31 December 2015


This was by far one of the best days, ever.   As a military spouse you naturally watch homecoming videos, read blogs, and peruse Pinterest for Homecoming signs.  These always brought tears to my eyes but nothing prepared me for how I would feel for our own homecoming.  I was lucky enough to visit Nic in Perth, and then he came home for two weeks, but nothing compares to seeing the ship coming up and knowing he's home for a quite a bit.

We both got leis for each other.  I made his using plumeria from the tree outside of our home and some orchids.  Making a lei to welcome your heart home was a great way to spend the night before he came home.   Looking on Pinterest and seeing homecoming photos with cute homecoming signs made me want to bring a sign to the pier but the thought of having to carry it deterred me away.  Instead, I made a welcome home flag that we'll be able to have forever.  The girls also had on these adorable "Welcome Home Daddy" bandanas and life was just perfect and complete again.

PS: If you're looking for a photographer on Oahu, I cannot recommend Myria Ann Photography enough. A great friend who took all of these wonderful photos!

21 December 2015


We were lucky enough to spend last weekend in Maui thanks to the Navy (never thought I'd thank them for something like that).  Nic's ship organized a family weekend cruise.  We left early Friday morning and cruised all the way to Maui, spent the weekend there, and came back Monday.  It saved us $300 in airfare and that's quite a big deal.

The trip itself was interesting.  Not all that fun, and it took way longer than anticipated to actually depart the ship once we arrived, which included someone falling overboard and a group of hangry people in Nic's tiny room. . .  It was absurd.  But once we got off the ship we had food and alcohol and life was good again.  On shore we had a fun weekend except where everything that should have been easy was a pain in the ass.  Like renting a car was an ordeal and a half.  But we ended up with a convertible charger for our Road to Hana drive and we can't complain there! 

On the way back we went through a humpback whale sanctuary and were able to see multiple whales -- including one breaching and turning!  There was also a burial at sea which brought me to tears.  And the rest of the day was spent napping in Nic's room watching Elf.  The ride there and back would have been miserable if Nic didn't have a stateroom, but thankfully that wasn't the case.

More on Maui to come! 

20 December 2015

The Cocoon

The second place we stayed was the cutest little "cottage" I found on AirBNB.  I was a little skeptical at first. The idea of AirBNB intrigues me, but it also sounds like it's the perfect chance for a serial killer to lure people in (just being honest here).  Since I would be traveling with Nic and not a group of girls I decided we should give it a try.

We stayed at a place called The Cocoon in Ocean View. It was honestly out of the way of everything, but, we like places like that.  Only running on solar power, an outdoor shower, a hanging bed.  We were honestly set.  Most people seem to get service out there, but I only got it sparingly when I walked to the other side of a hill one morning to take a photo of the sunrise.  For some people that probably sounds like torture but it was exactly what we needed.  Nic coming back from deployment is one of the best things to happen this year.  But I'll admit that I am a terrible sharer. Also have been and probably always will be.  Being somewhere where we could disconnect from the world around us was fantastic.

The second night we were there, we grabbed fire wood, some hot dogs and marshmallows and had a wonderful evening.  We could have stayed there and played scrabble lost in the moment forever, and wish that we would have added a day to our trip just to sit and relax.

If you're visiting the Big Island and looking for somewhere relaxing and off the grid to stay, we couldn't recommend The Cocoon more! Also, use this link to get $20 off your stay!

Greenwell Coffee Farm

One of our favorite tours was Greenwell Coffee  Farm.  We are huge coffee lovers and a few people recommended the tour to us.  We learned quite a few things about Kona coffee. It is only grown on the Kona Coast of the Big Island, and, it's expensive.  Brands can label themselves as Kona Coffee and be cheaper, but when you look at the label you see that it is mixed beans, with a small percentage of Kona.  The tour was free and informative, and if you have an hour to spare and find yourself on the Kona Coast, definitely stop in!

 The four stages of the coffee bean. The beans start on the left, and on the right is what you end up with. Interestingly enough, the red outside of the bean has been made into Kona Red, a cold energy drink that's actually quite good and available in stores! 

 Free samples of all of the coffee varieties. Coffee lovers heaven! We ended up buying their seasonal Harvest blend which was delicious! Hints of nutmeg made it fall in a cup. 
One of the employees wrote a children's book about a chameleon. In Australia we decided to start collecting children's books everywhere we visit for our future littles, and we were so tempted by the book. But it was expensive and we already bought our Big Island book.  After buying our coffee and souvenirs (I needed a hat) we saw this girl on the way to the car.  Needless to say, Nic walked back and snagged a signed copy of the book.