Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Beautiful Battle

Sometimes there just aren't words.

How do you string together letters to form words, to form sentences, to form thoughts that dance between life and death?  



Yesterday, a friend lost her 14 year long battle with cancer.  I say lost only because I know she would have chosen to stay.  Chosen to watch her daughters graduate from college, get married, have children.  She would have chosen to see more of the world, to laugh with friends, sing, dance, ring in another new year.  She would have chosen to decorate another Christmas tree, plant a new bed of flowers, celebrate another birthday - or two, or five, or fifty.

She would have chosen


But here we are.  Here I am.  Without her.

My heart is heavy as I think about her family, her friends, the people that love her that are left behind.  I let that heaviness seep in - into the crevices of my heart, mind and soul.  It makes me hug my girls a little bit harder, for a little bit longer.  It makes me stop what I'm doing and look them in the eye.  It makes me pay attention - to the sound of my breath, the tone of his voice, the light in their eyes. It makes me unafraid to chase after wild and crazy dreams because what is there to lose. It makes me want to love better and bigger.  It makes me thankful for




of my life.

Let that seep in.  Then live - and love - every minute of yours.

Goodbye, friend.  I will miss you.

Love and Peace,

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Easy as a Rainbow

Maybe it's the time of year.  January:  the month of trying to hold on to new year's resolutions, a fresh slate, an opportunity to try to new things.  Whatever it is, there's been lots of talk about eating healthy.  You see it on facebook, on TV, you hear it among friends.  Often times, there's a sense of overwhelm - Where do I start?  How do I make it last?  If I could offer my humble two cents, I would say one thing:


Yup, that's it.  That simple.  I mean sure there's more we could talk about but I think small steps ensure consistency.  And consistency brings us a whole lot closer to overall healthy living.  

Here's what we do around here.  We try to eat at least three colors per meal.  If I'm rushing to make lunch and hand my 4-year old a peanut butter sandwich with an apple, she'll say, "Mom, 2 more colors please."  Oh yeah.  So then I'll go through the fridge and find some carrots and purple grapes.  There it is - 3 colors for lunch.  We talked early on about these colors being things that we can pick or grow (with the exception of cheese).  In other words, blue tortilla chips and a watermelon fruit roll up - although yummy - don't count.  :) Green salads are anything but just green.  In fact, we try to see just how many colors we can throw into one bowl.  It's kind of like a game, but boy does it work.  And last but not least, you must employ the crunching game.  Table manners are put on hold for a second as we see who has the loudest crunch.  I still hold loudest crunch for carrots, but my little one is queen of crunching a bell pepper.  It's fun.  No more, "Eat your vegetables!! They're good for you!"  

For now, my 4-year old understands that these colorful fruits and vegetables give our bodies energy so we can play all day, run real fast, help us grow and make us happy.  As she gets older, we'll explain that these phytonutrient-rich foods are amazing antioxidants, strengthen our immune system, reduce inflammation and contribute to overall well being.  

So, instead of shocking your family with an entire plate of foreign foods they've never seen or heard of, just start slow.  Add color to your meals and simply start with the rainbow.  I also found that pre-rinsing and chopping means I'm more likely to eat everything instead of letting things get pushed to the back of the fridge only to spoil and be thrown out.  

Last summer I wrote about my favorite hummus recipe.  It's the sweet potato hummus recipe from Power Foods, but it can also be found on the Whole Living website.   It is delicious - every time.  

Normally I use regular sweet potatoes and it looks like this - just like regular hummus but a bit sweet from the sweet potatoes.  

Over the weekend, I used purple flesh Okinawan sweet potatoes and it was deeeelish.  In Hawaii, we ate Okinawan sweet potatoes all the time.  In fact, I didn't know there was any other type.  I finally found some at my local Asian food market and was so thrilled!!   Don't you just love the colors?  

And here's our rainbow salad:  spinach, greens, grape tomatoes, almonds, orange bell peppers, carrots, mushrooms.  Colorful, crunchy and so yummy.  

