Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Somebody's 18 and we almost died.

Thursday was my 18th birthday! 

Mom and Dad took me to breakfast at Island Vintage Coffee. Mom got her own coffee and her own breakfast platter. Dad and I shared an acai bowl and a mango peanut butter sandwich. And I had my own coffee, because Dad didn't want to share that.  

There was a birthday rainbow for me.
No denying I'm a blonde.

While we were eating a pretty "Happy Birthday" song came on the speakers and the baristas came over to sing to me and give me a sash/banner thingy that said "Birthday Diva." Of course I wore it. 

Mom and I walked around Whaler's Village for a bit and went into the Pandora Store to pick out a few rings for my gift from Mom and Dad. 

The others were already down at the beach when Mom and I got back to the room. 

When we arrived in the cabana, our family and friends were the only ones there and "our" section was all decorated for me and included a "throne" and gifts. 

The gifts came with "unwrapping helpers." 

Dessert was mini chocolate cakes and Lilikoi (Passion Fruit) Cheesecakes. 

I got to wear these most of the morning and I rocked them. 

The oldest and the youngest members of the party laying out. 

After opening all my sweet gifts, we showed people in the cabana our professional pictures and visited until lunch time and dessert. 

In the afternoon it was as most afternoons went. Chloe, Aunt Lauren, and I went to Black Rock to snorkel. The ocean was super clear and getting over there was easy, but the swim back wore me out because of the current. 

Back in the room there was a package for me. 

It was a beautiful flower lei from Kate's parents! 

Two of my new rings

My dinner place of choice was Lahaina Pizza Company to eat (what else?) deep-dish pizza and a dinner salad. 

Friday the family who own the tour some members of the family went on on Monday invited us to join them for a beach day so they could teach us to surf! (There were a multitude of squeals when this was announced.) 

 This is what the main road in Maui looks like: 

This is the beach we met them at about 9:00 am. 

Mr Hodges gave us our on-dry-land lesson and then he and his 12 year old daughter and 8 year old son took Gabe, Ava, and I out to the water. 

We apparently had paddling down really well and Gabe and Ava, with a little push, caught and rode waves all the way to the beach their first try! I needed a second try to get all the way standing up. We continued paddling back out and getting pushed into waves until we were pretty comfortable (30 minutes, maybe), then I switched with Chloe and Christian went out, too. Mia went a little later and insisted on having no help at all. 

Christian had it from the get-go. He is a natural as we knew he would be as he has incredible balance. 

Chloe...didn't do quite so well... To be fair, out of all of us, she has probably the least balance and is not as athletic. So she stuck with riding the waves on her stomach or knees, which really wasn't that bad. And she probably would have done much better after a little practice, but she discovered a sea creature within 20 minutes, one that took a liking to her knee. 

Where we were surfing was over a reef and the water was NOT deep at ALL. We went way, way out and the water was only 3 or 4 feet deep. In the reef everywhere there were sea urchins. So, yes, Chloe now has 3 (I believe) sea urchin needles still in her knee. Needless to say, she was done after that. 

The rest of us got a lot more purposeful about falling flat, not putting our feet down, and in general being extremely careful. Or at least I did. 

Me getting ready. 

The first wave I caught. 

Ava the pro. 

Christian crushing it.

I know I look cool right there, but, in all honesty, that is me falling off. 


Go Mia!


We saw a Monk Seal! 

In the afternoon Mom, Chloe, Nana, Grandfather, Aunt Lauren, and Uncle Phil headed back to the room as they were not surfing. Christian went off to the big surf with the Hodges' daughter. I got Dad to try surfing for a few minutes. His board was way tippy though, so it was pretty challenging for him. 

Gabe, Ava, and I went out together and they especially caught wave after wave. I caught several on my own, but had difficulty staying up. I did get one really, really good one and rode all the way to the beach, but everyone missed it. 

We began loading all the boards around 2:30 pm and went back to our condo to shower and rest. 

That night all the adults went out to dinner and us kids ate leftover pizza and watched a movie. 

Laying on the board for so many hours left us all with board-rash. Because I especially am so slender, I'm all bruised down the front of my body. Not hitting the reef was impossible so we all have scrapes and bruises from that, and we all got sunburned. Plus there was the occasional board crashing down on someone else... So yeah, surfing is a dangerous sport and I at least, have the evidence to prove it. 

We all had a great time though and definitely hope to do it again next year! 

The feedback from the Hodges was that out of all the families they have taken surfing we caught on the fastest, so I guess that is good! 

