Friday, July 31, 2009

Gracie's Birthday Celebration.

On Sunday, my mom, Ethan and I went to Church to see my dad sing with the praise band. Not only did he sound great vocally, but he also played the harmonica for a couple songs - which was awesome!

After the service, we were in a wild frenzy to get a lot of things done before Gracie's fourth birthday party - eat (at The Original Pancake House - chocolate chip pancakes are delicious), shop (at Diddams - we had to pick up some Hello Kitty accessories for or favorite birthday girl, and drive (home to pick up som things and then to Michelle's to help her set up). Alas, we arrived and then fun began!

Ethan and I enjoyed some delicious cola made with pure cane sugar. Mmm, the delightful sensation of teeth rotting away. It was worth it.

The whole gang! Tammy, Marissa, and Anishka are Michelle's best friends of like, six years or something. :] I am the newbie! Gracie's the newbiest.

Schmoozing with the birthday girl.

The bestie. Please note the vintage scarf bandanna that I stole from her garage. :P

And then we all gathered 'round with our serious faces on...

To enjoy some guava cake from
my favorite bakery! Heavenly.

It wasn't until after Gracie spent a while trying to blow out the candles that Michelle realized they were trick candles. Hm.

We watched Gracie open presents inside... And Ethan got hit by Gracie's newly acquired Stomp Rockets outside! Anishka caught every moment on film. :P

We had a dance party. Then took this group shot.

And the night ended with this photo which I've already posted with
this week's Thursday Word. Ya know.

It was a great evening with great food! Thank you to Michelle's family for sharing the night with us. :]

Happy Birthday to Gracie!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Happy Birthday, Boyfriend!

Today marks the first day of Ethan's last year of teendom! This boy is the most fun, sweet, and caring person ever and I am so excited to shower him with gifts and surprises and top the day off with a trip to San Francisco for the Giants vs. Phillies game - all of which he totally deserves!

E: I hope you have a great day and a great year to follow. Hope it's filled with laughter and love - and I hope I get it spend it all with you. :]

Happy Nineteenth Birthday to my best friend and lovely boyfriend!

Thursday Word: Proverbs 18:24.

"A man of many companions may come to a ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother." Proverbs 18:24.
I don't usually provide commentary on the verses I choose to share each Thursday. Every Sunday Ethan and I share a devotional verse with each other, but I leave the public Thursday verse without annotation so that readers, especially those who don't frequent or follow the Bible, can draw their own conclusions. This particular selection, however, deserves some extra attention. Proverbs 18:24 is one of the few verse-and-references I've managed to keep memorized over the years. When I first read it, it stuck with me, and now it's one of those sentiments that comes to mind whenever I'm feeling the fortunate in the friend department or the opposite. In either scenario, it always serves as a reminder to me to be thankful for those close friends (and that wonderful boyfriend) with whom God has blessed me. Pardon the unattractive photo, but I found it fitting. ;]

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

How I know I want to have kids one day...

Thank you to Michelle for brightening my morning! She sent me this video of her four year old sissy, Gracie, saying she loves me. ;]

Friday, July 24, 2009


Almost two months ago, I began deliberating about how could I make Ethan's birthday special this year. I decided to organize a surprise party for him. With the help of my super mommy (who provided the venue and so, so much help) and my best friend Michelle (who provided me with her Facebook account and so, so much help), I pulled it off - and managed to keep it a secret from him!

I picked up E from his house yesterday. He was under the impression that we were going somewhere, just the two of us. But we just drove to my house. We took the long way. Then we drove in circles. How did he not catch on?

I blindfolded him for optimum security. :] The bandana fell off, but Ethan assured me he could not see.

Michelle, my special contact, kept me "in the know," letting me know how many people had arrived at various times. Finally, I stealthily texted her that we were set to arrive so that she could quiet the music and - to be honest - shut everyone up! :P

We got out of the car and Ethan stumbled clumsily into my house - I guess I'm not very good at leading someone who can't see - I pulled off his blindfold. And he was so surprised! Pleasantly, I hope.

