carlsons' candids

Monday, July 30, 2012

this weekend, momma chiang came into town for a whirlwind visit and and to help us with a big project (reveal to come in a few days!) as you can see, there was lots of food involved and good company too.

we ended the weekend around a lazy susan at x.o. taste - authentic, not too greasy chinese food. when the bill came, momma chiang reached for it as mark eyed the bill. but her fast, trained chinese hands were too skilled in the food check game for mark, so all mark could say was:, "ummmm we'd like to help with the bill." here's the kicker folks, and by kicker, i mean SHOCKER! momma chiang replied, "no, that is not the chinese way. i pay for it." husband and i looked at each other and busted out laughing, because this is the first either of us have heard of this new-fangled chinese way. after we stopped laughing, husband managed to say, "i feel like i've been lied to the past couple years of my life." but we'll ride on the adkins' coattails for a free chinese meal any day! thanks momma and thanks adkins! you helped us learn a very, very valuable, and might i add, new, cultural lesson.

big bro, what do you think of momma's new assertion?

on another note, who watched the olympics opening ceremony? can we give a collective shout: "i want those three hours of my life back!!!!" i'm not sure what's worse: the opening ceremony itself, or the fact that we watched the entire thing, thinking, there was a big wow factor just coming up and if we kept watching then we would not miss it. somehow, we managed to watch the whole thing, and miss the big wow of the opening ceremony. but onto the games. U-S-A!

happy monday and let the countdown to the weekend begin!

freaky friday

Friday, July 27, 2012

early this morning, i dreamt about my husband. only my husband had this face:
for reals. i was married to the hubs, it was just the hubs with that face. in my dreams, the hubs was definitely david. except for the face. oh and in the dream, david, err george clooney, was a doctor, but i swear, other than that, it was totally david.

all in all, it was not a bad way to kick start friday, but i was really glad to wake up to this face instead!

happy friday and go team USA!

nature's cruel joke

Thursday, July 26, 2012

sunday night i got husband to agree to take post-dinner walks so that we can enjoy what is left of summer.  this was monumental. because husband will find any excuse, and i do mean any, to avoid going on walks. he will choose doing dishes, laundry - folding AND putting away - over going on a walk. so you see, it was indeed monumental, miraculous even. i pat myself on the back for asking him as he was waking up from a nap. unfortunately, he was at least lucid enough to caveat his agreement: "if it's not hot."  for those of you who aren't living in virginia, **newsflash** it has been the hottest summer ever.  according to, it is currently 97 degrees out, but feels like 107 degrees. when post-dinner walk time creeps on us tonight, it will be 93 degrees out, but will feel like 102 degrees.  i'm fairly certain this would fall under husband's caveat.

BUT!!! it was only 84 degrees out yesterday. a high of 72 degrees during post-dinner walk time. this was my moment. but oh mother nature - i shake my fist at you!!! because wouldn't you know it? i came down with the worst summer time cold ever. and even i had to concede defeat. there would be no walk that night. at 9:30, i crawled into bed, whimpering, knowing that the next few days would be hot! hot! hot! there you have it, my one window of opportunity slammed shut because i have a paper thin immune system.  and i know - i just know - that david and mother nature are huddled in a corner somewhere, conspiring and pointing their fingers at me in mockery. but you haven't gotten the best of me yet!

on the upside, our son is coming home for a visit this weekend. technically, he's not really our son, but in actuality, he is, and in further actuality he's the son we never wanted ;)  but really, i'm quite the proud momma.  because i've trained him well!  he knows never to take a meal without doing dishes, and he never shows up to our place empty handed.  what a good first(not) born (of me) chinese son! and tomorrow he returns for a visit.  can't wait to see what he brought home for his mom and pops!


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

is it any wonder, given my type A personality and mild obsession with timeliness, that like clockwork, my quarterly mid-mid life crisis has come to pay me a visit?

friends, if it's not a mid-mid life crisis, then i have a serious case of ennui. i feel utterly weary and discontent and this has led to a lack of interest and total boredom. you may agree that this is not the healthiest state of being. so i'm actively fighting it. i present to you my happy list, or somewhat happy, as the case may be. i'll let you know if i win or lose this fight.

