Hawaii

fifteen

fifteen

I love this age. I love the person you are and I never get tired of spending time with you. You laugh randomly and often and it's contagious. You started waving and saying "hi" to everyone you see, spreading joy wherever you go. You happily flip through books or play dress up most of your waking hours. You love kitties and Christmas trees. You look for airplanes when you hear them, even when we're inside. You are our water baby—we cannot take you near a body of water without you wanting to get in. You blow bubbles in the ocean and the bath. You love the beach and can play in the sand for hours. 

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eight days in Hilo

eight days in Hilo

I only got my camera out twice, and I'm so glad I did. Ella hung out with grandma and grandpa for a week while I edited July wedding #1 before flying home to shoot July wedding #2. I worked my tail off, got it done, and even made it to the beach a couple times. 

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jungle baby

jungle baby

Our flight leaves just after noon today and the morning is laden with heavy sighs. It's always sad leaving my parent's house in Hilo, more so now because of the extra effort it took to get here with an infant, and how sweet it is having extra arms to hold and extra hearts to love our girl. The time goes by so quickly, I never get to do as much while I'm here as I wanted to. It's always been hard having family live far away, but it's never been this hard. Lucky for us, my parents are coming to California in February, so we have that to look forward to, and we'll facetime in between. This girl loved the beach, loved the garden, and we loved dressing in her in less clothes so we could enjoy her gorgeous chub! We haven't even left and we already can't wait to be back. 

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beach baby

beach baby

We enjoyed the last few days of 2017 at the beach in Hilo with grandma and grandpa. You loved the ocean breeze, the sand in your toes, and weren't bothered by the cold water. Ridiculously adorable in your whale suit, me and grandpa couldn't stop taking photos. You are such a delight, kicking your feet, smiling and cooing at all of us. After the sun went down we came home and got in grandma's jacuzzi tub and you loved that even more.

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Hawaii's Big Island // December 2016

Hawaii's Big Island // December 2016

Some images from our trip home in December. Highlights include: a couple nights away on the Kona side and an incredible hike to Makalawena beach, memorable meals at Village Burger in Waimea and Lotus Cafe in Kona, quality time with my family (and time with my mom in her quilting studio), a Christmas feast and cooperative family portrait (thank you tri-pod!), and photographing and listing my parent's new airbnb studio. It's definitely a challenge living so far away from my parents, but I'd like to think we make the most out of our visits and never take any of it for granted. Until next time, Big Island!

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The Big Island

There really are no words. Despite two days of debilitating sickness for me, it was the perfect vacation. Late March was the time to go. The weather was glorious and the sea life showed up. We took four long hikes in six days to remote and beautiful locations all over the island: Shipman Beach (15 sea turtles!), Waipio Valley (whales!), Papakolea (more whales!), and (not pictured) Kealakekua Bay, where we were treated to the best snorkeling I have ever seen and we got to swim with a pod of 30-40 spinner dolphins. Traveling with our friends and getting to share our favorite parts of the Big Island was a gift. It was the perfect combination of relaxation and adventure and I am so grateful.

November in Hilo

It's Saturday evening and the chickens are out for their nightly forage. The neighboring roosters are crowing out of jealousy or hunger or loneliness, chained to their a-frame shelters. Nala girl stares through me, her eyes are bottomless pools of caramel. I think she is the most perfect creature I have ever met. 

It's Sunday and the sky is bright blue and littered with cotton ball clouds. I am surrounded by young coconut palms and I am mesmerized by lines and light and color. Later, mom and I will go for a long ocean swim, out of the reef and into deep water. We will see multiple sea turtles surfing in the waves and we won't know that it's our last sunny day.

It's Wednesday and for the second afternoon in a row I'm tied to a roof documenting a module installation for my dad's company. It's starting to drizzle, and I keep having to wipe the raindrops from my lens.  

It's Thursday and the table is set. There is too much food. We invited three adults and two children to join our table, but failed to tell them how many people there would be, so they brought enough for an army. We will eat leftovers for days.

It's Friday at noon. It's been raining all morning and I had to postpone a photo shoot for the second time. I'm up the road visiting the brand new baby sheep we saw on our Thanksgiving walk. Surprisingly, the mama comes right up to me when I call her, and her little black lamb bounces along beside her. On my walk back home I will find a perfectly ripe avocado on the ground that we will enjoy in our salad for dinner. 

It's Friday evening, and I'm outside the fence admiring how the light catches and dances off water droplets. Mochi kitty comes running out to join me. He has proven to be my most challenging subject. Every time I get down at his level he runs to me for loving. I discover that if I put him on the fence it buys me some time. His eyes are the same green as the ginger. 

sunrise from Mauna Kea

It's Sunday morning, 6:20 am and we're up above the clouds at the Mauna Kea summit. At 13,000 feet the horizon is apricot colored fading to blue, both getting brighter as our spot on earth rotates closer to the sun. It's below freezing and the wind is blowing. I can't feel my hands, and the Japanese tourists are hopping around in their orange snowsuits, trying to stay warm. The shadow of the volcano is printed on the candy-colored clouds to the west. I slip into the car and pour myself a mug of Earl Grey hot chocolate and warm my fingers and my lips. We will later go out for pancakes.

It's Sunday afternoon, and mom and I have finished the quilt top to my new quilt. We designed and sewed for four days while it rained and rained and now it's spread out on the dining table full of safety pins waiting to be quilted. Nala is cowering under the table because she knows her days with me around are numbered.

It's Sunday evening and we're taking Nala out for her walk. I have to run back for my camera because the sky is putting on a show. A lot of water has fallen during my visit, but when it isn't raining the sky is doing spectacular things. All that rain makes you appreciate the relief even more, and I revel in its beauty. 

It's Monday morning and my flight leaves in a few hours. I am rejuvenated. I walked Nala every day. I spent quality one on one time with my parents. I photographed four families, I reconnected with an old friend, and I made plans for my next visit. I feel really lucky and happy and grateful and excited for what's to come.