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