Posts Tagged birthday

Happy Birthday, Chloe!

Yesterday we celebrated Chloe’s 7th birthday! It’s hard to believe we’ve only had her for six months (it will be exactly six months on Friday). It feels like so much longer, but in a good way. :)

Chloe loves digging through bags (which we’ve seen when she dug through the trash multiple times since we moved). So we made sure to put all her gifts in bags. She thoroughly enjoyed opening them last night as evidenced through her Instagram video.

I made her some doggy cupcakes, which humans can eat too. They’re banana and peanut butter. She loved them so much that she ate the wrapper!

Chloebday

When we first got Chloe, I wasn’t too excited about taking her at first despite the fact that I love all pugs. I didn’t like that she was so much older already (I kind of wanted my first pug to be a young pug or puppy) and she didn’t look too good. Now just six months later, Chloe looks so much healthier according to everyone who sees her. The vet says she’s the thinnest pug they’ve ever seen (but in a healthy way) and she even put on more weight since we got her! And in spite of her age, Chloe acts like a young pug! She’s so playful and crazy, so I still have my active pug. She’s more active than my parents’ 3-year-old pug. Needless to say, we love Chloe and we couldn’t imagine life without her now.

We definitely changed one pug’s world–and she changed ours. :)

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Birthday Weekend Recap

From my first b-day celebration on Dec. 1 at Buca di Beppo

From my first b-day celebration on Dec. 1 at Buca di Beppo & then Liquid Fusion

Last weekend I celebrated my birthday, but I’m finally getting around to writing about it. I can’t believe how close 30 is getting! That doesn’t even seem possible to me. I know 30 isn’t that old, but I’ll be a little sad to leave my 20’s–this is the decade of transition and where everything big seems to happen (graduation from college, new jobs, marriage, etc.) Maybe the fact that I can still pass for being in high school (this happened not too long ago…like a few months ago) contributes to my disbelief that I’m getting older. I’ll be grateful for this youthful appearance one day (being petite doesn’t help me), but at this stage in my life, I don’t necessarily want to look older; I just want to look my age. (Sorry, side rant).

Speaking of being older, I got to spend my birthday weekend still dealing with shingles. Yes, you can get shingles in your 20’s apparently. As I waited for my prescription at the pharmacy, I noticed all the posters and information about shingles and the shingles vaccine–all geared toward adults 60 and up. How ironic that I, a young adult in my 20’s, was standing there with the disease. The antiviral medication they prescribe for shingles is the same as the one they prescribe for herpes, so one of my friends told me don’t be surprised if the pharmacists  tell you, “Be safe.” They didn’t say anything to me, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they looked at me and thought I had herpes rather than shingles. At my age, that would be the more likely guess. The strange thing is, although shingles is not supposed to be contagious (unless you’ve never had chicken pox or the chicken pox vaccine–you would get chicken pox from someone with shingles–and even then I think you’d need to be in contact with their rash), my boss just had it at the beginning of November, then I got it at the end of Nov/early Dec, and another member of our team might have it right now (but her doctor’s not completely sure if it’s shingles or not). Still…this is too much of a coincidence.

Birthdays are not nearly as exciting or anticipated when you’re older. Since my birthday was on a Saturday this year, I slept in. I would’ve gone for a run, but my shingles were bothering me. Gerald went out and brought me two cupcakes and roses though for breakfast. I got an email from Noodles & Company about a buy one, get one free dish offer if you try their new pork so we went out and had that for lunch and then went grocery shopping (my suggestion). Exciting birthday, I know! When we came home, I ended up taking a nap. Apparently when you get older, you get more tired.

Then we went out for dinner with my family in Evanston–Joy Yee’s Noodles & Argo Tea. I really just wanted to go to Argo Tea and the closest one is in Evanston. All the rest are in Chicago. They need to expand to the northern suburbs!! My family had cake back at my parents’ house so I could have my obligatory birthday picture with the pug.

28bdayThe rest of my birthday weekend was uneventful, but I did get this amazing origami Winnie the Pooh from one of the girls in my youth group!

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Then after church, I took Lexie out to see Santa Paws! Santa doesn’t look too jolly though.

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Lexie’s not looking at the camera because she was so distracted just being in a store. I even let her pick out her Christmas present afterwards. :) Yes, we’re those crazy pug people.

