Thoughts about new places.

 Hawaii is a strange place.
Although this is a great adventure to be able to live here for  as long as we are, I find myself being disgusted by the thought of living here permanently.
Not for the usual reason I think people would most expect.
I think the worst part is the lack of seasons here. Humid, Rainy, more Humid and Tropical Storm are not the seasons I'm looking for.
People send us pictures of snow and say "aren't you lucky to be in Hawaii." When really I'd love to have a logical excuse to drink some hot chocolate.
I keep thinking of Fall and harvesting and the feelings that come along with that time. The Christmas we spent here was... fake? I'm not saying any of these things to draw pity, and I hope what I say doesn't  come out as complaining, but speculation.
Christmas without snow and family and a Christmas meal was strange and forced. Like trying to push something thick through a strainer.
But we prepared ourselves for that and did all we could to make it great for the girls. It wasn't terrible by any means! It just didn't feel like Christmas.
 My next thought jumps to our families. I'm so grateful for Facetime and social media so I can keep up well with all the people I miss. Even though it's not near the same as being with them. It can't hurt to be without them and reach out to new people, despite how terrifying it may seem sometimes.
 The last reason I think is that I was not born a Hawaii/Tropical soul. My soul (I hope) is more European. I dread to think I have an American soul. I know that sounds terrible to say but when I think of someone having an American Soul I think of someone who loves developments, McDonalds and Walmart. I do think that is harsh to say, and I recently read some chapters in the Book of Mormon that caused my American Pride to over flow! Maybe there is no such thing as an American soul, just the great blessing of being able to have the freedoms we have here.
Where was I going with this?
Oh. Europe.
Do I seem like a tropical person?
If it weren't for so many people comparing how tan/pasty they are I hope that I wouldn't care if I was white as a pearl. Beaches are nice, but so is the Van Gogh art museum. (.... I assume, I have only been there in my dreams). No one cares or can tell how tan you are if you are wrapped up in sweaters boots and scarves! Freckles are worth the sun time though, I do love freckles.

 People kiss me on the cheek here. It's funny and charming to be a part of such a culture. While I'm simultaneously hyperventilating because I don't kiss them back because I still find it so odd!
People call everyone Auntie/Uncle here. A 3 year old kept calling me Auntie in Nursery! I can't begin to express my confusion! Then she called all the other leaders auntie as well!? Well I learned my lesson for the day. Also, if you are addressing a peer you call them Cuz.
I have yet to call anyone any of those names. Because I'm just too awkward. And too pasty still.
 The only thing I'd imagine is European about Hawaii is that they call Trash "Rubbish" as well. And they call flip-flops slippers, and I have no idea if that is European.
 I wouldn't say it is HARD to live here. It's not a minute by minute struggle to stay positive or interested in what our plans may be for the next week. It's just strange feeling so new, and knowing that you won't be here long is even stranger.
Of course there are the typical struggles that come with normal life. Trying to push through mediocrity, do something more, be better than you are currently. That's just life, no matter where you go.
 It really is lovely here. The sun is warm, the rain is pleasant, the geckos don't attack you... haha.
We went on a drive up to the northern side of the island and the whole drive could and should be in a movie! It was so breathtaking! Bridge after bridge of canyon lookouts and streams that lead towards the ocean! Views of more trees than I ever thought possible! One of the loveliest places I've been in the Eucalyptus forest (pictures to come). I've never loved the repetition of tree trunks so much as I did there.
 People are kind here. We live near Pahoa which is considered a "hippy town". There are dozens of hitch-hikers to be seen as you drive for only 20 minutes. Not only that but it is considered very safe to hitch-hike here! Tatoos and dreadlocks are common to see. We really haven't done much venturing down there as I would like. The library has been a huge comfort for me. What mom doesn't appreciate a good library?

I never thought I'd end up on an island. I keep thinking that when we aren't here anymore that we will look at all these pictures and miss this place. It's really getting annoying that we always miss the place we were last, but mastering loving where you are at the current time is such a struggle.
Our house is cute. We love having Avery around. We've been to the beach atleast 6 times and we will go again tomorrow. I've adjusted to living with geckos in my kitchen. The farmers market is amazing and seeing the humble people there selling the produce they sell is very touching. The frogs croaking at night have become so normal that I hardly notice them. I think I will miss them when we move back. The demon roosters will, however, not be missed. I usually don't care for shooting guns, but I'd spend hours at a target practice so I could take those things out, haha!
I've been here for a month and a half. We've already done a lot of things on our bucket list.
The hard days are hard and the good days are good, just like anywhere else.
I miss Shane a lot when work gets busy, just like I would if we were anywhere else.

 I love looking at the girls faces and I feel giddy inside. I can't wait to tell them about all the things they saw, did, learned and eventually forgotten while we lived here. I pray that Taegan will have some of her first long-term memories here.
God takes us places that we never expect. I don't  know where we will be after Shane is done with school in Logan, but I hope we can vacation in Europe soon :)
Here's to adventuring and figuring life out at the same time! Stay positive!

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