Sunday, June 12, 2016


Tommy's birthday is actually May 30th - but he wouldn't celebrate until the whole family was back together at home. He really just wanted Maggie to bake him a chocolate sheet cake!

Saturday, June 4, 2016


In April, Tommy and I celebrated our 24th wedding anniversary! He surprised me with tickets to go see Maggie in Hawaii! Isn't he the best?!
Maggie needed to see me and I needed to see her. We were both missing each other so much!
I have been to Hawaii once before - to drop her at school - but i was only there for a few days - too busy getting Maggie set up, no time to really see the island.

Maggie didn't know I was coming, so I schemed and planned for a month in preparation for the trip. 
I contacted her bishop to ask about a few rental houses that I had considered and at first he agreed to go check them out for me, but then he called back with a proposal: He would be traveling to Utah for a week in May - if I could change my tickets to match the week he would be away, we could meet up at the airport - as I was flying in, and he was flying out - he could give me his car to take back home (saving him a fee for leaving it at the airport) and I could house sit and feed his cats - providing a free place for me to stay! It was perfect!! 
He then contacted Maggie and asked her to stay at his house to handle the kitties. Of course she agreed - she would do anything he asked - she thinks he is the greatest!
Maggie and me building at sand castle - a little jet lagged!

On the day I arrived in Hawaii - I told Maggie that I would be working all day and would be unavailable to call (most of my flight was in the middle of the night for her - but she always calls when she wakes up!) The exchange with Bishop went just as planned and I headed up to the North Shore! Just after I arrived at the house, Maggie called to let me know she was leaving her class and headed to feed Bishops cats  - I told her I was busy and would call her later. I hid in the living room -so excited to see my girl!

She took her sweet time of course and as she entered the house, she turned and saw me standing there - after a second of shock passed, she ran and threw herself at me and began to cry! For those who know Maggie - you know she isn't a cryer at all - she was overwhelmed and so happy!!!

We spent 2 solid weeks hanging out and exploring the island! She was feeling pretty homesick and bogged down with work and school - so this was just what she needed to give her a boost to help get through the last few weeks of her semester!

swap meet

donuts in Haleiwa

 Maggie's side of the island is not for tourists - the locals live very simple lives - no air condition - a laid back, casual lifestyle. It was very hard for my Type A, responsible girl to adjust to that slow pace, but somehow the island life has managed to get to her!
Haupia pie- so good that even the one from McDonalds had me hooked!
We were able to hang on the beach in the mornings before school, paddle board, shop, snorkel (of which I discovered I am not a fan). We toured her work - the Polynesian Culture Center (the Tonga show was my favorite), I met her friends and I was there just in time to see her perform with the Maori people in Culture Night - the New Zealand chapter! It was incredible!
They performed traditional Haka. They told the story of the war in heaven. The girls danced Poi. 

Don't you love that Moko on her face?!

in this video - maggie can be seen as the camera pans the girls at 7:00 and again and 5:43. 

My favorite part of the island was the sea turtles! I love that they just came right up to greet us and were so curious! This one was having trouble staying close because of the tide, but he got smart and hooked a front flipper around my ankle to sick close! I was surprised at how big they were and at how gentle!

I bought Maggie groceries while too - man, she wasn't kidding about not being able to afford food! 

Maggie before her last day at work - her last day to wear that beloved Muu-Muu
Bishops back yard - there are chickens ALL OVER THE ISLAND!! Its crazy - they are so loud! I learned that roosters don't just crown in the morning - they crow ALL NIGHT!

how maggie can be found when she isn't in class or at work!

Our home away from home! Thanks Bish!

taken at Sharks Cove

the front of her school - BYUH

The Lai'e Hawaii LDS Temple - literally just down the street from Maggie's house - she is so blessed!

This was for sure a vacation I will never forget. Getting to spend so much time with Maggie in the place she calls home was fantastic. I loved seeing her in her element, experiencing the island as she lives it and not like a tourist made the trip even better! The spirit the island has is palpable - it has changed her in more wonderful ways than I can express - now that I have seen it first hand - I get it. I get why the Polynesian people are so loving and welcoming and happy. I get why Maggie loves the island so much. She has been really blessed.