Hawaii 6 Months Later

I don’t even know where to start. It’s been six months since we moved to Hawaii and six months since I’ve talked with you guys on the blog (that second part is hard to write, more on that a little further on).

July 2nd was the day Juliana and I moved from North Carolina to Honolulu. I knew our life was going to be different, but honestly I had no idea how different. I shared in this post why I made the decision. It was a ‘Big Bet‘ – one of the biggest bets I’ve made. There were huge expenses involved, career risk/reward and lots of emotional risk (can I meld with the cultural differences? How will I really feel about the slower pace of life? Will the traffic and cost of living eventually get me? How will I feel over time about living on an island?).

At North Shore a few weeks after we moved. It was snapped kind of on accident but it’s one of my favorite photos of me and J

Six months later I’m so glad I did it. When I look around at this beautiful new life- the memories J and I are making, my new job with Kraft Heinz, the new friends we’ve made, our house a mile from the beach- it doesn’t feel all the way real. I feel like I have to pinch myself and even though I worked hard, part of me still doesn’t feel like I deserve it.

Me and J at the house before we got furniture. Our landlady was so sweet and gave us a bunch of things including a bed for J

But what the sense of undeserving has given me is an overwhelming sense of gratitude. Living life in a constant state of gratitude, I am discovering has been a powerful key to unlock a new level of happiness. So in a way it’s not even Hawaii itself, but the gratitude it has given me that brings this new level of joy.

Another pic right after the move. I saw the hibiscus flower bush walking back from brunch and *tried* to get a picture 🙂

But I don’t want to gloss over the rough water involved in getting to this point. Before we even set foot on Oahu, there was serious planning that had to take place- and with that for me came a lot of stress. Then there was the mental stress involved in taking the risk and making such a Big Bet. Once we got to Honolulu, there was the pressure of learning a new job in a completely different culture, helping Juliana make the transition, furnishing a home and overall adjusting to a different way of life (different pace of life, different traffic, different cost of living).

Out on the boat on Waikiki Beach (with naked Ken 😉 ) This boat is called a catamaran and it’s popular with the tourists but J and I love going on it too

After about four months when I was starting to feel pretty good about things, along came a new curve ball- Dean Foods, the parent company of my new employer Meadow Gold, filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. It’s hard to put in words the pressure I felt given how our livelihood- and new life out here- was riding on my job.

It was one of those times where I know God was looking out for us. Just a few weeks prior, Kraft Heinz had reached out to me about a similar account manager role here. To my relief (and everlasting gratitude), they were still open to discussing, and two weeks later I had received and accepted an offer.

J at the pool with Terumi, one of my good friends from when I lived in Hawaii from 2011-2013. It was so nice to pick up where we left off <3

A month in, I am so happy with the company and having SO much fun doing my new job! I love almost every aspect of it, especially the people I work with and the culture. It’s the most responsibility I’ve had in a role. There’s a lot of pressure and lots of late nights, but it’s a huge blessing and I am learning so much.

The last six months have been incredibly beautiful and incredibly hard. It feels like trial by fire, but it has been one of the most transformative periods in my life. I feel like I finally know what life is really about and what it means to live with intention.

J at Hanauma Bay last weekend (she’s starting to balance on the board standing up!) I couldn’t stop smiling the whole time there. I don’t want to ever lose that feeling of awe and appreciation.

It’s funny to think back and realize that I largely stopped sharing my life on Instagram at the same time we moved to one of the most ‘Instagrammable’ places on earth. But this is why I did and why I’m glad I did: in the past I struggled to live my life to the fullest because I was always trying to capture it for Instagram. (For me at least) it’s hard to live an amazing life AND simultaneously capture it in a pretty way for social media. There’s a lot of living lost in all the times you stop and worry about getting those ‘like-worthy’ pictures. Since we moved I’ve limited my time on Instagram to a few minutes a week at most and I’ve found I’m so much more present and no longer compare my life, my looks, my body, etc. to anyone else’s (at least 99% of the time 🙂 ).

