22 Weeks: Selling Our House 

We’ve talked about selling our house and moving to a neighborhood with a better school district since getting pregnant but the thought of cleaning and fixing up the house was just too overwhelming. After 3 months of sitting on the fence about it though, we are making it happen with the help of our realtor and his team!

Right after we signed the contract, the following morning this sign was erected on our front lawn. It was surprisingly quick, alarming yet impressive! Henry came home and was like, “Shit! It’s really happening babe!”

When I moved to CA from FL in 2007, the market was so high that I never thought I’d be able to own a house here. But when the economy crashed, my Mom urged me to take the opportunity to invest into a property. With my parents and my older brother’s help, I was able to buy a home on my own at age 25. It wasn’t easy though. I remember struggling a lot at the time to make mortgage payment and to be able to pay off all the bills each month. 


Back in April 2010 when we closed escrow. 


Last week, we got quotes from the contractor and the yard guy so this week, they are here to help us fix up the house. Henry and I tried to do some of it ourselves but we are not handy ppl. So  we decided to just leave it to the professionals to do it right and to do it fast!


We are hoping to be able to list the house next week and sell it within the next 2 months. The housing market is so hot right now so hopefully that is a realistic goal! 

We are ready to start a new chapter of our lives with a new house, a new baby on a new adventure. 


Wouldn’t it be amazing if we are able to sell the house AND buy a new one within that 2 month window though? Realistically, I’m hoping to be able to get into a new place before Thanksgiving but I’m crossing my fingers and toes & hoping for sooner.

Btw, overalls is my new obsession. Life lately has been a struggle with looking cute and finding pants that will fit. I got these at Goodwill earlier this week and I am in love!!! They are just so cute and convenient. 

Got to get out of bed now. I have to meet up with our realtor and contractor this morning to go buy laminate to redo the flooring. 

Until next post, take care guys!!!

Tra 

She Waved At Me

I saw her yesterday.

She waved at me. 

I think she did.

The idea that she knew who I am made my heart fluttered. 

Tears came running. 

Oh no! I am crying again. 

My vision blurred. But for sure, this time it was happy tears, unlike the last time. 

I waited for a whole month only to see her for 5 minutes. But it’s okay. To see that she’s doing well is good enough for me. 

My heart, my soul, all of me, my everything, is so happy. 

Yesterday, we had our 10 week dr appt. I seriously have been looking forward to this visit for a whole month. I even had a second dream that we are having a girl. I was so excited to see baby and blocked off 2 hrs that afternoon for the dr appt. 

It lasted 10 mins total. I was so disappointed cuz I was really hoping to be able to see our baby a little longer.

But…

The good news is that baby is doing well. Heartbeat is at 150 beat per minute now versus 4 weeks ago when it was only 100. Dr. Said the range is 110-160 so a 150 is good and healthy. 

The growth looks good. Baby is now considered a fetus. All of the body part is there. Her hand was up and waving at us the whole time as though she’s yelling out, “MOMMY! Mommy! Daddy! Daddy! I see you!!!!” 

“MOMMY! MOMMY! DADDY!! Daddy!! I love you!! I love you!! I love you!!!! ” 

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I cried so much seeing how much she has grown since the last time. She’s a kumquat now versus a pea the last time. I just couldn’t believe it. I barely have any morning sickness or any cravings so other than being super hungry all the time and peeing every hour, I can hardly tell that I am pregnant. 

BUT I have gained 5 lbs since I went to the dr last. That’s a total of 13 lbs gain, which is a bit alarming. I can barely fit into my jeans anymore. Henry caught me on the bed Saturday morning looking super sad cuz “I DON’T KNOW WHAT FITS ANYMORE.” Yesterday he actually told me to go buy more dresses so that I don’t have to wear the same dress 3 times a week. Lmao… 

Earlier today, after meeting with my client, I went to Ross. I tried on 22 dresses only to have 3 fits somewhat decently. Oh my GAWDDDD! The story of my life. But I am not tripping about it. I freaken love my life. 

WHY? BECAUSE My baby is healthy!!!!!! **doing the happy dance***

Henry said “No!” on this one
Which means it’s time to plan our announcement photos. Yay! Yay! Yay! 

WE’RE PREGNANT 

It was Sunday, April 16, 2017 at 4:30pm. We just got home from a 2.5 hr drive from San Jose, after spending 18 days in Asia visiting Japan, Hong Kong and Korea. 

When I was Hong Kong, the smell of pig intestines at the street stalls made me very uncomfortable. I’ve been taking my temperature for the ovulation app and it was over 98 degree for over 2 weeks. My friend Mai said that her temperature was over 98 degree for 2 consecutive weeks after she got pregnant so I was suspicious. I was hungry very often too. And my sense of smell is spiked, esp with bad smell.

