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Kauai and thoughts on parenting

We just got back from a trip to Kauai for Spring Break. One of our favorite vacation spots!  I know I owe you all a post on both Kauai and Maui. They are in the works!  They will be posts full of fun things to do, places to eat and just general tips for traveling to Hawaii.  So while I’m working on those posts (and on about 15 other things I’m excited to share with you all!) here are a quick few pics from our trip this year including some fun things I wore.  (I bought some cute new clothes for the trip and they are all linked on my favorites page!)  Also sharing some thoughts at the end of this post about parenting.  I don’t know what happened but I starting sharing some thoughts that have been weighing on me lately and by the end of this post I was in tears!  Maybe some of you are feeling the same and can relate?  If not.. sorry in advance. ;)

Kauai (Sunny Side Up)

Early morning at the airport with my favorite traveling companions. :)

Kauai (Sunny Side Up)

{camo hoodie/Zella knit pants/Adidas sneakers}

*affiliate links used

This is what I wore to travel (I didn’t have time to get a pic that morning!).  These beloved Zella knit pants sold out so quickly after I bought them a few months ago and just came back in stock!  Seriously love them.  Flattering and comfy.  And perfect for long plane rides.

Kauai (Sunny Side Up)

My kids still love seeing the fish at the resort.

Kauai (Sunny Side Up)

Kole and his cousin.  Good memories. :)

Kauai (Sunny Side Up)

{Blue flutter sleeve top/Zella copped pants (just ordered these in grey!)/Earrings – found my exact rose gold pair!}

Getting more Shave Ice.. probably trip 32.

Kauai (Sunny Side Up)

View from our room of the grills and Kenny cooking!  Not a bad view. :)  He always cooks when we travel (or we eat out) so it’s a true break for me!  One of my favorite things about vacations.

Kauai (Sunny Side Up)

Night lights at the resort.  We really lucked out this year – so many nights we’d take the kids night swimming and be the only ones at the pool!  (I’ll talk more about where we always stay in my Kauai tips post!)

Kauai (Sunny Side Up)

Kauai (Sunny Side Up)

The kids lived in the water.

Kauai (Sunny Side Up)

Kauai (Sunny Side Up)

Kauai (Sunny Side Up)

Kauai (Sunny Side Up)

{swimsuit/black skirt cover-up/sunglasses}

We love traveling with my sister and her family!  She has two kids the same ages as mine and the kids have a blast together.  We love having uninterrupted time to catch up and our husbands can take off adventuring together early in the morning while we sleep in and hit the pool. :)

Kauai (Sunny Side Up)

Kauai (Sunny Side Up)

Kauai (Sunny Side Up)

Seriously love this swimsuit!  Aren’t vacations the best?  I always feel so carefree and happy and rested.  I wish I could bottle that feeling up and sprinkle it on me daily when real life hits again. :)

Kauai (Sunny Side Up)

One of Ad’s close friends happened to be there the same week as us so we planned a zip lining trip together.  My kids have always loved zip lining!

Kauai (Sunny Side Up)

They went together a few times..

Kauai (Sunny Side Up)

and alone!  So much fun.  I love zip lining too but had to sit it out this trip because of my knee.

Kauai (Sunny Side Up)

Kenny and Kole sailing through the trees. :)

Kauai (Sunny Side Up)

Our favorite activity this trip was tubing!

Kauai (Sunny Side Up)

I was on-line looking for low key activities in Kauai we hadn’t done yet that I knew I could handle with my knee not being 100% (most of the hiking and adventure activities were out).  I stumbled on tubing and it looked pretty chill so I booked it for us and my kids ended up loving it more than anything we’ve done before!  You put on helmets with lamps and just float down a river on a tube!

Kauai (Sunny Side Up)

We all had so much fun!  The river was moving fast so it felt a little thrilling, but not scary.

Kauai (Sunny Side Up)

You go through caves and turn on your head lamp.  We were with a group of around 15 people and did this activity on the morning of Kole’s birthday.  We were just starting to go through a cave when a woman told Kole he was brave and asked him how old he was and he told her he was turning 8 today.  She said “Oh it’s his birthday today!  Let’s all sing!”  So we all sang happy birthday to him going through a cave.  The smile on his face was priceless!  Highlight of the trip for his mom. :)

Kauai (Sunny Side Up)

We especially enjoyed spending Easter in Kauai this year!  The bunny showed up at the resort for a fun egg hunt and I think my sister and I were more excited than the kids. :)  (The top I’m wearing is a new favorite!  So cute.. I love the embroidered detail on the sleeves!)

