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Friday, April 22, 2011

Next Chapter - Family

I am finally entering the next new chapter in my life, and I'm ready to say farewell to my wedding obsessed world.  I'm hitting "unsubscribe" to a handful of wedding blogs right now.  Weddings are no longer the focus in my life.  My main focus is on my new family.  :)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

After I Do: Honesty & Lying

Communication, Honesty, and Lying - Do you ever lie to your spouse?  How honest does the honesty in your relationship go?

I am a very honest person, brutally honest at times.  I think that communication is so important in any relationship, whether it's a marriage, friendship, or a business relationship.  A lot of problems stem from lack of communication or miscommunication.  If you're going to communicate effectively, then you might as well be honest about everything.  There is no use lying unless you have something to hide.  When it comes to that point, then something has gone very wrong.

White lies aside (ex. birthday surprises), I do not lie to my husband.  I don't think it's even possible.  I want to share every detail with him, even the stuff he probably doesn't want to know.  Occasionally I will "lie" playfully, and he knows the real answer.  Hehe. I'm so bad at keeping secrets from him too.  One year I bought him the complete series of Friends on DVD for his birthday, and I told him a day or two before it came in the mail.  I really am that pathetic.

What about H?  Sometimes I think we're the same person.  We approach honesty and lying in the same way. The biggest secret he ever kept from me was the engagement ring and proposal.  He was itching with excitement to the point where he popped the question the same day the ring came in, which wasn't part of his original plan.  He wasn't even patient enough to keep the ring for a few days and wait for the weekend. Silly husband.

Big smiles plastered on our faces after H popped the big question

We both know that if either one of us every lied to the other, we have some serious problems.  It goes beyond the lying, and the problem goes down much deeper.  We try our best to be honest to one another at all times and to communicate -- the good and the bad .  Neither of us will accept lying or deception.

It's us against the world.  :)

Check out other responses from the famous bees themselves over here!

Friday, April 8, 2011

After I Do: Changes

What's the biggest way you've changed personally now that you're married?  How did this change come about?

The biggest personal change would be growing from being a couple to a family. Marriage didn't change our relationship as a couple because we had the foundation of a marriage before the legal "I do."  When we discovered that I was pregnant, everything shifted for us.  Our priorities changed, and now we had to focus on having another being added to our super awesome team.

Seeing Ninja for the first time on the ultrasound screen.

Physically I have changed.  Have you seen my stomach?  Sure, there's only an extra 17lbs of me physically there, but the baby keeps growing every single day.  I waddle like a penguin.  I'm a lot slower, and I take my time when I go for a walk.  My lower back can't take too much activity either.  I bet I'm stronger though.  My  body had to adapt to carrying all of this extra weight after all.

Keep in mind that this photo was taken 3 weeks ago... I'm even bigger now.

Emotionally I have changed.  Pregnancy hormones are a pain in the butt.  One moment I could be crying over the silliest thing ever, and the next moment I am super frustrated with the world.  It's like that time of the month, except times that by ten.

There is this motherly side of me that has emerged from this whole pregnancy.  Maybe it naturally comes with the hormones?  I feel the need to take care of my little Ninja in every way possible.  I want to provide him with the best environment ever, and I love the little guy so darn much.  It's crazy how attached I am to him.  While I'm not exactly ready for the hours of labor or learning how to take care of an infant, I am looking forward to meeting him.  When I talk to him, I think he is listening and actually understands me.

Technically this change affects me the most due to the whole carrying-a-child-inside-of-me part.  Looking at the whole picture, the change affects us as a couple.  It turns our family of two into a family of three.  We will need to work together to learn how to become super awesome parents to a wonderful baby Ninja.  Our responsibilities will extend beyond taking care of ourselves, and we will have an extra being to love and smother with kisses all day long.  Boy it's one heck of a change, but we take the challenge with great stride.  It's part of our adventure.  It's our family.  :)

We're always ready for an adventure!

Check out other responses from the famous bees themselves over here!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

After I Do: Date Night

Do you and your spouse plan "date nights" now that you're married?  What's the most fun date you've been on since getting married?

Yes, we do plan date nights even as a married couple, especially in the remaining weeks before the baby arrives.  This is our last chance to have date nights without hiring a babysitter, and we sure do take advantage of it.

