Brown Eyed Blue Eyed

During one of my English classes in College, my teacher assigned us all narrative essays. It would be used as a writing sample and  help her to access our growth by the end of the term. I thought I would share portions of my paper with you. This is not the completed original version as I deleted parts of it and tried to fluff out a few details. 

Brown Eyed Blue Eyed

Throughout my twenty four years of life I have never needed to question the fact that I was adopted. Not once have I felt the need to ask my parents if I were blood related. The simple fact is that I have brown skin and prominent brown eyes and my two older brothers have white skin and blue/green eyes. Never have I felt compelled to question whether the woman I called, “Mom”, was actually biologically related to me. Our difference in blood never seemed to affect my bond with my two older brothers.  In fact, our relationship continues to remain solid as the years go on.

My parents had two biological sons together before deciding to adopt a daughter. My eldest brother was born in 1984, followed seventeen months later by the birth of my other brother. I have never met my birth parents and know nothing about them. I have always called the adults that adopted me, “Dad and Mom”. They are the only parents and I know and the only people I consider deserving of the title of “my parents”. They discovered me at the Phayatai Orphanage also known as Babies home. The orphanage was located in Thailand’s metro region of Bangkok. Since the late 1990’s the orphanage merged with another orphanage named Pakkret. When the two orphanages merged together it took on the name of Phayatai Orphanage and became the largest one in Thailand. The lengthy adoption process for me to become a MacWilliam began in the middle of 1987.

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My eldest brother is two years older than me, and the other is five months older. We grew up attending the same schools together. School is where I first started to realize I was “different” from my brothers. When I was not with them I always just assumed that people knew we were a family. My peers started to make assumptions about my family. It was never a second thought to me that the two boys I had grown up practically my whole life with were my brothers.  Classmates who did not know the inner workings of my family would immediately jump to the conclusion that my whole family was Thai. Most would become beyond shocked when I would state that my brothers were both over six feet tall and had blue/green eyes. They would take my statement as a silly joke or some mistake I had just uttered. The best reactions would come from showing a family picture to some classmates in grade 12. I could read their expressions; the utter shock and confusion that would rush over their faces. Most were politically correct in their responses, “Oh that’s nice. Or that’s a nice looking family.” Truthfully the expressions I enjoyed best were the ones that were completely uncensored. Once I showed a picture of my family to my friend and she immediately blurted out, “they are white”! Just complete shock that the whole time we had been friends she had just assumed my family was Thai like me. A friend who was with us at the time was embarrassed by the outburst which made me laugh that much harder. The uncensored reaction was more welcomed then the uncomfortable feelings people often tried to hide upon their discoveries. (A note to be made is that I was living in a boarding school at the time so no one knew much about my family or ever met any members).Once when my family was on a trip together and my brothers and I were in our teens, a couple in their early sixties commented to my parents that, “My your two boys and their friend sure play nicely together”. My parents were quick to correct the nice couple by informing them that those three kids were siblings and they have always grown up enjoying each other’s company. To this day I still somewhat enjoy seeing people’s reactions to discovering my brothers have a different skin colour than me. When I am telling people stories about my family I never feel the need to mention the difference in their colour skin to mine. It does not matter to me. It is just an assumption that people cannot help to make and I’m accepting of that.

I do not care in the least that I was adopted into a Caucasian family instead of an Asian one. The colour of my skin has not negatively affected my bonds with my brothers or parents. People will see me and continue to assume I have brown siblings and parents and I will be more than happy to correct them proudly when the timing is right.

–>Reading this paper back makes me wish I had the energy to write an autobiography! Sometimes the mood hits where I LOVE WRITING!

The topic of my skin colour in comparison to my family’s does NOT affect my bond with my family. What does BOTHER me is how people always come up to me asking me where I am from BECAUSE of the colour of my skin. I will end this post now but promise to make one on the subject of having brown skin….I know my friends will laugh when they read it as they are constantly witnessing or hearing of my “Filipina stories”.

