Khangology: Fourth Edition

*Ask him a question*

Not now Julie, I’m trying to watch an educational video.


I love you with all my heart.

 No wait, with all my cells.


Me: Khang, wake up…

Khang: Not now, Jet Li is teaching me the 16 points of contact.


Every morning and every night…I tell myself how happy I am to have you in my life.


*While folding clothes*

These are the “heartbroken socks”…they lost their partner.


*While laying in bed*

Khang: Let me get your foot, baby. 

Me: Why? 

Khang: That’s my way of “holding” you.


Me: You don’t write me poems anymore like you used to.

Khang: I still do. It’s called “gestural poetry”.


Bonus!

L: Auntie Uyen? 

Me: Yes, Nephew L. 

L: Your name sounds like “Win”.

Me: Exactly.


Me: I need privacy. Auntie is going to change her clothes.Please don’t open the door(no locks). 

L: What is privacy? 

Me: I need to be by myself.

L: For boobies?

Uncle and Auntie T-rex

Sometimes life can be a blur.

Though lately, this pandemic has slowed my life down significantly and produced very precise highlights in time. 

After the first three months of abiding to North Carolina’s “stay-at-home” mandate and pretty much leaving once a week to buy groceries down the street, Khang and I cautiously decided to visit our nephews near the DC area.

I remember hesitantly hugging both nephews and my sister/brother-in-law. It felt like a very unknown gesture that seemed so out of practice.

But we hopped right into it as “Uncle and Auntie T-rex” (major kudos to Khang for giving us such awesome monikers!) because with young and active little boys…you gotta keep up! 

This pandemic has heartbreakingly cost unmeasurable lives and still is affecting our world in ways I feel will not be fully understood or uncovered for decades to come.

Some days I feel like I am okay and other days, I have no words.

And y’all, I am not on the front lines or deemed “essential”. So I will not even begin to unjustly try to imagine what it’s been like for those from grocery store workers to healthcare providers or the sacrifices they have made and continue to do at this very second. 

The optimist in me always trying to push through has shown how the “gift of time” has been given to me and Khang. 

I kind of touched on this here during our first 10 days in.

To put it short, our week-long visit with our nephews really changed us

I do not know if they will remember it 10 or 20 years from now, but I know I will

I cannot recall when I realized I wanted to marry Khang. It just kind of happened over the course of time. 

But knowing for sure when we wanted to grow our family. Well that happened during this trip to DC. We realized we want to try sooner than later. 

Babies are cute, don’t get me wrong. 

But as they get older. Gosh it’s the best in my opinion! Their personalities shine through and you appreciate that they have their own little thoughts and opinions. And their avid enthusiasm to learn and soak up information is just the sweetest and most rewarding feeling because you played a tiny part in it. And when you don’t, you are the proudest ever because they learned it all on their own

I know being an aunt is nothing compared to being a mom. Not even close, but I accept I will not know until I become one. 

However, I will always remember that being an aunt, their Auntie T-rex, is when and how I first realized I was “ready” to be a Mom.

Here are a few photos from us at the Strawberry Patch, which we used to make homemade strawberry ice cream and mixed cocktails. Such delicious summer treats!

Just to be clear, “sooner” for us is still a few years out. But even so, we practice Natural Family Planning (NFP) and that has always put us in the mindset of “having a baby is a blessing” at any time. 

So actually what was the main point of this blog??

Khang and I are closer to growing our little family and well, I am just the happiest thinking about it all.

Thank you for reading and following along

with me,

Jules.

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Perfect timing

Some of you may have been wondering why I’m no longer on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Or maybe you didn’t even notice at all. Hah! 

There are many reasons, but the main ones are allowing myself to fully be in the moment with loved ones as well as myself and giving myself more time to focus on writing. 

Writing has always been so therapeutic to me. I feel like social media encourages brief descriptions on life events and in return, it really takes away from feeling every emotion and thought at that moment in time, which is often a celebration of life’s most precious moments.

In my opinion, it takes away more than it gives. And I’ve grown tired of things being taken away from me.

I’m giving myself more.

So…

I’m officially a part-time employee after asking my boss to transition due to overstressing and uncontrollable anxiety from working in people’s mouths during this pandemic. 

It was a hard decision, but an easy process once I realized my mental and physical health matters the most. Of course, Khang has been my #1 support. 

All of this took about 3 weeks to finally happen. Coincidentally enough, my last full-time work week ended with a 10-day vacation (planned 7 weeks in advance) back in my hometown of Ocean Springs, MS. 

