The end of the year always calls for a little reflection and introspection, and as I look back on this past year, I realize so much has happened. The political debates (i.e.: shouting matches) and social issues raged this year. Wildfires ripped through my beloved home state. I faced the inevitable tears, bad days, and struggles, but when I look back on this year, I see a lot of good memories. Here are a few of them:
My birthday is the first week of February, and for my 31st this year, we went bowling and I made an amazing lasagna and hazelnut chocolate cake. As wonderful as my birthday was, the really fantastic part was that my dad came down to visit the next weekend and we went to Disneyland together for the first time in about 15 years. It was so fun seeing Disneyland through my dad’s eyes – he hadn’t been there in so long, and so much had changed. He didn’t even much care about going on rides. For Dad, it was all about the experience of seeing the big changes, eating the food, walking around, and, of course, Indiana Jones. We had the best time, and I can’t wait to go back with him again!
March was a busy month. I decided to have an Oscar-viewing party and, because I am the way I am, I decided to make a nominee-inspired menu. The Oscar Nom(nom)inations Menu included Goat Out (walnut-encrusted goat cheese herbed honey for Get Out), The Shape of Eggs (mayo-free deviled eggs for The Shape of Water), Buffalo Lady Birdsticks (buffalo drumsticks for Ladybird), and Duncake (champagne cupcakes for Dunkirk). Not only did I get to host a little gathering, complete with Oscar activities, but I got to create a pun-based menu… what a dream!
Also in March, I went to Grapefruit League Spring Training in Arizona. It was a weekend of baseball, food, friends, and new jokes and memories. It was such an amazing experience, and I can’t wait to go again in a few months!
In May, we went to the Dodgers Alumni Game. I also had my first Michelada. I don’t know why, but this seems like an important detail. Maybe because this officially inducts me into the Dodgers fandom?
At the end of the month, Chris and I went to San Jose to visit friends and have the most intense game of Jenga known to humankind.
I also restarted my blog under its new name – Bookmarks and Breadcrumbs – in May. I spent a lot of time revamping my old website, choosing a new name that better embodies my spirit and focus, and decided this time, I would write about what makes me happy – a different approach and integral component (one I was missing in previous attempts) to managing a website. I am very proud of my little site and small social media presence, and I hope that my page traffic and subscriber list will continue to grow over the coming years.
June was a flurry of fun. I watched my seniors graduated as my first year of independent teaching came to a close, and then I did some amazingly touristy things with my family.
My dad and sister came to visit for Father’s Day, and we spent a day at Museum Row. We visited the La Brea Tar Pits and LACMA, and it was so fun to walk around and read and learn and laugh with them both. We also spent a day at Universal Studios. I took them to Hogsmeade for Butterbeer and Three Broomsticks for lunch, then Dad took us by Moe’s. It was such a memorable weekend, and I loved having my family here!
Finally, I went to my first LAFC gam in June. It was so much more fun than I knew soccer could be. I can’t wait to get back, and I’m finally getting into soccer thanks to a patient teacher to explain the game to me, this game and this year’s World Cup.
The summer flew by… as it always does. I taught summer school, made some trips to Disneyland, watched a lot of baseball, and cooked. A lot. So, same old stuff, but much hotter weather.
Skip ahead to October – school is back in full swing, we’re in post-season baseball, and Chris turns 31. My friend Kait also came to LA, and I was lucky enough to meet up with her for dinner and some laughs. Kait, by the way, also has a blog that I really enjoy. She talks about her journey in minimalism, her struggle with anxiety and depression, shares skincare tips, talks travel, and generally keeps things very real. Her website is called Candidly Kait, and it is just that. I highly recommend checking it out!
We also had another memorable department Halloween – this year’s theme was Avengers! And there was more Disneyland.
The holidays officially started in November. We hosted Friendsgiving, and we had a ton of laughs over some amazing food and board games. Side note, if you haven’t play Secret Hitler, you need to check it out. The name is off-putting, yes, but trying to figure out players’ secret identities and motives is so fun!
And here we are, at the end of another year. This month, Chris and I went to the King Tut Exhibit at the California Science Center, and we visited Disneyland for about the 10th time this year. I went to San Jose to celebrate my best friend’s entry into motherhood, and it was the most beautiful baby shower I have ever been a part of.
Chris took me to my first NFL game this month, he surprised me with a Christmas tree, and we celebrated Christmas a lot. My dad came to visit for Christmas and we made a gingerbread house. We celebrated Christmas Eve at Chris’ family’s house, I cooked all Christmas day (delicious recipes to follow), and the day after Christmas we celebrated Christmas with some close friends. This holiday season was an incredibly memorable one with our amazing family and friends.
This past year has flown by so quickly, but I made so many memories, grew closer to the people around me, and, although this year was often challenging, professionally, I didn’t work as many late nights and weekends as I did the last two years. I am starting to realize how to work smarter rather than harder. I am starting to define the line between my personal and professional lives, and for it, I am happier and more present in both.
2019 – Looking Ahead To The New Year
I’m still not yet sure what goals I will set for myself for 2019, but I do plan to take the lessons I’ve learned and skills I’ve honed into the new year. I plan to continue learning and growing and appreciating the good things in my life, and I plan to share new experiences and adventures and make new, lasting memories.
Best wishes to you and yours in 2019, and may the New Year bring you hope, health, and happiness.