Sunday, May 16, 2010

1 Year Anniversary

We've had a wonderful anniversary weekend...

Friday we grabbed some pizza and then went to the theater and saw Robin Hood. Back home, Philip surprised me with cupcakes from our wedding cake's bakery in the same flavor as our top tier...red velvet.


Saturday we hung around the house...I dyed my hair black {I missed a few spots, dang it.} Then we went to the Sun Dial, a restaurant above the Westin in downtown Atlanta that is 72 stories high, 360 degrees and rotates so you get a full view of the city from the floor-to-ceiling windows. We had a carpaccio appetizer, I had the lobster tail and he had trout, it was all so delicious.

My gift...


Philip designed this right-hand ring like he did my engagement ring. Its eight diamonds in the circle are from his mother's wedding band and the stone in the middle is from his great grandmother's engagement ring. I was beyond surprised and beyond floored when I saw this...I definitely teared up. So special. I love it.

I gave him a heartfelt card with a small gift {in comparison to his anyway!} when we got home in bed.

Today we ate at our favorite breakfast spot and did a little clothes and grocery shopping. Just a simple, pleasant day.

1 year ago today we were saying "I do" and enjoying an entire night with our family and friends. This year and this day we are on our own and simply enjoying each other - perfect.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

DSLR Overload

This past Saturday, P and I had to visit 3 stores before finding the right SD card needed for my new Sony DSLR. I picked up a carrying case along the way and finally had a field day with my new toy. I took over 100 photos in one day! To me, that's impressive since we didn't even doing anything special and there wasn't an event going on.

Here's our Saturday afternoon...


We started the afternoon with a trip to Smoothie King - this is my 1st shot ever on the new camera. {Shadow isn't great, but hey, I had to show the 1st!}


Then we went home to let the dogs play outside in the yard since it was such a pretty, sunny day.


Our pups are smothered {literally} with love. Look at that face..."I love you, but...can't breathe!"


My little adventurer - doesn't he look straight out of some African jungle special on the Travel channel? He's so stealth.


Then we waited in the car for Daddy after driving to this store so he could return something...



The photographer!


When we ran to Sam's Club to stock up on the BIG bag of dog food, Kobi decided to wait in the front seat to get a better look at the hustle and bustle of the parking lot.


Since he was already in the front driver's seat, he decided to drive us to dinner...


Not before checking on me to make sure I was wearing my seat belt, though.


We arrived at one of the best known BBQ spots in the 'burbs of Atlanta: Williamson Bros. BBQ - they're legit.


True southern style.


This is what we saw when we walked in. PORK. {Apologies if you're a vegetarian :/ }


Can't you just smell it?! Mmmm.


Since it was just 3 minutes down the road from the restaurant and it was still light outside {LOVE "spring forward"}, we stopped at the Marietta Square where there are small shops, restaurants, eateries, coffee shops, ice cream parlors, etc. all assembled in...you guessed it, a square. It's a nice area where you can walk dogs and rest on benches in the center of the Square where the fountain and gazebo are.

Tyson loves hopping up on the bench with us to get off his feet.


All 3 of my boys looking at me at the same time...this is definitely a rarity!

Hope your Saturday was as laid back and fun as mine! And also that you like the quality improvement on the photos...let me know if you can tell!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Art of Compromise

As a newlywed, I'm happy I didn't have any unrealistic ideas of how marriage would be in comparison to my dating life with Philip. I am definitely a realist and don't create too many expectations {although, yes, I do have some and need to work on conveying them in my marriage...that's a topic for another day}.

Marriage isn't rainbows and butterflies everyday, even as a newlywed. Life goes on. Sometimes it isn't happy every single moment. I knew that going into my marriage - I expected it to be a lot like our engagement since we already lived together. And it has been like that. Although, the one thing that's different, is that we keep trying to improve, so we're constantly evolving into a better version of ourselves as a couple.

I truly believe in the art of compromise. It's really the best way to make sure everyone is generally happy. I think this is one of those areas where Philip and I are actually okay at once we actually talk about whatever the issue or disagreement is, which is great. But I've been thinking...

It seems as we grow older and our lives take this turn into a new, adult chapter together {hey, I'm still a kid in my head!} our opinions and ideas on things may become stronger since the topics may be more heavy.

 {Me, 2, Hawaii}                             {Philip, 6, Atlanta}
Simpler times with no heavy decisions to make and no need for compromising on anything except taking a nap in exchange for dessert after dinner.

Compromising on house chores is one thing, but what about decisions about how to invest money left over after bills are paid? Or if you should move to a city or state closer to your family? Or decisions on how to address a problem with your child?

