A Perfect Birthday Celebration

I am finally getting around to blogging about my birthday because it has taken me all week to recover physically. After a very busy March, I am ready to slow down but cannot for another couple weeks. Anyways…back to my birthday; I promise this will be my last post about my 21st birthday! Ha!

We woke bright and early last Saturday morning for a fun-filled day, and I was ecstatic! I was finally 21! We got dressed and ready to go quickly. Mister even picked out my clothes for me!

After dropping Noel off at my parents’ house, we headed to McDonalds for breakfast, Half Price Books and Plato’s Closet for some birthday shopping, and the mall for a movie. Before the movie we walked around the mall for a short few minutes and picked up Mister a pair of cargo shorts (because he does not have enough already *sarcasm*) then headed back for The Host. (BTW–The Host was really good! I enjoyed it a lot!!!)

Waiting for The Host to start

Waiting for The Host to start

After the movie, we jetted on back to my parents’ house for the MAJOR surprise. And when I say MAJOR, I mean MAAAAAJOR!!! They even blindfolded me!

On our way to the major surprise. This is what happens when Mister has the camera...Here ya go, Handsome, I put a goofy picture on the blog just for YOU! :)

On our way to the major surprise. This is what happens when Mister has the camera…Here ya go, Handsome, I put a goofy picture on the blog just for YOU! 🙂

Can anyone guess what the surprise was??? Hint: I am a total foodie.

OK, OK–enough with the guessing.

They took me to Dante! Remember my mom’s friend that is the chef? Well, it is his restaurant!

The chef’s table was reserved for us. And for those of you who do not know what is so special about the chef’s table: it is in the kitchen!

We were able to watch the staff in action and talk with Dante all night. The food was fabulous!!! We ordered the 5-course chef’s tasting menu. Did I mention how fabulous the food was?! Oh, wait–I think I did. Well, it is worth repeating several times!

I hardly paid any attention to the rest of the table all night (oops!) because I was so intrigued by the work in the kitchen. But that is also not surprising since it was totally my thing!

We were at Dante for 3 1/2 hours, and it an awesome 3 1/2 hours!!! My family really knows how to plan surprises for me.

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After the most epic surprise, we headed back to my parents’ house for presents. Then to my in-laws for a small birthday get together and home for the night.

This past week, I set out all my birthday presents on our couch and was amazed at how much was given to me! Spoiled? Very possible. Blessed? Beyond measure!

All my birthday presents!

All my birthday presents!

It was the GREATEST birthday I have ever had! Perfect in so many ways!!! The whole day was jam-packed with stuff I love but, more importantly, people I love!

Thanks, everyone, for a great birthday! It will go down in history 🙂

P.S. Our first winner of the giveaway did not respond, so I have picked a new winner.

Stacey Burke!

Stacey Burke!

I have contacted Stacey. Like before, if she does not respond within 24 hours, I will pick a new winner.

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More Than Bunnies, Candy, and Pastel Colors

Easter is so much more. So much more than bunnies. So much more than candy. So much more than pastel colors. These are the things we see all over town around Easter time, but I want the world to know something. It is so much more.

Easter time is celebrating a man that died on the cross but more importantly a man who rose from the grave. This man is Jesus. He had no sin but died to atone for the sins of the world–for every single person.

And He is so much more than “just a man.” He is my Lord. He is my Friend. He is my Saviour.

He is my Saviour because he conquered death. He made a way for me to go to Heaven. He made a way for you to go to Heaven. He can be your Saviour too!

I do not know about you; but when I think of what Easter really means, it is so much more. So much more than we could ever imagine.

Easter is about the cross and the stone that was rolled away.

So…

Happy Resurrection Sunday, dear one!

My Second Heart

Oh, how much I love my second heart! It beats vibrant and strong. My second heart is my love for the culinary arts.

My second heart did not form until six or seven years ago, but it has never faded away. It is always there reminding me that I can provide food and create beauty. I love working in the kitchen, and that is where my second heart beats the strongest. The kitchen is my personal sanctuary.

I can watch the Food Network or the Cooking Channel for hours on end and never be bored. The energy from food shows just seeps into my skin and adds fuel to my fiery second heart.

I mentioned in my previous post about a surprise my parents had for me. That surprise was meeting my mom’s friend who is a chef. And goodness gracious, it was awesome! Just hearing about his culinary education and career and seeing him “in action” was fuel to my fiery second heart.

I aspire to call myself a chef just like him.

When I cook, I feel like a completely different person. A different kind of blood flows through my veins, and a new energy floods me. It is like a breath of fresh air — new air. Creating something, especially something new, is magical.

We have looked at culinary schools for me when we were engaged, but it just was not possible at the time with Mister’s military career. I chose marriage over culinary school, and I do not regret that decision in the least because my first heart, my love for my husband, beats stronger than my second heart. It always will. Sure, some day, I would like to complete a culinary arts program; but my second heart will not be broken if I do not. My second heart could never be broken because I can provide food and create beauty for my husband and that is all the gratification I need.

