Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Dear World, Your Reasons For Not Getting Married Young Are Shot

Yes, that's right. The world's reasons for not getting married "young" are fairly bogus. At least most of them. (Disclaimer: There is "young" and then there is "too young." I'm not going to tell you where I draw the line, but there is a definite line.) 
*+*Shoutout to those who were not married young at the end of this post!*+*
At 22, about a month away from 23, I got married. By world standards, that's pretty young. Even now, looking back, I think "Whoa, that WAS a little young." But you know what? I didn't feel "young." Amongst other big experiences in life, I was already graduated from college. A fresh graduate, yes, but a graduate nonetheless. I felt ready for life and that's what mattered.
I hear lots of reasons for why people don't want to get married until they're at least _____ (fill in the blank). Traveling, career, not achieving important goals, the need to play the field so you know exactly who's and what's right for you, finances, etc. You get the idea. Well, I'll tell you firsthand why all of those things are baloney. 
Let's start with career and goals, as this next statement covers a lot of ground: If you're marrying someone who is impeding your dreams, then you should probably think twice about marrying that person. Marriage is all about sacrifice, but sacrifice isn't a bad word. Sacrifice also shouldn't be coming from just one partner. When you're married, there may very well be times when you have to sacrifice a career development or goal, but it's for the betterment of your family. Becoming a better person is more important than climbing society's view of the ladder of success. I would rather sacrifice a few things that help my family in the long run than be selfish. (Career building is not necessarily selfish, either. Please don't use that as a takeaway.) Marrying young doesn't equal never achieving dreams or success. It also doesn't equal not being able to find a companion who supports these. I found one who lets me do my dreams. Guess what? I let him do his dreams, too. And we even do some dreams together. 
The next topic I shall briefly cover is "playing the field." There's probably a better term that fits what I'm trying to say, but I'm not as linguistically apt as my older brother, and I'm okay with that, so we've just gotta deal with it. Um, last time I checked, I knew what I wanted LONG before I ever got married, or even started dating my now husband. I'm pretty sure most twenty-somethings know what they want. So that excuse flew out the window before it was even completely spoken. The reason why I stuck out dating with Mr. Wong is because he had those attributes and more. And I just read a stupid article stating that marriage stops your development in a way. (It was completely opinion based-no sciences were quoted.) WRONG. It can develop you more, if you let it. Two heads to solve a problem is better than one. (Also, see above. If the person is stopping you from developing, then that can potentially be a problem.) . Moving on... If you love the person you're with, and that person generally has it together, then I don't think it's necessary to go fishing to see what else is out there. "Choose your love, love your choice." (That quote has nothing to do with age.) Newsflash: There is NO perfect spouse. There is no soulmate. If you have someone in your life (girlfriend/boyfriend) that you know well and love, then build a life with them!
Financial stability... This topic is a little trickier than most. As I said, I was a fresh graduate when I got married. Tommy went to school later than the traditional student, so his first year was my last. I had a little bit of student debt and no job lined up when we were married. But things worked out in our favor (I got a job and other such things), and I think this was because we made a choice and went with it. Now, if you don't have the means to support a family (you+one AT LEAST), then that makes more of a problem. But if you plus your lover make enough to support your life together, then don't worry about the "what-ifs." 
I saved the best for last. Traveling. I love traveling. While I was single, I was saving up for a trip that I could go on as my post-graduation trip. I was planning on Hong Kong and maybe one or two extra places. And I figured once I started working as a professional, I would be able to save up and go somewhere every couple of years. Well, I got married right after I graduated. The money I saved up? It paid for a 5 day honeymoon. We flew there, rented a car, stayed in a condo, etc. Don't tell me that's not traveling! ;) That Christmas, my mom wanted us to be together, so she paid for us to come to Washington. During that break, Tommy, some of my sisters, and I drove to Canada and had a day trip there. Two years later, we were in Hong Kong for two weeks. We had a long layover in Japan, so we visited Japan, too. A year and a few months later, we were back in good old Hong Kong.  Had a long layover in Korea this time, so we visited Korea for a day. I am NOT trying to brag to you or anyone else about my world travels. I am simply refuting the point that traveling is impossible once you're married. I've traveled more since I've been married. (And planning on more trips, as I type.) Traveling is possible as a married individual. It is also really fun to travel with your spouse. Experiencing new things together, or watching your spouse experience something new to him/her is a priceless feeling. It's also great for your relationship.
Now, to the married-laters and unmarrieds in life, YOU'RE NOT BROKEN!!!!! (Well, at least probably not.) I love and know plenty of people in similar situations, and I think all of them are great. They are also contributing members of society. So, I just want to say to you guys, you do you. And keep doing you. Maybe you'll find the cracker to your cheese, and maybe you won't. But all-in-all, marriage isn't what makes us important or not important. Marriage doesn't and shouldn't define our worth. Ignore those people (as best as you can, I know it's hard) who make comments about your non-existent marriage/love life/ dating life, because I'm sitting here thinking of a few of you that I really admire, and I know those comments are just comments. I know how awesome you are and wish I were that awesome myself. You've done hard things in life and you did them by yourself or with the support of friends and family, but without a spouse. And that's pretty applaudable. 
To the people telling others to not get married young/have kids/not have kids/ not get married at all, just please stop. It's obnoxious. We're not mad, but now you know. (Why I'm writing this, I do not know, as those people are probably never going to read this. Haha. Oh well. I can amuse myself if I want to.)

