Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Today, I'm choosing to be the best I can be.
 I don't need to worry about if I can maintain it for the rest of my life.
 All I need to focus on is here and now. 
This moment. 
And in this moment, I have everything I need. 
And I am thankful. 
In this moment, I have love.
 I have health.
 I have well being. 
I have the wisdom of experience. 
I have the ability 
to view my failures and mistakes
 through friendly eyes
and an open heart. 
In this moment, I trust. 
I have faith. 
And I choose love. 

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Freedom is a choice

"When you are steadfast in your abstention of thoughts or harm directed toward yourself and others, all living creatures will cease to feel fear in your presence. " - Wayne Dyer

In order to move forward and become the people we're meant to be, we have to be willing to give up our attachment to the past. Using today's precious life energy to carry the hurts of the past is an act of limitation of the future. To be free, we have to choose to be free. To forgive, to quit blaming and to refuse to harbor hostility toward self or others from this point forward. I choose to be free. 

Love is emotional

Aloha all... 
This week has been a roller coaster of emotions. It seems like there is a lot going on in the various realms of my life.

 Home and personal life have taken center stage lately.  Last Friday, H and I began revisiting the idea of adoption and building our family. This is not a new conversation, but it resurfaced (seemingly suddenly) because of a deeply personal situation involving dear family and friends. It's been an emotional (and at times, heartbreaking)  discussion to say the least, and our minds have been baby focused ever since.

Monday started off strong and optimistic. I woke up to Whitney Houston in my ear and a gorgeous blanket of snow covering Mauna Kea and was inspired to get out for a morning run. The soundtrack of the day was "When you Believe". I was fueled by the idea of miracles.
Snow on Mauna Kea... a Monday in February
Tuesday was a mixed bag, catching up on paperwork for my job, and still trying to balance my emotions on the whole baby conversation, while maintaining healthy habits. (Eating well, exercise, meditation, kindness to others, all that good stuff.) 
Efforts at being healthy: fried egg with fresh island salsa.
Wednesday was a long drive (120 miles) for work and making more efforts to trust my intuition and do what I think is right, even if it goes against the grain.  Some days it hits me, how far removed LOVE is in the realm of social services.  That's just not right. What's life for, if not to give of ourselves to make this world a better place? 
Wednesday's napping kitty

Thursday was more discussion about choices. There's a sense that we're living a life that's too small. That we're here to do something bigger, to do more with what we've been given. Something I admire about H is her generous spirit. She gives to give, not for the purpose of getting something in return. And she doesn't give when she's not inspired. Unlike many people who are conditioned to be "people pleasers". If H is giving you her time and attention, it's genuinely coming from a place of love. Good values for raising children... don't you think? 

We were too busy to do much meal planning, so we threw a dinner together.
Salad with hard boiled eggs, feta, pepperocinis and bacon wrapped scallops. Nom Nom Nom!! 
On Friday, we celebrated Christy's 60th birthday with a small gathering. We had kalua pork, spinach and rice, taro bread, and a salad, followed by chantilly cake and haupia ice cream. 
Friends since elementary school. Auntie Di has been lifting heavy weights,
so picking up the Birthday Princess was nuthin.  ;)
Friday night with family and friends was a totally appropriate way to wrap up the week. H couldn't help herself and began talking with our aunties about the adoption discussion, and the possibility of going through foster care licensure in the meantime.  Which led to more discussion about what that entails.... to be continued.

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Gift

I feel the need to share this today. 
I've always had a fair amount of intuition, but I haven't always been willing to 
follow it. 
Sparing details for the moment, a lot has been happening lately.
 I've been making a point of consciously tuning in
to my intuitive mind, 
to actively embrace the gift. 
It's amazing how the obstacles presented by the rational mind 
are but mere hurdles you can fly over 
when you're aligned with spirit. 
More to come...

Inspired and humbled

Free yourself  
regret and shame
Jump up
and try again 
expect to rise 
never give up

It was a touching day in helping-hands-land. It was one of those days where I questioned myself: Have I listened deeply enough? Have I examined the situation closely enough? Did I try hard enough? Did I love enough?

