Wednesday, April 30, 2014

if you're OCD and you know it, wash your hands

Funny Workplace Ecard
Best pin I've found on Pinterest in a long time.

I wasn't always like this however. Granted there were bits of OCD displaying in my early childhood (I think being Asian has aided it a lot).

Probably one of my first traces of OCD was back in my senior year of college. While most seniors kick it back their last year of college, taking the most minimal and easiest classes, I was the total opposite. I was an RA, involved in too many activities &  ministries, and tried to manage a social life. I had homework, tests, and loads of paper to write (perks of being a communication studies major). Oh, and I was also engaged on top of everything else. Sometimes looking back, I think to myself, "How on God's green earth did I do it all?"

When I was engaged halfway my senior year, I didn't have room to write in important dates such as dress fitting and venue shopping. So I bought another planner specifically for all my bridal needs. Within those bridal needs, I created lists in bullet form. For example, I had a list for Wedding Ceremony where it was broken up in various times including when and which songs were to be played, what order everyone came out, when the pastor would speak, etc. And within those bullet points, I write very detailed step-by-step instructions of how I wanted things done ... white petals on the walkway, communion sacraments on a white tablecloth rectangle table, bridesmaids hold their flowers in front while the groomsmen crossed their arms behind them. So created this format for everything (reception, pre-ceremony, food, venue set up). And I printed them out, staple in sections, and added them to my clipboard. Yes, I had a clipboard. And on the day of my rehearsal dinner, everyone that had a job to do received a copy of my notes.

Obsessive? I know.

And naturally, my need to organize every single detail transferred into my married life. Between the two of us, I have a better handle in writing in every detail in my planner, remembering to pay the bills, making sure everything is clean (or at least I try), and going through every possible list in my head before we head out of the door.

Sometimes the thoughts that constantly swarm in my head can be a bit overwhelming. I'm pretty sure several of my headaches stem from my constant to-do lists that run 24/7. And often times my need to have control interferes with my relationship with God. It's something I've struggled with in the past few years. As much as I have this uncontrollable desire to have everything perfect and go perfect in my life, there are some things that I can't always control and make perfect. My job. Relationships. Family. name it. 

Although it is a tough lesson to learn and that I'm continuously learning about myself, it is always something I continue to give to God on a daily basis. It's lesson I'm learning since the beginning of this year, and it's a lesson that continues to kick me in the butt. God is sovereign over everything, and absolutely includes my life. Every time I plan every single detail in my small planner, God continues to surprise me, to remove me from planning about the future and focus in the present, focus on Him.

Monday, April 28, 2014

weekend adventures: library day

It's official: Brian & I are official library cardholder members in Orange County. I guess it means I need to start reading more ...

To add to our library excursions, we visited our alma mater. Since being students there, they renovated our school's library. Pretty sweet if you asked me. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

sarah showered with love

This is Sarah, and she is getting married next month!

The bridal shower was hosted by Sarah's mom and Miriã, who is also the maid of honor. Lively, bright colored flowers were scattered around and inside the house. Hints of mint and fuschia were fused into the decor. Family and friends from near and far gathered Saturday afternoon to celebrate the bride-to-be, and it was memorable and fun for all. 

For the photo booth, guests struck a pose in front of colored-paper raindrops hung from white pom-pom clouds ... of course, while holding props such as glasses and chalkboard signs. Games included Celebrity Couples, Bingo during the opening of the presents, and the Underwear Game, where Sarah had to guess which underwear was given to her from whom. And throughout the shower, guests went back and forth from the kitchen tasting all of the delectable treats that were made. At the end of the day, guests went home with small little boxes filled with sweet treats from the candy bar!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

the lenten season

Easter is just less than a few days away, and I can't help but think of the past several weeks walking through this Lenten season alongside my husband. Every year my husband and I participate in Lent, and it usually involves us sacrificing something ... usually involving food. Although Lent is seen as primarily a Catholic practice, we wanted to 1) prepare our hearts for the upcoming Easter (I feel at times, as Christians, we don't set aside time to truly observe the weeks prior to Easter) and 2) grow closer in our relationship with God. 

