poppies

I frequently think long and hard about how to describe me & him.
We are not a perfect couple.
People often look at us and say that we look so good together and,
I biasedly agree, our individual positive features seem to balance out our individual imperfect features – ha!
But we don’t fit perfectly together.
We aren’t one of those couples that are in sync like a beautiful melody
but we are okay with that.
Because we believe love is a choice and a choice that is damn worth fighting for.
And in those moments we’re not okay with it, we remind ourselves of of this truth.
So how would I describe me & him?
Well, a moment on an empty road between two towns in Provence,
in the south of France,
this summer,
comes to mind….
him driving a manual car (which I have no desire to ever learn to do, he loves it)
and me gazing out the window in silence and rapture (as I always do on road trips, which he’d never do)
suddenly I saw one of the most beautiful things I’ve seen in my life:
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the trees and vineyards gave way to open country
perhaps abandoned…
and, scattered in abundance over the green grass
were the largest bunch of wild red poppies I’ve ever seen in my life
all set against a sunset sky
and waving happily in the wind
It lasted for all of 3 seconds and then I let out a squeal (as I am known to do)
He kept zooming down the road and asked what happened
“Oh! I just saw the most beautiful thing, did you see it? I wish I could have photographed it”
The car screeches to a halt
A three-point turn on this empty provencal road
And he returns me to the dancing poppies
Lets me jump out of the car barefoot and run across the road
And he agrees, that the dancing poppies against the sunset are one of the most beautiful things…
And as I danced along in the wind with the poppies,
I knew one thing for sure,
this unforgettable evening would have never entered either of our lives without each other.
Without his ability to work hard and manage our money,
We wouldn’t be able to afford incredible vacations
while still fulfilling our goal of building real estate equity in our 20s.
Without my ability to organize, plan and execute,
he wouldn’t be on this incredible vacation.
Without his ability to drive a manual car,
we wouldn’t have been able to rent a car at Aix-en-Provence.
Without my ability to speak French,
we wouldn’t have discovered this gem of a road in Provence.
So that’s the kind of couple we are. We may seem like a clashing gong at some times, but in those moments we are in sync, the melody is so beautiful that every piece of my heart seems to fly apart like a thousand butterflies in my chest.
We bring moments into each others’ lives that neither of us knew we needed.
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Adorable illustrations

The interwebs led me to Phillippa Rice’s illustrated depictions of life with her boyfriend – have a look, it is super cute : http://www.itsnicethat.com/articles/illustrator-philippa-rice

To me, it puts together all those little things in a relationship that makes it so sweet. Every pose they strike on the couch has been attempted by my husband and I…in fact that dance of figuring out the best weird puzzle piece position for our bodies to fit together (and eventually fall asleep together) on the couch, while watching a movie or show, is one of my favourite things about my marriage. He is the best snuggler, hands down!

It makes me want to have the talent to illustrate all the cute moments too. Since my only talent (somewhat ha!) are my words, I’ll jot down a little list for now:

– When husband is really tired and sleeps in on the weekends: I get up earlier than him, close the bedroom door and get around to making myself some tea and having me-time in our living room. Every. single. time. that I go check in on him an hour or two later, his head has mysteriously migrated to *my* pillow while his body remains on his side of the bead. And he is always positioned lying belly down, with his arms wrapped around my pillow. So cute! And when he’s sick, he always sleeps on my pillow saying “it’s the pillow that makes him feel better.” Melts my heart.

– Husband is my favourite person to eat food with. Granted we both think there are large areas we could be healthier eaters in, I love the mischievous looks we share when we are deciding what to order in. We actually giggle and make peanut-gallery comments/sounds as we suggest options: “how about that amazing pizzaiolo pizza you ordered last time!” *snicker snicker* “oooo or what about garlic shrimp from sukhothai??” “yummmm!” *eyes crossed* I have no idea how this tradition started but I’m pretty glad it exists 🙂

– On the days we work from home, whenever husband wants tea he will ask if he should make me a cup as well, tea + love equals double love

– I have really dry skin and since the mysteries of moisturising one’s back are beyond me, I get really itchy on my back as soon as I’m in bed… maybe it’s because I’m rolling around in sheets with my back right against the mattress. Husband senses when I’m getting fidgety and starts scratching my entire back – I throw in some goofy sound effects and funny dog-leg shakes when he’s at a good spot (he grew up with a dog who does this so he finds it hilarious) and I’m so thankful he will spend 5 minutes itching all my dry spots so that I can fall asleep more comfortable.

