10. Adam's sweet toast at our Christmas dinner. I don't know when he stopped being the baby and became a man, but wow, I'm just so proud of him.
9. The day the lights got turned on. (You can see that post here). It was such a once in a lifetime type of experience and the celebrating was ...unreal.
8. Paella-both times. The boat, the dancing, the stars, the wine, the friends, the laughs, the memories.
7. The day the boat broke down. And we were stranded in the middle of the ocean. After a few hours a yacht came into view and we flagged it down. From beginning to end it was hilarious and so so memorable.
6. The return of Amanaki's "ako faiva" (Tongan singing and dance practice). The realization we had come one full circle. The beginning of the end. The sharp distinction of who we were and who we are now. The tenderness of the song we could now understand. The easy laughter with our new friends.
5. The 4 days we spent recording our CD. So many great memories with our kiddos!
4. The day we showed mom and dad our island. We literally walked the whole town and they met every single person. I appreciated them coming, their words of encouragement, seeing all we had learned through their eyes, showing off our relationships....just the whole thing.
3. Swimming with the whales. No words!
2. The wharf uma's. Our whole village lined up along the wharf to say their goodbyes and kiss us farewell. I won't ever forget it.
1. Meeting my sweet nephew Jason Lane. I already love him so so much and am counting the days until I get to see him again. Aim has said, " he's the best thing we've ever done" and I love seeing them live that. They are amazing parents.
Can't wait to see what 2014 has in store for us!
An aside: I wanted to put a special moment Mark and I experienced-a moment for us, about us, that bonded us uniquely...but I can't. Because all of the above mentioned we experienced together. In fact, upon reflection, in the entire last year, Mark and I never spent more than 6 hours apart. For those of you who are thinking "you are so so lucky" - you are absolutely right. Never in our married or dating life have we had much time together. It was a huge blessing- a time of amazing growth. For those of you who are thinking " that sounds insane and makes me feel slightly claustrophobic"- you are absolutely right. It's a little (ahem) hard to spend that much time with anyone, even your very best friend.
But crazy amounts of time together aside....I have learned so much about Mark this last year. I have watched him in so many different circumstances, and loved and respected him more and more. We have laughed, read, played, talked, shared old stories, played ukulele and sang, worked crosswords, gardened, swam, walked, worked on Tongan, tickled, played cards, played scrabble, written letters/emails/blogs....all together.
So thankful to have eaten breakfast with my Mark every morning, and to hear the eager greetings of all our neighbors and the barks of our little pup as Mark and Buster returned every afternoon. He is such an amazing man, and I'm happy to know him more and more as the years unfold.
Honorable Mentions: billfish dancing at IST and MST. Seeing family after a year and a half! Our final feast and fakamalo's. Karaoke "scrubs". Our going away party. Ofu kayaking. Tevi 1000. Getting scolded at the Mormon dance. Marks solo at the Mormon conference. The first day of our Kindie. "How Great Thou Art".