tuesday thoughts: lose control

it’s time for some missy elliott. how about that?

i am losing control. my life as i knew it is totally outta control and all i can do is jam out to missy elliott. that is after i had my 5th nervous breakdown.

i jest, i jest. but seriously her music is dope.

so it’s tuesday and i’ve decided to embrace my short, free moments and blog.

originally i had been holding off on blogging for the longest time because i was waiting to change and perfect it, and make all these adjustments… basically i was waiting to be better, and realized better  may never happen. there are all these things i wanted to do, to improve upon, but at the end of the day all i had really done was nothing. nuttin. not. a. thing. all in name of perfection? how silly, silly rabbit.

so here i am, tossing my goals of perfection aside and going with the flow. if i have learned anything at all from birffffing a baby (or birth-ing in english) that is i need to seriously abandon plans and embrace spontaneity. let go of perfection and control.

for me, letting go of control is HARD. can we talk about that right now? i had no idea how much of a control freak i was until i birthed my sweet baby girl… ok so maybe i ‘knew’ i was a control freak, but i had my whole life in control so it didn’t bother me. even my pregnancy was pretty controllable! morning sickness? go for a walk. bad mood? go for a walk or eat something yummy.

but then came the baby. Baby Lulu. my whole sense of control and power and mental strength came crashing around me in glorious waves the moment i went into labor. first of all, EVER SINGLE THING i thought about my labor never happened. nothing went according to my plans or my visualizations or my vision board for me perfect delivery. what. the. fucking. fuck.

let’s back track.

here is how i thought my labor would go:

  • feel some contractions the day after i taught my last spin class, after i had a delicious meal somewhere delicious of course. (that was june 14th, so ideally june 15th was my target delivery date. i hate gaps of course, let’s get this show moving! hello people i have stuff to do!)
  • get in the bathtub when the contractions became stronger and listen to my hypno-birthing music and affirmations
  • continue with my affirmations as the contractions grew
  • light some candles and breathe deeply
  • call the doula once they were about 5 minutes apart
  • calmly go to the hospital
  • arrive to my lovely room
  • my doula and her assistant meet me, massage me, and light candles all around me.
  • i push a few times and the baby magically falls out.
  • and of course i would do this all without ANY pain meds at all. NONE
  • ****i wasn’t allowed to have an epidural because of my spinal fusion, so i thought i could mentally overcome the pain based on willpower and self hypnotization… again, what the fucking fuck was i thinking. ****
  • i get my baby handed to me and angels sing and all is good

here is what actually happened:

  • i dilated to 1cm about 2 weeks out and my OB said it looked like i would be going into labor very soon… the baby’s head very low. no wonder could barely walk!
  • i started having mild contractions around that time as well
  • i started maniacally listening to my hypno birthing music and saying my affirmations and breathing…
  • my doula massaged me and said the baby’s head was right on my cervix and would probably come out within 24 hours
  • went to my OB and she confirmed it appeared i’d go into labor any minute
  • it felt like a watermelon was going to fall out of my vagina, that’s how heavy nad low the baby was
  • i could barely walk, i felt like she was going to fall out every minute
  • we rushed to the hospital the first time when my contractions grew and were 4 minutes apart, but i had only dilated to 1.5cm
  • rushed again to the hospital 3 days later when they got even stronger, but was only at a 2
  • saw the doula again and she said the same thing, this baby was about to pop out. ok already!
  • finally on june 25th the contractions were too strong to bare. called the OB and we went to the hospital. i was still at a 2 but they decided to induce me and see what happened
  • 4 hours later i got to a 3, they decided i should stay
  • the doula arrived
  • no candles. the room was freezing
  • she started massaging me and realized the baby was in the wrong position
  • oh shit balls
  • kept having contractions for many hours
  • finally a doctor came in and said i should have my water broken
  • they broke my water
  • all hell broke loose, pain went off the charts
  • i begged for the anesthesiologist to give me something
  • all they could give me was tylonol. WHAT?????
  • i thought i was dying
  • finally they said the baby was not coming out, my hips were fused and not opening and she was turned around so i needed a c section
  • i freaked out, i felt totally lost
  • i had not planned on it, i honestly didn’t think it would be happening
  • all my fantasies flew out the window and i realized i had no choice – i couldn’t take the pain any longer
  • they wheeled me away and off i went
  • 5 minutes later they delivered my sweet baby girl
  • i woke up and saw my angel for the first time being held my husband, the most gorgeous site i’d ever seen


clearly nothing happened the way i planned, but what did i learn? that nothing mattered but my baby. i had to totally abandon control and just let go. give in to life and forget about anything but what really mattered: a healthy baby girl. being a healthy mom. taking care of myself so that i could take care of the precious angel.

so here i am, a new mom and feeling like a new person. it’s been a roller coaster. i definitely felt like such a failure initially but realized slowly but surely that i’m not a failure at all.

that’s the honest truth: i felt like a failure!!!! there i said it. i beat the shit out of myself. i know, it’s not good. but i’m over it now.

i had a beautiful baby that i love and she’s amazing. it doesn’t matter how she got here, all that matters is that she’s here now and OK. she’s amazing. she amazes me.

each day i try to set some goals but keep in mind that all i really need to do is feed her, change her diapers. play with her. enjoy her. let her sleep. and take care of myself. honestly life is simple, theoretically. i just tend to complicate it, but i’m getting much better 🙂

that’s my brain dump for today. my baby’s napping and now i must go finish some laundry.


so how do you cope with major life changes?

ever felt like a failure?

ever felt like you lost control?



