The Year 2014 is Going to be Awesome

"Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change." Brené Brown

I don't know where I have been in the last three years that I have never heard of her before. I blame it on not having cable and living on an island in the middle of the Pacific, secluded from the rest of the world. Ha! Brené Brown is a spectacular speaker and this talk really resonated with me. She's a gem. I hope you take the time to watch the clip.

This blog may have been neglected for some time but my interaction in cyber space is ever present. Unfortunately, for my creativity it's been the form of other social media, predominately facebook. What a mistake! I don't live in regret but I will admit I regret spending countless minutes in a day scrolling over my newsfeed to feel like I'm part of a conversation. I've done this mostly, since I started homeschooling. Being in the house with the kids all day and only interacting with one adult a day, my husband, has been very stifling for me. I've realized, I'm a much more of a social animal that I ever imagined and this lifestyle change has put me in a vacuum and has really hurt me. 

I'm sure there are some homeschooling parents out there gasping at my honesty. However, the value of our vocation, the vocation to teach our children is honorable and necessary, sometimes. I don't regret making the decision to homeschool. I've learned some genuine life lessons, not to mention, the children are much better off with the curriculum that we have chosen for them. But, man, let me tell you, "mama, has gone bat shit crazy some days." It hasn't been pretty. 

The reason mostly is I haven't let go of being perfect. When asked, how are things going with the homeschooling, I'll smile and say, "oh, it's great. It's the best decision we made for our family." Liar! The truth is it's been hard, messy, and not at all the experience some blogging homeschooling mothers have portrayed it to be. Enough, ladies! Be honest with us. Motherhood is tough enough as it is and layering homeschooling can build more frustration.  Do those who are considering homeschooling a favor and stop posting the pictures of your children frolicking in the fields. It can be misleading. Luckily for me, I stopped following the delusional divas and found The Art of Simple (formerly, Simple Mom) The ladies over there keep it real. They give great advice and paint a vivid picture of how things can unravel if you don't have mercy on yourself. I entered homeschooling with confidence, where I should have entered with caution. My experiences as a high school teacher definitely provided me with the insight, experience and discipline needed to be take on the responsibility but it's quite different doing it from home. There's no escape, people. NO ESCAPE! It's so important to have an escape hatch, to be able to go to the place where you fill yourself up with whatever it is that fuels you. That goes with anything in life, I suppose. 

So, what does Brené Brown's talk have anything to do with my recent cyber ramble. Well, she shed light as to why I have felt like a failure recently. I have continued to be stoic and put on airs that I can handle it all, alone. I've been doing this for decades. I will never admit failures. Because when I do, people think I have lost my mind, that I'm weak. When I do express frustration I get a look or response of, "who are you?" They have been accustomed to me keeping it all together and pushing through.  It's been so hard to be told to "stop whining" because they think I have it all and can do it all. Let me tell you, it's exhausting. I can't do it any longer without exposing the vulnerable side of me. There's just no way around it, anymore. Get used to it!

The post started with a quote, "Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change." I realized what I have been doing wrong all this years. Why my personal projects have failed and why sometimes I have terrible days homeschooling. It has been the refusal to give in to imperfection and believe that imperfection is failure, while imperfection, in actuality, is human. But hey, I need to give myself credit for "getting into the arena."

I have led myself believe that the failure of my blog to grow hasn't bothered me or that dropping my coursework to finish my masters degree is no big deal, when in actuality it's a really big deal. I love that in the talk Brené asked the audience of creatives what would they really do if given the opportunity. For me, it has been writing. I know, shocker...it's not photography. I love photography and it has come natural to me. However, learming more about the ins and outs of the industry has shown me that it's not the place for me. The industry is cut throat and there are some really petty and unethical people out there that will criticize and devalue the photographer, rather than the work. Photography as an art form is moving but photographing people outside of my family and close friends is not satisfying. Writing has and will always be my creative outlet. Does that mean I won't continue photography as a hobby of sorts or  not accept commissions? No! I will continue to push myself to get better and to create, what I believe to be a good image. I'm a perfectionist by nature and when I do something I will perfect it before it is shared publicly that's just how I'm wired. 

However, in the new year, I will take better care of my creative side, like stop comparing myself to other's perfections and to figure out who and what I want to create from nothing. To do this, I have decided to join Brené Brown's ecourse in January. (Take a look at it and let me know if you decide to join, too.) Who knows maybe I'll share a more sensitive side in posts to come? I hope so...I can use the change. 



