Monthly Archives: June 2013

My Day…

Lately a lot of fun things are happening or being planned, but with so much going on at the same time, I often start to feel a bit overwhelmed with logistics, finances, etc. and all this fun stuff seems to not be so fun anymore.  It even got me a little down in the dumps.  Fortunately I usually wake up the next day in a much better mood, which was the case today and I am so thankful!

Today Nola and I were able to meet up with a good friend in the city.  She works at a great spot, Stable Cafe, and it’s just the best sitting outside catching up and having someone dote on Nola while I can just eat!  She seriously is the best!!  Every time I go into the city I always say, “I need to come in more often.”   I really don’t know why I don’t, it’s only a 15-20 minute drive…it’s probably because I also really love our little Burlingame area as well.  But there’s something about the city that makes you feel so alive and so I’m making a point of coming in much more often.

After lunch Nola and I walked to Delores Park.  The new playground is so neat, but also a little scary.  I often think, how did this design get passed by the city (architecture thoughts in my head) there are so many areas the kids could get hurt.  But I know if I was a kid I would probably think it’s the best place on earth.  While walking back to the car Nola fell asleep and I was thinking, “man my life is so blessed!  I can’t even believe this is my life!

I was brought back to reality when I got to my car and seen i had a parking ticket :( It was like a movie, the ticket went flying in the air and I had to run half a block to finally catch it.  But really, that couldn’t ruin my day.

Oh, and to bring me more smiles later in the day when I was walking Nola in her car, she started nodding off to sleep and it really was the cutest thing ever!  That girl is a complete joy!!

IMG_2897 swinging…always loves to swing

IMG_2896 walking around!

IMG_2892 such a great day with my girl!

IMG_2874 this is the car she started falling asleep in…that girl (wish i had video of that)

Summer 2013 Playlist

The promise of summer is here! We’ve already experienced a few gorgeous weekends this June. As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, the city is so freaking awesome during this season. The skies clear, the mountain and water views are glorious at every angle, and the days are long. In fact, at this time of year, it gets light around 5am and stays light until 10pm. No wonder people stay out for as long as they can. A perfect summer evening for us usually involves throwing something on the grill, playing some tunes, and enjoying a glass of wine out on the deck. Each year, we make an effort to stay local during the months of July-September so we can take full advantage of a Pacific Northwest summer.

What’s summer without a few road trips?? We have a few planned! One to Lake Chelan for a weekend getaway, and another to the Gorge Amphitheater in Quincy, WA for a concert. I’m also hoping to make it out to the San Juan Islands as we usually do every year

So what will we be listening to this summer during those backyard evenings and road trips? I’ve started a playlist which I’ll continue to add as the season progresses! Please feel free to offer any suggestions, I love new recs!

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Nola’s 3rd Precious Cousins

When we found out we were having a baby, I don’t know about you, but waiting to get through that first trimester was so hard because I couldn’t wait to share the good news!  However, in the back of my mind, I kept on thinking about how I was going to tell two different friends who were trying to be parents desperately and it hadn’t happened yet.  It really did break my heart having to share this news to them.   Thankfully these two friends are amazing people who were so excited for us, but I knew it also was hard news because it’s just a reminder of someone else getting what they want.  During all of this I remember praying so very hard that they would somehow be able to be parents one way or the other.  I promise you this has a happy blog ending so keep on reading.      

One of these friends was CJ’s first cousin and she was sweet enough to let me share a little about their story.  Right after we had shared our news, Lauren told me they were in the process of adopting.  Being adopted myself, those who choose adoption just touch my heart in a special way.  Of couse you can only imagine how excited I was to hear their amazing news.  Adoption can be a long and sometimes shattering experience, but I’m happy to say this was not the case for them.

So here’s where this story gets even more crazy awesome.  Lauren knew that they were going to be adopting twins and that they were due ONE day after Nola’s due date, August 15th.  I mean that alone is pretty cool, right?!  Well needless to say it keeps on getting better.  Twins typically come before their due date, so it was expected they would be here in July sometime.  People, July 16th Lauren and Chris’s sweet boys came into this world AND that same day our little Nola girl decided to come too.

