Duke 2 Months

People still ask how old you are when we are out and about and when I tell them 8 weeks most of them get really big eyes. Really?? There is just so much of you that most people assume you are older than you are.

When you are asleep, hungry, sad or eating you look like an itty newborn.

When you are awake you look like a 6 month old.

OK, not really…but kind of, minus being able to sit up on your own.

You have super old wise eyes. You see everything and notice and look and wonder.

I love my curious babies.

So even though you may be young, sometimes I feel like you have been around so much longer and I am starting to think that maybe it has to do with those deep blue ocean eyes.

Little things I am loving about you that maybe only a mom would notice:

When you are half asleep eating, you will come off and thrash around, acting really uncomfortable and rooting around like mad. Super frantic. and then two seconds later, attached and fast asleep.

You sleep hot and when I pick you up off your back it is almost always sweaty.

You have started grabbing my clothes and like to hold on to the neckline of my shirts while you eat.

I can almost always find some lint in your neck folds.

You would always rather sleep in the crook of my arm than with your head on the bed next to me. How can this be more comfortable?

If you are ever a little fussy and tired a few short pats to the back puts you to sleep. Dad and I laugh when we do it. It’s like a reset button.

You are smiling so much more and lots at me. I sang you your lullabye this past week and you coo’d along with smiles.

Duke! You are so rad!!

Going out is getting easier.

We had this super fun morning at this little Anini beach cove that we love and you hung out, touched the ocean with your piggies and then slept for at least an hour in your carseat while we are able to swim and play (within earshot, of course). Felt so luxurious for a mom who hasn’t been able to be in the water much for the last couple of months.

We also took your little seat/bouncer down to the pool and you chilled super hard in it for about an hour while we all swam. You were super content and so I just tried to enjoy myself…although I would always rather be touching or holding you. Mom problems.

The kids are still all up in your grill.

For the most part you are used to it but I do still have to remind Fairbanks not to drive his cars over your head and I have to remind Nova to talk quieter in your ear while she whispers she loves you over and over.

Last night I was doing bedtime with the three of you by myself and there was a really nice moment when all of us were laying on the bed together reading a book. It felt really awesome relaxing and snuggling with my three beautiful kids.

You have been sleeping so great. Usually at night you lay down between 7pm and 8pm and sleep strait for 5-6hrs. Then we lay side by side the rest of the night. Or with you draped half over me.

You are a mouth foamer. It is making us think you might start teething pretty early.

It was pretty crappy when you got croup this month:(

When family was in town a bunch of people were sick with croup and I thought I kept you away enough but it was kind of impossible to quarantine our whole family unless we weren’t going to participate at all. I should have just stayed home with you but I didn’t. Should always listen to my gut.

There were a couple rough days when you were on breathing treatments at home and I was on life watch. Making sure you were breathing enough (or not too much), watching your color, listening to your sounds. It wasn’t the most stress free I had ever been. We went to the doctors office 4 times in a matter of three days.

I have known a few people who have lost young babies and during times like these I think of that. It’s a rough thought.

I know life is a gift and as a mother I feel like I helped to give it and it’s my job to help make it last as long as possible. Because of this I have never felt so much anxiety in my life. I am guessing most moms/parents can relate. Your everything depends on me right now.

I am typing this as you sit and stare at me. Everytime I stop and look and smile at you, you kick your feet and coo and your eyes get wider. Wondering, “What now?” “More of this?” “OK.”

You have complete trust in me. And it is my job to make sure that never changes.

Well, you got better and I relaxed a little.

Oh babies!

I love your little bald head on top and then your little old man ring of hair around the back/bottom.

I love how chunky your thighs are! I have never had a chunky thigh baby until now. It’s the best.

Sometime when you are sad in the car I sit in a contorted position so you can suck on my pointer finger. It works but MY BACK. My poor back.

We just ordered your first box of size 2 diapers. It’s wild. You grow grow growing.

