Seeing hearts…

I don’t know exactly when it started, but there was a day when hearts starting popping up in my world. At the beach, in the sky, in my food. No, I’m not kidding. It was weird. But it was so wonderful.


I’m pretty sure that God planted these sweet little buggas for me as a reminder that He loves me and enjoys seeing me smile. But more than that, finding them felt like a warm hug from my dad. And when you’re 3,852 miles (yes exactly. Thanks Google.) from your dad, little reminders are a big deal.

I would post the pictures of “hearts in nature” on social media because I love to share happiness. I must have posted often because soon enough, friends would tag me in “I found a heart and thought of you!” posts and texts. It really warmed my heart. (pun not intended. Ha!)


I still find them frequently and I usually take a photo (can you ever have too many photos!?) because that’s how I roll. My family likes to playfully tease me because I do have a bit of an obsession. One of my friends even made me a “jar of hearts” so that I have a place to keep some of my very favorites.

As I scroll through my iPhone, I see them pop up and started thinking about all the joy that these hearts have brought to me. And all the places that I’ve seen them! Here’s just a few:

I’ve found them while hiking:


and while cooking:


and while walking on the beach:


One of my favorites is the time I was stuck in traffic on the pali heading from Lahaina to Kahului and I decided to pull off, set up a beach chair in the back of my pick-up and watch the sunset. And then.. the sun looked like a heart. You really can’t make this stuff up:


Dodging puddles:


Walking down sidewalks:


Chopping sweet potatoes:


And then that time I slipped and fell and bruised my knee and my ego. It was in front of a bunch of people and I felt like a big dummy. My husband said: “Stop. Hand me your camera. Hurry…” I mean, he wasn’t even concerned with the fact that my knee hurt so bad from the slip. He took a few pictures of my knee and hands me back my camera. Muddy crash print in the shape of….


Sipping coffee:


Waterfall hiking:


Walking out of aerial yoga:


That time when my husband had to push my dog Meli into a wave so she could catch a ride back to shore. I caught a picture and it kinda blew my mind:


Sugar cubes at an event:


Walking my dog:


Crossing a stream:


Sometimes it felt like they were everywhere I looked:


Sunsets:


Sunrises:


All alone:


and with a group of friends:

Sometimes they would be tricky to see until you really looked close:


Sometimes it’s almost if they were jumping out of the picture at you:


I mean, it is kinda crazy-awesome, yeah?

And sometimes, that crazy little obsession would even rub off on my dear darling husband. I came back to my truck while we were at the beach and found this:


How can they not make you smile!?

My husband says: “You’ll find what you’re looking for.” and I whole-heartedly believe that’s true. I find myself looking for hearts and that might explain why I see them so often. But in a world that’s so full of stressful things and daily hustle-bustle, finding something to slow us down and fix our focus on joy, is a really good thing.

I shall keep looking up, down, in my food and even in the palm trees:


Hearts from me to you,


~Bridgett

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North Shore Blues


The north shore of Maui Hawaii.

But seriously. Those tropical blues. Sometimes they just don’t seem real.


When we first landed on Maui a few years back, the north shore was the very first beach experience for us. We had been here only about 3 days and we hopped on the city bus (our Toyota was being shipped across the Pacific) and made our way to Paia. When we walked up over that little hill, and the beautiful turquoise water I’ve ever seen with my own eyes came into view …. I can vividly remember my heart skipping a beat and my brain literally almost exploded.

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Paia Bay. June 2013

It has and always will have a blue heart stamped onto my heart.

This morning we got a late start and I told my daughter that we needed to go take the dog for a walk. “Park or beach?” I asked her. In perfect teenage form she replied “I don’t care. Wherever.” Real talk here: Here’s what it comes down to in my brain when I’m trying to decide between them: cleaning sand off the dog for 10 minutes and dealing with snarles for days from wind blown hair ORRR a quiet, steamy sweat-filled time at the park? Decisions. Real problems, I know.


The beach won and I’m so glad it did. Of course it was whipping wind from the second we got out of the truck. But somehow it blows the “crazy” away for a little while.


The erosion is kind of a crazy thing. We’ve seen many trees come down over the years. This stretch of beach is pretty fascinating though.


From Kanaha to Ho’okipa, the north shore just offers a different vibe from the rest of Maui. Ask the peeps who hang out there. The aloha frequency is just fresher. I don’t exactly know what it is, but I love it.


Maybe it’s because I’m from “the north” (Minnesota) and you just can’t take that out of the girl? Maybe there’s less people and more quiet? Maybe it’s looking out straight ahead to the north and seeing only endless ribbons of green and blue? Whatever it is, I truly love time spent on the north shore.

Sunday at the stream.


