7 years ago on the 18th of December, I married my best friend and we set out on a journey into the adventurous but unpredictable world of marriage! Looking back at our 7 years, sometimes it feels like just yesterday and sometimes it feels like we’ve been together forever, but I always feel like I’m still learning more about Honey each day. We find out more about each other, our personalities, history, quirks, and silly tidbits every time we talk! Since we just celebrated our 7 year anniversary, I thought it would also be a nice time to share our love story with you all, whether it was the beginning of it, the dating part, the engagement, or even the proposal! Enjoy!
In The Beginning:
We first met each other in 2000 when I moved down to San Diego to go to college at UCSD and he had already graduated from UCSD. However, he still had a lot of friends still in school there so he spent a lot of time with the college ministry at church. I had gotten invited to a regular Tuesday night campus ministry dinner which meant there were about 40+ starving college students congregating in the youth minister’s tiny apartment. I had no idea what I was going to, just that I was going to a dinner instead of studying…I always looked for a good excuse to not study! Well, somehow out of all those people, I got to meet Honey, although I also remember my conversation with several others too, I remember my talk with him because we were both from NorCal and he went to a high school that I was familiar with. We both played tennis in high school (I pretended to play, he’s actually really good) and I noted that his high school was ghetto because instead of tennis nets, they had chain link metal “nets!” It wasn’t until 2 years later that we had our next conversation! My roommate was going on a date with his roommate at the time and she wanted me to be her double date. Her date, who was also a buddy of mine, asked who I wanted to go on a date with and I left the decision up to him. A couple days later, I got a call from Honey while I was at home with my roomie and I was surprised it was him because though we have tons of mutual friends, we actually hadn’t talked to each other since our 1st conversation. He asked if I would like to be his date and of course, it wouldn’t be complete without some mishap. My roomie decides to throw me one of those chocolate calcium chews, without letting me know, and it knocks me smack in the middle of my forehead! Man, she has a good throw, I was in so much shock but then she had me rolling on the floor when she brought me over a frozen bag of peas to “ice my head!” All this happening while Honey was still on the phone…that should have been an indication to him the craziness he was getting himself into!
Our Dating Story:
So I said yes and immediately that week, I had several mutual friends, all guys, call to tell me that once I go on a date with Honey, there was no turning back! In May of 2002, we went on our first date! They took us to a park in Del Mar to make and fly kites, they even packed a picnic. The other team had a kite that could fly really high but in my opinion, didn’t have much sky-appeal. However, our’s had ton of sky appeal…but it wouldn’t fly! Haha, guess sky appeal doesn’t help when you never make it up to the sky! Then after watching the sunset over our picnic, they took us to Extraordinary Desserts since dessert is my favorite meal! The date couldn’t have been better…though neither of us had fallen heads over heels for each other yet but that reconnected our friendship. Well, he had some prompting. After our date, you know when guys always say, “I’ll call you,” or “let’s talk again,” or let’s do this again”…well, maybe I’ve heard that too much before and got tired of hearing but I’m not sure what possessed me to say, “Are you really going to call me or are you just saying that?! ‘Cause I don’t mind if you don’t call me again, just don’t tell me you will and you won’t!” Yup, I did, I said that, though I had no recollection of it. Honey reminded me that sometime later. Well, for 2 weeks straight, he practically called me everyday, guess he took that on as a challenge! Then we talked consistently after that and started hanging out together with all our mutual friends.
I remember one conversation we had during that time that had me cracking up. He asked me what I did that day and I listed tons of stuff, from shopping, hanging out with friends, tiny bit of studying, and other things. I asked what he did and he said he just sat and did some thinking about life and the universe and then asked if I ever thought about any of that. Uh…no?! I remember thinking, wow, I never sit and think (don’t go there with the thinking jokes)! That just showed me how different we were. No one actually thought we would or could be together because we were so different, they thought Honey would never get a word in because I talk so much and I’m so hyper, bubbly, and a social butterfly, while he’s more quiet and soft spoken, a thinker, homebody and a bookworm (everything I’m not)!
