24 September 2010

six things

Well, after graduating college, spending a third of my savings on rent while I tried to find a job, finding a part-time job at an intermediate school, not working all summer, going to Canada, going to Iowa (with Trav!), coming home and still not finding a full-time job and returning to the intermediate school, getting accepted into a grad program and deciding not to go, I have come to a few conclusions:

1. I don't really want a full-time job right now. I just want to save money. This can be done in other ways besides stressing myself out over a job I can't find.

2. Having free time is really nice. Getting bored is a sign of my laziness, and I should cherish this time to do what I please.

3. I don't want to go to grad school.

4. I want to go to Korea.

5. I want to go to culinary art school, specifically, this one.

6. I am interested in a lot of things, but not particularly passionate about much besides my family, Travis, purikura, Korean drama, and Harry Potter. Surprisingly (or not surprisingly, depending on who you are), I love baking. I am passionate about baking. For days I have been reading a recipe book Trav bought me just for fun whenever I have a free minute. I dream about cake pops and chocolate pumpkin bars and the perfect ganache. Baking has always been my release. It relieves my stress, provides an outlet for my creativity, allows me to give to others, and it is delicious and makes me feel very satisfied and happy. I want to be a baker.

23 September 2010

fall = new beginnings

Dear Blog,

I don't really have anything to say right now, other than I fully intend on writing more regularly soon.

I've taken a break from many things I used to do (and sometimes enjoy doing) that became "supposed" to do things. Like exercising. And writing. And keeping in touch with my friends.

For some reason those things became wearisome and not as much fun as they should be.

So, after about a nine or ten month hiatus, I have decided to jump back in.

For this week, I exercised by jumping up and down in my room to music for a few minutes, and doing some sit-ups.

I talked on the phone with Collette, Nicole, my parents, and I text messaged a couple others.

And I wrote this blog post.

I'm going to take my time jumping back into these things, and try to relish the time spent doing them.

See you soon. (I think.)

13 July 2010

Sunday Afternoon

Sunday afternoon my mother and I rented bicycles and rode for a few hours along the canal. It was a gorgeous sunny afternoon. We came back to the hotel to cool off, and my mom opened up our windows. While we had hoped to have a room facing the river, our room faces the back streets - which has turned out to be perfect! We have a view of all the little shops and restaurants and we can hear the street musicians through our window. We’ve spent a good amount of time at night just sitting on the window sill and watching everyone pass.

Well, Mother was watching a couple at a restaurant below our window. She thought the man had lasagna, but perhaps it wasn’t lasagna. She kept staring and talking about their meal and had me come and see if I thought it was lasagna. She thought lasagna sounded rather tasty and watched this couple eat. After about ten minutes, the couple looked up, right at my mother. She felt embarrassed for watching them eat and ran away from the window.

As soon as they finished their meal, we went down and took their table and ordered the same: lasagna. (A very tasty one.)
(Oh, and of course we ended the night with some gelato. Probably my favorite yet.)

I Am My Mother's Daughter

Saturday after Cirque du Soleil we decided to try out a Traditional French restaurant, complete with table d’hote (or something) - fixed rate, four course meals.

Mother ordered baked cod with cabbage and rice. I ordered smoked salmon on toast.
And it was pretty good.

We took our time and ate very, very slowly.

We left quietly, and a few blocks later my mom says, “I’ve got to admit: French food is not my favorite.”

To which I replied, “Me neither.”

Mom, “We don’t have to eat French food anymore.”

And since we have eaten pizza, cheeseburgers, and lasagna. Oh, and gelato.
I’ve had a chocolate gelato every evening after dinner.

French food may be elegant, but it is mild, and (to me) tasteless. I figured maybe that’s why they serve wine with everything - to bring out the flavors. I feel no shame in sticking to what I love and just soaking in the atmosphere. We’ve got plans for Thai, Chinese, and reservations at an Indian place on Wednesday.

More updates soon!


After escaping the pouring rain on Friday to the Underground City for shopping (and Bodies!), Mother and I surfaced on Saturday and saw Cirque du Soleil! In their home venue! A real circus tent! This was their last weekend of shows here in Montreal, so we were very very lucky to find tickets. Needless to say, the performance was incredible. I’d never seen anything like it. I think my mouth hung open in awe the entire time. I also felt a bit anxious though - I was so scared they would fall and die!

But, all made it through alive.

And all was well.