Week In Review: Life with Lulu



it’s been a hot minute since i’ve done a blog post. i realize that. i thought about whether or not i should continue blogging at all, but quickly decided not to overthink it and take advantage of the free moments i have.

life is good. i have a precious baby in the other room, happily napping. (i’m watching her on my monitor as i type this, technology is amazing!) i’m clean, i’ve had coffee, and bonus points for a run and dog walk. i feel like i have conquered the world in the last hour!!! anytime i have a shower i feel like high-fiving someone. it’s that awesome.

crib baby room

much to catch up on – so for my Week In Review, hosted by the lovely momma and inspiration to my new-mom-self, Meg, i will try to summarize all that’s happened in the last week then try to catch up on what’s actually happened in the last few months in another post. to join the WIR party, link up with Meg here – she’s clean and fast on her feet. hehehe wink wink.



so clearly life has changed. i had a baby. Lucinda Helene Smith. this precious tiny human was inside my body and entered the world on june 27th, at 2:33am. this is the work of angels and powers greater than i can comprehend. mother nature is mind blowing. growing humans is mind blowing. i still can’t believe i grew and carried a baby, then had her lifted out of my bowels and into the world, and now she’s gurgling happily in the next room.


okay i can go on forever… this whole has got me like WHOA. science. the human body. women. it’s all epic shit.

so back to my WIR, i’ll start with what i actually did this last week. my brain is scrambled up so this list will be scrambled, too.


the daily stuff:

  • breastfed, burped, changed diapers, rocked baby, napped, ate, laundry x a thousand times, cleaned, more diapers, some pumping

other stuff:

  • walked to a cafe for breakfast with friends 2 x
  • saw my dentist once, had a tooth pulled once
  • took antibiotics for tooth infection for a week
  • hubby took off work to help with baby while i did the dental torture: 1 day
  • had my post natal OB appointment and took the baby, so it lasted 3 hours
  • saw my girlfriend on friday for happy hour – 2 hours of adult time
  • grocery store: 1 x
  • workouts: 30 mins x 5, plus an easy run on sunday with my gal pal
  • dogs walked: 1 time 🙁 sadly they get the short end of the stick
  • mother’s helper came over to help: 3 x
  • days where i stayed on the couch and felt tied to the baby station: 2 x
  • went to my mom’s house with the baby: 2 x and brought dogs
  • meals cooked: ???? cooking? i baked bread. i’m surprisingly good at that.
  • baby vomitted milk: 3 x
  • baby spit up: 10-20 x little spit ups
  • calls to the pediatrician: 1 x – said to eliminate all foods from my diet but potatoes and turkey and rice…
  • cried about feeling overwhelmed at changing my diet: 1 x
  • calls the the lactation specialist: 1 x – she said the change the feeding position. this actually worked immediately.
  • attempts at work stuff: 2x
  • paperwork done to return back to teaching 1 day per week of spinning classes
  • got my hair done on saturday while hubby watched Lulu
  • glasses of wine all week: 4

ok so the sweet baby girl is waking up. i’ll end this quick with a blast of photos of the last 5 weeks and 1 day.

how was your week? 

when was the last time you got  your hair done? 

ever had a tooth pulled? 

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WIR – Moving & Twirls

even though we still have (some) boxes to unpack, a whole garage full of chaos, and several other crisis (plural) to manage, i’m taking a moment to write a WIR post because gosh darnit i need a break. i need to remind myself of all the glitter and gold that occurred this past week and know inside my soul that the whole week was not total shit a disaster.

the queen bee and gorgeous mama leader of this WIR party is of course Meg, so please check out her linkup here and link yourself up, darnit.



seriously though, i can be the biggest drama queen. i mean, really.

OK so we moved, and yes it was crazy, and yes our dogs broke out of our new small yard twice in 3 days… but despite that honestly we got so much done. and most of it well. well meaning nobody went to the ER, and we both have our offices semi functional. hooray for team smith!

before i ramble too much as usual, here’s a summary of the past week:

  • we packed up and moved
  • unpacked
  • i volunteered at an artist talk from china
  • family day out at home depot, best buy, and more
  • set up new home
  • got dressers and a craft table from IKEA
  • we have 4 bathrooms… ??? bought stuff for 4 bathrooms. whoa
  • got TEVO
  • so much laundry!!!!
  • grocereries and cooking
  • got a new crib for the new crib
  • taught cycling classes – enjoyed mental break
  • had a prenatal, not a candidate for an epidural so it’s either au natural, or c-section. au natural is my goal…
  • ran/jogged/walked/shlepped around the new hood
  • met our neighbors, love our neighbors
  • joined a neighborhood mommy group – so excited to meet local moms!
  • so much space!
  • hubby put up a new fence to be doggy proof
  • discovered the dogs outsmarted the new fence
  • dogs were rescued by 2 neighbors twice
  • explored and enjoyed neighborhood eats
  • date night on saturday
  • had sunday brunch with friends
  • bought a used treadmill

yeah, so we did a LOT this past week. my poor hubby did SO much work that i was tired watching him. i tried to help as best i could, but sometimes being out of the way was the best thing. our main move day was monday and even though we had movers, my hubby still had do a lot. like unpack and organize as quick as possible – we both hate boxes and living out of boxes, so because of our double strengthed neurosis, we expect our lives to be efficient as soon as humanly fucking possible. sleep? who cares. nobody sleeps till all the boxes are unpacked, broken down, and recycled in at least most of the main rooms. we are both very demanding, but since i’m preggo this meant that he got stuck 80% of the work. i unpacked all my personal items… but he did the whole freaking house! and not to mention he packed as well.

