You can’t have rainbows without rain

That’s what they say. In Hawaii it rains a lot. But many times it doesn’t last long and many times a sprinkle ends in a gorgeous rainbow that makes your heart pitter patter.  It’ll literally take your breathe away and make you stop and take a glimpse. Each time you look back the rainbow is different. They say no two people see a rainbow the same since it changes by the slightest variation of where you are. In any case, and back to my post…it has to rain to have rainbows…

This little saying helps me get through tough times. Living in Hawaii what tough times could there be, right? Not many, really. No, we’re pretty damn happy. Life is not bad. Whether living in a gorgeous sprawling house or in a tiny beach shack, none of it really matters because we spend much time at the beach, out hiking or driving around the island to see all it has to offer. We love HAWAII and what IT, this awesome land and culture, has to offer.  That’s why we are here, not for our houses or silly things like that.

Yes life is good. I cannot lie. But there is one thing that is my rain shower, my dark cloud that sometimes hangs over me. Sometimes, I just really really miss my family.

Sometimes I question, “Did we do the right thing by moving to ‘paradise'” I feel guilty for being far from family. Sad that my son and daughter don’t get to see their grandparents or grow up giggling and getting into trouble with their cousins. I am sad that my nephews don’t know me as well as I’d like them to.

When we moved to Maui we sold almost all of our possessions.

No, really.

We moved over with about 6 suitcases, a board bag filled with two surfboards, and an 8 foot by 5 foot pallet filled with what remained of our life back in California. Oh wait, my parents were awesome and sent over another 4 or 5 boxes via UPS for us. But that was it. We let it all go. Said goodbye to much of our past and hello to a bright sunshine filled future. But of all the things we ‘sacrificed’ it is living without family that is by far the toughest.

I used to be sad that I didn’t have my local bagel shop (they knew us by name) or Trader Joes or Target. Yes those things made me sad when I first moved here. My conveniences were taken away. But then I remembered, that’s what I wanted. I wanted to escape the normalcy of what our life was. I wanted to be pushed to be in a new culture, one totally different than mine. And experience all that comes with that…the culture shock, the ups and downs, the learning and the awesome transformation as this foreign land starts to feel like home and your neighbors know you and the local farmers market knows you by name. That experience and the growth that comes from it is wonderful.

But I often question, “is it worth it?”

When I think, “life is short” it makes me want to pack up and move to the next adventure, after all we need to ‘seize the day’! But then it also makes me want to pack up and move HOME. To be by family so that my kids can have adventures right there at home. And learn from their grandparents and live through the stories of their past. Right there at HOME.

I’m feeling a bit melancholy tonight. My mother in law left back to California today. We had a wonderful 10 days with her and my children are just smitten by her.  But it really made me miss my family, my mom & dad and brother and his family and my sister and her family – we’re a close bunch, even though we’re spread out across Michigan to California to Hawaii.

That is the hardest part, the biggest sacrifice, of this journey of picking up and moving to a new place.

I mostly talk about my rainbows here on The Ohana Mama.  But the reality is, that’s my rain. The missing of loved ones.

BUT, thankfully tonight I’ll go to sleep and tomorrow the sun will rise.  And perhaps, we’ll be so lucky, to have a rainbow.

After all, you can’t have rainbows without rain.

[poll id=”5″]


  1. My man and I lived in Maui for a year or so, it was hard deciding to move so far away from the family here in Massachusetts, but we love Maui so much…We came back to Boston as a family member fell very ill, and then I couldn’t bear to leave her side. Now it has been two years since we moved back from Hawaii and I miss it every day. We want to go back but are struggling with the prospect of starting a family so far from the parents and grandparents- not to mention aunts, uncles, cousins, friends…I want my children to be raised in the warm Hawaiian sun and become a part of an important culture but we are torn. Winters here always sway us towards packing up again though! One thing we all have in common out there though is that our friends become family for us. <3

  2. I can’t say I understand since I’ve never lived away from family. Sometimes, especially in the harsh PA winters, I think about how much I LOVE Florida, but just can’t imagine really leaving. So I have no words of wisdom except to say if you ever moved back you’d probably miss Hawaii! :) Can you get your family to join you?

    .-= Cecelia´s last blog ..Hot Picks from Haute Mamas {August Edition} =-.

  3. I love the idea of moving to hawaii. It’s gorgeous – but I am way attached to my family. I used to live 3 hours away, but now that I have the kids living even 45 minutes away seems hard. (My parents and gparents live 5 minutes from my house). But still, everyone has their rain and rainbows one way or another, right?

    Your children are loved and that’s what’s most important.
    .-= erin´s last blog ..Gifted Imaginations: Cool New Toys =-.

