two years in

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This month we’re celebrating two years of marriage. Two years already! Time sure flies when you’re having fun and popping out babies. I’m not gonna front, marriage takes work! The transition from married couple to family of 3 has been bumpy. We’re often exhausted, stressed about this or that and trying hard to figure out our groove as parents. Ya know, grown folk’s growing pains. Despite it all, our family unit feels strong and we’re so fortunate to live the life we do. My dreams have come true thanks to my wife.  

I love you, babe. Thank you for all that you do! xo

missing our girl

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missing-our-girl-the-original-mb

You guys, it’s been just about a year since our darling girl, Clementine, passed away. I haven’t really written about her until now because it was such a heartbreak for us. Since she passed we adopted 2 cats and had a baby so our hearts are plenty full with love these days. Still, we adored that complicated, guarded, mysterious, loving, smart, gorgeous dog. We loved her so much – even though we had her for such a short time. Her ashes sit on our mantel and her pictures are still on display in our house. I’d never had a dog before Clem. I had no idea what kind of companionship and intense love she would bring. Towards the end it was just her and I, every day, hanging at home. I was in my 1st trimester and tbh I used her as my practice baby. She required a lot of care and patience and I was there to gladly give it to her. We adopted her from Taiwan through an international rescue organization called Guardian Angels International Rescue. They’re based here in Northern California. Holly and I went back and forth about whether to adopt a puppy or an older dog. When a new co-worker mentioned that she volunteered with this org I casually browsed their website. When I saw Clementine (named Ava then) I just knew that she was mine. Her estimated age was 3 years old. She was a bit rough around the edges as she was found abandoned on the street. Her teeth were in badly rotted and broken; evidence, they said, of her trying to chew her way out of something or somewhere. There were also clear signs that she’d had babies at some point. She was oh-so-shy and very wary of people and her surroundings. That was partially due to her breed and partially due to her past. It took some time for her to trust us. I know what you’re probably thinking: WOW. Could you have chosen a MORE COMPLICATED pet? Probably not. But, the heart wants what it wants. And even after how things turned out, I’m glad that she became mine – absolutely N O  R E G R E T S. During the last couple weeks of her life we were in and out of the emergency room and the animal hospital like she was our human child. Fluid kept filling her lungs and the space around her heart. Fucking cancer. She was so young! Many tears were shed, toooooo much $$ was spent. One late night, her body began to just break down and stop working. H woke me up from a dead sleep to tell me that it was time to put her down. Man, I never would’ve imagined that it would hurt that much. Letting her go. Afterwards, H and I discussed whether it’s worse to lose a dog that you’re just falling in love with or a dog that you’ve had for years. To my surprise, she said that Clem was harder to lose than her old pal Cosmo whom she had for 15 years. She said that it’s the expectation, and all of the lost potential that hurts. You make a commitment and expect to go through life milestones with this pet by your side. But it never does happen.  We miss you, we love you, we’ll never ever forget you, darling Clementine. xo

a day in the city

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Judah + I recently took the ferry over to the City on a gorgeous, sunny day. We met up with Uncle Marissa and wandered around town for hours. We walked from Embaracadero through Downtown and into Chinatown. Those San Fran hills, man. They’re a workout. But don’t worry, we compensated for the aerobics by going to town on some dim sum @ Begoni Bistro later in the day. SF’s Chinatown is really something. There’s so much cultural flavor packed into that single square mile; it feels like its own little world. While traipsing around we came across an old (but still functioning) fortune cookie shop. I’m kicking myself for not getting a photo but the place felt very small and intimate when you walked in. The smell was alluring and sugary sweet. In the same alley there was a barber with his own tiny salon. He was playing his violin in the stoop to attract customers, I assume. The whole thing just felt very authentic. It was a wonderful day playing local tourist. There are still so many neighborhoods that I’ve yet to explore here. I’ve got my little ruff ‘n ready crew together now – Unc, JJ and I. Where should we explore next?

happy

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Just me and my boy. Playing, laughing and chatting together in bed. This is happiness. Pure + true. <3

sleep, sleep


There’s a big transition happening in our house. One could say (and so would our pediatrician!) that this transition is sorely overdue. Yes, the time has come for baby Juju to sleep in his own crib. In theory, we should’ve pressed the matter many months ago but we kept on doing what worked and what felt most comfortable. It’s funny, me writing that sentence, because what I deemed “comfy” and “necessary” up until now has been anything but! In the past 6 months our sleep sitch has gone as follows:

  • My wife has barely slept in her own bed for almost half a year. She’s out in the living room with our nocturnal + very rambunctious cats every night.
  •  Jude has woken up no less than 3 times per night, sometimes more. He’s also turned into a lousy napper.
  • I haven’t actually slept through the night since he was born; or slept comfortably for that matter. It essentially feels like I sleep holding my breath when he’s next to me. 

