Thursday, September 27, 2012

To my 20s

Originally stolen from this friend here:

Dear 20s,

Wow! I can't believe I'm writing this letter and sending you off on a fare-thee-well of your own.  It's been amazing to look back and remember the love, laughter, sadness, and life that you gave to me.  When I endured my teen years, I think I can say I did some growing but it was mostly physical and I didn't quite know who I was or who I wanted to be so mostly I thrived in my teens because I had loving arms around me to guide me through those years.

But you, my 20s, my wonderful, beautiful 20s.  You were the first years that I really ventured out and made decisions for myself.  You were full and abundant and the perfect gift from the perfect One who knew I would need all the ups and downs you had to offer.

I learned so much about myself.  I learned that guys make good friends but its better to have girls be your best friend.  I learned that I enjoy life more when I am sharing it with someone~ preferably over a cup of something warm and delicious.  I learned that passion for a place or people is a good thing but passion for Christ no matter where you are is even better!  I learned that I love ice cream more than any other food on this planet and if I could eat it by the gallon tub, I would with no shame!  I learned that mountains are hard to climb but they are always worth the view at the top. Always.  I learned that sometimes friends and family push you but that's because they love you, believe in you, and are with you.  I learned that sometimes friends come and go in and out of your life for seasons at a time but that doesn't mean I love them or they me any less.

I learned to love. I learned loss.  I learned not to throw myself into just any old relationship but to wait for a man to pursue. And he did.  I learned that love is scary but it's good.  I learned that introverts still like people, they just express their love for people differently.  I learned to take criticism and to be hurt but to love that person who was doing their best.

I learned that I'll probably always prefer jeans and my Iowa sweats from freshmen year and that's okay. I learned that carbs are bad, no wait, they're good. No wait, they're bad. No wait, they're good. No, wait... I learned that everything we eat is made from corn and that dolphins are being tortured in other parts of the world.  I learned that I don't really like documentaries because I end up caring too much about things I'm not sure I want to "stake my flag on the hillside" for. I learned what I do want to stake my flag in and how to let others have their own hillsides.  I learned to love them anyway cause they love me anyway!

I learned to live in another country.  I learned how to take embarrassment and shake it from my shoulders.  I learned that smiling often communicates more than words. I learned that you can love people like family even when they're not technically family.  I learned to cook Korean.  I learned discomfort. I learned that friendships take work and need to be occasionally "brought into the light" to be checked up on.  I learned to celebrate other's successes and be excited for the things that you wish you had yourself.  I learned to snowboard!

I learned to feel lonely.  I learned that I hate death and all that it entails.  I learned that family is important to me and the passing on of what we have with each other to those who come after us.  I learned I am blessed to be a blessing.  I learned that I love sitting around kitchen tables sharing stories and memories.  I learned I love to bake.  I learned that when you're 20 you think you have all the time in the world and nothing bad will ever happen.  But then something happens and you realize, sadly, that life is fleeting.  I learned though, that sadness is not the end.  That depression happens but so does joy!  I learned to be depressed and to be scared but not to give up.

I learned that at the first sound of someone's voice you could immediately feel both love & fear.  I learned that some women are gifted with natural mothering instincts and some are grown into their mothering, neither one is better or worse and your baby (babies) won't know that you cried for the first six months of their lives.  Probably when they're old enough to understand that, they'll love you so much they won't care except that you were sad.

I learned that I am often times loud, I say the wrong thing, and I laugh at my own jokes but I'm comfortable with that, because that is who I am and I happen to like who I am.  I don't think I could have said that at 20 but it's a new thing God is doing and I like it.

Oh, 20s. I'm such a sap that when I woke up yesterday and knew it was my last day in my 20s, I felt sad.  Sad to be leaving you.  You've been better to me than a friend.  You've been teacher, healer, giver, and life to me.  I couldn't imagine life without my 20s.

And guess what? I'm not leaving you behind. You happen to be coming along with me as I start romancing my 30s.  I hope you'll be a good friend to my 30s and remind my 30s not to let me be too serious about things.  Growing up is good for some people but for me & you, 20s, we gotta stay young, wild and free.  None of this settling down for too long, okay? You tell my 30s that we like having adventures!

