Connor's 3rd birthday

Tomorrow, this sweet face turns 3 years old and I don't even know how to begin to lay out how that makes me feel.

This past year was major for Connor's development. Over the summer, it was like a light switch went on and he just started talking, and hasn't stopped since. The boy LOVES to talk… and in one volume-- loud! He has something to say about everything.

He is still as silly as ever, he loves to laugh and he loves to make people laugh. His current interests include TMNT (Leonardo is is favorite), Baymax from "Big Hero 6" and a show he calls "big transformers". He still very much enjoys soccer, he is starting to really love building with legos and magnet toys.

He pronounces Riley as "Rally" (which is still am improvement from when he called her "Ridey"). He still mispronounces "Batman" ("Buttman") and his newest mispronunciation is "Star Whores".

Connor is my extroverted child. He makes friends everywhere and is loved by all his peers at school. He has no problems telling us what he wants, and what he doesn't want is especially clear. He continues to challenge me as a parent, in his stubborn ways. But he is also very cuddly and loves his mom, and I am enjoying every minute of that.

 He is my special boy. He is fun, loving, sweet, sensitive, thoughtful, goofy. I look at him and I remember feeling unsure about adding to our family so quickly and now there is no such life without Connor in it. He completes my heart and our family. I love this boy and I am so proud and blessed to be his mommy.


Riley's 4th Birthday

This year my sweet first born turned 4 years old. I have no clue how that is possible. I have been told on repeat to enjoy my time with the kids, as the time goes by fast, and it seems like I barely blinked and 4 years have gone by.

This year we celebrate Riley's birthday at the MAC. Some of her closest school friends and neighborhood friends came to share some snacks and cupcakes with her, followed by playing on the indoor playscape and swimming at the pool.

She asked for a "mermaid" themed party

4th year veteran parents with our 4-year-old
At her four-year wellness, all stats show that she is growing on track. Her check-up included a hearing and an eye sight exam, both of which she passed with flying colors. She got 3 shots, and to my pleasant surprise, no tears followed them. She is really growing up.

Height: 40.5in @ 66%tile
Weight: 35lbs @ 50%tile
There is something so special about my Riley. She is thoughtful, inquisitive, caring and intelligent way beyond her 4 years. She has such a strong sense of loyalty and love for her family, near and far. Although she still remains my more introverted child, she is continually coming out of her shell, which makes me so happy. It brings joy to my heart when others can experience the Riley that I know and love.

She giggles at just about everything. She sometimes instigates conflict with her brother, but that is not at all an indication of her growing love for him-- she will randomly tell me how much she loves Connor and enjoys her role as big sister. Her current interests include singing, dancing, swimming, Disney princesses. She is still the great eater she's always been, her favorite foods including shrimp, chicken wings, rice, brussels sprouts, cherry tomatoes and guavas (from YY's house). She loves to paint, she is picking up phonics and writing.

To say I am proud of this young lady is a complete understatement. I wish more than anything I had words to describe all the feelings that churn in my heart when I think of the love I have for my daughter. She is the best gift from God, and although parenting has been one of the most challenging experiences of my life, it has been by far the most rewarding. Being a mom has changed me in ways I never imagined possible, and that gift, that blessing, that honor, that privilege is something I could have never experienced had it not been for Riley.

Happy birthday, my sweet Riley.


Soccer Buddies

Now that the kids are a little older, we are trying to put them in some activities that they might enjoy. When we asked Connor what he wanted to do, he said soccer. And he was not kidding. The boy not only loves playing soccer, he is also really pretty good at it.

I had the privilege of accompanying Connor at his soccer practice today. My little dude came onto the field, and immediately said "Hi Coach!" to the young man running his practice. There were about 7 other child/parent pairs on the field. And I was beaming at my little athlete. He retained all that he had learned last week and was constantly chosen to set the example of an exercise for his team. He spoke with confidence. He performed like a child well beyond his years. He was a star. I could not be more proud of our Connor.


Loving Siblings

I know it is not the first time (nor will it be the last) that I mention that one of my greatest wishes for my children is for them to love each other. Now that Connor is a little older, speaking a lot more and understanding imaginative play, I have had the pleasure of witnessing the two of them really playing together and enjoying one another. Like this cute little exchange:

To most, this video probably seems like no big deal. But as their mom, someone who has and continues to break up their conflicts, this video fills my heart with so much joy. These moments are starting to show up more often and it excites me for what their future holds for them as siblings.

Caught them in a cute moment

Hugging more often nowadays


Oberly Hiking

Our second summer in Colorado is coming to an end, and this summer we dedicated a lot of our time to locally hiking. With the kids being older now, it has become a new activity for us to enjoy together as a family. 

Hiking up Castle Rock

We could see our house from here

At the top of the ridgeline nearby
We have so much left to explore and are so excited to continue to familiarize ourselves with beautiful Colorado



We spent a few days in California to celebrate one of the Ngo family's biggest milestones: our baby, Bao, getting married.

