be THAT girl that loves her Mama…

EVERYTHING I AM, YOU HELPED ME BECOME…

Where do I even begin when it comes to sharing how special my Mom is. I’m sure most of us feel the same way right? Or maybe I’m one of the lucky ones? Being a Mom myself now, I realize just how patient, kind, and selfless she actually is. My Mama is such a great example of how to be a Mother! What I love most about her though is her capacity to love. She has the biggest heart when it comes to loving unconditionally. Let me explain….

Quite a few years ago, my Grandma Takahashi was diagnosed with cancer. After years of treatment, my Grandpa couldn’t take care of Grandma so my Mom, as well as some of her other siblings, would go help them out when they could. Eventually they needed someone there 24/7. My Grandpa was deteriorating from old age and Grandma from her cancer. Mom lived with them 6 days a week for a long time. Eventually they both passed away. This was not only taxing on my Mom but my Dad basically was a bachelor most of that time. They got through it…they have the most incredible marriage…but what an act of selflessness on my Mom’s part. She doesn’t regret those years of helping them out. She was able to spend those years getting to know her parents better and was able to be there when both of them passed. How beautiful is that.

About 4 years ago we went through a huge change and made a life decision that rocked all of us. It was not an easy decision but one we felt was best for us. I remember calling my Mom and bawling to her. She just listened while I tried to form words between my sobs. I remember her saying to me, “you do what you need to do….we will still love you and support you”. In that moment I knew that regardless of whether or not they thought we were making the right decision, that her and my dad would not shame us or make us feel like we we had to follow the herd to be loved. And they have continued to do just that.

My Mom has been a huge part of who I am becoming. She continues to push me to be a better version of myself….not by what she tells me but by what she models. Her determination is one that cannot be reviled. My Mom is 68 and is in the best shape of her life. I believe it was after her parents passed she decided to take up body building and man has she ever impressed me with her discipline. 5 to 6 days a week she is in the gym working out, eating healthy and drinking all her water plus more I’m sure because she always has to do a little bit more than what is expected. LOL! I don’t know a more talented human. Whatever she wants to learn or do she does it 110%! Almost a fault….when she learns something she makes 500 of them instead of just a few.

Mom…I sure love and appreciate you and who you are. You have the ability to make EVERYONE feel like they matter. I know that there are many people that have had the opportunity to feel that unconditional love you give. My hope is that one day I can be at least half the incredible human you are for my family and friends.

Happy Mother’s Day Mama!!

be THAT human…

Racism is the refuge for the IGNORANTS

Changing it up today. be THAT human.

I have to address a problem that is happening in our own neck of the woods friends. I spoke with a friend the other day about an incident that happened to her 19 year old daughter while working in a coffee shop….

A gentleman, who really doesn’t deserve this name but that’s what I’ll call him, goes into his regular coffee shop where he orders a coffee made by one of the sweetest young ladies I know. In previous encounters, they have had great conversations but that day he was different. As she hands him his coffee he says to her, “this is all your fucking fault…your people brought this virus into our country” and then proceeded to leave. The young girl is Asian.

As an Asian girl myself who grew up in a small community where the Asian population was less than 1%, if that, I know all too well what it feels like to be discriminated against. I remember hating my ethnicity and just wanted to be the same race as the majority. That way I wouldn’t stick out and then no one would tease me about my eyes or the colour of my skin. (As a child that made perfect sense to me) After I graduated and moved forward with my life, I embraced all of me that was different and I was grateful for my heritage.

To me, racist comments like the one that was thrown at my dear friend are considered hate crimes. What was said was uncalled for, hurtful and just downright ignorant. THIS IS NOT OKAY!!! EVER!!! EVER!!! EVER!!! It is not okay to shame an innocent young girl that is just trying to do her job and brighten someone’s day. WE ARE A HUMAN RACE made up of all sorts of colour, shapes, & sizes. Should we not be holding space for everyone? Should we not be showing as much kindness and compassion towards our fellow humans? Should we not be lifting each other during such an uncertain whirlwind of emotions? Should we not be comforting those that truly need it? YES WE SHOULD! These are unprecedented times where we need to all stand together UNITED!!

