1000 Gifts for November

November was about finding magic. Granted, it’s a little easier when you are on a tropical island, but I was actually quite surprised how difficult it all was, emotionally-speaking. But there was just enough magic (mixed in with the everyday challenges) to create some wonderful memories and allow for a few more stones to be laid down on the path to healing.

So here they are, November’s gifts:

773. Being able to roll with the traveling punches. Maintaining an acute sense of humor helps immensely.

774. Open air airport. Tropical breezes

775. Hawaiian home. Vacation. Respite. Peace. Aloha

776. Macadamia nuts

777. The bonsai trees

778. Lava. Ocean


779. “Island Style” on the ukelele

780. Watching the first of many sunsets here

781. Finally learning to sense when I need to tend to myself. Before its too late.

782. Pool time. Ocean breezes. Family of four.

783. Sweet baby hands, lovingly stroking my arm

784. Bah oom. (Lainey says balloon—her favorite!)

785. Delicious kona brewery meal. Fun on outrigger

786. White sand beach day


787. Random meeting and interview with Brazilian midwife filming birth documentary. Contributing to a movement committed to women reclaiming the sacredness of birth

788. Salvage. Fighting for and through a marriage. Focusing on solutions. Knowing there are rough roads ahead and behind and lots of golden moments in between.  Dancing in the rain.

789. Meals on the patio. Tropical sunsets.

790. 6 years of Aidan. Creating a special day for him.


791. Riding the waves with my family. Actually. Not just a metaphor this time.

792. Playing restaurant in the sandy tide pool. Yummy sandwich and cake.

793. Homemade birthday cake

794. Love fest before bed. Sharing with Aidan how special he is, treasured. Reading birthday messages and looking through pictures of him growing up

795. Snuggles with Lainey anytime, and so precious when we both really need it.

796. The merciful ending to a challenging day

797. Macadamia nuts, again.


798. Openings after hard conversations

799. Apologies. Forgiveness. Freedom

800. Lanterns. Drums. Plumeria. Balloons. Parade.

801. Salmon. Fruit of the ocean

802. Roald Dahl

803. My daughters huge blue eyes

Lainey 11

804.  Snorkeling with Mike and Aidan. Aidan holding my hand as we floated over reefs and coral, elated, adventuring. Love.

805. Shave ice. Piña Colada my favorite ever.


806. Enormous breakdown. Not sure what to be grateful for yet but it’s coming

807. Getting through a rough night. Beauty of dawn.

808.  Change of scenery can be all it takes.

809. Mini pool adventure.

810. Farewell sweet family, hello 20 hours of solitude.

811. Self care isn’t just nourishing my body with good food, getting rest and exercising regularly. It’s caring for my soul. It’s checking in. Praying. Meditating. Learning. Being. Forgiving. Loving myself. Being loved.

812.  Laying out at a beach. Alone. For the first time in I don’t even know. Just 40 minutes. Followed by a dip in the warm tropical Pacific while the sun beat on the water and made it shimmer.

813.  Being beckoned on a little adventure. Listening to the voice. Following. Obeying. Finding the key. Discovering peace in an exquisite black rock/sand cove. Moments of grace. Knitting back together the pieces of my heart.

814.  Gift shop shopping. Especially when it’s a good gift shop.

815. Eating an even bigger bag (than the micro one) of scrumptious macademia nuts.

816.  Hawaiian flowers-particularly plumeria, gardenia and bouganvillea.


817.  Hawaiian birds: yellow. Dove? Red head. Need to learn actual names.

818. Hawaiian fish: Humu. Black with electric blue. Yellow. Pastel plus and pink.

819.  Keiki hula. Bodies in motion, thousands of years of culture, beauty, grace, luminary smiles.

820. Pupus & Mai Tais

821. Seeing the cherubs. Reconnecting. 21 hours is a lot for the littles. Their excited faces are so very worth it!

822. The ocean. It’s magic. It’s love. Swimming in it. Being with it. Bliss.

823. New beginnings

824.  Filling myself up.

825.  Giving back. Paying it forward

826.  Love. Unconditional love. What this life is all about.

827. Poverty of spirit. Lets us grow and expand beyond our earthly limitations

828. Cozy bed. Perfect temperature. Not something to ever take for granted.

829. My knowledge of nutrition. In a world where so many go each day without even eating, I have the luxury to make nutritious choices…to take care of my body far beyond basic survival. May I not forget the privilege that is.

830.  To whom much is given, so much is required.

831.  Vacation naptimes with my baby. Watching her sleep. Breathing her in.

832.  Falling asleep with my boy. The familiar rhythm of shared space, relaxation and comfort

833. Family time, just us

Family Coffee

834.  Redefining boundaries, needs and creativity. Listening to my heart and acting accordingly, responsibly and intuitively

835. Walking. Peace, even if temporary.

836.  Seeing somewhere you have grown

837. Seeing another somewhere(s) you need to grow up some more

838. Walks down memory lane. Needed. Painful. Tugging. Rejuvenating. Remembering who I was in the context of who I have become.

