Saturday, March 30, 2013

Day 31: Wind

Today is the final day of The Mama Earth Project (Moments with Mama Nature). This is the first 31-day prompt project I've completed. I've had fun looking for pictures to use and words to describe them. Today's is "wind," and this is a picture of a seven-month-old Evita at the place her Daddy and I grew up surfing on South Padre Island, TX. I like how you can find wind in many different places throughout this picture: in Eva's hair and dress, in the direction the seagulls are facing, in the flag, and in the windswell in the distance. I like how the shadows being cast fom the rising sun seem to align with the wind as well.

This picture makes me wish I was back in Texas celebrating Easter with family today.

Day 30: Wood

No words for today's prompt... just a macro of one of the plumeria trees in my yard. One day of The Mama Earth Project!

Friday, March 29, 2013


This week was rainy rainy rainy. I love the rain, so I really can't complain, but I was a bit bummed that it kept us away from the beach most days. On Monday we celebrated D's 30th birthday! Well, we didn't celebrate per se; he wouldn't allow it. :-( We just ordered out and watched a few movies at home.  In other news, my truck FINALLY made it from Hawaii to Tanzania! But guess what? The people delivering it filled it with diesel when it takes unleaded. I nearly lost it when I found out. At least there is a Ford dealership here, and their insurance will take care of the damages. Ugh. I can't wait until it's in my driveway again. Some GREAT news is that we finally cut Eva's night feeding out. The first few nights I would gave her water instead of milk (even though there was quite a bit of complaining about it), and the last few nights she seems to have decided that water isn't worth getting up and fussing over. One cute thing she's been doing this week (although I really think it started a couple of weeks ago) is she tries to brush her hair. Adorbs.

My favorite portrait from last week's link-up was from Jo at a little pink a little blue.
You can link up here.

I hope everyone has a Happy Easter and is able to enjoy some quality family time!

Day 29: Ohana

This is our first family picture together. It was taken at Bowl's (on Oahu) when Eva was three days old. It's not very flattering to any of us, but it's real. I've never mentioned it before, but I was a bit bummed we never got a picture of the three of us while we were still in the hospital.
We really don't have many pictures of just the three of us. 
Here's the next one that was taken, at my law school graduation and Eva's 2 month birthday:
Coincidentally, the next picture of just the three of us was taken exactly two months later at our anniversary picnic at the same place we got hitched:
And here's one from when Eva was 5 months old, at the top of Mt. Olomana:
A cell-phone selfie on a Texas fishing trip:
another selfie from Eva's first trip to the zoo:
and finally, one from Eva's first birthday:
Aside from a handful of photos I left out, either because I can't find them or they were from the same event as one of the above, that's all we got. Is that bad? Should Eva have a picture like the one of me and my parents when I was a baby?

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Throwback Thursday: Malama na Honu

Did you spot the sea turtle in that picture? Maybe not, because this photo was taken five years ago when camera phones were first starting to get decent. I don't remember what kind of phone I had, but I assure you it was one of the ones that come for free with my contract. Still, the scenery is so beautiful that the photos are actually worth looking at. They tell the story of my undergrad days, when I volunteered at Malama na Honu on North Shore. The organization exists to care of the endangered sea turtles of Hawaii. My volunteer duties included posting up at a beach known to surfers as "Laniakea" or "Lani's" and to tourists as "Turtle Beach." Hundreds of tourists come to this beach everyday to see the turtles, who have chosen this beach as a basking ground. Volunteers educate the tourists about the turtles, and make sure they don't eff with them. I know, it seems like really rough work. Hah.
Me driving to Lani's on a chilly winter day, playing with my new camera phone.

Lani's is one of the best places to watch the sunset on Oahu.
I swear it's a coincidence that this is the third post this week about "causes," but if you're in the area and would like to volunteer, you can find the info here.

Day 28: Land

Today's prompt, "land," can't help but make me think of Texas, and my Daddy's ranch. I was lucky enough to grow up surrounded by miles and miles of elbow room; to run around with my cousins, ride horses, and fish for crabs in the Rio Grande.  I'd write more about it, but I already did so here, coincidentally a year ago this month.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Legalize Stairway to Heaven

I've posted about one of my favorite hikes, Haiku Stairs aka Stairway to Heaven, before, but it has been coming up in the news lately so I thought I'd call attention to it (and share a few more pictures). The reason it has been the topic of conversation is that City and County officials are supposedly threatening to tear down the stairs. Even though the hike is technically off-limits, many hikers (including yours truly) risk trespassing charges to experience one of the most amazing wonders of Oahu (maybe the world). The problem is, each year several people are injured (and sometimes die) on the hike. The weird thing is, I think it is actually one of the safer hikes on Oahu. The hike is literally just a staircase (and at some points ladder) up the mountain. People climb the same type of mountains in Hawaii without any railings for support all the time. There are hikes on Oahu where you're literally walking on a ridge less than a couple of feet wide- often with slippery gravel and insane drop-offs. Which is why an organization, Friends of Haiku Stairs, has been rallying to not only save Stairway to Heaven, but to legalize it. 

Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Stairway to Heaven is too amazing to lose.
It is something that all hikers should experience at some point. It should be treasured.
Here are a few ways you can help:
-Sign the petition to save Haiku Stairs
-Submit testimony to the City Council

Here are a few of the most recent pictures I've taken from the hike:

Day 27: Rest (and, ironically, some blogskeeping)

Just four little things before I get into today's prompt for The Mama Earth Project:

1. I'd like to announce that we have a winner for my first group giveaway. Congrats, Ali Duggan! I'll have to admit, I'm a bit bummed about something. I drew not one, but TWO names before hers, but after being verified they didn't actually carry out the tasks they said they did to earn the entries. I won't call those two people out, but pretty lame, you guys. Makes me wonder how many people get away with it on other blogs. 

2. I'm a little late in announcing this, but in case you haven't noticed I changed up my sidebar a bit. I got rid of the two columns for my ad space, adjusted the size, and I think it now has a cleaner look. If you're interested in placing an ad or swapping, check out my sponsor page.

3. You can find me writing for the Perspectives Series at Lost in Travels today. Be sure to check it out! Chelsea is another expat blogger (in Korea), and gives other expats the chance to share their experiences on her blog.

4. I've been doing really well on the Top Baby Blogs count lately... I never thought I'd be so high up. So thank you! I'm pretty sure I've reached the highest I can get, unless I get some super huge boost (hint hint). Click here to vote for To the Sea. ;) ;)

Now, on to an adorable picture of my baby crashed out on the beach:
The best way to get a toddler to sleep is to let her run around at the beach for an hour or two. Usually, Evita ends up crashing immediately upon being put in the car (or bajaj) for the ride home. Occasionally, she wears herself out so quickly that she slips into dreamland before we're even ready to leave. I love when this happens, because it means that I get to rest a bit as well. Here are two more pictures from this particular day:

Monday, March 25, 2013

Day 26: Stone

I couldn't find any words for today's prompt... except for maybe GEOLOGY ROCKS! ;)

Legally Blogging

Today I'm linking-up with a few other lawyer/law student bloggers for their "legally blogging" series. If you already know me or have been reading my blog for a while, this is probably nothing new to you, but if you're new here... welcome! (or karibu! as we say in Tanzania).  

The Legally Blogging idea was dreamed up by three ladies who all met in blog-land and instantly clicked.  You could say it was love at first sight.  The immediate connection stemmed from the one thing they had in common: Law.  Obviously, as time went on, they discovered they had much more in common than just law, but that was a great starting point.

Here they are!

They decided to join forces and start a blogging series, to show that lawyers aren't always what you'd expect.  The main goal of the series is to connect with other legal ladies out there and meet some great new people.  Every week, the hope is to showcase a new person in the series.

Series so far:

If you're interested in participating in the Legally Blogging Series, just send an email to Jackie: jjstoughton [AT] gmail [DOT] com. 

We'd love to have you on board!

Aloha! My name is Erica and I blog over at To the Sea. I'm originally from a tiny island in the Gulf of Mexico- South Padre Island, Texas. I have a bad case of wanderlust (and am married to a Marine) so my life story has been a bit complicated since graduating high school in 2005. I started my undergrad career at U.T. Austin, but bounced around between The University of Hawaii and San Diego State University before eventually graduating with a degree in Physical Geography (from Hawaii). My interest in Environmental Law led me to law school at The University of Hawaii, where I graduated in 2012 (just two months after giving birth to my first daughter), but decided to take (and pass!) the Bar Exam in Texas last July. A few months later, my little family of three moved to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, where my career is currently (mostly) on hold. I still do long-distance work with the Hawaii Defense Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to defending Second Amendment rights in Hawaii.
Yup, that's just me and my favorite Supreme Court justice.

I blog about whatever life throws at me, for example: graduating law school and passing the bar with a newborn, life in Hawaii versus life in East Africa, wanderlust, parenting, fitness, and everything in between. I guess I would say I have a lifestyle blog.
1. Why did you start blogging?
I found out I was pregnant the summer before my last year of law school. I started blogging to share my experiences, hoard my memories, and to keep my family and friends back in Texas updated.
This is basically what it's like to be a pregnant law student in Hawaii.
That's my nine-month-preggo self  at my law school with Justice Sotomayor.
Studying for the Bar Exam with a newborn.
2. What do you like to do when you're not blogging?
My favorite thing to do is surf. I grew up surfing in Texas, and continued on with it in Hawaii, Cali, and now East Africa. I also enjoy running and weightlifting, traveling, scuba diving, and random adventures. I try as spend as much time as possible by the sea.

 3. What do you find is the biggest misconception about lawyers?
Where do I start? One thing that bothers me is the negativity towards criminal defense attorneys. I always hear things like, "How could you live with yourself knowing you set a child rapist free?" Criminal defense attorneys play an integral role in keeping this country free. How easy would it be for the government to lock people up it didn't agree with? How many innocent people would be imprisoned if it weren't for their attorneys? It seems that very few people think of that when they think of defense attorneys.

 4. What's your favorite vacation you've been on? 
My favorite vacation wasn't really a vacation. During my undergrad days, I spent a summer studying Evolutionary Biology in the Galapagos Islands. School was a lot of work, but it was so much fun. The Galapagos Islands was a beautiful place, and every day felt like a dream. While I was there, I snorkeled with penguins, sea lions, and marine iguanas, surfed empty waves, and watched a volcano spontaneously erupt.

5. What's your best and worst home reno project?
I think the longest I've lived in one house since leaving home is just short of a year, so I haven't done much home reno. I think the most time I've spent on a house is when I decorated my daughter's nursery, even though I knew we'd only be in that house for about 9 months. I didn't want to miss out on that fun part of having a baby.

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