another chapter of the book


chapter 16

{not to be confused with chapter 11}


i poured myself a glass of  fine boxed wine and decided that this would be chapter 16.

it just sounds good….and i can hear the page turning……or better yet…..i can hear the kindle fire electronically 

moving its way through the story.

Lola told me the other day that she is going to start writing a story about Captain Morgan


{who by the way turned 1 last week and got those paddles as a bday gift}

who knows what will come of it…..but the point is…..she will be writing a book……and he has 

a very interesting life to say the least.

check check

First things first

here we are……. finishing up on year 2 in Hawaii……

and as you all know…..we moved here with the intention of staying only one year.

I remember thinking when we moved here that we were going to soak it all in……and in reality….

it was going to be a sabbatical of sorts……

Bryan had lost his job in Chicago….and we had this grand idea to pick up and move the family to a different 

 {hopefully not so different}

but different enough that we could all still speak English as a first language

and just difference that our families might not think we all fell off the deep end

by moving to a third world country.

{my mom was here for the last 10 days and i just looked at our calendar…..

she has come to visit us 4 times in the last 2 years……so i’m happy to say we are not in a 3rd world country}

Like i have said in a previous post……that year went faster then you could say

hanalei don


and then we decided to stay one more year.

We had a bit of a problem renting out our home back in the Chicago…..a few months had gone by with not a sound…..

not a bite….

i had to get a part time job……

schedules around Bryan and Myself had to be rearranged to best fit in and organize the kids schedule

we made it work.

I work 2 afternoons/evenings a week….

bryan works full time mornings still at the St. Regis….

and an additional 2 nights a week at another restaurant…..

which leaves us 3 evenings together as a family……but gives bryan 5 full afternoons with the kids

and that is what life should be about.

Life here revolves around the beach……and so far even we haven’t taken one single moment for granted…

i’ve turned into a bonafide  a beach lover…..


{even though as i type this ….it’s raining outside}

Anyhoo…..back to the story at hand.


The kids are onto their last week of school….hard to believe.

A few months ago…..we sort of had it decided that it was a good possibility that we were not going to

continue to live here on Kauai mainly due to the fact that Mason was about to graduate 6th grade

at our favorite little school….Hanalei Elementary


The public middle school that Mason would be attending next year is not a great school…..

and because education is somewhat important to us….we were thinking long and hard about

what and where we would go next with our life.

I kept bringing up the fact that we were thriving and the kids loved it here…..

{and duh…..i sorta loved it here}

and then the clouds parted

the sun broke through

and we found out that a brand new middle school was opening up here on the north shore of Kauai.

I went to all the meetings……researched the curriculum…..right along side of 

all the other parents of 6th graders who were just as thirsty for a school that would 

be the perfect solution for our kids.

The downside was….it’s a private school….and how are we going to be able to afford a private school.

We talked it over and decided that we would make it work…..

and even though i’m sure my Mason would do just fine at the public middle school….

and he would get a decent education there……but the 45 minute bus ride to and from

alongside of the fact that it just has a bad rap…

we decided it was better to have him in a private one

for middle school where i know who the kids are …i’ve met the teacher

and they have a water sports coach as well…..spending a few afternoons out in the water learning.


It’s actually quite affordable compared to the other private middle schools on island….

and i will have to pick up one more night of work ….but it affords us the fact that we can stay here

in Hawaii.

Chapter 16.

We are going to stay.

Then last month something else happened that confirmed our decision was a right one.

Our tenants back home in Chicago……decided to stop paying rent and live rent free in our home.

After numerous attempts to work with them and try and figure out a solution….they cut off contact with us

completely and now we have to evict them.

We’ve talked with a lawyer….we talked with our realtor……we’ve done everything.

Our best course of action as of right now is to sell our beloved home

{and with it….my favorite time out corner}


There is no way we can continue to pay a mortgage when no one is paying the rent.

It’s brought on a ton of stress and tears these last few month……and money problems are the root 

of any and all arguments in our lives……so this is the only option.

We just need to get the free loading tenants out.

It’s heartbreaking….but life goes on and so will we.


but because of our decision to stay…..i’ve been able to start doing little projects around the condo

to help us feel like it’s more of our home…..

and not just a place we live in.

my favorite room so far and it’s still work in progress is the loft upstairs……

i pushed the two twin beds agains the wall….

and turning them into daybeds of sorts…..

it’s all coming together and i will have photos soon.

So this is where we are…..and for now…this is where we will stay

we kinda love it …..




and not quite the end of our story.


  1. I’m so happy that you are all going to stay on in what looks like one of the most beautiful and amazing places to live, but I am so sad to think of what you must be going through with your home back in Illinois.
    Prayers that all will go smoothly for your family.
    I can’t wait to continue on with your adventure right alongside.

