When you’re not sailing into the sunset.

As I sit here and listen to a home schooling video about architecture and how buttresses act like a beautiful piece of décor on a infamous building, that made me realize that the building blocks of our life are so similar. We strive for greatness with plans of amazing feats, but we need to account for the forces of nature in our grand plan. We need supports for our masterpiece! We have forgotten to factor in… that nature rules all!

This is the second week we have put off our biggest project yet … pulling the mast and re-rigging and wiring our mast. Now to the average Joe this seems like a standard thing you do when you own a sailboat, but what most don’t realize is that the very wealthy people pay for this kind of work to be done while the working class does it themselves with the little knowledge and confidence they have from chatting with others and watching you-tube videos. So we now have a boat full of wiring, wind instruments, and lights just waiting for dear Mother Nature to shine her Valentines sunshine on us.

Not only have we had a hold put on our rigging project, but we’ve also been without water and sewage pumpout for 9 days. We have been reminded that nature and God are real forces in this world and that force rules all!

We have been walking the docks like normal through the inches of beautiful snow and hear many different versions of how the day is unfolding… it’s horribly cold, we might not have water for another 4 days, businesses aren’t able to open because their workers can’t make it in, and so many more! And though I know that some others aren’t as able as we are in this kind of weather I always want to literally shake people and remind them that there are thousands of other marinas with sunshine and warm waters and all you have to do is untie from the dock! Don’t let your circumstances make you unhappy!

I feel so blessed that my son is lit up with a childhood joy when those amazing lace gems fall playfully from the sky, and that we have the time to build a snowman complete with mussel eyes and seaweed mouth (not pictured). Those memories are even more engrained in ones brain because it takes a serious effort to get out and face the cold, and enjoy oneself so hull-heartedly that time just slips away.

Sounds like it’s time to sum things up and go make a cup of hot cocoa! Because life is to short to sit around complaining about what’s happening, you have to go out and make it happen… that’s right… what ever you want to do, make it happen and don’t stop until you feel good!

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Bucket List

Wow! What a whirlwind of a holiday season it’s been so far! Traveling and partying with friends and loved ones is one of the most rewarding and comforting experiences I could ever ask for, but no doubt exhausting! So now that we’re home and right back to our delayed boat projects, all is right in our universe. And that’s right when I least expected something amazing to happen… but it did!

Let me set the scene for everyone…

Walker and I jumped in our 10ft. dinghy to head over to his “work” (he volunteers as the “Tide Pool Feeder” at the Friday Harbor laboratories) and right as we were headed to the lab’s dock we saw 2 striking Orca Whale fins that stood about 3 1/2 or 4 feet tall. They were spouting and swimming around in large circles about 100 yards away and we were speechless! This experience has stood near the top of my bucket list for as long as I can remember and here I was, in what felt like a tiny raft with my mouth wide open and eyes gaping in astonishment, at 2 of the fiercest predators in the Salish sea. Both Walker and I were overcome with tears of joy and then I had to laugh at the situation because here I am in a boat 1/2 the size of an Orca with my 6 year old and there’s Killer whales only 100 yards away. My Momma bear instincts kicked in and I rowed quickly to the dock and shallower water and the whales disappeared behind the point.

Once at the dock we shouted and cheered and felt so thankful for the experience, and that evening I started reliving that crazy moment and it made me realize something. You can’t check off your bucket list if you never put yourself in the place to do so. Even though my experience was amazingly scary and not the safest scenario I wouldn’t trade it for the world! Seeing those 2 incredible whales and living aboard our sailboat in the San Juan Islands has made me look at my life as a gift. There is so much happening in the world at every given moment and we are blessed enough to get to experience all of the greatness it holds if we just put ourselves out there.

So when making that New Year’s resolution for 2019, keep in mind what’s really important to you, and don’t worry if your a couple pounds over weight or bound and determined to meet that financial goal. You can accomplish all of that easily if you focus on a resolution that helps you live in the bigger picture! Make a resolution that takes you outdoors and pushes your limits physically, mentally, and spiritually because everyday counts! The best part of a resolution like this is it doesn’t have to cost a lot, and other’s could be welcomed to join in. When your soul is content and a smile graces your face, it’s amazing what you can accomplish!

When you focus on something you will always achieve it.. . it’s keeping the focus that’s the hard part!

Hope you all had a smashing 2018 and here’s to an even better 2019! God Bless!

I got my miracle!!!

I am SO excited to share this news! In my last post “Your miracle is right over the horizon” I shared that I was still waiting for a miracle in the husband and wife relationship department. I was very raw and honest about our family life, and it was really hard to put myself out there and be vulnerable, but guess what??? It worked! We got our miracle!

I was able to stay home and write because Nick my husband, offered to take Walker our kindergartener out for a science day. So little did I know that as I was home praying/writing for a miracle, my boys were out receiving it. 

