i LOVE this photo ^^ of my sis because we did our own banksy hunt together while he was town and this is one of his art pieces that had just been put up. We were the second group in to view it! Good timing!! We have been banksy fans long before he went to NYC so to see his work in person was extra special for us. Especially the street kid I once was. It was a common outing with friends to check out the graffiti around the Bay and to learn of the Artists. blahblahblah :))
This past weekend was so epic on so many levels. Making new friends, seeing old friends, going to a dance like we were in our young single adult days but with a bunch of married folk, attending a baby blessing and eating a ton of delicious food afterwards. I think I'm still suffering from food coma. Honestly, Hawaiians know how to cook!! When I can organize my thoughts, I will be able to attach them to the photos taken and share. For now, this one will do.
Our friends toddler came up to Nols and went to walk him. (no stranger danger? lolol) I couldn't resist to taken a photo and yes, my heart melted a little....no A LOT!! Can't wait for a moment like this of our own. :)
My Top 3 life accomplishments
Clearly, I did a rewrite and here are my Top 3 accomplishments. On the real.
1. Graduating Highschool - I used to be a book smart kid but when the home life got extra rough and the bullying at school didn't end, my grades got the brunt of it. I went to many schools, was a major loner and lived on the streets often. Come my Senior of Highschool, I was told their is no way I was suppose to graduate with my class. Let's just say, I worked hard, got my shizz together, and graduated in time with my class. That meant, waking up and staying late often to catch up. It meant cutting out friendships that would distract me from my goal and making new ones with those that built me up. Making the necessary sacrifices, help keep my objective. The efforts were worth it because I ended up graduating on time and with a hs diploma. For me, thats a big deal.
2. Finding God - This should be my number one but I'm too lazy to put it up there but it is. I had just found God my Senior year in high school and I swear its because of that, I was able to do many things that I viewed to be the impossible (like graduate high school). Looking back, its because of that one decision, I was able to do and it even has led me to many wonderful experiences, PEOPLE, meeting the love of my life, feeling whole, helping me find great purpose and peace (even during the chaotic times). It has been that source of strength I need to continually push me forward, be that catalyst for good, and even help me through many other impossibles in my life which leads me to the next one. :)
3. Taking care of that girl. ^^^. That's my younger sis. After high school, I moved away for two years. On my last year away, I was attending college in another state and on an impression, I felt the needed to move back to the Bay immediately. I didn't want to because I was enjoying being in college but I just did anyway. Its hard to get out of the hood but I knew it was important to listen to my gut even if it meant returning. Well, I moved back and started working. I was living on my own with some friends and one day, I come home to find that girl sleeping on my couch. She was a Senior in high school and she needed to come live with me. Granted, I wouldn't have her live with anyone else! Well, I started to take care of her. My moms health was always up and down due to her Lupus so I guess, I was stability compared to her. This went on for at least five years and everything about my life was all about my sister. I had to give up chasing that college dream. It was more important to make sure she graduated high school so that meant I had to drive 90 mins to get her to class and to get me to work on time. We moved a lot too and sometimes we barely had food but we had each other. Once, my sis, got a job at a restaurant so that helped lighten the burden for food. We were self reliant to the best of our abilities and we hustled taking on odd jobs just so we can make our ends meet. It was sooo hard and when I thought it couldn't have gotten harder, the day before her birthday, our mom passed away. She had been with me for a few years when that happened and I felt that had prepared us for that heartbreak of an experience. Living in the hood, we grew up fast as is but talk about some serious growth spurt through that experience. Looking back, I realize I could do hard with having God by my side.
I know that their are people out there who have it harder but for us, our hard knock life was ours to own and to grow from. (Im not even trying to say we have it worse than others) We grew up poor and living in a very unsafe neighborhood, you learn to be street smart real quick. Unfortunately, Ive seen some dark things in my own life. MAMA DIDN'T RAISE NO FOOL. :)) I just feel like with each hardship, much good comes from it and my Faith in God has helped me see that. Everything seems clearer and He has helped me with my priorities. Once, it even meant giving tough love to my sister and backing off from her so that she can shine and have her time to grow on her own. God looks out for her too, ya know. Now she has graduated college, living in NYC, and working for an Animation studio. She did it!! I am so proud. Now I even finally have the opportunity to go back to college and finish what I started. It hasn't been an easy process being a college student but I am doing it! Yayy! I wonder if we will ever have kids. If not, Im so glad I had the opportunity to be there for my sis and to help "raise" her.
