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The First Ever Life After Marriage Newsletter

Posted on December 23, 2007 by under Blog, Life.    

Below is a copy of our first monthly email newsletter, borne mostly out of boredom but hopefull some of you will find some use for this. If you did not receive a copy of the newsletter and would like to receive it next time, please email newsletter@brubakers.us with SUBSCRIBE either in the subject line or the body of the message. We will gladly add you to the distribution list. I cannot promise that this will be a regular monthly recurrence because there may be times that I will be too busy to send one, but I can promise a similar newsletter at the end of 2008. 🙂 That’s all I can guarantee for now. Anyway, here is the newsletter that was sent today:

Well, we are snowed in as you can tell from this blog entry. Since I am bored out of my mind, with no homework and no work-work (Thank heavens I’m not on duty this weekend!), I have decided to create a monthly newsletter for our blog. If a monthly newsletter is too frequent for you and you do not really care to receive our updates, please read no further. Respond to this message with REMOVE in the subject and your email address will be promptly removed from this notification list. For the rest of you, welcome!

Since this is the very first email newsletter for our blog I felt a recap of our life together is in order. Before we begin, however, allow me to wish everyone merry Christmas! May you all have a wonderful and blessed holiday season, and a prosperous year ahead!

Though our blog didn’t begin until shortly after our marriage, life with Brian really began in early 2000. That’s when we moved in together. We lived in a two-bedroom townhouse at the northeast side of town with Brian’s brother Kevin. Incidentally, 2000 is also the year my nephew Logan was born.

A year after living together in the townhouse, Brian and I decided to become homeowners. We moved into our house in April 2001. Less than a month later, he proposed. We set the date for August 10, 2002. We chose the date because it is approximately three years into our relationship. You can find other 2001 highlights here.

These are all pre Life After Marriage events. I have been blogging about my life since before the word “blog” entered the vernacular so you could probably still find old journal entries floating around. You can try Google, but here are a couple of places that I was able to find if you’d like to read up:

  • Chingay – this has stuff that I salvaged from the old Chingay.com web site. Many things are probably lost at this point. I never was any good at doing archives and backups.
  • No. 2305 – a few things from my old Geocities. There was a period after Chingay.com and Chingay.net and Goldensushi.net when I didn’t have a domain and was using free hosting providers.
  • I had a XOOM (pre-Chingay.com) and an Angelfire and a Crosswinds and a Scribble and all of those are pretty much gone. Always do your backups!

In 2002, I was laid off from my previous employer. Thankfully, I had another job lined up so I was only without work for a week. Someone up there is looking out for me. 🙂 To this day, I firmly believe that the closing of the Spiegel call center is the best thing to have ever happened in my life (career-wise, anyway). You get comfortable and without even knowing it you’re stuck in a rut.

My new employer (I’m still with the same company today despite everything that has transpired over the years — people scheming to get you fired, that sort of thing) was wonderful. Though I didn’t have vacation time because I just started working there, I was able to get two weeks of unpaid leave so that Brian and I could go on our honeymoon right after our wedding. The wedding itself was okay. I guess I should be glad that I didn’t have a nervous breakdown. The honeymoon was when we really let loose and enjoyed ourselves. We had a blast! Late 2002 is when our Life After Marriage blog begins.

In 2003, we got our Bowflex. We really ordered it in December but it takes several weeks to arrive. So it was January by the time we got it. With the exception of our house, the Bowflex is probably our most expensive mistake ever. We were paying for that mistake for several years. Ugh.

2003 is also the year that our furnace went out. We went for a couple of weeks without heat. It was awful. We were living paycheck to paycheck and didn’t have any money for a furnace so we had to take out a small loan from Intrust.

I also got two digital cameras this year. My Powershot G3, which cost me almost a grand, earlier in the year, and then my little SD10 that I got to replace my bang-around camera later in the year. The SD10 was the best ultracompact at the time. I was a huge camera freak and we were very, very stupid about our spending.

Despite all the stupid things we did that year, I did one smart thing: I went back to school. That entailed even more spending, but overall I feel that this has given us the best return of all. It has been a good investment. Going back to school gave me a different perspective on life. It gave me renewed drive and ambition, and made me realize that I am capable of achieving the goals that I set for myself.

