Category Archives: Personal

Hong Kong Bundle: Francis Xavier.

Our little bundle arrived quite peacefully on Saturday morning at 7:42am.

As it turns out, the birth of your child is every bit as incredible as everyone says it is. It left me shaking; literally from the adrenaline, but also from the emotion of seeing Francis for the first time. We really couldn’t be happier with him and really do find every little look, hand gesture, or squeak enchanting.

Our first post-shower family picture!

The view from our hospital terrace was pretty amazing after the thunderstorm Francis was born in cleared.

Francis Xavier was named after Father Xavier, our dear friend and the priest who married us, as well as after the Saint who was one of the first missionaries to Asia and who died off the coast of Hong Kong, trying to reach China.We’re back home now getting to know one another in between naps!

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Baby on the way…

I won’t be posting for a little while… We are off to Hotel Matilda, hoping to be wheeling a baby home with us!

Wish us luck!!!

P.S. Isn’t this watermelon baby carriage perfect for a baby shower? I love the orange and kiwi wheels. So clever. All credit to Kate Phipps.

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Last bump pic and nursery sneak peak.

I thought I’d share one due date pic with you… don’t think I’m going to be game for any  more pics from here on out!

And also show you a little nursery peek! Now we just need a baby.

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My mom’s graduation party: Dessert bar.

My mom recently graduated from Santa Clara University with a MFT: Masters in Family Therapy.

It’s hard to even describe the immense well of pride I get in my throat when just beginning to think about what a feat this was… I imagine it’s something like she felt when I graduated, but maybe even more intense because that was a lot easier and a lot more expected!

My mom has always had a huge heart for under-privileged kids and has worked with them for two decades with CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates), but always as a volunteer.

About five years ago, she decided to go back to school at 50 to learn more tools to really be able to help the kids she is working with.

Considering she could barely turn a computer on when she enrolled and so much of today’s classroom is online, it’s beyond impressive.

And I think it’s a big encouragement for mothers who choose to stay home that you can have an entire new career once your birdies have flown the coop!

So as you’ve probably gathered by now, I put together a little dessert bar for her graduation party.

We of course started with Minted invites. Minted is so great about doing custom work… We chose moglea‘s the pointilist wedding invitation because my Mom’s favorite color is green and we loved how classy it was and then we added a graduation hat to tie into the occasion.

This card looked so much like my mom I couldn’t help but aslo include it on the display.

I would have loved to have made some of the baked goodies myself, but alas I was 7,000 miles away from my cake room and working full-time, so I turned to some San Francisco experts!

The cupcakes I ordered from Icing on the Cake Bakery in Los Gatos. Honestly, there cupcakes are DIVINE.

The cookies were from Sugar Mama Cookies SF. Didn’t she do an awesome job tying in all the details? Even making little pill bottles and pills?!

The cake pops were by Sweet Lauren Cakes. I sent her the invite and she was able to match the graduation hat and color perfectly.

Here the whole family is the day of the graduation party… By they way, I’m wearing a Hatch maternity dress, that I have been wearing a ton this pregnancy and anticipate wearing even after the baby arrives. I’ve tried it with so many different belts and necklaces to change things up.

Here my Mom is on the day of her graduation… we were at a wedding so sadly couldn’t make it, but doesn’t she look adorable with her classmates–many of whom are my age! It was so nice to meet some of them at the party. I think she is kind of like the class mom!

And here she is actually graduating! Way to go Mom! xxx.

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Report: When baby makes three.

Now that we’re expecting our first, the 2011 study “When Baby Makes Three: How Parenthood Makes Life Meaningful and How Marriage Makes Parenthood Bearable” put on by the University of Virginia’s National Marriage Project absolutely fascinated me.

Elephant Family Baby Shower Invites from Aspacia Henspetter for Minted.

