Thursday was as close as it comes to a perfect day. The sun was shining from early in the morning and at first, the air was still. You could see beauty all around and hear birds chirping, equally happy at the amazing day.
As my Mom and I went to the PCC for the meeting in which I gave my talk, I honestly thought that there can't be a more beautiful place on the Earth. The Polynesian Cultural Center grounds are simply stunning and more like paradise than just about anywhere else. The meeting, a PCC Christmas meeting on gratitude, was absolutely wonderful. All of the speakers and performers were fantastic. I was brought to tears many times throughout the meeting, feeling the CHRISTmas spirit in the words and music. I feel so blessed to have been there.
I spoke directly following a DVD presentation - a DVD that was created for me by the good people at the PCC when I was in the hospital over the summer. Watching it was both difficult and good for me, but it made it hard for me to stand with dry eyes. My remarks were also on gratitude, and seeing that I have so much to be grateful for this year, I could have gone on forever, but then the audience wouldn't have been happy, so I kept it to about 15 minutes. :)
I couldn't possibly keep my emotions in check on this one, but it was OK and seemed to help them understand a little more from my perspective. We tried to get some pictures of the event that I will post later. Overall it was a great meeting and I was honored to have been a part of it.
Later in the day I took the boys back to the PCC and we got shaved ice and played some games. I love it there. I could stay all day, just walking around, enjoying the beauty.
After that, the kids wanted to go to the beach, so their uncles, Michael and Brandon took us to Castle Beach, where they helped teach the kids to boogie board. (They offered to give surf lessons, but my guys were a little gun shy when they saw the waves.) After much time sitting on the side watching, I decided I would attempt to get in.
I had to go in without eye protection and I was worried about getting salt water in my eye, but the conditions were just right so Michael and I paddled out on boogie boards and rode the waves for a while. Then we paddled some more and two giant sea turtles were within a few feet of us! It was amazing!
Later in the evening, Michael and I went on a walk with my little Daven. We walked over the LDS Temple grounds and went to the Visitor's Center, which was decorated with more than a dozen CHRISTmas trees. There was a slight breeze and it was refreshing and wonderful.
All in all, it was a near perfect day, with one exception, my dear Tolan is not here. He is still home in the cold and snow of Utah. If he had been here, it would have been a perfect day. Without him, it was close to perfection, but something was missing... :)