8 Things I Miss About AUTUMN

It is like an unspoken “no-no” to mention anything you might not like about Hawaii to a non-islander.  People will shoot you a devastatingly angry look about “how could you POSSIBLY complain???? You live in PARADISE!!!”

Truth: this place is awesome.  I do love it here.

But.

Yup. There’s a little but.

I miss Autumn.  Growing up on the east coast, I love the changing of the seasons.  You always miss what you don’t have…and autumn has always officially been my favorite time of year.  I just adore it.  So, today I’m lamenting about it and looking forward to having it back one day.  Or perhaps I’m already dreaming of a trip back to mainland next year to enjoy it and then fly back to paradise:) Plus, Baby Ev in little jackets and rolling in leaves? Ugh, so cute!  Enough rambling, let me just air them out:

8 Things I Miss About Autumn

1. Misty, cold mornings. Those ones where you don’t want to get out of bed.  Where it is so chilly that you just want to pull the blankets over your head and sleep till appropriate.

gorgeous Arkansas

2. Football games.  The ones where you arrive with blankets for the cold, hard bleachers and you see your breath pool out in a puffy white wisp by the end of the night.

3. Bonfires.  Bundling around one all cozy-like to whisper a ghost story or roast marshmallows.

4. Ducking in off the cold street for a hot chocolate or coffee.  It’s like I have free reign for more coffees when it is cold.  That mug does double-duty as a hand-warmer!

warm hearts cup o' joe

5. The changing of the leaves.  Gorgeous colors adorn the trees, blasting your senses with the vibrancy of mother nature’s closet.

6. Going out of my way to hit the “crunchy” leaves while I’m walking. So satisfying to hear that crinkle under foot.

changing leaves

7.  The autumn wardrobe.  Leggings get busted out under dresses, hats, coats, scarves, BOOTS!

warm weather wear

8. Feeling that with the change of the wind, winter is at the edge, the end of the year is coming and all new dreams are starting.

Autumn, you are missed by this girl.

Travel Throwback Thursday: 4 Fun Moments from China

Top 4 Fun China Moments

 

I adore Thursdays because of this series.  It seems we have endless adventures to look back upon, which I’m so proud of and excited to share.  I have so many found memories of packed bags and hoofing around airports, subways, and foreign streets.

In November of 2012 I went to China for Thanksgiving.  It was an awesome journey filled with beautiful moments.  My top 4 are featured today!

Top 4 Fun China Moments Lama Temple

 

The Lama Temple was an unexpected surprise.  I toured Beijing with a group, and normally we were on a schedule.  On our last day, we had “free time” to do whatever we wanted.  My friends and I used this time to visit the gorgeous temple.  It was simple, quiet, and less-touristy than most of our stops, which always tends to lead to some of my best memories.

Top 4 Fun China Moments Peking Duck

Ranked one of my most memorable meals in my entire life, trying Peking Duck for the first time was incredible.  Who needs a Thanksgiving turkey when you can eat duck in China??!

Top 4 Fun China Moments Riding the Rickshaw

Traveling through the Hutongs was humbling.  It was not so much the thrill of having an elderly man pedal us around via bicycle, but more an eye-opening experience of seeing the “real” China of low-income neighborhoods and community bathrooms for an entire city block.  Tough business that made me really thankful for what I have.

Top 4 Fun China Moments Splitting the Great Wall

 

It was sheer DELIGHT to get to climb the Great Wall of China.  When Ry told me we were moving to Korea, that dream sprouted in my mind of something I just HAD to do whilst we were in Asia.  I climbed as high as I could, then dropped into my splits as part of my “splits around the world” challenge to myself.  Amazing.

The possibility of ADVENTURE in everyday! xoxoLindsay

I WILL Make: Canvas Art

I have had a BIG empty space on my wall waiting for canvas art that I would make.  I promised myself.  I bought supplies. I searched for the perfect quote.  I found it. Stared at supplies. Drug my feet. Felt nervous about painting something…

it was time to get over it and JUST DO IT.  Thanks Nike. Your quote still applies to this day!

I ripped my creative band-aid off last weekend and set to work.  I cut out sticky letters to help make my quote more clean:

canvas art project

I decided on a quote by Rumi after feeling super inspired by all of his sayings one day.  I jotted them in my journal and mused over which one would set the perfect tone for our family right now.

let yourself be silently drawn rumi quote

This one spoke to me.  It is positive. It is what I want my growing daughter to look at and dream about.  Following what we really love in life has not lead us astray, it has only made life more beautiful.

let yourself be silently drawn rumi quote

I stuck the letters down and did a base coat of bright blue over all of them.

let yourself be silently drawn rumi quote

After that was finished, I used green and light blue to swirl over the dark blue, keeping the letter stickers down.  I also utilized a stencil I bought at Ben Franklin Crafts to give the painting more texture and pattern.

let yourself be silently drawn rumi quote

Before pulling the letters off:

let yourself be silently drawn rumi quote

After! I love how this turned out.  I hand-lettered a few pieces of the quote to give it a different flow, and to have more script-looking letters instead of all block.

let yourself be silently drawn rumi quote

Now hanging on our living room, I see it as I come home and when I leave for the day.  It reminds me to stay the path.  I also love how the vibrant blue pops against our white walls.

