"For all of us, becoming indigenous to a place means living as if your children's future mattered, to take care of the land as if our lives, both material and spiritual, depended on it." - Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass
My new latest fashion obsession are my hand-beaded, custom-made, earrings by Mia Woody.
I literally have been wearing them everywhere and can't wait to get more.
I met Mia at our Lularoe Aiono Sisters pop-up party in Flagstaff, Arizona and fell in love with her work. I had been given the heart earrings prior to meeting her and loved her work already, but when I was able to see the range of styles and detail up close, my love turned into full blown obsession.
Mia Woody is a beautiful Navajo woman and her beadwork is impressive, modern, and elegant.
Everywhere I go, people are complementing me on my earrings and I feel beautiful wearing them.
Follow Mia Woody on:
Driving between Seattle and Vancouver on I-5, we noticed these stunning Orca statues in front of the Tulalip Casino & Resort and decided we needed to pull over to get a closer look. We figured the casino might have some art exhibits to look at and needed a break from the road anyways. Inside, the casino was extremely beautiful, but we must have looked very out of place carrying around a 2-year old amongst the slot machines because this nice lady came up to us and asked if we needed any help. We responded that we were from California and just stopped because the resort looked beautiful. She directed us to the hotel portion and gave us some recommendations. We walked over to the main entrance of the hotel and the totem poles were stunning!
As my husband was taking pictures of the totem poles with Ronan and I in front of them this same nice lady came running up to us and said, "Okay you need a family picture now!" After the picture she asked us if we had any interest in visiting the tribe's museum. We were ecstatic! She told us to wait right there while she got us complementary passes to the Hibulb Cultural Center.
We had the entire museum to ourselves and what we thought would be a 30 minute walk-through turned into 2 hours of interactive family fun and personal enrichment.
One of the best parts of our time in the museum was being able to talk with Cary Williams, the Museum Assistant. As he shared with us stories from his grandfather and people, our authentic cultural exchange was uplifting and inspiring. Greg and I will forever be grateful for the time he shared with us even past the museum closing. As we shared our experience with Cary about how we happened upon the museum he told us that it had "called to us" and we truly felt a spirit of truth in that statement. As both of us are descendants of whale people, his ancestors the Killer Whales and mine Paikea, I can only feel like we were drawn there for a reason.
The museum gift shop was full of incredible art from indigenous artists and companies and even local tribal members. It is so important to learn about indigenous people and support local tribal artists whenever possible.
Cary explained to us that we are living in a time where the song of our ancestors is calling to us and as indigenous people we are uniting in our similarities to find the lost canoe full of all of the good things of the earth.
Hibulb Cultural Center was definitely a highlight of our trip! I would recommend the Museum to everyone and can't wait to continue to learn about the Tulalip Tribe and return to visit them again.
My husband and I celebrated our 5th Anniversary with a trip to Canada to visit my cousins and surprise my Aunt and Uncle for their 49th Anniversary Party combined with their 70th Birthdays. You may think that traveling with a two-year-old is crazy, but we've had a great time. We're so lucky that Ronan is such a good little traveler, but here are a few tips to make traveling with your toddler a pleasant experience instead of pain.
1. Tire them out!
Before you choose to visit a restaurant or museum or have to make a long drive, find a cool park or place where you can let them run. You'd be surprised at how fun it can be to visit parks in different places. Going to the park is a great way to experience the beauty of a new city and an inexpensive activity for the entire family. Once your toddler gets all their wiggles out they will be much more manageable at a place that requires them to be quiet.
Stock up on some of your toddlers favorite treats. It's okay to spoil them a little. Remember that you are taking them out of their normal routine and comfortable environment and want them to associate travel with something they like. Go ahead and give them some extra treats for the road.
It's something we never have enough of, especially while on vacation. Remember to take time out from your travel schedule to dedicate directly to your toddler. Toddlers need time and attention. If you plan time to dedicate to making sure your toddler's needs both physically and emotionally are met then everyone will be much happier in the long run. You may have to sacrifice seeing everything you want to see, but the memories you make with your toddler will last you a life-time.
