Great Heights Remembered

It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since Carl proposed to me on a hot air balloon. As I said in my post last June, we truly were at “such great heights.” I find it fitting that our wedding photographer, Geordie, used that song when he put together our wedding slideshow. Nice touch! And, it’s about time I posted the video on my blog. Check it out here.

Praying with Confidence

“…the one who prays correctly never doubts that the prayer will be answered, even if the very thing for which one prays is not given. For we are to lay our need before God in prayer but not prescribe to God a measure, manner, time or place. We must leave that to God, for he may wish to give it to us in another, perhaps better, way than we think is best. Frequently we do not know what to pray as St. Paul says in Romans 8, and we know that God’s ways are above all that we can ever understand as he says in Ephesians 3. Therefore, we should have no doubt that our prayer is acceptable and heard, and we must leave to God the measure, manner, time, and place, for God will surely do what is right.

…We are to come to God in simple faith, remaining on the straight road, trusting him, and yet setting him no bounds.

…God sometimes delays, but He always comes.” – Martin Luther, from Table Talk, featured in Devotional Classics (HarperOne)

“Jesus answered them, ‘Have faith in God. Truly I tell you, if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and if you do not doubt in your heart, but believe that what you say will come to pass, it will be done for you. So I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.'” – Mark 11.22-25 (NRSV)

Lord – forgive me for not praying with confidence; for putting boundaries and limitations upon you. Thank you that you always hear my prayer and that in your time, you will always, always come. Amen.

Escape Artists

Carl loves dogs. Period. Any size, breed, or color. If he sees a dog, he cocks his head and with his dog-loving voice he says to the dog, “It’s okay. You’re a good dooogie.” I guess we make a pretty good match since I sometimes consider myself the “dog-whisperer,” but Carl is much less discriminatory in his affections. (I lean more towards the big dogs that you can hug.)

For the past year, Carl has been telling me that he’s going to get a dog. Practical me always responds with, “Are you sure? Really? How about after the wedding? Do you really want to have that responsibility right now? Don’t you want to be able to travel, be spontaneous, etc etc etc?” Poor Carl. I can be so boring sometimes. He’s reluctantly agreed to wait, but in the meantime, he’s signed up for the Lab Rescue, which sends him cute pictures of labs every other day that need to be adopted. Not a good idea. Of course he forwards me the cutest ones. And c’mon, who can say “no” to a cute lab and their hopes of being adopted? I’m starting to bend. As much as people have advised me, I think we’ll be proud dog owners sometime very soon.

But, we definitely had a dose of reality this past weekend. Knowing that we both love dogs, our friends asked if we’d dog-sit over the weekend. We thought this would be a great, low-risk opportunity to see what it was like to have dogs in our house, so we said “yes.”

Sophie and Murphy (pictured above on Murphy Street – of all names – in our “under construction” downtown Sunnyvale) are Portugese Waterdogs. Yep… Obama has one too. They got dropped off at our house on Friday morning to spend the day in our fenced in backyard. At 3:00pm on Friday, I got a call from our friend, letting me know that Sophie and Murphy had a little “excursion” and somehow escaped from our yard. Fortunately, they were discovered by a kind neighbor who was walking her dog and realized that Sophie and Murphy were escape artists. Just a little embarrassing. Our friend hadn’t even left for her trip yet, and the dogs had already escaped under our watch! Sigh. When we picked up the dogs after work, we discovered that they had pushed through one of the boards in our gate. Apparently, we’re not as prepared as we thought to take on a canine.

Dog owners… give me your feedback. Should we wait on this adoption process or move full-steam ahead? And, is there a fancy pooper-scooper option where you don’t have to pick up the yuckies with a plastic bag? Just the thought gives me the heebie-jeebies.

107 Years

I must say, we started off the New Year just right. First, a solid breakfast at one of our favorite spots in the city – Ella’s. Next, a visit to the Golden Gate Bridge… just to say “hello” and because it amazes me every time I see it.

Sportin’ our new Christmas beanies, of course. (Mine is a Sarah Baer original!)

Then, a hike along the coast, just north of Santa Cruz, and a picnic lunch on the beach.

But to top it off, we got to enjoy a special and spontaneous dinner with my godparents (Steve & Margie) and Margie’s 107-year-old dad. 107 years. (I thought that was worth repeating.) Although he’s lost his hearing, we were able to hear fascinating stories from him by asking questions via an “Etch-a-Sketch.” Stories of him taking a 30-day journey across the Pacific, from Seattle to Korea, to start missionary work, followed by his beautiful descriptions of his first impressions of the country. Stories of his language lessons, and finally, how he fell in love with his Korean wife by writing her letters (per Korean customs) and planned their wedding in 2 days with only $20. We were in the presence of a gentle man of God with a wealth of life experiences and history, just waiting to be told. Truly, a gift to be with him, and a wonderful way to start our new year.

