The Savannah House

Chris and I went out on a limb and bought the Savannah house on the internet without ever stepping foot into it. No big deal, right? One of my favorite movies in the entire world, runs second to Legends of the Fall, is the epic 80’s Tom Hanks movie called The Money Pit. Have you ever seen it? If not I highly recommend it. The character is an attorney, and he is super goofy. Maybe it was a foreshadowing in some sense because I’m pretty sure I married Tom Hank’s character in the movie, Walter! He reminds me SO much of my husband! Chris will do anything goofy if he knows it will make me laugh, it’s one of the things I love most about him. Anyway, the house isn’t as bad off as the one in the movie, it is definitely a great place to park it for two years, but I don’t know if it was necessarily the best investment (which is why we initially decided to bite the bullet and buy). But it’s still up in the air as to what we are going to decide to do when it is time to leave Savannah.

I’m enjoying the spaciousness of the house after the tininess of the Hawaiian bungalow, and I also enjoy the diversity of our neighborhood. When we purchased the house it came with a bit of antique furniture the previous owners left behind. After pinning the hell out of vintage waterfall vanities on my “Home” Pinterest board for months, the universe answered my prayers and there was just one just sitting there in my new bedroom for me when I arrived! We had no idea they were leaving any furniture! Chris and I also buckled down and bought a “grown up” living room set this time around. Chris said our old couch was “one fart away from collapsing”, which was true. Mom and Dad gifted us some great pieces of furniture and art from their arsenal and also had me go through storage and take some of childhood stuff home, including Ollie’s bouncy horse! That was mine and my siblings growing up! It worked out great with Ollie’s room theme. I realized the picture above his crib could maybe be a little scary, but my Grandma and Grandpa Guerra actually gave that to Mom and Dad when they got married when they were 17 years old! So it holds a special place in my heart. Chris and I also have some of our vintage toys displayed in Ollie’s room that we brought from our parents homes to finally come and live with us. My grandmother also handed down the kitchen table and the white dresser in the guest room. We got the hook up! I have lots of gratitude for everything given to us and also to my Dad and my Uncle Jr. who drove a giant trailer from Texas to Georgia to haul everything along with Ernie and Ed. My hands were full and I felt super overwhelmed during this PCS, so all of the family help was so greatly appreciated. It truly takes a village.

I have eclectic tastes to say the least. I love thrift shopping and estate sales and I would have to say about 95% of our possessions are second hand. One of my greatest joys in life is imagining the potential of somebody else’s castoffs. I also like imagining the stories of the people and homes my finds from the Goodwill or Savers shelves may have come from. Imagining what kind of person owned it before me, or what sort of joy it brought into a child’s life before it brought joy to my own children. I also like the thrill of the hunt, digging through racks to find the most beautiful vintage indian gauze dress I have ever laid eyes on, and then the luck of being able to purchase it for two bucks! I guess my thrift shopping has become a hobby at this point, but it kind of also gives me a way to explore new places every time we move. Ollie also really enjoys going, so it’s something to keep us occupied while sister is in school. He loves hanging out in his carrier and smiling at all the new faces.

You will probably recognize a few things from our old house but two of my favorite things I have purchased here in Savannah are my vintage chenille peacock bed spread in the guest room and two of my “new” hallway rugs. We hosted a potluck for Vivi’s school this past weekend so I decided to take some pictures while the house was still clean! Hope you enjoy!!

A Vivi, a big boobie bra, and a green smoothie for ya.

When I was doing Vivi’s hair in the bathroom yesterday she casually asked, “ Mommy, do you have another baby in your tummy?”

I responded, “NO!! Why?!”

“Because your tummy is big. Like you have a baby in your tummy. And are you wearing a big boobie bra?!”

Out of the mouths of babes.

I was wearing a pretty fitted, unforgiving dress, and yes, a padded bra. This kid doesn’t miss a beat. I’m not going to lie, my feelings were pretty hurt about the big tummy comment. And as far as the “big boobie bra” comment, in my head I’m thinking, “Why yes, dear child, I must wear my “big boobie bra” because you and your beast of a brother sucked the life out of me and left me with National Geographic pancakes.”

