Tuesday, November 19, 2013


Life lately

Richard and I found out that laundry could take only 1.5 hours as oppose to 6 hours. We love laundromats now. Our hamper was the leaning tower of dirty clothes yesterday so we decided to go to the laundromat. We made it a date, a hot one may I add. We picked up Subway (eat fresh!) and brought our laptop to watch a movie. We even played some arcade games and then folded clothes together. If that is not the most romantic date ever, I don't know what is.

Life lately

My bridesmaid and very awesome friend Anneabel, gifted us these letters. I think they look fabulous! It only took Richard 2 months to get them spray painted and hung. :)

Life lately

I swear, he loves me.

Life lately

We had our engagement photos taken this past weekend and I got my make up done at MAC by my friend Ingrid.
 I felt really pretty.

Life lately

Anneabel also gave us this M. M=Montes....my future last name.

Life lately

On Friday I was in a car accident. I was rear ended by someone texting. (Don't text and drive!)
We went to urgent care to get X-RAY's done and the technitian and doctor played a joke on Richard. They
Told him they could not do the XRAYs becuase I was pregnant. It was fun to hear Richard in panic say, "no she's not!"

Life lately

I made these bookmarks to send out with my save the dates. Want one?

Life lately

And speaking of save the dates we finally got our Guest List done, it was so hard to pick ONLY 100 people.

Friday, November 15, 2013


I will say this first because I know that with the title and the image above you might get the impression that I am pregnant. I am NOT. Okay, now......moving on....
I have been wanting a baby since I was 3. Okay maybe I am exaggerating a bit, but it has been years....and years.....and years.  Would you believe me if I told you I write to my future babies? yup, I write letters. Sometimes when I make big and even little mistakes, I will write to my future kids about it. It is my way of  not forgetting certain mistakes and not being able to remember later when they are here....and existing.
I can't find the true meaning behind me + mothering, perhaps when I actually mother, I will. When I used to nanny, my maternal instincts kicked in right away. Spending time with different babies allowed me to witness different temperaments, different personalities, and a whole LOT of cuteness. I got my doze of baby everyday. Now that I am not around babies anymore, I miss them terribly! Their pudgy little legs, their squishy hands, their baby talk, ah! so adorable.
So you're probably thinking..."why doesn't she just have one?".
Well there are plenty of reasons why I can't just now. First of all, I want Richard and I to be married, legally, not just the paper we wrote out together in his car. It is a personal preference, I want us to be Mr & Mrs Montes! Plus, I don't think I would look too good pregnant at my wedding.................. again, personal preference.
 Richard and I have been together for a while (3.5 years as couple, and 2.5 friends) and even though things are going great since we moved in, I want to enjoy him and our tiny apartment, alone. Because my routine of getting home and cooking would turn into pick-up baby from childcare, feed baby, cook dinner while entertaining baby, and so on. I also love to sleep in on the weekends, we both do. So as soon as baby is here....there goes our love for sleeping!
People, mostly parents, always tell me to wait to have kids. They say, "once you have kids, you can't do much". Well, Richard and I are pretty mellow. We have never been to a bar (unless you count sitting at Island's bar section a "bar", we only sit there to get seated immediately....we love food....fast), we don't do clubs (we already have each other, no need to mate hunt), and we rarely do things where we can't have kids around (like the movies) **people who take babies to the movies, especially when it's a scary movie, really bug me. ( personal preference)
I feel like there is never a right time to have a baby. I don't think I will magically hear a voice telling me "it's time!". I also know that I don't have a clue about how hard it will be. I've cared for babies for long periods of time but I know that I will never know how hard it is until I have one for my own.
Richard and I have been talking about babies. He watched "The Business of Being Born" last year with me. This week I showed him a few videos of other water births. I love water/home births, they are so calm and peaceful....and beautiful! I hope to become a mother sometime after we get married, 307 days to be exact, but who's counting? :) In the mean time I have to prepare my uterus. Oh you know like eating a ton of vegetables, weaning off the coffee, and exercising more. I have to prepare our relationship because I know things will change with a baby in the picture. Finances, oh yeah! babies aren't free, we finally have stable jobs (using our handy dandy degrees) so now it's all about managing that part of our lives.
Even though we will never be ready. The things above might help us by preparing, but even if they don't, the love we have for each other is so strong that we will have to remember that everything else around us will fall into place. In the mean time, I am going to enjoy Richard all to myself (selfishly).
xoxo Yessenia
**Images are taken from pinterest! they are NOT mine.
Ps. I can't wait to decorate a baby space. (probably will be a corner in my room, but still!)


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

little things:

