Our baby

This is Bella. She is our 75 lb. furball of love, vomit, and gas. We took her in when Brandon's dad had to give her away because she and her brother Billy were outgrowing the house.

Her hind legs are also worth $10,063.56. Yes, this is Bella. Our troubled dog who was born with knees eleven degrees off what it is supposed to be.

Bella is a dog prone to ear infections, is allergic to grass, has scabs on her front elbows from laying on hard surfaces, and throws up more than someone with major food poisoning. At least she finally got over the nasty habit of jumping out of windows and tearing apart every plastic bag in sight.

She is not a Labrador. No, she is some mutant dog who refuses to go near water, doesn't retrieve, and would rather sit on a blanket than the soft sand when we take her to the beach.

But she is also a complete sweetheart, and we love her.
She never fails to greet me at the door when I come home from a long day of work.
I no longer wake up to the sound of her urine hitting the carpet.
She keeps me warm on cold winter nights by cuddling with me in bed.
But most of all, Bella saved me from days of lonliness when I was missing Brandon the most. Times were/are hard, but looking at that adorable face of hers makes me feel at peace.
You may think that a dog doesn't belong in a wedding blog, but she is part of our family. Also, her ridiculous vet bills equate to the cost of a small wedding. Besides, she's awfully cute, don't you think?


351 more days!

A few days after our engagement, Brandon and I realized that we had better choose our venue together before he went back to NY. This was not something I was willing to decide on my own. He did not understand just how much had to be done in one year, but luckily we got right into it. I love that he is so excited to be a part of this planning process.

We went to Barnes and Noble and purchased two wedding magazines along with a big wedding notebook so that I could stay organized through all the mayhem. Brandon and I sat in front of his computer for hours searching through different possible wedding locations, and only found one that we would even consider looking.

The next day, we headed to The Nixon Library to check it out. We absolutely fell in love. Brandon's senior prom was actually at this location. I remembered really liking the gardens, but when we laid our eyes upon that beautiful plot of land, we knew right away that it was perfect.

The ceremony itself will take place in front of the reflection pool in the gardens. Then, we will move into the "stunning White House East Room complete with parquet wood floor and replica chandeliers and fireplaces." It really is stunning. The room is a perfect size for our small wedding. Giant hanging chandeliers and high ceilings make the room so elegant and classy. No tacky carpet either! Just the vibe we were looking for.
A White House replica, too? Pefect for a military wedding and a history fanatic such as Brandon.

Just picture that young blonde couple as a Chinese + Mexican/White couple.

We didn't even bother looking anywhere else. It's perfect and you can't convince us otherwise.

The date is set for December 27th of this year. We were at first considering New Year's Eve, but that did not work out as planned due to Brandon's scheduling with the Army. The 27th is $500 cheaper too so it all came together perfectly.

We sign a contract and put down a 50% nonrefundable deposit next Monday. There's no backing out now!

P.S. I used the word "perfect" five times in this post. Can you tell how happy I am to have a venue and a date already set?

Next up:

Our bionic dog with her $10K legs

More on the Nixon Library

Age is but a number


My girls...and man

I can't seem to stop posting. Three posts in twelve hours? That's madness! I'm sure the urge to post late at night or early in the morning will subside soon, but right now, I need to get all of this out before I explode with anxiety.

Without further ado, here are my lovely bridesmaids and bridesman. Yes, Tony. You are lovely, too.

My Maid of Honor (MOH): Debbie is my feisty sister who isn't physically capable of holding back her opinions. The night/early morning Brandon proposed, she showed me a list of links to wedding dresses and bridesmaid dresses that she had already compiled. The page was titled "Min's Wedding Extravaganza". She also seemed to be on the phone with a bunch of her friends to announce the news. Before I even became engaged, she would show me beautiful centerpieces and tell me that "we could rock that sh*t." Her potty-mouth will definitely keep me in check. She is the one who inspired me to blog, probably because she wants to be a guest blogger on here sometime, too.

Bridesmaid 1: Tiffany S. was the first one to hear about my crush on the boy in gym class. She and I have known each other since the 5th grade, but we didn't start really getting to know each other until the 7th. At that point, we were doing sleepovers every Friday night at my house and talk to each other about boys, school, and family until we fell asleep. This brilliant girl attends UC Berkeley, and we don't nearly get to spend enough time together. Tiffany knows every aspect of my relationship with Brandon, and I don't know how she is not sick of hearing me talk about him after four and a half years. Perhaps she is just that patient of a person.

Bridesmaid 2: Although Belinda and I were in numerous Newton Middle School plays together, we were never smart enough to create a friendship. Then one day I decided to call Belinda and ask her if she wanted to watch Spiderman 2 with me. She fell in love with the "dreamy" James Franco, and we finally bonded. Belinda makes me laugh, tolerates my pessimistic attitude, and makes me strive to be a better person. This girl is so busy helping the world that I sometimes see Brandon more often than I see her, even though we live in the same city. But I forgive her because she never fails to try to keep in contact.

