These are the in-between moments.

AmSam crew in Hawaii

Met up with some of our AmSam friends during our layover in Hawai’i. I love that our connection to our AmSam crew is so strong because of our shared experiences in Samoa. Time and space may have separated us over the years but we’ve had such an amazing community, and now that we’re all over the place, we’ll still meet up whenever we can and pick up where we left off.

So thankful for the ladies especially, Mia and Meagan, who organized this particular hangout in Waikiki and rallied some of the crew to meet baby Alava <3

Random pic I took of Gabs in her backyard sometime last year 2022. Such a mood.

We sold all our stuff at the Rotaract x Moso’oi Fest Swap Meet

We decluttered our house in prep for our baby girl, and sold a bunch of stuff at the Rotaract x Moso’oi Festival Swap Meet back in October.

We’d somehow accumulated more and more stuff despite our number of attempts at minimizing what we own. It was a chance to get rid of the unused masses of mess and allowed us to focus on a ‘fewer but better’ approach — especially with baby soon to come.

It turned out to be a blessing too because we have since relocated. We did the darn thing and actually moved off the island, after many many years of saying ‘maybe next year.’ And now that year has finally come, with opportunities for growing our little family.

I don’t miss our stuff so much, but I am very happy that we got to re-home pretty much all of it! Grateful for the Rotaract x Moso’oi Festival teams for making this swap meet possible. It was also really nice to see American Samoa embracing this mode of sustainable living — using and exchanging things already on island so they continued to be used rather than sent to the landfill.

Climate Change is not just an issue that is happening to us, it’s happening because of us. 

It’s the heart in the sky for me.

mama and dada

You. Me. We.

I can’t wait for it to be us three.

Throwback to my first trimester… I was actually not feeling great here.

I felt icky and tired, and I hadn’t showered in a while (because I was an actual couch potato!) so my hair was dirty and my skin was dry and oily at the same time.

Still, we wanted to take pics to commemorate this special time… I was just about to get out of the first trimester, into the clear of the second trimester. I was excited to get my energy back, eat food again, and make it into the “safe zone” of pregnancy.

My best friend Gabby was super sweet as always, and encouraged us to come out and shoot some short clips for a reel to announce my pregnancy to family and friends. It was a well-kept secret until then.

So we went out to the back of our house, walked into the mangroves since it was low tide, and Gabby shot some of the most epic clips of us! I’ll always remember this, thanks to Gabby again for capturing us at such a special time of our lives!

“There has never been a sadness that can’t be cured by breakfast foods.”

– Ron Swanson

Not cute

but this is real life hermit crab homebody vibes in pregnancy. I spent this entire day at home just eating, napping, and watching tv lol

pool day for Ian. Just him though because it’s much too cold for regular non-polar bear people lol

I adore my niece and nephew. And I adore that my husband is adored by my niece and nephew.

desert palms + desert rain

still not used to this — I sometimes wish I was back home in the comfort of my coconut trees sand warm ocean playground. But baby girl will get to go home soon, once she gets here. Can’t wait!

Library day

I can’t wait to take my kid to the library — I hope she likes reading like me and her daddy.

34.2 weeks

a special day together —

deep and difficult conversations about our future

buying plants for our temporary space

visited a library with peacocks just hanging out no big deal

walking around the ranch park

delicious sushi in the shade (raw for him, cooked for me)

testing out our baby car seat and stroller in the store (we already bought it but waiting for it to arrive in the mail)

anatomy scan appointment

seeing our baby girl’s face!!!! and her feet and hands and brain… and confirmed her hamburger parts lolll. She’s so cute already to me!

pre-registering at the hospital

pretty sunset colors on the drive home

chowing on leftover homemade tinola soup from my sister

Netflix and foot massages

Babymoon camera roll

I’m reliving these precious moments and memories from my babymoon. Slowing down the pace, and breathing in, and out. Letting the warm sun shine on us like we were made to soak in the rays to grow — in the same way nature works it magic for flowers to bloom. It’s not that everything is perfect, it’s that I am allowing every imperfect thing to become part of my growing process.

Scrap journaling with Scruffles

Throwback to scrap journaling and Officer Scruffles getting in the way, but he’s too cute to really be a bother.

Website is back up!!

Oh. My. God. Finally.

My website somehow got hacked and was infected with malware and phishing codes (?!) and thus got suspended. I have no idea how it happened, but when it went down, I thought…that’s it. My website is gone forever. I spent a long time working with web support from my site’s hosting provider, and now, it’s many months later…


Speaking of “baby”… I’m pregnant! But that is a whole ‘nother story for another blog post.