So this was a good way to kick off the crazy month of December. The birthdays are done. Next comes Christmas & my sister’s wedding!

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Birthday Musings

Today I welcomed myself into my late-20s. It’s funny to think that when my mom was my age, she just had me (her first baby). I can’t image having a baby right now. Life would be so different! This past year has been so crazy. Within the past 12 months, I got engaged, planned a wedding, got married, served at and led various youth group events, trained for and ran a 10 mile race, and kept busy with my day job. I’m so grateful for every moment and event of this past year though.

Birthdays aren’t as exciting as they used to be, and I don’t get any new privileges with this particular age, but I do still wake up wondering if people will do anything special for me. I think that goes along with the natural desire we all have to feel loved by others. I don’t want to expect anything from people, but as I got to the age where my parents didn’t host birthday parties for my friends, as my birthday approached each year I started wondering:

  • Will my friends decorate my locker and/or give me ballons? (That was a big thing back in high school. Everyone gave you helium balloons on your birthday–at least if you were a girl–and the more balloons you carried around, it seemed the more popular you were.)
  • Will people remember it’s my birthday and say “Happy Birthday” to me? (Sometimes I wonder if some of my closer friends–the ones I see every week–would remember it was my birthday if it didn’t say so on Facebook. Other people who post on my wall I know are only doing it because Facebook told them so, but I’m still appreciative.)
  • Will my roommates plan anything for my birthday? (Because now you hate to plan something for yourself) And I wondered if my friends from home would IM me birthday wishes while I was in college.
  • Will my co-workers do anything for me at work? (I wondered this the first year I worked at Tyndale, but then my team surprised me by going all out with my cube decorations and made me the “PR Angel” for the day.)
  • Will Gerald do something special for me? (I used to wonder this when we were dating, but now that were married I think he’s even more obligated to do something nice. :))

    Welcome to the cupcake cube!

I guess those are just my insecurities showing through. Today I wasn’t disappointed. My PR team used its creativity to turning my cube into a cupcake cubicle with REAL cupcakes today. Although they didn’t quite finish decorating before I showed up at work and didn’t end up going to chapel today. Oops!

They even gave me a cupcake card that happened to have an image of three cupcakes inside with wrappers in my wedding colors!

Tonight Gerald took me out for dinner (he let me pick the restaurant) and then we ended up walking around the mall doing a little shopping. It was all pretty low-key. Last Saturday we celebrated my birthday with family and friends at our place. Gerald and our friend Ryan did all the cooking (lots of Korean food and homemade pizza…yum). After Gerald and I came home tonight we shared a slice of a Mariano’s cake.

Delicious cake!

So on this birthday, I’m reminded that I can’t depend on other people to make me happy or feel good about myself (whether on a birthday or any other day). At some point, people are probably going to disappoint me. That’s why I’m glad God reminds me of how special I am to Him daily. This morning, I woke up to this:

Beautiful sunrise

I don’t need balloons, sweet treats, cards, or birthday greetings or human validation when I have a God who cares so deeply about me and reminds me of that fact first thing in the morning. I am blessed.

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Why Pugs?

Lexie with the ball I gave her for her birthday

Yesterday my family celebrated the second birthday of everyone’s favorite family member: Lexie!

For Lexie’s first birthday we had a big Halloween/costume party, but this year was more low-key. We just had a few people over  for dinner and cupcakes. Lexie had no idea it was her birthday or why she got to eat cupcakes today, but I think she loved it. :)

People generally think my family is CRAZY when it comes to pugs. Our first pug, Jasmine, lived for 16.5 years. We still miss her, but then we got Lexie 6 months later. The pug void was just too big. I know other people think it’s crazy to celebrate your dog’s birthday or to give your dog Christmas gifts, but really she’s a member of the family. And for those people who think pugs are ugly, let me give you a few reasons why you might consider getting a pug (and I do think some pugs are really ugly, but our family only gets cute ones…and sometimes we say pugs are so ugly they’re cute).

Why a pug?

1. Pugs are perfect-sized companions. Pugs are the largest of the toy breeds, so they’re not so tiny that you’re afraid you’re going to step on them, but they’re not so large that you can’t pick them up when they’re full grown (Which would be an issue when they get old and can barely walk up the stairs. We didn’t have that problem with Jasmine since we could easily lift her.) Pugs are great lap dogs and also won’t take up half your bed (if you let your dog sleep with you)–although Lexie likes to sleep on people’s heads, which is another problem in itself. Also, smaller dogs mean smaller poop & less food to buy.

2. Pugs are great with children. When we got our first pug, I was in second grade, my sister in first, and my brother was a toddler. Needless to say, we were kind of rough with the dog (and there are videos to prove it—like me spinning the dog around through the air while she held on to a frisbee with her teeth & then watching her fly off the frisbee). But we never had a problem with either pug being aggressive toward children (or other dogs). Pugs are so gentle and mild-mannered, which doesn’t make them great guard dogs (though they can be good watch dogs), but it does make them a great family pet. Even when they growl at you (like if you’re trying to take away their toy), we know they won’t actually bite.

3. Pugs are great for the less-active lifestyle. I run a lot, but pugs are

Lexie & me on her 2nd birthday

NOT running dogs. Although, Lexie has actually done a 5k (she did a turkey trot last year) and she was still energized afterwards, so I may be able to run 5ks with her in cooler weather. She’s also still in the puppy stage so she LOVES walks and being outside. I contrast this with Jasmine. Once we were walking back from the park and Jasmine jumped into the empty baby stroller and rode home. In either of these stages though, pugs don’t need nearly as much exercise as other breeds. So if your lifestyle doesn’t really involve taking your dog out on runs or long walks or playing outdoors everyday, then you should consider a pug to fit that lifestyle.

4. Pugs are proof that God has a sense of humor. I read this quote somewhere before, but unfortunately I can’t remember the attribution. It’s true though–I know pugs aren’t the funniest-looking dogs, but they’re up there. Pugs are also a great source of humor. We’ve had so many laughs because of things our pugs have done. Pugs–and all dogs, really–bring so much joy into your life. I can’t imagine life without one. I wish I had a video of all the crazy noises Lexie makes when she gets excited.

I could go on and on with my list, but if you really want to know more about pugs, feel free to leave me a note in the comments below. While I’m not living with a pug right now, Gerald and I do plan on getting one someday (that’s like a requirement to marry anyone in my family…haha). He actually wants to get a black and a fawn pug though. I’ll leave you with a few more photos from Lexie’s birthday to enjoy!

Someone's ready for her cupcake!

Yummy pumpkin flavor

What do you love about your pet (or pug)?

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Birthday Bonanza Winners

Thank you to all of you for your birthday wishes yesterday. I loved hearing about all the special gifts you’ve given and been given. God’s faithfulness and goodness was evident through your responses. After all, He is the greatest gift giver of them all. :)

So, here are the winners of the Birthday Bonanza giveaway! I chose randomly through Random.org.

The Devil in Pew Number Seven goes to Marina!

Asking for Trouble goes to Glenda Alexander Chilton!

Run to Overcome (a signed copy) goes to Rachel Steffen!

In the Beginning goes to Athena!

Congratulations to all of you! I’ll be emailing you to get your mailing address. I’m hoping to update this post with some gingercube and other birthday photos later tonight.

If you still want a chance to win a What’s in the Bible? DVD, you can head over to the Tyndale blog and enter our 12 Questions of Christmas giveaway!

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Birthday Bonanza

Today I’m working from a gingerbread house–or as my coworker, Jesse, calls it, the “gingercube.” My wonderful colleagues on the PR Team here at Tyndale House are always so creative with birthday decorations. My first birthday here, I was the “PR angel,” with clouds and wings in my cubicle. Last year I had a winter wonderland with lots of snowflakes and “snow” all over my desk (which is now still currently sitting under my desk a year later). Maybe I’ll take some better pictures of the gingercube later and post them up for you. I feel like keeping it up till Christmas as Christmas decor, but it says “Happy Birthday” on it.

So today I celebrate 26 years of life. You should also go wish my “twin,” Wenny, a happy birthday too. We were both born on the same day in the same year only 15 minutes apart (but at different hospitals).

As I get older, life seems to go by so much faster. It’s a strange phenomenon, but it’s a good reminder to cherish each day we’re given and to make the most of it. I look back on the past 10 years of my life, and a lot has changed so much within that decade. I know that in these next 10 years–or even the next 5 years or one year–a lot more can change in my life too. This is such a transitional period that never seems to slow down. So many new experiences and changes happen during the young adult stage of life, but I love it. I’m so blessed to have a wonderful family, pug, friends, church, and Savior.