Monday, November 9, 2015


I have been noticing it for awhile.
And maybe it's because I'm an adult, so I see more things, but I don't think so. I had a chat with my husband about it and he agrees. (He even repeated something I said, but when thinking about it on his own and not even realizing/remembering what I said.)
We are living in a reactive society. I think the more instantaneous things become, the more reactivity happens. I know the internet didn't create this problem, but it certainly extended it and amplified it. Social media, comment boxes on news websites or youtube, and things of the like are the biggest culprits. People see and they just respond. There is hardly any thinking in between, not to mention peoples' feelings seem to not matter on the internet, where you can say anything without a major consequence. (How do you think cyberbullying got to be so big and rampant?)
The following is an example of the scenarios I am talking about:
Person posts something controversial on Facebook or Twitter. (Or maybe it's not actually controversial, but they think it is, and they are possibly making a big deal out of it.)
Then it gets shared, both supports and rebuttals in every form get shared, and things are just generally blown out of proportion, feelings are hurt, people get mad at each other for either supporting said controversy or not supporting it, thus taking a while until the whole internet sweep is finished and things blow over. And sometimes things randomly pop up about it again. (Baited headlines do not help this situation one bit- neutral headlines do a little bit more, I think.)
Here is the issue: people need to stop and think about it. Yes, maybe something that was said or done is something you agree with, or maybe it's something you disagree with. I am blessed with the ability to look at almost any situation and see it from different sides/viewpoints. I know that this is an attribute that not everyone is born with, but I also know that it can be developed by deliberately asking questions about different viewpoints that may be involved. For example:
Why was this decision made by this party?
Why did this person say this?
Is there more to this issue than what I can see?
Is there someone I know who is an expert in this and can explain it better/help me see other possible sides to this?
Who is this life changing for? (By the way, if it truly isn't life changing for anyone, it's probably best to ignore and keep scrolling.)
What can the repercussions be?
When will this still matter?
Does this affect daily life? How much? Does it really matter in the end?

I am more than fairly certain that if these questions and/or similar ones were asked (there are many more that can be) by the majority of the people tinkering around on the internet, this world would be in a much better state and condition than the one we're currently in. You don't have to agree with or even like people to still be civil with them. But I think when more understanding is intentionally applied to situations, there is more love and support spread, less negativity is shared, and our thinking extends into higher planes.
Here is an illustration of Bloom's Taxonomy, which moves from bottom to top. The picture was taken from here.

