Thursday, August 18, 2011

Trivial Pursuits

How does one pursue happiness? Is it like exploring an underwater world? An adventure deep into the jungle? Or a stroll through the woods? And while I'm asking questions..what IS happiness? Are there different kinds of happiness?
All good questions, and for everybody the answers are different.

Lately life has seemed hectic. Trying to juggle multiple responsibilities at work, taking on a teaching position in the fall, and being a (hopefully) good wife and new mommy got me stretched a little too thin...

Then I took a step back, and thought "Wait! Hold the phone... I'm taking on these responsibilities as a means of reaching goals in my 'pursuit of happiness'. So what's wrong with this picture...why in my pursuit am I finding myself more disjointed and overwhelmed..shouldn't I be getting happier?"

POW, KaBLAM, BOOM it hit me! That's just it...I was battling my way up multiple pursuits, when I just needed to figure out one thing... I'M HAPPY! I'm happy trying to balance responsibilities while trying a hand at teaching and being there for my family. I'm stressed, yes...overwhelmed, yes...but happy.These are things I want in life, and at the end of the day when I see all I do, I'm happy. I'm making a difference.

My path to find happiness is always going to be changing...and when I loose sight of my purpose a friendly reminder on 'Why' is just what I need. Life is perfect and I'm happy, so the adage "Don't Worry, Be Happy" really rings true (for me at least...) 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

4 Months Old!

Lil' Man hanging by the Taro on the lanai, with Pops! He loves being outdoors!

Well, today my Lil' Man makes 4 months old! I can't believe how fast the tyke is growing! He weighs in this month at 14.7 lbs (75th percentile) and measures 26.25 inches long (95th percentile)
His milestones that he has mastered are: holding his head still, smiling, laughing, rolling from belly to back, standing (while you hold him balanced), sucking his thumb and/or fingers, and grasping. He also babbles in baby language frequently, quite cute if you ask me! Also, he is starting to teeth! (A drool master and chewer extraordinaire!) 

Ren loves the mirror! Although sometimes the reflection makes him smile, other times it makes him cry...too funny!

Master feet finder, loves to suck on those toesies! 

Nap Time! Luckily our lil' man sleeps like a rock star at night! 

Trying to roll from back to belly, enlisting the help of his friend Octavo, the friendly octopus..

Monday, August 15, 2011

Defy Gravity

Okay, so anyone who knows me knows I am unhealthily obsessed with a few things, besides friends and family of course!
 1) The Chicago Cubs 
 2) Harry Potter
 3) WICKED...
       And "Defy Gravity" is my all time favorite WICKED song, hands down!

       The other day I was playing with Ren, singing some songs and I started singing 'Defy Gravity', but this time the words took on a whole new meaning. Previously I always found this song to be a motivating factor to continue to stand up for what I believe in, but this time (forgive the cliche-ness) it reminded me of mommy-hood. 
       Its true! The second you become a mommy something 'changes within you' and you just gotta 'close your eyes and leap'. Mommy-hood (and Daddy-hood) is not for the faint of heart...let me tell you. The changes within you are difficult to accept at times, but necessary. But even through all this the difficulty melts away when  you get a smile, a laugh, or just some kick-ass cuddles. Knowing that you helped create this little one makes it all worthwhile, because in the end you love them and they love you...and that's all that matters. 
Kick-ass cuddles from my most adorable son

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Lovely Day

Just thought I would share my lovely day with everyone! I love my job and everyone I work with. They are the best group of people I know!
This is what my lunch break looked like...which doesn't hurt...
Haleiwa Beach
Plus, BONUS! I saw 2 sea turtles bobbing around in the ocean while I was out there!

After that lovely day at work I came home to some quality time with my lil' man! He was so happy this evening, which is a rare occurrence. His big ol' grin just melts my some good cuddles in too!

Fast Asleep..loves Mommy's singing

Cutest little bug EVER!

Mental Metamorphosis

So, I had been feeling a little down and out the past few weeks...something wasn't quite right. After careful consideration I decided I needed an attitude adjustment. I decided to do this by "Taking time to stop and smell the Roses" so to speak. So much of my time lately has been task oriented...I had stopped making time to recognize the world's beauty around me.

Which leads me to my 1 Week Challenge! For 7 days at least once a day I will set aside time to have quiet  moments to notice and meditate on the beauty around me, as a way to check my attitude and boost mental and spiritual health. While just allowing me time to calm, and collect thoughts before zipping off to the next item on my ever growing 'to do' list. (Hopefully causing a more relaxed and lovable me continuously...)

So Here We Go! 

I couldn't catch a picture that did the clouds justice. They were that type that seemed to be constantly moving and morphing, the big fluffy type. The kind that, as a kid, you can look at for hours finding different pictures and contemplating life. It was an excellent reminder in patience(and of course a lesson in enjoying the little things in life, because life 'aint' so serious after all.)

While driving around town I saw a sparkle off the corner of my eye. That sparkle came from the sunshine hitting these ornaments hanging from vines on the banyan tree. What a perfect reminder to 'maintain' that Christmas spirit of giving, and compassion to ALL, throughout the year, and your whole life through.
"Need knows no season." - Salvation Army
Neither does love, compassion, or kindness. Not just to those "in need" but to every single person you interact with throughout the day.