I know I probably shouldn’t have read too much into it, but I took the the exchange as a catalyst to do a mini cleanse and try to get the last of this baby weight off. Maybe 7-8 pounds or so. Always the hardest part to lose. You know, I really go back and forth with it all. Some days I’m like, wow, you gave birth to two babies, there are more important things to worry about and ways to spend your time then the way you look. Then the black swan comes in for a visit. She is definitely vain and has pretty impeccable standards.

I’ve only recently ventured out of the mommy fog and gotten back into exercising in the last couple of months. And as in exercising I mean I practice yoga at the YMCA. The median age in the class has to be twice my age. But I love it. I used to practice yoga for a hard body but now the main reason I go is to BREATHE and to release tension and stress. It helps me A LOT. I love how yoga can be a cradle of comfort and there for you at different times in your life for different reasons. The Y even offers a meditation class twice a week that I have been attending. I have been blown away by the diligence and skills of their instructors, but oh, did I mention the main reason I go is because they offer childcare as part of the membership. And the membership is only around $50/month for the whole family. This girl right here who has taught at and attended some of the most bougie yoga studios is now going to yoga with the old folks at the Y. I end up going everyday as it ends up being the only opportunity I might have a little mommy break. Chris works long hours, he ends up leaving at 5am and getting home around 7pm most days. Ollie is already asleep by the time Chris comes home half the time. Ollie has hit terminal velocity, where all I do is keep him from killing himself. Some days Chris gets home and I honestly don’t know what I did all day, but I know I never sat down. So I feel I deserve a little break and I go breathe and meditate with the old folks at the YMCA. And it’s awesome. When you are a stay at home mom sometimes you have to figure out a little system to help you stay sane. This is mine.

Once upon a time, when I used to dance, there would be days when we would be in pointe shoes the whole day. It was even worse if you were an understudy because standing around all day in pointe shoes is actually way worse then dancing in them. Anyway, when we would get a five we would lay on our back with our legs up the wall so the blood would temporarily drain out of our feet and provide a little relief. I think those are the moments you have to be able to give yourself as a mother. In my case it’s trying my best to not feel guilty about leaving Ollie with childcare workers so I can go have an hour to breathe and decompress. I have learned that by taking a little time to take care of and nurture myself, I in turn am more present and more patient with my kids. Finding the time and energy to exercise can be really challenging, but the fresh air and endorphins are a must for me to stay emotionally healthy. There can be other outlets. Maybe for you it might be an occasional pedicure? Or leaving the kids with your husband while you go sit in a coffee shop and read solo? Maybe it’s going to Target by yourself and then buying a mini Russell Stover heart and eating the three chocolates in the car by yourself before you venture home so that you don’t have to share? But I have never done anything like that (yeah right).

Anyway, I have decided that it is time to clean up the diet a bit. I’ll share some of the journey, meal plans and my results if you are interested. But for now here is my go to green smoothie recipe. When I’m ready to get back in fighting shape I gear up by drinking a green smoothie for breakfast everyday.

Ingredients:
1 apple, 1 pear, 1 banana, 1/2 lemon juice, handful of spinach, two celery stalks and 1 heart of romaine, 3/4 cup water.

Instructions: Pour water in blender, blend spinach, romaine heart, and celery first. Then add apple, pear, banana and juice from 1/2 a lemon and blend again. How much you need to cut up your ingredients before you blend will depend of what sort of blender you have. I have a Vitamix and I’m pretty sure I could blend a rubber tire if I needed to so I don’t have to do much prep work.

I like this smoothie because it is green but doesn’t taste like a salad and Vivi really enjoys it too.

The weather has been beautiful here, so the last pic is from Ollie and I enjoying Forsythe Park while Vivi and Daddy hung out at the playground. Have a beautiful day! We have a four day here so Daddy and Vivi are off! I’m going to try to get some pics up of the house soon!

Much love!

A New Year

This is my favorite spot in the house.  It is the “reading chair” in Vivien’s playroom.  The chair was first my Aunt B’s, then my grandmothers, then my mother’s and now mine!  I’m in the process of hopefully starting a collaboration with a local SCAD student, but in the meantime mine and Chris’ pics will have to do, lol.

First of all, thank you for all of your feedback on my FB post the other day. I enjoy blogging, but I struggle with organizing my ideas, so specific topic ideas were a huge help for me. The blog is mainly a creative outlet for myself and a way to share our lives with my friends and family since this military lifestyle always has us living far away.

