Baby Shower in the Bay Area

I am so lucky to have caring and loving friends and family all around me. During my pregnancy, I had, not one, but THREE baby showers; one in the Bay Area, one back in my hometown, and another at work. I can hardly believe it myself.

I was showered with love and support time and time again, and my mini is extremely lucky to have people with such big hearts all around her.

Pink-Balloon

Incase you couldn’t tell from my blog, I’m a planner. I love lists. I love invites. I love precision. BUT I don’t love surprises and bothering people with assignments. I’m learning that doing everything yourself also comes with pressure and over-responsibility.

I had embarked on executing my own baby shower. I had set the date, the invite list, and booked a spot in a park, but then my sweetest and best girlfriends (plus my sister) decided to take over from there. I let them because whoa, being pregnant is tiring! You’re constantly wanting to sleep. And I’m so glad I gave it up, because they planned the sweetest and most beautiful shower a girl could ask for.

The weather wasn’t the best; it had been raining all week prior, but thankfully the rain let up just for the few hours we were outdoors. It was a chilly day but a very memorable one.

On Our Way

On Our Way

Lemonade, Tea, & Cucumber Water

Lemonade, Tea, & Cucumber Water

Take Home Gifts

Take Home Gifts

Did you know, you can hire people to grill for you at events? That’s what we did! We decided to do this because it would give the hosts a chance to hang out with people and chat. Have you ever thrown a party where you felt like there was no chance to just relax and enjoy? Hiring someone to grill was exactly the answer to that!

The grill master

The grill master

BBQ

BBQ

Candied Bacon and a Bacon bundt cake

Candied Bacon and a Bacon bundt cake

Baby Shower in the Bay Area

All the gifts!

All the gifts!

Isn’t that crazy? Look at all those gifts! I think that amount beat my own wedding! Oh yeah, and we also celebrated Ming-Gih’s birthday! He wasn’t forgotten, I promise!

Mg's birthday present

Mg’s birthday present

Thank you so much to Holly, Jessica, and Katie for this amazing day. I could relive that day and over and over again! One day, I’ll show my mini these pictures so she can see how much she was loved before even entering into this world.

xoxo,
Jay

  

Gender Reveal (Popper Style)

This is one of those milestone moments during your pregnancy – the gender reveal. It’s really the talk of the town! Do you want to know or wait for a surprise? Will you tell others? Do you want to be surprised by friends? So much around this now!

Gender is confirmed between 18-20 weeks if parents choose to know. I didn’t know this prior to being pregnant, because my first response when I found out people were expecting is, “do you know the gender?” You’re welcome, for that fact!

Can you guess the gender based on this picture? Look at that little booty!

Baby Butt

I wanted the reveal to be for my family, not necessarily for us. We were ecstatic on becoming parents so a party to reveal wasn’t needed. However, this is the first grandchild for both sets of families so I wanted to surprise them. Additionally, my parents live in Texas so I wanted it to be a fun reveal. Hence, I made poppers! I’ll have a DIY tutorial in a future post, coming soon.

Surprisingly our ultrasound technician told us the gender around 13 weeks. Though it wasn’t confirmed, because it was so early, she was pretty sure. I’ll be honest here; I was expecting a boy. My pregnancy symptoms were telling me it was a boy (even though it’s not scientifically proven). MG even had a dream that we had a little boy. And in my head, boys take care of their siblings, which was a very idealistic view.

However, the more I sat on the idea of a girl, the more excited I became. She would be my mini, and we’d dress the same (oh yes, definitely be expecting those mommy and me shots because they will be coming your way!). We get to take a picture of 4 generations of women since my Grandma is still lively and amazing. She’ll be my caretaker (because in reality, do boys even take care of their siblings?). Plus, if I only had girls, I’d actually be okay with that. If I only had boys, I’d always want a girl.

And now that I have her to snuggle with, I wouldn’t change her for the world!

Here’s a video of my parents as they open their poppers. Thank you to Baldwin for Facetime-ing us in and organizing the reveal.

So fun documenting these moments!

Gender reveals – what do you think about them?

xoxo,
Jay

  

Family time

What are your plans for the holidays?

I flew back to Texas this past week to visit my family. I’ve been shopping all day with my mom and sister to finish Christmas shopping for our huge family (my mom and dad are both 1 out of 7 siblings, huge is an understatement). I’ve also embarked on a new DIY project. My parent’s current house is about 20 years old, with only one renovation about 15 years ago when the granite floors were installed. Nothing else has been done. While sitting on the toilet, I came up with the idea of painting the bathroom walls (never TMI on this blog). The one obstacle, and this is a big one, all the bathrooms are wallpapered (talk about early 90s!). So I told my dad I was going to ripe out the wallpaper and paint the upstairs bathroom, and he replied with “yeah right… you’re on Christmas break.” Either he was being totally serious, or he knew the right button to hit so that I would complete the task. Probably the latter…

So challenge accepted.

