33 – 35/52

You can start figuring life out when you figure out that you don’t know much at all.

#gobows – Fall starts with soccer season in our house. Picnic dinners, friends and pretty skies. No complaints.35a

Selfies and smiles and soccer fields. 35b

This boy. Whatever goes on in the mind astounds me. 35aa
Mango trees and white fences are at the top of my dream house list.35bb

Mangos and fabric have filled my days – and my ‘opu.35c

Word art with meaningful messages. Ain’t nothing better. And it’s pretty sad – or possibly pretty damn great – that this is the ONLY picture I took from our beach house getaway weekend with my sister.35cc

The morning light is changing. summer is leaving us but we seem to be stuck with the heat. I’m hoping that changes pretty damn soon.35d

Hot days mean library hours. And coconut trees from the inside out.35e

I have a thing for gingerbread houses. On the beach – or at least only steps away.35f

Bananas come in all shapes, sizes and colors.
35g

Na pua … pretty, pretty flowers. 35h

Beach life.
35i

Bold and blue … that door! I want one!
35j

30 – 31 … 40 – 41 … I think I’m getting better with age. I had no idea that my life would be so damn complicatedly beautiful a decade later.35k

Saying goodbye is so hard. I know that it’s not a ritual that I’ve mastered. Especially for those I love best.35l

Busy hands and coffee. 35m

HOW DID I GET SO LUCKY? Be still my heart!35n

Unrepentant bibliophile.
35o

Okay – I have a yarn addiction too. But you should have already figured that out. Oh, and 4th grade math sucks. 35p

Mama’s coffee – hand’s off.
35q

Irish bars and Wahine soccer – a perfect fit.
35r

When you live on a island where it’s hard to find good biscuits, you make your own. And sit down with a book. And coffee. 35s

Waking up is hard to do.35t

I found a slice of heaven. And rainbows too. 35u

Intense Obsession = chocolate. Yes.35v

Chef Zone is a dangerous place to let my sister and I loose in. Oh – and it was {literally} freezing in the cold zone. Wear the full-length jackets. I promise – it’s the only way to get the cold-stuff shopping done. 35w

I tried my hand at being tech-savvy. Dead router required fixing and I figured it out. There was a bit of swearing and a ton of questions. But, in the end – SUCCESS! 35x

Stormy skies after my first week of classes.
35y

Seriously – how lucky are we??35z

32/52

“You must listen to your heart and follow it or it will find a million ways to remind you that there is something missing.” {luna adriana ardiansyah}

It’s hurricane season here in the Pacific. We’ve had a few tease us but so far, we’ve been untouched. This is what storm prep looks like at our house. Sidenote: this scotch is a great addition to your home bar – smooth enough to drink neat and good for mixing with a touch of mango juice and ginger ale.
32.1

Beach walk treasure – bleached coral as delicate as lace.32.2

The weather’s been muggy and I’ve been grumpy, but the skies have been fantastic.32.3

The flowers that endure the shoreline winds, the waves, the salt air and ocean mists are those that are the strongest and, to me, the most beautiful.32.4

Passing on tradition. This papa was with his boys, teaching them net fishing and talking story. So beautiful to watch and I can’t help but to think that these boys will we grounded by the comforting weight that this heritage carries.32.5

Leave your slippers at the door – or the beach. Just make sure you don’t take a better pair when you leave. 32.6

The dry side.
32.7

Tagging Shortstack’s personal library of graphic novels and comics so they don’t get mixed up with the library stashes that he comes home with each week. I found this superhero tape at my favorite office supply store and have put it to good use from library creation to snail mail decorations.
32.8

I feel uncomfortable when I walk into a house and don’t see any books lying around. I suppose you can surmise that I am supremely comfortable in our home. Books. Everywhere.
32.9

Mid-day snack. We’re blessed with friends that share their homegrown avos.32.10

Lumpia and homemade napkins for hosewarming. A couple of months ago I chose to eliminate the daily use of disposable napkins in our home. I took myself to the fabric shop and chose two contrasting, complimentary, 100% cotton fabrics and created a couple sets of everyday napkins. We’ve been using them ever since and every one in the house loves them. I made these for friends who are feathering a new nest. And, yes, our table cloth is as loud as I am. 32.11

Alpacas. Nuff said. <3
32.12

Migraine Mediation Failure

I hate migraines. I know, who doesn’t? But I’ve completely wimped out on migraine tolerance over the past two years since my breast reduction surgery was successful in also reducing the frequency and intensity of my migraines. So when a migraine decides to punish me now, I collapse like a wet newspaper. The past 3 days have been all about minute movements and steps for self-preservation. Drugs haven’t helped. Neither has yoga. Or massage. Or water. Or walking. Or – or – or. This morning I crawled my ass out of bed at 4 AM to sit on our couch and whimper to myself, tears leaking out of my eyes as it caused to much pain to actually cry. Fucking migraines.