Kauai (Sunny Side Up)

We didn’t have Easter baskets so we improvised with our beach bags. :)  I didn’t get a pic of it but I bought this cute purse for the trip and it’s darling!  So cute for Spring/Summer.  I love it with or w/o the tassel.

Kauai (Sunny Side Up)

Organizing their loot. :)

Kauai (Sunny Side Up)

The stage we are in with our kids right now is so busy that this week felt like such a gift.  I loved having un-interrupted quality time with my kids.  No school, no homework, no work, no activities, no cell phones.  Those things are all great, but it felt so nice to take a break from it all and just spend quality time together as a family.  We were due!

Kauai (Sunny Side Up)

Kauai (Sunny Side Up)

{Tie front tee/Zella crop pants}

Travel is getting easier now that my kids are older and this trip felt like a major shift to me. I was noticing so many things. Like how I didn’t have to entertain Kole during the whole flight with constant snacks, movies, coloring, etc. He didn’t wiggle around in his seat. He didn’t start fights with his sisters just to see their reaction.

Kauai (Sunny Side Up)

He didn’t need 10 bathroom breaks or time spent running up and down the airport corridor just to burn off energy before our flight.  (A pic from a past Kauai trip.) :)

He read his book. He played on the ipad.   The girls sat by each other and quietly did their thing during the flight. I read a book and took a nap (a nap! On a flight with my kids!). They are old enough now that the adults could go to dinner and leave Ellie babysitting her siblings and cousins. They are old enough that we could say “head to the lobby and we’ll be right down.” They are old enough to sleep in or quietly entertain themselves if they wake up early so that we could sleep in.  They are old enough that the sometimes long waits and unexpected schedule changes that come with travel weren’t a big deal.

When you are in the throws of raising young kids you think days and trips like this will never come. You dream about them but they don’t seem like your reality and you are living in a constant state of tired and just trying to make it from one day to the next. There are so many happy moments and joys, but it is truly survival mode at its finest. I’ll be honest. There is a lot about that stage that I don’t miss and this trip felt like a breath of fresh air to me in so many ways!  We are now able to just have fun with our kids and truly enjoy them without feeling physically exhausted.

It is wonderful. But during this trip it really hit home to me that it’s all just going by so quickly. They all tell you that it will.  All the sweet ladies in the grocery store who see you struggling to check out with one toddler on your back who’s starting an argument with her sister climbing out of the cart while your other child is trying to sneak a third pack of gum. Those sweet ladies look at you and smile and say “enjoy it.. it goes by so quickly.” And you smile back and think “it better because I’m about to lose it!”

But then one day you take a picture of your girls that looks like this..

When honestly 10 minutes ago they looked like this.

And your little boy who was a baby “helping” you in the kitchen just the other day..

Kauai (Sunny Side Up)

All of a sudden turns 8 years old.

You go on a trip and your kids are so much easier and you realize that someday – before you know it and so much sooner than you’re ready for – you’ll be on a trip and one of your kids might be missing. And then two. And then someday soon.. all three.

And life will still be wonderful and there will be new joys and experiences to look forward to. And it certainly won’t be the last trip with your kids.  But it will be different. The day will come when it won’t just be your little family with your little kids doing everything together.

Lately I have been struggling with that reality.   My oldest starts high school next year and all of my friends and the sweet ladies in the grocery store are telling me “get ready.. once high school hits you blink and they are gone.”

I believe it. I believe them now more than ever because I know. I now know that the stage of raising little kids while in the moment felt like forevvvver.. really went by in a flash. This current stage we are in will go by in a flash too.

This truth really sinks in and hits me at random times. Like during a calm trip with my kids to the grocery store. Or on a family trip where my now older kids are behaving and so much easier. They are so much fun and doing amazing things and I think about how wonderful it is that they are growing up.

And then I fight to hold back tears.

But we can’t live in the past.  True happiness comes from being present in the moment and being hopeful and excited about the future.

