Patience

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We are growing a garden in the backyard. My recently widowed grandma is ill but loves to cook. She cannot walk far or get groceries so we’ve decided to bring the groceries to her. I’ve checked the vegetable almanac for our region and planted what I can for this late summer season- Carrots, Pak Choy, Spinach, Arugula, Lettuce, Green Pepper, Yellow Pepper, Kale, and Broccoli. Potatoes and herbs will be next once I see results. What was once a field of weeds is slowly turning into something beautiful. But so far, I cannot see anything, and I can only have faith that the seeds are beginning to sprout. It has been 4 complete days, and I see nothing- zero, nada, zilch. This process has been a lesson on patience and faith on my part. During this waiting period, I am reminded by my husband that I need to trust. He used the following analogy.

Back before we were dating, which was 11 or so years ago, I put Jason in the friend-zone. He liked me, but I felt that he was not mature enough to be in a relationship. I liked him, but again, I did not see a future with him, so I went ignoring-mode and refused to talk to him. In the quietness and stillness, despite not seeing any results of returned affection, Jason was persistent. Every birthday he gave me a gift. Every Christmas and Valentine’s day, he gave me a gift. Naively, I thought he gave everyone a gift, so I accepted it. Fast forward to years down the road, obviously we ended up together. I think it goes to show that sometimes faith comes to fruitation in the end, no matter if we see progress of results or not.

So in this powerful lesson Jason gave me, I humbly wait for my vegetables to grow, and relinquish my power to control. I think organic gardening is counter-intuitive to society where everything is immediate and results-based. I don’t see results, but day after day I will continue to water the earth in hopes that the sprouts would peak out.

PS. The package actually says sprouts will appear in 7-14 days, so I still have a while to wait.

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Tecate, Mexico Trip 2016

Tecate, Mexico July 3rd- July 10th, 2016

Packing List: Everything fit into one regular sized backpack.

  1. Baby Wipes/Sanitizer  13. Sunglasses                   25. Medications
  2. Earplugs                          14. Filter Bottle                 26. Buff Bandanna
  3. Caffeine Shots               15. Razors                            27. Journal
  4. Sun Screen                      16. Shampoo                      28. Pen/Sharpie/Pencil
  5. Insect Repellent            17. Conditioner                 29. Kleenex
  6. After Bite                         18. Body wash                    30. Ziplock Bag/Garbage Bag
  7. Mini Hairbrush              19. Headphones                 31. Portable Towel
  8. Gravel                               20. External Charger       32. Contacts/Solution
  9. Immodium                    21. Flashlight                      33. Flipflops
  10. Advil                                  22. First Aid Kit                 34. Passport
  11. Tylenol                              23. Origami Paper             35. Portable Bag
  12. Midol                                 24. Spork                              36. Electrolytes
  13.                                                                                              37. Clothes (See Below)

Most useless thing brought:  My Bible

Most USEFUL thing brought: My Chawel  (Portable Towel which doubles as a sleeping bag, towel, beach mat, you name it)

Day 1: Travelling to Tecate

J dropped me off at the airport Sunday afternoon. The flight departed at 12:15 and arrived at San Diego

 

A Relaxing Sunday

I really appreciated this weekend with J as we were able to spend more quality time together than usual. HG was cancelled on Friday, and we took that opportunity to visit the Arcade to play the punching bag game and take sticker pictures. Later that night, we had shredded pork congee with preserved egg, which was fabulous, as they finally had Chinese donut!

Saturday we worked out at the gym, then went to the Chinese mall in attempt to find a good deal to fix my iPhone 6s screen. Unfortunately most repair shops were either closed, or did not have the correct parts. They suggested paying full price at Apple, so we walked to the Apple Store to see if they could get it done. We found out that they could, but it would take 1.5hours and would have to be done at a later date as the mall would be closing soon. I wasn’t too happy about that; however, J bought me a dog Beanie Boo for my collection, and I was in a better mood. I named the dog after my Japanese judo instructor because it had ancient white whiskers: Sensei Taki. I picked up green onion pancake for a snack at the Chinese mall before heading to J’s place to hang out. We boiled chive and shrimp dumplings and ate it while watching a Swordsmith competition. It was a really relaxing eventing.

