It’s taken a few days to get settled since arriving back on Monday and making a dent in the mountain of emails in my work inbox.
The Holy Week trip in Cebu was great, super chill and relaxing which is what we all really needed. We spent the first day at the house, where mom baked way too many delicious snacks to bring over for our little stay at the beach house. I managed to squeak in a quick two-hour meeting with my boss at his house to go over the gameplan for the next few months. The whole family picked me up and we got to visit the new house which is still being built.
We’re leaving for Cebu to spend Holy Week with my family tomorrow and my brain is already on holiday mode. So hard to focus on work when the idea of an extra-long weekend keeps popping in my head.
Our little beach house has pretty crappy cell signal, which can be annoying when you are trying to check e-mails or call but most of the time it feels great to be disconnected from news feeds and hang out with family. Chris, Vanessa and I have decided to work on little projects during our stay, in between catching up on our reading and spending time with the parents. Chris will work on his illustrations, Van will do some water coloring and I’ll finish up my little cross-stitch project that I picked up over the weekend. I don’t have a creative bone in my body but I can follow a pattern, so here we are.
The weekend went by nicely with a fun board game night with Van, Jet and Omi, starting out on the cross-stitch project and bachata dance class with V. She’s so good and I’m super proud of her. I know she prefers kizomba but I thought she looked great and I was totally living for her Save the Last Dance realness.
In other news, Chris resigned from his job which is a pity because I know he really liked his workmates but it was tough especially when he felt like his job could be pulled from underneath him at any time since they decided to move almost all creative work back to their headquarters in Malaysia. For the past few weeks, he hasn’t worked on anything really worthwhile and watching so many people resign or get fired just seemed like a bad omen. On top of that, lots of gross office drama to boot. He’s gotten an offer with another company so we’re thankful that we have something to fall back on. So we’re hoping this new company is a good fit for him.
I must have listened to the final episode of the S-town podcast three times already, and I have lost count of how many times I’ve read John B. McLemore’s note from the final episode.
If you haven’t gotten into it yet, I suggest you check it out and listen to the podcast first (it’s just seven episodes!) in case you are curious about the note. Plus it’s a spoiler, so fair warning.
I’m guessing it’s one of those podcasts people either love or hate by the time the second episode rolls along. But I can easily say it’s probably one of the best podcasts I’ve listened to and some of the best storytelling I’ve seen in a while. Read More »
Back to real life! Tropical Think Tank was a big success if I do say so myself. I got a little choked up seeing all our old alumni attendees fly back in for the last time and the crop of new attendees this year brought lots of good energy.
Everything ran relatively smoothly and very few hitches came up, thank god. My favorite part about it was probably the last day when we all went out on the boat and topped the event off with our White Party. Being out on the boat under the sun really calms me down, and my mind accepts that there really isn’t a lot I can do during that time because cell reception is such crap out on the sea so I can’t follow-up or supervise anything back on shore, so I get to relax and breathe a little. Until some of our attendees cut their feet up on the corals so I was running around the boat with cotton and band-aids while convincing them that the betadine doesn’t sting (Ha! Lies :p). Plus since it’s the last day, it means I get to sleep in afterwards which is all I really want anyway.
The White Party set-up was gorgeous this year, and I’m super proud of the team for making it look as good as it did. I don’t think I can do the event justice, so here’s a peek at what the whole thing looked like. I’m super proud of it.
Now that it’s done, I’ve had a few days to decompress, catch up on sleep and fall back into my normal routine. We have another event coming up in November. It’s going to be in London and I’m praying I get to help out with that. Obviously because helping put on an event in London. How awesome would that be?? But also because I’m so curious to see how they run events over there, how my event management skills can hold up in such a different setting (I’m pretty sure I’m lightyears behind them but it would be a great opportunity to learn).. so here’s to hoping for London.
Chris and I may have to push back our family plans – we were hoping to try for after Tropical Think Tank but I’ve asked him to wait a little more because I am so eager to do this London thing and I don’t think I can do it if I’m running around throwing up in foreign bathroom stalls or on pregnant hormones. I can tell he’s a little sad and frustrated but he doesn’t show it. I’m also hoping I’m making the right decision when it comes to timing. I feel like I need to do this for me.
I’m in Cebu right now – getting ready for the annual work event Tropical Think Tank that is happening next week.
I’m worried that I feel so lax and that it might bite me in the butt during the event when I realize I have forgotten something. So I’m trying to get my mind in high gear and start covering everything. Wish me luck!
Chris is back in Manila, recovering from ACL surgery for his knee alone. I’m a little worried about him, not just because of his knee but because Chris is kind of like this big labrador that gets lonely and needs company. His mom is arriving back from the States in a week so I’m hoping he can hang in there until she arrives.
Lately, we’ve been worrying about his job. In a matter of two weeks his job has suddenly become unstable and we’re not sure if he will be able to keep it until the end of the year. His boss has been fighting for him to stay on for at least three more months but it doesn’t look too promising. He’s going to start job hunting but we’re both pretty bummed out especially since his salary raise only really kicked in last month.
