[2014 Wrap-Up] One Word – FINALLY!

I had planned to write my 2014 Year In Review yesterday, but I just didn’t get around to it. Luckily it was not part of my New Year’s Resolution. I do hope to write more often this year.

MMXIV – Overall, it was a pretty great year. Some highlights:

Finally!

Photo courtesy of Mark Stephens (www.CapturedbyMark.com)

1. Finally! After 9 months of planning (including having some issues with vendors and members of the wedding party) and 13 years of waiting for this day to come, my longtime main man and I finally said “I Do.”

I was pretty shocked by a few things – mainly that I didn’t pee in my dress or suffer an anxiety attack at the altar. One of the first things I heard after finishing our couples photos was that my mom and dad were “hogging” the photo booth. Thanks Partyrazzi Events for showing me that my parents can be fun!

It was also a mini reunion of my husband’s friends — the “nLo” crew. It seemed like a really nice treat to have everyone together, especially now that everyone is kind of spread out now. I remember thinking that the great thing is, even though many of them haven’t seen each other in a long time, it seemed like no time had passed. That’s true friendship!

2. Speaking of friendships, I re-connected with an old friend on July 4, 2014. I was just doing nothing, as usual, when I heard an e-mail alert sound come from my phone. It almost felt like I was dreaming when I saw the name. I literally started tearing up.

For the last 2, almost 3 years, I had not spoken to this person. In around January or February I attempted to reach out to this person, to see if she would be my Maid of Honor. When I did not receive a response, I assumed this friendship was a lost cause.

Now that we’ve been speaking again, I really felt a big weight lifted off my shoulders. It was really heavy too. In that one moment, it was like one of my prayers came true. For that, I’m thankful. My only wish is that it had come before the wedding. We still have yet to see each other in person. Perhaps that will be a significant event in 2015.

3. Between the wedding and having a weight off my shoulders, I dealt with my first “wifely” duties. My husband had minor surgery. I think I was more terrified than he was. For a couple of hours, I sat in the cold, cold waiting room. Although it was the beginning of summer, that day seemed really overcast. I had never been apart from my husband in that way.

There is a different, very scary feeling when you know where your loved one is, but you can’t go and be with them. I’m thankful, though, that he came out okay. Such a relief! It wasn’t bad staying at home to take care of him for a few days, either.

Free LA Tour

Free LA Tour

4. We had a few mini staycations and adventures in the Los Angeles area. Since we’ve been recovering from wedding expenses, we sought cool things to do on the cheap. One such activity was the Free LA Tour.

Yes, you read that right. “Free” and “LA” in the same sentence.

For a couple of hours, our guide, Damien, took us around near downtown and discussed the history of good LA. I’ve always had a mostly hate-hate relationship with LA, but thanks to this tour, I do have a slight fondness for the city. While we were walking around, we discovered new places, like the Grand Central Market and Grand Park LA.

Other cool things we did in LA was attend a wedding at the New Beverly Cinema. It was a pretty unique venue for a wedding. It really was a good time and really showcased the couple’s love of movies. We made a weekend out of it and stayed at The Line Hotel.

The hotel was perhaps one of the coolest hotels we’ve been to. It’s super modern and has a great restaurant – The Commissary. It’s got a greenhouse setting, so you feel like you’re outside but still inside. We had breakfast there. I had Spam and Fried Rice. It was so yummy! Oh my gosh, my stomach is growling just thinking about it

4. A somewhat localish adventure we went on recently was going up the coast to Santa Barbara. We had a great breakfast at Cafe Luna in a little town called Summerland. Then we went to the Santa Barbara Zoo. I wasn’t sure what to expect. From the low cost of parking, I figured it was a tiny zoo. Despite its small size, it’s actually one of the nicer zoos that we’ve been too. Aside from not being packed at the time, it’s quite spacious. The setup allows you to see all the animals (as well as not get lost). Although many of the animals were sleeping, at least they were in view.

The best part of the trip for me was visiting Solvang. I had heard many people talk about this city, and I was excited when I saw that we were headed towards it, especially around Christmastime. It’s a Danish (not Dutch) village a few minutes away from Santa Barbara. I really felt like we were in another country. What I loved most was seeing all of the Christmas trees outside the shops. In our neighborhood, rarely anybody has lights. So, seeing all the lights and tress made me happy.

Our First Christmas Tree

O Christmas Tree!

5. This was the best Christmas, though, not only because it was our first as a married couple, but because we had a Christmas tree! A real one! One that we had make sure had water! When my husband brought it home, I was moved to tears. For one, I hadn’t had a real Christmas tree since I was 3 years old. From that point on, we had an artificial tree.

In all the years my husband and I have been together, we have never had a tree — artificial or real. I was really excited. We went out that evening to get ornaments and lights. For so many years, we had ornaments, but no tree to hang them on!

I was a little skeptical about having a tree with our two little curious fur babies. However, I’m happy to say that our tree survived, and still lives today! Boy, will I be sad to see it go. I took plenty of pictures, though, as if I were a proud parent or something.

I don’t know how 2015 can top last year, but I’m hopeful for more happy days to come. Cheers!

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