So I finally feel ready to come out of “mommy mode”. Man, new babies are kind of like starting over in a sense. There is the new life you are now responsible for, obviously, but then you add in figuring out new rhythms and not sleeping consistently AGAIN, and another fluffy post pregnancy bod AGAIN…then throw in relocating and a move across an ocean AGAIN…

Funny enough, we had to move across an ocean when Vivien was an infant. She was born in Germany and we moved to Virginia when she was about three months old. It was challenging because not only was I dealing with the challenges that come along with being a first time mom, but I feel when you have a small baby you want to feel rooted and grounded. You want to make a lovely little nursery. I’ve never had that experience. But being a military wife has given me a bounty of other experiences I wouldn’t have had otherwise so I’ve come to be ok with it. Chris and I swore we would never PCS with an infant after our experience with Vivien and then after Chris laughed at a co-worker for doing the same thing, BAM! I was pregnant with Oliver with the same time table! We flew from Hawaii the day Ollie turned one month.

The move and being a mother of two has been pretty consuming. I finally feel the need and feel ready to have some of my creative outlets back in my life. Other than my blog, I’ll also be getting back into teaching a little ballet again too. I scored and found another #dancemom that is a professional piano teacher! We worked out a little idea where she would teach Vivi piano and I would give her daughter private lessons. I am currently awaiting my barres my husband has promised to build and I plan on making my dining room a make shift studio. Vivien has also recently been asking me to teach her. I think she is ready, I’ve just been super hesitant about teaching her because I don’t want to mess with our mother/daughter dynamic. Being a witness to the joy dance brings to her really fills my heart with joy.

On another note, I’m coincidentally taking a break from social media at the same time I’m starting my blog back up. Now I may actually have some time to write and post! At one point I was maybe hoping to build a following or make something a little more out of the blog, but I have come to realize that it is mainly a creative outlet and a way to stay in touch with my friends and family and I’m perfectly ok with that.

You know, social media is a great escape when you are homebound a lot with a new baby. I realized that it was just getting unhealthy for me. I started thinking about what I did with all of my free time before smart phones existed. I read a lot more and I got outside in nature way more often. I wrote, drew, or practiced yoga when I when I was board, instead of maniacally scrolling through Facebook. Let’s face it, it’s not like I have a whole lot of free time these days, but maybe that is why the little free time I do have has become sacred and made me question how I want to spend it. I found myself looking at my phone and really missing my life in Hawaii and not seeing all this beauty Savannah has to offer. I also found myself spending money on crap because online shopping was right there at my fingertips. I found myself comparing my life to others and wanting someone else’s wardrobe or body. Yes, we all do this. Basically, social media and my smart phone was keeping me from living in the present moment and appreciating the blessings I had right in front of me.

I decided to make a change and instead of the “losing the last of the baby weight” or “getting to the gym more often” resolution I usually set every year, I decided to do a social media detox of sorts. I took Facebook, Instagram and all of my shopping apps off of my phone. Sadly, it was kind of scary at first but then it felt so liberating! And I was so productive!! I will still be on FB because it is a way for my family members to see my kids since we always live far away but posting and scrolling will be be limited to my laptop for now. I encourage you to try it out! Even for a day!

I’m looking forward to writing again, and like I said before, your topic suggestions were awesome and were a huge help to get me motivated and started!

I’m also looking forward to sharing Savannah with you. She is just as I imagined, a beautiful gem with her mossy oaks lining the streets, but she definitely has some grit to her at the same time. The first day Chris and I drove in, I kid you not, there literally was a woman’s weave thrown into the middle of the road! That is my first memory of Savannah!

A few days ago Vivien held an exchange with a lady in the line at the post office. The woman complimented Vivi on her pink sparkly cowboy boots and told her that she was a girl true to her own heart. Vivi then returned the compliment by telling the woman how much she loved her gold tooth (which also happened to have a dollar sign sketched into it)! These are the sorts of occurrences that give me life! They make me laugh and at the same time make me excited about exploring new places, new people, new ways, and new cultures. The humor is definitely what gets Chris and I through all of these moves and helps me survive the day to day of being a stay at home mom of small children.