Sunday we both went to church and then went rock-climbing.  We passed our rock climbing test with flying colours and can now climb and belay each other unassisted! Rock climbing is a good analogy to partnership- where J and I can trust each other with our lives, and if one falls, the other person can catch them. We completed several rope courses before bordering. I discovered I really like the free climb of bouldering, and felt confident in my finger grip strength. It really is great strength training. Next we went to the Surrey night market to walk around, then we went for dinner at a Pho place. We had Pho in soup and I had a salad roll. The evening ended with watching Central Intelligence at the theatre. Such a good message and so funny! Overall it was a great end to an awesome weekend, and it gave me a glimpse of what life would be like living with a forever partner. It’s as if the more we are together, the more I love him. This morning when J came over, he gave me the “Peace” essence bead for my Pandora bracelet. It is a reminder to have Peace during my Mexico trip. This is the 10th bead after 2 years, which means we have been officially together for one month short of 3 years, and unofficially for 10! years.

Good Friday

I don’t know if it’s because my spirit has been hungering for God so much lately or because they’re just THAT good, but this song truly touched me.  It’s definitely refreshing when they promote Christian bands on secular tv shows.  This long week-end I chose to cancel all my clients and just focus on reflecting who God really is and how much He gave.  Circumstances may crush me and break me, but God’s love never fails.  🙂

Our Most Epic Trip Yet! (Journey To Prince Rupert)

We’re Back! Actually, we arrived back in beautiful Vancouver back on August 26th (our anniversary) from all the way from Prince Rupert! Let’s start from all the way from the the beginning of our trip!

Day one: Andriah and Jayson headed off to Prince George from Vancouver at 11am. We packed snacks from the evening before, including dried fruits, jerky and Jayson’s traditional long distance travelling treat, Maynard Wine Gums. Andriah finished the first bag of Wine Gums, but Jayson thought it was actually quite cute. Andriah actually prefers the green and yellow wine gums the most, which are actually the least favourite of Jayson. This means that Jayson does not have to eat the green and yellow wine gums and gets to eat ALL the red and purple wine gums (Andriah’s least favourites, because they taste like dimetapp medicine). We listened to Jayson’s music, consisting of Sanctus Real, Lauryn Hill, Alicia Keys, Lecrae and Avenged Sevenfold (The latter mostly while Andriah was sleeping). We took 2 hour shifts driving each back and forth and made stops in randoms towns, went on short sightseeing trip to a small flea market and to get gas. Jayson’s car was very nice and Andriah drove it beautifully. We arrived in Prince George at 10pm and checked in to our hotel. After checking in, not a lot of restaurants were open at this late, except for Boston’s Pizza. We decided to have gluten free pasta with meat sauce and a side of salmon as well. We then returned to our hotel and retired for the day.

Day two: Jayson woke up at 9am to swim in the hotel pool. It was a small pool, but I found it quite nice. There were other kids in the pool as well. After about half and hour, Jayson went to shower and then wait for Andriah to wake up. We checked out of our hotel and had a delicious breakfast of apple and Boost, which Jayson mixed with his coffee to make a mocha Boost. We kept driving until we finally arrived in Prince Rupert! The moment we parked, we saw two deer and Jayson tried to scare them, but these deer were unimpressed by Jayson. We checked into our hotel, then proceeded to find food to devour. We settled on Panago and had gluten-wise pizza with chipotle cilantro sauce, shrimp, goat cheese, mozzarella cheese and grilled eggplant, zucchini, onions and mushrooms and ate it in our hotel room. Right after dinner, we decided to be active and exercise using the hotel stairs. We climbed 17 flights of stairs 5 times up and down. A gentleman that Andriah named “Michael” was wondering what we were doing and we told him we were going up and down the stairs for exercise. “Michael”was very understanding and let us continue. After we also went to the exercise facility and Andriah showed Jayson the 30 minute ab workout, Jayson was a good sport and tried his best, but Andriah being awesome totally owned this exercise routine. After our exhausting day of driving and exercising, we were quite tired and went to bed.

