Tag: Family

Review: Dear My Friends

Posted July 7, 2022 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Dear My Friends

Starring: Go Hyun Jung, Go Doo Shim, Kim Hye Ja, Park Won Sook, Na Moon Hee, Youn Yuk Jung, Jo In Sung
Year Released: 2016
Number of Episodes: 16
Genre: Drama, Family, Romance
Country: South Korea
Where I Watched It: Netflix
Recommended By: Kim Namjoon

Park Wan is a translator who is constantly pulled by her mother, Jang Nan Hee, to hang out with her elder friends, Jo Hee Ja, Moon Jung Ah, Oh Choong Nam, and Lee Yeong Won. The plot revolves around the friends’ twilight years as they are rediscovering themselves through relationships and family, the struggles they face due to their old age, and their life journey that they share with Park Wan in the hope she would write a novel about them.

RM recommended this drama and though I normally wouldn’t have chosen to watch it for myself, I’m so glad that I gave it a try. This was one of those dramas that kicked you in the gut and made you sit up and take notice of yourself and your own life. There are life lessons in this one that spoke to me, as a person who has had to take care of aging parents. It’s never easy and your parents will have you wishing for peace at every turn. Watching this show made me remember the many times that I drove my Mom and her friends around while they laughed and had the best time. I never wanted to drive them but I always had the best time while I was with them.

This group of old ladies was no different from my crazy Samoan Mom and her friends. They were always getting themselves into some trouble or other and always calling me to come and pick them up. So I empathized with Park Wan. Wan was battling emotional baggage all fronts. From leaving her boyfriend back in Europe, to her running all over South Korea picking up and cleaning up her Mom’s group of friends messes, Wan lived a very busy and emotionally exhausting life. Add to that everything else that pops off during the course of this drama, my frustration with Wan’s character slowly turned into admiration as each episode passed.

The Story

The story follows an older group of friends as they live their lives. Each character is going through something different but equally relatable. They’re all growing older and some are dealing with neglectful children, declining health, being fed up with their spouses, and loneliness. Each character brings something different to the table and through it all, you grow close to each and every single one of them. From each of the different women in the friends group, to their kids, and mostly, to Wan. Wan was the kid that was there for all of the old ladies and she had a special relationship with each of them. They were family to her and she was there for them the same way that they were there for her. The story is woven pretty tight and before you know what’s what, you’ll be hooked.

The Cast

A huge chunk of this cast was familiar to me but the ones that weren’t, are familiar now. I adored each and every single one of these characters from main to supporting and I thought that each of them really shined and did a fantastic job bringing their characters to life. I cried and I laughed, and I felt all of the feelings because these actors and actresses are really good at their jobs. Not too long after I finished this show, BTS came to Las Vegas and I swear I saw my favorite halmoni at the airport after the concert. I was struck mute after seeing her rush from the car on the street to the airport. She was there with two young kids that I assumed were her grandkids but I had the biggest smile on my face because I loved her character in this show so much.

Final Thoughts

Overall, this drama was a great one. It has everything that I love and adore in a show. A charming cast, stories that come to life with every episode, and some life lessons that I apply to my own life. This show made me want to be a better daughter to my Dad. It made me glad for the time that I spent with my Mom and her friends when she was alive. It also made me want to listen more and talk less. My Dad is full of stories from his life in Samoa, to the beginning of his life here in the States, and I’m determined more than ever, thanks to this show, to make sure that I record those stories so that I can keep the memories alive for our future generations.

Through Wan and all of her old lady friends, we are treated to a heartwarming drama that will leave you appreciating the people in your life and want to hug your older relatives closer and tighter before they’re gone. You will feel all of the feels in this drama and you’ll be glad that you watched it when all is said and done. I definitely recommend.


Final Rating


4 out of 5

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A Letter to My Mom

Posted April 13, 2021 by Rowena in Personal | 10 Comments

Dear Mom,

Today marks the tenth anniversary of your death. I miss you so much and I think about you a lot, especially lately. We’ve been through a lot in the last ten years but I want you to know that Dad is doing well. He’s still faithfully going to the same dialysis center that you went to. He’s still golfing every Tuesday and Thursday with Eric and Lucky. He’s still eating everything he’s not supposed to be eating and drinking Coke, instead of Diet Coke. He’s still the same happy-go-lucky man that you married and though he’s getting older in age, he’s still a young kid at heart and we love him to pieces (as does everyone that comes into contact with him). He turns 80 this year so that will be a big celebration for the family. I talked to him this morning and he was getting ready for golf and still cracking jokes with me and Ingrid about everything under the sun. I know that he misses you as well and he plans to visit your grave today after golf to spend some time with you.

