At 6:00 something in the morning Eliza said “mama, I uv you.”

She had her jammies on, just the top, and her hair was a mess, and she smelled like milk because she had just had a bottle and it tends to drip down her neck. She also kind of smelled like pee because she had just peed in the potty and was waiting for me to clean her and tuck her back in bed.

With romance, you expect the person who is telling you that they love you for the first time to be awesomely presentable. No pee smells. No sour milk in their neck rolls.

With parenting, your standards are a lot lower.

I looked at my little half naked stinky toddler and was filled with so much warm mommy fuzzies that my face exploded into the biggest smile. She sensed my vibe, the way kids expertly do, and she smiled back and hugged me.

That little girl put her arms around me and hugged me.

You guys, it was awesome!

Eliza was supposed to start speech therapy this month, but recently this girl has started to talk and every day she says more and more words. Today I got a full sentence out of her and it was “mama, I uv you.” If this isn’t parenting jackpot I don’t know what is.

I snuggled her and told her how much I loved her too. And that her rubbing her smoothie mustache on the white couch chair, and her taking off her pants sitting on the gray couch and peeing and then running away, or her waking me up on a Saturday at 6:00 something was no big deal because I madly deeply love her.

When people say “love wins” I think about that in the context of raising toddlers. Every crazy thing you have ever heard about toddlers are true. I could even probably tell you some new things too. But no matter, we love them anyway.

Love wins!

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After work, I walked outside of my CA office and the sky was so beautiful.

It made me want to walk around and dance and skip. But alas I am a victim of crappy office worthy shoes, that hurt my feet and have left blisters this week. Sadly the walk from the office to the hotel across the street was all I could really handle.

I need to change that, among other things.

It’s a little amusing to me that I have gotten rid of so much stuff these past two months, after reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing and yet I still kept my shitty shoes.

Note to self: when Maria starts wanting to buy her own clothes I will steer her away from Forever 21. She does not need to ever believe that it’s worth it to wear shoes that make your feet blister just because they look cute.

I have thrown said shoes away in the trash in my hotel room. Not really sure though if it will be less painful to now have to drive an hour from my house to go to a mall in Hawaii, and buy adequate shoes for the next time I have to come to California.

Anyway, the sky was lovely it really was. And the whole day was lovely too. My office overlooks this marina and it’s so beautiful.

I told this to a colleague today and she said “yeah but Hawaii is beautiful too.”

I never said it wasn’t. Both can be beautiful at the exact same time. There is room for much beauty in my life, the chaos of lush Hawaii and the manicured marina outside of my office building in California. I will take all of the beauty I can get, preferably beauty that does not inflict pain.

I remind myself over and over again that more often than not things are not exclusive from each other, they just aren’t.

I remind myself of a lot of things. Lately, it’s been a little on the obsessive side.

This is my thing. The constant reminding. Constant pep talk. Constantly trying to talk myself out of my anxieties.

I never feel less anxious. Never. Not long enough to last anyway.

But through the process of trying and failing I learn a lot of other things. So that’s good too.

Part of this process of dealing with my anxiety is going back and re-reading old journal entries, blog posts, and my chatbooks.

The overall theme is the same seven years ago, ten years ago, two days ago, now.

I struggle with feeling anxious. Not being fully in control over everything. Anything.

For example, I just re-read a post about how I had to have cheeze-its in the bathroom because Baby Maria wouldn’t let me go to the bathroom by myself and in an attempt to not have her unroll the toilet paper, or play with the cleaning products under the sink (wherein I am begging you to judge me) I had cheeze-its to feed her while I peed.

I read these posts and it’s like a time machine.

I don’t remember all of the details, but I do remember EXACTLY how I felt because it’s how I feel now.

It’s basically how I feel constantly.

I feel a lot of things in conjunction to my anxiety. The anxiety is a constant, the other emotions are bonuses.

But it’s cool. Because now I can read those posts and I can identify the emotions and I can see the outcome. Baby Maria survived that phase. Maria has since then survived many phases. Maria is ok. We are ok. We will always be ok.

We will always be ok. There is no other possible way to be. We will always, overall, be ok.

I am certain of it just as I am certain that I will be anxious about most of the details in our life probably forever.

My emotions are not segmented. My life is not neatly compartmentalized. It drives me nuts. But it’s what makes it so beautiful.

When I read back on old posts or even just look at old pictures on my phone, when I look back on our amazing life I am reminded that even if I don’t see the beauty in it this very moment it does exist, it is always there.

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  • Sienna - I often feel like my journals are a broken record. But I hope i am making tiny steps in an upward direction even if it’s in a really round about way. Have you tried meditation? It’s not a cure all and I’m no pro but some of the techniques don’t take a lot of time but the payoff of a little peace of mind is great. I would suggest the article “Mormon mantras” by Philip McLemore. You can google it. Thanks for seeing beauty and taking time to write about it!ReplyCancel

    • - That’s my hope too, for myself. I also keep journals for the kids and when I go back and read on their progress it’s huge. They learn how to walk, how to use the bathroom, how to read, such huge progress. Hopefully in the great scheme of things our progress is just as significant. I have hope that it is. I have not tried meditation. I don’t even know where to start. Thanks for the suggestion.ReplyCancel

  • melissa - As someone who also has constant anxiety, check out restorative yoga. It’s kinda like a moving meditation and really really helpful for me. Great post Da, I really love how open and honest you are–helps me not feel so alone with parenting/working/life!ReplyCancel

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Just realized today that we have another long weekend coming up this month! I’m thrilled. If I could, I would fly myself to San Francisco and re-do my recent trip that I took there with my friend Mariko over MLK weekend. Our only objective was to eat delicious food. We planned our entire day around where we would eat next. I realize that this kind of trip is not for everyone. Had I not been familiar with the Bay Area I would have taken the time to explore some sites, maybe.

If you find yourself in San Francisco for three days and are looking for good food you can hit up some of the places we went to. Below is our three-day itinerary and then below that is a list of fifty places you should put in your San Francisco bucket list.


Day 1 : HNL –> SJC –> San mateo –> SF

In-N-Out: Classic California burger

Krispy Kreme: No Krispy Kreme on Oahu, so when I’m on the mainland it’s a must!

Ramen Dojo: In my opinion best garlic pork ramen ever! Very much worth the wait.

Zero Zero: Wood-fired, thin-crust pizzas, with some incredible appetizers and desserts like their soft serve ice cream and dulce de leche bread pudding.

Day 2: SF –> San Jose

Tartine Bakery: Flakiest croissant. Phenomenal banana cream pie. Perfect Quiche.

Ferry Building: Go with an open mind and a hungry stomach

Mezcal: If you like moles this is your place. The black mole made from chiles, spices, seeds, and chocolate is phenomenal.

Day 3: SF –> Berkeley

Craftsman and Wolves: Contemporary pâtisserie. Also, a good place for people watching.

Mission Pie: Super friendly staff, books about sustainable food to read, and a great selection of savory and sweet pies.

Chez Panisse: This place had been on my bucket list forever. It was so epic I wish I lived in Berkeley so I could become a regular. Their downstairs Monday night dinners is the way to go if you want the affordable Chez Panisse experience.

The Ultimate FEED ME San Francisco list

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