Tag Archives: Year in Review

2014 in Review

My 2014 has been a transitional year, a liberated year, a magical year. A year full of surprises, adventure, and so many little but love filled moments with my friends. I’ve always prioritized relationships and adventure so they always show up as themes when I write these year end recaps, but this year, there was a boundless feeling to 2014. A buoyancy I haven’t ever experienced. I had so much joy in previous years, I didn’t know I could feel this happy, this light, this free as I did this year. This year was my first full year as a single person in nearly a decade and I reveled in the delicious ambiguity. There were more flowers in one year that I’ve received in all my years in a relationship, gifted by family, friends, and even myself. There was more dancing in one year than I’ve done since college. I checked off a lot of old items on my bucket list. There were more celebrity sightings and more rooftops and more sunsets. 2014 generally had more of the really good stuff.

January

I rang in 2014 with one of my closest friends. I hadn’t had a New Year’s with her since 2008 and it gave us an opportunity to do our New Year’s tradition on the actual first day of the year. We woke up on New Year’s Day and had cinnamon buns and coffee on a quilt while we wrote on our prayer lanterns our hopes and dreams for 2014.

I also learned how to make kimchi and strawberry chocolate jam. When I look through my Instagram feed for January, there were a lot of desserts and meals out. It definitely set the tone for the rest of the year. Most of my meals in 2013 were home-cooked. Most of my meals in 2014 were from eating out.

February

I had “cook a whole chicken” on my bucket list since high school. I was intimidated by this but a dear friend of mine did it first and then so sweetly held my hand and provided a whole chicken for me to roast on my own. Like a lot of fears faced, it wasn’t as bad as I made it out to be, and quite delicious! I tried to ignore my favorite holiday for the first time but Anita brought Valentine’s Day to me by coordinating a card making, movie watching couch date. I spent Valentine’s Day night with my roast chicken coach and our mutual friends. We dressed up and ate good food and chair danced in our seats. I also started reading my favorite book of the year.


March

I went to Arizona for the first time and visited the Grand Canyon with girls I met on Youtube over four years ago. It was the first time we were all together since Vegas in 2012. The photograph of them sitting on a cliff is one of my favorites I’ve shot in 2014 and I wish I was actually in it! We were in L.A. for a hot minute before and after the Grand Canyon and dipped our toes in the Pacific Ocean. The next weekend I was back in Texas and celebrated a friend’s birthday in Galveston Island, smelling the salty air of the Gulf. Two beaches, three states in two weekends. I also developed my first crush in years. It never took off beyond a few dates but I enjoyed the butterflies. March was fun and light.

April

I started the month in Houston to celebrate my dad’s 70th birthday. I went to the first of three weddings where I snapped that photo of that sunset. This year I made a point of being outside for more sunsets. I ate really well at media dinners and the Austin Food and Wine Festival where I was able to see one of my food heroes in the flesh.

May

After rarely being home in April, I spent more time home in May. I read more and hosted a seven hour brunch. I went to Houston to celebrate Mother’s Day and attend a friend’s bachelorette party. It was during this trip that Thomas gave me a long exposure photography tutorial and I shot light trails for the first time, igniting a curiosity and passion for nighttime photography.

June

June was filled with flowers. I started the month frolicking in a field of wildflowers on private property and feeling like my life was a movie. I went on a few dates with a man who was compelled to give me elaborate bouquets every time he saw me. The first few times charmed me but then my threshold of enjoyment was reached. He was one of a handful of very kind men this year I didn’t feel real chemistry with. This year taught me the pain of walking away from who Dan Savage calls GGG men. Good, giving, and game. I ended the month in Dallas after photographing a field of giant sunflowers with Anita and Ashley.

Oh yeah! How could I forget? I also rappelled down a 38-stories skyscraper and had a neon cheering crowd.


