I’ve had a very busy 2018 so far. I was happy to be able to celebrate Chinese New Year 2018 and my birthday with my family and friends. Happy Year of the Dog Everyone!
Our family always eats together at my parent’s house for Chinese New Year. It’s inevitable that we will always have a full spread. I generally look forward to my Mom’s soup (not pictured because it was on the stove) because she makes it really well. (Where do you think I got it from?=) My parents told me this year how they waited in a very long line for the roasted duck and chicken from Belair. LOL! I guess all the Chinese people in Greenhaven go get a duck or chicken at Belair for New Years. But my Mom outdid herself this year.
I put the girls in their Chinese dresses but they didn’t last very long in them. I found this great place in an alleyway near the Apple Store in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, that sells these Chinese dresses and outfits for kids. The girls also got their lycees (red envelopes). Roxy and Carissa don’t keep the lycees as they are very young still. Also, if I let Roxy have her money she just tucks it into one of her purses or toys and then we lose it. But I always keep the money for them until they are older. My friend Linspired clued me in on these cute Year of the Dog lycees from Amazon. Aren’t they adorable?
Kenny had asked me what I wanted to do for my birthday this year. I wanted everything to be low key. When I was younger, I would have had a dinner, followed by some clubbing for my birthday. But approaching 40 and with kids, I felt like an adult dinner out would be a nice outing for me.
We had a nice dinner with some good friends at Hook & Ladder and cake with my family. I was actually touched at how many people came to my birthday dinner. I really love Hook & Ladder as a restaurant. They are a part of that whole farm to fork movement and really have high quality and upscale food.
Kenny and I always order two entrees and share both. It gives us a chance to have more variety. We ordered some appetizers for the whole table.
Since it was my birthday, Kenny let me pick both our entrees. I picked the Beer Braised Short Ribs and the Pork & Chicken Cassoulet. The Beer Braised Short Ribs were served with Whipped Potatoes, Roasted Winter Vegetables, Crispy Carrots. The Chicken & Pork Cassoulet was served with Herb Roasted Chicken Breast, Catalan Sausage, White Beans, Shaved Apple and Celery.I’m not just saying this, both entrees were outstanding. The ribs were so tender and I loved the potatoes. The potatoes were so creamy. The pork was tasty and I couldn’t stop eating the beans.I didn’t really know what a cassoulet was before this but my first experience was quite yummy.
My friends mean a lot to me. Not only do they support me but also my family. I really can’t talk about my birthday without mentioning my friends who went out of their way to make it exceedingly special. This past year has been actually been quite difficult for me and Kenny with losing my Mother-in-law and a variety of changes in our lives. Also, we wouldn’t have gotten through it all if it weren’t for the people in this pic. SO DAISY, SIMON, CATHY, ERIC, NOELLE, PAV, ALEX, CHAD, SANDY, BRYANT, KAREN, JOE, ASHLEY, AND DUSTIN, THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART FOR YOUR FRIENDSHIP AND LOVE. I LOVE YOU GUYS!!
I know God has a hand in the friends in our lives. Because I see that years ago he planted little seeds for different people to come into our lives at different times, when the time was right. So for example we’ve known Daisy and Simon for years and went to the same church. But we didn’t become good friends until they came to one of our house parties before we adopted Roxy. Cathy and I have been friends since we were in APhiO (Alpha Phi Omega) together at UCSD. Sandy and Bryant, I met through my friend Meme years ago and now we attend E2 church with Joe and Karen and are all in the same bible study.
Noelle is one of my closest friends. I met her because she became my Esthetician the Fall after I got married. I guess I do a lot of talking when I’m getting a facial. But Noelle has seen me through the worst and I it’s a comfort to have her walking by my side as a friend and sister. However, it’s hard to believe that this will be the 9th year we have been friends. I still remember the very first Eminence facial Noelle ever gave me. I can’t believe all we have been through together. I’m also happy for her as she and Pav are engaged and will be married within this next year.
Kenny always buys me a Ginger Elizabeth Gianduja cake every birthday. I get one a year and I cherish it. Thank you Kenny, for always loving me and lifting me up. Also, thank you for making my birthday special. My life wouldn’t be the same without my craft beer and sports loving hubby who always walks the extra mile with me. I feel blessed to be your wife and that God gave me you. I love you.
While my life isn’t perfect, at the end of the day, I know I am blessed because I have a wonderful family and good friends. Like any other birthday or Lunar New Year post, this isn’t really about my birthday or Lunar New Year. It’s about love and friendship. It’s about spending time with the people who matter most to you. To me that is Kenny, my baby girls Roxy and Carissa, my parents, and my good friends.
There are many things going on in my life right now. My world this past year has seen a lot of changes. However, I know that I am fine, because of God, and because I have solid family and friends in my life to back me up. By serving others, you set yourself free. So I am content to live in my truth. You will see me continue to fight to lift up others in my life. Thank you for walking with me.
I wish all of you and your families a Happy Year of the Dog. I hope that you are all blessed with happiness, good luck, good health, good fortune, and prosperity.
Dr. Jacqueline "Jax" Cheung grew up in Sacramento, California. She is a Christian Wife, Proud Mom, Major Foodie, Sacramento Native, Elk Grove Resident, Feminist, Adoption Advocate, Blogger, Freelance Writer, and Cat Lover. Jax is the owner of the award winning Jax Chronicles Blog & Adoption Ministry. Jax won Sacramento Area A-List Local Best Blogger 2014, 2015, 2017 & 2018 and Best of Elk Grove Best Blogger 2016 & 2017. She is also the Editor-In-Chief of the Elk Grove Tribune, and freelances for Sacramento4Kids, and many other publications. Jax is married to Dr. Kenneth Cheung (Kenny). Jax and Kenny live in Elk Grove, California and have 2 daughters named Roxy and Carissa, and 3 cats named Mochi, Miso, and Mango. To follow her journey please like her Jax Chronicles Facebook page, follow her Instagram @jaxchronicles, follow her Twitter @jaxchronicles, or check out Jax Chronicles Blog & Adoption ministry.