Sifting through old family videos all weekend gathering clips for Caelan's slideshow for his Graduation Party next month. Graduation parties here in Hawaii are pretty extravagant, I had a small (tented an area outside our apartment complex invited mostly everyone in my block) to my graduation party back in 1995. Now days kids are renting ballrooms (which we have) or his friend rented out an entire nightclub for the evening. So naturally we are going all out! We've got lots to plan as far as favors, table decor, photographer, videographer, DJ.. the whole nine yards. So as usual, I'm so last minute.

But I came across some old footage we haven't seen in ages! (We needed to find someone with a VCR, luckily my brother doesn't like to dump stuff). We hooked it up to our computer and have been sifting ever since.

Images of Caelan when he was barely 2, running alongside me or Rudy made us laugh, cry, and laugh again. Seeing all the places we have lived (started in California, drove to Texas, then cross country to Maryland) was amazing. Just seeing how far we've come from a family of 3 and now a giant 5, simply blows my mind. Most of all, seeing how quickly these kids grow, a reminder that kids grow up so fast.



Photos of Caelan and Ethan as toddlers and babies just brought tears to my eyes...(Except the one of me pregnant with Ethan, I was HUGE!)

(Side note) When Ethan was born, he did not make a sound at all! He did not cry or fuss, even when the doctors did the whole suction cup thingy. He literally came out wide eyed and curious, but he did not cry out at all. Eventually he did, he had to stay in the hospital for 12 extra days because of complications with his liver where they pricked his heel every hour for 12 days straight... (Just had to share that one memory of him).

Funny how I can't recall what life was like running around as a mother of two little ones, with a husband who was always so busy at work, I really had to buckle down and do things on my own a lot. I didn't think (after Caelan) I was built to be a mother.. but after the second one, watching the videos, I looked like a natural. So when Izzy came along, I could literally juggle three with ease (well most days).

Now that the boys are teenagers and my youngest is past single digits... it saddens me that they don't "need" me as much. But much like them growing up, I can't imagine ever being in that situation again. After I had Izzy, I knew that I was done, even as young as I was (only 26 years old) I decided to permanently be done with having any more children. And now as I watch my friends and family raise their little ones.. I know without a doubt, I'm ready for the next few chapters of my life.

In a few months Caelan will be in college and Ethan is right behind him. Izzy will always be my "baby girl" but I can see that "feisty" teenage-esque starting to unfold. Hubby and I often dream of traveling, just the two of us. I'd love to see where he grew up in Germany and I'd love to walk the streets of France.. knowing that these adventures are right around the corner, gets me a little excited, well the guilty-excited kind.. where I know the kids won't be with us as we venture out on the next chapter of our lives.. For now, I'll embrace "the now".


Remembering Mom.


It's been a year since she left us and last week, as we celebrated her life at the one year mark of her passing, the pain is still very much real and at times it's tough to stay positivie when my heart has been so heavy with missing her. Usually I'm really good at putting my emotions into words, but on that day I could not find the words that fill my head and heart. Then I came across this passage from The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery, in which one of the major characters lost her best friend, I felt as if someone had taken the words right from my heart and printed them on paper:

For the first time in my life I understood the meaning of the word never. And it's really awful. You say the word a hundred times a day but you don't really know what you're saying until you're faced with a real "never again." Ultimately you always have the illusion that you're in control of what's happening; nothing seems definitive . . . And I think that even a few seconds before dying, "never again" would still just be empty words. But when someone you love dies. . . well, I can tell you that you really feel what it means and it really really hurts. It's like fireworks suddenly burning out in the sky and everything going black. I feel alone, and sick, and my heart aches and every movement seems to require a colossal effort.

Losing my mother and witnessing it till her last breath was the most painful thing I've ever endured that left me shattered into a million pieces where each day I'm slowly picking up fragments of myself and realizing that I need the love and strength of others to do so, because trying to deal with it alone is too hard. And staying positive has been challenging, even on my strongest days.

I still live a great amount of "what ifs" and "if only I had more time" or "if I knew then what I know now.." Those very thoughts are the ones that seem to drown this soul of mine. I deal with those emotions on a daily basis, but it pushes me to be the best possible version of me as a wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend as possible. I seem to ask myself daily, "Did I do all I can to make it the best day ever?" Glad to say, most days are a "yes".

Another excerpt from that book:

Maybe that's what life is about: there's a lot of despair, but also the odd moment of beauty, where time is no longer the same. It's as if those strains of music created a sort of interlude in time, something suspended, an elsewhere that had come to us, an always within never. Yes, that's it, an always within never. Because, from now on, for you, I'll be searching for those moments of always with never. 


Despite the pain and the despair of losing my mother, there is still beauty in life. Loss will never be painless, but we have some control over how much we suffer. When we begin to focus on the beauty and the positive things in life, the suffering is eased a bit every day, bit by bit, and things start to look brighter.

Hanging Out...

... with my girl, Ashley.
... with an actress from Hungary.
... with a talented hair & makeup crew.
... in a cool a$$ studio with some kick a$$ people.



I love meeting new people, working with different people, interacting with anyone who loves this industry. I'm realizing that Hawaii is like hub for up and coming actors from all around the country. Film crews have found a place in Hawaii making it a more prominent place to film. (My co-worker was on set all last week finishing Hunger Games). This place is booming and I am sitting in the thick of it. I haven't quite ventured out like my friend Ashley has in this industry, but I'm learning to "expand" my horizons. I love the family portraits and the lifestyle photography, but I can't help but to want to see all that this business has to offer. Working in a multimedia company, diversity is key and limiting yourself won't get you anywhere. There's so many venues to this industry, I can't wait to see all it has to offer.


