Monday, April 14, 2014

a couple of Monday musings.... (ritual union + Sayuri in sunglasses + Yamazaki Whisky Tour)

a couple of things...

1.  ritual union:  we got our official wedding pictures from Parker Young Photography and YOU GUYS.  i mean the obviously speak for themselves.  here are a few of my favs... (and a great song to go along with them...)

dress, J.Crew Weddings. shoes, Christian Louboutin. sash, custom.  Jao's suit, custom.  Jao's tie, The Tie Bar. makeup, Tom Ford Beauty. jewelry, gift from Jao's family.

2. it was Cherry Blossom season here in japan!  the sakura were out in full force for about 10 days around the country, and we got to see it from Osaka to Nagoya to Tokyo to Sendai.  on this tour de sakura, which we took with Jao's parents who were visiting us for a week, i started reading Memoirs of a Geisha again, and now that i've lived in Japan for 18 months...the book has opened up so much to me!  it's no longer scenes i made up in my mind, now it's real and i can see it all happening, i understand SO much more, things that seemed odd now make sense, i know exactly what Sayuri is talking about when she describes kimono parts or the sake cups or the tatami rooms...but i digress....!

While in Nayoga, we went to the castle and out to a nice lunch, followed by a walk through a beautiful Japanese garden...and i did all of this in my informal summer kimono, my yukata!  it was honestly a dream come true, wandering around the castle and the gardens, surrounded by cherry blossoms, in my zori, tabi, yukata, and fan in my hands and my little flowers in my hair.  i felt like Sayuri, enjoying the sakura, but in my sunglasses...!

the stunning sakura-lined Meguro River in Tokyo.

a Japanese garden in Yokohama

Jao being creepy at Shinjuku-goen

Sayuri in sunglasses at Nagoya-jo castle.

so gorgeous in Nagoya.

i love this because it looks like a creepy fake background-glamor shots thing. but it's not. it's just really that beautiful there.

in Sendai at Tohoku University.

3. Yamazaki Whisky is so next level i can't really deal with it.  we went to the distillery which is just outside Osaka, and oh. my. god.  not only was the tour awesome, there was a tasting of Yamazaki whiskies (regular, 10 year, 12 year, and 12 year special barrel) and some major whisky sniffer purchasing!  we love whisky and while everyone apparently says that Japanese whisky is the "next big thing," i mean...whatever, i don't know what that means but i do know that Yamazaki Whisky is INCREDIBLE. the flavors are more complex than say...Woodford or Maker's Mark, but in a beautiful way.

OMG i'm so exciteddddd it's whisky tour time!  (pants, James Perse. sweater & tank, J.Crew.  jacket, J.Crew.  scarf, Jao's from a trip to Jordan.

distill that beautiful whisky.....

aging warehouse.

tasting time!!!  we started drinking whisky at 11:51 am on a Monday. it was awesome.

the Yamazaki highball - the drink of Japan 

whisky library.

the 4 special whisky varieties we were privileged enough to try - traditional Yamazaki 12, Sherry Barrel aged Yamazaki 12, Puncheon Barrel aged Yamazaki 12, and Mizunara Barrel aged Yamazaki 12.  

you'd think that the same whisky aged in different barrels wouldn't necessarily be THAT different, but seriously it was like drinking 4 totally different liquors, all with a distinct warm, smokey finish.

4. the month of April is an astrological shitshow (according to Susan Miller, anyways).  i mean it's like retrograde this, eclipse this, watch out for this, enemies will come out of the woodwork, etc.  like damn girl, she makes it sound like Judas is coming straight for us all!  turns out, this is true and once again, life imitates art imitates horoscopes (that's right, right?).  however, something that Jao and i learned in this banana-ness is that taking the high road, even though it's slower (and it's obviously less satisfying to drive safe and slow), really is the best way to do it - AND it's important to keep each other in check.  one of my favorite sayings in life is...i always try to take the high road, but i usually get off at the first exit.  however, having someone to keep me on the straight and narrow so i don't get my claws out early, it's a good thing.

bring it bitches!
photo credit: Frank Miller Art

moral of the story : taking your claws out on the high road isn't allowed so it's best to have a partner to file them down for you.

but anyways - that's my Monday thoughts.  kimono, sakura, horoscopes, whisky, wedding pictures.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Wedding Day!

