Wednesday, April 16, 2014

letters to piri // 01

dear piri, 

 // you know i've always wondered. what does that one blade of grass exactly smell like? it's just.. you spend an awfully long time sniffing just that one and i was just wondering.. you know.. call it human curiosity. 

 // that guy at the tidal basin who said to his friends "you know, i never really liked cocker spaniels," as we passed by him... yeah. talk to the paw. that's right. he has no idea how cool cocker spaniels are. 

 // some time this week you're going to get a bath. but you don't know that yet. 

 // do you ever wonder who your mom is? i've always felt bad that we take cute puppies away from their mother. but you know, i'm glad we met you and you let us become your family. we may not be furry and have a long snout like you, but we like chicken, too, just like you. oh and peanut butter. those are yum. 

 // so there are a few "pups in the park" days at nationals park in may. we thought maybe we could go on the 17th. they're playing the mets you know and we're going to root for them. oh, you think we should switch teams now? no, no. we'll always be rooting for the mets. 
  // i ate an apple behind your back yesterday. sorry about that, piri. it'll never happen again. 

 // i wonder what your favorite season is. mine is summer. but i think you don't like summertime because it's so hot. maybe spring? you like the cool breezes don't you? oh yeah. the rain. that kinda ruins your walks huh. or maybe fall when it's apple season. not winter.. i know it's hard to poop in the snow. well, maybe just maybe, you like summer, too. just like me. 

// i told everyone on instagram that you used our bedsheets instead of your towel to dry yourself off after getting wet during our walk yesterday. everyone said you did well. you're lucky you have so many people who love you. 

 // do your ears hang low? do they wobble to and fro? can you tie it them in a knot? can you tie them in a bow? can you throw them over your shoulder like a continental soldier? do your ears hang low? 

 // you know how you always take naps on yangkyu's pillow during the day and you think he doesn't know? i always send him a google chat when you do. sometimes i take pictures and send it to him.
 // there are so many things i want to show you. i want you to see what a campfire is, the beautiful stars in the sky and the deserts out in the west. we're always talking about camping and going on a road trip. are you up for it? 

 // do you know that those things that look like caramel that i give you after your evening walks are actually something called pill pockets. yeah. i stuff your medicine and supplements in them. i know. the things they come up with to trick dogs! oh you knew they were pill pockets? oh.. well, i guess it's really dogs who trick the humans then huh. clever dog.. 

 // and then hachi waited every day at the train station where he used to greet his owner, even though his owner had long since passed. family members tried to give him a home, but he kept running away to wait by the train station. oh i cried and cried when i saw that movie. that's why the top of your head got drenched. because i was hugging you while watching. 

 // i know you're secretly waiting to run into that sweet man who gave you a treat during our walk. his spaniel wasn't so happy that you ate his treat but you said thank you though right? you know, in your spaniel language? 

 // hey piri. i think we're gonna have to give dr. richards a call to say that your ear infection isn't completely healed. shucks. do you want to call or should i. he may think that i'm a nut so maybe it's better if you do it. 

the human girl who likes to give you random hugs and kisses and is usually the one opening the pantry door to give you your food and treats. oh and the one who is going to give you that bath some time this week.  

 // linking up with blogpaws wordless wednesday blog hop

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

what is the story behind your wedding ring engravings?

hello! it's april and we're on the third blogger story session counting down to our 5th wedding anniversary in august. if you recall back to the beginning, i had thought to create space here on the blog where we share stories each month on a particular topic related to love, marriage and happiness. in case you missed it, you can find previous story sessions here

today it's all about wedding ring engravings. what is engraved in your ring and what is the story behind it? and i'm so happy to have emily from a lively blend and kat from love and ace share their stories as well. 

