Thursday, June 30, 2016

Hawaii Part 1

We have been back for over a week and I feel like I am finally back to normal. Most of last week was spent recovering from jet lag...more recovering from Henley's jet lag and getting her back in her normal routine. My goal this week is to get things back to normal and enjoy the rest of the summer with family and friends! 

I would love to share our fabulous trip with you! It's going to take a few different posts because we were gone for a long time, so just hang in there and enjoy Hawaii with me! 

Day 1

We decided to spend the night at my in-law's house the night before our flight to take away the stress of having to get there on time super early in the morning. Good decision! I was up bright and early around 5 and we left the house about 6:30 for our flight. Side note: I was super nervous about Henley's ears since she has had a number of ear infections and she seems to always have her fingers in them, so I ordered a round of antibiotics just in case. Since they expired in 10 days and she get pulling at her ears, I started them on Monday. Tuesday morning, before we left the house, I gave her a dose and tried to feed her some breakfast. She wasn't super interested in eating. This side not only matters because it made for an interesting start to the trip. About 2 miles away from pulling into the airport, Henley started throwing up. A first for her. Thankfully, I had packed an extra set of clothes. After throwing up, she seemed perfectly back to her normal self. I think it was just the antibiotics, lack of food and the car ride. What a way to start a trip!

We left about 9:30 Texas time and made it to Honolulu around 12:30 Hawaii time. Henley did fabulous on the flight. She didn't sleep as much as I would have liked (she took about two 1 hour naps), but she was as happy as could be. Of course, she slept during the in-flight snack, so I didn't eat much on the plane and was STARVING by the time we made it to our hotel. We stayed at the Hilton Hawaii Village Waikiki Beach Resort...and so did everyone else! I actually enjoyed all the people! I think it's fun to people watch and get to see lots of people enjoying their vacation. Plus, you usually make friends! 

Once we got settled in our rooms, we changed and headed down to the restaurant for lunch/dinner. It was about 2:00 and we knew we'd be tired in a few hours, so we ate linner and headed down to the beach. Thankfully, a sweet family who was leaving the next day gifted us their umbrella and boogie board. Henley did not like the sand, so after being in the water with Ben, she spent the rest of the afternoon playing on the boogie board organizing and re-organizing her bucket and shovels. She is her mama's daughter!

Sadly, Henley came to sit on my lap for a little while and all of a sudden she started whining. I looked down at her hand and there was a bee stinging her. Poor girl! It was the first of many injuries on our trip. Thankfully, Henley recovered within a matter of minutes. We took her back in the ocean and she was a happy girl! We thought that was our cue to head to one of the pools. The resort has a number of different pools and a little bay area, so we headed near the bay and went to the pool with the slides. Henley got to wear her puddle jumper for the first time and she and Ben swam and swam! She loved it! I even went down one of the slides with her.

I took this with my phone in a plastic baggie. That's why it's a little fuzzy. 

It actually got a little cold because the pool was in the shade, so Henley and I walked around and played in the grass, chased the birds and watched people swimming in the bay to warm up. Eventually, we all decided we wanted to go back up to the room, read and shower. I think we originally thought we might all meet back up, but after playing in the room and showering, Henley was ready for bed at 6:30. Ben and I planned to watch the Bachelorette in bed, but I fell asleep the moment he turned it on! 

Day 2 

Because of the time change, we were up bright and early around 6:00. It was awesome for Ben and I since I am a morning person and he is definitely not. Henley was up too, so we figured we might as well get going for the day! Ben, Henley, Ben's dad, Tony, and I all enjoyed an early breakfast. Ya'll...let me just tell you about this breakfast. It was a totally normal breakfast until I let Henley go up on the little stage we were sitting near at the end. She needed to do a little roaming, so she was just walking around. As we were leaving the restaurant, Tony went up there to get her, picked her up and all of these tourists started waving and taking pictures. Like between 30-40 people stopped to take pictures just of Henley waving and smiling at them! It was hysterical. The restaurant is caged in (I guess for birds), so it looked like they were super special or something. Ben and I were just sitting back cracking up (and took no pictures)! Then, we left the restaurant and let Henley look at the fish in the pond right in front of our hotel and there was another lady who literally just picked Henley up and asked us to take a picture of her and Henley. It was so crazy! I don't know if they just loved this little blonde haired, blue-eyed American girl or what, but it was nuts!

Today's purpose was to surf, so surfing we did! We met our surfing instructors and they drove us to a different beach since ours wasn't getting good waves, or swells as they call them. Surfing was a blast! I've done it once before in Cabo with a friend from college, but I was super nervous that I would fail this time after talking about how I got up the first time then. Thankfully, I got up every single time in Hawaii! Ben, Tony, Ben's sister, Katie and I all surfed while Henley and Karen, Ben's mom watched. We had a great time and were totally beat afterwards! I can't believe they do that for 5-6 hours at a time. Two hours was plenty for me! I would love to try some bigger waves though next time!