1) the summer's long days (i'm trying not to focus on the fact that the sun is setting ever earlier).
2) saving up for my new fancy camera and lens (donations welcome)
3) a potentially exciting project just on the horizon (details to come when it's definite, oh the suspense)
4) the hope of a puppy in november (please husband!)
5) fridays (double dose of happiness, kick start to the weekend and also the day professional cleaners pay casa carlson a visit)
6) having a job (ok, while i'd much prefer not having to work - oh to live the dream - since i have to work, i'm grateful, if not happy, that i am gainfully employed)
7) big fluffy down comforter (husband lets me turn the ac all the way down so i can burrow under a billowy warm, big fluffy comforter in the summer time)
8) having great friends live close by (kwongs, please remember to check with me before you move, anywhere, ever because i don't think i can live without you guys within walking distance)
9) dreaming about and planning vacations (cruise 2014, you are mapped out and scheduled...beware!)
10) the olympics (won't you hum the olympics theme song with me, dum dum dadadadada da dadada dadadadadadadadadaaaaaaaaaaaa)

happy tuesday friends, if only because it is tuesday, and therefore, no longer monday.

carlsons' candids

Monday, July 23, 2012

the weekend blew right by us. again. and here we are, face-to-face with the ever dreaded and dreadful monday. the weekend was lovely, as always. we ended up passing some time at the eastern market open flea market.  what do you think? if i get husband the t-shirt in his size, will it come true??

here are some pictures to hold us over until next friday...


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

i was perusing the news the other day, trying to catch up on everything going on around the world; people fighting and massacred in syria, a new special advisor appointed in north korea, not enough economic growth, exorbitantly high youth unemployment rates in europe, jeremy lin sent to houston out of spite, etc. you get the picture. objectively,  there is so much to worry about, to be anxious about - so much to fear in this world. so it's always nice to be reminded that despite life's great and small uncertainties, there is one thing that remains unshakeable.
this past weekend, yobel and i hosted a baby shower for our friend miriam. she is due in less than a month! as i was sifting through the pictures last night, it occured to me, this baby - baby thomas richard - is so loved. like crazy loved. he is so loved by his parents, so loved by his uncle who traveled all the way from new york just to surprise miriam at the shower and so loved by the grandparents who will soon converge on virginia. and because we love mark and miriam, we also love baby thomas. it's comforting to know, in the midst of such chaos, violence even, that for the next many many moons,  all the love will be a kind of anchor for the adkins as they journey into parenthood. afterall, our love is a mere shadow of the most secure, most unfathomable, most unconditional love of our dear LJ.

so for today, it's enough to know that they are loved. we are loved. and mostly, baby thomas is loved...loved in Him - the safest, calmest, sweetest place to be. and somehow, it suddenly becomes a little less scary to bring a baby into this world. because we are secure deep in this cocoon of our Savior's love, and in the love of all those who surround us.

baby shower group picture
the boys
kellygracemiche DS friends
friends yobel and miriam
cinnamon roll prep decorator in chief
food bar
food fruit salad
cake best
david explaining stroller stroller demonstration
miriam and stroller

and my favorite picture of the baby shower:
yobel dishwasher

because anyone who does dishes in my house is always, ALWAYS, i repeat, ALWAYS welcome over.

note*: the cake is HOMEMADE - just not in my home! my ridiculously talented friend Grace Chung makes cakes in her "spare time" - after she graduated at the top of her west point class, after getting married, while raising two adorable girls, and attending dental school. i'm pretty convinced she secretly runs the world too.

a cold day in july

Monday, July 16, 2012

if you haven't discerned from my glaringly obvious sassy wit, sharp intellect, betwitching charm, and humility, not to mention intense bouts of impatience, i am a new yorker at heart. and even though i haven't lived in new york since i was eighteen - many many years ago - there are some things from your childhood that you just cannot shake off. there are some things that are so rooted in you, it's practically part of your nature. some things from which, even if you leave for a while, you find your way back to, because it feeds a part of your soul, because there are precious memories associated with it, because there's always hope for next year, next season, next game. this is what it means to be a knicks fan.

