the meaning of Ohana

first and foremost…..if you look right above…you might notice my new header.

My friend Sara over at Sadie Olive designed it up for me after i mentioned the fact that it had been almost

18 months since i’ve updated the blog header so she took it upon herself to help me out.

I think the mason jar cocktail on the beach pretty much sums it up.


Hello monday….nice to see you.

I used to me a Monday lover.

{not to be confused with an everyday lover}

Sunday would roll around and i would think to myself….it’s almost sunday night and sunday night means 

Mad Men is on…..and i love that….but it also coincides with Hawaii Life on HGTV…..and since we don’t have dvr

{god forbid i write this out loud……}

we watch television in real time around here …


there i wrote it……

hate me but you don’t need to feel sorry for me…..

because having anything extra like the once loved dvr

is out of the question….end of story.


Back to the real story though….

check check

sunday evening rolls around and i have to pry myself with fine boxed wine

to stay up till 9 pm because we are on real-time here….

{and a good 6 hours behind the East Coast in case you were wondering}

to watch my beloved Mad Men…..but that is not what i’m here to talk about.

I was telling you all about how MAYBE


that come Sunday………… i’m thinking about Monday.


Because monday is a school day.

Is it wrong to love a school day i ask you???

Is it hate the sin but love the sinner?????

or hate the sinner but love the fine boxed wine???

{now before you go all holy on me and start in on the ……”i’ve homeschooled for 243 years and i wouldn’t

change a thing ….and i love mondays because i can be around my kids even more and did you know my kid

can count to 28 and he’s only 14 months we still co-sleep with our 16 year old who is actually taking college courses

at the local college….}

Not anymore though……we are going onto week 2 here in Hawaii of our 2 month summer vacation….

and normally i might mind….but we’ve had family in town this last week….so when i looked at the clock

and noticed that it’s Sunday evening and i wasn’t having heart palpitations……

it meant my family was doing a good job of helping me forget that it is indeed summer vacation and the kids

are home every single day for 2 months straight.




{i’ve been known to call summer here in Hawaii…….GROUNDHOG DAY}


wake up

pack up

go to beach

come home


go to bed



Please don’t think i’m complaining…..but when you live on a small island and really can’t afford all the

camps that are offered everywhere….it really does turn into GROUNDHOG DAY.

{and i refuse to admit that my 24 year old cousin who is staying with us right now just came down to tell me

that she would like me to catch the cockroach that is running around Lola’s her room……

yes…..i refuse to admit that summer is here and there might be cockroaches the size of  3 year olds living amongst us}

Family_093this had nothing to do with groundhogs day though…..

nothing at all.

I once painted a wall in chalkboard paint while i watched Bill Murray reenact Groundhog day on the tele.

Family_007 Family_009


Last Wednesday i had gotten a phone call from one of my friends back home in Illinois

telling me that there was a moving truck in front of our home.

I haven’t gone into the full detailed summary about our house back there……but as you know

the tenants had  stopped paying rent……

and we were in the throws of trying to get them evicted.

It’s not pretty nor is it easy or cheap or anything.

A lot of alcohol was consumed over the month of May…..i kid you not.

We’ve also had a lot of company this last month and it’s just hard to sit down and have a normal discussion ….

and needless to say it was just stressful all around.

I swear if we got one more note from our neighbor letting us know that our yard looked like sheet…


i mean seriously?

We know.

Thank you very much.


Two years ago we were on beginning of what we thought was going to be the best year of our lives….

we knew we had a chance to jump into something that a lot of people wouldn’t think twice about.


and the best part was that we landed with both feet on the ground.


Yes we realize that even though one set of feet didn’t have the monotonous  corporate job….

and the other set of feet didn’t have the weekly flea markets and girls nights out….

what we did have was each other.


with a different type of life….

even though we wouldn’t forget the old one.

We were ready for it…..and all of its challenges.



We found out on Friday that the our tenants had finally vacated our home….

the same day we got notice from the city that they had stopped paying their utilities as well.

As i sit here and write our story about our ups and downs…..i also realize there will always be people that 

feel the need to cast judgement and tell us how we should be living our life.

