Tag Archives: friends

Trip to Florida

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Manju & Shivank

Totally forgot that I had photos to post from my trip to Florida. I visited a couple friends in Gainesville and was able to go to Sarasota to the number 1 rated beach in the US! Siesta Key beach is beautiful (oh and I brought home a sunburn). Was totally bummed my good camera was not fixed in time for my trip so my Canon PowerShot A590 had to come out of storage. We also traveled to Blue Springs, which I think had the most teal blue water I have ever seen. As well as two turtles who were about a foot and a half in diameter.

Blue Springs

Blue Springs

It was an amazing trip and I got to cross off a bucket list item (meeting Shivank for the first time). Clearest teal blue water I've ever seen.

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So Long Time Off

Tomorrow I enter the working world again.  I feel mostly utter excitement however I’ve been reviewing some things I will miss.

1. Waking up at 5am-ish just for the heck of it.  Excited to design the day including visits with friends, time in my yard, extra sun time with my critters, running and walking with Jeremy & Josh, paying it forward….

2. Listening to my dogs.  They love to tell me when there’s something exciting happening at the park (part of our back fence is shared with a small park).  Two of them have been playing hours on end in their kiddie pool and the other two have been sun bathing in the grass and on the deck.  Smiles on their faces, tails wagging, they’ve been the best of friends.  My very own mad dog posse.

3. Talking to my cat Sensei.  She’s a vocal one and loves to chatter back, tell me about her day, and asks me where her sister Katara has gone off to now?  She loves to help on the computer and mostly loves sleeping on the laptop in my office/craft/cat room.

4. Smelling the roses.  My roses have been gorgeous this season.  Mom got me a beautiful crystal lead vase for graduation that has been full of red and salmon colored roses since I got home from the festivities.

5. Photography.  I’ve been having fun with my photography projects, getting to take a little more time to tell a story and add a photo, or add a photo and tell a story.

6. Journaling.  This has been such a helpful tool for me in the past, and something I’ve started doing again.  I’ve been encouraged to follow Lynda Monk, who at one point invited me into a women’s writing workshop that was very beneficial.  I’ve found her journal prompts thought provoking and she encourages social workers (healers, caregivers, etc) to find ways to refuel.  Burn out has been something I strive to continue to address.

7. Focus on health.  I’ve been working out harder, eating healthier, and being more mindful of my body’s aches and pains.  While I know this will be an ongoing pursuit I’m proud to say I’ve lost 26lbs and feel healthier and happier than I’ve felt in a long time.

8. Gratitude.  I love making homemade thank you cards and tis the season to be thankful and show gratitude for all those that have supporting me along the way.  34 years old and lots of lives have touched mine.

9.  Laughter.  Laughing out loud, on the inside, and finding the funny.  Does a body good.

10. Time.  Time for cleaning out the house, donating items, sorting items, and selling items.  Time to breath, eat, and sleep.  Time to think.  And be.IMGP3969


California Road Trip

I made the trek to Los Angeles and back with my Ma for graduation.  What a fantastic time full of family, friends, and fantastic weather.  There was more than 28 hours of total driving with two stops in Sacramento as well as time in Studio City, Pasadena, Upland, as well as Los Angeles.  Here are just a few captures in a very meaningful journey through my birth state.

Path at Aunt Wanda's

Path at Aunt Wanda’s

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Aunt Wanda’s front porch 5/16/13

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IMGP3885USC Shrine Auditorium Ceiling USC Shrine Auditorium Ceiling Graduation Night 5/17/13


Pieces of You

There are those special people in your life that have existed as long as you remember, who have flowed in and out along your life path. SarahLyn was one of those people. I can hear her laughing now, with that twinkle in her eye. She was my favorite person to sing with in the church choir growing up (because no one else in my family sang alto- and she was funny as heck causing my dad all kinds of grief as the choir director); and if she was in a play with my parents I knew we’d be laughing (they could be funny; or making a mess of things).  I later would find myself co-managing a shelter for homeless families and adults with mental illness, something she had done years before. One of the best things she did for me was take me out to lunch once a month-ish for a period of time when my work life and personal life seemed much the same (crisis and chaos). I had added her to a team of people I called my support care team and when times were tough those few years I would start calling them. She provided me with the listening ear, the laughter, and could really meet me where I was (often saying, I remember doing something very similar). Most of all, she genuinely loved me. I was heart broken to find out she had pancreatic cancer and then amazed to hear her journey through cancer treatment. During that same season I found out about her, my cousin Akin was also diagnosed with a re-occurring brain tumor. We lost him first, this February I like to think she joined him.