Kauai (Sunny Side Up)

So when those moments of sadness sink in and hit me and I’m holding back tears I think about this guy.  And all of the fun we’re going to have together someday when our kids are raised.  Doing whatever we want whenever we want!

And visiting our kids and hopefully taking them and their families on fun trips to Kauai.

And running our little grandkids up and down the airport corridor.



xoxo, Erin
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70 thoughts on “Kauai and thoughts on parenting

    1. First day of Kindergarten is rough! Especially when it’s your youngest! I remember when Kole started Kindergarten I was so emotional.. my husband took me to breakfast after we dropped him off and was like “are you going to be ok!? Do we need to have another one!?” Ha! I told him I didn’t want another baby.. I just didn’t want Kole to get any bigger. :) Hang in there and have a box of tissues ready! xo

    2. Loved this post! I’m currently in the physically exhausted phase with a 2 year old and need to remember that I will be wishing for these days someday! Thanks for the reminder, beautifully written .

  1. My 3 kids are all just about the same ages as yours (my son will be 14 this month, and my daughters are 12 and 8). This post hits home in so many ways. My kids are growing up so fast just like yours are. My son will start HS in the fall. Travel is so much easier now,. Our kids are becoming so much more independent. I too remember them all as little toddlers running around the airport, and it seems like yesterday. But there is a lot to look forward to also. And these years are good. I get to see my kids growing up into the people I have always wanted them to become, and that is pretty sweet.

    1. I totally agree Nadine! These years are the best – it’s amazing to see your kids growing up and doing so well. We are definitely living similar lives with kids the same ages! Love that. Enjoy every minute and I will too! :) xo

  2. Looks like a fantastic trip, Erin. How blessed you are with your sweet family. Thank you so much for sharing a part of your lives. It’s wonderful to be taken along for a bit of the ride. You’ve definitely earned this stage of your life. Getting through the days that may seem so long, but fly by in the blink of an eye. We can’t wait to have our kiddos and then it’s a lifetime of getting them ready to leave us and fly on their own. Kind of crazy. I know you will enjoy these crazy, busy upcoming years, too. It’s busy, but it’s fun, too. I just spent 15 hours on Saturday with my daughter’s Winterguard team at the State Competition. It was fun (a long day, but fun) And got goosebumps that my little girl is strong and confident enough to compete. Wow! I’m sure you feel a similar way when you watch your sweet daughter dance or perform. It’s all about savoring these moments, right. You are doing a great job! Hope you have an awesome day!

    1. Oh I bet that was so neat seeing your daughter compete Jeanne! Give her a hug for me! It is a wild and crazy and beautiful ride for sure. :) Thank you sweet friend! I hope you have a great week! xo

  3. Looks like you had a fun trip…with beautiful weather. My husband and I spent a week in Kauai 3 years ago…and had 51/2 (of 7 days) of complete rain. We vowed never to go back! A lot of $$ to be stuck inside!

    1. Oh no Maureen! It makes me so sad to hear that! That is the tricky part with Kauai.. it rains a lot! We’ve had some trips that were more rainy than others and it’s definitely a bummer. I personally love Maui the best for that very reason.. more sunshine! All that rain sure makes Kauai a beautiful place to visit, but I agree. A lot of money to be stuck inside! xo

  4. Oh Erin this makes me cry as I read it! We had our first trip in December without Austin because he was away at college 😭😭😭. There was a void in my heart and in the family the whole time. It’s wonderdul watching them grow up and become fiercely independent yet it breaks a momma’s heart at the same time. Makes me want to turn back time to those exhausting baby and toddler years just to have them longer. But what I do love about them getting older is they become your friend and you get to have these wise conversations with them and suddenly we as parents are learning from our kids. Just keep giving them big squeezing hugs every day!! New beginnings on the horizon for your family, embrace it and cherish every new moment. Love you dearly friend! 😘❤️

    1. Thank you Shauna! I thought about you while I was writing this and having a big cry session on the couch! Kenny was like “k.. what is wrong with you over there!?” Ha! It is so wonderful and so hard all at the same time! I’m happy that I’ll have you to cry with when Ellie goes away to college. Get ready.. ;) Love you! xo

  5. Well, bring on the tears!! I have a 9 month old daughter, and this hit home! Thank you for sharing your sweet feelings! Mom-ing can be hard, but it’s SO rewarding. and such a gift. Thank you for that reminder of how quickly it does go by! Your kids seem so sweet and special from the glimpses we get into your life…I really think you guys have done such a good job with them! Keep me posted on how high school is with a daughter! I know my day is coming ;-).