I hope you all enjoyed the post! Much love to you in this new year! I’m always open to topic suggestions so please keep them coming! Love and light!

 

Aloha

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I’m not going to lie, even though I am really looking forward to the new adventure of living in Savannah, GA, I am struggling with this move. Hawaii has been so special. Things are harder now dealing with sentiments that involve memories with my children. It’s not just about Chris and me picking up our lives again, there are lots of goodbyes and “see you laters” that involve Vivi now too. Probably harder on me than her, to tell you the truth. I keep trying to tell myself to just have gratitude that my husband’s job even gave us this opportunity to live in one of the most beautiful places on the Earth, but there is still a little bit of a mourning process as I pack up our life here.

For whatever reason, I really felt embraced by the island. Everything from making amazing friends, finding a fabulous job where I felt appreciated and loved, finding a great school for Vivi, and finding a babysitter Vivi and I loved, came very easily and organically. This doesn’t always happen…and can often times be a struggle with the military lifestyle.

Right now we have been tying up loose ends. I’ve been finishing up some work at Ballet Hawaii, Vivi’s last day of school, Vivi’s first ballet recital on Sunday, packing, and then on Tuesday we fly to Texas for a long and much needed family visit before we start the road trip to Georgia.

I leave believing that the aloha spirit is a real, living, breathing thing. In the Hawaiian language, aloha stands for much more than just “hello” or “goodbye” or “love.” Its deeper meaning is “the joyful (oha) sharing (alo) of life energy (ha) in the present (alo).” As you share this energy you become attuned to the Universal Power that the Hawaiians call mana.

I leave carrying a piece of aloha in my heart that this beautiful island gave me, and a new baby boy, lol.

Here are some of my favorite memories from our time here.

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Our “Ohana”

Our time here in Hawaii has been magical.  I’ve come to realize that the “aloha spirit” is definitely a real thing.  As we are wrapping up and getting ready to move to Savannah, Georgia in a just a short couple of weeks, I wanted to get a few last photos to remember this special time in our lives.  Chris bought me the shirt as a Valentine’s Day gift this year, and I felt it was appropriate with Mother’s Day just around the corner.  Ollie slept through the whole shoot.  Hope you enjoy.  Have a lovely rest of the weekend!

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Brittney brought her camera to the hospital and snapped these of Chris the day after Ollie was born.

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Some family pics…

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All photos by Brittney Vier Photography.  www.brittneyvierphotography.com

Ollie’s Birth Story

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As we watched Ollie’s due date come and go I found myself at the doctor’s office at one day over 41 weeks. Ollies due date was April 8 and I had been convinced he would arrive even earlier since Vivi came 3 days before her due date and she was my first. Ollie looked great, and there was plenty of amniotic fluid so when the doctor asked if I wanted my cervix checked or membranes swiped and we discussed everything, I declined. I wanted to give him at least one more day to see if he would come naturally, and I also really wanted Chris and Vivi to go to their daddy/daughter dance she had been looking forward to for so long. As long as the baby’s health was fine and the doc said we could wait I was going to, as I couldn’t bear the thought of a very disappointed little girl. If he came on his own that’s a different story, I know Vivi would survive. But why move things along unless I had to? I left the doc appt with a cervix check and membrane swipe scheduled for Monday and an induction scheduled for Tuesday night if still necessary. After the doc I ran some errands and picked up some flowers to glue on bobby pins for Vivi’s hair that night.

After Braxton Hicks contractions and cramping that had lead to nowhere for weeks, I finally had the “bloody show” at about 3 pm. Things were finally shifting into gear! Vivi had been excited since we bought the tickets for her Daddy/Daughter dance so even though I knew I was in labor, I still wanted them to go. I figured I had plenty of time since I had labored with Vivi over night at home before her arrival the following afternoon. Cramping turned into bearable contractions as I got Vivi ready for her dance. The weird thing was that even though the contractions were totally bearable, they were very close together.

The plan was that Chris would take Vivi to the dance then drop her off at our friend Giselle’s house for an overnight because I felt the baby may come later that night or early morning. Chris didn’t feel comfortable leaving me by myself, so I called Giselle and she came to the house, incase of an emergency and so she was there to take Vivi right after they came home if necessary. Thank God Chris convinced me to do that.

