Lena's Multigrain Blend with Vegetables and Chicken Surprise

I just realized something.  I have a blog.  Does this mean I can write about anything? Considering I am the first link when you search "photographerhood" on Google (I made that word famous!) I thought I would take a moment to talk about the joys and wonders of the latter part of my made-up word: parenthood.

My friend once told me that  getting married doesn't really change your life; having a baby does.  She was absolutely right.  Becoming a mother has changed everything, from the things I think to the way I dress.  Life will never be the same.

One of the major changes for us has been to our food: what I cook and what we eat.  Long gone are the days of fancy dinners out (e.g. Chili's) and picking up fast food on the way home from work.  Instead, we now eat in almost every meal and those meals need to be prepared fast.

So, in an effort to share some ideas on the types of meals we eat (as well as remind myself of simple recipes when it's 6pm on a Tuesday night and I have no idea what to make for dinner again), I thought it would be an interesting exercise to write down some simple and quick recipe ideas for dinner.

Lena's Multigrain Blend with Vegetable and Chicken Surprise (I never measure anything when I cook so take my measurements as a guideline.  The surprise is that, everytime you make it, it never tastes the same.)


  • 1 bag of Trader Joe's Multigrain Blend with Vegetables
  • 1/2 tablespoon of grapeseed oil
  • 3 cups of chicken stock
  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 pounds of chicken legs or other dark meat
  • salt to taste


Place the bag of Trader Joe's Multigrain Blend with Vegetables in a pan with grapeseed oil and sautee until it is less frozen (this needs to be very precise; don't mess this up).  Pour in 1 cup of chicken stock and 1 cup of water.  Bring to boil and reduce to simmer until the liquid is completely reduced.

Simultaneously, in a separate pot, place chicken in with 2 cups of chicken stock and 1 cup of water (enough to cover chicken).  Bring to boil and reduce to simmer.

When both are done, combine and eat!

I also want to note that another major change of parenthood is that you will most likely lose touch with many of your friends.  In order to fill that void, you will make one very best friend: Joe... Trader Joe.  He helps you make semi-homemade meals.  Accept this.

Holding On

I have been thinking about what to write for this blog entry all week.  All... week.  Blogging is a totally foreign concept to me and the thought of writing something to be read by “everyone” (although, let’s face it, only my husband is going to read this) kind of terrifies me. First off, I’m kind of a private person.  I don’t really share my thoughts or feelings with anyone other than a few close family members and friends and, of course, my husband.  He knows me best.  Afterall, he reads my blogs.  I am the type of person who hesitates posting pictures of myself on Facebook even though only my friends (who already know what I look like) will see them.

Second, I don’t think I’m a very good writer.  Not only do I have poor sentence structure and write run-on sentences, I use way too many ellipses, parenthesis, and commas.  And I start sentences with “and.”

Lastly, I just don’t think I’m very interesting.  In fact, I’m actually quite boring.  I'm a mom, I cook, do dishes, go grocery shopping.

But I love taking pictures!  And, although blogging goes against my very nature, in order to pursue something I love to do, I have to at least try connecting with complete strangers who, I hope, will someday become friends.

So, in that spirit, this is me...

... and how I feel right about now.

Maybe we’ll become friends someday.


I think anyone who knows me would agree that I love taking pictures--pictures of my family, my friends, pictures of momentous events like weddings and birthday celebrations, or of things I think are funny or sad or interesting. Pictures of myself… taking pictures… of myself.

Yes, that is me with one of my first digital cameras.

I realize that the next thing I am about to say makes me sound like an old Asian mom (but I am; so, why not?)  In the olden days, before the dawn of digital cameras, we used to have these devices called film cameras.  Actually, I think they were simply called “cameras” back then but that is neither here nor there.  Instead of a memory card that held an unlimited amount of photos you could delete from and add to, there was a single roll of film in your camera at any given time and when you ran out of film, you just couldn’t take any more pictures.  Can you imagine?

Growing up, I was lucky enough to have one of those film cameras I could use to my heart's desire.  It belonged to my family and it was red and I named her Camille.  Camille the camera.  (As I young child, I never had pets so I named all my inanimate objects.  This is perfectly normal?)

I must have been 10 years old or so when I first started taking pictures.  Since then, I have learned a lot of lessons, a couple of which I will share with you now:

Lesson #1: You don't have to reposition the camera after looking into the viewfinder to account for the height difference between the viewfinder and the lens.  If you have no idea what I am talking about, that's because it doesn't make any sense.  Suffice it to say, I took a whole roll of film, with the top of people's heads cut off.  One major disadvantage of the film camera was that you didn’t know what your pictures looked like until you took all of them.  Then you had proof on paper of how bad a photographer you really were.

Lesson #2: Pictures capture moments in time--fleeting moments that you never get back.  So, when you are invited to your cousin’s wedding and they have hired a photographer to take pictures of the single most important day of their lives, do not stand on the altar in between the couple, trying to get “the best shot.”  You will probably ruin all of the photographer's photos.  Also, you will definitely cringe every time you think about it.

Hard lessons for a kid.

And despite all the mistakes, I just kept taking pictures.  For some reason, I believed I could get better at it.  Which is the complete opposite of how I felt towards piano, tennis, and Kumon.  In fact, taking pictures is the only thing that I have really pursued consistently and naively.  I just love all of it.  The moments captured, the expressions, the emotions, the reminder of what once was.

This is my first blog entry but it has been a long journey getting here... to the beginning.  So, as I begin this journey towards professional photographerhood (this is a term I just coined putting together the terms "photographer" and "parenthood"), I take with me the many lessons I have learned in the past, and the visions of what I hope to be in the future.  I realize it won’t be an easy journey but nothing worthwhile ever comes easy.  Wish me luck!