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I decided to write a post on things I am thankful for. This post could easily be 300 pages long but I will condense it, just for you! Lately, I've been thinking a lot...did I ever mention I am constantly thinking about something? ALL THE TIME. I am so good at this that I am even thinking of something else when someone is talking to me but I am still able to understand what they are saying....it's crazy, but I am thankful for the multitasking my brain can do! pretty impressive if I do say so myself.
Okay back to my original post idea, I want to write that I am thankful for food, a home, a job...life! I am truly grateful for those things. But I want to also be thankful for all the little things too! So, I will concentrate on the little things that usually get unnoticed.
  1. my iphone. <---- that is pretty self explanatory. I mean, what would I even be without it? what did people do a hundred years ago? even though I do try and take a break from it here and there, I do love it and I am OH SO thankful for its capabilities.
  2. my car. <---- I'll be the first to admit that I don't have the best car. My mustang is 11 years old. It's not vintage....yet, so maybe when it does become vintage it will actually be cool to drive. I like my car, it's red and fast. I am grateful for transportation because I know that some people have to take public transportation to get places.
  3. my camera. <---- this should have been on top of the list (this list is not in chronological order). I am thankful for my camera because it allows me to capture moments. Moments that I will never get back.
  4. the things richard does. <--- I am OH SO VERY thankful for the things Richard does. Especially the way he holds my hand lightly when he's driving. (pictured above). I think it is so cute and it makes me feel special. I also like a billion other things he does but that would take me a century to write. **I am also thankful for the scar on his bottom lip. It is oh so hot.....okay moving on.....
  5. books. <---- I am thankful for books because they make us smarter. They also smell very good. If you display them in your home, you look smart too. (I do this). Even though I do naturally read a lot because I again, love books.
  6. water. <--- I am thankful for running water. When I go to Mexico (once a year) I realize how fortunate we are to have running water.
  7. funny texts. <---seriously though, these type of texts completely make my day.
  8. DVR. <--- I was always anti-cable but then I got direct tv with recording capabilities and I don't think my life could ever be the same.
  9. skinny cow ice cream sandwiches. <--- I mean, 150 calories? it is pure greatness.
  10. my mailbox <--- my mailbox makes me happy. I check it every single day, even Sunday's when the mailman does not come. I just love going down stairs and walking up to the box with my key in hand. It is just an added bonus when I get cards that are not utility bills. Do you love mail? send me card. :)
What little things are you thankful for?

Monday, November 11, 2013

the apprentice:


When I tell people I am getting married they automatically ask, "have you picked a date?" and their second question always is, "who is going to photograph your wedding?". I had two amazing photographers in mind. I actually had spoke to one before even getting engaged! (I am a planner I can't help it). But throughout the year I had been thinking (to myself mostly) It would be cool to find someone who I can teach my style of photography and then have them shoot my wedding. Of course I knew no one would ever agree to a proposition as such.

Let me tell you, being a photographer and finding someone to shoot pictures of you is HARD. It is incredibly difficult for me to be on the other side of the lens.

I finally voiced my idea out loud to Richard one day. His response: "that's a great idea! do it. Find someone!". Oh thanks for the help sweet fiance. So I thought of Amanda.

See, Amanda has been to a million weddings this year alone. Every time she would post a picture on Instagram I would say to myself, "she should really start a photography business!". I never voiced my opinions to her though. Until that one day I sent her an email stating my proposal.

I jumped for joy when she agreed.

Amanda is so eager to learn. She already has an amazing eye. I truly believe that photography cannot be taught. Like they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, it is true. I cannot teach Amanda to see what I see, I can only teach her how to capture what she sees in her mind.

So far, it is going very well and I am already happy with the photos she is producing. I let her borrow my Nikon D40 and she is shooting everything in sight! We went on a shooting date last month and I got to show her just simple mechanics of lighting and aperture.

This weekend, I will be shooting her holiday photos and showing her how to work with glowy light (that light you get before the sun sets). She will be shooting our engagement photos that day too!

Needless to say, I am THRILLED about this experience. I can't wait to see all the amazing images she is going to shoot and all the memories we will make a long the way.

 Here are a few photos from our first day shooting together:

practicing angles

and different perspectives

my student is a beauty! isn't she?

I probably should have brushed my hair, but here is a photo shot by Amanda.

A note from Amanda:

I met Yessenia last year (2012) in our last class of undergrad at CSULB and I immediately liked her as a person. We didn’t get to talk too much but the few times we did talk I could tell she was down-to-earth; someone who was willing to be “real,” with me (and the whole class for that matter), and I liked that.

We kept in touch through Instagram and Facebook but it wasn’t until this summer (2013) that we really reconnected and she offered what has come to be one of the greatest opportunities ever extended to me. 

It was a Sunday morning when I got her email (Subject line: “Weird Question”), basically asking me if she could trade me a year of personal photography training in exchange for me shooting her wedding a year later (with the skills I would be acquiring). My jaw fell on the ground along with my stomach; this was the most ludicrous idea I had ever heard—I had never even held a DSLR camera in my life! My first reaction was “Ha! This must be a joke! Why on earth would she, a photographer herself, ever consider me capable of shooting her WEDDING?” But the more I thought about it the more I began to fantasize about the [many] doors this could open for me. I had been secretly wanting to do this for quite some time, and by that I mean I had been studying photography and videography (via Pinterest, lol) in hopes that one day I might be able to bribe someone to let me capture their special day! Ha!

Well, long story short—I accepted Yessenia’s offer and I am now currently in the midst of learning everything I possibly can; absorbing every bit of wisdom and skill that she has to offer, and taking pictures of anything and everything and trying to find ways to make them better. I am as nervous as can be and I confess to already having a few nightmares about missing all the good wedding-day shots, but from what I’ve experienced so far I know that Yessenia is [and will be] a great teacher—always patient and encouraging, and willing to give extremely constructive feedback in a gentle way. 

It’s hard to let your guard down and to become a “teachable” student, leaving your flaws exposed and raw, but I’m trying my best. In my mother-in-law’s own words, “she wouldn’t have offered you this opportunity if she wasn’t confident in her ability to train you and have you prepared in time.” And I know she’s right. Fears aside, I’m so excited for this invaluable experience, for all there is to be learned throughout the process, and for the friendship that I’m gaining along the way!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

a love story : part 4 - lovers & friends

Finally I said, What do you even think of me Richard?

