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26 July 2015 @ 10:59 pm
Turns out I'm not eligible for maternity leave until August 2016, so that's the earliest we could get pregant, which is fine by me since we got our new puppy, and this feels like baby-training. Abby's 13 weeks tomorrow! She's done so much growing up these past 5 weeks. I'm glad she can sleep pretty much through the night now and glad that she doesn't whimper or cry anymore when we leave the room.  That behavior was seriously stressing me out, but thankfully she only did it for the first 2 weeks or so.  Took her to her first puppy play session yesterday, and she was the most social puppy! Got lots of compliments for that.  Does awesome on walks, is pretty much potty-trained, ignores the cats for the most part until Kee instigates play with her and then she inevitably gets too rough...Wish Kee would stop instigating play with her.  She doesn't hurt him or anything, but he doesn't seem to be having fun after the first minute.  It's just annoying how we've successfully trained her for the most part to not give a crap about the cats, but then Kee just HAS to instigate play and gets pissed off when he realizes she's bigger than him and can't win.

Life is pretty mellow and okay right now.  Work is good and calm, Mason is wonderful, pets are healthy, we're healthy, we eat lots of new food and lots of favorite older dishes, family is good, and we do hang-out weekends every once in a while with perfect frequency with only awesome people.  I've been taking a new medicine for the past few weeks that I think has also helped a lot.  Panic attacks seem much better, headaches slightly less frequent, jaw a bit less sore from grinding at night, too.  It's sort of interesting, and a little creepy, but good that this medicine makes me not miss the things and people I shouldn't miss anymore.  Before, sometimes I would sit around by myself or lie awake at night thinking about the "What-if's" and the "whys;" consider offering forgiveness to the people who don't deserve it; wondering if there was any way we could go back....and then now...nothing, and the ability to actually consider what happened and what has happened and to see it more clearly than ever for what it was.

That chapter of my life is over, and it's time to start another.  A new and exciting chapter.  I would say this new chapter started with Abby.  I've always wanted a dog (for runs and walks and general companion stuff), but could never convince myself (and Mason) to take on that responsibility.  But when any part of your life is riddled with rumination, something has to change, and the cycle has to stop.  When there is literally nothing else you can do about something bad that has happened, it makes no sense to think about it anymore.  Real change involves the recognition that there's literally nothing else you can do and you just have to do something else.  Abby helped me break this cycle.  She forced me to think about new things, better things, happier things that come from long-term investments.  Even if I didn't want to think about it, having to take care of her everyday forces me to think about it.  She helped me stop thinking about the past.  No matter how much her whimpering annoyed me in the beginning, it kept me from thinking about things I didn't want to think about anymore.

Becoming a hospital advocate serves the same purpose.  Last month, I finished my R-HART advocacy training, and now I'm eligible to be on-call to 5 regional hospitals to help survivors of domestic abuse.  I don't know how well I'll handle actually being face-to-face with someone who just experienced trauma, but recognizing that that bad situation isn't about me is all the power I need to preservere for someone else.

My life is less about me than it is about the people (and animals) I can affect.  I always cringe a little when I see people talk about "finding meaning" in their lives.  I don't believe we can "find meaning;" I believe we forge our own meaning.  We can't search the past for answers to questions we shouldn't even be asking anymore.  We literallly can't search for anything in the future unless we put it in there ourselves.  I think it's better for me to live this way.  It's rewarding to me (and actionable) to think about what other people need, and what I can to do help them be in a position to help other people themselves in the future.  So we can all rise to the occasion of being kind to each other.

I think it would be so awesome for Abby to be a therapy dog someday.  When she's a bit older, that's an idea that will be seriously revisited. 
29 January 2015 @ 11:34 pm
My first utility patent, design patent, and big product launch (all at the same time!) was spotted in stores recently!  So proud of my team.  Never thought the client would like my "gun" design so much, haha. Check it out!  It's in a bunch of different stores now all across the US (Home Depot, Walmart, Lowe's mostly, IIRC).  I wish there was a better close up, though. http://www.homedepot.com/p/Spectracide-1-3-gal-Termite-and-Carpenter-Ant-Killer-Ready-to-Use-Accushot-Spray-HG-96375/205754827

65 hour work weeks are really rough. I really hate the lack of free time, but crossing fingers! So far it's been going well. Team was really impressed with everything so far, although the past few days have been stressful with this tight time-line. It's an odd way to start, but if this is the toughest it gets, I welcome it.

2015 has a lot of potential for being one of the best years I've ever had, and even if it doesn't work out, it'll still be alright so far.

Our re-do honeymoon is now only 5 weeks away! I'm so excited. All the necessary Groupons have been bought, and now I only need to keep an eye out for show tickets. MJ: The One and Zumanity are on the top of our lists; the other shows will just be icing on top. The Venetian is going to be so wonderful...maybe we'll take a midnight drunken gondola ride. So romantic, haha.

