Striped and Checked

This week’s photo challenge was a little tough and then I found this little gem. This was from my Zion trip back in 2016. I went to Zion many years ago before, but I did not recall this unusual checker-pattern rock formation.

Striped and Checked

Reading her face

Two month old Lana may not be able to speak to us expressing what she wants and does not want, but her face can tell us all.

The face of a satisfied baby.
What do you want? More milk? A fresh clean diaper? To be carried?

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #131-Emotions

The hummingbirds and the bees

Selvatura Park, Monteverde, Costa Rica – September 2016

We went to Costa Rica during Labor Day weekend about four years ago. Selvatura Park was one of my favorite experiences in Costa Rica. You walk across many hanging bridges bridges to explore the cloud forest, a butterfly garden, and a hummingbird garden. The hummingbird garden was my attempt in capturing hummingbirds at mid-flight. Also, I have to say, it was one of the few times I was not scared of bees — they were harmless.

Lens-Artists Challenge #130: It’s a Small World

I have many travel photos I’ve been meaning to share on my blog and SmugMug album. Hopefully I make Travel Tuesday a consistent series on my blog.

Best of 2020 according my photos

I barely posted in 2020 but I did take plenty of photos throughout the year worth their own post in the future. To make it easy, I’ll review my year based on the photos that are currently in media library otherwise, it would be me spending many hours going through my hard drive.

In late January to February, we travelled to Italy, France, and Germany. Who knew that returning to the U.S. we would have an epidemic that quickly turned into a pandemic. Who knew that it was going to be our last big trip for the rest of the year? I realized on my media gallery I only posted some food photos of the trip — I promise I’ll get around to posting the travel photos in a future post. Maybe I’ll bring back Travel Tuesday?

With the pandemic came the stay-at-home order at California. I also found out I was pregnant. To reduce my risk, I had to stop taking public transit to work and started driving. I’ll admit, it was nice getting to work faster than usual. I also used that opportunity to explore usually crowded places like Santa Monica. One weekend I wanted to go to Santa Monica Promenade to go to one of my favorite bakeries. When I got there, I was bummed to find it was temporarily closed — as was other businesses on the Promenade. It was surreal to find these usually touristy places completely empty on a Saturday.

At work we received an overwhelming amount of donations from the community ranging from cards, care packages, and meals. It was a nice morale booster that carried the hospital through the year.

Then I gave birth to my first baby. I kept my pregnancy quiet on social media. I am so glad I did. I already knew we were not going to have a baby shower, I was not expecting gifts. Instead I wanted to focus on taking care of myself throughout my pregnancy. I only announced her arrival.

I spent December experimenting with different cookie recipes for the first cookie swap with friends. It was a lot of fun trying out different cookie recipes. After giving birth, I felt like I was in a slump; I spent my days changing diapers, feeding Lana, cleaning the house, walking the dogs, and exercise. I think researching recipes, making, and tasting the cookies revived my creativity.

Lens-Artists Challenge #129 – Favorite Images of 2020

Moonlight Forest (Lens-Artists Photo Challenge)

Every year my husband and I go out to admire the holidays lights. Last year, we went to the Moonlight Forest at the Arcadia Arboretum and it is one of the most stunning displays I’ve seen in a long time. We were planning to go again this year, but unfortunately, they cancelled. Anyways, here are photos of the Moonlight Forest from last year.

There are other holidays events throughout LA. We hope we can squeeze in some time to admire some holiday decorations before the season ends.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #128:And Here Comes the Holiday Season

It’s only temporary

A couple of months ago, I just had my baby. I’ll admit, there have been many difficult moments where she would wake up several times in a night for a feeding or a diaper change or just wanted to be carried in the earlier weeks. Some people would tell me these moments are “beautiful” and I say they are lying to me because it was tough and frustrating. Plus it must be nice to hire a postpartum doula and recruit other help. Then there’s other people who tell me it gets better, but they never quite elaborate it.

I agree, it does get better. It’s not because I got better at waking up frequently through the night. In fact, nowadays, she wakes up only once in middle of the night on most nights. It gets better because the frustrations I had in the infancy of parenthood were were gone; I realized these feelings were only temporary. I wish I told myself before she was born that my frustration and sleepless nights will pass — it’s not going to be forever. Of course interacting with her when she’s awake in the daytime and helping her relax towards the later hours (or when she indicates she’s tired) did not happen on its own — we worked to make it happen.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #127: Precious Moments

A for Appreciation (Lens-Artists Photo Challenge)

Lens-Artist Photo Challenge for the week is sharing a photo(s) featuring a subject that begins with the letter “A”.

This week’s alphabet challenge is “Appreciation.

For the past several months at the hospital, we received an outpour of donations and thank you letters from the community. I work in patient relations and employee engagement, I manage these donations making sure all hospital staff gets something and is distributed equitably. It is not just people in scrubs who are affected by the pandemic — there are janitors who clean up public areas and patient rooms, lab workers who test patient samples for COVID-19, and clerks who interface with everybody. Then you also have the staff members in outpatient clinics. Though they may not deal with COVID patients directly they’ve been short on staff because staff have either transferred to work in the COVID units, called out sick, gone on leave, or been offered an early retirement. Everyone who works in a hospital plays a part, everyone is affected.

“You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think, and loved more than you’ll ever know.” — A.A. Milne