Engagement Paparazzi

I gotta say, one of the real perks of having a wedding photographer duo as your brother and sister-in-law is a lightning quick turnaround time on your engagement photos, hehe.

 

That’s riiiiight, our engagement photos from Taylor & Ben are back, and I’m in lovelovelove! So many great shots of Sean and me together!

See, whereas I basically put my entire life on the interwebs for all to watch, observer, and comment on, Sean, um, doesn’t. He changes his Facebook profile photo like once every other year, the only thing even close to social media that he participates in is Reddit (and even then, he mainly lurks, never comments). What this all equates to is a high level of resistance to the number of selfies I try to take of us. In fact, trying to get him to pose for a photo with me often results in, well:

Heh. So, imagine how wonderful it was for me to have a built-in excuse to take a plethora of pictures together with him! He was a very good sport about the entire thing, putting up with an outfit change (we literally changed in the street, hahaha) and multiple locations. Although, to be fair, he certainly got his jollies out of the whole experience too — telling me I had an imaginary bug in my hair, or bear-hugging the crap outta me, for example.

Of course, that being said, I was not without a few bloopers of my own, hehe:

Is it weird that these are some of my favorite ones? 😛

We shot our photos outside the US Botanical Gardens, as well as at Blind Whino, this really cool old church-turned-art gallery/event space in SE DC.

 
Now, it’s admittedly very difficult for me not to be super critical of myself in every photo, zeroing in on flaws that I imagine nobody else really cares about. Even with all of my preaching about loving thyself no matter your pant size, body love, and whatnot (all of which I really do believe!), I am still my own worst critic.

But I think having these photos taken is genuinely helping me live those things. I love these pictures — I love what they represent, what they portray, and I even love the way I look in them. I feel like they really showcase how truly happy I feel (cheesy, I know, but true!). Do I still wish that I didn’t have a back roll in one picture, or that my chin was jutted a little further out in another? Sure, but not enough to make me stop loving each photo nonetheless.

These pictures are a true, perfectly imperfect account of who I am now. The me that is getting to marry the man that I love. And I would much rather show the photos off than hide them away just because I don’t like the way a certain specific part of my body might be looking.

Anyway, enough with the heavy. Back to how much I freaking love the photos we took at Blind Whino! So colorful, despite the chain-link fence surrounding the building that I definitely did not realize would be there, hahaha.

 

As an extra bonus, the building is located in this really quiet neighborhood in DC, so we were able to get a few street/crosswalk shots as well! I loved the way the trees arched over this street. Made for a pretty perfect picture, I tell ya.

Also, a fun thing about shooting photos in the middle of the street is that you will get people shouting “Congratulations!” from their cars as they drive by, hahaha!

Engagement Shoot solo pictures together

I was superextraspecial excited (hard to imagine something beyond my normal level of excitement, I know, but it’s true!) to get these photos back because I have been chomping at the bit to send out our Save the Dates!

I know that January is still relatively far off, but since we have a lot of friends and family from out of town, plus with the proximity to the holidays, I want to give people as much notice as possible. Plus, I think I’m just looking to how official it’ll feel to have something printed with our wedding date on it, y’know?

Not without difficulty, we have narrowed down the Save the Date photo to these three, and I’d love your input! I definitely want to use a photo with the ampersand in it, so what do you think of the following? 1, 2, or 3?

I love all color going on in #1, but the overall image of #2 seems more striking. And while part of me thinks that #3 might be a little silly, well, so I am. So it’s definitely the most personality-ish one. Anyway, I’d love to hear your thoughts! I’m like 99% positive we’ll be doing a magnet Save the Date if that makes any difference.

I also can’t wait to get some of these photos uploaded to the wedding website that I’ve been working on! And to replace basically every profile photo I’ve ever had on any website ever. And to make it my phone wallpaper. And computer screensaver. And basically just pore over them obsessively forever and ever and ever and… okay, I should really go.

‘Til next time!

Wedding Bells (Weigh-in)

Notice anything different around here? If you’re viewing this post in email or Reader, be sure to click through and check out the new header that the amazing Bailey Doehler has been working on so diligently for me! Bailey is absolutely fantastic to work with. And as a fellow weight-loser (haha!) Bailey really gets it, you know? Let me know what you think!

Love, love, love.

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This weekend was full of love. And, even more specifically, it was full of weddings!

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Well, a wedding and a handful of bachelorette parties. Hehe.

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No pictures of the latter, of course. But plenty of the former! The wedding was at the Vienna Botanical Gardens, which I’d never been to before. Who knew that such a gorgeous venue was so close by?

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Take your places!Purple flower eaters.
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Ahhh, I love weddings.

Let them eat (wedding) cake!

I don’t think that Beppe & David could have picked a more beautiful place, or a more perfect day (a not humid day in August? Unheard of!)

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Ahhh, how I love weddings. The details were all just perfect. And even though it was still obviously incredibly hot sitting outside during the ceremony, it was well worth it just to see the happiness of the bride shining through.

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It was really fun to have the whole family there, goofballs that they are:

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Even Ben was there in his professional role as the photographer. He’s so cool.

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Added bonus is that it was just another excuse to get dressed up (you know I love a good excuse, hahaaaa!)

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And the food! What a spread it was. You usually think of wedding food as being pretty unpalatable but that was certainly not the case. There were passed appetizers and a whole fruit & cheese table. (Be still my heart!)