One of the other many gifts of SarahLyn was her creative and artistic self. I’m comforted knowing I can still find her along my life journey and thank her for always loving me.

Painting by SarahLyn

Painting by SarahLyn


Knitting for Hospice

I’ve had fun knitting the last few months starting with knitting scarves for survivors of Sandy, a baby blanket for Maisy (still working on that one), matching scarves for my sister and me, and recently a scarf for a hospice client I’ve continued to volunteer to visit. I wore the scarf I made when I went to visit the client on hospice and she talked of being cold. I offered to make her a scarf and asked what color she would like. Pink was her choice. Only to find out once I got home I was out of all my pink yarn so I asked my friend Ann if she might have any spare pink yarn for me. I got a yes and promised a picture! So here’s my thank you Ann, for giving me this great yarn to make this scarf that I’m looking forward to handing to my client this week. Hoping its another bit of comfort, to remind this special person she’s thought of. IMGP3705


50 Things You (Likely) Don’t Know About Me

I got this idea from Janine Russell, another blogger I happened across this week (this has been such a fun project).  Going to write this, and then see what inspired photos I might come up with.

50. 12 is my favorite number.  First because I was born on the 12th; second because I like even numbers. (Notice I’m starting with 50 rather than 1?)

49. I once called my dad an animaniac (he had this uncanny ability to collect animals who would mate and make babies).  While I don’t have all the exotic pets he did (turtles, tortoises, goldfish, koi, iguana, chameleons, snakes, guinea pigs, cats, dogs, finches, canaries, parrots, parakeets), I do have way more than I ever imagined (4 dogs, 2 cats, 4 finches).

48. In 8th grade I wanted to be a photojournalist.

47. I’m afraid of heights, although I did learn how to push past it to climb some Mayan ruins in Belize and learned how to rock climb at my local gym.

46. The first movie I cried at was in 3rd grade, Benji the Hunted.

45. Favorite gum?  Orbitz Cinnamint.  I think the first thing I ever shoplifted was Bubbalicious.

44. I like to write down what I do during the day in my calendar after I do it.  So I pencil in future appointments, and when the day comes I fill in the rest of the day.  Sort of like a diary, except I don’t write my feelings down.

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43. In 4th or 5th grade I wrote actor Chris Burke, who played Corky on Life Goes On. He autographed a photo for me. Did you know he is also a folk singer?

42. I just found out how to make a vanilla steamer on Pinterest, it is embarrassingly easy.  Not sure I’ll ever buy one again.

41. Twilight.  I read all the books in a week.  Maybe less. Yeah probably less.

40. I never believed in Santa Clause.  I did like to write the tooth fairy (I knew she was my mom).

40. I never believed in Santa Clause. I did like to write the tooth fairy (I knew the tooth fairy was my mom, AKA Fred).

39. Ex-Collector: I’ve collected slugs, lady bugs, stickers, rocks, shells, stamps, coins, watches, jackets, & hoodies.  I still have a thing for jackets and hoodies however I am much better about donating them when there are too many.

38. I loved pen pals growing up.  Sara was my first pen pal.  I also wrote my cousin Emily, my Aunt Edie, and friend Naomi for many years (and there are plenty of others I wrote).  I still love receiving mail.

37. I used to love racing my dad’s wheelchair around in the garage.  My skills were put to the test in sixth grade when we all were given some obstacles to get through in a wheelchair (and a hospital chair with the awkward arms mind you) and I think only 2 boys beat me.

36. My pretend friends growing up were Jilly, Angie, and Flakey.  I am not sure what the y/ie ending was all about but my favorite doll’s name is Susie.

35. The boy I crushed on for the longest (on and off from 1st grade through high school) broke up with me after 2 weeks, maybe 3.

34. I tease that I’d like to buy our dog Ming a mini goat to herd.  Except I’m kind of not teasing.

33. The first C I ever received was in math in high school.  Thank goodness for a good math teacher like Mr. Hellwege, I was back to As in six months.

32. I used to like Pepsi better but in the last 5 years or so I now favor Coke.

31. My first actor crush was Jared Letto.

30. Turning 12 was a bigger deal than turning 13; turning 20 was more impressive than 21.  See #50.

29. Definitely thought I would have kids by now.  Never thought I’d consider not having kids.

28. I wasn't one to plan my wedding as a little girl.  However once I started planning for my wedding I had all kinds of fun with it.

28. I wasn’t one to plan my wedding as a little girl. However once I started planning for my wedding I had all kinds of fun with it.

