E goes back to school tomorrow and I am really looking forward to getting back to our routine.  Christmas is still spewed all over the house and I’m itching to get things put away and to clean out the fridge and start cooking normal dinners again.  We’ve been living off of Christmas stocking booty and the novelty of eating cheese, summer sausage, and crackers for dinner is wearing thin and I’m craving some vegetables.

I’m setting a few goals for the coming year, nothing earth-shattering but I would like to 
  1. Blog more
  2. Cook more
  3. Read more books
  4. Quilt more
  5. Exercise more
  6. Complete the Spanish unit on DuoLingo
#5 is the only specific goal.  I would really like to be proficient at a second language and it seems like a doable way of achieving that.  Duolingo is a free language-learning app I downloaded on my phone.    I would like to improve my Korean but they didn’t offer it so I went with Spanish since I took a few years of it in high school.  It’s pretty fun and I think if I can just remember to use it for 10 minutes on most days I should be able to complete the unit in a year and have a pretty good grasp on things.  
Are you setting any goals for the coming year?  I’m trying to decide if it’s worth fighting the crowds at the gym this week or if I should give it a little while for things to settle down 😉

Moving Forward

I didn’t mean to let my absence here stretch to half a year, things just sort of got away from me.  We’ve had our ups and downs this last while: N’s recovery from getting hit by a truck, E’s 6th birthday, a quick trip to CA for a cousin’s wedding, the holidays, Mimi’s 3rd birthday, and a very wanted pregnancy in January followed by a jarring miscarriage at 11 weeks in March.

I’m not going to lie, the miscarriage was difficult.  It’s taken these last two months to get over the physical aftereffects and to get to the point where I can (usually) discuss it without tearing up. 
Before I got pregnant with Mimi I had had a very early miscarriage, one where I found out I was pregnant and then a week later found out that I had miscarried.  This loss was different and much harder.

I had spent the last few months feeling very pregnant–being fatigued, feeling a bit lightheaded, swelling up and starting to outgrow my clothes.  I had been a little paranoid about losing the baby (what woman isn’t?) but had started to relax the closer we got to the magical 12-week mark and we had started to share the excitement with family and friends.

And then three days before my 12-week appointment I woke up bleeding and I instantly knew what it meant.

It was a Sunday morning and since my ob’s office was closed N and I headed to the ER.  An ultrasound confirmed that the pregnancy was undeveloped and unviable.

In some ways it’s comforting to know that it was physically impossible for the pregnancy to result in a baby–that it wasn’t a normally developing fetus that just died suddenly without explanation.  If that had been the case I would struggled with second-guessing myself and wondering if there was anything I could have done to prevent it.  So it’s a blessing to know that it was just one of those things.

I’m relieved to finally be feeling back to normal, physically and emotionally.  After the miscarriage my hormones were all over the place and for two months I struggled daily with feeling betrayed by my own body.  It was miserable because despite its flaws the two of us are usually on pretty good terms.

But, I’m feeling better now and relieved to be doing so.  When I look back over things there is still an ache of disappointment but its jagged edges have been rounded and smoothed by the love I felt from family, friends, and the Lord.

I’m starting to see the humor in a few moments that at the time struck me to the core: when the maternity swimsuit I had ordered for an upcoming trip arrived the day after I miscarried and when my ob at my follow-up appointment remarked after he had a brief sneezing fit, “Wow, I must be allergic to miscarriages!”  (Well, with that last one it’s still 80% astonishment 20% amusement.)

I’m glad to be back posting here.  I might post about some of the things I missed (photos of the kids’ birthdays, details of a surreal trip we got to take to Mexico with N’s work, etc…) but for the most part things will be back to normal around here.

And that feels so good.

2012 in review

Happy 2013! I guess it’s part of getting older, but the years are whipping by faster and faster to me now. It makes me grateful that I keep this blog; without it I would be even more puzzled than I already am as to where the time went.

This last year I turned some pens on the lathe and made my first quilt (and my second, third, and fourth).  I learned that I have no natural talent at golf but that there might be some hope for me yet at archery.

