thaoie Posts

This book was suggested to Robert and I at our engaged encounter retreat in January 2010. We put it off since it was the last 6 months of wedding planning and the last thing we wanted to do was sit down, read a book, and work on our relationship. We knew it would be an ongoing, lifelong process well after the wedding was over. I left it on my wish list and didn’t start reading it until January 2011 after Robert purchased me a Kindle edition; and I have been so grateful to have been introduced to this book. I am now a true believer in the 5 love languages.

The concept is that people express and feel love in 5 ways (languages); one being more predominant than the next for each person. The book explains the 5 love languages as so: (taken from the website)

  • Words of Affirmation

    Actions don’t always speak louder than words. If this is your love language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you. Hearing the words, “I love you,” are important—hearing the reasons behind that love sends your spirits skyward. Insults can leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten.

  • Quality Time

    In the vernacular of Quality Time, nothing says, “I love you,” like full, undivided attention. Being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there—with the TV off, fork and knife down, and all chores and tasks on standby—makes your significant other feel truly special and loved. Distractions, postponed dates, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful.

  • Receiving Gifts

    Don’t mistake this love language for materialism; the receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift. If you speak this language, the perfect gift or gesture shows that you are known, you are cared for, and you are prized above whatever was sacrificed to bring the gift to you. A missed birthday, anniversary, or a hasty, thoughtless gift would be disastrous—so would the absence of everyday gestures.

  • Acts of Service

    Can vacuuming the floors really be an expression of love? Absolutely! Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on an “Acts of Service” person will speak volumes. The words he or she most want to hear: “Let me do that for you.” Laziness, broken commitments, and making more work for them tell speakers of this language their feelings don’t matter.

  • Physical Touch

    This language isn’t all about the bedroom. A person whose primary language is Physical Touch is, not surprisingly, very touchy. Hugs, pats on the back, holding hands, and thoughtful touches on the arm, shoulder, or face—they can all be ways to show excitement, concern, care, and love. Physical presence and accessibility are crucial, while neglect or abuse can be unforgivable and destructive.

Do me a favor and take the quiz online to find out your love language. Then have your significant other take it as well. It’s a short quiz of just 30 multiple choice questions; shouldn’t take any longer than 10-15 minutes. If you’re single, don’t worry–there’s even a quiz on there for you! Same concept applies. If you’re a parent, you can also have your kid(s) take it so you can show them love the way they want to be loved (applies to kids ages 5+). There’s even a teen edition.

I think it will make a whole difference in your relationship if you put your learnings into practice. It’s made a whole world of a difference so far in my relationship with Robert. Even though he has not yet read the book, he still understands the concept and it has done wonders! I am such a HUGE believer that if you want to read the book I am willing to buy you a copy whether it be a paperback, nook edition, kindle edition, or audio edition. To gift you with this book would mean the world to me; a small amount of my hard earned money does not compare to the lifelong happiness you can have from reading this book. Heck, if I had read this book before the wedding it may have been another wedding favor we gave out to our guests. Leave a comment and tell me in what form you want to receive this book. *Stipulation: you must promise to read it all the way through within 2 months of receiving it.*

You may be wondering what’s my primary love language. Well, Dr. Chapman (the author) said we could also be bilingual in our love language and that is ME! That just gives Rob more options to show me how much he loves me; we both “speak” the same 2 languages of “quality time” and “acts of service”. Don’t get me wrong, I still like gifts, physical touch, and nice words but the other 2 is what truly screams out LOVE to me. Here’s how we scored:

Language Thao Robert
Words of Affirmation 7 2
Quality Time 9 9
Receiving Gifts 0 3
Acts of Service 9 10
Physical Touch 5 6



Since we’re still in our early stages of this blog, I thought you should get to know a few random facts about me.

  • i am married…to Robert.
  • i get excited over the most scenic places and taking photos of people in them.
  • i have 2 jobs.
  • i love weddings…hence the 2nd job.
  • i want to have 4 children…let’s see how I fare after the 1st.
  • i already named my 1st daughter…if 15 people comment and ask me what it is, i will reveal it.
  • i love to blog…duh!
  • i am pretty shy and get super nervous in social/public situations…prob why i blog.
  • i will not eat beans, olives, guacamole, sour cream or ginger.
  • i love to eat at the habit: burger with cheese and bacon; onion rings with ranch to dip.
  • i love to sing in church…just ask Robert.
  • i want to play the piano…and own a white grand piano someday.
  • i love to read…yes, i own a Kindle.
  • i am in love.