He was quiet for a long time and then looked at me with tears coming down his face...

You want to know what I think of you? Whenever I look at you I say to myself, 

"I'm going to marry that girl one day"

Tears began to fall down my face when I said, 

"pinch me". 

We hugged. 

I honestly thought I was dreaming. I had day-dreamed about this day, I had hallucinated about this day, and here it was becoming reality. I could not believe what was happening. It felt unreal and it was total bliss. We stayed up talking about how our status was going to change and how that would change our relationship. We made a promise to ourselves. We would always be friends before anything else. 

Loving Richard has always been easy. He is incredibly easy to love because he is a total sweetheart.  But transitioning from strictly friends to a couple had it's difficulties. We had both been out of relationships for years! We had to learn the ropes and all the boundaries that come with being in a relationship. Even though the relationship took us some time to learn, being friends has always come to us naturally. 

So we made it official on July 2, 2010. I would tell you the time it happened too but that is going a little overboard..................okay, okay, it was 11:42 PM. Anyways, after concentrating on school so much and getting straight A's, I decided to apply again. That fall I got back in. Richard applied in the fall and got accepted in the spring. 

We attended CSULB together. I have to admit that attending school with Richard was competitive. We once took a class together and we would make bets to see who could get the higher grade on exams. We always ended up getting the same score though. He motivated me everyday and I might have wrote a paper or two for him. I am not a fan of PDA but Richard totally is. One day when I was walking into the class we were taking together, he got up to kiss me. I kissed him quickly and turned red as....gosh I don't even know, think of something really red and that's how my face was. 

After two years at CSULB I graduated with honors. A semester after that so did Richard. Receiving our degree was a huge accomplishment for us. It reminded me of when I first went to Richard for help that one spring in March of 2008. Richard and I are made for each other. I know we are. I know because I can't find any other reasoning for all of this. Of course I doubted it sometimes. Maybe that ONE time that he broke up with me for an entire 3 days. Yup, a whole 3 days.  (more on that on another post). 

We have worked hard at this relationship and I would not trade this for anything in the world. It has not always been easy, but being his friend has always been. I feel that because we were friends for so long, it has allowed us to dodge every bullet. I am thankful, so thankful for his friendship.

A note to Richard:


I know you read my blog every night. I hope that reading our story from my perspective has taken you back to each moment we shared. There is not a day that goes by that I don't thank God for making you for me. Just like you told me when you proposed; on the day I was born, I was made for you. There have been many obstacles that could have prevented us from ending up together but here we are beating every odd. You have always been my very best friend. From the time I first messaged you crying because I was getting kicked out of school, to the day you told me you wanted to marry me. You make me the luckiest girl in the world. Thank you for loving me and dealing with my weird ways. There is no one else that understands me the way you do. You know how I tell you often, "isn't this crazy? were engaged and moved in together?" it feels like I've known you my entire life. Writing this story has allowed me to see how God designed our story. He designed it so perfectly and on His terms.  I wouldn't change a thing because I know every day that we are together it is His will. I love you. 

I hope you enjoyed reading our story. This is only the beginning to what is coming! I can't wait for our wedding next year, but I really cannot wait to have babies. A lot of them! I can't wait to send our kids to their first day of school and for us to send them off to college so we can go crazy and take week long vacations. I can't wait to for the rest of our lives together! 

I hope that I have encouraged or inspired you to write your story. It is truly an amazing feeling to go back into those moments and replay them in your head. I wanted to share our story because of my frequent memory loss but because I also want everyone to see that no relationship is perfect. The struggle and complications is all what makes your story that much better. You might be going through something in your relationship right now and I want you to know that everything falls into place. I truly believe that some higher power is designing your story too! Sometimes when we let things be....they fall exactly where they need to fall, I am glad I fell here. 

There is a saying that people say, "I get to marry my best friend". Well, I think that saying fits me perfectly. I really do get to marry my best friend.

**I thought it would be fun to have a FAQ for Richard! I asked him to write our story from his perspective but he is not a fan of writing. So I came up with the idea of questions! If you have a question that you would like to ask Richard send me an email, text, message through FB or Instagram, you can also comment below (even though I know that takes a while). I will ask him the questions and have him answer them in a post! 

THANK YOU so much for reading my series. This has been incredibly fun. 

Friday, November 8, 2013

a love story : part 3 - confessions

"sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck."
Dalai Lama
sometime before my brace face time
I've been meaning to tell you this. Believe me it's hard to even type this out and I have a huge knot in my stomach because I am scared of what will happen between us but I want you to know something. I like you.

I like you too!
No, I mean I like you more than just a friend.

