27 February 2018

Playing Favorites

What are some of your all-time favorites in the history of ever?

For me...

Healthy Foods:
- Nectarines
- Avocados
- Black Raspberries
- Smoothies
- Cabbage

Junk Foods:
- Popcorn
- Five Guys Burgers and Cajun Fries. I follow them on twitter and I don't even know why because every time I see a photo of their food I miss them too much. They're basically my only fast-food temptation.
- Wild Berry Poptarts
- Nerds
- Pizza Rolls (I don't even know if I could eat these anymore, but man, when Angel worked shifts from 7 p.m.-7 a.m., I'd have some blissful nights with no cooked dinner, just a tray of pizza rolls from the oven and a classic mystery novel. Best!)

Beauty Products:
- "Yes to..." brand. It's rare for me to be brand-loyal, but years ago when we decided to avoid petroleum-based skin products as much as possible, "Yes to" met me at the perfect balance of relatively good ingredients paired with ease of purchase and reasonable cost. Yes, I know there are "more natural" product lines out there, but this one works for me--I've used their sunscreens, moisturizers, and chapsticks for years. Can't buy it over here, so I've had to lay in stock from the USA once in a while.
- Kat Von D Tattoo Eyeliner. Angel bought me this eyeliner for Christmas in 2016--at random, since he doesn't know anything about eyeliners, but I love how it works, and asked for a replacement this past Christmas.
- Manic Panic or Ion (the Sally's brand) for semi-permanent haircolors--surprisingly have impressed me with their staying powers. Haircolor is something that seems to vary quite a bit, certain hair textures take to some colors better than others. If your haircolor fades too fast, I always suggest trying a different formula or even a different brand until you find what works for yours.

{Photo from when I lived in the land of ice and snow}

- eShakti. I wouldn't say they have the prettiest dresses ever, there's definitely better sources for actual glamour dresses--but I like wearing "everyday" dresses that suit the culture and climate I live in, so I want knee-length dresses with short-sleeves that are 100% cotton. eShakti is by far the best source for dresses that I can wear on a normal day, here. A lot of my eShakti dresses I've had for years and they've held up very well. I think the cutest one is the one I got last summer:

- For shoes, I don't buy them often, but I have a few go-to brands depending on the need: Clarks (for dressy sandals or pumps--I've found that they fit narrow feet very well), Chacos, Keens, Converse. No boots are needed in my current climate, but a pair of Doc Martens will turn my head every time. I learned from Angel that buying better quality shoes means your shoes will last for years and then you don't have to replace them. That was a big change for this former Walmart-shoe girl!

- L.M. Montgomery. The woman knew how to create fascinating side characters better than anyone else I've ever read. Favorites are the Emily series.
- C.S. Lewis. Fiction or Non-fiction...I've read nearly everything he ever wrote, including various letters and essays. Favorites are probably Till We Have Faces, The Great Divorce, The Screwtape Letters, and A Grief Observed. 
- Mark Twain. People think modern-day comedians and youtubers are funny. Maybe they are...but I'm pretty sure Mark Twain is funnier. I like his short stories best, particularly "The Story of the Good Little Boy" and "The Story of the Bad Little Boy."

Favorite Purchase of the Past Year:
I often tend to find that my favorite thing of all is not buying anything...which is why I'm not the best at recommending brands or products, etc. Even my favorite shoe and clothing brands are my favorites because they last so long I don't have to replace them! However, even this minimalist will admit that sometimes, buying something is well worth it. The comfy couch I got this past Christmas? Best. Buy. Ever. If you don't have a comfy couch, do what it takes to get one. Your quality of life will improve dramatically. I don't know why I waited so long. Take it from me, you need a comfy couch.