We headed back to the hotel for lunch, before I needed to take Henley back to the room for a nap. Ben went with is dad to workout and I read in the room, took a nap and then right when Henley woke up, Ben came back and I got in a good workout before dinner. Dinner this night was super of my good friends suggested a local sushi place and all the locals said they loved it. Plus, tons of famous people apparently go there when they're in town, so we figured it had to be awesome. Well, Ben's family isn't super adventurous when it comes to food. They are not super into sushi, plus the atmosphere wasn't really their liking either. I will say, I think Henley also played into our lack of enthusiasm since she wouldn't sit still, cried and had to be walked around outside on shifts. Total bummer! Ben and I really liked the couple of sushi rolls that we got, but I think it was for the more adventurous sushi eaters since a lot of the their menu was just raw fish. 

Since dinner wasn't a total hit, we went back to the hotel with one thing in cream! There was a Lappert's at the hotel, so we all got what we wanted and sat by the pool to finish off the night. I don't know what it is about night time swimming or pool sitting, but I love it!

Day 3 

On our last day in Honolulu, we planned to spend it at Pearl Harbor. I absolutely love history, so I was super excited to get to see the Pearl Harbor Memorial and learn more about everything that happened. It was a little rainy in the morning when we went to breakfast, but nothing really more than a drizzle. Unfortunately, the company bumped our tour back because of the "rain." We were supposed to go from 10-2, perfect for Henley's nap, but they bumped us to 12-4. Ouch! 

After breakfast, we hung around for a bit and then Ben and I went shopping for a Christmas ornament. Our hotel had lots of cute little shops around it, so we just roamed around for a little while. Ben even got a cool book about Pearl Harbor. After going back to the room and getting everything together for the tour, we headed down to the juice bar for a smoothie before meeting our van. At this point, Henley was doing pretty good. 

Once we got to the memorial, we went through two different museum type buildings before waiting to see a movie. Henley was super whiney and fidgety doing the museums. I didn't really get to take anything in because I was trying to get her to go to sleep. Thankfully, once we sat down to watch the movie, she was out! The movie was great! I learned  a lot about Pearl Harbor and have a feeling I will be reading that book of Ben's pretty soon. After the movie, you get a fairy that takes you over to the actual memorial that is placed on top of the U.S.S. Alabama. That was really neat to see. There is still oil leaking out of the ship all of these years later! Henley woke up as we were leaving the memorial, so once we were back on land, Katie stayed with her (it was raining) while the rest of us got to tour the submarine. This was awesome! You literally get to go on top of and inside of a real submarine! I have no idea how anyone bigger than myself was actually in there. It is pretty tight quarters! We didn't a guided tour with headphones and I took absolutely everything in. I highly recommend going through the submarine!

Since Henley got about an hour or so nap in, we decided she could make it to dinner. Once we got back, it was still a little drizzly, but we still went to the pool near the bar. It was a pool on the backside of the hotel that was much calmer and had a neat little area for Henley with little fountains coming up. She played and played and played with Ben and then played some more. She had a blast in the pool. We even met an Australian family that had just been to Maui that I talked to for a while. They had a little girl about 6 months younger than Henley that she just adored!

Since dinner the night before was a little bit of a fail, we decided to hit up Beni Hana since we knew we would enjoy it. It was great! I've actually never been, so it was neat to go for the first time in Hawaii. The restaurant is right by the pool we were at, so it was wonderful to get to just walk to it. Our chef was hilarious, which made the night even more fun. Henley was still a bit of a mess at dinner, but we made do while passing her around. Poor girl was tired! 

This was our last night in Honolulu and it was a good one! We learned that Honolulu is like New York, beach style, but I still really enjoyed it. We knew we had things to get done in Honolulu, so I wasn't expecting a ton of relaxation...that was for Maui! 

Monday, June 20, 2016

We're Back!

Y'all, we are back from Hawaii and this jet lag this is FOR REAL! We got back Sunday morning after spending 12 days in Hawaii. It was absolutely beautiful and we had a great time, but I am so happy to be home. Home always feels so good, and it was a bonus that I took the time to clean the house before we left! We are trying to get back to a normal routine, but jet lag kicked our booties today. 

I sat down yesterday and planned out our meals and my workouts and was so excited to get back to a good, clean, healthy routine. Well, things didn't go as planned. Henley went down at 8:40 for bed and woke up at 1, about an hour after I finally fell asleep. We were up from 1-4. When I woke up, I thought surely my phone was wrong and the time change messed it was noon. Holy cow! I don't know if I've ever slept that late in my life! Henley was still asleep too. NUTS! I finally woke her up at 12:30 after I got my workout clothes on. 

