June 25, 2010

I spend a good amount of time on the web (if you couldn’t tell). Most blogs and blog posts don’t really stand out to me, but there are a handful of posts that are really memorable. Just wanted to share a few of my favorites with you, in case you want a good cry, a good laugh, or just plain inspiration.

1. Nella Cordelia: A Birth Story. Brace yourselves. This one’s long. And emotional. You will most likely cry — I bawled. But it’s a touching story & all the better because of her raw honesty.

2. My Lasik Horror Story. This is Amy Scott’s blog — one of my favorite bloggers of all time. A solid Christian wife & mom of six kids, who lives on a farm. I believe she was the one who taught me that Christian women can be both godly & (sometimes inappropriately) funny at the same time. I love her. She cracks me up.

3. Moses’ Closet Part II. Jordan Ferney’s blog, a super talented & creative designer. She lives in a one-bedroom in San Francisco, and her son lives in a closet. (The way she decorated it, I would want my kids to live in a closet too.)

4. A Christmas Evie Miracle. Another birth story by a well-known interior decorator. Her story is hilarious & just plain cuh-razy.

5. Black Heels to Tractor Wheels. I posted about this a long time ago, but it’s still a goodie. The story of how Pioneer Woman met, fell in love with, & married Marlboro Man. A true Sweet Valley High-esque love story that will grip you till the very end.

Have fun & let me know how you like them! And if you have any goodies of your own, send em over to me. :]



June 17, 2010

If you haven’t been keeping up with me on ampersandity (or even if you have), here’s an update on our lives as of late. Some old, some new:

1. We moved in with my in-laws about a month ago. Said goodbye to our first home & have settled quite nicely into our new (or for him, old) home. My fave spot: Steven’s old room, which has been transformed into a little office for two.

Things I’ve learned: I am 80% more productive with a desk than without one. My second fave spot: the little sofa in Julie’s room by the window where everyone takes naps. I, too, have learned the joy of napping (and reading) on this couch. :]

A lot of people have asked me how it’s like living with my mother-in-law. Surprisingly (or maybe not-so-surprisingly?) really nice. We trade off cooking for each other, have made a habit of going walking together in the evenings, and are definitely much more comfortable with each other now. With Steven getting free lunch from work & my MIL cooking half the time, I feel like I cook so infrequently now. No complaints here. :]

2. Speaking of which, Steven got a new job! He is now doing sales/merchandising FT at Which is a-w-e-s-o-m-e. Why? Not only because he loves his job, gets fantastic benefits, and hardly has to dress up for work, but also because they cater free lunch everyday. (When I found out, I jumped up & down cause I was so happy taha.) They also have unlimited soda, drinks, and… ice cream. AND an In-N-Out truck comes every first Friday of every month, and all friends of employees are invited to come eat for free. :] Which I did. And then had a Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia ice cream bar right after. The only downside? A very long & tiring commute.

3. And then there’s me. Yes, I still work in San Diego. But I only go into the office once a week now, and work the other days at home. My new co-workers? Mrs. Stephanie Yu & Mrs. Mimi Kim. It’s fun to have friends at work. :]

4. But believe you me, we still get our fair share of San Diego. Why? Because of weddings. And showers. Which, I would like to note, are actually coming to an end! Just two more weddings through July, and then we are re-claiming our Saturdays once again. Some recents (from SD, LA, & Norcal):

Ryan & Steph. So precious to see all the Lim/Kim cousins standing up there!

The Yi sisters. Aarolyn trying to keep up with her biggies — so cute.

Alex & Maria’s big day.

Charissa & her girls, who did a fab job pulling off her picnic-themed bridal shower.

Sung & Carol, who had the best candy bar ever.

Alton & Charissa’s wedding. Super sweet ceremony, details, & friends. :]

And the most recent: a really fun reunion with good buddies at Nam & Sarang’s wedding.

5. So what do we do during the week? Hm, good question. Steven & I are major homebodies. After we finished up our classes for the semester, we’ve been taking it e-a-s-y… watching movies (thanks for the free Netflix, Jane!), watching Laker games, watching weird vampire shows on tv (this is what happens when we don’t have cable), and spending quality time browsing the web together. I know, it’s sad. One of our goals for this year is to be more social — and to be the initiators. So please invite yourselves over for dinner or a Saturday brunch! We’d love to have you (really).