A lot happened and I treasured every moment home with our families. I’ll share more later, but I’ll start with our first day of vacation. 

God’s timing is always perfect. 

It started off on such a wonderful note and in the sweetest way possible. 

With a surprise proposal. 

But not just any proposal. It was with Khang’s first cousin and his long-time love. 

I still remember the night he first showed me a picture of her. It was dark, but I remember hearing the excitement in his voice as he was telling me about her. 

Y’all, she had absolutely no idea it was going to happen. She had no idea that Khang and I were staying just 1 mile away from their hotel. 

She had no idea of all that was being plotted:

Khang knowing their exact location on Google maps at all times,

Us parking far far away so she wouldn’t recognize his car,

Us hiking 30 minutes prior so we could pin drop the exact location where it would all go down,

Khang texting him that he totally hiked passed us and to turn back around, 

Me squatting for 20 minutes behind some thorny bushes so she wouldn’t recognize me (totally worked because she thought I was some crazy Asian lady bird-watching),

And best of all,

her not knowing she would be hiking up a mountain as a girlfriend and back down as his fiance. 

It’s always been a dream of mine to capture a proposal. I’m so happy it was these two. 

Correction: This family of four!

 

Honored to be part of the beginning of their commitment to fuuurever.

Eeeeeek! Welcome to the family (even though it feels like you’ve been part of it for so long already)! We are so happy for y’all!

 Hope y’all enjoy these photos as much as I do. I mean it’s impossible, but you can still try. 

 Thank you for reading and following along 

with me,

Jules.

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In this moment

I just want to start off by expressing my utmost gratitude to all of those who continue to work during these challenging times. While putting yourselves in harm’s way all for the sake of your community’s health and safety. Please know y’all are constantly on my mind and in my prayers.

This blog post is in no way trying to judge or convince anyone what they should be doing or how they should be living their life.

I respect each individual’s decision and trust that in their own right are trying their best. 

Because that’s all we can ever ask of someone.

This is only my personal experience.

Khang and I are on “Day 10” of social distancing and “Day 1” of our county’s stay-at-home mandate till April 16.

Khang is still working full-time from home, whereas I am not. My dental office is closed except to see emergency patients. This has led me to apply for (temporary) unemployment for the first time in my life. It’s super weird. I have always worked from an early age of 13 years old.

But me being me and finding the positive in every situation, I feel very blessed for this time with not only Khang but with myself. And I’ve been taking full advantage of this “gift of time” basically forced upon us.

Last evening we started up a fire in our pit and had solid flames burning well into the night.

For those who don’t know, I love camping and having a campfire is one of the main reasons why.

So I feel especially lucky that I can now easily procure one on my back deck.

At around 8, I knew I would be warming up to the fire until it died out. It’s just a feeling I had and my mind was made up.

Khang on the other hand was ready to call it a night, so he could go play his computer games, which I was completely fine with.

Me and my fire by ourselves sounded like a wonderful date.

So I encouraged him to go ahead inside, but for whatever reason he cozied up too and laid his head on my lap. Anyone who knows Khang, knows he does not like to slow down.

He fell asleep.

And it was in that moment, I took everything in.

The quiet and still night.

The bright stars above us in the black sky.

The cool and crisp Spring air.

The glowing embers dancing in front of me.

& the warmth it created.

Or was that just the overwhelming feeling of warmth in my heart as my Cinderella of a husband was dozing off in my lap?

Wherever it came from, it was mesmerizing. I let it fill me and let my mind wonder.

Initially thinking of all my goals for 2020 and if I would be able to succeed in each one.

I suddenly reminded myself to stop and just take pleasure in this moment.

A moment that would not have occured because originally something was planned for this weekend, (and the next and the next) which would’ve required all my attention and thoughts.

So, I stopped.

And simply thanked God for this moment.

Hopefully anyone reading this can too in their life right now. Try not to stress or worry.

Happily seize these moments with your loved ones and yourself.

They’re worth remembering.

Thank you for reading and following along

with me,

Jules.

30 Rocks!

“On my honor, I solemnly swear to set forth on the path of adventure.”

This is the first sentence to the Jules Scout Creed.

Let me explain.

I love adventure. I love exploring new lands. I love discovering myself through Mother Nature. 

More so, I love experiencing it all with loved ones.

And the PERFECT human beings joined me on a grand adventure for my thirtieth birthday weekend.

These are our stories. (Dun-Dun)

Normally I don’t like to make a big deal out of my birthday.

Because honestly, I celebrate it every day. 

Cheesy I know, but it’s the truth. 

