just before twentytwenty

twenty-nineteen was really special. i’m sad it’s over, but i’m really looking forward to what’s about to come! the last few weeks were most definitely the perfect way to close out the year, and even furthermore – the decade.

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tony and i got to attend the traditional filipino church service for christmas called simbang gabi. my mother sang in the choir and my brother played the piano so we felt especially excited about the service. it was nice to just put ourselves in the presence of the lord. sometimes we forget that jesus is the reason for the season!

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as i’ve mentioned before, i’ve been really into my plants lately so you can just imagine how excited i was when my fortune plant bloomed! apparently it’s a very rare event – even my mother, who has owned several in over four decades, has only seen it bloom once. when i shared the news with her, she was so excited and told me that it was extremely good luck for it to bloom, citing my engagement as a clear example. i’m pretty superstitious so i hope that it keeps blooming for a while longer!

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i was able to get together with leta just before christmas to do our annual gift exchange over pho. she really got me good when i unwrapped a pair of socks with our faces on them. she told me it was an impulse drunk purchase, but honestly, i don’t think i could have loved anything more. i’m looking forward to yet another year of friendship with this gem.

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before i knew it, it was christmas eve and so tony and i got ready to head to my mother’s house for our traditional filipino celebration (my family has always celebrated on the eve and opened presents then, as well.) i was excited that my tree and my dress matched so well – lately i’ve been enjoying dressing up for special occasions. i hope that motivation doesn’t leave me any time soon.

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once we arrived at my mother’s house we were greeted by her annual christmas village which has grown since i was a little girl. eventually it’ll be my job to take up this tradition once she downsizes homes. i’m always filled with nostalgia when i look at all the little figures we’ve collected over the years.

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christmas was no short of wonderful. the holiday season is usually very difficult for me but this year i actually really enjoyed it – i wonder if it’s because of tony or that my mental state has become so much healthier since last year. whatever the reason, i happily welcome it. among some amazing gifts we got this year, my sister gave us matching pajamas that also match her family’s. when my nephew, sean, changed into his (he brought his pair for after family pictures) tony and i followed suit. these pictures of us matching turned out to be some of my favorite pictures of all time!

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as i shared, tony and i spent the rest of our vacation up in pittsburgh visiting his family. it was such a wonderful trip and since we are engaged i felt so comfortable and at home with his family already. i loved the city and can’t wait to visit again.

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unfortunately, our trip home included a sick puppy. leah was under the weather for two days after our arrival. we knew she was sick because all she wanted to do was sleep and she didn’t play or eat much at all. we were both very worried, but after some sleep and tlc she was back to her normal (annoying) self by new year’s eve.

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and for the last day of the year we decided to start our resolutions early – which included getting back in shape. all our hard work from the summer was long gone and we desperately needed to start taking control before it became a real issue. it felt good to go on a run again, though in the moment i was swearing very differently. i was glad to achieve a mile and half and to put my new fitbit to work (mom got me a versa 2 for christmas!)

well, that was it. the last moments of twenty-nineteen. i look forward to blogging and sharing my adventures with you more this year, thanks for coming along for the ride! Xx

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