I need to buy you more clothes because 3mos stuff is already getting tight.

You still do that little, arms by the ears/back arched, newborn stretch when I pick you up after waking up. Helps me feel like maybe you are not so old after all.

I love being with you on Kauai but it is still kind of hard to be out all day with you. I just want to spend the day at the beach, but you max out after an hour or so.

I guess it doesn’t matter where you live, newborn time is newborn time and you would prefer to be home. I get it.

At this point I don’t know if you are my last baby or not. I don’t know if this will be my last time holding a 2 month old as they sleep.

All I can do with all the unknowns is try my best to be present. Not dwelling in the past or daydreaming too much about the future…but being with you right here, right now.

Even writing these monthly recaps helps me do that.

Helps me to notice the small things and slow down.

Sometimes it can seem as though not much has changed and then I read last month and realize how fleeting it all is.

Instead of mourning this fact I try my best to celebrate it.

I can let the house get dirty and stay in my jammies all day. Right now is the time I have when you want me to hold you always and it’s OK if we just look at each other. Staring at each other is enough. So simple and so profound are your needs right now.

I cherish your loving, patient spirit.

A void was filled in my heart when you joined our family.

I was waiting for you.

We all were.

 

Love my doodeedoodeedoodee bear. My one, my only, Duke.

 

xxoo-

Mom

Britta + Ramsay Wedding- Haiku Mill, Maui

 

This wedding was all dreams coming true. Haiku Mill is an insane location and this couple took “cool” to a different level. Walking to my car afterwards I was feeling all sentimental that the night was over. It truly was a beautiful beautiful day and I was honored to be a part of it. Big aloha to Britta and Ramsay. Inspired by how you two love each other.

(Shot with a pentax645nii, kodak film and a Canon 6D. Developed by The Find Lab)

Rachel + Tyson- Washington School House Wedding, Park City UT

 

Super special day shooting Rachel and Tyson in beautiful and historic Park City, UT.

Of course the location was superb and the flowers magnificent…but what I really loved about documenting this day for them was getting to know their families and them better.  It was a small ceremony with just immediate family invited and everything about it was genuine and meaningful.

So fun shooting for friends and I couldn’t be happier for them! Their lives have already been so full of adventure, it will be fun to see how forming this little family will shape all of their wild adventures to come.

 

location: Washington Schoolhouse Park City

Sarah Winward (Honey of a Thousand Flowers) – Flowers
http://sarahwinward.com/

Rhett and Burke Lewis – video
http://rhettandburke.com/

Wedding Dinner- Grappa Restaurant

Red Rock Hot Club – band
http://www.pat-terry.com/

Stephen Fishbach – officiant

Melissa Rock – event planner

 

 

Ryan + Shanda- Orange County Engagements

These two finding each other, being in love, planning a wedding, finishing school, parenting four kids and doing it all while being the best looking couple in all of California.

And guess what??? They are two of our best friends and we have tickets booked to come to the wedding!!!!!!!

It was rainy and cold and not what we were expecting. But we pushed some film, found the light and I think the rain was scared of our determination because it stopped for exactly the one hour we shot. Then I got to eat dinner with these two and do what I do best, drill them about their relationship.

Counting down the days until November.

Duke Month 1

The big kids are out of the house with dad and I just fed you to sleep. White noise is on while you lay in your crib making sporadic grunt noises and you fall into deeper sleep.

Outside is the island of Kauai, although it hasn’t mattered much to us so far. We have preferred to be nestled together in our home (bed really) for the last four weeks. We could be living on mars for all we care. Sleep, eat, cuddle, care has been our jam and we don’t take lightly the quiet times we have had together.

I feel like it has taken about a month for me to come out of the disbelief that you are here. The initial shock of labor and the end of pregnancy coupled with a bright eyed, aware, wise baby in my arms left me in a state of bewilderment for the first few weeks. Now that my mind and hormones have settled a bit, the beauty of you being here is becoming easier to believe.

