Monday, July 13, 2015


I thought I was over the fertility issues. BAM!

I have had weird bleeding for awhile. Analysis found a big cyst in my ovary. 2 months later and it is bigger.

I am scheduled for surgery and they are taking out the 'bad' ovary and both Fallopian tubes to stop the problem.

I am in pre-op and it hits like a rock. I will never get lucky and get pregnant. I will never have a child with my DNA. Damn.  No more pregnancy tests. No more hoping in the back of my mind.

It feels bleak without hope.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Keeping it all together

My moods tend to oscillate between joy and despair, and I haven't been feeling like what I have to say will really affect the world in any specific way.  Sometimes I wonder why I even bother blogging since I haven't really found a compelling voice that keeps people coming back.

I am struggling to find balance. I know I should eat healthy.  I know I should exercise regularly. I know I should be consistent. I know I should be a role model to my daughter and "not let myself go". I know I should play with her and do her hair and be there for her.  I know I should put my heart into my work.  I know I should change my priorities at work and be the corporate automaton.  My focus should always reflect on the company's profitability. Not people. Not teams. Continuous improvement in the context of profitability.  I should have dates with my husband, get my hair and nails done, plan amazing birthday parties, coordinate family trips back home to both countries. I should meditate every day and feel my life's purpose & feel like I am fulfilling my purpose. I should have direction and work towards it. I should be polite to everyone.  I should be more flexible. I should be more rigid. I should follow the rules. I should break them.  I should have been boundaries and have my shields up.  I should catch up on the news, and the new movies, and the TV shows everyone is watching.  I should read more - especially non-fiction. I should be able to talk about the literary meaning of everything.  I should do my best every day.  I should worry more. I should worry less.  I should question things more. I should make judgement about what things mean to the world.  I should find my voice and use it.  I should tell my family about how alcoholism in the family affects me.  I should tell my family how I don't want to be around alcoholism openly.  I should talk to my family how domestic violence is not the answer. I should not be judged and "hated on" when I try to express these views. I should get some respect. I should be happy and grateful for what I have.  I should thank god every day for everything.  I should be a good friend, wife, mother, daughter, sister, child, colleague, leader, manager, coach, and global citizen.  I should have more energy. I should sleep more.  I should help out around the house more. I should do the gardening in the yard. I should sit outside and drink wine and watch life go by.  I should listen to the voices in my head and tell the obnoxious ones to ef-off.  I should prioritize music in my life and dance.

Today is actually a good day.  I didn't work out, but I am eating healthy.  I am being a coach, a mother, a mentor, an executor, and a troubleshooter.  I did my daughter's hair for crazy day and made her breakfast. I am planning my work around surgery my husband is having next week & preparing to be super mommy/super wife.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Sick Kid - #microblogmondays

It's Monday and my baby woke up hysterically crying, coughing and not interested in eating her daily oatmeal. It was definitely not a normal morning but she didn't have a fever so we sent her to school.

At 1:30 the school called and said she just wasn't feeling well, didn't have a fever and could we come pick her up. I was ready to drop everything and rush home but my hubby called back within 5 minutes and told me he had it.

I get home at 6 and she is still coughing and has a 100.3 degree fever. My poor baby. She never gets sick. Ever. Even when she had the flu before Christmas she bounces around like a maniac and fools the best of doctors.

She is lying listlessly on the couch. I am trying to snuggle and decontaminate at the same time.  Oof.

Feel better, Little Bit.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Scrum baby - #Microblogmondays

I took the most awesome course last week which was both a life changer for work but also has the potential to be a life changer in my personal life. It is called the Certified Scrum Master course (yes - scrum like rugby) and it is an applied methodology for living an agile life (ok - really it is applied to software development frameworks but seriously, it has the potential to apply to pretty much any situation). 

It is the anti-waterfall methodology for life. Instead of mapping out the details of everything you want to do at the beginning of any project, you set the high level vision of where you want to be. Then, during each sprint (1-4 week period), you prioritize your goals for the sprint, make sure each team member has to be successful and start the clock. The goal is to achieve fully working outputs in small bits, check with your stakeholders along the way, and deliver exactly what is needed. We tend to get stuck in the weeds very early in the project and spend way too much time on stuff that just doesn't matter & that we don't really need.

