The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season! This year, Eric's mom and sister came into town to celebrate with us. On Friday, we all went to the nursery to pick up a $10 Christmas tree and brought it home to decorate, while cookies that we later decided to call Grinch cookies (they're pistachio flavored and green) were baking in the oven.

Christmas morning, I got busy with preparing a turkey, some stuffing, sweet potatoes and cornbread casserole. I will purposely be omitting a picture of my finished meal, but in my defense, I think it tasted better than it looked...  After eating lunch and opening presents, we headed into DC to visit the US Botanical Garden, where they had various holiday exhibits.

And while we were out, we braved the cold and went to see the National Christmas tree. Here is a photo of the family in front of the Indiana tree, the National Tree, and the White House:

The next morning, Andrea took Mom and me to see "The Nutcracker" at the Warner theatre as our Christmas gift:

And that wrapped up our time together. The weekend went by way too fast, and most of the time was spent hanging out, relaxing, laughing and watching Christmas movies and musicals. It was awesome to have two of our favorite women in town for the holidays!

And now, a moment of gushing directed towards my husband. For Christmas, Eric presented me with a box and in it was a Washingtonian magazine and a card. In the card, he wrote some mushy things that of course I love, and explained that he subscribed me to the magazine to visit their recommended points-of-interest monthly. He explained that he had already picked the first month's location, and that I could find it on page 21. And lo and behold, on page 21, Eric taped a copy of flight tickets to California to celebrate my 30th birthday! He had been collaborating with my sisters to surprise me, and decided to give it to me for Christmas. So save the date, family and friends! I'll be in town the weekend of my birthday!


Gal Pals

Two of my favorite gal pals, Kha Tu and Tiffany came to visit me for a couple of days. I don't know how to put into words how much fun I had with them. The majority of the time was spent just being silly girls, talking and laughing, and boy did I need that quality time spent with them.

They got in late Sunday night, and like girls we stayed up until 4am talking and sharing secrets. The California girls didn't wake up until noon the next day, but as soon as they got up we were out and about. We started off the day having lunch at Cafe Salsa, in Old Town Alexandria. And for those of you who are wondering, yes you can salsa dance there as well as eat salsa.

After lunch, we headed into the city to do some sight seeing. It was frigid out, and I'm proud of the girls for braving the cold. K2 had to constantly wipe her nose before what she referred to as "snotcycles" formed.

Tiffany, K2 (the weak-minded) and "HOT CHOCOLATE! HOT CHOCOLATE!!!":

K2 picked up epilepsy and always had to sleep while in my car after having been fed, so she did just that while Tiffany and I walked through the Smithsonian of Natural History:

We then proceeded to head home, picked up some beer and 5 guys burgers, and hung out with Eric for a little bit before getting dolled up to go salsa dancing. And by go salsa dancing, I mean watch Tiffany tear up the dance floor while K2 and I cheered her on.

All the girls, including Indy:

Tiffany showing K2 some moves:

That night, K2 had a craving for jumbo slice pizza, and for you DC locals, you know exactly what she's talking about, especially after a night of dancing and drinking. She had to settle for some pizza joint on our way home though, where we experienced what we coined a "ba hai mot... mot hai ba" experience, but out it got 2 slices of pizza for the price of one!

The next morning, the girls got up early, and by early I mean 11am as opposed to noon. We headed into Chinatown DC to dine at matchbox, a favorite of mine and Eric's. But while you're there, be careful not to talk to loud. You never know who's eavesdropping... we followed lunch with some shopping at Potomac Mills Mall. Then we headed back to my house to get dolled up to have dinner w/ Eric and Ben at National Harbor. Once we got there, we ate at Ketchup and walked around and enjoyed the holiday lights that were up. It was a cold night, but beautiful. And I learned that in 7 years, a phenomena called solar eclipse will happen in the US, not to be confused with "daylight"...

And our night ended with watching "Eclipse", and by that I do mean the 3rd of the Twilight series, not the Lunar Eclipse that happened on Monday night.

And this morning, I had to let take the girls back to the airport to go home, and it was incredibly sad after such a fun weekend. For those of you who took the time to actually read this post and are utterly confused by all the nonsense, I commend you for your patience. But you know that a post that is full of inside jokes means that it was an awesome time that we all spent together. 

K2 and Tiffany, thank you so much for coming out here to visit. I cannot tell you how much fun I had with you both. I value your friendship so much, and I am so thankful for you. Love you girls, have a great holiday!


