Tag Archives: commitment

Hanoi, Vietnam : day two

30 May

On day two I woke up at the glorious hour of 6am, guess that makes sense considering I went to bed at 8pm. The minute I woke up I heard the sound of rain- not just a light drizzle but heavy, pounding, sideways flowing rain. I was amazed Brian wasn’t awoken by it. Considering, it was our last full day in Hanoi before departing for Halong Bay I was a tad sad by the rain and immediately went to the weather app on my phone to see the forecast…


The lightening bolt was a nice touch, don’t you think? At this point I became worried about our two nights and three days, on a boat in Halong Bay. I wasn’t keen on the idea of floating around on a boat, in Vietnam, in a torrential downpour with the chance of lightning. I’m not much of a boat person in general; I much prefer land. So I spent the next hour going through all the options in my head – do we just go with the flow? Do we move the Halong Bay trip back a few days? Do we skip Halong Bay all together? Luckily, by the time Brian awoke the rain had become a soft drizzle (and was lucky enough to avoid all my neurotic thoughts) and we decided to go with the flow and make the best of it. The hotel equipped us with umbrellas and off we went. The city was actually beautiful in the rain- it. gave it a romantic feel. Being used to such downpours , the locals just put on their ponchos and go about their business.

We decided to make day two more culturally driven as opposed to yesterday’s heavy food focus, so we set off in search of a temple and museum we wanted to visit. First up was the Temple Of Literature, built-in 1070 under the reign of King Ly Thanh Tong and dedicated to Confucius. It was also home to Vietnam’s first university, which was established within the temple to educate Vietnam’s bureaucrats, nobles, royalty and other members of the elite. The university remained open from 1076 to 1779.

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The grounds were absolutely gorgeous and very lush and green after the morning rain. It was a nice break from the chaotic bustling streets. There was a big gorgeous pond surrounded by a stone wall that we peered into and saw a bunch of large toads hopping around. How magical, I thought. That was until I heard a horrified Australian women shriek that we were stepping on teeny tiny baby frogs. I looked down and saw the teeniest tiniest black specs jumping all around us. Oh, yes you would be correct…we are stepping on teeny tiny baby frogs. Sadly, I fear we may have killed a few prior to our knowledge. That doesn’t count, right?


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After The Temple of Literature we strolled across the street to what appeared to be a little lake and were greeted by this women, fishing. Don’t you just love her? She clearly means business.

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Then we strolled a few more blocks down to the Vietnam Fine Arts Museum, home to an extensive collection of Buddhas. After the museum we were starved and decided it was time to delve into the world of Vietnamese Pho- something taken very seriously in Vietnam. I had read that the North and South disagree over who has better Pho which was confirmed yesterday by our food guide, Chinhg, who made a point to say the southern version wasn’t as “tasty and balanced” as the northern version. This of course made me want to compare the two. So we headed to a restaurant called, Pho 10 for our first bowl of Vietnamese Pho. We were the only tourists in the joint which I took as a very good sign. We ordered two bowls of Pho with steak and not even one minute later were enjoying said bowls. The noodles and broth were really good- very flavorful, but I wasn’t a huge fan of the meat- it was a bit too fatty for my taste.


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If you can’t tell from the above photos Brian likes to add hot sauce to his Pho. That boy was literally drenched with sweat and after finishing. He makes me smile.

After lunch we decided we were in need of beers and stumbled upon Cong Caphe, the cutest little cafe located by the St Joseph’s Cathedral. It really showcased how much Hanoi was influenced by the French. I felt like we had stepped into Paris. Worked for me. It was filled with twenty-something locals sipping coffees and drinks. We holed up at a cozy table upstairs in the corner by a big window. The rain had completely stopped at this point, so all we felt was a warm breeze waft through the window. Sam Cooke’s “Chain Gang” played in the cafe- which is a favorite of Brian’s and mine, while the cathedral’s bells chimed in the distance. To say I loved this place would be an understatement.

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At night we tried Cha Ca La Vong, a restaurant that serves only one dish – Cha Ca, which is grilled fish served alongside various kinds of herbs, rice vermicelli, nuoc cham dipping sauce, sliced chillies and roasted peanuts. It was incredible, definitely my favorite meal in Hanoi. You also had to cook it at your table yourself, which made it rather fun. One of my favorite things about Vietnamese food is their use of herbs, it makes every dish so flavorful.

