Monday, May 16, 2016

Sweet Surprises...

Have you ever had those moments with your kids where they totally surprised you by the way they acted or maybe something they did? It could be random acts of kindness they showed to another kid/ you or even something like swimming the length of the pool by themselves. It's in those moments where as a parent, you feel proud, excited, amazed, and yet a little sad all at the same time because it's a realization that "Wow, my child is growing up..."  And so folks, this post is about that...a moment that I am so grateful to have had with my oldest daughter J.

So one of the perks of being a SAHM with 2 toddlers is that you get to take them to fun places during the week! I really love taking my girls out and doing things together. For example, we've done mini hikes, go to the beach, walking the mall, going to the park, going to Children's Discovery Museums, etc. You get the idea. The things we do doesn't have to be extravagant because really it's about the experience and the time we spend together! So one of our favorite places right now is Happy Hollow Park! If you haven't been there, it's a great place for kids under the age of 5. It has a farm, a mini zoo, rides, several playgrounds, and lots of green space for kids to just run around!

J and M on the Mini Putt Putt car ride at HH

This past Thursday, the girls and I went with our friend and her 2 kids to Happy Hollow. We've been to Happy Hollow (HH) so many times I've lost count. Anyways, the girls are pretty familiar with the rides and what to expect at the HH. The favorite thing right now for them are the rides. However, there are rides where you have to be a certain height to ride it with an adult or by yourself. My oldest daughter J has gone on all the rides at the HH except for the Pacific Fruit Express Family Roller Coaster. Yes..the roller coaster! I can't even remember the last time I rode a roller coaster! Anyways, to go on this ride with an adult, you have to be a minimum of 36 inches tall. Well, J is definitely taller than 36 inches and so now it was a matter of whether she would want to try this ride.

Pacific Fruit Express Family Roller Coaster

The last time we were at HH, it was  about 2 months ago and I had asked if she wanted to try the roller coaster and she gave me a definite NO. So, this time, I asked her again and she said no again. I left it at that. Well, during our picnic lunch, we sat by the roller coaster and watched other people ride it. She was still a little hesitant and scared as she watched the roller coaster. Then one of her friends went on the ride with her mom, we stood by the fence to watch the ride and I watched as J, her sister and friend cheered, clapped, and laughed while watching the roller coaster go by. It was the most cutest and precious scene.

J, little sister and friend watching and waving as the roller coaster goes by
This is when I asked J if she wanted to go. Her friend was totally encouraging her by saying "You can do it, It's fun!" Well lo and behold...she said YES! Say what?!! Oh my goodness.. now I was the one that was scared for her because I really didn't know how she would react once we were on the ride.

Here we are! Right before the roller coaster ride starts!! She's still smiling! did she do on her first roller coaster ride? See for yourself! Check it out below!

Yes my girl did it! I was super proud of her because it took a lot of courage. She was one brave chica! I was one happy mama and yet sad because my little girl is growing up. BUT..she's learning to become a brave and courageous girl who is willing to try new things and for that..I am PROUD of her. This was the biggest and best Sweet Surpriseof the day!

Monday, May 9, 2016


Hope everyone had a wonderful Mother's Day yesterday! It was a great weekend of celebration and relaxation in our family. We are fortunate enough to live close to both my mother and mother in-law to be able to celebrate with both of them this past weekend. Growing up and celebrating Mother's Day has always been just like any other day of saying "thank you" to my mother for being my mom. I don't think I ever understood the importance of celebrating my mom and what it truly meant to be a mother until I myself became a mom.

Motherhood...there are so many words and feelings that stir inside when I think about what it means to be a mom. I'm no veteran to motherhood because I've only just begun, like 3.5 yrs. ago but in this short beginning so far, I've come to appreciate my mom so much more than ever before and realize that being a mother is the most difficult and joyous thing ever!

You see, I realize that as moms, we put so much of ourselves into being the best moms we can be for our kids. We sometimes have high expectations for ourselves and we can be our own worst critics, which is so true for me. We try the best that we can with what we have.