STOP with the name calling! STOP with the vandalism to businesses because they employ Asians! We all bleed the same colour. We all have a heart. We are all the same species. We are all in this together. I know the anger is fueled by fear. It’s okay to be afraid. I think it’s safe to say that we all feel it. So instead of lashing out and hurting others with your words or your fists, remember that HUMANITY IS OUR RACE.

Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.

Barack Obama

Be the change. Be the human that people respect. Be the human that shows acceptance. Be the human that doesn’t see colour. Be the human that your kids can be proud of. Be THAT human.

be THAT girl that feels the feelings

feel the feeling but don’t become the emotion. acknowledge it, allow it, & release it….

I am writing this on day 4 or quarantine…I’m sure we are all at the point where we have been feeling extremely emotional saying goodbye to our former normal. I know it has been for me and for most of my family & friends. In these uncertain times we start to let our emotions take over which does not serve us, or the people around us, well if we don’t know how to release those emotions. Let’s all be mindful that we need to feel the feelings but becoming the emotion is hazardous to our own health and well-being. Most of us have learned how to suppress our emotions from a very young age. We learn to “get over it” and not deal with that emotion which will absolutely resurface at a later time where we will repeat the same reaction of suppression.

Learning how to process the emotion while feeling the feelings is something that I am still working on. In fact…it’s something that I had to do today. I’m not an expert….let’s just state that fact….but I feel the need to share with my friends what works for me. Take it or leave it. I won’t be offended.

If there is one thing that I have learned over the years…feel your feelings. You hear people say that all the time. What does that mean? To me, it means that whatever feeling arises, I need to honor it and just let it take over my body for a while. Let that feeling come over you like a huge wave and feel it. It will be painful and it will make you ugly cry….well, at least it makes me ugly cry. Like I legit look like an Asian Yoda with tears. And even when I’m all cried out then I look like Hulk Hogan took a few rounds outta me and left me with a very swollen face. (I’m sure you get the picture) When we deny our feelings that can cause us to choose undesired or harmful behavior. Which is never good for any of us.

Once we learn to feel those feelings, we need to acknowledge where those feelings are being stored. For example, some feel tension in our muscles, some feel a sharp pain in an undesired place, some eat, some feel it in the gut and some just feel that “heavy” feeling everywhere. For myself, it us usually a heavy feeling felt in my gut or tension in my muscles. This feeling has caused many sleepless nights. Did you know that motion unwinds emotion? For myself, getting myself in the gym and working out has been the best way for me to unwind. I first started hitting the gym to lose weight but soon realized that it was serving my mental and emotional health far beyond my physical health. Some days when I feel especially emotional, I lay on my yoga mat and meditate after my workout. I turn down the lights, lay on my back comfortably, take really deep breaths and I focus on the inhale and exhale. I think about what emotion I am feeling…I acknowledge it, and then in my mind say…”thank you (emotion…whatever it is) good-bye” and I visualize the word of that emotion actually being blown out with each exhale. I can’t explain the peace I feel after I have let go of those pent up emotions. When we are unbalanced it will cause us to be in a very negative mindset which isn’t good for any of us.

I know this all may sound completely silly but I’m just sharing what works for myself. I’m curious what works for you? Feel free to share your ideas…no judgement on my part but I’d love to hear.

Hang in there friends! I will be posting more and more since I have a little more time on my hands. Haha! We are all in this together.

be THAT girl that doesn’t stress over things she cannot change

don’t stress yourself out with things you can’t control or change…

Well friends….I don’t know about you but I am still trying to wrap my head around our new normal. I think what is so difficult to process is the fact that this is uncharted territory for everyone. No one really knows how to move forward in the midst of this chaos. That can be a very scary time for all of us. So, here are my thoughts on the whole thing. STAY CALM.

