this is our life……

I thought instead of just answering each and every question in a row….and a lot of the q’s were the same…i just bundled them up and will answer them in chit chat with you.

So…here we go….

The big ole monkey in the room: Money

Bryan works 2 nights a week and the occasional double shift at a high end restaurant….where he is a server. He takes your order…and serves you the food. Even though he would prefer to bartend….he makes a whole heck of a lot more serving then he would bartending.

He makes minimum wage plus great tips.

It helps that he’s personable and good looking {at least i think so..}

He rides a scooter to and from work and that saves gas…..because gas here is just under $5 a gallon. We sold his scooter in chicago and used the money from that one to buy one here…even steven.

In two weeks bryan starts an additional job at the nicest resort on the island…and it’s right up the street from our house condo.

It’ll be an on-call day job….probably serving tables…or room service…and it’s perfect because it’s on-call and it’s during the day. What is so great about this resort is that it’s a place where he can move up quickly and if they offer him full time down the line…then we can have benefits.

Insurance: we were offered cobra from his previous company in Chicago…..and that was one mighty big gulp to swallow when we paid that baby.

We paid for 4 months of Cobra….so we are fully covered insurance-wise till end of October.

{the kids have already been to the doctor here a few times with ear infections…and swimmers ear…}

How did we pay to get here:

We bought one way tickets on Alaska Airlines…and we got the tickets out of Oakland for $200 each….so needless to say….we were ecstatic to find that deal….and we only bought one way because we don’t know when we are heading back. If we bought an open ended return then we would have paid over $500 just to come back. There are great deals all the time on airlines {you just need to be patient and be fliexible in your travel} plus….we needed to fly out from either the Los Angeles area or the Bay area because we had to ship the beloved mini {van not cooper} over.

The cost to ship the car was $1000.

But we only had to ship one car because we sold Bryan’s car before we moved.

All of our furniture is in storage in Illinois….so there was no cost in crating it all up and bringing it here.

Trust me…i want my stuff….i miss my things that make a home feel like my home…but it’s okay…it’s only stuff.

We live in Kauai for crying out loud….so the stuff can wait.

We just got our first electric bill the other day…..$200.


I told the kids…no more night lights on in their room at night.

Am i looking for a job? Well…sort of. I pull up Craigslist everyday…and peruse it…..but till i find the right thing….especially because the kids get out of school at 2.

I can…and i will….i just want to find something a few days a week…so we will see.

Right now i’m helping out in Fin’s class at school on Tuesday mornings….for an hour…and it’s been great getting to see the kids that Fin is making friends with.

Like his new little girl friend named Rehn…..and his boy friends….Reef and Julian.

How do i spend my free time:

We explore.

If bryan and i spend the day together…we are kayaking…hiking….or driving all around finding new places to take the kids.

Bryan surfs…..a lot.

it’s free….and he loves it…..and i’m getting really good at sitting under a beach umbrella and watching.

We do a lot of FREE things around here……and a majority of the time we are at the beach or the pool.

Lola is the one child that really is loving surfing and is taking off….it’s all she wants to do in her spare time.

It’s free…..

well…except we had to buy the surfboard…but there is a surfboard swap the first Saturday of the month in Hanalei….so we got good deals on used boards…and now we have three of them. Mason surfs a little but he would rather body surf…and Fin….well….Fin likes to catch sand fleas.

On Wednesday nights it’s movie night on the lawn at the resort next door to us… we pack up dinner and picnic on the lawn while watching the family movie.

It’s free.

Same deal on Friday nights at a different hotel… we see which movie it is…and go if we feel like it.

When he was let go from his “big time job” in chicago…he was given a nice severance package….so we were able to put most of it away…and used the rest to pay for the actual cost of getting to Kauai. We also filed for unemployment right away…and used that for the two months till Bryan got his job here.

We really are not spending much money….except for food and cost of living…and what bryan is making ….is paying for that.

We have very very little….and i mean….very very little.. left over….and because there is no change of season here….there are no new clothes to buy.

The only thing we’ve bought the kids clothing wise is swim suits….but yeah for Walmart.

It is very expensive here… so expensive….but like a LOT of people that have given up their normal hustle and bustle lives on the mainland….we make it work.

We are living simple….and as much as i hate that there is no more stable direct deposit going into our savings account…..we are happy…and love it here.

With the little money that is left over….we use it to do live life.

Renting a kayak for 24 hours……or signing Lola up for Hula dancing classes…..and  the occasional going out to lunch.

Do i have friends:

yup…his name is bryan and he likes to chat over fine wine all about 

Ben Stiller and face acne.

Actually i’ve made 2 friends….and they shave their pits….

we’ve meet for coffee and even went to the movies one night….i’ll introduce you soon.

One of the girls i just made friends with i actually met via a blind date….

she was a blog reader who lives here and emailed me.

I had no idea if she was going to show up with two missing front teeth and a mullet….but since i’m open to new ideas and customs…i thought…bring it on.

The worst that could happen was i ask her to pose and i put her on my next “what in the world ” wednesday photo line up.

Do the kids have friends:

Yes. Lola and Fin are cruising right along…very well indeed. They both have made friends…and Lola has even gone to her first sleepover with a bunch of girls from her class. 

