I'm sitting on my bed right now, typing to the rhythm of Raegan's deep dreamful breaths. My windows are open and a refreshing Hawaiian breeze is blowing softly through the room. It rained for a second tonight, which made everything smell fresh and extra tropical. The wall by my bed is almost all windows, and my view is of the yellow lights of downtown Kona, engulfed by the darkness of ocean and sky that blend into one behind it. Most of the day it's impossible to tell where one begins and the other ends.
I am loving my stay here in Hawaii. It's everything you could want in a vacation. It has also provided a lot of time for reflection, mostly on these last couple days, weeks, months, and years.
I feel like an era is ending for my little family. Garrett called me monday afternoon and I could hear the smile in his voice as he told me about his last final exam. As of this very moment, neither of us are students. We have completed our undergraduate education and we are off on our next grand adventure. It's crazy to think that the countless hours of homework, studying, group projects, research, writing papers, computing problems, and worrying about school has all paid off. We are done with this 'student' phase, and we're off to the real world prove what we've learned. Yes, Garrett will be starting his masters program in a year or so, but it will be different.
I'm so excited for the salary and benefits; To have a steady budget that we can count on, instead of our current budget that fluctuates week to week as our income fluctuates. I'm excited for Garrett to come home at 5pm and just spend time with us, no homework or studying to do. I'm excited for the three of us to spend our evenings together. I can't wait to eat dinner at a more reasonable time, and go to bed at a decent hour. I'm just excited for us to go to bed at the same time. I'm excited for all the things that come with being out of school, like getting out of our tiny student apartments, and hopefully looking for a house soon. Or being able to afford date nights, instead of just picking up a $5 little caesars pizza.
But I'm also kinda sad. Even though this next phase has so much to look forward to, there's so much I'm going to miss about this student phase. We've made so many awesome friends in Provo; Fellow students who are in the same phase of life as us. People who we can laugh with about silly teachers or hard tests, who we go to Denny's with because you can't beat their $2-4-6-8 menu. Friends that Garrett can play flag football, rugby, and basketball with, while me and the wives sit on the sidelines and cheer them on. We're going to miss late night conversations with best friends about politics, religion, funny stories, and our future plans. We've had so many fun dinners, bbq's, holiday parties, and make-shift thanksgiving dinners with friends. Some of my favorite memories are of us eating yummy food with friends, all squished on our little couches, because even if we had real kitchen table to fit everyone, we still wouldn't be able to squeeze in our tiny little apartment kitchens. We've had fun going to college basketball and football games and other events put on by the school. We've made the most of our limited budget as we've taken advantage of local parks, free concerts, and campus museums. Even those simple dates on our living room floor with a $5 pizza and a red box...those are all part of the college experience, and they made it even more sweet.
Without even knowing it, this Hawaiian vacation has turned into the perfect little getaway to separate these two major phases of our life together. It's been the perfect ending to the toughest semester ever, and the perfect break before we begin the craziness of packing and moving to a new place. We couldn't have loved our student life anymore, and we couldn't be more excited to move to Arizona! But for now, Hawaii is exactly where we want to be!