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Friday, December 31, 2021

so much good stuff from 2021

so, 2021.  you weren't as crazy as 2020, i gotta say.  at least we've been able to get back to a lot of things we had to give up last year, right?  it's been wonderful to be able to see friends and family again, go out and enjoy meals in restaurants, even travel.  and while we've all had to adapt to a different kind of "normal," i think it's been better than just okay.  i've been a terrible blogger this year though, which is something i'm making one of my goals for 2022.  i realized while i was going through pictures from this year that there's still a lot of stuff i never got around to recapping.  i may have to do some backtracking because we did do some pretty epic shit...

the most wonderful thing happened in the first half of 2021 - the old lady's special friend promoted himself to fiancé!

of course, wedding planning began in earnest as soon as possible.  once they'd settled on a venue and she picked a dress - well, it's been a lot of fun and being mother of the bride really is a good time.

the bean is, much to her consternation, still on her competitive cheer team.  she swears this is the last year, and with her going into high school next fall i'm pretty sure it's gonna stick this time.

one of those cheer competitions was at disney world, so we turned it into a family vacation.  it was the fiancé's first time to florida, and after a few days of exploring the parks we headed down to miami and then fort lauderdale.

recreating old photos is always a good time.

she managed to finish out the 2020-2021 school year with about three weeks of on-campus classes, which was a nice change after almost an entire year of school via zoom.  and then when her final year at this school began, it was all on campus - a relief for everyone, for sure.

of course, there was plenty of disneyland-ing once the parks finally reopened.

the whole family is fully vaccinated, which is also a relief.  while it's not a promise that we won't catch the 'rona, it's the best protection we've got.  thanks, science!  

people started throwing parties again, which meant that there were more cookies this year too.

2021 was also the year that saw me take my hair lighter and lighter till it was full-on blonde.  i was attempting to possibly make the transition to letting the gray take over...yeah.  it was fun, but it's a one-and-done sort of thing that lasted through the summer and now i'm slowly getting back to slightly darker tones.

the bean spent ten days of her summer at her very first sleepaway camp.  she had two of her besties with her and their dorms were right next to each other, and it was a pretty awesome experience for all of them.  not gonna lie though, we were really happy to bring her back home when it was done.

although while she was gone, the hub and i lived it up.  there were lots of date nights and a weekend getaway to san diego and even a day at disneyland together, plus a few fun dinners with the old lady and the fiancé.

the bean had a couple of days to relax at home after camp was over, and then we whisked her off to hawaii for a lovely week of sun and fun.  this trip also included the best flight we've ever taken, with a sweet upgrade to the individual pods in the first class section.  it was amazing.

it was while we were in hawaii that i finally got to try out a peloton bike for the first time.  i ended up liking it so much that the hub gave me the green light when we got home to order a bike of my very own.  and now i'm about to do my 100th ride, just in time for the new year.  woohoo!

aerial yoga is also a new obsession.  the old lady and i go together once a week, and we finally got the bean to try it with us too.

we were so happy to be able to spend time with friends and family again.

and of course, there was lots of bonding time for just us.

the dogs keep us entertained every single day.

oh - the knitting and crocheting obsession continues.

the hub and i celebrated our 16th wedding anniversary with a trip to la jolla, which is also where we got engaged.

we were also pretty excited to return to live shows - jonas brothers and BTS concerts, along with a baseball game on filipino night at dodger stadium and hamilton at last.  plus, we watched our first movie in an actual theater in two years - a fun free screening of "zoey's extraordinary christmas."

after years of dreaming about it, i finally upgraded my embroidery machine and had a blast with it.  i learned what a "mug rug" is and ended up making a shitton of them over the last few months.

the old lady and i discovered how much fun it is to make these trendy beaded bracelets.

my 50th birthday was a literal year-long celebration, kicked off with a whole box of fun cards and gifts from MIL.  she sent enough for me to have something to open every single month leading up to september.  there were lots of fun "friends"-themed trinkets, plus chocolates and silly gag gifts.

and on my actual birthday - well, it was just the best day ever.  i still can't believe how well the hub and the old lady pulled off the most amazing surprise party that i literally never saw coming.  it was such an awesome day from beginning to end, and i'll never forget how much love i felt all day long.

the bean also had a pretty fun birthday.  we took her and a friend to the magic castle hotel for a night and then did the VIP experience at universal studios.  

she went to school dressed in a santa suit for a christmas spirit day, and then the hub borrowed pieces of her ensemble for his annual ugly sweater party at the lounge.

with the old lady's bridal shower - hosted by her sister, the bridesmaid - in january and the wedding coming up in a couple of months, 2022 is starting off with a bang.  the bean will have 8th grade promotion in may and starting high school in the fall, with cousin seven's wedding in september.  there's lots to look forward to, and i'm really excited and cautiously optimistic.  it'll be awesome to see what the new year has in store for us, and i'll really try to be better about blogging it all too.  i'll probably do a little backtracking so i can recap some of the other fun stuff we did this year, because it all deserves to be highlighted too.  until then, i leave you with this - a mock christmas card i created using one of our family photo shoot blooper shots.

happy new year, everyone!

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, ...