Happy Veteran’s Day 2015


Today is Veteran’s Day and we all took the day off to remember what this day means to Americans. This year we visited Santa Clara University, where they conducted a brief program, wreath laying, and had a special celebration to mark the 240th anniversary of the U.S. Marine Corps.

My take away from listening to one of the service men, was that the people who choose to serve in the military, choose to serve others. They choose to sacrifice and give up their comforts and freedom to protect our American values and to represent us and to keep us safe. They go off to Afghanistan and Iraq and other places to fight evil and to protect our freedoms. They give of themselves to give to us. Isn’t this an amazing concept?  What are we doing to serve others? We need to continue thinking about what we can do to create a better world vs. thinking about what’s in it for me?  We get to shape and live our American values through our choices.

Tonight at our children’s gathering at church, the kids and kid leaders worked together to fill over 140 lunch bags with healthy food items and love notes and rain ponchos to give out to others who might be less fortunate.



We are living our values. We are loving each other. We are making a difference, one tiny step at a time. Each child took home 1 to 3 bags so that they could give them out to people they meet in the community who may need loving and comfort. They are learning American values to take care of the less fortunate and to be giving. I am so proud.

So many people fight over religion or race or the color of Starbucks cups, but let’s remember that we get to choose because we are free. We can make the world a better place with one bag, one hug, one smile, one tour, one love. You have power. Use it wisely. Love yourself and love others – love is the great equalizer.

nAMaste and thank you, veterans for your service and for churches who bring people together to serve others.

The Magic of Tidying Up

I just finished reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, by Marie Kondo.  If you haven’t read it yet, I definitely recommend it and following the advice, not that I’ve done all of what she says but it definitely has changed my life.

She provides strategies for creating space and decluttering so that we can get the most out of life. Her advice is simple and her words keep resonating in my head. Her basic premise is to consider all that you have and ask yourself whether each item brings you joy. If it doesn’t, she tells you to get rid of it so that you can create space for what does.  I absolutely love this and keep thinking about everything I see now and wonder if it brings me joy. If it doesn’t, I’m letting it go and clearing it out. It feels so good to get rid of stuff, I can’t even tell you.

My mom was here last week and I was telling her about the book and how I want to get rid of everything but that it takes time to clear things out. I pointed to a cabinet in my kitchen and she started asking questions and the next thing you know, we’re clearing out the cupboards and now they are empty. The space is ready to be repurposed and I can’t wait. Right now I love just knowing that the shelves are empty and that there is order.  I can’t wait to do more.

I called my sister to tell her of my a-ha moment and she told me she was reading the same book and was already clearing out her closets! She sent me pictures of the pounds and bags of stuff she was ready to recycle and sent me pictures of her newly organized closet. She was so happy. I couldn’t believe we were both reading the same book at the same time and sharing similar experiences.

My favorite part of the book is the end. The book is about learning how to declutter and find a space for everything and putting things back every day so that you have more time to do what you love and to spend less time wasting life on tidying and looking for things you can’t find.  She helps you to learn how to make decisions and to chose what is meaningful and these processes relate to all other parts of our lives.

She says, “pour your time and passion into what brings you the most joy, your mission in life. I am convinced that putting your house in order will hep you find the mission that speaks to your heart. Life truly begins after you have put your house in order.”

I think by deciding what you want and don’t want and by being actively present and aware as you make these decisions, these small daily decisions will actually help you to decide what else you really want in your life and to take action right now.

I already noticed in a change in my thinking. This morning I woke up and decided I wanted to go to the Farmer’s Market. Usually I’ll sit around and read the paper and make excuses why I shouldn’t move or go out. Today was different and I made a decision to go and invited Jeff to join me. He said yes, and we went on a spontaneous date together that made my day. I loved walking around, seeing friends, gathering food for dinner tonight, and eating breakfast together outside.

  

When we came home, I decided I wanted to cook Thai food and learn how to poach chicken. I spent several hours in the kitchen cooking and preparing dishes, just for fun. I didn’t procrastinate, as I usually do, and I enjoyed cleaning out the kitchen and just being home, playing and cooking. I loved seeing the kids come in to pick at my food and to enjoy my work and that an impromptu dinner was ready when they were hungry. I loved bringing out my beautiful dishes that I love, and actually using them just for me.  I think this is what Marie Kondo was talking about.

I created space. I made decisions. I enjoyed what I love and today was good.

I wish the same for you. Clear out the clutter. Create space. Do what you love.  nAMaste. xo

Small Infinities

It’s the little things in life that bring me joy, yet sometimes I get stuck thinking we need to be doing bigger things, having shared experiences and seeing the world while we can.  I want to do it all.

I want to flow and I want to create opportunities and sometimes the yin and yang of this is confusing. 

I’m talking about spring break.  I wanted to plan a family trip together but my family had other plans.  They wanted to stay close to home for various reasons. I always want to go places, but I’m the one who is home the most so this makes sense. I want to go and they want to stay.

We were generously offered a week in Tahoe and we regretfully decided to decline. This was a hard decision for me, yet it was best for my family, and so it was. 

I love spending time with my favorite people, yet sometimes what they want to do is just to do nothing. They are happy to be home and relaxing doing what they do.  This is okay with me for a little while and then it drives me crazy. Except for today. 

Today I was thankful that they just wanted to chill. I decided to chill along with them, which means I did the dishes, and cleaned up the clutter again. I went through the stack of papers on my desk and made an updated to do list, and filed and shredded papers. While we were sitting together, Juliana FaceTimed from Japan and we all sat on the couch and shared stories. 