6. Speaking of goals, we celebrated our one year anniversary by making a list of 25 things we want to accomplish during year two. Some of them are just for funsies, some are pretty ambitious, and some of them are good for our souls. We also decided to throw in some individual goals for ourselves in the list of 25, but somehow I ended up with twice as many as Steven. He is a sneaky man.

7. We didn’t really get to celebrate our anniversary this year… with the unexpected new job for Steven, our original plans of driving down PCH & sight-seeing along the way were snuffed out. However, we’ve had our fair share of traveling this past year, so I can’t complain. Some photos of our recent Vegas/Norcal trips:

This reminds me Cindy — you promised me arm warmers!

Tartine & Hayes Valley – San Francisco, CA

Napa Valley, CA

Las Vegas, NV

8. And of course, a picture of Teddy (or as Steven likes to call him, Betty). I already miss him so, so much!

I’ve had the chance to share stories about the little guy with my mother-in-law, and she (who is an avid puppy-hater!) is now open to the idea of us getting a dog ourselves! Hahaha, cracks me up. We probably won’t get one still, but I love that I’ve converted her. Kind of.

Anyway, I’m not nearly done with updating you all, but my computer is having the equivalent of a heart attack with all my high-res photos. So I shall have mercy on it & stop already. Till next time!

Tender Loving Care.

June 4, 2010

It’s Friday afternoon, and I’m sitting at the Panera by Steven’s office, sipping coffee, catching up on emails, reading blogs, and reflecting on the mysteries of life. You know, the norm. Our car is neatly loaded with our little luggage, an empty ice chest, boxes of goodies for my mom, and a suit & dress. We’re driving up to San Jose right after work (praying for minimal traffic, but not expecting any grand miracles) to attend Alton & Charissa’s wedding this weekend & spend a teeny tiny bit of time with my fam. It’ll be a quickie this time — we’re driving back on Sunday — so I foresee lots of fatigue in the coming week. But I digress.

I’ve been wanting to post about this all week, but haven’t had the chance till today. Last weekend after Sung & Carol’s wedding, we booked it to Ontario for Cornerstone’s annual church retreat. Even though we got there late, it was a really sweet time for us to hang out with the church & just be under a lot of good teaching. I especially appreciated the women’s session — Minna’s sharing, in particular, has been on my heart & mind all week. She shared a portrait of Christ from Matthew 12. Not a portrait of His righteous anger, His perfection, or His deity… but a portrait of His tender & compassionate heart for mankind.

“…a bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not quench…”

She shared that she sometimes feels like God is like a physical trainer, giving her what’s good for her and whipping her into shape, but not really caring about her. But this portrait of Christ totally negates that wrong belief. Christ is not just some hard Master who is disciplining us and training us to be better. He tenderly cares for us. He sees us in all our weaknesses & folly, our unfaithfulness and our wandering hearts, and he still tenderly loves us. When we are defeated and broken and can hardly lift our heads, He is the One who gently calls us & puts us back together.

I have to admit that I sometimes give in to this false notion of who God is. Sometimes it feels like He is my physical trainer, pushing me to run when I am exhausted and can’t run anymore. He feels like a distant authority figure, ruling over my life with good intentions but no consideration for my emotional state. Some days, thoughts of our unique trial surface in my mind & seem to blind all the other blessings that we have. I wonder how much longer we will have to wrestle with this — just another year, a few more years, or the rest of our lives? I think: Am I so prideful and self-centered that He has to use such extreme measures to discipline me? Will He only stop when I’ve learned the lessons He wants me to learn?

But that kind of thinking is the farthest thing from the truth. He disciplines, yes, but He loves. He wishes to bless us and shower us with grace. He is not stingy with His love, or even with His gifts. He is a generous God, a compassionate God, and a merciful God. He doesn’t find some sadistic pleasure in disciplining us, but His heart breaks as He disciplines us. This past year, I am sure that His heart was full of sorrow & heartache as He led us through the valley. Even in the darkest moments when I doubted His plan for us, His love for us remained steadfast and pure. This is the God of the Bible, and this is the God that watches over every detail of our lives.

I was so thankful for this reminder last weekend. It seems that my imperfect self is only able to remember this truth for little snippets at a time. Thankfully He knows even that and is faithful to lift my head to catch a fresh glimpse of His love exactly when I need it most.