July

Sweet July! I scratched off three new states in a long weekend during a solo road trip. I drove in and out of North Carolina three times and visited South Carolina and Virginia. I saw the amazing Angel Oak Tree in South Carolina and was in awe of all the beauty in the Carolinas. I fell in love with Asheville and added it to my growing list of cities I want to revisit. I was in the area to begin with for the wedding of one of high school friends. I then experienced truly the best birthday I’ve ever had. I showed up to a dinner I planned and a 90s sing-along ready to spend time with some of my favorite people and eat noodles. I had no idea my friends (some of whom still haven’t even met) collaborated with each other and surprised me with a fancy lens for my DSLR camera and a video that I still watch from time to time. The same day as my birthday celebration, Austin CultureMap listed my food blog as one of the top food blogs to follow in Austin. July rocked my world!

August

I had a photo taking date with my good friend, Aaron. We walked around during sunset and chased the light between skyscrapers as we shot downtown. It was during this friend date I met my first unicorn. In August, I started seeing a friend, met Vince Young, and ended the month in Greece, a trip I had on my life list since high school.

September

I started the month of September in Greece. My favorite island was Santorini. It was in Santorini where I skinny-dipped for the first time. That has always been on my life list and I assumed I’d do it first in the middle of the night at some unremarkable apartment pool. I love that instead of that unremarkable pool in the dead of the night, it was in the daylight with Anita in the Aegean Sea. How’s that for an upgraded story? The rest of the month wasn’t too shabby either. Anita and I went to a Chris Guillebeau signing, our third time meeting him together. We also went to a party where Ethan Hawke was in attendance, and were sitting close to the front row for a Wendy Davis talk.

October

October emotionally wrecked me. It was the one year anniversaries of the break-up of a six year relationship and the deaths of two friends. I also experienced more heartache when the friend I was seeing and I had a brutal falling out while on a group trip to New York. Though these parts of October weren’t pretty and caused me a lot of pain, I had some big highlights of the year in October. I finally got to see Oprah with Kimmy. Kimmy is the friend with whom I have the New Year’s tradition and every year we wish to be in the same room as Oprah. We attended a weekend event with Oprah’s Life You Want Tour. I saw Kimmy a few days ago and we both listed this weekend as one of our best moments in 2014. Also in October, I started a tradition with my mom and flirted with Neal Patrick Harris. Not so bad for a grim month!

November

The first part of November involved moving from North Austin to South Austin which reduced my work commute from 2 hours a day to 30 minutes a day. I moved in with Ashley and it’s been a blast so far. I spent a lot of November practicing self-care and nursing a tender heart. I went to Houston for Thanksgiving and swung on swings with Kimmy and together with Thomas we dabbled in nighttime photography and sneaked on a skyscraper rooftop. November has always been one of my favorite months.

December

I am back in Austin after spending a week in Houston for Christmas. My dad has decided to join in my dates with my mom and I love that photo of him reaching for the coffee. His weathered hand symbolizes so much to me.

December makes me laugh. I had started the month writing a difficult blog post and was open about my dating experience. It felt vulnerable to share. What makes me laugh though is in the post, I acknowledged how 2014 has been an amazing introduction to dating with minimal damage and I was already flirting with the possibility of a charmed romantic life in 2015. I had already moved on to 2015 despite still having three more weeks of 2014. A week after I published that blog post, I invited a friend as my date to a holiday party and by the end of the night we were holding hands and I was feeling butterflies. It was as if 2014 was telling me to wait, that she wasn’t done surprising me yet.

I am hosting a small New Year’s Eve Party with Ashley and Anita and tonight we’ll cook and prep for it. Tomorrow, I plan on ringing in the new year around happy humans and a sparkling dog.

2014, I’ll miss you and will carry you with me forever.

Previous years: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013

Question: What are five highlights and one “lowlight” from your year?

2013 in Review

It was a monumental year. I turned the dreaded Thirty, ended a long term relationship, fell in love with Paris, and faced tiny and giant fears.

January

I rang in the New Year with Alan and the same friends I’ve celebrated New Year with for the last 6 years. I treasure traditions. Little did I know this would have been the last year of our six year streak. More on that when you get to December.