I’m just so glad to be back in my space of the internet.

Lots of updates and random musings to come!

xo, Nerelle

Pondering on Paper

…outside in nature.

I love soaking up the ambient sounds of home.

I will forever love this backyard.

* turn on volume for a sense of what it’s like 🙂

Yes I’m still here!

Ahh yellowww… hi there. I know I’ve been M.I.A. for a while, but I’m still here! It’s been a long while since I’ve really sat down to catch up on my blog. I’ve been living offline a lot more these last few weeks since coming back home to the island. Heck, even when I was traveling and before then, I haven’t been pulled to the screen as much to meander in my mind. Instead, I’m doing all my pondering on paper…

OoOoh, a moment of appreciation please for these alliterations…

Meander in my mind…

Ponder on paper…

Yes, yes… very satisfactory indeedy.

Anyway. Just wanted to post a casual HELLO! But not too aggressive like that. So more like, helloooo 🙂

Mmm, much better.

I am hopped up on a delicious coconut smoothie that my Mr. made… he scraped the meat out of a young coconut after we drank the coconut water, then blended it with a little bit of milk, and that was it! No sweeteners needed because the young coconut is already quite sweet.

But I digress.

As I was saying, I’ve been expressing myself and documenting my life on paper every day these days. I haven’t brought out my camera in a little longer than I want to admit. I think because of the lockdown we’re living in too, I’m not taking photos as much since I’m at home all the time and I feel sometimes like it gets a bit repetitive. Also, I’m working from home and I guess my mind and my body demands a balance… to separate my 9-5 work from my personal work. I’m sitting at my desk. The one that my Mr. made me many years ago (under my supervision haha)… and it’s been my sanctuary. I love love love working from home. I love my office/studio… it has so many functions. It’s the other room in my two-bedroom home. It’s my studio space for creative projects, it’s where I look for birds with my binoculars at the window, it’s the ‘atelier’ as Ian likes to call it when I’m sewing cute new ‘fits, it’s an extra bedroom if we have people over (which we won’t for a long while, because the lockdown remember?), and of course, it’s an office space for getting our work done at a proper desk when we decide to be professional and get off the couch and wear clothes to attend meetings… and more!

I have been journaling like maddd the last few months. I’m very happy about it. I feel like I’ve reconnected with the muse version of myself from my youth. I’ve fully accepted that I’m a total nerd, who loves scrapbooking and tape and glue… and stickers! Oh my god, stickers! I will forever fondly remember the days when my prized possession was a sticker binder I carried around everywhere, and for my 12th birthday, everyone knew I was a sticker geek, so everyone gave me sticker sheets for my birthday!! I was very happy about it, but also a little annoyed because at the time there was only one place to get stickers on island so I got a whole lot of the same spongebob sticker sheets, and I love me some spongebob, but the sticker variety was quite limited back then. I felt like I rekindled a bit of my love for stickers when I made my own stickers to sell a couple years ago. I’ve been meaning to make more! I will make more! Just gotta make some time for it, so I’ll add it to my list of goals for the next month. I’ve been pretty good about meeting my monthly goals. Anyway… yeah, I have been in my Travelers Notebook literally everyday, documenting my daily life through scraps of paper and random packaging and magazine tear-outs. I even ordered a heavy duty book-binding stapler so I can start making my own notebooks as thread-binding them is quite a chore and I like to make life easier for myself 🙂

I have a ton of photos in my lightroom catalog that have yet to be edited and sorted. I really don’t love my external hard drive filing system. It works, but I think I need to get some smaller solid state drives so it doesn’t feel so clunky when I’m editing photos and using my chonkers LaCie drives. Here are some iPhone candids my husband took of me the other day so you have photo proof that I’m still here… and pondering on paper. 😉

Throwback to 2018, while aboard the Sea Casa for a pleasure cruise, thanks to Captain Connor. This landscape view of Tutuila and the ocean glitter still makes me sigh happy sighs.

Pacific Roots Open Mic 2020 – working the art booth.

Last night at home for a while

In 24 hours I’ll be on a plane… Up up and away from home after 2 years since COVID canceled all my travel plans indefinitely.

Everyone keeps asking “are you ready?” and “are you excited?” and I’m like hmmm, yes and no to both.

I’m beyond excited to finally go on vacation, spend time with family, and go on new travel adventures.

