20. 17 Things…


It’s a scary number.


Only one more year until eighteen.

One more year until adulthood.

One more year until voting.

One more year until graduating.

One more year of being a child.

One more year of being…me.

But that’s not true, is it?

I’ll still be me.

I’ll be an older version of me.

More responsible.

More respectable.

Or will I?

Today, I turn seventeen.

Today…I turn…seventeen.

The beginning of the end of a life I’ve always known.

I don’t want to leave.

But at the same time, I do.

I want to grow up.

But at the same time…I don’t.

I am excited…

And I am terrified.

But all my fretting and buzzing aside,

I have so much to be thankful for

In my seventeen years of life.

1. A mother and father who raised me and love me.

2. A brother and sisters who put up with me.

3. Grandparents who spoil me far too much.

4. Aunts and Uncles who give me crazy, but good, advice.

5. Cousins who never let family gatherings get boring.

6. A best friend who’s always been there, distance aside, since I was 2.

7. An array of other close friends, both near and far, who love me for me.

8. A home that is beautiful and safe.

9. A school that actually cares whether I succeed or fail. 

10. A closet full of clothes and a bed to sleep in at night.

11. Eyes and ears with the power to see and hear both the good…and the bad.

12. A brain with the capacity to contain all sorts of crazy worlds and ideas.

13. Fingers with the ability to create music and artwork.

14. A healthy body that can attempt to go out and run everyday.

15. A world so beautiful and perfect, why would anyone want to go live on Mars?

16. A family who, though not related by blood, I can always count on: my church family.

17. A God who is my Father, Brother, and Friend all wrapped into one.

A small list, yes, I’ll admit that’s true.

It could go on and on if I wanted it too.

But for now, just these seventeen numbers will do.

Because sometimes you just have to stop and say, “Thank You.”

– kh.

© February 28, 2015 | Sacramento, California

Vietnamese Word List


Here’s the short list of Vietnamese honorifics that I will be using in the novel project. Some of them can mean different things depending on the context, however I will only put up the translation that will be used in the story. This will be updated if/when I add new words, and I’ll link it at the beginning of each chapter.

Ông – Grandpa

Bách – Uncle

Mẹ – Mom

Ba – Dad

Bà Ngoại– Grandma.

Chị – Older sister/female.

Con – Children, child.

Bùi Môn – The village Nhi/my mom lived in.

Vượt Biên – Across the ocean (The term used to describe the journey over the Pacific. Not an honorific, but it’s the title of the story, so…yeah)

~ Hoài-Linh

19. “Winter” Break, 2015

Basically what the title says: some pictures I took over winter break. I say “winter” ’cause, well, my parents took us to San Diego. This was far from my first trip down that direction, and far from the last (given I don’t die anytime soon), but it was the first time I decided to take some pictures for myself. Usually I leave that up to my mom. So, anyways, here are a few of my favorites. 🙂

First day of vacation feat. my baby sister (not really a baby anymore, but she’s a baby to me)

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