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


"I hope you see me, I hope you're proud of me"

3 months later all I wanted to do was curl up in bed and cry. but instead I spent the day on a beach in Normandy with 5000+ kids, taking photos for non-profit organization Secours Populaire Français.

I hope you see me, I hope you're proud of me.

more photos here.


these two

6 weeks ago, the morning after Oliver's funeral, Sean was hit by a motorcycle on his way to school. he was rushed to the hospital and sent for x-rays and full body scans that revealed a broken collarbone, broken ankle, several broken facial bones and multiple internal injuries. on our lowest moments we kept asking "why? is it a joke?" only to be reminded that our son may be in pain and facing a long recovery, but he's alive.

it's been a long, challenging 6 weeks. but the lessons are invaluable. we've learned how to navigate tilted sidewalks on a wheelchair. who our real friends are. to be grateful, always. that candies make the daily injections to prevent blood clots a little more bearable. and that in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges, there is no answer but to love each other even more.

thank you so much to all of you who've kept our family in your thoughts and prayers.


a few things

some days are better, some days are worse.

if you ask me "how are you?" I will answer you honestly. I will not lie and pretend like I am fine if I'm not.

I think about Oliver constantly. it doesn't mean that you shouldn't talk about him or that he's all I want to talk about.

I will never "get over it". get over it.

please refrain from any of the following comments:
"you're so strong"
"it was God's plan"
"you can have another one"
"keep your chin up"
"your family needs you"
"tomorrow is another day"
"you can do it" (do what???)

not because they are all untrue but because they do not bring me any sense of encouragement or comfort.

but if you still want to say something say "I'm sorry". because I know you are.

I'm still the same, but I'm profoundly changed. I understand that you might not like who I am now and it's okay. really.

I've made the conscious, mindful choice to not avoid pain. it is very clear to me that there is no way out but through. it doesn't mean that I'm not functional, social, loving, responsible, cheerful, or that I do not seek the help of others when I need to.

time doesn't heal. it helps us get used to suffering, to adjust to living with the pain.

I am a mother of three sons.


no title

After only 110 days on Earth, Oliver Noah Yu-An Nam, beautiful baby of Irene and Yoon-Seok Nam, has been called home to become an angel in Heaven. Oliver passed away suddenly on Tuesday, May 20th 2014.

Oliver was a precious gift who filled his family's home with love and joy. He will forever remain in the hearts of his adoring parents and his beloved brothers, Sean and Will.

May the sudden passing of this sweet baby boy remind us all that our lives, and the lives of those we love, are precious and far too short. May his legacy be that we learn to love our families and friends more fully, and treasure every moment we share.

Calling hours will be held from 10am-5pm on Friday, May 23rd and Saturday, May 24th at:

25 rue des Longs-Prés 
92100 Boulogne

There will be a memorial service in Korean with French translation at 11am on Tuesday, May 27th at:

Eglise Presbytérienne Coréenne du Pont-Neuf
7 rue Auguste Vacquerie
75016 Paris

A burial service, in Korean and French, will be held at 3:30pm on Tuesday, May 27th at:

Cimetière de Boulogne
48 avenue Pierre Grenier
92100 Boulogne


"I promise he will be a very special boy and you will never look back"

Blackbird said.

indeed he is.

and I never did.


12 years later everything is new (and yet not so much)

introducing #babyboynam.


summer memories

Barcelona, July 2013.


london boys & paris boys

an afternoon playing in the fountains near King's Cross station under the glorious sun.

my favorite boys.



I'm still trying to process the whole thing.

I couldn't have hoped for a more fun and inspiring event.

and I'm so grateful to all the people who helped make it happen.

photos by the gracious Xanthe Berkeley.

more photos here.

more information here and here.


how to have a fun vacation (Marrakech edition)

get lost in the souks (you don't even have to try for that one).

notice the doors. the beautiful, hand carved wooden doors.

finish every meal with a glass of mint tea.

soak up the bold, intense cobalt blue in the Majorelle Garden, and a collection of "love" posters that Yves Saint Laurent designed over a period of 35 years and sent as greeting to his closest friends.

cat people, this city is for you.