I am excited to write your birth story down and relive every life changing moment leading up to you finally being here.

We waited a bit impatiently for you near the end. I just wanted you with us.

Here you are.

Our sweet Duke baby.

I am so happy you are still sleepy and will rest contently on my chest or in my arms. I know it won’t last forever.

You came out the perfect size and, like all my babies, have gained weight like a champ.

I love seeing your double chin increase in size and your belly grow rounder. Every day it seems as if you grow older. I guess that’s what happens with days continue to come and go.

The truth is, it’s not as easy to give undivided attention as it was with baby #1….so I go to great effort to concentrate on just YOU whenever I have a chance.

You lay on your back in between my legs and we talk and smile together.

I sing your lullaby to you as we bounce on the yoga ball or swing in my arms.

I tell you I love you every day, multiple times a day…because it’s the truth.

Your sister and brother have been over the moon about your arrival from the first seconds you were here. There was no transition time for them to accept you. They knew you and you seamlessly joined their rhythm as if you had always been.

Nova loves to help with diaper changes by warming up the wipes for you in her hands.

Both kids ask to hold you all day and when they do the happy expressions on their faces are so satisfying for me to see.

Both kids will say, “We support you”. Whenever you cry and they love to try and figure out what you need when you tell us you need something.

Some favorite phrases from Nova to you: “Just chilling out?” “Oh! Feeling a little cranky?” “You are my best friend. I love you so much”.

Fairbanks loves to ask you “how you feeling?” “How did you sleep” “Baby Duke happy!”

Although there has been the normal heightened emotion of a new family member being around, neither of the kids have shown anything but sweetness and tenderness towards you. Always soft with you..gently touching your head, kissing your lips or holding your hand. They always talk to you with kind gentle tones. They save all the rougher stuff for mom and dad:)

You have been my easiest baby to breastfeed so far. Very little discomfort in the beginning and you were a pro at latching from day one.

We still have to do the ole’ lay back and lots of burping from the TKO but your little digestive system is figuring it out.

I love how being with me immediately calms you.

Your cry changes and your body immediately relaxes when you are in my arms…making me feel like super woman.

Being your mom really does make me feel so loved.

My favorite moments are when we are looking at each other and our eyes are locked until you drift off to sleep.

Reminds of me of something I read once about until a baby is 1yr old they don’t really know they are a different person than their mother. That one bit of information has made mothering newborns make so much sense.

We are so linked to each other just as we should be.

Your little nose is super sensitive to the air and can get really swollen making it hard to breath. I feel like I stay awake all night if I can hear your breathing.

Also not super into the car seat so I sit in a contorted position so you can suck on my finger (since you don’t like the pacifier).

even though you were over 8 lbs you still fit in the smallest newborn stuff we had and you wore those itty newborn diapers. You have since graduated to size 1.

Being a Hawaii baby means it is sometimes WAY too hot for clothes, we chill in our diaper.

Sometimes when you are wrapped on me, sweating together is unavoidable.

We took you to the the Hyatt pool to swim with cousins a couple weeks ago and like a rookie mom, you got a tiny bit sunburned. I was mortified. I had had you wrapped in a swaddle, tried to have you under shade, but your sensitive, perfect skin still felt it. I texted your midwife in a panic and she reassured me that it was hard to avoid as an island mom. It was my official initiation as a Kauai mom.

Speaking of being a Kauai mom, is has been so hard not to get in the water for the last month. It has been the hardest part about postpartum. No ocean or pools until my body is ready. Boo.

So many sweet aunties have brought over food the first couple weeks you were born. It always makes me feel so emotional to have that extra help.

Family was in town for the Thurston family reunion the last couple of weeks. Loved having them be able to meet you while you are so little but it was exhausting for you and me to be out and about so much. You were so flexible and we made it work….but it was nice once it was all over and we could recoup at home for a few days. You did attend your first luau, first stay at a hotel, first late night out.

