Saturday, January 9, 2010

the blog is moving

After much deliberation, I am merging my photo blog with frame by frame to make life simpler in the new year. Ronin's will still exist (although I'm incredibly behind) as a private blog, but the photo blog will be my main one.

Please update your link to this. Thanks!!

image via

Thursday, December 31, 2009

french macarons

plain with buttercream

tinted pink cookies with buttercream rolled in crushed peppermint

plain cookies with egg nog flavored buttercream (cinnamon and nutmeg)

As I mentioned before, Noz & I made french macarons before Christmas to give as gifts. Unfortunately, although we doubled the recipe, by the time our husbands and us sampled each of the different flavors we made, there were only about 15 left each to take home/give as gifts. Fortunately, they were incredibly amazing. Crunchier on the first day, and then soft with a hint of crunch on the second. Try them, it takes a little time but won't let you down.

Monday, December 21, 2009

christmas baking

tonight noz and i are going to be making candy cane and egg nog macarons from this fantastic blog. i can hardly wait. some are going to co-workers, some to friends, and then the rest to southern indiana where we are headed wed. night for a snowy christmas.

also, here's a sneak peek of ronin's first christmas outfit! i have to put it on him as much as possible to max out the use. (he's sitting on jan's lap at church. he really love his dad.)

Monday, December 7, 2009

ronin as baby jesus

sorry for all the ro pics lately! (but you have to admit, he's pretty cute, right?) i do have other stuff to post but what with moving and all, i just keep falling further behind.

rach took this image of us and ronin for the singles ward project last week. he was 'acting' as baby jesus. didn't he do a great job? i really love having fellow photographers as friends.

first santa encounter

he didn't mind one bit. plus he was wearing his air jordans in case he got scared and needed to make a quick get away. next year we'll work on teaching him how pull on santa's beard.
(at our church christmas party)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

the growing ro

this was taken last week. i wish i could share him with you in person. it's so much better.

Monday, November 23, 2009

egypt in my pocket

i know, i know, i'm so behind on posting. you want to see more photos of Ro. i need to finish posting on his blessing party. and knotts berry farm last weekend. but we're moving to a new apt right in the middle of the holidsays and we've been going non stop.

the focus of today's quick post is pure craziness. i've have these black cords from banana republic for about a year now. one pocket open, one still sewn shut. i cut open the strings to open the left pocket today at work and found..


a small folded up white piece of paper. written in EGYPTIAN! (yes, the pants are made in egypt)

ok, so now fellow friends, does anyone know what this says?? i'm dying to know. is it nice? creepy? a love note? do tell..

Saturday, October 31, 2009

happy halloween!

superman by day, tiger by night.

Monday, October 26, 2009

blessing reception: part I, the decor

I'm splitting this up into two posts. First, the decor & food, and next the people. I went with a simple R theme, for Ronin, and green & white as the colors.

First I made simple flags from a white & green sheet of paper. I cut them out, glued them to toothpicks, and then cut out the v-shape on the ends. We put the white ones on the cucumber sandwiches and the green on the pb&j for the kids. We made the pb&j a little more interesting with pear and apricot jam.

Sprinkles are a really easy way to customize a cake without adding extra frosting (for me, less is more). I used Illustrator to print out a large R, cut it out and lightly set it on top of the cake after the frosting had dried a little (about an hour). We pushed green sprinkles into the R, lifted off the paper, and voila.I got a green and white plastic tablecloth from target along with green & white striped napkins. Chocolate cupcakes in green, white & yellow liners from Surfas and ikea trays helped tie the theme together. We had cranberry white chocolate scones, orzo salad, croissants, meringues, and homemade chinese noodles (thank you uncle!).
Last but not least, the refreshments. $3.50/case bottled water from albertsons got an easy makover with 2 colors of green paper and a little creativity. We brainstormed words that described Ronin and created labels in illustrator that emphasized the R in each word.

It went from simple
to creative
to ridiculous
and on to how the little one came about. (korean + irish & we are both german)

Monday, October 19, 2009

sorry for the lack of posts

but i have a bunch to post this week, so stay tuned! i've been busy with freelance work, I'm trying to finish up Ronin's baby announcements, and plan a reception for his baby blessing this week. Above are some of the items i have gathered (iphone picture) - i'm doing a green & white color scheme with easy brunch/lunch foods. Also working on some creative labels using the letter "R".

for those of you in the LA area, please join us at his blessing!

