December 10, 2010

Akaka Falls

We took a quick trip out to Akaka Falls on Wednesday; I haven't been since I was a child.  It was almost like remembering a dream: a familiar pathway, the same soft mist of rain on my face.   I love sharing these places with my daughters.

Heading out on the circle. 
Still takes my breath away.

Our Fab Five.

Rainforest giant.

Art by Kiana. :)

My sister and I.  Quite unfair, really. :-9

Our mini-me's.
Rainforest lace.

Akaka Falls. 

Heading back up the trail.

Wiped out. :D
Only 5 more days here--time has flown.  A hui hou!

December 3, 2010


 Not too much to say; I always have been the quiet sort.  :)  Tonight, I am also the exhausted sort, so I'll just share a few, very random, rather unspectacular pictures:

One of many Madagascars hanging around Granny and Papa's house. 
Bold little things; we found another one helping itself to a rice cake that had been left on the table.

Standing in front of  'Iolani Palace, the official residence of King Kalakaua and family. 

Breakfast on the lanai.

View from the lanai.
Shave Ice. 'Nuff said.
Uh-oh--I've been remiss.  Little Miss Thing (one guess as to which daughter I am referring) has been reminding us all day that it is Uncle Andy's birthday.  So, Happy Birthday, Uncle Andy.  If you see him, please tell him we had mochi ice cream in honor of his birthday--we were out of Rocky Road and chocolate-covered marshmallows. :)  All for now. :)

November 30, 2010

Touching Base

Just a quick update:

  • We're here.
  • We had wonderful days at convention.
  • Our hearts are full.
  • So are our bellies.
  • We took a quick tour of my old boarding school today--sweet memories.  Also drove by Punahou, President Obama's old stomping grounds--cool.
  • We also took some time out to visit the Punchbowl cemetery--a very sobering experience, as death often is.  As we stood there reading the names of soldiers who have never returned home, the beginning strains of "Taps" broke through the silence, and we looked up to see a lone soldier standing on the hill, giving these final honors to one who has served.  Haunting, and I will never forget it.
  • After this, we went to see Aunty Chris (Dad's younger sister) and her kids, and had some may-jah grindz at Ono's. Was 'ono. ;-D 
  • Finished up with a trip to Wally's; the girls needed journals to do a little bit of travel writing--I'm looking forward to seeing what parts of our trip are deemed important enough to be written about.  I just checked Malia's; apparently, the Icee float from Sam's Club was the only thing worth mentioning today.  Oy vey.  Auwe.
Tomorrow, planning on taking a tour of 'Iolani palace, then a visit to Aunty's spa, and maybe some toe-wiggling in the sands of Waikiki.  Oh, and shave ice.  Definitely shave ice. =D 

November 22, 2010

Baby, it's cold outside....

23 degrees, to be exact.

Like the little snowflakes on the future forecast?  =)  I'd like them more if I wasn't trying to get on a plane for warmer climes tomorrow.  Seriously, though, this may be the best winter weather I've ever experienced.  (I say this as I revel in the comfort of a warm fire, cup of coffee in hand....)

Oh, wait.  Check this out:

Things change quickly around here. =D 

Daniel's slowly making his way home from work; he says there are cars all over the place.  Keifer just called; he got stuck trying to pick Noah up from work, so Daniel will grab them on his way up the hill.  I'm going to try and get a hold of Josh, but I'm guessing he's still at work...

Keep warm, keep safe.

November 21, 2010

On Vacation...

Well, not yet.  But I might as well be--my brain already thinks it has sand in its swimsuit. 

(Okay...that's a weird thing to try and visualize.  I told you I'm not functioning properly.)

We're heading out this week, leaving the hubs to hold down the fort; I trust it will be in the same, or better, condition upon our return, so don't get any ideas.  Unless, of course, you have a paintbrush, miter saw, or other similarly useful tool in hand upon your arrival; then you're welcome to stay as long as you want.  Well, at least until you get tired and stop working.  Then you have to leave. =D  I jest.  Sorta.