  2. Yay! I enjoy your writings! Congratulation on your decision!

  3. This news has made me so happy. Well, the staying part not the deadbeat part. The deadbeat part is brutal. xo

  4. Congratulations on staying. So sorry about the deadbeat renter. Hopefully, your house will sell quickly. I am in awe of what you are your family are doing. I think it was a very brave decision to leave home and go to Hawaii. I think you will look back on this as a great thing that you did for your family. Please keep writing, because I really look forward to your updates.

  5. I admire your decisions the past few years. You & Bryan have made some difficult, brave decisions. Your family looks happy & I know that you can make anyplace feel like a cozy home for them. Keep writing & checking in – I love reading your updates!

  6. I am so glad that you are staying – your family seems so happy there! You are giving your kids such a wonderful childhood experience! I love following your adventures!

  7. I just knew it! I’ve been following your Kauai journey and have loved every second and ditto the above ladies who say how happy you look there. Keep on keeping on and know that when you pop up in my feedly, you’re the first I run to…

    PS Am enjoying my own glass or three of fine boxed wine as I type 🙂 Much love to you and yours…

  8. I knew you wouldn’t leave. You all seem to be thriving, so who knows maybe it will be your forever home. A little adventure turns into a new direction. Very happy for you.

  9. Wow. Amazing! I am so happy for you and your family. Thank you for letting us follow along in your adventures.

  10. wow…I’ve been reading your blog from the beginning and I never wrote a comment….I’ve been kind a “silente” reader (maybe because I’m still learning English…so please excuse me for this bad writing), but now it’s the time! My husband lost his job in Rockford , Il 2 years ago, we rented our beloved home and moved , at first, in Southern California and then in Florida, looking for better opportunities. We finally settled down in orlando Fl and just when we started relaxing a little ,,our tenant decided to stop paying…Are they part of the same family!!!! LOL


  11. Not good …renters…whyyyy? HOPE they have respected your property. And will as they make their exit.
    When will Lola be in middle school?

  12. Crystal Kay says:

    I am SO happy for you guys!

  13. Wow. Happy for you! What an adventure you Buicks are on. I love following along! You are a delight, Kasey : )

  14. Kasey! I have been watching your life in Hawaii slowly become more permanent, especially with you starting your darling business. I pray that your beautiful home in Chicago sells quickly and that everything works out for you. Kudos to you all for continuing to live your dreams. On another note, I bought a really cute hawaii mint green, black and yellow t shirt at Old Navy last week. I feel like you ( and Jamie) have transformed my thoughts of Hawaii from a thought of a bad printed shirts and bright colors to something more beautiful, pastel and dreamy. You need to write a book! or sell your photography prints. All your talent should not go to waste!

  15. Yay! So happy for your decision. I have been following your blog for the last 8 months and your living my dream.I live in Illinois and I think come soon I would love to live somewhere without a winter!lol Good Luck! Love that Hawaiian life.


  16. so happy for you guys! i don’t even know you and i have tears in my eyes for you. so few people follow their hearts {or have the opportunity to}. if i could convince my guy – we’d be doing it too. love to you and your family <3

  17. I am so happy for your decision to stay! I can tell that your children have blossomed while you are there. Sorry for your troubles at your home. I am sure it will work out for you. And, as you have proven, home can be created anywhere. I love following your adventures and really want to visit Hawaii some day, thanks to you!

  18. becky up a hill says:

    Truly happy for you. So sorry tho, about the house. I hope the free-loaders move out today and the new buyers come by tomorrow, with vision and lots of mula. Amen.

  19. I wish I had whatever it takes to up and move to Hawaii, it’s been a dream of ours ever since we honeymooned there. I’m so happy for you and your family, it looks like everything is working out for the best. But darn those evil renters!

  20. Missy F. says:

    If the babies are happy and healthy, everything else is just gravy. Not to say house and finance stuff aren’t stressful, because they are, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s a beautiful life.

  21. Love your blog and following you on Instagram. So glad you’re going to get to stay in Hawaii but sorry you’ve got those skanks in your Chicago house. Can’t you just hire someone to , you know, work some Chicago style justice on them? Just askin’.

  22. That last picture just sum’s it all up, so wonderful that it is all falling together!

  23. Kasey… you can make any house or place a home just by your enthusiasm and zest for life. I smiled, learning you won’t be coming back to Chicago, even though I love it here. We love you because to take chances. Our kids went to private schools and we scrimped and saved and went without. The are in their twenties and quite successful and happy. We of course are poor! lol! But you have paradise and your children will never forget that, nor your sacrifices. As for the freeloaders, I hope you sue…contact me for a good lawyer. And selling may be hard but it will help you immensely in the long run. The world is your oyster should you decide to leave Kauai…except of course, for those third world countries!


  24. Jumping off the cliff to live life fully is not for those with small cojones. Bravo to you and your family. It is all worth it in the end and the memories you have made are priceless. We are at that moment of wondering whether to chuck owning our own business since the financial stresses are almost unbearable right now. We had an opportunity to move to Abu Dhabi for a couple of years and it looks like that deal is fizzling. I wanted to go so badly for myself and for the kids. I wanted that expat life for a while. Now that things are sort of collapsing, I wonder what our next chapter will be. Saying prayers and am grateful for all that has been. Hope your story continues…it is a good one!

