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!

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It’s a Girl!

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No, we are not pregnant. Haha. Now that’s out of the way, we attended our dear friends’ gender reveal party for their second baby! You probably saw tons of adorable pictures of Emma and her newest friend, Camden on my social media. Well, Camden is going to be a big brother and Emma will have another girlfriend in the neighborhood! All my girlfriends and I are super excited for the baby girl to join our gang this August. Can’t wait to meet the little nugget! 🙂

Ever since moving to our neighborhood, we made some really good friends. Without having family nearby, I’m so grateful for these girlfriends who are like family to us. And with all the babies close in age, there’s always lots of room for fun family time! After all, it takes a village to raise children! 🙂

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Love is in the air <3

Hello world! It’s been a long time since I last blogged. I’m going to do a winter recap post later to give an update on what’s been happening in our family, but for now… Hello, February!! February always seems a bit warmer due to Valentine’s day and all the love in the air. 😉 Steve and I are usually low key on Valentine’s day, but this year, I wanted to get him something special for being such a hardworking husband and dad! Thanks to my girlfriend in our neighborhood, we planned a golf weekend for our husbands! The weather could not have been better for the weekend, it was in the 70’s! Can you believe it? On Saturday, we went out for a family breakfast and spent some time at a golf range. The boys needed to practice their swing, and the babies had fun running around. Then on Sunday, we surprised them with a golf outing. Tee time was set, and we gathered two other dads together for their 18-hole golf outing! I think they definitely needed a guys day out! While the guys were at golfing, we had a little Valentine’s day photo session of the babies. Although it was a bit difficult to get all the mobile babies/toddlers together for a good picture, it turned out adorably cute! Thanks, Morgan for being our photographer and props manager. 🙂

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Blowing a kiss. Mwah!

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Too excited about blowing a kiss, Em? 😀

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Valentine’s day was a regular week day for us, but with a sweet surprise! Steve had red roses delivered to the house which I was not expecting at all, and he came home with a gift! Steve is usually a practical gift giver, but he bought me a scarf – picked it out all on his own and everything, no hints at all! I was super touched because he usually asks me what I want, but this time around, it was all him! Bravo! We spent rest of the evening low key with dinner at home and calling it a night early. Hope you all had a great Valentine’s day!

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Emma’s First Birthday Party: Korean Dol

In Korean culture, first birthday is a big celebration called dol (돌). There are several traditions to follow at the dol party. Both my husband and I are Korean American, and we definitely want our children to embrace their Korean heritage. So for Emma’s first birthday party,  we decided to keep as much of Korean traditions as we could. We wore traditional Korean garments called hanbok (한복); set up dol table to display traditional first birthday items and food such as rice cakes, colorful fruits, dates, and dol towers; and had an activity called doljabi, a fortune telling ritual at first birthday parties. I also wanted to incorporate modern day birthday decor, so Emma’s dol table was combined with sweets, birthday cakes and decorations. To add a personal touch, I arranged her party decor and even made some decorations from scratch. We incorporated one of her favorite books, “Oh the Places You’ll Go”, and it ended up working out pretty well – a low key themed party.

We were so fortunate to have almost all of our immediate family members join us for the weekend and even had a few of my close girlfriends fly in from Chicago! The preparation of Emma’s first birthday was stressful, but it was all so worth it seeing all of our loved ones! Emma must have felt the love and care as well because she was so well behaved the entire day – even through multiple outfit changes! 😉

As for the doljabi activity, Emma took 20 minutes to choose an item. She definitely did not act on impulse and ended up choosing pencils then money after deep contemplation. 😉

We also did the ever so popular “cake smash”. She was a bit confused at first on what to do with the cake, but as soon as she tasted it, it was game over. 😀

I really can’t say enough about how grateful I am to have spent a wonderful day with our family and friends. Thank you all so very much for celebrating Emma’s special day with us, and thanks to others who could not make it but sent gifts and lots of love! I know, I say this all the time, but Emma truly is so blessed!

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Halloween Fun

I’m not gonna lie, having a toddler (yes, she’s a toddler now!) makes Halloween so much more fun! Because we were away from home for a good chunk of October, we didn’t get to prepare for Halloween. I’m sad to report, even though Steve and I like to dress up, we just didn’t get around to it this year like we did last year. But we couldn’t pass up an opportunity to dress Em up and partake in the neighborhood’s festivity! Her costume was a no brainer. We had to go with a puppy. I mean, it’s her favorite animal. She just goes crazy over dogs!

