Thursday, September 6, 2012

Don't Eat These

This is a simple post, but in case people don't check Yahoo!'s homepage as much as I do, then it's worth sharing.

Though we know we should avoid these foods, this will give some perspective on what we are actually consuming when we do choose these items off the menu.
25 Diet-Busting Foods You Should Never Eat | Yahoo! Health

Monday, August 6, 2012

Oh Fam Vaca, Seabrook in WA

Soon, I will figure out how to edit Matt into the photo.
Call it a family vacation, call it a family reunion, the Oh's did it Oh style this weekend descending on Seabrook, a beach town in Pacific Beach off the Washington coast.

Looking back, I realize I should have taken more photos as the weekend turned out to be super fun, relaxing and perfect for all of us. Yes, as opposed to other vacations which in some cases, have turned out to be uneventful and usually ending in my mom saying, "Next time we not come here." This time, no such sentiment was expressed and from all accounts, everyone loved it!

Seabrook is new and up and coming. It's a VERY small beach town and more like a planned community for the vacationer. Though very small and still establishing itself, it was perfect for my family in so many ways. First of all, the house we rented was beautiful. All of the homes in Seabrook look to be part of a planned development with strict guidelines to maintain a certain style and feel for a beach community mimicking a Cape Cod-esque setting. We stayed in GG's Grotto and it was brand new, amazing and comfortable in every way. It was the perfect size for us and had every amenity we needed for our short stay.

Second, the setting is small and quaint. Everything we would need in a vacation destination was provided and within a mile walk. Volleyball courts, swimming pool, hot tub, parks, bocci ball, horse shoes, basketball, pickleball, fire pits, a small market, one small restaurant, bike rentals and of course, the beach, were all within a 1-10 minute walk. When we arrived we walked to the beach to take in the sunset, then headed back home for some Korean eats, kalbi, rice and kimchi. (Word to the wise, the market is VERY small. Barely acceptable even as a "quick stop". Buy everything you need before you leave Aberdeen.)

Matt at sunset.

Third, I just mentioned all of the activities accessible in a small radius, and for a family like mine that NEEDS to be entertained, we definitely didn't have a shortage of options to keep us busy. The kids swam in the pool, played at the beach, we made s'mores one night at one of the many fire pits (wood provided), half of us rented bikes and we only had enough time to talk about playing bocci ball, horseshoes and pickle ball. We just didn't make our trip long enough to really enjoy all of the possibilities, but it'll definitely be a good setting for another year.

Family Time
All in all, mission accomplished. We wanted to get the family together now that my parents have returned from Korea, and just enjoy time with everyone. Of course, getting together with my parents is never lacking of memorable moments.

When my parents stayed with Matt and I in Utah while my dad was recovering earlier this year, my dad took on one of Matt's morning rituals: cereal. My mom, who is accommodating in every way, of course made sure that both Matt and my dad, had many options.


Salsa Contest
We played at the beach on Saturday, BBQ'd hot dogs at the house, and of course, had a mini salsa making contest! The teams were Matt and my brother, Rachel and my mom and Denise and me. We bought basic salsa ingredients to start: tomatoes, onions, cilantro (yuck!), jalapenos, limes, lemons, garlic, salt and pepper. Then we had a drawing for special ingredients: mango, peach, pineapple. Each team had 10 minutes to make their salsa and of course, my dad was the judge.

While I don't trust my dad's taste buds, he was the judge and not knowing who made what, he chose Rachel and mom's. It was a fun little activity that everyone could be a part of!

The Beach

While Washington beaches are not like California beaches, they are beaches. Matt brought two kites, one that he bought in China for $0.50 and another kite, a delta kite. The Chinese kite took flight the moment he pulled it out of the package.

The we played around with the wind and another kite that Matt had brought. 

Erik and the kids played in the freezing water without hardly flinching. They dunked themselves multiple times while I could hardly stand to have my feet in the water!

Vacation Success
All in all, everyone really liked it. There was a lot to do in a very cute and welcoming town. While there wasn't much shopping to be had, no ice cream shop, no homemade fudge, no candy store, no trinket store, there definitely were a lot of other great activities and fun things to do to keep us occupied. Who really buys anything anyway?

Little Boden and his big brother.
Daddy and Matt having a little fun with Kimball.

Monday, June 4, 2012

The first fruits

A couple of months ago Matt and I had to make a decision: landscape the front door area or plant a garden. Seeing as it would probably cost more money and require more of our own energy to landscape, and we can't really eat the flowers and shrubs we plant, we decided to go with the garden. Now, a month and a half later, it is confirmed that we made the right decision. Who uses the front door anyway? We always go through the garage and we rarely have visitors.

So I present to you, the first fruits, er, veggies, of our labors! 

We planted this arugula early in May and it grew literally, like a weed. So much that it looked like a weed and my amateur gardener self was so tempted to just yank it all. Turns out, you have to thin it out from the bottom and leave the heavier center leaves to continue to grow.

