Long-distance on Mother’s Day

“A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.” –Washington Irving

Words can’t fully express how much I miss this beautiful woman.

God has blessed me with and an incredible mother and one of my dearest friends. Lord knows I wouldn’t be able to live abroad in Japan and doing all that I am without her continual love and support. Continue reading


“Your brother is…”

“Your brother is your first male friend in your life. No one will ever understand your craziness like your brother. Even if you don’t get together and talk as much as you’d like, he always remains your friend. While people come and go in your life, your brother will always be in your heart for a lifetime.” -Unknown 

Yesterday afternoon, I discovered that the older brother of my college friend passed away after battling cancer. Continue reading

“Truth is, I’ll never know all there is to know about…”

“Truth is, I’ll never know all there is to know about you just as you will never know all there is to know about me. Humans are by nature too complicated to be understood fully. So, we can choose either to approach our fellow human beings with suspicion or to approach them with an open mind, a dash of optimism, and a great deal of candor.” –Tom Hanks

This is both the simplest thing to understand cognitively, yet it’s one of the most difficult things to accept. It’s something we want, yet it’s something we will never have perfectly on this side of heaven. I think this is especially the case when it comes to family. Continue reading

Downtown Disney

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious, and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” -Walt Disney

If the trees weren’t still in leafless hibernation, I’d swear we’d skipped winter altogether and entered March early! The weather in Orlando certainly didn’t disappoint our January vacation, and after a brilliant kick-start in Magic Kingdom the day before, we headed straight to Downtown Disney bright and early in the morning. Continue reading

Magic Kingdom, Bender Family Style

“All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” –Walt Disney

“I’m where I’m meant to go… All at once everything looks different, now that I see you.” –Rapunzel and Flynn Rider (Eugene Fitzherbert), Tangled

Spending our first family vacation at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida was certainly a dream come true.  Continue reading

New Years Cheers and My Upcoming, First-ever Family Vacation!

“It is a chiché that most clichés are true, but then like most clichés, that cliché is untrue.” –Stephen Fry

Are you done with all the New Years clichés by now? Christmas was barely over and that’s all I was seeing: resolutions, goal setting goals, goodbyes to 2014 and hellos to 2015.

These are all fine and dandy, but this kind of approach doesn’t really suit me. (Clearly, since it’s already mid-January and I went above and beyond in missing the bandwagon for this one.)

I admire those of you who got down to business with goal setting before New Years Eve. I’m usually still reeling from the holiday festivities by then, and I rarely secure a moment of quiet during that post-Christmas time. Forget having the chance to even think about making good resolutions. Operating on my own time table, my style drifts more toward  Continue reading