Saturday, September 24, 2016

We made it to Maui...and you may never finish reading this post

Days in the Life...

Monday two weeks ago I was still catching up on sleep after being at Summit for two weeks. I slept quite a bit of the weekend, but still felt behind. So after another laid back morning Chloe and I left early afternoon to go run some errands and pick up job applications for her around town. Mom and the littles did something that morning, but of course I have no idea what it was.

We were gone most of the afternoon and made Justin Boots Outlet our last stop. I had never been there so naturally I don't have any boots either so we thought it would be fun to just go see what it was like. I tried some boots on just for fun because they are just a tad bit expensive....

That evening was pretty relaxed and normal. The littles watched "American Ninja Warrior" (probably) and Mom and I watched "Dr Quinn." 

Tuesday Ava and Christian had orthodontist appointments and the rest of us enjoyed swimming with Kate and snuggling with Blaire for a couple of hours in the morning. 

Kate has grown, but she is still tiny.

She is perfect. 

Kate reminded us every two minutes, 
"Water is cooold!" 

My Texas view is pretty sweet...

Wednesday afternoon I met a friend for coffee and then went home to blog in the sunshine. 

I love our sunsets! 

Thursday Mom ended up going to the doctor because of bad allergies and the others had some coming and going as well, I believe. 

I left the house at 8:00 and didn't get back until 7:30 or so that night. 

First I had coffee with another friend. Then I got to stick around the coffee shop and read and rest and listen to the rain... 

I had lunch at (big surprise) Chick-fil-a and then went to a time of worship and encouragement with some ladies from church. 

Mom had an errand for me to run and then I had an hour and a half to kill before meeting a lady from church for dinner. So I walked around an antique store for a bit and then found a random piano in public to play for the next 30 minutes or so. 

By the time I returned home for dinner I was ready for a shower. The house was almost empty because most everyone else had gone to work at the little house and then got frozen yogurt. 

Friday morning I had a much needed massage and returned home to do some baking to stock the freezer. I made 11 loaves of banana bread and then Chloe and Ava made 149 muffins. 

For dinner that night we got Babe's takeout as a treat for getting the baking done. Then the littles watched....a idea what it was. While Mom, Dad, Christian, and I watched "Castaway." I only jumped a few times. 

Saturday Chloe and Christian cleaned out the chicken coop and then went with Dad to work at the little house. 

In the afternoon I had several friends I met from Summit over to visit. They went to church with me and Christian and Ava for House of Prayer and the rest of the family joined us for the service. Church was so good and I was glad to be back after having missed the previous week. 

We stayed and visited at church for a long time and then went with a group to eat dinner at Rosa's. It was a late night, but everyone had a really nice time.

Sunday Mia turned 32 7! She requested to be taken to IHOP for her breakfast with Mom and Dad and then they ran a few errands. 

In the afternoon we had family over to celebrate Mia and Chloe's birthdays and to visit before we left for Hawaii. The kids swam and the adults did a lot of laughing. Christian and I were sent to get the pizza. 

Needless to say, we obviously 
ran out of both pizza and cake...not. 

Happy birthday girl!

We wrapped up the party on the early side so we could have a restful evening and so that Mom and Chloe could finish preparing to leave for Maui early the next morning. Mia requested the new "Jungle Book" for the evening's entertainment.

Monday morning Dad took Mom and Chloe to the airport for their 7:00 flight while the rest of us...slept. He returned and got back in bed before any of us began stirring. 

I had blocked off the day to begin preparing to be gone. Mom had the littles pretty much packed when she left, but I still had to do things like clean the house, pack myself, supervise the littles, etc. 

My bowl (not literally, but it does look like it) of coffee and super long list helped me through the day. 

Packing for Maui is way easier than packing for Colorado.

Half of all you need is swimsuits!

Mom and Chloe are better about planning ahead and budgeting plenty of time to get things done, so naturally it made total sense for the two of them to go to Maui a few days early and leave Dad and me to finish everything at home. Who else would you leave to wrap things up besides the ones who take care of things last minute and always think things won't take as long as they actually do? 

Last year the littles and I got to go several days early and awhile back Christian got to go, so this year was Chloe's opportunity. 

By the end of the day I was feeling less stressed and more like I had a handle on things. Dad also got a ton done, but not all of it was on his list. We both had a light-bulb moment when we realized he could just add everything he did to his list and cross it off so he still felt accomplished! 

Tuesday morning I got up dark and early to receive Kate and Blaire for the day! I was so excited to get to watch both of them and especially glad since I'd not watched Kate in three months. (Not watched her for an entire day, that is.) 

They were both so quiet and didn't wake anyone up, for which we were all very grateful. By about 7:00 they both were ready for a nap. (Kate was actually asking to go to bed and literally danced and squealed when I pulled out the pack-n-play.) So they both slept for about 45 minutes and I got to eat breakfast and have a bit of a quiet time, which was a huge blessing! 

Blaire is so itty bitty!

Kate didn't really like sharing her "Weeyah".