Diamonds vs. Pearls

This is a guest post I wrote for Singing Through the Rain a while back before I had a blog.

Beauty. There is nothing like the beauty of a gem. Women love jewelry. We have all heard the expression, “Diamonds are a girls best friend.” Diamonds are the hardest substance currently known to man and are created by intense heat and pressure. The thing about diamonds though is there needs to be a sculptor. A diamond is only valuable when it is sculpted by the work of a man’s hands.

To read the rest, go to Diamonds vs. Pearls. Enjoy!

Blessings, Big and Small, Introduction

Last night as I was tossing and turning, the chorus of a hymn from long ago popped into my head and wouldn’t leave.

Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
Count your many blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
Count your many blessings, see what God hath done.

I was inspired to start a series for my blog. I will be counting my blessings, big and small. I want to see what God is doing. Join me on my journey of counting blessings.

But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:19

God is Love

Two days ago, I began talking about why I love Valentine’s Day and why I believe it essential for a marriage. Many know the origins of Valentine’s Day is a celebration of Saint Valentine and blah blah blah. But I have a reason beyond celebrating Saint Valentine and love for my husband and that is God.

I wear a ring on my thumb that simply says “love.” It reminds me that I am loved by an almighty God, my darling husband, and so many people. It also reminds me to love others the way God loves me. One of my favorite verse in the Bible is…

God is love
1 John 4:16b

These three words might look so simple at first glance, but when they are truly pondered, there is incredible depth to them. Without God, we wouldn’t have love for He is love. His love for us doesn’t fade over time. It never changes and is always strong.

The word “love” in the Bible, God’s love, is agape. Agape love is completely selfless, sacrificial, and unconditional. It doesn’t need chemistry or compatibility. It endures forever. Agape love isn’t an emotion. It chooses it’s passion. Agape love is redemptive and keeps our hearts pure and whole. It’s the utmost standard of love.

I don’t think we will ever be able to fathom the depth of God’s love. It’s beyond anything our minds and hearts can give on our own.

Of course, God’s love can be extended to all people, not just our spouse, but your spouse should be at the very top of your “To Love” list. When we struggle to love our spouse, we need to turn to God. He will teach us how to love because He is love.

During Valentine’s Day, while you’re showing love to your spouse, children, and others, remember Who loved us first and to love others with the same love as God’s love.

Why I Adore Valentine’s Day!

February is officially here! I’m ecstatic! During the month of February is a holiday that I love because it’s celebrating love! I love Valentine’s Day more than Christmas, and that’s saying a lot!

Many don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day because of it’s origins or commercialization. Who cares what the origins are. Who cares about the commercialization. Not this Mrs.!

I look forward to Valentine’s Day since December 26. No need to waste time here. I start preparing. Planning the menu. Planning our date night in. Planning our date night out. Planning the decorations. Fiercely digging all around the internet for fabulous Valentine’s Day ideas. Thank God for Pinterest even though I’m not a huge fan of it typically.

Last year, our apartment was lit with over 150 candles. Our favorite love songs played in the background. We ate my delicious sweet-n-sour chicken with Momma Wu’s eggrolls.

I can’t divulge this year’s secret plans because Mister will be reading this, and it’s a surprise as always! But I will say that we have at least two weeks of Valentine’s Day plans.

I love Valentine’s Day because of the love that fills the air. I welcome Valentine’s Day with open arms because if it reminds me to hug my husband a little tighter, to give him way more kisses than usual, to go above and beyond in caring for him, to love him more then I’m all for it!

Valentine’s Day is one of those maintenance times of year that I believe is essential to every marriage.

If you will, think of marriage like a car. A car needs maintenance often just like marriage. Filling up the tank can be the equivalent to date night. Valentine’s Day is like changing the oil. (Wait–did I just equate marriage to a car?!?!?! Mister is rubbing off on me, and that’s  not good! Haha!) I hope you get the picture.

I heard several times that the love shown on Valentine’s Day should be shown all year round, and I agree! But how often do we get caught up in life and forget to work on our love, the passion, for our spouse. Slow down. Take a day and remember why you love your spouse. Remember why God brought you together. Remember what vision you have for your marriage.

I love my wonderful husband more than I can ever describe, and Valentine’s Day is one of those times when I can do something really spectacular for him!

 

Do you celebrate Valentine’s Day? Why do you love it? Or not?

Why Did God Create Sex?

“God created sex to be beautiful and binding. He wrote a whole book in the Bible about it, yet Christians avoid the topic at all costs which leaves children to find out about sex from the world. Let’s look at the reasons why God created sex and maybe, Christians will not be so wary to talk about it.”

Today I am guest blogging at Singing Through the Rain about a topic I love and feel needs to be discussed more in Christian circles: Sex.

Join us over at Singing Through the Rain as we discuss why God created sex!