How much baggage do you have in your life (and job) that you do because you have always done it that way? What if you could cut that stuff out and focus on the real value?! It is so empowering.

At work, my job is the 'scrum master' which means I will be getting stuff out of people's way so they can be as successful as possible. I love it. I was born to solve problems. Woot woot.

At home, I will likely be alternating between the product owner and scrum master. And sometimes the team member. We could decompose tasks for the house into the product backlog and see if we work more efficiently this way. Maybe big tasks won't be so daunting. You know. So I never start. 

Check it out!  Http:://

If you could be agile in your life, what would you do differently?

Not sure what #MicroblogMondays is?Read the inaugural post which explains the idea and how you can participate too.

Monday, March 23, 2015

... and today's hat is ... #MicroBlogMondays

I was on stay-cation for the last week, and this morning I returned back to work.  Everything is different when I am working.  I get up at 4:50 in the morning so I have time to work out and meditate.  I rouse the family from their beds & let the cats in from their adventures.  I have to shower, find work appropriate clothes, apply makeup, style my hair. I have to get lunches ready and put breakfast is on the table.  I commute at least 25 minutes (unless there is a 3 lane pileup on the way, and then it takes an hour).  Just to be in the office by 8:00 feels like such a production, and then I turn on the computer and have the hundreds of messages waiting for me to take action.  And I have to remember who I was before I took that vacation.  I am still struggling, and it is noon.  Crazy!

I really loved wearing the mommy hat last week.  Sofie learned to balance and ride her bike.  We went to the top of the world (the Spindletop Hyatt) and explored art galore.  We ate gelato and skateboarded.  We rode amusement park rides, baked cookies, went to a coffee shop for hot cocoa and friendship, woke up late, and watched cartoons in the morning.  We had a picnic and a sleepover.  I love these happy days.

The transitions between my hats are hard.

Not sure what #MicroblogMondays is?Read the inaugural post which explains the idea and how you can participate too.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Spring break - #MicroBlogMondays

Hello All Y'all! It's spring break!

I love the murals that are being put in the Heights and around the town. It's not all concrete jungle.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Most fun toy for little girls ever - #MicroBlogMondays

After my deep connection with the universe occurred last week through meditation, a nasty virus took hold of me and I have been grounded ever since.  I am back to work on day 6 of the plague (feeling a lot better) and trying to function today.  I was drawing a blank for my post, until I remembered the super-amazing-awesome toy that my husband found for Sofie this weekend.

It is called the "Flutterbye Flying Flower Fairy" (say that 10 times fast) and it is a remote control helicopter for 5 and 6-year-old girls (and 40-something year old women). The hardest part of using it (unless you get a defective one - the first one we bought had an issue; we exchanged it) is waiting the 25 minutes for it to charge up.  Oh, and the Fairy does fly like a kamikaze pilot but so does my Sofie.

Playing with the fairy is like having a bag of pixie dust for a friend.  Cosmic.  Why did we not have these in the 80's???

Not sure what #MicroblogMondays is?Read the inaugural post which explains the idea and how you can participate too.

Monday, March 2, 2015

The art of meditation - #MicroblogMondays

I have always been a very spiritual person.  I occasionally feel like I've lost that connection with the universe and the world around me.  It tends to happen gradually.  I will have some change take place in my life (kindergarten starting, Mandarin lessons, house cleaning,... whatever) and I will accommodate that change with time. I'll get tired.  I'll get restless. I'll stop focusing on me and start focusing on all the crap I have to do.  And all the negative feedback that comes my way starts to circle around in my head.  Months go by.  Suddenly, I am exhausted, stressed, anxious and out of touch with my awesomeness.

Last week, after my 30 minute cycling workout (really pathetic, but I am suffering from tendinitis in my elbow at the moment), God spoke to me and said, "[Junebug], take a moment and meditate."  Eureka!

I have meditated by myself in the past, I have tried binaural beats, I have done yoga/breathing, and somehow Deepak Chopra soothes me at a different level.

