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  1. What a beautiful tribute and lovely words of reflection! I pray God allows us to live such a long and beautiful life as your in-laws have.

  2. Thanks for sharing, Monica. You seem to be doing a fab job raising your 4 in paradise, but I know it’s always a toss-up of what the “right” or “best” thing to do is.

    We have a similar situation of living in tropical Australia, but trying to figure out if our baby would be better off around family in Canada. So many pros and cons to both situations. Yay for airplanes, though.

    Keep the posts coming… love ’em.

  3. You know, I can relate to this pondering as you call it. Living Hawaii is wonderful and unigue, but the traditions and culture are different. I do miss the extended family, but I also like that we are making our own memories. And the food traditions are different because of the environment we live here in Hawaii, and the foods that grow here. I get it. We can’t have it all.

  4. Wow, such great reflection.. your words *almost* brought me to tears (i am sitting at work, though ;).

    1. Thank you Sarah! Way to keep the game face at work! 😉 Xo

    2. As soon as I saw the picture of his parents the tears flowed. The love and years spoke volumes. Beautiful piece.

  5. Becky Hamrick says:

    Wow. Just, wow. A lovely reminder about what is most important, and that we must be intentional and responsible in seeking and creating our present and our future. LOVED it. 🙂

  6. Monica – What a beautiful tribute to your in-laws & short, but sweet visit to Oregon.

    I had the pleasure of growing up in this small, Christian community w/ Dave & his family. The blessings I gained, from that influence, will last a lifetime. My parents, Dave’s parents & their friends lived their lives with ‘intentionality’ & ‘purpose’. They began a church together, they supported each other & Wednesday evening’s celebration was a culmination of the fruits of their labor. Having just lost my dear father, I am especially touched by your words. I walked away from a large funeral w/ similar thoughts of strengthening our ‘community’. Seeking & cultivating friends who will be at our 80th birthday celebrations! Much love to you & your truly amazing ‘Swanson family’. Maria

  7. Awesome post. They are so cute! And look great at 80! We are struggling with community right now too. In process of letting some friendships go and it’s tough. I know God has plans. Can’t wait to see some of the food traditions! One of ours is having cake on Christmas morning for breakfast. And singing happy birthday to Jesus. 🙂

    1. What a great tradition! Any way to bring Jesus back into Christmas is good! 😉 Much aloha to you!

  8. Sheena Carnie says:

    Hi Monica,
    I wouldn’t be too sad about the things your boys are “missing out on”. I’d be willing to bet that in many, many ways they are far richer than those kids growing up in busy towns. There are indeed good opportunities in big cities, but there are also many temptations and distractions which aren’t necessarily healthy. You’ve obviously made the choice to live on the island for a reason, so trust in your instincts to do the best for your boys. Sounds like they’re thoroughly blessed to have such involved, intentional parents and I’m sure they’ll have wonderful memories to share at your 80th birthday party.

    1. Thank you Sheena! Those were many of my thoughts as well, but you know…Mom guilt and all! 🙂 haha. I appreciate your words. aloha!