 Higher order of thinking
Lower order of thinking

So, to end, I just ask you to apply more understanding to all situations, and apply a little more acceptance to people who don't think the same way you do. Spread a little bit of love around. The world needs it. And as my mom always says, "Stop making mountains out of molehills." 

Friday, November 6, 2015

Soul Searching...

I have been having some revelations of sorts these past two weeks. For the first time in a very long time, I have felt a lot more at peace with coming to these understandings and realizations about my career, which identifies me not only as who I am, but also my role in life.

I absolutely love teaching. It's so fun watching kids' lightbulbs turn on, master things, get excited, make friendships, and generally develop as human beings. While this is nowhere near a comprehensive list, most teachers will be nodding their heads in agreement. After all, these are just some of the few reasons why people become teachers and educators in the first place. They want to make a difference in the lives of children. Many feel that being a teacher is their "calling in life," and I'm one of them.

Unfortunately, being a teacher has taken a tumble for the worst in the past years, and I have watched it before my very eyes. Teachers in every state in the US are being asked, even required, to take on the most taxing tasks. Many good-hearted and well-meaning teachers take on even more than these to benefit the lives of the students, parents, the surrounding community, other teachers, and so forth. Honestly, I do not know of ONE teacher that does not go above and beyond all professional and contractual duties as outlined. Not one. Not even the "bad" ones. I've seen them go above and beyond, too. This is with time, money, brains, lack of sleep, continually trying to figuring out what to do with a student or several who may be suffering from one difficulty or many, talents, and the list goes on. While this is not always a bad thing, like I said previously, it's very taxing. But on top of all of this normal "call of duty," there are things required by school districts or legislatures that are harming teachers as they slop more on their plates, which is a very long list, and I don't care to or find necessary to discuss in great detail at this point. Just know that they get to be both cumbersome and burdensome.

If you compare the length of the 2nd and 3rd paragraphs, you will easily notice that the scales are already tipped out of the teachers' favors. It's becoming more and more this way, as well.

These feelings of frustration really resonate with teachers (at least me, and some others I know, as well) when they are stressed to the max. There are comics about teachers being overworked, and underpaid. And when these feelings resonate with you, you start questioning them. Especially when you hear all the seasoned teachers talk about the ridiculousness that's pouring through the cracks. (And venting to other teachers is a stress-reliever in itself, so LOTS of this talk goes on.)
How can you be a good teacher when so much energy is being sucked out of you by the demands of your job? (It's hard. Teachers lose it sometimes. Can't always blame them.)  When you feel vulnerable, you think about these vulnerabilities later.

So far, my time in the "chokey" has been quite meager compared to many others, although this is not by choice. It's been almost a year since I've taught (aside from a few sub jobs this spring, which I found out is not my favorite- I guess I like control of the reigns), due to the fact that we've moved to two states in a matter of about 6 months. I did get licensed in both states, and even had interviews, but I didn't get the jobs.
Since I've had about 10 months to sit and reflect upon teaching, I have forged a long journey, without even knowing it, maybe even until now, and no doubt it will continue. As I sit back and reflect, I'm amazed at what changes have occurred.

I am fairly certain that all majors in college/university are fed a little bit or a lot of "propaganda" to encourage positive feelings and promote the benefit of society. All jobs are important to society, even  (and maybe especially) if we don't know they're going on. Apparently I am especially susceptible to said propaganda, given my feelings of guilt toward the thought if I ever leave teaching. (That's not a joke. The things we learn about ourselves.) Then there's the fact that I'm a "people pleaser," and the other fact that "teaching runs in the family." (That's a saying among many teachers, and it runs true on both sides.) So basically, if I ever seriously considered leaving the teaching field and going into something else, I'd have strong feelings of guilt, letting people down (including those who don't even know me, probably), knowing how poorly people think of me, and the fact that despite everything I tried to do to avoid it, now I'm a "statistic."  Oh, and I completely turned my back on my calling in life. (Now what am I going to be good at? I will never excel at anything. Did I let God down?) Plus there are all of these stories about professional_____-turned-teacher.

