Three Books Featuring Asian Kids


A special jar helps a young girl find new friends and adventures; a young boy prepares to climb a mountain; a young girl overcomes the embarrassment of the ugly vegetables her mom grows in their garden. You can find these books at your local library! Continue reading

Two Books About Interracial Families


The Case for Loving is the story of one family’s fight for the right to their interracial marriage. One Family is a counting book that celebrates many different types of family. Continue reading

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: Decluttering My Home and Writing

Lounging on my clothes pile.

On an impulse last spring, I purchased Marie Kondo’s book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. Much to Andy’s horror, I made us read a few pages every night after dinner. He made it seem like torture, but secretly, he loved it.

Around this time, I began taking The Craft and Business of Writing Children’s Picture Books, a writing class offered by The Children’s Book Academy (CBA). It was a fabulous course and I learned a ton about writing picture books. One of my favorite lessons was about editing for brevity – or, getting the word count down. Continue reading

The Power of Diverse Stories


This is one reason diverse stories are important. It is not because they are trendy. It is because they are necessary. We need them to shape society today and for generations to come. They teach us to see a reality beyond stereotypes. They make it difficult to define any one group by a single false narrative. They allow us to see the diversity within diversity. They build empathy and remind us of our common humanity. They create change. Continue reading

A Cousin Wedding Reunion

Old cousins and little cousins.

Every few years, my family gets to reunite at a family wedding. I look forward to our family gatherings with gleeful anticipation; reunions with my 22 Chen cousins are always sprees of unfiltered, face-stuffing fun and laughs.

This year, we gathered to celebrate my cousin Spencer’s wedding in DC. Continue reading

My Birthday Weekend in the Redwoods

Three goofballs.

So, I had another birthday. It’s always Labor Day weekend. When I was little, I used to hate that because I never got to celebrate my birthday at school and everyone always forgot about it. I’m not exactly sure why it has taken me this long to realize that long weekend birthdays mean I can do more fun things to celebrate!

This year we went glamping in Redwood National Park. We went for the sole purpose of hiking Fern Canyon, one of my bucket list to-dos. Continue reading

Carter Turns Two


We had a little birthday party for Carter, themed “Carter’s Having a Ball!” in honor of his love of all things ball related. And his love of dancing. And his love of generally having fun. It really takes a village and we are blessed to have such a wonderful one supporting our family! Continue reading