This Suits You... Not

You guys, Moana is my life (and not by choice). I can't remember the last time I did not watch Moana on a daily basis. When's the last time I watched a movie of my own choice? or slept through the night? Oh, motherhood... but I digress. This post isn't really about Moana but something Moana's dad says and when parents think they know their child and what is best for them.

Moana's dad, Chief Tui of Montunui, tells Moana what her role is (the next chief) and at one point while she's in "training", he tells Moana "This suits you." Then, after her long journey sailing across the sea and returning the heart back to Te Fiti, he welcomes her back and says "It suits you." This bothered me a lot. Like, choose one chief. Which one suits her best?! 

I know it's a movie, a children's movie at that, so I don't think it was meant to be anything significant or profound but it bothered me so much. And it almost breaks my heart to think and know that we as parents think we know our child the best and what's best for them... but we don't. Moana's dad thought she was fit to be the next chief, without going beyond the reef. Moana went against his wishes and basically ran away from home. She was able to fulfill her true calling before fulfilling her duty as the next chief. Her sailing across the sea and returning "suits" her. 

Janie is turning one in five days. Can you imagine what an emotional wreck I have been trying to fathom the fact that her infant stage is all over and she's now (becoming) a toddler? I can't. Where has the time gone? And not only does that already make me sad but realizing the fact that what I know about and of Janie right now, at this moment, is only a little glimpse of who she is and will be. There will be so much more about her that I don't know and quite possibly I won't know because she will hide/keep secrets from me too (just like I did/do with my own mom). Maybe this is the control freak side of me that don't want to let go of my baby. Yet, I wish I knew everything about her already so that I can prepare myself for the future. Time is going by so fast and I already miss her. What a trip parenthood is. Actually, not just parenthood but what a trip being a creature of pattern- this circle of life. This cycle of wanting nothing but your mom's attention, admiring her and wanting to be just like her, to not wanting to be associated with her and not wanting to be friends with her, and then wanting to become friends with her, and finally you becoming your own mom. But you realize (as an adult) that you don't know your mom as much as you thought you did. And as you're getting to know your mom as someone beyond just your "mom", she's also aging and forever isn't really forever.. 

So I guess what I'm trying to say and do is that time in this moment is always fleeting. I need to live in the moment and not get overworked by the fact that the future is so unknown. I have to appreciate what I have right now. And right now, I have a sweet little old infant who is curious, silly, and brightens everyone's day with her killer smile. I'm so happy to be her mom and to know that we as a family, have done well raising her this past year. Happy early birthday Janie. 


I am... (not Moana)

When you have a toddler who's obsessed with Moana, that's the only thing you watch and hear all day every day. So once again, please excuse the cheesy silly title connection.

I've been going through a mild case of identity crisis/reflection lately and the only song that'd play in my head is Moana... I'm amazed that such a young girl at her age can identify and know her role and calling in life, and partially jealous of it. I want to be able to shout at the top of my lungs, I AM JULIE LEE but sometimes, more often than not, I stumble whether or not it's "worth" proclaiming.

Here's two reasons why:
1. "Han's wife, Julie"
Please don't get me wrong- I am happily married to my husband of almost five (!!!!!) years and really, he puts the sparks in my day and night. But one of the hardest things I had to learn and adjust to was/is being dependent and submissive (as the Bible so calls the wives to be). I loved being miss independent sassy jules... Looking back, I put on that miss independent pants to brave the "loneliness" so it definitely one hundred percent feels better to know that I'm never lonely and have someone who whole-heartily loves me. But having to be identified as "Han's wife, Julie" was and is still a challenge. It feels as if people don't know me pre-Han and/or my life only matters post-Han. I know it's so silly (because that's totally not true) but I'm still learning and adapting to being a submissive wife, which is probably why sometimes, it's so hard for me to be identified as someone's wife and not just oh, this is Julie.

2. Halie & Janie's mom, Julie
This is probably the most selfish identity crisis because really, if Han puts the sparks in my day and night, my two girls are the reason why there is a day and night. Being a mom is so much fun, challenging without a doubt, but so humbling and refining. But let's be real, there is no break once you become a mom. Your body isn't yours, your thoughts are constantly kids-centered, your money is spent all on them- even if you walked into that store to get something for yourself, and your schedule revolves around their schedule. And then, your group of friends slowly start to change- especially if you're the first of your friends to get married/have kids. You're suddenly left to the challenge of making mommy friends but mommy friends who have similar lifestyle, virtues & beliefs, potential husband buddies, and similar age as your own kids. OMG, the factors to consider when making friends have exponentially grown as a mommy! And once you've come across and made some mommy friends, you're referred to as oh, Halie's mom/Janie's mom... catch the drift? Really, nothing to do with the kids other than that they're the point of reference when you're being introduced... but it just stings sometimes. I want to be oh, this is Julie- she's Halie and Janie's mom.

So then, as silly as this is to admit, I went through an entire week just moping around and being sad about "losing" my identity, or atleast not being known as Julie first. But after a refreshing and much needed girl talk with two dear sisters, I walked away realizing this...

My identity shouldn't and isn't based on me anyway.
I am only who I am because of God and my walk with Christ. Because He lives and is true, I exist and my life has a meaning. I am not Julie first, but God's daughter first. I am His beloved Julie and specially chosen (by Him, not the ocean) to (not sail across the sea but) be the wife of Han and mother to Halie and Janie. 

So, next time Halie listens to Moana, here's my version- 

I am a girl who loves my family
I'm the girl who's loved by Him
He calls me
I am the daughter of the almighty God
We are chosen for His Kingdom
Who found their calling in this world
They call me
I am Han's wife of 5 years
We will journey farther
I am everything I've learned and more
Still it calls me
And the call doesn't stop there, there's more inside me
mother of Halie and Janie
I will carry you here in my heart you'll remind me
That come what may
I know who I am
I am Julie Lee! 

 my husband, the sparks to my day and night 

my husband, the sparks to my day and night 

 my children, my day and night 

my children, my day and night 

Got Milk?

Jules and I recently had a conversation about feeding our little ones and how different we were. We often hear so many complaints and struggles mom face when it comes to feeding their baby... "they don't latch well, I need to carry all these bottles around, the baby doesn't like the bottle, my milk supply is dropping...etc." Below are two different perspectives on feeding our babies. We hope that through both of our stories, you'll find comfort in knowing that you're not alone in this. 

