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It’s always nice to get away, isn’t it? Even in the hardest of seasons, when your kids are little and aren’t quite old enough to run out on their own and you have to bring everything but the kitchen sink, it’s still nice, right?

I enjoyed our Hawaiian getaway last week. I mean, how could you not when you are in Hawaii?! Even though there were plenty of meltdowns by all the women who share my last name that were on our trip, and the luggage alone made it look as if we had moved to a different state, it was worth it.

In the busyness of life, it’s hard to connect as a family. It’s hard to enjoy each other sometimes. It seems more about business, attitude adjustments and corrections, and checking things off the never ending to do list more often than not and I realize that I sometimes start to lose touch with my own family. I put things on the checklist and things get done, but it’s the lack of connection I start to crave.

Going away with my people was so needed in this phase of our lives. There were definite highlights and then there were some other times I wanted to pull my hair out because that is the nature of having kids. But overall, when I look back at the memories we made together, it was the best. And I am so grateful we had the time away to enjoy Disney’s Aulani.

My sweet husband on a couple of different occasions pushed me out of the hotel room door and told me to go enjoy some time away. I find it hard to relax when I’m out by myself. The never ending list of life gets me down and I start thinking of all the things I really ought to be doing instead. The great part about being on vacation is that we aren’t at home and I didn’t take my computer with me so I didn’t have as many things to distract me from being away.

My first time out at the Aulani I ventured out was for a workout class on the beach, beach boot camp. It was a mid morning class and the moment I set foot outside the hotel heading for the beach, I realized just how hot it really was and started having second thoughts. I was on vacation after all, did I really need to get an extra workout in? But nevertheless, I completed the workout and felt great for doing it. There were three others in the class as well and I think we were all beat afterwards. What a great way to start the day! Kettle bells on the beach with an ocean view, yes please!

The next venture out was to the pool. I didn’t have much time, but took the new Gracelaced book with me and read the intro while journalling some thoughts about what I was hoping to get out of the book. It is such a beautiful book and I am so excited to be diving into it. The author has put so much of her into the book which is obvious even by the front cover.

Another morning, my sister and I rented stand up paddle boards and took to the water after I did a morning run in the fitness center. It was my first time on the stand up paddle board and I loved it. Once I got my balance I was off, back and forth across the lagoon. It was so peaceful and being out in the water was really refreshing. Of course, I struggled to stay out of the way of a fewlap swimmers, but I am sure I’m not the first one just learning how to paddle they have come across and had to swim around. When in doubt, just stay put. That was my philosophy anyway.

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The sunrise yoga class was one of my favorite activities which my sister also joined me for. The beach was calm and peaceful at 6 in the morning with very few people roaming the sand. It felt so good to stretch after the days prior of boot camp, 3 mile run, and stand up paddle boarding.

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But one of my all time favorite highlights was running the 5k Ko Olina race Saturday morning. Running is my jam and racing is just the best. I never thought I would place because speed work has been hard for me since Bernadette was born. Actually if I’m honest, just getting any sort of workout in is difficult. When I came in third in my age group after the fun run through the beach, grass and pavement, I was thrilled! I even had the opportunity to stand up on the podium to received my award. And of course, shave ice after was a must.

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I think the greatest thing about racing is seeing my sweet family on the race course. David brought the girls to the mile mark to cheer me on and then rushed back to the finish with my parents and sisters to cheer me into the finish. It makes me cry hearing my girls scream for me. Every time. No joke.

It was a great way to end our vacation. At one point on our journey home, my oldest looked at me and asked if we could make Hawaii our home. It made me smile knowing that she had the greatest time. I hugged her and told her that hopefully, some day in the future we could back for another visit.

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