Friday, September 21, 2012

Testing Faith

For the past few weeks I have been working on faith. Faith has been something that I never quite had a good grasp on, even though I grew up as a Christian. That being said, I had decided to consciously endeavor to build my faith.

In the past I've prayed for opportunities to build faith, but the problem was that I often forgot about my prayer. Thus they were meaningless attempts.

These past few weeks have been different. With conscious effort I've been praying for particular things and had been watching for an answer. There were three things in particular that I had been praying to God about during the time span, (not all at the same time!). One was to meet somebody who was ready to hear about the gospel, another was for help to find a part-time job to help finance us newlyweds, and the last was to have opportunities to have charity like Christ. If I wanted to know if it was true, I had to believe it, and then test it right?

When I consciously practiced growing my little seed of faith in God, I saw how He had answer my prayers. From years before I've known that He listens to and answers our prayers because of a few particular incidences, but again this time I was consciously practicing having faith in Him. Focus: faith.

So what happened?

Lo & behold, God has answered all three of these prayers (and graciously, this time the answers came so quickly!). He gave me a special opportunity to share the gospel to someone very dear to me (I had never expected that it would be that person). After spending hours of applying job after job, I found a perfect employment opportunity that was looking for workers on the exact days and the exact hours that I had been hoping to work. Both of these events did not happen long after I've prayed for it (which usually doesn't happen quite so in my cases). I know that if we pray with sincere intent, God will answer in his own due time. As for these cases, I've also learned that God perhaps likes surprising you.

Lastly, he also let me come across trials to help me change my perspective & see the broader view. I remember how in the past, when I would pray to be more like Christ & never remembered the prayer later on, and then a trial would come I would feel sad and devastated. Often following with the question "How could this happen to me? Why would God do this to me?" This time was different, I knew I had asked for a strengthening opportunity, and surprisingly, I felt different about the trial this time. :)

I know these are not coincidences. So what I again had been testing wasn't whether God answers prayers. I already knew the answer to that. What I definitely gained was indeed faith. My faith in Him is stronger, I never feared or worried when things seemed to go wrong, or when answers didn't come quickly. I feel that if I ask for God's hand in my life, I know everything will work out for the better, because He sees the long run, and I can't.

So, the test worked out!

I mentioned that this would also be more of a personal journal for me right? Hope this didn't offend any readers.

How do you feel today?

Or sad?

Looks like I'm strangling Mimi.

This cute table can be found at my favorite cake store at the moment.

As well as this one :).

Today I got to talk to the mailman who Chadsen & I both noticed was such a bright person. When I talked to him about it, he told me about the wisdom that he's attained from life. He's learned to take the bright side and enjoy his life. I hope to be able to help clients get there when i start working. He said something along the lines of "When I'm a chipper person, it brings chipper people around me!"

Theres this phrase I've heard Chadsen's friends say, "I don't have a lot of friends, but the ones I do have are good ones" That's the same with me. I love the friends that I still keep in touch with, because I cherish those ones. I feel very grateful to have such friends :). I hope to strengthen my friendship with old and new friends too though :)


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Contemplation: Future Career


It's been another busy past few days. I've been searching for a part-time job, and getting ready for school and my internship.  

Lately I've been thinking about my future life including my future career. 

Those who know me well know that I'm currently pursuing Social Work at the moment for my BA, and am deeply interested in getting a MSW. There hasn't been anything else that I've felt so passionate about than Social Work. There are so many various jobs that Social Workers can do, and I'm yet to test the waters on them.

There is something that holds more significance to my life than my future career. It's my future family. In the future, I want a family and I plan to keep them priority #1. That means that I want to be a full-time mum. That's a bit rare to hear these days in American society huh? During the years of focusing on the family, I don't want want to work much if possible. If anything, I'd ideally like a job that I can enjoy while hopefully making enough supplemental money. I wonder during this time of rearing a family if I'd be working at all, and if so if I'd be doing SW, or if I'll determine that I enjoy a different job. I do have other interests, but would it satisfy me more than SW? Anyways, I just can't help but wonder what life would be like! I hope to love my career, but I plan to love my family more. Well, if I'm still blogging by the time the Kat family grows I'll tell myself what future Mrs. Kat is doing huh? 

In the past I've considered whether I should even finish schooling since I probably won't work so much for quite a few years during the motherhood phase of life. While thinking about that I remembered my long term goal, one set goal for my FAR future (old grandma future) that I'm determined not to change. That is to be an emergency/disaster response worker for LDS services (my church service). They are known to be extremely fast at arriving at disaster spots when something strikes. I think getting an MSW for this future "occupation" would be well worth it in the end :). 

We'll just have to see what happens. Regardless, I'm not regretting choosing SW as my major, I love it. :) 


Shabu Shabu pork on top of lettuce & seaweed.
Dressing: Ginger, vinegar or mirin (can't remember which) & soysauce!
This is a nice cold dish for these hot days. :)
This is a part of my cooked tomatoes on top of eggplant dish.
Dressing: Ginger, cooked sake & soysauce.
Surprisingly BOMB.COM
A different type of Teriyaki chicken.

King Oyster (it's just a mushroom) & bacon spaghetti :)

Sunshine Spotlight:

When I was young, I dreamed of becoming a cartoon artist. I loved drawing as a young child. Even though my adoration of art is still present as an adult, that dream has long dissipated as I grew older. I used to show my drawing to people on a very seldom basis. I guess it felt like bragging so I felt embarrassed to show people. 

These are little drawings I've made within the last few years.

Need better lighting? Maybe huh?

Hope somebody can benefit from it :))?

This is a little video of ducks free falling, literally.

