Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Live, Laugh, Love

Magic Hour by Sandra Arduini

Today marks day 2 of the Lunar New Year- 2012 The Year of The Black Dragon.  As a person of Korean descent, Lunar new year is more significant than that of the Gregorian calendar and this is a perfect opportunity to make another list of resolutions.  My list will be practical, functional and even if I don't get it right perfectly, I promise to be gentle and kind to myself. It's not about being perfect, it's about making it better one day at a time. Failure isn't falling down, it's staying down after you fall.
  1. Be positive and uplifting to myself and others.
  2. Remember to be grateful for the little things, even the bad little things.
  3. Don't be so serious and rigid all the time, remember to laugh more.
  4. Be PRESENT in my daily life, to stay focused in whatever I'm doing at the moment.
  5. Read more with the kids and set aside time for reading, learning and exploring.
  6. Create more happy memories as family even at home, doing fun activities such as cooking, baking and crafts
  7. Take the kids out to the park more. Do more outdoor activities.
  8. Stay active and healthy. Continue crossfit at least 3 times a week. 
  9. Take time to pause and meditate daily. Use candles.
  10. Complete the BCBA coursework. Begin supervision. Enjoy the process, don't stress. 
  11. Read as many self-help and spirituality books as possible.
  12. Cook more, eat out less. 
  13. Stay creative. Blog more. 
  14. Use healthy communication methods. 
  15. Know anger is a secondary emotion to fear. Anger is not the problem. What I do with it is.
  16. Resist the need to control. I can't control anybody but myself. That includes my children.
  17. Maintain healthy boundaries. Teach children healthy boundaries.
  18. I always have the right to say no. 
  19. I always have the right to meet my own needs. Avoid guilt, fear and resentment.
  20. Love more. Express love more. 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Happy 5th Birthday Tess

It's hard to believe that it's already been five years since I gave birth to my second daughter, Tessa. Motherhood was filled with tons of surprises, some good others bad but in the end, I'm so thankful to have two beautiful daughters who bring me that much closer to my lifelong dream.

Despite moments when I felt isolated in my struggles of learning to become a mother, I can now say I'm proud of myself for the mother I am today. This journey is far from over and I'm still learning everyday how to be more loving, more patient and more accepting of my own flaws and mistakes but what is most important is that I'm genuinely enjoying this journey of growing as a woman, mother and wife. Both my daughters are at school and I'm enjoying a rare moment of solitude and reflection, so today I begin this letter in gratitude.

My dearest Tessa,

I thank God everyday for your presence in my life. You brought so much love and joy to my life that you serve as a daily reminder of how blessed and loved I am. I don't have expectations of what I want you to be or how I want you to live your life. I'm happy with whatever your dreams are as long as it is something that makes your life brighter, happier and more fulfilled. You taught me the most valuable lesson in life and that is the art of letting go. You helped me to realize that God's plans are more perfect and complete than our own and that my role as a mother is not to direct or dictate, but guide and support you with love, kindness and warmth so you can one day become the woman you want to be- a woman who is strong in spirit but gentle at heart, a woman who can radiate warmth, love and hope to those who are blessed with your presence in their lives.

I promise to be here always to love, hold and kiss you anytime you need me.  I will make sure your heart, mind and body are nourished with the right ingredients, not in ways I plan but in ways you guide me. You're so special just the way you are- there is no way I could have planned or dreamed of a girl like you. You are beyond my dreams, beyond my expectations, beyond my goals. I love you my dear daughter, more than you can ever imagine and I thank you everyday, for fulfilling my dreams as a mother.

I thank you for your drawings, I thank you for your hugs & kisses, your smiles, your imaginations, your thoughts, your songs. I even thank you for your tantrums and night terrors because they teach me how to be more patient and to love unconditionally.  I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Because of you, my life, my happiness and my health mean so much more than it did before. You are the reason I'm here today and today, I'm beyond grateful, beyond blessed.

I love you, my precious baby girl. Happy birthday.