baby girl. last night I felt sad. the rain was coming down hard and me and your papa were sitting in the living room staring at the television. it hit me that you were growing so fast and I can’t do a thing to stop time. this is how life is and I just have to enjoy the ride. j told me to write more so we can remember. I take photos of you all day long so I can remember: the gap between your two front teeth, your pudgy wrists, the way you sleep with your arm stretched across your face, covering your eyes just like your daddy does. your hair is the perfect shade of sun-kissed and the ends curl up when they reach your soft baby neck. you like to pick out your clothes now and you’ve developed an obsession with shoes. you insist on wearing your navy blue shiny boots even though we live in an endless summer.
our sweet Lorea Darling, you’re learning new words every hour of each passing day. we are continually amazed by you. instead of “bike” you say “butts” and instead of “balloon” you say “ba-tune” and its the most tender sound. yesterday you pointed to your wooden camera and said “cam-ra, push”. you call kingsley “bong bong” and when he tries to eat your food in your hand you say “no bong bong.” nite nite time is the sweetest. daddy puts you to bed most nights because you could nurse on mama for hours. when you drink your milk, you lift your head up and say “that one. no, that one.” papa reads you stories in bed and sings you songs. he turns every word into a melody for his baby girl. lately, he imagines a world filled with everyone you know and love and you board the sleepy bus together: Lily, Benson, Tutu, Roxy, Papa, Mimi, Mama, Be Be, Bubby, Manu and on and on. you say there names and your eyes fill with happiness. we love the way you try to count with your fingers. you like to wear glasses and you always put them on upside down. you won’t let us fix them.
we bought you a wooden bed last week and painted it white. it sits in a tiny nook in our bedroom with a strand of paper lanterns that shine over head. I can tell it makes you happy to know its “baby’s bed”. we love you, sweet girl. its an honor to watch you grow.
In the time between calling Maui home, I felt a nostalgia for the food. Of course I missed my friends and the slow and easy pace of life, but I often dreamt about the fruit: the tart lilikoi (passion fruit) that grows abundantly in the summer months, the juicy mango that stains the corners of my mouth, the fresh coconuts and fatty avocados that we clamor for at the farmer’s market. My friend Ashley and I hosted a potluck with friends at her former home in the jungles of Haiku to celebrate the foods that are iconic to the islands. We gathered around a wooden farm table on the front lawn. It was that perfect hour of hazy sunlight on Maui that signals the end of day. We had some mismatched chairs, koa wood bowls, an ukulele, grapefruit pretty enough to act as centerpiece and tropical protea blooms. We dined al fresco, as we often do. Most of us were barefoot in the grass. We were old friends and new friends, locals and transplants, joining over food and drink. There is a saying in the islands that often comes to mind when I dine on the fresh offerings, lucky we live Maui.
Check out the full details and inspiration behind the shoot on Style Me Pretty Living, featuring shots by Ashley Camper Photography.
Baby girl. We just dropped your papa off at the airport. I rolled the window down so you could watch him as we drove away. You said bye bye in your soft, sleepy voice. Its late at night and you’re making your way around the living room in a walk-crawl hybrid, smiling, wide-eyed, free. Papa flew home for your first birthday party– said he wouldn’t miss it for the world. He loves you endlessly, Lorea! These past few weeks together he showed you how to give kisses with your mouth closed and say no no no when something upsets you and how to point to your belly button. The way he talks to you and plays with you, its too sweet.
Somewhere along the way I stopped reflecting and have been simply living in the day to day with you. The quiet moments are now busy ones with you moving at full speed, beaming with curiosity, exploring everything within reach and beyond. You circled one loop around the sun. Can you believe it, Lorea? You are one! We celebrated with a fiesta at the beach in Paia. So many friends turned up to hold you, kiss you and smother you with love. A tiny pink and white stripe beach chair was your absolute favorite gift. When in sight, you crawl straight to it, climb up and sit down contently. Yesterday you took five teeny tiny baby steps on your own. You barely moved, so cautious with your every step. We watched you from a distance, amazed at how you’ve grown! Your current word of choice for most things is dog. You are such a happy baby. When you wake, you nuzzle so close to me and smile coyly. You laugh in the moments before you nurse, giddy with excitement. Its my happy place, too. I’d do anything for you, my sweet baby girl.