That's little Shifu with poopoo stuck in his head!


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Hidden Gems in San Francisco

Last week Chadsen & I had the wonderful opportunity of indulging the beauty of Santa Cruz & San Francisco for four nice days.

It was an amaaazing experience, but I don't plan to type up so much about it since there are so many uploaded pictures that can do the talking :). The air up there was so crisp and refreshing, oh we wish the air was the same down here in LA.  I got to cross off one of the items on our bucket list: Mystery Spot, Santa Cruz. If you haven't seen it, it's quite a mind-boggling experience surrounded by irreplaceable, beautiful nature. I loved seeing how things can be so different from city to city. It is so amazing to me, just imaging the completely different lives that people live all across the globe from country to country, city to city.

Our friend Jojo invited us to stay at her home to stay during our little vacation. We cannot thank her and her kindn roommates for their hospitality. :) Our favorite memory from staying there was playing Taboo with her and Brandon. "JUST SKIP IIIIIIT!!!" Thanks so much Jo, let's play again! :)

My Little Thoughts: 
I've noticed that my blog hasn't been what I have been aiming for. I mean, I love talking about food and cute things, but I want the blog to be more than superficial. I want it keep record of things that can touch hearts, at least my own. I want to write more about my own personal thoughts, my goals and things that rather inspire me. Hope it doesn't bother anyone who follows the blog. :)

My husband's Blog:
For those who are deep thinkers or would like to challenge your mind to dig in, my husband also has a blog! With his blog he hopes to help readers to open up their minds and think deeper about things about things usually not noticed. :) As a social worker, this definitely is an interest for me. :) Maybe it is for you too. 

Our trip described via pictures: 
Santa Cruz

On the way to the Mystery Spot, we were engulfed by beautiful Redwood trees.
Funky? That's what the Mystery Spot did to us. 
It's a must-try if you're into being weirded out.
Our tour guide told us about how he doesn't know what he wants to study for college. "That's why I'm still here". :(
Found this at an eco-friendly store in Downtown Santa Cruz.
Unlike this statue, there were a lot of live street performers and singers. Sweet.

Out of everything we saw, I think the Oakland temple was the most beautiful thing we saw during the entire trip.
There's supposed to be water flowing down behind me. Regardless, absolute beauty.
The view from the temple.

San Francisco
First day in San Fran, there was a free Nesquik give-away!
Fisherman's Wharf!

The two sea lions at the very right were fighting the entire time we were there.
Hello China-town!
We spent the first 15 minutes on the wrong street (the markets), which was selling dead fish in almost every store.
Thank goodness we found the right street. :)

The 7 story mall that had windy escalators. 
Of course, we had to visit the Golden Gate Bridge! :) It was so amazing to see.
Gangnam style!
It was even cooler walking it :)
We also had to visit this place. Where it all started! We'll talk about the food later.
We got lucky and found a Trolley that didn't have a line that promised a wait of at least 30-40 minutes.
Guess we weren't the only tourists. :O
BIG thank you to Josephine for so kindly opening her apartment place for us to stay during our trip!
So generous! :)
Also thanks Marvin for coming out to see us, good job on your MCATs!
Bay Bridge. The other suspension bridge, awesome.
Japantown! :) 10 times more impressive than Little Tokyo. 
I'm so lucky to have a cute husband :)
We came to Japantown on Saturday just to see this sumo match!
Don't underestimate, these guys are tough. :O
Can you see them going at it?

Here are some neat things we tried up north. 

On the way to Santa Cruz, we saw a sign that said "Garlic Ice Cream." So we tried it.  I'll never try it again.
Chadsen got vanilla, I got chocolate. You can consider it similar to Stinky Tofu, but garlic ice cream. This had peaches, blackberries, & a few other fruits inside.
Chocolate bottom, peanut butter pie with seared marshmallows on top. Heavy-as.
Montclair Eggshop
The Daily Grill served us amazing food.
Chadsen's order: Fish & Chips
This was awesome. Porkchop with blackberry sauce. Loved that place.
Carmel's Wood-fired pizza. This was a small joint on the side of the street near the Wharf.
We had never tasted pizza that delicious before. 
The one we liked more: The Caprese pizza. Heirloom tomatos, Whole Milk Mozzarella.
This pizza dazzled our taste buds.
If anyone ventures out there, I guarantee much satisfaction. :)
We ordered "Happy Face Crepes". They surprised us with something so much cuter!
The crepe wasn't just cute, it tasted amazing.
The crepes were nice & soft,  like how they're supposed to be. -___- 
The store name started with "Belly Good."
We also got to taste the most delicious chocolate that we have ever had. Teuscher Chocolate. If anyone ventures out to San Fran, please check it out.

From our experience, best places to visit was actually not the places talked about in tourist websites, but the places we found on our own. Why don't you try roaming around sometime and find out for yourself? :)

I saw good news online about this man who does not have any arms or legs this week. He got married, and even better, he is expecting a child with his wife. It was absolutely touching to me.

This man is in this short film

His page disclosed that his wife is 14 weeks pregnant on about the 5th post:

I think he is a great symbol of hope and strength. I'm grateful for him not giving up on love and shining light to all of us who get to be influenced by him.

This is the kind of humor I love and instill within myself. Corny humor. :) Gotta love Nat.

Side note: 
I really missed the chinchillas during our trip. While being babysat at Grandma/Grandpa Taguchi's, they wreaked havoc. They chewed an almost 10 inch hole out of a small one (that was made for breathing air) and escaped twice. When my parents woke up in the morning, they were quite surprised to see all three chinnies running around, leaving poop everywhere! haha thanks Mom & Dad!