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Thursday, December 31, 2020

happy end of 2020!

ah, 2020.  the year where everything and nothing happened.  while it really was quite the shitshow once march hit us, i have to admit that there was more good than bad for us this year.  we spent a lot more time together as a family, we're all healthy (despite the hub's brush with covid), everyone is happy and we didn't kill each other.  ain't that a kick in the pants?

it all started off so well, with one of the bean's last days of winter break spent with friends at the funko pop store in hollywood:

i cashed in a groupon at the spa at the langham hotel in pasadena with lilcee and dailygluttony.  little did we know that this would be our last GTG...

we just went about our lives, going out, having fun, just doing...stuff.  like the one day that the old lady took me to the lip lab and we made our own lipsticks:

we went down to staples center one night to watch the bean perform with her zumba class during halftime at a clippers game:

we managed a few trips to disneyland.  just a few.  here, for their lunar new year celebration:

it occurs to me that perhaps my wish here may have just jinxed the entire year.  damn.

we finally stopped to have our silhouettes done at the little shop on main street.

one morning, the old lady and i headed out extra early to grab boarding passes for the new star wars rise of the resistance ride. and it was that same day that we got to meet up with my good friend weezermonkey, on a very rare visit to the 'land to celebrate her daughter's birthday.

and on what turned out to be our last visit to our happy place in 2020, we enjoyed brunch at la brea bakery and saw their valentine's day decorations.

we got to watch the bean in a handful of cheer competitions.

speaking of the bean, we took her to costco to snap new pictures so we could renew her passport.  hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha, yeah.

and her obsession with BTS continued.  in fact, we managed to secure tickets to all three of their shows that were supposed to be at the rose bowl in may.  sigh.  instead, she made do with streaming concerts and new CD releases.

we thought of our sweet molly on the first anniversary of her passing.

the bean and her friends managed to squeeze in some girl scout cookie boothing.

it was also around this time that we ran into andrea barber, AKA kimmy gibbler on "full house," doing some cookie boothing of her own with her daughter's troop.

and with some pretty great timing, i managed to check off one of my bucket list celebrity sightings when the old lady and i ran into john stamos at downtown disney.  have mercy.

she and i also headed out to l.a. to the britney spears experience, where we sashayed our way through a bunch of recreated sets from her most iconic music videos.

and in our final act before the world turned upside down, the bean and i made our way out to florida with her cheer team for competition.  we were having a great time until the news started breaking - first with school closures, and then with more and more ominous warnings and the hub chomping at the bit to get us safely home.  it was a crazy, scary time and while we were sad to leave, i was also anxious to get back and hunker down with the rest of the world.

we went home, and we stayed there.  for weeks.  the only outings we dared go on were to the laundromat (just me and the old lady, every monday) and to the grocery store.  it was a time of sweatpants, hoodies, comfort bras and making masks.  lots and lots of masks.

not to mention, gray hair.  lots and lots of gray hair, until i finally broke down and got my stylist to put together a care package for me so that the old lady could help me take care of it at home.  i briefly considered just letting it grow out, but come on.  we all know i'm too vain for that.

i tried to keep up my fitness with orangetheory at home classes and live virtual barre via zoom.

we also added new pieces of fitness equipment to the household, with the most recent being the awesome treadmill i just unwrapped on christmas morning.

of course, there was lots of food throughout the year.  one of the things we were (are?) obsessed with was mochi donuts. there are a couple of different places in the area now where we can indulge in that craving.  i even tried making some once, but the yeast shortage made them sad and dense.  just leave it to the professionals.

oh!  i didn't even mention the total remodel of the entire house we broke ground on...just a week or so before lockdown began.  oh yeah.  it added quite the wrinkle, with three people plus two dogs living in two rooms and the backyard for several months.  the biggest bummer was not having a kitchen, because it left us relying on takeout and our barbecue for all of our meals.  i should probably do a proper recap of the remodel with all of the before and after photos, especially since it was a big highlight of 2020 for us.  but the biggest differences were in the front half of the house, which started out looking like this:

and ended up looking very different, with walls coming out and the addition of a laundry room and powder room plus a full guest suite.

once the kitchen was again open for business, it was on.  we did a whole lot of cooking, which has been lots of fun.

AND ya girl finally got a proper rice cooker!  hello kitty...which shocks no one, i'm sure.

of course, we had to get in on the dalgona coffee craze.

and we did plenty of experimenting with at-home boba kits while visiting boba shops whenever we could.

the bean's few milestones during this time?  the end of 6th grade, the start of 7th, becoming a teenager and getting her braces taken off at last.

there were lots of birthday parades, including two for herself.

and school looked mighty different as 7th grade began, with a special guest poking his nose in every now and then.

2020 was also my year for novelty t-shirts and sweatshirts.

one of the best things that also came from this year was me finally learning how to knit and crochet.  with most of my sewing gear out of reach for a good chunk of the year, it was nice to still have a creative outlet - especially one that's portable.  i never thought i was ever going to get the hang of it, but it's happening!

the bean had her own creative outlet - hand sewing little plushies that she gave to her friends (and her sister).

and for my birthday, she recreated the entire "pirates of the caribbean" ride in the house.  it was amazing, and she got everyone to participate in it.  it was the sweetest thing ever, and something i'll remember forever.

my favorite barre instructor, who like a lot of others found herself with a lot of extra time on her hands this year, turned her creative outlet into a pretty successful little home-based business.  i love all of the pieces she makes - bracelets, mask chains, glasses chains (which i've finally just sucked up and embraced), with necklaces and rings to come.  and i've become quite the regular customer, for myself and the girls plus some others i've bought as gifts.  these are so much fun to wear:

we went out for road trips almost every weekend - all of us, even the dogs.  stevie does really well in the car, but the other two always take forever to get settled.  weirdos.

speaking of the dogs, i think they may have been slightly perplexed at the constant presence of their humans all up in their grill this year.  although i'm willing to bet that they loved every moment of it (despite what cocoa and her side eye may be conveying).

there were just a few cookies.  luckily i never had to turn anyone away while the kitchen was being worked on, but also...it's not like there were parties going on this year.  i think the few requests i did get were for things like gifts and drive-by party favors.

what was the true rallying cry for 2020?  ALCOHOL!

our other form of entertainment this year came in the form of drive-thru experiences.  we did a handful of them, and enjoyed each and every one.

we voted!

and as soon as halloween was over...we put up the tree.  yes, even before thanksgiving.

christmas came really fast despite our efforts to make the season last as long as possible.

this says it all, yes?

happy 2021, everybody!

squeezing in all the sightseeing

this was our NYC home for a whole week: it was one of only a few hotels that i could find that offered two beds in a room rather than, say, ...