Tag: bloggernation

The Best Way to Spread Christmas Cheer

It’s officially December, guys!!! Time to spread some Christmas cheer for all to hear [or see in this case]!  My favorite time of the year is here, and despite what an intense and emotionally draining year it has been, I am beyond words for how thankful and blessed I am feeling.  With all the sad stories of people leaving this world too soon and the passing of my grandmother, I am so so so thankful for another year with my family and friends and all the support I undeservingly receive.  This year is coming full circle with Christmas around the corner.


Photo credit: Lindsey O’Nele

Christmas is just the best, and I sing out loud and proud.  One of my favorite traditions in the recent years has been taking photos for Christmas cards.  Each year, they evolve.  Our first one was a selfie taken off of Ryan’s dingy old iPhone back in 2013 and printed off a cheap mini HP printer, and this year’s was shot by a lovely lady, Lindsey, I’m especially glad to have gotten to know better this past year.  I think for us, our Christmas photos are even more special just because she took the time to really try and capture what we wanted for several hours at different locations.  Not only that, I’ve been trying to learn the ropes of photo editing with her (even though she is so far ahead of me and so inspirational.)  So the patience and creativity behind our day meant a lot more to both me and Ryan.  (Thanks, Lindsey!!! We are beyond grateful for your talented eye and the time you gave to us amidst a crazy week ahead of you!) She did such an amazing job that it was so hard to choose which ones to post for y’all.

Photo credit: Lindsey O’Nele
Outfit details: Top (it’s actually a dress): Missguided;
Skirt: Morning Lavender;
Shoes: Lulus (also can be found on Vici Dolls)
\\click on the links to go directly to the product. For the original Missguided dress, it was sold out, but I found a very similar dress– also from Missguided.\\

For our first location, we decided to go to the Family Christmas Tree Farm in Santee.  The backstory is that we recently bought our first real Christmas tree there a couple weeks ago, and it was so magical for me.  I’d never gone to a Christmas tree farm before because my dad and brother always went to pick them out, and they were usually in those small lots you see on the side of the road – not that it makes the tree any less magical.  Going for the first time, the smell of the different trees was exciting.  The farm was bigger than any I had seen and there were endless rows of different types of trees.  I felt like a little kid at Disneyland, and Ryan loves when I get that excited for Christmas.  So it was only appropriate that we take photos there. (Plus, I’m a sucker for outdoor pictures – portrait or landscape.)


Photo credit: Lindsey O’Nele

Of course, I’m an absolute sucker for twirling shots.  (Reference my wedding and anniversary photos for proof.) Lindsey nailed these shots!  I’d post every single one of them, but I’ll spare you.


Photo credit: Lindsey O’Nele
Photo credit: Lindsey O’Nele

And we also may have indulged in my silly idea of having Ryan throw me over his shoulder.  Sometimes, a photoshoot needs a little shenanigans, and it was fun to try this out!


Photo credit: Lindsey O’Nele

Photo credit: Lindsey O’Nele

For our second location, we wanted to do a little cozy indoor shoot at our apartment with the newly decorated fireplace and, of course, Lilo!  No family photo is complete unless we’ve got the furbaby.  Although our apartment wasn’t completely furnished with all things Christmas just yet and our Christmas tree barely adorned with just lights and no ornaments, we got some amazing shots that I had been wanting to do for a couple years.  It was really the first time our Christmas pictures weren’t rushed and well thought out, so it was fun and a learning process.


Photo credit: Lindsey O’Nele


Photo credit: Lindsey O’Nele


Photo credit: Lindsey O’Nele

Thank you, again, Lindsey for taking such precious and meaningful Christmas photos of our little family!  You are just the best. This was so much fun, and I can’t wait to create more beautiful memories. On that note, I think I need to watch Elf…

…or maybe Mean Girls, because “You Go, Glen CoCo!” “Aaaanndd none for you Gretchen Weiners.” ;P

 

But What if I Fall?

Fall is finally in the air here in San Diego, and I’ve returned for a new update on my life.  It’s nothing too exciting to the average reader, so I guess I’m writing this more for myself.  It’s more of a reflection I suppose. These past few months have been eventful and eye-opening. Let’s just take a quick look on the past year.

When I first started this blog, I was just married and back from my honeymoon.  Fresh and hot out of law school.  Not long after, I decided to begin pursuing a possible new career because I fell in love with wedding planning while planning my own.  (Never in a million years did I think this was a possible dream I could pursue.)  At the encouragement of my husband, I began contacting countless wedding planning companies and struck gold with the woman I work for now. I had only worked a few weddings before my grandma had a sudden turn in health for the worse, and I had to make next-day flights back home to care for my grandmother.  Around that time, I poured my thoughts and feelings into my blog since it strangely gave me even a glimmer of clarity and a release. (I never wrote an entry of closure since I hadn’t quite processed it at the time, and I intend to at some point.) When my grandmother passed suddenly, I returned to San Diego with a heavy heart I didn’t expect to have; my feelings even took Ryan by surprise. But I carried on and have continued wedding planning. Now, I’m also working for an attorney I worked for last year, and to say that it has been a blessing is an understatement. I couldn’t stop beaming because it was (at least to me) a dream job.

With both jobs, I fall in love even more, and when you work with the right people who push you, inspire you, and are genuinely kind and understanding people, you realize it’s not work if you love what you’re doing. I realize that’s rare after having gone through several jobs over the last few years.

In a strange way, I felt my grandmother’s passing was her nudge at me… telling me that life goes by quickly and that times are changing.  It is possible to do everything I want in this life and that I have to go for it now.  I have to make it happen.  It’s a lot easier said than done, which I’m sure you’ve figured out.  But with my very traditional Chinese background, I felt stuck at a crossroads with tradition and my generation’s views.  To give you a better idea of what I was struggling with, here’s a little background:

My grandma came here from China (essentially a single mom) and worked hard to give my mother and her sister a better life.  In turn, my mother (and father) worked even harder to give me an easier life. All those who came before me had struggles I can’t even begin to appreciate fully.  They didn’t have the luxuries my brother and I were so fortunate to enjoy – watching TV, sleeping in, only having to focus on ourselves and school grades. Their history and the way they were brought up meant working a steady job with good pay and reliable benefits, which to this day is a mindset they have drilled into me.

While I appreciate that it provides comfort, possibly some bragging rights if you can call it that, and the fact that it puts my mind at ease, I am surrounded by dreamers, entrepreneurs, achievers – all of whom are humble and successful. I’m inspired more and more each day so much that might heart might burst, and I just have to do something about. They have each explained to me they have had to take huge risks and have also had naysayers and odds against them.  Their successes were not without multiple failures.  I’ve even read of those who have had similar upbringings and their parents came around to their choice of careers.  Sometimes, I’m afraid my family will say all those dreamers, entrepreneurs, achievers, are all just the lucky few and to not take chances.  But there will be those who always doubt, and I’ve come to firmly believe if you trust in what you’re doing, things will naturally follow. As one of my favorite quotes goes:

“What if I fall?”

“Oh, but my darling, what if you FLY?

Having felt worn out, tired, judged, and looked down upon, I finally decided I am going to pursue wedding planning and other business ventures with Ryan. I’m going to enjoy learning photography, blogging, planning things to do on the weekends with Ryan, stop turning friends down and hanging out more, and continuing to do law. Just living life and enjoying it more. After all, as cliché as this sounds, you’ve only got one life to live and anything can happen at any moment. So, carpe diem!

P.S. Thanks for reading! I can’t believe how many of you actually read a nobody’s blog! I love hearing your feedback. XO!