What have you found worthy of labeling as "favorite" lately?
18 February 2018

What Life Looks Like Lately

Celebrating: Chinese New Year. At least, our whole city has been celebrating over the past long weekend! Everywhere you look, there are people dressed in red, having family gatherings, handing out oranges and ang pow. We had CNY dinners with friends on Friday and Saturday nights and have heard plenty of fireworks over the past few nights. It's hard to describe exactly how big CNY celebrations are here, but note this example--we visited one of the busiest malls on Sunday, the 3rd day of the new year, and I counted nearly 10 stores that were still closed on the 1 floor that I walked through. Angel went to market for groceries on the 3rd day of New Year and the guy who sells chicken wasn't there. So many stores and restaurants shut down because people travel to spend time with their families over this holiday!

Calculating: The probably of going into labor on any given day using this interesting probability curve. I'm finding it highly amusing to be able to report to Angel that I'm 98% positive that baby won't be born today.

Cleaning: We did a major spring cleaning of the apartment...and when I say "we," what I mean is that my awesome mom and two little sisters spent the whole first morning of the holiday weekend at my house, got up on ladders and did all the heavy work of taking off all the window screens to wash them and washing the windows and the metal grates on the doors while I did very safe jobs like taking stuff off the bookshelf and dusting all the shelves. Later, Angel cleaned the ceiling fans, so now I'm feeling like our place is looking awesome!

Wearing: Black lipstick--Angel's Valentine's Day gift for me. Definitely an unexpected gift, but it actually makes sense since he knows me so well. Not sure if imminent parenthood is increasing our level of grown-up-ness or not.

Reading: Just finished reading Bill Bryson's Notes from a Big Country, a series of columns on life in America which were written in the late 90s, so they are definitely starting to show their age as far as reference to "current events," but were highly, highly amusing, so much so that Angel thought it was weird how much I was giggling out loud to myself while sitting on the ottoman reading a book.

Wondering About: Why this sign would ever be designed as an advertisement for a local hotel with an unlimited beer bar. "Drink till you drop"? Why? Why would you literally attempt to encourage your patrons to drink until the point of passing out? Seems unethical...dangerous...just plain wrong. Aren't they at least supposed to say "Drink responsibly"?

Encouraging: My family and friends in their healthy lifestyle goals. Just about everybody I know made some serious health-related goals for this new year and are doing keto diets or other diets and working out together and signing up for races together. In my current, rather round, shape, I decided that my contribution is to be everybody's cheerleader and encourage them to keep on going when the going gets tough, and celebrate their accomplishments. I'm not sure that all of those who are changing their eating habits really appreciate having a cheerleader who eats anything that the baby lets me eat...but hey, I'm doing what I can. Also, while they're talking about percentages of body weight lost, I can calculate the percentage of body weight I've gained since June in order to make everybody feel much more impressed by their numbers! When they feel sad about all the cakes and candies and soda they can't have anymore, I excitedly tell them about how amazing ice water is and how it's basically the answer to all of life's dilemmas but I'm not sure they take my recommendations very seriously.

Exercising: Not much, but now that we're getting closer to due date, I'm feeling safer about being up and about more. Going along with the healthy lifestyle goals I just mentioned, a bunch of family and friends signed up to do a 5k on March 24th. I did not sign up for that, but for now I've gone out walking a couple times while the rest of the crew goes out to walk or jog or run, or have walked laps around the pool area while others actually swim inside the pool (I've never liked swimming in swimming pools, but I currently have a legit excuse that my rash guard doesn't fit)

What are you up to this week?
13 February 2018

10 Best Memories with Angel - Celebrating a Decade

2018 marks a decade from the long-distant 2008 when I first met Angel. If we're being precise, we didn't meet till later in the year, but this year I'm celebrating the fact that he's been changing my life for 10 years now.