Saturday Mom and Aunt Lauren went to have coffee on the beach and all the guys went to the breakfast buffet next door. Us girls slept...really late... 

Just after we finished breakfast at 9:30 am Nana came to get us and said we all needed to meet everyone else down on the beach right away. So we ran down in our pajamas and this is what we saw.

The waves were crashing all the way over the sidewalk into the golf field. 
Actually I don't think that is what it is called... Oh yeah! 
The golf course. Sorry. 

The cabana was coming apart in pieces and we could see it floating in the ocean.
All the staff guys came to take everything they could out and off of the building. 

This is how dirty the water was and so far out too. 

That is not what it is supposed to look like... 

So we decided that we were not going to stay at the beach. Obviously the water was NOT safe and the cabana was closed. The reason we went down in the first place is because as soon as Mom and Aunt Lauren sat down on the other beach a huge wave came up and took Mom's shoes away. So they walked over to check our beach and the guys met them there to watch. That's when us girls were summoned down. 

We went back to the room and pretty much just did whatever. For a long time. 

Around 3:30 Nana, Grandfather, and us left to head up the mountain on the other side of the island. The Hodges, who took us surfing, invited us to their church gathering at their friends' house. It was over an hour away but the drive was amazing!!

Apparently she wasn't actually asleep.

And this was the view from their front porch!

The gathering was to start about 5:00 "Maui time" which means more like 5:30. We were there on "Texas time" so 10 minutes early. 

Everyone welcomed us very warmly and it was fun to get to see our new friends again. We visited and got to know people and helped finished pulling food together while the others kept arriving and eventually we ate. It was a little cooler on the mountain but all the windows were open and the breeze was prefect. 

After eating, guitars were pulled out by Mr and Mrs Hodges and Ava and I were employed to help sing. (No idea why.) We gathered tightly into the living area and chose songs as we went. It was so sweet to worship with people that are a part of our family even though we only just met them. 

I got a guitar lesson in between the worship time and lesson. 

Mr Hodges led the lesson on Romans 1 and 2. We took turns reading a few verses and then sharing our thoughts and reactions to what was said. 

Once the lesson was over there was more time for visiting and playing for the kids before we left around 9:30. 

It was kind of late by the time we were in bed...

Sunday morning it was raining. The rest of our visiting family plus Dad, Christian, and I still went to church. No, we didn't sit outside in the rain, there were large umbrellas for us and the only thing wet was my chair. 

The worship leader was unable to make it and the rest of the church people didn't know that until 10 minutes before we all arrived for church. So the pastor lead us stumbling through 10,000 Reasons and it was beautiful. Then we got to see several beautiful worship songs interpreted through hula. 

I am really missing our church family, but I will so miss church on the beach. 

After the service we split up and did some walking around in Whaler's Village and shopping for before we go home. 

We got back to the room in time for lunch and four pies. Yes, we ate four pies, just our family. No, they were not the ones that are 9 inches across. They were mini pies. *wink* 

The rest of the family came over to visit and eventually some of them went for a walk to see how the cabana was holding up. 

When they returned they talked the rest of us into putting on our swimsuits and going to play in the waves even though the waves were the same size or even bigger than the day before. 

It was still cloudy and rainy and the waves were obviously huge. Lots more sand had been brought in and the cabana had more damage. 

All of us didn't wait long to run into the ocean. Mia and Gabe included. It was SO FUN. We are RUINED for big waves FOREVER now. It is a good thing we are all strong swimmers though because otherwise it would NOT have been wise to get in. Also knowing how the ocean works helps. 

Gabe got a little nervous after he was tumbled in a wave and opted to go play in the sand. Mia, on the other hand, had the most fun out of all of us and did a ton of giggling and screaming. She wasn't the only one screaming though. 

It's really hard to explain what playing in huge waves like that is like, especially to people who haven't maybe been to the beach. I wish we had pictures, but it was too rough to take down our phones. Just imagine us in the waves pictured above, but everything is dark and cloudy. 

Most people were able to stay past the impact zone or breaking point and then jump over or through the waves depending on their size. That was always my goal, but I often got too close to the impact zone and instead of jumping over, jumped right into the water about to tube and thus I got tumbled onto the beach and dumped in sand a lot. 

Those times that I did time it right though, were so cool because if you can jump and rise to the very top of the wave you are up 15 or so at least feet in the air way above the beach and it feels so fun. Then it takes about .12 seconds for the water to drop away and you are touching the bottom again. 

Mia says... Yikes! It was so scary. It seemed like every second another humongous waves was going to crash onto us. And Lydia kept screaming and so did I. Soon I was saying funny things that came out of my head. It was cold. 