In 2004, I became a naturalized citizen of the United States; I got promoted at work; I learned to play racquetball; and got hooked on bar poker. I’d been playing poker online since about 2002. 2004 is the year I started playing bar poker so I got to play with people in person. I started getting really into poker. My time in 2004 was mostly spent working, studying, playing poker, and working out at the YMCA either attending fitness classes or making racquetball wagers with Brian. Oh, I also got carded at the movies. I will never forget it because it made me really, really angry.

Brian lost his job at T-Mo in 2004, but he picked up a stalker in the process. It wasn’t too bad, though, because we got some free stuff out of it.

2005 was the year of the Park City Poker Round Up. I didn’t win, but I managed to qualify for the finals. So that was pretty exciting. I was on TV for a second because of this. In June 2005, I played poker at the APL HQ for the first time and took second place. I got even more hooked on playing poker after that. Brian started getting into poker, too. He started to strive to improve his game and move beyond playing any two cards. He learned how to fold.

2005 is the year I also got addicted to working out. Mama Iyay came to visit and told me I was fat. I knew I had gained a lot of weight compared to when Brian and I first met, but when other people tell you that you are fat, you know it’s time to do something about it. I spent 3-4 days at the gym, sometimes for three hours at a time.

Other things we did in 2005: we got on a debt counseling program and changed our spending habits; Brian and I started playing OGame (he got a job at Cox and everyone there was playing it); I started crushing on Daniel Negreanu; we adopted Ginger and Star (from Sara), and then Rockie (from Exotic Pets) shortly after.

My nephew Logan started kindergarten in 2005. Later that same year Brian left Cox to work for LSI/Engenio.

In 2006, we had to cancel our gym membeship because we no longer had time to go. This was my last semester before graduating. I was going for three minors so I was super busy. I graduated in May with only two minors so I failed my goal. I was relieved to finally achieve my undergraduate degree, though. During finals week, I took the GMAT and scored enough to get accepted in the MBA program at WSU.

Work sometimes sends me to other places for training and such so Brian and I decided to invest in a vehicle with better gas mileage. We didn’t want to have two car payments so we traded in his Rodeo. We got Bebot, my first ever brand new car.

We added another member to our family: a Yorkipoo we named Molly. I qualified to play in the poker tournament at the Big Boys Toy Show. Bill Bird, one of our poker buddies, ended up winning that one.

Other things that happened in 2006: WOW entered Brian’s life (I was busy with school, he was busy with WOW); Brian took second in a poker tournament at Harrah’s; we completed our debt counseling commitment (Go us!); and Mom and dad moved to their new house at the Oaks.

In 2007, I started my own WOW toon. That didn’t last very long, though, as grad school started to demand more of my time. Sunny was on her last leg. I’d had her for over 10 years. Here I was driving a new car and Brian was stuck driving Sunny. We wanted to get Brian a new car but didn’t want to have two car payments again. Luckily, we had enough in savings to get him a little truck. Not brand new (it’s a 2004) but it is much better than Sunny. I owe Brian a vehicle upgrade one of these days.

Since our honeymoon, Brian and I vowed to each other that we would go on another cruise for our five year anniversary. The original plan was to take an eastern Caribbean cruise this time around. However, one of the people at poker mentioned the Fall in Love Again special that Couples Resorts was running at the time. Brian and I ended up staying at Couples Ocho Rios for a week in July to celebrate our anniversary. We couldn’t go in August because it is too close to the start of the semester. July turned out to be the best time to go. We had wonderful weather the entire time we were there and we met so many wonderful people. After this trip, we vowed to each other that we would never cruise again.

What we are looking forward to in 2008: my graduation from grad school; restarting our gym membership (I am the biggest/heaviest that I have ever been in my entire life — even bigger than when my grandmother told me I was fat — and am desperately needing to lose weight); working on our house and putting it on the market; selling our house and buying a new one; and not drinking as much soda (It’s bad for you!).

Thank you for continuing to support our blog. Have a great holiday!

xoxo,
Ching

P.S. I promise the next monthly newsletter (if I get around to it) won’t be this long. This one is only long because it is our very first one and I need to catch you guys up. 🙂

P.P.S. In case you don’t know, the days of our lives are available in print. You can order a copy here.

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[…] In 2002, I was laid off from my previous employer. Thankfully, I had another job lined up so I was only without work for a week. Someone up there is looking out for me. To this day, I firmly believe that the closing of the Spiegel call center is the best thing to have ever happened in my life (career-wise, anyway). You get comfortable and without even knowing it you’re stuck in a rut… [more here] […]

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