Monday, June 29, 2009


Last weekend we went to the annual summer retreat that Cody's work puts on each summer. We were excited to get out of the 100 degree weather and spend some time together :o). Kade kept saying "We are going to Sedo-nuts!"

We stayed at a beautiful resort and the boys loved swimming in the pools. We spend most of the weekend in our swimsuits and had such a great time. They loved having their Daddy around to thrown them into the pool, race them, and do all the fun things that Cody is so great to do with them.
After we swam they wanted to go back to the room and warm themselves by the fire....true Arizona boys with thin blood!!

We went to Oak Creek Canyon (forgot my camera) and the boys had fun jumping off rocks into the water. They also caught some crawdads, minnows, and a lizard.

They provided childcare for some of the events for spouses only and it was fun to enjoy some nice dinners and events without worrying about cutting up meat for kids and all that fun stuff...

I try not to brag too much but sorry here I go....I am so proud of Cody and how hard he works to provide for our family so I am able to stay home with my boys. He works long, long hours and still comes home ready to help me put the kids into bed. His profession is a really difficult one to start out in, 2/3rds of new financial advisers with Edward Jones don't make it through their first year. He has not only made it, but is in the very top % (compared with people who have been out the same amount of time he has been) and that is due to his hard work and honest approach with his clients.....I could not do what he does every day, that is for sure!!

Our last day in Sedona we started with a yummy breakfast, then loaded up and headed off for a hike.

It was a little more ambitious of a trail then we anticipated, we were wishing we had brought the backpack for Kade to go in, and more water....poor Cody ended up carrying Kade like this for most of the way.

We made it all the way back and were very happy to get back to our car and crank up the AC. It was a fun few days, now it's time to get back to reality :o)

Friday, June 19, 2009

{Hawaii Days 6,7,&8}

My sister Melissa and her husband Sam were spending a month in Hawaii, and we were so excited to find out that our trips overlapped a few days! They rented an apartment from a married couple at BYU-H so they were really close to our hotel.

We went to a few beaches with them, first we went back to Shark's Cove for some more snorkeling. We swam with more sea turtles, and saw so many more fish and even an eel *yikes*! I can not even describe how many fish and the amazing colors and kinds of fish we saw there, it was indescribable and my favorite part of Hawaii!!

We had a yummy lunch at a Tai place and then went to Sunset Beach to see Sam surf and play in the waves. He had just bought a new board and was excited to use it :o)

Now let me introduce you to *the seal shirt* as I called it. Before our trip Cody was so excited to come home from Ross and show me his SPF 50 shirt he bought for Hawaii. It was nice not having to put sunscreen on him all over, and he didn't get burned at all (amazing for how much we were in the sun!) but I had to tease him that he looked like a seal with his grey shirt and shorts.

We went back to Sunset another day and the waves were pretty rough. We had fun body surfing on them, boogie boarding, and getting slammed into the sand over and over. I am glad I don't work for a hotel in Hawaii because every day we filled the tub and bathroom floors with so much sand!!
We went to Waikiki one of the nights, it was fun to be there at night. There were a lot of street performers, and fun shops to go through. Of course we had to have dinner Melissa and my favorite place, Cheesecake Factory. We even order the same dinner and dessert, we are alike in so many ways it's funny.

This is a statue that's a tribute to the first surfer.... I think??

Our last day we decided to hike Diamond Head with Cody's parents. When we got to the part with 175 steep steps it reminded me of a picture I had seen of my parents hiking it years ago in one of our photo albums.

The view was amazing, you could see the West side of the island. It was really windy at the top.