for those of us new york kids who came of age in the 1990s and early 2000s, it was a decade of year after year hopefulness. this is the year. we will beat the bulls. we will beat the rockets. we will beat the pacers. we hated michael jordan (simultaneously wishing for a miraculous trade that would bring jordan to our beloved, consistently runner-up plagued team). it wasn't actually that hard to imagine. it was a different team back then - a sort of golden era if you will. we were consistently in the playoffs, consistently a great team, a feared team. sort of. at least that's what my memory tells me.

growing up, we were not allowed to watch tv on a school night. the one exception was a knicks game. i remember it so clearly, it's as if it happened yesterday. big brother and i kneeling on our family room floor, eyes glued to the tv, jumping up and cheering every time the knicks scored, screaming and lamenting every time they blew a huge lead. my mother, lounged on the couch, shouting, "they're so stupid, why do they miss that ball, i can make that shot!" and my beloved father, chanting in chinese, "su su knicks. su su knicks!" (translated into english means: "lose, lose knicks"). the only time we were allowed to watch tv and our mother was promoting her own basketball chops, while our father taunted us. of course, i wouldn't change this ever, and i long for these nights again. but all you sports fan out there, you remember that time of knicks semi-greatness don't you?

the day before i left home for college, a dear friend of mine and i promised that one day, when we had made our money in the world, we'd buy the seats next to spike lee and cheer the knicks on. (it appears that day is farther off than i had initially imagined). but somehow, life moved on without the knicks and the knicks  fell on hard times. really hard times - the dark ages for knicks fans really. and did you know that in california, where i resided for five years, they don't broadcast knicks games as often as they do in new york? go figure. so my faithful following fell to the wayside. other things came up - new friends, new loves, a new different kind of normal life. i'd stopped watching basketball altogether until i received a fateful text from my brother (an always faithful knicks fan) this past february. the incredible resurgence of the knicks and all their hopes for a championship, somehow brought back to life on the shoulders of someone who could very well have been my own brother. (if only...holla for a dolla!!!) john and jeremy john and joey poster pic mom knicks game john mom sam jubilee
of course part of the frenzy and excitement was my own identification and pride as an asian american, and part of it was my new yorker kid, kneeling on the family room floor, just bursting to jump up and cheer for my home team, but i could not get enough of the knicks. jeremy lin was sensational to watch and had a truly historic sports moment. and the best part of it all was that he belonged to us. he was a new york knick.
so you see, it's kind of painful to write this precisely because i have to write in past tense. he was a new york knick. WAS. the only thing possibly more frustrating than knicks ownership management is the redskins ownership management.  that's saying something. now, here we are, with the clock ticking. big brother is tucked into a ball, rocking himself in the corner of his apartment, wondering if it's too late to refund his 2012-2013 season tickets, and i'm left sporting pontentially vintage. john mourning tshirt wearing lin t shirt and we're both hoping against all hope, that the knicks will match houston's offer.
note: the one unfailing, constant thing in my sports fan life happens to be the loud, taunting family member. husband has replaced my father in the "lose, lose knicks" chanting role. and while i was definitely too afraid to punch my dad in the face, i don't hold the same reservations when it comes to husband. 


mark your calendars

Thursday, July 12, 2012

it's official peeps. there are some exciting things in the future for the carlsons! in some months time, there will be major celebration in our house. a new stage in life really! so mark your calendars and help me ring in [drumroll please!!!!!!] march 2020 when i will officially be debt free - law school loans be gone! that's right, thanks to the public service loan forgiveness program, i will be done paying off my loans in exactly seven years and eight months.

and for all of you out there who are considering law school, i urge you first to read this blog before making a potentially ill advised decision because your parents still believe in the days of yore, when being a lawyer was not only a respectable career, but a lofty money making one. perhaps i'm a bit cynical, being in d.c. and all where lawyers are a dime a dozen. but in all seriousness, law school is a major financial commitment and in all honesty, it's probably where your dreams of social and human justice go to die and where your ability to accumulate debt goes into overdrive. i don't want to be a dream killer, so if you've always wanted to be a lawyer, by all means, do it, just make sure you know the facts before you make such a huge commitment. in the meantime, we eagerly await going from this:

to this:

(and yes i am fanning myself with one dollar bills. and though i'll be debt free in 2020, i'm sure i'll still only be fanning my self with mr. washington and not my more friendlier friend, mr. benjamin.)