What is the typical date for a married couple?  Mainly, it goes unplanned.  We just go out, eat dinner, and shop around in the area.  It sounds kind of boring, but it is very much us.  Occasionally we'll toss in a movie or special outing to a new place.  I'm a fan of simply going to the coffee shop and sitting there for hours talking to each other. He's an even bigger fan of the diner experience, but it's getting more difficult to find decent diners in our area.

makes total sense why we love coffee shops & diners -- the first weeks of our relationship were spent there talking for hours
Korner Diner - Summer 2005

Since getting married, the most fun date we've had has been our yearly beach trip.  It sounds silly since we do it every single year, and technically it doesn't qualify as a "date," more or less just a trip.  I just love the excitement leading up to the big day and all of the planning that's involved.  By planning, I mean simply making sushi and prepping snacks for the road.  The feeling of the sun beating down on us and just being able to relax on the beach is perfection.  This year's trip was extra special too.  H met Delilah.  It was also Ninja's first beach trip (in the womb), and we didn't even know it!

making a pit stop for sausage at Helen's Sausage House... yum!!

being super awesome & enjoying the beach

Celebrating 5 years together, photo booth style!

Once the little Ninja arrives, our date nights will be spent mainly at home.  Instead of going out to eat, we'll order in.  We'll even make the adventure out to the library to borrow DVDs and have movie night at home with a bag of microwave popcorn.  Date night is all about spending extra quality time together with little interruptions.  I just love spending time with my husband.  :)

P.S. Occasionally we get dressed up for fancy dinners too!  It doesn't happen very often, but we have a blast every time we get a chance to spend too much money on a nice dining experience.

Wish I could say we paid for dinner, but it was our wedding present treat from Anthony & Melissa.  Thanks guys!!
Morimoto - Summer 2010

Check out other responses from the famous bees themselves over here!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

After I Do: Disagreements

How do you handle disagreements?  Do you and your SO have specific arguing styles? What topic do you seems to argue/disagree on the most?  What were some things you and your spouse have done to work out disagreements?

We're usually on the same page on a lot of things.  If we have differing views, we tend to talk to each other to further understand.  We agree more than we disagree. Sometimes it is okay to disagree.  We are individuals with our own opinions -- ex. condiments are yucky to me & yummy to him.  I'm obviously not going to push him to get rid of his condiments (although we could save a few dollars if we didn't have to buy mustard and ketchup... hehe).

As for arguments, they usually stem from frustration.  My husband doesn't get easily frustrated, but I'm the complete opposite at times.  Early in our relationship, I probably kept my feelings hidden but expressed it in my body language.  Then I stepped up to the plate, and I am brutally honest when something is wrong.  We have responsibilities at home, which mainly consist of keeping it clean and orderly (ha).  I try my best to clean up after everyone's mess, and I usually don't mind.  There are times when I ask H to put something away in the basement.  I will ask him multiple times over the course of weeks and sometimes months.  Eventually I reach my boiling point, and I get extremely frustrated.  Words are spoken.  My feelings are out in the air.  My voice probably gets louder, and I eventually leave the room.  H doesn't like seeing me upset. While I need some space to calm myself down, H is there following me like a lost puppy.  Poor hubby.

Now let's switch gears.  H does not like confrontation, and he never yells at me, ever! Sure, I get in trouble for heavy lifting while pregnant and such, but crazy old me actually tells him these things (the honest part of me comes out again).  By trouble, he just tells me not to do it again and to be careful.  "Ninja!"  Hehe.

What does he do when I'm the one yelling at him?  He keeps quiet.  Sometimes he doesn't know what to say or says the wrong things (he's in the spotlight).  He understands that I'm frustrated.  He understands that he should pick up some slack. It's just the point of getting there is hard for him.  He is a tad on the lazy side, like most men.  I know he appreciates the work I do around the house, and I would appreciate it if he could do more work sometimes.  In my pregnant state, I have to be more dependent on him to get a few tasks done -- ex. take the trash to the sidewalk, break down recycling boxes, and lift heavy items up or down the stairs.

By having our arguments, we both know that the issue has reached its boiling point.  I can't say that we effectively argue because a month later we might be having the same exact conversation.  It takes two people to work out a problem, and maybe I cannot take the laziness out of my husband.  I can either accept it or keep arguing whenever I reach maximum frustration.  I think it's still a learning process for me.

