22 favorite moments + things

March 13, 2014

    Today I celebrate my twenty-third birthday. To celebrate, I've made a list of 22 things and moments that made my 22nd year so great. Twenty two was full of ups and downs, but full of opportunities and love, and I can't wait to see what twenty three has in store for me.
    Graduating from SDSU. The highlight of my year was graduating with my bachelors degree in food + nutrition from San Diego State University. Pictures by my wonderful and talented Aunt.

    Adventures in Europe. This wouldn't have happened if number one didn't happen. As a graduation present, my grandparents gifted me a trip to Europe. Trip of a lifetime, and already dreaming of going back. You can see more pictures, and read more about it here, here and here.

    Family pictures. Every so often we get together as a family and take pictures, and if my grandma has her way we match. This year we took pictures around my grandpa's 1959 Corvette, in white shirts and denim pants. Some of my favorite pictures come from our family picture days.

    Locally grown produce. As a food and nutrition major, you would think the farmers market would be like my second home, but it wasn't until this past year that I actually started going to them. I can't forget my favorite farmer-my grandma (just kidding, she doesn't even have a formal garden). She does has citrus trees in her backyard that have gone out of control! Also, the grapes and tomatoes that come out of her yard are so much more delicious than anything you can find in the grocery store.

    This kart. Not the meaning behind why these graphics landed on his kart, but the people behind it and all it represents. People are wonderful and amazing, and I am forever thankful to everyone that reached out and showed Travis and his family love during their times of grieving this past April. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    Loma Linda University. I decided to apply to graduate school for my Masters in Nutrition and wow, major hurdles were jumped through for this to happen (inset 4 weekend long crash course in general chemistry). In the end, everything worked out and I am finishing up my second quarter and I couldn't be more thrilled with my school choice. Loma Linda University is a truly inspiring place to go to school. You can read more about my decision for graduate school and my potential future goals inspired by Loma Linda University here.

    Mr. JT. I guess it's time you should find out that I am majorly obsessed with Justin Timberlake. It's an obsession that has been going on strong for 15 years now. Luckily, I was able to see him not once this past year but twice. Both time thanks to the world's most wonderful boyfriend. Once on his Legends of Summer stadium tour with Jay Z and then again in Las Vegas, VIP status, for his world tour. This makes it six times I have seen him in concert, and each time I am more excited than the last.

    Yoga. Without getting into specifics, I was basically told by my doctor to stop stressing because it was affecting my health. Me, type-A personality, dean's list graduate student to stop stressing. Yea, no problem, doc. I have put in a conscious effort to minimize the stress, and one of the biggest changes I made is picking up weekly yoga classes. No matter how busy I am, I make time for at least one one-hour class each week. I look forward to this time where I don't think or worry about anything else that needs to be done. I'm happy to report that the stress is at a manageable level.

    Wednesday nights. Ever since I have moved back closer to home, I am closer to Travis too (one hour versus two), so we make a point to have a standing date night every Wednesday, halfway between our houses. It's something I look forward too in the middle of the week, and it gives us a chance to see each other and catch up.

    Hipster coffee. Once you go independent coffee shop, you never go back. Sorry, Starbucks but I'd rather spend the extra money and not only support local businesses, but have much better coffee also. One almond milk chai from Stells, soy latte from Intelligenista, or iced honey cinnamon latte from Auggies please.

    Volunteering. I've volunteered in the past, but this year I really got involved with issues that are close to my heart and area of study. I spent part of my summer volunteering with my cousin at the local Church's food bank every Tuesday. During winter, Travis and I were able to be apart of a volunteering event my school put on where we "adopted" an underprivileged kid for the day, made crafts with them, played games, saw Santa and just had fun. More recently, I was able to volunteer at Helping Hands Pantry that feeds over 1,000 people in need in the San Bernardino area each week. I am grateful for the opportunities given to me, and I feel that the least I can do is give back to those less fortunate.

    Supernats: If you didn't know by now, racing is a part of my life, whether I like it or not. Luckily I do. Travis raced the biggest go-kart race of the year, SKUSA Supernationals, for the sixth time.  Under horrible racing conditions throughout the week, he ended up 6th coming up from a 31st starting spot. It was so much fun to have everyone cheering for him at the track and watching times behind a computer screen at home.

    #milechallenge2014. This is a challenge that started out fairly recently, but I am so glad it did. It was one of the best things that has happened during my 22nd year. This encourages us to get outside and enjoy the wonderful Southern California weather, and be active! I can see us adapting this challenge for years to come. Read more about this challenge here and our monthly updates here.

    New Years.Travis lives in Pasadena by the Rose Bowl Parade; because of this their house has always been the New Years Eve hang out. The crowd keeps dwindling, but this year's festivities were fun and quaint. Ringing in the New Year with close family and friends is always a fun time.

    Foodie Adventures. I could fill this list up with 22 delicious new food places I have ventured to over the past year, but I wont. I am constantly telling Travis I want to travel and eat. Finding new places to eat, with delicious food, is like hitting the jackpot for me.

    Hiking. We covered ground in San Diego, Big Bear, Riverside, Pasadena and Los Angeles. Looking at that list, you would think Big Bear is the only one with real hiking, but they all have some amazing trails to hike-with fantastic views. I'm all about a rewarding view when hiking.

    Camping. "Wanna go camping?" was the only information we got from Craig, Travis' brother. Sounded like fun-we were both in. This was before the dreaded 6 hour drive down a winding road to get to the camp site. [side note: this girl gets car sick pretty easy]. Good thing the amazing views and scenery made the quick trip worth it. We camped with Craig + Natana and two of Craig's friends and had so much fun exploring.

    First annual Cousins Christmas Party. I have always been close with my cousins, and family in general. This year was the first year in my own place, close to my family, so I decided to have my cousins over for a "wrapping party." Everyone brought over their gifts, we wrapped presents, made gift tags, watched Elf, drank hot chocolate, ate too many cookies, and had lots of fun. Another tradition I hope catches on for years to come.

    Festival of lights. The Mission Inn in Riverside, California gets all decked out for Christmas. This year, Travis and I, along with his brothers and their significant others spent the evening walking around enjoying the sites, and some fresh cinnamon sugar donuts.

    Decorating our first Christmas tree. There is nothing more I can say that I already didn't say here.
    Christmas traditions. Over the years my family has adapted some traditions that we seem to carry over from year to year. One of the main ones is decorating sugar cookies with the cousins at our grandparents house. Another is taco night followed by caravaning to go look at Christmas lights. Lastly, this past Christmas we went to see the Nutcracker. This is probably the most favorite tradition of mine (besides Nanny's Christmas morning brunch!) because I remember getting dressed up and going with my friends, mom and grandma when I was little.

      Family. My family is crazy, but I love them and the time we spend together.Without their constant support and love, I wouldn't be able to continuously chase my dreams.

      Cheers 22, you were great. Twenty three-you have a lot to live up to.

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