AOK Winter Camp 2017

Every year, our high school youth group goes on a winter retreat, and I as an old person, get to join in with them and see how God is working in their lives.

Camp Prelude

Already before camp started, I was able to see God’s faithfulness in my own life.  Before going to camp, I was not that enthused sacrificing my vacation days to spend time with crazy non-sleeping high schoolers.  God had to do some stuff with my heart to remind me 1) of all the past counselors I had who sacrificed their vacation for me and 2) that God calls us to sacrifice our desires for His kingdom.  I was reminded of a quote from a sermon I heard long ago – “it’s not a sacrifice unless it hurts”.  The widow who gave her last two cents to God sacrificed everything because God was worth it. I still have so much to learn about what sacrifice is.

As I was working through all this, God showed me how faithful He is.  Out of the blue, I won one whole day’s worth of vacation at a raffle at work that I didn’t know I had been entered into! I was  BLOWN away by God’s faithfulness and kindness because Lord knows, my attitude toward serving was pretty lame.  But praise God for working on my heart, despite how selfish it can be (like all the time).

Camp Is Here

JW, Stephen, Stephanie, and I left Mammoth at ~5:30 a.m. Tuesday morning so that I could get to church by 2:00 p.m. for part 2 of my winter vacation. So thankful JW basically drove the whole way down from Mammoth without a complaint so that I could be rested for high school crazies.

We met at church to being our journey to Pine Valley Bible Conference Center. Here we go!

Every year, one kid brings the biggest suitcase ever. It used to be me in high school. I’ve since become better due to all my travels with travelmaster Camel. You can’t tell from this photo, but this year’s Biggest Suitcase Ever award was granted to D.P.  Granted, the suitcase held both his sleeping bag and his luggage together – but still it was at least three and half feet tall.  See Exhibit A.

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Exhibit A

Twice a day we had messages by Pastor Justin Chan about being disciples of Christ. I was most challenged about his message on choosing to be Mary (focused on Christ and who she’s with) rather than Martha (focused on everything she’s got to do). I have come to finally admit fully-heartedly that I am, without a doubt, a Martha. I tried to lie to myself for twenty-nine years thinking I’m not like her, except that I’M EXACTLY LIKE HER.

This message coincided with my one new year’s resolution: Learning to rest.

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worship and message time

During free time, the kids did archery, team-building activities, paint-balling, camp fire s’mores, and games/coloring.  Feelin’ my age bc I ended up just watching a lot of the activities and laughing at our kids being kids.

We also ate very well.  While driving up to Pine Valley, I adamantly told the girls there would be no Chinese or Asian food.  Then the first dinner we ate – there was chow mein and orange chicken.

My favorite time was ladies time – which was all the time, haha.  We had three super awesome and super sweet high school girls. My favorite was spending one on one time with them and learning how God is working in their lives.  (fyi – one of my favorite things is just to see God working in people’s lives. it reminds me how good, big, powerful, and real He is)

Joining us this year were an additional three awesome ladies – wife + cute daughters of Steven and Scott.  Ahhh it was so much fun to have them. We look so cute in the photos below.

More girl time = cabin time fun = sleeping time + Sara brushing her teeth 

Every night, the kids loved their game time. The games of 2017 were: Exploding Kittens, dice guessing, and Mafia.

MVP of the year = Tony Nguyen. This guy is one of the best high school counselors ever. He really took one for the team this year. He went out of his way to pick up one high school kid bc the kid forgot camp was happening.  One of his kids flooded the room after clogging the toilet.  Another of his kids broke the room lamp after jumping around. Tony was shot point-blank numerous times during paintball by kids not following directions.  And a kid threw up out of his car and got gum all over the car interior on the way home. SERIOUSLY, can you give this guy a best counselor award?  I was so encouraged by how he handled it all with so much grace.

 

 

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the broken lamp

After all is said and done, we are one big happy high school family.

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Post-Camp

JW came over after I got back from camp to hang out. I fell asleep on him for a couple hours. 

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It was a crazy jam-packed week, but after I went back to work, all my co-workers noted that I looked really refreshed.  I guess spending time with God and His family has that effect on you… 

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Christmas in Mammoth (2017)

Welcome to a Fung family vacation! Let me take you on a journey of how it feels like to travel with the amazing Fung family!

Christmas vacations start with elaborate emails from Mommy detailing travel plans to the T.  Better not be late or pack too much, you’ve been warned!

