My husband and I went exploring this weekend. Bare feet in the dirt, it’s raining but the windows are down, exploring. Our little daughter was fast asleep in the back seat of our MINI after a long day out and about at the Honolulu Zoo. She’d worn herself out “ooo-ing” and “ah-ing” at the monkeys, signing “turtle” repeatedly (she knows baby sign language) in happy delight, and trying her hardest to hop the fence into flamingo territory. On our walk back to the car, we met Yurri Farrant, a medium format film photographer, who was displaying his landscapes on the roadside in Waikiki. He was good, really good. So good that with one snap of the shutter, he managed to showcase Waimea Bay in all its glory, going off on a big day. Inspired by his imagery, we decided to take the long way home. We stopped at the Makai research pier and then found ourselves in Waimanalo chasing the dusky golden light that lit the Koolaus. I told Ivan, ‘We should get as close as possible to that gorgeous light,” not to mention the never ending undulations of rock, varying from light to dark, dark to light. Needless to say, the last hour of daylight on Saturday was magical. I had two of my favorite people in the whole world with me, chasing down this golden light, taking this road, and that turn, without a care in the world. It reminded me of one of my favorite travel memories, when I was 18 in Italy. My girlfriends and I had very little time to reach the Leaning Tower of Pisa before dark. We got off the train and ran through the streets with our heavy backpacks, asking for directions, half understanding the Italian answers, and relying more on gestures for directions. We made it just in time, breathless, and happy. Enough time to snap one one of my favorite photographs that I still own. What’s more, we met some cute, charming Italian boys who took us out to dinner at this yummy whole in the wall. That was fun too, really fun. As the saying goes, “Not all who wander are lost.”
The ocean has a thousand different colors to match a thousand different emotions. The ebb and flow of each wave carries someone’s hopes and fears, someone’s dreams realized or abandoned. When I look at the far away horizon, where the endless vast ocean meets the wide open sky, I see possibility and lots of it. The possibility of trying and failing, trying bigger and failing bigger, all the while winning because when I try, I’m trying at my dream. Not winning in the traditional sense, money or fame, but winning in the sense that I am chasing down my dream with every last ounce of energy I have left, after being a mama and a wife and a PA.
I say all of this, because of my experience last week. One of our patients nearly died during a routine nuclear stress test. He went into cardiac arrest. He was blue and pulseless. I did CPR. I shocked him 3 separate times and when he came too, his first question was, “What time is it?”
It took me a whole week to really process this question. ”What time is it?” It’s probably time to revel in life even more. To be thankful for the sun in the sweet sky. To save every last moment of my daughter’s toddler years. It’s time to take that return trip back to Africa. It’s time to call my 89 year old nanee and tell her how much I love her. It’s time to remember birthdays and send Father’s Day and Mother’s Day gifts. It’s time to date my husband again. I mean really date him. Plan romantic, creative, unique outings like we did in college. Kiss him good night, every night, no matter what. It’s time to take Ava to the beach more. It’s time to stop, what “if”ing and start doing. It’s time to seize the day, use my God given talents and be a photographer.
So for whatever reason, even though I’ve been taking pictures my whole life, something was different when I woke up this morning. Perhaps it was the experience of saving a man’s life 8 days ago, but when I woke up today, I thought to myself, I am a photographer, a keeper of memories, a life historian, and a decent one at that. I save people’s stories so long after their gone, should their favorite people forget their little nuances, the picture has a thousand words to remind them. (Love you grandpa , next time I’ll take your picture. I promise.)
Meet Julie, a sweet, bubbly, bride with a humanitarian heart, and a smile twice as big. Meet Scott, her funny, artistic husband, with mad drawing and design skills. They met at the bowling alley, Pali Lanes, here in Kailua. From what I hear their chemistry was palpable, the connection evident. It was love at first sight. They were head over heels, crazy for each other. They were wed by Scott’s father at Sunset Ranch on the North Shore of Oahu. Their ceremony was touching. Everyone present, joined hands and formed a large circle. Scott and Julie’s wedding bands were then passed from hand to hand, as each friend or family member infused a blessing or well wish into their rings. A great reminder that married people have a community of support, full of people praying for their success and happiness. I felt very lucky to witness their commitment to one another.
Julie’s dress was simply stunning. It was an elegant lace dress with a vintage Old World feel. My favorite part, she wore Tom’s as her wedding shoes. Tahiti Rey and Jason Alan provided the acoustic goodness. The vibe was laidback and chill. It was an intimate gathering with all their favorite people. There were lawn games and picnic blankets and horses and even a sweet aqua VW van. Camille’s Food truck cooked up some delicious food and probably the best home made pie I have ever had in my entire life. Try it if you haven’t.
As the day progressed, Sunset Ranch lived up to it’s name. The blue sky faded into a rich orange, then dusky grey to a deep blue, and finally black. There was a banyan tree with twinkle lights strung from it, set a ways apart from the reception tent. Julie and Scott danced underneath the black sky next to the banyan roots. They held each other close. It was a slow, intimate quiet dance as if they were in no rush to let this moment pass. As if no one else, nothing else mattered. They savored it. It was my favorite tug at your heart strings moment of their entire wedding day. A romantic, vulnerable, trust filled, memory, to save for a rain day 3 years from now. Ok. Lump in my throat definitely. I’m a hopeless romantic and I love my job. I love love and seeing other people live out their happily ever after.
Wishing you two all the happiness in the world.
-Crystal & Ivan
Meet Jamie & Patrick. A super fun couple who is still madly in love with each other, even after 5 years of marriage. They are both passionate about their work (Jamie has rockin’ administrative skills and an eye for high fashion – think Jimmy Choo and Valentino, and Patrick is a web genius who makes companies look good), which may be why they seem so happy. It makes a difference when you like what you do, day in and day out, year after year. What’s more, they’re into each other. You should see the way Patrick makes Jamie laugh. There’s a certain playfulness to their relationship and a light in her eyes when he’s looking at her. They’re F I T, too. Patrick is an avid surfer. He can see the ocean from his place, jealous much? Wait, mainlanders, you might be thinking, “It’s an island, can’t you see the ocean from everywhere?” Not always, it depends on where you live Jamie just ran a marathon. Check out her legs. That’s right baby, 26.2 freaaaaaakin’ miles. Speaking of baby, they’re expecting their first this summer. Woo Hoo!
In fact before Ivan and I moved to Hawaii, I would look longingly at Jamie’s FB (Backstory, Jamie and I met in college in English Comp) and think to myself, “Really? They are really people who just decide to live in Hawaii and go to the beach and wear bikinis and feel the sun on your skin and the sand between your toes, pretty much whenever you want?” I thought to myself, that’s ridiculously awesome. So in a way, she was my Hawaii inspiration, lol. Maybe “someday”, Crystal… well I’m glad our “someday” happened over 2 years ago.
Anyhoo, these two love life. I think they understand the value of it, more than most people, having both lost people close to them. It’s evident that they really know how to find the joy in life.
We took these pictures in Haleiwa up on the North Shore of Oahu. We started at the Haleiwa Harbor, made our way to Aoki’s, then the Ron Artis Music House, and ended up in a grassy field as the sun set.