Friday, June 17, 2011

Summer has arrived....I think.

It has been awhile, winter was busy and spring (if you can say we had one) was even busier. Business is pumping along and I have finally had a chance to spend some time in my garden, definitely my favorite part about this time of year. Things are coming along at the Van Ahn gardens and I am excited about all the growth that has come from a long winter of dormancy. Please check out the flicker photo stream above, all are new 2011 garden pics, as well I would like to share a few of my new favorite things with you....

My new fountain that my awesome dad helped me put together and the rock/succulent garden around it.

My awesome pots this year! GORGEOUS!

Lavender isn't supposed to come back in Minnesota but I gently covered mine last fall and it has greeted me once again, with more fullness than ever!

Giving the veggies another try this year. Tomatoes again, peppers, basil, cucumber, and strawberries...we'll see. Fingers crossed.

Huecherra is one of my favorites and I got SO much of it for free from my friend Chris (he rocks) I love having this beautiful purple foliage in my foundation gardens.

My new favorite plant? Baptisa Australis. Otherwise known as False indigo. I adore it and bought a few small quarts. It looks like this now...

but soon will grow big, bushy, beautiful and look like this.

Can't Wait!!!

More soon, I promise!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Growing is Gardening

Time has come again to see my garden come to it's beauty...but I don't have time to clean up the leaves. the debri. the weeds that are beginning to pop up.

I am back to training and already now 8 weeks in. And a new business developing, and all kinds of current business things to keep up on.

When will I get to my garden? I get Midwest Garden Design magazine in the mail every few months and it reminds me of how remiss I am in creating the oasis of my dreams in my yard.

But what of my life oasis? I want to be a world champion fighter. More than anything I want to hold a world title. And world gardening title? Well, it doesn't interest me so much. I am about athletic prowess. I want to be the best athlete in the world at my sport.

Unfortunately, to my loved ones concerns, the sport I chose is fighting. No one wants me to get hurt. I obviously don't want to get hurt. And I really don't want to hurt anyone either. But I still want to win. How do you figure?

I am preparing for a big fight in Canada next week and yesterday in my training, I got knocked out. I was at the ER, and CT scan came out good. Totally ok to fight next week, but while I was waiting for the news was thinking...."it would be nice for an opt out".

Yes, It would be nice to hear, "sorry you can't fight". Why? Because I am scared. Scared that I will go to Canada next week and have the same thing happen in front of a live audience and on Canadian TV. I don't want to look bad. I don't want to lose.

Who does?

But I also want to challenge my fears, I want to take risks. I desire to do things other peple refuse to do (like get hit in the face or kicked in the face), and I want to stand out from the crowd.

Point> I want to be special.

There are many ways to stand out and make yourself known. Fighting is sorta my way. But I think it is important for me to recognize that no matter the outcome of this fight I am a unique creation unlike any other. I have many things to offer besides a really good back kick.

I am a great daughter, sister, wife, friend, teacher, student....this list goes on.

This is one piece of my life, one piece of a great journey. No matter what happens next week, win or lose (I intend to win) I am worthy of this life, this journey, your time reading my life, my time reading your life....after all, connection is what makes this life meaningful, not world titles...

Or millions...
Or the perfect job...
Or a beautiful marriage...
Or Oscars...
Or Grammys....
Or perfect kids...
Or a big house...
Or a large 401K...

Not about what you have accomplished, ever. More about how you have stretched yourself. How much you have trusted Divine guidance in your life. How many people you have shared your life with genuinely and sincerely. And how much you have followed your heart.

These are the things that matter. And I am already a world champion!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A gallery post for Sarah

Time passed means time spent on many things, other than blogging.

I am busy with my new business and training for a fight in Canada in a few short weeks and haven't spent much time in the blog-a-sphere. However on this night I was reading Sarah's blog. Her blog is amazing and she is tremendous, check it out. No matter that she is my sis-in-law, she is really incredible and I wouldn't say it if it wasn't true. Sarah posted a blog about her hubby (my hubby's brother) thinking some of her photo galleries were unusual, and I just had to post in solidarity. Matt would love nothing more than clean. pristine. walls. nothing. on. them. BUT....I put stuff on some of them. Never mind the Huge TV in this pic that my father-in-law bought, it covers up some of my art, we will fix this eventually!

After all, Matt built these walls, he wants to be able to admire them. But he would also love no furniture in the house other than a bed, a desk, one chair, 3 eating utensils, 2 plates, 1 cooking pan, and 3 t-shirts. Of course this leaves plenty of room for his endless number of tools taking up space in the basement. Yes, I love my husband, but I NEED something to look at. I NEED art on the walls. So I put some art up.

I appreciate it and love it, even if he doesn't, so here are some pics of my Art walls running parallel to my sis-in-law...Matt especially doesn't understand the 'found art' wall that includes a variety of things that I have found and loved and placed in a very prominent spot in our living room(the pic of this wall is the first one posted) ps. Sarah, I have way more than 4 walls that I call my art walls, so feel free to keep on every wall is spectacular!

