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Saturday, March 4, 2017

On Being a 30 Year Old Introvert

I am 30 years old with a husband and two kids. When it comes down to it, I am an introvert. As I get older, I'm finding it more difficult to cope physiologically. I can count on one hand the number of friends I have, and I only have one who actually lives in the same state. I don't have any mommy friends. I don't go out for girl's night, and you can usually find me at home.

I have always been an introvert, but I was not nearly this bad when I was young. In school I always had a group of friends. Sometimes that group would be small, but sometimes I would feel like I really belonged. In high school I yearned to have a normal teenage life and found myself making up lies just to leave the house and hang out with friends. Since I wasn't allowed to play sports, I did my best to belong by joining clubs and participating in school events. Sure, I wasn't the most popular girl in high school. I was probably more on the dorky side, but I did my best socially.

Senior Picnic - 2004
hanging out with friends in high school

College was a game changer for me. I never left my childhood home, and college was even closer than my high school. I walked to campus every morning and walked back home every night. I never had a roommate. I never joined any clubs. I went to a few parties during my senior year when I moved out of my parent's house. Out of those four years I met a handful of people, but only one of them stuck around. Thanks, hubby. The college social life failed me, but then again I wasn't trying very hard. You won't find me at any college reunions.

DSC05840
oddly enough, I still had some high school friends (+ Cyn & H) who wanted to celebrate my 21st birthday with me in college

Out of school and out of luck finding a job, depression hit hard. My self esteem fell to an all time low, and I had a difficult time getting back up. Almost 10 years later, and I haven't recovered. Memories of that time are still fresh, and my prospect of ever having a career have vanished.

Now as a wife and mother, being an introvert isn't healthy for my mental state. When I run into hard times, I only have my husband to turn to. I can't convince myself to join local mommy groups, and I keep conversations short when speaking to parents at preschool. I distance myself when possible. The first few years of parenthood were difficult without any support. Luckily I found myself an online community of amazing parents, and I finally felt like I belonged. Who needs real one on one in person interactions when there is an online community? Well apparently I do. I stopped regularly visiting the site, and now I only talk to those group of women on social media. I'm thinking maybe I should stop that too.

Halloween on Main Street
now this is what I look like... as seen with two kids in hand

I've noticed that in the past year I've been slipping faster and faster, digging myself deeper into the hole. I have forgotten about hobbies, and I have given up on dreams. I have turned myself into a machine. Wake up, take care of my family and house, and go to sleep. Even humans have limits, and I'm reaching mine. I'm not sure how much longer I can do this to myself.

I know what I need to do. I just don't know how to do it. I don't know how to find the motivation and drive. I'm an introvert who needs social stimulation. I'm an introvert who is yearning to discover something new and exciting. I need to find my identity outside of being just a wife and a mother. I need to find confidence in myself. I need to make new friends. I need to find a hobby and rediscover old ones. I need to carve out time for myself. I need to stop neglecting myself and remember that I'm important too. Right?

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

A New Post? Eh...

7 MONTHS PASSES BY...

*chirp, chirp*

So I guess that last post never took off, eh? Well a few things have happened since then that's worthy of sharing. Here goes!

I turned THIRTY! I'm old. It's official.

Celebrating 30th
on my 30th birthday... *cringe*

Both of my kids are in school (sort of). I have a whole 7.5 hours to myself during the week (broken up into three mornings for about 2.5 hours each time). What am I going to do with all of my free time? Oh yeah... clean, run errands, meal prep, laundry, and so much more. No worries. Sometimes I just sit at the laptop and do absolutely nothing productive. Go me!

Me
I look amazing, right? Haha. Laziness is the best.

I finally scheduled appointments to visit medical professionals to check up on my health. It's an incredible feat because I have the biggest fear of doctors. This is what happens when you grow up without health insurance. The appointments were pretty boring, and I'm healthy. I was kind of hoping for some big news or health scare to punish me for putting this off for so many years. Well all of this was strangely satisfying. Now I can move forward and do this on an annual basis instead of being scared of doctors.

My kids still drive me bonkers. That's normal, right? E is 5 years old, in Kindergarten, and totally Pokemon obsessed. O is 3 years old, started preschool, and still crazy about construction vehicles. They test my patience on a daily basis, but they are shaping up to be cute little humans who have so much personality. As a parent, I'm constantly learning and adapting. Now E and O, if you could just ditch the tantrums, I think we can all stay sane. Thanks.