....................................I waited for his response.
I waited for what felt like a century. I had the biggest knot in my stomach. I began to doubt myself, damn it Jess, here you go effin things up then I began to speak to myself goodness, next time just keep your mouth shut! I was getting a crazy. He finally replied:
Those feelings are mutual but it would just ruin our friendship if we took it further. I like how we are right now.
To say I was sad is an understatement. I was devastated. I felt rejected. why didn't he want to try it out? why? why didn't he just say he liked me back and we could live happily ever after? crap. I had to defend myself so I wouldn't look so desperate. So I replied with:
Yeah, you're right. I guess I just wanted you to know.
We didn't speak about the subject again. I thought it would be weird to see him but it wasn't. We just carried on from where we left off. Throughout 2009 Richard and I were always together. I want to say that I was okay with the thought of us "just" being friends, but I wasn't.
I talked to other guys but nothing ever felt the way I felt with Richard. Actually, sometimes I would meet guys and tell Richard about them. Richard would listen and then give me his opinion. He always picked something negative to say. well he's not in school so I don't know how that work out, he looks like a creep!, I don't know Jess you should probably stay away from that guy. I wondered if I was the problem and not all these guys I was meeting. I wasn't, Richard was just selfish and wanted me for himself.
At times it hurt me deeply to know that someday Richard might find a girlfriend and I would stay in the position I was in. I was in the friend zone and I wanted out! I knew I couldn't confront him again so I just went on with the friendship title. Sometime that summer I went back to church. I was heavily involved and took it extremely seriously. I read my Bible, I prayed and I met new people. One day, after a lot of thinking I wrote to God: (I still have this note in my diary!)
Dear God,
I know that you love everyone equally. I know that you've been watching me and following me wherever I go. You know my heart and know how much I love Richard. I want to ask a favor. If you don't want Richard for me God, would you please take him away? Could you please do everything in your power to remove him from my life? Please. I trust you and know that you will make the right decision for me. Until then, I am going to cut ties with him.
I cried and cried. I didn't want to lose my best friend but I also did not want to dig the hole deeper. I never told Richard about my letter. I just simply stopped talking to him. He would text me asking me if I was okay but I wouldn't reply. I ignored him day after day until finally he stopped texting me.
I saw him at school a few weeks after we stopped talking. He was walking out of the student store with a few classmates. I was walking in alone with my headphones on. As soon as I saw him and we met eyes my heart sunk. He smiled at me but I did not smile back. I looked away and kept walking into the store. I came to terms with the idea that he was just not for me anymore. I had to move on, but it was so incredibly hard.
I missed him every day. I missed him even more when something interesting was going on in my life and I couldn't share it with him. I missed his laugh, his calmness, the way he pokes his glasses up when they begin to fall, and I missed his hugs.
We did not talk for about two months. One night while at church on a Thursday evening, the pastor spoke about God's will. The message really spoke to me because he said, "when you stop trying to make God's will NOT happen, you will go through some very hard times, but when you let His will happen, things will just flow". It spoke to me and I thought to myself : Is God trying to tell me that I feel so sad and miserable because Richard is supposed to be in my life? I did not know. What I did know was that I had a very heavy feeling in my heart. After church I got in my car and cried the whole way home.
I began to pray and ask God why. I asked him a million times. Without even thinking I dialed Richard's number.
Hey...I know it's been a while but can we meet up?
yes of course!
We met at Starbucks. He arrived before me and was standing outside of his car. Without saying a word to each other, we walked towards each other and hugged. I cried and then said:
I've missed you so much. The past two months have been so boring without you.
I wasn't even sure if those were the right words to say but it was came out without me having to think. He asked:
Did you call me because I left a Kit Kat on your car this morning?
I had no idea what he was talking about. He explained to me that he left a Kit Kat on top my car that morning with a note that said "Have a good day". Someone must have taken it from my car because I never got the note nor the Kit Kat. ( I am telling you, he knows the way to my heart...me & chocolate = love). Was this a coincidence? maybe. But I would rather think that this was all God's plan. I guess it wasn't God's plan for someone to steal my Kit Kat (damn you thieves!) but I feel that God knew that night was the night I was supposed to reconnect with Richard again. After the missed opportunity with the Kit Kat he placed a heavy feeling in my heart to call Richard.
So we became friends again and lived happily ever after.
in 2009 when we became friends again, this is still us. Me laughing and him laughing at me.

We became friends again and I promised I would never think about Richard as a boyfriend or lover. He would just be my best friend. But I failed because he is just too damn cute! Of course I never said a word and just let things be.
In the beginning of 2010 we went to San Francisco together. Our first trip together as friends. It was such a friendly trip that we even slept on separate beds. Okay okay, one night we slept on the same bed because I was "cold". Smooth move Jess. But I promise you, nothing happened. One of the nights in San Francisco we went to visit my friend who was going to school at Berkeley. We went to hang out at one of her friend's apartment. Well, the guys there asked if Richard was my boyfriend. I told them, oh no, were just friends! I am not sure if this upset Richard or not but he got up and said he had to make a phone call. He never came back.
I finally realized that he was taking a while and called him. where did you go? I said. I am ready to back to the hotel, are you? he said. I wasn't ready to go back. I was having fun! But I told him to go ahead and pick me up. I got in the car and drove off. It was completely silent and I felt awkward. Finally after a while I spoke, Why did you leave? He pulled the car over and his eyes got watery as he said,  I told your mom I would take good care of you on this trip! and maybe I was a little jealous watching you talk to those guys. It made me mad so I left. Holy sweet macaroni!!!! I couldn't say anything. I was completely quiet. I was so shocked at the words "jealous" I couldn't even move. After about a million minutes in silence we drove back to the hotel.

San Francisco, walking the Golden Gate Bridge.

It was late and we went straight to bed. We were laying in our separate beds in the dark when I said, it's so cold in here.....can you sleep over here? and I will never forget what Richard said, can I bring my own blanket? (Till this day Richard likes his space on the bed. He appreciates his own blanket & pillow. He also can't stand that I am a crazy sleeper and that is why he chooses to have his own bed essentials). I said, umm...yeah, sure.. He came over to my bed and adjusted his pillow and blanket on the empty side of the bed. He laid down and faced me. We were facing each other in the dark when I felt his hand touch the top of my head. He began to gently massage my hair. Then....
We fell asleep.
I knew Richard had some feelings for me but I was not sure if he would ever tell me. When we got back from San Francisco things remained the same. The only difference was that he began holding my hand when we would go out. He would put his arm around me when we would walk. The hugs were a lot tighter. Then one day, we kissed.

