20 Years!

Our goal as a couple is to get better every year.  We never could have done this 20 years ago.
We have often been asked what keeps us in love through high school, undergrad, medical school, residency, 4 babies during all that time, moves and time marching on.  Here are 20 ways we stay in love.
1. Be flexible with each other
2. Kiss at least once every day
3. Believe in God, believe in each other, believe in love
4. Be best friends
5. Earn their trust
6. Set goals together as a couple
7. Never let the sunrise before you made up after a fight
8. Learn to say I'm sorry but don't make a habit of needing to say your sorry
9. Make it a habit to say I love you as much as you can
10. It's a WE thing not a ME thing
11. Go on dates and vacation to allow you to focus on each other the way you did when you first fell in love
12. Listen to country music 😃
13.  Don't let kids be the base of your marriage, have your marriage be the base for you kids
14. Say yes even when you don't want to (watch a war movie instead of a romantic comedy)
15. Find a hobby or exercise together
16.  Go to bed at the same time even if you read while he snoozes
17. Dance when you wedding song comes on the radio
18. Take time to celebrate the small and big accomplishments in life
19. Drink tequila now and then - it keeps us young and rowdy like when we got married
20.  Visualize your perfect marriage and then do your part every day to make it a reality
We had a magical anniversary from sunrise to sunset.  We had breakfast brought to us by canoe while the man bellowed away on the conch shell and the woman played the ukulele and sang.  It was a breakfast fit for royalty.  While the lady set up the table the man paddled us around in the canoe.
He gave Max the ukulele to play.  He is about as good at that as I am singing.
 It was the most romantic breakfast I have ever had!
We spent the day playing at the resort in between long periods of doing absolutely nothing but relaxing.
 We tried paddle boarding and kayaking.
For lunch there was a coconut demonstration.  Max got to practice his skills he learned the day before on how to open a coconut.  We ate their fruit salad which is local fruits covered in coconut milk.  It is wonderful and refreshing!
 We had fun taking a then and now picture.  Yes, I still have the same sarong I bought on our honeymoon.  I am not sure at 21 I even knew Bora Bora existed.  I certainly never would have imagined I would ever go anywhere better than Kauai, Hawaii in my lifetime.  So much has changed in 20 years but the one thing that has remained is how crazy we are about each other.  It just gets better year after year.
We came back to our room to find a surprise!  Monty and Jeanette had sent us a wine and cheese plate.  It was a real treat.  Unlike Mexico where the food and booze is often included, much of the expense of the vacation in Bora Bora can be the food and drinks.  Everything has to be flown in so it is very expensive.  A martini was $22!  This was the only red bottle of wine we shared the whole vacation.  It was so special to sit on our deck looking out over the water sipping wine and eating cheese.
 Max brought his drone and got to try it out.  He captured this amazing picture.
He then played our wedding song, It's Your Love by Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, and we danced on the beach.  He can dip me and fly the drone at the same time.  See, he just gets better and better with time.
 Bora Bora, you are worth every penny! :)

Bucket List Day!

Our first day in paradise we checked a few things off our bucket list.  Well, at least my list.  When I first told Max I wanted to swim with sharks he said he was happy to watch me from the boat and take pictures.  I eventually convinced him with an action packed day of doing once in a lifetime things in a once in a lifetime place.  

Our day started by going out to the edge of the reef to snorkel with Blacktip Reef sharks and hopefully see Lemon sharks.  I have to admit when it was time to jump overboard while seeing all those blacktip fins cutting through the surface of the water, I paused and thought this might be the stupidest thing I have gotten us into.  Then, I thought about all the other stupid adventures I had done like parasailing, doing Rim 2 Rim in the Grand Canyon, and bull riding.  I figured tons of tourist do this all the time.  I convinced myself we would be fine and jumped in.  Breath!  Seeing all those sharks swimming around required me to remind myself to keep breathing.   I kept singing Dory's song from Nemo, Just keep swimming, swimming...

