2008 has been extremely good to us. Ron and I have been truly blessed with a gracious handful of serendipitous circumstances. Our journey started off in New York City when the Rachael Ray daytime talk show flew us out to their studio to perform our wedding first dance on national TV. While there, we also got to appear on the Filipino channel’s Balitang America (you can view the videos from the menu on the right side of this homepage). While there, we also got to shoot a trash the dress session.
At the beginning of the year I also purchased my FIRST CAR under my name (took awhile, but hey i invested in a home first). My old black beamer, Phoebe, was reaching ends meet, so my dad decided to take over. Despite constant pressure to “buy a new car,” I kept Phoebe for a few years after becoming an RN because she was soo good to me! A little before New Years, I brought home “Sasha,” a 2008 white 335i. Gotta love twin turbo…
“Stings like a beamer!” (from the movie CARS)
Early on in the year Ron and I also discovered that we had been accepted to the Master’s program of our choices: Ron at Cal State Fullerton pursuing Nurse Anesthesia and me at UCLA pursuing Nursing Administration.
We did alot of traveling before grad school started in the Fall. Some of the places included Las Vegas, Santa Barbara, the Big Island of Hawaii, and San Francisco to break in Shark-bait’s engine (Ron’s Honda Fit). We also scuba dived in the ocean for the first time and swim with manta rays, which was a real treat in itself!
under the sea in Kona!
our in and out of San Francisco spontaneous road trip! This past August I celebrated my *Quarter Century* by having a Throwback 80’s Party!
the tightest birthday cake ever! before mario started melting off!
pacman dessert table!
bringing the 80s back!
At the end of the summer, Ron and I both left UCI Medical Center before starting grad school. He’s currently unemployed and a full time student attending classes 5 days a week (it’s a job in itself). I’m still working part time at Kaiser Permanente with a per diem job at Children’s Hospital in Orange County.
We’ve been fortunate enough during the nation’s financial meltdown since our line of work wasn’t directly affected. I guess that’s the perks of being in the healthcare field: people are always going to get sick. May God help and Bless Barack Obama when he takes office in a few weeks. He’s got his work cut out for him with the mess he has to clean up.
Lastly, 2008 brought an end to our “newlywed” title. So far, “married life” has been such an adventure! We had paid off our wedding debt within 6 months following our big day, so for those that have always wondered or asked: YES IT CAN BE DONE!
We hope 2009 will be just as grand as 2008! My new year’s resolution is pretty typical. HIT THE GYM once again, take care of myself more, and do well in school!
The youngest member of the Cruz family will be turning 18 next year!! My cousin MM (real name: Mary Michael, yes i think Tita Erma & Tito Dennis had hoped for a boy, hehe!) and her family are planning her traditional Filipino debut to be held in March. Over dinner a few weeks back, my Tita Erma had mentioned that she wanted pictures of MM taken with her dog Booger (yes, Booger..) for a “Something About Mary” theme. Being that photography has always been a long time hobby, I told Tita Erma, that I’d be more than happy to do it!!! It also gave me an excuse to try out and play with some lenses! Besides my brother and Ron, MM is actually the very first person that’s ever been my model! Gotta love family for being so willing
I can’t believe how much MM has grown right before my eyes. I remember back in the day when I use to give her hugs and say, “My MM!!!” and she’d reply, “My Ate!!!” Now she’s talking about college applications! cRAzY!
Anyways, I’m still working on my steady hand and being cognizant of my environment so bear with me!
Meet Booger!I think he was getting fed up with Tita Erma placing bandages around him!
First stop, downtown San Diego!
MM was shy but it didn’t matter, she’s naturally photogenic
Booger was one HOT DOG! he got compliments like, “WOW the Target dog!”, “Wow, the Budweiser dog!,” and “aWwW what happened to your dog?!”
Change of location and outfit! Balboa Park!
I liked this picture not only because of the lighting, but because of Ron in the background. He was lens man, video cameraman, driver, dog baby sitter, bag holder, and pooper scooper!! lol
Ron says me and MM have the same eye shape… haha ! Only hers a little bigger and her eye color is lighter!
Camouflage! The only thing that bothers me about this pic is the shadow across her face.. oh well, still learning!
There’s Something About Mary!!!!
Doesn’t MM’s face scream, “I LOVE HANGING OUT WITH ATE!!!” ???
“Ever since I was a baby girl I had a dream, Cinderella themed, crazy as it seems, Always knew that deep inside that there would come a day, That I would have to wait, make so many mistakes. I couldn’t comprehend as I watched it unfold. This classic story told, I left it in the cold. Walking through an open door that led me back to you. Each one unlocking more of the truth.
