1122C, our first home.

Our time in Hawaii is quickly drawing to a close. It seems almost impossible to say that because one minute it feels like we just moved here and the next it feels like we’ve lived here our whole lives. But here we are, packing up our home and taking Darla all the way to Nebraska where we’ll put down some roots and make space for our baby (and finally pick out his name!) and spend time with our parents and grandparents. We always knew this day would come – we never planned to be here forever. But as our days are winding down, I feel reflective, as I usually do when something is about to end. You might remember how I felt when I moved out of my first apartment just two years ago.

So, if the walls of 1122C could talk, I think they would tell you about termites and the smell of paint and how she was nearly stripped bare before being rebuilt. These walls would tell you about a newly married couple who laughed and cried and spent the last two years learning the first few steps to the dance of marriage. They would tell you about the time I was so mad I slammed the front door hard enough to shake the frame and they would tell you the exact decibel grief reached when I knew I was losing that first baby of ours. These walls know all the words to every song on The Greatest Showman soundtrack. They know the sounds of many visitors taking up residence in her guest bedroom – the sand and the salt and the laughter that came with hosting them. These walls know how hot it gets in the middle of the day when the sun shines through the front windows and what it sounded like when Darla absolutely lost it because Aaron burned a pizza and filled the house with smoke (I think they heard her wailing a couple blocks over.) This house knows the pop of a champagne cork on our first night here and the way we’ll probably cry when we leave. Nearly two years in this house and what a little blessing she has been - even if I felt like that blessing was disguised sometimes. Ha!

I’ve been learning lately that God gives us the lessons we need even when we don’t know we need them. He takes us by the hand and patiently leads us as we walk this sweet journey of life. While I didn’t know I needed them two years ago and had no idea all that God had in store, I’m so thankful for the lessons I’ve learned here in Hawaii within this little home - the ones about being a wife and a mother. The ones about compromise and conflict and reaching resolution. The lessons about painting trim with a tiny paintbrush so as not to get it on the wood floor and how painter’s tape just doesn’t actually work because it rips the paint off with it when you take it down! I’m grateful to know more about who God is and who I am in Him. He has shown me again, graciously, that He is enough for me no matter my circumstances. That my identity is not found in what I own or how Pinterest-worthy my bedroom is or any title I possess but instead in the royal identity of being His beloved. In that, there is no comparison.

So, it will be sad to leave this house because it’s the only house we’ve known as a married couple – it’s the only place we’ve lived together. We started our lives on 2nd Avenue and we’ll always remember it that way. But we take with us endless memories and lessons and all the ways we’ve grown more into the people God wants us to be. We move on now to new things but I’m leaving really proud of us. I reflected on a lot of this when we hit the one year mark in this little house. But since then, we’ve continued to grow and learn and laugh together as we put the finishing touches on this sweet project. I don’t know what kind of future all this work has prepared us for, but all I know is that I’m ready to take that on with Aaron. I wrote on Instagram after we moved in and put some of our new wedding gifts in this house that I felt like we were kind of putting lipstick on a pig. Well we might have been doing that at first, but we turned this pig into a total babe.

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I made this little video of all our work – all the work we documented at least. I don’t make videos, as you can probably tell, but I made this one for us so that we would always remember – and more so for Aaron because I’m just so dang proud of him and all the work he did here. In case there was any question, this house is not ours - we don’t own it and never did. But we worked in exchange for rent and we worked our buns off. So take a peek if you’d like to know what we spent a lot of time working on - and what has shaped the last two years of our time here in Hawaii.