27. Cinnamon makes hot chocolate taste so much better.

26. There’s a leak in our ceiling in the bathroom that sprung this week, I’m thankful the water drops are going into the bathtub.

25. I once could bench press 110lbs.

24. I don’t like to have regrets, but I do wish as a kid that I had lived more in the present rather than for the future, although I understand why I did that.

23. Last weekend I interviewed my mom about her thoughts on alcohol and drugs for a school assignment.  It surprised me there were so many questions I had never asked her before.

22. In fourth grade I learned how to show dogs at dog shows, until my chow chow was diagnosed with hip dysplasia.  Have some good memories showing dogs one summer with my cousin Michelle, Grandpa John & Grandma Dorothy.

22. In fourth grade I learned how to show dogs at dog shows, until my chow chow Bella was diagnosed with hip dysplasia. I have some good memories of showing dogs one summer with my cousin Michelle, Grandpa John & Grandma Dorothy.

21. One of my fantasies is to become a car mechanic.  Not because I like cars but because it costs so much to fix cars and an all female mechanic shop could be a great hit.

20. It is not too helpful when you get nervous for a piano recital at church and your hands shake.

19. My favorite college roommate’s name was Jenny Jones (she’s since married so it has changed).

18. Actresses I’ve quietly wished were my friends throughout  my life:  Shirley Temple, Kelly Martin, Jennifer Garner, Claire Danes, Katie Holmes, Natalie Portman, & Sandra Bullock.

17. I briefly dated musician Mat Kearney in high school, which probably only consisted of going to one high school dance and talking on the phone.  And I drew a really great picture of him with pencil.

16. Teleporting would be my superpower of choice.

15. My favorite pen is Dr. Grip’s Center of Gravity.

14. I got a pair of glasses last year that I like so much that I now wear my contact lenses only about 50% of the time.  My eye doc approves.

13. In 2000 I had an emergency appendectomy; made sure to tell them I was an organ donor because we were studying living wills in my social work class.

12. First apartment I rented was in Portland, Oregon on 12th and Columbia.  12 being cool and all.

11. My childhood dentist was so good that I didn’t even know people were afraid to go to the dentist until I was much older.

10. Favorite recess activities:  tether ball and four square.

9. One of my least favorite chores growing up was pulling weeds and working in the yard.  Now I mostly enjoy it.

8. From grade school until 10th grade there was a girl on my soccer team who was stunning, I loved to watch her play soccer and she had an infectious giggle.  I later would run into her after the Thurston High School Shootings at a memorial in 1998.  I soon considered her one of my dearest friends, only to have to say goodbye in 1999 when she died from cystic fibrosis.  Miss you Angie.

7. I’m allergic to alcohol but even more so to Erythromycin, doctor said it could be life or death if I ever took that prescription again.

6. Blue is my favorite color, although I wonder if purple would have been if it hadn’t been both my mom and sister’s favorite color.  I just couldn’t have the same favorite color as the two of them.

5. My first boyfriend I would find out years to come was sentenced to nearly 11 years in prison.

4. My Grandpa John called me a pill, so I called him a pill and often wrote him letters starting, Dear Pill.  Funny enough I've got proof he signed off that way too.

4. My Grandpa John called me a pill, so I called him a pill and often wrote him letters starting, Dear Pill. Funny enough I’ve got proof he signed off that way too.

3. I sit the same way my Gong gong (Grandpa in Cantonese) did, left leg bent with foot on the seat with the right leg hanging normally from chair.

2. Recent favorite side dish: Chex mix.

1. First word I spoke was bird; first dance class was tap dance; first sport I played was soccer; first kiss was at church camp; purchased my first car before I had my driver’s license; first international flight was to Thailand; bought my first house when I was 24; first published co-edited book in 2008.

1. First word I spoke was bird; first dance class was tap dance; first sport I played was soccer; first kiss was at church camp; purchased my first car before I had my driver's license; first international flight was to Thailand; bought my first house when I was 24; first published co-edited book in 2008.

First Soccer Team Picture, 1st grade


Back to the Pacific Northwest

Over the years it has been much more common from my friends to move away from Eugene/Springfield than to move back (I’ve moved here three times now).  My first move including my dad getting a job in Oregon and my parents moved me here just weeks old, from California.  The story goes, I met Ben the day he was born.  I was 5 weeks + 2 days old.  Yesterday, 33 years + 7 months later, I got to welcome Ben back to Springfield.

The last time Ben, Amber, & I lived in the same city it was in Portland in 2001 although we now only live a whole 1.96 miles apart!  My heart is happy.