I’ve worked on the upstairs bathroom (which is conjoined by two powder rooms) for the past four days, tearing off wallpaper. Except it wasn’t as easy as YouTube makes it look… The wallpaper is glued onto drywall, which is basically raw materials made of layers and layers of paper. Can’t really peel glued paper off paper, am I right? Damn, this became a WAY bigger project than I expected. So now the process is: peel wallpaper (careful not to damage the drywall too much), spackle, smooth out the plaster, wipe down the dust, texturize the walls, sand down the texture so it matches the walls at home, primer, then paint. What did I get myself and MG into? But it’s been a learning experience, and to me that’s always worth it. I’m hitting up Home Depot like it’s my local coffee shop, and hard at work everyday toiling away, which is better for my weight because the other situation is that I’d be snacking all day. I’m happy to say that today, all the wallpaper is off and we’ve spackled two rooms.  Pics to come soon! There is one pic of MG spackling at the bottom of the collage. This spackle goes on pink, but drys white so you see where you’ve plastered. Cool stuff!

In the meantime, here are some pictures of my time in Texas right now, according to my iPhone.

I miss my little Chubalee, but thankfully he’s having a great time with his cat sitters (thanks Winnie)! I do have a fat fat here to keep me company though. Meet Tinker, my sister’s butterball 26lb kitty. He’s a cuddle muffin, and I must smother him every chance I get.

On our free time, obviously we’re eating! Whataburger at 1am is the Texan thing to do. Mmm… honey butter chicken biscuit. Also Sonic had half off milkshakes this past weekend – we had the ultimate shake, the vanilla mint holiday shake. Yum!

We also celebrated my mama’s birthday with a delicious Whole Foods cake. Happy Birthday mommy!

Texas

2 more days until Christmas day! What are you doing until then?

Peace & Love, Jay

  

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween everyone!

Happy Halloween!

What will you be doing to celebrate tonight?

I’m hosting a Halloween potluck for a few friends. They must bring a themed food/dessert/drink. It’s time to get creative! I’m excited to see what people come up with.

I’m making ribs, guts jam (my strawberry chia jam), mac & cheese with sausage fingers, monster balls (brussels sprouts), mashed potatoes shaped like a brain, and eyeball cake pops! I’ll update with pictures after tonight.

Happy Halloween!

Love,
Jay & Chubs

  

Canada, eh?

I’m back! After a weeklong vacation in Vancouver, I’m home. Ming-Gih and I decided to visit my grandma, my aunts, and my cousins in Vancouver. My Aunt Kathy from Ireland and my parents from Texas all flew up the same week, so it was a mini family reunion.

DSC02638-2Look how cute my Grammy is!!!

DSC02913The reunion – thanks everyone for making us feel so welcomed! 

I captured a bunch of things we did while vacationing. Maybe you can take note if you are planning a trip up to Vancouver too. Loads and loads of pictures, so here we go!

We flew on Allegiant Air to Bellingham, Washington for about $140 round-trip, per person (this airlines has some great deals!). We rented a car and drove across the border into Vancouver. But before we went into Canada, MG and I looked for something to do in Bellingham, and lo and behold! We found a waterfall near the airport so decided to check it out. Really pretty scenery, and you know it’s good when there are three brides all taking wedding pictures in the area!

Whatcom Waterfall   Mg and Jay

Waterfall Edge of GloryWe are on the edge of glory here^^^! It was pretty terrifying looking down.

Shroom
This shroom looks SO cool, doesn’t it?

The first night we got into Vancouver, we went to the Night Market. Thankfully, it was still open. During the winter time the market is closed. We got some delicious foods, and I bought some cute socks!

Night MarketWe needed a buddy system – the place was packed!

Night Market with Duckie
Here’s my buddy in front of the night market icon

Now for the food!

Bubble WafflesBubble waffles!!!

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The cutest pork buns you will ever see!

RamenRamen ends the night perfectly, hot soup and noodles on a cold night

Vancouver is a seaport, so we were surrounded by lots of water. We went to their version of Fisherman’s Wharf.

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DSC02596How gorgeous is this?

Fishermans-Wharf
You can buy lots of fresh seafood on the wharf. This man sells shrimp. This puppy sells fish!

We also went to Horseshoe Bay to look at all the Fall colors. I’m in adoration of all the Fall colors that are in Vancouver. Being from the Bay Area, it’s rare to come across yellowing and red leaves. It’s breathtaking.

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DSC02667Watching the kids play in the leaves made me really want to jump in too! Look at the little one sitting in the pile – cute!

