michael scott and leslie knope approved

30 August 2014

Butterfly Garden & Children's Aquarium

26 August 2014

First Day of Kindergarten

12 August 2014

Our Marriage

I have a really awful memory. Like so bad that I can't remember what I did yesterday. So I thought it'd be nice for me to have a little note of my favorite memories during the process of us getting married. Something to look back on sort of thing. :)

Before Wedding
  • Calling everyone the day we got engaged and their reactions (most notably, Cuong and Jaymik).
  • The two bachelorette parties with my favorite people, the amazing wedding shower thrown by our wedding party, my work bridal shower, and the lovely tea dinner hosted by Barb. So grateful for all the wonderful people around us.
  • There was a moment the week before getting married where my sister and mom thought they wouldn't see me until the day of. We were standing in the middle of the street saying goodbye to each other. Right there in the middle of the street with the three of us hugging, my sister starting sobbing "my baby sister is getting married!"
  • When we arrived at the court to get our marriage license, I had brought the wrong form so we had to rush back home to get it. There was only about ten minutes left before the County Clerk closed and we were barely going to make it. Kyle was speeding (which is unlike him) so that we could hopefully make it on time, but then we saw flashing lights behind us. We were stopped by a police officer for speeding which led to uncontrollable crying on my part. He came up to our car, let us go and told us to just be careful and that we could still make it on time. We barely made it but sure enough, got our marriage license. The rest of the day was a perfect dinner and ice cream date to celebrate.
  • After losing both our cars, all the calls from loved ones offering help.
  • Spending time with everyone during the rehearsal dinner and the amazing speeches by Cuong, Raul, Helena, and Rasy. Also seeing Rasy cry during his speech. :)

Wedding Day
  • My sister coming in to see me right before I had to walk down the aisle. I was so nervous and when she came in, my whole body was shaking. She said she just wanted to make sure I was ok and to of course, also take a picture. ;)
  • After seeing Kyle and crying in front of everyone, my mom coming up to hand me a tissue.
  • Deacon Randy explaining that before the ceremony, he asked Kyle if he was ready and Kyle responded with "since the day I met her."
  • Making eye contact with Chris Lew while he was reading 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. "Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things."
  • Marrying Kyle
  • Finding out from Kyle that my dad had come in to spend time with him and all the groomsmen before the ceremony started.
  • While hiding with Kyle behind a door at the side of the church afterwards, looking outside to see Aunt Cindy sneakily snapping pictures of us.
  • The amazing speeches from Michael, Lindley, and Rochelle.
  • After all our practice, finally getting to do our first dance. Then seeing our incredible teacher, Chris Lew, crying in a corner once we finished. I think/hope we made him proud.
  • Cake, ALWAYS THE CAKE. But really the Big Foot cake by Linda was so amazing and delicious!
  • ALL THE DANCING! Turn down for what!
  • Seeing my nephews and Emily dancing, too cute. Also toward the end when Kyle and I were dancing with the kids, my aunt, uncle, and cousins (who were sitting down the entire time) came up, grabbed our hands, and joined us!
  • My dance with my dad and also Grandpa Schafer. I love them.
  • Courtney catching the bouquet, woot woot!
  • The after party but mostly getting to eat all the leftovers and cake! ;)

After Wedding
  • Getting to sleep in with Kyle at the hotel. Waking up to my husband.
  • Wearing my very first ao dai for a special dinner my mom hosted with all our family and friends.
  • The amazing speeches from my family and especially my sister's speech welcoming Kyle to the family. There was a lot of crying that night.
  • The late night chat with Grandma Kirk and Barb, my other mommy.
  • The honeymoon.
  • The marriage.
10 August 2014


I am floating in the air and surprise ice cream happy.
01 August 2014


I'm scared of marriage. It's really terrifying promising the rest of your life to someone. Not because you're with that person forever but knowing that this person will know you at your worse. For us, it was never perfect. It was never easy. We don't fight often but when we do, it's like a hurricane passing through a small town. We can say such hurtful things to each other and there were days where I wasn't sure if we would make it. I had doubts but Kyle never did. He continues to love and support me even though I am so flawed. He continues to fight for us when I lose my way. And those days when I don't want to fight anymore and I am mean and terrible to him, he says "I love you more and more each day. I will never give up on you."

And he never did and despite it all, we're still together. And tomorrow is our wedding day.

