Hello 2020

Hello, my dear friends! Old and new.

It has been two months or so since we launched our new website. I am so excited about this journal/blog space where I can share the depths of my hearts and also our adventures. I realised we have a lot of new visitors and followers recently. Last week we hit 5k followers on IG and although we are not about the pursuit of numbers, we just felt so encouraged that there are people who are drawn to our messages and stories.

So for the first post, I thought we’d start the journal chapter by sharing a little bit about us and our family so you get to know the tribe behind this brand Amelia Soegijono Photography!

Late last year we took a family holiday. We worked so incredibly hard in 2019 and pushed a lot of mountains and dug many rivers. Our family needed space to reinvigorate our hearts and souls. We put technology away when we were around each other for two weeks. It was so precious to be able to hold the kids and look into their eyes without worrying about datelines, or emails to reply! We love what we do, but it’s also incredible to be able to draw boundaries so we can keep our tanks full. With an empty tank, there won’t be anything to give!

It’s been in my heart to bring the family to Hawaii because it was the place where Lex first proposed to me 11 years ago. It was a very special place. It was also the place where Lex helped me to overcome my fear of the ocean by holding my hands when we snorkelled for the first time… I saw beautiful fishes in the shallow, calm waters and ever since that experience, I had always imagined bringing our future children to Hawaii.

I have spoken many times of my newfound perspective when 7 people passed away in my circle in 2018. Ever since, I am obsessed with memory keeping and I become very intentional about our family’s (and your) stories!!! I brought with me my Contax 645 and promised myself that I will take the trouble and shoot 1 roll a day and together with our waterproof little point and shoot, we should be good with our memories!

I promise we tried our best to find the fine balance between memory keeping and being present, and I am so happy that my husband is on board with my mission.

Without further ado, come for the ride!

Our journey began with the drive via the road to Hana. I took off my hats to salute my husband, for surviving the 3 flights to get to Maui and then driving on the other side, on this mountainous road that connects Kahului to Hana. There were about 10 turns per miles in this journey, to be honest it’s pretty scary, but I have to admit the
views are pretty spectacular!!

Sky was asleep most of the time, but Liam had fun with us making little stops here and there.

My tummy was churning when I saw this scene, I kept shouting “Be careful guys!!!”

Did you see what I see?!! We came to Maui to see turtles!!! and we found them!!! We hung around for a whole day to finally see them here at Ho’okipa beach. If you are facing the ocean, you will find them on the far right hand side.

On the first few days, Sky was terrified of the water, so we spent most time by the waters just snuggling and playing with sand between our toes

The kids had so much fun at Ho’okipa beach. The waters were pleasant and the kids’ giggles and the sound of the waves splashing were absolutely like soothing melodies to my heart

Little Sky trying to fall in love with sand, haha!

Sky is absolutely a daddy’s girl… I can’t even imagine one day when she brings a boyfriend home, I hope Lex will not scare him off!

Look at Sky’s numero 74 Mia dress, isn’t it just the cutest???
I got it from my favourite online shop In My Hood

We stayed at Ho’okipa beach until the very last light…

The aquarium at Maui was fun! We saw turtles, all sorts of animals and it has a variety of indoor/outdoor areas which made it exciting for the kids to explore. Liam left his mark on this mural!

My husband Lex is a huge fan of Bubba Gum Restaurant. The seafood is fresh, the kids meal is a great value and we wished we could have returned but we didn’t have the time to 🙁 Oh well, next time! That picture of Sky, absolutely caught her princess warrior personality haha!

Hawaii has the most gorgeous weather. It was like spring time in Sydney. Not too hot, not too warm. The wind is rarely chilly, but pleasant most of the time… so heavenly!

We stayed at Sheraton in Maui. It was a stunning and super family-friendly. It had plenty pool areas, had the best beach for adults AND kids (hands down); and of course… lots of happy hours Mai Tai for mama!

I woke up early at 6 am to catch some serenity of the surrounds… and then I went back up and got everyone dressed for some photos…

Had this romantic idea to do a mini session to capture our bond with the kids, and trusted Lex with the camera. He did really well, I am so grateful I have photographs as a mom! Sky looked like she was rather unsure about the water, can you tell? Or perhaps she’s just sleepy haha! This frame, is so precious to me because Sky loves to snuggle with me and rest her head on my shoulders… This is one of those ‘real memories’ of the journey in our family that I will forever cherish as a mother.

Liam was so reluctant to get out of bed, but when he saw the ocean, his eyes lit up. He had the beach all for himself!!!

If I have to pick a highlight from this trip, it has to be this one. I was carrying sleepy Sky to return to the room. Then amongst the noise of the excited beachgoers, I heard Liam’s shrieks of endless happy laughter. It was one of the happiest experience Liam had. Riding up and down the waves with Daddy. Previous to that, he didn’t mind playing with the little waves on the shores, but that was the first time he actually swam and rode the waves! I couldn’t be more proud of him to have overcome his fears. In this beach, we saw turtles, colourful fishes etc… If we were to do this again, we would stay here for a week next time!!!

Excuse my framing, but that underwater camera was so handy! I was photographing blindly because I was looking after the kids in the water, but we were so lucky to catch this photo of the baby turtle, at least we have something to remember by!

We also asked the locals for playgrounds around the area, and this one was near Paia, there were no tourists there, just us and locals! I love it when we can experience the Hawaiians’ everyday lifestyle!

We also accidentally came across this incredible sunflower field next to the highway when I made the wrong turn! I have never seen anything like it. It was such an unforgettable sight. Speaking of which, I am pretty confident now to drive on the other side, yay! Thank you Hawaii!!!

We finally got to Honolulu and this is the beach where Lex first tried to propose to me. *Sweet memories*

Honestly, we had a dance party everyday in Hawaii!!!

This is The Wall in Waikiki, it’s just on the main strip but we also saw lots of beautiful fishes. There are always so much for the kids to be amused at!

Liam kept a holiday diary for the trip, I highly recommend doing this if you have children! I believe this diary will become a treasure when he grows up.

The view from our room in Sheraton Waikiki. It’s a lovely resort, super busy but in a convenient location. They even gave us gifts when we check in. They have a dedicated shop just for the guests to pick our own gifts. In that bag they gifted us, we managed to fit in a bottle of wine, toys for the kids and snacks. Such a thoughtful gesture. I was convinced the manager must be a dad!

Our balcony was so cute I couldn’t resist getting a photograph with this view!
(Thank you husband 🙂

Lex snorkelling into sunset. So magical.

Wow that was a long post! I hope you guys enjoyed seeing our little family’s adventure in Hawaii and somewhere along the way got to know a little bit of us.

I would go back again and again if I can in a heartbeat. The people, the weather, the sceneries, the water, the wildlife…. everything about it is beautiful. I would highly recommend it for both families or couples!

Hawaii would definitely make a gorgeous destination for love stories such as weddings or even pre weddings. As you can see in these little snippets of memories we captured, Hawaii has so much potential to tell precious stories!

Now back to you, what was your most memorable destination? Tell us!!! xx

January 5, 2020

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