Hawaii Four-0

Hawaii Family Vacation 2018 | Lanikai, Hawaii

Tim and I visited Hawaii in January with my family for my brother's 40th birthday (Hawaii Four-0, get it? 😂). It was Tim's very first time visiting the beautiful islands and my first time staying on Oahu. Minus the missile threat hiccup 😫, the trip was absolutely perfect!

We stayed in the hustle and bustle of Waikiki. It was fun being able to walk out of our condos to explore the beautiful park, shops, restaurants, and hotels right by us. When we arrived, we stopped by Nico's Pier 38 to get lunch plates - seriously so delicious - and then went to Costco to grab food for home-cooked meals (hello, saving money!).

Nico's Pier 38 | Honolulu, Hawaii

That same night, we went to House Without a Key for cocktails, a beautiful sunset, and Hawaiian music complete with Hula dancers. It was ah-mazing. And it was my first time drinking a Mai Tai, which they're famous for! Once I tasted it, I could see why. It was dangerously delicious.

Honolulu, Hawaii
House Without a Key | Mai Tai | Honolulu, Hawaii
House Without a Key | Mai Tai | Honolulu, Hawaii
Hawaii Family Vacation 2018 | Honolulu, Hawaii
Hawaii Family Vacation 2018 | Honolulu, Hawaii
House Without a Key | Honolulu, Hawaii

The next morning my family introduced us to Lanikai. Absolutely my most favorite beach ever. The water is crystal clear, it wasn't too packed, and the drive out there was beautiful. We packed a lunch and some good books and relaxed on the beach for a few hours. It was perfect. That night we celebrated my brother's birthday at Mariposa (though, let's be real, I think we sang happy birthday to him at almost every dinner 😉) and watched fireworks over the water. It was magical and the food was absolutely delicious - I ordered a scallop pasta with a white sauce and Manny (my brother-in-law) and I shared a few glasses of wine. 🍷

Lanikai Beach | Kailua, Hawaii
Lanikai Beach | Kailua, Hawaii
Hawaii Family Vacation 2018 | Lanikai Beach | Kailua, Hawaii
Lanikai Beach | Kailua, Hawaii
Hawaii Family Vacation 2018 | Lanikai Beach
Lanikai Beach | Kailua, Hawaii
Hawaii Family Vacation 2018 | Lanikai Beach

On Sunday morning, Shawn, Manny, Tim, and I conquered the Diamond Head hike. If you're in Hawaii and you want to find a way to achieve your steps and stairs/climbing goals, this. is. it. My thighs and butt were on fire. But it felt so good to get out in the fresh air and do one of the most beautiful hikes I've ever seen, inclusive of lots of stairs, tunnels, small caves, and awesome views!

Sunday afternoon, we headed to Ko Olina to soak up some more sun and fun. The grounds were unbelievable! So beautiful. And then there were the lava flows 😋 Those things are dangerous because of how delicious and refreshing they are! For some reason, our photos from that afternoon are blown out a bit, but it ended up making them look pretty vintage-cool.

Ko Olina | Kapolei, Hawaii

The following day was our last full day in paradise. We lived it up by starting the day off right at Dean & Deluca ☕️, strolling around Waikiki, laying out on the beach, walking along the water at sunset, and enjoying dinner at Doraku Sushi.

Hawaii Family Vacation 2018 | Oahu
Hawaii Family Vacation 2018 | Oahu
Hawaii Family Vacation 2018 | Oahu
Hawaii Family Vacation 2018 | Oahu
Hawaii Family Vacation 2018 | Oahu
Hawaii Family Vacation 2018 | Oahu
Hawaii Family Vacation 2018 | Oahu
Hawaii Family Vacation 2018 | Oahu
Hawaii Family Vacation 2018 | Oahu

The last morning we were there, Tim and I ate breakfast at Surf Lanai at The Royal Hawaiian, an amazingly beautiful resort. If you're ever in Waikiki, you must walk through this hotel! It's open and airy on the waterfront with a beautiful yard in the back. Plus, it offers cute shops (I got a super soft handmade blanket as my souvenir) and a few restaurants.

Surf Lanai | The Royal Hawaiian
Surf Lanai | The Royal Hawaiian
Surf Lanai | The Royal Hawaiian
The Royal Hawaiian | Waikiki
The Royal Hawaiian | Waikiki

I couldn't have asked for a better trip or better people to share it with. It was absolutely one of my favorite vacations so far, filled with the best people and the most relaxation. We didn't want it to end! Tim and I decided that, if we can, we would love to visit the beach and sunshine in January or February each year. PNW winters are long and dark, and getting some reprieve from this winter was just what we needed to kick off the new year right.

 

38 Minutes

Hawaii Trip 2018

I never quite thought about my mortality the way I did in the morning of Saturday, January 13, 2018. It was our second morning waking up in paradise - Honolulu, Hawaii. We were there celebrating my brother's big 40th birthday. Tim was laying in bed next to me watching soccer highlights on his phone while I was writing in my Bible study journal. It was a quiet, peaceful first few moments of the morning before we planned on having breakfast with the family and venturing out into the beautiful sunshine.

And then Tim's phone started violently vibrating on the bed.

It was an emergency alert.

It read: "BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL."

Everything went black.

Hawaii False Missile Alert | January 13, 2018

I said "Oh my God" and read the alert to Tim with hysteria in my voice. I couldn't breathe. I started having a panic attack. My mom came from next door and started frantically banging on our door to make sure we knew.

