Posts Tagged With: wedding

What’s In Store for Two-Zero-One-Four

Hello I’ve been meaning to write a New Year’s post for the last (checks calendar) 23 days. And while I totally missed New Year’s Day, I wholeheartedly subscribe to the “better late than never” philosophy. 😉

This is my official “Welcome to 2014!” post. Albeit somewhat further into 2014 than I first anticipated. But you’ve still got a good, what… 11? 11 1/2 months to go? I think we can work with those numbers.

Okay, so this year I plan to blog more! I mean, I know that weeks have gone by since my LAST post, but we’ll just pretend that didn’t happen. M’kay?

One of the things I’d really like to do this year is establish more communication with my readers. You know, connect “on a deeper level” so to speak. Like, we start off as acquaintances who share an occasional laugh over some ridiculously juvenile meme about rainbows and coffee, and by the time this year is over, we’ll be BFF’s sharing inside jokes about that one time when I did something and you said that thing and was laughing for 20 minutes straight! Ha!


First things first.

I figured one way to do cultivate our new found togetherness is to come up with a term of endearment for you all (all 11… 12… 13 of you ;-)). You know, like “Beliebers” for Justin Bieber (I am not) or “Marshmallows” for fans of Veronica Mars (I am indeed). Anyway, these are a few of the ideas I came up with:

  • Dove Bars
  • Dream Dovers
  • Doverboys & Doverbabes
  • Dove Tappers

Okay, okay… I know those are super lame. So please, if you would, help me out with some suggestions! I would be your BFAY (best friend all year)! Or at least until my WP premium expires. Which it won’t! I assure you.

So, back to 2014 stuff…

I’m working out again. 1003214_10151777577201773_1716813791_n

My wife and I will be celebrating out 10 year anniversary this August and I want to look even less frumpy than I did then. (Hows’ that for setting a high goal? 😛) Not that I was totally frumpy. But I want to look like I just graduated from the Super Hero Training Academy! 😀

Far fetched?

Maybe. Maybe not.

We’ll see how it goes. I’m starting off at around 200lbs. My trainer will get me down to about 185lbs, then I’ll build muscle mass back up to 200 (or as close to that without looking like some weird balloon animal).

Wish me luck! 😀

Categories: fitness, health, personal, photos | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Anniversary Bliss Recapped

It was a beautiful morning in Southern California on August 7th when I woke up and finally pushed myself out of bed at around 7:30am. I’d like to think that the sun was out from behind the clouds with a cool breeze filtering through the open windows in supportive rejoicing over the fact that it was our 9th wedding anniversary. 🙂

My morning euphoria was interrupted by the fantasy-shattering cries of a 2-year-old who was more than ready to be liberated from his crib/prison. Joined by his 6-year-old brother and 4-year-old sister, the trio accosted me with their usual demands regarding breakfast. No milk for cereal. No oatmeal to sprinkle with raisins. I only had bagels and English Muffins to work with. They conferred and settled on requesting egg & cheese bagels (the English muffins had added ham) with homemade raspberry jam. I obliged.

After that, the morning came and went in a blur of swim lessons, missed naps, the Grumpy Lunch Hour and working with my wife to try to figure out how, since our evening plans were already figured out,  we could best manage the early part of our day of celebration with 4 small children in tow. Solution? Make a trip to Skinny Minnies (Gardena location) for celebratory FroYo… that only the children get to eat, since we’re on a restrictive diet at the moment.

Back at the house, it was time to let the two older kids watch Despicable Me (the first movie) while the two younger ones went down for nap. This, of course, allowed mommy and daddy to get all gussied up for their night out. 🙂 Since I was first to get dressed, I left to go pick up my oldest son from work, who agreed to watch the smaller kids (sans August, the infant) while we went out to dinner.

Earlier in the week, my wife made reservations at a local place that consistently got rave reviews. It’s called the Tin Roof Bistro and the food in, in a word, heavenly!

