happy new year!

i can't believe we are already in a new year. this last year has just blown by so fast and if i reflect back on the year (which looking at past posts have definitely helped)...there have been several highs and some unfortunate lows:

1 - work / life balance. whoever coined this phrase must have been an idealist hahaa. i don't know if this truly exists w/ where i work and what i do. i love my career and what i've done for the last 10+ years. i've built some great professional relationships and have worked hard in building my credibility in retail. i mean, it's certainly not, "oh, this is what i was always meant to do kind of thing like that but it's certainly something i'm good at and can see myself doing for many years to come. i've always been very ambitious in my career and fiercely independent. i don't know if it's just because of being a minority or a female (and w/out being all "i've had to overcome so many obstacles"...), i've always just felt that i wanted to do well professionally so that if i ever had a daughter, i can show her what is truly possible if you set your mind to it. i know, minor technicality...i don't have a daughter.

on the flip side of career ambition is also longevity. your career is a marathon and not a sprint. maybe it's okay to relax a little bit and focus on the family? the next level for me is VP but then what? really, is that what i want to do for the next 20+ years? but as steve says, he doesn't think it's in my dna to put the brakes on.

2 - afterlife. this past year has been trying in the sense that i've had to say goodbye to 2 very very dear people. my maternal grandfather left us in april and my uncle passed in october. if there was something positive that came out of my grandfather's passing, it would be that death is now a slightly more comfortable topic to discuss w/ my parents. not that we always want to discuss death but at least we know what their wishes are when they do pass. i think the other upside was just being w/ family and knowing how important family is despite the language barrier that does exist w/ my mom's side of the family.

my uncle always treated me well. growing up, i lived w/ my aunt and uncle when i was in high school and for a short time after college. he always spoiled me growing up and his daughter used to joke that i was his 'favorite' daughter. even though he was sick for awhile, it was still tough to actually say my final goodbyes.

3 - travel. traveling is somewhat easier now that aaron is slightly more independent. we flew twice this past year...both 1-2 hour trips. aaron is actually really good on flights and since he sleeps w/ us at night, sleeping away from home is no non issue. the boy loves to sleep so napping is never an issue as well. next year, s is actually traveling to europe for a bachelor trip in april and while he is gone, i'm planning on taking aaron on a trip somewhere as well (either hawaii or new york). hopefully, we can also plan another trip in the fall.

4 - marriage. what can i say, i'm very lucky to have such an amazing husband (though i'd like to think he was lucky as well hahaa). we have always appreciated each other's independence yet, he truly does take care of his family.

5 - friends. i consider my sister to be my oldest / dearest friend. i don't really keep in contact w/ my friends from high school (facebook doesn't count). it's really my friends from college and previous gap colleagues that are my dear friends. i think about how long i've known these girls and since i started college in '96, that would make this upcoming year +15 years now!! wow...not many people would voluntarily put up w/ me for that long. family is obligated.

6 - sf giants. i mean how can i not mention the world champion sf giants --- especially since i'm watching a rerun of the parade right now. as someone born and raised in san francisco, to be part of something so special this year, it's just unbelievable. even know, when i wear any of my giants gear, i just get all these happy feelings. =)

i've been a very blessed individual and i have so much to be thankful for in my life and i can't wait to see what 2011 has in store!!

santa is not my friend

s and i knew aj was not going to like santa...he's just such a shy guy. we tried to prepare him for this visit. we showed aj all his pictures from the last 2 years on santa's lap. we told him that santa would give him cars and trucks. we went to the mall and showed him santa and he was fine w/ it. when we said, let's go say hi to santa, he said "okay". there was a reasonable wait and once it was our turn, he seemed okay. we even got him to hi five and fist pump santa. however, once s picked him up to sit on santa it was not looking good. he wanted to get off immediately. i coaxed him to get back on santa and the photographer was able to get one decent shot of aj before he started crying.

a harmless fist pump - thought it was a nice way to warm up to santa

yeah, i was wrong