Tag Archives: family

tumblr: Arts & Crafts / Design Binge: Arden’s 2nd Birthday…

Photo of Gift
Photo of Gift
Photo of Gift
Photo of Gift
Photo of Gift
Arts & Crafts / Design Binge: Arden’s 2nd Birthday Gift Package

It’s only Monday of my week off (official announcement at the end of the month, but hint— just treated myself to these new Dark Wash Neon Converse Oxfords in “Purple Cactus Flower”, perfect for taking the next big step in my life), but I’ve already gone on one arts & crafts / design project binge putting together the main part of my niece Arden’s second birthday package even though it’s still a couple of weeks out. (Obviously, I took these photos all Memento-style as I wrapped everything up and am now presenting them essentially backwards, as if opening the gift yourself, so: SPOILER ALERT for little Korean American girls named “Arden” who are almost 2 years old— quit snooping!)

Photo #1:
White gift box with rainbow color stripes and a curly silver ribbon, all mostly to hold the card…

Photo #2:
Now opened, another, smaller gift box is inside— dark purple decorated with pink and white glittery flowers and a handmade/homemade birthday card made from textured “Parakeet Green” card stock and a wide, pearly white vellum strip decorated with matching glittery stickers. Clipped to the front of the card are two pink “crystal” (plastic) butterfly hair clips (pair #1)— foreshadowing…

Photo #3: Inside the smaller, purple gift box are two pairs of gemstone butterfly hair clips in blue and purple (pairs #2 & #3). A fancier variation on the butterfly theme for special occasions.

Photo #4: Inside the card, a custom birthday message to my niece— granted, she may only understand the “Happy Birthday” part, but hopefully, she’ll hold onto this and have it to look at if and when she eventually looks back and reflects on this particular time in our family’s life.

Photo #5: And finally, of course, the copyright and credit label on the back— I’m playing around with the company name “With An S” or something like that.

What do you think?

Posted via tumblr: http://ift.tt/1gwpcbO published on March 24, 2014 at 11:02PM

tumblr: Warning: Greeting Card Level Sentimentality Ahead Despite this…

Warning: Greeting Card Level Sentimentality Ahead

Despite this post, I’m not really a greeting card nut— I buy them regularly for a small handful of family and friends, usually for birthdays, but for every store-bought greeting card I send, I probably also send a homemade handmade card that I design and make myself on the computer, with specialty paper and other good “arts & craft” stuff, using a generic “Happy Birthday!” or “Happy Holidays” inside along with the same message I would have written inside if it was a store-bought card.

But weirdly— or maybe not so weirdly, considering how much effort I put into the cards I make myself— when I do use a store-bought greeting card, I take a fair amount of time picking one out because I actually care about the message. Now, I know this is kind of a chick thing, as Kevin James illustrates here so hilariously. But really, I respect the written word a lot and I take a lot of care in what I write by my own hand, so why wouldn’t I be just as particular about picking a pre-written, mass-marketed message to speak for me? Especially when they’re really long and get into the particular beauties of whatever relationship the card is supposed to be part of, but it’s like I hate lying so much that I won’t even send a superficially nice card if I don’t agree with every word of it. I’d rather just send a cheesy card with a picture of dynamite on the front and the message “Hope your birthday’s a blast!” (and write in my own sappy words) than one with an intricate floral design and a long poem talking about how you carried me through my toughest moments, without judgment or a harsh word, blah, blah, blah, if it’s not 100% true. Call me a freak, but hey, that’s just me.

Of course, this is all a roundabout way of getting around to the fact that I DID find a greeting card with the lace and flowers and the long poem that I really did like and wanted to send because I liked the message. Ironically, I found it while on the phone with my mom, browsing through a Walgreens to kill time before the next train home.