Oliver's 1st Day of School
E + O ready to go to school. *tear* They're growing up.

I'm currently listening to the soundtrack of La La Land. It's strangely therapeutic. Oh and when did theaters start installing reclining seats and assigning seats? It's amazing!

So my thoughts are all over the place. Sounds about right. 

Will I start blogging again? Don't count on it. I'll be lucky if I can update once a year. Sheesh. I'm getting old and not cool enough to blog. I miss the old days of Xanga and Live Journal. Blogs are so commercial now. Boo.

Did you enjoy my quick comeback? Maybe I'll entertain you guys with another post in the future. Miss blogging and miss connecting with all 2 of you who read this blog. Haha. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Post Where I Tell Everyone I'm Back...

I have been blogging on and off since I was a senior in high school (13 years... eeks!). Times sure have changed, and I don't know exactly where I fit in anymore in this blog world anymore. Simple journals of our lives shared with others have turned into a money making business of sorts. It's hard not to stumble upon advertisements after advertisements before you can even get to the main content. Can you even trust a review anymore? It feels more like a business than a hobby. When did personal blogging turn into work? You have to participate on every level of social media, and you have to constantly be "on" to interact with others. 

I have always blogged for myself. It's a way to express my ideas, vent to the (online) world, and document a few adventures along the way. Every time I take a break, I yearn to come back. There is a reason why I haven't given it up completely. I need an outlet for my thoughts. I need an outlet for any creativity that I have, which isn't much. I want to document and share my family life. 

Then I step back and think how lame my blog can be. Everyone has picture perfect lives in blog world. Everything is edited in just the right way, and nothing could possibly be wrong. The good parts shine through, while the ugly is filtered out. I don't pretend my life is great. My photos are nice, but I also don't have time to take pictures of my OOTD or style a photo perfectly for a post. Even those who post about the ugly do so in a way that still makes me feel like crap*. I have given up on Instagram lately because I can't keep up with the Jones' of the IG world.

So there's this pressure to update and keep up with the times. Journalistic blogging doesn't work anymore. It's about the Pinterest worthy posts that put you above and beyond the rest. Can I really keep up? Should I? No, of course not. Stay true to myself and my voice. Just shake off those bad feelings and be the original me. 

My name is Yin, and I approve this blog. Enjoy!

Busy
Imagine this is what I look like right now while blogging instead of looking like a zombie in pajamas.

.... and I'm back! 

Oh and I totally pushed aside my need to finish up the dishes just to write this post. Who needs clean dishes when you need to start blogging again? Go me!

Side Note: Don't worry. I know it's an issue I have where I compare myself to others constantly. I'm working on overcoming that and seeing the brighter side of things. One baby step at a time.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Thoughts on College, Work, and "What Now?"

It has been almost 8 years since I graduated college. Of those 8 years, I only worked for one of them. I spent a year looking for a job with lots of disappointments along the way. I was buried into a deep state of depression, and some of those feelings still linger today. I was fortunate to have a supporting fiance at the time, and my soon-to-be in-law's welcomed me into their home and their lives. It was a dark time for me, and somehow I got through it. The job that I did hold for a year wasn't ideal. It didn't require my education, and the pay reflected that. I couldn't proudly tell people what I did for a living because it wasn't what I wanted to do for the next 5 years.

As soon as I was pregnant, I didn't feel able to continue working and left the job. Luckily H and I could financially swing me being a stay at home mom. It wasn't easy, and we probably struggled a lot in the first couple of years. I don't remember too much of that. I just remember the struggle to stay afloat with our first born child. It wasn't easy.

So what did college do for me? Honestly not much. The education I received was fine. I didn't grow much as an adult by attending college. I had more responsibilities than I ever wanted as a teenager helping my parents. I lived at home and walked to campus everyday. It wasn't far, closer than some dorms and apartments. College was an extension of high school. I never left home. Heck, college was closer than my high school by a mile or so. Then I graduated, and the rejections came one after another. No one could provide me the comfort and advice I needed to get past this rough stage.

What will my college degree do for me now? Absolutely nothing. When the time comes for me to enter back in the work force, where do I even begin? I have to start from the bottom, and even then, no one wants to hire a person who hasn't contributed to society for the last 5+ years. My outdated education cannot help me. My experience... well I have none. I fear the day when both of my kids are in school, and I have no choice but to get out there and face the rejections that await me.