So right after we got back from the trip, I told Henry let’s go to Walgreens to buy a pregnancy test. It was about 4pm when we got home. I thought, “They said it is best to test in the morning when your pee is concentrated. So until then, let me use one of these cheap pregnancy test strip that’s in the ovulation kit. I’ll use the expensive pregnancy test tomorrow.”

Low and behold, that strip came out positive. I screamed so loud cuz it had never turned positive before on the many, many times that I have tested. It was always 1 red line showing across, which is a negative. So I couldn’t believe it. THERE ARE 2 FREAKEN LINES HERE. 

Henry ran in and we hugged each other and we just cried. 

Then I said, “Hold on! Hold on! Let me test with the expensive one too, just to make sure since this one is so cheap.”

It took forever for the result to come out. But finally after what seemed like an eternity, okay, like 3 minutes, it said “pregnant”. 

Holy shit! I screamed even louder. 

Henry freaked out and ran into the bathroom to make sure I am okay. I waved to exposed strip in front of him to show the huge “Pregnant” result. Instantly tears busted out and we cried and cried. It is the best thing that has happened to us. 

Henry’s like, “Do I really have to hold your pee stick?” 


We have been trying for a year and a half now and it finally happened!!!! We are going to be parents!!!!! 

We called our parents who didn’t answer. We called our nieces and they freaked out!!!!! For the last 2 years that they have been nagging me for a cousin, it has finally happened. 


The cutest part was that they ran around the house screaming. 

Then the funniest thing happened at 7:15. my Dad read the message on FB and replied with a Thumbs up! Seriously, my Dad never reply to anything.  How the heck does he even know how to do that? 

But like my sister said, “some reactions can only be expressed through emoji.”

And making miracle is one of those things!!! 

I’m so hungry 

It’s 11:20pm and I’m trying to decide if I should go to bed or not. I’m kinda lazy and don’t want to walk Jixer but I know I need to. But most importantly, I am soooo hungry that I don’t think I can sleep.


 And lately, when I am hungry, my sense of smell is super sensitive. Jixer is sleeping 2 feet away from me on the couch and his shampoo smell is driving me nuts.  Henry just washed him earlier tonight so he actually smells pretty good. But the fume is a bit strong and my nose just can’t stand it. I said the same thing 2 weeks ago when I took Jixer to the spa to get his nails trimmed and his fur bathed. I told Henry the smell drives me nuts. I felt like I could smell the whole doggie day care on him and it makes my stomach sick.


My poor baby. Mama is being so hard on you. But I swear it is not you, just your shampoo smell. 

It is also very ironic that I am hungry now because I feel that all I did today was eat, drink and repeat. I went to lunch with Huyen, then boba tea with Kaylie, and dinner with Lily. It was all play and no work today, unless you count scouting locations as work. 

Korean food dinner with Lily at Elk Grove House of Tofu. 
Ugh! So tired and hungry. I am going to go to bed. 

2 weeks and 4 days since finding out that I am pregnant. 

Lunch with Huyen at Taste of Angkor.

Fushimi Inari Temple in Kyoto

One of our favorite spots in Kyoto is Fushimi Inari Shrine so I think it deserves its own post. Before going, I have always seen photos of the orange pillars that everyone walks through.  What I didn’t realized was that there are thousands of them, all lined up to lead you up the mountain. 


Spring is coming to Japan so the cherry blossoms are starting to bloom. And what a sight they are. 

In front of the entrance to Fushimi Inari temple. On the left you can see a lot of ppl are using the water provided to clean their hands and mouth before praying. It is a new custom we learned here. 


In Kyoto, there were lots of girls dressed up in kimonos walking everywhere. I was tempted but since I did that with my sister already in Tokyo, I passed on the opportunity. In general, it is abiut $50 to rent the kimonos and walk around for the day. There are tons of shops to rent it from.

We noticed there are these sticks that you ask questions, shake and see what answers come out. Except it was in Japanese so we couldn’t understand it. 😦  

As you head to the path up the mountain, you enter the pillars. Ideally, this is what you’d like to see: less ppl and more opportunities to take selfies. 

But in reality, there are ppl everywhere! EVERYWHERE! We went at 4pm the first day we got to Kyoto and it was jammed back with tourists.
But as you go up and up more, people start to fall off so it will become less crowded. 

And if you are persistent enough to make it to the top of the mountain, you’ll get this view of all of Kyoto.



