i love hanalei

It was just over a year ago that i posted this photo and went into a whole post about our next chapter……

and man has that year flown by……

and it’s funny that a year ago we were so nervous about the changes that were about to happen….

the changes in the kids lives….

the changes in our living situation….

how we’ve gone from living on REAL nice income to living with 



 a dramatically less figure than that.

One thing that we know for sure is that it can be done…..

and another thing we know for sure…..

is that our kids have done well with the change and are living life to their fullest as well.

So no matter what we decide to do next…

because our heart tells us one thing…..but our brains tell us another….

 that either decision we decide to make……will be the right one.

 We are living life the way it was meant to be lived…..to embrace every detail….

every breath…

every drop of glorious sunshine.

We got back from being away for 2 whole weeks and not a minute passed before i headed over to

Hanalei canoe club and signed the kids up for their summer kids paddle program

One of the things on the “must do while in Kauai”…..was for the kids to paddle.

Yesterday was their first race…..

and i didn’t know what to expect.

We were there bright and early….7 am to be exact….and i don’t know how quite to put into words 

the way i felt when all the kids were put into “the family” circle…..

all of us parents… adults….and Kumu’s formed a circle around the kids…..holding hands….

and a Hawaiian prayer was given….then everyone joined in and sang a beautiful hawaiian song.

Words can not describe the scene.

I didn’t take any photos….but you can probably picture it.

Lola doesn’t like early morning photographs;-)
Lola and her group were in the first race…..

the racing started at 9…..

they all get in the canoe…..and are assigned seats 1-6

The person in the first seat sets the paddle pace for the rest of the canoe….

while the person in the last seat is the one steering the canoe and calling out when

everyone needs to switch sides with their oars.

It was a beautiful morning on Hanalei bay as the 6 canoes headed out to the middle of the bay.

Races happen every saturday at different places around the island…..

I don’t know how many canoe clubs there are here in Kauai…..but at yesterdays race…..

there were at least 10 different teams competing.

Hanalei Canoe club is one of the largest on the island….so we would normally always have two canoes

completing at a time. One of the canoes would be called the “unofficial” and the score doesn’t count….

but they still get to race.

They paddle out and race from one end of the bay to the other…..

Mason really loves to Canoe…..

i think what he loves is that it’s not just an individual sport…. you are working as a team…..

but you have to step up as well as an individual….

the best of both worlds.

Fin had to be 8 years old to join…..but he wasn’t feeling left out at all…..

{he gets to sit on the sidelines and enjoy the free food with me instead}

My favorite part was when all the kids are done……they all come running in…..

everyone so proud of them….whether they came in first or not…..

getting cheered on for their hard work

{and it’s hard work trying to paddle along with a team…in unison….with the wind against you}

Proud momma’s smiling…..







no matter what happens with our decision in the next few weeks….

we know that every single moment here was

was worth it.

Life is so awesome……so amazing………so worth trying something different.


  1. Jessica says:

    I don’t even know where to start. First, I want to thank you for sharing your last year with us because I too have learned to step out of my “safe” life and do things and see things differently.
    No matter what you decide to do next, I know for sure that your family will always remember this year as one of the most amazing.
    Thank you Kasey

  2. Beautiful photos as usual;-)
    I can see how happy your children are! Please let us know what you decide..

  3. Okay, now we’re all on the edge of our seats wondering what the big decision will be! I remember being just shy of my 8th birthday and my parents sitting my brother and I down and telling us we were leaving England and moving to Canada…I thought it was Cambodia and that we were going to live in a mud hut. It was supposed to be for a year only but, life happened, things changed and we ended up living in Canada from 8 to 14. Parents divorced, mom re-married and we moved to So Cal after that, where my 3 boys were born and raised. My husband and I are now in FL and love it here! I think one of the saddest things in life is to be a stick in the mud. There’s so much other there to see and explore! With all the technology we have these days, planes and all that, it’s very easy to keep in touch.

    Anyway, can’t wait to hear what you decide!!!

  4. I wish you the best of luck in making your decision. You will always have the experience to relive over and over…and if it isn’t possible to stay there longer then there is no reason another adventure doesn’t wait around the corner for you all when the time is right. You all definitely know now that you are in control!! My best to you!!

  5. I have never seen you as happy, healthy, or fulfilled than you have been these past 11 months. I hope with all my heart that you are just as happy in your next chapter as you have been in this one.
    Big love,

  6. and- for the record- you are living the dream girlfriend. it isn’t about the “stuff”- it is about the experiences and you have that in spades!

  7. Kasey
    I cannot even tell you how much I have enjoyed following along on your adventure/ life change/ risk taking/ cliff diving/ heart pounding/ life affirming/ family strengthening/ weight loss losing/ paddling/ pier diving/ gabrielle reece meeting/ boxed wine drinking year!!!!!!!
    No matter where you go you take this time with you. It’s not lost. It’s written into the fabric that weaves you together as a family. You have modeled for your children how to make oceans of lemonade out of lemons. I am honored to feel as if I know you and believe it or not I have been at a cookout or cocktail party or three and talked about “this family I know” and told them what I knew of your story……..just like we were friends, for real instead of just facebook friends and blog following friends.

  8. Kasey, it has been such a grand adventure and I’m so happy to have been able to follow along. You and your kiddos will have memories to treasure for a lifetime!

    Aloha nui loa!

  9. simply awesome Kasey!