Tantrums will still happen, that's natural, but following these three tips has helped us to have great trips with our little guy.
Above all else, when you kids are missing home, teach them from a young age something my husband's grandparents would always say to their children when traveling:
"Home is wherever Mommy and Daddy are!
You can't miss home when home is right here."
If you want to teach your toddler to travel, make this your motto and make sure they feel that it is the truth.
“The sun just touched the morning;
The morning, happy thing,
Supposed that he had come to dwell,
And life would be all spring.”
“Is the spring coming?" he said. "What is it like?"...
"It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine...”
― Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden
1. be strong, get stuck in, keep going.
"Kia Kaha!" is a Maori phrase that means "Be Strong!"
In my family, we often say it to one another when someone is in need of strength or is having a hard time, or to encourage each other.
It is also the middle name of my nephew,
Kingston Kia Kaha Aiono.
Kingston was diagnosed with XLP and passed away in 2007, a few months before his third birthday.
Yesterday would have been his 13th birthday.
After his passing, I had Kingston's full name tattooed on my wrists and hands. They remind me of how blessed I was to be his Aunty. To never take life for granted. And to always cherish those close to you. Kingston will forever be in my heart. He was a gentle warrior who honored and changed our family for the better with his presence.
For more information about XLP or to Donate to others with XLP please visit:
FRIENDS OF KINGSTON
You're My Star
Shinning Brightly In My Heart
Come What May
Through the Storms
You Will Keep Me Safe and Warm!"
Two years ago,
today, I became a Mother to this beautiful boy!
I remember feeling scared as they rushed me in for an emergency C-Section because the baby was showing signs of distress every time I had a contraction and even though my C-Section was scheduled for later in the morning, when my water broke the doctors decided to get things going sooner than anticipated. I was scared, as I'd never had a major surgery. But when they placed this boy on my chest, a rush of pure love and warmth spread over me like the light from the sunrise spreads across the sky. I felt a peace that has forever changed me for the better.
Happy Birthday Ronan!
Lucky ME that I get to be your Mother!
"Lucky Me" was written and sung by my nephew, Curtis Casey.
The Lyrics are so beautiful and perfectly describe how I feel about Ronan.
Thinking back to our trip to Rarotonga, Cook Islands, with my brother Hagoth and his family last year.
The people of the Cook Islands are Maori but with a more tropical infusion. In fact while we were there we saw the place where several of the Great Maori Canoes left and made the voyage to New Zealand. They felt like a Maori - Samoan mix just like me.
The island itself was beautiful. Clear water, fresh coconuts, and tropical beauty all around.
But the best part was seeing these three babies be right at home on the island. Cheeehooo!
My Sister and I are currently on a Road Trip with our eldest sons. Ronan and I flew to Texas and Erana and her son, Lione drove there. Now the four of us are driving home to California with a few stops in New Mexico and Arizona. We are having lots of fun and should be home by the end of the week.
"Trust in the LORD with all thine heart;
and lean not to thine own understanding.
In all thy ways acknowledge Him,
and He shall direct thy paths"
Proverbs 3:5-6 is my favorite scripture. Whatever spiritual path you may be on, I feel that it's so important to practice the principles of kindness, love, and charity towards each other. To me, these are the true teachings of Christ and the pathway that He will direct us on if we let Him. The more we show love to God and to our fellow men, the more Satan can't win.
"NOT TODAY SATAN" apparel available on ETSY from StampedByShaye
Black Cassie Skirt and Lindsay
from Lularoe Aiono Sisters
"There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish"
- Michelle Obama
"Women are the real architects of society."
Happy International Women's Day!
TO all of the Mothers, Daughters, Sisters, Aunties, Nieces, Grandmothers, and Friends...you are beautiful in every way. Your calling of womanhood is divine and essential to life. Always remember that you are of infinite worth and have a great capacity for goodness.