Going back to school is an option, right? Maybe not. If my first degree didn't work out for me, then how will another degree help? I don't have time or money to waste anymore. I'm not young. I have learned that a degree cannot guarantee me a fulfilling career. I cannot predict a healthy or weak economy. I cannot waste money when my kids depend on it.

Why even vent? These thoughts haunt me. I feel inadequate. Being surrounded by working people makes me feel small. People judge, whether or not they say it out loud or with their body language. People who are successful are the most intimidating to me.

Being a stay at home mom is not easy. I struggle keeping afloat some days. My kids drive me bonkers on more occasions than I would like. I can't keep the house clean, and I fail at being the ideal mother. Some assume it's an easy job, but it's far from it. =/

If you made it through this post, you're pretty amazing. Thanks for listening to my rant. It feels good to get this off my chest. I don't want to be a Debbie Downer. I'm just trying to sort out my thoughts and figure out what's ahead in this crazy journey called life. 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

O's 1st Birthday Party

Excuse the small blogging absence. My youngest turned 2 last week! Didn't he just turn 1? It's hard to believe that my tiny guy is growing up, and I secretly want him to remain small for a little longer. E is just growing up incredibly fast, and I need to hold onto any bit of baby that is left in O. 

Since I never posted about his party last year, I present to you a recap of O's 1st birthday party. Last year we had just gotten back from Disney World and was able to celebrate his actual birthday at home. A few days later we would celebrate with family and friends, and boy was it a mad dash to get the house ready. Despite the time crunch, we were able to pull it off. O was probably a little overwhelmed by the attention, but he pulled through like a champ. His favorite part was probably playing in the bouncer, eating cake, and playing with his new Jeep. Enjoy the photos!

Oliver's 1st Birthday Oliver's 1st Birthday Party Oliver's 1st Birthday Oliver's 1st Birthday Oliver's 1st Birthday Party Oliver's 1st Birthday Party Oliver's 1st Birthday Oliver's 1st Birthday Party Oliver's 1st Birthday Party Oliver's Birthday Party Oliver's Birthday Party Oliver's 1st Birthday Oliver's 1st Birthday Oliver's 1st Birthday Party Oliver's 1st Birthday Party Oliver's 1st Birthday

Monday, November 2, 2015

Video Mondays: Climbing Up

E hasn't always been the adventurous type. He is cautious and prefers to watch over participating in activities. He usually does not initiate trying new things and needs a little nudge and encouragement. A lot has changed in the past year, and I'm seeing my little guy grow into a more courageous kid. A few weeks ago he suggested going to the park after school. He saw the challenge of the playground equipment and asked me to help him climb up. Once he got to the top, he felt so proud of himself. He got the hang of it quickly and kept going. Of course O wanted to try too, but his legs are a tad too short. :p

  Climbing Up

Friday, October 30, 2015

Halloween 2013

Original post written 2 years ago... haha, that's a heck of a long time. I love Halloween so you get to enjoy this oldie.

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. I love it! The costumes! The candy! The pumpkin carving! It's a holiday for the kids, and I'm a kid at heart. The holiday is even more fun and exciting with a toddler who is just started to appreciate and enjoy Halloween. 

About two months ago I was digging through E's old costumes, hoping H would let me get rid of them. No luck on that part, but it was fun to revisit the costumes from the past two years. For kicks, we had E model them for us. Yes, we could squeeze him into his first costume that he wore as a 6 month old. In the process of trying a costume off, taking it off, and trying on the next one, E was ready for his final costume change -- a giraffe. Back up... We don't have a giraffe costume. Where did he get that from? Hmm...

Gentle giraffe. I bought one for O and E had taken a liking to it. He wanted to be a gentle giraffe! Whenever we asked what he wanted to be for Halloween this year, he always responded with a giraffe. This is his first year expressing an interest in choosing his costume. 

Although I knew he wanted to be a giraffe, I buy E's costumes at Costco every year. In previous years he was a dragon and a lion. This year I bought a blue monster and an elephant for him to choose from (limited pickings for boys these days). He said no to the two choices and responded back that he wanted to be a giraffe this year. Oh toddlers. Once they have an idea in their mind, you can't convince them otherwise. A giraffe it is! 