After two hours of trying not to die that we finally crawled and ran to get out before another round of huge waves pulled us back and headed to the pool for a pre-rinse. We were all COVERED in sand, in our hair, in our ears, in every crack of our swim suits, in our skin, everywhere. I think that time in the dangerous waves all together is one of my favorite memories from this vacation. 

I don't think anyone got seriously injured. I know, though, that most people were pretty sore (I wasn't the only one who got tumbled). Dad's knee was swollen and I think I may have hurt my back. I did get slammed down on my hip, but though it hurt for a while, it was fine. 

After we all showered and ate our own dinner, everyone met back in our room to watch "The Pacifier." If you haven't seen that, that's another one we highly recommend. 

His Fingerprints 

All the time we have been here we have keenly felt the loss of the sand on our beach and the lack of it under the cabana. But if the sand had been in and like normal, the huge waves that have come would have completely wiped out the cabana and if that had happened the Maui Eldorado would not be allowed to rebuild it. 

In the beginning of the church service a huge, gorgeous, vibrant rainbow appeared over the ocean, framing the gathering. Throughout the entire service the rainbow remained reminding us all of God's promises and as the service continued, it gradually sank lower and lower in the sky until at the very close of the service it disappeared "into the ocean." What a gift! 

I've Been Pondering... 

When I was little I always looked up to those older and than me and dreamed about the days far ahead in the future when I too would be an adult. I thrived in the presence of those older and wiser than me who cared for me and included me and taught me and I still do! I thought surely by the time I crossed into that realm and called myself an adult I would be ready to carry that title. In fact, even at the ripe age of 4 I thought I was ready.

 Now the day has arrived, I'm 18 and no way do I feel ready. But perhaps that has been my Lord's plan all along. For if I felt ready to take on the world, I would not feel so keenly my need for His guidance through each and every step. 

I wonder, will I ever feel ready? Or Do I even want to feel ready? 

No, I think I'd rather be forced closer to my Savior. I'd much rather press into Him than feel that I could face each day ready in my own strength. 

I hope and pray that this will be my outlook on every anniversary of my birth. 

Not that I finally have reached my dream age and feel ready to take on what lies ahead within my own power. 


That I would instead be reminded that I'll never not need my God to lead me and guide me and strengthen me and renew me every morning and even in the hours and minutes and brief moments between. 

That is my birthday wish, my birthday prayer, and my deep-ish, theological-ish, thought as I step into the chapter of my life called adulthood.

That moment when...

You're about to go swim in monster waves and cloudy water and a lady you don't know starts advising you on how to not get bitten by a shark that could be in that water. And then you still go swim and try very hard not to look like a turtle. 

You really want to get out of the ocean, but you have to wait for 3 more monster waves to crash over you before you can. 

You are staring at a 15 foot wall of water that is about to either, pound you into the sand and tumble you onto the beach, or, if you are lucky, you will jump and rise to the top of it and look down on everyone else. 

You can't see anyone else in the ocean because the waves are so big and choppy everyone is getting separated into their own "water ditch." 

You have no idea which way is up or down or if you are being carried out to sea or are about to be pounded into the sand on the beach

The Herd: Quoted 

"Are you tired?" -Mom
"Yes, I mean, 50/50." -Mia

"I'm giving this to Chloe otherwise Lydia will kill it." -Mom handing our room key to Chloe and referencing all the times I have demagnetized it. 

"Which side were you eating from? -Me
"What? Y'all are sharing a bowl of food, who cares which side!" -Mom
"I get you!" -Dad to me 
"Do you want some? I can mix this all together." -Me to mom 
"No!" -Mom

"I was feeling old today, wondering how I could be old enough to have an 18 year old daughter, but then I realized I could tell people that you are my daughter from my husband's first marriage." -Mom

"Tomorrow looks like me not moving." -Me after surfing  

"This is what is so fascinating about being the youngest, I'm the cutest and I have a lovely big sister." -Mia 

"One of the kids left with my wallet in their bag." -Dad 

"I left my wallet in the room!" -Dad the next day  

"I am NOT getting into the water." -Mia in the room.

"I want the waves to get even worser because then they are way more funner." -Mia in the big waves  12 minutes later.

"Is this better than playing with boys?" -Mom
"No, I mean, 50/50." -Mia in the big waves. 


  1. Happy 18, Lydia!!! It sounds like you had a wonderful time!!! The rings are lovely, and so are you, and so is Hawaii!!

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


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