it’s never too late… 15 years only made it sweeter

There were those that doubted and talked about how foolish we were, rightly so, we were just babies. We didn’t care. We knew the journey we were embarking upon wasn’t typical. That confirmed our decision even more. We had many that saw past our immature features and understood, their support meant the world to us as they witnessed us becoming husband and wife on October 30, 1999.

I finished school early.  I didn’t know why at the time, but just knew in my heart I was done with school. It was a big shock to my teachers who knew me as a straight A student and also to my friends who didn’t see it coming. One day I turned in my last assignments along with my textbooks and told my teachers I wasn’t coming back. That next week I took the necessary tests to complete school early.

Summer came around and one evening Erik and I were talking about our future. We couldn’t think of a reason to wait. I was finished with school and he would be finishing up with ministry school that fall. Okay there was one reason. I wasn’t legally old enough. We had to talk to my parents, well he did. It’s only right to let him sweat a little, I mean after all he was asking for my hand in marriage shortly after I was legally allowed to drive alone. He took his journal and sat down with my parents. After sharing with them his heart, the decision was an easy one. We started planning a wedding and all the pieces fell into place. All the details came together beautifully, even down to the date. We had our first kiss and officially started dating on October 30, 1997, exactly two years later we became husband and wife.

Erik was nineteen and I had just turned seventeen, we were newlyweds and starting out and an amazing adventure. To keep things even more interesting we decided to move across the country a week after we got married to help start a church in upstate New York. A funny story about that first year. New York had a law that if you were under the age of 18 you couldn’t drive past 9 P.M. without written permission from your parents. When I went to the DMV to get my NY license they handed me consent forms. I told them I was married and they informed me that it didn’t matter. Erik, my legal guardian at the time, had to sign a permission slip so I could drive at night.

I wouldn’t change a thing about the last 15 years. Well maybe one thing, I would go back in time and hire a professional photographer to shoot our wedding. I do wish we had some awesome photos of our baby faces.

The one thing we sacrificed by getting married so young was a honeymoon. We used that money to move across the country, and we were completely fine with it. We were starting a new life, in a new place, that was enough for us. We would make it happen one day.

That day finally came!

We feel beyond blessed to have had this time together. Being in a gorgeous place with your best friend and the love of your life is priceless. Having uninterrupted time together is invaluable and I will always treasure it. It’s cheesy to say but it’s so true, I didn’t think I could love Erik anymore than I already did the day I married him. As the years go by I’m proven wrong, our love only continues to grow. Our marriage is far from perfect, but we know that no matter what we will get through it, together. I thank God everyday for giving me the sweetest guy I’ve ever met to hold my hand through life.

We started our vacation out on Oahu. We passed on the hotel and rental car, we knew we would be doing that on the big island. Instead we found Pearl, a 1990 VW Vanagon Westy. We immediately fell in love with her. Among all the shuttles, and shiny rental cars at the airport our ride definitely stood out. She wasn’t fancy, but that made us love her all the more. I now want to buy a van and sleep on the beach for the rest of my life… I’m not kidding!

Highlights from our time on Oahu: food trucks, laid back surf town, waking up with the sun, hiking, simplicity of having everything with us all the time, no agenda, white sand beaches, Chinatown, a half a day at Wikiki (just long enough to walk around, get souvenirs for the kids and get a yummy cup of coffee. It was fun, but we liked the North Shore more!), chickens everywhere, Erik’s ukelele purchase, delicious crepes, snorkeling, exploring all over the North Shore, Erik cooking us dinner, cooking breakfast in Pearl while we watched the early morning surfers, fish tacos, shrimp, talking with the locals, grocery shopping (seeing all the different foods), macadamia nuts, fruit stands, rainbows, hiking, sunsets, driving around in beauty while we had uninterrupted conversation!

The second part of our vacation was just as fun, in a completely different way. We were spoiled rotten. Erik won this vacation through the awesome company he works for, it wouldn’t of been possible otherwise. He works so hard and this was such an amazing payoff. I loved camping, but what isn’t there to love about a gorgeous resort, hot showers, and a spa! We stayed at the Hilton Waikoloa on the big island. It was just beyond beautiful, I loved everything about it… we even got to swim with the dolphins!

I tried to soak up every minute of our vacation and for that reason I actually didn’t take out my big camera all that much. But here are a few shots!

 

Our first sunrise.

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We found a safe place to park Pearl while we walked around Chinatown. The area seemed pretty sketchy and Pearl seemed like a magnet for those looking for a free box of wine. We felt pretty safe parking her in a garage!

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Exploring.

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This was our favorite spot to spend the night. It was a free parking area right past Turtle Bay. We woke up each morning to Tom the Rooster making sure we didn’t miss the sunrise.

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Our hike. It was a muddy one. But so pretty!

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Checking things out around where we camped most nights.

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Coffee! It said, “No Trespassing” so we just snooped around a little.

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Snorkeling at Turtle Bay. That is the rock I got stuck up on. “Erik help me, I can’t get down.” Haha!!

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Waimae Bay. Nice night for a shower on the beach.

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Sunset at Haleiwa beach park. We kept missing sunset photo-op’s, I’m thankful we caught this one!

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And now for the rest of our trip iphone style, so thankful for the ability to easily capture memories!

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Yummy shrimp, boxed wine with a view, driving around, beachside showers, and Tom the rooster… there are chickens everywhere!

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Erik is obsessed with plumeria flowers, he loves the smell. I talked him out of taking home a starter tree.

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These are all from Oahu, except for the random dolphin pic (that was on the resort) but so cool I had to include it. They were like puppies in the water, the sweetest things ever!  Yummy coconuts from the stand across the street from where we camped out.

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We went to a campground for our last night so we could get a slightly warmer shower, we even popped Pearl’s top for the first time! It was a beautiful campground! The guy never ended up coming around to collect the money like he said he would. We never paid for one night of camping while on Oahu! We are probably not the best examples, don’t do as we do! Chickens, chickens and more chickens… we thought it was so funny! Erik got a gorgeous ukelele from a family owned company, it was so fun listening to him play it on the beach. A friend recommended this adorable crepe place, so glad we got to go, they were delicious!

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Blogging this is making me want to go back, now! If it wasn’t for the distraction of life right now (a lot is happening) I would most likely be depressed, laying on my bed, dreaming of the beach! I’m so thankful for this time with my love and all the sweet memories we made. We are planning on making a “just us” vacation happen once a year. After experiencing it, you realize just how important it is!

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