Archive for March, 2013

Garage Door

Monday, March 11th, 2013


No, that is not a bandit in our garage. SX decided to fix the loud noise every time the garage opens and closes. It seemed simple enough — purchase a lubricant and spray the rusty wheels. I lent him a scarf so he wouldn’t inhale the fumes.

Just as we were opening and closing the garage door to see which squeaky wheels needed the grease, we heard a pop! Then, I saw smoke. And everything was quiet. I pushed the garage door button a few times but to no avail. It wasn’t working anymore. What started out as a simple procedure to get rid of the noise became this complicated problem of fixing the machine that operated the garage opener. Oh well. I told SX that maybe it was the garage door’s way of saying that it’s retiring and to get a new one. Here’s SX trying to figure out what happened.


1st Year Anniversary

Sunday, March 10th, 2013

We had intended to have a get-away weekend for our 1st year anniversary, but because of work responsibilities, we were forced to stay in town and explore the neighboring cities. We brainstormed many places and ended up choosing the Glendale Americana because it was close enough and far enough. Plus, in addition to wanting to just relax somewhere, we were intrigued by the place.

There was a lively atmosphere when we got there, especially since it was a Sunday. We decided to ride the train that circled the perimeter and met a few people with whom we made small talk. Then, we took a walk and enjoyed the fountain, the grassy area where children were playing, and the malls where we dared not venture in (except the Apple store, of course). One of the things we had planned to do was to sit somewhere to talk and enjoy a drink together. We also planned a writing competition to reflect on our 1st year together. We found a perfect spot on the 3rd floor balcony of the biggest Barnes & Noble I’ve ever seen. It was perfect because it was at the corner and overlooks the Americana. There were so many people that I didn’t think we could get a spot, but we think God showed us His favor on this day! We were so happy.


We spent a good few hours talking and writing and reveling on the afternoon. Besides the perfect spot, it was also the perfect weather for an afternoon of relaxation and reflection. Here’s SX doing his share of the writing.


Here’s the view from where we were. There were families relaxing on the grassy area and shopping the malls that lined the streets. Towards evening, the water fountains light up and the waters would dance to the music. It was a low-key celebration for a 1st year anniversary but it was special, nonetheless. As the saying goes, the where doesn’t matter as much as the who.


Homemade Lunch

Saturday, March 9th, 2013


Today, we decided to go light. We wanted to clear whatever is left in the fridge so we defrosted the rest of the thin bagels, cut up some cheese, washed lettuce, peeled a few ham slices, and broke out the mustard and ketchup. I made a simple salad consisting of lettuce, tomatoes, and carrots. For the dressing, I mixed olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey mustard, honey, seasoned with salt and pepper. To top off our homemade lunch, I cut up some potatoes into strips, coated them with special batter, and fried them for our very own french fries. It turned out to be a most delicious meal — light but very satisfying!

It’s a Wonderful Life

Friday, March 8th, 2013


This was a movie I’d been wanting to see with SX since Christmas time. Because of the busy holiday season, we were not able to catch it on TV. And when I wanted to rent the movie for our own private viewing, the only way I knew how was to go to Blockbuster, which is non-existent by now. I tried to look in Netflix, Hulu, even Redbox, but it was either the movie is not available or I just did not know how to look. I had actually given up. But when I saw this movie in the library the other day, I snatched it up and planned on watching it with him sometime this week.

The other night, we were too lazy to watch in the living room, so we stayed in bed and watched it on Youtube in the iPad (who knew?). We could only watch the first half of this long movie because we started getting sleepy. Last night, we popped it in the DVD and finished the movie on the big screen TV. I must say that even watching it for the umpteenth time, it never fails to inspire me with feelings of good old-fashioned faith in humanity and love. Since it was SX’s first time to watch it, I think he was especially moved by the story-telling, characters, and main themes. I love introducing classics and works of art to those who’s never experienced it! I’m so glad I was finally able to initiate him into one area of Americana. I think it made a deep impression on him.

Shopping and Lunch

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

Today, I was invited to go shopping for clothes. I don’t shop all that often, least of all for my own clothes. I usually wear the same things all the time, to the point of SX pushing me to buy some new ones. And so, I grabbed at the opportunity to shop with these women who know their way around clothing stores. Over just one morning of being together, I found their secret to successful shopping: sales and clearance. Boy, did we find some good stuff! I picked up some new pants and blouse that I really liked and at very good prices, too. I had fun trying on some new clothes, even more fun actually buying them. Next time, I think I’ll know how to search the sales and clearance aisles myself!

After shopping, we decided to go from some all-you-can-eat Korean BBQ (again). This is the second week in a row for me. Even though I wasn’t too hungry yet, seeing the set-up made my stomach growl.


Actually, I did not need to worry about ordering because Amy and Rebekah knew exactly what to order. We ended up eating a week’s worth of meat today. We had beef ribs, shrimp, calamari, thin beef slices, salad, and those little dishes that are just so yummy. I didn’t think we could eat that much, but since it was all-you-can-eat, we would look at the other tables and copy what we think is good to try. It was almost embarrassing the many times we ordered but we figured that other tables were doing exactly the same thing. Talk about gluttony! In any case, I was so full that I was in serious need of a walk (or a nap!) after we got up from the table.

Here’s one of our dishes, the marinated beef ribs, as we patiently waited for it to cook!


Heart Rate

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

heart rate

“Heart rate is a measurement tool that determines how fast the heart is beating. Typically, the concept is expressed by the number of beats or pulses over a given amount of time, such as beats per minute (BPM). Understanding the rate at which the heart is beating can be important to athletes as a measurement of exertion, but may also be useful to doctors in understanding the health of a patient.

