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4.29.2013

Quote of the Week: New York


New York. The Big Apple. Manhattan.

I'm never away from New York more than 3 months at a time. These days it seems more like a 2 month maximum before I'm back on a plane eastward. Between work, family, and friends, I'll always find my way back here. New York of fantastic public transportation, jaywalking to your heart's content, and places to eat, drink, converse, and hide till the wee hours of the morning.

Though I'm usually a husk of a person after a week in NY (usually because it's work-related), while it's happening, it's all such a joy. The days just blow by because there's so much to do!

Why did I choose this particular quote? Well, because NYC is one of those places that can be looked at both ways. If you don't know the ropes, the system, how fast to walk, how to let people off the train before getting on, how to have a philosophical conversation with your local apartment or neighbor granny, how to never stop in the middle of the sidewalk to stare at a store window (good gravy, move out of everyone's way, ya jerk)...well, this city could easily be a catastrophe.

And when you have the best of it...when the flowers bloom in spring and the streets sound with the clicking of bright-colored shoes, the street performers are out, the subway musicians are in full swing (sans the Mariachi bands...sorry, but I can't stand them. They're just not acoustically designed for trains.) When you feel like you could Mary Tyler Moore the crap out of this city...it's still a catastrophe...but a beautiful one. It's the energy. The constant change and hustle. It's beautifully bustling.

So, this week's quote goes out to Manhattan and, despite the rainy weather, its beauty in spring. Looking forward to a week of friends, family, and some good ol' fashion hardcore New Yorker style work in the office with my beloved co-workers. Hope you all have a fantastic week! xo!

4.28.2013

Sunday Styles no. 28

Ahhhhhh...the coast. Yep, Husband Charles and I are in La Jolla today. We came down to visit family who are vacationing here and decided to stay for a night. It's been sea air, the hum of crashing waves, and lots of strolls, tidepools, salt, sand, and surfers.

It's been a joy and I really wish we could stay here all week, but, alas, I'm back on an NYC-bound plane tomorrow. At least all that furlough business is over and air traffic control is back in action by tonight. I really wasn't into the idea of having a delayed flight.

Aaaanyway, enough about flying. I want to savor my last remaining hours here...and though the weather hasn't been super-sunny, it's been the type of overcast that lets you take brisk walks without boiling alive. It's been wonderful. So, I'm keeping it comfy, cozy today...


Yes. Zebras, to me, have some connection to adventure...beaches do too...And though you won't find zebras on the beach here in San Diego, somehow it all makes sense to me. This sweater in particular, with it's wide tailoring is stupendously comfortable and great for layering which is just what I need here.

So, there ya have it. Preppy, beachy, adventurey magic! Back to strolling before we have to head back to LA! Hope you're all having a wonderful Sunday! xo!

A Note About The Clothing: Uniqlo Park (no longer available), Gap 1969 Legging Jean, J. Crew Factory Camp Shirt (Classic Navy), Madewell Studio Sweater in Zebra, Madewell Holepunch Sidewalk Skimmers

4.26.2013

Tatcha & Go: Luminous Deep Hydration Lifting Mask (A Skincare Review)

Are you a mask person? As in beauty masks. I've never been huge on them...mostly because I'm a little lazy and the thought of slathering things on my face and losing the ability to talk, smile, or laugh for 15-20 minutes is not all that appealing...I should probably just use them when I'm alone, but timing always makes it so I'm doing it at night around the time Husband Charles gets home. He has learned how to read my humming sounds if I have a mask on. I'm sure this skill will come in handy some day. So far he understands "How are you?" and "Tell me about your day."

Though most masks will deter you from speaking, some aren't nearly as time-consuming. (Washing mud masks off at the sink drives me nuts.) And not all masks are meant to sop up oil either. Some are designed for other things...more things I'm interested in.

Enter Tatcha's Luminous Deep Hydration Lifting Mask:


Did you hear a choir of angels just now? No? Hm. You should've...because that's how I felt after using this amazing mask.

4.23.2013

On A Great Dove Campaign, Getting Weepy, & Getting Happy

So, I may or may not (this means I totally do) have a tendency to get a little weepy during some commercials. I usually chalk it up to an extra-hard week at work, overall exhaustion, or a visit from the cardinal (I hope you get that. I don't want to have to explain it to you.) A good example of a commercial that gets me EVER . SINGLE . TIME . is this one...