On the home front, I finished a mostly-DIY kitchen remodel (that I still need to take pictures of) and painted the kids’ bathroom.  Our big willow tree blew down (lame!) and we hired some lumberjacks to trim our other trees.

We had some fun adventures as a family this last year.  We took the kids to Disneyland, Legoland, the beach, and Arches National Park.  We also went on some memorable outings closer to home, going to the circus, the state fair, and to the top of Squaw Peak where we saw the fall leaves and and watched paragliders take off.  We also introduced E to the joys of bowling.

The kids passed some individual milestones this year.  E started preschool, started to learn to read, and turned five.  Mimi turned one, learned to walk, started chatting up a storm, and got her first haircut.

N and I went on some memorable dates: we saw the Beach Boys in concert and caught some outdoor theatre as well as some screenings at the Sundance Film Festival. We also discovered our local roller derby team and went to a fun bout in an abandoned Food4Less.

Our trip to New York was our biggest adventure together as a couple this year.  We had a few days in the city to play tourist but then Hurricane Sandy hit and we holed up in our hotel room with deli takeout and rode out the storm.  Fortunately we never lost power (or even internet access) so we spent some time catching up on episodes of Doctor Who.  Getting home was a little hairy and sadly we missed Halloween with the kids but I dressed the kids up again and recreated the cuteness

Looking back on the year I feel especially grateful for my family and the opportunities we’ve had to learn new things and visit interesting places.

I hope 2013 brings an increase of love and light and interesting things into your life!


We had a lovely Thanksgiving.  We went to my in-laws’ house and sat down to the incredible spread my mother-in-law prepared and ate ourselves silly.  There may or may not have been a ratio of almost one pie/cheesecake per adult 🙂

I guess it’s common around this time of the year but lately I’ve been feeling especially grateful for my blessings, especially for my good health and that of my family.  A few days ago N and I attended the funeral of Janet Rife, a family friend who died after a painful battle with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) and recently a neighbor and friend was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer only a few weeks after losing her mother to the same disease.

These are heavy things. 

I’ve been blessed with an embarrassment of blessings and I take most of them for granted far too often.  When I’m spending the majority of my time caring for two small children it’s easy for me to fixate on getting them fed and their shoes on the right feet and when was the last time E/Mimi pooped and why oh why won’t E listen to me unless I repeat myself SIX times and finally yell and grrr….

But I want to be more than that; I want to be a more dedicated disiple of Christ.  I’ve had enough experiences that have demonstrated God’s love for me that I don’t have any doubts about it, even in the moments when I’m feeling down.  I know He loves me and I know he loves each of us.

I want to use the blessings I’ve been given and the knowledge I have to do awesome things. I want to be useful.

Year in Review

Happy new year! For me, 2011 went by in a busy-but-mostly-pleasant blur.

It feels like she’s always been here but it was only last January that Mimi was born. And it only a little while later that she ended up in the hospital with RSV (and thankfully recovered fully).

Having a daughter has been a lot of fun. We’ve already started sharing clothes.

E grew in leaps and bounds from a toddler into a little boy. He learned to use the toilet and earned a shiny red bike for his efforts. He continues to make me laugh every day.

I cut my hair short for the first time.

It still has a long way to go, but I started tinkering around our house. I put up some pictures in our bedroom and we installed our Japanese robot toilet. I hung up the spice cabinet I built and then realized that the rest of the kitchen looked shabby in comparison so I started a DIY kitchen remodel (that is dragging on even as we speak, blarg.)

We did some fun things as a family. We went to the beach and ate s’mores. We made our annual trip to the state fair. And we had a lovely Christmas, Mimi’s first.

I’m excited and hopeful for this next year will bring us. I hope your new year is off to a good start.

2010 in review

2010 was an interesting year for our family. I’m glad that I blogged pretty regularly this last year because paging through my archives reminded me of all sorts of things I’ve already forgotten.

