Friday, February 25, 2011

Family Fun

We took the family to Classic Skating, a local skating ring, this week and we all had so much fun! The girls tried out skating and Kayman cruised around on his scooter like a mad man! I used to go to Classic with a good friend of mine, Lindsey, nearly every week in 8th grade. We had so much fun there! So many good memories! Come to think of it, that is where my Dr. Pepper addiction started...
Here I am making the rounds.
Syd and me taking a break.
Syd picked it up pretty quick and took off on her own for a while...until she fell and hurt her wrist.
Jess didn't dare let go of daddy's hand. She was a little unstable and couldn't quite figure out how to stand on her own two feet.
Kayman quite enjoyed this activity! He had this crazy look on his face most of the time and only took a break to go shoot the guns on the video games when he passed them.
What a great night that was! It was a good warm up for me, I am going back next week for a friends birthday party! Girls only, and it's an 80's theme! Oh yea, baby! Can't wait!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

What's this?!

I was out in the yard for a few minutes just looking at the flower beds thinking, "I am so freaking lazy, I still have all the dead crap from last year lying dead in the flower beds!" when I noticed a little something. A little yellow something. So I pulled back the dead crusty mess and discovered this...
Oh yes. This makes me happy. It's February, and the Crocus are out in full bloom! How beautiful is that?! That means Spring is right around the corner, and hopefully this dang cold weather will be gone soon. I know we still have a couple of months, and I can't plant the garden until mid-May, but I am getting excited!
I absolutely love to see flowers in my yard. It is one of the most rewarding things to me. Beautiful color splashed across the yard after months of nothing but brown ugliness. Sometimes white beauty, but mostly brown ugly.
Here's to Spring!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Days 7 and 8

We headed out to try to surf this morning, but there weren't any waves. Too bad! We decided to lay out by the pool until it was time to leave for the North Shore for Karen and my massage!

The massage was at a place called Hale Ho'omana and they did Lomi Lomi Hawaiian Massage that was the best I have ever had. It felt so good. I loved it! It was way up on the hillside of Mt. Haleakala at a retreat spa. The guys watched the surfers on the big waves at the North Shore while karen and I were pampered.
We had dinner reservations at a Bistro called the 808, which was delicious. I had pork and beans and it was the best pork I have ever had. So yummy! We had to wait until 8:00 to get to the restaurant, so we hit up Hilo Hatties and the ABC store for a few necessities before we head home tomorrow. We got some coconut candy and the coconut syrup we all love. We go through that stuff so fast, we bought 5 bottles of it! :) Mmmmm, German pancakes, here we come!
The last full day of Hawaii. We got up and I headed to one last yoga class, which was incredible. We did some hip opening exercises, and my hips felt like butter afterward. It got me all loosey-goosey. (That's not a medical term, though I did have a Doctor tell me that before. My joints are all pretty loose and they pop and crack all the time. The explanation from the Doctor was that I'm loosey-goosey.)
Anywho, after yoga Andy and I walked along the beach walk for about 30 minutes, hung out at the beach for another 30 minutes, then it was time to go pack up. Bitter-sweet day.

whales are breaching in the distance
turtles steal a quick breath of air
their heads peeking out of the water
if only for a moment
the heat beats down
into my glistening skin
roaring waves crash onto the sand
a welcome cool breeze swifts by
blowing my tangled hair
and cooling me
I lie on a bleached white towel
digging in the sand with my toes
a book in hand
sunglasses slipping down
the bridge of my nose
sweet bird songs
sung from the palm leaves above
singing of the paradise
that is Maui

