Summer to early Fall is when Dahlias are in full bloom. And right now, our greenhouse has eight pots of Dahlias that are either fully grown or just sprouting. By the end of summer, there will be a grand appearance of all of them in full bloom which I will get to enjoy after a hiatus of almost 2 years. The last time we grew Dahlias was before we moved at the end of December 2011 after losing our house. We had to either give them away or let our friends take care of them for us until we were able to have a place to grow them again… The ones we have now except one, were recently bought this year since Rob and I decided that the greenhouse had enough space for them. We missed growing them and now we are super happy that we can enjoy these beautiful flowers once again… It brings back so many memories of our old home and the garden that we used to have, but this time instead of feeling down about it, it gives me a renewed sense of joy and peace.
Seasons come and go, but the journey continues through each chapter of life, taking its course where we are destined to be… A few years ago, I never imagined that we would have a 2600 sq. ft. greenhouse in a beautiful location, where I could escape to every week and be surrounded by beauty all year round. When these Dahlias begin to fade late November, we still have our succulents, bamboo, palm trees, Japanese maples, and my hubby’s exotic jungle of carnivorous plants. Sometime this month we are also going to bring in a lemon tree and grow our own veggies, a long awaited project that I have wanted to do for a long time… It’s going to be fabulous, I cannot wait…
Do you want to see my Dahlias?
Hope you enjoyed these few pics… I will post more updates throughout the summer/fall as they begin to flourish.
Have a great weekend!
Summertime… I think of long days, beaches, sunsets, BBQ’s, sleeping in, drinking lemonade, movie nights, road trips, watermelon, swimming, traveling, laughter, evening walks, boba teas, baseball games, game nights, and most of all, enjoying my family and my boys while they’re out for the summer!
Last weekend, we had some great sunny weather and took advantage of it by heading down to the beach, just a 5 minute walk away. I had my four nieces over and they have been asking to go to the beach for the longest time. So, my hubby and I decided to walk to the beach for a fun afternoon with the my boys and their cousins. We had to hike down to the beach since it was at the bottom of a cliff. This beach runs a several miles, but the beach that were at was in a more secluded area so there weren’t too many people except a few fisherman and locals walking their dogs. As soon as we got to the bottom, the kids were off to the shore to be chased by the waves. I get a little nervous because my sons can be a little too adventurous and like getting really close to the water. These waves can be a little sneaky and rough at times… Good thing, I had Rob to help me out.
At the end of the day, it was such a good feeling to see them have the best time running, laughing, making sand castles, and splashing around.
We all got down and dirty in the sand to make sandcastles….
All four of my sweet nieces…
Loved this shirt that my eldest niece, Akaela, was wearing..
This is one of my favorite pics that day… Ava, the youngest of the four, is only 2 years old and this was her first time at the beach. She was so overwhelmed with excitement. I know she may not remember this moment when she’s older, but to me this is a memory I will cherish forever.
All of us together. Love this one…
D + C <3 <3 <3
Within the last month, my life took a turn and was hit with so many challenges from all directions. But, I’m not here to dwell on them, but to simply say that I am blessed and humble to still have my health, my precious family, and a love that endures all things. God is Love.
When seasons come and go, leaving us with scars of the past, we can choose to hold on to the hurt and grief, or we can choose to pick ourselves us and just let go…. In retrospect, I have learned that letting go takes courage, but it also brings freedom, healing, and peace….
When we cannot change the things that are beyond our control, I have learned to embrace them and trust that my life is in God’s hands. Every single moment is part of a bigger plan. All that I have gone through has been essential in testing my faith, building my character, assuring my hope is not in vain, and filling my heart with a gratitude that is genuine and pure. For that, I am no longer struggling with the questions I used to have — “why me?” “what did I do to deserve this?”
I believe that who I am now were because of my struggles, my pain, my sufferings, my heartaches… Enduring them and persevering even when I felt the urge to give up, allowed me to see the will power and strength that we receive when we put our faith in God and believe in His grace to carry us through… Without these experiences, I could not have witnessed the reality of miracles.
So, the beauty of letting go in my words is “Let Go and Let God.”