Mason on the other hand….is having a harder time.

I am working on this Paris kid….but he’s in california now…..and i don’t know when he will be back…i guess he goes back and forth. As for the other kids….a lot of them surf…and compete….so it’s hard for mason to feel like he quite fits in. There is one kid who he’s close with at school…but it’s hard to get him to commit to any sort of “hanging out” date. 

God forbid i call it a “play date”.

I knew it would be hardest for Mason…..he is the oldest and was the one that was the most hesitant….but he knows how great it is here…and we can always go back home….

just not yet.

All three kids start ukulele classes soon….and hopefully the boys will get to do baseball here this winter.

Okay…still here?

check check

How about the sunscreen:

I hate to admit it…but i’ve gotten really laxed on the whole sunscreen thing. We have a sunscreen stick that i make the kids rub all over their faces anytime we hit the beach…and they wear rash guards {swim shirts with spf 45}. 

My kids don’t burn….they brown…..and i need to be better with the sun protection…but i feel better that they wear the shirts. 

{i realize this is a parent 101 fail}

I’ve always had problems with my face and the sun since i had Lola. I get brown spots on my face….and it’s bad.  Any sun exposure makes my face look bad….so i do my best with wearing a high spf and a hat. I still look blotchy though….but since i can’t afford to have total facial resurfacing..i guess i’ll live with the blotchy skin.

I won’t get started on what the salt filled air is doing to my skin…..nope…i’ll spare you in all the white head acne details.

Do we plan on staying for more then one year:

oh spam….i don’t know.

I would like to say…yes…one year is good…great in fact…and it’s only been 6 weeks…..but i have a small feeling that we might stay longer.


I’m not sure why….but what i do know is that my husband….that guy named Bryan….really…really loves it here. He loves that he can surf. He loves that the people he works with are in the same situation as us…..

and by that i mean…

everyone is working hard because they want to live life a little….

so unlike a lot of people we know in which…they work so hard just to afford the life they live.

We know….we get it…..we needed this change….it’s good all the way around.

No need for the big houses…no need for the show off cars….{not that the mini ever was a show off car…but you get the drift..}

What do i miss from the mainland:

sheet howdy…i miss a lot. I miss my bi-weekly $15 pedicures…..i miss just strolling around Target for an hour or two…..i miss my girls at book club…i miss our neighbor boy knocking at the front door and yelling “is anyone home” ….i miss the girls at Anthro calling out my name….i miss my besties at our girls night out….but most of all….

i miss my house.

But bryan keeps reminding me that it’s still our house….even though other people are renting it…it’s still ours.

The other day we were watching a movie….and the kids in the movie were tire swinging on a swing in the backyard.

It was Fin that said….

gosh mom…i really wish we had a swing like that.

It was then that i had to remind him that we did have one just like that…..

and many…many memories were made on that swing.

{how easily their little minds forget things…..}

These new memories being made……

whether they are big …or little …..our lives are taking little steps in which

we imprint ourselves in them.

The schools:

I will admit….when we first brought up moving here….all i found out about the school here was not good.

Especially once they got to middle school.

Luckily for us….the best of the elementary schools was where we wanted to move to…in Hanalei. 

{there are private schools here…and a lot of kids are home schooled}

Is the school up to par with what we left…

Was the school that we left in St. Charles, Il really..really  good…..yes.

But we sat down and decided that for one year…maybe two…that it wasn’t going to kill my kids if they were not getting the best education in the country.

I know…how selfish of us.

At our school in Illinois….i felt like we had to have tutors so that we could stay on track…and here….my kids are right on track…and i love that they are learning Hawaiian History…the Hawaiian alphabet…and how to roll a joint the proper way.

Just kidding.

The kids are learning new things…new ways…..and yes…if it’s hard for them when we move back…it’s going to be so worth it…because we stepped out of our element for a while.

We live on an island in the middle of the ocean…and i have blotches on my face….it’s going to be okay ….it really is.


p.s. Applying a little bit of baby powder on you inner thighs helps with chaffing.

p.p.s. Not that my inner thighs rub together …..

p.p.s.s. But if they did….i would want you to know what it helps.


  1. beautiful! thank you kasey!

  2. Really like your honesty here Kasey – you are a pioneer (and not pioneer woman!) and it’s clear it’s amazing and hard in pretty much equal measure. Living the dream though…isn’t that what we all want? I worry that we work to afford a lifestyle and that crept up from nowhere; it was never ever a conscious choice. So I admire that you’ve dropped out and for your kids – nothing but goodness comes from that sort of life change. Good for you. Lou x

  3. you are a brave woman Kasey. i so admire that. we live in chicago burbs and have our 3 kids in christian school. every year i think about going on vacation and how expensive it is and how all our money is already spent elsewhere. BUT i also want my kids to experience other things than the swing in the backyard, so I buck up and we figure out a way to go somewhere new and see new things a few times a year. That is just a few times a year, not a whole year!!! Good for you. Sometimes we forget to look at the whole picture. And sometimes we miss today for looking at the big picture. A fine line some days. So happy for you. But not your acne. So sorry.

