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.
We may live in a tropical paradise but it doesn’t mean I can’t long for chilly days to bundle up in cozy knits. We’re planning a trip to the snow this winter which means tiny cardigans, stockings and booties for miss Lorea. Misha and Puff is a line of knitwear hand picked from around New England. I adore every single piece.
We believe in making beautiful, functional pieces to last forever. Every day, we create the world we want our children to live in. Everything counts. This is one way we contribute to that world.
Opening images by Aurélie Lécuyer
Over the weekend we ventured out to our friends property that sits above Twin Falls in Huelo for a birthday party. We call it the forest and its the most naturally beautiful place I’ve been to in Hawaii. A gate at the bottom of the hill leads you up a bumpy dirt road to a lush, green tropical dreamland off-the-grid in the deep country. There are swimming holes with waterfalls and orchids planted in coconut shells and fiery red jades dangling from the branches. The party felt like stepping into a kid-friendly rave with Balinese umbrellas, bright tapestries and tiny sparkling lights aglow in the trees. Lo explored the land in her hippie gauze dress that was a hand-me-down from our friend Lily. I love her expressive eyes lately. Everything is awe-inducing, as it should be!
I first moved to Maui back in 2004, wide-eyed and hungry, fresh out of college in NYC. I didn’t take to the slow pace and lack of hustle right away. It took me years, actually, to feel the vibe and appreciate the Aloha spirit. So I traveled and moved around and got my city fix elsewhere. I never imagined that I would make Maui my home in the traditional sense of being a home-owner here. The real estate market is a bit daunting in the Islands. But I think our little family has reached the point of wanting our own plot of land and a modest home to hang our hats. We’re starting to look and its really exciting. So now I’m keeping visual notes on a simple home design for some day down the line.
“Söderöra is a summer house by Tham & Videgård Architects in the Stockholm archipelago. The exterior is covered in black roofing felt. The interior is covered in white wood panels and features a central open living space and two bedrooms, a bathroom and a storage room in each of its four corners. The ceiling skylight allows for a lot of natural light.” via Design Milk
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.
Baby girl. You are tucked tightly in the ergo on front of my chest as I type this. Things have been a little harder since your papa left town a few weeks ago but we have grown close! You lean in and open-mouth kiss me when I look at you. I feel your love more and more each day, especially in the early morning hour before the sun comes up when your tiny body inches near. You already know what you want. When you’ve had enough yogurt, you swat your hand at the spoon. It always makes me laugh. You’ve been spending your days in the studio while I attempt to get work done. The box of ribbon holds your attention for a little bit, but really, you just want to be held.
You’re our little nature baby, always naked under the sun. We camped for the first time together in Huelo. You stared at the chickens outside of our tent when you woke and explored the river, clenching an apple in your hand. We hiked to the fresh water pool and you were the happiest in the cool water. You smile when you hear papa’s voice every night on the phone. I miss sharing you with him. What great things will you be doing when he sees you again? You’ll be talking so much. Hearing your soft voice is like listening to the rain. It’s sweet and perfect and you.
Sweet baby girl, you are an adventurous one. You somehow don’t look like a baby anymore. Just a small window of time passed and I turned around to find you had grown. You crawl at lightening speeds with great excitement, breathing noisily till you reach that wooden bench that tempts you daily. When you wake from your nap, you crawl out of bed on your own in the dim morning light, over the pillow barrier meant to protect you, toward the bedroom door. You peek around with curious eyes and giggle when we notice you. Nobody makes you laugh quite like your papa who spends every minute of the day with you. You love to visit the horses and greet them with an outstretched arm and a wave. You even say buyy-buyy in the softest voice. We like to play your favorite Elvis song on the record player and watch you dance! The moment the song starts you rock back and forth. You even turn the pages of your book all by yourself.
Papa will be leaving for the summer months and I know you’ll miss him like crazy. He is crazy about you, Lorea. He calls you monkey, little dove, pumpkin pie, baby girl. He tells you, you’re such a sweet baby. We love you so much. Do you know how much, baby girl?
Photography by Ashley Camper