It seems like having done these monthly recaps for three kids now, that I might not have a lot to say. The truth is I could go on and on and have to actually stop myself from writing.

Every time it is new and exciting. You are our third and you being with us is unique and special and just as awe inspiring as when your siblings joined us.

Best news this week: You have started legit smiling.

For some reason that genuine smile while you look up to my eyes feels like such a reward after the work that the first few weeks take. That sweet smile bonds me closer to you and reminds me to look for the small and simple moments to re energize.

Your lusty newborn cry

The way you root around with eyes closed and frantic head back and forths

Your stretch after a long sleep

Your sweaty, lint filled, clenched newborn hands

The way you go into vampire mode when sunlight hits your face

Cry, fuss, squirm…mom holds you…calm.

Really really in to you baby Duke. This month has been one of my happiest.

xxoo-Mom

Our Disneyland

Daydreaming about the amazing time we had living so close to Disneyland in our Anaheim house. These are some photos from one of our last trips there before our Hawaii move. Back when Bank’s hair was curly and long and Nova always wanted to wear her shiny black shoes. Also we happened to have a special relationship with Minnie and she gave us lots of attention. Hugging, dancing, excietment. As we walked away Nova said, “I think she’s my best friend”. Sweet memories with my sweet babes.

 

 

 

Lisa + Luke- Elopement, Moloa’a Bay, Kauai

 

A perfect 1hr elopement. I shot for 1 hour. That’s all, and it was the perfect amount of time to get so many sweet moments between these two.

I just can’t say enough about how much I love the way elopements feel. So quiet and intimate and centered on the actual act of marriage. And to top it off Kelvin Ho was the officiant and I am a little bit in love with him. He is the real deal and I would recommend him to any couple wanting to get married on Kauai. He added so much to an already beautiful occasion.

Lisa and Luke, thank you for letting me be a witness to your union. It was one of my favorites..EVER.

(All shot on fuji 400h on a pentax 545 nii, and a few on my canon 6d edited using mastin lab presets)

Lucy + Greg- Sonoma CA Wedding

I didn’t meet Lucy and Greg until their wedding day but immediately felt like we were old friends. If you can’t tell from the photos, Lucy is full of sunshine. Really one of the happiest people I have ever met. Greg had quick wit, and under his “do we have to take one more photo” guise, I could see how very in love he was with his Lucy. My 34 week baby belly and I had a great time shooting and I dare say it was pretty relaxed because they couple trusted me and let me do what I was paid to do. I was grateful for their trust…makes what I do so worthwhile and satisfying. Thanks to Lucy and Greg for having me be a part of their beautiful celebration.

Shot on Kodak 400 film with a pentax645 nii and a canon 6d processed with Mastin Lab presets.

Lisa + Tagg- Couples Shoot, Kauai

Hard to complain when you get to shoot in this location with this couple and the reason is…just because.

Feeling lucky my friends were on my island and asked.

All shot on a pentax 545 nii with fuji 400 developed by the find lab

 

Fairbanks 2 yrs

 

I just laid you down in your crib and before I did you let me sing you your lullaby in my arms..AND for the first time ever sang along! “I love you, I love you. I sing it to the sky. I love you, I love you as you look into my eyes…”. You knew the words. You’ve been listening.

It’s be over a month since you’ve turned two and honestly, word explosion! You chatter all day long.

Any word we say you repeat.

I feel like everything you do at this stage needs to be videotaped. The sound of your voice, your facial expressions, the way such smart, wise actions and words come out of such a small pot bellied body.

With the arrival of your baby brother in less than 2 months, I have been noticing all your little details even more.

Not like I didn’t before but I know it won’t be long until you aren’t the baby in the family. I have seen it happen before and the second that baby is born you turn into a kid.

