Aloha Oe

Wow! I feel like this blog post is way past due! We are just weeks away from starting our next big adventure in NYC. I feel like I need to properly say goodbye to Hawaii before I can really say Hello to New York!

Our time in Hawaii came to an end all too quickly. It was like all of the sudden two years had passed me by and this chapter was ending. It was no secret that I had a really hard time adjusting to life in Hawaii; but by the time we left, I was actually feeling rather sentimental. I may or may not have shed a tear or two.
The hardest part of leaving was saying goodbye to dear friends! We had an amazing BBQ with so many of the people that we grew to love. It was such a blast to sit around a little charcoal grill, waves crashing in the distance, and soak up the last bit of humidity our skin would absorb for quite a while.

We took a ton of pictures and they are so sweet and I really treasure them; however, they are less than flattering for most of us. So, i turned them all black and white... because everyone looks good in black and white... RIGHT?

Gunner was obviously the life of the party! Zzz... We didn't get a picture with Dan and Heidi unfortunately. They were the hosts of the BBQ, but Heidi was like 38 weeks pregnant and I'm pretty sure she was in bed by the time we were taking pictures. Hahaha poor woman! We invaded her house and kept her up all night!

One of my favorite things about this night was that Zack and I brought everything that was left in our apartment, food, books, bags, a bedskirt... the MOST random things. We sat around and pulled things out one at a time and somehow by then end of the evening we had almost nothing left. One of the biggest lesson I learned while living in Hawaii is the importance of community.
I can't tell you how many times we had friends moving who would drop off boxes of stuff at our house on their way out of town. So many things just get passed from one family to the next as people leave and new ones come.

In this tight-knit community of BYU-Hawaii so many of us are at the same stage of life. Newly married, starting (or thinking about starting) families, students, super poor :)... ect. I think it was such a blessing to share this experience and stage of life with such amazing people. I was so inspired by the many ways people found to serve one another.
I SO regret the way I resisted embracing this community for the first year I lived there. Once I decided to embrace the land, the people, the culture, and most of all my current stage of life, I was able to see the way Christ was working in my life and lives of those around me!
Our adventure in Hawaii will hold such an important place in my heart forever. Hawaii changed me in more ways than I can understand. I learned so much about myself, who I am, and who I want to be. My relationship with Zack grew sweeter and more meaningful. My faith in God and my Savior deepened exponentially. And greatest of all, I became a Mother. 

I will be forever grateful for the lessons we learned, the memories we made, and the friends we grew to love. 

Aloha Oe, until we meet again!

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