Double the Fun

Eric and I spent last weekend in California, to visit my family for the holidays. We got to babysit the kids one night as Chi Hai and Anh Hai enjoyed a night out at a fancy party. We took the kids to Pretend City after school, a place they'd been before and enjoy visiting.

Aidan not shy about his music, and Brooke probably upset that the other girl is wearing the princess dress:

Tee-time with Duong Ba:

Aidan was absolutely fascinated when he figured out how to make that thing spin with water:

 Brooke caring for the felt plants:

I wish I had taken more and better pictures, but we were too wrapped up enjoying this rare time that we got to spend with them. The kids are completely different from the last time we visited them (in September!) and I know it'll be the case the next time I see them. They are just more fun than anyone can imagine. I miss them so much and I am dying for my next visit to see them again. 


Sew Addicted

So when I started talking about possibly sewing a beachy wedding dress for SIL Erin, Chi Hai reminded me that sewing a dress really isn't that easy, especially one for a wedding. So, she suggested I practice. I had been promising Chi Hai an apron for over a year now and really have been neglecting my sewing machine lately, and so yesterday I got off my butt, headed to the fabric store and purchased an apron pattern. Instead of springing the money on fabric there, I decided that a rookie like myself should really save money (in case I screwed up) and so I headed to good ol' "Wally World" and bought $4 worth of fabric. I was somewhat pleased with my choices, given their limited selection. So I brought all this stuff home, laid it all out, unraveled the pattern and thought "what the heck did I get myself into?!"

Nonetheless, I decided to carry on, and see where this sewing journey would take me. After what seemed like hours of just cutting along the lines of the pattern and the fabric, it was finally time to put the petal to the metal and do some sewing!

My feelings of being overwhelmed quickly were overtaken by excitement when I was able to put together this cute little pocket for the apron:

This burst of excitement boosted my enthusiasm to put the majority of the apron together last night. My plan of attack was to save the rest for this weekend while Eric was away at drill, but I woke up this morning and jumped right on it, too excited to just let it sit unfinished.

The waistband and the ties were the most challenging part of this apron for me, and they're by no means perfect, but I just carried on, following the instructions the best I could. And after hours of sewing, pressing and cutting, here she is... the final result!


Giving Thanks

This year, Eric and I spent Thanksgiving in Indiana. As usual, it was a fun-filled weekend. We got in early Thursday morning, and headed to Erin and Mike's place in Fishers. Mike spent the whole morning/afternoon preparing our Thanksgiving dinner, and Eric and I got to act like kids with Lexi and Parker:

The next day, Eric met Matt for lunch, and I got to spend lunch and the afternoon with my mother-in-law. She took me to a local diner, and afterwards I went to her workplace to help her finish some last minute errands and to spend some time with the residents. That evening, Eric and I linked up with the Pfeiffers to brave the cold for Indianapolis' annual lighting of the tree ceremony:

The following Saturday, we linked up with everyone to have pizza before the girls (Mom, Erin, Lexi and myself) split off to catch "Cats" the musical, and the boys went to the arcades and played miniature golf:

The weekend ended with a football game that is never to be spoken of ever again. At least Lucas Oil Stadium was amazing. 

As always, I am extremely thankful for my family and their unconditional love and support. I'm thankful for a husband who loves me and challenges me. I'm thankful for friends, old and new, who stick by me through thick and thin. I'm thankful for a healthy little beagle that we thought we might've lost a year ago. It may only be acknowledged every once in a while, but I am truly thankful for these blessings every day. 


To the Pillory!

Oh groupon, how I love thee! Via groupon, we got a great deal for visiting Medieval Madness (think Medieval times, minus the horses and jousting, plus aspiring improv comedians). The ticket came with a 4 course dinner complete without utensils, all the ale you could drink, an improv show, and some sword fighting. The beautiful thing about this dinner show was the staff's true passion for preserving the arts. Of course, the free beer didn't hurt either.

I called to make reservations. Someone failed to make a note that I am female:

This guy's jokes were totally corny and cheesy (The jester, not Eric)


Running Army Strong

This finisher coin means that I did it! I was able to cross the finish line of the Army 10-Miler, and I couldn't be happier about it! I figured I'd write about it now while I'm still on my post-run high, and not after I go to bed and wake up in pain and possibly feeling different about the experience.

