Finally, I have a website.

For years, I’ve wanted to commit to a website blog. In 2014, I’ve decided to take this step. I bought the domain name and paid the hosting fees, and now you can find me permanently (and more frequently than before!) at

Please, come see me there and say hello! I love talking & sharing with you followers here, and I love to continue this. 

Thanks, WordPress. It’s been real. 


first home-cooked meal of 2014

first homecooked meal 2014 (3) first homecooked meal 2014 (1) first homecooked meal 2014 (2)


Toshikoshi Soba (or Year-End Soba)

Last night, Husband made delicious hot soba for our first homemade meal of 2014. Which was actually three days late because it’s a meal traditionally eaten on the last day of the year in Japan. But we’d had a bowl game watch party & finger foods on December 31, and so we went for our farewell-to-the-old-year, ring-in-the-new-year dinner a few days later.

For my Husband and I, New Year’s is our favorite holiday. When I was a child, Thanksgiving was mine, and I’m pretty positive my husband was always a fan of Christmas (his family has several celebrations!), but since we’ve been together, our holiday has always been New Year’s. When we were dating, it was the holiday we got to spend with each other, so it came to mean a lot to us. Married, it still does.

So it was something extra special when he made us this meal last night, and it feels like 2014 has finally gotten started.

Though, I am terribly confused by what day of the week it is. It certainly feels like it should be Sunday, but it’s definitely Friday, right? Mid-week holidays throw a kink into my internal calendar, so I hope it resets come the real Sunday.


SAM_1530 SAM_1529 SAM_1518 20131014_195943 20131014_194341 20131014_193606 20131013_144646 20131013_110639 20131012_110259 20131012_105416 20131011_170930 20131010_110123 SAM_1678 SAM_1655 SAM_1630 SAM_1619 SAM_1615 SAM_1543 SAM_1540 View More: View More: View More: View More: View More: View More: View More: View More: 2013-10-30 22.41.41 2013-10-24 11.07.28 2013-10-09 12.34.30 2013-10-08 08.18.53 2013-09-05 14.07.11 2013-07-06 21.02.50 2013-05-26 13.15.28-2 2013-05-25 23.44.18 2013-05-10 09.56.57-2 2013-04-12 23.24.27 2013-04-12 19.33.57 2013-02-23 22.28.45-2 2013-01-26 21.05.15 2013-12-26 14.20.17 2013-12-24 19.13.40 2013-12-23 00.09.01 2013-12-20 11.37.05 2013-12-14 20.25.49 2013-11-28 13.40.54 2013-11-28 13.06.48-1 2013-11-09 14.01.24-1

Still, on December 31, I’m having a hard time grasping all that I accomplished (and didn’t accomplish) in 2013. It was a really major year for me. I graduated with my Master’s in English. I got married. I travelled abroad for the first time. I became employed full time in the adult world — not in a career-minded job, but one that helps financially and that I like well-enough.

I’m a resolutions person, but this day last year, I knew 2013 was filled with major life achievements. I didn’t set any other resolutions because “finish grad school” and “get married” and “find a job” seemed like enough for me in a year. And it was, really. I’m not sure I’ve had such a stressful year.

For 2014, I’m excited about the open-endedness and a year that appears full of possibilities. This will be a new year for resolutions.

It’s been good, 2013. I grew up a lot this year, and I learned a lot this year, and I’m stoked for midnight.

wrist tattoos + writing inspiration

I have always, always wanted a tattoo on my wrist. But I have a very low pain tolerance. And I can never keep my mind made up (which is why my hair color changes all the time). Something permanent, like a tattoo, is not something I should invest in.

But I still love wrist tattoos, so I collect images of them on Pinterest to keep me satisfied. Also, the narrator of the novel-in-progress has a tattoo on each wrist. I collect these images, also, as inspiration for her.




If you couldn’t tell, I am also a very big fan of birds and feathers and the like.

(BEDA: April 13, 2013)


I was talking to my little sister this afternoon and our conversation steered the direction of being an adultThose are some scary, heart-stopping, palm-sweating words. Kenz has been fretting, as I remember fretting, that with college graduation comes a step into adulthood. And in some ways, yes. It is a step into adulthood.

