Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Maui Wowie's a month later!

I'm going to jump right in here because it's time to make dinner and I just spent all of my writing time uploading pictures, plus I'm right in the middle of reading a really good book and my Kindle won't read itself. 

It's a rough life.

Here it is, my trip to Maui as Instagrammed by yours truly:

This was my first Maui sunrise. There are no words for this.

There are words for this, though. We drove the famed road to Hana. It is a 50 mile trip which takes an entire day because of all of the food that you have to stop and try along the way. There are also a lot of things to see along this road, like waterfalls and jungles and rainbow eucalyptus trees and these birds:
At the end of the road we hiked through this absolutely breathtaking, spectacular, awe-inspiring, (insert adjective that might seem exaggerated but it's not) bamboo forest which is now among the top 5 places I have ever visited in my entire life.
And this is the only way to exit a convertible when you are 5'10".
 On Saturday Lisa and I ran a half marathon. The runners all piled into school buses which dropped us off at the start line in Iao Valley State Park. It looks like this:
And it RAINED. When the starting conch was blown we were sloshing through about four inches of water on the road and it kept raining - a heavenly, drenching rain that did not let up for the entire 13.1 miles. I loved it. The pain of the run, not so much.
After that the clouds broke we ate some roadside food and crashed on the beach like a couple of hobos.

A day or two later (the whole trip was a blur, really) we drove to the other side of the island to see the Nakalele Blowhole, which, for the record, is not a water park. 
It looks like this:
And this. I told Chancho that this is the birthplace of all heart-shaped rocks. Pretty sure he knew I was full of it.
I love Maui. When days get rough, and I am sure my rough days will come, this is where I will go in my mind:

On my last day in heaven, Lisa and I did a little bit of paddle boarding. Long story short, I fell a lot. One time, in an effort to avoid falling in the ocean, I fell right on top of my board and paddle and knocked the wind out of myself. It was humiliating, BUT I didn't have to get eaten by a stingray. I saw a stingray that could have eaten me, so I know they exist and that they don't like people from the mainland.
Finally, shave ice. I think I tried every flavor. If your future travel plans take you to the islands, be sure to get the haupia ice cream on bottom, the mochi, and the snow cap on top. That's the only way to do it. I even brought a little one home with me and put it on my car. I might have a small addiction. 
Now I am home, reunited with my children and my husband and Texas. I miss my sister. I miss Maui. But I wouldn't trade these guys for a million Maui sunsets or shave ices or bamboo forests:
It's good to be home. :)

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Lets go to the beach!

Nothing is a testament to the crappiness of February like the silence on this blog. February is the worst, is it not? But now it is over and I have nothing on which to blame my binge eating of Oreo cookies and so I write.

January was a rollercoaster. One Saturday my husband said, "Hey, you wanna do somethin'?"

I said, "Always."

And so he goes, "Let's go to the beach."

To which I will always reply, "Yes! Let's go to the beach!"

So we drove to Corpus Christi, which is an industrial-looking city on the southern coast of the Republic of Texas. I had low expectations. I envisioned oily trash on oily beaches with oily oil rigs looming on the horizon. You know me, always the optimist.

Maybe we were there on a good weekend, but the beach was perfect: silky sand, 72 degrees, and sunny. There were sand dollars, starfish, and hermit crabs to catch. AND it turned out to be one of those fee-free weekends at Padre Island National Seashore, so the whole adventure was FREE! ...if you don't count the gas and hotel and Subway sandwich expenses. 

The weather has fluctuated from 32 to 78 degrees every week since January. We had a bunch of cancelled school days because of ice. And a bunch of toasty warm days when we wore shorts and flip flops and forgot what month it was.

This was one such toasty Saturday:
 We "hiked" "Mount" Bonnell. If it wasn't obvious from the sarcastic quotation marks, I use the terms "hike" and "mount" loosely. It wasn't so much a hike as it was a picturesque walk up some steps. And it was not so much a mount as it was a slight change in elevation which overlooked the Colorado River.
Some time after that I injured my ankle while out running. It is one of those mysterious injuries that makes me walk with a limp and makes my husband think that I am faking it so that I can sit around all day reading books on my kindle, as illustrated by Macey:
Yep. That is how my children see their me - wearing a fake ace bandage so that I can sit on the couch and goof around on my phone.

For the record, there is something legitimately wrong with my ankle.

Lastly, this:
Sorry about the crummy photography, but is that not the sweetest thing ever? Kids are so funny. They do not think twice about crawling up and sitting on someone's shoulders to get a better view of Phineas and Ferb.

I guess that's all for now. I'll be back in June.

Ha ha ha, just kidding.


Monday, January 6, 2014

Divine permission to chill out

I'm starting 2014 today because this weekend was New Year!

I made resolutions this year. I weeded through a bunch of scriptures from Doctrine and Covenants 88:118-126 and chose one thing to focus on per month. For example, this month's resolution is to "seek learning by study and by faith" and next month is to "organize myself." 

I have a plan for making this happen. I've made a nice long list of them, organized them by month and broken them down into weekly goals. It's all written in detail on my "Tropical Beaches" calendar which hangs in my closet. It was feeling ambitious to the point of delusional, I think. Doesn't it sound exhausting?

One thing that I have figured out is that it is a good idea to pray for guidance as I set goals and to pray when I am done setting goals to make sure that I am not getting way off track. You know, the ol' heavenly stamp of approval?

My resolution-making happened to fall on fast Sunday eve, so I decided to make it a matter of fasting as well (this may seem dramatic, but that is only because you don't know how serious I am about getting my life on track). 

Fast forward to our Relief Society meeting yesterday. My Relief Society president played this video during her lesson, which she prefaced by saying that she hates making resolutions and did not want to give a lesson on making resolutions. Thankfully, she followed the prompting to do so anyway. Here it is:

To me, this video felt like a great, big heavenly "Chill out, Elise." Nothing like a divine voice telling you to calm down, huh?

And it is okay to slow down (as evident by the slow-mo cinematography).

I didn't throw away my resolutions calendar. I will still shoot toward my goals, but I'm not going to beat myself up about it. I'm going to jump on the trampoline with my kids and abandon my schedule sometimes.

It is good to make lofty goals, but it is better to focus on the small things that matter most.