Thursday, November 24, 2011

My Lovely Girls

I am so happy and blessed to be able to stand on my special day with 4 girls I LOVE and have grown up with over the years.

I wanted to ask each of them in a special way so I MADE (yes I can be creative!!) these little home-made cards and wrote a personal note on the back of each. Then, I ordered these cute, personalized pocket-mirrors from Etsy.

Meet My Bridesmaids:


Ine and I have been friends since the 5th grade. We played on the same high school basketball team where she would block almost all of my shots. She always makes me laugh. She always stands up for me. And I am so blessed to call her my friend :)


Samantha, aka Sami, is my youngest sister. I LOVE her so much! Over the past year it's been just her and I at home because our other sister Shannon moved away for college. EVERYONE always tells us we're twins and I think it's a HUGE compliment because she is such a babe! I love getting ready together in the mornings with her and she always makes me laugh with her hilarious stories!


Shannon is probably the kindest person I know. She has always been so sweet and loving to me and everyone for that matter. She shares ALL her clothes, shoes, jewelry and anything else with me. I wish I could be HALF as nice as her. I am grateful for her example and I love her so much!

My Maid of Honor:


Jessica and I have been best friends for as long as I can remember. I ABSOLUTELY love her to death. She always listens to me cry. She always gives me great advice. She is ALWAYS there to answer my phone calls. She is my personal GPS device. She is so trustworthy and I can count on her for EVERYTHING. She is honestly the best friend that most can only dream and wish to have. I have been so blessed to have her in my life and I love her so incredibly much!

Venue and Dress

Derek and I are planning to be married in May and I will announce the EXACT date soon!

We are just a little over 5 months away from the big day, and Derek and I have been taking part in a planning frenzy! Some might say May is not that close and I still have TONS of time, but here's a little tidbit to throw into the mix. I am an accountant. As soon as February 15 hits and then all the way through April 15, I will basically be dedicating every ounce of time and energy to pumping out tax returns at work. AKA... no wedding planning for me. That being said, we have been workin' it and we can say that we crossed 2 BIG items off our wedding planning list this week!

Have you ever heard of Anoush? (Pronounced: Ah-Noosh; Origin: Armenian; Meaning: Sweet, Sweetness)

I am Armenian, and I really really wanted our wedding reception to be at an Armenian Banquet Hall, and for this primary reason... THE ABUNDANCE of FOOD. In the Armenian culture, it is SO important to be OVERLY generous when it comes to food. And that is EXACTLY what Anoush does. They bring food to your table ALL. NIGHT. LONG. And then just when you feel like you can't eat another bite, they bring you more. You can find plates of shish kabobs, hummus, pita bread, feta cheese, fruit, rice pilaf, to name a few items. If you go home hungry from an Armenian dinner, it's your own fault ;).

I also love that our reception will be held in the city that our love began to bloom! Derek and I met in the Glendale 7th Singles Ward. We hit it off at a Glendale 7th Dance. And Derek and I had our first kiss in Glendale.

Some other items that I love about Anoush include the dance floor, the coziness of the room, and the amazing service!

A side note...
My fiance, Derek, is half Hawaiian and half Samoan. Just because the reception will be at an Armenian banquet hall, don't think for one second that we won't be including some elements of Polynesian style and dance. ;)

MY Dress!!
Another HUGE thing I was able to cross off my list was MY DRESS!! I went dress shopping yesterday morning with my mom, my two best friends - Jessica and Ine, and my fiance's sister/my soon-to-be sister-in-law - Dionne. I was really nervous about finding a dress that I LOVED. I decided to go to a darling little boutique called A Dressy Occasion in Trabuco Canyon. It is run by a woman who has been designing and selling modest wedding dresses for over 10 years now. It was SO fun trying on different gowns and modeling for my family and friends. I am SO happy to say that I found the PERFECT dress though. As soon as I tried it on, everyone with me KNEW this was the one. It fit my body perfectly! I LOVED IT!!!!! Here's a picture:

Hahaha... yeah right ;). Derek will see this!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

"Remember, Remember the Ninth of November!"

As a preface to this story, I must admit to something. I am a snoop. I am curious. And I like to know EVERYTHING before it happens. So I snooped. I got curious, and I in a very sneaky, yet ACCIDENTAL way, found out that Derek would be proposing to me soon. Through my detective ways, I was expecting him to pop the question on 11/11/11. Yes that sacred day EVERYONE was talking about. This special date only happens once. I JUST KNEW that was the day he would ask me to marry him. I had it all planned out. I was going to straighten my hair, wear a cute dress; I'd put on make-up for once in my life. It was going to be perfect. Yeah, well we always think we're smarter than we actually are... So,

Here is the story...

