Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Questions

The end-of-the-year survey tradition continues for a eighth year {!!!}

1) What did you do in 2013 that you'd never done before?
Went camping. Bought a new car. Fed (led?) a turtle like E.T. Visited Boston and Pennsylvania. Drove a car in New York City. Visited the Rose Bowl Flea Market. Bought (and then learned to use) a BBQ. Stood up for myself in conversations. Dyed my hair pink. Learned to twerk...and gas pedal (and then taught several friends each move). Supported the Veronica Mars Movie on Kickstarter. Baptized 10 of my small group girls. Led worship at each of the four Mariners Church campuses. Made our own donuts at home. Walked more than forty New York City blocks in falling snow.

2) Did you keep your New Year's resolutions and will you make more next year? 
I made four daily goals this year: 1) be active for 20 min 2) write 365 cards in 365 days 3) write something every day 4) fight a fear. The last I kept, for the most part. I fought--and conquered--a lot of fears this year.

Not sure what my resolutions will be this year...I'm still thinking them through. I'm leaning toward a list {classic Allison}. Any suggestions?

3) Did anyone close to you give birth?
Emily and Natalya. 

4) Did anyone close to you die?
No one close to me, but I attended a few funerals in support of people I love who lost loved ones.

5) What countries did you visit?
None. This will not be my answer at the end of 2014.

6) What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?
Less fear. More confidence in exactly who God has created me to be.
And a smaller dress size.

7) What date(s) from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
No specific dates...I could lie and look-up a few, but I'm more attached to the memories than the actual dates.

8) What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I made some pretty rad rainbow pancakes for Sara's birthday. Calling them my biggest achievement may be an overstatement, but I was {and should be} pretty proud of them.

9) Did you suffer illness or injury?
I had a strong case of bronchitis right before the road trip. And then almost completely lost my voice on Christmas Eve.

10) What was the best thing you bought?
I am pretty glad I bought plane tickets to Boston and New York.
I also really love several sweaters I've added to my closet.
Oh, and I suppose my new and totally reliable car should make it on this list.

11) Whose behavior merited celebration?
My dad and I really kicked-up our friendship levels this year. It was such a joy to be so excited to see him and talk to him frequently.

12) Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Well, I think I decline to comment on this one.

13) Where did most of your money go?
Rent, gas, food...Target, Forever 21, Starbucks.

14) What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Our 2nd Annual Road Trip. A birthday trip to Mani-Karaoke. A Christmas Evening with friends. 

15) What song/album will always remind you of 2013?
Nashville (the TV show) songs. Roar by Katy Perry. 

16) Compared to this time last year, are you:
Wiser? Yes. Healthier? Yes. Richer? Probably not.

17) What do you wish you'd done more of?
Spent time in prayer. Spoken up for myself. Asked questions.

18) What do you wish you'd done less of?
Let my insecurities get the best of me. Make assumptions {which nearly always turned out to be incorrect.}

19) How did you spend Christmas?
With A LOT of people I really, really love. Christmas Eve Eve and Christmas Eve were spent mostly at the church. Christmas Eve: at my mom's, then back to church for the midnight candlelight service. Christmas Day: I went to my grandparents, talked to my dad and brother, played games with Cathi and LV's family, dinner with the Andersons (and others), then went to play more games and eat great food with my closest friends at what is now, hopefully, a Christmas Evening tradition.

20) Did you fall in love in 2013?
I think I fell in love with 2013. It was a strong showing this year.

21) What was your favorite new TV program?

22) What was the best book you read?
Fiction: Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore.
Non-Fiction: Cold Tangerines.

23) What was your greatest musical discovery?
Mostly the music from the Nashville TV show. I also fell in love with Ryan Adams, Ellie Goulding and Otis Redding.

24) What did you want and get?
Another rad small group of girls. Another great birthday road trip. A trip to New York {in the snow!}

25) What did you want and not get?
A new suitcase? My passport renewed? A Hawaiian Christmas vacation? {my dad moved to Hawaii...the visit was postponed, not canceled} All such great, silly things.