  

This made me incredibly happy and finally I could appreciate what Jeff likes to call the small infinities, those little things that mean everything. If we were busy running around, we may have missed the opportunity to all be together.

I was finally content to be at home and was happy that my paper stack dwindled.

I then began working on my photo backlog and Jeff helped me solve a problem, while we sat on the couch and watched Charlie play outside. This made me very happy!  This was another small infinity, that I would not have experienced if we were driving in a car some place or on vacation some where. 

The last little thing that made me happy just going with the flow, was when we decided to walk over to April’s house to pickup Charlie. It felt good to feel the sunshine on my face and the cool afternoon air, walking hand in hand. 

Love wins. Small infinities are sometimes just as good as big infinities. 

nAMaste – live it up – big or small and enjoy what is.

With love,

Adriana

Love Wins

I was and am sad today. I am still dealing with neck/shoulder/back pain and I am not liking it. I am accepting it and am aware that I am aging and I don’t like this reflection of reality, even though I get it.

Instant gratification is not an option. I understand that healing takes time and patience and I have to wait. Ok. I surrender. I just don’t like it.

When I don’t like something, I get quiet. I take time to reflect and feel it and sit with the uncomfortable feeling. I know this won’t last forever, that feelings are fleeting, but even knowing so, I still feel sad, and I stay quiet.

I quietly folded the laundry and did chores after my physical therapy appointment. Dinner was already ready, as ML and I cooked earlier in the week together, so all I had to do was wait for everyone to get home and heat things up.

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This created space and time. I was looking forward to sitting on the couch with a cup of coffee and reading this afternoon, since I had “nothing” to do. Whenever I get quiet, it’s like the kids just know something is wrong and they want to be right with me and in my space.

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They want to comfort me and want my attention. It’s like they have a 6th sense. My kids are usually busy too, doing their own things.

But when I get quiet and less busy, suddenly they aren’t busy anymore and they become attached. First I get frustrated by this, and then I surrender and all is good. We laugh and play and just enjoy each others’ company.

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They love me and I love them and they want my happy spirit to come back. I surrender. Love wins. It always does. Goodbye, pain. I’ve got more lovin’ to do.

Puppy Love

I’ve saved this thought for awhile and today I thought I’d share a new word with you that represents a sort of puppy love.

It’s kind of embarrassing and I wasn’t sure I’d ever share it, but it makes me laugh every time I think of the term.

The word is Wuppy.

A wuppy is like a wife and puppy combined to make a wuppy.

I Am a wuppy. There. I said it. A wuppy. What a funny word.  

I Am a wife and kind of like a puppy combined.

I’ll explain. Think of a puppy. They’re so cute and loving and just so happy to see you and want to play and like to go for walks and need lots of attention. They want to kiss you and wrap their body around your legs and wag their tail to show you how happy they are. They look up to their owner like they are the best thing on the planet and are so loyal. And sometimes they bark and make mistakes and messes too. Let’s just keep it real.

This is what I feel like inside. I have all this energy and excitement and I wait for my husband to come home every day. Not exactly 100% like that, but you know what I mean. I am always busy, but I love to see his face and jump up and down and get excited like a puppy when he arrives back home again. Seriously. Not even kidding.

I probably drive him crazy. Well, I did for several years, until he realized that I just love him unconditionally and am so happy to see him every time, like it’s the first time we ever met and this is my normal. This is weird. I know. But I do. I am a lucky dog!

I am so thankful that he goes to work every day and provides for our family and allows me to live out my dream, that I just feel utterly happy, grateful and thankful. Without him, I couldn’t be who I am. He commutes in Silicon Valley traffic and works long hours every day. I don’t.

I get to be home with our kids. I get to make dinners and coach the kids and get them where they need to go, in sickness and in health. He enables me to be the best I can be and for that I am ever so thankful, every day, although I probably don’t tell him this enough. I get to build community and volunteer and exercise and keep our home running efficiently during the hours he’s gone at work, working for the good of our family. Just like him. For this, I am thankful and fulfilled. I am living my dream, thanks to my life partner.

And tonight I just want to acknowledge him as it’s his birthday. I am thankful that he was born and that he chose me to be his wife and to share kids and our life together, in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad.

Every day.

I am thankful.

It doesn’t get much better than this.

I love you Jeff. Happy Birthday. And many, many more.

Woof.

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Comfort

Most of my family was together this weekend. Several of us couldn’t be there, but for those that could and did gather, we provided comfort for each other.

We experienced a family tragedy that we cannot comprehend and the pain is still raw and will be for quite awhile. We needed to hold each other, and to share time and space as we experienced the loss and tried to figure out what and why and how, even though we’ll never really know the answers. Life is a mystery, and sometimes it’s dark and doesn’t make sense and we have to figure out a new normal.

We came together to celebrate life and to do what we always do. We met at my mom and my dad’s house and just hung out together. It wasn’t fancy. It wasn’t formal. It just was. And it was so comforting just being with one another, and being our true and vulnerable selves.

We sat on the couches, watched the football game, swung on the porch swing, chatted and laughed, ate and drank, cleaned up the dishes and food, and looked out for the kids and each other. We told jokes and shared memories and teased one another. There were no expectations and there was no rush. We just were together in a shared space and we provided love and comfort for one another in it’s many different forms. No one wanted to leave.

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We tried to comfort one another during our time of sorrow, and even though we can’t take away the pain, we found comfort sharing tears and hugs, unspoken and spoken words and love.

We found comfort in each other, and for this I am thankful.

When life is a mystery, how do you find comfort?

I wish you well, my BeLoveRs! xoxo