Sunday, January 11, 2015

Happy {Belated} New Year!... & an Update!

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Well, we're almost half way through the first month of 2015... how did that happen so quickly?! First off, we've been a bit quiet on the blog because lots of things have been in the works. As a result, the site has taken a back seat so I can focus on some upcoming projects, in addition to working full-time during the peak of our workload at the pharmacy and teaching culinary classes on the weekends. But here's what's new with me...

#1 - In the coming weeks, I'll be going in depth with details of the 3 week trip we took to the Philippines for most of November. It was an amazing experience on so many levels - seeing my parents and extended family, taking in a new appreciation of the Filipino culture with a focus on cuisine and sharing every part of the adventure with my boys. The last time I was in Philippines was 10 years ago, while this trip was the first for both Joel and Patrick. They had an amazing time and we all left with so many great memories.

#2 - With the trip, I also used it as a learning opportunity to research Filipino cuisine in a different light. One of my projects this year is to offer 'Pop-Up Dinners' in Chicago, highlighting Filipino cuisine and culture. A 'Pop-Up Dinner' is simply a dinner offered to the public for one night, featuring a special meal, usually with a theme. I've decided to offer quarterly pop-up dinners, specifically highlighting Filipino cuisine with a seasonal tone. This is my way of helping others learn more about the dishes of Philippines and the rich culture involved. I left Philippines so highly inspired that I'm anxiously waiting for the first dinner which is slated to take place in March 2015. More details on that to come with more stories from the Philippines.

#3 - Christmas was especially memorable. But first, a couple of backstories...

When Patrick and I started to get more serious about the direction of our relationship, we had a discussion about marriage and proposals. We were both previously married so it was only natural that we shared our experiences. From our discussion, Patrick made it pretty clear that he thought it was especially cliché for someone to propose marriage on a birthday or major holiday (Thanksgiving, Valentine's Day, Christmas, etc.) It was his personal preference NOT to do this and so I took that little tidbit and tucked that away in my memory.

Another time, Patrick and I were talking about emotions and our personal viewpoints on expressing various emotions. I explained how I usually try to keep some emotions to myself, especially the urge to cry. I even made it a point that Patrick will probably never see me cry because it's just something I don't like to do in front of people. This was my personal preference NOT to cry and I suppose Patrick took that little tidbit and tucked that away in his memory.

So, prior to Christmas, we talked about exchanging gifts. Since we recently came back from a big international trip, we decided to skip on the Christmas gifts for each other and just enjoy a 2 week 'staycation' since we were off from work for the holidays. Great!... so I thought.

Christmas morning comes and I was getting up in the morning when Patrick asked me when we were going to exchange Christmas gifts. {Huh?... I thought we weren't exchanging gifts...}

Then before I know it (mind you, I literally just woke up and haven't even brushed my teeth yet!)... Patrick hands me gift card to Goodwill (since he knows how I enjoy hitting the thrift stores for kitchenwares every now and then). I thought it was pretty funny and a great gift I could put to use.

But he wasn't quite done yet. At that point, Patrick gets down on one knee and opens up a ring box. And in it was a gorgeous engagement ring. I was completely taken aback since I didn't expect it since he previously expressed how cliché it was to propose on a holiday...

And I was so surprised and overwhelmed with emotion, that I cried. Yep, the tears flowed and probably more than what we both expected lol. Patrick had to prompt me again and ask if I'd marry him since I didn't answer him right away. And with that, I said 'Yes...'

Needless to say, Patrick got me twice on Christmas... with both a proposal and the moment he saw me cry {happy tears!}

We have decided on a date and we'll be getting married on August 8, 2015! Wedding planning has been so much fun since I didn't really do much of the typical bridal stuff my first time. (I was only engaged a month in my first marriage so everything was just thrown together.)

I soon learned that Patrick previously asked Joel for my hand in marriage... to which Joel said, 'Yes, that would be a great idea Patrick!' Joel has already been testing out Patrick's new title of 'step-daddy' which they both seem to enjoy.

When I called my parents overseas to tell them the news, they already knew.  Apparently one of Patrick's intentions when we went to Philippines was to ask my parents for my hand in marriage... to which my parents were ecstatic about officially welcoming him as part of the family.

So with all this going on, my apologizes for having such erratic posting on the site. It's been tricky having a work/life balance especially when work includes standard business hours at the pharmacy/office, weekend hours teaching classes and time to work on my site/blog and related projects... amidst wedding planning in the mix lol. I do have a few posts to share this month which are forthcoming, so do check back soon!

Until then, I hope you are having a fantastic and delicious start to the 2015 year!

 
{One of our very first pictures taken of Patrick & I together from 2012...}

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