Best of the World Puzzle Completed

Wahoo! Third puzzle done with P! From wedding planning to puzzles, we make an awesome team. We worked on the border together. This was a test of our geography of the world. P put in almost all of the pieces of land quickly after he found a strategy that helped him figure it out quite easily. On my last day of Ski Break (which was pretty much resting and wedding planning all week), I finished up the buildings that surround the land. It was fun to figure out where the 500 pieces go since I didn’t let us use the picture on the box for help, or else it would be too easy. I have picked up a hobby of doing puzzles while staying at home until I can do my favorite hobby of traveling the world!! ✈️🗺

Spring Flowers in Paris Puzzle Completed

P gifted me this Spring Flowers in Paris puzzle for Christmas as we look forward to traveling together and reminisce about travels while waiting for COVID to be better. We started this puzzle on New Year’s Day and finished yesterday! Puzzles are so addicting, and it is nice for a change to be able to use color to place the pieces. My Eeyore puzzle took years because I got stuck on all the photomosaic pieces that were the same color for Eeyore’s body and the sky. SIP has changed my hobbies and is making me become a homebody from reading books (on to the last book of the Harry Potter series!) to working on puzzles, but it’s a nice break from ongoing wedding planning.

2020 NYE Scavenger Hunt

Somehow I missed New York’s NYE countdown at 9pm with my mom by turning on what I thought was the “right” channel, so I didn’t get to countdown with her like usual before she went to bed before midnight. I also didn’t get to follow my usual NYE tradition at Allen’s, but my close friends and I celebrated the last couple of hours of 2020 on Zoom together. I planned a scavenger hunt game for us to reflect on 2020, and I am so thankful for their efforts to play and share openly with the group!

  • The Rules:
  • 1. Everyone has to play!
  • 2. You will have 60 seconds to find an object/photo.
  • 3. Be creative! Find something different from everyone else.
  • 4. There will be time for everyone to share.
  • 5. Be ready to popcorn the next person to share.
Find a skill you learned or improved on OR a new habit you started doing.
Find something you miss that you could do before COVID-19.
Find 3 favorite memories.
Find a book you read OR a movie you watched and really liked.
Find a purchase that you bought that you are very happy with.

(No photo) Find a Bible verse or passage that stood out to you and encouraged you a lot.

With 15 minutes left to midnight, we ended the scavenger hunt game with prayer, found our choice of beverage to cheers, watched about 5 minutes of New York’s NYE countdown, and played a few rounds of before calling it a night. I am thankful for this group of close friends who have supported me and P individually and as a couple, celebrated our birthdays and engagement with us, and been running the race together through the joys and challenges of 2020 onto 2021!

Cheers to a new year! 🥂🍾

20 Memories of 2020

We made it to the end of this crazy and challenging year. Still, there is much to be thankful for! It was a year of trusting that God was and is and will be in control, no matter the circumstances we are in.

Somehow 2020 felt both long and fast at the same time with everything that happened – and didn’t happen – this year. COVID-19 pandemic, shelter-in-place turned stay-at-home, WFH, school closures and distance learning, Black Lives Matter protests, curfews, fires and smoke, election, to name the obvious. On a personal level, here are 20 of my memories of 2020:

  • My cousin Jeffrey’s passing, and family reunion in New York in January
  • PRed my half marathon in February, and stopped running for most of the year
  • Stepped down from leading Nursery Ministry at Pillar
  • Growing in my relationship with P – our nightly video chats, walks, dates, adventures, discussing God’s Word and praying together
  • Distance learning – teaching from home in the spring, and then from my empty classroom since August with the dream team, Kaylin & Marlee-Jo
  • Taught Pillar School with Charissa & Jo for a few weeks during school closures in the spring
  • Started new hobby of hand lettering
  • Quality time with my mom – streamed Pillar Sunday service, watched Crash Landing on You, ate a lot more meals at home, watched my amazing mom complete many house projects
  • Health concerns, and COVID scares
  • My 31st birthday surprise in Palo Alto with close friends, Salt & Straw, and Lady M cake
  • Lots and lots of video chats, and socially distanced hangouts, picnics, hikes, softball games, and quarantine birthday surprises
  • Food adventures with takeout & outdoor dining
  • Celebrated marriages, pregnancies, newborns, and big birthdays of friends & family
  • Saw my brother & sister-in-law 5x (2 trips to San Diego – last flight in February and first drive down in July) despite our canceled family trip to Prague & Budapest in April
  • Finally completed a 1026 piece photomosaic puzzle of Eeyore started years ago with help from my brother, sister-in-law, and P
  • Dad’s 10 year passing on Halloween
  • Virtual workouts with Pillar friends 2x a week since March, and finished 40 days of 25-30 burpees per day in October-November
  • Fell in love with P and got engaged on 11/14! Our siblings flew up to surprise me and celebrate with us at our surprise engagement party that our close friends put together and where our families met each other for the first time!
  • Finished 12 books including Harry Potter 1-5
  • Read the Bible in one year with accountability from P

What a year. Praise the Lord for always being good and faithful and sovereign over our individual lives and the whole wide world! To God be the glory both now and to the day of eternity!

Bye bye 2020, looking forward to an exciting 2021! Happy New Year!! 🥳

Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.” –2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

Eeyore Puzzle Finally Completed

Started this puzzle sometime after I moved home from college when I got it from a neighborhood garage sale and all 1026 pieces were still in an unopened bag. That’s how long this photomosaic puzzle took, and it wasn’t until I was stuck at home during SIP that I picked this up to finally finish it!

During distance learning in the spring, I shared with my first graders that I picked up working on this puzzle that I started years ago. I asked them to guess what they thought the picture is, and my students guessed all sorts of things but Eeyore. This motivated me to work on the puzzle so they could guess what it is. My goal was to add 10 pieces a day and finish by the end of the school year. Every time I had a weekly class meeting, at least one of my students would check in on how my puzzle was coming along. Talk about accountability! Well, summer came, I didn’t finish, I wasn’t even close, and I lost motivation to continue working on the puzzle for some time.

April – May 2020

I gave up and took a break from the puzzle until my brother & sister-in-law picked it up again. They saw this puzzle in my brother’s room every time they visited home and were determined to help me finish it this time. The unused pieces were sorted by color and organized by their exact shapes on a few box lids (thanks to K’s system that worked!). It was a tedious and patient process of trial and error, but it felt addicting once a piece fit in the right place. We used our different strategies to work on different parts of the puzzle together without bumping into each other.

October 16-18, 2020

COMPLETED on 10/18/2020
A close-up of just how hard this photomosaic puzzle was

Wahoo!!! I could not have completed this puzzle without help from my brother, sister-in-law, and P!