The Best of January

Part of “thriving” to me, is recognizing big and small wins so you feel good about the things you’ve been a part of, so I’m kicking off a “Best of” series which will to up at the end of the month, highlighting my favorite moments of that month. In no particular order:
 

Best Sleeping PositionIMG_0773

Best Business BuyIMG_1335

Best FriendsIMG_1382

Best Photo of Moss on a TreeIMG_1286

Best seat in the houseIMG_1343

Best New ExperienceIMG_1156

Best thing I could’ve done for this blog
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Best Panoramic Shot

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Best New DesignIMG_1075

Best New Guilty PleasureIMG_1155

Best use of $18IMG_1160

Best Lunch

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Best DriveIMG_1214Best Conversation (it was about butts)IMG_1318

Best Reason to Turn off the TV

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Best Shot of the Girls’ Room (It normally looks way messier)

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Wow. It really was an amazing January. I’m so glad I wrote this post. I’m so grateful for the life I have, for the people in it, for the place I live in. Grateful grateful. What were your best January moments?

 

 

My Lame Art Wall Progress

I haven’t made art a priority the way I’ve been wanting to, despite all my lofty ambitions, but I have been collecting quotes and pictures that I want to get up on the wall somehow. Here are some of my faves:
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There are many more I’ve been sticking into a folder for printing, but as of yet I haven’t gotten around to it, and I really have no excuse. It is easier than ever to print photos and I still haven’t done it. What would I do if I had to go develop 35mm film? My poor children would NEVER see themselves. At least these are fun to look at – even if it’s just on a computer screen. Hopefully this will motivate me to get them up on the wall and in REAL LIFE.

Morning Routines for Moms: Can it be done?

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I hear TONS of people (or is it just a few people over and over?) talk about morning routines and how important they are to having a productive day, blah blah blah. It sounds SO GREAT I’ve made MANY, MANY attempts to have one of my own – something that allows me to step into a new day with intention, having paid a little bit of attention to myself so I don’t feel robbed and utterly depleted by the end of the day.

The thing is though, that all of these people who talk of having glorious 1-2 hour routines where they exercise, read, write, walk for five miles, or whatever, don’t have little kids. As much as I’d like to have a morning routine, I’m just about ready to give up on one because I’m either too tired to get up before the kids, or if I do get up, the kids wake up earlier than usual and if they’re awake, forget about it.

The words routine and kids don’t always fit nicely in the same sentence.

It’s possible that the routines I’ve tried in the past were unrealistic. Maybe I wanted to do too much. Maybe I need to lower my expectations for what can be accomplished in a morning routine at this time in my life. So I’ve decided that instead of having a rigid set of actions, it’d be better to choose a few things I’d like to do and prioritize them so that if my morning got cut short, at least I made time for the most important things.

My ideal morning would have the following:

  • Prayer/meditation
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Exercise (or some kind of movement)

If I could do it all, GREAT. But if all I got around to doing before Leo wakes up was meditating for 5 minutes, I would just call it good and be grateful that I had five minutes to do something for myself. I’ve accepted that my life doesn’t look like the lives of many of the folks I look up to and read about with their zen-like morning routines, and that’s ok, because I wake up to two beautiful faces who absolutely light up when they see me, who make  their first ten minutes the most radiant part of my day – even if it does disintegrate into poopy diapers, spit up and oat meal rubbed into the couch.

Moms – have you managed a decent morning routine? HOW do you do it?

Habit Building in 2014

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Last year a few months after Leo was born, I went to see my childhood dentist, who promptly told me I needed a root canal and 11 fillings. Not bad for having not really gone consistently to a dentist for 10 years (except for 2 other teeth I had to pull in that time), but still disappointing because I’ve gone countless times since to fix all the problems in my mouth. Well, no more. Ever since that first appointment, I’ve started to floss every night before bed and I intend to keep it up. Flossing has finally become a habit after years of knowing I should do it but not.

I cannot tell you what a big deal it is to be able to say that, and since realizing this has indeed become a habit, I began to ask myself “why now?” What it boiled down to was me being so sick and tired of my mouth being problematic that I decided to take caring for my mouth seriously.

And that was that.