if i don’t recognize my husband is an angel from heaven or mount olympus, i must be a prize idiot. i recognize, i really do. this whole week he was building stuff, fixing stuff, hauling stuff, buying stuff… it was  like a 7 day ironman event.

i took time out of the moving and unmoving on a few different occasions to volunteer – this was fun. there was an artist from china talking about how art has changed in china, and what it all means now. very interesting stuff. i manned the door 😀

i took time to explore our new hood with the dogs, with friends, and on my own. even squeezed in 2 jogs as there is  literally a running trail just across the street. awesome.

we had a glorious date night on saturday after his class – a sushi place within a 4 min walk. heaven!

anyhow, there is still so  much to do and today i’ve got to haul around my precious fur babies with me on errands because the fence can’t be fixed till tonight. i could lock them up inside but i hate doing that, so with me they come for half my day, then they’ll have to be indoor dogs for a couple hours. compromise.

i managed to take a couple pics, randomly, over the week. of course i always wish i took more!

sunday artist talk volunteering
art from china
messy kitchen
messy but new kitchen. so much space and happiness!
living space
just the beginning… the main living area
downstairs stairs
hello 3 levels and 6 sets of stairs! who needs stair master???
ikea dressers
dresser shopping from IKEA. we bought 2 of these
home depot with dogs
home depoting it with the dogs
crib in the crib
crib in the crib
carpet twirls
muffin twirled on the carpet as a sign of approval.

have you ever bought used treadmill or other used piece of equipment? 

do you know and like your neighbors?

do you love moving??? 



a look at the first year

Marriage... a year has gone by and I can’t believe it’s only been 1 year! and I mean that in the best of ways.

Quick story from the weekend: Saturday night the hubby and I were out late hanging out with his classmates after he got out of class at 7PM. As the current Designated Driver, I encouraged him to have a good time, relax. Live a little! for the both of us. Or three of us. We got home around midnight and we practically fell into bed. At around 3AM, I woke up and noticed our little dog, Muffin, was out of the bed. I found her outside of our bedroom door whimpering, then discovered that she had gotten sick in two spots, and peed in two spots. Poor thing! Totally frantic out of my mind, I woke up my husband and without even hesitating he jumped out of bed and went to clean up everything like a machine man. During the process, Muffin got sick again outside on the living room floor, he cleaned that up, too. We decided to take the dogs outside in pajamas and let them do their business, just in case. By 4AM the floors were clean, the comforter was being washed (as she got some icky stuff on it, so the hubby took care of that,) and the dogs were happy again. 

As I got back into bed, I realized that I am really lucky. This guy is gonna be a great dad 🙂 

Yesterday during our Week in Review linkup, I mentioned that the hubby and I celebrated our first year of marriage/wedding anniversary on Sunday.

It made me realize what an incredible year it’s been, so I just wanted to note the highlights. Jotting them down helps me to not only remember, but also makes me feel so grateful. What a year it’s been!

January 2015:

  • Got hitched!
  • Ran the marathon
  • Took off to Santiago, Chile

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February 2015:

  • celebrated Chinese New Year
  • celebrated my birthday

March 2015:

  • Decided to put our house on market
  • Had a HUGE garage sale – this involved a weekend of getting stuff ready, the garage sale weekend
  • Spent days and night renovating the kitchen, bathrooms, and totally getting the house “For Sale” ready

April 2015:

  • Put the house on the market – sold the house
  • Found an apartment in the city – downsized from 4 bedroom house with yard and pool to a 2.5 bedroom apartment in the city. LOVED IT
  • Spent 2 weeks walking around our new neighborhood and drinking every night – this may have lasted till September…

May 2015: 

  • We started training for the marathon together
  • Took a trip to Washington DC to see my cousin and party like kids

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June 2015:

  • Hubby decided to go back to grad school and started the application process

July 2015:

  • Went to San Antonio for 4th of July to see my brother and family
  • Hubby was accepted into Rice for the Executive MBA Program

family 4th flower2 cakes dessert flag

August 2015:

  • Attended Hubby’s grad school reception and met his future classmates
  • (Coincidentally) bought a family-mobile, aka, SUV 😉

September 2015:

  • Did a 5K together and had a blast
  • Hubby began school, Wifey became part-time single doggy mom

silly me11738038_10153532373922642_6719129122548261847_n

October 2015:

  • Conceived a kid! it was French food and wine… all the way. #noshame #frenchfoodmakesbabies
  • Discovered we were pregnant
  • Attended my brother’s wedding in AZ, newly preggo and trying to act normal

fnb hubby silly the plane

November 2015:

  • Told the close family members the news
  • Ran the Turkey Trot 10K together
  • Celebrated Thanksgiving together in NOLA

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December 2015:

  • Spent 2 whole weeks together: house hunting, relaxing, and taking long walks
  • Realized we don’t want to buy a house, we will continue to rent
  • Celebrated multiple holiday gatherings
  • Brought in the New Year

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What was your first year of marriage like? 

What was the craziest year you’ve had? 