 Once I got over the initial shock it was amazing!  The sharks had no interest in us.  We even saw a giant Lemon shark at the bottom.  I was happy that he decided to stay at the bottom.  Next they took us to a reef full of tropical fish.  There were so many of them you became numb to the continuous colorful and exotic fish surrounding you.  It was a snorkel trip to remember.
They had made a rock sign saying I love Bora Bora that you could dive down to.  So true!
Next the boat took us to where the Sting Rays swim.  Blacktip Reef sharks also enjoy the treats handed out by the tour operators so sharks, rays and tropical fish were swarming around you.  I fell in love with the rays.  They are so soft and gentle.  They remind me of ocean puppies.  We were able to pet them as they continued to swim up to and around you.  I did think more than once about how one wrong flip of their stinger and you could be dead like Steve Irwin.  But then again you take a more substantial risk driving your car every day.
After a morning of amazing snorkeling they dropped us off at the iconic Bloody Mary's for lunch.  The food was good and nice to have something different than what we would be eating at the resort for the next few days.  The atmosphere was like a song from Jimmy Buffett with a sand floor, tree trunk seats, palm thatched tiki bar, and chickens wandering around.  I had to order a cheeseburger in paradise of course. :)
After getting refueled from our busy morning it was time to jet ski around the island!  I had never been on a jet ski!
Since I am usually a boat girl, I had a mild disdain for jet skiers.  They are always following to close when the kids are wake boarding or tubing and they seem to not have any idea how to follow lake etiquette. Plus they make so much noise.
Well, you can never judge someone until you walk in someone else's shoes, or at least ride their jet ski!  I loved it!!  I imagine it like the most awesome motorcycle ride - all the fun with none of the risk.  The wind whipping in your hair, the sea spray cooling you down, and the thrill speeding across the water.  It didn't hurt holding on to a hot guy either.  Not to mention we were speeding across the lagoon of likely the most beautiful setting in the world.
Our guide led us to a coconut groove where he taught us to how to pick a ripe coconut, how to open it, shave it, and make coconut milk.  I had never tasted pure coconut milk.  It was like liquid butter!  I think I could get use to this island life.
What a day!  It was amazing all the things we had done in twenty four hours.  I was really looking forward to spending the next day doing nothing but starring at Mount Otemanu. 
Most nights we were treated to a Polynesian Dance during dinner.  I had never seen a show before.  We were really impressed with their beautiful dancing and their stamina as they danced for over an hour.
Our first day in Bora Bora was a day full of doing things we have never done in our 20 years of marriage.  It was a day dreams are made of.

Bora Bora

For our 20th wedding Anniversary we decided to celebrate all those years of love in Bora Bora!
 We wanted to do something special and went back and forth a million times trying to decide if the post card perfect Bora Bora could actually be worth the shocking price tag.  I also struggled with fears of it being Boring Boring for me.  I tend to get antsy with too much laying around.  The last thing I wanted to do is pay all that money and be bored!  However, as were were debating, Costco offered a deal we couldn't turn down, so we jumped at it!
 All in all it was about 20 hours of travel to get there.   A flight to LA, and then to Tahiti,  and then to Bora Bora, and then a boat ride to our resort.   It sounded much more glamorous planning it all at my computer.  The flight from LA to Tahiti left at midnight after waiting 3 hours in the terminal.  I may have took a cat nap before the bus ride out of the terminal to our giant jet.
I am not a confident flier.  In fact I am a big chicken.  With the slightest turbulence I think we are on a certain path toward crashing and dying.  I failed to realize how tiny the plane from Tahiti to Bora Bora would be when we booked our trip.  Our friends who had been ten years ago told us it would be  a tiny prop plane between the islands!
 I was dreading the last flight but I was so relive to see it was a normal jet.  I even relaxed an enjoyed the scenic flight until  I became slightly panicked when I saw how small the runway was!  At that point I was just praying I could I die on the plane ride home so at least we could see Bora Bora first.  We learned American troops used Bora Bora as a military supply base during World War II.  They built French Polynesia's first international airport and it was used until 1960 when the current international airport in Papeete, Tahiti opened.
 After a smooth landing we were greeted by dancing and singing Tahitians and given beautiful flower leis.  Then the resort staff loaded our suitcases on the boat and whisked off across the lagoon to check in. As we approached the dock a man was welcoming us as he bellowed through a through a conch shell.  Now this was glamorous!  :)
I do have to say it is much better in person than any photo!  It was like a dream paradise.  We had a bungalow over the water with the view of Mount Otemanu.  I kept alternating between pinching myself and crying.  How could Max and I be in this paradise.  Aren't we just two silly 16 year old kids??
Being jet lagged we spent the rest of the day relaxing and soaking it all in.  
The temperature and humidity were the perfect combination so that you were never too warm.  It was like a soft dream surrounding you.
We just couldn't stop staring at the beauty around us and being so grateful for a chance to experience such a paradise.  I think I will be heaven the next time I visit a paradise like this.