Day three: Jayson woke up a little earlier to use the exercise facility in the morning. After we walked from our hotel to Andriah’s parent’s house and had brunch together. We had potato wedges, salad, chinese vegetables and fried chicken. After brunch, Andriah’s parents and us went on a beautiful scenic trail that Andriah and Jayson jog/walked. The trail was lush and green, quite different from the trails in Vancouver that Jayson is used to. After the trail, we went back to meet up with Andriah’s high school friend. She showed us around and was very knowledgeable about all of Prince Rupert.  We walked to the waterfront and visited Cow Bay where there were little gift shops.  We took a lot of pictures and saw the Sunken Gardens by the courthouse which were beautiful.  Then we went to Target and saw another high school classmate of Andriah’s.  Later we met up with Andriah’s parents for dinner at a very fancy Japanese restaurant which had incredibly fresh Sashimi. We also took a photo with the chef which we will post later.  After dinner we went to clean up Andriah’s old stuff and Andriah showed Jayson her childhood photos and sticker collection.  Jayson thought it was very cute.  Andriah enjoyed showing Jayson all her childhood things.  Then we went back to our hotel and slept.

Day four: We had to wake up early to attend church where Andriah’s mother introduced us to her friends.  We liked the music as it was just after the kids youth camp and the youth demonstrated the actions.  After church we went out for brunch at Dolly’s fish market restaurant where we had Seafood chowder and apple pie.  We then went back to Cowbay and bought some gifts to bring back to Jayson’s co-workers.  We found lovely glass raindrop souvenirs which represented Prince Rupert which has a lot of rain.  Next, we drove to the viewpoint by the hospital and walked up and down the outdoor stairs and then we laid down together on the picnic table (that was Jayson’s favourite moment).  For dinner, we went to the Crest restaurant and had halibut cheek and bread pudding.  We went back to Andriah’s place and cleaned up a bit more of Andriah’s stuff in the basement then went to watch a movie Expendables III (where Andriah fell asleep on Jayson, because Jayson makes a good pillow). After the movie, Andriah and Jayson said goodbye to Andriah’s parents and went back to our hotel to sleep.

Day four: Before leaving Prince Rupert, Andriah and Jayson decided to have Andriah’s father’s famous crepes for breakfast at their house. The crepes were served with strawberries and strawberry sauce. We also had sausages as well and everything was delicious. Filled with food we were all ready to head back to Vancouver! Andriah and Jayson visited Smithers where Jayson found hot sauce for his collection and Andriah got a REALLY nice looking notebook for her collection as well. Andriah also bought Jayson a very cool vegetable peeler that makes noodles from the vegetables as well! We then drove back to Prince George to the same hotel and checked in. We decided to go to Mr. Mike’s steakhouse and had a REALLY BIG portion of steak salad and sticky toffee cake. Jayson taught Andriah how to play chess as well with a chessboard they had at Mr. Mike’s. We returned to our hotel to sleep.

Day five: Jayson woke up early again to swim in the pool, but this time it was quite populated, so he only had a quick swim and then showered and waited for Andriah to awake before having a breakfast of apple and Boost (breakfast of champions!) and Jayson again mixed his coffee with Boost. We kept driving and made a detour to Kamloops, where Jayson had university and showed Andriah his old favourite places, such as his old comic store, the train station, where Jayson looked at the graffiti done on the trains. We also had dinner at Jayson’s favourite restaurant in Kamloops, a japanese restaurant, which we had spinach goma-ae and sashimi. We took a photo with the head chef then headed on back to Vancouver! We arrived in Vancouver at 11:30pm safely!

This trip was a great learning experience for both of us and we got along VERY well during this whole trip. No huge arguments or disasters and was a very enjoyable trip! We learned that we highly compatible together and really enjoy each other’s company. We are highly grateful to EVERYONE we met on this trip and helped us out, especially Andriah’s friend and her parents who are VERY hospitable and kind to us. We both look forward to another EPIC trip in the future and we’ll share with you our experiences!