The study found that married parents are happier and less prone to depression than unmarried parents–which speaks to the strength of the institution of marriage, even as 41 percent of American kids are born out of wedlock. But here’s the bad news: Married parents are generally happier before kids come into the picture. HUGE bummer. “Mothers and fathers are at least 8 percentage points less likely to be “very happy” in their marriages, compared to their childless peers.”

Here’s my executive summary of how to be happy once kids enter the picture, but read on for more details from the report: Don’t think that more kids will make life worse. Make sure to have a weekly date night. Going to religious services as a family is extremely important. Try to define things more as ‘we’ and not as ‘I.’ Try to get the Mr. to help out more around the house. And try to be generous with your spouse at all times–little things count!

They looked more closely at the couples who were extremely happy with kids and found that they shared ten things in common.

  1. COLLEGE EDUCATION. In sum, young married parents who are college educated experience stronger marriages than their less-educated peers.
  2. $. Married parents who report above-average levels of financial stress—that is, worrying frequently that their income will “not be enough to meet your family’s expenses and bills”—are consistently more likely to rate their chances of separation or divorce as high, and less likely to describe themselves as “very happy” in their marriages.
  3. SHARED GENDER ROLES. Both mothers and fathers are less divorce prone and happier when they report that housework (e.g., cleaning, cooking, taking out the garbage) and childcare are “shared equally.”
  4. FAMILY AND FRIENDS. Whether they’re supportive of the marriage and kids or not.
  5. RELIGION. Couples who regularly attend a church, synagogue, or mosque together enjoy higher levels of marital success. Couples who believe that God is at the center of their marriage are also more likely to report high levels of commitment and a pattern of generous behavior toward one another.
  6. BELIEFS. Evidently, married parents who hold a more familistic view of life enjoy especially happy marriages.
  7. SEX. Sexually satisfied wives enjoy a 39-percentage-point premium in the odds of being very happy in their marriages. Sexually satisfied husbands enjoy a 38-percentage-point premium in marital happiness. Women are more likely to report that they are sexually satisfied when they report that they share housework with their husbands.
  8. GENEROSITY. Generosity is defined here as “the virtue of giving good things to one’s spouse freely and abundantly,”and encompasses small acts of service (e.g., making coffee for one’s spouse in the morning), the expression of affection, displays of respect, and a willingness to “forgive him/her for mistakes and failings.”
  9. COMMITMENT. The commitment scale for this study specifically taps the extent to which spouses see their relationship in terms of “we” versus “me,” the importance they attach to their relationship, their conviction that a better relationship with someone else does not exist, and their desire to stay in the relationship “no matter what rough times we encounter.”
  10. TIME. We found that, for most married parents, time spent alone with one’s spouse and time spent with one’s children both predict higher levels of marital solidarity. Specifically, couples who spend time alone together—talking or sharing an activity—are significantly more likely to be happy in their marriages and less likely to be vulnerable to separation or divorce. Figure 18 indicates that husbands and wives who spend quality time with their spouses once a week or more are about 50 percent more likely to be “very happy” in their marriages. The figure also suggests that the link between couple time and relationship quality is particularly salient for wives. In other words, a regular date night appears to be part of the recipe for marital success among today’s parents. We found that, for most married parents, time spent alone with one’s spouse and time spent with one’s children both predict higher levels of marital solidarity.

There was one other fascinating finding: it turns out that the relationship between family size and marital happiness is not linear, but curvilinear. In other words, according to the Survey of Marital Generosity, the happiest husbands and wives among today’s young couples are those with no children and those with four or more children.

About 18 percent of wives with one to three children are “very happy” in their marriage, compared to 26 percent of wives with no children or four or more children, after controlling for differences in education, income, age, race, and ethnicity. Likewise about 14 percent of husbands with one to three children are “very happy” in their marriage, compared to 25 percent of husbands with no children or four of more children, after controlling for socioeconomic differences. This means that the parents of large families are at least 40 percent more likely to be happily married than the parents of smaller families.

Everything above was lifted directly from the study: When Baby Makes Three: How Parenthood Makes Life Meaningful and How Marriage Makes Parenthood Bearable.

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