Halloween Parade

We checked out the Halloween Parade on Main Street to begin our Halloween celebration. It's a fun tradition that I grew up with as a child, and it's even better experiencing it with my own family. There were classic cars on display, high school and college bands marching down the street, dance groups dancing in unison, politicians on floats, and emergency vehicles for all to see. Some groups threw out candy to the crowds, which is a hit among the kids. After the parade ends, it's time for the kids to hit up the stores along Main Street for a little trick or treating fun. We didn't participate this time, but I think it might for fun for E next year.

Halloween Parade Halloween Parade Halloween Parade

I present to you Little E, my little giraffe! As a 2.5 year old Halloween is pretty awesome and enjoyable. The year before we went trick-or-treating on our block, and this year we continued to do the same. It's always fun to see E's reaction to the door opening and taking a piece of candy from a huge bowl. Even though he can't eat most of the candy due to his food allergies, he still had a lot of fun. He was amazed that we could ring our neighbor's doorbell and that they came out with candy treats. :) After hitting up the houses down our street, E was ready to come back and check out his goodies.

Halloween 2013 2013 Pumpkins

Even though most of his candy was not allergy friendly, we did find two items that he could eat -- pretzels and Swedish fish! The pretzels were a hit, and E had a great Halloween. I love seeing how he grows to appreciate these little holidays. Every year he enjoys them more and more.

Halloween

Since trick-or-treating on Halloween involves staying up past bedtime, we had to end the night early. I continued to give out candy, while E got ready for bed. Another year of Halloween fun down in the books. After writing this post, I'm even more excited for Halloween this year with both kids!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Milburn Orchards - Fall 2015

Our annual trip to Milburn continues! H took a day off of work to spend extra time with the kids, and we enjoyed an afternoon at the farm. This is E's 5th year and O's 2nd year at Milburn. Both kids had a blast. This year was less about pumpkins and more about the adventures like corn mazes and play structures. The weather was perfect, and we all had a great time.

Milburn Orchards 2015 Milburn Orchards 2015 Milburn Orchards - Fall 2015 Milburn Orchards 2015 Milburn Orchards - Fall 2015

Surprisingly, both kids entertained us enough to take photos throughout the farm. It's a tradition that I love, and it's amazing to see how much they have grown through the years. O was great at posing for photos. It's like he was raised up in front of a camera or something... hehe.

Milburn Orchards 2015 Milburn Orchards 2015 Milburn Orchards - Fall 2015
Milburn Orchards 2015

O is obsessed with anything cars and trucks these days, and he enjoyed the wooden play structures. He ran from one play area to the next without skipping a beat. O was especially excited over this bus cut out but was so disappointed to find out that it was just a cut out and not a real bus. He reluctantly "got behind the wheel" and attempted to open the door a few times.

Milburn Orchards 2015 Milburn Orchards - Fall 2015 Milburn Orchards - Fall 2015

E really enjoyed the mazes this year. He went through the hay bale maze a few times and loved pointing out all the dead ends. O had fun leading the way through the corn maze, but he was probably a bit frustrated. He kept calling for E who had gone ahead with my sister. E was no where to be found, and it was a long walk for him. Overall it was still fun. We met up at the wooden tractor, and both kids bickered over who would be the driver.

Milburn Orchards - Fall 2015 Milburn Orchards 2015 Milburn Orchards - Fall 2015 Milburn Orchards - Fall 2015

Doesn't O look really chunky? I swear he is only 5-10 percentile in weight. He has too many allergies to have the opportunity to eat to his heart's content. His face is just really round compared to Elliot. Hehe. It does make for funny pictures. 

Milburn Orchards 2015 Milburn Orchards 2015

Another year down in the books. Milburn always gets us in the mood for extra pumpkin goodness at this time of the year. It means that Halloween is just around the corner. :)

Now onto the comparison photos from last year and this year! Enjoy!

Milburn Orchards - Fall 2015 Milburn Orchards - Fall 2015 Milburn Orchards - Fall 2015 Milburn Orchards - Fall 2015
O at 11 months old (left) and 23 months old (right).

Milburn Orchards - Fall 2015 Milburn Orchards - Fall 2015 Milburn Orchards - Fall 2015 Milburn Orchards - Fall 2015
E at 3.5 years old (left) and 4.5 years old (right).