I have been on a roll with this blogging! I will warn you that my updates will slow down soon. Right now I am just completing and tweaking all these notes I have on my computer. Soon I will have to start my posts from scratch again.

As always, thanks for reading!
Buddha Blessings to everyone,
xox Amanda Sumalee

**Happy Mother’s Day to my Mom and all the mothers reading this blog 🙂

Why Thailand If You Miss Your Family?

The other day my 10 year old asked the question, “Do you miss your family?”

Instantly I answered, “Yes all the time – I love them. But I also love being here with you and living in New Zealand too.”

His eyebrows furrowed when he asked, “Then why are you going to Thailand?”
I was now confused…did he mean MY FAMILY the only family I have ever known? Or the two people who are biologically related to me; who chose to give me up for adoption?

His innocent question is what finally compelled the completion of this post. I have been meaning to post more on the topic of family for quite some time. I have so many partially typed notes that it’s time to sort through them and start posting. I am not getting any younger 🙂

He has cousins that are adopted so he has a great grasp of the concept of adoption. When I first moved in with his family; I had explained that I had lived in an orphanage in Thailand until the age around 2.5. My parents (the only 2 people I have ever seen as the definition of my parents) then adopted me. Shortly after my adoption we moved to Canada where I have lived virtually my whole life. With a little help from his Mom, I explained I have always called my parents, “Dad” and “Mom” because THEY ARE my parents. I was just a baby when I went to the orphanage and know no different. I do not believe I could be ANY CLOSER to my brothers, had they been biological or not. I grew up feeling very close to both of them and feel blessed to have such a great bond with both of them.

After clarification, I understood he wanted to know why I was travelling to Thailand if my parents and brothers lived in Canada. I had to remind him that yes my parents and brothers do live in Canada, but I am an adult and haven’t lived in the same house as my family for years. Yes OF COURSE I miss seeing my family and friends but I have wanted to go to Thailand for a long time. Just like I had traveled to New Zealand, I would continue on travelling before flying back to Canada.

Canada is where I have grown up, but Thailand is where I was born. I am a Thai-Canadian who only feels Canadian. I am not able to relate to my Thai roots. My dream has always been to live in Thailand to learn more about MY culture. My dream vision for myself would be to instantly be able to assimilate myself to all things Thai. I know that is not realistic but it’s what I want. I want to no longer feel like an outsider. I am sick of feeling like a tourist. I look the part, now I just have to feel it. I realize I am putting a LOT of pressure on myself with this upcoming trip. I am trying to lower my expectations but it is so hard when I have dreamed of this moment for so long!

Thanks for reading – Buddha Blessings,
xox Amanda Sumalee

First picture with my new haircut :)

First picture with my new haircut 🙂

I FEEL Canadian, I LOOK Thai

This is my journey, MY LIFE. I am beyond excited but scared to death about finally going to Thailand. Wherever it takes me, and whatever I discover will be my story. Curiosity is the strongest feeling pulling me back to my place of birth.

While at the doctors I had to fill out the standard personal information form. One of the questions was ethnicity/nationality. It stumped me. I starred at it for what felt like eternity. I questioned myself as to what I should write down. I KNEW I should write down Thai, but I really wanted to put Canadian. Had someone been with me, I would have definitely written down whatever they suggested. I did not have wi-fi at the time but as soon as I got home I asked my Aunt what she thought I should have done. The same feelings were brought up again while filling out a New Zealand census form. I had to write down my nationality and place of residency….I was born in Thailand but lived my whole life in Canada. If Thai-Canadian was an option there would have been no need for hesitation.

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When the doctor looked me over she asked me where I was from? I told her Canada and she immediately gave me this look of disbelief. This cold glare like I was trying to lie to her. I could feel her looking my whole body over. I FELT obligated to tell I have lived in Canada all my life but I was born in Thailand. Why do I have to feel so defensive when stating that I am Canadian? It’s as if her glare was her warning to tell me the truth or she would not continue the exam. When I told her I lived in Canada practically my whole life she told me I had ASIAN ears, was I from the Philippines? I had to restate that I was born in Thailand but lived in Canada virtually my whole life. I know the atmosphere of a doctor’s office always comes off as intrusive but I felt beyond uncomfortable and defensive.

