Last week, the kids and the staff surprised my coworker Jenn and I with a going away pizza party. The first Wednesday of every month we announce Youth of the Month (each staff member picks a kid that is a positive influence in the clubhouse, kind to their peers, respectful, etc) and this time we were told we were having a party for them…we just didn’t know that it was also for us! It ended up with me bawling as the kids came running up when they found out I was leaving, giving me hugs, asking me to not go, wondering who they would do their homework with, why would I leave them, etc. I felt so incredibly loved and it was just an amazing thing to hear how much I’ve been able to be there for them over the past several months…I’m not sure I was fully aware of the fact that they might miss me! This job has been an incredible blessing…I never imagined my time with them would have been this amazing. Everyone kept telling me what a great thing I was doing and how much I would be impacting those kids. In reality, I think they probably had a greater impact on my life…and I have been so fortunate to have had such a priceless experience with them. I don’t have the words to describe how much I will miss them..their personalities, smiles, jokes and weird behaviors.
The kids before the party.
After we were surprised..getting our hugs!
Jenn and I.
The wonderful staff. Lucky to call them coworkers!
Today, I turned 29 and I could not have had a better day….I feel so loved! Both Josh and my mom were so thoughtful..from flowers…to gifts…to cards and celebrating. They are incredible :). I could not begin to thank them enough for making me feel so special!
On Monday after I got off work, we went and hiked Manoa Falls so my mom could see a waterfall. I have done this hike a few times and it is usually muddy..but NOTHING compared to what it was this time. People were going barefoot because it was easier. The mud was pulling my shoes off my feet and it was very easy to fall! However, the hiking through the mud was definitely worth it…the waterfall at the end was amazing. It’s normally just a light trickle of water…but it was flowing beautifully when we got there! After that, we headed home to take a shower and went to have drinks and dinner. We ate pizza at JJ Dolan’s, drank well-earned drinks and had dessert at Du Vin.
Mom and the giant Banyan tree at the beginning of Manoa Falls.
Looking up through the trees.
Standing under the tree arch in the mud.
My mom in the bamboo forest.
Manoa Falls. So beautiful!
Drinks at JJ’s.
Chocolate Soufflé for dessert.
Today after work, we ventured out around downtown and wandered through some of the stores. We also stopped at a crêpe place for lunch. For dinner, we had Cuban food (probably my favorite restaurant here) and tried a few new things that Josh and I hadn’t had yet. Everything was wonderful!
Banana, strawberry, nutella crêpe.
Cuban appetizer sampler: croquetas de jaiba, papa rellena and platanos.
My first visitor in Hawaii arrived today…Emel!! I am so excited for our fun week ahead!! We went to one of my favorite restaurants to kick off the week (Soul de Cuba) and celebrated her arrival with dinner and drinks! Then we headed to Du Vin for dessert. Welcome to Hawaii Emel!!!
Emel is here!!!
We started the night off with bloody marys and a mojito.
My mom and I celebrated my move being done with pizza night at the McCain’s house on Friday night. We were very fortunate to get to stay with them (THANK YOU!!!). We had mojitos, made our own pizzas and had great dessert from Buli. So thankful for friends and family to relax with!!
My pizza actually looks like the island of Oahu…not on purpose!
Getting ready to put toppings on the pizza.
Just out of the oven!
Forrest was exhausted from his fun day at doggy daycare.