My Life So Far:

I was born on 1/25/81 in a military hospital in Shenyang, Liaoning, China. My father left for America to study at UCLA when I was two, and my mother and I followed two years later. Despite having been born in the freezing northern Chinese winter, I have always preferred sunny southern California.

I am exactly 100 days old in this portrait. I'm told I was born with a full head of hair.

I first came to the United States on 6/28/85. This photo is from my first day in America, and I am dancing in front of the old Getty Trust building in Santa Monica, California. At the time, my father was working there, and they later sponsored our green cards.

I spent most of my childhood living in the old UCLA Family Housing apartments in West LA. It was a great development to grow up in. However, shortly after I moved out, in the early 1990s, they were torn down and rebuilt to house more people and in the process have lost a lot of their original charm. I attended Clover Avenue Elementary, where I helped paint a mural which is still there today, and Palms Magnet Middle School. I had a lot of great teachers despite what everyone says about public schools, and especially the L.A.U.S.D.

After the Northridge earthquake of 1/17/94, we decided to move away. I visited Austin, Texas one Christmas and really liked it. My mom, stepdad, and I arrived at our new home in Austin on 5/5/94. This was actually my very first house. Unfortunately, we always missed California, and I did finally make it back in 8/99, and my mom and stepdad followed in 5/04.

I brought home my very first dog, Goldie, on 6/15/94. She was incredibly intelligent and had a great temperament, always sweet and eager to please. And she was beautiful. Most of the neighborhood knew her because she would go out and fetch the paper every morning; neighbors continued to ask about her long after she was gone. She was always a member of the family and never simply the pet. She died very young, on 2/6/99, just shy of her fifth birthday. She deserves a spot here because she was my best friend, and I still miss her so much. Her death remains the hardest thing I've ever had to deal with in my life.

I ended up returning to Los Angeles for college, to follow in my father's footsteps. I graduated in 6/03 with a double major in Anthropology and Economics. I also met my husband Nick.

On my 27th b-day (exactly eight years after Nick first asked me out), we got engaged! Nick had planned some sort of trip for my birthday but had been keeping it a secret. I took a half-day off on Friday, and we drove down to Long Beach and took a helicopter to Avalon, Catalina Island. We stayed at the Hotel Avalon and we got a top-floor room with a balcony facing the harbor. It had been raining for a solid week but I swear the clouds parted for the 24 hours we were on Catalina Island. We had a nice dinner at Steve's Steakhouse and walked around the main avenue for a bit before retiring back to our room. Even though it was freezing cold, we went out on the balcony at his request. I took a seat and, after pretending to look out at the harbor for a few seconds, he whirled on me, and it went something like this:

Nick: "So I have a question for you... I was hoping we could spend the rest of our lives together. Will you do me the honor... of marrying my ass?"

(pause and squirming/melting into my chair)

me: "Now I'm gonna cry."

Nick: "Do you want to try it on?"

me: "I don't know which hand it goes on."

Anyways, after further squirming/melting down, and a "what" from me because I forgot there was a question, I answered "yes." The next day, our luck continued and it was sunny and beautiful. We took a semi-submersible and saw fishies in the harbor, played miniature golf (Nick beat me 74-75), got scallops for lunch at Armstrong's, and took a crazy ride in a golf cart. All in all, a great trip. Tlaloc and Chac were smiling down on us ;)

Oh and by the way, we got married on February 9, 2008 (our 8-year anniversary).

WE BOUGHT OUR FIRST HOME ON 4/23/08! Damn it's been a good year :)

Created and hand coded by Ellie on 9/3/04 (second version on 9/10/04)