Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Love is in the Air

Perhaps it's the age we are at, and having just gotten married myself, I shouldn't be surprised, but we are amidst a WEDDING WHIRLWIND! Love is definitely in the air as some of our closest friends are tying the knot in 2010. We started the Spring off with Amber and Marc in Palm Springs, followed by our own in San Diego in April. In May we headed to Orange County for Lisa and Shaun, and June brings us up to Mariposa (just outside of Yosemite National Park) for John and Lidah's big day. Perhaps the most anticipated of them all is the foreign exchange of wedding vows between Mike and Stephanie in Florence, Italy in July! August and September are open as of now. However, shotgun weddings are on the rise nowadays :) Our last and final wedding of 2010 (as of today) is another very special union of two loved ones; My brother Sean and his fiance Veronica are taking the plunge in October in Los Angeles. 2011 will be here before we know it, and we already have 3 weddings on the books spanning from California, Colorado, and Hawaii!!! Congrats to all the newlyweds, soon to be Mr. & Mrs., and newly engaged. Life is too short for love to not be acknowledged and cherished. God Bless!!!
Amber and Marc Brown
Lisa and Shaun Felcher

July bundles of Joy!

Two of our close friends are having babies the same week in July and both are expecting baby boys! One of my best friends from college, Jessica is expecting her 2nd baby with her husband Russel. If Easton is half as cute as his older sister Maliya, watch out ladies!
Our great friends from Rancho del Rey Church, Jocelyn and JC, are expecting their first baby, Uriah! Tim and JC are awaiting his arrival so they can start teaching him football plays and running drills :)
We are so thrilled to be a part of the action as we await the arrival of these two babes!  It's been said that one way to fully comprehend God's love for us, is to experience it through having children of your own. There is no greater love :)
We can't wait to meet u Easton James and Uriah Steele!

"Lifey as a Wifey" Wednesday!

Lifey as a Wifey gets better and better each day, but the challenges are getting greater and greater. The “I” goes out the window, and the “we” quickly replaces it. Usually in a positive way, but its not easy letting go of your individuality to become one together. Although I am still learning, I have realized that the best thing I can do for my husband is support him with my love and prayers. My mom sent me excerpts from a book called, “Praying God’s Will for your Husband,” along with a letter to me emphasizing the need for committed prayer in a relationship, especially for our husbands. I was so moved with this gesture, that it brought me to tears. Stormie Omartian says it perfectly, “I can think of no better way to truly love your husband than by lifting him up in prayer on a consistent basis. It is a priceless gift that helps him experience God’s blessings and grace.”

The book is broken out into chapters that correspond with certain needs of our husbands. Check out the table of contents hereIt’s not meant to be read cover to cover, but moreso as a daily devotion based upon the current needs, or simply just to lift him up in prayer!
My commitment is to put my pride aside at times, especially when I’m not his #1 fan at the moment, and pray God’s will for Tim. I believe in the power of prayer, and I am excited to see the blessings God has in store in our marriage.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Paradise Pie

When it came down to planning the honeymoon, Tim and I knew the world was our oyster from which to pick our destination. After some research and plenty of suggestions, we decided on Sandals Grand St. Lucia Resort in beautiful St. Lucia, Virgin Islands. Sandals is an adult couples-only, ALL-INCLUSIVE resort. When I say, all inclusive, I mean everything. And when I say resort, I mean 5 Star award winning. It was Paradise and we couldn’t have imagined a better place to eat drink and be married :)

Kayaking, Snorkeling, Scuba diving, Sail boating, Couples Message at the Spa, Romantic Dinners with live music, Local street party, Playing pool and darts in the English pub, Visiting volcanoes and Natural Hot springs, and simply relaxing on the beach or by the pool were a few of the activities we enjoyed over our 7 night/8 day retreat. The weather was perfect, the drinks were flowing, and we never went hungry. We had so much fun together and luckily neither of us got sunburned!  Sandals St. Lucia was truly a yummy piece of Paradise Pie!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

SOUND THE TRUMPETS!! Wedding pictures are here!

