Boy No More

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Last week Ren, my son and youngest child, turned 13, promoting me to Mom of 3 official teenagers.  Wah!  So often, older folks commented while I juggled 3 young kids, “Enjoy it while it lasts--the time goes so fast—in a blink of an eye they’ll be grown.”  I’m feeling that blink of an eye.Years ago, during my own teenagerhood, I gave my friend Jeff a lei, kissed his cheek, thought “Wow, what a smooth soft cheek,” and immediately mourned that it wouldn’t be long before that smooth cheek became … [Read more...]

High School Reunion Jitters

In a week I fly to Hawaii for my 30th Punahou high school reunion.And I’m mildly terrified.I haven’t been to a high school reunion since our unofficial “4 year” reunion—one thrown while most of us were seniors in college, home for Christmas, and someone figured there was a better chance of getting a good number then than at our 5th year reunion when many of us would actually have jobs and only 2 weeks of vacation/year.Why haven’t I gone back all these years?Money:  It’s darn expe … [Read more...]

Why I Want My Kids to “Party” More

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If I do say so myself, I just threw Ling a bang-up 17th birthday party.  Despite being a high introvert who often likes quieter gatherings, she wanted to invite 20 some kids.  (A benefit of hanging out with Asians is we “clump,” which means if you hang out with us long enough, you’ll automatically be included.  The downside?  You can’t exclude anyone without hurting feelings.  Hence 20 some kids.)“We can’t fit 20 kids in our house for 5 hours,” was my first response.  But I was determined to … [Read more...]

Doing Dubai

Burj Khalifa

After 2 nights in Riyadh, we flew to Dubai for vacation—the folks sponsoring my husband paid extra for us to leave earlier because they apparently felt so bad that I had to spend time in Saudi Arabia.  Turns out, I wished they had let us stay longer but set up times to talk with local folks so I could hear their stories, pick their brains, and learn more about life in Saudi Arabia. Sigh.  Another time.Here are my impressions of Dubai:From burkas to bikinis: If Riyadh is the most cons … [Read more...]

Birthday with Burkas: Initial impressions of Riyadh

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Last week I spent my 48th birthday in a Saudi Arabian mall wearing an abaya.  Several weeks ago, I speculated Should I go to Saudi Arabia? mainly because I didn’t want to spend a ton of money to sit in a hotel while Scott went to his conference.And indeed I didn’t stray far from my hotel.  However, the 4 Seasons Riyadh connects to Kingdom Centre, a huge upscale mall, and even though I obeyed the rule that women can't be unaccompanied outside, because malls are indoors, women are free to be dr … [Read more...]

Brave

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{Be brave my little KoolAide faced soldier} Bravery is moving forward in the face of courage. Bob Loblaw.  We all know this.  This is a distinctly different experience when you are ACTUALLY DOING IT. Not the race-to-the-finish fears, over in 5 minutes, maybe 5 hours if you're running a marathon, maybe 5 days in you're giving birth.  Yes, those things are bravery, of course.  But, what is it called when it's 5 months of pushing through fear?  5 years?  Then, it should get a new title.  Something … [Read more...]

Buying My Burka (or Abaya)

I leave for Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Sunday and need a burka.  Or abaya.  Burka’s cover everything.Abaya’s cover just the body.Hijabs cover the head, but my friend’s already lent me her supply including one with glittery gold and one with leopard print.Turns out buying an abaya’s more challenging than you would think—especially if you wait until your visa’s approved because you don’t want an extra abaya lying around the house unused.Last week Scott reminded me to get with t … [Read more...]

Mourning the Bomber

I don’t know Dzohkhar Tsarnaev.  But the kids of several friends do because he graduated from their high school two years ago.   And all of a sudden, in the same way Boston became a small town because I either directly knew a victim or am a degree or two away from others, I’m struck that I’m only one degree of separation from the perpetrators.Last week as I reeled from the news of the bombing, like many others, I felt outrage towards the nameless and faceless bombers.  How dare they attack my … [Read more...]


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