I watched this young lady grow from a squalling newborn into her teenage years. Looking at her now, I wonder where all the time went. As cliche as it may sound, it feels like only yesterday when she would trail after me, a tottering three-year-old, or an eight-year-old blurting out life truths far beyond her years. Now she stands upon the cusp of adulthood, only a mere two years before she leaves her youth behind forever. I feel a twinge of bittersweet nostalgia as I recall all the years we have spent together, two cousins bound by blood, then true friendship, always feeling as though time has passed much too fast. But I am proud of the mature young lady she has become, one with a depth of compassion and sensitivity that makes her seem far wiser than her number of years.
With the resurgence of superhero films, we see individuals with mighty powers and special abilities make war against evil and injustice. We see the bad guys lose, and we cheer. The day is won! Justice prevails! Then we go back to our ordinary lives, where evil doesn’t always look like one guy in a purple suit. Sometimes it’s hidden behind banality—hidden deep within human hearts.
I like to think of myself as someone fairly considerate of people with disabilities. Growing up with my mom taught me that. I was a Good Person. Tiffany Chu: Fearless Advocate of Disabled People. Or so I thought. But on the last day of our retreat in Shanghai, our team proceeded to quickly scramble out the door of our towering apartment complex; we had an appointment to make, you see. The subway station was an offensive two blocks away, and we had to get there. As our physically handicapped friends tottered behind, we physically capable beings stormed ahead, heedless of their struggles to keep up. I stole glances behind me, even as the distance grew between us—a painful reminder of the differences we had worked so hard to close over the past few days. But what did that matter when we had a subway to catch, an appointment to keep? I was torn between the desire to also keep up with the rest of the group, and the nagging thought that we should slow down …
Sometimes the greatest things in life are simple: a intimate gathering of loved ones, a celebration of love without all the fuss and frills of a large wedding. This is where you can look into the eyes of each person standing beside you on a momentous day, and remember every face shining with happiness for you. Sometimes love doesn’t need to be a grand display to be beautiful. Sometimes all you need is the small presence of that special community that brought you together. On August 3, two lovely souls became one, surrounded by the people that have supported them through the ups and downs of any committed relationship. On that day, they pressed their fingerprints upon the first page of a new journey, together.
North Park in southern San Diego has become known as the hipster foodie paradise, with cute new shops and restaurants springing up throughout the past few years. These places often provide unique backdrops for photographs, inviting artistic Instagram users to come and snap some truly adorable pictures to decorate their feeds with. One such cafe joining the ranks is Holy Matcha. Holy Matcha 3118 University Ave San Diego, CA 92104
Somewhere on a gorgeous street filled with historic character, a tiny, unassuming cafe lies hidden. Upon entering the little space, this cafe doesn’t look like much. A single smiling barista waits behind the counter to take your expensive order. After about twenty minutes, you receive your latte: a hand-crafted, unique 3-D artwork miraculously created from simple foam–a creation to take multiple pictures of and post to Instagram. And that, after all, is why you decided to come here in the first place. Love To Go 307 S Mission Dr San Gabriel, CA 91776 (626) 766-1066
There are few better ways to unwind after a long day than to collapse on a cushy sofa, shut off the brain, and enjoy an hour [or a couple] of effortless television-watching. Growing up, I didn’t watch much TV at all, but since marrying someone with a Netflix account, I’ve happily discovered the wonderful world of international television. Michael and I seem to prefer foreign shows [mainly British] over American, so this list reflects that preference. Ah, the American life: melting into a comfortable seat before a screen for hours until your body begins to mold itself to the couch, feeling your brain ooze into a glamorous pile of nothingness. What could be better?
Melodic strains of song streamed through the atmosphere, slicing through hardened hearts, the familiar words hitting their mark in a poignant new way. Open up my eyes to the things unseen. Show me how to love like you have loved me. A shiver ran through me as the reality of these words I’d heard countless times before sank into the depths of my spirit, still raw from the brokenness I had witnessed only weeks before. Break my heart for what breaks yours. Everything I am for your kingdom’s cause. I turned to my husband, usually so stoic, and with a shock saw tears endlessly streaming down his face. At the end of the service, as we walked out hand in hand, I asked him what had caused this uncharacteristic show of uncontrolled emotion. He paused a moment before replying, “I was thinking of my baby, and so many abandoned, unwanted babies in the world.”
It’s a tiny bit embarrassing to admit, but even though I have lived in San Diego my entire life, I have explored very little of my own city. To be fair, I relied on my parents to transport me anywhere for most of that time. 😛 So when I discovered a scenic drive all conveniently mapped out for us, I jumped at the chance to play the tourist and see more of our lovely San Diego. Content: Map of the scenic drive Cost: FREE! [unless you want souvenirs, food, and such]
During the rainy month of April, we ventured out into the lush state of Washington for a quick getaway. Discontent to linger in the busier city of Seattle, we instead made our home base on secluded Whidbey Island, about an hour’s drive from that great city. Surrounded by rolling green hills and towering pine trees, with intermittent showers and a moody landscape, we found ourselves at home among the whispering woods, waking to the cacophony of cheery bird songs in the early mornings. We took our slow, sweet time to explore this charming island, untouched by the frenzied environment that defines our usual daily lives. Here, one could breathe deeply, walk slowly, and absorb the ancient wisdom of the trees into our often unsettled minds.