Giselle was a great distraction (she is super funny and very theatrical) as the contractions started getting a little more intense. They were still really bearable, and not as painful as I remembered with Vivien (I guess you don’t remember the pain, right? That’s why we have more children). But they were very close together….like thirty second contractions with two minutes in between. Giselle suggested taking me to the hospital, where they could at least do a check and then we could go from there whether we needed to call Chris and Vivi to come home or not. I gave Chris an update via text. One of the other Daddy’s at the dance is a doctor and he told Chris he should come home.

As Giselle described, the scene of Chris’ Jeep zooming around the corner was something straight out of Jurassic Park. Vivi was still wearing her “ball dress” as Giselle packed her up and took her to her house to spend the night. Chris changed out of his uniform and we went to the hospital. Contractions started getting much more intense on the drive there.

We checked into the hospital at 7:25 pm and they did a cervix check. I was dilated to a “7”. The nurse asked if I wanted an epidural and I replied “if I haven’t missed the boat yet”. When I had Vivien, I was very much attached to the idea of a natural birth, which I did end up having with her. But this time around I was kind of like “been there, done that, I’ll play by ear and see how it goes”. The nurse told me that “she didn’t know if the epidural was still possible but she would see” as they took me right into a labor and delivery room.

Contractions started getting more and more intense. I felt the best way to endure the pain was to sit at the edge of the bed. They were really painful but a great nurse coached my breathing as they would come and it really helped. I cried, “the epidural fairy isn’t coming is he?” They told me they weren’t lying to me but that he was dealing with another patient.

Then the nurse that was coaching my breathing said, “Laura, I’m pretty sure you are at a ten and you can probably just push this baby out…”

Right then I said “I need to lay on my back I feel I need to push.” As I rolled over on my back my water broke. The nurses said that the baby had passed the meconium inside of me which most likely happened because he was late. They were reassuring but everything I had ever read about that happening was not good. My eyes were closed but Chris said they loaded the room with the necessary individuals should their be an emergency. I wanted to push but they made me breath another way to try to wait because my doc was on call but down the street at dinner. She barely made it because everything happened so fast. She ran in wearing her blue cocktail dress and the nurses slid her coat over her. Is it me or is that something that happens in the movies? The meconium scare made me want to get the baby out as quickly as possible. I got him out in about five pushes. The feeling of the baby tumbling out of you is just the most glorious feeling to me. He was perfect and everything was fine. That epidural fairy never made it to my room….

Oliver (Ollie) Emery LaCour was born on April 16 at 8:35 pm, barely over an hour after we checked into the hospital.  He was 8 lb 14 oz, and 21 in long.  He really was a “jumper in the door” as Chris’ work colleagues had been jokingly calling him.

He found his food source immediately and nursed until they took him off to clean him, then nursed until midnight after I got him back. He has been a very mellow baby, who is very content eating, sleeping, and being cuddled. Vivi is having a little bit of a hard time adjusting, but she is coming around. Mommy gets the brunt of it, unfortunately. But last night she gave me lots of hugs and kisses and asked me to read her stories and put her to bed, which is usually a Daddy duty.

You know, I didn’t think my heart could get more full. But right now there are moments it feels like it can burst with love.

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Some of Vivi and Daddy taking his first bath.

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Have a great day! Much love!

Vivi and Chris at the Daddy/Daughter Dance

Hi friends!! I know it has been a minute since I have added any posts….mainly because the photographer I collaborated with, Tien, moved on to Chicago. She is dearly missed but is thriving and doing super well in her new home. I was also busy being pregnant, being a mommy, finishing up work obligations, and gearing up for our next duty station.  So the last couple of months just flew by…

My mom and grandmother purchased Vivi’s dress and shoes for her birthday in March for her to wear to her first Daddy/Daughter Dance!! My daughter is a true daddy’s girl, so when my friend Brittney told me about the dance I thought it would be a great bonding event for them to have in what I thought would be after the baby was born. Vivi called her dress her “ball dress” and patiently and happily let me do her hair and paint her little finger nails…small gestures to make her feel beautiful and special. And in hindsight I am so happy that we had that time together before her daddy whisked her off on a three year old’s fairy tale dream as I knew I was in labor when they left but thought I had a bit of time before Baby #2 would decide to come. As we were waiting around after we watched Ollie’s due date come and go, Chris’ colleagues at work were calling him a “jumper in the door”, which was proven to be true. But I am so happy that Chris and Vivi were able to get these photos, and at least one dance before I called him home.

