Forty One

sup-beach-view nell-hat-on-beach rock-climbing sup-selfie nell-and-kiddos 41 single-wave abc-breakfast sup bike-ride

So, this is 41. Supposedly once you’re over 40, then you’re considered “over the hill”, right? Well maybe, maybe not. In my 20’s I did consider the 40’s as being “over the hill” and I had a picture in my head of what that would look and feel like. This is not at all what I expected. Man, am I glad.  I choose to make the most of every day.  I choose to do the things that make me feel alive. So, here’s to the 40’s. Bring it on!

*A special thanks to my three favorite people; Steve, Danica and Trey.  Steve made me feel special and let me do anything I wanted all weekend while he did my chores for me.  Trey went rock climbing with me and we had the best time.  Danica gave me the best present by coming home for the weekend to hang out with me.  To each of you… thank you for being you and thank you for being amazing.  You made me feel so very special. 

 

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Ocean Magic

board-sky-view-small ocean-selfie-small pier-water-small  stand-up-ocean-view-smallboard-in-motion-small sup-beach-view-small water-cloud-view-small

For me, paddleboading can be a purely magical experience.  This week I got to experience one of those magical moments. The water was completely flat, glassy, crystal clear and calm, the ocean was filled with beautiful sea life, the wind was calm and the moon was full.  It was perfect!  I quickly remembered just how much I love paddleboarding and how grateful I am to live in a place where I can do things like this year round.

You see, two years ago (before my mom’s accident), I was out on the water every single week without fail.  Then life flipped upside down and I just never got back into the habit.  Well, I’m taking life by the horns and I’m changing that.  Doing fun active activities makes me feel better physically and emotionally. Paddleboarding is probably at the top of that activity list for me.  It makes me feel alive! Now I’m looking to add additional activities to this list; mountain bike trail riding and indoor rock climbing.  More to come on that.  In the meantime, I’ll be enjoying more time on the ocean.

A Soggy Hawaiian Bridal Shower

Photobooth - Earl Jo and KonaAdvice TableLei TablePhotobooth SetupPhotobooth - Frame Papa Nana and NellPool AreaEarl and Jo Hula Hooping Photobooth - Dee and Nell JoAnna the Hawaiian Photobooth - Frame Papa and Nell Photobooth - Jo & Nell Rings Group Photobooth - Frame Earl and Jo Kiss Through Frame Photobooth - Jo Face Megan Ball Hula Hoop Jeopardy Photobooth - Dee and Bringas Earl Sailor Hat - Jos Finger Photobooth - Frame Earl and Jo Letters

My brother is marrying the absolute sweetest girl in less than 50 days.  We are all so excited to have her become part of our family. To ensure that she felt super special, we pulled together a backyard Hawaiian themed surprise shower for her this past Sunday.  They will be going to Hawaii (Kauai and Maui) for their honeymoon so the theme was quite fitting.  In planning and crafting for weeks, I was super excited about how this shower was coming together; maybe a little too excited because typical Florida summer rain was quickly turning the party into a very soggy event.  We setup for hours only to have everything rained on multiple times; moving everything outside, then inside then outside again with the last move only being a matter of 10 minutes before the bride to was to show.  My sweet, sweet dad could see my devestation and was determined to get everything back outside and setup before the kick-off.  Surprisingly enough, the rain held off the rest of the day.  One table was soaked and the photobooth area was drenched but that didn’t seem to matter.  We all had a blast and it turned out to be a HUGE success!

Welcome to the family, JoAnna!  Based on my brother’s answers to the bridal jeopardy questions (and just generally speaking), he is incredibly blessed to have you in his life.  I am just so excited to be a part of this monumental time in your lives.  I can’t wait to share in many more.

P.S. – So excited to have my Dee (and her boyfriend) at the shower to not only celebrate with the bride and groom but to support me (even after having just moved back to college two days beforehand).  You’re amazing, Dee!  I don’t know what I’d do without you.

What Shall It Be?

nell and dee skipping kauai

What does a person need – really need? A few pounds of food each day, heat and shelter, six feet to lie down in – and some form of working activity that will yield a sense of accomplishment. That’s all – in the material sense, and we know it. But we are brainwashed by our economic system until we end up in a tomb beneath a pyramid of time payments, mortgages, preposterous gadgetry, playthings that divert our attention for the sheer idiocy of the charade.

The years thunder by, the dreams of youth grow dim where they lie caked in dust on the shelves of patience. Before we know it, the tomb is sealed.

Where, then, lies the answer? In choice. Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life? ”

― Sterling Hayden

2016 :: A Restart

Vision Board

In many ways, my life was on hold in 2015.  There was the tragedy of my mom’s life and death struggle and recovery from her car accident.  My daughter graduated from high school and then moved out of our house for the first time and went to college.  My 3 year long technology project at work launched (still smoothing out the details).  My son moved to a new school and started high school.  2015 was most definitely a year on hold personally as I prepared for and worked through the tragedies and milestones of life.  While there is still much investment to do in these areas, I want to be intentional about my 2016.  I want to make up for lost time.  I want to have a vision, goals and aspirations.  This is quite a strange thought for me as I have literally never done a New Year’s resolution.  I don’t really believe in them.  Instead of putting together a resolution or multiple resolutions that you forget about within the first month of the year; I decided to make a vision/goals board that fully incorporates everything that I want to do this year.  Most are not simply do and forget goals, but things that I want to do, not only in 2016, but on an ongoing basis.  These are things that I want to make into a lifestyle.

So, here it is; my 2016.  It is going to be a year of celebration.  I turn 40, my parents turn 60, my brother turns 30, I celebrate my 20 year wedding anniversary and my brother is getting married.  How can you not celebrate with this line up?  This is a year setup for celebration.

