• Personal

    Make better use of my time

    As the weather gets warmer after a harsh and long winter, I just realized that I haven't made a better use of my time here. And as I feel more comfortable living in the US, I also come to a realization that I will be going back home in less than a year. There are still so many things I haven't tried or explored which won't be available or comfortable to do during colder seasons.Suddenly I feel extremely anxious. What have I done for my personal development during these past 9 months? I

  • Parenting,  Pengalaman

    Kids-friendly City

    As Alya's learning to walk and getting more and more active each day (she's currently 14 months-old), I realize she needs to channel her energy in a better environment outside home. The other reason is because I can't stand the mess she makes when we're staying all day at home. At the end of mostly every day, I will be tidying up the clothes she takes out from her cupboard, the medicines she takes out from the shelf, the refrigerator magnets she takes and spread out all over the apartment, the

  • Travel

    Exploring US with baby: West Coast Part 1- Los Angeles

    Though initially feeling indifferent and just (at least) wanted to visit New York, Washington DC, Los Angeles and San Francisco while living in the US, these 'modest' wishes were instantly revised to a much longer list after I finished a summer trip to West Coast. The 16-days-trip opened up my eyes that US was so much more than those big cities. Sure, they were must-visit and coming there was like dreams-come-true, but the delight and joy I felt during the trip were mostly come from finding out

  • Personal

    Hijrah

    Memantau Indonesia dari kejauhan, saya mengamati semakin banyak orang yang berhijrah, mulai dari artis, teman, bahkan saudara, diantaranya dengan memperbaiki cara berpakaian sesuai syariat agama, rajin ikut berbagai kajian agama, dan lainnya. Di sudut apartemen di Pittsburgh, saya berkaca, betapa iman saya dalam kondisi berantakan. Shalat, mengaji, puasa. Betapa kuantitas dan kualitasnya semakin menurun. Pesan ibu saya dari dulu sama, berulang-ulang di hampir setiap telepon, Whatsapp ataupun

  • Pengalaman

    Layanan kesehatan di Amerika Serikat

    Kalau bukan karena sekolah, mungkin tidak akan pernah terlintas di benak saya untuk tinggal di luar Indonesia, terutama di negara maju seperti Amerika Serikat. Kenapa? Alasan utama, biaya hidupnya mahal. Lebih khusus lagi, yang saya mau bahas kali ini adalah layanan kesehatannya yang luarrrr biasa mahal. Saya (dan keluarga) beruntung karena selama tinggal di luar negeri hidup disokong beasiswa yang sudah meng-cover asuransi kesehatan. Waktu di Jerman, biaya ke dokter diganti dengan sistem

  • Motherhood

    Alya: a Year in Life

    On June 1st, 2018, we celebrate one of the happiest moment: Alya's 1st Birthday!I still remember clearly, a year ago, we rushed out to the hospital after my water broke. And after 6 hours, she was born to the world. The pain of labor was excruciating but weirdly, I can't remember any of it now. I remember how worried I was that she hadn't gained a lot of weight like other babies. I blamed myself for not being able to produce more milk. But look at her now, she comes to me and my husband at the

  • Personal

    Book Review #3 and My Happiness Project

    Book Review #3The next book I read was The Happiness Project, or Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun by Gretchen Rubin. It's been a long time since I observed that many people have read this book but I was unsure and a little bit skeptic. Can you really teach people how to be happy?It turns out you can! It’s a very enjoyable reading and my heart lighten up as I read more pages. If mere reading (this book)

  • Book Review

    Book Review #1 and #2

    Seperti yang sudah saya ceritakan sebelumnya di post ini, salah satu hal yang paling saya nikmati selama tinggal di Pittsburgh, Amerika Serikat adalah jaringan perpustakaannya yang sangat luas (ada di tiap neighborhood) dengan koleksi buku yang sangat lengkap. Saya bisa pinjam banyak buku-buku bagus (masing-masing selama 3 minggu) dengan sangat mudah. Bentuknya bermacam-macam, mulai dari print book, e-book, audio book, DVD sampai Video Cassette. Saya biasanya memilih print book karena tidak ada

  • Travel

    Menjelajah Amerika Serikat bersama bayi: Washington DC

    Sudah sampai Amerika, harus kemana-mana dong! Secara banyak kota-kota besar di US seperti Washington DC, New York, Los Angeles dan lainnya yang harus dikunjungi setidaknya sekali selama disini. Kalau udah balik ke Indonesia, sepertinya saya sulit memilih Amerika sebagai tujuan liburan terutama karena lamanya perjalanan kesini (yang bisa lebih dari 1 hari) dan mahalnya biaya perjalanan. Sebagai pemanasan, saat spring break bulan Maret kemarin, kami memutuskan untuk melakukan road trip ke

  • Pengalaman

    Ramadhan di Amerika Serikat

    Saya memulai Ramadhan di Amerika Serikat tahun ini dengan menghadapi permasalahan klasik yang sama seperti awal Ramadhan di tanah air: perbedaan pendapat mengenai kapan jatuhnya 1 Ramadhan. Jauh-jauh kesini ternyata seperti di Indonesia, hahaha.. Saya dan suami yang sudah yakin sekali puasa akan dimulai hari Kamis, 17 Mei 2018 (seperti di Indonesia), tiba-tiba kalang kabut begitu ngecek aplikasi Muslim Pro yang ternyata sudah berubah. 1 Ramadhan-nya hari ini (Rabu, 16 Mei 2018)!! Nasi goreng