Life in the End Times

Shin's gift to Annie on their One Year Anniversary

Revelation 2:17

Filed under: Extraordinary Days — Annie at 1:41 am on Tuesday, February 9, 2010

IT’s about 10:40pm. Elijah finally fell asleep and I was about to fall asleep myself and was saying my last prayers and telling God I let another day go by of not opening His Word, when, I heard a child, or children’s voice in my mind saying with giggles, “It’s found in Revelation 2:17!”

I got up immediately, curious to see what I might find. Sometimes I have been so off that there is no such verse. But I always look.

The verse reads, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it.”

I don’t know what that’s about but I’m gonna pray because I want an ear to hear! I want to conquer! I certainly want the hidden manna, the white stone, and a new name!

Bienvenidos Bebita Sofia!!

Filed under: Extraordinary Days — Annie at 12:22 pm on Saturday, July 26, 2008

My friend Monica is having a baby today!! She’s having a c-section which makes her really anxious. She didn’t tell me why but today is her big day and I’m so happy for her! Monica was one of my closest friends in Paraguay. She’s my age and is married and has a son. They had their official wedding ceremony the year we were there and I designed her wedding invites. We were both wanting to have a baby around the same time when we used to hang out. We went through part of our pregnancy together and she asked me to email her a belly shot! Now we’re going to deliver in the same year. I’m so excited. When we go back to see her that will really be something.

Two Bicycles

Filed under: Extraordinary Days — Annie at 12:43 pm on Thursday, August 10, 2006

Around 6 months ago Shin and I talked about bike-riding. We live in a great neighborhood for bicycling with the ocean a few miles west, santa monica a few miles north. But there was some hesitation about committing to something that might potentially be unused, like exercise machines or game systems. Not just one potential hulk of metal, but two- So we waited…

Then I got pregnant and our thoughts were naturally put on hold. But after my pregnancy went away I had a renewed, and stronger, desire to ride. For a couple days straight I dreamt that I was coasting down the street with fresh wind in my face (and no bugs flying into my eye!).

So I got to work doing bike research. Shin had a budget of no more than $200 for two bikes including locks. Neither of us was looking for a great bike. Just a decent one with multiple gears and handbrakes I guess. Sports Chalet, Target, Big 5, Toys R Us had some decent ones for around$99, but including tax and locks it would go over our budget. In the meanwhile I was looking on craigslist too.

I found a great men’s bike on craigslist and spoke to the guy and arranged to go with Shin to see it, but that morning Shin had to deal with a work issue so we were officially late. When I called the guy to let him know, he had invited someone else to see it at the same time to “see who wanted it more” (what the heck?!) He said he hadn’t intended to make it competitive pricing. That situation could have resulted in some ugliness.

Monday evening I spotted two women’s bikes on craigslist and emailed them both immediately. One lady contacted me and we arranged a 10AM meeting in Torrance, which is just a few miles from my parents-in-law’s house. The bike was almost brand new, but aged from being outside. There was some rust around the handlebars but the paint job was still brand new, the gears were Shimano, the tires still had those little spiky things from scarce usage. She even had the owners manual. All for $60. It was a definite keeper. I was so happy.

Afterwards I called my mother-in-law since I was in the neighborhood. She invited me over to have some tea. I ended up accompanying her on her errands. It was fun and we talked about some important issues and insignificant stuff. My father-in-law called and heard I was with her. When she told him I bought a bike, he told her he had a men’s bike, so don’t buy another. So, somehow in one day, I came home with two bikes instead of one! It was definitely under budget. It leaves us with enough for two good locks.

We bought a bike pump and took a ride in the neighborhoods… it was really great. I’m so thankful that God provided! I’m taking Shin’s bike in today for a tuneup.

Raymond & Julie 7.8.06

Filed under: Extraordinary Days — Annie at 1:38 am on Monday, July 10, 2006

My cousin-in-law got married yesterday in Malibu. It was a gorgeous afternoon. The church was on a hill overlooking the ocean. The focal point of the chapel was the clear, tall window panels in a semi-circle. The flowers down the aisle were tall topiaries with vines encircling down the black iron poles. Malibu Presbyterian Church. It was breathtaking.

