So yesterday was our 100th post, and today is the one year anniversary of our move to Grand Cayman. Big milestones around here people.
October 18, 2010...
I was waking up with swollen eyes after crying through sister goodbyes the night before. Unbelievably, we still had one more errand to run before our flight - getting the title for the car we sold to Lorren and Cole. Here's how Brent described the morning in a post written October 19, 2010: "After driving around aimlessly for quite a while, we finally found the right building....I'm fairly certain that the woman who helped us was an angel from God because she was so friendly and so helpful in a very stressful situation (trying to get a title to a car 3 hours before our flight to Cayman)....We arrived at the airport and the bags weighed 47.5, 49, 48.5, and 69 (oops $50 fee)." I remember sitting at the airport, feeling...everything. Excited, sad, anxious, worried, relieved to finally be on our way. Our first days in Grand Cayman were surreal, I felt bewildered that we were actually doing this. It was crazy that our wild island-living dream was really happening.
October 18, 2011...
I wake up to Walter jumping on the bed and putting his cold nose in my eye socket. Brent's getting dressed and says "Hey, waking her up is supposed to be my job." Then he proceeds to tell me that the toilet was running all night and we need to get a plumber. I walk out to the kitchen and realize that the quiche I made for dinner yesterday is still sitting on the counter because I wanted it to cool before I put it in the refrigerator. We are out of milk (again), so we eat toaster strudels for breakfast. Brent asked me if he could drink some of the orange juice, then says nevermind, it expired 5 days ago. Oops, I used it to make our green monster smoothies last night.
If that isn't an ordinary, slightly un-paradise morning, I don't know what is.
In light of how "normal" life seems now, it's amusing to look back and recall those first feelings. Every time Brent and I walk to Sunshine Grill, we are flooded with the emotions we felt our first two weeks at that hotel.
I think Lorren and Cole were surprised when Brent told them that I had a hard time adjusting to the move. Maybe I didn't document those emotions well enough on the blog. The first two weeks were like an extremity roller coaster. One moment I was beyond-words thrilled to be in this beautiful postcard paradise, and the next moment I was so, so sad with longing for my home and family. I was overjoyed to have such great friends from the start; I was hating living out of boxes and feeling "unsettled." I was loving having Brent to myself; I was missing the convenience of the good old USA. It was up and down, up and down.
Week three was probably the hardest for me. I was stressed trying to make a decision about a job offer in the States, we still had not found an apartment so we had to pay for an extra night in the hotel, Brent was starting work, and then we moved into a studio apartment that didn't have a desk so I was working at the kitchen counter. I was kind of mess. But I think that low point really forced me to turn around my attitude. I realized (and this is a perspective I have held onto for the last 12 months), that this time on island is limited. I only have 21 months here, and I want to make the most of them. I need to enjoy all the things things I love about the island while I can, and focus less on what I miss about the States. Because I 100% know that one day I will be back in Cincinnati, thinking "Man, I wish I was back on the beach!" Not only is this island beautiful, it is also represents a brief moment of our lives with little responsibility - no kids, no hectic schedule, no house to clean or weeds to battle. Just like God told me in that dream, it is a gift. A season meant to restore and re-energize us for what comes next.
So I have no fun pictures for this post, but just wanted to share my heart. I'll open up the floor to our readers now, if you want. If you have any questions you would like to ask about our life on island - what surprised us the most, what we miss the most, favorite things to do - leave it in a comment and we'll do our best to answer.
Happy one year to us!