We've decided that Mia Kai has basically waited until we were on Hawaiian soil to hit any of her milestones. She started crawling around ten months while on Kaua'i then took her first steps at 13 months old, once again on Kaua'i. She was nine and ten months old during this trip and I have to say, this is the age I captured some of my favorite photos of this sweet girl. We got her ears pierced, hiked the Wai Koa Loop on Kauai, hung out on Baby Beach in Poipu, walked around the International Market Place on Oahu, and ate our first starfruit!Read More
Oh, the Rainbow State. You hold such a sweet place in our hearts! We spent the month of June exploring our favorite island but we'll just compile everything into one post. This is one of our favorite spots, mainly because it's close to the hotel and it makes for the perfect walk to either Poipu Village or Keoki's Paradise. We've seen tons of giant turtles just surfing the waves and even a couple of whales in this area. It's also the perfect place to spot a rainbow after a quick rain shower.Read More
When the parking lot was full for Secret Beach, we improvised. Our main goal was to find a secluded beach with shade somewhere around that area so that we wouldn't lose much time. I'll be honest. I have no recollection of what this beach was actually called. But I can give you a description of how we got there! We parked at a condo parking lot near the St. Regis in Princeville, walked down a small path to this outlook...Read More
Kauai has some of the best hiking we've ever experienced. JD always researches the coolest hikes and this one was no different. There were zero waterfalls (which is high on the criteria list for a great hike) but the views were amazing and inspiring! And we also love a good tree tunnel. I especially loved the giant ferns uncurling to bask in the sun. Sometimes I wonder if Dr. Seuss hiked through Hawaii for inspiration. Seriously. The fauna here is remarkable.Read More
Our little one is still very little but she is definitely growing!! She is curious, content and chill. Terrified of beards, sitting up like a pro, almost able to roll from her tummy to her back by herself, and has decided not to take a paci anymore. She's a fickle little one but also very determined. She's either stoic or really giggly... not much in between. Her little personality is definitely coming through. In fact, she seems to be pretty shy, which we never would've expected. She "talks" to her toys until she notices JD or me in the room with her then goes silent. Haha! It's actually super cute. She's loving the Exersaucer now that her feet can touch the bottom but she despises the Johnny Doorway Jumper.Read More
This has been a huge month of 'firsts' for Mia Kai.
Her four month check-up was at the beginning of the month. She weighed 12 lbs, 5 oz (10th percentile) and measured 21" long (5th percentile for height). In other words, she's still very dainty and 'petite'. Eczema has been an issue so we had to switch from my favorite Baby Aveeno products to CeraVe. The creases in between her feet and ankles were especially dry so we had to lotion them up with Cortizone.
Highlights of this month: First flight // first trip to Hawaii // first time sitting up unsupported // first time eating food (rice cereal) // first diaper rash (from Butt Paste!! What?! We used Desitin and it was healed by the next morning) // first time to church (we were advised not to take her during her first few months, especially before and right after her surgery) // first time dipping her toes into the ocean // first trip to the zoo // first time sitting in a high chair.Read More
It's hard to believe that the next time we'll be traveling, we'll have a tiny little travel companion with us! JD and I were so excited to spend this last trip enjoying Hawaii together and hanging out on the days he didn't have to work. It's the end of an era and we wanted to celebrate the sweet season we've had as well as the exciting season that's about to happen.
To be honest, we spent a lot of time resting. Our time traveling is normally spent hiking and exploring but throughout this pregnancy, we've been keeping it pretty chill. From what we've been told, we won't get as many opportunities to rest in a couple of months. ;) Here are a few highlights from the trip.Read More
Mia Kai Todd will be arriving April 2016, friends!!!
Several people have asked if Mia (or) Kai are family names. Answer: Nope. Well, not that we know of. We really just love the name Mia and Kai is both Hawaiian and Japanese. We couldn’t resist giving her a name that comes from some of our favorite locations to travel. Plus, she's already spent more than half of her life (in the womb) being carried around Hawaii. :)Read More
If you're following along with the Scripture Memory / Dwell Richly printable, here's the verse for week 41:
“Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you. Isaiah 54:10 (NIV)
This is a story about a time where we stood among a crowd of people mesmerized by the huge waterfalls flowing from a cliff into a pool. We stood among the onlookers on the road that looked down below, searching for a way to get down to the pool for a closer look and a quick swim. After much investigation and reading through our handy Ultimate Kauai Guidebook, we found the fence and Hazardous Cliff signs blocking the trail down to the falls. So we did what any adventure-craving, crazy person would do: trekked around the fence and hazard signs, scooted down the rocks and dirt while holding onto a couple of the ropes that guided us through the mud without losing our shoes, and enjoyed the luxuries of nature at the bottom of the falls.
This is also a story of our Father's faithfulness. I look at the photos of these waterfalls, carving out the edge of the rocks into an eroded overhang. Rocks, to me, seem like the steadiest of all natural creation. Together, they form hills and mountains. They are solid - literally rock steady. Because of their fortitude, we barely see their changes due to other natural elements. But they do change. Over time, they change.
Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you. Isaiah 54:10 (NIV)
But our Father doesn't change. He is the same yesterday and today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). His love for His children will not and cannot be shaken, regardless of time and situations. His covenant of peace to us, the covenant of salvation, will not and cannot be removed. He is a Father who overflows with compassion for His children. And we don't even have to trek through mud and slide down mountains holding onto ropes to find Him. That is peace.
If you're following along with the Scripture Memory / Dwell Richly printable, here's the verse for week 32:
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 (NIV)
Welcome to (the not-so-secret) Secret Beach! As always, take lots of water and get ready for amazing views and fantastic adventure!
We had a little trouble actually finding the place to park for Secret Beach but To Hawaii's directions were super helpful: From Kuhio Highway (Hwy 56), turn onto Kalihiwai Road near mile marker 24 and turn right onto the first dirt road. Proceed to the end of it and park. Nearby is the trail leading to the west end of the beach.
The trail only takes about 10 - 15 minutes to walk down. It's pretty steep and a little slippery but, oh, so worth it! (You may be thinking it wasn't as worth it when you have to walk back up the trail.) JD and I went to the left as soon as we got down to the beach because we really wanted to see the Lava Pools. We passed a family on the way over to the Lava Pools but they didn't trek the whole way. It's pretty rocky so it may not be the best place to take young kids (even though it sounds amazzzing!!).
And it was, indeed, amazzzing! There are two small freshwater waterfalls that pour into the Lava Pool area. We recommend hanging out in the pools for a little bit then rinsing off the salt water under the waterfalls.
We really wish JD had his iPhone at this location. This would've been the perfect place to get a nice landscape panoramic! (If you missed a previous post, he fell over in his kayak with the phone in his back seat pocket - insert palm to the forehead here - so the circuits got wet and it went a little crazy; i.e. it died). A girl dropped her iPhone while she was crossing underneath the waterfall here too. This island really knows how to distract you from tech gadgets. ;)
After exploring the lava pools, we walked back to Secret Beach. JD found the perfect spot in between towering lava rocks where it was basically like our own little beach. There were actually a lot of people out on the beach this day so it was nice to feel secluded. We spread out our favorite giant blanket and basked in the Hawaiian sun.
Then we headed over to Kukui Grove Cinema to watch Jurassic World - because who wouldn't want to watch a movie that was filmed on the island they're staying on!? Side note: Kukui Grove was super old school - not in the cool, vintage old school way, but legitimately old school; it felt like we were in Mystery Science Theater because of the seating) but it was definitely an experience. And the theater had air conditioning, which is apparently a big bonus for anywhere on the island!