My Mom’s Family

My Mom stayed over the last few days, and it was great. I live about an hour away from her and with managing two kids and working from home, sometimes it is hard to find time to just chat with her. Having my Mom over for a couple nights made me remember when I was little, when she would tell me many of her life stories. My Mom’s stories are special and made me understand the woman she became. I decided to write these stories down so my kids can read them in the future so they can also hear these special tales. 

My Mom’s name is Hao Nguyen. She was born in 1956 in Hue, Vietnam. She came from a middle class family. Her family dynamic were a little different than other families though. Her father, my grandfather, had two wives. His name was Tam. My Mom described him to be a very educated and knowledgable man. Back in the day, having a son was very important in Vietnamese culture so the family name could be carried on. His first wive had one son and two daughters, but her son died early due to illness. Because there was no son to carry on his family name, Tam’s parents, my great grandparents, made him marry a second woman. Despite not wanting to do this he still needed to obey his parents’ wishes. His first wife then set out to find a second wife for her husband. 

Okay. A quick thought as I’m writing this out, I couldn’t imagine what his first wife was going through. If I was her, I would not have accepted my in-law’s wishes. I would have left him and brought my kids with me…. Anyway, let’s continue with the story. 

His first wife asked her second or third cousin to marry her husband, and her name is Di, and yes she is my blood grandmother. When Tam married Di, all members including family from the first wife, lived together in one household until Di had her first child. Tam then purchased another home to accommodate both his families. His main house was in the village while his second home was near the city. There was set organized schedule for when Tam would be with each family, but Tam would typically remain in his main home in the village while his first wife’s family and Di’s family would switch houses every six months. This wasn’t always the case since my Mom told me Tam would switch houses himself sometimes. Di and Tam together had six kids (three sons and three daughters). My Mom was the third child. Though Di has six children, Di’s first born son was shot accidentally by a soldier when he was five or six years old. 

I’ve never met my grandfather before so I don’t have any memories with him, but I have memories with both of my grandmothers. I had a better relationship with my step grandmother than my blood grandmother, Di. I remember whenever I visited them, I would sleep with my step grandmother in her room and she would always give me treats. I didn’t have a lot of memories with my blood grandmother, though. She is a good person but she favored her son’s children. Since me and my siblings were born from my Mom, we didn’t receive a lot of attention and she didn’t talk to us much. 

Isn’t it crazy that my Mom grew up in a polygamist family and grew up in a culture where sons were more favored than daughters? I can’t imagine life back then especially being a girl. This makes me appreciate my life so much more since I live in a place and time where men and women are equally the same. If you like her story so far, make sure to follow for more coming. I’m so exited to write more. 

Note: all the stories are true and based on my mother’s memory. This all occurred in the past. Please, no mean comments for my ancestors.


A little update about our life.

It has been a while since writing any new posts here. So much has happened these last few months. Just an update of our life, Finn is a little over 2 years old and we just had a baby girl 7 months ago. We named her Wren. She is the sweetest baby ever. Finn is such an amazing big brother to Wren, he is just so sweet! His favorite word to say now is “bae” (Baby) He wakes up looking for Wren every morning and he always give her kisses. Isn’t that the sweetest thing?

isn’t she so tiny and cute?

Sometimes I forget how lucky I am to be their mother. When I don’t get enough sleep, when they both crying at the same, when they refuse to eat everything I make for them..I forget how lucky I am to be their mom. But moments when I see their sweet faces, their smiles, their little giggles, their hands reaching out to mine where I just can’t help but just ball and feel so grateful I get to be their mom and watch them grow each day.

I have been thinking a lot about whether to close down this blog or not. I’m really bad with writing in journals so this blog was created as a way for me to write a few things down so I could look back. Well, I’m back and rediscovered something that’s important to me and I think is interesting to share. Recently my Mom visited us and stayed over a few times. We spent time together, just her and me, and enjoyed each other’s company. Our time together reminded me of the old days, when she would tell me her life stories, which I always loved listening to. Listening to her stories again reminded me of the old days and how many of the stories I’d forgotten. So I decided to write a few posts about her life. So the next few posts I will write about her and her stories. Thanks for reading along.

It is Hard to say Goodbye When you Never had a Chance to say Hello

Most of you don’t know that, but I recently had a miscarriage. I was almost 10 weeks pregnant. I don’t really openly talk about this to anyone much, but i decided to write this blog because I felt so alone not realizing how many women experience pregnancy loss. I did not know it was so common until I had a miscarriage and the doctor told me that almost every woman go through a miscarriage once, but hardly anyone talks about it or even acknowledges it. I felt like I was the only one who experienced this. For me, it was the hardest thing since it was our first pregnancy. I tried to be positive and think everything happens for a reason, but I could never be positive enough. I did not want to talk about it at all, even with close friends or families, because I was so ashamed. I felt that it was my fault and that it meant I wasn’t good enough to be a mother.

Back in April 2018, while I was studying for my final exams for my last semester at BYU, we found out that I was expecting. We shouted out for joy and were excited about the baby. We fell in love with the baby even though we’d never met nor had it even formed yet. We immediately called the doctor to set up an appointment. The doctor recommend us to have the 1st appointment around week 10 into the pregnancy. We started to talk about the future of our baby. The love for the baby became stronger each day.

I thought that we could take one picture each month to record the baby’s growth, but I was only be able to capture the 1st month…

 Time went by and week 10 came. I was excited to see the doctor because it would be the first time I’d get the chance to see the baby through an ultrasound. Ryan, my husband, wasn’t be able to come with me since he had a job interview that day. I sat there waiting for the technician to come in. I didn’t know anything looking up on the screen while she did the ultrasound. I was thinking, “I can finally see the baby!”  My heart beat fast with excitement; finally I have the chance to see the baby I fell in love with since day 1. My thoughts were fluttering with random feelings of excitement, then the technician said “I see the baby. Unfortunately, I don’t see a heartbeat.”  