I won’t make this a sappy post about how much I miss you and can’t live without you but I hope you know that you are missed and you are still loved by everyone left behind. Lots of things have happened in the last ten years. You have 25 grandkids and 3 great-grandchildren. Yeah, your grandkids are adding to your legacy and I know that you would have loved to hug all of the kids close so I’m sad that you’re not here to see all of your babies all grown and some, with their own kids. After the ones you knew and loved, Lillian was born then Caleb came not too long after Lily, then finally Rockne joined the family. After Rocky was born, then came Caiden, Chloe’s oldest, and then Jax, Jarred’s son, and last but not least, Princess Lasi.

In other news, I moved to Vegas so I’m not in California today to sit with you and the rest of the family at your gravesite like we normally do on the anniversary of your death. Pete and Delene talked about going to the cemetery this morning so I’m sure you have loads of flowers to decorate your resting place. We’re in a pandemic right now so the world is a lot different from when you were here with us. Everyone wears masks (or well, they’re supposed to be anyway) when they go out in public, public places can’t have more than 25% capacity though certain places are starting to open up again. It’s been a pretty rough few years for everyone around. We’ve lost so many friends and family that we grew up with to a pretty devastating disease that spread through the entire world. The world got angry and is being mean to our Asian friends because they’re being blamed for the hard times we’re facing right now and it’s been pretty devastating to wake up every day to more unfortunate news from around the world. So it’s been hard and pretty scary too but we’re getting through because what else can we do? We’re a strong bunch though so I’m sure we’ll weather this storm as best as we can.

I miss you, Mom. I miss everything about you. I miss hearing your voice, laughing with you over everything under the sun, and I even miss doing your dialysis stuff for you every single night. Remember the first time that Dad left us alone for the weekend so that he can be the Priesthood representative for the Youth Conference and I forgot to clip one of your dialysis tubes so it flooded your bedroom and you were so mad and I was so scared that I called Dad at midnight, crying because I thought I killed you? It didn’t make a lick of sense since you were healthy enough to yell the house down but I was so scared that night. Do you remember when we laughed and laughed and laughed about it when Dad got home? You’ve left behind a lifetime of memories that I cherish now. You’ve taught me a lot about life, about how to live, and though I’m not perfect, I’m trying to be the kind of daughter that you’d be proud of. I’m strong-minded just like you and stubborn as all get out but I promise I’m working on it. LOL. I love you, Mom and I hope that you’re resting in paradise because you deserve it. Even though you were meaner than all get out, you’re still my favorite and I miss you every day.

Rest in peace, Mom.

Love you always,

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Review: Be with You

Posted September 29, 2020 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Be With You

Male Lead: So Ji Sub
Female Lead: Son Ye Jin
Also Starring: Park Seo Jun, Go Chang Suk, Lee Yoo Jin
Year Released: 2018
Genre: Contemporary, Fantasy, Romance, Family
Country: Korea
Where I Watched It: Viki
Watched It For: Park Seo Jun

On her deathbed, Soo Ah (Son Ye Jin) makes a promise to her husband, Woo Jin (So Ji Sub), and her son, Ji Ho (Kim Ji Hwan), that she will return to them a year after her passing. Wishing, rather than believing she would keep her word, Woo Jin and Ji Ho say their final farewells. With broken hearts, they do their best to pick up the pieces of their old life and try to move on.

A year later, the unbelievable happens. True to her word, Soo Ah returns home, the problem is, she has no recollection of her past life. With no idea of who she was or what Woo Jin and Ji Ho meant to her, Soo Ah does her best to find a place in their lives once again. Eventually settling into this new life, Soo Ah and her family experience happiness in ways they never dreamed would be possible again. But their happiness is short-lived.

Only able to stay with Woo Jin and Ji Ho for a short while, Soo Ah soon realizes that her time at home is quickly coming to an end. With hearts breaking all over again, Soo Ah must say goodbye to her family, only this time it’s forever.

Adapted from Takuji Ichikawa’s novel of the same name, “Be With You” is a 2018 romantic fantasy drama film directed by Lee Jang Hoon.