But blogging/writing/photography was always a passion project for me. It was about connecting with you all and creating something beautiful. Six months later, writing this post still lights me up the exact same way it did before. I initially took time off blogging to focus on getting settled into our new life. Now, it’s because I am in a period where Juliana needs me more and I need to be able to give that extra time to her. I do hope to continue blogging every so often and eventually get back to a consistent schedule sometime down the road.

Royal Hawaiian Hotel

But for you reading this all the way down, thank you so much for following along on this journey. It means so much to me.

If 2018 was the year of heartbreak, 2019 was the year of personal triumph. If there is one takeaway I want to leave you with, it’s this-

It’s so worth it to take the time, dig deep and think about what you really want your life to look like. Once you know that, you can begin to consciously create the life you want to live. This Hawaii move taught me we aren’t governed by our circumstances, our circumstances are governed by us. Your future life doesn’t have to look like your life today if you don’t want it to. We all have the ability to dig deep, think big and execute bold, audacious plans for a happier life.

Happy New Year! Leave a comment below, I’d love to reconnect.

Love always,




  1. April Lane
    December 31, 2019 / 7:42 am

    I’m so happy for you Terra! I met you at Pure Barre and have been follow along with your new journey. You are an inspiration to us all. I’m so glad you followed your heart and are making an incredible life for you and Juliana Most importantly, you have stayed true to your authentic self ❤️

    • Terra
      December 31, 2019 / 1:19 pm

      Hey April! Yes! I think we chatted about the move to Hawaii before Pure Barre class in March or so right after I made the decision. Thank you so much, it means a lot. I hope guys have a wonderful New Year. Hope to see you at Barre when we’re back in NC visiting family. <3

  2. Krissy
    December 31, 2019 / 8:52 am

    This is the first time coming across your page and I command you!! I will definitely follow your blog. Hawaii is where we went on our honey moon. I wish all the best for you and your daughter. Happy New Year

    • Terra
      December 31, 2019 / 1:21 pm

      Thank you so much Krissy. Happy New Year! <3 Where in Hawaii did you guys honeymoon?

  3. Courtney Trengove
    December 31, 2019 / 9:34 am

    Girl! You live your life and keep doing awesome! So happy for you!

    • Terra
      December 31, 2019 / 1:24 pm

      Thanks girl! Happy New Year <3

  4. Cheryl Alessi
    December 31, 2019 / 9:34 am

    I’m so happy for you and Juliana! This was a wonderful & inspiring post to read this New Year’s Eve morning.??

    • Terra
      December 31, 2019 / 1:25 pm

      Thank you Cheryl and thank you so much for ALL your support this past year, I can’t tell you how much it means. Hope J and I get the chance to meet you and Anna when we get back to Charlotte to visit family. Happy New Year!

      • Cheryl Alessi
        December 31, 2019 / 2:12 pm

        Yes! Or when we come to Hawaii for a visit, hopefully this year!

        • Terra
          December 31, 2019 / 2:53 pm

          Yes! Can’t wait!!

  5. Heather Jordan
    December 31, 2019 / 10:29 am

    Happy New Year!! Hoping for the best year ever for you and J this year! Aloha! ?

    • Terra
      December 31, 2019 / 1:26 pm

      Happy New Year Heather! Hope you and the family had a wonderful holiday. <3

  6. Nikki D
    December 31, 2019 / 3:25 pm

    I am so happy for you! I really enjoyed your post. It made me start to think about my life and what I want it to look like.
    Thank you for sharing. Please stay in touch!
    Happy New Year!!!
    ❤️- Nikki

    • Terra
      December 31, 2019 / 7:37 pm

      Hey Nikki! So nice to reconnect. Thanks so much for taking the time to read and leave a note. Happy New Year and let’s catch up soon! <3



Looking for Something?