It's an honor to do the work that I do, and I hope I always remember that. These young lives are sacred. I love that I can see the goodness, in the midst of fire and ice.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Weekend, I love you!

How I've been coping with work.
"Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love you, tomorrow, you're only a daaaaaaaaaaaaay away!"
I decided to switch out the Annie energy and give Rosie the Riveter a try.
Thoughts like
 "I'm a badass."
"I can deal with tough shit"
"I can handle anything" 
got me through a difficult week. 

Finally! The weekend! :)
(And a build-your-own-kebob-bar). 

Huge waves at Volcano ... standing on a cliff overlooking this, I got soaked. 
Waves rolling into several cliffside caves. 
Saturday hike out to see the petroglyphs. My first time to view them.
I was in awe. What an incredible place I live in. 
Post wedding thank-you dinner at K&K's.
 Whole grain garlic bread (done on the grill with loads of garlic), kebob and
a tasty veggie salad.

Cheers to the weekend! It's just what the Dr. (would've) ordered. :)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Yuck. Today sucked. (But I rocked!) Moving on.

I am so seriously pooped today! Talk about the "Hump Day from Hell".

I'll spare you the details, but the summary is this: my day ended up being a total juggling act. I ended up with waaay more work than time to do it in, and it was a challenge to keep all the balls in the air at once.

I did my best to keep calm. To be honest,  I'm pretty impressed with myself and my triage skills. A year or two ago, a day like this would've brought out my worst side. Pretty sure I would've acted like it was the end of the world.

Today? It was just a shitty day.

We all have them.

Thank goodness for my level head, for my friends who let me vent (for a mere 25 cents a rant), for the bottle of chianti that V brought home, and for the pizza delivery guy who made dinner a no-brainer.
BLT pizza from Big Island pizza. That's mayo swirled over the top, lettuce and tomato.
It's good stuff, Maynard! 

Tomorrow will be better. It has to be.

Valentine's Day Feast for the Senses

For Valentine's Day, Hawea made me these gorgeous bacon roses!!!!

Nah... just kidding!
I saw this online earlier in the day and
 and I snagged the picture for future reference.
(Because I might need to make them someday, of course).
Bacon is divine.
Flowers rock.
Need I say more? 
A real blossom on Valentine's day
Dinner was lobster tail with steamed asparagus.
It was the first time V ever cooked lobster, first time I've ever eaten it.
We were in heaven.

Strawberries for dessert. 
Stuffed with dark chocolate cream cheese,
stuffed with white chocolate cream cheese
Dipped in semi-sweet chocolate 
And last, but not least, my first attempt at chocolate cherry cheesecake
The crust stuck to the pan... note to self... more butter next time.

Everything's better with butter. :) 
What else says lovin' like cheesecake in the oven?

All in all, it was a terrific night. Of course there was a Whitney Houston tribute involved, and a bit of wine. The evening was  awesome enough to convince us to start a new tradition of home cooked decadence ("the sky's the limit") on Valentine's day.

I can already see it... bacon roses DIPPED IN CHOCOLATE....

In closing, here's a  little shout out to love:

"Love doesn't make the world go round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile". 
-Franklin Jones


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Monday munchies

It's Monday again and the weekend was waaaaay too short. I didn't do anything fun or exciting :(, but at least got caught up on house chores. :)

I set some nutritional goals for the week, which should be do-able. They include eating a few small meals every day, and focusing on getting enough protein, and plenty of water.

Here's my lovely lunch sammie:

Turkey, a fried egg, colby jack cheese and mustard on an english muffin. Tasted like an egg mcmuffin from Mickey D's but better. :)

It will be interesting to see what the week holds. My tastebuds are looking forward to our Valentine's Day feast tomorrow night!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Keepin' it real.

 My life isn't glamorous but it's lovely all the same. Here are a few of the moments that brought smiles to my face this week. Enjoy!
Fell in love with this ride the other day when I snuck off to the beach.