Last Wednesday, November 9, 2011 (11/9/11) was what I thought to be just an ordinary day. I had been at work all day. Derek had the day off as he'd just gotten off a 24 hour shift at work.

Our plan was simple. I was going to head over to Derek's apartment after work to make dinner then we were going to go work out together at the gym.

However, I got a text around 4 pm from Derek. "Hey Em! Josh and Noura want to take us out to dinner tonight. Can we go?"

I said, "Sure!" Suspecting nothing.

I headed over to Derek's apartment right after work. When I got to his place, I noticed he had just cut his hair. Sexy! But I didn't know why he got it cut?!? I had offered to do it a few days prior, but whatever.

I asked Derek what the plans were for the evening. He said, "We're going to meet Josh and Noura in Downtown at this restaurant called the Perch. Apparently Josh says it's a great place!"

It was about 6 pm as we headed out the door of his apartment. As we climbed into his big black truck, he had me map the directions to the Perch on his iPhone. We headed to Downtown and I had to read him directions the WHOLE way. Little did I know that Derek was using this "I'm-lost-so-please-help-me-find-my-way" act as a scheme to throw me off his sneaky trail!

When we finally reached the Perch, Derek parked in a lot and we crossed the street to the restaurant. As we were crossing the street, this creepy man was walking really close behind me. I kept getting closer and closer to Derek because I was nervous and wanted him to protect me, but he kept discreetly pushing me away. I would try to get closer yet again, and he'd push me away again! I was really bugged that he would do that, but didn't dwell too much on this. I later put two and two together and realized he was SO scared that I was going to feel the large box in his jacket pocket that he wanted to keep me as far away from him as possible.

We finally got to the restaurant! BTW... creepy man followed us all the way in. So weird.

There was a security guard at the bottom of the building. He approached us and asked which floor we wanted to go to. Derek said, "We want to go the Perch. The restaurant?" The security guard let us into the elevator and directed us to the 15th floor.

Once we hit the 15th floor, another set of security guards asked us where we wanted to go. Once again, "the Perch please." They directed us around the corner to the restaurant doors.

At this point I am thinking, "Ok Josh and Noura. Was it really necessary to invite us to a restaurant that is on the 15th floor of some old brick building, in the middle of DTLA, that requires large security guards to let people pass?"

We head to the front desk and three hostesses and the general manager look at us and say, "Hi, reservation please?"

Derek says, "Yes. Party of 4 for Josh?"

The general manager says, "Oh yes. Of course! Your party is actually on the upper level of the restaurant. Please follow me."

We walk up a back staircase to the "upper level" of the restaurant. AKA. The Roof!

At this point I am thinking: "Ok, why would Josh and Noura invite Derek and I, to dinner on the roof of the restaurant?! Why. Why. Why. Why?!?" I still wasn't suspicious though.

Let me tell you. When you think you're the smart one, and when you think you know everything before it happens. That is PRECISELY when you will be the one who is in for a surprise.

As we finally got to the roof, my breath was taken away at the beautiful Downtown LA skyline. I could see every building lit up in the night. I could see the reflection of the US Bank building, a special building for Derek and I, against another building. I could see Pershing Square, the very place where Derek and I first started to flirt. It was a BEAUTIFUL sight. Then in the far corner of the roof was a little fire burning in a pit with little couches set up around the fire. The general manager of the restaurant kind of slid into the background as Derek led me to the fire. At this point I knew we weren't meeting Josh and Noura for dinner anymore.

The view from the roof.

Derek and I just stood in each other's arms looking out on the beautiful city. It was BEAUTIFUL and SO romantic. I was in heaven :).

Then Derek turned me around to face him and began to say some of the sweetest things to me. The tears started to flow. Not a huge surprise to anyone who knows me well ;).

That is when Derek Tafua got down on one knee and said "Emily Ainian, will you marry me?"

And of course my answer was "YES!"

After that, we kissed. A lot :)

Then we came down to have dinner and to my surprise, yet again, there was a bucket of sparkling cider and a bouquet of roses awaiting me.

Derek planned this entire evening down to a T! And might I add. He planned it ALL at 2 pm the DAY OF! When he found out I had been a "snoop-a-doop," as he has now dubbed me, he knew he had to change his plans. And fast! He wanted to surprise me and he SURE DID!