I’ve been meaning to check out something with So Ji Sub in it because my friend B Nice is a huge fan of his so when I came across this movie with you guessed it…Park Seo Jun, you know your girl had to watch it. This is another one of those movies where Park Seo Jun is in a very small part of the movie but it was still an enjoyable movie. It was sad and it was hopeful and in the end, it was warmed my heart to see how far both father and son have come.

So this movie is about a young boy and his father who are both grieving over the loss of their mother and wife. The boy, Ji Ho, misses his Mom a great deal but is hopeful that she will keep her deathbed promise to him about returning to him after a year has passed. His father, Woo Jin, doesn’t believe it and though he’s having trouble moving on, he’s doing the best that he can. When the year mark comes up, the unthinkable happens. Soo Ah, the mom, and wife that Ji Ho and Woo Jin have been missing shows up just as she promised, the story really picks up. A huge bulk of the story takes place during the time that Soo Ah returns to her family. She’s only there for a short period of time and part of that time is spent trying to catch up. When Soo Ah returns, she doesn’t remember Woo Jin or Ji Ho or her life with them so she does her best to get to know them again and rebuild what they had before.

This was a very emotional story and I connected with every single family member. They’re all trying their best to keep the memories alive and I really enjoyed seeing them bond as a family while Soo Ah was back. I loved the connection between Soo Ah and Ji Ho. I loved seeing how happy he was for her return, how hard he worked to make her return more comfortable for her, and I really, really loved seeing how happy he was when she showed up for his performance. The same for Woo Jin. I really loved seeing him fall in love with his wife all over again. I loved seeing the two of them get to know each other all over again and seeing their relationship told from his pov since she didn’t remember much of it was just great. There was enough romance in this movie to warm my romance-loving heart.

There was a lot going on in this movie and the emotions, the warmth, it all got to me. I really connected with this story and seeing Woo Jin and Ji Ho being able to move on with a heavy heart but hopeful for the future made me so happy that I watched this movie. It’s another good one and even though we only got to see Park Seo Jun, who played an older Ji Ho, for like five minutes, I was happy to see him when he finally enters the picture. Goodness, that guy is bomb. Anyway, if you’re in the mood to cry and want an enjoyable but emotional movie, this is the one for you. I definitely recommend it.

Final Rating

4 out of 5

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The Monthly Recap: November 2018

Posted December 4, 2018 by Rowena in Features | 4 Comments

November was a pretty busy month for me and my family. Birthdays, holidays and a missionary farewell that we had to prepare for but man did I have a great November. Lots of family around and even though I got into it with one of my doctors, I still had a great ass November.

What I Did

The month of November is a very popular birthday month in my family. We celebrated many birthdays this month, mine included. I’m a year older guys and I feel every single one of those years. LOL. This month was also for celebrating Cheridan as she prepared to leave the fam for a year and a half to serve her mission in San Jose. The week leading up to when she left for the MTC was spent as a family, doing whatever she wanted. We saw Ralph Breaks the Internet (pictured above), we rode bikes on the beach, did karaoke as a family, got our roll bounce on at the skating rink and we ate all of her favorite things. So, as you can see, we had a really good time doing what we always do together, laugh and clown each other.

Thanksgiving for the family was here in L.A. since everyone was in town for Cheridan’s farewell. We had lots of food, lots of people, and a big ass mess when all was said and done. Thank goodness there’s a million of us to clean up. Haha, we had fun though.

Cheridan is at the MTC in Mexico City right now, learning how to speak Spanish so that when she gets to San Jose in January, she’ll know how to speak Spanish like a pro (haha, or well, you know what I mean). She gave a great farewell talk on the day of her farewell and it was well attended by family far and near, as you can tell from the picture above. That picture was taken right after Sacrament meeting and we’re missing Chloe and Markus who had to rush home to check on the palusami that Markus and the boys made for our Sunday dinner. Team Wilson Gang rolls deep.