Our last day we were there was Gene's Birthday. We went to a really yummy seafood restaurant, Halieva Joe's. Sam recommended it to us since he used to work there. It was built on the side of a lake, and the atmosphere was so fun.
We had a red-eye flight home, so we dropped off the rental cars at arrived at the airport around 9pm. Our flight left at 11pm, and about an hour into the flight the pilot came on the intercom and said there was a problem with the plane and we needed to turn around and fly back to Oahu. Then a little while later he came on and told us we'd need to circle the islands for am hour to burn fuel before we could land. He kept coming on and changing the amount of time we'd be circling, we ended up burning fuel for an extra 3 hours, so by the time we landed we could have been almost home. I was just glad to land safe though!! We then waited in a long line to get our bags and figure out what was going on. They ended up getting everyone new flights, and hotel rooms with food and taxi vouchers. We didn't get to the hotel until almost 6am, we were so tired. We had to make the sad phone call to our boys who were expecting us any minute and let them know it would be one more day! We are so lucky that my Mom and Dad were so kind to keep them one more day, and understand!!
Our hotel was really nice, it was right by the beach at Waikiki. We got about 3 hours of sleep and then we decided to make the most of our extra day. Sam and Melissa were in Waikiki so we met up with them and had lunch...and I'm sure you can guess where we went again ;o)
At lunch we decided to go on a hike called Haiku Stairs, or Stairway to Heaven. It's forbidden, so you have to sneak up it and climb over several fences. Sam and Melissa had gone on it before so we were excited that they could take us on it. You hike for awhile, then come to 4,000 stairs that go straight up the mountain, the stairs were built for a radio station during WWII.

Here we are, starting the hike after climbing over two fences so far...The hike goes up the mountain in the background.

More fences.... As we were climbing over one of them a local boy warned us that there was a guard. This freaked me out because there were a lot of signs that said you would be prosecuted if you trespassed, but Sam assured us that the boy was just saying that to prevent us from going.

After we had hiked aways, and had just gotten to the stairs we heard a noise. It started to get louder and louder, it sounded like a dirtbike. Melissa and I panicked and dropped down to hide in the bushes. Cody and Sam stood there and a security guy pulled up on his three-wheeler. Melissa and I stood up sheepishly and we were all (at least the girls) nervous about what was going to happen.

He turned out to be really nice, and told us his hours so that next time we would know how to sneak up it without being caught. We tried to bribe him but he wouldn't let us go up since the stairs are visible from the highway close by and locals will call and report if they see anyone going up it. The locals are very protective over that hike, it's crazy. They don't like it because the start of the hike is by a neighborhood and they were tired of all the tourists coming to do it.

We were sad to have to turn around, but next time we will know better and we'll do it early in the morning! We went back to Waikiki and swam for awhile, seeing a huge sea turtle swim right by us. We were so glad that we hadn't booked a hotel over on that side of the island because there were so many people and the oceans on the North Shore were so much nicer.

We got onto another red-eye flight and this time made it all the way back home! We were so excited to see our boys!! Cody found some shark-tooth necklaces for them at the swap meet and they loved those. They are convinced that their Dad swam into the ocean, found a shark, then punched 3 teeth out for them. We had such a great time and hope to go back again soon!!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

{Hawaii Day 5}

We woke up early and flew over to the Big Island. After we arrived and got our rental car we went to a really good place for breakfast. Then we drove to the Hawaii Volcano National Park. It was really neat, and we hiked to a few good spots to see the active volcano's.

We drove to a different location where we were able to walk through a large lava tube where hundreds of years ago lava flowed through.

After lunch we drove to a different airport where we took off on a helicopter for an hour ride to see the island from a different view.

It was fun to see the many waterfalls, lush landscaping, and ocean shore but our favorite part was flying over active volcano flows. I didn't realize that lava was actually still flowing above ground on the island. This picture below is an area that used to be a small community of homes until in the 90's they were ruined by lava flow.

The steam in the picture below makes it difficult to see, but there was actually a huge amount of lava flowing into the ocean in this spot, slowing making the island bigger.

After we were back on land, we went on a few short hikes in the part of the island that is a rainforest. It was gorgeous!! I couldn't believe how dense and green it was.

We saw some beautiful waterfalls.

The beaches (at least on the parts of the island we saw) were so different than Oahu's. They were very rocky, and hard to get to since most of the island ends in cliffs, not sandy beaches.

Friday, June 12, 2009

{Hawaii Day 3 & 4}

Sunday morning we drove over to the Honolulu area to see Pearl Harbor. It was a neat experience, and we all learned a lot. We toured the memorial center and audio/visual centers and then into a theatre to watch a documentary film about the attack. After that you take a boat ride to the USS Arizona Memorial, a memorial that is built over the sunken battleship. That was neat, you could see the ship under the water, and the water was oily because it is still leaking 68 years later.

Next we hopped on a bus and went to tour the USS Missouri, the last battleship built. It was neat to go inside and see the living quarters....makes you have so much respect for people who live in those conditions willingly to serve our country.