A Bump & A Lump Part 1 of 2

greetings ya’ll.

it’s been a minute since i posted anything ‘real’ – but i think i’m ready to share.

first, the big news and good news: i’m sitting here at exactly 15 weeks pregnant and it’s a baby girl. it’s not easy to keep that sort of secret since i’ve known for so long, but of course i didn’t want to share till we got past the first trimester.

how do you mom’s keep that stuff secret, especially the bloggers? i’m not good at those kinds of secrets, at least it felt very challenging to me.

oddly enough, i haven’t told ‘the general public’ and facebook, but i wanted to share it on my blog. does that make any sense? i’ve found that i’m feeling more private in some ways, and yet also more like writing some thoughts. i feel like a schitzo.

so the baby. we are totally stoked – we had been trying last year, but then took a break when my husband went to grad school last september. with him working full-time and doing school full-time, we figured we could just wait till after he graduated or closer to that time before we started trying again. *and by the way, trying to get pregnant is not easy. it’s very exhausting and can be emotionally debilitating. we tried for several months, and i know people try for years. we are both very goal oriented people and like instant gratification, so not getting pregnant right away was hard on both of us. props to all the moms and mom-to-be’s that are going through this. it’s freaking tough but obviously worth it. if we didn’t get pregnant, i had finally decided to accept it and embrace what we do have…*

but of course, mother nature had other plans.

i secretly love and hate that my doctor was right: she said that if we stopped trying so hard, we’d get pregnant. i gafawed at her and totally rolled my eyes, and just shrugged and thought there was something wrong with me.

well, it turns out there IS something wrong with me! haha. but i was still able to get pregnant. at times i wonder if this was a curse or a blessing. just being honest, but of course i know it’s a blessing. i couldn’t be happier.. but certainly wish some things were different.

caution: my humor sometimes get dark and sick during the tough times, so just please take it into consideration. i come from a long line of sick and twisted humor.


jan 7
first selfie of 2016: red/auburn is the color du jour. since 12/30, i’ve had my hair 3 colors. forget what they say about being preggo and not changing your hair. i’m a rule breaker! at least i’m using good products

pregnancy symptoms? you betcha. i felt like a living textbook at first. my first month was all hot sweats, fatigue, soreness everywhere, hormones all over the place, and nausea. the nausea just got worse the next couple of months, and the sucky part was that even though i didn’t feel the need to restrict myself at all, i physically couldn’t eat that much without getting sick. i felt like the gods were laughing at me – since i thought i’d be able to be just eat, lounge, and be glow-y of course… haha. basically my first trimester felt like all my energy had been zapped. of course it was for a damn good reason, but still. i was exhausted.

my 4th month started off great, however. my energy returned by week 13 and the nausea went away. no extreme hunger, but certainly i’ve been following my cravings.

i’ve really been enjoying walking lately and found that it helps my back. when i’ve tried running, i’ve ended up at the chiropractor due to pinching a nerve in my sciatica. ouch! i’m especially injury prone in my current state, which doesn’t help because i was injury prone before 😉

needless to say, our lives have changed in major ways lately.

in my next post, i’ll fill you in on what’s up with the lump.. the not so good news. but like my doctor said, “everything is going to be OK!”

peace out

Celebrating Flaws

perfect imperfect
aren’t we all?

covering up  CELEBRATING flaws…

i’m not perfect.

no such thing as perfect anyway, right?

i was born flawed… yes, we all were.

i struggled for a long time trying to come to terms with my flaws.

today, i love and appreciate my imperfections. 

they make me, ME. and i actually like being me. 

perfectly imperfect

originally i was going to write about how i spent so many years covering up my flaws.

but then i had a revelation (during my bubble bath, go figure!) that i don’t want to harp on just that, i want to share with the world how i’m actually celebrating my flaws!!!

i want to tell you about what i changed, and how i turned my phantom ugly things into bedazzled pretty things.

now this is astounding considering that i spent decades covering up everything i considered to be a flaw.

but a few years ago, something clicked inside of me and i decided that my little nicks and knacks make me special, they make me beautiful in my own way.

#beautifullikeme #beautifullikeyou

today, i love celebrating my imperfections. i’m perfectly imperfect. i don’t want to be anyone else. i love waking up and being me. 

but alas, that wasn’t always the case….

i actually had high self-esteem as young nugget; my early childhood years were spent feeling carefree and i was full of life. i remember actually feeling ‘happy’ as early as age 3.

however when i had to change schools at age 7, i felt uncomfortable being me.

that was the first time that i experienced ‘mean girls’ and not everyone wanted to play or be friends with me. it was very confusing.

that was the first time i felt actually ‘different’…

so i started observing the cool girls, the ones that specifically didn’t want to hang out with me. i started to notice how i was different and how i must be flawed since they didn’t want to play with me. here are a few things that i USED to perceive as flaws, and what i did to turn them around. perception versus reality.

perceived flaw: my eyes were more slanted….

i didn’t want to look foreign, so i tried to make them open up more by making funny wide-eyed faces. i did this for years till i discovered eye liner and started to shadow around my eyes to try to make them look bigger with makeup. i was wearing quite a bit of makeup by age 10. by age 11 i got mistake for being 16. i know that’s crazy for some people. it’s sad and amazing what people do to fit in or feel accepted.

