Mountains or Oceans.. which holds your Awe?

Observing the tides crash onto the shores, while the ocean breeze powerfully claim its presence blowing and tossing hair and the likes apart.

The sun glistens on top of the blue gray sea, as its’ warmth provides a much needed balance from the chill of the ocean breeze.

There is wonder at the depth of the ocean, and the marvel of all the creatures that inhabit those deep dark waters. To think we have only discovered a very small fraction of the sea world!

I marvel at the creator of all this wonder!

Starring at the distance across the ocean while sitting on the sea shores watching kids at play , making sand castles and proud of the young at heart brave DH*, who agrees with their plan to be covered in beach sand! Lol

Observing children at play enriches the soul indeed.

I marvel at the idle time spent , with people just being!

The sea pelicans’ quick dive into the seas to grab a poor unsuspecting fish for snack, while sea gulls try their luck in finding food around the beach goers .

I marvel at nature’s carefreeness !

In some ways , it’s easier to observe the marvel atop the snow covered mountains.

The majestic presence of the mountains with peaks daring to reach the heavens.

The quiet stillness of the tall birch trees with those eyes that play peekaboo with skiers and snowboarders on their path.

I marvel at the daunting mountain slopes!

It’s incredible that skiing and snowboarding can provide such warmth even as one is surrounded by white powdered cold snow.

I marvel at the irony that one could be warmer on a snow capped mountain, than on a breezy sea at springtime!

Ultimately, I marvel at the giver of all these wonder, the creator of our universe .

The creator holds my Awe in all the infinite dimensions between the mountains and the oceans!

As always, thank you for reading my blog and the privilege of your time . Ofcourse I welcome your comments and any shared experiences . Please feel free to also “follow” by clicking the follow icon, so you can get notifications on future blog posts💕

*DH ( Darling husband)

She Was Gifted A Peacock!💕

The Actual Argentinian Peacock

We are from eastern Nigeria and the holidays are a big time of merriment and social connections.

Growing up., my cousins all gathered in from the different cities where they resided, each of the families heading towards the village- THIS is where all the exciting of the holidays happen.🤗

As Christians, Christmas and Easter where the big holidays , but truth be told our parents also would bring us home to the village for the African traditional holiday of “ Iri ji” aka Yam festival in August. This was in celebration of the Harvest season.

As a child, I relished the times spent in the village during the holidays! Everything seemed electric with all the excitement from all the city dwellers now “ bubbling” through the typically quiet rural farming country sides.

There were lots of lingering and the times were spent visiting relatives and just BEING.

People visited in laws and friends alike , with typically NO AGENDA.

Some times the visits were accomplished by just a stroll to the next village compound , while other visits required long rides in the car on dusty unpaved roads that left your body wobbled with the “ African massage”or nauseated from the bumpy roads .

Either way, once you reached your destination, it was typically full of WARMTH ❤️

Long warm embraces and gifts were typically exchanged . The hosts naturally made such a big fuss about presenting various food delicacies , beginning with presentation of kolanuts to their guests.

As an adult now living in the US, I do miss this precious tradition of fellowship.

My cousins and I are no longer able to all gather in the village for holidays like we did in the past . We deem ourselves very lucky when we can afford to coordinate visits to our home village for any joyous occasion like the holidays.

So in Dec 2021 when my Aunt was spending the holidays in her village, her daughter who is my dear cousin, shared updates and pictures of the trip with me .

One of the pictures she shared was a picture of BEAUTIFUL peacock with it’s feather spread so proudly. It immediately caught my eye and peaked my curiosity … for a peacock in the village is a rare sight .

Then she told me that her mother ( my Aunt ) was just gifted a PEACOCK from Argentina ,during her visit to her sister in law’s home.

I LOVED every bit of that story for so many reasons … OFCOURSE she was gifted an exotic beautiful bird, from her sister in law!

The truth is , she DESERVED such a beautiful gift because she IS beautiful.

