Are you contributing?

You can experience joy through contribution and service.

Are you sharing your energy or sucking it from those around you? Do you offer helpful suggestions or criticism and complaints?

I love to be around people who give off positive energy. I love to laugh, smile, have  fun and play hard. I enjoy learning new things, going new places and opening my mind to our world. I will always choose to be around these kinds of people, rather than the opposite. I have had the grand opportunity already this week  to help a friend, welcome a student, guide a new participant and give generously.

Are you being of service? I enjoy volunteering. When I see the outcome of hard work, love and support, my heart sings.  I much prefer my contributions given anonymously. I’m still seeking my bigger purpose ~ I know it will manifest soon.

What are your thoughts?

Aloha,

Denise

Terrific Tuesday

Today is the first day of our summer break that I could sleep in; with no alarm; no plans on the calendar; sun and sand calling my name.

I’ve cleaned and organized our apartment, the storage room, the kids’ rooms, our closets, carpets, fridge, ovens and cabinets. Now it’s time for relaxing.

My friend shared several magazines with me so I’m heading to the beach with magazines, water and sunscreen…..I’m creating a terrific Tuesday. What will you do today?

Aloha,

Denise

To my very special Mom

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY MOM-IN-LAW!

I am really blessed, lucky and happy to be married to your son. I know that. What I also know is how blessed, lucky and privileged I am to have you as my mom-in-law.

I treasure the day when I asked you if I  can call you “Mom” ~

I treasure the days you visited me in College Station, Temple, Baltimore, Los Angeles & Honolulu ~

I treasure the shopping sprees, spas, lunches, dinners, trips, heart-to-heart talks, phone conversations, cards, letters, hugs and kisses.

I love you Mom! I wish you a spectacular day.

Aloha,

Denise

Got lemons? Got pudding?

Things turn out best for the people who make the best out of the way things turn out. ~Art Linkletter via Michael Josephson

When something doesn’t turn out the way it should, I always find good in it. Just like the saying, “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” In truth, I look for the silver lining.

OK, true confession:Well, I whipped up some chocolate pudding for Emily (who had her wisdom teeth extracted yesterday) so she can enjoy some soft food. I used almond milk instead of real milk, and it didn’t pud. Eureka, a new word is born!

I made up this word 26 years ago and I still in use in my house! Do you have any funny cooking stories? Have you entered any words into the English language?

Aloha,

Denise

Here comes June, not a moment too soon!

Wow, it’s June 2011!

Time for swimming, BBQs, parties, surfing, walking to dinner, staying out late, sleepin’ in and enjoying the great outdoors.

Where ever you live, I’m sure there are fun things to do. I remember playing outside as a kid in Dallas. My brother and I played outside with our friends until we heard our dad’s fierce “dinner time” whistle. When Mark and I moved to Baltimore, we had parties outside on our deck many Saturday nights under the stars. In California we spent a ton of time outside at beaches, fairs and pools. Here we are in Hawaii and it’s not too different: beaches, pools and starlit nights.

We are at the half way point of the year. Are you creating all you want? Are you living to your full potential? Are you having enough fun????

From my home to yours: HAPPY SUMMER!

Aloha,

Denise

How do your hobbies make you smile?

As you enjoy your “off” time, what hobbies make you smile?

Here’s my answer:

yoga ~ I practice Bikram yoga (the hot yoga) 3 times per week. I love the class setting & I feel great at the end.

surfing ~ I surf twice a week and so look forward to my time in the water. I can tell I’m improving and my stamina and shoulders are stronger.

scuba diving ~ I recently resumed this hobby w/ my girlz. I have always loved being under water and enjoying that world under the sea.

beach ~ I enjoy sitting out on the beach or standing in the water with Mark and/or friends chatting and people watching. The water here is clear, refreshing and blue.

reading ~ I love to read books on my new “toy” (iPad) and flip through magazines filled with stories, photos and decorating ideas. I enjoy personal development books and thriller novels.

sewing ~ I have enjoyed sewing since I was in 6th grade.  I earned nine ribbons in the LA County Fair over eight years. I made all my daughters’ outfits and much of our home decor over the years.  My sewing machines are stored away now, but someday I’ll bring them back out and open my creative corner!

parties ~ I so enjoy people and music. Put the two together and I’m in heaven.

