Wonderfully West Coast

Staying home sick means time to browse through photos. In this case, some photos of me and my fiancé, taken by the incredibly talented Kelly at Lensandlash.com. Her photography is amazing and her posts are inspiring and if you have the time, you should take a peek at her blog!

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So recently she took some photos of me and Ryan, and they turned out beautifully. In a very West Coast fashion, we went to the beach. It was cloudy, but it didn’t matter. The sand, the driftwood logs, the mountains in the background… all of it added up to a huge reason we love where we live.

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There was something perfect about the day. A quintessentially Vancouver spring day with overcast skies and a cool breeze. It was cozy and familiar.

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It also meant I didn’t have to squint with the sun shining in my eyes.

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All in all we had a blast. And can’t thank Kelly enough for all of the photos.

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That is

A presence, everlasting.

Love and wisdom. Knowledge in their eyes.

With each word, we change. Slightly, subtly.

Sometimes it is blood that binds us. Sometimes it is choice. Love transcends blood; cements what choice connects.

Nature’s hold is tangible in the increasing lines and slowing motions. But even She does not hold back our souls.

Sometimes a single glance. A clasping of hands.

“I know.”

Is all that is needed.

Forward, Ho!

Something incredibly exciting happened recently: I got engaged!

Christine Fichtner engagement photo.jpg

Obligatory photo!

I’ll try not to gush too much, but it’s much too exciting not to share it with you all. Marriage was never the end-goal in my life. But the romantic part of me, which usually likes to hide away, really, really loves the idea of getting married to the person I love most.

Apparently my fiancé had been planning the proposal for months. I was oblivious to it all, which made the surprise all the more special. It was private, and intimate, and absolutely perfect. Of course, we’ve had to get the ring resized twice, since apparently my fingers are smaller than estimated.

Now that we’ve had time to enjoy our time as newly-engaged, it’s time to start planning the wedding! This means a lot of work between now and December. This certainly will not become a wedding blog, but there may be various updates on the process. We will be doing a lot of it by ourselves, so there may be some frustrated rants.

Christine Fichtner invite painting

I’ve started drafting wedding invite cards!

On that note, any advice and recommendations are very welcome! We will be having a very small wedding, but I don’t doubt there will be much to do. I would love to hear your experiences and any tips or tricks!

Her Skin Held Time

I could feel time in her skin.

It was soft and dry and thin like the skeleton of a leaf half decayed.

It told me of days and months and years that had all passed. It told me that more had passed than would come.

It told me to hold her close and treasure her.

Your Kind of Love

You embrace, as if the word has never done you harm. Your heart remains open even when faced with iron walls.

Your warmth seeps from you to the ungrateful. You shiver, and they turn away, and you smile in understanding.

It is your kind of love that keeps the world spinning.

—-

Reflections on some of the amazing women in my family.

In the Sun

He loved the way her face would light up the moment she stepped into the sun. She would grace the world with her smile, even if no one was looking. People were always looking, though. Which is why he did not feel so bad observing her as closely as he did.

Her eyes were like the forest, brown and green and full of life. Her hair was the brown of the wood of the maple trees that surrounded the school. And her voice was the wind that blew through the leaves, that lifted petals from their flowers, and that sometimes howled down streets, rattling windows and smashing down branches.

She did not make his heart thump in his chest. He did not flush when she walked past. He had no desire to hold her close and whisper his love into her ear. And yet there was something that made him stare. Perhaps the sparkle that always seemed to dance within her eyes. Or the way she seemed to float, rather than walk.

She caught him staring one time. But she did not seem bothered. In fact, she seemed pleased, for she had smiled a mysterious smile and for a moment her image blurred, as if she was not she but rather someone else entirely. Then she had winked and turned away and he had hurried off to his next class.

One day, he hoped, he would have the courage to talk to her. Then maybe he could find out why he always wanted to sit next to her in the sun, but felt no desire to kiss her. Why she seemed so familiar, even though he had never met her before.

But at the moment… she seemed a world away. A place of her own that no one could reach. No one was quite comfortable standing next to her. They always shifted a few paces ahead, a few paces back. But never beside. They never sat close to her, either. There was always space beside her, while the others bunched like fish packed into cans in the factory.

And sometimes she looked lonely. Surrounded by people who couldn’t look away, by people who smiled and flattered and demured, she seemed singular. And it was not that her beauty or her intelligence or her wit stood above the others. It was something… else. Something he could not quite place.

At those times he longed to stand beside her as no one else did. To stand beside her and show her the wonders of life in the sun. But, he would muse sadly each time, he was not worthy.

Then he would step into the sun and clasp his hands together, gathering life, that golden glow, and cupping it to his heart. The warmth would seep into his skin, reaching with warm tendrils throughout his body. Then he was able to smile again.

—-

Another stand-alone in the Changeling Child series.

Her Child
Changeling Child
Changeling Child II
Her Child II
Longing
Return
Torn

That Stranger

All it takes is one glance. He catches you by surprise. You’re not expecting to see someone like him on the bus. He’s practically sniffing his book. You have to smile.

He doesn’t look up and see you, of course, but that’s almost better, for it allows you your freedom to observe him.

The cheekbones and arched brows are there to support the focused eyes. Styled hair whispers into his ears, and he flicks a few mischievous strands from his eyes.

His lips tighten momentarily as he follows the length of a particularly challenging sentence. Then they quirk upwards, and the beginnings of crow’s feet greet you from the corners of his eyes.

You glance away, in case anyone has seen you staring. Your heart flutters its protest, for it knows that you wish nothing more than to go sit next to him and ask his name. Your brain hushes it quickly. He probably already has a significant other anyway. Better to avoid crushing disappointment.

You lack maturity, the brain chides.

And you lack courage, the heart replies.

You agree with both, but then it’s too late, for you are stepping off the bus. He is carried away, ignorant of your very existence.

I love ajummas

I think ajummas can be some of the most caring people ever.

There are exceptions, of course, but the ones I have met have been so nice.

The janitor of the building at which I work is a real sweetheart. She doesn’t speak any English, but always says hi and starts a conversation with me in Korean. I’m quite sure I’ve told her some really strange answers (she often laughs when I answer…), but I do my best to follow her questions. She also always expresses concern when my collarbone and neck are exposed to the cold air. It’s adorable.

The school cook is another sweet lady. Her food is not as good as the previous cook, but she’s still really nice, so I always compliment her cooking anyway. She always praises my outfits, and also worries that I’ll be too cold if I’m not wearing a thick sweater in the winter. She also sometimes gives me leftovers if she can tell that I enjoyed the food. That’s a major bonus.

My friend’s mom bought me flowers the first time we met, and took us for really good 삼겹살.

My friend often receives vast amounts of kimchi from her friends’ moms.

Honestly, some of the most caring people I’ve met.