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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

New Year's Resolutions

With the New Year just over the horizon, it's a good time to reflect on the past year. Angela and I have had our ups and downs but most importantly, we've had each other, and that means more to me than anything. I am grateful for each special moment we've had together and I look forward to many more years with her. I would like to make my New Year's resolutions focused on her so that I not only can be everything she needs but everything she wants as well. I think these are resolutions that everyone should have. Not all of these have an end goal, but just things to try to improve on this year in general.

1. Unplug. Get rid of your electronics (temporarily of course).

This Christmas season, my wife and I decorated our Christmas tree together listening to music. After we were done, we sipped hot chocolate and admired our handiwork together. There were no distractions of phones, computers, or television. It felt so special to be able to share that moment together.

2. Go somewhere new!

Life is so precious; we only get to live it once. I loved going to the Redwoods this year with my wife and though I have been there many times, this was Angela's first time. It was so amazing to share a place that is so special and sentimental to me with her; to experience it through her beautiful eyes and see the look of wonder on her face the first time she felt the sacred hush of the majestic trees.

3. Be Grateful.

Angela and I have been married for a year and a half, but compared to forever, that's not long at all. I am so grateful for her; she has been a rock in my life. I have always been grateful for her and what a shining example she is to me, but this year I want to take every opportunity to tell her. Although our chores are unassigned and we both try to take care of things, I want to take special notice every time she does anything for me; rubs my back, washes laundry, makes dinner. I know that when she does these little things, it's her way of telling me that she loves me. I know this because when I do all the chores she hates, like taking out the trash, in a funny way it's like telling her that I love her. I appreciate everything she does for me and I want to tell her as often as possible how grateful I am.

Monday, December 15, 2014

I Got to Meet Penguins!

Angela gave me the best birthday present ever! She let me meet penguins! Okay, my life is getting pretty ludicrously awesome. When I started this blog I had hope that our lives would get better, but I never dreamed that we would be this happy and doing magical things like this. I've always loved penguins. I've had a stuffed animal of a penguin since I was 7 years old that has been battered and torn from being loved. Penguins are just so darn cute! So naturally when I met real life penguins all I wanted to do was huggle them. I felt like Elmira from Looney Tunes.

Replace the turtle with a penguin in this picture and you have the idea. I thought I would have to travel to the ice shelf on Antarctica to have the chance to play with penguins. After all, there are people that go to school for years for an opportunity like this. I am so in love with Angela and she is so good to me!

After Thanksgiving dinner, we got into our new car and drove down to my birthday surprise. We checked into the top floor of a nice hotel. We were fifteen floors up and had a beautiful view of the industrial part of the harbor. The next morning we woke up and had a wonderful continental breakfast at the hotel, followed by a very short trip to see penguins! When we arrived I felt like royalty. The people there were so polite and it genuinely felt like they were glad we were there.

They let us in with the penguins so they could play with us. We walked with them fed them and even held them. The way they let the penguins do whatever they wanted was so informal (in the best way) and fun. It was really a dream come true. The penguins seemed to love our company. I was hoping that they would let us stay there if I could fool them into thinking we were penguins too. I even walked behind them with my arms to the side squawking but I don't think they were fooled.
My life is in over load position.  I don't know how I can be this blessed. I really don't feel like I deserve it. I am so filled with joy as I think of Angela and all these fun things we get to do. It really seems like Angela has this power to make life burn with passion and love. I can't even begin to tell anyone reading this how blessed she makes my life.  Please take the time to read the rest of my blog it is my journal of the love we share. Also feel free to comment I would love to hear your thoughts and feelings about my blog. :)

Friday, December 12, 2014

Couples Therapy

A good relationship means you communicate, trust, and work as a team. I take every day with Angela as a new opportunity to fine-tune our well-oiled machine. Every day is beautiful and an opportunity to learn something new. When Angela took me out for a surprise date, I didn't realize those relationship lessons were about to be tested.

When we drove up to Long Beach harbor at 8pm I had no idea what Angela had planned. All I could tell was the harbor was very pretty with Christmas lights reflecting in the water. Then I saw them, a group of hydrobikes! For those of you that don't know what hydrobikes are, they are basically a bike that is held up by 2 canoes. They look ridiculous and I was excited to try one! Angela and I do everything together and apparently this was no exception; we arrived a little late and the only bike they had left was a couple's hydobike.
As we prepared for our journey through the magnificently decorated canals of long beach we discovered you can't just turn the handle bars to turn this bike. Everything you do has to be synchronized. One of you has to peddle backwards and the other has to peddle forewords simply to turn. Also to go straight, we both had to peddle at the same time at the same intensity or we would start turning. So when the boat started drifting off course (which it often did) we needed good communication to figure out what the problem was.
Unfortunately the problem was that I am embarrassingly out of shape. I felt like I was going to have to turn back after 5 min of the hour and a half tour. I was enjoying myself a lot so I just stuck it out and didn't complain. Once again I just have to let you all know how great my wife is. When we stated drifting the wrong way, it was most likely because I wasn't pulling my own weight. Angela could have bossed me around, she could have made me feel guilty for not keeping up, and she could have even taken the opportunity to make jokes at my expense. But she didn't blame me once, NOT ONCE! She assumed the boat was broken and took it as a new challenge.  

