Aloha

17aec1aa03f8850632178ac6087b7ef6

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.

laurievivi10-682x1024 Laurie-60 ce2653976cf9d4efabf589c77e20cd6a 1745dfa870e52e0e70774cc3fc48dab5 2d9000c2b9e78a68b246da3226001c42 IMG_9594 Laurie-28-2

IMG_9600 IMG_9599 IMG_9598 IMG_9597

IMG_9596 IMG_9595

laurie-123 Laurie-71 Laurie-7 Laurie-20-2 Laurie_Iris laurie_dragonsnap

laurie-024 profile pic maternity8 North2 Laurie-99-2 IMG_9593 IMG_7298 Christmas-044 Christmas-068

IMG_9592

DSC_0162 DSC_0257

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!

highresolutionv2-1895 highresolutionv2-1876 highresolutionv2- highresolutionv2-1848 highresolution-

 

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

highresolution-1228 highresolution-1227

Some family pics…

highresolutionv2-1774 highresolutionv2-1784

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

Ollie’s Birth Story

FullSizeRender

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.

FullSizeRender-2 IMG_9417

Some of Vivi and Daddy taking his first bath.

IMG_9441 IMG_9447

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.

untitled-1181 untitled-1172 untitled-1179 untitled-1125 untitled-1130 untitled-1134 untitled-1135 untitled-1150

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!!

IMG_8174

Click to view video:  IMG_8158

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.

IMG_8273 IMG_8284Have a beautiful day!!!

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!

Into the Blue

laurie-008

I cannot even believe we are halfway there!  This pregnancy has just flown by.  The whole LaCour family is super excited about our boy!!  I have been staying busy teaching ballet and yoga.  I am teaching five days a week at the moment, and am just going with it, because I feel really great and have a lot of energy right now.  We are gearing up for the holidays, and I am helping coach the students for Ballet Hawaii’s production of the Nutcracker.  Vivi is at a really fun age, and really understanding and getting excited about the holidays.  We got an Elf on the Shelf this year.  He will be my helper in letting her know that Santa is watching her!!

maternity1 laurie-029 maternity2 laurie-024-2 laurie-013 laurie-021 maternity3 maternity4laurie-043 laurie-041 maternity5 maternity6 maternity7 laurie-044maternity9

All of my clothes are Free People that I just pulled out of my closet.  I can make the majority of my clothes work at the moment, no maternity yet.  Vivi’s romper is thrifted from Savers, $3.99, and her dress is Old Navy, a gift from her Aunt Libby.  All photos by Tien Austin www.tienaustin.com

We need help with baby names??  Any ideas???

Hope you enjoyed the post!  Have a beautiful day!

 

Our Home

Laurie-53-2

It is part of the military lifestyle to move….a lot. I cannot believe we have already turned in the “preference sheet”, and I find myself shifting into the mindset of “the next duty assignment”. It’s funny, now I start getting itchy to move, and daydreaming about where we may end up next.

Growing up, I had dreams of traveling and seeing the world, but never in my wildest dreams thought that the opportunity would be given to me by being a military spouse. Chris and I have been so fortunate, and have been stationed in some of the most amazing places. We have blessings that dreams are made of, and I thank God for that everyday.

That said, Hawaii has been my favorite place to live so far. Big surprise, right? More so than the paradise factor, is the fact that this is the first duty station that I really made an effort to make my home MY HOME. It is easy to not want to buy houseplants or put pictures up on the wall, or have a junk room that never gets finished when you know something will be temporary. This time I really made the effort and will continue from now on, regardless how long we live somewhere.

Tien is moving to the mainland soon so we brainstormed some ideas to get some last shoots in. I wanted some pictures to capture what has truly been a magical time in my life. And what better place to take them, then the place we spend the most time, the heart of our life, our home.

Laurie-4-2 Laurie-10-4 Laurie-12-3 Laurie-18-2 Laurie-26-5Laurie-22 Laurie-23-3

Laurie-28-3 Laurie-31-4 Laurie-32-2 Laurie-40-2 Laurie-45-2 Laurie-67-2Laurie-47 Laurie-55-3 Laurie-58-3 Laurie-62-2 Laurie-61-2Laurie-59-2 Laurie-60-2 Laurie-64-2 Laurie-69 Laurie-79-3 Laurie-80 Laurie-83-2 Laurie-86Laurie-91 Laurie-93 Laurie-95-3 Laurie-99-2 Laurie-104 Laurie-105

I would like to add that pretty much everything we own is second hand.  Chris’ mother purchased our couch when Chris was Vivi’s age and the iron bed was my great great grandmothers.  My trunk coffee table, the chairs in front of my art wall, and the wine crates on my porch I straight up pulled out of the trash in Germany.  In case you don’t know it yet, I pretty much have no shame.  It brings me so much joy when I get a compliment on something in our home, or something that I’m wearing and I secretly know that I paid a dollar for it or found it on the side of the road.

I’m not going to lie, the first trimester of pregnancy had me feeling pretty ill all day and not having much extra energy.  I’m now in the second trimester and starting to feel a little more human again, so hoping to get back on the blogging train.

All photos by Tien Austin www.tienaustin.com.  We are going to miss her when she moves to Portland, but are so excited for her and know she has so much to give to the world!!  She is a truly talented artist.  Hoping to get in one more shoot before she leaves.

Hope you enjoyed the post!!  Take care and have a beautiful day!!!

 

Yoga and a Top Knot

Vivi and I took a trip to the Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden in Kaneohe.  She’s at a really fun age right now where she likes to mimic most things that I do, and loves to “help me” around the house.  I have to admit that I have a really fun time teaching her yoga postures and dance steps.  Dress up is also big thing these days.  She is very opinionated about what she wears, which usually involves a princess dress, a Minion hat, Hello Kitty ears (hairband), and purple crocs.  I made her yoga outfit for the shoot.  The pants are made out of some castoffs from Salvation Army (I cut up an Indian printed dress to sew them),  and then I just got creative wrapping some gauze fabric around her for the top.  Mama also used that “smoothie brush” (ballerinas will know what I’m talking about) to slick that hair into her first top knot.  Little girls are just so fun.

I have really been enjoying diving into my yoga practice again, gearing up for teaching at the new CorePower opening up in Kailua in October.  I am really excited to start teaching yoga again.  Yoga has always been a cradle of comfort for me throughout my life, and I have made some lifelong friendships through teaching it.

Thank you Tien Austin Photography!!  www.tienaustin.com

Hope you enjoy the post!!

Laurie-3 Laurie-21 Laurie-27 Laurie-39 Laurie-45 Laurie-46 Laurie-48 Laurie-53 Laurie-55 Laurie-58 Laurie-70 Laurie-75

Laurie-22 Laurie-23 Laurie-28 Laurie-32 Laurie-42 Laurie-49 Laurie-67Have a beautiful day!!