my story begins in english class. 11th grade. the whole year we were studying shakespeare, chaucer and other old english and medieval works. one day our teacher shared with us what was engraved in her ring. it was something to the effect of "forever love" in old english {but in all honesty my memory remembers it to sound almost elvish.}. i was so young but i knew i wanted something just as unique engraved in my ring. and i kept this thought with me for many many years.

fast forward to 13 some odd years. i was at work and listening npr. one of my favorite segments - storycorps - was on and the story was one of the sweetest i've heard. it featured bill schifri who specialized in selling wedding rings and this part of his story just made me smile the biggest smile. 
"i had a girl once who wanted to buy a wedding ring for her fiancee. she says, 'tell me, if he doesn't like it, can i give it back to you?' i said, no, this is a custom job. i'm making the ring special for your fiancee. she gave me the order and gave me the deposit and said, 'this is what i want engraved in there: no refunds. no returns.' i couldn't get over that." {you can hear the full story or read the transcript here}
i went home that day and listened to the story again with yangkyu. when we picked out our wedding rings we said we wanted "no refunds, no returns" engraved inside them. it was done over the phone but i could hear the sales representative smile the same smile  as i had when i first heard the phrase. and the next time i was on the phone with our representative to finalize our rings she told me that she shared the story the "no refunds, no returns" story with her boyfriend and they shared a laugh together. it was a story that kept on giving. 

i was so curious to see what other couples had engraved inside their rings and what the story behind it was. here is what emily and kat had to say: 

we have "always and forever" engraved on the inside of our rings. a few months into our relationship, i was in missouri for a conference and tommy was home in virginia. one evening, i was looking out at the moon and i told him that if he looked outside, he'd be looking at the same moon too. even though we were 800+ miles apart, in that moment, we felt close. now, whenever we're apart for some time, we'll always tell each other, "i love you to the moon and beyond, always and forever." --- emily from a lively blend, married 7 months, blacksburg, va. 

my husband had my wedding band engraved as a surprise! we went and picked out our bands together and he went back later on his own to have the inside of mine engraved. it reads "my kat forever". i didn't find out about the engraving until the day of our wedding - he managed to keep me from seeing the band after it was ready. thinking back on it, i was way too relaxed about not trying it on first! after we exchanged our vows we had some private time and he showed it to me. it was such a sweet gesture and every time i look down at the engraving i remember that special moment. --- kat from love and ace, married 2.5 years, los angeles, ca.  

i love the how personalized their engravings are and as many years pass, i'm sure it'll be such a sweet story to pass down. 

well, i really love a good story session and i'm still very curious! do you have any engravings inside your wedding rings? what is it and what's the story behind it? i would love to know.

 // a very special thank you to emily and kat for sharing your stories. 

// read previous installments of  these blogger story sessions, "how did you know (s)he was the one?" and "do you have a secret code?" 

this is part of a story series counting down to our 5 year wedding anniversary in august. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

the cherry blossoms were in peak bloom in washington, d.c. and it was all sorts of wonderful.

it's really been all sorts of wonderful around here as the cherry blossoms reached peak bloom over the weekend. so we packed up our little hatchback and drove into d.c. to view some at the tidal basin. last year i ran into them during their peak bloom on capitol hill and they were so pretty to see, but i think they are the prettiest next to the jefferson and fdr memorials. it was so chaotic {so many people! no parking!}, but thankfully the weather was nice and the scenery sure made up for all the backed up streets and sidewalks. 

we took piri out with us {of course} and i think, next to the cherry blossoms, his shoes were the next thing to be buzzing among all the locals and tourists. in social media terminology, i think he was trending! {ha}
we had to park our car pretty far away {all the way near the tip of east potomac park} and we were afraid it would be a little tough on piri to walk that distance since he is older now. but he was a champ and smelled all those incredible smells on every patch of grass, tree and bush. i don't know how he does it {ha!}. 

