If you regularly follow FabYOUlous Life, you know that my “word of the year” for 2016 is savor. If you are new to FabYOUlous Life, welcome! You can read about how and why I selected savor as my word by clicking here.
Because savor is my word, I’ve decided that I am going to post every month about some of the things, people, experiences etc. that I am savoring at that moment. I am hoping that these monthly posts will serve two purposes: 1.) to help me to slow down and think about the incredible, savor-worthy things that are happening in my life and 2.) to inspire you to do the same.
As I look back over my month so far, I have to say–it has been one outrageously incredible month. I mean–how often is it that one gets to enjoy a full week in Hawaii with family and NOT HAVE TO PAY FOR IT? Yep–you read that last part correctly…I just returned from spending a week in Hawaii (the island of Oahu to be exact) with my family because I won a national sweepstakes that paid for our trip. The prize included airfare, hotel accommodations for all of us, a dolphin swim excursion, sunset jazz cruise, Island bus tour, Lei greeting and a spectacular Luau (plus spending money, rental car and restaurant gift cards!) We were truly blessed to have won this once in a lifetime experience and I now have memories that I will savor for the rest of my days. Here are just a few of those savorable moments…
1.) A peaceful walk along the beach with my hubby. There was one afternoon on our trip when the kids decided to hang out at the hotel pool (our kids are 21, 20 and almost 18 so they are well past the age of needing babysitters) so Superman and I headed out on our own to explore a few beaches. At first we played in the surf at Sandy Beach but the waves were BIG that day. After getting knocked on our butts for a few hours (it was still a ton of fun), we decided to head to the other side of the island and enjoy the more peaceful surf of Kailua Beach. While we were there, we strolled the beach and wrote a few messages in the sand. As much as I adore my children, it was nice to enjoy a peaceful afternoon in paradise with just my hubby.
2.) An awesome Flight Attendant. One of our flight attendants on our flight from L.A. to Honolulu was just incredible. Her name was Pam and she was so nice. Not only did she do a great job carrying out her Flight Attendant duties, she also took the time to give us suggestions on restaurants near our hotel in Oahu. As I chatted more with Pam, I found out that though she lives in California, she has a college aged son who is playing baseball for a small private college in Kansas that is less than 20 miles from where I grew up and where my parents still live. It was such a joy to watch someone who so obviously enjoys her job and who does it so effortlessly. Once I arrived back home from our trip, I wrote a letter to the airline to tell them what a great job Pam did–hopefully that letter will find its way to her so that she will know just how much my family appreciated her kindness and excellent customer service.
3.) Swimming with Dolphins. One of our favorite Hawaii experiences was getting to swim with the dolphins at Sea Life Park. I’ve kissed giant sting-rays off the Cayman Islands but I’ve never been up close and personal with a dolphin before so this was quite an experience for me. We got to give the dolphins a smooch and then we each got to take turns riding the dolphins as they drug us through the water by their dorsal fins. It was such a fun experience, but as much fun as I was having, I think I had even more fun watching my boys enjoying themselves. The dolphins were so friendly and incredibly smart. It was thrilling to be in the pool with them as they jumped out of the water and did flips right in front of us. I was also particularly amused at some of the funny sounds that the dolphins made–in fact, some of the sounds sounded very similar to the sounds made by teenage boys–ha! This dolphin swim experience was truly a special moment and I will forever savor the memories that we made with our new, flippered friends
4.) The beaches. I’ve been to some beautiful beaches (Punta Cana, Grand Cayman, Sanibel, Coronado, Jamaica etc.) during my lifetime, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen beaches as beautiful as the ones in Hawaii. I especially loved the diversity of the different beaches from the big surf at Waimea to the gentle, lulling waves of Kailua. I also found it interesting that some of the beaches were rocky while others had soft, powder-like sand. Every beach that we visited was beautiful in its own way and I loved everything about them from the sounds of the waves crashing to the smell of the salt air. Spending so much time at the various beaches has convinced me that someday, I want to live near an ocean. Until that time comes however; I will just savor the memories of my week on some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
5.) Watching the girls flirt up my oldest son. Okay–I’m sure that there were girls flirting with my youngest son too (they are both incredibly handsome young men) but for some reason I only witnessed the flirting when it was directed at my oldest. This was so funny for me as a mom to experience. I mean, yes, I know that my boy is a looker but holy cow girls…cool your jets! HAHAHA! I will always savor the memory of the look of embarrassment on my boy’s face when a beautiful girl flirted with him right (unbeknownst to her) in front of his mom. I know that my boy has game but it’s a little hard to get your game on when your mom is less than five feet away and watching the entire exchange. HAHAHA! On a side note: my boy CAN NOT WAIT to visit Hawaii without his mom in tow.
6.) Swimming to a waterfall. There is only one waterfall on the island of Oahu that it is legal to swim to. That fifty-foot fall is in Waimea Valley. It was a bit overcast on the day that we visited Waimea Valley but that didn’t stop me from wanting to swim in the fall. I can’t even describe how it felt to be swimming in the pool at the bottom of the fall, looking up at the water as it came rushing down from the rocks. I think that the overcast skies and cool water temperature kept other people from swimming to the fall but that was fine with me because it meant that I had the entire pool to myself (and c’mon…it wasn’t that cold–at least not for this Colorado girl.) I don’t know if or when I’ll ever have the opportunity to swim in a waterfall again so I will always savor the memory of that moment.
7.) Watching my son develop a love of photography. My oldest son got a nice camera for his twentieth birthday in January so (when he wasn’t busy being flirted with) he acted as our official trip photographer. It was so fun to watch him tinker around as he tried to get just the right shot. Most of the photos in this post are ones that I took with my iPhone but here are a few that my boy took with his nicer camera
8.) Incredible memories with the people that I love most in this world. My children are no longer children. My step-daughter is 21, my oldest son is 20 and the baby of the family is almost 18. My husband and I know that it won’t be long before our nest is empty. That knowledge is one of the reasons that this vacation was so, so special to me. There are no words to adequately describe how grateful I am for having the opportunity to spend an entire week in paradise with the people that I treasure most in this world. Watching my kids enjoy themselves and each other was such a treat. Joining my boys on the Pillbox hike, watching my step-daughter play in the waves and dancing with my hubby on a sunset cruise will be memories that I will savor long into old age.
I realize that not everyone gets the opportunity to enjoy a free vacation to paradise but that doesn’t mean that you don’t have plenty of moments to savor in your daily life–you just have to be intentional about looking for them. Savor the cool evening air as you stop to fill up your car on the way home from work, savor the sound of your children laughing as you work in the kitchen preparing dinner, savor the aroma of your morning cup of coffee before you slurp it down. The more you look for opportunities to savor life–the more you will be sure to find them.