Friday, September 16, 2011

Turning the Big Maui 5 0!


We all know birthdays just tend to happen In fact, they tend to come quicker and quicker each year. It’s kind of scary.

We are not a family that typically does big birthdays. That changed in a BIG way when Kirk turned 21. We invited friends and family and off to Las Vegas we went. Kirk had super big plans…a trip to LA to see family, jet over to Vegas…yep…a big week! He was in his gap year, so, he figured what the heck. Well, Kirkapalooza was scaled back, but we did all travel to Vegas. We did have shirts made. It was a blast!

Plans were soon in the making for Kari’s 21st and that was 3 years away.

However…there was one birthday that was going to fall between Kirk’s and Kari’s 21st birthday

MY 50th.

I’ve not made it a secret that when I die I want to come back as MY kids. 6 week trips to Europe, BMWs, convertibles (a birthday trip to Vegas and one in the planning stages). My children have possessed and done many things that I have not.

Corey has been made very well aware that I was a little frightened about turning 50. He got his first clue of this fear when he would bring it up and I would stop breathing…I mean I would literally become breathless. Teasing aside, he started thinking it would be great to EASE me into this decade by celebrating on Maui. What better way to do this than with family and friends.

The save the date went out well over a year ago. Dates were blocked…flights were checked, thankfully not purchased.

Because between July 2010 and July 2011…Corey and I experienced an even BIGGER life change. Our move to Hong Kong.

Now, what was to be a pretty easy plan became a dance between time zones, international date lines, and business travel. Now, my birthday became not only a birthday…It became a reunion.

We had a few friends that could not join us. They would be terribly missed.

Leaving our kids and friends in Seattle was not easy. Now, my birthday was a gateway for an amazing reunion. The Lord works in mysterious ways

Kari and I got to Maui before the others and were soon joined by her BFF Shaylin! (and Corey being mean to Shaylin!)

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After a fun 10 days with Shay, she headed home. By this time Corey had joined us…and after Corey, his mom and Anita! Then, Mair and Stu!


Aaron and Aletha and Tracey and Waylon landed on Friday!!! 030 035

Woo Hoo!! Let the games begin.

We had four more guests that had yet to arrive!

Bo and Tim had a lonnnngggg day of flying (flying first class but lonnnggg flights!) and arrived Saturday night late.


Our friend Oski came in from Los Angeles, and got sick…so I don’t have a shot of him …He made it to dinner, but he had a rough patch of it Sad smile

One more person and the party would be complete.


Kirk got on Island Saturday too! He had to wait until his Internship at the AGs office ended before he could come.

Our family, for the first time since December…had FIVE whole days together! YAY

The first official party event was an amazing dinner @ The Four Seasons. We hired a bus to take us all to dinner.

We were greeted with Mai Tais on the lawn so we could snap pictures and watch the sunset.

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Dinner was incredible! A beautiful setting, great food and to top it off…the yummiest cake! Red Velvet Cake! It was awesome!


We purposely took Monday off as a “group” day…This IS Maui after all! No need for forced marches!

Tuesday was a different story! We all reported to the Maui Diamond II @ o’dark 30 (that is 6:30 to you all)

We chartered the boat for a day of scuba diving (like this birthday would pass w/o scuba diving) and snorkeling for the non-divers. See the shirts? I even got a shirt!! (Thanks to Hillary for the design and Kari for getting it done!)


It is pretty cool that those who are not certified STILL get to dive. They are called Intro Scuba dives and the Captain of the Maui Diamond chose two sites so the Intro divers could go twice! Waylon and Tracey were the “Intro” divers..while it was great to find out that Aaron is certified, so he dove with us for the first dive. (excuse the BAD pictures… we did not know where “fish” mode was on the brand new camera)097089

The dive master was REALLY patient waiting for us to get in position for the first picture! and Aaron and Kirk I think waited 5 minutes for me to turn around and snap them with the turtle!

The day was so much fun. Mary Ann learned how to ignore turtles while snorkeling so they would come to her!

The day was beautiful, the waters calm, the company perfect. What a terrific way to celebrate !


After diving was a friendly poker game…because this crowd can NOT be together without playing cards.

Sadly, Tuesday and the boat trip was our last full day together. Everyone started bugging out on Wednesday…Kari included


Our time together went by way too fast! Corey Kirk and I went back to Duo for dinner (on Duo!) We had another terrific meal.


We also did some more diving where we FINALLY found FISH mode…so the pictures are VASTLY improved!!


Corey presented me with a gift a day! My camera, gift certificates to the dive shop…a print from my favorite Maui artist…my sparkle pen! Every gift was GREAT!

We all left Maui on Sunday. Kirk and I for Seattle. Corey for travels in the US.

For someone who never really celebrated birthdays in a big way…I was treated to a fantastic time with family and great friends. I look over the pictures ALL the time and smile every time

Thanks to all! You made turning Maui 5 0 no big deal at all (though I still get a little breathless at the thought)

Most of all…and of course…thanks to Corey. Wow Wow Wow. I’m not sure how I will be able to top this for Your 5 0 because baby…it’s a coming soon!

Here’s to the best decade yet!


  1. Happy Birthday, Kate! It sounded like a fantastic time!

  2. Thanks Suzanne! It was!!!