Saturday, April 22, 2017

Sunset Watchers

 Unless you REALLY like photos of Orelia and Bennett on the beach at sunset, then you can skip this post.

 One of my absolute most favorite thing about Hawaii was watching gorgeous sunsets every day.

 The best part is that watching the sunset was Orelia's idea.

 After we just so happened to catch the sunset on the beach the first night in Hawaii, Orelia kept insisting it be part of our everyday agenda.

 No two sunsets are alike, and no two crazy play fests on the beach are alike.

 Sometimes the kids got soaking wet.

 Sometimes they got even more soaked than soaked.

 And every time they came back to the condo and hopped into the giant bath tub to clean off the crazy amounts of sand that can accumulate after one romp on the beach.

When Orelia plopped down to catch the last glimpse of the sun setting, she just seemed so grown up to me that she might appreciate something like this.

 Then, of course, she frolicked in the waves as only a kid can.

 And thank God she's my little girl.

 And this little girl loves a sunset beach romp.

 I love Hawaii - which isn't a novel concept.

 We have been to Hawaii a few times - sometimes with kids and sometimes without kids.

And for me this trip was better than any other Hawaii trip we've had before.

Because what could be better than watching your little man in his wayfarers with his shark shirt?

 I could look at his chubby cheeky and chunky toes every day for the rest of my life, especially if there is a Hawaii sunset going on in the background.

This was our first trip to Hawaii as a family of four, and it was incredible to share this place with two kids who are old enjoy to enjoy it.

 The golden hour seemed to bring the craziness out of both my kids, which worked great since bedtime was right around the corner.

 The kids shared a room on this vacation, so we wanted to get them good and tired every day before bed so there would be as little shenanigans as possible.

Here is a photo of Bennett tiring himself out.  He gets in this pose and then says "whoosh" and runs as fast as his can.  I'm not sure where he came up with this concept, but it's nice to always have some warning before he goes running off.

Occasionally John and I could even enjoy the sunset side by side while the kids happily played.  Bob photographed us with a little cuddlebug between us.

 Bennett wasn't interested in sitting with us because he was in the middle of a construction site (naturally).

I hope our family has many more Hawaiian sunsets to see together.

 I know that the time will fly and soon Bennett won't be bringing backhoes to the beach for much longer.

 And he may not be drawn to the biggest holes or hills on the beach forever.

 But I am so grateful that this year the beach brought him such pure joy.

And I'm so grateful that this girl motivated all our sunset beach trips.

And that we got to enjoy the view of our beautiful children

In this unbelievable place.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Easter Easter Easter

 Happy Easter, everyone!

 We had a fun-packed weekend that started with an egg hunt in a neighboring town.

 We met our friends there and Orelia was so happy to hang out with her friend after getting her allotted four eggs (ha).

 The egg hunt was sponsored by the fire department, which was a big part of the draw for us.

 And much to everyone's delight, they had fireman costumes to try on.

We had to wait in an excruciatingly long line to ride on an antique fire engine, and for the first time (ever?) Orelia asked me to take this photo of her.

The fire engine ride was a thrill for Bennett, so it was (almost) worth the line.

 That night our friends had an Easter party, and the kids were thrilled to keep on celebrating.

 Bennett was especially thrilled by the bounce house.

 I've never seem him enjoy a bounce house as much as this, and I think it was because he could hang out in there bouncing around by himself for a change.

 While everyone else ate dinner Bennett just went outside to have the bounce house to himself.

 It made John and I laugh since Orelia has always been drawn to where the most people are, instead of being drawn to solitude.

 He arranged all the balloons on one side of the bounce house and hid behind them and laid on them, as content as can be.

Orelia and I had to leave the party early to go to a birthday party that night, but luckily we could stay for the egg hunt.

These eggs were filled with toys, and John walked around helping Bennett get his equal share.  My friend who threw the party included some whistles in the eggs, which one can be assured will be out on the curb for trash day this week.

 Easter morning John took the kids on their normal Starbucks walk, and I set out to Easter Bunny the house (though we actually tell the kids these baskets are filled by us - less hiding on packaging that way).

 These eggs were filled with candy, so there was even more motivation.

The Easter Bunny took note of Orelia's weird candy habits (who doesn't like Reese's, Snickers, Milky Way, etc.??) and provided her with plain chocolate or jelly beans.

 Bennett was fairly blasee about the whole thing until the realized candy was involved.

 Then he hopped to it.

 I just love the little way he bent down to pick up eggs.  I'm not sure if it was the too-tight pants or his two-year-old self that made him scrunch his knees together like that.

 The Easter Bunny is very specific about how many eggs are hidden at our house, so we didn't stop until all had been accounted for (lest Harper be left to find the extras).

 Orelia was SO excited every time she opened an egg to find Kisses.

 Bennett was happy to find any candy at all.

He can't get enough chocolate in his life.

 The cap off our egg hunting weekend we went to our fourth and final egg hunt at a friends' house.

 If the kids couldn't figure out how to find eggs by now, then they don't stand a chance.

 Bennett was a little slower on the draw than his sister.

 Daddy was always around to lend a helping hand when Bennett needed it (especially since if we told Bennett out loud where to find an egg, and older kid would hear and snatch it up before Bennett could grab it).

 Orelia carted around her new "Bun Bun" (bunny) that Auntie Joyce made her everywhere she went.

 Once he wasn't allowed any more candy, Bennett retreated to the sand box for a little bit.

 Orelia, true to form, wanted to stay close to her best buddies.

 Or if they were busy, she wouldn't mind a push on the giant swing by one of the big kids.

 Bennett methodically moved the grass back and forth for so long that I thought he might have a future in that one day.

 John spent a summer (or more?) mowing grass when he was growing up, so maybe Bennett comes by in naturally.

What a busy and unbelievably fun Easter weekend we had!  I hope you had a great holiday too!