Wednesday, December 3, 2014


Russ and I spent Thanksgiving in Oroville. We try to go up there as much as we can; however, I've never been there during Thanksgiving. I always hear stories from Russell telling me about the amazing food/feast they throw up there and I am so glad I got to experience that this year. It only took us 10 hours (yay?) to drive up there during the dreaded most-traffic-on-the-road day of the year.

The feast was on the ranch. There was crab, oysters, ham, and of course turkey. I got to try American Thanksgiving side dishes I've always heard about but have never eaten like green bean casserole. Aunt Linda brought the wine she makes. We brought up beer my brother-in-law made. My mom-in-law brought her infamous homemade pies. We feasted like kings.

Afterwards, we took out the four-wheelers to explore Grandpa's ranch. Curtis and Lauren were with us and I got lots of cutesy photos of them like this:

Here's one that Lauren took of me and Russ:

We went around the ranch until the sun started to set. I love exploring Grandpa's ranch and watching the cows just chilling and eating. I don't know the land that well but it seems endless.

Boys being boys

With cousin Jimmie after we couldn't restart the 4-wheeler
Besides that I also played with the little cousins on a giant trampoline. I don't know where little kids get their energy but they are so much fun.

Uncle Pete and Aunt Maureen's house with the giant trampoline and an awesome view of the pond.
We will be back in Oroville later on this December! Till next time...

Thankful for this goofball.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Making Things

Look what Russ and I made:

Isn't it beautiful?
I am pretty proud of this. Russ' family all paint and they all have these beautiful paintings hanging in their homes that they've painted and I've always wished I could paint like the Henrys.

Russ is an awesome husband though and his love language (verbal encouragement) comes in when he encourages my creativity in different ways. I may not be able to paint but give me some twine, mason jars, and a hot glue gun and I can sort of maybe make something.

Russ put the wooden frame together. We went to Home Depot and–yes, I am going to brag a little–it was attractive watching him pick out wood pieces and actually know which ones should be used. It's handy having a handy man around (pun intended). He nailed it all together and stained it. I came in only close to the end when the plants were involved. I mostly just hot-glue-gunned my fingers together and complained to Russell that the hot glue gun was hot. I also bought the fishing line.

But the idea behind this Succulent Plant Frame was something we saw in a coffee shop once on a lunch date. We tweaked it a little and made it our own. Also, Russ has a hobby of building things with his hands and gardening. This included both and it was nice being able to do this with him.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Making Friends

We've been in Carlsbad for just over seven months now. Overall, it's been good for us to move here and learn how to adjust and settle in a different city where we don't know lots of people. It's definitely forced us out of our comfort zone. It's definitely forced me out of my comfort zone. Let's just say I grew up always surrounded my a majority of Asians. That isn't the case down here. It's a slight culture shock if anything else. There's only one close boba store and not much of a variety when it comes to trendy and/or Asian cuisine. Yes, food plays a big factor in my comfort levels.

Besides the food, it's colder here because we are living closer to the ocean; there are no 24-hour donut shops; recently found out that Carlsbad is mainly filled with retirement communities; and there aren't as many malls as I was used to in Orange County. I am learning new discoveries everyday. Like how North San Diego County and South San Diego County like to distinguish themselves from each other.

Anyways, while down here Russ and I found a great church (that financially supports Center Church in Irvine which was where Russ and I were going to) that has great community. We love it. Our weekly community group is filled with young couples who all have little kids under the age of two. Community group is always lively and always filled with real conversation that I am thankful for. They make me feel more at home down here. We met a few more people from our church when we went to our Pastor's open house. I even got invited to a Nancy Drew book club (!!) after revealing that I was obsessed with Nancy Drew. How awesome is that?? I've always wanted to be part of a book club outside of college.

Church has been our main source of friendships down here. Our spiritual lives are being cultivated and at the same time we get to meet some of the most interesting and sincere people we wouldn't have met otherwise.

Russell's brother and sister-in-law live in Oceanside (city next to ours) and it's been great having them nearby. Having family close by helps tremendously in terms of feeling at home.

I've made a couple of friends through my job. However, my walking buddy at work recently ended her contract because she's moving to Japan with her husband. Here's a picture of me with her on Halloween. Ignore all the gore in the background. Our department went with the theme of "CSI Investigation".
Cindy and I
[SIDENOTE: The contracting company I'm with and the medical company we're currently under totally get into the spirit of Halloween. I've never seen a company like this. It's spectacular. Whole departments picking a theme and sticking with it (Disney, Legos, Google Maps, etc.). Here's my department's "dead body" buffet:

Ribs for his ribs, and sausages for his intestines...
It's kinda gross yet fascinating, isn't it?]