As you can see, I might need to work a little bit on the positive vs. negative self-talk and over-active imagination.  (At least I minored in psychology, so that I can be fully aware of these things.)

We are all statistics for about a mazillion things, so this is one hurdle that I only identify with because it feels personal. This, I think, I can get over. Eventually. Given the amount of time I've had away from teaching, I have explored these confused feelings a lot more than while I was teaching. (You might self-destruct as a teacher if you entertain these for too long- remember how much stress I said is involved? You'd be a ticking time bomb.) So, back to exploring these feelings and ideas about what would happen if I "left" teaching?  This time has been good for me to do some soul searching. I don't have kids yet, but when I do, being a full-time teacher will interfere with our family life at times. That's a given. And I REALLY don't want that to happen. There will be times when I have to do report cards or finish writing some type of report or another when my kids would rather go to the swimming pool as a family. Or I have to stay at school until 8:00 PM three days in a row and my kids don't get to see me before they go to bed. There are countless possibilities- just ask another teacher. That is my first concern. My second concern is how much it takes away from my quality of life (due to being overworked and high "stresshold") as a human being, social creature, and family-oriented woman. And I only fear it's going to get worse. Sometimes my mom, who is also an elementary teacher, declares "I'm too old for this." (Which, technically, she is, given the fact that her youngest child is 14.) My third is a fear of betraying myself and others if I do leave.

I often tell people that maybe they probably shouldn't go into teaching because it's pretty bad right now and it's only going to get worse. I also think that in order for it to be better, a lot of teachers are going to have to leave/not enter the teaching field. And do I REALLY want to be one of THOSE people? After all, I do absolutely love teaching. Just not all the other crap that comes with it.

Last week, I came to a conclusion that ultimately, whatever I do, the most important thing is supporting my family in the best way possible. That means taking care of myself, husband, and future children mentally, spiritually, emotionally, physically, and monetarily if necessary. If I do this, I will not be letting anyone down. No matter what I do, I will still be a valued daughter of God who is an asset to society. This was a breakthrough for me!!!! Although this was a breakthrough, I wasn't resolute in this feeling yet, and still kept going back and forth a little bit.

This week, someone I graduated with posted something on Facebook about a teacher with a PhD who decided to resign from teaching soon after her daughter was born. It was in these moments that everything aligned for her to see clearly (and I'm guessing she'll probably be homeschooling her daughter and subsequent children, if there are any- just a guess, though). As I read the article and resignation letter and commented on it, my own focus came a little clearer, backing up the feelings I initially had last week. Then another thing was posted relating to football. A comment with the posting made mention that loyalty in any profession doesn't pay. As I read that comment, the logic in the statement that the same for any profession is true hit me. And I scrolled past, but I went back to the article. I didn't have to read very far to get the full message I've been missing for so long in my own life. The article reports that Deion Sanders made two statements. 1-) "It's hard for me to fathom that I gotta be loyal to you, when you're not loyal to me." 2-) "I can't love nothin' that can't love me back."

I'm not saying I am full out hands down leaving the teaching profession here. I haven't made that decision yet. However, I am now open to the possibility of other career paths that may allow me to maintain my family (including myself) in a more healthy manner. And I'm in a good place where I have both options available. I'm currently looking for work and licensed to teach in my current state, but since I don't have a job, I can pretty much look in many areas. Also, I'm not even really considering homeschooling (I don't think that's necessary given that I don't have children, and other reasons, too). But I can still be me by doing other things. And for a while I've been pondering the idea of doing graduate work in School Psychology. (Again, working at a school, or having a higher workload, but more opportunities in other places as well, and higher pay. Plus, I think this is beneficial to my once again mentioned future children.) I am really happy with this realization that I can do whatever I want to do, even though I still went to university, graduated, and started my career.