We've had to discuss topics like the ones above...we obviously don't have kids yet, so we don't need to go there, but you get the idea.

There are a couple of topics on the table right now - not too serious, but not things that are as light as house chores either. He says "yes" and I say "no". So what happens when you vehemently stand by your opinion and it's over a more serious topic that makes it harder to stand down or compromise?

I have a hard time telling Philip 100% "no" to things sometimes because I don't want to be viewed as that stereotypical bitchy wife who kills all her husband's fun hopes and dreams even over the little things. But when I show hesitation and initially say "no", although not very strongly, he still views me as shooting him down "ALL the time". ::Hmph::

I'll say there are two things we're dealing with now, one more serious than the other which is the one I feel more strongly about. {I'll tell you that it involves safety, so my opinion IS legit in saying "no".}


How do you think compromise works best? Bend on every single issue so you're 50/50 on everything? Let go 100% on some things and don't give at all on others? Or if there are multiple topics on the table, make a trade - one for one?

Maybe it's a mixture of the above and you can't always map out how everything is going to be handled? I'm leaning towards that answer. And for the two items on the table for us right now, I'm leaning towards the last example I gave...give in on the one I don't feel as strongly about to make a trade for the one I do feel more strongly about. Now will it work? Who knows, you never can tell how your husband/wife will respond, but you can only try to do your best.

Is the art of compromise a big foundation of your relationship/marriage?

Friday, March 19, 2010

Delivery!

My camera arrived yesterday! 2 days early!

I'm so glad I don't have to wait around all day Saturday for its arrival. It's supposed to be a gorgeous day so I wanted to be out and about with Philip and the pups testing out my new toy.


Much better than waiting for the mailman! Hope to get some fabulous photos your way soon. Enjoy the weekend :)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Michael Bublé Concert

This past Sunday night, Philip and I went to the Michael Bublé concert with two other couples.

I know he is a singer that some people either looove or don't really care for, but we are all the former!
We all own his DVDs and watch them while getting tipsy on wine at each other's houses. He is such a fabulous performer and I could listen to his music forever. We're all a tad obsessed ::blush::. When tickets went on sale, we jumped on the chance to get them - they were sold out 2 hours later!

We started the night with a hibachi dinner that was delish.


Then onto the show!


See him on the bottom there? And this shot is from floor seats! They were not as close as we thought they were going to be, but we said "oh well" and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves once he took the stage.


He came off the stage to the middle of the floor in the middle of the show and sang from the sound/video platform. This is when he performed "Home". Everyone stormed over to him, leaving their seats since he was much closer now. P and I did the same and he propped me up on an empty chair. I towered over everyone and got a few shots of him closer up. This is him leaving to go back up to the main stage.


This is what the stage looked like when he came out for his 3 song encore - confetti everywhere!

The concert was so amazing - MB is the best performer I've seen live. It was like being in one of the DVDs we've all watched so many times! He's so personable and actually very, very funny. It was enjoyable on so many levels. He sang way more songs than I've heard at any other concert. We really got our money's worth and had a fabulous night.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Marriage According to My Husband Part 1 & 2

PART 1

Philip: Over the last year, I've realized marriage is a lot cooler than I thought it'd be.

Me: Did you not think it would be cool?
{Pause}
Why would you ask me to marry you then?
{Silence}
You weren't thinking of marriage then, you were thinking of love.

Philip: Yeeeaaahhh.

**********************************************************************************

PART 2

Philip: Marriage is like a big corporation. I bring all my best employees, you bring all your best employees, scrap the rest and we build a big fortune five-hundo.

My New Friend Sony

In high school, I was extremely into photography. I took courses at a local arts school and did well with my Nikon D65 {old school model}. After a big, tragic event in my life {a death}, my interests slowly changed over the next few years {college} as I tried to cope and find myself again. Photography and I grew apart, although my love and appreciation for it always remained.

I have finally found that strong desire to involve myself in this hobby yet again. I'm not a professional by any means, but I definitely wanted an upgrade from my little Sony Exilim point-and-shoot.

I've been saving my pennies and researching starter DSLR cameras for 2 months now.

I just made my purchase on Amazon:
A Sony A330Y which comes with the standard 18-55mm lens, but also includes the 55-200mm zoom lens. I knew I'd want a zoom lens in the future anyway and I saved significant money by buying the bundle.

Why did I choose this make and model?

2 big reasons stood out to me:

1) Image Stabalization is BUILT IN the camera body and unnecessary within the attachment lenses.
What does this mean? For the future, if I want to buy more lenses, they will cost significantly less in comparison to Canon or Nikon lenses {the 2 other brands I considered} since this expensive, required feature is not figured in the price.