I lost my cool with her today, that never happens. A long walk and a break helped me forget the part of parenting I hate most. She's with her father and siblings forgetting what happened between us, so, we can kiss and make up, later. The house is empty but soon it will be filled with the promise of a better day.


A New Leaf

We're entering a new phase in our lives where life is moving slower; where getting out of the house is easier (minus all the kid gear but replaced with attitude); where the grown-ups can escape for a couple of hours and the oldest is in charge; where we learn how to handle our idiosyncrasies with panache, mercy and tenderness. 


Duke's on Sundays or Saturdays or...

any other day of the week is a good idea. Duke's happens to be one of MM's favorite places to get a bite to eat around town. I feel it's slightly touristy but the food, music & spirits are good if you want to spend a lazy afternoon while in the heart of downtown.

The staff was particularly pleased to find out that "locals" (that would be us) had traveled all the way from our town of Aiea fighting traffic and dealing with lack of parking to have dinner here. I tried not to laugh out loud and seem rude to our gracious host but even the manager came out to meet and thank us for returning as much as we have. You see, there's a strange little thing that happens when people live or have been brought up on an island where you are fighting for space with tourists. Your patience for driving and dealing with the city aspect of your area is null. Very few locals like to venture out to Waikiki to enjoy the city feel and driving downtown can be a nightmare. The restaurant is only 10 miles away but on any give day that distance (or any other distance) can take you over an hour. No lie! We are certainly glad we went, though. They were especially accomodating to us last night and the complimentary Hula pie was an added bonus.


Scenes from the Ocean + One Inspiring Quote about the Sea

I need the sea because it teaches me -- Pablo Neruda


Eight Candles

...and eight things I love about her.

1. Her creativity.
2. Her ability to wake up with a huge smile on her face. She's a morning person and always the first one to want to get the day going on the right foot...always the optimist. 
3. She's the middle child and a natural mediator. She can quickly turn a bad situation around when in a pinch.
4. Her decisiveness.
5. She's like her father in so many ways, especially, in coordinating her clothes. There has been some crazy combinations I have to turn down.
6. That big smile that lights up the room. 
7. Her tenderness, especially towards her younger sister.
8. She's the life of the party. We all love Lucy.

We celebrated her eigth birthday with a sweet group of friends, minus a few, because I couldn't get myself together to plan a bigger bash before they either moved away or flew to the mainland for extended family visits. Poor summer babies, they pay for the easy breezy mood of the season, which makes me especially grateful that she's such the optimist and so tender and understanding towards her mama.


And Just Like That

I feel like I'm on here so little, that everytime I make an appearance I need to introduce myself. "Hi, I'm Liza. I'm the sporadic blogger that loves her space but just can't find the words to make it less empty. Please to meet you."

Ok, now, that the formalities are out of the way, let me tell you what's on my mind. It's 6:00 on a Tuesday evening. Dusk is rolling in and I'm feeling neither here nor there...in limbo. My thoughts are everywhere and nowhere. The windows are open. The breeze is flowing through the house. I can hear the rustling of leaves, wind chimes, kids riding by and the birds singing. The day is telling me hurry up and make the best of it because it's almost over. Yet, I sit at my laptop compelled to open my soul for a peak. Peak a boo! Now, you see me. Now, you don't.

Before this week rolled in, I knew that it was going to take all I could to roll through it. Life as I knew it for the last year has just changed. It's an ordinary change in my world. A change that outsiders looking in would say that I could do it blindfolded with my hands tied up behind my back. What is it? Our neighbors moved away on new orders. A family that I met literally one year ago this month when I rolled into the neighborhood. It wasn't even a complete family that I met. Our sponsors, spouses to those in the civilian world, were away. Her's was deployed to the Middle East and mine was out to sea. We met and instantly clicked, as well as, the kids. It couldn't have been easier. However, if that wasn't good enough, the neighbors to my left was also an instant success and the kids, too. What are the odds? 

So, the past year was spent with the front screen door constantly slamming shut and kids running in and out of our homes. However, in less than three weeks time. I'm left alone in the middle, in complete silence. Both sets of families have moved on. The children are feeling the void, too. We miss the knocks and the doorbell rings. We want our normal back.  I want my normal back! You're probably wondering, why on earth is she "mourning" the move? You see, for the last year, the neighbor to my right has been my lifeline. We have been each other's lifeline, last minute babysitter, confidant, the "tell me what you think about this" gal. It really sucks, there's no sugar coating it. But...c'est la vie. Such is life for the military dependant. We move on because if we don't we miss the chance of meeting our next lifeline. The girl that pulls you through and makes you laugh at yourself and the crazy life you married. 