There's probably more I can say, but I think here is a good place to leave it unless there are a thousand questions people ask me. Which does not usually happen since I'm not a famous blogger and probably most people won't read through this whole thing. So, I'll let you read other articles now (like the ones I mentioned, if you feel like it). And watch the video I'm including, because it's a good one, too.

Link to article about PhD teacher resigning. Make sure to read the actual facebook post. (I actually read it from a different site, but I feel that this source is less likely to be mangled with in the age of ever-changing online internetting stuff, ie get taken down or deleted for some reason.)
Link to "Loyalty Doesn't Pay." (The one about Football...)

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Toddler marriage

No, my marriage isn't in trouble. Nowhere near trouble.
I just want to be real for a minute.
I am starting to think that my marriage (maybe all marriages?) reflects the age of a person according to how long I've been married. Maybe it's just me, too. Since we hit our 3 year mark in June, my theory is that we are in the toddler/preschool years of marriage; here is a brief synopsis;
Year 1: Definitely not without its ups and downs, but blissful and cherished greatly for what its worth.
Year 2: Gaining autonomy. Feeling more okay to be separated while at work (independence), but still clingy at times. Do more things with friends.
Year 3: So challenging. (Everyone says three year olds can be worse than two year olds). I have become quite outspoken about things and want everything to fit the perfection envisioned in my mind. Which happens about 6% of the time. So lots of frustration and a husband who hears lots of words about how to do things better.
Year 4: Still working on this one. Seems more able to verbally communicate ideas even though the desire of telepathy (only for certain things) has not left.

Okay, but here is the real deal. Sometimes I feel like a horrible wife. [Pretty much] Everyday I make it a goal to not criticize Tommy today, or to only say positive things today to him. I am not kidding when I say that literally everyday- I fail. It hurts me after I do. Pangs of guilt... I feel like I tear him down everyday. Maybe I don't, maybe more often than not it's just suggestions of how to improve. (The teacher in me can be so take-overish sometimes.) But despite what drives me to do this, I really want to stop. I feel like Satan wins every day, not necessarily because I'm driven to do this, but because I am having the absolute worse time overcoming the natural tendency to do so (the natural man).
I am starting to question whether I have anger management issues sometimes (haha). No one should get angry over her husband saying he doesn't want to read a text conversation. And stay angry for 20 minutes. (However, I have a feeling I'm not alone in this petty anger issue.)
The thing that always gets me, though, is my sense of humor. I have the uncanny ability to laugh at any time if something funny happens. (This can be very horrible at times...) I also have the ability to crack jokes when I am mad or almost finished being mad. (Usually these are very dry jokes. I'm lucky I have a husband who has become very good at recognizing these for what they are, especially since this humor is not typically used in his primary culture.)

I think frequently about how I just want one day to be perfect. No disagreements and everyone is happy all day long. (I am hoping that this is more attainable than I make it sound.)

I love Tommy. Don't think for one second I don't. I just needed to be real for a bit. And now you all know how crazy I am. Hopefully this fact in life will not make you question our friendship. And by the way, I am really nice to Tommy, too.  I'm not always crazy. Maybe just once a day. But I'm still working on it, people. That's what each new day is for.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Texas and Life

