Keahi Newborn Lifestyle Session, Birthstory Issaquah, Washington Photographer

"Pio 'ole ke kukui!"- Light the path lead the way!

Keahi Mālie Dong. My husband, James, is responsible for naming this little guy. My family has teased me for the past several years that the one word they would choose to describe me was relentless. Jessica Alba, the actress and founder of the Honest company, recently used that same word to describe herself in an interview with Sheryl Sandburg; so, I'll take it as a compliment. That being said, James would tease me that we'd have a little Keahi, the Hawaiian word for fire, one day… our little fire.

I pushed back… because having a little spit fire personality scared me, but, that teasing of a Keahi just seamed to fit when we found out we were expecting our second son. I knew I wanted to temper it however... what would be worth being passionate for or about.

Keahi Kupa'aikapono... The fire that stands firm in righteousness was one of our leading suggestions up until the day before we gave birth, when James came to me and asked, "What's the Hawaiian word for gentle?"

Mālie in Hawaiian means: calm, quiet, serene, pacific, still, silent, tranquil, gentle, gradual; calmly, slowly, softly, quietly.

The gentle, serene, tranquil fire.

It all came together as we walked from the delivery room in the hospital to the room we'd stay in for the remainder of our time there. There was a long hallway with large glass windows on either side, the light shining through, exposing images of the rooftop garden. James said he felt a warm, soft, feeling. That's the feeling that describes our little Keahi Malie. Our warm, gentle, calming fire. Itʻs like the feeling of the Holy Ghost when heʻs letting you know youʻre on the right path, comforting you along the way, leading you with calm persistence.

In college, as a part of the Hawaiian Club, one of our club motto's for the year was "Pio ʻole ke kukui- Light the path, lead the way!" The Hawaiian translation is more literally, “The (kukui) light that doesnʻt extinguish.” “Kukui" represents light and is related to light and knowledge, because the kukui nut’s oil was used to light torches when the light from the sun couldn’t be found. Leaders light the path and lead the way. When I think of my Keahi, that's what I want for him. I want him to have that enduring, calm persistence. I want him to follow those whisperings of the fire of the Holy Ghost within him.

We love you, little Keahi Mālie Dong!