I have never met an adoptee who doesn’t wonder about their origins. Adoptees share a unique bond: we are consumed by our loneliness. We don’t openly talk about it but it’s apparent. My life never had a defining moment of a “big reveal” of my adoption story. My parents never had to tell me on my 18th birthday (like someone I knew), or sit me down for any big discussion. There was no need for suspicious thoughts as I was always aware I wasn’t their biological child. I was brown and EVERYONE else in my Dad and Mom’s family are Caucasian. No matter how loved you are, being adopted harvests a visceral feeling of loneliness . Every adoptee has a shared experience of rejection followed by loss. I am not saying the heavy rainstorm can’t create a magnificent rainbow…but a rainbow is impossible without the rain.

I am not wanting to delve too deeply in this conversation now because I would like to try as best as possible to put my thoughts into an array of posts. Divide my thoughts up.

These posts about my adoption are personal. I would like to make them as honest and raw as possible without breaching my own level of comfort. It is not my intention to hurt anyone’s’ feelings. I hope to be as honest as possible. Maybe sharing my thoughts on the topic can help others open up about their experiences. Reading about other peoples’ journeys has helped me to heal.  I have amassed some notes from books I have read and hope to post my thoughts on my newly acquired information in upcoming post.

Sincerely yours,
Amanda Sumalee

PLEASE comment or message me privately to share your thoughts. I would love to hear suggestions or personal stories from my readers. I have never been a member of an adoptee support group but have read about some in the United States of America. Anyone have any information on online ones? xo

Domain Name Purchased

Today I made the big leap by purchasing the domain name: amansuma.com

Translation: typing in amansuma.wordpress.com or amansuma.com will bring you to this website. I also lifted the search engine block I had on this blog. So now if people are searching things on the web, a link to this blog could show up! Oh tres fancy!

When I purchased my plane ticket to New Zealand back in 2012, I knew I wanted to create a blog or website. I wanted a creative outlet that would help me stay connected with others, through my writing and photography. The outpouring of encouragement made me nervous. I was fearful that my motivations towards the blog would decline as time went on. I remained hopeful but apprehensive. Before I left I had promised everyone I would do my best! It feels good to have kept that promise.

Since Sept 9, 2012 I have published 45 posts and attracted over 1,170 views! That is unbelievable. I never expected so many people to take an interest in my life. The origination of this blog was to share my travel experience with those I love. Knowing that they are still invested in my life feels amazing. I started off not wanting to make the blog too personal…just in case people beside those I knew read it. I have progressively made the blog more personal. I welcome others to read my blog! I do get nervous about my privacy and sometimes need to remind myself it is no longer just people I know reading it.

I try very hard to keep my Kiwi-family has anonymous as possible. I am conscious to not post close up pictures of their face or reveal any personal information. I also try to use my friends’ nicknames whenever publishing stories about them. I want the focus of this blog to remain around my thoughts and views. My updates should become more frequent and more personal as I prepare to head off to Thailand!

I hope my constant template changing doesn’t bother everyone. I am haven’t found one yet that I have fallen in love with. I am trying to find one that looks great and is also easy to navigate around when wanting to post pictures into my blogs. I am finding some templates far easier than others. With new ones coming out monthly I am always excited for the updates. By no means do I call myself a proficient blogger but I will keep trying to hone my craft!

I want to wrap this up by thanking everyone who reads the blogs. Every time I look at the view count I smile!

Buddha Blessings
xo Amanda Sumalee

*For family and friends who love my photos, my Facebook is once again up to date!