Well, 'nuff for now; this procrastinating mama's got a lot left to do.  Don't worry; even though you won't be there, sitting with us on the beach in 80 degree sunshine, you'll be in our thoughts.  That oughta keep you nice and warm in this fantastic winter weather. :-9  Cheers! =D

October 29, 2010

Chipping Away at This Old Writer's Block....

Call it writer's block, call it stage fright, call it fear of failure.

However you label it, I've got it. 

This latest "block" happened, rather inconveniently, right around the time of my sister's birthday. After a fairly easy run of writing last month, I hit a wall on or about September 29th.  (Sorry, Sis. :-p)  Admittedly, there's been a lot of guilt-tripping (self-inflicted!), and, well...I'm getting tired of it. :-p

As a general rule, I only write when I can't not write; when the words flow so easily, so clearly, that they can't be contained.  I never know when it will happen.  I also have never been able to will it to happen; this is one of those days. 

So I look to former posts, past writing, and hope they'll distract you until my brain starts cooperating again. 

Here's what I had to say about my sister back in February:

"Mr. & Mrs. Campbell

Thinking of these two today--it's been 8 years since that dude in the uniform whisked my sister and niece off to Yuma, Ah-wee-zoh-nah (that's how Cali used to say "Arizona"), to start a new life as husband and wife. I'll whine a little bit about not being able to watch my sister get married, but I guess the whole we-got-married-in-Reno story is kind of cute, so I won't carry on for too long. ;-9

There is much emotion as I consider my sister and her husband. They have walked some difficult paths, both before they knew each other, and in their last 8 years together. I am grateful for the tremendous strength that kept my sister pushing forward through the tough experiences; and for the incredible love and devotion that my brother-in-law has shown, both to her, and to my precious, precious nieces.

The depth of feeling is so much greater than my words can convey, so I'll just leave it at this.

I love you two; happy, happy anniversary, and wishing you many more to come. ♥"

Wow.  I feel like such a cheater. :-9  Here is my beautiful sister today:

Glamorous, no?

And her little family:

So, delayed as this post may be, the sentiment remains the same.  My sister continues to be an example of endurance, willing to make hard decisions in tough times, to do whatever it takes to move her family forward out of difficult experiences.   

Oh, and she always looks good doing it. :D

 Love you, Keala B. :-D 

September 24, 2010

Daniel's Turn

Some 33 years ago, on the day I was born (October 29th, people--get ready, now!), I'm sure the Universe looked upon me and said, "Someday, this being will have beautiful daughters, and one of them will look like this:

I'm sure this caused great distress, because, well...I'm not this cute. :-9  "Who will help her bring all this loveliness to pass?" they must have wondered, searching high and low, past and future, until somebody showed up and asked, "How about this guy?"

"Wow!" they thought. "He's perfect!"  But one little voice of doubt piped up from the back, "Are you sure? Because he's going to have spend a few years looking like this,

and I'm not sure she'll be okay with that."  A slight ripple of laughter washed over the crowd, and quickly a solution was found: "We'll make sure they don't meet until after he grows out of that phase, and starts looking more like this:

And he will love her, and protect her, and annoy her, and forgive her, and hold her, and make her laugh, and give her a life sweeter than her bratty self deserves, and she will understand a comfort, and have an unfair advantage, that comes in knowing there is almost nothing she can do to make him stop loving her (I haven't figured out what quantifies the "almost," and I don't plan on finding out.).  And she will love him more than even she knows.

And it was exactly as it should be. 

Happy birthday, Daniel.  I love you.

September 23, 2010

Look Who's Turning a Quarter-of-a-Century!

Joshua Charles Ielemiah

Okay...maybe not

Let's try that again:

There.  That's better. 

My first little brother, who was born shortly before my 8th birthday, turned 25 a few days ago.  This comes as a shock to me, since I spend most of my days thinking I'm 22, and, well...that math just doesn't add up.

For those of you who know Josh, you know he's pretty cool.  That comes from spending a lot of time around me.  (Wow. I couldn't even type that with a straight face.)  But, seriously, he is. 