Our next date was actually not until December when he took me outdoor ice skating at Horton Plaza and I loved it. I have to say, I was tempted to pretend I didn’t know how to ice skate so he could just hold my hand. Although I don’t know how to skate backwards and do fancy spins, I can however, skate forwards pretty fast without too much falling! So I felt deceitful if I pretended so I kept my hands to myself! I remember he wrote me this beautiful card, which at the time, I thought he copied off the internet or another Hallmark card but it wasn’t until later that I realized, he is an amazingly romantic poet! When I went back to the apartment, one of my friends thought he’d asked me to be his girlfriend, but no, just super encouraged and felt so special that night!
Then in January, a bunch of friends went to Mammoth for a ski trip and yes, he was also there. Everyone went skiing but I decided to just enjoy the cabin fire and some yummy Irish Coffee! Oh yes, they were yummy, all 7 Irish Coffees that I had that afternoon. I promise, I had no idea they were spiked, I just thought it was hot chocolate with coffee in it, who knew it had alcohol?! Haha, it wasn’t until a friend came up for a break and when she started asking me questions about Honey and if I liked him that she realized I’d been drinking the Irish Coffee like it was water! No wonder I so willingly gave up information! That trip helped me realize just how much I liked him, though at that time, I was pretty sure Honey was content being single and that he thought we’d be too different for each other so I was resolved to the fact that we may not be together but I still liked him! The next day, January 4th, when everyone was packing to drive back to SD, Honey decided to take me back to the slopes and go for a gondola ride since I didn’t get the chance to go up the day before. I was excited because I couldn’t wait to check out the snow from the mountain top. We ended up making snow angels first and a friendly snowball fight…friendly on his part! Normally they only let people ride the gondola up top if you have a lift ticket or if you pay for a special ticket for non-skiers/snowboarders but for some reason, they allowed Honey to bring me on for free! Then the weirdest thing happened, the gondola makes 2 stops before reaching the stop but at both stops when the gondola door opened and people saw us sitting inside, they decided not to go on and let us have the gondola to ourselves! We weren’t even holding hands or anything so not sure what happened there but they must have all knew something that I didn’t!
It was such a breathtaking sight when we reached the top, I had never been so high up before. I was at eye level with the other peaks and it was a beautiful clear blue sky. So we walked around for a little bit and when we stopped to look out, I just said, “this is so amazing!” Honey said, “You know what’s more amazing?!” While pulling something out of his coat pocket, he says, “this little flower survived up here in the cold just so I could pick it for you!” Then he hands me a purple tulip…I’m pretty sure it was freshly picked from a flower shop and not on the mountain top, but regardless, it was very sweet! Then Honey proceeds to tell me how much he appreciates our friendship…to be honest, my heart was so flustered from the fact that he randomly gave me a flower that I am pretty sure all the words he was saying didn’t even comprehend in my head so I can’t say for sure exactly what he said! Then he proceeds to take something else out of his pocket. He brings out a container, which I had no idea was in his pocket and how it fit. He had me open it and there were some freshly picked wildflowers from his prayer walk that morning and then a rolled up note. He wanted me to read it and it was actually a beautiful poem from him, then I got to the back of the note and all I saw was this:
“I don’t know where this road is leading me except that I am falling more in love with me”
In my head, I was thinking, “I’m pretty sure he meant falling more in love with me as a friend. He probably uses the word love very casually! Don’t get your hopes up, plus you’ve been reading this very last line for a long time and I’m sure he knows you’re done by now!” So I look up and say, “Thanks?!” Then he asked, “Will you be my girlfriend?” I thought I was screaming yes at the top of my lungs but apparently it was just all in my head because he didn’t react to my reaction. So I said it again, this time out loud, “YES!” He then pauses and said, “Did you just say yes?!” As we talked, we both realized that we had read 1 Corinthians that morning except different parts.