Photo by Kacey Luvi
At last, our most prized possessions of the best day of our lives have finally arrived! I came home from a grueling Dr.’s appointment last weekend to find that my sweet husband had placed a PINK package on our bed.
A) Who doesn’t LOVE getting a package!? (Tim knows to let me open the good ones!) B) Who doesn’t love PINK!? And C) to my (somewhat) surprise, they were our wedding photos, OMGoodness=ECSTATIC!!! Not only were they in a cute electric pink shipping box, they were wrapped in a custom craft box with fun bright yellow tissue paper and tied with raffia and a pink bow! Unfortunately for that wrapping, it didn’t last long through my anticipation of getting those pics!
Kacey Luvi (pronounced Love-Eye) our INCREDIBLE photographer and now friend, was loved by all at our wedding. She made things so easy and fun, and the best of all, makes you look and feel like a model. Who doesn’t L-O-V-E that!? As promised, our wedding pics will be up on her site for viewing and purchasing, Just click on “See my Pics” and the password is Cargo.
Thank you to Kacey for capturing what feels like a blink of an eye in all these amazing photos! Tim and I will have these to cherish (and for me to obsess over) for many years to come and we couldn’t thank you enough for being a special part of our special day!

"Lifey as a Wifey" Wednesdays

Today marks the first installment of “Lifey as a Wifey" Wednesdays! I’ve decided to cure my mid-workweek blues by writing about a subject that is new and exciting to me: BEING A WIFE! Lucky for me, this new title comes with a handsome, sweet, and loving husband that, so far, has made my Lifey as a Wifey Saaawwwweeettt! ;) So my first post as a wife is a Standing ovation, Round of applause, High clap and Fist pump to my AWESOME husband,Tim. You don’t have to ask my mother to know that I can be a handful, and Tim has held on tight and close through my rollercoaster of emotions these past few months…or maybe years ;) I don’t ever want him to feel under appreciated or have the sweet things he does go unnoticed, so I try my best to express my thankfulness and count my blessings. We hung a white board in the kitchen last week, and after it hung blank for a day, I decided to start a new practice. Across the top I wrote, “I love my husband because he cooked me dinner.” Obviously I love Tim for many more reasons, but I felt it was a lovable gesture that he cooked for us that night. Later he saw what I wrote and had a big grin on his face. Since that night, I fill in the blank when the opportunity presents itself. I’m happy to say that my cup runneth over with gestures to be thankful for! Just a few from this past week: “I love my husband because he brought me Peonies (my fave!)….he did the dishes…..put together my new computer desk while I was at work….bought us a new book shelf.” Perhaps these little notes are more for me than for Tim, but updating the board has become my favorite part of the day. Behind every great Wife, there should be a caring, giving and loving Husband and I am so blessed to have Tim fit the bill. ;)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Ms. to Mrs.

Getting engaged=THRILLING
Planning a wedding=STRESSFUL, but Fun and SOOO worth it!
Wedding=AMAZING! Forever together began ;)
Honeymoon= UNREAL
Ms. Cargo to Mrs. Parlier =NO one told me it took so much time, effort and $$!

The wedding is over, we are all moved in, and we are heading to Europe in less than two months. To change my name legally before then or not, WAS the question at hand. After living a double life as Ms. Cargo and Mrs. Parlier for a few weeks, I decided to take the final plunge with the name change. There was so questioning whether I was going to be a Parlier, I just didn’t know WHEN I would make the switcha-roo. It wasn’t until I unsuccessfully tried to cash a check made out to Allison Parlier at the bank did I realize that my double agent life was beginning to be an inconvenience! Other than a white hoody that said, “Mrs. Parlier Est. 4.16.10” (which btw, the bank does not accept as a valid form of name change) I didn’t have any legal documents proving my union to Tim or my rights as a Parlier! My only hesitation for starting the process now was being stopped by the Italian Government while at Mike and Stephanie’s Wedding because my passport said Cargo, but my ticket said Parlier. Uggh…what I nightmare! After a little research, I took the chance it would be done in time.
First things first, where is our marriage license!? Come to find out, that unless you pay ahead of time, you have to physically go and request a copy (or notarize request my mail). I fill out my paper work, get to the front of the line, and the lady behind the desk at the County Recorder looks at my form, pulls our records up on the computer, and says, are you sure this is the date? I asked her what date are you referring? She says, your wedding date. I looked at the form and saw April 16th, and said, “Yep that’s it!” She said, “ARE YOU SUURREEE??” I said “YESSSSS”…..I wanted to say, “Look lady, just shy of tattooing that date on my body, I know that’s my wedding date ok!?!” She said, “Well that doesn’t match the system.” She shows me a copy of our marriage license and our Pastor had written in April 15th! After confirming it doesn’t really mean anything, and it can be changed, I said, Ok, give me 3 copies and I was on my way. Next up was Social Security, which luckily didn’t take long at all. Thankfully, I actually planned ahead and made a DMV appointment the week we got back from our honeymoon, so I had a week for my SS Card to come before I headed over to that nightmare of a government institution.  Luckily, my SS card came in a timely manner and I cruised into the DMV with my appointment like I was on Easy Street. All I have to say is, by the Grace of God I brushed and curled my hair that day, because yes, they make you take a new picture!
Next up on the list was my passport. This was the easiest, but most expensive of them all. All they need is a new photo, (this time I prepped for it and it came out great! Yess!), a copy of the marriage license, your old passport, and the application for name change-all sent via snail mail.
And now, I play the waiting game…..and pray my passport comes in less than 5 weeks before we leave for our trip. So 8 weeks later, I am now officially a Parlier, but I have a feeling I will be chasing Ms. Cargo out of my life for years to come ;)
Marriage license copies $42
DMV Name Change $25
Passport Name change $75
Passport Pics $7
Becoming Mrs. Parlier PRICELESS!

