Happy Birthday from Hawaii!

We left rainy Portland for 8 days in Hawaii! We planned this last year and booked the house on the Big Island with my parents and brother and his wife. It was the first time we’ve all gone on vacation together. I was really looking forward to this.

A bit of a whirlwind! Logan did pretty good for his first time traveling on an airplane. A friend drove us to the airport and we got through TSA ok (with a toddler!) and had a quick breakfast and then boarded the plane. Logan’s favorite part was the people mover in the airport. 🙂

The flight was pretty good. Logan played with toys, colored, watched a movie, took a nap. He only got fussy at the very end when we were about 40 minutes from landing in Kona.

Getting our car was kind of a nightmare. There was only one person working and the line took FOREVER. And Logan was ready to get some energy out! But we got our car, got a quick snack and then arrived at the rental house and met up with my parents. 

My mom and I got some groceries. The fruit in Kona is AMAZING! The avocados were spectacular and HUGE too.

Then we made burgers at the house, got settled in the house and went to bed. It was a gorgeous day in Hawaii but we were all SUPER tired. We tried to keep Logan up later so he could adjust a little to the time but he kind of burned out. We all slept super good but were up at 4am. OUCH. I was going to be a LONG day.

The house we rented was amazing! Big enough for 7 people to be comfortable. There was a master bedroom (for us) with a master bath and walk in closet. There was another bedroom with a queen (my brother and his wife got that one) and a bedroom with two twin beds. Then another bedroom with a queen downstairs where my parents slept. There was a huge lanai with a view of the trees and ocean and the backyard had a hot tub, fire pit and an outdoor shower.

Day Two My birthday! Hello 40! 

It got kind of a rough start. We were all up early, Logan was out of sorts. The time change was hard. Being out of his routine was hard. He had a ton of extra energy and things were just HARD. 

We went to the Kona Farmer’s Market first. We got a bunch of fresh fruit! SO GOOD! And some souvenirs. Logan got a turtle luggage tag as a souvenir and his very first wallet. 🙂 I got a dress, Michael got a Hawaiian shirt and we got a few souvenirs. Then we walked to the small beach across from the Farmer’s Market. 

After that we got lunch at Da Poke Shack! Michael and I have thought about that poke for like 7 YEARS!!!!!! And we finally got to have it again and it was just as amazing as we remembered it!

Then we went to the beach– Spencer Beach. It was SUPER nice! Perfect for kids. There was a park, nice beach, not too big waves… I got to swim some laps in the ocean and it was HEAVENLY!

For my birthday we made taco salads at the house and then the family surprised me with a huge chocolate ganache birthday cake from Costco and it was so so good. It took us three days to eat that huge cake. 😉

What a great way to celebrate!

What a Year It’s Been – 2015

Holy cow! What a year!

First year of married life. It was filled with lots of good things. The weather was really mild here in the NW and we took advantage of that and went hiking most weekends that we could. We did a lot of local traveling, spent a ton of time with family and friends and it was nice. We saw Faith No More — actually Michael saw them like 3 or 4 times this year, which was awesome for him because it’s his favorite band.

There were some not great things — several injuries on my part. Feet issues. Back issues–twice. Despite that, I was in good health for the most part. The back injury was annoying but didn’t end up being a long term issue (knock on wood). I do think the standing desk at work helped a LOT. I went to Seattle for my great aunt’s funeral earlier this year, which was hard and emotional. There was a lot of family stuff going on that made it extra hard but I’m glad I was able to go up there and see everyone and spend some time with my grandma, who is now the last one left of her siblings. 🙁

I didn’t do some of the things I’d planned on doing this year but that’s ok. I feel like I accomplished a fair enough and as for resolutions, I was successful with most of them! Here were my goals:

New Year’s Resolution Time

Finish losing the 2014 weight! <—Um, not so much. I did lose some of it, but gained some of it back and then got pregnant. So, that goal was pretty much out the window.

Travel <—Yes! See below.

Read more books <—My goal for 2015 was to read 140 books. You can friend me on Goodreads. I do periodic book reviews here, too. How did I do on my goal? Beat it! I read 147 books this year.

Walk Bella more and work on her training <—We weren’t as great at this one. Yes we walked her a lot and she went hiking a TON but we didn’t learn any new tricks this year and we need to fix that!

Run another 5K <—Actually I ran two! The first was after a flare-up of my back injury. The second was the race I ran with my dad!


Spend quality time with friends, family and my husband <— Tons of it! Family reunions, lots of family visits and I threw a surprise birthday party for my hubby!

Finish the kitchen remodel!!!  <—- Um YEAH! FINISHED! Finally have kitchen countertops!



Bend – we spent an awesome weekend for my birthday in Bend. Another couple came with us and we rented a house together, did tons of beer tasting and had a GREAT time. Too bad there wasn’t any snow, otherwise we could have actually gone snowshoeing!


Tucson – I spent an amazing long weekend in Tucson with my cousin Anna for a girl’s weekend/wedding of a dear friend. It was a fabulous visit and I was so happy to be able to celebrate with my friend and to explore the cool side of Arizona with Anna. We did so many fun things, ate great food and went for an exciting hike!


Hood River – Spent a fantastic day near Hood River with a friend exploring Lost Lake, going for a nice hike and enjoying the summer weather.


Astoria – Michael, Bella and I got to spend a great weekend in Astoria at a really nice (fancy) hotel for a little pampering. It was just what we needed! If you have the opportunity to stay at the Cannery Pier Hotel, do it! It was luxurious!


Crater Lake – We went to Crater Lake for our 1 year wedding anniversary. It was a fantastic road trip with gorgeous scenery. I’d love to go back someday.


You can get all the travel posts I’ve written here.


We did SO much hiking this year! You can check out my page on hiking if you are interested in reading those posts, or if you’re in the NW area and looking for some great hikes. Michael and I didn’t necessarily make a goal of hiking a certain amount of mileage but we were lucky that the weather was so good all year and we were able to hike a ton. A lot more than last year! Bonus: my knee issues had improved to the point where hiking was no longer something that made me anxious because I wasn’t sure if my knees could handle it.

In 2015 we hiked 111 miles!


Michael and I were lucky to be able to see family so much this year. His dad came to visit a few times from Texas. My parents came to visit a few times. We just focused on spending time with our parents and I’m glad.

We were kind of keeping a little secret this year…and finally in September we were able to share that secret with the world! It was a little scary sharing it, after keeping it quiet for so long, but once it was out, it was kind of a relief, too. Being pregnant has been one of the weirdest, happiest, emotional times in my life and it’s so hard to believe that we’ll get to meet our little one in a few more months. Something tells me 2016 is going to be even bigger for us than past years have been! 🙂



Hope you had a great 2015!