Wednesday, December 15, 2010

There is Beauty All Around

Neal and I recently got back from a little getaway to Hawaii a couple of weeks ago! We always said we wanted to go to Hawaii, but knew it probably wouldn't be for another 20 years until we had funds to get there. But our good friends in the ward invited us to go with them, and the husband is a pilot and was able to get us AMAZINGLY priced plane tickets. We knew this would be our only opportunity to get to Hawaii so cheaply, so we agreed to go! There were 3 couples in all, and we rented a cute roomy home in Ka'a'awa right across the street from the beach. It was pretty much our own little private beach, because it was small and no one was ever there when we were there! This was our first time away from the kids since Addie was born, so I was pretty worried about leaving her. I panicked and stressed alot before the trip, but during the trip I did pretty good! Of course I missed the kids, but it really is so needed for a husband and wife to take some alone time away from the kids so they can remember why they even liked each other in the first place!! Haha :) Neal's sister Amy was so sweet and volunteered to watch the kids when she very first heard we were going to Hawaii. She watched them for the first 3 days, and then my parents had them for the last 4 days. I stayed well aware what they were doing once Grandma and Grandpa had them; my Dad sent me pictures about every 3 minutes. That kind of made it hard to not miss them!

We would go back to Hawaii in a heartbeat. We both loved the slow, easy going life it provided...especially Neal who was born for that kind of life :). He was DEFINITELY at home there. The weather was beautiful. It stayed in the 80's, and the first few days were cloudy and rainy, but never a downpour, just drizzles. The latter part of the trip was gorgeous and the last day we were there was the prettiest day we had, and so of course we were a little sad we had to leave right then. I won't bore the reader with every detail of the trip, but here are some of the highlights: Beach hopping, our favorite beach was Waimea Bay, where there was even a cliff for Neal to jump off as many times as his little boy heart desired (for those who know Neal's love of cliff jumping). I think we went to Motsumotos (sp) shave ice shop about 4 times during the week. It's the most famous spot on the North Shore to get Shave Ice (yes they call it Shave ice, not shaved) We snorkled in Shark Cove (well everyone but me because of my poor eyesight, and the goggles wouldn't fit over my glasses ;( and saw tropical fish, and swam and snorkled with turtles at Turtle Beach. We went to the Polynesian Cultural Center...which was AWESOME AND WONDERFUL! I didn't know the Church started that up for students to work there and fund their education. I got to visit 2 of my cousins that live there and an old friend of my Dad's. We saw Bethany Hamilton (the surfer girl who got her arm bitten off by a shark). We ate at delicious shrimp shacks and fruit stands along the road. Got pineapple ice cream at the Dole pineapple plantation, and learned that pineapples take 2 years to grow! And the funnest thing: The night crab hunting and night snorkeling that the men were so brave to do! This became their favorite nightly activity: snorkeling on our beach at night, finding lobsters, shrimp, and they even caught an octopus! Oh man, I could go on, but I suppose I'll stop as to not make anyone jealous ;)
Even though it was so incredibly beautiful on that island, the week we came back to Utah, I was driving on I80 to get back home at dusk, and was amazed at the orange, yellow, purple, sunset that topped the Great Salt Lake. It really was so beautiful and I thought how incredible it is that one part of the world can be a beautiful tropical paradise, and a different part of the world be a snow capped mountain set ablaze by a breath-taking sunset. Wow, we really must be loved by Heavenly Father to be surrounded by all this beauty.

Besides our trip, I also need to mention that the children's book Neal and his brother and other partner have been working on is finally published and available! It is really neat, and I'm so proud of Neal and his brother for pursuing a dream, and actually making it come true! Check out their website at if you haven't already :)

We also welcomed a new niece into the family almost a month ago! Neal's brother, Lance and his wife Nikki had their 2nd baby girl, Raegan. She is so sweet and cute. I can't believe how big Addie seems now that there's a newborn in the family.
Oh I forgot to talk about the kids! Sorry I'm sure no one is reading this by now because of how long I'm rambling on, but Kyle is finally POTTY TRAINED!!! Wooooooooohooooooooooo. This was such a hard and frustrating thing to go through (like every Mother I'm sure), but he finally seems to have got it down. He is the best big bubba and treats Addie like a princess. Addie turned 1 November 28, and is about 15 lbs I think. She's standing up on furniture and walks around on the furniture, so I'm sure the little munchkin will be walking soon. It'll be the sight of Tooele to see this tiny little thing walking around :) Well, it's time to go build a snowman with Kyle (as long as Addie stays asleep for a bit). Enjoy the pics!
Please forgive me for putting this pic up: Neal surprised us all and stripped into his speedo right before he jumped off the cliff. It was the most hilarious thing I've seen my whole life. Neal, about to break his back and neck


Andrea Gilberg said...

love the update...nice speedo neal.

Sam and Mandy Noel said...

I love that you guys got to go there. That looks like a blast! I'm ready for a little vaca with the hubby now.

Shana said...

I loved reading this although I have heard all about it. :) ANd I love the pics. Neal is hilarious!
I am so glad you were able to go and actually survive being away from the kids! You are so much braver than I! ;) I love ya tons and so happy to have such a great friend!! xox

cheryl brown said...

Neaall!!! Advertizing BYU in a speedo? Doesn't work for me. I am so glad you guys got to do this. I really think it's important to get away, completely away, every once in awhile. Love Ya

~Jordyn said...

Oh Megan! You do have a blog! I found you. :)