Archive for February, 2012

Last-Minute Shopping

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

A few more days before the Big Day! I’m panicking over the things I still need to buy for the wedding and the honeymoon. Today, Wensley helped me shop for a tiara at gown shops and some outfits for the cruise in the Bahamas. We ended up spending the whole day together in different shopping malls. What great fun! Even though we had two little ones in tow, we’ve done the loading and unloading so many times that it’s like clockwork. The kids seem to also know what to expect. The most important, perhaps, is the good time of fellowship that this special sister and I have together. Not only were we productive (dresses, shoes, and tiara), we had good heart-to-heart talks the whole time. Thanks, Wens, for everything! You’re the best! :-)

lotsa shopping

Eating In

Sunday, February 26th, 2012

My dear fiance got a haircut today. He looked clean and handsome. Tonight, instead of eating out like we usually do, he offered to cook for me. One thing I learned about him is that he does enjoy cooking but does not have the opportunity to do so because of work. But he likes to experiment when he can, especially since he has good taste in food and knows what he likes.

Look at him. What a Pro!

making xi fan

Here’s the meal he prepared for us that night. Sometimes, we don’t need an expensive restaurant to show someone we love them. Personally, a little TLC sprinkled into the food is all I need for a good meal. Great job!

xian xi fan

CBU Hangout

Friday, February 24th, 2012

Today, Wensley is going to attempt to pass the driving test. So, I offered to take care of Avery and Allister while she and Adam go to the DMV. That day, my parents don’t have work so they also came with us. We drove for one hour to Riverside where Wens took her test with Adam. My parents and I spent time in the CBU campus, playing with the kids. It was a beautiful, sunny morning, perfect for a walk and a stroll. We watched the kids play in the grass and sand. Allister is just learning how to walk so he had plenty of space to practice. Here are these two playing with the moving CBU globe just before we went into the cafeteria for a snack.

cbu globe

On the way back to the van, I took this cute picture of the grandparents and the little ones. It’s an image of contentment, if I ever saw one. Thank God for memorable moments like this. Praise God for the gift of family!

walk with gong gong and ama

Closing In

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

The countdown began on December 25th when we got engaged. But as we look ahead to March 10th, the countdown has gotten a lot faster. We’re closing in on the Big Day. One of the things that needs to get done is to apply for a marriage license. We’d been putting it off for many days because so much still needs to be done, but we set aside today to show up in court and pay for the license together.

While we were there, we saw a few other couples doing the same thing, many of them younger than us. We looked at ourselves and wondered where time had gone. There was this one Vietnamese couple in their early 20s. So young. They dressed up like they were going to the prom. As it turns out, they were going to use the court facilities to get married! They looked happy and their parents were taking pictures. Since we decided to get married at church, we simply smiled at their excitement. We asked them to take a picture of us next to the sign to commemorate this one step towards our wedding day.

almost there

When we finally got to the counter, the lady asked for our driver’s license. We put both side by side and it was a strange sight to see. It was so easy to get married in California. All you need to do is to be over 18 years old, show identification, and pay the money. And that’s exactly what we did. After we came out of the courthouse, we said a prayer of thanksgiving and blessing for what we’re about to do. There is no doubt that we were moving headlong into our future together.

license to license

To celebrate the occasion, we went to this Japanese restaurant that someone had highly recommended. It was a traditional Japanese-style seating where we took off our shoes and ate on low tables. So comfortable but also uncomfortable after a while. The food was good but also quite expensive. Knowing my fiance, I don’t think he’d go back there again. I personally think the quality justifies the price. It was a good experience, nonetheless. Cheers!

honda-ya

Linteresting and Linsightful

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

Caught in the storm that is Linsanity, I found myself combing the internet for all these Lin puns. Jeremy Lin is the Asian-American superstar who has captured the imagination of NBA fans everywhere. Who would have thought that an Asian Harvard grad can take on Kobe Bryant and win? If he keeps this up, he will end up being one big superstar. Imagine that, a Chinese-American NBA star.