20th Golden Birthday

Bailey's 20th birthday was on June 20th, which is her golden birthday!  I had to make it a golden day for her.  Her heart is pure gold.  We just love this girl.
 The kids helped me pick out 20 items that had Gold in them.
1.  Golden Delicious Apple
2. Golden Grahams
3. Golden Oreos
4. Gold-Bears Gummy  Bears
5. Goldfish
6. Rockstar Gold
7. Golden Pineapple
8. A Gold Hot Wheel
9. Gold Nail polish
10. Blistex Gold Chapstick
11.  Golden Twinkies
12.  Golden Raisins
13. Twix in a Gold wrapper
14. Hersey's Gold
15. Rolos with Gold wrapping
16.  Rold Gold Pretzels
17. Golden Kisses
18. Ghiradelli Gold Chocolates
19.  Gold Cross Alex and Ani Bracelet
20. 20 Gold Dollar Coins
 She was really surprised in the morning when her bucket of gold and gold balloons were waiting for her.  This is how MKHKKH birthdays go, celebrate from morning till bedtime!
 We had Bailey give us her menu of the day.  We taught her about creamed eggs and she taught us about fried eggs over white rice with soy sauce and siriracha!  We were all a little hesitant but now we are believers!  It is delicious and hardy.  The kids want to eat it all the time now.
Bailey has brought so much joy to our home.  It has been fun having a child raised in another family. We learn from her and she learns from us.  She has such a heart for God, a gift with youth, and beautiful voice.  I know some lucky church will end up with this wonderful girl as their worship leader.  She is solid Gold!

How Hailey Spent Her 17th Birthday

Over the weekend we had Hailey's 17th Birthday party.  She invited all her friends over for a pool party and pizza.  She has a great group of school friends and church friends.  You could tell from the thoughtful gifts her friends brought they care a lot about Hailey.
 On her actual birthday she gets to make the menu for the day, so breakfast would be none other than creamed eggs over toast.
 Bailey's boyfriend was in town so they both got to try creamed eggs for the first time.  Everyone had a hand in making breakfast.
 If an Acai bowl isn't a reflection of the time, I don't know what is.
 Acai bowls for lunch it was.  They were refreshing and yummy!
 For dinner Hailey wanted her classic crab legs, artichokes, and pasta with a side of chocolate milk.  I think she has been having this dinner since we started the birthday menu tradition.
The girl has good taste!
Her cake was the family favorite chocolate ganache with strawberries.  Wishing you a blessed and wonderful 17th year HJ and hoping all your dreams come true!

Happy 17th Birthday Hailey

Happy 17th Birthday Hailey!
With your last year of being a kid ahead of you, we couldn't be more proud of the woman you have grown to become.  You are a beautiful girl inside out, creative, artistic, loving, gentle, spiritual, easy going, family centered, horse crazy, funny, and an excellent student.  What more could a parent hope for?  Well, maybe that you will stay home and commute to college??  We love you and hope you have  your best year yet!

A Happy Father's Day

 Happy Father's Day Snork!
It is easy to father a child, it is another thing to be a father, and then it is entirely another thing to be an excellent father to four girls that you didn't have to.  You stepped in to love us and and raise us.  Your example taught me to look for a man who would be a loyal and loving father.  Thank you for being my dad.  I love you.
 Happy Father's Day Max!  You are the definition of an amazing dad.  You put all of us before yourself and love us with everything you have.  The kids will always know they can count on you.  Thank you for working so hard for us and making all our dreams come true. We love you to the moon!
 To celebrate Father's Day we had a day doing stuff Max loves to do with his family.
 We had rounds of spike ball and pool fun!
Our church asked us to host their summer youth intern, Bailey.  She became one of the family and the kids now love her like a sister.
 I always wanted more kids!
 We had a corn hole playoff and a fooseball championship.
It was a day all about being number one, like my number one!