I MADE it! Canvas Art Goal: COMPLETED!

What is on your must-make list?

My Pregnancy Journey Weeks 21-31

Hi there! I am officially 31 weeks prego today, so this post could not come at a better time!  I’ve been feeling pretty good overall, which is such a blessing.  The weather cooled down here in Hawaii tremendously over the past couple of weeks, and my growing body certainly enjoys that fact!  I didn’t really think I had a rush of energy through my second trimester…until now.

You don’t know whatcha got till it’s gone!  I am a lot more tired, the afternoon naps are BACK! I’ve been using lavender every night to help me sleep, and I do have to wear hard-soled shoes in the house to ease my feet.  My appetite has dwindled, so I’m conscience about what I’m putting in every day to make each calorie count for baby and me.  I snack a lot more instead of eat big meals;)  The hormones have kicked up a notch emotionally, which is a bit wild, but I’m breathing through it and recognizing that this is part of the process!

30 Weeks Pregnant

The bump is growing, which I’m reminded of daily by friends, family, and plain ol’ strangers that say, “wow! when are you due?!” then they look a bit shocked when I tell them I have 9 weeks left to go.  Which by the way, makes you feel even more like a house, ha ha.  As long as this house is provided a safe home for our little girl, I’m good.

I completed my FINAL ZUMBA CLASS at 30 weeks.  It was hard to say goodbye, but I know it is what is right for me, right now.  I’m doing my best to continue to listen to my body and take great care of it.  I am proud of myself for making it that far along, and I do hope to go get my groove on still, just without the pressure and energy of being the instructor.

I’ll keep you posted as this journey continues, all I know is that I am certainly thankful to be on it!

5.3 Million Steps to 30

5.3 Million Steps to 30 with my Fitbit

 

I think setting goals is very exciting.  It can also be daunting, scary, and require an absolute commitment to bravery to reveal them.  But once they are revealed…they are so much more real.  I hope by sharing this goal on my blog today, I am setting the tone for myself to be truly committed to seeing this through to the end.  Deep breath. Here we go:

I want to walk 5.3 million steps before I turn 30.

This all started after I bought my Fitbit.  I told my husband that I wanted a fitness goal to reach before 30.  He thought this was fantastic, and knows these professions of future victory help me to succeed in the present.  We batted around different ideas: 300 miles before 30? 3,000?  They didn’t fit right yet.  I was also gently reminded that I am pregnant, will be having a child, and will need to take it easy getting her here and recovering from that process.  But my mind still needed something to look forward to. Something obtainable to strive for even after baby arrives.

Thus, 5.3 million STEPS was born.  I started this goal on OCTOBER 17th, 2014.  My deadline is my 30th birthday  APRIL 5th, 2016.

Starting on October 17th I had 537 days until 30.

That is an average of 9, 870 steps a day.

Doesn’t seem like that much, right? But I think with the third trimester aches and pains + baby recovery, it will be.  It will be a worthy challenge to work up to.  It is also a great reminder now to keep moving.  Walk a little extra NOW, and build back up to it LATER.

I’ll be checking in with you all via the blog during my process.  I believe in being healthy.  I believe in being fit.  Most of all, I believe in me and that this is a great goal for my current life status right now.  Every step I take gets me one closer to the end-game.  I want to know that heading towards 30 I can be just as in-shape if not (gasp) more (?!) than I was before.

A brand-spankin new GOAL begins!

Tales from the Barre: Written Triumph

I teach dance five (sometimes 6 or 7) days a week.  I’m passionate about my work and feel extremely fortunate to have a “job” I enjoy.  I put JOB in quotations because most days it does not feel like work, it feels like exactly where I am meant to be.

Now that being said, I have a collection of endearing memories swirling around in my head each week.  Precious moments with young dancers as they find their feet.  I want to share those stories to hopefully bring a little smile, a little more joy into your day, and to help me remember on those days that are a bit more rough that there is a greater reason for why I do this.

Dance teacher in studio

This month I’m switching it up a bit! I want to share a few silly, fun, and proud stories from my own career as an educator and performer.  When I thought about making this change in stories, the first moment I want to share with you is PROUD.  I was featured last October as part of the Creating with Kids Project on the website Maria’s Movers.    You can read my full interview at the link provided.  The interview made me dive deeply within myself and I really was able to pinpoint exactly what I love about teaching! What a gift doing what we love is;)  Happy Sunday!

