Aloha & Aloha.

Hello and goodbye.  

When I was 17, I left for a month’s vacation in Hawaii (during school!) with my best friend Sarah.  Our idea seemed so far fetched that for months our peers didn’t really think we would go.  ”Yeah, uh huh, you’re going to Hawaii your senior year of high school. I bet.  Then what, Japan?” (That was Kim Jamerson, btw).

Well, we did.

For three months we took off and traveled.  We went to Delaware, New York City (which, if we had not have been such smart and responsible young ladies very well could have called Central Park our final resting place, but let’s not go into detail…I never told my Mom that story), and finally, split the last leg of our semester off of school in Hawaii (or as my dad likes to call it, Huh-why-yuh…it’s his very strange Amelia accent).  Two weeks in Maui and two weeks in Oahu.  It was heaven. I left for Hawaii with my very first camera (a Canon SLR with a 50mm lens, lent to me by my Mom’s boyfriend, Frank.  I was DYING for one of my own.  Turns out my mom had already bought me one for Christmas but didn’t want to give it to me to spoil to surprise….but that’s neither here nor there).  It was in Hawaii that I got my first taste of my love for photography, rainbows, maneuvering my way through public transportation systems, communicating in another language (hey! Pidgin is so a foreign language), and waking up for prime tanning hours (true story).  When we flew back home, I remember tucking the small clay orchid I had purchased from the gift shop behind my left ear and bidding Hawaii a short farewell.  I promised to return soon.

The entire flight home, I cried.  As we hovered over the landing strip in a visibly dead, brown and frigid December day in Virginia, my sobs got increasingly noticeable.  ”I was just brushing sand off my bikini and how I have to come home to THIS?!?!”  Wah.

For months on end I streamed DVDs of Blue Crush & Lilo and Stitch on my Mom’s television.  I spent my days dreaming of moving back to Hawaii.  I even went so far as to scope out curriculum at the University of Hawaii.

Then, of course, like most young girl’s stories go…there was a boy. He had a dream too, but it was not to move to Hawaii, but to move to Charlotte for Nascar school (which really worked out, since Interior Design wasn’t at UofH anyway…).  So my dream was put on the back burner and, like some dreams, softly fade away.

Then several years pass, I ditch that old boyfriend of mine, scoop me up and new and wayyy more fabulous one, and I went to Europe.  And we all know what happened then.  I fell in love…in more ways than one.  That meant MORE dreams!  :)

Now, nine years later, I find myself faced with an amazing opportunity yet again.  To spend three years in the state that I had once vowed to live in.  Europe may have been in the foreground of my dreams, but, as I have witnessed once before, things don’t always work out how you plan them, and now I see that’s how it’s supposed to go. Europe will happen for us, just like Hawaii has.  :)

When Marshall and I first re-met, I never envisioned our life headed in this direction.  Traveling together, yes!  But to this incredible extent?  Never.  This weekend we pack up the apartment at Alpha Mill, the apartment complex I have called home for the past five years (five years!) and move to Fayetteville, North Carolina for the next few months until we are stationed in Oahu, Hawaii (October 10th, 2011!).  The decision to move to Fayetteville now until October wasn't the easiest (at first), but the opportunity to focus on a job that I would be appreciated in and could excel at (my photography!) made my decision for me. Living under one roof with less bills and more time to focus on my new career and happiness seemed like the educated choice.  So Fayetteville it is.

So here’s to life, a killer ass tan, a place on the beach (the pups hope!), finally living with the man again, a new business venture, and getting those killer abs back….because they are still under there….somewhere.


Some of my very first shots.  Like, ever. And they are still my favorites.