For being total novices, we weren't sure what to expect with our first garden, so we have just been winging it from the get-go. Thankfully, you can be totally, well, "green," and still find garden success!

For not knowing much, we educated ourselves by reading through Mel Bartholomew's book, "All New Square Foot Gardening". Everything about his book made gardening seem so easy, it really felt like it would be a no-fail for us. So far, everything looks great!

Matt built the boxes in 30-minutes with wood that had been sitting in the corner of the garage. It cost about $100 to make the soil mix and the seeds were pennies. Matt added a simple irrigation system to deal with the arid Utah heat and we'll water occasionally. For the most part, the garden has been a fairly simple undertaking.
So far, we have planted:
 tomatoes                parsnips
 radishes                 carrots
 cucumbers             green onions
 squash                   turnips
 sweet potatoes       butter lettuce
 peas                        arugula
 corn                         broccoli
 cauliflower               gourds

Who knew that so much could fit in such a little space?! It wasn't my intention to try growing such a variety, but it just seemed so easy and if we fail on some items, we'll have plenty more to fall back on.

I never thought I would ever grow a garden, but the thought of growing our own vegetables and the freshness and enhanced taste of homegrown produce was what really interested us. It's going to be a great summer!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Daddy Oh Update

Rachel, dad and I, just a few weeks before the unexpected surgery.

My dad is getting better and better. He is literally taking baby steps and making a slow, but promising full recovery.

It's funny to sit and talk with him as he generally seems stunned as to how it is that he is in the condition that he is in. It's hard to imagine what it would feel like after having brain surgery and my dad is no exception to the bewilderment. Sometimes his eyes will indicate that he is deeply lost in thought and then he'll calmly say, "I just cannot understand how all of this happened." He knows what happened, but he doesn't recall any memory of the actual fall and he is simply in disbelief that the recovery has become this intense and would take so long. I think he feels like he is back at square one compared to where he was three months after the initial accident.

Thankfully, he is not. His recovery this time is not as extensive as it was right after the accident. He still has no appetite, but he is more coherent and lucid than ever. Walking is more of a challenge this time, but he is able to clothe himself, brush his teeth, read the newspaper and speak clearly, enough to have a decent conversation.

My parents hope and pray to be able to stay in Korea through February 2013 to finish their mission at the temple. They both like it there and feel very loved and needed. Neither of them have lived in Korea since they first left to go to school in the United States, my dad in 1965 and my mom in 1969. Korea is truly their home, though it is a much changed landscape. Visiting them I wondered how they would feel having to adjust to a lifestyle and surroundings of a country they only really know from so many years ago and so different than what they know in the US, but they seem as content as can be. Probably the only really difficult things to adjust to are the rapid pace of Seoul city life and not having a car, which I'm sure they are grateful to do without in such a congested place.

They are troopers and we are pray for all to be well with them. It's just a matter of time, and more time.

Thursday, May 10, 2012


My new hair dryer! It may not seem all that exciting, but it is for me!

It's the BaByliss Pro TT, Tourmaline Titanium, ceramic ionic hair dryer.

I have been ogling this hair dryer for years! Back then, I bought one for my sister, then one for my sister-in-law but because I already had one that worked decently, I never felt that I could justify spending so much on a new one. Thankfully, now enough time has passed where my hair dryer has fizzled out, runs hot but hardly blows any air, is now inefficient, and just isn't getting the job done. Yay! So I finally got the one I've long wanted.

This thing is amazing for so many reasons:
        • Dries my hair in 2-3 minutes, instead of the usual 6-7.
        • Makes my hair super soft.
        • Doesn't leave my hair frizzy and tangled.
        • Makes my hair easier to style.
I love this thing and it is finally mine!

Case for the extra cost
BaByliss is a professional grade brand and pricier than your general Conair or Revlon model that you might find at any Target or Walmart. I haven't tried an ionic hair dryer from one of those brands, but I believe that the BaByliss brand and other pro brands are the best for personal hair care products. When I bought my hair straightener six years ago, a Solia product, I loved it from the beginning and I have been a big believer in the pro products since. I think they are made better, hold up better, perform better, are gentler on your hair, and overall, are a better value for what you get. is my go-to resource for reviews and for finding the best prices on products. It is where I bought the hair dryers and straighteners that I bought for my family and for myself.

So why am I raving about a hair dryer? Well, it's just all about the performance. Yeah, it's pricy for pro products, but for all of the above-mentioned benefits, it is so worth it to me.

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Good News

The good news is: my dad is really well. He has much improved and is alert, though weak. Today we walked, er, shuffled down the hall about 100-meters and my dad is in good spirits. I guess the tell-tale sign of his marked improvement is his draw to food. He is eating like a champ! Smacking away through his rice, loudly crunching his kimchi and happily slurping his seaweed soup, taking huge bites along the way, he is becoming more and more independent.

