Thursday, February 26, 2015


I had almost forgotten how torturous these last few weeks of winter are. I put on a brave face last week in the face of below zero degrees temperature and snow, but this week it's still cold and there's more snow and the bravado is waning. No matter how much it feels like these weeks will go on forever though, experience has taught me that this too shall pass. Until then, you can find me drinking green smoothies, eating pie, working out, wearing fleece-lined tights everyday, reading books,  snuggling with my family, and dreaming of warmer days...


Monday, February 23, 2015


These days, I'm practicing being content, relinquishing control and being kind to myself.  I'm banishing small anxieties, being present and whispering 'thank you' in my mind for everything. These days, we are trying to keep warm, looking at each other in the eye and trying to savor moments with each other. 

I love this photo of Ken, Ken's grandma, Ken's mom and Sloane from when we went down to Va Beach a few weeks ago. Recently I have been feeling refreshed and peaceful whenever we go down there.

We got to celebrate my MIL's birthday together and Sloane was more than happy to sing happy birthday at the top of her lungs and help blow out the candles.

Pushing a small-sized cart around the grocery store is her happy place. I picked up a copy of Cook's Illustrated and as always, it's so good.

I walked in on this sweet moment and it totally made me swoon.

Sloane got a new 'big girl' bed! She loves it. 

We told her the crib is now for her baby sister and she's been practicing with baby lamb.

Coming in from the snow, verrrry reluctantly.

There was a time when I used to see these girls regularly, but it hasn't happened enough recently so it felt like a breath of fresh air to catch up last week. 

She is really taken with the ukelele and 'playing' songs on it. 
My favorite ones are the ones she makes up. 

The weekend ended with Sunday night dinner and these three loves. 

Friday, February 20, 2015


So here we are, 5 months! half-way! I have decidedly and fully moved into the land of no-pants.  All of my fingers are tingling ready to get all my winter clothes packed already, but this weather is not letting up, and in fact, there was a big temperature plunge this past week, but that doesn't mean I won't keep checking the 10-day forecast in hope of that sniff of spring.

 5 month pregnancy notes:

  • The bump is fully out and it's growing bigger everyday. I'm feeling large, folks. I got my first, "heyyy, are you pregnant?" last week, which means I'm showing enough that people don't feel awkward about asking. Or they do, but this person asked anyways.  Which I totally don't mind by the way. Better that they assume I'm pregnant than wonder if my plan for fattening up, aka, insulating for winter has gone exclusively to my belly.
  • I'm feeling good, and the fogginess and exhaustion of the first trimester feels like a long, long time ago. Thank God.
  • I can feel the babe moving around, A LOT.  It feels like flutters and somersaults, and occasionally, a little kick. 
  • Sloane still maintains she also has a baby in her belly. 
  • I still crave green juice and salads (the other day I drank a giant glass of green juice while standing over a pan full of broccoli on the stove and ate almost all of the broccoli, straight from the pan), oh and green smoothies is now also a thing, but I also want pie. A lot of pie. I'm starting to make a dent in my wallet with visits to Proper Pie.  I've also had much more of a hankering for spicy foods that I did last time: spicy drunken noodles, dukbokgi (a korean dish) and jalapeno cheddar cheetos have a special place in my heart. 
  • Reason # 101 of why I'm itching for it to get warmer is so that I can go on more walks; I vaguely remember going on a lot of walks during my first pregnancy and liking it. 
  • Ken and I wonder what it's going to be like with two kids: getting excited about a sibling for Sloane, trying not to get too worried about finances, and speculating about this one's personality. 
  • I am really eager to meet this baby. I would like it to be sooner than later please, but we all know it doesn't quite work that way....5 more months to go!

(this pregnancy at: 3 months, 4 months)

Wednesday, February 18, 2015


 I tend to be a total grinch when it comes to the snow (especially in my older age) because 1) it's cold, 2) I hate driving in the snow, and 3) I resent how it always snows here just enough to put a huge damper on commutes and plans but not enough to close work 

But goodness gracious, the squeal of delight that comes out of my child when she sees the snow? The giddy laughter that continues on and on as she makes her way through the snow and falls every two feet because of how deep the snow is? It somehow makes it worth it. 

This past snowfall actually warranted a snow day, which I can't remember the last time that happened, and I tried to take full advantage of an unexpected day at home. Truly, I could do with one of these every once in a while. 

I took a mid morning bath, we spent some time outdoors, I colored and drew with my daughter, we made green smoothies and ate lunch together, I took that hour and a half during her nap to sit and do nothing else except sip on a cup of decaf coffee and read through 'Department of Speculation', I cleaned out her closet, we 'helped' papa shovel the driveway, I made dinner, we had dinner together, I organized and sorted Sloane's toys, I made plans for the laundry room, I did some research, and finished the last chapter of 'An Altar in the World' over a cup of tea. 

I love these pictures of Ken and Sloane playing in the snow. Ken kept dumping snow on her, she would laugh hysterically as she tried to get away, and then tried to get him back with her tiny fistfuls of snow.