    Thanks again for sharing, Erin! Looks like an AMAZING trip with perfect company.


    1. So sweet of you Lindsey! Thank you! Mom-ing really can be so hard and such a gift all at the same time! 9 months old is my absolute favorite baby stage! They are so adorable and fun. Definitely hug your sweet girl tight and remember how quickly it goes by on those hard days! And yes! I’ll keep you posted on High School.. deep breaths. :) xo

  6. Well now you made me cry! :) I can totally relate to your feelings. My oldest is a freshman and watching them grow is so bittersweet!

    1. Evaly! Isn’t it crazy!? I really can’t believe we are at the High School stage! SO bittersweet. I’m sorry I made you cry! Wish I could give you a box of tissues and a hug! xo

  7. I’ve been following your blog for a few years now (you’ve given me great ideas for home decorating, fashion, and entertaining)…but in this post, you’ve really struck a chord, in a good way. As a mom I can totally relate. I may have shed a few tears into my coffee as I started my day reading this post. Your words really resonated with me this morning;true happiness comes from being in the present. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Such a sweet comment Tracy! Thank you! That means so much to me. I’m sorry I made you cry over your coffee! Pass the kleenex right!? I’ve had quite a few crying sessions lately. It’s so bittersweet watching them grow up. Moms understand how wonderful and hard it all is. Thank you again for your sweet words! xo

  8. We’re at the grandkids stage. The rest is but a dream. Looking back at old photos to reminds us of what life was like when our children were the littles in our lives. But, wow, grandkids! The best of both world! We have nine littles, eight and under. I was so excited when some could reach their own water glass and tell me what they wanted instead of guessing. Now we have overnight stays, dates with grandma or craft days. At the end I get to send them home to recoup! Love this stage in our lives.

    1. Oh my word Linda! You are amazing and exactly how I want to be when I’m at that stage! My mom absolutely LOVES it too. She keeps telling me being a grandma is the absolute best and I believe her! So many joys without the stress of parenting. Sending them home to recoup after sounds like a pretty good set up. :) So happy you’re enjoying it all! Your kids and grandkids are lucky to have you. xo

  9. Oh Erin! This made me cry . We were just talking about this this very morning! Where does the time go? When you’re in the thick of it , it seems like forever. Then seasons change and it does get easier! I know they have to grow up but it can do a number on my momma heart!

    1. It really can Jamie! It’s all so wonderful and hard at the same time! Hang in there sweet friend! And pass the tissues. :) xo

  10. Oh Erin….I have been feeling the EXACT same thing these past few weeks….thanks for the raw honesty that has been eating away at this Mom of 3! Whoa…I’m going to get my tissues! PS Kauai is a magical place -agreed!!!!

    1. I knew there had to be moms out there feeling the same thing Sue! It’s so hard! Thank you sweet friend. Enjoy it all and pass those tissues my way when you’re done! xo

  11. Erin, I know exactly how you feel! My youngest is 7 1/2 and the oldest is almost 16. He’s looking for a job this summer and said that if he is hired, he may want to stay with his grandparents and work instead of going on our annual Disney trip. He’s loves vacation but is trying to be practical about saving money for his. car insurance. I just can’t believe that we’re having this conversation. It was just yesterday when 3 out of my 4 kiddos were in the midst of diapers/potty training at the same time! Thank you for your positive outlook. I do already dream of going on vacation with grandkids and not having them come home with me and all that laundry!

    1. Oh my word Audrey! I can’t believe you are having that conversation either! I feel the exact same way sometimes talking to Ellie about adult topics. I’m always thinking.. “am I seriously talking about this with her!?” It just hits you before you know it and are ready for it! We have to just hang in there and try to enjoy every minute. But yes! Someday that laundry pile won’t be quite so scary and that is definitely a happy thought. I’m so with you on that one. :) xo

  12. This post has me in tears! My kids are around the same age as your kids, and you just described EXACTLY how I am feeling about them growing up! Thank you so much for sharing!

