December 31, 2019

My 2019 Retrospective

2019 has been such a whirlwind. It was like riding roller coasters - exhilarating, terrifying and worth every single second from start to finish. I am so grateful for the many opportunities I was blessed with, from traveling to four (!) different countries to making so many new memories to treasure with my loved ones. While this year wasn't all good times (throwback to that time I was quarantined in June), it was certainly a hell of way to cap off this decade!

I always try to reflect a little on what the year has taught me in these retrospectives, and this one feels extra important just because it's the last one I'll ever do for this decade. When I look back on everything that happened in 2019, the one thing that stands out (and has remained constant for years now) is love

In fact, it feels like this year has just been blanketed in a whole lot of love. Love for New York, a city that continues to inspire, fuel and teach me lessons. Love for my passion projects, which continue to be creative outlets that allow me to communicate my thoughts my way (including this blog and all the folks who still take the time to come and visit). Love for travel, seeing new places and trying new things and satisfying the always present wanderlust in my heart. Love for reading and books, and other forms of media, for fueling my imagination and my fangirl feels. Love for my friends, who make my days brighter, and challenge me to go higher, further, faster in all the best ways. Love for my family, by blood and by choice, who continue to be the funniest, warmest, most supportive and loving folks I know. Love for Macky, who is my best friend in the whole entire universe (and, as Ed Sheeran sings, "Well, me, I fall in love with you every single day"). Love for myself, flaws and all, as this year has been a lesson in self-recognition and self-reflection. And love for the God who has continued to sustain and soothe and support me through it all.

2019 was an excellent year, friends, and I'm forever blessed (and changed) because I lived it.

January 2019 | The first month of the year tends to be quieter on the activity front, and this year was no different. I did get out and about a wee bit for dinners and desserts, and we had a D&D day with Kristin and Andrew. But the highlights of my month were the three book events I was able to attend: The Gilded Wolves event with Roshani Chokshi, Melissa Albert and S.A. Chakraborty (and moderated by Kristin), Holly Black's event for The Wicked King and Leigh Bardugo's event for King of Scars.

February 2019 | DJ and I were lucky enough to attend the "Portraits and Dreams" writing seminar hosted by Maggie Stiefvater (it was so inspiring!), and then I joined Kristin for Maggie's Books of Wonder event after. We also celebrated Rachel's birthday by going upstate to stay in a Tiny House for the weekend, and had the best time just hanging out and playing all sorts of games. Kristin, Rachel and I also had a fun Galentines Day Out (which I hope is now an annual tradition!) Other things of note included attending the launch party for Lizzy Mason's debut novel The Art of Losing and seeing Kiss Me, Kate! with Macky.

March 2019 | I got the chance to be at the launch event for Jennifer E. Smith's new book Field Notes on Love, as well as going to ApollyCon with Rachel and DJ (which was delightful, per usual). I also went to see James Bay (twice!), My Fair Lady (an excellent show!) and a theatrical showing of the first two episodes of Fruits Basket (so dang good!). Madalyn and Jane also came to town, so, together with Kristin, we all hung out for the day. I also went to OMG! Dessert Goals with Macky, Rachel, Kristin and Andrew, and ended the month with a sisters day out that included a visit to the New York Transit Museum.

April 2019 | Kicked off the month by going to the event for The Devouring Gray with Christine Lynn Herman and Amanda Foody. I also got to see Jess Glynne with Rachel (which was really fun!) and Waitress for the sixth time (featuring Shoshana Bean and Jeremy Jordan!), and spent a lot of time with friends and family.

May 2019 | Rachel and I went our BFF trip to Paris! I also got to be at the Red, White and Royal Blue event with Casey McQuiston and Dahlia Adler, as well as watching a ballet (Whipped Cream) and seeing two concerts (James Bay and LANY). Rachel, Kristin and I had a lovely little spring day out together, and I also spent Memorial Day hiking up Bear Mountain with Mel. I finished off the month by attending BookExpo, which is always a good time!

