Gifts Not Gaps, Connection vs. Conflict

These are the words that I repeat daily in my mind and out loud with my family. 

Today my husband said the words, as if they were his original thoughts. This is a huge compliment. They stuck and mean something to him too and I loved this moment.

I sometimes have a tendency to focus on the gaps, the little things that frustrate me, instead of the gifts that my family bring to my life. I want to stay in the space of creating connections and happiness and seeing the gifted moments and living happily ever after, day by day. When I focus on the gaps, I get stuck in a negative place and I don’t like that. So this is a daily practice to overlook the gaps, to let go, and to get back to joy as quickly as possible.

When my kids are arguing with each other, I ask them if they are creating connections or conflict with one another and if they don’t answer with connections, I ask them what they can do to create a connection instead of a conflict. It empowers them to choose and to take ownership of their actions and to focus on creating peace, just as soon as possible. Our goal is to create happiness and to take care of each other, all the time. 

This is how we find and create happiness day by day.

  
Choose peace.

Choose love.

Choose gifts.

Choose connections.

We get to choose every day!!

What will you choose tomorrow?

nAMaste

  

Thousand Oaks

  
   
 I love it here and just being with family and friends.

Today I enjoyed family time getting coffees, and having our nails done, while the boys went to see Star Wars. We did a little shopping and ate shared nachos for a late lunch. 

My cousins came over to visit and my mama made dinner for us, sending food home with them. This is one of her many gifts that everyone appreciates.

Afterwards, we played Telestrations together at the table and laughed our heads off.  If you’re looking for a fun game for all ages, this is it!

   
    
 
This picture was of a milk man. My dad is such a funny artist. This one made us laugh so hard.

Life is good in T.O.!

nAMaste

Christmas – Break?

  
We are staying home for Christmas and I have these sweet dreams of what it will be like, having us all together in our “cabin.”

Let’s just say the dreams in my head are different than my reality.

Our timing is off. Our desires are different. Our levels of cooperation aren’t in sync. This is our happily ever after?

We made a nice dinner for just the 5 of us. I was so happy that we weren’t in an airport or freezing in the snow or stuck in the car for a long journey. I felt thankful and was looking forward to watching a movie together or playing a game or going out to see the Christmas lights.

That was until our boys started arguing and the little one wouldn’t stop making noise. The disagreements continued and the discussions ended in frustration and the boys were dismissed to their rooms for the night. No movies. No games. No light shows.

I guess I got a break from them, but this wasn’t the Christmas break I dreamed about. I am enjoying the quiet though. There’s always a chance for a do-over tomorrow. I just wish they could learn before they cross over my patience threshold.

I hope they learn before the break is over because I really want us to all just get along and hang out and live it up, together. 

Wishing you peace.

xo Adriana

 

The Best Kind of Day

  
My sister and my niece came to visit us this weekend and this was my (welcome) sign. It was a play on words that included them with me to create the we and the plural of Here I Am. I loved this very thought from before they even arrived. I sat on my porch last night, waiting and anticipating their arrival with excitement.  

I love being in their presence and when we are together, it doesn’t matter what we do. I feel comfortable and content and truly myself and I have no agenda except to soak in all their love and share it back with them, doing everything and nothing. Seriously. 

These are the best kind of days. We just flowed in and out, together and with the kids, and alone and I couldn’t have asked for anything better.  We were up early and shared coffee and breakfast. We took the kids where they needed to go. We rested and read and fed the kids and shopped. We watched Charlie’s soccer game and made friends. We cooked dinner together and cleaned up together. We laughed and teased each other and shared stories of our lives, the ones we don’t find the time to share over brief, interrupted phone calls and texts. 

There’s no substitute for face to face time. I got to hug her and really see her and share in the joys of our kids playing together and loving one another and growing up together.
I am thankful that she chose to come visit (me) us and took the time  to make love grow. 

Here We Are. 

Togetherness in Full Tilt

I love my crazy family.

We have been together in hotel rooms for the past 4 nights and have had messed up schedules and are still going strong. We’ve had our woes of togetherness but are still in love and ready to keep on exploring.

Today we moseyed on home and stopped at places we wanted to see along the way. We enjoyed the journey and didn’t focus on the final destination.

Our first stop off the beaten highway was Santa Margarita. We wanted to see where the Pozo Saloon was located. The drive out here was gorgeous.

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It was fun to drive down roads we’ve never been on before and to imagine what it would be like to live in a remote part of a town.

From here we continued on and stopped to tour the Firestone Walker Brewery. Again, this is a place we always want to visit, but we are typically focused on the destination and don’t want to stop and slow down. Today we slowed and enjoyed a tasty lunch and brewery tastings.