Lately, I've been finding inspiration and encouragement through my conversations with fellow moms around me and reading words written by other blogger moms. I wanted to share with you two of the blogs that I read this past week that gave me encouragement as a mother.

First, I loved reading Joanna Gaines' letter to moms. (If you haven't read her blog or seen her "Fixer Upper" show on HGTV, you have to check it out!) I loved her honesty and her words of encouragement in what she wrote. I loved the main points that she wrote about the different facets of motherhood: You are enough. Taking the time. The littlest things. After reading her letter to moms, all I could say out loud was "Amen sista!" Such an inspiration and a great reminder for me as a mom. I highly recommend reading what Joanna Gaines wrote!

Second, I loved reading the Small Seed blog post about "Embracing Grace in Motherhood: Ruth Simons". Several mom friends introduced me to Ruth Simons and her wonderful scriptural artwork that she posts on Instagram (@gracelaced). However, what's even more powerful and inspirational are her words in her blog. In this Small Seed blog post, I really loved the main points about embracing grace in motherhood: When we are serving our family, we are serving Christ. Get rid of the checklist. With God all things are possible. We become stronger as we rely on the strength of the Lord. Can I just say that I am so thankful for all these words of wisdom and inspiration!

It's hard to remember all these things when you're in the midst of a toddler tantrum or cleaning up poo smeared all over the crib. Yes, motherhood is hard and trying at times but it is the best gift that God has given me.  I'm trying my best to enjoy every moment of it because truth is, my two little girls are growing up and I (and my hubby) feel it's happening so fast. So on that note my friends...I leave you with this video and song by Nichole Nordeman "Slow Down".  It encapsulates the joys of being a mother and parent as well as the heartache of seeing your kids grow up right in front of you. **Disclaimer: you're gonna need a tissue or two. Thanks to my hubby Dave for sending this to me.** 

Monday, April 25, 2016

A new chapter..for now..

Hello again! It's been awhile since I've blogged. I think it's been since January since my last blog update? Wow, time sure flies by because we are in the end of April already! A lot has happened since I've blogged. I'm not sure who reads this blog but this blog is really an outlet for me to share my thoughts, things I like to do, and record my memories with friends and family. I guess in the grand scheme of things, this blog is like my little time capsule of my life. So, if you've been with me since the beginning when I started (like just last year), thanks for sticking with me. And if you've just started reading, welcome!

I plan on posting blogs once a week on Mondays to keep my blog fresh and alive. I realized that if I didn't have a set time to blog, it would be put to the wayside and I really enjoy sharing my thoughts in writing. 

So, what's happened since January? Well, the biggest change is....I've resigned from my job as a teacher after teaching for 10 years! Say what?! Those of you who've known me for a long time, my passion is teaching and kids. Yes, teaching has its pros and cons but overall, I truly love it. Well, I wanted to share my reasons/thoughts for resigning at this point in my career and what's next for me and my family.

Why did you decide to resign now?
This past 2016-2017 school year, I was on a leave of absence from teaching to stay at home with my two little girls. This means, that I am still an employee of the school district but on sabbatical leave without pay. Before the 2016-2017 school year ends, I can decide to return or resign. I decided to resign. 

I love being at home with my two little girls and spending time with them. A lot of you told me that it will be the best decision that I will have made as a mom and one that I won't regret. You guys have been totally right. I realize that time is precious and making memories with my two little girls while being a SAHM (stay at home mom) is the best gift to them and myself.

Also, while working full time last year, I really struggled with being the best wife, mom, and teacher all at the same time. Sure, I did it, it was a busy/crazy school year, and I know that I can be a full-time working mom. However, when I had the choice to be a SAHM with my kids, I couldn't pass up the chance. Family first.
Do you miss teaching?
Yes I absolutely miss teaching! As I mentioned above I know that teaching has its pros and cons but overall, I love teaching! I miss being with students and the joy/fun of teaching them. I miss all the different conversations and stories that I would hear everyday in the classroom from my students. Oddly enough, I miss lesson planning (who would have thought!) because it was always fun looking for new and creative ways to teach a concept. Yes, call me nerdy and my teacher friends might just be laughing at me but when I left we had just gotten into this whole project-based learning and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) teaching and I was excited to try something new even though it meant more time prepping/planning. 

