I’m a blog reader. I find it relaxing and I’m one of those people who love to ‘see’ how other people live. I think my favorite blogs are the ones that have tons of photos because sometimes I don’t have time to actually read. Sometimes I just want to look at pretty pictures (which is actually kind of ironic considering my last post had zero photos …)

Sometimes I come across blogs where these Moms do incredible craft projects with their kids … or bake everything from scratch (I just learned a couple of months ago that you can make brownies from scratch – who knew?!) … or go on super fun adventures with their kids. Does it make me feel bad? Not really. Okay, maybe kind of.  I mean, I do totally lack in all three of those areas (I don’t think I’ve ever done a craft with my kids for the sake of doing it, but I’ve given them paper and crayons … my husband does most of the cooking and the last adventure we went on was walking half a mile to watch a High School band parade competition for 2 hours) but it’s not like my kids have a super horrible life. I do buy them things. (I kid! I kid! … kinda …)

Anyway, if there’s one thing I’ve learned from reading these blogs, is that I need to be content with my level of mother-abilities because I sure-as-heck am not joining the likes of them any time soon.  BUT … I am going to try harder. It can be easy to let the excuse of  ‘I’m so busy with work right now‘ hinder me from taking time out to do something fun with the kiddos. And honestly – I need to take more photos. Sometimes a month or so will go by and I won’t have a single picture to show for it. And I’ve also decided to let go of the idea of having ‘good’ photos of my kids. Seriously – it is near impossible to get them to both look at me, smile and not move (I can’t tell you how many blurry photos I have of them).


case in point:

{the boy will not smile for me. period.}


{daddy can get the boy to smile. or at least be silly}


{some girls just don’t like pumpkin patches}

So there you go. If you had any high expectations of what this blog could potentially be, I hope I’ve quickly brought you back to reality. Oh … and while I’m on the subject of ‘honesty’ … I’ve had quite a few people tell me how good I look in the photos I posted. So I’m going to get real with you all. I totally had to work the magic of ‘angles’ to get them. Yes. I spent an exorbitant amount of time taking those photos and I’m not even joking in the slightest. While I have dropped some weight over the past couple of months, I’ve hardly made a dent in the amount that I still need to lose. I’m sportin’ a pretty good double chin, but I discovered that if you sit on a slight incline of a driveway, jut your chin forward and hold your phone (camera) around a 45 degree angle above your head … you can get a decent shot. So decent in fact, that if someone were to say, see you in person, they might not think that photo was actually taken of you. But hey. It’s my blog and I can post what I want to … right?


Leah Lemmons - October 27, 2011 - 4:31 am

Hilarious! And so true to point! I’ve also done the “why don’t I spend more time doing …” this and that with my kids. My mother does oodles of crafts with Taylor, my daughter, so I’ll leave that to her. I NEED to relax more and try to have more fun with them. I’m such a drill sergeant sometimes with my daughter…. ugg. Anyway, love the post, and yes I’ve seen so many post pics of themselves, and I totally figured out why they were all looking up! lol!!! Do exactly what you want to do. It’s your life, ya know!?!

Grace P. - October 27, 2011 - 9:42 am

Haha! I love this! I know what you are saying. There are some blogs I don’t venture to too often because the photos are so amazingly beautiful that it makes me feel ashamed of my photos or at least makes me think…I need to go take a photography class! Blog envy is my weakness!

Kim - October 28, 2011 - 6:25 am

Seriously LOVE this site! I want my website to be this cool, what template do you use? Not that I am tech savvy, I will just have to keep working at making my site fun and updated like yours!

admin - October 28, 2011 - 6:15 pm

it’s one of the standard ProPhoto templates that has been ‘tweaked’ a bit (and not by me … I can’t do that stuff – LOL) but thanks so much for the compliment! What’s your blog? Do I have it listed?

Sandra - October 29, 2011 - 11:38 am

So your blog won’t make me feel bad – that’s good to know. Cause I can’t craft or bake either.

sarah - November 3, 2011 - 12:19 am

you make me laugh! I enjoy following along with your blogging and staying “in touch.”
I take a ton of pictures of my kids, but I rarely take really good pictures of them. I think they tune my voice out and are totally aware of what I’m doing and are over it. My son has the weirdest picture face ever and it drives me a little crazy :) My fav pics are usually when they are just interacting and not looking cause at least they look normal.
So excited for your exciting news can’t wait to hear more about it :)

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How This Came To Be

On one random day when I was a young teenager, I was with my Aunt and we were looking at some old photos of her. She commented on how she didn’t think she had aged one bit … and that she looked and felt exactly as she did when she was 19. I distinctly remember agreeing with her, while silently snickering to myself, ‘Uh … sure. If you say so …’

Fast forward to the Summer of 2011.

I decide to take my learning of the Korean language a bit more seriously. So I found myself a 20-year-old Korean college student named Jin. Basically, our tutoring sessions consisted of  Jin trying to teach me how to pronounce the basic consonants and vowels. And since Jin hadn’t been home in a while to eat Korean food cooked by his Korean mother, I did the next best thing. I took him to a Korean Restaurant.

Besides a quick freak out (on my part) when Jin announced that I would be doing all of the ordering in Korean (which of course I adamantly refused – and thanks to good ol’ Korean manners, he didn’t try to refute me) we had a great time eating and talking.

It was during that particular conversation when I found out I was mispronouncing the word ‘Unni’ (older sister: from a girl to an older girl). Of course that led to us discussing other words and their meanings.