My Father, the Hero

 My husband Tim is by far Numero Uno in my life (only second to Jesus), but it hasn’t always been that way. Before Tim, there was another man that I always ran to for a shoulder to cry on, called for advice, and found safety in his arms. His name is Dad. He was my first Valentine, the first man to buy me jewelry, the first hand I held, and the hardest thing to let go of as I started my new chapter with Tim. In Genesis 2:24, the Bible says, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”

As we celebrated Father’s Day yesterday with the family, it had a new meaning to me. I still have the utmost appreciation and admiration for my father, but this year it was different. Two months ago, he had the honor of giving his baby girl “away” to a man that he trusted, respected, and honored as much as I do. I know it wasn’t easy for him to do, and if you have seen any of our wedding pictures, I wasn’t exactly holding it together either! But I believe that if you asked him, and certainly if you asked me, we were ready for this. Our relationship as Father-Daughter has come full circle as his “little girl.” Obviously, at 27, I haven’t been much of a “little” girl for quite some time now, but over the past few years as my relationship with Tim has become more serious, my relationship with Dad has evolved in its own way. At times some might differ, but I feel getting married as made me that much more of a “grown up” and with that, my relationships are maturing as well. This Father’s Day, I celebrated my amazing Dad and everything he has done for our family, but also I cherished it as the next installment in my new chapter of Married life. I cannot praise my Dad enough for all the joy, laughter, respect, triumph and admiration he has brought our family. I would not be the woman I am today without him. I love you dad!
Father's Day 2010...Debbie, where are you!??

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Tall Tale of Cowboy Blue

Summer 2009 I moved back to San Diego. As new roommates and friends, Lindsey and I wanted to get something together for the house they we could share and bond over, so we decided on a fish.  We headed to Petsmart determined to find the prettiest, healthiest and best one they had.  Once we found, “The One”, who happened to be a BLUE male Beta, we headed home and immediately started brainstorming for names. To our demise, we couldn’t think of a good one, so we decided to wait it out and see what his personality was. Well, beyond our wildest imagination, this little blue fish was a wild one! He seemed to have some pent up anger and would shoot around in the water like he wanted to jump out and attack you! It became a form of entertainment to watch him spin around and wait for his prey (fish food pellets) drop into the water before he attacked them one by one like he hadn’t eaten for weeks. If you put your ear close enough to the tank, you can actually hear him chewing…I’m not totally nuts, others have heard it too! So came his name, VICIOUS THE FISHOUS. Since he was a poor sport that hid at the bottom of his tank, didn’t socialize unless under threat, and chewed with his mouth open, he became more of an afterthought than a part of the family. Sadly, over time, we would forget to feed him (scheduling conflicts), and his tank would sometimes go a few weeks without a cleaning. Perhaps it was this rough upbringing that humbled our little Vicious.
Two moves later, and now that Tim and I are living together, Vicious has been everything but what his name insinuates! He turned into a happy, glowing fish, that likes to swim around and although he still chews with his mouth open, I have learned to make an exception ;) I felt his new mannerisms entitled him to a new name, something more enduring and personal. I had a fish in college that I LOVED name Blue, he wasn’t even blue, which made no sense at all! Vicious, however, was blue, and began to take on his personality a bit, so I officially changed his name to BLUEFISH, Blue for short.
When unpacking, Tim didn’t have a place to hang his cowboy hat, and coincidentally placed it on Blue’s fish tank. Not only does it look great, but Bluefish loves it! He swims around when you take it off to feed him, and likes it when you put it back on. I know, I sound crazy, but come over any day and see it for yourself. I’m a proud parent in saying that our little Vicious the Fishious went from a grumpy little fish to a praised Cowboy in the past year….hence his new name, COWBOY BLUE.