Although the medical explanation of what a heartbeat does can be quite complex; essentially, the heart beats faster when the body needs more oxygen. The need for oxygen can change based on a variety of factors, such as current activity, heart condition, or general health. Monitoring this rate can allow a person to know how hard the heart is working to provide oxygenated blood throughout the entire body.

There are a variety of ways to measure the rate of heart beats, though many basic methods provide only a general range of rate. The simplest way to measure BPM is by finding a pulse point on the body. The most easily located are generally on the wrist directly below the first finger, or on the side of the throat. These points are on shallow arteries that bulge when blood passes through them, creating a steady beat, or pulse. To measure heart rate using a pulse point, count how many beats occur in six seconds. Multiply that number by ten, and it will give a good estimate of the BPM.

When the body is at rest, such as sitting or sleeping for a long period, heart rate tends to be low. This is called the resting heart rate, and in most people it is between 60-100 BPM. Some athletes or very fit adults may have a lower resting rate, which is usually a sign of excellent cardiovascular health. People with an unusually low heart rate may have a condition called bradycardia, which can cause health problems, as the heart is not able to transmit enough oxygen throughout the body. Those with an unusually high resting rate may suffer from tachycardia, which may increase the risk of heart attack or stroke.

For athletes, measuring heart rate helps keep track of their exertion level and performance. Heart rate training for exercises involves finding out what the maximum healthy heart rate is for someone’s age and fitness level, then trying to keep the heart beating at a certain percentage of the maximum during a workout. For instance, health and fitness experts say that more fat is burned when the heart is beating at 60% of the exerciser’s maximum recommended rate. At 70%-80%, although the person is working harder, more carbohydrates are burned instead of fat. The percentage that an athlete tries to achieve is often called the target heart rate.”


Jewel Mania

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013


One of the hobbies that SX and I have recently picked up is this game. Every night, before bed, we would play for about an hour. It all started when I was just looking for something to pass the time. Since he did not care much for Bubble Mania, I showed him this game to see if he liked it. Though it looked simple to me, he was curiously attracted to the puzzles and colors. I think he also liked the strategy part of the game. Ever since then, we would play individually, watch each other finish a level, and help each other with certain levels. It’s certainly addicting to the point where we’d start dreaming about falling stars and diamonds and exploding gems. It’s a good thing we only get 5 lives at a time (the game requires waiting an hour before getting back a life). Inasmuch as we enjoy this game, we are not about to shell out money just to play more. This puts a limit on our playing time so we could get some sleep. Just one of the latest fads that we’ve adopted lately!

SG Visit

Monday, March 4th, 2013

Today, I decided it had been too long since I visited SG. Besides, I needed a haircut and I didn’t need to spend too much on my straight hair, especially if I just needed a trim. And so, I took that long one-hour drive north to see my mom, Wens, and my two darling nephews. We went out to lunch and had a good time of food and fellowship. This is the picture Wens took with her iPhone when we were in the parking lot walking towards the restaurant. Gosh, I look fat!


During lunch, Wens and I were talking recipes and she wanted to show me one particular one, but Allister kept grabbing at the iPhone. I ended up showing him (and eventually, Avery) their own pictures so they can be entertained. This is one of Wens’ favorite pictures of Allister. I agree that he looks super cute here, almost like a big boy. He looks so mischievous.


Here’s a really nice one that I just had to have for myself. Apparently, Allister has begun the potty-training process and he’s started asking to sit on the potty (and enjoys it, too!). The picture of the two younger brothers in an affectionate hug is so touching. I love Allister’s expression here. Avery is the dutiful big brother.



Sunday, March 3rd, 2013


Tonight, we started a Bible Study on the book of Revelation. We had just finished a study based on a DVD series, and I think everyone is itching to dig deeper into the Word. When SX and I decided to start this new study, we considered many factors, and one of the most important was the need to be fed with meat, not just with milk (1 Corinthians 3:2). Besides, he had already led this study several times before in the past so it would not take too much of his time to revisit his notes.

There was a kind of excitement when we got started. Everyone got their Bibles out and took a lot of notes. It was an overview of the book and SX had included many verses that we read together as a group. Towards the end, I could tell most people were overwhelmed by the breadth of what we had covered that night. At the same time, it was also a preview of what is to come in the coming quarter. I think we’re off to a great start!

After the study, we watched the DVR of The Bible series on the History Channel. What a way to end the evening!

Tony’s Wedding

Saturday, March 2nd, 2013

We’d been anticipating this wedding for a long time now. Granted it was really only a reception (the real wedding was in Taiwan), Tony had become such a dear friend that we’re truly happy for this new beginning in his life. Early on, we had offered to help with the banquet and so, he asked SX to be the emcee for the evening. Many of their relatives had flown from out of town and he wanted to acknowledge them. Besides, he needed someone to facilitate the program for the night. We gladly obliged and I think a good night was had by all!

Here’s Tony and his lovely bride. It was the first time I met Helen. What a great looking couple!


At the party, we happened to bump into our doctor and his wife! It wasn’t everyday that we interacted with them outside of the clinic, so I took the opportunity to take a picture with them.


This is Danielle, an angel in our life. She was one of the helpful people who made our decision a lot easier when we were debating what to do. We’re so thankful for her and the effort she’s made to make our lives a lot easier in the clinic.


As a treat to Tony, SX arranged for the party to sing Amazing Grace, 1 Corinthians 13, and a special wedding song for the new couple. It was great to hear English and Chinese being sung together. Here’s SX and Danny leading the group: