2016 Vision

Engagement on the James - V&G 5.15


Hello. It’s me, living in 2016! I survived (and enjoyed) my family and I’s little around-the-world adventure and have fully recovered from jet lag, the cold I caught on the plane back and the mountain of work and deadlines that awaited me back in the office. Finally I feel like I have a second to myself to check in here for the new year.


In the past, I’ve made extensive blog and personal goals every January. I’ve then reviewed these extensive lists, marking up what I accomplished and what i feel short on [2012 & reflection, 2013 & reflection, 2014]. Last year—wisely—I wasn’t quite as ambitious. And this year, 2016, I feel even less so.


Over the past weekend (better late than never!), I came up with the stellar idea of having a 2016 VISION instead of actual goals… some sort of statement to guide me throughout the calendar year. Maybe both a VISION STATEMENT for the blog and my personal life? So great! Until I sat down to start writing it.


Every thought that is born and lives in my mind right now is about it, nearly every other action and checklist item is working towards it, every conjured up goal is trumped by it… My vision, quite literally, is one thing:




We are THREE short months away from Garland and I’s wedding day. I think I’d be crazy not to be thinking about it every day! I cannot wait to be married! I cannot wait to see what the day will look like! And I also cannot wait for it to be over! Sadly, the side effect of being the primary planner of our special day is that I have very little free time or creativity left for things like this precious blog. To further illustrate the struggle, my list tentative list of 2016 goals went something like this:


Let’s focus on baking more cookies recipes this year! Or biscuits! …But I’m getting married. I should be healthy, if not completely on a diet?

I’d love to go on a trip or two …oh wait. We are! A two week honeymoon that we still have to finishing booking and planning. Ah!

How about I start a new hobby? Hmm. *glance at weekly wedding checklists* When exactly would I have time for that?

Obviously, I need a running or fitness goal! Half marathon? Good grief, let me at least finish this wedding marathon FIRST.


This is very clearly THE YEAR OF THE WEDDING! So my goals and/or mantras leading up to April 23 will be simple: Have as much fun and as little stress as possible. Enjoy the moments along the way. Make time for each other. Be kind. Everything is perfect. Don’t overdo it. Make it us, not the expectation. Accept help. Pick and keep to a “stopping point”. Get married.

Happy Holidays!

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Happy holidays 2015


I’m started about half a dozen posts since my last one on November 23rd. For one reason or another, they never quite make it to “published”. Images, copy, recipes. They all take time… time that I can’t seem to find or want to make. Not to mention, I really don’t need any added, albeit self-imposed, pressure in my life right now. It’s been a busy year and things are nowhere near to slowing down!


Luckily the holiday season has included a few moments of rest and cookie baking. But even luckier, we’re having a bit of an untraditional holiday this year and it starts tomorrow! (Yes, it’s even more untraditional than the British Virgin Islands!) My mom, two sisters—Cherie and Renee—and I depart for THAILAND to visit our sister Christine, who has been serving a mission there for the last year and nine months. We start in Chiang Mai (where we’ll be for Christmas) and then through Bangkok on our way to Pattaya, where she’s been living for the better part of her mission. I cannot even begin to imagine what we will experience while we are there! Christine has come to love and call home this place, and I’m so excited to see it through her eyes.


From Thailand, I fly to Pasadena, California with my mom and sister Renee to ring in the new year. It’s here that we’ll get to experience both the preparations and main event of the Rose Bowl Parade New Years Day. I work for a nonprofit called Donate Life America; and there is a Rose Bowl Parade float called the “Donate Life Float” that dedicated to organ, eye and tissue donors and recipients! It’s my turn to go and represent, as well as to care for the family we are sponsoring—a young heart recipient and her parents. From what I’ve heard, it’s an incredibly moving experience to be a part of.


I am then finally reunited with Garland on January 3rd… and then the year of our wedding will have officially begun!


Wishing all of my friends, family and readers a happy and peaceful holiday season <3

Wedding Update #5: “Fall”-ing into Parties!

Wedding Update #5 - Parties


It’s been a long while since my last wedding update—and so much has happened! First of all: It’s been ONE YEAR since Garland proposed. That blows my mind!!!! I cannot believe that much time has passed already! What’s more, I cannot believe our big weekend will be here in just five months. Garland and I have deliberately tried to enjoy our time as an engaged couple, in and out of wedding planning, so I can’t say that I’m super ready for it to be over. Mostly, I’m curious about how the weekend will unfold. The wedding party and priest, dresses and suits, cakes and appetizers, drinks and music, transportation and hotel rooms… It’s so many things and more, I’m afraid, that I haven’t even thought about yet. But! This post is about PARTIES and I’ll be following up in the next few weeks with some vendor updates :)


Although a bit overwhelming, this fall has been a wonderful distraction from the planning and has submerged us into the excitement of what April 23rd really means: The officially beginning of a long and joyous life together with Garland. It’s been awesome (in the true sense of the word) to be be surrounded by friends and family, new and old, who are all so supportive and excited for our adventure as husband and wife. It’s definitely comforting to know that everyone we care about is equally as thrilled and confident in our relationship as we are 😉 We are so grateful for their support and willingness to celebrate (even though we’ve been engaged for a while now! ha!).



We went ahead and had my bachelorette six months before the wedding, mainly because I wanted to do Charlottesville in the fall! For years, I’ve been dreaming of doing a girls weekend in Charlottesville (Virginia), complete with a day-long wine tasting tour (there are SO MANY WINERIES!), checking out local restaurants and simply enjoying the cool mountain air. My bachelorette was exactly what I hoped it would be: a giant sleepover with all my favorite people! My sister, Cherie, flawlessly organized the weekend for me. We rented a house in the Belmont area, complete with a huge kitchen, enough beds for everyone, and hot tub out back. Everyone came in Friday night; we ordered pizza, played a few games and just got situated. My mom was even there for a few hours! HA! She brought my other sister Renee over from UVA to say hi (it was her homecoming weekend and she’s not 21 yet, so she didn’t stay with us or partake in the Saturday activities).


Saturday morning, bright and early, I went on a run with a college friend and Garland’s sister. Is that weird? Exercising on my bachelorette weekend? I loved getting outside and sweating before a day of drinking and eating! Breakfast was bagels (Bodos!) and an egg casserole before the bus driver arrived at 11AM… for our wine tour!


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