I am feeling a little wacky...I have not cooked in over a week, well if you don't count grilling. And it feels strange -- who am I? It's like I don't even know me anymore! We've been surviving on pizza, bbq, you know anything that pretty much clogs your arteries...+ no gym...=very very sad and frumpy Zhang. Aside from the second ass I'm growing, improvements at the new house have been going fabulously! I can't wait to show the "before" and "after", the transformation has been incredible. Literally, blood sweat and tears have gone into this project and I am happy it is almost over!
I am definitely missing my beach vacation this year but next year (hopefully) I'll be enjoying the beach in my wedding dress :). Speaking of weddings, I finally completed my very dear friend's wedding a few weeks ago. Tammy and Jason, the most adorable couple in Nashville, TN threw an incredible wedding. I loved the beautiful reds throughout -- her dress, the flowers, THE SHOES! Since red is a very significant color in Chinese culture, I thought it was a unique way of bringing the two cultures together. Their marriage made me reflect on the beauty of uniting two completely different cultures-- having an American fiance myself, over the years we've learned so much from each other.
Since moving to America, my entire goal has been "To live the American dream". I told my mom when I was 9 (after watching Legends of the Fall) -- "Mom, when I grow up I'm going to marry a boy just like Brad Pitt." I also told her I wanted to live in a house with picket white fences and have beautiful dresses like Vivien Leigh in Gone With the Wind (we didn't have cable, I watched a lot of classics and Sesame Street).
When I met Collin and knew he was "the one", I told my mom
"Mom, I found my Brad Pitt and he is hot!"
She raised her eyebrow "Oooh I see...white boy?"
"Yeah mom, he's white."
"OOooooh! His paren't dont care you Chinese?"
"Hmm..not that I know of!"
"Oooooh. Your grandma? She LOVE white boy, she always say white boy better to look at, so handsome, so tall!"
"Yeah, I gotta agree with Grams on that one ma."
"Yeah, grandma, she funny lady."
I guess after living here for so long, I consider myself "American". I often forget that no matter what, my Chinese culture will always be a part of me, and the older I become the more I learn to appreciate it. I think the melding of two cultures really makes relationships more interesting in the sense that you are able to take the best of two worlds and learn so much from each other.
Collin is now fluent in chopsticks, some Chinese and eating any animal part without hesitation. He knows to take off his shoes in any Chinese household and that more than likely they will not have flipflops to fit his size 13 feet. Not only that, at work he is able to deal with Asian customers better as a result of the exposure of the culture from my family. He understands that respect is huge in Asian culture and sarcasm just doesn't exist.
(Left: Wild Ginger House Salad ; Right: Sushi Sampler Platter)
I've learned that it's okay to rock out at family functions, and getting a little wastey with relatives can be fun. I live for Christmas and Thanksgiving (two holidays my family seldom celebrated)-- the food, traditions, decorations, I am totally there. And that it's okay to be outspoken (though I can be a little too outspoken at times), and it's okay to be confident and toot your horn every once in awhile. I am also now a master of (great bear) hugs and kisses, and have extended physical expressions of love onto my parents. Granted my mother still becomes stiff when Collin hugs her, I think we're starting to break her down and shes getting more use to it :).
Yet at the end of the day, no matter how different of backgrounds two people may come from, love is always the inevitable factor that brings people together. My 6'2" hairy giant with the baby blue eyes inevitably melts my heart every day. Even when he is rocking out hard on his guitar, pretending he is the lead singer of Metallica I can't help but smile because it's cute.
I really had a great time photographing Tammy and Jason's wedding -- I am truly honored that Tammy picked me as her photographer. After pulling my hair out and stressing out (for months) about getting perfect shots on her big day, I realized when two people love each other as much as these two do -- it makes the job easy. Now I am patiently waiting for the two to pop out some spuds (or what Collin's mom likes to call them: pandabears). Have a fantastic time on your honeymoon lovebirds, bon voyage!!