Splish Splash

“Being a Mother is not about what you gave up to have a child, but what you’ve gained from having one.” -Anonymous

I can’t believe how fast things change with a little one. It seems like it was only a few months ago, when our two boys were crawling along the floor of my kitchen. I think for both Anna and I, seeing these photos of our kids reminds us so much of ourselves decades ago. Their personalities reflect both of us like a mirror and their interactions seem like a repeat. I can’t wait for more days like this, when we can spend time together eating, playing, and chatting together.

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The Little Things that Remind Me of You

“Grief is like the ocean, it comes in waves, ebbing and flowing. Sometimes the water is calm, and sometimes it is overwhelming. All we can do is learn to swim.” -Vicki Harrison

When I returned to my Popo’s home two weeks ago, the walk from the MTR station to her home was different from the start. While the sights and sounds were all the same, I knew that she wouldn’t be waiting in her home. When I walked in and pressed “3” in the elevator, I moved around slow like molasses. Part of me wanted to see her place to be near her things, yet I almost couldn’t bring myself to step into her home where I knew she could not be found. When I finally turned the key and walked in, I sat down and cried. I sat facing the couch looking at her old “spot”, the little tuck away brush she kept on her console, the mugs where she would pour her warm water, and the cane my son loved to play with. Everything was the same, but nothing was the same, all at the same time.

There were a lot of events that took place during those six days that was there, but on the last morning of my trip I was able to take one last familiar look around. It was from my vantage point behind my camera where I picked out the things that would remind me most about her place. I’m not sure when, how, or what will happen to her place but I wanted to remember it the way it was. These will be the photos that I plan on sharing with Jude as he gets older, as I walk him through my childhood through one photo at a time. There are many things in life that I have learned to celebrate and love, but I have also learned on this journey of life that some times we need just a few moments to grieve and be silent. I have to say as sad as it was to have to say goodbye to Popo at her funeral, I loved knowing how happy she would’ve been to see all her grandkids and kids come back for her. I know she will rest in peace as is placed with my Gong Gong, as they both look out towards the vast ocean. We love you, we’ll miss you, and we’ll see you again…

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From Ms. Littlest to Mr. Little

“Surround yourself with people that reflect who you want to be and how you want to be and how you want to feel, energies are contagious.” -Rachel Wolchin

On our last full day in Chicago, we had a delicious breakfast prepared by Ben, before snapping Ana’s 5 month photos, and taking a trip to Downtown Elmhurst for treats and lunch. Gina and I spent every waking moment in pure bliss, while we were there. Even though were were exhausted from staying up the night before, including a 2:00 a.m. run to 7-11 for much needed snacks, it was all worth it! I am beyond grateful for this trip and the time we spent with my lifelines. I am especially thankful for my amazing friend, Gina who traveled with my energetic son. She was practically a second mom to both of our kids as we traveled from place to place, all with a beaming smile on her face. I have no doubts that Gina is going to make a phenomenal mommy, when she decides to have children. As for now, these photos will have to suffice while I wait to be reunited again. =)

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Anything But Normal

“True friendship isn’t about being inseparable, it’s being separated and nothing changes.” -Anonymous

I loved spending our second full day visiting the local farmer’s market and taking a walk down Chicago’s Historic Prairie Walkway. Our kids have been such troopers, as we’ve spent most of our days outdoors. Seeing Jude and Ana connect and stare with eyes bright at one another as they go about bouncing, eating, and playing has been priceless. The first thing Jude wanted to do when he woke up was to look for Ana this morning and to see her in her bouncer. Tomorrow will be our last full day and I’m already so sad at how fast time has passed. I wish to treasure every last minute we have here, as Gina and I continue pretending we live in Chicago…if only for a week.

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This little piggy flew to Chicago. This little piggy met his new friend.

“Friendship isn’t about who you’ve known the longest. It’s about who walked into your life and said, ‘I’m here for you’ and proved it.” -Anonymous

Friendships aren’t built in a day, but remembering how much I enjoy a friend can be a wonderful reminder of how precious that gift is. I can’t believe the last time I saw Yvette, it was the week before Jude was born. We’ve taught together, shared life together, celebrated in life’s triumphs, and held each other through the hard times. Distance is nothing but a number for us three and I’m so glad we’ve been reunited again. Our first day in Chicago was an absolutely perfect day! We of course squeezed in Ana’s first bath in her big girl tub, followed by a visit to her daddy’s workshop where we “Oo’d and Ahh’d” over his work, and finished off the day visiting a cute little town called Geneva. We lived a Chicago dream and now I can’t wait for tomorrow to arrive for another day out with our babes and Gina whose been a HUGE help with all both our munchkins. 😉

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Magical Moments with Jude

“It is not joy that makes me grateful, it is gratitude that makes me joyful.” -Anonymous

This has been a difficult few weeks, but through it all I have much to be grateful for. I am grateful for the little reminders in every situation of my every day life where God continues to point out His hand at work. While things that are out of my control may happen, He has been in control of my safety, my peace, my life.

I’ve been soaking up as much sun as I can with Juju, before flying to Hong Kong for my Popo’s funeral. As I sit here at the airport looking at these photos, my heart swells. Love my boys through and through. I have more photos to go through from this week, but these were by far my favorites. Ken was able to join us for Pajaro for the first time ever and even though we could only stay for a few hours, it was well worth it. See you both in 6 days! xoxo

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