Oh Hawaii, where to even begin! Three months late is where…

Thanks to Austin’s crazy amount of traveling in 2014 we were able to use up some points and take a sweet sweet, hotel and travel expenses paid, vacay to Hawaii! My mom and Mauri were kind enough to make the trip to Utah to spend the week with our Scarlett girl. You can read all about the week they had together here. I was definitely a stress case about leaving her for that long. I hadn’t ever been apart from her for more than eight hours since she was born, let alone overnight. And with her track record with other people I was nervous for my mama. But I knew she would be oh so loved and well taken care of whether she liked it or not!

The timing of it all ended up being a little bit crazy; when Aust and I initially planned the trip we had no idea that we would be moving. We scheduled the trip over Mauri’s fall break so she could come out with my mom. We thought it would be perfect for them to come stay at our house to keep Scarlett in her element, help make everything a little less painless. Buuut then we sold our house, had to move out two weeks before our trip, moved in with Austin’s parents, and turned Scarlett’s little world upside down. Just. In. Time. My mom was still excited to come spend time with her though and arranged to stay at my Grandma Goldsberry’s house with Scarlett for the week.

After we left things took a hard, unexpected turn. Scarlett actually ended up doing really well (I just need to venture off more often!), but my Aunt Jana had gotten a mastectomy the week prior and her health was declining rapidly. Looking back on the week it was a tender mercy that my mom was able to come spend some time with her dear little sister during the last days of her sister’s life, but a baby keeping her on her toes and not letting her get much sleep at night meant a draining and exhausting week on all levels for my beautiful mama! On Monday October 12th, my mom sent me a text letting me know that Aunt J had been in the ICU for a couple days and was being sent home with hospice care. Her gall bladder was full of infection and her liver and kidneys were hardly functioning. Later that evening, my sweet Aunt passed away. I’m grateful that my mom could be there, grateful that she could be with her parents through those tough days, and grateful that Scarlett may have helped provide a little happiness amidst the sorrow. I wish I could have been there to provide the baby chasing, sleep deprived, physical relief for my mom, but overall I think the timing of it all was a sweet miracle.

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Miss you everyday, Aunt J. 

From this beautiful post by my mom: “The Lord compensates the faithful for every loss. That which is taken away from those who love the Lord will be added unto them in His own way. While it may not come at the time we desire, the faithful will know that every tear today will eventually be returned a hundredfold with tears of rejoicing and gratitude.” (Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin)

To recount our week in Hawaii, I’ll try to keep the descriptions brief and let the pictures do the talking! Here comes an overload…

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Longest. Flight. Ever.

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The view from our room. The resort was beautiful!

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This beach was one of the secret gems we found while we were there. It was huge, so pretty and basically empty. We heard it’s the locals favorite spot because it takes a little off-roading and a four wheel drive car to get to, so it never gets overcrowded with tourists or anything. Easily our favorite beach we went to. We were warned that the tide was too high for swimming at this time of year, but I’m usually too scared to swim in the ocean anyway so no biggie haha. We just kicked back in the silky sand, dipped our toes in the ocean, saw some crazy surfers, and watched the sun go down. My kind of beach day!

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^^See that little snorkel? That’s my boy! We wanted to do quite a bit of snorkeling while we were there so we ended up buying a couple sets at the local Costco (we might have eaten the majority of our meals there too, can’t beat $1.50 hot dog combo). We hit up a few of the popular snorkeling spots throughout the week and saw a good variety of sea life! Funniest story…one day while we were snorkeling, Aust had kind of wandered away from me chasing some fish on our little action cam. I was just swimming along by myself and all of a sudden saw a massive sea turtle like three feet in front of my face. You seriously don’t realize how big those things are until they are right next to you. I didn’t know if they were dangerous (I know, I’m a little uninformed) so I immediately turn the other direction and frantically swim away as fast as I can. The adrenaline was in full swing people, I was kind of freaking out haha. Once I had made some distance I stood up to search for Austin so I could tell him.  Once I caught up to him and he informed me they aren’t dangerous, I was so bummed I didn’t stick around to appreciate seeing that dang turtle! After some searching we found it again and caught it on video. That time I thought it was super cool, slightly redeemed myself haha.

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One night while we were there, the resort put on a little Luau dinner and show. It was just served at their restaurant so it wasn’t completely authentic, but we wanted to do something semi cultured. And those pina coladas were da bomb.

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The weather was so sporadic. The picture above and below were taken pretty close together, just on different parts of the island. Blue skies to clouds! Luckily we only got rained on a couple times, and it was the warm, enjoyable type of rain. Oh so niiiice.

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Total Jurassic Park vibes.

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Ziplining was definitely one of my favorite things we did. We got to see the island from above the treetops and it was beautiful! Talk about green. Totally recommend it to anyone who ever goes there.

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A little night time long exposure on the beach.

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The Fantasy Island Falls. Way cooler in person.

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We had lunch at the resort before our flight home then hit up the movie theater to kill the last couple hours before heading to the airport. I know, sounds lame when you’re in such a beautiful place but we didn’t want to get sandy after we checked out of our room and it gets dark at like 7pm there. So it was the best option :) Then thanks to my traveling man…

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Boo yeah! That made for a nice overnight flight home.

Here is a short little video with a few of our adventures. We made it for a small contest thing (hence the royalty free soundtrack haha) which ended a week earlier than we thought so…might as well share it somewhere. Good memories :)

Kauai, you were amazing. Until next time Hawaii!