  4. I admire you for grabbing the bull by the horns and living life, instead of playing it safe. Your kids will thank you one day (I’m sure they are now). This life lesson will help them grow in so many ways. Your honestly here is refreshing, but really you don’t have to explain your choices to anyone… I imagine all there’s a lot people reading this wanting answers, to see whether they could make the jump! Take care. Lx

  5. brilliant read!
    we moved our gang of 5 from the affluent beaches of sydney australia to the countryside of northern england and it’s been an incredible three years for us all- stepping outside our safety zone has been amazing for us as a family…the travel has been incredible and i think my kids, and yours, will thank us all for it one day…
    we’ve just returned from another trip to greece…we may not have the big city life we had in sydney but we’ve been blessed with another equally, but very different, country existence…
    keep loving island life….

    melissa x

  6. you just make me smile:)

  7. I agree…stuff is just stuff. I love stuff , but not over time with my family. I think you and Bryan have chosen what works for your family and I admire that. Life is short to work just for a big house and a showy car. What do you think it would cost to move me , my husband, my three daughters and their families and 250 cows???? hehe For now I will stay on the farm and live vicariously through your Hawaiian tales. And pray those readers/haters get a life!

  8. I so enjoy reading your blog and I find your “braveness” an inspiration. My husband is unemployed and is waiting to hear about a job out of state. It scares the sheet out of me to think about moving especially for my son that just started high school. If I need to do just that – I will look to you to help me through because you really made the ultimate move. Thank you!

  9. Hi Kasey, I’m so glad that you are settling in. I think about you often and will think about you more when it is 50 below here:) I think you are so brave to do this. Your kids willl have so many great memories from this experiece.

  10. Sounds like you’re settling in…and making it work in “paradise”…good for you:) The memories you’re making will last a lifetime!

  11. I hate to complain…
    You didn’t answer my question.
    Could you please go back and do so?
    Thank you.

  12. Love you!!! And miss you tons, bestie!

  13. LOVE this photo of Mason. He is so cute and his eyes tell me he is shy.. I think change is hard for some and over time it is softened. I wish you ALL happyness in your new surroundings. It always hard the first few months but the memories you make in there now will go with the kids forever..

  14. Love your blog and travelling with you to the beautiful island of Kauai. It’s a feast for our eyes to see this beautiful scenery, and to read your hilarious tales. Keep it up!!!!!!! 🙂

  15. Crystal in Way Up North WI says:

    i am jealous and you rock, girl!!

  16. Your AWESOME Kasey!!!!!! I hope everything continue’s to go well for you and your sweet family! Enjoy yourself to the fullest!!!!

  17. It’s really great to hear how you and your family are adapting. You’ve all chosen to do an amazingthing. It’s not easy to toss your hands up and go “what the hay, let s move to Hawaii” I hope things continue to get better for all of you. It will happen.

  18. I don’t comment often. But I felt compelled to tell you that once upon a time I met my cousin’s next door neighbor and married him within a year. Shortly after that I left everyone and everything I ever knew and boarded a plane bound to Crete (a Greek island) with my 9 year old daughter in hand to join him where he was stationed.

    EVERYONE thought that I had lost my mind. Different alphabet, different language, no Wal Mart. Not even a McDonald’s on the ENTIRE island.

    That year I homeschooled my girl. Sometimes the science lesson was watching our goat give birth.

    That girl is now 22. She’ll graduate college in the spring. (See I didn’t do to badly.) We still laugh and reminisce about one of the best years of our life. Oh and the neighbor? Even though he now has me in blasted Phoenix I am still married to him and thank him every day for such a fantastic adventure.

  19. You guys are so fortunate!!! Once again… I LOVE reading your posts.. look forward to them daily in fact 🙂 As for electricity…. It seriously makes a difference if you unplug the things you are not using (I know, sounds anal.. but it does help). For instance, hairdryers, alarm clock, toaster, coffee maker, etc… I tried it & saw a difference in our bill.

    And as for a little extra income from you dear Kasey… DO SOMETHING ONLINE!!! Nobody else’s stupid hours & rules. Darren Rowse (@problogger on Twitter) always tweets links for “writers needed”… They are for short articles & worth maybe $50 a piece… But you are so good at it, it would be cake for you!!! and a few $50 adds up 🙂

    So…. those are my 2 lil tidbits… lol!!! Just read a quote the other day that said, “The Less You Own, The Less That Owns You”…. so true!!! ♥

  20. i still find it amazing that instead of doing what most ppl would do when faced w/job loss; struggle to find another; go into major debt, stress out and try to keep up w/the Joneses, you chose a completely different lifestyle. How amazing…

    All my hubby worries about is his job (airline industry) and how ppl are being let go, there is no stability, what will we do etc, etc, etc ,and I feel like saying, we’ll be fine!! We’ll have an adventure – move, get a tiny cottage & live a different life – just start LIVING!!!

    Anyhow – thanks again for sharing so openly and honestly with all of us in blogland – I look forward to checking your blog each and every day (always a bummer when you do not have a new post!) – for those who are offended by what you write – leave, go to another blog, bye-bye!! For the rest of us, thank you!