As a child you tend to love the weather no matter the weather. Right?!? It's pouring rain, you grab your rain boots to splash in puddles. Freezing outside? No problem! There's snow, lets go sledding. Record heat, what heat? No matter when you runnin' through the sprinklers!
Beautiful Sunrise 

Well, it seemed I had the eyes of a child, because the sun came up that morning, and brought me peace. The rain came, it smelled sooo good, and brought me joy. It was a wonderful reminder to take life as it comes, don't grumble about things you can't change, and enjoy this ride we call life... (A new life goal = remember to live with eyes like a child, with an open mind to learning , and a heart full of compassion. These combined allow myself to grow and feel like I will make a difference in this world, no matter how small, before I am chosen to leave it)

No, quite literally..a brick wall. I was driving around the island noticing all the different types of brick walls along the way (This is what you do when stuck in Hawaii traffic. At least I had fun!) It made me think of Pink Floyd's lyric "All we are is just another brick in the wall". The it hit a ton of bricks...(pun intended..). I realized that we all could be different bricks in the walls around us. Our circles of friends, family, the community at large are different walls and together they build houses, civilizations even. Everybody is part of something, we just gotta find our right walls.

Day Five: MY LIL' MAN 

Yes, I realize this may be cliche...but I don't care. He lights up my life and I would do anything for him.
I mean really, can anyone tell me what's not to love about this face?!? I can come home from the busiest day at work ever, just pooped and I get one little smile out of my lil' man and BAM! I almost wet myself with happiness. I am one of the luckiest girls alive because of my hubby and my babe.

I was driving on the good ol' H1, stuck in traffic...and noticed really pretty flowers that were growing over the top of the wall on the side of the freeway. It was just so odd to see such a beautiful, vibrant plant with bright yellow flowers on the side of a grungy, dirty freeway. It was a good reminder that good things are always around, its just that sometimes they are hanging off to the side, waiting to be noticed.

As I reflected on the day, sitting on the beach..watching the sun set..I wondered what would my "last" world wonder would be for this post. I couldn't remember any one thing that stood out as a reminder of the "beauty the world has to offer". Then it came to me. I realized it was the moments that made the day so beautiful. One of my favorite quotes is "Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of moments that take our breath away". If that is the case, and I believe it is, then why spend my moments flustered and anxious. Find the moments that take your breath away, each and every day..enjoy living not just life. 

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Universe does it again...

Strengths Finder 2.0 is a book written by Tom Rath; where you take a quiz online and it 'calculates' your top 5 strengths (out of 34).It is a good book, and is uncannily right one target,  when you read your results and it sounds exactly like you. Almost scary...almost. 

My Top 5 Are:
  1. Developer
  2. Empathy
  3. Includer
  4. Positivity
  5. Context
All of these basically mean that I "feel complete" by:

  1. Helping others to  find their potential and encouraging them to grow.
  2. Helping individuals voice unvoiced emotions/feelings, and by innately understanding.
  3. Expanding the circle, and encouraging all inclusiveness...
  4. Being lighthearted and bringing enthusiasm wherever I go 
and last but not least...
     5.  Learning from the past as a means to understanding the future. 

Also given are 'Action Points', or ways to strengthen your strengths. The purpose being to improve yourself through positive as opposed  pointing out what you don't have (and may never be good at) and forcing you to build upon those. 
Almost all of my action points encourage taking a mentor or teaching position. Well, the universe must be trying to tell me something, for I meet with the Dean of the World Medicine Institute ( A Daoist philosophy, Classical Chinese Medicine School) on Monday to discuss the Anatomy and Physiology teaching position open next semester! We shall see what the Universe has in store, but I am super excited to find out! 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


When I was 9 years old I saved my allowance for weeks to buy a little book called 'Teach Yourself: Swahili". Yes I realize that may qualify me as a grade A certifiable nerd, but I'm okay with that.

Well, needless to say I did not learn Swahili that year (or any year since then...) BUT that is all about to change! I got the new fancy-dancy Teach Yourself: Swahili for my birthday and this year it's Swahili or bust! Why you may ask?!?...

Picture me...HERE!


So, as you can tell I am a little excited to finally fulfill my childhood dream. Ever since I can remember I have wanted to go to Africa, and now I have an opportunity to go to Africa with a purpose! I am traveling with an organization called Africa is Life Changing ( to do a medical mission in a women's and children's health clinic in Kenya. I am so totally beyond excitement for this adventure, or shall I say Safari, of a lifetime.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Life Adjusted...

Life is a constant adjustment, it's not stagnant's like the ocean tide. You have learn to go with the ebb and flow, or get stuck under in the under current.

When I was pregnant I was more cognizant of how I treated myself. Being cautious to take care of myself, as to  to provide the best environment for the little one growing inside me. Now that Ren has come into the world I find myself reverting back to the ways of self criticism, recognizing this I have come up with 2 new goals.

  1. Stop feeling guilty...just stop it. Stop setting myself up for failure by expecting perfection. No body is perfect, why should I feel guilty about not reaching it, and then feeling guilty about it...)
  2. Set aside time for myself. Time to sit around in my underwear doing nothing productive, and unwind...(Even MORE important now that I'm a Momma) 
Most of you reading this probably aren't interested in the inner workings of my mind...but thanks for letting me share...Getting my goals out there helps me to learn (again) how to go with the flow, letting life take me as I am and loving the ride.

"Forget regret or life is yours to miss...No day but today" -RENT