But I randomly decided to just go for it and planned, planned, and planned! Very happily. 

Our itinerary was simple but ambitious: 

Glamping in a Hogan (hut) in the middle of the desert on Navajo reservation with no electricity, water, and wifi. 

Highlights included: Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, Zion National Park, and Grand Canyon National Park. 

Regardless of how much I planned, it was beyond my wildest dreams

Because no matter how much I planned, nothing prepared me for the many many special moments throughout this trip. 

Most of those precious moments I’ll keep to myself and between the other seven, but here are a few I’d like to share with you:

We were on the road for roughly 16 hours over the course of 3 days. The beautiful views and heart-to-heart talks made our drives easier.

Early on I thought of gift ideas for my peeps as a “thank you” for embarking on this grand adventure.

With all we hope to achieve, I felt like we were girl and boy scouts, so I bought each person a bandana with enamel pins (badges!) that represented our entire weekend.

Everyone took them to heart and it set the entire mood of our adventure together! You’ll see us wearing them in all our photos!

They called themselves “Jules Scouts” I was their leader of Troop 30.

So cuteeee!

Our living situation was pretty rough. Not going to lie. Mainly because we couldn’t shower at all…it was too cold at night.

I felt really bad for everyone.

With that being said, I loved staying in our Hogan.

I loved hiking to the ridge to catch the sunrise both mornings.

Yes, it was challenging to wake up every 30 minutes to keep our fire alive in the wood burning stove during the night,

but I loved it soooo much.

I love camping.

Once you can get over the feeling of being dirty, then you appreciate everything around you.

I took multiple nightly strolls by myself when I had to use the bathroom and each time I would spin around to take it all in.

Filled with too much excitement, I barely slept at night and watched the fire glow from inside the stove.

I laid in my cot and admired the wood constructed from inside our Hogan.

Again, taking it all in. 

The absolute feeling of pure ease and calmness.

Our first outing was the slot canyons. Different from Lower or Upper Antelope Canyon.

If you have questions, then just send me a message and I’ll explain why we decided to go with the much less-crowded and very beautiful Canyon-X.

Photos do not provide justice.

In fact, all the places we went to don’t in the least bit.

Later that day, we hiked in Zion National Park on the Overlook Trail.

It’s definitely one of my favorite trails to date. I didn’t take much photos, but that’s okay just shows how much I enjoyed the hike.

This view was waiting for us at the end.

Horseshoe Bend and Grand Canyon National Park were on our last day (Sunday), but not before s’mores over a warm campfire on our last night.

A very special night that I’ll remember forever.

I keep playing everything I saw and heard over and over in my head.

Definitely a “happy place” for me.

After a final group hike to watch the sunrise on our last morning, we filled our tummies with warm homemade Navajo tea and packed up to head towards Horseshoe Bend.

The position of the sun made it hard for photos, but Horseshoe Bend really surprised me by its size and beauty.

My favorite part was laying on our bellies at the edge and peering into the Colorado River!

Then we made our way West to our Final Frontier.

The first time we all saw (except Khang because he was driving) the Grand Canyon was priceless.

We all simultaneously brokeout into “WOWs!!!!!”

The majesty of it completely caught me off guard. Makes sense why they call it “Grand”!

Worthy of its name.

Due to time (we had a 10pm flight to catch later that evening) we decided to hike the Bright Angel Trail for 20 minutes. No stops for photos so we could take in the views and 40 minutes to hike back with photos.

Also to set away time to have our official Jules Scouts “final pinning ceremony”.

I stood on a rock, had my scouts declare our creed.

Then I asked each of them to “step forth for their final pin of the Grand Canyon National Park”.

Not going to lie, we looked and sounded like a cult.

But I loved every freaking single second of it! 

And that’s a wrap!

Still so so much I left out, but I want to end this post with the actual day of my birthday (Monday).

I slept on the plane and landed at 6:30am in Charlotte. I had to be at work by 9:30am. That East Coast life.

I cried on my drive to work. Not because I was sad that my wonderful weekend ended or because I didn’t want to go to work.

Quite the opposite. 

My heart was so full, happy and overwhelmed with joy.

Happy for the time I spent with my loved ones, but mostly happy for all my family and friends in my life.

Grateful for a job I love and not once thought about “calling-out” because I care about my patients.

Life is so good.

And I’m beyond thankful for these past 30 years and look forward to the next 30 more.

So please, spare me the “oh you’re getting old” and the “dread crap” because I’m not having it.

Not at all. 

Thank you for reading and following along

with me,

Jules.

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