Choosing Happiness

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I was texting my bestie the other day scrutinizing all the steps I was needing to take to be happy. Don’t get me wrong I  feel great right now: enjoying life, great weather, I am safe and have created a support system for me (here as well as maintaining those back home). These days my ultimate definition of “happy” is to be living in Thailand.  For those who know me, you know that I have always dreamed of one day moving to Thailand to live for an extended period of time. I was born in Bangkok and have since been back there twice to visit. It has always been a goal of mine to go back to my homeland to experience its rich culture. I want to feel more like a local and less like a tourist.  

I was complaining that I know I have to work to be happy but sometimes processing all the steps feels too overwhelming. Some days it just feels like I’m stuck. While I was attending school I always felt like I was waiting for school to finish so I could figure out what I wanted. Three different schools; and I kept living day to day and feeling like I was making no progress. It is obvious to me that I have been moving in the right direction. I am working towards what I want but I just WANT to be there. I wish I could just jump ahead sometimes. Bypass the middle section. Living in Victoria, I wanted to be happy and have a job working with children. Then I decided to seize the opportunity of working and travelling for a year and became an Au Pair.

I was working and waiting for months until I could finally move to New Zealand. I bought my ticket and I knew a change would happen. Now that I feel settled here I am juggling the feelings of contentment and wanting to move on. Leave a great thing to experience something new and unknown!
IMG_8738I was outlining all my concerns to Bizzle and her reply made me smile:
“I know what you mean. I hate waiting for life to happen. I think sometimes we need to take risks and take charge of our lives. “

That’s what my best friend does for me: she listens, validates my feelings, gives me support and strong words of encouragement. I just needed that boost.

IMG_6317When it doesn’t feel like I am moving forward,  I appreciate the nudges of encouragement. The reminders that I am working towards my happiness. I needed to refocus my energy and remind myself not to become too blindsided by my goals of Thailand. Yes I want to achieve my goals, but I shouldn’t discredit all the opportunities I have in New Zealand.  I know I am heading in the right direction—but I can also be happy where I am now both  physically and mentally. I just need to keep being positive and not let my anxieties sabotage me!

Life is what you make of it and I am choosing to be happy. I am in charge of how I feel and today I am choosing happiness. 

Thailand 2013!!

Buddha Blessings
xoxo Amanda

Love you bizzle xo

Love you bizzle xo

 

Thanks for all the BIRTHDAY Wishes

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I was going to go to bed but I thought I should blog quickly first. Thank you to everyone who shared their birthday wishes with me. As always, it was a pretty awkward day with the kids shrieking how OLD 27 was. I encouraged them to stop saying the number but they felt the need to keep reminding me of my age 🙂 The family bought me pink roses and made me vanilla and red velvet cupcakes. We unwrapped gifts after the fireworks…well actually the kids unwrapped the presents and then showed me what I got. (I am pretty excited to see them on Christmas morning. They are going to be HYPER when it’s time for them to open their own gifts!)

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Emma and I spent the whole day together. She really wanted to make sure that I didn’t forget it was my special day. She prepared me days before that I would not be allowed to sleep the day away because it was MY BIRTHDAY and a day to be celebrated. MY pleas to just sleep the day away fell on closed ears.  It was a pretty great that my birthday landed on a gorgeous Saturday so I had the day off work. We went to a restaurant close to the beach to have breakfast then quickly headed off too the zoo. Burma (the Burmese elephant) was out walking around which was a huge treat. Quite often she is in her glass house chained up to a pole so it was nice that she was roaming around. She came quite close to the wall so we were able to get some great shots of her. She still looks like a baby elephant to me but I have been informed that she is fully grown.

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Kiwi Tree

Kiwi Tree

After we walked around the whole zoo we went and grabbed some caffeinated drinks. We needed energy to continue the celebrations. We went to the Christmas Wonderland. It is New Zealand’s biggest indoor Christmas forest. over 150 trees are uniquely decorated by different themes. It would have been nicer if the building was a little bigger because there were so many trees and people, strollers and kids all in one square building. Some of the trees were so cute. All the money from tickets was donated to charity!What is a day without a little shopping? We were both on the hunt for presents for our kids. My kids keep changing their minds on what they want for Christmas so I have yet to buy them anything but I am hoping to complete my shopping pretty soon. My homemade Christmas cards are finally done and I am hoping to get them all mailed off tomorrow. After shopping we drove to Brown’s Bay and got pizza to eat at the beach. How nice is it that I got to eat Birthday dinner at the beach in December! I can’t even complain that it was windy because the air was still warm.

