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Thursday, February 6, 2014

Leis, Love and Laie in Hawaii

Yes, I did earn the money for my plane tickets to visit my brother in Hawaii by selling trash; items I found at thrift stores and garage sales.  I hardly slept the week before I left because there was so much to do to get everything in place.  Thank you to family and friends who helped. 

Because the counselor and I have young children and it was financially impossible to take them all with me, he volunteered to stay home.  Yes, the counselor would work all week and hold down the fort while I traveled to exotic places, spent lots of money and ate fresh pineapple.  This decision was followed on my part by lots of homemade cookies, kisses and afternoon phone calls full of “thank you” and “what did I ever do to deserve you.”  The counselor has always been like this:  selfless.

The boys would be in school and I could find afternoon help while the counselor was at work, but there was no way I could leave Eden; my mini-me.  If I left her, I would be worried sick the entire time.  Yet, I knew if I brought Eden I would need some help too.  So, my decision to bring my oldest and youngest child was made.  It was definitely the best decision.  My middle boys were so sweet and understanding about it.  Here are their responses when I told them about my idea:

Payson – “That’s ok, Mom.  I don’t want to go Hawaii anyway because I trying to earn perfect attendance at school.”  Sweet, Payson.
Mayer –  (while crying) “I’m just going to miss Chandler so much.  He’s my favorite brother.”  I didn’t know that.  Chandler was really touched by this.
Reef – “Is Dad taking me to monster trucks?”

Alrighty, then.  They were going to be fine.

I’ve told my middle boys as they get older, I look forward to planning a trip with them too.

The flight there was perfect, as the pilot, who was a 25-year veteran was flying his last flight before retirement.  My brother, Matt, and his wife met us with flowered leis. 

Once we arrived at Matt’s place in Ko Olina we immediately put on our swimsuits and ran down to the beach.  Matt's wife, Monique took us to all four lagoons in the area.
We saw turtles and the water felt wonderful.  
Eden poising yoga-style.  Eden's swimsuit was a gift from my sister Becky.

The next morning, I took the kids out on one of many walks and we would go down to the lagoons.  
I marveled that this was my son.
We had our required daily Hawaiian food; I swear shaved ice is a prerequisite if you're visiting.    

But, the best day by far was Sunday when we were all together.
Drinking a coconut.
Dancing roadside- tiki style and looking for bananas in the trees.

This family is so precious and fun.  Everyday is a celebration. They "coo" like love birds.

We walked into an enchanted forest; imagine Lord of the Rings meets Princess Bride's swamp forest.
It's hard to describe how big this tree was, so I'll let Chandler show you.
That's how Hawaii was to me; larger than life, pinch me because I think I'm dreaming and is this for real type of experience.  It was like "Wow, that looks just like Hawaii!" only to realize I was in Hawaii.
We walked down the path and found a beautiful quaint cove with no one around.  Imagine walking out of the jungle onto a white sandy beach.  I ran right into the water and when I looked back onto the beach, my brother had written my name in the sand.
Matthew is such a gift in my life.  He knows my heart and celebrates.

Eden was singing while running into the water with me.  She couldn't get enough.

Later that day, we drove to Laie and visited the Mormon temple.

I didn't realize being on the grounds of the temple was going to be such an emotional experience for me. I cried and cried and could barely keep myself together.
Why was I crying the entire time I was there?
Temples are very specials to members of the Mormon church.  It is here we are married or sealed for time and all eternity.  Through God's love and the power of the priesthood, families can be together forever.  I was missing the counselor and my other children, but I was also feeling the love I have for them and gratitude for all my many blessings.

We drove around towards the north shore,but it was closed due to record breaking waves.  We watched the ocean hit the rocks like fireworks and explode into the air.

The next day we snorkeled at Hanauma Bay.
Chandler and I took turns playing with Eden on the beach.

Pearl Harbor was also very emotional.  There are no words to express my gratitude to those who serve to protect this country I love.

There is so much more about this trip I'll share next week.  
Linking up to:
Jenny Matlock


  1. What a wonderful trip you had. Hawaii is absolutely beautiful and breathtaking. When I'm in beautiful places like Hawaii I just get emotional thinking how magnificent is the world God created for us his children. :)

  2. I'm so glad you got to experience this wonderful trip and check it off your bucket list. You work so hard - you deserved it.

    PS. I love the boy's responses when you tell them you aren't taking all of them with you... monster trucks? Classic. ;)

  3. Next time take me with you. Gotta love the comments of the children.

  4. So glad you got to take a trip to Hawaii. I was born and raised on Oahu and appreciate it more and more whenever I am back home.

  5. This looks like the vacation of a lifetime...

    It is times like these that don't last long enough but live on forever in our memories!

    Lovely post for the letter "L".

    Thanks for linking.