This year, we are taking an adventure with the entire Fung family clan (Mommy, Daddy, Sabby, Stephen, Stanley, and Stephanie), Julie+Joanna, Joe Walnut, Alethia, and everyone’s beloved, Bolobao. We left on Christmas Eve and stayed over two to three nights, depending on vacation availability.

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Good morning! It’s 5:30 – thirty minutes past estimated departure time – which is pretty good for ten human beings + one dog.  Here our journey begins!

We take turns driving, sleeping, and letting Queen Bolobao sit on our laps. (Stanley and Alethia even sleep alike!!  )

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Perks of being on the road at 5:30 a.m.

On the Fung family vacation, you’ll be sure to notice, we try hard not to stop a lot on the road…but somehow… we still end up stopping places….

This year was special. Our goal was to make it to the Christmas Eve service on the slopes with the church Daddy helps with.  Service began at 1:00 p.m., hence us leaving at 5:30 a.m.  Miraculously, the whole gang made it up to the Mammoth slopes on time! THAT was a true Christmas miracle.

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Daddy + pastor on the gondola

Up on the slopes, we got to sing Christmas carols and enjoy hearing God’s word preached – on top of a mountain!!

We took this picture after service. Joe Walnut is sporting some fancy boots, courtesy of Walmart.

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Church is held on the first stop of the gondola ride.  After church, we took the gondola to the tippy top of the mountain where it was advised to . not . fall . down . the . mountain.

But our family is pretty fast at visiting stuff. So, soon after, we went back home to get dinner started.  If you read those emails, we each had meal duties on different days.

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Look at that man go. My hero.

Nights in Mammoth consist of hanging out inside. Playing games. Relaxing on the couch. Making cookies. Karaoke. And watching a movie. Also, being on our phones and laptops is part of Mammoth.

Christmas Day – we opened our gifts. We aren’t too big on gifts for our family.  Some gift notables:

  • Gummy bears for Stephanie from Sprouts (allegedly the BEST gummy bears in all the nation)
  • Drone from Costco for Daddy from the kids
  • Plastic bowls + $$$ for the Mommy
  • A limited edition political card game for JW
  • An original FoxTrot autographed comic strip for Sab from JW!!

We went to the Village for a bit to get out of the house and take Bolobao out. It was pretty warm this time around – not much snow.

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if we sent out couple christmas cards lol…

We eat pretty well in Mammoth, thanks to our Mommy dearest.  We made two of her famous prime ribs on Christmas night.  It got the Joe Walnut stamp of approval, the highest honor one could receive.

Merry Christmas to all from your favorite Fung family 

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Winter 2017

All the winter holidays have passed!

Halloween

  • My I present to you, my co-workers.

Thanksgiving

  • We celebrated Thanksgiving with Kaleo & family! Kaleo hosted their first friendsgiving and it was a blast! Kudos to Lynnette and Tiff Yee for putting the whole event together!
  • I joined the Walnut-Chan family for my first holidays with JW and his family.  It was the fanciest Thanksgiving lunch I have ever enjoyed.  After lunch, Grace, JW, and I headed to Best Buy and Target for some Black Friday shopping on Thanksgiving Day.  We came out with a DVD of Space Jam.
  • The Fung family gathered at Uncle Peter’s house post-Thanksgiving for delicious food and craziness, per usual.
  • Choey+JessL+Esther hosted a Friendsgiving with all the traditional Thanksgiving fixins’.  Choey is an amazing cook – she whipped a homemade stuffing, green bean casserole, chicken, and gravy – just. like. that.

Christmas

  • One month later, we hosted Kaleo Christmas at our house! Complete with White Elephant gift exchange where I WON A TOTORO APRON!
  • The Fung family came over later to celebrate with an early Christmas dinner.  Both JW’s and Alethia’s family joined our crazy family in celebration.
  • Our family + SO left for Mammoth the next day to spend Christmas up in the mountains! (more on that to come)!

New Years

  • FCBC’s finest, Joseph, opened up his new home for us to celebrate New Year’s! We ate good food, played some fun games, and had some good laughs.  We even had a guest appearance from the Wu family + Noelle and the Lee family + all three kids in tow!

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Other highlights:
My baby sister got baptized! 珞 and we celebrated her 16!!!

I got to spend some time looking at Christmas lights! THREE times this year! Once with JW in Pasadena where we ate Bacalli first. Once with Choey+Esther at Candy Cane Lane in PV where we got to eat ice cream afterwards. And finally once with small group in Naples Canal where we got to eat Cambodian food first.  Naples Canal is by far my favorite. also eating.