  25. Sorry about the Chicago house, but so happy that you’ve made a decision. I discovered your blog right about the time you moved to Hawaii and it was right about the time my own family was facing a lot of change. You have inspired me to see the good and to embrace the adventure and the unknown. And reminded me to really live more in the moment. Thank you!!!!

  26. Sorry about the Chicago house, but so happy that you’ve made a decision. I discovered your blog right about the time you moved to Hawaii and it was right about the time my own family was facing a lot of change. You have inspired me to see the good and to embrace the adventure and the unknown. And reminded me to really live more in the moment. Thank you!!!!

  27. It sounds like everything is going to work out, one way or another. It’s tough making big decisions like this but it sounds like you’ve made the right one. You have a beautiful family and a beautiful life. Congratulations!

  28. Sorry to hear about your awful tenants…hope that situation gets smoothed out really quickly. That first picture of Lola is absolutely stunning…such a beautiful girl! Can’t wait to hear her story about Captain Morgan.
    Glad to hear you’re staying in Hawaii longer…excited for chapter 17!!! You all have done a wonderful job of really making it work & enjoying life right where you are. I’d have to sail my butt over there & drop kick you if you couldn’t enjoy Hawaii 😉 \
    Good to know you have more options for Mason’s education & that it won’t take too much to make it work.
    I pray you continue to rely on God as your Provider…He’s been so good & faithful through all of this…it’s really an encouragement.
    Blessings Buick family!!

  29. You and your family have my full admiration. You’ve made hard, dreamy, wonderful choices for your family. There’s no way you will ever regret it even if you have to change course somewhere down the line. 🙂

  30. Jessica says:

    I am glad you decided to stay on Kauai. I love your blog and photos. I hope you house stuff works out as easy as possible.

  31. I was thinking about your story the other day and telling a friend of how amazing and brave you all are. I’m actuall really glad to hear you say you are staying in Hawaii for the time being. Your little business may soon pick up and that will make things easier. Put it out there for this transition of the sale of your home to happen with great ease. I’m one of the thousands rooting for you guys!

  32. So happy for you and your family! What a great thing to be able to do for your family….. I LOVE IT!

  33. I’ve never met you but have followed your story via the blog for some time now. Is it weird that I was excited to read that you are going to stay? I love that you have all faced the challenges and managed to really ‘bloom where you are planted’. It appears (from the blog and insta anyways) that you are all thriving. Good luck with the sale of the house. It is hard to say goodbye to a place where you have created memories, but not having that mortgage stress will be so worth it!

    Best wishes to you and yours, all the way from Australia. Which, by the way, is another great ‘island’ and definately worth a visit x

    Peta (instagram: musingsofamartin)

  34. oh yay kasey!! im so glad you’re happy & staying a little longer.
    honestly. at this point, surely you guys are considering this a forever option? 😉
    boo hiss on the free loaders though

  35. I am happy for you! I do hope and know that everything will be goes on and kids as well..with lots of love, Monica

  36. So glad you are staying!

  37. Uuggghh. My stomach did a flip just reading
    about your loser renters. That’s so horrible.
    In any case I love that your Hawaiian adventure
    Continues. God bless the Buicks and the house sitch.

  38. Chris in FL says:

    Awesome! I am so glad you guys are staying for another year. As I was reading through these thoughts crossed my mind: They should now move on to France (that would be fun). 🙂 Regarding private school….look into financial scholarships….Most private school offer them.

    So happy for you and hope you are able to sell you house or get better tenants. 🙂

  39. Congratulations on your wonderful decision. You took your time and you’ve experienced a lot! Wishing you well on selling your home. It’s hard to leave a home but as you made that one wonderful, your talents will lend you to beautify your space! Wishing you well…cheers! Perhaps in a few years, my husband will be willing to give this a try 🙂 Need the babies to grow a bit more.

  40. I am so happy for you and so happy that you made this decision. It really seems to be the right place for your family and you all seem so peaceful and content. x

  41. beautiful life you’re living in Hawaii….
    so happy you guys are staying another year!!!

  42. Ya know, the pictures here of the kids and family are always so very good. It hit me today that you all are such a touchy huggy family. Even the kids are alway touching and connecting
    in most pictures. And sometime the family just looks to be in a pile that’s all connected. It’s very awesome and says everything about your family, sticking together and being a family unit of one at the same time being individuals , all special in ther own way.

  43. I am wondering if you bought your condo or are renting? So cute and it looks big from the pics. What is the housing prices like there? Love reading your blog.

  44. You are so inspiring! I never comment on blogs but feel compelled to after stumbling across yours. We love Maui. We dream on moving to the islands but are Canadian so it’s a bit tricky for us. Your story is very moving.

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