We skipped our normal Sunday morning salt water session for some cool mountain water infused with nature instead. My husband’s back had been bothering him and the cool Iao Valley water is always the cure for his minor aches and pains. The skies looked clear so we made our way to the valley. As we cruised down the road thats surrounded in lush green vegetation, I felt myself start to breathe deeper and a smile gradually formed. Ah. Oh how we love this place.


A lot has changed since the storm that hit Iao last fall. The river is wider, rocks have settled in new places and the water is warmer. But it’s still Iao. (Pronounced EE-OW for those who are wondering. It was a really hard one for me in the beginning. Just think of it as: when you hit your knEE, you saw, OW! It’s what worked for me. Ha!) The top portion is still closed, but the lower part of the stream is open and it’s often full of users taking advantage of the great outdoors.


The crystal clear water was flowing and my wifi signal ended. One of my favorite things about being here is that it’s off the grid and I can truly just focus on being in the moment.


Of course my iPhone is used as a camera because I can’t stop when it comes to shooting pretty things and documenting beautiful moments. This along with the sound of the water flowing while the sun rays dance across my skin is like therapy for my soul.


We carefully hop down the rocks and find a little pool to set up camp. It’s still relatively early for a Sunday morning so the place isn’t buzzing quite yet. We float, we laugh, we enjoy. I laid on a warm rock and watched the clouds cruise by over my head. Side note: Did you know that Iao means: “cloud supreme?” I was poking around online learning more about this historical place and just saw it. Makes total sense most of the time. The clouds make the experience at Iao don’t they? If it’s really hot, they are so welcomed for some cool relief, or on occasions like this particular day, when you’re floating in a pool of cool water and the clouds come through and push the sun away, you count down the seconds until the sunshine pushes back.


We are always very cautious when it comes to being in the stream. Flash floods can happen very quickly. This is probably why my eyes are often looking up at the sky and clouds. Always aware. 


A Sunday well spent brings a week of content. True. Time spent stream-side is good for the soul. Indeed.

Happy summer!


~B 

7.1.17


Well look at that. The second half of 2017 begins today. I KNOW. How can it already be half way through this year? I don’t get it either. But they do tell me: “time flies when you’re having fun” so apparently we are just making lots of good memories and time is whooshing past us. Yeah?

So fine. They were also right when they said “The older you get, the faster it goes.” And honestly, I don’t really even think that’s fair. I mean, we’re older and slower. Time should have respect for its elders. (Ha!)

I decided today to look at those Jan 1 resolutions (goals, dreams, ideas) and see just how well things are going. We’re 6 months in but we still have 6 months to get things rockin’ and rollin’! Here’s what I realized:

–> The gym. I started off so strong and then I kinda slid off the early mornin’ sweat train. But score! I got up today and went in. On a rainy Saturday. With the rest of Maui. It was packed in there but I felt 100 x’s better when I left.

–> Food. I like food. I’m pretty well-behaved buuttt, I really need to take time to clean up the menu. More quinoa, less bread. More fruit and veggies, less dairy.  (I keep getting this weird nudge that we are supposed to give up dairy. But can I say sayonara to cheese!? I’m really not sure.) On a good note, we have been eating SO many sweet potatoes around here. It’s so fun when the whole fam rekindles that flame with a vegetable to love. Here’s my super pro recipe (ps. I don’t measure anything. I live on the edge like that!) –> Chop them into cubes, toss in a little melted butter to coat, crack on some fresh pepper and sprinkle on parmesan cheese, bake at 350*, flip after 10ish minutes. And yes, add more parm cheese because I also live dangerously like that as well. Tip: use powdered and the real shredded cheese because it’s so much better. Yuuummmm… You’re welcome 🙂 Everything is better with butter and cheese, yeah? So like, how am I going to be able to give up dairy?


–> Words. So I definitely need to journal and blog more. I haven’t posted on here since January? Sad panda. I can feel it in my bones that I need to write… even if it’s me who’s reading it. Ya wanna know a little secret? I was a DIE HARD scrapbooker when my tribe and I lived on the mainland. I went away a few weekends a year to get all nerded out with my group of craft-minded ladies. It was therapy for me. Reminiscing over memories, sifting through photos and journaling and creating masterpieces for generations to enjoy. This hobby sort of blossomed into the digital age with Facebook and Instagram posts and a little bit of blogging. And here we are.

So now that I have a bazillion pictures on my DropBox and a million adventures under my belt, what to write about? I know it sounds so silly… like, just write. But after slacking for so long, it’s like training that muscle up again. So I posted on my Bridgett Loves Maui Facebook page looking for some advice: what kind of things do you like to read about when it comes to Hawaii, Hawaii life, visiting Maui, etc? I am compiling a list of really great ideas from my peeps and I’d love to hear what you think. Drop a comment and let me know. Mahalo for the support.