JW and I went on some dates…

We celebrated RACHEL!!!!!! She’s getting married, guys!!! ❤ ❤ ❤

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To top it all off, some bday celebrations! Very thankful to share my 29 with the best of friends. God is so good and has blessed me so richly with these friendships and relationships.

 

 

 

Austin 2017

Last month, sweet Charity invited Camel + Sab to join her on a quick weekend trip to Austin, TX – and what is Austin, but good eats, good people, and good times. 

It has been a busy and crazy last couple months, so Camel and I were SO thankful to have this quick but refreshing girls getaway. Some highlights from our trip:

1.MY BURRITO I BROUGHT ON THE AIRPLANE RIDE.

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you can’t not fly this way

I bought this lil bundle of carne asada heaven the night before, got a ginger ale as my preferred airplane beverage, and enjoyed my plane ride like a burrito boss.

2. TACOS!! TACOS!! TACOS!!

So we got to try some tacos on the trip, and Camel’s PSA to the entire world: Please don’t go to Torchey’s, go to Veracruz All Natural (tex-mex tacos) or Las Trancas Taco Stand (street tacos). Camel doesn’t want you to be disappointed with an “okay” taco.

3. THE BEST ACCOMMODATIONS EVER.

Camel and I were so thankful that Charity let us crash with her at her hotel room for a couple nights. It was an honor to be her plus twos (heh, thanks Mr. Chan for letting us take your place for a couple days).  Basically, it was amenities all day and all nightsss!!

4. HAPPY HOUR at June’s (one of Camel’s highlights!)

Literally, everywhere you go in Austin has a brunch menu and happy hour menu – and their happy hour menus are SO GOOD. (like where else can you get half off entrees!?!?) So, we had an early dinner at June’s where 1) Their happy hour is amazing. 2) Their food is equally as amazing. 3) Their interior design is modern, rustic, yet quaint – all the way down to the lit aromatic candles in their bathroom.

So, you basically need to go.

5. The murals of Austin: Everywhere in the City are unique and creative murals to enjoy. Although, most of the murals require the photographer to stand in the middle of street to take photo… so just don’t get killed trying to take a ‘gram photo. (kinda poor planning on someone’s part…)

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this is for you J

6. The barbecue joint of choice was Cooper’s BBQ. Brisket and beef ribs all around with plenty of sides and beans. Happy bellies all around.

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7. You might have noticed that 5 of the 6 highlights involved food, somehow. Honestly, that was 85% of Austin. But in order to make you not judge us for endless food… I am here to tell you that, yes, we did do other stuff like…

  • Visit the Texas State Capitol (this is where democracy happens!!! in Texas!!!)
  • Wait (with hundreds of people) for the bat flight along S Congress Bridge,
  • Find some amazing ice cream for Charity,
  • Find Poppy and watch people do graffiti art, and
  • Enjoy the view along the Lady Bird Lake boardwalk.

8. But, one of the prettiest views in my opinion was with us the whole time…Meet Mrs. Charity Chan, Liferay enthusiast, travel master, and spreader of joy.

Eating through the End of Summer 2017

So, end of summer and beginning of fall/winter is here. Basically, there was a lot of eating mixed into adventure.

We went to the San Diego Safari Park!

女

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but secretly, my fav part of that trip was dinner…we found this mom and pop Mediterranean restaurant called Ali Baba and everyone needs to go here. We got a platter for two to share between us four girls and no regrets…like NONE. These pictures don’t do it justice, but I wanted to post them so I can look back and drool over the amazing-ness.

Then a couple weeks later, Maester Bud hosted a Game of Thrones dinner party and it was also, the best meal of my life. Maester Bud knows how to throw a party, my fellow peeps. It was an honor to a guest in the House of Bud.

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Like, look at this Ice King menu design.

That night was just . Words can’t even describe. Thank you Maester Bud for an evening of unforgettable festivities.

Festivities continued with JJ & Lucy’s show-stopping wedding at Los Willows in Fallbrook, CA. It was a beautiful venue and filled with so much love, sweetness, laughter, …and food. 🙂

Then one night, Lynnette and I attempted to study together…and this ended up happening at 9 p.m. I haven’t been out for late-night eats in so long. You end up ordering crazy stuff past 7 p.m. guys. It was a glorious mistake that neither of us regretted at Cafe Gunul in Buena Park, CA.

We made the high school kids play chubby bunny & stuff their faces with marshmallows.

