Monday, July 30, 2012

Weekend Story

Uploading pics from last weekend =D It was quite a fun weekend. But it wasn't as interesting as this special weekend that we had in June or May (I don't remember exactly when). Basically on that special weekend, we did an impromptu BBQ. There is this grocery store called Fresh&Easy .. It's almost similar to Trader Joe's in nature since they sell organic foods and ready-made healthy entrees. Well, I particularly love this store because they have lots of marinated meats for grilling. On that special weekend we bought two racks of baby back ribs, salmon patties, and one of their BBQ set (which has italian sausages, marinated chickens, and beef patties).

My hubby grilling meats in office clothes :)

Turned out we bought too much food! Even more interesting, our total expense was something close to $25 ... Isn't it awesome? 

This is the beef burgers and salmon burgers ... both were equally good to me!

Ok, so back to our most recent not-so-interesting weekend =) On Friday night we had dinner at Santouka ... as usual my hubby had his shoyu ramen while I chose the spicy-bean based ramen. Oh, there was a special stall selling ramen in the grocery store ... I don't remember the name. It was a special event stall, I think, since it will only be there basically for the weekend. Maybe we should have tried that ramen instead ... Oh well. Anyway, we did take a peek at the ramen and it seemed that the broth was not as thick as Santouka's. Both I and my husband prefer thick broth ramen than the clear one. 

My spicy bean paste ramen

On Saturday, we felt that we want to eat out, but we didn't know where to go. We only knew for sure that we want something American. So... we've heard people talk about Main Street Burgers for a while ... and since we didn't have any other alternatives at hand, we decided to go to Downtown Los Gatos and tried them. They're not bad. I ordered the BBQ burger while my hubby ordered Mushroom and Swiss burger. Both of us liked what we ordered. Personally, the appearance of the Mushroom and Swiss burger was not as impressive as my BBQ burger. My BBQ burger was huge! In addition to cheese and beef patty, it also had onion rings, greens, and fried bacon!

BBQ Burger

We ordered garlic fries on the side. Unlike the burgers, the fries was just okay. I like The Counter's garlic parmesan fries better.

Garlic Fries

And then on Sunday, after church, I went to this nail salon to celebrate one of my BS friends' birthday. All of my friends got pedicure, but I opted for manicure instead. I got this french manicure! This is how it looks like after a day ... (after I washed dishes, drove, went shopping, and did a lot of other stuff). Manicure was a bad idea actually; the manicurist told me to do nothing for 30 mins in order to wait for my nails to dry perfectly. I didn't enjoy those 30 mins =P

French Manicure
After we got our pedicure and manicure, we went to Costco. I wasn't planning to buy anything in particular but this red bing cherries successfully tempted me. Well, I bought them also because I knew that this might be the last cherries that I could buy this year. The cherry season has almost ended. 

In general, I don't really like buying fruit (especially peaches or cherries) at Costco because I can't taste it. My ideal place for fruit shopping is actually Campbell Farmer's Market. However, last time we went there, we couldn't find anymore cherry. We saw these beautiful sunflowers instead!

So.. that's the short version of my weekend. How is yours? =)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

H - 17

Yup.. I'm counting days for my graduation :)

Sometimes I find it hard to believe that almost one year has passed since the first day of my MBA program... I've finished 14 courses in this amazing one year. I got a few good friends too. Anyway ... I also find it hard to describe what I'm feeling right now. Yes, I am glad that this one year is over ... (who wants to continue studying day and night? or having group meetings in weekend? =P) but I'm scared of the unknown future too...

Ever since I met my husband, my life is all about planning. We planned our engagement, and then our wedding ... we also planned my education. Now that I've completed my education, what do we have to do next? Everything is so hazy. We still don't know where we will settle down and build our family. I really wish it is US. However, looking at the job market situation ... it's kinda hard to imagine building family here. Thank God my husband still has a job. The problem is whether or not I can find a decent job here in the US. I'm longing to pursue my passion in marketing and fashion ... I'm eyeing the retail industry ... yet, it is so hard to even enter the entry-level positions. 

In addition to all those, I'm also excited about the graduation because of the graduation gift that my husband has prepared =D He actually combined the celebration of my graduation with my birthday. So for the second time... I will be celebrating my birthday ... in a very special place. Disney World =) I've always dreamed of visiting Disney theme parks when I was little. Isn't life so unpredictable? Who would ever thought that I will have a chance to celebrate my birthday there - not just once, but twice? Well, my first birthday in the US was celebrated in Disneyland, Anaheim, CA. This time, we will be celebrating my birthday in Disney World Florida. 

My capstone class is keeping me really busy lately, so I don't have time to really look into travel books and do proper research. However, last night, I was so bored with all the extensive class readings, hence, I decided to entertain myself with creating travel itinerary. I want to list out what I want to see and enjoy when I visit Orlando. Actually, we will be visiting not just Disney World but also both the Universal theme parks in Orlando, Florida. Anyway, this is what makes the planning tricky. I can find a lot of resources for Disney ... like reviews and some itineraries ... but it is kinda hard to find ready-made itinerary for the Universal.