So the year is half over, but we still have lots to accomplish friends! Break out those New Year’s resolutions or create some new ones. Let’s show 2017 who’s boss. You. Me. We got this.


~Bridgett 

Molokai Monk Seals

Last weekend my husband and I took a trip over to the “Friendly Isle” also known as Molokai. It was my first visit and I was incredibly excited! We had a lot of ground to cover in 2 1/2 days. We kind of hit the ground running–ready to explore, learn and relax.

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We saw and did lots of cool stuff, but I have to share a funny story of something that happened. Day one: we checked into Hotel Molokai, grabbed some water and snacks and headed over to the west end where most of the beaches are. My husband wanted to take a quick rest in the warm sunshine, but me? Well I can’t sit still. I saw people out on the point and told him I wanted to walk out there and check it out. So we agreed that I’d venture over while he caught some Vitamin Sea on the sand.

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On my way, I came to a small sandy cove and looked down to see an awesome shell! I was so excited! I kept looking down at the sand, searching for more shells that were similar.  I walked around for a few minutes and didn’t see anything else so I headed back on the trail to the point.

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When I got there, some visitors asked me “did you see those monk seals that you were right next to?” I laughed because I had no idea what they were talking about… they clearly must be mistaken. I told them “there were no monk seals over there..” The man said, “you were taking pictures or something and you had to have been less than 10 feet away from them. There were three there sleeping right on the beach.” My face did a combination of: thinking and confusion. I talked story with them quickly, nabbed a few more photos and headed back to see what they were talking about. 

dec31-199Sure enough folks, I walked toward the small cove and my husband was coming my direction saying “there’s three monk seals right there!” And then I saw it: their “scoot and flop” tracks all the way down the beach and three sleeping seals. Right there. And I hadn’t even noticed.

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Yes, I had total “visitor brain” and walked right by the seals thinking that they were rocks. Oh. My. Word. I could have lost an ankle to that mama in the middle. She had now woken up and was keeping a close eye on the small group of people that had now gathered on the beach to watch them. Side disclaimer: I have no idea if this was a mother and her babies or a family of seals or, just some friends lounging on the beach on a beautiful Saturday afternoon? It seemed like a mom and her pups. The little guy to the left was as cute as a puppy. Seriously. Don’t you just want to take him home?

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Moral of this story: pay attention at the beach: in and out of the water. Ha! But really, they are sometimes hard to see when they are sleeping by the waters edge close to the rocks-they lay so still and just blend right in. My foot prints were right over the seal tracks:

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I posted this photo on my Instagram and my friend Darren commented that this a rare photo.

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He noted that most monk seals like to be solo–like a monk. So to see them in a group, is pretty awesome. I also did some research: ” The Hawaiian monk seal is one of the most endangered marine mammals in the world, and the rarest seal or sea lion in US waters..” Thanks to the Marine Mammal Center and my friend, I now know that this was a pretty unique and special beach experience.

I feel very fortunate to have witnessed this. Special Molokai memories were made for sure.


Aloha! ~B

Stop and enjoy the rainbows

Okay you know by now how much I love rainbows, right? It’s true. They are one of my favorite things. I get so excited–I’ve gone from relaxing and reading to running and shooting. This week I’ve found myself staring at a rainbow and wondering why: A) I look around and no one else is stopping to appreciate it and B) why is it that I like them so much? Is it really “just a rainbow” … #DeepThoughts

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This morning brought two hours of on and off ‘bows. I was laying in bed and I heard the rain and saw the sun. My heart started beating faster and I ran to the window. Ta-Da! She was beaming in all of her glory. I threw on a hoodie over my pajamas and slipped on my slippahs and went speed walking (gently) with my fresh cup of coffee to find  a better view. By the time I got there, the color and brightness had magnified and it was quite the sight to see. It was huge!

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So as I stood there switching from iPhone camera, to snapchat, to Instagram, I was wondering why no one else was out there with me? Maybe it was because it was a Sunday morning and maybe it was because it was only 8 AM, but still. Where are all the people?! It dawned on me that I’m often the only one out shooting. I’m proud to say that I know I’m a total tree-hugger and that I probably love being immersed in and around nature a little more than the rest… but is there more to it?

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I went inside (and back outside 3 more times… rainbow turned on, then rainbow turned off… you know I can’t just sit there, right? #RainbowHunter ) I sat down to write in my daily prayer journal. I always start off by writing 3 things that I’m grateful for, 3 people (not myself) to pray for and then I write and pray and “talk” to God. I started off writing how grateful I was for the morning rainbows and then proceeded to draw a little picture of a rainbow next to it. Suddenly it dawned on me as I looked at that little drawing of a rainbow: I used to color rainbows -all.the.time- when I was a little girl. And now, at the tender age of 38, my drawing still looked the same as that 8 year old girls drawing. Seeing it on paper brought back so many happy memories. I decided to break out colored pencils and quickly whip one up for old times sake. I guess rainbows have been ingrained into my DNA, because for as long as I can remember, I’ve loved them.

