Saturday, December 31, 2011

Au revoir 2011.......Aloha 2012

I write this 320th blog of the year as the last few grains of sand in the 2011 timer are running through and as the moment to flip the timer to 2012 is almost here.

I don't have the time or the emotional energy to review the year and all the happened.........I will but not today....

 Today we are preparing for a big Luau with friends and family to bring the spirit if Aloha from 2011 into was just a wisp of an idea 5 days ago and now it is a full blown epic party in the making! 

This time last week we were still breathing the humid, fragrant air of Oahu........and I miss it so much more than I would have imagined......I think it really sparked memories of my childhood growing up in that kind of climate and landscape.....I truly long to return (to Hawaii , not my childhood - just to be clear).   Right now I have Hawaiian radio streaming through a free app on my iPhone and I want to cry! time for this sentimentality! 

There is kalua pork to be cooked - Allan is on that job.  Lindsay and I cleaned the house (and rearranged all the furniture!) this morning and I love how it is all coming together.  We have created a photo booth with a tropical background and lots of Hawaiian swag for people to dress up in (including a coconut bra or two) and speech bubbles they can write messages on......It should be so much fun!  We have a tent outside on the patio and the fireplace ready to go to keep it cozy (and for s'mores of course!) and we have SO much food and a case of corona and lots of lime's going to feel like Hawaii here tonight.

The guest list is ever evolving.......just how I like it......I have no idea really who will drop in and what the final head count will be.  I trust there will be enough food and drink and lots of chatting and fun....some will watch hockey (Go Canada Go), I am sure there will be a Wii tournament or two, and lots of fun tunes.....

I love my home best when it's full of people......connecting and celebrating.......this New Years Eve will be memorable.....

Whatever you are doing, whomever you find yourself with as the year changes over, may you know love and peace, joy and contentment.......and may 2012 bring all your heart longs for.

Aloha friends.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

3 more celebrations of our 20th Anniversary

We celebrated our 20th Wedding Anniversary  on December 7th and although we did go out for dinner here we knew we would do some celebrating in Hawaii. 

As it turns out we ended up with 3 little celebrations - 2 planned and 1 a surprise.

1. The first one happened at the Polynesian Cultural Centre.  This is a big "theme" park of Polynesian Cultures on Oahu - it highlights the various Island Cultures.  We really enjoyed the tour of the Island we took to get there as well as the presentations at various "Islands".  The Samoan presentation was hilarious and the whole place is very well run and entertaining. 

It is run by the Seventh Day Adventist Church to provide employment to the hundreds of students at the adjacent Brigham Young University.  While no fan of this "church" we were impressed with the level of service and friendliness of every staff member we encountered (it rivaled Disneyland).  They call everyone "Cousins" while you are there which is funny and can get to be a bit much after a while.

At the evening Luau the MC asked if anyone had a December Birthday and they all stood and we sang Happy Birthday to them. 

He then asked if anyone was celebrating "love" in December with an engagement, wedding or anniversary.  We waved our hands - as did another couple at our table.  The MC then invited us down to the stage for a we trooped down and stood with 5 other couples on the stage.  He talked to each couple about what they were celebrating (the couple next to us from Boksburg South Africa on Honeymoon). 

When he got to the last couple it was apparent we were the longest married couple on the stage so he returned to us and asked us to share the secret of our marriage.  Allan said "Hang loose" (honestly....!!) and I said "Never give up".  He thanked us and then the band struck up and he told us he would sing the Hawaiian Wedding Song as we danced on stage.  OH MY...... we swayed gently together - chatting with the other couples (me secretly hoping the song was short but it went on and on).  At the end Allan and I kissed and we got a round of applause as we went back to our seats....and many congrats for the rest of the evening. 

I left Lindsay with my camera and apparently the utter mortification of having your parents dance and kiss in public interfered with her photographic skills but here is what we have.  

It was a fun moment!

2. We wanted to take my parents and our children for a Catamaran ride or a sunset cruise to include them in our celebration as they are so much a part of our marriage.  Alas the sunset cruises were booked out so we went for a Catamaran ride on the high seas.  It was so much fun!

3. Date Night Hawaii - My parent graciously gave us a night out on the town as a gift.  We went to a great spot called Rum Fire - the water was lapping just beyond our table and the Tiki torches were alight.....the Mai Tai's were cold and the food interesting.  We had a quiet moment together to appreciate how far we have come, how much we have grown, how much we love one blessed we are.

Stay tuned for our 30th Wedding Anniversary Celebrations!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Ordinary Moments

When you get back from a holiday......especially a big trip ....everyone wants to know "How was it?"