I started my "Perfect Health" guided meditation and I felt SO MUCH BETTER after I was done.  I was so focused at work.  I was able to function after I got home.  I had an amazing day.  I kept doing it every day last week, and it helped a little bit each day.  I met all my goals for the week plus some.  Today's meditation was all about loving myself the way I am, and I got stuck on Sirius XM Love by chance on the way to work.  Weird, right? I never listen to that channel.  It is too goopy for me, but it was spot on for the day.

Now I am taking steps to make sure that I am feeding my soul with meditation, and I commit to not falling out of the practice.

NOTE: I have purchased a few guided meditations from Deepak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey.  In case you are interested, there is a freebie 21 day mediation starting on March 16th called "Manifesting True Success".  Do it!   I find them to be life changers.  Did I mention it is only 15 minutes? 

Not sure what #MicroblogMondays is?Read the inaugural post which explains the idea and how you can participate too.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Chasing Rainbows - #MicroBlogMondays

I always think that there is going to be more time:
  • Time to catch up,
  • Time to spend with my family,
  • Time to work,
  • Time to spend with friends,
  • Time to work out,
  • Time to sleep,
  • Time to read,
  • Time to visit,
  • Time to meditate,
  • Time to dance,
  • Time to see the world,
  • Time to build a house
  • Time to plan my life...

The time never seems to come to me, and I am always chasing it a few miles behind. I am struggling to pick the priorities. I want to help change the world. I want to make a difference. I want my time to count.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Mommy Fitness - #MicroBlogMondays

Since I discovered a weight room, I love to work out. In college, I would wake up "early" at 6 am and run to the gym every day.  Although the music tended to cater to 18-year-old-nerd-metal, I loved to hop on the bike, stairmaster or treadmill for 30 minutes. Then, I would head to the free weights and go to town for another 30 minutes.  After college, I discovered high-tech machines and worked out like a fiend after work every day for 2-3 hours.  It put me in the best shape of my life.  Then, I moved to Norway and fell in love.  My boyfriend (now hubby) wasn't into the gym but preferred outdoor activities.  I went on amazing hikes, road my bike to/from work, climbed up mountains...  But, I did get lazy.  We moved back to the US a few years later, and I went on a few more fitness quests at the local gyms.  When we lived in Denver, I would ride my bike up and down mountains for 40-50 miles a day.  Most recently, I was a cross fit addict and grew an amazing addiction to wielding iron like a bad ass.  Think Wonder Woman meets Shee-ra.

I have had periods of injury over the years - back problems, blown out knees, neck problems, broken ankles, twisted ankles, shoulder issues...  I am recovering from the broken ankle now, and I am trying to find that balance with being a mom, working a full time job, and working out on a regular basis.

I have been a YMCA member for the last year, but when I go, I really do not like their equipment. The machines feel cumbersome, and there isn't a lot of space for using barbells/dumb bells.  The boys hang out in front of the mirrors, building the empire of weights around them.  When I am in the free weight section, I feel like a peacock in a sea of pigeons.  I joined so I could also go swimming, but there are really weird men who hang out in the pools there.  They leer & watch you swim, or they are aggressive and yell at you for getting in their lane.  I find myself not going to the Y.  Also, I have to drive there, which means either I have to go before work (and get ready there) & miss seeing my Sofie in the morning, or I can go after work, fight with the other after work people & not see Sofie at night.

Why not go back to the cross fit place, you ask? The workouts catered to men (although 70% of the clientele was female), and the women gained manly physiques.  They were ridiculously expensive.  When you pay for a personal trainer & they pay attention & correct your form. When you pay ~75% of the same fee for cross fit, and your trainer's attention is split between 60 people, you get hurt.  Also, they only do workouts at certain times of day, and I would have to plan my day around the workout. In the past, I woke up & left before seeing Sofie in the morning, and I wouldn't get home until 7 pm at night every day.  I just couldn't find the balance there.