Day 21 of 21 | 3 Good Things
1. My beautiful sister and her 4 beautiful daughters spent the weekend with me and the boys . I enjoy every moment we have together. It was a gorgeous day out so we stopped by the beach to take a few pics.
3. As I was facing north, my thoughts were with my husband. The last several days seemed like eternity and I am so ready to have him back home. He and I have talked on the phone and on video chat (face time) which helps make our separation less daunting. But, I admit that I miss him terribly and sometimes I can’t help get a little anxiety because he is thousands of miles away. Yet, I know that “distance makes the heart grow fonder” and when he returns, I’m sure we will definitely have a deeper appreciation for one another and our marriage will only have grown stronger…
The photos above are of me facing north and of him facing south. While I’m enjoying the beautiful sunshine, he is enjoying the magical winter of snow covered trees and mountains. Yet, we both have agreed that there’s no place like home where we can be together as a family… That is what makes us COMPLETE.
Looking forward to seeing you soon, Mr. Co, with my arms wide open <3
Day 20 of 21 | 3 Good Things
1. Remember this sweet, thoughtful gift that my sister-in-law gave me? Well, I finally got to make them while my sister and 4 nieces came to stay over. They were instantly devoured. I don’t know how much more I can say about them except they were delicioussssss….
2. This week is President’s week for my kids and nieces so that means NO SCHOOL for an entire week! I remember how excited I would get during our school breaks growing up and loved taking this shot of them jumping on the bed. Brings back those childhood memories…. SIGH.
3. Sister and I made a green smoothie together and it turned out pretty tasty! This is definitely a favorite of mine: Kale, frozen mangoes and strawberries, ripe banana, and vanilla milk. Drink up!
Day 19 of 21 | 3 Good Things
1. I was feeling a bit playful today and decided to try my hand at carving a stamp design out of a wine cork. This is my first time doing this and after being inspired by so many artists who are doing stamp carving, I thought I’d give it a try. I’ve seen it done with wine corks, foam, rubber, and using special rubber stamp carving kits, but all I had on hand was a wine cork, so this will have to do. It was a bit challenging only because I had a really sharp blade and was trying to be extra cautious about not getting cut, so most of the time I was kind of nervous. I decided to do something simple for my first attempt which is a ‘chevron’ symbol and it totally worked. Such fun! I can’t wait until Julie Fei-Fan Balzer of Balzer Designs comes out with her new book in the Fall of 2013 which is all about DIY stamp carving.
2. I decided to to make more effort in drinking more water. I’m not very disciplined when it comes to staying hydrated and drinking enough fluids. With a history of kidney stones, I am supposed to drink 64 oz a day or more. I guess, with the help of lemon and cucumber added into my water, it makes water taste better. Plus, I like how it looks in my mason jar.
3. I hope I never encounter a situation where I would need to use this, but it’s good to have just in case. People better watch out!
Day 18 of 21 | 3 Good Things
1. This particular morning, Rob was taking the time to love on the boys before we took them to school because he was leaving out of town and wouldn’t have the chance to see them beforehand. It was a tender moment. He started missing them even before this day came. I love that they have such a strong bond with their Dad, something not a lot of other sons are blessed with or long to have. I can only hope their relationship will always remain this way and that they will always have many fond memories together….
2. Today was Valentine’s Day and although I wish he didn’t have to leave town on this day, we know that Valentine’s Day is EVERYDAY for us. I decided to bake him cookies to take with him, hoping to give him a piece of my love as he travels thousands of miles away.