Because we're celebrating Valentine's Day today, I wanted to share 10 of my most treasured memories of the last decade:

1. My first favorite memory is of glancing out at the parking lot and seeing his raggedy teal Ford parked next to my Chevy...nearly every day of second semester my freshman year. Every time, I'd turn away from the parking lot window with a grin. After moving across the world to go to college in Michigan, leaving all my friends and the places I was familiar with behind, it meant a lot to be included and "known" by new friends. Just one of those friends was weird enough to park next to me and sit at my homework table to study with me every day...even though he was doing NCLEX prep and I was studying Mandarin Chinese.

Me: 17 years old, just finished freshman year. Him: 24 years old, just graduated with his B.S.N.
JUST friends!!

2. When he came back to Michigan to visit for my Spring break in March 2010 after we hadn't seen each other for 10 months. We both knew that that Spring break might be an official beginning to the rest of our lives together...or that it might not. He met my parents over Skype and officially requested to court me, received an application, and later in the week, very nervously prepared for an interview with my parents. He was so scared--I remember him hugging me before the interview and telling me he was very sorry if they said no, and he was pretty sure they'd say no. I was pretty sure they were going to say yes. As soon as Skype connected, my mom exclaimed, "When I read your application, the first thing I said was, 'I want to BE Angel when I grow up!'"
Angel was still nervous, because he didn't know why she said that. But, safe to say, my parents didn't reject his application, and the next day, I dropped him off at the airport to go back to Texas. At the airport, he said he wasn't a fan of PDA and I said that's totally fine by me and thirty seconds later he kissed me goodbye so...??? Still wondering.

Me: 18 years old, in my grandparent's living room, meeting Angel for the first time in nearly a year.

3. When he came to visit Malaysia in July 2010. He said it was really important to him to meet my family in real life and get to know this home of mine. Greeting him in the airport in Malaysia was the first time I'd seen him since saying goodbye to him at the airport in March. He proposed two days into the trip, which was a good thing, seeing as all the invitations for our big engagement party on his last weekend in Malaysia had already been sent out. Seeing him adjust to the heat and the food and the public bathrooms and the culture was rather amusing for me, and I'm so glad that he got to know my community here before our marriage even began.

4. Our first day of marriage. I don't have terribly clear memories of Angel at the wedding...I remember my own relatives and our guests much better. But our very first morning of marriage, the first morning in our new home together, we both woke up very early on that chilly December day--me to clean up and organize all of the wedding presents we'd opened the night before, and him to vacuum all the glitter out of the car (glitter that had been generously applied by my uncles the day before). After that was done, we got in the car to go out for breakfast, and Angel pulled down the visor because it was sunny, instantly dumping the load of glitter that had been hidden between the visor and the roof of the car. I laughed my head off and held my visor up the rest of the drive so that he couldn't dump glitter on me. After breakfast, we sat down on the floor, because we didn't have chairs or tables, and, together, wrote all of our thank you cards for wedding gifts. It was so fun, and probably not the way most people envision the first day of marriage, but so very "us", and the memory is precious to me. On our second day of marriage, I went back to college and Angel went to the post office to mail all those thank you cards.

19 and 26 years old, first day of marriage, before breakfast!

5. Dates to Craig's Cruisers. I like food, but sitting down at a restaurant is not the most thrilling date ever. In the USA, our favorite date was to go to a local arcade and "fun center" called Craig's Cruisers, and play mini-golf or arcade games together. This is the sort of arcade that gives you tickets you can exchange for prizes (the only sort of arcade worth going to, in my opinion), and we spent many a fun hour together there. In fact, we saved up our tickets for a couple years with the intention of someday exchanging them for a really big, really cool prize...and then when we decided to move overseas, we realized it was time to spend all of our tickets. I blogged about this experience, but the gist of it is in this photo: we traded our tickets for a ridiculous amount of candy.

6. Going to Hawaii together. I have many good memories of other trips we've taken together, but something about that vacation was simply the best ever. The whole vacation was Angel's idea in the first place, but I planned it, and my main theme was "as free as possible" because we were between jobs and between homes in the USA and China, and the whole trip was perfection. We hiked all over the place, walked long distances along roads because of getting off at the wrong bus stops, ate food from grocery stores, wandered the beach, and had so much fun together.

