180 posts categorized "Family & Friends"

November 19, 2013

Why it Works

When I met Shamanie a few years ago at an art camp, I hit it off with her right away. I knew as soon as I met her that she was a listener ... which happens to be one of my love languages. I feel loved when a person listens to me. And one of the primary ways that I love is by listening to people. I'm good at it. (There are other languages that I'm not so good at, by the way.)

I've realized through my therapy sessions and other lessons that I also feel loved when listening is not accompanied by judging. To hear my story that is made up of my good and bad, of my choices as I maneuver through dangers that are present, the highs and lows ... as I observe and consider all that is out there, make decisions for my life without taking a poll about what I should or could do. To simply share my story rather than have it measured.

I'm not sure if I've always been a listener without judgement. Actually, I know for sure that I haven't always been that way ... especially during times in my life when I allowed dogma to direct my conversations and allow that dogma to dispense shoulds, coulds, oughtas, and other generalized command statements.

Photo-3I recently flew to Colorado to spend the weekend with Shamanie. To get caught up with each other's stories. The highs. The lows. And every space in between. We worked out. We ate. We hung out with her kids. We laughed hard and shed a few tears.

Photo 1

Loving without measuring. Sharing without judging. When it works, it's a beautiful thing. When it doesn't, not so much. And why it works is kind of a mystery I think. It's as simple as a puffy white cloud in the sky. And it's as complex as how that cloud got into the sky in the first place.


It reminds me of art. When it works, it just does.

July 28, 2013

Simpler. Truer. Better.

Every time I interact with Kerri, I feel inspired to become ... Simpler. Truer. Better.

Kerri Winterstein and Jenny DohHere we are after a really great brunch where we talked about things that seem little but matter a whole lot when you think about it.

Like how blogging used to feel different than it does now. Less pressure-filled. More homespun. Same thing for etsy ... and other places in this world wide web where homespun and simple seem to have been overhauled by fancy and slick ... where there's pressure to dream big or to go home ...

So much pressure.

Sometimes, it's much too much. And we ALL get caught up in it.

And then there's the whole topic of parenthood. Are we doing it right? Are we being strict enough? Are we being flexible enough? What's the right way?

And then there's that perfect cup of coffee and that perfect side of milk that gets placed at the table by that perfectly happy server ... along with amazing French toast for Kerri and a delectable arugula salad for me. "Sorry for the wait ... it's been a busy day and we are one server short," he says. I think one of us actually says "not a problem" as we busily gobble up the goodness.

Jenny Doh

Lots of wondering and thinking out loud. Lots of chuckles. Not so many answers, but a great visit with great food and loads of healthy thinking out loud.

Lunch or brunch again, hopefully soon.

July 19, 2013

Roam (if you want to) and Pursue Your Happiness

I adore these photobooth shots that I took with Monica last night. They make me happy. They were taken right after we watched a fantastic B-52s concert. 

Jenny Doh and Monica Mouet

Throughout the concert, we were saying to each other how awesome it is to see a band that's been around since the 1970s still doing so well, as we watched each member rockin' it on stage, and truly pursuing their passion and happiness. (The opening band was X and we also LOVED their performance and the way they performed with such sincerity and passion.)






It was a GREAT show.

The lyrics to one of their classic songs they performed really spoke to me last night, which is their song, Roam, which starts off like this:

Roam if you want to
Without wings, without wheels
Roam if you want to
Without anything but the love we feel

I love that the song doesn't command me to roam, but rather to roam if I want to. In other words, do what I want, if I choose to do that. And I think by saying that, it also says to let others roam if they want to and let them pursue their happiness if they want to. Live and let live.

Sometimes, we get tricked into second-guessing what we want, as we wonder if we should roam, whether we ought to roam, what others might think if we choose to roam or not ... The B52s remains an awesome and relevant band today because they have remained true to who they are, knowing that they can't please all. But by staying true to the essence of who they are and pursuing their happiness, they end up decades later, being a band that has truly left a mark on the world.

Jenny Doh

Here are a couple of shots I had fun posing for with my concert buddies, Dori and Amy. Love these girls. They make me happy.

Jenny Doh

Take it hip to hip
Rocket through the wilderness ...
Roam if you want to
Roam around the world

June 27, 2013

Throwback Thursday :: With My Brothers in Korea

Throwback Thursday :: With my brothers in Korea.

Jenny Doh
I was little. I don't remember where we were but I remember thinking that the stairs were endless and they were hard to climb.

