from 2005 - 2014

Today I had lunch with some of my favorite people. Akemi was back home on a break from dental school so lynz, steph, and I immediately planned a day to meet up with her! It's not often she's around town and when she is - we make it a point to get some really good food to celebrate. 

The three of us go way back to our awkward teenage years when we thought we were really good at basketball and were all in love with some junior high boy who we were taller than. Thankfully, we've grown out of that stage and have all moved on to some pretty rad things. I love meeting up with these chicks and laughing about all the silly things we used to do and how much fun we have traveling together. We are eagerly anticipating the day we get to travel back to Japan together! 

So I was getting all nostalgic and wanted to bring back some old photos of us hahaa..

steph, lynz, and I when we hiked to the top of Diamond head on Oahu. 
some random pool party? 
dland was always so fun with this crew
HAHHAA...ultimate throwback. Akemi and I in Japan circa...2005? This photo cracks me up not only because we (specifically Akemi) look like babies but because we were just so weird and had this long history with this donald duck that we won in a vending machine. lol. 

for lunch we met in at Anehiem Packing District which is this extremely radical glorified food court thingie in a restored building. The decor is incredible and it is full of small businesses selling the most incredible food. I was awed by around every corner and kept saying out loud, "Can I just live here? Can this be my home please?" We ate fancy grilled cheese and then treated ourselves to popbar popsicles that are way too expensive but seriously amazing to eat. 

I got a peanut butter popsicle, half dipped in milk chocolate with almonds, caramel corn, and chocolate sprinkles. AHHHHHHHHH!!!! 



Pool party with all the Komae cousins. 14 adult grandkids, 8 great-grandkids, and two very happy grandparents :)


A far away friend.

It's been over 2 months since I left the red dirt of Uganda and flew the 9,000+ miles back to the salty air of southern california. After my stomach got adjusted to things other than posho and beans, and my clothes had been washed, and my phone set back to Pacific Coast time...I started feeling the effects of investing 3 months in rural africa. 

What mostly kicked in was the undeniable distance between the people I came to know and love in Uganda, and the familiarity of all things home. This realty hit me hard one night when I was thinking of my good friend Winnie, whom I formed a deep bond with while in Gulu. I had the sudden urge to check in on her - was she okay? Did she know I got back safely? How did her finals go at school? Was she able to buy a phone in town to use to call her family?  

These things I did not know, and the creeping distance urged on. I am a creature of habit (I think we all are to some extent) and the tech-savvy-American-20somethingyrold in me wanted to TEXT, CALL, EMAIL, FACEBOOK, SKYPE...contact Winnie SOMEHOW SOMEWAY. 

This was not cool. No one warned me about this situation I was in. This distance placed between us. 
It bugged me, because my flesh is used to running to people. I'm used to hearing that response from a text, or the accessibility of someone via email, or facebook. All of this of which Winnie does not have.

So I sat. And I prayed. And I asked God to please help me figure out how to love someone who is literally 9000+ miles away... A FAR AWAY FRIEND.

Then God brought clarity. 
He told me to stop worrying about the distance, because the bond between Winnie and myself was formed far deeper than the surfaces of cell phones and facebook...
the foundation of our friendship was based on the undeniable power and plan of Jesus Christ. 

Never in my life have I come across a situation where literally...the only thing connecting me to another person was Jesus Christ. Whoa. No technology to bridge us together, no proximity to help our paths cross...just simply, Jesus. 

I prayed for Winnie, and asked God to speak to her and to please tell her I was thinking of her, always. My faith had to rest in that. God was the only connecting factor between us, and I had to have confidence in that. 

So, at the end of the day, I miss this far away friend. She's a huge part of why I believe God took me to Uganda, and a huge part of why I'm hoping to go back. The funny thing is...I feel closer to her now that i'm further away from her. haha. God works in the craziest, most indescribable ways, and I'm thankful for a God that is not bound by distance. 

Winnie and I : the guest house at Restore. 

Cutest kiddos.

Hunter 3 years
Lenya 6 months
Camden 5 months



lessons learned: 

-the ocean always brings clarity
-hiking with Dad and Bailey is simply the best 
-don't be afraid to praise God in the middle of Santa Monica 
-noodles, always



I love that I get to call you my Dad . What a lucky girl I am!! 


A short little video I made documenting my 3 months in Uganda!

A couple other random things

- I Read The Fault In Our Stars last night in one sitting. Yes. One sitting. Granted, its not the longest book and 75% of it's audience is probably 14 year old girl but still... it hooked me and I just had to find out what actually happens to Hazel Grace and Augustus Waters. I laughed. I cried. I felt their pain. Their love. *mind you when I read books I get really into them
-As a result of this epic teen love story...three of my favorite humans and I decided we would start a long distance book club come July. If I've taken any hint from Hazel and Gus its that reading books with people and then talking about them is probably the best thing you can do for any relationship. So we're making it happen. and I'm stoked.
- Ok enough about #TFIOS...in other news i'm learning a lot about motherhood and nanny life via my nephews and niece who are over every day. Key things to note: playing ocean waves relaxation music will put the baby to sleep as well as the adult holding the baby. Check the diaper before you change it because 90% of the time it was just an extremely stinky fart. And If you feed your baby bananas and then see tiny black lines in their poo that you think are deadly worms - have no fear! - they are from the banana. Like when you make banana bread and you see those black lines. 
-and to end with a list of books i'm currently juggling to finish reading : East of Eden (Steinbeck), Works of Love (Kierkegaard), and Half the Sky (Kristof & WuDunn). 

"If it's half as good as the half we've known, here hail! to the rest of the road." -a sever mercy. 


the best little family vacation - Palm Springs

 Our family headed back to Palm Springs for another awesome weekend in this HOT HOT town.
 breakfast Burrito time!
 Last year we just had Hunter, this year we had Cam and Lenya with us!
 The play doh man 
 I love these honeycomb floors
the prettiest piece of furniture I ever did see 
 Checked out the kids museum! Pretty fun for kids...and adults too lol 
 Dad having fun with the fan machine 
 Minyah loved painting this car..I think he's gunna be an artist or musician!
 the sickest door!
 and as usual, I had to set up my hammock!
 catching up on some playoff games.
 Sunday morning worship with the fam. Blessed to have two talented bros to lead us!

Also brought my goPRO along for endless hours of fun. I say we got some pretty good shots