Jess -

The History:
With Riv, I had no idea what I was doing (like most first time moms). I thought she had a good latch but Riv kept crying and I was confused. I'll never forget the nurse who helped Ray and I sleep one night by speaking truth to us. "It's OK that your milk isn't in it. She is hungry. It's OK to give her a bottle of formula. It's OK." I gave in, gave her a bottle of formula and she was content. She slept that night and Ray and I finally received some rest. From there on out, we tried everything. Two days after coming home from the hospital I woke up with a 102 degree fever, was diagnosed with double mastitis infection, and went on antibiotics. Massaged the crap out of my painfully rock hard and bright red breasts in a hot shower for a week. Riv was completely turned off so I continued to pump while Riv received a mixture of formula and donated breastmilk. Then I went to see a lactation consultant and was told that Riv might have a slightly short frenulum but told me to try a nipple shield. Even then, my supply couldn't keep up and we had to supplement with formula for every feeding. Riv was on the nipple shield for 4 months until she could latch on her own. We still supplemented her with formula. Come month 5 and I was back at work when my supply started dropping even more. I was figuring out how to pump in an office that had a makeshift lactation room. I was stressed about having to constantly kick men out of the rooms because they were using it to make conference calls. Then came month 6 and my battle with formula / breastmilk came to an end when I was pumping pretty much nothing at work. I would be lucky to pump 2 ounces a session. For the rest of Riv's first year, she went on Similac Sensitive

Isla was "easier". She came a month early, she latched well, and my milk came in day 5 so between then and day 5, we were supplementing with Similac Sensitive. I was more knowledgeable this time around. I prevented mastitis by massaging my clogged ducts and nursed Isla as frequently as possible. Week 2 and I was exclusively breastfeeding. Hallelujah, right?! We are currently on month 5 and I am on herbal supplements to help my supply grow. I quit eating only veggies and chicken (for weight loss) because my pumping sessions were drastically different once I put myself on this "diet". I had Ray buy me a pack of Guinness. I ate less foods containing citrus acid because it was reducing my milk supply. I ate oatmeal and flaxseeds. I bought lactation cookies. I try drinking a gallon of water a day. All this for 4-5 ounces of milk per pumping session. Isla is currently going through a growth spurt and I wonder if she'll have enough to feel full with just my breastmilk.

The Now:
Currently, my schedule looks like this:
- Nurse Isla around 6:30pm / 7:00pm and put her down for the night
- Pump around 9:30pm / 10:00pm
- Nurse around 2:00am
- Nurse around 5:30am - 6:00am
- Nurse her close to 8am right before I head out for work
- Pump at 10am
- Pump at 1:30pm
- Pump at 4:30pm on my commute home (thank you freemies and my spectra s2)
- Nurse around 6:30pm
- Pump around 9:30pm
- Sleep till her 2am feeding

The Struggle:
I've come to a conclusion that some women are blessed with an abundant amount of liquid gold and some women have to try hard. Really, really hard. As shallow as this sounds, I'm currently dealing with... do I consume the calories that I need so my body isn't stressed about producing enough for Isla or... do I work towards fitting into my clothes again and feeling more confident about my body but run the inevitable risk of not producing enough and buying formula? I love my time with Isla when I am nursing her but is this becoming almost an idol for me? Am I putting too much pressure on 'Exclusively Breasfeeding'? Why am I so protective over this topic when Riv eventually exclusively took formula? 


The History: 
The minute I held Halie as she entered the world, she latched the very second we did skin to skin. She came out "hungry" and wanting to eat. Gosh, we were such first time parents- I didn't know it took a while for milk to come in. So, the second night in the hospital when Halie would cry and cry, Han and I were freaking out. The night nurse said it's because she was hungry and that I should supplement her with formula. Oh my, how dare she suggest formula?? I had told her she's latching great and so it's impossible that she's hungry. She then proceeded to bring in the medela hospital grade pump and told me to pump. After pumping for 40 minutes, I realized I wasn't producing any milk, I caved and gave her formula... and I cried myself to sleep that night, feeling like such a failure. My milk came in at day 6 since birth and boy, did it flow. I was so naive, and such a new mommy. Since the pump night (July 14, 2014), I've pumped every single day and the only break I had from pumping was from Jan 2016-October 10, 2016 (when we went on an out of state vacation and just nursed Halie at bedtime/pregnant with Janie- per doctor's recommendation). 

I ended up nursing Halie until she was 20 months and I only stopped (cold turkey) because I was pregnant with Janie- had I not been pregnant, I might've gone til 24 months. I loved that quiet, sweet, and tender nursing time of just Halie and I, and I loved being able to do it again with Janie... Like Halie, Janie latched the second we did skin to skin. Nursing and pumping was natural and I was happy to do it again. But I forgot the beginning struggles of nursing and the first few days, I was totally stressing and frustrated. Once my milk came back in (day 4), it was back to the the nursing/pumping routine. Towards the end of my nursing "career" with Halie, I found out about donating milk to babies in need but I didn't really get to do it because I found out about it so late and was just trying to find a way to get rid of the pumped milk in the freezer. With Janie, I started donating milk as soon as I built a stash. Over the course of 6 months, I've met up with 9 different moms and donated over 4000 oz of milk- 3 regular moms with milk donated biweekly and/or monthly. 

The Now:
Since March of this year (Janie's 5 month mark), my supply "dipped". I still pumped twice a day (5am and 12:30pm), sometimes 3 (10pm), but it was less during each pump session. I went from pumping 15-18 oz per session to 10-12 oz per session. I know it's still a lot, but it made an impact on the amount of milk I can donate, since Janie is eating more at this point.. I've cut back on donating to "new" moms and just donated to my regular moms whenever they contacted me. My freezer in the garage went from being packed to the brim with gallon ziploc bags holding ~60 oz of milk to maybe one or two ziploc bags. Now, it's completely empty and my only stash is the one in my kitchen freezer, just enough for Janie's daycare. I nurse on demand and pump once a day (1pm) since I'm not working this summer and am able to nurse her until I drop her off at daycare (9am). 

The Struggle:
Typically, pumping moms are able to pump both boobs at the same time, straight into the bottles. I on the other hand, have to pump one boob at a time, and NOT into the bottles. This automatically makes my pump sessions much longer. I pump one boob at a time straight into the Up&Up milk storage bags because each boob produces roughly 7-8 oz of milk, which is more than how much Janie's Philips Avent bottle or the Tommee TIppee bottle can comfortably hold without overflowing. Once I pump into the two bags, I get another bag (or two) and even them all out. Thank goodness for the drawer inside the freezer because that drawer is designated milk drawer and literally the best way to freeze my milk flat. Once the bag is frozen, I pile them and hold them in place with metal bookends to keep them in place without sliding everywhere. But as you can tell, because the top drawer is reserved for my milk, we can't buy too many frozen goods because I don't have as much freezer space for our food... The struggle is not only on the duration and the amount I produce, but even the schedule of having to pump. If I don't pump by 2pm, my boobs get rock hard, veiny, and I'm in so much pain. Before having babies, I had extra pads and tampons in every purse and my regular places (car, classroom, etc). Now, I have extra nursing pads everywhere because I will, and have soaked through nursing pads (oh, and through shirts too). If I'm going to be away from Janie for the entire day, then the pump and the ice chest are my must's. I've had to contact staff at off-site meetings, trainings, and events to arrange a room for me to pump in and always have to request a schedule ahead of time so that I can pump according to my breaks. This literally means I can't be away from Janie, or the pump, for more than 5 hour blocks- party pooper. The struggle is real. 