I heard about everything he had to do that afternoon as we ate dinner, and I was in complete awe. Just to prove to you how well Derek had planned and coordinated this evening, as we went down the elevator at the end of the night, the security guard on the floor level saw Derek and I step out and he said, "I knew she'd say yes, man!" EVEN THE SECURITY GUARD WAS IN ON IT!!

Derek, you made me the happiest girl in the ENTIRE world that night. And you make me happy every single day. Thank you for being the kindest, most selfless, and loving man. I love you so much and cannot wait to be your wife.

On the roof of the Perch. Overlooking all of DTLA

At dinner overlooking the city.

My ring. I LOVE IT!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

My Boo

I haven't posted on here in SO long! And honestly, I kind of forgot about my blog, but one day I was on Derek's laptop; I opened up an internet browser and saw that he'd bookmarked my blog as one of his "favorites." That made me smile so much!!!! Then I realized I hadn't blogged since I started dating him! So, this post is a little tribute to the man I love and call my boo.

This night marked our first romantic rendezvous ;)

At a friend's party :)

We clean up nicely...

He came and cheered me on as I crossed the finish line for one of my races... at 7 am! (Notice the "pound it")

He trusted me enough to give him a haircut! It only took 2.5 hours.... :/

Derek took me to Disneyland for my birthday!

Derek turns 29... SURPRISE BIRTHDAY!

Date night :)

At our friend's wedding...

Derek makes me so happy, so I thought I'd share some of our happy times! I love my boo :)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Some events as of recent...

1. I love Portos Potato Balls. I eat them AT LEAST once a week.

2. I started my job. I love it. It's nice not studying 8 hours a day, alone at home. Now I get to work in an office, with great people, and get PAID to do it!! :) Need your taxes done?

3. Christmas is just around the corner. I listen to KOST 103.5 on my way to work and sing to every single Christmas song. It's great.

4. I am on Week 8 (of 12) of half-marathon training. I am very sore. My longest run yet was last Saturday. I did 7 miles, non-stop. I usually like to pick a destination to run to. Saturday, I chose the neighboring city's cemetery to run to. Ironic? I pretty much wanted to die once I got there.

5. I just went to a 50's Christmas Party! You should do it sometime. So fun!!

6. I really want this for Christmas:

Want to come over and play it???

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Summer 2010

I know, I know... I haven't blogged in over 4 months. I don't know what came over me? I attribute it to my endless hours of studying for the CPA, meeting/making/and playing with new friends, running running running a lot, and road tripping! Needless to say, my being MIA has not gone unnoticed... many of my dear friends have reprimanded my neglectful blogging. So, in an effort to redeem myself I will attempt to recap my entire Summer, up until now, in this post.

CPA Exam
What is a CPA? It's a Certified Public Accountant. What is the CPA Exam? It's dreadful. I study every. single. day. from approximately 10 am until 5 pm for this test. There are 4 parts to it. Each part is accompanied by a textbook and lecture CD which I go through slooowwwlllyyyy; working problems, listening to these men with New York accents talk to me about accounting.

The books...

Peter Olinto. Would you like to stare at him all day?

I then sit for the exam. Each one is about 3-4 hours long. I enter the testing center. An ornery lady with short and bright red hair takes my fingerprints to confirm my identity (because naturally someone would try to sneak in to take one of these exams). I then am guided to a small cubicle where before me sits a monitor, keyboard, and a set of sound blocking headphones. I sit down. The 4 hour timer begins to tick down to 0. If I want to take a bathroom break, I have to sign out, but that timer doesn't stop for me. So, if out of all of this I have gained nothing, I have at least perfected my ability to use the restroom in record-breaking time!! I won't continue on with this lovely aspect of my life, however, the CPA Exam has been a big part of my Summer 2010. Lovely.

Family Fun, Old Friends, and Good byes :(
One fun weekend I spent with my family included a trip to Santa Barbara. We hopped on the train. Took a ride up North, and spent the day along the beach, riding a family bike (aka my Dad pushed us a lot because we were too lazy to pedal), and watching the Spanish Festival right on Main Street.

On the family bike

Soon after that day though, my little sister, Shannon, moved away to BYU-Idaho for college. We miss her. A. Lot.

My sisters and I + our cousins at Shannon's going away party
(From left to right) Me, Samantha (sis), Nora (cousin), Shannon (sis), Rita (cousin)

We Skype often though!

I've also spent some happy times with my friends from my childhood. I love them. A lot. It's so nice to have those constant friends, no matter what.

High School friends, at our friend Michael's wedding

Jess and I at a Dodger Game!