  4. Hugs, hugs and more hugs. I miss you too. I have these same thoughts ALL the time. I know you know that. Can’t wait to see you in a couple of weeks!

  5. We live about 8 miles from grandparents and we love it. 4 years ago, we used to live about 25 miles away, and decided it was too far. With all the traffic in the Bay Area and the crowded freeways, we rarely saw my parents. So before baby #2 came, we moved into a house close by so that a visit didn’t have to be a big deal, it could be just a stopping by. It’s been wonderful, not just so my kids can spend time with grandparents, but also so that my husband and I can spend time with our elders. The drawback was leaving my friends behind. I don’t see them as much, but they are, after all, just a 30 minute drive away. Moving to paradise is something we talk about occasionally, but I can’t picture us actually doing it. It takes a lot of guts to just pack up and move so far away. Sarah, I applaud you for living the dream!
    .-= Jennifer´s last blog ..The best purse / diaper bag for moms of toddlers! =-.

  6. It is so hard being away from family. You’re right…the hardest thing is knowing that your kids miss out on their grandparents, cousins, and just the experience of being around family like we did when we were young. It is frustrating at times that you don’t have someone to just call to run over when you need to run out to the store to get tylenol while your husband is at work or when you just need a night out alone. I don’t even know what that’s like. I know so many people that their parents basically help raise their children, yet they complain about their mom or dad being around too much. They don’t understand what it’s like to not have that. My mom passed away before I had my children and what I wouldn’t give to have her near me to help. I don’t think I would live that far from home is she were still alive. You know how they say “it takes a village” – just sometimes that village ends up being much smaller but we make it work!
    .-= Kasey´s last blog ..A Day Of Firsts =-.

  7. ooo that made me cry :( but being preggers makes me cry about everything! lol really though, I get you! I live in NY and it has only been little over 1 yr since we have been away and it is still tough. I hate that my neice was just 9 months when we moved to NY and when I saw her again, she kept giving me dirty looks like “who the hell are you lady?” :( My kids talk to my parents almost daily but my mil doesnt call all that much. Now with the 3rd child on the way, I feel sad knowing that not everyone will get to see him or her. I am very close with my family–aunts, cousins, uncles, everyone lived within 15 mins of each other back in Cali.
    .-= Clarissa´s last blog ..The SECRET is OUT! =-.

  8. Your post just described our experience living on the Big Island perfectly. We now live in Massachusetts, still far from family but much more affordable to visit. We were originally excited about the transfer as we missed our families terribly after 2+ years of island living. We have been gone for 6 months and I can’t tell you how much we miss the islands. We also wanted our kids to be close to grandparents and cousins but now I want them to grow up in the rich and beautiful Hawaiian culture. We miss our “families” on the island. We are hoping to get back soon. Maybe Maui is in the cards for us next as the Kea Lani is a Fairmont Hotel (the company my hubby works for). :)

  9. Malica! Ding ding ding! I do love that when we have family visit is is such quality time. I suppose I wish that we all had unlimited amounts of money so that we could travel all the time to see each other. That would be perfect…and if I could wiggle my nose and instantly be in California…that 5.5 hour flight with two kids is daunting! ;)

    Thanks for the comment!
    .-= Sarah – The Ohana Mama´s last blog ..American Baby Magazine is looking for Moms! =-.

  10. I know where you are coming from! We lived in Hawaii for a couple of years and adored everything about it. The not so great part – We had 3 deaths in the family in the time we were gone and it was very expensive to return at the last minute.
    We moved back home to the Midwest a year and a half ago and the great parts are having family close (lots of reliable sitters!)and seeing our kids develop relationships with their cousins. I love calling my mom in the morning and visiting her that afternoon or meeting my brother an his kids at the zoo . I am very happy we are here during my kids younger years. The downside- Now we have multiple family obligations to juggle every holiday, we don’t spend as much time outdoors, seeing relatives is an everyday event and not the really special time it used to be and we miss Hawaii every day. We loved the lifestyle and culture there. We hope to move back in the (hopefully) not too distant future.

  11. Oi! That has to be rough.
    .-= Jasmine´s last blog ..Bipolar Blogging =-.

  12. We have lived away from family since adopting our son. It has been hard because we have no familial babysitters, no one to run to the store with, no companionship of family. We are moving again in a few weeks to another state without family. Although it is in our minds that we would love to be near family, we never seem to.

    It is hard some days.
    .-= Nicole ´s last blog ..Rough Day =-.


  1. […] You Can’t Have Rainbows Without Rain Sarah, The Ohana Mama […]

  2. […] You Can’t Have Rainbows Without Rain from Sarah, The Ohana Mama […]

Leave a Comment