Sunday, March 31, 2013

Worldwide Marriage Encounter

Due to the love and generosity of my parents, Michael and I signed up for the WWME, which took place last weekend in Arcadia, 26 miles East of us, near Pasadena. We got there early, around 3pm and Michael jumped in front of the TV- with cable, something he has gone without for the past three months. I automatically gave the hotel a thumbs up when they said it had a heated pool and free delicious cookies (sugar and oatmeal raisin)! We didn't have to sign in until 7pm, so Michael and I went to a Chili's down the street for dinner. Since I was still observing Lent, I had to get the plain cheese pizza, but it was very yummy.
We went back down to the lobby at 7pm, only to find out that the first meeting really didn't start until 8pm. We got our name tags and a picture taken then went back to the room for more TV. They gave us notebooks to write in and I brought different colored pens for variety. The second day was good and we got a break period, so after we dialogued and discussed, Michael and I walked around the little town for 30 minutes, holding hands and such. That was probably the best night for us and we went to Yogurtland after our last meeting.
By the third day, we were ready to go home once we woke up, but got through until 4:30pm when we drove home and picked up Sasha where she had been staying with Banks and Lacey. Once I eventually wrote my very long dialogue with the nine questions that really made us think, I loved hearing (and laughing about) Michael's answers and sharing my own. We don't dialogue every day like they suggested because we got burned out a little last weekend, but did two others this week and I'm hoping for another tomorrow.

Easter Sunday

Last weekend Michael was a gem and sat still through the Catholic Palm Sunday service at the Marriage Encounter, so I agreed that it would be fine to go to Reality today. They rent out The Hollywood Palladium on Sunset Boulevard every year for Easter to hold more people, so it was cool going there. (Also, the Nickelodeon Studio was right across the street.) The Palladium had blue lights along the ceiling and at least 10 beautiful chandeliers in the main concert hall area. The one in the lobby looked like it was made from a thick tree branch. Interesting!
At the end of the service, a couple people were handing out balloons. Probably to little kids. The balloons all said "The Victory", which I guess was the theme of the service. I'm not sure if its different each year. I'll have to keep you posted on that for next year. But I noticed that aside from white, the most popular clothing color choice mixed between salmon, peach and orange. I guess my mint wasn't as fashionable as Forever 21 said. It's still very pretty though.
Back at home we took a few family photos then Dr. Gore borrowed some oranges from the tree, which he enjoyed as part of his lunch. He also had leftover drumsticks, which Michael cooked last night. The rest of the evening has been spent calculating how much we owe in taxes and understanding why it's so important to have the employer take out more money in the first place.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Employment Dance!!

I just got a career-step offer, which I graciously accepted, to be an emergency dispatch operator for the alarm company American Two-Way. This feeling needs to be logged. It is an incredible and powerful feeling of overwhelming excitement, joy, and relief. If it were a color, it would be an Amber Gold like the sun I feel on my face, energizing me to be ready for any call that comes my way. On a scale from 1 to 10, its off the charts; at least a 12, as if I need to take my shoes off to let out the goodness that is swirling within my body. But I don't want to. I want to keep this high. Also I am very thankful to #1 (God) for providing #1 on our list as mentioned two posts ago (getting a job).

I typed "happiness" in the Pinterest search bar and these were some of the pictures that showed up first. I think they all describe me in different ways. Marilyn, expressing my running around and internal dance party. The girl in the middle holding it in, while it's trying to burst out of her (how I feel as I sit typing this and texting everyone) and the girl in shorts, my big "pheeeew!" in life, knowing I can take a break from the job searching and enjoying the major stress decrease.
It was great that American Two-Way has the fastest hiring process ever. I got the first call just last Friday. The guy asked if I was willing to work night shift and when I said "of course", he put my name on the list. He called me again on Monday, leading to my interview at 2pm on Tuesday. Yesterday, he called again saying that I was a "finalist" for the job and that he was impressed with my interview, but I still needed to meet with the main boss. However, today at 1:34 I got a very important call: they offered me the job on the spot. His exact words were, "So, are you ready to work?" Oh my goodness, yes!! He said to not worry about the other interview and told me that I start on Wednesday at 9am. The following week I will have a couple days to transition my body to night shift.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

On the set of GLEE!! ♫ ♪

These pictures were taken almost three weeks ago, but I guess I've been too busying actually watching "Glee" to post them! It turns out that the Helen Bernstein High School where Reality Church holds it's services is where Glee shoots all of their outside lunchtime performances. See! (Photo via FOX.)
I had been there before, but didn't pay attention to this whole area because we were meeting our friend Banks for church at 9am, back in January. Another time Michael and Banks were talking about how much I like Glee and he said, "You know they film at Reality sometimes, right?" I must be the worst fan ever. I've probably walked by Lea Michele or Kevin McHale on the street without noticing them either! So earlier this month, Dawson and I went to checked out dance around the area before and after the 12pm service. Here are my photos:
I am unsure if there is a way to find out when they are filming here next. I would probably have to go to church every Sunday and wait to see if they post signs up saying "Property must be vacant by 2pm for filming". However, I would assume they are done filming this season. According to my quick research, they seem to film an episode six weeks prior to it airing. And I know they only have five episodes left before the summer break.

Here is the Glee Performance of "Hung Up" by Madonna, but covered by Jenna Ushkowitz (Tina) in the "Diva" episode of the current/fourth season. I really liked this song and Tina barely gets any solos even though she was one of the original five Glee Club members. Plus it was a courtyard performance, so you can see these famous stairs in action!