Then on your way down, you can reward yourself with food from the street stalls right outside. Hahahah… 

Until next time,

Tra

First Night in Japan

First night in Shinjuku: 
– Custom was super smooth and easy.

– Was so confused about money conversion and thought that our uber ride was $27 but it turned out to be $263 😭😭😭. 
Oh well, just have to take the bullet since we can’t do much about it anymore. We were stranded on the plane for 3 hrs in LAX cuz of some machine problem and was so tired. (Yes, we knew about the train but in my confused state thought, “oh, that’s not so expensive for a 1.5 hr ride into the city. How can he pay for gas and toll with $27? 😜😜😜 ) Just going tothink of it as a rookie mistake. Going to eat musubi spam for the rest of the trip now. 


– Arrived at our super clean studio Airbnb. Super amazed how they can fit everything into such a tiny space. Showered cuz my hair was super flat. Went around at 9 to scout for food and decided on a charcolal grilled meat restaurant. Was so confused about portion (how much is 100 gram?) and kept changing order at the grilled meat restaurant (the poor waiter). 

–  Note: Smoking is allowed inside of the restaurant here. 


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– Laughed our butts off when they have this spray so you can get the charcoal smell off when you leave. Seriously, it is the most interesting invention ever. 


– Walked around in Shinjuku at 11pm to find what looked like Times Square. Tons of young people are out everywhere, very fashionable young ppl. 


– At the crosswalk, once the walking signal turned on, it seemed as though herds and herds of ppl rushed across the street. 

– Walked by tons of what seemed to be called “ladies bars”. Guys with laminated printout picture of different girls “available”(? Like inventory) stood outside. I’m assuming these are girls to accompany you while you chat with your other guy friends and have drinks? Like coffee shops in SoCal? Cuz some girls were standing outside too with a chalkboard with their name and what looked like “60 mins for $30?” (Why can’t I read Japanese? 😣😣😣 

That seemed cheap for anything else. 

– The funny thing is that mainly guys in suits are outside of the establishments with these signs. When girls are standing outside, they are bundled up in big poofy jackets cuz it was so chilly outside. (Def not a way to sell.😜😜😜). I told Henry he should go experience that and let me know what and how it is. Hahahah.


– I noticed that there seemed to be more guys out than girls. Like tons of guys are out in the street here. Guys here in general are really tall and slim, and they all seem to have similar haircuts.

(4:15am.. going back to sleep now.) 

Until tomorrow. I am going to attempt to write briefly everyday cuz I noticed the details are more vivid when I do so instead of waiting until I come back. 
Tra 

Www.instagram.com/twotwentyphotos

Downtown Sacramento Street Photography | Part 1

by TwoTwentyPhotos.com by TwoTwentyPhotos.com

It looks like street photography is becoming a regular activity for me. I love the candidness of it all. To be honest though, taking pictures of random strangers still makes me feel really nervous, especially when I’m walking around with a DSLR and a 90mm macro lens. If you don’t know, the 90mm macro lens is really slender, long but super light weight. So when paired with a DSLR, my set up looks HUGE!

I would go, go, go THEN suddenly, I crouched super low to the ground and CLICK! The shutter would go off really loud so YES! It was pretty obvious when I was taking pictures. The zoom on the 90mm is excellent though because I can be somewhat far away and still be able to get the crop I wanted.

My goal for today was to capture the city feel, whatever that is.

by TwoTwentyPhotos.com

by TwoTwentyPhotos.com by TwoTwentyPhotos.com

We started at 4:30PM. I thought there would be lots of people getting off work at this time but surprisingly, that is not the case. But it didn’t matter. The nice thing about street photography is that you take that you get and make the most out of it.by TwoTwentyPhotos.com

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This is probably one of my favorite captures from today. It reminds me of myself, always on the phone no matter where I go. I am very conscious of this nowadays and am trying to be better at it.
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This one of a man with a beautiful vase of purple flowers on his way home, probably preparing for Valentine’s Day tomorrow, is another favorite.
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Meeting over Happy Hour?
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After capturing this guy, I became a bit obsessed with capturing people on bikes. The focus on the 90mm is not that fast so challenge accepted!

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Pink Magnolias in full bloom in California State Capitol Park in Downtown Sacramento. Everyone walking by couldn’t help but snap a few photos of the beautiful flowers.
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Monday hustle: DONE!
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Saving the environment one person at a time: CHECK!
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Citizen Hotel Valet Parking Attendant hard at work. He seemed super friendly too.
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An honest day of work: DONE!
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Man in Suit on bike: CAPTURED!!!!
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Man in suit crossing a busy street: GOT IT!

I hope you enjoy the journey!
Until next time.
xoxo,

Tra

To see my wedding and portrait work, check out www.twotwentyphotosblog.com.

