Good-Bye August 2014

When I first started to get back into blogging again... I was trying to figure out a monthly post that I could do at the beginning/end of each month to sort of recap things that we/I am currently into.  The main purpose of this blog is to document my growth as a mother and young woman... But also my family's journey through life.  We are at such an exciting point in our lives right now... And I want to be able to remember it years down the line.  One of my favorite blogs to read is Erica Castillo's To The Sea.  She does such a great job of documenting her family's adventures... She does an even better job at keeping up with an array of monthly posts that updates everyone on what's going on with her kids.  One of her latest posts is part of her "Currently..." series in which she answers a few prompts that quickly sums up what they're currently into.  I absolutely love this idea... It's something quick and easy enough to do but years down the road I can read it and transport myself back to that moment in time.

So!  Currently . . .

Looking Forward To: Winter/Fall!  Thomas and I have lived in {the ever beautiful} state of Hawai'i for our whole lives.  Every time we tell people where we moved from we're often met with confused looks, "Why would you leave paradise to come to... Washington?!"  But to tell you the truth... We're really looking forward to experiencing change (in so many other ways besides just the weather too).  Our family doesn't do too good in the heat:  Chloe will still sweat here in WA on an 80 degree day... and Thomas starts to feel claustrophobic if it gets too hot (which the occasional 90+ something day with humidity in Hawai'i can feel like)... and I love the rain a whole lot more than the heat.  Besides rain... I also love the feeling and atmosphere that the fall and winter brings!  Thomas is beyond excited to find a pumpkin patch for Halloween, and to cut down our own Christmas Tree!  Oh, and go google Leavenworth, WA Christmas (I'll wait while you click the link...).

But in case you didn't...

It's seriously something off of a postcard or out of a Christmas book.  Neither of us have seen snow before (up close at least) so we are very excited to go {safely} exploring this winter, well at least as much exploring a 9-months pregnant momma can handle.

Feeling: Blessed... Words can't explain how grateful I am that we have been able to have the opportunity to move to the mainland to really pursue our dreams (whatever they may be).  When we found out that we were expecting Chloe, Thomas and I realized that we had to grow up and start making decisions for ourselves and for our family.  Growing up in Hawai'i the importance of family is firmly engrained into all of us from a very young age.  We're taught to take care of one another, and to always help each other out.  An important lesson that Thomas and I have learned over the past year is that we will never truly be happy if we keep trying to think about what will make everyone else happy because "[ . . . ] those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind".  We had to stop putting our goals and what could truly make us happy off on the back burner.  A lot of hard decisions were made... and a lot of prayers were said... But at the end of all of it, we've learned that if you always follow your heart (with good intentions), and ask God for the guidance and strength to do what needs to be done (or the strength to turn away from a door that He closed...), you'll end up where you need to be.  The sky is the limit for us and we're young... There really is no better time for us to follow our dreams and make something of ourselves... for our family.

"We must take adventures in order to know where we truly belong."

Excited About: All the projects, plans, and goals I have for this blog!  Our babies are only going to be babies once... And after having Chloe, I totally understand why mother's always look at their husband's with those longing eyes whenever they hold a newborn/baby.  There's just something about holding a little baby (that you helped to make and bring into this world)... And I want to be able to capture those feelings and all the other precious moments for our family (but especially for me and Thomas).  I'm excited to meet and learn so much from other bloggers and vloggers who are equally as passionate about their work and family as I am.

Dreading: The huge pile of clothes (that keeps growing) that needs to be folded and put away...  I've been seeing a lot of "I guess that's a sign of growing up" posts from my friends lately on social media.  So I've been joking with a lot of them that "you know you're growing up when you just accept the fact that there will always be dishes to be washed, clothes that needs to be washed and put away, and a house to clean".  But, of course, with that... Comes so many other joys and blessings. =]

Needing: A nap... I'm not sure why but I woke up with a headache this morning (it happens every so often during this pregnancy...)  Food and naps seem to make them go away/feel better ^_^

I love when she falls asleep in our arms... She's so independent and full of energy now, she's always scooting off our laps.  So we always try to enjoy a few minutes of when she [rarely] falls asleep in arms...

Wanting: A good book to read!  I absolutely love to read.  I'm one of those people who can spend their whole day curled up on the couch with a really good book.  Another good thing about having Chloe is I can't finish a good book in one day anymore... (Yes, I'm also one of those people who gets sad when she reaches the end of a really good book/series).  I'm really willing to give anything a shot... maybe something non-fiction for now?