Breakfast around 8:00. 

I have the cutest helpers!

Kate had tons of energy and was really excited to play. But she didn't want me to leave the room and she was constantly telling me, "Baby down, hold you." Which just means she wanted me to give Blaire to someone else so I could hold her instead. She took another nap from about noon until 2:00 and woke up with just as much energy. Kate is such a joyful, happy little girl! 

Blaire is a model baby, like, absolutely perfect. She ate every two hours, took an hour nap in between each feeding, and was happy and peaceful whenever she was awake. Of course I hardly put her down at all. Kate was kind of a high maintenance baby in some ways, so having Blaire be so easy, at least for the first day, was super nice! Even if she had been like Kate, I would have still loved watching her, those girls have just about stolen my heart. 

Baby stretches are SO CUTE!! 

She is a huge snuggler. 

I had made some packing progress the day before, but when I had spare moments between caring for the girls, I continued checking things off my list. 

At least it was in the suitcase... 

Kate pulled my pocket Bible off my shelf when I wasn't looking. 

How is she so gorgeous?!

I was so sad to say goodbye to them at dinner time, but Dad and I still had lots to do to get ready to leave. The rest of the day my arms felt empty and I kept hearing phantom baby noises. 

After dinner I finished pulling my packing together as much as I could and checked up on how the littles were coming with their things. Nana and Grandfather offered to take the kids next door to watch a movie or two after they had all taken showers so Dad could get his things done. Grandfather and Christian ended up watching a war movie of some sort at our house as well. 

Dad did not have to pull an all-nighter this year! He only slept 3 or 4 hours, but still... 

Wednesday morning we got up in time to finishing putting things in bags, check the weight, wash the rest of the dishes, finish the last loads of laundry, finish setting things out for the house sitter, etc, etc, etc. 

Yup, packing for Maui is way easier than Colorado. 
Same bag, half the stuff. (Dad filled the rest of my suitcase.) 

In the car ready to go only 30 minutes after our target leaving time. *wink*

We had to go pick up Aunt Sherry to drive us to the airport and realized we had not left her a seat in our car. So we unloaded everything into her vehicle and headed out again. After one other quick stop we got to the airport about noon. For our 1:15 flight, but ya know, we were fine...

Walking in with all our bags.

We had no lines at baggage-check or security and all went smoothly aside from the time an old man almost walked off with Gabe's shoes and in the process left with Gabe's boarding pass. 

By the time we made it to our gate we had just enough time to grab sandwiches and board. 

Our plane.

Our first flight to Seattle was very rough. The seatbelt sign ended up being on at least half the flight. All of us have been flying since we were really little, though, so we weren't too worried about any of it. I was ticketed separately and so sat several rows behind everyone else by myself. I was so excited for alone time! 

We got to ride a train to our next terminal!

We got into Seattle mid-afternoon local time and had a nice long layover. Everyone got to go to the restroom and then we got dinner and had plenty of time to relax while we ate. 

We boarded around 5:00 ish I think and again I was several rows behind everyone else. 

Ready for round two. 
(So sorry, I have no idea how to turn this picture.) 

I took a two hour "Texas" nap during the first half of the flight. 
(Aka, a nap with a hat over my face.)

The second flight was much more smooth and we landed in Maui about 8:30 at night. Dad headed out straight away to get the car, while the rest of us went to baggage claim for all our luggage. 

Tired, but happy to be "home". 

Dad picked us up at the curb and we headed to the other side of the island where we stay. It was about 10:00pm by the time we pulled in. Mom and Chloe met us in the parking lot and helped upload everything and everyone, then we split up to go to our rooms and get to bed as soon as possible. Because of the 5 hour time difference, it was about 3:00 in the morning for our body-clocks. 

Chloe, Ava, and I are staying in a condo with Aunt Cendei and the rest of the kids are in another condo with Mom and Dad. Everyone has their own bed and lots of space this year, which has been so so nice! 

I was able to sleep until 6:00 Thursday morning which was amazing for the first day in Maui! Normally our bodies wake us up between 3 and 4 in the morning for the first couple of days. I think everyone else slept pretty well too, which was awesome! 

Good morning rainbow

Mom and I went down the hill to Whaler's Village to get our island lattes at Island Vintage Coffee and catch up after being apart for the past several days.

The others eventually got ready as well and we all left to go meet our friends, the Hodges, who live here on the island, and some other old friends from Texas for breakfast at Aloha Mixed Plate. All 16 of us had a wonderful time.

We got back to our rooms around 10:30 and headed down to the beach as fast as we could get our swimsuits on.

Frist day, no-tan picture.

Riding the golf-cart down.

It really is like coming home being here. Everyone slips right back into our normal beach routines. This is the first year we have not had to bring a life-jacket, although last year Mia hardly used it. 

We didn't stay super long, because everyone was tired and nobody likes getting a sunburn on the first day.

In keeping with our traditions we went to dinner at Bubba Gump's on Front Street in Lahaina that night.

The view from the table.