In December, Tommy graduated, and since he didn't get a job in Hawaii, we moved to stay with my parents so that he could apply to the more abundant job market of the mainland. Tommy eventually got an internship with TMobile which started in June. Since I'm his wife, I came with him, instead of staying with my parents. But because it's summer, I haven't been working, and I have no car (since we only have one), so I've been a bit bored. Plus, I'm a people person.
Texas is a very interesting place. Since we are close to Dallas, there aren't beaches or mountains, so I'm not really sure what to do here, even on the weekends when Tommy isn't working. One day, our first week here, I decided to take a walk. There is a mall pretty close to our hotel, so I've gone there a few times to spend time/give myself something to do. Anyway, I thought there was another mall close to where we are staying, so I decided to walk there. It wasn't a mall, it was just a shopping center, so I decided to keep on walking to explore, in hopes of reaching a mall (besides the one I already knew about). I ended up walking for three hours in the heat, which was probably somewhere around 7 miles, and getting slightly lost (not completely, but I didn't want to backtrack). That day, I was very grateful for the shade. And I did get very sunburned. My feet were also very tired.
We have been going to a ward at church with a Chinese Group, so most of the meetings are in Chinese, and they have interpreters for Sacrament Meeting. We meet at the same time as the ward, but in the Relief Society room. Anyone in the Dallas mission can come to this ward if they are attending the Chinese Group.
I applied for my Texas teaching license early because my Washington one took so long to get, but Texas was really fast. Our first Sunday we went to the ward that our boundaries are in, and I was able to find a ride from someone in that ward from an email group. It was really nice of her to take me, but I haven't seen her since, and I think she has moved to Utah by now, which is where her husband is from. Anyway, I applied to all of these districts and positions here, but I haven't even received one phone call, and school starts on Monday, so I don't think I will be having a full-time teaching job here. 
(Speaking of licenses, I'm rather excited because I found out I can apply to a lifetime teaching certificate in New Jersey. This is good news because it means that I can have a license that will never expire. I've been thinking about and wanting a lifetime certificate for a while, and yesterday I did a little bit of research and found out New Jersey offers them. I'm not kidding that I'm excited about this. It's helpful in case I ever want to take a break from teaching or we move out of the country at some point- I don't have to worry about keeping it up/maintaining one. This makes it much easier for applying for a teaching license in pretty much any other state since expiring licenses is bad news. They make a lot of trouble to get back- with my mom, she worked probably 8 years to get hers and get highly qualified status back, which is crazy. Which is painful to her because at the time, she didn't know WA had a lifetime certificate as well, so if she'd had that, she wouldn't have had all this other mess. I am learning from her mistakes and trying to avoid that mess!)
I have had two interviews in Washington, however. One I flew back for, and I would have been working on the same team as Sarah's first grade teacher. They didn't call me back, though, so someone else nailed that interview. Then, on Friday, I had another interview but I didn't really want to spend $500 just to interview again, so we did it over FaceTime. If I get that position, I should be hearing back probably today (or maybe tomorrow, but I think today). I knew for the other job that I wasn't going to get it- it wasn't pessimism, I just had the thought that it wasn't going to be for me, and that feeling was right. For this one, I know the interview went a little bit better (ironically, since it was over FaceTime), but I'm not really sure. Meanwhile, we're waiting to hear back about 2 job interviews for Tommy, as well as a position approval at TMobile. So we might end up staying here in Texas for a while, we could end up back in Washington with one of the jobs, or somewhere else for the other one. I'm just glad that things are falling into place because we have been praying for a full-time position for Tommy for a very very long time. As for me, I can work anywhere, and while I prefer not to sub, it is still a possibility for me. (Ironically, the TMobile headquarters are about 20 minutes away from where my parents live and we drove all the way to Texas for this.) It's been really hard the past year, but we've been okay and had a lot of help and support from others, especially my parents. On Sunday I read this article and it was really helpful and applicable to our job situation. So I made that our home evening lesson for Monday.
For my birthday, we got tickets to Six Flags. I guess I have always wanted to go, and I told Tommy, "How can you live in Texas and not go to Six Flags?!" It was pretty fun, although we ended up only going on one roller coaster because the lines for all of them were so long. We went on 8-10 rides, though, so that's pretty good for the day. We had fun, and after we got back to the hotel we went out to dinner to a real Texas bbq place. It was pretty good. We sat at the bar because there wasn't any seating anywhere else, and they didn't even card us! I was surprised, but also excited. (Not like we drink, anyway.)
Overall, Texas is rather boring and fairly hot (although it's mostly bearable), but the people here are really friendly- unless they are in their cars. People are really aggressive drivers here. It's kind of crazy. It's also crazy how all the main roads are about 6 lanes because they have 3 lanes going in each direction...with a median in the middle. So there are lots of places to U-Turn, which is fairly helpful.
My sister Sarah was in Texas with her friend for a month, staying with the friend's grandma. As fate would have it, we ended up in the same city. So it was fun because we got to do things with the girls a few times, spend time with people we know,  and explore Texas together a little bit. 
We are pretty close to the temple here, which is a good thing, (20-30 minute drive), and I must say it's prettier in person than looking at it from the pictures. It's one of the 3 with the slanty roof (Las Vegas and Boise are the other two). 
That's pretty much the scoop of our lives. The most exciting thing is watching job opportunities finally unfold for Tommy. I'm rooting for a specific one, but I won't say what it is. (And I haven't mentioned what the others are, anyway.) But it's exciting to know that we're finally going to be settled in a little while. 

