The pop of a cork rang through our kitchen dimly lit by an episode of the Voice, as I perked up from under my cable knit blanket--surprised by the beautiful, tell-tale sound of celebration. “CHAMPAGNE?!?! What’s THAT for?”
“Well what’s today?” he quizzed.
Panicked I had trudged through a memorable day as it if were any other, I spat out a list of possibilities.
“Napoelon’s birthday? LEO’S birthday! Wait..no. I’m a terrible mother. The day you proposed? (which quickly ellicited an “are you kidding me right now?” expression). Riggghhhttt, that is December 11th (see, I know).
"I don’t know, what is today?!?
“It’s our one year in Hawai’i!!”
Well damn if it wasn’t November 15th. I had remembered earlier in the week, but between returning Rebecca to the airport after her trip to the islands and planning for a jaunt to Maui the next day, the occasion had gotten lost in the shuffle. Luckily my kind husband had taken the time to remember and brought forth a glorious bottle of Barefoot Bubbly to celebrate. Because really, there is plenty to celebrate. Not that champagne ever needs a reason...
It was just a few weeks ago when I was sitting in church, taking notes and repeating out loud when pastor Mike Kai proclaimed a series of affirmations that would illicit change within the congregation. This time next year he asked us to repeat. I felt my heart swell with the hope, ideas, and exciting possibilities of what the next year could hold, and turned my gratitude towards heaven, but also reveled in how far I was from this time last year. If next year was just a hint better than what the beginning of this year was, then I would be onto something!
Before we got to Hawai’i, I had temporarily fallen into a dark, seemingly endless place. One that now that I am climbing out of it, I know that only my renewed faith in Christ could have pulled me from. I had hoped moving to a fresh, new island where everyone wore slippahs year ‘round would change my circumstances without much effort, but that wasn’t the case. Coming out the the slump of "post wedding depression" (it exists!) the first few months before our move left me emotionally rocky--unsure of how to start all over again, feeling like no one would ever understand me with this thick ole accent, and left me wondering how in the world I was going to make friends as an adult. There were moments that acted as bursts of light, streaming into my soul in bits helping me to see there was a way to conquer my darkness and fears. A trip to San Diego to visit the J* Jets. My first experience at WPPI alongside old school friends. Meeting Marissa. Meeting Alyssa. Meeting Malia. Helping out Jasmine Star for her 2 month mainland tour theFIX. Launching a new website. Getting a part-time job. Quitting a part-time job. Booking my first Hawai’i wedding. Sharing my story and words and encouragement with the beautiful ladies of pursuit31 Hawai’i. Meeting more friends. Connecting with local creatives. Spending time with my husband. Toasting to booking my yearly goal. Sitting down and crying when I doubled that yearly goal. Standing up and reaccepting Jesus Christ as my savior. All of these small (or big!) victories helped push me forward, giving me just enough encouragement to preserver through the seemingly never ending hardships.
Few things are for certain, but I do know that the people I have met have have truly helped shape both my business, and my character, and they are nothing short of a blessing. I am fortunate to have one hell of a cheer squad who still amaze me, but Malia Cano takes the cake and has been the biggest force behind my business this year. I am beyond thankful for her kindness, ridiculous generosity, and faith. Marissa, my head and my heart overwhelm when I think of all the love and support that comes my way from this tiny little marathon woman. She keeps me accountable, shares in my highs and lows, and always reminds me that we are meant to do something big. God knew what was up when he put us together. And Alyssa, I credit for helping me acknowledge the spark that God put in me to shed my crippling fears and turn my attention back toward him--and for this, and her, I am eternally grateful. And Jasmine. I feel I can never, ever, give enough thanks in the form of gawdy necklaces for reading my late night emails (at least I assume she reads them), telling me what I need to hear, not what I want to hear, and seeing something in me worthwhile. And of course, my husband, who cheers me on when a new possibility arrises, who laughs at my jokes, who listens to my pity parties and allows me to wallow just to the brink of logic, and who encourages toasting to the little things in life. Well, and without getting all Bible thumper up in here, I gotta give props to God. I am thankful for my renewed faith (it never LEFT me, but boy did I leave it to the wayside). With him many a prayers were answered, many a burden lifted, and my eyes were opened to the things that really really matter.
A lot can happen in a year, and I can’t wait until this time next year.
Hawai’i: a year later.
It was 4 months when I started to say “yeah?” after all of my sentences, about 8 months when I began subbing in “slippahs” for flip flops without realizing it, and exactly one year, 30 minutes after Marshall popped the champagne, that I unintentionally used “kine” . “Give me the chicken kine”. We both stopped and stared, my mouth dropped, then we burst out laughing.
The day after our anniversary here Marshall played a softball tournament in Maui and I tagged along for a day where we trekked the scenic longggggggg and windy road to Hana. Just like this past year, there were some times where I got a headache and thought I was going to throw up, just wanting it to be over, but the view was incredible and well worth the drive.