This Week at the Brennans’

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family posing for picture in hawaii
You can’t see the waterfall behind us, but it was behind us. Haha!

Well, I am just getting back to reality after our two week vacation to Hawaii! I keep saying this again and again, but it was truly the vacation that we didn’t know we needed. We were carrying a lot of stress that I think we just got used to carrying and once we were on vacation and it all melted away, that’s when we realized “wow, we really needed that.”

So, while we are so happy we got to spend two weeks in paradise, we are happy to be back in the same rhythm and swing of things.

dad with two boys sitting on beach
My beach boys.

Here’s what happened these past few weeks:

Porter finally said “Mama”! He just started saying it in Hawaii and I just about died. IT’S ABOUT TIME. He doesn’t say it very frequently, but when he does, it’s magic! He likes to shake his head no a lot, especially when we ask him to do or say something (stinker!) but I’m not convinced he knows what he is doing. He does a lot of things because he knows he’s being funny. He is turning into quite the character.

In Hawaii, we were able to rest, visit many beaches, enjoy a few date nights, go on a helicopter tour, visit a cacao farm, go snorkeling and enjoy many malasadas. When we arrived in Hawaii, we really didn’t have any plans. We wanted to rest and not feel like we were slave to a schedule. Turns out that was the best thing for us! We traveled all around the island and as we were there, we were able to plan things one day at a time. It was awesome.

man and woman with masks on in helicopter
Gordon and I on the helicopter tour of the big island.

All our kids loved the water, Brooke preferred the ocean while Blake and Eddie preferred the pool at the vacation rental. 

Blake started swimming laps in the pool after a little coaxing. He isn’t super efficient, but the more he practices, the better he gets at swimming. We are hoping there will be some swim lessons that become available in the near future as things open up more around our little town.

Eddie started doing cannon balls into the pool with his googles and puddle jumper on. He even convinced Gordon to take a few slow-mo videos of his cannon balls! (Ok, no convincing was required. Ha!) He is the cutest boy.

Brooke was boogie boarding all over for the first 10 days, but then had a bad case of swimmers ear and had to ease up on the water activities. I’ve never had swimmers ear and have no experience with it, but luckily, one of our neighbors back home was a PA and after a quick text, we were able to get what we needed to help her feel better.

mom with sunglasses smiling with boy
Eddie and I on the snorkel cruise. Sunglasses are currently on sale for $39 here.

I’m confident I gained a bunch of weight after enjoying one too many chocolate covered macadamia nuts, but man was it worth it! It feels good to be home and back in the swing of things, but we certainly did bring four extra boxes of Hawaiian chocolate home with us.

Gordon perked up quite a bit while in Hawaii and it was lovely to have a carefree husband again. He is mostly carefree anyways, but a few things have been weighing on him and it was nice to give all.the.things a break. Heck, even for me, the daily stress of my to-do list can really pull me down, so it was nice to have a mental (and physical) break.

We traveled to Hawaii with some dear friends that we’ve known for 7+ years. We have been homeschooling with them since September and it was so nice to have traveling companions. Their kids match up in age with our kids really nicely, so having built-in buddies for everyone truly made it seem more like a vacation versus a family trip. And their two oldest and Brooke were all old enough to watch the younger kids so the parents could enjoy a nice dinner out. We did that twice and holy moly, it was glorious! Having older kids is the bomb. Brooke has already taken an online babysitting course through Red Cross and has been itching to babysit for others but given the current circumstances, she hasn’t had many opportunities, so we’ve given her some chances to gain experience.

mom on beach with baby
Porter love love loved the water and sand. He’d scream at first, getting used to the temperature of the water, but then would kick and scream when it was time to go home.

I am slowly editing all my photos from Hawaii (over 1000…oops) and look to write a huge blog post about it soon with accompanying pictures. It felt like the vacation of a lifetime and would highly *highly* recommend The Big Island. 

Here’s what is coming up this next week:

We are still getting used to the time zone change after spending two weeks at two hours ahead. That paired with daylight savings (which I didn’t even realize was happening until I woke up on Sunday morning) has really mixed us up. Thankfully, Porter seems to be sleeping longer hours than before our trip (now sleeping 13 hours instead of his usual 11 at night) which is good news all around.

My middle boys are slowly getting used to it and poor Brooke still begs us to sleep in a little longer. It is so easy adjusting to a time zone that is earlier, but trying to come back to where it’s later is just no fun, is it?

I am putting the finishing touches on my new Macro meal plan. (Have you signed up for my meal plan service yet? Learn more here.) I currently have a regular everyday-type meal plan but am creating a new meal plan with new recipes not available on my blog for those of us who are counting Macros. (A macro diet is a higher protein, lower fat diet that has helped me lose 25 pounds after I had Porter.) You can read all about my weight loss here.) Anyways, I’m really excited about it.

mom on beach with baby
Playing in the sand with my sweet boy.

We are slowly finishing our office and are ordering French doors, finally! We installed some built in cabinets for all of our extra office supplies and my photography equipment and I did buy paint over the weekend, but have yet to paint. We also need to decide on some flooring that isn’t carpet. I think we are leaning towards luxury vinyl plank but are not opposed to engineered hardwood. I asked on instagram which one would be better and the majority said vinyl plank! (Like 95% of people said to go with the vinyl!) So, whatever we choose will be what we use in the rest of our main level in our home. We will add the flooring to the office first and then slowly install it to the rest of the house. 

Anyways, have a great week, friends! Thanks for following along and being huge cheerleaders and supporters of our family. We love you!

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9 Responses
  1. Emma

    Is the pandemic over in the US? I can’t imagine a life where we can go on vacations. Where I live we have been in lockdown for 4 months and get even get a haircut or go to a restaurant. These photos were refreshing!

  2. Courtney

    So glad you guys had a great trip! You don’t realize you really need a break, until you take a break. 🙂 Can’t wait to see the photos. Love the pic of you and Eddie, he is getting so big!

  3. Laurie

    Could you tell us where you stayed in Big Island, maybe a link? And did you like the house? It looked like a wonderful, relaxing trip.

  4. Mary Ann

    Please do not get engineered hardwood. If you drop something it makes a dent. Also shows footprints. I’d go with vinyl. We are 2 adults. I’d hate to see what kids would do to it!!!

  5. TinaMarie

    Glad to hear about your vacation of relaxation. John Wooden once said “Do not let making a living, prevent you from making a life” the kids get big fast spend as much time with them as possible. The greatest memories ever. Sending lots of happiness and continue success on your recipes and family. Thanks for sharing

  6. Donna Brennan

    Get the vinyl. We got vinyl planking when we remoded the company suggested vinyl planking. It is great. Easy to clean. We have it throughout the house

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