Happy Blog-iversary!

As of today, I have been blogging for an entire year! I’ve had a couple of blogs in the past, but none that have lasted this long or had any sort of following whatsoever, so this is quite exciting. I’ve been able to unpack thoughts on this blog, as well as share fun facts about my life and travels.

What does the future hold for Perfect Harmonies? Since this is purely a hobby for me, I don’t plan on trying to make any significant income from it. However, it is a very fun hobby and I’d love to grow my content and readership, so I do plan on making some improvements and implementing some new ideas around here. Look for fun changes over the next few months!

To celebrate Perfect Harmonies’ first birthday, here are some of my favorite and most significant posts from the past year.

The realization that my life struggles happen for a reason.

A solo trip to the Harry Potter Warner Brothers Studios in London.

How I view my role as a wife, and what’s awesome about being married to T.

Top five things I’ve learned from working at a dental office.

One of the most life-changing decisions I’ve ever made.

Why every kid needs cousins, and why we will eventually give our nephew some of his own.

The story behind my right-hand ring.

Traveling to Brazil? Here are some of my observations about the Portuguese language.

How I overcame one of my biggest fears.

25 days of Christmas music.

The greatest trip of my life.

How to be awesome at public transportation.

I hope you enjoy reading Perfect Harmonies as much as I enjoy writing it! What are some of your favorite posts?

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6 Reasons Why We Want Kids… But Not Right Now

It seems like everyone in our lives right now is having babies. Siblings, cousins, friends, everywhere we look there are sonogram photos and birth announcements popping up. Babies are on everyone’s minds, and T and I have been asked more times than we can count when it’s going to be our turn. Both of us have always known that we would be parents one day, even before we knew each other, and while we look forward to that day very much, we’re not ready yet. Here’s why we’ll definitely be expanding our family eventually, but not right this moment.

1. We’ve always envisioned living in a house with our kids… but right now we’re cool with our apartment. Both T and I grew up in single-family homes with yards where we spent hours playing outside with our siblings and friends. We took piano lessons and played wind instruments, and my brother shot hoops on the driveway (and sometimes in the house). We want to give our kids all of the freedom that comes with living in a house that we own, with a yard and everything. Right now though, we live in a one-bedroom apartment with hardwood floors, sharp corners, and two shared walls, which is not super conducive to small children, or really more than two people at all.

2. We dream of the activities we’ll do as a family… but right now we’re enjoying our friends. We are constantly coming up with ideas for things we would want to do with our children. From memberships at kid-friendly museums to travel destinations to books we’ll read to science projects we’ll do, by the time we actually have kids our list will be long enough to last their entire childhoods. But in the past couple of years we have developed some great friendships, and we like being able to go to parties with them, sit around talking about church stuff for hours, or make impromptu late-night trips to Applebee’s after choir rehearsal on a Wednesday night.

We'd like our Disneyland trips to look like this for a couple more years.

We’d like our Disneyland trips to look like this for a little while longer.

3. We hope to give our kids a comfortable lifestyle… but right now we’re still trying to prepare for that. Living in the Bay Area, one of the most expensive places in the entire United States, can make it really difficult to get ahead financially. It’s hard to save money towards a house when a third of your paycheck goes to rent alone. We’re doing our best, and over the past several months we’ve definitely seen an improvement, especially once I became the choir director at our church. Our hope is to save enough to buy a house in a less expensive area, but that also means we need jobs in that area. It’s a process.

4. We look forward to taking our kids to their games and concerts… but right now our evenings and weekends are full of our own activities. It should be no surprise that T and I are incredibly busy people. By default, our schedule includes three and a half nights a week doing church activities (the half comes from middle school ministry every other week). On top of that, I sometimes have rehearsals for shows or for the San Francisco Symphony Chorus that require me to miss even the things I already had planned. On the nights we would otherwise be free, we usually have at least one social gathering to go to, and occasionally we even spend a night at home together (how revolutionary). On the weekends, we like sleeping in, being lazy, and spending entire days watching Friday Night Lights. We know those things will change when we have kids, and that’s okay, but first we want to feel that we’ve lived our own lives the way we wanted, because once the kids come, our lives won’t be our own anymore.

Also, T likes naps way too much to be ready for kids.

Also, T likes naps way too much to be ready for kids.