I notice you looking for me if you ever need comfort (right after you grab your blanket and shark)

I notice the way you lay on my shoulder when I carry you and bury your face into my neck.

I notice when you ask for bear hugs or butterfly kisses when no one else is listening.

I notice how baby your hands and feet still look to me even though they can do so much.

I notice every detail of you and cherish this time of you being my youngest.

It’s amazing that as you have developed your vocabulary, you are able to express yourself emotionally now.

One of your most used phrases over the last couple of weeks have been, “I feel nervous about…..”. It started after an instacare visit on Oahu after you split the skin next to your eye. You were so brave and let me hold you and held SO still for the doctor as he put on your steri bandage..and then once we were home a day or so later while eating dinner you said, “I feel nervous about the doctors office”. I was so happy you knew the words to use to express to me how you were feeling. It was amazing to be able to acknowledge your feelings, validate you and see how much more you needed to process what had happened. We talked about it for days. “I help the doctor put on my bandaid”. “My eye owie”. It felt like an emotional breakthrough, although it wasn’t. I know even little babies can process how they feel but expressing it through words so I can participate is a game changer.

“I feel nervous about the ocean” when big waves are coming.

And the other night out of the blue, “I feel nervous about the new baby coming”. Of course he does! So do I, if I am being honest.

Thank you Bubs for letting me know the tricky emotions you feel.

We also decided to go to the zoo last minute while we were on Oahu and you have talked none stop about, “I saw the monkeys eating bananas at the zoo”. “I saw the monkeys swinging at the zoo”.

You have even been talking about the “Kumoto Dragon” we saw, that I was sure you weren’t even paying attention to.

You said your name for the first time while jumping on the bed in a diaper with a yellow superhero cape on as you yelled, “ Super Fai-ganks!!”. Your dad and I both heard and just turned wide eyed to each other. It was a rad moment.

You still sleep in your travel crib which I feel slightly guilty about except for that you nap everyday and sleep all night long.

You have started wanting to get into bed by yourself. You have been able to climb in and out for 6+ months now but just recently want to go to bed yourself. “Give me space mom”, you say as you start to close the door on me and my heart breaks a little.

I will pretend to give you space, but won’t ever..really. Just so you know upfront. J/K (kind of).

So, being the superheros we are, you breastfed until you were 2yrs old.

It was just in the mornings at the end and I actually put an end to it because it was time for me. Unless we were going to tandem BF once brother is here I wanted to give us both time to get use to not doing it before he takes over.

Oy oy oy. I have been pregnant or breastfeeding straight for the past 5+ years. Hormone cocktail anyone?

Truth is I love BFing and not because I am mother earth but because it is so dang convenient. And lets me be a tiny bit lazy. Always ready, no fuss, no prep.

I loved our snuggle time together. That changes a tiny bit once BFing stops. You still have to sit in the crook of my arm when I am reading you a book, but no more drawn out mornings in bed together. That is the magic of breastfeeding.

But you are growing up and I guess so am I.

You love to put the laundry into the washer for me.

You ride your scooter so amazingly well. It’s terrifying actually.

You love cars and trucks and motorcycles and will sit at the family room window and watch with delight.

You also love putting on one of sister dresses or costumes and twirling around. Who doesn’t!!?

You actually went through a dress stage recently when you demanded to always wear a dress and would change if you caught eye of one that was fancier or you wanted to wear more.

Can’t blame you when you have lived with a sister your whole life who will ONLY wear dresses.

You also love shoes. Trying them on, walking around in them, talking about them, looking for them. Maybe because it’s such a novelty here on the islands. But it’s pretty adorable none the less.

You are a pretty good eater but your mainstays right now seem to be anything with eggs, oatmeal and eating a whole apple. You also cry for chocolate on occasion.

Sometimes you act like you aren’t hungry but once I sit down and start eating you climb into my lap and proceed to eat all of my food. I have to race to get even one bite of granola and yogurt.