839. In one moment. Feeling reborn.

840. Magic in the day.

841.  The thrill of adventure. New places to explore.

842.  Palm trees that grow through restaurants. Open air windows out to jungle.

843. Beautiful donkey

844. Kona cherries

845. Japanese style farm house===my dream house!!!


846. Vintage kimono. Typewriter. Brush. Moments in time. From the past. Here today.

847. Cultures merge

848. Wild turkeys

849. Sweeping vistas. Giant trees. Lush landscapes

850. Coconut gelato next to Chocolate coffee mac nut gelato

851. The satisfaction after a great day

852. Naptime

853. History right before you. Relics. Symbols.

854.  Kindness. People willing to dance with you-in life and conversation

855. The kindred spiritness of parenthood

856. Special ocean time with my boy

857.  Thanksgiving preparations. Baking. Cooking prepping. Snacking sampling and tasting.

858. Unorthodox Thanksgivings. Fun festive meal. Mai tai. Frozen yogurt. Fun.

859. Blowing up birthday balloons the night before her special day. Hearing she even said it in the middle of the night. BAh-uhm.

860. Remembering the birth of my little girl. One year ago. Such a big year. Grateful for her birth. Her life. Her love.


861.  Celebrating Lainey. A day just for her. Her sweetness. Her spunk.  Her smile. Savoring every sweet moment.

862. Thanksgiving feast. Setting a place at the table. Lighting a candle. Life goes on.

863. The perfect bite : turkey potatoes stuffing gravy and cran. Yum

864. Birthday cake.Potty jokes. Balloons. Gas. Belly laughter when it’s needed most.

865. Baby gourmet

866. My parents. For all they do and are.

867. After dinner dance party

868.  Nursing my sweet 1 year old girl before bed.

869.  Starting 2nd Ronald Dahl book with Aidan. His love for stories and good writing. Enjoying our special time before bed.

870. Beach day! Beautiful crystalline water. Tropical breezes. Volcano mountain backdrop with lava landscape.


871. Kayak adventure! Family fun! Savoring the fun of the moment.

872. Picnic on the beach. How enthusiastic Lainey is a about eating. How she will try anything.

873. Having faith we will move through the valley, the challenge. Seeing glimpses of the other side.

874.  Sleeping with our boy between us. Knowing his tender heart needs this security. Being able to provide it at the very least. Savoring his smallness and vulnerability. Respecting his need to grow and separate as well.

875. Ocean swims with each of my kids. “Hey bubu” with Aidan and holding Lainey while she squeals with delight.

876.  Family time. Simple.

877.  Night swimming. Rare. First time as a family.

878.  Introducing Lainey to the beautiful moon. Watching her fascination. Pointing, mesmerized.

879.  Putting the kids to bed. And the husband. Me time. Quiet. Thoughts. At last.

880. Laughter as medicine.

881.  Couple time. Romance. Adventure. Creativity with limited resources. The world is always our oyster.

882. Poke Shack. Wet Hawaiian. Yum.

883. My dad. For providing more love and support than words will ever be able to describe. For giving us the gift of this vacation. For standing by us and enveloping us in unconditional love. For the way he is a fantastic Poppa who loves my babies with all his heart.


884. Sriracha

885.  Naptime=chill out.

886. White sand beach. Tidal therapy. Floating over the waves. Diving under. Jut the two of us on the eve of 9 year anniversary.

887. Shopping. Can be so much fun!

888.  Buying local-meeting the artisans.

889. How happy your kids are to see you when you have been gone.

890.  Mom Daddy Lainey time.

891.  Watching Lulabelle get ready to walk.

892. Date night!


893. Island clams in ginger broth. Organic trio of local mushrooms sautéed and sizzling. Brick bread. Tomato and Maui onion salad. Seafood chowder. Chocolate mousse with salted caramel ice cream. Yum

894. Reflecting on 9 years together. How we have changed—who we are now–how blessed we are.

895.  Loving. Full cup. Running over.

896.  9 years of marriage to my best friend!


897. Visiting a special spot for Lainey’s family blessing on our family’s birthday. The wind and excited moana just like it was 9 years ago.


898. My son’s ability to make friends with anyone.

899.  Getting through the hardest moments.

900.  Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust. Getting to hold Andy’s ashes in my hand. To sprinkle some in the warm pacific with a beautiful lei around my neck. Later sending off the lei with Andy’s outrigger. At one with the sea. At peace now and evermore.

901. Most spectacular sunset yet.

902. Beach therapy. Again. Roaring and squealing with laughter in the waves with Aidan. Swimming, snorkeling, surrendering, one final time.

903.  Ginger seared Ono. Yes.

904.  Kona coffee. Again and again.

905.  The wave of letdown knowing vacation is over, but the excited anticipation of being home and finding a new rhythm.


906. Efficient planning for a reasonably smooth flight home.

907.  Airline and airport personnel. It is a tough job. Grateful for every hand and voice along the way. For the genius of aeronautics. The skill of the pilots safely transporting my precious family across the ocean.

908.  My angel babies sleeping though our red eye. And then again at home.

909. Being in pajamas all day recovering.

910. Cure for jet lag hangover: turn on Christmas music. Light a fire. Drag out decorations. Make candy cane tea. Relax. Enjoy. Daydream.

911.  Melatonin

912. Sleeping through the night. Sleeping period.

913.  Putting together a semi decent meal from food in he pantry and freezer. Not shabby. Beats leaving the house.

914.  The comfort of grocery shopping in familiarity.

915. Rain. Wintertime preview. Low lying clouds hugging the foothills.

916.  Fire in the fireplace.

917. When the skies open a bit, the clouds parting for sunset.

918.  Water drops from peppercorn berries.

919.  Shades of a so cal autumn.  Just enough to satisfy. Especially set again a gorgeous grey sky.

920. Thrifting for rainy day clothes.

921.  Breathing trough the transition pain. The waves. The pain, the awkwardness. Finding peace in the moment. Committed to finding a nurturing rhythm.

One thought on “1000 Gifts for November

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