Mourning, Moving On, and Meiosis: 2010-2019

How do you sum up a decade of losing…

and birthing lives?!

Let’s recap! In 2010-2019…

Top 3 Nursing stories:
3.  Thawing at the Moon’s Feet – on aging ;  won Editor’s Pick at Yeah Write!
2. How to Save a Life– the 2 dreaded words no hospital worker wants to hear.
1. It’s Not About Chivalry – a big lesson in a short moment; won the Yeah Write! challenge that week.
I also cried and fought hard for my patients while volunteering in Cambodia, quit my job for a new one, and became an OB nurse! I have the privilege of caring for expecting moms, women who hope to become expecting moms, and their babies. It has been such a joy.
Top 3 characteristics I learned about God (in 2019)

3. God is compassionate – It was a rough year. I cried so many prayers of helplessness, and God always showed me that His “mercies are new every morning.” (Lamentations 3:23)

2. God’s timing is perfect – This past year involved a lot of waiting, enduring physical pain, and anticipation of the future. “He makes all things beautiful in His time.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11) It was a 10 month wait… can you guess?! =)

1. God heals the broken and the broken hearted – I got sooo sick last March. Not being able to breathe was excruciating, both emotionally and physically. But God was with me; I needed to learn to trust in Him. (Psalm 73:26)

Random 3 photos of treasured memories:


Overcoming Obstacles at The Great Wall of China, Mutian Yu, 2012


Survived the craziest of snow storms. Boston, 2013.


Partied like an animal, with the animals. Las Vegas, 2015. (Photo:

Top 3 Personal Stories:

3. To Destroy You is No Loss – a written ‘trailer’ of Ba’s escape.

2.  Whoa Baby! 2016 Year in Review – we were inducted into the crazy tribe of parenthood! (this is where ‘meiosis’ comes in. LOL. Read about our baby announcement, it was hilarious!)

1. What Mom Taught Me – mourned the 1yr death anniversary of my mother in law

Top 3 on Family & Food: 


3. Why Do I Like Ramen So Much?

2. Music from the Mortar

1. I Miss Sweet Potatoes

Top 3 films/dramas/shows I watched in 2019 (not new films, just ones I watched this year):

3. Mirai, directed by Mamoru Hosoda

2. A Silent Voice, directed by Naoko Yamada

1.See You Yesterday, a performance featuring 2nd generation survivors of the Khmer Rouge genocide, reconciling history through art & acrobatics. It was so many things: powerful, tragic, funny, and healing. Totally recommend it if you ever visit their home stage in Cambodia.

3 books I read in 2019:

“What we carry

defines who we are.

And the effort we make

is our legacy.

-Finding Chika, by Mitch Albom

3. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See

2. Finding Chika: A Little Girl, an Earthquake, and the Making of a Family by Mitch Albom

1. Where the Past Begins: A Writer’s Memoir by Amy Tan

3 cool things I did in 2010-2019:


A sketch of a sweet time at a dessert shop in Hong Kong, 2017.

3. Started sketching again. I have never taken art, so I have no clue what I’m doing, but who cares? Just tryin’ to capture the memories that slip past the camera.


The “More Than a Number” Exhibit. 2012.

2. Organized a history exhibition for an art museum. Khmer genocide survivors shared their never told stories and photos with us, then we shared them with the community.


Robam Redeemed at the Massachusetts State House. 2018.

1. Dedicated a decade to dance. Although many of my Khmer folk dance students have graduated, moved, or left the troupe, I cherish each moment with each student and pray that “being confident of this, that He [God] who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 1:6

3 random awesome memories:

3. Most embarrassing moment (Spring 2015)

On a trip to Switzerland, we ended up on a really steep hill in a neighborhood, and I had never used that bike before so I didn’t know how to change gears. I had to stand while pedaling, pushing all my weight onto the pedals so it could go up the hill.

Suddenly, I heard a voice. “More power!”

When I looked up, I saw an old man chillin’ on the balcony of his house, raising his fist in the air and cheering me on. “More power!” He shook his fist in the air again, smiling.

I laughed and nearly died of embarrassment of my weak self.

2. Halmoni tearin’ up the dance floor (Spring 2016)

During my sister-in-law’s wedding, her Halmoni (‘Grandma’ in Korean) waved her hands in the air, shook ’em like she just don’t care, and trotted to the beat, her gray hair swinging behind her giddy smile. Watching her dance with joy was so infectious, it pulled everyone else onto the dance floor too.

When I’m old and gray, I hope to dance and encourage others just like her.

3. Special Bonds (Fall 2019)

After singing “Happy Birthday” and taking a bite of cake, my toddler was eager to hold the baby’s hand.

“Do you like strawberries or blueberries?” she asked.

Still swaddled in a daze from delivery, the baby just peered up.

“How come she’s not answering?” my toddler wondered.

“She was just born today and she can’t talk yet. But she recognizes your voice. She knows you are her 姐姐 (Jie Jie), and she is your 妹妹 (Mui Mui).”

“Aww…well, I like strawberries,” she smiled.

~ ~ ~

Thus, the biggest highlight of 2019 was the arrival of of our 2nd baby. It’s been a wild ride, livin’ that newborn life while chasing a toddler. But God’s strength is helping me power through these sleepless nights. =)

3 things I hope to do in 2020:

3. Read 20 books. Do you have a book to recommend? Comment below! Also, read The Bible daily. Currently reading with my friends Esther & Hsiao.

2. Improve my minority language fluency (listen/learn to Cantonese 2x/week AND listen/read/write Khmer daily). My goal is to learn/improve both languages so my daughters can communicate fluently with our families. I want to improve my Spanish and relearn French too, for my patients, but I’m already sleep deprived here, who am I kidding?!

1. Write more. I know, I been slacking! How do you stay diligent with writing/blogging? Help a sistah out!

If you’ve read this far, you’re awesome. If you’re really bored, you can check out my previous year in reviews: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018!

Thanks for coming along for the ride, and let’s embrace 2020 with courage and conviction. =)


4 thoughts on “Mourning, Moving On, and Meiosis: 2010-2019

  1. I love this time machine post! First, that Austria pic! I was there, too! (jumping up and down) I also thought that guy snowboarding was such an sweet shot. Hahahhaaha. What a decade you’ve had. I really do love your voice, your writing, and I know you are too busy these days with #2! and probably #1! 😛 but I love your writing. At least we have, IG.

    Happy New Year! Sawadii bpii mai!

  2. What a special entry. I’ll have to revisit this several times and check the links to your wonderful writing. Congrats on your second child – I love the story that you wrote. I also have to check out the books you have referenced too. Have a great year!

  3. Wow, a very event filled year combined with links to your other special journals/pics- impressive. 👍💯
    I’m happy to hear you’re feeling better- good health is so important in our lives, and we always take it for granted until there’s a problem.
    Big congrats on your new job- may it bring you more positive excitement along with some more coins. 🙂
    And mega congrats on your 2nd reason for insomnia this year, haha. 🥳 Hopefully the skills you acquired in figuring out how to make your first go to sleep will work like a charm with this one. 🙏😴

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