The edge of the pain has dulled a bit from this morning thanks to my wife digging her elbow into my overly-tensed neck muscles. It started to rain and the whole house smells like that pre-storm moment when you know the rain is going to invade and you have your fingers crossed that it’ll be long and violent enough to justify crawling into your bed cave in pjs with a book and your love. But, I know it won’t last that long or rain that much, so I have my book and I’m wrapping up a couple of finished blankets to pass into the hands of friends for their loves.

My book club (woohoo! I’m part of a book club!!) is reading The Pillars of the Earth this month. I wasn’t convinced that I’d enjoy it. I’ve heard raving reviews – one of my friends calls it one of her favorite books – but I just heard too much hype about it and, after all, it is an “Oprah book club” book. Nothing against Oprah; actually I really like her and her brand. I just don’t tend to put much stock in the popular or trendy choices of books. I think there are too many other stories and books out there that are waiting to be discovered and offer an original voice. I also wasn’t sure this type of story was what I am feeling right now. After all, it’s the end of summer – my attention span is that of a jellyfish and I’m likely to float right by anything that requires deep thinking. But I admit, I’m sucked in. The story is GOOD. The story is messy. The story is real. I’m not seeing the strings being neatly placed in a row for tidy tie-ups at the end. The characters are provoking as much disappointment and dislike as they are interest and compassion. I am definitely not flying through it as quickly as I normally do (blame it on the migraines and the season, or at least I will), but I look forward to picking it up throughout my day and soaring through as many pages as my time permits.

ya1

As for my yarn life, oh! I’m in love with a mermaid. Well, a mermaid pattern, that is. My wife found this pattern for me on Facebook (yes, social media has it’s value) and I’ve been working up a few over the past two weeks. Next up is one in greens for a friend who’s been in love with Ariel and the Little Mermaid since her childhood. How awesome is it that, even in her 20s, she holds onto her mermaid dreams? I finished a wave blanket for our friends who are expecting their first grand niece/nephew in the fall and a collection of yarn flowers for my sister to use in her office decor. In the works are a set of 8 minion beanies (again, for my sister) -who says that work colleagues can’t have a little fun and keep the atmosphere light while working the grind and getting things done. I’d venture to say that their patients (they all work in rehab PT) will have a good laugh at these awesome PTs doing their thing with minions on their heads.

I’m going to jump into a yoga class this morning. Oh, well I’ll likely limp into a yoga class this morning. But I go with intention and hope that the movement and meditation will stomp out the lingering threads of this evil migraine. And if that doesn’t work, you’ll find me curled up in a ball on the living room floor this afternoon.

31/52

“Silence is the communion of a conscious soul with itself.” ~ HD Thoreau

If that’s the case, my soul hasn’t been communing with itself for the last couple weeks. Silence is definitely NOT the rule of the house right now.

Gifts from our hearts for our ‘ohana … and these blankets keep my hands busy
31.1

Home projects and fabric stores = happy me
31.2

We have really amazing people “IN” our life31.3

His expressions tickle me. His only request for the last day of summer – breakfast at Sweet E’s. So, breakfast it was. With books for both of us. It was really quiet and quite perfect.
31.4

Oh, 4th grade – be gentle with the mamas31.6

He’s already got his eyes on other prizes 31.7

Hawaiian style – chickens EVERYWHERE … and dappled sunlight31.8

My wife got competitive. Well, to be honest, all of the athletics staff got competitive. Who said dodgeball was for kiddos?31.9

We do beach days well 31.10

The sun will always come through
31.11

We take our nap time seriously – even at the beach. Especially at the beach.
31.12

He loves his aunties 31.13

Pooped out. The best place to be is in Mama Panda’s arms31.14

Rainbows and wise words
41.5

 

Because you want grandbabies someday

He sat across from me at the end of his first day of 4th grade. We were escaping the oppressive, icky-sticky afternoon heat and enjoying “woohoo! back-to-school” treats at our favorite Starbucks which sits, conveniently, next to our favorite library.