Monday, February 14, 2011

A day in the life of a babysitter...

Being a babysitter equals a long day....

6:00 am Bootcamp (easiest part of my day)

7:15 head to Kelley's house

7:35 the TV is on and the kids are hanging out as I relieve my lil' sis Ashley from duties

7:45 I turn off the TV. It is too loud and I am sure I can keep them entertained

8:00 I am already feeling tired from entertaining them

8:30 Pru leaves the living room and comes back with her diaper in hand, poop everywhere

8:50 I am finally done cleaning Pru up and realize that Sidney has gotten into the fish bowl that has no fish but fish rocks in it. Fish rocks are EVERYWHERE, and mixed in the fish rocks bowl is a load of nickels, dime, quarters and pennies, that was on the buffet (Needless to say when I left in the evening quarters, nickels, and pennies were still mixed in with this. But my dad did clean up the fish rocks all over the floor)

9:00 We head upstairs to put some clothes on and Sid declares Pru needs to wear his clothes, then gets upset when I protest so I put her in his too big pants and his over-sized shirt. She seems happy so I leave it

9:15 I decide to turn on the TV because it is all a little too much for me, so we watch one episode of Shawn the Sheep

10:00 We make rice krispie bars and while I am trying to make sure the marshmallows and butter on the stove don't burn Sid "helps out" by pouring the rice krispies box into the bowl on the table. About 1 cup of the rice krispies makes it into the bowl, the rest hit the table and floor

10:15 finishing up the rice krispie treats while washing Pru's hands 3 different times (really every time they got a bit too sticky for her, only to get sticky again), watching Sid pick up M&Ms put them in his mouth and then put his hands back in the rice krispie mix, watching Pru wipe her nose with her hands and then put them back into the krsipie mx, (luckily I am on a specific diet right now and knew I wouldn't be eating the rice krispie bars at all, and in fact seeing all this helped me not want one) calling my sis asking where the broom is, sweeping up with Sid (helping again) and he is brushing all the krisipies from the table to the floor and then scooting around on the floor scooping up krsipies with his hands.(both Pru and Sid had krispie crumbs everywhere)

10:50 I answer a lot of questions and swing them around and wipe Pru's nose again (I might have forgotten to mention this but by this time I have already done it 10 times, 5 of which ended up with her crying)

11:00 I start to make lunch

11:15 Sidney informs me that I have cut the sandwiches "too big" and they "need to be smaller, like mom does it" I do this and they aren't small enough, I cut them again and he seems happy. They eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and a banana and milk

11:20 Sidney informs me that I have poured his milk into the wrong glass and "I won't drink it out of this one, the tall green one instead". I pour his milk into the tall green glass

11:35 Sidney asks for his treat and I hand him his and since Pru isn't done eating set hers on the counter. He eats half of his, walks to the counter, sets his almost gone, with all M&Ms picked out bar down and asks Pru "which one is yours which one is mine?" When Pru points in the general direction of the counter he says, "Yes Pru, this one is mine!" Then he picks hers up, the little rascal. Pru starts crying...

11:45 Sid asks for more milk and I give it to him, only to have him stick his fingers in it and splash his sister with it. When I ask him to stop throwing milk at his sister he looks at me and says, "I was only splashing."

11:55 I tell Sid and Pru to go in the bathroom and wash up and I start on cleaning up lunch mess

12:00 I go into the bathroom and water is EVERYWHERE. I step right into it and at the same time Sid says, "I peed my pants". I look down and realize, I stepped in pee

12:05-12:45 I try to get them to go down for a nap which begins a series of different issues including; Sid telling me Pru sleeps in his room, they want the music louder, they need the curtains open, I forgot some things when I said prayers, I forgot more things when I did them again, I need to sing 'You are my sunshine', and again, and again, and again, they need to change back into their pajamas for nap, Sid has to run into his pj's rather than stepping into them like your average kid, he runs and jumps into them repeated times before he finally gets it just right, I need to sing you are my sunshine again, I forgot to pray for Lennon too, and finally the door closes and they are chatting away....I call my sis to see how this all works, them napping in the same room and such, and she informs me that Pru DOES NOT sleep in the same room as Sid. I open the door and start over....Move Pru, turn up the music so Pru can hear it (at Sid's request of course), then he needs his blue blanket which is downstairs, then he gets it and wants me to sing again, then...I text my sister and say "this is never going to happen" and finally the door closes and they are off to nap

1:00 my dad calls and asks if I'd like a little help and should he come over early and I say, "HECK YES!"

2:20 after nap they wake up, I TURN ON THE TV

2:45 Dad comes over and I breathe I sigh of relief. I also put them in the bathtub so that I can contain them, they love this and have no idea it is for my own sanity

3:45 Yes I left them in the tub for an hour, but I kept putting warm water in it and hung out on the toilet thanking the Lord above that they were both in one place at one time so I could keep an eye on them. I didn't even care that I was getting splashed left and right with water. They came out like prunes

3:50 We clean up, get dressed and TURN ON THE TV AGAIN, until their dad arrives at 4:30pm, thank you!

