Wake Up And Smell The Pineapple

Day 4, Sunday, started with French toast for breakfast, relaxation with books, and family games. We then headed to a small church in Haleiwa {ha-lay-ee-vah} where they ended the church service singing Praise and Doxology in English and then Hawaiian. An experience to remember for sure!

We then headed to Honolulu and Waikiki for a city day, where we saw the only palace in the United States, Iolani {ee-oh-lahn-ee} Palace.

As well, we spent some good time at the USS Arizona on Pearl Harbor.

After eating at a hole in the wall food truck {which was awesome} we walked down to Waikiki Beach and saw the sunset. We celebrated life with two cartons of different ice cream (key like pie frozen yogurt and chocolate fudge brownie) back at the townhouse.

Day 5, monday, our last full day. A morning of touring the cacao process and coffee production as well as soap making and the Dole pineapple factory, we learned a lot.

We spent hours snorkeling at Sharks Cove and Sunset beach where we saw 7 sea turtles and a ton of tropical fish!!!  I felt like I was on a movie!

We ended the day with chocolate Haupia {coconut Hawaiian specialty} and macadamia nut pies! We played games and us women wore pearl necklaces that my mom gave us that were her mom’s.

What full and fun days we had. Our time management was pretty on par, but relaxation and restoration were apart of each day. Whether we swam in the pool at the end of the long day or watching a movie, we ended the nights in peace. 

At the airport now, I look back and see that as I write the last couple of days, it HAD to be packed because I haven’t blogged every day. I think that’s a good sign. 

All these blogs are very cut and dry with hardly any thought, but it’ll be nice to look back at the play by play and remember moments along with the pictures. 

Aloha, Hawaii—you’ve given our family a new starting point, a refresher on marriage, and a washing of our souls. 


Steep On It


Homemade Chai Tea

  • 2 quarts (8 cups) of water
  • 8 bags of black tea (I used English Breakfast)
  • 1/2 cup of honey//sugar//agave//stevia
  • 16 whole cloves
  • 16 whole cardamom seeds
  • 5 cinnamon sticks
  • 8 slices fresh ginger

Combine all ingredients in crockpot on High for 2 or 2 1/2 hours
Strain mixture and refrigerate up to 3 days or use right away hot.
To serve: take tea and mix with almond milk right before drinking.

Today was a day to make cards and water herbs, drink chai and go on a long walk around our town. Rizo and I hit up the Art Museum and thought about the potential of this summer.

This recipe is from a book my old roomie gave me for my birthday last year. As I was making it, I was thinking back on how I’ve had AMAZING memories these last two years in Grand Rapids and yet how they have been the fastest years of my life.
Got me thinking more about the comparison of my life and this chai…
The longer the tea steeps, the stronger it gets…
At various points throughout the steeping process it tastes good, sometimes things need to get added and changed and altered though…
There’s not really a “Best Point”, its more like a “Variety of Marvelous Flavors”

Then life was awesome, now life is awesome, and next year it’ll be awesome.
There’s just different kinds of awesome..
We all have our variations of ‘chai’ that we like; we all have different points where we love where we are at.

While I’m complaining about my digestive tract and not being able to eat some of my favorite recipes, someone else down the street is praying they could have anything to eat.

Our circumstances are all different. Your passions are not my passions, our environments are different and our preferences of toilet paper vary.

So, for me, my awesome point in life right now is that I’m discovering my purpose; what God is leading me into.

What is your ‘chai tea’ these days—what’s made you stronger and what are you enjoying right now? Take time to steep on it.

The Morning Mango


The morning sun illuminates my breakfast while I write letters today.
{{kefir (half almond milk kefir half cows milk kefir) mango with the healthy skins on and two gluten free homemade muffins gifted from a friend back home}}

We have had a WHIRLWIND of a week.
I know our life is crazy blessed when we have so many gatherings and fun times throughout the week that we can’t even give highlights..

Yesterday though, was marvelous and I’ll choose that as our highlight.

Mama & Papa, Mom & Dad & Brothers, Gram & Gramp K, Hoeve Fam, Gram & Gramp T, and Us… One big gathering, a whole lotta food.
Everybody brought marvelous, delicious treats and sides and wow were we ever blessed with the most gorgeous of days–75 and pure sun.
Grilled burgers from the happy cow of our friend back on the east side,
cooked ham,
there was pasta salad, roasted beet & quinoa salad (topped with oranges), cauliflower mash, buffalo cauliflower, fruit and veggies, kale pesto, jello delight (fruit and nuts mixed in), and for dessert: decadent brownies, cinnamon rolls, baget (dutch treat), and rum cake.
Drink up some pomegranate, pineapple punch and sit in the sun  with your family!

Counting my blessings this morning as I am faced with reality once again; the love that has been wrapped around Mi Amor and I is so unique and such an undeserved gift.