26) What was your favorite film of this year?
Saving Mr Banks {I just realized that I saw 6 movies in the theater this year and five were in the last week.}

27) What did you do on your birthday, and how old did you turn?
I turned 31. We took another road trip leading up to my actual birthday. On the day, I was celebrated at work with decorations, cards, presents and my favorite Chinese food was brought in for lunch. That afternoon, I went for a pedicure/karaoke session, super tasty burger (with a slight car accident in-between), an ice cream run and then a dance party at the Hays. So many things and people I love in one day.

28) Which celebrity/public figure did you like the most?
You know, I really love Kristen Bell...but this is nothing new. {She named her kid Lincoln, so it really feels as though we're MFEO.}

29) How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?
No jeans. Not once. Lots of dresses...and for the last few months, styling the same dress(es) on repeat.

30) What kept you sane?
Jesus. And naps.

31) Who did you miss?
Katie Hunt. {times a million}

32) What valuable life lesson did you learn in 2013?
There's only one me. 

33) What did you gain this year?
Some really great {and, hopefully life-long} friends.
A deep love for brussels sprouts.

34) What did you lose this year?
Lots of fears. 

35) Who was the best new person you met?
Es. {Molly Gazin is a close second.}

36) Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
What good is living the life you've been given if all you do is stand in one place?

Saturday, December 28, 2013

2013: A Photo Recap

{lots of rides on my new bike /// a Sunday Night blade gang /// manicure-karaoke}

{heart attacks /// matching hairstyles}

{family Easter}

{Sunday Night band takes Huntington Beach campus by hadouken /// ho is for horse /// the tower is terror is terrifying}

{50th birthdays /// new cars /// deer rides}

{we got a backyard pool}

{Caleb loves our country}

{camp cabins /// camp baptisms /// camping rookies}

{Crystal Lewis is Batman /// Wildside is 20 /// the Witts are the best}

{New York /// New Jersey /// DC /// 31}

{Rooted baptisms /// Thanksgiving crazies /// Woodbridge Homecoming}

{Tree Pick-Up /// Tree Lighting /// Tree Trimming}

{Caroling /// Disneyland /// Santa Dom /// Felt Needs Christmas Eve}

2013 was so great.
Looking forward to a 2014 that's even radder.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Rose Bowl Flea Market and a 35 by 35

In the interest of adventure, not to mention crossing items off of both my 35 by 35 and my Mighty List, we {Sara, Stephanie and I} visited the Rose Bowl Flea Market {in November}!

We tried to choose a time when it would be a little cooler...but joke's on us, it was blazing hot.

The last time I was at the Rose Bowl was when I auditioned for American Idol {just after Kelly Clarkson had won} and we slept on the ground all night. Another story for another day.

We woke up early and {after coffee, of course} headed up to Pasadena. I was certain I would come home with several very kitschy and one-of-a-kind items about which I would forever say, "Oh, I bought that at a Flea Market yeeeeeaaars ago!"Or, at the very least, a C-list celebrity sighting.

I think Sara is the one who really scored. Though she did not buy this incredible coat, she did buy a beaded dress...and we almost convinced her to buy a sequined skirt, but then she reminded us that "one girl does not need to own two sequined skirts."

So many classy displays

Speaking of class:

We walked the booths for a few hours--until we could no longer stand the heat--spending most of our money on ice water and lemonades.

Stephanie knows her way around Pasadena, so she took us to a great little French bakery for lunch. Iced coffee and a few sandwiches later, we decided that it was early enough to make one more stop before heading home.

That's right! The Father of the Bride house!

I wanted to head in to the backyard to play a quick game of one-on-one {and cry my eyes out, I'm sure} but out of respect for the homeowners, we just took a few dozen photos from the curb.

And now--the one purchase I made at the Flea Market!

