adventures in motherhood.

You guys. There is a tiny little boy napping. In his crib. In his room and I am actually hands-free and writing this post! Call me crazy, but that is a feat in and of itself. In our first week, we were thrown through the ringer with seemingly endless nights, wailing banshee cries, "threenager" management and getting our sea legs back at this whole new-baby-in-the-house thing. Not gonna lie, it's been challenging to say the least. Sleep deprivation and exhaustion are a pretty tough combination to live through fueled with lots of coffee, but something we keep reminding ourselves of is that this is temporary. This is temporary.

My friend Kaleen asked if she could take some photos of us as a newly formed family of four, so ten days into it, she came over and caught a behind-the-scenes glimpse into what our new life looks like. Don't be fooled by the peaceful beauty these photos evoke! Keep in mind that juggling a newborn and a toddler is complete and utter chaos. Yet, she had a way of making everything look dreamy, serene and magical.

Now, five weeks later, dare I say we're handling this new(ish) lifestyle like a boss? No, Akira isn't sleeping through the night yet. Yes, we are still tired beyond belief. But all of this is not for naught. All of this is what grounds us and makes us want to be better parents, maybe even better people. In the few minutes of quiet that we have between naps or feedings or both, it's what brings Jesse and me closer together knowing that we are in it together and making it all happen. Because you know what? These early days will eventually fade and it will all seem like a blur. Those newborn coos, that fresh baby smell, the absence of imminent sibling rivalry--all of that will one day disappear. No matter how difficult it feels in that moment, I know that we as a family are always about to turn a corner and reach some sort of milestone. For now, we just have to keep on keepin' on, one cup pot of coffee at a time.

P.S. I am now chronicling my Adventures in Motherhood over at Pregnancy & Newborn! Won't you read along? Find my first post here.

PHOTOS COURTESY OF KALEEN ENKE (follow her on Instagram!)


welcome to the world, little man.

Akira Fujiki Clark
12 August 2015 | 1:59 pm
9 pounds 4 ounces | 21 inches long

Say hello to the newest member of our small but fierce gang.
We are all so in love.
(Read his birth story here.)


31 weeks along.

Many moons have passed since making the announcement that our little unit of a family is growing! And as unbelievable as it is, time has flown by ridiculously fast and I am now in my 31st week before this baby boy (!!!) arrives. So, what's been happening since I last wrote?


I have been blogging for Pregnancy & Newborn magazine as one of their Knocked-Up Bloggers :-) It has been a thrill to be able to document this journey, revealing all the physical oddities, emotional stresses and everything in between.

Anaïs celebrated her 3rd birthday, which still blows my mind. This little girl is no longer a baby! She's not even really a toddler anymore. She's an actual kid with thoughts and opinions. She has her own voice that we encourage her to use and use often because she has things to say and share. She becomes more animated and so fun. Holy crap, she's just so fun to be around! And it's funny to think back at all the times I would say, "___ is such a fun age for a baby. They just ____, _____ and _____." The truth is, every age is probably a fun age. (If I'm being honest, I feel like I'm going to continue saying that until my children are grown. I mean, come on.) And to see her transition from an only child to the role of a big sister? I can't even. (Oh, and P.S., that pixie cut was entirely her idea. See what I mean?)

We took a family trip to New Orleans over Spring Break and enjoyed the sights and sounds, food and music. It was a heartwarming knowing it would be our last family trip, just the three of us. But how cool, too! I can't help but look to the future and daydream about the four of us on an airplane or train or road trip. Three's company, four's a crowd. That's what they say, right?

Jesse and I celebrated our birthdays in May and I had a bonus celebration with Mother's Day in the same month! To say that this year has been eventful is quite an understatement. Feeling all of these things and experiencing all of this change and love that is continuing to happen right in front of me reminds me of how real everything is and that life just continues to move forward and stops for no one. It keeps me grounded and pushes me to keep doing what I'm doing. It shows me that everything I've ever dreamed of is attainable and turns into my reality because I believe in it and have an amazing partner and husband with me every step of the way.

Now that summer has arrived, we are now just weeks away from our little boy making his appearance. Anaïs is currently down in Florida spending some quality time with her grandparents as Jesse and I have some alone time to ourselves. We planned a little babymoon to Charleston, South Carolina and just got back to Atlanta tonight. Going through some of these photos just makes my heart swell. And let me tell you, it was exactly what we needed. I think couples who are pregnant should plan a mini getaway before their baby arrives. It doesn't have to be fancy or big. But some time away alone, just the two of you, is something that I feel will bring you closer together. It's a weird thing to say, right? After all, if you're already having a baby, you'd think that you were as close as you could possibly get. In my case, I've never felt a sense of disconnection with Jesse. However, I will say that after this trip, I feel even more connected to him. It essentially reaffirmed the fact that we are on the same team, that we are on the same page. I fell in love with him harder than I think I've ever fallen in love with him before. Sigh. It's amazing to think about how much our lives have evolved independently of one another and then now as they're intertwined. It's the stuff of dreams, you know?

We have one last weekend alone here in Atlanta before Anaïs gets back. I cannot wait to see that little girl's face and to squeeze her again! For now, though, we are enjoying our quiet time together and unwinding before everything turns into the inevitable magical chaos that it will be.


enjoy the welcomes.