And this is her face of not wanting to come back in from the snow, and finally conceding after I promised that the snow would be around later in the afternoon for us to play in again: 

Monday, February 16, 2015


How was everyone's weekend? Are we all ready for this week? I'm bracing myself and trying to do some emotional preparation for how cold it's going to be. I'm happy to report that I'm going forth with a great weekend behind me, so that's something, right ? 

Sloane is really into bags these days. Probably since she always sees me carrying one, she feels it appropriate to have one too, for carrying all her treasures in. I made this heart bag a few weeks ago for a project and was pretty pleased with how it turned out. Especially since it was really easy - just felt and fabric glue! 

She loved it :) 

For Valentine's Day this past weekend, I filled the bag with some goodies- a card, puffy heart stickers, fruit snacks, a lollipop, and  BFF heart puzzle necklace - one for her and one for me. The last time I gave her a lollipop was a year ago when we traveled to San Francisco so that it would help with the ear popping on the plane, so her anticipation over that lollipop was pretty monumental. 

Throughout the day, she would ask to see my necklace so that she could fit them together.  

We went up to northern Virginia for the day to see my sister for her birthday and it was such a nice day of being together. We loved seeing Eunice eemo (what Sloane calls my sister) and I got my spicy Korean food craving addressed, too.

We went to a bakery after lunch for some dessert and Sloane got to try a macaroon! 

Happy birthday Eunice! We love you so. 

With my baby sister and my baby..! :) 

Friday, February 13, 2015


This was a difficult week in some ways. Ken was away and this one felt harder than the last one.  On Monday, while I was putting breakfast together, I found a tupperware of food I had meal prepped the night before in the cupboard instead of the fridge. I had a pimple smack in the middle of my cheek, a deep cut on one of my fingers from a cooking incident, and Monday was also the day that my belly said "NO" to pants, loud and clear. I basically spent the latter part of the day with my pants unbuttoned at work.  On Tuesday, Sloane let me know that she was going to need 99% of my attention all week and I lost my patience with her and also at work. On Wednesday I overslept (in an attempt to wake up extra early), and that was the morning that Sloane had a couple of meltdowns, a hundred different requests and then spilled milk all over herself just as we were about to leave house.  On Thursday I overslept again, this time because Sloane kept waking up in the middle of the night and no one got much sleep that night.

Sloane being ornery and extra particular once in a while is not new, and it's manageable when I've gotten sleep and when I'm not running late everywhere, but when that's not the case, what is a normal toddler off day seems like the catalyst for a downward spiral.  This little girl is usually so good, responsive and communicative that I'm always thanking all of my lucky stars and the God in heaven who made her. But lo and behold, I'm also flesh and bone, often flanked by to-do lists and anxiety, with limited sleep and limited time, and during a week when Sloane seems to need a little extra time and attention (because Ken is away again? because we just told her about baby? just because?), those things all collide into a jumble of frustration; with me being the one that desperately needs a time out.  

It's funny though, and this must be how it's designed in the first place, that even after the roughest of mornings, there happen those moments of unbearable sweetness that can soothe like a balm. The way she yelps, "TWUCK!" with pure delight, the way she asks if I'm happy, the way she sings along to her favorite song, the way she asks me ten really funny questions in a row, the way she asks if I'm going to come back to get her after school, the way she says, "I wuv mommy and daddy", the way she hugs me as tight as she can when I drop her off.  It feels like being forgiven, it feels like grace. 

You know, and this is why I write. Writing through the day to day does this thing of keeping me on high alert, to appreciate. Zadie Smith said, "The very reason I write is so that I might not sleepwalk through my entire life." That's my mojo too. I also write because it saves me. During the mundane, the disappointments, the depression, the celebratory times, and the peaceful times, writing saves me from myself- that part of myself that can hide or deny or justify in ways that are unhealthy and leads to nowhere. Writing gives perspective and often leads to the truth (even fiction; a story is a story, human nature is human nature), often lets me settle deep into myself without the ego, helps me take stock of the vastness and boundaries and tempers the wild thorns and weeds of my thoughts. 

And hey! taking pictures has become more and more of a useful tool to me, too.  The practice of capturing simple moments like this one, on a beauitful day, when we went to go eat a delicious breakfast at a diner near the oceanfront with Ken's mom and sister, is a sort of lesson in giving thanks for the simple ritual of being together and enjoying a meal.

When she got up on here, she said, "I'm so big and tall!" and, "I'm so brave!" She was real proud of herself.

Then she wanted to take a photo of us, and right before she snapped she said, "Say, "I'm so brave!"" in a sing-song voice.

And speaking of being saved from myself, being a mom to this amazing girl, that's also what is saving me. 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015


Wasn't this past weekend's weather absolutely glorious?!

We went down to VA beach to visit and celebrate Ken's moms birthday and we were all pleased to pieces about how nice the weather was.  After a really pleasant breakfast at a oceanfront diner with Ken's sister, we meandered over to see the water. 

The beach was serene, pristine and beautiful. It's a completely different scene, the beach in the winter, and with the sun shining and crisp wind blowing like it did, it felt like a different planet altogether. As we drove away I had the feeling that my innards (my soul?) had gotten a fresh scrubbing. It's just what my winter weary soul needed.