Jenny Doh
I remember feeling important to be able to carry my dad's camera lens case for his beloved Nikon, pretending that it was my special purse. I remember it being super heavy. I remember feeling protected and adored by my brothers.

May 23, 2013

She's my daughter.

Congratulations to Monica Mouet, who has been named Director of the Community Arts Outreach Program for the 3rd/4th grade class for her school, Orange County School of the Arts.


She has spent this past year serving in the program, providing arts-based outreach for young kids at the local sister campus, OCEAA. It's a great program where high schoolers mentor young ones through arts and academics.

She sometimes underestimates her effectiveness and ability to work with young ones but she's a natural at it, as she dispenses empathy, sympathy, respect, active listening, passion, and love for these young and most deserving minds.

Monica has also been named Vice President of the Spanish Honor Society for next year. So of course our family will start to call her VEEP. Love that!

And oh yeah, Monica has also been chosen to be a Creative Writing Ambassador for the Bridge to Broadway program for the summer, where she'll be working with professional producers to work on bringing new plays to theater.

Thanks for letting me brag about Monica and all the accomplishments coming her way as a result of her hard work and dedication.

Isn't she beautiful?
Isn't she genius?
Isn't she awesome?

She's my daughter, Monica.


March 07, 2013

OCSA :: Stars in the Making

So the other night, Monica asked if I'd read and give her feedback on two short plays that she had written because she was going to submit them to see if one of them might be selected for Orange County School of the Art's (OCSA) annual Play Fest.

When I read them, I was literally moved to tears. SUCH characters. SUCH smart dialogue. I gave minor technical feedback ... but mainly, I told Monica that I wanted her to eventually develop the short plays into full-length plays because I couldn't wait to see the entire story of both plays unfold. Finally, I offered her reassurance that if the selection committee had half a brain, one of her plays would definitely be selected for the Play Fest. I'm her mom. I'm allowed to say things like that. :) Monica MouetAnd guess what? It turns out that Monica submitted 3 short plays and the one I didn't read got selected! And so when it was time to go to the Play Fest this week, I was curious what I'd see being played out on stage since I hadn't had the chance to read it beforehand.

Her play was titled Scar and she cast two of her friends (above) to play the two characters in her play. The actors did a phenomenal job as they brought to life the message of the play, which had something to do with Harry Potter and a lot to do regarding the pain of growing up.

It. Was. So. Good.

The play reminded me that no matter who becomes our rescue fantasy hero that we idealize, at the end of the day, there is no one who can rescue us except ourselves. And no matter how much we want to be in someone else's story, it's our story that we get to construct ... with experiences both good and bad, sometimes wonderful, sometimes tragic.

OCSADo you see the star in the photo above? It's the new logo for OCSA. It takes a minute but once you see it, you see it.

Another play that was selected and performed at Play Fest was written by Rachel Do, one of Monica's best friends. Shown below is Monica, Rachel, and Antonia (another one of Monica's best friends). Rachel's play was titled Your Epidermus is Showing and it was also fantastic. Really excellent writing and great character development. 

Monica and Rachel and AntoniaAt the end of the night, they had all the playwrights go up on stage to take a bow. I look at the photo of these young people and think to myself that these are our leaders. These are the people who will be doing amazing things in the years ahead like writing plays, curing diseases, accepting Oscars, and helping people. True stars in the making.


February 26, 2013

Art on the Beach

I had a total blast today. The weather was perfect. I was at Victoria Beach and there wasn't a cloud in the sky.

Jenny DohAnd the best part? I was with a fabulous group of friends: Amy, April, Pam, and Christine. Here they all are ... on the sand ... getting their art on.

Jenny DohOne art product that I learned about from Christine is this Art Graf that comes in a cute little tin. Watercolor graphite is what it is. Totally fabulous. Can't wait to get some of my own! Learning about cool new products is one of the MAJOR benefits of hanging with artists, in my opinion.

Here I am trying to get an aerial shot of some of the beautiful art that was made. I like this shot because it looks like my hair is actually getting long-ish ... which is my aim right now.

April Meeker and Jenny DohAnd here's that aerial shot.