Last night, I went to bed overwhelmed with anxieties that lasted up until they fired the cannon to start. A million thoughts went through my mind but as soon as I started my run, all those thoughts went away and I was completely focused on my pace. I'm not going to brag about my pace because honestly there isn't much to brag about! haha

It was a beautiful day for a race. It also helped that the course was amazing, passing by all of DC's monuments. The first 6 miles went pretty smoothly, and I somehow missed the 7 mile marker, which made that 6th mile seem like forever. After mile 8, I was starting to run out of juice, but at mile 9, a runner came up next to me and told me she liked my haircut... even after having run 9 miles. This amused me enough to give me that little boost I needed to sprint the last mile and accomplish my goal. Running the last quarter mile with all the spectators cheering you on is really something out of this world.

I am really proud of myself! If you asked me 4 weeks ago if I thought I could run 10 miles, I would probably laugh because the idea of it was so ridiculous. Thanks to Eric and Andrea and all my family and friends for being so supportive and encouraging and pep talking me when this felt like an impossible goal to achieve. Who knows, maybe there will be more posts about running after this one.

Here is a photo of Andrea and me once we found each other after the race:

Here's our awesome course map:


Run to the beat of my own drum

This is my official public announcement-- I will be running in 2010's Army Ten-Miler! I had to google the website to link it to my blog and the website kindly reminded me that there are only 10 days until the race! I got a lot of emotions about this one.

I actually intended to run the Army Ten-Miler in 2008. I was training for it while Eric was deployed, but as fate would have it, he came home for his 2 week leave, which coincided with the race date. At the time, I obviously chose to spend time with my boyfriend who I haven't seen in months rather than run 10 miles and spend time recovering from such a run. After that, the idea of running just kind of fell off the face of my world.

Fast forward to 2010-- my athletic Mr. Fitness USA husband decides he wants to train for a full marathon, and run the Army Ten-Miler in between. Three weeks ago, he went to the doctor to check up on his sore legs, and sure enough was diagnosed with shin splints. The doctor advised Eric not to run for 6 weeks, meaning he will miss both his marathon and the Army Ten-Miler. My goofy self had to make a joke about taking his spot in the race, and somehow jokes became reality and I found myself training for a 10 mile run that then would take place in a month. Does that sound crazy to anyone else but me?

So come all the feelings of nervousness and doubt. When I was intending to run this race in 2008, I was running 5 miles a day for quite sometime. However prior to this change in race plans, it had been forever and a half since my feet had seen my running shoes. It seemed over-ambitious and unrealistic, but I figure why not give it a try? By the end of two weeks (last weekend) I was able to run 6 miles. My goal is to be able to run 8 this weekend, and finish off at 10 come race weekend.

After my 6 mile run, I felt very tired in the knees and started to get very nervous about this commitment to training. I was unsure I would be able to do it, and a part of me still is. However, while running today I decided that as long as I did my best and just finished the race, I would be very proud. I am by no means a runner, and being able to cross the finish line of a 10 mile race would be an awesome accomplishment for myself. My goal isn't to run 10 miles in a set amount of time. My goal is to finish a race I wanted to finish years ago.

Wish me luck, family and friends! I'm going to need it!


Paper Anniversary

I love Eric Oberly! This past weekend, Eric took me to NYC to celebrate our first year of marriage. I remembered thinking last year on our wedding day that there was no way anyone could love another person more than I loved Eric. And yet here I am, one year later, finding myself loving him more now than I did even then. Yes, the rest of this post will likely be this mushy. Consider yourselves warned!

The first gift in paper form were train tickets from Alexandria to NYC. When we got there, we walked up a few blocks to the Distrikt Hotel, a charming yet modern hotel tucked away behind Port Authority, close to Times Square. We were told by several friends that the top of the Rockefeller Center was the way to go as far as getting a great view of the city. They were absolutely right, but unfortunately we were unable to get any great photos to prove it. This one will have to do:
We grabbed some pizza on our walk back to the hotel and got washed up to partake in the second gift in  paper form... tickets to see "Wicked". This was our first time seeing it and I wish I could put into words what it did to me. I thought it was absolutely amazing, and was embarrassingly giddy after leaving the Gershwinn Theatre. 