Makes me think of Edward

And Bella. :)

A walk in the acres... you never know what you're gonna find. 

The most effective way I've found to de-stress.
 Going for a swim at Richardson's beach. 
It just wouldn't be right if I didn't include a picture of food, now would it? This is the Smokehouse Chicken flatbread pizza from Jamba Juice. Mmmm mmmmm mmmm! 

Wild nene goose on Devastation Trail
Domestic Diva in action. This is my "cleaning hair".
Bathrooms scrubbed, floors swept, furniture vacuumed, dishwasher emptied
and closets cleaned. BAM!

Let another week begin. :)

Missing her already.

The scene in our home today: I was browsing Facebook and saw a status update.  I called to V in disbelief "they're saying Whitney Houston died - I have to see if it's true" and before my sentence was finished, the phone was ringing. V said "I bet that's Jen now calling to tell me". Jen was at the bar in Iowa, and saw it scrolling across the tv. 
She called to see if V was okay. 
V was that kind of Whitney fan. 

It's not surprising, then, to learn that Whitney has been the soundtrack to our 7 plus years together. She's a die hard fan of "Old school Whitney" and I rallied around her comeback CD. Every few months we have a few too many bottles of wine and end up dancing in the garage to our favorites, leaving the CDs out, knowing it wont be long before we "just wanna dance with someone" again. 

It's amazing when I stop to think about it. Her music was truly woven into the fabric of our lives. My earliest Whitney memory was crooning (off key, of course) as a 4th or 5th grader to "The Greatest Love of All". My friend Camron had taped it off the radio, and we listened to it over and over. In the innocence of my childhood, I couldn't begin to grasp the true beauty of that song. 

"Greatest Love Of All"

I believe the children are our future 

Teach them well and let them lead the way 

Show them all the beauty they possess inside 

Give them a sense of pride to make it easier

Let the children's laughter remind us how we used to be 

Everybody searching for a hero 

People need someone to look up to 

I never found anyone to fulfill my needs 

A lonely place to be 

So I learned to depend on me 


I decided long ago, never to walk in anyone's shadows 

If I fail, if I succeed 

At least I live as I believe 

No matter what they take from me 

They can't take away my dignity 

Because the greatest love of all 

Is happening to me 

I found the greatest love of all 

Inside of me 

The greatest love of all 

Is easy to achieve 

Learning to love yourself 

It is the greatest love of all 

I believe the children are our future

Teach them well and let them lead the way 

Show them all the beauty they possess inside 

Give them a sense of pride to make it easier 

Let the children's laughter remind us how we used to be 


And if by chance, that special place 

That you've been dreaming of 

Leads you to a lonely place 
Find your strength in love

It's remarkable that a woman who entertained us at the ages of 10 and 13 still brought joy at 35 and 38.    From the 80's hits, to the Bodyguard, to club music, to her comeback CD, it all has a place in our hearts. 
In my favorite songs, she's singing about LOVE. And maybe that's why we will always love her. 

Saturday, February 11, 2012

An afternoon with Pele

Thank goodness for Friday afternoons! On my way home from work this Friday, 
 I took a detour through Volcano National Park.
One of my favorite places on earth. 
The start of Devastation Trail

It's so easy to get lost in the silence and stillness.

Signs of life: the Hawaiian nene goose

Sunshine wiping the shadows away

Wind whipped hair at the Kilauea Iki crater.

Friday, February 10, 2012

My Shadow

My shadow wears
                                                           tank tops
 flip flops
 yoga pants 
and she knows the order of things
her hair like octopus arms
 My shadow is a sneaky ninja
free like the wind 
rooted like a tree
 a taller, lighter version of me.

This week has been a mixed bag. I guess that's what life is though, right? "Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get." God bless Forrest's mama. 