Meanwhile, in between work & play.. Ashley threw her Polaroid 195 at me to play with.
I'm not gonna lie, this thing is foriegn to me, but she's adamant about me learning this "thinga-ma-jig". And oh man, it's a tough one!  But like all challenges, they push you to want to learn more.. and learning more I will!


So this is my first ever polaroid! Now mama, wants one too!!! :)


Good times... I was knocked back into reality when I had to rush over to the other side of town to pick up my kids though. All the meanwhile wishing I was still in the studio...

He Is, Just My Dog...



"Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.."

And do they ever... this is a complete understatment. There's so much more to be said about having dogs in our lives. It's amazing how this 4-legged pup can change my entire outlook on life. How he can soothe this sometimes over stressed soul with the wag of his tail. It is hard to wake up on the wrong side of bed when he's so flippin excited to see you every morning. You can't help but to smile. I think everyone would be happier with a dog in their life. Not to mention the connection the kids have with him, and most importantly the bond he has formed with them. (Granted it seems like I'm the only one that takes him out). But he makes me "stop" and "see" what life is really about. And it's not the "hustle & bustle" of a chaotic life with 3 kids or work. He opens my eyes to the real riches of life that money could never buy and it's pure & simple "moments". Ones that I would miss on a daily basis if it werent for him.

And just when I couldn't find the perfect words to describe what having a dog in our lives means, I found this poem...


He is my other eyes that can see above the clouds;
My other ears that hear above the winds.
He is the part of me that can reach out into the sea.
He has told me a thousand times over that I am his reason for being;
by the way he rests against my leg;
by the way he thumps his tail at my smallest smile;
by the way he shows his hurt when I leave without taking him.
When I am wrong, he is delighted to forgive.
When I am angry, he clowns to make me smile.
When I am happy, he is joy unbounded.
When I am a fool, he ignores it.
When I succeed, he brags.
Without him, I am only another man.
With him, I am all-powerful.
He is loyalty itself.
He has taught me the meaning of devotion.
With him, I know a secret comfort and a private peace.
He has brought me understanding where before I was ignorant.
His head on my knee can heal my human hurts.
His presence by my side is protection against my fears of dark and unknown things.
He has promised to wait for me... whenever... wherever - in case I need him.
And I expect I will - as I always have. He is just my dog."
- Gene Hill

2013 Project Life | Week 09


(left side)


To fill out some of the photo-less week, I (once again) have been enjoying quotes that I have pinned from Pinterest. This one stuck with me last week because I've been really trying to push myself to start everyday with a positive attitude and just making the most of it. I know we get so caught up in routine, picking up kids, track practice, volleyball practice, gym, dinner meals, dog walks, etc.. I always feel so exhausted by 7pm only to repeat the again the next day. Weekends have been far less than relaxing, we are always on the go as well. That in the midst of things I just want to be able to enjoy the day.

I also added a snapshot of a short run that I was so proud of. I kept a good pace and felt great running in the heat at 4pm. When we first moved here, I could not even stand jogging outside, let alone running through it. I'm getting used to this tropical heat, luckily I'm always blessed with some trade-winds to keep me cool.


Again, I've been loving quotes from that show "Touch" I just had to add that in.


(right side)


I've been loving adding more white space to my instagram photos. I've been loving the simplicity and the focus shifts to the photo itself.  So lately my Instagram feeds will be filled with lots of white space.


I'm still adding texts to my photos, makes for an easy photo + journaling layout.


Multi-page photos are still the way to go when you have quite a bit you wanna share. Just enough to tell a story without using words. This weekend Izzy's Girl Scouts Troop was at the local Safeway selling Girl Scouts Cookies.. And I'm sure she enjoyed our selling methods here :) We support our kids any way we can. (Can you tell?)

We are in March of this project and creating my pages have become a part of my weekend routine. We never have enough time do much of anything... but you always make time for the things that matter. That's the thing, when people always say "I don't have time to... workout, scrapbook, walk my dog, etc... that is because people do not want to take the time. If something is important to you.. you will make the time.

Inspired By.

I have these blank canvas' at home that has been sitting there for a while. I was just gonna the family paint a something with paint that matches our carpet/color scheme:

Okay so I'm still deciding on this:


Or this:

But so far, everyone is batting for the brighter colors...

But I've been wanting to do something like this:


Not the same quote or design but the concept of placing words on the canvas over paint. She explains how she does it HERE.

But I want to write one of my favorite lyrics from Mumford & Son's, "Awake My Soul."
I'm still debating to just write the title, "Awake My Soul" or these lyrics....


Here's another inspiration:


 And another quote I like...



This is so classy & simple.. I like this too!



And I'm feeling this for one of our (many)  bare walls.

And this:

All of these ideas are in a folder cleverly named "More Than Just A Pin" in hopes that they will become more than just a pin :)

And I've been all kinds of inspired from that new show, "Touched". (Thanks to Hulu, I can catch up to the current season!)


Last night's episode (I'm still on Season 1) He narrates to say this:

If two points are destined to touch, the universe will always find a way to make the connection; even when all hope seems lost. Certain ties cannot be broken. They define who we are... and who we can become. Across space... across time... along paths we cannot predict; nature always finds a way.


I'm realizing that inspiration is all around me, even the days when I'm feeling uninspired. (I guess that's what Pinterest is for.) Well I'm hoping to get some painting in this weekend, but weekends seem to be all about the kids activities.