I asked him what the word for ‘older lady’ was (which I already knew, but just wanted to make sure I was pronouncing it right)  and our conversation went something like this:

Well … Grandmother is Halmoni

Oh yeah … I know that one.

And take you for instance … you would be called AJUMMA …


And just for a little background … here are two definitions of Ajumma that I found on the Internet:

“The literal meaning of ajumma is ‘married women’ or unofficially ‘women who look old enough to get married’ (it’s common that people are heavily judged by their appearance in Korea). The actual meaning of the word is a lot more than that. It’s kind of a label for women who are chubbier and have short curly perm hair, so called ‘ajumma pama’, as if taking care of their hair is the last thing that they want to pay attention to, women who can sprint faster than Ben Johnson for a spot in a jammed subway or bus, women who don’t mind yelling at a vendor for bargaining, women who cut in in a long line, or women who grab another woman’s hair to show she’s right.”

“A term implying a married woman. It used to be used as term of respect. While the husband’s sole role in Korean society was to contribute sperm and a paycheck, a married woman traditionally raised the children, helped them with their homework, cleaned the house, paid the bills, handled the family finances, clothed her family, cared for her husband’s aged parents, and took an incredibly menial job to pay off her husband’s debts. Because an ajumma has little time left in the day to keep up on current fashions, Korean society has rewarded the ajumma’s efforts by turning her into a symbol of uncouth backwardness.”


So karma had finally bit. I instantly thought back to the conversation with my Aunt and for the first time I had this new understanding of what she was talking about.

And Jin? Well the rest of our conversation went like this:

Ajumma is the FIRST thing that comes to your mind?

I … I don’t understand. I’m being respectful …

Respectful?! Ajumma?!
What about NOONA? (old sister: boy to girl) Hmmm?!
You skipped right over Noona and went straight to Ajumma!

{hysterical laughter}

{grumbling under my breath}
I can’t believe you called me Ajumma … and MEANT it.
Seriously … not even Noona … just Ajumma


And that … well … I guess that officially started my journey of becoming Ajumma. I had no idea that I had somehow transitioned into being old. That the youth of  today no longer saw me as a peer, but as a member of the generation ahead of them.

But you know what? It’s not that bad. I mean, life is so much better when I can wear t-shirts and black stretchy pants every day if I want to. And nothing says ‘sweet ride’ more than my mini-van.

So take THAT all you little dongsaengs … and remember … your time is coming.


Emily Vahey - October 25, 2011 - 11:49 pm

YOU ARE AWESOME! This is so funny (and I totally am feeling the truth of this too). Gracie’s kindergarten teacher is a fresh out of college, first year teacher… I feel so old whenever I talk to her!

Jeanine - October 25, 2011 - 11:51 pm

Dear Rach……you have no idea what it is like to get old. From
where I sit you are young with so many good years ahead of you. So you are not ajumma in my book….Okay.

Sandra - October 25, 2011 - 5:17 pm

You are so funny!
What an awesome conversation.
And yah, I swear I am still just as immature as I was when I was 17. Just now I seem to have gray hair and a husband and child and responsibilities.

Leah - October 25, 2011 - 5:57 pm

Heh, you are so right! I’ve felt this way for a while now. I’m 41 now and I can feel so old sometimes, especially when I see mom’s that are 25 with the same age kids as Aiden! Good grief it hits hard sometimes. I remember the first time some kid called me “a lady”. Almost smacked me in the face. Anywho, can’t wait to read more. :)

Amy - October 25, 2011 - 7:54 pm

Rachel you are cracking me up with this story!! Miss you my old PB friend! And by the way, you are not old. Deny deny deny! :)

denise - October 25, 2011 - 8:18 pm

You could go for the Korean term “Missy” pronounced “miss she” slurred together since Koreans don’t really have an “s” sound like we do in English- the word is a Konglish word… Anyway, your tutor will get a laugh out of it if you tell him that is what you want to be called. It means a married woman who looks and dresses like a young woman still but is married and has kids. That is what i refer to myself as although my husband assures me i am more an adjumma than missy :)

Jenny - October 25, 2011 - 9:18 pm

Just posted on FB but had to leave you some love here. I love the idea behind the new blog and look forward to all your upcoming posts. By the way, this post had me rolling. Welcome to my world! :)

Sandhya a - October 25, 2011 - 9:28 pm

Love it! Can’t wait to follow you and your super hilarious posts and adorable kid pics! (crazy how age works, right)

innotof - October 25, 2011 - 9:54 pm

LOVE.IT. All of it. Seriously.

Grace - October 26, 2011 - 7:09 am

I love this Rachel Ajumma! I think I have also offiially joined the ranks of ajumma. =)

Jineui - October 26, 2011 - 8:37 am

From one Korean Ajumma to another…welcome! You know I don’t feel it at all, but I guess that’s where we’re at…embrace it and we’ll show them how cool it all can be!

Ramsey - October 27, 2011 - 7:34 am

Omg, you are freakin’ hilarious. I’ve missed your blogging.

My “ajumma” transition was when I realized I am “advanced maternal age.” As an obstetrician, we tell people that when they are old (defined as 35+), there is a higher chance of all sorts of pregnancy problems, blah blah blah. So reaching that age myself…umm, not so confidence-inspiring.

kerri - October 29, 2011 - 10:30 am

I am so excited to see you have a new blog!!! I love all the pictures of your sweet babies!!!! I hope you do posts lots and lots of pics!!
Love you girl and am looking forward to keeping up with you more!!!

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