3. The last two months has been chaotic with him being laid off, but through this experience, our marriage has definitely reached another level. I know that when we’re apart, the distance will only make our bond stronger. He has always expressed how much he wants to travel and take us places where we’ve never been. I recall him saying how much he wants to visit Alaska and I would jokingly say that I would not want to come with him because it so freezing cold there or so I believed it was (I guess I got what I asked for, lol). Then the opportunity came where a very close friend who is based in Alaska, offered him to come visit him which he could not refuse. (Thank you Mark!!! You have such a big heart and I’m sure he will never forget this.) Heck, he doesn’t have a job at the moment and he is so deserving of a little break after all that he has been through. Anyways, it does make me a little “jelly” that I couldn’t go with him, but at the same time I am sooooo happy that he gets to have some male bonding time and enjoy this new experience. I’m sure he will have such a great time…
Here he is walking away. I know it’s only for 5 days, but I did feel a little sting in my heart. I don’t know if it’s because we’ve gotten so attached to each other, being together every single moment of the day for 2 months (despite that we drive each other nuts sometimes), or it’s because I know that being apart is definitely going to drive me crazy. LOL. Yes, I’m still in love with this man after so many years and it keeps getting stronger….
Can’t wait to see photos of his adventures and to hear stories about his trip, but most of all, I can’t wait to have him back home where he belongs….
Never say “Goodbye”… But “See you later..”
Day 17 of 21 | 3 Good Things
1. Only 19 months apart and everyone things they are twins. When I discovered I was pregnant with Lucas, Josiah was still in diapers. I remembered how concerned I was about having to deal with two kids who are so close in age. It was definitely challenging, but now that they are a little bit older, I see how special it really is for them. Regardless of how they sometimes argue and fight, for the most part they are best buddies and get along super well. The picture above was taken before they were headed off to school. I was admiring their new haircuts, thinking how handsome my boys are…Love them to pieces!
2. The next stage of painting the canvas from this post here, was what turned out to be a butterfly. I don’t know if I want to keep this one to myself or sell it!
3. My sister-in-law was so thoughtful and bought these for us. I only tried beignets once before and I remembered that it was sooooo yummy! I cannot wait to make some of these and indulge. Thankful for you Sis!!
Day 16 of 21 | 3 Good Things
1. I learned something new — Origami. My son showed me his library book that he checked out and asked if we could try making Origami. Truth be told, I’ve never learned how in my whole entire life. Once I got started, I didn’t realize how challenging it was to understand how to make specific folds. Thinking it would be simple, I actually felt clueless. There were picture diagrams, yet all these arrows and dotted lines were confusing. It took me a while to really figure it out. I would say that this owl took me almost a half an hour because I had to start over a few times. Nevertheless, I eventually got it down! Such a great, challenging, but fun craft….
2. My boys were long overdue for haircuts. They always try to hold off and refuse to have it done until it gets way out of control. Thank goodness Rob finally got them to cooperate. Here is my youngest getting his hair chopped off… You can tell he was not a happy camper. LOL.
3. This canvas in progress was a bit interesting at this stage. First of all, I came up with a special technique that gave this cool color marble effect. I started to stare at it from different angles and began to see hidden images that only my imagination could see. As is, I see a butterfly at the top right and if I turn it on its right side, I see a small face of a fox on the bottom right. If it was turned on its left, I see a vague shape of a woman’s figure. That may not be what others see and that’s what I love about abstract imagery because all minds don’t always think alike…
Day 15 of 21 | 3 Good Things
1. The boys playing Bey Blades with their Dad. All I hear coming out of the living room is, “3-2-1…LET IT RIP!!!”
Boys and their toys.
2. One bite of these goodies and I was instantly hooked. The best $2.49 you will ever spend at Trader Joes! Thanks to the hubby for discovering them….
3. After our early dinner, we decided to go for an evening walk by the beach. This time we had our boys with us and wanted to take them up to Mori Point. It was just before sunset when we reached the top. The view was breathtaking as always, but it was even more stunning when the sun began to lower into the horizon.
This photo was taken by Rob while the boys and I sat together watching the sunset. These are one of those rare moments that I wish could stand still. I can’t explain the feeling I had when I looked at both my boys and their faces, sweet and innocent, silently staring out into the ocean as they too were amazed at the view. For some reason, it just felt so right and in that very moment, having my husband and boys by my side, made me feel complete. I felt PEACE. In my thoughts, I began to just thank the Lord for all he has done for me and my family…
One of my boys said, “Look, a hole in the sky to heaven!”.
It sure was a glimpse of heaven. But, with my loves in my life, that is what my piece of heaven is on earth. They are my everything… So thankful…