What does that mean? I didn’t know what she meant by that since it was my first appointment with a gynecologist. My thoughts of excitement stopped. I started to feel anxious and worried. The technician repeated, “I found no heart beat, you had a miscarriage.”

The doctor came in to take a look again. My head was full of hope and prayers that the technician was mistaken, or something was wrong with the ultrasound, and hoped that the doctor can find the baby’s heartbeat. 

“I’m sorry, your baby is dead.” 

I didn’t cry… I spaced out… I didn’t know how I should feel, or what was in my mind. 

“Don’t feel bad; you can always have another one.” The doctor said. Rather than being comforted, I was overcome with an intense feeling of loss. 

“It is 100% that it wasn’t your fault.” The doctor continued, but I kept thinking that maybe because I drank a few more cups of coke than I should have, or maybe I wasn’t doing yoga properly for pregnancies, or maybe I stressed out too much during my pregnancy which led to miscarriage… I kept thinking that it was my fault.

A few days later, with the doctors help, the baby was out of my system. I felt as though I had been robbed. It is hard to say good-bye when you never had the chance to say hello. While I was grieving, a scripture came to my mind. “I will not leave you comfortless…Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” 

I knew that I could lean on the Lord. The feeling of loss is still there, but instead of feeling angry and blaming myself, I feel peace and love from others for me. If any of you are going through the same thing I did, know that you are not alone, but many people out there have experienced exactly the same thing. You will overcome this! You are strong because you are a mother! 

Marriage is Hard, but It’s Worth It

Me: “Why am I the only one who thinks about what to cook tonight?”

Me: “Why do you keep taking my phone charger and putting it somewhere else?”

Me: “You are not romantic anymore; you don’t love me as much as you did right?”

Me: “Why are you so quiet when we argue? THAT MAKES ME MAD!

My husband: “Can you listen to me without feeling offended or getting hurt?”

                      “I never want to hurt you, but whenever I say something, it hurts you.”

Me: “Then don’t say it.”

Isn’t marriage hard? I have been married for 5 months. Yes, it is so short, but I’ve realized that marriage is not easy at all. Marriage brings two people’s lives into one life. Growing up, I always thought that when I meet and marry the right one, life would be perfect and I would live happily ever after with that person. Well, that is true, but also not true, because marriage is not that easy. There are days I feel so lucky to be with the one I love everyday, but there are days I feel like I’m trying to mix oil and water together. Marriage takes faith, love, and change. We have to work hard in order to have a successful marriage. Hard work doesn’t always show positive results on the first or second time. But the point is to keep trying until it works.


Faith in what? Faith that everything will work out in the end? Why don’t people just live together before getting married, so that we’d actually know whether or not we get along well before committing to legal marriage? Well, then this is not marriage and marriage takes faith. Faith in your spouse, faith in the futures, even faith in yourself. But most importantly, faith in God and the Savior, and his Atonement that could bless your marriage. When all of us learn to have faith, we can overcome any challenges we may face in marriage. So, how do we keep our faith even after marriage? Do spiritual things together, keep doing the basic things daily, such as praying together each day and reading scripture often.


I’m a very stubborn and straight forward person. He is quiet when it come to arguing. If there is something bother me,  I let everything out and speak my mind while he tends to hold in his feelings. We are pretty different.  At the beginning of our marriage, we promised each other that we would never go to bed mad at each other or without a good night kiss or saying ” I love you”, but in reality it is harder to keep that promise than you would think. When you are mad, you just don’t want to talk to that person. Do we still love each other? Of course, we do. But love is not enough in marriage. We are not perfect, far away from perfect; we sometime say things that hurt the other. I often ask my husband “Do you really love me?” And that hurts my husband all the time because he thinks that I don’t trust him. I do, but the words just come out naturally without even thinking. I kept telling myself that I wont ask him that question when we argue, but I fail almost every time! I learned that when an argument is coming, try not to question your spouse if they love you or not because even when they say they do, the answer still doesn’t satisfy you. You are just trying to make the argument bigger. So, the bottom line is that love of course is important in marriage, but it is not enough. When we have conflicts, three words “I love you” wont solve everything, but we each need to change! Change doesn’t mean that you have to change your personality. Your personality is what defines who you are. Change means to adjust some of your habits to become one unit with your significant other.


I’m sure you’ve been in arguments with your significant other, but do you feel like you are always right? At least for me, I always feel that I’m always right because I have my own way of thinking about things.  I just don’t get why other person doesn’t see things the same way as I do. Even though I might tell my husband “well, it is my fault.” In my mind though, I think it is more likely is his. Well, same with the other person, he or she surely thinks that they are right.  That is when change comes! Who else hates change like I do? I hate being wrong. I hate making the effort to change. But if I don’t try to change,  I can’t expect the other person to change. I learned that when I’m mad I need to think before I say anything–stop finding the faults in my husband, and try to talk things out before it is too late. Again, this doesn’t mean that I will master this. Change is a process. You will find yourself fail almost every time. When you are angry, you wont remember or care about your resolutions or goals. All you can think about is how he needs to say sorry, and I need to make a cold face for at least a day so he will know that I’m not an easy person. But as you keep trying, the process of change will become a habit.

Isn’t marriage hard? But it’s all worth it. You are not alone, but you have someone there to listen and support and love you all the way. Marriage takes faith, love, and change. It is a hard process, but as you work hard and never give up, you will have a successful eternal marriage.

My husband: “I’m sorry.”

Me: “I’m sorry too. Are we friends now?”

My husband: “yeah.” We shake hands each time we end the argument.