  10. Kudos to you, Kasey, for going for it and trying something different and embracing life. Very sweet post.

  11. Ellen Sheehan says:

    A good friend of mine turned me on to your blog months ago…I have been popping in to see what you are up to every week. Oftentimes my friend and I comment on how we would have totally done exactly what you did (pee in the hot tub!) and you always crack me up. If I come to Hawaii I promise to stalk you like you did the woman from Fig and Fauna. You seem like you have made a lovely life for yourselves there…even if it is just temporary. One question: If you took the financial part out of your decision where would you choose? None of my beeswax obviously but it did pop into my peanut brain. Best of luck to you and your fam and thanks for all of the wonderful stories and photos you have shared.

  12. I have loved every minute of following this journey with you and I think it is obvious that despite the hardships… God has blessed you this year. As always thanks for sharing 🙂

  13. The life there you shared about here in the past year was a beautiful story. So glad you have been brought through and did all that your heart desired to do to accomplish as a family in your time there. A wonderful testiment to living life fully through changes.
    Hope all the best for your next steps… At least you know each side of it really has more than enough blessings!

  14. Good Morning!
    As a family living in Glen Ellyn…yes, your old neck of the woods…we’ve been renting a much smaller home after deciding to take a leap of faith and simplify.
    I was just telling my husband of YOUR leap of faith in the car yesterday. Seriously, I think…we think… what you’ve done for your family is amazing…courageous…exciting…definitely something that makes me think. We get ONE shot at this life…ONE! I truly admire how you and your husband gave yourselves…and your adorable children…a life in flip flops (I know it was SO much more than that…but you get the drift). Gosh…what I wouldn’t give for a life in flip flops. And you…Miss Kasey…are a testament to the fact that WE CAN! I guess it all comes down to choice and our willingness to take those leaps of faith in this ONE life.
    Your family has something now that nobody can take away. Nobody. So whatever decision you make, it’ll be the right one.
    In the mean time, I just want to thank you for your honesty…your hilariousness…and sharing your family’s wonderful experience!
    Jen xo
    P.S. What I woudn’t give for boot camp with Gabby too! Congrats on the transformation..lookin’ good girl!

  15. awesome year…no matter where you go or stay you’ve had the year that changed how you think and feel forever.

  16. Kasey, no matter what you both should decide, you’rve created a year full of wonderful memories for your family. You’re all going to remember this year for the rest of your lives. I’ve enjoyed sharing this past year with you. You rock!

  17. I hope you stay in Hawaii.

  18. This year in your life has been so inspiring to me … To just try something new, live a new experience, mix things up. It takes courage and watching your family do it gives me the encouragement that maybe I could do it too. Wishing you peace in your next big decision.

  19. Mahalo for sharing your life with us this past year. It always makes my day when I read a new entry from you! I vote that you and your family stay another year on Kauai. 🙂

  20. You are a great mother, Kasey. I love your free spirit and your dedication to your family. Your house must be tons of fun and full of laughter. Good luck in your decision whether to stay or return.

  21. Just caught up on the past few posts…could your kids BE any cuter…Seriously?!?! You all have done a great job of making the most of every situation. I’ll be praying as you all seem to have a decision to make in the coming weeks.
    You look great…You’re very inspiring and I’m hoping to get on track & stay on track with a healthier lifestyle.
    Thanks for the info on the best lollipops while traveling…that was VERY helpful… 😉 Haha!

  22. Bryan Buick says:

    Kasey, Always enjoy your blogs and photos. Cute kids! They must have pretty grandmas and handsome grandpas!

    You have our love and support, whatever you decide. Hugs to all, Traci (MIL)

  23. Hi Kasey,
    yep, life is worth trying something different! We are doing that in August, switching gears to Dubai, our newest guest country. Thanks for this post, it made me smile seeing all those proud smiles on their faces.

  24. Traci Buick says:

    Hi, Just noticed the wrong email address on my comment. Sorry! Traci

  25. I SOOO enjoy your blog. And I applaud you and everything you’ve done. Best wishes with your decision. I know it’s not easy. I’ve lived a number of places and have found it’s always best to go with my ‘gut’ (heart?)…

  26. OH wow they all look so cute out there with their little oars! that would have been something fun to see when we were there! I wanted to thank you again so much, and I can’t wait to see our pictures! And by the way, my skirt totally came out of the wash totally white again! Wahoo…but I only paid $10 for it at Ross anyway so no worries. I can’t wait to post all my pictures on my blog Sunday…I’ll let ya know if I do! And then hopefully we can post yours the next Sunday….Mahalo!

  27. OH and by the way….I’m such a dork that when we were bording our plane in Portland I accidentaly said Aloha to the flight attendant welcoming us on the plane!

  28. I just found your blog yesterday through Kimberly Taylor and spent far too much time last night reading your past entries. What a fabulous adventure for you and your family and how did I live without this blog for so long?! Fabulous, from the boxed wine to the Gabby workouts (what a website she has btw – some great workout tutorials), to the highs and lows that come from a change… Very thought provoking stuff. And beautiful photos – we holidayed in Kauai 12 years ago pre-kids so it brings back some wonderful memories. We are Brits, relocated to LA 6 years ago, and I’m all for change. Count me as another avid reader and am looking forward to following along on your journey…

  29. Jamie Parker says:

    Kasey, I think you would be really stoooopid to leave Kauai….and you just Are Not a stooooopid girl. I think if you decide to be stooopid, we might have to do something rash, like rope you to a chair at Common Ground and eat the Kale salad in front of you whilst drinking fresh grapefruit and vodka concoctions from the beloved juicer-machine. hehe….but seriously…you will be so missed. I’m selfish enough to really not be happy about the next lucky group of friends that get to have you waltz into their world. xo

  30. Your photos are wonderful. You are very skillfull in catching bright moments :-))

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