One night recently (after a long and tiresome day) Judah woke up 3 times before 3 am. Something inside of me snapped. I was exhausted and my patience had run out. The voice inside just kept saying “I can’t survive like this. I’m done. Change has to start NOW!” I woke up, turned the lights on, picked him up and attempted to talk to him through his tears. I tried nursing him but he was resistant. I went and made him a bottle. As I was feeding him the thoughts just kept running like a ticker. I decided to start sleep training him right then and there. After I fed him he didn’t get to come back in bed with me he went straight in his crib….where he continued to wail for an hour. It was grating but my adrenaline was already pumping and my nerves were shot. We just had to tough it out, both of us. I went over intermittently to pat him on the back and try to soothe him. When he finally went down he slept HARD. I was up for another hour after he settled just processing all of my dreadful, poorly feelings. I’ll miss having my little guy next to me. Waking up to his smile just 6 inches away. But it’s time. Way, way time. This will pay off! And soon! Wish me luck, friends.

around our place

around our place | the original mb

around our place | the original mb

around our place | the original mb

around our place | the original mb

around our place | the original mb

We snapped these photos on a casual day, piddling around the house. Like most families our to-do list is never ending but things seem to take much longer to achieve these days. For example, these photos were taken Aug 8th. A whole month ago! And it’s taken me until now to edit and post them. To put it in Judah terms, this was two teeth ago! Remember I told you about my sunglass collection? Well we found these sharp-looking wire rod systems at Ikea, called Dignitet, that really elevated my display. It only took H about 3 weeks to get around to installing it <eye roll> but I love how it turned out. Another rad thing about this piece of hardware is that it can stretch up to 196 inches and hold up to 11 lbs. Wonder how many sunglasses that would be? I hope never to find out. We moved the collection to a wider wall so that I could fit every single pair onto one Dignitet strand. The rest of the day was spent cooking, playing and relaxing. A simple day. A good day, too.

 

easy avo egg salad

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This avo egg salad on toasted bagel is such a simple meal that I don’t even think it warrants a “recipe.” Not really. Smushed avocado on toast is having a moment in the culinary world, it seems. Same easy concept here, just added hard boiled eggs to the equation. I toasted up an everything bagel and slathered on some butter while it was still warm. In a bowl I mixed together an avocado, a couple of hard boiled eggs (chopped), a bit of mayo, some s+p, paprika, garlic + onion powder, cumin. I topped the bagel with the avo egg salad mixture, some cayenne, scallions and then more freshly ground pepper. Delicious! And mostly healthy. *wink* Now if you’d caught me on a fatty patty day I would’ve browned the bagel in some leftover bacon grease to add more flavor buuuuuut luckily for my waistline this just wasn’t one of those days! Let’s try to keep it healthy here, Mya.

primary colors

primary colors | the original mb

Yeah I’m hella biased – but I think this baby boy is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever laid eyes on. And mellow to boot! I love you, son.

tahoe 2016

tahoe 2016 | the original mb

tahoe 2016 | the original mb

tahoe 2016 | the original mb

tahoe 2016 | the original mb

tahoe 2016 | the original mb

tahoe 2016 | the original mb

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tahoe 2016 | the original mb

tahoe 2016 | the original mb

tahoe 2016 | the original mb

tahoe 2016 | the original mb

tahoe 2016 | the original mb

One of my longest-known friends Jessica and her fiancée Greg invited us to their family home in Lake Tahoe, CA a few weeks back. Lucky for us, Tahoe is only a 3 hour drive from the Bay Area. Y’all, it was such a great time for all of us! It’s just a shame that I’m just now getting around to posting about it! My bad. *hangs head* We didn’t take the fancy camera along so this is a collection of iPhone photos that captured some of the great moments that we had. First off, the home that we stayed in was filled to the brim with family and local history. We went bonkers over all of the original furniture and knick knacks that surrounded us. They even keep a collection of guestbooks for all who visit there; which we proudly signed. The house was built right on the Lake so the view from the bedrooms and living room were awe-inspring! We couldn’t get enough of the lake + mountain scenery.  We just stared for hours on end, trying to soak it all in. We stayed there with Jessica, Greg and another couple (Katie & Cory) – all live in Texas and flew out to Tahoe for the week. It was such a fun combination of people. We drank wine, ate great food, stargazed, and played board games late into the night. Judah had himself a grand old time too with all that extra attention. And of course, we were sure to buy a Lake Tahoe magnet to photograph Juju with, per our new tradition. We’ll be seeing Jess and the Tahoe crew again in October for Jessica and Greg’s wedding in Austin. We’re counting down the days. Can’t wait! <3

 

 

luckyduck cafe + bike shop

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luckyduck | the original mb

luckyduck | the original mb

luckyduck | the original mb

luckyduck | the original mb

luckyduck | the original mb

While walking home from the Old Oakland housewives’ market today we happened upon a brand spankin’ new coffee spot called Luckyduck Cafe + Bike Shop. It’s only been open for about 10 days apparently and as soon as we walked in the door we were digging it. Bevvies, pastries, food options – all on point. As you may or may not know my wife is a cyclist so having the bike shop in the back garnered them some major points! I’m so glad that we discovered this new local spot! I hope that we get the chance to spend some time there and appreciate it before the laptops invade! Happy Saturday, y’all.