A lot has happened in the last week alone and there is still more change coming. We can choose to lose our damn minds and let our thoughts spiral us into a tailspin of panic and depression OR we can calm the fuck down and process what our new normal is going to look like. I feel like this is the time to settle in…work together as a human race and as indivuduals. We are all in this together. We are more than just ourselves, we are a community that spans the earth. We need to be asking ourselves what we can do for each other. How can we help each other get through this epidemic as best we can? What does that look like to you? We can all play a part in the prevention and spread of this virus.

I read a beautiful statement by Kitty O’Meara that made me really think about how I’m going to handle this situation…..

And the people stayed home. And read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art and played games and learned new ways of being, and were still. And listened more deeply. Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met their shadows. And the people began to think differently.

And the people healed. And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways, the earth began to heal. And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they had been healed.

Friends, we cannot change what is happening, but we can sure as hell control our actions moving forward as a human race navigating our new normal. What that looks like is completely up to you. For myself and my family, we will do our part in taking the recommended precautions to help aid in not spreading the virus. We will take this time to connect with each other, to strengthen each other and to support one another. There is strength in UNITY…which begins with U!

be THAT girl who knows she’s a good mama

it’s like no one in my family appreciates that I stayed up all night overthinking them…

This is gonna be a long one friends so get cozy….

We have raised each of these incredible humans basically the same and they are all so very different. They each came with their own personalities which is what I absolutely love about them. Life would be so boring if we were all the same. Because we are not all the same and none of our kiddos came with a user manual, we are not going to know how to raise them the “right” way. We will make mistakes. We will not always know the answer. But one thing is for sure…we will do our very best!

I remember when Awesome and I were dating and we had the discussion about kids…you know…the one where you decide how many kids you want to have. I only wanted 2 kids. Awesome wanted lots. Almost a deal breaker but I was far too attracted to his hot legs to give a shit so I brushed it off and figured I would get my way regardless cause I am the girl. Haha! Soon after we were married and I wanted to start having babies, I quickly changed my mind on how many littles I actually wanted. I loved the thought of a big family, maybe not as big as his but bigger than mine. I don’t think we were ever set on a specific number we just figured we’d just know. Each one of our babes were planned…well, except one but that ended in a miscarriage. That’s another story for another day. I remember having number 5 and thinking to myself…can I do this again? Let me just say…do not decide that right after you pushed that watermelon out of your pinhole with no drugs.

Now, our number 5 was not an easy baby. In fact, I’m pretty sure I nicknamed him Satan. LOL! He was the worst sleeper EVER!! Picture this, Awesome’s last year of University (his 9th year). I birth a baby. One week later Awesome begins his last year of dental school. I’m up every hour to feed Satan. I have 4 other kiddos that need me all day (Kato had just turned 7, Kami was 5, Mari was 3, Mak was 1 1/2). By the time the hubby got home, I was ready for a nap. I clearly couldn’t keep functioning like this. I was on the verge of a break-down. So, Awesome being his awesome self, he offered to sleep on the couch with Satan every other night so that at least one of us was getting a good night’s sleep and could recharge. Oh….In case you are wondering….I was not nursing. We put a stop to me nursing when I had the first one. It did not work for us. Anyhoo, after about 4 months of “shift work” for us, he finally started to sleep a few hours at a time so we could get back to a “normal” sleeping schedule.

I remember when number 5 was about 3 years old, I begged Awesome for another baby. I knew that we were supposed to have one more. I just never felt complete even though my sleep deprivation could’ve been the one making the decision….who knows. He was a definite “HELL NO!” At about year 7 of bugging him, I finally accepted the fact that we would not adding another little Aneca to the bunch. Plus I started to do the math and figured that I was getting to old to be a mom. Keep in mind, I started at the ripe old age of 22. I was now 36…obviously too old right? (face in palm)

Well, as you all know, number six found his way into our family when I was 39. Ya…a story for another day but just like I knew, we were not complete until our little Daisuke (Dice) joined us. As hard as it all was to wrap our heads around the idea of a baby 10 years later, he has been the biggest blessing we could’ve asked for. He is such a good mix of all of us combined. He is definitely the center of our universe.

