Simply Real: 75 Days into Our Great HI to WA Journey

As if I needed more proof of how fast time is flying by... We've been living in Washington for 75 days now!  Everything has fallen into place so nicely.  Our belongings and car arrived here in WA about a week after Thomas got back from Hawai'i.  The car was ready for pick up the day before we were scheduled to return our rental!  I had been meaning to extend the rental but it kept slipping my mind.  Perfect timing... Thomas and I are pretty comfortable with how our home is set up and we've got a pretty good routine so the last puzzle piece that needs to fall into place is a job for Thomas.  But that, too, will happen at the right time.

Here's a photo dump of what we've been up to these past 75 days!

We juuuuust made it onto our flight! (Like no joke... we were the last one's on the plane, and we were in such a hurry I forgot our hydroflasks under Chloe's stroller.  So, they paged the owner of "a black britax stroller to please come back to the front".  Hehe... so Thomas went back up and they gave him our flasks. Go Hawaiian Airlines!  They were really nice about it.)
We've visited Bruce Lee's grave twice.  Bruce Lee is a very big inspiration to Thomas.
We've done our share of exploring.  We've driven as far North as Bellingham, WA (we eventually want to check out Canada), and we've gone to Oregon three times (twice to visit a friend in Bend, OR)

Tacoma Narrows Bridge

Along Mt. Hood Highway, OR

Tumalo Falls, OR

Tumalo Falls

We've been enjoying a lot of yummy food (mosty homecooked!).

We've been trying to save money by totally eliminating the number of times we eat out.  This forces us to be creative so we can use up all the food that we have in the fridge.  Check out the hashtag #HoltFoods on Instagram to track our culinary journey!
Most of all... we've really been enjoying time as a family.  Thomas and I decided that I will stay home with Chloe while he goes to work.  Although we had a taste of how it will be with Thomas working and me staying home, we haven't necessarily experienced it with all the stresses of being totally independent and away from our families.  I'm not gonna lie... Every time I look back at my pictures (and trust me... I take a lot) a knot builds up in my throat and I begin to miss all the familiar faces.  Thomas and I have had a true taste of freedom and independence... And we know that we'll be okay... Just like everything else that has happened... It will all fall into place at the perfect time.  Until then, we're going to enjoy this beautiful PNW weather together as a family. 

Words can't explain how grateful I am for all the blessings God has given me... Especially in the last year and a half.


Simply Real: Keiki Update 07.21.2014

So... I'm gonna try to make these "Keiki Updates" a regular thing.  Almost all of our family is back home in Hawai'i, with a few others scattered in other parts of the world.  Chloe (and pretty soon Peanut) are growing so fast and I want to share these moments with our family (and document them for us as well).  I figured this would be a good place to kind of have my pregnancy journal, I kept pretty good track of my pregnancy with Chloe on Instagram and I feel like I'm slacking with Peanut.  So... here we go!

Since we're talking about Peanut let's talk about him/her:

I am 15 weeks (and 5 days) pregnant...

Peanut is about the 4 inches long (size of a naval orange) and weighs about 2.5 oz.  We've been able to hear Peanut's heartbeat for the last two appointments and we have an ultrasound coming up.  We weren't able to get a good look at Chloe's gender at any of her ultrasounds (she really wanted it to be a surprise)... so we're considering letting this one be a surprise as well!

I've started to feel a bit better.  My appetite has improved (as you can probably tell by mine and Thomas' Instagrams >_<*).  The nausea and migraines aren't as frequent but I still have my off days.  I try to get something in my stomach before I start to feel too hungry... and I'm trying to drink more water.  Oh, and I think I've been feeling a few flutters here and there over the past week or two.  Oh... and I don't know if it's just because Chloe is growing or if it's just another pregnancy pain... but my back hurts every so often.

Speaking of that little rascal...

Little Miss Chloe-Ann...

Chloe is 10 months old and is an absolute bottomless pit.  She's willing to try anything you give her.  She's really loving the kimi balls and cinnamon creme crackers that Gramaw Kathy and Nana sent in a few care packages.

She's becoming more and more independent every day.  She's always trying to feed herself (she already feeds herself while she's snacking) and she loves her sippy cup (we leave it out all day with water and she just comes and goes and drinks from it as she pleases).  We recently bought her a walker (one of those push ones... not the ones you put them in the little seat surrounded by toys) and she absolutely loves that thing as well.  Luckily, we have mostly carpet so it goes just the right speed for her.  It's really helping her to build up her confidence.  Oh!  And her ride got upgraded to a front facing carseat!

Chloe also absolutely loves Christmas.  We all kind of knew that was going to happen... My mom had us listening to the Alvin and the Chipmunks Christmas CD in March since we were little, so naturally I listen to Christmas music all year round... and come to find out my mother-in-law also loved listening to Christmas music in July... So... sorry, Honey, but you're overuled. ^_^  Chloe's newest favorite movie is ABC Family's The Mistle-Tones.  It has lots of singing, along with pretty sounds and decorations.  Amazingly Thomas has warmed up to it, and even he's memorized "The Twelve Days of Christmas".  =]

It seems like every month Chloe reaches a new month... This month, she's started standing without having to hold onto anything.  Each day that goes by she does it longer and longer and she starts to test her balance.  Thomas says he's seen her attempt a few steps already!

