Category Archives: LIFESTYLE

Mark’s Birth Story and Family Photos with Jack & Lola Photography

January 7, 2017

LIFESTYLE / Motherhood



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I wanted to share these newborn photos Lyndsey of Jack and Lola photography took in our home when Mark was about 3 weeks old. Lyndsey came over with donuts and presents along with her super happy cool attitude. One especially awesome gift was a set of glow bracelets that were intended to be used in a night time bath for Grant (BIT HIT). Anyhow, we had scheduled the session for two weeks post baby but around the two week mark I did not feel well enough to put on real clothes let alone fix my hair due to the C section this time around (what some of my friends call “belly birth” -love that). The session was super fun and we are so happy to have these beautiful images.  

It’s funny how I look back at the birth story of Grant from a couple years ago and it seems so dramatic to me now. This time the unexepcted Csection and recovery was intense but played a smaller character in the story of bringing baby Mark into the world. HA!

As for this birth story, I had intense close contractions starting around 12:30 a.m. one night. Chris asked if he should call his father (who lived 40 plus minutes away) to come over and watch Grant so we could go to the hospital. I knew many people locally but do you know how hard it is for me to ask people for help? So, even in labor I hesitated in asking for Grandpa to come over. Well, Chris saw the frequency of contractions and made the call. 

Oh just a few moments later I said, let’s all get in the car and go to the hospital right now. We woke up Grant and headed over together. Twenty minutes later as I got out of the passenger seat, my water broke. “Oh cool,” I thought, “No mess in the car but wait…now i’m a mess waddling into the hospital.” Lol. Grant was so interested in what was going on. He had a look of wonder on his face as we checked in. He was so excited and it was an adventure. Soon enough grandpa arrived and took Grant home. I missed him immediately. 

I was at 5 cm (1-5 cm is the part that takes relatively the longest) so they said, “Great, you’ll have this baby in no time.” Hours went by and I think the amazing body makes you truly forget that pain. I kind of moaned with each contraction and time flew.

Well, that is until I got to 8cm where I stayed for hours. My very cool and natural doctor said the baby’s head was at an angle and stuck, not allowing the head to sort of condense in size during delivery. They told me to start pushing to see what would happen. Many more hours passed and I asked for an epidural. “Oh, wow I thought, this is going to be a breeze now, cmon baby!” Oh but 8 cm stayed put so a C section it was! Wow that was a surprise especially since my first birth was vaginal. 

I remember shaking from the medication/cold room and my left arm kept hitting one of the doctors. He would say with each taps, “Hey, stop touching my butt.” I was so grateful for that because it actually embarrassed me and distracted me. HA! Loved it.

Oh I cried when they brought him to me. “He has blue eyes like Grant. A Korean kid with blue eyes,” Chris said. He was HUGE (for little ol me) at 9 lbs. 5 oz. Oh I was in heaven. I noticed Mark had quite a chin dimple (like my dad, Mark). The nurses and doctors were so surprised at how happy I was because they knew I was hoping for a totally natural birth and the opposite happened. I was just overjoyed with my big gulp full of passionfruit juice with all that great hospital ice (small like Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf) and this huge, sweet baby.

Grandpa and Nana brought Grant to the hospital to see us the next day. I felt guilty, joyous, you know al those things. Chris brought sushi for us to eat at the hospital. The nurses were SUPER nice and I drank about 400 gallons of that passion fruit juice. We had wonderful visitors over the couple of days there. It was a regular party. 

Recovery was really different from the vaginal birth. It was two weeks before I could really walk around the block but I relished in being “bed bound” and all of us being at home together. I took some medication for a few days then weaned off. It really helped. I lived in the chair I’m sitting in right now. Its a big comfy leather chair with an ottoman. I slept here too for 2 weeks. Our bed is memory foam and when you are not supposed to use your abs, its near impossible to get out of a sinking foam bed. 

This is such an amazing and interesting time of life to be growing a family. I don’t know how it’s possible that six months have gone by. I keep reminding myself that I want to start solids any day but it just seems so soon! Surely the same feelings I will have when it’s time to get the kids their driving permits. Ah!

Stress Free Travel Prep

March 2, 2015

HAPPINESS / LIFESTYLE / Travel / Uncategorized

IMG_3841-1-2Do you stress about travel preparations…packing, planning and leaving your home? I LOVE to travel but I TOTALLY go nutzo in preparing! Here are a few things I’ve learned to let go of and simplify to properly ease into a vacation.


I may or may not have been known to stay up all night before even just a weekend trip, packing, cooking and cleaning my whole home to spotless perfection. EW! I’ve changed. HA!


Order in the night before so that kitchen cleanup is out of the equation. I am big on cooking a full-on meal nearly every night. I really feel like it’s my job to make homemade meals for my fam. I also get overwhelmed if I have to do this the night before a trip. 


I have a travel toiletry bag pretty much ready to go at all times. 

OK, confession, I kind of have a zippered carryon bag ready to go too. Refill your Airborne tubes etc as soon as you get home from the trip so it’s rearing and ready for the next one!


I always make a shopping trip to get a few fun new things for the vacation arsenal. Here are a few of my faves for this trip:

Bite in Madeira high pigment pencil. A girlfriend whipped one of these fancy, smooth twist pencil hues out on a shopping date a while back and I stumbled upon it at Sephora. LUSCIOUS!!! I LOVE the texture this stuff and the twist/pencil design is really cool. 