Case in point: neighbor back home who actually  emailed us and told us that it was time to stop dreaming

and come back to the “real world” and take care of our yard that was overgrown with weeds.

I kid you not.

I wasn’t even going to write about this but now that i’ve had a few glasses of fine boxed wine….

my fine dignity is flying out the window.

How were we to know our tenants would stop paying rent?….

 and we are at the mercy of hope and process servers.

We had originally moved to chicago because the company that Bryan was working for had moved us there from Colorado

for his job. It wasn’t a happy move…but we did it because we wanted what was best for our family.

4 years down the road the same company laid him off.

We had made amazing friends….

the kids had made amazing friends….

we loved our house…..

but we never loved the frigid winters.

We never gave it a second thought after Bryan was let go to not do something else with our lives….

and yes…

we miss our friends…..and the kids still talk about their life in Illinois

… was 4 years of some of their best memories…..

Halloween with the neighbors…..

the annual Christmas white elephant exchange….

 wonderful Lincoln school…..

book club….

Trader Joe’s and crashing wedding receptions.

The list goes on and on……..


Family_Digital_018but change is good.

And we know the friends from back home that will be life long friends……

they care about us no matter what.

Because the lifers will always be lifers.



and life goes on.

So….take it all in….because life is so short….that we know.

Life is for living…..wherever that may.

You have to do what is right for your own family….and this is what we felt was right for ours.


{even though there may be weeds and the grass is taller then the boy who mows the lawn…..}

and who knows… might have a cockroach in a jar sitting in the kitchen because your cousin made you

come up to her room in the middle of the night to catch it…..

just make sure you don’t catch it in a jar that you plan on drinking  out of at the beach just like the header up above….

because that is not real life.

reality check

it is real life.

This is real life.….

and we love it.


{Photography was done by the wonderful Bryce Covey}


Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten”

-Lilo Pelekai. Lilo and Stitch

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.

moments not to be forgotten

Preface: My friend and i were sitting around chatting and we were talking blog talk and

it was brought up that it’s not a good idea to leave a blog post about how one of my kids had LICE

up for more then 2 days.

It’s been 28 days.


So thank you Jamie.

We have had a very busy last few weeks around here….

and i feel like i should apologize for not keeping up with my blog…..but i live a different life now…

and getting up first thing to post a blog is long gone…..i’m sorry my faithful friends.

I will try and get a post out when i can……but with my phone with me 24-7….it’s just so much easier

to instagram my daily photos and such then to put it all down here on the blog.

So much is happening and has happened though…that i will do my best to get everyone all up to speed.

First and foremost… MIL is on Facebook now…..

she sent me the email yesterday and asked me to be her friend… i gladly accepted her request.

There goes my facade as a wonderful mother to her grandchildren and bend- over backward wife to her

amazing son.

I have a feeling she finally joined facebook because she got tired of waiting around for me to blog;-)


Let’s get some cocktails going around here….

are we good?

Yes. good.

Lola was in her first ever musical/play.


even though the play/musical was last month….it’s never to late to show off some of the photos….

sort of like the late show with David Letterman but not really.

Speaking about late night shows…..

has anyone seen the movie ‘Life at 40’?

I’m not 40 yet…..i’m still 38…..but it’s right around the corner and as far as i know my husband doesn’t 

take viagra…..but speaking about Viagra… brought up a moment from my past that needs to be written

down because it’s one of those things that shouldn’t be forgotten in the little details.

Once upon a time i lived in Vail Colorado and worked as a back office nurse for a family practice

doctor who still works there but i will call her Jen to protect both of us.

{let me set the scene}

Since Jen was a family practice doctor….she had to be on call every once in a while.

One night when she was on call…….and i mean had to return phone calls that the answering service relayed to her

and also this is the time that Viagra had just made it’s name on the circuit……

where i think every male in town had made an appointment with their doctor to get this new miracle pill.

Anyhoo…..being the fun and energetic nurse that i was to Doctor Jen…..

i called the answering service that night and spoke with operator who answered the phone.

She asked me my name:


She asked me my husbands name who i was calling about:


She asked me our last name:


{She might have choked back her phlegm at that point….but i forged ahead with the convo……}

and in 15 minutes Dr. Jen called the number she was given and i answered the phone.