So for the new year, with the goal of getting in shape & recovering from this ankle thing, I bought myself a Total Gym.  Yes, the one with Chuck Norris and Christie Brinkley.  AND I LOVE IT. It fits in my spare bedroom with the stationary bike and foam roller.  It came with specific exercises for women for a total body workout over 6 days. I ride my stationary bike every day, and then I go to town with the weight lifting. No, it isn't traditional iron, but in the last 2 months, I have worked out 29 days.  That is awesome!  Right?  Also, the exercises are safe for children!  So, Sofie can do a mini-workout with me each morning, if she wakes up at 5:30 (and she does).  And I am getting my muscles back.

Yes, I struggle with waking up at my original target time of 4:45 am ... but I am definitely working out by 5:20 and I usually get in about 40 minutes which is significantly more than last year.  The other part of my workout equation is this app called Fitocracy.  It is a totally awesome weight lifting tracking app that allows you to not only track what you do, but also gives you points and badges for doing different physical challenges.  It is so fun.  I love reading other peoples' workouts too.  And of course, you get to 'cheer' for people in their awesomeness.  This weekend, I ended up working out about 75 minutes a day, and my points were so high, I am wondering if I need to try to workout longer than 40 minutes a day.   Also, I find myself craving iron and am wondering if I should setup a home gym in my garage.... It is a question for another day.  But I am fitting the workouts in every day, and I am so pleased with myself that I am able to see Sofie and get it done.  

Monday, February 9, 2015

#MicroBlogMondays - As you wish

I don't know if any of you are subscribers to Amazon Prime or not, but this month, there is a new series of books by Rysa Walker that is available for the monthly "share", and I am obsessed.  "Timebound (The Chronos Files Book 1)"

Of course it is a trilogy, and of course, only 2 are out in print.  *sigh* Another cliffhanger.

The premise of the book is that in the future, historians figure out how to travel through time and choose to visit important events to capture what "really happened."  Of course, there is a dark lord who tries to take advantage of the time traveling, end the world, and he must be stopped.

In comes Kate, who has inherited the ability to travel through time with additional special powers that distinguish her from the other time travelers.  She is a teenager (I am still at heart; aren't you???), and she is still obsessed with the "Princess Bride".  (Rysa posted this link to a recent interview with Cary Elwes in case you are feeling nostalgic).  She seems to be a cross between Buffy Summers and Jess from "the New Girl" to me.  Every step she takes changes the world's future (and timeline).

If you like the idea of time travel, historical fiction, love triangles and nasty villains, it is a fun read.  I might have to watch "The Princess Bride" this weekend too.
Don't know what #MicroblogMondays is? Check it out here.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

#MicroblogMondays - Being open to discuss adoption with our kids

Parenting an adopted child must be pretty similar to parenting a child from my womb, but sometimes I wonder if I make the right choices by talking about adoption so openly.  It is very obvious that my child is Asian.  Since we both have big smiles, brown hair and round faces, I guess that some people guess that I had a previous relationship with an Asian man when they see us together.  When I was in Jamaica, the locals intimated that I might have created Sofie on a previous visit.  Also at airports, people have asked if her father was Asian  (My answer - "Well, probably, but it is hard to know").

When I meet new people in my personal & professional life and talk about our family, I do mention that Sofie is from China because I think it is so cool that we are a Chinese-American-Norwegian family.   I love being international by association.  I think it is cool that she will speak English, Norwegian, Mandarin, and Spanish because of our unique positioning in the world.  I feel like she is a citizen of the world, more than I could ever be - despite my travels, adventurous cooking/eating adventures ("Hello, Durian") and attempts over the years to be fluent in Spanish, Portuguese, Norwegian, and Mandarin and smattering of Arabic, Russian and French.

Also, the process of doing adoption was so challenging, I want to open the conversation to any potential people who are thinking about it - openly or in the dark.  Mentioning adoption definitely has opened some interesting conversations with people who are ashamed to talk about infertility openly - you know, the talk about the fear of never having a child, the frustration with all the medical procedures & hormones, spouses being uncomfortable with adoption, bonding with the child, the difficulty of national and international adoption, costs, family reaction, surrogacy, etc.