  21. The life you describe that you are living now is the life we have always lived. Of course not on a Hawaiian island. But we have never had money to spend on anything but a simple home life and the basics for our family. We have always done everything possible for free. With four children and one income(my husband is a superintendent in a Construction Co.) we barely make our bills. We don’t have any credit cards and our only debt is our house payment. We used to pay for everything cash only but now use the atm card debit(same thing in a way). About the school thing…I homeschooled. My first two oldest graduated early. My son followed my husband in the trade of Carpentry. My oldest daughter graduated H.S two years early and began college at 16. She is an honor student, works full-time, is an editor in chief of a campus journal and the school newspaper. My two youngest homeschooled till H.S and have been honor students in our public H.S…both involved in many activities. My son on the football and tennis teams. My youngest daughter just graduated a year early and got is going to college fully paid by the grants and scholarships she earned. Why do I tell you all of this. Because I believe your children will thrive and accomplish great things from what you have chosen to do for your family. At least they are getting to have a childhood. I let my kids play, alot, when we homeschooled. We went places every day. We spent alot of time doing outdoor activities. Not so much book work. Yes we went to the library weekly and they read stacks of books, but they learned by living. And they are all achieving honors academically now and ranked advanced in the state wide testing. They love to learn because they were never under the pressure that so many children are today. I hope you will relax and not worry at all…your family is growing, healthy, and happy. Don’t let the pressures of others discourage you in anyway. And one more thing…have you thought about opening an etsy? Maybe to sell your photography. You could think about printing up a small book of your travels to France(you know how much we all loved reading about your shenanegans and smoking ciggies) to sell…include photos. Something to think about to bring in a little more cash. ox

  22. I didn’t see your question post until this morning, but one thing I have been wondering about but I didn’t see addressed: how did you find your home in Hawaii while you were still living in Illinois?

  23. I love how real you are and I (still) LOVE reading! You guys are having an amazing adventure- live it up!

  24. I just have to say… Im so jealous !!! My husband and I also talked about moving to Kauai it’s one of our favorite places. I guess we didnt have the guts. I love reading your post . Good luck and thank for the Post !!!!

  25. “working hard because you want to live life a little” is the best way to work and live. good job to you guys for doing something that will bond your family and give you a healthy perspective on stuff. and, of course, sacrificing for your husband’s love of surfing is very commendable. 🙂 saint charles will be here if and when you’re ready to come back. although I’ll miss having another clueless mom to hang out with at school volunteering functions this year. not that you’re clueless or anything.

  26. I think what you are doing for your family is incredible! Living a simpler life is something we all strive for and you are doing it. My girlfriend has lived in Kauai for 10 years and she loves it! Enjoy each moment, it will truly bring so many life experiences to you all! P.S. I raised a family on tips from restaurants for many years – it can be done! Most of all have fun, life is short! xxoo 🙂

  27. Such a brave family! 1 year or 2, it will go by so fast! Enjoy the beauty and the family time that comes with living on less.
    I’m a devoted follower (not stalker) and look forward to your posts.

  28. I loved reading this friend and I have to say, I sorta want to pick up and start living life and stop working to live! I miss you 🙂

  29. Christie McGetrick says:

    I really enjoy reading your life in Hawaii – I have never been there – sounds like you all are doing really well and enjoying life.

  30. It does sound like you are enjoying life, but homesick. I think what you and your family are doing is amazing. I was wondering if they still call wedding crashing if you surf up to the beach and there is a wedding going on? OR is that still a touchy subject. I hope that with each week longer that you spend in Hawaii that you are enjoying yourself and less homesick.

  31. Your the best! You always make my day:)

  32. Thank you for sharing Kasey! Love this blog!!

  33. FYI- deoderant on the inner thighs also helps with chub rub… if you have it… not that I do… but this is what I hear! It also helps if your feet swell and you cant fit your cute ballet shoes. You know I gotta say- our family hasnt upped and moved on a big life adventure the way yours has, we live in the city in an apartment. However when we decided to have kids we decided one of us would stay home with the kids until they are school age- they are 2 and 3.5 right now. Living on one income has been tight but we have learned a few things along the way- like my grandpa always said “if you cant pay cash, you probably dont need it”. Our life is a lot simpler, more relaxed and fun- with a lot less stuff! Keep up the good work- I love your blog!

  34. Will you please o please o please go to the Poipu Shopping Village and eat a Puka dog for me?? Lilikoi Mustard, Mango Relish and Garlic the more the better!!! Please? If you really don’t enjoy it, PLEASE send me the leftovers.

    I love that you are living the adventure so many of us dream of in one way or another!! Surely you have thought of an Etsy store? Your pictures and writing. They beg to be shared.

  35. I have been following you for several months now and you MAKE MY DAY! Your wit and your adventures are terriffic. If people don’t get the humor, they can take that stick up their bum (along with their most likely unshaved armpits) and go somewhere else. Very jealous of your new life. (and your old one!).

  36. Maybe the only guy that reads this blog says:

    kari has great advice. Consider selling some pix to a stock site, too. Yours are outstanding. And I agree with the comments here. It is a real joy to read this and follow along.

  37. Kristine Kautz says:

    Kasey! You are so brave and amazing!! I really admire your humor and open-ness in getting through all of this! I went through so much of this myslef, but bottle it up and lacked your adventure and spirit! I am inspired! E-mail me your mailing address and I will send you something for the blotchiness and if you ever need a good word in for a job at Starbucks (remember only 20 hours a week and you earn benefits…) – I am your gal!