As you can tell, nursing and pumping varies from mom to mom. We personally feel like we're similar to each other and yet, experiences like these remind us how different we are and how unique God made each one of us. Even in moments like these, God "forces" us to rely solely on Him because 1, He made us and 2, He really knows what we're capable of. Our experiences also remind us that there isn't one perfect way to feed our babies. Whether they are EBF (exclusively breast fed), bottle fed, pumping, etc, FED IS BEST and props go out to each and every mom who is able to feed their babies in their own means and circumstances. We hope this post encourages you to keep mommying your own way. You're doing great, mamas! 

Church & Community

Happy last day of June, everyone! How does time go by so fast? Oh, I know… it’s because you’re a mom and nothing seems to stop the time to even enjoy the two kids... Both Jess and I have been trying our best to enjoy the first year as mom to two so please forgive us for not blogging as frequently as we have been in the past. With that said, stay tuned because we have some exciting news coming soon!  

Today's post is a special one. It's not necessarily a "Life Lately..." post or a "Friday Favorite". It's more of a "Spirit-filled Sunday" post but not occurring on a Sunday.. haha. It's about two things that are very important to me... church and community. So, this post may or may not come as a surprise to you but I wanted to officially announce and share that our family’s last Sunday at Gospel Life Mission Church is July 9th. If this news came as a surprise to you, I apologize. I also apologize if you’ve been hearing from others that we have “officially” left GLMC already- our previous last Sunday didn’t happen because I was sick… and then we were out of town.. so on. So yes, to clear all confusion, gain closure, and to part in a healthy way- we will be at church one last time on July 9th.

Exactly a year ago, I blogged about my personal spiritual health and walk on our very first “Spirit Filled Sunday” post. I shared how much The Gospel Coalition conference revived my heart and convicted me to hope fully in the Lord.. and although it has been a very fruitful year spiritually personally, it was also a year where we as a family really evaluated the condition of our family’s spiritual health, heart, and community. This past year, Han and I reassessed and prioritized our family’s spiritual health and noticed how much it’s been hurting and aching… a lot. As much as we thought we could fix it by serving and trying our best to stay in the church community, it was merely an alcohol swab being applied over an open wound. We’ve longed to be in the community but due to the commute (ranging from 45 minutes to 2 hours, depending on traffic), it’s been so very difficult. We thought serving and being in the community to our best ability will fix it but the swab just stung and the wound never healed… Especially with Janie joining the family, we sought family and God more than anything- we clenched on to the meaning of community and really centering ourselves in the Lord. Doing so, we were convinced and believe that our family’s health has been hurting and aching and noticed how much we needed God in our lives on a daily basis. 

We love GLMC. We love the sermons and the members. We love how gospel centered and missions oriented the church is. We knew that this church would be the one to cultivate our marriage and be a strong foundation for us. However, as our family grew and our career kept us more permanent in LA, GLMC simply couldn’t offer that daily basis community and we couldn’t put that expectation over a church that was in another county, with over 200 members, and numerous ministries in place and action. We waited patiently for the past five years for community growth in LA but it wasn’t flourishing as it was in Orange County and other life stages. However, the church was growing and the church was ministering in other ways and we were grateful and joyous over that. It was exciting to see the number of members double in a span of five years. Church moved to a bigger location. Multiple mission teams were sent out. Couples were getting engaged, married, and starting families. Church is currently in the process of training the first group of deacons. How exciting is all this? We feel and know that GLMC is a great church- a church we can vouch for in a heartbeat- for anyone looking for a church. It’s a great church for collegians, young adults, singles, and married couples. We cherish GLMC and the members. Yet, for our family, we were constantly thirsty for our family’s growth within the church community and it wasn’t happening.

So, this is where our family’s heart is. It is beyond a want and now a need. We need a church community that can cultivate all of our hearts, without the commute. Letting go is never easy- especially when you love and cherish something so deeply. And saying goodbye isn’t any easier. But you know what? It doesn’t hurt too much because we as a family feel that this is the right thing to do for our spirit- hence, being "spirit filled" with our decision. I hope and pray that you can keep our family in your prayers- to find a church community close by that will cultivate not just the hearts of the parents but also the young hearts that are just learning to know who God is.

Here's to hope(ing) fully in the Lord, in every season. 

DIY Bumper Bed/Mat

I never realized how "Korean" I was until I had a baby and wanted baby items from Korea more than the western culture baby items. A prime example of this is the Bumper Bed/Mat. I'm not sure if this is just some web-based calculation/trick that Instagram/Facebook came up with and decided to market to me, but I've been seeing these even on Facebook mommy groups and I'd be a tad bit jealous of those moms who have one at home for their little ones... Have you seen them before?

Everything I see and read about that thing is awesome! The mat is 3.5ft x ~5ft and it has 16inch cotton bumpers on all 4 sides. All the parts are washable and removable and it's spacious enough for an adult to lay in there with the baby. The only con about it is the price tag- $329.99 (but free shipping!)

A friend of mine actually has one and likes it a lot, raving the material and the plushness of the bumpers. However, she actually "up-ed" it by saying the bumpers on this mat aren't as tall/sturdy as the ones straight from Korea. So I continued my search and came across this one! 

This is from LOLBaby ( Can you tell the difference in the bumper height? The bed also comes in two different sizes and you can choose between microfiber and cotton. If you thought creamhaus mat was pricey, you might want to look away for this bed's price tag- a heaping $489 (for the cheapest medium size). YIKES. *sigh

So I fought back my jealousy and looked the other way. I scrolled fast every time Instagram/Facebook strategically placed these ads on my pages. But the feelings were undeniable- I WANTED ONE. 

Once I brought up my reasons (the PROs) in wanting one to the husband, he agreed and let me get one. However, once he saw the price tag (the only CON), he gave me that look- the "you've got to be kidding me" look. I couldn't look away and I couldn't disagree with him. So there I was, completely bummed out that we couldn't get one for the girls. Then, that's where my genius husband devised a plan. 