our walk back had even more cherry blossoms, beautiful magnolia trees and golden forsythia. i never really had a thing for spring but all these bursts of colors is making me fall hard for it. 
afterwards for some major recharging we headed over to our favorite area, eastern market, to grab some sandwiches at the silver spork and also some cool tangerine sorbet at pitango gelato {yes!}. 

and before finally heading home, we made a quick stop at the national arboretum to do some sight scoping. i actually have an informal family shoot there this weekend {our friends are visiting from new york and asked if i could take some pictures of them and their kids}. i am slightly terrified because i feel like i somehow always manage to screw up when taking pictures for other people. oh and harsh sunlight is also really tricky for me. eeps! but even though i am a little nervous, i am also excited and honored they asked me to snap a few photos for them. {i'll be spending a few moments this week to study up on some photo tips and poses!}. 
i really wished there was a stop button this weekend because when 3 pm rolled around on sunday i was already missing the weekend. hopefully this week will pack just as much goodness. i'll be making some korean mandoo, bake some much needed cookies and also homemade pretzel. it's my first time - hopefully they'll turn out somewhat in the ballpark of what a pretzel is supposed to taste like!

hope you had a great weekend. have a wonderful week! 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

i witnessed something quite disturbing today... so what do we do in this type of situation?

today was gorgeous. it was in the upper seventies and we drove out to dc where all the cherry blossoms, dogwoods and magnolia trees were at peak bloom. it was like cotton candy trees everywhere and the entire town seemed to be out and about. but despite it being such a pretty day, i can't get a disturbing sight i saw today out of my head.

me, yangkyu and piri were stuck at a traffic light when i noticed a man walking his dog. a german shepherd. i am assuming this but i think the owner thought the dog was taking too long sniffing at the grass and he kicked his dog in the stomach. a very forceful kick. the dog immediately reacted by lunging at the owner, to which the owner yanked at the leash really hard to put the dog in its place. 

i screamed, "don't kick your dog!" but our car was already pulling away. i was so angry. seething. why own a dog if you're going to abuse it? but then i had another thought. why didn't anyone do anything to stop him? there were so many people out. and as our car was pulling further and further away i had yet another thought. why didn't i just tell yangkyu to stop the car so i could tell the guy that his dog is not his punching bag? all that time i was seething and being critical of the guy, i could've done something a bit more productive.

several years ago, yangkyu and i were on our way to a date. we were pretty excited because we haven't been on a date for a while because back then piri had separation anxiety and it was hard to leave the house. but we had a rare opportunity as piri was at his grooming session and we were looking to hang out for a few hours.

as we were driving down our local block we saw a bunch of people just standing around looking at something. when i looked closely, it was a raccoon that was clearly in pain. i made yangkyu stop the car and got out to ask people what was going on. they said the raccoon probably ate poison and was going to die soon. i couldn't believe these people were just watching this poor animal suffer in pain. some girls walked by and said "aww poor thing" and kept walking.

i didn't know what to do but i knew i didn't want to just stand there and feel sorry for the poor raccoon. instead of going on our date, we headed back home and after doing a little research i came across a listing of two women who lived just a town over who specialized in raccoons. i know. it seriously was a random hit and i was so thankful for the internet at that moment. i got in touch with them and they came within 20 minutes.

in the end, the raccoon was let go in a wooded area because giving it up to animal control surely meant immediate death by gassing {most likely}. the ladies said that it would be more humane for the raccoon to eventually "go" in its natural habitat. i cried so much that day and our date went down the drain, but in the end i was glad that there were people who took care of the raccoon putting it safely back in its natural space. after picking up piri that day we went out every couple of hours with some cut up pieces of apples and a bowl of water to see how the raccoon was doing. by our third stop the raccoon was gone. i secretly hoped that our apples magically healed him and he went on his way.

i hope this doesn't sound like i'm humble bragging. i guess what i'm trying to say is that everyone has the ability to act in a certain situation {and not just an animal situation - literally any situation}. it doesn't have to always be heroic, but even a simple phone call can change a course of a bad situation. it's easier to be critical at someone or to just say "aww poor thing" and walk away. the harder thing to do is actually doing something about it. 

