We got married!

The days leading up to this day were nuts. A week before, I supplied my mom and brother with maps leading to 1) Home to their Airbnb, 2) their Airbnb to the venue, and 3) the venue to their Airbnb. The night before the wedding, we had our families over for dinner. Not only was my family 2 hours late to dinner, but they ignored the maps I had supplied and got stuck in soft sand – exactly what I had feared. It took us about a half an hour to even locate them in the pitch darkness, and then when we finally did, it was probably another 45 minutes for Jordan and my brother to dig the car out, while I stayed about a quarter of a mile away (so as not to ALSO get stuck in sand), trying to phone roadside assistance for a tow truck. That was a harrowing evening, and on top of everything, we got back to our venue/Airbnb and discovered the hot water wasn’t working. We were already tired from the long day. We had attended a funeral in the morning, then ventured up to Lancaster to pick up our food from our caterer, then took some unfamiliar back roads through the high desert to Yucca Valley.

I woke up extremely early the day of the wedding. My mind kept running through all the things I needed to accomplish before people arrived. I started decorating the night before but injured my thumb pretty horribly. That was another thing – my thumb was throbbing so badly I couldn’t sleep. And guess what! Some of my decorations and florals had blown away in strong winds overnight. At this point, I didn’t care if the whole place burned down; I just wanted to have that marriage license signed.

My family was driving me crazy. Jordan and I both had our moments of being annoyed by everything and everyone, though I’m pretty sure it was mostly my family being annoying.

The wind picked up by the afternoon, and messed up our plans for an outdoor dinner. This was something that was important to Jordan. He worked tirelessly for a week to build a cedar table that would not only seat all of us, but would ultimately serve as our dining table. The only thing we could do was move it inside. Thanks to our family, they set everything up while we went to take romantic photos and also heated up all of the catered food to prep for eating. Where would we be without them?

In the end though, we had the short ceremony of our dreams (around 10 minutes long), a signed marriage license, and bunch of beautiful wedding photos that look like editorials. AND an unexpected stop motion video – a pleasant surprise from our photographer Max Junio Photography. It actually does feel a bit different to be on the other side.

Lunch & Love

I try my best to pack a homemade lunch regularly. When I was a kid, my mom put a lot of effort into making sure we had a real lunch. I know I didn’t appreciate the amount of labor that went into it. Sometimes she would make homemade meatballs, or make teriyaki steak sandwiches on a french roll, carefully separating the lettuce from the sandwich and providing instructions on how to reassemble it so I wasn’t stuck with soggy lettuce. So thoughtful.

And now that I’m older, I realize that food is the one thing that really connects me to being Filipino. I don’t speak the language, I’m not religious and I didn’t grow up in the Philippines. I feel like I need it to hold on, and it’s the one thing I can pass on to my offspring (if I ever have any) that will connect them with my parents. I genuinely worry about losing my culture.

As an adult I’m lucky enough to have someone to make my lunches sometimes and pack nice notes in them, carefully written on cat-themed stationery. Someone who thinks about how it will steam the broccoli in the microwave at work, who thinks about what I might want to snack on for the in-between times.