Happy Easter!

Looks like Easter Bunny came to town! Last weekend, our little posse got together for an Easter egg hunt. It was the cutest thing ever to see these little babes pickup the eggs and put them in their baskets. We even got to take a picture with the Easter bunny! I guess she prefers Easter bunny over Santa because she didn’t cry at all. She was actually super excited, kept saying “bunny, bunny, bunny” until it was her turn to take the picture. We traded in the eggs Emma picked up for some candy, it was her first time trying a lollipop. Needlessly to say, she loved it. She full blown cried when I tried to take it away. I guess lollipops are now exposed. 😉 Anyway, so glad to have these little friends of Emma nearby, they are so dang cute together! ❤

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Hope everyone enjoys Easter weekend!

-m

 

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First Snow of 2017

This is our second winter in North Carolina, and I LOVE our mild winters especially after Chicago. However, I was hoping for some snow so Emma could experience it for the very first time. Weather gods must have granted my wish, because we got lots of fluffy snow back in January, well a lot for NC anyway. Needlessly to say, everything shut down and Steve and I had a field day trying to find a snowsuit for Emma. All the stores were sold out of their snow garments if they carried them at all in the first place. Steve ended up driving 30 minutes to buy it off of some lady just so our daughter can “play” the next day. But it was definitely worth it because we got about 2 or so inches of snow and our yard was covered in white.

Emma was so confused when she first saw snow. At first she didn’t know what to do and stood frozen. She then realized she could walk on it and started exploring but definitely did not like that it was cold when she fell in the snow. Her play time in the snow was short-lived but I’m glad she was able to experience it!

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-m

First Santa Encounter

‘Tis the season to be jolly! I absolutely love the year end festivities. We get tons of family time and holiday spirits are all around! For Thanksgiving, we spent a week in Chicago with Steve’s family, it was nice getting some quality time with them as we don’t get to see them too often. Christmas will be spent in our home with my side of the family. It’ll be our first Christmas in our new home, so we are super excited!

This year we introduce Emma to Santa for the very first time. Although we celebrated Christmas last year as a family of three, Emma was only itty bitty newborn, so we didn’t take her to meet Santa. Our neighborhood had Santa come to the community lodge which was nice. Definitely better than waiting in line at the mall to meet Santa, it was more relaxing and not at all chaotic. But that didn’t make it any better for Emma, she immediately bursted into full on cry – no sound, holding her breath and all. It made for a cute picture though!

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First time seeing Santa!

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Maybe next year she will ease up to Santa. Fingers crossed! Emma’s friend Cole also came to see the Santa at the same time, so we had to take pictures of the babies. They were too adorable in their ‘picture with Santa’ outfits!

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We are continuing our tradition this year and picking out our Christmas tree this Sunday! It’s going to be extra fun because we are making a family photo session out of it! Can’t wait to share those photos! Stay tuned! 🙂

-m

To Emma (Letter #1)

Our dearest Emma,

You came into our world a year ago on October 2nd, 2015. Your grand entrance was as dramatic as it could be, just like the bright star you are! You gave us a scare with malrotation and emergency surgery, but mama and dada knew you would be as strong as ever. The past year, you have been thriving, surprising us with your appetite and developmental growth. Everyday with you was something new even when we didn’t sleep for the first three months. 😉 Despite the lack of sleep, you always brought so much joy in our household and we are so thankful to have a healthy , happy and sweet, sweet baby.

When we found out that you were going to be a girl, we knew Emma would be the perfect name. It was daddy’s first choice and the meaning of “whole” and “universal” fit so perfectly with what we wish for you to be one day. We want you to explore the world, in tune with everything around you – the best life lessons come from travelling and experiencing different cultures and people. And we hope that you too will enjoy travelling as much as we do. This will make you a well balanced person and it will make you whole.

Always follow your heart and your passion, and don’t hesitate to understand others before yourself. Being selfless is one of the best characteristics to have. Don’t get caught up in greed because greed will always make you think you don’t have enough, and you will never be able to stop and breathe. Even though we’d like to shield you from all things negative, you will find yourself in a slump one day, there’s no way around it. But please know that it shall pass, it always does. Things happen for a reason, and bad things end to make room for good things. Change isn’t always bad, it can be good, we promise. And always remember, no matter what, we will forever love you.

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Happy first birthday, baby girl. We are so lucky to be your parents.

-mama and dada

Father’s Day

Father’s Day means so much more to me now since I get to celebrate the love of my life on this day too! I always knew Steve would be a great dad, but I had no idea he would surpass all my expectations of what it meant to be a father. No words need to be said about how wonderful he is with Emma, a few minutes of observing these two, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about! My heart explodes when seeing these two together!

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Em and I wanted to make Steve’s first Father’s Day special by making him a present. We made some finger paint pictures to put in a shadowbox and he LOVED the present! Em and I also had fun getting a little messy. We used Crayola’s non-toxic washable finger paint I purchased from Target. It was her first time playing with paint and though she was more confused than anything, I like to think she enjoyed it. 😉

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After church on Sunday, we went to the Tumble Gym in Raleigh with our new friends we met at church and their 14 month old daughter. It was our first time there, so we didn’t really know what to expect. Though the gym is for ages 0 and up, it is definitely geared towards kids and not babies, but there was no one at the gym so we were able to let the babies roam freely. Em had tons of fun bouncing on the trampoline and hanging from a bar (video). We are still amazed that she hung for a few seconds on her own. Strong girl!