We had amazing front-row balcony seats:

The next day was designated Central Park day. We walked around beautiful Central Park, visited its zoo, then followed up with a visit to the American Museum of Natural History. We stopped by McGee's for lunch (McGee's is the bar that inspired Maclaren's in "How I Met Your Mother"). While there, we ran into some Colts fans that told us that Keats was where NYC Colts fans caught the games. Of course, we headed there!

The next morning and the entire day, it poured in NYC. We already had tickets to take the ferry to Liberty Island, so we sucked it up and went. Because of the rain, we were unable to get any great photos with the Statue of Liberty, but believe me when I say she was a beauty! Before heading back to the hotel room to relax, we took the subway to Momofuku. I had heard great things about their pork belly buns and their compost cookie and will report that I very much enjoyed both! After lunch, Eric and I gave our feet and legs much needed rest before getting dolled up to go to Daniel Boulud's restaurant, Daniel. This was, hands down, the best meal of my life! And as good as the food was, the service was equally great. We were completely spoiled there, as our server knew it was our anniversary. I don't know who told him that sweets were the way to our hearts, but we ended our 3 course dinner with 6 (count them) desserts! The restaurant was way fancy, and I really hope we'll get to experience something like that again. 

And as if those 3 days weren't enough, Eric surprised me with a present that was a year in the making. He started a journal in October 2009, comprising thoughts and memories we shared throughout our first year of marriage, with intentions to share them with me for our 1 year anniversary. He definitely still knows how to make my heart go pitter patter. 

It was such a wonderful weekend. I can't even tell you how great I still feel from the high of it all. I love my husband, and I am really looking forward to all the things our second year of marriage will bring!


sew what do you think?

Its officially Fall, and we've had a couple of beautiful days here in Virginia, but after the few beautiful days come the bitter cold days of Winter. What this means is bye-bye dresses, hello sweaters, which I hate. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a pretty snowfall now and then, but putting on layer after layer is a total drag. My Winter wardrobe is fairly boring-- I stick to a formula consisting of a sweater, scarf, and coat. As such, I have a closet full of plain, solid colored sweaters that frankly I am bored of but need to keep me warm as the weather changes. I decided not to invest in more sweaters that I don't care too much about, and save some money by adding flare to my existing sweaters.

The first victim of my fabric surgery operation was this olive green sweater I got from Target for maybe $20 (Photo was taken last year on NYE):

So with this, I hopped on to etsy.com and searched for a lace applique. Found one I liked for $8. I received it in the mail today and first thing I did was pin it in place

(edit: my older sister so kindly pointed out that the tag on this sweater looks like it says 2x, when in actuality my macbook mirrored a photo of the label that reads xs. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.)

The lace was so delicate that I didn't feel confident about running this under my sewing machine. So I went old school-- threaded a needle and sewed it down by hand. It's not a very huge transformation, but I like the little detail adds to it. 

And here I am being a dork and modeling my new-old sweater:

Sew.... what do you think? I'll be happy if the darn thing doesn't fall apart after one wash...



Bill and Leslie welcomed us into their lovely home not only to feed us delicious food, but also to show us how to brew our own beer. The Oberlys know better than to turn down good food and beer!

About a month ago, we came by for Eric and Bill to actually mix the beer potion. Ok, that's not the technical term for it and in actuality it seemed like a very complex process, but I was baking cupcakes with Leslie while they were doing that part of the beer brewing, so I'm not 100% sure what went on then. But we came back tonight to bottle the beer that was made, and this time I got to be a part of the action.

It all started with this Ale Pail, with its ever-so-handsome design:

But make sure your children don't taint the beer!

Bill fills the bottles with beer (with Leslie in the background, fully supporting my blogging):

and Eric puts the caps on the bottles, as I pretend to be helpful:

And here are a few of the completed bottles of Oktoberfest beer that we bottled tonight. They got a couple of weeks until they're ready for drinking:

It was a very fun and unique experience. It's nice that Bill and Leslie totally know what they are doing; I can only imagine the mess that Eric and I would have made if we were to take this on ourselves. We got to sample some of the pumpkin beer that they previously made. It was delicious, and I'm not even a beer drinker!

Here's hoping we'll get to do this again soon! Thanks Bill and Leslie!


Cali 2.0

Post vacation blues are definitely hitting me hard today. Aidan and Brooke truly are the wonder twins. I have the best parents and siblings anyone could ask for. And needless to say I'm head over heels for my husband. I am so blessed with an amazing family, and I miss them all very much right now.