Since my scheduled workout didn't happen (I was hoping to go to boot camp at 11), I had to improvise and fit it in on my own. I got in a good amount of workouts while we were on vacation, but I was ready for an intense one today. Henley had a doctor's appointment and since I planned to skip nap, we went to the park for a little while before hitting the gym. I decided to write my own boot camp today and I thought I was going to die! I literally almost texted Ben at one point to tell him that he might be getting a call soon because I passed out at the gym. LOL 

It was super intense, but I felt awesome afterwards! I thought I would share it with you guys, just in case you needed a good sweat. Enjoy!! 

My Very Own Boot Camp 
- Warm up with a 5 minute jog 

Do all of these exercises for 1 minute. Do each exercise one after the other with very little to no break. 

Round 1
- bicycle crunches 
- plank with shoulder taps 
- frog jumps 
- mountain climbers 
- backwards lunge (left) 
- backwards lunge (right) 
- toe taps 
- burpees 
- hammer curls 
- w curls 

Do each of the following exercises tabata style - 20 seconds each with a 10 second rest in between. Go through this round twice. 

- jumping lunges 
- squat jumps 
- high knees 
- star jumps 

Round 2
- left plank
- right plank 
- skaters 
- touchdown jumping jacks 
- sumo squats 
- squats 
- right leg jumps (use a step or stairs to jump off one leg) 
- left leg jumps 
- skull crushers 
- tricep kickbacks 

Do another two rounds of the tabata style exercises. 

Round 3
- plank 
- leg lowers
 - seal jack 
- 3 high knee (each time you get to 3 high knees, double jump)
- right curtsy squat 
- left curtsy squat 
- wall jumps 
- butt kickers 
- overhead press 
- front raises 

Good luck!! 

Friday, June 3, 2016

Happy Summer

Wow! Just like that a year has gone by that I have gotten to stay home with Henley and have not been teaching or coaching. CRAZY! 

To say that staying home was a bit of an adjustment for me is a total understatement. I went from teaching 7th grade English and coaching 7th and 8th grade volleyball, track and soccer...meaning during volleyball season I didn't get home until around ten o'clock three nights a week, during track season I didn't get home till ten or later one night a week with the occasional high school track event thrown in there to get home even later from, and during soccer season I didn't get home until ten two nights a week. My life was pretty chaotic, but I loved it! Don't get me wrong, I definitely complained about it, especially at the end of each season, but I loved it! I loved the coaches I worked with, I loved my athletes, I loved my team of 7th grade teachers, I loved my students, I loved the subject I got to teach, and I loved my school. Leaving at the end of last year, although I was excited to not have to wake my baby up in the mornings and to get to see all of her milestones, it was still really hard for me. I questioned my decision many many times. 

Some of our athletes praying before their big race

Now, a year later, I am so thankful for all of the extra time I have gotten to spend with my little girl. I love that I am the one who gets to tell Ben first hand the things that she said or did during the day. I have so much fun with her and wouldn't trade it for anything. I do still miss my other job though. I don't really think about it most days, but the milestone days are hard for me. I miss the big games, the holidays and the last days of school. I always had so much fun with my students leading up to those days. I used to give my athletes little candies with words of encouragement before big games and I loved getting to see them accomplish something big. In my classroom, we would always have so much fun even when we were reviewing for their exams. There was music being played, candy or peppermints being passed out and lots of jokes being told. The laid back atmosphere was my favorite! I also loved seeing that they learned so much after a year in my classroom. After their exams, when we still had time in the classroom, I would bring donuts or a treat and we would watch a movie or play games and have so much fun just enjoying each other. After a year of struggles and frustrations and both of us putting our all into each other, it was so much to enjoy each other and have some fun. I loved teaching and coaching! 

Girls coaches - the people who I spent most of my time with! 

Before heading out on our FCA Retreat

Thankfully, I still get a taste of it with my little one in tow. I am so blessed by the kids that I have gotten to tutor this year. After tutoring one almost 7th grader over the summer, I decided that I definitely wanted to keep tutoring throughout the school year. I posted something on Facebook and a friend actually reached out about her two kiddos. I absolutely loved tutoring them this year. I started with them the second week of school and we have had such a good time together. I am so thankful that I still got to be in teaching mode twice a week and enjoy watching them learn. I love that I still got to create relationships with two students and go to their games and cheer them on in life. I also loved becoming better friends with their mom. I have learned that being a stay at home mom can be a little isolating at times, so I was so thankful for another friend and now workout buddy! 

She has my heart! Henley enjoyed a friend's daughter's softball game the other day. Something we couldn't have done if I was still coaching. 

All in all, this year has been wonderful for me! Yes, I have missed my old job, but I am 95% sure that one day I will go back and enjoy the classroom again. That job will still be there for me. My new job is still incredibly rewarding and these days with Henley will not always be here. She is getting bigger by the minute and I am so thankful I am here for everything. I have learned a lot about myself from being a mommy and although marriage is not always easy, I think our marriage has gotten stronger through the things we've learned about each other in this new year. 

God is so good, and I am so thankful for all of the blessings that he has given me. I am learning to trust him and give up control of everything in my life. He knows the things that I need and he is definitely working them all out. 

Happy Summer Everyone!!