We arrived late Wednesday night. On Thursday, Riley and Connor got to enjoy some time with their cousins, Aidan and Brooke. We spent the afternoon at Billy Beez, where the kiddies ran themselves tired up and down playscapes.

The next day, we checked in to the hotel and attended the rehearsal dinner:
The kids were so excited to see Di Tu

The day before they tied the knot
Dinner was held at Royale where the family and closest friends of our bride and groom got to enjoy a delicious meal and awesome company:
The men of the Ngo women
And finally, the day had arrived. For months, my sisters and I have been chatting up a storm about Bao and Tony's wedding. Bao sent pictures of her dress, the flower girls dresses, her shoes-- all the details that she worked so hard to pull together to make this day perfect. And perfection it was. The venue was gorgeous. The food, delicious. The family and friends filled the space with love. And Bao and Tony were without a doubt, happy. It was such a fun and beautiful wedding. We are so thankful to have played such a big part of it. And we are even happier to have Tony in the family. Congratulations to my sister and my new brother-in-law!

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Nhoksayakams!

I love our full family!
Shots before he walks his baby girl down the aisle

The cutest father/daughter dance
More pics to follow!


Dancing Queen

During the month of June, Riley was enrolled in a toddler ballet and creative dance class. She had been talking about wanting to go to dance class (probably from the influence of her Chi Ba Brooke). But Riley is my introverted child, and sometimes she comes up with these great ideas but her shyness inhibits her from following through. Not wanting to spend a ton of money on a trial, I signed her up for a month-long class at the Recreation Center, where I teach Zumba. She met with her class every week, and the instructors have a policy that doesn't allow parents to be present until the very last class. I was so surprised and proud of my Riley this past week when she got to show off what she had learned.

Here is a video of an exercise where the girls are to associate music/sounds with a particular movement/action:

And here is a video of her applying what she learned to "A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes":

She is so engaged and she so genuinely enjoys learning how to dance. It makes me so happy that she has this as a potential outlet for her.

Love my artsy fartsy child.


Sing Peace Around the World

The school year has officially ended, which is a weird thing for a mom of toddlers to say, but I digress. Riley's preschool put together an adorable Spring recital. Riley continues to have a genuine passion for music and singing. She was very excited about the concert and spent almost every night asking me to play the music for her to practice. Here is a little video of my starlette and her class singing "Sing Peace Around the World":


Eric's 34th Birthday

First time celebrating his bday vs today
Eric turned 34 today. We spent the day pretty much doing what we would do any other day, until we had dinner with our small group from church, followed by cake and ice cream at home with the kids. My how far we have come from the first time we celebrated his birthday together-- in 2007, at the Indy 500. I couldn't help but think back from at time and the journey that has taken place to get to where we are today. There have had transformations of all shapes and sizes, besides the obvious additions that are our Riley and Connor. We have moved out of state twice. We have grown in our faith. We have endured the normal and not-so-normal ups and downs of life, and as I get ready to call it a night, I am overwhelmed with gratitude. I am thankful to have a partner in life who I know without a doubt is my constant. I am thankful for a husband who I can grow with. I am extremely humbled by our journey thus far, and I am eager and excited at the thought of where our life will go, knowing that I have him to hold my hand through it all.

I love you, Eric Oberly. Happy birthday!


Riley the Scholar

Riley is really picking up on her reading and writing skills. Her school now sends home weekly homework assignments, and my sweet and nerdy little girl loves it so much. She reminds me daily that she has to do her homework and is genuinely excited about it. Here's to hoping that this lasts!

Here's a little video of Riley working on some homework. I am so proud of this bright little girl:


Diaper Free Zone

A little over a year ago, I vowed to never write about my babies bowel movements with the exception of  two times. I present to you the second time-- Connor man is officially potty trained!

We followed the "whatever it takes" method
If it were up to me, we wouldn't have started Connor so soon. I heard many stories about boys just taking longer to potty train and needing to be older. But their school had been pushing us to start Connor. They insisted he was ready, and I dragged my feet to begin potty training because frankly, it is not fun. I can change a diaper in record time, but hoping for a toddler to sit on the potty and waiting for something to happen… "ain't nobody got time for dat!" But the kids had a long two week break for the Winter holidays, and we decided to bite the bullet and get it started. To my surprise, Connor picked it up fairly quickly. After our two weeks of training, school was back in session and they prefer the cold turkey/no pull-up method. We shamefully picked him up daily from school with 5 bags of dirty clothing from accidents. Those 5 bags slowly became 2 and for the last month, our Connor man has been accident free! Can you say cha-ching?! (That is the sound of the money I am saving from not having to buy diapers anymore).


