Love is…

Shortly after Tim and I started dating (9 years ago!), he had to go to England for six months. So sad! We both had to celebrate each other’s respective birthdays across a big big pond. I will always remember what he got me for my birthday that year. 

No flowers. No jewelry. Just a box from Omaha, Nebraska.


My first birthday present from Tim.

His friends warned him that maybe he should go with something more traditional… maybe something a little less… bloody? Tim could not be dissuaded. Tim insisted that Candy was a different kind of girl. So that birthday I opened a package of bacon wrapped filet mignons with a side of loaded potatoes. In all honesty, at the time I thought it was a kind gesture, but it did left me scratching my head: “What does this mean?” “Does he even like me??” My friends didn’t get it. I hated admitting it at the time, but like 50 cent so eloquently put it, I was that kid – like a fat kid loves cake steak. 

Fast forward 9+ years to today.

During lunch I picked Tim up from work so he could do a Costco run with me. He was standing under a tree holding something behind his back.


I’m sorry about the beastly bite taken out of the short rib. I bit into the short rib before I remembered to whip out my phone.

Love is packing a doggie bag for your babe when you are served her favorite cut of meat at work. 



Addicted to Squirreling Part 1

Some of you may know that I grew up as a Pastor’s Kid (PK). There are many great things about being a PK. There are also core competencies you gain being a PK. I grew up constantly having people over at our house so much so that I can’t remember a single Thanksgiving that was just “us.” One of the best skills you can acquire if you are to be a PK is to be an excellent picker-upper. It was not uncommon that mom would get off the phone and say “Auntie _____ (in Chinese custom, you always call other adults aunties and uncles no matter how unrelated/related you are) is coming over! And we as kids just knew, it was time to haul butt hide all the $%^ around the house. I mean yes, of course it would have been nice to really clean, but aint nobody got time for that!

I got to be the best damn squirrel-er in San Diego. Dinner table a mess? No problem, stack the papers and put them on the seats. Unfolded laundry all over the couch? Throw them in a basket and hide it in an unsuspecting person’s room. Honest to God this is what I thought cleaning was because that’s how we would roll growing up!

See how I have feigned orderliness with the help of the humble and yet glorious basket.

Display shelves behind the dining table.ImageUnder the coffee table.


In the entertainment unit!


On the other side of the coffee table!


A whole piece of furniture with little drawers built in!

Every family has their junk drawer. That is totally reasonable. In fact if you didn’t have one, I’m 99% sure you have control issues. I had 18. Prior to the start of summer, I swear that every single one of those baskets was filled with crap. What kinda crap?

  • Tangled Nokia/Motorola phone chargers.
  • Appliance manuals
  • 43 cent stamps (we are at 46 cents now)
  • Random foreign currency (Rupees, Wons, Euros, Hong Kong Dollars)
  • Gel pens, Markers, Binder Clips, Paper clips, Hair Ties
  • Random nails and screws
  • 6 nail clippers

It wasn’t until I got married that my house of cards came crashing down. It was bad. Tim would ask, “Hey Candy! Have you seen that bill from the HOA?” “Give me a sec. * Rummages through baskets* TaDAH! It was in Wicker Basket Number 3!!” This happens every. week. Thankfully Tim hasn’t gotten too annoyed at his squirrel of a wife yet because this squirrel still has a fantastic memory. But when I found Tim’s PhD Diploma next to my Laura Ingalls Wilder collection, I had to come to grips with the reality that:

  1. I suck at organizing. (Tragic for someone who thinks she’s a J according to Myers-Briggs)
  2. I can’t go on like this!!!!

And because of it, we inaugurated the S family tradition of THE PURGE. (to be continued)

This is the best summer ever.

Breakfast with Tim at Beta Cafe.

Breakfast with Tim at Beta Cafe. Pictured: Oatmeal, Roasted B Sprouts, Organic Egg Whites, Mushrooms, Grapefruit, Blackberries, Wild Rice and BETA BACON.

I exclaimed this to Tim this morning as I was eating this amazing breakfast at Google’s Beta Cafe. Side note: This bacon is the best bacon I’ve ever tasted in my life. It is crispy, maple-ly, savory and smokey. With every piece I bit into, I had to pause, stop talking, moan and thank Jesus for bacon (oh and the pig that gave it’s belly for my belly). Back to this summer being the best  summer ever.

As a teacher that has taught for more years than one hand can show, I have had my fair share of summers. So what’s the big deal about Summer 2013? Here’s the quick recap:

Summer 2008: Internship + Moving to the Bay Area. Every time you have to move, it basically ruins any chance of it being the best summer ever. It’s stressful, sad and just a lot of work!

Summer 2009: Wedding planning for all of June and July, getting married and going on a honeymoon. Don’t get me wrong, I loved getting married, but I would not recommend getting married as a form of relaxation and recovery from a school year.

Summer 2010: I don’t know what I did this summer except go to Hawaii. I think my siblings visited me so I got to play tour guide.

Summer 2011: Changing schools = moving classrooms. (See Summer 2008) This could also be TGI-Health Insurance. Tim suffered a ruptured Achilles Tendon. I got three of my four wisdom teeth yanked. We were popping painkillers like they were going out of style. This summer was a blur.

Summer 2012: Changing rooms in the same school (See Summer 2008) + Colorado for training + Korea, HK and China for vacation. Lots of adventures but went into inservice week a little jet-lagged and delirious.

Summer 2013: Nothing.

Though nothing “big” is happening, our house is going through significant TLC during this time! More about that later. It’s been such a glorious two weeks, I can’t wait for the rest of June + July and a wee-bit of August to unfold.

What would you do with eight weeks of staycation?