So what about you? What hobbies make you smile and your heart sing?

Aloha,

Denise

MESSAGE FOR MEMORIAL DAY…

I send a huge THANK YOU to all the American military personnel! Thank you for keeping us safe, affording us freedom, being a stand for your country and countrymen. I wish you all a speedy return to your families.

To all those who have lost loved ones, served in the past, prepare to serve in the future: Thank you for your dedication, love of our country, pride and courage. You are heroes. I honor you.

God bless America. God bless ALL!

Aloha,

Denise

Have you chosen wisely?

There is a distinction between a choice and a decision. A decision you must defend. A choice you make because you declare it. For example: chocolate or vanilla, choose. I choose vanilla because I choose vanilla. No defending it. It’s your choice.

I chose my husband. He loves, empowers, enlightens me and inspires me. We have been together for about 33 years. We enjoy and create our life together. We chose where to live, when to start our family and what our future will look like when our kids are grown. I choose Mark because I choose Mark. Wise choice!

I choose my friends. They fill me with joy, support and love. I choose people who I can laugh with and be myself with. I love my friends and am grateful for every one of them.

I love my family, even though I  didn’t choose them. They are the golden thread that makes me who I am and keeps us all close.

Are you choosing wisely?

Aloha,

Denise

CONGRATULATIONS to the Classes of 2011!

I have high school friends, college friends and neighbors who have kids who graduate this year.  CONGRATULATIONS to you all!

I sat in the audience at our daughters’ school graduation ceremony on Tuesday evening in awe. The seniors were dressed in hand-made, light blue and white, form-fitted long dresses with Haku leis (flowers around her head) and long Ti leis around their necks. They sang the school song, a medley of relevant songs to this milestone AND danced a traditional hula. They learned all this and studied all year, wrote essays for colleges, participated in sports, drama and community service. These girls ROCK!

Next year our eldest daughter will take her place in the graduating senior class. I can’t help but remember when she was born in Baltimore, started pre-school in Anaheim Hills, became a Bat Mitzvah, won the Heroes Award and the Girl Scout Silver Award at her first high school in La Habra and moved to Oahu as a Junior. She’s come a long way and made me very proud. I’m sure my fingers will be shaking as I tell you about her graduation next year!

I wish all the graduates a heartfelt Congrats and Best Wishes!!! To all the parents of grads: You did an outstanding job as parents. Your buttons should be busting with pride for not only your students, but for yourselves. Well done!

Strong work everyone!!! Reach for the stars!!

Please enjoy this commentary from one of my favorite mentors, Michael Josephson: http://charactercounts.org/michael/2011/05/the_road_to_significance_7234.html

Aloha,

Denise

How is your summer so far?

Well, I have enjoyed two days of summer so far and IT’S GREAT!!! Sure,  the days were Saturday and Sunday, typically fun days for my family, but still, I was relaxed and responsive. Whatever they wanted to do, I went along willingly!

We went to the Honolulu Zoo (http://www.honoluluzoo.org/) for a few hours…enjoying all the animals and a treat. Mark hadn’t been there yet, so he had a great time. Our girls loved it too. I loved walking around with my family, seeing the animals and being outside. The grounds are beautiful and the animals were happy and entertaining.

Today, I shared in a birthday lunch with some new friends. We went to Mariposa in Neiman-Marcus for Tea (http://www.wherethelocalseat.com/Honolulu-Restaurants/Mariposa-Honolulu-HI-WebID-20103.aspx) . It was delicious, lovely, relaxing, enlightening and inspiring. I think birthdays like this are A-OK.

So far, summer is perfect. I am so grateful and ready for tomorrow. How about you?

Aloha,

Denise