This has been a challenging season for me yet so rewarding in all the new relationships I get to make. It's true, when you get older you have less friends since it's all about quality not quantity. But moving to Carlsbad definitely enriched the quality and the quantity of friends I've made. It's been an answered prayer and a blessing.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

A Listography of Updates

Hey guys! There haven't been much big events I've had to blog about, just small activities and celebrations here and there. I've compiled a bulleted list (since that's all the rage these days) of quick highlights:

  • We participated in a pumpkin carving contest with our bible study group. I gave up after taking out the pumpkin guts, and our friend Simeon helped carve out my Harry Potter pumpkin for me. Russ went for the abstract. Neither of us won. 
Top Left: Russell's (one-eyed octopus with a top hat); Top Right: Mines (Harry Potter);
Bottom: All the pumpkin submissions. The ninja turtle on the far right won.

  • I was sick on Halloween so Russ and I were unable to do the original plans we had on that day. But we were still able to stop by Joe and Kristen's place for about an hour to celebrate Halloween/Oktoberfest. Complete with outfits!

  • I submitted my first short story in my creative writing class. Luckily, we can do it anonymously. When they were reading it out loud in class, I was starting to get woozy and I was sure the professor would stop reading and say it was a horrible story with horrible writing and whoever wrote it should get up and get out. But, none of that happened. They liked it! There were parts they said needed to be improved on (which I totally agreed with) but overall it wasn't horrible. The story was about tomatoes.

  • Russ and I are now school loans debt-free!!!! THIS IS EXCITING. This year, my goal was to get rid of those school loans and we reached that goal one month in advance :) We can now splurge....or not, since holidays are coming. But we did have a nice dinner in a French restaurant as a celebration.

  • We are also traveling over the holidays. We'll be gone for about a month in total. We've booked hotels and stuff already. So excited.

  • Oh, and here's a random picture of me. I really liked my outfit so I texted it to Russell. He said I looked very London...

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Pumpkin Patch

Though the weather here in Southern California still insists on being summer, fall activities are taking place nonetheless. This Saturday, Russ and I went to a pumpkin patch.

This is the 2nd time I've ever been to a pumpkin patch. The first time I went, Russ and I were still dating and he found out I'd never carved a pumpkin before. 

...Actually, now that I think about it, there was a first time before that first time. I was in sixth grade and my teacher told my classmates and I to bring some hay to class for a brick-building project. I remember telling my parents I needed hay so we went to the pumpkin patch where I stayed for a few minutes to pick up some hay from the ground that was thrown around for decoration. But I don't count that experience as a first time experience. That was purely an educational experience.

Anyways, back on subject. This pumpkin patch experience we looked at pumpkins, watched little kids pet baby goats, bought ice cream from an ice cream truck, and went through a dying corn maze. It was advertised as a "10-foot tall" corn maze but that must have been from a couple years ago. You can tell the California drought hit farms hard because the corn maze was lacking in, well, corn. It was kind of just a path through dead corn plants. But still fun and filled with lots of laughs with my man.

Picking pumpkins

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Arts and Crafts

We've had a couple of weekends free lately which means we've had a lot of time at home. Which also means artsy fartsy days! (Also known as arts and crafts)

About a month ago, Russell decided to build a coffee table. I came home from a girls' weekend trip in Santa Barbara to see a pretty cool table built and painted in our living room. Russ likes working with his hands and building things which I guess is a great hobby, along with his gardening. He also paints you know, as in no big deal. And he wonders why I get so self-conscious around his artistic family–I neither paint, garden, nor build things.

However, I did take up knitting/crocheting again. Take that art world!

Left: First Table Russell has ever built
Right: First crocheted circle I've ever done
Last weekend, Russell's project was to build a planter for his ever-growing garden. It came out nicely. The red paint was my idea so I want a tiny bit credit ;)

The herb planter
While my husband was building that, I decided to knock a few crafts off my list. I used to journal a lot, still do but not as much as I would like, but needless to say I still have a fear of forgetting. I love capturing memories. And if I can't write them all down I keep momentos. From all the trips Russ and I take, I keep the ticket stubs. These range from movie dates, museums, plane tickets, train rides, etc. I finally made a frame to keep them all in.

Placed right above our sweet little H decoration
That's what we've been up to. This is what happens when you don't have a TV and are tired of playing board/card games and don't want to drive anywhere.

'Till next time.

Monday, September 29, 2014

My Husband, the Gardener

We have a small patio in our apartment but that doesn't stop Russell from growing a whole bunch of fun things.

