Goodbye 2019

I’m not going to lie, 2019 was a rough year for me personally and professionally but I had some really great moments with the people I care about. So here is my year in review…

January was a tough month for me but Andrew and I were still able to have a kick ass date night at Secret Summer’s Aquarius party. Here I am with the naughty wolves.

In February, Andrew and I decided to get away from NY for Valentine’s Day and his birthday and headed to The French Manor Inn and Spa in the Poconos.

Early March, I celebrated my Mom’s birthday at one of our favorite restaurants London Lennies.

Enjoyed Cherry Blossom season in DC with my friends Dawn and Christie in April.

Kicked off the summer season with my girls at Jones Beach for Memorial Day Weekend. Got the weirdest tan which I still have till this day.

Andrew and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary in June. We enjoyed a beautiful boat cruise and then a few days later had dinner at our wedding venue. Here is Andrew messing around on the boat cruise.

Got to enjoy my family’s beach house in Shirley Long Island in July. I don’t go there enough. It was beautiful and peaceful.

I’ve been pretty obsessed with trying to hit all 50 states lately. After working on a small puzzle of the US for a team building exercise in August, I bought a bigger one and plotted my next adventure.

My next adventure turned out to be a road trip in South Dakota and Minnesota in September! Here is a picture of us in the Badlands.

October is a very important month because it’s BIRTHDAY month! I did a lot of celebrating but my fav was exploring the Sojo Spa in New Jersey. Multiple floors, hydrotherapy, infinity pool….I can go on and on. Here we are in the heated pool.

I kicked ass for Thanksgiving. I cooked a full menu, cooking a turkey for the first time, which included an apple pie. I really out did myself.

Here is a picture of my turkey pre-oven:

Here is my apple pie:

And lastly, December. I started the year rough and I ended the year rough but being with family this past week has been a god sent. One thing I’m really proud of this month is getting my tree. I’ve never really grown up with a tree so getting one was a big deal to me. I’m sure I’ll collect more ornaments in the future but it was the perfect first tree.

It’s been real 2019 but 2020 I’m coming for ya!

2019 Holiday Season Memories

This holiday season went by so fast, I really can’t believe it’s almost over. It feels like Thanksgiving was yesterday but lo and behold 2020 is just around the corner. Here are some of my favorite memories.

Kicked things off by watching the Rockettes. I started going to the show every year with my Dad not so long ago. This year my Aunt and Uncle came along.

One thing I’m really proud of this year is cooking for Thanksgiving. From turkey to apple pie, I took care of it all.

I also cooked up a storm this past month.

Fried Chicken

Baked wings

Green bean casserole

Really decked out my apartment this year.

This is the first year Andrew and I got a tree!

The cats loved it!

Also, had some great family moments.

My cousin Rosie’s baby shower.

Annual Christmas party with the girls.

Pre-Christmas meal with my family the Saturday before Christmas.Hosted my family’s annual Christmas Eve party.

Winter Lantern Festival

Last week, Andrew and I accompanied my Aunt and Uncle to the Winter Lantern Festival at Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden in Staten Island. The holiday light show had over 1000 lanterns of various figures – mostly animals and flowers.

Here are my favs:

It was def. fun as a group. We had a blast.

Halloween 2019

It’s been a minute but I’m back! Life happens and sometimes you just have to keep your head above water.

Celebrating Halloween is usually hit or miss for me. This year, I celebrated by carving pumpkins! I don’t have any memory of doing this when I was younger so I was truly excited. I would have loved to have gotten my pumpkins from an actual farm but it wasn’t in the cards. Got mine at Home Depot.

Here are some pictures of my husband and I having a blast.

The final products:

Mine, the true classic…

My husband brought out the creativity…

So happy how they came out!!

I want this to become a family tradition, even get other family members involved!

We didn’t dress up this year but our cats had no choice.

I was expecting them to fight me on this but they didn’t even meow! I dare say they might have enjoyed it.

Happy Halloween!

Exploring The Met Museum with Mom and Andrew

 

In February, I was lucky enough to visit the museum twice, once with my Mom and another time, on Valentine’s Day <3, with Andrew.