Monday, February 14, 2011

Day 6

We got up and went to 9:00 church at the Kihei ward. It was really nice to not be in Primary for a week. It's my month for Sharing Time, so the break was a welcome one. Luckily I have an awesome presidency who can pick up my slack when I go on vacation! Thanks ladies!
After Sacrament meeting we went for some breakfast at Mickey-D's, and then headed out to the pool for a while. The weather is absolutely perfect. We lie there for about 30 minutes, until we are literally dripping with sweat, then hop into the deep blue mild pool for a cool off, and repeat about 5 times. I laid out without sunscreen trying to get a little more color the day before the last day.
At 1:00 we decided to take off for the Ioa rain forest. It only took a short drive to get there, and we hiked around for a bit. We were told to expect a 30 minute hike, but couldn't figure out how to take that long after we got to the top of the "trail" in about 5 minutes. We also saw a sign that said "Now Entering Paid Parking" that we walked past after parking on the road, and we still had to pay for parking. It was an interesting experience. The paths are short, but the scenery is definitely beautiful!

On our way out we saw the beginnings of a natural cock fight. I had just been saying how I wanted a good picture of a rooster, which are all over the place, and this is what we saw not 1 minute later.

We headed back toward Wailea after the rain forest, and it was getting close to 5:00. I had heard from my brother last year when we were here that there is a beach close to the resort that had a drum circle and fire dancing on Sunday evening around sunset. Andy and I dropped his parents off at the hotel (they were not too interested) and we headed to "Little Beach" for some entertainment. Well, we were definitely entertained! This is the only nude beach on Maui, and it was full of hippies and drums and hula hoops and pot. It was interesting, to say the least. Andy and I watched the drum circle and hippie dancers for a while, watched the beautiful sunset, and then the fire dancing started. I loved it! I had such a great time there! The only thing that would have made it better would have been is everyone had their clothes on...most people did, but a few did not. Regardless, the fire dancing and drumming were very cool. This was an opportunity I'm glad we did not miss this year. Last year when my brother told us about it, we were not here over a Sunday evening and didn't get to experience it.

After the sun went down we headed back to the resort for Andy's parents so we could get some dinner. We had some delicious pizza at a little restaurant up the road. The restaurants here are so unique. They all have open patios that let the fresh air flow through. It's refreshing. I'm not looking forward to going home and having to cook all of my meals again. I'm not going to like anything. The meals we have had here have all been so good!
I have started to miss the kids quite a bit. I think about them more and am excited to see them in a couple more days!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Day 5 in Paradise!

I started out the day with some yoga again. It felt SO good! I'm loving this instructor we have here at the resort. She is amazing. She has the same issues I do with my back and she started yoga about 15 years ago. She no longer has all the pain and issues she used to have with her scoliosis because of the yoga she has been involved in. She is an older hippie woman I wish I could take yoga from every day. She is great!

I headed to the pool for a few hours in the morning after yoga, and I roasted myself. The sun was just perfect. Hot enough to need a cool off in the pool, but didn't burn me with only spf 8 on. Perfect! :) I read a little and relaxed a lot before we headed out to Kihei for lunch and a little shopping. It started raining so after eating at the Tiki Lounge we went to the shops for a bit. We got the kids each a gift. We got ourselves a gift. Then we got ourselves what we really came here for...a Hawaiian Shaved Ice. Mmmmm, a snow cone with ice cream in the bottom. I got coconut, guava and passion. It was divine. If you've never had a real Hawaiian shaved ice, it's worth coming here for.

When we got back from shopping we had about an hour before we needed to get ready for our dinner party. Andy and I headed out to the beach to get some pictures while the lighting was amazing. We got a few of each other, but nobody was there to get another one of us together.

So I'm clearly no model, but these are some of the shots Andy got of me on the beach.

Watching the storm in the distance. The ocean looked so beautiful!

We had the Alphagraphics Celebration dinner tonight that came with wonderful food and great entertainment. Some of the local children did their hula dancing for us. They ranged in age from 4 to 8, and they were incredibly good dancers!

