SOCIAL MEDIA

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

21 comments :

  1. This is a wonderful post! Your stories of Angel always make me smile, Rachel!

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  2. Loved reading your story. Thanks for linking up with us!

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  3. I love reading your stories about marriage! Oh man, that glitter one on your wedding is so funny-my husband would have been paralyzed if that had happened (he's not a fan of glitter, and while there wasn't much glitter in our car when we got married-just from some ribbons loving friends had put in there-I'm pretty sure even that tiny amount drove him crazy a little bit) lol.
    Also, that interview on TV is so cool! I didn't understand a lot of it, since I don't speak Mandarin, but the parts I could understand were neat :)

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  4. I always enjoy reading more stories about you and Angel. That car glitter sounds amazing. I would love that!

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  5. oh my gosh how sweet is this! what a great story!

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  6. It is always fun to look back and remember how everything got started. Funny with car and truck being parked next to each other.

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  7. What an amazing and world traveling love story. Many blessings to you and your family.

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  8. Happy Valentine's Day! Also, someday I'd like to see the questions that were asked in the dating application :)

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  9. Aw, I love this! Such fantastic memories - and it sounds like you've gone on a ton of adventures together already, so here's to many many more! Happy Valentine's Day to you both. :)

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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  10. Happy Valentine's Day! You two have a special love and its a real blessing! Adding a child to the mix will definitely make for many adventures! Have fun!

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  11. No way! There was really an application? Like a written one? I'm glad he passed! You guys are too cute. Happy Valentine's Day!

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  12. This post brings me such much joy! I genuinely had a good time reading about your experiences together - you two are so lucky to have found each other (ten years?! Holy moly!). Happy Valentine's Day and all the best for your future together. xx

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  13. These are such sweet recollections! Sharing the news about being pregnant seems like such a memorable moment in a marriage. :) You two are adorable together and I hope your Valentine's Day was very special.

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  14. This is so sweet! It's amazing how quickly 10 years go by, isn't it!

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  15. Wow, 10 years is such an awesome achievement! I'm very intrigued about the application and interview part though, as I haven't heard of anyone doing that before. Is that common where you're from?

    Indya || The Small Adventurer

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  16. What a candid, vivid, and person tale of your wonderful story of love and friendship. Thank you for sharing, and although I've never met you, wishing you both the best!

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  17. The application and interview is intriguing! I hadn't heard of that before. You two have such a sweet love story! :)

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  18. Aww these are such fun memories! Also, for some reason, that picture if you with your engagement ring and how Angel seems to be scared you're going to drop it or something cracked me up!

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  19. This is a beautiful love story - and feels like just the beginning!

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  20. I love hearing stories about you two! You guys are so great together and it really shows in your posts. I love the story of your courtship and his proposal. Your first day of marriage sounds kind of similar to ours because we had to deal with a lot of practical things because we were about to move! So it was more about getting stuff done than anything else!

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  21. What great memories you have together! This was a great trip back through memory lane, I love finding out how other people met and how their lives become meshed together. I particularly love the glitter story - one of my favourite tricks for a while was enclosing plenty of glitter/confetti inside birthday cards so they showered on people when they pulled them from the envelope. I had never considered hiding behind car visors. Now to pick a victim...

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