Forever Young

by Grace Ko in , , ,


I meet with a ten-year-old girl each week. I have the honor of tutoring her and she and I go on adventures together, through the world of Children's Literature, discussing the characters, their emotions, and the happenings of their lives. We even get to write make-believe letters to some of these very characters and sometimes, we even dabble in the world of poetry. 

Confession: Sometimes, I pretend that I'm in a two-person book club with this ten-year-old friend of mine. 

At my first meeting with this friend, I asked her what her favorite book was. Though she named several, one of them stood out to me: The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. I jotted it down on my "To read" list. After getting my hands on it, I read it in a day. 

Filled with a deep sadness that I don't often associate with a children's book, it touched on the brokenness and fragility of life, but equally whisked me away in a state of nostalgia, bringing back memories of the past, childhood conjectures and reveries. The story is about Edward Tulane, a china rabbit and his journey with many owners. A rabbit who learns to love and be loved and to hope in love.

Reading this story, I dug up a memory from the dusty depths of my childhood. Sometime in elementary school (I was probably around the same age as my previously mentioned friend), I had had a stuffed animal dog - possibly a mix between a Black Lab and a Rottweiler. I believe it was a gift my brother had received, but somehow this dog became mine. She was my companion on a family trip to Maryland. Unfortunately, my absent-mindedness led me to leave this companion behind at the hotel.

When I came to this realization, I cried. I cried at the thought of having abandoned my "dog". I cried because I felt guilty. "I'm a horrible owner... How could I have forgotten about my dog?" My vivid imagination took me on a downward spiral, envisioning my dog's less-than-fortunate encounter with future owners, less-loving, some even abusive. 

My dad luckily came to my rescue. He dialed the number to the hotel we had stayed at, and requested they mail us my dog. I remember the relief that washed over me after our reunion. 

It pains me to think that I don't even remember what I had named this "dog" of mine, nor do I know where this dog is now. And it got me thinking... 

When had I stopped dreaming? What had come of my imagination? When did I become more consumed with others' expectations than valuing the core of who I am? 

For in every adult there dwells the child that was...
— John Connolly

But that fourth-grader is still there, somewhere inside of me. Her dreams, her hopes, her imagination, her innocence... they're still here, in the deepest chambers of my heart. 

When Y proposed to me (almost six years ago!), underneath the magnificent starry ceiling of the Main Concourse of Grand Central Terminal, he said one line I will always remember: "I want to grow old and young with you." I giggled as he nervously uttered these words, because it was a play-on-words (his name being Young). I secretly thought to myself, "How can you grow young?" and I chuckled mainly because I too was nervous. But little did twenty-four-year-old Grace realize what a profound statement this was. 

 "It takes a very long time to become young." -Pablo Picasso

"It takes a very long time to become young." -Pablo Picasso


Whole30 before 30

by Grace Ko in , ,


Can you believe that I'll be turning 30 next month? Because I sure can't; in my mind, I'm still eighteen...  But hey ho, c'est la vie and I'm going to embrace thirty and do thirty proud. And what better way to usher in thirty than to do Whole30 before thirty!

We're already halfway through but it's been quite a journey. I'll admit, I've been a hangry, cranky-pants at times and the cravings for all things sweet (cupcakes, chocolate, donuts, macarons...) and carbs (mainly anything of the noodle kind) have been so real. I've eaten more eggs during the past fifteen days than what seems like in my entire life. Going out to eat has posed to be quite challenging. Meal-planning is a real thing, apparently. I've been resorting to a lot of leftovers for lunch. 

But we've been taking it day by day. I've been trying to satiate my sweet tooth with lots of fresh fruit and Lara bars! (Thank you, Lara bars!) And I'm grateful to the husband for doing it with me and for great friends, K and M for motivating me to start! 

Here are some of the meals we've had over the past 15 days. 

 A simple breakfast: Scrambled eggs, avocados & cherry tomatoes

A simple breakfast: Scrambled eggs, avocados & cherry tomatoes

 A more elaborate dinner: Mustard-marinated chicken, grilled onions and mushrooms, arugula salad with tomatoes and avocado

A more elaborate dinner: Mustard-marinated chicken, grilled onions and mushrooms, arugula salad with tomatoes and avocado

 Brunch @Suji's: Omelette with bell peppers, onions and mushrooms, home fries, scrambled eggs, breakfast sausage, ham 

Brunch @Suji's: Omelette with bell peppers, onions and mushrooms, home fries, scrambled eggs, breakfast sausage, ham 

 A hearty lunch: Skirt steak, broccoli and eggs over-easy (I told you, a lot of eggs...)

A hearty lunch: Skirt steak, broccoli and eggs over-easy (I told you, a lot of eggs...)

 A midday pick-me-up: my own Whole30 version of cappuccino - blend coffee with half a banana for a subtly sweet and frothy drink! 

A midday pick-me-up: my own Whole30 version of cappuccino - blend coffee with half a banana for a subtly sweet and frothy drink! 

 Dinner @"The Garden": Grilled fish, sauteed cabbage and tomatoes, cauliflower, and mashed potatoes

Dinner @"The Garden": Grilled fish, sauteed cabbage and tomatoes, cauliflower, and mashed potatoes

 A Whole30-approved brunch feast on vacation: scrambled eggs, avocados, grilled tomatoes, sausages, grilled vegetable medley, home fries, fruit salad, bacon 

A Whole30-approved brunch feast on vacation: scrambled eggs, avocados, grilled tomatoes, sausages, grilled vegetable medley, home fries, fruit salad, bacon 

 Lunch out at a Turkish restaurant: Coban salad  

Lunch out at a Turkish restaurant: Coban salad  

 Dinner at home: skirt steak, eggs, grilled red peppers, roasted cauliflower 

Dinner at home: skirt steak, eggs, grilled red peppers, roasted cauliflower 

I am now armed with the instagram account of Whole30recipes for inspiration to get us through the next fifteen days!

Cheers to Whole30 and turning 30! 


Friday Favorites

by Grace Ko in ,


Currently, I am watching the NBA Finals with my brother and my dad and we got to pondering, "Is this real life? Or are we dreaming?" 

My life lately has been just that, a constant "Am I dreaming?" and wondering if I will wake up from it all: a season of learning and growth, a season of new relationships, a season of discovery, inspiration and creativity. Sometimes I have to fight the urge to think, "This is too good to be true" so that I can stay in the moment and embrace it. 

I am looking forward to this weekend: quality time with family, good eats and a baseball game. What about you

Wishing you a happy weekend! The name of the game for this week's Friday Favorites: tabletops. 

 Matchy-match

Matchy-match

 A delicious birthday lunch

A delicious birthday lunch

 Light of the world- House on a hill

Light of the world- House on a hill

 Hummingbird cake remnants and pineapple shakes

Hummingbird cake remnants and pineapple shakes

 Summer is here! Summer rolls (inspired by  Cupcakes and Cashmere  and  Food Tube )

Summer is here! Summer rolls (inspired by Cupcakes and Cashmere and Food Tube)