I’m not looking forward to living out of a suitcase, leaving my big comfy bed, and I’m obviously worried that I might get COVID or that another new variant will pop up and cause my flight back home to be delayed.

Let’s focus on the positives though! I can’t wait to be a bit cold so I can wear layers, scarves, socks, and get cuddly without getting sweaty. I want to eat a lot of really good food. Go on a road trip. Go shopping (lol). Maybe find some snow since I’ve never had a white Christmas.

I’m pretty much all packed. I just need to pack my toothbrush, close my luggage, and organize my carry-on bag. The last few days have been all about packing, closing out work tasks, running errands, doing last name changes on my documents, shopping for pasalubong (souvenirs), wrapping gifts, cleaning the house, and trying to spend as much time with my best friend before I leave because I’m gonna miss her birthday while I’m away.

It’s late already — 11:45pm… almost midnight. I feel incredibly exhausted, and a little stressed that I still have a bunch of stuff to do tomorrow before we check in for our flight. But anyway, I wanted to preface my next blog posts with at least something because I’ll be in the states soon and I’ll try to update the blog more often since I’ll be in the land of fast internet. Maybe I’ll even start adding a few photo journals from my funky last couple of months.

I’m seriously about to pass out and my eyes are definitely too heavy to be staring at my laptop, so I’ll end this here…

Till next time,

xo, Nerelle

How are you?

Hi hello how are ya?

But no really… how are you doing? Hanging in there?

To be honest, I’ve been struggling to maintain a good head space.

The last couple of months have felt really chaotic, I have had very little motivation and yet somehow I’ve been super productive and really really busy. I guess I’ve been so preoccupied with everything else in life that I haven’t stopped to smell the roses, so to speak. Plus there have been so many contrasting emotions that have put me through the ringer… high highs and low lows that have left me in a funky funk.

Anyhow, I haven’t been motivated enough to get on my blog to post anything so just wanted to post this update for now–hii, I hope you’re well and getting fresh air and sunshine when you can, and hopefully I’ll get some energy to share some photo journals soon.

Sending love and good vibes to wherever you are in the world.

xo, Nerelle

Today after work, I asked my husband if he liked my style, and he answered “I love your style!” with so much more energy and zest than I was expecting, and then he he paused and said “unapologetically!”

It’s nice to know I made good choices in my wardrobe and in choosing an amazing husband 🥰

Processed with VSCO with s3 preset

caught off guard – I don’t even remember why we were out this night lol

Picking tahitian limes and riding in the back of the truck by our campsite.
Life is guud.

pc: Gabby

from our anniversary camping trip last year

Me and Yodi girl rolling around cuddling; from two or three months ago?? I don’t remember but I got a bunch of cute random photos from Gabby the other night and I wanted to file it under Moments.

pc: Gabby

Swimming in the rain

A couple of weeks ago, swimming in the rain with Gabby.

It was nipply cold!

[Filed under happy memories]

Currently; Nostalgic

It’s early… like, not even 8am early… and I don’t usually get on my blog until later in the evenings when I feel a word vomit coming on, or when I have photo journals to share. I’m currently looking back at my old Tumblr and I’m up in my feels, nostalgic for the days that felt like magic because every experience was new to me. I keep hitting “random” on my Tumblr, and I’m seeing a lot of photo diaries from my travels to India with my university cohort. Photos of long distance friendships with Gabs. Exploring areas of Tucson. The word vomits back then too. So many little memories that I have pretty much forgotten about, but now remembering fondly. They are little vignettes into the nerdy quirky confident girl I was, and still am… I’m also in the midst of the slow process of updating my website. I changed the font, changed out a couple of plugins, and going to review the mobile friendliness of it. I want my website to reflect my personality and aesthetics, and a place where I can always feel inspired to log the little moments of life that make life beautiful.

Nerding out with the Que familia this Sunday

Officer and Yodi <3

iPhone snaps from this afternoon when we got home after work; love these cuties.

Side note: we put up these curtains over the weekend! We bought the white curtain panels because it was cheaper to buy rather than get a nice heavy duty fabric; and I sewed canvas loops to hold the wood dowels. It’s incredible how much cooler it is in the house in the afternoons now.

Matcha lattes, chicken sub, and mince and veg pie, mmMmm!

Breakfast with Jabs by the marina.


Views from an evening seawall stroll with my hubba.

July 25, 2021

Sunset streaming in through the front door, and a hungry Officer Scruffles meowing for dinner to be served.

July 27, 2021

front facing camera… oh hi, it meee