Paradise Mindset

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The air is changing to Fall. There are pumpkins everywhere and the hint of the approaching holidays brings excitement and fun to our household. Saw this t-shirt and knew it was time to get ready for Paradise style celebrations.
While the decorations and fanfare certainly add to the festivities, the opportunity to share moments, smiles, and create lasting memories with love-filled traditions are what bring my Paradise to life. I cannot wait for Halloween night candy swap, or Thanksgiving at my Mom and Dad’s, or the surprises of Christmas morning. But as the calendar becomes cluttered with other obligations, I know that I must create a balance to maintain the peace this time of year invites.
With holdiay Paradise on my mind, I look forward to the upcoming time with family and friends. There never seems to be enough of that. I always want to pause that too-fast clock, capture the feeling of those days, recall them when the dreary days darken Paradise. May the upcoming season be good to you and your Paradise moments last and last!

Paradise Motto

imageLive, laugh, love is a favorite saying of one of my dearest friends. It is a perfect reminder of what should be the focus of our lives. Why is it that we allow distractions to get in the way?

Live. Appreciate the moment you are enjoying. Your “to do” list will still be there waiting.

Laugh. We all have the weight of obligation and unexpected obstacles. Sharing a positive perspective is the best way to work through them.

Love. We all have flaws; don’t spend time looking for them. Celebrate the strength in others and love them for it.

May you be able to minimize the distractions this week and live, laugh, and love! That will truly be a Paradise.

 

Paradise!

imageA birthday in Paradise is always terrific. My collegues started the celebrations on Friday, complete with sparkle and song, along with many great wishes sent from family and friends. When I look in the mirror, the years certainly show, but the journey has been charmed!

At 42-errific, I have gained a better persective on priorities and Paradise. I understand the need to reflect and appreciate (thus the 2015 resolution to reflect and document my appreciation for this life). What are they? Be thankful for your happy experiences and those you can share them with. Simple but true!
So, I am thankful for so many people and so many moments over this past year: my parents for having me, my sister for setting the pace, my second family, the Morcos Family, for giving me the extended love and support that all kids need… and my Forever Friends and my beautiful family. I know that my Husband and Daughter have made my Paradise complete. And now more than any other time, it is crucial to reflect upon the blessings I have been truly privileged to enjoy.
I hear of the struggles and sadness so many others currently endure. My sympathy extends to them as I grow to appreciate the ease in which my 42+ years have passed. May your birthdays in Paradise, whenever they arrive and no matter the number, be a time to celebrate and reflect on all that you hold dear.

Memorial in Paradise

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Decades ago, some of my husband’s family left the frenzy of Los Angeles for the serenity of life on a lake. There, they built boats, houses, and shared in the glorious life that smaller towns offer. This weekend we celebrated the life of his Grandfather and Uncle, both passed but certainly not forgotten in this community that embraces family and a quieter way of living.

We cruised the lake, noting the changes to the places where memories were made over the many afternoon spent along the shores of yesteryear. During the sunny afternoon, we marveled at the beauty surrounding us, thanked Grandpa and Uncle for sharing their Paradise with us and talked of the boats they adored. No doubt, both of these men left a legacy for the thrill of an engine and a finely crafted hull.

My daughter visits their Paradise now. She listens to the stories her Dad and Aunt share of their youth with appreciation. She, too, understands the importance of finding a place to enjoy and celebrate, pursuing a passion, and building a Paradise for your family. And we all smile in thanks as we remember who provided this experience for us and agree it must continue! Here’s to Paradise, lake style!

Growing Paradise

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I love this caricature of my daughter, niece, and nephew. They seem to grow overnight and this represents this summer beautifully. A delight to their grandparents, a wonder to their parents, and an endless source of both fun and frustration to each other, they are why my life is Paradise. I enjoy being with them and watching their connection grow stronger each visit…even when the visits seem further apart as the craziness of life interrupts the sanctuary of Paradise.
Having family and family of the heart close by makes even the smallest of occasions something so much more. Over the past week, I have had the great fortune to spend time with people I love and always miss as soon as we depart. You know the people I am referring to, the kind who you may not see for weeks, months, or years at a time but the minute you greet each other, the time in between melts and it is as if you haven’t missed a minute in between.
Why is there never enough time to spend with those we enjoy the most? How has another week already slipped by? May this coming week have moments where we can pause and laugh with the people who make our world a Paradise.