We wanted to the Daniel Fast for this Lenten season. Personally, as someone who absolutely loves food of all kind (and secretly wished to have gone to culinary school), I knew this would be a hard discipline for me to step into. For the most part, we disciplined ourselves to only eating what was appropriate for the Daniel Fast, which meant saying, "Bye!" to Taco Tuesdays, snacking on sweets during our work hours, and all you can eat BBQ. But I wanted to do something 

To be honest, it hasn't been the easiest for us. There were moments where the enemy so cunningly whispered lies into our ears. There are times when our flesh wants to take control over our circumstances. And there were days that were more difficult that others. But knowing that this is a time where we need to refocus our relationship with God, we've continued to pray for God's guidance throughout this season.

This verse continues to pop in my mind as I face each day's challenges:
“My flesh and my heart my fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (Psalm 73:26).

There's no question: We need God. And not just during times where we are stuck in the valleys, desperately wanting to go back up on the mountaintops. We need to depend on God to work in our lives. Every day, there are a new set of responsibilities and challenges, and how often do we rely on our strength instead of leaning onto God for all understanding? In today's world, much strength is needed day by day, and we can't do it alone. Throughout the Psalms we see this man David, who desperately longs for the Father ... who realizes and accepts that he cannot do it alone, and he cries out to Him. 

I find that during this Lenten season, it's difficult for me to cry out to God in the same manner as David did. And I can name a number of reasons why (pride, fear, embarrassed, etc.). But I need to remind myself that those reasons are just excuses. All things are possible with God. You hear this too often because it is the truth. It’s important to exercise faith in God’s Word, and believe in His Word.

He is our strength. 

"The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise Him." (Psalm 28:7)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

a snippet: sarah showered with love

'Tis the season to get married ... or at least it is for our friends. Next month, Brian & I will be going to two weddings! Two! Both a week apart to top it off. We couldn't be more excited for our two friends that are going to marry to their best friends so soon, and we feel so blessed to be a part of this season in their lives.

This past Sunday, I was invited to Sarah's bridal shower, a friend whom I've gotten to know through my friend, Miriã (MOH and the creative mind behind the bridal shower). The shower was a success, and the bride-to-be was definitely showered with love. I had the opportunity to photograph the event (I'm not great, but good enough, ha!), which was a lot of fun, capturing candids, decor details, and photo booth moments.

Here is just a preview of Sarah's bridal shower:

[Credits: Decor, Miriã. Cake: Krystle Hernandez]

More to come soon!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

april already?

Lately life has been passing by quickly. When my head is constantly buried in busyness, and I barely have time to look up to just catch a breather, I realize that we're in April already. Where has time gone? And what have I been doing in the midst of the busyness? 

I regret not visiting this place more than I should. My goal is to still fill this place with thoughts, pictures, and stories from people ... and as much as I try to come up with excuses reasons of why I don't write, I realize that I just need to do it. 

As I gather up the energy and stamina to jot down ideas for future posts, here are some snapshots of earlier this year:

I turned 26 in January (gulp). Does that mean I'm still in my mid-twenties?
The hubs and I have been on a hiking kick this year
 (well, at least the beginning of the year). 
Had a reunion with these lovely girls in one of my favorite cities in California.
San Fran, you have my heart.
Krochet Kids had an amazing warehouse sale last month
... and naturally, I had to go. Loving my new finds
(especially my purse!).

Miriã and I ventured to DTLA for a mother-daughter date and discovered Urth Caffe.
Let'st just say this place didn't disappoint.
My hubs (the tall one) turned 30!!! I took him to The Bruery, where he was surprised  by his college buddies.
What's better than tasting beers with your boys on your birthday, right? 

i'm an artist ... kinda

Shameless plug I know, but I'm really excited about this. Working at this company for over 3 1/2 years, I finally had the courage to create a project for work. It was more of a push from one of my peers. I'm finally published in Somerset Apprentice, a magazine for novice artists.