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains,but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face.Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
It was amazing 'cause put together, we make the whole passage!
On our drive back to Mammoth, I had to practically sit on my own hands because I was dying from not holding his hand, why was he not holding my hand?! I thought that was a given now that we were dating…seriously, in my past experience, you held hands even when you didn’t date, so this seemed different. I came to find out later that he thought just because we had started dating, that it meant I was ok with him suddenly holding my hand. Well, we set that one straight!
One really funny and memorable moment from when we were dating was when Honey came to pick me up to go on a date and at the time, I was living in not the greatest neighborhood by myself in a studio. There is a gate outside so when Honey couldn’t reach me on the phone because I had the blow dryer on at that same moment, he decided to jump the gate. But then there was also the building door that he had to get into so since my window was facing the courtyard, he decided to serenade me! What I didn’t know was that he was serenading me… bu instead my neighbor caught him singing, “You’re So Vain” since I was totally in love with the movie, “How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days” at the time. My neighbor thought Honey was high and so went out to investigate what was going on. Needless to say, that was the last time he pulled that move, he was so embarrassed. I thought it was awesome that he was brave enough to not only jump the fence but serenade me out loud when I live in an apartment complex where tons of other people could hear. I was bummed to have missed the song myself though!
Now fast forward to July 29, 2005, when everyone in the world seemed to have gotten engaged already on July 4th (haha, no I wasn’t feeling impatient), I had just gotten off of work and came home to my condo…that I shared with 2 of my best friends who had just gotten engaged! We had planned a girls night out time to Seaport Village and we were dressing up but they insisted on me doing my hair and makeup. So while one drove, the other did my hair and makeup in the back seat. I should have probably figured something was going on at that point. When we got there, One of them wanted to stop inside a shop called Whiskers, which had all things cat related, which was a store Honey and I loved to go to because he called me Kitty. Then they started perusing the shop and while I was looking elsewhere, they picked up something and started saying that it was really neat and I had to come look at it. It was a book, actually it was a box made to look like a book with a cat cover. When I look inside, there were little trinkets and handwritten stories I recognized Honey’s handwriting right away. He had written different down our stories throughout the time we’d dated. Then there was another little envelope that contained a clue to what I was supposed to look for! I was excited to see that it was something from Honey in there but I also didn’t want to get my hopes up either since he’s always so encouraging and doing things like this for me all the time.
The next stop was at the safari shop filled with stuffed jungle animals and somewhere in there I was supposed to find my next clue. So I started slowly going around the store and then just checking out what they had but then my 2 friends there started getting frustrated that I wasn’t more serious about my scavenger hunt. Then one of them said, “Oh look Kathy, is that it?!” Uh, up at the very top shelf (about 4 feet above my eye level) was this cute little teddy bear holding a an envelope with another clue! The next clue brought me to the middle of Seaport Village Square next to a fountain but after some waiting, nothing happened. It said something on wheels was going to take me to my next clue but the only things with wheels coming by were strollers…I was pretty sure that my ride wasn’t going to be stealing a stroller from a baby! Then my girlfriend had me go outside of the square and lo and behold, a pedicab was waiting for me! I found out later that the pedicab wasn’t allowed into the square but there was some communication breakdown with that pedicab biker and Honey so there was some delay, plus the biker forgot to give me my clue!!!
The pedicab took me around Seaport Village, up to the Fish Market, where I thought Honey was waiting for me to have dinner but no, it circled around to the parking lot and dropped me off right in front of a horse-drawn carriage! No, he wasn’t on there but a beautiful bouquet of tropical and exotic Hawaiian flowers were waiting for me, even a flower called French Kiss, not sure he knew that though! The carriage took me around downtown and I kept looking through all the passing cars thinking he was going to pull a superhero move and jump into the carriage from a moving car. But no, it was just a bunch of people staring at me from inside their cars and also some kids waving to me like I was some Asian Disney princess! Finally, it pulls up next to the water near some picnic tables and there waiting for me was my Prince Honey! He took me up to a decorated picnic table that was covered with orchids, hawaiian leis, coconut cups, and a beautifully hand painted parasol! There we talked, he asked me about how I did finding the clues and then after that, I am pretty sure I stopped listening and my heart just stopped! What took me out of my trance was him getting down on his knee and asking me to marry him! AHHHHHH, I couldn’t believe it and the ring was beautiful! Of course, I said YES! He told me he had the ring, which was an eternity band, created from a design he had sketched! He also told me that the reason he had me ride on the carriage by myself was because it was to be the last ride I’d ever have to take alone! It was a lonely last ride but I am glad that from that point on, I’ve not had to go on this journey alone!
