I’ve been meaning for days and days to update everyone on our move to Oahu via the blog but between one thing or another my good intentions keep getting pushed aside and I find myself reminding myself that tomorrow is another day. And so I sit here, finally, ready to pen my thoughts on this, our most “complicated” move thus far.

First and foremost, our sweet Marley has settled into life with his new family. How blessed we feel that his new mom and dad are freely giving with updates and photos and sentiments of gratitude and love for their new fur baby. Out of all the stuff I had to check off my list for our move to Oahu this one was the most gut wrenching, the one that kept me awake at night, and the one that had me praying the most.

We arrived on the island about 8 hours beyond schedule. Our plane had mechanical issues in Denver and so we arrived in Honolulu in the middle of the night. We were so excited, exhausted but incredibly excited to see peeks of our new home. We didn’t get many as it was dark and our hotel is literally a stone’s throw from the airport.

The next day, however, after picking up our car at the port, we headed out to explore the island. This has been our mantra since arriving here. We feel quite strongly that we need to make the most of our time here and are so excited to discover new places and make meaningful relationships that will quickly make this place feel warm and familiar and comforting.

The island is beautiful. The first few drives we took we exclaimed loudly every time a mountain was viewed in the distance, or rainfall could be seen falling between two peaks, or the shorelines was glimpsed in the distance, the waves crashing and creating wonderful peaks of foam. The oohing and ah-ing are no less after almost a month here but they are more measured as we try hard not to distract whoever is driving.

You just can’t get used to the views.

On the other hand, the island is crowded. I myself grew up for a few years on the beautiful island of Puerto Rico. I didn’t know crowding then but I wonder if I’d notice it now. There are lots of people everywhere. I have to get used to that. I didn’t realize this about myself, the need for less crowding, for a bit more space. It’s rather overwhelming at times but I’m grateful for the insight and the ability to live somewhere that is obviously quite different from anywhere we have lives thus far.

When we first arrived I felt as if I were an imposter when I repeated to those who said aloha in return. Now the words come ease; the mahalos not as much for as soon as I say thank you I remember and beseech myself to remember next time. The people of this island whom we met are incredibly friendly and are more than willing and happy to have full on conversations at the drop of a hat. I love this but also quickly learned that I had given in over the years to the schedule, to keeping things short for the sake of the time it would save me for other things. I am reminding myself to slow down and enjoy each moment, to keep my eyes peeled on the scenery, to really experience things. We are slowly learning how to pronounce things correctly and along with that are learning the routes to favorite beaches, amazing places to eat, and enjoying each day to the fullest.

Beyond acclimating to a new time zone and different state, we quickly dived into finding a home church. We really wanted to find a church that we were passionate about and that we felt called to attend and serve in. Our second Sunday in Oahu found us sitting down an hour late to a service in a church down the road from where we will be living. The church had a special service that Sunday along with a different start time and we were a bit sad that we missed half the service, but the preaching left us wanting to come back for more.

The church reminds me in many ways to my experience growing up in Puerto Rico. The church has no AC and many of the congregants held fans in their hands to keep cool. The building itself in many ways took me back to my aunts church in PR that we attended faithfully. I felt immediately like this was the church but of course we wanted to check out a full service and it was important for us that B have a stellar youth group to attend. He excitedly attended his first evening youth group the following Friday and was so excited at how friendly everyone was. They made him feel at home, introduced themselves, included him, and he left with a big smile on his face. But best of all was his exclamations in the car that real preaching had gone on during the time he’d been away. This is big and central to B’s walk and relationship with God and I was pleased as punch that he felt, just as I had, that this was our home church.

Beyond finding a church, B has had the opportunity to meet other homeschoolers and to attend a few meet ups or activities. His heart is still very much missing his friends in VA. I know this won’t pass in entirety. This boy is sensitive and has a big heart, but I pray that as our time here increases he’ll make new and meaningful relationships while nurturing those of his friends on the mainland.

As far as sightseeing: we have visited several beaches, a few repeatedly. The boys have surfed and snorkeled and boogie boarded and wave surfed and swam to their hearts content. I have spent more time reading on the beach and watching their antics from a far. We love how close everything seems to be here on Oahu, though traffic needs to be planned for depending on the day’s plans. We finally went back to the North Shore and walked along the main thoroughfare, sampling locally made ice cream, sampling shave ice at Matsamoto’s, and weaving in and out of shops along the way. We found a little ukelele shop on our way home and stopped in to peruse the beautiful ukeleles, speaking with the owner about lessons for B in the town outside the base we’ll be living at. We even stopped on the way home at the Dole Plantation, more to check it out because it was close by then to experience the property. We’ll be back, I’m sure. Sadly, we haven’t done much more than bum it at the beach, and I mean that truly as I’m impatient to check out museums, and historical sites, and other important sites around Oahu. We did steal away a bit yesterday before B had an activity to check out Chinatown. We stopped for Dim Sum at a restaurant someone had blogged about and the boys and I were happy and full and satisfied.

Lastly, it appears we’ll be picking up keys to our new home next week. We will officially be residents of Oahu come next Tuesday. We are beyond excited and can’t wait to unpack and settle into life on this beautiful island.

Life, as always, remains sweet.