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Wedding Wednesday- Becoming A Family

I’ll be honest I’m a hormonal mess right now. Pms on top of wedding nerves means that there is an 80% chance Dino Boy comes home to me crying and has to figure out if these are happy or sad tears. The other day I was a wreck because of quite possible the cutest moment. I logged into that fun wedding spreadsheet I blogged about last week and saw one of the best aha moments I’ve ever had looking at an excel spreadsheet. On the relationship box my favorite boy put in our spot “soon to be family” You would think that I just finished the end of The Notebook at that moment. After finally getting my breath back and fixing my permanent raccoon eyes ( I swear even waterproof mascara isn’t helping me right now!) I was once again reminded the reason of all of this craziness. I’m becoming a family. I’m going to join another mini unit, one to call my own. There is a reason this moment s so emotionally charged. You are becoming one, one mini little family. One man that will be in my life forever. If that doesn’t make you cry happy tears I don’t know what will.

Wedding Wednesday- Why We Work

Dino Boy here to make another guest post for Wedding Wednesday. I had so much fun writing our engagement story that we decided I should come back for

an encore. Noelle had an idea that I should write an article about “why we work.” At first it seemed like a bit of a daunting task. My first thought was, we just do, it’s natural, end of article. But as I thought about it, I realized that there are a lot of factors that go into why we work. What I started to realize is that it’s not so much why we work, but all of the things we do to make it work. So with that in mind, I compiled a list of some of the important things we do.
We Fight
I know this is a crazy one to start out with, but it’s really important. Ask any couple that’s been together for a long time and they will tell you that they fight. It is part of human nature, we’re going to disagree with each other and we both have our own passionate opinion. What allows us to work, though, is that we don’t fight to win, we don’t fight to hurt the other person, and we have learned how to fight with each other.  
We Forgive
At the end of a fight we forgive. We reflect on what caused the fight and what we can do in the future to avoid it. We never use old fights or wrongdoings as jokes or guilt trips on the other person. Most people will say forgive and forget. We take a different approach, forgive, but remember what caused it and what you can do to prevent it in the future. 
We Grow Together
We know that in 10 years we are not going to be the same people that we are today. We’re not even the same people that we were when we met. As our relationship grows, so do we. What makes us work is the fact that we want to grow together, we want to evolve and we want to help make each other the best people we can be. 
We Laugh
Both with each other and at each other. We have our own little jokes, we get each other’s sense of humor and we try to do things every day to bring a smile to the other person’s face. 
We Date
This was something that we had to relearn when we moved in together, and it’s something we still work on. Noelle has always had the notion, and it’s a great one, that you can never stop dating. In that spirit, we love to go on little adventures together, whether it’s a baseball game, the horse races, weekend getaways, family events, or trips to the lake. We also realize that you don’t always have to go out for it to be a date. A barbeque night with Jack Daniels and a movie is a perfectly acceptable date. 
It’s the Little Things
We realize that money isn’t everything and that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to have fun (see barbeque date above). While the diamond necklace, fancy clothes and new road bike would be nice to have, we know it won’t make us happy. Little things, like random flowers, little notes, and random trips are just as exciting and make the best memories. 
We’re Best Friends
Anytime anything big happens in my life Noelle is the first to know. She comforts me when I’m feeling down, encourages me to keep on going, supports me when I’m having a tough time, and celebrates all of my little accomplishments. She genuinely cares about what happened during my day and wants to know everything about me. We both consider ourselves lucky that we get to wake up next to each other and come home to one another.
We Work At It
This kind of ties into everything else in this post, but we know that relationships can be difficult sometimes, just like life. We’re constantly working on how to be better people and better partners. The great thing though, is that when you love someone, truly love them, it doesn’t feel like work. It’s something that you want to do. Something that you wake up every morning excited to do. 
I think the biggest reason as to why “we work” is due to the fact that we love each other. It’s hard to break down love and your relationship into finite little parts to explain why it works. When you’re in love everything just works, all these little things come natural and they are all things that you want to do to make the other person happy. It’s an amazing experience to walk through life with the mindset of “us” instead of “me”. 
I love Noelle and I know she loves me. I can’t wait for this next stage of our life and the many adventures that we will share together. We both know that we will change, we both know that life will change, but we know that we want to go through it together. And I think that is the reason why we work. 
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10 date ideas under $10

Dino Boy and I made a resolution to continue dating each other. It seems like a kind of weird idea considering we are getting married but I think with all the craziness going on it’s important to have that one on one time that doesn’t involve cake tastings, chores around the house, family get togethers etc….. Here are some fun date ideas that don’t break the bank:

/home/sunshi62/public html/wp content/uploads/2014/01/Sunshine and Pearls 10 dates

1. Go bowling
2. Go for a hike and pack a picnic lunch
3. Join Netflix and find a new show to watch together
4. Take a free factory tour
5. Volunteer
6. Have a game night
7. Go to the farmers market
8. Go see a high school play
9. Go star gazing
10. Tour a historical building in town
What are some fun date ideas that you have done?
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Wedding Wednesday- The Proposal