Sunday, May 4, 2014

I'm Grateful for my Husband

Yes, I'm really grateful for him. Being married takes a lot of work. But if you're working together, then you're probably doing it right. ;)
We got a good amount of money from our tax return. I asked Tommy if we could use it to buy a car (long before we even prepared our taxes). There are LOTS of reasons why I want a car, and think it would be beneficial, but I'm not going to go there, mostly because you probably understand this and so I don't need to list. So lately, we've been looking for a car. Starting from last week, we tried a Ford Focus. Tommy didn't know it was a Ford, but he doesn't like Fords apparently, so we're not going to get it. I was okay with it- the test drive didn't win me over. We just wanted to find a car that we both like.
Then, Tommy found this REALLY amazing deal on Craigslist. It was a 2002 Toyota Camry XLE with leather seats and a sun roof. We only had access to the person's email, so we were contacting that way. Here, there are a lot of servicemen who get deployed, so they price their cars a little bit cheaper in order to be able to sell quicker. Well, that was the story...plus the part about how this guy is in NORTH DAKOTA at an AFB and he'll ship it to us and we can pay through Amazon. We found our first scam. (I was slightly disappointed because this sounded perfect for me/for us, and I let my hopes get too high.)
I was scouring Craigslist after this, to see if I could find anything close by. I did find one, a little out of our price range, but Tommy said maybe we can bargain, so we went and looked and tested it out. I really liked most of it. It seemed really good in most ways. However, Tommy wasn't sure. He started at a 4.5 and moved to a 5 on a scale of how much he wanted it. I was a 7. We weighed in on this really hard. Maybe it sounds stupid, but $3000 is a lot to us right now. We said that we could spend $2900 on it (which was a compromise from both of us). They were willing to take that offer. Tommy and I discussed and weighed in even more. It's funny, because usually I'm the wishy-washy one, but this time I had my mind made up. Tommy didn't, but I think that's because he knew I liked it, but he wasn't sold. We ended up telling the people that we weren't on the same page about the car, and so we're going to wait until we find one we both like.
Tommy just wants to wait altogether, so I told him I won't look for any cars until he lets me know that he's ready. (That's going to be a challenge, but I can do it. Good self-control practice, anyway.)
Now, if you think about it, being single CAN be much easier because one party is deleted from this process. You can more easily do whatever you feel is right for YOU. When you're married, you need to work together to make decisions (if you want your marriage to stay healthy), and there will ALWAYS be disagreements, because of that fact about being two different people- it's two different brains you're dealing with.
So why am I grateful for my husband? I'm grateful that he's willing to keep the best in mind for both of us, even if I have a different opinion about what that really means. I'm grateful he lets me have my opinion. I'm grateful that it's okay to disagree with each other sometimes. I'm grateful that he is supportive, but that he has his opinion, too. And I'm really really grateful that I DO have someone to make a decision with- that I don't have to do it myself, and neither does he. Because two heads ARE better than one-it helps each person to keep from falling through the cracks- and the couple. (Usually.) So although it might sound a little crazy to some people out there about being able to "do whatever you want," that isn't all it's cracked up to be. I've been there and done that before. It's "mo' bettah" when you have someone to fall back on and make a decision with, so that you are both going to benefit. Even if it doesn't work out, somehow you still feel supported, because the other opinion matters, too. And although that can not be so fun sometimes because you don't always get what you want as often, it kicks the selfishness right out of you. There's no room for that garbage if you want to keep your marriage healthy. Selfishness doesn't really get people where they want to be, anyway, so thanks for the everyday lessons on selflessness...
So I'm grateful for my husband, that we can work together in decision making, that I don't have to do it alone, that we can work together so that we can both win, that he can be supportive of me whether we agree or agree to disagree, that he's so important to me that I'm willing and finally able to put myself aside completely for another person and look at something from his point of view, that everything is always going to be okay, that he can make me laugh when I'm really mad at him and don't want to laugh (Shhh! don't tell!), that I matter to him, that he makes me feel loved every single day, that I don't have to be alone for the rest of FOREVER because I HATE BEING ALONE, that I'm learning how to involve Heavenly Father more in big decisions because of Tommy, because I have someone to love.
I'm so grateful for my husband.

