Tag Archives: family

Allan in Texas

7 Jun

Just thought you’d like to know that I started this post January 25, 2013.  Today is June 7, 2013. #GetOnIt

And since this blog is also for our “Dear Diary” purposes, I suppose I should go ahead and finish this one up about Allan’s move to Texas!

Big thanks to everyone who decided to spend their very first night of 2013 at Iron Age to surprise him with a dinner…. which was only kind of a surprise:

Iron Age Send-Off

The very next morning, my mom and I got into the car with Allan and began what would end up being an 18.5 hour car ride.  Let me give you time for that sink in. Eighteen. And a half. Hours.

It was basically a whole lot of this:

Heading West

After stopping at least once in every state to use the restroom, Allan firmly informed Mother and I that we were absolutely not stopping anymore…. Allan = Road Trip Grinch!  😉

By the good grace of God, we all made it without chopping each other’s heads off and spent the night in a motel – that’s pretty much all we could find at 1 am in the outskirts of Odessa.

The very next morning we headed to the leasing office and I watched my baby brother sign his very first big piece of legal agreement…. *tear*

Allan Signing His Lease

The following events were the usual things involved with moving… and I may be speaking for myself, but I had fun with the moving and shopping!

Purchasing Necessities

Purchasing Necessities

Allan and I put everything together while my mom made as much food for him as possible.  The best part was probably the fact that we had snow while we were there, which is also unique for the city according to the locals. Btw, he was one of the first ones into the complex….

Snow and Buildings

And here’s a little snapshot of the place:

Allan's Apartment

Although we had our first meal eating like this….

First Meal

…. we did manage to get out and explore the city too.

Mexican Olé!


We also had a lot of fun in between…. I don’t know these two:

Crazy Asians

We miss Allan like crazy…. we did finally get to see him again Memorial Day weekend when we came home.  It was almost harder to say good-bye the second time around… definitely did some crying after he left.  So we basically count the days until we can see him again….

But I feel better knowing that he has beautiful morning like this to see {with all that flat land everywhere}:

Departure Morning

Note the oil pump thingies

As long as learns what to do for tornado drills and keeps lots of sunscreen… I will worry less!  Until then… I hope you know how much we miss you, Allan!

Love For Allan


Note… Can anyone explain to me why there are so many big ass trucks everywhere in Texas???

Allan's Work Truck

Allan’s Work Truck

A Very Full Christmas: Earnest Edition

1 Jan

Yes, in terms of food as well as our hearts.  I got incredibly lucky this year… Melissa and I both had new jobs, so we needed to stick around Atlanta instead of going to Illinois.  And since my parents close their store for the Christmas Day, they got to join us at Chris’s parent’s house. One big, happy family under the same roof… which hasn’t happened since we were married in 2011.  It was an intoxicatingly happy feeling for me!  I can’t believe it took us almost 2 years to get all of us together again, but we all vowed to not let it happen again (New Year’s resolution?).

Since I love photos more than words:

Mama E's decorations

Presents under our tree

Presents under our tree

Earnest Tree

But, even better (sorry if it’s super grainy… had to use a zoom lens and not my 50mm to capture everything…. which is why you should never purchase stock lenses btw):





One of the best parts of all?  Watching Allan open his “big gift” from Andrew and I: An XBox to take to Texas with him!


Chris carving the beautifully roasted turkey:

Turkey Gobble

UPDATEThank you so much for all your beautiful cards and notes, we’ve enjoyed having them up in our home!  We send all our love your way…. 

Christmas Cards 2013

Christmas Cards 2013

I hope you all had wonderful Christmases and memorable moments leading you into the new year… Happy 2013!!! Exciting things to come our way!

Hosting Atlanta

13 Jul

About 3 weekend ago (I know, I’m so late on this!), my cousin visited from Chicago!  This is the same cousin that was in this video, but sadly his better half could not make it.  But that’s okay, because I’ll be seeing her in her gorgeous white dress later this year.  In addition, Brian’s little sister, Tina (yes, we have a Nina and a Tina in this family), also could not make it.  But hopefully she and Dave can come down another time… after Brian shares his RAVING reviews about Atlanta.  😉

Remember when I mentioned my love/hate relationship with Atlanta?  Well, let me tell you, it is MUCH easier to host in Atlanta than it is in Augusta.  We have one major road that holds everything the city has to offer that expands about 10 miles or so? (I’m terrible at guessing distances).  Meanwhile, Atlanta has a lot of great events and wonderful sights to see as long as you can ignore the heat.  Speaking of great events, this was the same weekend of the Haven conference, where my inspirations, Young House Love & Bower Power, were… and yes, it still excites me knowing they were in the same city as I am (though Katie Bower lives here, just not ITP).