February

Sometimes being a food blogger affords me some awesome opportunities. In February I had the opportunity to be a tasting judge for That Takes the Cake for the second consecutive year. I also visited the little rescue zoo in Austin for the first time with my little from Big Brothers and Big Sisters.


March

Alan and I celebrated five years together. We did not make it to the end of the year. Our relationship has shaped a lot of who I am today and for that I’m grateful.

April

I celebrated being matched with my little from Big Brothers and Big Sisters for five years by going to the new racetracks in Austin and watching the MotoGP Races. I can’t believe it’s been almost six years with this not so little little of mine. I worry about her a lot because I find growing up in today’s society is a lot harder for young people now than it was before technology has changed how we interact. That said, it has also been a pleasure to see her become a young lady. I realize I’m talking like an old person.

May

May was such a life changing treasure. I visited Europe for the first time since high school. Kim and I spent almost a week in Paris, a couple of days in Amsterdam, a day in Brussels, and a night in Istanbul. When I think about this experience my heart aches with bittersweet longing.

June

I spent a lot of this month acting as a silent auction chair for a charity event that the Austin Food Bloggers Alliance hosted in July. It was a lesson in rejection as I cold called businesses requesting donations. When I skim my Instagram feed in June I see a lot of food. I went to a lot of restaurant tastings, cooked and plated many dinners, and tried 16 pizzas from four restaurants in just a day.


July

I scratched off Oregon on my states goal by spending the weekend in Portland at the World Domination Summit with Anita, Treavor, and Jennifer. It was a magical and inspiring weekend that still makes me smile when I think of it. We had one of the best Thai meals I’ve ever had and delightful cupcakes and saw so many great speakers. I ended the month by celebrating my 30th with a birthday potluck party centered around ball shaped foods. It was a ball!

August

We had a Cookbook Book Club meeting and actually cooked. We are all busy women so our Cookbook Book Club meets more like every two-three months and every other meeting is so late on a week night we sometimes opt to eat at a restaurant instead of cooking. I have loved getting to know these ladies over good food.

September

I spent a weekend in the country outside of Dallas with Kim and her friends. Anita and Treavor joined us during the day. We rented a darling cabin and roasted marshmallows over an open fire. It was romantic and evoked feelings of autumn nostalgia. I then spent just a day in Miami painting my friend’s new house for hours and hours on end. I did manage to steal ten minutes of beach time on the way to the airport. It made me think of my dad.

October

A month of loss. I lost two friends to illnesses and with a heavy heart walked away from my almost six year relationship with Alan. October was also the first month of a new year of attempted monthly projects. For October I took at least 10 shots with my new DLSR.

November

I blogged every day in November. It was a difficult month. I moved out of the apartment I shared with Alan and cried for hours on end for days straight. It started to look up when I self-medicated with lots of dates with friends, including a third annual Thanksgiving potluck picnic pictured below.

December

I called December my Fear Factor December and I tackled my fears almost daily. I took a bee keeping class, spent an hour in a sensory deprivation chamber, started to release anger I’ve hung on to for four years, used a blow torch, boiled a live lobster, donated blood, and went on a police ride-along all in an effort to face my fears. December was hard, fun, and amazing. I scratched out three new states in two days and met a couple of my Internet friends. For the first time in six years I will not be spending my New Year’s in downtown Austin dolled up. I decided to honor the life changes that occurred toward the end of this year with a change of scenery. Instead of of heels and sparkles, I’m going for comfort and sparkles with a night in with my best friend, Kimmy. We will have our New Year’s tradition on the actual first day of the year for the first time in a few years.

In short, 2013 was both so hard and so lovely and I don’t know what to expect of 2014. But I’m ready.

Previous years: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012

Question: What are five highlights and one “lowlight” from your year?

2012 in Review

2012 was the best year I’ve had. I climbed out of my rut, maintained my dearest friendships, explored more bits of North America, and incorporated more sparkles into my wardrobe. It has been a beautiful year and I can’t believe it’s over. Below is my annual bullet recap.

Previous years: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011

Note: All links open in a new window.