But so was graduating high school and going to college. So was taking that job that paid rent and bought groceries. So was that first relationship outside the bounds of teenage melodrama and gossiping girls. So was your 21st birthday. (Well, Kenz, you don’t know about this one yet.)

I realized, though, that this year — 2013 — this is the first year, despite all my baby steps into adulthood, that I really feel like I’m being an adultNot just sometimes, not just in certain situations, not just with certain decisions. But all the time. All the time I am an adult.

So I thought about why.

Why, when I’ve had adult decisions and adult consequences since that magical 18th birthday, do I just now feel like a full-time adult?

1. I’m graduating with my Masters degree.

Pardon the clip art. With my Masters degree, I’m stepping out after graduation with the intention of starting my career. Before graduate school, I applied for a job that I ended up loving but was more about new experiences and paying rent & bills. I never intended to stay in the job or the field (IT). 

But with my Masters, this is it. This is the beginning of my career and that’s thrilling & terrifying all at once.

(This is not to say people do not start their careers after their Bachelor’s degrees. Plenty of people do. But I always intended to get a Masters degree and as I want my career to be in academia, this was a required step.)

2. I’m turning 25. 

I’m smack in the middle of my twenties. There is just something about this age, to me, that sounds adult. It’s a bit inexplicable, maybe. 

When I turned 18, I could say I was an adult. But at 25, others see me as an adult. It’s in the way other adults interact with me. It’s in the way my students ask me about the next steps of their adult lives. It’s in the way I remember, vividly, thinking my 25-year-old just-got-his-Masters-degree history teacher in high school was just so much older than me while still being so much younger than all the other teachers.

3. I’m getting married. 

Which is major. Even though I’ve been with my fiance for over 5 years, we are really and truly beginning our lives together. Not our lives near each other, revolving around each other, like two separate suns. But our lives, inseparable, for the rest of time, (I couldn’t think of an appropriate astronomical metaphor here).

I’m thrilled for our wedding, for our honeymoon, for our first year of marriage (though I know it will be a challenge).

As a quiet, but devoted Christian, marriage means certain things to me and carries a particular weight with me. I know it carries the same meaning with my fiance. And it’s that we’ve made this decision, together. We’re defining ourselves as a pair, as our own family beginning.

These three events in this year are why I feel, finally, like a full time adultWhich is not to say that others don’t feel like adults younger than me or older than me, and I don’t discount their adult experiences. For me, I find myself unexpectedly being an adult, but this year I finally don’t feel like I’m faking it most of the time. I just feel like being an adult is just a part of my identity.

I am an adult.

No two ways about that anymore.

(BEDA: April 11, 2013)


a disney princess doll of me?

I find this a bit interesting, a tad disturbing, and I could definitely find it problematic in all kinds of ways, but I’m mostly just going to leave it alone for now… there exists a website here where you can model yourself (or anyone, really) off of Disney princesses. Their fashion, their accessories, etc. Here is what I look like using the limited creative universe of Disney princess options:

disney princess doll of self

I think I did a decent job of finding brown hair that’s poof-y enough to match my poodle-style hair and of course I kept the glasses. I never ever wear skirts nor do I own an off-the-shoulder shirt, but I would own the shirt and green is fun! I totally own those shoes (who doesn’t have black flats?) and obviously I carry leather-bound books with me everywhere. (Not really. Other books, yes.)

In days past, when I was a much younger creative writer, I used these doll generators frequently to imagine up my characters. It was a little more true to what was in my head. But still, it’s worth noting how these kinds of generators, especially ones modeled after Disney princesses, are extending problematic notions of gender, race, class, ethnicity, sexuality, etc. Because they do.

None the less, I just made me, the Disney Princess. I wonder if I should have gone for the tiara?

(BEDA: April 10, 2013)

P.S. I also made a ballerina version of me! (I really get into these silly things.)


Also, Harry Potter. (Yes, I’m in Slytherin.)

harry potter