. . . to Hawaii!!
Yes, that's right! This year for a little "Girls' Retreat" my mother-in-law and sisters-in-law and I decided to go for the gusto and we all met up in Hawaii for a five-day get-away. I can still hardly believe we made it happen. It's usually hard enough to get away for one night just to go to Park City or something. I had joked this year that we should go for a weekend to Denver, where one of my sisters-in-law lives, and that seemed almost too much to hope for, so to think we pulled off Hawaii is pretty darn amazing. It's all possible because my dear mother-in-law dares to dream, and I love that about her. She isn't afraid to think anything is within reach. She and my father-in-law had already planned a Hawaiian cruise, which led to their daughters meeting them in Hawaii for a few days at the end of the cruise, which led to all of us women meeting my mother-in-law there for five days of fun! I won't share all the details. I'll just let the pictures do the talking.
The first few days of our trip we stayed up north on the island of Oahu, on Turtle Bay.
|This was the view out our balcony. I got up early every morning and read scriptures and just basked in the beauty. It was a great way to start the day.|
|A little closer view. I sent this picture to my husband and he was so jealous we were staying on a golf course.|
|If you're going to be in Hawaii, you might as well drive in style. I felt so out of my element, but decided to just go with it:). It was fun to just let go of my normal practical self and have fun with the girls for a few days.|
|Playing beach volleyball. To me, it doesn't get much better than this.|
|We met this gold medal Olympian (winter Olympics--she's a skiier) from Australia (second from left) and she was so sweet, we had to get a picture with her. I wish I could remember her name, but I am brainless these days. What are the chances, though?|
|I love the words on the temple: "Holiness to the Lord-The House of the Lord"|
|Spent a lot of time on different beaches. It felt so good to relax.|
|There is just something so soothing about the warmth of the sun.|
|We also tried some boogie boarding, which I always love, although I've gotta say, California waves are best for boogie boarding. Still had a blast, though.|
|My sister-in-law Jen made us this amazing oatmeal for breakfast with fresh fruit in it in the morning. I thought it was fabulous! We were so spoiled.|
|Did I mention we swam with turtles? I took this picture with the turtle right in front of me. I was worried it was going to snap at my legs any minute. Hence, it's not a great picture!|
The last couple of days of our trip we went to a super nice resort right on the beach called Koa Olina (pretty sure I spelled that wrong). Below are a few pictures of the resort. It was pretty amazing--way nicer than I am used to, that's for sure.
One of the most amazing things about Hawaii are the sunsets. Because we were staying right on the beach, we caught a couple of amazing ones. I just never cease to be in awe at the beauty of all that surrounds me. In Utah, it's the mountains. In Hawaii, it was the foliage and the sunsets.
So, all in all, I was gone from my family for six days. I don't think I've ever done that before, and although I'll admit it was a nice break in a lot of ways, I must say, I was more than ready to come back home. The last couple of days I was antsy as ever to get back. I even called the airline to see how much it would cost to change my ticket and come home early. I know how crazy that sounds, but man alive, I do love home.
|Here is a message I wrote in the sand and sent to my husband and children while I was gone.|
When Dan pulled up by the curb at the airport and my kids jumped up from behind the seats to surprise me, I wrapped my arms around them all at once and cried the biggest tears of joy and deep, deep gratitude that they are mine and that they love me. Oh what a blessing it is to be loved!
And so, although I totally think moms need breaks sometimes--even amazing breaks, like Hawaii vacations--I just have to say, I think I am happiest right here at home, in my "safe place."