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As we drove, we were invited to celebrate Chinese New Year with April’s family. We were then excited to be home, but weren’t done just being on the road, as we had one more curiosity to explore.

ML and her family were camping at the beach and we decided to stop in for a quick happy hour and to wrap up our vacation with friends. This happy hour did not include food nor drink – just an hour of togetherness walking and talking and watching the sunset.

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I loved that my family rallied to stop at the beach one more time and to visit with friends! I am lucky!!

And finally, we hurried up to make it home in time to enjoy dinner with April. She had prepared dumpling fixins’ and we arrived in time to help with the assembly. We all had a blast!

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And now, even I am tired and am so happy to be back in my own nest again with all my little chickens in their coops. We are fully baked! Time to rest.

Life is good, living it up every day, every way I can. Hope you’re doing the same. xoxo

Sticky Resolution?

Did you make a New Year’s Resolution or two or choose One Word to focus your life?  If so, it’s been 2 weeks and a day since the turn of the year and I was curious how you’re doing so far.

Here are a few things that help us keep our resolve, thanks to Karen and her wonderful program this week about this topic:

1. Make them actionable.  It’s great to have a big goal and then break it down into the “how to” parts to make it actually work.

2. Set up reminders in your calendar so that you practice the things that are important to you.

3. Find supportive friends and hang out with them and share stories related to your goals.

4. Read about the topics you are interested in and become knowledgable.

5. Immerse yourself.  Make sure you’re choosing to change for you and not for someone else. Dive in.

6. Write down your thoughts and resolutions. Seeing them in writing makes them real and more sticky.

7. Spend money to achieve your goal.  It feels like you’re paying for your success when you put money out.

8. Does your resolution make you happy? Do the work it takes if it does.

9.  What steps do you need to take to meet your goal? Are you setting up an action plan that is doable?

10.  What’s your path to success?

11. Focus on the process and not just the end goal. Start over again and again even if you mess up.

12. Know how to handle pitfalls and distractions. Have an action plan for recovery.

13. Be gentle with yourself.

14. Be specific.

15. Plan.

16. Want it.

17. Commit to it.

18. Take action.

19. Reevaluate.

20. If you fall, get back on track.

21. Enjoy the journey.

My resolutions were to stop swearing and to accept people as they are without judgment.  I’ve cleaned my potty mouth probably by 50% or more and it feels really good. When I slip up, it feels really weird and I don’t like it. It makes me want to start over and try again, so that’s working for me.

As for the accepting people where they are at, this is awesome. I’ve changed the way I react to changes and unexpected surprises and this is so liberating. I love this feeling and it makes me happy so I will continue practicing this.

And finally for my one word, togetherness, I’m loving this choice. I’ve written it down on our kitchen chalkboard and I think about it every time I walk by.

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I notice the moments of togetherness and feel fulfilled.

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I am enjoying this new year’s journey and hope you are too, wherever you are and with whatever you’re choosing to be.

Namaste.

Head in the Clouds

Today I’m thankful that I still have a kid who likes to play in the park.  Because of him, I sat outside on a bench before the sun set and enjoyed watching the clouds go by.

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Sounds silly, but I enjoyed this moment and was thankful that we were there.

I loved watching him run around and climb up the play structures and jump off the slide with his friend.  They were carefree, just playing and running and chasing each other. Luckily I looked up from my phone and magazine to catch these moments before it was time to go.

I’m trying to slow down and do less and today was just the right balance.

I got to clean my house, play tennis and volunteer all before my kids came home. Once they came home, I actually enjoyed driving them to their appointments and making dinner with Jeff and sitting down to a family taco dinner and discussion over candle light.

As I slow down and do less, my kids are wanting to play more. I find this intriguing. Because they see me sitting, they want to come and sit on top of me and want all of my attention. I’ve been fighting this and then wonder why I’m fighting it.  I think by the end of the day I’m tired and am mentally worn out. It’s not that I don’t want to play with them, but I feel like I’m a dog and they’re little kids getting up in my face and I just want to snap.  How wrong is that? I know it and realize it and fought against it and then gave in.  Instead of biting them, I laughed and played and kissed their faces all over the place, so thankful that they wanted to be a part of me and celebrated our togetherness. I’m letting go of my expectation to sit quietly at the end of the day so that I can continue to enjoy the gifts they bring to my life.  I am thankful and tired.  Thank you to all the mamas who remind me to enjoy these moments because they go by so fast. I appreciate your wisdom.

And with that, I wish you a good night.  May all dreams come true.

xo