ALOHA.

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).

LA DAYS.

We spent the weekend back home in LA. I was worried coming back for the first time.. I’ve been so homesick and had just started to (kind of) find my footing in Nashville – so was I going to get on beloved land and lose it? Feel like I could never go back to Tennessee? Thankfully, I think I’m good, and don’t need to abandon my new life. But the other good news is that I don’t need to abandon my old life either. It was ALL there: Our friends, our family, our favorite Mexican restaurant, sushi, my old Target (don’t think I didn’t pay a visit).. It was a nice reminder that moving doesn’t mean LEAVING. You come back and it’s just as good. As much as things change, they still stay the same – and thank goodness for that.

It was a weekend of so many hugs.

And yesterday we spent the entire day swimming at my parent’s house, hanging out with my brother and some of our friends. It was basically the most perfect day ever.

For old times sake, Dashiell even brought his skateboard and rode around the tennis court like we were back in the 9th grade.

And to add to my perfect day: I was able to buy WINE on a SUNDAY, and at TRADER JOES. It was thrilling, really. I wanted to buy a whole case, but as my husband pointed out, the money I’d pay in shipping is probably more than just buying wine in Nashville. He’s just trying to rain on my cheap champagne parade.

THE RED WHITE AND BLUES.

The 4th of July this year, in a word, sucked. Which is tough because I’ve been dealing with brutal homesickness lately and really could have used a star spangled day.

On the docket: A street festival in downtown Franklin concluding with a kids parade at 5pm, a cookout (formerly known as a BBQ) and dinner outside, fireworks at 9.

In reality: We wake up to dark rain clouds that do not understand patriotism. But WE do, so we dutifully put on our red, white, and blue attire and head over to Franklin. There were a ton of vendors and food trucks, and a live band, and bounce houses for the kids.. But there is just nothing fun about a looming rain storm. We walk down the street, take a picture with some flags, and pretty much run back to the car MINUTES before it started absolutely pouring.

And it kept raining. And raining. We ate outside anyway since the back porch is covered, but it was so depressingly gloomy. Not shockingly, the fireworks in our neighborhood were cancelled because it turns out it’s hard to watch fireworks in a monsoon. Downtown Nashville still had fireworks, but at that point, there’s no way we were going downtown in said monsoon. I actually think the only major win on the 4th was for the M80 business, because no storm was going to stop our freedom loving neighborhood from enjoying loud explosives while terrifying dogs and waking sleeping children.

The moral of the story: Droughts are bad, but on the 4th of July, droughts are kind of helpful. 2016 in Los Angeles.