  • We made a couple trips to Seattle to visit family and to see the Magnetic Fields in concert.
  • I had an early pregnancy loss but am now finishing 2010 quite pregnant with a baby girl.
  • We saw some great movies at the Sundance Film Festival.
  • E caught and suffered through approximately 187 colds and bugs.
  • I conquered my shyness and some awesome local bloggers in person.
  • I started scanning in old family photos.
  • I started (and then stopped) cooking new recipes every week.
  • I finally got to fulfill a weird dream of mine and walk around on the salt flats.
  • We drove to Medford, OR (in one day!) to visit N’s sister Gwyn and her family.
  • N and I attended some fun concerts in the park.
  • I took a photography class.
  • E turned 3.
  • I turned 30.
  • We went to Korea on our first overseas trip as a family.
  • Both of my parents began intensive treatment for various ailments (prostate cancer and Hep C).
  • I finished building my spice cabinet and a chess board for my dad (pictures of the finished projects to come)
  • I finally got a new phone.
  • I came in second in our office fantasy football league.
  • And we had a lovely Christmas in which N outdid himself once again.

I’m going to try and keep my goals for 2011 pretty manageable. I have a feeling that the first month or two after the baby arrives are going to be kind of crazy but when I emerge from the fog I’d like work on things like

  • Resuming cooking a new recipe weekly for Cookbooks on Trial.
  • Rededicating myself to daily scripture study and drawing closer to God.
  • Rejoining Weight Watchers (I’m excited to try out the new points system) and exercising regularly
  • Taking more photos

I’d also like to learn how to thrive and not just survive as a mother of two. I know a ton of people have more than one kid but I was just starting to feel like I knew what I was doing when it came to mothering E and I’m a little bit nervous about how I’ll handle going from one to two. But at the same time I can’t wait until our little girl arrives (in about 4 weeks!)

Letting go a little

I think I’ve mentioned before how easily I get sucked into “the idea” of things. I get a picture in my head and then inevitably feel disappointed when things don’t work out as well. This habit has only gotten worse since I had E because while I see so many opportunities for Magical! Childhood! Moments!, E is not always predictable or more accommodating than you would expect from a three year-old.

After seeing Santa at our church Christmas party was a big hit I thought I’d try and take E to the mall today to see Santa again and take a photo. I had a vague goal of getting to the mall around 10am but by the time we actually there it was already noon. And the line for Santa was a hour long.

I actually stood in line with E for a little bit and while he was good he started to get antsy after about 10 minutes. I did a bit of soul searching (“But we’re already here and he’s dressed in a cute outfit that will coordinate perfectly with Santa’s suit!” vs. “There’s NO WAY he and I are going to be able to stand in this line for an hour–it will get ugly.”) and then we got out of line and I took E to have a ride on the little train that chugs around the mall instead.

He loved it. And then we left the mall, went grocery shopping and came home–the end.

So, while we didn’t get an overpriced photo with Santa this year I think I might finally be learning to let go a little and sincerely put E’s interest ahead of the craving I feel to create and document Magical! Childhood! Moments!

(I also learned that if I want to do Santa photos next year I’m going to take the kids in November.)

Ultrasound today!

My 20-week ultrasound is later today. I’m pretty excited. So excited in fact that when I woke up today at 6 am having to go to the bathroom I couldn’t get back to sleep and spent an hour tossing and turning and listening to N breathe.

I’ve been fairly nonchalant about this pregnancy in large part because after my miscarriage in December I thought I might lose it at any time. But for the last couple of weeks I’ve been feeling the baby move around and it seems much more real. I’m excited to find out if we’re having a girl or boy.

I’d honestly be thrilled with either. It would be great to have another little boy close to E’s age so they’re pals (and I already have all the boy stuff I need) and. Plus we already have our favorite boy names narrowed down to two. I would like to have a little girl at some point but we’re planning on having a few more kids (including adopting) so it’s not like this is our last chance at that. And regarding girls’ names the field is wide open (and might require a few rounds of negotiations).

