Its been 365 days since Betty and I wed. Since the exchange of vows, it has been quite a whirlwind. She changed jobs; I began a PhD. We moved countries and have lived in two homes (Lord-willing, going to a third one at the end of this month). Had the addition of two members to our family — a MacBook and MacBook Pro (what else were you thinking?). We have been homesick, rejoiced at the news of an expectant nephew, mourned the passing of a loved one, surrounded by encouraging friends, faced with major decisions of housing and traveling and weddings to attend or miss, and had much anxiety over exams to come (my first year PhD panel review in June and Betty’s professional certificate exam THIS TUESDAY — prayers appreciated!). Needless to say, in one sense it seems like we have been married for much more than one year. Yet at the same time, I feel as though we are still newlyweds. Read the rest of this entry »
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For those who may be interested, here is a brief newsletter reflecting on the last year. Enjoy!
If you attended our wedding, you may have noticed one of my favorite components of the day — the wedding topper. At times, Betty felt as though I was more excited about the topper than the wedding (still open to debate). Let me explain how it came about.
Following is the story of how we met, got engaged and finally married on May 10, 2008.
Alex recently graduated as a full-time student at Regent College in Vancouver, BC and moonlights as a Software Engineer.
Betty is a cytogenetic diva working in a genetics research lab affiliated with the Vancouver General Hospital.
How we Met
We met through a mutual friend in England, Bert Han.
Betty spent several years in England studying and working and got to know Bert and his wife Phan. Alex visited England several years ago to participate in a youth conference.
As Betty was returning to her hometown of Vancouver, BC, Bert introduced her to several of his friends in the Vancouver area — including Alex. Shortly thereafter, they started dating.
When we Got Engaged
November 4, 2007
(The abridged version.)
Alex had a romantic day planned — most of which failed miserably with the exception of the proposal!
(Unabridged, told from Alex’s perspective.)
I had a whole day planned to surprise Betty for their six-month anniversary. I was going to rent a car, pick her up for church, and then relive significant events of our relationship. The car rental was important for the element of surprise — especially since I don’t have a car in Vancouver and Betty normally drives. Later that evening, we would have a romantic walk on the beach where we had one of our first pre-dating outtings together. Then, a game of indoor tennis (Betty’s favorite sport). We were going to go back to my apartment, shower and change, and I would give Betty her first corsage (yes first). Then off to the most romantic place on earth where the proposal would happen — the A & W Rootbeer Restaurant. That was where I had asked Betty to first start dating many months prior. After that would follow a proper meal at The Cannery. However, not all plans are meant to be.
When I tried to rent the car, my credit card got rejected — TWICE. It turned out that CitiBank blocked my transactions because the card was being used in a foreign country (a country where the card has been used numerous times for over a year). So, no car. No problem. The next day, my buddy Clement dropped me off at Betty’s place to surprise her. We went to church and lunch — both of which ran a bit late — then returned to Betty house to get some things she forgot. Alas, we were 1 1/2 hours behind my schedule. No problem. The 2hrs allocated to the hike were shortened to a 30 min stroll. While coming back from the bech, Alex saw a man in the driver’s seat of a car that looked like Betty’s. He ran up to the car and the man gets out, jumps into another car, and speeds off — Betty’s car was broken into. After calling the RCMP and inspecting the car, it turned out that the steering console was damaged and a bag stolen — the car now had to be towed! All plans were now canceled. At this point, Alex had zero intention on proposing that night.
Clement came, picked us up, and took us back to my place (I had a frozen pizza in the freezer, ready to be eaten). After Clement left, I remembered one little detail in the plans that did not get spoiled — the corsage. So, I went to the fridge to get the flowers and said to Betty, “I don’t know if you are still in the mood, but I wanted to get you these for our six-month anniversary.” She saw them and immediately said, “We HAVE TO dress up!” So, she got into the dress she brought for the dinner and I got into my suit. My iPod played classical music as we had our romantic frozen pizza dinner, sparkling tap water, and candle-lit table. It was perfect. Towards the end of the meal, we reminisced about our pasts. I brought up that fateful day in A & W Rootbeer and started repeating some of the lines I had used that night. Then I said, “Remember when I asked you, ‘Would you like to pursue a marital relationship with me?'” She responded, “You didn’t say that.” To which I replied, “Can I now,” as I pulled the ring out of my pocket. As she screamed “ARE YOU SERIOUS!??!”, I walked around the table and properly got on one knee. She said, “YES!”