So long for now 20s. Thanks for all the memories!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

30 Random Acts of Wha?!?!

I'm turning the big 3-0 tomorrow.  I'm not sure how to feel. I remember when I was a little girl and my friends' sister turned 16 and I thought 16 was so old and mature... and then my brother turned 21 and 21 was so old.  And little bit by little bit I joined the "old and mature" and didn't feel any differently. When I was 16, I didn't feel like how I had pictured 16 to feel.  And the same with 21, 25, etc.  So when I think of turning 30 I just don't know how to feel or act for that matter.  Am I supposed to dress differently? Be more mature or act a certain way? Because I haven't done any super changing in my demeanor.  I feel, act and lets admit still dress like I did at 21, 25 and 27.

One of the things I wanted to do was chronicle 30 random acts of kindness celebrating 30 years of life. I thought I'd take all of September to do good deeds around my neighborhood and community, celebrating my birthday each day before the big day.

And then I realized something about myself.... just because I was doing these awesome kind things to people, it wasn't necessarily making me kinder.  It was just making me prouder of myself and my accomplishments.  I started making a list of how kind I was and then *poof* I had one of the worst mother/wife/joanna days in my life and I was super unkind and black hearted and seriously almost yelled at a woman in Costco.  No, that's not an exaggeration. I. Almost. Yelled (out loud!). At. Her.  It was the cherry on top of a bad sundae and it took all my strength to turn around and walk away from her.

I'd like to tell you what she did and justify myself but here's the thing~ she didn't deserve it.  Even if "she did" in my eyes.  No one deserves to be publicly (or even privately) belittled.

So I scrapped my idea of 30 random acts of kindness.  I think it's good for people to try to accomplish and even this lady here and her blog about helping people which inspired me in the first place, it's great for them to do it and to post about it because I believe their hearts are in the right place.  But I was being kind with the praises in mind.

So I am going to go stealth mode on being kind and work on my motivations and heart instead of working on doing noticeably good deeds.  And just FYI~ this is mostly for me. I'm not good at doing things "behind the curtain" so if you are than I admire you for that.  I prefer to be the star of my show, the solo act.

But now I see that focusing on the random acts themselves doesn't necessarily change who I am.  Instead I need to focus on my heart within and hope that by changing my heart out of that will overflow kindness and goodness.

So here's to my 30s. Lord willing, years and years of random acts of kindness so random even I'm not aware I'm doing them.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

five years ago

Five years ago I said "yes" to this handsome man (to date and get to know a bit better) and it's been an awesome adventure ever since.  Such fun memories have been and are waiting to be made.  I love you Hubs and am so glad you didn't want to be "just friends" even though I am pretty sure that's what you said on the phone... oh, miscommunication. You silly beast.
Hubs, you've been such a faithful and loving "boyfriend" from that day way back when.  Thanks for loving me like Christ loves the church, putting up with my shenanigans and listening to me when "I just need to talk"... You're the best!
I love you!

And I miss my lip ring. :(

Saturday, September 15, 2012

a picnic of sorts

Dang gina it's hot in California.  I'm trying my hardest not to complain because seriously, this weather makes me teary eyed!! It's hotter than hot in our apartment (no ac) and just miserable for the girls and I when we're at home.

When we get the chance to head out, I literally thank the good Lord for the library and other places that have AC.  Thank you Jesus!!

Today to make a hot day at home less miserable and more fun I decided to throw the rule book out the window (who am I kidding, I rarely follow by the rules, anyway!) and have a "picnic" in front of the fans. :)

 This is our picnic... oatmeal & peas.  Two of my girls' favorites, no joke!
When I do "picnics" like this it usually ends up being me... alone on the blanket while the Love Bugs play and drop by for little nibbles every so often.  I actually don't mind and I'm not in a hurry cause I have the fan pointed right at me.  So I know that even though the temperature makes me crabby, if I can just stay cool inside and out, I'll be a better mommy for my Love Bugs.  And who cares anyway, if they're in their seats. 

 my view. "Come here little buddy! I got yummy food for you!"

"all by myseeeeelf, don't wanna be... allll by myself anymore!"

....maybe it's the music that's keeping them away? 

Well, at least they're eating. Sort of picnics can be fun on sweltering summer/fall days!

Friday, September 07, 2012


 Sooo I think I may have to get some play accessories...

 cause diapers, even clean ones can only do so much...


 Li Li

 num, num, num

See Mama? Aren't I pretty?