(By the way, I totally teared up watching this again before I posted it...and I'm not even tired or moody! Damn you, Google Chrome!!!)

Anyway, what I'm trying to get at is the Dove video that owned the Internet last week. Did you get a chance to catch it? If not, check it out here:



I've been told (in the kindest way possible because I was told by dear friends) that I had a tendency to cut myself down a lot when it came to my physical features. I was told I was pretty and that it's unfair for me to complain about how I'm feeling about my looks on any given day...but this commercial clears things up. Body dysmorphia...disconnects in how we see ourselves versus how the world sees us. It's all very real. The sad thing is, without exercises like this video, most of us will never know how the world actually sees us. We'll only see ourselves how we see ourselves and sometimes (as the video very blatantly shows) it isn't the truth.

4.22.2013

Quote of the Week: How Old


Good question, Satchel Paige. I'd have to say that thoughts on this vary from day to day. Some days I catch myself sitting on the couch and playing videogames for hours on end and wonder what an outside observer would think of me. "Damn high school kids. Can't they go do something constructive with their time?"

Other times, I'm staring at a party invite and looking at the clock on the day of the event...wondering how tired I'll be when party time rolls around. I'll start thinking about how it's a weekday. How I need more sleep. How I'm so awkward at social events anyway. How all the young kids will be having a ball...and then I'm 90.

I'll watch a movie from my childhood and feel like I'm 10...or, in the case of yesterday, be sitting with my husband and discussing mortgages and children over a balanced brunch...and then I'm my actual age. 32.

When people ask me how old I am, I usually make them guess. It's because I don't get offended whether they tell me I'm likely to be 70 or likely to be 15. I'm flattered either way because there are perks and characteristics at each end of the spectrum, people!

Most people say something like 23. I chalk that up to smiling a lot and making lots of unflattering, goofy faces because that's generally what I do during conversations. That and working in social media has really kept me up to speed on everything that's the haps on any given day. Memes, new Internet-created words, ad campaigns, obscure whatevers, quotes from reality shows...you know how it goes.

But, seriously, after a belated birthday surprise party that happened this weekend (big thanks to Husband Charles and BFF, Jessie, for making it so wonderful), I started thinking about my age. I know lots of 30-something's that are incredibly vivacious and don't come off as old at all. I know other 30-something's that seem older than they are...usually because they're totally hung up on their age. I'm not exactly sure why. It's just a number...that saying has stood the test of time for a reason.

Much like your worth...as in "you're only worth as much as you say you're worth" (when it comes to career negotiations and such...I would even use this term in relationship building), I also say that you're only as old as you feel. So, with that in mind, I'll say at this very moment I'm feeling like I'm 25. Tomorrow may be different, but that's where I'm at today.

Hope you're feelin' the enthusiasm of a 10 year old and the wisdom of a 100 year old! Have a great week! xo!

4.21.2013

Sunday Styles no. 27

In celebration of my recent investment piece and the warmer weather here in So Cal (it's about time!!!), this week's Sunday Styles is going the way of classic styling with a nod to Mama Matsuo & her musings on nautical-wear.

There are few things I consider sartorial panaceas...fashionable cure-alls...but this is one of them...


No matter who you are, there's just no way you'll ever look bad with a classic navy & white nautical shirt and a trench coat. Ladies, slap on some red lips for extra pizzazz. It's about as timeless and classic as you can get. Short, tall, curvy, stick-straight...there is a combination of this that will work for you. In the end, tailoring is what will count. Take these components and run with them, my friends.

Because of the suddenly scorching temps, I've opted for high-waisted shorts and because it's Sunday, flats...obvi. (Though, I have been jonesin' for a pair of basic black stilettos recently.)

As for the trench's use (I took the lining out - I'm not that prone to getting cold) on a hot LA day...lemme tell you something. Los Angeles is a desert. At night, the temps drop and it can get pretty chilly. AND if you decide to head west on a beautiful Sunday towards the water and end up in Malibu or Santa Monica (because you're wearing nautical clothing...why wouldn't you head towards the sea?) it's always a little breezier and chillier over there.

So, there it is, folks. Captain Nami, signing out for some rest & relaxation. Have a great rest of the weekend! xo!

A Note About the Clothes: Saint James Naval II Classic Stripe Shirt, American Apparel Stretch Twill High-Waisted Zipper Short (Black), Madewell Holepunch Sidewalk Skimmers (Black), Burberry Long Cotton Gabardine Slim Fit Trench Coat

4.19.2013

No Question Left Unanswered!