I don’t have a feeling either way, so it’s going to be a surprise. With E I was sure it was a boy before we went to the ultrasound. I had been wanting a girl but felt kind of wretched about it since we had been wanting a baby for so long. I felt guilty and selfish and didn’t want to bring any negative feelings to the situation when I had so much to feel thankful for. So I spent some time praying, expressing my gratitude and asking for maturity and peace. And a few weeks before my ultrasound with E I suddenly knew it was a boy. I was thinking on things and suddenly in my mind’s eye I saw a little boy (with E’s old mushroom haircut) wearing a striped shirt and jean shorts standing in our backyard. And very matter-of-factly I thought: “Hey, that’s our little boy. And he’s AWESOME.” So the ultrasound wasn’t a surprise and when I saw E’s face for the first time it seemed very familiar and it was simply like: “Oh, hello again.”

Besides hoping this baby is healthy I don’t have any reservations and I’m excited for the surprise. But I’ll always be thankful for a Heavenly Father who cared enough about a silly young me to reassure me that no matter what being a parent would be better than I could imagine.

Anxiety Dream

I can be kind of a worrier sometimes. I’m really looking forward to our trip to Korea this fall but I think my subconscious is already worrying about it. Right before I woke up this morning I had an dream that E, N, and I were on the plane to Korea when things started to go wrong.

In my dream I was sitting next to E when this hugely fat man who was seated in front of E started to recline his seat back. Except that the seat didn’t stop reclining–it kept going back and back until it was smashing poor E into his own seat. He was crying and freaked out and I asked the man to raise his seat up but he ignored me so then I got a flight attendant and she made him put his seat back up. It felt as though E had been saved from certain death.

I then wanted to turn on our travel DVD player so E could watch a show and relax but then realized that I had forgotten 1) the DVD player 2) E’s headphones and 3) E’s car seat. I turned to N and started to bemoan my oversight with the panic rising in my chest because we still had 13 hours of the flight to go and how was E (and consequently I) going to make it without being able watch to a show?

Fortunately I then realized it was a dream in the back of my mind and woke myself up. Blarg.

At least now I’m sure I won’t forget our DVD player. I know I’ll forget something but at least not the DVD player.

Perspective on the coming year

Happy New Year! It was nice to take a little break from the blog and just focus on spending time with family, playing with Christmas presents, and just generally loafing around the house. But I really missed posting and I’m glad to back.

I know it’s trite and probably more than a little naive, but I’m full of enthusiasm for the coming year. While 2009 was a sucky year for a lot of the world, we were pretty fortunate. Despite the recession N and I both kept our jobs and we also got to spend a lot of time with E and watch him grow from a baby into a little boy, which was and continues to be a blast.

We decided that it was time to work on adding another child to our family and so we started pursuing adoption while also being open to getting pregnant. Adoption has always been part of our plan for creating our family; both of us have siblings who were adopted from Korea and we feel that we would be able to offer a lot to a baby relinquished for adoption.

Our plan is to simultaneously persue pregnancy and adoption and see which route we make more progress on. If we’re not pregnant once we reach a certain point in the adoption process we’ll go on birth control and focus on adoption. If we get pregnant in the next few months we’ll still proceed with the adoption but with a more delayed timeline so baby #2 will be over a year when we adopt.

I have no idea if we’ll be able to have a successful pregnancy. It took us a few years to have E and so who knows. The week after Christmas I was surprised to find out I was pregnant but unfortunately I had a very early miscarriage, my first. So we shall see. I was disappointed but am now using it as motivation for self-improvement.

In the few days between finding out I was pregnant and finding out it wasn’t viable I felt 1) cautious but crazy excitement and 2) disappointed that I hadn’t lost some weight and/or set up my home office and got to use it before we had another baby and it takes over the room (I know, they’re kind of lame bourgeois regrets but whatever.) But now that I’m no longer pregnant I’m viewing this as a opportune time to get into better shape and organize my house. I figure it’s better than moping around at home and eating nothing but chocolate chip cookies and milk for days and days (which I also considered).

So now I’m heading out to hit the gym.