Tim and I threw shoes on and ran over to the other room where the rest of my family was to see if they had a plan or knew what we were supposed to do. I was hysterically crying. Everyone looked panicked. Manny, my brother's husband, ran downstairs to the lobby to ask if there was a plan in place and where we should go. They told us everyone needs to get down into the basement garage NOW.

So we ran downstairs and into the garage. Apparently that's the best thing to do - get as low as possible - if there's an incoming missile. But all I kept thinking is "what if this whole building collapses on top of us??!"

Then again, I didn't know what to think or even what the next 5 minutes held for our family. I just kept looking around at each of them thinking about how much I love them and how insane it was that we're all sitting down in a garage in paradise unsure if we're going to ever go home.

Time moved slowly.

After about 15 or so minutes down in the garage we decided to gather supplies (food, water, extra clothes, Tim even grabbed a knife) in case we did survive and there was looting after the fact. If there was looting, we knew we needed to bunker down and protect ourselves.

I don't think everyone realizes how far it actually got or how intense it actually was. The missile threat alert wasn't retracted for 38 minutes (THIRTY-EIGHT!). There are varying estimates, but I've heard it takes anywhere from 20-30 minutes for a missile from North Korea to strike Hawaii. We were positive we weren't going to make it.

Thinking about your death is a surreal experience - you don't go through something like that unchanged. I read stories of parents telling their children everything would be fine, that it was just a storm or tsunami warning and it would be over in no time, all the while knowing in the back of their mind that it could be the last minutes of their lives together. Heartbreaking. I read about people pulled over in panic on the freeways and a couple who just decided to lay on the beach because what else are they going to do? Might as well enjoy the last few moments of your life.

All I know about what happened is that someone hit the wrong button and they didn't have the retraction coded yet, so they had to code it on the fly (don't get me started on that). I read they're implementing a two-person verification process moving forward. The fact that so much panic and uncertainty could come at the hands of human error is unfathomable.

After the missile threat was announced as a false alarm, we all just sat there staring at each other with our well-deserved POG juice mimosas like "what in the world just happened?" Boy oh boy did we need those drinks ;)

We eventually got the energy back up to get on with our day and had a great rest of our trip. But, like I said, you don't go through something like this unchanged. I know I'm going to hold my loved ones tighter, stress less, live and love more, and make sure my priorities are always in proper order.

 

Whimsical Waterfall

Silver Falls State Park | This Dainty Life

Beautiful Oregon definitely doesn't lack in whimsical waterfalls. But they're especially whimsical when I get to prance around them in heels, a flowy romper-dress, sparkly jewelry, and my handsome husband. Lucky for us, that's just what we got to do when my brother-in-law's cousin (who's an excellent photographer!) just happened to be visiting Portland and wanted to photograph a local couple.

Silver Falls State Park | This Dainty Life
Silver Falls State Park | This Dainty Life

We ventured to Silver Falls State Park, about an hour and a half away from Portland, and Kelly captured these gorgeous shots. I'm low key obsessed with them and want to redo our entire gallery wall to feature them or, better yet, DIY another gallery wall.

Silver Falls State Park | This Dainty Life
Silver Falls State Park | This Dainty Life
Silver Falls State Park | This Dainty Life
Silver Falls State Park | This Dainty Life
Silver Falls State Park | This Dainty Life

We took these back in September but I wanted to use a few for our Christmas card and didn't want to spoil any surprises by posting them on here until those went out. So here we are at the beginning of 2018 (how is it 2018 already?!) and I finally get to share these beauties with you all.

Silver Falls State Park | This Dainty Life
Silver Falls State Park | This Dainty Life
Silver Falls State Park | This Dainty Life
Silver Falls State Park | This Dainty Life
Silver Falls State Park | This Dainty Life
Silver Falls State Park | This Dainty Life
Silver Falls State Park | This Dainty Life

I don't know about you, but I'm so happy to get a fresh start in 2018. I'm ready to take on the new year with a fresh perspective, new goals, redefined priorities, and big dreams. I know a fresh start doesn't have to wait until the new year, but there's something about the first of the year that's really motivating, don't you think?

Silver Falls State Park | This Dainty Life
Silver Falls State Park | This Dainty Life
Silver Falls State Park | This Dainty Life
Silver Falls State Park | This Dainty Life

2017 saw a lot of growth for me. Let me tell you, people: the quarter-life crisis is real. I don't know that I'm fully through it yet, but I at least know I have an incredible support system to help me find my way.

Silver Falls State Park | This Dainty Life
Silver Falls State Park | This Dainty Life
Silver Falls State Park | This Dainty Life
Silver Falls State Park | This Dainty Life
Silver Falls State Park | This Dainty Life

I read a few quotes lately that are inspiring me this new year:

That itch in your heart to live for something greater was put there by God.
We cannot love what we do not linger over.

These quotes speak volumes to me - especially this past year, I've had this nagging feeling that I want to do more of the things I love or that I'm not fulfilling my life's purpose (whatever it may be). When it comes to my passions, I'm usually 0% or 100% -- here's to finding a better balance in 2018.

✌🏻 Peace out 2017. You were great, but I have a feeling 2018 will be even better.

Silver Falls State Park | This Dainty Life
Silver Falls State Park | This Dainty Life
Silver Falls State Park | This Dainty Life
Silver Falls State Park | This Dainty Life
Silver Falls State Park | This Dainty Life