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Saturday, September 25, 2010


On our 1 year anniversary Carl and I took a 3 day trip to the other side of the island. That may not sound like much to those of you that haven't been to the Big Island of Hawaii, but its actually about a 2 1/2 hour drive and is one that we unfortunately don't get to make that often.

For the first night we stayed at a lodge in Volcano Village. The elevation there is around 5,000 feet, so it can get quite chilly- especially for those acclimated to year round 80 degree weather. I believe it got down to around 55 that night, so we spent the evening cuddled next to a fireplace. The terrain around Volcano Village is full of lush forests with thousands of ferns as far as the eye can see. We joked about how if we had woken up there with no idea where we were, Hawaii would have been the last place we would have guessed that we had landed.

The next day we spent a few hours in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and then headed to Puna- our absolute favorite place on the Big Island. We rented a tiny little cottage in the middle of nowhere that was totally off the grid.

And Carl's favorite part..... it had an outdoor solar shower.

We had the best time in Puna. We left civility behind and enjoyed the peace and tranquility that can be sometimes hard to find in the midst of the hustle and bustle of even the smallest communities. We walked to the beach, admired the abundance of trees and fruits, spent the evening chit chatting under a starry sky, fell asleep to the sound of coqui frogs.............

and woke up to snail poop :)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Cupcake Fun!!

My girlfriend Jodie and I threw a birthday party for Abby a few weeks ago, and I had the bright idea to make bumble bee, lady bug, dragonfly, and butterfly cupcakes. Due to our hectic schedules these days I had to wait until the day of the party to start them, and once T minus 3 hours hit I started to panic. Luckily my wonderful husband stepped in to help me decorate, and we finished with plenty of time to spare.

I guess he had to try and look really manly in that photo since he's decorating cupcakes ;)

I didn't get many photos at the party, but here's one of me and Jodie. She's such a goof ball. If only you knew how gorgeous she is in real life you too would find this photo quite hilarious.

Monday, August 02, 2010

The Birthday of all Birthdays

I think Carl must have had one too many s'mores during our camping trip because on his actual birthday (May 25) he woke up at 3 in the morning to the worst abdominal pain he's ever experienced. Finally around 8 am we had to ditch our Kiholo Bay plans and make a trip to the Emergency Room. By noon we were preparing for an appendectomy. Some way to spend your birthday eh?

This was our first medical experience in Hawaii, and it was nothing but pleasant (aside from the surgery, of course). The hospital was super quiet and mellow, and all of the staff were very attentive and caring. Everyone that Carl came in contact with, from the x-ray tech to the respiratory therapist, did a double take when they read his date of birth, and I think they gave him a little extra love since he was spending his birthday in the hospital. Or they just thought he was cute ;)

Visiting hours ended at 8, but the nurses were kind enough to let me stay until 10. We spent the whole next day cuddled up in the hospital bed watching HGTV and Willie Wonka's Chocolate Factory.
Due to his young age and exceptional health Carl was able to leave the hospital the following evening. And I had no idea what I was in for.......

I felt like I had just gotten home with a 160 pound baby. He pretty much couldn't do anything for about 4 or 5 more days, so I did everything I could to keep him comfortable- I couldn't let the nurses trump me :) I put one of my tank tops in the freezer for when he had a headache, and it turned out to be such a hit that I had to keep several on ice to keep the rotation going.

And yes, that's a snuggie he's wearing. He made so much fun of me when I bought it, but he was singing a different tune when he had it on for 5 straight days.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Birthday Camping

The weekend before Carl's birthday (in May) we gathered with a few of our friends for a few days of fishing, camping, fires, s'mores, and stand up paddling. It was great fun. We're so busy these days we hardly get any time to go camping, but luckily for us some of the most killer camping spots we've ever seen are a mere 25 minute drive from our house.

Here's a photo of Matt and Carl getting their fishing gear ready. Matt spear fished, Brian kayak fished, and Carl stand up paddle fished. And Kodi and I swam around the bay with a torpedo that propels you down to the reef. Whoever wasn't holding the torpedo grabbed on to the legs of the steerer, and we made a little torpedo train. We didn't have our cameras but we came within a few feet of an approximately 6 foot moray eel. It was pretty intimidating but gorgeous none the less.

For dinner we had crab stuffed salmon and grilled asparagus, and Kodi cooked a few steaks, bell peppers, and mushrooms over an open flame in her handy little fire pit griller thingy....

And what camping expedition would be complete without a few s'mores?

Our tent. And our ferocious guard dog.

Breakfast- in my new and wonderful wok that Carl got me for my birthday.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

a little self humiliation

On the floor next to our "throne" lies an abundance of fishing magazines that would put any book store to shame. I must admit I haven't read a single one, but my husband does a wonderful job of keeping me updated on all the exciting happenings. Apparently there's a new trend in the photography side of fishing. Many anglers these days have drifted away from the traditional, boring style of photography pictured below.....

And have resorted to this.....
Carl says you're suppposed to look at your fish with shock and awe, like its the biggest thing you've ever seen in your life. I gave it a try, but I'm afraid I came out looking like Amelia Bedelia in all of my photos :(

Friday, February 05, 2010

A little underwater fun at the Champagne Ponds

These pics were taken at the Champagne Ponds on Hilo side. Its a natural body of water adjacent to the ocean that has pockets of warm, fresh water bubbling up. Its definitely one of the places we like to stop when we're on the east side, which unfortunately doesn't happen all that often :(

Thursday, January 28, 2010

New Year's Eve

My Christmas gift to Carl was a "Texas Style BBQ Pit". He had been eyeing one at Lowe's for quite some time, and I was fortunate enough to scoop up the last one on Christmas Eve. He's seen here assembling the smoker box that you attach to the side. Matt's brother Jason visited for the holidays, and his assistance with the assembly was much appreciated.
We were finally able to utilize the pit on New Year's Eve. We had a great time grilling ribs, enjoying our own version of a fireworks show, and playing poker.
While the boys were outside fooling with the pit, I played in the kitchen (for what felt like hours) making homemade lilikoi juice for some mimosas. Lilikoi (passion fruit) is an extremely popular treat in Hawaii, and you can pretty much find anything flavored with lilikoi, from butter to chocolate. The seed extraction process, however, can be extremely time consuming. The steps for making juice are:
(1) cut lilikoi in half and scoop center into a bowl
(2) pour contents from bowl into blender
(3) pulse mixture for about 30 seconds to separate seeds from fluid
(4) strain liquid and toss out seeds
*note* the liquid is very viscous and the straining process can take quite a while. You will probably have to repeat steps 2-4 several times to maximize the amount of juice.
(5) pour juice into pitcher and fill to top with sparkling water
(6) add agave nectar or sugar to taste
It can be quite messy, but if you're willing to put in the work the payout is awesome! The juice was fabulous, and it made for some very tasty mimosas.