Ringin’ It In!

Carl and I went BIG this year for New Years Eve. We joined the masses in San Francisco with a group of friends, and had a great time. Unless you couldn’t tell from this picture, Carl found every noise-maker he could find to help ring in the new decade with some uumpf and passion. Nice work Mr. Hekkert. And, Happy New Year everyone!

Wild Horses

On this cold day in the city, I couldn’t help but think back to the warm, tranquil days we had in Puerto Rico.

After our time in Old San Juan, we started our beach hopping on Vieques Island, just east of Puerto Rico. Rather than following the guidebooks’ advice of taking the $100 flight, we opted for the $2 ferry ride, like the locals. (After the sticky, sweat-inducing waiting area at the ferry terminal, we could see why this was not recommended… but it was a good cultural experience.)

By way of taxi, we climbed through the lush forests to a remote spot where we were dropped off in darkness (supposedly next to our hotel). We had read great reviews of The Hix Island House, and thought we’d try out our first eco-lodge experience. With the help of a flashlight, our hotel guide led us through the thick grass to our room – in a modern, angular, cement structure with no a/c and plenty of geckos. We soon called the place the Dharma Initiative (if you’re not a Lost watcher, you’ll be “lost” with that correlation). Because it was so remote, the sky was radiant with glowing stars, and the noise of chirping insects filled our ears. The hotel stocked our fridge with breakfast items and fresh baked bread each day, so we could create our own meal and relax on our “jungle patio.”

The next day when we got our rental car, we were told to drive slowly in order to avoid the wild horses roaming on the side of the road.

We lucked out and found a remote white-sand beach where we camped out for the day. That night, we ventured out on the water again, for a kayaking tour of the bio-luminescent bay. Similar to phosphorescence, bio-luminescence is a micro-organism that lights up in the water. As we started paddling, it was if we were paddling through diamonds. Every time our paddles hit the water, it would light up and fish were outlined as they darted away from our boats. As we got to the center of the bay, we hopped in the water to see how the bioluminescence outlined our bodies as we floated around. I couldn’t stop lifting my arms out of the water and watching the diamonds roll off of my skin. Definitely one of the most amazing things I have ever experienced.

El Convento

Highlights from the honeymoon, you ask? Over the next few posts, I’ll try to do my best to hit the highs from our adventures in Puerto Rico.

Through the help of a friend who was writing the guide for Fodor’s on Puerto Rico while we were planning our honeymoon (what kind of coincidence is that??) we were tipped off to a great hotel in Old San Juan. We stayed at the El Convento – an old convent that was converted into an amazing hotel that faced the cathedral. Cobblestone streets led us past an array of pastel colored buildings to the old city wall and fortress. We loved wandering the streets, trying out the local food (mallorca, anyone?), and seeing all of the “gatos” and iguanas.

View of the cathedral from our hotel.

Our tour guide.

Castillo San Felipe del Morro… and that’s not just good Spanish…that was the name of the fort.

Fear and Trust

So… at our pre-marital counseling session this weekend, I was told that as a woman, I will be naturally inclined to be fearful and have a harder time trusting.

This is me casting aside my fears and trusting that Carl can move a full bookshelf on his skateboard. Yes, people. A skateboard. skateboard

Color Decisions

Who knew the kind of pressure the bridal industry imposes on you when you plan for the big day? “Your wedding dress should be the dress of your dreams!” “The invitations set the tone for the entire day.” “What are your colors?” “What kind of cake will you have?” Back, back, you people, I say. These wedding monsters are haunting my dreams.

So, to keep the monster at bay, I’ve made a least one decision – my wedding colors. Why not choose the pastel colors of the rainbow? I thought this was just brilliant.

rainbow-bridesmaid4-878x1024If you have any other color ideas, please do let me know. Although, I’m not sure what could top this.

I had another creative inspiration while talking with my brother. I asked him to be in the wedding, and he said, “What part do I get play?” I told him we wanted him to play the part of the horse. He told me he’d prefer to be the goat. I think having a live nativity scene at the wedding will be so inventive and original. Once I told him there’d be a nativity, he suggested that he play the important role of the “hay.” Done and done.