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Happy New Year!

Cobalt and I haven’t written in a while, mostly due to busyness and the fact that soaking in new turf takes a while to process…

But without further adieu, here’s our overdue update:

Culture Shock

When telling our friends in Tennessee that we were moving to California, most of them gave us wide eyes declaring,

“Oh! Won’t you experience culture shock there??”

I always thought this comment interesting considering that culture shock is neither a bad thing, nor an uncommon occurrence (eating at an unfamiliar restaurant could be seen as culture shock in the South!)

Coincidentally, we’ve received the same looks here, as we’ve been meeting people little by little. But to be honest, Cobalt and I haven’t really experienced culture shock at all. There are certainly differences between Los Angeles and Tennessee but nothing too dramatic. I guess it helps that we live 15 miles outside of Los Angeles (which is about 1 1/2 hours on most days), away from the popular LA lifestyles, stereotypes and vibes. I actually think Joel and Katherine have greater culture shock than we do because they moved from Northern LA to Southern LA…

Here are some common cultural observations Cobalt and I have noticed since the day we stepped foot out of our car at our new home:

  • Hearing 3 different languages in one day
  • Seeing different cultures everywhere: Asian (Japanese, Chinese AND Korean), Hispanic, and African American…
  • Meeting someone bilingual
  • Living next to 3 Asian markets – all adjacent to each other
  • Eating quality food, especially the Asian variety (which I am totally amazed with considering American Asian is TERRIBLE compared to food I’ve eaten in China!)
  • Using different gas pump locks. Took me 2 weeks to understand how to use them…I just stood there, holding the gas pump in my hand because I couldn’t figure out how the lock worked….ha!
  • Observing temperate weather.  Just because its cold some days doesn’t mean its getting colder - it merely indicates a brief change of temperature.  Usually the weather is sunny with an average of 70-75F (80F sometimes) during the day, and 50-55F at night. Yes, we had our windows open during Christmas break.
  • Going to the beach all year long. Cobalt and I, who live about 20 minutes from the beach, are glad we’ve found a quiet spot nearby. It’s tucked behind some wealthy beach-houses. We essentially take a stroll in their backyards…
  • Laughing at Los Angelinos who like “Southern Food.” Because Southern Food served here is not particularly the same quality as in the South. Biscuits and gravy are a delicious, without a doubt, but sub-par for sure…
  • Sitting in traffic. Traffic is always bad on the I-110, which thank the Lord we don’t have to use often!  Avoiding rush hour (like the plague) or leaving an hour earlier always helps.  As does having a great conversation whilst driving (via your headset because driving while talking on the phone is illegal; or bringing a friend with you), listening to music, or perhaps an audio tape.
  • Obtaining the titles “Aunt” and “Uncle” instead of “Mr.” and “Miss/Mrs.” by kids at church (so cute!) :D
  • And last but not least … enjoying the holidays in 70-degree weather!


This Christmas-themed kitchen towel says it all…


We were honored to be invited over to my aunt and uncle’s house this year for Thanksgiving.  They only live about an hour north of us and the drive is always lovely on the PCH!  Before dinner, all of us took a hike on a very sunny and sandy trail near their neighborhood, overlooking the bluest ocean. All the way we enjoyed conversation, catching up where we left off last summer. I never thought I’d sweat so much on Thanksgiving day, though!



Sadly, Cobalt and I had a bad cold Christmas Eve and Day, so it wasn’t much of a celebration for us. We did spend Christmas morning eating homemade hashbrown casserole (I was too weak to make cinnamon rolls, as I had planned) and opening presents with our dear roommates. Then we slept for the remainder of the day while Joel and Katherine hosted their friends in a dinner party.  But the week before, all of us decorated fun little gingerbread houses!

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Of course, Cobalt’s is a spaceship!


Cobalt and Joel have been constantly busy with either client work or Studio229 company work. They’ve completed several projects since we moved here, which we are very thankful for!  I love seeing their business grow and become what their dreams want it to be!

After volunteering since October, I was finally hired on as a Garden Ranger with EnrichLA this January. You can follow me on instagram to see the latest pics of the schools I’m working at.  It’s been great fun and so rewarding!  I’ve also been keeping up with my food blog, which you should check out if you haven’t already ;)


By November, Cobalt and I found a church nearby that is a good fit for us. It’s taken a bit of getting used to attending a 500-people, 2-service church. Every week we meet a new family and/or have lunch with our recent friends. It’s been fun to try new food in the area and to open up to a new group of brothers and sisters. We also joined a Young Married Couples small group, which starts next week, that we are excited about!


Enjoying Japanese food with friends after church


I don’t know if it’s that we’ve crossed over the 2 year mark, or that I graduated college, or that we moved to a fresh new place. But being married is better than ever! I never thought I’d be just as in love with Cobalt now as I was while we were dating. Our Father has richly blessed us with His love to cherish in our hearts and then to share with each other. I’m so thankful!

I guess that’s about it for now. Do follow us on Facebook or Instagram to get the daily updates, if you feel so inclined ;)