I’ll have to keep adding more to this post as I remember them!

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Two on August 20th

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This August 20th marks two years of marriage.  I’ve neglected this blog to a ridiculous extent (and almost thought of shutting it down) but one of the main reasons I (re)started blogging was to 1) write and to 2) record my memories of my marriage…. especially the good memories. Mainly because when I look at all my diaries from my childhood and teenage years, they are filled with records of my no-good-crappy-days. Now and then there is an entry from an AWESOME-DAY or entries from my vacation days. Needless to say, I realize now that I use writing as a way to process things. Being an extrovert, I spent the normal days and good days bubbling around people. It was only the bad days that would push me to lock myself alone in my room and fish my diary out and spill my feelings and thoughts onto its pages.

And with marriage…. I wanted to record the good memories on this blog. Because I knew, going in, that marriage could be some tough business. But I also knew the good moments would outweigh the difficult ones. And I wanted to read about those good moments when I was working through a difficult one.

The failure of recording the good moments aside, this marriage really has been the best things that’s happened to me. I’m pretty sure I wake up every morning wanting to pinch myself looking around at the life my husband and I have created and are working hard to create.

My marriage is made of two people who are opposites in many of their strengths. My husband is incredible at numbers, managing his money, responsibility, being a provider, staying focused and working his butt off. While I do like to think of myself as a hard worker, I know my skills are in analysis, language and logic. When we get into a fight or conflict, these strengths can shoot ourselves in the foot. But the truth is, we both know how badly we need each other. And I love that we have learnt how to fight. We have developed a dance for our fights now. Stages that we go through, familiar steps and rhythms, knowing resolution is around the corner…and that’s because of the strengths that we have in common: compassion, respect for each other, trust in each other and fighting hard for this marriage that we both believe in and work HARD for. Together, we are committed to making each other’s dreams come true and following God’s guidance in our lives.  Without each other, we would not have been as successful at building both of our professional and demanding careers. When I felt God guiding me to him, I also felt God telling me that much would be expected of our generosity – without him, I wouldn’t be able to give as generously to charities and other people God directs us to.

As our careers grow, we accompany each other to work parties, dinners with our bosses, charity galas, cocktail receptions. I love watching him move, working the room, especially when it is an event I’ve had to drag him to. And most especially when someone comes up to me and says, “So your husband was telling me that you…”

All the fancy dinners and glitz aside…. my favourite moments of marriage have been the simplest ones. First and foremost, how he is the cutest goofball I’ve met. And that he thinks the same of me. That my crazy doesn’t scare him away, in fact, he thinks life would be so dull without it. How when we get into bed we automatically pull each other close, point our toes so that the tops of our feet rub against each other and press our foreheads together. How those moments before sleep are usually filled with kisses on the nose, neck nuzzles or silly stories, goofy sounds or animated voices, and laughter. A lot of laughter. Or the time recently, when I was down with the flu. It must have been 3 a.m. when a coughing fit hit me. I didn’t really wake up. I was vaguely aware that the fit made me sit up in bed and then fall back into my pillow with a burning chest. And that my husband said my name. Next thing I know, I’m being pulled up and a spoon of cough syrup is in my mouth, followed by a second that mostly dribbles out of my mouth. Which he cleans up. Then he pulls me onto his arm and pulls the covers over us. And then it was morning. And the first night since being sick that I felt so rested.

I am thankful for a marriage that is filled with such moments. Which brings me such comfort and rest. And makes me feel so loved. And for the man who chose me and believes in working hard to build this marriage.

pitter patter

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pitter patter

when we were headboard hunting, i was so torn between the grand plush cushioned headboards versus intricate wooden ones. I remember standing in front of this one and falling in love not only with its design but thinking about my darling husband’s tendency to hold onto headboards in his sleep. And this morning, that’s exactly how I found him. Conked out, hand laced under the pillow, fingers wrapped around one of the intricate carvings.

not gonna lie, it was pretty darn cute. made me smack a big wet one on his sleepy and confused head. hopefully our kids get all their unintentional adorableness from this man xx

the small lessons

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the other friday, husband was returning from his out-of-town project. he had been away for two weeks. you can only imagine that i could barely sit still once 4 p.m. struck and needed it to be 6. pm. immediately. ! so i could see him, hug him, kiss him again.