reality: eventually in my teens i grew to love my eyes. even though i had an ED i did actually appreciate my facial features. i knew that an ED would not rule my life forever and it was never just about how i looked. i go days without wearing makeup on my eyes, now i actually consider them a feature and nice part of my face. funny how i hated them for years, i’m so grateful for change and personal growth. now my eyebrows are a different story… 

perceived flaw: my eyebrow situation, or lack there of…..

now i know that’s just plain silly, but as an artist and someone who has always drawn faces, i notice eyebrows. well, duh. i noticed pretty early that i had no eyebrows. who cares, right? well i did. i still do. but i let it affect me negatively. i used to spend hours trying to draw my eyebrows because i felt embarrassed if i didn’t. i thought that was one of my flaws.

reality: later on in my late 20’s i discovered permanent makeup. now i must tell you, for me this really changed my outlook. i love not having to draw on eyebrows every single day. before you judge and say, “but you were fine before and so what?” i get it. i know i was fine before, but i just happen to have a thing for brows and appreciate the fact that i can have my own. besides, it’s easy to get them lasered off if i ever decided to do that. but i WON’T so don’t worry. if you’re curious about it, it’s painless and takes a few minutes. my older half-sister introduced me – clearly we are siblings, we both have a brow obsession! – and i have been hooked ever since. i have had 2 permanent eyebrow tattoo sessions since 2007 and this last time was the best. technology, baby! 

perceived flaw: my family situation….

everyone had mom’s and dad’s and a house they lived in. i had a great-grandma, a grandma, and a mom… who worked all the time and i didn’t see as much as i wanted. we lived in tiny apartments sometimes, then town homes, then a small cottage in a very artsy part of town. the kids made it seem like i lived on mars.

reality: eventually my mom married my stepdad and i had to deal with that process. and eventually after that, i really began to fall in love with my family situation. i met my biological dad when i was 23 and discovered i had 9 siblings; my mom had my brother when i was 18. it took some time and therapy, not gonna lie, but i seriously fell in love with my family and today wish i knew more about them. 

gone are the days when i feel embarrassed about my family, i love my family! i finally forgave myself for ever being embarrassed. you only have one family so i have chosen to accept them and love them all. it’s not even hard 🙂 

perceived flaw: my clothes…. 

the kids at school wore all the latest fashions; my mom shopped at thrift stores for me and also at the salvation army. i actually liked it, personally, but was also embarrassed when the kids made fun of my outfits. by the time i was 12 and 13 years old, i enjoyed my vintage retro fashion. i somehow became a rebel trendsetter. i mentally flip the finger at the mean girls right now.

reality: i still have some of my old thrift store clothes and LOVE them. i love knowing that i was a unique kid with her own style. so, suck it! mean girls. that experience as a kid humbled me, now i can afford whatever i want and still love vintage fashion. i love designers from all decades and could care less about name brands. i appreciate style and colors, i don’t care where it came from. i care about quality more these days but if you were to give me the option of the mall or a vintage boutique, you better give me 3 hours and the boutique any day! 

perceived flaw: i was chubby for 3 years….

this one really made me feel like an outcast. the cool girls were all skinny and i felt like a whale. in reality i was not a whale, just a little chubby. but for some reason unknown to me, the kids made it seem like i was a circus freak. they did horrible things and said things that made me cry. for 3 years i wished every day i was someone else. someone thin, pretty, and in a normal family. thank goodness i grew out of that! but that’s my truth and i’m being honest. i wore large clothes because i wanted to hide my body. i never thought of changing my diet but my grandmother would not let me eat, so that just made me confused and hungry. my mom said she hoped i wouldn’t get bigger one day, and that really made me sad. she doesn’t remember saying that because i asked her about it in my recovery, but i’ve forgiven her. she was a single mom and had a lot going on. till i outgrew my baby chub phase, i tried to hide myself and wished to be prettier and liked by kids at school.

reality: i’m grateful for my awkward, chubby years. if it weren’t for those years of self-doubt and low esteem, i would not appreciate the things my body can do for me today. i love people of all sizes and shapes and colors, and truly just want to FEEL good. healthy is beautiful. happy is beautiful. 

perceived flaw: i had scoliosis….

i had a very curved spine and it was easy to hide as long as i didn’t bend over, but still made me feel awkward. eventually i had to have spinal fusion, which saved my life and was amazing! but left me with a gigantic scar up and down my spine. it also cut my first tattoo, and when they sewed me back together it was lopsided and very obvious. my scar was very noticeable because of the crooked tattoo on my spine. it really made very uncomfortable and i became self conscious about my back 24/7.

reality: i decided that i would celebrate my scar and my spine when i turned 30 years old by tattooing a large art piece on my back. i took art inspirations from my great-grandmother and had a huge phoenix tattooed on my back, which covers up my scar and is a forever reminder of one of the most inspirational women in my entire life. i know i would not be here without her. 

so those are just a few examples of how i chose to take what i perceived to be a flaw and turn them into happy realities. life isn’t always perfect, but i’m happy to say that mine is imperfectly perfect.




have you ever taken a body negative and turned it into a positive?