You have started to self potty train (just like your sister did). If you ask we take you. “I do it myself”, as you climb on, do bidness, get toilet paper, wipe, climb off, flush and wave bye bye. Big kids stuff if you ask me.

You love playing tickle games, chase and telling us to “go to sleep” and then while we pretend to sleep you yell to wake us up. You could play this forever. and ever and ever.

You are super into me. I can say that without being vain since I gave birth to you.

If I am talking to dad and sister and you want my undivided attention you will tell me, “no more talking to daddy mom. No more talking to sister.” Which you have been saying numerous times a day. Trust me I am a super good listener with my kids and you will say this even when you aren’t talking to me. You just like it better if I save the air time for you.

Lately you are sick of going to the beach (unbelievable) but beg to go on hikes, to the pool or “to town”…which on this island is code for Costco. I love when you ask to go to town. Like you know you live in the small town you do.

You have also started to boss us around when we drive, “Go that way”, always pointing towards Hanalei. Smart boy.

Generally I don’t really want anything to do with this growing up stuff but you are doing it with such grace and sensitivity and smarts that I’ve thrown my hands up. Go for it I guess.

Today at the park and farmers market you said, “How are you” to a little boy who didn’t even know how to answer. You said, “Good morning” to some passerbys. And you said, “Mahalo after leaving each stand we bought food at. How can I not be proud?? Your manners are outstanding.

You thank all of us constantly for getting you stuff, feeding you, helping you.

You have always been super thoughtful and sensitive to others.

I feel like you are especially in tune with me. And I with you.

It’s just this thing between a babe and his mom. We get each other.

When you say yes or yah to anything is sounds like, “wa”. Please please never stop saying it this way.

You are so so happy and your smile is so shiny. Your eyes squint up and light pours out of your face. It makes me kiss you over and over again. I am so in love with you and the presence you are in our home.

Happy two years my Bubby boy. My life is 100% better with you in it.

Love, Mom

Alicia + Ben’s Elopement- Pu’u Poa Beach, Kauai

Rainy, wet and perfect.

Big aloha to Alicia and Ben for having me photograph their sweet beach side elopement. And thank you sunshine for giving us a few minutes.

Wedding planner: http://www.aliikauaiweddings.com/

 

 

Judy + Kenny – Hiaku Mill, Maui HI

This shoot had all the perks of a styled shoot but it wasn’t! Just a real couple wanting a few more photos after their wedding day on the mainland. They were honeymooning on Maui and had me pop over for a day of shooting at the Haiku Mill.

Gorgeous venue (even with the pouring rain!!), stunning dress and delightful couple.

I could get use to shooting wedding couples without the stress and rush of a wedding day. Not bad, not bad at all.

All shot on my contax 645 and canon eos 3 with kodak film pushed 1-2 stops.

Brooke and Shea- Martha Stewart Weddings

It was an absolute thrill to shoot Brooke and Shea’s wedding for Martha Stewart Weddings last March. The icing on the cake was having one of my images chosen for the cover. Dream scenario. Brooke and Shea’s wedding was featured in their Real Weddings Special Issue Fall 2014. Big Aloha to the team at MSW for being so great to work with and big thanks to my amazing friend, Kris for assisting and helping to keep things running smoothly. Excited to finally share some of my favorites from their day.

(All images shot on a contax 645 using kodak portra 400 film. The last three images were shot with a canon 5D)

Sources:

Film Scans: Richard Photo Lab

Event Design, Flowers, and Stationery: Meet the Foleys 

Day-Of Coordination: Tiffany’s Party Designs 

Tent and Rentals: Apex Tent and Party

Catering: Vineyard Gourmet Catering (951-694-6355)

Watercolor Artwork: Consider the Lilies Paper Co.

Cake: Sweet Layers Cakes & Pastries 

Music: San Diego Partytime DJs 

Hair: Lindsey Neavitt Hair 

Makeup: My Girls on Film Studios 

Photobooth: MVS Studio Inc.

