I spent some time this weekend exploring the trails near my parents’ house.

dirtbagshirt

I had to represent the Dirtbags while I was out there. And also because all my good shirts are either already in Kauai or in the laundry.

Trail running is kind of a new hobby of mine, even though I’m slow and walk most of the way. It’s still nice to get outside and breathe in fresh air on a run instead of running on a dreadmill.

trailflowers

This view definitely beats watching sports, CNN, or reruns of House Hunters on the TVs at my gym.

I only have 5 more days left of work but still so much to do. So instead of typing out a long blog post, I’ll leave you with a bunch of pictures from the trails. Enjoy!

bentsprings

 

sunflower

 

fogrollingin

 

ridingring

 

sleepyhollowtrail

 

sleepytrail

 

watertanktrail

 

view

 

blackwatertrail

 

stephontrail

How did you spend your weekend?

newbeginningsquote

The past 12 months have been a challenge for me. It all started in June 2014 when I renewed my contract for the 2014-2015 school year. Deep down, I knew I shouldn’t have done it. My heart wasn’t in it. Don’t get me wrong. I love teaching. But I just felt like I should be doing it somewhere else.

On my first day of summer vacation, my grandmother passed away. She was 95. My mom and I flew back to Ohio and spent 2 weeks visiting with family. I decided to take the entire summer off. This was my first time having a summer off. I wanted to make all these travel plans but just couldn’t find the motivation.

Finally, as summer was coming to an end, I decided that we (my boyfriend and I) were at least going to go somewhere. We spent 5 days exploring the California coast. We hiked in Big Sur, walked on the Santa Cruz boardwalk, visited the San Luis Obispo farmer’s market and camped on Pismo Beach. It was on this trip that we decided that we were going to move to Hawaii.

The decision to move to Hawaii didn’t come out of nowhere. Ray, my boyfriend of almost 5 years, was born on the island of Kauai and has family there. He grew up a few miles from me in the Los Angeles suburbs. However, after high school, he moved back to Hawaii to surf and get tan. Eventually, he ended up moving back to California, but always dreamed about ending up in Hawaii for good.

I literally had a few days to make a decision to terminate my teaching contract before the start of the school year. I ended up staying and hanging out with 5th graders for one more year because it made sense financially. But I wasn’t happy.

Ray ended up moving to Hawaii without me in October so we’ve had to do the long-distance thing. It’s made us stronger. And it’s allowed for him to get established there and set up a place for us. It’s much less stressful for me.

It’s been wonderful having that Hawaiian light at the end of the tunnel. However, there have been several roadblocks along the way.

January is when health problems I thought were under control resurfaced. I am sure this is due to indulging just a little too much over the holidays. To make a long story short, doctors wanted to remove my gallbladder. I had a HIDA scan which showed that gallbladder surgery was not completely necessary. But my doctor worked so hard to try to convince me it was the right thing to do. I’m against removing body parts unless it’s a life or death situation. So I decided to keep my gallbladder and control my symptoms with diet and lifestyle. Eating more fat and less carbs has worked wonders. Also, avoiding all alcohol and gluten has helped too.

Things were going great up until mid-May. This is when my mom ended up in the hospital. She had to have open heart surgery to repair her mitral valve and spent 15 days in a hospital bed. While she was in the hospital, my grandfather had a heart attack and passed away. He was 95. We just had his funeral a few days ago. It was so hard to say goodbye.

So in the past 12 months I have lost 2 grandparents (my mom’s mom and my dad’s dad), traveled up the California coast, decided to move to Hawaii, dealt with a long-distance relationship, avoided losing my gallbladder, and watched my mom go through some very scary health stuff.

My mom is still recovering. She’s only been home from the hospital for a week. I’ve been off work trying to help her recover. I have to go back tomorrow though. But, the good news is that there are only 6 days left in this school year!

The better news is that I move to Hawaii in 12 days!

I decided to start this blog to chronicle my adventures in paradise. Follow along to see where this new beginning takes me.

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