2012 has definitely been the year of amazing vacations. Our tour of Europe back in August was the trip of a lifetime, but last week’s Maui vacation was a close second.

I have never seen a more naturally beautiful, tropical or peaceful setting than Maui. My family vacationed in Honolulu when I was in high school, but this part of Hawaii was completely different. Of course, the resorts and pools were gorgeous, but the mountains, beaches, ocean, sunrises and sunsets were the real shining stars.

As usual, Zach took plenty of photos to document our trip. It will always be really special to both of us, not just because we had such an amazing time, but because it was our first “family” vacation — technically, Baby R. was along for the ride :)

One of the things we noticed was that there were LOTS of families with babies and young children in Maui, which already has my wheels turning for a return trip in the coming years.

It was definitely hard coming back to freezing temps and the bleak Midwest after a week in paradise, but we have plenty to keep us busy between getting ready for Christmas, playing with Sadie (who we always miss SO much while we’re away), and preparing for a very exciting new year!