...tying the knot!

after 2 beautiful children and oh so many years, a huge congratulations to k&m, long-time family friends, for including me in on the day they tied the knot :) literally! to my surprise, the ceremony was performed in traditional laotian fashion; and it was absolutely gorgeous, to say the least! <3

if you've been following me long enough, you'd know i am fascinated with cultures and traditions apart from my own. i may not have understood anything that was said during the ceremony... but because i come from an asian background, i like to think i - at least - have a slight advantage over my non-asian counterparts since i have my own historical discourse to pull from. yes, even when i may not necessarily have a clue to what's being communicated verbally.

the most siginificant element that took place during this traditional affair was also the most familiar to that of hmong weddings that i'm used to... and that was when the guests were given the opportunity to "khi tes foom koobhmoov."
...to foom koobhmoov in hmong means "to bless." and its predecessor, khi tes, literally translates to "tie hand." each string symbolizing a single blessing while [literally] tying the knot.

white yarn is pre-cut into lengths of about 10-12 inches and eventually distributed among its guests. during the time it takes to tie a single piece onto the wrist of its recipient - in this case, the bride, groom and/or their children - every person is given the opportunity to personally congratulate, thank and/or share any words of wisdom. monetary gifts can also be tied onto the string and then onto the wrists too, as a symbol of wealth and prosperity. such a simple yet beautiful gesture/ritual i do always enjoy taking part in.

following the ceremony, attendees migrated over to the bride's home where a lunch feast was being prepared by a community of extended family members. of course... the usual dinner and reception followed and the night's festivities continued as expected :) definitely lots of dancing and "good" times!

a weekend in door county

a rainbow peeked out and bade us farewell as we left the clouds behind us and headed towards the sunny blue skies to our weekend destination camping in door county. i like to believe i’m a child of the universe and these little phenomenas are merely an intricate network of ethereal vibes within a natural cycle just waiting to be recognized, absorbed and, in return, exuded as positive spiritual energy onto those around us.

by the time we joined our party at peninsula state park there was just enough time to set up camp before being greeted with generous provisions and a roaring fire awaiting our company. great friends are truly the family you get to choose :) and i am thankful for the people i've built quality relationships with.

in a world where technology has replaced the simplest of social interactions, there’s absolutely nothing quite like unplugging and just being out in the woods under a blanket of stars and honing our skills on the fading art of conversation!

whitefish dunes and cave point were classic wisconsin sights explored… and taking a dip in lake michigan after basking under the midwest sun couldn’t have been more perfect! to this day, i am still blown away at the beauty that surrounds us on a daily basis. we are truly are blessed to be surrounded by such beauty! after all, when you've replaced the term “vacation” as a destination with moreso a state of mind... life will be much more pleasant. i promise!

the remainder of the weekend was spent exploring, enjoying and appreciating more little wonders this wisconsin peninsula has to offer. it still blows me away to realize how simple, yet breathtaking, the natural sights really are here... including its rich history of how it all came to be. it just reaffirms the fact that i truly am a wisconsinian at heart... a "lakes and trees" kinda girl; greenery over skyscrapers. sometimes :) hha!

♩ ♪ ♫ i was a little girl, alone in my little world, who dreamed of a little home for me...
i played pretend between the trees, and fed my houseguests bark and leaves, and laughed in my pretty bed of green. ♪ ♩ ♫

a whole new world..!

my bestfriend and i often kid about how we don't have more friends who see the world around us as we see it and therefore can't appreciate the simple pleasures readily available to us! while running errands this morning and accepting the fact that we're just weird to the average jane, we spontaneously opted into a mini trip to the waterhole for an afternoon of relaxation on this hot late summer day!

one thing led to another, and before we knew it, we were at my house while i threw together a quick picnic... and were ready to rock! this is definitely our type of fun on the water!