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Top Ten of my 2012 =)

Now that the year is coming to an end, I guess it’s only natural to look back at this past year and see what big personal events made it so special! Those of you on facebook have probably seen that “Year in Review” thing… I think it’s a little bs because it just tracks which of your posts/pics have been the most popular and that’s hardly representative of your real life! So I had to actually do it the old fashioned, lazy way and use some introspection to figure out my top ten. Guided, of course, by my photos… really, if I didn’t take any pictures I’d hardly remember anything that happened at all. Ever. Forever.

So without further ado:

10. House Hunting

Okay fine… so this didn’t really happen until maybe like the last few weeks of the year, but that is still 2012! And if we end up finding our dream house, it will certainly be a defining moment of 2012. We will be checking out more houses tomorrow and in the weeks to come so probably one of my top 10’s for the next year will be our new home purchase 🙂IMG_8990

9. 10 Year Stuy Reunion!

It’s hard to believe but it’s been 10 years since the youthful, vibrant class of 2002 left the doors of Stuyvesant High School and went on our separate ways, taking over the world (or the pharmacy, for me). I hadn’t really even though about going to my 5 year one (and I wasn’t able to anyway because of a trip) but for some reason 10 years just seems so much more important and weighty. I guess a lot of other people had the same idea, because we actually ended up breaking reunion attendance records! So that was pretty cool. It was also really cool just  to see all my old friends, most of whom I hadn’t spoken to for probably those 10 years since we graduated! It makes me feel very nostalgic and also kind of melancholy that I didn’t KIT (that felt so JHS!). All of these people are great… and it sucks to have fallen out of communication with them. Hopefully it won’t take another 10 years to meet up again!

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just half of the crowd for reunion – the other half is on the right drinking up at the bar! no friend pics… i felt weird putting those online for the public.

8. Canon 5D Mark II

Yes guys, I finally bit the extremely expensive bullet and bought a full frame camera! I got a refurbished body-only camera from Canon for 1400 with tax – a steal for this kind of camera! It’s not the newest (the 5d Mark III came out this year, swoon) but it’s still a wonderful camera and pretty well suited for my amateur and hobby needs. So far I only have two lenses for it (50 mm/1.8 and 40 mm/2.8) but FedEx may  be bringing me an early Christmas present soon… I’m really looking forward to playing around even more with it (I just discovered how to work the video mode! I’m such a newb!) and learning its little quirks. One quirk I already have to get used to… the awkward (to me) positioning of the on/off switch.

7. Dong’s Mom

She came in March, when the chilly snows of winter were slowly melting into the greenery of spring, and stayed with us for 6 months until escaping back to China before the winter. Smart woman. She will be coming back next spring, bringing with her again her cooking skills and giving us the satisfaction of a house that is never empty of edible goodies. Whether it’s handmade dumplings or quickly stir-fried peanuts, there’s always something snackable. There are definite pros for us, although there are cons (to me at least) – lack of privacy and the language barrier make it a little tough for me to communicate. Sometimes you just want to sit and watch TV without having to explain things, you know? But for better or for worse she has definitely made an impact on our lives here.

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handmade dumplings – the wrappers, filling and all!

6. Kat’s Wedding

I feel so lucky and blessed to see one of my best friends get married! I’ve known Kat for more than 15 years now and I was so happy to be part of her wedding as a bridesmaid. Gorgeous bride and groom, beautiful setting and delicious Chinese food, haha – what more can one ask for?! Maybe adorable ring bearer and flower girls, two amazing fellow bridesmaids and a night full of dancing!

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5. Our “Pre-Honeymoon” in Cancun

Well the jig is up – we’ve actually been married since 2010 so our wedding this year was mostly to celebrate with friends and family. But being married meant that we could have a pre-ish kind of honeymoon, since we wouldn’t be able to take time off after the wedding. It also meant that we could use our marriage certificate to get the honeymoon package at Le Blanc Spa and Resort, a very lovely all-inclusive resort in Cancun, Mexico. We had a wonderful time being pampered and relaxing in our in-room jacuzzi, eating anything you want poolside or at the specialty restaurants, and enjoying the pool and the beach right at the back of the hotel. We also got to swim with dolphins, go snorkeling in an underwater river, and basically have a great time!

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4. Culinary Adventures

Every year, I like to think that we expand our cooking horizons a little. Dong is more familiar with Chinese-style cooking while I tend more towards Western dishes, so it’s an interesting mix that we bring to the kitchen. This year we didn’t cook quite as much as last year, in no small part due to Dong’s mom being here and basically providing our foodie needs! So we were spoiled with handmade dumplings, hearty noodle soup daily for breakfast, and all variety of northern Chinese dishes. But once she left to return to China for a few months, we were left to fend for ourselves. Thankfully we did make do and discovered a few favorite dishes – White Cut Chicken with Ginger-Scallion Oil (SO DAMN GOOD!) and Scallion Pancakes. And of course we picked up a few recipes from Dong’s mom – the noodle soup is a quick and delicious meal in a pinch.

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3. Puerto Rico Trip with my Pharmacy Gals!

If there’s anything I love more than hanging out with my best girls, it’s hanging out with them in a foreign country! I love traveling with friends and Puerto Rico was a great and fairly cheap destination for us. Imagine hot sun, white sand beaches and a rainforest chock-full of natural beauty. We had mofongo, swam in a waterfall, laid out on the beach or by the pool and even had a swanky night out (well, just to dinner!). We went during ‘hurricane season’ but the weather was surprisingly cooperative and we had many gorgeous days, with a few overcast ones that never ruined our trip. It was truly a wonderful island getaway!

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2. My Bridal Shower/Bachelorette Weekend

This was such a memorable weekend! I felt extremely pampered by my amazing bridesmaids, who really designed the perfect weekend for me – exciting scavenger hunt with karaoke, amazing hotel, and an awesome night out at the club. And to end it all with a delicious brunch at Sarabeth’s! Throughout I was not to pay for anything (which I really wouldn’t have minded, but it did make one feel awesomely indulgent) and I just had an amazing time. It was so great to share the experience with my good girlfriends who could make it and I just felt blessed to be with them!

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1. Our Wedding!

Of course this had to be number 1! The big event of 2012 for us was our wedding in May, and although it passed in quite a blur the buildup to it was amazingly intense. So much to plan, so many details to attend to – it took up most of the first part of the year and quite a bit of the previous year too. It was a wonderful day to share with friends and family and every time I look back at the photos and the photobooth pictures I crack up… and tear up a little! I’m an old married lady!

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