  38. I still enjoy reading and following you on your journey! You are so inspiring I am so happy you are all doing well. Can’t wait to see what you guys discover next! Best wishes!

  39. I think what ya’ll are doing is amazing! Makes me want to take my spoiled kids and go spend quality time away from all the “stuff”…. And what better place to do it!

  40. Kasey,

    I love your blog and often read some of the things you say out loud to my husband… he laughs as loud as I do! I have to say though, that you ARE mean sometimes, just like like you crashing that person’s wedding WAS inappropriate. But that hasn’t really bothered me (everyone says rude or does inappropriate things sometimes without really thinking it through) as much as they way that you react to the people who call you out about it. You saying “if you don’t like it, don’t read it” just screams immaturity and insecurity to me. It’s important to recognize your flaws, admit your mistakes, and to continually try to grow as a person. Automatically blowing off the people who criticize you without taking he time to consider the things they are saying is you missing an opportunity for growth and for bettering yourself. I pray God continues to bless you and that you continue to work towards loving, serving, and pleasing Him.

    God bless.

    • I didn’t know people could comment from on top of a high horse? or was that a glass house?

      • ha ha… exactly what I was thinking! Ms. Lindsey thinks mightly highly of herself….

      • Jen @ Arriving says:

        Or a pot? Possibly a black kettle? Kind of funny actually….

        • I can’t even believe this comment! Last I checked this blog was created as a space where Kasey could talk life, family, and friends. If YOU don’t appreciate the things that are being written than don’t read it. It would be like someone writing a blog on Christianity and people commenting on what their beliefs are….again…if you don’t like it, don’t read it!

          Kasey, I LOVE that you answered all of these questions even though I don’t think you owe ANYONE any answers:) I admire that you are doing what a lot of people would LOVE to do! GOOD FOR YOU!!:)

          xo, Meredith

  41. Love it. This year I looked at the sun blotches on my face and decided that enjoying being outdoors during the most amazing mid-Canada summers was way more important to me than being ‘pretty.’ Regardless of sunscreen and wide-brimmed hats, the blotches multiplied. And I enjoyed every blotchfilled moment. You’re an inspiration!

  42. I think you’re awesome.
    I love how you created your own adventure. Your very own.
    I’ve been quietly following along crossing fingers and sending wishes your way.
    You are such a spark.

    thanks for sharing and keeping it real

    rebecca frame

  43. Kelly Carothers says:

    That was a great read Kasey..thank you for sharing with all of us. You are awesome 🙂

  44. Kasey ~ I love your blog. Sheet ~ I totally look forward to it. When I see you have posted I get super excited to see what you have been up to and I know that whatever it is you will find the fun in it. Thanks for keeping it real –

  45. I love your blog and have been following for over a year…..I think it is fabulous that you guys took a chance to try a new lifestyle. Thank you so much for sharing your family and journey with all of us!

  46. Love all of the info and your stories. Will always be here reading….

  47. So glad you’re getting settled and feeling good about the move. I know you’re going to have lots of wonderful adventures while you’re there!

  48. my hubbs grew up on oahu….. right on the water and surfed every single day…. until he moved to the mainland…. glad he did, or we’d never have met. 🙂 what a wonderful experience for your kids….and a lifestyle they’ll never forget. my husband is the most laid back fella ever…

    wishing you a wonderful year or two…….or more. 🙂


  49. Loved this! I actually am MORE interested in reading your blog and your adventures more now than when you lived in IL! I dream of doing something like this someday, such a great experience!

  50. beautiful post. i admire what you guys are doing. your kids will thank you one day for being so fun, easy going and loving life. they will! thanks for sharing your life– it`s inspiring…

  51. ps. i`m sure they thank you now 🙂

  52. If I could, I would absolutely move to Hawaii for a year or two or three. Enjoy your time there Kasey.

  53. Kasey: How could anyone be upset with you?? I love your blog and you make me laugh. Enjoy your adventure, I took one myself and it ended in a disaster but I did it and I don’t regret it. I live in Canada and only get Target when I go to the US so think of me when your missing it. I have brown freckles instead of a tan as well, and I use vitamin a on my face (neutrogena rapid wrinkle repair) and spf 40 every day….. even in a snowstorm. Take care, have a great time.

  54. I love what you’re doing and how you’re doing it. Keep it up Kasey it will be worth it.

  55. YOU simply crack me up.

  56. Love you Kasey, Love your blog and Love that you’ve taken a HUGE risk and embarked on such an exciting adventure. I especially Love that you are sharing it with us. It’s inspirational to me and based on the comments, it’s inspirational to a whole bunch of others too. {The line about rolling the joint made me laugh out loud}

    PS ~ I live in Napa and my electric bill is regularly over $300/mo, gas is over $4/gallon, and I don’t have the benefit of the beach right outside my door. 🙂

