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…
Day 14 of 21 | 3 Good Things
1. Feeling very inspired lately to repurpose some of my art that I’ve done a long time ago. I sense a shift in my creative process, a change in my style. I still don’t know exclusively what my style is, but I do know that I am beginning to find out. Over the last few years, I’ve grown in so many ways artistically. I’ve invested a lot of time and energy into reading books, blogs, watching videos, taking online e-courses and workshops, connecting with other artists, etc. It took a lot of patience for me to finally realize the artist that I am now, a lot of frustration at times, a lot of deep longing to be successful like the other artists that I have loved and admired for so long… It wasn’t until this year that I’ve decided to accept and embrace the journey and know that no matter how challenging it is at times or how long it will take for me to get where I want to be, I cannot give up. I know that I am passionate about art and I was born an artist, so I’m in this for the long haul. Someday I hope to reap a harvest….
2. My husband of 9 years, but have been together for 13 years. We have been tested and tried, went through many storms, and still face a myriad of challenges, but regardless of what we have gone through or will continue face, we never lose hope. Lately, we have had so much time together (read about it here) and I’ve come to truly appreciate how much our marriage has gotten so much stronger within such a short period of time, simply because we are together all day long almost every day. Yes, we sometimes drive each other crazyyyy! But, we both LOVE it!
3. My hubby wanted to cook for the family, something he hasn’t done in years! So, this is the special meal he prepared and cooked with the help of yours truly. It felt good to cook together and the kids enjoyed seeing us having so much fun. I know they were happy seeing us happy…
Prosciutto wrapped cod, balsamic honey glazed potatoes, and a side of arugula salad with lemon and olive oil vinaigrette. SO delicious…. Even the kids gave it a thumbs up!
Good job hubby!! Now, what ya gonna cook for me next?
Day 13 of 21 | 3 Good Things
1. Love lazy Saturdays where we sleep in and just lounge around. After breakfast, Mr. Co headed off to work in the greenhouse while I stayed home to work on our photography biz, still editing photos from our last wedding shoot. Narrowing down thousands of photos to the best ones is a lot of work, but it’s part of what I love to do as a photographer.
Here is Lucas, taking an afternoon nap in my bed. So innocent. Love watching my boys asleep, cherishing their “littleness” while I can.
2. My sister, nephew and my cousin came by to visit for a quick minute and brought me these oatmeal raisin cookies from my Uncle Ernie. What a sweet surprise!! Little things like this truly make a difference.
3. Big man and little men’s feet. I took this while the boys jumped on their Dad in our bed to cuddle him. It was one of those stolen moments that made me stop to cherish it. So, I thought it would be cool to capture their feet, lol.