Friday, February 28, 2014

{Valentine's Day 2014}

Always love a little Valentine's fun! I mailed the above Valentines to all of extended family, plus the kids did a massive amount for school, friend, and church parties. The Valentine's garb took over the kitchen table for the most part of 2 days.  

I love these sweet little gems from preschool (and a pretty darn cute kid).

I've done a fancier breakfast in previous years, but this year just plopped down a red runner and a few dollar store doilies and called it good with yogurt parfaits in fancy glasses.  

We made some fun treats for a few families at church.  Mini donuts and sugar cookies. Can never go wrong with that combo.  

We went out to eat that night (having Carson as a babysitter is a major score when Valentine's Day falls on a week day!) with our friends, the Carvers. Trevor and I had already agreed ahead of time not to spend money on gifts (we were just in Hawaii, remember?).  But in the middle of dinner he whipped out this box with a ring in it!  What?!  I seriously said "What the heck is that?!"  I didn't know if was a joke or if I was about to be really mad at him for spending $$$$ on a very sparkly ring.  It only took me a few seconds to realize it was MY wedding ring.  I haven't had it since our anniverary in Sept when the diamond fell out (I discovered it was missing at our anniversary dinner, and we found it later in our home....miracle).  
Anyway, it was so sweet of him to have it fixed for me and to give it to me on Valentine's Day.  I was totally surprised and not expecting it at all.  What was hilarious is the neighboring table actually thought we were getting in engaged and bought us dessert!  Oh man we laughed so hard, but ran with it.  Such a fun and memorable Valentine's Day! 

Thursday, February 27, 2014

{February Snow}

We didn't get much snow this winter...just a couple late starts for school, but no official  'snow days'.  However, we did wake up one Sunday morning to enough snow to make the kids bounce off the walls with excitement.  It was a mad dash to get out in the fun.  

Since we have late church (1:30), we had plenty of time to head over to the elementary school to sled down the hills. Fun all around.  

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

{Daddy Daughter Dance}

Our stake does a fantastic job of hosting a Daddy Daughter dance in February.  It gets bigger and bigger each year and Addison was over the moon excited!  

It was practically like prom around here (?!)...  Addy spent the day with one of her BFFs, Kaylee.  Their dates (aka DADs) took them to get their nails done before we got them together and did hair and touch of make up.  

 Addy and Kaylee looked so cute all dolled up!  Matching dresses on accident. They both love pink! (and Mormon moms like Costco prices!). We saw many girls in this same dress!   Darling!

Trevor arranged (wait, I arranged!) for a corsage.  She loved it!  

 And then everyone met at our house for pictures.  It got dark super fast and rainy too, so pictures on the covered deck were the best we could do 
(this really is sounding a lot like prom..haha).

These girls are ALL so wonderful! I'm overjoyed that she has such darling and kind friends.  Sure we have some 9 year old drama here and there, but these girls adore each other and they definitely need each other too!  

The handsome dads!

 They danced and danced and danced.  With my new calling in Primary, I got to go "help".  It was fun to be a fly on the wall. I stepped in at the very last minute to snap a few pictures. They stayed until the DJ quit!  Wild and crazy and loving it!  And then hit a restaurant afterwards...these girls think they are teenagers!  They all wore their dresses and corsages the next day to church too. 

So grateful for a husband who casts all cares aside and pulls out all the goofy moves and grooves.  She will always remember these special nights with him!  

Thursday, February 20, 2014

{Maui Vacay}

The day after Carson's ordination, Trevor and I left for a week long trip to Maui.  My mom stayed with the kids as we escaped our real life (the first time for an extended vacation without kids in about 4 years).  Much needed...and what better place than Hawaii.  The best.  

We stayed at the Wailea Beach Marriott Resort and Spa which is right on Wailea beach.  It was fantastic.  Amazing amenities, several pools, breathtaking views, gorgeous lobby and restaurants, and upscale shops.  Truly, you could stay at the resort and not want for a thing all week. But without kids in tow, we ventured out quite a bit to local restaurants (refusing to eat at any chain-anything) and adventures. I was glad we decided on the car because the hotel was private and tucked away from a lot of business. Maui is more spread out that way and you definitely need a car.  

The weather is 80 degrees year round in Hawaii.  But we did hit a couple days of rain, which was, frankly, so disappointing.  Even the locals kept commenting on how they "never have this much rain"... yadda yadda. Boo!  Thankfully the rest of the time there was beautiful, but we did have to plan our days around the good weather and race out to the pool on those rainy days when there was a sun break for an hour or two.  

