New Years in Hawaii is serious business. It seems that the party starts around 2:00 in the afternoon here...we were eating lunch when we heard that first unmistakable pop of a firework. By around 10:00 this evening so many fireworks had been fired that the entire neighborhood was hazy with thick smoke. Even now at 12:30 am I can hear pops and bangs one after the other...and it will most likely go on until the wee hours of the morning. It seems everyone is excited to celebrate a new beginning.
Our New Years was just as I wanted it to be, quiet and calm. We spent the day at home, lolling about outside watching Isabella draw with sidewalk chalk, only running out for a quick grocery store stop, on the way home however we decided to go on a little impromptu drive...the entire skyline was lit up with fireworks and Isabella was enjoying the show so much we cruised a bit with the windows down, she clapped and cheered in the backseat, not entirely sure what all of the commotion was about, just happy to be a witness to it. The air was full of good smells, bar-b-q grills, salty ocean and of course, firework smoke. Breathing it all in just made me happy. We watched Dick Clark countdown until the the ball dropped, we toastesd with a bottle of bubbly and then raced eachother upstairs to see who could be the first to kiss Isabella into the New Years...he won :( She was fast asleep and only opened her eyes long enough to look at us like were were a couple of loonies, then she rolled over and went back to sleep. After that we stood in the driveway and admired the numorous displays going on throughout the neighborhood...there was cheering and yelling, running about, sparks, fire and much nonsense. We joined in with our little sparklers and now we are in bed.
2008 is a year I will never forget. Not only did I learn how to adapt to a totally different lifestyle on an island far, far away from home, but I carved a niche for myself, I found wonderful friends and I surprised even myself when I realized I enjoyed it. I experienced my first deployment, then I experienced a homecoming. Because God was looking out for me, I won the drawing for First Kiss and received the coveted honor of having red carpet rolled out for me so that my husband was the first sailor off of the boat. Isabella learned to walk while he was gone and everyone watched as she trotted up that red carpet right into her daddy's arms... just as if he never left...all the while tears rolling down his cheeks I did'nt mind that Isabella actually received the first kiss. That is a memory I will always hold dear.
This has certainly been a year of ups and downs for us...I can think of three words to describe this year, uproarious, overwhelming, and tumultuous. Having been to the bottom, Tyler and I both know that the only direction for us now, is up. Having gone through more this year, than ever before, we can honestly say, we are happier than we have ever been. 2009 is looking wonderful for us, even though we will be apart for more than half of it while he is gone on another deployment. I look at my beautiful little family and whether we are apart or together, I am surrounded by more blessings than I can count, I cannot think of a better way to start a new year.