What a year it has been – in good ways, in unexpected ways, in challenging ways, in ways beyond my wildest, happiest dreams. The year flashed by in a blur and seemed to move slowly at the same time. When I think back on this year in the future, I know I’ll remember it with a smile for it was the year Chris and I became engaged. I think I’ll also remember it as the year I learned the most about myself. I know there’s much more to learn, but this year I learned what kind of woman, daughter, sister, friend and worker I am, and as difficult as the learning felt at times, I feel so much stronger because of it.

Here are some of the highlights of my year. Tonight Chris and I are picking up our tradition of going out to dinner on New Year’s Eve and trying The Patio on Goldfinch. To my followers, however many or few of you there may be, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for following along with me on Pretty Little Layers so far, and I wish you the happiest of New Years.

unnamed

1. Engaged

I was sure Chris was going to ask me to marry him on Christmas last year, but he fooled me and asked on an unexpected Friday in February. I’ll never forget that night I came home in pouring rain to a home lit up by dozens of candles and covered in bouquets of red roses. He had our box of memories displayed on the walls and my favorite meal waiting on the table – I always laugh when I remember he waited for me to eat it (I was so nervous that eating was the last thing I felt like doing!) before getting down on one knee. I’m a lucky girl to get to spend the rest of my days with him.

unnamed-4

2. Girls trip to Palm Springs with my mom

My mom and I spent a fabulous weekend in Palm Springs lounging by the pool, getting massages and going out to eat. It was exactly what I needed. The last time we went to Palm Springs together, she had whisked me away from my sadness over a recent heartbreak and spent the weekend comforting me. She has always been the best.

unnamed-1

3. Spending my birthday at Disneyland

It was always been a wish of mine to have my whole family join me at Disneyland. It took 29 years, but it finally happened! We had an absolute blast, but I could kick myself that we didn’t get a group picture.

The obligatory Starbucks photo opp at Pike Place Market in Seattle

The obligatory Starbucks photo opp at Pike Place Market in Seattle

Chris and I walked over to Louis Armstrong Park in New Orleans and came upon the last night of the legendary Jazz in the Park concert series. It was awesome.

Chris and I walked to Louis Armstrong Park in New Orleans and came upon the last night of the legendary Jazz in the Park concert series. It was awesome.

3. Trips to Seattle and New Orleans

Chris and I love seeing new places. We stayed domestic this year with trips to Seattle and New Orleans. In Seattle we had a fantastic time visiting Chihuly Garden and Glass and the EMP Museum, taking the ferry to Bainbridge Island for oyster shooters, sprawling out on the grass after a festival in Seattle Center and looking up at the Space Needle, exploring Pike Place Market, and eating food too decadent and sinful to repeat here (oh, the biscuit breakfasts at Biscuit Bitch and cheeses at Beecher’s!). We stayed at Hotel 1000, which offered gorgeous views of the water.

Then for our anniversary in October, we spent Halloween week in New Orleans, where I fell in complete love with the incredible food, the beautiful music, the exciting history and the fantastic sights. We did so much on that trip and I have many recommendations, which you can read here.

I'll admit it: Food tastings are among the best parts of planning a wedding!

I’ll admit it: Food tastings are among the best parts of planning a wedding!

3. Planning a wedding

Our wedding is on April 4, 2015 at the Saint Francis Chapel in Balboa Park, which will be 100 years old in 2015, and The Ultimate Skybox, which has stunning views of the San Diego skyline. Planning the wedding has been a lot of work, but so much fun. I’ll never forget this special time.

Celebrating Oktoberfest with the Junior League

Celebrating Oktoberfest with the Junior League

4. Making new friends

They say it’s hard to make friends once you graduate from college, but I disagree. Some of the best friends I’ve made came along long after those days. I’m thankful for the ones I met and became closer to this year and all the fun times we had.

unnamed-5

5. And seeing old ones

My sorority big sister/best friend Melissa lives in Los Angeles and I usually go up there to visit her, but she and her boyfriend came down to stay with us and we had the best time! I loved being a tourist in my own city and showing them around the Hotel Del Coronado, taking them to a Padres game, introducing them to my favorite restaurants and bars, and so much more.

5. Beginning this blog

I have always loved to write, especially about the things I love, but something always held me back from starting a blog. This year, with a greater belief in myself and encouragement from the people who love me, I went for it. I’m not very good (OK, I’m not any good) at calculus and I struggled through basic biology, but I’m grateful for the gift of words. I don’t have a huge following, but it’s exciting when I get visits because I started this blog just for me; anything else is a bonus.

Advertisements