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We were especially excited about celebrating Halloween in our new neighborhood. Our neighborhood is huge with tons of families with kids/babies, so I knew Halloween night was going to be big! And as predicted, it did not disappoint. The streets were filled with trick or treaters! The club house had a kids’ Halloween party, so we stopped by for a bit and it was jammed packed! I can’t wait until next year when Em can actually go door to door trick or treating. It’s going to be so much fun!

Since moving into the neighborhood, I befriended a couple of neighborhood moms, so I thought it would be a great idea to take some pictures of our babes in their costumes. And I’m so glad we did, because look how darling they are! We decided to make this a tradition each year for Halloween, and we cannot wait to show these pictures to them when they are older!

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Thank you so much, Morgan, a fellow mama blogger and a photographer for snapping these shots of our babes!

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Fall Loving

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The summer days are long gone and we finally have brisk fall weather! Hallelujah! And what’s fall without a trip to a good ole pumpkin patch? 🙂

The month of October was kind of crazy for us (what else is new? Why does it seem like every month since we moved has been so hectic?) starting off with Emma’s first birthday party (post coming real soon, I promise). Then came Hurricane Matthew. Thankfully no one was hurt around our area, but it poured the entire weekend! The following weekend, we had to travel to Baltimore because I had to be in the office so off to grandma’s we went! But don’t fret! We couldn’t pass up an opportunity to take cute baby pictures with pumpkins and the whole shebang! We went to Chapel Hills Farm & Nursery in Perry Hall. It actually worked out great because Emma got to have another play date with one of her baby friends, Roy (remember their first play date?)

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Our little pumpkin surrounded by lots of pumpkins! ❤

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Way too cute! They even matched in their outfits (unintentional)!!!

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The baby goat thought Emma’s foot was yummy 😉

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She was obsessed with going through the tunnel! She saw the big kids do it and didn’t hesitate to try it herself. Such a brave little baby!

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Best buds ❤

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Because we were away from home, I didn’t get to decorate, let alone carve pumpkins like last year. 😦 But Steve and I plan on doing a little bit of Trick or Treating with Emma around our block then passing out candy sitting on our front porch with a beer or two after we put Emma to bed. I think we’ll even start a Halloween tradition of watching a scary movie before going to bed!

And just like that, October will be gone and November will come, last month of fall and another month of traveling for the SHwangs. This time around, Chicago for Thanksgiving! See you soon, Chicago! Go Cubs Go! 🙂

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Hubby’s Big 3-0!

Finally! Steve turned 30! Steve and I were born in the same year, but his birthday is later than mine so whenever I’m “older” than him, I can’t wait until he catches up. It makes me feel less old. Haha.

Turning thirty is a big deal, it’s one of big birthday milestones. I wanted to do something special for Steve’s 30th birthday. For people who know Steve, he is a simple man. He doesn’t ask for much, and he doesn’t like fancy schmancy things like me. 😛 I mean, this man even forgot his birthday this year for God’s sake.

I thought long and hard about what I wanted to get him for his birthday present then it suddenly hit me one day. HIS BEST BUDS! His two best friends are both in Chicago, and he doesn’t get to see them much. And I knew more than anything, Steve would want to celebrate his birthday with the people he love. So for his 30th birthday present, I decided to fly out his best friends from Chicago and keep it a SURPRISE. I then decided to outdo myself and throw him another surprise, a PARTY! Man, throwing a surprise party is tough work, I don’t know how people do it. I had to sneak around the week leading up to his surprise party to get things ready. I was hosting it at our house, so I had to hide the things I got for the party hoping he wouldn’t snoop in the pantries. But I am happy to report, he was TOTALLY surprised with both the party and his buds coming for a visit. I do have to confess though, he knew that “someone” was coming the day his friends were arriving. He kept pestering me all day about it so I just let him have it. But he had NO idea it was going to be his best friends, he thought someone else was coming and the look on his face when I came back with his friends was priceless. We have a video, but there’s a lot of profanity so I won’t share.

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Morning of the party, boys did a good job at getting Steve out of the house. *thumbs up!* PC: Mike

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All in all, it made me just as happy to see Steve so ecstatic on his birthday weekend. He’s been stressed this past year with home buying process, so he definitely deserved every happiness he felt on his birthday weekend. My only regret is that I didn’t get to take a lot of pictures, I actually didn’t take any pictures at the party, can you believe that? I really gotta make sure to take as many pictures as possible! Some pictures are from our friend (thanks, Mike!).

Thank you so much to all of our family and friends for coming to celebrate this man! We love you all! Cheers to another decade!

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Prom pose with my twin! ❤ 

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Hwang siblings ❤ 

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Goofs ❤

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Steve and his best buds! 😀

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