Fri-YAY Wrap it Up

and tie it with a bow…. 


geez it’s been a long week, and it was a short one! work has been good and nicely busy, however all the OTHER stuff outside of work has been snowballing into an icy mass.

i can sum up the week with the personal to-do list that i totally crushed, well sort of:

  • september birthdays
  • wedding presents
  • trip planning
  • emotional demons trying to have their way with me
  • new running stuff

before i yammer on, i need to acknowledge something…

so today is September 11th. i can’t believe it’s already been 14 years since that horrendous tragedy. i’m taking a moment to honor all the lives lost and lives touched by those events…


so as i was saying, it’s been a hectic week. not bad, just hectic. i like a certain level of chaos… whoa tell that to my therapist. ha!

work and my own personal demons have been taking up my mental space. luckily i’ve had some good runs and workouts, and home life has been quite niiiiiiiiiiiiice. best of all my dogs are healthy and happy.


so hello september. oh how quickly you arrived! i would have appreciated a bit more time, how rude. it’s a big month over here in the Smith haus. seems like everyone in my circle is having a birthday: my boss, then my brother, then my husband. and i’m sure there are others that i know and i keep hearing talk about birthdays, but the ones i need to focus on are those. chit chit chit.

what on earth to get my boss/mentor/family friend???? seriously! she loves walking in nature, that’s where we conduct 50% of our business. she loves the theatre… perhaps i’ll get her tickets to a show? still mulling this over. suggestions are always welcome. she has impeccable taste so i’m probably not going to get her jewelry. she’s ‘fancy’ 😀 maybe a nice dinner? hmmmm

my brother’s gifts are sorted – whoa talk about stressful. i thought it’d be easy to just order stuff from Amazon UK and have it shipped to him in Scotland, easy peasy right? not so much. there was a whole ordeal with my credit card because they didn’t recognize his address, of course, and then i had to prove my identity a thousand times. now part of the gift arrived and he was not there to sign,so now he has the pleasure of going to get it. aye vey. oh well, i still think he’ll love what i got him: a really nice wok, a wok spatula, jack daniels bbq sauce gift box deluxe, naughty cow salt n pepper shakers, naughty man wine openers… and a vegan bbq cookbook that he requested, but i accidentally got it in german. OOPS hopefully he’ll appreciate the hilarity of it all

for my darling hubby, i have planned a night of blues and seafood. his favorite things. we are going to this club that he’s never been to,the big easy , and hopefully he’ll like it. i haven’t been in years but i’m hoping it will impress him. i’m still deciding on where to go for seafood dinner… but i’m pretty sure it will be here.

wedding presents…. 

one of my younger brothers is getting married next month in Arizona. i’m very VERY excited! they only invited 50 guests total, including family, and since we have a large family that makes me feel very special. we didn’t grow up together, but i’ve always loved him. he’s just a brilliant, wonderful man. i’m so happy for him and his future wife. i can’t wait to meet her. they are both in the AF and have never lived anywhere together or in the same city before, until  now. how cool is that? i love Arizona so i can’t wait.

i was racking my mind trying to get them something unique, but what i didn’t do was check their actual registry… duh! thank goodness i did. they have requested donations to their honeymoon, their favorite restaurant, and the humane society. i love it! i donated money to their favorite restaurant because hey, i love feeding people virtually.

trip planning…. 

this is something we have not technically completed but that is because it requires my  husband’s attention and time to finalize details. we have decided, finally, that for our grand NYE trip we are going to simplify and drive to New Orleans. NOLA for NYE. yeah! that decision took us months of flip-flopping… we had planned on going with friends to Buenas Aires, Argentina, for the holidays, but then we realized that a) we are about to buy a house next year, b) we are going to Europe and the UK to see my brother next summer, and c) tickets are over $2000 per person just for the flight. yikes. yeah so we’ve been talking about other options and i LOVE the idea of a simple 6 hour drive. we get to have our own car and not mess with airports… sorry, but it’s madness. no thanks, i’ll just sit back with my snacks and put my feet up 🙂

emotional demons…. 

my emotions have really been on red alert lately, i’m practically a blubbering mess. i’ve been having these dreams about my grandmother and being chased by white/silver fluffy racoons, and losing my husband in a coffee shop. i wake up sweating and making sure he’s okay. and then think about my grandmother all day… wondering why she chose food over her life? why didn’t she want to take care of herself? didn’t she love us? why did she leave so early? i know, deep chit. ugh! but it’s made me face these demons and i’ve concluded that i have some work to do. i need to take care of myself a bit better, and by that i mean i need to just accept the fact that my sweet milk tea makes me a little hormonally cray cray. i’ve been in recovery for long enough to know what all foods taste like and i’m really at the point where i want to feel good and have a healthy body, i would really like to conceive and that’s where i’m at. i’ve done the ‘eat everything in moderation’ crap for a long time. and guess what? i’m not good at moderation!!!! that is OK. i’m happier and saner when i just eliminate certain things. that’s just how it is. it’s like telling a crack head to smoke just a little bit each day… ugh it drives me nuts. i feel like i’m constantly on the verge of breaking when i follow the stupid moderation rules. and intuitive eating is not for me. i don’t have any smart brain in my stomach, i did the intuitive eating thing for a whole year at first, and guess what i ate? nothing but peanut butter, almond butter, and honey. and apple sauce. what da fuck. so yeah, i need to just accept how awesome my life is and how good i feel when i take care of ME. seriously.

new running stuff….

i’ve discovered OOFOS!!! oh my goodness gracious, they are seriously the most comfortable things i’ve put on my feet ever. i was having some heel pains and was worried that i would have to take time off from running. well, luckily i complained to the right person because this girl from my running club suggested these. she was my angel in running wear, and i’m forever grateful. i love them so much that i got 3 pairs: 2 for me, and 1 for the hubby. he loves them, too. seriously check them out… i might be late to this game but whatever. LOVE


so that’s all i got. hope everyone had a great week!


what’s planned for the weekend? i’m going to a fancy fundraiser tomorrow and get to have my hair done and wear an Indian handmade sari!!! i’m so excited 🙂


Goals: September

okay, i’m joining in the goal setting bloggers. get me in on this action, i want to be part of the fun.

what sort of fun? goal setting.

that’s my kind of fun.

well, not literally.. but i do love making lists and since i already have my goals jotted down, i figured i will share them the way some of my favorite bloggers do: Sam does a mighty fine job with this.