He reached his hand out, mindlessly seeking mine. He’s that kind of kid – he wants and seeks connection.  Affectionate and still loving cuddles with his mamas, our boy is completely at ease giving and getting love. Thank the gods! I’m not one who knows how to restrain myself when I want a kiss or a cuddle. Not a day passes in our house that I don’t sweep our boy up and get some loves in. Granted, he’s getting bigger and heavier and stronger so it’s a bit more difficult to catch him by surprise or to fully gather him into my arms. But that doesn’t stop me from trying.

We sat there, catching up about the day – what went down, which friends were in his class, the appropriateness of talking story with your friends while in class on the first day of school (or not!) – all of that info that the Mamas want to know . While we talked, I was working through the first-day-of-school homework packets that parents have to wade through every year – the forms for emergency contacts and lunch accounts, permission slips for internet use and program participation. One by one, I read the forms, piled up the ones that needed information and signatures, put aside the ones that would go into the 4th grade year file and kept one ear tuned to the adventures of our boy’s days.

“I’m glad I don’t have to do parent homework yet.”

My pen stopped mid-signature.

“Yet?”

“Well, yeah. When I become a dad, I’m going to have to do that stuff too, I guess.”

My ears perked and my attention zeroed in on the sweaty little man sitting across from me, his whiskey eyes looking at me under the sweep of his generous eyelashes.

“Do you want to become a dad one of these days?”

“Mama! Of course! You want grandbabies – you’ve said that before.”

“I think you’d be an awesome daddy, and yes – I totally want grandbabies but you should have babies if you want babies. You get that, right?”

“Oh, I want babies. I’m going to be a dad.”

“That’s awesome, baby … just not yet, okay? Like, wait until your married – or have a job.”

“Till I’m a grown up? Of course, Mama!”

And on we  went, our conversation veered off toward the use of computers in his homework this year, whether or not being a JPO is something he’d be interested in and how mini vanilla bean frappuccinos are the most awesome after school treats ever created. Especially when whipped cream is involved.

We cleaned up our table, stashed away all the parent homework forms and his journal, tucked our chairs in and, as I searched through my purse for my sunglasses, our 9-year-old little man graciously held the door open, patiently waiting for his mama to trail after him. After he settled himself in the car and asked to continue listening to our current audiobook adventure, he squeezed between the seats, reached over to give me a big smooch on my cheeks and whispered, “I love you, Mama.”

grandbabies

Oh, my love, you are going to make an amazing daddy some day. But you will always be my sweet baby.

 

28, 29, 30/52 – good-bye summertime

She’s simply beautiful <31

As is our home island. Waikiki sunsets never fail to impress.2

We staycationed – there was a lot of lounging and vegging and snuggles. 3

My sister is obsessed with piggies, as her shorts demonstrate.4

Sisters by heart. We celebrated our sister’s marriage this summer. The getting ready part is always fun – once we wake up. Coffee, stat!
5

Made up and all fancy pants. Shortstack’s not used to seeing his aunties all dressed up with make-up, hair down and dresses. It was hilarious watching him watch us. 6

It’s pretty freaking amazing what a little bit of make-up can do. Too bad I don’t have the patience or inclination to apply make-up in daily life. 7

The wedding was full of personality. And Star Wars. Apparently the guy is red is an Imperial Guard guy. He’s a bad dude. Supposedly. Doesn’t my sister look beautiful? 8

Hey – look! We’re still looking all fancy pants. 9

Wendy and Shawn gifted the wedding party bonsai plants. I love this! The orchid we were gifted for our wedding is still growing (although its been couple years since it’s flowered) and every time I water it, I think about our wedding day and take a moment to love my wife.
10

Found these wise words at our library circulation desk. Smart words. Live by them.
13

He’s home. Life’s getting back to normal. Including our library days. 14

Summer blooms and clouds. Now if we could get the trade winds back, all will be well.
15

Mama & Shortstack selfies are a favorite past time.
16

Must. Have. Or must recreate. 17

4th grade classrooms are pretty cool. 4th graders are pretty cool. Now if this Mama can wrap her head around the fact that our boy is a 4th grader. 18

Papa is a go-to for math help. Even during the summer, brainwork must be done. Unfortunately, there was almost 5 weeks of limited use of brain cells, but he’s had several weeks of brain engagement upon his return home. Hopefully it won’t be too much of a shock to his system when school begins. 19