7. Basically the entirety of our life in China together is one big amazing memory. It was a strange switch of roles for us: while he's normally the more outgoing person, who deals with strangers and makes food orders and such, because I spoke and read Mandarin far better than he did, I was now the one to communicate with the rest of the outside world, and navigate, and read bus routes. We wandered into all the nooks and crannies of our neighborhood, discovered favorite new snacks and ma-n-pa food joints, ordered dishes that we had no idea what they were, loved our jobs, got interviewed for local television, and basically had the time of our lives.

8. Telling him about both of our babies--our first, and then this one. Both so loved and longed for with not so much patience.

9. Finally visiting California with him. We were married over six years before I'd even had a chance to see his home state, and it was very special last May to spend a few days in Southern California having a local boy show me around. His ideas of highlights are maybe not the same as actual highlights of Southern California: "And here is the panaderia which was next to my school that had the best conchas ever." But it was so fun and so special. I think my favorite part was Joshua Tree.

10. Ten years can create a few too many memories, so it's hard to choose, but for this last one, I'd say just in general, the memories created by all of the weird and unexpected things Angel does--both on purpose and through absentmindedness. His oddities have brought so much entertainment to my life, like the time he 'accidentally' bought a bear costume on eBay. Or hung a black sock on the wall and tried to trick me into thinking it was a bat because he knows how blind I am. Or the countless hours I've spent sitting on benches in shoe stores while he looks for the perfect pair of shoes at the perfect price (I know way too much about running shoes for a non-athlete at this point). Or all the times he's locked us out of our cars. Or forgotten his wallet somewhere. Or the fact that by now, I think it's totally normal that he has to switch the car radio to a different song every 30 seconds or less because he can't sit through an entire song (the only time I realize that this isn't normal is when the car is full of friends and family who are begging him to just let the music play and leave it alone!). I say that the biggest theme of our friendship over the last decade has been "the unexpected." I didn't expect to marry a guy I met on my very first day of college. We got married with no plans to move overseas and settle down in Southeast Asia. And looking forward to the next decade...I have no idea what to expect, either, but I'm so humbly grateful for how amazing the past decade has been. This "unexpected" Angel makes my life even more exciting.

Linking up...slightly late...with 10 on the 10th and with Celebration from #LoveBlog2018 !
10 February 2018

Baby Update: 37 Weeks

Will this be the final update while he's still inside? Who knows...

Weight Gain: 18.5 lbs for me. Baby is estimated to weigh 6.4 lbs.

Symptoms: I wake up often in the night but this doesn't really bother me. I'm great at waking up and falling asleep again instantly. I did wake up yelling the other day because of a charley horse--I don't think I've ever had one in my life--and probably freaked Angel out a little bit. I've very much become a homebody whenever I can be, because walking and feeling hot outdoors in the sunshine never really seems worth it, and riding in cars is so bumpy. My excessive passion for smooth roads might be a bit exaggerated at the moment. I tend to feel like 95% of the time I feel fine, and then once in a while I feel overheated and lightheaded and painful and crash in a chair for a while drinking cold water until I perk up again. Or sometimes I just fall asleep.

Wearing: I told Angel the other day, "I feel like I have only about a week's worth of outfits."
He responded, "Why?"
I looked at him..."...Uh...because I literally only have...about a week's worth of outfits."
Good thing we do laundry often.
Perks of not buying any maternity clothes is motivation to stay on top of laundry duties. At this point, I think I have about 5 shirts, 4 leggings, 1 pair of capris, 1 skirt, 4 tunics long enough to wear with leggings, and 3 maxi dresses. So, technically more than a week's worth, but even if I have 5 shirts, only having one pair of capris and one skirt limits opportunity to wear those, and 2 of the maxi dresses are pretty thick, so they're too hot to wear unless I'm going somewhere with good aircon...which is pretty much the movie theater and church. Mostly it's the leggings and tunics--I got 3 of those leggings in a 3-pack at the supermarket for $20 when I was in America in May, have definitely gotten my money's worth!

