Sunday, March 29, 2009

More Celebrating

So my birthday celebrations continued the next evening at my parent's house. They made a wonderful Risotto dinner, then afterward Taylor helped me blow the candles out on my lemon tart (and proceeded to eat the blueberries off the top). My mom had even helped Taylor make a birthday card for me! So sweet!

Birthday Surprise

I will just start out by saying that my husband is the greatest. I love that he is always surprising me. He puts lots of thought into plans, and thinks hard about what I will like best. All that to say, I had an awesome birthday.

I had worked the night before, and Jason told me the next day he would have me sleep at my parent's house. I found out two days before that it was because he was getting the carpets cleaned (not because he was planning a surprise party, phew!). I slept some that morning of my birthday, then played with Taylor till Jason got there to pick me up.

My first surprise was a hot stone massage at a place on the Sammamish Plateau. They had nice robes to change into, then I had a foot soak. After that I was brought to the massage room. The table was super soft and had a heating pad under it, which I love because I hate being cold during a massage. Then the covers were thick and heavy. I could have just fallen asleep on the table without a massage! The hot stone massage was fabulous. The lady put the flat stones in the palm of her hand and would use those to massage. At first I couldn't even tell she was holding the stones, but I thought her hands were abnormally warm! The best part was that it was 90 minutes instead of the standard 55. When I walked out of the place, Jason laughed at me because my hair was sticking up and I looked half asleep. I called it relaxed. It was heaven!

Then Jason asked me if I could just do my makeup in the car because we were going to be late for our dinner reservations. When I said ok, he said that he wanted to swing by the house to get the camera first. I suggested I put my makeup on there because it would be easier, but he really wanted me to do it before then. So what did we do? Sit in the parking lot of the Starbucks drinking coffee while I put on my makeup. I was praying at this point that he really hadn't planned a surprise party at the house, because I knew something was going on at there.

When we arrived, I didn't see a bunch of cars, but I still knew there was something inside. As we came up the stairs, I heard banging in the kitchen. What I saw when I got to the second floor made me so happy. A chef cooking for us dinner in our kitchen! The dining room table was all set with flowers and wine. There was romantic music playing and the fireplace was on. Perfect! I couldn't have asked for a better dinner setting: the comfort of my home minus Taylor.

Chef Jay of Canape served us a fabulous dinner, four courses, and at the pace we wanted to eat. I hate it at restaurants when they rush your food so much that your entree gets piled on top of your salad and appetizer, and you feel pressured to eat fast. This was totally opposite. When he would present the next course, he would explain the dish and ingredients. He is so creative, that he had one ingredient that would carry over to the following dish, all through the four courses. He worked well with the suggestions that Jason had given him as well, putting his own spin on things. He was so friendly and personable as well, making it totally comfortable having him in our home. I would totally recommend him to anyone! Well done Jason, well done!

After dinner, we headed over to our friend's who have a movie theater in their home. We sat in the big comfy chairs and watched Australia, all in our own personal theater. No sticky floors there, though popcorn was included. It was a great end to an already fabulous evening. So relaxing, and so intimate. Nice not having to share your birthday with an entire restaurant full of people, or get coke spilled on you in a movie theater. Thank you Jason! You truly are the best.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sunny March Day

Going for the shot


Happy the sun is out

"High 5!"

Telling me all about it

Monday, March 16, 2009

Laurie's Wedding

This past weekend I had the joy of attending my college friend Laurie's wedding in Kansas City. She had met a wonderful guy named Nick through physical therapy mission work while in graduate school. After they graduated, he moved to Kansas City, and after a few months they got engaged. Both are deeply involved in the Catholic Worker House close to where Laurie lives, and they got jobs at the same hospital doing PT work. So now they are married, and I'm so happy that she found such a perfect match for her.

I left early on Friday morning and had two flights and a long layover. The second flight was on a tiny plane, and with the turbulence we hit, I was sure the plane was going down. But alas, I made it! I stayed at Laurie's house, but didn't see her till late that evening since they had all the rehearsal stuff. So in the mean time I went out with her old Pasadena friends who were in town for the big day. We did an airport run, then went to eat at a Kansas BBQ restaurant that came highly recommended (even though it was actually at a gas station). Later we met up with the wedding party and all Laurie's roommates and hung out for a while. Then it was off to bed.

The next day was busy! I went to the reception site to help decorate, so we were wrapping napkins, making center pieces, hanging lights, etc. We returned to the house to eat lunch, sneak a peak at the bride before she headed off for pictures, then I got myself ready. Off to the ceremony we went! It was at an old church that had nice pews and stained glass windows. Laurie looked beautiful and happy. The sun was shinning. It was a great day. In the ceremony, the couple planted a tree, as both their families had done when they were born (what a coincidence), and the tree was going to be planted at the Catholic Worker House. We sang hymns, the pastor spoke, the vows were vowed, and then the kiss!

At the reception we enjoyed a fabulous Brazilian dinner prepared by Laurie's aunts (her dad and aunts grew up in Brazil as missionary children). Then her roommates band played some great music and I mingled. There were a few familiar faces, including Point Loma alums and old roommates Kelly and Leigh. For dessert they had a different item on every table that was made by a friend/family member of Laurie or Nicks. When it came time, we were supposed to wander and find what we wanted, and as we did meet some new people as we went. I had the apple pie made by Leigh. Delicious! Later there was the first dance, then some salsa dancing. Fun to watch, but didn't get the guts to participate. No fun when your dance partner isn't there. Then it was time to bid the couple farewell. I was sad that I didn't get to see Laurie more, but I know that's how it goes. I can look forward to the next time we meet up; maybe in Seattle? :) After some clean up, it was back to Laurie's house, where all the girls ate popcorn and watched When Harry Met Sally.

I was glad to return home to my family after a long day of travel the next day. Though the time in KC brought back great memories of my college days: living in a house full of girls, seeing familiar faces. It also reminded me of my time at Mid-City Church of the Nazarene, located in a very low income part of San Diego. I was brought back to the days of being involved in a true church community, where people from all walks, races, and incomes were welcome. Where people were so involved in each other's lives that you never felt alone. Where people were there for you in the happy times and times of grief. Where everyone was involved in serving the community. And there was no judgement. I wish all churches could embrace this type of community.

So, all in all, it was a wonderful weekend with lot of new memories and resurfaced ones as well. Congrats to the new couple. I know that together God is going to do wonderful things through you and your ministry together. Miss you already!