gran canaria

“Life is amazing. And then it’s awful. And then it’s amazing again. And in between the amazing and the awful it’s ordinary and mundane and routine. Breathe in the amazing, hold on through the awful, and relax and exhale through the ordinary. That’s just living heartbreaking, soul-healing, amazing, awful, ordinary life. And it’s breathtakingly beautiful.” – LR Knost

Ezra and I are always concocting plans. That’s just sort of who we are. We had some other schemes in the mix and then some of the awful heartbreaking stuff happened when Laurie passed away. Moving to Iowa to be with Dave was healing. It was just right. But Ezra and I, well we are who we are. With winter coming and now a new pregnancy, we just sort of needed a little bit of a change. I was feeling a little lonely and sad and wanted a little more joy in my life while I was nurturing this little babe in my belly.

There was a list of places we would have loved to go, but you know, zika. All I really wanted was nice weather, family time and a slow pace. We always talk about moving back to Hawaii and we decided that’s where we should go. But… because Ezra had some specific work-related must-haves (silly things like reliable internet and a workspace – so high-maintenance!), and we were trying to save money, and we were looking during the busy season, and it was like a few weeks out… was it surprising there was pretty much nothing available in the price range we were willing to spend. So that plan was very reluctantly scratched and we quickly rushed getting a passport for Indra and decided on Europe. Literally this trip was about someplace warm and not super expensive. So off to the Canary Islands we go.


Running Indra at the airport.IMG_4287This was the most miserable flight of my life. Poor Indra got the flu a couple days earlier and must have passed it to me. I’d gotten little sleep the past couple nights taking care of her and was pretty rundown. Mid-flight I didn’t feel right and puked, and then puked some more. I’d like to mention I was also siting in the middle seat at this point, next to some unlucky person. It was my worst nightmare realized. I’m sure theirs too. We still had hours left before landing in London. I just remember wanting a mint or piece of gum for hours.MVIMG_20171231_214059After a jet-lagged, sleep-deprived night in England we boarded another plane for Spain, and from above the island of Gran Canaria looks pretty dang nice.MVIMG_20180102_141344MVIMG_20180102_142348We started in Las Palmas because we knew there were some co-working spaces for Ezra to try out. He needed to make sure the transition was smooth. He’s worked in enough countries to know that he’ll need multiple SIM cards, plus his Google phone and his iPhone, and still there will be connectivity problems. But first we hit the beach and wandered around to get a feel for the town. MVIMG_20180102_165543IMG_20180102_171526IMG_4293IMG_4307These pictures are beautiful and it looks like an amazing time, right? But to be perfectly honest, these first two weeks were hard. I was as sick as a dog and pregnant and with a sick toddler. We were staying in an apartment about the size of a shoebox and we were in a city which had not been my idea of relaxing. I couldn’t help but feel down and Ezra had to keep reminding me that we were only staying here until we found someplace better. I was so happy when the weekends came, sick or not – we were together and did a little exploring around the island.IMG_4342MVIMG_20180106_162055IMG_4355Ez was pretty amazing and would take Indra out in the mornings so I could get a little more sleep. I still had a nasty cough but was starting to feel a little better.IMG_4356We visited a cute little port town and wandered around.00000IMG_00000_BURST20180107133045020_COVERBouganvillea for days.IMG_4385-COLLAGEGiving Indra a little green juice before letting her try pizza. I’d had her on a mostly allergen-free diet, but loosened the reins before leaving, knowing I wasn’t up for the challenge while traveling. She actually did like the juice despite this drunken expression.00100dPORTRAIT_00100_BURST20180107143924476_COVERHowever, she got her first taste of pizza and was like eff that juice!IMG_4409-COLLAGEStill eating pizza while strolling around and fighting sleep.00100dPORTRAIT_00100_BURST20180107154327528_COVERPANO_20180107_154700This must be a famous windmill because it’s on the cover of The Lonely Planet. What’s the significance? How the hell do I know? I just snapped a picture as we drove by.IMG_4450Other things of note, Ezra introduced Indra to baguettes with butter. All of a sudden all she wants to eat is pizza and white foods. She’s in a pure sugar-induced ecstasy.IMG_4482Still sick and tired, but so dang sweet. She looks skinny, but refer to above pictures with pizza and bread in hand. She’s just fine.
IMG_4501Gran Canaria was okay. I didn’t love it, but that’s just par for the course. In a better apartment, in a more relaxing town, and in better health I’m sure it would have been great. We’re on the ferry heading off to Tenerife and excited for what lies ahead. Regardless of these first two weeks, I was so glad our little family was off exploring!IMG_4504





end of year

“Whatever happened over this past year, be thankful for where it brought you. Where you are is where you’re meant to be.”