Oh and what was my top 3 for food. 1. Discovering Sushi, froyo, and food trucks!!!!! :)))
Chuc Mung Nam Moi
My mom was one of the first members when this branch started out in the 80's. She would offer rides to and from Church, translate the hymn books into Vietnamese and make copies so the members so they would have something to sing from. She would even organize these activities and pass out flyers to the community we lived in. Sometimes I thought she did too much but she loved the friends she had here. She would always say since she left Vietnam, she has never felt a piece of home then with Vietnamese members of the Lds branch. If she was around she would be so proud of how the Branch is doing. Its still alive and kickin.
One thing I will always love about living in the Bay Area and its the diversity here. The Bay will always be our home. :) *knock on wood* Oh and Chuc Mung Nam Moi - Happy New Year!!
Early Morning thoughts
- I spoke in Church last week. I posted a link mentioning it on Facebook and several people asked me about my Faith. The ones that inquired that knew me since Highschool, all have asked is my time up yet? Like, am I dont trying it out and ready to move onto something new. The answer is a forever no but you never know, right? Well, I dont have any intention of moving on. Its crazy how many people who have inquired about my Faith since I became Lds. I'm not one to really hide it but I'm not a preachy kind either. Regardless, I usually always find myself in situations where people are asking and I do share. I just wish that my talk (first one in eight years) didn't bomb. I am a woman of action not words. (okay, whatever) I'm just grateful I didn't drop the F-bomb over the pulpit and therefore I consider that a success. Still trying to cut my swearing habit out. Im just grateful that it was in a deep slumber when I worked in the Temple.
- I still feel like I have to prove myself with people in my Ward. Its quite sad. I really try to not let myself feel or think this way but what can I say. I went through an experience where some choice people within my Faith put me on blast for something that wasn't true. This rocked my world in every way as I felt guilty just by even had association. I had given up on being able to make friends and I even had lost a friend that I trusted so much during this time too so I really had no Faith in people within my religion. I had to create so much distance so I can learn to live my life with love again. (i even have a better understanding as to why some people leave a community. i almost was there myself!) I admit I grew so much in this time but now I cant help but to question people. So many people gossiped and I feel like I'm still healing from those scars. Not trying to victimize myself but once an underdog, always an underdog - right? I'm quite observant and when things are a little too consistent, I can't help but to question. Again, I go to Church because I genuinely believe in God. It does help to have a friend. I just have to work hard to find them and I truly treasure the ones I do have. Thank goodness I am finding them!
- I'm quite aware that my personality may rub people the wrong way. Its not intentional. I'm not a calculative kind of person but I do wear my heart on my sleeve. I swear I care in the most genuine way. That goes without saying that if I'm not a fan of something, I'm not good at hiding it. I have a lot to learn with my interpersonal skills still. I just keep it a little too real.
- Its important to me to be friendly to everyone but to keep a close circle of friends who are loyal, kind, thinking of others, humorous, and honest. Oh, who aren't afraid to get their grub on. Yup.
- Ive been told in the last few weeks that I dont complain and I just get the work done. And, how its not only my strengths but its a weakness too. Hmmmmm, still not sure if that is a compliment.
- Im not a competitive person and I cant stand talking to people who are. Theirs a time and place for this.. like in the Olympics, go USA!! :))
- I had the nastiest and quickest flu recently. Another thing that Im happy its over with.
- I'm enjoying Instagraming. I rarely post pics of me because their is much more awesome things in the world around me. I feel like I'm able to be true to myself in doing this. I just roll differently than other bloggers and Instagram more than write. I feel thats an easier language to speak sometimes (through my photos) and Im meeting such real people through this.
- The pregnancy things... no updates. I pray that I dont have anymore miscarriages. I just want my body to finally experience some kind of normalcy. Unless, I'm actually pregnant to full term. Ill deal with all sorts of stuff to just have a baby.
