Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013: A Year to Remember

I hope you all have a most fantastic New Year!

These are some of my favorite moments from 2013.

We celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary!  Not the way we planned to, but we celebrated together, so it was perfect.

We completed the Yamathon.  It was one of the hardest things I've ever done but we had great company so it was tolerable!



One last trip with some friends in Japan, this time to Kyoto. (Ok, so we took this trip in May but I didn't blog about it until July and the rest of July was spent preparing for an international move so I'm leaving it here)
Jason turned 30...yep those friends again!  We love them! 
We said "see you later" to so many amazing people and a beautiful country.
We drove across America, visiting friends as we went.
I shared 30 days of Thankfulness and spent some more time with these great gals.
2013 was definitely full of highs and lows but I have much to be thankful for and I'm taking many great memories of the year with me into 2014.  I'm ready for a fresh start and cannot wait to see what 2014 has in store for me/us.


Monday, December 30, 2013

Mission Trails Regional Park

I've been slacking in just about every single aspect of my life lately.  I don't know what's up but seriously, it's out of control.  My health and nutrition are at an all time low, we're not taking advantage of this beautiful area we live in, I haven't been blogging or taking photographs or anything that I usually enjoy, I've just been cruising through the days.  I'm working on fixing it one day at a time. 
This weekend I decided we needed to enjoy some of the beautiful weather we've been having here in SoCal so we set out in search of a little hike.  We found this area just 20 minutes from our house and we love it.  I know we'll be back!
I drug my camera and tripod along and set out to take some family photos and document our day.

I even played with some long shutter shots at a creek we found.  It felt good to take some pictures and experiment a bit with some the settings I haven't tried before.
One step at a time!


Saturday, December 28, 2013

Christmas recap

I don't know if it was the weather or not celebrating the holidays with a large group like usual but I just was not feeling the holiday cheer this year.  I tried.  I tried so hard.  I decorated and baked and all that jazz but I just wasn't into it this year.  I've been missing my family something fierce and not being with them just took it's toll on me this year.  We still had a great Christmas and I have much to be thankful for, this year was just very different.

We Skyped with my family a few days before Christmas and I loved every single second of it.  It was hard not to be there with them but Skype is definitely the next best thing.  I can't imagine living far from my family 20 years ago.

I drug the hubs an hour away to see a pretty spectacular neighborhood light display.  I told you I tried to get into the spirit.

 We even had hot cocoa and tea while we sat in the car listening to Christmas music.

Christmas Eve rolled around and we had to make a trip to the Navy base on Coranado.  While we were there I convinced Jason to take me to the beach.

70 and sunny on Christmas Eve.  Like I said, I have a lot to be thankful for!

Jason's dad came down for the night and my cousin joined us for dinner. 

I had great plans to make a fancy 3D fruit tree using a watermelon as the base but it's apparently not watermelon season and that thing was nasty and wouldn't hold up so I improvised.

My awesome hubby bought me flowers.  Cranberries made the perfectly festive vase filler.

Since it was a special occasion, I broke out the only bottle of my favorite umeshu I brought back to the States with me.  Oh joy this stuff is so incredibly yummy.  I would love to be able to find it online or in a store here but I couldn't even find it in a store in Japan, only at one specific bar.
I was apparently digging the Christmas tree theme this year.

Since it was just the 4 of us and we don't have a "traditional" Christmas meal in our house, I decided to go uber fancy and cook steak (for everyone but me) and lobster.  YUM!

My cousin gave me the coolest gift, a Settlers of Catan cookbook.  I've already ordered the hexagonal bowls and cannot wait to make some of these fun themed meals.  Now we just need to make some friends to invite over.

We don't have a lot of traditions in our house but homemade biscuit donuts on Christmas morning is a must in our house. 

We decided to share some homemade Japanese food with Jason's dad while he was in town.  Sukiyaki for Christmas lunch.  WIN!

Basically we ate a ton of food and played a few games!  Christmas was a terrific success.

I usually leave the tree and decorations up until New Years but I was just ready to put this holiday behind me and move on to the new year so they got packed up early this year.

I hope you all enjoyed your Christmas!