Vintage Car Rental: Classic Mustang Rentals

Nova 4 yrs


(all images shot on portra 400 with a canon eos3 and contax645)

Today I left on a work trip to Park City. You were wanting to give me a kiss and hug every 5 minutes as I got ready. We chatted as I packed my bags and dried my hair. You showed me your owies and asked if you could put on perfume and lipgloss. I kept asking out loud which book I should bring and you would excitedly say, “Oh Mom! I have the perfect book for you!” as you would run off and bring me back a book on underwater sea life or a book about woodpeckers. This morning you wanted to have a picnic on the ground for breakfast. I made you crepes and we sat around the world you created on the floor at 7 in the morning. Me loving on you and your brother and dad. Me missing you already.

What a year you have had.

Some moments were slow and savored

others happened in the blink of an eye.

3-4yrs has been an explosion of conversation and understanding.

We talk all day long together.

In the mornings you bound into our room talking non-stop in a mid-day voice. You talk about your jammies or how you slept. I ask about your dreams. You make jokes and laugh at yourself. You kiss and tease brother as he breastfeeds. One of you on each side snuggled into me. It is the time of the day where my heart feels the most full. I like being able to touch all the people I love the most at the same time.

You made your first big move (that you will remember) this last year, California to Kauai.

Since moving to this tropical paradise you have attended three different preschools as we have searched for the right fit.

All your teachers comment on how emotionally aware you are. And how well you talk. It feels like most of the kids in your classes sound younger than you. Maybe its the fact that you say things like , “I’m feeling a little sensitive”. Or maybe it’s because you have chosen to be a doctor when you grow up. “I’m Super Nova. I save people.” Whatever it is I feel proud that you are who you are and can express yourself so well. It makes things easier.

You have made so many friends at school and I love hearing you tell stories about them. As hard as it is to have you away from us 3 days a week, I love knowing you are making friends and LOVING your time with them. There have only be a couple days since you started school that you haven’t wanted to go.

There is rarely guessing how you feel. We know.

You are loud and bold and happy and sad and shy and interested and active.

You are creative and imaginative and enjoy your alone time as much as your social time.

You are a mix of almost everything. You are human.

I love being able to stand back and listen to you play. I love the worlds you create with seemingly nothing. I love hearing the conversations your dolls have and the way you soothe your babies to sleep.

There is something about being so close to a person that at times they don’t even realize you are there because of how comfortable you are around each other. I do not take this for granted. I am honored that you trust me enough to completely ignore me at times while you talk to yourself.

I am also grateful for the trust you have in expressing strong emotion around me. I never want any of my children to feel alone with hard and intense feelings because they feel a fear of judgement or lack of acceptance. I consider it the highest compliment when you allow me to support you during your hardest moments. Knowing that I love you (maybe even more) during the storm.

After the clouds clear it is so nice to be able to recap what happened and how we felt. Realizing together that those feelings passed and we survived!! Allowing you to work through all your feelings instead of trying to distract or avoid has given you the chance to see that you are brave and that those feelings aren’t to be feared.

Thank you for all the wonderful lessons we get to learn together.

You really truly are one of my best friends.

You love telling jokes.

One of your favorites this year was “Cows go on their first date to the mooooovies”. You are also learning knock knock jokes which has been fun.

You LOVE helping in the kitchen. You set the table, pour us water. You like to help stir, crack eggs, season. You love being a part of the process and helping to make decisions. You at times can even be quite bossy about where everyone sits while we eat. Thinking you might run your own cafe someday.

If asked you will say your favorite foods are chocolate and ice cream. But just for the record, you eat those two things very sparingly.

You have never been a big bread eater and still just eat the cheese out of the middle of the tortilla. You live off of eggs and cheese and still a fair amount of milk. You also like meat quite a bit, which is adorable for some reason. Most of the time when your dad and I make a meal for you, you thank us. So much sweetness and gratitude in your little self.