January

February

  • Had a fun blogger meet up centered around Austin’s Livestrong Half Marathon.
  • Kim and I exchanged care packages in the name of love. Mine from her is pictured here.
  • Hosted a fun sleepover with Naz while Alan was in Vegas for a bachelor party.
  • Acted as one of twelve judges at the That Takes the Cake cake competition. I taste tested 36 desserts. This was a mini dream come true!
  • I climbed Enchanted Rock for the first time with my coworkers on Leap Day.

  • Mini #BiSC Blogger Meet Up in Austin

March

  • Attended wedding Bill’s and Jennifer’s wedding.
  • Bob met my parents for the first time.
  • I taught Bob the “Bang Bang” trick.
  • Alan and I celebrated 4 years together at one of our favorite restaurants.
  • Went to a few SXSW music shows.
  • I took a week off from work because I realized I was at my max limit of PTO. It was a productive staycation.
  • I bought Alan and I Kevin James tickets for our anniversary. He was hilarious. It was the first time I experienced his standup.
  • Went to Houston for dad’s birthday.
  • Kim and I played love vandals and left paper cranes around Houston’s Historic Heights.

  • Alan and I at Jennifer and Bill’s wedding (St. Patrick’s Day)

April

  • Planted 4,000 tree seeds at the Wildflower Center as part of my volunteer resolutions.
  • Had a shooting range date with Alan.
  • Took a weekend road trip to Arkansas with Treavor, scratching out a new state in my 50 states goal.
  • Treavor convinced me to climb a mountain in Arkansas.
  • Best Dudie Friend visited my Sketchbook in Brooklyn. He sent me the photos from his disposable camera. I kind of loved the fuzzy quality.

  • Treavor and I on top of Mount Pinnacle

May

  • Had a lot of fun dreaming and journaling the Prosperity Game.
  • Went to Bloggers in Sin City and met 59 other bloggers, a handful I had been hoping to meet! It was a fantastic time and I smile every time I think back on that weekend.
  • Began training to be a Dishcrawl Ambassador.
  • Went to book signing party of Michael Natkin’s Herbivoracious.

  • Bloggers in Sin City

June

  • Hopped on a trolley and toured Austin’s mac and cheese scene with Google Local.
  • Celebrated National Donut Day by going to a 24 hour donut shop past midnight. I love a good simply glazed donut.
  • Saw Snoop Dogg in concert.
  • It was a hard month and the sweet gals from Totes Awesome Channel were in the know so they surprised me with gorgeous delicious cupcakes!
  • Reunited with my half sister in Pittsburgh. It was my first visit to Pittsburgh but not my first time in Pennsylvania. This was one my most profound experience in 2012.

  • With my sister at her luau

July

  • Hosted Austin’s first Dishcrawl.
  • Helped the philanthropy committee of Austin Food Bloggers Alliance host a charity event benefitting Bake A Wish, a local nonprofit.
  • Accepted a new job position at a software company the day before my birthday.
  • Treavor came to visit for a night and we saw one of the best movies of 2012, Magic Mike.
  • Celebrated my 29th with sweet friends with dinner and drinks.

  • Celebrating my birthday

August

  • Moved to a new apartment with Alan and Bob.
  • Started a new job where one of my college friends also works.
  • Hosted Austin’s second Dishcrawl.
  • Rode my first Segway with Brandi. I’m a slowpoke on the Segway.
  • Participated in my third year of VEDA (Vlogging Every Day in August).
  • August was super stressful with moving, starting a new job, VEDA, and planning and hosting another Dishcrawl. Whew!

  • On Segways

September

October

  • Bought a new to me car!
  • Gave Alan 28 gifts for his 28th birthday, on the day of his birthday we went to the West Virginia vs Texas football game.
  • Went to Marfa with Kim (and Oprah and Gayle and Ryan Gosling) and spent the night in a teepee.
  • For the first time in ten years, I didn’t dress up for Halloween and go out. I had an awesome time avoiding the drinking and the parties. Is this a sign of getting older? I think so.