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this has nothing to do with food, but i love this photo and family – the lee family comes to visit me at work from time to time! they get to play in the fountain and i get to see some of the cutest kids grow up!

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also, nothing to do with food but the solar eclipse happened! do you remember?! the whole nation went crazy watching it.

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Noelle turned one!! such a sweet and lovely one. I love her so much!!

and one last favorite thing, Camel started in AOK!!!

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story of my life – taking them creeper photos of cambam

this guy went to hong kong & he was looking forward to eating at cafe de coral so much that he made his own snap filter.

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NFL season has started …meaning he gets to watch football & i get to eat happy hour food. Tried out Buffalo Wild Wings, TGI Fridays, and Applebee’s for their NFL happy hour and I think Applebee’s won.  I was surprised…but their spinach & artichoke dip + Asian steak taco appetizer is on point.

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why

before summer ended, we had spring rolls in our casa! super yums! and good family time!

Super Roxy and I went to eat! And so many funny adventures happen with Roxy! The first time we tried to study, but ended up at an AYCE shabu shabu buffet.  Then later we went to Kaleo together and her car GPS wouldn’t work so I ended up driving her back with JW behind me to take me home – when all we had to do was plug her phone into her GPS for it to work. Good times with the Roxy. IMG_2770

and our favorite military couple Cow and Rob came back to visit!! We did poke lunch & a Mediterranean spread dinner complete with pita, chicken, microwaved beets, hummus, garlic spread, homemade falafels, Costco cheesecake, and a peach crostata (inspired by Maester Bud). ❤

And finally, the cool kids night out at AFF – after Friday fellowship. After a fun night working with high school & college kids, us counselor get in some good ole hang out time. #tcsjj

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My heart is so full, guys!! Lots of food, people, and love! Winter is coming and lots more adventures to come! Thanks for following along.

Till next time,
the sabster

 

Best Day Ever 2017

This was one of the best days in a long time.

The day started off bright and early with an early morning blood donation – GO DONATE MY FRIENDS. The guy that took my blood reminded me of Jeff Tran in a funny way.

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give your blooooddah!

Then, it was time for a “treat-yo-self” day surprise with the bffl! Her [so so so sweet] husband wanted to surprise her with a morning out to brunch and pampering, and asked me to come take her out while he watched baby! ❤ She totally didn’t know what was going on…

SURPRISE!!!! Yes, a crazy lady at your door! Daniel’s surprises – always executed so well. (Her engagement story was another of his brilliantly planned surprise moments.)

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Daniel’s surprise!

He knew how much she loved brunch & treated us to an amazing brunch spread at Fig+Olive in Newport Beach.

Girl time would not be complete without getting our nails done!!! Girl’s night!! Woot woot!! It was so relaxing!!

Then it was time to go wedding dress shopping with the lady of the hour! It was a lot of fun to see Rachel trying on some of the most beautiful gown!!  We all can’t wait for her and Josh’s special day!! After dress shopping, Josh & Rachel took us to eat at Mr. Bossom and dude, it was AMAZING-ly delicious, like so good.

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Mr. Bossam is a winner winner chicken dinner.

let this video convince you that you need to go:

Despite being so full, we stopped by Kung Fu Tea to end off the night. ☕

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uhm, cutest couple ever!

It was just one of those days filled with so much love and fun, and I was so thankful to share it with such wonderful people! ❤ ❤ ❤

summer 2017

summer has come full force! here’s what’s been going on!

1. Church – Lots of things have been going on at church!

 

Our church participated in the City of Fountain Valley 60th Anniversary Parade! Parades don’t happen anymore. (Only at Disneyland.) But something about a community parades brings you back to the grass roots of knowing your community, supporting your neighbors, and furthering a sense of civic pride.

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ain’t they sweet!?!?

Once a month, the jr. high/high school girls started doing our own girls Bible study. This is not a photo of us doing Bible study…it’s a photo of GIRLS PIZZZAA PARTAAAY!

 

and finally there was the thing that happened called Family Camp 2017.

Highlights from Fam Camp:

+ Pastor Jay speaking about God in our worklife
+ Girls learning to seek God in schoollife
+ Return of some of the older HS girls
+ Co-counseloring and tag-team with best friend Camel
+ Minor boba-poisoning from drinking days-old non-refrigerated boba (my bad…)
+ Forced rest as a result

Then these HS kids jumped right in to start VBS prep. Kudos to them.

