Sunday, December 25, 2011

Mele Kalikimaka 2011

The Hart Family has had another fun was super relaxing and very low key with some beach time added in! Yesterday, I cooked up a storm while CRH worked and gathered last minute items around town I had forgotten. Then, he came home and helped me fix the Bronwen occupied Eve with the building of a gingerbread house, thankfully! We let Eve open two gifts and then feasted on a huge meal! I finished off the evening with It's A Wonderful Life. I triple love that movie!!

Eve woke up promptly at 7am on Christmas morning and insisted that I immediately get out of bed. I know I'll miss these days, but I kind of look forward to one day sleeping in again on Christmas day. And then, I'm sure it will suck...anyway, today was awesome. She bounded into the living room and tore through her Santa bag. She was a very good girl this year and got everything on her list, plus a few extra surprises!

Eve played around with Leah and her gifts and we gorged ourselves on the annual Brie and Sausage casserole CRH makes and then headed to the beach in a food coma. It was a gorgeous day and I could have spent hours, but I was burning a little after 3 hours. We took a little walk and found a ton of turtles in the water and on the beach. The neighborhood kids joined us at one point and it was a lovely, lovely afternoon of sun and fun.

Tonight, we are eating a light dinner of pupus (I say light, but it's meatballs and artichoke dip...), drinking some yummy wine, and watching the Christmas Spectacular Rockettes show on Netflix...good times! Merry, Merry Christmas everyone!!! Thank you all for our gifts!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Holiday Fun, Hawaiian Style

I love this time of year because we're off and home and relaxed!!! This week we've had fun making cookies and ornaments and going around to see Christmas lights. I drove Eve around Waialua one night and we ooohed and awwwed over all the lights. We've managed to squeeze in some beach time and one day when Eve and I were sitting out we saw a woman in a bikini and a scarf paddle boarding. It was approximately 78 degrees that

Last night, we took Eve to Aulani (the Disney resort) to see the decorations, sunset, and have a little dinner. I have to say that I was completely underwhelmed by the decorations. I thought Disney would go big, but it seems they are trying to be low key and culturally appropriate and went small. Oh well, I applaud them for that!

We walked in and they had eggnog, hot apple cider, and hot chocolate with candy canes for people in the lobby. It was super yummy and we took our hot chocolate out to the pool bar for dinner and sunset. Sunset was amazing last night. People here talk about the green flash all the time that occurs at sunset. Here's a link on it, if you are curious. I've never seen this phenomena until last night. The sunset was so beautiful and clear and the sun just melted into the horizon and then it happened! It was stunning!

We finished dinner and took a few pictures in front of the Christmas tree at Disney. A very nice man offered to take several with us using both my camera and CRH's phone. The kindness of strangers is so refreshing.

After Disney, we drove by a house that I'd seen on our local news website. This family has a huge Christmas light display that they sync to music. They use LED lights and run it all on solar now. In addition, they also collect donations for gifts for kids at a local homeless shelter where they also serve meals once a month. We were fortunate to meet them standing outside and he told me he starts the process in September!! They go live the day after Thanksgiving and keep it up until January. Again, the kindness of strangers making merry for the neighborhood...very impressed by human nature this week.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Gearing Up for the Holidays!!

I've been an atrocious blogger as of late, but November was a whirlwind month! I was swamped with school, trying to finish up at a practicum site, and I went home with Eve to NC for an 11 day adventure!! We finally met Haisley Ann, who we loved instantly!!! We were able to see her being baptized and enjoy her 1st Thanksgiving, and her 1st road trip to Atlanta (where my wallet was stolen and I met my future husband, an Atlanta Falcon. Well, a girl can dream!). They don't want a ton of pics of Haisley all over the Internet, so I'm just going to put up this one of the three of them with Eve before we went to Tanglewood to see the Festival of Lights. Aren't they adorable??

This past weekend was a whirlwind of holiday fun! Friday night was the annual Haleiwa parade and Eve was invited by a friend to be a part of the parade. She was over the moon excited. I realized that once your kid goes by and you don't have a kid there to watch it with, it's kinda whatever. As soon as Santa floated by, I was in the car. We decorated the Christmas tree that evening and drank eggnog and watched Christmas specials. Sometimes I can be really domestic...shhhh.

Saturday, Eve and I went to separate holiday parties. Her's was with the same friend and mine was with a group of super fun women that I sadly only get to see about once or twice a year. I do look forward to having some semblance of a life back once I graduate next year.

Since our return home, I have finished the semester. I know I have an "A" in my Health class and my practicum, but I have no idea what my Research grade will be. I'm praying for a "B-". I hope to never, ever, ever have to take another Research class again...ever.

On Sunday, we totally Christmased it up. (I know that's not a word, but I don't care. I'm finished with school for the semester, so grammar is out the We took Eve and her bff, Leah, to Honolulu to do it all in one fell swoop of holiday. We drove into Waikiki and walked through several hotels admiring all of the amazing decorations. There were gorgeous trees up in the hotels, sand sculptures of Santa, and a gingerbread village with working parts, Aloha Tower, and Iolani Palace!
We took the girls to dinner and watched sunset over the harbor and then went to Ala Moana for the annual Santa visit. Prior to this year, the Santa experience was the BEST. This year, not so much. It was still the same awesome Santa, but they initially wouldn't let us take our own pictures and then their camera kept malfunctioning which lead to an hour long wait and finally me losing it and sending the calm representative of this family (CRH) up to negotiate letting us go ahead and take our own pics. It worked and we were pleased and outta there!

The last and final stop of the evening was the City of Lights. I love, love, love this display. This year it was sprinkling a little bit, so it wasn't super crowded like normal and we got some really cute pictures of the girls in front of all the displays. I promise to do a better job over the holidays of updating and putting up pictures of the holiday festivities here in Hawaii!!