[soon to be inserted: adorable polaroid of surprised Ethan, as taken by my brother]

My mom and I arranged two vases of flowers. I tried not to make them look too girly.
Chris Ham! This is tradition.
Silly faces.
Gracie came! That's root beer, by the by.
Settled on a cook-out theme - complete with red and yellow fast food baskets and checkered papers. Num!

Ethan's favorite dessert.
This cake is a work of my heart and soul. Although slightly lopsided, it once looked much worse. Despite my spraying and flouring, both layers of this old-fashioned chocolate cake stuck to their pans and suffered some damage. I set up to reassemble them and began to make the bittersweet chocolate frosting filling - but it didn't set up! Tried it again - same problem. Improvised - doesn't powdered sugar solve everything? Making the chocolate buttercream the next day, I burnt my chocolate... And once completed, the buttercream didn't want to seem to stick to the super moist cake... But, in the end... This cake was a big deal. That's all I'm sayin'.


Thank you to all of you who made Ethan's birthday so special.

Check out this super handsome, happy man!

Happy [Almost] Birthday, E!!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Thursday Word: Proverbs 3:5-6.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight."
Proverbs 3:5-6.
via my flickr.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

It's the weekend!

Today my neighborhood is throwing our annual Block Party. It's not too life-changing when you're nineteen, but the little kids always seem to have fun. And I don't mind eating delicious food. We missed it last year, so it will be Ethan's first time joining us.

Anyway, yesterday we were supposed to celebrate my mom's birthday, belatedly. Plans fell through, so I had fun with Ethan! He came over and swam. I have the most fun playing with him in the pool! He also brought me a bag of what we have come to consider the best salad ever. Try Fresh Express' "Salsa! Ensalada Supreme" - or make a Salsa Salad of your own. Seriously amazing. Topped the night off with a walk and some TV. Not bad! :]

Speaking of E, I've been working on a little something for him. His birthday is right around the corner, and I can't wait to celebrate!

This post is so disjointed. But I guess I would also like to inform the masses that I've finished editing the photos from Nick and Becca's wedding. Finally! I'd like to share some of my faves with you!

Rebecca and a bridesmaid get ready at the beautiful Hilton.
Nick and Becca decided to take their formals before the ceremony - something that ended up being a blessing, because the lighting was ideal.
They did this all on their own. :P
A relieved bride greeting one of her musicians.
I just found it so sweet.
Bride and groom!
Inside the Santa Clara de Asis mission, where the ceremony took place.
The kiss. :*
I was so pleased to see Nick and Becca displaying their engagement photos (taken by yours truly!) at the reception!
The Best Man and Maid of Honor both gave heartwarming toasts.
Bouquet toss!
The groom wooing his bride before getting the garter!
Supposedly delicious cake. I never got a piece. What gives? :P
all photos via my flickr.

Overall, an awesome experience. I can't wait to shoot another wedding. The results are so rewarding!

Okay. Off to help Momma make Panzanella for the Block Party!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Thursday Word: Psalm 25:15-16.

"My eyes are ever on the LORD, for only he will release my feet from the snare. Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted." Psalm 25:15-16.
via my

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Midsummer Classic.

The All-Star Game is tonight and the Giants' pitching ace Tim Lincecum is starting for the National League. That's the one thing we Giants fans have left to cheer about - our third baseman Pablo Sandoval narrowly missed landing a spot on the roster; our other pitcher Matt Cain was pulled from the roster after suffering some sort of arm injury last weekend.

Given the National League performance in previous All-Star Games (the American League has won the past eleven if you don't count the 2002 tie), I can't say I'm banking on a win. But given Lincecum's performance this season (10-2, 2.33 ERA), I'm a little more hopeful that we can finally secure a victory. Go NL. :]