Tuesday, November 30, 2010
I need to take a break from blogging.
* * *
Please, go hug your family members and tell them you love them. Life is too short.
And if you are of the praying kind, please say a prayer for my family. Thank you.
My (work) morning began in a puddle of tears. My "Mr. Fish" is no more. Fortunately, The Hubs was right there to console me (um...did I forget to mention that we also work together? Well, not actually together, but our offices are down the hall from one another) and it helped, but I am still sad. I knew this day was looming, as Mr. Fish was no longer swimming happily but spending more time at the bottom of his fishbowl as of late.
The thing is, I didn't even want this fish. A previous employee had the dumbass idea and thought it would be fun to "get a fish" and perhaps pair him up with another beta so that they could fight one another. Um...NO. And I knew she wasn't really all that interested in him to begin with; after a week, the novelty of his presence had worn off and she'd forgotten about him. So of course I stepped in and adopted the little guy, cleaning out his bowl every week, feeding him, and even going to great lengths of feeding him little bits of green pea when he was constipated and couldn't poop (yes, this is for real - Google it!...they can get backed up and peas work like a laxative). He was a sweet fish.
So anyway. I'm sad. I washed out his bowl this morning for the last time.
Swim free, Mr. Fish. Swim free.
Monday, November 29, 2010
Ahhhhhh. The lazy weekend that follows Thanksgiving is always a welcome reprieve from the nonstop activity surrounding the holiday. Especially when you've eaten your weight in all the trimmings and suffered multiple food comas enough to surpass even those with the most voracious of appetites. While we are no longer eating leftovers, we are still taking delight in the unabashed feeding frenzy, because this is a freebie weekend (or so I tell myself).
The Hubs and I stayed on-island this holiday; although we missed our family and friends on the mainland, we were blessed to spend the holiday with friends who feel like family...and we ate to our hearts content.
Never oblivious to how fortunate we are on so many levels, Phil & I still wanted to do something a little different this year to pay it forward and express our gratitude for all that we have.
Phase I of Operation: Filling Bellies began with a trip to Costco earlier in the week to pick up much-needed food for our furry, four-legged friends; we purchased the food and dropped it off at our local chapter of the Humane Society.
Beforehand, Phil had already established that we would not be paying the animals a visit, lest I leave a blubbering mess - or worse - with a puppy in tow. He knows me all too well...and so I conceded. We dropped off the food and drove off in silence; each of us a little worn down emotionally from the incessant barking and howling of the dogs in their kennels. Really...it was bittersweet; I cried about it afterwards. I don't want this to be a political post by any means, so this will be the only time I will ask: if anyone reading should feel so inclined as to make a donation, it would be much appreciated. For the record, this is NOT a no-kill shelter; the only way to change this is to increase adoptions and in order to do this effectively, MHS needs funding to advertise and to continue with mobile adoptions, where they spend days in busy shopping centers or at local pet stores, bringing adoptable animals out in the public eye. Make a friend for life...adopt a pet!
Phase II of Operation: Filling Bellies took place on Thanksgiving morning. The Hubs and I made a bunch of bagged lunches to distribute to some of the homeless on the island. As much as we would have loved to make a real Thankgiving feast for the needy, time prevented us from actually doing so. But still...turkey sandwiches are a pretty good runner up, wouldn't you say?
We had our two-man assembly line going in the kitchen, where we made sandwiches and put them in lunch bags with a soda, chips and sugar (because sugar is always fun!). Admittedly, this wasn't the healthiest of lunches, but again, it was a freebie weekend for all. And besides, it was put together with love, so it's our hope that each of our recipients felt it.
(Ha! A shot of my cute Hubs in his PJ's. :)
Afterwards, we loaded up our bulk boxes and drove into town to distribute the lunches:
In the evening, we went to our friends house and sat as two among a table of twelve, toasting to the traditional feast before us and each taking a turn to give thanks for our lives...everyone and everything in it.