Goals for September.. in no particular order

  1. Spiritual/Gratitude
  2. Fitness/Running
  3. Work
  4. Family/Home
  5. Health
  6. Miscellaneous

Let’s start with my #1 goal listed and that’s Spiritual/Gratitude:

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over the last few years i’ve started each morning with some sort of gratitude prayer or meditation. it’s had many variations, but these days i just keep it pretty simple.

starting off my morning with some sort of THANK YOU to the universe, higher power, God, whatever you like to call ‘it’ is how i like to start my day. every single day.

unless i’m REALLY really hungover… but even then, i’ll stammer out something. it’s totally become a habit and love it.

i used to have this very complex morning goal of waking up, reading a positive affirmation, then praying, then writing, then meditating… then i’d be so fucking stressed out that i’d be a total bitch the rest of the morning.

is that not ridiculous??? totally  NOT the point of a gratitude-focused and spiritual morning my friends.

so my goals for this month are to say my morning thank you’s, every morning…. don’t forget to thank you for my life. that’s important.

be thankful for the great things that happen every day.

write down some positive affirmations after my thank you chant, at least 3 x per week……

say THANK YOU out loud (or quietly to myself) first thing when i wake up several times each morning…

all that may sound cray, but i go to cray lengths to orchestrate a Good Day. yeah bitches that’s how i roll. with love and light. ha!

so that’s my morning or spiritual gratitude. all that takes me about 5 minutes.

then i conclude with belly kisses to both my dogs, and finally kisses to the other human in the bedroom 😀

Fitness/Running goals:

rest-day1  after run 2


i have officially registered for the Houston Marathon 2015! actually i just changed my ‘half marathon’ registration to the full marathon. i only decided this recently, however if you would have asked me back in february of this year about running a full marathon i would have given it the finger… and then gone on this huge shpeal about how running is not for me and it’s just stupid and blah, blah, blah.

well there was that pesky injury.

after our crazy post wedding day marathon, aka the Houston Marathon 2015, i had a few running injuries that i had to get through. finally after seeing a chiropractor, who is an ultra runner and badass by the way, i discovered that my injuries were actually not permanent… wow!!!!! simultaneously i discovered the Galloway run/walk/run method, so with my new exercises, stretches, and run/walk/run method, i was able to slowly but surely get running back on my menu.

happy days again!

so i sort of began training already back in july, officially with my running club. i really missed having a run club to meet with and run with every weekend. i run alone during the week but appreciate a group of fellow crazies to run the long run with.


i love it!

so my goals for fitness and running are:

  • run 2 x per week on my own
  • run with the group on saturday
  • do strengthening exercises 2 x per week on non-running days
  • stretch
  • do hill training runs 1 x per week or 1 x every other week
  • do mile repeats 1 x per month
  • take recovery weeks
  • pay attention to my body
  • cross train with spinning or elliptical
  • walk, walk, walk
  • wear my OOFOS recovery flip flops

Work goals:

615 women men work shutterstock nmedia

my work goals are to keep learning from my boss/mentor

continue with my weekly/monthly reports


keep up with my spreadsheets

take notes

keep exploring the inventory and market

know thy neighborhood

don’t be afraid to offer my help to people

don’t be afraid to market myself!

remember my experience

remember i know what i’m talking about

don’t let people steam roll me

dress well – don’t look like a rag muffin when not sweating or working out. that’s a tough one, that’s why it’s a goal!

do the research for all prospects and clients, be two steps ahead

file paperwork

track expenses



be supportive

ask how it’s going


remember romance?

reach out to loved ones

remember birthdays

remember the love


plan fun things every so often

say i love you before bedtime



whole foods

eat more often

don’t starve


think protein

strive for vodka over wine

live but don’t jump off the mountain without a parachute…. this can be applied to all goals.


silly me

maintain planner

walk doggies

dog parks only on occasion

listen to pet experts

try cooking natural dog food



Okay so them’s my goals for this month!


what about you, whatcha got? do you like making goals?



