Category Archives: Me and Chris

The Thing I Get Asked About A Lot

November 19, 2013

Favorites / Me and Chris / ROMANCE / Uncategorized

St. Peter's Basilica

“Things you don’t know about me” has been trending on Facebook lately and one of my favorite bloggers is running an FAQ video series. You have those questions that people seem to ask you all the time. Something about what you do or who you are or how you look gets people curious about something. Many people (women) ask me to tell them how I met my husband, Chris. What a sweet question that I LOVE to answer. The usual, quaint, brief story I give is:

Our mutual friends, Isaac and Stephanie set us up. Isaac and Chris were friends since middle school. Stephanie and I met in graduate school (acupuncture). Stephanie was always fond of Isaac’s friend, Chris. When we finally came together, it felt right from the start with a lot of laughing. 

Often though, it seems like what the ladies are really asking is, “How did you attract the love of your life?” Since you are reading my blog I am going to get personal now.

One reason I feel both humble and confident about calling Chris “the love of my life” or my “perfect partner” is because I have been married before. The path that I had taken to him was a conscious path of reinvention, prayer and luck.

Very soon before I met Chris, my cheery, positive attitude about one day being with “the man of my dreams and having a family” fizzled to nothing and for two weeks there was a period of hopelessness (of love).

In those two weeks, I barely spoke to anyone other than people at work (my patients). I was so thankful to be wrapped up in their treatments and concerns. For hours after the workday, I sat and stared off into the distance and thought of nothing. Some people call this meditating. Others may call it COOKOO. After a few days of staring in the evenings, I switched into extreme OCD mode, organizing my life down to every little detail. My business was doing much better and I looked for a nicer place to live. 

Once the ducks were in a row, I employed the help of some friends. I took up my friend Stephanie’s offer to tie on a prayer bracelet she had brought back from Brazil. You can read more about it here. I wanted to set the intention of attracting my mate. I wanted to let him know I was ready.

A 100 year old nun and patient at the clinic was always so kind to me. She was from an all-religion-inclusive type of church. She reminded me of nuns I knew growing up. I sincerely asked her if she would pray for me. “Write it down for me on a piece of paper,” she said. When she looked down at the paper, she looked up at me in surprise. “That’s what you want,” she asked in disbelief. “More than anything,” I said. Then I prayed. I wrote and I prayed some more. I wasn’t on any online dating sites. I didn’t take up any blind date offers. I stopped noticing who was in line at the deli. I was waiting for him to find me. When he found me, I knew he wouldn’t let me go.

I worked hard and my practice was doing so well. The friends I surrounded myself with were supportive examples. I spent time with my friends who were married, with children and role models to me. 

There were hours a day dedicated to daydreaming and cultivating my best self. 

I had reinvented myself. Instead of focusing on who Mr. Right was or daydreaming of being “saved” (gag and p.s. the “being saved” fantasy was a very brief period) I was becoming Mrs. Right. Manicured nails, self-confidence, a great work out regimen, self-supporting, cute condo by the beach and all the self-discipline of a lady. Does it sound like gloating? Well, I looked at it as hard work and focus. I was my best version of myself. The days of disappointment were over. It was only possible to attract a match, no one who didn’t make the cut. There was no “well, he’s nice and has a good job.” 

I DID make the list for Mr. Right though. It was 11 pages long to be exact. I drew a “picture” of he and I on the white board of my fridge. He was in a nice biz casual outfit because he was a professional and he had really nice hair. I stood next to him with one leg bent in the air. I was kind of jumping up with happiness. He was steady and stood tall. 

I knew he was on his way. I actually said aloud to Stephanie once the bracelet was on that he would come around within 2 months. Our courtship would be easy and we’d soon be romantically engaged then married. Then it happened. It was hilarious and it was perfect in the most unexpected but comfortable way. 

(photo: Chris and I in front of St. Peter’s Basilica. Vatican City, Rome) 

My Bracelet Finally Fell off!!!!

October 30, 2013

Me and Chris / Uncategorized

Love Locks Bridge, Paris

If you’ve seen me or a photo of me in the past 2 years, you have seen the bright blue string tied to my left wrist. Well, it finally fell off and that is because my prayers came true.