5. We want to have our own children to love and care for… but right now we’re practicing on the new babies in our family. T’s older brother and his wife recently had their first baby, and two of my cousins have also had their firstborns within the past six months. We’re looking forward to the day when our kids will meet their cousins for the first time, but I have to say, it’s fun to be auntie and uncle for now.

Someday this will be us with our baby, but for now we're happy to snuggle baby T, our nephew.

Someday this will be us with our baby, but for now we’re happy to snuggle baby T, our nephew.

6. We can’t wait to talk to our kids about Jesus… but right now we feel our calling is with the youth group. Two years ago, when T and I first started volunteering as youth leaders, we had no idea what a blessing it would be to us. Both of us have grown so much in our faith because of it, and we have seen a lot of growth in our students as well. We love them and always look forward to the time that we get to spend with them, whether we’re playing games, doing Bible study, having a Christmas party, or going on fun and crazy events like houseboats. Having a baby would limit our time with the students, and while we know that will happen one day, right now we’re invested in these kids.

See? We already have 20+ teenagers.

We already have 20 teenagers.

What about you? Do you want kids, but not right now? If you have kids, how did you know you were ready for them?

10 Surprising Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Me

1. T’s nickname for me is Toots. He’s been calling me that since we were in college. It doesn’t rhyme with Boots, which incidentally is my nickname for him.

Classic T&B on our wedding day.

Classic T&B on our wedding day.

2. My drink of choice at Starbucks is a grande soy chai latte.

3. My biggest pet peeves are sitting in traffic and when someone says that being around someone else’s baby is “good birth control.” Ugh.

4. I am probably overly emotionally attached to the Harry Potter series.

What a fun experience!

Visiting the Harry Potter Warner Bros Studios by myself while in England in May.

5. In college I sang alto in choir and was on the verge of becoming a mezzo, until I graduated, moved home, and started with a new teacher who set me straight. Turns out I have notes above the staff.

6. The center diamond in my engagement ring is actually from my mom’s engagement ring. She got it removed and gave it to T while we were dating.

7. I still cry when I have to get shots.

8. I find doing laundry to be mildly enjoyable. It’s warm and smells so good when it’s done!

Clean laundry, not so clean anymore.

Nora appreciates clean laundry too.

9. My dream role is Christine in Phantom of the Opera.

10. I’ve never been stung by a bee.

What’s a surprising fact about you that most people don’t know?

Randoms For Your Monday

It’s been a long time since I posted, partially because I’m so freaking busy, and partially because I feel like I don’t have anything interesting to say. So here are a few random facts about me and other thoughts.

1. One of the things I love most about being a singer is the work uniform… that is, I love wearing fancy dresses. I have a board on Pinterest called “Dress Envy” and it’s one of my most frequently used boards. I was at the mall today on my lunch break and I had to stop and look at the gowns and day dresses. I have a recital coming up, which is a great excuse to buy a new gown, right?

The gown for last night's concert. I love it, but somehow it was a little smaller when I first bought it...

The gown for last night’s concert. I love it, but somehow it was a little smaller when I first bought it…

2. I’m a master at eating in my car. The other day I ate pasta with a fork while driving. It’s really just out of necessity, since I’m almost always either engaged in an activity that prevents me from eating (like singing), or driving to or from work or rehearsal or whatever. The bad news is, my car is full of empty food containers and silverware. And no, I have never once gotten pulled over or gotten in an accident because of eating.

3. Our city had a really bad sports week. Between the Sharks losing to the Kings and the Warriors losing to the Clippers, it’s pretty safe to say the Bay Area hates L.A. right now. Few people are more depressed about it than T, who promptly and grumpily shaved off his beard after the Sharks threw away Game 7.

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T and I at the Sharks game we most recently went to, before the playoffs (and the sucking) started.

4. T and I have an unhealthy relationship with our cats, Nora and Nigel. We spoil them and treat them like people. As a result, they can be quite the troublemakers:

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KITTEHS.

And finally…

5. We are going to be an aunt and uncle in October!!! T’s older brother and his wife are expecting their first baby. We don’t yet know the due date or the gender, but that info should be coming to us soon. We’re SO excited, and of course T’s parents are beside themselves. Can’t wait to welcome Baby W into the world!