Thursday, September 1, 2011

Thank You, Michelle.

I know we've been horrible about updating this blog, but just wanted to take a few minutes to publicly say 'Thank You!' to my bride.

10 years ago today, I married my high school sweetheart, Michelle. What a blessing and a gift Michelle has been. It's been a journey filled with ups and downs, pain and laughter, tears and joy, but through all of it, I'm truly thankful that I have been graced with a wife that loves Jesus and loves me. I continue to learn that no matter what the struggle, we have a savior that loves us deeply and allows us to truly love each other. So Michelle, I'm thankful for your years of love and service, and the grace you have shown me as we have walked through life together. Thank you for your continued love and patience with me through thick and thin. Thank you for being a picture of Jesus to me, and reminding me of where my ultimate hope lies. Because of you, I am not the same man you married ten years ago, and I'm so thankful for that! I can't imagine my life without you, and thankful I get to spend the rest of it with you!

So today, I want to reaffirm my commitment to you. A commitment to love and cherish you for the rest of my life. To continually give myself up for you. To be faithful to you. To remind you of Jesus, and to walk with you and enjoy your friendship and company, no matter what the future holds.

Thank you for being my best friend, Michelle!

Will you Marry Me? Again? :-)

I love you,
- Your Husband.
Eph 5:25-30

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Turning 30 on 3-30

Well, the day finally came. I'm 30. Although I'm not to the point of welcoming this third decade with open arms, I AM ushering it in with MUCH thankfulness...not only for a week filled with birthday celebrations, and many unexpected "little suprises", but more importantly for the many ways I have seen God's faithfulness and blessings to me in these last 3 decades. I am truly humbled to look back and see all the He has done!!
And now, in case you're curious, here are a ton of pictures from the big day (& day before)...I'm writing out all the details. I figure I better write it all down now before I forget; I am 30 now, you know!
(No really...I am writing down ALL the details so I can remember in years to don't feel bad if you don't want to read it all! ;)

David threw me a "surprise" (ish) party the night before my birthday. He had our friends hide out in our building's community room for the surprise...I had a feeling something was up, but it was wonderful nonetheless! It was just great to be able to be with friends to celebrate...and the cake! Oh the cake! Chocolate cake with chocolate ganache frosting, from a local bakery that our thoughtful friend recommended. And the flowers on the cake? of my favorites!...that was one of those little unexpected blessings, since no one really knows I love those flowers! :) Another special surprise was the cherry blossoms another friend brought...another flower that holds a special place in my heart!

Like most people, I spent my birthday at work :) But before I left, I did open a special package from my sister before, and it was AMAZING!!

Chocolates, chocolates, and more chocolates, from a
yummy Boston chocolate company!
We have just about finished all those little chocolate truffles, and they were amazing! My favorites were the Earl Grey, the Trinidad (which had cardamom), The Baton Framboise (raspberry), and the Honey Caramel Truffle.

This was definitely the cutest one of the box...a little mousey! (He tastes quite nice as well.! ;)

Dark chocolate and Fig

As if one box FULL of chocolate truffles and bon-bons wasn't enough, there was a second box! It was such a neat package too-- some sort of corn husk-ish material weaved together to make a box...very cool; especially when it's full of...

More Chocolate! 3 BIG single-origin chocolate bars! YUMMM!

I loved the back of the wrappers...very fun to unwrap! :)
We are still enjoying these 3 bars...they should last us awhile I think--they're huge! They each have such a unique flavor, and are all so different from each is amazing how different chocolate bars can be! A BIG thank you Lisa & David for this wonderful gift!

I spent the rest of my day at work...I had 40 nuns sing me happy birthday, which is a very special memory. :) My bosses also took me out to lunch to a great Mexican place called Cactus, so that made the day go extra fast!
Now, of course, for the big gift: my birthday dinner with David. He surprised me with a dinner reservation at a lovely restaurant that I have on my "bucket list" of restaurants. :)
We had a view of the water, wonderful food, and amazing service.
Definitely a birthday dinner to remember!

We were seated at one of the best tables in the house, and I was greeted by 2 dozen lovely red roses that my sweet husband had dropped off earlier in the day. :)

Our view!

I just had to throw this one's the women's bathroom!! It was so beautiful I couldn't resist. I guess they were awarded voted of the most best bathrooms in the country (and yes, I borrowed the picture of a website...I didn't even think to take my camera to the restroom!)

We had a wonderful waiter who wined and dined us all evening! It was absolutely perfect!! :) Beautiful piano music playing, wonderful wine, amazing food, and of course the most wonderful husband to spend the evening with! My favorite dishes of the evening were the salad (which had bacon and mint...sounds strange, but it was amazing!), truffle fries, and the desserts (more to come on that!). Our gracious waiter gave us many small "complimentary"surprises as well-- wine to pair with our salad, complementary soup "shooters", some more complementary wine that he thought would "change our lives", and 2 desserts!! I'm sure to some people, that wouldn't be a big deal, but for me, it made my night feel very special.

Our main course...And it tasted as good as it looks!

Our first of 3 desserts: "Cranberry Fizz". This one was a surprise from our waiter, and it was a type of ice cream float...for a girl who loves cranberry, it was a hit!

Second Dessert: "Crème Fraîche Parfait"

This was one recommended by the waiter as "kind of crazy, but fun". We figured hey, you only turn 30 once! :) It had a layer of celery puree, candied almonds and olives, grapefruit, creme fraiche, wasabi, and sugar "glass"! It looked like a work of art, and was actually delicious...very light and refreshing!

Dessert #3: "Chocolate Covered Chocolate"

This was, hands down, the BEST. Dessert. Ever! On the left: Molten lava cake, that was not to sweet but oh so chocolatey, covered with a circular disk of cocoa nib brittle that was just pure perfection. To the right: salted caramel ice cream with a cocoa nib shortbread crust, dipped in dark chocolate . Did I mention the best dessert ever?!
And to top it all off, the waiter brought it out with a candle in it, and just as he set it down, the pianist started to play one of "our" songs...I thought David had planned it, but he said he didn't...I was so overwhelmed by all of it that I was fighting back tears!

After we slowly savored that dessert, our waiter suprised us again by offering to take us on a tour of the restaurant! While we waited for him, he gave us some chocolate-cinnamon truffles to if we hadn't had enough chocolate! ;)
So, as the final surprise of the evening, our sweet waiter Christopher gave us a personal tour of the entire restuarant--- VIP dining rooms, kitchen, wine cellar...the works! It was such a special gift, and definitely one birthday dinner I'll never forget!

While on the tour, Christopher explained that the owner originally employed all Japanese waitresses, partly to provide jobs for a population that was stuggling to find employment after WWII. This connection with Japan has continued to play a part in their decor. This was another one of those special "little surprises" since I was born in Japan. :) My favorite Japanese item was a huge Japanese wooden "treasure house" door, which represented the many celebrations that are held at their restaurant, and how each celebration is a treasured memory that they play a special part in creating. They certainly did an amazing job of making my 30th birthday a treasured memory I'll never forget!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Look who's 30!!

Can you guess who this tower of 30 donuts was for?

That's right! David celebrated his 30th birthday today, and his brother Paul celebrated his 29th!
We had a very SWEET day, with a surprise party for both of them at one of David's favorite places: Top Pot Doughnuts!

The crew that helped us celebrate!

It's hard to believe that it has been 10 years since we've been married, and over 15 years since we've been friends! I am so thankful for you David, and for the ways I have seen Jesus work in your life! You are my best friend and I am so happy I get to celebrate you today! Happy Birthday sweetie!