Needless to say……no Doctor wants to take a phone call from a patient that has just enjoyed the medicinal effect

of a new pill 8 hours later.

Obviously this post has nothing to do with Viagra……nor does it have to  do with turning 40 but 

what i wanted to tell you is that i will be 40 in less then 2 years and I told Bryan that i want to go to France

for my 40th…..

but i also told him that i don’t have to be 40…..i can be 39 if he really wanted to surprise me.

Damn girlfriends…..that cocktail needs a refill and i feel like i’m been blubbering on and on.


Back to Lola…………

{She was part of the drama club at school and was cast as uncle Duke in the Little Mermaid…..

{the only girl cast as a boy……}

she played the part of Uncle …..the Hawaiian version of little mermaid was a bit different then the movie

version….but non the less… was pretty amazing to see all these 5th and 6th graders acting and singing.




Then a few days after the play/musical…..

Bryan scored a free day with Princeville Ranch Adventures and we did a little zip -lining.

It was really a whole lot of fun……

i might have pee’d my pants a little bit but i think it was worth it.

I also didn’t realize you were not allowed to bring a box of wine with you in your backpack…..

i mean….

who makes up these type of rules is what i would like to know.


{i swear that they named that zip line above King Kong because that was the type of SHEET someone

had when they jumped off and flew through the air for 1200 feet}


This is Katie in the green buckling me in the photo below…….she’s one of the guides at the Ranch….but

she doubles as our sitter when we need one.

My kids love her and if Bryan and i should die ….we decided that Katie will get our kids.…..

we obviously have not told her this yet….

and maybe she won’t answer her phone anymore when i call…..

but we already decided and i’m calling my lawyer tomorrow.

I don’t really have a lawyer….

but we have a friend that is a real estate lawyer… that counts right.

In case i die before Bryan does…..

i found this book that he will need:


It wasn’t till i started back at work a few days a week…….

getting home late and after the kids were already in bed…..that it came to the realization

that SHEET does not get done on those 2 days.

*finishing homework in the car on the way to school 

*laundry that is still wet and now moldy sitting in the washing machine

wait a minute…..

that laundry might have been me……i don’t remember exactly.

anyhoo……got off subject at some point ……

it might be because …….

never mind.

We love Katie……she has a boyfriend that is a lifeguard…..and this summer they are taking us and a small

group to kayak up the napali coast so that i can cross that off our bucket list.

I promise i won’t be swimming this time….

but throw me in a kayak and put a life preserver on me…..

i will be good to go.

Katie doesn’t know they are taking us up the coast yet…..

and she doesn’t know if we die that she will inherit our kids….

but sometimes no news is good news.

check check


My bucket list is getting things crossed off like crazy……

and our 2nd year here is closing in on us.

The kids only have less than 3.5  weeks of school left and we have some big decisions to make.


wait a minute….

i had to double check my calendar….

and yes…it is definitely 3.5 weeks left.

Got some good hiking in the last month now that the weather is drying up around here…..


 got to do some shell searching…….

not to be confused with soul searching…..



We had our 2nd annual Easter egg hunt and pot luck dinner at the beach with friends this year…..


One day Fin will look back on this photo and appreciate that i snapped this early one morning….

and then this last Sunday i was sitting around perusing my instagram and noticed that one of my fav

photographers happened to be here on Kauai for a visit.

I first started following Bryce when i saw him featured on Style me Pretty


I took a chance and emailed him to see what his schedule was like while here…..

but low and behold….he got back to me and said he just happened to be heading to the north shore that evening.

Did i have new clothes picked out for everyone….


were the kids well behaved and snot wiped from their noses….


but we were able to pull it together last minute and we even crashed a wedding reception

trespassed onto private property to get the photos we wanted.

{totally Bryce’s fault……we were just good  bystanders through the whole process}

FYI: no one was injured in the process and maybe…just maybe the caretaker showed up but i will tell you

all about that story when i get the photos back.

good times tan lines

These are just photos from my phone…..but you get the idea…..


some kids had shoes…some didn’t…..

Did i mention that i was able to get Hanalei Don out of the shop for an afternoon of catching up with the girls

a few weeks ago?



oops….wrong photo…..

this is the one i was looking for

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