Sunday, December 27, 2015

Our First Christmas

This year was our first Christmas together. Getting married does complicate the holidays just a little bit, and we sure were pretty busy from November through January just getting together with family on both sides and endless family get-togethers, dinners, outings, etc. But we decided to spend the few days around Christmas up in Philadelphia with the Pham side of the family. 

We started out Christmas Eve morning in our own little home, and Nathan made us breakfast. I crocheted our stockings and set the tree up the night before, so Santa would come that night with Nathan's big gift. We had a nice Christmas morning, shared gifts with each other, and then packed up to hit the road. 

Our cute little tree

 Handsome husband making pancakes

 Nathan really loves Christmas. And I get called a scrooge (although I don't think I'm that bad). 

 Emily opening a few gifts 

 Nathan really, really wanted a huge lego set for Christmas. He made a point to go down the lego isle at target every  time we were there. And I don't think he actually expected me to buy it, so I think he was pleasantly surprised. His Millennium Falcon now sits proudly on his night-stand. 

 And we all packed up, threw Rohan in the car, and off we were. He's a pretty good travel dog, though--he loves the car. 

We got to Philly and enjoyed some down-time with the family, just being all together is always nice. It was fun to see another family's traditions besides the ones I grew up with year to year. Like for starters, not doing Christmas Eve dinner and just grabbing some Philly Cheesesteaks: 

 Yeah, that was a great idea. Although I got some serious crap for ruining my cheesesteak with mustard. 

Christmas Eve we spent making some Christmas cookies with the kids. Nathan's brother Josh is a chef, but surprisingly had almost no baking things in the house. So we made do with what we had, but let's just say the cookies were nearly all thrown away the next day. But hey, the kids had fun rolling out all of those candy cane shapes.

Mom still wanted to continue our family tradition of Christmas Eve pajamas, even though we weren't going to be there, so she wrapped them up and sent them with us. It was really nice still having that tradition, and it's one I want to continue when we have kids. It was a new one for Nathan.

Man I love him

Christmas Day we went to Aunt Nga's house and got together with all of the extended family. Nathan's Dad is one of 8 siblings, so get togethers and big and fun, with lots of cousins and kids. Unfortunately, I'm still trying to get everyone's names down and remember who is who, but that could take a while for me. Josh and Mya were picking up a few things and preparing Christmas dinner, so we got the kids dressed and piled them in the car. 

And seriously, doesn't Nathan just look so ready to be a Dad? Those three nieces and nephews in the back seat really do love hanging out with him. 

Being part of an Asian family is seriously so delicious--so much food and it's usually new to me. Love that part. 

After meeting up at Aunt Nga's, we went back to Josh's place and hung around until Christmas dinner. I ended up zonked out on the couch for an hour or so. Josh cooked some seriously delicious food--I definitely ate more than I should have and went to bed very full that night. But it was so, so good. And even better, we had leftovers that he sent us home with for the next two days.

And that's a wrap--Christmas 2015 was a great one.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Temple Lights and Global Food

This weekend I was taking Kavya up to Dulles airport to fly home to Canada for Christmas break. While I was already up north, I figured it would be perfect for Nathan and I to go to see the Christmas lights at the temple. I told him early in the week about the potential plan, but Nathan also had to work on Saturday. Unfortunately this time of year is crazy busy for him at work.

Fast forward to Saturday morning, when an early morning phone call woke both of us up for the day. Nate got up and ready and headed out pretty early, and said he'd try and make it home in time to ride up with me at two. You know when you can tell someone really doesn't want to do something but they will anyway? Yeah, that was Nathan. He was already so tired, but just because he knew I wanted to go out with him, he came home in time to go with me, and even drove through the nasty traffic for us. So off we went, him yawning the whole drive. We dropped Kavya off, and then headed over to the temple.

Nathan hadn't ever been to the temple at Christmas time, and he really loves Christmas. He constantly tries to convince me of the thousands of lights that will be hung at our house one day, so I thought he would like all the lights and everything. Anyways, we went, enjoyed the nativities from around the world, and shivered in the cold long enough to snap a few pictures. But that was just part one of our little date.

