Saturday, December 29, 2018

goodbye 2018;

woohoo i'm keeping my word to do my december/end of the year blog post before the year is up haha. 
can't believe it's already saturday and that my week away from work is going to be over soon.
i feel like i still need another week of break hahaha.
the past couple of days have been so relaxing!
i didn't actually do anything too special haha.
i pretty much just lazed around and stayed up way too late each night hahahaha.
i'm going to have such a hard time waking up for work on monday.
thank goodness it's only going to be a half day.
hopefully there are not too many emails to clear after a week of being away though. 

spent my first Christmas back in Singapore and honestly it was hmm weirdly normal hahahaha.
i think i expected it to be a lot more awesome after being away for Christmas for so many years but it was really just kind of... normal.
maybe cause we didn't have a big extended family gathering this year so it was just kind of a quiet Christmas. 
didn't feel too drastically different from other Christmases spent abroad - which actually is kind of sad haha.
one difference for sure, i didn't dread the holiday season like i normally would when i was living overseas. 
i started listening to Christmas songs at the beginning of the month and i started to think back on past Christmases abroad and i realized that when i was overseas, i avoided listening to Christmas songs cause it would put me right in the holiday mood and make me feel homesick. 
feels like such a sad thing now that i think about it. 
i'm glad i can actually listen to Christmas songs once again haha. 

it was my first Christmas experiencing Christmas in Singapore as a working adult in Singapore.
and wow, people in Singapore are really into the Christmas gifts for everyone as well as secret santas and what not. 
it was quite an eye opener for me. 
i've never really been a Christmas gift giver kind of person so i was like AHH working hard on the gifts in addition to making sure i was getting all my annual Christmas cards out on time haha.
there were definitely quite a few late nights of Christmas card writing haha. 
but i love sending out Christmas cards each year.
it's my one time in a year to reflect on my blessings of the wonderful friendships i enjoy around the world. 
first round of writing Christmas cards 
first trip to the post office (one place i always dread going to during the holiday season haha) // Disney Christmas cards for the Disney girls 
baked cookies for the office coworkers since the presents i ordered didn't come in time hahaha // Christmas cards for the coworkers - i'm seriously such a long-winded person. i can't write short notes haha. 

December was full of Christmas gatherings and celebrations - definitely not complaining about that.
work didn't slow down till about the third week of December which was kind of late but i'm still glad it did slow down. 
we have a Gardens by the Bay annual membership so we randomly went on a Friday night to see the lights and also to see the Disney special display! 
felt so happy after the visit - there is just something special and magical about Disney. i also booked my next Disneyland trip for next year that same day hahaha.  
how cute and magical do these characters look! 
grateful for my mother who is always up for my random suggestions/adventures haha // the stacked tsum tsums were so cute!
super early church Christmas party 
rissa was sick so she didn't join us 
Neo Garden's Christmas catering was really pretty good and they even set up some decorations for you on the buffet table // us being silly after taking down the Christmas decorations haha
teaching the kids about the nativity story with my makeshift manger 
Christmas lunch with my team was so so fun! we ate really good zi char, had our secret santa Christmas gift exchange. And then we spent the rest of the afternoon playing games at our director's place haha. Super grateful for these people who i see the most out of each weekday - they keep me alive during those crazy busy work days and through frustrating situations.  
red red with my secret santee // them showing off their crazy Christmas earrings - although you can't really see them in this picture haha
Christmas gathering with the jc friends/belated birthday celebration for jo and sj 
go kbbq is like my new favorite kbbq restaurant 
stuffing our faces with yummy meat 
<3 // 13 years of friendship 
birthday girls making their wishes 
Christmas chocolates as big as the size of our hands
Friday Clique Christmas gathering - it's been years since we've been able to gather for Christmas cause literally all of us in this photo studied overseas. Glad that Jess is back in town this Christmas so we could get together!
work presents at my desk on Christmas eve
played santa to my nephews on Christmas eve - when you have presents. you can ask for anything you want. from asking them to tell you the nativity story to asking for a kiss haha
we went to yum cha for dim sum on Christmas morning. i love dim sum. i would rather Chinese food over Christmas turkey and ham any day haha 
random Christmas colors matching with my sister // Christmas tree earrings from sj

looking back at the photos from all the different Christmas gatherings, i realized that my Christmas this year was actually pretty good.
even if the actual day was pretty quiet and normal, the whole month was filled with Christmas cheer and time spent with loved ones.
i love the holiday season at the end of the year for that cause it's the time when we make time to meet up with people who we maybe have not had a chance to meet with during the rest of the year. 