This attitude is boiling into other areas of my life as well. I don’t know where it’s coming from, but I’m filled with a desire to take action, whether it’s the blog, business, the house, my kids. I’ve spent so much time (YEARS!) talking about things that I want to get done, never committing fully to anything in case it tanks and I get disappointed. I’m sick and tired of that. I want all that to change however, and I truly believe that habits will help.

Encouraged by my success with flossing, here are some other habits I will be working on this year:

  • Making the bed every morning
  • Blogging every weekday ( so far so good!)
  • Incorporating a daily cleaning routine into my schedule
  • Tidying up the house (with particular emphasis on the kitchen) before going to bed
  • Journaling regularly (not quite sure what that means yet)

These all have to do with a greater desire to

  • Live in a beautiful and orderly environment
  • Stay in touch with my self
  • Keep my creative juices flowing

I definitely won’t be tackling these all at once, and I certainly won’t be expecting success right away, but I will be chipping away at them slowly as I feel my determination to work on them intensify. I’ve been extremely kind to myself as I’ve worked on flossing and blogging, and I’ve discovered something interesting: the kinder to myself I’ve been, the more determined I’ve been to not let myself down. I fully embrace not having the answers and not forcing changes that just aren’t ready to be made yet. This should be interesting, and I’m so excited about a new year of habits.

p.s. I’ve been subscribed to Leo Babauta’s Habits of Entrepreneurs (NOT an affiliate link) and it’s been so great to watch what habits do for successful entrepreneurs (who also happen to be really nice people.) It’s a paid subscription, so the quality is great and I’ve enjoyed it so far.

Currently

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Coming to terms with the weekend being over.

Nursing Noweo’s sore foot (she jumped off a jungle gym and landed funny)

Working on an exciting new project and floating in creative juices. SUCH a great feeling!

Celebrating a very successful January (in every possible way)

Looking forward to keeping the momentum going in February

Dreaming up new products and making lots of plans.

 

 

 

Around Here

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Around here I am in disbelief at how quickly this week went by.

Around here I didn’t do so good at making salads, mostly because the shopping I did this week didn’t include salad stuff. I still need to “systemize” our lives a bit so things run smoothly. It still feels like we just moved in and I’m constantly trying to get things under control.

Around here I’m 2 dentist appointments away from having “perfect” teeth again (or at least hole-free)

Around here I’m getting excited about working some local craft fairs.

Around here I’m excited about my new cards hitting the shelves here.

Around here my kitchen has been mocking me with its’ messiness, but one of these days I’ll be mad enough at it to whip it into shape.

Around here I made some art…and failed so I threw it away. I had such high hopes! I’m not giving up though. I will have a success story to share with you soon.

Around here I’m still smiling about the extra family time we had this week. Keola and I even went to Kona on Saturday and were away from the kids for a whole day! I’m learning more and more how important down time really is. Wishing you some quality down time this weekend.

MLK Day at Volcanoes National Park

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I almost don’t want to mess up this post with words, but I just loved Monday so much. We went to Volcanoes National Park since national parks are free on Martin Luther King Day, and I just love it there. It’s an incredible world of lush forest alive with the songs of native birds, barren rock, steam, lava and fire. There is blackness and destruction, and incredible life and re-birth. It was so good for my soul to explore this place with my favorite people.

p.s. It’s perfectly safe as long as you stick to the marked trails and roads. If there is any danger the park rangers will close off those areas. Sometimes the air quality can be bad depending on which way the wind is blowing, but overall it’s an amazing place that can be enjoyed by most.

Hooray for New Business Cards! + General Thoughts on the Blog Re-Design

When I decided to re-start SoPupuka, I knew I really wanted this space to be full of life and color. I wanted it to make me happy and remind me of how awesome life really is. I didn’t want to take myself too seriously, but rather, share life as it’s lived and appreciate those little things that make each day worth getting up for. I also wanted it to represent our life in Hawaii without being too…floral. So I went with a photo header – one of my all-time favorite pictures looking out past Moku Ola. My new SoPupuka logo was written by me (I hate my handwriting so this took me a while to get right). I’m finding this current design to be one of my favorites because it just exudes the mood I want to capture here.