We have also been very open with Sofie about her being from China.  She openly identifies with other people who "look like her" and seeks them out today.  To try to bridge the gaps, we tell her stories about what happened in China when we met her.  We also talk about the assimilation process (at a very high level since she is only 5).  This spring, she and I have started taking Mandarin at the local Asian Community Center, so we have a direct link with the Chinese community and its customs.  Of course we also have Asian expat friends, but I worry that we will not expose her enough to her culture and someday she will resent us for her not being 'Asian enough'.  Also, I worry about her feeling 'different' with her peers because they all look like their moms and dads.

I am not sure how the open speech about it will affect Sofie in the future.  We will need to figure out how to deal with the abandonment issues as they come.  Even now, we talk about how her foster family loved her so much that they wanted her to come to the US.

We used to be a melting pot in the US where race didn't matter, but now we seem to embrace the differences with their own 'flavor'.  Is my active parenting enough to keep the flavor but take the edge off the bitterness?  Time will tell.

What are you doing with your local or international adoption as your kids are growing up?  When are they really ready to talk about their roots & work on it?  Did you get counselors or was open communication and love enough?  Has it come up multiple times?

Don't know what #MicroblogMondays is? Check it out here.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

#MicroBlogMondays - How obnoxious am I???

Somehow I became THAT mom.  You know the one.  She is always talking about how amazing her son or daughter is and forcefully shoving a picture or video of the little angel in your face. From the moment we were matched, I changed into a new person, and I assumed that EVERYONE would want to know about my joy, my happiness, my baby.

Knowing how annoying THAT person can be, I try not to tell more than one story about her at a time, but I still marvel that she is part of my family and my world.  I can't stop.  

People claim they like it. Do I trust them???  

Honestly, I have the most beautiful, smart, athletic, amazing daughter in the whole world. She is a natural swimmer, amazing ice skater, dancer, singer, songwriter, and performer.  She learned to do cartwheels when she was 4 by herself...  She pitches like a boy twice her age, swings a golf club like a professional, and has been able to swing across monkey bar rings since she was 3.  How many kids are like that?

She has been asking for pixie dust ("real pixie dust, Mommy. I want to fly outside my dreams") and a tuba (10x bigger than her) for years.

She was doing addition and subtraction at the table when she was 3.  We didn't start reading with her until this year (because of the learning English thing), and she has been a total whiz.  She gets it.

People walk up to us off the street or at restaurants or at the mall to tell us how beautiful she is.  It hasn't been a one time thing.  Does everyone experience this?

She has a posse of people who follow her around at the grocery store giving her treats (they work there & are her personal friends?).  I had never heard of such a thing.

She is fearless and walks up to all kinds of kids (ages 2-18) and even adults playing with kids to ask if she can play with them.  I was the biggest wuss ever.  I still am. 

I don't know if I can stop talking about her. She is totally awesome from her sunny (mostly) personality, infinite energy (think the universe or the sun), and playful, creative nature.  

I guess the world just has to accept us for who we are.  And I am in love and gushing about my girl.

Don't know what #MicroblogMondays is? Check it out here.

Monday, January 12, 2015

#MicroBlogMondays - Inaugural Flight

The inaugural flight ... Headed to Grandma's house.

I am so proud of my creation. Sofie added the propellers. Feeling awesome.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

#MicroBlogMondays - Back to life, Back to Reality

My 2 weeks of vacation is over, and a whole new year has started.  It has been a good run.  My daughter has been delighted that I am home all the time, and she has attached to me like it used to be before I went back to work after adopting her.  She wants to be with me all the time, wants to sit on my lap all the time, and has been the best snuggler ever. I love it.  I would love for it to stay this way, but as I head into the new year with a new job, I will struggle to have the work/life balance to maintain the close bond.  I don't think it is something she consciously chooses, but my husband is my rock and house-husband.  He will take her to school, pick her up, do after school activities with her, and be there while I am not.

I am looking forward into getting into a normal routine again.  It will be good to have a rigorous schedule filled with challenges and fun.  I am working to strengthen my local network of friends, remember to take "me time", and make sure I have the resources and support available to live a balanced life.

Happy New Year!

Don't know what #MicroblogMondays is? Check it out here.