Part two: Global Market. It is so much bigger than the little Asian market Nate took me to the first time. This one is like the size of a Food Lion, and has about a million and one things that I have no idea of even how to pronounce. But for some reason I really enjoy looking at everything--especially the fruits and veggies. Nate kind of just rushes through. In this aspect, I'm a little like my dad in that regard--I could go up and down every isle and ask questions about every ingredient. But hey, Nathan thought Chinese broccoli was the same thing as Bok choy, so I guess my questions wouldn't do me much good with him :). He ended up getting a few random things--some catfish to cook while I'm gone for the next few days at work, and some pork meat things. But I honestly wouldn't know what to do with the majority of that stuff. Maybe one day I'll learn, but for now, the Asian cooking is left up to Nathan. 

And then we went out to dinner and called it a night. Even though he was tired and pretty much went home and passed out, I'm glad he put on a nice smile and enjoyed the evening with me anyway. I love that guy. Now just wait until Christmas Eve until I see him again!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Brain Fart

So last week or so mom texted me randomly and asked:

"Hey what's Nathan's birthday?"

...which is when I was thrown aback for a minute. Wait, could I really not remember my husband's birthday? I was with him that whole day... I was pretty sure it was August 3rd, but I wouldn't have bet my life on it. So I safely replied: "In August."

To which mom says: "Date? I knew that."

I quickly hopped onto my Facebook, remembering that I had posted a picture on Nathan's birthday, so I looked at the date I uploaded it. Yep, I was right. It was the third. "August 3rd lol. I had to double check. (insert crying-laughing face emoticons)"

So a few days later I was talking to Nathan and told him this little story, laughing at myself and my spacey brain. He laughed, but didn't say too much, so I asked him, "Wait. Babe, do you remember my birthday?"

"Yeah. It's in August."

"Yeah but what day?"

"The twelfth?" (I shake my head no) "The thirteenth?" (Still no) "I honestly can't remember."

"It's the sixteenth babe."

So we both laughed at ourselves. Honestly I'll probably remember his birthday from now on because of this little story, but thankfully, for Nathan's sake, he's got his electronic calendar and reminder.

Our little crazy relationship just makes me laugh.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Branching Out

Sometimes being married to an Asian is a little interesting. I love it, but it has definitely broadened a few of my horizons, that is for sure. I remember our second week of dating Nathan took me to eat a typical Vietnamese dish--Pho. I had never had it before, but it was really good. We left the restaurant, and he kindly informed my that I had passed his test--if I couldn't handle a little Vietnamese food, I wasn't a keeper. I even tried the tripe floating around in his bowl of Pho--bonus points. But then there was the time when we were in Philadelphia with his family, and we went to eat Chinese Dim Sum... I still tried many things, but definitely was not a favorite of mine. 

So Saturday morning we had a hot date to the Asian supermarket. Nathan had mentioned earlier in the week that he needed to go, and I told him to wait because I wanted to go with him. I hadn't been to an Asian market, and as soon as we walked in, I started asking a million questions. "Babe, what does this say?" "Babe, what is bean curd used for?" "Babe, why do we only use these types of noodles--look how many there are." Nathan never really had any good answers to my questions. I told him I'm now convinced he's not that Asian--probably only knew the two classic dishes he cooked all the time. Nathan just laughed, but claimed it's because the store had things from all over Asia, not just Vietnam. 

Anyways, we checkout--had our curry powder, big sack of Jasmine rice, shrimp balls, and hoisin sauce, and we were on our way. But we can't forget the husband's favorite snack: 

Squid shreds. Nothing like watching your husband pull apart dried squid and eat it like candy. And then want to kiss you. Um, no thanks. Brush your teeth first, babe. 

Anyways, so we had my parents over for dinner on Saturday night. They hadn't ever been over to our place, so it was nice to have them over and for them to see where I was now :) And Dad got to meet Rohan, our great dane, which he was pretty excited about. Nathan prepared everything for Vietnamese spring rolls for us, and we taught my parents to roll them. Mom was a little bit skeptical, but Dad was excited--Dad will try anything. Mom always has been the picky one, but she did pretty well--she rolled and ate three of them. She loves lettuce wrap type foods, so these were pretty similar, except for she was a little weirded out by the rice paper wrapper. 