I had a pretty open slate to fill with things to do when Brian came down from Chicago. So, what better way to do it than eating great food, having beers, and catching up? The only request Brian had made was visiting Heirloom Market BBQ, because it had gotten so many rave reviews:

And o.m.g. the food was AMAZEBALLS. They did such a great job combining Korean cuisine and barbeque – the sampler plate was perfect for 2 hungry boys while Chris and I both had the spicy pork sandwich.

Besides, who could resist a bottle at a barbecue restaurant that says “Hotlanta”?

It was a great thing we went to eat such a large meal and down some serious jasmine sweet tea… because next up, softball!  There’s a great group of people who put together a summer-long event that involves meeting every 2 weeks on Saturday to play a different sport – Chris played in Ultimate Frisbee a couple weeks ago.  Yes, it’s insanely hot.  But, it was a lot of fun to go with Allan, Brian, and Chris.  I got a hit on the first try against James!  Probably because he was busy with his randomly bleeding nose (was it dry that day? I don’t remember):

We got our stinky selves back home to rest for a while before I baked up some calzones (inspiration from here) – we’ve made these a LOT in the past, so it was kind of nice to bring it back.  Once we finished eating, we headed out to meet up with some more friends, including Nina and James, for a going-away party.  And what do we like to do for going aways?  Sing.  That’s right, we went to karaoke.  And. It. Was. Full. Of. Surprises.  I think Brian became surprised with Chris and Allan.  Chris because he can rap – like, Eminem and DMX stuff.  I don’t know where he pulls it out from — unless he practices from time to time.  And Allan was a huge surprise too because he’s normally so quiet and shy.  I loved this Allan.  I think he was more comfortable because Chris and Brian were on either side of him. Oh, and he had some beer.  Either way, Allan was an awesome singer as well!

Finally, what better way to end our night than a classic 2 a.m. visit to Waffle House?  Not this Waffle House.  Brian was so excited that we bought meals for 3 people for less than $20.  Seriously, he could not get over it.  I think that was the cherry on top for Atlanta in his opinion.

Sunday morning was slightly rough with Brian starting his convention, but at least he got to hear Condoleeza Rice do her thing at the Georgia World Congress Center.  Once we picked him up from the event, we quickly moved on to meet my mom at one of our favorite Korean restaurants: Jang Su Jang.  The food here is always good, but it is a tinier bit  on the pricier side.

Sadly, we had to get Brian to his hotel after dinner so we would all be rested up for our work weeks, but I was so glad he at least got to spend a couple of nights with us in our home.  Luckily, we got to meet up with him one last time to another Atlanta-based restaurant: Vortex.  If you haven’t been here yet, I don’t care if you’re just stopping by or live here, but it’s an absolute must!  Note: Everyone has to be 18+  years.

I’m so happy we got to have some great quality time with our cousin, since we rarely get to see each other.  It’s funny how some things never change as we grow, but I look forward to seeing him in Chicago, getting married to the love of his life this fall!!! Generally, I’m just excited to get back to Chicago….

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Chi Town Love Story

3 Jun

Happy Sunday, ya’ll!  This weekend was amazing and full of activities for Jaime’s wedding – I can’t wait to show off pictures.  I am so honored to have been able to help in all the ways I could in order to keep things running smoothly!  Despite how much I hated my own wedding planning and am relieved to never have to go through it again, I find myself feeling so happy and fulfilled helping others with theirs!  One of the vendors was even shocked when he learned that I wasn’t an actual coordinator!  (I’m sure he was just being nice) PLUS, I got to see my own photographer and his own beautiful wife/assistant, Glen from Pixel-This.  (I have more images here, if you’re interested)

Anyhow, while we’re talking about weddings, Chris and I have to split up for one this September.  He’ll stay here to be in a close friend’s wedding while I’ll be Chicago with my original half of the family for our cousin’s wedding.  Brian is the only “Oppa” I have (which translates to “older brother” in Korean), but he’s a truly hard working graduate of the University of Michiganand still remains a die hard fan, by the way.  Anyhow, I cannot wait for their wedding (1) because I know it’s going to be incredibly elegant and beautiful, and (2) because I cannot wait until I get myself back to Chicago.  It’s an amazing city full of history, museums, and constant flashbacks to the newer Batman movies.

Anyhow, just wanted to share the wonderful story of Brian and Jenny, who were recently filmed and featured on WCIU, The U, a local Chicago channel.  Spoiler: He proposed.

I’m sorry that I couldn’t figure out to embed the video… the people at WCIU were also unhelpful, but what can you do?


He’s so handsome, isn’t he?  And Jenny is the prettiest cousin-in-law I could ask for… that, and I’d love to raid her closet!  Congratulations you guys!

This also reminds me, Brian will be Atlanta soon for a conference, but he’s coming during the weekend to spend time with all of us… I’d appreciate any suggestions for places to take him, places to eat, and places to drink.  I have a general idea, but I’m always open to new thoughts and suggestions! Thanks!

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