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We went home for a bit to swap photos and relax before the fireworks. I was able to send off a few birthday thank you emails and enjoy my flowers. It was the first time I had ever received flowers and I GOT two bouquets in one day 🙂 Emma dropped me off when it started to get dark out. I met up with my family  on the grass and we (the parents) shared in some bubbly and strawberries. When we got home the kids were excited to eat my cupcakes and open the presents. It was a really late night for them but it was a great end to the day.

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Sunday (my Canadian birthday) I got to celebrate in my own way! I slept in with NO ALARM CLOCK (even though I could hear the kids running around the house I could just smile and roll over)! I hung out in my room reading text messages and facebook posts and got to chat a little with some friends. I went upstairs and had lunch and shared cupcakes with the boys. Pretty much my whole day consisted of lounging, playing with the boys and finishing my Christmas cards. The 6 year old tried to help me with my cards at one point so there are a few that…aren’t up to my level of perfection. There wasn’t much he could do to assist me so I let him put some stickers on the cards. Unfortunately when they were going on crocked I patiently tried to explain I like them to be straight and not clustered together. Eventually I let him peel them and then give them to me…production slowed until he got bored and decided to make his own!

So that was my birthday weekend!

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xox Buddha Blessings,
Amanda

Goodbye 26, Hello Rest Of My Life…

In honor of this being my last blog (at age 26), I thought I would make a detailed list of my 26 dreams and desires. In truth, it was easy to think of about 10 and then afterwards I began regretting the topic. Dreams and miracles seem to be similar words with vastly different meanings. Without my mind going too wild I tried to base my list in mostly “reality’’. Please do not take this list too seriously or you will hurt your head.

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Thank you so much to everyone who has been sending their words of encouragement. I have known all along that 27 isn’t that big a deal and I still have 3 years until I reach the big 3-0! I do not have many friends my age, most are younger and many are older so it has been great to get advice from both perspectives. The overall message being:

Age is not something you can control. It is a daily reminder that you are ALIVE!!!

26 Dreams and Desires…

1. Become a midwife’s assistant or be a Doula. When I was a kid I wanted to be an obstetrician; until I found out how many years of schooling it entailed! Then I decided I would prefer to be a Pediatrician so I could work with the Mom’s and the babies. NOW I would love to be a doula. To be a part of the support system at such a significant time in a someone’s’ life WOULD BE INCREDIBLE.

2. I have grown up to believe that you choose your FAMILY. As we grow we shape our own definitions of what it means to us.  I believe that family is not solely comprised of blood relations. That said I would like to meet (as many as possible) people from my birth family. Part of my personal identity remains undeveloped. I do worry though…did curiosity kill the cat?

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3. Financial stability.

4. Feel loved unconditionally for who I am. Stop having to prove I am worthy of being loved. I don’t want to have to pretend or modify who I am depending on who I am with. I don’t want to seek out love I truly feel deserving of. I want to keep discovering who I am. I want to be me and be happy with that.

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5. Find out the details involving my stomach scar. It is the width of my abdomen and I have had it since I was adopted. Just like I find it unnerving to have no birthday details, I find it unsettling to NOT know why and when I had surgery. All I know is that no organs were extracted and my stitches were cleanly done.

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6. Find a cure for my insomnia. My mind just won’t shut off at night. A lot of the times when I am trying to sleep I lay awake thinking or having “daymares”. I am living through things that have never happened but it feels real.