The BIGGEST thing that I missed this year while being at home was my colleagues/friends! I have to put a shout out and some love to them (Cumberland Elementary..wassup!!) because truly they have known me for awhile (10 years!) and have seen me grow not just as a teacher but also as an individual. They've been like a second family to me this past decade. I have learned so much from everyone and love teaching even more because of my time spent with them. I have so many great memories but most of all, I miss laughing and chatting with everyone. Yes, laughter...there was always something to laugh about because there was always something funny or crazy that happens in the classroom or around school. Here are just a few pics I quickly found in my files (just a snippet of the awesome people at Cumberland). Thanks for the memories and hope to stay in touch with these fabulous people!

Do you plan on returning to teaching?
Yes! I'm not sure when I'll be returning but I'm just going to enjoy this next upcoming school year 2017-2018 being a SAHM again to my two little girls. I have to be honest though, I am worried about finding a job when I want to return. I guess that's just natural because I haven't applied for a teaching job in 10 years! I just have to have faith that God will provide.

So that basically sums it up folks! I realize here in the Silicon Valley, it truly is a blessing and a privilege to be able to be a SAHM because guys, living here is super $$$$$.

A huge THANK YOU to my wonderful supportive husband who's making it possible for me to have this time at home with our little girls.

Last of all and for the record..being a working mom (WM) and a SAHM is NO JOKE! No matter what, each situation has its own difficulties and blessings. ;) 

Saturday, December 26, 2015


Christmas day 2015 has come and gone. It's midnight now here in Oceanside, CA and I'm sitting in the living room of the beach house our family rented for our reunion, watching and listening to the waves of the ocean. There's something soothing about watching and listening to the ocean waves. It helps me reflect on my thoughts from the day.

And so tonight..I'm reflecting on the "Family". It's such a broad subject but here's what I've been reflecting on during the holiday season where you spend a lot of time with family. So as much as I love starting new traditions during the holiday season, I'm realizing that I want my girls to have a solid understanding of what family is. Here are some of my reflections. Please note these are not observations of what is occurring in my family. 

1. God orchestrated the family you are in. I know that sometimes it's not all hunky dorey  amongst ALL family members ALL the time (and if it is, I'd love to know how your family does it!). Hurt feelings, opinions, criticisms, pessimism, judgements, drama, the list could go on and on about all the negative things that occur within a family unit. And this all happens because we're all human and it's just plain hard to always "get along" and be "peaceful". is family and sometimes I just wish that the "truth" can be spoken in love and received with love so that we can live life together as a family that builds each other up and not puts each other down. 

2. Expectations in a family can sometimes be helpful but also hurtful. Sometimes, it's great to have expectations or some people might say "hopes" for people in the family because you want the best for them or for them to reach their highest potential. But sometimes, these expectations can end up being hurtful when the person in the family doesn't live up to the expectations. I hope that instead of having expectations, we have a heart of grace and mercy for others in the family, building each other up with encouragement. 

3. Give thanks for the people for in your Family. I am very thankful for my family (this includes my own family, my immediate family, extended family, inlaw family, and extended inlaw family). I know that we are all not perfect human beings but these are the people who will always be a part of your life (whether you haven't spoken to them in awhile or seen them). Family is FAMILY...period. It is a blessing to be part of family. 

4. My hopes for my own 2 girls and their understanding of what family is. This list is a work in progress but this is what I desire for my girls as of now... 
  • Instead of judgement and criticism, we extend grace to each other in any circumstance,
  • We give thanks for each other.
  • Family is your earthly foundation that God placed in your life. Appreciate the people in your family and love them.
  • Speak truth to each other in love and mercy and receive the words with love.
  • Family will always be there for you. Cheering you on, listening to you, and loving you.
  • We build each other up with words of blessing and encouragement.
And so as the holiday season is winding down soon, I hope that you have had time to spend time with your family and enjoying each moment. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Thoughts on being a SAHM