But before I get into the food, I have to give a shout out to our waiter Jay, who was by far one of the best waiters I’ve ever encountered. He came to our table to take our drink order, and I couldn’t remember the name of a particular drink. So I described it briefly and Jay seemed to read my mind when I mistakenly asked for a mimosa when I really meant a mojito. 😛

You know what’s one of the wonderful things about our marriage? How much we laugh. I caught my wife in the middle of a good chuckle and couldn’t resist sharing it. I think she looks even more beautiful when she laughs. :pleased:

I thanked him and said with a smile, “What’s your name? I don’t think I caught it before. I don’t want to say ‘Hey you’ to get your attention.” He smiled back and said, “My name is Jay, but it doesn’t matter because you’ll never have to ask for anything.” And he couldn’t have been more right. In spite of the fact that it was moving into the busiest hour of the day and he had several other guest to handle, he never missed a beat with us the entire evening. He was there every time we were done with a plate. He brought additional forks for the appetizer and main course. And he continued to check on us to make sure we had everything we needed. Major props Jay!

Anyway, on to the meal… we started out with a full order Triple Green Salad that we split.

Then, my wife surprised me by ordering an appetizer (which was the main reason she wanted to go this particular place) of Caramelized Brussels Sprouts (she knows I love, love, LOVE brussels sprouts)! I can’t even describe to you how delicious they were. I had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming! They were sliced in half and the outer leaves were crisp and flaky. I nursed a mojito while I took my time and savored the exquisite taste explosion in my mouth. I had to wonder if they were really this amazing, or was my mouth just extra sensitive to other flavors after being on the new fitness regimen the last 3 weeks where I mostly ate broccoli, rice, chicken and extra lean ground turkey. Nah, it was just incredibly delicious!

But I don’t think my mouth or my mind was ready for what was next. On the recommendation of our waiter Jay, I ordered the Grilled Pork Tenderloin.

There were so many wonderful things about this dish that I wouldn’t be able to list them all! The sliced pork was grilled to perfection. A dollop of mashed potatoes was the perfect counter-flavor to the summer corn and bacon succotash. This is one of those rare occasions were every mouthful was immediately followed by a clearly audible moan of pleasure. Mmmmmmm… was all I could manage for the first 5 or 6 bites. Of course, I had to share this mesmerizing dish with my wife. 😉 We finished the night with two of their signature desserts: mixed berries with lemon curd and tapioca pudding topped with mangoes and toasted coconut. I have to say that this was most definitely an anniversary-worthy foodie experience. I could go on and on about this, but I’ll stop here.

When Jay brought us the check, he informed us that he took care of the appetizer and one of our desserts as a gift for our anniversary. Needless to say, I took care of him with the tip. This guy deserved every single penny and more!

Anyway, we were supposed to finish the evening by going to the movies, but since the hour was getting late, we opted to stay in. All in all, one of the best anniversaries yet! 😀

Categories: marriage, personal, relationships, stories | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Anniversary Eve

Tomorrow. August 7th, my wife and I will be celebrating our 9 Year Wedding Anniversary. We dated for 3 years prior to our wedding day, which gives us a good dozen years of being together.

We were talking last night and I said, “You know babe, with everything that has happened in the last 12 years… dating, getting married, having children, buying a house, changing jobs… I can’t even remember my life before you.” The best part about this? I don’t have to. 🙂

Life With Dre

Categories: marriage, personal, relationships | Tags: , , , , , , | 9 Comments

What 7 (Almost 8) Means

My oldest nephew got married the other day. He is a wonderful young man and my wife and I are very close to him.

But we didn’t go to the wedding.


Because when you have a family as large as mine, there are things you come to expect… like not being invited to certain events. whatevah

My father came to us beforehand and said something like, “It’s going to be a really small ceremony and they don’t have a lot of money. So don’t be offended by not being invited.”

We weren’t offended.

Because this was a small ceremony, the reception was at my parent’s house. So it wasn’t an RSVP kind of thing where you let them know how many you’re bringing with you. There is almost an expectation that the entire family would come. It almost becomes a small family reunion whenever something goes on at my parent’s house. What we’ve come to understand is that when people invite our family, they’re inviting SEVEN additional people, not just two. And seven mouths can add a considerable expense to a food budget! shocked

So we try our best to let people know that we are neither upset nor insulted when we don’t get invited to a social gathering. It’s a serious commitment having our family posse show up. lol It’s not that we never get invited to events as a couple. But that comes with its own set of logistics… scheduling, food, babysitters, etc.

One of the great things about having a big family is that everything we do together as a family is an event in itself. Heck, getting out of the house at all is a full-on production! lol We take advantage of every opportunity to create lasting memories as a family that at times feels like a party all on its own. Plus, there are times when we’ll invite others to participate in one of our family events. What’s cool about this approach is that they don’t feel obligated to manage our needs like they might if they were hosting.  Since we’re hosting, we’re responsible for our crew. These are always fun, rewarding and we still get to hang out with the people we love.