What I Read

1. Sleepover by Serena Bell (eARC) | 4 out of 5
2. Highlander Most Wanted (Montgomery’s & Armstrongs #2) by Maya Banks (Audiobook) | 4.25 out of 5
3. Silver Borne (Mercy Thompson #5) by Patricia Briggs (eBook) | 4.25 out of 5
4. Wait for It by Mariana Zapata (eBook) | 4.5 out of 5
5. Archangel’s Blade (Guild Hunter #4) by Nalini Singh (Audiobook) | 3.25 out of 5
6. Mornings on Main by Jodi Thomas (eBook) | 3 out of 5
7. Fall (VIP #3) by Kristen Callihan (eBook) | 4.25 out of 5
8. My Best Friend’s Ex (Beta Brothers #1) by Hazel Kelly (eBook) | 3.5 out of 5
9. Friends with Benefits (Beta Brothers #2) by Hazel Kelly (eBook) | 4 out of 5
10. Save the Date by Carrie Aarons (eBook) | 2 out of 5
11. My Favorite Half Night Stand by Christina Lauren (eARC) | 4 out of 5
12. Ache for You (Slow Burn #3) by J.T. Geissinger (Audiobook) | 1 out of 5

My favorite read of the month goes to Wait for It by Mariana Zapata because I adored the romance, the characters and the author’s writing style. She hasn’t disappointed me yet and I’m looking forward to reading more of her books in the new year.

My least favorite book is the last book that I read last month. Ache for You by J.T. Geissinger. The heroine ruined this book for me because she was a whiny little asshole who jumped to every conclusion under the sun. It was annoying as hell and even in the end, she wouldn’t give the hero the benefit of the doubt and I wanted to smack the shit out of her.

Book Boyfriends

Raj Sen from Rebel Hard (Hard Play #2) by Nalini Singh
Adam Hauptman from Silver Borne (Mercy Thompson #5) by Patricia Briggs
Caleb Scott from Fight or Flight by Samantha Young

What I Reviewed

Block Shot (Hoops #2) by Kennedy Ryan | 4.25 out of 5
The Haunting of Hill House, Season 1 | 4.5 out of 5
Wait for It by Mariana Zapata | 4.5 out of 5
Highlander Most Wanted (Montgomery’s & Armstrongs #2) by Maya Banks | 3.25 out of 5
Never Love a Highlander (The McCabe Trilogy #3) by Maya Banks | 4.5 out of 5
Diamond Fire (Hidden Legacy #3.5) by Ilona Andrews | 4.5 out of 5
Finding Dandelion (Dearest #2) by Lex Martin | 3.5 out of 5
Kissing Madeline (Dearest #3) by Lex Martin | 4 out of 5
Fireworks (True North #6) by Sarina Bowen | 4.25 out of 5
Phoenix Unbound (Fallen Empire #1) by Grace Draven | 4 out of 5
Burn Bright (Alpha & Omega #5) by Patricia Briggs | 4.25 out of 5
The Other Miss Bridgerton (The Rokesbys #3) by Julia Quinn | 4.25 out of 5
Sleepover by Serena Bell | 4 out of 5

What I Bought

Hate Notes by Vi Keeland & Penelope Ward
The Virgin Romance Novelist by Meghan Quinn
Forgotten Sins (Sin Brothers #1) by Rebecca Zanetti
Addicted to You (Addicted #1) by Krista & Becca Ritchie
The Studying Hours (How to Date a Douchebag #1) by Sara Ney
The Wrong Game by Kandi Steiner
Off Season (The Off Series #6) by Sawyer Bennett
The V Card by Lauren Blakely & Lily Valente

What I Got for Review

Fumbled (Playbook #2) by Alexa Martin
The Key to Happily Ever After by Tif Marcelo
Famous in a Small Town by Emma Mills

What I Listened To

What Movies I Watched

Wonder (2017) | 4.5 out of 5
The Hate U Give (2018) | 4.5 out of 5
Searching (2018) | 4.25 out of 5
The Holiday Calendar (2018) | 3.75 out of 5
Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018) | 4.5 out of 5

What I Loved

We took Caiden with us to Brenna and Kenna’s game last week Monday and I thought it was the cutest thing when he spotted Kenna on the court. I snapped a really quick picture of him pointing and yelling for Kenna from the bleachers.

How was the month of November in your lives? Did you have a great reading month? Did you do anything fun over the Thanksgiving break? Share in the comments!

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The Monthly Recap: July 2018

Posted August 7, 2018 by Rowena in Features | 2 Comments

What I Did

Family pictures: My month started off with family pictures on the beach in Redondo Beach. I thought it was going to take much longer than it actually took. There are 9 of us and we all have hella kids between us but we were done within 3 hours. We almost made it through the entire shoot without any issues but then little Caleb fell into the ocean with his cast so between his family pictures and the rest of our big family pictures that we took a couple of hours later, his shorts are 8 shades darker but he’s still a cutie patootie.

The picture above is one with just my siblings and my Pops. We’re missing my sister Ingrid but everyone else is there and I really like this one.