At the dinner, every franchise that is invited here goes up when the representatives from Corporate read our names and we give all of the Corporate employees hugs (or high five's depending on your preference). It's a tradition at Gold Circle event to do this and they tell everyone how many years each franchise has been a member of the Gold Circle group. The group consists of the top 15 % of the Alphagraphics by sales revenue. This year was our 6th year as part of this group, which is a huge accomplishment. It says a lot about how hard Andy and Steve work and all they accomplish. We are privileged to be able to take part in this with so many knowledgable business people and friends. It's been an honor for me to be part of this and getting to know so many of them. I hope we make it again next year!
This was the last night for Hol and Brandon and their family. We went to say goodbye to them after dinner. They are leaving Hawaii and heading to GA for a couple weeks before moving to SLC! I am very excited that they will be moving close to us. We love their family so much and the girls can't wait to have more cousins close by!
Until tomorrow!

This is an awesome picture Andy took of the rocks up on the beach. The waves continually wash over this rock, so there is some pretty cool stuff growing on there. The colors are so rich!

Day 4

I started out the day with some yoga out by the beach. I haven't done yoga in a very long time because it usually hurts my back to do all that bending and twisting. The teacher here teaches Viniyoga, which is more of a restorative yoga. She is very good and explained all about how the stretching works. Most yoga instructors I have seen want you to see how far you can get the stretch to go, even if it hurts. You should not do that. You should stretch until your body is telling you to stop, then hold it there for a while to get that deep tissue stretch. Don't force anything. You will get more flexible in time, and if you do it right, you will prevent injuries in the future rather than cause them with yoga. I really loved her class! We did a hip opening class, which was great for me. My hips are very tight due to my scoliosis and lumbar problems. It felt wonderful to loosen up a bit, though it was pretty painful getting there!
After yoga we all got ready to go and headed into Lahaina for snorkeling! I just laid out on the beach, didn't feel like getting in the water because it was a little chilly and I knew I wouldn't warm up too well. (I thoroughly enjoyed reading my book on the beach.) Everyone said the snorkeling was beautiful. It's what Izzy decided to do, it was her birthday!
It was also Syd's birthday back home! She turned 7 today! My parents took good care of her. They got her a desk, balloons, a heart shaped pizza, and they had a party at their house with my sister and brother in law! I'm sure she will never forget the birthday her parents abandoned her for paradise, but her grandparents stepped up and gave her a wonderful day!
After the beach, we headed back to the hotel to get ready for a fun-filled evening we had planned. We reserved tickets for Warren and Annabelle's show.
Warren is very funny and tricks everyone with his sleight of hand magic tricks. He is incredible with the magic, and he is a wonderful comedian! If you ever get to Maui, I highly recommend this show, it's one on a kind. We laughed our guts out!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Day 3, best day ever!

Today was one of the most amazing days in a VERY long time! I did some pretty sweet things. I started the day waking up just early enough to get a very yummy breakfast buffet with the Alphagraphics Franchisees before their meeting started. Eggs, bacon, sausage, hash browns, a blueberry pancake with coconut syrup, fresh fruit and some pineapple juice. Ok, so I over ate just a little. It is ok though, I went straight out for a walk along with beach with my mother in law, Karen, for an hour. We walked by the resort (Grand Wailea) we stayed in last January when I came with my family. The walking trail goes for miles down the beach. It's beautiful!
I then came back to the room and stretched for a bit before heading out to the pool for a couple of hours. I got some reading in before we went to a restaurant at the hotel where HP (one of the Alphagraphics vendors) sponsored lunch. We got whatever we want, and I had a delicious chicken stir fry lunch with a raspberry mango smoothie. And a DP, of course.
After lunch we went to Kihei to surf. The water was not ideal, but I did catch a few waves. We were out there with my inlaws and Andy's sister Hol and her family (Bandon, Micaela, Izzy and Ava).

Andy and I surfing side by side. Haha! Andy fell just as the picture was being taken. Can you believe the huge wave we caught?! Massive. I know, I was scared for my life.

