10 Years

10 years ago on a cold, rainy day, I married the man that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.

Photo taken by our friend, Warren Lam
Photo taken by our friend, Warren Lam

Happy 10th wedding anniversary, my dear!

If I claim that we had 10 full years of marital bliss, I’d be lying. A real marriage (or relationship) can’t possibly be all sunshines and rainbows, at least not that I know of. We’ve had our fair share of challenges and arguments along the way. Learning to live with another person is hard work and little annoyances can be very peeving for a person like me. Fortunately, Alan and I complement each other a lot, and we often make up for one another’s weaknesses.

When Alan and I dated, I knew that communication wasn’t his strength. He didn’t like to talk about feelings and emotions, and any “arguments” that we had were obviously one-sided because he remained quiet during those times. When we decided to tie the knot though, he promised to be more vocal in our marriage, and even included this promise in his vows. Well, after practicing for 10 years, I now cannot get him to shut up. 🙂 He loves to “talk things out” and is often the initiator of our conversations. This key change in him has brought us a lot closer through the years.

Alan and I are similar and different in so many ways, but these similarities and differences are precisely what makes our marriage work. We love each other’s company because we are both incredibly adventurous and playful. We have such a great time together doing all sorts of fun things, or simply being couch potatoes next to one another at home. Yet, we thrive on having our personal space as well. Every year, he takes weekend trips by himself for his motorcycle track days, and I would travel without him to visit my girlfriends. We cherish these times when we get reacquainted with our individual identities apart from one another just as much as we cherish the time that we are together as a couple. It really works for us.

I’ve learned so much these past 10 years. Looking back, when I wrote my vows and read them to Alan at our wedding, they were merely words on paper. Promises are very easy to make, but difficult to keep. Love seems easy when you’re deeply in love, but what I learned was that the nature of love changes after you get married. Love becomes much more of a verb, and both Alan and I had to work hard to nourish and grow our marriage. When you’re dating, passion naturally exists every time you see one another, but in a marriage, you just don’t come home everyday with sparks flying around the minute you see your spouse. That’s not to say that passion disappears completely but it takes more effort to revive it from time to time. One of the many things that I love about Alan is that he is always reminding us to make time for one another, and is really committed to maintaining a good level of TLC in our marriage. As with everything else in life, you reap what you sow, and our shared commitment for a strong, loving marriage means we are constantly working hard on it.

I had so many “ideas” on how I wanted to celebrate our big 1-0 wedding anniversary– an elaborate vow renewal party, an unforgettable adrenaline-filled trip to Queenstown, New Zealand, etc. etc…. but in the end, Alan reminded me on the real significance of this occasion, and planned a low-key, yet incredibly special day for us while my sister watched the girls. He took me back to Sweet Way, the street that he lived on when we met. Our first date was spent roller blading right outside his neighborhood, where there is a spectacular view of the bay. Unbeknownst to me, he had hidden his roller blades in the trunk ahead of time, so I was delightfully surprised when he pulled them out and put them on that day. Since I was dressed nicely for dinner, he took out our scooter for me instead, and we rode/bladed along the headlands just like we did years ago, stopping to admire the first signs of sunset as we reminisced on the past 12 years that we’ve been together. Some of the memories felt like a life time ago while others felt like yesterday. We realized that we really have gone through a lot together, and we are so grateful for where we are with our relationship and marriage right now. We had a lovely dinner at Yume Sushi that evening, which also reminded us of our many dates where we would sit for hours at the sushi bar just enjoying each other’s company and good sushi. In fact, Alan was the one who taught me what good, authentic sushi really is. Prior to meeting him, I was happy with California Rolls! 🙂

IMG_9496IMG_9507IMG_9508Since we both love traveling so much, it is inevitable that we will celebrate with a trip later this month but we’re including Bridgette this time since she is old enough now to enjoy so many of the activities that we love. 🙂

Happy anniversary to the love of my life, and I’ll never forget all our wonderful memories together…