He came up with this creative DIY project and I couldn't be more proud of. Not only does unniegirl (Halie) not use her Minnie Mouse bed anymore, but she also stopped playing with the Step 2 Woodlands slide that she got for her 2nd birthday from the grandparents (yes, the outdoor slide that we had indoors, in our living room). It was perfect! We took the slide apart, deconstructed part of the bed, took some unused pillows out of the storage, and voila!- our own bumper bed/mat! (Sorry, no before pictures.)


As you can tell, we removed one side of the bed, took the bottom slates off, and used our extra pillows (memory foam body pillow, king size pillows, and cushions) to use as our "removable" bumpers. The nice thing about using unniegirls' old bed frame is that it's light and movable, so we can "expand" the play area freely. Also, with all those pillows in there, each family member has been taking turns just hanging out in there, even laying down at times! 

Yay to upcycling unniegirl's bed! DIY FTW.

Hey, It's Jess - Mother of Two

Hey there, it's Jess.

Apologies for how MIA I've been. What was once a passion for me to write my thoughts down in pictures and words suddenly died in a flicker once my second came along in February. I don't want to say it's because I didn't care about it anymore because I did. I thought about this blog all the time but I couldn't get myself to spend time writing in it until today. I needed to soak in everything that was happening like a sponge and save every bit of energy I could gain towards my family, especially my babies. The month or two before I had Isla was focused on loving Riv and making sure she knew it. The two months after Isla was dedicated towards adjusting as a family. Loving Isla. Loving Riv. Loving Ray. Loving the pups. Making sure they were all OK. 

Motherhood is hard. I've said it before and I'll keep saying it. It's heartbreaking. It's tiring. It's sweet. It's joyous. It makes me crazy. It makes me laugh. It's scary but above it all, who would've known that love could be so big? 

Anyhow, here I am. Slowly but surely getting back into action. I'm sure I'll have more stories to share with you so I hope you can stick around. 

With Love,

 Thank you God for these blessings of mine <3

Thank you God for these blessings of mine <3

Party Life = Mommy Life

Happy weekend everyone! For all my teacher friends who are on break this upcoming week, HAPPY SPRING BREAK! Now that it's (finally) the weekend... who's ready to PARTY?? 
As I was looking forward to "partying" this spring break, it dawned upon me just how similar party life and mommy life is. You're probably thinking "what are you talking about, Julie... are you drunk right now...?"
But here are my top 10 proofs that party life totally prepped me for mommy life- basically, party life is mommy life (you be the judge)

  1.  Sleep is For the Weak
    Party Life: It's 2 am and the bar/club/lounge just closed. Where do you go next? Round 2! You get home at 4 am. You sleep for couple of hours and then wake up to go to class/work.
    Mommy Life: The first month or so, you're "waking up" every two hours to feed the baby. At that point, what's the point of sleep? Might as well just stay up and catch up on all the netflix shows you've been hearing about.
  2. Drink Concoction Ratio Master
    PL: You've mastered the ratio of cranberry juice vs vodka to make the drink good- just the right amount of cranberry juice to not make the vodka too sweet.
    ML: You've introduced your toddler to juice but you don't want to rot their teeth. You know exactly how much water to mix with the juice for your toddler to still consider the drink "juice". 
  3. DD Life, Sober Life
    PL: You're the DD so you end up staying sober and watching all your friends go ratchet. 
    ML: You're nursing so you don't drink. You watch your kids go crazy, not making any sense. 
  4. Water is Your Best Friend
    PL: Water will sober you up, keep you full, help with the morning hangover, and keep you hydrated. 
    ML: Drinking water will keep you full, produce milk, make you feel balanced after nursing/pumping, and hydrated.
  5. Pee Constantly
    PL: You just downed a beer. You need to go empty your bladder. Go
    ML: Well, you didn't think drinking all that water won't make you go pee, did you? 
  6. Eating At All Sorts of Hour
    PL: You're home at 3am and why does a bowl of ramen sound so good?? time to eat!
    ML: Pumping schedule is not supportive of the traditional 3 meals a day schedule. 
  7. Falling Asleep Anywhere/Randomly
    PL: Too drunk to function, you fall asleep at the table, in the car, in the bathroom, on the floor, you name it- you've probably fell asleep there. 
    ML: Too tired to function, you fall asleep leaning over the crib, on the floor, on the couch, in the playpen, while pumping, while nursing, in the car, in the shower, you name it- you've probably fell asleep while multitasking.
  8. Raccoon Eyes in the Morning
    PL: Oh shoot, why is my arm so heavy... why are my eyes so high up... basically, too drunk to function. You forgot to take your makeup off after a night of partying. 
    ML: Oh shoot, you forgot you were wearing makeup and forgot to take it off before unintentionally falling asleep while putting your baby to bed... oh well. 
  9. Gibberish is Your Second Language
    PL: How else are you making new friends in the restroom every time you go in there? Y'all are chatting it up in your own language only the buzzed would understand. 
    ML: Your toddler is quite a chatterbox but what is he/she saying? Your husband doesn't understand... but who does? YOU! 
  10. Not All Things are Photo Worthy
    PL: Honestly, those restroom mirror photos don't look that good when you're sober. The photos of your feet in the pool at the XS pool in Vegas..? Nope, nobody need to see them either. 
    ML: Yay, your baby burped but also threw up all over you. So now you're covered in baby vomit head to toe- don't need to see that! 

Alright friends, there you have it. You be the judge... party life = mommy life?
Have a good weekend! Go party it up! 

 Miami, FL. 2009

Miami, FL. 2009

 Ktown, LA 2010

Ktown, LA 2010

 XS, Vegas. 2010

XS, Vegas. 2010

 falling asleep at my parent's house on Thanksgiving, 2014

falling asleep at my parent's house on Thanksgiving, 2014

 not so photo worthy, 2014

not so photo worthy, 2014

 raccoon eyes, 2015

raccoon eyes, 2015

 Miracle Mile, Vegas. 2016

Miracle Mile, Vegas. 2016

To The Mountains

 pc: dust off the bible

pc: dust off the bible

This was my very first bible verse I had to memorize in second grade. So many times have I turned to this verse in different seasons of life and so many times, I've been grateful for who God is and how He unfailingly provides. 

One of the main reasons and purposes for starting a blog is to be transparent and encourage others that we're never alone... so I want to be honest and open about how I've been feeling lately.