It was a beautiful Thanksgiving!
How was yours?
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
It's been a full week and I have spent the last seven days..."processing". I have missed writing more than I thought I would, but it has been a welcome (and much-needed) break to step back from my usual internet routine and just sift through all the "stuff" I've been thinking and feeling as of late.
I didn't reach an epiphany or anything dramatic like that, but any uncertain thoughts are now clear to me simply for having spent the time to mull things over. I have more to share, but it is late and tomorrow is a big day.
Here's hoping everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving; may you all find yourselves surrounded by family, friends and love in abundance! Eat, drink and be merry!
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
I feel it again. It happens this time every year, after another birthday and the ritualistic reflection leaves me feeling particularly pensive about the past and its effect on my future---our future.
It is a process I go through every year; that elusive shift in perspective where I find myself surveying my life, sometimes critically, but still, always...searching.
This year was no different. I suppose it is only natural to feel slightly narcissistic on one's birthday, when, afterall, it is supposed to be the one day a year when it is "all about you". But I am finding that with each year that passes, these "birth" days have become less about wreckless celebration and more about introspection and curiosity and rumination and the incessant desire to just GROW. To lift my face towards the sun and God, to reach upwards with a sense of purpose and conviction that I feel deep in my heart.
I've been brewing a deeper post over the last few days but haven't really had the energy to sit down and bang it out. But I'm getting there. Tonight, The Hubs and I just needed some time to breathe. We are back from dinner and having just dropped the last of our visiting friends off at the airport to catch a flight back to San Francisco. It has been a crazy-hectic three weeks, and I am E-X-H-A-U-S-T-E-D.
So the post will have to wait.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
How do you search for blogs?
It sounds like a silly question I know, but I'm serious. How do you find blogs that are of interest to you? I enjoy reading a few blogs that I found through the Blogs of Note feature, but I wish there were a better way to find clever blogs that aren't necessarily topic specific (ie: photography/cooking/art). Some of the blogs I'm currently following I found only because of a link "party", while others were recommended by friends.
So I'm curious...how did YOU find some of YOUR favorite blogs?
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Ten years ago today, we were on a beach, here in Hawaii. Phil had taken the initiative and booked us a trip out here to celebrate my birthday. Today, it still ranks as one of my favorite trips...ever.
"Before we go to dinner, let's take a walk on the beach", he said. So we showered, got dressed and left our room, letting the heavy hotel door close behind us.
Leaving the air conditioned hotel lobby, we stepped outside and were immediately enveloped in warmth and humidity. The night was young; the sun had set only an hour before, but the air was still heavy and damp from the heat of the day. He grabbed my hand, lacing his fingers through mine and led me down the paved pathway of towering palm trees, towards the beach. We crossed the neatly manicured lawn and the rows of hibiscus until we were met with the warm sand between our toes. Making our way to the water where the waves rolled lazily onto shore, we meandered the length of the empty beach, settling into the rhythm of easy conversation.
He started by telling me how much he loved me; how much his life had changed for the better, simply because I was in it. He went on to tell me that he could imagine us together, years down the road, when we were old and gray, as happy then as we were at that moment. I remember looking up at him and smiling, my belly filled with the familiar butterflies he has managed to give me since our first "date" back in 1992 when we were just a couple of kids. And I ate all this sweet talk up with a spoon, because what girl doesn't like to hear words of sentiment from the love of her life? I was completely oblivious to what this all foreshadowed.
And when he stopped walking, turned to me and took both my hands into his, it hit me in an instant...I understood. The rest was a blur - when he knelt on one knee, everything went quiet; it was as if the world was on pause, giving us this moment together, just the two of us.