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We were served mixed green salads with mandarin oranges, craisins, and a raspberry vinaigrette as well:

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Before I destroyed the buffet with a giant plate of pretty much everything: mushroom ravioli, roast beef, roasted veggies, fingerling potatoes, and some chilean seabass that was, unfortunately, not worth the environmental guilt.

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As you can see, I failed to get a picture of it all because I was too busy demolishing my plate, but you can see a little ravioli and beef poking through from plate #2, hehe.

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Dinner was bookended with a mojito (the evening’s signature drink!) and a piece of neopolitan wedding cake:

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Super fun flavor, right? There was jam in between the layers!

Wedded bliss

Congratulations, Beppe & David!

And now for some (hopeful) celebrating of my own:

Starting Weight: 246 lbs
Last Week’s Weight: 189.9 lbs
This Week’s Weight: 189.8 lbs
This Week’s Loss: -0.1 lbs

Ooooooor not.

Maybe those extra mushroom ravioli weren’t such a good idea, eh? Ah well. What with the celebrating people nuptials and impending nuptials and the new job starting and the adjusting to a new schedule and everything else, I know I wasn’t paying as close attention to what I was eating as I should have. I mean, obviously. I haven’t posted even a single Daily Eats post yet this month (bad Gretchen!)

But, I press on! Sure, it’s a bummer, but my routine is just getting established and I just found out that there’s a free gym in my building at work and the Healthy Living Summit is this weekend so! I know that the motivation I’ve been lacking and the schedule I’ve needed to implement is right around the corner, and I’m not giving up. I persevere, and I know another loss is just around the corner.

Onward!

Feelgood Friday: It’s my blog and I’ll post what I want to

Naturally, today’s blog title is meant to be sung to the tune of one particularly famous Cyndi Lauper song (in your head if you’re a normal person, out loud as you type it if you’re me.) Heh.

So I could spend this post detailing out the nutritional black hole that was my day yesterday (bagel & cream cheese for breakky, chicken wrap & chips for lunch, food court Japanese bento box for dins if you were wondering) and how Harry Potter really was just as good the fourth time around. Or I could spend this post talking about how I clearly had forgotten what it is like to have a puppy in your home (though I maintain that Daxter was never this much work. My brother disagrees.) All I know is that you owe me big time, sister dearest.

Cousins.
So cute. So. Much. Energy.

Instead, I’m going to do this 5 Things post that Laura tagged me in. Yes, I realize that I literally just did one of these kinda things with my 7 Links post, but hey, it seemed to get a good response from you guys! Plus, it’s Friday and maybe someone out there could use a pick-me-up on this incredibly humid morning (seriously. It’s like walking into a swamp. WTF DC?) And lastly, and you may have already caught onto this because you are so very clever and that’s why I love you, it’s my blog. I get to post what I want to. Heehee.

Five source

So the idea is that I post five things that I love about myself (it’s hard to narrow it down that much, I know. HA!) They can be physical (toned arms!), mental (brilliant at math), emotional (supportive), totally random (makes perfectly symmetrical pankcakes) or anything else. Then I tag five other bloggers to do the same. Then you all reflect and comment on something that you love about yourself! And then we all bask in the glow of self-confidence and mutual acceptance (hence the whole “Feelgood Friday” thing.) And we kick off the weekend the right way. Sounds good? I think it sounds good.

Gretchen’s 5:

Big Sand Bucket
photo by ben powell

1. I love my sense of humor. I know that some of you might not agree (what sense of humor?) but I think I’m funny, dammit! After all, “if you can’t laugh at yourself, life’s going to seem a whole lot longer than you’d like.” (Garden State)

2. I actually kind of love that I’m such an emotional person. I mean, I know that most people wouldn’t really consider this to be a great trait, considering that I cry at the drop of a hat and have the thinnest skin ever (never be mean to me, k guys? Hahaha.) but it’s really something I’m trying to embrace. I’m a sensitive person. As much as I’ve tried in the past, this is something that I am never going to be able to change. And I’m finally realizing that I might not want to. Being this way is how I’ve gotten a lot of my strengths: empathy, honesty, and fiercely caring for my friends & family. But it also forces me to try to overcome some of my weaknesses, like being overly sensitive, defensive, and inappropriately emotional (hello crying at work!) I’m a work in progress, what can I say?

3. Let’s get vain: I love my eyes. They’re the most Asian part of me (perhaps the only Asian part of me — thanks DAD.) and so sue me, I think they’re pretty. Almond-shaped, deep-brown, small and evenly set.

 photo by ben powell

4. Let’s get vainer (is that a word?): I’m not gonna lie, I’ve been kinda digging my legs lately. This is NEVER something I would have been able to say a year ago. I used to avoid shorts like the plague, but I’m definitely coming around to them. Okay, so maybe what I lack in Asianness, I get to make up for in long leggedness (thanks Dad!)

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5. What else could this end with? I love that I’ve lost 56 pounds! I know I talk a lot about how I still have a ways to go, that I’m not at my goal yet, blahblahblah. While that is still true, I’m not done losing weight and I’m not at my “happy weight” or “healthy weight” or whatever-you-want-to-call-it weight yet, I think that sometimes I fixate so much on losing more than I forget to celebrate how much I’ve already lost, and how far I’ve already come.

So there you have it! So time for me to tag some others:

Jennifer @ A Knack for Nutrition
Erin @ The Part-Time Writer
Casey @ Hippie Health Nut
Bailey @ Bailey’s Belly Battle
Melissa @ The Journey to Marvelous

What do you love about yourself?