two quiches to the brunch, my sister was on the mimosa bar and my brother took care of the fruit. It all came together perfectly, and we had a wonderful time celebrating my mom.
How did you celebrate your mother? How were you celebrated as a mother? Let me know if you try these recipes out!
You changed my life in an instant. The first look at those two parallel pink lines. The first kick from inside my belly. The first cry as you came earthside. The first time I felt your skin on mine. The first smile and then laugh. You have changed me forever, in the greatest ways possible. In ways I never would have imagined.
You have brought me the purest love. You remind me to slow down; to embrace what matters most. You teach me to love myself greater, because I see the way that you love me. You have allowed me to see the magic in the littlest things. You have created even more love between you father and I. Everyday you teach me a little more about myself.
My son, you are what I never knew I always needed in this life.
There is nothing that says springtime quite like a tulip. Recently baby Julian and I took a trip to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival with my dear friend Jesse and her daughter Sienna. I have lived in the state of Washington my entire life and I have never been to see the tulips! I wanted Julian to see the beauty of the festival as much as I wanted to see it for myself.
When we arrived, there were already a few fields closed, with the tulips already harvested. Seeing the beauty of the springtime blooms that remained, and the fields that were empty got me thinking about seasons. And not just that it is Julian’s first spring, although I thought of that too. Rather, I was thinking of the seasons in our lives. They pass by so quickly. Like everyone, I too have know seasons of busy, of loss and wanting. But this season, this season in my life has been the most fulfilling I could have asked for. It is a season I have always dreamt of. Just like those tulip farmers have prepared all fall for the spring; this season in my life is not here by accident.
Those tulips cannot grow in the winter, but their seeds can be planted. They cannot last all year long, but we can appreciate their beauty while they are blooming. We cannot do everything in every season of our lives. We need to savor the season we are in and look forward to the next. I wanted to take a moment to encourage myself, and others, to embrace whatever season you find yourself.
I am resisting the urge to make a “stop and smell the tulips” joke, but the sentiment is easily applied. Before we know it we will be in the heat of the summer, wishing for rain. We will be wondering how our babies have grown so big, so quickly. Wondering where the year has gone. Embrace your season and start planning for the next. What season are you in? Comment below and let me know. I hope it is a season of love!