Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Hawaiian Vacation

Lucky for us, we had an excuse to go back to visit Hawaii just a few months after moving away. Our friends Gina and Kaipo were getting married on 11-11-11, and we had promised them we would attend. We decided to spend the first 5 days on Kauai. It was the romantic get-away we never got around to when we lived in Hawaii. We had taken the family to Kauai a few years before, and we fell in love with this beautiful island! We stayed on the North Shore, which is so lush, green, small, quaint, and quiet. Perfect for lazy days wandering around, taking it all in. Here is one of my favorite towns on Kauai, Hanalei. 

 When we had visited before, there were so many things we wanted to do, but were encumbered with little kiddos. One of the first things we did was set out for Queen's Bath. It is not marked very well, and we were not prepared for the treacherous hike down. We were wearing our swimming suits and flip flops, with a towel around our necks. As we started down, we saw people with back packs, hiking boots and hiking sticks. That should have been a tip off right there, but no, we just kept going. Pretty soon we were falling and slipping all over the muddy, steep trail. It follows a little river, with a few waterfalls. At one point I slipped in the mud, and nearly fell over the 20 foot ledge, but a kind stranger nearby grabbed me before I fell. That'll get your heart pumping! Here is Chris posing at one of the many waterfalls.
 Once we got to the ocean we could see why it is called Queen's Bath. There are huge tide pools that have warm water and are teeming with fish and crabs. It was incredible. Definitely one of the highlights on Kauai. 
 It was a little weird to have fish come up to you and start nibbling on your toes. They were totally unafraid of people.

 So beautiful!
 On the way back up the trail I figured out that if I washed off my flip flops every once in a while, I wouldn't slip as much on the mud that would accumulate on them.
 One day we drove until the end of the road on the west shore. After a 10 mile dirt road we came upon this amazing beach. I wished we had brought our suits and towels. It was beautiful with the turquoise water, white sand, and the Napali Coast behind us. 
 Here is Chris taking advantage of the pools at our resort. 
 Here I am waiting patiently for my world famous Kauai Waffle. 
 It was well worth the wait! A Belgium waffle with papaya and banana, topped with whipped cream, toasted coconut, and macadamia nuts, drizzled with coconut syrup. Heavenly!
 The views are incredible at every turn.

 The last 2 days were spent on Oahu for Gina and Kaipo's wedding. It was in the most beautiful venue at a golf club on the Windward side of the island. Here is the new Mr. and Mrs. Konishi.  
Ok, I feel the need to explain why I look like a drowned rat. We had flown in from Kauai early in the morning, and we went straight to a little dive of a restaurant famous for their banana and macadamia nut pancakes. It was super crowded, and we had to wait an hour, outside in the wind and rain. We ended up taking our order to go so we wouldn't miss the wedding, and YES it was worth it. They were the BEST pancakes EVER. Needless to say, by the time we got to the wedding I was a little soggy and cold.
Here is Chris with some of his old co-workers. 
Our last day on Oahu was spent visiting our old favorite places. Even though we have now lived in Colorado for more than 4 months, Hawaii still feels like home. It was nice being so familiar. We drove around the island stopping at all our favorite sight seeing spots, restaurants, and shopping places. We stopped at the blow hole and got a ton of pictures for Masen, who STILL (almost daily) asks to go see the blow hole. 
Chris' King Kamehameha pose :)
Dinner at Morton's!
Sunset in Honolulu.
It was such a fun trip, and went by way too fast. After a week away from my kids though, I was ready to jump back into my real life. A big Mahalo to Grandma Carol for watching them for us, to make this little get away possible!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Family Pictures

Yes, it is that time of year pictures. *Sigh* Chris really wanted to skip it this year, but I insisted that we needed to send out Christmas cards and let people know that we have moved...again. It's always stressful coordinating outfits, trying to get everyone fed and napped so they will be in the best possible moods, trying to plan the lighting and location, and finding a good, reasonably priced photographer. Have I mentioned that Chris HATES posing for pictures for hours on end? On our wedding day I thought he was going to go postal on our photographer who happened to be his uncle :)
Lucky for us, the stars aligned, and I think we got some pretty decent shots. I'll let you be the judge.

Masen was being his usual stubborn, active, crazy self, so after a while we just gave up on him in the kids' shots. 
My blossoming young lady.
My growing too fast, almost pre-teen.
Candid shots were about all we could get of this turkey.
I wasn't really in love with any of the pictures of just Chris and I. Next time we will have to focus more on us :)

I know it's a little unconventional to get a family photo in-front of your house, BUT I don't care. We had just moved in a month prior, and we were still in our "so-excited-we-can't-see-straight" phase.
So, now that picture time is over, we are good for another couple of years.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Building Our New House

For those of you who know about my childhood, you know that in my family we always built our own houses. About every 2 years we would finish building a house, then move, only to start building again. I am so blessed to be married to a man who will hire someone else to build our house :) It really was a fun, yet stressful experience, especially because when they started building we were still living in Hawaii. We signed the contract on March 8th, they broke ground May 17th, and we closed on Sept. 22th. We were so excited for our dream home!

Our first stop once arriving in Colorado Springs was at our home, still under construction.
Over the next few months we visited our house almost daily. It was so fun seeing all the things Chris and I had picked out months before, come to life.

I was so excited once they started putting the stone on the outside. I'm sure the masonry guys thought I was stalking them because I just parked across the street and watched them work for like an hour.

Here we are the day of our first walk-through, a week before closing.
Formal Great Room

Master Bath
Basement Wet Bar
Basement Rec Room
Jr. Master Bath
Kitchen (again)

Eat-in-Kitchen w/ double sided fireplace
Family Room (I LOVE, LOVE the ceiling)
Wallets empty, and keys in hand, we now OWN this beautiful home!