Bridesmaid 2: Tiffany O. (Tuff) and I hated each other in middle school. The girl tried to steal my sixth grade boyfriend, after all. We somehow mended our relationship with one another. As with Belinda, I feel like we lost some good years of beautiful friendship. We have been in a competition to see who would get married first because we both want the same color scheme for our wedding and the same KitchenAid standing mixer for our wedding gift. I won, but at least she got proposed to first.

These beautiful gals even took me out to Downtown Disney to celebrate my engagement. They have been hearing about my wedding and marriage plans for so long that I think they were relieved to see it finally happening.

Bridesman: I think Tony was reluctant to accept it at first, but he is going to be my bridesman. No, he won't wear a dress, but he will be standing up there with my gorgeous
four ladies. I have always found it to be so easy to talk to Tony, and we never fail to have a good time with one another when we hang out. He shares my cheap and thrifty lifestyle, and is always so understanding. I don't have to watch what I say around him, and I value our friendship
greatly. That is why I need him to be a part of my wedding.

These five people will hear me blab on about the wedding for almost a full year. They probably can't wait for it to all be over with.


My precious

I like shiny objects. Especially a shiny diamond that is mine. All mine!

Brandon asked me to go look at rings on my own while he was in NY so that he and I could get a clue of what I liked. One of my bridesmaids, Tiffany Ohara, and I went to numerous jewelry stores in the mall to try on rings, but I never was able to settle on anything that I could live with for the rest of my life. My hands have been described as the following: beautiful, long, thin, delicate, witch-like, ET-like, wrinkly, scary...

Basically, the average ring size for a woman is a seven. Mine is smaller than four and a half. Everything looked too big on my abnormally thin and strange finger.
We decided to give Robbins Bros. a shot. After all, they are the "world's biggest engagement ring store". Their selection was enormous, but there was only one that I fell in love with. I began to refer it as "my ring," and nothing compared to it.
I just happened to fall in love with a ring that was more than Brandon's budget could afford, and he led me on to think that there was no way he could get me that ring. Truthfully, I would have been perfectly happy with a cubic zirconium ring, but Tiffany told Brandon that I would be disappointed with anything less.

When he proposed, he pulled out the ring, and asked "Is it the right one?" I swooned. The first thing I said (or squealed) when I laid my sleepy 3am eyes on the ring was "Pretty!"

Can you blame me though? Look at that baby sparkle. The jeweler who sold Brandon the center diamond described it as "orgasmic". It has channel set princess diamonds and a squared off bottom. I believe it is 1.33 carats, far more than I need, but I'm not going to complain. The designer A. Jaffe did an amazing job, and so did Brandon!
I actually miss it when I am at work, and I catch myself staring at it when I have it on. This, my friends, is why my ring deserves its own post at 12am.

And so the madness begins

Bridezilla (a portmanteau of bride and Godzilla) is a generic term used to describe a difficult, unpleasant, perfectionist bride who leaves aggravated family, friends and bridal vendors in her wake.

I hope I do not become one, but I fear that traces of it have already emerged. You have adequately been warned.

Our Story: Brandon and I met during sixth period P.E. when he was a junior and I was a sophomore. His first word to me was "Duh!" It wasn't love at first sight, but it was definitely one of those crazy young crushes where every little smile or glance was intricately taken apart and studied.
I like to say that I made the first move. We started talking over AIM (because that's how we kids do it nowadays), and I found out that he loved dark chocolate. I made my mom drive me to Ralph's so that I could get him a bar of chocolate for his birthday the next day. This was when we exchanged our first hug. Our dates consisted of movies and dinner at the Puente Hills mall. Our first kiss was in front of Johnny Rockets after watching one of the Harry Potter flicks.

Brandon left for West Point in June of 2005. The next two months, we only communicated through letters. No phone calls, emails, webcams, or texts. His sweet written words got me through being 3,000 miles away from him.

Fast forward to four and a half years into our relationship, and suddenly I'm wearing an engagement ring at twenty years old.

For whatever reason, I think Brandon and I always knew we wanted to get married and spend the rest of our lives together. I remember on our first date as we were waiting for our rides home, he asked me where I wanted to go to school. I had no clue at this point, but he told me that he wanted to attend West Point. I ran to my computer when I got home and looked up this remarkable school he wanted to go to. My heart sank when I found out that it was all the way in New York. This is when I knew there was something special going on.
I won't go into too much detail about how Brandon proposed, but it was perfectly simple, beautiful and intimate. I had been itching for a proposal for years since I knew we were going to get married, but I could not start to officially plan until we were engaged. Brandon is not great at keeping surprises so I suspected that he would propose during his Winter Leave. However, I had no idea he would propose at 3am on Christmas Day on my front door step. He even got down on one knee.

Next up:
My gorgeous ring
Introducing my bridesmaids (and bridesman)
Our wedding date and location