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. ;)
Early morning at the airport with my favorite traveling companions. :)
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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.
My kids still love seeing the fish at the resort.
Kole and his cousin. Good memories. :)
Getting more Shave Ice.. probably trip 32.
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.
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!)
The kids lived in the water.
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. :)
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. :)
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!
They went together a few times..
and alone! So much fun. I love zip lining too but had to sit it out this trip because of my knee.
Kenny and Kole sailing through the trees. :)
Our favorite activity this trip was tubing!
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!
We all had so much fun! The river was moving fast so it felt a little thrilling, but not scary.
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. :)
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!)
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.
Organizing their loot. :)
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!
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.
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..
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.
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.