  57. There’s a whole lotta negativity in this world right now. Usually, your blog is an amazing, refreshing and real look at you and your family’s life–full of humor and curiosity and a glimpse of a family daring to do the different.
    But, I think the only reason people keep harping on you about the mean girl stuff is the fact that you never seem to feel guilty whatsoever afterward. Or maybe you do, but just don’t announce it, which is fine….but I think the confusion is in the fact that you share many personal things in your life, but definitely don’t share any possible personal reflections on the fallout from your “mean posts”. When you said “I’ve never stated anything cruel, in words”, seriously?! That’s just about the worst cop-out possible. No, maybe you didn’t say anything terrible, just all of your readers who made comments did it for you, and you’ll be sending the best insult-maker a gift.
    Anyway I hate to jump on this whole train…I imagine it’s got to be hugely annoying to regularly have the comments veer off in this direction. But consider that those who say this aren’t boring wannabe perfect ladies who would ever be interested in Pioneer Woman’s blog. Maybe they’re just people who love to read about your adventures, (and misadventures), but who get bummed out when you take things in a cruel direction. There’s a huge difference between sarcasm and satire, fashion police, etc….and just plain mean.

  58. Our World NEEDS your humor! 😉

  59. i just found ur blog – and now ur newest blogfan – LOVE this post BEYOND – u got me sucked in girl!

    *kiss kiss*
    ~Tiptoe Butterfly~

  60. I think your blog is amazing! I don’t always comment, but I ALWAYS read!! I think what you have done is just plain AWESOME! The memories your family is making will last many lifetimes and the hard stuff will just make you stronger! As for the negative comments, I just don’t get it! For Pete’s sake! I haven’t seen you do anything that I thought was “mean”….nothing! The wedding thing? I thought it was hilarious and if I had been the Bride or Groom, I would have had no problem at all with someone crashing my wedding and sharing my joy! Sheet!! What is the deal??

    Have a great week Kasey!!

    Lou Cinda 🙂

  61. So funny! You always make me laugh, Kasey. I’m blown away at the adventure you guys are taking. Bravo. And I LOVE reading about your life!!!

    I didn’t catch the last post in time to submit a question – are their any issues with being “white” kids? It looked like my hubby was going to be transferred to Hawaii several years ago and the schools were a concern (not for us b/c our kids were still so young but for most people who have the chance to move to Hawaii). I heard that local/Hawaiian kids tend to have issues with the white/mainland kids. Just wondering if you are in an area where that is an issue. I hope not. (We ended up moving to Germany instead. It was still a wonderful two years but I DEFINITELY would have preferred Hawaii!!!!)

  62. still love reading your blog and all about your new adventures! heres to the livin’ the dream and keepin’ real at the same time!

  63. I really admire you! Look forward to your post every day!

  64. Preach it sista!
    Our beach happened to be in the mountains of BC, Canada, and none of us ski all that well, but isolated and simple and far from the norm regardless. We felt called to live a different kind of life. And I’m not talking about a year!
    So good-bye stable careers, gorgeous white-washed home, black book entries, starbucks, and pretty much everything comfortable. But rather than suffering for it – as we were warned – we are stronger, more united, peaceful and content as a result. We are almost 5yrs in and I am vehement that we not return to our “former life”.
    Best to you on your journey; I read you more now than ever!

  65. pioneer woman lost me a long time ago…started to be too much like the church of pw but that’s another story. your story is way more reals girl. keep up the sunscreen and don’t forget to put it on your chest (neck and upper boobie area)-in twenty or thirty years you will thank yourself. i know you love you Bryan, have a Brian myself that is my world- but do some things for you, too. xoxo

  66. Oh I love it. I laughed through this and my heart hurt reading the cutting comments from your last post. I only check in now and then so I don’t “know” you like your other readers seem to but I think you are adorable down to earth and fun. And if I lived near you…I would totally want to be your friend. In fact, the first time I ever cam to your blog…you were planning what to wear to a party and I told my friend Shana (who told me of your blog)…”I want to be her friend!”

    When people behave badly it is because they feel bad. So I know that when people lash out in comments on a blog (not the person who asked the question necessarily but the others) they are feeling bad. That is all.

    I admire your courage. I am such a love by the rules gal and I wish I could have the guts to do what y’all are doing. It is an amazing opportunity. And you are teaching your children life lessons they could never learn in even the best school!!!


  67. Kasey-

    I have been reading your blog for over 2 years- and this is my first message to you. I so admire that you and your husband took this chance- and I so admire the humor, strength and tenacity you attack life with.

    My husband and I recently went to the San Juan Islands in WA and the idea of starting new, fresh and in a place where life is a little slower crossed my mind many times while we were there. After reading your post today I am thinking about it again. Thanks for your words. Thanks for the way you live your life and tell us about it.

    And for anyone who said they weren’t going to continue reading…..1. I am so surprised that people would even express that to you and 2. I don’t understand why people would choose to not read. I am baffeled.

    Thanks again for your blog. I really do enjoy it and your quirky sense of the world!

    Be well.


  68. Kasey, I’ve always enjoyed your blog, primarily for the decor and ideas, and even made the trek from the city to visit your shop back in the day. Clearly, you’ve got a fantastic eye. I am compelled to post because I just came home from a school meeting on Internet Safety and bullying, and the message is one that I think you should pay attention to. I hope for your sake, that no one posts a picture of one of your family members and ask the readership to comment. What are you teaching your children? I also hope you dont sit at the beach everyday and belittle people or poke fun at others. Embrace the warmth of the Hawaiian people and culture, who cares if they dont shave their pits?

