Contrary to other years, 2016 did not pass by at the blink of an eye. It was a violent, divided, and negative year for our country and the entire world. On a personal level, it was also one of the hardest years for me in recent memory. Juggling both my business and the homeschooling for Bridgette was more difficult than I had ever imagined. I went through a huge learning curve on my new role as a homeschooling parent, and had to push myself way beyond my comfort zone on a number of things. I struggled with questions about my newfound faith in the Lord and in understanding the bible. There were many sleepless nights where I prayed long and hard to find answers.
As this year finally closes tonight though, I can honestly say I feel grateful to have survived the way that I did. I persevered through some of the biggest challenges I faced in my lifetime because God led me the entire way, even though I did not know it at the time. He placed so many angels around me to lift me up at just the right moments, to help me grow my faith, and to show me His constant love.
For those who do not know the Lord yet, it’s hard to describe what that feels like but if you believe in miracles, our God is the essence of miracles. He makes the impossible possible. One of my biggest lessons in 2016 was learning to surrender. As a professional planner and type A person, letting go is not something that comes easily to me. I’ve always felt safe being in control but ever since I have gotten to know God, I realize that being in control is truly a facade. We are never truly in control. We think we are, but we’re not. It took the breaking of one little finger for me to recognize that. And so, in every single one of my prayers, I have vowed to surrender. And for 2017, that is my biggest goal. To surrender to God and live a life that’s according to his will and not mine.
“And he hath said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee; for my power is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Wherefore I take pleasure in weaknesses, in injuries, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then I am strong.” — 2 Corinthians 12
Good bye 2016! Despite all the challenges that I faced throughout the year, I am also extremely grateful for the blessings I received. Precious time with family and friends around the world, all the travels that opened our eyes and hearts in new ways, a talented and hard-working team that helped to produce some pretty spectacular weddings for my business, our amazing NBCC church community where I feel so loved and included, and good health that allows me to keep going.
Here’s our Year in Review for 2016!
January–officially began our “detox period” to help Bridgette transition from traditional schooling to homeschooling/unschooling. Mid-month we flew to Hong Kong to celebrate Chinese New Year, Brianne’s birthday, my birthday, and Bridgette’s birthday. We all had a bit of a scare with Bridgette’s first hospital stay while on that trip but otherwise had a wonderful time with our family.
February–took a short trip to Taipei with my mom, sis, and Brianne. Flew home right after that, just in time for my first wedding of the year which happened to be on Bridgette’s birthday. My team and I surprised her with a decked out hotel room and though I didn’t get to spend her birthday with her, she had a wonderful time with her daddy up in Napa.
March–we went full force on getting ourselves out there in the homeschooling community. Lots of fun activities with new friends! Mimi and Brianne came to visit over Easter and Alan took a 3 week trip to Cambodia to help the schools there. We also celebrated both Bridgette and Alan’s birthday with a quick trip to the Happiest Place on Earth (aka Disneyland)! 🙂
April–our Spring social calendar was filled to the max, and for those who keep worrying that homeschoolers do not get enough social interactions with their peers, let me tell you that the opposite is true. With so much time and energy now, and such a huge homeschooling community out there, we’ve never been more social! We took another short trip to L.A. this month with our cousins and spent 2 days just eating and relaxing.
May–this was a really special month because my sis flew over for the last few weeks of her pregnancy and we got to spend so much quality time together. We loved incorporating her into our life here! Bridge, Alan, and I took a weekend trip to Placerville for a 2-day Class III Whitewater Rafting trip and had the best time on that adventure.
June–This was our big month, with the arrival of my lovely nephew Brady Chuang! We welcomed him to our family on June 20th with more love than you can imagine. In between all the baby visits, I took the girls to so many fun excursions around town (anyone want to to join Jubi’s Summer Camp next year? Haha!). Sadly though, I broke a finger at Raging Water which was a big set back for me both physically and mentally.
July–I had surgery for my broken finger at the beginning of the month and rested just a bit before hopping on a plane to Kauai with Alan and the girls. Though I couldn’t swim at all on that trip (imagine that, no swimming in Hawaii!) I loved getting to watch the girls play all day. I came back to 2 big back to back weddings and Brady’s Red Egg & Ginger party, all with just one functional hand. Talk about needing to surrender!
August–we were really sad to send Mimi, Brianne, and Brady back to Hong Kong at the beginning of this month. Good byes with them are always so hard no matter how often we see each other! Before jumping back into our homeschooling, we took a weekend trip to Lake Tahoe with some of Bridgette’s best buddies and spent a few fun-filled days up there to soak in the last of summer.
September 2016–for Labor Day weekend we flew to Houston to meet up with some extended family. After we got back, we managed to have a few fun outings with Bridgette’s homeschooling friends before we hopped on the plane again, this time to Seattle, Hong Kong, and then Seoul.
October 2016–I had 2 big weddings this month so the first two weeks were full of very long days. After our wedding season officially ended mid-month, I finally got some time to get back to our homeschooling. More fun outings, interesting projects at home, and dance classes. We attended the beautiful wedding of Kim and Aaron as a family, and also got a 3 night staycation at the Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay thanks to Alan’s work conference there. Halloween was eventful as always, with pumpkin carving, trick or treating, and parties.
November–after the first week, Bridge and I packed larger suitcases this time and flew to Hong Kong again, ready to spend the remainder of our year there. Thanks to a very supportive and helpful brother in law and parents, we were able to whisk my sis and Brianne away for a few days to Tokyo and Hakone for our annual girls’ trip, and had such a great time together!
December–Alan joined us in Hong Kong and we were able to take a short trip to Hanoi, Vietnam for 4 days, which turned out to be one of my favorite trips ever. The rest of our time in Hong Kong was spent with family and friends eating, playing, and babysitting our adorable nephew!
Happy New Year everyone! Wishing all of you a joyous and blessed year ahead!