Friday, August 31, 2012

Reasons Why I Have Best Friends

I was scrolling down my tumblr dashboard feed when this came up. Bernadette, this seriously made me smile. Thank you.

As of right now, I am still on happy mode and everything is super fun. Making lists, budgeting, and daydreaming is all great right now. But that can also be because it's been less than a week...

A lot of things are up in the air currently, and Russ and I are trying to tackle big things first before actually planning the details. I still cannot believe that this is happening. So right now (before I start making more excel sheets about what needs to be done, planned, etc.), nothing can really be done except for prayer.

What we need:

  • To decide on who we want to do our pre-marital counseling (super important). 
  • To be patient with my mom as she slowly (slowly) tells my relatives. Besides that, my parents have been so nice and encouraging that I feel like I'm going to be crying a lot the next few months. 
  • To remember to enjoy this season of life if planning ever gets too stressful.
  • To be patient with not just the people around us, but with each other as well. 
  • To trust God with the budget we have—and to remember that it's about the marriage and not just the wedding

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Today, Russell and I sat down and set a rough budget for ourselves. We showed each other our bank accounts and decided on how much we can spend for certain things and how much to put towards our wedding fund (we've had a specific savings account just for a wedding for a few months now but decided to start putting even more money into it). We already knew about how much each other earned but never really talked about the exact numbers and where portions of our money went. So today was enlightening and lightening (ha!).

The main reason we did this was because I wanted to know if we had enough money set aside for disneyland passes. The answer: yes, but at the end of September.

I'm sure that as time goes by, I will be stressing out more and more about budgeting. So I am going to take the time now to remind myself that I am not in control. God is in control. All this money is God's anyways. I need to remember that He will provide for what we need, when we need it, at the right time.

Engagement Story #2: The Proposal

The Story

On Friday, August 24th around 10:30 p.m., Russell asked me to marry him. I, of course, said yes. I wish I could remember and write all the details but when I look back on that night, it was jam-packed with so many little details, big emotions, and endless excitement. It's impossible to capture it in words.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Tomato Fight

One of the first activities Russell and I participated in after getting engaged was go to a giant tomato fight.

After getting out of the tomato pit.

It was quite the adventure. Neither of us had ever participated in a tomato fight before but it was definitely fun. I was out after about 10 minutes of being in the tomato pit and then stepped out. Russell went in for a second time (when all the tomatoes had already been used so people were just grabbing tomato slush from the ground and chucking them). 

Being in it was fun. Finding a hose and being stuck in a crowd of people all wanting to get washed down was another story. Let me just tell you, the stench of tomatoes followed us for the rest of the day.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Engagement Story #1

A couple of weeks ago, Russell and I deleted our facebooks. I felt it was necessary because I would go on it for hours, stalk people I don't even talk to, and sometimes get angry for no good reason at the things people post. Basically, not a lot of good came out of me being on facebook. I thought Russell deleted his for the same reason but little did I know that he had a secret agenda.

I guess when Russell talked to my parents, one of my mom's request was for us not to blast it on facebook (when Russ later told me this after he proposed, I was mad but now I understandmore on that in a bit). So a couple of weeks before he asked me, he slid in a comment about deleting our facebooks and I didn't think much of it and agreed. On a side note, this is why I'm blogging so much. 

I had a wonderful talk this morning with my mom and there were many tears involved. She asked how he proposed and she began crying when I told her the story. When she asked if we really wanted to get married in the spring of next year and I confirmed it, she cried some more. At one point we were both crying and I realized all the emotion wasn't bad. Mom was being so loving and I was crying at how nice she was being. Mom and I have a history of not usually crying in front of people so for the two of us being able to cry in front of each other was a big moment for me.

I haven't even been engaged for over 24 hours and I've cried countless times already.

Anyways, now I understand why mom didn't want me telling too many people right away. She wanted us to be able to enjoy this as a family then share this news with other relatives (oh so slowly) and then with friends. I now see that this is just a lot of big things happening so quickly for my parents. I want to be able to respect them in that. 

...But you're blogging about it, you wonder. Yes I am. But I find that only about 2% of my facebook friends/people I know are even aware that I have blogs and probably a smaller percent of that actually read it. Haha, so hello ghost readers. This is No. 1 of my engagement story and I hope to share more of it as time goes by.


I'm engaged!

I will post more pictures and stories of how it happened but for now, here's a picture taken on August 24th (our two year anniversary!) of when Russell proposed! It's 7 in the morning as I write this and I've been awake for the past hour, after going to bed at 2 a.m., because of my over-excitement. 

Ahhhh! God has been so good and I'm so blessed. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Learning the Value of Humility

Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.  
You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.
Philippians 2:3-5 
I normally have to remind myself of these verses. So often I get frustrated with others around me who are constantly negative, whom complain endlessly, and whom often act as the victim. I get astounded by how they cannot see beyond themselves and their comfortability. But who am I to think that I am any better than these people? How is one sinner any better than the rest?

I need to remember that I need to extend grace to people who are not even asking or wanting it just as Christ gave us grace. God is constantly teaching me the value of humility. While we may find fault in others, there is also fault in us.

The most important thing we can do is work on our relationship with God. Everything else will follow. When I am spending time with God and learning more about His character, then I can take an interest in others without anger or frustration. When I have peace with God, only then can I love my brothers and sisters in Christ the same way God loves his children.

I need to stop looking for the easy way out (getting angry) and start being humble (asking God to help me with these situations). I need to strive to be more Christ-like.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Kenzo's Grad Party + A Lot of Baking

I spent close to 12 hours baking yesterday. I started off hopeful and excited and told myself I'll even take pictures of my progress.