I had a nice embarrassing moment... My cape hair was still wet and I was getting hot, so I moved it all to hang off the backside of my chair so it wouldn't be on my back and neck anymore. About 10 minutes later Mom whispered urgently to me that I needed to move my hair. I had not just moved it to the back of my chair, but had also draped it over the back of the chair behind me so that it was between the man sitting there and his chair. I was mortified. 

Dinner was very fun. Lots of laughter (for more reasons than the ones provided by my hair) and good food. I don't think there were any leftovers. Also, for the first time in 3 years we did not get seated at the same table they'd been consistently seating us at in the past. 

When we got back from the restaurant we all gathered in Mom and Dad's condo to watch "In the Heart of the Sea." 

Friday morning we all woke up after sleeping well again and made it down to the beach by about 9:30. 

Maui is on the right and is 727 square miles.

It was a really pretty morning.

In the afternoon Mom and I did some shopping in Whaler's Village. Before we left, Mom made a list of the specific items she would be looking for. 

When we got back I finally unpacked my suitcase. 

We ate dinner in the room and Mom and Dad went somewhere. It was not a date and Aunt Cendei was with us, but I didn't make a note in my planner as to their whereabouts so I have no clue what they were doing. 


Now I remember. 

They took Christian and Ava to a church event with the Hodges. The kids spent the night and Mom and Dad came home after making a couple of stops. 

The rest of us watched "Zoo Keeper" or "Pirates of the Caribbean" depending on which we preferred. 

Saturday morning rainbow! 

Last year there was almost no sand, 
this year there is tons! 

He has built some muscle! 



The Hodges brought Christian and Ava back and spent the day with us at the beach. It was kind of rainy and not super pretty so us ladies spent time in the cabana learning how to make bracelets while the kids who could care less about the weather played in the water and sand with Dad.

Dad and Mia.

That night we watched "Mr Hobbs Takes a Vacation." 

Sunday morning Mom, Gabe, and I went down to Island Vintage Coffee around 7:00 to set up tables and order breakfast so that by the time everyone else came down it would be all ready. We all enjoyed acai bowls and then headed to church on the beach, Mom and I with lattes in hand. 

Our church view.

If we could transfer our church to the beach it would be amazing!! But worshipping with people from around the world on the beach is pretty wonderful too. 

Everyone was pretty tired and some were sunburned so we decided to just go back to the rooms and rest for the remainder of the day. 

The adults went out for dinner at a fancy restaurant while the rest of us chillaxed in Mom and Dad's condo. 

Other random stories:

Gabe has been strutting on the beach and performing his tricks for anyone and everyone. He might be a little bit proud of his eight-pack, pecs, and biceps... 

The first day I forgot my room key. The second day, I sometimes had it. The third day I was tired of being asked if I had it and so made sure not to let it get away from me at all. Of course then when I went back to the room by myself, I used my key to let myself and a lizard into the room. The lizard was not welcome, but would not take his leave. I slapped the key down on the counter, grabbed a cup, trapped the lizard, wondered "what now?", got a flyer, scooped up the cup and the lizard, opened the door, threw the lizard into the grass, heard the door slam behind me, and realized "the key is on the counter". Chloe came and let me in the room about 3 minutes later. 

That Moment When...

You have to explain to the flight attendant that you can't have alcohol on the airplane because you're only 18.

You have to go to the bar to pay for your food. Never thought I'd visit a bar ever. Now I've already visited one and I'm not even of age to drink!

You try to store all the quotes in your brain and the moment you sit down to blog they develop wings and flee from your memory.

Someone declares that Chloe doesn't look like she would hurt a fly.

Chloe smashes a fly with her bare hands.

Chloe's braid gets patted down at security because, "It was too thick." (She has very fine hair...)

Christian accidentally tips his $4.88 of change after buying coffee.

The Herd: Quoted 

"I am soooooooo excited about my birthday, but I am trying to tamp it down so I can actually get some sleep this week..." -Mia

"People should never be afraid to become a Christian." -Mia

"I love having my ears pop on the airplane, it feels like a massage! I am never chewing gum during take off or landing again!" -Mia

"Every time I pick up a book someone calls my name, or asks me to get something for them, or has a question." -Mom trying to read a book down at the beach.

"Just go for it, Gabe. Besides, I'm probably bluffing..." -Mia while the four younger ones play poker together.

"Take three..." -Me trying to make the bracelet.
"Have you missed your calling?" -Mom
"Nope! I don't draw lettuce and I don't make bracelets..." -Me

"I have a pretty big gap between my thighs." -Mia

"Alright, who gave the kids monkey juice with a dash of sass?" -Me to the adults when they left me to babysit while they went to dinner.

"What is sass?" -Gabe
"It's what you've been doing to me the past 5 minutes." -Me
"Why are you doing this and shaking your head?" -Gabe holding the bridge of his nose and mimicking me trying to hide the fact that I am losing it.

"Well apparently someone on the airplane thought you were 21 since you were offered alcohol." -Christian to me.