JOURNAL 6/52: (Christmas) Best Thing That Happened This Week

JOURNAL 6/52: (Christmas) Best Thing That Happened This Week

It’s the week between two of my favorite holidays – Christmas and New Year – so it’s only natural that the best thing that happened this week was Christmas Day. It was just a perfect day. Breakfast on the balcony (my fave). And our last day of advent gifts. Bittersweet because it’s been so fun to give and get little thoughtful gifts daily!

And I just want to share… YOU GUYS, I got a BCD! It was hilarious – we opened our envelope of clues and I could not for the life of me figure out where my gift was. Ian gave me a hint. I could see it from where I was standing. I scanned the entire house and still nothing. Ian started laughing harder and I followed his eyes OUTSIDE – and finally laid my eyes on a gift FLOATING in the lagoon! I ran out and saw my gift was atop a boogie board tied up to a nearby mangrove. I kind of already knew what it was, and I was beyond thrilled when I tore it open right then and there. A shiny new BCD that fit perfectly! We already made plans to go SUPing so next week, I’m starting 2018 off with a scuba dive!

We joined our friends and neighbors for a community brunch. Ian made baby back ribs, mmm! Then we all gathered on the beach for a group photo to be shared with fam and friends near and far.

And probably the best part of the day was out on the water. I wanted to take a ‘family photo’ and since our pets are known for their love of the ocean, we grabbed our SUP and kayak and took Yodi and Officer Scruffles out for a swim. We hung out just beyond the reef. I saw a shark for the first time in the wild!!! A friendly black tip reef shark, so no biggie really, but it still made my heart pump. And swam with a bunch of sea turtles. Like I said, it was perfect.

Here’s a sneak peek of our family photos, (and you can find the rest of them by clicking here).

Thank you Louise for helping take these photos!

And while I’m writing this, I want to give a shout out to the Man with the plan, the Reason for the season, Jesus Christ. Thank you for your life that gave me mine. And thanks for another beautiful day.

Journal 5/52: Quote to Live By

Journal 5/52: Quote to Live By

Journal #5: A Quote to Live By

APPRECIATE EVERYTHING.

EXPECT NOTHING.

These four words have resonated with me for nearly 5 years, and it continues to do so. It’s the lens I look from whenever I find myself in a new environment. It’s my refresh button when I feel tired of the routines, the nine to five, stagnant energy, even the weather. I have so much to be thankful for, and I count my blessings every day.

Today is Christmas Eve and it’s a beautiful day. My heart is overflowing with love today, and I am excited to spend the day with my loved ones. Hope you all have a Merry Christmas, and so very soon, a Happy New Year!

xoxo

Journal 4/52: View (and Perspectives)

Journal 4/52: View (and Perspectives)

Inside looking out

The view from my window right now is a lot of green and living things. I can see a little girl playing with 2 dogs a couple of houses away. The pua flowers are in bloom and falling to the ground graciously. The pandanus looks inviting but I know better. Birds are singing and zooming by. I can see the peak of Mt. Matafao, the island’s tallest mountain. The banana tree is leafy and the coconut fronds are salt frayed. The sky is gray. There is wind in the air.

Outside looking in

The studio room is a mess. Christmas wrappers, ribbons, fabric, discarded mail, art supplies… all strewn about. It’s where I’m hiding Ian’s advent gifts. Where I journal. Where I blog. Where I sew and paint things. I’m mentally preparing to close out the year. Declutter. When did I become such a hoarder? Just had a clothing swap with some girlfriends last weekend and then donated the rest of the stuff to Hope House. I’m thinking of getting rid of a bunch more stuff. I did a bit of tidying up around the studio. Here’s a video of that in fast forward.

Journal 3/52: Five Things To Do More

Journal 3/52: Five Things To Do More

Week 3 of Mindful Journaling:

Five things you would like to do more?

1) This was the first thing that came to mind as it’s been high up on my list of goals lately. I would like to TRAVEL MORE. To an unexpected country, a land full of rich history. Experience new cultures and new environments. Meet people and see things differently. Photograph and document those memories. And eventually figure out how to be more than a tourist passing by.

 

2) This year I made it a point to create uninhibitedly. I want to carry this practice to next year, and something I really want to do is to CREATE MORE SHAREABLE WORK. I’m not sure what exactly that would be, but something worthy of sharing. Significant to my life and maybe impactful to others. Whether it’s photos, or a piece of artwork, or even a blog post! haha

 

3) I was going to say I wanted to work out more, but that doesn’t motivate me. So instead, I want to simply BE MORE ACTIVE. That not only applies to building myself up physically, but also putting my mind to work. Do those puzzles you used to love, do the daily sudoku when you’re checking out your horoscope, write down new words and add them to your vocab.

 

4) This is similar to #3 but I want to emphasize this and do more of this. LEARN NEW THINGS VORACIOUSLY; flex my intelligence and constantly sate my appetite with new skills. Been meaning to learn morse code? [ -..  — / ..  –  —. ] (Do it!) Interested in baking your own banana bread? Bake the damn best banana bread anyone’s ever had. And to use what I learn to work smarter not harder.

