Tuesday, April 1, 2014

maui warriors

we totally missed the deadline for little league this year. i mean, really, who is thinking about baseball in the middle of december? after researching all of our options i opted to sign cooper up for rugby. and it turned out to be the best decision i've made all year. he is a total natural, the coach works so well with him, the kids are just awesome, and he loves it. i knew we made the right choice when he first walked onto the field and right away the other kids came up and took him into their fold. it was such a relief to see my shy boy making friends so quickly. coop loves the outlet to really show off his speed and he's pretty determined on defense. at his first game he scored twice & stopped every kid that came his way. at his second game he had an incredible play, he got the ball at one end of the field & ran it 60 yards for a try (score). no one could catch him. i absolutely love watching him so eager & excited to play. the whole experience has been challenging & rewarding not just athletically but mentally & socially, too. i'd say it's a win/win/win. the league held a luau fundraiser a few weeks ago. it was legit. the food & performances were totally on par with the big luaus on island. coop did the haka with the rest of the boys his age. it was the just about the cutest thing i've ever seen. typically, he plays other maui teams but every few months they compete against oahu teams.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

big island

during my parents annual january visit we opted to spend part of their vacation on the big island. let me just say, if i wasn't already totally head over heels with maui i would most definitely up & move to kona. did i mention it has a target? gah! i miss that store almost as much as i miss descent mexican.  for reals, though, big island is rad. i would have to say it's tied with oahu & kauai as my second favorite island (get it?). the place totally lives up to it's name. it is huge. we spent more time in the car over our few days there than in the past 3 months on maui. thankfully, the island is saturated in beauty so you don't mind long drives staring out the window. there really is something for everyone on big island. there is just so much to do & despite our attempts we barely scratched the surface. we are already building an itinerary for our next trip.

we each had our own highlights from the trip. cooper loved exploring the lava tubes, checking out the volcano, & swimming in the hotel pool. tj loved ahalanui but he really loved the plane & shuttle rides. mylo was happy anytime he had a little space to run free. todd enjoyed seeing all the different parts of the island but i think his most favorite was waipio valley. as for me? gosh, i really can't decide. i loved the natural lava pools, the active volcano, & sunset at anaeho'omalu bay, but the best part was having two extra set of hands to help with the kids. nothing beats not having to crawl in to the back of a minivan to strap babies in to carseats or turning around every 48 seconds to hand something to someone. tj still talks about big island on the regular, like daily. every time we get in the car he asks where we are going, then it's always, "oh, is that on maui or big island?"

pu'uhonua o honaunau

punalu'u black sand beach

kaumana caves

natural hot lava pools

waipio valley

waipio valley

rainbow falls

anaeho'omalu bay

puako petroglyph park

pu'ukohola heiau national park

volcano national park & steam vents

volcano national park & thurston lava cave

pu'u o'o crater, kilauea

akaka falls, kealakekua bay, old kona airport

coconut island, banyan tree drive, painted church, ahalanui pool, hapuna beach, 
mauna kea beach, crater rim drive, kilauea iki overlook

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

st. patrick's hunt

st. patrick's day isn't exactly the most exciting of holidays. i think you can all relate. to be honest, i've never given the holiday much thought beyond some speck of green to avoid pinching & possibly a corned beef & cabbage dinner. until last year, on st. patrick's eve as i was tucking my coop into bed he said, "you know, i don't like st. patrick's day. it's so boring." that statement (true as it may be) just wasn't gonna fly with me. no day is allowed to be boring in the watkins hale. so we jumped out of bed & headed to my craft closet. on a whim we whipped up a leprechaun trap, (judging by the gold footsteps discovered the next morning that little leprechaun narrowly escaped). i put the boys to bed & went straight to pinterestafter a total disappointing search (i mean, i found some cutesy crafts & treats but nothing, you know, not boring) i set out to come up with some sort of something that i could create last minute with the supplies i had on hand. i ended up designing a printable rainbow to use in a color hunt. basically, the boys were each given a printable rainbow & a clue. the clue led to another clue & so on. each clue came with a different colored crayon. they were instructed to color each stripe of the rainbow & when their rainbow was complete they would be led to a pot o' gold. easy for me, fun for them. double score! combine that with a breakfast of lucky charms & coop was sold. st. patrick's day has now worked it's way up to cooper's 3rd favorite holiday (following his birthday & christmas, of course). in fact, the dude has been designing his upcoming leprechaun trap & outlining his potential wishes for months.

so if you ever find yourself in a rather unfortunate st. patrick's day bind feel free to use this free printable download to put on your own color hunt. i'm including my clues here, ya know, in case your feeling extra lazy & these happen to work for you home.

                                                            RAINBOW DOWNLOAD

Sunday, February 16, 2014


meet, godzilla watkins. our first, semi-legit (aka non-fish) pet. isn't he rad? he was wondering around todd's campus when a coworker stumbled across him. todd quickly laid claim & dubbed this handsome little devil a member of our team. he spent the rest of the day wondering around todd's office. those two definitely formed a bond in those few hours that cannot be replaced. weeks later zilla still prefers todd to the rest of us. the boys were super stoked when daddy surprised them with their very own jackson chameleon. i mean, really, who wouldn't be excited about this little guy?! zilla was a little fussy the first week or so. he wasn't a huge fan of the whole cage thing. in fact he rammed the door a few times attempting to escape. he refused to eat anything but rolly-pollies, which aren't exactly easy to come by. but after warming up he is now happy to munch on any critter we offer. he does insist on alive bugs. so every day when we walk to school, or around the neighborhood, or visit the park we catch bugs to bring home to zilla. 

the boys love feeding him. it is awesome. he has this craaaaazy long tongue. so you hold the bug a few inches out. after he notices it he shoots his tongue & grabs the bug. the whole process takes about .5 seconds. it's crazy. the bug is there & the next instant it's gone. 

we are all big zilla fans. well, everyone but mylo. mylo has been known to bully godzilla from time to time. lucky for him, he has two other big brothers that quickly come to the rescue. of all our pets (godzilla the jackson chameleon & our fish, spike, rocky, flash, swimmer 1, & swimmer 2) he is definitely our fave. one day, our boys will get a dog & find out what a real pet is like. 