Nick and Walker took a detour on their way to the beach where they were going to search the tide pools for sea critters. This detour was to the University of Washington Friday Harbor Laboratories. There were many signs on the drive in that stated “Authorized Personnel Only” and “Pre Authorized Guest Parking” and you catch the drift… the boys might not be as welcome there as Nick was hoping they would be, but we always tell Walker that you never know until you try, and Nick had lots of practice when he was a kid going into similar situations with his Grandpa so they took a que from above and gave it a shot! 

Walker proceeded to take the lead as he usually tends to do being Mr. Personable and all, and instantly made friends with the front office gal Miss Aimee who then introduced them to Miss Megan who then introduced them to the tide pool. They have a tide pool under the stairs of the main building that is filled with starfish, urchins, anemones, crabs, shrimp, scallops, sea cucumbers, and probably countless other critters! Walker was amazed and Miss Megan, who we later found out was the right gal to meet, took notice. Here was a little boy that was so excited about an ignored, dirty, boring old tide pool that everyone passes by without a second thought so she offered Walker a volunteer position as official tide pool feeder. 

Now to give you a little background on our 6 year old, Walker has been planning his business since the age of 3 when he started with his first Kool-Aid stand, which was followed with Lollipop sales, a dog sitting endeavor, a dock side café/store, and of course a dog walking biz. He has wanted a job for so long and so Miss Megan’s words were music to his little ears!

After getting a tour of the main campus building complete with research vessel, R.O.V’s, and multiple super cool experiment tanks the boys came home to a very happy, relaxed and fulfilled Mom (because I had just conquered my vulnerability and put my heart into my post). My boys were grinning from ear to ear and took turns telling me about all the excitement that had filled their morning. As they laughed and shared their story I was overcome with the feeling I get when I’m experiencing a miracle. It’s like my heart swells, tears well up behind my eyes and I feel like my body wants to float right off the ground. Walker and Nick had without a doubt been touched by the grace of God!

We have been blessed by God with a renewed sense of purpose that drives Nick and I more than anything in this world… Walker’s passion, and excitement for his new job. After fishing off the dock for the tide pool critter’s breakfast, we put our little one to bed and sat up way to late chatting about how amazing our son is and what an incredible opportunity this is. There is no doubt in our minds that this was an “ask and you shall receive” kind of miracle! We humbled ourselves and were honest about being imperfect humans which is imperative to preparing yourself to receive. Putting our faith in God has always proved to be the right choice, and it doesn’t happen very often but we experienced this miracle immediately after asking for it. We really have the feeling that this new job could be the beginning of a future Marine Biologist career or something even more amazing for our son.

SO AMAZING!!!

So take on a personal challenge and put yourself out there! Be vulnerable and honest with yourself and the people around you and you to might experience that miracle you’ve been praying for! You will for sure feel a weight lifted off your shoulders because it’s exhausting trying to be perfect! And “news flash”… nobody is! Cut yourself some slack and enjoy the person that God created for a reason. Yes that’s right… we were made with our faults in mind because what we think is a fault is someone else’s inspiration so put it all out there and let God handle the rest 😉

Good luck and God Bless!

Kill em’ with kindness!

It’s almost annoying how religiously this theory works! The best part is that you look good, feel better, and even teach others the value of a kind word. Most of us are programmed to fit a certain social profile where it’s not ok to freak out on another person, even when you really want to. So if you can remember the advice from the mothers before you of “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all” then you can always have a leg up in a disagreement!

How does this make me look good? When anyone loses their temper they end up looking like a cranky 2 year old. Hopefully they’re not throwing themselves on the ground kicking and screaming but regardless, they look ridiculous! Funny how they also need to be handled the same way as a temper tantrum throwing toddler. Wow! That was a tongue twister!

“I think it’s odd that grown-ups quarrel so easily and so often and about such petty matters. Up to now I always thought bickering was just something children did and that they outgrew it.”
Anne Frank

When you are the quiet and calm party in a discussion you have automatically won, because all the negative attention goes straight to the one demanding it. It’s also much easier to solve the problem when you’re listening to what the actual problem is. The other perk to this quiet moment is that the other party generally disarms themselves with their own obnoxious voice. 

How does this make me feel better? The definition of kindness is the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate. That made me feel better just reading it! So put yourself in their shoes and consider how this over actor (or actress) feels, whether just or unjust. Sometimes, that’s all they need. For others, they just like to ruffle feathers. So let them and take it with a grain of salt. You listen, you sympathize, you try to help, and then you walk away knowing you did everything you could while maintaining a pleasant attitude. Nice job! You should feel great that you might better their life and future relationships. (One can wish, right?!?)

