We just returned from our Last Hurrah with My Daughters trip–a combined senior trip and memory maker to Hawaii #thankyouskymiles before two of my girls move out this fall.
And can I just say, right from soul, WE LITERALLY EXPERIENCED A BIT OF HEAVEN.
So sweet was the experience that one of my daughters was in tears the day we left saying she didn’t want to leave. But that wasn’t just for the gorgeous sunsets.
First, before we left, each of us shared one word that defined what we wanted from this trip.
Mine was the latter. No matter the actuality, the Good, Bad, or What the Heck, I wanted this to be a Memory Maker. And it was. Full of banter, new inside jokes, surprises and tender experiences. I have entire journal pages of these keeper moments and they are gold to me.
Second, the girls took the lead.
After family councils of when and where to go, I sat them down and said, “I’ve finalized the framework–the flights, the rental car, the place to stay. I’m taking off my Mama Planner Hat and you girls are now in charge of the food, fun, and fabulous daily details.” And they rocked it like Travel Agent Ninjas.
And the best part? Totally organic. Each person chose one thing they wanted to do and led the day. Everything from details to cost to lunch to Google maps, DONE. #bestmomvacationever
From the botanical gardens to Museum of Art to Waimea Falls to snorkeling at Shark’s Cove to the Laie Temple they kept it adventurous without overwhelm.
Third, we were all in. Choosing the special feel of the North Shore (my old college stomping grounds) we prayed hard and played hard, and rested even harder #dailynapsrock Even when two of us got stung by jellyfish, we got right back in the waves, playing for hours, leaving it all on the sand. Then back to the house for showers, Uno, and incredible local food. #hukilaucafe#papaoles#ifyouknowyouknow
So much goodness, I scarce can take it in. But yesterday someone asked me out of all the things, what was our trip highlight? Though hard to choose, hands down it was this:
After snorkeling we came back to shore, my daughters quicker than I. By the time I got to them they whispered, “Mom, I think that’s Elder Andersen!”
The person stood about only a foot or two away. But he was in an all-in-one snorkel mask and turned to the side, wearing a t-shirt and swim shorts. No bodyguards and nothing out of the ordinary.
I asked, “How do you know?” My daughter said, “I recognized his voice.”
After some quiet debate and letting that person leave with a family member to go in the water, I turned to two women close by and asked if someone in their group was named Andersen, as in Elder Andersen. She gave a small smile and said, “That’s my dad.”
An Apostle of the Lord, right there beside us, in Hawaii. We could have reached out and touched him. Out of all the places in the world he could be, on the days he could be there, it was here and now, right beside us. #tendermercy
Thankfully, we restrained ourselves. Though I wanted my girls to have the opportunity to meet and shake hands with an Apostle of the Lord, it’s July and he was with his family so we let him be. But we were giddy all morning, pinching ourselves over that sweet gift.
I think back to the moment that the Last Hurrah trip idea had come to me. The typical mom thoughts of time, choreography, cost, etc. had come first. But then, the feeling-thought of what the experience could possibly be had flooded my soul. And now, we have those memories, we have that gift, and we keep opening it daily together.