  • Basically, you must be given the bracelet as a gift which originates from the Senhor do Bonfim church in Brazil.
  • It is typically worn on the left, wrapped twice and tied/knotted three times, symbolizing three wishes. They come in a million colors and have “Senhor do Bonfim” printed along them in black. The material is a nylon-ish thin fabric that seems to only get stronger once the flat bracelet rolls up into a steel cable on your wrist!
  • You have to wear it until it falls off or you risk bad luck! So this is for someone who is serious about their wishes! Some people say you must then throw it into the ocean once it falls off.

So, traditionally you are not supposed to buy one for yourself. Mine was a gift from Stephanie who had brought back some from her many trips to Brazil. I remember she was wearing one (the same blue color) when I met her years before. After asking her about it, she asked me if I wanted one and I told her that I had everything that I wanted. Years later and many life changes later, I asked her for the bracelet.

Stephanie tied it on in August of 2011. My prayer finally came true in October of 2013. It was a prayer long in the making because it had to do with meeting the love of my life and that happened within a month of putting on the bracelet. The whole prayer though was to find the love of my life who would become my husband. Very specifically, a partner who knew how to be kind to me and care for me in ways I was unable to ask for.

Life is pretty good these days.

If you aren’t going to Brazil any time soon but you or a friend would like to participate in the tradition, there are many online companies who sell the bracelets. One is called Bahia Bands. Stephanie said they cost her pennies in Brazil but the online sites sell them for around $5 a piece!

Thank you, Stephanie!

(Here is travel blogger, Chelsea Schmidt, of who explains Senhor do Bonfim Wish Ribbons in detail.)

(photo from our Paris Wedding Photo Shoot by Catherine O’hara Photography)

Paris Wedding Photo Shoot By Catherine O’Hara

September 17, 2013

Me and Chris / Paris Wedding / Uncategorized


We found our sensationally talented photographer, Catherine O’Hara, online. You can see incredible examples of her work on her blog, Catherine O’Hara Photography Blog. She specializes in a photojournalistic style and is a member of The Wedding Photojournalist Association. These members are “skilled in a candid, unobtrusive style.”

Catherine is from Ireland and we were so lucky to have an English-speaking photographer in France. She also travels for destination weddings. Her manner is gentle. Her direction is so slight and brilliant. This is REALLY great if you or your partner aren’t natural-born-models and could use kind coaching. You won’t hear her saying any horrifying things like, “show me your inner diva.” She has the magic power of making it appear and feel as if Paris was put on hold for your photo shoot.

Chris and I actually felt as if we were spending a romantic evening around town with each other. There was a lot of time to connect and really experience the scenery of Paris. Catherine knew the perfect timing for both lighting and foot traffic at each location. We were so surprised by all the locations she offered! She was also very open to anything we wanted to try-we wanted to dance by these performers in Place Colette.

Thank you for your input on the Wedding Dress Shopping: J. Crew post! I totally agreed with all the info and then chose this dress because of the weather and Parisian feeling it had for me. Do you like how it turned out?

She took us into an inner courtyard at Place Colette with dreamy rows of trees. I had seen this place on her blog and had been imagining what it was going to look and feel like.


OK, these next 2 were obviously posed and I love how they turned out!


I will refrain from making fun of myself in this shot and enjoy that my parents picked this as their favorite.


The Love Locks Bridge. You can buy a lock from a vendor on the bridge or bring a fancy one of your own.


You lock it up and throw away the key into the Seine!


Then of course you kiss.


The Louvre Museum.


Gardens of the Louvre with The Eiffel Tower in the background.


Walking along the Seine.


I want to live in this photo dream.


Another cool spot.


We received 97 photos from this session and we love all of them! That never happens?! I am so picky and critical! The backdrop of Paris and Catherine’s style with her quality of work really take the pressure of the subjects. Anyone would look incredible with some coaching and Paris in the background. I want to send annoying daily emails to Catherine telling her how happy I am. I’ll try to just stick with this appreciative post. The value of these photos and the experience are priceless but it was actually affordable and worth even more.

Chris is really excited to see how happy this made me and I know he really likes them too…he’s just more worried about finding a place to live right now. 🙂 Back to the home search! Thank you so much for taking time to look at our photos!

