It seemed only fitting to follow up my goodbye to 2014 post with a look back at some of my favorite memories of the last year. So much has happened in one year that it feels like January was forever ago, but then on the other hand it's all flown by so fast that I am shocked we're at another NYE. As I'm sitting here by the fire, cozying up with my Anthropologie candle, I couldn't be more content. I'm loving that I get to spend my evening blogging about my fondest memories instead of worrying about getting dolled up and having high expectations for some night out. Call it getting older or what you will, not sure what it is — but this year I feel so at peace just staying in, baking cookies, and reflecting on how awesome the year was. So without further ado, here is my top 8 (in no particular order, except maybe the top two, haha).
1) Moving to SF
This was definitely the biggest highlight of the year as I'm sure many of you know by now with the past blog posts and whatnot. It was always a dream of mine to experience life in a city, on my own -- being free to explore and truly find myself amidst the hustle and bustle of a city that's not too big and not too small. It's been one of the best decisions I ever made. I have learned things about myself and the world around me by choosing to step outside my bubble and what I've always known. I can't wait to begin year 2 in the city and go on even more adventures.
2) An impromptu trip to Vegas & partying with the Backstreet Boys
This was also a blog post in itself so I won't get into the amazing twist of fate that is this epic tale. But I will note again that this one's up there in my top memories of the year. My friend and I decided almost 48 hours before that we were heading on this spontaneous adventure together. What happened later was epic and will always be one of my top memories in life. Read the entire story here.
3) Soul Cycle
I tried Soul Cycle for the first time this March and it's honestly changed the way I view fitness and working out completely. I have never really been into exercise, it's more of an after thought. I only get into it like a month before a big trip and I'm feeling fat, haha. But this year after trying Soul Cycle for the first time I was mind blown. Not only did I learn so much about how much exercise can change our moods, our perspective, and stress levels — but I also just feel so much more comfortable in my own skin after being active. Every time I attend one of these classes, I leave feeling I just went out dancing in a club and came out of a therapy session at the same time. It's that cathartic. That's not to say I'm a weekly attendee (ain't nobody got money for that unfortunately, haha) but those experiences have actually led to me being more aware and conscious about how important it is to stay active and fit. I finally joined a gym and looking forward to continuing to keep at it in the year to come.
4) One of my best friend's weddings in Hawaii
This summer I was so honored and blessed to celebrate the marriage of two of my oldest and closest friends in HAWAII. The summer was spent prepping for the big day with tons of dress fittings, a girls trip to Napa, a bridal shower, and resting for a week in paradise leading up to the big day. I've attended close to 10 weddings in the last two years so I know how chaotic and stressful of a time it can be. For some reason this one holds such a special place in my heart. Maybe it's because of how close of a bond I share with both the bride and groom. As well as how much humility and character I saw in the precious bride from day 1 til the end of the wedding. It was also such a honor to be up there with her with such an intimate group of us bridesmaids, only 5 of us including sisters from each side of the family. It so awesome praying together, sending email threads of devotionals before the big day, dying of laughter together at the bachelorette, and witnessing one of the most powerful ceremonies. In Hawaii of all spots! True paradise.
5) Turning 25
This one was huge. I didn't think I would feel any different because I honestly never do when I initially have a birthday. But for some reason this one was much different. I went into it not having any expectations (a first for me) and it ended up being the best birthday I've had to date I think! Not only was I overwhelmed with love and affection on the day of, but the entire week was so special to me. I heard from so many people I hadn't even seen in so long and I was able to celebrate with those nearest and dearest to me. On top of all that, I really felt like this time, turning one year older made a lasting impact on me. I genuinely feel a year older and I feel the weight of being at that season where I am a quarter-century. It's just been such a defining time. I'm making more life changing decisions and choosing what/whom I want to invest in even more. I've let go of so many old mindsets and I just feel such a wave of contentment. It's such a good feeling. I can't wait for the year to unfold.
6) Ten year elementary school reunion
This day was so awesome. I had gone to school with the same ~40 people from first to eighth grade. From age 6 to 14! It's insane. Flash forward ten years later and I decided: we. must. reunite. Although we didn't get as big of a turn out as I wished, it was such a precious time. With only 10-12 of us, we had an intimate lunch and just spent time catching up and reflecting on old memories. It's insane how you can feel distant with certain friends that you do life with daily. And then with others, you can not see one another for close to 10 years and when you do it's as if NOTHING has changed. That's how it felt with this group. It's also something that no one will ever understand, you know? That bond. We did close to nine years of life together. Every day. The bond we share.. having legitimately grown up together.. is one that's unshakeable. I'm so glad we reunited and just the fact that I have stayed in touch with a few of these friends over the course of more than half my life is a feat in itself.
I'm sure by now most of you know how much I love food. Like an insane amount. Sometimes I worry it's an obsession but I deny it. Oh well. Anyways. SF is known for having one of the finest food scenes in the nation so as soon as I moved up, I've had a bucket list of all the places I've wanted to dine at, specifically brunch (my favorite meal, of course). It's been so amazing to try so many incredible dishes. I know I am truly lucky to live in a city where I can take advantage of that on the weekends. Being an avid Yelper, it's been the best feeling to mark off so many of these legendary places with more than thousands of reviews off my bucket list. It might seem so random to some, but amazing food hands down makes my list of top memories for this year :)
8) Spontaneous nights out with my co-workers
I couldn't think of just one memory for this one because there are so many nights that stick out to me when I think of this past year. One of the best parts of being a part of a start up like the one I work for is that everyone is relatively in the same age range and that everyone is always down for the most spontaneous things. I can think of numerous nights were we all decided to go out and karaoke after work, or hit up my favorite 90's night and dance until the club kicked us out. What else? Hot dogs from a hole in the wall at 1am, epic concerts where we were front row singing along.. the list goes on! We're so fortunate to have a company who values team morale and community so much that we're always doing something on the weekly. Even if it means staying in the office playing video games until midnight.. we always manage to have a great time together. These memories made my year so much more exciting and full of life.
Happy New Year, everyone! <3