I wasn’t sure if being married would be any different than how we were before.  But I definitely tried to be a better companion.  I started out being Mrs. Courtney with an influx of cooking new meals and trying to dress up more for my husband.  That lasted until every “new” dinner adventure burnt or I realized I used milk when I was supposed to use butter.  I don’t like following recipes so I tend to try and make them up.   And since I’m not a cook in the first place… well… I don’t know how many times I said, “Ummm… Chris.  I think I may have blew this one.  Thai food??”  And since my attire usually consists of jean cutoff shorts with tanks and a variety of sundresses, I quickly got tired of “dressing up”.  But I think the terrible cook I am and the barefoot tank top look makes me Alicia.  And every time I dumped the burnt remains of dinner into the trash, Chris reminded  me why we got married in the first place.  We sure ain’t perfect but boy are we perfect together.

The first few months of marriage have flown by!  We’ve had sooo much going on.  Work has been so busy and since we made the decision to move to Japan, I have self diagnosed myself as a crazy person.  At one point I think I had every emotion at once.  Which is very difficult.  It is no surprise that I am a very sensitive person and when I feel any emotion I feel it completely.  I was excited about Japan.  Stressed and anxious about making sure our clients know we are 100% committed to our work and we aren’t just gallivanting the world.  Devastated that this was our final month in Hawaii.  Happy that we see our families and friends in 2 months.  Sad we aren’t with our families at Christmas.  Happy to have Chris as my husband.  Feeling claustrophobic from working and living in tight quarters.  Thankful for having so much work to do.  A couple times I broke down in tears because I didn’t know what to do.  Then the next hour I would be dancing to Beyonce “Run The World” in the living room.  It was/is a confusing and overwhelming time.   Especially because I am so thankful for our life.  We are doing things we’ve only dreamed about.  Getting upset over anything (even small things) feels selfish.  But every now and then you just gotta lay it all out there and remember that “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”   (Sorry… we just saw Friends With Benefits and that song is stuck in my head. Great movie by the way!)

NOW! On the good stuff.  Here are a few things we’ve squeezed into our busy schedule.

Getting our pumpkin at the pumpkin patch! Ocean in the distance. It was gorgeous.
These little guys gravitate towards the light usually at night but we sometimes get visits while working. He liked the heat of the cord. (Insert insurance joke here)
Lots of local food!
Drove around the island listening to music and randomly stopping along the water to read and play in the sand.
I got to go on the morning news with our Make A Wish child Fajar! We talked about his wish and how great it is being a volunteer!

If you didn’t get to see it you can watch it HERE!

Afterwards we stopped in Waikiki to get some Starbucks and sit overlooking the beach.
We were driving home when Chris made a last minute decision to head to Pearl Harbor. It was the 70th anniversary of Pearl Harbor. It was an amazing experience to be there.
Indiana survivor getting interviewed
Pearl Harbor survivors! This is Mr Mayo's (on left) first time back since the attack.

It was hard choking back tears seeing all these men.  It was definitely one of the highlights of being here.

We went to dinner at our favorite... Roy's! A HUGE thank you to the Chamness family for sending us a giftcard so we could enjoy a night out as the Courtney's!
Yep more food pics at Roy's.
Monk Seal playing at Kawela Bay.
Our kitchen table! Flowers from Chris, single plumeria from outside our window and Courtney Family sign from Laurie and James!
Surf's up! Learning about surf competitions at the HIC Pro!
John and Chris cheering on Ezekiel Lau and he won! We definitely were on the live streaming cheering behind him and high fiving. Yup.
Aya and Yasko visited from Japan! We had a great time showing them around the island. They take English lessons from Apryl. Since they weren't fluent in English we had a blast communicating. It's amazing to see how we could talk without speaking each others languages. We are excited to see them when we are in Japan.

At one point I got out to pump gas.  Chris thought it was a good idea to try out his Google Translator.  He said into the translator, “Alicia doesn’t pumps gas often.”  They both paused, looked at each other and started laughing.  Apparently it translated it to, “Alicia rarely pushes farts.”  Great.

Welcome to the Vans Triple Crown.

Chris wearing my hat and I borrowed Brittany's (Merry Christmas Britt!) at the Triple Crown. It was in Movember. (Not a typo... Mustache November = Movember)
Suring is one of my favorite sports to watch.
Happy Thanksgiving! We spent the day at Eternity Beach. The beach they filmed the famous scene From Here to Eternity.
I haven't mentioned yet that John and Raquel left the island. Raquel left to go back to New York the week after our wedding. It was really, really hard to see her go. She has been a lifesaver and best friend. After she left the three of us (me, Chris and John) hung out until he had to leave. I cannot express how much we value their friendship. We will see them soon I am sure. This photo is the last night we went out in Waikiki with John.

Oh remember how I said I tried to be more domestic when I became a wife?  Check out this fail.  I still cannot look at this photo with a straight face.  Thanks for putting this together for Facebook, Chris. Hahahaha….

On Christmas Eve we decided to turn up the music and cruise up the North Shore.  Here are a few pics of our Christmas Eve Hawaii Style.

On Christmas morning my sister Brittany called at 4:30am.  She just couldn’t wait anymore!  So we got up and Skyped with my family and opened gifts.  It was really hard being away from family this year but we will never forget the Christmas’s we spent here together.  We took a nap afterwards (obviously) and then Skyped with Chris’s family.  Then we decided to go for a Christmas hike.  We hiked the Lanikai Pillboxes.  We took the nice camera and got some amazing shots.  I can’t believe it was our first time to hike it.  It was so beautiful.  It was extra special to see all of Kailua.  To see the town we’ve called home for a year from the side of a mountain was breath taking.  It was so fun saying Merry Christmas to everyone we passed.  🙂  After that we had an amazing Christmas dinner with our friends that have become our family here.  (We are so fortunate to have you all part of our lives!)  Sidenote: The Obama’s are staying one street over from us.  Aside from the fact he grew up here, I don’t blame him for choosing Kailua 😉

Chris took a pic on his phone to send to the family to say Merry Christmas. Those are the Mokes Islands behind me. Chris got me a beautiful painting of the Mokes painted from the direction of our house. Something I will always cherish.

Mahalo for the memories.  I still have two more nights calling Kailua my home.  I am not saying aloha just yet.  😉

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