Photo-Tour-The-Road-to-Hana-MauiI never thought it would be possible to – all in the space of one day – hike through a bamboo forest, swim under a waterfall, wander through a lava tube, eat a picnic lunch in a botanical garden, and lay out on a red sand beach.

But then I did the Road to Hana in Maui. And I learned it’s possible to do all this (plus eat homemade banana bread and coconut ice cream along the way!) and make it back to your hotel in time to watch the sunset over the ocean! Maui is just that varied and spectacular of an island.

I can’t believe I ever had doubts about whether Chris and I should do the Road to Hana. It was definitely one of our most memorable days of our entire trip to Hawaii.

Here are all of the photos we got along Hana Highway, featuring all of the highlights of our day: View Post

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touring-the-four-seasons-maui

There are some spots where I’ll struggle all day to get a decent photograph, and nothing will work. And then there are those spots where I don’t even have to try, and everything just turns out beautifully. Four Seasons Maui was one of those locations that did all the work for me. It was one of the most stunning hotels I’ve ever seen.

Here’s the complete tour of the Four Seasons Maui: View Post

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7-Wonders-of-Waipio-Valley-That-Will-Take-Your-Breath-Away

The tour guides have it all wrong.

Waipio Valley – located on the Island of Hawaii (the Big Island) – normally only gets a couple of short sentences. While the big resort areas, the volcano parks, and the shopping districts get all of the focus. I almost assumed there wasn’t anything special or worthwhile about making the trip out to Waipio.

But here’s the thought that came into my mind as I sat on the soft, warm, black sand beach of Waipio Valley: “I’ve found it in my lifetime! It’s here. Heaven on Earth.”

Why don’t the tour guides mention that?

There were so many things about Waipio that took my breath away, and here they are: View Post

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Just a few days ago, the snow had all melted and the weather was warm enough that all I had to do was throw a light coat on Trevor.

Just like that, we were out the door.

No wrestling match over snow suit and boots and hat. No begging and pleading for Tru to put on his “ninnies” (aka mittens).

My hopes were high that I’d soon just toss all the winter gear into a closet and blissfully forget about it all through the summer.

And then Mother Nature betrayed me yet again! View Post

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Our-Family-Favorites-Winter-In-The-White-Mountains

I love the White Mountains region of New Hampshire, and it has become one of my favorite destinations in all of New England. Chris’ parents moved to a home in North Conway several years ago, and it always feels like a vacation when we visit. Just because there are so many unique things to do in every season, and the area is so breathtakingly beautiful.

We recently did a long-weekend road trip to visit several attractions in the White Mountains. It’s tough finding activities for a two-year-old. View Post

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Choo-Choo-Trevor-Is-Two!

It’s the night before Trevor’s second birthday party. Tru is asleep for the night, the house is still, and Chris and I begin the work of preparing for the party.

I tape the choo-choo train banner to the kitchen cabinet as Chris holds it in place. Was it really one full year ago we did this exact thing in this exact spot?

I cut open the bag of multi-colored Mickey ears confetti and scatter it across the countertop. Trevor has grown so strong and fast on his feet, I have to hide the scissors in a spot high off the ground.  The days when my shoulders ached from holding him all day. They are just a memory now.

Chris asks what’s bothering me when I try to pick a fight with him over the way he’s smoothed the white tablecloth. I say I’m sorry, I must just be worn out from a long week.

I think about Trevor’s way of taking my hand into his when he wants to show me something.

That warm little hand – impossibly soft, impossibly tiny.

I notice my throat closing in as I set out his “I Am Two” birthday mouse ears. I’m not sure if he’ll wear them or refuse them. He’s old enough to have strong opinions in these matters now.

His tiny little hand in mine.

As I set out the paper plates, my mind plays before me a scene of my future son – his hand fully grown and dwarfing my own – waving goodbye from his college dorm room as I get into the car to drive home without him.

Finally, the floodgates open and the truth I’m afraid to confront is drowning me.

I’m weeping into Chris’ arms with heavy, aching sobs. “He’ll leave me one day! He can’t leave me! Don’t leave me Tru! Don’t leave me! Don’t leeeeeeeeave me Truuuuuuu!”

And I thought 2-year-olds were supposed to be the dramatic ones! View Post

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So Trevor’s second Halloween turned out quite eery and spooky (very fitting)!

It all started when we got a big storm with winds so strong they knocked down trees all up and down our street.

It looked like a hurricane had whipped through, and we lost power for about 60 hours in total (!) This power outage just so happened to include Halloween day and night.

So our entire street was plunged into complete darkness – literally – for trick-or-treating.

It was kind of a bummer because I thought maybe we’d walk to a few of the neighbors homes this year so Trevor could show off his costume… View Post

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