Sometimes this world seems so unfair and cruel, but I love and want to celebrate more often the wonderful events in our lives.  Those little boys and Nola are such gifts from God and I loved how they decided to grace our presence the same day.  Oh and one last thing, that other friend of mine who was trying to get pregnant, had a sweet little baby as well.  I love happy endings :)

IMG_1163   Nola and the sweet boys playing IMG_1167 Nola, “Oh you fancy, huh”

 

 

Mr. Cool (my Dad)

Dr. Vuong hoods Dr. Vuong at my brother Chris' medical school graduation- a pretty special moment for these two!

Dr. Vuong hoods Dr. Vuong in May at my brother Chris’ medical school graduation- a pretty special moment for these two.

Happy Father’s Day weekend to all the dads out there! We are blessed to have so many good men and fathers taking care of us. Lately, it’s been such a joy to see my friends become new fathers and to see how naturally they’ve slipped into their roles. Today, in honor of Father’s Day, I’d like to write about one of the most important men in my life: my “Daddio.”

Little known fact: my dad can hit a fly with a rubberband at 30 ft. We didn’t know about this hidden talent of his until we were in our early twenties. Even now, I remember how slack-jawed we were as we watched him nonchalantly take down a swarm of flies. Apparently he used to practice as a kid, aiming so that the lizards on the ceiling would fall on his sister’s schoolbooks as they studied. The things we keep finding out about our parents…

My dad is Mr. Cool. At times, he seems to be in his own world, and then just when you don’t think he’s listening, he’ll quietly slip some incredible insight into the conversation and you’ll discover he was paying attention the whole time. My dad is one of the smartest men I know, and the most giving. He was the first Vietnamese board-certified OB-GYN in California 32 years ago. A dedicated physician, I remember him working long hours and days to support his family and to grow his practice. There were many interrupted meal times when after a long day of work, he would sit down at the table with us for dinner and within minutes, be paged back to the hospital to see a patient in labor. I remember our garage door opening numerous times during the night. As kids, we would sometimes accompany him to the hospital on the weekends. He would drop us off in the call room with jello cups and we’d happily watch classic Batman reruns until he returned after bringing another life safely into the world.  Despite this grueling schedule, the extraordinary thing is that we NEVER saw him come home in a bad mood. He was always cheerful and positive, never bringing home the frustrations from the day. As an adult putting in a full day of work (a measly 8-5pm), I truly appreciate that now.

Dad and Mom

I’ve been told that the best gift a father could give his children is to love their mother. Luckily, my dad adores my mom and I love seeing them together, still happily married after 30+ years. Dad has the best humor, and is always joking, and telling stories to make my mom and everyone around him smile.  The rest of our family is pretty tightly wound but he puts things in perspective for us. He is unflappable, taking life as it comes, knowing that things will work out and that it doesn’t help anyone to stress or overreact to things. He supports many without complaint. He always sees the positives, no matter how difficult the situation. As I’ve grown older, I discover how much we can learn from his approach to life.

Dad edit

My dad loves music and is a big history and war buff. He is happiest strumming his guitar and singing during the early hours of the morning. He is pretty good about his diet and exercise but loves ice cream and on vacation, is known to have it as early as 10am without shame. No crustacean (crab, lobster) is safe when he is around. He has been known to clean out the Alaskan king crab supply at the buffet. He is the 8th of thirteen siblings but takes care of everyone. He loves a good suit. Every time we go to the grocery store, he inevitably shows up at the shopping cart with a can of unsalted peanuts. He loves animals and appreciates the simplest things. I inherited a sense of nostalgia and a tendency to wander from him. My dad is one of a kind and the very best.

One of my fa-vorite photos with my Dad

Dancing with Dad at my wedding, it was a BLAST

 

Letters from Dad

In honor of Father’s Day weekend, my cousin Melissa posted this earlier. A lovely read, I thought it would be great to share here.

To celebrate Father’s Day, TIME teamed up with Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg’s women’s empowerment foundation, to ask famous dads to write open letters to their daughters. The responses were equal parts heartwarming (Aaron Sorkin: “Once I saw you sit down next to a kid who was eating lunch all alone—always be that person”) and hilarious (Tom Brokaw: “Sarah, we’ll always have that New Year’s eve where I encountered your boyfriend walking through our house, drinking my precious magnum of Dom Perignon straight from the bottle”). Click on the link above to read personal messages from Marco Rubio, Mario Lopez, Rahm Emanuel and more.

Aaron Sorkin with his daughter

Aaron Sorkin with his daughter