It's been a rough couple of weeks. It's been a constant tug of war in my heart and in my head, trying to not let satan get the best of me. I repeatedly tell satan to "GO AWAY" but I feel defeated most of the time. I have my ups and I have my downs. But my ups haven't been the uppety up's and my downs have been pretty down down. But I know the "darkness" and I remember the darkness. I don't want to be there again. So, I (try to) stand firm and remind myself of all the things to be thankful for and the ways I've been blessed. During my drive to work in the mornings, I tell myself one (new) thing I'm thankful for in my life. Yet, I go to sleep each night super exhausted and wondering how I'm going to survive the next day- what's something I'll be thankful for tomorrow...

I've been longing to feel small lately. It sounds like I want to "run away" and I think that's what it would've meant back then... but this time, right now, I just want to go somewhere open, untouched, uncluttered- to feel nothing BUT God. I lift up my eyes up to the mountains, where does my help come from? I want to remind myself how big and powerful God is in comparison to me, a tiny little speck in this world. My help comes from the Lord, maker of Heaven and Earth. I want to be surrounded by God. the creator of Heaven and Earth. He made all things- the mountains and the stars, the sea and the animals... but he also made me; and he made me in His image. God provides and God loves me. I can turn to him in times of thanksgiving and gladness but I can also turn to him in times of difficulties and sadness. 

Friday Favorites

Hello everyone, happy Friday!

It's been one of those weeks where Friday could not come any sooner. I'm so glad it's finally the weekend and I can just, chill. But before we all go out and chill, please help me congratulate Jess and her family, and introduce you to her second baby, Isla Ray Kim. 

Isn't she just perfect? Congrats, Jess & Ray! She made an early entrance to the world and it's only been few hours since her arrival but boy, is she loved! Isla is healthy and already so well loved. I'm sure Jess is exhausted and the Kims have a lot of changes to face, now that they are a family of four (plus two paw kids). So, please continue to keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

We can't wait to hear from mama Jess and for her future posts on raising two gorgeous girls River & Isla. Who else is looking forward to Jess' updates on River & Isla? 

Don't forget to send the Kims lots of loves and warm messages. 

Stand For You, Always

Never have I ever thought that I'd be blogging about my political views or thoughts. But here I am, in anger and frustration, wishing it was all a bad dream... 

Dear my classroom children,
        Yesterday was a really difficult day to go through as a teacher. Not many of you know, but a lady named Betsy DeVos became the Education Secretary for the United States of America. President Trump nominated her and during her hearing (meeting) few weeks back, she proved to be unfit for such position, unable to answer some basic questions and very obviously unaware of our special education program. So yesterday when it was announced that she is our Education Secretary, I cried. You're still probably unphased by it, but one of the big programs the Secretary oversees is special education and how the sped program should run in the United States.
        Initially, I cried out of anger. I was angry because she proved to be unfit and not qualified, yet she won. She won because half of the Senate disagreed. Actually, that's where it was part anger and part frustration tears. I'm not so sure if it was out of disagreement she earned half of Senate votes or if it was out of money hunger and greed. If it's the latter, then truly with a fist in the air, I am very disappointed in the system. Being a teacher to you and in this community, money is not something that comes easily to your families. Money is very hard earned. I know that your parents and guardians teach you the actual value of money and I respect them for that. I try to instill similar practice and perspective even in the classroom. Therefore, when someone wealthy waltzes into such position, what is that teaching you guys? (The complete opposite...) So now, here we are- a society where if you are wealthy, then money can buy you anything. Meanwhile, the middle and lower class continues to work hard, often struggle financially, and dream of having a pinch of their wealth..
        Then, the fear. What is going to happen to public schools? What will happen to special education programs? What will happen to my/our classrooms? (She has the power to take away "our" classroom). Will the IDEA Act change? What will future IEP document write ups look like? What will your FAPE Part I look like? So many questions and insecurities, all out of fear.... But you know what, I practiced my "centered breathing" and thought of something else to stay in control of my emotions (6th graders, this was our most recent Second Step lesson!). 
       I thought of why I stand in front of you daily. I thought of the countless hours I put into lesson planning and coming up with 101 different strategies to teach one concept. I thought of the minutes, days, months, and some- years, that I've spent with some of you and the impact you've made in my career. I thought of all the "no's" you've heard in the past, all the anger and frustration you must've felt as a student when you tried so hard to understand something but it just didn't make sense... I thought of all of your small in "achievement" but huge in personal growth accomplishments and how proud I am of each and every single one of them. DeVos' confirmation reminded me of my passion and the drive to do what I do. 
       Students, current and past, I am here for you. I will continue to stand up for you and the need for our programs. I am fighting for you and all that you deserve and need. I will continue to advocate for proper eligibility, LRE's and placement, as well as smart annual goals and accommodations. I will continue to provide moments where you can experience your own personal boundaries and capabilities. I will keep pushing you and expect the most from you, knowing that if you put your mind and believe in your own self, then you can really see yourself the way I see you- full of potential with limitless possibilities. I will continue to monitor your progress and celebrate each growth. I will continue to let you shine in your own special unique ways because individuality is something to be recognized and celebrated. The struggles in the classroom are real but the joy you bring into my life is so much sweeter. I will stand for you, always. That is a promise. I got your back, my sped kidlings!

Love, Ms. Lee 


I'll be honest. If people really knew how I treat my skin, they'd be either disgusted or upset. I'm disappointed in myself half the time too. I really should and need to take care of my skin better because...
1. I'm not getting any younger and 2. body, including skin, changed a lot post pregnancy. 

People, friends and strangers, comment about my skin on a monthly basis and they all say something along the lines of... "Julie, you have such good skin... are you wearing makeup? what do you use?... tell me your secret!" so on and so on. Over the years, I've come to the conclusion that it's really not something I do that gives me this "perfect" skin, but it's really.. genetics. I get it from my mama (thanks umma!). However, both my mom and I never followed a crazy skincare routine. No seven steps, no five steps. Instead, I just have several skincare products that I swear by... and here they are! 

 Aveeno Positively Radiant Skin Brightening Daily Scrub- favorite drugstore face wash. (But really, I LOVE all Aveeno products.)&nbsp;

Aveeno Positively Radiant Skin Brightening Daily Scrub- favorite drugstore face wash.
(But really, I LOVE all Aveeno products.) 

 The Face Shop The SMIM toner- you can feel the "rapid absorption" literally right away, as your skin feels super moisturized within seconds!&nbsp;

The Face Shop The SMIM toner- you can feel the "rapid absorption" literally right away, as your skin feels super moisturized within seconds! 

 Shiseido Bio-Performance Super Corrective Eye Cream- those fair wrinkles around the eyes seem to disappear overnight!&nbsp;

Shiseido Bio-Performance Super Corrective Eye Cream- those fair wrinkles around the eyes seem to disappear overnight! 