The other crucial decision that we need to make in order to make a good itinerary, is to pick rides and attractions that we will want to enjoy. What makes this step difficult is that I have a low tolerance on roller coaster. Not really low ... but still low =P Well, from what I experienced at Disneyland, I conclude that Disney's roller coasters should not be that scary. I mean those should be still considered OK for me. So for Disney World, I think I can enjoy almost all the rides. Not the same case for Universal...

From what I learned, the rides in Universal are more limited. If I take roller coasters out of the list, there will be not much options left. Furthermore, in most reviews, the not-to-be-missed rides in both Universal Studio Florida and Universal Island of Adventure are Revenge of the Mummy, The Incredible Hulk, and The Dueling Dragon... FYI, they all are roller coasters >.< My husband said it is a waste not to try them ... considering how expensive the ticket is ... so ... I'm in dilemma. Well, since the Mummy is an indoor roller coaster, I think I will have the gut to ride it. The dueling dragon ... hmmm .. we'll see. Maybe I can. Not the Hulk though. I've been watching video from youtube ... and it doesn't look fun at all to me =P LOL

So.. yeah, I'm experiencing a lot of feeling right now. I really wish everything will turn out well. I know He has a special plan for me, and for my husband =) I don't know where we will end up in the future, but I know for sure, my God is there with us.

PS: I find this lyric very comforting ... 

God is too wise to be mistaken
God is too good to be unkind
So when you don't understand
When you don't see His plan
When you can't trace His hand
Trust His heart

This is the full video =) enjoy!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Counting Blessings

Lately, life has gotten tougher. Well, the school is almost ends, and I have yet to find out what to do after. My primary plan is to get a job. I just learned that it's not an easy plan ...

Anyway, in the midst of life challenges, I want to take time to re-focus my way of thinking. When life is difficult, it is so easy to become bitter. Instead of complaining, maybe I should count my blessing so that I can see the full picture. I know I have been blessed enormously ... I should not forget that. In my daily bible reading, there is this challenge to make a list of 10 things that I'm grateful for. I hope by doing this I can find encouragement to face my daily struggles.

1. I'm grateful that I have a loving husband. We met through a miraculous way. I believe God created him for me :) Right now, he is my primary source of support and comfort. I love the fact that he always encourages me to pursue my dream. I can go on and on ranting about how I love him but I think I better stop now :p

2. I'm grateful that I have the opportunity to study abroad. Ever since I was little, I always want to study abroad. I want to see the different culture ... I want to feel what it's like to have international friends... to communicate in different language and to hear different point of views. I understand that to be able to pursue a Master's degree in the U.S. is a privilege from God. That is why I cherish this opportunity and strive to learn as much as I can.

3. I'm grateful that God provides us with a place to live. I love my small apartment. This is my first place ... When we first moved, I was so excited. "Everything" in this small place is ours. I also had so much fun decorating the small space. I thank God for giving us this comfortable place.  

4. I'm grateful for our Indonesian community here in San Jose. When you're so far away from home, friends are sometimes closer than family. Basically your friends are your family. I thank God for providing us with this support network. Without them, living so far away from home would be unbearable. 

5. To continue #4, I'm also thankful for the Indonesian Church that we have here in San Jose. Although I'm so far away from home, I'm still able to worship God and listen to His word every week. I thank God for providing me with this community where I can grow in my faith in Him.  

6. I'm grateful that I almost finish my MBA program. It is only by God's grace I'm able to survive this accelerated One-Year MBA program. If I look back, I'm so amazed at what God enabled me to do throughout this one year. There were times when I felt it was impossible, but I learned one more time how true this saying was: "with God, nothing is impossible!"

7.  I'm grateful for my new laptop! :) It has longer battery life, so now I can study at Starbucks without worrying for power outlet :p

8. I'm grateful for the house-boating holiday last weekend and the LA trip next weekend. I thank God for giving us this holiday so that we can escape our daily routine for a while. I wish we could come back refreshed and ready for whatever challenges that await us :p

9. I'm grateful for our health. For me, health is the #1 thing. No matter how rich you are, if you're not healthy then you can't do anything. You can't even enjoy your life. I thank God for giving us good health so that we can live and serve him. 

10. I'm grateful for the food that we have in our table everyday. I thank God for giving a job to my husband so that he can provides for our little family. I know there are a lot of people out there that need food so badly. It is a luxury to be able to eat "whatever" we want. 

So there it is. My list of 10 things that I'm grateful for. It is not ALL that I'm grateful for though. There are a lot of things that are not mentioned in the list. Anyway, I wish this list can be a source of comfort for everyone out there that is in the middle of life challenges. This list greatly reminds me that God has done a lot for me and His hand is still working in my life.     Right now we can't see what it is, but just trust Him because He knows what is best for us.

"“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness" II corinthians 12:9a