Happy Friday, everyone! (It couldn't have come soon enough. My jetlag is still killing me.)

So, what's today's post going to be about? Let me tell ya! I was notified by my dearest Fancy Geek (Le Fancy Geek, if you wanna get technical), Nina, that she had a list of questions for me to answer. Being the neurotic person that I am, I feel extreme urgency when given an assignment. (This would be a good explanation for why I man many hours of social media conversations at my day job...at night...on the weekends...whenever, wherever. Sometimes I think smartphones are the devil.) So, with a list of 11 awesome questions on the burner, how could I go on without getting them answered?

So, this post is for Nina and her amazing questions...because, well, she's an amazing blogger and my "Dark Side Sister." (Star Wars reference. Run away screaming if you must, anti-geeks!)

By the way, this was the first image I ever saw of Nina and the one that made me totally girl crush on her...thanks to her, I was able to find my Darth sweater! <3 See her post that started this love fest here.

Ready? It's gonna be a little slapdash, but a lot of fun.
Ok, let's do this!


4.17.2013

Mama Matsuo Musing #7: The Long Term Investment

Did you think I forgot about Mama Matsuo? Psh. How could I? Especially after a week-long jaunt in Japan with my dearest mum, my head is full of all kinds of mom-wisdom. (Gems like "sit up straight", "pull your shoulders back" and "put on some lipstick" never get old.) And this is what brings me to our next installment of musings...

Mama Matsuo Musing #7: Quality. Not Quantity.


Surprised? Probably not. It's a concept you graduate to once you've figure out the "fashion sandwich." (See Mama Matsuo Musing #1 for reference.)

So, yes, I'm slowly moving from power-shopping to investing. Where once I might have purchased an item in the blink of an eye (or flash of a credit card in this case), I now ponder an item's relevancy, timelessness, construction, fabric, and whether it's something I'm willing to stay thin for when I get older. Aside from my gross sweater addiction, I've been pairing down my closet to contain the essential items.

My trip to Japan was fashionably significant in this particular respect...

4.15.2013

Quote of the Week: Parents


Post-Japan, this quote of the week couldn't be more fitting. Though my parents have been very generous in countless ways, a lot of my upbringing was spent guiding me and instilling in me a spirit of reverence. From a little 5 year old Nami, learning to meditate, to understand honor, respect, and willpower along with learning the art of Japanese fencing...to understanding the importance of elders, ancient history, and nature. This trip really put things into perspective for me and helped me center myself again.

After strolling along rows of cherry blossoms, sipping matcha tea, seeing my 95 year old grandmother (who, by the way, looks fantastic for her age), laughing with cousins, bowing to aunts and uncles, visiting temples, breathing in fresh air, eating heartily, admiring the maple trees and taking the time to listen rather than speak (sometimes being rusty in your second language gives you a chance to just sit and marvel at stories from your relatives), I'm wholly renewed and very much inspired.

So, this quote of the week is a thanks to my mother and father for pulling me away from work and the craziness of every day life to remind me about the important things and to help me realize that you have to spend time with the ones you love as much as you can. Normally being 3,000 miles away from my parents combined with seeing my grandmother for, probably, the very last time made me think hard about the future and how to spend my time.

Alright. Time to try to sleep. This jetlag is killer! xo!

4.14.2013

Sunday Styles no. 26

So, I'm back from Japan...but I haven't organized myself to the point where I can give you a full review on my trip. With that said, I figured a Sunday Styles post would be the best way for me to ease back into blogging.

I apologize in advance for my lack of verbal panache. My brain is still foggy from the jetlag, but I wanted to share a new sartorial love. Who knows how long it'll last, but I'm really into graphic sweaters right now. I recently went power-shopping for sweaters at one of my favorite stores for knits: Madewell.

And, seriously, right now is the perfect time for thin sweaters. Spring is the season for fun knits, am I right? ( I am. Just in case you were unsure.)

So, what did I get?


Did I mention both of these sweaters were on sale? I mean, c'mon! How can you go wrong? These are easy pieces. Comfy, but visually stimulating and not difficult to wear. Wear them alone, with pants, jeans, skirts, or with a collared shirts underneath...so many possibilities. Thin enough to wear under a snug jacket too!