He is also talkative and engaging, thanking everyone who comes by, from the nurses who regularly check his dressings to the housekeeping staff that empty his garbage cans. All are good signs and signs of "normal" Daddy Oh. Doc agrees that he is doing well and the tubes coming out of his head and other limbs of his body were removed later in the day today. It looks like he could leave the hospital as soon as this weekend, but it is likely he will stay until Monday. Thankfully, this time around, it doesn’t look like he needs rehab. He is sitting up, eating on his own and though weak, joking around on occasion.

His current condition is such a relief. I think we were all expecting the very worst, but he is doing so well. He is truly a tank.

In the meantime, I'm loving Korea, although I miss Matt terribly. It's the longest we've been apart since we've been married and even beyond that, since October when I moved to Utah. There is so much here that I wish we could do together. Hopefully, we will be able to come back and explore this amazing country together later this year. Despite my father's challenges, my parents are still hoping to finish out the mission through February 2013 and in light of their determination and confident resolve, I see them making that happen.

I feel blessed and I feel my family is being watched over. I thank my Heavenly Father for all that I have.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Why I am in Korea at the last minute

I’ve always wondered how my family would manage at the moment of major crisis. Up to this point, I feel like we have been generally protected and sheltered from significant grief. We have all experienced our share of life’s trials and tribulations, but from my perspective, we have not yet undergone a significant and major crisis that has really tested us as a family unit. In general, I have always felt that we have been so blessed. We have had our share of financial turmoil, but nothing that has ever really stopped us from pursuing our every desire. We have been bogged down by work responsibilities and have suffered the stress of providing for ourselves and our families, but I see aspect of life as just a part of life. And health-wise, illnesses and disease have let us alone for the most part. Of course, we each struggle with the challenges of age and the general injuries, and bumps and bruises that come with life’s adventure’s, but the great ailments of the human experience have spared us. We even have amazing hair, healthy teeth and great nails! So, I’ve long worried at what point this smooth ride would take a turn. I feel that now, the time has come.

As I posted not too long ago, my dad had an accident following my wedding in January. Since then, he has been recovering to what we believe, has been quite a miraculous comeback. Although, it seems that we all may have been too anxious to see him back to himself.

After staying with Matt and myself in Riverton for 3 months, my dad got the green light to return to his missionary duties in Korea. At the beginning of April my parents returned to Seattle to stay with Erik and Denise and the kids and then on April 21, they flew back to Korea. Although not perfect, my dad seemed healthy and able to take on any responsibilities given to him. All along though, my dad has had complaints of lower left leg pains, at times his mind would seem to wander so much that his eyes would kind of lose focus, and he just seemed slower than usual.

The next day upon arriving in Korea, the aches and pains in his leg got worse. And as each day passed, it became more and more difficult for him to walk, the aches eventually spread to his right leg and soon, he was unable to even stand on his own. He could never really express the way his legs felt or why he couldn’t walk only that he was very tired and had no balance upon standing.

Not truly understanding his pains, we first assumed it was his shoes that was causing the discomfort, or maybe an ear issue which would contribute to his imbalance. I considered the possibility that it could all be related to his brain injury, but it just seemed too easy of a go-to. He was cleared medically to get on a 12-hour international flight, he seemed healthy and stable, 3-months post injury, it just didn’t seem like the accident would still be a major factor. Looking back now, I think we just didn’t want it to be.

On Monday, my parents went to see a general family doctor in Korea. The doctor, unsure of the causes of his ailment, insisted that he undergo neurological testing to rule out any lingering injuries from the accident. That day, my dad spent 5-hours being tested and eventually, was admitted. He was non-coherent and generally unresponsive as the doctors concluded that he had a massive amount of blood in his brain. It was determined that his brain had been slowly bleeding over a long period of time, possibly since the accident although that has not been confirmed. He needed surgery immediately.

My mom called us all late Monday evening to tell us of the situation. We all wanted a second opinion, again not believing that this could all be as a result of the initial brain injury, and insisted on seeing the CT scan.

My dad was scheduled for surgery for Wednesday, but due to the severity of the situation, he underwent the procedure on Tuesday. The surgery was supposed to take 3-4 hours, but went on much longer as the amount of blood in his brain was much great than expected. His condition was not good and amidst all of this, my mom was barely keeping it together. Gratefully she had an enormous amount of support from church members and family, but after hearing the latest, my family decided that it would be best if I went to Korea to be with my mom and dad.

Tuesday night I flew out to San Francisco, then the next day, caught a flight to Korea and today, here I am.

Flying here I hope that my mom is overreacting. I hope that she is misinformed. I hope that it’s not as bad as it seems. I hope that someone heard wrong. If none are the case, I hope that it’s my dad’s turn for a small miracle to ensure that he will be fine.