2) Probably the even more important reason I went with A) a Sony and B) this particular model instead of the A230 {less expensive} is because it's the ONLY camera in its level {compared to all Canon & Nikon models and Sony's A230} that has live image view - you know, the thing we're all so used to using with our point-and-shoots...it simply shows you the image you're taking on the LCD screen so you don't always have to look through the view finder. Sounds basic, right? Well, it's not the norm with this level of DSLRs so this played a big factor into my decision.

Also, a side feature that I really liked is this:














Yep, the screen pops out so you can see what you're shooting without having to crouch to the floor or get into an awkward position to get a great shot. Pretty cool extra I think I'll have fun using and trying out. {It comes out and bends much further than the image above shows.}

I'm so excited for the mailman to come with my big present to myself! Not going out for lunch all the time at work or going shopping for clothes has been worth it. I'm proud of myself for being so diligent. I hope you notice an improvement in picture quality on this blog of mine once I get up and running with this baby!

Images from here.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Phone Post & Sushi

I've been curious about blog applications for writing posts on the go for a while now. I finally got one, Blogaway, and this is my first post using it.

Does anyone else use a blogger application on their Android phone that they recommend?

Since this is the only photo on my phone right now and I want to try that feature of this app, I'll confess the story behind it...


The first time I ever tried sushi was at a hibachi restaurant in high school before homecoming or prom with my boyfriend and friends. I was 16. I spit it out. Yes, I classlessly spit food out at a respectable restaurant.

Sushi and I took a long break of about 3 or 4 years before trying to be friendly again. I kept sporadically trying all different kinds ever since, but the taste never engaged my tastebuds. I simply did not like sushi. But I wanted to, especially since all my friends and Philip love it.

On Valentine's Day, the time had finally come. EIGHT years after our first encounter, I finally ordered a roll all for myself as my entrée. This photo commemorates this monumental occasion. Philip is so happy to finally have a partner to enjoy this dish with...because I already like his other favorite food: pizza.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Our 1st Married Valentine's Day

P and I had a wonderful Valentine's Day for the first time as a married couple. It was so reflective of who we are and it was such a great day.

Saturday night we stayed up later than usual watching shows from the DVR. It was 1:30 am, technically Valentine's Day already, and he got to the bed first. As I finished up in the bathroom and walked out, I saw him laying in bed with my side's sheets half way down and a small jewelry box laying on the pillow.


Last year, P got me a heart-shaped necklace as well. I wonder if this is going to turn into a tradition? Hmmm :)

Then, after I gave him hugs and kisses for my pretty necklace and he put it on me, his hand popped up with another box. It looked exactly like this...


And this is what was inside...


P has had a Nexus One for a few weeks and it's amazing. I love my new phone! It's light-weight, SO fast, has a camera flash, etc. etc. etc. This iPhone nemesis won me over when I first saw it, not to mention our contract is literally HALF of what people pay for AT&T. Can you tell I'm super happy with my Valentine's Day presents?!

Although 1:45 in the morning at this point, I ran downstairs to fetch P's hidden gift. I threw it in a gift bag, no card, no tissue paper, and ran back up the stairs and jumped in bed. P appreciated my gift bag since he hadn't wrapped at all! {We're so lazy lol.}

P was happy to find a sweet, yet practical gift {just how he likes 'em} of a few boxer briefs from Express. He had one pair and raved about them saying how he wished all his underwear were from Express and compared having new ones to having new bed sheets. I tell you, it's not too hard to please this one, although those boxers are NOT cheap - makes me glad I can snag a nice pair of undies at Victoria's Secret for only $7, that's for sure!

And I suppose P does look pretty cute in his new boxer briefs, so it's a duel gift ;)

On Sunday, we ate brunch at our favorite spot, caught the Valentine's Day matinee, went home and just hung out for a few hours till we ate dinner at this new Japanese place we discovered that is delish. It was a day that just makes you breathe "ahhhh" with a big, big smile :)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Handmade Birthday Cards

January is a very, very busy birthday month for me. Here are all the people I am close with who have birthdays in January:

11th & 18th: nephews
19th: mom
14th: 2 best friends {same day & year!}
28th & 29th: 2 close coworkers

Yeah. Seven. That's a lot!

Since I've gotten into digital scrapbooking, I decided to try to make some birthday cards out of the papers and elements I have on hand. I know this isn't true card-making, but for my purposes, it worked out well. I made 3 unique cards with my scrapbook materials, printed high-quality on cardstock and then cut the image out accordingly once on the paper.

My first card {and ironically my favorite} made for my best friend, Jess.