Our Wedding & Marriage:
On December 18, 2005, we were married at San Dieguito Park, where our friends and family made it such an amazing time for us. We had heard about weddings never starting on time but we were determined to beat the sunset with a noon wedding and start on time. All 18 of our groomsmen and bridesmaids showed up not only on time but early for pictures. They helped to decorate (we had a very low budget, DIY wedding), and when my wedding coordinator bailed the afternoon before, they all stepped in, pulled together their efforts and coordinated the whole thing for us too, all while still being in the wedding! Yes, we have very amazing friends who have helped us through our trials and challenges and see to it that we make it through our marriage stronger. I can tell you, I thought ½ the people we invited didn’t show up because after our honeymoon, I asked friends if so and so showed up because I didn’t see them, they had all been there. Thank goodness for the wedding video too because there were a lot more people than I remembered seeing.
We were actually supposed to go to Isla Mujeres for our honeymoon and I was supposed to enjoy sandy beaches and swimsuit weather…until of course Hurricane Wilma happened and wiped that plan away. The island wasn’t going to be back up and running until the following year, but that wasn’t going to work for our plans! But we couldn’t get our money back from the airlines and there was no where to really fly to with that restricted credit from Continental so we were out some money. But we still had 2 weeks off of work and we weren’t going to let that go wasted. We decided to stay one week in San Diego, in our new apartment together and one week road tripping to Windsor! So our first week, we stayed in, bought furniture to set up our home, even met with a couple friends, and just enjoyed life together as Mr & Mrs! We loved it even though our friends thought it was crazy to spend the time with others besides ourselves or to even set up the home. Once work started, it would be too busy to set up our home the way we’d like it, plus since it was our first time living together, we loved being in the house together, turning our vision into reality! Then we drove to Napa the second week and met up with another couple who let us stay at a timeshare of theirs in Windsor and we loved their timeshare so much that we eventually got in on it ourselves. (If you’re interested, we bought our timeshare with Worldmark and supposedly you need to be referred so contact me if you want to find out more information about them). It’s condo style so we cooked breakfast every morning for each other, went on prayer walks, then headed out to explore the area. What changed in our plans was what I packed…thick jackets, boots, socks, sweaters, scarfs and tons of layers! It was pouring when we were there but God had us covered because every time we stepped out of the car, the rain would stop! Then we had a second wedding reception (I call it our Chinese reception) in San Francisco with family and family friends on New Year’s Eve so we left Napa. But right as we left Napa there was news that people in Napa were getting evacuated because of flooding due to the heavy rains. Then while we were in San Francisco, there were heavy rains and during the day of the reception, there was no electricity in most of Daly City, San Bruno, and San Francisco! We were afraid there would be no reception but about an hour before, the restaurant called and said power had been restored and they were up and running. When we got to the restaurant, it was a dry, clear night out and you would never have known there were heavy rains! We were told that Honey and I were bringing the storm everywhere we went or wanted to go but somehow, we were always protected! Maybe that’s what marriage is like, there will always be storms ahead, but God is always there protecting us from harm and still giving us amazing things to enjoy in the process!
I love you Honey! I know these 7 years are just an amazing beginning of our still ongoing honeymoon phase (yes, it can be as long as we want it to be)! I could not have asked God for a more amazing, patient, and loving man!