Mermaid tail. Cozy blanket. Perfect for curling up with a book and underwater dreams. This was one of my favorite projects to crochet up. My wife found this pattern and several friends have already placed orders. YAY! 20

The house has been changed up a bit. Yet again. We were generously gifted this couch that has already worked it’s magic – all 3 of us fit comfortably on it and we’ve all staked claim to certain spots. Make your home fit the life you love. 21

It’s back to school for the Shortstack this week. Mama Panda begins her fall insanity with the student athletes making their way back to campus and teams starting their fall seasons. As for me, I’m focusing on keeping the house calm as we get the academic and athletic year started before I begin my courses. I’m headed back to school for my teacher certification. Busy is not a bad thing. You all may need to remind me of that as the year begins to get chaotic.

 

???/52: oh hell – it’s life

Summer’s almost over. Thanks to a DOE calendar fluke, Shortstack’s summer break is very short. We’re bringing him home this weekend and then he jumps into soccer camp and a family wedding. Life is never dull.

Speaking of soccer – if you’re soccer oblivious, you may not have known that the Women’s World Cup was happening in Canada. It boggles my mind to think that 5 years ago I had no clue that the World Cup existed. Ah well – my life is inundated with soccer peeps now. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Especially when they have such sweet hearts and big love for our family. One of Panda’s close, oldest friends whom she used to play soccer with in Aussie-land passed this jersey on to our little boy. Tradition and history, people! It gets me every time! Nads – we love you! xo1a

Australia played and made it to the quarter finals – my wife was crazy-proud.
1l

Every summer I launch myself into a home refresh. I move things around, I deep-clean rooms and closets. This year I added color to our living room floor. It’s true, I may be in a bit of a color rut. I’m sure not complaining.1b

I’ve been prepping for the PRAXIS with plans to go back to school for my teaching certificate. I’ve also been devouring books from my TBR pile, drinking coffee with my love and enjoying slow and quiet weekend mornings. 1e

Summer = shower tree flowers1d

Summer = Friends of the Hawaii Library annual book sale. I usually average 3 trips which, this year, added 62 books to our home library. Seems like a lot but considering the most expensive book I purchase is $4 and I scored on the 1/2 off day.
1c

I was most excited about finding this treasure at this year’s book sale. Banjo is an iconic Australian poet who I’m a bit enamored with. And, I’m half-convinced that our Aussie family is related to him … but I suppose I need to find the ancestry links before I claim that, huh?
1g

Shortstack is obsessed with graphic novels and comics right now. A total new world for me, but I’m happy to oblige – especially when I can find a stash at the book sale.
1k

There’s always this.
1f
The blue path1h

That’s Doris Duke’s Shangri La nestled on the tip of that point. I’ve been walking down to this beach weekly and imagining what her life must have been like, living in that space.
1i

Naupaka 1j
We spent evenings with friends, enjoying happy hours and taking time for the two of us to reconnect and watch the sunset
1m

Don’t believe all the criticism – Waikiki is pretty darn beautiful!1n

Web chats sustain this mama during long summer breaks. 1o

Can’t complain about blue skies – but it’s been freaking HOT . Thank god, the trade winds have returned.1p

I know, I know … 95* is nothing compared to the heat in places like AZ … but 95* in Hawaii … nope! Not for me!!1s

Tropical beauty found everywhere.
1q

Everyone should have a spot. I do. 1r
There was a lot of sorting and cleaning this summer – including the purging and organization of Shortstack’s library. And then I found Book Catalogue. Seriously! Have you people found this app? If not – do so! Especially if you’re a bibliophile. 1t

Yep – we’re UH peeps. And we love our UH Athletics ‘ohana!1u

Papa and I went old skool for 4th of July – we headed down to the Kailua parade like we used to every year as I was growing up. 
1z

LGBTQ peeps represent! Such an AMAZING era for our LGBTQ community and it was emotional to see the celebration in our Independence Day parade. 1aa

Yes, even the linen closet was purged and organized. We’ll see how long this neatness lasts. 1v

CHEESE!1w

There may have been some sunburn. I swear, I applied sunblock. I may have forgotten to reapply. 1x

Cheers! Celebrating a special upcoming wedding!1y

Life’s busy, beautiful and blessed. Enjoy your summer, my friends. It’s swimming by so quickly!