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints on Sawtelle {Sunday, Oct 25th, 9am}
reception at Mar Vista Park {10:30-1:30}

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

new baby blog

My sister in law alicia started a private blog just about my nephew, writing things down each month, like a journal entries that document his growth, accomplishments and stories. I wanted to do a similar one for Ronin and future kids, so I started one too. I'm keeping it private, so let me know on here if you would like to be added and I will do so!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

details of the roni

his eyes are more alert
blondish hair
milk filled belly
his hands & his monkey toes

i wanted to capture some details while he is still little. or not so. he is already up to 8 lbs even though he only grew a half inch at his 3 week checkup today. he has gained a whole pound up from his dr's visit 2 weeks ago. she said several times that he is a very good eater, haha.

for other good news, one of my pre-pregnancy jeans with a hint of lycra fit today! i'm still nervous to try on anything else but leggings with spandex, but it felt good to wear something that fit the old me.

ps i take a lot of photos when he sleeps. i just can't help it.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

the birth story

i mentioned earlier that my doctor had said the thursday before ronin was born, that i was already dialated to a 3-4. i also had a leakage of something that is gross. starts with m and ends with 'ucus', but again, any day or weeks from then something could happen. i was large, uncomfortable and not so patiently waiting for this little boy to show up.

tuesday morning, jan woke up to get ready for work, and i half woke up to say goodbye. while he was getting dressed, i said, um, i think something just happened and i don't think it was pee. i went and stood over the toilet and saw fluid slowly draining out and thought, this is my water breaking or my bladder is totally shot. the contractions started almost immediately, but weren't too bad yet. i called the dr's office, which wasn't open, and waited for a call from the on call doctor to confirm or deny my suspicions. i waited 20 min's, no call. called back, and the lady said she thought he might be in the delivery room, but if i was worried, to just come in. i thought i would take a nice hot shower, but it only lasted 2 minutes because the pain was getting worse by the minute. we gathered all last minute supplies, inhaled a bowl of cheerios and off we went. by the time we were close to the hospital (about a 40 min drive) my contractions were 3 minutes apart and hurting pretty good.

at the hospital, i was the only person in the waiting room, and it took ages for someone to get a wheelchair, slowly...slowly wheel me to the elevator to get upstairs, have the nurses slowly, slowly put me on the fetal monitor and check me just to say, oh, hm, you're already at a 6-7. (i thought i would have gotten an epi at a 3-4!) it was 9 am. i was bent over in pain while jan was trying to figure out why nobody was hurrying. i finally got into the labor & delivery room, and had to wait for the drugs. the anesthesiologist said it should kick in in about 15. that turned into close to 30 with an extra dose of the epidural.

but once it kicked in....i was great - see? beyond great. pain? what pain? i was still contracting every 2-3 minutes but didn't feel a THING. life was good. i facebooked, emailed, called friends and family. hello people, i'm happily in labor - i survived contractions! (barely, all the while previously telling jan that this was it, we were going for nothing but adoption the next time) i didn't get just ice chips, i got italian ice. cherry. then lemon. then lemon again. all i wanted. mmm.

the time ticked by. 11:00 i was dialated to a 7 for sure, 2pm, i was at an 8, 4pm a 9, and by 6 pm i was at a 10, no pitocen. pushing started around 6 ish. the nurse said it can take 1-2 hours depending on how you push. jan and i looked at eachother - let's do 1 hr - i'll push hard. ok? ok. before i started i looked at my drugs, and it was empty! wait, before i push, i need to fill this up! oh no, it's fine, it lasts for quite awhile. i believed them. bad, bad idea. i pushed for an hour. after 1 1/2 hrs of hard pushing, she said, well, you're still at a 2 (as far as his body placement - the goal is to go from -2, to -1, to 0, to 1, to 2, all the way to 4 when he's crowning). after a whole hour of hard pushing i hadn't gone anywhere. i kept going. half an hour later, barely at a 3. not even close. then he got stuck on my pelvic bone. more pushing, nothing happened. i was starting to feel more and more pain but they said they were letting it wear off a little for me to push. they kept telling me i was doing great, oh, julia that was a good one! (don't ever listen to these people). nothing happened. i got to the point where i was running out of strength at the count of 7 instead of 10 on each first push and the epi was wearing out fast. they offered the vacuum and i said yes please. suddenly, vacuum man and a whole team of pediatric people come in. it was a circus. my body started to feel the urge to push on it's own, and the pain kept increasing. (my friends told me epidurals = pressure, no pain!) vacuum man's hands didn't help at all, i could feel everything. but together, we got the baby out.
i saw the back of his head and this long body and that was it. he wasn't crying enough so they didn't put him on me, they took him away and tried to clear his lungs. i laid there, totally in shock and exhausted. jan came over. 'is he cute?' i asked. with tears in his eyes, he said, 'he's beautiful'. i said, oh, ok. out came the placenta, and they stitched me up on my small tear. can you feel this? the dr. said. yes, i said, but at that point, whatever, right?jan cut the cord, and they finally gave me my little boy. puffy eyes with vaseline, yet perfect little features. the circus left, and my aunt said, are you hungry? are you kidding? nozomi and aunty broke out korean sushi, fruit, hawaiian chips and we all ate. food was wonderful.