Spirit Week

Our first Colorado Winter is slowly coming to an end. Although apparently the snowing is not exactly over, we have had plenty of sunshiny days and I am loving every bit of it. The kids' school had some fun welcoming Spring with "Spirit Week". I am slowly turning my children into the enthusiastic and peppy students their mother was.

Green Day for St. Patrick's Day

Tie-Dye Day

Hawaiian Day


Slam dunk!

If you recall, Connor showed us his passion for basket ball at a very young age. I never believed that a person that young could feel so strongly about a sport. I even thought perhaps it might be a phase, and I try to think realistically that it very well might be. But when he does things like this, its impossible to deny this passion and talent:

This happened in a matter of minutes after he watched the NBA slam dunk contest with Eric. And it has continued for days now. I am so astonished by his love and his talent, and I am anxious and excited to see where it goes as he grows up!


My Girl

This evening, Riley fell asleep in my arms. I think the last time this happened was at least 2 years ago so I would be lying if I said I didn't enjoy this. In fact, I loved every second of it. Reminiscing about the last time this happened and my arm going numb reminding me of how big she is made my heart want to explode. How is my first baby no longer a baby? People always say "enjoy it now, they grow up so fast" but I never imagined this fast.

Riley is truly a special little girl. She just understands so much more than you would believe a 3-year-old capable of. She is thoughtful and loving. She is introverted although not shy. She still loves to sing and dance. She is starting to pick up on phonetics. She quotes the bible. She loves books. She thinks she's a Disney princess. She will only wear tops that have a "ruffle" for twirling. She asks for "Anna hair" (two braids) or "Elsa hair" (one French braid). She loves being a big sister. She absolutely hates to get in trouble, even though she can't help but test us sometimes. There are so many just amazing things about this girl and I wish I took more times like these to sit and truly appreciate this little blessing of ours.


Cameron Michael

One of my greatest joys is being an aunt. I am lucky enough to have an army of sweet nieces and nephews, and we've recently added another cutie to the bunch: my Chi Hai's 3rd child, baby Cameron Michael.

Eric watched the kiddies so that I could take a trip out to meet this sweet boy and help Chi Hai out. Cameron was amazing. He nursed like a champion, slept like a champion. He has a sweet demeanor but will definitely let it be known when he isn't happy/comfortable. He is super snugly and smells delicious. I miss this sweet face so much


Celebrating his 1 month 
I also got to spend some quality time with my favorite twins, Aidan and Brooke. They are super kids and it was not a surprise to me that they are super big siblings to their new baby
Me with the Lam trio
It was such a relaxing trip, especially for having a newborn around. They grow up so fast, I am so thankful for the chance to spend quality time with baby Cameron. But now I miss them all more than ever!


Ringing in 2015

I don't know what it is about a new year, but to me it just always feels like a reset button. I always find myself reflecting on the year that just passed and really thinking about how I want to change with this fresh restart. Most of my new years resolutions are pretty generic, and honestly they still are. But with that, I am trying to be more purposeful about fulfilling them.

Family: R & C are growing up so quickly. When I think about last year, a lot of the time seemed like "survival mode" where I was just doing what I could to get by. Life with two toddlers is exhausting to say the least. But it is also amazing and beautiful and I am ashamed to say that I think I took that for granted. This year, I hope to slow down, take a breather, and just love on my kids. I pray nightly for them to be loving and kind, and I know that starts with me and how I am towards them. So it is my hope to be more patient with them and truly soak in my time as a parent of toddlers.

Friends: With social media, it is so easy to connect and catch up with people. But the problem with easy, I have found, is that it makes me lazy. There have been a lot of times when I think about a certain friend that I haven't caught up with and it ends there-- a thought. This year, I want to act on those thoughts. I want to call/text/write and let that friend know that I was thinking about him/her. I love my friends, I am blessed to have so many good ones, and I want them all to know that I cherish them and our relationships.

Faith: I believe in God. How can I not? He is everywhere around me. 2014 was a big growing year for me as far as my faith and I want to keep the momentum going. With our moving away from our home church (that I love and miss dearly), there has been a little pause in my journey and I want to be proactive about jumping back on board. I started a "bible in a year" plan, I am committing to reading my "Jesus Calling" daily devotionals, and my next goal is to join a small group in the area. It is the very, very least I can do and it is extremely important to me to stay on track with this resolution.

Misc: This is going to be so strange, following such a heavy and personal resolution, but with my new Zumba instructor job and actually working in a public environment (as opposed to my patent examining job where I work from home), I find myself very in-my-head about my mannerisms around people. So I want to be conscious about eye contact, my posture, and learning people's names the first time.

I have a really good feeling that this year will be amazing. With our move still being so fresh, we have so much to explore in the area. Also, being that much closer to California hopefully means I get to see my family more often. And with the kids getting older, we are starting to get to do so much more as a family. All good things! How could I not be excited about what's to come?

Wishing you all a very blessed 2015!