Lately, Thomas and I find ourselves watching Chloe and then looking up at each other and one of us saying "Can you believe this time next year, there's going to be two of them?!"  It's scary... But a happy scary, if you know what I mean?  Maybe exciting is a more accurate word.  I really can't help but look back on where Thomas and I used to be and how much we've grown... and looking around now and feeling so happy and satisfied with the life we're building together.

A little baby yoga to calm you on this Manic Monday (it's a daily practice for Chloe...)


Simply Real: It's A New Year!!! {For me at least...}

Hellooooo!  I'm alive!  I'm sooo sorry that I've been MIA.  This pregnancy is really taking a toll on me (mostly morning sickness [all day long...] with the occasional migraine...).  But we're truckin' along... It'll all be worth it in the end.

Anyway... Today's my birthday!  As I was falling asleep last night I found myself reflecting back upon the past year.  So much has happened and changed!  It's been almost an entire year since Thomas and I both lost our jobs... just two months before my due date.  Even though my 23rd year may not have started off on the best of terms... The circumstances really gave Thomas and I the time to develop our faith and our marriage.  We were blessed to have such an amazing support system of friends and family who really helped us when Chloe was born.

Little Chloe-Ann... Probably the best thing that happened during my 23rd year.  Time really does speed up once you have a baby.  She's the most amazing blessing that Thomas and I have ever received and she honestly amazes us every single day.  In fact... Her birthday present to me was that she finally gained the confidence to stand without holding on to anything (I think she also likes the fact that Thomas and I cheer her on every time she stands with no hands). ^_^

The next biggest blessing had to have been the opportunity for my family and I to move to Washington.  We absolutely love it here and God has been setting everything up for us at the perfect times.  We can't wait to see what else the world has to offer us!

I have found that lately I've been setting more and more goals for myself... I don't know if it's because we're really on our own now and it's what's keeping me on track... or I'm just getting older and that's what grown ups do?  Anyway... I started thinking about things in my life that I could improve and make even better than it already is.

*Clears throat*

Here's my list of goals that I want to accomplish in the next year.

01 - Continue to build my relationship with God. 

Over the past year and a half I have truly found my faith and I am beginning to really feel happy and comfortable with what I believe in.  I now see how God plays a role in every aspect of my life... And that he constantly wants to shower us all with his love and blessings, while also teaching us very important life lessons.  I feel like I've learned a lot about patience and gratitude over the past year.  After losing our jobs I found myself truly putting my faith in God... that even when it seemed like we were about to stumble He would come through for us.  My relationship with God has really blossomed over this past year... And I look forward to continuing my beautiful spiritual and religious journey.

02 - Keep up with my blog!

I know... I didn't keep up with my New Year's resolution of putting up one post every week.  But I think I got pretty far for my first true shot at blogging... especially given the circumstances.  You know: moving over 2,000 miles away from all our family and friends, having a tough pregnancy thus far... I know... these are excuses.  But that's why I'm renewing my resolution for my New Year ;)

03 - Thomas.

Thomas and I have grown so much over the past year... not only as individuals, but also as a couple and as parents.  No relationship is ever perfect... and Thomas and I are constantly pushing each other to be the best that we can be.  I will admit that at times it can be a bit overwhelming to think that in six short months we will be welcoming Peanut into our family, but knowing that I have a strong and supportive husband quickly helps to calm my restless mind.  I look forward to everything this upcoming year has to offer Thomas and me.

04 - Follow my heart.  Speak up.  Megan first.

What starts a lot of stuff between Thomas and I is the fact that I constantly put aside what I want to do just because I know it would make things easier for him or because I know it's what he would want.  I always joke with Thomas that couples sometimes fight about one person only thinking of themselves... Not because they're thinking of everyone but themselves.  I do see his point though... The more I try to do what only pleases others... the less I'm feeding my own happiness.  And your soul needs happiness.  Thomas keeps trying to explain to me that those who truly love and care about me will ultimately care about my well-being and happiness... If something doesn't truly make me happy then in the end those who matter most will understand.  I really want this next year to really be about finding myself as a mother, a wife, and a woman.

Well!  I guess this is a pretty beefy post... but I feel it was necessary.  I've honestly missed writing here!  Thank you so much to everyone who took the time to wish me a happy birthday, whether it was on Facebook, Instagram, or phone call, or text.  It truly meant a lot to me!  Thanks for sticking around through this journey with me!

The perfect song for this time in my life:

Photo Dump:

Exciting things are in store for our family!

More chances for Thomas to mess with me (he may stress me out but I always end up laughing).

More road trips and adventures!  This was to Bend, OR to visit an old friend of mine.  Hawai'i certainly is beautiful... but it's just a tiny drop in a lake when you think about what the rest of the world has to offer!

We got a kick out of this sign...

On the days that I'm feeling up to it... Thomas and I have been putting our food skills to the test!

Here's to more adventures and yummy eats!