I would like to know why the Penny, an official United States Government issued monetary value, is so highly frowned upon!? I think everyone has been at the check out stand, with a line of people behind you, when you decide to not only pay cash (which seems to “take too long” nowadays too!) but give the exact change and have the grandiose idea to unload some of the pennies that are bulking up the change pocket in your wallet. You pour them into your hand and start counting them out; you can feel the optical daggers being thrown at you from the people in line, not to mention the cash register operator is looking at you like you are about to pay in Pesos. WHY?! PENNIES ARE MONEY TOO PEOPLE!!! It’s quirky to me that getting more than $4 back in $1 dollar bills is not only taboo, but paying with anything less than a dime is frowned upon. I know, no one REALLY likes to have change slowing them down and personally, I feel there is nothing worse than getting a bunch of $1 Dollar coins back as change from the post office stamp machines(Why do they do that!?). But when push comes to shove, MONEY IS MONEY HONEY. I find it ironic that in a world, specifically the United States, where we are born and bred to long for wealth and success, we don’t want to acknowledge the “chump” change. I have challenged myself recently to pay cash for as much as possible…and I don’t mean debit card cash…I mean cold hard cheddar. Not to create a penny revolution, but for spending awareness and appreciation of my “penny earned.”
Instead of fearing for our reputation at the register, Tim and I keep a yellow cup on the kitchen counter from, Loose Chains to Loosen Chains-a student led ministry challenging America to collect their loose chain to combat modern day Slavery. According to Real Simple magazine there is $10.5 billion in loose change lying around American households. I certainly don’t want to miss out on that jackpot! A penny saved might be a penny earned, but saving a life one penny at a time sounds priceless to me. What do you do with your loose change?

"She Makes a Mean Bowl of Cereal"

One of the many thrills of getting married is being showered with so many fun gifts. Specifically, the culinary gadgets and do-dads that you’ve never needed prior to getting married, but always saw in your mother’s kitchen; So you registered for them! I have a new fascination with using as many as possible while cooking every meal. Why do it the old college way, when you can have the cuisinart do it for you right!?

When asked if I was a good cook, Tim used to always say, “She makes a mean bowl of cereal.” Although funny, I felt it was an injustice to my womanhood, as well as being an obvious backhanded compliment. I love you dearly Tim, but other than milk to cereal proportions and deciding to use the big or small spoon, what’s to making a bowl of cereal anyway!!!?? To my defense, it’s not that I am or was ever a bad cook; I just didn’t do much “cooking” at all. As Tim like to call it, I “prepared” food from Trader Joe’s delectable frozen food section or made egg whites….all the time ;)
Little does he know that it’s these comments that have driven me to explore the world of cooking in hopes to win the ultimate honor of my husband’s Parlier Stamp of Approval.
All to say, I have been married for 8 weeks (and counting) and have happily broadened my culinary skills to the utmost, having even constructed my own creations! I find it relaxing, yet challenging, sometimes irritating, EXPENSIVE, but so wonderfully rewarding when we sit at the dinner table together over a home cooked meal. I also find that the more gadgets and utensils I use, from putting my ingredients in tiny bowls (like on the cooking shows) to experimenting with my steamer, it makes it so much more fun!
I have to thank my Mom, Dad, Step mom, Ashley and my new neighbor Katy as my cookery resources/recipe owners ;) And of course, all the generous people that gave us new fun toys like our waffle maker, steamer, Pyrex set, and Bullet blender! 
I will keep you posted as I embark on this Top Chef Journey of being the Ultimate Wife. So, far, I think only my Enchiladas and Wine Cake (both family recipes) have received the stamp of Parlier Approval, but there is no stopping me!

In the meantime, any advice for this newlywed cook is appreciated!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I Heart Dark Chocolate

Although Tim and I both have a serious sweet tooth, life as a married couple hasn’t always been a bowl of red maraschino cherries, but rather a box of bittersweet dark chocolates-You really never know what to expect! Its been just over 2 months since we took our vows to be husband and wife, and with a honeymoon in the Caribbean, moving two households into one (twice!), planning our trip to Europe next month, and teaching Tim to put the toilet seat down, these past 8 weeks have been fascinating, but AWESOME! We all use the expression of, “Starting a new chapter in life,” but I’ve never experienced it quite like this before. It’s taken us a little longer than expected, but Tim and I have finally settled into a new life together, made a home in our new place blocks from the beach, and are better, stronger and more in love than the day we got married. Every night we pray, thanking God for the wonderful life He has given us. We have the blessings of a beautiful place to finally call home, a family that loves us dearly, and friends that stretch from San Diego across the globe! So Far, Forever , as a Parlier, ROCKS! I hope Cargo2Parlier gives you the Cliff notes version of our leap into this exciting “new chapter” of our love story.