May 2010, still friends.

Our first kiss was on April 20, 2009. But it was so fast and I was under the influence. After that night we did not kiss again until the night of  June 23, 2010.  We were sitting in his car eating Yogurtland. He told me he owed me for falling asleep during a conversation we were having through text the night before. I of course said yes you do owe me! big time! so he grabbed my face and kissed me. He remained close to my face and our eyes met......and I said Are you scared of me? and he replied, I'm terrified. We both knew what these statements meant. Richard was afraid of committing to this relationship because the friendship meant so much to both of us. But even then, Richard did not confess.

As impatient as I am by the following week ( July 2, 2010 ) I began to feel crazy about what was going on. After consulting with a few people they told me various things but the one that stuck out the most was He is using you. You guys are just friends with benefits. This made me unbelievably angry. I did not want to be friends with benefits and I definitely did not want to be used! So on the night of July 2nd I confronted Richard.

We went to the beach for a walk. We held hands and sat down at a bench facing the ocean. I was quiet and he kept saying funny statements desperately trying to make me laugh. I was not having it. I couldn't help but think he is using me, we will always just be friends with benefits. I was angry. We drove back home and I finally started talking. " Richard, are you using me? " I could tell he was mad at my question because he began to drive faster. He looked over at me and said WHAT? AM I USING YOU???? ARE YOU CRAZY?. I got nervous thinking of ways to defend my question. But the words weren't coming out. I just sat there in silence. I kept thinking.....this is probably the end of our friendship, for sure. We arrived at my house and I refused to get out. I had to get the truth out of him, I just had to! If our friendship was going to end I HAD to know how he felt about me. Since I wasn't getting out of the car, he told me he was going to drive to his house and I could decide what I wanted to do once we got there.

(Richard told me later he was furious that I would even think about him using me or taking advantage of our friendship. He was really hurt that I would have thoughts as such.When Richard is hurt...he gets mad)

We arrived outside of his house and both sat there angry...at each other? probably not. At the situation? yes.

Finally I said, What do you even think of me Richard?

He was quiet for a long time and then looked at me with tears coming down his face...

You want to know what I think of you? Whenever I look at you I say to myself, "I'm going to...."

Stay tuned for part 4 and final chapter of the series "a love story".



*I will post part 4 tomorrow.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

a love story : part 2 - becoming friends

Richard? Oh my god Richard! It's you! I can't believe you're here! GUYS! Richard is here!! I hugged him really tight, trying to hold my balance. I was drunk. This was the first time I saw Richard since the award ceremony a year ago. I don't remember much of my birthday bonfire but I do remember Richard being there and I was pretty excited about seeing him (for some odd reason) maybe it was the alcohol or maybe it was God throwing another sign at me. Either way, I missed the sign. (Richard later told me he left the party early because he parked on the street and cars could only park there till 10PM. He got back to his car and he had a ticket. He also brought me a Starbucks gift card but didn't give it to me because he claimed I was too drunk and would have lost it). **I got the card later in the story. :)

here I am on my 19th birthday, still sober.
The rest of the year I spent my time partying very hard, not doing any of my college work....basically slacking off. The fun only lasted for so long. It got boring, it got old....and I wanted my priorities back in order. It wasn't that easy. I couldn't just snap my fingers in hopes that everything would be magically okay again. I made these bad decisions and I was going to pay...big time!
This sums up my summer of 2007.
Richard and I remained cyber buddies throughout the end of the year. Him and his ex girlfriend were off and on and I was always there to give him some advice! Sometime in the fall I got back with an ex boyfriend not the one from the beginning of college another one. (I've only had 3 boyfriends, including Richard.) We will call my first boyfriend Seven (we dated when I was 16 for 1 year). We will call my boyfriend when I started college, TwentyOne. Okay now that it's cleared up let's continue.

So Seven and I got back together after breaking up sometime during my senior year in high school. Seven and I never had a good relationship. It was all kinds of bad but I still stuck around because I honestly did not want to be alone. I knew it was bad, I knew it wasn't healthy, and I definitely knew that it was not going to work. But I stayed.

 Anyway, the following year was hard. In the Spring of 2008 I got some REALLY bad news. After continuing time on probation at CSULB they were finally going to kick me out. I was completely broken. I cried and cried and cried. I felt so guilty knowing I had brought this upon myself. What was I becoming? I was not this person! Seven coincidentally had left on vacation to Europe. Normally, he would have been the person I called but since he was gone so I sent a message to the smartest person I knew, Richard.

March 13, 2008 was the exact day. I was sitting at the shuttle bus stop at school fidgeting with my sidekick. I went on my buddy list and clicked Richard's screen name. What I liked about Richard was that I could be completely honest and he wouldn't judge me. He was always open minded and never put me down. Finally, I told him what was going on. He reassured me, he told me I could get back in but I was just going to have to work hard. We talked for the rest of the day. After a few hours of talking on AIM, I got this weird feeling in my stomach. Something I hadn't felt since I was 16. I had butterflies. I started to mentally think to myself...oh my God! do I like him? no way! It's Richard! I could not shake the feeling! (Richard admitted to me later on that he felt a warm fuzzy feeling too!).