I have thought about this charming gift so many times from so many angles … it is a lovely gesture that speaks to the CALIBER of a woman she is . It speaks to the beautiful relationship she has been able to build with her in laws, that they saw her fitting of such a gorgeous exotic bird as a gift.

Truthfully, She IS ELEGANT as a peacock , with her delicate yet proud strides.

It was an all around Beautiful gesture that highlights the wonderful traditions we were lucky to experience growing up in Eastern Nigeria.

In Igbo language, we say “ Mmadu Ka Aku” which translates to Human relations are more valuable than riches!💕

Ultimately, I hope that the people in your lives find you valuable enough to think that you too deserve gifts of a beautiful Peacock ( figuratively speaking ofcourse lol)

Now , now.., don’t despair if you’re not quite there yet. Keep working on developing your BEST self that someday will earn YOU, your own version of a BEAUTIFUL PEACOCK!❤️

As always, thank you for reading my blog and of course I welcome your comments and any shared experiences . Please feel free to also “follow” by clicking the follow button, so you can get notifications on future blog posts💕

Embarking on Kilimanjaro….

05BE2741-295B-4636-AA84-4574CDF26B31Sunday June 16th 2019… in about 8 hrs my husband and I are taking our four precious children on a trip of a lifetime.

We have spent the past two days enjoying NewYork City ‘s tourist sites and visiting family and old friends. This is our pit stop on our way to Tanzania to hike Kilimanjaro. Yes the highest free standing mountain in Africa! And did I mention we are going with our four children ages 11yrs daughter , twin boys who will turn 10yrs the day we summit and our 8yr old daughter?. We have had our eye on this goal for  several years now and now we are just hours away from embarking on the journey.

I’m writing to release my nerves but I also am so excited at the possibility. To see with our own eyes, majestic creations of God while bonding our family ties . Summit day will find us exhilarated and I’m sure tired , maybe even exhausted, but definitely GRATEFUL!

Grateful for the opportunity, grateful for this beautiful life we share together. It has taken a lot of sacrifice to do this and my DH has been such a ROCK in planning and executing this family adventure . I am most grateful for his love and adventurous spirit that motivates us all.

My prayer is that of safety and joy! I have asked loved ones for their prayers and kind thoughts as we journey.  I will ask the same of you , my readers  .

I plan to document our trip as we go and you are welcome to come along on the adventure with us! I hope to look back on this someday with even more GRATITUDE to have gone and seen for ourselves Kilimanjaro!

My Weekend with Champions!

Nine scheduled games, over three weekend days, two separate ice hockey teams , three different ice rinks, a six hours car ride from St. Louis to Dells, Wisconsin…. twelve hours (if you count the round trip, ) oh and a total of 4 hrs of flying time one way for me after clinic, to meet up with DH and our 10 yr old in Madison , Wisconsin . That is , after they drive about an hour each way to pick me up from the Madison airport and back to Dells Wisconsin.

Thankfully, the rest of our children stayed home in the loving care of their grandparents 💕 sprinkled with play date with dear friends allowing this weekend to be possible.

Dells Wisconsin was where all the action was happening this weekend- an ice hockey tournament in all its snowy, freezing glory!☃️

Our 10 yr old daughter enjoys playing ice hockey and I simply love watching her play this sport. She is also as tough as they come . On the ice, she seems to have a smile on her face even as she is digging very roughly for a hockey puck against an opponent. I am also proud to announce that she typically wins these “puck digging” fight. Her skating is as fast as lightning even though she looks like she is gracefully gliding on ice, like the true ballerina that she is.

She is strong and stubborn too🤨. Her jersey numbers are #7 and #77 on each of the two teams she chooses to play on. Yes…she chose to play on TWO separate ice hockey teams this year. One is a co Ed team- the Rockets, where she is one of 4 girls in a mostly all boys team.. The other team is an all girls team- the Lady Falcons, which she only joined this year.