Warm midnight strolls, hand-in-hand, down a busy strip is one of my favorite things to do, ever. Somehow everything and everyone else just seems to fall away from the world. There is something exceedingly romantic about passing thousands of strangers everyday, as they pass through their own existences. Aspects of life that make me feel so small also make me feel so ethereal, so at peace. When all is said and done, we'll all be returned to the stars, as we were all once born from them.

Yeah, that's how Las Vegas makes me feel. A bit weird, but I'm glad I feel this way about anything, anywhere.
02 October 2014 @ 10:49 pm
Mason and I have officially decided that we will start baby stuff next August. :). In the mean time, I've been reading a lot of books about babies and about how much I think I'm going to suffer during the entire course of the pregnancy, haha. We've kicked our savings plan into higher gear and it's kind of exciting. We have a bit saved up already, but I look forward to being even more of a grown up.

I hope more than anything that my parents will be able to spend as much time as they can with our baby (or babies, but at most, two of them). We wanted to wait a bit later, but agree that given my dad's age and health concerns, delaying motherhood by another 1-2 years is 1-2 fewer years the baby will get to spend listening to my parents' stories. I am willing to give up most things in exchange for my parents' time spent with their grandchildren...I have the rest of my older life to do whatever else.

Life isn't perfect, but it's pretty good, and I'm really lucky. We make the best out of what we have, and support others on their own quests to do the same for themselves. That's really all you can hope for!
19 July 2014 @ 10:54 pm
Our wedding day was beautiful. It was everything I wanted it to be and more. It was definitely one of the happiest days of my life.  We took so many amazing photos with such talented photographers, but we won't see them until 1-2 weeks after the event.

I'm glad we made the extra effort to get married in my hometown in California. I got to be surrounded by the people who loved me most--the people who raised me and cared for me since the day I was born.  We laughed and danced and sung, all throughout the night. I created so many memories with them, and I wouldn't have had it any other way. After it was all done with, Mason and I had an awesome 8-day, 5-star Vegas food and show honeymoon to look forward to.

Before we left to go to the airport to catch our plane to Vegas, we decided to drive back from dropping people off at SFO to see my family one more time for 30 minutes. Mostly it was to see my grandma. She asked me why I was still there and I said that I wanted to see her one more time before I left. She smiled. We offered her tea and I kissed her on the forehead. I didn't know that that was truly the last time I got to be with her.

One day into our honeymoon, my grandma went into cardiac arrest. We immediately drove 9 hours from Vegas to her hospital bed.  30 family members were there, crying. She was our matriarch, our mama.  She survived the Vietnam war to raise her 6 surviving children and all of her grandchildren.  We all stood in her room as her breath and heartbeat faded. We talked to her as well as we could as she left us all.

It seems cruel that we were born to fall in love with people, only to have to rip ourselves away from those who love us when we die.
29 June 2014 @ 12:27 pm
Less than two weeks. :)

29 May 2014 @ 12:32 pm
When we were younger, we were told to stay away from "bad people."

When I was younger, those people seemed much easier to avoid. Some people behave in obviously bad ways, and it's easy for me to tell them no.  But I'm finding often, now, that that isn't the case at all.

Others wound you in much more subtle ways, often more severely.  And those are the ones you remember. They trick themselves into your life and leave you wondering why you ever tried. They have forced themselves into your memories, your life, yourself.  And what do you do?

2014 takes the cake.
28 February 2014 @ 12:04 pm
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04 June 2013 @ 08:47 pm

“In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

Too many people choose to do what's easy.

17 April 2013 @ 11:31 pm
I really love this song.

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It doesn't last that long.  I remember being so carefree as a kid.  I didn't know what I had, and I didn't know what I didn't have.  I knew two emotions: happiness and anticipation.  I had no idea why we were here, and I can't say that I thought about it much.  Everything was bright, and there was a lot of green green grass and dandelions.  We rolled down the hills and sometimes even did cartwheels down the steeper ones.  That almost broke my arm.  There were a lot of jungle gyms; we'd climb so high and so fast that being up at the top first was simply exhilarating.  We'd fold paper boats and float them down little streams for hours.  I remember on the day before vacations that I could never sleep, so Kel and I just stayed up talking about all the fun things we were going to do.  It didn't matter.

We will never feel so carefree again.

Life is such a transient thing.  I often wonder why people chose to live it filled with regrets.  I wonder why people choose to live a life of lies and manipulation.  Our time is so limited here.  We're all just people.  No one is on a pedestal over anyone else.  Everyone has the same struggles, the same fears.  We worry about our friends, our family, our health.  We feel sadness and we feel pain.  We suffer.  We will never stop suffering.  We are just people.

We are complicated, but we are complicated with potential.   "Collaboration is the stuff of growth."  Stop fighting.  It's just not worth your time or your breath.  Take those on who respect this transient life and drop those who insult it.