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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Re: Anonymous Comments

One too many anonymous comments have tipped me over the edge. From now on users must log in (via Google, LiveJournal, WordPress, TypePad, Aim, or OpenID) in order to comment. It's only fair. I don't hide behind an anonymous name, and you shouldn't either. The name of my blog is "Yin Thinks." I even give you my name and share details of my life to complete strangers on the Internet.

Quite honestly, I don't do well with negative remarks. I've never have. For as long as I can remember, I have always tried to please others. I fear being disliked or judged. Even on the road, I am very observant of drivers around me because I don't want to piss them off. It's part of my nature, and negative comments on my blogs will bog me down for days. If you have something not so nice to say, then please think about it first before you say it. I am open to everyone's opinions, but do not rip me apart. I'm a very fragile person. I take everything you say to heart. I can appreciate a good argument every now and then. That's fine. I just don't like it to be taken to a personal level like some previous comments on this blog have.

From day one I wanted this blog to be completely me with no filtering of who I really am. I am here to tell you the good and to tell you the bad. Here's the truth.. no one wants to read the really good stuff or the really bad stuff. People don't want to see a happy Yin, and they don't want to see a sad, depressed Yin.

This house has made me happy, and I'm sorry if I can't hide it sometimes. I never lived in a neighborhood before. This is my first home in a community (a great one in fact). Living on a busy road on top of a restaurant isn't what normal kid experience. I have spent the last two years searching for a place called "home." I lived with Hub's parents for those two years, and I never felt comfortable. I never called it my home. Here we are today in our own nest, and I'm finally home. It's one of the best things that happened to me this year, and I apologize if it's over bearing. I'll refrain from talking about it unless people convince me otherwise.

evidence that I didn't live in a normal house.. see that doggy house on the right? yup, I lived there with my doggy.

I also don't understand why people keep commenting on the house related entries (all 3 of them). No one ever says anything about my "Back to the Motherland" series or my "Looking Back on the Past Year" series. Is there nothing worthy of tearing me apart in those entries? I just don't understand. I work very hard and take hours (yes it takes hours sometimes to put together just one entry) out of my day to blog. Sure, it's purely for my own enjoyment, but I would appreciate it if others would understand that I pour a little bit of me into each entry. When you say something bad, then a little bit of me falls apart and dies inside.

Can you believe I would let a few anonymous comments prevent me from blogging ever again? Well it's true. I intended to start this entry with a simple "I quit." Somehow it transformed into all the words above. I'm not ready to give up. If there's anyone out there supporting me, please say hi. I need to be reassured that not all of my readers want to attack me. Thanks. I'll be returning to the blogging world, but it's going to be a slow process to get back on my feet.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Back to the Motherland: Going Back to My Roots, Part II

We last left off at my mother's village visiting my ancestors' graves for the Ching Ming Festival. The next day we were off to my father's village to pay our respects. My dad's village is only a few minutes away from my mother's, and I bet it would only be a short bike ride away. The day started out early like the day before, and we followed many of the same traditions.

There was a community prayer spot where we first brought our offerings before making our way to visit my ancestors' graves. Even though my parent's villages are very close to one another, there are a lot of differences. I spent most of the time taking in the environment around me and observing.

Not all of the graves are marked, and family members have to remember the location of each ancestor. It can get might confusing, especially with so many ancestors buried throughout the village. I have a video of my dad telling me which family member's grave we were visiting, and my mom had to correct him. I think a grave stone would greatly help, but there is some family drama over that idea.

Then I met this cute little kiddo. He just so happens to be related to me, and we hit it off right away. He was enamored by my camera, and we became instant buddies. I would wave to him, and he would wave back. He would smile at my camera, and he instantly made my day.

He has to be the most photogenic kid I've ever met. He loved posing for the camera and was amazed to see himself on the camera screen. His burst of laughter filled my tiny heart with happiness.

I was pretty much addicted to taking pictures of us together. I had to prove that we actually interacted, right? I love the bottom right picture. I'm trying to teach him how to use the peace sign since it's such an Asian thing to do that in photos. He struggled and just kept putting up random fingers. He is just too adorable.

Here he is with his dad, and I could tell he's a daddy's boy. He was such a trooper going around with us. We walked a lot that day, and he kept up until the very end.

I got made fun of for taking this picture of the cattle. This is part of everyday life for them, but it's not very normal for me.

After a full day of weaving through fields of crops and muddy tracks to get to my ancestors' graves, it was time to unwind. We feasted on the freshly roasted pig and enjoyed the fatty meat.

The wall of my dad's house is filled with old photographs. Some are faded with water damage and others are new from recent weddings in the family. I wish there was a way that I could restore those damaged photos. I'm sure they are filled with great memories and capture the faces of many of my relatives.

Even though I don't have many photos to show for the day, I did capture a lot of videos of my experience. I may post them later and add them to my posts. My dad was very proud of me for coming with them and for experiencing this for the first time. I'm one of the first to visit my parent's homes and my ancestors as well. It made me feel connected to my roots, and I knew this would not be my last time back.

Back to the Motherland: Leaving on a Jet Plane
Back to the Motherland: Arriving in Hong Kong
Back to the Motherland: Adventures in Hong Kong
Back to the Motherland: Going Back to My Roots, Part I

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A Little Clarification...

Hmm.. I think the main benefit about having a more private blog is the ability to forget that people may be reading and forming their own opinions about you. However, this is not a private blog. It is public, and I love that people actually read what I have to say. Unfortunately, there will always be comments that I might not always like. It's part of putting myself out there.