This was a lengthy response, and I'm not sure if I concluded anything about our argument styles or disagreements.  I think most of our arguments come from me being overwhelmed with my responsibilities and not having enough help.  How can we work on it?  I do my best to communicate.  Maybe it's up to my husband to contribute more?

Check out other responses from the famous bees themselves over here!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

After I Do: Divorce

What are your opinions on divorce?  Have your opinions changed now that you are married?  Do you and your SO openly talk about the possibility of divorce?  Why or why not?

My parents have been married for almost 40 years, and H's parents have been married for almost 30 years.  Even though my parents have been together for so long, I don't exactly believe that they are soul mates or have a healthy marriage.  At times I think it would be better if they were divorced.  They don't have the best relationship, and my mom drives my dad absolutely nuts.  She is super dependent on him to survive, and my dad would never leave her.  My dad wants to enjoy his life, and my mom is there preventing him from doing so.  It is a very odd relationship, and I wonder if they would be happier apart.

Asians don't accept divorce as an option, and I think we need to break that trend.  I most certainly do not want to be "stuck" in an unhappy marriage, and I don't want that to be the case for anyone else.  If trust is broken, cheating is involved, or abuse occurs, then there are necessary steps to take to determine where to go from there.  Therapy might be the first step.  Divorce might be the last one.  No one wants to become part of the divorce statistics, but I don't want any person to have to suffer in their marriage.  Of course I don't want people to consider divorce an option as an easy way out of a marriage.  Each and every relationship requires a lot of work from both partners.  You can't divorce because you don't want to work on the marriage.  That is just silly, but it does happen more often than I would like.

H and I talk about the possibility of divorce, and there are circumstances in which I would leave him.  I'll be honest here.  I do believe that we are soul mates, and we would have never gotten married if we didn't think that we were perfect for each other.  Communication and honesty is really important in a relationship.  I think as long as we can always trust and talk to one another, we will be happy as can be.  What about abuse?  What about cheating?  That's when we enter the territory for the possibility of divorce.  How can either one of us be happy if there is abuse or cheating?  How can we suffer and let our children suffer as well?  We would have to examine how we got into the bad place to begin with and see what our options are from there.  I would never rule out divorce.  I deserve to be happy.  H deserves to be happy.  Our children deserve to be happy.  It would be selfish for either one of us to stay in the marriage and continue to suffer.

That being said, I hope we never reach that point.  I have full confidence that we can make it through every bump in the road, and there is nothing that can break us apart.  We are partners in this game called life, and it will always be us against the world.

Check out other responses from the famous bees themselves over here!

After I Do:
Wedding Regrets
Name-Change Decisions
Household Chores
First Anniversary

Leave & Cleave

Monday, April 4, 2011

Inspiration - Spud Bar

Dessert bars are sooo 2010.  Why not have a spud bar with the all the yummy potato fixings?  My baby is Irish, and he absolutely loves potatoes of all kinds.  I can see him running up to the table and grabbing every single item to sample.  Of course this is when he's old enough to attend an event with a spud bar and able to walk.  I'm getting a tad ahead of myself.  He's still in the womb!  Okay crazy mom mode just kicked in.  I'll make him a spud bar for his 2nd birthday party.  He should be able to fully enjoy it by then, right?  Yuppers!

Photography by Tinywater Photography
Floral Design & Styling by Botanica Floral Designs
Featured in The Inspired Bride

After I Do: Appreciation

How do you show your spouse that you appreciate them?  What does he/she do for you?

I tend to express my gratitude by saying "thank you" a lot.  Then it's usually followed by, "I appreciate it."  Haha. I am soooo obvious at showing how much I appreciate my husband.  Seriously though, I love the guy, and he puts up with a lot of my mess.  Don't worry.  I have to put up with a lot too.  Hehe.

By simply saying "thank you," I hope he does understand that I really do mean it.  I practically wake him up every single night to go downstairs to bring me another glass of water.  He never complains, and he always gets up to tend to my water needs.  Now if there is a huge noise in the middle of the night, chances are the guy is going to sleep right through it and not try to protect me.  I kid, I kid.

