Monday, January 30, 2012

30 Day Photography Challenge

Whenever I read up on how to improve my photography skills, I always find this advice: Take more pictures! In that vein, I am going to begin this 30 day photography challenge that I found on Pinterest. I probably won't post my photos everyday, but I promise that, unless I say otherwise, they were taken on the day I was supposed to!

Day #1: Self-portrait

Sunday, January 29, 2012


There are laws to learn, trains to ride, mistakes to be made, and perhaps a victory to be won, but for now, my companions are my journal, my cup of tea, and the Good Book. Welcome to the average morning in the life of me. My only to do is to live. I sip my tea, I breath, I think, I pray, I write, I read, I pray again, and then I enter the day better than I would have been otherwise.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Salsa de Molcajete

For my birthday, my husband bought me tomatoes, tomatillos, jalapenos, an onion, garlic, a serrano chile, tortilla chips, and a stone mortar and pestle so I could make authentic salsa de molcajete!

This is not how you make salsa de molcajete.

This is how you make salsa de molcajete... 

(Nothing in these instructions are exact. It will turn out delicious no matter how you do it!)

Roast on the grill four large tomatillos, two roma tomatoes, a quarter onion, some spicy chiles (jalapeno, serrano, habanero, ghost pepper) depending on how hot you want it. Burnt spots are good! They give your salsa that roasty toasty flavor.

While the veggies are grilling, grind one or two pieces of raw garlic in your molcajete.* Mix in as much cilantro as you want and then grind in the grilled chilies.

Sad fact: some people have a genetic predisposition to think that cilantro tastes like soap. Julia Child hated cilantro. I love cilantro.

*Use a food processor if you just want to get the job done. Molcajetes are so much cooler though.

Pound in the roasted tomatoes and some more salt.

Mix in the tomatillos.

All done!

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Best of Thailand

I am not even going to attempt to summarize two weeks in Thailand in a single blog post, so these five wonderful memories are going to have to suffice.

Memory #1: Meeting my Thai in-laws. Michael's mom was one of nine siblings, four of which are still alive. This large family grew over the years into over 100 people. I am number 95. I didn't get to meet everyone, but those I met I loved. They were so fun and so generous!

Memory #2: Markets. This is always a favorite when I travel. I just love the stalls, the colors, the fresh produce, the sounds, and the smell of fish, or in this case, squid.

Memory #3: Pineapple. There's a reason why every major city in the world has at least one Thai restaurant. Going to Thailand, I knew the food would be delicious, but I was taken aback by the fruit and especially the super sweet pineapple. I could go for some right now.

Memory #4: If you ever find yourself in south Thailand, you must, must, MUST go to Phang Nga Bay. It was stunning. Try doing a Google images search to get a better picture of it.

Memory #5: Swiss Valley Hip Resort. After returning to Bangkok from the south, a family friend decided to take us to her daughter's resort. We had no idea what the resort was like, so we were shocked when we got out of the car into what appeared to be Europe. It was the cookiest way to end our vacation.

In the end, I love Thailand and I am proud to be married to a half-Thai guy!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


One of my friends has a super fun blog ( Last year, I saw that she posted a list of reflective questions on her past year. I made it my own, and as of last year, I have started using it for my birthday. So, here is is for year 26!

What was the single best thing that happened this past year? 
I can't choose one thing: hearing from my brother and sister-in-law that they have begun the adoption process, our big Colorado family reunion, and seeing Thailand and Thai family for the first time.

What was the single most challenging thing that happened?
I generally struggled with life at the beginning of last year. I just felt lonely with family and close friends anywhere from pretty far away to really far away. I also felt confused about law school and what to do with my life. I still feel confused, but I feel more at peace with being in this state.

What was an unexpected joy this past year? 
I have never had any interest in working with people with disabilities, but I surprisingly enjoyed my internship with a nonprofit law firm that works with low income people with disabilities. Now if I can just get a fellowship to work with them after law school!

What was an unexpected obstacle?

My Business Associations class. I don't care that I got a good grade. I will never ever be a corporate lawyer.

What were the best books you read this year?
For the past year, I have been reading Newbery Award winning children's books. They are conveniently clustered together in one part of the children's section in the public library, so I just walk in, judge the books by their covers and synopses, and check out a couple. They make perfect bedtime reading. Three standout favorites have been Holes, The Tale of Despereaux, and Bud, Not Buddy.

With whom were your most valuable relationships?
  • Family. From my husband to my in-laws to my immediate family to my extended family -- they are all so dear to me.
  • My accountability partner, Ingrid.
  • My small group at church.
  • Neighbors.
What was your single biggest time waster in your life this past year? 

What was the best way you used your time this past year? 
Spending time with friends and family, sleeping, exercising, traveling, and trying new things like photography and gardening.

What was the biggest thing you learned this past year?
I am learning how to have joy as I try to faithfully follow Jesus without worrying about whether or not my life is making a difference on this earth. Faithfulness over impact.

Did anyone close to you get married, give birth, or pass away? 
One of my cousins just got married, friends from college got married in May, and a friend from my old church got married in July. My friend Julie from my church small group had a baby girl a month ago.

Where did you travel? 
Death Valley in March for our anniversary, Colorado for the fourth of July weekend, Napa and Sequoia National park in July/August for a wedding and vacation, Colorado again in August to spend time with my grandparents who were visiting from the east coast, Colorado again for Christmas, and Thailand after Christmas through January 11.

What would you like to have this year that you lacked last year? 
A J.D.

What days will remain etched upon your memory, and why? 
  • I will never forget our trip to Thailand, though not enough time has passed to tell exactly which experiences I will remember forever.
  • I will never forget the mental image of all of my mom's side of the family sitting in my aunt's family room listening to my grandpa, whose life is slowly coming to a close, share his thoughts on "God with us."
What was your biggest achievement of the year? 
Oh gosh, I don't know... the amount I've grown in learning how to use a camera and take good pics?

What was your biggest failure? 
Worrying what other people think about me.

Did you suffer illness or injury? 

What did you get really, really, really excited about? 
Our trip to Thailand and the prospect of being an aunt soon!

What kept you sane? 
Michael, getting away, time alone with God, and fun hobbies like cooking, gardening, and photography.

What are you looking forward to the most this year?
Life beyond the California bar exam. I am excited and a bit nervous about what lays beyond my legal education.

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