Sweet & Hilarious

Michael suggested I buy these white key hangers to organize my necklcaes. I got them at Target for $6.99 each and Michael later set them up for me in the bathroom. One is next to the mirror over the sink and the other is next to the cabinet over the tiolet. I think they are placed very nicely. However, seeing this organization only makes me want more necklaces!!

I finally thought about capturing how high Sasha is able to jump. This "effect" can be seen when she meets someone new, when she is excited to see someone she hasn't seen in a while, or anytime we get up to let her outside. It is much easier now that we only have to open the door and she darts out. Compared to hooking her leash on, then holding on the stair rail so tight to make sure I don't lose my footing as Sasha drags me down three floors, like I constantly worried about at our old apartment. Just another perk to renting a house!
** I sure laughed a whole bunch when I saw these, but can't decide which one is funnier.
What do you think!? ** Average height = 23 inches.

Wedding Craze! ♥

There is a lot of love going around these days. My friend, Tonia, got married a few weeks ago (on March 9th) and yesterday, Alana and Cody got engaged! It really makes me think a lot about when Michael and I got engaged and all the fun preparation that was done to get ready for our wedding, then enjoying our Honeymoon in the Bahamas. And since I didn't have my blog back then (regret for not at least documenting all the wedding prep), I think now would be a great time to reflect upon some of those beautiful memories:

♥ Saturday, September 25th, 2010:
Michael suggested we get dressed up and go to the Botanical Gardens in Orlando. It was really pretty and I had a fun time. After about an hour, Michael asked which area I liked the best. I picked the Cinderella stairs behind the Rose Garden. That's where he proposed. I cried a lot and he worried that meant "no". I don't know why I cried so much since I had been expecting it (we already had our wedding date set and he asked me informally all the time before). We celebrated with dinner at Ruth's Chris and they brought us a free dessert.
♥ October 2010 ~
The main reason these pictures were delayed a month was because I wanted to find a beachy dress that would look good for this "theme". Our friends, AJ and Adea, from our Full Sail class offered to take our engagement photos for free, so they would have "models" to shoot for their photography practice. Win/win! We took these at Cocoa Beach, the same place where Michael and I had our first important discussion about how we could see ourselves together forever.
♥ Friday, April 1, 2011 ~
I consider this to be a very important day for us as well: the day Michael and I graduated from Full Sail University with Bachelor Degrees. Michael and I met in July 2009, when we both started the film program and began dating a few weeks later, quickly falling in love soon after that. Here we are with my family and our friends Julie and her boyfriend, AJ (mentioned above).
♥ Saturday, May 7th, 2011 ~
After my Bachelorette Party, Bridesmaid Luncheon and Rehearsal Dinner (I was spoiled!) came our wedding day in Gainesville. Not much else needs to be said; it was lovely. Again, I wasn't expecting to suddenly break down crying, as my dad walked me down the church aisle, towards my "soup snake". I do wish the day had been able to last longer and slow down, so I also could have gone around and said hello to all our guests, thanking them for coming/flying in. That's what Michael did during part of the reception while I was dancing with my cousins.
These pictures were taken by the lovely, Christina Jobes. (Now, Christina Blitch, as she has also gotten married!) I am amazed at how great her photography skills have improved in the past couple of years- as well as her pricing, haha.

The following week ♥ May 2011 ~
Our Honeymoon at Sandals in the Bahamas was wonderful! I had such a fun and happy time. We loved getting breakfast sent to our room each morning and eating our fruit and bagels and omelets on the balcony. Then heading to the dock and sailing to the island 1/2 mile away where we had a cabana set up with our names on it. And when we went snorkeling and jet skiing and had our tiki-lit dinner along the shore! Oh, I would totally enjoy that vacation all over again.
The next big steps we plan on taking are pretty obvious, but we are excited.. #1, getting jobs, so we can save up to #2, buy a nice house and #3, have kids! Of course, that order is up to God. After all, none of this would have been possible without Him.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Descanso's Back Yard

More pictures from our trip last week ~ this area was soooo pretty. It was all the way to the right when you come in through the gate. This was the area we saw after the vegetable garden and tulip field. We used the automatic timer for the first time on our Canon camera and ran into place as the red light flashed.
I wanted to be like Aurora (Sleeping Beauty) before her curse, walking along the paths and barefoot in the grass, stopping at a wooden bench to read a book and pet the deer. I only saw birds, but that's how I imagined it. I loved the cottage and thought it might be one you could take a tour in, but the back was hallowed out and constructed to be an extra restroom and storage facility.
Michael told me that he really liked the Weeping Willow tree over the pond and we saw a small turtle too, so I took a picture of it for Mia. But he was gone when we looked back! I also really liked the creeks and tiny waterfalls flowing between the rocks. When I was editing this picture of Michael today, I smiled really big, seeing his smile and feeling happy.
I hope you're having a great week.
♥ We sure are! ♥

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Descanso Vegetable Garden

Although I am not the best at taking care of plants and flowers (I tend to forget to water them and it rains far less in California), they sure are pretty to look at! I was going to post these vegetable area photos from Descanso Gardens in the last post, but decided to overload your eyes with necessary tulip photos instead. I hope you didn't mind. I don't have too much to say in this post. I feel like a lot of this is just looking around, as it was when we visited earlier today.
Michael was a good sport and to ensure we kept good communication, I previously warned him that I would want to spend a lot of time taking pictures, especially in this area. However, you can see him in the last photo, wandering off in the distance, as he loses interest in the vegetables. Fair enough. This specific area reminded me a lot of the Leu Gardens in Orlando, although theirs was more "home-y & basic yard" looking. The one today had more of a hippie/ free spirit vibe, which I liked better because of the arch entrances and paths all around.
See the tulip "field" in the background? 
Why do you think I love this photo so much? ;)
Places like this make me want to spend all day outside!