Oh, how I wish that I could remember the poetry of beautiful words he said to me right before he asked me to be his wife...but for the life of me, I can't. I don't remember much because I was so completely swept up in the moment; so filled with love and joy and happiness and adoration. I cried. He cried. And it wasn't until long after I'd said "Yes" and the tears had stopped that I was finally able to admire the most beautiful piece of jewelry he so painstakingly researched and picked out on his own. My man did good. :)
One of my favorite photos of the two of us and the only photo from that day: lunch at the Aloha Tower Marketplace. I'm lovin' the vintage feel to the photo and the fact that we both look like kids; it's a beautiful reminder of our history together...our love, our youth and all the years in between.
Ten years ago today.
If you haven't already, FALL IN LOVE. I highly recommend!
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Aloha, friends! I'm back in the saddle and feeling human again. I spent the majority of the last 4 days in bed, logging in copious hours of sleep; clearly, I was in need of rest. Our bodies are amazing machines, finding ways to tell us what it needs and rendering us useless when we fail to heed the warning signs. (Duly noted, body. Thank you.) I'm feeling so much better...not yet 100%, but definitely better.
I have been wanting to post about an act of kindness that arrived in the mail recently; it was a gesture that warmed my heart and I am still filled with gratitude for the wonderful blessing of friendship.
Hands down, the greatest gift I've received through the act of blogging are the friends I've made along the way. When the internet became "the next best thing since sliced bread" and message boards and online journaling became more mainstream, I jumped on the LiveJournal bandwagon and began blogging. That was almost a decade ago, and it thrills me to have formed online friendships with some exceptional and phenomenal women out there. Some of these girls I've had the fortune of meeting in person ( it was the coolest experience to book a flight to New York a handful of years ago to meet up with 5 girls I'd never met in person, but whom I'd come to know and love over the years)...but for some, I still look forward to that day.
My friend Becki is one of these amazing women. Becki and I became blog-buddies back in 2002 and although we have yet to meet in the flesh, I feel as if I have known this girl forever. She gets me. We have exchanged long, essay-like emails over the years, many of them centered around our shared Christian faith and I count her among one of my dearest friends. She is warm, supportive, loving - all the qualities you hope to find in a real friend.
Knowing my love for fall foliage and the lack of such pleasures out here on Maui, my beautiful friend hand-picked and packaged up some of the prettiest leaves from New York and mailed them to me, complete with a calendar and Psalm daily planner. When I opened the box, the beautiful scent of Fall surrounded me, enough so that if I closed my eyes, I was momentarily transported to the East Coast.
Even Grace enjoyed the goods!
I filled a hurricane vase with a handful of leaves, where they nestle against a vanilla scented pillar candle, burning brightly and happily, despite The Hubs' inquisitive remarks: "Um...isn't that a serious fire hazard?" :)
...and I pressed a few in between the pages of my bible, appropriately marking Proverbs 17:17.
The leaves are ripe for the crunching, so later this week you can bet I'll be taking them outside so that I can satiate the urge to hear the satisfying crackle beneath my feet.
Thank you, Becki. I love you and I am blessed to have you in my life!
Call a friend or send a letter (hand-written notes trump email any day of the week) to tell them you love them. Friendship is a beautiful thing!
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
I have been running myself ragged the last week and a half and I am definitely feeling it. Nonstop activities, coupled with the recent change in weather has only exacerbated my fast-track to sickness. Last night when I retired to bed in full PJ's, socks and an extra blanket, even The Hubs knew something was up. Me? Not so much.
I was in denial all day, chanting my I will NOT get sick mantra, downing Yogi green tea like it was my JOB and trying desperately to ignore all the signs. Tonight, it has never been more clear. My throat hurts, I can't stop coughing and I'm cold. This is not a good sign. It is especially upsetting since our friends are visiting and I don't want to be quarantined, nevermind the fact that being sick and lacking energy SUCKS.
The only upside to feeling under the weather is that it warrants a little extra TLC. And I'd be a liar if I said I didn't enjoy The Hubs doting on me hand and foot.
I will NOT get sick...I will NOT get sick...I will NOT get sick...