How do I know H appreciates me?  He says, "How do you put up with me?"  Enough said.  =P

So my husband doesn't bring me roses home every night (I would yell at him anyways.  Flowers die, and they are expensive), but he does bring home surprises every now and then.  I sobbed like a baby when he came home with a Valentine's day card.  I didn't even open it.  He simply handed over an envelope, and I cried instantly.  I didn't expect it one bit (we're not heart day people).  That card happened to be the very same card I lusted over at Anthropologie the week before.  He remembered.  :)

Then there is that one time when he brought home Girl Scout cookies after hearing me constantly talk about them.  He even tracked them down and made sure to buy me a box.  That made my week.  He entertained me and drove me everywhere in search of Lemonades too.

Oh and there was that period when I thought I was dying, and he came home with balloons for me.  I absolutely adore balloons, and the sight of them cheered me up right away.  That was the first time he ever bought me balloons, and it meant so much to me.  By the way, I wasn't dying.  I was pregnant.  Hehe.

My husband sure does love me, and I know he appreciates me just by the way he looks at me or the surprises he has up his sleeves.  He smothers me with hugs and kisses every single day.

examples of kisses -- Ocean City 2009

I'm really making H look like a super hero of a husband.  I'll just leave it at that.  No need for me to brag about my super power abilities to be the best wife ever.

Check out other responses from the famous bees themselves over here!

After I Do:
Wedding Regrets
Name-Change Decisions
Household Chores
First Anniversary
Leave & Cleave

Friday, April 1, 2011

After I Do: In-Laws

What was your relationship with your in-laws like before you got married? What is it like now? What were specific things that lead to an improvement/degradation of your relationship with your in-laws? Do you have any tips for people struggling with relationships with their in-laws?

Haha.. I guess this topic had to come up.  It's not like I neglect to mention them in my previous posts or anything.  Oddly enough, this question does add more information behind my relationship with my in-laws that I may forget to mention in the heat of the moment.  Here goes!

Before marriage my in-laws were pretty awesome.  They're the kind of laid back Asian parents that I never knew existed.  H also comes from a pretty huge family on his dad's side, and I absolutely loved all family gatherings.  It fulfilled a part of me that I never had growing up with only my immediate family.  His parents welcomed me to their home when I separated from my own parents.  Even before then, they would allow me to stay the night in H's room with no problems.  They treated me like their own daughter early on.  His dad was especially supportive of our relationship.

I lived with my in-laws for two very long years.  It's not fun to live with your own parents, and it's not always fun to live with your future in-laws either.  For me it didn't feel like home.  Only my parent's house felt like home, which is odd given that it's kind of a restaurant and all.  So I had a very difficult time adjusting, and I never fully accepted it as home for me.  By the summer of 2009, I was really anxious to leave and find a house with H.  We had just begun our home search, and it was a tough time.  Every single thing bothered us, and we wanted to get out as soon as humanly possible.

Well this is when we first ran into problems.  His parents wanted to have a bigger role in our house buying process.  We offended them greatly, and they did not make us forget.  I saw an ugly side that I had never seen before.  Almost a year and a half later, and I still cannot forget what happened, nor can I fully get over it.

Fast forward to our wedding.  Oh boy.  This will be for another time when I can get into the full details of everything that went downhill.  Let's just say that I thought all of my ill feelings would at least start to go away by now.  Well they haven't, and I'm not sure if they ever will.

The house and wedding issues have changed my relationship with my in-laws.  I still carry around those bad feelings with me, and I don't know when I can eventually let go.  I am scared of how our relationship might change (better or worse?  who knows?) once Ninja arrives.  I prefer spending time with my own dysfunctional family over spending time with my in-laws sometimes.  It's weird.  Can we just rewind back 3-4 years when everything was just fine?  That would be great.

I have learned that my not so great relationship with my in-laws is common.  I am not alone in my struggle.  It is difficult to be accepted in a new family, especially when the prized first and only son is involved.  Yeah I thought I was the one being taken away from my family (that's what my MIL told me to my face).  It just so happens that I have taken their son away from the family home.  Who knew I was so evil?

Hopefully time will heal the wounds of the past.  Maybe a little baby will bring us all together?  Somehow I think it may cause more problems, but I'll let time tell.

Check out other responses from the famous bees themselves over here!

After I Do:
Wedding Regrets
Name-Change Decisions
Household Chores
First Anniversary
Leave & Cleave