Thank you, Skype

Oh Baby

This past weekend my mother and I went to the Bodies Exhibition. It came to Honolulu not terribly long ago, but I never made it. Anywho, it was SPECTACULAR. Fascinating. Mind-boggling. I realized just how absolutely little I know about the human body. It’s so intricate and genius and brilliantly crafted. Seeing REAL bones and muscles and arteries and brains and hearts and lungs (etc) was…surreal.
Most organs just looked kinda gross, the arteries looked like coral, and seeing healthy lungs vs. smokers’ lungs was amazing, but the most powerful pieces of the exhibit were without a doubt the BABIES.

Besides the whole “sex-creates-babies” thing being a bit incomprehensible, seeing actual babies throughout their growth was even more insane. There were small fetuses in glass jars, labeled with the age in weeks. While the first few weeks looked like nothing more than a flesh colored lump, by week six already the fetus looks like a very very mini (like the size of my fingernail) baby. As in, you can make out the head and the face and the curve of the baby’s body! And then seeing each step of the developmental process…and seeing a real uterus and what it looks like pre-baby…and then realizing that that baby goes inside of it…and that it stretches into that huge baby belly?!

Oh, baby.

12 July 2010


After three days last week, beginning in Honolulu, hopping over to L.A., then to Dallas, then up to Des Moines, then over to Chicago, and finally up to Montreal on Friday, my internal clock is exhausted and very, very confused.

01 July 2010


I'm really far behind. Rather than try to attempt to catch up with events of the past few months, I'll try to summarize the things I've learned. That's what it's all about, right?

Lesson #1: I have REALLY great friends. 

This is not really anything new, but (as much as I love being independent and doing my own thing) being done with school and not living with other students, or other human beings my own age for that matter, can get really lonely. But I'm incredibly blessed to have some real gems for friends. I wouldn't call myself a particular witty or charming person (probably more awkward and ill-mannered), but somehow I found myself some of the most wonderful, giving, silly, hysterical, brilliant, and thoughtful friends.

Lesson #2: Being a kid does not mean you know anything about kids. 

I'm the baby of the family. I always will be. I wouldn't say that makes me spoiled or a brat, but just that I always consider myself a kid. And I like that. I think there's a youthful bliss that is too often lost with adulthood, and I plan on keeping my kid-self close to my skin for the rest of my life. However, as I've spent more time with Travis and his family, I've realized I have no idea what to do with children. But I'm learning. And it is a blast! And absolutely exhausting. And I definitely have no desire to be a mama anytime soon. For years. I am completely aware of how much I have to learn. For now I am more than content to spend a few hours every day or every few days with some ridiculously intelligent and creative kids.

Lesson #3: Not having a job sucks. Plain and simple. (But every cloud has its silver lining.)

Everything happens for a reason. Right? Right? My job at the intermediate school ended in May. Fully knowing the end was coming, I began applying for new jobs throughout April. I wasn't too worried when I hadn't found a job by May. I still had a few weeks. And then May came and went. And June came and went. And nearly every establishment on Oahu has my resume. And I still have no job, and no income to pay rent with. Goodbye Savings Account, we had a good run. Unemployment sucks, blah blah blah. But not having a job has given me time to do things I enjoy, to spend time with dear friends, and to finally get some sun. I go to Canada and Iowa soon, and when I come home, my job at the intermediate school will be waiting for me.

Lesson #4: Love grows. 

I always knew this, but looking at the calendar and realizing you have spent nearly a year with the most amazing human bean on Earth is a surreal feeling. Time has flown by and every time I think I realize how incredibly amazing this man is, I am hit with overwhelming respect and loyalty and love and admiration. Not much more I can say.

Lesson #5: I live in an incredibly beautiful place and I'm never going to get over it. 

27 June 2010

oh ya know, just living

i feel like i probably have a lot to update, and i'm sure i'll attempt to sometime soon.

but for now, i just want anyone reading this to know that i am living. nothing particularly extraordinary. just living. soaking up a drive on a beautiful day. taking my time grocery shopping. inhaling freshly cut grass at the keiki football games. squeezing every ounce of love out of a two-year-old's embrace. cherishing home cooked dinners and movie nights in. actually enjoying being broke and succeeding in not spending money. remaining optimistic (most days) and having hope when i go to sleep.

and realizing how particularly extraordinary every day living really is.

03 May 2010

On Being (Super)Human

So way back in August, Travis and I made a pact: We would become superhumans. We decided that both of us were at too much of a standstill in our lives -- we could be doing more.

And we made a promise to each other that we would do more. We would form good study and exercise habits, eat well, give time to our family and friends. Go above and beyond our responsibilities to push our limits and stretch our capacities.  We even came up with a secret "sign" that we could give to each other whenever we were out with friends, just to check up on each other and remind the other to put life into action.