Trip to Utah for Conference
In the beginning of October I traveled to Utah to visit my wonderful and dear friends from BYU; I also got the chance to attend General Conference and listen to the words of our Prophet and Apostles. It was an amazing trip. It felt so good and comforting to know I have loved ones even miles away. It was wonderful to catch up with old friends and pick up right where we left off. What a blessing. Conference was also such a blessing for me this year. My testimony of the Prophet was reaffirmed.

(From left to right) Me, Daniela, Kristina, Ruth

Half Marathon
After my Utah trip I began training for my first Half Marathon!!! I cannot wait. I am in the middle of Week 4 of training. I feel great. I can run up to 5 miles now without stopping which I love! Running is actually a stress relief now, rather than a dreaded activity. Here is my running schedule:

Trip to Washington
I got to fly to Washington to see two of my closest and dearest friends get married... to EACH OTHER!!! I must say, I was the match maker on this one. My close friend Steve Merrill married my dear friend Janae Burrup, and I got to be a part of this beautiful day/weekend. I love them both so much and I wish them the best!

My Ward - G7
This has been the most wonderful and happiest part of my Summer. I moved back to California worried about losing the social aspect that was so readily available at BYU; little did I know that I would make some of the greatest friends and meet some of the most genuine people in my new ward here at home!! I think the only way I can adequately describe this part of my Summer will be through pictures. Enjoy :)

Cat, Mel, and I. Honestly, I love them.

Jon. Master Chef.

Me (Wilma), Christine (Tink), Cecilly (Greek Goddess)

Dance Party

My dear Cecilly

Cat giving a small group of us nose waxes. Incredible btw!

So... yeah. That has been my Summer in a nutshell. Very busy. Very fun. Very happy.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Travelling the World

A combination of my world travels, studying for the CPA Exam, and my general laziness have been the reasons behind why I have not blogged; however, I am taking a much needed study break at the moment and repenting by making this blog entry.

In the past 3 weeks, I have been in the following locations: (chronologically)
1. Mexico
2. Utah
3. Arizona
4. Nevada
5. California
6. Illinois
7. Michigan
8. Indiana
9. Texas

Cool, huh? And I will explain what I did in each location...

For 5 days, I got the opportunity to travel, by 15-passenger van, to Baja Mexico where I served at an orphanage among some of the sweetest little orphans. I heard about this opportunity from a friend and then decided to go on the adventure myself with one of my closest friends, Janae! At the last minute, my friend from back home, Ine, decided to join in on the experience and we picked her up in San Diego just prior to crossing the border into Mexico.

What an experience this trip was. I got to help teach a 4th grade class; I participated in a carnival for the children; I took the orphans to the beach for the first time in their lives, and I was in Mexico as the Mexican world cup game was being played. Perhaps what I got most from this experience was an understanding of how other people live. As I slept and ate in their orphanage, I caught a glimpse, merely a glimpse, of what it must be like to be an orphan. It seems as though there is not much opportunity available; however, these children find so much joy in the simplicity of life. Kicking a soccer ball for hours, or waking up at 4 am to crowd around a television set to support their national soccer team brought smiles and fulfillment to their faces.

I came back to Utah for my last week in Provo among my friends before moving back to California. I had a splendid good bye party! I love all my friends there and will miss them so dearly! Here are some pictures from the night.

Arizona and Nevada
en route to California

I finally moved back to California to start my job in the Fall at Milam, Knecht, and Warner LLC. - an accounting firm. The day after I got back I made a quick trip to Downtown LA for the Lakers Parade! So FUN! Now I am just in the process of studying for my CPA Exam. My first test is this Friday, in Regulation, aka Tax. EEEK, that is tomorrow!

I flew into Chicago O'Hare Airport en route to visiting my dear friend Ruth, who lives in Michigan.

Michigan and Indiana
I spent a whole week in Michigan/Indiana with a dear and wonderful friend from BYU, Ruth, and her family. What a fun time I had playing with little children, eating home-made foods, making jam, bike riding, going to downtown Chicago for a day, reading Nancy Drew books, and getting pedicures. Ruth was such a great hostess and so was her family. Rachael, her older sister who lives in Indiana, is an amazing mom who is very on top of life... it was great to watch her each day with her children! I learned a lot about what it takes to be a mom! Saying good bye to Ruth was sad and hard, but I will see her soon! :)

Layover in Dallas, Fort Worth...

So... maybe I didn't travel the world, but I did indeed hit 8 states + Mexico in a matter of 2 weeks. I would say that is an accomplishment! I just loved seeing and meeting so many different people in the process.