Once I get an “about me” page going, this info and probably a few more tidbits will go on there.


Welcome to my personal blog! came about because I wanted a place to share my personal life and the random thoughts I have that are longer than 144 characters (twitter) without mixing it with the wedding business side of things on Follow along on my life adventure here where I can guarantee beautiful images and complete randomness.

Back in early April we visited D.C. to see the cherry blossoms and my immune system couldn’t have been at its lowest defense. I was sick the entire time, going through cough drops like crack cocaine, hoping to sleep through an hour at a time at night without being awakened by horrible cough attacks. It eventually developed into runny noses coupled with cough attacks. I tried so hard to push through each day to enjoy what I could with the very little energy I had. The weather in D.C. wasn’t cooperative either–rainy and windy. With wet jeans on in the middle of the Washington Mall I was at a point of regretting the trip. I hated being me and it wasn’t helping my fellow travelers either. I ended up going to bed early most nights while Rob and Thanh leaned on each other for a good time.

After getting to see and process the images we took, I am truly happy the trip went on as planned. We made the best of the circumstances and made it our own. Thanks, Rob and Thanh, for taking care of me and putting up with my sickness and mood swings. You guys are the best! Now…onto the awesome cherry blossoms, 3,800 trees gifted to our country by Japan.

If this were a sunny day this spot would be swarming with visitors. Because it was raining it was completely empty for us to shoot. Looking back I don’t know what I’d choose…a sunny day full of people or a rainy day with no one around.

Wouldn’t you say Thanh was lucky to be my model on this trip? I almost wish I had my own photo taken too.

Well, maybe my photo taken at this angle sitting on the bench with Rob. This wet rainy scene is so calming.

View of the Jefferson Memorial from across the Tidal Basin.
The MLK, Jr. Memorial was still being worked on when we visited.

Thanh is just too lucky to be my easy subject.

View of the Washington Monument from the Tidal Basin. Look at all the cherry blossoms!!

We also visited a number of sites including the Korean War Memorial. These soldiers are larger than life!

Here’s the WW II Memorial and Lincoln Memorial.

This, to me, is such a powerful way of saying “in yo face, slavery!”

Abraham Lincoln statue was a lot bigger than I had imagined.

The Vietnam War Memorial.

We drove across the Potomac River to Virginia to visit Arlington National Cemetery.

Rob with the JFK eternal flame.

We witnessed the changing of the guards at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Can’t believe they stand guard 24/7.

Of course we refueled in between all this excitement. Falafel’s were super yummy. Ethiopian food wasn’t too shabby either.

Unfortunately the Obama’s didn’t come out to see us, but we did ride bikes around D.C. for a bit.

Me next to my “sweet tea”. Got him for $1! ;)
D.C. subways are so clean.

After this we made our way to Philly for the 2nd part of the trip. Rob and I had to make our way back to D.C. 2 days later for our flight home anyways so we spent a few additional hours cramming in as much site seeing as possible. The weather was a huge contrast from just days earlier. It was now 85 degrees. I was wearing tights and a tank dress biking around town like it was mid summer.

I even got to see the blossoms with sunlight and blue skies!!

We stood outside Ford’s Theatre where Lincoln was assassinated.
The most exciting part of the trip (for me) was getting to see the original documents of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. It was so amazing to see in person that it’s hard to describe the feeling. The level they take to preserve the fading documents is mind boggling. I now have a much deeper respect for our country and its founding fathers.

In the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, like any girl, I was super stoked to see gowns on display worn by First Ladies to inaugural balls. They even have a gown worn by Martha Washington! How crazy is that?!
I didn’t have 6 images to balance the collage below so I included Rick Flair.

I leave you with Lincoln’s actual top hat!

The main purpose of this trip was to see the cherry blossoms. If it weren’t for them I would have probably never visited our nation’s capitol and never gained what I did from it. Thanks, Japan, for such a beautiful site we get to experience 2 weeks out of the year, but thank you mainly for bringing me out to learn more about my country and come away with a deeper appreciation for it all. I feel like a more complete American citizen from this trip.

Philly part of the trip will be blogged about soon…not sure when yet.