Improving For Life

The challenge of men and women is that they are so crazy different. The beauty of this is that life doesn’t have to be boring with a mystery to always figure out. An investigation begins after figuring out the love language of your spouse-how they receive love the best and through what means. Mi Amor is acts of service and time. Since these are important to me, although not my primaries, I feel like it could be easier for me than for you and your spouse.
God has blessed me with an extremely understanding husband who is open to reading books and hearing my opinion…however crazy they may be.
What if I was him:

In what way do I feel most loved by her? Do you think she loves me? Am I fulfilled by having her as my wife? Does coming home feel like an oasis?

These are all questions that I ponder in my mind to see if my actions are properly executed as a wife. If he is able to say, “No, I hate coming home, I know its gonna be a drag” then I’m doing something wrong. Thank God that my marriage has been incredible, because I haven’t had to deal with a lot of things that I’ve been told usually happen in the beginning of marriage. Frankly, my husband has changed my life.

Since getting married, I feel like I have improved as a person; I am much better with Mi Amor than I am without him.

{I actually floss my teeth}{My cooking skills have improved as I choose to make a dish every day, because I have another mouth to feed}{My skin doesn’t bother me as much, but Mi Amor has helped push me to fight, using herbs. So, my homeopathic ways are upping their game}{My selfishness has begun to diminish, I will always have spurts, but its not prominent}{My prayer life has GREATLY improved}{God is just so close, and so visible to me> Marriage has made me free with Him. I can focus on Him with the help of Mi Amor; my best friend. Nothing is even comparable to the feeling of knowing that he will encourage me and push me to draw closer to God. I feel freer than ever before in my life. I am free to be myself and to pursue without limitations.}

Mi Amor has been the biggest blessing in my life; the best friend; the chess rival; the artsy encourager; the tattoo buddy; the believer in me; my prayer warrior; my adventure forever.


I took a bike ride down to the lake after work today…my co worker told me, “use some time on yourself, Sarah.” So, I took her advice to heart as I packed up my book, some fruit, water, and my laptop, slapped my straw hat on and off I peddled. Exploring a few more areas of our Grand city, I made it into the quaint and adorable east side of town. Sail boats and wind became my companions with sunshine soaking my skin. I began reading a book my parents gave us called, “Men and Women: Enjoying the Differences”. I’ve gladly been made aware that I’m doing a pretty good job as a wife. I want to make sure that I continue in my duties and continue loving my days, so I made some obligation lists…First of all, packing Mi Amor’s food before my own. If I always take care of that, I will go to work KNOWING that I at least have done one good thing to show him I love him. Having good food that is good for our bodies is very important to me. I want to fuel his day, but healthfully.
You know, God always provides our needs…He promises that. Sometimes, I think that we don’t really realize the fullness of His provision though, like utilizing the very things that are in the trees and ground around us. What about the grape-vine–use the leaves! What about that tree–save the pears! How about those seeds–plant them! Seriously, we overlook so much.
God’s provided through my co-workers, lately; I’ve made salsa from Mindy’s tomatoes, plan on making jelly from Terry’s apples, and have done zucchini chips thanks to the Phillips.
Grandma and Grandpa shared their pears from the trees in the backyard. Mom sent us home with peaches and potatoes, and of course more–{parents are the BEST}

God has seriously just been giving us more than we can eat right now! I love it! He is the God of famine and feast–so I’m taking that into consideration and freezing stuff. I listened to a message last Sunday online that was about Joseph and Egypt and how he played a key role in helping God’s chosen people {Israel} survive for the seven-year famine…okay, can you pause with me for a second and just pontificate upon that!?

Can you imagine storing up for that ahead of time? It would be a lot of dried, leathery, food. No juicy raspberries or fresh carrots.
I would die if I had to pack Mi Amor’s lunches seven years in advance for the next seven years…

After all of my thinking at the lake, I called my daddy and talked for about a half hour or so about life and its ups and downs, he is so wise. I love and respect my parents beyond words.

I left the sunshine and biked to the Brewery where Rizo works and chatted for over an hour! Her boss was TOTALLY cool and didn’t care that I was there, knowing that she was a great worker and would prioritize her job. It was MARVELOUS, as per usual to see her again. Yesterday, Mi Amor and I biked down to a pizza parlor that has Monday deals and a BUNCH of AWESOME friends met us there–we had a blast, but I wasn’t able to really chat with Rizo much at all, so this visit was definitely good for us. I plan to just pop in tomorrow after work, before Mi Amor and I head out to a sneak peak of ARTPRIZE at the local art museum.

I got home after eight o’clock and sat down to sketch out an eye, because Mi Amor challenged me to do some art with just pencil–no color.
Now here I sit, waiting for him to come home from school.

{I might fall asleep counting my blessings}

Market Fresh Blessings

Biked to the farmers market with Rizo today, I only bought $6 worth of fruit and veg, and ended up with the ability to make (as seen in picture above) salsa, and currently on the verge of dehydrating bananas, kiwi, and yellow squash. We are planning a chinese night for dinner, so Sonrisa & her man better prepare themselves for pictures!

We bought a vacuum at Target!  Isn’t it beautiful!?

Rizo mentioned today how wonderful of a life we would have if this continued; making fresh food, being super creative, crafty, and working out all the time. We have a pretty easy life.

St. Mary’s called me today!!! I have a  job!!! Beautiful.

God’s blessings still shower even through my broken crevices.