November

December

  • Had a morbid date with Cindy and explored the National Museum of Funeral History. It’s actually a fantastic museum with a fascinating and impressive collection! Post to come soon.
  • Trail of Lights returned to Austin and I walked it with Alan and my little (Big Brothers Big Sisters of America). They met for the first time this night and it was great to see them hit it off. Little said Alan has swag.
  • Had a Love Actually date with Anita and Ashley complete with tomato soup and grilled cheeses.
  • Enjoyed crepes for lunch on Christmas Eve with Davey.
  • Had hot pot with BFF and her brother and mom. A Christmas Day tradition!
  • Kim and I had our balloon release date for the 6th consecutive year. We didn’t release balloons this time (did you know there is a global shortage of helium?). We did Chinese paper lanterns.
  • Tonight we’re ringing in the year at a friend’s place and playing board games. I’ve been having board game hankerings!

  • Wish Lanterns




So that was my 2012. It was fantastic! Hope you have a great end of year tonight!

Question: What are five highlights that happened in your 2012?

2011 in Review

I’ve posted yearly recaps since 2008. I’m a stickler for tradition so here’s my recap for 2011.

Previous years: 2008, 2009, 2010

I had a good year.

Note: All links open in a new window.

January

February

  • It snowed.
  • I didn’t see Alan often because of his work.
  • BDF (Best Dudie Friend) visited Austin! This ended up being the only time I saw him this year.
  • BDF surprised me with cookies. His note gets me Google search hits that make me a little sad.
  • Sent out Valentine cards and socks to my girlfriends.

  • Alan and I hanging out

March

  • Alan took me to my first NBA game, Heat vs. Spurs.
  • BFF had cake balls delivered to me at work.
  • My solemate (deliberate misspelling) visited Austin.
  • Went to Austin’s 2nd Annual Bacon Takedown.
  • Went to Sketchbook Project 2011 tour stop in Austin.
  • Hosted my first giveaway on the blog.
  • Attended a free screening and Q&A with director of Meaning of Tea, a fantastic documentary about tea. Really!
  • Alan and I had a two part dinner to celebrate our three year anniversary at Haddington’s and Uchiko (my favorite restaurant).
  • Attended Austin Food Blogger’s Alliance Launch Party and applied for membership.
  • March was a turning point in my life. I faced myself in therapy. I’m still reaping the benefits.

  • At Sketchbook Project event

April

May

  • I got bangs impulsively, changing my do for the first time in 5 years.
  • Took a canoe trip with coworkers, facing a handful of irrational fears very reluctantly. Obviously, I survived.
  • I participated in Leo’s Habit Course and developed a palate for vegetables by eating one serving a day for 30 days.
  • Flew to Boston to see BFF. We drove to New Hampshire, Vermont, and Rhode Island, all three were states I’ve never visited.
  • Read 8 books this month.
  • Totes Awesome Channel was founded.

June

  • Went home to Houston for Father’s Day.
  • Rolled down a hill inside of a ball.
  • I hit a boulder with my car. I always hit non-moving objects. Anyway, this was the start of a chain of bumper problems during the rest of the year.
  • I hemmed my first dress! As part of my new year’s resolutions, I wanted to do 10 learning tasks with sewing. This was my first major lesson.
  • Went to third Annual Cupcake Smackdown

July

  • Met Ashley D, Ashley, and Nicole of Totes Awesome Channel and recorded a vlog.
  • Celebrated my 28th birthday simply with a dinner with Alan and then a movie and drinks with friends.
  • Made my favorite video: 28 Life Lessons from 28 People (for my 28th birthday).
  • I caught up to 2007 and got my first smart phone!
  • My friend, Naz surprised me with a vlog from my dad.
  • I got really cozy with Tennessee Williams and his movies. Cat on Hot Tin Roof is excellent!

  • Celebrating my birthday

August

  • Successfully completed VEDA despite being out of town twice and moving!
  • Met up Hillary and Alex in Dallas for our second girls’ weekend of the year.
  • Moved in with Alan.
  • Used my passport for the first time since renewing it 2007. Alan and I took a vacation to Vancouver, Canada, my new favorite city.
  • Saw the bats in Austin for the first time.