Lots of pictures coming at ya.  

We raced out to the beach as soon as we arrived at the hotel to enjoy the rays for a couple hours before the sunset.  

Wailea Beach is fantastic!  We rented an umbrella and chairs each day we spent there.  

The infinity pool overlooking the ocean was amazing!
 As was the amazing greenery and trees at the resort.

 On one of the rainy days we did some shopping (and eating!) and saw a production called 'Ulalena' about the history of Maui put to dance. It was awesome and we somehow scored 3rd row seats!
 We also drove up to the north side of the island where I'm sure the dharma initiative or jurassic park was filmed. So lush and beautiful.  

We took in the crowd favorite Ululani's shaved ice.  The best.  Seriously.  

Breakfast on the beach.

We rented a kayak for awhile and explored the beach around the resorts and scoped out the nearby ones too (there are a lot of pricey resorts on this side of the island!)  

A sea turtle came up for air right next to was so cool! 

We took a charted boat out one morning for some snorkeling. The weather was not very good but the breakfast and lunch on board were delish and the water was fantastic.  It was great taking a boat out to the best snorkeling spots that you can't get to by land. We saw thousands of fish and a couple more sea turtles too.  Winter is also the time for whale watching in Hawaii and we saw many breaching the water in full body leaps.  So incredible, but hard to capture with your phone.  

One of the things I really wanted to do was bike down the Haleakala volcano.  The weather wasn't cooperating to do the the "sunrise" ride, but we did the day time one and it worked out perfectly.  The tour bus dives you 26 miles up the mountain at 6500 ft and drops you off for the ride (at your own pace) back to sea level in Paia.  The bike only has one gear (they prevent from increasing speed down hill over the coasting speed) it is definitely my kind of bike ride.  Super fast and amazing views.  

We spent the rest of that day at a nearly empty beach in Paia and visited a local market to try some local fruit for lunch. Those hairy red fruit are rambutan and have the sweetest 'grape' type things in the middle. So good!  That was my favorite.

We couldn't pass up the luau put on at our resort.  It was pricey but worth it for the fresh leis, amazing dinner right on the beach, and a fantastic show that reminded me of the PCC in Oahu.  

Oh and it all backed to this amazing sunset.  

We were on the fence about driving the "Road to Hana" (a two lane road, with a zillion hairpin turns, along the north edge of the island), but I'm so glad the weather cooperated to do it! It definitely was the most beautiful part of the island!  

My sister let me borrow her CD with a guided tour that you start and stop along the road. I definitely recommend it because it tells you the "must see" spots and the other spots to skip over and encourages you to get to the very end with the most spectacular sites...

These 'rainbow' bark trees were beautiful!
 So fun to have the convertible for this leisurely drive.  

 We stopped at several small waterfalls.  

And this beautiful black sand beach.  

 We hiked through this cave to get this shot.  

The last stop was at Haleakala National Park that included a 2 mile hike to Waimoku Falls.  Along the way were several beautiful waterfalls.

This amazing tree....
 And a walk through a dense bamboo forest.   Parts of it were so dark because absolutely no sunlight reaches through the bamboo. It's crazy!

And then finally at Waimoku Falls...400 feet beauty!

Also part of the National Park were the 7 sacred pools.  It was gorgeous and serene and we were there right at sunset.  

The long trek back on the road to Hana was ... long and dark with lots of curves. Definitely not as exciting when you can't see.  

We did come upon this house...there were definitely a lot of Seahawk fans in Maui!

The next day we listed to the Seahawks win in the Superbowl while we were looking out at this view. Turned out to be a great Superbowl Sunday!

More whale watching from the shore that day...

It's so hard to leave paradise and return to our normal, crazy life.  But we missed the kidlets and were anxious to get home to them.  We enjoyed the rest and relaxation and time to reconnect sans kids.  I'm ready to go back!  

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My little blog is a family journal. I include things on here I want to remember years and years from now. So when I post a zillion is because I want to have it for my posterity. So please forgive the often posted-picture overload.

Currently I am trying to focus on my photography skills...reading, reading, reading, and taking pictures when I can. Then edit, read, read, read some more. I finally feel like I have a basic understanding of exposure...hooray! I updated my blog template so I can display larger photos because...aren't pictures better than anything I have to say anyway?

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