May 30, 2013

5 Things

The View atop Diamond Head
1. It's incredible how a slight change in climate can affect so many things. My hair, for example, though hard to control in this humidity, has never been happier.  And, one thing that I've learned in the two weeks that we've been here thus far is that, given this humidity, food turns stale far more quickly.  Tortilla chips were chewy in a matter of hours; and the Oreos went soft overnight.  I guess that means we have to eat them faster.  Darn.  

2. I've learned that if you do not speak any English whatsoever and cannot understand the sign that says, "Cash Only," and all you have is your credit card and the attendant is irritated with you, my husband will step in without a second thought and pay for your entire family's admission.

3. Given the limited time that we are here and the *extremely limited* size of my kitchen, keeping dinner healthy, fresh, and creative has become a challenge.  Not wanting to load the shelves of our temporary home with seasonings and spices that will not be used up during our three month stint (and not wanting to take any home or have too much go to waste), we have learned to appreciate the beauty in the simplicity of a little salt, pepper, and garlic.

4. If you ever need motivation to workout, spend a day at the beach.  

5. It has been so refreshing to have our evenings back, now that Cole is done with the "schooling" part of school.  Perhaps life on the island is getting to me, but it has been so nice to slow down a bit. Easily, the highlight of my day is our nightly dinner that we linger over on our back porch overlooking the harbor.  I really like this guy.

May 25, 2013

The First Week

And now, for a very non-sequitur update…

Well, we made it.  After all the packing and planning and travel logistics, we made it.  With three large suitcases, two small bags, and two backpacks, we moved to Pearl City, Hawaii.  While we have been extremely busy getting settled, we have most definitely been enjoying our time here.  We were even blessed to have Cole’s parents here for the first week to help us get settled.

The view from our back porch
It has been so fun exploring the surrounding areas.  Having grown up in the Pacific Northwest, warm ocean water will never get old to me.  Every time we swim here, I can’t get over the extraordinarily blue and amazingly warm water.  So cool.  We have so enjoyed trying some of the local restaurants and soaking up all the aloha spirit (can you say “live music and hula dancing during cocktail hour”??).  But, lest you think that our time here has been nothing but paradisiacal, let me give you a snapshot of our week.

A few years back, another Optometry student who was here on rotation bought a car; and it has since been passed down to student after subsequent student.  We were thrilled to hear of this arrangement and relieved to have an answer to our transportation problem.  The arrangement sounded great and we planned to pass it on to the student after us, until on Sunday night, just 4 days after Cole had inherited the car, it went belly-up on him.  The downside to the whole car arrangement was that this breakdown was inevitable and we were the fortunate students upon whom it decided to conk out.

I arrived on Monday night and spent the first day here at the mechanic trying to solve the issue while Cole was at work.  Long story short, it would have cost more than the car was worth to repair.  So, Wednesday was spent with my in-laws looking for cars.  By God’s grace, we found a decent replacement and have already beaten a path between Pearl City and Waikiki. Needless to say, dealing with car issues is one of my least favorite things.

We are living in a residential area about 15 minutes from the beach. Cole absolutely loves his placement and attending doctor. And our little studio apartment has a washer and dryer.  This is all far more than we could have asked or imagined.  We are so very thankful for this adventure and for the way that the Lord has showered goodness upon goodness – even in a dead car – on our time here.  We are so excited to see what the next three months have in store!

Again, lest you think every day here is sunshine, palm trees, and Mai Tais on the beach, we are currently experiencing our first – and quite blustery! – Hawaiian rainstorm. I may or may not have a sunburn that is thankful for a day out of the sunshine…  Don’t let our pictures fool you, it gets cloudy here too!

May 14, 2013

Until It's Gone

Well, here we are on the other side.  One week ago with the help of some friends, we packed up all of our belongings, scrubbed our little apartment until it shone, and said goodbye to our friends, our family, and our very first home together. 

The reality of our move is sinking in very slowly.  It still just feels as though we're on an extended vacation visiting family and that we'll return to Forest Grove soon.  I keep forgetting that we won't walk through our front door again or that I won't make pizza in that oven next Friday or that someone else will soon occupy my office or that we won't get to see the leaves on the tree across the street change into the fiery red that heralded autumn's arrival.  It's amazing what you miss once it's gone.

Throughout this whole moving and transition process, I have to say, we have felt so very blessed.  I'll tell you, if you want to feel loved, just quit your job, leave your church, and move across the ocean. Okay, maybe not.  But, in the process of doing just that, we have been completely overwhelmed by the love we experienced as we said goodbye.  It seems that the old maxim is true; you really don't know (or, perhaps in our case, appreciate) what you have until it's gone.

I was quite surprised to discover how hard it was to say goodbye.  I know I shouldn't have been so surprised, but I was.  In reflecting on our three years there, Cole and I were both so very overcome with gratitude for the people who have invested in us and loved us and shown such grace towards us. I worked with some incredible people; Cole went to school with some amazing people; and our church family?  Well, there just are no words.  And, unfortunately, at the time of "goodbye," the words never come. I am never able to say what I want to say.  We may not have always appreciated what we had to the fullest until it was gone, but, boy, do we ever see the gift now. We leave changed for the better, by His grace.  

And, speaking of leaving, my wonderful man is currently somewhere over the Pacific on his way to Hawaii ahead of me!  Looking forward to joining him next week...  We'll try to keep you updated and hope to post more pictures!

Just Us

We will also remind you that this is just a BLOG…just the highlights. We don’t sit around happily smiling for pictures all day long. Our life is far from perfect: we are imperfect people serving a perfect God. We do strive to glorify God, but we fail miserably and find comfort in knowing that our debts have been paid and we have been set free.

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