  13. These same thoughts have been hitting me a lot lately too. My oldest just turned 10 and my youngest turned 5, and I just can’t believe how big they seem and how we don’t have babies in the house any more. I really like how you said “we can’t live in the past. True happiness comes from being present in the moment and being hopeful and excited about the future.” I believe this 100%! And I look forward to all the time my husband and I will have together, sharing sweet memories but enjoying our time when our kids are grown. :)

    1. It’s so hard isn’t it Megan!? That baby stage feels like forever when you’re in it, but really just flies by and is over before you blink! 10 and 5 are such fun ages. We really do just have to love and enjoy every minute! Thank you for your sweet comment! xo

  14. Erin…. I’m reading this while nursing my 2 month old and got shivers, goosebumps, then major tears. Thank you so much for sharing your heart and reminding us of so many bittersweet things. Your trip looked amazing!! Thank you for sharing that as well. I am so happy that you had the time away as a family!!

    1. Thank you so much Genelle! That is so sweet of you! I’m sorry for the tears. They have been flowing pretty regularly for me lately! Wish I could mail you a box of tissues and we could cry together! ;) xo

  15. Oh Erin!! Thank you so much for this beautiful post!!! I enjoy seeing your beautiful family and your sister’s family (I feel like I know all of you personally!) and this trip to Kauai was especially a great because I got to see all the incredible scenery of the Hawaiian islands!! It is so true that your time with children goes so quickly! We have just one daughter, and I wrote her whole life down in calendars (kind of like a little journal) so she could see what she did every day of her life until she was 18 and went away to college; then I didn’t know what she was doing! Now she is 39 and has our two grandchildren, ages 9 & 7, who are growing up way too fast!! I love that you are enjoying every minute with your babies!! Thank you for such a beautiful post!!

    1. Jane! You always make my day with you sweet words! Thank you! I love that you journaled so much of your daughter’s life! That is seriously amazing! Super mom. :) I bet she loves looking back and reading what you wrote. No doubt your journals are such keepsakes to her! It really does fly by. I’m so happy you are enjoying your sweet grandkids now.. such a fun stage! Every time I talk to my mom I’m jealous.. ha! She is loving her stage of life. So important to just cherish every minute of it all. Life is good! Love you Jane! xo

  16. That was such a sweet post and oh so true. It does go by so quickly. But the best is yet to be. Each stage has its unique things to enjoy. Looks like you guys had a great time and made some great memories. Xo

    1. I love that Cathy! So true. Each stage does have such unique things to enjoy. Good good things. Thank you sweet friend! xo

  17. Thank you for sharing your parenting thoughts. It’s exactly what I needed to hear with summer coming soon. We just booked a few trips and whilst I love going on vacations, sometimes it’s just less than enjoyable with such young ones. Great memories but also So. Much. Work. And sometimes it’s easy to lose perspective and just be stressed and annoyed and vow not to go on any more vacations until they are older. Which is what I do at the end of every summer. =) But they’re going to be older before I know it and while I’ll love it, I’m sure I”ll be wishing for this stage again so I better cherish it now. Thank you for reminding me!

    1. You are so welcome Tammy! Thank you for your honest and kind comment! I remember feeling the EXACT same way! I would say to Kenny “is this even worth it!?” And I always called them family “trips” NOT vacations because for parents with little kids traveling is often harder than being in your normal routine! So no.. not a break for mom and dad. But looking back I’m so glad we did travel with our kids because they all three have the BEST memories of our trips and fun things we did together. And yes.. when they are older it’s wonderful (and so much easier!), but there are things I miss too and I hate how quickly it’s going by. SO important to just enjoy every single stage as much as possible! Hang in there this summer! xo

  18. Just returned from a family vacation with our children – 10, 8 and 5. Not quite where yours are, but I am already seeing it happen. So yes, yes, and yes to all of what you said… loved this! I vowed on this trip to be more present.

    1. Thank you Liz! I hope you had a fun vacation! And I agree.. so important to be present and just enjoy our sweet kids at each stage they are going through. LOVE those Elementary age years! xo

  19. I’m new to your blog but already can’t wait for your Kauai tips post. I’ve been wanting to go to Hawaii with our family of 5 for some time now, so I”m hoping the tips you share make it more affordable for us than Disney’s Aluani resort! :O

    Loved your sentiments about parenting and all of your links to your cute travel clothes….so happy I found your blog! p.s. I found your blog when I was looking for mudroom ideas…your whole home is absolute PERFECTION!

