Saturday, October 30, 2010

Living the HI life

Believe it or not, we've actually lived in Hawaii for 7 months now! I thought it might be a good exercise for me and maybe interesting for you as well to summarize my personal pros and cons so far being an islander.

Things I love about living in Hawaii:

Culture - even though Hawaii is part of the USA, it still feels like a foreign country in many respects. In our short time here so far, we have really only just scratched the surface of learning the deep culture that surrounds us. It has been really fun to hear the legends, taste new foods, and even learn a little of the language and lingo. Don't get me wrong, though, we are "Haole" to the core!

Natural Beauty - I had never lived in a place (or visited, for that matter) where I was so in awe of the beauty of God's creation on a daily basis. And we haven't even visited any other islands yet! The ocean, the mountains, the beaches, the rainbows, the waterfalls, the flowers - all of it is breathtaking. This state is a masterpiece of God! This is the view from our lanai - never gets old.

Weather - High in the low eighties, partly cloudy, breezy, occasional rain shower - this is our forecast almost every day. No wonder they call it Paradise.

Contentment - For whatever reason, since living in Hawaii, I feel less pressure to "keep up with the Jones's." I have much less of a compulsion to shop and I feel more compelled to share what we have with others.

Aloha living - Flip flops (or "slippahs" as they call them here) can complete almost any outfit year round. Wearing a swimsuit under your clothes or by itself is acceptable attire almost anywhere. You always have the "aloha time" pass for being late to any event. It's just truly a more casual lifestyle,
and I love it!

Friends - It is scary moving to a new place. God has been faithful at every destination he leads us to surround us with amazing friends to love us and support us. He certainly did not disappoint in Hawaii. I have felt welcome and loved since the moment we landed in Honolulu. It's been wonderful to see how God has allowed not only Scott and I to have new friends, but Keaton as well. Church, playgroup, story time, the pool - there have been endless opportunities for Keaton and I both to meet new friends.

Minimalism- Because it is so expensive to live here, people get used to living with less. Less square footage = less furniture and toys. Less closet space = less clothes. Less pantry space = less food you can have on hand at a time. One parking spot = learning to live with one car. I can't say that it has been easy for me to adjust to less. I miss my two story house in Nashville with my stocked pantry, extra fridge, and the furniture and dishes we had to leave behind. But, it is a liberating experience when you are forced to "purge." It makes you realize how much you have and how little you really TRULY need.

I only have a few gripes of living in Hawaii, but here goes:

Expense - Ugh! Food, gas, rent, EVERYTHING is so ridiculously expensive here!!

Distance - this is probably the hardest one. In 7 years of marriage, we've never lived further than a day's drive away from either of our families. There is something so depressing and lonely knowing that a trip home will require at least $400 a person at least 10 hours in transit.

Familiarity - Hawaii is just so different, and I'm still getting used to it. Everything has been an adjustment. It really is like living in a new country. I still sorta feel like I'm on vacation here, and I get homesick often for the familiarity of the mainland.

No seasons - Not complaining about the weather - don't get me wrong. But it's so strange being stuck in a perpetual summer while I watch the temps drop on the mainland. It's hard to get excited about baking pumpkin bread or making a big crockpot full of chili when I'm still wearing tank tops and going to the beach. I'm sure I'll be singing a different tune when its 10 below on the mainland, and we still have our windows open!

Overall, living in Hawaii has been a very cool experience. I still have not tried SPAM (nor will I) nor or have I surfed, but it's feeling more like home the longer we are here. We really have no idea how long God plans on keeping us here, but we are doing our best to soak in every minute of this experience while it lasts.

Now come visit us!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Moby Wrap

I am amazed at the inventions that have come out even since Keaton was born that make life easier with a baby. One of my favorite things I discovered this time around is the Moby Wrap. It's the same idea as the sling, making it possible to hold your baby close but still have hands free. Hands free is key when there are 2 kids demanding your attention! Mark loves this thing! Anytime he is a little fussy, he snuggles right into the Moby and settles right down. We like to call him "Moby Man."

I like it better than the sling because the baby feels more secure (I always felt like Keaton would fall out of the sling). It also distributes weight more evenly over my shoulders and my back, so I don't get as tired holding him.

Doesn't he just look snug as a bug??

I love how he always leaves one hand out of the Moby - "Hey Guys! I'm still in here even though you can't see me!"

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

4 weeks

Wow, how could it be that Mark is already 4 weeks old? He is such a cutie, and I can't get enough of snuggling and kissing on him and soaking in all those newborn noises. In the past couple of weeks, he's woken up and started to show us his personality a little bit. So far, he really loves eating, sleeping, and pooping - and that's about it. He's happy in the morning and tends to cry alot between the hours of 5pm and 8pm (just like his big brother used to). He loves to be held and really hates riding in his car seat.

Keaton loves baby Mark most of the time. He cuddles up to him and says things like, "I love my baby bwother!" or "Baby Mark is so cute!!" or "He's my little Marky!" There are times when he wants my undivided attention when he will kindly tell me "Mama, pwease don't hold the baby." or "Mama, pwease put him in the swing." In general, though, Keaton seems to have adjusted well to being the big bwother.

Mark's first trip to the pool

First trip to the beach


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Keaton and the iPhone

I never cease to be amazed at how proficient my two year old is with my iPhone. I know that before long, I'll be asking HIM questions about how to work it! Last night, he discovered the video function and decided make a little movie of himself singing. This is SO Keaton!!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Blue Angels on the Bay

When we have visitors, we like to treat them right. Which is why we arranged for there to be an amazing Blue Angels air show going on in Kaneohe Bay when my parents were visiting us. ;-) For days leading up to the show, the airplanes were practicing their stunts right outside our apartment. We were like children running outside every time we heard the Blue Angels' engines coming. It was so amazing! Here are a couple of pictures we took from our balcony on the days leading up to the weekend:

Then, on Sunday, we setup a private boat cruise for my parents so they could watch the air show from the water. Actually, our neighbor Anita was already taking her boat out that day, so she offered to let us tag along. I stayed home with the babies, but Scott, Mom, and Dad had a great time out in the bay watching the air show.