So, here it is— this has been an incredible difficult year for my entire family, as a whole and individually, and we continue to struggle each day, but on my mom’s birthday today (or at least the day we celebrate it— don’t even get me started on lunar vs solar calendars), I have to acknowledge not only how amazingly strong she is— she’s the strongest person I know, probably— but how much she has been my support and comfort through one of the most difficult year— yearS really— of my life, even when she has had every reason and right to be more pre-occupied with, thinking and worrying, about the unbelievably tough things she was going through everyday. I’ll let the card say the rest (pictured above, text below— I’m probably violating some type of greeting card copyright or fair use doctrine, but whatever):

A mom’s love is an unspoken promise,
to be kind,
to be wise,
to be there.

It’s hard to describe
how much it means
having a mom like you…
the joy that comes
from being loved,
the confidence that comes
from being believed in,
the sense of security that comes
from knowing
there’s always someone
to depend on…

It’s hard hard to describe how much you
Because you mean so very much.

Happy Birthday

Posted via tumblr: http://ift.tt/1huGr9K published on March 17, 2014 at 10:02PM

tumblr: Only took 3 days to make (sort of— most of that time is…

Only took 3 days to make (sort of— most of that time is waiting for the fresh ginger + sugar base “marinate” in the fridge), but now I can mix & heat up Mommy’s ginger tea at the office— that little 12 oz (1.5 cup) Martinelli’s bottle of concentrated tea will easily yield at least 3 big mug-fulls of yummy tea for both health and comfort. Will post recipe soon.

Posted via tumblr: http://sindyjlee.tumblr.com/post/72573350828 published on January 07, 2014 at 11:04AM

tumblr: Happy New Year All! Too bad I never want to crawl out of this…

Happy New Year All! Too bad I never want to crawl out of this lovely cocoon, bundled up inside one of my favorite blankets I brought back from NY. My grandmother originally brought it with her when she immigrated from Korea— you can maybe make one, but definitely can’t buy a blanket like this in America.

Posted via tumblr: http://sindyjlee.tumblr.com/post/71891023510 published on January 01, 2014 at 02:48PM

tumblr: One of the best parts of being home: by the time I get up and…

One of the best parts of being home: by the time I get up and come downstairs, my mom has already been up for hours and is ready with a list of breakfast options. This morning- 빈대떡! (Bindaetteok- type of Korean pancake; just Google it…)

Posted via tumblr: http://sindyjlee.tumblr.com/post/71422779750 published on December 28, 2013 at 08:46AM

tumblr: My uncle is quite a talented artist with no formal…

Cigarette Carton Floral

Magic Marker Diptychs

My uncle is quite a talented artist with no formal training— as is often the case, life got in the way of him possibly becoming a professional artist, but still, he often creates amazing drawings like these with the simplest and most inexpensive materials.

For example, the first piece above is around 20+ years old and you can’t really tell from the photo or even when it’s framed and hanging up on the wall unless you get up close, but there are a few horizontal creases because his “canvas” was the blank side of an opened/flattened cigarette carton. I even remember him creating a big, gorgeous watercolor on a cheap paper tablecloth.

The bottom two pieces were from a sketchbook full of drawings my uncle did with just whatever pens/markers were available while he was visiting my parents for a few days (I think to help them fix up the back porch/deck a bit— he’s also got some great carpentry skills).

Rather than try to align them perfectly for a single frame, I’ll probably hang the bottom two as diptychs, but either way, I can’t wait to get home and hang up all three!

Posted via tumblr: http://sindyjlee.tumblr.com/post/71335658801 published on December 27, 2013 at 12:17PM

tumblr: As you can see, a lot of it had already melted away by the…

Photo of backyard of parents' home in upstate NY

As you can see, a lot of it had already melted away by the afternoon, but I did wake up to nice little layer of snow. Instead of a “White Christmas”, I was going to wish everyone a “Happy White Boxing Day”, but that sounds like some weird white supremacist, pugilistic holiday, so instead, let’s just go with “Happy White Day After Christmas”.

Posted via tumblr: http://sindyjlee.tumblr.com/post/71252353263http://sindyjlee.tumblr.com/post/71252353263) published on December 26, 2013 at 04:39PM

Helicopter Parents and Gender-Neutral Housing

Here’s an unfortunate situation: Karin Morin, a Stanford student’s mother, goes to the helicopter parent extreme, writing a National Review article, complaining about her daughter’s gender neutral housing assignment. Sadly, as her daughter Daisy Morin comments herself in this New York Times blog comment and covered in this Daily article, a family argument has turned into national news. Interestingly, although gender-neutral housing is a new housing option introduced to several campus residences, gender neutral room assignments have been a part of co-op life for decades through the consensus decision-making process practiced in these houses– one of which is Columbae, where Daisy lived in a quad with another female and two males (FYI, the quad is a very large, but single room). Daisy was completely aware going into the house (or even submitting the house as a choice during the housing draw process) that a co-ed rooming situation was a possibility and knowing this, was comfortable not only living in the house, but being assigned such a room even though she was not even present at the meeting where the decision was made.

Here’s one of the most troubling paragraphs from the National Review article:

By its own terms, Stanford is failing to live up to its housing contract. As parents, Stanford holds us responsible for payment of our daughter’s bill. We, in turn, expected Stanford to enforce the terms of its own housing contract. It should not be acceptable for any group of students to alter the conditions of that contract. Furthermore, it should not be up to individual students to determine whether to protest a housing arrangement which so obviously violates this contract. There would clearly be social difficulties for any student who protested. Thus, it is Stanford that should rectify the situation.

In reality, Stanford holds the student responsible for payment of her bill, not her parents. And why shouldn’t it be up the individual student to make a complaint? If a student is unhappy with her housing assignment or feels that the housing contract has been violated, it’s up to that student to speak up. Social difficulties are a part of life and especially part of speaking your voice– if you’re not willing to endure the possible social difficulties, then you’re saying the issue is not important enough to you.

In any case, the article is riddled with unfortunate comments– when you read Daisy’s various responses to the article and if you know anything about co-op housing, which I’m sure Daisy did before choosing to live in Columbae– you’ll see that this is a parent blaming Stanford for the differences between her daughter and herself. Karin didn’t even find out about the rooming situation until the end (during winter break) and makes it sound like her daughter was unhappy with the room assignment, saying “she didn’t ask for this room arrangement” and that “she doesn’t want to upset everyone’s consensus arrangements.” She didn’t even get the reason why her daughter wasn’t at the meeting right (she appointed a proxy because she was on a plane, not because she had a friend visiting). In general, Karin expresses a sense of entitlement, that she had the right to know everything about her daughter’s life at Stanford. Unfortunately, that’s not the way it works– while FERPA provides students with access and control over their education records, it also specifically limits to what parents have access. Specifically, when the child turns eighteen, the child takes responsibility of her education records and schools are not required to notify parents of general information that does not directly apply to the student or even answer questions about the student. At the end of the day, it is a rights and privacy act, with the student at the center.

Karin, in response to her daughter’s decision to live in the co-ed room during fall and winter quarter, pulled financial support for her daughter’s final quarter at Stanford, making Daisy take $3,000 in loans (in addition to the loans her original financial aid package included). Given that her daughter is, being well over eighteen, an adult, that’s certainly Karin’s prerogative, but at the same time– again, as an adult– Daisy should be free to make her own decisions. In the course of a lifetime, those few thousand dollars is a small price for Daisy to pay for her freedom and an ultimately trivial amount over which her mother is making a gesture simply to prove a point. (Ironically, her parents pulled financial support for the current spring quarter during which Daisy is actually living in a single-gender room. Co-ops often switch around room assignments each quarter as part of the consensus decision-making process.) I completely empathize and sympathize with Daisy as a member of a sometimes overbearing family and while I hope she works out this disagreement with her parents, I also hope she stays confident that she had and has the right to make her own choices.