(late the next day)

i have to admit it took a little while to adjust to being a mom. to realize he was mine, and mine only. i wasn't holding a friends baby. it wasn't a nephew. he was part of jan & i and needed me for survival. he is 2 weeks old. he has the softest skin, especially his feet and his shoulders. he smiles when he sleeps, which is a hint of what's to come when he does it because of us. we love it. i was so worried that i would be too tired at night to take care of a baby. my body does it. i jump out of bed and comfort him. feed him. change him. jan has become and expert shusher and swaddler. his arms create the perfect swing. we didn't know if we would be able to have kids (another story), and yet we were blessed with this little boy. we couldn't be happier.

Monday, September 14, 2009


i haven't been blogging. we have had family in town, both jan's and mine, friends come to visit, and most of all, i have been selfish. i have been soaking up this little boy. every sleeping smile, all his old man faces, the way his body is slowly plumping up and the excitement i show him the few times he doesn't cry when i change him and feed him in the middle of the night. i just love him. we all do. this week i will write out the birth story before i forget (like i could..) and post more photos. for the most part, he is a perfect baby. i feel so blessed. ok, off to feed him. and then stare at him some more. and love my little miracle baby.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

aunt rachel took some photos

at the hospital. i'm so grateful that she took the time to do this. i love the moments she captured that i couldn't. thank you, thank you. please visit us soon. ro-ro misses you guys. click here to see more.

photo of jan & ronin via

Friday, September 4, 2009

meet the little man

ronin: aka ro-ro, roni, the 'noodler'

{this is for his uncle jonathan}
{my old man face}
{long toes like my dad}
ronin - pronunciation (RO nin)

gaelic for "little seal"

also in Japanese feudal history, a "ronin" was a masterless samurai.

that's right, my little man is a warrior.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

we might have had a baby

the countdown didn't even finish, but we had our little miracle. stories of delivery & photos to follow, we go home tomorrow!

ronin august bender
sept 01 2009
8:43 pm
7 lbs, 21 inches long
blue eyes, honey brown hair

we love him. he is perfect. soft. has pretty skin. and lips. jan's long toes. my eyes. we can't wait for you to meet him too.

Monday, August 31, 2009

wkend update

well, i wish this weekend had been more eventful (hint hint, baby), but it was pretty mellow. jan had to work parts of sat & sunday to help with military events, and his cousin (whom i've known since kindergarten) came into town and stayed with us and helped pass the time. saturday we finally got to the annenburg photography exhibit and it was amazing. absolutely incredible modern space, photography, video presentations, everything. so many moving photos. if you are in los angeles, go. it's free. it's so worth it. we all left touched & inspired. they are going to have new work every year, so we'll definitely be back.

ps. a primary girl looked at me on sun. and said, you're still pregnant? yeah, tell me about it.

Friday, August 28, 2009

pregnancy update

went to the dr. yesterday, and found out i was already 3-4 centimeters dialated! so, the news is that the baby could come any day, or i can stay this way for a couple weeks. she didn't tell me how much i was effaced, and i forgot to ask, so that part isn't available to help. the good news is that she said i've already gone through my pre something labor so as soon as i have any regular contractions, i can go right to the hospital and get on with things! my vt came over last night to help me clean the house & finish packing my hospital bag, and noz and scoshi came by with vanilla cream puffs for no reason, except that they are really, really good and she wanted to share. pregnancy really has it's perks sometimes. we'll keep you all posted!

Monday, August 24, 2009

los angeles zoo

i have been wanting to go to the zoo for almost 3 years. any zoo, really. we finally went, and while we were so grateful for the free passes our friends gave us, i don't think we'll be buying the yearly pass when mango arrives. we'll stick with the san diego zoo. some of the attractions were great, (gorillas & sea otters) while others looked just sad - the hippo, black bears, and lions. smaller roaming areas, fake rocks for the hippo..while the gorillas lived with custom caves, a waterfall and real trees galore. sorry about cutting off my face. that's me 37 weeks pregnant, and after walking in 85 deg. weather for over 2 hrs, i just looked really tired pregnant, not happy pregnant. next time we'll shoot us at the beginning, not the end.