Still, much of the stereotypes persist. In particular, I found this Facebook post hilarious. Asian parents are known to have high expectations of their children. Here’s another one that summarizes the stereotype:

another one

Reunion

Sunday, February 19th, 2012

A few times a year — three, if we’re lucky — Marilen, Nancy, and I would get together and chat it up. Since graduating, we would go to each other’s family parties, birthday get-togethers, weddings, etc. I’ve been to their weddings and welcomed their kids. For the past few years, I was the single one in the threesome. Tonight, it was my turn. They offered to take my out for Mediterranean cuisine and celebrate this turning point in my life. It is sobering to think that it has been 25 years since we first met. How many people can say they have been friends for that many years? From high school teenagers to middle-age women … I’m so blessed to have these friendships.

mantee

For good measure, they gave me a belated birthday cake. All-in-one celebration this night. Who knows when we will get together again? The older we get, the more special these reunions become. Miss you lots, mga kumare!

birthday

Second Shower

Saturday, February 18th, 2012

As if one bridal shower is not enough, I was given a second shower! Is this divine repayment for these many years as a single? For this shower, my mother came along with me to Orange County to meet my new sisters in the Lord at Canaan. Bessie hosted this party at her home and at least 20 women came, most of them I don’t even know by name. They wanted to welcome me into the fold as Shixiong’s new wife. What a blessing to be welcomed into their spiritual family! They had cake, gifts, and games. But what I appreciated was prayer and the words of encouragement that each of them had for me as I embarked on married life. I will always remember their words of wisdom.

cake

I’ve never met people like Bessie and Molly — such generous, gracious souls. These sisters are like angels sent from heaven. Bessie and her husband offered to host the bridal shower, do the flowers for the wedding, and do the emcee for the wedding reception. Molly coordinated the wedding, worked on the party favors, and offered to pay for our honeymoon suite at the Hyatt. What extravagance! There is no way to repay them except to pray that the Lord bless them with the same extravagance they showed to us. God bless them greatly!

organizers

Premarital Counseling

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

My fiance and I had been talking about doing premarital counseling for many weeks since we got engaged. Even though we only had two months to prepare for the wedding, we managed to squeeze in three sessions in four weeks with the officiating pastor who would marry us. During those evenings, we got into deep, intense talks. Someone once asked me how these counseling sessions helped, considering much of marriage is hands-on and trial-and-error. I would say that a big part of marriage is also reflection and meditation. It helped us tremendously to talk about the differences in our expectations, personality, and cultural values. Knowing these differences helped us to communicate more effectively. For me, what I learned from these abridged sessions was to embrace our differences. There is a reason why the Lord put us together — as iron sharpens iron, so are we to sharpen each other. We need to learn to balance each other. Thank God for these counseling sessions!

workbook

Stuck in Traffic and Rain

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

Several times a week, I would drive an hour from San Gabriel to Orange County for whatever reason. On this day, we had a meeting with the wedding coordinator and we had to be in the church at 6 p.m. I had a late start that afternoon and the traffic was especially bad. On top of it all, my fiance and I had a tense moment on the phone. I had to sit in traffic for almost two hours, seething and burning in impatience. It was then that I looked up and saw this double rainbow. The second one was a little faint but it brought cheer to my heart. It reminded me that in the midst of clouds and rain, there is color and cheer. Praise God!

double rainbow

Fun Valentine

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

Who said that Valentine’s Day had to be a big deal? I suppose it is for most couples. Since this is the first one for us, I had a rather high expectation, admittedly. And my fiance did not disappoint. I was not sure what he would do, but I knew he was going to take me out for a treat. He drove all the way to San Gabriel, bearing a dozen red roses. I got dressed up for our dinner date and we were on our way!

dozen red roses

Where did we go? Dave & Busters. Huh? Let me explain. We actually went shopping in a mall first. I got myself an outfit to wear for the night. Then, we realized that the Knicks and Jeremy Lin were playing that night. Rather than driving all the way to a sports bar, we decided to pop in Dave & Busters to catch the last three minutes of the game. It was the moment that Lin hit the winning 3-point shot of the game! It was exciting and we were officially Linsane! We decided to celebrate with good food, but my fiance did not care much for sports bar food, so we left. So much for a Dave & Busters Valentine dinner.

dave & busters

That night, we felt like something hot and something … Korean. So, we headed to Asiatown and decided on Tofu House. There was an hour wait, but we persisted. By the time we were seated, we were starving. Good conversation, good food, and good time. Memorable Valentine’s night with my sweetheart.

korean dinner