    1. This comment made me so happy Kate! I’m thrilled you found my blog and are enjoying it! Thank you! That means so much to me.. all of it! And yes! Kauai tips are coming! :) xo

  20. Oh Erin
    I could have written this exact post ! Grace goes into grade 9 next year, and Ella turns 12 tomorrow ( 2 girls in YWs) how did that happen?
    I still laugh in the vehicle that I’m not struggling to buckle someone up, or acting like a circus to keep them awake so they don’t fall asleep right before bedtime ! We can travel and I feel relaxed and not super anxious and uptight .. and yet days come where I almost panicky that I only have 4 summers left before grace will be gone and how people told he how fast it would go .. I had 3 children in 4 years.. I didn’t believe them, now I wish I could freeze time !!! Waahhhh

  21. These words are so true, Erin. Every stage is such a blessing, but why do they come so very quickly? That chasing grandchildren stage is pretty amazing too! ;-)

  22. I hung on every word of this post! So beautifully written and I could relate to much of it as we just returned from a trip with our 8 and 10 year old. As it’s sad to see time pass, it is awesome to see who they are becoming and I am just so grateful for every day with them! Oh and I loved the ending about your husband. Ditto!!

  23. Yes. Yes. And yes. My daughter started high school this year and my son just turned 10. I agree with every word 100%.
    My husband and I often joke that we’ll see each other in “2026” when our youngest graduates. (Our days/weekends are filled up with dance and baseball and all things kids). So busy but so much fun too. We just know we’ll be in our rocking chairs thinking back to these days as the best days of our lives. So many emotions!

  24. “The days are long but the years are short “ I feel every. single .word you just wrote with all my heart .- that is really struggling to accept the fact that my oldest son is 17 who has one more year of high school !! Just one !! How and when ?? He just started preschool last year in my mind !!!

  25. Hi Erin,

    First, I have to say that your post is so beautifully written. I can relate to everything you said. My oldest started high school this year and I have been experiencing many of the same emotions. Just such a wonderful, touching post for you to share! Thank you so much for making me feel less alone in these experiences!

  26. Oh my! I know exactly what you’re saying Erin! My husband and I just got back from a trip to Disney with our three, age 9, 11, and 15. Everything you said is so true. The times of fussing with the kids on the plane, worrying about naps, strollers, all the extra baggage you needed, all of that is in the past. This trip was the first one where I felt refreshed coming home. The kids are at a great age now, but with that comes the realization that they won’t be “ours” for much longer. When you do the math it sure gets real! Thanks for your post, you put it all those mixed emotions into words so well :)

  27. I’m a near mess reading this post! It’s so true! I have 4 kids 5 and under so I am in the thick of it now! 😂 But I hold my babies a little tighter each day knowing I’m going to blink. We just took a trip to Disneyland with the whole fam and my oh my was it all survival mode. SO FUN! But truly exhausting. Would totally make the trip again! But truly, truly exhausting. 😄🙃 I know vacations will become easier, way more care free and relaxing, but after reading this, I plan on cherishing every single moment of the never ending potty breaks, diaper changes, and feedings that come with this season of life. ☺️

  28. This is one of the best blog posts you’ve ever shared. I loved, and enjoyed and felt every word. Thank you for this.

  29. You made me shed few tears reading the post😢 When it was just our baby girl, we thought of her as little, but when baby boy was born, it’s like she grew up into adult that very second. The boy is almost 1 yr old and our baby girl almost 5. I think about it everyday. Where does time ago? Seems like my husband and I just got married yesterday and now it’s been almost 6 yrs. Our babies grow like on active yeast. Miss them being little.😌 trying to spend as much time with them as possible, but never seems enough. If I only could pause time!