Here's one picture I took while in Hour 4 of baking.
Baking mini apple pies.

After that it was a bit of craziness. Let's get things straight: I was not planning on baking for 12 hours. I was planning on baking for maybe a good 5 hours then going shopping afterwards. But silly me, I forgot how long it takes to make pies let alone 24 mini pies. And how long it  takes to make everything from scratch...I should have just bought desserts.

List of things I made:
  • 24 mini apple pies
  • 24 mini cheesecakes (12 w/ graham crust & 12 w/ oreo crust)
  • 2 batches of jam-filled cookies
  • 2 batches of brownies
  • 2 batches of chocolate chip cookies
...And that's it. Now that I look at the list, I wonder what happened during those 12 hours.

However! Look how pretty it all looked in the end:

Friday, August 17, 2012

Another Graduation in the Family

My older brother, Kenzo, graduated from his nursing program! He is now officially a RN nurse and soon he will be helping people in hospitals.

I had dinner with my family today and my parents kept talking about how great it was to have two kids finally done with college. James is only a sophomore in high school so it'll be awhile before we do graduation pictures again.

Lovely Food Dates

I'm not normally a salad person but I found this salad (spinach, strawberries, and almonds covered in a raspberry dressing) so enjoyable.

Russell and I enjoyed dinner Thursday night at "Simply Fondue." We wanted to catch a movie afterwards but the dinner ended up being about 2.5 hours long so we skipped the movie. It was nice to just sit and talk for that long. 

After the salad course, we were served cheese fondue!

I'm not a cheese person either yet this was fun to try. 

Russell and I couldn't finish all the cheese and bread they gave us so I considered hiding some of the veggies and bread in the cheese. After about 30 minutes of letting the cheese just sit there, I think our server realized that we were too stuffed with cheese to go on.

The third course was meat and veggies which they let us grill ourselves. I don't have any pictures of the meat 'cause we were too busy eating. 

Then, the fourth and final course (which I had been looking forward to since we sat down) was a chocolate fondue dessert!

Yummy fruits, brownies, marshmallows, rice krispies, and bread.

We finished our dessert the fastest. We took it easy and slow for the first three courses but as soon as they brought out the chocolate and dippers, we gobbled all of it up.

I wanted to write about this date night since we rarely take the time to just sit back and enjoy our food. We're the couple who goes into the restaurant, eats our food, then leave all within an hour. It was great being able to take breaks between all the courses they gave us and enjoy the night.

And here's a picture of our marshmallows lit on fire!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Downtown Disney

Spent the day yesterday hanging out with this:

Russell's cousin, Joyce, was in town with her son, Wyatt. Wyattwho is 10 I believegot along so well with Russell that it made me question Russell's age again. But that's Russell, always ready to switch to playful mode and always surprising me with his energetic character.

The picture above is Russell designing a Lego race car at the Lego store. Wyatt is the boy in red. Now, keep in mind that Wyatt is 10 yet Russell was very adamant about beating him and winning the car race. I ended up building a car too in hopes of winning but no such luck with the time and effort these two spent on their own cars. I believe Wyatt ended up winningbut don't remind Russell of that.

Afterwards, we ended up at the arcade in ESPN zone where Russell turned into a complete kid and started to get very competitive at the many games he played. How many, you ask?

A lot. And there were more but I didn't get a picture of all the games they played. They sure loved their racing games. I was almost scared of Russell driving me home in case he thought he was still driving an arcade game...

It was great meeting two of Russell's relatives and seeing how Russell loves to interact with his family. And it's always very amusing witnessing Russell lose to a 10-year old.

Friday, August 10, 2012

OC Fair

Last Saturday, Russell and I went to the OC Fair. It was so much fun. It's too bad that the fair is only here for one month every year since it's filled with so much food and games. And since we no longer have our Disneyland annual passes (wahhh), the fair had to be a slight substitute.

Here's a picture of the Euroslide that I really wanted to go on but got too scared. So I took a picture of it instead:

Russell tried to win me a stuffed animal at a darts game:

Instead, he won me two cute little stuffed animals (one snake and one pink lobster):

Sadly, we lost the snake on the way to the bus shuttle. But the lobster is now in my room along with the medium-sized car stuffed toy I won for myself.

I can describe to you the food there but that would be a whole different post (two words: waffle sandwiches). It was a fun Saturday morning, but we left after four hours since we were getting tired. Next year, we decided to try out the fair at night. And maybe next year, I'll be able to try some of the funnel cakes...

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Falling Stillness

(Photo Credit: Sugar VIVA)

I am in a state of falling stillness. Everything is so beautiful and peaceful. I can take forever to examine every detail, every intricacy of every person I will ever meet. I can lose an eternity learning the habits and quirks of everyone I know. I can forget the meaning of time and sit here, warm in the embrace of the sun and knowing that it is love that keeps me warm. Every heart beatdum dum dadumis a pleasant melody and I close my eyes and dance to it. Time is slowing down; everything is so still.
And like a ladybug who travels on a daffodil fluff (able to take flight yet choosing to fly on a daffodil fluff), this quiet, slow-motion drop is gone.
While I took a day to examine a second, lightyears have zoomed past. I thought I was a child but college is gone. But I am still a child!No, those years have passed. I am sitting in an office (When and how did I get here?). I am saying goodbye to friends moving on, I am watching my parents grow old, I am scrambling, scrambling, scrambling to make this time worth what it is. When did my little brother grow five inches taller than I? When did I learn to read and write? When did I fall in love? The time lapses. The wind blows. 
I am falling in stillness.