Thank you Brittney Vier, the lovely photographer and good friend who took these photos.  She really was able to capture Vivi’s love for her daddy, and her excitement before the dance….Funny story on how Brittney and I met…. Brittney is college BFF’s with a girl I grew up dancing with in Texas, Maggie. Maggie came to visit Brittney here on Oahu, introduced us, and the rest is history. I have met some of my greatest friends through a mutual friend’s introduction and it has been something I have so grown to love about the military. Check out more of Brittney’s beautiful work here…  www.brittneyvierphotography.com

Vivi and Daddy…he looked pretty handsome in his uniform if I do say so myself.

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Ollie’s birth story coming up on the next post.  Have a beautiful weekend!!  Much love!

Hynt Beauty Review

Hi friends!!  About a week ago, I posted this video of Vivien (video link below photo).  Chris has been traveling for work this whole month, so I have been trying my best to keep busy and entertain a small child.  We both won with the first ever LaCour Ladies At Home Spa Day!!

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A few days ago, a box arrived in the mail addressed to Vivi from Hynt Beauty!!  Inside was a sweet note, and samples of their cruelty free, organic, vegan beauty line for Vivi and I to share!!

The products are great and are beautifully pigmented.  I love the glosses because they are not sticky and provide beautiful color and moisture.  The concealer also provided excellent coverage without being cakey at all.

I am wearing their gloss in Burgundy Cherry and their multi functional Lumiere Radiance Boosting Powder on my cheekbones, brow bones and the inside of my eyelids.  I am also wearing their concealer in a mixture of medium, and tan.  I often have this problem with my skin tone, where medium shades are slightly too light, but tan is way too dark.  A mix was perfect.  Vivi is playing “princess” wearing their gloss in the shade Radiant Plum which is also a beautiful color suitable for many skin tones.  I will say, the glosses appear darker in the packaging then they are upon application.

A side note about my young daughter wearing make up….  I do let her spritz herself with rose water and put Smith’s Rosebud Salve on her lips when I’m getting ready in the morning and she asks if she can put make up on too.  I let her put on the lip glosses this morning to dress up, and I just want to verify that I am in no way a future Toddlers and Tiaras mother….but at the same time I think a little lipgloss, especially if organic for their sweet skin, is fun and completely harmless.

Being a mother, I have a pretty minimalist approach to my morning routine so these fit in great.  Also, whenever I am pregnant, I tend to gravitate towards more natural products, so I was so excited to try a new organic line.  Please check out their website at www.hyntbeauty.com.  I cannot wait to get my hands on some more of their products!  Particularly interested in some of the gorgeous shades of their lipsticks and eye palettes.  Their priceline is very reasonable for organic products as well.

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Third Trimester

North15I cannot believe I am officially in my third trimester.  The pregnancy has been going great, but I am ready to start cutting back in my teaching some.  I’ve just realized that we only have a little over two more months before the baby boy is here, and then we have to gear up for a PCS back to the mainland in May.  So I want to take some time to just soak in what is left of our time in Hawaii and really get to spend some quality time with Vivien.  Teaching has forced me to stay active during this pregnancy which has been great, but I’ll be cutting back to only teaching three days a week until my water breaks pretty much, lol.  Chris has had to travel for work for most of the month of January and will be home in about a week.  He has been to some pretty exciting places including Mongolia and India!  Vivien and I have found our rhythm and have had to become a team.  She started ballet a couple of weeks ago at Ballet Hawaii and has been thriving at her precious little preschool.  North1 North2 North4 North5 North6 North7 North8 North9 North10 North11 North12 North13 North14

These photos were taken on North Beach on the Marine Corps Base Kaneohe Bay.  We had a deserted beach to ourselves.  Huge thank you to Tien Austin.  www.tienaustin.com  I feel so blessed to have met her and feel so grateful and fortunate that we have been able to document these dear memories of our time in Hawaii because of her beautiful talent and lens.

Have a beautiful week!!  Much love!