7. Get my motorcycle license and own a bike!

8. I have always wanted to shave my head and start from scratch. When my parents found me in the orphanage I had thing scraggly hair with bald patches. To this day I have thin thin hair and I have always wondered how it would grow back? It has never seemed to be the right time to shave it off but it has always been an idea of mine. If there was an opportunity to do it for a charitable cause I would strongly consider.

9. Be in a spelling bee! Aha since I was a kid I wanted my class to have one but it never happened for me. Nothing intense like you see on television – just a simple fun one where two lines are formed and you sit down once you spell a word wrong. You advance every time you spell a word right and there is one winner! I think I am twenty years too late…

10.  I don’t know if it will happen but I would LOVE to go back to Nepal. I met so many wonderful people who will remain dear to me. I want to go back and see them as well as travel around and volunteer my time as much as possible. I will never forget the warmth of the Nepalese.

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11.  Publish a book? I have always LOVED editing essays and reading over other peoples ‘work but I also like writing. My Mom was a teacher who chose to edit in red ink. To this day I love the feeling of reading over something and scribbling red ink all over the page with corrections and suggestions. Maybe one of these days I will become an author or an editor for a publishing firm?

12. Go to space? I think I am more interested in the spaceship ride than being in space but I bet the whole trip would be astounding.

13.  I know it would be impossible to make the world perfect. Who am I to decide what “perfect is”? What I do know is that I want to live in a world that has eliminated child sex offenders, rapists and world hunger they would be top on the priority list. ANYONE who mistreats children or women does not deserve my sympathy. Mental illness or not – I do not believe I would be able to forgive a person. It is depressing to know there are still people who do not have access to food daily. I hate wasting or throwing out food. One day we will abolish world hunger.

14. Hire a personal chef (thanks for reminding me Bizzle). I am a horrible cook and I have always wanted someone to grocery shop and cook all my meals. I am a huge snacker and that is part of the reason why my health is not in order. I eat whatever is quick and accessible in the kitchen or grab for the nearest potato chips or cookies. Having a personal chef would take the thinking out of what to eat and how many calories I was consuming a day! I NEED TO MAKE THIS HAPPEN one day!
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15. Increased fitness. I would like to increase my stamina and lose my stomach fat (less cheese more exercising!!!) Workout with Bob Harper and/or Jillian Michaels would be a dream come true. I WANT to be on the American TV Show The Biggest Loser just so they can yell at me, “Last chance workout”. I know I would never make it on the show but a girl can dream right?!
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16.  Good bye economy class hello Business Class or First Class. I love flying so why not be as comfortable as possible while doing it?

17.  I have always had this plan of what I would do if I won the lottery. If I had the option of yearly installments or cash out  the lump sum I would take the one time payout. My reason behind the lump sum is that I would be too paranoid that the cheques would stop coming. Even if cashing out meant the total was substantially less I would have the mental security in knowing I had received it and would then begin to plan my future.  If the day ever came that I won BIG I would go on 2 separate vacations. Family trip and friends trip!! For some reason I have put a lot of thought into this. I would then put more than a third into a savings account that I did not have access to for around 5 years.

18. A craft room with ample storage space that is stocked full of supplies. Anybody who crafts knows it is not a cheap hobby. It has taken me years to collect my supplies and I am nowhere near having the amount I desire. I would also like my own photo printer! Not a portable single one but a heavy duty machine! I love developing photos and giving them to people in my snail mail.

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19. Learn more about different religions. I have passionately read about Buddhism but I would really like to dedicate more time to understanding the history and philosophies. I do not want to limit myself to just one and am very interested in Christianity, Hinduism and beyond. Learning more about faith and what it means to other seems inspiring.

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20. I would like a Pinterest budget (merci ana!!). I would be more inclined to actually create things instead of just pinning everything to my boards and thinking that ‘someday I will make this’!

21. Un-chipable nail polish. The newest thing is getting your nails chillaxed. I would like to be able to buy it and not have to pay some technician the application fees. I would much prefer applying a type of nailpolish that didn’t need base and top coat  and loads of nail polish remover when the nails start chipping a few days later. It is a lot of work to MAINTAIN chip free nails. I wouldn’t invest so much energy into it but it helps deter me from biting my nails.

