Thursday, July 23, 2009

8 years and counting...

Joel and I celebrated our 8th anniversary on Tuesday, July 21st. The weekend in Kauai was truly how we celebrated. It was a good thing since I was too sick this week to even acknowledge the day. It honestly completely slipped my mind until Joel came home with flowers and a beautiful card. Joel celebrated by keeping his sick family afloat. I saw the doctor who diagnosed me with bronchitis and am now on antibiotics and am slowly seeing daylight again. Despite the illnesses, it has been the best 8 years. Just a drop in the bucket on our way to the 80 years together that we are dreaming of. Even though we have only been married for 8 years, our friendship started 12 years ago. Joel is truly my best friend and soul mate and has enriched my life in every way possible. This journey has been full of tears and joy, and blessings keep coming...the top 3 being Asher, Anna, and Jesse. We are getting ready to face our 4 to 5 months apart. Joel leaves for the desert on August 1st. We are trying to enjoy every minute together and be strong, knowing that God's grace is sufficient for us to get through. God has given 8 beautiful years of growth to stand on. Happy Anniversary Joel! You are still and will always be my hero.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The 2nd Best Adventure in the US

Kayaking the Na Pali Coast in Kauai, Hi (check!). #1 is white water rafting the Grand Canyon, and #3 is dogsledding in Alaska. This past weekend, Joel and I took a weekend in Kauai (without kids) for some quality time before his deployment and you know us...we always have to have an adventure so why not one that is nationally rated?! It was 6 hours of ocean kayaking with a 2 hour lunch break. We were exhausted but saw the most amazing sites we have ever seen. Yes, I created this image but both photos we actually took there. We kayaked along the coast you see...17 miles! We saw turtles and dolphins, kayaked through caves and lava tubes. IT WAS AWESOME!!! The only way to see the Na Pali coast is by boat or air.

Here we are along the coast.

These cliffs were seen in Jurassic park and King Kong.

Mary taking a dip in the back of a cave we kayaked through.

Lunch at a secluded beach that you can only get to by boat.

Joel and Mary at Waimea Canyon, "the Grand Canyon of the Pacific".

We also took a helicopter tour...amazing.

The "jurassic park" waterfall, can only be reached via air.

The Na Pali coast from the helicopter...yes, we kayaked that whole thing!!! and then soaked in the hot tub at our hotel the rest of the night :0).

We had such an amazing time. It was hard to come home and home we did to 3 sick kids. My dear friend Diana took them for the weekend and didn't tell me how sick they were the whole time until we picked them up. We felt so bad! Not to mention that I am sick now as well. Now that I have taken Nyquil for the cough and fever, and IBprofen for my soar limbs, I think I am going to head to bed to prepare for a sick family tomorrow-and dream of Kauai.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Stairway to Heaven

This was the hike that we completed this past Sunday called "the stairway to heaven". It is 3,922 stairs up a very very steep mountainside. At some points it is like you are climbing a ladder. It took us 1.5 hours to get to the top. It was extremely challenging, sometimes scary, but had views like no other. However, 2 days later I am still struggling to walk.

Joel scaling a fairly steep spot. You might be able to tell that it wasn't the best day for a hike. After we got halfway up, we were completely in the clouds were it was wet, windy, and cold. At times we felt like the wind could blow us right off the mountain!

Here we are at the beginning of the hike. Actually, this is on our way back down because it was dark on the way up. We started at 5:15 am. The hike is actually illegal because of some political disputes so in order to do it, you have to hop a couple fences and reach the stairs before a guard is posted at 6am. Poor Joel was very against this (mister never done anything wrong in his life) but I was going with or without so he was kind of forced against his will.

This is the view at the halfway point. The little dot in the ocean is the island called China man's Hat. Isn't it gorgeous?!

Here we are in "heaven" at the top of our climb. It was a nice view of the clouds, and heaven sure is cold! We were huddled together freezing in the wind and rain. You can see the ocean peeking through the clouds behind us. Someday I would like to do it again when we can actually see something from the top but at least I can say I did reach the top!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Swimming with...

and again, yes, we did!

Asher and Mary on the boat out to see sharks. Asher wanted to go...Anna did not. We gave them the choice. Asher was SO excited. Anna was very happy to stay with the babysitter and have nothing to do with sharks. Asher didn't do to well in the cage so we got him out but he loved watching the sharks from the boat.

Our view from the boat!

Not the most flattering picture but look how close they were!

These underwater pictures were taken with our joke.

This adventure was Joel's birthday present. He was very happy for yet another thrill in Hawaii and had a great time. We had wonderful birthdays...thank you to all the well wishers. I know it seems like we have no desire to make it to 31 with all the adventures we have been on but we are loving life and living Hawaii up all we can.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Midlife Crisis?

Yes, we did!!

The crazy jumpers. We went with our neighbors and good friends Nate and Rebekah Flint.

The view from about 7,000 feet. We jumped at 13,000.

Here is Mary leaving the plane with some flips..those flips were going on inside my stomach too.

Somewhat smiling...somewhat was awesome! It was a 60 second free fall. After screaming for the 1st 20 seconds, I realized I was just going to keep falling and no one could hear me anyways.

Coming in for a landing.

That was awesome!


Skydiving is something Joel and I have always wanted to do so why not right before you turn 30?! I am not sure what possessed us but we did it. Not only did I do it once, but Rebekah and I did it twice!! I know nuts...but the camera guy got screwed up and didn't go down with me during the 1st jump. I was so bummed. They offered me a free t-shirt...don't think that really compares, do you? So I got a free jump! But yes, that meant I had to go up again. I was more scared the second time but enjoyed it more. The visibility was awesome and the thrill like no other. We even went through a cloud. What a great way to see Hawaii. Now what else can we do before we turn 30?

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Happy 4th of July

I LOVE favorite month of the year. We always have so much fun on the 4th. This year we jumped between 4 parties from cook outs to making smores in the backyard with all the neighborhood kids, a day by the water, and fireworks. I sailed in a 3 hour race on the 4th while the family played at the harbor with friends and rides. I didn't win but did have a great time on the water as always when it comes to my new passion of sailing.

Don't the boats look pretty with those wind socks blowing?!

Asher having fun at the harbor.

An all time favorite ride of these 2...the spinning tea cups. Joel and I get nauseous just watching them go.

Anna always has to ride the carousel too.

Jesse's favorite part of the day was running through the sprinkler. His shirt says "all american hunk"...appropriate don't you think?

I believe that of all the kids, Jesse enjoyed the fireworks the most. With every burst in the night sky he would exclaim "ohhh, uuuhhh, wow, aaaahhhh"...for twenty minutes. It was great.

Thank you to all those out there who serve to make our country what it is today, so the rest of us can celebrate and sleep in safety. We owe it all to you!