I seriously neglected the blog last year, so in an effort to make better use of this space and to share life's happenings with family and friends because not everyone is on facebook, I'm going to open my 2015 posts with a list of 14 highlights from 2014.
1. Lion King...Again
Concert and Broadway tours don't come through Honolulu very often, so when they do, we get excited. We saw Lion King once before when the tour came in 2007.
2. The Great Aloha Run
My Honolulu Marathon finish of 2013 rekindled my interest in walking/running and inspired Rob to sign up to do the marathon with me in 2014. Training began with our participation in the Great Aloha Run. We had a fun time making our way along the 8 mile stretch from Aloha Tower to Aloha Stadium in the rain, and I'm happy to report that we both finished.
3. Arwen's 4th Grade Big Island Trip
This was her first time travelling on an airplane without either parent. What a special experience for Arwen to fly to another island and spend three nights away from home with her schoolmates, teachers, and some chaperones. As much as we would have loved to have gone with Arwen (Okay, not really. There was a lot of hiking involved, and it rained the whole time), this was her trip. Thankfully, Arwen's chaperone and friends shared some pictures of her wonderful time.
4. Arwen Turned 10!
We celebrated her first double digit birthday with some friends watching Rio 2 at the movie theatre followed by dinner at Kona Brewing Company.
5. Mulan, Jr.
We've always enjoyed watching the beautiful performances put together by the theatre arts program teacher at Arwen's school each year. What a special treat it was to have Arwen participate this year as a member of the ensemble. She had a blast, and we loved watching Arwen on stage. I also had fun helping out with some of the costuming. All of the long hours and rehearsals paid off. It was a great show!
6. Harlem Globetrotters
Both Rob and I remember the first time as children that we saw the Harlem Globetrotters live, so we looked forward to sharing this experience with Arwen. While the faces have changed over the years, they are still a group of incredible athletes with mindblowing skills!
7. Summer Family Vacation to the East Coast
My nephew Justin graduated from high school in June. It was a good enough excuse for us to brave the summer travel chaos to celebrate and visit with family and friends. We even managed a day trip up to New York to see Matilda!
8. Maui Family Visit
Rob's younger brother and family flew to Oahu for a brief visit from Maui, so Arwen was blessed with more cousin time during their stay.
9. Jack Johnson Times Two
Along with our buds, Kerri and Cayman, we are huge Jack Johnson fans and sorely miss the Kokua Festivals of the past. We were so grateful for the opportunity to score tickets for BOTH nights that Jack performed here on Oahu to wrap up his From Here to Now to You tour.
10. A Bike Rider
Growing up on "the hill" made learning to ride a bike a challenge for Arwen. She had a bike for a few years, but finding a safe place and enough time to practice was difficult. We decided it was time for Arwen to master the skill, especially since our move to a flat neighborhood really left no excuses. We took her out for a little while every day, and after about a week - she got it! Arwen'd outgrown the bike, so we took her out to shop for a new one. Arwen settled on a beautiful beach cruiser. The fact that it kind of matched the outfit she was wearing that day was purely coincidental.
11. Canoe Paddlers
Arwen started paddling canoe for the Elks Club this fall and absolutely loved it. Thanks to a shortage of steersman, Rob was able to jump in and help out a few times as well. It was a great activity for the two to share and nice to see Rob back in a canoe, too. Unfortunately, due to a schedule conflict with ballet, Arwen had to take a break, but she hopes to restart in 2015.
12. Aulani Staycation
Fall Break and a special kama'aina deal introduced our family (including Kerri and Cayman) to the beautiful Disney Aulani Resort. This place is a dream - something you have to experience to fully understand. If you have the means, do it.
13. La Muerta
Arwen gave me quite the challenge for a Halloween costume this year. After seeing the previews for the Book of Life movie, she was determined to be La Muerta. Challenge accepted. Yes, her hat really did light up, and yes, I made her costume.
14. Another Honolulu Marathon Finish
Rob was supposed to join me for this one, but an emergency surgery to repair a hernia kept him from doing so. The procedure wasn't too serious, but he was still in recovery when marathon time came, so he had to settle for cheering at the finish line. Several friends did get their running/walking shoes on for this event, though, making this finish just as much fun as the first. I managed to scrape about 40 minutes off of my time, too.
Narrowing this list to 14 wasn't easy. We had a calendar full of moments that brought us great joy. Despite a sprinkle of challenges to keep our lives interesting, 2014 was filled with quality time, fun, family and friends.
Hau'oli Makahiki Hou! We wish you peace, love, and joy in this new year and are looking forward to see what 2015 brings!