sweets perspective and simple gifts

This is the first year that I haven’t been in the oh~so~busy mode the last days leading up to Christmas.

There are so many things going on in our lives right now….and i’ll share that soon…but we are content at the 

moment soaking up our first Christmas in Kauai. I have to admit that the one thing i know i’m going to miss

from back home is our Christmas eve service. Our church back home was HUGE….it was one of those mega-churches

and we loved it. The one we go to here is super small…..{which is fine and dandy} but when it comes to Christmas eve

service there is just something about being with hundreds of people singing songs and worshiping together.

Our Christmas this year is simple {obviously} and our kids get one gift from us.

Just one.

They just don’t need much….so they get the one thing that they really really want.

One gift from us.

Even though they have lots of gifts from the grandparents ……Simple is what our year is all about.

We’ve been making lots of homemade gifts…..and even though i thought i was all baked out with those

cranberry bliss bars….i decided last minute to make a few batches of my Salted Caramel Sauce….and jar them up

to give to our neighbors and last minute hostess gifts.

It’s so easy to make and i slapped some labels i had printed on them….because i made my sauce with local sugar

and local vanilla beans. {we have the best sugar and sea salt here…..trust me}

I even tied a biodegradable wooden spoon with some festive twine on them.

I might even wrap one up and give it to Gabby;-)

which by the way….today is the end of my 7th week of training with her.

{only 10 more weeks to go….}

I still can’t walk right…and my legs are noodles…but i feel so great.

Last year at this time…..we bundled up the kids and took them into the streets of Chicago to hand out

love notes with dollar bills. We still think about that day……as it will sit with us forever as perspective.

I wish we could do it again….but we will have to wait.

You can read all about that day {HERE}.
Last month Lola came up with the idea to put together the photos we have taken so far while being

here in Kauai and put them to music.

{i helped her organize it….but she did most of the work}

We burned the movie to some dvd’s and wrapped them up and sent them to all of her friends.

Then we burned some more and sent them to the grandparents.

This is the video….make sure you have your volume on because the song Lola picked out 

pretty much sums up our life.

 This year is all about being simple and happy.

Our Christmas lights shine bright from our artificial palm tree in the corner…..


  1. I love the video! The song IS perfect. I just have to say that no matter where you and your family end up, your kids will NEVER forget this time in Hawaii. I am sure they will always look back fondly. Unless you stay in Hawaii forevah. Which would be cool. It looks awesome.

  2. Very cute video, everyone looks like they are having a wonderful time

  3. Fantastic video! As a mother of college and soon to be college sons, Christmas rituals change whether we move to a beautiful island or stay in the same place(Paradise Valley, Az). It’s a good thing and the important things like love and memories are always there. 🙂

  4. Awesome video!!!!! Love it!!!!

  5. Tears – but good ones. Carmen is right – your kids (and you) will remember this year. No matter how long you are in Hawaii you will always be able to take this year with you wherever you go. That is a GREAT Christmas gift! BTW we are only giving our kids two gifts and their stockings and I felt terrible about it until I read your blog post. I needed this today!

  6. PS – what is the song in the video?

  7. Awesome video – love it! Like everyone else said the memories that you are making for your family by doing this are priceless. Enjoy the holidays! xxoo 🙂 P.S. Your salted caramel sauce looks delicious!

  8. becky up a hill says:

    Lovely blog. I wanted you to know I made your bliss bars. s0rta. I bought a pkg of what I thot was white chocolate, cause the bag was shiny silver and we all know only white chocolate comes in that color bag..wrong. I think I was suppose to read the bag, and not shop by color. Shopping by color is a bad thing..I learned a lesson and really didn’t want to learn a lesson today. ha..ho..blessings on your Christmas!

  9. What a wonderful post and I loved that you were honest in saying that you only have one gift.
    Your children will forever love this year, honest.

  10. Beautiful. I remember that post from last year when your family went into the city. I want to do that with my kids when
    they are little older

  11. Awww…very sweet. I’m a gramma and if my grandkids sent me this I would bawl all the way through. Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year to you all.

  12. So cute. Your blonde babies look like they were born to surf. I’m so glad you were able to have this adventure. (I agree with Jo. I’m a gramma, too.) Blessings to all of you the Christmas and throughout the new year.

  13. Merry Christmas Buicks. Your card is wonderful too. I am waiting to watch the video though with the kids later. They’ll get much out of that! Sounds as if all that your placing first in life is just bringing tons of joy to you.
    Love to you again.

  14. So sweet! I love the idea of a simple Christmas. Somehow it seems that makes it easier to appreciate, without all the crazy hustle and bustle. Merry Christmas to you guys!

  15. Merry Christmas! I so enjoy following your blog and love the memories you’re creating with your family while on your Hawaii adventure. Those memories will surely last a lifetime. (And your photos are fantastic – pretty easy with beautiful kiddos.)

  16. Wendy in Kennewick says:

    Great idea and execution of the video, Lola!!
    Merry Christmas to you all.

  17. wow,great video!!!!! Happy holidays!!!!!Sara

  18. Just started following your blog earlier this summer, just prior to your move. I have to say that I clicked on the link to view the post from December 24 last year to view your post on the perspective project. In a word….AWESOME! I would like to share this link with my a few of my friends on facebook, but not without your permission of course. Please let me know if I can share this amazing “project” with my friends.

    Not to mention, video was great. Loved the song as well. What a wonderful experience you are giving your children.

  19. Ok, that was amazing and beautiful. Happy Holidays to you and your sweet family!

  20. love the video, great song Lola! merry christmas!

  21. Love, love your Blog and thank you Lola for the wonderful video. Your family and friends will treasure it forever!

  22. What a lovely Holiday. simple is wonderful.
    Although, I do share your feelings about a big church on Christmas Eve.
    Merry Christmas to you and your family, Happy New Years too.

  23. Loved the video and song! Wishing you a blessed and joyous Christmas.

  24. Brilliant video!!

    Happy Christmas to you and your wonderful family!!!!

  25. Beautiful!!!!

  26. What an awesome job on the video, Lola! Such a great gift! Mahalo for the reminder of simple gifts. It is so easy to get “wrapped up” in materialism, when simplicity means just as much to the giftee! Your blog is a gift. When my husband and I decided to move away from the islands to San Diego, we heavily considered moving to Kauai instead. There is not a day that goes by where I don’t mourn my island life. However, when I yearn for the warm breeze, the salt of the Hawai’ian ocean, the beautiful Hawai’ian music, all things Hanalei…I just jump onto your blog to read your updates! I am SO thankful for your blog this holiday season. Mahalo and aloha!

  27. What an amazing chapter in your lives! I too live my love for the islands vicariously through you and your very blessed family. Miigwech for sharing.

  28. Merry Christmas my friend.I hope your holiday is as sweet as you are xo

  29. I don’t even know you other than through your blog but I was misty watching that. I have so enjoyed following this journey your family is on. it’s been a gift to share in it. Merry Christmas!

  30. Where is the salted caramel recipe?

  31. Yes, please post the recipe for the salted carmel sauce!! Happy New Year!

  32. Merry Christmas & Happy New Year friend…great video!

  33. Merry Christmas, Kasey! Miss seeing your smiling faces back here but it sounds like your adventure has been beautiful.

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