i think it's safe to say that most girls dream of their wedding day their entire life. some folks will argue that it's lame or not modern of a girl to even admit that, but any women that denies that she didn't daydream about her wedding when she was a little girl is a liar.

at like 6 years old, my wedding dreams were pretty normal; a pretty dress, California, a beach, a sunset, and an amazing husband (emphasis on that!).  as i got older and into adulthood, i felt subject to the annoyance of bridezillas and Facebook oversharing and all the theatrics around that so i stopped thinking about the wedding.  when Jao and i decided to get married, i was pretty stoked because...hey my dream came true!  i have an amazing husband that i LOVE more than anything!  as i've mentioned before, the planning process was a total nightmare for me, and pretty much up until the morning of the wedding, the whole thing was an exhausting pain in the ass.

but then....we woke up on Saturday, February 22nd, and it was the most beautiful morning in San Diego i'd seen yet.  No marine layer was covering the city, the sun was shining, the sky was clear and bright.  Jao and i woke up late but thankfully, we are quick to get ready.  Within an hour, hair was done, makeup was on, my monastery look was on (white jumpsuit!), and we were out the door and on our way to Wat Metta with our friends!

getting ready in our room.  my sister, mom, step-dad, and my sister's boyfriend Brian (doing my hair!)
ready to go to the monastery! (jumpsuit, Topshop. clutch, Kate Spade. sweater, JCrew. Jao's suit, custom)

the 45 minute drive into the mountains to reach the monastery was amazing.  we didn't lose anyone in our caravan of about 15 cars, people who were running late ended up finding us en route, and Jen mooned us!  the weather was perfect, the sun was shining...the day was off to a perfect start.

beautiful morning at the monastery

giving alms.

the ceremony with Ajaan Geoff was beautiful, truly moving and his advice to us was pure, simple, and potent.  his blessing was heartfelt, and we left the monastery on a high note.  the food we brought to feed everyone was incredibly delicious, everyone was well fed, and just before we left, our AMAZING photographer, Parker Young, snapped this photo....

image via Parker Young Photography.

this is the first picture he sent us from his full days work.  it is UNREAL. seriously, it's not even feasible how talented he is.  and that was the wrap-up of the morning at the monastery.

Jao and i went back to the hotel, ordered crab & shrimp nachos to eat in our room, and then fell asleep for 45 minutes.  as soon as we woke up, it was time to put my hair up, put my wedding dress on, put my Louboutins on, and run off with Parker to take more pictures.  When we got back, it was time for the ceremonies (Thai and Western)...
talking to the boys before it all starts (dress, J.Crew Bridal. sash, custom)

pep talk and "i love you" before the thai ceremony started.

getting ready to start.

this is probably my favorite picture of the entire Thai ceremony.  this is Bill, jao's roommate from Purdue, and probably my favorite person other than Jao.  it was his turn to come up and give us our blessing, and i don't remember what he said, but Bill never fails to make us laugh, and this picture captures our friendship perfectly.

my longtime friend Tiffany's two little girls, Bianca (left) and Paris (right) were the most perfect flower girls.

:-)  (shoes, Christian Louboutin)

our good friend Alex married us.  he used my Kate Spade clutch as his little clipboard.

my sister was my beautiful Maid of Honor, and Jao's friends Declan and Neil stood for him.

i cried instead of saying my vows.

our friend Max took this.  it's not edited at all...the sky was THAT insane.

"kiss this woman." Alex was the most perfect officiant.

this is seriously untouched.  that sunset wasn't even real life, but it was.

so. the point about my dream when i was six years old...turns out, i really had the wedding i dreamed of as a little girl.  perfect man. beautiful dress. in California. a blazing sunset, with the ocean in the background (just beyond the trees is the ocean). i'm not sure, but i think it's pretty rare to have such a beautiful day, beautiful sunset, and beautiful wedding all happen at once.  

we didn't even know the sky was so beautiful or so perfect.  when we finally turned around after this last picture was taken, we were blown away.  we're not really sure what either of us did in our past lives to deserve finding each other in this one, but i'm very grateful for what i've been given and what i've found in Jao.  my dream wedding is only one day of our enormous lives, and i can't really say this was the best day of my life, because...every morning that i wake up with Jao, it's the best day.  he's perfect, to me.

more on family, friends, dancing, and cake a little later....

(all of these photos are from friends and family (A'Somyot, Jen, Max, Nat) and the one from Parker. thanks to everyone who sent them to us!  more from Parker when they arrive, obvi...)