Yes, this is my second globe and no, I did not "get it for a steal."
I'm the worst at bartering. The absolute worst.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Road Trip Day 6: A Walk Through DC Part 2

On our final full day of vacation, we knew we had to do it up right. So, we slept in a bit, ate a big breakfast at Lincoln's Waffle House {where it is rumored that many Presidents have eaten...there's no way that's true} but it was delicious and we had a waiter who literally stood in front of us at the counter and met our every dining need: coffee was always full, no want for a napkin, check handed at the right moment--not too early, but we needn't ask for it. Fantastic service.

This was Sara's first time in DC, so she had a long list of sights she wanted to see. Cathi and I had been before, so we were ready to accommodate Sara's tourist dreams! The only place I wanted to see was Ford's Theatre, where Lincoln was assassinated.

We walked in at the perfect time: the next tour was just beginning and tickets are free! However, the tour is 90 minutes. Seriously? Fortunately, the first part is self-guided, so we quickly made our way through and then up the back stairs to take a photo of the balcony. 

We did overhear a piece of the presentation in which he said, "Lincoln loved to go to the theatre since it was the rare occasion when he was able to hear the people laughing and enjoying themselves, as opposed to the rest of his day-to-day when he heard about the problems of the country."

From there, we decided to start at one end of the stretch of important buildings and work our way across town. Beginning first at the Capitol Building. {Man, the number of grumbling comments this instagram photo received...give it a rest.}

As we arrived, it started to sprinkle, so we took cover under a tree next to a pond in front of the building. {My time is Kenya has caused me to believe that a sprinkle can become a downpour within minutes, so I always run for cover.} We walked through a group of middle school kids {150 of them, at least} taking an organized-by-height group photo and finally found our way to the next stop.

The White House Backyard

Cathi had some work deadlines she had to meet that afternoon, so she had stayed behind for the morning. We stopped for coffee and to check in with her and then decided to have some lunch. Lucky for me, there was a Pret A Manger up the street--my favorite!

After lunch we saw the front of the White House {I prefer the back yard}, the Washington Monument, the World War II Memorial {where there was a group of Veterans touring the grounds, which made it so much more moving}, and the Reflecting Pool {you know, from Forrest Gump.}

We opted not to go back inside the Lincoln Memorial, since I had at least 50 pictures from the night before.

As we walked down the Pool we saw this fox running the path. He circled and came back around and was just too close, and too beautiful, to go un-photographed.

Our final stop was the Martin Luther King Memorial. Throughout this trip, I was consistently in awe of how great an impact he had on our country. I'm hoping our 2014 road trip will have quite a few MLKJ-related stops.

For our final--and Birthday week kick-off--dinner, Herman {our friendliest concierge} recommended Farmers Fishers Bakers in Georgetown. We had an appetizer of cheese, bread and garlic {my absolute favorite meal} followed by amazing cheeseburgers, and capped with a huge slice of chocolate cake and, of course, some singing.

The next morning, after a dark taxi ride to the airport, we were greeted by curbside check-in. The guy helped us moved our bags and began to check us in, but when he got to me, he said, "Well, this is strange. It says here you're on the no-fly list and there is a warrant for your arrest." We were shocked. He told me to please move over and put my hands on the counter as he pulled out his walkie-talkie and said, "I have Allison Hibbard here and it says to notify you." He looks back and me and says, "Believe me, I'm as scared as you are." The three of us all looked at each other, unsure of what to do next. And then he says, "Well, are you all fooled?" We breathed a sigh of relief and began to laugh with him. He told us it's his favorite trick to pull on people--that the walkie-talkie power just went straight to his head. He also said that earlier that week when he'd done the same to a man, who ended up throwing his wallet at him after he was told it was a joke. What a memorable pre-sunrise airport experience!

We landed in Long Beach at 8:30am and each headed off to work--vacation was officially over. {Well, mostly for them, since it was birthday week for me!}

Second Annual Road Trip was a huge success. We're already talking about next year's trip, hopefully to the South!