Here's a few plants growing in our balcony:



Green Onions and Tomatoes 

No tomatoes pictured

Grown from seed from my dad's papaya tree

Don't ask.

And...Tea plants

Lemongrass, chamomile, catnip, a bunch of other ones with names I forgot

We actually just had our first cup of tea harvested from our own tea plants! Mmm. I've asked Russell to grow me some lettuce but so far those seeds haven't sprouted. Also, he's planted me some flowers upon my request and they've grown, blossomed...and died. So looks like we will stick to planting edible plants which is a-ok by me.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Oroville, CA

Russ and I went up to Oroville a weekend ago. It was his grandma's 80th birthday and the whole family came out to Aunt Linda's house. [Side note, Aunt Linda kind of has the party house. We got married on her ranch because it's such a fun place. She makes her own wine, makes homemade ice cream, has a pond, great wrap-around porch, and not to mention the beautiful scenery] Many of these people we haven't seen since our wedding so it was a treat to be able to catch up with everyone again.

Time to sing Happy Birthday to Grandma!
While we were there, there were lots of activities to do. Aunt Linda had set up a 2-player basketball game similar to what you find in arcades, there were water guns, bubbles, a beach ball...there was a lot going on and what can I say except party house.

Also, we did a lot of things I normally don't do (or have ever done, actually), such as...


Russell's family has a lot of professional fishers in it. His cousins win fishing tournaments. It's that serious. So of course, fishing poles were brought out and Russell tried teaching me. During my brief time trying, his cousins would shout suggestions from across the pond. "Reel it in faster!", "Try to cast it parallel to the where you're standing." I knew right then that fishing is never going to be my thing. When I handed Russ the fishing pole, he caught a pretty big bass (see picture above) almost instantly. I mean, the skill must run in his family, right??

We also went sailing (Wait, what? Yup, sailing. In Aunt Linda's pond which is deeper than it looks):

Mini sailboat, during sunset. I was lucky enough to experience this.

When the little cousins went, they just rowed the boat. But later on Russ wanted to try the sail. Little Addy (who was also one of my flower girls!) was brave enough to join us. I have to admit, she was braver than I. I kept fearing that the boat would topple over and her reasoning would pierce through my fears when she calmly explained, "...but there isn't even any wind."

Our dog Lewis had a fun time too. He amazed many of the guests with his "Bang!" trick which is when you yell bang! and he comes to your feet and lays down on his back to play dead. Sweet dog.

Doggy dog world.
Even though it was only a weekend, it's always nice to be back in Oroville. The scenery never ceases to amaze me.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

New York, New York

I didn't realize how many pictures I took in New York. It took me awhile to go through all of them. So here you go...

The Henrys Take New York City:

Times Square 

NY Skyline

Saturday, August 23, 2014


Whew, the whirlwind that was July and the first half of August has finally gone and past. It's bittersweet watching family and friends fly back to their own homes while being left here to drive them to airports and watch them leave.

The past couple of months have been tiring but joyous. It was the good kind of tired. The kind that leaves you in a good sleep and a smile for days. I love seeing my extended family since it's not often that we're all in the same country let alone the same state. I have witnessed 3 weddings this past summer alone and it has left my heart dreamy and full. I love these people. I love the people they married. It gives me hope knowing that in this broken world where people say there's a 50% chance of divorce in America, I know there are good marriages out there who make up the other happy half of the 50%. My cup is half full, folks!

I can't believe it's almost September which means it's almost fall! My summer zoomed by. Russ and I finally get a weekend where we get to stay at home, in Carlsbad. Since mid-June, we've been gone every weekend. For a home-body like Russell, this is tiring and wearisome. For someone like me who likes to get out of the house often, it was also tiring and wearisome. Our schedule was jam-packed...this is what happens when your love language is quality time--you end up deciding that every weekend invitation to spend with friends is worth it. Now, I am learning the value of rest. It's good to see friends and to keep in touch but it's also good to spend time at home and let your body rest. These are the things my husband helps me learn.

Last weekend, husband and I were away for the weekend again but this time, it was just the two of us. Remember when Russell bought me tickets to New York for our one year anniversary? Yeah, well we finally went on that trip. It was memorable and so awesome that it deserves its own post. Keep an eye out for my next blog entry ;)

Friday, August 22, 2014

Surfing | July 26, 2014

While the Canadian cousins were here, one of the things they wanted to try out was surfing. Good thing my brother-in-law loves all activities that involve the ocean so we were able to borrow his surfboards, paddleboards, and wetsuits.

Here are some pictures of my family looking all California:

Facing the waters
From left: James, Jacob, Russell, and Abby
Jacob with a long board
California babes
Husband and little brother