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After dinner we decided to take a walk to go and see the Opera House, which was built at the turn of the 20th century to keep the French entertained. After years of renovation it reopened in 1997 and hosts regular performances. Sadly, we did not think ahead and get tickets for a performance so we had to settle on the view from the street. It’s situated right in front of a large roundabout, and I loved the image of all the cars and motorbikes zipping by it- keeps with the frenetic energy of Hanoi.

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As Brian snapped photos (I love being married to a photographer) it began to drizzle. In that moment I was reminded how grateful I was to be in Vietnam with the man I loved. I am always the happiest and most alive version of myself when I am traveling.


“I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.”
Robert Louis Stevenson






wedding part 2 : first look

17 Dec

Brian and I decided to see each other before the ceremony. Mostly because we wanted to have beautiful light for our pictures but also because we wanted a moment alone before all the craziness began. It was our special moment…shared with two photographers. These pictures made me remember the butterflies I felt in my stomach when I walked up behind him, the way Brian excitedly kept saying “can I turn around now?!…how about now?!” & how it felt to meet eyes with my soon to be husband for the first time on our wedding day. I cherished these 30 minutes…alright 20 minutes (the schedule! the schedule!) alone with him.











in the banana stand

19 Nov

As most of you already know I really wanted a photo booth at our wedding. It was on my list of “must haves”. Why? Because, I think drunk people need activities. There is only so much drinking and dancing guests can do before they get bored, you know? Having a photo booth sadly wasn’t very important to Brian. Silly boy. That was until our wedding photographer mentioned his brother ran an amazing photo booth with insanely fun props and costumes. The booth could also house a bunch of people rather than 2-3 lonely heads with no bodies. The minute we looked at the website we knew it was for us. Even Brian got excited. Success.

Considering I don’t have all of our fancy wedding photos to share just yet (I swear, how am I expected to wait 4-6 weeks?!) I thought I would share some of the silly ones (there are hundreds! But I’m only sharing a few. Don’t worry) in the meantime. As you will see from the photos below…it was a HIT. Enjoy!






untitled-1013-Suntitled-1135-Suntitled-1264-Suntitled-1269-Suntitled-1380-Suntitled-1404-Suntitled-1673-Suntitled-1857-Suntitled-2076-Suntitled-2107-Suntitled-2141-Suntitled-2267-S that poor poor bear & banana


14 Oct


I’d say this past weekend was a successful one. Brian and I have implemented a “no plans” rule for the month of October in preparation for our wedding. We thought it would help us stay present, calm and most importantly rested. I also want to spend as much time with him as possible before the big day. I just want to savour every moment.

The weekends are for us to do whatever we please and that’s exactly what we did.

Brian took Friday afternoon off from work so we could get our marriage license and oh what a fun little activity it was. We were both totally giggly as we filled out the paperwork. It all felt very very very real and very very very romantic. I may have even blushed when I filled out the “new name” line when I wrote Kate Glodney. There it was in print and it made us both smile. I think Brian may have even blushed as well. Once we were done filling out the paperwork we waited in line holding hands while sneaking in a few kisses. There we were in a stuffy courthouse waiting room with silly Halloween decorations hanging all around and us and there was nowhere else I would have rather been. Everything felt right in the world. Twenty minutes and ninety bucks later we had our official marriage license in hand. We decided to make a date out of it and grabbed a late lunch, then a few drinks at a happy hour and then went to an early evening showing of “Don Jon”. Such a perfect way to spend an afternoon.

Saturday was judgement day…as in it was my second wedding dress fitting since Olga told me a should lose a few pounds to make my dress fit better. Good news…juice cleanses really do work! The dress fit perfectly. She even had to take it in. Success. I decided to celebrate by making Brian take me out for greasy Mexican food and margaritas. Totally backwards I know but it felt oh so good.

Sunday we stayed with theme and let the day take us where it may. We spent the morning in our pj’s working on wedding seating, then we took Frank to the dog park so he could terrorize as many dogs possible, then we had a leisurely lunch in our neighborhood and spent the rest of the afternoon hanging around the house finishing up the evening with takeout and an episode of “Homeland”.

Even Frank was relaxed from the weekend…winning.




