Happy Lunar New Year! Year of the Horse!

VK Tet Card 2014

Yay! The new year is here and I get to debut my kid’s Tết card. Tết = Vietnamese Lunar New Year! I look forward to taking these photos of the kids in their traditional Vietnamese outfits every year.  I also got some brand spankin’ new lucky $2 dollar bills and cute Hello Kitty lucky envelopes to hand out this year!

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Today we will celebrate by going to the temple, sending some prayers to our ancestors, visiting with family and all around just being grateful for what we have. We wish for happiness, good health and prosperity to those around us. Hello 2014! Bring on the Horse!

Here are some throwbacks from previous years… *sniff* My how they’ve grown….

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No one warned me of FEISTY FOURS

I’m at a point where I can almost say that I despise the age of 4. What people vent about in the terrible two’s apparently multiplies itself and adds on a vocabulary and an opinion in the feisty four’s. WHY DID NO ONE WARN ME!?!? I was totally unprepared for this. I was expecting it in the twos, which in turn was terrific-twos for us… guess that’s how it caught up to me later. *sigh*

If my daughter ever reads this when she grows up she will know how much a pain in the ass she is right now. For every wonderful moment I shared with her this year, I have two frustrating ones to match.

She turns 5 in about four months. I’m counting down the days and pray that it gets better soon.

I have tried my hardest to be patient and keep my cool. But damn….

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I found an entertaining comparison of the Terrible Twos vs. Feisty Fours. I’ll take 2 over 4 any day!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Juxtaposition

Omg. I’m only 4 weeks into the Weekly Photo Challenge from the Daily Post and this week totally stumped me. WTH is Juxtaposition?  I have never heard of the word nor can I even can I pronounce it at first glance.

So it’s the concept of contrasting things next to each other. I really like to try and take new pictures over the weekend just for the purpose of the challenge topic. But if a prior photo suits the topic, then I’m all for it as well. It’s more about whatever image is selected for the challenge interpretation right?

So I thought and thought about this one. And I thought hard. Maybe too hard. Again, my habit of often making things more difficult than they need to be. It ultimately dawned on me that last week when I was on a photoshoot,  the perfect juxtaposition photo was taken!!!!

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Our portfolio has a few similar images of kissing couples next to moving vehicles. It never gets old. I personally think every pair of lovers need a photo like this. Definitely timeless. I just love it because it kinda resembles how two people in love can be engulfed in each other…tunnel – visioned for each other….As the rest of the world keeps moving around them.

Here’s another one from a pair of lovers last year…. ❤

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Maternity Photography: Belly + Balloons!

Happy Endings Photography had a maternity session last week and the theme was sooo cute! The couple aren’t finding out the gender of the baby until delivery, so the pink and blue GIANT balloons were perfect.

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L-O-V-E : Pinterest inspired

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At first this mama wasn’t going to go bare belly, but in the end I’m sure she’s glad she did! These pictures turned out fantastic. So serene…

Gaby Storyboard

Schedule Series: 5 Months (and Toddler)

 

 

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Here’s the sample daily schedule for a 5 month old. You can see it didn’t vary too much between my son and my daughter. On the combined schedule (once there were two kids) you can sneak peek the Toddler schedule that my oldest was on, and what was left of the pumping schedule.

Liebster Award

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Thank you Tina at http://tinapumfrey.com/  for the Liebster Award nomination! I’m honored and happy to accept! What a great way to discover fresh and exciting new blogs.  P.S. If you are wondering as to how this award originated, click here.

Upon accepting the Liebster Award, there are a few rules that need to be followed:

Link back the blogger that tagged you
Nominate ten others and answer the questions of the one who tagged you
Ask ten questions for the bloggers you nominate
Let your nominees know of their award

My responses to Tina’s 10 questions:

1. What book that you’ve recently read has made the greatest impression on you?  – Sadly, I haven’t read a book in a long time. Although! I read a lot of children’s books because of my little ones. I guess that counts. So I would say, “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” by Dr.Seuss. I actually just got this book for my daughter because I saw this cool idea on Pinterest to have it signed by all of her teachers between now and high school graduation.

2. What is your favourite song (of all time, or just for now), and why?  Too may favorite songs! But right now, one that I am in love with: Rascal Flatt’s “My Wish”   The lyrics are are just beautiful and really encompasses all the hopes and dreams that I have for my children.

3. Do you have any pets? – I did. 😦 I had the cutest pomeranian princess. But she passed away Feb 2013.

4. What’s your favourite home-cooked meal?  – I love my mom’s Bun Rieu. Its a Vietnamese seafood soup. sooo yummy, especially on a cold day.

5. If you could spend one week in a city (or other place) of your choice, where would you go and why?  – I’d be back in Amsterdam in a heartbeat! I absolutely love the the culture and the vibe of that city. So laid back and eclectic. I just feel right at home whenever I’m there.

6. What’s the best thing about your neighbourhood? – Best thing about  my neighborhood is that its quiet and central. Great place to raise kids, good schools, access to multiple freeways. I’m never leaving!

7. What’s your least-favourite household chore? – Hmmm. I don’t like household chores anyhow, but my least favorite? – I’d say vacuuming. Its loud and cumbersome to drag the vacuum around.

8. What’s your favourite place to go when you need to recharge spiritually?  – I guess there is a difference between recharging spiritually and simply recharging. Spiritually, I don’t really think that I spend enough time doing so. I can barely control my brain enough to meditate, sad to say. To simply recharge, my favorite place to go is to SLEEP!

9. If you were allowed to catch a glimpse of where you might be ten years from now, would you want to? Why or why not? – YES! I would! Because I’m a neurotic planner and if I had any clue as to where I would be ten years from now, then perhaps I could make it a smoother route to get there!

