20 Questions – 3rd Birthday

We’ve been asking big sis these questions since she was 2 years old but Nakoa was not ready to play along last year. I’m so glad he was into answering questions this year! I think his answers will be different tomorrow but for now I will be ecstatic that mama is his best friend. This hilarious little character keeps us all laughing and crying with his antics. We love you Nakoa!

Nakoa 3rd birthday

20 Questions – 6th Birthday

I’m so glad I started asking her these questions a few years ago! It’s really fun seeing how her tastes grow and change. If you’d like to see the previous 4 years’ responses, you can check out the link here.  This will also be the first year little brother is able to answer questions so stay tuned next month for that fun!

6th birthday

20 questions – 5th birthday

this is the fourth year we’ve asked Saraya these questions and i am really getting a kick out of seeing how her answers have (and haven’t) changed.  sometimes it’s hard to believe this old soul is only 5 and other times i wonder if she’s competing with baby brother for his baby title.  if you’d like to see the previous years’ answers too can see her 2nd here, her 3rd here and her 4th here.


nature photographer

last weekend we took a family hike on one of our favorite trails.  this time i brought along the kid camera for S to use.  she’s been really interested in taking photos lately (perhaps i’m rubbing off on her?!) i really love her fresh perspective and am looking forward to a lot more art from her.  so without further ado, here are some of her highlights…

this one is my favorite


she loved her hiking outfit


she made him stop and pose


this was on purpose. i told her most people try to avoid getting their fingers in the photo.





DCIM100MEDIAisn’t she talented?! maybe i’ll make her photos a regular feature.


did she wish for me a beautiful life?


i’ve written before about my adoption and my first visit back to the orphanage from where i came.  you can see that story here.  each year that i’ve returned to korea for work, i have tried to spend a few hours volunteering at the temporary babies’ home.  my past two visits, i’ve been blessed to have support in the form of money, donations and people who also want to volunteer some of their time to hold and care for the babies.

it is really a bittersweet experience.  i am fully aware of the bountiful blessings i’ve received.  my heart is overflowing with gratefulness for the opportunities that have been mine for my entire life. it is this overflow that i try to gather in order to return it to the universe.  each time i volunteer, i am struck by the circumstances these babies face and as a mother myself now, i find myself wondering more and more often about what circumstances my birth mother must have faced.  i used to wonder why.  now i think i am beginning to understand that the why doesn’t necessarily matter.

there are a few books that people have recommended to me about korean adoption.  one i would like to read is called I Wish for You a Beautiful Life. it contains letters from birth mothers to their children explaining how and why they were given up for adoption.  the title is from one letter in particular and expresses what i think most birth mothers felt and hoped for when they had to give their babies up.  it is a wish i have for my own children and though they are not mine, a wish i have for these babies as well.  it’s the wish i’d like to think my birth mother had for me.  and i hope she knows that her wish came true.

01125bb80c095bf55e197da62ed7e280ba9accab93 0179f300ab7db35542195d9aa4e7d3614f047710a7 0165c2cfb78265643c260e57f3ec0eebca31f47d87 0126dfd6cb6a1a38da39474724b30878157e24bc59 0101f6b25d8b7e1884be29f0f746a0047c01c0487b 01667ea203a4bfc8c0d41191441bebf05ca2a1d33b 013cccafd3ac1c7964d58dbab47dc3f5457355f19b 0162a30cf1ec5a84f17afddca1b7e7451673ba10f4 0141db2b0f3b2f859d4bc43c45a63d359221c74f7e 011e4e823ff88783ca36991caab52b253ef465b930 01feeb10a2308825608d4587a34ecf30b598776e62

how about those goals?

so here we are starting february.  did the first month of 2015 fly by for anyone else?  and did anyone make any progress with their PACT goals?  in case you’ve forgotten (or just need a refresher), PACT stands for productive, active, creative and transformative.  i have definitely had a productive month.  meeting deadlines, working on projects, scheduling things in my perfect new planner…


and i can honestly say i’m doing pretty decent in the active category.  i completed another 10-day yoga challenge from @absoluteyogaacademy and even won a daily prize from among hundreds of participants!  for february i’m participating in a yoga challenge for the entire month called #letsgetflexy2015 with @kinoyoga and @beachyogagirl if you want to give it a try.  i am also 2 weeks into PiYo and it is pretty awesome.



creatively i feel somewhat lacking if only because all i want to do all the time is create so there’s just never enough.  it doesn’t help when i have a million and one hobbies.  so while i have yet to crochet or knit or scrapbook anything this year so far, i HAVE successfully created some essential oil blends, some long overdue snail mail for pen pals, and a few recipes.  i have also participated in Fatmumslim’s photo a day project (#FMSphotoaday).  that’s one of my biggest creative outlets.


and then there’s my catchall category.  a few transformative things i did this month (not already mentioned above) include reading (i finished Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail (Oprah’s Book Club 2.0) and started The Passage: A Novel (Book One of The Passage Trilogy), organized a volunteer trip to the orphanage i was adopted from in south korea (more on that to come later), and started having monthly classes on how essential oils can fit into your daily life.  the classes are available online through facebook and open invite to the public  if you’re interested in learning more.  they have become my latest obsession!


S loves the oils too! this is a blend she made herself.

i’d love to hear if and how you’ve been meeting your goals so far!  sharing mine with you guys definitely helps me with accountability and i love being the same for you!






california tower


sometimes you’re lucky enough to live in a place that people view as an ideal vacation spot.  i try not to get complacent about the wonders around me by taking advantage of the weather and local attractions. the bonus about living in a vacation spot is the ability to avoid peak tourist season and to visit attractions often enough to avoid the pressure of having to “cram everything in” in a single visit. one of my family’s favorite local attractions is Balboa Park.  last week i was able to score a ticket to the Museum of Man‘s newly re-opened California Tower.  the most exciting thing about this is the fact that the tower hasn’t been open to the public since 1935!

it was created as part of the Panama-California Exposition in 1915 to celebrate the completion of the Panama Canal. San Diego would be the first U.S. port of call north of the panama canal on the pacific coast and the smallest of any city ever to attempt holding an international exposition. our guide even told us that San Francisco told San Diego to forget about competing! the nerve! luckily, SD didn’t listen.

there are 125 steps from the entrance of the tower to the eighth floor viewing deck with plenty of stops along the way where the guides provide historical tidbits about the park, the museum, and the city.  i don’t want to give away all of the secrets but here are a few peeks at the amazing views. i recommend checking it out if you get a chance!