7 Oct


my head at 2:15 am while lying in bed wide awake…

ugh why can’t I sleep? I just want to sleep. Wonder if I will survive the five-day green juice cleanse this week? Five days…what was I thinking. Oh well. wow thirty- three days until I become a wife. A wife. Still feels surreal. I’m going to be somebody’s wife. That still sounds so adult. Can’t believe it’s already next month. I feel like everything is moving so fast. Such a beautiful shower thrown in my honor by the Glodney women this weekend. I’m so lucky. Really, I hit the jackpot as far as families go. Did I pay my cell phone bill? Can’t remember. I’ll check tomorrow. Why can’t I sleep. I should probably take some of the kitchen stuff off the registry. We can’t fit much more! Maybe I should cook a few new recipes this week with all our new beautiful kitchen appliances. Oh yeah…I’m not eating this week. Blah. Only bright side of this cleanse is sticking it to Olga at my next wedding dress fitting. That will feel good. I guess. I’m going to eat a cheeseburger for lunch after…with a glass of wine. That’s probably going to feel even better. Ugh…bills…bills…bills. So many bills. Wonder when our property taxes are due? Probably the week of our wedding. Wonder what color I should paint my nails for the wedding? Should I go bright for fun? Or pale pink? Will anyone even notice. No. I need to finish the seating chart this week. I hate seating charts. So many feelings. Somebody’s probably going to hate their seat. Shit, it’s 3 am. Sleeeeeeeeeeeeep. Ugh and I have to get up at 5:45 for Bar Method class. I really gotta stop signing up for the 6:30 am class. I hate it. Why do I torture myself by signing up for it? I’m hot. Is the air on? I should probably check. I don’t really want to get up though. I think I’m going to mix all the families at various tables at the wedding. That could be fun. Then everyone gets to know each other, right? I hope I can sit in my wedding dress. If this green juice cleanse doesn’t give me the option of sitting in my wedding dress then something is wrong with the world. This weekend was nice. Brian and I had a really nice Sunday. I love him. It felt nice just hanging. Maybe I’ll take Frank to the dog park tomorrow. Yeah, I’ll do that at some point. Or maybe a hike? I hope Frank is happy. Maybe another puppy at some point. Maybe he needs a friend? No, Brian would kill me. Ok so maybe not a puppy. Maybe I’ll just find a puppy play group. What if I fall in my insanely high heels walking down the aisle. Seriously…that would happen to me. No, I won’t fall. I’ll have my dads arm to hold on to. Shoot I need to find a song to dance with him to at my wedding. I’m going to be a wife in thirty-three days. I’m going to be a wife in thirty-three days. Surreal.


16 Sep

life according to my iphone lately…

hey, at least one of us is happy...

hey, at least one of us is happy…

You could say that Frank is a fan of the dog park.

You could say that Frank is a fan of the dog park.

wedding dress hanger :)

wedding dress hanger 

morning cuddles

Sunday morning cuddles

Sunday afternoon cuddles...we like to cuddle

Sunday afternoon cuddles…we like to cuddle

quick weekend trip to celebrate the bride and mama to be!

quick weekend trip to celebrate the bride and mama to be!

the beautiful bride and mama to be

the beautiful bride and mama to be

and so it begins...

and so it begins…

five days until wedding dress fitting = green juice time!

five days until wedding dress fitting = green juice time!

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11 Sep


and off the invites go into the world…


“A happy marriage is a long conversation which always seems too short.”  Andre Maurois


8 Sep

This weekend was just beyond. I am so overcome with gratitude for the lovely wedding shower that was thrown in my honor. All the beautiful ladies in my life went above and beyond showering me with love and oh so many fabulous gifts! Seriously, I could start a catering company with all of my new kitchen goods. Oh and the lingerie…I die!




















4a-1. PEM DSCN0177

PEM DSCN0176My favorite thing about the day was the marriage advice I received from everybody written on little notes.  Thought I’d share some with you…

“Have loads of SEX”

“Everything is negotiable- there’s no issue you can’t work out”

“Play something new” – this from the sweetest little 2 1/2-year-old boy named Bodhin

“Learn from each others strengths and weaknesses”

“Everyone’s marriage is different, make yours the way you want it”

“I learned the hard way: you can either be right or you can have a relationship”

“Always have date night!”

“emotional honesty”

“You’re on the same team. Never lose sight of that. Take time to say thank you”

“Love your husband for who he is. Don’t try to change him” – said the smartest little 8-year-old girl named Georgia




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79- the countdown begins…

22 Aug


For those of you who weren’t along for the 365 til 30 ride, I counted down every day leading up to my 30th birthday with a blog post. Since turning 30, I’ve gotten out of the habit of blogging every day because, well, as truly amazing as that year was, blogging every damn day is hard work. You don’t get a break. Not to mention life has just gotten crazy with all the changes in the last year- I got engaged, Bri and I bought a home, we’ve built a home, planned a wedding and gotten a puppy. With all the commotion, I’ve barely had time to sneak in a quiet bath or get to a yoga class, let alone blog every day. It’s been a whirlwind- a whirlwind of blessings, of course, but a whirlwind nonetheless.

