Sunday, November 16, 2008

My dad passed away last Friday night at 6:30 pm. The whole family was there around him. It is hard to let go of someone that has been their your whole life... Yet, I think that we all really have felt a real sense of relief in his passing. He was ready to go, he wanted to go and leave the cancer wracked body he had. He really felt like he had lived the time that he was given and now it was his time to leave. I had one precious moment with him before he died. The Thursday night before, when I was getting ready to leave the house, I went over to say goodbye to him. He was still talking some... in small whispers. I bent over and gave him a gentle kiss on the forehead and told him that I loved him. He did not have much strength, but he breathed out the words... "I love you son"... in that moment my mind flashed back to my very first memory. I don't know how young I was, I could not have been more than about 4 or so. But I remember riding on my dad's shoulders walking through a grassy green field in some magestic valley up in the high Sierras on a family camping trip... my very first memory. In that one moment I had the very first thought that I can ever remember of him and the very last thing that he ever said to me. I cried all the way home, but I will cherish those breathy little words as long as I live..... I love you dad...

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Both Lina and I have been so blessed by the outpouring of love and gifts to us over the last couple of weeks. We have had multiple conversations about how hard it is to sit back and receive all that we have are being given. A good friend blessed us with a free BBQ to say nothing of all the wonderful wedding presents that seem to keep flooding in at every turn... we feel the love.

I am just about ready to move into the new house. This Saturday is the big day. Six years of living in this bachelor pad on Harbor #5 are coming to a close. It has been a little nostalgic packing things up, but I am more excited about the new memories that are waiting for me in the new house. Our moms surprised us by "breaking into" our place and getting it all decked out and ready to live in. All the shelves done up with that squishy shelf lining, cleaning supplies purchased and put away, and our favorite condiments purchased and placed in the cupboards. A true labor of love! Lina and I got down there today and put some of the stuff away. We had a chance to have our first prayer time in the house and went room to room just praying that it would be a place where God would bring lots of love and lots of joy. Can't wait to see you all down there... there is a bed and a warm cup of morning coffee waiting for you!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

So, we are moving along. We took keys for the house this last week... so exciting. The front room is all hard wood floors and with one year old carpet in the bedrooms. The stove is one of the highlights of the house. True to the period, it is a cerca 1920's gas stove that has the look and feel of the times. I am especially excited because it is gas and puts out some good heat... stir fry! The only glitch that we have had is a bit of a flea problem. The managers have been really great in getting some professionals in there to take care of the problem for us. I hope to move in over the next couple of weeks with Lina coming in after the wedding.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

So, wedding plans are moving right along. We have finalized the church, the reception site, the DJ, the photographer and pretty much most of the other details that there are to do. One of the really fun developments is our new little home. Lina found this little rental on Craig's list and we jumped on it. We had to beat out about 10 other potential renters but came out victorious. We are in a great little neighborhood just in the Civic Center area of Anaheim. The house itself was built in the 1920s and has that period feel both inside and out. It has three bedrooms and hard wood floors. We get the keys this coming Saturday.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Mark and Lina are engaged!

Hey all!!!

... We are engaged! On July 11, 2008 and took Lina up to a romantic little spot up in the Baldy Wilderness area called Ice House Canyon and asked her to be my wife. It was a spectacular day. Lina had just gotten in from Armenia the day before on a trip visiting her brother, Dominic. While she was gone I flew up to Woodland and talked to her folks and asked for Lina's hand in marriage. I had been planning to pop the question and was looking for the right time to do it... We had a good walk up the trail. I'll have to admit that I was pretty nervous. I came to find out later that Lina as a little hurt that I didn't even ask her how her trip had gone. I just had too much other stuff on my mind I guess. As we walked I could feel the excitement and nervousness rise in me. But Lina says that I covered it up pretty well. When we got to the top of the saddle we had a nice little cuddle time. At one point I looked her in the eye and told her that today was the first day of the rest of our lives. She kind of looked at me funny and thought I was just being weird. On the way down my pulse began to rise as I knew the moment was coming. We finally found this little quiet spot with a stream and little waterfall to "take a rest for a while." Lina started to take her shoes off and dip them in the stream. I instead called her over to a little rock and asked her to sit down. Now up to this point she did really not have any idea what was going on, but when I got down on one knee, her mouth dropped open and she realized that something big was happening. I told her some very intimate things that can be summed up in, "I can't live my life without you" and then asked her if she would marry me. She quickly responded with "yes, yes, yes!" We had a good hug and a good cry ... tears of joy! So now we are engaged! The journey has begun!!