According to Dr. Gary Chapman, one of my primary love languages is receiving gifts.  Other friends have also told me this, so it’s not something I’m making up just to get gifts from people. It’s not just getting any kind of gift either. It’s about those gifts that have meaning. So whether it’s picking up a cup of coffee for me unexpectedly or finding a gift that shows you really know me and understand who I am, that’s one way I feel most loved. Since I feel loved by receiving gifts, I also love giving gifts to others. It brings me so much joy to see their reactions to special gifts I’ve picked out for them. So, I’m going to give some gifts to you today. :)

I work at Tyndale, so obviously these gifts are going to be books (and a DVD). Here are a few products I’ve enjoyed and want to share with you:

The Devil in Pew Number Seven by Rebecca Nichols Alonzo ~ Although I’ve never gone through the terror Becky experienced as a child, her story is powerful and the message of forgiveness is clear. I don’t know how I would’ve handled being in a similar situation of forgiving the man who terrorized your family for years, but I met Becky over the summer and she is a beautiful example of God’s grace. After all she went through, this woman has such a gentle spirit and a passion for the Lord and bringing people to know Him. You will be challenged to forgive those that are hardest to forgive by reading this memoir.

Asking for Trouble by Sandra Byrd ~ This is book #1 in the London Confidential series. I read this book when it came out back in April, but I finally got to read the last three books in the series in October (when the last two books released). Although they’re geared toward tween and teen girls, I really enjoyed them too! Savvy, the main character, is realistic and Sandra interweaves faith in nicely with the story. Plus the books take place in London and I love London!

Run to Overcome by Meb Keflezighi ~ I haven’t quite finished reading this book yet, but Meb has a fascinating story. It was so exciting to watch him start out in the New York City Marathon this November too to watch him try to defend his title as the 2009 NYC Marathon champion. Although he didn’t win, Meb is very humble and you can tell even in his interviews. The marathon’s a tough distance and I admire anyone who can run any race, let alone a marathon, in sub-6-minute miles! I have an extra signed copy of Run to Overcome to give away–a perfect gift for the runner in your family.

In the Beginning: What’s in the Bible? #1 by Phil Vischer ~ This is the first DVD in VeggieTales creator Phil Vischer’s new series, What’s in the Bible?. I love the concept of this series. It is meant to go through the entire Bible, showing kids (and adults) how all the parts of the Bible fit together into one great story about God’s redemption plan. That’s something I didn’t fully understand until last year, so it’s even better that kids start learning about this now. Even I learn new things about the Bible from these DVDs! Plus they’re entertaining and Phil Vischer gets the messages stuck in your head with his trademark catchy songs.

To win one of these four products, leave a comment telling me the best gift you have given or received and why. Tomorrow, I’ll choose the winners using Random.org. You can get extra entries by tweeting about this giveaway (just mention me–@christywong) or posting about it on Facebook and leaving me another comment linking to your tweet or status update. The Birthday Bonanza contest ends at 12:00 PM CT on Dec. 9! :)

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Gift Ideas for the Runner, Triathlete

Today marks the first day of December. In our family (as in many), December is a very full and festive month. It begins with today–December 1–because it’s my mom’s birthday! :) So Happy Birthday to my mother, Mary!

Then in exactly one week, it’s my birthday too (and my “twin” Wenny‘s birthday). I like to say I was my mom’s birthday gift (though belated). She was not prepared for me since my due date was December 31. Then Christmas is only a few weeks after my birthday (so I’d be the one who could get combined birthday/Christmas gifts). The joys of having a birthday around the holidays. I also seem to know a ton of people with birthdays in December…it’s crazy.

So since this is the season for giving, if you’re looking for gift ideas for a runner or triathlete (like myself), here are some gift ideas you might consider:

Forerunner 305

Garmin Forerunner
Whenever I run, I always have trouble with pacing. I’m never quite sure exactly what my pace is and I can only tell my checking my cheap stopwatch and calculating how long it took me to run the last mile. If I’m running outside, I also don’t really know the distance unless I’m on the forest preserve path with mile markers or if I’ve already measured out my route using the Google Maps distance measurement tool. So for the runner in your life, the Garmin Forerunner 305 is like a new training partner.