I finally stopped trippin‘ on my youth I finally got lost inside of you I finally know that I needed to grow And finally my mate has met my soul…
Finally, Now my destiny can begin Though we will have our differences Something strange and new is happening.. Finally, Now my life doesn’t seem so bad, It’s the best that I ever had, give my love to him finally…”–Fergie
On 10.06.07, I married my best friend. A year later, I found myself awake bright and early in preparation for a job interview at CHOC. Ron was already at school for the day and I couldnt help but look at the clock and reminisce the motions and emotions I went through during the exact same time last year. We were all getting our hair and makeup done at this time, and I was in desperate need of a razor to shave my legs! Okay, and every girl needs to go down in groups of 2 or 3 to get free breakfast at the hotel restaurant.. we cant make it obvious that we had 11 people in the room! Hmm, I wonder what we’re going to eat for lunch? WHERE is the wedding planner?! OMG, you started your period?! Damn mother nature!! Hmm, i wonder what the guys are doing… *sigh* The year aged memories seriously felt as if they were just yesterday…
It’s crazy to think how fast a year went. For our honeymoon we went jammin‘ in Jamaica and upon returning to the US, both applied to Grad Schools. In December we visited New York for the first time, only to receive a surprise email from one of Rachael Ray’s producers which eventually led us back to New York to perform our wedding dance on national TV! We were also interviewed and debuted on Balitang America for the Rachael Ray experience. In late February, we both found out that we got accepted into our first choice graduate programs. During the months of March and April we both worked HARD and non stop overtime to pay off our credit card bills from the wedding which amouted to just about $30,000. By the end of April, all credit cards were paid off!!! (HUUUUGE RELIEF! and yes! if we could do it, so could you!) As a reward to ourselves for the hard work paid off, we went on a mini get away to Santa Barbara for a wine tasting experience. In June we planned one last hooorah before grad school in the Big Island of Hawaii and in August we made a spontaneous decision to drive to San Francisco for a day. Our days now are filled with school, school, and oh yes, more school for the next two years.
Four of our loved ones had weddings we attended to this year and we mourned the passing of our dog Stitch, Lolo Roding and Che Still. This year also marked a celebration of youth as I partied it up with with my Throwback 25th: 80s style! Ron and I also retired our old cars and got newer, more reliable vehicles. And we both parted ways from UCI Medical Center upon returning to school.
Last weekend, my parents treated us out to Ruth Chris for some pre anniversary fine dining.
We spent our 1st anniversary together having a quiet dinner, indulging in our wedding cake (for tradition’s sake!) that the Great Dane bakery presented us with as a 1 year gift, and watching our wedding dvd. And despite all that has happened this year, it still feels like only yesterday…
1st year compliments of the Great Dane bakery.
Our wedding cake top layer!
Below is a picture of our actual wedding cake!
JUST A SIDE NOTE: since i live for and value traditions….
“The one-year anniversary is the final rite of incorporation that closes the circle of the wedding journey. What began with the proposal or the decision to marry now comes to completion with this final rite. In our culture, the act of incorporation is materially symbolized by eating the leftover wedding cake.
The tradition instructs the bride and groom to freeze the top layer of the cake so that it can be eaten on the one-year anniversary. The ritual of eating is a primary rite of incorporation in nearly every culture around the world. Partaking of the cake that was baked a year before is a way to bring the year into the body, come full circle, and complete a process that began with the engagement.”
Fortunately for us, the bakery we chose, The Great Dane (highly recommend them by the way!) offered to bake us the top layer of our wedding cake as a gift for our 1st year! Same flavors and everything! Sure beats year old frozen cake!
“He makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up… just one touch..” _ Neyo
Ron, from the jitters of cold feet to wedding rings, I am very fortunate to have you in my life. You have been the shouldar to cry on, the antidote to my venom, the tickle to my fancy, and yes, the wind beneath my wings. You’ve enabled me to believe in second chances and search for the good in all people. And when times do get rough and hurtful, just you being there assures me more than enough that everything’s going to be alright. I know I could survive anything because of you… You have been that blessing in my life, and I thank God everyday for allowing us to cross paths. I’m looking forward to the next 50 years and then some! I love you with all my heart! My sexy love….
just me, your wifeykristine
what’s an anniversary without a lilsomethin‘ somethin‘ ?!
“You and me together Through the days and nights I dont worry cause Everythings gonna be alright People keep talking They can say what they like But all I know is everything’s gonna be alright No one no one no one Can get in the way of what I feel for you…”
– Alicia Keys
* On another side note: CHOC called me the very next day after my interview offering me the per diem breaker position! Sooo excited for the short flexible hours!
[[sound trippin’ to ]] Jason Mraz & Colbie Caillat: Lucky
Ron has only been in school for a week and I’ve already lost him…
I remember back during our very first club outing at Desert Rain.My friends met up with his friends at Casino Morongo and before we knew it, we were getting down on the dance floor! Ron, being far from a shy guy, was trying to impress me with his dance moves. Well it worked and I was immensely captivated. His interpretation of the body roll was smooth, but oh so awkward. He was trying though, making love to the beat but I couldn’t stop giggling at how funny, I mean cute it was!
But hey! That dance trick did catch my attention, as well as one of Rachael Ray’s associate producers! So yes, ladies and gentlemen, my husband is super cool with his signature dance move: the body roll. Hollllllla!