TV, the technique is wonderful. I didn’t even dream it would be so good. But I would never let my children come close to the thing.

-Vladimir Zworykin: Comments of developer of television

Lisa adds...

Until I realized how much relief I would get with them hanging out in front of it.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

How about being green while surrounded by white?

We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive. ~Albert Einstein

My com-poster is covered with snow. No access. My plants are covered by many feet of snow. So much so the bunnies and squirrels can't even get to chewing on the bark, my thanks to the forces of nature. My pots never made it inside and I am hoping beyond hope that being filled and insulated by snow covering they will not crack. So what can one do to be green when everything is white?

Now I know my cousin Catherine would have many alternatives for me, but I think I found one I can wrap myself around. Chinook Book. A good friend of mine gifted me with one for the holidays and I love it. Here's why having one will keep me green and encouraging the sustainable lifestyle.

Founded in April 1999 in Portland, Oregon, Celilo Group Media is a green media company with a mission of expanding markets for sustainable products and services.

Celilo is the national leader in the publication and distribution of green coupon books. The company currently publishes six annual editions of the popular Chinook Book guides...

Since it’s founding, Celilo has distributed over 220 million green coupons. We have worked with several hundred schools and community groups in the markets above to raise more than $2 million for their organizations through the sale of Chinook Book.

Beyond this I will have the opportunity to check out many new, local places that I have yet to visit. I always blog better with a purpose, and I have a new one...Mary quite contrary is going to check out as many coupons as possible in the next few months. I now have new will and motivation to post, stay tuned for reviews on some of the cool green/sustainable offerings in the twin cities. If you have a Chinook Book as well, please comment with your fav spots too.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

A year of celebration...

Thanks to my cousin Catherine for this idea and actually I sent this out in an e-mail last month to my two beautiful girlfriends in NYC. A celebration of the accomplishments of the year. Now is the perfect time to recognize all you have done in 2010 and be willing to live in faith that you will accomplish all you desire in 2011. It is amazing to look at what you have accomplished and allow yourself space to envision what you desire for the coming year. There is no better way to go forward than to acknowledge all you have done. Here is my list of celebrations for 2010 and my intentions for 2011 will come within the week.

From December 2010 backwards to the beginning of the year...

Read Erin's e-mail and everyone's replies and was totally inspired to write my own. We have all accomplished SO much! Feeling SUPER grateful for this exercise!

November- Opened my own wellness studio with three other amazing women. The OM collective. Went to Erin's IntenSati class in NYC and rocked it with one of the best Sati instructor's around. Met my paving partners and enjoyed the friendship we had developed over the year. Saw my dear g-friend Erika perform as a principle in ROA in Mpls.

October- Stepped out on my own and began planning to open my own studio with 3 other women.

September- Began my Ayurveda studies and moved forward into deeper healing work that has been my vision.

August- came out of Kickboxing retirement and fought as the main event on a USA national kickboxing event against a Canadian champion. Procured an invitation to fight at the World Kickboxing championships in Dublin, Ireland in 2011 as a member of Team USA.

Trained my ass off for my coming fight, really trained my ass off, lost 10 lbs. Probably all in my butt. Taught my first IAM workshop which becomes the beginning of my vision for 2011.

June- Started training for my return into the ring

Booked out my first two bootcamps of the season

April- had full sati classes that rocked

Was the front page of the variety section of Mpls paper with a story on my sati classes

Feb- Started my Reiki Master training.

Jan- Set intentions for an amazing year of my own creation. Continued forward with a beautiful paving practice with my girlfriends I met in November. Led a super successful fitness retreat in Vieques, Puerto Rico.

What are your accomplishments? please share I would love to hear what you made happen during 2010!


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Bearly making it

If I was a bear then I could hole up for the winter, do nothing but sleep, go to the bathroom, eat, and watch TV (you know bears love TV) then come back to life in the the spring.

I have definitely entered the winter funk. It lasts somewhere between 1-3 weeks. From the beginning of the cold, into the desire for it to end, and then finally out of it when I accept reality; that we are going to be here for a good 3-4 months and I don't want to stay depressed that long.

Eventually I will make my way out on my x-country skis and fall in love with winter again. I will get into the spirit of the season and be excited about this time of incubation when one allows their ideas and inspirations to grow, spend time cultivating them and then nurturing the fruition of all their thoughts and dreams to manifest for a new year.

For now I am grumpy about the delayed traffic due to terrible snow storms last week and accumulated snow, the minus zero temps, the late sunrises and early sunsets, and the general chill I feel all over my body when I go outdoors.

I am scrooge, and my only cure is to turn on the music and dance! Really. This is my go-to for a better feeling; dance party. Even if it is only for 5 seconds. Let's do it right now, MTV 5 second dance party. The song is below. Turn it on for a feel good opportunity, dance around the room and get at least a little bit of winter blues relief, a little is more than nothing and more than enough! Dog days are over whenever you decide to dance!

Dog Days are over
Dance, even if you have to warn others to get out of the way first.