Friday, April 11, 2014

tagged + have a fun weekend.

back in late february, marla, over at a weekend crossing, tagged me for a little post. i thought i'd spend this friday going through her questions and passing along questions of my own to some more bloggers to keep the tag going.

but first, do you have anything exciting planned for the weekend? we're hoping to head out to dc and view some pretty cherry blossoms. our favorite place to do that is the tidal basin. it's just so breathtaking beautiful there. hope you have a fun-filled weekend! 

**photos are again from an old tumblr site where i shared some of my random pictures. i posted some back here as well. 
questions from marla

01 // boots or flats? 

02 // what is your ideal location for your next vacation? 
japan. it's actually a place both yangkyu and i have been dreaming of visiting for a very long time. from the shrines to the deer petting zoo to all things gundam, it just brings out the nerd and adventurous sides of us. 

03 // what is your favorite way to spend a sunday? 
listening to our favorite shows on npr.  

04 // what is your favorite season and why? 
most definitely summer. i just remember summers to be so fun - pools, camping, bike riding. i just love being outside in slippers and shorts with my hair tied with a nice cool drink. 

05 // if you could only have chocolate or bread for the next five years (a whole remainder of a lifetime without one of these is just too horrible to even imagine), what would you choose? 
bread for sure. 
06 // what was your favorite childhood toy/doll/stuffed animal named? 
bennie. it was a steiff doll and it still has the "made in west germany" tag on it!

07 // what is your favorite disney song? 
this is actually a really tough question for me. ha! i love so many disney songs, but i guess my favorite has to be under the sea. i also sang it in elementary chorus and know the words to it to this day. once when yangkyu was falling asleep at the wheel i turned on the song and sang it really loudly. he was so amused that he was no longer sleepy! 

08 // what is your worst hotel experience ever? 
i actually don't think i have had a horrible hotel experience! should i consider myself lucky?

09 // if you could choose one junk food to eat endlessly and it wouldn't make you gain weight, what would you choose? 
cheetos. the flamin' hot one. 

10 // would you rather splurge on bags or shoes? 
ah. another tough one. i love both. but i guess in the end it would have to be bags. 

11 // what are your favorite girl and boy names? 
i love girl names that start with "el" {and my own middle name is elia}. so i love names like ella, elle, ellie and eleanor. but i've also been loving natalie and molly, too. i think those names are so sweet. as for boys, i've always loved the name tristan. and avery comes a close second.


not sure if this is your thing, but i'm passing on the q & a tag to the following ladies -- joany / SOJOO ; cindy / kidgranny ; kat / us on cloud 9 ; jane / projects by jane ; louise / 00:23 am ; mei / ice pandora ; fiona / burntfeather;  ; jessica / the jessica l blog ; sheriden / the indie byline ; juni / hej juni ; trishie / under lock and key

my questions are -- 
01 // if you could listen to any conversation between two famous people - alive or dead {or combination of either} - who would they be and why? 

02 // where were you born? 

03 // what does your name mean and is there a story behind it? {ie. how you were named, why you were given your name}

04 //  what was the most recent compliment you received?

05 // have you ever won an award? what was it for? {elementary school awards count, too. heh}

06 // what is typically in your bag? 

07 // what was the strangest thing you believed as a child? 

08 // what is a favorite local place you would recommend to your friends should they ever visit your town/city for the first time?

09 // what does your life so far say about you? 

10 // what is a really great advice you've received? {could be anything - beauty, life, surviving school, etc.}

11 // what was your first job ever? 

rules -- link back to the blogger that nominated you ; answer the 11 questions requested by the nominator ; choose 11 nominees with small followings (from as small as 200 or 2,000) ; you cannot nominate the person nominated you ; you must let the bloggers know they were nominated.