Saturday, April 26, 2014


Occasionally, I tell Tommy he should surprise me more. I like surprises. Actually, I love them! I don't understand why some people don't. (I secretly think it's good for them, and to let go of the control.) I love surprising others, and getting surprises. The excitement, the smile, the reaction, the aura of the atmosphere- I love it all!

I have noticed smaller things lately where Tommy has really been trying harder to do this, and contribute to my overall happiness and our relationship. Last week, when he had a break between semesters, he surprised me by coming to meet me after work. (That actually turned out not-so-great for my sister, but that's a completely different story, poor girl.)

Usually I call Tommy at lunchtime. I honestly sometimes don't even know what to talk about sometimes, but I just want to feel connected to him and hear his voice and see how everything is going. I just like talking to him, even if I have nothing in particular I want to say. It's because I love him. On Friday, I called him, and we were talking, and he said,
"Hey, did you ever purchase tickets to the Harlem Globetrotters?" (He knew I had seen something about it online.)
"No, I didn't."
"Good, because I just bought tickets for Monday night at 7:00. They were kind of expensive, actually. They were $28 each..." (Originally I thought he said $48 each, but I'm glad to know that was not the case, although I assured him that it was worth it as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.)

The conversation continued, but I told you the most important part about it. I was so happy that he got them, and also that he did something to surprise me! I didn't have much else to say besides "That's so exciting!/I'm so excited!" and "Thank you!"

Later on, I was talking to him about it, asking what prompted to buy them. He said a few things, and I said that I thought he wanted to surprise me. He said, "Yeah, that's a another big one, actually." I told him that I was surprised, because usually he doesn't like spending a lot of money. He responded by telling me that he actually sat there for 30 minutes trying to decide whether or not to get them. That both cracks me up that it was that difficult for him, and also makes me so happy that he was willing to do something that big to surprise me. (I know that $28 isn't really too much money, but usually our dates cost a little bit less than that (unless he's in the mood to "have a really good meal"), so it was a splurge for him, plus we are trying pretty hard to save money.) And I just found out that he could have saved some money from it, but that's okay. It puts a smile on my face to know that he did that, and of course I told him thank you for doing that to surprise me (positive reinforcement, folks!) and I really am thankful.

I'm happy that I have this cute and adorable and also awesome Chinese guy in my life. I am so grateful that he is making such an effort to make me happy. He always likes to quote, "Happy wife, happy life" and he's really starting to live that.

Okay, now can I divert this and bring up the point that we're going to see the HARLEM GLOBETROTTERS?!?!?!?!? And now you can vote on a rule that you want them to add to the game. Folks, I am so excited. I am living my mom's dream. She has always wanted to see one of their games. I think I shall be exploding her phone with photos and videos so she can see it! (Unless they don't allow photography...) Too bad facetime wouldn't work very well for that. Anyway, EXCITED. :) I just really really wish my mom could be here. She would be so thrilled!