Year in Reflection – 2012

It’s the end of the year and as such is a time of reflection for many. This year proved to have many highs and lows. Many more highs, which were great.

In the beginning of the year, we contemplated moving into our first house and embarked on that crazy journey. Everything seemed to easy. We got pre-qualified for a loan by a friend’s previous loan officer, picked out a real estate agent based off of recommendations, and started our 3-month adventure of viewing homes. I still have my folder that has over hundreds of printed out RedFin properties. I would estimate that we saw close to or over 300 homes in that time (averaging about 3 homes an hour, for 5 hours a day, 2 days a week, for 3 months). Suffice to say, even after putting in a serious offer, going through the inspections, and doing our due diligence, what ended up being a really quick process upfront then turned into a spiraling disaster of a 2-month long legal battle (having to hire two different attorneys) to get our earnest money back.

I wouldn’t say that our experience with house-buying has been tainted, in fact, we are much smarter and more aware now because of it, but almost every step of the way, someone failed us–except our loan officer. I don’t know when we will be ready to jump back in. Maybe never. :\ Maybe next year…
And despite all of that hardship, I got to then turn around and plan our first big production family vacation to Hawaii! Months after I bought the plane tickets I found out I was pregnant and started out as a family trip turned into a Baby Moon (a vacation before the arrival of a new baby).

Hawaii couldn’t have been any more perfect, and I am so glad we were able to spend a couple of weeks there to really get away from everything and just be a little family unit.

So, with all of the events of last year, what am I hoping for 2013? I am not one to make resolutions as I believe that any self-improvement is a continuous endeavor that you cannot pinpoint a final outcome of a product since life transforms.

Instead, here are some things that I would like help myself to keep aware, to bring to the forefront of my thoughts.

To physically, mentally, spiritually, grow…
I always end up putting this on every year’s reflection because I feel that life is too short to be stagnant. With the addition of a new little one, I know that I will be stretched to my limits and I hope that I can be able to continue to grow more patient, more wise, more loving… and however more.

To Learn
Never to be content with what I know…
Life is about learning. I remember one of my teachers in high school had said that learning is not just about the knowledge you receive from books. I continue to hold this truth close to my heart. You can learn from your family and your peers. However, the most important thing is to recognize and not miss the opportunity to learn from something or someone.

As I write this, I am creating life inside of me. To bear this life would be a great honor. I wonder what other things I will also create, whether it’s continued work on my writing, drawings, crafts… I yearn to continue on with my journey.

And above all else… to Love.

Sketches in Thought


One of the greatest things about having a little one is that as they get older, they start to become more interested in what you are doing. My daughter is 3.5 years old now and likes to mimic the different activities we do.

We recently started pulling out our little wooden box that has different drawers for different art supplies. She was curious with each item–crayons (a comfortable favorite), charcoals, pastels, acrylic paints and water colors. Continue reading

Pregnancy #2 – Auspicious Dreams

The air is crisp and a thin fog is misting all around me. The foliage is heavy and sunbeams burst through small slits in between the leaves.

I’m in the middle of a forested trail, my legs carrying me and my burgeoning belly swiftly past mossy trees and nimbly skipping impacted roots. Continue reading

Endless Trail to Freedom

As most everyone gathers into the living room after the New Year’s meal, the clanking of dishes being washed by aunts drowns out the buzzing of the heater. On the back porch, the older uncles huff into semi-long PVC pipes and puff circles into the cold air. A circle of metal chairs are arranged and the married and widowed relatives sit side-by-side conversing in the sing-song language of Hmong. Continue reading

Culture – Hmong Pregnancy Superstitions

Renee Ya wearing a traditional White Hmong outfit
I am planning on doing a couple of culture pieces as reflections of my heritage, Hmong. You can read a extremely light-version of my ancestry by going to the Hmong Wikipedia entry.

Hmong Superstitions

  1. Hmong Superstitions – Pregnancy
  2. Hmong Superstitions – Postpartum

In this feature, I will talk about Hmong pregnancy superstitions.
Continue reading

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