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the boys & their elephant

I also enlisted their help to make these (super easy but oh-so time-consuming) jellyfish which I adapted from:

DIY Jellyfish – Blog A La Cart
DIY Jellyfish – Paper Lantern

We previously made them for gusano’s baby shower. You can see them in the back. This was at the peak of my crafting career.

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jelly jelly jelly fish

2. Work 

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go to your community meetings folks. voice your opinions. everything counts.

We put together (and I attended my first) public workshop meeting!! Yes. Go community builders!

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we look good…haha

After-work happy hour times with the co-works to celebrate Nate’s bday. They’re pretty awesome.

3. Volunteering for Special Olympics Southern California Games

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I love volunteering for Special Olympics! They have their Summer Games at Cal State Long Beach every year and it’s HUGE and it’s tons of fun.  I ended up helping keep score for gymnastics. Dude, these athletes are so impressive! Take a look:

To volunteer, check out the opportunities here: Southern California Special Olympics Volunteer

4. Friendsss!!

More and more I have really come to value friendships in my life. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m almost 30 . Maybe it’s the fact that I’m without children and technically still single. I’m sure those things all played a factor.  Whatever it is, it’s made me grateful for the friends I have who love and care so much for me despite ..me. I have to give it to God who kept me single till now thus forcing me to see how my friends have loved me and that in some ways, I need friends (and not just a significant other) in my life to challenge me, love me, and encourage me. Plus as I have come to see, your significant other will make you Person Facepalming on Google Android 7.1much…so you’ll need your friends to help you laugh through those moments.

So, to celebrate friends, Cam + Gen + I + JW took our free harbor tour of the Port of Long Beach 

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note: genelle

Choey + JessL + EW + I celebrated Esther’s 28 with delicious pasta and a Bruster’s ice cream cake! I think I found my new favorite cake. 

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the most beautiful ladies inside and out

We celebrated new seasons for #fcbcfinest… more deets on that later on 

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Caught up with my old discipler!

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look how adorable baby Elise is!

Also, post-crying Noelle 珞 who gets cuter and cuter day by day

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where’s momma??

speaking of…. 5. Relationships

Joe Walnut

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@ the dodger game

“I love you” – as this is a blog to record the life of a Sabster, I will record both big and small and embarrassing moments, including the moment of the Sabster and Walnut’s first “i love you”:

It was a warm summer night, and the Sabster and Walnut were … Facetiming.  While on the Facetime, the Sabster was quite tired and started zoning in and out on the Walnut. Thus, the Sabster needed to go to bed so she half-asleep nonchalantly blurted out”kgoodnightiloveyou”. She froze as she had surprised herself.  In a split second, she thought to herself, “Did I just say that? Oh wait, he’s not responding. Maybe he didn’t notice. Maybe I didn’t really just say it…”

“YOU SAID IT FIRST!!!!!!!” exclaimed the Walnut, capitalizing on the moment.
Person Facepalming on Google Android 7.1” went the Sabster.
“I love you, too” replied the Walnut.
and there goes our highly romantic love story.

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that’s my white T-shirt around his face -_-

but amiss all the “i love yous” and words of love… this guy def has a way of showing how much he cares.

I came home from Family Camp and found that all the fish in our fish tank had died – and not small little gold fish but BIG ginormous ugly fish you see in Chinese restaurant tanks. My dad, the official fish caretaker, was out of town for a couple more days, so the job of scooping the dead fish out of the tank fell upon me.

Fish-y smells and water are one of JW’s kryptonite – along with Trump and heat. But this guy tried so hard to be my man that night by attempting to scoop out all the dead fish for me.  (What really happened in the end: his girl ended up tag teaming in to scoop out the other 80% of the dead fish.)

I was reminded of two things that night:
1. Your heart behind the actions – it’s easy to love and serve when it’s doing things you enjoy and excel at, but a deeper love learns to sacrifice the “me” for the “you” and does things you hate to serve the other person.
2. Teamwork – means you do things together, no matter how hard or difficult. You buck up together, and you do it together. No complaining and whining.  Because as part of a team, you give your 100% no matter what your teammates do.

Also, ladies and gentlemen, she’s officially off the market. and I’m so happy and excited for them!! God is good!! ❤ ❤ ❤ sneak peak at the beginnings of 

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heh. heh. heh. do you spy the lovely couple?

Our dear and lovely Charity tied the knot with Chris!! Such a sweet and snazzy wedding!

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and last but not least, YES! Rachel and Josh got engaged! So excited for her in this new chapter of their lives. Can’t wait to celebrate with and for them all the way!!! #yuanmeover