    1. Olga, I had to respond to your comment because I know exactly what you mean about the older child suddenly growing up as soon as a new baby is born. I couldn’t believe how much older my 4-year-old seemed when I came home from the hospital with his baby brother. I was not prepared for that! <3

  30. This post made me teary eyed! I feel it too. The growing pains for us parents are so hard. Bittersweet.
    Our oldest daughter, turns 13yrs old April 22.😭 I look at her baby pics & just cry. She is noticing boys.😭😭 Has normal Jr. High ” drama” I want to wrap my arms around her & protect her.I know kids have to figure things out- that is probably the hardest for me. I let her know Im here if she needs me or wants to talk. I feel like I was rocking her & singing to her. But at the same time, its so nice to have a more mature conversation with her.
    Our 2nd daughter says goodbye to elementary school for 5th grade after summer & then turns 10 Aug 21st. Double digits! She’s our baby. I remember that lump in my throat when I left her for kindergaten, now Im preparing for another lump with her 4th grade graduation. Please pass the tissues.😭
    Time goes so fast. I try to soak up each day I can with them.
    We enjoy their company & beautiful smiles. Even with all the awkward but neccessary changes of life, i wouldnt trade it for anything. I feel so lucky to be chosen to be their mom. I love being a mom. Its been the most beautiful and rewarding adventure.

  31. Oh my goodness, Erin – bawling all the way from Australia! I am in the throws of it all at the moment – a 5 year old and a 2 year old, working almost full time with a husband also busy working so hard. Survival mode at its finest is just so accurate, somedays I wonder how on earth I will ever get through it all. And then I too have the realisation that it is all going so fast. Thank you for sharing this post, the pictures at the end really got me! I just needed to remind myself to slow down and enjoy every moment. Thank you and I love your blog x

  32. This post hits home for me especially with my daughter turning ONE tomorrow! It’s so bittersweet to watch her grow and learn and become more independent. It feels like life is happening on fast forward and while I love every new thing, it’s hard for me to accept that she’s growing up! I try to remember, in the middle of the sleepless nights with a little one who only wants to be held to sleep, to cherish that moment. Because I know all too soon she won’t want me to rock her to sleep and that cuddling won’t solve all of her problems, like it does now. Thank you for reminding me that all stages are beautiful and to lean on my husband and know that we have so much to look forward to!

  33. What a wonderful trip! We are trying to decide between Maui and Kauai could you tell which one u would recommend. Also what were the resorts you stayed at? I have a family of 6 we have been looking at Marriot but I wanted to see what else you recommend. Also do you have the links for tubing and zip line? Thank you

  34. I remember struggling with the exact same feelings as my oldest ventured off to high school, and I’m not going to lie, the next four years did fly by. Now I have two in college and our youngest in high school. It soon becomes such a pleasure to be with our adult children. They are funny, interesting, hardworking, faith filled young men that I thoroughly enjoy spending time with. It is rewarding, exciting and fills my cup as my husband and I dream of our own future together as empty nesters:) It is a journey and as you experience it, you will let go little by little and be so thankful for the amazing young adults you have helped create and shape.

  35. Loved this post so much. Currently in the throes of survival mode with 2 little kids, dreaming of an actual relaxing vacation! :) This was so well written and I loved the way you ended it, looking into the future. Thank you for sharing your feelings!

  36. Thank you for this sweet post. As a grandmother, I can tell you that the time goes so fast and
    you need to cherish each day and each stage of life. My grandsons are 16 and almost 12 and it seems like
    yesterday they were toddlers. Enjoy all the fun times now and in the future.

  37. This was interesting timing for me to read this post! With a 2 and 3 year old and my husband always working I go through phases where I struggle so much. This morning when I woke up I was kind of in disbelief that it was already morning and that I had to do it all over again. These super tough phases come and go but seem endless during. Your trip looked fantastic, I’m glad you got to have a fun time with your family! Thanks for sharing.

  38. First off, thank you for the Kauai tips! We loved staying at the Westin, such a beautiful resort and I can see why you love going back year after year!
    Also, this post had ME in tears! My kids are still pretty young, 7, 4 and a new baby coming soon! But already I can’t believe how fast time is going. It’s hard to not wish the days away when things are crazy but I know I’ll be wishing them back soon enough. Loved your perspective about your husband too! They sort of get forgotten a lot with all that goes on with raising littles so here’s to great guys that we still want to hang out with when we have time!