52 Weeks of Happy: 45

Happy Week 45! Duh-duh-duh, ANOTHER WEEK BITES THE DUST!

I’m trying not to wish the weeks away, but I’m getting so close to Ry’s return I can hardly stand it.  Miss that man so much and am just pumped to get him HOME!!!

This week’s highlight: SHOPPING! I am not a crazy shopper, but as I was over at the Waikele outlets for a doctor’s appointment on Tuesday, I hit up Carter’s and Motherhood Maternity.  They had HUGE sales going on and I was happy to pick up a few items for baby girl and baby Mama.  I’ve gotten through my pregnancy with only a few key pieces, but it was time for a little extra spruce and a new bathing suit so I can still rock the belly at the beach!  It was nice to treat myself to a little clearance-rack digging and walk away with a few lovely pieces.

baby shopping

Mmmm…the Leonard’s Malasadas TRUCK! Walk up goodness.

malassada truck

Super HAPPY about this great mail! I received a thoughtful giftie from my Dad, Carol King’s Tapestry album.  We were talking about it the other day, and I was telling him how I couldn’t believe I did not own it because I loved it so much. BAM! It arrived in my mailbox a few days later. Thanks Daddio!  Christie sent me an adorable mama-perks package with chocolate, face masks, and uplifting words. Thanks for spoiling me guys;)

surprise treats

Other weekly wonders: I am DONE with my CHOREOGRAPHY! Do a BIG dance for this one! Whoop whoop!  With much relief I have all 4 competition solos completed and 5 pieces for the winter show wrapped up.  Now to get picky and clean till we are close to perfect!

I also saw baby girl this week, she is a growing girl and looks wonderful, what more can I ask for? Feeling blessed for this precious gift.

Week 46 is going to be a BLAST in just 2 days Katie will be in my arms! CAN’T WAIT!!

Pregnant and Deployed Tips

pregnant while your spouse is deployed tips

I want to open this post by saying if you are pregnant and your spouse is deployed, you are doing AMAZING. Go YOU. Seriously. This stuff is hard.  I’m no expert on the matter.  I am still learning and growing, and you may have a whole other set of ideas.  However I can offer support.  I can say I did this.  I can say it is a roller coaster of emotions and one of the hardest things you will do, but the moral of the story is YOU CAN do it.

A Little Background…

My husband and knew going into this experience that there was a potential for him to deploy.  Hey! We’re in the military…no surprises there;)  We made the best choice we could, with many tears and nerves on edge, we decided that trying for baby before he left was better than not.  It was “time” for us to make the leap.  Our big hope was that we could “time” it so that he could be home for the birth.  No, you can’t always plan it that way, but (fingers, toes crossed) that is hopefully how it will work out.

I found out 5 days after he deployed that I was pregnant.  I could not even reach him by phone or email yet.  It was an excruciating couple of weeks waiting to confirm the pregnancy.  Once it was confirmed, I was nervous, delighted, a regular bundle of crazy.  He was excited, but felt the same.  The first appointment to see baby was awesome, and sad.  I felt the loneliness for the first time.  I wanted the perfect picture of what I thought our pregnancy would be.  I wanted him there, holding my hand.  I wanted someone to rub my back and feet. I wanted ALL the THINGS.

But then something happened.  I remembered the alternative.  I reality-checked myself and thought, “what if we hadn’t gotten pregnant?” I would have been even more devastated having to wait another seven months to try again.  If you are going through this…you are AMAZING.  Hang in there.  Ever since that mental switch flipped, I’ve spent each day trying to relish, getting through this one step at a time. I’m now at 30 weeks pregnant and praying every day for our daughter and my husband’s safe arrival.  Now for the TIPS!

Know Your Comfort Zone:

Know what makes you comfortable.  I stayed here in Hawaii because I had LOTS of visitors coming to me.  I knew I’d be able to fly and see my sis one more time before it was too late to fly.  I like the routine of my job, so I kept working.  But if you know that quitting your job and going home to have your family and friends take care of you will make it easier, do that.  Do whatever is going to make this process as comfortable and enjoyable as you can.

Be Direct About Your Needs With Your Spouse:

Positive communication with your spouse is key in any deployment.  You are already going through the tough business of being separated, and now you’ve thrown a whole other being into the mix.  Which is awesome, and terrifying.  It can be hard for your spouse to relate to you, because they aren’t there on a daily basis.  My spouse and I really worked to tell one another what we needed in this process.  I needed more emails and written contact because I knew phone calls were at times out of the question.  He needed to know I was safe and doing all I could to take care of myself.  Don’t wait for each other to figure it out and get frustrated…meet each other’s needs head on.