I had the kids together in our home on their last day of packing the last bits of pieces that was left of their home into crates destined overseas. I captured them simultaneously playing as they always did and I'm so glad I did.


Make the Switch. Google Reader is Closing Tomorrow!

So, tomorrow is the big day Google Reader is closing its doors windows. If you haven't made the switch to a new reader there are many out there to choose. I have my favorite three and use them interchangeably. They are bloglovin', feedly and StumpleUpon. Honestly, I use bloglovin' and feedly the most. However, if you haven't switched to either by now, then run and do so. You can easly import all your subscriptions to both of these readers quickly and with a couple of quick clicks. Do it NOW! You have until today to switch over. Only One Day, Folks!

I do have this small review of both Feedly and bloglovin' for you. First, if you prefer a very easy interface with a simple layout then try bloglovin'. You will find it clean and uncluttered. This reader also has been quite a hit with creatives for a long time so you will find a plethora of sites in its directory that cater to design in many industries, such as, fashion, home, photography and a list of other mediums. Second, feedly is strictly a reader and bloggers of all genres have made the switch. It's also easy to use and their front page reads like an old time periodical complete with headlines and subheadlines. Both sites are simple to navigate and offer a "next" button so that you can click to the most recent and updated post on your subscriptions list. What I like most about bloglovin' over feedly is that you can visit the actual blog in it's native space. What I mean, is that you can navigate your subscriptions using the "next" button and visit the original post. Therefore, you have the same experience as using the Google Next Button feature.

Now, go over check those out and make the switch. You can find me on bloglovin', feedly and StumpleUpon.

Happy Sunday!


Waiting for fireworks

An accurate metaphor for certain milestones in our lives, wouldn't you agree? I'll have to elaborate on some of what I've been feeling while my husband spends his time away at sea but for now I'm waiting for the fireworks.

...ps. In case you're wondering, another post made through the blogger app. Image taken with iphone 4s and edited with the new vsco app.

This is a test. This is only a test.

I apologize for sounding like the Emergency Broadcasting System, especially, since I've been pulled away from this space by Instagram. But it is true. That little app, in addition to other iphone apps, have captivated me and have allowed me to expand my creativity in more ways than I have ever imagined. I'm spellbound. If you have an Instragram account, please follow me @lizabeeandco. You'll find me there more frequently than here. However, I did discover the blogger app and I'm testing the waters out, too.

I hope this little post pasts the the test...until next time, friends.


Healthy Changes

Seems like the whole nation is drinking their greens. I started blending my fruits and vegetables over a year ago as part of shedding those extra forty pounds I gained while living in Italy. Yes, forty. That was hard to admit. I will have to say, they were fun to add. I have found that blending my green is a much more enjoyable way to shed them. It's much more fun to do it with a partner, too. My eleven year old son loves them as much as I do. Since the beginning of the year, we started making almost daily visits to our favorite smoothie shop. We're still trying to get the girls to try.

While I don't boast in making the perfect smoothies everytime, I have found a green blend that I love. I call it my liquid salad. It has lots of greens, like, kale and spinach, with some sweeter fruits, pineapple, apples or strawberries to soften the taste. I also add some greek yogurt, almonds and pomegranate juice.   One piece of advice, throw some ice or blend in some chunks of frozen fruits. Lastly, I find that cutting the produce, as soon as, you come home is key to making them everyday. 

At first these changes came about for aesthetic reasons, mostly just to fit in skinny jeans, again. Then I started to feel better. Imagine that, the experts are right!


1/52 She is Five

I posted a slightly abstract picture on Instagram that briefly describes how I feel about her growing up. It's an image of her where she looks little. She feels and looks little. It such a cliche. I never thought I'd feel like this about my last born...the baby. But it's true. There's a connection I have with my last born that grounds and lifts me. It's a wonderful feeling. She takes me to the place where all my babies were small and I could scoop them up, hold them close to my heart until they fill me up...until I am filled with pure joy.

Happy 5th Baby Girl.

"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week in 2013."
I'm joining Jodi from Che & Fidel for 52 Portraits. 


Ebbs & Flows

To think that just a hundred yards away these unsuspecting swimmers were unaware of the waves crashing against the rocks in the lagoon nearby. Most of the time, we go about our days unsuspecting what might come crashing towards us. I guess, we just should keep swimming.