Kyle, I love you. You have taught me so much about love and marriage. You have taught me what is most important. That life and people are imperfect but love is what keeps the marriage going. That love isn't a situation but an indescribable and unrelenting certainty that this person is worth it. To be positive and understand that things will not always go the way we want it and to not to let the bad moments overshadow the good ones. As we approach tomorrow, I just want you to know that I don't care about the wedding. I look forward to our marriage together. I look forward to the greatest adventure we will ever commit our lives to, because I know that you're the one for me. You are so worth it. I promise I will never give up on you and do my best to always work on our marriage and to make you happy. I know there will be many more hurdles to face, but we will overcome them together. Here's to an imperfect but long and loving marriage together. I can't wait to be your wife.
16 June 2014

Father's Day

Father and daughter!

 I told him to look "introspective."

Macaroni and cheese mustache!

Opening his gifts. This year, we got him a massager and a shaving kit. Let's be honest, I got myself a massager and him a shaving kit. ;)

Our little family aka me awkwardly hovering over my two favorite people.

"I'm the best at golfing!" - Emily

Blurry but I kind of love this picture. We took turns taking Emily out on the go karts. Out of the two of us, I was the best driver she says. Smart girl.
15 June 2014

Happy Ned Stark Day!

Happy Father's Day and Game of Thrones season finale to everyone! 

I hope you're having a good weekend! We've been pretty busy here celebrating. Yesterday, I had lunch and went suit shopping with my dad for the wedding. He wasn't too happy being forced to shop, but he looks so handsome in his suit! I can't wait for him to walk me down the aisle.

Today, Emily and I took Kyle out for some brunch and Putt Putt golfing. Kyle recently hurt his knee "dropping like it's hot." I must be joking. I'm not. He literally popped his knee out while dancing at our wedding shower (Feel free to laugh. I still make fun of him for it.) so we couldn't stay out too late golfing but it was still a ton of fun. More pictures to come later!

Also tonight, we're going to a friend's house to watch the Game of Thrones season finale. I made some Ned Stark cake pops to celebrate both occasions! I was pretty proud of myself for coming up with this, but then I realized someone else did too...well at least it's more fitting for today! See, I can be cool sometimes! You can learn how to make them here.
10 June 2014

The Wedding Shower

Our wedding shower was this past weekend, wow! Just wow! Our wedding party did such an amazing job as you can see by these pictures.

The theme was an "I Do Barbecue" with matching koozies as gifts.

There were mad libs for everyone to fill out and for us to laugh at later.

Can't forget the adorable outdoor games that were customized around our personalities! Mine was all about food, of course. Kyle's included Big Foot, cycling, baseball, and good ole Shiner Bock.

We also played "The Newlywed Game" and made "Toilet Paper Dresses."

Oh and the food? Incredible.


Rochelle (my matron of honor) made the MOST delicious pies I've ever had.

Less than two months now until we get married! I can't believe how fast time is flying!

All photos courtesy of Rasy Ran Photography (you should definitely take a look, he's amazing!).
06 June 2014

The Moon

A few covers I'm currently obsessed with:

05 June 2014

Paper Towns, Paper Kites, Paper People

Lately, work has been pretty slow so I've had a lot of time to think. The more time I have to think, the easier it is for me to get depressed about things. I just finished the book Paper Towns, and I probably way overanalyzed it but it had an impact on me. Most notably, the idea that we can never truly understand someone. We can empathize and try to put ourselves in that person's shoes the best we can; but we can never really be that person and therefore, fully understand or relate.

But then that's our problem. We think we can, but we can't. We often project ourselves into other people. Think about it. How often do we think or even say, "I don't know why he/she did that. It's so dumb." It's because we don't know. We aren't that person.

The greatness of it all though is that we're all still humans. We're all flawed. My co-worker put it best, "to think we were all little kids at some point doing silly things like running around in capes and going down slides backwards."

In that way, we're all connected despite being different. We all go through the same emotions: sadness, anger, joy, love.

So when I'm sad, I try to remember that I'm not alone. We're all broken and cracked. And I may not have the same pain or circumstances, but I will try to be more empathetic and understanding because that's really all we can do. I just want us all to make it in this world.

28 May 2014

The Fault in Our Stars

Last weekend, one of my best gal pals and I got the chance to watch an early screening of The Fault in Our Stars and an interview with the author. I read the book awhile back and instantly became a huge fan of John Green (currently reading Paper Towns, so good so far!). Anyway, I would like to say this review isn't biased but who am I kidding? The girl inside me wants EVERY single one of you to watch this movie! I'm even forcing Kyle to watch it with me when it comes out.

If you've read it, the movie is very true to the book without sacrificing any of its heart. And what really won me over that John Green so eloquently states in the interview is that the characters are more realistic and relatable. Most often in fiction, we see characters who moved from a position of weakness to strength. But in reality, this rarely happens in life. Normally, we move from being strong to becoming weak and having to find the strength to lift ourselves back up. It makes me think of adults and how much fear and insecurity they have compared to the younger versions of themselves.

