Four years ago…

Four years ago today Nick and I said “I do” in Columbia, South Carolina. It’s crazy to think back over these past four years…it seems like everything that has happened could not possibly fit into just four years! We have had many amazing wonderful experiences and have been blessed in so many ways. But we have also had our share of challenging experiences and hardships. Each experience, good or bad, has helped us to learn and grow together. It is amazing to have someone who is with you through it all no matter what. Thank you Nick, for always being right by my side. Now with the sappy part out of the way…let’s talk about how we celebrated!

We decided to check out a new restaurant. And let me tell you, it was by far the most authentic place we have been. There was a big open fire and a chop block where they cut and cooked the meat right in front of you. The room was cozy and we felt a bit like intruders in someone’s home. As far as we could tell there were three brothers running the place. There was no menu. The locals all know what they have. They listed off some options for us (we had no idea what we were in for price wise…) I have heard that all of their bird dishes (duck, chicken etc) they hunt themselves. Nick had lamb, I had sausage macaroni. It was reeeeally good and cheap! Don’t worry, when you come visit we will take you!

Highway to Hana

There is this crazy windy road on Maui that goes around the rainy side of the island. Because it’s the rainy side that’s where all the waterfalls and lush green foliage is. There are a lot of fun stops along the way…

Black sand beach

Fresh water pool in a cave


Jonah taking it in…

Crazy surf that day

Dad shaking a papaya tree, Mom catching lol.

Skyline trail

Instead of riding down the road from the top of Haleakala, my Dad said we had to do it the “better way” by riding the skyline trail down. I was apprehensive. But it was actually pretty fun and not as hard as I had feared. The road to Haleakala is the greatest elevation gain in the least distance. (From sea level to just over 10,000 feet in about 38 miles). And I’m pretty sure that the trail lost elevation faster than the road…so it made for one fun ride down through the clouds. My fearless sister came along and she’s never even mountain biked! My family is crazy! I am happy to report no injuries for this expedition.

We did get off our butts occasionally…

Here are a few pictures to prove that we didn’t just sit on the beach every day. (Ok so we did a lot of days, but not every day!) We hiked to see the Iao needle, click the picture of the sign to read details on that.

We walked out to the “dragon’s teeth” some really cool lava-scape.

And we drove to the top of the volcano “Haleakala”, which we later drove up again so that my dad, Nicole and I could fly down on bikes…I’ll get to that later. (If you need to cool off in Hawaii Haleakala is the place to be!)

Seeing fish in Hawaii

While in Hawaii we went to the aquarium. The kiddos loved it (Jonah now has a whole new vocabulary that includes words such as shark, sting ray, frog fish, octopus, star fish, puffer fish, parrot fish, angel fish…and he can correctly identify all of them). I discovered my new favorite fish…the frog fish. (see photo below).

They blend into the coral and appear to barely move. But they actually move so fast you can’t even see it. They dangle a fleshy blob in front of their mouth and when a fish comes to eat it, they eat the fish. They can eat things up to twelve times their size. They swim using jet propulsion. So cool!

Cousins! Jonah could not get enough of his cousins. Now that we are home he still talks about them every day.

Jonah also couldn’t get enough of the grandparents…