Eating: Noticing less appetite or motivation to eat. Green apples, grapefruit, and cold water are LIFE. I declare that about 3 times a day. Very dramatically. Seriously, the amount of excitement I have over eating those fruits or drinking a glass of cold water is probably ridiculous. Nausea sneaks back in at times but cold water or sucking on ice cubes (not chewing them!) helps.

Favorite Things: When he's moving and stretching. This past week he's been more active than previously, and whenever Angel tries to listen to his heartbeat, baby immediately starts moving around. Also, I probably get excessively excited about things like the doctor's office giving us free diaper samples. 12 free diapers? Score!!

Emotions: I think we tend to be still in somewhat of an "I can't believe this is real" state. How is it possible to love someone so much, be able to see their movements, be just inches away from being able to touch their tiny hands and feet...and still have no idea what they look like? That's the mind-blowing thing for me--the fact that I don't even know what my own baby looks like. Or what his favorite things are. Or even what his birthday is!!! I remember everyone's birthday, how could I not know his?

Preparations: Angel's been watching youtube videos on how to bathe a newborn, so we're all set, right? He does a lot more of the medical/technical research than I do because that just suits us better. I firmly believe that too much research will make me nervous more than it will make me feel prepared, so I'll leave all of that to my beloved medical professional who is never nervous about anything. I put a couple things in the diaper bag and we've started gathering up all the paperwork needed for registering the birth of a US Citizen abroad. A few extra hurdles to jump when one of the first things you need to think about after having a brand-new baby is getting a passport photo taken! Baby's first road trip will be to the US Embassy. We need to set up the portable crib/bassinet in our room at some point and rearrange our furniture so that it will fit. There will probably be some video watching on how to install carseats in the near future (fun fact: there are currently no carseat laws where we live, and we often see small infants being held by parents on the back of motorcycles--interesting differences because car seats are such a serious matter in the USA).
I told Angel we should make sure to bring along some snacks for me to the hospital, because I can guarantee that I won't eat hospital meals (since they'll probably consist of chicken porridge), and he looked at me with a smirk and said, "Great idea! What snacks will you eat?"
I looked at him.
He continued to stare back at me.
"....Green apples...and..." I said.
"You're gonna starve," he said.
If Skinny Pop White Cheddar Popcorn existed in this country I wouldn't be in this situation.


I don't think either of us are at the point yet of experiencing impatience--though that may start to come on later as the weeks fly by!
04 February 2018

10k Race Recap - It was actually an 8k, also, the "Death March" and essence of fish.


Angel signed up to run a 10k early on the morning of February 4th.

That's normal.

This race was closer to home than his recent races have been, and I told him that if he placed, he should come home and pick me up for the award ceremony. I didn't think he was likely to place since only the top three overall were going to get trophies. Angel, on the other hand, told me he was thinking about "winning" the whole thing.

At 7:40, he called me and told me to be ready to get picked up, because he'd come in second place.

Turns out, when he started the race he knew he was in 4th place, and the guy in 1st place took off so far ahead that Angel never saw him for the rest of the race. The other two stayed in sight, and as the miles passed, Angel passed them, for a 2nd place finish at 34 minutes 5 seconds. Wait a minute--that doesn't sound right for a 10k time! Angel's fancy new watch revealed that the race course was only 8 kilometers, and talking with the other winners confirmed that the race track was significantly shorter than expected.

Oh well, these three certainly weren't complaining about a short race, given that they won it! What was a surprise to us was, along with the trophy, Angel received a "hamper" full of food items as part of his prize. This has never happened at the races we've attended before!

