Friday, August 15, 2014

Slipping away

In the early months of summer, the sunflower patch on my block barely had any flowers. Now, in mid-August, the flowers are out, some wilting away. I cannot believe the final weeks of summer are here.  

I had misguided notions about what maternity leave would look like --that I'd have plenty of time for reading and trips to the cafe, that I'd be able to keep up with what is going on with the outside world. Since M's arrival, my world has felt much smaller. Today, we managed to take a walk around our neighborhood in the early evening. We came across the trickle of people coming home from work.  I felt out of sync.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Sale Alert: Dieppa Restrepo Camilla Boots

A pair of Dieppa Restrepo boots for $98.  Not a bad deal.

Maternity leave has really exacerbated my online (window) shopping habit.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Russian chocolates

The day before I went into labor, Ethan and I celebrated our one year anniversary.  In lieu of how we imagined we would celebrate (a trip to Kyrgyzstan, camping in a yurt), we instead spent the day doing more low-key activities--namely, buying houseplants, eating at our favorite Sichuanese restaurant in the Maryland 'burbs, and visiting a few of the adjacent "ethnic" grocery stores, one of which was a Russian/post-Soviet Imperium grocery store.  There, we came across these chocolates, which I encountered in many grocery stores in Russia. I remember bringing these home as souvenirs for friends in Portland.

That trip feels like a lifetime ago.  I think often of that trip.  I guess it could have been any trip. Replace the Tran-Siberian with a trip to Italy or Chile - whatever.  That trip marked an inflection point in my life; so much changed after that time.

One of the surprising things I've found about motherhood is that it has strengthened my resolve to live/work abroad again.  Moving abroad again has always been our plan, but there's another dimension to it now. When I found out I was pregnant, my mind clung to an image of me, Ethan and our child in Cambodia or another country. Perhaps it's because that's where this story began (where Ethan and I met and fell in love).  Perhaps it's because I was exposed to many expat mothers raising their families in Cambodia, Thailand, elsewhere.  And/or, perhaps I'm clinging to a way of life that may no longer fit.  I'm not sure; it's probably a mix of all three.

With M's arrival, Ethan and I talk a lot about living abroad again.  It pains our families to hear that we plan to move abroad with M in a few years. While life certainly has its twists and turns, I hope that when the right opportunity presents itself, we will have the courage to go through with the move.

But that won't happen for a few years, I think.  And right now, there's a lot to relish about life in DC.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

What I've Been Up To

Introducing Madeleine. Two weeks ahead of schedule.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


 images via

Thinking of small everyday pleasures, like these ceramics by Mayumi Yamashita.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Little Tokyo/Arts District

An afternoon in Little Tokyo with Ethan and Jack: rummaging through beauty shops, a big bowl of ramen at Daikokuya, green tea Kit Kat (!!!), and a visit to Poketo

Tuesday, June 3, 2014


Me + Mom

Last night, I returned from over a week in California.  It felt good to be home.

"Home" is a concept I struggle with.  I was born outside of the United States, lived a huge chunk of my life in southern California, and lived most of what I consider to be my adult life in Portland, Southeast Asia, and now Washington DC.  I feel like I leave little bits and pieces of myself in the cities I've lived.

For as long as I've lived outside California, every time I've visited, I have always ask myself if I could ever move back.  Could I imagine myself doing the long commute in a car to my workplace in x?  Actually, could I even imagine myself spending that much time, daily, in a car? The whole southern California dependence on a car would probably kill me a little and moreso Ethan, who bikes everywhere.

But: Could I imagine being able to have weekend dinner with my family at the drop of a hat?  And reliable childcare?  Diversity?  Good food?  Constant sunshine?

This internal dialogue has been going on for over ten years.

After weighing every factor, I always come to the same conclusion: "No, I can't. Not right now." That was the answer I came up with last night on the plane back to DC, as my thoughts wandered through the week, to the baby shower that I was foisted on me, to the wedding prep, to my sister's stunning wedding, the driving, the eating, the constant chatter, the warmth of being around people who just know me.  It pains me a little to say goodbye each time.

I wonder if someday that answer will change.
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