22. This is a silly dream but I wish that Private Practice wasn’t ending! I love Charlotte and Cooper as a couple. If only the show could go on or they could have their own spin off. Kadee Strickland and Paul Adelstein have dynamite chemistry and feed off each other in their roles!

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23. I don’t like how soap operas are slowly becoming extinct. Besides how entertaining they are it is going to leave so many people out of work. Not just the actors, writers, directors and crew will be unemployed; all the staff who work on the shows and magazine publications.  Soaps have been on air for over seventy years and slowly fading away.

25. Another silly fantasy would be to have unlimited battery life on electronics I use regularly. It is super frustrating to have to charge my laptop, camera and phone regularly so they do not die “suddenly” on me. Not a really GOOD idea but I am running out of ideas to write about…

26. One of my favourite books is Pay It Forward. (The movie didn’t do the book justice.)It made me want the world to be a better place! I wanted to be that person who did favours for others but didn’t want anything back in world. I WOULD LIKE TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD.

I kept my promise to everyone reading! I blogged for a week! Thank you so much to Ana, Bizzle and Cous Cous for their continued support over this past week. We realized just how big the number 26 was, and maybe I was too ambitious for wanting to include that many in each blog. That is behind us now because I am done 🙂

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Sorry about the repetition for some of the answers.They say if you write your dreams and goals down they are more likely to come true. Here’s hoping!

Thank you thank you thank you
xox Amanda Sumalee

26 of My Favourite Things

Only ONE day left until I am 1 year closer to THIRTY!! It was hurting my brain to think of 26 things that were my “favourite” that I enlisted the help of my dear friend Ana! She was a lifesaver 🙂

1. Pink & purple used to be my favourite colours. Now turquoise, silver and (still) purple are my favourites.

2. Naps!! & mornings where I don’t need to set my alarm and letting my body sleep until it wakes up



3. An odd observation I began to make a few years back – Red seems to be my favourite food colour to eat. Examples:
gummy candies, popsicles, lollipops, lifesavers, skittles, jujubes, jellybeans

4.  Making someone laugh OR laughing until I am crying or gasping for air

5. The feeling of my stomach flipping when I am upside down on a rollercoaster

6. Meal: Sweet and Sour Ribs (parent’s recipe) rice and corn
>>pasta with alfredo sauce as a close second
>>>o’henry bars as my favourite chocolate!

7. Roadtrips! My latest one to Tofino with Ana, Socks and Emzie was AMAZING and it made me realize I need to LIVE more

8. Receiving snail mail! Absolutely love it

9. Getting massages. As well, I rarely get my haircut but when I do -my favourite part is when they are washing your hair!

10. When I feel like a workout dvd Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels get results! They really know how to make a girl sweat!

11. Christmas used to be my favourite day, Birthdays have always made me feel awkward and anxious and Thanksgiving (my favourite day) makes me feel happy and loved

12. The smell of fresh/homemade food, babies and gasoline.
I also love burning incense and candles

13. Monkeys used to be my favourite animal but elephants (especially the babies) make my heart melt. And for many years I have tried to wear something “elephant” every day as my own token of good luck.

14. I used to be embarrassed to tell people Celine Dion was my favourite musician

15. Indoor rock climbing, skiing, tubing are sports of choice. My favourite one to watch is beach volleyball

16. I have a few drink choices: chocolate milk, pina coladas, egg nog, tequila or vodka cranberry

17. Comedies

18. Garage sales! Love bargains and antiques….and I am tight with my money so they make me realllly happy!

19. Being with friends (especially in sweats or pj gatherings)

20.  Scattegories and boggle. I can not get ENOUGH of word games!

21. Beaches

22. Steeped tea double double (splenda and soymilk!)

23. Watching  at TV show with somebody else OR texting them. I love sharing in the giggling and screaming during an episode! It is amazing how much more entertaining an episode is when shared with a friend. (Halfway across the world Ana & I still try to do it for Greys and Private Practice xox)

24. Collaging! When I do it I like to use a huge assortment of photographs, magazines, quotes and stickers (Ana worded it beautifully for me, “bringing artistic elements to everything”.) I believe I have a creative eye and am so often inspired to be crafty.