Well, time does what it does. The fall semester got crazy and as graduation approached, I felt too stretched. Christmas vacation was a welcome break, and when I returned to the island, I had all these plans to resume my superhumanness. But plans did not go as planned. I liked the new house I was living in, but I never got comfortable. I felt like a guest. It became hard to exercise or eat well consistently. I felt cramped and stuck. Jobs did not work out as I planned, and all the shifting around threw me off. I just felt uneasy. I didn't get enough movement or sunshine, or any of the necessary elements for growing.

Now I am all moved into a new house. It is closer to pretty much everything. I have more space and great light. I feel refreshed and motivated. I got a good workout in this morning, and I have two or three job interviews this week. Summer is coming and life is starting over again.

Superhuman Training Round Two Starts Now!

23 March 2010

hawaii nei

yesterday at work, as i was walking between classrooms, i glanced up and remembered that i live in HAWAII.

this morning i took a break and went to the beach in kailua. i wouldn't mind just being a bum and getting some sun every day.

here's a look at some of my favorite photos of le aina
(click to view full photos)

21 March 2010


.:. the birth of my two favorite twins.

.:. first sunday at the single's branch. not bad. few in numbers, but good people and good discussion. i was a little wary at first -- i love love love our family ward -- but i think it'll be a good experience.

.:. travis got baptized. and (naturally) we forgot to take pictures. lots of lovely faces. two of his brothers came. the youngest one asked if we could say a prayer before we left the church building, and later told us, "you should probably pray about every five hours, huh." oh and travis got lots of cool new ties.

.:. my dear friend jay dalton got engaged!

.:. sara (trav's two-year-old niece) has finally taken a liking to me. when i come in the house she drops everything and yells "hey! what you doing air-tah?" and follows me. she then tickles me no matter what i'm doing, and even tried following me into the bathroom once. she has also started giving me kisses. she'll ask me a question and then as i answer she just leans over and gives me a smooch out of no where and then acts like nothing happened. and when she gives me a hug she kisses my shoulder over and over with cute little baby kisses. if she sees me yawn, she says "time to sleep air-tah" and gives me a pillow and blanket. she tucks me in and lies down next to me. after a couple minutes she shouts "wake up air-tahhh!" and tickles me. i love playing with sara. i'm starting to like little tykes now. babies scared me for such a long time.
i need an entire post of the photo shoot we did that day with her sweet pig tails. 
.:. I started to read Believing Christ. And it is good.

14 March 2010

Notorious T.I.M.E.

i always thought i would have more time when i finished school. more time to read for fun, more time to paint, to exercise, to go to the beach, and more time to catch up with old friends.


well, mostly false. i do have more time - but that more is being filled with more things. i have more time to do more work for inyourspeakers. i have more time to do my lessons plans for work. i have more time to do laundry and clean my room. i have more time to spend with trav's family (aka: more time playing with a couple eight-year-olds and a two-year-old). more time to cook good meals.

and i find myself stuck in the same predicament: enjoying what i'm doing, but feeling like i don't have enough time to do things that i really love to do. i think that means i need to work harder to manage my time. i keep putting off the reading and painting and running as extra things for "when i have time."

and that time just keeps moving with me; as i get closer, it gets farther.

dear world (including self): quit trying to do so much all the time. make time just to live and love living.


10 March 2010

ninjas, naturally

02 March 2010

you're probably sick of seeing photos of us


01 March 2010

i'm turning into a thirteen-year-old

So for the past month or so I've been working for After School All Stars, a program Arnold Schwarzenegger put together (I know, right?), designed to help intermediate school students succeed in school and life. So many city kids are left with nowhere to go and nothing to do (except make trouble) after school. Our job is to come in and offer a variety of fitness, enrichment, and academic courses for students after school. We have homework hour and study help, cooking, soccer, photography, weight training, yoga, arts and crafts, etc. We are here to be positive role models for these kids.

I don't know if anyone has ever worked with thirteen-year-olds before, but MY GOODNESS are these kids sassy. I really enjoy hanging out with them every day, but seriously? Sassiest bunch I've ever met.

And I think they are influencing me more than I'm influencing them.

Since I've begun working at King, I've gotten hair tinsel, I've gotten sassy, I've gotten more local ("hoh!" "sistah girl" and "you like try?" have become pretty standard additions to my vocabulary), I've gotten Justin Beiber stuck in my head for hours on end. I crave rice and spam musubi all the time and I want to skip work sometimes to go to the skate park.

Seriously? SERIOUSLY?

Just call me Tita.