So we talked and talked. Later that night he called me. I remember seeing his name show up on my phone and I answered with my hands shaking and my voice breaking. I said Ello mate!. ( Do not ask me why I even did this, but I spoke in a British accent, maybe because I was so nervous? I have no idea why). Anyways, we talked over the phone still about 4AM the next day. Yes 4AM. Even at 4AM, it was hard to hang up. At around 7:30AM I got a call...without even looking at who was calling I answered, "Do you miss me already?" the caller said "Yes, I do! Europe is so fun." I reached out to see the number on my phone and it was not Richard, it was Seven.

We hung up and I proceeded to check my Myspace. What I use to do every morning. I had a message and it was from Richard. It was a picture of roses. so cheesy.so cute. I immediately texted my sister Liz and told her all about Richard. You know that feeling where you want to walk around like you own the world? I was walking around that day as if I had puffy clouds around me. I was literally walking on complete air. It was bliss. ( Richard admitted that he told his roommate about me, and also could not stop thinking about me). By the end of that week we were talking constantly and flirting like nobodies business.

On one of those days, Richard sent me a picture of the fortune in his fortune cookie. It read, "BEAUTIFUL THINGS AWAIT YOU". Then he commented and said...."they sure are beautiful". so cheesy. so cute. (we have the fortune framed now).

I went to visit Richard in April of that year. This would be the second time I saw him. I pulled up to his dorm, so nervous I could faint. It was dark out, the weather was nice and cool but I could not keep myself from turning bright red. I saw him coming out of the building towards me. My knees shook and my hands got sweaty. He stood in front of me and we met eyes. We hugged for what felt like a million minutes. Richard showed my friend and I around his dorm and we hung out for a while until we had to start driving back home. My friend kept whispering in my ear, you better kiss him! He walked us out to my car. My friend got in the car and Richard and I stayed behind. "It was really nice seeing you, it feels weird to talk face to face since we always talk over the phone" I nodded, "Yeah, it is a little weird". We hugged and hugged and my face met his but I just couldn't do it. I could not kiss him. But just being there in his arms, I felt like I was home. After the last hug, I started to walk away. I turned around and said, "I'll see you soon". I was right, I would see him very soon. *You know that Starbucks gift card that he was supposed to give me the year before on my Birthday? He had it on his desk and I took it! It still had a full balance. He knew coffee was the way to my heart since the beginning.

I want to say Richard came back to Los Angeles and we immediately started dating. That is far from what happened. Richard came back that summer and told me he was not going back to UCSD. Just like me, he was getting kicked out too. You're getting kicked out? what about your scholarships? and your big brain? Yup, he made plenty of mistakes and got the boot. So there we were two completely lost souls, not knowing what to do but knowing we had each other. We remained friends over the summer. We would go out every weekend to parks, restaurant's, museums...we did it all and by all I mean going out. Get your head out of the gutter! We had our first kiss later down the road. *Oh shoot, you probably want to know what happened to Seven! When he got back from Europe I told him about Richard. Seven and I weren't really "official" but I thought I would let him know. Seven and I completely lost ties in September of 2008.  

** taken from my diary
Richard and remained friends, strictly friends. We both enrolled at LA Harbor College and we both got jobs. I secretly had a crush on Richard, everyone knew but him. I guess he had a crush on me too since he would pick me flowers and come visit me every day after work. We studied at the school library and helped each other with school assignments. We were best friends. I loved Richard and I wanted to date him but I knew I couldn't because I just had way too much going on. I really wanted to get my priorities straight before jumping into another relationship. Even though we never talked about dating, he later told me he felt the same way. So, somehow we knew we wanted to be together without saying anything to each other. Silence is golden.
I began getting straight A's. I was heavily involved in art at the community college. That fall I won an award for a 3D installation I made. I was proud. Things were finally starting to fall into place. In February of 2009, Richard and I spent Valentine's Day together. We went to see a movie and then went to dinner. The waiter asked, "how long have you two been together?" I quickly responded "oh were just friends!". The waiter was not buying it, "Okay let me get this straight. You are two people, out to dinner.....on Valentines Day?....sure you're just friends!". We laughed. I wondered what Richard thought about what the waiter said. I knew I wanted to say, "oh well we love each other ever so passionately but we can't be together because we both got kicked out of our universities." but I chose just to smile instead. Till this day, I believe the waiter did not believe us. Richard and I want to go back to the restaurant some day and ask him if he remembers us. Just for kicks.

Richard and I sometime in 2009. Yes, I had braces...for the 2nd time.
After Valentines Day passed, I finally gathered the courage to tell Richard that I liked him....I was going to confess my love and completely risk everything. I did not have the dignity to even tell him face to face. So, I texted him:
I've been meaning to tell you this. Believe me it's hard to even type this out and I have a huge knot in my stomach because I am scared of what will happen between us but I want you to know something. I like you.
I like you too!
No, I mean I like you more than just a friend.
....................................I waited for his response.

Stay tuned for part 3 of the series "a love story".


*I will post part 3 tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

a love story : part 1 - the first few signs

Young us.

Let's face it. I have a really bad memory. My memory is so bad I often forget if I already shampooed my hair in the shower. Yup, that bad. Even though my memory is horrible, I can recall special moments in exquisite detail. I can remember what I wore, where we were, what it smelled like, the climate...practically everything. I am really glad that I can remember memorable moments because those are the only memories I need. Right? It would be nice to be able to remember if I shampooed my hair, or if I already put lotion on, or if I made a particular bill payment, but I guess those things don't matter as much as this story.