Thanks for reading and we’ll keep you guys posted!

-BPaL

Believe In Yourself

Let’s start with a quote that I (Jayson) remember from a sermon that my pastor gave a while a back: “If you believe in something, you will invest in it.” It got me thinking and wondering what I believe in and what we invest in. Personally I like to buy clothing that I feel will last forever and quite high quality so that it will withstand a snowstorm, even though I have not been in one. I’m not very devoted to brands, but there are a couple brands I really like. One brand is Under Armour, I have an affinity for Under Armor, I love how it’s snuggly super tight and is made to take a beating. I’ve been wearing the same one for 10K runs, a marathon and 2 mud runs. I also have a couple more, but I like keeping them cleaner. Under Armor also supports MMA, I mean I’ve gone into the Under Armor outlet thinking I’m not going to buy anything and BAM! Picture of GSP wearing Under Armor and I’ve spent money on more compression shirts. I believe in Under Armor because I like sports, science backed clothing and MMA.

This is not a commercial, but more what I mean when I say what it means to believe in something and invest in too. This also got me thinking a much bigger question: “Do I believe in myself?” If I believe in myself, then I should be investing in myself. When I say investing, I do not mean buying stuff for myself, but investing in myself. When you invest, it’s not always a sure thing, just like when you invest in a house, a car, even an expensive piece of clothing, you do not know if you’ll make money back on it or if what you invest in will last a long time. You just have to believe and trust that it will. I guess it’s just kind of how God invests in me and believes in me, WAAAY before I believed and invest into Him. Even when I was thrown around in crazy concerts and being a not so good kid, God must have had a pretty good insurance policy on me too, with all the crazy stuff I still do. 

I’m saying this because it’s my last week at my job and then I’m going back to school. I haven’t gone to school for full-time in 4 years. Going back to school is an investment and thank goodness for loving parents who support me. Andriah said she’s also fine with only having Top Ramen and McDonalds too (totally joking, we’re still going for food adventures for sure!). In leaving my job I got myself a gift. Ready for another advertisement? It’s a shirt from a brand called Flag Nor Fail. Andriah know I really like this brand. It’s founded by Rob Bailey and his wife Dana Linn Bailey and they BELIEVE in their brand, product and their process. Everything is hand printed and made with care. You can also tell that Rob takes pride in his work, loves his work and works HARD. Oh and Dana Linn Bailey is Miss Olympia Physique 2013. I got the shirt as a representation that if I’m going to invest and believe in myself, that I have to work REALLY CRAZY SUPER hard, but also love and enjoy the process and take pride in what I do. 

This post is to tell YOU to believe in YOURSELF and to invest in YOURSELF and chase your dreams and goals. It will take some sacrifice, uncomfortability, facing fears and challenges, (I’m scared to death going back to school) but I know that I’ll be smiling throughout this whole process because it will be MY JOURNEY and MY PROCESS. I invite you to begin YOUR JOURNEY and BELIEVE IN YOURSELF!

AndriahFNF
Andriah Doing Her Best Rob Bailey Impression

I do not usually post photos, but Andriah looks REALLY good in my shirt (she looks good in anything). 

Keep you guys posted!

– BPaL

Pad Thai

Pad Thai

Jayson and I made our rendition of pad thai this week from the Wholeness40 recipe found here.  We substituted the chicken with beef and added a bit more vegetables.  The Shirataki noodles had an interesting chewy texture which I personally like.  Overall, it was an excellent and healthy tasting dish and we would rate it 5/5 stars.  We love cooking together and strangely (fortunately) enough, everything we cook has turned out amazingly good.  The noodles can be bought at Superstore and are made mostly of water, so it pretty much 0 carb and 0 calories.

Bonus Pictures: 

  • Jayson’s nutritious apple-swan-dragon Andriah made for Jayson who visited Jayson at work [Jayson is sooo good at his work and talking to people at work 🙂 ]
  • Jayson’s majick golden plum from his garden tree

SwanapplePlum