Photos by Catherine O’Hara Photography

This was so different from our Traditional Korean Wedding photos! Here is a little on shopping for the dress


Traditional Korean Wedding

August 26, 2013

Korean / Me and Chris

We had so much fun having an impromptu Korean Wedding last week! The traditional South Korean (friends of the U.S.) wedding is so colorful and playful. The costumes are the best part.

Underneath the special green and rainbow coat, the bride wears a traditional Korean chima-chogori. It consists of a short top and a VERY long skirt that starts under the arms. The front-top portion of this one is longer than most tops-it is a symbol of royalty…oo la la! This one belongs to my mother. The colorful overcoat, Chris’ costume, the screens, mats and fake foods are all rented! So much easier than say wedding dress shopping.


My mother’s friend, who I call “aunt” helps to tie the bridal overcoat.


This long sash symbolizes two families becoming one. I get to wear red dots on cheeks and forehead to represent femininity, luck and chastity!


First we bow to one another. I get help because of the elaborate costume and my fragility as a woman. 🙂


Then we bow to my parents.

We hold the family-combining sash and my parents throw dates that we catch (thank goodness). These represent how many children we will have! WOW! Look how happy my parents are! We are taking it all in.


We serve rice wine to my parents and then to ourselves.



Then the funniest part of all: Uh-b00-ba. AKA piggy-back-ride. Yes, Chris, the groom picks me up on his back and jogs me around the room. Laugher explosion!

Tina and Chris Ahbuba.

The traditional wedding gifts are beautifully decorated envelopes filled with money.


Then some photos! Here is Tracey, who competed with our dad for the best photo of the day. My fave was the sake drinking photo…drumroll…Tracey took that one!


All of the fake foods on the table symbolize longevity in our relationship and fertility.


The ladies were so beautiful in the traditional dress! They were so helpful and cheery!


Happy bride!


Gangnam Style!


Thanks mom and dad!


What do you think?

Wedding Shoes Friday!

August 2, 2013

Me and Chris / Paris Wedding / Uncategorized


Here are some gorgeous wedding shoe options…minus the TOMS! 🙂 What do you think? Yes, it depends on which dress I chose!

What are you up to this weekend? I’m going to get a ton of errands done as we prep for the move to L.A. and the trip to Europe! Yay! Crazy and my favorite. I’ve got some fun planned too-post on Monday!

Stuff I was looking at this week:

Ten Household Items That Can Improve Your Food Photography.

Tile keeps coming up in my Facebook news feed and I’m both intrigued and totally freaked out by the potentials of it-good and bad. What do you think?

Do you know Rick Steves? He’s a gem if you’re traveling in Europe. Super corny personality but with the best insider info to give you a true European experience. I just got the Paris book after being overwhelmed for weeks over how we’re going to have fun there in only 3-4 days. I just read his book for 30 minutes the other night and I’ve got a hold of it!

BHLDN is a sister store of Anthropologie and it has incredible wedding dresses and accessories!

Is it Monday yet? What’s going to happen on The Bachelorette?? 🙂

Have a wonderful weekend!


Let’s Elope to Paris!

July 31, 2013

Me and Chris / Paris Wedding / ROMANCE / Uncategorized


This is Lady Arbella Stuart. She and her beau were imprisoned for eloping. Yikes!

What do you think about eloping to an exotic locale? We got married on paper about a year ago, had a busy year and waited for the right time/place to have a wedding where everyone we loved could attend. This article title sounds like us…Stressed -Out Americans Embrace Elopement. The idea of eloping sounded like a refreshing relief!

Here is a definition of elope a la Merium Webster.

elope: to run away secretly with the intention of getting married usually without parental consent. It is of French origin.

Huhuhuhuuuuuu (French laugh)! That sounds saucy! Love that!

Here are  some photos of  Stars Who Eloped.

15 Celebrity Couples Who Decided to Elope-that couple from Dexter is married?!

A famous elopement in history: Young Earl Elopes with Banking Heiress…gold digger man?

Did you know Betsy Ross’ (the sweet little American Flag creator) wedding was a Famous Historical Elopement? She was a wild one!

Everyone has been super supportive of our decision and we really appreciate that! So far we think we’re going to elope to Paris, France after a little European cruise!

(photo by lisby1, via Flickr)