The last few days have been pure bliss for me, and it has nothing to do with art – it’s all about family. My youngest son promoted out of 6th grade – the same school he and his brother attended for a combination of 11 years! It was both emotional and exciting for my husband and I because this milestone also signified a major shift in our lives as parents. We are no longer in the primary school stage – we’ll never return to that time, but we made the absolute most of it and I’m so thankful we did. We volunteered, we donated, we painted sets and created props for plays, we sold popsicles, and cleaned up after events, we played, and we laughed, and we got to bond with other parents doing the same thing. If I can give any advice to young Mothers and Fathers out there just entering into the school phase of life with their little ones, it would be to get involved. As much as your own stuff dominates your thoughts and time (and believe me I get that), it is priceless when you can look back and know that you participated in the game of life your kids are experiencing.
The big day of my son’s promotion arrived and to honor it, and our family’s Hawaiian heritage, we ordered leis to be shipped from the islands. I have to give absolute props to this online company: Hawaii Flower Lei, please keep them in mind if you are a mainlander in the market for an authentic Hawaiian flower lei. The leis they create and the service they give is amazing and I’m going to definitely use them again in the future. We picked out this gorgeous lei for Cole – it’s a braided Ti leaf with a single strand of He’e berries woven in. My amazing husband treated me to my favorite flower lei, the Tahitian Ginger or otherwise known as the Micro Ginger Lei. If you can imagine an aroma of gardenias mixed with a little white rose that is what one of these white ginger flowers smells like. Multiply that by 100x and wearing this lei makes me transform into a walking cloud of heaven! The other thing I love about this lei is how it is woven to lay flat on your neck. Simply gorgeous!
Summer is now setting in, and so is the So-Cal June gloom. But it won’t be long before it’s boiling hot and in the 100′s again, and I’ll be dreaming of cool autumn winds, falling colored leaves, and decorating for the Holidays! YIKES, not yet, though! The memory of this happy day will live on, especially for Cole because his lei will dry nicely and he’ll be able to keep it to remember this special milestone in his life.
I leave you now with this thought … Whatever is going on in your day today, this week, this month; think of a specific milestone you have experienced, or are about to experience, and then honor it. Honor it with a special meal, a fun outing, or maybe with a flower lei??? I recommend the latter, but whatever way you choose to celebrate, just do it wholeheartedly. I feel strongly that we need to celebrate life and all the little twists and turns it throws our way. Milestones, large or small, are important for us all – they represent that shift that occurs in one’s life when opportunity takes on a new form and the universe welcomes you to move forward into all that awaits. It’s a wild and crazy ride, but it’s a good one if you keep seeking the joy in each moment.
Happy summer all! :0)
My sister in law, Nohea, just sent a picture of our family in Hawaii getting shave ice. YUMMMM – it made me immediately homesick for the islands! The summer heat hasn’t hit Los Angeles yet (which is truly the best time to have a Shave Ice); In fact it’s kind of chilly weather we’re having at the moment, but no matter what temperature it is outside I’m always game for a good Hawaiian Shave Ice. My only problem is that there aren’t any places to get true Shave Ice around here. Call me a “Shave Ice Snob”, but Hawaiian Shave Ice is NOT a snow cone, and all I can get around here are snow cones. Not good. Authentic Shave Ice is the best – the ice is like snow (real powder snow, not chunky ice-snow), and the syrups are better. I’m not sure what they do to them in Hawaii, I’d like to believe they’re infused with more natural flavors and less artificial stuff but I’m sure I’m wrong about that. Whatever it may be the flavor syrups taste more fruity and less ‘syrupy’ there, and they have a lot more flavors to pick from. Also, in Hawaii they give you the option of adding ice cream (I like Vanilla) or adzuki beans under the ice! It’s AMAZING when all those flavors mix!
Below is a video I found on youtube of my favorite Shave Ice shop in Haleiwa Town, Oahu, called Matsumoto’s. When my husband and I retire I can see us getting a little beach house in this sleepy North Shore town to spend the rest of our days, and I guarantee you if we do that I will be riding my bike every day to Matsumoto’s for a Shave Ice. It’s a good thing mu`umu`us are in fashion there because I think I’ll need them! Aloha!
Finding inspiration is easy when you’re in Hawaii. I love plumerias and this photo I took has made its way into many pieces of my work. My collection “Nohea’s Plumeria” is named after my sister in law, Nohealani, who loves plumerias as much as I do -maybe even more. I painted the original plumeria images to be used for her wedding and it has grown to become one of my favorite floral collections. Whenever I find myself feeling a little overwhelmed by the world I pull this photo up and remind myself how sweet the smell of these flowers are. I hope they bring a little fragrance to your day as well. :0)