  39. Hi Erin! I almost never comment, but I just had to on this post – we went to Maui over our spring break and my boys (who are now 10 and 7) gave me much the same experience – so many mixed feelings around how wonderful they traveled and how much I can’t believe how old they are getting. it is bittersweet for sure. We stayed in a place very similar to your pictures (their locals are all so similar) and it’s such a great experience. Thank you for sharing, it’s always such a comfort to know you aren’t alone as a parent. :)

  40. Hugs to you Erin!! What a beautifully written post. I had tears streaming down my cheeks reading this. My daughter turns 15 tomorrow!! She’s already talking about what she wants to do for her sweet 16 birthday!! Ugh! Time goes by way too fast! This post hit me especially hard, for many reasons. On a happier note… I’m so glad that your family had a fabulous time in Kauai. I have been there once, back in 1991, and I loved it! Have a great day!!

  41. This made me tear up too not because I’m a mother but because of my mother. She was pretty down when I decided I wanted to move to another state on my own adventure of finding a job there. I was the only one of her children left at home at the time because one of my sisters stayed in Seattle after going to college there and the other sister got married and moved with her husband. Reading your blog makes me understand better now what she was feeling then, and it makes me sad for her. That was many years ago but I so admire the strength of all mothers to keep going when their heart is breaking at seeing her children leave the nest and eventually becoming a widow as what my mom is now. This makes me miss my dad too at the same time. We really do have to cherish our time with our loved ones each and every day.

  42. All the feels! I have three boys – 7, 5, and 1. Its exhausting and I feel like I spend so much of the day just frustrated and yelling. I look forward to these days so much. To travel and have fun and to know my kids like actual people, instead of just crazy kids. But this last year of my baby’s life flew by so fast, I feel like I have whiplash! I want to soak in all the good moments: Baby laughs, little high pitched voices, them wanting to sit in my lap and cuddle. Honestly, I’ll probably always make them cuddle with me : )

  43. Ah, I am so with you on this! My kids are 14 and just turned 12 now and I feel like I spend a lot of time lately thinking about all the things you mentioned. My daughter will be 15 in July and in two years from then, she will be learning to drive (later than the US here in the UK, thankfully!) And that fills me with dread! But then I think how grateful I am to be here sharing each day with them and watching them grow and learn and realise what their passions are. It’s such a gift, and one that not everyone gets. So, I am trying hard to appreciate each and every day and not think about the day when they will be gone and I will be wishing I was surrounded by all their mess and chaos again. We have been given the gift of Motherhood -how blessed are we?! Love to you and your beautiful family, thanks for sharing as always xx

  44. Ack, Erin! Why’d you have to go and make me cry? ;) I’ve honestly been avoiding reading this post for the past week because I knew I would get all emotional. Sigh… You have hit all the nails on the head, though. My oldest is just finishing 7th grade, and while he’s not technically in high school yet, the small school he goes to has two buildings — one is K-6 and the other is 7-12, so it felt like he was starting high school this year, and I have seen huge changes in him. I really do believe the next 5 years are going to go by in a flash. We’ve already started talking about credits and what looks good on college applications! On the other end, my youngest is turning 3 next month, so we are dealing with a toddler and a teen at the same time, and it is certainly exhausting. And then I’m also worried that my poor middle son is just going to grow up and I won’t have even noticed! I feel like I need to be extra intentional with him. At the end of it all, though, like you, I am so thankful to have my husband, and I really do look forward to spending our “empty nest” years together. I look forward to lunch dates and long cups of coffee and vacations to wherever we want to go (of course, by the time our toddler graduates, we’ll be almost 60!). Sigh… I guess the key is to slow down and enjoy the time we have right now. :)

  45. What a beautiful post. I think this is the hardest part of parenting, really. Why does it all go so fast? One of the reasons I like reading your blog is that your kids are just a touch older than mine, and it gives me hope that the stages that are coming up are good ones, too. Thanks for sharing the journey, and the tears.

    1. Thank you Kim! I agree.. time needs to slow down. Every stage has been so good in different ways! I guess it’s about focusing on each one and not looking back. But easier said than done! xo

  46. I loved this post! I have twin 3.5-year old boys, and it’s been a tiring yet wonderful, magical, amazing journey so far. I look back on the newborn stage, and I’m still not sure how I survived it. But, like you, I look at these suddenly tall, lanky boys and wonder where on earth my babies went. They were just here! It all really does go so quickly, and I’m going to take your advice and try to enjoy the present every day (but, maybe not every single minute of every day, ha!). Thanks for the perspective. <3

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