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always wanting to practice walking… are you going to skip crawling?

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our best attempt at a family photo. -_-

After the gym, we said our goodbyes to our friends and headed over to Pullen Park since we were in the area. We heard so many great things about this park, and the park definitely lived up to its hype! There were TONS of things to do for children. Em was a bit too young to take full advantage of the park, but we still had a lot of fun exploring and trying new things. She even got on her first carousel ride, well..sort of. She got scared once the ride started and didn’t want to sit on the horse. But she still wanted to grab onto a poll and pretend she was riding it. So I had to hold her while she held on to a stationary pole next to the horse (video). It was pretty funny. Silly girl. ❤

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the parentals while the baby naps

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Spending time at the park was a perfect ending to Steve’s first Father’s Day. The only regret is that we completely forgot to grab the memory card case for our camera. I was hoping to take some nice pictures of Em and Steve for Father’s Day, but we had to settle on phone pictures. 😛

Happy Father’s Day again, Babe! I hope you enjoyed your day with us gals! 🙂 You are such an amazing man and seeing you with our daughter reminds me every day how lucky we are to have you in our lives. We love you so much! 

-m

Chicago Visit

About a month ago, we visited Chicago for the first time since Em was born. Almost all of Steve’s side of the family are in Chicago including his parents, so it made for an exciting trip – Em’s first time visiting her paternal grandparents’ house! Because we were going to be there for a little over a week, we decided to drive. Yes, with a 7 month old (at the time). I was definitely nervous to do a long distance traveling (about 13 hours without stops) in the car with an infant, but we figured we’d have to do it sooner or later so why not sooner? 😉 I’ll do a separate post on our experience and tips for long distance traveling later, but Em was an angel! We could not believe how well she behaved and endured the long car ride!

Needlessly to say, our week in Chicago was packed! The weekend we arrived was filled with family functions. My sister-in-law, Mina’s dental school graduation was on Saturday (congrats, Dr. Hwang!) followed by Mother’s Day celebration with our extended family.

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During the week, we had playdates with baby friends and I got to catch up with my friends. Catching up with my friends was totally a different feel with a baby (phone pictures on my Instagram). We dined at baby friendly restaurants instead of hip/trendy lounge like we used to. Chicago felt a little different to me this time around but in a good way, I promise. 🙂 We had an opportunity to take Emma to the city (we were staying at Steve’s parents’ in the suburbs) for a bit. Steve was taking pictures of Mina in her cap and gown, so we tagged along to snap some shots of Em at Lincoln Park Zoo. Unfortunately the zoo was closed, but we did get some beautiful shots near the zoo.

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The last two days in Chicago, we got to spend it with my best friends and their hubbies and baby Charles. My best friends, Amy & Sabrina, and I tentatively planned on getting together to go on a vacation for our 30th birthday year, but life and babies happened. So we decided to meet in Chicago instead and do a full day of reunion in the city with our hubbies and babies. Amy and her husband, Jeff actually live in SF, and they flew to Chicago just to spend some time with us. I think Amy was more excited to see the babies than me and Sabrina. It’s okay, we forgive you. We spent our day being tourists – taking the CTA, walking downtown, eating at Portillo’s, going on an architecture tour, and ending the day in Chinatown for dinner at Joy Yee. And our sweet, sweet babies did amazing! It was actually Charles’ full day of being out and about, and he was a trooper! Of course, being around other first time parents and baby loving friends made it so much easier! Gahhh, I miss my best friends so much already!! 😦

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There’s never enough time when visiting Chicago, too many things to do and people to see. I’m glad to have met up with most of my lovies while we were there, and sorry to have missed others! But we’ll be back for Thanksgiving! And y’all are welcome to come visit us in NC in the meantime. 🙂

-m

Mother’s Day

Even though we celebrated my first Mother’s Day last year when Em was in my belly, part of my identity as a mother definitely felt more real this time around. We were in Chicago visiting, so it was very suiting to have celebrated my first real Mother’s Day with family. We started the day with going to church with Steve’s parents. In Korean culture, the flower carnation symbolizes parenthood. When we got to church (a Korean church), I was greeted with a carnation boutonniere and of course I choked (what else is new?). I felt strange and grateful at the same time to receive a carnation, I felt honored to receive it. Another moment in my never ending realization of I’m a mother now.

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After church, we had extended family over at my MIL’s house for dinner. Steve and I don’t get to see our extended family much since they all live afar, so it’s always great seeing them. It was Em’s first time meeting them too, so it was that much more special. 🙂 Due to our busy schedule during the day, we didn’t get to go somewhere to take pictures for Mother’s Day. But we managed to get some shots in my in-laws’ backyard.

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A couple of days before Mother’s Day, we visited Em’s great grandmother (Steve’s paternal grandmother). We are so lucky that she is still very healthy at 95 years old, and Em got to meet her! Their first encounter was so cute! I think it’s fitting to include the pictures Steve took in this post. After all, Emma won’t exist without her great grandmother. 😉

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Four generations of women ❤

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Now that I’m a mother myself, Mother’s Day hits all the right places in my heart when I think about my own mom. I’m even more appreciative of the woman she is and how she shaped me into the woman I am today. I’m eternally grateful to be born to experience this overwhelming love for my own daughter. Thank you, Mom for having me and showering me with unconditional love.  And thank you, Emma for making me a mother. I promise to shower you with unconditional love forever. 

-m