The month of December tends to be one of my favorites. I always love the anticipation of all the activities. But sometimes all that running around can make you feel like this.
IMG_3651We went up to Minnesota for a few days so that we could take Indra on the Polar Express again. But we decided to also hit up the outlet malls with Nana, because why not. That kid went straight for the purple shoes… she definitely does not take after me.IMG_3654-COLLAGESecond annual Polar Express. We barely made it in time. As you can see, Indra is not fully dressed.IMG_3705Indra might have been okay if we missed it. Santa is so not her jam. To be fair, we don’t talk about Santa and he is just kind of a creepy old man who chats with kids. She was like “thanks but no thanks.” She did enjoy looking at the elves and the workshop.IMG_3730-COLLAGECuddling with Nana.IMG_3780This is perhaps the worst passport photo in the history of bad photos. The guy at Walgreens was so not interested in snapping a few more pictures so my kid looked cute while traveling. Then he photoshopped her head. This child has so little hair to begin with, why did he feel the need to chop off the rest? Thankfully kid passports are only good for a few years, right? So embarrassing. IMG_3791Just playing with lights and electricity so my mom can get a cute picture! But she’s pretty dang cute, right.IMG_3796Just the day-to-day grind. Study, exercising and cleaning.IMG_3805-COLLAGEBeing pregnant was making me a little emotional. I was trying to appreciate these moments with Indra… and snap grainy selfies of her being a little sweetheart.IMG_3820Just sitting in a bin of beans and making the world’s biggest mess. Whoever invented sensory bins, was a genius.IMG_3846-COLLAGEDave had been out in New Mexico visiting his dad. He came home late at night after Indra was in bed. In the morning she was so happy to see him. She was shy but became his little shadow. I had never seen her act this way before. It was so precious watching her and Dave just hold each other. Ezra and I hadn’t realized all the feeling she must be having.IMG_3870-COLLAGEWe took a walk with Dave out to the lake. We shared our exciting news about the baby on the way. Dave was so happy for us and it felt good to get it out in the open. Ezra had been buying me non-alcoholic beer so I could pretend to drink when people were around. I thought for sure that Dave was on to us, but he said he had no idea.IMG_3888Maker:0x4c,Date:2017-11-16,Ver:4,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar01,E-veIMG_3879-COLLAGEIndra and I had started decorating the tree, but now that Dave was home we made a night of it and put on the ornaments.IMG_3913IMG_3920IMG_3923IMG_3934Because we were (relatively) close to my sister, we made a trip out to Illinois. While they were all at work or school, Indra and I hit up the bookstore. I watched her run from one stuffed animal to the next and drag these giant bears all around.IMG_3947We had been trying to get her to like her crib, but to no avail. We thought, maybe if Beckett got in the pack-and-play with her and showed her how fun it was, it might translate back to the crib. Wow, was I wrong.IMG_3958IMG_3962Just going on a nature safari and looking at your average Illinois animals; such as hyenas and camels.IMG_3980-COLLAGEAfter a great trip to Illinois it was time to get serious about this holiday spirit. I made what I thought were my grandma’s Mexican wedding cookies. Only to be told later she made Russian tea cakes. Spoiler alert: they’re the same thing. After free-styling the recipe gluten and dairy-free (along with placing the cookies way too close together) we ended up with this…IMG_4085-COLLAGEForcing some crib time. I mean why wouldn’t you like this baby cage? It looks so comfortable.IMG_4087Back to cleaning.IMG_4095 Before heading up to Minnesota we decided to celebrate Christmas together. Our Christmas tradition for a number of years has been making fettuccini. We had our little family’s night together eating pasta and introducing Indra to the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer movie.IMG_4097Looking a little rough this morning. I had been so tired the night before I didn’t put up her teepee, so I quick scurried downstairs to get to it!00100dPORTRAIT_00100_BURST20171223090700453_COVERAnd it was a success.IMG_4118-COLLAGEAbout 12 weeks pregnant and ready to share the news.IMG_4129Butt first this. IMG_4132We broke the news by adding an extra stocking to the mantle. Everyone was so happy to join in on our excitement… and I was thrilled that I could stop pretending to drink.

Christmas Eve! IMG_4138IMG_0115Opening presents. Some were hers…IMG_4156and some were not. Being such a good helper.IMG_4168Doesn’t get much better than this as a kid!IMG_4171-COLLAGEIMG_4189-COLLAGEChristmas morning!!IMG_4195
IMG_4202All the gift opening and eating really wears you out.IMG_4208Next, onto the Bjorholm/Eash family Christmas where we broke the baby news again.IMG_4212Loves her auntie!IMG_4227-COLLAGESoren’s masterpiece.IMG_4246Last stop was a whirlwind trip down to Des Moines for some celebrating with Laurie’s side. We made the trip down and back in one day. But it was well worth it. And then the holidays were over. The best part is always getting to be with family, and eating my mom’s monkey bread on Christmas morning of course.