25. Watching dancing competition shows. Derek Hough and Julianne Hough are my favourite dancers/choreographers. I have always wanted to learn how to dance and am in such awe how people learn to move to the music.

26. Freshly cleaned teeth…a bit of an odd choice but I really like leaving the dentist’s office after they have cleaned and flossed my teeth

I know these lists are starting to get really repetitive. I will try to come up with more original answers for tomorrow. It is highly unlikely I will be blogging daily so I hope you liked the frequent updates this week!  have some vacation time booked in December and January so there will be more day trips in the future! Hopefully they will allow for more “travel related” posts and pictures.

I feel exhausted tonight. Thank you so much for reading these. Feel free to send blog ideas my way!

xo Amanda

26 Things On My Bucket List

This list is in no particular order. It took me a LOOONG time to fill up all 26 slots. I guess the ONLY good thing about my birthday being on Saturday is that I can stop blogging these lists! I really didn’t realize it would be take so much energy to think of 26 things to list a day. (It doesn’t help that I have to think about whether all my content is appropriate for the public! I think my answers could vary a little if it was just for my diary…)

1. Own a high quality camera

2. Anything related to flying or that feeling of pure adrenaline : skydiving, parasailing, hang-gliding, heli-skiing, base jumping, being shot out of a canon?, aerial swing. Anything that makes my stomach flip flop!!

3. Become a mother (I envision at least 2 children)

4. Find someone to share my life with

5. To live in Thailand and learn more about my heritage

6. Swim with sharks. I would like to swim with dolphins TOO but sharks is the priority

7. Be a dog owner

8. To run a marathon

9. Own a dark blue Wrangler Jeep (since Texas I can’t see myself without one. ONE DAY long down the road)

10. Have a job that I am truly passionate about

11. Be debt free (goodbye student loans!)

12. Discover more about birth parents/family members

13. Go to Fiji “the happiest place on earth”

14. Travel and see as much of the world as possible

15. Attend more live concert!

16. Go to a live filming of Chelsea Lately. (It used to be Ellen or Saturday Night Live but I have kind of moved on from that)..doesn’t really need to be on my bucket list but I am watching an episode now and she always makes me laugh.

17. When I was a kid I dreamed about living in a townhouse and having my best friend live next door to me….I think my updated dream is to live in a great place near friends. If it happens to be a sweet townhouse I am all for it! Hopefully I will be a homeowner and not a renter for the rest of my life.

18. Get more serious with my RRSP…it’s never too early to start saving for retirement!!

19. To learn Thai. I would like to feel comfortable conversing with other Thais.

20. Create a scrapbook of my life (a couple of pages of each year of my life). I was inspired after seeing my friend’s scrapbook for her daughter. She had 1-2 pages for each birthday. It was the most amazing work of art ever!!!

21. Get my ear bumps removed. Since I was a kid I wanted to get my ears pierced so I could wear dangly earrings…clip on earrings hurt!!

22. Volunteer my time more. I always feel so great before-during and after!

23. Laser eye surgery! Oh ya contacts be gone.

24. Learn sign language…I learned about Helen Keller and Louis Braille in school and am still inspired by their perseverance.

25. Take a bigger interest in learning how to cook and bake. I need to branch out from just the basics.

26. STAY connected with FAMILY and FRIENDS. It takes effort and energy but it will continue to be important to me.

Only 2 more days of blogging to go! I hope I keep my promise and blog everyday until my 27 birthday! Thanks for reading these. Bizzle I have already begun our list 🙂

Always Thankful – Keep Smiling,
xox Amanda