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You know what’s exciting?! Winter is on it’s way and that translates into: Rainbow Weather! Last December I saw a rainbow every day for a week and had to write a blog post about it because it was so awesome. A fun tip: Rainbows are called “Anuenue” in Hawaiian (it’s pronounced: ah-noo-weh-noo-weh) and they are found most frequently in Hawaii because of the sun to water situation. And that would be reason #832156 why I LOVE Maui.

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Never stop chasing those rainbows…. or sunsets, clouds, flowers or fall leaves.

~Bridgett

The happiness dare!

Okay so truly, I am trying to be a better blogger. I write “blog” down in my planner, I make lists about the things that I’ve done and want to document. I think about it on the daily—yet somehow, it doesn’t make it to the top of my “must do” list. Sigh. Working on it.


But I have been busy with other things.. like: reading the Happiness Dare by Jennifer Dukes Lee. YOU GUYS! Okay so typically my “happiness temperature” is on auto-pilot at around “sunny and 82* with a light tropical breeze.” I’m generally pretty happy (see photo below for proof..) so I really didn’t think I needed a book to tell me about happiness. I was already there. But something (a divine intervention perhaps?) told me to just get the book. GET IT. Fine. Thank you Amazon Prime.


So, there’s a happiness style quiz to find out which of the 5 styles you are: Doer, Relater, Experiencer, Giver and Thinker. I kinda had a good guess about what mine would reveal, but still let’s be honest: it’s super fun to take quizzes that make us think about and marinate on and dig deep into our self. Here’s the quiz and I really encourage you to take it. In fact, I sent the link in a text to my teenage son and daughter, and my husband with the following instructions: “Hi. Please take this quiz and screen shot me your results, as I am collecting data. Love, me” because: “The more you know,” am I right?  So…. I’m an “Experiencer” (duh!) I knew it the moment I saw it.. It’s what I scored the highest on with “Relater” being a close second.


When I read this, I literally picked up my phone and sent my husband a text asking him if he secretly wrote a book under the alias “Jennifer Dukes” because, who else could be this spot on about me? Only Josh. I read it and smiled and realized IN THAT MOMENT:: okay, this is is why I can’t ever just “sit down and read a book on a Sunday afternoon.” THIS explains so much about me: I can’t sit still. I like to go and do and see and explore. Books and podcasts don’t really excite me that much–unless I’m walking my dog at the park, or sweating on the stair master at the gym, because: #MultiTasking–And it’s okay–because it’s my happiness style and it’s what makes my crazy little self: happy.

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You guys… it was like a fireworks and wads of glitter went blasting off. Reading about different happiness styles makes so much sense. My husband is a Giver, and I legit found myself in tears last week on the treadmill while reading the chapter on Givers. I was trying to pretend that it was sweat so the girl next to me wouldn’t be scared of the lady crying on the machine next to her. This chapter on Givers: It shed a whole new light on how he ticks and what really bring him happiness: caring about others, being thoughtful, being generous and always putting everyone else first. I felt like I learned a new side of him that was already there, but I just didn’t know all of the beautiful layers.

He knows how much I love photos…

 

Okay, so, this post wasn’t going to just be on the book… but the book has definitely made me look at things differently and so, I wanted to share it with you. Things I’ve learned: to stop wishing I was more of a book worm or more of methodical thinker and embrace the bubbly, adventurous spirit that bursts out of me.


To smile at the fact that I’m easily distracted and prone to escapism when stress shows it’s face. Yes. It’s okay to be me. The me that God made me to be. Self improvement is always good–and I will pursue a lifelong goal of being a little better each day. But knowing what brings smiles and restores my busy mama soul: Yes. More. All of it. Please and thank you.

my niece Ella jean.. oh i miss this face.

I am *almost* done with the book… it only took me like 3 weeks. I know, I know. I can’t even count how many hikes I’ve been on in three weeks… but I am carving a little time out everyday to stop, read and marinate on it. I love adventuring. I love documenting my adventures. I love scrolling back through my iPhone at memorable moments, smiling and letting gratitude flow. This is also a trait of my happiness style. Page 196. I laughed out loud at the gym when I read that one. How did the author know?!?


Happiness comes in lots of shapes, flavors, forms and styles my friends. I don’t sit and read a lot of books because, time outdoors always wins. So when I find one that I really like, and I find true joy in reading and I learn and take notes and get all emotional: I must share it. “Happiness isn’t about what we can hold in our hands. It’s about what we hold in our hearts.” ~Jennifer Dukes Lee


Happy Happying!

Let me know what you think of the book-have you read it? Would you read it? And! What happiness style are you? Take the quiz and share!

Cheers!