Rainy Night in Downtown Sacramento

by TwoTwentyPhotos.com

Henry and I are crazy.

It’s been raining on and off all day so we’ve been cooped up inside the whole day. Before we went to dinner, I asked if he wanted to walk around afterward, maybe to catch people walking around with their umbrellas in the rain.

Not surprisingly, he said yes!

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It was sprinkling gently when we started at the corner of 12th and J in Downtown Sacramento, right across the street from the Citizen Hotel.

by TwoTwentyPhotos.com by TwoTwentyPhotos.com

Right when we turned onto K street, it started to pour harder. Surprisingly, Jeanelle (my August Bride) was still working at Sharif Jeweler when I walked by so there I was, bundled up to my head in a red puffy jacket, right outside the clear window, both hands in the air and waving frantically at her. I thought the glass wasn’t see through so I was being extra dramatic. But now that I think about it, it was clear glass so I’m sure she saw crazy ol’ me right away. (hahahaha)

by TwoTwentyPhotos.com

by TwoTwentyPhotos.com
This poor lady. She stood at the crosswalk for a while, waiting to go. 
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Finally when she decided to go, the cars started to move. She missed the walk signal, apparently. Good thing she had an umbrella to keep her dry.
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We went back to J Street because it has way more interesting colors here.
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He was the most interesting person I saw tonight. It’s dead winter here: cold, rainy and windy and he’s wearing shorts, an “I love NY” t-shirt and a puffy jacket, prepared with an umbrella. 
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I felt like a creeper for stooping down really low just so I can see his nose. 
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Henry kept looking back and calling out to me to walk faster. I was making it too obvious that I was taking pictures of people as they walked by. 

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by TwoTwentyPhotos.com by TwoTwentyPhotos.com
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Saving the best for last. This was probably my favorite capture of the night. 
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Good night, Sacramento! 

Forgotten Memories 


Like thin air. 

Evaporated steam. 

Forgotten memories. 

Moments that passed by without notice. 

Was it even real then since you can’t remember it, touch it or feel it?

I used to write a lot when I was younger. Keeping diaries of things that happened, boys that I was crushing on and things I that I was planning with my friends. Then life happened. Got too busy, no, too lazy, so I stopped writing as much. 

My grammar was terrible as well. Verb tenses always mess me up. But I noticed that as I write more and more, especially in college, at work and in grad school, it got better and better. 

I’ve been trying to find a purpose for this blog and I think one of them should be to write creatively. Maybe some of my travel, ootd, spontaneous exploration and maybe even attempting to write more poetries. 

Share with me. What are some fun things you’ve written about lately? 

Sunshine After The Rain

Wind in my hair.

Sunshine on my skin.

Raindrops on the windowpane.

And pretty clouds after the rain.

These are the things that make me feel the happiest.

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It feels like my life has been consumed with work lately. Ever since quitting my corporate job to be a full-time photographer, I have had a really hard time scheduling time off.  Now that Fall is in full swing, I’ve been working almost everyday and I feel physically and mentally tired. I feel like so much work is getting done but somehow there is always more work that needs to be done still.

I’ve worked really hard to build a brand and a reputation and I really want to keep it up. Yesterday, I took the wrong exit after a photoshoot and ended up chasing the sunset for half an hour. It felt so liberating to be out with no agenda and it reminded me why I fell in love with photography in the first place.

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All that clouds brought in the rain late last night. So this morning, we were blessed with the most beautiful sunshine and a blue sky full of clouds. And since my photo session ended early this morning, I took another 45 minutes of “me-time” to go around Downtown Sacramento Capital Park to snap these pretty photos.

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When I got home, the neighbor’s yard was filled with yellow leaves on the lush green lawn so I took Jixer (my dog) out for a walk just so we can snap more pictures.

clouds-over-downtown-sacramento-49clouds-over-downtown-sacramento-51clouds-over-downtown-sacramento-55As you can tell, I am a little bit obsessed with my dog. Jixer is a super mellow, 7-year old Pomeranian/Chihuahua mix. He’s been with us for 4 years now and we cannot imagine life without him. When I lived by myself, I never felt lonely because he was always there to cuddle. Coming home to him wagging his tale so excitedly is the best feeling ever!clouds-over-downtown-sacramento-59clouds-over-downtown-sacramento-61

Going forward, I am going to try to make more time for myself and more time for personal projects like these for it drives my soul and fuels that fire within. Not to mention it is a huge stress reliever.

Until next time,

Tra

To see my professional wedding & portrait work, visit www.twotwentyphotos.com.
Email: info@twotwentyphotos.com