Tuesday, February 23, 2016

welters' hawaiian adventure {part uno}

after opening tickets to hawaii Christmas morning, the kids were counting down the days for our big departure. bags were packed, snorkels were stuffed, and plans were made. luckily i have lots of friends who have been to oahu before and that helped a ton.
the early morning finally came and we were off.
i underestimated how long the flight was. i guess i assumed they would have movies on the plane. apparently they don't do that anymore. we managed. paul brought lots of ipads etc to keep the kids busy.
this before and after pic cracks me up. i guess baby J felt comfortable with his new friend by the end of the flight.

the kids discovered pog juice & had fun taking advantage of the complimentary drinks :)

after 7.5 hours and 5 gallons of pog.... we landed!

we settled into our minivan (which we scored a great deal of $300 for the week on priceline) and found our way to waikiki!! yeah baby!

the view (from my cousin's lanai.. where we stayed for the week)...

we dropped our bags & headed right out. we were starving & everyone was jonesin' to get their feet in the water. the water was so warm & clear!!

we stopped at a japanese market for some sushi. it was pretty good but not amazing. some were more excited than others about figuring out what the heck to eat. (me not being excited, S was loving it)

we went back for our suits and headed out for the evening. we walked all along ala moana beach park, magic island and waikiki beach.

we stopped at the barefoot bar for our first shave ice & other beverages.

we decided to watch the sun set there and learned pretty quickly that deciding where to be at sunset is a major priority of the day. each day the sunset was BREATHTAKING. we never were able to catch a photo that represented the beauty. but i will forever remember it in my mind :)

the next day, we were directed by my sweet cousin's friend, Leah, to an amazing hike.
we had never hiked through that kind of terrain. other than, luckily for Leah we had a legit hiking baby backpack, the baby... it was awesome. we were literally walking through water, climbing rocks, swinging around trees, baby J really grasped the concept of "over" and "under" (from the comfort of his backpack of course). the other kids flew through that trail like it was nothin'.

we just had to stop at this opening in the trail. it was so beautiful.

the mist and the green rolling hills.... swoon. oh and baby J's curls...

we crossed over a mossy stream and mini cliff...
we continued on to see some french braided trees...

crossing over more rocky streams... man that backpack was heavy... i learned that later on another trail... i couldn't believe paul completed this trail carrying the big baby J the whole time.

until finally... we reached the waterfall!! it was SO exciting!!!

 we rested here for awhile and soaked in the sights.

we eventually hiked out and 5 out of 6 kids immediately fell asleep in the car after our big jungle adventure. 
 since the kids were asleep, we decided to head up to north shore to observe the 50ft. waves.
we stopped at kalapawai cafe and got the most amazing chocolate chip cookies. i swear, the best i've ever had. i'm really banking on my friend mindy to recreate them for me. i know i'm in good hands. she can bake ANYTHING!

anywho... the waves were once in a lifetime high. we lined up, along with hundreds of other people, to witness the surfers, against the lifeguards commands, looking for the perfect wave. it was unbelievable. you could hear a pin drop when one of the surfers would catch a wave. it was beautiful seeing them come in, but the problem was that they could have easily been thrown into huge rock cliffs. we saw one surfer disappear out of our sight and then we saw him later walking up the beach. the crowd cheered.

here is duke's famous beach, bonsai pipeline... closed due to strong currents.

  we headed home, past the dole plantation... pretty cool to see those pineapples popping up out of the ground, and stopped at costco to buy groceries for the week and get some fresh seafood! oh and a few gallons of pog for the kids. they sell it at costco there! how cool is that!?!?

 to be continued...

Saturday, February 13, 2016

december & new year's eve 2015

our 2015 christmas card... although i'm sure anyone reading prolly got one :)
i became completely and wholly addicted to these cookies, unfortunately i didn't come to terms with my addiction until they were sold out at all of the phoenix valley trader joe's. which left me with a deprived empty feeling.
some holiday events... little did i know... enjoying my last cookie (top left corner) ugly sweater youth group party (top right corner) (and bottom left) girls trip to the nutcracker (bottom right)

the cousins seemed to be going out of their minds with excitement this year...
this little elf was unbelievably helpful this year. she loved wrapping and making things pretty and i was happy to delegate. and it was fun having late night wrapping parties while watching christmas movies.
mother and i got up early christmas eve and hiked camelback. i was starting to lose steam and then someone said santa was up there. guess what! he was!!
an attempt at a family pic...
christmas eve...
their big present this year was a trip to hawaii!! they were pumped... well most of them.
cousins on Christmas morning...

the official  2015 cousin picture for the grandparents.


new years eve was spent with dear friends, an amazing dinner, and sparklers. 

Thursday, February 11, 2016

fall 2015

 this catching up thing is kinda fun. i'm going thru all kinds of old pictures. which reminds me of why i do this blog thing anyway. i'm recording a portion of our day to day that so quickly gets forgotten.

so anyway... there was a blood moon.
 baby j is kinda crazy about playing with noni. prolly cuz she lets him do things like this...

 here's a pic of the new floor and removed wall... different couch now though. oh and ruuubbbyyy.
 selfies with the pope... everyone was doing it :)
 um.... handsome.

 we joined daddy on a business trip to flagstaff. this cracks me up because the pictures look amazing. beautiful sights, smiling kids, fun activities.... family time. well i guess in theory it was fun, but we ended up leaving a day early because the kids were fighting so much. we were going nuts. i remember being so upset during that trip... you'd never know it from the pics! such is life i guess.

we really did have fun exploring lava cave tho. it was so cool!!

paully helped make a video for the blessed is she retreat...
 third retainer shenanigans....
 this little 8th grader finished up her volleyball season...
 we are loving having cousin cohen join us on wednesdays after school. the boys eat lunch and make big adventure plans before heading over to atrium.
 my high school friends and i attended not 1 but two (ahem) 20 year high school reunions!!!
 pdubs took me on a theater date, book of mormon & bloody marys.

 i was inspired by this insta post... painting chairs.
 so i picked up these beauties from craigslist for $50.
and slapped some white paint on them. not styled as great as in the insta pic but they work. no one ever knows they are painted... until they sit on them :)

 let's see... halloween happened.

 these cuties before their halloween preschool parade...
 we had a goth princess, belle from beauty & the beast, a piece of paper, an evil queen, a dead moth & a dragon. scary stuff.

 L was super excited about our decision to combine the little boy rooms and give the big girls their own room. we had a mini makeover, mostly with stuff we already had around the house. but she's pumped about her new space.

on november 9th, little S celebrated her GOLDEN birthday! all you can eat ice cream bar, donut eating contest, water balloon toss... fun fun fun.

we made this fun little video on her birthday and then went out for dinner. she was loving it.

SHINE from whoanellie on Vimeo.

 apparently this was the only pic i took on thanksgiving.
 no this isn't a scene from dexter... but it is what our house looked like. luckily my mom was out of town and we stayed at her house while our house was ripped apart.
 my new models... they loved me.