It was "lovely", "super", "just great"......none of which really tells the whole story.

Truth be told most people do not want to hear the "whole story" either.

For me it's about a whole lot of ordinary moments that happened in a pretty ordinary place......just not ordinary to me....which made the ordinary moments kinda special.

Some of my favourite moments:

  • the warm breeze on the lanai with a spectacular view.
  • Papaya
  • An old volcano - If one could fall in love with a mountain I would be in love with Diamond Head.  It took my breath away every time I set eyes on it and I took WAY too many photographs of it.  It is an amazing backdrop to Waikiki. 
  • Palm trees waving in the breeze.
  • Aloha - I loved saying it, hearing it, living is a powerful and all embracing word / feeling.
  • A date with my sweetheart - waves lapping at our feet and tiki torches illuminating our yummy food.
  • Stress-free time with my kids strolling along the beach or bobbing in the water.
  • Watching my kids with my parents - I love the way they all love each other.
  • The sun setting into the ocean (ok I do know it isn't but it sure looks like it).
  • Aqua ocean
  • Hiking with my family up Diamond Head......
  • Seeing my 3 surfers get up and head out at the crack of dawn - so special for them to have those memories of a special time together.
  • Learning about Polynesian culture
  • Deciding not to "do it all" and being ok with that.
  • Meeting a friend and getting to know her a bit better.
  • Beach time - just to sit and read and watch people...under palm trees.
  • Not hating myself in a swimsuit.
  • Time - precious time - with my family - laughing, eating, chatting, walking.......
An ordinary yet amazing week  - away - together - doing usual and unusual things - new things and familiar things .

Feeling VERY grateful for the blessing it was and trying to hold onto those ordinary moments and know that many of them can happen here - without the exotic backdrop (Diamond Head oh Diamond Head - how I miss you) - if we pay attention and see the beauty around us......

Friday, December 23, 2011

Living Aloha

Sitting here watching the sunrise on our last full day in Hawaii

I can "see" Allan and the kids way down (from our 37th floor lanai) at the main surfing area.  At this time of the morning it's pretty quiet and I can spot Allan's white rash guard as he surfs. 

 The kids have fallen in love with surfing.  They had a great teacher in Mikey at Star Surf Boys......a friend of a friend.  Today they are without Mikey's tuition and boosts and hope they can swim hard enough to catch the waves.

We have had an amazing vacation.  We didn't do "everything", the weather was not "perfect" (but always warm but lots of rain showers and some wind) , Waikiki is busy......BUT we have loved it ALL.

It is that time in a vacation where you try to not think about tomorrow.....about packing the suitcases and heading to the just want it to go on......well you really believe you want it to go...for a bit longer anyway.

Today, after the surfers return and we have breakfast we are heading to the beach 2 blocks from our hotel and setting up for a day of swimming, snorkeling, shopping, reading, watching people, snacking.....just "beaching" all excursions, no plans.

Right now I am going to sit in the warm breeze with a coffee and take in the view and soak it all in.

Loving and living Aloha with my ohana for one more day......let's hope it's a day that runs on Hawaiian time!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Mele Kalikimaka

Santa Hangs Loose

Flip Flop Ornaments for the tree

The Angry Birds wear Shades

Flip Flop Wreath

Snowpersons that surf!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Happy Birthday Blog

I was lying awake in the night (pre-holiday jitters) and was wondering when my blog's birthday was.....I got up this morning and checked and IT IS TODAY!!!!

Happy Birthday has been such a great experience writing 311 posts this year.....I look forward to trucking along in 2012.....

To those who read - you know how grateful I am...... to my Guest Bloggers - a BIG thank you and an invitation to anyone who wants to make an appearance here on Nicky's Space!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Life Lesson

I saw theses ducks and geese on the foggy river today......and when I took this shot I thought it could be one of those motivational posters......

Some people paddle through life and others just hitch a ride

I have been paddling up river all week but I have made it to the other side!! 

Aloha friends - I will try to blog from the sun but if not.......have a Merry Christmas and may your family be blessed in 2012.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Broadway Baby

Lindsay performed in Broadway Edge Studio's "Winter Showcase" last night.  It was lovely.  The teacher Diana Karina is an accomplished actor who was on Broadway for years (she is also the voice of Barbie in the Barbie movies though she herself is dark haired and short :).  This is a new program for Lindsay who has taken Musical Theatre for many years . It is done in blocks of 6 weeks and they have just completed acting and singing.  Lindsay loves how she gets to really work on technique of each discipline within musical theatre.

Here are some shots of her performance last night.

Opening Song


Group Shot
Fun times!