My sister once said she had a MAC lipstick that was basically the exact color of her lips and loved it. THIS is what this color looks like on me. If I were a celebrity doing one of those “makeup free” ads, technically I could wear this and not be wearing makeup.

Maison Du Soir Ibiza Floral “dress.” This is going to be a beach coverup, day cruising casual dress and possible a nightgown as well. SO easy to wash in the sink and so comfortable. Heck, “SO HOT RIGHT NOW, Hansel!” I based my mani and pedi on it yesterday. 

Bowtie for Grant (Target). Similar HERE.

Today we are cruising in the Caribbean for a week and then we have a week in Florida. My husband has turned me into a cruiser! I had heard about it for years from my friend, Linda who does an annual ladies cruise with her girlfriends. I had avoided them because after my Navy days, sailing around for a week was work! Well, now I get it! 

Please share your trip prep rituals!!!




December 8, 2014

LIFESTYLE / Travel / Uncategorized

P1010087-6P1010068-5P1010092-7P1010097-8P1010007-1-2 P1010025-2-4-2 P1010034-2-2 P1010061-3-2After a week in the jungles of The Big Island near Hilo, we came to stay a week on Kauai. This island was too fun to photograph!! I was in love with the treehouse we stayed in. The finishes were so beautiful. The bottom photo is from our bedroom patio. We were there only for a little over a week but I felt like it was our home. AH! Going on vacation really gave us time to connect and be the most present with each other that we have been since having Grant. Vacations always give us a lot of clarity on the next steps in life too. I’m so recharged with fun new goals and a more positive attitude!!! Gah! Happy Monday!!

Sisters and frappuccinos

September 22, 2014

LIFESTYLE / Uncategorized



IMG_6665-2We moved this week and it was a doozy! Normally, as a person who has moved a zillion times, it takes me 3 days to make a house look like we’ve lived there for 10 years. Right now our place looks a bit like a crack den. HA! Well, I LOVE this crack den and it is our home now. 

My sister came down from Seattle to hang with us for things like the cable guy taking 5 hours to wire our home. [We were expecting him to ask to stay for dinner.] She really reminds me to relax more and stop worrying about things like how drinking a caramel frappuccino might ruin my life.

I think the most fun was dragging our feet and laughing through IKEA. Oh maybe it was eating incredible sushi together (toro and something called a tater tot). OR coming into the room seeing her holding Grant, looking unsure but so perfectly soothing him with spit up going down her arm. I just wish she lived closer. When we are together I try to do everything with her in just a few days. 

We took a slow walk and snapped some pics. The clouds were AH-MAZING after the million degree heat wave this past week. I love being close to green stuff. 

Thank you very much for the awesome support and friendship!!! 

I’m A Ninja

July 21, 2014

LIFESTYLE / Uncategorized

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Mall-4Chris had a rock bottom closet moment yesterday=it has been 2 years since we went clothes shopping and everything was faded and shrunken. 

We literally updated his wardrobe by purchasing the EXACT same clothes in today’s versions. Black polos are a bit longer now and blue shorts are a tad shorter. We are the same people. 

What did I buy? Nothing. Why? I’m a ninja.

I live in a black moby wrap on top of a Target black tank and Old Navy black maxi skirt that is super pilly. Chris said I need an attachment for a sword. 

I’ll buy some clothes in about 17 pounds. Yay.

Heaven Surprises

July 14, 2014

LIFESTYLE / Uncategorized

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P7130037 P7130028 P7060001What’s scary? Getting to heaven and finding out that aluminum antiperspirant is totally harmless to the body. That’s one of my greatest fears. All those years where I struggled though natural, virtually ineffective deodorants. The countless awkward hugs I had to give people where I kept my elbows pinned to my sides-the kind that make the other person self conscious of their breath. I look like a robot.

I have been using natural deodorants (not antiperspirant) for years since I started grad school for acupuncture where I was surrounded by healthy, smart hippies. In the past few years I’ve gone from dappling quitter to full-blown achiever. 

I don’t smell like patchouli or anything (no offense patchouli wearers). What’s patchouli? It’s what you smell when a blonde guy with bead adorned dreads and no t-shirt skateboards by you in Venice Beach, LA. It’s followed by a wisp of pot smoke. He’s wearing patchouli. Hey, I’m friends these people but I have my own repertoire of alluring scents that I’m attracted to. 

This is my current combo: deodorant, powder. It does the trick for about 4-6 hours in mild temperatures.

Here are some images of the week. I wore real deodorant TWICE, Jen took me to Rite Aid and we had more awesome visitors. I forget to take photos of everyone though (Kate).

Going to Rite Aid felt like NORDSTROM after 6 weeks of shopping for diaper powder online. I got makeup remover pads (for the 1 day a week I wear makeup), floss (2 for $10-WHAT!?), birthday cards, gift certificates (for gifts), the blue polish (Instagram), and 2 scoops of bad/good ice cream.

After coming home from little stints at sea when I was in the Navy I would often get takeout sushi to eat alone on the floor of the apartment where I lived alone. There’s no sitting on the floor nor much alone time on a ship. It was my piece of heaven, including antiperspirant.

Have you ever been away from some creature comforts for a bit? What was the first thing you wanted?