June 2019 | BookCon happened the first two days of the month, and I had a really good time seeing more friends and being around bookish folks! But right after all that fun, I came down with a case of shingles and was quarantined for just over two weeks. (Shoutout to Macky and my sisters for taking really good care of me!) Once I recovered, I went to Smorgasburg for the first time this year! I also caught another ballet (Manon), celebrated Bastille Day with a full day of French-inspired activities with Rachel, went to The Wicked Fox event with Kat Cho and Tochi Onyebuchi, and finished off the month seeing Moulin Rouge! the Musical.

July 2019 | We went to Ireland, and got to see Westlife at Croke Park, and it was amazing! Other things of note for this month: the Spin the Dawn launch party with Elizabeth Lim, seeing an aunt and uncle from the Philippines, our first beach trip of the year, the Forever Romance cocktail party, our first ever 305 Fitness class and finished off the month with a picnic at Gantry Plaza State Park.

August 2019 | I celebrated my birthday all weekend long doing some of my favorite things: playing video games (Marvel Alliance, if you're wondering), going to Smorgasburg and going to the beach.  My sisters and I went to see Dear Evan Hansen this month too! We also had two different karaoke sessions this month, one at Pat & Ian's old apartment and one at our favorite karaoke spot. We went to New Jersey to be at our nephew's baptism celebration, and reunited with family friends. We also ended up having a musical end to our month, seeing Shawn Mendes at the Barclays Center and visiting The Lover Experience back to back.

September 2019 | I spent Labor Day weekend with my sisters in Banff, and it was such a lovely trip! I got to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child a second time (it was still so magical), and we visited the Friends pop-up when it came to NYC. We also went apple picking (a little too early in the month) and wound up making a pie with our spoils. Rachel and I had another day out together in New York, and this time we stayed primarily in Brooklyn. And I topped off the month by spending a weekend with Macky at Walt Disney World to celebrate our sixth wedding anniversary!

October 2019 | My sisters and I went to go see Maggie Rogers and she's so incredible live! That same week, Macky and I went to the Sunday session of New York Comic Con (and I just about lost it over the Fruits Basket photo op). This was also the month we celebrated Rachel's New York anniversary, so we climbed up The Vessel and had some Shake Shack! She and I also got fancy and had lunch at Serra by Birreria together one Saturday. Macky and I then embarked on a whirlwind one week trip to Australia where we visited Sydney (to hang out with Macky's family) and Brisbane (to be at my best friend Pam's wedding)!

November 2019 | We kicked off the month with drunk D&D at Pat & Ian's (which was also a goodbye party for the apartment they've lived in for years)! Mom and dad arrived for their nearly monthlong visit, so there was plenty of sightseeing, home improvements and a trip to Orlando too. I  got to be at this year's #InstagramEmpty event at NYPL with Kristin, and we celebrated Thanksgiving with family friends up in Connecticut. We closed out the month by getting the house all decorated for the holidays and seeing Frozen II.

December 2019 | I shared most of my experiences in December in my holiday recap, but the things I did this year included seeing Pentatonix and Lea Michele, visiting Dyker Heights, exploring NYC's holiday offerings, experiencing Luminocity, having a "Holidays of the Year" party, going to Christmas dinners, indulging in Christmas desserts and indulging in a lot of holiday-themed films and music.  Outside of all the holiday business, I also got to see Jagged Little Pill with Macky and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone in concert with Mel. Our actual Christmas Eve and Christmas Day celebrations were very relaxed, and tonight's New Year's Eve celebration is likely to be the same!

Looking back on everything that I did in 2019 makes my heart feel so full, and I'm so grateful for that. I hope I never take it for granted that I'm surrounded by and filled with so much love! Whatever 2019 ended up looking like for you, I hope that you're ending the year on a solid note and I'm wishing you a new year (and a new decade) filled with light, love, peace and joy.


  1. Love is such an excellent word for the decade! This was such a satisfying recap of 2019 and I feel grateful for all the memories I shared with you this past year! I'm looking forward to even more in 2020 <3


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