 

5) In the last couple of years, I’ve become acutely aware of the relationship between our human lifestyles and the state of our environment. Which is why I want to BE A BETTER HUMAN IN THIS WORLD. Do more recycling. Compost. Think sustainably, lean towards earth friendly products and resources, research what I am consuming, and seriously consider how my decisions impacts planet Earth.

 

Journal 2/52: My Home (and a floor plan)

Journal 2/52: My Home (and a floor plan)

When I think of home…

 

Home is one of those words that have multiple meanings for me.

I think of a house, someplace cozy, a warm and comfortable bed.

It’s where I want to be on a rainy day.

It’s in the arms of my love.

It’s this tropical island that I’ve always known.

The faces and places that are etched into my heart.

The place I called home for the longest time was my parent’s house in Malaeloa. I never had my own room as a kid (I shared with my sister mostly) so my side of the room was sacred to me. It was a mess most of the time, but I loved everything about it. Like my side table chock full of notebooks, stickers, and homework. Or my bed always occupied by stuffed animals. And I will never forget me and my siblings’ bunk bed back when we lived in Tafuna, and how we would build blanket forts and have picnics and fashion shows every other day.

Today, my home is a sunny little apartment at Coconut Point. Ian and I are of the mentality that our home is our nesting place, our sanctuary, our favorite place on this island — so we’ve put a lot of love into really making this our home. And now that we have pets, it’s got extra love!

Some of my favorite things about this place I call home:

* Yodi and Officer Scruffles
* All the plants, especially the ones that feed us!
* The bookshelf
* Every room has functional table space
* The balcony feels like a little jungle
* Our DIY workbench
* All the art supplies I’ve somehow accumulated
* The pot of fins, masks, and snorkels
* Living next to the ocean so we can go snorkeling or take our boards out whenever we fancy
* Having neighbors that are also your friends
* The king size bed and all the comfy blankets and pillows
* Air conditioning on hot days
* Ian’s toolboxes
* Our list of goals on the wall
* Christmas lights we keep up whether it’s Christmas or not
* The view out of every window
* Our DIY island on wheels
* The bed desk is soooo useful
* The cast iron pans we make absolutely everything on Earlier this week I drew out a floor plan while I was thinking about what to write, and this morning I decided to digitally illustrate it! I liked it so much I decided to share it with you 🙂 It took me a few hours to complete but doing this really made me appreciate all the details (that I didn’t draw out) and made me think about my home as not just this physical space with walls and a roof but also as my fortress where I can feel safe and at peace no matter what else is going on in this crazy world.

I hope you enjoyed reading a little bit about my home and floor plan. It’s reminded me of all the reasons why I love this place I call home.

 

Where do you call home?

Journal 1/52: Thankful

Journal 1/52: Thankful

I was scrolling through Pinterest yesterday, and I saw this list of 52 journal questions.
The first prompt is “What are you thankful for?” and today being Thanksgiving, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to try out a weekly journal blog, answering questions honestly and candidly so I can work on my writing whilst trying to learn more about myself. Who knows if I’ll actually stick to the schedule or have time to write on some weeks, but for the days when I feel like writing and I don’t know what to write about, here goes nothing…

 

What are you thankful for?

 

I’m thankful for this life. The life my soul lives and breathes in every day that I wake up and flutter my little eyelashes to in the morning. It’s a broad thanks but it means so much to me. To be granted with THIS life. All points leading to now. To being 25 and this life alive.

I’m thankful for my people. The family that my Maker gifted me to: my mom and dad that gave me TLC and everything I needed to start out in life as a decent human being; my sister and brother who colored my growing years with memories to recall on fondly once all the scrapes and name calling faded and forgotten. I’m thankful for all the once-strangers now-friends who withstood seasons of change in my circles. Thanks for accepting all of me even if it was inconvenient and remaining though miles stretch between us.

Most especially, I’m thankful for my person. My best friend. My love. So grateful to do this life with you. You make everything so worth it.

 

Other things I’m thankful for right now:

 

* My little animal friends, Officer Scruffles and Yodi. Despite the meowing and clawing at the door trying to escape, you kids are cool and I love ya anyway.
* Creative inspiration that I thrive off of.
* God’s goodness and mercies in my life.
* The Noa Noa vanilla coffee Alice brought back from Tahiti that I’m currently sipping on. And the fact that it has a Gauguin painting as its label. So art.
* My coworkers who make my job more fun than I thought it would be.
* My house, my home. An air-conditioned room with a bed on the floor, and a studio for making things.
* All my outlets: this blog, tumblr, Evernote notebooks, my midori travelers journal, and all the messy homemade notebooks.
* The ocean’s resources for food, recreation, and healing.
* Our truck. For getting us over mountains and to fun new places.
* Money in the bank. Not much, but enough to fund this wonderful life.
* Lightroom, because it’s the best thing that happened to photos since digital.
* Short work weeks.
* Travel memories.
* Dr. Bronner’s castille soap. I’ve been using it for over 2 years now and I’m still reading the label on there while I shower.
* All the lessons I’ve learned this year.
* Good food.
* Netflix.

 

What are you thankful for?

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