The Garmin helps you to know your current pace and tracks your distance because it’s a GPS. There are even special training modes where you can race against yourself. This version has a multi-sport mode, which is great for triathletes too. You can even get a mount for your bike so it can track your cycling pace and miles too. The watch is also waterproof, so you can swim in it. The forerunner 305 is on Garmin’s site for $199.99.

But if you want a version that can track your swim pace and distance, you may want to check out the Forerunner

Forerunner 310XT

310XT. The GPS doesn’t really work well in the water, but it estimates accurately (according to the site). The 310XT retails at $349.99, so it’s quite pricier than the 305. I’m not sure which of these watches I’d want if I got one. I like how the 310XT can do more to track your swimming, but then again, most of my swims will be in a pool anyway, not open water. It’s also a lot bulkier looking. There are plenty of other simpler models on Garmin’s website, so you’re sure to find one that will fit the athlete in your life. I know a Garmin would help me with my own training sessions to make them more productive.

compression socks

Compression Socks
Another thing I haven’t tried, but I thought about getting them. Compression socks are supposed to help increase the blood flow in your legs to speed up recovery after long runs and supposedly even help you run faster because more oxygenated blood is getting to your legs. Whether the part about you running faster is true or not, I don’t know, but I’d be willing to try them if they do help!  The socks can be kind of expensive–the ones pictured are about $60–but from what people say about them, they’re worth the price. I haven’t done any really long runs yet (my longest is 8.5 miles), but since I’ll be training for the Soldier Field 10 Mile race, I’ll probably need all the recovery help I can get.

Vibram FiveFingers
Barefoot running is the newest thing. It’s more natural and is supposed to cause

Vibram FiveFingers KSO

less injury (which would make sense since that’s how God created us to run). I’m interested in increasing my speed as a runner, especially for shorter distances like the 5k. I also don’t want to get injured since I had some problems last year and early this year with major shin and knee pain. I ran through it and happened to come out okay, but I’m trying to be extra careful about that. I had my stride evaluated for my current pair of running shoes and so far I’ve been able to be injury-free, which is great. I’m still curious about trying these Vibram FiveFingers though. I’ve considered looking for a lighter weight racing shoe, but I’d consider trying these too. They look really funny (almost like toe socks), but then again, I was told that you don’t buy running shoes for the color. That’s just a bonus. I’m an overpronator, so it might help me to be able to run more naturally so my feet don’t overcompensate when they’re in shoes. They’re about $85 on the Vibram site, so they’re actually less than what I paid for my Mizunos.

Under Armor
Since it’s winter, I thought I’d just throw in what is a staple for winter running in my wardrobe. I don’t run outside too often in the winter since it gets dark so early, but I love my Under Armor. It keeps me warm and dry, which is so important. Personally, I want to get up to the Under Armor outlet in Wisconsin to see if I can get myself some good deals on more Under Armor clothing. It’s totally worth the price.

So these are just some gift suggestions for the runner in your life. These things are on my wish list too (birthday or Christmas…hint, hint), but it doesn’t matter whether I get them or not. I just love spending time with friends and family around this time of year.

Do you have anything to add to my triathlete/runner’s gift list?

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Happy Birthday, Lexie!

Today’s post is dedicated to my family’s newest pug, Lexie Madison Wong! She turns one year old today!! :)

Look at that cute pug face

 

This was back when she was still a little baby.
Lexie after a bath at the Doggy Day Spa
She can pick up full-size tennis balls!

Our family is having a party for Lexie next weekend. I know, some of you probably think we’re crazy and weird to have a birthday party for our dog, but that’s okay. We love our pugs. We had a few birthday parties for Jasmine (our first pug) and we celebrated her life at Jasmine’s Sweet 16 party (her last birthday with us). Dogs are like family members. Even though they don’t understand what’s going on (and babies don’t understand what’s going on either when it’s their birthday), any dog owner can’t deny the joy and laughter a dog brings into the home. There are so many stories I could tell about Jasmine–and now Lexie. Our lives were instantly brightened the night Lexie came to our house this past February. I only wish I lived at home so I could spend more time with her (and the rest of my family too). Someday I’ll have my own pug to love too. :)

So…

HAPPY 1ST BIRTHDAY, LEXIE!!

Have you ever celebrated your pet’s birthday? What are some of your favorite memories with your pet?

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