That night our friends the Sasaki's came to our hotel to say hi. They used to be in our ward until they moved back to Hawaii. It was fun to visit and see how much their kids had grown!
Then we went over to visit my cousin Jordan and his cute wife Meagan. He is going to BYU-H and she graduated from there and is working at the college. She had their apartment decorated so cute! They lent us their boogie board and flippers, thanks guys :o).

Monday morning Cody and I headed back to Shark's Cove for some more snorkeling. We went to lunch at the yummy Wailua Bakery and back to Matsumotos because I was craving that shaved ice again.

Next we went to Turtle Beach where there are always a lot of big turtles (you can see them in the background of these pictures). We put on our snorkel gear and swam in the water with several of them, it's kind of scary when they are swimming toward you :o)

That night we met up with Gene and Cassie at the Polynesian Cultural Center. First we had dinner at a luau with yummy kailua pork cooked underground.

They gave you smoothies in pineapples, yummy!

The night show was so fun, the fire dancing was incredible.

After the show we went over and visited Sam and Melissa who had just flown in from Utah. Melissa is my sister just younger than me, she and Sam have been married for 2 years and live in Ogden Utah where Sam is finishing up his bachelors degree. They are staying in Hawaii for a fun would that be?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

{Hawaii Day 1 and 2}

We have been waiting to go on a trip for a long time, and when we decided on Hawaii Cody was worried we wouldn't have enough to do there. My family loves Hawaii, they go about every year and I have a couple sisters who have or currently live there. They gave us a list of what beaches are good for what (snorkeling, bodyboarding, swimming, etc) and what the best places to eat are. This made Cody feel better :o)

After lots of packing and getting ready Friday morning we dropped the boys off at my parents' house in Peoria and we were off! Off to Cody's office that is, my work-a-holic husband had a couple things he had to do real quick. Of course a client walks in but he was in and out quick and then we were off to the airport. We had only gone a little ways when I realized we still had the kid's carseats, so back to Grandma's we went. Luckily it didn't take long and we arrived at the airport with plenty of time to spare.

Cody's parents met us in the terminal, they had just arrived from Utah. We were excited to share this trip with them since they had never been to Hawaii. We ate lunch, and then off we were on the flight to Hawaii. The flight seemed to take a long time, but it already felt like a vacation because no one was asking for a drink or help with this or that :o). I started and finished a book and it felt so nice!

We arrived and went and picked up our rental cars - then drove part way to the hotel until we stopped at a little place to eat dinner. We drove the rest of the way over to the North Shore in Laie where our hotel was. The drive was breathtaking, wow those mountains are just as amazing as the beautiful beaches!! I forgot how amazing Hawaii is, it's just like the postcards you see. We arrived at the hotel and......EW it was gross! The outside was grosser than the inside (just look at this picture!) but the inside left much to be desired as well! Positives were (1) the towels and bedding were very clean (2) The room was clean (3) it was part of our package deal and was so cheap, we could have paid more to stay somewhere else but we really wanted to stay in Laie since it was close to all the beaches we wanted to do stuff at.
This cat had a thing for Cody, and would follow him wherever he went. It really freaked Cody out, it was quite funny :o).
We slept horribly the first night our mattress felt like a taco and I was freaked out there would be roaches after hearing all the bug stories my sisters who lived in Laie had told me. After a long restless night at 5am we got up and decided to go for a walk on the beach. It was so beautiful and made us feel so much better. There were tons of holes in the sand, and we sat and watched the sand crabs go in and out of their hiding spots. As we were walking on the sand super early in the morning we happened to see my cousin Jordan walking with his surfboard. That was so funny since there was almost no one else up. He living in Laie with his cute wife Meagan while he finishes school at BYU-H.

After breakfast we headed off to Shark's Cove, an amazing place to snorkel. I can't believe how many different fish we saw, and how huge some of them were! It wasn't very crowded and we spend a long time exploring the cove and checking out all the different fish.
We had a yummy lunch at Ted's Bakery (the chocolate coconut pie was so good) and then headed back to Shark's Cove to snorkel some more. Then we went back to the hotel to get ready for dinner. We went into Halieva and had some YUMMY shaved ice at the famous Matsumotos.

That evening we went to Turtle Beach where we were able to watch the Sea Turtles in the waves close to the shore.