 Dad with Rohan, who was VERY happy to have lots of extra attention

 Mom and Dad rolling their first spring rolls 

So yeah, I've enjoyed the new experiences I've had with Nathan and I've enjoyed getting to know his culture more and more. And I'm excited for all of the things he will cook me in the future :) 

Friday, November 6, 2015


Right now my husband is sleeping, it’s almost eleven o’ clock. He’s exhausted from being out of town and driving for the last few days. And knowing him, he’s sleeping pretty soundly, sprawled out across the entire bed because I’m not home. I won’t be home for two more hours, and then I’ll try and quietly sneak in without waking him up. It’ll be one in the morning, but I’ll quickly hop in the shower because I’ve been cleaning up diarrhea and pee all day today, and hospitals are just gross. So he’ll hear that. I’ll slink into bed, and Nathan will roll over and hold me tight for a minute, give me a kiss, and quickly fall back asleep. And I’ll think to myself just how much I missed my husband while he was gone for two days, and how lucky I am, and then I’ll pass off into dreamland too.

Sometimes it sucks that this is an all-too-common experience for us. Married life is so fun and has been so wonderful, but it is also so busy. Busy because we are both just so dang busy. Because of school, and jobs, and trying to fit in time for families and friends, and exams, and the little random things that seem to come up each week. There are days where Nathan and I are sitting next to each other in bed, but it feels like I haven’t spent any time with him in days. We try and make time for us to do fun things together, we make plans… but then I fall asleep at seven o clock at night and leave my husband up all alone. Or Nathan will pass out at eight, and I’ll start studying for exams. Yep, we’re just tired.

Yeah, I know this is normal life for millions of other people out there, and that so many people are much busier or have more complicated schedules than we do, but hey… I’m a newlywed. So I’d like to spend pretty much all my time with that handsome husband of mine, but that’s definitely not our reality. I’m looking forward to the semester coming to an end, and then having a little bit more time with my husband—for about a month. And then it all starts back up again.

But man am I sure grateful for my husband—he is so patient. He is patient as I sit at my computer and take over our whole bed with books and notes and papers nearly every day. As I stay up late and don’t go to bed with him because I have another exam or test or homework to do. As I complain and whine about having to be in classes and the stupidity of the system. When the alarms go off at 5am every day and wakes him up, even though Nathan doesn’t even need to be awake for three more hours. When I come home dead tired because I went to school and work and all I want to do is go to bed right away. And he is more than patient—I know he’s always supporting me too. Tells me to go study when he knows I don’t want to, but I need to. Calls me and asks me how school was while I’m driving home. Prays for me to drive safely every single day, prays for me that my tests go well, that I’ll be able to get everything done and have good days. Yeah, I sure got pretty lucky. Love that guy. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

A lot can change in 8 months

Eight months have flown by since I got home from Chile. I purposefully tried to keep myself really busy, especially since I wasn't jumping back into school right away. I started working. I took an EMT class for a few months, and am now a certified EMT. I began volunteering with the county's rescue squad, which has been an awesome experience, and one I'll keep doing. I taught gospel doctrine for church, which was awesome and always filled my Saturday nights and Sunday mornings. I started dating someone, which was a little unexpected. I started getting things ready to go back into Nursing School, and started a new job in the hospital.

So now, we are halfway through September and I cannot believe how quickly time has flown. I am finally back in school full-swing, and I am just so ready to be done with everything that school entails--tests, quizzes, reading, blackboard, clinicals, professors, peers. But alas, two more years. Classes have been going on for a month, and I already am feeling too apathetic for my own good. I'm just looking forward to May 2017 at this point. 

And it doesn't help that in just THREE short, little days, I get to marry that guy I started dating:

I am so ready, and so excited. I can't wait to start life with Nathan and see where our lives take us. So much more than I ever imagined, and a different path than I imagined. He just makes me so happy, and I can't wait to start life together with him. Love that guy! 

So yeah, I've been a little busy, and seems like I'm only getting busier.