Involve Your Spouse:

It’s not just YOU going through this.  You are still a team.  Involve your spouse with pictures of baby, video from the ultrasound, exciting plans for the nursery or registry.  Ry also sent me the BEST gift of audio files of himself reading nursery rhymes.  I play them to my belly every night, so that baby girl knows her daddy’s voice.  It helped him feel more connected as a new dad too.  There’s tons more you can do, send packages~ make a scrapbook, journal.  Save memories for you two to share when you are together.

Be Honest With Your Community, and Yourself:

I learned through this process I had some deep-seated fears and frustrations.  There were days I could not be around my happy-smiling-together families that are present here.  That sounds harsh, and made me feel bad for feeling that way, but there were days I just could not do it.  I could not look at what I did not have at the moment without envy.

So I would choose a better activity to get my head and heart right that day.  I’d go to yoga, go on a walk, pray, cry to my mom…but I was honest on those days with my feelings.  Same with your friends and family.  They aren’t always going to know the “right” thing to say.  Nor did I always know what I wanted to hear! What I did become clear about: if a topic about baby is making you feel too agitated/sad/frustrated tell them politely that you don’t want to or can’t talk about that at the moment.  For example: I did not like anyone telling me how I’m “basically going to be a single mother”.  I was very honest about that. PROPS to single moms everywhere. You are AMAZING.  I just do not believe in excluding my spouse in this way.  I’m not a single mom.  I’m a married mom that has a spouse that’s off doing his job.  A lot of the work may be on me, but we are in this together.  We chose this together.  Whatever is bugging you, pick your battles, and be honest with you and your close ones. Hormones are not always helpful in staying and keeping calm! But also, there are days where you should call someone and be honest about NEEDING A HUG.  I do this frequently;) Hugs are awesome.

Pamper Yourself:

Ooo, we all like this one, don’t we?? I know I do! My spouse and I talked, and decided that getting a massage every month was worth every penny.  It is comforting, it helps with the aches and pains, and makes me take a breath for just me.  If pedicures are your thing, go for it.  Chocolate? That works wonders too!

Above ALL else:

I hope some of these tips helped you today.  They are just a few of the many buzzing around in my brain.  I write this as a first-time mom, so I’m interested to see what my tips may be once she gets here and we perhaps expand our family even further!  My hope for this pregnancy is that I would not martyr myself out, but rather see it as yet another trial in my life in which I’m going to grow.  I chose this path, and I am proudly walking it.  I feel more beautiful now than I ever have.  I feel more confident.  I know my strength, and I am wearing it on the front of me like a big-belly-badge of COURAGE.  

Wishing you well in your journey.  xoxoLindsay

Travel Throwback Thursday: California Gurls

Let’s THROW back today to 2011.  A certain best friend of mine came out for some fabulous romping around California-time.  I can’t WAIT to welcome her to the island this coming MONDAY!!!! In honor of this momentous occasion, please check out the link below of:

Lindsay and Katie’s Hilarious Moments in California

I promise you much delight.

best friends

Katie could not be coming at a better time, which is ironic.  Initially, her trip was scheduled for late October, but because she booked a show in NYC (my bestie is so talented!) she had to re-arrange her flight for late November.  I was bummed at first, but now I know it’ll all be worth the wait! My girl is coming at the PERFECT moment.  These last few weeks have seemed to drag on and on with the anticipation of Ry-guy coming home, so this little visit is going to give me that burst of energy that will see me through to the end!

best friends in california best friends

 

Arms raised, fists pumping, I can’t wait to see my friend!

Cranberry Packed Pumpkin Muffins

cranberry pumpkin muffins

I LOVE this fresh, fall combination of pumpkin and cranberry!  My mama passed this recipe down from a friend of a friend, so I don’t know the original source, only that it is pretty darn quick to put together and so tasty.  The muffins also freeze VERY well, so you could double it and enjoy pumpkin cran-bliss for days!

The most exciting part of this post? You can click for a FREE printable version of the recipe below!  I’m getting so fancy;)

cranberry pumpkin muffins

Ingredients

2 eggs

2 cups sugar

½ cup vegetable oil

1 cup canned pumpkin

2 ¼ cup flour

1 TBSP pumpkin pie spice

1 TBSP baking powder

½ tsp salt

1 cup fresh cranberries, coarsely chopped

1 cup pecans or walnuts, coarsely chopped

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350- grease and flour pans

Beat together:  Eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin

Combine: flour, spice, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl

ADD: pumpkin mixture and dry together until moist. STIR in berries and nuts.

SPOON: into pans or mugging cups.

BAKE 1 hour or until tester is clean.  Muffins adjust to 25-30 min cook time

COOL: 10 minutes.

I LOVE Cranberries so I double them;)

 

Cranberry Packed Pumpkin Muffin Recipe

If you aren’t feeling like autumn yet, this recipe will help you get there! Enjoy with a big cup o’ joe or tea, and try not to eat them all right away;)

The possibility of Adventure in every day, xoxoLindsay