It's been fascinating to watch him find his way in this world, with more style and grace than I could have ever imagined.  (Which means that he can wear pink and not get beat up, and that he can work a room like a real politician. And not get beat up.)  I have loved watching him morph from a timid 18-year-old who required a minor amount of handholding, to a strong, mostly positive influence (;-9) on the little band of Hawaiians he's shepherding around today (our littlest brother has made his way over here, and brought all of his friends with him.  They're not quite as timid as Josh was.). 

Some things that he has never grown out of: a gentle spirit, and a heart of gold.  So many stories, so little time, and so much thankfulness for who he is today.

Hau'oli la hanau, brother; love you, no kidding.

September 18, 2010

Hau'oli La Hanau, e Malia

The little girl in the middle transformed into a 6-year-old yesterday. 

Just like that

Didn't even check with me to make sure it was okay. 
(If she had, I probably wouldn't have signed off on it.) 

But it happens anyway--surely, and more swiftly than I could
 have ever imagined. 

With each milestone, I am excited for her, proud of her,
and keenly aware of the fact that
I will never pass this way again.

She and her sisters have been joy unimaginable,
and the best is yet to come.

"In raising my children, I have lost my mind, but found my soul." 
-Lisa T. Shepherd



September 16, 2010

Changing Things Up a Bit

Thinking of these outstanding human beings today, and am thankful that I somehow ended up in this mix. 

Love you guys.

July 25, 2010

Showing Off

So, one of the great things about having brothers is that, eventually, they start behaving well enough to have a girlfriend.  My brother Josh lucked out and even got himself a talented girlfriend.


Thank you, Bethany, for capturing these moments.
Thanks, brother, for finding the talent. ;-p 

To see more of Bethany Raelene's fabulous work, click here.  Don't forget to check out her blog, too!

June 19, 2010

Confessions of a Guilt-Ridden Aunty...

Oy vey. 

I try not to live with too much guilt, but tell me how I could avoid it after this conversation:

Me:  "Hi, Kawena!  Happy Birthday, babe!  How was your birthday yesterday?"

Kawena: "It was good."  (She filled me in on the details, which included seeing Toy Story 3, having dinner at Genki sushi, and she receiving a Polly Pocket toy she'd been wanting.)

Me: "That's great, babe!  I'm glad you had such a good day!  Aunty is so sorry for not calling yesterday, I just..."

Kawena: "...forgot."


Talk about feeling like a miserable loser of an aunty.  And, truth be told, she'd been in our thoughts all day, but I guess it doesn't count unless she knows about it. :-s

So, this is my formal public apology to my sweet baby niece, who is not such a baby anymore--Six Years Old!!! =D  Love you, babe!

                                       One of the images permanently etched on my heart. :D                                       

June 18, 2010

He's Leaving, On a Jet Plane, Don't Know When He'll Be Back Again....

Hopefully sooner, rather than later...

After a relaxedly exciting (?) couple of weeks, today seems slightly melancholic as we sent Papa (my dad) back home to Hawaii.  His return was originally scheduled for the 10th, but we were able to talk him into staying a few extra days.  Well, that's not entirely true; the ER doctor was able to talk him into it. =p  He's doing fine; had a blood pressure scare, but is back on track, and on his way to being healthier than ever, I think. =D

Enjoying some delectable treats from Monica's Waterfront Bakery in Old Town.

Papa's Girls....well, three of them, anyway.  They love having Papa here, but it seems to make them miss their Hawaii counterparts even more.... =S

Queen Baby.

Danny Girl. =D

Mini Me.

And, finally, a sweet shot of Miki with her Papa:

Precious moments.

June 7, 2010

Mickey's Turf

Feeling rather uninspired, as of late, but just thought I'd change things up a bit with some (long overdue) pictures from our first family trip to the Happiest Place on Earth... :D

This was the first guy we ran into....

Another familiar face!

Meeting the OP (Original Princess). =)

Daddy and his Mini Me.

Miki's friend Alea (and family) joined us at Disneyland, too!

And, finally, a shot with the Mouse himself. 

It was a fun trip, made more special by visits from Aunty Heather, and, as mentioned above, Alea and family.  I think the family favorite this time around was actually the Soarin' Over California ride at the California Adventure park; there was a lot we didn't get to see, so we've got a long to-do list for next time!