Mom and I focused on seeing the exhibits that were closing. I especially wanted her to see the Michelangelo one because she is quite religious. Here are my favorite shots (one not of the exhibit!).

Michaelangelo

We also got to see the Rodin exhibit, which was displayed in a single corridor. These sculptures were amazing. Mom and I spent the most time here, taking in all the beauty and laughing at some of the more interesting ones. Here are our favs!

Rodin's Sculptures

Our last stop was the Japanese Bamboo exhibit and the Chinese Courtyard. They had one huge bamboo sculpture, which I believe was specifically made for the room, but I could be wrong. It was pretty interesting. It reminded me of the bamboo exhibit many years ago on the rooftop. That was one of my favorite rooftop exhibits at The Met. Mom LOVED the Chinese Courtyard; I took a lot of solo shots of her in here.

Japanese Art

On Valentine’s Day, Andrew and I got to explore the museum after hours. It was pretty cool, less of a crowd and they had curators in various locations to give you more information. The whole museum wasn’t open, only certain sections but we still got to enjoy the beautiful paintings at the Thomas Cole exhibit, the Frank Lloyd Wright room in the American Wing and our favorite, Temple of Dendur. It’s usually crowded in the room, so it was pretty sweet that we got to see it so up close and personal. Andrew and I ended our night of exploring in the Dining Room at The Met where we had a very romantic dinner =).

MET AfterHours

Thomas Cole

Shen Yun Performance with Mom and Dad

One of my goals for this year is to spend more time with my parents. In January, I took them to watch Shen Yun, a Chinese dance and music performance, at Lincoln Center. It was amazing! Full of color and culture.

The show had a great combination of old school and modern elements, with traditional Chinese dances and clothes that were breathtaking, and more modern elements that included crafty ways of using video and projection. Each dance or performance told a different story. My personal favorites were the more traditional ones that featured the females in elegant over the top dresses of the time period. One focused on these long sleeves that the women used sort of like ribbons when they danced. The other one focused on these huge platform shoes that they mastered at the time to make beautiful movement. Kudos to the women of the past who made these outfits and styles work, and work well, at the time of their lives!

Could not capture any photos or videos of the performances but both my parents enjoyed themselves :). This is an annual performance in NY, so I look forward to next year!

Shen Yun

A glimpse of my life as a caregiver

As an only child, it’s my responsibility to take care of my parents the older they get. Last year, I got a little taste of what that would be like. Both my parents ended up staying with me, separately and together, for some time in my small two bedroom apartment. My father got sick and was afraid to be by himself, and my mother’s living situation was no longer habitable (it still isn’t). My parents have been legally separated since I was three so it was a packed (and awkward) apartment in Astoria!

It was a bit rough, but it had its beautiful moments. I was lucky enough to be unemployed at the time, concentrating on Grad School, and was able to be home to look after them. I never lived with my Dad, so I had to get used to his quirky ways. I also had to get used to cooking for four and abiding by everyone’s food preferences. Trying to respect everyone’s personal space and routines was hard, but we made it work.

One of the positive things that came out of it, looking back, was that I had the tough talks with my parents and got the 411 on wills, health proxies and power of attorney. I witnessed how vulnerable they could be. We generally look at our parents as the strong ones, the people we go to when we are weak. It was hard for me to see them that way but it was also eye-opening. I had to be the strong one this time, and I will have to be in the future.

Another positive thing was that I started helping them improve their living situations. None of us are great at keeping things neat, but both my parents are hoarders. My mom is the worse of the two! Last year, I helped my dad clean out his place and get new furniture. I also did a major clean-up job in my mom’s kitchen. It’s wasn’t enough, and there was so much to do that I convinced her to move in with my dad until we get everything sorted. So now my parents are living together. After them living separately for 33 years, I’m so proud of them for making it work.

One of my main goals for 2018 is to clean up my place, continue cleaning my Dad’s and cleaning my Mom’s place. I want us to live clutter free. It is true when they say clutter causes stress! I also want to begin collecting all the important financial documents and having access to everything I need just in case. This means continuing to have those tough, awkward talks. Most importantly I want to spend more quality time with my parents. I def. take them for granted.

Here is a pic of my lovely parents <3!

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