Oh, hi. Hiiii. We are well into 2015 and I'm embarrassed that it's taken me this long to acknowledge the new year. So, hello again. I hope your year is going well so far.

What's new with us? Well, let's see. We saw Kishi Bashi play on New Year's Eve. We took A on a streetcar and train excursion around town. We've been staying in a lot hoping for a snowmageddon to arrive (like the two last year), to no avail. Seems pretty ordinary, right? Nothing to see here, folks, keep it moving. But wait. There is something to see. And it's great and fantastic and amazing and we are so so so excited to share. So why don't you just watch the little movie we made and see for yourself? :-) Enjoy the welcomes!


thread and jewel.

Ahem. It's December. December. Which means it's the twelfth month, which also means it's the last month of the year. And that means that Christmas is, oh, only exactly three weeks away from today. But who's counting, right? Yikes.

After having just moved for the billionth time this year, we [sadly] broke the news to our families in Florida that we would not be making it down for the holidays. We have a boatload of boxes still waiting to be unpacked in our living room. We just got back from Thanksgiving in Florida. Taking a road trip with a two-and-a-half year-old kid is no easy feat. The list goes on and on. The flip side of that is we'll have each other in the comfort of a new space to get settled and start fresh. But I digress. This post is actually about something else that could be related to to the holidays. Sort of.

You see, I have a friend named Zuri who is (for the lack of a better word) sublime. She's fierce and intelligent and creative and stunning. She has grace and courage, wit and brawn. She's also a mom to two bright girls and has a blog. Not only is she all these things, she also believes in social justice, teaches yoga and even curates a line of jewelry (designed by herself!). I mean, please. So when she asked me if I would be interested in [hand] modeling some of the pieces she has for sale, I jumped at the chance.

Say hello to Thread and Jewel. Aren't these rings beautiful?

Now...going back to Christmas. While trying on (and ooh-ing and ahh-ing) these baubles the other day, I couldn't help but think they'd make a lovely gift. So, if you're feeling stumped on what to get your girlfriend/bestie/wife/mom/sister/aunt/cousin, you surely can't go wrong with one of these. Amiright or amiright?



Sometimes, you have a bad moment (that you can laugh about later). Sometimes you have a bad year (that you can hopefully grow from and pat yourself on the back for). And sometimes you just have a bad week that you don't know how to snap out of but know you will because, hey, life goes on and that's what you gotta do to survive.

I am no stranger to change, both good and bad. As time goes on, something I've realized about myself is that I've learned to adapt and make limoncello out of lemons. It's been a weird week full of reflections about my past, present and future. I've thought about my family, particularly my dad who I miss so much at times and wish I could just hear his voice, even if it was just for a few minutes. I've also been thinking about my sister who has just embarked on the adventure of a lifetime living and working abroad in Seoul and how it must feel like she's got the world right at her fingertips just waiting to snatched up. I couldn't be more proud of her!

I've thought about my friends, both near and far and those who have come in and out of my life. Having moved around so much as an adult, it can sometimes be hard to maintain very close friendships with people, but when those friendships are found and cultivated, I affix them to my heart and they hold a permanent place. It made me think about sympathizing with each other during times of sadness and celebrating greatness in times of happiness. Friendships shouldn't be mutually exclusive to one of those two feelings. Friendships should encompass it all. Yet it's not always easy to put into practice. Human emotions get in the way of being fully present at times and eventually people sometimes exit to start over and make their own new beginnings without really knowing if they'll ever return to their past. And that's okay.

So, while this week may seem bad to me in this moment, I'm keeping perspective and paying attention to this quote I found from Socrates to help me persevere. I think it's working.


how about these apples?

Living in a place where there's an actual fall season is still an exciting thing for me. Having spent most of my life in Florida where it's either hot or not-so-hot, I'm really taking in the changing foliage, cooler weather and everything else that comes along with this time of year. Naturally, after having seen photos from my wedding florist's (isn't she adorable?) Instagram of her apple picking excursion with her husband, I was intrigued and convinced Jesse that we should drive an hour-and-a-half north of here to do just that.


Upon arriving, we discovered that it was apparently the last weekend of the season to go apple picking and the orchard we were headed to was the last orchard that was still open to the public to fulfill this task. Needless to say, there were swarms of people who had the exact same idea I did.

Imagine a carnival. Or a state fair. With carnies and fried Oreos, tourists and corndogs, crowds of cranky children and funnel cakes. Now take all of that and imagine it without any neon lights or rickety rides and replace it with an enormous orchard with barely any apples left. That was what we were walking into. Nope. We ate the last of our corn nuggets (you don't want to know) and high-tailed it out of there, thwarting our original plans for something spontaneous instead.

We landed on Downtown Ellijay. Without getting into the gritty details of our day, let's just say that it was not as we had expected, yet we had a great time. We serendipitously ran into good friends of ours in this random Small Town, U.S.A., had a few beers, grabbed some ice cream and caught up on a patio on a beautiful sunny day. We wandered into antique shops, we showed A how to use a real camera and we counted how many scarecrows were around (too many).

The day wasn't a total loss. We spent time with each other outside of our comfort zones and explored other possibilities. We laughed and connected with each other, away from our normal routines. Although apple picking never actually happened, it didn't matter. I already got the best apples of the bunch.