Eric and I spent Labor Day weekend in California visiting family. We got to spend a lot of quality time with family, and Eric finally got the chance to get to know Aidan and Brooke. Luckily, they took us quickly. Namely because Eric became the mayor of water town:

We also took the kiddos to the sea life aquarium in Carlsbad, after visiting Ba Noi:

The majority of the weekend was spent eating Anh Chi Hai's delicious cooking, swimming, taking A & B to the park, and just hanging out and being goofy... and I wouldn't change a thing about it. I can't tell you what it is, but this was one of the most fun visits to California, and sure I say that every time I visit, but I also mean it every time I say it. 

Thank you family, for a wonderful visit yet again! 



For whatever reason, early this morning I had the strong urge to play my accordion. I guess I should start by saying, for those who don't already know, I studied the accordion from age 4-18. Music school played a huge and wonderful role in my adolescence. I loved playing the accordion and also formed some of my greatest friendships while in music lessons. I eventually stopped taking lessons when it was time to start college.

When I moved to Virginia, it was important to me to have my accordion with me. But the sad truth is, my accordion has only been out to breathe maybe three times. Which brings me to today. I can't really explain it, but I just really wanted to take her out for a spin. It is nothing like riding a bike! You can forget how to play, which can be so frustrating especially when I think back to how good I used to be. But while playing today, I saw glimmers of hope, little reminders that its still in me somewhere, and that was just enough to get me hooked. Hooked enough to practice for a solid four hours. And with that, I close with a picture of my arm with a bruise on it. For you volleyball players, you think you have it rough on the arms... try playing the accordion.


Oberly Crabby

This isn't a post about me being in a crabby mood. Yesterday, Eric and I spent our afternoon with some friends at Maryland's crab and beer festival. You read that right, friends... all-you-can-eat crab and all-you-can-drink beer.

The event took place at the National Harbor, MD. When we arrived at the tented area, we got in line to  receive the above glasses to taste the various beers and wines available. We found an area under the tent to sit at, and sent the boys to get our helping of crab, corn, and coleslaw.



It was a lot of fun, the crab was delicious and needless to say, we made sure we got our money's worth of both crab and beer. 


Life Playlist

I know a lot of people who are really into music and who are super proud of their collection of songs. I love my music too, but truth be told I'd be far too embarrassed to let anyone go through my ipod to see the randomness that is my itunes playlist. I am well aware that I like a lot of cheesy songs. But today, as Eric was away at drill, and I had the house to myself, I blasted my ipod and put it on shuffle as I was cleaning up around the house, and a series of songs came on, each that reminded me of a different time in my life, and I felt compelled to write about it.

"Water Runs Dry" by BoyzIIMen: Without a doubt, the II album started it all. My sisters and I owned the tape, and it was what was always playing in Chi Hai's powder blue 86 Corolla when she started driving. This album was what made 90s R&B my genre of choice!

"How You Gonna Act Like That" by Tyrese: Okay fine, this song doesn't really remind me of a time in my life as much as it is an inside joke between Bao and me.

"Watch What Happens" Stanley Turrentine: All instrumentals-- I know I downloaded this song because I remembered an accordion arrangement of it played at Martin Music Center, and loved it! So naturally, it made me think of my accordion days.

"Boulevard of Broken Dreams" by Green Day: I can tell you exactly how the music video goes, because I watched it several times a day every day when I had my job at Hot Topic Headquaters, where TVs featuring music videos were on all day.

"So Happy Together" by The Turtles: I know I downloaded this song when my family had this short-lived idea to start a family band... we were "Too Fickle for a Name", hence the name. I spontaneously bought a drum set, Bao was on bass, An was on guitar, Chi Hai was on keyboard, and we had the Nguyens as our singers. I can't help but smile when I think of this time.

"Move Your Feet" by Junior Senior: A GREAT song to run to! I know this because it was a constant on my playlist while I thought I was half-marathon training when Eric was in Iraq. (I "thought" I was, because I actually never did run it...)

Anyway, the reminders of all these memories made me smile this morning, so I thought I'd share the happy thought with all of you. That is one of the many reasons why I love music so much.



The burn-in on the screen of our plasma TV with the P90X logo reminded me to blog about my workout experience. Over 90 days ago, I made a public commitment to finish Tony Horton's 90 day workout. And no, I do not look like a body builder, but I'm happy to say I stuck to my workout commitment and it did do great things for my health and strength. So here are some of my thoughts on the program.