On the back of all the cards, I stamped them with this "handmade with love" stamp I got at Michael's a long while ago. I never thought I'd get crafty enough to use it! I'm glad I didn't return it :)

This one was for my mom - in the top right corner, the image says "January 2010".

This one was for my coworker who turned 27. I didn't fold this card once printed and simply wrote my happy birthday message to him on the light blue space.

I haven't perfected making the cards; it's been difficult matching sizes to printing and my computer running slowly with such large files, etc. But I've liked making them knowing they're more personalized and thoughtful than just picking one up at the store again. {Even though I do love browsing through them sometimes!}

Now just one birthday this month, 2 in March, 1 in April and then home free all summer!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Achilles Princeton

I know, I'm horribly horribly wretched for taking such a hiatus...what can I say? Babysitting wore me out so bad I needed over a 2 week break? ::Sigh:: No excuses...here is my new baby nephew!

At 8 lbs. and 21", Achilles beat both his brothers in size at birth!

He loved being swaddled and cried whenever he was unwrapped!

Eldest brother, Nate, beaming!

Middle brother, Troy, not the youngest anymore...not sure if he's grasped on to that yet lol.

My sweet husband holding this few hour old baby in his lap...puts in perspective just how little they really are. "Hi little guy."

"That's the baby."

Happy Mommy :) {Glad to not be pregnant anymore! Hehe}

And finally, ME, Aunt Kiki with her 3 fabulous boys.

I hadn't held a little baby in so long, much less a newborn, it was so nice and he was simply so small!

Unfortunately, Achilles developed jaundice that held him and parents in the hospital for much longer than anticipated. He spent a lot of time sunbathing under that lamp and after a few days finally got his levels down more normal. We went back to visit one more time in the hospital to give Achilles his birthday present: a pack of absolutely adorable onesies that, truthfully, P and I almost kept for ourselves for our unborn, unknown sex, baby!

Do not let your hopes get too high. No, we do not have "baby fever" {especially after babysitting a 3 & 5 year old all week! lol} We actually talked about this topic recently and feel that in roughly 2 years, end of 2011-ish, we'll start "trying"...maybe. Haha. Ahh, I'm scared! I tell myself in 2 years I won't be though and I am banking on that.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Baby Boy Coming Soon...

As I watch SpongeBob SquarePants...

We've been babysitting our nephews since last night and it's definitely not the easiest thing. They are mostly well-behaved, but we do not have a "child-proof" home. There are many delicates. I feel like a broken record: "Don't touch that", "Put that down", "That's not a toy". They listen, though, which is more than we can ask for!

I think Mr. P and I have figured out the best babysitting tactics: pizza, Disney movies and SpongeBob. It's pretty much scientifically proven by now.



New baby boy should already be here in the world! We are waiting till my sister-in-law is out of recovery {c-section} to go up to the hospital. {I'm sure it wouldn't be very easy entertaining a 5 and 3 year old for long in a hospital waiting room!}

We can't wait to meet him! Here's my sister-in-law and the new daddy last night - her last day of the baby in her belly:





Can you believe she was kind enough and up to giving both P and I haircuts! {She's a hair stylist.} We were super thankful - we both needed it lol.



I hope to have a post up by tomorrow of the baby's arrival! My camera is charged and ready to go to take lots of pictures of this new little one.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Nephew on the Way = Babysitting

My sister-in-law is very, very pregnant.



Her due date is January 18th - less than a week now! She has a planned c-section since she's not able to deliver naturally due to problems the doctors discovered during her 1st birth. This will be her 3rd boy!



So who will be watching the other 2 little ones while their mommy is in the hospital for 3-4 days?

Yep, Aunt Kiki and Uncle Phil.
{Yes, "Kiki" is my actual nickname that adults use as well. "Kiks" for even shorter.}

I'd say this is going to be as close as we'll ever get to having a true "test-run" for having children. Nate is 5 as of yesterday and Troy is 3.

Philip and I haven't discussed them coming to stay with us. I'm not sure what there is to discuss, but there must be something. I've been getting a little direction from my sister-in-law and asked her to leave us with some notes. I've told him to remember these things as well, but that's it.

These aren't our children, so, we'll {for the most part} have to discipline and care for them the way his sister does. Does that leave any room for discussion about how this experience could relate to our family down the road...?

I wonder if the opportunity for us in this situation is opening up the door to conversation about how we'll raise our children - more of the nitty-gritty. We already know our timeline, how many we want, roughly how to reward, discipline and have fun. But I know there has to be more - what would you talk about? Maybe about who will be responsible for what {with our nephews and later with our own kids}? Any suggestions for us? And please, any advice on long-term babysitting? I haven't babysat in 10 years!

I think we're just going to wing it.


Image from Google Image