Yeah, I’d never change having a big family. I’m perfectly fine with the occasional social snub. Just send me a postcard when it’s over.

Categories: family, marriage, personal, relationships, stories | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Crazy Days Of Summer

Around this time last weekend I was returning from a camping trip with my church. Altogether I think there were about 55-60 of us at this campground. Fortunately, my family had a campsite all to our selves. Which isn’t saying much when “all to ourselves” includes my wife and 5 children, as well as my nephew who came with us. So yeah… 8 of us road tripping up to Lake Casitas, which is about an hour and a half away from my house. Remember that time. You’ll need to think back on it later. 😉

Anyway, when this trip was being organized by my church, they picked a date in July which was around the same time we went last year. But with some scheduling conflicts, the date was pushed back to August. This wouldn’t have been so bad except for the fact that the new weekend that was chosen was the exact same weekend a good friend of mine was getting married and we’d already RSVP’d to the wedding! So we were in a pickle. And this, my friends, is when it gets crazy.

We had to figure out a way to still go on the camping trip but also make it to my friends wedding. So how did we manage this scheduling issue? Well, the original plan was that we’d arrive on Thursday afternoon and stay until Sunday. But the wedding was that Saturday at 4pm, which meant driving there and driving back. Complicating matters was the fact that the campground closes at 10 pm. So if we weren’t back by that time, we’d be locked out of the campground until the morning! :shocked: Yeah, crazy.

So that Saturday morning, we distributed most of our children to friends. Well, we actually left the older boys and my nephew to fend for themselves (they’re 15, 17 and 19 years old. We knew they could handle it. Plus, if they needed anything while we were gone, there were plenty of people around that they knew). Our 5yo Aaron was put in the care of one close friend who was also there, while our 3yo Arielle was left in the care of another dear friend. We took Avery, who’s now 15 months old, with us and trekked the nearly 2 hours (in traffic) back home. Here’s a timelime to give you some perspective:

  • 12:00 pm – Leave the campgrounds and drive back home.
  • 2:15 pm – We make it back home with plans to meet my wife’s parents who would watch Avery while we were at the wedding.
  • 2:45 pm – Her parents arrive and we finish showering, changing out of our grungy, dirt-covered, camping clothes into nice clean formal wear.
  • 4:00 pm – We get to the church which was an old Episcopal church built from stone which was very stuffy and very hot. My friend rented an A/C unit to cool down the place, but it was just no match for the heat that day.
  • 4:30 pm – The wedding starts late because there were issues with parking due to road construction just outside the church.
  • 5:45 pm – We make it to the reception location.
  • 6:30 pm – The bridal party enters and dinner is served.
  • 7:40 pm – We manage to finish dinner, but had to leave in order to get back home and pick up Avery before driving back to camp.
  • 8:00 pm – We make it back home, grab Avery, say our thank yous and I love yous to our parents.
  • 8:05 pm – My wife says “I’ll drive and I’ll get us there in time!” Impressed with her determination, we hit the road.
  • 8:20 pm – We have to stop briefly to get gas because the car is on empty. Doh!
  • 8:27 pm – Back on the road for the 1.5 hour trip BACK to the campground.
  • 8:30 pm – There’s traffic on the 405 (no big shock there) because of an accident and we’re not even 5 minutes into the journey!
  • 8:34 pm – By some miracle, the accident is swiftly moved off the road and we’re back up to traveling (slightly above? :-D) the speed limit. My wife is pure focus and adrenaline.
  • 9:55 pm – We make it back to the campground with 5 minutes to spare!

My wife and I looked at each other as we pulled into our campsite and said, “Did we really just pull that off?!?” and laughed. We see situations like this as life’s little adventures. It’s part of what makes being together so much fun. Okay… photos!


Our home away from home.

Me staking the “Bachelor Tent” for my older boys and nephew.

Our screened “kitchen” where we cooked and ate meals.

No description necessary. Ugh… 4 days.

There was a water park on the campgrounds too!

The kids loved, loved, LOVED it! 😀

My two older sons and my nephew at the water park.

My youngest son Avery catching a snooze in the shade.

Warm nights and fire pits were the norm.

As were strange, large insects. :-/

Sunday morning gathering before we all packed up to leave.

Categories: personal, stories | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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