2012 was a whirlwind year, as most in recent history seem to have been. I probably remark at every year’s end how lucky and blessed I am to have the life that I do, but every year…that’s the best way for me to sum it up. I have some awesome friends, a wonderful & loving family, and an amazing boyfriend. When it really comes down to it, everything else–the good & the bad in my life–is just fluff. I’ll be honest and say this year definitely had it’s ups and downs…ups and downs which pretty much lasted until the very end. But instead of lingering on all of that, I’m just going to focus on what makes me so lucky…and why, as 2013 begins, I feel so incredibly blessed after a truly great year… (my advance apologies for the long-winded-ness of this post, and the AMATEUR photo placement…I’m still getting used to this whole blogging thing, so cut me a little slack :))
1. Had a great 30th birthday celebration in Vegas, surrounded by some (but not all!) of the people I love most in this world.
2. Celebrated, in some form, whether near or far, many other friends’ 30th birthdays…a big milestone for all of us!
3. Met Miss Gabriella Straus, my dear friend, Naomi’s first born (and had a lovely [& balmy for March in MD!] weekend in Baltimore catching up with Naomi & Anthony)…first baby down, now starts the surge?!
4. Celebrated Ben’s Papa Al’s 90th birthday in New York with his family…90!
5. Purged a LOT of “junk” in preparation for an involuntary (but definitely meant to be) move in May.
6. Had an amazing trip back (finally!) to Italy with Ben. We didn’t have much time, but we saw enough for the first trip (for Ben, and for me, after 9 years absent) & will be back eventually to see the rest!
7. Finally bid adieu to Houdini, my gray Ford Escape, which served me well for my first 7 years in SoCal…and said hello to a shiny new pearly white Fiat 500 sport, which was promptly named Bianca.
8. Ben’s business has been on the move (up!), and he’s had some really amazing opportunities worldwide this year, that will hopefully materialize into more success for him!
9. Had a relaxing & fun trip to Cape Cod to visit Ben’s Dad & Stepmom to see their new vacation house & boat, and enjoy a long Labor Day weekend on the water.
10. Enjoyed a lovely weekend in one of our favorite places, Napa, with my sister & brother-in-law, and his parents. We always love Napa, and it was great to share some of our favorite spots, as well as find some new ones!
11. Went through the painstaking process of buying a house, but ended victorious (ie: we now have a money pit to call our very own!).
12. Somehow accomplished several small renovation projects in the 8 days between closing on the house & moving in…quite a feat, even for an architect! (More house updates coming soon!)
13. Celebrated the wedding of good friends in Big Bear.
14. Started (and mostly stuck to, and still continuing) a no sugar, no carb diet, including three 3-day juice cleanses, all of which I never imagined I’d ever have the will power to accomplish. I haven’t lost the weight as quickly as I would have liked, but making such a big lifestyle change has definitely felt good.
15. Enjoyed 6 months in our high-rise 10th floor apartment with an amazing view of Santa Monica bay, and some incredible sunsets.
16. Celebrated Ben’s OTHER grandfather, Papa Mort’s 90th birthday in Florida over Thanksgiving, in addition to Papa Mort & Ama’s 65th wedding anniversary (and a blowout family reunion, to boot!). Clearly longevity in life & relationships runs in his family!
17. Enjoyed a few days home in MA with my family for Christmas, and even got a little bit of a White Christmas!
18. Saw the beginnings of Mom & Dad’s new house in Maine, a dream that has been talked about & planned for many, many years, and is finally becoming a reality. I’m excited for this next phase for my family, though it will be bittersweet to say goodbye to my childhood home (and hometown!), the home my parents built when they got married, and added onto as our family grew. Lots of memories…
19. Had an amazing and much-needed leisurely road trip from San Francisco to LA with friends, including 2 nights in SF, 2 nights in Big Sur (oh, Big Sur, so amazingly gorgeous & peaceful), and 2 nights & ringing in 2013 in Paso Robles wine country, filled with love, many laughs, lots of good wine, and a few Aussie accents, for good measure!
20. Received many lovely gifts throughout the year from Ben, including, oh, a HOUSE, among other things, but the best of them all…and extremely well-timed…was what he dubbed my “new years gift” on new years eve…a very sweet and thoughtful tribute to me and to us, which may very well have trumped every gift he’s ever given me…ever. If that’s not a slam-bang finish to 2012, I don’t know what is!
2013? Your move. Don’t disappoint me…