Pam Garrison

I didn't want the day to end. The sun, sand, and water were delicious. The company was great. I'm looking forward to more of it all this coming spring and summer in beautiful southern California that I'm so lucky to call my backyard ... with friends who are oh-so-talented and fun.
Pam Garrison and April Meeker

November 09, 2012

Breathing Santa Ana

When I started dating Gerardo Mouet (The Mister) more than 20 years ago, I became intrigued with his many facets. Right away, one of the most intriguing things I learned about him was his love for the city of Santa Ana. "I love Santa Ana," he said. And it is this love that caused us to plant our roots in this city. The city where we live and raise our children. The city where we run 4, 5, or 6 miles in the mornings. The city where I shoot my arrows. The city where we walk our dogs. The city where our children receive excellent public education. The city where Gerardo bicycles to and from work every day. The city where we partner with volunteers to plant trees, remove graffiti, and support the arts.

breathing santa anaOne of the commenters in this recent article states that Gerardo breathes Santa Ana. It's true.

Gerardo MouetAnd it's because of his sincerity and authenticity and passion for Santa Ana that causes me and our two children to also embrace his journey as we join him in breathing in all of the challenges, and breathing out all of the hope and potential that this beautiful city and its people possess.

Gerardo Jenny Monica Andrew

August 27, 2012

Farewell and Thank you, Summer 2012

Here are some Instagrams I took at the Zoofari event that I attended with The Mister this past weekend ... an event that usually marks for me, the end of summer—my favorite season.

Photo-10One of the best parts of Summer 2012 was developing new friends, like Barbara and Stan Venezia, and also having opportunities to visit with old friends like Frank Mickadeit. Barbara and Frank did a great job serving as emcees of Zoofari.
Barbara and Stan Venezia, Frank Mickadeit, Gerardo MouetAlso, developing new friendships with Michael Penn and Ashleigh Aitken ... a funny, smart, and adorable duo, who we were so happy to see at Zoofari.
Michael Penn and Ashleigh AitkenDuring the evening, I had my new ring on that was made for me by another new friend in my life, April Meeker. It has 501 on it ... a beautiful reminder to always strive to walk that 501st mile.

501st mile
The toughest mile that I learned so much about during this incredible Summer 2012.
I'll never forget it.

June 14, 2012

Lessons from Trainer

Meet Trainer. AKA., Daniel Gustin.
As I've been sharing with you in previous posts, I've been working very hard for a good 6-7 months to regain my fitness level. It's something that had been slipping away from me as I found myself so intensely focused on my work ... and feeling tethered to my computer for days on end.

Daniel GustinHere are just a few of the many fitness-related things I've learned from Trainer.

  1. You might think you can't do something but actually, you'd be surprised to find that you can, if you learn how, and practice. Like 6 months ago, I thought I could never do boy push-ups, never jump rope for more than 1-minute sets, never to Tabata sets on a treadmill, never kick-box. Today, I can do 10 decent boy push-ups, jump for three 3-minute sets, do killer Tabata sets on a treadmill, and I would say I'm becoming a decent kick-boxer. Funny though ... new challenges that Trainer introduces still make me doubt myself. Like right now, I'm learning to jump high onto these tall objects. They scare me. But I'm learning.  
  2. To lose weight, you should eat right after exercising and in general, practice moderation but never starve yourself. Slow and gradual loss is longer-lasting and better for you than fast and dramatic loss. It's true. I've been living this truth and seeing the results for the past several months.
  3. It's important to stretch. So true. It feels like something that doesn't matter and something you can just brush off but I do them regularly now because I never want to endanger my workout routines to potential injuries.
  4. It's important to breathe. Honestly, I've never really thought about the concept of proper breathing but I am realizing how much it is related to exercise. I'm a bad breather. But I'm learning to become better.

Daniel GustinAs you can tell from the photo above, Trainer has no clue how to crochet. :)

But he can do other things pretty well ... like kick. (And he knows a lot about algea-based biofuels.)

Daniel Gustin
As intimidating as this kick looks, what's great about Trainer and really all great trainers in my opinion, is that they use their expertise and experience not to intimidate and show off, but to educate, empower, and motivate.

Finally ... the most important thing I've learned is that at the end of the day, no matter how great any trainer or any gym may be, it boils down to me and my commitment and my discipline. The discipline to wake up and drag myself into the gym to work my ass off every single day, even when I don't feel like it.

When I am fit, I feel fit not only physically, but emotionally, socially, intellectually. It's not a temporary thing to do and check off my list. It's a new way of living.

PS: Many thanks to Mr. Jill's ... the gym where Trainer and other great trainers train in a safe, supportive, inviting environment.

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