Scenes From My Week 09.17.14

Conversations over tea and pastries…

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A little boy and his train set…

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Coffee…

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…and pomegranates.

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This week has been SUPER busy, I can’t even begin to say. But there were so many good moments, so many beautiful snippets of light and yumminess amidst the crazy, so who am I to complain?

Hope you all have a fabulous week! See you at Communal Global and Little Things Thursday!

Little by Little



A Momentous Week! 09.10.14

cover-a My book, The Yellow Suitcase, is now on sale on Amazon, starting Sept 10! Here is the back cover copy:

In a sleepy riverside town in the heart of Thailand, Ae Lin, a former Bangkok bar girl determined to put a painful history behind her, pours her passions into her new coffee shop and her resolve to create a life of her own making. But the past comes to find her in the form of an estranged and angry sister who insists she fulfill one remaining family obligation: to visit and pay respect to their dying father – which is the last thing she wants to do. As Ae Lin grapples with the desire to flee and the pressures to return, she meets Sai Kyin, a refugee from Burma, who had no choice but to leave home and all he loved behind. Prompted by the guidance of Luang Paw, a rather unconventional Buddhist monk, the stories of Ae Lin’s and Sai Kyin’s traumas converge as their memories unfold, in a tale about what happens to the fallen and what it takes to heal.

The Yellow Suitcase is an exploration of the devastating effects of dark family secrets where the lines between victim and perpetrator, and innocence and guilt, become increasingly blurred. The novel offers a poignant and heartbreaking portrait of the deepest kinds of betrayal, and a thoughtful rumination on forgiveness, healing, and the power of truth.

Click on the link above (the book’s title), or the button in the sidebar at right to order your copy today!

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In other big news, Cy became a one-year-old today! We of course celebrate a person’s birthday, but now I kind of feel like parents need to be celebrated on birthdays too–for managing to keep their kid alive that long! Haha, I’m kidding of course, but it sure does feel like a personal milestone.

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Speaking of milestones, Cy just took his first real unassisted steps yesterday, the day before he turned one! He had taken a couple at my mom’s house a few days before, but he was really for real walking yesterday. I’m excited and also trepidatious as I’m sure now I’ll really have to start running after him, with all the new kinds of trouble he’ll find to get into. He’s also started clapping his hands, putting them together in a wai (the Thai way of greeting) when we say, “Sawatdee krap,” and dancing when he hears music or any kind of beat. His dancing is so cute, especially when he adds a little extra butt wiggle.

To celebrate his birthday, we took him for his first trip to the zoo. His eyes were saucer-wide. I think his favorite part was feeding the animals.

We fed sheep:

sheepAnd a giraffe:

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An elephant:

elephunkAnd….a jaguar, ’cause why not.

jaguarHis eyes were so big and serious when he was feeding the elephant in particular. I’m not sure he even processed seeing the whole elephant; I think he might have only been aware of this long hairy trunk coming at him. But he was undaunted.

I can’t wait to take him again!

Thanks for stopping by this week and sharing in our celebrations! Join in for more fun around the world at Communal Global and Little Things Thursday!

Little by Little



Scenes From My Week 09.03.14

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My book is available for pre-order on Amazon now! Order your copy of The Yellow Suitcase today, and receive it on your e-reader automatically, when the book becomes available September 10!

 

 

 

 

 

Some sights from walking around our neighborhood…

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I love these trees with their huge, huge leaves. Each one must be at least a foot and a half to two feet long!

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And, of course, Cy Batman.

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Little by Little



Scenes From My Week 08.27.14

_1070426This week’s post is short as I’m using all my spare moments to finish up the final details of publishing my book, which I’m aiming to release on September 10. But I want to share this other little detail that’s been going on over here. Lately, I’ve really been wanting to fill my home with more living things–the green kind that is. Plants and flowers. A home feels more homey when vases are full of blossoms and little corners are dotted with potted herbs.

_1070421I’m giving it a go with these adorable little succulents I found. But the problem is I am cursed when it comes to plants. I’m the only person I know capable of killing mint while actively trying to keep it alive. I need a plant that is hardy, sturdy, and determined. One that prefers the dark (since there aren’t many plant-friendly (read: out of reach of child & dog) spots in the house that get good sunlight), doesn’t need too much attention, and still manages to look pretty when left untended. Whatever that plant is…that’s the kind I need.

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In the meantime, I also found these adorable little bud vases. _1070460

There are several empty fields and houses that I walk by every day when I take Cy out for walks, and in rainy season, there are always little blooms popping up every where._1070462

So I steal a few fresh flowers and brighten my little home. And little cute things make my heart happy.

Little by Little



Scenes From My Week 08.13.14

Three things to share with you this week!

First off, my little ham:_1070329 _1070336 _1070343 _1070344

Second, some fresh flowers and herbs to brighten up the day:
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And third, I’m publishing a book, and I’m inviting YOU to help me choose a book cover design! Head over to THIS POST HERE to find out the details and enter for a chance to win the giveaway too!
three covers

And don’t forget to join us at Communal Global and Little Things Thursday!

Little by Little



Scenes From My Week 08.06.14

I’d like you all to meet Lian._1070232

His mama is my neighbor, and she so graciously let me take pictures of this precious little angel baby.