Watching:  Thomas and I love finding a good TV series to watch together on Netflix.  We just finished Fringe (if you like Criminal Minds/Heros/Lost/X-Files... you'll like this show.  In fact, I believe the people who worked on Lost and Heros also worked on this show?).  We're also watching Under The Dome.  Thomas has Amazon Prime so we get to watch the episodes for free a few days after it airs on TV!  We're also waiting for Supernatural and The Walking Dead to come back this fall (another reason to look forward to fall).

Working On:  Adding little personal touches around our home... and our YouTube channel and this blog. Oh... and a name for Peanut.  We're taking suggestions =]

Our baby yogi.


HoltFamilyVlog 08.30.2014: Playtime with Mommy!!

Today was a pretty cold day (cold for us at least!!)... Luckily, we like and appreciate this kind of weather.  I just spent all day playing with Chloe... Her little personality is just so funny and cute!  Enjoy today's video!


HoltFamilyVlog 08.29.2014: A Day in the Life of . . .

Chloe woke up a bit earlier than she normally does this morning... And it was also a lot chillier today!  So we just took it easy and hung out at home... We can see that one tooth has broke the surface (and there may be another peeking through...) so Chloe's been in a really good mood and seems to be feeling better!  Please enjoy this casual and laid back compilation of our day. =]


HoltFamilyVlog 08.28.2014: Too Much Chloe?!

Heck no!  It'll never be possible to have too much Chloe! Hehehe... As Chloe's personality comes out and she becomes even more independent... She just gets more and more adorable! She definitely isn't afraid to let you know when she's becoming frustrated... And she can never hide when something makes her feel happy!  Enjoy the video!


HoltFamilyVlog 08.27.2014: A Rough Day for Munchkin

When Chloe first started teething she got like six teeth within the span of two and a half months or so... But it wasn't too bad.  She wasn't super fussy or grumpy... But it seems that this time around she's having a much harder time.  It could be because a bunch of teeth are coming in again like the last time.  And she's got her molars left so... We'll have to keep an eye on her.  I also woke up feeling very tired so we spent most of the day at home trying to help Chloe feel better.  Hopefully she feels better tomorrow!  Enjoy the video!


HoltFamilyVlog 08.26.2014: All About Chloe ♥

Today I worked on getting the laundry done and put away (while trying to figure out how to best organize Chloe and Peanut's clothes...).  Chloe has two teeth making their way up through the gums so she's been getting really fussy in the afternoon... It's okay though!  It's never something that a walk outside can't cure!  Enjoy yesterday's vlog filled with Chloe!

#30Lists: List 7 - Blog Goals!

It's so funny that just yesterday I was working on cleaning up this blog... laying out a plan for it... and eventually by the end of the day I somehow ended up with a mission statement!  One of my major goals for this blog/vlog/YouTube endeavor is to really put myself out there (something that I am not normally super comfortable doing on such a large scale) and meet as many people as I possibly can who have similar interests and goals as I have.

Over the past few years I've been one of those secret followers...  One of those people who kept trying to start up a blog but never really kept with it.  So you can say I've been doing quite a bit of researching and reading... and I've pretty much figured out which types of blogs spike my interest and which ones don't.  Now at a point in my life where I am very happy and comfortable with what I want... And I'm no longer afraid to share it.  I don't know if it's because I'm a few years older and have learned that, heck, I have a lot to offer the world!  Or perhaps it's because we've moved away from home and I have a new found sense of self?  I'm not entirely sure... But I'm liking this change!

Anyway... A few months ago I somehow stumbled across Amy & Kam's 30 Days of Lists.  The concept of 30 Days of Lists is to simplify journaling while allowing the writer to be as creative as they want.  I received an email this morning encouraging us to select one of the list prompts from their May 2011 list of prompts and to post it in a blog post to share in a blog hop!  Ironically enough, one of the prompts was to list out your blog goals.  Well, hello, I was just working on a list of goals yesterday!  Not to mention one of goals was to take advantage of every opportunity to put myself out there...

So... Here you go!  Here's my list of blog goals!

Thomas has been encouraging me to aim high... So that's what I'm going to do!  I look forward to reading what the rest of you have come up with!  Stay tuned for today's vlog!


Simply Real: Keiki Update & Today's Vlog (Impossible to Clean with Chloe)

Okay!  I figured it was time for another Keiki Update!!  This past week has been a very exciting one for the entire family.  I finally started putting up our family's vlog (which you can check out here... Please subscribe!)  I also post a small little blog post to go with each vlog which will be filed under the vlog label. =]  This is our way of giving our family back home in Hawai'i a chance to watch as our family grows.

Now... Onto the kiddies.