I continued this train of thought with my new business cards, using a handful of favorite images (yes, I know there’s a flower). I could not be happier with the result:

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The Real Life Benefits of Blogging

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Since completely re-starting this blog (taking down ALL my old posts and starting fresh) I really do feel like a whole new blogger. I don’t want to jinx myself, but since January 1, I’ve published a blog post every weekday. I think that’s the most consistent I’ve EVER been and I have loads of energy to blog. I’m not sure what the difference is, but so far writing in this space has been an absolute joy and I hope it shows. The best part about blogging so far this year has been the benefits I’ve experienced in real life. Here are some things I’ve noticed:

1) I write EVERY DAY (except Saturday). I’ve been wanting to establish a writing practice, and I haven’t been able to do that until now. This is different from journaling, as I usually post what I write, but to sit down and compose something has been fun and enlightening. The more I’ve written the more ideas flow and the more inspired I feel in general.

2) I take more pictures.  I prefer to have photos in each and every post so I make more of an effort to take photos every day and to improve my iphoneography. Maybe one day I’ll get a “real” camera, but for now I enjoy the photos I do take and think they come out fairly decent. I’m also glad to have so many pictures of Leolani. Since I had Noweo pre-iPhone, I actually have less photos of her and more of Leo. That’s a first.

3) I notice and appreciate the little things more. This small act has inspired my Around Here posts, Dear Leolani and I’m sure will inspire many more. This is all because my main goals for this blog is to remind myself (and my readers) that life is beautiful. I can’t really do that unless I take the time myself to see and be grateful for what I have.

4) I get more stuff done. Thanks to my editorial calendar I’ve gotten better (not perfect) at working on projects that I plan to share here on the blog. Knowing that I’m going to be writing about something will light a fire under my butt to actually do them. Interestingly though, I find that if I announce that I’m going to do something on the blog, I tend not to do it, so I try to keep quiet about what I’m working on until I’ve actually got something to show. I don’t want to make empty promises here. I’d rather just deliver stuff I’ve already done.

5) I get to play with design. If you’re a long time reader here, you already know that my blog design changes a lot. I think I’m slowly honing in on what I want my personal style to be, but that doesn’t mean that I won’t play with different elements here and there. It’s always fun to see something in the blogosphere and challenge myself to re-work that idea into my own space and my blog is my own personal canvas where I get to do that. Everything I’ve learned about design started because I wanted to play with my blog design.

6) I’m learning about how I best work. I’ve always considered myself a morning person, but every time I’ve tried to get work done in the morning, someone will inevitably wake up and need me before I’m ready to be done working. I’ve finally given myself permission to work at night. As I write this, I’m sitting in the girls’ room waiting for Noweo to fall asleep. It’s perfect. I get uninterrupted blogging time while still helping Noweo feel ok about being in her room at night. I’ve embraced going with the flow, and that’s made a huge difference for me. This little shift is spilling over into other aspects of my day – cooking, cleaning, projects, work. I’m getting  a little better at juggling it all.

7) I engage more with others. Motherhood can be a lonely gig but making friends through this blog has helped. Of course, nothing replaces having real life interactions, but when that’s not possible, this blog helps me to feel connected to people. This blog also often ends up being a topic of conversation in real life (and I’m actually kinda shy and embarrassed about it when people talk to me about it.) I’m amazed and honored that anyone wants to read it.

8) I have a record of my life. Again, this doesn’t replace real life journaling for me. There’s a lot more that I write in my journal that I don’t think is appropriate for this blog (and it’s probably boring anyway), but this blog is nevertheless a great way for me to keep track of our lives (and probably easier on the eyes.)

9) I have more of a desire to LIVE life. It’s really hard to have material to blog about if you’re not doing anything, and before I really started taking this blog more seriously, I felt stagnant, blah, like I was just going through the motions without any purpose. Blogging here changed that, and it all ties in to #3 and #4. You can live without blogging, but you cannot blog without living.

Many of these things I already knew, but after not blogging for a while and then blogging again, I’ve re-learned these things in a profound way. If you’re considering blogging but aren’t really sure what blogging can do for you, I urge you to give it a try for a month and see if it gets you moving in other aspects of your life. If you’re feeling stagnant about your existing blog, maybe it’s time to shake things up by changing your look or your focus. Maybe you need to do something drastic like me and start the whole thing over again (by the way I still have my old posts – I didn’t lose anything. THAT would be tragic). Wherever you are as a blogger, I really believe that blogging can change your life for the better, and have seen it happen for many people. Most of us won’t get book or movie deals, interviews on national talk shows or see our posts go viral, but the learning, the connection and the living that can occur as a result makes the journey worth it.