can't believe it's the last weekend of 2018.
where did the year go?
spent my last friday of the year eating kbbq and playing games with my coworkers as part of their random staycation plan haha. 
ended up with too little sleep as i had to wake up this morning for a funeral service.
and then i spent basically my afternoon sleeping hahaha.
what a way to finish off the year haha.
this meal again cause it was so good haha

other December happenings amidst the hustle and bustle of the season:
dinner meet-up with Shu Hui 
a friday night dinner at Siam Village - the food was meh 
Loo's hainanese curry rice was amazing! 
random saturday hangout with the SAJC dancers 
finally got to meet up with ling and just laugh our heads off the whole night 
claypot rice at sembawang 
a pleasant surprise visitor at church - amanda and i went to the same ward when we both lived in provo
learned some new games in December - sushi go party (like regular sushi go but better!) plus unstable unicorns
upgraded my workspace to look like my P2 workspace haha - yay for eye level typing now hahaha
a friday night dinner at Mata Thai - i actually quite like this place and it's near our house so yay haha
dragged my family to thomson plaza on a random saturday to see pikachu and eevee hahaha - we had to go get groceries anyway haha
on one of the days i was off from work, Candice and i went and had lunch at Spago at Marina Bay Sands. we had their 3-course lunch and the food was really good! highly recommend!

the iberico pork main and the pistachio panna cotta were my favorites.  
happy belated birthday before the year ends hahaha
finally had the time to try out omote (previously sushiro) at thomson plaza and it was not bad but not worth the long wait omg haha
we literally just got done with Christmas and already everyone is getting ready with all the Chinese New Year stuff haha
a family lunch at wong chiew restaurant - loved the spinach with trio eggs!

as the year comes to a close, i thought about it and the things that i'm most grateful for are:
  • family - no matter how annoying they can be at times, you know that they will be the ones there for you no matter what. no matter what a brat i am or how naggy my parents can be, i'm still grateful to be their daughter and am thankful for the little things they do for me that i often take for granted - like my dad preparing my breakfast for me each morning or my mother catching the cockroach/lizard for me (woes of living in a tropical country). and my sisters are the best - they're my #1 companions for adventures (even though they would rather never leave the house haha) and the #1 listeners when i want to rant about things. 
  • the abundance of good food everywhere in Singapore - also the reason why it's impossible to lose weight but one thing i'm so grateful for in Singapore is the availability of good food at every corner. and cheap, good food too. it's really the best and you can always choose not to cook cause of that too. so great. 
  • Asian things - haha this is super broad and weird but i love living back in Singapore again cause i no longer have to make trips to the Asian store on top of getting my regular groceries at the local Walmart. also, all the super Asian things that i need to make my Asian food, such as ingredients or equipment, can be easily found.
  • a pretty good work environment (for Singapore) - my coworkers and i were discussing this over dinner last night and as we discussed nightmare stories from years back, we started to count our blessings for the great bosses we have now and the culture that they have created within our division because of that - a safe environment where you don't have to go to work feeling stressed everyday because of the unpredictability or worry about being scolded and crying in the toilet or something. also grateful for great coworkers who have become my friends that i hang out with even outside of work, and people who are always up to play games with me!
  • good friends - i realized that after moving home, people don't really prioritize you as much (as compared to when you only came home once a year while living overseas haha) because they know that you're here long-term and so they can meet you any other time. it kind of makes me feel sad but it's also made me appreciate the ones who actually still make time for you on a regular monthly or weekly basis. you know those friendships are golden. it's also been really cool for me to see who are my U.S. friends who still make the effort to keep in touch. it's been much better than i expected haha. 
  • good health - my coworkers fall sick very often and my coworker who sits next to me commented that i don't really fall sick and said that it could be because i workout on a regular basis, and i realized that she was probably right. that made me grateful for my health and that my perseverance in working out daily is actually helpful haha. 
the list could go on but i guess i shall stop here. 
2018 was not the easiest year but there were many things to be grateful for in the year as well.
i'm looking forward to the adventures 2019 has in place.
can't wait to travel more with my Singapore friends and hopefully make a trip back to U.S. next year.
in the new year, i want to start dance classes again - although i feel so out of touch and not as flexible now haha. 
we'll see what happens haha.
what are some of your wishes for the new year?