  • In front of the Vancouver Aquarium

September

October

November

  • Posted a blog post every day in November.
  • Ran two blocks of a 5k for Race for the Cure and raised 460 dollars. Thanks to a lot of you!
  • Went to Texas Renaissance Festival with Brandi and Jessica. It was our third year going and we decided to only do new things. We threw knives, shot bow and arrows, and had our face painted. It was the first time I’ve ever had my face painted!
  • Had my second blogger date with Treavor.
  • Attended a We Are Girls conference with my little. It was incredibly insightful.
  • Had a Thanksgiving picnic with friends at the park. We threw a whole cooler’s worth of ice cubes into an enormous fountain, to create ripples, to help push a soccer ball to a sad toddler across the fountain. We were successful.
  • Had a progressive meal day with Kim, Thomas, and friends.
  • During breaks between eats, we made paper cranes for Kim’s tree.
  • My bumper nearly killed Kim and me and got us murdered in the woods.
  • Made our sparkly tattoos dance.

December

  • I decide to like Christmas. I discovered it took more energy disliking it than it does to give into the cheer.
  • Partcipated in Austin Food Blogger’s food swap.
  • I was without a car the whole time I was in Houston for Christmas (the bumper needed to be replaced) and was touched to have friends pick me up for dates.
  • Sewed couch pillows with help from mom.
  • Hosting a “Never Have We Ever” dinner party tonight. Post to come!

  • Bob hanging out with snowman

In writing this post, I realized this year was really sweet for relationships. It may have a lot to do with my prioritizing close friends over acquaintances and then learning to set boundaries. Recently, I’ve been in a funk about not having a life’s calling but I have to say, I’m really content with my tribe. Word on the street is that it’s the relationships that really matter.

Wishing you a terrific end of year celebration! Lots of love!

Question: What happened this year with you?

2010 in Review

It’s that time of year again! I share with you my personal recap of 2010. This year was much better than 2009 (which was much worse than my 2008). It was a year of recovery and regaining balance. I feel very fondly of 2010 but I’m ready to embrace 2011. Bring it!

Note: All links open in a new window.

January 2010


Celebrating New Year’s Eve

February 2010

Progressive Meal in Houston

March 2010


Crawfish Boil

April 2009


May 2010


The back of Conan

June 2010

If a June night could talk,
it would probably boast
it invented romance.
– Bern Williams

I touched Anthony Bourdain's tricep.

July 2010


Jon and Me at my Birthday Dinner

August 2010


Aishah’s 27th Birthday

September 2010


Me & Joe Rogan

October 2010

  • I planned and organized a regional conference for work.
  • My dude turned 26! We celebrated for over a week.
  • Tried my first absinthe.
  • My half sister whom I haven’t seen in over ten years found me on Facebook.
  • Dressed up as a cop for Halloween.
  • Auditioned for a travel reality TV show after receiving an email from a casting director. I took Neville as possible partner and he totally outshone me.
  • A close friend’s brother died unexpectedly. Being with her has been a top priority whenever I’m in Houston. I’ve grown deeper in love for and with her.
  • Tried out Breakfast Klub, a culinary highlight in 2010.

November 2010


Brittany & Me at Race for the Cure

December 2010

  • Participated in Reverb10.
  • Road trip to Oklahoma! Why Oklahoma? To cross off another state.
  • Attended annual Christmas Party for Big Brothers and Big Sisters of America with my little and her cousin. This is our third year in attendance!
  • Had hot pot on Christmas day twice. Lunch with Mary Ellen and her mom and her brother, and dinner with my own family. I did exactly this last year for Christmas!
  • Tomorrow’s plan is to party on a rooftop downtown in celebration of a new and fresh year. A stretch Hummer may have been rented.


Annual Christmas Party with my Little

That was my year! I’m happy to have shared it with you and have your support, comments, and readership. It means an awful lot to me. Thank you!

Question: What are five highlights from your 2010?

