2016 Year Review

I feel like I start these yearly reviews almost always the same way… by saying that “it was a challenging year, but also an amazing one.” Isn’t that how life is though? I know for so so many around me [including myself], there were a number of challenges faced. So much sadness, heartbreak, and tragedies. But with that, there were new beginnings, enlightenment, and self discoveries. There is no good without the bad, and no rewards without the work. [Could I be more vague?] It is easy for us to dwell on what pains us, but you won’t see any of that here, nor in my videos. Instead, I like to focus on the positive because those are the things we easily forget. They are what keeps us going and remind us of how blessed we really are.

I am thankful for my family and friends, near and far. It is amazing seeing all the little ones grow year after year, and staying connected to those dear to me regardless of where we are in our path of life. I am grateful to see the beauty that surrounds us in this world we live in. Life is so amazing if we just open our eyes and hearts to let it in. My nephew, Leo, celebrated his very first birthday this year, and his sister, Lily, turned 4 the day after. My sister-in-law got in engaged and they adopted the fluffiest and cutest Scottish fold kitten [Kira].

This year, I took inspiration from my friend [Alex] and decided to be more active. I went outside my comfort zone and ran more, exercised more, and explored more. With Andrew’s help, I completed my first 10k run, 8k run, and a total of three 5k runs and a 2k walk. Andrew and I vacationed for the first time in Cancun, Mexico, and I got to witness my closest friend’s surprise baby shower for her family. We explored together the beauty of Jasper national park and all the landmarks in between. Andrew took me ice skating on an actual frozen lake for the very first time. I was beside myself on how amazing the feeling was. I love exploring what Calgary has to offer, and trying new things. I am forever grateful to have Andrew as my partner in life. Thus, most memorably, we celebrated our fifth year of marriage.

People I meet often ask me, “Why Canada?… why not stay in sunny Southern California?” That is a loaded question, and my initial answer is always “My husband lives here.” However, after 4 years of being a permanent resident here, I am able and lucky enough to confidently call this place [a second] home. In fact, I’m becoming more surprised by that question, in thinking… “why not?” Sure, weather is drastically different, but nature is breathtakingly beautiful here and people are kind. I do have my occasional grumbles about the cold and conditions, but the biggest thing I miss most is my family and close friends, and not the weather. They say absence makes the heart grow fonder. I believe it. I have made good friends here in Calgary that I would not give up for the world, but I also appreciate my loved ones back home and cherish the brief moments I get with them per year. I often hear from friends the excuse of us starting a family before making a visit to us in the Great White North. I get that. But truth is, that might not be in God’s plans. Time will tell. However, what I do appreciate, is the time spent connecting with all my family and friends, regardless of the miles and borders between us. Be it traveling, or personal messages via email/messenger. I used to feel alone, but I know end of the day that my heart is full, and that keeps me warmest even on the coldest of wintry days.

2017 is a new year, and it will not be without yet its own set of new challenges. But I believe we all will get through it, and thus have another year full of great memories and blessings to come. Happy New Years, and cheers to many more.

“Help me to walk in your light, and live my life in faith and glory.”

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