Elaine said… and other conversations.

[Car audio plays Bon Iver and St. Vincent’s “Rosyln”]

“Is this holiday music?”

“I’m going to sing the ABCs backwards.”

“Wow!” I thought to myself amazed at what’s to come.

“B….” [and continued to say random letters]

“I’m going to count backwards.”



[At the hospital, to a nurse:]

“I want to be a nurse when I grow up!”

“Don’t you want to be a doctor?”

“Uh, yeah! I want to be a doctor. Then a teacher. Then I want to go camping!”

Nurse laughs and tells me, “Oh~ she wants to retire and go camping.”

[from a random conversation with my husband on our Amazon Music playlists:]

Me: What is ‘Robotaki’? [I pronounced it ‘Robo-taki’]

Husband: It’s Robe-AH-ti-KAI.

Me: Psff.

[a minute later]

Husband: I thought it was Robo-taki too.


Field Trip: Unique L.A.

My first experience at a craft fair was Renegade Craft Fair in San Francisco (2010). It was located in one of the warehouses along the piers and I remember the space being massive. Not only was the space massive, it was filled with booths for independent artists and their goods lined side by side in a circular shape. I didn’t know what to expect at the time and found myself being thrown along the tide of people in a conveyor belt-like fashion not knowing when to stop and look or when I should turn around and go back to my favorite booths. It was overwhelming but fun to experience–I came out feeling like I’ve been thrown around in a craft filled tornado. Since then I have made an effort to attend annual pop-ups and have learned to take my time and be okay with not seeing everything; I know what I’m interested in and which ones to pass. That would be my tip for first-timers: brace yourself to be overwhelmed and know what to pass.

Of the seemingly many events that happen year round, Unique L.A. is probably my favorite that happens in L.A. because: 1) it’s located in a good venue with ample parking (not free, but that’s pretty much everywhere in L.A.; must be thankful for availability), 2) they have a tasteful selection of booths, not too overwhelming, 3) it’s kid friendly, 4) they offer “free” goodies that aren’t likely to end up in the trash (samples, sponsored products, photo booths, canvas bag, etc.), and 5) they usually have a hands-on activity station. This year they had a flower crown making station with several tables for crafting and an abundance of flowers to work with. I made a crown for Elaine and she loved it.

Our admission/complimentary tote bags included free admission to the OC Fair. I’ve never been, so I’m looking forward to hopefully being able to go. :)

Field Trip: The Getty Center


The Getty is great for families, especially on warm days when you can stroll around the garden, lie down in the shade on perfectly tended grass, pop into a gallery to get a quick glimpse of history while enjoying the air-conditioned room, or sit around the outside tables to enjoy a cool beverage and snacks. There’s also a Family Room with fun activities to keep the littles busy. Their permanent collections are noteworthy and their temporary exhibitions are free and well-curated. We visited “Beyond the Nile: Egypt and the Classical World” and Elaine stayed engaged while walking through the eerie dark setting with “scary heads” and sculptures. She enjoyed the jewelry and treasures the most. Surprisingly, the garden was the least fun for her because pebbles kept getting in her jelly sandals and the beautiful spring blooms, i.e., poppies, lavender, roses, were gathering places for “bumblebees.” She kept saying, “There’s bumblebees. The bumblebees, the bumblebeeeees,” in a nervous tone. Later, she broke into a full on cry because she wanted to get out of there. Well. It was fun while it lasted.

little big prayers

Yesterday I spent the entire day with my daughter by myself. My sister left for a vacation+business trip overseas and my husband was working all day. It has been awhile since Elaine and I had Mommy-and-me time and for most of the day, it was a very good day.

She loves telling stories with lots of dramatic arm and hand gestures, she loves pushing the kids’ shopping cart at Trader Joe’s, that is, until she receives a plate of free samples in which I’m left pushing the mini-cart because she can’t do two things at once (and obviously food is priority), she makes me promise many things throughout the day, such as “You have to promise to buy me bananas, okay?” “You have to promise to remember, okay?”, and she prays for me without prompting, often randomly.

“Dear God, thank you for this food*. Please bless this food. Thank you for Jesus. Please heal Mommy. Please heal her so that she’s all better. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”  (*she thanks God for food even when it’s not meal time)

I watch her pray aloud with her hands clasped together against her chest, eyes squished shut, saying those exact words, and my heart bursts, bringing me to tears every time, though I try very hard to keep myself composed.

She doesn’t know how I am sick, what I have, and often wonders why I cut my hair so short. All she knows is that Mommy has 아야 (‘boo boo’ or ‘owie’) and that we pray for healing.

And I pray that God will answer her prayers.

Happy Friday!

  • I enjoy watching superhero movies, mainly because they can be comical, but I haven’t been much of a fan of The Avengers series. The concept in itself is about revenge and that seems a bit contradictory to what a hero should represent. The latest film will feature all the Marvel characters and that already shouts: bad movie. Too many, too much, too cheesy. But my husband wants to watch it, so. I only hope it’s comical.
  • North Korea, South Korea, peace negotiations? What is going on? My mother has occasionally expressed her disapproval of the current South Korean President because she says “He’s a communist,” so it makes me wonder: is he? Are people blinded by optimism and their desire for unification? Did they forget what kind of person Kim Jong Un is? If anything, this seems like a scheme for something catastrophic and I pray what I imagine (which is, the end of Western civilization) will stay an imagination. Friends on Facebook seem happy about the publicity of both leaders coming together, but this is coming from mostly second generation Korean Americans, so I think it appropriate to share my mother’s concern and skepticism. Something fishy is going on… and it may be time to move to Finland (voted to be the safest country in the world).
  • In other news, I am thankful that my PET scan from Tuesday revealed the cancer cells are inactive. I have a CT scan on Sunday that will reveal the structure of the masses. There hasn’t been much change in the past year, which was good in a sense that they weren’t growing, but I pray there is shrinkage this time, and even disappearance. I pray, I pray, I pray… My father has often shouted, “주여! (Lord!)” wherever and whenever, and I’ve come to understand why.
  • One side effect for my current treatment is an acne-like rash on my face. The nurse who explained the treatment said, “The more [the rash], the better; that means the medicine is working,” and she gestured that the rash would appear around my mouth. I braced myself and thought, “Okay, as long as it will help me get better, I can endure this.” Well, the rash has appeared on my eyelids and around my eyes (eyebrow area, under the eyes, on my nose, inside the nose, yeah), which I feel is the worst place to get a rash because of its delicate nature. I furiously rub my eyes every night because my eyes feel dry and the skin around my eyes itches, and yes, I use eyedrops and cream, but I still can’t help rubbing them because it provides some relief, albeit very little. I remember when treatment first began, my skin began to dry as if all the oil and moisture in existence were being sucked out of me. My entire face was shriveling up and I was developing a crust-like texture all over. It has been a kind of physical and mental torture, an ongoing battle inside and out. Still, life goes on, thankfully, and even though I look and feel as though I’ve aged 20 years in the past 4 months, I cling to hope… and that is the easiest yet hardest battle.
  • My daughter has narrowed it down to wanting a purple or star party. She is definitely not the typical girly-girl. Instead of pink, flowers, laces, and such, she loves all things sparkly, glittery, and quirky (e.g., like really ugly and weird looking dolls/stuffed animals). She is so weird, and I love her so much.
  • Lastly, spring around our neighborhood:

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Hope you have a relaxing, happy weekend.