How lucky can one guy be?

 My papa and Frank Sinatra have pretty much summed up our year. 

I am just overwhelmingly thankful for the year that we have had Joel and I navigated our first full year of marriage and lived another year in California, all while traveling, seeing babies born, spending time with family, and falling more in love with life and each other.

I love these yearly recaps, 2012 and 2013 were filled with very high highs and the worst of lows....and both years have shown me with clarity that when it's good, my God is it good.

We booked a trip to Europe! What a way to start a new year!
I chopped my hair off, and lived 2014 as a short hair girl.

My mom and Kuka came to visit us. I loved being able to show my grandma my house in LA and cook dinner for her!

 Joel ran a 50k and his parents and brother came out to cheer him on.

We went to the Davis Cup in San Diego

One of my college besties, Lauren came in from Boston so we could spend a long weekend together. It had been years since we had more than just a few hours together to catch up - so our overdue weekend was amazing.

I went with my cousin Amanda on a sales trip she won to Punta Mita, Mexico. 

I accepted and started a new sales job.

We celebrated Easter with some friends at our house

One of my best friends Shelby had her sweet baby boy Tucker on April 24th. It has been a really  remarkable experience to get to watch him grow this year.

My bestie Claire came out to visit while Joel was out of town so we had a full-on girls weekend.

We celebrated my 26th birthday

 We found out we were going to be expecting a nephew in October and another niece or nephew in January!!

 I coached a team of elementary girls with Girls on the Run and they all finished their 5k!

We traveled to France and had one of the best trips of our lives...we went to the French Open, explored Paris, and spent a few days in Bordeaux. 

We celebrated our 1st year of marriage on June 22nd.

I had my first out of state work trip to NY

Lots of traveling in June.....I went home to Chicago for a summer visit and to co-host a wedding shower!

We spent 4th of July in San Diego with my brother and sister-in-law and soon to be nephew! 

I registered for my first ever half marathon and began training.

Joel ran another 50k.....I know.

One of my best friends, Sara, got engaged and asked me to be a bridesmaid in her wedding in 2015!
We showered Corie and Sulley down in San Diego

Joel turned another year older and wiser and we celebrated at Half Ace brewery

We flew to Chicago over Labor day to watch my cousin Danny get married and spend some time with family.

My cousin Erin officially moved out to LA and her sister Ryan came and spent a weekend visiting

I had another work trip to Orlando

We traveled to NYC to for Joel's aunt's wedding and got to spend some much over-due time with our niece and nephew

I became a half marathon finisher!

My cousin Cole and his wife Brianna welcomed their first baby boy Nolan, and Corie and Andrew had Sulley the last week of October!!

I got a bonus trip home because of work so I got to spend a few days in Chicago!

My family came out to LA and Joel and I hosted 14 people for Thanksgiving dinner - something I've dreamed about since I was a little girl.

We have spent December with friends and family, and really tried to enjoy my all time favorite season

And now as you read this, we are making more memories in Mexico with the ones we love. 


And happiest of New Years to you too. Thanks for sticking around this blog of mine. It's my all time favorite hobby and I love it even more when I have posts like this, when I can go back in time for a reminder of how good life is.

I am filled with gratitude for and excitement to bring in 2015.

via | a-thousand-words


Christmas Recap

Maybe one of my favorite parts of Christmas as an adult is just the built in excuse to fully indulge in all of the finer things.

Like, really really good champagne!

After a happy hour like that, no champagne the rest of the week tasted half as good, but it was such a fun treat to ring in the holidays.

When Joel got home from work on Christmas eve we went to the 4pm children's choir mass which was was as cute as can be, and then hurried home to get ready for dinner.
My cousin Erin and her fiance(!!!) joined us for a dinner and what a feast we had.


Joel is seriously an expert in cooking and eating lobster and it really is the most fun and decadent tasting dinner you can have.

But it's freaking messy. 

Half way through dinner, everyone put on aprons so that we could stop worrying about the mess and just go for it.

Erin and I have found each other in the same places a lot throughout our lives, but having each other here in LA together is the best one yet. 


And of course, most of all, I am just reminded again how lucky I am to have my little family. I feel beyond, beyond, beyond blessed with the fortunes I've been given. 

After dinner we exchanged gifts (couple to couple and then a favorite thing under $10) and then had the best cake I've ever had in my life (from SusieCakes) before it was due time to call it a night.

Joel and I exchanged our Christmas eve pajamas and then went to bed - however all way not calm outside. 

LA had a wind storm roll in with really high winds and we lost power on Christmas morning around 4:30am. 

We woke up and weren't sure what to do, I felt like I just couldn't do Christmas without a lit Christmas tree, coffee, and our traditional cinnamon rolls....

But we took a walk to get coffee and when it wasn't on when we got home, we said screw it.

We lit candles, played Pandora on our phones, and on the one shot we had to open the fridge grabbed bagels, champagne, and orange juice.

The power didn't come back on until after 2, but it turned out to be a really fun and special Christmas morning because of it. 

Joel made us a feast of appetizers for dinner and we cuddled on the couch in sweats for the rest of the night.

shrimp cocktail, turkey bacon wrapped dates, salmon dip, spinach artichoke dip 

On of my Christmas presents was "Tea Time with Tess" at the Peninsula, so this afternoon, Joel and I will be going to high tea for one final holiday celebration before we leave for paradise.