 Shiseido White Lucent Brightening Cleansing Foam- super foamy and luscious on the skin.  

Shiseido White Lucent Brightening Cleansing Foam- super foamy and luscious on the skin.

 The Face Shop The SMIM emulsion- love how this isn't as thick as a lotion, so my skin feels light yet well maintained.&nbsp;  

The Face Shop The SMIM emulsion- love how this isn't as thick as a lotion, so my skin feels light yet well maintained. 

 Aveeno Daily Moisturizing lotion- when skin feels extra dry or sensitive, this does the trick! Perfect balance without feeling oily or heavy

Aveeno Daily Moisturizing lotion- when skin feels extra dry or sensitive, this does the trick! Perfect balance without feeling oily or heavy

I hope my little "secret" helps you out someway somehow. Really, I swear by them because they get the job done and with some, I've seen visible results as soon as the very next day! Hope you do too!  

River's Room Makeover


Jessica here! It has been months since my last post (I think). Things have been busy on my end... I'm officially 34 weeks pregnant and while our nursery for the new baby arriving in March isn't ready, 20 months later, River's room is finally almost complete! 

I say almost because, Ray still hasn't finished painting her closet from before she was born. Very typical of us it seems. 

Let's get to it. Here's a before and after of Riv's room:

The only huge change to her room is the bed frame and the polka dot decals on the wall. It really made her room look extra spunky and fun which she loves. Not to mention, we think the color scheme and little decor really complements her personality. 

We actually ended up putting an actual full size mattress in there for Riv and removed her memory foam topper in total. We were scared she would roll off of the mattress in the middle of the night but instead, she's proved that she's an acrobat instead. We usually find her feet up against the wall instead. 

Overall, we're pleased with the way it turned out... 1 year later. Riv finally gets a fun bedroom that she's excited about. 

- The comforter and pillow cases are from pillowfort at target. 
- Polka wall decals are from amazon.
- Dreamcatcher from The Dream Barn. I bought this in 2015 and the same exact one isn't available but similar ones here
- Deer string lights from target. I can't find these anymore because I purchased them during Christmas time in 2015. 
- House bed from sweetHOMEfromwood
- Drawers and curtain from ikea. 

Airport Reunions

It's hard not to get caught up in what's been happening since the new president has been in office. My Washington Post app notification goes off literally three or four times a day, with yet another update on what's been happening under the new president. With that said, this will be one of my very first moments I speak up openly about "politics" with the general public and not in a private/safe circle.

I personally know a handful of people who voted for DT and with the belief and hope that "America (will be) great again". However, as each day passes by, I also see more and more posts of disappointment, fear, and embarrassment of realizing that we are going further and further away from "America (being) great again". So many lives have been affected and changed in a matter of a week. It's been unbelievable how much has changed and how many lives have been affected within a span of 10 days or so. 

To be honest, it wasn't until the refugee ban that really got me scared for the future... more specifically, knowing what's been happening in the major airports across the nation. However, it was also so moving and touching to see so many people (strangers and friends) united to show love and support of what's right and just, either through the internet or even some physically being at the airport. Watching news updates and seeing clips of reunions taking place brought me to tears on several occasions. 

As silly as it might be, this also reminded me of the opening scene of "Love Actually" and this quote... 

Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion's starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don't see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often it's not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it's always there... If you look for it, I've got a sneaky feeling that love actually is all around. 

I am gloomy with the state of our country. But I also see the love that binds our country together. I just hope we don't lose sight of that... I don't want to have to "look for it". I want it to be bursting in vibrant colors, from all directions, with no reservations or judgement.

Airport reunions are one of the most sweet moments one can experience; full of happiness, excitement, and joy. I can't imagine the amount of relief, excitement, joy, and patriotism those who were detained felt when they walked out of the gate and embraced their loved ones amongst strangers who support them.

I hope there will be more airport reunion emotions in our near future.

Stronger Than Ever

It's been a long night, mama. The winter cold is really messing up your family's routine. Your first child just recovered from the nasty cold and ear infection. Your second child, not to mention she's only 3 months, is going on day 5 (+5) of being sick. You thought it'd be over by now but no, the nighttime cough doesn't seem to go away and the congestion is only getting worse. Great

Kids are a handful when they're sick. They demand your attention left and right. You took two days off work last week so that you can stay home with the toddler. You enjoyed cuddling and giving her extra TLC but what happened from doing all that? Yup- you're starting to feel it. Now, you're the one with the itchy throat and body aches.

But guess what, there's no sick days for mamas. You have to power through. You're already waking up at 4am to PPP (pump, plan the day, pack lunches) so sleep time is non-negotiable. You down tea after tea, coffee after coffee. You work just as hard to keep the family's spirit and well being healthy. And then you know what happens? Call it Jesus fuel, mama mantra, caffeine jolt...
You're "okay". Your symptoms don't get any worse. Before, you knew that itchy throat and body aches were just the beginning of what's to come. Now, that is it. It's just itchy throat and body aches. They're temporary. They come and go. Why is that?? 

Mamas, you are stronger than ever. Giving birth has definitely changed your body. Your body may not look the same as it did pre baby. But it's gone through A LOT for you and the baby (babies). It knows that as the mama bear, you can't be out of commission. It knows that you're going to keep going to be there for your family, no matter what. Mother's sacrifice is so downplayed but that's what makes us stronger than ever. Because no matter what, you'd do anything for your family. You are stronger than ever. 

Friday Favorites - Jessica's Edition

Well, well, well... we meet again my friends. I feel like it's been awhile since I last posted but I can't be sure.

For today's Friday's Favorite... SHOUT OUT TO MY UNIQLO LIGHTWEIGHT DOWN HOODED COAT! This baby has saved my butt! We are currently experiencing the "polar vortex" so this coat has been a necessity in my life.

Here's the thing... I wanted to be basic. I wanted what everyone had: a black Patagonia / North Face / LL Bean long down jacket. Here's my reality... who's going to buy that for me because I'm surely not dropping that cash right now. 

I was skeptical at first knowing it was quite inexpensive for a winter coat but after reading the reviews and knowing that free returns was a possibility, I just went for it and I haven't looked back. This sucker went all the way down in price to as low as $79 over Black Friday/Cyber Monday. This baby is light (very important for a mama carrying her toddler and little baby inside her belly), it's warm, it's foldable, and it has a little fur hood that's also detachable. It also comes with a belt to cinch the waist if you want a bit more shape. I currently don't need to be cinching any waistline so I just leave the belt at home. 

I'm going to end my Friday Favorites post with this lock screen that I was able to download through the "She Reads Truth" app. I've been going through a testing period in my life emotionally and spiritually the past month and this specific verse is a good reminder of Jesus during this season of Advent. "...but One who has been tested in every way we are, yet without sin."