I’m ready to slow down. We are officially 79 days away from becoming man and wife and I want to let the joy of the next few months sink in. I want to soak in every second of the celebrations ahead as well as make a point to stay present and calm. Nothing helps me more in doing this than finding the time to write. It literally forces me to stay present because I’m constantly processing my responses to stresses, triumphs, fears and blessings. Considering that I leave for my bachelorette weekend tomorrow (BEYOND excited),  I thought what better time than now to reinstate my “blog every damn day” motto since it’s the start of the celebrations leading up to the big day. Not only will it help me stay present  but I thought it would be fun to bring you all along in the day-to-day of counting down to the wedding.

Hopefully it will be a fun 79 days and not 79 days of watching me have various meltdowns.

So back to the bachelorette weekend that I’m so excited about. Tomorrow I’m heading to Sedona which is one of my favorite places to vacation. There is something truly magical about the energy there. Brian’s parents also have an amazing house surrounded by red rock mountains, so that helps too. When deciding where I wanted to go for my bachelorette weekend it was the only spot that made sense. I’m not really a Vegas and stripper kind of gal. I’m more of a relax, swim, eat and drink copious amounts of wine with her favorite woman kind of gal.

My cohorts in crime for the weekend are Taline, Chantal & Rachel. These three girls have been through so many ups and downs with me and I couldn’t love them more. There are all like sisters to me. I met Taline in 7th grade and we’ve been best  friends ever since. Sure, we’ve had a few rough patches but it would be impossible not to during twenty years of friendship and luckily those rough patches have only made me love her more and trust in our friendship. She’s an amazing human and was an easy choice for my maid of honor. I met Chantal when I was twenty and she was married to my boyfriend’s best-friend. We’ve both since left those relationships but we left them gaining each other. She’s a rock in my life. She’s stood by me through it all and I’ve enjoyed our relationship through all its different phases. I met Rachel when I was twenty-seven and rented a room in the house she was living in. We immediately hit it off and have been attached at the hip ever since. Literally attached at the hip. She’s an inspiring energy in my life. All these woman bring such joy to my life and I can’t wait to have them stand next to me on the big day.

But until then, let’s get this bachelorette weekend started! It will begin tomorrow with an early morning flight (with bloody mary’s of course) to Phoenix.

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“May your bachelorette party be so fun that you don’t notice how annoyed the rest of the bar is”

the kind of wife I want to be

14 Aug


Many moons ago I wrote a post entitled “the kind of woman I want to be“. Funny enough it is still one of my favorite posts. I really enjoyed the exercise of putting my visions on paper. It helped solidify things for me.  Although I will admit that I still don’t put the cap back on the toothpaste or wear matching undergarments but I’m a work in progress and I like the woman I am becoming more and more every day.

Considering that marriage is on the forefront of my mind (did I mention I am getting married in 87 days?) I thought it might be a good time to write “the kind of wife I want to be” edition. I’ve been thinking a lot about what being a “wife” means. What it means to me more importantly. So here goes…

I want to remember to listen, really listen, when Brian shares his thoughts with me

I want to remember to find his idiosyncrasies endearing instead of annoying

I always want to greet him with a kiss even if I have a million other things going on

I never want to fall asleep angry with him

I want to steal away for date nights once a week

I want to always remember to keep our love of travel and adventure alive…even when we feel bogged down by responsibilities….because there is nobody I prefer traveling with more than Bri.

I want to remember to pick up his favorite mint chip ice cream…just because

I want to admire and appreciate who he is and all that he contributes to our life

I want to remain in awe of his talents

I want to remember to make time for me and my interests throughout our marriage

I want to steal away for date nights and weekend trips with my girlfriends because making time for that is important

I want to create a warm home filled with laughter and love

I want to build a family with him

I want to be the kind of wife that isn’t afraid of the tough moments, days, weeks or years

I want to remember it’s ok to have disagreements because they will only bring us to a more open and honest place

I want to remember how lucky I am to be his wife


I would LOVE to hear your thoughts on what it means to be a “wife” as well as any tips you may want to share with me on marriage! Please comment below!