Celebrating 5 Years of Camping on Angel Island

It was 5 years ago, when Evie was only 7 months old, that we took her on her first camping trip.  We went to an island in the middle of the San Francisco Bay, called Angel Island.  Of course I was worried.  I didn’t know if she would cry all night or be fussy on hike to the campsite.  I called the State Park ranger on duty to confirm emergency procedures if something should end up happening while we were there.  I hadn’t even been to the island prior to the trip so I had no idea if they had boats docked overnight or even signal to reach anyone. She slept in the Bjorn carrier as we climbed Mount Livermore, the highest point on the island.  We apparently took the hardest trail to the campsite, with baby and backpacks of camping supplies, and my husband and I were exhausted by […]

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The Things I’ve Learned from Hiking the Lost Coast

Starting off my life from 35 has already been an adventure.  Breaking into 36 with a crazy hike to the Lost Coast in northern California, I can only hope that bigger and better adventures await.  As I start to make my new lists for myself in this next trip around the sun, I know there’s not much moving forward without looking back on the past.  That weekend hike with Jenny not only has taught me a lot about pushing myself in my outdoor adventuring life, but also in other aspects of my world. As far as hiking and camping, I am only inspired by this to take on more challenges like this.  There are a couple things I had learned, and for all those looking to try the Lost Coast for the first time, I thought I would share it. PACKING Here’s what I brought with me: 65L backpack Bear […]

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The Importance of Cooking with Kids

Last week, I had the pleasure of baking some Filipino bread rolls, called Pandesal, with Evie’s transitional kindergarten class.  The whole experience is so important for my family and I not only to share some of our culture with her school, but also to aid in her development. I have this memory of being in the second grade and bringing a Filipino steamed pork bun to school that I tell people often.  Kid’s can be mean when they don’t understand, and I was ridiculed for bringing such a thing to lunch.  Once home, I asked my mom to pack me peanut butter and jelly sandwiches because I was so mortified to bring more Filipino food. Years later, my daughter is in school and I am making her lunches.  I am pleased to say her school encourages having various fare, encouraging families to share their culture to give students a sense […]

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Reestablishing Yourself after Childbirth

Almost five years ago I embarked on the hardest challenge of my life.  I was pregnant with my first child, my daughter Evie.  She’s the apple of my eye and I am always so fortunate to have her in my life.  Somehow, I still find myself trying to come to terms with what exactly happened to my life, my body, and my relationships since then. Let me set the stage a bit.  I was a little untethered then; moved away from home, no family and few friends, unmarried, living in California with my boyfriend (now husband), and working at a design and build firm as a designer/ project manager (I was doing double duty when the lead manager was let go) which was (at the time) teetering on needing to close.  Life had it’s stresses, but manageable and not as complicated as I thought it was. I didn’t even know I […]

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Running Oakland’s Pride 5K When You Aren’t Ready To Run

A couple months ago, I was convinced by my friend, Jessie, that we would start running together again and run another 5K together.  We had run together before, almost every day at one point, as she helped me to train for my first 5K over four years ago.  We decided to do it again, set ourselves a goal, and work towards it.  I even convinced a third friend, Kirk Ann, to run with us. Back when we ran regularly, I was feeling pretty unhealthy and wanting to make some changes with my life.  I ate better, took up running, signed up for the San Francisco Marathon 5K race, and even raised a couple thousand dollars for the American Institute for Cancer Research in honor of some very important relatives that I had lost.  That first race was pretty tough as well as rewarding for me.  Shortly after running it, I […]

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Hiking Muir Woods National Park

With Evie back in school, I have the time now to really just spend a day to myself.  I guess recently, I’ve been dealing with some phony people and discouraging situations, so it’s nice to get out of your head for a bit. Nature is the reminder for me that no matter how crazy life gets, it’s all pretty insignificant in comparison.  I couldn’t ask for a better situation when my girl, Rachelle, and I decided to take a little hike in Muir woods. The drive across the Richmond bridge and up through Mill Valley was beautiful.  Roads were winding up the mountain with breathtaking vistas of the bay.  Once we arrived there, we couldn’t believe how many people were there.  It was surprising for a regular weekday morning. I am still amazed at how much different the California landscape can change from one mile to the next, this park was no […]

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A Cry For A Little Empathy

As a mother, I have moments of questioning what I’m doing and how things affect her.  She’s 4 and has been getting stronger in her abilities to understand the world and communicate it with us.  She fills with questions and we as her parents are here to answer them.  I’ve been a little overcome recently with thoughts of what kind of world she has waiting for her. Her mind already understands empathy.  She sees a friend cry at school and she wants to console them.  Her mind already understands injustice.  Her daily struggle in life is negotiating her bedtime as she sees it as unfair that we get to stay up later than her.  Slowly, her connections with the world get larger than her home or her classroom, they become a community issue.  That community issue grows to a larger world issue.  I know my daughter is watching me for reactions on issues, […]

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What Surviving Summer Break Really Looks Like

Three months ago I wrote my blog post, Realities of Working From Home with a Child.  Summer has come and gone, and it is time to send my little Evie girl back to school.  We had adventures all summer; hikes, vacations, staycations, movies, playdates, and lots of ice cream.  Last week, as she started her new life in Transitional Kindergarten, I gladly sent her off. Mama needs some alone time. As I’m sure a lot of mothers can attest to, sometimes you just need a break.  We had some great times this summer, but I have come to the realization that this year was much harder than last summer.  She’s older and wiser, super active and lost interest in taking a nap in the day.  It’s a tough job, and it’s only going to get harder. For the first time, I find myself feeling that I don’t want her to […]

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5 Reasons to Celebrate the National Park Centennial

Can you believe that the National Parks turned 100 this year?  How crazy amazing that we even have these places of such unspoiled America to enjoy?  So, I know what you are thinking… “oh boy, Jamie, another post about National Parks?”  My answer is YES!  Since it is officially National Parks Week in America, I need to share some major things about the parks that you may or may not know. Balancing at Yosemite National Park at 3 years old. Celebrate the National Park’s Birthday with FREE ENTRANCE! Evie’s hike to the waterfalls at Olympic National Park. August 25th-28th is actually FREE for anyone who wants to go.  There’s actually a couple of free days for the NPS throughout the year but this weekend is special for the 2016 Centennial.  The fee waiver includes entrance fees, commercial tour fees, and transportation entrance fees. Other fees such as reservation, camping, tours, concession […]

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Inheriting Adventure: The Origins of Ever Winding Road

The very first memory of my life was picking flowers in an open field as a gift for family.  After discussing the details with my mom, I came to find out that the memory took place on my uncle’s land on a trip to the Philippines.  I was two and a half years old, but the memory was so clear to me. As an adult, I know childhood memories don’t normally go back so early.  A young mind usually does a memory dump around the age of four so most people don’t remember much before that.  Maybe it is because we were able to time stamp that memory to a short three week span in my life that was spent doing something out of the ordinary, or maybe it was because that snippet of my life made such an impression on me. My parents both had emigrated from the Philippines in the ’70s.  They created a family of […]

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