I hope everyone is keeping safe and warm during this time! I'm surely counting down to Christmas and spending some quality time with family. 

Life Lately... Jules Edition

Well, this is my 4th attempt to blog within a week. I apologize for going AWOL. To be very honest, the last 10 days have been a roller coaster ride. There's been dramatic life changes and I'm just trying to keep up with my life! So... what has my life been lately?

I went back to work on Monday. I know... it's been exactly eight weeks since the birth of Janie and that time has gone by way too fast. I had always planned on returning back to work this week but I had also thought maybe I won't. Luckily, the transition has been smooth. We all worried about Janie's lack of interest in taking the bottle but she's taking it! Han has been a super dad, being a stay at home dad for the entire week and watching both girls! Not going to lie, I was worried he was going to text me every hour asking about my eta- but he only texts me for eta once a day. At work, my students have been walking on eggshells this entire week because they're afraid I will "punish" them any second... which is nice because everyone is pretty calm. 

So, my role shifted from being a stay at home mom to a working mom. I thought it'd be really difficult to get back into that routine but thankfully, it hasn't been. However, the most dramatic change with the shift in roles has been... TIME.

Man, there's just not enough time in the day when you're a (working) mom of two. I now need to factor into my daily routine lunch prep, work prep, 2 separate times for pumping (at home), and pump parts cleaning for my pump session at work.

Here's what my daily schedule has been like this week:
6am- nurse Janie
6:30am- pump til both boobs are drained
7:15am- pack lunch, pack pump, pack milk cooler
7:25am- get ready/dressed
7:35am- leave for work
7:45am - 3:00pm- @ work
3:15pm- nurse Janie
3:45pm- transfer milk from bottles in the cooler to bag and into the freezer
between now and 6pm, play with Halie and keep Janie entertained all while getting diner ready
6:30pm- dinner
8:30pm- get the girls ready for bedtime
10:00pm- final goodnight kiss for the girls
between now and 1:30am, pick up toys and tidy up living room, wash dishes and pump parts, prep lunch, pump, work prep, and shower

So why am I still up at 3am today? Tonight, not only did I have the usual night routine, but I also had all the christmas presents and cards to write for Halie's daycare and my work...

It's just never ending! Life with two is definitely not an easy one but I love that it keeps me on my toes. And you know what, God is faithful and He provides. I have no serious worries throughout the day, everything is smooth sailing, and with the help of coffee, I have enough energy to do this day after day. 

 last evening of maternity leave spent at Disneyland for the Holiday fireworks

last evening of maternity leave spent at Disneyland for the Holiday fireworks

 love these sweet bedtime routine moments- diaper, check. pajamas, check. goodnight!&nbsp;

love these sweet bedtime routine moments- diaper, check. pajamas, check. goodnight! 

Life Lately... Jessica's Edition

I feel like it's been awhile since my last post. Sorry for being so MIA but life lately has been feeling a bit tough, emotionally and physically... the gritty details I will save for another rainy day (yes, it's rainy here in Virginia). So what have I been up to?

- We've been adjusting back from Korea and Riv is successfully sleeping her 10-12 hours except... she has bad dreams? How come kids are always changing? She's also still very attached to me. That has not changed yet. 

- Baby #2 is coming in 13 weeks. THIRTEEN. WHAT?! That number is very little. The guest room has yet to be cleaned out and ready for baby #2. I haven't contacted my company's HR yet to set up maternity leave... but I have time to do that, right? I haven't thought about breast pumps or infant clothing. I take my glucose test next week and I've been eating extremely unhealthy. Pregnancy update post coming soon! 

- We decided to grow our family sooner... because we are partially crazy... OK, but really.... 

Meet Jaxon. We couldn't help it. Against everyone's opinions, we adopted this little six month old dude because we are weird. So far, he's been a delightful addition to the family. Murphy is no longer depressed in the evenings when I can't play with her because my body is exhausted. They keep each other company and they also fight. Murphy has really shown us that she is "mature" compared to Jaxon by walking brilliantly on the leash and pawing Jaxon's face when he can't control himself over treats to do a trick. 

Jax has also been favored by the other male in the family due to his cuddliness. 

Best of all, Riv has really been showing us that she's the biggest sister of all. Calling her little sister and brother "Muh-Tee" and "Jac-Jun" to go there or come upstairs or telling them to stop fighting... or best of all, grabbing them both randomly to hug them and giggling. It's been a big burst of love in my heart to see her interact with them... a bit of a foreshadow into what life with her human sibling later on will be like.  

Call us crazy or just keep on checking the blog out to see how my life unravels with a full house... dun dun dun!

Completing My Joy

 GLMC Women's Ministry 2016-2017

GLMC Women's Ministry 2016-2017

About a month ago, there was a kick-off event for our Women's Ministry and as much as I wanted to attend, I physically wasn't able to, due to just giving birth to Janie. At this event, the theme for the year was shared- Completing Our Joy: in Christ, in Character, in Community. It's a reflection of Philippians 2:2

complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.

As I reflect on this verse and the theme, I'm amazed at our God and just how He works. I mean, I know He works in mysterious ways but I often think He's a funny God, working in the way He does. This is why. 

Typically, they say that the first few months post baby is the hardest. They also say the transition from one to two kids is the hardest. Well, the past several weeks have definitely been hard but something I've been experiencing more than ever is this indescribable sense of joy. I've been finding joy in the same three aspects of my life (as the theme) and I know it's only through Christ. 

1. in Christ
I often wake up with these ambitious dreams of getting things crossed off of my to-do list and making a gourmet lunch/dinner for the family. Next thing I know, it's 1pm and I'm barely surviving. I'm either frustrated with "non compliant" baby/toddler, antsy with cabin fever, or I'm just butt tired. But it's at these moments when I stop and literally catch myself praying and asking Christ for strength and endurance to last to the end of the day... on a daily basis. And then you know what happens? I'm at peace, knowing that I can make it through the day because I have Christ. Not only am I at peace, but I'm also rejuvenated because I know He will strengthen me and keep my spirit full. I feel complete in Christ. 