well the day did finally end. and as soon as i got home, all i wanted to do was kiss him, hug him, sit on him, bug him… you know, the usual 🙂 as we like to do, we climbed under the covers and wrapped each other up in our arms and chatted and chatted away. about everything we had been wanting to share and say with each other face-to-face. i don’t care about how many advances we’ve made in communication technology, some things are just meant to shared and savoured in person 🙂

we talked about a few things that were on my mind, a few things i was worried about, stressed about. and afterwards, i just lay in husband’s arm, watching the evening lights start to stream in through our blinds. the evening city lights. my mind was engulfed with thoughts – thoughts of gratitude for getting to live on such a swanky street downtown, thoughts of uncertainty about the future, thoughts of deadlines and projects looming over me. so consumed with these thoughts, i didn’t even realize i had started to mindlessly hum a song. my daydreaming was broken by the sound of something akin to a drowning cat singing along to my song. i looked up at husband’s face and found him staring at me with a big goofy grin, annoyingly humming along to my song.

i attacked him with tickles and he caught my arms and squeezed me tiiiiight. and you know, it was one of those moments. one of those moments where i thought: this is what marriage is. sure it’s about all the important things like: being legally responsible for each other, being financially responsible for the mortgage and the bills, extending family-sizes, becoming responsible adults together (!) but it’s also about simplicity. and the most simple, perfect, love. goofiness and tight hugs.

and man, it’s such a source of solace and joy to me through the waves that life can bring.

ain’t that the truth.

a first anniversary

… has already arrived! i don’t want to sound super cliché and talk about how fast it flew by because well… doesn’t life in general fly by? (including the time since my last post!)

our first year of marriage has had a lot of big milestones. i finished law school, graduated, and started articling. we went to italy on our honeymoon, cuba with our friends, and nyc just for fun. we bought a condo downtown Toronto (!!) and finally started living together. we’ve also endured some personal trials and as well have hurt through struggles some of our close friends and family are going through… which really, has just brought us that much closer together.

i feel like our first year of marriage (and maybe second, since we’ve only started living together, travelling together, etc.) we are allowed to be a little selfish and spend all *our* time together. but i’ve felt God start knocking on my heart and encouraging us to step out in certain ways… to bless people God will put in our lives. it’s exciting and a little scary all at the same time!

all this to say, i’m so thankful for my husband and our marriage. sometimes i’m overwhelmed by all the blessing that has been poured into my life through this marriage. i would be in such a different place in my life, if he wasn’t a part of it. my life would look so different right now…without him. the day before our anniversary, i woke up before him (as usual) and looked over at him, so peaceful and rested, and was filled with so much love and gratitude. for this little life we are making together.

neither husband or i are big dessert people and… we’ve never been a fan of wedding cake (we always prefer the plated dessert at weddings). so we went with the plated dessert for our wedding dinner and swapped the costs of a wedding cake for a gourmet potato bar which was such a hit! we’re talking fries (i could do a whole post on the consistency of a perfect fry… these ones hit the nail on the head), sweet potato fries, poutine (canadian, eh?), and gourmet chips with aiolis!

…but, i loved the idea of having cake on our anniversary. so i picked up the phone and called The Caketress and asked her to make us a mini two-tiered anniverary cake, inspired by one of her cakes I’d seen on a recent photoshoot. That was my plan for our anniversary – a “we” gift.

well husband spoilt me rotten… i had a feeling he’d be getting me some pretty flowers and he did – from Sweet Woodruff, who is the same florist who did my wedding day flowers. getting the bouquet really brought back intense (and sweet) memories of my wedding day – it was so beautiful & romantic. but then to top it off, he also got me a pretty sweet camera and lens that i’ve been eyeing for a while now, i cannot wait to take it out for some pictures.

for now, here’s a small peek into our special day. these are the last pictures i took with my Canon Rebel XS – a camera that taught me so much!

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a golden cake

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i still cannot get over these intricate edible hand-crafted flowers

little buds, little ferns, little berries, Lisa from Sweet Woodruff knows my flower language!

my handsome mister

my papi churro

i think having churros every summer is going to be a new family tradition. i love making traditions with husband and get excited thinking of sharing them with our kids one day too 🙂

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i’ve always made it a point to eat freshly made-hot churros (God bless Toronto’s multiculturalism!) and it just seems perfect to make it a family tradition considering the first time I had summer churros with husband was during our engagement photo shoot session!