Be Celebrating Nana’s birthday (with a birth!)

Yesterday was my beautiful mom’s birthday. When we were away, we felt Nana’s presence and spoke about what we could do to celebrate her birthday.

As a family we decided we wanted to bake her a meringue cake. OC helped me.

20140330-193904.jpgHere is the recipe we used:

20140330-193947.jpgOur nana loved biking, so we thought a bike ride would be fun.

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We ate breakfast for dinner. Breakfast was mom’s favourite meal.

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20140331-134234.jpgWe sent balloons to the heavens.

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20140331-134343.jpgLastly, we sang happy birthday and enjoyed Nana’s wonderful cake.

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20140331-134433.jpgHappy birthday mom! I love you so very much. Your presence is felt more and more each day. You continue to be such a gift and a caring mom.

Heavenward.

Flying.

Sweetness.

Life.

Love.

Peace.

And glory, a new baby girl was born on my mom’s birthday. My cousin’s J and M gave birth on March 30th.

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New life.

Gratitude.

Joy.

Anticipation.

Peace.

Be Going to a Retreat by a Lake

Today, I left my brood of boys after our life shifting trip to Hawaii and spent eight hours at a healing prayer retreat for women.

Each woman had a beautiful opportunity to enjoy time with God while taking care of their soul through painting, massage, prayer or counselling.

I chose prayer counselling and watercolour painting as my soul care times as well I enjoyed time on my own walking and writing in my journal.

As I walk through my life, I continue to be amazed that when I stop or pause to notice God, He is ever-present in my life. I don’t think I shall ever cease to be amazed at the wondrous coincidences of God!

This morning, I started off with a cup of tea in this mug from Hawaii:

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Next, a woman lead us in song with a UKELELE! How often do you see that here? But in Hawaii, I saw them in every store and heard one being played almost every day.

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Lastly, during my watercolour painting soul care session, I learned how to paint for the first time. I was playing with paint and created this:

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Which reminded me of my very favourite bridge in Haliewa on the North Shore. I paddle boarded under this bridge, saw turtles here, ate shaved iced beside it, walked over it multiple times and just stared at it. Is it possible to have a crush on a bridge?

Here is my lovely bridge:

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Which brings me to my first watercolour painting that I am not even afraid to share publicly.

20140328-233136.jpgOver my bridge towers a strong banyan tree representing Sexy Neck and on the sides you will see three growing palm trees for my boys.

Thankful for my painting teacher.

Thankful for God that I had this opportunity to try new things.

Every day is new.

His mercy and grace is real.

He weaves everything together for His good!

Healing.

Painting.

Wholeness.

Newness.

Noticing.

Peace.

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(Inspiration for my next painting.)

Be Boogy Boarding and Busting Your Shorts

We went to a new beach today. It was suppose to be family friendly, have great sand and be a fun place to boogy board.

Look at this postcard, it looks idyllic:

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We received a few clues that the day was going to be a wild one when a Hawaiian boogy boarder screamed as a wave threw him into the air then the lifeguards came over the loud speaker reminding everyone that the current waters were unsafe for swimming, children and anyone inexperienced boogy boarding.

Checkout this photo I took of the bay and compare it to the postcard:

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Steve decided to give it a go anyways. Here he is with the blue board contemplating his entry:

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And this is what happened to his shorts:

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But then he decided to take our oldest son in to give it a try…

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Mama Bear and the lifeguards had to both yell at him. Me up close and personal, the lifeguards from the tower at the top of the beach.

The boys stayed on the sand for the rest of the morning building a rescue boat and a command centre. They had a great time. I was the only one traumatized by the crazy surf!

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At sunset, we went back to our favourite beach beside the turtles so that everyone could do some boogy boarding.

Checkout this perfect little wave lapping up onto the beach:

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OC and I were able to rest on the beach and make a bus:

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Another incredible day! OC got his feet wet by a wave for the first time and no one was sucked out to sea or pulverized too badly by waves. 20140322-214958.jpg
Tomorrow, we will be shopping for shorts!

Be Hunting for Turtles

Today, we went on a turtle hunt. The honu, or Hawaiian sea turtle, is the Hawaiian symbol of longevity, peace, good luck, humility, long life and the spirit within. I could use all of those things in my life. How about you?

We started off the morning at Turtle Beach, the unofficial name for Laniakea Beach, hoping to snorkel and see the turtles. No turtles and no snorkelling as the currents were too strong.

We headed north down the island to do some snorkelling in an incredible area at Pupukea Beach Park. We were able to see whales in the distance.

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Tonight, we went to Haleiwa Beach Park to have a picnic dinner and what did we end up running into at the beach right beside the Haliewa Marina? Seven humongous turtles!

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Turtle hunt was an unexpected success !

Expect the unexpected!

Be Surfing Under Rainbows with a Butterfly

The boys wanted to surf this morning. Our friends here recommended Uncle Brian’s Sunset Suratt Surf Academy. These guys are the ‘goods’! Instructors with surfing running in their blood, hearts of a lion for their sport and patience of a good father for the students.

Our boys loved it! Not only did they get to learn to surf but God’s presence and mom’s love was all over this morning.

First the boys warned up and learned the technique on the beach:

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Next they were off, pulled by the instructor’s toes to a bay covered by a rainbow.

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The boys all got up on the board. Take a close look at the photo with the instructor riding a wave on HIS HEAD! (Better photos to come!)

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Sexy Neck doing his thing…

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Six year old JC

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Four year old CC stood up with Crew’s help. He was afraid to fall off the board into the ocean. He loved riding the waves.

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Sexy Neck told me afterwards that at one time they had regrouped and a butterfly flew over the two boys and their teacher. He thought, “Nana was present!”

We came home and realized that there were butterflies all over the house we are staying at.

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If you had asked me what I want most now that my mom has died. What I want is my mom back!

Today, I feel gratitude for mornings like today watching my boys using the gifts given to them in God’s beautiful nature and feeling my mom’s presence.

Glory.

Rainbows.

Butterflies.

Men building up boys.

Surfing.

Ocean.

Vastness.

Gratitude.

Be Having a Double Double.

If you know the coffee shop, Tim Horton’s, you will understand my pun on double double.

In the land of palm trees, pineapple and coconut peanut butter (oh ya!), we are soaking up a double double: Day two of double beach days!

Waialua Bay – Paddleboarding.

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We were able to enjoy our last couple of Grandma’s spelt cookies. Yum! Perfect to go with a double double!

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Be Expecting Nana

We are on day one of a gift we didn’t deserve. A gift that unfolded three weeks ago when an old teammate and dear friend said her house would be available while they went away. A gift that was unexpected, unexplainable but extraordinary.

A beautiful home in small town Oahu, very close to the famous North Shore surfing spots. Mountains, birds, orange staining soil, trampoline, flowers, warmth… and oh the smell.

This morning at breakfast Owen exclaimed, “Where is Nana?” I guess he thought that she would meet us in her favourite place in the world.

Mom has shown up.

Day 1 Morning – Playground Beach

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20140318-195633.jpgOur Homestay Backyard – Climbing!

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20140318-195654.jpgCovered Patio

20140318-195702.jpgTrampoline!!

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Day 1 Afternoon – Turtle Beach

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I am grateful that I often get what I don’t deserve.

The gift of life.

The presence in death.

Mom is all over this.

Thanks friends.

Thanks God.

Thank you mom for your life and leading us into death. You are amazing in the past and now in the present.

Off to smell the flowers.