Looking for the aloha in life

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Peaks and Valleys; Day 4

It’s 4 :15 on Monday afternoon, Hawaii time. The first moment I have had since yesterday morning to take a breath.  Not too many though, because the Spicy Strawn 6 will pick us up in 25 minutes to take us to our big Luau in Big Lou.  But first, I must get down some thoughts about yesterday.  It was unreal.  I saw the southeast side of the island from the air and the northwest side of the island on the ground.  Having thought about it the last day or so, I have decided Continue reading

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Waimea; Day 3

My body is definitely starting to adjust to Hawaii time!  I slept 9 glorious hours last night, waking up at 7; but it felt like the day was half over by the time we picked up the Strawns at 8:30 to head up the mountain toward Waimea.

Saturdays are Farmer’s Market Days in a lot of these small Hawaiian towns and Waimea is no exception.  They have at least two every weekend and Mike and I make a point of visiting this amazing little town every chance we get.  (If we were to ever live here full time, Continue reading

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The Tuna and the Rooster; Day 2

Day 2 — another epic day — started out with once again, the O’Briens overtaking the Strawn condo early, hoping that Luke would come through on his overnight promise of a big aloha breakfast and, luckily, he did in spades!  Avocado and fried egg on hearty bread, crispy bacon and for the littles, big biscuits with butter.  Oh, and lots of pineapple!  Meanwhile, the kids were all over the place Continue reading

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StrO’Brien Tsunami Takes the Big Island; Day 1

That’s the only way I can describe the last 24 hours.  Ok, maybe I have a few other words…  whirlwind, party, chaotic blur. Also, wonderful, fulfilling, soul quenching, and happy.

IMG_4843Even though I always want to keep it real here on the blog, I’m not really in the mood to talk about all the things that went wrong yesterday, like the security lines at DFW, the man that threw the contents of his water bottle at us and walked away or,  Continue reading



Mele Kalikimaka from the O’Brien ‘Ohana!

Oh, by the way, we’re BAAACCCCKKKK!!!!!!!  And this time, we brought reinforcements!  Hopefully, we are in the skies over the great Pacific by the time this post is published.  Yes, somehow, some way, we have finagled our butts back to the state that we love most (sorry, Texas, you’re holding strong in third place after Colorado).  But, for this particular adventure, some of our dearest friends just happen to be tagging along with us!

I am guessing that most of you reading this already know the Strawns; they seem to know EVERYBODY.  If you don’t know them, then you should.  I first met Paige Continue reading

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Pele vs. Puna (So far, Pele is winning)

So, clearly I have been a bit MIA on this site for some time now.  Life at home as a mom and wife has been taking up most of my time.  However, just because I have been a bit absent here, doesn’t mean that Hawaii has been absent in my heart or my mind.  Mike and I comment regularly to each other in passing that we sure wish were going back to Hawaii for a month THIS year too.  (Actually, we are going back– YAY! — but not until after Christmas and only for 10 days.)

But I can’t go another night without getting some thoughts down on what is going down on my favorite island.  Continue reading

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Casey was excited to get back to her friends and her wonderful school!

So, I know it’s been awhile since I have posted here on this site.  Between back-to-school preparations, doctors appointments, a visit to the DMV for a certain new driver, and… full disclosure… all the times I catch myself with my eyes glued to my phone reading the news (ok, and maybe a little Facebook) you probably think I have been too busy to worry about this blog.  Truth is, I have been wanting to get back to writing since we returned.  I don’t know how many brilliant notions I have come up with Continue reading

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Guest Blogger!

I thought it would be nice to get in writing a different perspective other than my own about this once-in-a-lifetime-trip and I have been bugging asking the boys if either of them would like to contribute.  Dan has been pretty busy catching up on Netflix and You Tube videos but Mike finally took the bait and decided he had something to say. I am so glad he did.  And I am grateful that all of his hard work the past however-many-years has allowed us to do something this amazing.  

So, here you go…


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