I am officially now very much into the wedding mode… the light beacon that shines on that May 10th date is getting brighter and bigger with more and more wedding tasks done/being ticked off the seemingly neverending list. I’m very excited!!
It’s pretty interesting… this world of weddings. Did you know that some brides buy a few wedding dresses and a few wedding veils and a few sets of accessories before they decide finally which one is the ‘perfect’ ensemble for their wedding? As a result, many of these “rejected” dresses and veils and other things are put on ebay/craigslist/other bridal internet forums for other brides to buy at a much reduced price. It’s great for bargain-hunters, of course, but I just don’t understand why brides would spend so much extra money in the first place? I guess I don’t know all the stories behind each item for sale. Actually, there was one ad on craigslist that said the wedding was called off and because of that, the bride-no-more wanted to sell her wedding outfit. That is sad, of course.
I don’t think I’ve become anything like some of the “bride-zillas” that we see on these wedding TV shows. But I can see how one can easily get sucked into the wedding world black hole where the details can be never-ending with that mentality of wanting a “perfect wedding”. So please, if anyone sees me spiraling into this world, please give me a strong pinch and bring me back to the real world!
Hmm, my first ever blog. It’s sort of strange to me, probably because I think other people will read this, so I’m not exactly writing like I would in my own personal journal but yet, I feel like I’m writing in my own personal journal since I’m basically typing out all my thoughts into words right now. Anyway… for those people who know me, you’ll know that I can tend to blabber on a bit especially with the written word, so please bear with me. Or else, I guess you can just skip all my posts
It’s now been almost two months since Alex and I got engaged on November 4th, 2007. From the very start, at least from my perspective, it feels like it’s been a balancing act between family and our own expectations/ideas for our wedding. I was definitely swept up in the romance of being engaged, and then realities about the actual planning details of a wedding started to sink in. As I (and Alex too, unfortunately) have found out, I can sometimes easily be overwhelmed by the many tasks that seem to require my immediate attention. Thankfully, with God’s grace, things are slowly falling into place.
It’s really quite exciting now that certain key things have been set, such as the venues for the wedding day and me getting a wedding dress already! I can allow myself to imagine a little what the real day will be like. The details are not completely there yet, but I think I want to enjoy my own little world for a bit anyway before having come back to earth with things like budgets and tasks still to do.
Things I’m thankful this past week:
1) finding our reception venue (New Year’s eve)
2) finding my dress at a good deal (Dec 27th)
3) building friendships at my first-ever Winter Conference retreat
4) ringing in 2008 with good friends and Alex
5) celebrating Christmas with both of our families
Some people say the hardest thing about wedding planning is getting the venue. I say, it is the invite list. How do you choose who to invite and who not to? So we are aiming at 200 people and, of my hundred, my first rough list had about 120 people — and that doesn’t count family. Good thing I have a tiny family — WRONG. My dad has 9 siblings with spouses, children, and grandchildren. If you don’t get invited, I am really sorry. Honest. I tried hard, real hard… but if I choose one person, another person cannot come.
I like to think of this like the Christian doctrine of predestination. Many people argue that if God has chosen some people to go to heaven, then he has also chosen other people to eternal damnation (known as “double predestination”). Others (whom I agree with) say that God has chosen a select number to go to heaven and passed over the rest (that is, He has not really chosen a destiny for the rest). Likewise, it is not like I chose that this or that person could not come — the goal was to choose the select number who could come. So for those who have been “passed over,” I’m really sorry.
According to my checklist, we now have about 160 more tasks to do before May 10th, 2008 when singlehood shall end and a new adventure shall begin! Despite the many tasks, Betty and I are excited about the progress. Perhaps, we will get married this year!