  69. these 3 kids are being raised by happily married parents. by best friends. ones that when hit with what could have been considered a cruel twist of fate, chose to just follow that fate. together.
    these 3 kids are amazing and will continue to grow into equally amazing little adults.
    the family came first. above anything else.
    I am surprised no one has mentioned that or possibly some didn’t even notice.

  70. Kasey, this post just illustrates one of the reasons that I love you and your blog so much and have kept reading these past years. You are not afraid to be real and open and honest. Your blog is a breath of fresh air because there is no agenda. No collection to advertise, no new project to demo. It’s just a real woman’s life. The ups and downs, the triumphs and mistakes. Thank you for keeping it real♥

    p.s. thanks for the baby powder tip. not that my thighs rub together either;)

  71. Love, love this post Kasey! open and honest and I laughed out loud at your “then don’t”, great!
    Enjoy this year (0r two) as you already do, because you give your children a great youth,
    Maureen x

  72. you are super cool and i love the honesty and humor in this post! thanks so much for sharing your adventure with us….just a bunch of strangers….but ones who so completely get and appreciate you! xo

  73. Chris in FL says:

    I stopped blog surfing for a few months now and have kept up with only one blog..YOURS!! From the day I found your blog til today it has become a highlight of my day. You are very entertaining….and live life to the fullest!! It is so fun to read your blog. I never know what you are going to door say next. You Keep me laughing and I love that!! You have a great sense of humor and I have never thought of you as MEAN. You love to joke around and that’s awesome!

    Keep it up sister!!


  74. If you’re not looking into freelance writing, you may want to consider. I don’t want to leave a bunch of links here, but there are great opportunities for talented writers, which you are!

  75. Each day I can’t wait to see if you have posted something. It sure makes my day when you do.

  76. love following along on your journey!

    and you got it right…if people don’t want to follow along anymore…they shouldn’t!

    simple as that. the end.

  77. It will be o.k. It will. We took a year and lived in Japan. My kids were in elementary school. At these ages…school is school. We homeschooled that year. It worked. They are smart. They are thriving. Best of all, they know how that they are teens, they had unique experience so many other kids have never had. It added a nice dimension to their lives. High school, I think, it is harder to keep academics secure. High school is critical but right now, you guys picked a fantastic time to be on this life’s adventure.

  78. Your kids are always going to look back and remember this time with the best memories and you can’t put a price tag on that… but of course you already know this. You just rock.

  79. People really said they didn’t want to follow along?! REALLY?! I see that as their problem. You are doing an awesome thing (one very few people are brave enough to step out and do) and I’m going to continue to follow along so I can enjoy the journey vicariously. My family would LOVE to live the life you are living right now. Family life is way more important than the social life. When everyone else leaves you by the wayside, your family will remember how you made them feel and will be right by your side! Enjoy, and phooey on those fuddy-duds who took off!! BTW, I never comment, so I guess that really pushed a button for me…

  80. Oh , i am so proud of you.
    I would do what you’re doing in a heartbeat. You’re daring to have a different life! Good for you guys. ANd who wouldn’t follow you?!? Your blog is even better now. I love seeing a place i haven’t been yet. I love seeing you and your family enjoy the gorgeous ocean.
    And you do NOT need to explain to anyone why or how you are doing it financially. Although, you do make me want to be more frugal 🙂 I appreciate that too!
    I hope you all are having the time of your life. I so hope for a good friend for Mason. I know that affects you too as a mom.
    We love your writing, your daring loveable personality, your ability to share, and your love for life.
    (and girrrrrrrrrrrrl i feel for ya, with no Target. Target trips are good stuff !)
    Keep writing, keep sharing, keep enjoying, and for anyone who is negative, who needs ’em!?
    For any one negative person who doesn’t like you or your blog, there are 100 who love ya! choose the 100 🙂

  81. Aloha…You are one brave girl and I admire you! Slap on some sunscreen, put on that hula skirt and drink lots of mai tais!!!

  82. i love how open you are being about all the details. it’s really no one’s business, but yet you share.

    after both trips to hawaii…only 7 days or so i bloated up like a kahlua pig and had a hormone mustashe. is that how you spell it? i would not look pretty if i lived there, but who really cares. i’d love to be in your flipflops right now:) you are making some wonderful memories for those kiddos.

  83. Love your blog, and I only found it a month ago. I love what you have done. I did something similar when my American boyfriend (he was working in Ireland), brought me back with him to the US (kicking and screaming in his suitcase – joking). It was so hard leaving my job, my country, selling my car, leaving my family and friends and the first 6 months so was so rough as I was madly homesick…Fast forward 9 years we are married with 2 little kids and still living in the US.
    Footnote: thank goodness for the internet and going home every 8-9 months is a must.

    You won’t regret this new chapter in the life of your family. You’re going to have days when you are homesick, your kids will probably get a little homesick too…but what you have done is shown them the world is their oyster.
    Thanks for sharing your life through the blog…and blog soon please 🙂

  84. I have been reading your blog for a long time now, and it has only gotten better! I’m a dental student, so I spent a lot of my lectures surfing the web and looking at blogs. There were many times when I laughed out loud in class, and I thank you for that! I promise I paid enough attention to be a good dentist… I just might also have a better decorated house than most! I think you and your family are so brave and hope you don’t second guess yourself too much. (And there’s NOTHING wrong with drinking wine in the middle of the day or drinking alone!)