These ice hockey teams are “10U” which stands for 10 yrs and under ( this is based on birth years so the kids are born between 2011 and 2013).

Getting ready for a game in one of her team Jerseys💕

Anyone who has ever watched an ice hockey game knows that there is A-LOT to learn about the game. Terms such as “off sides, icing,what constitutes a penalty etc etc. I am STILL learning big time even though I have 3 out of 4 of our kids who have been ice hockey players for a while now🤨 (..clears throat) but please no judgements

Nonetheless, I can usually tell when the puck goes into the net and a goal is scored, hopefully in favor of OUR team. Then there is the eruption of cheers from the spectating crowds( typically parents and grandparents of the players). Some even bring boom boxes and cow bells to make exciting celebratory sounds, it’s really something to behold as the atmosphere can be electrifying!

That is exactly what happened this afternoon , as my 10 yr old all girls team went against another all girls team for the final championship game. Incidentally both team came all the way from St Louis to end up playing each other for the championship game in Wisconsin , after all the eliminations were made.

Both of these teams were magnificent!

Watching these players own the ice rink was incredible. They played with SO much vitality , smarts, tenacity, attitude and even sprinkles of grace, as they battled it out for the championship.

All of these young players played with so much heart, hard work and teamwork . Some faced adversity in the forms of falls, injuries but they just kept getting up! It was clear that their marvelous coaches and parents have supported them all so well! It was also clear that this mentality will serve them so well in the future, when life demands GRIT!

Okay, do you know the point where the hockey etiquette calls for all players to kneel on the ice while an injured player gets evaluated for injuries . Everyone is frozen in anticipation, and the ice rink is quiet as a monastery , while everyone awaits the outcome….

Finally , the players is “well enough “ to get back up and both their team mates and those of the opposing teams bang their hockey sticks on ice in part celebration and part relief that the suspense is finally over for all of us …phew!

Some people wondered how our daughter was navigating playing for two separate teams on the same tournament weekend and the truth is , it’s just GRACE!

As parents we strongly encourage our children but we don’t force things on them. She WANTED to play on these two teams, She WANTED to attend all the tournament games for both teams.. and she did! Waking up early in zero degree weather to put on her gear and head out the hotel room, with very little prompting. I recognize that this may not be “typical”, but she is definitely not your “typical” 10 yr old…. She’s always felt like an ole soul❤️

Although she is the youngest of our 4 children, I call her “ grandma”. For example, last summer , she spontaneously requested to “ borrow” some money for supplies to start her “moolery jewelry” business . To date, She still operates her business and continues to donate part of her profit for educating children in our African village.

Anyways, luckily the schedules this weekend permitted her to play on both team without much overlap … well, until the last game where she could only play about half the game before she had to leave to get to the other teams final game

This morning, I was blessed with a gift in the form of a question from an intelligent friend/colleagues . It reminded me of the importance to “ check in” on the origin of the motivation for the activities we , as parents choose for our children. It is important to remember that just because we CAN, doesn’t mean we SHOULD.

Life thrives with balance . As a child psychiatrist, I believe , that balance should include open dialogue between parent and child regarding their extracurricular activities.

Proud of her face painted self with her championship trophy on the ride back home🙏🏾💕
Our fantastic champions and coaches!

As much as I love watching my 10 yr old play ice hockey, I also needed to check in with her times to make certain that SHE loves playing hockey just as much!

Thankfully she answers affirmatively each time…phew😅

Overall , I wouldn’t trade this Dells Wisconsin frigid cold , snowy, tournament weekend with all its freezing ice rinks, busy game schedules, team and family bonding time with DH and our 10 yr old… I think we are all contently exhausted 🥱 , with our proud champion safe and sound ,and with hearts full!💕

As always, thank you for reading my blog and of course I welcome your comments and any shared experiences . Please feel free to also “follow” so you can get notifications on future blog posts💕

Catching up on homework from the weekend 😊
Reunited with her furry brother Teddy 💕