2. in Character
more specifically, as a mother. Can I be honest here? I'm so grateful for Han and his understanding heart. I know my first and foremost role is to be a wife. I often feel like I don't do or give as much as a wife because I'm so busy trying to be a (better) mother. However, Han accepts and understands it all and still showers me with grace and love. (thank you hubs) Now, back to my character as a mother. 
It is so easy to feel guilty and/or grumpy as a mother. I'm constantly trying to be a "better" mother- finding the most fun and exciting activity to do with Halie when she's home with me, making a wholesome meal for the family, being patient and understanding Halie and Janie. However, when I don't get to do fun and exciting activities with Halie, don't provide a wholesome meal for the family, or even get impatient and Halie/Janie ends up crying, I sometimes feel like an incompetent mom. That's when Jesus basically intervenes and reminds me how I am doing everything I can for my kids, and in that moment and realization, I smile and am comforted in knowing that it's true- I am doing my best as a mother and to my kids, I'm neither incompetent or "failing". We can and know how to have fun, laugh, and I have so much love and joy when I'm spending time with my kids and husband. They bring and provide so much joy in my life. 

3. in Community
I'd be lying to you if I tell you that my life is thriving in this aspect. I consider it a blessing if I see anyone outside of my family for over 45 minutes on a weekly basis. However, I am thankful for where I am within my community (of church) and the interaction that I do get to have on a weekly basis. It may not be as thriving as it used to be pre-kids, but it's at a much better state than earlier this year. Not only that, it's genuine. I know that this is the community I want to grow in, so I find joy in getting to know, spending time, interacting, and even praying for it. Where it once was a bitter topic to think about, it is now a topic I want to cultivate more joy.

I'm so excited to see where our church's Women's Ministry and my personal walk with Christ goes this year. I know it'll only get better from where I am today so it's exhilarating to be on this journey. How exhilarating?
It makes me wanna shout, Hallelujah, Thank you JESUS, LORD, your worthy, of all the glory, and all the honor, And all the praise...
(seriously, this song has been playing nonstop in my head the past couple of weeks)

Soli deo Gloria. 

Happy Thanksgiving! (plus the giveaway)

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Our blogging journey hasn't been long but it's been a blast blogging and receiving all of your love and support thus far. Thank you. 

We loved reading all of your comments throughout the giveaway period and hope that you continue to interact with us and support us. 

May you and your loved ones have a wonderful Thanksgiving day. We pray that your day is safe and fruitful, dinner tables are filled with time of gratitude and joy, and be reminded of all the blessings and love we so undeservingly receive from our Lord our Father.

Now, are y'all ready? Here are the giveaway winners! 

Ultimate Giveaway : Karen Orellana
Thankful Giveaway : Yunyoung B.
Grateful Giveaway : Jen K. 

 As proof, here's a screenshot of how the names were pulled:

As proof, here's a screenshot of how the names were pulled:

Congratulations you guys! We hope you appreciate our small token of appreciation. 

Please check your emails as we will be contacting you regarding the shipment of your giveaway. 

Five Things I Learned While Traveling With A Toddler

Maybe it was my mistake thinking it wouldn't be that bad doing a 14 hour flight with an 18 month old. Maybe I gave Riv a lot of credit for being a chill little one. Maybe I was brave... or maybe I was delusional.... whatever it was that that I was thinking, here are the top five things I learned while traveling internationally with a toddler.


When we booked our tickets to Korea, we didn't think it was going to be that bad. Mainly because Riv usually cooperates for the most part. I was wrong. Toddlers don't care what you have planned. They do as they feel. So as a parent, be prepared for anything. Our "angel" child showed me and Ray all of her worst sides during the trip. Tears, tantrums, random joys, pain... all of it. 

 A rare moment for us during our flight back home. She did good!

A rare moment for us during our flight back home. She did good!


 Playing with my makeup.

Playing with my makeup.

Ray and I were very under-prepared:

iPad, check. 
Drawing pad and crayons, check.
Stuffed animal, check.
Diapers, wipes, extra clothing, check. 
Headphones, check.
Lots of snacks, check.

Why did we stop there? What were we thinking? That she would sleep for 90% of the plane ride? That she really likes Elmo so worst case scenario, she'll get a lot of screen time? Wait, what? She didn't even care about screen time? What?! 

Be. Prepared. For. Anything. 

 I carried that magnetic drawing pad round everywhere. Came in handy at dinner time.

I carried that magnetic drawing pad round everywhere. Came in handy at dinner time.


Ugh, I hate being flexible. Why do I have to do what my one and  half year old wants? Why can't I sit at a cafe for an hour and enjoy my latte? Why does she have to nap right now? 

Yeah... be flexible. When the little one is happy, everyone is happy. Trust me on this. I always try not to give in to everything but I'd much rather have a content Riv who had a solid nap then one who throws tantrums and tears in a crowded subway. 


 Loved every escalator ride she could get on.&nbsp;

Loved every escalator ride she could get on. 

I think this particular comment/advice is shared often when you have kids. I fully realized why when Ray and I got to Korea. Both of us had hopes of a dream international vacation (as if we were single again) and reality hit us hard when we got there. Let me also preface this by saying: NOT all babies/toddlers are the same. For those of you who travel often with a kid, I give you my impressive and slightly jealous look. You are lucky! 

Our hopes of shopping and eating late at night on the streets... cafe hunting and tasting different types of coffee... doing fun touristy things all the time... 

We fulfilled all of those things... partially. 

We did some shopping... inside the mall. (We got to go out maybe 2-3 times in the evening without the kids so I guess we can check this off the list)

We drank coffee at cafes.... for a few minutes before the kids were over it.

We went to a palace thinking maybe we could dress them up in traditional hanboks and take sweet pictures... we went to the palace, took quick pictures and left because the kids were hungry. 

Really though, my favorite moments are of Riv being happy that she gets to run around or when she deliciously ate dumplings and noodles or when she stuck her head out the car window (no car seats in taxis there) and yelled at everyone to say hi. Find joy in those moments and make it worth it or else, you'll dwell on everything you sacrificed or can't do and be super depressed. 


Apparently, it takes the kid as many days to adjust back as the number of time difference. For us it was 13 hours so 13 days. I almost fell over in instant exhaustion thinking about it. But also, why do I always think that Riv is older than I am? By that, I mean. I think I always feel like she should be adjusting quicker than Raymond for example... as if she's not just 18 months old or something. If Ray takes two weeks and more to adjust to jet lag... then I should be giving Riv three. Instead, I kept thinking she would adjust quickly and wondered if something was wrong with my little baby for having a total meltdown at 2am. What do they know?? Her body is confused and she is frustrated that she can't sleep when she wants. 

On the other side of this, make sure you're giving yourself a ton of TLC. Light a candle, take baths, read a book, lie down, or just freaking sleep when and if you can. You're taking care of this little one so make sure you're staying sane and healthy to keep up with their wonky schedules and random tantrums. 



Giveaway Question #4: Where is your next (dream) vacation destination? 
Don't forget to comment with your response for a chance to win any of our 3 giveaways coming up on Thanksgiving! (Refer to our previous post for more details)