Let me go back and clarify a few details with the home that Hubby and I bought. I am 23. Hubby is 26. He has been doing one heck of a job paying off all his debt in the last 4.5 years. During settlement our lawyer was mighty impressed by the lack of debt Hubby had (one credit card in the middle of a cycle). I myself also do not have much debt. I have a very small student loan from my last year of college, and that's all the debt in my name. I am a stickler for paying all of my bills on time and in full, no matter what the circumstances. I would like to make it clear that Hubby and I did not accept any charity with the purchase of this home. We have been planning every step of this process and have our finances in place. Because of Hubby's great credit and our ability to put down a decent down payment, we have a super low interest rate and manageable monthly payments for the next 30 years.

I'm sure that we could have stuck with a smaller home in a less desirable area, but that was not in our best interest. We purchased this house as an investment towards our future. It's a place that we will call home for a long time, maybe even forever. From all the houses that we looked at this summer, we are confident that we got the best bang for our buck. The closest house that we had considered was about $20k less, and it was only a ranch home that still needed a lot of work. We would have probably ended up putting over $20k in renovations within the first couple of years to make the space livable. Our house now is in great condition, and we comfortably moved in with no problems. There are some areas that we need to improve on, and we're going to take our time. It's the perfect home for us, and I couldn't be any happier with our purchase. I cannot wait to start a family in this house and raise all of our little kiddos.

I might include an additional post about a few options we had in our house buying process and how we went about narrowing down our location and our needs/wants. I don't want people in the Internet land to make false assumptions about me or Hubby, especially with the purchase of our home. I'm going to be talking about it a lot, and I just want to be comfortable doing it.

Friday, November 13, 2009

5 Weeks

It's been 5 weeks since we sealed the deal and moved into our very own house. What have we done in the past 5 weeks?
  • sweep, sweep, sweep.. I love sweeping hardwood floors!
  • cooking very healthy dinners & eating a lot of rice
  • 6 loads of laundry (3 darks, 3 lights)
  • celebrated our first Halloween with decorations, super awesome pumpkins, and too much candy for the trick-or-treaters (most of whom melted in the rain)
  • cleared out half of our garage and currently parking inside
  • raked our leaves twice and left them out on the street
  • two neighbors cooked/baked us yummy foodies
  • recycle like no other.. our recycling trash can is bigger than our actual trash
  • painted the inside of one of our cabinets & finally have food inside of them - original location was above our washer, dryer, & dish washer...
  • finishing up insulating our attic - thanks to hubs and FFIL
  • unpacking and organizing my very own craft room
  • homemade chicken noodle soup is sooooo yummy - I've got skillz
  • unpacked my clothes & claimed my half of the closet.. hubs is still living out of boxes
  • replaced all of our light bulbs with energy efficient ones or lower watts & less bulbs
  • made one too many trips to Lowe's and Home Depot
  • opened our first joint bank account & now owners of yellow checks with both of our names on them
The past month has been super busy for Hubby and I, and I wonder when life will calm down a bit. We're constantly jumping from one project to the next. Even cleaning the toilets is a project.. we have 3!! Oh and we're hosting Thanksgiving at our house. Yup that gobble, gobble, turkey holiday is going to be celebrated in our house, and we'll be in a rush to clean up for the big day. Don't forget the cooking of the turkey and all of the turkey fixings. Yeah it's going to be an adventure, especially in our small kitchen with barely enough counter top space.

Life is treating the both of us very well, and we couldn't be any happier with our first home. I am hoping that life will start to calm down a bit (less sweeping, more blogging) so that I can actually blog about our house adventure.

Since I have readers, I might as well pose a question. A few weeks ago my sisters came over for brunch, and one of them said that she could not imagine owning her first home at such a young age. She was probably 30 when she bought her first home, and I'm only 23. Is 23 a young age to own your first home? Facebook tells me a few of my "friends" are proud homeowners themselves, and I'm not alone. Plus Hubby is a few years older than 23. What do you think?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Losing "Me" Time

It only took me 17 days to get back online and start blogging again. Why has it taken so long? I start writing, and I find myself deleting everything I wrote. It's a bad habit from my Xanga days, and I guess I just can't stop it. I promised not to censor myself on here, and I'll try not to. I haven't been blogging because there are not enough hours in the day to actually sit down and have time to myself. I am constantly being stressed out by life right now. While there are a lot of great things happening (new job, new house, new routine), there's also a lot that goes on in my mind because of it. Changes don't necessarily make life easier.

I lost "me" time in this whole process of change. I started to realize how important it was to have time for myself when I moved in with Hubby. While I would love to spend every waking moment by his side, I also need time to be alone. It's an important component in keeping me sane. This past year was rough. I had to deal with the transition from college to adulthood. It was crappy and not the way I ever imagined it would be. One of the few good things that came out it was plenty of "me" time. Then I started my new job. Within a few weeks Hubby and I bought a house. In came the new, and out went the old. No more time to myself was to be found. In the past month I have not had the opportunity to sit in front of the computer and just catch up on my Google Reader or even write a decent entry on here.

Less time for myself also leads to bad thoughts about everything imaginable. I can turn the smallest problem into the biggest one in my head because I have no outlet for my frustration. I keep it inside. I let it build up, and it's a not a pretty picture.

I guess this just gives me more reason to blog. I apologize for this being a crappy entry, but it is a reminder for me to create time for myself. It is a vital part of my existence, and sometimes I need a good old blog entry to remind me of that.

When was the last time you had "me" time? Stop and take a break from life. You can thank me later. =)