2009 in Review

In comparison to 2008, 2009 was awful! The one thing I can think of that 2009 had over 2008 was that I read more than double the books I read in 2008. I’m anticipating the fresh feel of a new year that is 2010. In the meantime, here’s a review of how my year has gone with heavier emphasis on my blessings verses my misfortunes.

Note: All links open in a new window.

January 2009


Celebrating New Year’s with the boyfriend

February 2009


Alan and I at the Killer’s Concert

March 2009


Rodeo, Austin, TX

April 2009


Selina’s Birthday

May


Celebrating Sae’s law school graduation

June 2009


Cindy and me at Grand Lux Cafe in Houston

July


Brandi and me on Fourth of July

August

  • The first two weeks of August, I tried to squeeze in as much time as I can with Alan because he was about to leave for Korea for up to 4.5 months.
  • Starting, August 16, I started counting days Alan was gone.
  • Kim came to visit the weekend of the 22nd and we saw Wicked.
  • I saw 500 Days of Summer three times this month, in theatre, of course. This is the first movie I’ve done that.
  • Jon visited from NYC.
  • I got a part-time, part-time (yes you read that right) job, thanks to Brittany dropping a good word for me.


Alan’s last night out with friends before going to Korea.

September

October

November


Having hot chocolate at Ren Fest.

December


After party in the car.

I’m a blessed girl. Instinctively, I’d tell you my 2009 was pretty awful but when I write it all out like this and focused on the good rather than the bad, I can see now I’m still quite lucky. Farewell, 2009.

Tell me how your year went. Or better yet, if you have a year in review entry, I’d love to read yours.

2008 in Review

January
– Kim came up for New Years. We celebrated downtown with Alan’s couple of friends and Jon and the boys.
– Kim and I wrote on two balloons on New Year’s Day. One balloon of our regrets and things we’re letting go. The other balloon our desires for 2009. Then we ever so poetically, released them on my balcony.
I went to San Diego for the fourth time. I made it to the zoo and stayed at the same hotel as Jon and Kate plus Eight when they went to San Diego on their way to Hawaii.
– Made Jambalaya for the first time.
-Ate a lot of food with Jon while he was visiting Texas.



At Paradise Pointe Resort in San Diego.

February
– Spent my favorite holiday with Jamie.
– Did my own taxes for the first time
– Found a new hair stylist of of Sixth Street after asking her for a kiss for Bing for his birthday.
– Sent out Valentine cards and packages.



Celebrated Bing’s birthday on Sixth Street. The night I met my hair dresser.

March
– Watched a lot of movies and cooked a lot of dinners with Alan.
Cindy came up to visit. Introduced her finally to Flip Happy Crepes.
– I got about 3 hours of sleep a night.
– I go to San Diego for work yet again and stay at a hotel that had sex toys in their mini bar available to purchase.
– I search for a Madam Mam’s replacement. (Never found it)
– I celebrated Brandi’s birthday with Jessica. This is the 2nd time in 2008 we managed to spend some time together. We went downtown for her birthday and ate at Hula Hut.



With my girls, celebrating Brandi’s birthday. I wish this year we saw each other more. There was a time a year or two ago we saw each other once a week at least.

April
– I go to Second Chance Prom with Neville. Sweet since I didn’t have a date to my highs school prom. Well.. Liz was my date :)
– I meet my little and take her to celebrate Earth Day at Republic Square.
– I take a fabulous vacation to NYC (originally suppose to include Boston too and visit Mary Ellen but her paper got accepted into a conference). I got to see the Jennifers and Jon. Jon was my lovely host. (entry, entry, entry, entry)
Had my first Brazilian Wax. Yikes.
– The father of two of the kids I’ve babysat since both of them were born, died.



Jon and I in NY.

May
– My brother graduates college! My parents came up to see him walk.
– Alan and I didn’t renew our lease and I started to mourn the apartment. I was in love with our location and view.
– Continue to babysit for the boys who lost their father. Started with the night of the memorial service and then the funeral.
– Selina asked me to be her bridesmaid.
– My brother turned 23. Making me feel old.



Our view.

