Whew, what a whirlwind, am I right? A new year, a new decade, and personally, going on year 2 of being a mama and business owner at the same time! Honestly, I wasn’t sure how I’d carry on after triumphing in documenting monthly updates through Coco’s first year. I truly loved sharing the behind-the-scenes of our lives and being able to watch her grow month by month.
One thing I’ve learned as a mom is that when you’re in a moment, you swear to yourself you’ll remember everything about it, but life inevitably becomes this giant blur and so looking back, all of those precious photos and journal entries here on the blog help bring me back. So I decided that I do want to continue a monthly update, mostly Coco related, but also just life as we know it, so that I am personally encouraged to dig into the photos we’ve shot, sit down at the keyboard to type about our lives, and hit publish for you (and future me) to see!
Family Vaca in Hawaii
This past month has been a bit crazy but in the best ways! We went straight from the holidays to packing our suitcases, kissing the pups goodbye, and jumping on a plane to Hawaii! We usually come for the month of February, but this year we scooted our plans up a month (for good reason) so that we could enjoy the island with my entire family. It was truly a dream come true and partly a miracle that we were all able to align dates, book flights, and enjoy some sand and sun as a fam.
The last time my family took a trip all together, it was to Cancun and it was a decade ago! I smile when I think of it because you had to pay for Wifi in the hotel lobby, and my brother and I would fight over the minutes so that we could message our now-spouses on Facebook. How amazing is it that ten years later, we are all married, some with kids, and spending time together?!
I eventually want to write a blog post titled, “How to plan a family vacation that doesn’t totally suck!” because I was blown away by how much fun we had as a fam and the ease we had in spending time with one another. It helps that we all go with the flow while remaining independent, but at the heart of it, we love spending time together, so that’s what we ended up doing the most!
My family has all left the island, and it’s safe to say I am lonesome for them. It was such a blessing (and the first time in 16 years that we were all in the same vicinity for more than a day), and I loved having everyone close. I am especially grateful for the date nights we got to have since we had babysitters for the first time on the island. 😉 We also had a personal handyman (looking at you, dad!) and help with a few little updates on the condos! It was truly a dream come true to host my family here, something we envisioned when we bought the condos a few years ago!
Travel with Baby
The flights out went really well. I’ll be honest in sharing that I had a bit of anxiety about it since Conley is on the move these days. It’s that weird in-between stage where she’s too young to engage with or care about screens but too old to sleep the whole time or just patiently sit in our laps. We packed a ton of toys, snacks, and things to keep her busy (like painters tape) but thanks to delays, both of the main flights happened right around her bedtime, and so she did end up sleeping most of the flights, which was such a blessing. I swear, my butt and arms went numb, but you better believe I wasn’t going to move a sleeping baby on a long flight. Drew definitely fed me my dinner while she slept in my arms.
I wrote this post about how to travel internationally with a baby and it shares a ton of how we’ve navigated travel with a little one! This is Conley’s third trip to Hawaii so while we’ve done it a few times, every time feels brand new because she’s changing so quickly! That girl sure has racked up a lot of frequent flier miles on mama’s lap!
What we’re loving this month
- The Slumberpod: This is the blackout tent that helps a baby sleep ANYWHERE. Oh man, y’all know I am a fan of Shark Tank and the inventors of The Slumberpod were just on the show (spoiler: they got a deal from Barbara!) and this invention has saved us! I was a little worried about how sleep would go being in a one bedroom condo that’s beautifully bright, but not totally conducive to a baby sleeping during the day. It took one day for Coco to adjust to it but now she loves it and sleeps so well with it. I only wish we had got it sooner, because it’s a dream for travel.
- The Ergo Carrier: Is it bad that this has been in our round ups a million times? My mom while she was here asked, “What would you do without that thing?” And I laughed because we use it daily. Thankfully Coco loves to be carried in it, and as she grows and is more observant, she loves seeing the world. We went on a lot of 5 mile walks with her in this carrier, and it was a great workout for mama and a great way for her to partake in the views.
- This Plate: Our friends sent us this plate and it was pretty much a Godsend. We’ve been navigating how the heck to dine out with a girl who loves to feed herself without breaking dishes. When this arrived, I smiled. It allows us to section off her food and let her feed herself without fear that we’ll be cleaning up glass by the end of dinner! I love these genius inventions and great friends who gift them! Thanks, Jer and Theresa!
New Year Thoughts
I feel like I was kind of thrust into this new decade without much warning. It just all happened so fast: Christmas, flights to Hawaii, and BOOM, it’s a new year and decade. It’s been a harder transition since I’m used to working January and preparing for our trip, I’ve been feeling like I never really had a minute to take a step back and dream and goal set and vision plan. As a business owner, January always feels like a great time of year to really plan, and so being on island and being used to just chillaxing while here has brought on this weird mix of relaxed vibes while fighting this feeling like I really need to just get to work to kick this year off right. Weird, right?
I am definitely so excited for this year. Now that Conley is one, I am feeling ready to ramp up again, to hit the road a bit more, and to really get to work — more than part-time, like I did for last year! I am so excited to see what’s possible in this decade and ready to execute at a higher level to serve you, my community, in new ways. I still have no clue what to expect out of this year but I do know how I want to feel: inspired, challenged, free. When I use those words as the ruler to which I make my big decisions, it makes it easy to decipher what is truly a fit and what isn’t. I can’t promise what you’ll see from me this year but I can promise that it’s going to be an epic year of growth and I’m ready for it! This mama fog is lifting, and I’m here for this new energy that’s coming to me!
It’s been a little surreal to be back on the island because I have such vivid memories of our past trips and our story is so deeply entwined with this place from our first and second pregnancies happening here to being pregnant with Conley here and bringing her here as a newborn. Being back makes me see her growth and changes in such a tangible way that it stops me in my tracks and reminds my mama heart of how fast time truly flies!
The island life suits her so well. She’s been loving the sand, she giggles and beelines for the water, and has even started to take tentative steps on the beach. It was so fun to watch her get to hang out with her cousins at the beach; she is definitely understanding so many new things and by the end of the trip she could point to each person of our family when we named them. It was special getting to watch our loved ones make memories with our girl.
We have a couple more weeks on the island and are ready to settle into life just us three doing the things we love while being here. Pool days (Coco prefers the little foot shower more than the actual pool, lol), sunsets at the beach, long stroller walks, happy hours at our fave spots, live music, and sunshine. I feel so wildly blessed to have this time to ease into a new decade with my little family and to really reflect on all that’s happened in our worlds since our first trip here years ago. It’s safe to say the island life inspires me to dream bigger while simultaneously slowing down. What a beautiful representation of what life has looked like for us as of late.
I had to jet set for quick trip to New York City and I’ll be honest, I was a bit anxious. I’ve left Coco for a few days only a couple of times, but it’s usually when we’re home in Minnesota and my mom is there to help Drew out. Needless to say, I shouldn’t have worried. Drew had the best time and rocked the dad life (like I knew he would!) It’s just always hard for me to leave the people I love to do what I love and something I have to continually reconcile each time they drop me off at the airport. I am loving the more independence I am having as she gets a bit older but clinging to these baby days with all I’ve got. So thankful to have flexibility, the chance to say “no” and a partner in crime who is an incredible parent!