I am so excited that we finally made it to Hawaii. The last six months have been extremely busy both professionally and personally and I am so ready for a break.
For those who have been following, you know the first time we tried to get here it didn't go so well, but that is all behind us now. As I look out from my balcony I have forgotten all about that. I am ready to soak in my seven days of ocean, sand, and air. While we really don't have much planned, I can't wait to explore Kauai. It is the only island I have not been to and I can't wait to see why it is called the "garden island". I will most definitly post a few pitures later in the week.
Before I show you the two adorable dresses Robin made I have to give you a little backstory...
Since my oldest was about 2 old we have gone to Hawaii every year.
That is until I had my youngest, and after we took her twice, 9 weeks and 13 months, we realized she was not as easy as the other two.
We have not traveled there, or anywhere else on an airplane, in almost 5 years. Before Sarah, we had been to all the islands except Kauai. I can't really pin point what it is, but I love it there. I love the quiet single lane highway of the Big Island, I loved seeing the volcano at dawn on Maui, I loved visiting friends and going to Pearl Harbor on Ouahu, and I loved the romantic surprise birthday trip to Lanai.
Everytime I go I feel relaxed and at peace. When we went the very first time, Sydney, the oldest, was around two years old. She was fascinated with the hula dancer that danced nightly in the hotel lounge area. She would ask to go every night and just sit there for over an hour watching her dance. Sydney was a very early talker, and when we returned from that first trip she started asking to learn how to dance the hula. We of course thought this was a passing phase and pretty much ignored her. The next year we went back and it was the same thing. Every night we had to watch the dancer. Sydney was just captivated by the music and her dancing. She was still asking to dance and now slept with Hawaiian music playing in her room. Finally, when she was almost 3, we realized this was not going to end and we started looking for Hula in Los Angeles. I figured this would be non existent and that would be the end of it. I was wrong. My husband found a hula school only 10 minutes from our house. I have to say I was pretty surprised. We both agreed it couldn't hurt to let her try it. While Sydney wouldn't dance at first, she loved to go and watch. She picked up the chanting immediately and would walk around the house singing and chanting. The Kumu hula, the head, Keali'i Ceballos, assured me it was fine that she didn't want to dance. As long as she wanted to come he said to bring her. He suggested she watch and that the few moms in the class, who had young children, should get up and dance. That the children would dance along side us after a while. He turned out to be right. Pretty soon she was dancing. What I didn't expect to happen was that I too would really enjoy it. I loved the music, learnig the stories, and the Ohana (family), I was dancing with. Sydney continued in the Keiki (children) class, and I moved to the adult class along with three other moms.
Sydney and I both danced for years. I even competed once in Florida. I only stopped dancing when I was 8 months pregnant with Sarah and was litterally falling over as I danced. Once I had a third child I just couldn't find the time to get back. I still hope to get back one day. Sydney stopped dancing when she was 10 years old. Her gymnastics was becoming increasingly demanding and she just couldn't do both any more. We still go every year to see their Hoike. This is a beautiful performance of hula and story telling that both Sydney & I both took part in for years. If you ever get a chance to see Hula Halau o Keali'i o Nalani dance make sure you do. They are just wonderful. All three of my kids still listen to Hawaiian music at night and I will always be grateful for the ohana I gained from hula. The culture is so warm, the stories run so deep, and the respect for their elder and community is amazing.
Okay, back to the fabric. When I saw the new batik coming in it made me think about my summer travels. I immediately thought Sarah would look so cute in a batik dress when we're in Hawaii. While I know batik didn't originate in Hawaii, seeing it reminds me of the islands. Though Batik may have originted in Indonesia, it is very prevalent in Hawaiian apparel and home decorating. It is used in sarongs, tops, and dresses, as well as for mens Hawaiian shirts. You will also see beautiful batik pillows and quilts in Hawaii, as well as on the main land. There are so many great choices it was hard to pick just a few.
If you're curious about the roots of Batik and how it is made you can read more about it here and here.
Here is the fabric and pattern Robin used.
Here are a few pics as it went together....
Sarah loves her new dresses, as you can see. Perfect for fun in the sun. Well the roosters are calling so I'm off.