10.  What motivates you to keep posting on your blog?  – My stats.

My 10  nominations: (I’ve opted to nominate 4)

http://bridalstopgirl.com/

http://mamasandmanicures.com/

http://secretsofacontrolfreak.wordpress.com/

http://brownlife247.wordpress.com/

My 10 questions for the nominees:

1. Is the glass half empty or half full?

2. If you could meet with one person who passed away already, who would that be and why?

3. If you had to disconnect yourself from cell phones, computers, and internet for ONE day, what would you be doing instead?

4. What advice would you give your 23-year-old self?

5. What app can you not live without on your phone and why?

6. What website (besides WordPress) do you log into religiously every day and why?

7. What are your thoughts on destiny? Does it exist? Is there only one “end point” we are all meant to reach?

8. What is the first thought that comes to your mind when you hear the word “love”?

9. Who was the first person you spoke to today and what did you say to them?

10. What is the very last thing you do before you fall asleep every night?

Have fun with the questions! Pretty random, but thats the way I like them!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Family

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This week’s challenge from The Daily Post was FAMILY. This word can be described in so many different ways. It goes beyond simply being “related”. In my opinion its all about bond. I think there are also many different levels of it as well. Some of us find a familial sense in our co-workers, or sorority, or group of friends at school. Whatever the circumstances are, those are people you feel you can call upon, confide in, and feel connected to.

My photo this week was taken years ago for a family photo session. My first thought for this challenge went to this picture. Mostly because I love the stick-figures in the sand and then the family in the background, walking off in the distance hand in hand. Who knows what their journey will take them towards, but the important part is that they have each other in moving forward.

20 Random Facts About Myself

This was written with the intention of leaving a place for my children to learn more about me. It belongs to a much larger collection of posts located here.

1) I hate sweating.

2) I can’t work any earlier than 9am. not functional.

3) Cupcakes for breakfast is not a bad thing.

4) I have 360’d on the freeway twice in my life… and no, I was NOT under any influence.

5) I have an associates degree, bachelors degree, masters degree and a doctorate. It only took me 9 years.

6) I am a hustler at heart. Always doing something. At most, I think I was working 5 part-time jobs plus 50% stay-at-home-mom. damn.

7) I went to Amsterdam five years in a row from 2003-2007 and still know the city like the back of my hand. I miss that place.

8) It took me 5 years to finally ‘start’ to carve on my snowboard. sorry. slow physical learner.

9) When I was 17, my car got shot up because some biotch had mistaken me for somebody else. geesh. You’d think people would get their facts straight before they go drive-by on people!

10) In high school I used to get straight A’s in all my academic classes, but practically fail P.E. Did I mention that I don’t like to sweat and I’m not physical?

11) I make an annual slideshow every year to highlight my life. Started in 2004.

12) I worked at Burger King in 1995/1996 and made a whopping $4.25 an hour.

13) I’m a night owl. Even if I’m tired all day long, I can easily get consumed in something and be up til 1am.

14) I had my first epiphany when I was 23.

15) I got my first tattoo when I was 15, my second when I was 16, my third when I was 17. Then I took a break and got my tongue pierced at 18, belly pierced at 19…. Then…. I went on to get my 3 more tattoos and a couple touch ups in the years after that. #7 was done in 2008 in honor of my late great grandfather. While in Amsterdam in 2010 I got my daughter’s initial then in 2012 got my son’s. I added 3 new ones the year I was living my 33.33% life crisis. can we say ‘addicting’??

16) I’m a hopeless romantic. Sucker for all those unrealistic chick flick movies.

17) I cannot eat ANYTHING spicy. zero tolerance. (not even Jack in The Box tacos. I know – weak am I.)

18) I once took a shot of hennessey for breakfast in 9th grade… by the time I got to 1st period, I passed out in class. Fortunately, the teacher was an idiot and she thought I was just mal-nutritioned, so she gave me an apple and told me to eat.

19) I am a major PLANNER. Highly organized. Stick with me, and things will get done.

20) I’m 5’1″ and I swear I have been this tall since middle school. I stopped growing a loooong time ago.

30 Things My Kids Should Know About Me

I first saw this idea from Life as I Know it. I further saw that it originated from Baby Making Machine. As I’m already here documenting all sorts of things… why not also house things that not only allow my children to get to know me better, but forces me to reflect on myself. I like that. So here is my “Post of Posts” (with some different adaptations of my own). I will link back to this list as I get these posts completed. In the future, I’ll probably get a good kick out of reading about myself from my mid-30’s. eek. Did I just publicly say mid-30’s?

Thirty Things My Kids Should Know About Me

1. 20 Random Facts about myself
2. Describe 3 legitimate fears and how they came about
3. Describe my relationship with my mother
4. The 10 things that make me most happy, right now
5. If I had 3 wishes…..
6. My dream job
7. Five things I am passionate about
8. Ten people who have influenced me
9. Embarrassing moments
10. Pet peeves
11. A typical day in the life
12. The hardest part of growing up
13. Weaknesses and strengths
14. How do you know someone is “the one”
15. My 5 greatest accomplishments
16. What I wish I were great at
17. If I had to regret one thing
18. How I felt the moment I became a parent
19. Describe my relationship with my father
20. What school has done for me
21. Parenthood: 5 likes and dislikes
22. My experience with having a sibling
23. What my first paid job did for me
24. Hopes and dreams for my children
25. Ten things I want to be remembered for
26. My favorite things about me
27. Best advice I ever received
28. Best advice I can give
29. Where to go from here
30. What faith can do