My tester.

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Other photographer’s seem to always have a new set of beautiful images every other week of their own children, whether it be with their studio equipment or at some amazing location. I feel like barely keep my children looking decent for a brief catch up photo shoot every couple of months! But hey, we call do what we can do and it looks like that can just be something for me to improve upon. I think I shot these of Hazel a couple of months ago? I like to bring her in to test my light just to make sure I am good to go. Most of the time her hair is a wreck or her clothes have food on them, but she actually was pretty cute and cooperative her. Hazel has a goofy little personality. I think that shines through in these pictures. 🙂

Little jumper.

You should see this girl jump in person. Hazel loves to jump, jump, jump. But mainly by herself. She gets peeved at her sister and any other big kids that might come bounce to high to ruin her fun.  Hazel loves it when Greg or I come on the tramp with her.  She basically likes us to sit there and she will bounce around us or come tackle us with a hug.  All the while giggling with every bounce. I need to record this because it’s pretty darn cute.
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Maui was a dream.

Greg and I both turned 30 in March. For months before our big birthdays we were brainstorming what we should do to celebrate turning the big 3-0. We decided a beach vacation was in order. While going through different options of locations, my Mom and step Dad were planning their trip to Maui. Then the thought occurred to me, why not hop on their vacation and share a condo with them that they were planning to rent in Maui? I asked my Mom, maybe whined and begged, and she was nice enough to say yes! We booked our flights then next week and plans were set! Greg and I hadn’t been to Hawaii yet and we were counting down the days until our big vacation arrived. We left the last day of April and stayed for entire week. The entire vacation was a dream. We had a blast each and every day. I wasn’t able to take my Nikon every where I wanted, most adventures I left it back in the condo to keep it safe. But during this vacation I wanted to challenge myself on taking better landscape and nature photography.  I made sure to pack it around with us on some adventures to capture the incredible scenery Maui has to offer.  I am proud to say I have already printed two of my favorite pictures from the vacation, just need to hang them up!

Our first day there we visited the amazing Bayan tree park in Lahaina.  All of the branches you see here is from one tree.  Incredible!
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The second day in Maui we drove to the Iao valley and needle.  The views were awesome as you can see.  We were lucky in the fact that it wasn’t a cloudy or rainy day.  This way we were able to have the beautiful views that we did have.
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Driving out of the Iao valley we came across a crazy big bayan tree.  You can’t touch or swing from the giant bayan tree in Lahaina, but nobody was stopping us at this one!  We might have gotten a little too excited to swing from the vines.  See for yourself.
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Our third day into vacation we decided to do the big drive on the Road to Hana.  Our first stop was Punalau Falls.  We bought an App called Maui Revealed and the author claimed if you wanted to see a waterfall the pool that you would basically have to yourself when hiking up to it, this was it.  Greg and I took the chance.  We parked the car off the freeway and made our way through the jungle.  There was hardly a trail but then you dropped into the river and had to hike up to the river to reach the falls.  I was starting to get nervous about how much further we needed to go when all of a sudden we reached a corner and saw the waterfall!  Sure enough, we had the entire pool and waterfall to ourselves.  It was crazy amazing.  So amazing in fact that I kept repeating, “this is amazing.  I can’t believe we are here!”  I bet Greg was sick of hearing it over and over again, but I really couldn’t get over it.  Like a scene out of a movie!
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We continued on the road to Hana and reached a little town called Keane.  Keane had beautiful views and a delicious banana bread stand we stopped at.  It’s about half way on the road to Hana.
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Next stop was the famous Seven Sacred Pools!  I was really excited for this one.  You normally are able to go right to the pools and swim in them, but because the run off was so powerful and high the time of year we went, nobody was allowed to get near them.  Pretty disappointed, but it was a beautiful sight to see nonetheless.
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From the pools we went right onto the hike on the Pipiwai trail.  Here you pass by an incredible waterfall, make your way through the gorgeous bamboo forest, and arrive at the Waimoku falls.  A four hundred foot waterfall.  It was loud to say the least and we were wet just standing fifty feet away from where the water landed.
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After our hike, we headed even further south out of the road to Hana.  We turned around to see these rainbows forming right over the ocean.  It was breathtaking to be there!  There were a couple of others that had stopped to take in the views too.  A young Asian woman started running down the hill in front of us and singing.  I had to admit I was tempted to do the same thing because the darn sight was just that beautiful.  Greg and I both got some shots with our cameras when all of a sudden it started down pouring.  A crazy fast downpour.  We ran to our car which was only twenty feet or so away and we were still pretty wet.  Greg and I started laughing pretty hard when we realized that that poor woman was probably clear down that steep hill getting drenched!  I am happy it wasn’t me!  Haha.
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A few days into our vacation we made a trek out to the Olivine pools.  When first wandering into the pools I was horrified to find a little creature’s head poking out of a hole!  I thought it was an eel.  Upon further inspection we realized it was these little tiny fish that lived in these pools and would hide out in the holes.  Greg was brave and took a dip in the deepest pool area and then made me do the same.  How often can you say you have done that?  Of course we had to since we were there.  We saw little black crabs wandering around and were able to get right close to the powerful ocean waves coming up on the side of the rocks.
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Greg and I like to visit to the most plush hotels on the island.  We liked the Ritz-Carlton’s luxury much better than the Four Seasons.  We wandered around, get the complimentary water and juices they have, and relax on their fun bungalows and hammocks.  Not too shabby of a place to visit.
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And that is the last of my images from the dream of a vacation we had.  I also took many pictures of our other adventures on my phone which was posted to my Instagram account throughout the vacation and long after we were home too!  I am sure people were sick of me over sharing, but I couldn’t help it!  The vacation was a straight up dream, we wanted to cry when driving to the airport to go home.  But we were pretty darn excited to see our sweet girls.  I missed them so much it hurt.  I just wanted to thank my Mom and Step-Dad once again for letting us hop on their wonderful Hawaiian vacation!  We had such a blast.  I keep reliving moments in my head so I won’t forget.  That’s why I take the millions of pictures that I do!  I don’t want to forget the incredible memories we made.

Maui was a dream.  We can’t wait to take the girls with us one day.  But that won’t be for years to come.  So for now, I will stare at our pictures and remember all of our incredible adventures.

Hazel the two year old.

Hazel turned two on us. Hazel adds so much life to our home.  Words that can describe her are lively, spirited, and happy.  Her happiness is contagious.  Hazel gives us all the giggles when she is being particularly wild.  Hazel is starting to chat away, but doesn’t have the clearest pronunciation yet, so sometimes I almost miss what she is trying to explain to me.  Her favorite phrases are, “Let go!, I know!, there it is, and ready, set, go!”  Hazel loves to try and keep up with Lydia.  If Lydia is doing homework, Hazel needs to be pretending to do homework, if Lydia is riding her bike around the block, Hazel is trying to scoot her wiggle car after her.  It’s cute and endearing to see.  Hazel loves family group hugs.  Hazel also loves a good hop, jump, and twirl.  Hazel keeps me company while Lydia is at kindergarten.  Hazel loves to see the school bus pick Lydia up and drop Lydia off.  Hazel also love mickey mouse as most toddlers too.  I thought it would be fitting to get her a minnie mouse cake to match the minnie mouse dress my mother sewed for Lydia a few years ago.  I knew Hazel would love to be dressed like minnie and have the cake the same.  When I showed her the cake, she kept pointing and saying Minnie with a big grin.  That made my day and party prep worth it.  The future for Hazel looks full of adventure and happiness with the way her personality is going.  I am incredibly happy to be her mother.  Happy birthday to our beautiful two year old!
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