So instead of being overwhelmed, just slowly add some color.  You'll see how easy (and delicious) healthy eating can be.  

Peace and Rainbows, 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Five Minute Friday - VIVID

While I may be lagging in the whole blogging department, it certainly isn't for lack of something to say.  In fact, it has been a whirlwind of events around here.  I promise to share details soon.

For now, I'm going to give you five minutes, because that's how we roll on Fridays.  I'm joining up with Gypsy Mama where we stop, drop and write for five sweet minutes.  When I saw today's prompt I couldn't resist.

Here's my five on:




You'd think they'd go away by now

those memories, details.

But they are vivid as ever.

The phone call.

His hand resting on my shoulder

telling me

it doesn't look good

i need to go

to the hospital

more tests


The girls staring

one with valentine chocolate on her face

the other, hungry, wanting to nurse.

head spinning

heart racing



You'd think by now it would be a fading memory.  After all, their fears were not my fate.

And yet

the days, weeks, months

of the last year


V  I  V  I  D

Like it was yesterday.

But the thing is

I don't want it to fade.

Because it moves me

pushes me

makes me hungry

for health






Running in the Rain

There's a woman who lives in my neighborhood.

She runs.

Almost every day.  

Pushing that jogging stroller with a little one in tow.

She runs in the heat of summer, child shielded from the sun with water bottle in hand.

She runs in the cold of winter, child bundled warm and toasty enjoying the ride.

Yesterday, as I drove home, annoyed that I got soaked during the 20 feet I had to run from my car to the store, I saw her running yet again.

It. Was. Pouring.

And there she was.


The jogging stroller was decked out with one of those super deluxe water-proof coverings that you would only buy if you live (and run) in the Pacific Northwest.

As for the woman, not only was she running, she was smiling.

I'll admit, my first thought was, "she's nuts."  But then, it hit me.

She has run with the seasons.

She has adjusted.

She has embraced.

She doesn't wait for the weather to be perfect -

for sunnier days, with light winds and intermittent puffy white clouds.

She is running - with a smile on her face.

I love that.

And while I may not be joining her on her daily runs anytime soon, I will run my own race. Today, tomorrow and every day after that.  And that alone is reason enough to put a smile on my face.

Through rain and shine,

Friday, January 6, 2012

Five Minute Friday - ROAR

It's Friday - time to stop, drop and write.  I'm joining up with Gypsy Mama for five minutes of unedited, free flowing fun.  I love today's topic.  In fact, I may have to come back to it later in the week because five little minutes may not do it justice.

Let's do this!  Five minutes on....




My little ones are experts.  They practice all day, every day.  Even my 16 month old has got it down.  They hold their toy lions and in full character, let out a mighty rooooooooar.  I almost always laugh and they shoot me that serious look like, "Hey, what are you laughing at?  The king of the jungle is not supposed to be funny."   They are right.  

He is King 

of the jungle.  

And his roar says it all.  

This year, 2012, I am going to learn how to roar.

No whimpering, whispering, talking under my breath.  

Roar in the face of 



fear of the future

the unknown.  

Roar with 






Because life is not small.  I will not hide until it's safe to come out.  

I will not be silent.  

Cannot be 


I will join my little ones

and together we will



to be continued...

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Birthday Love

It never fails.  On the eve of your birthday I always cry.  It's not a sad cry.  It's a I'm-so-happy-to-be-your-mommy/I-can't-believe-my-baby-is-another-year-older kind of cry. 

You amaze me.  

You are smart and hilarious and witty and compassionate all at once.  

Insightful beyond your years, you teach me life's most important lessons.  

Funny, without even trying, you make my belly hurt from laughing. 

My joy overflows - every. single. day.  

Because of you. 


are a precious gift, 
a world-changer, a peace-maker, a bridge-builder.  

Your kind words and sincere heart

make people smile


What a gift you are.    

I am so thankful to be your mommy.    

May this year be filled with incredible adventures, laughter and love.  

Loving you to the moon and back...