I really can't believe 2015 is almost over. I feel like as I get older, time seems to fly by even faster. It's late at night, the house is quiet and  I'm sitting here reflecting on this past year. A lot has changed and sometimes I am in disbelief at how much has changed. The biggest change this year was taking a leave from my teaching job to be a SAHM (Stay at home mom). Say what?! Who would have thought I would leave teaching (which I really do love!) to stay at home with my 2 little girls? I distinctly remember telling my friends that I would NEVER be a SAHM because I didn't think I would have it in me to be one nor would I like it. Well....let's just say that was 10 years ago and waaay before I had kids. So, now it's been 6 months since I left teaching to be a SAHM. So this begs the question: what do I think about this new gig of being a SAHM?

Here are a few things that I love and things I struggle with as a SAHM. I'll start with the things I love first (always start with the positive!)
1) I love being able to spend time with my girls. Even though I love routines and schedules, there are days where we just lounge around at home and just play or do a random outing to a park/zoo/etc. just the 3 of us. 

2) I love having the energy and time to spend on taking care of things related to our family and house. This includes chores, cooking, random errands, etc.

3) I love having energy and time to spend with Dave and our friends (ie. Tuesday playgroup, other playdates, dinners, get-togethers, etc.).

Things I struggle with as a SAHM cuz I gotta tell you, there are days when the STRUGGLE is REAL!  ("I'm just sayin" as one of my friends would say) Being a SAHM is the hardest job I've ever had!

1) I struggle with feeling appreciated. This is the biggest struggle of all because there are those days where all you hear are 2 little girls whining, complaining, or yelling at you. This is when it's hard to feel like all the effort, patience, and love you've poured out is appreciated by them. There's definitely no one patting me on the back saying "great job momma for handling that meltdown or tantrum with grace and love". 

2) I struggle with having patience because there are days when "I've had enough". PERIOD

3) I struggle with taking a step back and finding joy and appreciation for the little things that happen throughout the day. 

So despite my struggles..and when I take a step back to look at the bigger picture, I truly am grateful to have the opportunity to be a SAHM. It definitely is a blessing that I am able to spend this time at home with the girls. I do miss teaching and the students and do hope to return to that again soon. But in the meantime, family and being the best mom I can be for my girls and the best wife for Dave is my priority and I'm loving it!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Picture Book Preview #3

Happy Monday everyone or should I say..hope Monday wasn't too bad for everyone? Mondays always seem hard no matter what and as for my 3 yr old, Monday mornings are a difficult time transitioning back into the week routine of preschool. So, I've been reading this book to help her identify and understand her emotions she has. This book was a gift from her uncle and I absolutely love it!

In My Heart: A Book of Feelings  by Jo Witek is a wonderful book that introduces children to the different feelings their hearts can have. It explains what angry feels like, what silliness is like, what it means to be scared, etc. The illustrations are super cute and colorful and I love how they illustrate each feeling. 
This book would make a great gift for any child at any age! =) I definitely give this a thumbs up and a must-have to read with kids! 

Friday, September 25, 2015

Picture Book Preview #2

Happy Friday everyone! TGIF! Thanks to all of you who are reading the blog and commenting on FB about it. I really appreciate it!

So, welcome back to Picture Book Preview #2. This next book is another great find from Powell's Books in Portland. Isn't the cover so cute?

The Wonderful Things You Will Be is written by Emily Winfield Martin, who is from Portland. What I love about this story is that it's written from the perspective of the parents and it portrays all the dreams and hopes a parent would have for their child as they grow up. What's even better is that these hopes are all about how the child will build his/her character. Example: "And the bigger your heart, the more it will hold." Then of course the best part is the end when the parent says "..And I'll love you, Whoever you've grown up to be." *sniff sniff* Seriously..what an awesome book! It's short and so sweet. I've been reading this book everyday to my girls! It's one of those books that you'd want to save until your kids grow up and keep as a memento. Here's an idea (a spinoff from one of my close church friend Mere): She has been having all caretakers and people that are involved in her daughter's life sign a special book, which for her is Oh, the Places You'll Go by Dr. Seuss. You could do that with this book OR you can have your child tell you each year of their life one characteristic about themselves that they like and then write it in the book with the date and age. For example, if I were to ask my 3 yr. old, "Are you brave, strong, or kind? I think she might say "brave", but that's my guess. Then I'd write it in the book on one of the blank pages, date it, and write her age. As she gets older, I'd ask her to write it herself. Now, with my 1.5 yr. old, I'd probably do the same either with this book or with another book. Hmmm..something to think about! =) Hope you enjoyed this Picture Book Preview #2! Thanks for reading and stay tuned for Picture Book Preview #3 next week on Monday!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Picture Book Preview #1