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This is his guardian protector. He does a good job.

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I’m so thankful to have a mama friend so close by too! It makes such a difference; so much less lonely. I just can’t wait to get to know little Lian too.

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He’s got some big footsteps to grow into.

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But loving hands to hold him.

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And toes just begging to be nibbled.

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They sure do make a beautiful couple, don’t they?

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A couple of weeks ago I mentioned I had some big (for me) news to share…Well, I just want to say: I will be making my announcement THIS WEEK! Check back here on FRIDAY and I will let you know what bee’s been buzzing around in my bonnet! I can’t wait–hope you’ll be half as excited as me!

In the meantime, join the party at Communal Global & Little Things Thursday!

Little by Little



Scenes From My Week 07.30.13

As a birthday present, my family treated me to a massage at my favorite spa in town._1070212

It’s a great place for R&R, they do a wonderful job, and part of what I love are all the little details, like orchids on the pillows, candle lanterns to light your room…_1070214

…and pretty cups of tea to soothe you before and after._1070216

Little details go such a long way!

Little by Little



Scenes From My Week 07.23.14

Life is slowly settling back down to normal again, and we were able to even spend some time this weekend getting out into the city a bit. Sometimes, it’s too easy to get holed up in the house taking care of the basic necessities._1070193 _1070194

And then sometimes getting out into the world for a bit, and shoving the to-do list aside is one of those basic necessities. Fresh air for the soul._1070195 _1070197

In other news, we’ve just had our floors redone. We used to have dark slate tile floors, but whatever kind of sealant they had on there was coming up in sticky pieces that adhered themselves to everything they touched, including Cy’s skin. It would get stuck to his hands while he crawled, getting them covered in sealant and pieces of slate that he would then stick in his mouth. I assumed this was unhealthy. I called our landlord about it, and miraculously, graciously, she put in new floors for us.

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It’s laminate, and it doesn’t match any of the other wood in the house, but I think it’s actually quite pretty. It’s much lighter so it brightens up the house. Plus the laminate is super smooth and soft, making it so much easier to clean, and better for Cy to crawl and tumble around on. So all in all, I call it a win._1070181

I was going to end the post there, but now I want to say there’s actually quite a bit going on over here and I want to tell you all about it, but it won’t all fit in one post. I’ll need to tackle it one piece at a time, in whatever spare moments I can snag when Toby can watch Cy for me: a bit on where I am in the grand scheme of things, on homesickness, the trip home and coming back again and how that’s affected me; a bit of news, and a leap of courage I’m about to make; and thoughts on traveling with a baby, to name a few.

I don’t mean to torture you with such annoyingly oblique details! I just want to say there’s a lot on my mind, and I’m sorry if this space has been spare lately, but lots of new stuff is coming real soon. So please stay tuned!

Little by Little



Getting Back Into The Groove

_1070118I think this is the longest hiatus I’ve taken from this space since I first started it in…2008, I think? Our trip to the U.S. was so good and so worth it, but so exhausting. And when we came back, we were all sick to boot. It took two weeks to kick that cold.

We’re recovering, by degrees, though routine and normalcy are still only vague notions on a shelf we just can’t quite reach. I’m the kind of tired where I make some decisions, as a parent, that I wouldn’t make if I could just have one day off. But I can’t have a day off. Parenthood is for life, so I do the best I can and try to do better next time.

But that’s just to explain why I haven’t managed to get to the computer lately. There are lots of fun things to share, and I hope to snag little moments in which to share them with you too.

Little things like:

- celebrating Germany winning the world cup
_1070136Toby played hookey from work yesterday to bask in the glow of Deutschland’s win. (I didn’t follow much, but I did follow enough to see Brazil’s total humiliation. Wow, that was heartbreaking to see, wasn’t it?)

- eating treats

_1070155 _1070157We found a new place to hang out, poke around shops, people watch…and it involves sweet ice treats and fresh mango? Who could complain about life when there’s such simple bliss to be had? Not this girl.

So tired.

So tired.

Oh the tired.

Oh the tired.

- making friends

_1070164 _1070166Cy attracts the ladies wherever we go.

- reaching milestones

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Hmmm...he might need another haircut.

Hmmm…he might need another haircut.

_1070163This little imp is getting really good at standing up all by himself. He’s also figured out how to stack blocks, not just knock them down. He seems to say “Mama” and “Papa” a little more purposefully now, and once, when we tried to get him to say “Dot” he said “Da.” And, while he has always loved when I read to him, he has reached this new stage where he starts crying when I get to the end of the book. If I read it over again, he’ll stop crying…until I get to the end again, whereupon the world ends again and out come the tears. It’s like he’s distraught that the story is over…which, okay, frankly, I can sympathize with. But it does make it so I’m reticent to read to him, when it’s going to just induce tears every time!

Anyway, that’s just a little snippet of what’s going on over here. Tell me what have I missed in your corner of the world? Were you following the World Cup? Have you been out and about, enjoying the summer? I’d love to hear!

Thing I Love About Cy Today: When he eats something tasty, he sometimes says, “Mmmm!”

Little by Little