My Mother’s Day Video

My mother’s day compilation… because I love this girl and I’ve been pretty blessed to have so many amazing experiences with her.  She is my world, and I’m so happy to be her “Nanay”. Happy mother’s day to all those mamas out there.

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Thoughts for My Niece That Left Us Too Soon

The last two weeks have been spent trying to come up with the right words to explain such a loss.  I have been back and forth in my grief and unable to find solace in the fact that she is no longer with us.  Along with many other friends and family, we took an uncomfortable backseat to the pain that my sister and brother-in-law have endured and will continue to endure. At times like these, one can refer back to the unfairness of it all, that such loving and open-hearted people can have something so unfortunate happen to them.  I can get eaten up in the anger of knowing that they are the last people you would ever want to be hurt by such a loss.  It breaks my heart to see the pain of my closest sister, my most trusted of family, the matron of honor at my wedding, […]

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A Look Back at the Women’s March in Oakland

After the election results in November, I remember reading the invite to this Woman’s March and thinking to myself that this NEEDED to happen, and asking myself why isn’t this happening sooner.  I think my immediate need for action was basically me not understanding the scale of what this event was going to be.  As the date grew closer and the anticipation of the inauguration was building as well.  I am past the point of “how did this happen?” or even mourning the times as it were.  I am past feeling the sadness over the whole situation and I have just letting the anger consume me.  I am okay with that, the anger needs to stay and keep me motivated. What made me so proud that day of the march was to see that I wan’t alone, that there was a fury that we all must feel and be activated […]

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Unleashing Females into the Wild

The month of October started off really testing myself on the mountains of the Lost Coast trail, and ended up watching my daughter really test herself on her longest hike to date (4.5 miles) on Angel Island and also climbing the large boulders of Yosemite’s Mirror Lake Trail. Of course I am a proud mama practically all the time, but something about her taking on these hikes makes me really glow.  There’s a lot that I’ve learned in my life through being out in nature, and I don’t think I understood it’s impact until later in life. My parents taught me a lot of self-sufficiency being out fishing or camping. I would come back from a a day spent catching on the river and wanting to immediately go out to the garden in the back to dig up some worms to bring back to the river the next weekend and […]

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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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Raising Kids to be Socially Conscious

Evie was about 1 year and 9 months when she first saw Black Lives Matter run through downtown Seattle on Black Friday. She was with us in a hotel lobby when we first saw news of the Baton Rouge shooting at 4 years old. It all seems like a little much for a little person to understand, but can you get in front of it all for them?  How can I as a parent keep open lines of communication for her to ask me about it without giving her more than what her little mind can take? There are many reasons that my husband and I support the Black Lives Matter movement.  This is NOT saying we don’t care about ‘All Lives…’ or even ‘Blue Lives…’, but that we understand there is a systemic injustice in the world and right now that has been around for a long time and it’s […]

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Hiking and Hot Springs in Olympic National Park

Now looking back to blog about it, it seems like we were out in Washington for waaaay longer than we actually were.  From family time at my cousin’s wedding to camping in the beautiful Mount Rainier National Park, maybe I was a little too much from the kids to do a couple more days with me in Olympic National Park. I mean, I really wanted to take advantage of being out there with so many beautiful parks, but I could already tell it was starting to wear on the kids.  (Which in turn, starts wearing down all the adults too, so I guess the joke is on me). From Mount Rainier, we packed back into the car and drove about 4 hours to another gorgeous park in Washington.  Olympic is actually pretty special when it comes to the National Parks as it has a very diverse ecology.  From coastline to […]

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The Deeper Meanings Behind My Batek Tattoo (Part 3)

Featured image: finding symbols similar to my batek hand-tapped tattoo in some woven Ilocano fabric that I brought home with me from my last trip to the Philippines in December 2015.  Some of the tattoo images have been lost through colonization but are survived because they were found in weavings and pottery. As more and more time goes on, the old ways of Filipino tribal cultures are lost.  Having the markings of my batek tattoo are not only helping me to reconnect with my own ancestry but also bring some light to an ancient culture.  The colonization of the Philippines has affected the country and it’s generations of people in so many ways, and I’m just scratching the surface of it’s effects on me. The experience and the markings were powerful and affirming, I wish I could repeat all the knowledge that my mambabatok Lane Wilcken shared with me.  I just […]

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Happy birthday to Mama and Coralie!

Today is a special day and definitely requires it’s own post.  I was planning to write one especially for my hard-working and ever-loving mother, but it was made even more special early this morning. Today my sister, Jan (who had just celebrated her baby shower), had her first baby.  My new niece, Coralie Ava, and mommy are doing well and resting.  I can’t wait to meet her.  

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Traveling with Kids Packing List

This blog is now almost three months old and writing on it has made me a little more conscious about my writing skills (or lack thereof).  I struggle sometimes to find my voice and share my thoughts openly.  Fortunately, I have found a group that has given me some opportunity to share with new audiences and has been really supportive of my writing.  I have published once again with TourRadar‘s online travel magazine, Days to Come. This article focuses more on some things that I have found helpful when traveling with my little Evie.  There’s so many products out there for travel with children, that I tried not to focus on products as much.  I wanted to pass along some helpful insight into what to bring with and why.  Things that maybe people don’t consider when planning a road trip or long vacation. My article can be found here: What […]

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