As some of you might know, I love children picture books! It's a good thing I'm a teacher because I get to read some great picture books everyday to my students. =) Well, since I'm not teaching this year and staying at home with my girls,  I have my great collection of picture books from my classroom to read to them. However, I am always on the lookout for new books to add to my growing library! I could spend hours just reading and perusing through the children book section in a bookstore or even the library.

Nowadays, with my 3 year old, I've been looking for books that help build her self-esteem, character, and teach her life lessons. I really love stories where there is a life lesson to be learned from the plot or character and stories that just are plain encouraging and uplifting for the heart and soul! I'll be sharing one book at home in the next 3 blog posts. So stay tuned!

So, without further ado, here is one of my favorite picture books right now that I've been reading with my girls.

I discovered this picture book What Do You Do With An Idea? at Powell's Books in Portland while on a girls weekend trip. If you haven't been to this AMAZING bookstore in Portland, be sure to check it out! It's like a candy store for book lovers! =) I love this story because it's about this little boy who has an "idea". The author and illustrator portrays this "idea" as a type of thing (the little golden "egg" character) which I absolutely adore! It gives kids a great visual that an "idea" is like a living thing because an idea is brought to life in our minds! So the story takes the reader through the little boy's thoughts and feelings  about his "idea". He doesn't know what to do with his "idea" when it first popped into his life and wanted to it to go away but the "idea" kept following him around wanting attention and love. Then the story continues with the boy's acceptance of his "idea" and realizing that it's HIS "idea" and he's going to take care of it. He shares his "idea" with people around him and some like it and some don't. The boy learns that it's okay that some people don't like his "idea" because after all it's HIS idea and he's going to keep it around! In the end, the boy realizes that his "idea" can change the world! 

What an amazing and encouraging story that teaches kids that their ideas are meaningful. I also really love how the author portrays not just the positive things but also the difficult things that a person would encounter when they have an "idea" and want to share the "idea". In addition, I thought the illustrations perfectly portrayed the storyline. It's hard to explain it in words so you'll just have to get the book! =) I promise, it's a keeper that everyone in the family (young and old) will enjoy! Feel free to leave comments on what you think of this post and if you have any suggestions of new or old picture books that you love! I always love hearing picture book reccommendations! Stay tuned for another picture book suggestion coming out this Friday!

Friday, June 19, 2015

A New Chapter..

I've been a teacher for the past 10 years and I have loved every minute of it! Teaching is truly a passion of mine and even though there are some "rough" days, I still enjoy it in the end with all the laughter everyday and the funny student stories that I'll have for a lifetime!

If you were to have asked me 10 years ago if I'd leave teaching, my response would've been "heck no, I'm always going to be working full-time as a teacher, even when I have kids." Okay, fast forward 10 years later. I'm a mom of two little girls and after working full-time this year, I've decided (drum-roll...) to take a "break" from teaching and enter into the world of being a stay-at-home mom (SAHM)! Say whaat?!?! I know, kinda crazy that I'm making this change. Thankfully, I have an awesome supportive husband who has made it possible for me to take a year leave from teaching so that I can try this SAHM business with my cute girls. So, I've packed up my classroom and said my "goodbyes" to the wonderful staff, students and parents that I've known for the past 10 years. Here's a picture of my empty classroom, a full trunk of the mini van, and my "teaching" home for the last decade!

So, a new chapter begins! Stay tuned in for whatever shenanigans I'll be getting into with these little cuties!

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