Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Reno | July 2014

At the end of June, Russ and I had to make a sudden trip to Reno for family matters. Russ was able to work remotely for a week in Reno but I had to fly back down, work for the week here in SoCal, then fly back up on the 4th of July.

Side note: I have decided that the Reno airport is one of my least favorite places. Not because of customer service or anything that has to do with people, but because they almost always fly you in and out of Reno in tiny planes which is the scariest thing ever when going through the mountains/valleys of Reno. That little plane shook so much I thought I was going to die.

I had my first All-American Forth of July this year.
Proof of my All-American 4th of July
It was lots of fun. We celebrated Independence Day at our friend's cabin on Donner Lake, complete with silly hats, good ole American food, 200 pound dogs, and good company.

USA cookies (left) and USA flag (right)
Gigantic 200-lb and playful dog
The Damontes--look at baby Piper, so cute!
We were so fortunate to be able to catch up with lots of friends in Reno. Usually when we're up there, we're on a quick trip to see Russell's family but this time, we got to see a lot of people and spend some quality time with them. 

While being in Reno and experiencing the fireworks show up there was an experience I am thankful to have, I sadly missed my side of the family's celebration in SoCal. My brother and his wife hosted a barbeque at their condo. Lewis even got to be part of that celebration since we couldn't take him to Nevada with us. My brother with his unending humor texted me this photo when I asked him how Lewis was handling the fireworks:

Hehe, too bad I missed seeing Lewis' first experience with fireworks. There's always next year!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Georgia Trip | June 2014

Since I've been so behind on blogging and since there are lots of things I want to remember years from now, I will be going back a bit and blogging about not-so-recent-but-still-worthy memories.


In June, Russell and I took a trip to Georgia to see his best friend get married to a wonderful woman. It was our first time in the South and what they say about Southern hospitality is definitely true. Lots of good (fried) food and some very sweet tea. Another thing I also noticed was the way they talked. I'm not just talking about accents or the way they say "y'all". The way they talked was almost lyrical. Maybe it's because of the Southern drawl but it kind of sounded melodic when they spoke.

Anyways, Georgia was warm (literally), welcoming, and beautiful. Everything was green:

So. Many. Trees. 
Trees everywhere

The scenery everywhere was pretty. Even prettier was the wedding venue that took place outside a barn, on a nice green field. I'm a sucker for outdoor weddings. And of course, the bride was prettiest out of everything there. Seriously, look:
J & E
How sweet is this? I was tearing up during their vows because I love words and theirs were so beautiful. It's was honestly very exciting to see this marriage begin and to see where this marriage will go. I LOVE THAT THEY'RE MARRIED. There's only great things ahead...makes Russ and I want to visit Jordan again... ;)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Subtlety of Love

I recently witnessed my brother marry his now wife in a wedding that made my heart swell. It was a gorgeous wedding between two people I love so much. The celebration was filled with loud laughter, sweaty dancing, and sincere congratulations to the new couple.

And while I love weddings and hearing vows and witnessing people promise the rest of their lives to each other, it's the little almost-unnoticed things that capture my heart. Minutes before the wedding ceremony, I was in a room with the bride and her older sister. I was watching them talk softly to each other. The older sister said something to make my sister-in-law (SIL) smile. It was a quiet joke, something just between the two of them and probably something only the two of them understand. I could see my SIL visibly relax. Then, it was time for the bride to put on her veil. There was no photographer there, this was a moment just for the bride and her sister.

I remember the stillness of the moment, the relaxed silence void of the sound of a camera clicking. The moment would go by undocumented but remembered. Gently, the older sister placed the veil on my SIL and smiled at her. There were no words, but the love was loud. It was simply a moment of an older sister loving on her younger sister.

It's these tender moments. The moments that are not always capturedthe shared smiles between friends, soft conversations between lovers, inside jokes between sisters, gentle kisses from a motherthat make my heart soar. Love is grand, yes. There are moments that deserve attention and big celebrations. But love is also gentle. Sometimes it is quiet and soft. It can drift by unnoticed by a stranger. And if you don't take time to see it, you'll miss it.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Daydreaming in a Cubicle

I wish I was underneath a shady tree, a book in my hand and a slight breeze ruffling my hair. The sound of tree leaves overhead and birds chirping on branches surround me and those will be the only sounds I hear. The green grass below and around me sway with the breeze as if dancing in the morning sunshine. Clouds in the sky lazily drift by. Some of them, with the help of strong imagination, look like animals and others just look like fluffy cotton balls or the bushy tail of a bunny. The paperback novel I have in my hand has creases on its spine and dog-eared pages. Everything is so peaceful. Everything is right.

Monday, June 16, 2014


I'm on a cleanse of all sorts.

Ok, this is like a guilty pleasure...only not so guilty because it's good for you. Once in awhile, I get on a health nut craze where I want everything me and Russell eat to be organic or homemade. Hence, homemade ketchup, homemade ranch, homemade salad dressing, etc. It's trial and error. I made spaghetti squash some time ago and that was a fail. I was so hungry afterwards. Just give me carbs, please.

Lewis even got some homemade, healthy dog biscuits. I'm still not sure whether he likes them on not. He'll eat them--but he's a dog and he'll eat almost anything (even my shoes). Everytime I give him the healthy treat, he'll take it from my hand, whine a bit while he looks for a place to bury it, bury it, sit on the spot he burried it in, unbury it, walk around it a bit, lick it, then slowly try to eat it. It's kinda weired. I don't know.

I've also been trying to eat an apple a day. It's a simple concept we've been thought since we were little to eat an apple a day to keep the doctor away; but I've only started on this suggestion now. I'm getting to the point where I can eat about half an apple every morning before giving up.

Social Media
After noticing that I am on my phone a lot looking at pretty pictures on Instagram and reading funny one-liners on Twitter, I finally decided to delete my social media apps from my phone. I kept my Yelp app but actually logged out of my account. It's going well. I don't miss it as much as I thought I would. However, I downloaded the Pinterest app and now I'm bugging Russell to make all these random but cute things for our apartment. Win-Win :)

House Stuff
We recently got rid of our salt water fish tank. And we finally got stools for our kitchen bar which we may or may not paint.. Now, our small living room looks a bit more spacious and we're thinking of different fun ways to rearrange the layout. Stay tuned!