Happy New Year!

I love this life. I love all the memories and stories and the journey. Thank you for being a part of my life and for all the goodness you bring to this world.

I hope 2014 is just as good, filled with happiness, joy, good health and sunshine for us all.

Live it up. Love it out. Enjoy the moments.

I wish you enough, as the sun sets on 2013. You are loved.

Happy New Year, my friends!! xoxo

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A Good Marriage

What makes for a good marriage?

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These pictures were in a store front window and made me laugh and think.

As sexist as they may be, there is some truth to them and I think the truth pertains to both sexes for both statements.

What I see in the images is that a good man provides for his wife. I also think a good wife provides for her husband. How the couple chooses to provide and support one another is key.

In the second image, it shows that it’s important for a woman to maintain her health and look good for her mate. I think it’s important for both partners to take care of their physical well being and to look and feel good, primarily for themselves and secondarily to maintain their attractiveness to their spouse. I disagree with the measurements, of course, but agree with the idea of maintaining our health so that we can live a healthy, long, life together. When we feel good about ourselves, we have more positive energy to share with others. I think it’s important that we take the time to exercise and eat right most days, and to accept our bodies while we continuously maintain and improve them.

What are some other important attributes of healthy marriages?

I’ll share a little list.

1. Trust.
2. Unconditional love.
3. Laughter.
4. Independence.
5. Togetherness.
6. Shared interests.
7. Open communication.
8. Respect.
9. Patience.
10. Understanding.
11. Empathy.
12. Appreciation.
13. Confidence.
14. Faith.
15. Admiration.
16. Support.
17. Friendship.
18. Shared dreams.
19. Compassion.
20. Thoughtfulness.
21. Physical attraction.

What would you add to the list? What are the most important attributes?

I think that marriage is a practice. It’s something that is never done. The happily ever after comes after doing the work and investing time and energy and creating a shared history of practice and loving and forgiving and letting go and creating and starting over and keeping things new again and again. The practice of renewal and commitment helps to strengthen the bonds of marriage and keeps the relationship fresh.

In Dutch, they have a word to describe a cozy, warm, joyful, home or experience that they describe as gezellig. There really isn’t an English equivalent for the feeling that comes from this word that I know of, but I think gezellig is a good word to describe a good marriage.

Is your marriage gezellig? I wish you enough.

Namaste.

Beach Day – Capitola

Some of us made it to the beach today, which made my day.  The drive over Highway 17 from the valley to the ocean is magnificent.  I love driving through the trees and mountains and over to the other side, especially when the weather is warm and the sun is shining brightly, like today. Sometimes going to the beach in the winter time is the best time for a visit, like today.

Life is good. 

 

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Following the Light

I am fascinated by light and water. I wanted to go to the beach today and see the ocean, but the rest of the family was happy just relaxing at home. Even though I desired going out, I’m also happy when everyone else is happy and I’d rather be with everyone than be alone enjoying the beach.

So instead, I enjoyed playing cards with my sister for four hours, knowing we had no where we had to be and nothing we had to do. This was liberating! Today truly felt like vacation. Jeff read his new books, CJ played on the computer, and the younger ones were content just playing and hanging out together. We went for a bike ride and the kids played in the park, appreciating the warm air and bright, California winter sunshine.

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Around 4pm, we decided to get dressed and to go watch the sunset. We all loaded up in the car and ended up following the light through Silicon Valley, down through Half Moon Bay, and ending up in San Francisco. In the end, I got to see the beach after all. Thanks guys!!

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I love this life, right now. And happy birthday to my BFF!!

Perfectly Imperfect

I think acknowledging that I am perfectly imperfect is a way of admitting I make mistakes and that I choose to focus on learning and growing despite the experiences that are less than desirable.

We are human. We mess up. And so what? This is normal. We all do and it’s part of living and loving and learning and growing. And because I choose to focus on positive living, I choose to share the mostly positive stories along my journey, because I think that if we focus on what’s right and good, we will want to repeat these behaviors. I choose to learn from the chaos of life, focusing on solutions, forgiving, and moving on to loving and living it up as quickly as possible.

When I make mistakes, I like to acknowledge them quickly and to apologize for any actions that create discomfort for others so that we can quickly move on and begin to enjoy each other again. I love learning, even when it’s challenging and points out ways I need to grow. I like to tell my kids that I’m still learning when I make a mistake. I hope that this allows them to know its ok to make mistakes too, that adults aren’t perfect and that we always have ways to continue learning how to become better at this life thing.

When a family member makes a mistake, I like to do the same. I like to acknowledge the issue, address why it happened and discuss how to make things better and then forgive and move on. My philosophy is to let things go, as quickly as possible, and to let go of anger, frustration and/or the need to be right.

My sister is visiting us today and was surprised when she witnessed a family disagreement. Our family is passionate and we have loud opinions that sometimes clash. She was thankful that we are normal, and that I am crazy!! :-). After we all calmed down, we apologized for our melodramatic parts and understood why things escalated at the moment. Hugs and kisses were shared and we went back to living and loving again, just like that.

Simplicity. It doesn’t have to be ugly and complicated or embarrassing.

Perfectly imperfect. How was your day?

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Anticipation

We were preparing and anticipating Christmas for 30 days and then it came and went. All the shopping and cooking and decorating and cards and stuff to celebrate relationships and love and then it was over in a flash.

Juliana was anticipating the release of the new Justin Bieber movie and today we had a date together to go see it. We both enjoyed the documentary and took away a few lessons.
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We were spending the time waiting and anticipating the arrival of my sister and niece. The presents were wrapped, food was bought, the house was cleaned and we waited anxiously outside for her to arrive.

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Now that they’re here, we are enjoying their presence even more and soaking them in.

All week we’ve been waiting and anticipating different events and enjoying the journey. Even when the events pass, we’re still learning and dreaming of the next event and savoring the moments. I hope the excitement lasts forever! I’m sure it will.

How was your day? Did you anticipate something new?

Happy Boxing Day!

Today is Christmas

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It’s just after 10 pm and I just sat down to rest and reflect on the day. I typically sit for awhile and check Facebook, email, Instagram, and the news while I think about what to write. Charlie came up to kiss me good night and I wanted to stop and be present and really see him and wish him a Merry Christmas one more time before he went off to bed.

This moment captures the meaning of Christmas to me. Being loved and being loving. And isn’t it great that we can share this gift every holy-day, 365 days a year and it doesn’t cost a penny?

We had a full day of celebrations, with family and friends and enjoyed unstructured and unscheduled time, being thankful.

We continued trying something new today by going to the movies on Christmas, which I don’t think we’ve ever done before. Man, the parking lot was so crowded and the lines for the movies incredibly long. We had to sit in the front rows to be able to sit as a big group with our friends.  I enjoyed this relaxing family time together, as everyone was content and quiet, with no interruptions!  Gotta love it.  It’s the little things. We saw Frozen, a wonderful Disney movie that portrays strong, brave, women characters with a message of true love.  I thoroughly enjoyed this movie and recommend it for everyone.

I hope you enjoyed your day and shared some love and light with those near and far.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

xo