Here’s a picture from me and Brenna’s shots. It’s my favorite. I love the background with the Palos Verdes cliffs, it’s a gorgeous shot.

David’s Funeral: My month ended with a funeral for one of my good friends David. He suffered from depression and struggled with it for a while. I’m going to miss him but am glad that he’s finally at peace. It was really good to see everyone that came out to pay their respects. Lots and lots of our friends from Church came out, which was nice because everyone is so spread out. We have people in Utah, Arizona, all parts of California but everyone came home to say their final goodbyes to David and that made me happy for him.

What I Read

1. Coming Undone (Brown Family #2) by Lauren Dane | 4.25 out of 5
2. The Real Deal by Lauren Blakely | 4 out of 5
3. Every Time You Go Away by Beth Harbison | 3 out of 5
4. Baby Daddy by Kendall Ryan | 3 out of 5
5. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han | 4.5 out of 5
6. P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han | 4.75 out of 5
7. Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han | 4.75 out of 5
8. A Duke by Default (Reluctant Royals #2) by Alyssa Cole | 4.25 out of 5

Book Boyfriends

Michael Phan in The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
Hunter Cross in I Think I Love You by Lauren Layne
Peter Kavinsky in P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han
Peter Kavinsky in Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han

What I Reviewed

Good Kids (2016) | 3.75 out of 5
The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang | 5 out of 5
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018) | 4 out of 5
Sea Swept by Nora Roberts | 4.25 out of 5
I Think I Love You by Lauren Layne | 4.5 out of 5
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han | 4.5 out of 5
Double Standards by Judith McNaught | 4 out of 5
P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han | 4.75 out of 5
The Kissing Booth (2018) | 3.25 out of 5
Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han | 4.75 out of 5

What I Posted

Week in Review (92)
Monthly Recap: June 2018
Can’t Wait Wednesday: When a Duke Loves a Woman by Lorraine Heath
Week in Review (93)
Can’t Wait Wednesday: Down with Love by Kate Meader
Week in Review (94)
Can’t Wait Wednesday: The Good Luck Charm by Helena Hunting
Week in Review (95)
Can’t Wait Wednesday: Forget You, Ethan by Whitney G
Throwback Thursday: Saying Goodbye to David
The Weekly Recap (96)
My TBR Pile: August 2018

What I Bought

Save the Date by Carrie Aarons
Crank (The Gibson Boys #1) by Adriana Locke
Cross (The Gibson Boys #2.5) by Adriana Locke
Getting Schooled by Emma Chase
Baby Daddy by Kendall Ryan
Book Boyfriend (Book Boyfriends #1) by Claire Kingsley
Cocky Roommate (Book Boyfriends #2) by Claire Kingsley
The Soldier Prince by Aarti V. Raman
Coming Undone (Brown Family #2) by Lauren Dane
Cocky Client (Steamy Coffee Reads #3) by Whitney G.
Beginner’s Luck (Chance of a Lifetime #1) by Kate Clayborn
Luck of the Draw (Chance of a Lifetime #2) by Kate Clayborn
Grumpy Fake Boyfriend (Kwan Sisters #1) by Jackie Lau
Mr. Hotshot CEO (Kwan Sisters #2) by Jackie Lau
Stay by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy

What I Got for Review

All the Way by Kristen Proby
Fight or Flight by Samantha Young

What I Listened To

These are the three most listened to songs for me in the month of July. I have so much love for all of these songs.

What I Watched on TV

I enjoyed each of the shows I watched, even in some parts, 13 Reasons Why Season 2. There was a lot going on and while I was still frustrated with how shitty those kids were, in the end, I’m glad that I watched it. Suits and Take Two are both great shows that I’m really liking and Kims Convenience cracks me up. Goodness I love Asian comedy shows and movies.

What Movies I Watched

1. Forever My Girl (2018) | 4 out of 5
2. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018) | 3.75 out of 5
3. How it Ends (2018) | 4.25 out of 5
4. Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation (2018) | 3.75 out of 5
Locke (2013) | 3.25 out of 5
Blackway (2015) | 3.5 out of 5
The Loft (2014) | 3.5 out of 5
Love, Simon (2018) | 5 out of 5
The Commuter (2018) | 4.25 out of 5

What I Loved

Having this guy around…

There you have it, the month of July in my life. How did your July treat you? Read anything good? Do anything fun? Share in the comments!

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