How can I teach others the value of a kind word? People want to be cared about and treated with respect. So do just that and you will feel like you actually helped someone with more than just the problem at hand. Hopefully you help them learn that acting like a brat is not beneficial to anyone especially themselves. Kindness is contagious! And most of the time, you don’t see the effects of it right away but know that you make a difference every time you put these tricks to work! 

You can get a better picture of this theory in the work place by reading…

Do you like serving customers?

 

In a fog?

20141007_104301-1Fall in the Pacific Northwest is known as a time of true beauty. Colors of yellow, orange, red, and green paint the landscape and remind us all to stop and take in the natural splendor that is Washington State. With this time of year also comes the fog, wind, and rain! And let me tell you… there’s a lot of that! Many Pacific North westerners are on a steady Vitamin D regimen that’s pretty much the norm.

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The Holiday Season is upon us!

With the holidays approaching everyone is thinking about family. Should we do the holidays at grandmas or maybe rent out a nice cabin on a beautiful snowy hill-side so everyone can relax and enjoy. Perhaps you’ve become very popular during this time of year and everyone would like for you to split your time between grandma, grandpa, mother-in-law, father, uncles and aunties and so on. Whatever the case may be, it can be a wonderful and stressful time of year for all of us!

Up the hill and under the bridge to Grandmother's house we go!
Up the hill and under the bridge to Grandmother’s house we go!

This time of year also brings to mind those people who don’t have families to celebrate with. It’s amazing how your frame of mind can change on a drop of a dime when you see someone with no one. It’s times like these that remind me to be true to the spirit of the holiday and remember the traditions that made it worth celebrating.

At our marina I have come across multiple millennials who have chosen a way of life img_2821that distance them from their family members. They talk of friends and colleagues being their family and think only of the great times to come because they’re in charge of creating them. Though we aren’t on the same paths, it’s refreshing to see the holiday season through these kinds of eyes.

So what is family? We want so badly to spend good quality time with our family but for a lot of people, that is more work than reward. So why not change the definition of family? Prepare for the spirit of the holiday to be one filled with family that builds you up to be better than you are! Reviving your soul for the year to come and push you to better the world around you.

Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean to go out and tell all of your family that you no longer want to spend the holiday season with them because they drive you nuts! But I do think it’s smart to be honest with your family, and make these holiday gatherings times that you will remember fondly and want to do again in the future. All people want to enjoy themselves when it comes down to the heart of it. And if someone is truly a loved one, then they love to see you enjoy yourself as well. So here are some tips to get that conversation rolling…

  1. Ask family members to have a holiday planning meeting.
  2. Start the meeting by asking what others would like first. When others get to speak their mind before you then they’re more apt to listen to you when prompted.
  3. Be specific and take charge. Part of the headache of the holidays is the planning, so be prepared to take that burden. They will thank you for it and you’ll have a much better time because of it. Check out my Top 5 things to plan for the holidays list!
  4. State the real reason why you wanted to have this planning meeting. Whether it’s to keep Aunt Joe from wrestling Grandpa on the living room floor over a football game, or whether the kids get to open one present on Christmas Eve all together or not. There are many little traditions that are not valuable or helpful toward the overall experience and can be changed! Remember it’s never too late to do that.

Changing these less than ideal traditions to ones that transform an experience to one of memorable proportion’s is not as hard as you think.

Here some ideas to get you started…

Thanksgiving traditions-

  • Making crafts of pilgrims and Indians
  • Making “I am thankful lists” for dinner table talk
  • A game of family flag football
  • A decoration station, to make Thanksgiving decorations for the table or room where dinner will be held.
  • Check out all these other ideas on Pinterest

Christmas traditions –

  • Making Christmas crafts
  • Go caroling
  • Make Christmas cards
  • Play Christmas charades
  • More on Pinterest!

Another thing to think about during holiday planning is in the kid’s department. If you have children who don’t like holiday foods then you have to be prepared. Kids can make a party, or break a party! So make sure to bring their favorite snacks, then if they don’t like what’s on their plate, they aren’t starving and therefore making your holiday experience a lame one. I know from experience that when I cook for people and they either don’t like my food or can’t eat it because of an allergy I feel really bad. So remind your children to be thankful and to put your game face on and enjoy a meal that you may or may not have had to cook because somebody special prepared it with love.

Remember that the holidays are meant to bring family, friends and loved ones around each other to make memories that shape our families morals and build us into more caring and loving people. So go in with an attitude of gratitude and truly be thankful to be able to spend time with those that you love and love you in return.

Happy Holidays!

Top 5 things to plan for the holidays!

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  1. WHO- Find out who is coming this year and if anyone has food allergies!
  2. WHAT- Assign dishes so everyone’s included.
  3. WHERE- Who’s hosting this year’s holiday gala?
  4. WHEN- Respect the Host and/or Hostess by having a set time of arrival.
  5. WHY- Make some fun plans to create a memorable party. See more on Pinterest!
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