June
– Go to funnest book signing I’ve been to with Si Nae and her boyfriend. We went to see Chuck Palahniuk promote Snuff. He threw out blow up dolls.
– I worked a lot.
– I saw a lot of movies with Alan.



Si Nae, her boy, and Chuck Palahniuk!

July
– Alan and I moved out and stopped being roommates :( But it was a good move for us :).
– Went to Florida for the first time to get Mary Ellen married. Flew in a few days early and I joined her clan in cooking, building, bitching, bonding, all in the name of love and the most beautiful wedding I’ve been to yet. It was pretty much a DIY wedding and you can see the labor of love in everything. The baby food jars around the garden sheltering tea light candles, the fireworks/crackers, the dance floor her uncles and aunts built, the cascading fruit basket one of her uncle fashioned at 3 in the morning the night before the wedding, etc. SO many details that were not only beautiful on its own, but also in the labor and thought and love that it represented.
– I take a Thursday off of work and Brandi and Jessica and I hang out for the third time this year. They treated me to a trip to Schiltterbahn for my birthday. Last year it was Sea World.
– Turned 25. Jen T who normally only comes once or twice a year happened to be in town for my birthday :). Si Nae dropped by flowers. I had a pretty birthday cake in the shape of a snow globe. I celebrated with friends. Felt special. Alan took me out to a romantic dinner and bought me a cell phone. It was a good birthday. Though I hate that I’m now 25.



Birthday celebration.

August
Lily teaches us to make sushi.
Alan introduces me to Mikados. I mention this because now we go here fairly often for sushi. I’ve yet to take him to Musashinos.
Cindy comes and stays with me for almost 2 months for her pharmacy school rotation.
I take my little to her first play. Jack and the Beanstalk.
– Nisreen and Nino get engaged and Nisreen asks me to be one of her bridesmaids.



Sushi making night

September
– I take my certification test and am now certified in clinical research.
– I go to the Domain with Nisreen to study for that test. We go just looking around for her wedding dress and we actually FIND it at St. Thomas.
– I fly to Orlando for work, wishing Alan had gone.
– I take my little to her first UT football game.
Cindy and I try to learn about football.



So it wouldn’t just be for me why I wanted Alan in Orlando with me. Lookit the golf course!

October
– To my surprise, I’m taken by UT football. Really taken after watching OU game. I thought I had burnt out on football forever, but it’s really quite addicting.
– Alan takes me to see UT/Missouri game.
– Alan had a birthday.
– I dress up as a Hula girl for Halloween.



Kissing Meatwad.

November
– Ran my first 5k with Nisreen, Katambra, and Melissa.
– Jessica has a birthday, so the three of us (Brandi, Jessica, and I) reunite for the fourth time this year. FOUR times. That’s so sad. We go to Pete’s Dueling Pianos with plans to go to ren fest again but Brandi got struck with hives.
– I practically live at work.
– My brother breaks in his apartment by hosting a Thanksgiving meal. He makes his first turkey. Delicious!
I take my little to the Paramount theatre for the first time. We see The Hungry Caterpillar. Then I have a mini high school reunion.
– I take Thanksgiving week off from work and spend a week in Houston.
– I see fireworks with Kim and kind of Chris.



Nisreen pours everyone a double shot of bourbon at my brother’s Thanksgiving dinner.

December
– I finish paying off my car :) One of my New Year’s Resolutions. I bought in July 2007. Not bad, if I do say so myself.
– I spend Christmas in Houston.
– On the 26th of December, Kim and I for the 2nd time release balloons for New Years. We’re stunned that this time around, we do not have any regrets to write on that regret balloon. Instead, we write what we want to stay away from. Good times with Ms. Kim.
– I get to see my best friend, Mary Ellen. Second time this year. First time being for her wedding in July.
– I go back on Saturday (today) to get some work done and to spend NYE in Austin. With friends and beau.



Our balloons. Purple = wishes. Pink = what we’ll stay away from. Since we didn’t have regrets this year.

It’s been a good year. I read 10 books, ate a lot of Pho, and laughed a lot.