Now, the music has changed. That stage stealing mistress of his, “Annie Sthesia,” has already seduced him into routine and she’s made it very clear that only two can tango. So for now, Ron’s dance card is full. It’s been somewhat of a difficult transition, having him gone five days a week, when we were so use to having four days off from our working schedule.
We’ve had a few fights and quarrels during the adjustment, none of which lasted that long obviously. You see, I’ve always believed that God works in mysterious ways. At the end of the week, He reminded me of how “lucky” I am when Angela (mommy to be!) posted this song up.
“They don’t know how long it takes, Waiting for a love like this, Every time we say goodbye, I wish we had one more kiss, I’ll wait for you I promise you, I will.
I’m lucky I’m in love with my best friend, Lucky to have been where I have been, Lucky to be coming home again, I’m lucky we’re in love in every way, Lucky to have stayed where we have stayed, Lucky to be coming home someday”.
Jason Mraz feat. Colbie Caillat: Lucky
So Miss Annie Sthesia, I’ll let you cut in for this dance. But come August 2010, just like JT brought Sexy Back, Ronald Rea Tolentino Atienza is bringing the body roll back!
Side note: I can’t believe that 11 months ago Ron and I were pronounced “Man & Wife.” Time has slipped right through our fingers!
“Tryna bring the 80s back, that’s okaaay, that’s where they made me at!” – JayZ
I’m almost 100% sure that the reason why I love party planning is because of my mom. For the past 25 years, my mom has either planned or allowed me to have party of some sort in our residence. Even when I refused a debutant’s ball for my 18th birthday, she was able to convince me otherwise. Back then, I didnt put up much of a fight, I was doing it for her. But as I look back on it, I totally appreciate the efforts that were put forth into it. During my wedding planning, we butted heads a few times and I had to assure her that she need not worry about anything. All she had to do was sit back and enjoy herself! It left her uneasy, but assigning the task of flowers kept her busy =) She loves to host by cooking up a storm, and it helps greatly that my dad just so happens to be a DJ.
So for my QUARTER CENTURY, I decided to have a THROWBACK by bringing back the 80s! I figured we’d have a celebration of youth! I’ve never had such a “themed party” before, so I didn’t know how guests would react. But overall, I think the turnout was awesome. Everyone looked so amazing and got really creative with their outfits!
80s kids !!!
Being that I’m so detailed oriented, I tried my best to incorporate a lot of 80s inspired goodies, as well as many “youthful” aspects!
80s goodies & candies: Nerds, Now & laters, Pixy Stix, Pop Rocks, Ring Pops, Push Pops, Colorful bracelets, Glow bracelets, 80s stunna shades, & Rubix Cubes!
Tightest Birthday Cake Ever! Too bad Mario was melting!
Mr Margarita Man came to get the party started!
We also dunked a couple punks! Hehehe!
Aint a celebration of youth without an astro jump!
Or a cotton candy machine!
Once again, I just wanted to thank everyone who came out to celebrate with me, whether you dressed up or not, your presence there was deeply appreciated. My second favorite celebration in life would have to be that of BIRTHDAYS (weddings come first!)! I just love the whole feeling behind it and even moreso, the chance to see all your closest family and friends! I’m beginning to realize and understand that as we all get older, the opportunities to see everyone becomes less and less. So thank goodness for that one day in the year when you get to celebrate the people in your lives!
ate khrisna and khayla
dez, me, ron and grace (missing RJ)
I’m standing next to DMC!
fanny pak of victoville!
Kris on the look out for Moo-Moos!
With BaoAnh, Adam, Irish and Jojo
me and sophia
Alex, Ron and Aumnard
Dustin dancing up on DeeDee
Miles DJing the last hours of the night
As I mentioned to my guests during the blowing of the candles, this would probably be my last birthday party. Besides, what’s to look forward to now?! The decade ages I’m sure; or even when our kids start having their own parties. But I think I’ll have to save those parties for when Ron and I get our own pad, with our own yard to accommodate everyone. My parents have been so accommodating hosting all my parties, that I think its time to give our poor house a break. LOL
Mario’s pretty much dead at this point
Luckily for us, none of our neighbors complained about the music which went on pretty much past midnight before everyone settled down to watch the American Dream Team win the Gold in Beijing! Here are just a few dancing pics
“Just Beat iiiiiiiiiiiittt! Beat iiiittt!” re-enacting the Michael Jackson video
The signature Freddy move. Wish you were here Phreddy!
Thanks again Mom and Dad for accommodating my parties pretty much for the last 25 years!! Also to my hubby Ron for encouraging all my crazy ideas and for really helping me out! Also thank you to everyone to brought food, it wasnt necessary, but thank you! Lastly Thank you yet again to all my family and friends who made me feel special on my birthday and bringing it back to the 80s!!
Thanks Mom and Dad! The chillest, coolest and most down to earth parents ever!