Okay look, before you start coming after me with pitch forks forged from beach umbrellas, I am in Hawaii with my TWO CHILDREN. There are no vacations with children. Only trips with varying degrees of scenery. Granted, the scenery here is pretty spectacular… And we are here for my mother-in-law’s 60th birthday, so we do have our family to help… But traveling with kids means still having to get-up at 7am, be in the room by 7pm, and balancing a piña colada in one hand, with a sippy cup and baby wipes in the other. So I just wanted to preface these pictures with a small sprinkle of reality to prevent you from completely hating me. Or actually, go ahead, Hawaii is the best.

For starters, there are rainbows. In this case, double rainbows. Stella informed us she had never seen a rainbow in real life, which I realized is because she grew up in California WITH NO RAIN.

Stella was also pretty excited that you get jewelry made of flowers. I mean, even Queen Elsa doesn’t have flower jewelry.

Sutton was just excited to play with an empty left over water cup because he’s a second child and is content with such things.

Meanwhile, I was happy drinking cocktails from large pineapples.

The kids love the ocean as much as John, but my pale skin requires me to make 5 minute breaks in the water and 55 minute breaks under the umbrella.

(Tankinis forever, amirite? Nothing like the beach to realize you have a mom bod.)

After we all got our fair share of sunburn, we decided to take a day trip to the Dole Plantation. Which basically consisted of a ride on the Pineapple Express and giant cups of magical ice cream called Dole Whip. Which I didn’t get a picture of because I was too busy eating it.

We’ve been actively trying to get a group shot these last couple of days, and so far, it is just not happening. Stella and I managed a semi-decent mother / daughter shot, and we were able to get one pic with my mother-in-law. But considering we are a party of 11, we are operating at 50% capacity at best.

So today is our last day.. we are trying to soak up the sun (in 5 minute increments) and enjoy the views. John and I even took Sutton on a hike.*

(*a 30 second walk up the grassy bluff)


It’s always hard saying goodbye to vacation, but it’s also a nice feeling to miss your home. More specifically, my house. And my bed. And my shower. And my wine fridge. Heading back to real life, and a VERY REAL DIET, tomorrow (right after the plane ride of snacks).


1. There are at least three Jews in Nashville, and potentially more. I had lunch with two of them, and between the three of us, we might be able to start our own congregation.

2. Roundabouts. WTF. It’s a miracle I haven’t been in multiple car accidents because every day is an adventure in driving.

3. All sodas are called “cokes.” Which is very confusing, because to me, there are a lot of sodas that are not in fact cokes. But that’s just me and I am no longer living in me-world.

4. “No you’re fine!” is the way people say “that’s okay” or “don’t worry” here. This is the phrase I’ve had the hardest time incorporating because it just does NOT want to roll off my tongue. And I’m telling you, it’s more common than saying y’all. I make 1,000,000 mistakes each day so I get a LOT of “no you’re fine!’s”

5. It’s not THE 65. It’s just 65. Or 440. Or whatever highway (interstate? I don’t know what it’s called!!?!) is named. This might also be the hardest thing I say each day because it feels so unnatural. I don’t think I will ever get it right ughghghg.

6. Pimento cheese. It tastes good if you don’t read the ingredients.

7. Horn honking is not accepted unless you are literally seconds from colliding with another car.

8. Not EVERYONE is nice here because there was that one jerk from West Eim. Almost everyone else is though.

9. There are only two Trader Joes in the state of Tennessee. I live 25 minutes from said Trader Joes and make a pilgrimage every week.

10. Mosquito bites are like having chicken pox, but every day.


  1. Traffic here is real. It is legit. When we first moved here I was like, oh how cute they think they have traffic… Meanwhile, someone smarter than I am was probably like, oh how cute, the girl from LA thinks our traffic isn’t bad and isn’t going to leave enough time to get anywhere.
  2. The area south of Broadway is called SOBRO. And it’s not so so bro-y, but it’s pretty bro. So it makes me laugh every time I say it.
  3. Poison ivy is not just a character in Batman. It’s like, everywhere. I’ve been told you can tell it’s poison ivy if it has three leaves. Which is good to know, except that EVERYTHING looks like it has three leaves to me and I don’t think I should ever go outside.
  4. Fireflies! OMG they are amazing someone get me a mason jar so I can keep them on my porch forever.
  5. Don’t call it iced tea – it’s sweet tea or unsweetened tea. And if you say unsweetened people look at you like, why do you not like things that taste good?
  6. Crawfish isn’t that gross if you don’t think about it or look at it while you’re eating. 
  7. Dolly Parton has a program called Imagination Library to promote childhood literacy. You get FREE age-appropriate books from birth to 5 years old for each child! Love me some Dolly.
  8. Costco has an adjacent wine / liquor store at the exit. It’s not technically IN Costco so somehow they skirt the (insane) state liquor laws, but the prices are waaaaay better. Hallelujah.
  9. CMT = Country Music Television. My mother and I spent a pretty good amount of time trying to figure out what the T stood for and the closest we could get was Country Music Tunes. We are normally smart people. Anyway, it’s big here.
  10. Humidity because it bears repeating.


It’s hard to believe that this is the week we move. John is already in Nashville to meet the moving trucks, and we move out there as a family on FRIDAY. Which leaves me 3 full days to wrap up my entire Los Angeles life, say goodbye to my friends, try to remind my family that we are not moving to Australia and that we will still see them all the time, and somehow manage to keep my kids fed and bathed in the process. I’m overwhelmed. No, that doesn’t seem to be an appropriate description for how I’m feeling. I get overwhelmed in traffic. This….this is different. This is more like, it’s cocktail hour somewhere and does anyone have some xanax kind of a feeling.

I’m trying to take it one day at a time and not overthink the week ahead. But in trying to not think too far ahead, I’m also trying to not think too far behind. Because when I start to think about our life in LA, our home, our families – well, no amount of wine really dulls that pain! Although A for effort, because I’m really trying to see if I can make it work.

Here’s the last pic of us as a family in front of our house in LA. Red door and all. I loved that house so much and what did I say about not looking behind???? Tears. Gotta go.