Chloe is now 11 and a half months old.  This month she reached a very big milestone: walking!!  You can watch her in action in August 22's vlog.  She literally woke up from her nap earlier that week and just decided to get up and walk.  Everyday she's taking more and more steps...

She still only has six teeth... But she has two more sloowly making their way up.

One of her new favorite movies is Mulan... But she still loves to rock out to The Mistle-Tones every so often.  She's also back into watching her Baby Einstein series.  She loves the animals and noises they make.

Chloe will be having a doctor's appointment when she turns one so we can have more updates when that appointment happens!

Onto Peanut...

If you haven't already... I suggest you watch our very first vlog: Our 20 Week Ultrasound and Gender Reveal.  I know that we are going to love looking back as a family through these videos...  So, as it turns out.  Peanut is a girl!  I told Thomas that it's funny because all this time I kind of thought I wanted to have a boy next.  But now that I know that we are having a girl... I'm kind of relieved.  All I ask is that our baby be healthy, but there are just so many reasons for why I am happy that we're having another girl!

For example... We have a lot of pink stuff already (not to mention clothes).  Being on our own now means that we need to be a lot smarter with our money.  Having another baby girl already took quite a bit of a load off of my mind.  Peanut and Chloe are going to be about 16 months a part.  They can practically share clothes for their entire lives!  I know that this is something that my sisters and I always take advantage of (you should see us at our family garage sales... we probably make the most money off of each other buying each others clothes!). =P  Thomas and I both know that having two kids close in age could also come with a lot of bickering and what not (but what family doesn't have their share of misunderstandings)... But we are confident that we can teach our children about what's important about family: the unique love and bond that we share.

Another reason is that there's just something so precious and darling about a baby girl.  Don't get me wrong.. baby boys are absolutely adorable too!  But just something about the daintiness of a baby girl... I also told Thomas that his baby girls are going to be the ones to truly teach him what it means to be a man.  You know what I mean?...  Having to really be responsible for taking care of his family, having to be the protector and provider... Yet the nurturer and lover.

Peanut is measuring right on track (we are about 20 and a half weeks in now).  At our next appointment, we will be discussing whether or not it would be best for us to schedule a c-section or to attempt a VBAC.  Because of the way Chloe was facing when she was born, my doctor eventually decided it was best to go through with a cesarean.  Our thinking is that we may be able to plan a lot better if we have another c-section.  We both know what to pretty much expect with the healing process... But I guess we'll have to see what the doctor says as well.

Now that we are well into the second trimester I am finally beginning to feel a lot better.  I don't get nauseated as much anymore (only if my stomach gets too empty... which I try to avoid anyway)... but I also notice that I also have to make sure I don't eat too big of a meal or else my stomach will turn.  My energy level has picked up a bit and I don't get as many migraines anymore... It turns out I have actually lost five pounds since the beginning of the pregnancy but the doctor said it's okay since baby is measuring on track and I still have half way to go.

This continues to be such an exciting time in our lives... And we can't help but feel more and more like we are finding where we need to be in life.

I read the following quote on Amanda Rose Zampelli's blog. . . And it is very appropriate for where Thomas and I are in our lives right now.  I want this to be my mantra...

Today's Vlog -- Impossible to Clean with Chloe...


HoltFamilyVlog 08.24.2014: . . . Lazy Sunday =]

For some reason all of our sleep schedules got super messed up yesterday!  We all ended up taking a nap... and not waking up until 4 am -_- (even Chloe...)  Anyway... Luckily, it's a Sunday and we didn't have any errands or anything to do.  Thomas was in a cooking mood. =]

HoltFamilyVlog 08.23.2014: Special Visitors from Hawai'i!!

We were very blessed to be able to have breakfast with my Uncle Byron and cousin Bubba yesterday morning.  We had breakfast at Shari's Restaurant (it really reminds me and Thomas of Anna Miller's back home in Hawai'i).  There's nothing better than having a delicious breakfast accompanied with great company and conversation.  Thanks for breakfast, Uncle!  We hope you and Bubba have a safe trip home! ♥


HoltFamilyVlog 08.22.2014: Daddy's Princess

There never was a doubt in my mind that Thomas would be a great father.  It's so funny that he keeps wanting a boy... When really... There's no other person who can melt a man's heart more than a baby girl! Watch Thomas just GUSH over our daughter...

Also... Chloe is reaching another important milestone!  I don't know if it's just the pregnant momma hormones but I cried when I watched the final vlog with Thomas before uploading it...


Simply Real: Our First Vlog is Live!