We have been through some really significant changes in our home in the last 4 years. We had a baby and left a religion that basically outlined our existence and purpose. No big deal right? LOL! Needless to say, as our family has grown up and moved forward, we have been through some major speed bumps. Through all of this change we have tried to do our very best in parenting our children with a new set of guidelines that we are still navigating. If there is one thing I know, it’s that in every decision and choice we have made, we have done it because we love our crew so fiercely and want them to succeed in life. Are we the perfect parents? NO! Are we fucking up? ABSOLUTELY! Will we continue to make mistakes? YOU KNOW IT! None of us are getting it right…in fact, I would say that it’s basically a crap-shoot.

So mamas….give yourself some grace. Believe that you are doing a good job and keep trying. That’s all you can do. I see you. I understand hard days….trust me I do. I have a teenage adult. I GET IT! I have those days too where I feel like an absolute failure as a mom. I have those days where I wonder where I went wrong. I have those days where I cry and make it about me. But I also have those days when those little shits hug me, text me, write me notes or even just smile at me, where I know I’ve done something right. Relish in those moments. Allow yourself to take some credit for the good things that they do or say. What I’ve learned is that I can’t control their choices but I can control my choices and how I am going to handle each situation that doesn’t go my way. Just like I need them to be patient with me, I need to be patient with them as they make mistakes and grow. Is it painful to watch them do that? ABSO-FREAKIN-LUTELY!! It has brought me to tears on multiple occasions but I keep going back to the fact that I know I’ve done my very best and that’s all I can do.

No judgement here Mamas! You go this.

P.S. Number 5 is no longer Satan….he is the kindest, sweetest, funny and quiet child ever!

be THAT girl that empowers other women to be THAT girl

“find a group of women who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life”

~amy poehler~

I’ve always wanted to be THAT girl that empowers other women to be amazing. I just love how it makes me feel. I love being that girl in someone else’s corner cheering her on because I’ve had that. I truly believe that friendship over competition wins every frickin time!

I have always wanted to create a community where there is no judgement. Where everyone feels like they have a seat at the table. A place where you walk away feeling like your cup was filled and you are ready to take on your life! There is nothing more frustrating and draining than listening to other women talk negatively about other amazing women who are struggling or are different than us. Those are not my people and I hope those are not your people as well.

I can confidently say that I have such a fantastic tribe of women around me that I feel are going in the same direction. We may have our own paths that we are taking but we are all trying to level up and become the very best versions of ourselves. I love that each one of us has a different journey and has something different to offer. Strength lies in differences, not in similarities. That is the beauty of humanity. We all come from a diverse background and have a different story to tell but if we include each other on the way to our destination and value who they are, we could actually help make a change in each others lives.

Here’s a story….this is how I got the name for my blog. I threw out a question quite a few months ago on Facebook, “If I was to start a blog what would the name be?” and had some really great feedback but nothing was resonating with me. I came across a quote on Pinterest that kinda grabbed my attention but didn’t quite give me that “hell ya!!” moment. Fast forward a few months later, we had a meeting for The Urban Farmwife with our little team. We lunched and wined and had a great visit. That evening one of our gang sent me a quote that said, “BE THAT GIRL WHO ROOTS FOR THE OTHER GIRL, TELLS A STRANGER HER HAIR LOOKS AMAZING AND ENCOURAGES OTHER WOMEN TO BELIEVE IN THEMSELVES AND THEIR DREAMS” BOOM!! My mind started to go in so many directions! From that moment on, I knew that was the name I was looking for. So, THANK YOU Anais…you inspired me and I will be forever grateful. Friends…find your tribe and love them hard. You’ve heard that a million times but that’s because it’s true.