Angel and I found the music choices for the award ceremony highly amusing, as they ranged from "Let it Go" to "Get Lucky," "Fight Song," and "YMCA." The winners of the 6k race received their awards to the tune of the "Death March" from Star Wars and it gave the whole affair a certain air of intensity that I don't normally associate with 6k fun runs.

Investigating what was actually inside the gift hamper was a great deal of fun for me. We always see these sorts of hampers in the grocery store around major holidays (Chinese New Year is quickly approaching!) but have never bought them as a gift because they always seem to include such odd items in their packaging.

This one contained: Ferrero Rocher Chocolates, Durian-filled chocolate, dried cranberries, 4 bottles of essence of fish, strawberry candies, sparkling grape juice, candied nutmeg, green tea, tomyam-flavored peanuts, and almond shortbread biscuits (these were wrapped inside a box that didn't say what was inside, but merely proclaimed: "The Best Gift Ever" in gold lettering all over the box).

The essence of fish is the most mysterious item in the hamper as far as I'm concerned, because I can't imagine the circumstances under which one would desire to drink anything with such a name. The instructions on the bottle say that children should have half a bottle twice a day, and adults should drink a whole bottle twice a day. It's a health supplement, but one that I think I'll have to pass on.

Since we'd already stayed for the whole award ceremony, we decided to stick around for the "Lucky Draw" or raffle. If you've read any of my race recaps in the past, you may have noticed that Lucky Draws are a big deal at races. There are often LOTS of prizes to be given away, so the odds of winning something tend to be pretty high. This race said they had 35 prizes for the lucky draw, but in reality, there were a good many more than that, because many of the 35 gave away multiples of the same prize.

Probably because there were so very many prizes to give away, the lady announcing the numbers was rather feisty about trying to speed along the giveaway process. After she announced a number, and she'd see someone begin to get up out of their seat and make their way toward the stage, she'd start yelling in any one of three languages: Mandarin, Bahasa, or English, based on which language she thought the person spoke. I know enough to be able to translate the Mandarin and Bahasa for Angel, and I was cracking up as she'd be yelling out: "Hurry up!" "Run Faster!" "You've had an hour to rest already, faster!" "Why so slow?" "Run! Run!" "Don't walk, run!"

I learned over to Angel and told him that if his number  got called, he better hop out of his seat and RUN to the stage if he didn't want to get heckled. He took my advice when they called out his number, but we didn't know what he'd won until he returned to our seats with the envelope:

It's a gift certificate for a free lunch buffet at a very fancy local hotel...a free lunch buffet for ONE. Who goes to a buffet by himself? Seems to me that meal prizes ought to be for two...but we were very excited that he managed to take 2nd place in this race and also win a random prize. One of the lucky draw prizes was a motorbike and I am very, very glad indeed that he didn't win that one! Lunch is far safer.

I think race day always leaves Angel with a bit of a runner's high, so once we got home in the afternoon, he signed up for a race on March 10th. Which is 6 days after my due date. I let him sign up on the condition that if I'm in the the hospital, he is NOT going to the race. No matter what. I don't care if you think you can "win" this one. The "Murphy's Law" part of me suspects that because of the race he signed up for, we can now plan on baby being born on March 10th, exactly.

Did you have any adventures this weekend?
01 February 2018

Valentine's Opinions

Sharing my Christmas Opinions was fun, so let's continue the trend, shall we?

1. Kisses or Hugs?

I've made it pretty clear that I am not by nature a touchy-feely type of person. Within my own family, hugs may be appropriate on occasion, but I am so not the type that greets everyone with a hug. 

2. Candy or Flowers?

I like candy but I'm a bit picky--dark chocolate with orange, or sweettarts or nerds or sour gummy worms...candy or chocolate in general isn't quite enough. With flowers, on the other hand, I'm not picky at all. I just see flowers and I think they're the best thing ever. So it's probably easier to give me flowers.