So... Thomas and I have been talking about trying to put together vlogs for quite sometime.  I have to admit... It's my fault that it's never really gotten done since I'm the one who really knows how to edit and all that jazz (hubs is the techie guy who supplies me with the hardware and tech support).  But like I said in my recap of VloggerFair (which you can read about here)... Being around all of those vloggers (especially the family vloggers)... It really gave me the final motivation I needed to get on top of it.  I mean honestly... I take enough pictures and videos of Chloe to put something up everyday, so why not give it a shot?  We're at a very interesting point in our lives... So why not take the chance to record the memories.

So!  Without further adieu... Here's our first vlog!


Simply Real: VloggerFair 2014

I started watching vlogs (video blogs... kind of like a video diary) about three or four years ago.  My sister had told me about a makeup guru, Judy Travis, who was just starting to get into daily vlogs with her (at that time) fiancé.  The two of them had just moved into their own place and Judy was in the middle of planning her wedding.  She recorded her journey to her wedding day in a mini Wedding series.  Through the years viewers have watched them bring their three beautiful daughters into the world, build their first home together, travel the world, and so much more.  I have to say... these YouTube vloggers are really going to give reality TV a run for their money.

I believe this was the line to meet Charles Trippy.  According to his Instagram, it took 3.5 hours to meet everyone!
This past Saturday, the second annual VloggerFair was held in Seattle.  Nearly 2,000 fans and vloggers packed the exhibition hall on Mercer Street to share tips, motivate, and meet each other.  The fair was held in a Q&A format where the vloggers took the time to answer questions from the audience.  The first group were the "Family Vloggers" (such as Shaytards and Sam & Jennika).

This was perfect time for us to be at the fair.  There were so many babies and kids everywhere!  It was very inspirational to hear the different vloggers talk about how it isn't always easy to vlog but that being able to look back at the videos really made all the work (and sometimes criticism) worth it all.

We took a little lunch break and decided to explore Queen Anne.  We stumbled upon the Metropolitan Market... and we fell in love.  I joked with Thomas that we could probably survive off of what we could find at Uwajimaya and the Metropolitan Market.  We explored the market and decided to take advantage of the awesome selection of hot items and sandwiches.  Thomas settled for a sandwich and some california rolls, and I opted for a salad.  Chloe and I also shared a bowl of tomato bisque.  Yum!

We headed back to VloggerFair, where we finally got to meet Judy and Julianna (we had run into Benji earlier in the day at Uwajimaya ^_^).  It wasn't as crowded so we really got to enjoy talking to everyone!

We had an awesome and fun-filled day.  I couldn't help but feel so blessed as I was falling asleep... and a lot of it was in large part due to Thomas.  I posted the following on my Facebook page that night:

Over a year ago, Thomas told me that I would have the chance to meet Judy & Benji.  From having the small, intimate dream wedding I never knew I truly wanted to moving our little growing family to the beautiful PNW.  Thomas never ceases to show me that he's not only the man of my dreams, but also the one who makes them come true.  I can't help but feel more and more blessed as each day goes by.  

If you know me... My phone never has any memory in it because I'm constantly taking pictures and videos to capture all of life's precious moments.  Over the years, Thomas has bought me an array of cameras and even a laptop.  He has truly given me everything to pursue my dreams of recording and saving all of our family's memorable moments.  I think I can finally say that I have received the final push and motivation that I needed to actually sit down and get to work.  I want to make it a point to compile the pictures and videos that we've taken over the week... and put them together so that we can look back on them later down the road.  Maybe I'll post these videos along with my blog updates.  I already [try...] to make it a point to print my pictures and put them into my Erin Condren planner... So maybe I can share that as well.  I want to invite you all along on another journey with us, as I venture into the world of truly becoming our family's historian.

[PS] Any helpful hints and resources would be greatly appreciated. I have a MacBook Air and will probably be using iMovie to edit videos.  I've played around with Photoshop and I am thinking of also checking out LightRoom at the recommendation of my SIL. What are some of your creative ways of preserving your family's memories?

Photo Dump from VloggerFair 2014!

It was so nice to meet Shayt and Colette from Shaytards! Chloe juuuuust missed it but that's okay, they thought she was adorable even though she was asleep!

It was nice talking to Amy and Julian from AdenturesWithAJ.  Thanks for the road trip recommendations... we'll definitely keep an eye out on your vlogs for more tips!

We each got a hug from DearMamaSal! She's so sweet!

I hope Thomas and I have the chance to cook with you guys one day!  Checkout BenjiManTV for lots of food related videos!

And of course VloggerFair wouldn't have been complete without a picture with Judy!  Here entire family really is as down-to-earth as you could ever have imagined.  Julianna loved Chloe... She was trying to bring her a long.