DSC02670Another shot of the scenic Bay

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My handsome man on the pier ^^^

MG and I ventured to Whistler for a romantic getaway (as romantic as you can possibly get since I was stricken with food poisoning). Imagine taking bathroom stops every 20 minutes on a 2-hour drive… But the views of Whistler definitely made up for the unfortunate sickness. We went during off-season, so we got some extra attention from staff members. Dining at nearby restaurants was also affordable since it was off-season. A 5-course meal at Aura was only $30, and a 4-course at Rimrock Cafe was only $45 (our favorite dinner thus far).

Nita Lake LodgeWe stayed at Nita Lake Lodge, and I highly, highly recommend this hotel. The hotel is clean, the staff is friendly, and the complimentary accommodations include bike, canoe, and kayak rentals. Our bathroom floor was heated stone, so every morning my toes were toasty. We also had a fireplace in the room and a kitchenette. If you’re ever in town, stay here!

DSC02748Back view of the hotel

We took full advantage of the free canoe! Because it was off-season, MG and I were the only ones on the lake. It’s better than something from The Notebook!

whistler-canoe

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DSC02730That view ^^^ That reflection ^^^

DSC02732I find this picture to be so amazing – it’s the reflection of the nearby trees along the lake.

On our drive back from Whistler to Vancouver, we made stops along the way to look at the views. That’s part of the fun during a roadtrip right?

Our first stop – Shannon Falls.

Shannon-Waterfall

DSC02804Can you find me?

The next stop we made was the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. At ~$32 per adult, it was a pretty hefty price, but the views were worth it!

DSC02898This was during a weekday, near closing time so it wasn’t packed with tourists. I was able to get a picture of me on the bridge by myself! The bridge is 450ft across and 230ft above the river.

suspension-bridgeThese totem poles look so cool! Can you find MG?

DSC02847This walkway was called Treetop Adventures, and the bridge allows you to walk around the canopy of the forest. 

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The best part of the park was the Cliffwalk. You basically walk around the edge of, well, a cliff. MG has a height phobia, so this was the most intense part of the trip. He’s such a thrill seeker, that one!

suspension-bridge-mg

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For you foodies out there, here are some of the crazy things that we ate during the trip. It’s all Asian foods! When in Vancouver…

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MG’s favorite – the buttered pineapple bun. Is that a stick of butter in the bread? Why, yes it is.

asian-food1Hot pot at home and squab

asian-food2HK toast and a big bowl of rice noodles!

JapadogJapanese style hot dogs – Nori, Japanese mayo, and teriyaki sauce

DSC02907
Duh…

It was such a fun vacation, but I’m glad to be back! If you’ve ever been to Vancouver, did you do any of the above? What other things are recommended for my next trip?

What did you do this weekend?
Jay

  

From Roots to Fruits

Personal Devos

From Friday evening up until Sunday afternoon, I was at my church’s annual retreat (I attend Living Stones Christian Church). This year the theme was “From Roots to Fruits,” and it was primarily about Evangelism. The last few retreats that I’ve been to weren’t that memorable for me. The retreat sites were nice, but other than that I didn’t get much more out of it. I prepared my heart and my mind the week leading up to this year’s retreat, trying to be positive and focus on the subject of evangelism. And I truly believe that your mindset has everything to do with how much you learn because this year, the messages resonated with me.

My key takeaway was how I could share my own personal good news to people around me. Maybe you’re wondering, “what does that mean?”

It means that I’ve truly come to accept Jesus as my Savior. I know this is true because when I struggle with life’s challenges and I put pressure on myself to perform my best, it becomes unbearable and too much for me to manage. I could never climb out of this pit that I put myself in. The day I asked God to take rein of my life was the day where my burdens were lifted, and I no longer had to climb a neverending ladder myself. I have someone who loves me so much that I could rely on Him to watch over me and guide me down life’s journey.

Worship

Do you have times where you feel like life is too hard? What is your savior in moments of vulnerability?

It’s a heavy thought, one that requires you to really look into your past. But I encourage you to dig deep to find answers because it truly has some implications on what you define as the meaning to life.

Here are some pictures from this retreat at Camp Koinonia.

KoinoniaCampground view – surrounded by beautiful redwoods. No phone reception & limited wifi means a perfect weekend.

Practice
Worship practice

Girls NightAnnual spa night with the girls – face masks and nail painting sessions, not to mention unfiltered conversations! Next time I need to bring a tip jar for all the nails I painted (10+ girls!). Heh!

Sliding
Sliding down the huge slide with a burlap bag. I bruised my butt, ouch!

R2F 2013
These weirdos… (xoxo)

Love!I love my KP and creepy Leo

Hot Pants
Hot pants reunion!

Union City Small GroupSome of the members of my small group. I love these people.

What did you do this weekend?
Jay