* I wrote this a few days ago but didn't get to finish it and post it until now.

Today I was thinking about how grateful I am for change. I am not a person that usually likes or easily embraces change. A year and a half ago I was living in Hawaii. I had been living there for 7 years and loved my life there. My last year I worked as a part-time teaching in my friend, Hailey's, 5th grade classroom. In the summer I worked as a surf photographer at a resort with my best friend. We got paid to hang out, paddle board, watch people surf, and surf in between lessons. It was amazing and I loved it, but I kept feeling like there was somewhere else I needed to go. I felt happy but felt like something was missing in my life.

I went through a hard break up with a boyfriend and it caused me to really think about where I was in my life. I loved Hawaii and the time that I had spent there, but I felt like it was time for me to be somewhere new. I felt like I was stuck in the same rut and wasn't really growing. (Maybe because I spent almost everyday surfing for at least 3-4 hours, sometimes more like 6 ? :) ) I kept having a continued feeling that I needed to move somewhere new. With a lot of praying and soul searching and encouragement from my family and friends, I decided to move.

My Last Week in Hawaii

I thought and prayed about where to go for several months. I had a good feeling about moving to California, and things just kind of ended up falling into place for me to move to Pacific Beach. I had never been to PB and didn't know anyone there. I had never seen the house I was moving into or met my roommates. I didn't even have a job lined up. It was really hard for me my last week in Hawaii, I kept thinking, "this is the last time I'll get to go surfing, this is my last time at keikis (my favorite beach)"... etc. etc. One thing that made things easier for me, my best friend Katie was moving away from Hawaii too. I bought my ticket to leave the same day she was leaving, somehow it just made it easier that we were both leaving together. The day came that it was time to leave and I cried quietly most of the flight. I flew into Arizona and stayed with my family for about a week. My family drove up with me, my mom and dad in one car and Brittany, Ally, and I in my car. We got to my new house and unpacked all of my stuff and then spent a few days going to the beach and exploring the area. The day my family left, I remember just feeling so sad and alone as they pulled out of the driveway. I had lived much further away the past 7 years but I had always had family and good friends in Hawaii and felt so at home there. My first few weeks in California were really hard for me. It was a time that I really leaned on my Heavenly Father and grew closer to Him through prayer and faith. I felt His comfort and hand in my life so much throughout this time.

My first weekend in California I met my future hubby. I didn't know it at the time, but he asked me on a date and we started dating (not to seriously at first though). I will tell our love story on a later post! After about a month, I started an amazing nanny job. The family I worked for was so sweet and so kind and their kids were the cutest! I loved going to work and became such good friends with them. I also made some good friends from my ward and found some awesome girls to surf and hang out with! I found some fun places to eat and surf (both very important things to me (: ) I felt so blessed with all of these things and I know that my Heavenly Father was really watching over me and helping me throughout this time. There were still days that I missed Hawaii so much, but I knew that I was in the place that I was supposed to be. Almost exactly a year from the date I moved to San Diego, I got married to Nate in the San Diego LDS Temple. It was the happiest day of my life and I was so happy to be there with Nate and with so many family members and sweet friends.

San Diego

Visits from my family

My first date with Nate

When I look back on everything I went through from the time I moved to Hawaii until now, I feel so grateful for everything that happened. I am grateful that I went through a break up in Hawaii which ultimately was the pushing factor that made me consider moving. I'm thankful for my Heavenly Father for all He did and continues to do for me. For helping me to feel I needed to move. For helping me to know where to move and making everything work out for me to move and settle there. For helping me to meet Nate and helping us throughout our relationship. For helping Nate and I to break up (for a short time) to see how much we really missed and liked each other. For helping us to realize we loved each other. For the opportunity we had to be married and sealed for time and all eternity in the temple. For all of the love I was shown in San Diego, having such sweet friends and so many fun experiences. I am so thankful for my family for all of the love and support they always show me. I am so thankful for Nate and all he does for me; he is so sweet, thoughtful, smart, hard working, and so much fun to be around. I couldn't imagine life without him now! I will always look back on this time in my life and be thankful. I am thankful for change, without it I would not be where I am today. I am so thankful for all of the pain, sadness, trials, and trying times I went through that made me stronger, strengthened my faith, and brought me to where I am today. I am so completely happy being married to Nate and starting our life together. I am so thankful for the wonderful life that we have and love that we share.

Camping on the Coast

A few weeks ago one of my best friends from Hawaii, Katie, came to visit Nate and I! She came with her little brother, Jared, and her boyfriend, Kip. We had sooo much fun with them and even thought it was a short visit, we did a lot! They got to our house Friday afternoon and as soon as Nate got home from work, we packed up our cars and headed to Astoria, Oregon (about 2 hours away from us). We stopped at few scenic points and then got to our campground, Fort Stevens, when it was starting to get dark. Then we set everything up and made some foil dinners (my favorite!) and reeses s'mores for dessert.

In the morning, we had a big breakfast and then headed to the ocean. It was right by our campsite and the waves looked beautiful! We saw the ocean where it meets the Columbia River. Next, we walked around Fort Stevens, a fort from the Civil War (this was also at the campground). It was huge and really cool to explore it.

Then we drove to Seaside and got lunch at a cute little place. Nate got fish and chips and I got biscuits and gravy (good, but not as good as Pine State Biscuits). We found a surf shop and rented a surfboard and bought some booties for me so my feet wouldn't freeze! We went to Indian Beach to surf. The waves were small, but we still had so much fun!! I was thinking that we would be freezing and only able to stay out like 45 mins, but the sun was out and with a thick wetsuit and booties, it wasn't even that cold. (Good thing I got used to surfing in California before we moved here because if I had only surfed in Hawaii it would be much more of a shock surfing in the water here!) It felt so good to be surfing and in the water again! It was so much fun to surf with Katie too, we have surfed together in Hawaii, California, and Oregon now!! My arms were so tired after awhile that I would just push my board into a wave and then jump on it! It was a beautiful day and was so gorgeous, surfing with the cliffs and huge pine trees surrounding the ocean. We stayed out about 1 1/2 hours, until we needed to rush back to return the boards.

After surfing, we headed back to our apartment, unpacked, got cleaned up, and then headed to Portland for dinner. We wanted to take everyone to the food trucks, which are amazing, but found out when we got there that they close earlier in the winter. We were all starving, so we went to the first place we saw, The Brunch Box. It was a little sandwich and burger place and it was really good! They use really delicious texas toast for their burger buns and sandwich bread. I got a BLT and the most amazing pumpkin milkshake!! After dinner, we came back and hung out for a while and then crashed. We were all sooo tired! In the morning we had a big breakfast, waffles with whipped cream and berries, and then Katie, Kip, and Jared headed home. We had so much fun camping and surfing with them, it was such a fun

Beach Wedding Pictures

A few days before our wedding, Nate and I got some wedding pictures taken at Windansea Beach in La Jolla. That was one of the first places I surfed when I moved out to San Diego. The beach is really pretty and not to crowded. The day we got our pictures taken it was so foggy, cloudy, and looked like it was going to rain. We were also running late and only had about an hour to take pictures before it got dark. Natalie, our photographer that day did a great job though! I have always wanted wedding pictures on the beach, so I was so happy we were able to get these done!

Some Bridal Pictures

We also took a few pictures at the temple, this one was my favorite.

Flickr Images