What's better than being in Hawaii with your true love? Um, surfing with him. That was pretty sweet.
After surfing we came back and got showered for dinner with the other owners. The dinner started out with cocktails and chatting, then we got a picnic dinner. This was supposed to happen out on the lawn, but it started raining a few hours before so it was moved inside. Anyway, we ate our yummy dinner, laughed with good company, and then headed to do our little art project. They had fish molds that you could paint, then press the paper over and essentially stamp it onto the paper. The trick is to paint it cool, and then your picture turns out cool!
We got talking to a few other owners and one of the women was talking about going up on stage and asking the band if she could sing a few songs. She did it, started playing guitar and singing, and after a couple of songs I felt compelled to go play the drums! I asked the drummer if I could play a song, and he was fine with it! I went up there and played about 4 songs with them.

It was so incredible. I haven't played on stage for years and years. I don't remember the last time I did that. It was so awesome! I had so much fun. I did pretty well over all. There were a few times I couldn't really feel it, but then again, I have never really played blues before. It was so amazing to be on stage again doing what I love. Most of the people had gone by the time I got up there, only about 20 people remained, but I knew most of them and none of them had a clue that I even played the drums. They were all very impressed. What an incredible night this was. The whole day, really. Walking along the beach, lying by the pool, surfing, playing the drums. Epic. Best vacation EVER!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Day 2

We got up at 3:30 a.m., again, for another very early morning. We went on a bike tour. We took a bus up the Haleakala Volcano to see the sun rise. Our guides, Chuck and Mike with Bike it Maui, were so great. They got us up there just in time, made it very entertaining, and had plenty of advice for us to enhance our experience on Maui. We got to the top of the Crater just in time to see the first light of day.
The colors in the sky were incredible as the sun slowly rose. We could see the other end of the crater, the thick clouds beyond it, and in the picture below you can see the Big Island in the distance. The clouds continued to change colors, and this was one of the most beautiful scenes I have ever seen. The clouds started to turn red after a bit.

This is a cool picture of Venus. It was glowing up in the sky, shining so bright. It was very dark, so it was difficult to get a good picture that let enough light in without getting the picture all blurry. So I decided to use that to my advantage. What do you think?

As the sun began to peek out above the clouds, the park ranger started singing a chant to the Sun Gods. It was beautiful to listen to that as the sun rose above the clouds. We were at the top of the crater, which is about 10,000 feet high. It was very cold up there, but it was so beautiful we didn't care how cold we were.
Andy and I at the top of the crater just before heading down on the bikes!
After the sunrise, we rode our bikes down the mountain. It was so fun! It is downhill the whole way, and and hardly had to peddle at all. It was a 24 mile coast that I loved every second of! Andy and I "hang loose" on the hill and pose for a photo opp. I didn't have to ride on his handlebars, I had my own bike. Just in case you wondered.
Andy thought the skull on my helmet was pretty cool. Here I am showing it off.
This plant is very unique. It's called Silver Sword, and Haleakala is the only place in the world where it can be found. It takes anywhere from 5-50 years to bloom, and then it dies. It is very beautiful I love that it's silver. It's my new favorite. I am loving silver lately...
After the bike ride was over we went to Charlie's to get a delicious breakfast. We then headed to the hotel, changed, and spent the rest of the day at the beach. Andy's sister Hol and her family came around 3:00. They are on their way home from living in New Zealand for a year, and we were able to meet up here for a few days! After a few hours on the beach, we went out for some dinner.
I got a little burned today, maybe I should put on some sunscreen higher than spf 8 tomorrow. Maybe. It's supposed to be rainy for a few days toward the end of our trip, so I want to get all the sun I can while it's here!
We came home from dinner by the beach with the Reynolds to our suite with the bed turned down, soft Hawaiian music playing, and Alphagraphics had left gifts for us in the room. They are very cool water bottles that Andy and I are both excited about! :) I'll have to put it to use tomorrow when I exercise. I slacked today.
Until tomorrow...enjoy the sun rise pictures!