Monday, February 3, 2014


i've always been a bit of a jealous person; i was an awful girlfriend, & a pretty obnoxious friend. i really just don't enjoy the feeling of being left out, never have. as an adult i really tried to overcome this ugly characteristic. not to pat myself on the back or anything, but i did pretty well. for the past few years i haven't had any relapses. until last sunday. it was a beautiful day, sun shining, birds chirping, you get the picture. i had mylo on my lap & we were browsing through the most recent pictures on our hard drive (he loves looking at pictures of our ohana). we came across picture after picture of the amazing sights that todd has seen, every single one of which i missed. first of all, he has had countless exposures to honu, eels, all types of fish, & even an octopus. i mean sure, i see honu as they lay on the beach or swim by the shore. it is so rad & i adore every moment i share with them. but he actually gets to swim & interact with the creatures! so unfair.

secondly, he has had three, yes three, close up encounters with humpbacks. i can't even describe how amazed i am by humpbacks. i have always lovingly admired them from a distance. so so unfair.

the icing on the cake was when he had a surprise swim with dolphins one morning. todd got up extra early & went to la perrouse. as he was swimming a pod of spinners swam right up to him; playing, & totally performing for over an hour. i love dolphins! and i've never been within 200 yards of them. so so ridiculously unfair. anyway, here i was feeling all gloom & a little ticked that my husband had too many once in a lifetime experience while i had none. you know, since i'm always at home or on the beach with the kids-don't get me wrong, i'd rather be with my three than a pod of whales or dolphins any day, i just wish that once in a while i could see something incredible with my boys. 

so in an attempt to turn my frown upside down i suggested we head to the west side. we weren't 15 minutes into our drive when i noticed a giant splash outside my window. we parked & rushed out of the car. there was  a pod of whales, a mom, a dad, & an adorable little baby performing not 50 yards away. the mom was enormous. watching her breach was beyond incredible. and the baby, oh he was just the cutest teensy little thing! it was seriously incredible & just what i needed to cure my jealous vibes.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

mele kalikimaka 2013

and this is exactly why you do not put off blogging. i've totally forgotten everything that happened over christmas. and isn't that the pointing of blogging, to remember those itty bitty precious details? and to make matters worst, i'm finding a total lack of holiday pictures as i'm scrolling through our archive. total mom fail. i'll give a record my best effort.

this holiday season went by faster than probably any other i've experienced. it started early when my cousins visited for thanksgiving (such an amazing week. i keep trying to convice them to relocate permanently), then we went straight into t.j.'s birthday, followed immediately by my mother-in-law visiting (finally! so good to have her around), & before we knew it christmas had come & gone. i tried to cram as much holiday festivities in as i could but i just didn't seem to have enough time or energy for every thing. we enjoyed holiday parties & play dates,  crafting, decorating, & baking, gingerbread houses, presents, snow men made out of sand, & a book advent calendar. it was hard keeping up with everything but so so worth it. cooper is very in to holidays, celebrations, & traditions. every time i tried to let something slide he was right there begging to bring it back i.e. homemade cinnamon rolls for christmas eve breakfast-i so wasnt't up for that but who can turn down his cherubic face? we are so grateful for the family we were able to see during the holidays & the dear friends who helped fill the void.

this was the first christmas eve were cooper was too overwhelmed with excitement to fall asleep & eagerly up before the sun. his brothers weren't quite sure what to expect but the quickly copied his enthusiasm. christmas day was absolutely perfect. normally i bulk up on presents. this year i went with the mantra, less is more. and it totally was. i limited the presents to seven quality gifts for the bigger boys & five for mylo. i put so much time & thought in to each gift. i wanted it to be something the would really enjoy & that wouldn't break before the week was up. they loved everything they got. cooper's favorite gifts were an ipod touch & a giant amythest from grama & papa. tj loves his car duplo set. mylo cannot get enough of his new basketball hoop & golf set. i planned to stop by the beach early in the afternoon so we could get back in time for our christmas dinner. but the boys were having too much fun to break it up. i decided to let them play with their toys until all day, move our christmas dinner to a late lunch, & stop by the beach for a sunset, instead. it was absolutely perfect. 

Friday, December 20, 2013

family fotos 2013

sometimes i wonder why i still blog. i mean, really, who has the time? not me. yet, somehow i manage to squeeze blogging in to the few free seconds i manage to find. these are pictures from our latest family photo session with the amazing, & oh so talented, ian nitta. we wanted these pictures to have meaning beyond their beauty. and ian certainly captured that. we went to one of our favorite  family beaches. just looking at this spot brings my heart so much joy. we have so many happy memories of sunday afternoons swimming, exploring, & playing on this strip of sand. and you notice those mountains in the background, see the one on the left, that's where we live. the highest row of houses furthest to the right, that's us. in fact, we look out on this this water from our lanai. and do you spy that little town at the base of the mountain, that's our little town. lastly, did you catch on to the fact that mylo is being held through most the shoot. that's because we took these pictures 4 days after his cast came off & he wasn't back on his feet. so you see, that's why i blog. so i can jot down a few memories to go with our pictures. so i can remember the things i never want to forget. also, making an anual family photo book is a high priority on my to do list & blogging makes the task a little less strenuous.