celebrating the ordinary and extraordinary

My Amazing Life: Celebrating the Ordinary and the Extraordinary Moments in Women’s Lives

date night with my husband

Sunset at Goleta Beach

Labor Day Weekend marked the end of what, to me, was an amazing summer. As I was walking on the beach one day, feeling incredibly grateful for my amazing life, I decided that I wanted to start a blog series and perhaps a podcast where women can come to share the ordinary and extraordinary moments of their lives.

Expressing gratitude is a popular trend right now and one I am particularly fond of, especially since I feel incredibly grateful for my life. But I want to go deeper than feeling grateful for the people and events in my life. I want to celebrate and bring a sense of wonder to every moment.

What makes my life amazing are the small things like a morning walk on the beach by myself, the sun shining through the morning glories blooming on my neighbor’s fence, my son’s smile as we speed across the water on a friend’s boat, a hug from my daughter after school…

santa barbara, california

Morning glories on a fence in Goleta, CA

I also believe that living an amazing life is a choice and often we get so bogged down by the day to day details of what has to get done, that we fail to notice or feel grateful for the small gifts of wonder or joy. This blog series will be about celebrating those moments – big and small, sad and happy.

The mother of one of my friend’s passed away last week and I so appreciated her attitude. Her mother went very peacefully under the amazing gift of hospice caregivers, she was in her 90s. My friend celebrated her amazing mom and the long, full life that she had lived. She celebrated the grace and peace with which her mother’s life came to an end.

It can be hard to hold this tension between sadness or grief and seeing the wonder, grace and beauty in difficult moments. But when we can allow ourselves space to just simply notice and be grateful for all of the moments, we will experience more peace, more joy and more celebrations.

Haskell's Beach, Goleta

Treasures on the beach


I live in Santa Barbara, California and I feel incredibly lucky to be here. My husband and I worked hard to make this move two years ago. After 13 years in the same house, same town, same community, same jobs, it was a challenge to wrench ourselves out of complacency and move our family from Texas to California.

We talked about it for years before we finally took action. It was one of the hardest things we have ever done, especially for our two children who were leaving behind the only home they had ever know and all of their friends. But we knew it was the change we needed to make in order to get back on track – as a family and as individuals.

Not a day has gone by in the past two years that I have not felt awe and gratitude for the life I now lead. I live in a beautiful place, I do work I love with clients that amaze me, I am building a new community of friends and colleagues and best of all – we have created a life where there is time and space to just BE – be alone, be together, be free to walk on the beach with my husband at 3pm in the afternoon on a weekday… why did it take me so long to realize what I was missing?

Here is a selfie I took on Haskell’s beach one morning. I live just about two miles from this beach. It takes less than five minutes to drive there. Some weeks I get busy and I don’t make that five minute drive… I live in a beautiful neighborhood and enjoy my walks here, but they don’t inspire me the way walking on the beach does. By the end of the week, I notice that I am longing to sink my feet into the sand and hear the sound of the waves hitting the shore and see what’s new.

santa barbara, california

Dr. Minette Riordan – selfie on the beach

Every walk on the beach is special because it changes constantly. The sand shifts, rocks move and different birds, flora and fauna appear as if they were a miracle… This is my amazing, ordinary and extraordinary life that I am celebrating today.

I would love to hear your stories of the ordinary and extraordinary. Feel free to share your story in the comments below or if you would like to be featured in this column, leave me a note in the comments and I will follow up with you.