The reception was a short, 4 miles away at Duke’s of Malibu. It was a Hawaiian style restaurant on the ocean rocks. The balconies opened out onto waves crashing just below your feet and cool, tropical air. As the sun went down the full moon lit up a street of ocean in the foreground of a perfect, square-tiered cake with elegant brown and pink details.

The dinner was ok. It was a choice of salmon or chicken. From what I heard, the chicken was too salty. I’d already filled up on rice cake and fondued everything; strawberries, bananas, pretzels, rice krispies, and gummi bears! The fondue fountain was amazing!

Shin and I sat at a table called, “Success.” The other table names were things like, “Passion,” and “Honor.” I wondered if there was some small joke to the names of the tables she placed us at. The centerpieces were three stagger-sized, cylinder vases with orchids and white roses surrounded by “wet” river rocks, and tea lights. We sat with Raymond’s cousins, although Shin’s relationship is to Julie. We all got along surprisingly well with some very entertaining moments.

There were a set of three sisters at our table. The older, and middle were already married. But the youngest sat between them, not saying very much when suddenly, their father came mid-dinner and said something to her very seriously, to which her face, mid-chew, immediately turned into an embarrassed frown. Her older sister gave us a bemused look of sympathy as we tried to understand what was happening. She got out her camera as we all turned to look where the dad was taking her. He approached the table beside ours and introduced her to a guy in glasses. It was a setup! We all started busting up. She sat back down and received some applause while her older sister showed her the picture she had shot of the fellow so that her sister could remember what he looked like. Sounds like the older sister really knew what she was doing.

Another funny moment was when we were all introducing ourselves at the table. One of the cousins made a comment that Raymond’s brother, who was absent at the moment, looked like Shin. His girlfriend at the table qualified it. But later, after the wedding party was introduced and he joined us, she shook her head in embarrassed denial that she’d ever made the comment.

And then there was the bouquet toss. From our seats it was clear who the main characters were- not the embarrassed-looking girls trying not to be noticed, but the antsy ones in the middle who were following the bouquet with feverish eyes. First toss, the bouquet hit the ceiling. One girl still dove to pick it up. A second try was initiated. Julie set the bouquet gracefully into the air when, just as it was coming down the curve, a silky brown shimmer came charging from the right- Sylvia, her sister(!) intercepted the bouquet out of the other, eager girl’s hand. Then, in a triumphant gesture matched only by a touch-down, she thrust the bouquet into the air in victory. I’m guessing it was a competitive, athletic reflex more than a desire to be married next!

The dj was good. Entertaining, not too interfering. Good music. Good announcing. The reception had great transitions. The evening went on until 10:30pm and we hardly noticed the time go by. They even included a very brief Pebek in the ceremony. Afterwards there was dancing on a tiny dancefloor. Shin and I danced. I was feeling courageous, I can’t explain it. I didn’t even dance at my own wedding.

At the end, Shin and I greeted the new couple. He totally gave Shin a bear hug and exclaimed, “We’re cousins now!!!” That was endearing. When we got home we realized, “Oh shoot, we’re family! Should we have stayed to clean up?!” I’d forgotten it was a family wedding. I think that’s a good sign. We were able to enjoy the evening as guests, without feeling burdened by familial responsibility (although, we got to manage the bride’s gift table at the ceremony). What made it a truly enjoyable evening was personally knowing the bride and groom and sincerely celebrating their union.


Filed under: Extraordinary Days — Annie at 11:34 pm on Wednesday, June 28, 2006

My sister and her boyfriend are engaged!!!!
Shin and I were on the bed reading different books when I heard the startling fur elise ringtone from the phone next to my head. I had talked to her earlier while I was on the other line so naturally I thought she was calling me back. But she said, “Annie- do I have to tell you?!” *blink blink* “what?” and then she said, “You have a new brother-in-law!” And for some reason I had two reactions simultaneously. At the word, “brother-in-law” I immediately thought Jean was pregnant or had eloped. Duh “Oh! You’re engaged?!!!?!”
“OMG.. Congratulations…..Where are you?”
“We’re at Steves house and my coworkers, Jane, and the Antipala’s are all here”
“Wait, talk to Steve”

I think that means they’ll be married in 6 months, if I’m correct. Maybe it’ll be a getaway wedding… Oooh… I can’t wait. It’s gonna be one special ceremony, creative, classy, sentimental. Watch out! A serious bridezilla is on the way. Omg… does that mean I have to give a speech?

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