On Monday I posted about how great the day had been, how productive I felt. I knew better than to expect ponies and rainbows all week, but I was caught off guard when I heard of the sudden death of Theo, a family friend. Theo is a bit younger than my parents and was a fixture of my childhood. We're distantly related, and I always thought of him as a friend. The kind of person you love because you want to, not because you have to. 

Of all people, I know how precious life is; how everything can change in an instant. (See my previous post - The World Breaks Everyone). Just when you think you're unshakeable, something happens that shakes you to your core all over again. 

Thinking about how short life is... I realized I didn't want to waste another minute of my afternoon. I stole off to the beach, my happy place, and I went for a swim. My perspective is always deeper, broader, different when I am in the water. I dried off in the sunshine, only half caring that I was playing hooky to be there.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

It was a pretty good day!

For a Monday, this day rocked!

I started the morning with a cup of coffee, followed by a green smoothie. I must say, the smoothies are getting better, and I'm happy with the fact they contain a full day's serving of fruits and vegetables.

My first meeting of the day was with a youth on my caseload, his mother, and his probation officer. It was successful! After months of hard work with this family it finally feels like it's paying off. What a great feeling. :)

I had a parent session later in the day, followed by a run / walk in the heat of the afternoon. I'm being generous to call it a run. On the bright side, it was 75 minutes of sunshine. 75 minutes of freedom.

After that, I sandwiched in some errands with Jenn, then Kristi came over after work and we wrapped. She brought chocolate covered strawberries (Holy deliciousness!!!) and I finished the night in front of the TV, wondering how much longer it will be before Ben discovers that Courtney is a raging B.

Yep, that sums it up. It was indeed a pretty good day. :)

Monday, February 6, 2012

She Let Go

She let go. Without a thought or a word, she let go. She let go of the fear. She let go of the judgments. She let go of the confluence of opinions swarming around in her head. She let go of the committee of indecision within her. She let go of all the ‘right’ reasons. Wholly and completely, without hesitation or worry, she just let go.

She didn’t ask anyone for advice. She didn’t read a book on how to let go. She didn’t search the scriptures. She just let go. She let go of all of the memories that held her back. She let go of all of the anxiety that kept her from moving forward. She let go of the planning and all of the calculations about how to do it just right.

She didn’t promise to let go. She didn’t journal about it. She didn’t write the projected date in her Day-Timer. She made no public announcement and put no ad in the paper. She didn’t check the weather report or read her daily horoscope. She just let go.

She didn’t analyze whether she should let go. She didn’t call her friends to discuss the matter. She didn’t do a five-step Spiritual Mind Treatment. She didn’t call the prayer line. She didn’t utter one word. She just let go.

No one was around when it happened. There was no applause or congratulations. No one thanked her or praised her. No one noticed a thing. Like a leaf falling from a tree, she just let go. There was no effort. There was no struggle. It wasn’t good and it wasn’t bad. It was what it was, and it is just that. In the space of letting go, she let it all be. A small smile came over her face. A light breeze blew through her. And the sun and the moon shone  forevermore.

~Ernest Holmes

*Crediting Raven Joy of the Big Island for the material for this post. This is her original photo, which she shared on Facebook a couple of years ago. Pictured is Faith, arms open in crashing Tsunami waves.  Raven recently posted the writing by Ernest Holmes as well.  It seems the two should be paired together. Thank you, Raven, for sharing your creativity so freely. Letting go is a beautiful thing. 

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Snapshot Sunday

Some sweet moments of this past week:
This was too sweet. Addi sprawled across my lap, saying "LOVE ME". 
Nifty green clutch, half price at Target.
Caramel frappucino. 'Nuff said. 
Cha-ching!!! The body wrap business is paying off. :)
Actual cash deposit from wraps sold this week.  
Playing with Instagram. 
Mediterrani-yum flatbread pizza from Jamba Juice. 
Goodie case at Hana Hou Cafe in Naalehu.
  (I didn't order, but felt the need to snap a pic.) 
Saturday night at Lucy's Taqueria 
Flower power on my Thursday morning run. 
And last, but not least, amused by this handsome fella in the driver's seat
outside KTA.