You can buy the book here if you're interested. Also a trailer for your viewing pleasure.

23 May 2014

The Royal Tenenballs

I don't know why we do this to ourselves. There's only 2 months before the wedding, and we decided to join our friends' softball team. If we weren't busy enough!

We had our first practice earlier this week, and it was so much fun. We're not very good and we're not very competitive either but it was so nice being able to just...well, basically play and laugh at each other. I guess that's why we do these things, definitely helps us relax. Wish us luck!
17 May 2014

While He's Away

Last week, Kyle asked what he could do to help me get better when I'm sad. We've had a lot of fights lately because of my depression. I feel like we're very similar for the most part but yet very different at the same time. Usually when I'm depressed, I come to Kyle for emotional support and I love yous. Kyle is different though. When he's sad, he prefers rationalization. So when I'm not feeling my best, he tends to talk to me logically, which almost always leads to a long argument and lots more tears. We've been trying to be more outwardly honest with each other (meaning not keeping our feelings and thoughts to ourselves when something bothers us).

So when he asked me that last week, I told him to just try to be positive for me. I told him I knew it was hard for him but if he could be extra positive for the both of us and empathize with me on an emotional level (because that's how my brain works), I would feel better.

This weekend is his bachelor's party trip and before he left, he went above and beyond to make sure I would be happy while he was gone. Not only did he completely clean the house ("So you don't have to worry about it this weekend," he says.) but he also left surprise gifts and notes around the house for me to find. I still can't believe he did this.

He even made me a faux Kyle to hug at night (complete with authentic Kyle smell)!

I've been getting onto him about not filling out our 3-year question book lately, and he's already finished all the questions for the days he's gone. Each day even has an "I miss you message" from him.

We are both obsessed with this Smartfood popcorn. Every time I buy it, he usually eats the whole bag before I can.

I really miss him.
16 May 2014

When in Northern New Mexico

For our group trip this year, we decided to go to northern New Mexico for all the fun outdoorsy activities that were available. We first landed in Albuquerque and then drove about two hours to reach Santa Fe.

If you ever find yourself in Santa Fe, you must hike the Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks. The hike isn't too strenuous and you get a gorgeous view with lots of picture opportunities!

That Kyle, such a rebel.

The perfect blue sky.

The weather was pretty perfect, the highs being in the 70s and lows in the 40s. You wouldn't think so, but it was actually still cold enough where there was snow on some of the mountains.

I couldn't resist taking a picture of these flowers. Love the contrast of red-orange against the earth tones.

At the top of the hike, you can see all the "tent rocks" and mountains.

Afterwards, we had lunch at Tune-Up Cafe. We tried to research all the restaurants we wanted to visit beforehand and this place was featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives with Guy Fieri.

Good job Guy, those papusas were pretty darn delicious! (Papusa: fried cornmeal pancakes stuffed with steak and corn; served with salsa.)

I know. I know, it's unbelievable right? This is the house we stayed in for the rest of the trip. It was built by an artist, sculptor, and architect who later decided to sell it to our renters.

The incredible view from our back porch.

The Rio Grande Gorge Bridge. It took a lot of courage (that only lasted about five minutes) for me to get close enough to the edge of the bridge to take this picture. My legs felt like they were crumbling every time a semi drove across the bridge.

But it was definitely worth it.

We spent most of the next morning white-water-rafting. Towards the end, they decided to let us ride up one of the big rapids just for fun. As we were waiting for our turn, we watch our other friends (in a different raft) climb up the rapid and suddenly one of them had disappeared. The next thing I know, I see his head bobbing around the water as the guide quickly grabs him. Suffice to say, he said it was the most fun he has ever had and couldn't stop laughing.

There's that snow I was telling you about.

We were hoping to hike Williams Lake Trail but as you can see, there was still a lot of snow and slush. As we were walking back to our car, a man randomly (and out of no where!) skied down next to us and yelled "there's a lot of snow up there!"

The scenery was still mesmerizing despite not being able to hike.

We spent our last night around a fire and watching the stars.

Before we left for the airport, we had lunch at The Grove. If you're a fan of Breaking Bad, you'll recognize this as the place where Walt and Lydia (ugh, Lydia!) would meet.

Red Velvet Cupcake and Hazelnut Chocolate Macarons

He said, "OMG...this is the best Italian sandwich I've ever had!"

And finally, the "Grove Pancakes" and Croque Madame.