Paradise x 54!

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My parents celebrated their 54th wedding anniversary this week. With patience, humor, and love, they have built Paradise. And it is a Paradise they share with those around them.

My sister and I were blessed to grow up in a household filled with love and affection. Never perfect, our family still had the trials and frustrations that all families endure, but we laughed, hugged, and forgave our way through the struggles. As we build another generation of Paradise, we lean on the foundation of love and laughter that my parents provide.

54 years togther! Thank you, Mom and Dad, for being the best example of partnership and teaching us to build our Paradise on love. Happy Anniversary!

 

Sisters make it a Paradise!

imageI love my Sister! She is an amazing person, capable of juggling what seems to be a zillion tasks and always has time for me. My world just wouldn’t be a Paradise if she wasn’t close by!

My Sister makes me laugh…even when she isn’t trying. Her honest replies rarely have a coat of sugar making our conversations authentic and hilarious. With her generous spirit and unconditional love, my life has been enriched beyond explanation.

If you are not blessed with a Sister, I sure hope you have found a Sister of the heart, someone to provide the delicate balance of truth and compassion mixed with an abundance of love. As my Sister celebrates another birthday, it is wishes for continued happiness and laughter in Paradise that I send her way!

Surfing in Paradise

imageI watch with an anxious heart as she paddles over the break. Driving up, I saw the white caps across the horizon and knew it wasn’t going to be an easy morning for her. But she goes for it. She gets rolled, crashes, rides a few, and then smiles on her way back to shore. My mermaid has another day in Paradise.

On shore, she runs to splash and play. She delights in all the sea offers. She clings dearly to her younger cousin as they laugh and jump into the endless playground of the waves.

And when it is time to go, the pleas for just one more wave are as difficult as ever to resist. I, too, want to suspend the moment, capture her as she is today, a strong, smiling, brave, young lady reaching for happiness. May she always have a Paradise and people she loves to grow with and laugh and play! Thank you, darling Daughter, for days together in Paradise! 

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Legends in Paradise

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I saw Kobe And Taylor this weekend. What a sight! There is something about being in the presence of greatness that is inspiring. Whether you are a fan or not, there is no disputing the success the two have captured within their respective careers. And watching them for a brief moment added such fun and excitement to our weekend in Paradise. And that is all it was, a brief moment.
How defining moments can be, a celebration, a wedding, a kiss, an accomplishment. They captivate, inspire and excite us to do more, be more. Then we add them all up to create and decorate our Paradise. I have decorated mine this week!

Celebrating 19 years of marriage with my husband, I savor the layers of moments.

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Watching my daughter learn to wakeboard and positively glow from her accomplishment, I applaud her focus and determination.

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Legendary? Not to some, but in my corner of Paradise these are the events that matter and build a legendary life! Here’s to another week in Paradise.

 

Paddling to Paradise

imageMy daughter loves the beach. It is her Paradise. The waves, sea, and sand are among her best companions. This weekend, as we gave a tearful farewell to summer, we enjoyed one last ride. But, sometimes, even Paradise has its pitfalls.

On this blindingly bright morning, the swells were just a bit too intimidating, more so when they  have already swallowed you up and smacked your confidence. She paddled out, took a pounding, and returned to shore to watch the others. Watching, waiting, she  began to understanding that even the most treasured of places, her true Paradise, needs attention and adjustments to work.

That is really it. A Paradise doesn’t just happen. It is not stagnate and will not wait for you to catch up. Like my daughter’s waves, it is enchanting, powerful, but needs your thoughtful approach to make it work for you. Paddle out to yours, whatever shore it is. It will be worth the ride!