And just a quick word on how to work the Madewell system. All of their fabulous clothes move fast. If you see something you like, it'll likely be on sale the next week. Whether they'll have your size or not? No guarantee. It's a risk you'll have to take if you want to save some cash. (Note: I'm not sure if this is the case with all Madewells, but it sure as hell is how it works at the Madewell at the Americana in Glendale.)

The week after that, the item will likely be gone. So, that's how you work that system. If you want it and you think you'll wear it forever, then get it. I've received countless compliments on all the sweaters I've purchased there and for good reason. They're made well (I didn't even mean to write that as a pun...) and have pretty classic, but quirky prints and patterns.

Also, (and Husband Charles can attest to this) I have a serious sweater problem. Sweater addiction is more like it. But, really, aren't sweaters the perfect piece of clothing?

Alright. Enough. I need to go do something mindless and concentrate on staying awake during the day. It's back to work for me tomorrow, so I need to shake this jetlag and get back on track. Hope everyone is having a relaxing weekend! xo!

A Note About the Clothes: Madewell Blockstep Sweater, Madewell Pink/Grey/Black Sweater - no longer available (I tried to find it, but couldn't!), Gap 1969 Legging Jean, Madewell Holepunch Sidewalk Skimmers

4.09.2013

From the Field: Time to Admit the Truth

Dear Readers,

Oh, there is just no way I'm going to be able to blog as much as I'd like while I'm here!
Forgive me!!! Forgive this deadbeat blogger!

My love for you still remains.
In the meantime, check my Instagram feed here for the latest and greatest of what I'm up to in Japan.

I'll write an epic post upon my return.
xoxooooooooo!

N.

4.08.2013

From the Field: Japan After Day 2!

Forgive me for being a deadbeat blogger! I think I'm getting to the point where I'm going to just admit it. There's a possibility I may not be blogging as often as I like during this trip. The days have been rough and unforgiving in their packed-itinerary-ness. (You can thank my OCD father - who I totally took after...)

Anyway, if you want to see any of the live action, you can follow my Instagram account here. I was really planning on blogging last night after we got back to the hotel, but we didn't get back till after midnight and I wanted to die from exhaustion, so it wasn't gonna happen. That and I fell asleep on the bullet train with my contacts in, so I was blind by the time I got back.

I'll post something more comprehensive (with photos and everything that makes things more comprehensive - possibly diagrams) in the next day or two, but you'll have to hold off till then. You'll have to make it through another day without my tales of adventure and intrigue (a.k.a delicious food and general venting.)

In the meantime, let's take a minute to mourn the loss of Margaret Thatcher. The Iron Lady was an inspiration.

"Pennies don't fall from heaven - they have to be earned here on Earth."
Go on, MT. Go on with your bad self.

4.06.2013

From the Field: Japan Day 1 Begins!

Oh, don't mind me...I'm just reading my JAPAN TIMES!
Wow, yesterday was rough...

11.5 hours of flying (which, to be fair, wasn't half as bad as the trek the rest of my family members had to make from NY) will take it out of ya. I left LAX at 9am on April 5th and landed in Osaka, Japan at 2pm on April 6th. Let's give it up for the International Date Line, folks, for stealing a day away from me.

The morning prior to my flight made me want to scratch my own eyeballs out, which, I assure you, isn't a regular feeling. After being pulled over en route to the airport ("What? We needed a transponder for the new express lanes? We didn't know that!" - we totally knew that), I arrived at the airport, ready to go and even a little early. (It was worth leaving at 5:45am...kinda.)

But wasn't I surprised to see my passport wouldn't scan and the kiosk told me I needed an attendant to help me. The kind-LOOKING United attendant came over, looked at my passport and said, "it expires in a month." To which I blinked at her while my inner monologue went something like, "Yes. And?"

She followed with. "It expires too soon. Some countries don't allow you to come into the country if the passport is going to expire within 6 months."

"But I'm going to be there for a week. I'll be back before expiration."

Her very quick and surprisingly aggressive response (which cracked the shiny, veneer of my trust in small, sweet-looking old ladies with white hair) was, "THAT DOESN'T MATTER. YOU CAN'T FLY. GO TO THAT COUNTER AND REBOOK YOUR FLIGHT." Two other attendants echoed her sentiment.

I stood there, dumbfounded. I would've been cursing her had it not been so early and my PMS not been in full swing. (PMS this month has taken a turn in the cry-at-everything direction rather than the rage-at-everything direction. I suppose it's better off. No one wants to see me punch a little, old lady.) I called Husband Charles, voice shaking uncontrollably, and updated him on the situation. He sprung into action, trying to find out whether I could get my documents renewed same-day. In the meantime, I would have to wait on line for rebooking.