On our honeymoon in Tahiti
On our honeymoon in Tahiti, Dec. 2002
Watching our first home together get built in Santa Clara, CA. in 2003
Watching our first home together get built in Santa Clara, CA. in 2003
Attending Kiki and Ken's wedding, April 2003
Attending Kiki and Ken’s wedding, April 2003
Go Car riding in S.F., 2003
Go Car riding in S.F., 2003
Tokyo trip with my sister and brother in law, 2003
Tokyo trip with my sister and brother in law, 2003
Skiing/Snowboarding in Lake Tahoe, 2003
Skiing/Snowboarding in Lake Tahoe, 2003
Eating our way through Toronto, 2003
Eating our way through Toronto, 2003
Eating our way through Taiwan, 2003
Eating our way through Taiwan, 2004
Horse riding on the beach in Thailand, 2003
Horsebacl riding on the beach in Thailand, 2004
Trip to the Big Apple in 2005
Trip to the Big Apple in 2005
Trip to the Big Apple 2005
Trip to the Big Apple 2005
White water rafting in Costa Rica, 2003
White water rafting in Costa Rica, 2005
First time surfing together, in Costa Rica 2003
First time surfing together, in Costa Rica 2005
ATV riding through the rainforest in Costa Rica, 2003
ATV riding through the rainforest in Costa Rica, 2005
Ziplining through the rainforest in Costa Rica, 2003
Ziplining through the rainforest in Costa Rica, 2005
Holiday dinner in our new home, 2003
Holiday dinner in our second home, 2005
Pregnant with Bridgette, 2006
Pregnant with Bridgette, 2006
Babymoon to Jamaica, 2006
Babymoon to Jamaica, 2006
Newborn Bridgette, our pride and joy! Feb., 2007
Newborn Bridgette, our pride and joy! Feb., 2007
Bridgette's 2 month old party, April 2007
Bridgette’s 2 month old party, April 2007
Our first family photo session with Todd Rafalovich, Sept. 2007
Our first family photo session with Todd Rafalovich, Sept. 2007
Our first family photo session with Todd Rafalovich, Sept. 2007
Our first family photo session with Todd Rafalovich, Sept. 2007
Our first family trip together, to Hawaii, Dec. 2007
Our first family trip together, to Hawaii, Dec. 2007
Taking Bridgette to Hong Kong for the first time, Dec. 2007
Taking Bridgette to Hong Kong for the first time, Dec. 2007
Tokyo trip, Feb. 2008
Tokyo trip, Feb. 2008
Segway-ing our way through San Francisco, 2008
Segway-ing our way through San Francisco, 2008
Xmas at the Ritz S.F., 2008
Xmas at the Ritz S.F., 2008
Visiting my elementary school in Nampa, Idaho, 2009
Visiting my elementary school in Nampa, Idaho, March 2009
Restaurant hopping for good tapas in Barcelona, Spain. May 2009
Restaurant hopping for good tapas in Barcelona, Spain. May 2009
Riding along the beaches of Cannes, France. May 2009
Riding along the beaches of Cannes, France. May 2009
Island of Capris in Italy, May 2009
Island of Capris in Italy, May 2009
Sightseeing in Rome, May 2009
Sightseeing in Rome, May 2009
Navigating our way through the fields of Tuscany, May 2009
Navigating our way through the fields of Tuscany, May 2009
Family trip to Phuket, Nov. 2009
Family trip to Phuket, Nov. 2009
Phuket trip, Nov. 2009
Phuket trip, Nov. 2009
San Diego "eat + drink" trip with friends, Dec. 2009
San Diego “eat + drink” trip with friends, Dec. 2009
Family photo session with Wendy Maclauren Richardson, 2010
Family photo session with Wendy Maclauren Richardson, 2010
Trip to the exotic island of Anguilla, 2010
Trip to the exotic island of Anguilla, 2010
One of our favorite hotels in the world--Viceroy Anguilla, 2010
One of our favorite hotels in the world–Viceroy Anguilla, 2010
Anguilla trip, 2010
Anguilla trip, 2010
Visiting my extended family in San Juan, Puerto Rico, 2010
Visiting my extended family in San Juan, Puerto Rico, 2010
Family photo session with Lisa Lefkowitz, March 2011
Family photo session with Lisa Lefkowitz, March 2011
Family trip to Los Cabos with my in laws
Family trip to Los Cabos with my in laws, August 2011
Family trip to Los Cabos with my in laws, August 2011
Family trip to Los Cabos with my in laws, August 2011
Family trip to Hangzhou, China, Nov. 2011
Family trip to Hangzhou, China, Nov. 2011
Family trip to Hangzhou, China, Nov. 2011
Family trip to Hangzhou, China, Nov. 2011
Trip to Otaru, Japan, Dec. 2011
Trip to Otaru, Japan, Dec. 2011

IMG_9686

At Leon Lai concert in Hong Kong, Dec. 2011
At Leon Lai concert in Hong Kong, Dec. 2011
Beautiful skyline in Hong Kong, Dec. 2011
Beautiful skyline in Hong Kong, Dec. 2011
Family trip to Hawaii, March 2012
Family trip to Hawaii, March 2012
Trip to Lanai, March 2011
Trip to Lanai, March 2011
This was one of the spots where I wanted to have our vow renewal, at the Four Seasons in Lanai! March 2011
This was one of the spots where I wanted to have our vow renewal, at the Four Seasons in Lanai! March 2011

Going through all these old photos made me teary-eyed, as I relived all the beautiful memories we created together. It also made me realize that we had very little photos as a couple after Bridgette was born! It’s easy for the marriage to get “lost”, or to be put on the back burner, once kids come into play. But, as my wise friend Jean always reminds me, our kids will grow up and live their own lives in 18 years, whereas our spouse will be our partner and companion for many more years beyond that….so it’s very important that we do not “forget” our marriage while focusing on our children.

Thanks Alan, for 10 imperfectly memorable years. I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. 🙂



1 Comment

  1. I come back to this post over and over again to admire all the places you guys have visited and it’s amazing to see the subtle changes in you two through the photos.

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