3. Baking or Cooking? 

I don't have an oven, but I really, really like baked good. I miss the baked egg casseroles or strawberry pies or homemade bread I used to make back when I had an oven in the USA. But I like the oven-free life, too. It keeps your meal plan simple, out of necessity. 

One of my all-time favorite pictures of us.

4. Do you remember your first kiss?

Well yeah, because it was with Angel, so I probably shouldn't be forgetting that, now should I? The year was 2009, I was leaving for Malaysia the next day, Angel said, "I know you would be mad if I kissed you, but I wouldn't be mad at all if you kissed me." I laughed my head off first, and when he was already pretty certain that the line hadn't worked, I thought, "Hang the consequences!" and kissed him. His response was "Next time, some warning would be nice!" My non-verbal response was a raised eyebrow...thinking: "What makes you think there'll be a next time?"

*Spoiler Alert* We're married.

5. Favorite color of Roses?

Dark red until they look nearly black. Or any shade with a hint of purple.

6. Conversation Hearts, yes or no?

I have a great fondness for reading them and trying to make the hearts have conversations with each other as I take them out of the bag. It must be admitted, though, that as far as flavor goes...they really are not that great.

7. Do you leave love notes? 

Oh yes. I am very good at love notes. The best. I leave Angel thank you notes or little happy notes frequently, like when I'm eating some cereal he bought me at the grocery store and I really love the cereal, I'll write him a note about it.

8. Do you decorate for Valentine’s Day?

I might,  not opposed to it, but haven't this year.

9. Red or Pink?

In college, I would purposely wear a red sweater underneath a hot pink shirtdress every Valentine's Day. It was my festive outfit. One Valentine's Day, I walked into class and my professor was also dressed according to theme, with pink shirt and tie and glasses, and he told me he liked my outfit, and I knew I had met my match in the world of festive outfits.

10. Milk, White or Dark Chocolate?

Like I said, Dark Chocolate, with orange.

11.  Do you believe in love at first sight?

When it comes to food, absolutely. I feel like it's more likely that you would take an instant dislike to someone at first sight and only later fall in love with them. Doesn't that seem far more plausible in your own experience of humanity?

12. Do you give Humorous or Serious Valentine Cards?

More likely, I'd make funny cards. I don't usually give Angel actual cards for anything, I just write letters to him, so those are more on the serious side. But I give cards to my family and friends, and humor takes priority there.

13. Favorite Chick Flick or Romantic Movie?

"Roman Holiday" is my favorite love movie because it's a story of choosing duty over romance, and that has always made it seem like the coolest love story ever, to me. To choose to say "no" to 'what might have been' because it is what's best for the larger society.

14. Stay In or Go Out? 

I stay in frequently, so if I have the choice, and I'm feeling healthy, I love to go out and do something really fun to celebrate a special occasion. I much prefer activity outings over mere food shops are painfully boring to me, but I love a theme park or mini-golf or arcade or bowling, or just about any kind of actual activity. On Valentine's Day itself, Angel and I have a notoriously hilarious track record for romance:
1st Valentine's with Angel: We'd been married a couple months and Angel was working night shift so I went to a Valentine's party with a bunch of single friends and had a blast making cookies and participating in a Valentine's Card Exchange where we made love cards for each other and it was hilarious.
2014: We had a special date planned, then my parents called and told us they'd rented a U-Haul and everything they owned needed to be loaded into the truck, so we spent Valentine's sorting and packing and carrying heavy furniture
2016: We really, really tried to go out for dessert...and after several restaurants didn't work out for various reasons (one of them had no ice cream??) we ended up at McDonald's and I got an Oreo McFlurry which may be the only good thing about McDonald's.


Today's opinions are entirely my own, but the festive post idea is brought to you by the Love Blog Challenge  today and The Blended Blog on Monday--where we're talking about Valentine's Day and love in general. 

How do you feel about the holiday? Is it even a holiday?