I do not believe in fairy tales. I use to as a child and maybe even as a teenager, but as an adult I don't. I hardly believe that you can meet a person, fall in love, get married, have kids and live happily ever after without any issues. I truly believe in struggle and in pain. My heart tells me we have to go through a few bad moments to really get to the good. If you don't go through the pain & struggle how will you ever know what "good" really is? I am also a sucker for love, passion, romance and wish it took a glass slipper for me to know Richard was the one. But it didn't, this is real life.

Our love story is so uniquely designed. There were a few signs that I blindly did not see, there was a few encounters that I never thought twice about, and there was definitely meetings between us where I had no idea why I was doing what I was doing but it felt right. I will explain all of this throughout this series. First, lets get to the beginning.

Richard and I attended the same high school. Even though we did attend the same high school, we never spoke. Yes, we were in the same grade but never had a class together nor did we have the same group of friends. I was committed to sports and Richard was all into academics. Our paths did not cross until senior year.

You see, I am lazy. You knew that right? Well, a few weeks before graduation my Algebra2 teacher told me I was going to fail the class. I was devastated. What do you mean fail? I play varsity sports! I am funny! why would you fail me? I did not quite understand. I would miss this class at least 3 times a week. My excuse was always that I had a softball game or I simply would stay in art class. I would ditch. I was a ditcher. Well, it finally caught up with me. I had already gotten my acceptance letter from CSULB, and in order to complete everything I would have to pass this class. I begged my teacher, I cried, I would have scrubbed the entire school on my knees if I had to! I think she felt sorry because she gave me one last chance. She was going to plan out a cumulative final and I would take the test on that coming Monday.

Coincidentally, that day was also Senior Award Night. I was going to receive 1 tiny scholarship so my mom attended the ceremony with me. My eyes were puffy, my head was pounding, and I wanted to wake up from this horrible dream! This night was also Grad Night ( a night where all the seniors go to Disneyland from 10PM-6AM). So,  I had to make the best out of this day. Sitting there with my mom, it felt tense. I knew she was disappointed in me for failing my class. It didn't matter that I was about to receive an award. Nothing mattered besides me failing this class.

I remember things clearly and vividly. The announcer kept announcing different scholarships for various subjects; sports, academics, community service and so on. I remember Richard's name clearly being announced over and over and over. I was so annoyed. Who the heck is this guy? track isn't even a sport! this is the stupidest award ceremony ever. I was sitting there annoyed, frustrated and secretly wanting to ask Richard to tutor me for my exam on Monday. But instead, my mom leaned over to me and whispered in my ear, "see, I should have had a son like that!". Oh I was pissed. I looked over at her face and opened my eyes wide and did what I did best. I rolled my eyes. I watched Richard carefully, secretly hating his guts.

I laugh at this part of the story now. It's funny that my mom wanted a son like Richard. Little did she know he would become her son-in-law later down the road. This was the first sign in the carefully designed love story. I missed the sign completely. Actually I kind of didn't like Richard very much because of this sign. Do you care about what happened with my test that Monday? I took it and passed with a 98%. I had told my teacher what my mom had said....can you believe she said that? isn't that so mean? gosh I can't stand that Richard Montes! how did he get so many awards anyway? If I wouldn't have been so lazy and such a ditcher, I could have gotten all of those awards too! I was bitter and very angry but I was also ecstatic that I would be passing this class and going to CSULB in the fall. My teacher ended up writing a note to my mom on top of my test. It said, "Mrs. Oregel, you should be very proud of Yessenia, she worked very hard on this exam. She is a smart young lady and will do great things in life". When I got home that day I posted the note of the fridge for her to see. I had to translate what it said, but you get the point.

**My mom is the sweetest person in the entire world! I knew that what she said was out of anger and disappointment. I know she is proud of me. But somehow I feel like she had to say that. It was a sign of what the future had in store for me. It also motivated me to pass the exam. I believe God designed our love story to the core. He knew that my mom would say those words and that I would notice Richard. If it wasn't for what my mom had said the rest of this story would not have happened.

I graduated. I went to college. I had a boyfriend. Sometime during the end of the year of 2006 (my first year at CSULB) Richard requested to be my friend on Myspace. He was about 100 miles away at UCSD. I accepted the request and I added him to my buddy list on AIM. We were both in relationships during the time. The first time I spoke to Richard on AIM I asked somewhere along the lines of "Hey, how are you? How is SD?". We made small talk. He told me about his girlfriend and how they had problems. I would counsel him. You have to ignore her. If you ignore her she will come to you! I told him about my boyfriend who was also my really good friend at the time. I was not interested in Richard. Actually one day when him and I were talking on AIM, he told me he had broken up with his girlfriend. We were 18, I knew very little about relationships but I was sad for him because I knew what a heartbreak felt like, I suggested he date a friend of mine but he declined. I still had a boyfriend that I liked on most days, so I was blinded by this opportunity. Now that I think about it, this was not the time for me to become his girlfriend. I could not have a long distance relationship and if I would have been interested in him in that way, we would have dated, broken up and this story would have ended here.

We talked over AIM several times between 2006-2007. I can't even say we were friends. We were cyber buddies. Whenever I wanted to talk to someone, he was there and vice versa. In the summer of 2007, Richard came home for the summer. He was single and my boyfriend and I had broken up earlier that year. Both single, both in the same city, both vulnerable. That summer, on August 19, 2007 (my birthday) we had our first official face to face encounter. Richard? Oh my god Richard! It's you! I can't believe you're here! GUYS! Richard is here!!  I hugged him really tight, trying to hold my balance. I was drunk.

