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We don’t know how, but somehow our little baby is starting preschool today! After weeks of asking if it was time to go to school, Mia was eager to carry her bag and pose for her first day of school picture.

Proud big brother and big sister supporting our little chickadee on her first day

And some love from Daddy and Mama

Finding her cubby

And she had a great first day! Well done Mia Mae! So proud of you!

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After picking up the kids from Grammie and Pop Pops in Corvallis we headed out to Yachats for a few days.  We got there a little before sunset and took some nice family photos

The next morning everyone was excited to head down to the beach

Mia led us down the short little trail to the beach

Time to chase waves

Mia insisted on wearing her swimsuit and as you know Mia does what Mia wants

Everyone had lots of book time

 

and rock time

and of course bike time

Before heading back we stopped by Devil’s Churn, Spouting Horn, and Thor’s Well 

After all that you’re going to need a montage

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It’s Thanksgiving tomorrow and normally we wait till after to get our tree but December is super busy this year.  I have to travel to CA for work and Kitty and I are taking a trip to Vegas to see some shows for my birthday, so we packed up everyone today and headed out to the Christmas tree farm.

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Date Night Concert

Ani DiFranco and Madame Gandhi at the Wonder Ballroom

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We’ve been in Hawaii for almost a week catching up with family and friends.  We’ll share some memories in another post.  This one is dedicated to the amazing night we had with the Soul Signature Ohana.

When coming to Ohau this time I wanted to add more story from my right 1/2 sleeve onto my left and Kitty wanted to get her first tattoo. Lopeti (Raspets) was who had done my previous piece and we both wanted him to help us with these new ones.  Lopeti is an amazing artist and soul.  He really puts the love of his craft into his work and was able to capture Kitty’s story perfectly.

Soul Signature is truly one big Ohana.  Sua Suluape Toeutu’u Aisea was welcoming guests, tattooing, and playing the occasional drums with the keiki.

Kitty’s took several hours and afterwards it was my turn.  This time I was getting a shoulder cap on the left side.  Lopeti added so many elements of my family and heritage to the piece it turned out perfect.  You’ll notice Kitty and I both have the Enata representing our marriage and 3 kids.

All pau at 2am?  Not yet…

As luck / fate would have it there happened to be a gathering of the top most venerated artists in the world.  Soul Signature was ground zero for the gathering.  The tattoo legend Freddy Negrete checked out both our tattoos and took some time to get a pic with Kitty.

Most of the night people were waiting for the arrival of the master and father Sua Sulu’ape Petelo. His plane landed after midnight and he came right over. He is such a kind soul and took time to talk story with us for awhile before the crowd arrived.  Watch the video above if you’re not familiar with him but he is also a tattoo icon and cultural legend.

It was a long night for the kids they danced and partied as long as they could till they eventually passed out on the tatau mats for pe’a and hand tapping in the back.

People from all over the world showed up while we were getting tattooed.  We met some amazing people from Tahiti, Samoa, New Zealand, Europe, modern Hawaii torch bearers, and even Rich from the Honolulu Tatau MC.  Check out our little Ohana in the background.  It was an amazing night with some of the most Aloha we’ve ever felt.  It was truly a special night at a special place.  Mahalo nui loa to Lopeti, Aisea, and the entire Soul Signature Ohana.

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Easter

We were thankful to have nice weather for Easter again this year. Our day was full with egg dyeing, eating, hunting for eggs and chasing bubbles. Lots of family love to celebrate 🙂

First, the eggs. Careful!

This pretty much sums it up. My kids: crazies. Cousin Cora: cool, calm, collected.

Who doesn’t love chasing big bubbles outside?

Luca did a great job helping his cousin find the bubbles

Time for Easter baskets!

And of course, the egg hunt

“I found one!”

Watch out!

We tried to get the obligatory ‘cousins on a swing’ picture. As you can see, my kids were perfectly behaved the entire time.

And we ALMOST got a perfect family picture. I guess when you’re two years old the rules don’t apply to you.

Auntie Libby and Cousin Cora had better success with their photo shoot

Photo bomb!

Baby Bartel, soon to join the family in the outside world, enjoyed her Easter too

Peek-a-boo

Take us out, Cora. Power to the flower y’all.

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Date Night

Now that the kids are a little older Kitty and I have been venturing out spending more time together and having more date nights.  This week we were both very excited to go see Radiohead at the Moda Center.

This was the first concert we’d seen since Paul Simon a few months back.  We’ve been to so many together from Pearl Jam to Herbie Hancock, and after three encores and a rare playing of Creep this one definitely ranked up there as one of the best.

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