Bubbas and you share a room in our home up Kahiliholo. We were not sure how it would all work but you two wow’d us with how easy it has been.

We are renting a home and you like to tell people “There are horses on our property”. And there are are! It has been so fun for us to feed the horses and see them all day from our windows.

You flit around our yard visiting the horses, Ella, the macaw, and staining your bare feet with more red dirt.

Your favorite beach is Kalihwai.

You love digging holes with daddy and trying to catch minnows.

You want to introduce yourself to every young child you see, especially if they are girls.

Dogs make you a little nervous after a couple have chased you at the beach.

You only like to wear one pieces, I think because they are more comfortable to wear.

You like to climb over the lava rocks and pretend that we are mermaids.

I love seeing you so happy and free at these beautiful beaches I love so much. So happy we can live somewhere, where outside play is easy.

You still love princesses and playing chase non-stop. If anyone ever wants to play chase you are up for it. You and dad and bubs will run circles in our house.

You have requested a superhero birthday party. You want it at home and really wanted to watch a movie…but I am trying to persuade you to play some games instead. You also want flounder (little mermaid) cupcakes.

Naps aren’t happening that much anymore. We still do rest time but you spend a fair amount of that time begging for a show. We usually end up snuggling in bed while I try and rest and you roll around on me. Sometimes I think you don’t want to nap because its the time in the day when you can have alone time with dad and me.

When we first moved to Hawaii, we found out we were pregnant on the Big Island while we were there. 10 weeks later we miscarried. We explained it to you in terms of seeds growing and some not growing. You asked lots of questions and we included you in the process. We almost immediately got pregnant again and now I am 19 weeks pregnant (as I write this 2/6/15)!! You have been to an ultrasound with me and couldn’t be more thrilled. Due early July.

You often talk to my belly telling the baby how much you love him. You tell him jokes and blow kisses on my belly. You are also very aware of the fact that sometimes when moms are growing babies they feel sick and tired and you often check in with me to make sure my “belly doesn’t feel sick”.

Seeing you and Fairbanks over Christmas with your cousin Hazel made me so excited for another little baby in our home. You two lived to make her smile.

You are such a loving and fun big sister to Fairbanks. He copies your every move. You two love to wrestle and climb like monkeys on the beds and window frames. Sometimes you hold hands while we drive. Of course you like to test your control over him (like any big sibling would) but you also share and bring him toys when he is sad and really more than anything love playing with him. It has been nice to see him getting old enough to be your occasional playmate. I can see the relationship between you two growing more and more.

He calls you Sissy and you call him Bubbies most of the time. He loves seeing you when you come home from school and you love to be the first to walk into his room when he wakes up from naps.

I watch your every move…like any obsessed mother does.

I see your strong resilient body move with such skill as you skip, run, scooter and climb.

I see your mind working as you listen to a story or see a child in need.

I see your problem solving skills develop as you come up with solutions, “Ummm, I have an idea!”

I see your big smile and sparkling blue eyes look at me with wonder when I catch you off guard with silliness.

I hear you sing happily to yourself with made up words about the things you love.

I watch you with wonder and with my deep deep deep deep deep never-ending well of love.

What a treasure you are in our family. Always the brightest star. Always my sweet side-kick.

Lets run and jump and roll in sand more this year. Lets laugh more and listen closer.

I can’t wait to know you more and love you more.

Happy 4yrs sweet pickle.

 

 

Erin + Scott’s Wedding- Smith’s Tropical Garden, Kauai



Another beautiful wedding on magical Kauai.

So fun shooting at all these new locations and getting to meet all these sweet couples.

Ceremony: Smith’s Tropical Gardens

Wedding Coordinator: Ali’i Kauai Weddings

Beach Location: Papaloa Bay

 

Erin and Scott, I loved meeting you and your family. Thank you so much for letting me be a part of your wedding.