Stay tuned for part 2 of the series "a love story".

*I will post part 2 tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

DIY bridesmaid boxes

Richard proposed to me on my 25th birthday this year. As soon as he put the ring on my finger and as soon as I could come into the sense that I was going to be marrying my best friend, I started to plan. I already had a Pinterest board so I dug in. Pinning is kind of like my 3rd job now, except I don't get paid to do it. I wanted to make something crafty, colorful, and sweet for my bridesmaids. I picked 5 lovely ladies to be my main support system on the day of! They are:

1. Lizzie (Maid of Honor) I know that she will make sure everything will be perfect on the day of and she is not afraid to tell you exactly what she needs you to do. :) She is bossy, but the good kind. Did I mention she's my sister? (I guess the bossiness never goes away!)

2. Jazzy (Bridesmaid) She is incredibly sweet and I know she will be an amazing guest entertainer. She also sings so that is a HUGE plus. She has other talents but those can't be performed at the wedding. Get your mind out of the gutter! She's great at yoga. :)

2. Anneabel (Bridesmaid) We have a very interesting and unique story about how we became friends. I found Anneabel through Instagram while searching through the hashtag #nanny. I went to visit Anneabel in Crystal Lake and had a blast! We will celebrate our friendaversary this January! Anneabel will be getting next year too! 1 month before my wedding, I am also a bridesmaid for her wedding. I could go on and on about her but I would take up this entire post :)

3. Clarissa (Bridesmaid) She is mean & a total spunk. I know she will tell me flat our that my hair is a mess or if I have cilantro in my teeth. She really doesn't hold anything back and is completely honest. Which I will need when I start thinking of dresses. She will probably be the only one who cries when she see's me walk down the isle in my dress. She is hard on the outside but soft WAY in the inside. :)

4. Daisy (Bridesmaid) She is my soon to be sister in law (aka Richard's sister). She is a blast in a glass and I know she will have a blast at the wedding. I am pretty sure she will be one of the first to get on the dance floor!

5. Natalia (Jr. Bridesmaid) This little girl is my God daughter and I love her so much! She is the sweetest little girl and is a total little grown up in her own way. I wanted her to be apart of this very special day because she is my first "daughter" and she holds a special place in my heart. I know she will look so cute in her dress on the day of!

xoxo Yessenia

Monday, November 4, 2013

moving in before marriage:


This is such a touchy subject. Believe me, it took a lot out of my parents (who are extremely dedicated catholics), to come into terms with the idea of their last child moving out before tying the knot. I prepared them a year in advance. When I told my dad about my plans he was a bit shocked but not completely against the idea. He actually agreed on some parts of my statements saying, "yeah, so many marriages fail because you just don't know the person until you live together". I was surprised by his reaction and knew he would be okay with me moving out. I knew early on I wanted to move in with Richard before we got married. Even though most statistics are against cohabitation. "In the United States and in the UK, couples who live together are at a greater risk for divorce than non-cohabiting couples" . So here we are trying to beat the odds. Here are a few things that I feel are at our advantage for Richard and I:

1. We were best friends (strictly) for 2 and a half years before we started to officially "date". We dated for 3 years before moving in.

2. We got engaged 1 week before we moved in.

3. We have a joint bank account. (Money is one of the top reasons couples divorce). We joined our bank accounts the first week we moved in. I know that this might be a HUGE problem for some people, but it has helped us. We don't have to discuss who pays what or who pays when we go out etc.
Why did we choose to move in before marriage?

We wanted to learn the ropes...see how things would play out. You just never know, Richard could have been really really messy. He is actually very neat & I am the messy one. We just wanted to finish our education, move out & then get married. We're engaged so we obviously want to get married, just not now. Because lets face it weddings are expensive & they take a ton of planning to do. I can't imagine a wedding plus moving in. I would go nuts.

Even though it seems like it, it's not always rainbows and cotton candy between us.
Richard and I have not always met eye to eye. Oh boy, when we first started dating it was hard to transisiton from "best friends" to "best friend/boyfriend". It was hard, but we did it. We all come with baggage....and I feel that you can't truly committ yourself to a relationship until you work out that baggage. When Richard and I first got together, I had a ton of baggage that I had to work through, and so did Richard. My insecurities mixed with his pridefulness was not a good mix, at all. Luckily, we both believed in each other and loved each other so much that it worked out.

A ton of people told me that everything was going to change between us when we moved in. I was scared that I was going to lose my best friend. However, 2 and half months in and things are still great between us. I think we argued more when we didn't live together! Sure, we bicker here and there..(Richard, please stop leaving food in the sink! It drives me bananas), but nothing major. Sometimes when we haven't bickered in a while I tell him, "hey we should argue about something". Then we both laugh.

Cohabitation is working for us so far. It's fun. I have someone to tell my jokes to, I have someone who will try all my recipes, I don't have to sleep alone (or turn off the lights once I'm in bed), I have someone who is willing to do my laundry (thanks Richard!) but ultimately, it feels like a sleep over, every night. I love this life I am living with my very best friend by my side. If I have ever made a good decision it was this one.

Next year we will have the official seal ( a paper stating we are married ) but I feel like we already have that seal right now. I take this relationship very very very seriously, and so does he. I don't think us moving in before the official stamp has changed us, and if it did, it was for the better.



photos taken by my tripod :)