hi, I'm Irene and this is my blog. all images and content © 2005-2019 Irene Nam unless stated otherwise. please do not use original images without permission. thank you!

...

in loving memory of
Oliver Yu-An Nam
Feb 1 - May 20 2014

Tuesday
Feb192019

17 things I love about Will

When I found out that one of his good friends had created a Nazi parody account and was weighing on whether I should call the kid’s parents or not, he called him on the phone, told him how outraged he was, and asked him to take it down. The friend apologized and deleted the account. “I just can’t have my friends doing this kind of shit” he later told me. 

He greets and thanks people with a firm handshake and genuine smile.

He does the laundry for the whole family. 

He’s always been afraid of rollercoasters, and never been ashamed to admit it. 

He’s always curious, always experimenting. And his dedication to his own personal creative pursuit never ceases to amaze me. 

He taught himself how to make chai latte (my favorite) from scratch to surprise me. 

He (still) loves traveling with me. 

He has his very own sense of humor that mostly consists of creating puns. And he likes to test them on me. Side note: they are rarely funny, but the thought he puts into the exercise always makes me laugh. 

He’s very cost-conscious. 

(But) he knows how to indulge and purchase things that make him happy once in a while. 

He’s an empath. 

He loves volunteering. 

Every time I come home late from work, Will sits on my bed, asks about my day and shows me funny videos on his phone. 

He has an independent spirit, enjoys alone time and exploring new places. 

While visiting Madrid, he took me aside and convinced me to surprise Sean with tickets to a Champion’s League football game at Santiago Bernabeu stadium, helping fulfill one of his brother’s longtime dreams.

No matter the situation I know I can always talk sense to him. 

He doesn’t take shit from no one.

Happy 17 my boy.

Tuesday
Feb192019

17 things I love about Sean 

A few hours after Will got his wisdom teeth pulled out, the anesthesia started to wear off and he was soon rolling on the floor in excruciating pain. Sean felt so powerless that he went out and bought him a comic book.

He loves neutral colors as much as I do.

He taught himself how to edit films and compose music.

We have similar tastes in movies and TV shows so I love giving him recommendations. He usually comes to my bedroom afterwards with a big smile on his face and says “Mom, that was SO good!”

He always asks me if I want a soy chai latte from Starbucks on his way back home.

He’s a loyal friend.

He wrote a few short films and even started working on some, casting his friends and borrowing equipment.

Sean would drop everything, wrap the nursing pillow around his waist and wait patiently to feed his baby brother. At bath time he gathered all the necessary supplies, laid out a clean towel and filled the tub with warm water. Pushing the stroller was his proudest moments. He was and still is the best big brother I could ever have hoped for Oliver.

He has an open mind and has developed good, eclectic tastes in music. Lately, he’s been into Italian rap.

He loves volunteering.

He has a great eye for photography. He’s able to spot a potential photographic moment before the picture is lost, and instinctively frames his shots with interesting compositions.

Sunsets and sunrises move him deeply.

Words too.

He takes time to print out his favorite photos from his phone.

5 years ago, he was hit by a motorcycle on his way to school. He had a broken collarbone, broken ankle, several broken facial bones, multiple internal injuries and had to stay in a wheelchair for 6 weeks. Yet he never once whined or complained, never. Even after 5 weeks of daily injections on his hip.

He (still) loves traveling with me.

I see a lot of my own struggles in Sean, and I’ve learned the most from him. He definitely makes me a better mother and a better person every day.

Happy 17 my boy. 

Tuesday
Aug222017

How to have a fun vacation (Stockholm edition)

Take a stroll in Gamla Stan. Look for Järnpojke or "Iron Boy", the smallest public monument in Sweden

Visit the Vasa Museum

Get the iconic "All things are pretty" poster at the Moderna Museet gift shop. 

Take a boat sightseeing tour around Djurgarden. 

Have fika at Chokladkoppen or Vete-Katten.

Monday
Jul172017

How to have a fun vacation (Copenhagen edition)

Embrace your inner child at Tivoli Gardens.

Shop for unique design posters and prints at Paper Collective.

Eat at Street Food Copenhagen overlooking the harbour at sunset.  

Rent a swan paddle boat on Copenhagen Lakes.

Wednesday
Aug032016

How to have a fun vacation (Tuscany edition)

Hop on a train at La Spezia and visit Cinqueterre towns Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, and Monterosso.

In Florence visit the Gallery Uffizi (where Botticelli's "Birth of Venus" is on display) and experience Obica mozzarella bar. Yes, a mozzarella bar.

Rent a car and drive along the SR222 also known as "Chianti Road".

Make room in your busy schedule for a two-hour long meal at Osteria Le Logge in Siena.

Book a wine tasting tour at Castiglion del Bosco (their Brunello is my favorite).

Stop by "La Bottega del Sale" in San Gimignano and have a nice talk with photographer Duccio Nucci.

Wednesday
Jul132016

TEDxYouth@BoulogneBillancourt 2016

Tuesday
Apr122016

How to have a fun vacation (Florida edition)

There's nothing quite like a beautiful sunrise at the beach.

Visit The Wyzarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando (and make sure you visit both Hogsmead and Diagon Alley. I'm not a big fan of the movies or of theme parks in general, but even I couldn't stop squealing the whole time).

Experience the excitement of a live NBA game at Amway Center. Hands-down the highlight of our trip.

Freshly made cheddar bagels, Krispy Kreme donuts and Golden Grahams. What can I say? God bless America. 

Try pickleball.

Wednesday
Nov252015

how to have a fun vacation (Iceland edition) 

Get soak wet at Skogafoss.

Stand between two continents.

Have soup for lunch, every day (our favorites were wild mushrooms and asparagus).

Skip rocks in front of glaciers at Jokulsarlon.

Take a dip in this tourist trap.

Bonus: count sheep.

Tuesday
Jun092015

Oliver's trees

Oliver's trees are popping in places dear to my heart: at Iolanthe Alpaca Ranch in Sequim, WA, at Shepherds Schools in Arusha, Tanzania, and in Ivory Coast where this photo was taken. All places I have volunteered at or that our family has been supporting. Next on our list: Nepal and Haiti.

Wednesday
May202015

one year