Milk Tea & PoPo

i’m feeling nostalgic and sentimental right now… excuse me as i ramble. but i need to.

trees of nostalgia


… over the last couple of weeks my new career has begun, life has become exciting and busy. the feeling of JOY has wrapped her arms around me like a soft fleece blanket… waking up has been a nice experience, i really can’t complain.

yet i have felt myself feeling rather nostalgic and yearning for pieces from my childhood… tastes, smells, sounds.

like, milk tea.

milk tea

milk tea reminds me of my great grandmother. i called her, “PoPo” which is mandarin for grandmother on mom’s side, but everyone called her PoPo, so i just called her this, too.

this is PoPo and my cousin, Michelle.

she was not technically my PoPo, she was my “tai po po” but i liked calling her the same as everyone else… friends, family members, neighbors, the restaurant owners. everyone called her PoPo. so that is the name i used and it stuck. with loving glue…

little me
little me, with my Chinese cabbage patch imposter

PoPo was my caretaker ever since my birth; she was a second mother to me while my mother worked hard to feed us and make a nice life. PoPo was also my best friend, partner in crime, teacher, mentor, storyteller… she was a comedian! and the best story teller i’ve ever known. she told scary ghost tales in Mandarin that would send shivers up my spine, but i’d ask for more milk tea to soothe myself, then i’d ask her to tell me another ghost story. she loved it, i loved it.

rebellious 13 year old me in Aukland, New Zealand. i was happy but didn’t want to show it.

she told me stories of her life over many cups of milk tea…

what is milk tea anyway? good question.

i’ll explain it from my perspective, no sense in using wikipedia but feel free to google.

anyhow, let me tell you what milk tea is because it is symbol in my life and means many things to many people…..

so, milk tea. it’s a Hong Kong thing. basically, Hong Kong was a British colony, so the locals adopted some traditions. like MILK TEA! it’s just black tea with milk, sugar optional.

even though my Chinese roots are from northern china, my mom grew up in Hong Kong and PoPo lived there along with my grandmother, naturally. PoPo took care of my mother, aunt, and uncle as well. she took care of many generations and made countless cups of milk tea!

the way we had milk tea was special – in Hong Kong they use evaporated milk. and LOTS of sugar. they use evaporated milk in everything! even coffee.

Milk Tea for me was like this: strong black tea, like PG Tips, then add lots of evaporated whole milk, then add lots of sugar.

then drink and enjoy and feel all cozy inside.

it’s also enjoyed with saltines sometimes, we would let the salty crackers get soft in the tea then eat them up. such a sweet and salty treat. HEAVEN.

i’m thinking about milk tea because i miss PoPo and her banter, her humor, her fearlessness, her energy. i miss her company.

milk tea reminds me of her and brings back such good memories. i don’t drink milk tea anymore, but i really want to. i think i need to, it’s comforting for me like i can’t even explain.

yes, i realize that a food or beverage can’t bring back the dead. i get that part.

but i loved milk tea all my child years and the taste is soothing for me.

since my life is rapidly turning into my dream life come true, i will have a cup of milk tea.

to honor and celebrate my dear PoPo and say thank you.

Thank you PoPo for getting me, right now, I love you.




Holiday Weekend Rambles

holiday weekend rambles in pics, less words

hope everyone enjoyed the weekend! here is a short summary of mine, and with pics and not much more further below:
Thursday game night – the holiday weekend started off with a bang with our family/friends game night… major debauchery ensued
Friday madness – half day at the office mixed with a bike ride at home, and mediocre but fun Thai dinner date
Saturday mania – 4am wakeup to go run with our new club, then a walking/talking mentor session with my friend and life coach, followed by a drive to San Antonio, then party-eat-party-eat-party-fireworks-sleep
Sunday – slept in, met family for farewell Mexican brunch, drove home in horrible traffic, got home then laundry-snack-laundry-snack-clean, then RELAXATION sprinkled with the USA Women’s Soccer Victory!!!
the weekend nicely and appropriately ended with the new episodes of True Detective, Ballers, and Brink. yay, meh, hahah. ballers has been such a let down, sorry but what happened guys?

first of all, can we just give a huge high five to the amazing victory at the women’s world cup???? WHOOOHOOO! ok I can’t write a post and NOT talk about this awesome event – our USA Women’s Soccer Team is seriously amazing!!! I’m still oozing with joy, admiration, respect, and wonderment at these incredible forces of fem-bot energy. damn these women are legit. yes!

Thursday… game night. lots of drinker and eatery


game night food game night pics

silly me
she was my helper
vegan cupcakes
my brother’s epic vegan cupcakes. YUM
the cake
THE chocolate cake of all cakes.
cake balls
cake balls pre dip
doggy play date
doggy play date at game night was a success
game night
game 3 of 3 – trivial pursuits from the 80’s. WTF???
dip duo
hubby’s creation – salmon with duo of dips. success
shrimp salad
best shrimp salad ever, thanks to my friend i’m getting her recipe!

Friday – worked at my new office, got my shoes in the mail, yay, little run, and dinner date not shown… it was mediocre at best but great company 🙂

new office 2
my new office
5 mile run
easy pace fun hot sweaty run
new cole haana
new red shoes
new office
another office view

Saturday – in town before the road trip: early morning run/walk, quick brekkie with friends, then lunch on the road…

bahn mi
best tofu bahn mi EVER
I love yellow roses and peppers and beer, oh my
cooking books
cook book heaven
after run
my legs after 10 miles of run/walk and 5 miles of walking… eek
after run 2
we survived!!
viet coffee
Vietnamese coffee = happy
road trip
road trip = happy feet

roses happy farmers market finds bun

Saturday – out of town with family and friends. fun food and fun!

snacks snack sassy cupcake food entry way


dessert flag dessert eggs cakes 4thfood

Sunday – brunch with family and then on the road back home to watch the USA women’s soccer team make history!

flowers flowers 2 flower2 flower3 home coffee road trip family 4th soccer 4 soccer 3 soccer 2

what an awesome weekend but i’d really like another day to recover from all the fun 😉

how about our soccer team?

in sweat&sriracha,