The motion and movements of swinging, whether watching my children on it or I for a nostalgic retreat, allows me to capture and live in a pure moment of joy, happiness, and childlike satisfaction. A brief moment on the swing swallows all my troubles and cares of this world. The breeze in my face, hair spinning behind me, and swooping to and fro….let this moment last forever.
This orchid plant keeps giving and giving. It shows up bold, sprays over ti leaves dancing in the wind and hovers above the moss covered hapu’u bark. A vibrant beauty seen from afar.💜
We recently trimmed our marungay plant because it was getting too tall for us to reach the leaves. The leaves that we use to cook and consume provide important vitamins A, B, C and more. It is rich in iron and also increases lactation in breastfeeding women. The raw leaf is bitter with a bark like earthy flavor. However, when pulverized in a blender, the raw flavor is masked by smoothie ingredients like almond milk, yogurt, citrus and or banana and honey. When it is cooked, it adds a nice delicate leafy texture to my favorite Filipino soupy dish. It’s a super superfood. The best thing about it is how comforting it is to know that I can still have a connection with my dad through the food that he cooked and put on the table when I was a child.
March 6 Friends
Growing up, I’ve always admired my twin cousins who were always together and I remember playing with them and having so much fun. As a twin mommy, I am able to see these two interact with each other in a lot of positive ways. Here is Malino practicing her braiding while Hulali is playing a computer game. They are very close in this picture as if they were still in my womb. They do have their moments of fighting and disagreements but witnessing moments like these are so very precious to me. I am thankful that I was able to capture this moment and they were not distracted by the click and flash of my camera.
Love and Blessings~
March 3 Where I Am
I am at a place in my life where I’ve accepted who I am as a mother of four and a wife to my best friend. I have many a dreams to uncover and fulfill but my ultimate goal is to take care of this dream that already came true for me.
From a very young age and being a part of a dysfunctional family, I asked for mercy and hoped for a family like the ones I saw on TV like Growing Pains, Family Ties, and The Cosby Show. I was oblivious to a higher power but noticed the Jesus tapestries and cross on the walls of my childhood home and even had a short season of Religious Education in elementary school. It was like I kept wishing on a star or sometimes Santa Claus came into mind! But I was in need of a Savior whom I succumbed to in the perilous postpartum battle after the birth of the twins.
My dream came true when I had my first child and I married my husband. That was the start of my family. Five years later we had a son and five years later we had twin girls who are pictured above. Now it took me a while to realize that I was granted this as I let the hardships of marriage and motherhood get to me. There was an enlightening feeling when I finally realized that this family that I was entrusted to was in fact my prayer being answered in my moments of despair as a young child.
Now it does sound like a fairy tale that I just made up but it is far from it when life is real and circumstances pop out out of nowhere. My husband and I bicker and we disagree. I sometimes yell at my children when the message that I am trying to get across isn’t heard clear from the same people who are able to hear a chip bag open from another room and my impatience can get the best of me like a whiny 2 year old waiting to be fed. Sometimes I feel the need to let everyone in my house know how I truly feel during our morning rush to school, dinner dilemmas, or unfinished chores.
Doesn’t sound pretty but it is all worth it as I take a moment to notice how quickly my teenager has grown as she is now physically looking eye to eye to me and my preteen son’s pants are ‘high waters’ (pidgeon slang for pants that are too small that it exposes the ankles). I have conquered the first five years with the twins in which the first 3 years was almost unbearable and driving me to the point of insanity. As my husband and I approach our 16th year of marriage and 19th year together, I can only express gratitude for meeting this wonderful fellow and through the years we have learned a lot about each other and, believe it or not, even after so many years, we learn new things about each other. Sometimes it can be scary or surprising as time changes us both but that is something that married couples must be open to.
So where I am now is a good place. I am thankful that I have overcome the worse. Now I observe and I see and I take advantage of the moments and time where it is possible to pick flowers, to smell the roses, to appreciate this place where I call home, to take each breath with gratitude, to wake up in awe of the rising sun, to marvel at the blessings of a passing storm. All my gratitude and praise I give to my Savior: Jesus Christ. He was with me all along even when I didn’t know of Him. I thank God for each and every moment that I am given. This is where I am.
“I am with you wherever, where you go is where I am.”-Matthew West’s ‘More’
Love and Blessings~
March 2: Look Down
My 6 year old is looking up at me. This picture was taken from the top of the stairs outside of our front door. Urban and Casey were getting ready for a rubbish dump run and the girls were jumping rope. With camera in the palm of my hands, I stopped her and said, “Hey look up!”
I love looking down at the girls when I get knee hugs and I’m thankful that God chose me to be their mom and that they have someone to look up to. Right now, I look eye to eye with my teenager and my preteen son is getting there. They grow up soooo fast! And I love each and every one of them…
Love and Blessings on this beautiful rainy Sunday,
March 1: Light
Light. I’ve found that light is very important in photos. I need to be mindful of where the sun is, what time of day it is, and how to control the light in the settings of my camera. Still learning~still learning. Sometimes light can be the culprit of a bad photo and sometimes it is the prime essence of it.
It’s interesting that this machine is able to control light settings.
I am always drawn to a sunny morning. I love to sit on a chair in my patio and soak in the warmth while the inside of the house is chilly from the dark and early morning hours. The tiles in the kitchen nip at my toes and I can sun them as the sun rises in front of me. My doggy is chasing the neighbor’s cat and the birds are waking up to the orange circle peeking through the forest trees. It is a peaceful time to gather my thoughts and pray in devotion to the Lord before the day begins.
The shot above is one of my favorite ways of capturing the sun. I love photos with the sun rays branching out of its core. Rather than facing my lens straight into the sun, I found that looking through foliage or trees and through the little square window of my camera was key to achieving this effect. The light is blocked but some light escapes through causing rays of sunlight in front of a natural backdrop.
Light is very strong and powerful. It is persistent and it will find a way to get through even the most smallest crack in a wall. If your curtain is not tacked to the wall, the morning sun still forces its way through the little sliver opening between window and curtain well into into a dark room.
What about light in a human being? Are you able to tell when someone is filled with light? Can you see behind the light in their eyes? Is it just light upon the surface or is it light coming from within? Is the light in a person so powerful that you cannot tell that there is darkness beneath or that there was darkness? Sometimes one needs to let the light control the darkness. The light is powerful enough to smother the darkness. Choose to let light in and the darkness shall flee.
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.”-John 1:5
There is color all around me. The people around me, the places I’ve been, and the events in my life add color to the darkness within my heart. The laughter, fellowship and warmth of a caring friend or family member adds depth to my loneliness and routine filled days. I see the rich hues of the rainbow polarized boldly through the eyes that God has blessed me with. My eyesight is important to me as is my heart sight as well. What the heart feels is what I see. When my heart is not right then I do not see right. The colors sometimes can be smothered up in pains and sorrow by life’s unexpected events and daily challenges. Reach out from the abyss and take hold of the colors that give me life. The life giving colors: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control with a compliment of gratitude.
“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”-Proverbs 4:23
“But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”-Galations 5:22,23
What are your life giving colors? And can you spot my favorite color?
Love and Blessings Always…