So, there I stood in line. Red-eyed, broken-hearted, texting my father who was mid-flight on the way to our meeting destination at SFO. Worst day-before-my-birthday ever.

And then I got to the counter. The sweet-faced woman asked me how she could help. I took a breath and planned to keep it together. I'm not one to lose my sh*t in public. I explained that I was told I couldn't fly because my passport expires next month...and then...THEN, I failed to keep it together. I started sobbing. A culmination of my week's stresses released. "I'm supposed...to meet my family...my...grandmother's not...doing well...but I...can't fly...I need to....rebook." I was a weepy heap by the end of my explanation...trying to quickly wipe away my tears and get my voice back.

The woman gave a sympathetic frown, called over some of her supervisors and explained my situation. They checked my documents and all looked at each other. "You're passport expires next month!" They checked Japan's travel guidelines and all looked up at me with reassuring smiles. "You can fly!"

At that point, Husband Charles had come back to LAX to make sure I was ok and got the good news with me. One of the attendants asked me, "do you have a bag to check?" To which I nodded. He looked to his two partners and said, "ok. let's get her checked in quick! She doesn't have a lot of time!"
He took my bag, tagged it and looked me straight in the eye. "Miss, I'll make sure to get this bag on that flight! Don't worry!"

And that was that. Tears dried, eyes a little swollen, I said my final goodbyes to Charles and ran through security to make it on time. Aside from a gallop to my connecting gate at SFO, all went smoothly...but, really, that had been more than enough drama for one day. The 10.5 hour flight was fun with my brother and nephew. Wheel of Fortune on the iPad, 3.5 movies (Quartet - which I really wanted to see, Playing for Keeps - which I really didn't plan on watching, Skyfall - have I mentioned that Daniel Craig is my fav Bond?, and a little bit of Life of Pi), some sleep, and we were in Osaka in no time. (Actually, it felt pretty long, but it always sounds better when you say it took no time.)

We had a celebratory birthday dinner wherein I was nodding off in the corner for the latter half, but I managed to eat some delicious food and even shoveled some cake into my mouth before ultimately needing to crawl back to my hotel room.

And now I'm here. First full day. I've been up since 5am and have been writing, reading, and relaxing with a cup of coffee before the day begins. Now that the traveling is over, I'm excited to spend so much time with my family. I'm taking my camera with me, so let's hope I capture some magic!
Hope everyone's well! xoxo!

Update: On the Flipside

Hey, everyone!

Just wanted to let you know that I just flew into Japan today, so my internal clock is all whacked out. (Hello! It's almost the end of the 6th here. It's just the beginning of the 6th in the States!) Not to mention everything leading up to the flight was like doing laps in the River Styx. (More on this later.)

Will try to keep you all up to date with happenings here. In the meantime, hope you have a fantastic weekend!

Stay tuned! xo!

4.03.2013

You've Got the Magic Tatcha: Revitalizing Eye Cream (A Skincare Review)

Ok, so seemingly overnight I went from someone who never used eye cream to someone who now religiously uses eye cream. I'm ok with having wrinkles, but if I can fight off said wrinkles for a few extra years, why not? Especially since I'm notoriously bad about the skin around my eyes.

Do I forget my big sunglasses pretty often? Yes...but instead of avoiding the sun, I walk around in it, squinting like a blind mouse. Do I rub my eyes? Yesss...a lot. I'm always messing with my eye area and always seem to get things in my eyes. That one lone fluff of pollen on the other side of the street? Yeah, it'll end up in my eye somehow (rub, rub, rub.) That and my habit of not blinking enough (I get sucked into my laptop & forget to) which causes my contacts to rebel...which leads to more eye rubbing.

In short (that wasn't short at all), I need magic cream at night to help nuture my ravaged eye area.

So, what a welcome sight it was to find my favorite new skincare friends at Tatcha (who happen to be pun enthusiasts - yay, puns! - and with a company name like the one they have, how could they not be?!) had decided to surprise me with a little package one sunny, eye-skin demolishing, Los Angeles afternoon. When I opened up the box, I found a jar of their Ageless Revitalizing Eye Cream (as well as another product I'm still waiting to use - I'm going to try it post-Japan after tons of flying. I'll need it.)