Why this post is called couples therapy is because we both had control of this boat. And a lot of times when people share control they get bitter, bossy, or snarky.  I felt like we were both Buddy the elf just smiling at everything. We passed this test, and it was so much fun! With the gorgeous shimmering water and the sparkling red and green lights, I am so grateful for all the adventures my wife and I share. I know this is going to sound silly but I'm grateful for being grateful because it's wonderful to know how good I have it.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

We Bought the Perfect Car!

At the beginning of my blog there were things that were going wrong in our lives. One of them was Angela's car broke and we have had to fare with one car. This blog is about the happy things that are happening now that our lives are back on track and I am pleased to let you all know with this post we bought a new car, AND WE LOVE IT!

If there is anything that makes me lose faith in humanity, it's car shopping. Angela and I went car shopping and it was awful! Every time we looked at a car they would talk down to us and lie. I think they assumed because we are young we would be suckers. Angela and I are not suckers. When we want something we do our research, we save our money, and we buy it. Nothing I have ever bought however has been more painful as buying a car. I felt like every car dealer was Danny DeVito from Matilda.

When we were first looking for a car a year and a half ago we wanted a Prius. To us a car symbolizes freedom and the idea of excellent gas mileage was very enticing. We test drove the Prius C and the regular Prius but it felt like if we needed to get out of the way of a car or truck fast it would be game over. The gas tank was only 11 gallons, and you only get the best gas mileage when you're city driving and we wanted incentive to travel.

Everywhere we went they treated us like children. At the Thousand Oaks Toyota dealership when I said I needed to take a moment to think about it they mocked me by saying "I thought you had done your research already?" At the Oxnard Toyota dealership, they told us the warranty would cover everything for 5 years or 100,000 miles and whatever breaks we can just come back and they would fix it no charge. However when we read the contract it said 2 years limited warranty. And even when going through Costco the Simi Valley Toyota, after checking our credit, tried selling us a Camry for almost $40,000...

We looked at the Honda Civic at the Simi Valley Honda dealership and they told us it had 180 HP, when it had 140 HP. We went to the Thousand Oaks Acura dealership and when Angela told them we had been lied to everywhere else they started to lie to us, corrected themselves, and stayed quiet for the rest of the time. Also every time we made an appointment they told us we would be meeting with the "head guy" but every time we showed up they took one look at us and gave us the lowest level guy they could find.

After all of this we finally decided on a car. We got a car with an 18 gallon gas tank, touch screen navigation system, 182 HP, and when we took it to Oregon it got 40 mpg there and back. We love it and could not be happier with our Nissan Altima SV. It's all around comfortable safe and beautiful. I'm so glad we got a name brand car that is known for its reliability. We really didn't want to settle for a KIA or a Subaru. Angela and I really feel like we picked the best car out there. I think some of our friends thought we might have gotten too nice of a car but we have been saving money for a long time and we bought it with cash. It's all ours and it feels great! :)

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Honeymoon Phase is Over!

I adore my wife. When I think about being married to Angela I melt. She's just so darn adorable. But how can I be sure this is not just a honeymoon phase? Will this woman give my heart such loving flutters forever? Well I think it took this rainy day of Angela giggling and jumping in puddles to figure it out. Angela and I are like little kids with everything we do. We look at things with wonder and possibility. And this inspires us to be better and happy.

I know people that decide not to care because the more they care the more they get hurt. After all there is a direct correlation with the two. Just because you have seen heartache does not mean you can never do something simple that makes you happy. I do not believe innocence dies; you just lose sight of it. Having hard ships does not overcomplicate your life, giving up does.

There are people that believe that the less you care, feel, know, or experience, the more it keeps you away from sadness (and there for keeps you happy). But then why do these people turn out to be the saddest people I know? They have learned that the closer they get to the fire, the more they get burned so they shield themselves from the light. That's where people get the whole ignorance is bliss thing. They are right you can survive for a while in darkness but it will take its toll. The truth is all this does is numb you. The more anxiety you have the better it feels to be numb. Some people achieve this numbness by way of alcohol or drugs.

That's where Angela found me struggling to decide if feeling anything was worth it. I chose correctly. I care passionately for Angela and that whittles the world down to a more manageable size. But it also gives my life focus like a magnifying glass. I have no anxiety as long as I'm with her. I would say she's my drug but she's so much more helpful than that. She is genuine happiness. Not a distraction, not something to numb the pain, but the real magical joy you hear about in fairy tales.

This is why the "honeymoon phase" will never end for us. Because when Angela asks me why I'm with her I don't say "because I love you". I know our relationship is built on trust, admiration, faithfulness, chemistry, intelligence, a share of hobbies and a clear vision of our future. Angela has become my muse and I will never think about running from the light ever again. I have never been much of a writer. In fact in school that was by far my least favored subject. But now with how wonderful life is with Angela I look forward to putting my thoughts down. She has and continues to change me for the better. And she will always show me where true happiness comes from one puddle at a time.