Sure, Tony Horton is somewhat obnoxious, and naturally you're not likely to like someone who tells you to do things that initially pains your body. But making a game out of the things he says and pushing myself to try my best and believe in the system was well worth it. Doing any physical activity an hour each day for 90 days will certainly make changes to your body, and this is a great way to do it. The program is based on "muscle confusion"-- just as your body is getting used to certain movements, the workout changes to focus on other movements. That said, there is a lot of variety in the workouts, and variety to me equals less boring. Out of the 13 disks, my favorite was the plyometrics disk, with Kenpo being a close second.

I was pretty good about this the first 60 days. Around the end of that time, I cheated on P90x with my new bicycle here and there, but overall I noticed the most change in my shoulders, arms, and legs. In fact, I'm getting ready to arm wrestle Eric. Okay, no I'm not, but I enjoyed it so much, I'm starting my second round of P90X. Now do you get the title of this blog post? P90X + P90X = P180X??... to my geeky friends, please don't give me a solution to that equation...

And on that note, free tickets to my gun show for all (and my buddy Jamie's):


Nothing comes close to the Golden Coast!

.. and thank you, Katy Perry! Last Thursday through Tuesday, I got to go to just about my favorite place ever-- Orange County, California. My family is there, my family that is now so different with the addition of my niece and nephew, who I have completely fallen for after spending my entire visit with them.

Since I've come home, I've sang excerpts of "baby signing time" with a little bit of sadness that Aidan and Brooke aren't around to finish the last line for me. [insert Brooke's "me.. me... meeeee"]

This was one of the most eventful visits home. Started the weekend dancing the night away with my parents. For those of you who don't know, my parents love to dance! On Thursday night, we met them at Nhu Y in Fountain Valley for some 8 entrees of fish and some singing and dancing.

Here is a photo of my twinkle-toed parents:

The next day was full out girls day with my mom and sisters. We met at Jim and Grace's home in Riverside to meet my new niece, Abigail Grace Stefanovic:

Then the Ngo women headed to Ontario Mills mall where we did two things we enjoy: shopping and eating. That evening, I came home and got to spend time with Aidan and Brooke at the park. These kids love being "ah ah" (outside).

The next day we mosied on down to San Marcos to celebrate my grandma's 90th birthday! I cannot stress how much I love my Ba Noi. She played a huge part in raising me and my sisters. I thank God that she is here to celebrate our 90th birthday, and continues to be full of good health and spirit to hopefully celebrate a handful of more birthdays to come.

This is me with our birthday girl, the oldest member of the Ngo family and Brooke, the youngest member of the Ngo famly

Here is a photo of Ba Noi with all her grandbabies/nieces/nephews

Ngo family parties are the best! We have amazing food, and great conversation. We just sit around and laugh and be our goofy selves, and I missed this so much.

The next morning I had dim sum with some of my friends. It gets so hard to visit friends because I do so much with my family in the short time of my visits, but I could not be happier to have had time to see my buddies. I love these people and every time I get with them, its all laughs.

Me with the ladies:

Me with the fellas:

And then it was off to the Orange County fair with the Lamily and Bao. I have to say, I've always enjoyed pigging out at the fair, but this was without a doubt my favorite fair experience. Namely because Aidan and Brooke were so excited to be there! They pointed at farm animals, got excited when seeing stuffed animals, and were just over stimulated with their surroundings. It was one of the most precious things I've ever seen and I am so glad I was around to experience this with them.

A & B loving the "moooo"

My final day in California was spent at the happiest place on earth. Bao and I had this crazy idea to take Aidan and Brooke to Disneyland along with the Abris trio. When Shanielle showed up, we were finally 5 adults with 5 children. It was a lot of chaos, but totally worth it. I was too busy to take photos, but here are some photos taken by Chi Hai. I also got to meet up with Deejay, who is a friend I grew up with and she is now 8 mos pregnant, and just about the cutest pregnant woman ever.

It was very hard to sum up a trip that was packed with so much fun. Here are the rest of the photos taken during my trip. I'd like to close with a thank you to my husband, who sacrificed his trip to stay home and take care of our sick beagle (who by the way is doing a lot better). I came home to a house that was cleaner that I've ever seen it. Eric, youre the best. And to my family, what a wonderful visit I had in California. That was one of my favorite visits, and I feel so blessed to have such an awesome family.