  85. Always entertaining, always real and always making awesome memories…keep living the dream (for you…and us!)

  86. Kasey~Kasey.
    I adore you.
    I could write so many things in response to this post.
    I enjoyed every word of it.
    You can’t imagine how much I think about you and your family.
    Just this weekend my sister and I were walking on the beach in Carmel, CA.
    She loves your blog.
    Once she emailed you about white ikea slip covers.
    Any~how…I was catching her up on what you guys were doing.
    We kept walking the beach and she kept saying “no way!”
    I said: “yes Melly! yes! They live in Hawaii and Bryan works at a resort!” 😉
    No way she kept saying!
    She was loving the adventure of it all!
    Just know how much we admire you and SMILE when we think of this unique life you are living.
    You and Bryan are experiencing things together that you would never experience if you were living as you were back in Chicago!
    You GO GIRL!
    YOU GO!!!!!!!
    I love following your new life in Hawaii!
    Hugs to you from Bainbridge~
    I would LOVE to see Miss Lola surfing! xo

  87. Oh~and just so you know…
    last week we did some hiking in CA!
    My sister and I got to laughing so hard on one of the hikes I tee~teed in my lululemon yoga pants!
    Guess what happened!
    My thighs got all chapped up!
    Guess what I did!
    Slathered on the baby powder!
    Ah….haha~ xoxoxo

  88. YouneedtolearnanaussiesayingGoF***Youself says:

    Welcome to the sweaty, sunburnt, budget, live life Club.

    This club rocks and gets only better…

    We are still living the dream every day, best thing is now it’s just our normal

    PS. Love your thighs

    Pps. You still haven’t emailed me and I was hoping. Felt like a celeb was gonna be in my inbox and been checking every 20 mins

    Ppps Use GFY on the trolls

    Pppps. I am in the bath with a peroni

    Ppppps. Can I be your virtual book club bestie?

    Pppppps. I am not as cool as you but I do have sun spots

    Ppppppps. Bet I have more surfer perving pics than you

    Pppppppps. Errrm yeah can u email me

    Ppppppppps. Cos I still have no friends in my new life

    Pppppppppps. cos I love flying around on broomsticks being mean

    Goodnight from sydney




  89. There are so many people in this world who teach their children to follow along and fit in. I am sure their children will do just fine. It is those who teach their children that risk and adventure can take you where you want to go who will raise the next leaders in this world. I am a teacher and I watch the sadness of highly performing schools suck the imagination and enjoyment right out of life. Your kids will do just fine! You gave me a front row pass to watch your adventure unfold! Thank You! My husband and I have set out on many adventures in our lives and they have led us right to the place where we belong! You and Bryan are lovely strong people! I will continue to read with relish!

  90. OH how I wish I could write like you! I’m a terrible writer yet I blog to keep up with my families events. Lol, I truly enjoyed reading this! I’ll be in Kauai with my Husband in June and if you are still there I’m totally interested in knowing the best to see and do. I really want to be able to get a feel for the people and culture…not just the commercial side of everything. I’m going to try to make contacts with locals through my church to hopefully enhance this experience, but if you have any thoughts or suggestions I would LOVE IT! Also…could I pay you to take our pictures? With five children, I’m rarely in a picture and that’s my BIGGEST worry about this trip is not having any pictures of the two of us together! I’m bustin’ my butt to lose weight, get tan and get in shape so hopefully they won’t be pictures I’m ashamed of! We have put off any kind of big anniversary trip in our 10 years of marraige because I’m too much of a cheapskate to spend money of frivolous trips so this one is a really big deal! Please email or comment on my blog if you are interested in helping me out at all!

  91. love the powder idea.. do it every night lol. i live on oahu & it’s friggen HOT so powder is necessary!!
    i just found your blog from nesting place. clicked & it led me here! i love hearing about when people make the move to hawaii and how excited they are, the new adventures they take and when the realize how ridiculously expensive it is!! It kinda makes me re-excited about living here and makes me wanna jump up off my arrss and take my kids and do something!! so glad you found a friend like jenny, I need one of her (can borrow??) haha! so did you guys pick up on the pidgen slang yet? brah this and bahh that.. howzit brahdah ;] shoots? gotta love our UNIQUE educational system:) well i hope you all end up staying & maybe i’ll run into you next time im on kauai!

  92. I’m so glad The Nester posted the link to your blog! Sure, your blog is great and I love the way you write (sounds like we’re sitting over a glass of wine or big ol mug of coffee) but this move is really inspirational. I get so stuck in ruts and my happy little life. I NEED to take some chances.

  93. Hi,
    Love reading your blog! We have been going to Kauai since 2002 and desperately want to move there. I am a teacher though and I know the school system isn’t good. To say the least. So, we are biding our time until our daughter finishes school (she’s in fourth grade- eek!) Wish we were brave enough to move over sooner.

    I’m looking forward to reading more about your adventures!

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