The future is looking uncertain with both of our jobs (my boss is moving to the UK and who knows if he will need me anymore) so we’re holding our breaths and on the look out for options.
I haven’t been a TOTAL slouch this whole time 🙂 I did manage to squeak in a quick meeting with one of our suppliers recently, so at least I have that ticked off my list.
Pocket Prints is a cool alternative to the usual photobooth that you would come to expect at a wedding. I notice that sometimes half the audience is gone during the reception because there is a long queue outside, full of people who want to have their pictures taken in the photobooth.
What our supplier does is offer to print your Instagram photos using a certain hashtag onto cute polaroid-style photos. We thought it was a cute idea, especially since it doesn’t limit our guests to have their photos from a booth — they can have photos printed of them on the way to the church, before the reception, etc.
Our supplier was super accommodating and even threw in a simple ‘selfie booth’ for our guests who haven’t gotten into Instagram yet (read: my parents) though he mentioned that a lot of older guests have fun learning about the new app.
I knew that I was going to be busy coming into August and then I would be able get back on the wedding planning train by September but boy, was I wrong. August and September were probably some of the most stressful months this year, what with the launch of my boss’ latest website. We kicked it off by the end of August and one week later, he left on a business trip so I was left to try and sort things out while communicating with him with an eight hour difference between us. All in all, the project wrapped up so much later than I anticipated. I only managed to catch my breath in October and have just picked up where I left off last July/August.
There have been DEVELOPMENTS — but I don’t want to jinx it so I’ll wait and see how it turns out.
Currently on a wedding-planning streak which is great because I am going to be pretty bogged down with work in the coming weeks.
It was a pretty productive weekend, we got a lot done.
We are halfway paid up for the venue which is a huge relief, because it was one of our biggest expenses. We met with our coordinator, our photographer, videographer and even managed to squeak in a quick consultation with a florist. Tomorrow I’ll be making a deposit to our cake supplier. Fortunately we found one who gave us a quote under our original budget (woohoo!) and came highly recommended. I sent her a peg of the watercolor themed cake we had in mind and she said this was something they could do, so we’re excited! Now a part of me wishes that the wedding was sooner, just so I could get to the cake tasting part already (ha!).
Once I make the payment, I think I’ll have to pause on wedding planning for a while until the end of August. In the meantime, I think I’ll focus on trying to lose weight (one of the worst parts of the engagement eurgh). Here’s to hoping I can hit my lose-20-lbs.-goal!
The first person I called after I got engaged was my mom. She answered the phone with a knowing tone in her voice, but still let me tell the whole story before quietly saying “I know. Chris flew into town secretly the night before, to ask your Dad and I for permission. I’ve been praying for this to happen”. She’s been our number one supporter since before Day 1 even started.
One of the first things she offered was that she would pay for the church because her dream has always been to walk with her daughter down the aisle. Part of me was thinking about a beach wedding, but knew that walking down the aisle in a church would mean such a huge thing to my mom so we had to decide on one. Thankfully we have a gorgeous modern church here in the city, that I’ve fallen in love with.
I love its contemporary design, the clean lines and airy feel. I think this suits us better than a traditional church or the grand type of cathedral. It’s a bit of a drive away from the reception venue, but I really have my heart set on it. Now it’s just a matter of getting our church and marriage documents in order. The list is crazy long. Enough to make someone decide to elope instead, but more on the requirements another time!
Busy weekend coming up! Chris is coming to town so that we can make some payments and meet up with some wedding suppliers: our wedding coordinator, photographer, videographer and cake supplier. I’m particularly excited about our wedding photographer, Rainbowfish Photography!I’ve been stalking their work for months – they’ve done a bunch of my friends’ weddings and I always feel like they do a great job of capturing the personalities of the couples without using cheesy or over-used concepts.
We’re slowly coming up with ideas for our own shoot. We definitely know that we aren’t a cutesy couple that wants a set shoot full of props. You know the type, the one with the vintage bicycle or old-fashioned suitcases and a ukelele. Or a sofa set in the middle of a grassy field. If we had a bigger budget, I’d love to fly to a really busy but beautiful city like Hong Kong or Japan and just wander around the city with our photographer. Wandering around different cities together (Chicago, Washington D.C. and New York) was how we fell in love with each other so it would be awesome to document our engagement. There is one thing that we definitely know we want.. .GIFs of our engagement and wedding photos.
The little movements in the images just really highlight the whole setting and make the image pop more. Plus we both spend way too much time on the internet so using .gifs totally highlights that haha. Doesn’t it remind you of those moving photos in the Harry Potter movies?? We probably are only going to have around three .gifs from our engagement shoot and three from the wedding day itself, or ideally at least. I’m not sure what our photographer will say about this but I’m hoping its a yes. Will keep you posted!