- Another thing I learned, I am "brutally honest", talk a lot about food, and culture. I find its so easy to talk about food with anyone. Its kinda fun being a foodie (well, until I get on a scale... ) Meanwhile, I'm extra observant on cultures. I truly value diversity in people, thought, FOOD, wardrobe, life... That is what happens when you grow up in multicultural home and in very a multicultural area. I just love it!!
- We got plenty of rain going on! Yayy! Is it enough to get us out of a drought? Not quite sure but I love being able to wear my rainboots that one time a year!
I feel like their are never enough women photographers around. When I was attending NYFW, the photographers pit were filled with mostly men. Sitting alongside them for at a few shows, one told me that their needed to be more of a female representation among them. I couldn't agree more. :)
Juice love: Motor Oil
In the wake of Infertility trials, I have learned more about my body than I wanted too. One thing is that it loves fresh raw foods. Im a green smoothie and now becoming more and more a juice addict too. I wanted to share with you my recent discovery called, Motor Oil. I highly advise you wear an apron when juicing this because when the juice comes out, it can stain your clothes. But, its worth it as it tastes delicious!!!
Jack Lalanne Juicer (or, whatever is best for you!)
2-3 green apples
Ginger (thumb size)
3 large hand fulls of spinach
6 leaves of kale
*Makes 1 quart
**Picture above made about 2 quarts.
Blog is Four years old
The hairstylist was applying the dye to my nasty head of hair and she was easy to talk too. (Well, most of them are) She eventually found out that I was from the Bay, Lds, and had a tattoo. Granted, it's not hard to hide it because it's on my neck. Then without hesitation (and for someone who doesn't have a good memory, I will always remember this) she asked "Is it hard to be a good Mormon from California ESPECIALLY SAN FRANCISCO!!???" I smiled and quickly told her no and that I thought it was no different than living anywhere else. I began to tell her all of the things I love about life in the Bay and then I asked her why any of that could ever frighten anyone? She said she heard stories and I was like, "Let me be the first to tell you that theirs so much more good in the world that its not like that in the part Im living at!" I continued to tell them about my crazy life growing up and by the time I got through with my stories, the side of the salon was listening into my conversation. One told me that she wanted to return to her Faith (she wasnt Lds) and give it a second chance and try to look for the good. Upon walking out of the salon, two women pulled me aside and said I should blog. They seemed pretty intense about it and after the conversation ended, we parted ways. Once dinner came, I quickly forgotten this experience even those two ladies. Granted, I was eating Cafe Rio. NOMMYYYY!
A year later I started this blog after several coworkers insisted I start. I even had a few experiences shortly before with people who when they found out I was Lds, they knew what my beliefs were because they read Taza and Nienie 's blogs. It made for an easy conversation about my Faith when you follow those two amazing blogs. In those conversations, these strangers suggested I start a blog. blahblahblah And, here I am. Its been a fun experience over the years to share what has made us happy and even what stressed me out at times. Their was a period where people would find fault with my words and proceeded to elevate their drama but it never stopped me from writing. I hope I was able to convey our love for our family, our live, especially life here in the Sf, Bay Area.
Upon meeting Elaine online in 2012 and started working on her blog, it was refreshing. I started to finally see more blogs and realize that I should take mine just a tad bit seriously. I had no idea of all the coolness in the blog world has to offer. I dont really fit in with a lot of it but it was just so neat to have such an experience to see and meet bloggers online. No doubt its been trial and error. Ive gotten my share of snubbed by other bloggers but with that I have met a lot more of the most awesome friends through blogging. Its nice to know Im not alone and to even have examples of those owning their lives and making the best of it. Im an underdog, a blacksheep, and I gotta keep it real. I know this blog hasn't been like the kind to follow trends and such. Im just me and have to stay that way. Im grateful for what readers I have and that have stayed. THANK YOU!
Well, I'm a few months late but Happy Four years blog! Sorry, no giveaway. I'm not one of those cool bloggerss blessed to have Sponsors chasing after me wanting to advertise and give you give awesome gifts.I do want to say that it means a lot to have you lurking, stalking, commenting, and even reaching out to be friends. Thank you for following along our life here in the Bay. I hope to post a lot more for 2014.
Oh and is anyone excited for Chinese New Years!!? I know I am!!