Here is the list of 2016 visions/goals that went into building the board pictured here.  Happy 2016 to you!  Seize this year.  You never know, it could be your best year yet!

Travel – Hawaii/Costa Rica/Mexico
20 year anniversary & pics
Book teaching
Making friends
Investing in marriage
Have more fun
Smile more
Peace, joy, hope
Stillness (not busy) – letting God work
One day at a time
LOVE
Crossfit
Invest more in 401K
Less confusing; simplify
Go to the ocean more (body board, sup, snorkel)
PMP (project management) certification

Labor-Less Weekend

Boys playing in the pool Danica I pooped today Earl and Trey Walking Girls at Guabanas Hawaii Please Nell Camera View Off to the Races Palm Trees Pointing out to dad Prissy Looking Outside Sunglasses View Trey Drilling Trey Spear a PBR Trey the Pool man Trey walking on Water Waiting to Race
We did Labor Day weekend very well; no labor.  Well I should say that the “labor” we did was fun labor. We spent the long weekend at my mom’s about an hour north of our house (near the ocean).

The weekend started with a paddleboard race to benefit Autism research.  The race was tough but such a great cause.  The rest of the weekend consisted of a lot of pool hangs mixed with margarita drinking and good food eating.  My brother showed my son, Trey, how to make a Hawaiian sling (hand fishing spear).  Of course we had to test this out in the pool by spearing a beer cans.  This act was coincidentally coined as “beer fishing”.  Yes, I clearly realize how incredibly redneck this sounds.  But, hey, it was lots of fun!

Hope everyone enjoyed a restful and fun Labor Day weekend as well.  Now, back to reality.  😦

Tropical Tuesday

Tropical Tuesday Main PicBeach ShackCurious BirdFishing in the KeysFlying into the WaterHanalei PierHawaiian HoneyKauai LighthouseLove on a VW BusPaddle Surfing Hanalei BayTurquoise Beach Shack

1 :: Beach house (Pinterest)
2 :: A curious bird
3::  The hubs fishing in the keys
4 :: My daughter going “all in” into the ocean
5 :: Saying goodbye to Kauai; last walk down Hanalei Bay Pier
6 :: Hawaiian Honey (Pinterest)
7 :: Kauai lighthouse
8 :: Love on a VW bus (Pinterest)
9 :: My brother and son paddle surfing Hanalei Bay
10 :: Tiny turquoise beach shack (Pinterest)

What If?

Juming into Queens Bath Small

I once heard a speaker ask an audience the question, “what would you do if you knew that you could not fail?” Wow! I mean, if you really think deeply on this question it will blow your mind a little bit. I heard this probably over a year ago and it still sticks with me. It’s pretty easy to list out all the things you’d do (theoretically) especially if you knew that you couldn’t fail. Even knowing that failure is an option, it’s easy to list things you’d do with your life theoretically. What’s almost impossible is taking action on those items. It’s super easy to say that you’d quit your job and start a business or get rid of possessions and move to a third world country to teach the impoverished English.

I’m a dreamer by nature. I’m also a very restless person that loves change. For me, I’m always thinking of things I’d like to do differently, places I’d like to go and things I’d like to change. Being in my head would probably give you whiplash. This is why the idea of living in an RV and traveling the country with my husband in early retirement is such an appealing idea to me. I’d always be on the go and always changing seeing the country with my best friend. This is still on the table for later down the road after the kids are on their own so well see what happens.

In the meantime, I thought it would be fun to list just a few of the things that I would do if I knew that I could not fail (in no particular order).

  • Run a paddleboard lessons, fitness and yoga business
  • Become a pro paddleboard racer
  • Become a math teacher
  • Sell our ridiculously expensive house and move close to the beach
  • Sell our ridiculously expensive house and move further north to have more land
  • Move to Hawaii
  • Move to Tennessee
  • Move to Colorado
  • Be a youth leader in a church

It’s fun to dream. Will any of these actually happen? Who knows; maybe one day.

Tropical Tuesday

 

Tropical Tuesday Main PicBeach House Florida SnowmanGirl on Board - Turtle Beneath Maui Sunset Paddleboarding in Poipu Paddleboarding Sunrise Queens Bath  Trey going Surfing Trey sitting on Beach with BoardSwinging at the Beach
1 :: Beach house (Pinterest)
2 :: A south Florida “snow” man
3::  Looking for sea turtles (Pinterest)
4 :: A Maui sunset
5 :: Paddleboarding in Poipu, Kauai
6 :: Florida paddleboarding sunrise
7 :: Queens Bath in Kauai
8 :: My son headed out to surf
9 :: My awesome surfer taking a much needed break
10 :: Swinging at sunset (Pinterest)

2013 Top 10 Highlights

When looking back and reflecting on everything that made up 2013, I have to say that it was one darn good year with milestones for the kids, for me and even two trips to Hawaii.  I am very thankful and very blessed for a wonderful year.  Check out my top 10 highlights.

1 :: My oldest turned sweet 16.
2 :: We went on our first trip to Hawaii visiting the island of Kauai thanks to my sweet parents.
3 :: Got a paddleboard racing sponsorship to become a team rider for a local surf board company.
4::  My youngest became a teenager.
5 :: My daughter went on her first mission trip to Haiti.
6 :: With the kids at my parents, the hubs and I enjoyed a motorcycle trip alone.
7 :: I was offered a promotion at work to lead the new technology team.
8 :: My daughter got her driver’s license and hit the streets for the first time by herself.
9 :: My husband and I started weekly date nights.
10 :: I met up with my parents on a trip to Maui.

1 - D is 16 2 & 3 Kauai & SUP Racing4 - Trey is a Teenager5 - D goes on first mssion Trip 6 & 7 Motorcycle trip & Promotion 8 & 9 D License & Date Nights 10 - Maui