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Ohana.

Suffice to say, I have done an awful job of updating this summer. Been all sorts of distracted — but mostly in the best sorts of ways. Long, drawn out lunches with the girls, jibber-jabbering with the smallest Bird, lazy mornings watching the first sunbeams sneak into the room and choosing to stay both in pajamas and under the ceiling fan. That sort of thing.

But, oh! Hawaii. Four thousand miles and a rather uneventful plane trip under their collective belt, the Langes took one epic family vacation this past month in order to celebrate Papa and Gramma’s 30th wedding anniversary and Papa’s 50th birthday. Here are just a few peeks into our adventures.

Going…going…gone. Carter’s first plane trip. He’s such a busy boy, he rarely cuddles these days. My arms were so full and happy with my sleeping boy.

Patrick and my dad after swimming with sharks. (!!!!!!what).

Not a bad view to wake up to.

My whole heart.

Landry was hysterical the whole trip. Such a trooper, and she started crawling to boot.

❤ Patio Eats

 

30 Years. Where has the time gone?

Best friend.

Megan and Patrick and a Sean Patrick bump.

My longest best friend. Carter’s longest best friend.

Mang-an

Beauties.

That face.

There’s a group of Langes under that waterfall.

Grandma’s girl.

On the train at the Dole Plantation.

Peach checking out pineapples.

Lange kids and their kids.

New mama

Carter and his ‘Patch’

 Mike Lange catching a wave.

Miley telling off a peacock

I hope a look that good when I’m 50. Whatever, Dad.

My baby brother.

Polynesian Cultural Center

Our sweet tatts.

Patrick and Meg after he led our tribe into the chief’s hut.

My ham.

I made the cutest french fry eater.

D’aww.

Ready for the flight home!

 

 

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Carter Bird is ONE.

Dear Carter,

On a chilly morning this December, you, my littlest bird, woke up and were decidedly 12 months old. I tried to best prepare my mind for that fateful Wednesday, but it shook me awake: you are one, you are one, you are one, the world said.

You have become so many things in one year — brave, sensitive, mischievous, curious, clever, friendly, and strong. You make my heart soar every day. Your dad says to me almost daily, “Thanks for giving me that Carter.” We love you immeasurably.

You had a puppy party. You so love dogs, it seemed appropriate. (I considered a ball party, as that’s probably more accurately your first true passion.) A house full of Hoot Owl-lovers gathered.

And ohh, the cake-eating. Uncle Matt said it was the best first-birthday smash he’d ever seen. I have to agree. Seated in your thrown, you lifted that smash cake right up off the table, plate and all, your eyes nearly the same blue as the frosting that covered your face.

You decided that while it was your birthday, you might as well go for your first kiss. You couldn’t take your eyes off of 16-month old Alexa, or her potato chip for that matter. Later, you gave her scandalous open-mouth kisses as she left.

You were so taken by the balloons Aunt Michelle tied to your presents. For days afterwards, you’d roll around in the strings until they were attached to you and take them everywhere you crawled.

Thank you to everyone who came. Baby Bird, you were so excited to see so many friends. You sure are one loved little munchkin.

Happy one year to you, our little mister. Thank you for a year of adventure and wonder. Try to slow down a little.

Always with love,

Mama

 

 

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Doesn’t anybody stay in one place anymore?

Today, I’m feeling maladjusted to this new phase of my life. I planned for it, worked for it, and now that it’s here, it feels like a sneak attack. Today was odd and beautiful.

It was just the type of day that you wake up late to a missed call and text from a best friend. You don’t have to read the words that go along with the picture she’s sent you: she’s wearing a gorgeous heirloom diamond ring on her left hand and there’s lots of exclamation marks. And you are so, so happy for her, and wish she wasn’t 2500 miles away, so that you could squeeze her, because you know she’s giddy and she’d probably laugh in that cackling sort of way she does when she’s really, really happy.

But then, after you hang up, all you can think about is being 14, 15, 16 years old, and the way you used to stay up on AIM all night working on homework. You think about when the two of you got your driver’s licenses, and how she’d go 39 in a 40 just to be safe. You think about the Weezer concert you went to, and the Halloween you dressed up like two of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Later in the afternoon, I met a long-time friend for coffee at my favorite Phoenix coffee shop. We chatted about memories, politics, significant others, careers. Again, I felt old, if that’s even the right word, because I know I’m not old. But there we were, two friends who met when we were in high school, went through college together, and were seeing each other, nearly eight years from that beginning, for coffee. He’s engaged and looking into becoming an adjunct faculty member at the community college. I’m a married-mom-teacher. We own houses.

Tonight, I took Carter to my friend Katie’s one-year old’s birthday party. I’ve known Katie since we were seven. We were raised together. I had Carter four months after her daughter was born, and now she’s working on her second.

It was maybe the best birthday party I’ve ever been to. It was a ladybug picnic. There were kids in swimsuits everywhere, eating hotdogs and potato salad and watermelon. There must’ve been a half dozen or more other babies there, plus two or three expectant moms.

It felt like the types of parties I went to growing up, only now I was struggling to simultaneously carry a blanket, a purse, a diaper bag, a camera, and a carseat, and that in itself made the day come full circle.

Kate Anne with her husband Bryan and birthday girl Alexa
Lexi with her smash cake
Digging in
Carter helped himself to ladybug cake
With our babes

 PS — Katie, there are more pictures on Flickr (there’s a link in the right sidebar).