04 February 2010

e-harmony's got nothing on us.

thanks for actually saying that in real life, trav. 
(it's true)

02 February 2010

on the hunt

So, work at Sylvan is great. Very fun. I love working with kids. Why didn't I realize this when I was getting a degree? Not that I'd trade it for ICS -- I learned how to think and look at the world in a whole new way, and that is much more valuable than training for a career.

Unfortunately, the jobs I want right now all have to do with child care. I realized at Sylvan that I LOVE teaching young kids. Why didn't I realize I want to be a preschool or kindergarten teacher until AFTER I graduated?!

I'm considering going back for education...I'm in no rush for my Master's. And I could just transfer all my GE's. Maybe? Who knows.

In the mean time, Sylvan is not giving me as many hours as I hoped. I'm looking for another job.

I just got hired to work for After School All-Stars every afternoon. I'll be on homework support, assisting Kelli teach arts and crafts and journalism, and just floating where the teachers need me. I have Sylvan for the weekends, and I'm trying to find a part-time job for the mornings. Maybe Borders? We'll see.

I'm hoping my work days will run from about 9am-5pm. Trav and I are making a deal with his sister to buy the groceries and we'll cook dinner every night. Help the kids with their homework. We're still catching up on Lost. He's giving me skate lessons, and I'm teaching him to sing. He's still meeting with the missionaries, and we go to the family ward every Sunday.

Life is good. I'm not worried.

25 January 2010

beach babies

same beach. same week.
just a little bit of change to spice things up.
guess i'm going brown for a little while!
p.s. it is a LUXURY to have TIME

the future

Why does it look blurry even with my glasses on?

Today I am mailing my application for grad school.

But honestly? I don't want to go yet.

I want to go because I want to go, and not because I feel like I have to or because I just don't know what else to do.

The latter two are poor reasons to do anything.

05 January 2010


Hokay, since I basically took a semester-long hiatus from this little blog, and I don't know if anyone has followed my tumblr much, I figured I would post an update here for any friends who still check up on it from time to time.
This past semester was...different.
Last June all of my roommates left within a week. One of them came back in the fall. And I got three other new ones (who were great, by the way). But a good share of my friends were gone to other schools, to home, on missions, or at BYU Jerusalem. Had I not made some great friends in the summer (see below), I am not sure how I would have stayed very sane during the week.
(the return of ting shen and ice skating. LtoR: ting, ian, trav, me, jolie, kara, robbie, cassie, ryan)
(Rachael! My room-roommate. Best closet to share. And sometimes we accidentally dressed like twins!)
(Jane Jung. Not another person like her.)
(Bonnie before singing with the choir for Devotional)
(Sunday Dinners - Kara and Cassie)
(Art nights. LtoR: Ian, Nathan, Scott, Berries, and Cassie)
(And of course, the epic Harry Potter Christmas Party)
Besides all these wonderful people, I had Travis. By far the kindest, most patient, wonderful, generous, and well-balanced human bean I ever did meet. And he's pretty cute too. And a total goofball. And the best friend I've ever had. I spent my weekends with him and his family, and let me tell you: Waylen is the coolest eight-year-old on the planet.
(Waylen and his "imaginary friend")
So, I had my friends, I had my sanity. I finished school and my family joined me for graduation. I couldn't be more relieved to be done with school. I pushed myself. I don't think I'd go back and redo it, but it was definitely a decision that came with consequences. I had to make priorities. And unfortunately, that meant that a lot of my contacts back home got left behind. I didn't have time to "keep in touch" during the semesters. I barely had time to see the friends I lived a few houses down from! I took maximum credits and worked maximum hours. And now I feel so good to be done. I think I work best at maximum intensity. And now I have more time to enjoy. I have a job teaching at the Sylvan Learning Center in Honolulu. I have a nice house up in the mountain with pleasant roommates. I've got a car. And I've got time. That one word that makes all the difference. I'm excited to have more time to do things I've always wanted to: write, read, garden, catch-up with old friends, and offer more service.
(My parents and I at graduation)
Right now I'm still in Iowa at my parents', but I return to le aina this Friday. I'm excited to get back to my little room in my nice house, to get back to a steady job, to have sunshine and blue skies again. I'm excited to get back to the family ward Trav and I have been attending. They just don't do church anywhere else quite like they do in Hawaii. I've never felt sooo welcomed into a new ward before. All the members there are great and so loving. Trav is having fun learning, and I'm cherishing my new perspective. Hopefully Waylen will continue to come with us from time to time -- I think he'd have a blast in Primary. But, we'll see. Only Time will tell.

Anywho, I'm quite excited about life and where mine's headed. I'm very happy and looking forward to good things this next year. I'll keep you updated. =)