Behold! The secret to a smooth eye area!

So, here's the skinny (or shall we say "the smooth!")

Usage: Night Time - Every Day
Upon first opening the jar I thought, "Hmmm. That's it?" (it seems like a rather small jar) which was silly of me because the minute I touched the cream I realized just how dense and nourishing this experience was going to be and how little I would ultimately need to use each night. How do I explain this. It's light and dense at the same time. Whipped and creamy, but packed with moisture. It's like sleeping in silk pajamas on silk sheets...but for your eyes...and without fear of slipping off the bed from all the silkiness.

The Bottom Line:
The Holy Grail of eye creams (which makes sense on so many levels. Youth in cream form, anyone?) It not only reduces wrinkles, it also reduces puffiness, dark circles, and eye spots. To be fair, I didn't have eye spots, so I can't say that it's helping me there, but I do suffer from puffy eyes in the morning (I could cut down on my salt intake, yes, but salty foods make me happy and who would want to steal that kind of happiness from me?) That and dark circles, which have slowly begun to creep into my life. Luckily, this cream showed up just in time to help it creep out of my life before any real damage.

As for application, it's super simple...and, lucky for us, Tatcha has great how-to videos on their products. So, this is how you use it (and a little product info):


Personally, I use a slightly lighter eye cream during the day (I wear eye make-up and fake lashes and all that stuff, so I tend to use lighter creams to avoid smudging) and use this cream at night to help my skin while it's rejuvenating overnight. It's just personal preference, but the cream definitely absorbs beautifully for daytime use. If there's a day where I don't plan on wearing a lot of eye make-up (a.k.a when pigs are flying over a frozen-over hell), I'll definitely be slathering this eye cream on in the mornings too. Perhaps my upcoming flight would be a good time to test this out.

I've been using it for roughly two weeks at this point, which included a flight to NYC and back. Even with the grueling flying, drying recycled plane air, too many lattes, not enough water, and less sleep than I should have been getting, the skin around my eyes is so much smoother than three weeks ago. I wake up in the mornings now and admire my skin (in a totally objective, non-self-centered way, obviously.) And with a 6:30am work start-time, this cream is working miracles if my eyes are looking bright and ready for the day before the sun is out.

Really, my skin overall has been excellent thanks to Tatcha's other skincare products I've been using (you can read about them here.) So, thank you to Tatcha for saving my eyes from a premature trek over the aging hill. This cream really is the icing on the cake...or...the perfect finishing Tatcha. (The puns just keep on coming, folks!) xoxo!

4.01.2013

Quote of the Week: What's Important


This week's quote is brought to you by a last minute trip that was planned recently for me to fly back to Japan at the end of this week. The reason? My grandmother. My mother's mother isn't doing so well. I received a call from my father about two weeks ago letting me know that though she's not in any pain and isn't suffering from any fatal illness, she's losing her joie de vivre. She's lost interest in trotting about town, watching television, eating. She doesn't really walk much these days either and is in a wheelchair if she leaves her bed. Granted, the woman is in her mid-90's, but it's always hard to hear.

The thing is, I don't know my grandmother very well. Though she's the one grandparent I spent the most time with, I've only spent time with her 3 times in my life (the three trips I made out to Japan as a small child, a pre-teen, and post-college.) Both my grandfathers passed away before I was born and I only spent time with my father's mother maybe twice and those memories are a blur now. She passed away several years ago.

And now, here we are. My parents, brother, nephew, and I are all going to Japan to pay the last remaining grandparent one last visit.

Initially, I was overcome with stress about leaving work for a week. I'm one of those people who doesn't take days off. Who works on weekends and am on-call in the evening if need be. Not because I have to be, but because I want to be reliable. So, leaving for an entire week overseas is something of a challenge. With the time difference, even more so.

But, seriously...I need to learn to trust my assistant and my co-workers. They're amazing people who can cover me while I'm away. I need to keep reminding myself about that because I need to turn my focus to my family. To my mother especially. Though she moved to the States over 40 years ago with my father, your mother is your mother and this is the last time she'll see hers.

Thinking about any scenario where I would know it's the last time I see my parents makes it hard to swallow. I get bleary-eyed and my chest starts to ache. So, this is a reminder to everyone, including myself. Cherish your family, whether it's your biological family, a family you're building with a loved one, or a family you've built of friends. They are the most important thing and the time you share with them is priceless.