Personal Blog

2016 in Review

So naturally, with everything that pops into my head, I have an intense desire to do it all.  It took 12 months to teach me that while I believe my visions + dreams are God inspired, I don't have to do everything TODAY!  So it doesn't surprise me that my last post in this blog was in 2015!

2016 has brought a year of blessings and most definitely a year of refinement.  So here is my review...

What I did...

  • Booked in 15 Weddings: Wellington, Auckland and Fiji
  • Styled 8 events with Confetti Love
  • Went on holiday with my family to Fiji
  • Caught 16 flights
  • Reunited with family in Brisbane
  • Held my first stall at a Wedding Expo
  • Coordinated, styled + photographed a unique wedding event "Marry Me"
  • Read three books
  • Made some new friends: Personal + business
  • Witness my eldest work hard and achieve a goal she set for herself: Awarded the Academic Excellence award in her last year at Intermediate school.
  • Renewed + strengthened relationships and let go of others
  • Concerned myself with things that were out of my control
  • Started a Pacific Weddings Blog
  • Have more patience with more of those whom I allow to have the better of me

What I didn't do enough of...

  • Take care of my health
  • hugged my daughters with kindness + love rather than with obligation + awkwardness 
  • take care of my husband with grace rather than with truth (an "I told you so" look for his self inflicted late nights resulting in migraines)
  • Speak with tenderness towards my girls while teaching them life lessons than with a "I've already taught you that" tone
  • See others as God sees them; often broken, hurt + unaware
  • Accept that not EVERY IDEA is a GOD IDEA or even a RIGHT NOW IDEA but rather a LATER ON IDEA

Reflecting on these dids and did nots I believe I'm only at the brink of coming into the fullness of knowing myself.  Of how much I can do, and how much I don't have to do.  Towards the end of 2016, it dawned on me that I am entering into the last year of my 30s, and what an amazing time it has been.  A decade of weeding + planting.  We will be heading into our 15th year of truly a marriage founded on God.  A marriage of growing old with my best friend and learning so much more about ourselves and each other in our marriage.

Like so many others, I have written down so many new year's resolutions that turn into a long list of "I wills".  This year I have decided on only a few things I want to do better this year;

  1. See others as God sees them;
  2. Be great at the few (tasks), than half-pie at the many;
  3. Take care of my physical + spiritual wellbeing

And that's it.  As I grow older (and wiser, I hope), I'm finding that it is okay to do what I can and when I can, be absolutely great at it.

I hope that your 2017 will be GREAT TOO!!


Better Days

I write this on the back of returning home from our Christmas trip to Auckland.  And with this timely post, falls the eve of the New Year.  

Our trip away took me a few days to rest my mind from having been working since Labour weekend travelling around the country and abroad capturing some amazing moments and witnessing love in all shapes and sizes.  It has been full on and while at times I am found staring blankly, my mind is racing with all the projects and work I have to do that is yet to make it's way out and onto paper.  I left my camera home so to completely shut off during the holiday.  I attempted the first few days to edit but had to force myself to put my laptop away.  Then came the late nights and the over-eating.

I think, other than the company of family and friends we managed to catch up with, my highlight I think from the trip came on our last day.  I sat around the dining table with my parents sharing with them some concerns and some love.  I have come to learn that in these types of conversations,  my words need to begin with positivity then constructive criticism and followed by being open to suggestions of change.  When done carefully these conversations turn out much better than hoped for.  

I have also come to learn this year that I am continually left with the sense of complete gratitude for the life that I have, and the people that I live it with.  I am grateful for my parents.  FULL STOP.  They have taught me to realise even more so each day - forgiveness + acceptance.  I have always had a "voice" with my parents, which is probably why my brothers continue to turn to me to be the "spokesperson".  This is something I'm learning to do better at giving my daughters' a voice to share their concerns with me.

There were a few things that I wanted to do better this year and I feel I am definitely not in the same place I was last year - physically (not so good), mentally + spiritually (much better).  God has given me so much this year and that which I have prayed for.  I feel 2016 will be more about refining how I handle what I have been given.

We have great dreams and visions for 2016 and our prayer is that it is God's will for us.  We are excited to be venturing out into the unknown and hopeful for great opportunities for us and those around us.

I have decided that 2016 I will continue to do better by implement what I am calling my "5-FOLD INTENTIONS".  For at least 30 minutes each day, these intentions will help me to focus on what I will do to live a better + fuller life.

My 5-FOLD INTENTIONS are based on, what I have come to realise over the years, is important to me:

  • INTENTION 1: SPIRITUAL - Spend time to talk to God, read His word, share Jesus, have conversations about Faith
  • INTENTION 2: PHYSICAL - Do something active that will improve my health
  • INTENTION 3: MENTAL - Spend time to develop my mind, watch TED, read a book, connect with someone who inspires me
  • INTENTION 4: RELATIONAL - Catch up with an old friend, Check up on someone, Spend quality time with my girls and/or husband, be a better listener - quick to listen, slow to talk
  • INTENTION 5: PERSONAL - Appreciate myself.  Be adventurous, be creative!

I'm excited for the new journey ahead! And to share more about my journey on this blog.

Happy New Year everyone and I hope that 2016 will be better than this year!!!!

The Apology

Since posting "A Daughter's Advice"  I put it on myself to ensure that I apologise to my mum before I leave to return home.  I tell you, the period between the post and the apology was a battle in itself!  It was like dreading to tell someone bad news for fear of how they would react. Except the news I had to tell wasn't bad news, it was meant to be good!

I replayed over in my mind the conversations that I had and tried to recognise triggers for my behaviour.  What I came to realise is that over the years I had made excuses for my behaviour.  While I am grateful for the relationship I have with my parents to speak my mind of which they welcomed, I've realised that my approach has been more disrespectful than not.  My approach has been more about listening to speak rather than listening to hear.  Something my husband learnt when he read an article on communication that taught me a lot and how simple that was. Taking in that simple lesson and reflecting on many conversations over the years with my parents in particular the most recent incident I found that I do exactly that; I listen to speak and not listen to hear my mum's heart.

While it was hurtful to hear my girls' advice.  The reality is - the truth hurts.  But in accepting the truth, it can also bring you peace.  So I left my apology right to the very last minute when we were about to leave.  Leading up to this point, I had the apology played out in my head.  Many times I was tempted to chat with her but knowing my relationship with my mum, timing is everything.  So a last minute apology it was.  

I gave my mum a big hug and said "I'm sorry mum".

My mum hugged me hard, and laughed and said it was okay.  Now, to many that may not be an apology.  But in my family it is enough.  Everyone is different and every family is different.  The only ones that dwell on things in our family is my mum...and me.  Go figure! The females in our family.  But I hugged my mum a few more times and apologised.  It was important for me to do so, so that my girls could witness their mum making amends.  

Before the apology, I had to bring my girls' up to speed (the I'll-tell-you-what-it-was-like-growing-up-but-not-so-that-you-end-up-resenting-nana version) on my relationship with my mum.  They understood but it still didn't justify in their innocent eyes how I behaved.  I love my mum and as I grow older I realise how much of a compassionate heart she has for others.  Because of her compassion I see how much more I am the same.  I, of course, am my mother's daughter.

So the journey to refining my character continues and that journey always begins in the home.

My amazing parents - my dad Polu Aukusitino Poluleuligaga + my mum Puvava Poluleuligaga (nee Matautia-Fea-Salavea)