Disclaimer–I’m not a blogger so this may or may not be a fun read. I’ll allow you to be the judge. My wonderful fiancé (still getting used to that) Noelle, has asked that I, Dino Boy as you all seem to know me by, make the first post for her upcoming series “Wedding Wednesdays” and explain the process of and my side of the story on our engagement.
Little to Noelle’s knowledge I had been planning the engagement for around a month before I finally popped the question. I knew back in November that I wanted to ask Noelle to marry me, the next phase was just finding the right jeweler to help design the ring of her dreams.
In late December I was able to meet with a jeweler who had done quite a bit of work for my family. The hardest part through all it was having to 1. Lie to Noelle about where I was going and 2. Keep everything a secret. Luckily, this was also around Christmas, Noelle’s birthday, and my sister having a wedding so everyone was very distracted.
A few weeks later, the ring was complete and I had the wonderful task of trying to hide the ring in our apartment and keep my mouth shut. When you’re planning on getting engaged, it seems like all of the sudden everyone around you is doing the same thing
After receiving permission from her father it was even harder for me to keep my mouth shut, especially since I had the green light on everything. Noelle and I had planned an “us” weekend a few weeks ahead of time and I knew I would be the weekend that I would pop the question.
We had originally planned a wine tasting weekend which was perfect in my book. Naturally, I began planning and invited my cousin, who is one of our close friends as well as Noelle’s sister. Noelle, through me for a loop when a few weeks before she started asking if I wanted to just go to the city or do something a little more low key (she claims to have no idea I was planning this, I was certain she was testing me).
After some convincing and reassuring we were back on track for the wine tasting weekend. We rented a limo and after a few back and forths and settled on going to Livermore for an afternoon of wine tasting.
We packed a picnic lunch, I hid the ring in my pocket (which I was certain everyone could see) and we set off in the limo, picking up my cousin and Noelle’s sister and brother in law. The first winery we went to was Concannon winery which is right down the road from where I grew up. 
Concannon has a big victorian house on their property which has been one of the landmarks for anyone driving down Tesla road in Livermore. It used to be run down and pretty ugly looking but they have since remodeled the outside and it looks amazing. When we pulled up I knew that would be the place that I would ask. It was a beautiful setting which was set off a little bit from the winery itself providing some seclusion.
After some wine tasting, followed by a nice picnic lunch and some more wine I, along with my cousin (who was the only person who knew what I was planning on doing) convinced everyone that we should go take a look at the house.
Noelle was a little reluctant but everyone eventually agreed to go take a look. I went up on the porch, Noelle followed, and my cousin went around the corner to “look at the back of the house” with Noelle’s sister. Naturally, Noelle walked right off the porch and followed them around the corner too.
We all rather awkwardly walked around the house as I brainstormed how I was going to be able to get her back up on the porch. When we got back around I said, “come on, Noelle, lets go get a picture on the front porch for the scrapbook”
Noelle, naturally said, “Let’s just get one at the next winery, I left my camera in the limo.” Thankfully, my cousin had filled in Noelle’s sister and they all convinced her to get up on the porch and take a picture.
We snapped a few shots, then I looked at her, gave her a kiss, and said I need to ask you a question. I got down on one knee, and went through my little speech. I then opened the ring box and asked her to marry me.
She immediately kissed me, at which point I said, “You still need to say yes!” She promptly said yes and I asked if she liked the ring. Her response “I don’t know! I haven’t even looked at it!”
I put it on her finger and got the thumbs up that I did good. We took a quick little stroll around the winery together, went back to the limo and had some champagne before preceding the next winery where we relived the moment for the rest of the afternoon.
It was one of the happiest and greatest moments of my life. I just keep thinking to myself, if the engagement was so awesome, I can only imagine how great the wedding will be!
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I believe

I believe.....
I believe there is no greater high than online shopping
I believe watching Scandal should only be done with wine and popcorn
I believe cute underwear is a necessity for a good mood
I believe chubby babies are the best babies
I believe awkward kids in high school always come out on top (here’s to hoping!)
I believe a teen pop singalong is best enjoyed on a 6 am car ride to work
I believe people aren’t lucky they just work harder behind the scenes
I believe every girl deserves a guy that names them giggle every day
I believe Sunday mornings are the best part of the weekend
I believe dinner parties are the best kind of parties
I believe forehead kisses, dog kisses and baby snuggles are better than medicine
I believe nap time is essential for every adult
What do you believe in?
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25 dates of Christmas

This year I wanted to do something fun for Dino Boy. Last year we were so busy during the holiday season that we forgot to really enjoy it….this year I vowed to change that. I compiled a list of some fun date ideas for the holidays. I found a great advent calendar here and filled each day with an activity. What are some of your favorite holiday activities?

/home/sunshi62/public html/wp content/uploads/2013/12/Sunshine and Pearls 25 dates of Christmas

1. Drive around and look at lights
2. Bake Sandra’s whiskers
3. Listen to Christmas music
4. Go ice skating
5. Wear a onesie
 Christmas Jumpuits - Women's Blue Reindeer Jumpsuit by Tipsy Elves
6. Watch a Christmas story
7. Drink hot chocolate
8.  Watch Elf
9. Host a get together
10. Wrap presents
11. Send out Christmas cards
12. Have a game night
 The Nightmare Before Christmas Monopoly
13. See a play
14. Make gingerbread cookies
15. Bake treats for neighbors
16. Attend a holiday party
17. Make paper snowflakes
18. Wear an ugly sweater
 Women's Christmas Lights Sweater by Tipsy Elves
19. Kiss under the mistletoe 
20. Decorate the tree
21. Go Christmas shopping
22. Christmas vacation drinking game
23. Visit a museum
24. Make apple cider
25. Be joyful for one another
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Here’s to another crazy year!

A year ago today I approached an adorable young man at SFMoma to go on our first date. That date was one of the worst dates I have ever had but what’s crazy is a year later I couldn’t imagine spending my life with anyone else. In the past year Dino Boy and I have gone through more than most couples but we have come out stronger, and happier than I ever could have imagined. What started out as an awkward exchange and a bro tap as goodbye has turned into a life together. I wake up to the most amazing man every morning and I fall asleep next to my best friend every night. I am incredibly lucky  to be with such an amazing man and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for us over the next year! 
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