May 2, 2014

What I learned in April-ish

Happy Friday!

I can't believe I totally missed the "What I learned" post at the end of last month. April was over before I even noticed it! 

So here are six random things I learned in April. 

Are you ready? Here we go!

1) I am addicted to TV (no joke).
If you read What I Learned in March post, you remember how much I missed the TV show, The Office. Well, we added the show to our Netflix right after that post and I watched it for three weeks straight, every single night for hours at a time. 149 episodes to be exact.

Once I turned the TV on, I simply couldn't pick up the remote to turn it off. 

That's probably why I stopped watching TV a few years ago (it's probably a good thing). I've been spending the past week trying to recover from it. 

But the show was absolutely hilarious and I enjoyed every minute of it. No regret. 

2) Prioritizing my time was not as hard as I thought it would be.
I finally figured out how to prioritize time. Once I figured it out, it was super easy to follow and everything fell into its place. What I'm doing differently this time though, is to pay attention to what really matters to me, instead of what I "should be" doing. Should I talk more about this in another post?

3) I have friends all over the world!
I was talking with my friend the other day about how hard it is to make new friends when you're a mom. She said, "we can't even finish a sentence without being interrupted (by kids)." Very true. I've struggled to make mommy friends myself, and it's been challenging. 

College Graduation in Kyoto Japan, 2001

Then I realized I actually have many friends, who just happen to live far away. Even though I don't get to see them often, I'm still so close to them. Why don't I appreciate what I already have instead of complaining about what I don't have? 

Some of my dearest and closest ones live in Japan (my home country), Canada, France, and Austria. I can't wait to go visit them when the boys are a little older. 

4) Investing a little bit of money monthly to nurture my soul and dreams is well worth it.
I recently joined a membership site called Hope*ologie and it's been the best $10 a month investment I've ever spent on myself.

I've met the hosts, Myauillyn, Emily, and Gary at the Barn event back in November, and I knew the content was going to be great. They discuss the issues around home, family, and soul, and the site is full of articles, pod-casts, DIYs and resources. I've been savoring every bit of what they offer on the website. 
If you are a hope seeker like myself, ready to be inspired and embrace your life, you might love this place (click Here for more.)

5) There's a fine line between great work and mediocre work when it comes to creating art. When I create out of fear, I always end up making something lame.

That's exactly what happened to Japanese Magnolia. While I was painting, I was afraid I might mess it up. You know what happened? I completely messed up its background!

So, I cut out the Magnolia with a pair of scissors,

and planning on turning this into something fabulous. I have no room for fear this time - wish me luck! 

6) I spend April dreaming up how to celebrate my birthday month. 

May is my birthday month. And I celebrate the entire month of May every year, reminding my family (my husband) this is MY month. 

I don't plan big celebrations, but I try to do little things that bring me joy throughout the month. Like taking a walk with my family on a beautiful day or going to a local flower festival. 
Lilac Festival

I spend entire April dreaming up all the fun things I'm going to do in May. 
Happy Birthday Month to me! 

Are any you my birthday-month twin? If you are, happy birthday month to you! 

What did you learn in April? Share in the comments?

Today I'm linking up with Emily at chatting at the sky for her What We Learned series.


  1. Replies
    1. I got excited and hit publish. Haha. When is your birthday?
      I learned a great deal in April. Probably too much to clutter your comments with. It was a good month! Love the lilacs so much!

    2. I'm May 16! So close! All the people I know who are born in May are amazing and I feel special connections with them. Hope you have a wonderful birthday month, Stephen! oxox

  2. I'm interested to hear how you enjoy Hope*ologie, Yuko ... I do love Nester and Emily's sites!


    1. Hope*ologie has been great! Each month they offer a brand new focus we can work on throughout the month (for example, the theme for May is "Embracing Imperfection"). I think the best part is we can continue building on what I have learned in the previous months. Three themes (home/family/soul) are beautifully interwoven together in one place, and they offer us a quiet space to reflect, learn, and grow over time at our own pace. And the site is very cute and light-hearted, just the way I like it :)

  3. That must be the most beautiful graduation photo ever! Love it so much.
    I am wishing a wonderful celebratory and inspiring birthday month - and wish many more in your future. :)

    1. I wore my mother's Hakama (traditional school girl's uniform in olden days - like my grandmother's generation or before). While most of my friends rented their Hakama, I'm glad I borrowed my mom's. Every time I look at this picture, I think of my mom and that makes me smile :) Thank you for the birthday wish! I'm so looking forward to slowing down and savoring this month.

  4. Your Hakama is gorgeous! It's like a work of art. You are lucky to have something so beautiful passed down in your family.

    1. Thank you! The older I get, the more I appreciate my own culture. My mom still keeps the Hakama for me because I have no idea how to maintain it :)

  5. I joined Hope*ologie this month as well! I'm glad to hear that you're loving it too! I think it's just wonderful! :-)

    1. Glad to hear you joined as well, Helen! It's amazing how much they "give" to others by sharing their gifts.

  6. I learned in April that I study the Bible more consistently when I am doing it with a group. I participate in and it is great!

    Yes, write more on prioritizing your time!

    I think the reason why it is hard to live in the reality that you are blessed with many friends is because they aren't local. We can nurture friendships long-distance, but you also need people you are able to call and meet up with, eyeball to eyeball.

    1. I will have to check out the If:equip website! I think you can learn a lot more than just on your own when you're in a supportive group of people. Yep, I need more friends I can meet up on a regular basis. Now my boys are getting older, it's getting much easier to socialize :)

  7. I think that it is awesome that you celebrate the whole month of May. Hope that your month is wonderfully blessed!!

    1. Thanks Alicia! Hope you have a wonderful spring as well ox


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